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Ganga sanitation project ‘very ambitious’: CJI

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TS Thakur
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Chief Justice of India Tirath Singh Thakur on Sunday described as “very ambitious” the Narendra Modi government’s project to clean Ganga and ensured that the judiciary would be supportive and not an impediment to it.

“Ganga cleaning is very ambitious,” he said, adding that the issue is “how honestly it is carried forward” but also noted that the government seems to be serious about it and has earmarked Rs.20,000 crore for the project.

Urging involvement of the people in the execution of the project, Chief Justice Thakur, who was interacting with media persons after taking charge, said people have to be made aware of it and educated.

Pointing to the civilisational and cultural links with the Hindu holy river, he said people from far and wide come to the banks of Ganga to perform the last rites of their beloved ones.

The exercise of cleaning Ganga could not be “overnight” and it would be in “stages only”, the chief justice said stressing that it involves addressing the problem of industrial and city waste flowing into it.

People will have to be made aware of it, he said. He assured that there was nothing adversarial between the government and the court, which was willing to extend whatever help it could extend in the successful implementation of the Ganga cleaning plan.

wefornews bureau

India

Agriculture laws akin to ‘death warrant’, says farmer leader

“If you want your rights, then reach Delhi on 26 January, she said, adding that the “black laws enacted by the Centre were a “death warrant for farmers”.

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Poonam Pandit

Shahjahanpur (UP), Jan 16 : Farmer leader Poonam Pandit here on Saturday described the agriculture laws enacted by the Centre as a death warrant and urged farmers to reach Delhi on January 26.

The farmer leader said this addressing a Kisan Mahapanchayat in the Banda area of Shahjahanpur, which according to police was held without permission and amid the imposition of prohibitory orders.

“If you want your rights, then reach Delhi on 26 January, she said, adding that the “black laws enacted by the Centre were a “death warrant for farmers”.

“The way in which farmers are being stopped, it appears that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also anti-farmer,” she said.

To stop the mahapanchayat, the administration had approach farmer leaders.

On Saturday, personnel from the Provincial Armed Constabulary were deployed at the site earmarked for the event.

After this, farmers started gathering in an empty field behind the site. Farmer leader Poonam Pandit arrived on a bike and addressed the panchayat for about 25 minutes.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Puvya Navneet Nayak told PTI over the phone that “prohibitory orders were in place in the district and farmer organisations had written on their letter heads that the mahapanchayat has been cancelled.”

“It is not proper to have a mahapanchayat and no permission for this was taken from the administration,” he added.

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Health

Doctors at Delhi’s RML Hospital reject Covaxin, say we want Covishield with valid trial results

Doctors of Delhi’s premier RML Hospital have shot a letter to the hospital superintendent saying they do not want to take the Bharat Biotech vaccine – Covaxin – and would instead prefer the Covishield vaccine of Serum Institute of India.

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COVAXIN Corona Covid vaccine

Resident doctors at New Delhi’s Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital have written to the Medical Superintendent asking for them to be vaccinated against COVID-19 using the Covishield vaccine instead of Covaxin.

In the letter dated January 16, the Resident Doctors’ Association (RDA) said its present members are a “bit apprehensive about the lack of complete trial in case of Covaxin.” The doctors said that Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech was being preferred at the hospital’s vaccination site over Covishield produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII). Covaxin is still undergoing phase-3 trials.

The association further claimed that due to this apprehension, resident doctors “might not participate in huge numbers, thus defeating the purpose of vaccination.”

“We request you to vaccinate us with Covishield which has completed all stages of the trail before its rollout,” the letter reads.

India began its massive COVID-19 vaccination exercise on January 16. Priority is being given to healthcare and frontline workers, who had already been registered on the purpose-built CoWIN application.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved both vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – for restricted emergency use. However, beneficiaries will not be able to choose between the two jabs.

While launching the vaccination drive on January 16, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked the people to be aware of propaganda and rumours about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for public use in India.

“Our Indian scientists and experts have guaranteed the safety of the vaccine, so the people of the country must not listen to any kind of propaganda and rumours surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine,” PM Modi said.

As of January 16, India had reported more than 1.05 crore confirmed COVID-19 cases. The death toll from the outbreak in the country stood at over 1.52 lakh. While more than 1.01 crore patients had recovered, 2.11 lakh cases remained ‘active’. Globally, more than 9.32 crore individuals have been infected by the virus and over 20 lakh people have died so far.

A speedy rollout of vaccines is being seen as the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 and restore normalcy in the pandemic-battered global economy. More than 50 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have already vaccinated a large number of people from high-risk groups.

The Centre is hoping to vaccinate 30 crore people by July, in a bid to stop the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Strawberries to write a new chapter of development in Jhansi

According to the Jhansi District Magistrate, when the two families in Jhansi cultivated strawberries, we drew inspiration from them and decided to organise the ‘Strawberry Festival’ in Jhansi.

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Strawberry

Lucknow, Jan 16 : Jhansi which is well-known as the land of valour is all set to write a new chapter and strawberry cultivation would play a pivotal role in transforming the region. The land of Jhansi in Utttar Pradesh is most suitable for the cultivation of strawberries and to promote its cultivation, a ‘Strawberry Festival’ is being organised in Jhansi.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath would inaugurate the ‘Strawberry Festival’ from January 17 to February 16. During this festival, the cultivation of strawberry would inspire people to take it up throughout Bundelkhand, including Jhansi.

According to Jhansi District Collector Andra Vamsi, farmers could earn better income through strawberry cultivation. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is personally taking a keen interest in the development of Bundelkhand, which is one of the backward areas of the state.

The CM said strawberry cultivation has been started for the first time in Bundelkhand. This region was never known for fruits. Jhansi district is known for its production of pulses, oilseeds and ginger. For the first time, two families in Jhansi without any help from the state government have successfully achieved the feat of cultivating strawberries. These families with the help of drip irrigation and sprinklers cultivated strawberries in the region showing that strawberries could be grown in Jhansi and Bundelkhand. If strawberry cultivation gets a boost in Jhansi, farmers would get a new source of earning a better income.

According to the Jhansi District Magistrate, when the two families in Jhansi cultivated strawberries, we drew inspiration from them and decided to organise the ‘Strawberry Festival’ in Jhansi. DM Andra Vamsi explained that people would be encouraged to cultivate strawberries by organising workshops during the Strawberry Festival. The people would be told how to cultivate strawberries and how it will increase their income.

Strawberry cultivator Happy Chawla told IANS that 1.5 acres have been used for sampling. It would produce an estimated 10,000 kg which would be available at a rate of Rs 100 per kg in the market. If the strawberries are produced and sold properly, then the farmers would get a fair price for their produce and earn a handsome profit.

According to Gaurav Garg, an expert on strawberry cultivation, strawberry farming could end the plight of farmers in Jhansi and Bundelkhand. One kilogram of strawberries from a strawberry plant is available for nearly Rs 70 to Rs 80. The strawberries grown in Jhansi have the same taste as the famous strawberries of Mahabaleshwar. If strawberry cultivation was encouraged in Jhansi and Bundelkhand, it would be in the interest of farmers.

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