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Himachal hills turn white, vehicles’ movement hampered

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Himachal Pradesh Snowfall

Shimla, Jan 25: The hills of Himachal Pradesh on Friday witnessed more snow, hampering the movement of vehicles on the roads.

The entire Kinnaur district and towns in upper Shimla remained cut off due to closure of roads on the fourth day, a government official said.

The Met office in Shimla predicted light snowfall and rain in the state till Saturday.

“Shimla and its nearby areas have been experiencing snowfall since early Friday,a an official of the Meteorological Department told IANS.

Places near Shimla like Kufri and Narkanda have also been experiencing snowfall, turning the them more picturesque.

Other tourist resorts of Manali in Kullu district and Dalhousie in Chamba district have been experiencing snow for the past four days.

“High-altitude areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Chamba, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur, Sirmaur and Shimla districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snow,” the Met official said.

Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in the state with a minimum of minus 14 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 6.2 degrees in Kalpa in Kinnaur district, minus 1 degree in Manali and minus 2.4 degrees in Dalhousie.

The state capital, which saw 6.7 cm snow, saw the night temperature at minus 0.8 degrees Celsius. Manali had 10 cm snow.

Meanwhile, traffic movement beyond Dhalli, 10 km from here, remained suspended since a large stretch of the Hindustan-Tibet Road was under a thick blanket of snow.

IANS

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LG Polymers CEO among 12 arrested over Vizag gas leak mishap

According to police, while 12 people died on May 7 and 8, three more villagers succumbed on May 25 and afterwards. A total of 34 animals also died in the incident.

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Visag Gas Victims Protests

Visakhapatnam, July 7 : LG Polymers Managing Director and CEO, Sunkey Jeong and Technical Director D.S. Kim were among 12 officials of the company arrested by Visakhapatnam police on Tuesday, in connection with the styrene gas leak tragedy that left 15 dead and hundreds hospitalised in May this year.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, R.V.S.N. Murthy, who is also the investigation officer, said the accused were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

They were also booked under Indian Penal Code”s Sections 278 (Making atmosphere noxious to health), 284 (Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 285 (Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) read with section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The gas leak from LG Polymers plant on the intervening night of May 6 and 7 affected Venkatapuram and five other villages.

According to police, while 12 people died on May 7 and 8, three more villagers succumbed on May 25 and afterwards. A total of 34 animals also died in the incident.

The development comes a day after the High Powered Committee (HPC) submitted its probe report to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The HPC probe report had listed several lapses on the part of the LG Polymers management, which led to the styrene gas leakage.

The other accused arrested on Tuesday are LG Polymers” and Additional Director (Operations) P.P. Chandra Mohan Rao, HOD, SMH (in-charge) K. Srinivas Kiran Kumar, team leader production Raju Satyanarayana, engineers C. Chandrasekhar, K. Gowri Sankara Nagendra Ramu, K. Chakrapani, operator Muddu Rajesh, night duty officer (operations) P. Balaji, incharge GPPS S. Atchyut and safety officer in night shift K. Venkata Narasimha Ramesh Patnaik.

According to the investigating official, the investigations disclosed that the incident at M6 styrene storage tank took place due to negligence of the accused who were also having knowledge that their acts are likely to cause death.

“The investigations so far made disclosed that the accident occurred to the poor design of M6 Tank, inadequate refrigeration and cooling system, absence of circulation systems, inadequate measurement parameters, weak safety protocol, poor safety awareness, inadequate risk assessment and response, poor management, slackness of management, insufficient knowledge amongst staff, insufficient understanding of the chemical properties of styrene, especially during storage under idle conditions and total breakdown of the emergency response procedures,” the police said.

Meanwhile, in a related development in the case, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) suspended environmental engineers R. Lakshmi Naryana and P. Prasada Rao for negligence.

Acting on the report of the HPC, APPCB suspended Prasada Rao, environmental engineer, regional office, Visakhapatnam, for gross negligence in allowing operation of LG Polymers without environmental clearance, allowing import and storage of huge quantity of styrene without verifying safety and environmental issues. Lakshmi Narayana, environmental engineer, zonal office, Visakhapatnam, was also suspended on the same charges.

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Kanpur Shootout: Now Vikas Dubey’ wife Richa also ‘most wanted’

A local resident, on condition of anonymity, said that Richa stayed mostly in Kanpur city but kept tabs on the activities in the house through her mobile phone.

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Vikas Dubey and Wife

Kanpur, July 7 : Kanpur police is on hot pursuit of Richa Dubey, wife of Uttar Pradesh’s most wanted gangster Vikas Dubey, who killed eight policemen within hours.

Richa Dubey is said to have fled the house in Bikru village with her son, minutes after the bloodbath early on Friday.

Sources said that the police have recovered her mobile phone during a search of the house and it has been found that the phone was connected to the CCTVs installed in Dubey’s house.

“Apparently Richa kept a watch on the house and the activities there even when she was not in Bikru village. She may have used the mobile to delete footage.

“Earlier, in 2017, when Vikas Dubey was arrested by the STF, she had released the footage on social media in an obvious attempt to save her husband, as she pre-empted the possibility of Vikas being killed in an encounter,” said a member of the police investigating team.

The police have already contacted all relatives of Richa but she is nowhere to be found, even though she is a member of the zila panchayat.

A local resident, on condition of anonymity, said that Richa stayed mostly in Kanpur city but kept tabs on the activities in the house through her mobile phone.

“The servants and other workers were always wary of ‘Bhabhiji’ because she would check on them at regular intervals. If they lied to her on anything, she would pull them up. She supported her husband and his activities. She never interacted with women in the village,” he said.

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No manual cleaning of sewage chambers in Rajasthan, says CM Gehlot

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Ashok Gehlot

Jaipur, July 7 : No sanitation worker should be forced to enter into sewage chambers to clean the sewer lines, said Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot while addressing a video conference with public representatives and urban bodies.

The entire cleaning work should be done by machines and there should be no deaths during cleaning of sewerage lines, he instructed all district collectors and civic authorities on Monday.

Gehlot said that the sanitation workers, who have been risking their lives to keep us safe, played a strong role in keeping the city, streets and neighbourhood free from the deadly coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The government was able to check the spread of the pandemic due to the dedication with which the sanitation workers and the public representatives of the urban bodies worked, he added.

The CM said that Rajasthan”s pride “increased” in the nation owing to hard work by doctors, nurses, anganwadi workers, police, sanitation workers and urban bodies. In fact, Rajasthan was the first state to provide insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh to government and non-government personnel engaged in Covid-19 battle, he said.

The CM also took suggestions from the civic body mayors, chairpersons, councillors and others and released two posters to create awareness among the people against the virus.

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