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India has taken a lead in energy accessibility: Modi

“Electricity has already reached all rural areas. This year, the 100 per cent electrification of households will be achieved through the Saubhagya scheme,” he said.

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Greater Noida, Feb 11 : India has taken a lead in energy accessibility and will achieve 100 per cent household electrification by the end of this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday.

Addressing the Petrotech 2019 global energy conference here, Modi also noted the country’s progress in moving to a gas-based economy by bringing clean cooking fuel to poor households.

“Electricity has already reached all rural areas. This year, the 100 per cent electrification of households will be achieved through the Saubhagya scheme,” he said.

“Over 6.4 crore households were given LPG connections in just three years under the Ujjwala Scheme. A ‘Blue Flame’ revolution is underway and LPG coverage has reached more than 90 per cent of the population,” said Modi.

Noting that “energy justice” is a priority for his government, the Prime Minister said: “India’s World Bank Ease of Getting Electricity ranking had improved from 111 in 2014 to 29 in 2018.”

Turning to the global energy situation, Modi said a “historic transition” is underway and the world needs to move towards more responsible pricing for oil and gas.

“Energy supply, energy sources and energy consumption patterns are changing, perhaps, this could be a historic transition. There is a shift in energy consumption from West to East,” he said.

He emphasised the need to move towards transparent and flexible markets for both oil and gas.

“For far too long the world has seen crude prices on a roller coaster and called for responsible pricing of crude oil and natural gas, which balances the interests of both the producer and consumer,” he said.

IANS

India

Himachal avalanche: 5 soldiers still missing, rescue underway

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Avalanche, Representative Image, PC Zee News

Shimla, Feb 21: Despite inclement weather, rescuers on Thursday resumed a search operation near the Tibet border with Himachal Pradesh where a snow avalanche claimed life of a soldier and five went missing.

As the rescue operations entered the second day, the authorities suspected that the soldiers might be trapped in the snow pile spread over a 200 square metre area.

“This morning the search operation began despite intermittent snowfall,” a government official told news agency IANS.

The calamity triggered yesterday when the glacier near Namgia Dogri, burying six jawans of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles while 16 of them were on a routine patrol.

Five Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) soldiers were also wounded in the mishappening.

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Fresh snowfall, landslides shut Jammu-Srinagar highway

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ANI File Photo

Jammu, Feb 21: Fresh snowfall in the Bannihal sector and multiple landslides in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector blocked the Jammu-Srinagar highway, prompting halt of all traffic on Thursday on the strategic route.

“Over a foot of fresh snow has accumulated on the highway in Bannihal sector. There have been multiple landslides triggered by heavy rain at places in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector, as well,” a traffic department official said.

It is raining heavily along the 300-km stretch at various places both in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu division.

“No vehicular traffic will be allowed on the highway today. Snow and landslide clearance operation will be started immediately after the weather improves,” the Traffic Department said.

The official said stranded vehicles along the highway were all parked at safe places.

The highway is regarded as the jugular vein of the landlocked valley as all essential supplies are routed to Kashmir through this road. Each time the highway gets blocked, shortages of essential supplies hit the valley.

From February 6 to 12 the highway had remained shut causing acute crisis in the valley.

IANS

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Pulwama fallout: Security of 18 separatists, 155 politicians in J&K withdrawn

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Jammu kashmir Mirwaiz Umer Farooq
The security cover of four senior separatist leaders -- Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday. (Photo Credit- Reuters)

Jammu, Feb 21: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday withdrew security of 18 separatists and 155 political persons in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which over 40 CRPF troopers were killed.

An order issued by the Home Department late on Wednesday said security cover of separatists and some mainstream politicians was also being withdrawn/downgraded apart from those that were initially withdrawn on February 18.

As per the new order, the new list includes names from the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress.

Some of them are Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, former IAS officer Shah Faesal and PDP leader Waheed Para.

“Over 1,000 personal security guards and 100 vehicles provided to the secured persons are being withdrawn,” officials said here.

The security cover of four senior separatist leaders — Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Shabir Shah, Professor Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Lone were already withdrawn on Monday.

The decision to cut down heavily on separatist leaders’ cover was taken in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack when an explosive-packed SUV rammed into a bus of a Central Reserve Police Force convoy on the Jammu-Srinagar highway killing 40 paramilitary troopers on the spot in the worst-ever terror attack in the state since militancy struck there in 1989.

IANS

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