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India unveils world’s largest visa centre in Bangladesh

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Rajnath Singh-wefornews

Dhaka, July 14: Visiting Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday inaugurated here the world’s largest state-of-the-art visa centre, equipped with a range of modern facilities and, promising shorter waiting times for applicants, and also discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual concerns, including menace of terrorism, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“Inaugurated the state of the art Indian Visa Application Centre (IVAC) at Dhaka. With the opening of this centre the processing of visa applications will be simplified,” he tweeted after the inauguration.

The integrated centre at Jamuna Future Park (JFP) was inaugurated jointly by Rajnath Singh and his his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, reports bdnews24.

Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who was also present, told the media that “this is the largest Indian visa centre in the world and possibly the largest anywhere”.

The new centre will replace the existing centres in Motijheel and Uttara from July 15.

The remaining two centres in Dhaka — at Gulshan and Mirpur Road — will also be shifted to this centre, located in a spacious 18,500 square feet commercial area, by August 31.

The existing e-token (appointment) system for submission of visa applications will also be withdrawn from July 15.

Bangladeshis constitute one of the largest numbers of visitors from a single country to India, the report said. Last year the country issued 1.4 million visas to Bangladeshi nationals.

India has 12 visa centres in Bangladesh, which is the highest number it has in any country, the report said.

India issues five-year multiple entry visas for freedom fighters, senior citizens and businessmen.

Before the inauguration of the visa centre, Rajnath Singh held a meeting with Hasina, where they discussed several key bilateral issues.

“Had an extremely fruitful meeting with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. (Her Excellency) Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka today (Saturday). We discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues of mutual interest,” he said in another tweet.

In the meeting, Rajnath Singh told her that it was possible to uproot militancy and terrorism if all the countries in the region join their hands.

Emphasising that dialogue between both the countries had helped in settling several outstanding issues, including the land and boundary agreement, Hasina said: “We expect that the other issues will be sorted out through talks as well.”

She reiterated Bangladesh’s stand of not allowing its soil to be used by terrorists to carry out their activities against any other country.

Rajnath Singh will co-chair the 6th India-Bangladesh home minister-level talks on Sunday along with his Bangladeshi counterpart in which issues tied to security, border management, cooperation in countering illegal activities and travel arrangements are expected to be discussed.

His three-day visit is taking place in the context of the Home-Minister level talks held on a regular basis between India and Bangladesh, the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said.

The last such talks were held in New Delhi in July 2016.

On Friday, Rajnath Singh tweeted that India and Bangladesh have made “notable progress in transforming our land and maritime boundaries into zones of peace and tranquillity”.

IANS

Cities

NTPC synchronises one more unit of 3,300 MW power plant in Bihar with grid

The power producer has been setting up five units with 660 MW capacity each, spread across 3,200 acres of land at Barh in Patna district

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Power Grid Failure Nine Minutes

State-run NTPC Ltd on Sunday said it has successfully synchronised a 660-MW unit of its supercritical thermal power plant in Bihar with the grid, which would help the commercial generation of electricity from it.

The power producer has been setting up five units with 660 MW capacity each, spread across 3,200 acres of land at Barh in Patna district.

The construction work of three units of stage-I of the project was delayed due to “contractual, execution and timeline issues” with Russian firm Technoprom Export which was supposed to develop them, while two units of stage-II (2×660 MW) of Barh STPP have already been commissioned and are presently under operation, an official said.

“The first unit of 660 MW of stage -I of Barh plant was successfully synchronised with the grid at 7.32 am today. The plant has achieved desired capacity,” he said.

The construction of the Barh stage-I was initially awarded to the Russian firm but the contract was later terminated due to delay of the work schedule given by the NTPC, he said.

The successful synchronisation would pave the way for commissioning of the unit, the official said.

The remaining two units of stage-I of NTPC-Barh would be made operational by the end of March 2022, he said.

Under the synchronisation process, the 660-MW unit was connected to the grid to see the load factor and to ensure that all other aspects of it were working correctly.

Presently, Bihar is getting 1,198 MW of power from the two units of stage-II and will get additional 1,025 MW from three plants of stage-I, he said.

NTPC is supplying 4,248 MW of power to Bihar from its various plants, he added.

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India

India-Pak troops exchange fire along international border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba

No one was injured in the firing which started around 11.45 pm on Saturday in Mangu Chak Border Outpost (BOP) area of Ghagwal secto

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Indian Army Kashmir

Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire for nearly 30 minutes after the Border Security Force (BSF) picked up suspicious movement along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Sunday.

No one was injured in the firing which started around 11.45 pm on Saturday in Mangu Chak Border Outpost (BOP) area of Ghagwal sector, the officials said.

They said BSF troops deployed at BOP Mangu Chak observed movement of three to four persons near Pakistani post Pir Bunker and opened fire after they were seen moving towards this side under the cover of darkness.

Pakistani Rangers retaliated and the exchange of small arms firing between the two sides continued for about half-an-hour, the officials said, adding the suspiciously moving persons returned to Pakistani side amid the firing.

A BSF official confirmed the incident and said a massive search operation was launched early this morning to sanitise the area.

The search operation is on but no incriminating material has been recovered so far, the official said.

There has been spurt in airdropping of weapons by drones and smuggling of narcotics along the IB and Line of Control (LoC) amid frequent ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir over the past few weeks.

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Cities

To avoid overcrowding Railways to run 6 more local trains, 2 ladies special

At present 500 special suburban services are being operated by Western Railway for essential services staff

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Mumbai Local Train

In order to maintain social distancing and to avoid overcrowding, Western Railway has taken the decision to increase the number of daily special suburban services by adding 6 more services including two Ladies Special trains from Monday.

500 special suburban services were being operated by Western Railway for Essential Services Staff as notified by the Government of Maharashtra. To this, 6 more trains are being added in order to bring flexibility in transportation.

According to an official press release, the increased 6 services have been added between Virar- Churchgate sector. Out of the 6 services, 3 services will be in UP direction from Virar on Slow line and 3 services will be in the DOWN direction towards Virar on Slow line. The 2 Ladies Special services will be run during the morning and evening peak hours between Virar and Churchgate stations in both UP and DOWN directions.

It’s worth mentioning that after complete closure due to the COVID-19 lockdown since March 23, 2020, Western Railway on the request of Govt of Maharashtra had commenced the selected services of special suburban trains from June 15 on the Mumbai Suburban section. The services were gradually increased for the convenience of passengers.

The latest increase was implemented from 21st September 2020, when the total services were increased from 350 to 500 by adding 150 more services over Western Railway’s suburban section. Considering the present scenario of the pandemic, the special suburban trains are regularly sanitized & cleaned to upkeep proper hygiene.

All commuters as permitted by the Maharashtra government, are requested by Western Railway to follow social distancing norms and wear a mask while travelling in special trains.

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