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Jaishankar calls on Hasina ahead of bilateral meet

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday called on visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ahead of a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Narendra Modi later in the day during which the two sides were expected to ink major agreements, with a focus on connectivity.

The two sides are likely to sign six to seven MoUs in the areas of connectivity, capacity-building and culture after the talks at the Hyderabad House here.

“The bilateral relations have never been so close. Naturally, the focus of discussion will be on bilateral relationship. When I say bilateral relationship, we are talking about the next steps the two countries should take now to get the relationship in a different trajectory,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said at a briefing on Friday.

The talks would revolve around trade and connectivity, development cooperation and people to people connect, culture and other issues of mutual interest.

The two sides were also expected to ink another agreement for the supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from Bangladesh to India’s northeast.

Omera Petroleum and Beximco LPG will export LPG to the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), which will bottle and sell to consumers

Another likely deal was for a new waterway to connect the Meghna river in Bangladesh with the Gomati in Tripura.

Cities

After Singhu and Tikri borders, Chilla border closed as well

While the Tikri border, Jharoda Border, Jhatikra Border are closed for any traffic movement, the Badusarai Border is open only for two wheeler traffic.

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Delhi Chilla Border

New Delhi, Dec 1: The Delhi Police on Tuesday closed the Chilla border connecting Delhi to the UP link road towards Noida due to the farmers’ protest.

The Singhu and Tikri borders are already closed by Delhi Traffic police for any vehicular movement which has caused traffic diversions at various points in the national capital region as the farmers agitation entered its sixth day.

The Delhi Traffic Police after closing the Chilla border advised motorists to take alternative routes towards Noida after taking a U-turn from under the Ghazipur, Akshardham flyover and also from Sarai Kale Khan.

While the Tikri border, Jharoda Border, Jhatikra Border are closed for any traffic movement, the Badusarai Border is open only for two wheeler traffic.

“Available Open Borders to Haryana are Dhansa, Daurala, Kapashera, Rajokri NH-8,Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera,” said a senior Traffic police officer.

“Singhu Border is still closed from both sides. Please take alternative route.Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba Chowk and GTK road. Traffic is very very heavy. Please avoid outer ring road from Signature Bridge to Rohini and vice versa, GTK road, NH 44 and Singhu border,” the Delhi Traffic Police Twitter handle tweeted.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday headed the government side in the much-awaited talks with over 30 farmer unions on the sixth day of the ongoing farmers’ protest.

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Farmers-govt dialogue inconclusive, 4th round of talks on Thursday

‘Bullets or peaceful solution’: Farmers’ union member after discussion with government

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Farmers Union

New Delhi, Dec 1: The government’s proposal to form a committee to study the three contentious farms laws was rejected by farmer unions during the ongoing talks called by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday to resolve the issues raised by agitating farmers.

Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Roop Singh Sanna told IANS that the government proposed to form a committee to study and discuss issues related to the three farm laws enacted in September during Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The farmers’ leader, while sharing inputs received from its union members attending the farmers-ministers ongoing meeting at Vigyan Bhawan, said the government offered to select four-five members from farmers association to form the committee in which there will be some government members.

He said that all the “union leaders unanimously rejected” the government’s offer.

“Forming a committee is an attempt to postpone the issue. We are not ready to accept government’s offer,” said Sanna.

The government is holding on to its stance of not rolling back the three farm laws which farmers allege are “anti-farm” and “black laws”: The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

The information comes from the meeting led by Agriculture Minister Tomar and Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution, in presence of more than 32 farmer union leaders on the sixth day of the ongoing farmers’ protest. The meeting started at Vigyan Bhawan around 3.30 p.m.

The meeting is also being attended by Union Minister of State for Commerce Som Prakash and Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal.

The meeting between the government and farmers comes after late Monday night invitation sent by Agriculture Minister to them following their ongoing protest started from November 26.

Thousands of farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh have been protesting at Delhi borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Currently, these farmers have been protesting at Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur borders.

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Railways zero-based timetable: We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience, says VK Yadav

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VK Yadav

With many news reports indicating the reduction of many small stations across the country after the implementation of the zero-based timetable, Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav on December 1 said the national transporter will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience and the aim is to reduce travel time.

“If there is a poorly patronised train, we will try to see if it can be merged with another train and run an additional train where there is more demand. We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience. Travel time of trains will come down due to the zero-based timetable and the number of trains will not be reduced. Poorly patronised stoppages will be rationalised in a professional manner although we are yet to make a decision when it will be implemented. We will divulge details about it later in a formal manner,” he said addressing the media.

He also said some passenger trains used by people in rural India will be converted into express trains and Railways is planning to convert passenger train services to Mainline Electric Multiple Unit rakes.

Yadav said the growth in freight services has not dimmed, with November witnessing loading at 110 mt, the highest in the year till now.

In this period, Railways earned Rs 10,657.66 crore from freight loading, which is Rs 449.79 crore higher compared to last year’s earnings for the same period.

On the Vande Bharat bidding process, Yadav said technical evaluation is currently underway and by January 15, the Railways expects to finalise the tender. adding that he won’t be able to comment on the aspect of reverse bidding as the matter comes under the tender committee.

BULLET TRAIN PROJECT STATUS

On the land acquisition hurdles for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project in Maharashtra, Yadav said although only 22 percent land has been acquired in Maharashtra, they are in talks with the state government and things are moving in the right direction.

“We had a detailed discussion with Chief Secretary of Maharashtra government and he has promised that within four months, land acquisition will reach up to 80 percent. Work on the awarded tenders will begin in December this year and completed in four years,” Yadav said.

PRIVATE TRAINS

Yadav expressed satisfaction on the response of private entities for the PPP in passenger train operations project.


“The response has been very good. In the Chennai cluster, six clusters have qualified. In Mumbai cluster, 11 companies have qualified and in remaining clusters, 8-10 companies have qualified,” he said.

The project is expected to bring in private investment of around Rs 30,000 crore.

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