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KCR asks officials to take Centre to task at Apex Council meet

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K Chandrashekhar Rao

Hyderabad, Sep 30 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has asked officials to take the Centre to task during the Apex Council meeting scheduled on October 6 over the sharing of Krishna and Godavari river waters between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Stating that the Centre is doing nothing, he directed the officials to be firm in demanding that there should be absolute clarity on the allocation of water to Telangana.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, the officials to prepare all arguments in support of the just demands of Telangana on the matter.

The Chief Minister has convened a high-level meeting with the Water Resources Department officials on Thursday to discuss on the strategy to be adapted at the Apex Council meeting.

He instructed the officials concerned to come with complete data and information and issues to be placed before the Central government.

“Andhra Pradesh state is intentionally creating disputes on the River water sharing. We have to give a befitting reply to the AP State’s arguments at the Apex Council meeting. Give an absolute clarity on issues so that the AP government will not raise the issues again in future,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office quoted him as saying.

“Take the opportunity to expose the seven years delay caused by the Centre and its inactive role on the matter. Oppose and reject the attempts made to undermine the rights of Telangana people. Utilise the Apex Council meeting to tell the whole country about the facts,” KCR said.

He pointed out that under the States Bifurcation Acts, whenever a new State is formed, it should be allocated its water share.

“The Telangana State was formed on June 2, 2014 and we wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on June 14, 2014 requesting for the allocation of water to the Telangana State. We also stated that water could be allocated by constituting a Special tribunal under section (3) of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act 1956 or through the existing Tribunal. We also wanted the allocation of water should be done between the Telangana State and AP or among the river basin states. Even after seven years, there was no response for the letter written to the PM. The Centre kept mum on the issue. Moreover, they are giving a picture that they were doing something by convening Apex Council meetings. But in reality, the Centre is not doing anything,” he said.

The Apex Council meet has been postponed twice. It was last scheduled on August 25 but was postponed as Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, tested positive for Covid-19.

The minister is the Chairman of Apex Council formed under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The chief ministers of the Telugu states are members of the Council.

The meeting assumed significance in view of the objections raised by Telangana over Andhra Pradesh going ahead with the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) across Krishna river. Telangana has been stating that the project would adversely affect its interests.

Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, had raised objections to six irrigation projects or schemes, including the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme, taken up by Telangana on the Godavari river.

KCR had earlier stated that the state will be taking a tough stand over Andhra Pradesh’s objections to the projects across Krishna and Godavari rivers while seeking a halt to the RLIS.

He had asked the officials to take Andhra government to task for illegally utilising water from Godavari and Krishna rivers in contravention of the Bachawat Tribunal Award.

The Apex Council meeting was earlier scheduled on August 5 but was postponed on the request of the Telangana government.

–IANS

Business

India extends $1 billion credit line to Central Asian countries for priority projects

Besides the $1-billion line of credit, India offered grant assistance for high impact community development projects to boost socio-economic development in Central Asia.

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India on Wednesday extended a $1-billion line of credit to Central Asian countries for priority projects in connectivity, energy, IT and health care, with the move being perceived as part of New Delhi’s efforts to boost its role as a transparent development partner.

The line of credit was welcomed by ministers of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan during the second meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue held via video conference under the chairmanship of external affairs minister S Jaishankar. Acting Afghan foreign minister Haneef Atmar joined the meeting as a special invitee.

The meeting discussed cooperation in political and security matters, and all the countries called for settling the Afghan conflict on the principle of an “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled peace process”, according to a joint statement. The countries also condemned terrorism and reaffirmed their determination to destroy terrorist safe havens, networks, and funding channels.

In a tacit reference to Pakistan, the joint statement said: “They also underlined the need for every country to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks against other countries.”

Jaishankar told the meeting: “India and Central Asia share ancient historical and cultural linkages. We consider Central Asia as India’s ‘extended neighbourhood’.” He added, “We face common challenges of terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking… All these commonalities make us a natural partner in our developmental journey.”

Besides the $1-billion line of credit, India offered grant assistance for high impact community development projects to boost socio-economic development in Central Asia.

The ministers emphasised the importance of connectivity in increasing trade and commerce between India and Central Asia, and appreciated New Delhi’s efforts to modernise Chabahar port in Iran as an important link in trade and transport between markets in Central and South Asia, the joint statement said. The ministers agreed to promote joint initiatives to create regional and international transport corridors.

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India

ISRO adopts new satellite naming style, RISAT-2BR2 now EOS-01

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Department of Space.

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ISRO launch

Chennai, Oct 28 : The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has decided follow a new naming policy for its earth observation satellites, it is learnt.

Henceforth, the Indian space agency will be naming its earth observation satellites as EOS tagged with a serial number.

As a result, ISRO’s radar imaging satellite RISAT-2BR2 has been renamed as EOS-01, an official preferring anonymity told IANS.

The ISRO on Wednesday said its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) will launch EOS-01 as a primary satellite along with nine international customer satellites from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota.

The launch is tentatively scheduled at 3.02 p.m. on November 7, subject to weather conditions.

EOS-01 is an earth observation satellite intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, the ISRO said.

The radar imaging satellite with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that can shoot pictures in all weather conditions.

The satellite can take pictures day and night and will be useful for surveillance as well as civilian activities.

This time around, the ISRO will be using the PSLV rocket’s DL variant that will have two strap-on booster motors.

This rocket variant was used the first time to put into orbit Microsat R satellite on January 24, 2019.

The customer satellites are being launched under commercial agreement with NewSpace India Ltd (NSIL), the commercial arm of Department of Space.

Owing to Covid-19 pandemic norms, ISRO has decided to close the rocket launch viewing gallery for the public during this launch and gathering of media personnel at the Sriharikota rocket port is also not on the cards.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Disaster

Delhi records highest new Covid cases since pandemic began

The cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day. The tally of active cases today rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day.

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New Delhi : Delhi reported an unprecedented rise in the number of daily infections on Wednesday. According to a health department bulletin, the national capital recorded 5,673 fresh Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike till date, taking the total case-load to more than 3.7 lakh with 40 new fatalities pushing the death count in the national capital to 6,396.

This is the highest single-day figure that Delhi has reported since the pandemic struck the country. The national capital, which is battling the third wave of infections, has been logging more than 4,000 cases daily for the last six days.

With the onset of the festive season, the unprecedented spike has raised concerns, especially when the national Covid tally has shown a steady decline.

The Covid-19 figures in the national capital have been increasing rapidly.

On Tuesday, Delhi reported 4,853 new infections and 44 deaths, which was also its highest daily spike. The number of fresh cases recorded on Monday stood at 2,832, and 4,136 on Sunday, while the figures were 4,116 on Saturday and 4,086 on Friday.

The cases on Wednesday came out of the 60,571 tests conducted the previous day. The tally of active cases today rose to 29,378 from 27,873 the previous day.

The Health Ministry had expressed concern over the spike in Delhi’s cases and is expected to hold a meeting with top officials of the UT government on Thursday to chalk out a strategy for prevention of the Covid spread, the officials said on Tuesday.

The unwanted record spike coincides with an extended festive season and the onset of winter.

Medical experts have suggested that the Covid-19 virus could become even more potent and fatal as the temperature drops.

The increase in Covid cases has also been linked to the worsening pollution in the national capital, which is preparing for its annual bout with “severe” and “hazardous” air quality levels.

Meanwhile, the daily national Covid tally of India is on a constant decline for over a week, which had been reporting close to one lakh cases daily till last month.

Experts say the country has passed its peak but a surge is looming over in view of festivities and laxity observed by the public.

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