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Over 6k cases for 3rd day, India’s corona tally above 1.30 lakh

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New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) With 6,768 new coronavirus cases — denoting over 6,000 new cases for the third day in a row — India”s total tally climbed to 1,31,868 on Sunday, the Health Ministry data revealed. At least 147 more corona fatalities have been recorded since Saturday, the Ministry said.

Of the total cases, 73,560 are active whereas 3,867 people lost their lives to the highly contagious disease. A total of 54,441 people have been cured so far, including 2,658 in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra continued to be the worst-hit state with 47,190 corona cases, 1,577 deaths but also 13,404 recovered patients.

Tamil Nadu came second with 15,512 cases, and Gujarat third with 13,664 cases. The death toll was 103 in Tamil Nadu and 829 in Gujarat. Delhi reported 12,910 cases and 231 casualties, while 6,267 patients have been cured here.

States/UTs with more than 5k cases are Rajasthan (6,742), Madhya Pradesh (6,371) and Uttar Pradesh (6,017). Others with more than 1,000 cases are West Bengal (3,459), Andhra Pradesh (2,757), Punjab (2,045), Telangana (1,813), Bihar (2,380), Jammu and Kashmir (1,569), Karnataka (1,959), Odisha (1,269) and Haryana (1,131). States and UTs with significant number of corona cases are Kerala (795), Jharkhand (350), Chandigarh (225), Assam (329), Tripura (189), Chhattisgarh (225) and Uttarakhand (244).

Sikkim has reported its first case, as per ministry data, while in Dadar Nagar Haveli one more case has emerged, taking its tally to two. Goa has reported 55 cases so far. A spurt has been observed in Pudducherry which now has 26 cases. There are now 49 cases in Ladakh.

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World Bank Sanctions $400 Million To Enhance Namami Gange Programme

“The government’s Namami Gange Programme has revitalized India”s efforts to rejuvenating the Ganga,” Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India, said.

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Namami Gange

New Delhi, July 7 : The Indian government and the World Bank on Tuesday signed a loan agreement to enhance support for the Namami Gange programme that seeks to rejuvenate the Ganga.

The Second National Ganga River Basin Project will help stem pollution in the iconic river and strengthen the management of the river basin which is home to more than 500 million people.

The $400 million operation comprises a loan of $381 million and a proposed guarantee of up to $19 million.

The agreement for the $381 million loan was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance on behalf of the government, and Qaiser Khan, Acting Country Director (India), on behalf of the World Bank. The guarantee instrument will be processed separately.

Khare said that the Ganga is India”s most important cultural, economic and environmental resource, and the government”s Namami Gange programme seeks to ensure that the river returns to a pollution-free, ecologically healthy state.

The new project will extend the government”s and World Bank”s engagement in this critical national programme to make the Ganga a clean, healthy river.

The World Bank has been supporting the government”s efforts since 2011 through the ongoing National Ganga River Basin Project, which helped set up the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) as the nodal agency to manage the river, and financed sewage treatment infrastructure in several riverside towns and cities.

Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, said that the continuity provided by the Second National Ganga River Basin Project will consolidate the momentum achieved under the first World Bank project, and help NMCG introduce further innovations, and benchmark its initiatives against global best practices in river rejuvenation.

“The government’s Namami Gange Programme has revitalized India”s efforts to rejuvenating the Ganga,” Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India, said. “The first World Bank project helped build critical sewage infrastructure in 20 pollution hotspots along the river, and this Project will help scale this up to the tributaries. It will also help government strengthen the institutions needed to manage a river basin as large and complex as the Ganga Basin.”

The sprawling Ganga Basin provides over one-third of India”s surface water, includes the country”s largest irrigated area, and is key to India”s water and food security. Over 40 per cent of India”s GDP is generated in the densely populated basin. But the Ganga river is today is facing pressures from human and economic activity that impact its water quality and flows.

Over 80 per cent of the pollution load in the Ganga comes from untreated domestic wastewater from towns and cities along the river and its tributaries. For this, sewage networks and treatment plants in select urban areas would be built to help control pollution discharges. These infrastructure investments and the jobs they will generate will also help India”s economic recovery from the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) crisis.

To ensure that these infrastructure assets function effectively and are well maintained, the project will build on the innovative Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) of public private partnership introduced under the ongoing NGRBP, and which has become the solution of choice for sewage treatment investments in the Ganga Basin.

Under this model, the government pays a private operator 40 per cent of the capital cost to build a sewage treatment plant during the construction period; the remaining 60 per cent is paid as performance-linked payments over 15 years to ensure that the operator runs and maintains the plant efficiently.

The $400 million operation includes a proposed Guarantee of up to $19 million to backstop the government”s payment obligations for three Hybrid-Annuity-Model Public Private Partnership (HAM-PPP) investments on the Ganga”s tributaries.

The $381 million variable spread loan has a maturity of 18.5 years including a grace period of 5 years. The $19 million Guarantee Expiry Date will be 18 years from the Guarantee Effectiveness Date.

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‘Why are forces vacating our land at LAC’? Congress

The reports say that disengagement between Indian and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops happened as per the agreed terms in the Corps Commanders’ meeting.

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India China Ladakh Border

New Delhi, July 7 : The Congress has questioned the government on reports of withdrawal of Indian troops from Galwan valley in Ladakh.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that the country wants response on it.

Surjewala said in a tweet “Respected Prime Minister, do you remember your words and do your words mean something and will you tell that why are our forces leaving our motherland?”

The Congress leader was commenting on reports of Indian and Chinese troops have retreated two kilometres each along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Galwan Valley, where 20 Indian and unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in a violent face-off last month.

The Congress questioned the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement during the all-party meting held in June where the party said that the Prime Minister had claimed no one had occupied Indian territory and so it demanded Modi should apologise for that statement.

The reports say that disengagement between Indian and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops happened as per the agreed terms in the Corps Commanders’ meeting.

With the retreat from both sides, a four kilometre no-man zone has been created. “Four kilometres in the highly mountainous terrain like Galwan valley, deprives both sides to see each other’s installations and reinforcements,” sources said.

The two sides have also agreed, sources said, not to do any aerial surveillance of the retreated area, to rebuild trust which was badly damaged due to the June 15 clash.

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Economic mismanagement a tragedy, will destroy millions: Rahul Gandhi

The Congress leader has been raising the issue of economic problems Indians are facing due to the lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 7 : Reacting to a research report that Indians are worst-hit on the economic front and that 8 out of 10 rural households had lost income during the coronavirus pandemic, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged that the economic mismanagement was a tragedy that was out to destroy millions.

“India”s economic mismanagement is a tragedy that is going to destroy millions of families,” he tweeted.

He said that it would no longer be accepted silently.

The Congress leader has been raising the issue of economic problems Indians are facing due to the lockdown amid coronavirus pandemic.

Rahul Gandhi was quoting research by University of Chicago and Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, which said that 80 per cent rural and 75 per cent urban households have suffered loss in income.

Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal in a statement on Tuesday said that the country lost nearly 13 crore jobs, with many states reaching unemployment figures of 40 per cent.

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