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Uttar Pradesh on austerity drive, government events at hotels banned

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Yogi Adityanath

Lucknow, Sep 19: No government parties, events, functions and workshops of the Uttar Pradesh government will now on be held in private hotels, an official said on Wednesday.

This has been ordered by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as part of an austerity drive to cut down on government expenditure, the official told IANS.

For all these events, government departments will have to use government buildings and campuses, a letter from Chief Secretary Anoop Chandra Pandey to all departmental heads says.

In case hosting such an event in a hotel is absolutely necessary, the Chief Secretary’s permission would be mandatory.

Barring unavoidable circumstances, all government officials and employees will now on fly economy class. Bureaucrats cannot use government money to send greeting cards, gifts, calendars and diaries on New Year and other occasions.

The guidelines will be binding on all government departments, public sector undertakings, local bodies and state varsities.

All these entities of the state governments have asked not to get new guest houses constructed. Officials have also been barred from changing the furnishings and furniture at their office.

With an exception on security grounds, purchase of new vehicles has also been banned. Officials have been asked to ensure that government expenditure on commuting was minimized by more use of e-mail, video conferencing and other communication modes.

The government has also asked the departments to cut down on travels, specially foreign trips, printing and publishing, writing stationary, furniture and equipment, interior designing of offices, hospitality of guests and on advertisements and publicity.

IANS

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Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey Steps Down from Service, Likely to Contest Upcoming Polls

Sanjiv Kumar Singhal, the Director General of Civil Defence and Fire Services, has been given the additional charge of DGP Bihar till further orders.

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Gupteshwar Pandey IPS

Bihar Director General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey on Tuesday stepped down from his post after taking voluntary retirement from the services. His request seeking VRS was approved by Governor Phagu Chauhan.

Pandey is likely to contest the upcoming state Assembly polls.

Sanjiv Kumar Singhal, the Director General of Civil Defence and Fire Services, has been given the additional charge of DGP Bihar till further orders.

Pandey, who was involved in the investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, found himself mired in controversy after his sexist comment aimed at Rhea Chakraborty. Hours after the Supreme Court last month ordered a CBI probe into Rajput’s death, Pandey had said that Chakraborty did not have the “aukat” (stature) to comment about Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

Pandey had later apologised for the remark.

Earlier this month, Pandey had hailed Chakraborty’s arrest by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) as a big win for Bihar.

Pandey has been an Indian Police Service officer since 1987. He was selected as Bihar DGP in February last year out of 12 IPS officers recommended by the state government to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

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Nitish gets livid over documentary showing pind-daan in Gaya

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Nitish Kumar

Patna, Sep 22 : Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday become angry with the water resources development ministry over a representative video documentary showing a pind-daan, a ritual conducted at the cremation of a person.

In the run-up to the Bihar assembly elections, Kumar has laid down the foundation stone of 77 projects worth Rs 2814.47 crore.

One of these projects relates to a rubber dam project on Falgu river in Gaya.

During its inauguration, the water resources development ministry played a video documentary in which a pind-daan ceremony on Falgu river in Gaya was shown.

As soon as it went on screen, CM Nitish Kumar got livid. He shouted in the middle of the documentary for wrong selection of visuals by the ministry concerned.

He said the Gaya district is renowned around the world for the Bodhi Temple where Lord Buddha gained wisdom. The pictures inside the temple are unique. “People go to Gaya to see this temple. It is an icon of Gaya and not the area where the pind-daan takes place on Falgu river,” Kumar said during the virtual inauguration.

“I have repeatedly told the ministry concerned to avoid representing Falgu river in Gaya, still they are making the same mistake again,” Kumar said.

The video documentary showcased the rubber dam and renovation on the either side of the river banks.

Since, elections are round corner in Bihar, there is an assumption that showing rituals related to death isn’t auspicious.

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Stubble Burning: 332 villages identified as red zones in Haryana

Additional chief secretary (ACS), agriculture, Sanjeev Kaushal said the Haryana government has also decided to provide financial assistance to 11,311 individual farmers who have applied for agricultural implements under the crop residue management scheme.

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stubble burning

In anticipation of stubble burning incidents across the state, the Haryana agriculture department has identified red, yellow/orange and green zones in every district on the basis of incidences of crop residue burning last year. An official spokesperson said 332 villages fall under the red zone and 675 in yellow zone.

Additional chief secretary (ACS), agriculture, Sanjeev Kaushal said the Haryana government has also decided to provide financial assistance to 11,311 individual farmers who have applied for agricultural implements under the crop residue management scheme ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop’, in the current growing season. The total assistance of about ₹155 crore at the rate of 50 % will be given.

The department will also provide 454 balers, 5,820 super seeders, 5,418 zero till seed drills, 2,918 choppers/mulchers, 260 happy seeders, 389 straw management systems, 64 rotary slashers/shrub masters, 454 reversible mould ploughs and 288 reapers to the beneficiaries.

Online applications for agricultural implements were invited from individual farmers and societies till August 21. As many as 11,311 farmers applied for 16,647 implements, against a target of 2,741, in the individual category, he said.

The state government has also decided to give preference to small and marginal farmers in hiring of machinery from Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), and in providing equipment to individual beneficiaries under the scheme. A comprehensive plan has been approved for crop residue management to prevent stubble burning. It included fusion of in-situ and ex-situ crop residue management techniques, apart from monitoring activities through a dedicated control room, and registration of FIRs against violators.

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