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Atal Bihari Vajpayee the orator: excerpts from former PM’s speeches
Source:  The Financial Express
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:07

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away here today, was known for his oratory skills.

Stiff competition pushes taxi drivers to rent-a-cab scheme
Source:  The Navhind Times
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:07

PANAJI: In a surprise  move, the cabbies  belonging to the North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association  have applied for the rent-a-cab scheme seeking to run their vehicles  under  the scheme, which they have always been opposed to.  

The association has requested the transport department to facilitate  the adoption of 66 taxis under the rent-a-cab scheme factoring in the threat to the livelihood of taxi drivers in the competitive market, which has been pushing them  to the margin with dwindling earnings.

Claiming that the member cabbies  fulfil all the eligibility criteria, the association has said the authorities  can do nothing to prevent them from obtaining permits under the rent-a-cab initiative.

The association members, who for the last four years have strongly opposed the government’s move to lift the moratorium on rent-a-cab, are  now trying to push themselves onto the scheme.

“The association has 2500 members…   everybody is keen to run  rent-a-cab service because the association members have been compelled  to explore other options by market forces… we  cannot run our  households with meagre earnings we make as cabbies,”   NGTTOA vice-president Ravindra Vengurlekar said.

Their applications for the scheme are now under scrutiny to check whether they abide by rules.

Under the revised rules, rent-a-cab applicants  must  open branch offices in five cities. The office must  occupy the space  of at least 50 square metre area  with   necessary facilities for the parking, maintenance and repair of licensee vehicles.

A rent-a-cab operator  must also provide cashless payment option or online booking to customers to be made available at main and branch offices.

The guidelines also state that licensees should maintain a minimum area of 100 square metre for the main office with adequate space for reception room, administrative section, sanitary blocks, cloak room with locker facilities and adequate parking space for the cabs.


Truck rentals up 5 percent on more freight offerings, e-way bill system
Source:  The Financial Express
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:07

As price of diesel rose Rs 1.30 a litre; soft surveillance of e-way bill digital transit pass system began; cargo offerings from fruits, vehicles, food items, general merchandise on trunk trade routes surged 10%, consumer spending had gone up significantly high and so had consumption in metros, tier-I and -II cities.

Ban on Surla bars extended by 30 days 
Source:  The Navhind Times
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:07

PANAJI: North Goa district collector Levinson Martins has extended for 30 more days the ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in Surla, which comes under the Thane-Dongurli village panchayat of Sattari taluka.

The order  has been issued under Section 29(A) of the Goa Excise Act and the Goa Excise Rules read with powers under sub-section (2) of Section I44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to curb the continuous menace, annoyance and nuisance created by tourists till the situation returns to normalcy.

“The situation in the village Surla has not normalised and still continues to be very fragile and vulnerable to the breach of peace. Hence the validity of period of the prohibitory order issued under Section  144 of CrPC stands further extended for prohibiting all liquor bars, shops, pubs, clubs, provision stores or any establishment serving or selling liquor or alcoholic beverages in retail or in packed bottles in the village of Surla, within the Dongurli, Thane village panchayat area of Sattari taluka for a further period of 30 days from August 19,” the order reads.

Extending the ban, the collector  observed that not only the villagers of Surla but people from border villages of Karnataka  are also agitated by the irritant presence of the bars.

The order said the situation in the village is still tense.

On July 20, the North Goa district collector had issued the  prohibitory order against the sale and serving of liquor for 30  days in the village.

The Surla villagers, who  have been agitating against the liquor menace, had  sought an extension of the prohibitory order.

They had   submitted a memorandum on July 27 for permanent  closure of bars.

In an earlier order, the North Goa district  collector had also directed the excise commissioner to verify and submit a detailed report as regards the existing bars and wholesale liquor shop/establishment serving liquor with respect to compliance of licence conditions, and to see whether the licences issued are in accordance with law.

However,  the excise commissioner had replied saying that the village panchayat has been asked to check whether the NOCs issued to bar owners are revoked or not.

The district collector has asked the panchayat secretary of Thane-Dongurli to clear the air on the letter from the excise department.

The collector has also asked officials of the excise department and the police to ensure strict enforcement of this prohibitory order.

Violation of the order should be reported to the excise commissioner as well as sub-divisional magistrate, Bicholim.


DGP raises pitch against drunk driving
Source:  The Navhind Times
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:06

PANAJI: Strongly pitching for safe driving in the light of rising road accidents in Goa,  Director General of Police Dr Muktesh Chander has said that if a group of people goes out for a drink, make sure that one person does not drink, and that person should drive others back home.

Drunken driving is not only dangerous to the person driving the vehicle but also to  fellow passengers,  pillion riders and other road users who could be pedestrians or others,  Chander said.

“So my sincere advice to all motorists: do not drink and drive. In a group of people at least one person should not drink, and he or she should be able to drive others back home. Otherwise hire a transport or a driver,”  Chander counseled.

Last week, the Goa police conducted a special drive against drunk driving/riding. Some 315 motorists were found to be under the influence of alcohol.

The cases are being referred to the concerned courts, and so far five motorists have been convicted and sentenced to jail terms ranging from one day to 10 days.

“I am happy that taking a strict view of drunken driving offences  courts have started sending the offenders to jail as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act,”  Chander said.

Commenting on the special drive, the DGP said, “We want people to be safe on road…  that is the first priority. We don’t  have any intention to send people to jail without any reason. We are only trying to implement the provisions of law as it exists. So far, five people have been sent to jail….  many more such drunken driving cases are going to come up before the courts.”

He said that such special drives involving traffic police as well as district police will be held periodically. It should be noted here that the permissible limit is 30 mg per of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

“Though everyday various cases are booked, but special drives will be conducted periodically… the drives  could be held once a week or twice a week, or they  could be held in the evening or late night. The drives  could be run in the interiors or could be held along the tourist belt,”  Chander said adding that strict enforcement is the only option when people are least bothered to follow traffic rules.

Talking tough  on drunk driving, he warned,  “This may be taken as my sincere advice as well as my warning. I also want to emphasise here that if anyone is caught for the second time for drunken driving offence then the jail sentence could be even up to two  years.”

Replying to a question on hygiene aspect of an alcometer, the DGP said that   a straw  for alcometer  is used for only once  and discarded thereafter.

Speaking about the motorists flouting the traffic rules, the DGP said  the violators know that they can get away with fine. In 2017, not a single person went to jail for drunken driving.

“But having to spend a night in jail will mean a lot,” he observed.

It is pertinent to note here that the rising accidents pushed the Goa police to act against  the traffic rule violators.

“And our efforts are showing positive results as deaths due to road accidents have come down by 20 per cent as compared to last year,” Chander said.


Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the politician: Coalition builder
Source:  The Hindu
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:06

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s long time friend and associate L K Advani, summed up his political legacy when he called him the pioneer

Pandya not ready yet for all-rounder spot: Holding
Source:  The Shillong Times
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:06

LONDON: West Indian fast bowling great Michael Holding feels Hardik Pandya is not yet the all-rounder India wants him to be, because he is ineffective as a bowler and also not scoring enough runs with the bat.
“The (Indian) attack has not been the right balance. Apparently they are playing Hardik Pandya as an all-rounder to help out with the bowling. When he bowls he isn’t as effective as he should be,” Holding was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“If he was a good batsman, if he was getting runs – 60s, 70s, not even regular hundreds – at the number at which he bats and then he bowls and gets two or three wickets, happy, hallelujah.
“Happy with that. But he is not getting the amount of runs that can then allow him to get a wicket or two in the Test match. That doesn’t work.”
Pandya made his Test debut last July in Sri Lanka, scoring a fifty in Galle and followed it with his maiden Test century in Pallekelle in his third Test.
He has played nine Tests so far and, barring the home series against Sri Lanka for which he was rested late last year, he has been the only constant in the Indian Test XI along with captain Virat Kohli.
Before the Lord’s Test, Pandya had gone wicketless for four Tests, starting from the second match in South Africa in January, and Holding said he did not have many skills. “I don’t think he does a lot with the ball. That is number one,” he said.
“He is not consistent. He does not have the control that puts batsmen under pressure constantly. He will bowl a couple of good deliveries, yes, but you need to have the control to put batsmen under pressure consistently. And he doesn’t have that. ‘
“He is not really the go-to man for the captain in my opinion,” Holding said. (PTI)


Vatican expresses ‘shame and sorrow’ over U.S. grand jury report on abuse
Source:  Firstpost
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:06

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican, in its first response to a damning report by a U.S. grand jury on sexual abuse of children by priests in Pennsylvania, on Thursday expressed "shame and sorrow".

The post Vatican expresses ‘shame and sorrow’ over U.S. grand jury report on abuse appeared first on Firstpost.


U.S. EPA replacement for Obama climate plan due late next week -source
Source:  Firstpost
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:05

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration's proposed replacement for the Obama-era's central regulation on climate change, the Clean Power Plan, is expected to be released by the Environmental Protection Agency late next week, an agency source said on Thursday. The replacement for former President Barack Obama's plan to slash carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants will grant states the ability to write their own weaker regulations for the plants, a Politico report, citing a portion of an unpublished draft of the plan, said this week. The Trump administration, focused on reversing Obama-era environmental regulations, was not sure at first whether it would replace the Clean Power Plan.

The post U.S. EPA replacement for Obama climate plan due late next week -source appeared first on Firstpost.


Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the Prime Minister: Consensus maker
Source:  The Hindu
Friday, 17 August 2018 02:05

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee walked into history books a long time ago as the first non-Congressman at the top post to complete a full

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