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PM Modi to inaugurate Kosi rail mega bridge in Bihar on Friday

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate to the nation the “historic”

Kosi rail mega bridge

through video-conference on Friday and also inaugurate 12 rail projects related to passenger facilities in

Bihar

, his office said.

Modi has either inaugurated or laid the foundation stone of a number of development projects in the poll-bound state in the last few days with sources saying that the total cost of these infrastructure and other programmes would be about Rs 16,000 crore.

The Prime Minister’s Office said on Wednesday that the ‘Kosi Rail Mahasetu’ (mega bridge) is a watershed moment in the history of Bihar as it will connect the region to the North East and described it as historic.

In 1887, a meter gauge link was built between Nirmali and Bhaptiahi in the region but it was washed away during the heavy flood and severe Indo-Nepal

earthquake

in 1934, the PMO said, adding no attempt was made to restore this rail connectivity for a long period due to the meandering nature of

Kosi river

.

The mega bridge project was sanctioned by the Union government during 2003-04.

It is 1.9 km long and its construction cost is Rs 516 crore, the PMO said.

“This bridge is of strategic importance along the India-Nepal border. The project was completed during the COVID-Pandemic where the migrant labour also participated in its completion,” it added.

The 12 other rail projects, which Modi will also inaugurate, include a new railway bridge on the Kiul River, two new railway lines, five electrification projects, one electric locomotive shed and third line project between Barh and Bakhtiyarpur.

The inauguration of Kosi rail mega bridge will fulfil the 86-year-old dream and a long wait of the people of the region, the PMO said.

The prime minister will also flag off the Saharsa-Asanpur Kupha train from the Supaul station.

Once the regular train service begins, this would prove to be highly beneficial to Supaul, Arariya and Saharsa districts, making it easier for those on long distance travel to Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

He will also inaugurate the railway electrification projects of Muzaffarpur– Sitamarhi, Katihar–New Jalpaiguri, Samastipur-Darbhanga-Jaynagar, Samastipur-Khagaria, and Bhagalpur-Shivnarayanpur sections, the PMO said.

Assembly polls in Bihar are slated to be held in October-November, and the Election Commission is expected to announce the schedule sometime this month

The Times of India is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world. according to Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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INDIA

Govt tells why it stopped listing farm suicide cause

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NEW DELHI: The government on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that the national data on causes of suicides in the farming sector had become “untenable” with several states and Union Territories reporting ‘nil’ suicides by farmers and agricultural labourers, and was therefore not published separately.

Reply to a query from Congress MP P L Punia seeking confirmation of and reasons for NCRB having done away with listing causes for farmers’ suicides in its annual report on ‘ Accidents and Suicides in India’, Junior home minister G Kishan Reddy said: “As informed by National Crime Records Bureau, many states/ UTs had reported “nil” data on suicides by farmers/ cultivators and agricultural labourers, even while reporting suicides in other professions. Due to this limitation, data on causes of suicide in farming sector was untenable and not published separately”.

As per the NCRB report, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry reported ‘zero’ suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers in 2019. This was also the case in 2018, with West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Meghalaya, Goa, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Delhi, Ladakh and Puducherry returning ‘nil’ suicides.

Overall, 10,281 suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers were reported countrywide last year, down from 10,349 in 2018. Of the 10,281 suicides, 5,957 were by farmers or cultivators and 4,324 by labourers. Maharashtra accounted for the highest share (38.2%) in suicides related to the farm sector in 2019, followed by Karnataka (19.4%), Andhra (10%), MP (5.3%) and Telangana/Chhattisgarh (4.9% each).

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LS passes FCRA Bill; govt says it’s not against any religion

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NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed a bill to amend the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act to make furnishing of Aadhaar numbers of office-bearers of any NGO mandatory for registration and also effect other changes.

Amid concerns raised by various opposition members about The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020, junior home minister Nityanand Rai asserted that the bill is not against any religion or NGO. The proposed legislation will also not stop foreign contributions in any way, he noted.

The bill, which also seeks to bar public servants from receiving funds from abroad, was passed after a discussion in the Lower House even as many opposition parties raised objections to the bill. According to Rai, there was misuse of funds by way of transferring the money to other entities and the bill seeks to curb such things. “We will stop misuse of funds,” he stressed.

Congress’s Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said there is a political agenda in bringing the bill and claimed that things are being done to protect PM-CARES Fund. TMC’s Sougata Roy said the bill was to tighten all the organisations getting funds from abroad. When the SC has said that Aadhaar was not compulsory, then “why should you (government) make Aadhaar compulsory,” he asked.

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‘385 Pakistanis among 409 to get citizenship’

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NEW DELHI: As many as 385 Pakistanis, six Bangladeshis, 5 US nationals and 3 Malaysians were among the 409 foreigners granted Indian citizenship until September 17 this year, the government told Rajya Sabha on Monday.

Among the countries whose nationals became Indian citizens in 2020 are Indonesia (2); and Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UK, Tanzania, Iran and Switzerland (all one each). Junior home minister Nityanand Rai said a total 2,729 foreigners were granted Indian citizenship since 2017. Most of these were from Pakistan, with 2,120 Pakistani were granted Indian citizenship between 2017 and September 17 this year.

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