Srinagar: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah here and took stock of the flood situation but could not conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas due to inclement weather.
Omar himself drove the Home Minister and Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh around the waterlogged roads of Srinagar city which has been witnessing incessant rains over the past five days along with the rest of the state.
“The floods have caused a lot of damage. If this is the condition of city, what will be the situation in rural areas. I was told that this has happened after 50-60 years,” said Rajnath Singh who assured the Chief Minister that the Centre stands firmly behind the state government at this crucial hour.
He said that an inter-ministerial team will be sent to assess the damage in the state and that J-K can use Rs 1,100 crore of State Disaster Relief Fund to deal with the calamity.
“The helicopter could not take off because of bad weather. So I went with the Chief Minister around the city,” Singh, who arrived this morning, said before heading for Jammu.
“No politics should be played at this hour. After the water recedes, an inter-ministerial team will be sent to assess the damage. PM has given Rs two lakh to the kin of every person killed in the floods. I have told the state government to utilise Rs 1,100 crore of State Disaster Relief Fund which has 90 per cent of grant from the Centre,” Singh told reporters here.
Singh also asked the state government to send a memorandum on the damage incurred during the floods, once the situation eases.
Accompanied by Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, the Home Minister arrived this morning and went straight into a meeting with the Chief Minister in the technical area of the airport where both discussed steps to meet the situation arising out of the worst floods in the state in six decade that have claimed 100 lives so far.
“Wherever you need central assistance, we will be providing you. Funds will not be a constrain in the relief and rehabilitation of the affected people,” Rajnath Singh said at a review meeting to assess the flood situation in the state.
The meeting was attended by Omar and several of his cabinet colleagues and senior officials from the state government.
The Home Minister asked Omar to take steps on war-footing for providing relief to the people. Omar told the Home Ministry that the top most concern of the state government is to ensure safety of human lives and evacuate the population trapped in submerged areas.
He said the as soon as the water recedes, state government will carry out the assessment of losses.
Omar added that huge losses have been caused to paddy and fruit crops.
The Chief Minister also said that there is heavy damage to public infrastructure and private property besides residential houses.
The Chief Minister briefed Singh on rescue efforts saying Army, NDRF, state police and civil administration are working in tandem to help the marooned population.
Commissioner Secretary Revenue and Relief Vinod Koul said there was an urgent need for 25,000 tents and 40,000 blankets.
He said 390 villages have been submerged in the Valley while 1225 are partially affected.
He said in Jammu Division 1000 villages have been affected by the flood waters.
The Commissioner said 50 bridges and hundreds of kilometers of roads besides power installations and PHE schemes have been damaged due to flood and rains.
Jitendra Singh asked the state government officials to coordinate with resident commissioner of the state government in Delhi for relief material like tents, blankets and medicine.
“The relief material will be airlifted from Delhi as soon as the state government submits its requirements,” he said. (PTI)
SHILLONG, Sept 05: The All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Luihinzo Falerio Friday made it clear that there will be no change in leadership in the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) even as he added that a mechanism has been adopted to resolve any arising differences among the members.
“Everybody spoke their hearts’ out and all differences are over. Its good news for the Congress family here,” Falerio told reporters after the State CLP meeting held here on Friday night.
According to him, when everybody speaks from their hearts, the outcome is always beautiful,
He said he would submit the outcome of this meeting to the party’s High Command who had sent him to the state in the wake of infighting within the party in which dissident group had sought for change in leadership.
Tura, Sept 05: Frustrated at the increasing police operations targeting the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), the outfit has threatened to set off a series of bomb blasts targeting strategic places and offices in the Garo Hills region if the Government does not call off police operations against the outfit. The outfit further accused the Dr Mukul Sangma government of biasness for calling the HNLC for peace talks while ignoring the various outfits of the Garo Hills region.
According to a press communiqué issued by the senior cadre of the outfit, Savio Marak here on Friday, the GNLA held a meeting at an undisclosed location where the decision was taken in the face of ongoing operations against the outfit. Unhappy with the government’s response, the outfit’s C-In-C, Sohan D Shira has threatened to retaliate through serial blasts.
Shillong, Sept 05: A meeting was held with all nodal sales officers of private service providers, namely Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Idea and Aircel on Friday at SP’s Office, Shillong, on illegal sale of SIM Cards in the black market which has helped to facilitate several crimes like criminal intimidation, extortion, unsolicited calls and SMSes to women and kidnapping causing inconvenience and anxiety to the public at large.
To prevent SIM Cards being sold illegally it was decided that all SIM subscribers should be physically verified by the retailer while applying for SIM Cards and photograph submitted should match the subscriber who appears in person.
Photographs submitted by subscriber will have to be signed by him/her on the photos before handing them over to the retailer to prevent misuse, while affixing of photographs must be done by retailer at the outlet itself before sending the same to the distributor so as to prevent misuse of photographs.
Shillong, Sept 05: “We are not teachers because we teach, we teach because we are teachers,” said the Deputy Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr R C Laloo while wishing the teachers on the occasion of the 53rd Teachers Day on Friday here. The State level function organized by the Education Department, Meghalaya at U Soso Tham Auditorium, Shillong was attended by the Principal Secretary, Education, P K Srivastava, Commissioner Secretary, Education, D P Wahlang, officials of the Department, teachers and students.
While expressing his gratitude to the teachers and while paying respect to Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, former President of India who is also a staunch believer of education and one of the most well known diplomat, scholar and above all a teacher, the Deputy Chief Minister said that teachers are nation builders who have a crucial role to play in the overall development of an individual. He also reminded them that teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. Therefore, he called upon the teachers to work with devotion and sincerity to bring out the best in the students which is very purpose of education.
SHILLONG, Sept 04: Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Thursday said the state government is responding to the offer of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNCL) as per provisions of the law even as he appealed to all militant groups to avoid having political nexus.
“The government will do it in sync with provisions of the law,” Sangma told reporters after a cabinet meeting held here on Thursday.
On the bilateral ceasefire agreement offered by the outfit, the chief minister said, “We have said we have already taken note of this seriousness of the HNLC and in view of this government will explore all possibilities including appointment interlocutor to carry it forward in the right perspective.”
SHILLONG, Sept 04: Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma Thursday expressed confidence that the government under his leadership will complete its five –year term despite open rebellion by certain Congress leaders against his leadership.
“Have I not shown it in the past, had the congress not demonstrated it in the past…,” Dr Sangma said while reacting to a query whether his government will be able to complete its full term.
Tura, Sept 04: The A’chik National Volunteers’ Council – Breakaway (ANVC-B) sponsored 12 - hour dawn to dusk bandh in the entire Garo Hills passed off peacefully on Thursday. Though there had been a call made by the government of Meghalaya to defy the bandh call, residents of the region stayed indoors. Attendance in all the District Administration offices too was down to a trickle with only magistrates and policemen doing duty in most places.
The bandh, effective from 5 am to 5 pm, passed off peacefully with no incidents reported from anywhere. Various police departments kept strict vigil to ensure safety of residents. Shops and commercial establishments remained shut and only children and curious onlookers ventured out.
Shillong: A hat trick by Abbey Owalesho ensured Laitumkhrah SC a place in next season’s edition of the Shillong Premier League once more after five years with a 4-0 win over Mawlai on Saturday at Polo Grounds’ 1st Div match.
Abbey’s first goal came in the form of a penalty in the 7th minute after which there was no stopping him.
After the penalty, Abbey completed his hat trick with goals in the 19th and 25th mins. Micky Tynsong added a fourth score for his side to complete a 4-0 victory and are currently in top spot. Their position will be decided based on Shillong United’s result against Smit on August 26.
In the 3rd Div, Nongrim Hills outplayed Sawmer 4-1 with B Nongkhlaw’s score in the 24th and 48thmins while S Nongkhlaw’s goal in the 20th min. R Kharkongor finally finished the game with a 49th min conversion.
On August 25, Pohkseh and Nongkrem will play a 1st Div match at 4pm while Madanrting will go up against Nongrah at 4.15 pm.
Manchester: Robin van Persie’s return to the Manchester United line-up gives new manager Louis van Gaal some welcome good news ahead of the Premier League match away to Sunderland on Sunday.
Van Gaal, hoping to bounce back from the 2-1 opening weekend defeat by Swansea, has been beset by injuries in midfield and Ander Herrera is the latest to be absent, with an ankle problem, alongside Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard.
Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia could also miss the trip to the Stadium of Light but while Van Gaal has concerns in those areas, he has his first-choice attack available.
Van Persie was given extra time off after playing for a Netherlands side coached by compatriot van Gaal that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Brazil.
But this weekend could see the striker make his first appearance in the Premier League since the 3-0 defeat by Liverpool in March. Van Gaal’s 3-4-1-2 formation is geared towards getting the best out of a forward three of Juan Mata playing behind Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
Since Spain midfielder Mata joined from Chelsea for a United record £37.1 million ($61.2 million, 44.8 million euros) in January, the trio have started just six times together in the Premier League.
Van Gaal is excited about the prospect of seeing van Persie and England striker Rooney, United captain together. (AFP)
Madrid: Atletico Madrid won the Spanish Supercup 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the second leg of the competition in the Vicente Calderon Stadium Friday night.
Following a 1-1 draw in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium Tuesday night, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti made several changes to his side, most notably with James Rodriguez in the starting 11 along with Fabio Coentrao and Rafael Varene with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench after suffering a muscle injury in midweek, Xinhua reported.
Meanwhile Angel Di Maria, who Ancelotti confirmed Thursday had asked for a transfer over the summer, was dropped from the squad, despite a game-changing substitute display three days earlier.
Atletico Madrid kept faith in the side which had stifled their neighbours so effectively Tuesday night with two exceptions as Tiago Cardoso replaced Mario Suarez and Antoine Griezmann also forcing his way into the side.
The only goal of the game came in the second minute when recent arrival Mario Mandzukic latched onto a header from Griezmann after a long clearance from Atletico keeper, Miguel Angel Moya.
Atletico controlled the first 20 minutes, but saw coach Diego Simeone sent off for protesting after 25 minutes after an action which saw him give the fourth official a slight slap around the neck.
In a frantic close to the second half, James and Gareth Bale, both had chances to level, while Raul Garcia could have doubled Atletico’s lead at the end of the first half and the start of the second with a shot that hit the corner of the woodwork and bounced out. Atletico had not beaten Real Madrid at home for over 15 years and the pressure built up as the game continued, although the home side worked hard to increase their lead with Koke and Griezmann closest to adding to their lead.
However, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone had said before the match that Atletico could not repeat their title winning feats of last season and Friday’s win did nothing to change his tune.
“Over one or two games, we have a chance, but in a league of 38 matches, Barcelona, even in a bad season for them, almost won the league. And Madrid as well; if they had beaten Valencia they would have been top,” he said, looking at the small differences which make the difference between winning a title or not.
“It is very difficult to compete across so many fixtures. But we are competitive over 90 minutes,” repeated Simeone.
The coach also apologised for the incident in which he gave the fourth official a slight slap around the head.(IANS)
Shillong: NEHU will be organising an inter-college Basketball tournament (Men and Women) from the September 2 to 5, 2014 at the NEHU permanent campus, Shillong.
In the Men’s category teams from the following colleges will be competing against each other- St Anthony’s, KL Bajoria, Shillong Commerce, Kiang Nangbha, Jowai, Umshyrpi, Mendipathar , NEHU, Union Christian college, Synod college, Thomas Jones Synod, St Edmund’s, Jaintia Eastern, and Shillong college.
In the women’s category, the following colleges will be competing against each other- St. Mary’s, Union Christian, Women’s college, Shillong Commerce, St. Edmunds, St, Anthony’s, NEHU, Raid Laban, Mendipathar, Umshytpi , Lady Keane and Shillong college.
A fixture relating to the timings of various matches between the teams has been prepared by the sports department which is subject to alterations.
For further information regarding the fixture and other issues, teams can call the following number-9436311302.
Spa (Belgium): World championship leader Nico Rosberg turned the screw to gain another advantage over his rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton on Saturday when he secured his fourth straight pole for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
On a day of capricious and treacherous conditions at the majestic 7.004km Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes forest, the 29-year-old German produced a meticulous performance that delivered an error-free and fastest lap to claim his seventh pole this year and the 11th of his career.
He clocked a best lap of two minutes and 5.698 seconds to outpace Hamilton by two-tenths of a second.
Behind the two Mercedes, defending four time champion Sebastian Vettel was third fastest for Red Bull ahead of two-time former champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and fifth placed Daniel Ricciardo, winner in Hungary a month ago, in the second Red Bull.
Valtteri Bottas was sixth in the leading Williams ahead of Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen of McLaren, Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, Felipe Massa in the second Williams and Jenson Button in the second McLaren.
Hamilton struggled with his brakes and handling in the slippery conditions, but will start alongside Rosberg on the front row as he seeks to trim his 11 points lead in the drivers’ championship with eight races remaining.
It was the Mercedes team’s first front row lockout since the Canadian Grand Prix in June, five races previously. For Rosberg, it also brought his first top three qualifying result in Belgium in eight attempts as he seeks to land his first podium finish at the venue.
“It is awesome to achieve this at this track,” said Rosberg.
Asked where he felt he had found an advantage over Hamilton, he said: “In Eau Rouge, I was feeling good through it, really going for it — and maybe that is where I made my time.”
Hamilton, who has not started from pole in seven races since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, controlled his disappointment behind a pair of sunglasses after the session.
“I had a glazed front left brake disc, so the car was pulling to the left or right and there was nothing I could do,” he explained.
Hamilton was not dismayed despite seeing Rosberg take his sixth pole in the seven races since he last took one.
“This is a circuit where you need to have confidence in the brakes. You could see in Q3, when I was going straight on as the left brake wasn’t working for some reason.(Reuters)
Spa (Belgium):Force India experienced a forgettable qualifying at the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, where their drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg could only post 13th and 18th fastest times in a wet session here on Saturday.
The biggest casualty of Q3 was Nico Hulkenberg, who was eliminated in the first part of qualifying for the first time this season. His time of 2:11.267 was slower then 17th placed Pastor Maldonado in a Lotus.
Perez’s 2:10.084 in Q2 was not enough for a place in the top-10 shootout.
The Silverstone-squad however remain in hunt for points as Qualifying has been their weakness all through the season.
The Mercedes powered Force India hand on to their fifth place in the standings with 98 points, only one less than fast catching McLaren. (PTI)
Karachi: Pakistan’s former captain Shoaib Malik has said that it was absolutely unfair to make any comparisons between the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The seasoned batsman was asked what he thought about the pressure being exerted by critics and some former players to replace Misbah in Pakistan and Dhoni in India following their team’s defeats to Sri Lanka and England respectively.
“Every captain has a bad series but I would not compare these two at all. There is no comparison because Dhoni has won every major ICC title what has Misbah done, he said during a talkshow on Geo super channel.
Malik said Misbah was a good captain and had performed well as a batsman but the Pakistan Cricket Board is needed to take a final decision on the captaincy for the World Cup 2015. “They need to identify from now who should lead the team in the World Cup including Misbah. Because a decision has to be taken now and this will also give the chosen captain a lot of confidence and boost,” he said.
Malik, who has been sidelined by selectors after the World T20 in Bangladesh but emerged as a top player in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League for eventual champions Barbados, said the same principle should apply for the players. Asked if he was disappointed at not being part of the selector’s plans for the World Cup, Malik said obviously he wanted to play in the premier event.
“What I say is whoever the selectors have in mind for the World Cup they should decide now and form a combination from now because they need to prepare now for this mega event which is not going to be easy,” he said. We need to have consistency in the team selection leading up to the World Cup because that is how we will be able to form a strong combination, Malik said.
The former captain who also helped Hobart win the Big Bash T20 title in Australia said he had already “committed to playing for the Australian side” in the Champions League in India next month.”
Malik said Pakistan had lost the Test series in Sri Lanka because they didn’t try to change their strategy against the bowlers. I think the same approach cost India in England.
“After failing against him in the first Test they should have changed their approach and played him more positively in the second Test.” (PTI)
Hambantota: Sohaib Maqsood and Fawad Alam put on a 147-run stand as Pakistan recovered from the brink to defeat Sri Lanka by four wickets on Saturday and take the lead in the three-match series.
The tourists, chasing a Duckworth-Lewis target of 275 in 45 overs, fought back after being 106-5 to scrape home off the penultimate ball of the match in Hambantota.
Maqsood remained unbeaten on a glorious 89 off 73 balls as Shahid Afridi smashed the winning boundary off seamer Nuwan Kulasekara to the point fence.
Alam was dismissed for 62 by Lasith Malinga when 22 still remained for victory off the last three overs, but Maqsood and Afridi battled on to help Pakistan record a good win.
Sri Lanka had made 275-7 after being sent in to bat in overcast conditions, but rain after six overs of their innings reduced the game from a full 50-overs-a-side contest to 45.
Opener Ahmed Shehzad scored 49 but no other top-order batsman settled in to make a big score till Maqsood and Alam turned the game Pakistan’s way.
“This is one of the best partnerships I have seen, especially by two young batsmen,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said. “We lost our way a bit, but Fawad and Maqsood made a good recovery.”
The 27-year-old Maqsood, who was named man of the match, said the plan was for him to attack, while Alam rotated the strike.
“This is obviously a special knock since I was playing an international match after a few months,” he said. “Hopefully, I will continue to do well in the remaining matches and help Pakistan win the series.”
Earlier, Sri Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews smashed 89 off 85 balls and Mahela Jayawardene made 63 to give their side a seemingly commanding total.
Jayawardene, 37, who retired from Tests earlier this week to concentrate on one-day cricket till next year’s World Cup, hit eight boundaries in his 73rd half-century in the shorter format.
The tourists were without their top spinner Saeed Ajmal, who has flown to Australia to undergo tests of his bowling action.
Meanwhile, Hambantota will also host the 2nd one-dayer on Tuesday due to bad weather in Colombo. The 3rd and final match will be played in Dambulla on August 30. (AFP)
U Tharanga c Akmal b Riaz 18
T Dilshan lbw b Irfan 6
K Sanga c Shehzad b Hafeez 25
M Jayawardene run out 63
D Chandimal c Riaz b Irfan 6
A Mathews b Riaz 89
T Perera b Riaz 13
A Priyanjan not out 39
N Kulasekara not out 3
Total: (7 wkts; 45 overs) 275
Bowling: Irfan 9-0-48-2, Junaid 9-1-75-0, Riaz 9-0-50-3, Hafeez 8-0-32-1, Afridi 9-0-57-0.
Ahmed Shehzad b Perera 49
Hafeez lbw b Mathews 21
Khan c Kulasekara b Mathews 3
Akmal c Malinga b Perera 15
Haq c Sangakkara b Herath 13
Alam c Priyanjan b Malinga 62
Sohaib Maqsood not out 89
Shahid Afridi not out 14
Total: (6 wkts, 44.5 overs) 277
Bowling: Malinga 9-0-60-1, Kulasekara 8.5-0-56-0, Mathews 9-0-48-2, Perera 7-0-43-2.
PARAMUS (New Jersey): Rory McIlroy blamed a first-round 74 on a lack of preparation, but after putting in extra time on the range, the Northern Irishman came out firing on Friday and put himself into contention at The Barclays.
The world number one fired a six-under-par 65 in the second round at Ridgewood Country Club to stand five shots behind co-leaders Adam Scott and American Cameron Tringale.
‘The work that I did on Friday on the range really helped, just sort of got back into the rhythm and into the flow of things,’ McIlroy said of his post-round practice.
‘I don’t think I missed a green on the front nine (on Saturday). I knew that my game was there and I just needed to take advantage of the chances I was giving myself.’
McIlroy, 25, said after Thursday’s round tha t he had not regained his focus after a week celebrating his brilliant run of three successive wins including the British Open and PGA Championship titles.
‘I was asked after I played, if you’re going to battle to make the cut or whatever. I said missing the cut isn’t an option,’ McIlroy said.
‘I know how well I am playing and how comfortable I am with my game, so even to miss a cut feeling like that would have felt really bad.
‘So that’s why I put a little bit extra effort in on Friday and this morning and made sure I was ready to go out there this afternoon.’
McIlroy was especially pleased with his par-fives on the back nine, using his new three-wood to set up a pair of birdies, and was looking forward to the weekend.
‘It’s a very bunched leaderboard. I’m still five shots behind but there’s a lot of players between me and the leaders,’ he added.
‘So I’m going to have to shoot a couple of rounds similar to what I did today (Saturday)to maybe win this thing.’ (Reuters)
London: Diego Costa and Eden Hazard scored in the second half as Chelsea finally broke down Leicester’s stubborn resistance for a 2-0 victory in the Premier League on Saturday.
The newly promoted visitors had threatened a major upset until Costa controlled a deflected pass from Branislav Ivanovic in front of goal and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in the 63rd minute. It was Costa’s second goal in two league games for Chelsea, having joined from Atletico Madrid in the offseason.
Hazard then put the result beyond doubt with a solo effort in the 77th, cutting in from the left and sending a low shot inside the far post.
There was instant improvement from Chelsea at the start of the second half, with Branislav Ivanovic in particular pushed much farther upfield.
First, though, Leicester had their own moment to turn this game. David Nugent might have liked to look away.
With 53 minutes gone a pass from Hammond put Nugent in on goal, only for Courtois to make a fine low save with his legs.
At the other end, Ivanovic continued to rampage down Chelsea’s right, and it was his burst that made the opening goal after 63 minutes.
Leicester missed a couple of good chances before Costa’s opener, including the one when David Nugent came clear through on goal but had his shot sadly saved by the onrushing Thibaut Courtois. (Reuters)
This is the sight of a forced garbage dump in the locality of Fancy Valley in Tura. The site happens to be just beside the main gate to the residence of Superintendent of Police (SP), West Garo Hills. Though there is a clear mention to not throw garbage at the site, the residents have chosen to ignore it. In fact, this has been going on since the past 4 years with aplomb and even the Tura Municipal Board seems to have thought of the place as site for dumping garbage as it keeps clearing this out on a weekly basis.
SHILLONG, Aug 23: The ongoing torrential rains have not only thrown life out of gear but have also revealed the receding sheen of this once pristine city. With overflowing river banks, drains, bins and rainwater strewing garbage on roads, this is the ugly identity of this city now. The scene is murky as stenches of decaying waste on roadsides in rainwater is abound, a sight that never before seen in Shillong.
Amidst this rubbish, life is moving on without any care or concern. While the public blames the authorities for the mess, the latter blames the public for adopting a nonchalant approach and being the cause of this entire muddle. No one can say who is wrong but what is certain is that the people collectively are at the receiving end. The blame perhaps goes to both sides because it is not possible to clap with one hand.