BSE closes points 19374 up on May 19

first_imgBSE closes points 193.74 up on May 19496 views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00BSE closes points 193.74 up on May 19496 viewsBusinessNew Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 193.74 points up to stand at 24,315.48. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 50.80 points up to stand at 7,253.05. JP POWER and MMTC were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 31.45% and 19.97% along with Suzlon Energy and JP INFRATEC with an increase of 19.95% and 19.90% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include Wockhardt and IPCA Lab with a decrease of 7.72% and 6.75% along with TCS and Dr Reddys Lab with a decrease of 6.38% and 5.77% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is up 5.38 points at 14,236.00 while the banking sector is up 443.72 points at 17,438.08 and the realty sector is up 110.90 points at 1,716.47. The Indian currency is down 0.34% at Rs 58.59 per dollar.Ventuno Web Player 4.50New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 193.74 points up to stand at 24,315.48. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 50.80 points up to stand at 7,253.05. JP POWER and MMTC were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 31.45% and 19.97% along with Suzlon Energy and JP INFRATEC with an increase of 19.95% and 19.90% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include Wockhardt and IPCA Lab with a decrease of 7.72% and 6.75% along with TCS and Dr Reddys Lab with a decrease of 6.38% and 5.77% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is up 5.38 points at 14,236.00 while the banking sector is up 443.72 points at 17,438.08 and the realty sector is up 110.90 points at 1,716.47. The Indian currency is down 0.34% at Rs 58.59 per dollar.last_img read more

Yennai Arindhaal 5 Days Box Office Collection Ajith Starrer Nearing 500k Mark

first_imgAjith and Trisha in “Yennai arindhaal”Twitter/ TrishaAjith’s’ “Yennai Arindhaal” is continuing its success run in the US. As per the reports from the country, the film is still having good theatre occupancy.According to the distributors of “Yennai Arindhaal”, the movie has grossed $480,432 in five days and the collection of the movie on each day is as follows:Wednesday (Releasing Day): $113,000Thursday (Day 2): $53,000Friday (Day 3): $123,000Saturday (Day 4): $146, 000Sunday (Day 5): $45,000″#YennaiArindhaaal USA gross after 5 days $480432. Wed 113K, Thu 53K Fri 123K, Sat 146K, Sun 45K. #Thala’s best and all time #9 as of now,” tweeted Atmus Entertainment, distributor of the movie in the United States. With this numbers, the distributors are now expecting that the movie will soon achieve the feat of crossing $500k mark soon.”Yennai Arindhaal” is now the highest grossing movie for Ajith in the US and has broken all-time record of his previous biggest hit “Arrambam” in just three days.Earlier, “Yennai Arindhaal” had broken the first day collection record of “Arrambam” by collecting $113,232 (approximately ₹69 lakh) from 75 screens in its premiere.Meanwhile, the worldwide collection of “Yennai Arindhaal” has crossed ₹50 crore mark in four days and is continuing its success run in different parts of the world.Directed by Gautham Menon, “Yennai Arindhaal” had garnered high positive reviews from critics and audience alike. Ajith was much appreciated for his effort to fit into this character-based script, which is far away from his usual mass masala role. Another person who was poured with wishes was actor Arun Vijay who handled the role of Victor, villain of the movie, with much ease.Other lead actors of the movie including Trisha Krishnan, Anushka Shetty, Parvathy and Vivek were also much appreciated for their performance.”Yennai Arindhaal” is produced by AM Ratnam under the banner of Sri Sai Ram Creations.last_img read more

Goa Food Regulator Finds Maggi Noodles Safe to Eat FSSAI Embarrassed

first_imgThe Goa Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has found Maggi noodles safe to eat, contradicting the ban imposed on the noodle brand by the country’s food regulator, the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).On 5 June, FSSAI had ordered Nestle India to recall all available stocks of Maggi noodles after finding harmful levels of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) in tested samples.Earlier, in June, the Goa FDA had sent five samples of Maggi noodles to Mysuru’s Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) for re-testing, after the FSSAI said that the state regulator’s findings were ‘questionable’.CFTRI, an institute approved by the FSSAI, has now found that the samples sent by the Goa food regulator did not contain lead above the permissible levels. The institute also did not find any trace of MSG.”The lead content in all these five samples has been reported to be well below the permissible limit and the level of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is negative when analysis was performed separately on the noodles and tastemaker by the Mysuru lab,” an official with the Goa FDA, told Business Standard.”The lab authorities could not speak on the matter as it was sub-judice,” said a CFTRI official, requesting anonymity.Nestle India has challenged the FSSAI ban on Maggi noodles in the Bombay High Court. Last week, the court had asked Nestle India and the FSSAI to retest Maggi samples, raising hopes of some relief for the noodle maker.The Goa FDA seems to be the only state agency in the country to test the Maggi samples for the third time, to substantiate its findings.”We are complying with the recall order of FSSAI. But we have sent the samples to Mysuru for counter-verification. This is only to reinforce our (Goa) lab’s credibility,” Salim A Veljee, director, Goa FDA, had said.After testing the samples at its lab, the Goa FDA had got them re-tested at the state pollution control board, to ensure that its findings are credible. At both the stages, the Goa food regulator did not find higher levels of lead in the instant noodle.But in the findings sent to the FSSAI, the Goa agency did not inform about the exact levels of lead it found in the samples, as the chemical content remained well below the permissible limits, said Veljee. The FSSAI termed the Goa test results ‘questionable’ for failing to mention the lead content in the samples.Maggi noodles have been declared as safe to eat in many countries such as Singapore, the UK, and Canada, in sharp contrast to the FSSAI’s findings as “hazardous for human consumption.”last_img read more

Infosys ceases using bell curve to evaluate employees performance attrition falling

first_imgJust as other IT majors who abandoned old-fashioned employee appraisal systems, India’s second largest software firm Infosys has finally stopped using the bell curve, a tool used to evaluate its 1.76 lakh employees’ performance.The move is already showing some positive impact and the company’s attrition rate is projected to come down to 13% during the July-September quarter. Infosys reported an attrition level of 20% during the same quarter last year.”From this quarter, we have removed the forced ranking and in the October appraisal, employees will be appraised on the open ranking. From now on, the managers will take a call and reward,” Richard Lobo, senior vice president, human resources department, at Infosys, told The Economic Times.”Attrition is now close to 13 per cent. One of the big reasons for this (attrition) to come down is because we consciously got rid of the bell curve,” Lobo said. “The new system will be more open and flexible with a pronounced focus on rewards for performance.”By ceasing to use the bell curve, Infosys joins a list of global IT companies that moved away from the appraisal system, which is “often criticised as a forced ranking system.”Under the system, managers are compelled to separate the employees into three categories and “rank the performance of 70% as average, 20% as high and 10%, low.””In performance evaluation based on bell curve, it became a race to get to the top for employees. We were losing a lot of good people who were not ranked at the top,” Lobo said.In a similar move, global software giant Accenture had said in July that it would abandon annual performance evaluation and also dump the ranking system for its employees.Accenture laid out plans to put in place a “more fluid system,” which would enable its employees to get “timely feedback” from their superiors on a continuous basis after an assignment is completed.Infosys’ latest move to discontinue using the bell curve is a part of CEO Vishal Sikka’s initiatives to reduce attrition levels and improve employee productivity. Taking charge as the chief of Infosys in August last year, Sikka has brought many changes for ‘Infoscions’, including doing away with the formal dress code.last_img read more

Nipah outbreak hits Kerala again authorities open isolation wards in Kochi hospital

first_imgReutersIn 2018, the entire state of Kerala was in a state of panic as the Nipah virus claimed the lives of 17 people. And now, on June 03, 2019, health authorities in Kerala have hinted at a possible Nipah outbreak. As per reports, authorities have sent the blood sample of the suspected patient to the Pune virology institute, and the entire state is waiting to know whether the dreaded virus has made its way to Kerala. K K Shailaja, Kerala health minister, revealed that the suspected patient has shown signs of Nipah. However, she made it clear that the confirmation will be made only after the blood test. Shailaja also urged people to stay calm and revealed that the state is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of citizens.”It is not yet confirmed. But, the suspect patient has shown signs of Nipah. If anyone starts suffering from fever and severe cough, do not try to hide it, you should immediately seek medical advice. We have experience in handling emergency situations. Last year, we had a tough time, but this year, we will ensure that no one will die due to this virus,” said Shailaja. The District Medical Officer urged people not to panic and added that everything is under control now. The DMO also revealed that the place of origin of the current Nipah outbreak was not Ernakulam district.As a precautionary measure, the health ministry has ordered to open five isolation wards in Kalamassery Medical College, Cochin. The health ministry has also apparently asked health professionals in both government and private sectors to stay alert.As per the latest updates, a team of doctors and nurses who handled last year’s Nipah outbreak has already started their journey to Cochin. This team led by Dr. Chandini will work with experts in Cochin to formulate an effective treatment plan.last_img read more

Reliance Jio to soon launch automobile telematics device that will track vehicles

first_imgReliance Jio Infocomm is in advance talks with automobile companies to launch an automobile telematics device that will control vehicle’s movement and alert the owner about fuel and battery condition through a mobile app. Brace up! India’s telecom pricing war will further intensify, says JP Morgan”Reliance Jio is ready with a car-connected device that will have multiple features like immobilising car at the time of theft, alert the owner about car movement, locate the car and also provide wi-fi within the car. The owner needs to use Jio sim in the device to avail benefits,” an industry source told PTI.With the help of Jio’s car management device, the vehicle owner will get information about how his driver is handling the car. Additionally, the movement of the vehicle can be restricted within a particular geography, the device can switch on AC of the car from any remote location and get an alert of car break etc. The telecom venture led by Mukesh Ambani is also working on the modalities on its sales model for the existing cars as well, the source said.”There are lots of factors that determine price, but the price of the car-connected device is estimated to be either equal to or less than its Jio’s mifi device which costs around Rs 2,000,” the source said.The application has been internally developed by Jio. However, the hardware device will initially be imported from China but the company has asked its vendor to start making it in India later.At the same time, Jio is also scaling up its fibre to the home project for which it is running a pilot scheme in certain cities, including Delhi and Mumbai. “With Fibre to the home, Jio will focus on automatic entire home from entertainment to home surveillance to utility management,” the source said.Last week, the newest telco in the Indian telecom sector said it reached a customer base 7.24 crore and claimed that soon it would be adding 1 lakh mobile subscribers per day. Ambani has set a target to cross 10 crore customers for Jio by March 31, 2017.Meanwhile, the operator is reportedly working out a new tariff plan that will be valid till June 30 and would provide data services at a nominal Rs 100, combined with free voice calls, for another three months. The Jio introductory offer ends on March 31.last_img read more

I am 45 and that doesnt make me dead Malaika Arora on

first_imgArjun Kapoor and Malaika Arora (left) Priyanka Chopra and Nick JonasInstagramMalaika Arora and Priyanka Chopra share one commonness, and that is they both have partners who are much younger to them. This is why Malaika knows the kind of trolling she and Priyanka faces on social media.Both Malaika and Priyanka are often trolled for being with men, who are younger to them. Reacting to the trolls that PeeCee face, Malaika appreciated the way she handles it and criticised the mentality that considers elder women dating younger men as a wrong thing.”I remember that. The couple has just turned it all around and silenced all the wagging tongues. But why did those tongues even wag? It’s unfair to judge relationships. Can’t a woman find love in a man younger than her? If someone makes you happy and enriches your life, what’s the harm? I am 45 and that doesn’t make me dead or someone who’s over the hill. I enjoy my life and feel happy about having such a special equation with a man younger than me. You have to forget the barriers and nurture relationships,” she told Bombay Times.Recently, Malaika had made her relationship with Arjun official with a romantic Instagram post in which the latter was tagged. Although they have confirmed their liaison, they did not reveal anything about any marriage plans anytime soon.last_img read more

Market capitalisation of Tata companies at 127 billion

first_imgA man looks at a screen displaying news of markets update inside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, June 20, 2016.Reuters fileThe combined market capitalisation of the listed companies of the Tata Group stood at $127.62 billion, or Rs 8,12,877 crore, as of April 27, 2017, based on the closing share prices of the respective companies. The top three listed entities are TCS, Tata Motors and Tata Steel.There are 17 listed entities that include lifestyle company Titan; hospitality venture Indian Hotels Co.; air-conditioner maker Voltas; retail company Trent; telecom ventures Tata Communications and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), and non-alcoholic beverages maker Tata Global Beverages, in addition to the three referred above.TCS had market capitalisation of Rs 4,53,474 crore ($70.69 billion), Tata Motors Rs 1,31,649 crore ($20.52 billion) and Tata Steel Rs 43,292 crore ($6.75 billion). On Friday (April 27), TCS shares closed 1.27 percent lower at Rs 2,272, Tata Motors gained 0.41 percent at Rs 458 and Tata Steel ended at Rs 449, up 0.70 percent. The BSE Sensex closed 111 points down at 29,918 on Friday.The April 27 valuation mark a significant fall from $130.80 billion (Rs 8,44,314 crore) as of April 6, 2017.TCS has declared its Q4 and FY2017 results while most of the other companies are yet to do so. Tata Motors will be declaring its April vehicle sales next Monday/Tuesday.The Tata Group comprises more than 100 companies operating in about 100 countries. In 2015-16, the combined revenue of the Tata Group was $103.51 billion.  Market capitalisation of Tata Group.tata.comlast_img read more

BIG UPDATE Another injury scare to India in World Cup Update on

first_imgHe may be criticised for lack of intent, he may hog headlines over his impending retirement, but there is little doubt MS Dhoni is important to this Indian team, especially at this crucial juncture in the tournament. The seasoned campaigner was hit on his thumb in the match against England and he was even seen spitting blood in the game. There are now concerns over his availability for the match against Sri Lanka.However, the team management has allayed all such fears as they believe the wicket-keeper batsman is fit to take part in the game against Sri Lanka. Although India have made it to the semi-finals, they still would want to beat Sri Lanka in this game and then hope South Africa down Australia, so that they go to the number 1 spot on the points table. As such, they will then face New Zealand in the semi-finals as opposed to England, if things stand the way they are currently.’Amazing capacity to ignore pain’ MS DhoniSurjeet Yadav/IANSA source from the team management has cleared all doubts over Dhoni’s availability for the match. Speaking to the news agency IANS, he said the stumper is fit and available to take on Sri Lanka. “Hai toh pahadi, woh yodha hai (he hails from the mountains and is a warrior). After more than 300 ODIs, do you think these little things even bother him? He has an amazing capacity to ignore pain. But more importantly, his finger is fine and there is nothing to worry about,” the source said.Earlier this week, a PTI report had said that India’s last match at the World Cup could well turn out to be MS Dhoni’s swan song in India colours. MS DhoniTwitter”You never know with MS Dhoni. But it is unlikely that he will continue to play for India after this World Cup. But since his decisions to quit captaincy from the three formats have been taken so suddenly, it is very difficult to predict at the moment,” a senior BCCI official told PTI.However, there have been no such statements made from the Indian management and as of now, these are considered to be mere speculations. The wicket-keeper batsman enjoys the support of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli as well as a number of players in the Indian camp.last_img read more

Air India divestment More positives than negatives to a Maharajas selloff

first_imgAUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH: The government should expedite Air India’s sale by increasing the higher FDI component for foreign buyers who can employ the right professional expertise and marketing know-how to turn around the beleaguered airline.Creative CommonsBad mergers create bad blood – in the skies and on the ground. When the government merged India’s two state-owned airlines in 2007, Air India and domestic carrier Indian Airlines, the combined entity would soon grow into a megalith symbolising all the shortcomings of India’s public sector.In just a generation, competition from the private sector, rising fuel costs as a percentage of operational expenditure, strikes by opposing factions of pilots, freebies and upgrades to politicians and bureaucrats, and huge discounting would move the Maharaja from monopolising air travel to being only India’s third largest airline with a 11.8 percent market share.But the literal bottomline here is: Air India has lost money almost every year since its merger despite the UPA II government infusing Rs 30,000 crore into Air India under a financial restructuring plan (FRP). Total equity infused in the airline thus far is Rs 22,280 crore. Banks currently have an exposure of about Rs 53,980 crore.A diverting fact is that state-owned Air India utilised government bailouts while launching price wars with other airlines as part of its survival requirements, leading to the logical conclusion that the government was helping subsidise monopolistic behaviour.Another FRP by the present BJP dispensation to infuse Rs 42,182 crore as additional equity over 22 years has been delayed as the airline grapples with the problem of handling over Rs 50,000 crore in debt, of which an estimated Rs 23,000 crore is by way of aircraft loan advances. It is a no-win situation exacerbated by the airline’s asset deterioration down the years and its inability to even control its operating losses since 2011.Last year, for the first time in about a decade, Air India managed to post Rs 105 crore in operating profit (net loss after tax in 2016 — Rs 3,836.77 crore) on the back of fresh capital infusion from the government and lower ATF prices. But was the intangible benefits of holding on to a 13 percent market share worth splattering more red ink on a battered balance-sheet? The government didn’t think so. Its decision to divest the national carrier spoke of the triumph of experience over, often unrealistic, hope.Dreams Un-linedThe national career was a symbol of public sector ingenuity and operational inventiveness down the decades till its much- ballyhooed merger with Indian Airlines. Then, the losses started piling up with fresh competition from the private sector on key sectors within India. Even Vijay Mallya’s doomed Kingfisher took valuable market share away from Air India. Middle East carriers like Emirates, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways gained top-of-the-mind recall for expatriate travellers to destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah and Muscat.For a government long in denial about the dismal picture which Air India presented, the benefits of disinvesting the airline in a single swoop are far more than taking a piecemeal approach as recommended by critics who suggest that it retain 51 percent in the asset-heavy airline. Air India owns prime land in cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the sale of which, disinvestment supporters expect will vault the airline out of troubled times. But this asset class, going by the airline’s own assessment, would yield only Rs 10,000 crore which is not a scratch on its huge debt burden. Raghavendra NThe Dreamliner aircraft and its entitled pilot crews have remained a thorn in the airline’s flesh to this day. Pilot strikes and mutinies since 2012 and largescale operational mismanagement took the airlines to a new low. The airline incurred operational losses of Rs 5,537 crore in 2012 (or Rs 15 crore every day). Subsequent years were not too different, though going by the government’s claims, Air India was actually paring down its losses fiscal after fiscal.Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had exuded confidence about the airline’s performance since last year, and earlier this year, asserted that it would show operating profits of Rs 300 crore in 2016-17, and the government had no plans to privatise the airline – till the latter poured cold water over his enthusiasm by announcing that a disinvestment program to sell the airline and recover its losses would soon be underway.The Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) made things stickier when it said that the airline had actually posted operating losses of Rs 321.40 crore in the April-June period of 2015-16, when the government had claimed a profit.But Air India said that its operational performance targets were in line with the turnaround plan. A spokesperson said that “considerable improvement” in on-time performance at 78.2 percent was achieved in 2015-16 as compared to 68.2 percent in 2011-12. The available evidence didn’t justify the airline’s claims.Taking the debt-free roadThe logical answer to Air India’s problems is privatisation — but politicians and bureaucrats, who misuse India’s flag carrier as much as its employees do –, would baulk at such a move. Air India has been surviving on the Rs 30,000-crore bailout package put together by UPA-II in 2012 to help its turnaround, as well as debt relief provided by public sector banks. It is estimated that even a well executed asset sale may not fully cover the airline’s liabilities, and taxpayers cannot escape footing part of the loss — either directly in case the government pays off the airline’s creditors, or indirectly if the public sector banks write off their loans to the airline.The three options on the table could be a full 100 percent selloff, a 74 percent stake sale or retaining a 49 percent share in the airline, as per a tentative note from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM). Raghavendra NThe decision to form an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism to take forward the disinvestment plan is timely. But this Mechanism should first shed clarity on how the eventual sale will be executed — whether the airline will be fully privatised or hived off asset-wise to interested bidders like IndiGo, which has expressed interest in buying out the carrier’s international operations and peak hour landing slots in airports like London and New York. These slots if sold should fetch the government at least Rs 3,000 crore.A sale of market slots in airports like Delhi and Mumbai would be attractive to foreign airlines to invest in India, though the government’s stakeholding and quantum of divestment will come under their scrutiny before entering the bidding fray. Experts have suggested that the value of the heritage Air India brand can’t be overlooked either, when even Kingfisher’s hostile lenders valued that brand at Rs 160 crore.If both foreign and prospective domestic buyers like Indigo, are allowed to bid freely for the airline, more value could be realised from a sale. There have been suggestions to add more value to the airline’s assets by hiving off non-core assets with high profit potential into a shell company and demerger and strategic disinvestment of profit-making subsidiaries. This make sense only if the government considers making key changes in its FDI policy to allow foreign investors to buy a more substantial stake in Air India. If it is possible to invest 74 percent FDI in telecom, then why not in aviation?The highly rated Tata-Air Asia Berhad JV which saw Air Asia grabbing a foothold in the huge Indian market, has still not fulfilled its initial promise. Going by the record, almost all airlines that have lost money have only themselves to blame. Their painpoints include inefficient operations, aggressive expansion without consolidation, balance-sheets which are leveraged unduly high, improper route planning and wrong pricing of tickets. These factors have contributed more to the downfall of many an airline meeting its Waterloo in the Indian aviation market, rather than the market itself — which is growing and has many milestones ahead of it. Carriers like IndiGo have excelled in the same market. Stabilising Air India will be an important step ahead for Indian aviation. For a start, in the event of a successful sale, the government and its ministries must start seeing Air India as a revenue source and not a revenue generator.last_img read more

Ben Stokes admits he didnt ask umpires to cancel four overthrows in

first_imgBen Stokes apologises for the overthrows.Twitter/Cricket World CupBritish all-rounder Ben Stokes has reportedly stated that he did not ask the umpires to cancel the four overthrows which proved vital for England’s win against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup final at Lords on July 16. The British all-rounder stated that he did not go up to umpires and said anything of that sort. He further claimed that he apologised to Kane Williamson and Tom Latham.”I saw all of that. I was thinking to myself, did I say that? But hand on heart, I did not go up to the umpires and say something like that to the umpires,” he was quoted as saying in a BBC podcast.”I went straight to Tom Latham and said ‘Mate, I am so sorry’, looked over to Kane (Williamson) and said ‘I’m sorry’,” he further added.The incident that happened during the final over of the tournament decider when England were chasing a target of 241. Stokes accidentally hit the ball while diving for a second run with the back of his bat. The ball got deflected and went to the third man boundary giving England six runs. Ben Stokes flat out of the ground.Twitter/Cricket World CupAfter consulting each other, Kumar Dharmasena and Marais Erasmus decided to give six runs which put England in the driver’s seat. The hosts, before that ball, needed nine runs from three balls, after that incident their target was reduced to three runs of two balls. The all-rounder was seen putting his hands up in an apologetic manner for the incident.Adding to the dismay of the players and fans of New Zealand, England went on to win the match and the tournament. The hosts won on account of hitting more boundaries after the scores were tied in the super over. James Anderson had claimed that Stokes wanted four overthrows to be taken offReutersEarlier, British pace spearhead in Tests and Stokes teammate, James Anderson was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald as telling BBC’s Tailenders podcast claiming that the all-rounder asked the umpires to cancel the four overthrows.”I think, talking to Michael Vaughan who saw him after the game, Ben Stokes actually went to the umpires and said, ‘Can you take that four runs off. We don’t want it’,” he said.Stokes finally made it clear amid all the speculations that he did not ask the umpires anything of that sort. After the end of the World Cup, ICC was criticised by cricket fans and former cricketers from all over the world because of the unique rules that, according to them,  ruined the final.last_img read more

ALs Hanif sets up shrimp farm near Sundarbans

first_imgEstablishment of industries and heavy infrastructure are prohibited near 10 km of Sundarbans. Mahbubul Alam Hanif`s shrimp enclosure is in the area.Ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif has set up a shrimp farm close to the Sundarbans, violating the environment law.Hanif established the shrimp farm on 35 acres of land at Sutarkhali union of Dacope in Khulna although the law prohibits commercial activities and establishments within 10 kilometers of the Sundarbans, the UNESCO-recognised world heritage site.The farm started commercially last year.He also built two-storey and one-storey buildings there.As per the environment conservation act, environment impact assessment and environment clearance certificates have been made mandatory for shrimp farms.There had been a pond and a Kali temple within the boundaries of the farm. The pond has been filled up.A channel was dug in an embankment to bring in saline water for the shrimp farm from the river Poshur of the Sundarbans.Quest Aquaculture & Fish Processing Limited and Bangladesh Bank and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) jointly set up the farm, according to a sign board at main gate of the farm.Two state organisations equally invested in the project.BB and ICB officials said the funds were allocated but not disbursed as yet.Speaking to Prothom Alo, director of department of environment of Khulna Habibul Haque Khan said the environment clearance certificate is mandatory for shrimp enclosures on over five acres of land.The official said the Quest Aquaculture & Fish Processing Limited has not applied for the certificate.Mahbubul Alam Hanif told Prothom Alo, “I did not know the environment clearance certificate is required to set up shrimp enclosures.”Those engaged in the management of the farm would not know it, he said”I have asked them to apply for the environment clearance certificate”.About filling up the pond, Hanif said the water of the pond was not safe. A water treatment plant is being set up there to supply safe water to the villagers, he added.About the Kali temple, Hanif said a temple is being built outside the shrimp farm.As per section 5 of the Environment Conservation Act, 1999, the government declared 10 kilometers around Sundarbans an ecologically critical area (ECA).On 18 January 2015, the government issued a gazette notification, demarcating the ECA of Sundarbans. Hanif’s farm is located within the ECA.Following the directives of the prime minister office on August of 2016, a list of 34 industries and establishments in the ECA was drawn up. Mahbubul Alam’s farm was dropped from the list.During a visit in June, it was found that an eight foot boundary wall and barbed wire fence was put up around the farm. A high-powered generator has been set up there for uninterrupted supply of electricity to the farm. The generator was creating loud noise in the area, the residents said.A poster pasted on the wall near the main gate of the farm welcomes residents of Dacope on behalf of Hanif and Khulna district vice president of Sramik League Farid Ahmed.Farid Ahmed was staying at the farm. He told Prothom Alo that he looked after the farm. He also said the environment clearance certificate was not required to establish shrimp farms.Eminent wildlife conservationist Mohammad Ali Reza Khan said, “We will lose the Sundarbans fast if we establish different types of industries and shrimp enclosures there.”“How will the Sundarbans survive if lawmakers violate laws?” he asked.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islamlast_img

Workers clash with police over arrears in Ctg

first_imgJute mill workers blocked the Chittagong-Hathajari road at Amin Jute Mill area since 9:00am on Tuesday.They clashed with the members of law enforcing agencies over realising two months’ arrear wages.The blockade on the road continued till 2:00pm, creating a huge tailback.According to witnesses and police, about 300 workers of Amin Jute Mill blocked the road at 9:00am on Tuesday.They enforced the blockade on the road by setting fire to tyres and piling up logs. Vehicles came to a halt on both sides of the road.The workers clashed with the police, at one state throwing stones when the police told them to remove the blockade.Officer in charge of Bayzid Bostami police station Abul Kalam said the workers blocked road in demand of two months’ arrears.”We are trying to convince them to remove the blockade,” the OC added.last_img read more

BCL activists assault college principal in Bogra

first_imgA group of leaders of ruling Bangladesh Awami League’s (AL) student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) assaulted the principal of Bogra’s Government Shah Sultan College, Ejazul Haque.Witnesses said a group of BCL activists led by college unit BCL president Bishwajit Kumar Saha on Monday noon, vandalised the principal’s office and assaulted the principal following the expulsion of two BCL activists.Principal Ejazul Haque filed a case in this connection with Shajahanpur police station, accusing seven BCL activists including BCL college unit president Bishwajit Kumar and ten other unnamed people.The case was filed on charges of attacks, vandalism, and destruction of public property. Police arrested two students – a masters’ student SM Zobayer and an honours’ student Anik – in connection with the case.Principal Ejazul Haque told Prothom Alo that several BCL activists took part in the HSC test examination without paying the fees. Two of them – Mezbahul Hossain and Zobayer Hossain – misbehaved with college teacher Nilufer Rahman on 26 August when she sought examination fees from them.The principal said the college authorities expelled the two students when they misbehaved again at the examination centre on Monday.The college principal alleged that BCL activists led by Bishwajit raided his room, abused and assaulted him following the expulsion.Bishwajit, however, denied the allegations, saying no one from BCL launched the attack on the principal.He said he was present in the place of occurrence but was not involved in the vandalism. “No one from the BCL was involved in the vandalism.”President of Bogra district unit BCL Naimur Razzak, however, told Prothom Alo that the district unit BCL has decided to investigate the incident.“Disciplinary actions will be taken if any BCL activists are found involved in the incident,” he said.Shajahanpur police station officer-in-charge Zia Latiful Islam said police arrested two after the principal filed the case around 9:00 on Monday evening.Besides, Bogra district unit of the BCS General Education Association held an emergency meeting on Monday night following the attack on one of their fellows.Association’s general secretary Faruk Ahmed, also an assistant professor of the chemistry department at the Government Azizul Haque College, Bogra, said they have given the administration a seven-day ultimatum to arrest those involved in the attack.He said the teachers will announce tougher action programmes if the perpetrators are not brought to the book.last_img read more

Bar to entering Dhaka before BNP rally

first_imgProthom Alo file photo The commuters of Narayanganj district are facing immense sufferings as a very few public transports were reportedly leaving the district for the capital since Sunday morning ahead of the BNP’s rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, reports UNB.Hundreds of commuters, mostly students and working people, were seen waiting for public transports at several bus stoppages to go to the capital city.Only the buses of Shital Paribahan were plying the roads while all the buses of other Dhaka-bound transport organisations, including Bandhan Paribahan and Utsab Paribahan, stayed off the streets since the morning, alleged many commuters.M Zakir Hossain Majumder, a private organisation employee, said he fortunately got into a bus of Shital Paribahan after competing with a good number of commuters.Apart from Narayanganj, few public transports left Savar for Dhaka since the morning amid the transport owners’ association’s allegation that they were asked to ‘keep all their transports’ off the streets.In Gazipur, commuters got stuck at several bus stoppages due to the scarcity of public transports.Many of the commuters were seen walking to reach their destinations, reports our Gazipur correspondent.Meanwhile, police arrested 48 leaders and activists of district and upazilas’ unit of BNP and its associate bodies, alleged the party leaders.Thousands of city dwellers are also reportedly facing sufferings as the presence of public transports on the roads has been very thin since the morning.last_img read more

Kamal declines to represent Khaleda in court

first_imgKhaleda Zia & Kamal HossainEminent lawyer, Gano Forum president Kamal Hossain on Tuesday turned down a request from the BNP to represent party chairperson Khaleda Zia during her appeal hearing in the High Court, a Gano Forum leader said.Kamal Hossain expressed his inability to move for Khaleda Zia in a graft case when a BNP delegation led by its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir met the lawyer, Gano Forum’s presidium member Subrata Chowdhury told Prothom Alo.However, UNB quoted BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir as saying that Kamal Hossain would provide legal advice to the lawyers of the BNP chairperson to ensure her bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.Fakhrul was talking to reporters after a BNP delegation, led by him, met Kamal at his Motijheel chamber.”We handed over a copy of the judgment to him and sought his legal opinion. He told us he’ll provide the legal advice after going through the verdict,” the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader said.On 8 February last, the Dhaka special court-5 convicted Khaleda, a former prime minister and BNP chairperson, and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.She was then sent to the abandoned central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the capital.The BNP chief filed two petitions with the High Court – one challenging the sentence and the other seeking bail in the case.However, the HC on Sunday said it would pass an order on her bail petition upon receiving all the documents relating to the judgment from the lower court.The HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and justice Shahidul Karim kept the order pending as the HC was yet to receive the verdict documents.On Thursday last, the HC asked the lower court to submit all the relevant documents within 15 days.last_img read more

Mexico extradites drug lord El Chapo to US

first_imgMexico on Thursday extradited drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the United States — handing over one of the world’s most notorious criminals on the eve of US President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.Guzman is the head of the Sinaloa cartel, which is accused of generating much of the deadly violence in Mexico’s decades-long drug war and providing tons of narcotics to the United States.He had twice escaped from prison, and had been fighting his extradition ever since his recapture almost exactly a year ago in his home state of Sinaloa following his second daring jailbreak.Guzman, 59, had been in prison in Ciudad Juarez, which borders Texas, since he was abruptly transferred there from another penitentiary near Mexico City in May.A US government official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Guzman would land later in the evening in New York, one of several US jurisdictions where he is facing charges.President Enrique Pena Nieto had previously refused to extradite Guzman, but he changed tack after the slippery drug lord’s latest escape in July 2015.The Mexican government “delivered Mr. Guzman Loera to the authorities of the United States” after the Supreme Court and a court of appeals rejected his latest bids to avoid extradition, the foreign ministry said in a statement.The appeals court ruled that the extradition conformed with a bilateral treaty and that Guzman’s rights had not been violated, the statement said.One of Guzman’s lawyers, Silvia Delgado, told Milenio television that she was surprised by the extradition, calling it “illegal” because another legal petition was pending.- Timing: Dig at Trump? -The US Department of Justice said in a brief statement that his initial court appearance would be “forthcoming,” without saying where he would be held.”The Justice Department extends its gratitude to the government of Mexico for their extensive cooperation and assistance in securing the extradition of Guzman,” it said, adding that he had been charged in six separate indictments.A spokeswoman for federal prosecutors in New York declined to comment.In May, the Mexican foreign ministry approved extradition bids from California, where he is wanted for drug distribution, and Texas, where he faces a slew of charges including murder and money laundering.Trump, who takes office on Friday, has publicly clashed with Mexico over trade and immigration issues. The Republican president-in-waiting has pledged to build a wall on the US-Mexican border.Alejandro Hope, a prominent Mexican security expert, said the decision to extradite Guzman in the last hours of Barack Obama’s presidency and before Trump takes office was “not a coincidence.””It looks like they didn’t want to give Trump an early victory,” Hope told AFP.”They didn’t want Trump to be able to brag about it, so they managed to hand him over in the final minutes” of the Obama administration, he said.But Alejandro Almazan, author of the Guzman biography “The Most Wanted,” saw the opposite, saying “Chapo is a gift to Trump” because Pena Nieto wants good relations with the new US leader.- Daring escapes -Guzman’s extradition caps a Hollywood-worthy cat-and-mouse game between Mexican authorities and the slippery drug lord, who escaped twice from prison.His feats turned him into a legend of Mexico’s underworld, with musicians singing his praises in folk ballads known as “narcocorridos” — tributes to drug capos.He was first captured in Guatemala in 1993, only to escape from a maximum-security prison in western Mexico in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart.Marines backed by the US Drug Enforcement Administration arrested him in February 2014 in the Sinaloa resort of Mazatlan, where he was staying with his wife and twin daughters.Pena Nieto insisted at the time that Guzman would face justice at home.But Guzman escaped from prison again in spectacular fashion just 17 months later.His henchmen had dug a 1.5-kilometer (one-mile) tunnel that opened into his cell’s shower at the Altiplano prison near Mexico City, allowing him to slip out and flee on a remodeled motorbike that was fitted on tracks.Guzman was recaptured in the Sinaloa town of Los Mochis in January 2016.Authorities said they tracked him down after Guzman held a clandestine meeting with US actor Sean Penn and Mexican-American actress Kate del Castillo a few months earlier.Officials were able to intercept flirtatious text messages that Guzman sent to the actress.After he was arrested again, Pena Nieto ordered officials to speed up the process.Guzman’s arrest likely leaves his long-time associate, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, at the helm of the Sinaloa cartel, giving continuity to the powerful gang.But Raul Benitez Manaut, a security expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, said the extradition “definitely weakens the Sinaloa cartel.”Guzman’s sons, Archivaldo Ivan and Jesus Alfredo Guzman, may harbor their own ambitions.”There will be an internal fight between his sons and the sons of other of the founders,” Benitez Manaut said. “It could be violent — or maybe it could be peaceful.”last_img read more

BJP set to sweep Delhi civic polls

first_imgThe BJP was on Wednesday set to sweep the Delhi civic polls, leading in over 140 wards and has won six wards so far, according to the Delhi State Election Commission.The Aam Aadmi Party, was at second spot, leading in 40 wards and has won one ward so far.The Congress was at third spot, and was leading in 28 wards.In the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won two wards — Ramnagar and Krishnanagar.In the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won three wards — Janakpuri West, Janakpuri South and Vishnu Garden.In North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the BJP has won Rajinder Nagar.The AAP has won Shakurpur in North Delhi Municipal Corporation.last_img

Dutch concert cancelled for terror threat

first_imgA van with a Spanish numberplate near the concert venue Maassilo is seen during police investigations after a rock concert was cancelled due to a terror threat, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo: AFPDutch police are investigating possible terror links after arresting a Spaniard driving a van containing gas canisters close to a rock concert which was abruptly cancelled over fears of an attack.The man “was arrested and taken to the police station,” Rotterdam police said in a Tweet, following a tip-off from Spanish authorities.The arrest came little under a week after twin car-bomb attacks in Spain killed 15 people, in attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.Dutch bomb squad officials “were investigating the van” which was found just two streets away from the Maassilo concert hall where an American rock band was due to play, they added.Earlier in the evening Dutch authorities decided to cancel the concert by Californian group Allah-Las in Europe’s largest port city after a tip-off from Spanish police around 5:30pm (1530 GMT) about a possible terror attack.“In the early evening I was warned by telephone that we had received a threat which had implications for an American concert at the Maassilo in Rotterdam,” the city’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, told a hastily-called press conference.“This signal came from the Spanish police to the Dutch police,” he added.But Aboutaleb, the country’s first Muslim and immigrant-born mayor who has spoken out against Islamic terror groups, added an investigation was under way and “we cannot say now if the van with the canisters was linked to the threat”.The four-piece band, from Los Angeles, had been escorted from the concert hall by police wearing bullet-proof vests.In a statement sent to AFP, they said they were “unharmed and are very grateful to the Rotterdam police and other responsible agencies for detecting the potential threat before anyone was hurt.”Rotterdam police said that afterwards an officer “stationed close to the venue decided to stop a van that he saw driving at around 21:30 hrs”.“The van had Spanish plates and was driven by a Spanish national. Inside the van were a couple of gas bottles. Whether there is a link with the terror threat is being looked into,” the statement in English said, adding “the driver was taken into custody”.Concert hall evacuatedThe international connections of the cell of mostly Moroccan nationals behind the Spanish attacks are being probed as investigators retrace their movements to France and Belgium.Spanish police carried out new raids overnight Tuesday to Wednesday after vehicles ploughed into pedestrians on Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas boulevard and a seaside promenade in the resort town of Cambrils.Fifteen people were killed and more than 120 others were wounded.Spanish court documents have shown that at least 500 litres of acetone, large quantities of nails and detonators as well as gas canisters were found in raids on a house in the town of Alcanar, south of Barcelona.The Rotterdam building where Wednesday’s concert was to be held, which can hold about 1,000 people, was searched by the Dutch anti-terror squad after the crowd had been evacuated.The Netherlands has so far been spared from the slew of terror attacks which have rocked its closest European neighbours in past years.But amid a number of scares here in recent months, and reports that people linked to some of the attacks may have crossed briefly into the country, concerned top Dutch security and intelligence officials have been keeping a wary eye on events.A spokesman for the Dutch justice ministry told AFP the threat level in The Netherlands remained at “four” out of a possible five.“Nothing has changed for the moment,” Lodewijk Hekking said, meaning the threat levels remains that there is the real possibility of an attack in the Netherlands.last_img read more

Elias elected DRU president Kabir GS

first_imgElias Hossain and Kabir Ahmed KhanElias Hossain of private television channel SA TV and Kabir Ahmed Khan of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) were elected president and general secretary of Dhaka Reporters unity (DRU) respectively for 2019 in an election on Friday.Elias Hossain bagged 641 votes while his nearest rival Monir Hossain Liton polled 496.Kabir Ahmed Khan got 450 votes to defeat Reaz Chowdhury by 10 votes.Khondoker Kaosar Hossain was elected vice-president getting 416 votes and Jamiul Ahasan Sipu was elected joint secretary uncontested.The other elected office-bearers are finance secretary Ziaul Haque Sabuj, organising secretary Afzal Bari, office secretary Md Jehad Hossain Chowdhury, women affairs secretary Sajida Islam Parul, publicity and publication secretary SK Mahmud A Riyat, training and research secretary Abdul Hai Tuhin, sports secretary Shafiqul Islam Shameem, cultural secretary Md Emdadul Haque Khan, entertainment secretary HM Akter and welfare secretary Kawsar Azam.The executive members are Mohiuddin, Khalid Saifullah, BM Nur Alam (Badal Nur), Mohammad Maksudul Hassan, Mohammad Naimuddin, Rashedul Haque, Md Shahabuddin Mahtab and Khondoker Faruque Ahmed.last_img read more