[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The BJP and Janata Dal United leaders in Bihar got into a blame game after the ongoing Flood killed more than 70 people across the state and left large parts of the capital Patna submerged, with water levels failing to recede even four days after the rain stopped, NDTV reported.
Residents have described the situation as a “living hell” with malfunctioning water pumps hampering drainage operations and carcasses of dogs and pigs floating around the city, sparking fears of a disease outbreak.
The blame game erupted after the BJP leader and Union Minister Giriraj Singh, a long-time critic of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stated the state authorities had not been sufficiently ready for the floods.
“The government issued an alert asking people to be on guard. But was it on guard itself? Had it been so, people would not have been forced to suffer misery,” Singh said on Wednesday, October 3.
Giriraj Singh’s comment comes after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, on Wednesday said drainage operations in Patna by the BJP-controlled Urban Development Ministry were “far from satisfactory” and that he would personally monitor the situation.
He was supported by Bihar BJP President Sanjay Jaiswal, who accused Kumar’s government of “administrative negligence” in a Facebook post, according to news agency PTI. Another BJP leader, Minister of State Ashwini Choubey, was similarly critical.
The Chief Minister, whose leadership of the fragile BJP-JDU alliance in the state has come under pressure with Assembly elections expected next year, also hit out at critics, accusing them of “doing publicity and propaganda”.
“I am dedicated to janhit (public welfare) and not to publicity. I don’t believe in doing publicity and propaganda. Those who don’t work only do publicity,” he said.
JDU leaders have hit back by reminding their alliance partners (BJP) that they, in fact, control key administrative and planning posts for the state and Patna, such as the Mayor’s office and the Urban Development and Health Ministries.
JDU leader and Industries Minister Shyam Razak also accused BJP leaders of grandstanding in front of potential voters with one eye on next year’s polls.
The Chief Minister, who had to face a swarm of angry residents in Patna on Tuesday, earlier drew a parallel to the floods in Mumbai, for which he was criticized by junior BJP spokesman Nikhil Anand, who reminded Kumar that flood waters in Mumbai receded quickly.
Bihar is expected to hold Assembly elections next year and the floods, which Nitish Kumar described as a “natural calamity”, have provided BJP leaders looking for a change of leadership in the state with early campaign ammunition.
Kumar, who has come under pressure from BJP leaders looking for a change of leadership in the state, said last month that the NDA would secure more than 206 seats it won in 2010 polls, despite those “trying to do internal sabotage”.
According to the government, the floods have hit 959 villages across 15 districts. Around 21.45 lakh people have been affected. 45 relief camps and 324 community kitchens have been set up and more than 1,000 boats have been deployed.
In addition to flooded streets and houses, carcasses of dogs and pigs floating across the city have given rise to health concerns. Civic officials have begun removing these but their progress is slow.
Rain Alert in Patna – Forecast Updates
The Flood situation in Bihar is likely to worsen as the weather department predicted a light to moderate showers to continue for the next three to four days. The reason can be attributed to Cyclonic Circulation over Jharkhand and adjoining Bihar along with a Trough extending from East Uttar Pradesh to Northeast India across Bihar, Skymet Weather reported.
Areas like Rajendra Nagar and Kankarbagh remain submerged for the eighth day on Friday, October 4. Rajendra Nagar, one of the worst hit areas, is under four feet of stagnant water adding to the misery of locals.
Therefore, the upcoming showers may worsen this situation, thus posing a great threat to already waterlogged areas. The situation may remain grim in the state for another week or so.
‘The river Ganga had already breached its banks and the water level is expected to rise further, considering chances of more rains’, Skymet Weather said.
The heavy rains have claimed 73 lives so far.
Several people have alleged that there was no arrangement from the government to provide drinking water and food, though the administration said it has brought in heavy duty pumps to flush out water, the situation has not improved much. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
President Droupadi Murmu gives assent to Women’s Reservation Bill
The new law provides 33% reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
The Women’s Reservation Bill became law in India after President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent, days after the historic vote in the Parliament. The new law provides 33% reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. However, the law will be imposed after the new census and delimitation.
The Women’s Reservation Bill which is officially known as Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam was passed in both the houses during the special session of the Parliament. The historic bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on September 20, with 454 MPs voting in its favour and 2 voting against it. In the Rajya Sabha, the bill was passed unanimously on September 21 with 214 MPs voting in favour of the bill.
Issuing a gazette notification, the Government of India stated that the Bill has become an Act after the approval granted by the President. The notification read that the act will come into force on such date as the central government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
While supporting the historic bill in the Parliament, the Opposition condemned the government for not bringing the quota for women into immediate effect. Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Parliament during the bill’s discussion that it could only come into effect after 2029 due to the pending census and delimitation.
A day after the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that with the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament, the nation usher in an era of stronger representation and empowerment for the women of India. He added that this is not merely legislation but a tribute to the countless women who have made the nation. He exclaimed that India has been enriched by their resilience and contributions.
CM Arvind Kejriwal announces Delhi winter action plan to curb pollution
Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government will also deploy 530 water sprinklers in an attempt to prevent dust pollution
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday affirmed that pollution levels dropped in the national capital owing to various government initiatives as he announced the winter action plan to curb pollution.
Addressing a press conference, CM Arvind Kejriwal stated that the number of days witnessing severe pollution levels declined in the past eight years due to several initiatives of the government, like the introduction of electric buses and the EV Policy, among others.
Announcing the winter action plan in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal stated that the Pusa bio decomposer that prevents stubble burning will be sprayed on 5,000 hectares of farmland this year against 4,400 hectares the previous year. As far as reports are concerned, the Pusa bio decomposer, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is a microbial solution that can turn paddy straw into manure in 15-20 days.
In addition, Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government will also deploy 530 water sprinklers in an attempt to prevent dust pollution and 385 teams, who will be entrusted to check vehicles pollution certificates and prevent the plying of overage cars.
According to reports, in 2018, the Supreme Court banned diesel and petrol vehicles older than 10 and 15 years, respectively, in Delhi. The top court had added that the vehicles plying in violation of the order would be impounded. Further, a 2014 order of the National Green Tribunal bars vehicles older than 15 years to be parked in public places.
Arvind Kejriwal also reiterated that burning garbage in the open is banned in Delhi. He mentioned that 611 teams will supervise the implementation of the same. He also urged people to download the Green Delhi mobile application on their devices and report any pollution-causing activity to the government.
Speaking about stubble burning, the Delhi Chief Minister noted that in Punjab, they formed a government last year and the data from the last year showed that the steps taken in 6-7 months led to a 30% reduction in stubble burning.
Karnataka Bandh: Pro-Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj detained by Town Hall Police during protest
Five pro-Kannada activists were also detained after they entered the airport premises with a Karnataka flag to stage a protest.
Pro-Kannada and farmers organisations have called for a statewide bandh in Karnataka to protest against the release of Cauvery water to its neighbouring state, Tamil Nadu. During the protest, Town Hall police detained pro-Kanada activist Vatal Nagraj. Reportedly, five pro-Kannada activists were also taken into custody as they entered the Bengaluru International Airport to stage a protest.
According to reports, nearly 44 flights were cancelled at the Bengaluru International Airport on Friday owing to the statewide bandh. The airport authorities asserted that the flights were cancelled due to operational reasons and that the passengers were informed about the same in time. However, sources concerned to the matter said cancellations happened due to the effect of the Karnataka bandh since many passengers had cancelled their tickets.
Meanwhile, five pro-Kannada activists were also detained after they entered the airport premises with a Karnataka flag to stage a protest. According to an India Today report, the five detainees had booked flight tickets in order to gain entry to the airport premises.
On the other hand, normal life was affected, especially in the southern part of the state, with pro-Kannada and farmers’ organisations calling for ‘Karnataka Bandh’. Kannada Okkuta which includes factions of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Kannada Chalavali (Vatal Paksha) and various farmers’ bodies that have given a call for the statewide dawn-to-dusk shutdown. The opposition BJP and JD(S) have extended their support to the bandh, together with hotels, auto rickshaws and hail riders associations in Karnataka.
A member from a pro-Kannada organisation in Bengaluru told PTI that they have come over here to protest against the Cauvery water issue. He added that Cauvery water sharing is a very old issue and that they should solve the problem at earliest. He further noted that all the parties of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka should sit and sort out this matter.