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Flood alert in Arunachal and Assam on fears of artificial lake burst in Tibet

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Lower reaches of Yarlung Tsangpo river after landslide blocked flow and created artificial lake upstream

Arunachal Pradesh and Assam have been put on high alert of possible flash floods after China informed India on Friday that a landslide has blocked a section of a Yarlung Tsangpo river in the Tibet region, that flows into Arunachal Pradesh as Siang and further downstream in Assam as the Brahmaputra.

An artificial lake has formed on the Yarlung Tsangpo in China on Wednesday after a cliff fell on a section of the river, leading to fears of large-scale floods if the dam formed by the landslide breaks.

The East Siang district administration in Arunachal Pradesh has asked people not to venture near the Siang River and asked them to stay alert.

The water level in the Siang has reduced due to the landslide blocking the flow of water. “We got a report from the Central Water Commission (CWC) about the landslide in Tibet. The water level in Siang river has gone down by around 2 metres at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh,” Duly Kamduk, deputy commissioner of Upper Siang district, was reported as saying.

Reports said a landslide has led to the formation of an artificial lake on the river and there are fears of large-scale floods downstream if the lake breaches. The Central Water Commission (CWC) has alerted the Union government on this.

Chinese media said over 6,000 people have been evacuated after a barrier lake was formed following the landslide in the Yarlung Tsangpo.

The landslide is stated to have struck near a village in Menling County and the water in the artificial lake has risen to 131 feet by Thursday, according to Chinese authorities, said a report by Associated Press.

According to reports from Tibet, the blockade was 3.5 kilometre long and 2.5 kilometre wide at the widest point, and was 17 kilometres downstream from the Nexia Hydrological Station in Tibet.

The Assam government has issued an alert in Upper Assam and the districts of Dibrugarh, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur and Tinsukia have been asked to be prepared since the Siang flows into the Brahmaputra in this region.

The centre has deployed additional National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) from Kolkata and Bhubaneswar to this region.

According to Arunchal Pradesh government sources, Beijing has informed New Delhi that the artificial lake at Yarlung Tsangpo had begun spilling over at around 2 PM resulting in an unprecedented rise in water levels, reported The Indian Express.

A huge volume of water is expected to enter India through the Sino-Indian border at Tuting by Saturday afternoon and is expected cause flash floods in the Siang River by Saturday evening.

The Central Water Commission told the Assam government that China had shared data on the breach with India, saying that the lake water storage is increasing at a rate of 8 million cubic meter per hour or 80,000 cubic meters per second.

According to reports from China, the barrier lake was created on Wednesday morning following the collapse of a cliff in the deep valley through which the river flows. The cause of the landslide is believed to be natural and there was no report of any earthquake in the area in the recent past.

The Siang got flooded due to heavy rainfall on the Chinese side.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said that India and China are in regular contact on this matter.

“On October 17, the Chinese side informed us about a landslide blocking the main stream of Yarlung Zangbo/Brahmaputra River in the Tibet Autonomous Region…Based on the information provided, all relevant authorities of the central government and concerned state governments have been apprised about the emerging situation to enable them to take necessary precautionary measures. We are in regular contact with the Chinese side for further updates,” he said.

Congress MP Ninong Ering has written to foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to immediately take up the matter with China, according to media reports.

Ering said that due to the landslide and formation of the lake “the situation of rivers along Tuting, Yingkiong and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh is grim. These places are drying up rapidly due to the blockade.”

“The Siang has almost dried up, which is very unnatural. And if the dam breaks, there could be large-scale damage in Arunachal Pradesh and other states downstream,” the Lok Sabha member wrote to Swaraj on Thursday.

“According to Chinese ministry of water resources, the landslide took place around 80 km downstream from the Nuxia hydrological station in Linzhi in Tibet. That’s around 100 km from the Indian border,” Ering said.

In August, several people were airlifted from Assam’s Dhemaji district as the Siang River was flooded due to heavy rainfall in the Chinese area.

Last year, the Siang had turned brackish and extremely turbid, raising concerns in India of a fallout if China build dams in its upper reaches.

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Rahul Gandhi spotted in Delhi pizzeria in viral video while PM Modi, others attend Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant wedding

Lalu Prasad Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also attended the wedding.

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Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, was spotted at pizzeria restaurant in Delhi, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other politicians were attending Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s wedding in Mumbai.

The undated viral video has been shared widely on social media platforms with a claim that the Congress leader did not attend the high-profile wedding of Ambani in the dream city, instead chose to spend time at a Delhi restaurant.

Sharing the video on X, formerly Twitter, wrote that while all the political leaders attended the Ambani family wedding, Rahul Gandhi was at a restaurant ordering pizza.

Visuals shared online show that the Raebareli MP, wearing a light blue t-shirt, sitting across from someone and engaging in a lively chat.

PM Modi attended the “Shubh Aashirwad” ceremony of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Mumbai on Saturday night at the Jio World Convention Centre.

The Ambani family welcomed the Prime Minister and escorted him to the stage. Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant took blessings from the PM.

Before that, the Prime Minister was in Mumbai to lay the foundation stone for multiple projects related to roads, railways, and ports, worth more than Rs 29,400 crore.

Among the prominent leaders who attended the Ambani family wedding ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday were Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Deputy Chief Minister Pawan Kalyan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.

From the INDIA bloc Samajwadi Party Chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, along with his family, was spotted at the ceremony.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also attended the wedding on Friday.

The BJP leader, Smriti Irani, who recently lost her Amethi seat in the Lok Sabha election, was spotted along with her husband, also attending the wedding ceremony.

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Puri Jagannath temple’s Ratna Bhandar reopens after 46 years

Also among them were four servitors, Patjoshi Mohapatra, Bhandar Mekap, Chadhaukarana and Deulikaran, who took care of the rituals, they said.

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The Ratna Bhandar, the revered treasury of the 12th-century Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri, was reopened on Sunday after 46 years for an inventory of valuables and the repair of its structure.

According to officials, an eleven-member committee set up by the State government for the purpose entered the temple around 12 pm, and after performing rituals, the treasury was reopened.

Former Orissa HC judge Biswanath Rath, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Arabinda Padhee, ASI Superintendent DB Gadanayak and a representative of Puri’s titular king ‘Gajapati Maharaja’ were among the 11 people present when the treasury was reopened, officials added.

Also among them were four servitors, Patjoshi Mohapatra, Bhandar Mekap, Chadhaukarana and Deulikaran, who took care of the rituals, officials said.

Though the treasury was reopened, the inventory of valuables will not be carried out immediately, an official said.

Taking to X, the Chief Minister’s Office said, “On the wish of Lord Jagannath, the Odia community, with the identity of ‘Odia Asmita’, has started making efforts to move forward.”

The CMO further mentioned that the four gates of the Jagannath temples were earlier opened. Today, on people’s wishes, the Ratna Bhandar was opened after 46 years for a greater purpose, adding that, which was shared at 1.28 pm, the auspicious moment decided to reopen the treasury.

On the Ratna Bhandar, the Inspection Committee Chairman Justice Biswanath Rath said that, as scheduled, and as known to everybody, the government has already come out with the required SOPs in three parts. He said one is for the opening of the Ratna Bhandar, then taking custody of ornaments and valuables stacked in both the ‘bhandars’ section-wise to pre-allocated rooms inside the Garbha Griha.

He added that the team convened a meeting in which they decided to go ahead with the opening and taking care of the ornaments. As per the discussion in the meeting and suggestions of the ‘Purohits’ and the ‘mukti mandap’, the right time for opening of the Ratna Bhadar is 1.28 pm, he said.

Rath also shared the process, which will be carried out with two sets of video recordings and there will be two certifications. It will be a challenge since the committee does not know the position inside since it last opened in 1985, he added saying, they will open the locks today, in any case.

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Congress appoints Gaurav Gogoi as Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha

Kodikunnil Suresh has been appointed as the Chief Whip.

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The Congress has appointed Gaurav Gogoi as the party’s Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha. Kodikunnil Suresh has been appointed as the Chief Whip, while Manickam Tagore and Md. Jawaid have been appointed as Whips in the Lower House.

Taking to X on Sunday, Congress general secretary K.C. Venugopal announced the decision and said CPP Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi has written to the Lok Sabha Speaker informing him about the appointment of the Deputy Leader, Chief Whip, and two Whips for the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha.

Congratulating the new appointees, he wrote, “Guided by LOP Shri Rahul Gandhi ji, the Congress and INDIA parties will energetically champion the people’s causes in the Lok Sabha.”

The decision comes barely two weeks before the Union Budget is set to be presented in the Lok Sabha.

Speaking to the media on July 14, Congress leader P Chidambaram detailed his expectations from the Union Budget scheduled to be presented on July 23 and said that the Prime Minister must address unemployment and price rise. He further drew attention to retail inflation as per the government data is 5.1%, and go towards rural areas, it is more than that.

The former Finance Minister said food inflation is 10% and if the budget addresses unemployment and price rise, he will give it 50 out of 100. The remaining 50 will depend upon what policies they follow, the Congress leader added.

The first Union Budget (2024-25) will be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha on July 23, with the Parliament session commencing a day earlier and scheduled to conclude on August 12.

Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju said that the President of India, on the recommendation of the Government of India, has approved the proposal for summoning both Houses of Parliament for the Budget Session, 2024, from July 22, 2024, to August 12, 2024, (subject to exigencies of Parliamentary Business). Union Budget 2024-25 will be presented in Lok Sabha on 23 July, 2024, he said in a post on X.

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