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Delhi to get ‘Aam Aadmi Canteens’, says DDC vice chairman

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New Delhi: Delhi will soon get “aam aadmi canteens” – a la Tamil Nadu – where “good quality, hygienic and nutritious food” will be available for up to Rs.10, it was announced on Thursday.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal formally approved the proposal by the Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC), its vice chairman Ashish Khetan told the media.

The food would be sold at “reasonable rates – with the maximum amount being Rs.10”, said Khetan, an Aam Aadmi Party leader who had contested the Lok Sabha election in 2014.

He said the food would be nutritious and the menu at the canteens would have variety.

The canteens target the lower strata of the society including an estimated 10 lakh construction workers, five lakh street hawkers and over four lakh slum dwellers in the capital, Khetan said.

amma unavangam canteen

 

He said the model was prepared after a survey was conducted in Tamil Nadu and Odisha where such canteens operate.

In Tamil Nadu, at the hugely popular “Amma Canteens”, a plate of idly with sambar is sold for just Re.1 while pongal – staple rice and lentil food – costs Rs.5.

Khetan did not divulge the approximate cost of the project.

“It will be our plan to set up these canteens within the next one or two months. In the first phase, we will set up the aam aadmi canteens at hospitals, industrial areas, colleges and commercial hubs,” Khetan added.

The canteens would be run by the Delhi government’s department of food and supplies.

(IANS)

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Lost in Time : The Less Explored Pamban Island and the Rameswaram Island | Travelogue

The land of temples, picturesque locales, architecture, and the home of the 'Missile Man' of India - welcome to the Rameswaram Island!

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Rameswaram island
We take you through a town lost in time, Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram island. Wikimedia

Rameswaram, September 15, 2017 : Off the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu, some 500 km south of Chennai, lies Pamban Island. Seemingly a stone’s throw from neighboring Sri Lanka, this is an island steeped in historical significance, and with some of the most resilient people alive.

One of the longest sea bridges in the country, the iconic Pamban Bridge connects the mainland with the island, also known as Rameswaram Island. With breathtaking views of the Bay of Bengal, the journey to the island over this bridge rewinds one to colonial times, when it was built by the British to improve trade relations with Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

Built in 1914 as India’s first-ever sea bridge, the 6,700-foot structure is in itself an engineering and historical marvel that has withstood several of nature’s furies — from storms to cyclones.

Rameswaram island
An overview of the Pamban Brindge. Wikimedia

The bridge initially ran up to the southeastern tip of the island, Dhanushkodi, now a ghost town. After a cyclone hit it in 1964, Dhanushkodi was washed away by the sea and is now a mere skeleton of the town it once was.

Remnants of its railway lines, church and the devastated dwellings of people can still be seen, though in very poor shape.

From the tip of the region, cell phone networks welcome one to Sri Lanka.

Visible from here is the Adam’s Bridge — a former land link between India and Sri Lanka, now undersea — that is also known as Rama Setu, the bridge believed to have been built by Lord Rama’s army to rescue Sita from Lanka.

Nambavel, a 50-year-old, says there can be no other home for him than Dhanushkodi, of pristine waters and picturesque views of the Bay of Bengal. Three generations of his family have lived here. Although the deadly cyclone forced many to migrate to villages around, some 50 families, including Nambavel’s, refused to leave.

“This has been our home for as long as we’ve known. We grew up playing in the sea water, then learnt to make our living through fishing or running petty shops,” Nambavel told this visiting IANS correspondent.

Rameswaram island
Residents of Dhanushkodi refuse to abandon their small town; for them the “sea is everything”. Wikimedia

“Even as many people we know migrated to nearby villages, there’s no home like Dhanushkodi for us — the sea is everything,” he said.

With sea levels rising around the world due to global warming, the region is constantly threatened by nature. But that does not deter Nambavel: “Even if another cyclone is close, most of us would like to be here, a land we’ve grown up in.”

Surrounded by sea and sand, the town cannot grow any crops and has no provision for electricity due to the wind velocity in the area. It is only the solar panels, an initiative of late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam who hailed from Rameswaram, that light up the shacks of the few residents.

With Rameswaram considered one of the holiest places for Hindus, a majority of visitors make temples the focus of their travels.

Aiming to showcase the rich cultural and historical heritage of the island, apart from the much-visited temples, Utsa Majumder, the General Manager of the newly-launched Hyatt Place, Rameswaram, is working extensively on various itineraries that uncover the untrodden places in and around the region.

“There’s a lot more that the Rameswaram Island can offer than just the temples it is mostly known for. We want people to know that Rameswaram can be an experiential destination and not just a pilgrimage spot,” Majumder told IANS.

“From historic places that have stood the test of time to some incredible architecture and engineering like the Pamban Bridge, there’s a lot a tourist can see here,” she added.

The hotel offers these itineraries to travelers according to their interests, allowing them to explore different facets of the region, along with menus that present the cuisines of the land — from kuzhi paniyaram (rice batter dumplings) to kara kozhumbu (a spicy tamarind gravy).

Rameswaram Island
Local cuisine at Dhanushkodi. Wikimedia

The region also celebrates its much-beloved son Abdul Kalam. His two-storeyed house on Mosque Street is filled with thousands of his books and is always bustling with people.

A Rs 15-crore memorial to India’s “Missile Man”, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 27, has also grown rather quickly as a tourist attraction. The memorial houses a copy of the last speech Kalam delivered at IIM-Shillong on July 27, 2015, a number of pictures of his meetings with world leaders, and a host of other objects.

As an island that is yearning to receive a boost to its tourism, even a bottle of water bought from a shack in Dhanushkodi goes towards supporting a family.

FAQs:

Reaching there: Flights to Madurai, the nearest airport, from all major cities. From Madurai, Rameswaram can be reached in 3 hrs 30 min (160 kms) by road.

For the picturesque views from a train, pick one that is available almost every hour to Rameswaram from Madurai Railway Station.

Stay: There are four-star, three-star hotels and smaller lodges in the town.

Best time to visit: October to March as the temperatures drop and stay between 20 to 30 degrees C, making travel easier. (IANS)

 

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Anti-Punjab Conspiracy: Apologise to Punjabis for Branding them as Drug Addicts, Demands Akali Dal to Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal

A survey by PGIMER had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state

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Punjab
Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of Akali Dal in Punjab. Wikimedia

Chandigarh, Sep 11, 2017: Punjab’s opposition Akali Dal on Sunday said that latest findings of PGIMER survey listing drug addiction in the state at less than a per cent had yet again nailed the “anti-Punjab conspiracy” of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and demanded they apologise to the people.

“The latest comprehensive survey which was carried out in all 22 districts as well as 22 villages in each district, had exposed the anti-Punjab conspiracy of Rahul Gandhi and his team as well as that of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal,” SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a statement here.

“Both leaders and their parties should now tell Punjabis why they branded them as drug addicts and tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state.”

Claiming that the “entire conspiracy was hatched to counter the development narrative of the previous SAD-BJP government”, Badal said though the Congress had succeeded in its goal of achieving power in Punjab, it had caused incalculable damage to its people and its economy.

“Both Congress and AAP played with the lives of the youth and made them virtually unhireable. The image distortion also dented the image of Punjab and Punjabis worldwide,” he said.

Highlighting Rahul Gandhi’s “nefarious role in this sordid chapter of Punjab politics”, Badal said he was “definitely the villain-in-chief”.

“Rahul uttered an utter lie to reap political mileage for his flagging party by claiming in October 2012 at a NSUI function in Chandigarh that 70 per cent of the state’s youth were drug addicts.

“This despite the fact that he knew well that he was reading out a sample survey of drug addicts of which youth formed a big share,” he said.

“During the Punjab assembly campaign this year, he insisted he was speaking the truth and even had the gall to ask Punjabis to admit they were drug addicts. Such behaviour coming from the chosen scion of the Gandhi dynasty is shameful,” he added.

A survey done by a team of doctors and researchers of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state.

Badal said that Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal and “his gang of outsiders had also tried to doom the future of the youth by claiming 40 lakh youth were drug addicts”.

“The PGIMER report puts the entire number of addicts in the state at 2.7 lakh. Other reports, included that conducted by AIIMS, had come out with even lower figures than this,” he added.

A detailed survey by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi had put the drug addiction at 0.84 per cent.

“The Punjab government also got a dope test conducted on 3.76 lakh youth who presented themselves for police recruitment. The test, which was conducted by the Baba Farid Health Sciences University, saw only 1.27 per cent candidates testing positive,” Badal said, citing a survey done during the Akali government last year. (IANS)

 

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If you have Rs 28 lakh in account, only then you are eligible to get an AAP ticket in Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections

The reason behind the eligibility criterion is that the candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections

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AAP volunteers oppose opaque political funding
AAP volunteers oppose opaque political funding. Facebook
  • Gopal Rai said that if one wishes to fight the contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets, then he/she should have at least Rs 28 lakh in their accounts
  • Gopal Rai met AAP members on 1 September 2017 to discuss the proposal
  • The candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections

New Delhi, September 3, 21017: When Arvind Kejriwal came into politics with Aam Aadmi Party, he promised it to be a clean, corruption free party but all the principles and morals of the party have gone into a drain.

Where have the principles of AAP gone?

The party in recent times has been in the news for all the wrong reasons- allegedly selling party tickets for polls in Punjab, heavy corruption charges, alleged Mohalla Clinic scam. The Party has lost the respect in people’s eyes many times by its shameful activities. AAP is trying hard to win back people’s trust since it lost Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) elections.

Want an AAP ticket? Got Rs 28 lakh in the account?

The latest reason of AAP’s mockery is the strange clause put forth by Gopal Rai, state in-charge of Gujrat and national leader of AAP. He said that if one wishes to fight the contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets, then he/she should have at least Rs 28 lakh in their accounts. Now, one can’t fight the elections as he is a deserving candidate, have good principles, motives, and ideas or wants to bring a change. But based on the money he/she has in the account, as only those who have Rs 28 lakh and more will be given a chance to contest Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections on AAP tickets.

Also Read: Aam Aadmi Party’s Mohalla Clinics come under scanner: Vigilance Department exposes, Ministers faked the rent amount

When AAP fought Delhi Elections, it was with the donation money they got from people and won the election. But, now AAP has changed its ways.

A need to meet the financial criteria

Gopal Rai met AAP members on 1 September 2017 to discuss the proposal.  According to Ahmedabad Mirror report, a leader who attended the meeting said: “A candidate will need not less than Rs28 lakh to prove that he can pull off the campaign financially in the constituency.”  The reason behind this eligibility criterion is that the candidate should be financially sound to be able to fight elections.

Also Read: Rankings of Aam Aadmi Party Delhi MLAs Drop due to Poor Performance. Praja Foundation publishes Latest Government Performance Report

Talking about the other 2 eligibility criteria, Harshil Nayak, AAP spokesperson said:

  • The candidate should have to be of clean repute and well-networked in his area
  • The candidate should have at least 2 people to support him in managing a booth

The party will launch its campaign on September 17, 2017. One of the party workers said, “A car and a bike rally will be organized at various places. We hope to get the permission, but if we don’t, the date may change. If not from all seats, AAP will fight the elections from at least a few.”


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