New Delhi: Even as Delhi was lashed by heavy rain on Friday, around 60 ex-servicemen sat on a relay fast at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, while scores of others supported them to demand the implementation of the OROP scheme for retired defence personnel.
A day after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s fresh assurance on One Rank One Pension (OROP) and the Supreme Court fixing a six-week deadline for implementing similar pension for major general-ranked officers, the protesting veterans said not much had changed.
“The Supreme Court order is only regarding the major generals who went to court over difference in pensions after the 6th Pay Commission…but the major generals have rejected it unless the OROP is implemented for all,” Col. Anil Kaul (retd), spokesman of the United Front of Ex-Servicemen Morcha (UFESM) told IANS.
Asked if there was any communication from the central government on the OROP issue, he said there was no information since Parrikar’s assurance of “good news” on Thursday.
“We have not been contacted by anyone. The protest will continue,” he said.
The protest by ex-servicemen over OROP continued for the 27th day on Friday. Since June 15, the veterans have been holding a relay hunger strike.
The ex-servicemen are demanding that the government give a date for implementation of the OROP. They also demanded that the nature of the scheme should not be changed.
Currently, the pension for retired personnel is based on the pay commission recommendations in force when the personnel retired.
This leads to a difference in pensions of officers of same rank who retire on different dates.
With OROP, retired personnel would draw the same pension as officers and jawans of the same rank retiring now.
They would also be entitled to a year’s back pensions at the new rate, which would be a windfall for pensioners.
OROP will benefit 25 lakh ex-servicemen. It is expected to cost the government around Rs.8,500 crore.
Kerala, October 28, 2017 : A day after a video of Hadiya pleading to be ‘saved’ from her father’s brutalities was released, Kerala’s State Women Commission has directed Kottayam Superintendent of Police to inquire and submit a report on Hadiya’s present conditions.
In the video release at a press conference in Kochi by social activist Rahul Eashwar, Hadiya can be heard saying, “You have to get me out. I am sure I will be killed tomorrow or the day after.” Hadiya claims that her father is physically assaulting her and pleads to be saved in the video before her voice trails away.
The direction came following reports that Hadiya is being sedated and physically abused at her parents’ house.
The State Women Commission has told the SP that an officer not less than the rank of a DSP should conduct the inquiry and submit a report on the condition of the 24-year old woman in love jihad case.
24 year old Akhila had converted to Islam and taken the name Hadiya to marry Shafin Jahan. Their marriage was declared null and void by the High Court of Kerala after Hadiya’s father Ashokan has approached the court, claiming that his daughter had been forcefully converted and her alleged husband was involved in plans to take her out of the country for questionable reasons.
Consequently, Hadiya’s husband Shafin Jahan had approached the Supreme Court and challenged the order by the High Court of Kerala, which is still hearing the case.
– prepared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter @SohaKala
New Delhi, October 27: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Centre to withdraw seven companies of central paramilitary forces from trouble-torn Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal where the agitation for Gorkhaland, a separate state for Gorkhas took a violent turn.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the Centre to withdraw the seven companies of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPF) for being used for election duties in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
The bench also sought a response from the West Bengal government on the Centre’s appeal against the High Court’s order putting on hold its decision to withdraw 10 of the 15 companies of the central paramilitary forces deployed in the hill district.
The apex court also stayed the pending proceedings before the High Court and said that it will deal with the case in a holistic manner and posted the appeal of the Centre for further hearing on November 27.
In an interim order, the High Court had stayed the withdrawal of CAPF from the Darjeeling hills till October 27 after the state government approached it against the Centre’s decision.(IANS)
India tops the list of biggest consumers of pet coke globally, which emits 11 per cent more greenhouse gases than coal. Consequently, India also records the highest number of deaths with pollution as its main cause
New Delhi, October 25, 2017 : Environmental issues have been on the Supreme Court’s radar lately. After the crackers-ban on Diwali, the Supreme Court on Tuesday banned the use of two cheap but extremely polluting industrial fuels in and around New Delhi in an attempt to clean the air in the national capital region (NCR).
The Supreme Court banned the use of petroleum coke which is a dirtier alternative to coal, and furnace oil and has directed three states namely Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to notify the ban on immediate basis. The decision came after the Court was informed about the soaring pollution levels in NCR following Diwali due to toxic gas emissions by industries that rely heavily on petroleum coke (commonly called pet coke) and furnace oil.
However, this was not the first time that the two pollutants were banned.
Previously, the hazardous fuels had been banned in Delhi in 1996. However, despite court restrictions, their use continued in the NCR in brick kilns, cement factories, ceramics manufacturers and paper mills.
The new order comes after a government-appointed body, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) found high sulphur levels and recommended banning the two fuels to the court in April.
On Tuesday, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice MB Lokur ordered for the ban to come into effect naturally from November 1 in case the government failed to notify the prohibit.
Why Did The Supreme Court Ban Pet Coke and Furnace Oil?
India tops the list of biggest consumers of pet coke globally, which emits 11 per cent more greenhouse gases than coal. Consequently, India also records the highest number of deaths with pollution as its main cause with 2.5 million Indians facing earth deaths in 2015, as per data by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health
For an easier comparison, petrol and diesel comprise of 50 PPM (parts per million) of the extremely dangerous sulphur.
On the other hand, pet coke has 69,000-74,000 PPM and furnace oil has 15,000- 23,000 ppm sulphur in its composition.
Industries employing these two fuels emit large amounts of sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide that can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems like asthma, and bronchitis.
Burning of pet coke also releases sulphur dioxide which is a known cause of several lung diseases and acid rain.
How Will The Ban Affect Industries?
The ban on pet coke and furnace oil is believed to imply heavy losses to the industries using these fuels; the worst hit will be numerous small and medium sized industries that employ thousands of workers.
“Furnace oil is used in estimated 50-60% industries. As an alternate,
we can use CNG but it will cost us
nearly 2-3 times more” – Dinesh Mittal, President of Sahibabad Industrial Area, Site-IV, (as told to Hindustan Times)
Pet coke is known to deliver more per-unit energy in comparison to coal, and is also readily and cheaply available which is why small-sized industries depend heavily on them. The low costs make it an attractive offer for the buyers. Banning the fuels may further restrict their ability to expand operations and hire more staff.
The Central Pollution Control Board had submitted a draft on stipulated norms in June which only received attention and was uploaded on the ministry website in October. The furious Supreme Court also pulled up on the Centre for being insensitive and for “sitting and doing nothing” about the growing pollution levels in the NCR.
The Supreme Court has now ordered for the governments of Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to notify the ban and complete the exercise by December 31.