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India to conduct survey for new rail line with Bangladesh to access the Chittagong International Sea Port
Agartala, March 23, 2017: New Delhi will carry out a survey to lay one more new railway line between India and Bangladesh to access the Chittagong international sea port and ease connectivity with the landlocked northeast region, a minister said here on Thursday.
“Indian railway would soon conduct a survey to obtain basic details to lay a 125-km new railway line from southern Tripura’s border town Belonia to Chittagong international sea port in (southeast) Bangladesh,” Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain told reporters.
“Of the 125-km line, five km falls in India and the rest in Bangladesh. The proposed railway line via (Bangladesh’s) Feni town aims to access the Chittagong international sea port for the benefit of the mountainous northeast India,” Gohain said.
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After meeting Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, the minister said New Delhi is now in consultation with Bangladesh to finalise the modalities of the survey.
The Belonia-Chittagong proposed railway line would be the second railway project in northeast India connecting Bangladesh after the Agartala-Akhaura railway line.
The minister, who came here on Wednesday and visited various under-construction railway projects in Tripura, said the actual work for the 15-km-long Agartala-Akhaura railway line would start from May this year and would be completed within 30 months.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Bangladesh Rail Minister Majibul Haque jointly laid the foundation stone here on July 31 last year for the Rs 973-crore Agartala-Akhaura railway project.
Gohain said the government-owned Indian Railway Construction Company (IRCON) would lay he 5-km railway track on the Indian side (in Tripura) while the remaining 10 km on the Bangladesh side would be laid by the Bangladesh railway.
However, IRCON would be project management consultant of the Bangladesh railway board.
The minister said the 1,613-km mountainous distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri-Kishanganj (Bihar)-Malda would be reduced to 514 km through Bangladesh once the Agartala-Akhaura rail track is established.
Currently, India and Bangladesh have four rail links with West Bengal.
According to the official, 123.5 acres of land, including 56.5 acres in India, will be acquired to execute the project to facilitate carriage of goods to and from both countries.
The Agartala-Akhaura railway project, which was sanctioned in the 2012-13 railway budget, would be part of the Trans-Asian Railway network and provide a much shorter connectivity from northeastern states to Kolkata via Bangladesh.
The Indian government would bear the entire expenditure of the project, which also figured during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Dhaka in June 2015.
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Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) General Manager (Construction) H.K. Jaggi said the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Ministry has released funds to the Tripura government to acquire land in Tripura and the land acquisition would be completed by April.
“The land acquisition would also be completed in Bangladesh by July this year,” said Jaggi, who accompanied the minister.
The existing railway line from Guwahati passes through Lumding in Nagaon district (in central Assam) and southern Assam connecting Agartala and parts of Manipur and Mizoram with the rest of the country. (IANS)
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)