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Nitin Gadkari to preside over final blasting of India’s longest tunnel on Monday

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Source: http://www.thehindu.com
Source: http://www.thehindu.com

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS): India’s longest road tunnel — under the Pirpanjal range in Jammu and Kashmir, will on Monday see its final blasting ceremony in the presence of union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, an official statement here said.

The ceremony will take place when engineers of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will blast a hole through the final section of the tunnel between Chenani and Nashri, near Patni Top.

“The road is likely to be opened to traffic in July next year. Work on the tunnel was started on May 23, 2011. The tunnel, connecting Chenani in Udhampur with Nashri in Ramban district, is being completed at a cost of over Rs.2,500 crore” the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The 9.2 km tunnel, a part of the ambitious 286 km four-laning of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, will not only reduce the distance between the two cities of Jammu and Srinagar by around 30 km, it will also provide an all-weather road between the two capitals of the northern Indian state, the statement said.

After the tunnel road is opened, travelers will no longer suffer traffic snarls on National Highway-1A following rock-falls, landslides, and heavy snowfall, to which this road section is susceptible.

“The state-of-the-art tunnel is simultaneously being built from the two ends and the NHAI teams will meet at the centre by drilling a hole through the final section,” it added.

The NHAI is also constructing a parallel escape tunnel along with the main tunnel for evacuation of commuters in any eventuality.

“The two tubes of the tunnel will be internally connected through 29 “cross-passages”, each after a gap of 300 meters, and the escape tunnel will exclusively be used for pedestrians. There is a provision for ventilation keeping in view the length of the tunnel,” the statement said.

The project will also have parking bays at specific distances to enable towing away or shifting of vehicles in the case of vehicular breakdown.

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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Kejriwal
Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

Munish Raizada, kejriwal
Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

munish raizada, kejriwal
Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.