Monday May 20, 2019
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Patidar protesters meet Modi over ‘atrocities’

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credit: www.images.indianexpress.com

By NewsGram Staff Writer

New York: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met a group of people, who were complaining about atrocities by police in Gujarat during the anti-reservation agitation. They asked for a changeover to a system of reservation based on economic status.

credit: www.thehindu.com
credit: www.thehindu.com

Earlier, at least 250 people from Sardar Patel Group US-Canada (SPG) held a protest outside the United Nations as Modi addressed the General Assembly. They carried both portraits of Modi welcoming him and placards about the alleged atrocities and calling for changes in the reservation system.

Alpesh Patel, who said he led the SPG delegation that met Modi, told that they gave him 25 petitions seeking action on the alleged police atrocities where they also voiced for a change in the reservation system. In the same regard, 2,000 letters supporting the demand were sent through the Consulate General.

During their meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Patel, a businessman from Central New Jersey, said, “Modi listened to us and told us that he has reviewed the issue and said the High Court is also looking into it.”

Patel further said, “Modi did not reacted on our request for change in the reservation system.”

The community conveyed to Modi that the current caste-based reservation system should be changed to one that is based on economic status.

One of those at the protest, RK Patel explained their contradictory signs of welcome and protest saying, “We are Indians first. We have a good Prime Minister and we welcome him. But we want him to do something about the atrocities in Gujarat and make the reservations economic and not caste.”

In contrast to last year when hundreds turned up to cheer Modi, there were only about a dozen people from the Overseas BJP this time. Some members of the SPG too joined BJP members in holding up their banners and welcoming for Modi.

Meanwhile, another protest erupted across the streets by Khalistan supporters, who were separated by security barriers under the watchful of eyes of police. At least 500 of them held up signs demanding a referendum in Punjab and paraded an effigy of Modi.

With inputs from IANS

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New York Turn Down Natural Gas Pipeline

The denial of the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project came as Washington state and Los Angeles also turned their backs on natural gas

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New York, natural, gas, pipeline
A jogger runs past the Scattergood power plant, Feb. 12, 2019, in Los Angeles. Los Angeles will abandon a plan to spend billions rebuilding three natural gas power plants as the city moves toward renewable energy, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday.

 bid to build a controversial pipeline to boost New York’s natural gas supply was rejected Wednesday by authorities, the latest manifestation of a nationwide divide over the United States’ energy future.

The denial of the Northeast Supply Enhancement (NESE) project, whose plans included about 23 miles (37 km) of submarine pipeline off New York City’s coast, came as Washington state and Los Angeles also turned their backs on natural gas.

The nearly $1 billion plan by energy infrastructure firm Williams was denied by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, which cited concerns over water quality and aquatic life.

“Construction of the proposed project would result in significant water quality impacts from the re-suspension of sediments and other contaminants, including mercury and copper,” it said in a statement.

Washington state and Los Angeles

The decision comes a week after Washington state Governor Jay Inslee opposed two natural gas projects in his state, and three months after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city would phase out natural gas operations at three power plants.

New York, natural, gas, pipeline
A bid to build a controversial pipeline to boost New York’s natural gas supply was rejected Wednesday. Pixabay

In a statement, Williams lamented the decision and said it would resubmit an application to obtain the permits.

“The Department of Environmental Conservation raised a minor technical issue with our application for water quality certification,” said Chris Stockton, a Williams spokesman.

Natural gas use grows

Natural gas consumption has been growing steadily across the United States, totaling nearly 30,000 billion cubic feet last year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The NESE project would have added 0.4 billion cubic feet a day. It takes 1 billion cubic feet to supply about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

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Though natural gas emits less planet-warming carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels, the pipeline would have been “a step in the wrong direction,” locking the country into a high-carbon future, said Robert Howarth, a professor at Cornell University.

A landmark United Nations report on climate change said last year that to keep the Earth’s temperature rise to a 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) target would require that renewable energy supply 70% to 85% of electricity by 2050, compared with about 25% now.

“New York should be a leader toward that transition” to renewables, Howarth said. (VOA)