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Punjab farmers end rail blockade, to protest against ministers

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Chandigarh: Punjab farmers demanding better compensation for losses due to whitefly pest attack on cotton crop ended on Tuesday the week-long rail blockade and decided to protest against state ministers.

After a meeting of eight farmers’ organisations here, the ‘rail roko’ (railway blockade) was called off on the seventh day. The protest had hit hundreds of trains.

“We have decided to end the rail roko. We will now ‘gherao’ Punjab ministers at their residences and other functions,” Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Jagmohan Singh said here.

The rail blockade had affected over 800 trains in Punjab over the past week, putting thousands of passengers to inconvenience.

The Monday meeting was held after talks between farmers’ leaders and the Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, on Monday failed to end the deadlock.

The government said it was not in a position to accept the demands of the agitating farmers, government sources said.

Badal reiterated that the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government was committed to the welfare of farmers and farm labourers.

Akali Dal leader and MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said the meeting was held in a “positive atmosphere”.

Over 800 trains, including the Samjhauta Express train between India and Pakistan, were cancelled or diverted due to the agitation by farmers.

Thousands of train passengers were stranded. The loss to the railways and other agencies is said to be over Rs.100 crore.

Agitating farmers are demanding compensation of Rs.40,000 per acre for loss of cotton crop, purchase of basmati rice at the minimum support price and immediate release of payments to sugarcane growers.

(IANS)

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Google Maps: India Based ‘Two-Wheeler’ Feature Launched to Whole Asia

The new travel mode in Google Maps is seen alongside Drive, Train or Bus and Walk alternatives.

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Google, while announcing this at an event in Thailand, did not elaborate when this option would be available on iOS devices as well as reach Western markets. Pixabay

The “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps that first arrived in India last December has been extended to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

To be first available for Android users, the motorcycle-specific navigation will help bikers find the most suitable routes in these countries, The Verge reported late on Thursday.

“The goal is for drivers to read through the directions first to help memorise the path before they start navigating, especially since these countries tend to contain roads and alleyways without actual names,” the report said, quoting Krish Vitaldevara, Google Maps’ Head of Product.

Google, while announcing this at an event in Thailand, did not elaborate when this option would be available on iOS devices as well as reach Western markets.

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In December, Google incorporated navigation routes for two-wheelers with Voice Assistant capabilities in its Maps feature in India.

In December, Google incorporated navigation routes for two-wheelers with Voice Assistant capabilities in its Maps feature in India.

The new travel mode in Google Maps is seen alongside Drive, Train or Bus and Walk alternatives.

“The India-first feature is the new “two-wheeler mode” in Google Maps. India is the largest two-wheeler market in the world, and the millions of motorcycle and scooter riders have different navigation needs than drivers of automobiles,” Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Next Billion Users Team at Google, had said during the launch.

Also Read-Google Rolls out ‘Maps’ Updates Globally

Two-wheeler mode in Maps shows trip routes that use “shortcuts” not accessible to cars and trucks.

It also provides customized traffic and arrival time estimations. (IANS)

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