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Smart City Kochi will be ready in three years, says CM Pinarayi Vijayan

In February,2016, the first phase was opened which has an area of 6.5 lakh sq feet and several companies have started operations

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Kochi Smart City project spread across 246 acres, was announced as an IT Special Economic Zone. Image source: The News Minute
  • The Smart City Kochi project is being jointly developed by Dubai Smart City and the Kerala government
  • The chief minister also said that it will be completed in three years
  • In November 2005, the MoU of this project was inked under the then Chandy government

Kochi, June 23– Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday, said the Kochi Smart City project will be fully ready in three years. Vijayan’s party had boycotted the function when Kochi Smart City’s first phase was inaugurated in February this year, in 2016, after eleven years.

Then leader of opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, who was one of the high profile invitees, did not turn up. The CPI-M organised a protest meet and said that there has been a deviation from the original Kochi Smart City agreement.

Logo of Smart City Kochi. Image source: englishmatrubhumi.com
Logo of Smart City Kochi. Image source: englishmatrubhumi.com

However, on Thursday Vijayan, after meeting top officials of the project, which is being jointly developed by Dubai Smart City and the Kerala government, issued a statement that the project will be going forward as per the agreement.

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The chief minister also said that it will be completed in three years — the agreement that was inked with the previous Chandy government. “When completed, there will be one lakh jobs in the Kochi Smart City and the total area earmarked for IT operations will be 67 lakh sq ft and 21 lakh sq ft for non-IT needs,” said Vijayan.

Representational Image. Smart City Kochi. Image source: www.folomojo.com
Representational Image. Smart City Kochi. Image source: www.folomojo.com

In February,2016, the first phase was opened which has an area of 6.5 lakh sq feet and several companies have started operations. The CPI-M had ridiculed the then Chandy government that there is not a single IT company of repute that has opened.

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In November 2005, the MoU of this project was inked under the then Chandy government. And following the change in government, the framework agreement was signed in 2007 by the Achuthanandan government and it was taken forward again only in 2011 after the Chandy government assumed office. -IANS

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Punjab Govt Imposes Covid Taxes on Liquor

Punjab imposes Covid cess on liquor to cope up with revenue losses caused by the lockdown which has been put in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic

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Punjab
Punjab Government imposes COVID taxes on liquor. Wikimedia Commons

Faced with huge revenue losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the prolonged lockdown in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday gave the go-ahead to the imposition of Covid cess on liquor with immediate effect.

The move will help the state mop additional revenues of Rs 145 crore in the current fiscal, a government statement said.

The state is facing a revenue shortfall of Rs 26,000 crore, which is 30 per cent of the total budget revenue estimates for FY 2020-21, necessitating some tough measures to generate additional revenue, said the Chief Minister, while accepting the recommendation of the group of ministers, which was constituted on May 12 to examine the matter, to levy additional excise duty on liquor during the current financial year.

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Imposing taxes on liquor will help Punjab mop additional revenues of Rs 145 crore in the current fiscal. Pixabay

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The proceeds of the additional levy shall be utilised entirely for Covid related expenditure, said the Chief Minister, directing the Department of Excise and Taxation to charge the cess in the current year.

Amarinder Singh had earlier asked the group of ministers, comprising the Finance Minister, the Education Minister, the Housing and Urban Development Minister and the Forests and Wildlife Minister, to examine the proposal regarding levy of special cess or Covid cess on the sale of liquor to partially recoup some of the revenue losses amid this unprecedented crisis. (IANS)

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Tamil Nadu Relaxes TV Serial Shooting Restrictions Further

Tamil Nadu has relaxed conditions for TV serial shooting

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Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami has announced relaxation in TV serial shooting norms in the state. Wikimedia Commons

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Saturday announced further relaxation in television shooting in the state.

In a statement issued here he said the television serial shooting will be allowed from May 31 onwards with a maximum of 60 persons at the spot including actors and technicians.

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Initially the government had fixed the number of persons at the shooting spot at 20. Pixabay

The other conditions that the government had earlier laid down were: Shooting is allowed only indoors or in the houses having compound walls; No shooting is allowed in public places, except in rural and on COVID-19 containment areas; No permission for onlookers; Spraying of disinfectant before and after the shooting at the shoot spots; Barring actors, all others should wear masks and maintain social distance.

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During breaks actors too should wear masks; All equipments, vehicles coming to the shooting spots should be sanitized. (IANS)

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Yogi Performs ‘Rudrabhishek’ for Safety of Mankind from Corona

The Chief Minister performed the ritual in Gorakhnath Temple

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Yogi Adityanath performs Rudrabhishek in Gorakhnath temple for safety from Corona. Wikimedia Commons

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath performed ‘Rudrabhishek’ (a ritual to appease Lord Shiva) at the Gorakhnath temple, of which he is the head priest, for the safety of mankind from the Corona pandemic, suggests latest news on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

The ritual was held on Saturday and lasted two hours, according to temple officials.

The Chief Minister had reached Gorakhpur on Friday evening after almost two months, and returned to the state capital on Saturday.

“The Chief Minister also visited the Gaushala in the temple complex and took stock of sanitation in the area. He also held a review meeting with officials on the Corona situation and also the pace of developmental projects,” said the official.

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Rudrabhishek is a ritual to appease Lord Shiva. Pixabay

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He held meetings with doctors at the Guru Gorakshnath hospital before returning to the state capital.

The Chief Minister had not visited Gorakhpur since the lockdown began and this was one of his longest periods of absence from his home town. (IANS)