Tuesday January 21, 2020
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Two blasts in Pune, one dead, three wounded

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Pune: One person was killed and three were injured in two blasts here in Maharashtra on Tuesday, but there was no terror angle to the incidents, police said. In the first incident in Maralnagar in Kondhwa, some old ammunition suddenly exploded when labourers in a scrapyard were weighing it. The blast created a seven-inch-deep crater in the premises and one labourer took the impact on his chest, killing him instantly. He was identified as Aslam N. Choudhary, 20, originally from Uttar Pradesh, and the two injured as Asim M. Choudhary, 60 and Ismail M. Choudhary, 18. Police found another live explosive in the scrapyard which has been sent for analysis.

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www.dna.com

In the second and bizarre incident, a man allegedly attempted to kill another by planting a low-intensity explosive device on the latter’s motorcycle, said Assistant Sub-Inspector Gautam Makhre of Pune rural control room. “The accused Panduran A. Jadhav had some dispute with Devidas B. Kale, and planted a gelatin explosive with a detonator on Kale’s motorcycle. When Kale started his bike, it exploded, injuring him grievously. He has been admitted to a hospital,” Makhre said. Police found remnants of gelatin and detonators from the bike, which was destroyed in the blast. Jadhav has been arrested for the murder attempt. Top police officials are investigating both the blasts. The city was rocked by the infamous German Bakery blast on February 13, 2011, that killed 17 people including many foreigners. It was followed by four serial blasts on August 1, 2012 on the Junglee Maharaj Road which left many people injured.

(IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Launches Plan to Tackle Water Shortage in India

Modi Unveils Plan to Tackle Water Shortages in India's Heartland States

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PM Modi
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to the media inside the parliament premises on the first day of the winter session in New Delhi, India. VOA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60-billion-rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.

India, the world’s second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Almost every sector of the $2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people.

“Water shortages in the country not only affect individuals and families; the crisis also has an effect on India’s development,” Modi said. “We need to prepare the new India to deal with every single aspect of the crisis.”

The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water and boost overall availability in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat states, which produce staples such as rice, wheat, sugar and oilseeds.

PM Narendra Modi
The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water. Wikimedia Commons

India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60% of the irrigation for agriculture comes from ground water, mainly through electric water pumps. Subsidised electricity gives farmers an incentive to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast-depleting water tables in the vast country.

Supplying clean drinking water to millions of poor people and reviving moribund irrigation projects were a key part of Modi’s policies for India, where the monsoon accounts for nearly 70% of the annual rains needed to water farms and recharge aquifers and reservoirs.

Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.

Drinking water is also an issue, as about 200,000 Indians die every year due to inadequate access to safe water and 600 million face high to extreme water stress, according to the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a think tank chaired by Modi.

According to UK-based charity WaterAid, about 163 million people in India — roughly 12% of the population — do not have access to clean water close to home.

Also Read- 45% Indians Feel that Enough Steps are Not Taken for Women’s Safety: Survey

Every summer water shortages tend to be more acute in large cities such as the capital New Delhi, Chennai — a car-making center dubbed “India’s Detroit”, and Bengaluru, the country’s software capital.

Modi also exhorted farmers to increasingly adopt drip and sprinkler irrigation and use water-management techniques as well as eschewing water-guzzling crops such as rice and sugar cane. (VOA)