Rural Housing to get a big financial boost soon, says Birender Singh




The Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Chaudhary Birender Singh lighting the lamp to inaugurate the National Workshop on Affordable Rural Housing, in New Delhi on June 19, 2015. The Minister of State for Rural Development, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat is also seen.

Rural Housing to get a big financial boost soon, says Birender Singh


Union Minister for Rural Development Shri Birender Singh today strongly pitched for overhauling of the Rural Housing Scheme to provide quality and durable dwelling units to rural poor. He said, the current amount of Rs 70,000 for Indira Awaas Yojana is insufficient to build a decent and livable house and called for significant enhancement of Central allocation for rural housing scheme in tune with the recent hike for urban houses. The Ministry is finalizing the guidelines to be rolled out soon. Shri Singh said, to achieve the goal of Housing for All by 2022, nearly 3 crore houses would be built in rural areas in the next 7 years and about two crore houses in the urban areas. But, he cautioned the officials not to achieve the target at a superficial level, but to provide the beneficiaries with houses that can last upto 40 years. He was speaking at a workshop here on Affordable Rural Housing Technology. Shri Singh said that in the last three decades more than 3 crore 35 lakh Indira Awaas units were built for the rural poor but nearly half of them are now in a dilapidated condition due to poor quality of construction material used into them. He said, the life span of Indira Awaas is not more than 10 years and instructed the officials to explore the possibilities of procuring steel, cement and bricks at cheaper rates by providing coal at concessional rates to manufacturers of the housing materials. The Minister informed that benefits of MGNREGA and Sanitation will also be dovetailed into the rural housing scheme to ensure quality and durability. Shri Singh said that guidelines for the housing should be equal for all and there should be no discrimination in allocating dwelling units to the beneficiaries. Exhorting the Experts on the Housing sector to brainstorm the issue without having constraints of the official line, the Minister welcomed new ideas and out of box solutions to provide affordable rural houses to the poor.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Rural Development Shri Sudarshan Bhagat said, housing not only provides security to the poor but also instill confidence into them to face challenges of life. He also lamented the fact that poor quality of houses are being built under Indira Awaas Yojana and called for rectifying the same. Shri Bhagat also harped on the idea of using locally available materials and training of unemployed youth in the construction sector. Underlining that Housing is a very basic and humanitarian need of the deprived sections of society, the Minister has expressed the hope that by 2022, the goal of Housing for All will be a reality.

Secretary, Rural Development, Shri J.K.Mohapatra in his address said that technology dissemination for rural housing has a distinct class bias and the Centre had failed to roll out appropriate alternative technologies to provide quality houses to the poor. He also laid stress on the use of institutional and social capital available in the rural areas to augment the vast housing demand. Shri Mohapatra said, there is enough room for innovation in the housing sector and expressed the hope that the workshop will come out with some useful findings that can be dovetailed into the Central Scheme.

Dr Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation said on the occasion that Housing for All by 2022 is a big challenge and there is a need to bring in an integral approach right from the planning to the execution of the projects. She also pointed out that there are a lot of emerging technologies in the housing sector that need to be tapped suitably for affordable and durable houses.

Shri S.M.Vijayanand, Secretary, Panchayati Raj in his address said that Housing has many dimensions and one of them could be people as builders. He said, Government should participate in people’s endeavour to build decent and livable houses.


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India releases 88 Pakistani fishermen lodged in Indian jails

The Centre has released and repatriated 88 Pakistani fishermen lodged in Indian jails. This decision was conveyed by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to his Pakistani counterpart during a telephonic talk on June 16, 2015. The release and repatriation of the Pakistani fishermen has been considered by the Central Government in close coordination with the Government of Gujarat so that they can be with their family during the month of Ramzan.

Out of a total of 115 Pakistani fishermen presently lodged in jails in Gujarat, the Centre had decided to release and repatriate 88 Pakistani fishermen, whose nationality has been confirmed by the Government of Pakistan, after withdrawal of cases registered against them with the consent of the competent courts on humanitarian considerations. These 88 Pakistani fishermen have already left Gujarat today and they will be handed over to the Pakistani authorities at Attari border on June 21, 2015.

Even though there were reports in the media about 9 more Pakistani fishermen whose nationality is stated to have been confirmed by the Government of Pakistan, as per available records, the MHA has not received any communication regarding the nationality confirmation of these 9 Pakistani fishermen.

Release and repatriation of the remaining 27 Pakistani fishermen lodged in jails in Gujarat will be considered by the Government as and when their nationality is confirmed by the Pakistani High Commission in India.

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Resignation by Justice Gian Parkash Mittal from the Office of the Judge of Delhi High Court

Shri Justice Gian Parkash Mittal tenders his resignation from the office of the Judge of Delhi High Court, in pursuance of proviso (a) to clause (1) of article 217 of the Constitution, with effect from the afternoon of 08th July, 2015.

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Appointment of Additional Judges at the Bombay High Court

In exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of article 224 of the Constitution of India, the president is pleased to appoint (i) Shri Zaka Azizul Haq. (ii) Shri Shriram Kalpathi Rajendran, (iii) Shri Gautam Shirish Patel (iv) Shri Atul Sharachchandra Chandurkar, and (v) Smt. Revati Prashant Mohite Dere, (vi) Shri Mahesh Sharadchandra Sonak, and (vii) Shri Ravindra Vithalrao Ghuge, to be Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court, for a period of three months with effect from 21st June 2015.

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Shri Amaresh Kumar Lal Appointed as Additional Judge of the Patna High Court

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 224 of the Constitution of India, the President is pleased to appoint Shri Amaresh Kumar Lal, to be an Additional judge of the Patna High Court with effect from 20th June 2015, till 27th August 2015.

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Government committed for empowerment of Disabled: Shri Thaawar Chand Gahlot

The government has recognized differently abled persons as an integral part of Human Resource and is committed towards Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in the country. Standing by the commitment towards empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) a camp for free of cost distribution of assistive aids and appliances held here today. The Camp organized by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), Kanpur working under Department Of Empowerment Of Persons With Disabilities, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Institute for Physically Handicapped and The Leprosy Mission Trust, India in close association with district administration, North East Delhi.

¬The event was inaugurated by the Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot said the disabled are highly talented and are the integral part of Human Resource. He said that the union government has taken several initiatives for the welfare of differently abled persons. He applauded the effort of empowering the persons affected from Leprosy in the camp wherein 554 ADL Kits (Assistance for Daily Living) were distributed.

A total of 592 Persons with different kind of disabilities were provided 1356 numbers of aids and assistive devices by ALIMCO valuing more than Rs 61 Lakh under the ADIP scheme of Government of India in the camp. These beneficiaries were pre identified during the assessment camps conducted in Noth-East district of Delhi on 28th to 29th Nov, 2014.

High quality Aids and Assistive devices were distributed in the camp manufactured by ALIMCO in which 554 ADL Kits (Assistance for Daily Living) for persons affected from leprosy were distributed. An ADL Kit which includes a mobile phone consists of items providing assistance for daily living for leprosy affected persons that includes - Universal Cuff, Nail Cutting Device, Soap Holder, Button Hook to facilitate buttoning, Zipper Pull –Hook with a ring at one end, Writing Aid or Adapted pen with positioning splint, Rubber Gloves, Insulated Scissors, Insulated Tumbler or Adapted Glass Holder, Wider Brim Plate, Long Handled Lever Tap.

Among Various other assistive aids and devices for different kind of disabilities distributed in the camp were 413-Tricycles, 35-Wheelchairs, 268-Crutches Axilla, 17-Walking Stick for Orthopedically Impaired persons 34-Behind The Ear - Hearing Aid machines for Hearing Impaired persons and 08- MSIED Kit (Multi Sensory Inclusive Educational Kit) for Children with Special Needs.

Senior officers from Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, District administration, ALIMCO, Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Institute for Physically Handicapped and The Leprosy Mission Trust were present during the event.

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Infrastructure Performance during last Financial Year (April, 2014- March, 2015)

Production of power, finished steel, coal, fertilizer, refinery, cement, goods traffic carried by railways, cargo handled at major sea ports, airports and net addition in telephone switching capacity and new cell phone connections were all higher than the achievement during the corresponding period of the previous year. The overall power generation during the period April 2014-March 2015 at over 1110 Billion units (BU) was 8.85 percent higher than the power generation during the corresponding period of the previous year. The production of power – thermal (878.32 BU), nuclear (36.10 BU), hydro (129.24 BU), and renewable (61.78 BU) were all higher than the targets set for the year. Renewable energy production was 16.44% higher than that in the previous year.

The passengers handled at both terminals of the airport (International & Domestic terminals) were also higher than the respective targets as well as the performance during the corresponding period of the previous year. Production of coal, fertilizer, hydro power generation, refinery, goods traffic carried by railways, export and import cargo handled at airports were though higher than previous year were lower than the respective targets set for the year (2014-15).

During the period, the production of crude oil, natural gas and up gradation of highways have shown shortfall from the respective targets as well as the performance during the corresponding period of the previous year.

These details were released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme implementation as a part of review of Infrastructure performance during 2014-15.

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Bill Likely to be Introduced for Restructuring of Brahmaputra Board

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti has said that her Ministry would likely to introduce a bill in the coming session of Parliament for the restructuring of Brahmaputra Board. The purpose is to improve its efficiency and functioning to control floods, erosion and landslides caused by the river and its tributary in the north east. The move to restructure the board into the North-East Brahmaputra River Rejuvenation Authority (NEBRRA) comes in the wake of Northeastern States expressing their dissatisfaction over the functioning of the Brahmaputra Board and sought revamping it. For this purpose a meeting of Chief Ministers from NE States will be called very soon. She was chairing the 8th meeting of High Powered Review Board on Brahmaputra River here in New Delhi today.

The Minister reiterated that her ministry has same focus for Brahmaputra River as it has for River Ganga. She said the overall intention is to fast track the all-around development of the region by way of augmenting the flood control measures, enhanced power production and storage capacity building. Sushri Uma Bharti also agreed with the view of participating States that the share of funds between the North East region and Central Government should be on the ratio of 90:10 basis and not 70:30. She also assured North-Eastern States that their concerns and apprehensions will be conveyed to the Finance Ministry as well as Niti Ayog and said all out efforts will be made by her Ministry in this regard.

The Brahmaputra Board was set up by an act of Parliament - Brahmaputra Board Act, 1980 (46 of 1980). It started functioning with Headquarters at Guwahati with effect from 11th January 1982. The main objective was planning and integrated implementation of measures for control of flood and bank erosion in the Brahmaputra Valley and for matters connected therewith in association with concerned states. The jurisdiction of the Board includes the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and Northern part of West Bengal.

Speaking on the occasion Shri Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam said his State is looking forward towards revamping of Brahmaputra Board River Rejuvenation Authority (NEBRRA) so as to arrive at comprehensive water resources development and evolve strategies and interventions for harnessing the water resources of the mighty Brahmaputra as well as ushering all round economic development of the region. The Government of Assam has received the draft document on North East Brahmaputra River Rejuvenation Authority and views of the State Government on proposed NEBRRA has already been sent to the Government of India, he added. Shri Gogoi raised concern on the vexed problem of flood and soil erosion on account of embankment cutting by fast flowing rivers in the State and emphasised the need of an expeditious sanctions for the flood management project of the State.

The Arunachal Water Resources Minister Kamlung Mosang in his addressed echoed the concern on the change of central assistance formula of 90:10 to 70:30. He said it will be appropriate that in the interest of development of North-Eastern States, the funding pattern may be maintained at a ratio of 90:10 and procedure for release of Central share should be kept as that of XIth Plan.

The meeting confirmed the minutes of the 7th meeting of High Powered Review Board held on 11th February 2015 at Shillong.

The meeting also discussed proposals for single multi-purpose storage project on Siang River instead of two stage hydro-electric projects (Upper Siang stage-I and stage-II). The Killing project at the boarder of Assam and Meghalaya was also reviewed and appropriate directions were given to concerned authority. The meeting also discussed national projects currently under way under the aegis of Brahmaputra Board viz. Kulsi Dam Project in Assam and Meghalaya and Noa-Dihing Dam Project in Arunachal Pradesh. It was informed that currently the DPRs of these project are under appraisal of Central Water Commission (CWC) for according techno-economic clearance.

The meeting also reviewed the protection of Majuli Island from flood and erosion.

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Storage Status of 91 Important Reservoirs of the Country as on June 18, 2015

The Water storage available in 91 important reservoirs of the country as on June 18, 2015 was 39.05 BCM which is 25% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This storage is 103%of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 139% of storage of average of last ten years. The present storage position during current year is better than the storage position of last year and is also better than the storage of average of last ten years.

Central Water Commission monitors live storage status of these reservoirs on weekly basis. These reservoirs include 37 reservoirs having hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW. The total storage capacity of these reservoirs is 157.799 BCM which is about 62% of the storage capacity of 253.388 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country.

REGION WISE STORAGE STATUS:

NORTHERN REGION
The northern region includes States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. There are 6 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 18.01 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 7.56 BCM which is 42% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 40% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 28% of storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

EASTERN REGION
The Eastern region includes States of Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Tripura. There are 15 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 18.83 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 5.21 BCM which is 28% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 25% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 13% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period.

WESTERN REGION
The Western region includes States of Gujarat and Maharashtra. There are 27 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 27.07 BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 5.67 BCM which is 21% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 25% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 21% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year and is equal to the average storage of last ten years.

CENTRAL REGION
The Central region includes States of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. There are 12 reservoirs in this region having total storage capacity of 42.30BCM. The total storage available in these reservoirs is 12.44 BCM which is 29% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. The storage during corresponding period of last year was 32% and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 13% of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is less than the storage of last year but better than the average storage of last ten years.

States having better storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Odisha, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period is Uttarakhand. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, (Two combined project in both states).

Rural Housing to get a big financial boost soon, says Birender Singh Rural Housing to get a big financial boost soon, says Birender Singh Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 4:48 PM Rating: 5

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