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5 Dead As Rain Batters Uttarakhand, Pics, Videos Show Flooding, Damage – dot newz

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The weather department has issued a ‘red alert’ for Uttarakhand

New Delhi:

Heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand over the past three days has led to scenes of chaos and disaster across the hilly state, with flooded roads and buildings, destroyed bridges and overflowing rivers leaving locals and tourists stranded – some in remote and dangerous locations.

At least five people, including three labourers from Nepal, have been killed so far, according to news agency PTI. The labourers were staying near Lansdowne in Pauri district when rubble flowing down from a field above buried them alive, District Magistrate Vijay Kumar Jogdande said.

Two others died after their house collapsed in Champawat district, where an under-construction bridge (over the Chalthi river) has been washed away due to a rise in water levels.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today to take stock of the situation, and offer the state government all possible assistance.

Images and videos circulated on social media show frightening scenes.

Uttarakhand’s iconic Nainital Lake has overflowed and visuals from news agency ANI this morning showed water rushing into nearby houses and streets.

The water is knee-deep and flowing at great pace; two men can be seen struggling to cross the street.

Another video from ANI shows people desperately trying to warn a motorcyclist from crossing a bridge, which is beginning to break up, over the Gaula river in Haldwani district. Two-three men can be seen and heard shouting to alert the two-wheeler driver who, thankfully, sees the danger and retreats.

What is scarier is the collapse of the bridge itself, which is filmed in the same video. In 50 seconds the crack in the bridge widens and slowly breaks up the structure, driven by the force of the flooded river.

Images shared by photographer Mustafa Quraishi, an independent photojournalist previously with the Associated Press, according to his Instagram bio, show stranded guests on the roof of the posh Lemon Tree Hotel near the Jim Corbett National Park.

The guests look on forlornly as the entire building is submerged, with floating cars offering a vague indication of where the carpark was.

Another visual shows a tractor being pressed into service to ferry people away from the Lemon Tree.

A third shows the might of the rains – the Ramganga river that flows through the park is now a muddy brown maelstrom that threatens to consume the entire hotel. According to ANI there were 100 people stuck at the Lemon Tree (located between Ramnagar and Ranikhet) and all have been rescued. 

All three of Mr Quraishi’s images were posted an hour ago.

The park itself is experiencing massive flooding, with what were once placid streams now raging torrents of fast-flowing water, washing away almost anything and anyone in its way.

ANI also shared a video showing the hair-raising rescue of a car, with people inside

The vehicle had been washed away in a landslide and had become wedged between some rocks, with powerful water currents threatening to overpower and destroy it.

The car was ultimately pulled to safety by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Other visuals, posted by NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) chief Satya Pradhan, show villages and towns almost washed away by the strength of the floods.

A video shows a bright orange NDRF rescue boat – anchored to a tow rope to prevent it too from being swept away – rescuing people stranded on top of a brick building.

“Heavy rains in Uttarakhand… Flooding at some places… 10 teams of NDRF deployed… day & night ops on… citizens being evacuated safely,” Mr Pradhan tweeted.

The state’s disaster response teams are also in action and this morning rescued 22 pilgrims stuck while returning from the Kedarnath temple.

As the state battles to regain a measure of control, the operation of vehicles to Himalayan temples has been temporarily suspended. In addition, passenger vehicles cannot cross the bridge over the Chandrabhaga river or ford the Tapovan, Lakshman Jhoola and Muni-ki-Reti Bhadrakali barriers.

The Badrinath National Highway in Chamoli district has been completely blocked due to debris at seven places following incessant rains in the last 48 hours, the district administration said today.

As a precautionary measure, the Badrinath Char Dham Yatra has been halted, and passengers en route to Badrinath Temple were stopped at safe places. 

The Chief Minister has appealed to pilgrims to defer their journey till the weather normalises.

All schools remain closed and there is a ban on trekking, mountaineering, and camping activities in high-altitude areas, including the Nanda Devi biosphere reserve and various forest divisions..

With input from ANI, PTI





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High Altitude Areas In Uttarakhand Receive Season’s First Snowfall – dot newz

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The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places (File)

Dehradun:

The Himalayan temple of Kedarnath and the high altitude areas of Chamoli district received the season’s first snowfall on Thursday while it drizzled in the lower areas intensifying the chill across the state.

Besides the Kedarnath shrine in Rudraprayag district, the Musk Deer Park, Valley of Flowers and the Nanda Devi National Park in Chamoli district also received snowfall, officials in Dehradun said.

The sky remained overcast in the plains with isolated light showers at several places, including state capital Dehradun.

The temperature recorded in Dehradun on Thursday was 15.4 degrees Celsius, Tehri 10 degrees Celsius, Pantnagar 18.4 degrees Celsius, Mukteshwar 8.4 degrees Celsius and Almora 13.4 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department in Dehradun said.



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37 Years On, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Still Await Adequate Compensation – dot newz

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“In 1984, Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at Centre”: Bhopal Gas Tragedy Minister

Bhopal:

Thirty-seven years after the Bhopal gas tragedy, termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, the survivors and the family of the dead are still waiting to be compensated fairly with an organisation working for them claiming that each victim has so far received less than one-fifth of the allotted sum.

The leak of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984, had killed over 3,000 people and left 1.02 lakh others affected at that time. However, the number of affected later rose to over 5.70 lakh.

Talking to PTI, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vishvas Sarang said, “In 1984, the Congress was in power in Madhya Pradesh and at the Centre. The two governments did not put forth the case of the victims in a right manner to enable them to get more compensation.”

Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti (BGPSSS) co-convener ND Jayaprakash said the Supreme Court assisted settlement on February 14-15, 1989 worth Rs 705 crore was based on the assumption that only around 3,000 persons died and 1,02,000 were affected.

“This compensation was a complete sham as each gas victim ended up being given less than one-fifth of the sum allotted even as per the terms of that unjust settlement,” he added.

When asked to explain, he said that the financial aid was USD 470 million in 1989. The dollars turned into more than Rs 3,000 crore in 2004, when the disbursements started.

“But the number of the victims swelled to 5.73 lakh and this amount was distributed among them. So, each victim got one-fifth of the compensation,” he added.

“The failure on the part of the Supreme Court to hear the long-pending curative petition against the unjust settlement of 1989, has had an adverse impact on the interests of the gas victims,” he said in a media statement.

The curative petition (civil), which was filed by the Union of India on December 3, 2010 to challenge the unjust settlement of 1989 and to seek additional sum of at least another Rs 7,724 crore as compensation was last listed before the Constitution Bench of the Court on January 29 last year, he said.

“However, the hearing was postponed to February 11 last year. Sadly, the matter was never listed on that date or ever since then,” he said.

Failure to dispose of the curative petition has also meant the indefinite postponement of the hearing of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed on March 17, 2010 by eight members of Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sangathan (BGPMUS) and BGPSSS, he said.

In the SLP, the two NGOs have sought enhancement of settlement sum by a factor of five in terms of the magnitude of the disaster as assessed by the claim courts and in terms of the gravity of injuries suffered by the gas victims on the basis of their medical records, Jayaprakash said.

Failure to dispose of the pending curative petition and the SLP for over a decade has effectively denied the gas-victims several thousands of crores of additional compensation that they are legitimately entitled to, he added.

In the curative petition, the Centre has sought Rs 7,724 crore as additional funds from successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

The Centre, in its plea, is seeking a direction to Union Carbide and other firms for Rs 7,722 crore additional amount over and above the earlier settlement amount of USD 470 million in 1989 for paying compensation to the gas tragedy victims.

On June 7, 2010, a local court had convicted seven executives of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) to two years of imprisonment in connection with the incident. The then UCC chairman, Warren Anderson, was the prime accused in the case but did not appear for the trial. On February 1, 1992, the Bhopal CJM court had declared him an absconder. He died in the US in 2014. 



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5 Contacts Of Bengaluru Omicron Patient Test Positive For Covid, Isolated – dot newz

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Bengaluru:

Five contacts of an Omicron patient have turned out to be Covid positive, Karnataka announced today, shortly after the Union health ministry said the first patients of the new Covid variant have been found in the state. The patients have been isolated and their samples have been sent for genome testing, Karnataka said amid concern over the highly infectious strain that has set off global alarm.

One of the two initial patients is a 46-year-old health worker from Bengaluru, who developed symptoms of fever and body ache on November 21.

He tested positive the following day and was admitted to hospital; his sample was sent for genome sequencing on the same day.  But three days later he was discharged.

After extensive contact tracing, the Karnataka government said he had 13 direct contacts and more than 250 secondary contacts.

The other confirmed Omicron patient is a 66-year-old South African national who came to India with a negative Covid report.

The man, who received both vaccine doses, tested positive on arrival and was asymptomatic, following which he was told to self-isolate.

A week later, with a negative Covid report from a private lab, he flew to Dubai. Samples from his 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts have returned negative test results.



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