India: Death toll in Pakistan train collision rises to 23

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Death toll in Pakistan train collision rises to 23

The incident took place Thursday in Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab province when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing.

WORLD Updated: Jul 12, 2019 13:33 IST

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Islamabad
Pakistan,train collision,death toll
Pakistani local residents gather around the wreckage of carriages at the site where two trains collided in Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab province on July 11, 2019. (Photo by STR / AFP)

The death toll from a train collision in central Pakistan rose to 23 on Friday after several people succumbed to their injuries overnight, officials said.

The incident took place Thursday in Rahim Yar Khan district in Punjab province when a passenger train coming from the eastern city of Lahore rammed into a goods train that had stopped at a crossing.

The accident saw mangled carriages flipped on their sides and left debris strewn by the sides of the tracks as rescuers used cranes to enable them to pick through some of the twisted wreckage.

“According to the latest updates available with us, the death toll rose to 23 overnight after more people died of their wounds in different hospitals,” a senior Pakistan Railways official told AFP.

He said a total of 73 people were still being treated for injuries.

Another senior railways official confirmed the toll and said, “rescuers have pulled out all the dead and injured from the wreckage”.

“We are now focusing on quickly clearing the track,” he said, adding that an investigation has already been ordered.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the railways minister to take emergency steps to counter decades of neglect in railway infrastructure and ensure that safety standards are upheld.

Train accidents are common in Pakistan, where the railways have seen decades of decline due to corruption, mismanagement and lack of investment.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

First Published: Jul 12, 2019 13:30 IST

India: Man starves wife for 50 days in search of hidden treasure

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Man starves wife for 50 days in search of hidden treasure

After coming to know about the incident, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Maharashtra Blind faith Eradication Committee) approached the police and sought action against the woman’s husband, in-laws and others.

INDIA Updated: Jul 11, 2019 13:23 IST

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Chandrapur (Maharashtra)
maharashtra,woman,husband
A woman was allegedly forced to survive on minimal food for around 50 days by her husband for finding a ‘hidden treasure’ on the advice of a self- proclaimed godman in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra(HT File (Representative Image))

A woman was allegedly forced to survive on minimal food for around 50 days by her husband for finding a ‘hidden treasure’ on the advice of a self- proclaimed godman in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, police said Wednesday.

The ordeal unfolded last year at Shegaon village in Chimur tehsil, police said.

“The woman had got married in August 2018. A self- proclaimed godman had advised the woman’s husband and her in- laws that they would get ‘hidden treasure’ if she is starved and made to perform certain rituals. From the first day of her marital life, they started harassing the woman by forcing her to perform vedic rituals on a tortoise, among other things,” an official of Shegaon police station said.

“She was physically and mentally tortured and forced to survive on very small quantity of food for 50 days. During that time, they also made her perform ‘puja’ daily from 2.45 am till dawn. Her in-laws would thrash her if she committed any mistake during the rituals,” he added.

According to the official, her mobile phone was also snatched by them to snap her communication with parents.

“However, her father suspected that something was amiss and visited her house. He was shocked to find his daughter in dire condition. Thereafter, he took her along to his house, where she narrated her ordeal,” the official added.

After coming to know about the incident, the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Maharashtra Blind faith Eradication Committee) approached the police and sought action against the woman’s husband, in-laws and others.

A complaint was lodged Tuesday and the woman’s husband and the self-proclaimed godman were arrested on Wednesday, S P Borkute, assistant police inspector (API) of Shegaon police station, said.

“The duo was booked under section 498 (A) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and under various sections of the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013,” the API said.

They will be produced before a local court Thursday, Borkute said, adding that further investigation into the case is on.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 10:23 IST

India: On World Population Day, Giriraj demands 2 child norm, links it to religion

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

On World Population Day, Giriraj demands 2 child norm, links it to religion

The Begusarai BJP MP said that there should be a rule of having only two children in the country for every religion and those who violated it, should be debarred from the right to vote.

INDIA Updated: Jul 11, 2019 17:33 IST

Vijay Swaroop
Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Giriraj Singh,population explosion,2 child norm
Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Giriraj Singh, initially posted his comments on population explosion on social media and later spoke to the media.(HT FILE PHOTO.)

Union minister Giriraj Singh, known for his controversial statements, has linked the rising population of the country with religion. On World Population Day, on Thursday, Singh initially tweeted his views and later told the media that population explosion was disturbing the social harmony and balance of the country.

The Begusarai BJP MP said that there should be a rule of having only two children in the country for every religion and those who violated it, should be debarred from the right to vote.

The minister, without naming any community, said that the rising population was posing threats to resources and harmony. “It’s ruining the economy,” he said.

Singh’s tweet in Hindi said, “Population explosion in India is disturbing social harmony and balance. Religious interference is also a reason related to population control. Like in 1947, India is heading towards division on the basis of culture. Every political party should come forward to make laws regarding population control.”

He requested all parties to mull over the issue seriously. “A strict law should be made to control the population. There is a need to raise the issue in Parliament,” he said.

Singh, three years ago, had demanded laws for sterilization in the country.

The firebrand BJP leader has always been in the news for the wrong reasons. During the parliamentary elections, he had demanded a ban on green flags, which he said, “tend to create hatred in the society and gives one a feeling of being in Pakistan.” This had caused huge embarrassment to BJP’s alliance partner, JD(U), as both JD(U) and the main opposition party, RJD, have green flags.

If that was not enough, he triggered another row during the Lok Sabha polls when during an election meeting he said, “Muslims will have to say Vande Mataram if they need three yards of land for a graveyard.” A comment that had angered key ally JD(U) which in turn asked the Election Commission (EC) to take cognizance of his comments.

Singh has been known for his controversial remarks in the past too. Only last year, he had embarrassed the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar, when he demanded renaming Bakhtiarpur town, where Nitish Kumar was born. The minister also wanted the name of Akbarpur in his current Lok Sabha constituency of Nawada changed, saying it was named after Mughal emperor Akbar.

Singh’s latest comments on population found support from NDA MLAs in Bihar. “For the sake of the country, we need to control population, irrespective of religion. If not controlled today, it is bound to create food and water scarcity in the country,” said JD (U) MLA, Lallan Paswan. BJP’s MLA Sachindra Kumar, too, supported the union minister’s demand for population control.

The opposition, however, snubbed the demand. “This shows the narrow-mindedness of the union minister,” said RJD’s MLA, Bhola Yadav. Congress MLC Premchandra Mishra wondered how one can seize anybody’s voting rights. “He is in the habit of saying weird things,” Mishra said.

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 17:19 IST

India will be most populous country by 2027: UN

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

India will be most populous country by 2027: UN

According to a UN report, India will overtake China to become the world’s most populous country in 2027.

INDIA Updated: Jul 11, 2019 05:50 IST

Sanchita Sharma
Sanchita Sharma
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
population explosion,population boom,india population boom
The world’s population is projected to increase by 2 billion people, from 7.7 billion now to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the UN report.(AFP File Photo)

India and Nigeria will host the two fastest growing populations over the next three decades, with India adding 273 million people and Nigeria 200 million by 2050, the rapid pace fuelled by vastly different factors, according to the United Nations World Population Prospects 2019 report.

India will overtake China to become the world’s most populous country in 2027, according to the report. The world’s population is projected to increase by 2 billion people, from 7.7 billion now to 9.7 billion in 2050, according to the report.

While India’s population will increase because of a large cohort of young people who will enter their reproductive age over the next three decades, which will add “population momentum” even if births fall to two children or less per woman, Nigeria’s population will be driven by women having many more children.

India’s total fertility rate (TFR, the average number of children a woman has in her lifetime) ) is 2.2, with half of the country’s population in 24 states having reached “replacement TFR” of 2.1 or less, which is number of children per woman at which a population replaces itself and stops growing. In Nigeria, the TFR is 5.4.

“Even if the TFR across all states were to fall immediately to two births or less per woman, India’s population would continue to grow, as it will in countries and regions where fertility has declined recently. In India, Latin America and the Caribbean, virtually all of the projected population growth till 2050 will be driven by the population momentum from a largely young population,” AR Nanda, former secretary, Union ministry of health, and trustee, Indian Association for the Study of Population, said ahead of the World Population Day on Thursday. “The National Population Policy 2000 had projected TFR will reach around 2.1, which will show when the Sample Registration System data comes out in 2020. Contraceptives and spacing methods, including male contraception, have to be made widely available, especially to adolescents and young adults, who get missed,” said Nanda.

Addressing high TFR in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar must remain a priority, say experts. “People must have access to uninterrupted quality services and social development support, such as nutrition, health, sanitation and infrastructure, to ensure they have the tools and the information to have the desired family size,” said Rajib Acharya, senior associate, Population Council of India.

Budgetary allocation for health went up by 15% this year, from ₹56,045 crore in 2018-19 (revised estimates), to ₹64,559 crore in 2019-20. But while the allocation for the National Health Mission went up by 8% over the previous year to ₹32,995 crore, the share of the Reproductive and Child Health flexipool out of the approved NHM funds has halved in four years, from 40% in 2016-17 to 20% in 2019-20, which some demographers find worrying.

“A major chunk of the increased allocation for NHM is driven by health system strengthening, which increased by around 12% over last year…,” said a health ministry official, who did not want to be named.

First Published: Jul 11, 2019 05:43 IST

India: US Congress to vote on bill to remove country-cap on Green Card

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

US Congress to vote on bill to remove country-cap on Green Card

The US lawmakers will on Tuesday decide on lifting the country-cap on issuing Green Cards through voting in Congress, a move which may benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals.

WORLD Updated: Jul 09, 2019 13:02 IST

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Washington
Green card,India news,US Congress
Being supported by more than 310 lawmakers from both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ is all set to sail through the 435-member US House of Representatives.(AFP file photo for representation)

The US lawmakers will on Tuesday decide on lifting the country-cap on issuing Green Cards through voting in Congress, a move which may benefit thousands of highly-skilled Indian IT professionals.

Having a Green Card allows a person to live and work permanently in the US.

Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on the H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system which imposes a seven per cent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Cards or permanent legal residency.

Being supported by more than 310 lawmakers from both the Republican and the Democratic Party, the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ is all set to sail through the 435-member US House of Representatives.

Buoyed by the fact of 203 Democrats and 108 Republicans are co-sponsoring the bill, the proponents of the legislation are using a fast-track process which requires 290 votes to pass a bill without hearing and amendments.

Lifting the per-country cap would mainly benefit professionals from countries like India, for whom the wait for Green Card is more than a decade. Some of the recent studies have said the waiting period for Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas is more than 70 years.

The Library of Congress said the act, also known as HR 1044, is the most viewed bill in the week beginning July 7.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), this bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from seven per cent of the total number of such visas available that year to 15 per cent and eliminates the seven per cent cap for employment-based immigrant visas.

It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

The bill also establishes transition rules for employment-based visas from FY 2020-22 by reserving a percentage of EB-2 (workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability), EB-3 (skilled and other workers), and EB-5 (investors) visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas.

“Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85 per cent shall be allotted to immigrants from any single country,” the CRS said.

The bill, however, has to be passed by the Senate, wherein the Republicans enjoy a majority, before it can be signed into law by the US president.

A similar bill being supported by a bipartisan group of senators including Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris is slated to come up for consideration soon. Both the identical bills in the Senate and the House were introduced in February.

In the House, it was introduced by Congressman Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat who represents portions of Northern California’s Silicon Valley, and Republican Ken Buck from Colorado, while in the Senate it was introduced by Harris and Mike Lee from Utah.

In a news report, Breitbart news described it as a giveaway legislation to 300,000 Indian H-1B visa workers.

This will incentivize “more low wage Indian graduates” to take US jobs from middle class American graduates, it said and urged Republican lawmakers supporting the bill to withdraw their co-sponsorship.

Democrats, Breitbart alleged, “have kept the legislation secret — the bill has had no hearing or committee votes — and it is being backed by the immigration lawyer who helped Democratic Sen Chuck Schumer write the disastrous ‘Gang of Eight’ amnesty in 2013”.

Joining Breitbart, the Center For Immigration Studies said the bill would reward the employers who literally replaced American workers with hundreds of thousands of low cost and less skilled contract workers who entered on temporary visas (mainly H-1Bs), often working in the tech sector.

These employers are mainly big tech and foreign outsourcing companies.

“Under current rules, citizens of India are getting about 25 per cent of all the professional employment Green Cards each year. If this bill becomes law, citizens of India will get more than 90 per cent of the professional employment Green Cards, according to the USCIS, for at least the next 10 years.

“Green cards would be unavailable to applicants from all other parts of the world (and many other occupations) for at least a decade,” alleged the Centre for Immigration Studies.

It argued that a bill with “such sweeping implications” for the US workers should not be passed without a hearing and without opportunity for members to offer amendments.

“Adopting a different Green Card selection system that chooses the most highly educated and skilled workers would eliminate the need for a per-country cap system, and would not reward the exploitative employers who thrive on the existing system,” it said.

Congressman Paul Gosar said this is another gift for big-tech companies at the expense of American workers and students.

“We should not allow” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the bill without following the rules, he said, adding the bill has not had a hearing or markup.

First Published: Jul 09, 2019 12:08 IST

India: In CBI crackdown on corruption, nationwide raids at 110 locations in 30 cases

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

In CBI crackdown on corruption, nationwide raids at 110 locations in 30 cases

Earlier this month, the CBI had searched premises of 13 companies and bank officials across the country for alleged bank frauds amounting to ₹1,139 crore.

INDIA Updated: Jul 09, 2019 13:56 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CBI,CBI crackdown,corruption
The Central Bureau of Investigation jointly serves as a national security agency and intelligence agency.(AFP Photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is conducting searches at 110 places across 19 states in its probe on cases of corruption and criminal misconduct/

“In a nationwide action, CBI is today conducting searches at around 110 places in 19 States/ Union Territories. CBI has registered around 30 separate cases relating to corruption, criminal misconduct and arms smuggling etc,” said a CBI official.

Searches were being conducted in various cities including Delhi, Bharatpur, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jammu, Srinagar, Pune, Jaipur, Goa, Kanpur, Raipur, Hyderabad, Madurai, Kolkata, Rourkela, Ranchi, Bokaro, Lucknow and other places in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Andhraby Pradesh, Karnataka and Bihar.

Earlier this month, the CBI had searched premises of 13 companies and bank officials across the country for alleged bank frauds amounting to ₹1,139 crore.

The search and seizure was one of the biggest simultaneous, synchronised actions against bank loan defaulters in recent times. The CBI’s top-brass, including its director Rishi Kumar Shukla, directly monitored the countrywide action.

First Published: Jul 09, 2019 12:03 IST

India: 5 fold hike in rape of kids from 1994 to 2016

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

5 fold hike in rape of kids from 1994 to 2016: Report

With a score of 297 out of 360, Puducherry emerged as the best performer in terms of child rights, according to the report.

INDIA Updated: Jul 04, 2019 07:35 IST

Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Child Fund India,Plan India,Save the Children India
In 2016, 106,958 crimes against children were reported. Of these, 52% related to abduction and 34% to sexual offences, including rape. (HTFile)

There was a fivefold increase in rapes of children from 1994 to 2016 even as under-five mortality has reduced and the access to education has increased significantly, according to a new report of an alliance of six child rights organisations.

Child Fund India, Plan India, Save the Children India, SOS Children’s Villages India, Terre Des Homes, and World Vision India released the report on Wednesday under the banner of Joining Forces.

The report titled Child Rights in India – an unfinished agenda also evaluated the performances via-a-vis child rights of states and Union territories on 15 parameters like under-five mortality, sex ratio, access to education, play and recreation, protection from violence and child marriages among others.

With a score of 297 out of 360, Puducherry emerged as the best performer in terms of child rights, according to the report. The worst performers are Rajasthan (116), Uttar Pradesh (105) and Jharkhand (100). The report cited the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data and said the rapes increased from 3,986 in 1994 to 19,765 in 2016.

In 2016, 106,958 crimes against children were reported. Of these, 52% related to abduction and 34% to sexual offences, including rape.

“A large number of children are trafficked not only for sex trade but also for other forms of non-sex based exploitation that includes domestic labour, industrial labour, agricultural labour, begging, organ trade, and false marriage,” the report said.

Declining child sex ratio is another cause of concern. The progress has also been slow in combating malnutrition.

Plan India executive director Anuja Bansal underlined the need for the children to feel protected and safe.

Save The Children India CEO Bidisha Pillai said: “…we shine a light on the parameters that need to be improved further. Ensuring that the child rights reach the most marginalised will take double the effort now.”

Government think-tank NITI Aayog special secretary Yaduvendra Mathur said there is a need to invest more in the social sector to improve such parameters.

First Published: Jul 04, 2019 07:31 IST

On Kartarpur, India pushes Pakistan to meet November deadline

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

On Kartarpur, India pushes Pakistan to meet November deadline

As of now Pakistan has only agreed to allow Indian passport holders to visit the shrine and has asked PIOs to take a Pakistan visa for the pilgrimage.

INDIA Updated: Jul 03, 2019 05:45 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
kartarpur corridor,indo pak kartarpur talks,guru nanak birthplace
Heavy machines at work beyond the border fence for the construction of the Indian side of Kartarpur corridor, in Gurdaspur (PTI)

Pakistan’s foreign office has issued a release agreeing to India’s proposal for a joint secretary level meeting between the two countries between July 11 and July 14 at Wagah to finalize the Kartarpur corridor, with the Narendra Modi government is pressing hard to meet the 2019 November deadline to allow Sikh pilgrims from India an opportunity to celebrate the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev at Darbar Sahib in Narowal district in Pakistan.

While work on a passenger terminal, a four-lane highway and a bridge across the Ravi floodplain has begun on the Indian side, the Modi government is also keen that Pakistan allow Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) apart from Indian passport holders to visit the historic shrine.

As of now Pakistan has only agreed to allow Indian passport holders to visit the shrine and has asked PIOs to take a Pakistan visa for the pilgrimage.

According to home ministry officials, India also wants pilgrims to be allowed to go on foot to the shrine, located around five kilometres from the international border west of Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district and that too without permit or paying additional charge.

India is keen that a 200-300 meters bridge be built over River Ravi floodplains to cater for floods and rains to allow pilgrims to visit Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak Dev settled the Sikh commune.

India has requested Pakistan that the pilgrimage should be allowed around the year with 5,000 visitors being permitted each day with the number being allowed to increase to 15,000 on special occasions such as the Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

According to North Block, Pakistan is ready to accept around 500-700 pilgrims from India and that too on a limited number of days.

It wants to escort the pilgrims from its side of the border terminal to Kartarpur via buses after issuance of permits.

Islamabad will issue the permits after India sends the names of the pilgrims ready to visit the Gurudwara at Kartarpur.

As of now there is no talk of a dedicated corridor between India to Kartarpur purely for the purpose of pilgrimage. Pakistan wants pilgrim to shell out cash for the permits just as foreigners pay to visit historical sites in India.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself keen to participate in the 550th celebrations for Guru Nanak Dev, India is making an all-out effort to operationalize the Kartarpur corridor as soon as possible.

First Published: Jul 03, 2019 05:45 IST

Iran To India: ‘Expect a friend to order oil’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS)

 

‘Expect a friend to order oil’: Iranian envoy messages India on US sanctions

Though the Iranian port of Chabahar, which India is developing as a gateway to Afghanistan, isn’t under sanctions, Chegeni said US actions had created uncertainty in the minds of investors and bankers.

INDIA Updated: Jul 03, 2019 08:49 IST

Rezaul H Laskar
Rezaul H Laskar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
indo iran,us iran trade talsk,india weapon gatherer
New Delhi stopped Iranian oil purchases after Washington ended on May 2 a six-month waiver that had allowed the top buyers, including India, to continue imports. (REUTERS)

India will decide on oil purchases in line with its national interests but Tehran is hopeful New Delhi will resume Iranian oil imports that have been hit by American sanctions, Iranian ambassador Ali Chegeni said on Tuesday.

New Delhi stopped Iranian oil purchases after Washington ended on May 2 a six-month waiver that had allowed the top buyers, including India, to continue imports.

The US imposed sanctions on Iran after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal last year.

“We understand India will act according to its national interests. We know India is under pressure (but) India’s relationship with any other country is not against us,” Chegeni told reporters after the opening of an exhibition of Iranian arts.

“We are not deciding on behalf of the Indian government and we respect all their decisions, but we expect a friend…(to place orders for oil) in future…Iran is ready to be the biggest protector of India’s energy security,” he added.

Referring to external affairs minister S Jashankar’s recent remarks about India’s need for affordable, stable and predictable energy supplies, Chegeni said Iran fulfilled all these conditions.

“We didn’t get any negative signal from the Indian government that they won’t buy in future…We are hopeful that our relationship will continue,” he said.

Though the Iranian port of Chabahar, which India is developing as a gateway to Afghanistan, isn’t under sanctions, Chegeni said US actions had created uncertainty in the minds of investors and bankers.

“They are saying Chabahar is not under sanctions, but the banks don’t dare to come, the private companies say the future is not clear for them. Somehow this is a sanction,” Iranian ambassador Ali Chegeni said, adding that operations at the port had picked up in recent months.

Chabahar is key to the plans of Central Asian states to trade with India, he said. “Nobody can ignore the importance of Chabahar,” Iranian ambassador Ali Chegeni added.

First Published: Jul 02, 2019 23:31 IST

India: 20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes as rains continue to wreak havoc

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes as rains continue to wreak havoc

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

MUMBAI Updated: Jul 02, 2019 07:35 IST

Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Mumbai
mumbai rains,malad,wall collapse in malad
A wall of Sinhgad College, Ambegaon collapsed at around 1:15 am on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, killing at least 7 people. (ANI / Twitter )

At least 13 persons were killed in a wall crash in Malad, north-west Mumbai and another seven perished in a wall collapse in Pune, early on Tuesday as rains continued to wreak havoc in large parts of Maharashtra.

In the wake of the incessant rainfall, the state government has declared July 2 as a public holiday for Mumbai.

According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb, collapsed on some adjoining hutments in which more than 13 people were killed, around 1 am on Tuesday.

Early on Tuesday, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside, killing at least seven persons.

In both the incidents, many more victims are still feared under the rubble and teams of NDRF are at the site for rescue and relief operations.

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

Early today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi declared all schools and colleges shut for the day as a precautionary measure.

Air, road and rail traffic was also hit for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and rains have so far claimed around 50 lives in the past five days in the state so far.

First Published: Jul 02, 2019 07:23 IST