India/China: Trade point planned at India-China LAC

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

 

Trade point planned at India-China LAC

Although the Indian Army’s spokesperson did not respond to queries, three officials familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that the army has cleared the opening of the post, and that it is up to the government now.

INDIA Updated: Jul 19, 2019 07:09 IST

Sudhi Ranjan Sen
Sudhi Ranjan Sen
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India news,China,India
Image for representation(HT file photo)

The Indian Army has approved the opening of a new trading point with China at Dumchelle in Ladakh, the third such along India’s disputed, albeit peaceful 3,488-km border with China in a confidence building measure ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s October visit.

Although the Indian Army’s spokesperson did not respond to queries, three officials familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity that the army has cleared the opening of the post, and that it is up to the government now.

Hindustan Times learns that the trading post could open as soon as the end of the year and that work has already started on the customs check point and the road to it. The only thing left is for the Cabinet Committee on Security to sign off.

Dumchelle is in Southern Ladakh, and is strategically located between Chushul , one of the five designated Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) meeting points between the Indian and Chinese armies, and Demchok in Southern Ladakh.

The two other recognised trading points with China are Lipulekh in Uttrakhand and Nathu La in Sikkim. Predetermined, locally made items are traded through these points with an aim of boosting the local economy.

President Xi is scheduled to be in India in October for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Opening up another trading point along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) would be a major confidence building measure, analysts said.

Although the Dumchelle trading point will be new, trade at the border town between residents of Ladakh and the Tibetans from the other side has a long history. Goods are bought and sold at Dumchelle regularly. In addition, there is a three-week-long fair at Dumchelle where locals from both sides participate.

In the past, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has even used the hotline, which connects military commanders on both sides of the border and which is used to sort out minor issues, to discuss dates of the fair. “It is an informal arrangement between the two sides,” a senior serving Indian Army officer said.

“It is a traditional trade route. In the past, the army has written to the government advising it to either completely stop the trade or formalise the exchange,” a government official added.

The current trade through Dumchelle is informal and designating it a trading point will automatically lead to “supervision of the goods flowing through this area. Also, there could be revenue implications for the government,” this person said. “Ladakh is flooded with Chinese made goods, much of which is traded through this particular point.”

India-China ties which hit a low during the 73-day long stand-off between the armies of the two countries in the Doklam plateau in Sikkim in 2017 warmed after the historic informal summit at Wuhan between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi in April 2018. Both leaders agreed to give “strategic” guidance to the respective militaries to reduce border tensions.

Nonetheless, caution on either side is understandable. The LAC is not demarcated. To address this, the two countries have agreed to elaborate mechanism that includes banner drills and communication between local commanders through established “hotlines” to ensure minor issues do not escalate into major ones.

First Published: Jul 19, 2019 06:58 IST

4 Terribly Designed International Cities

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

Terribly Designed International Cities

When you’re putting together any kind of urban development project, there are going to be logistical hiccups. That’s completely forgivable. What’s not forgivable is when the plan is completely thrown out the window and buildings and streets just pop up without any kind of flow or guide. But plans are thrown out disturbingly often. These are four of the most terribly designed cities on the planet.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia

Credit: AsiaTravel/Shutterstock

Jakarta is the poster child of poorly planned and executed cities. It’s frequently ranked among the worst cities in the world to live in and regularly takes the top spot of Indonesia’s worst urban offerings. Traffic is horrible and constant, the city’s sinking as people extract more and more water from the ground, and a majority of the residents have some kind of respiratory issue thanks to the polluted air. Three things a city needs to conquer to offer even average quality of life for its citizens.

The main problem is that the city government let itself get overwhelmed by small issues, then didn’t properly research the solutions they implemented. For example, when the city tried to alleviate traffic by investing in mass transit, they chose buses. But when they built the bus lanes, they didn’t modify the roads at all, which meant the buses got caught in the omnipresent traffic, which was made worse by the lessening of available lanes. It’s like when they decided to build mass transit, instead of using a common sense solution used by cities all over the world, the Jakartan government left its common sense in the trash and doubled down on making everything worse. Then they did that for every other problem the city faced too.

Naypyidaw, Burma

Naypyidaw, Burma

Credit: Pipop_Boosarakumwadi/iStockphoto

Where Jakarta was poorly built for the amount of people they had, Naypyidaw was built for people no one can see. Everything’s empty everywhere. They have twenty-lane highways that are completely devoid of cars. And we’re not being hyperbolic to prove a point. When Top Gear went to Burma to film a special, they were able to stage a super-sized drag race in the middle of the highway.

On the same Top Gear episode, the three hosts talked about how Naypyidaw wasn’t a waste because it was built in anticipation of massive growth, though they admitted the growth wasn’t there yet. We’d disagree a bit and say it was at least a partial waste because the Burmese government built the massive city for growth without actually doing anything to enable growth in the country. The Burmese people are incredibly poor and it is highly unlikely any of them are going to be able to afford the lifestyle the city’s prepared for. The only people making any money are the ones building the city, and there aren’t enough of them to populate things the way it seems the Burmese government wants.

Chennai, India

Chennai, India

Credit: Jayakumar/Shutterstock

Chennai’s bad planning manifests itself in the fatal flooding the city has recently experienced. Back in November and December of 2015, the city saw a series of floods that claimed the lives of at least 90 residents. Urban planners maintain this was not a failing on their part, but was instead the result of haphazard planning executed by the local government. A man named RR Kuberan and his New Chennai Project submitted a redevelopment plan that turned Chembarambakkam Lake into a reservoir that would have supplied Chennai with plenty of clean drinking water, a transformation that would also have dried out surrounding land enough for development. But instead of going with that plan, the city allowed private developers to sell off land piecemeal and turn it into housing, which made water management next to impossible. It was a case of a city going for short term economic growth and urbanization instead of long term planning.

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Credit: Lumenite/Shutterstock

The planning for Dhaka’s expansion is nonexistent, which makes sense when you consider the way it grew. It started as a simple town, then exploded in size after Bangladesh won its independence in 1971. When it did, the city started on a path that would see its population increase a hundredfold, turning it into one of the most densely populated cities in the world. In that explosive growth, Dhaka failed to implement any planning or ordinance laws, which means buildings are often private ventures completely free of regulation or zoning and can be thrown up wherever and wherever, often to the detriment and destruction of any kind of unified sense of community. The city is a sprawling mass of slums, private construction, and traffic traffic traffic. It’s chaos incarnate, though people are slowly starting to realize how destructive that chaos can be.

india: 67 Dead In Flood Affected North-East Bihar And Uttar Pradesh

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

 

67 dead as IMD sounds red alert in flood affected North-East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Close to nine million people in the flood affected regions of North-East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been affected with nearly 300,000 living in relief camps.

INDIA Updated: Jul 17, 2019 00:26 IST

HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Guwahati/Patna/Lucknow/Chandigarh
North-East,Bihar,Uttar Pradesh
Residents wade through a flooded street following heavy monsoon rains, in Guwahati, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. The water level of River Brahmaputra has risen above the danger level causing flood like situation in many areas.(Photo: PTI)

The death toll in floods in North-East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh rose to 67 on Tuesday from 45 on Monday, even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted more rains in these regions.

Close to nine million people in the flood affected regions have been affected with nearly 300,000 living in relief camps.

Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who met chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday, announced the release of Rs 251 crore as first installment to the state disaster response fund, the Assam’s disaster management authority said.

“The floods in Assam are a concern for the entire country. I would like to assure that the Centre will extend all help to the state to tackle the situation effectively,” Shekhawat said.

Till Tuesday, 22 people have died in floods, including two in landslides in Guwahati, and five deaths were reported from Barpeta, Dhubri, Morigaon and Nagaon. There are 5.25 million people affected in 30 of the state’s 33 districts. Around with 147,000 displaced persons are taking shelter in 695 relief camps, the state disaster management authority said.

The ongoing floods have taken a toll on the animals residing within the Kaziranga National Park, the biggest habitat of one horned rhinos in the world. Four rhinos and an elephant died in the past 24 hours due to floods, according to divisional forest officer RB Saikia, taking the total animal death toll in the park till Tuesday to 30.

In Bihar where 12 of the state’s 38 districts are facing a deluge, chief minister Nitish Kumar told the state assembly that Rs 6000 will be given as relief to six lakh families affected by the floods, through direct benefit transfer Friday onwards.

“Bihar is hit by disasters, like floods or drought every year, but we don’t get adequate funds. The state only received Rs 500 crore (from the Centre) in the 2017 floods,” he said.

With recovery of nine more bodies on Tuesday, the death toll has reached 33 in Bihar.

In eastern Uttar Pradesh, six deaths were reported due to floods in rivers originating in Nepal. Hundreds of villages in Balrampur, Shravastri and Lakhimpur districts remained under water as Rapti and Sharda rivers continued to flow over the danger mark, the state’s irrigation department said.

Punjab’s Bathinda received 178 mm rainfall in eight hours on Tuesday morning — the city receives 375 mm in a year.

The IMD also issued a red alert (over 240 mm in 24 hours) for Kerala’s six districts, including Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam and Thrissur, from July 18 onwards. These were some of the most affected districts in the 2018 floods, which were the worst that the state had experienced in a century.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, at least 78 people have died and 40 injured, with around 17,500 displaced due to floods and landslides, authorities said Tuesday.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 16, 2019 23:55 IST

India: 10 killed after century-old Mumbai building collapses

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

 

10 killed after century-old Mumbai building collapses

The extension of Kesarbai building, which housed 16 families and four shops on the ground floor, caved-in at around 11.40am, causing tremors in several dilapidated buildings in the low-income neighbourhood in south Mumbai, which also houses some of the city’s most upmarket areas.

INDIA Updated: Jul 17, 2019 00:14 IST

HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,mumbai building collapse,dongri
Rescue personnel were seen clearing rubble and cutting through iron girders by hand, and taking the help of local residents, who had formed a human chain, to pass the debris.(Photo: Kunal Patil/ Hindustan Times)

Ten people died, nine were injured and 30 were feared trapped after an illegal extension of a 100-year-old four-storey building collapsed in south Mumbai Dongri area on Tuesday morning, spotlighting the decaying infrastructure of India’s crumbling financial capital that is corroded by poor oversight and monsoon showers.

The extension of Kesarbai building, which housed 16 families and four shops on the ground floor, caved-in at around 11.40am, causing tremors in several dilapidated buildings in the low-income neighbourhood in south Mumbai, which also houses some of the city’s most upmarket areas. Chief fire officer P Rahangdale said many adjoining buildings were rendered unstable, and had to be evacuated. Some part of Kesarbai building was left standing after the collapse.

Cramped and crowded lanes leading up to the site made it challenging for rescue equipment to reach the building, added Rahangdale. Rescue personnel were seen clearing rubble and cutting through iron girders by hand, and taking the help of local residents, who had formed a human chain, to pass the debris.

“My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted earlier in the day. “I hope the injured recover soon.” Union home minister Amit Shah called the collapse “ very tragic”. “Rescue operations are in full swing,” he added. There was no clarity on the number of people stuck under the rubble, which was yet to be fully cleared at the time of going to press even as rescue operations were in their tenth hour. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis said the building was roughly 100 years old and illegal, promising that an inquiry will be ordered.

As night fell on the city, hundreds continued rescuing people from under the rubble of the building, located in a bustling lane off Tandel Street. Television channels showed dramatic visuals of a child, wrapped in a cloth, being carried out of the debris by rescue workers. The child is alive, officials said.

Building collapses are common in Mumbai during the June-September monsoon season, when heavy showers lash India’s largest city and weaken the foundation of already decrepit structures. Earlier this month, multiple wall collapses killed 27 people. This was the deadliest collapse of a building since September 2017, when the 117-year-old Husaini building crumbled in Bhendi Bazaar, killing 33 people.

Moreover, ageing infrastructure, poor planning and a maze of conflicting by-laws, building codes and jurisdiction mean that no single authority is responsible for the upkeep of structures, leading to a cycle of accusation after each tragedy.

This was on display on Tuesday. Within minutes of the collapse, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) clarified the building was owned by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA). It also confirmed that in July 2017, the BMC brought to the Mumbai’s building repair and reconstruction board’s (MBRR) — a wing of MHADA — notice that the building was dilapidated and unfit for habitation. A senior BMC officer told HT, “There is no doubt that the collapsed Kesarbai building is owned by MHADA.”

Hours later, Vinod Ghosalkar, chief of the MHADA repair board, denied that the agency owned the building. “So the responsibility of evacuating it or taking action against any persons for its collapse does not rest with MHADA. This is an illegal building, even though it is in the middle of MHADA colony in Dongri,” he said. State housing minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, who visited the spot in the afternoon, said, “The building is illegal, and it is privately owned. We are probing about who will be held responsible for the collapse.”

Residents of neighbouring buildings recalled hearing a loud boom. Abdul Gaffar Shaikh, 85, who lives in nearby Kasai building that was among those vacated, said, “Our building experienced tremendous vibrations when the other building collapsed. Everything shook.” BMC opened a shelter centre at nearby Imamwada School for residents of nearby evacuated buildings to take shelter.

Congress leader Milind Deora said it was time for the people of Mumbai to seek an explanation from the government. “This is unfortunately something that happens in Mumbai every year during monsoon. Walls collapse, there are potholes on roads where people die and young boys fall into manholes,” he added.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 16, 2019 23:51 IST

3 Least Crowded Destinations in India

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Least Crowded Destinations in India

India is one of the most populated countries on the planet, and unfortunately this may make some of the more bashful travelers think twice about taking a vacation there. While crowds should never keep you from visiting such a beautiful, colorful country, no one wants to get stuck in a tourist trap or a giant city where they can get lost. Lucky for those of us who prefer a quieter getaway, there are three places in India that are off the beaten bath, and are therefore much less crowded than the big cities.

Hemis

Credit: Mai Tram/Shutterstock

The city of Hemis in Ladakh, India is a great destination for adventure lovers. Surrounded by snowy mountains, this city is home to both natural and man-made beauty. An example of the latter is the Hemis Monastery, one of the wealthiest monasteries in India. It has several collections of ancient relics, artifacts and artwork and often holds events to help teach visitors about the traditions and practices of the religion. For nature lovers, there is Hemis Altitude National Park, which, as the name implies, is located high above sea level. The number one reason to go here (besides the lack of crowding) is to have the chance to see a snow leopard in its natural habitat. Most people only ever see snow leopards in small exhibits at the zoo, but here they roam free and are represented in high enough numbers that chances are very good that you will be able to snap a photo of one during your trip.

Mawlynnong

Credit: Mazur Travel/Shutterstock

Located in Meghalaya, Mawlynnong is not only a city that is far off the beaten path, but it has also been awarded the honor of being the cleanest village in India for more than a decade. Sadly, much of India is known for streets lines with trash and cows doing their business, but Mawlynnong is an entirely different story. Everyone in this village, including children and the elderly, have daily chores that involve cleaning not just their house, but the whole city. While the entire country began a major cleanup effort in 2014, Mawlynnong has been the cleanest city since the early 2000s, long before this movement started. With just 600 residents, this small town is perfect for people who don’t want to get jostled around in a giant city. In addition to its cleanliness, it also offers visitors stunning waterfalls, caves, and “the Living Roots Bridge,” which is a bridge made out of the roots of a living tree.

Halebid

Credit: Vladimir Zhoga/Shutterstock

Have you ever wanted to visit an ancient city like Pompeii or Athens, but found most of them to be too full of tourists to really be enjoyable? Then Halebid is the city for you. This incredibly intact city is home to a number of ancient Indian temples with amazing, intricate architecture and well-preserved artwork and artifacts that you will have all to yourself. Once the capital of the Hoysala Dynasty, this town has been sitting empty since the 14th century, when it fell into ruin. Now no one lives here, and hardly any tourists frequent this place, meaning that you can explore all of the structures at your own pace, including the Hoysaleswara Temple that has been standing since the 12th century.

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

The world’s 6 rainiest cities

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

The world’s rainiest cities

Do you love the rain? Read on! You’re about to learn some great destinations that’ll give you all the rain you can handle. Do you hate the rain? You should read on too! You’ll get a good sampling of locations to absolutely avoid the next time you plan a trip. Love it or hate it, keep reading to hearing about the world’s wettest, rainiest, and soggiest cities. (Rainfall data courtesy of World Atlas.)

6. Debundscha, Cameroon

Credit: antoineede / iStock

Average annual rainfall: 10,299 mm (405 inches)

First on our list (though sixth in overall ranking), we have the African village of Debundscha. This region is among the wettest places in the world for two reasons: its position near the equator (providing a long rainy season) and its proximity to Mount Cameroon. This massive mountain tends to block rain clouds from drifting away, forcing them to dump copious amounts of rain on Debundscha every year.

5. San Antonio de Ureca, Bioko Islands, Equatorial Guinea

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Average annual rainfall: 10,450 mm (411 inches)

Like Debundscha, the African village of San Antonio de Ureca features a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons, which contributes significantly to its overall rainfall. The small region receives a staggering 411 inches of rainfall each year, making it the wettest place on the entire African continent.

4. Cropp River, New Zealand

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Average annual rainfall: 11,516 mm (453 inches)

Heading across the globe, we have New Zealand’s Cropp River. Running over 6 miles before connecting with the larger Whitcomb River, the Cropp region receives copious rainfall each year, with its record-breaking downpours once reaching over 41 inches in a 48-hour period. Of course, few residents live in the mountainous Cropp River region, so locals aren’t fazed by these drastic downpours. And fortunately, this surplus of water plays a big role in New Zealand’s economy, so you aren’t likely to hear anyone here complain about the rain.

3. Tutunendo, Colombia

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Average annual rainfall: 11,770 mm (463 inches)

Earning the title as wettest region in South America, residents of Tutunendo, Columbia, are no stranger to the damp. Over 463 inches of rainfall drench the region each year, even during the not-so-dry “dry” season, when rain falls nearly 20 days per month. Like many others on this list, Tutunendo’s proximity to the equator and tropical climate are the culprits behind its record-holding precipitation rate. Combined with its consistently high temperatures and high humidity, Tutunendo’s tropical rainforest climate isn’t for the faint of heart.

2. Cherrapunji, India

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Average annual rainfall: 11,777 mm (464 inches)

Let’s head east to the Indian subcontinent to visit the runner-up for rainiest city in the world: Cherrapunji. Located in the eastern Indian state of Meghalaya, Cherrapunji receives an average annual rainfall of 464 inches, outstripping nearly every other city on Earth. Its heavy rainfall is a result of its location; situated in a highland climate with monsoonal seasons and nestled close to the elevated Khasi Hills, the combination of subtropical climate and geography creates the perfect storm for precipitation. Unfortunately, and ironically, locals have a tough time finding water in Cherrapunji. The encroaching pressures of deforestation and soil erosion have created serious dryness problems in the area, despite its regular rainfall.

1. Mawsynram, India

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Average annual rainfall: 11,871 mm (467 inches)

At the very top of our list, we have Mawsynram—an Indian village located just miles from Cherrapunji. Mawsynram sees a record-setting 467 inches of rainfall per year and is regularly reported to be the wettest city in the world. The geography of Mawsynram is quite similar to Cherrapunji, with many of the same subtropical conditions and regular monsoons contributing to its near-constant rainfall. In fact, there’s some debate about which one of these Indian cities is the real wettest city, as annual rainfall scores between the two tend to fluctuate. But whichever town takes the crown, it’s clear that this region of India experiences some of the heaviest rainfall you’ll see anywhere on earth.

New Contenders for Wettest City?

Due to how much variance there can be in annual rainfall totals, the globally-recognized “wettest city” tends to change over time. The above Indian cities have consistently received the most rainfall over the years, but other regions, such as Mount Waialeale in Hawaii, have received even more in years past—as much as 683 inches back in 1982!

Thus, it’s hard to say with certainty which region is truly the rainiest. But despite these fluctuations, it’s clear that the insane rainfall experienced by these cities is hard for any region to match.