first_imgThe Gujarat government on Monday canceled all permissions granted to the bankrupt Sterling group promoted by the absconding Sandesara brothers to develop an all-weather port in Dahej.The absconding promoters of the Sterling group – Nitin and Chetan Sandesara – are alleged to have defrauded over ₹ 14,500 crore of public money. Two of their flagships–Sterling Biotech and Sterling SEZ are in bankruptcy tribunals now.Both the brothers are absconding since their names came up in the bank loan scam and money laundering activities and federal agencies began probing them.“Chief minister Vijay Rupani today decided to cancel all the permissions given for building an all-weather berthing port at Dahej to Sterling Ports of Nitin Sandesara,” the chief minister’s office said in a statement on Monday.“Rupani has also directed the Gujarat Maritime Board to recover the amount that the company had to pay as bank guarantees and also to take re-possession of the 84.95 hectares given to the company for developing the port,” the statement added.The Gujarat Maritime Board and a consortium led by Sterling Biotech had entered into an agreement to develop the Dahej port as an all-weather direct berthing port in 2009.Following this, the board had handed over 84.95 hectares to the group in 2010.The Sterling consortium had formed a new company – Sterling Port – to develop the port and had also signed a concession agreement in 2014 with the board.As per the agreement, the company was to invest ₹ 2,500 crore in the first phase and had to deposit 1.5 percent of the equity along with another ₹ 5 crore as performance guarantee with the maritime board.But the company is yet to start any work on the port, government officials said, adding it even failed to deposit ₹ 37.50 crore which it had to pay as bank guarantee to the government.Earlier in the day, the board of directors of the maritime board met and recommended to cancel the contract, they said, adding following this, the Chief Minister ordered cancellation of all the agreements and permissions given to the Sandesara group.The Sandesaras brothers are alleged to have committed bank frauds to the tune of ₹ 14,500 crore of the one by Sterling Biotech alone is around ₹8,100 crore, according to the Enforcement Directorate. The brothers have been absconding since the federal agency CBI registered a bank fraud case against them in 2017.last_img read more

first_imgThe Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday shunted out the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police of Sonbhadra, besides ordering action against 13 other officials after they were indicted in an inquiry into the killing of 10 Gond tribals last month over a land dispute.‘FIRs against guilty’ Addressing a press conference at his residence, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said FIRs will be registered against several police and administration officials for alleged irregularities and members of the Adarsh Krishi Sahkari Samiti, Umbha, on charges of land grabbing. The disputed land in Umbha and Saphi villages will also be transferred back and registered in the name of the gram sabha, he said, while announcing that a Special Investigation Team will look into the matter. Mr. Adityanath said departmental proceedings have been initiated against Sonbhadra District Magistrate Ankit Kumar Agrawal and Superintendent of Police Salman Taj Patil for taking “one-sided decision” against the villagers. Directives have been issued to attach Mr. Agrawal and Mr. Patil to the Personnel Department and the DGP Headquarters, respectively, he said. S. Ramalingam has been made the new District Magistrate of Sonbhadra, while Prabhakar Chaudhary is the new Superintendent of Police, officials said. “The entire matter will be probed by an SIT. The SIT will be headed by DIG SIT J. Ravindra Gaud and will have Additional SP Amrita Mishra along with three inspectors. DG SIT R.P. Singh will be monitoring the work of the SIT,” the Chief Minister said. He said another team will be set up under Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) Renuka Kumar to look into the issue of land grabbing by “fake” societies in the last 60-70 years in Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.‘No action on report’ “Fake societies in Sonbhadra and Mirzapur have grabbed more than one lakh acre of land. In 1972, the then Chief Minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna had constituted a probe committee under Mangaldev Visharad. However, no action was taken as a number of Congress leaders were involved,” Mr. Adityanath said.last_img read more

first_imgA drive for good nutrition among pregnant women and children in a southern Assam district has been given a gooseberry candy twist. This follows a report that the targeted groups find the prescribed iron-folic acid tablets repulsive.According to the 2015 National Family Health Survey, 47.2% of the women of reproductive age in Hailakandi were anaemic. The district, thus, has the most anaemic children below 5 years, adolescents and women of reproductive age in Assam.But mothers, pregnant women and children in the district, data reveal, consume only 24.3% of the total iron-folic acid tablets that the district receives and distributes. “The tablets given to these groups are often not consumed as they feel nauseated or have constipation issues. There are also myths that these tablets will kill them or make them incapable of conceiving,” District Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli told The Hindu. Amla, jaggery comboTo get around the problem while launching Poshan Maah, or nutrition month, a few days ago, the district administration decided to produce roundish amla-gur candies with a dose of salt. Nutritionists involved in the campaign said amla, or gooseberry, is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, while gur, or jaggery, is rich in iron, vital vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system.“The gooseberry candy is a home-made recipe, and is provided alongside iron-folic acid tablets as behavioural change in nutritious eating is a slow process. If women and children avoid the tablet, they can get the required vitamin and mineral inputs through the improvised delicacy of which ingredients are available locally,” Ms. Jalli said. The candy is cost-effective too, she said. Anganwadi workers, supervisors and mothers have been engaged to prepare and distribute the ‘laddoos’ with the ingredients given by the district authorities.“This is a novel initiative that should go a long way in checking anaemia that increases the risk during pregnancy and at childbirth, besides resulting in low birth weight and malnourished children,” Anganwadi worker Labiba Begum Barlaskar said.About 32.5% of the children aged below five in Hailakandi are underweight. The average figure for Assam is 30%.last_img read more

first_imgTwo children died in a stampede during ‘Chhath puja’ (offering to the sun god) late on Saturday in Bihar’s Aurangabad district.The incident happened near the Sun temple in Deo area of the district where a large number of devotees had gathered to perform the puja to the setting sun.The district officials said the incident happened when the devotees were returning after observing the religious ritual.Sun temple at Deo in Aurangabad district is famous for ‘Chhath puja’ congregation.The deceased children have been identified as Prince Kumar, 4, and a seven-year-old girl from Bihta of Patna district.District Magistrate Rahul Ranjan Mahiwal and Superintendent of Police Deepak Barnwal said the incident happened as an unexpected number of devotees had gathered at the temple and this led to a stampede.The officials met the family members of the children and said an ex gratia amount would be given to them.The four-day ‘Chhath puja’ ended on Sunday morning after devotees offered obeisance to the rising sun.last_img read more