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News of the Day – 02 – July -2019
- July 2, 2019
- Posted by: Shivam
- Category: NEWS Worth To Read
News of the Day – 02 – July -2019
16 dead in Mumbai, Thane in overnight rains; government declares public holiday
At least 16 people were killed in Mumbai and Thane as the cities received heavy rains throughout the day and night on Monday forcing authorities to declare a public holiday amid forecast of more showers.
According to Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials, 13 people died after a wall collapsed on a few hutments built on a hill slope in Kurar village at Malad East.
The incident was reported at around 1am on Tuesday after which the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) and NDRF officials reached the spot.
According to the fire brigade officials, four people were rescued and have been admitted at the Shatabdi Hospital in Kandivali. They said search and rescue operations are still on.
Some people were rescued by locals present there before officials arrived and moved them to hospital in private vehicles. More people could be trapped under the debris, said fire brigade officials.
“Pained to know about the loss of lives in Malad Wall Collapse incidence. My thoughts are with families who lost loved ones & prayers for speedy recovery of injured. ₹5 lakh will be given to the kin of deceased,” chief minister DevendraFadnavis tweeted with a hashtag MumbaiRains.
School education minister Ashish Shelar confirmed late on Monday night that all schools in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar will remain shut on Tuesday. Several city colleges have also called the day off after students complained about waterlogging across the city.
“Due to heavy rain forecast in Mumbai even today by IMD, People are advised to stay indoors unless there is any emergency,” Fadnavis’ office tweeted.
At least three people were killed and one injured in a wall collapse incident early on Tuesday in Kalyan, about 40km from Mumbai.
The wall of National Urdu School, opposite Durgadi Fort in Kalyan (West), fell on the nearby hutments killing two women and a three-year-old boy. A 16-year-old girl was also injured in the accident.
The bodies were pulled out of the debris by rescue teams of the KalyanDombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) fire team, local police and civic officials.
“Four people were trapped inside the debris in a sudden wall collapse of a school. We pulled out three bodies and one suffered severe injuries in the incident,” KDMC fire official Sudhakar Kulkarni said.
“Fire team and police are working on clearing the debris,” he added.
Several local and long-distance trains were cancelled amid reports of tracks being flooded. Western Railway and Central Railway have been updating the status of train lines that are functional on Twitter. Passengers of three suburban trains who got stuck on flooded tracks were evacuated by Railway Protection Force (RPF) staff, Central Railway tweeted.
Those stranded at the Thane railway station were served refreshments by Railway Protection Force (RPF) after several suburban train movements were suspended due to the heavy rains, news agency Asian News International reported.
An aircraft of SpiceJet overshot the main runway 27 while landing at Mumbai’s ChhatrapatiShivajiMaharaj International Airport from Jaipur on Monday night amid heavy rains.
Authorities have not been able to move the plane as they are waiting for an aircraft removal kit, which is only available with Air India and is yet to reach Mumbai from Mangalore.
Meanwhile, flights are being operated from the lesser efficient secondary runway.
A spokesperson of the Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd. said 54 flights have been diverted from the airport. Several flights to and from Mumbai were delayed and cancelled as well due to the traffic situation at the airport.
“The situation of aircraft movements will gradually improve, once the stuck SpiceJet aircraft is taken out of the muddy area,” said an airport official.
According to flightradar24, flights leaving from Mumbai are delayed by an average of 120 minutes, leading to the cancellation of 33 departing flights and arrival of 22 flights after midnight.
Heavy rain lashed the city for the fourth consecutive day on Monday throwing rail, road and air traffic out of gear. Waterlogging was reported from several parts of the city affecting traffic on major roads.
Heavy rainfall is expected in Mumbai and neighbouring cities between July 3 and July 5.
Modest defence budget hike may require tweaks in military’s shopping list
The defence budget, which is part of the Union Budget to be presented later this week will be adequate to acquire so-called stand-off weapons and fund essential capital acquisitions, defence ministry officials said. According to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stand-off weapons, such as the bombs used by the Indian Air Force to target the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot inside Pakistan territory are being prioritised over nice-to-have futuristic platforms.
In the interim budget for 2019-20, announced on February 1, defence was allocated Rs 319 trillion, a hike of 6.87% compared to the previous year. The budget will be presented on July 5.
Military experts termed the 6.87% inadequate (it is 1.52% of India’s GDP) but the fact is that defence capital expenditure (CAPEX) amounted to 31.28% of the country’s capital expenditure in 2018-19.
The defence ministry officials argued that with defence CAPEX already touching this level, the government cannot afford to hike it without crimping spends on crucial social sector schemes. The armed forces counter that defence capex has reduced from 45.3% 2009-10.
“The choice with the government is limited. We can buy weapons but with a commensurate cut in social sector spending,” said a senior defence ministry official.
This has meant prioritising what is needed.
And some of that has been driven by the events of February.
The Indian Air Force’s Balakot Strike on February 26, 2019 was retaliation for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF bus in Pulwama. Twelve Mirage 2000 fighters crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and fired five Spice guided bombs on the Balakot terror camp, killing an unspecified number of terrorists.
While the Mirage fighters managed three direct hits on the northern camp housing trained suicide bombers and terrorists, it is Pakistan’s retaliation the following day which has made the IAF relook at its beyond visual range air to air missile inventory. With Pakistani F-16 fighters firing longer range US made missiles at Indian fighters, the essential requirement is that IAF must upgrade its air to air missile range on its Su-30 MKIs apart from upgrading their data link and on board communication equipment.
“Rather than focusing on an ambitious plan of aerial surveillance of Indian Ocean, the immediate requirement is to effectively militarily block or repel any challenge from western or northern borders. The other challenge that India needs to be prepared for is insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir as well as parts of the North-East,” said a senior military commander.
To this end, the Narendra Modi government is committed to national security and will ensure that essential capital acquisition is not impeded by lack of funds, the defence ministry officials said.
Two squadrons of French Rafale with far superior air to air missiles will arrive in India by next May and the first of the 22 Apache attack helicopter to be delivered in India next month.
Funds are also required to ensure that Indian Navy has long legs to tackle the worst case scenario in Persian Gulf, just as Indian Army needs to restructure its forces for faster response in the event of any crisis like 2017 Doklam or 2016 Uri attack, the officials said, listing their other immediate priorities.
Source – Hindustan Times