The decorations on a tree also contribute to its safety. “The objective in selecting decorations is to make sure that allelectrical devices meet safety standards and to make sure thatthere are no flammable materials on the tree,” Mr. Cormierexplained. He recommended this checklist: ENVIRONMENT AND LABOUR -Fire Marshal’s Checklist for ChristmasTree Safety The fire marshal also reminded Nova Scotians that smoke detectorssave lives. “A working smoke detector with a fresh battery willprovide additional peace of mind,” Mr. Cormier said. Never put a candle on a tree or anywhere near it. Use only noncombustible decorations. Use only light strings that carry a CSA or approved equivalent certification. Spot or floodlights should be used only on an artificial tree. Never use electric lights on a metal tree. Only use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights only outdoors. Check for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires and loose connections. Replace any damaged light sets. Avoid overloading electrical circuits or creating “octopus” connections. Use no more than three light sets on one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid the tripping hazard, but do not run cords under rugs. Consider using miniature lights. They produce less heat. Disconnect the lights at bedtime or when unattended. Choose a sturdy tree stand with a wide base that will be difficult to tip over. The base should hold water. Always choose a freshly cut tree. The needles of pine and spruce should bend and not break and should be difficult to pull off the branches. On a fresh fir tree, a needle pulled from the stem will snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot. Look for a trunk sticky with sap. Cut about five centimetres (two inches) from the base of the tree before placing it in the stand. Select the location for your Christmas tree carefully, keeping it away from fireplaces, heating vents and other heat-producing appliances that may dry out the tree. Be sure there is no chance of the tree blocking an entrance if it falls. Use wire or nylon cord to secure the tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent it from being knocked over by children or pets. Make sure the tree is watered every day. The tree can absorb four or five litres of water on the first day. May sure the water tank is full. Dispose of the tree safely when it starts dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage, or placed against the house. Check with your community composting program for the tree pick-up schedule. The Christmas tree is one of the most beloved winter traditions,but its beauty also brings the increased risk of fire. “The tree is a large piece of fuel that gets more flammable as itages,” said fire marshal Robert Cormier. “It’s often decoratedwith electrical lights that are a potential source of ignition;and it’s inside the house so it can be close to heating devicesand candles.” He urged all Nova Scotians to use proven procedures to keep thetree safe. The checklist begins with a fresh tree that is keptmoist. “A fresh tree will still burn, but it’s harder to start burningthan one that’s been allowed to dry out,” Mr. Cormier explained. He suggested these steps to help protect against potentialdangers:
Assessment notices are in the mail today, Jan. 22, to property owners in the western region of the province. In the region, the total value of property assessments is almost $7.4 billion, an increase of about 9.9 per cent from 2007. “The real estate market continued to be strong and this is reflected in rising property values,” said Lloyd MacLellan, senior director of operations and commercial valuation for Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “The residential sector is very strong.” Regionally, residential property values increased by 12.1 per cent and commercial assessments increased by 2.7 per cent from 2007. Provincially, residential property values increased by 11.2 per cent and commercial assessments increased by 5.9 per cent from 2007. Overall, Nova Scotia property values were up 9.8 per cent. Notices of property assessments for most residential properties will include a personal identification number as well as an assessment account number. By entering the information on the assessment website, www.nsassessment.ca , owners can look up assessment information about their property. Those without Internet access can obtain the information and answers to assessment questions by calling 1-800-667-5727. Property owners may appeal the market-value assessment if they do not believe it is a reasonable estimate of market value as of Jan. 1, 2006. To appeal, the form on the bottom of the assessment notice must be filled out and returned to the regional assessment office by midnight Monday, Feb. 11. This is the first year where property owners did not have to apply to the Capped Assistance Program (CAP), a provincial program designed to protect Nova Scotia property owners from dramatic increases in market values. Last year, the CAP value was set at 10 per cent. Now, it is tied to the Nova Scotia Consumer Price Index which was 2.3 per cent this year. As a result, there were 278,338 properties capped this year, up from 32,721 properties last year. In the Western region, there were 33,998 capped properties this year, up from 2,043 capped properties last year. Where an assessment notice shows a taxable market value and a taxable CAP Capped Assistance Program value, the municipality will calculate property tax on the lower of the two values.
Premier Rodney MacDonald today, Sept. 11, congratulated Mitch MacDonald on his excellent showing on Canadian Idol. “Even though Mitch placed second in last night’s contest, the cheers coming from Port Hood could probably be heard in Toronto for their hometown hero,” Premier MacDonald said of the television series finale. “While Mitch finished second, he remains first in the hearts of Nova Scotians,” the premier said. “Nova Scotia’s musical talent has been shining in venues across the globe for sometime now. Mitch is another tremendous example of the exceptional abilities coming from our province. “Like so many others before him, the key to his success throughout the contest was that he remained true to his musical roots.” The premier thanked the people of the province and the hundreds of thousands of Canadians for their support of the tremendous young Nova Scotian whose future appears limitless. The premier also congratulated winner Theo Tams, of Lethbridge, Alta., for his excellent showing throughout the annual national contest.
Nova Scotia is recognizing Canada’s first National Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims, today, Nov. 19. The Day of Remembrance is observed in many countries annually as part of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration. To mark the day, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Murray Scott joined other road safety partners at J.L. Ilsley High School for a remembrance event. “The National Day of Remembrance is an opportunity to acknowledge our responsibility as individuals and a community to prevent serious injuries and deaths on our roadways,” said Mr. Scott. “It’s great to see youth getting involved and showing leadership in road safety awareness.” The Nova Scotia Road Safety Youth Committee, along with students at J.L. Ilsley High School, organized the event to raise awareness about the high number of youth injured and killed. Every year, an average of 28 youth age 15 to 30 die on the roads of Nova Scotia. “The fact that injury is the leading cause of death for youth, yet 95 per cent of injuries are preventable, is astonishing and it’s something that needs to change,” said committee co-chair, Catherine Kennedy. “Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury, disability and death in the youth population across Canada and we all need to take a stand together to make that change,” said committee co-chair, Jennifer Heatley. The Nova Scotia Road Safety Youth Committee is hoping to leave a lasting impression on youth and jumpstart action on youth road safety with the key message: Don’t lose another friend. The Nova Scotia Road Safety Youth Committee is a sub-committee of Nova Scotia’s Road Safety Advisory Committee. The province has introduced several legislative, enforcement and awareness initiatives to improve road safety. The initiatives include a ban on hand-held cellphones, stronger and expanded penalties for street racing, legislation and funding to improve crosswalk safety and an integrated impaired driving enforcement unit.
Woodlot owners who produce maple syrup, Christmas trees and other non-timber forest products are getting a boost to help sell their goods. A new publication launched today, April 4, called From Our Atlantic Woods, lists more than 260 businesses that promote goods and services other than conventional wood products like timber and pulpwood. “The directory provides an opportunity for the forest sector to diversify,” said Minister of Natural Resources Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “It will also help those woodland owners who earn some income from their forests by selling non-timber products, to improve access to niche markets. This is critical, given that traditional forest markets have been declining.” Other examples of non-timber forest products include fiddleheads, wild mushrooms, bentwood furniture, greenery, berry wines, essential oils and eco-tourism. “The directory will help woodland owners develop a diverse and sustainable non-timber forest products industry in our region,” said Ms. Bolivar-Getson. The directory was produced by forestry organizations in the four Atlantic provinces and Maine to help promote local products and encourage new opportunities for local businesses. The directory includes business listings, guides on various topics and recipes. Free copies of the directory will be available provincewide Tuesday, April 14 at Natural Resources offices, Sobeys, farmers markets and other locations. The directory is available online at FromOurAtlanticWoods.com .
« Look Out World! » était le cri de ralliement à la une des journaux et lancé par les milliers de personnes réunies pour célébrer les premiers Jeux d’été du Canada, qui ont eu lieu en 1969 à Halifax-Dartmouth. Cette semaine nous célébrons le 40e anniversaire des Jeux de 1969, et la Société hôtesse des Jeux du Canada de 2011 à Halifax profite de l’occasion pour célébrer le passé et se tourner vers l’avenir. Halifax organisera ses premiers Jeux d’hiver du Canada, en février 2011. « En 1969, j’avais 11 ans et j’ai vu l’équipe de la Nouvelle-Écosse remporter la finale des hommes de canoë de guerre sur le lac Banook, » a dit Jean-Paul Deveau, président du comité d’administration des Jeux de 2011. « Depuis, j’ai toujours eu hâte de pouvoir sentir à nouveau la fièvre des Jeux dans ma ville natale. Ce rêve deviendra finalement réalité en 2011 alors qu’Halifax accueillera les Jeux d’hiver du Canada. » La plupart se souviennent d’août 1969 comme « l’été de l’amour », mais pour les gens d’Halifax-Dartmouth et pour les meilleurs jeunes athlètes de notre pays, c’était l’été de l’amour des sports où des records ont été établis, des objectifs ont été atteints et de nouveaux rêves ont été fabriqués. Aujourd’hui nous profitons toujours des retombées des Jeux de 1969, notamment en ce qui concerne les sites de compétition tels que la piscine Centennial, le stade des Huskies et le terrain Beazley. Judi Rice, participante aux Jeux de 1969, se souvient du moment où elle est entrée dans le stade des Huskies de Saint Mary’s pour la cérémonie d’ouverture avec l’équipe de la Nouvelle-Écosse. « C’était surréaliste, dit-elle. Je me souviens de la présence du premier ministre du Canada Pierre Trudeau et du premier ministre de la Nouvelle-Écosse Robert Stanfield. Lorsqu’on a présenté l’équipe de la Nouvelle-Écosse, la foule a applaudit tellement fort. Nous étions tous très fiers d’accueillir les premiers Jeux d’été et d’y participer. » Mme Rice est l’une de plusieurs anciennes athlètes dont l’histoire des Jeux de 1969 est présentée dans une section spéciale du site Web des Jeux de 2011. Le site inclut également un « retour en arrière virtuel » qui présente des photos et des vidéos de cet événement historique. La Municipalité régionale d’Halifax proclamera les semaines du 15 au 22 août et du 23 au 29 août les semaines des Jeux du Canada. Pendant ce temps, le drapeau des Jeux du Canada flottera à l’extérieur de l’hôtel de ville, rendant hommage à l’histoire des Jeux de 1969 et annonçant les prochains Jeux tenus dans la ville, en 2011. Le jeudi 13 août de 15 h à 18 h, les visiteurs de la gare maritime d’Halifax sont invités à revivre le passé grâce à des expositions de photos et de vidéos, de souvenirs, de chansons classiques de l’époque et d’activités qui rendent hommage à l’héritage laissé par les Jeux de 1969. L’événement sera organisé par la Société hôtesse des Jeux de 2011, en partenariat avec le Chronicle Herald, NewCap Radio et le Temple de la renommée des sports de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Pour obtenir plus d’information sur le 40e anniversaire des Jeux de 1969, consultez le www.jeuxducanada2011.ca/1969.
The Department of Labour and Workforce Development’s Occupational Health and Safety office relocated Wednesday, Dec. 22, to a new location: 187 Terra Cotta Dr.New Glasgow, Nova Scotia B2H 6B6Phone: 902-755-7031Fax: 902-755-3158 Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m., to 4:30 p.m. -30-
Nearly 800 foster families who open their hearts to children in need of a loving, stable home in Nova Scotia will be celebrated beginning Sunday, Oct. 16. Foster Family Appreciation Week is held annually on the third week of October in Nova Scotia. “Children come into foster care with different backgrounds and for different reasons, but each come to us with a shared hope for a better life,” said Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse. “Foster families give children the loving and nurturing home they deserve, and they help to turn that hope into reality. For that, and for so much more, we thank them.” At celebrations across the province Oct. 16-22, certificates of recognition will be presented to foster families for the difference they have made to a child in need. “The most rewarding thing is knowing that we’ve changed the world for the children we’ve brought into our family,” said Kimberly Berry, a foster parent in Timberlea. “We’re making a difference – we’re helping kids heal and lead healthier, happier lives.” More foster families like the Berrys are needed. Foster family recruiting and orientation sessions provide foster parents with extensive training in a wide range of topics. During the sessions, held year-round, experienced foster parent trainers share knowledge and experience and deliver the training program with the Department of Community Services and the Federation of Foster Families of Nova Scotia. Community Services also provides support for costs associated with fostering children or youth for things like clothing and school supplies. In April, foster care rates were increased by more than 10 per cent, or about $50 per child, per month – the second increase in as many years. People interested in learning more or becoming a foster family, should call 1-800-565-1884, 24-hours, toll-free, or visit www.gov.ns.ca/fostercare .
Feb. 14, Annapolis Basin Conference Centre, 761 Broadway Ave., Cornwallis Park Feb. 15, Rodd Colony Harbour Inn, 6 Forest St., Yarmouth Feb. 17, Coady Institute, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish Feb. 24, Debert Hospitality Centre, 130 Ventura Dr., Debert March 3, Gaelic College, 51779 Cabot Trail Rd., Englishtown March 24, Best Western Plus Hotel and Convention Centre, 527 Highway 10, Bridgewater Entrepreneurs interested in learning more about starting a farm business and farmers interested sharpening their business skills are encouraged to attend a From the Ground Up workshop being held in February and March. The one-day workshop covers tips and strategies for running and growing a business, marketing, trends and technical practices,as shared by local farmers and other agriculture experts. “Agriculture offers rewarding career choices,” said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. “There are many opportunities in Nova Scotia for farm entrepreneurs to create good jobs and grow the economy while making a sustainable living.” Six workshops will take place: Mr. MacDonell said attracting new people into careers in agriculture is important to ensure Nova Scotia’s agriculture industry stays sustainable. Registration information, agendas and speaker biographies are located atwww.gov.ns.ca/agri/thinkfarm/fromthegroundup.shtml
The province is changing its wildfire detection program to improve public safety and fire response time while also better protecting firefighters. Expanded aerial fire detection, with contracted fixed-wing airplane services, will cover much of the province by spring 2013. “The department takes its forest fire fighting responsibilities very seriously, and we are continuously working to improve forest protection and public safety,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. “Using aircraft as our principal fire detection system will improve our ability to gather crucial information, and bring us in line with most other provinces across Canada.” Increased public reporting, improved cellphone communication and use of aircraft for fire detection mean fire towers are not needed as much as in the past. Aerial detection gives better information on the size, condition and behaviour of a wildfire. It also helps keep firefighters on the ground safer by getting better information to them faster. In remote areas, 14 fire towers will continue to provide primary detection. Fire detection provided from 19 fire towers will be replaced with modern aerial fire detection next year. Ninety per cent of all wildfires are reported by the public. “We have one of the fastest response times in Canada and we strongly support a revised new multi-detection approach to maintain, and potentially improve, these response times,” said Walter Fanning, director of forest protection. The principal detection system in most of Canada is aircraft. Early trials in Nova Scotia have shown it is a reliable and cost-effective option. The province’s multi-detection system includes fire towers, strategic aerial patrols and public reporting through 911.
More Nova Scotians will have easier access to community facilities and venues, thanks to provincial support announced today, July 2. Through the Community ACCESS-ability Program, the province is investing more than $83,000 in accessibility-related capital improvements such as renovations, installations and equipment. “This program helps remove barriers for Nova Scotians with disabilities so they can have access to public buildings and spaces,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry, on behalf of John MacDonell, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “This investment allows twelve community organizations and municipalities to renovate and install equipment that provides or improves universal accessibility.” Through this program, community organizations and municipalities can receive up to two-thirds of renovation and equipment costs, with a maximum of $10,000. The applicant covers the other third of the cost. Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow, which creates better lives for people with intellectual disabilities, is receiving funding that will help install materials in an area of their campus to reduce sound for clients who have sensory sensitivity issues. “The $4,672 accessibility grant helps us provide the best possible programs and services for our clients,” said Bob Bennett, executive director of Summer Street Industries. “This project will directly influence the learning experience of clients who have hearing loss and other sensory sensitivities by allowing them to access and participate in job training activities comfortably. “We could not have moved forward without the support and partnership of the Nova Scotia government, for which we are very thankful.”
Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey, on behalf of the Municipal Affairs Minister, announced funding for improvements to 18 Royal Canadian Legion branches today, July 24. Government is investing more than $108,000 under the Legion Capital Assistance Program to help branches upgrade heating systems and washrooms, repair roofs and siding, and replace doors and windows. “Legion members across the province contribute considerable time and energy to their communities through meetings, activities and events,” said Ms. Casey. “Legions host many local projects and programs for seniors and youth, and play a crucial role in bringing communities together.” The program provides up to 50 per cent of eligible costs, to a maximum contribution of $10,000. “This cost-sharing program for capital improvements to legion branch buildings greatly assists the Royal Canadian Legion in its delivery of programming and services to veterans, their families, youth and seniors,” said Steve Wessel, president of Nova Scotia-Nunavut Command of The Royal Canadian Legion. “I commend the Government of Nova Scotia for its continued support of branches.”
New Delhi: Police Families Welfare Society (PFWS) is organizing Summer Camps at 10 welfare centres and four sub-centres for welfare as well as skill enhancement of the families of the police personnel. These camps shall start from 27th May 2019 to 08th June 2019. According to police during the Summer Camp, a wide range of activities have been arranged for women and children. Various activities with different time-slot have been allotted to each Welfare Centers. Amulya Patnaik, Commissioner of Police shall be the chief guest of the programme. Suchana Patnaik, (President/PFWS), team leaders of various centres, senior Delhi Police officer and their spouses and other members of PFWS shall also remain present to witness the programme.
New Delhi: Apex consumer body NCDRC has dismissed Mercedes-Benz India’s appeal against a state commission’s direction to pay Rs 2 lakh to a Chandigarh resident for constant defects in the luxury car he bought from the company four years ago. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) upheld the Chandigarh State Commission’s order relying on an expert report by three professors of Punjab Engineering College who said the problem in the vehicle had not been removed. The commission’s Presiding member V K Jain said the vehicle in question was a Mercedes which is expected to run smoothly as the owner paid Rs 37 lakh for it. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”In these circumstances, the grant of compensation only for Rs 2 lakh cannot be said to be excessive or unreasonable by any standards considering that the vehicle in question was a Mercedes vehicle which was expected to run smoothly without giving much trouble to the owner he having spent as much as Rs 37 lakh for purchase of the vehicle, and it had been troubling the complainant right from the time it was purchased, developing one snag or the other,” the commission said in a recent order. According to the complaint filed by Prince Bansal, he had purchased Mercedes CDI 220 for Rs 37 lakhs on September 17, 2015 and within a few days itself the car was inspected for defects.
Manchester: India batsman KL Rahul has admitted that he was a little nervous when he walked out to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma in the much-anticipated World Cup clash against Pakistan here on Sunday. “It has been a while since I opened the batting in a one-day international. Bit of nerves, but happy that I could get the team off to a start like that,” Rahul said in a mid-innings interview aired on Star Sports. The 27-year-old quelled doubts on whether he will be able to fill the shoes of the injured Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order by scoring 57 and sharing a 136-run opening stand with Rohit. “I won’t lie, I was nervous about the hype of the India-Pakistan game. But it was more because I hadn’t opened the batting in a while. Getting an opportunity after almost two years… I was more nervous about that,” said Rahul. “We know that with Pakistan the initial threat was (Mohammad) Amir and Hasan Ali who can seam the ball a little bit. It was important for us to be smart and play out the first 10 overs. I am happy I did that,” he added. India went on to pile up 336/5 in the allotted 50 overs, courtesy Rohit’s 140 off 113 balls and captain Virat Kohli’s 65-ball 77. Rahul reckoned it was a good score, saying India were aiming between 260 and 270 runs considering the overcast conditions. “We all know the conditions here… It has been raining and the wicket has been under cover, so we were thinking 260-270 would be a good target as it was slow and sticky at the start. To get past 300, it gives us the extra boost. If it spins then it will help our bowlers,” he said.
London: Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas avoided a slip-up at Queen’s on Thursday as he breezed past British Number one Kyle Edmund 6-3, 7-5 in their rain-delayed first round match. However, for once the doubles will take centre-stage over the singles later in west London as former world number one Andy Murray makes his return to competitive tennis for the first time since undergoing a hip operation in January. Murray will team up with veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez against the top seeds and French Open semi-finalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Also Read – Djokovic heaps praise on ‘very complete’ MedvedevTsitsipas was grateful to polish off Edmund in straight sets after resuming at 3-3 in the second set after rain on Wednesday forced the match into a second day. The 20-year-old Greek will be back on court later on Thursday to face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy as organisers try to catch up with lost time early in the week. The world number six also saw his chances of winning a first title on grass helped as defending champion Marin Cilic and last year’s Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson crashed out in the second round. Also Read – Mary Kom enters quarterfinals, Saweety Boora bows out of World C’shipsAnderson, the second seed, looked understandably rusty in his first tournament appearance since March due to injury. The veteran South African battled back from a set down to Gilles Simon, but the Frenchman prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Fifth-seeded Cilic — who also won the Queen’s title in 2012 and reached the final on two other occasions — went down 6-4, 6-4 to 26-year-old Argentinian Diego Schwartzmann, who is appearing at Queen’s for the first time and recorded just his third win on the surface. Tsitsipas’s run to the final had already been eased by the withdrawal of third seed Juan Martin del Potro, who suffered a fresh knee injury after stumbling towards the end of his victory over Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday. Del Potro has fractured his right patella and faces another lengthy spell on the sidelines after surgery.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is expected to inaugurate the first Level-I Trauma Care Centre in the Eastern India at the IPGME&R SSKM Hospital on Monday, thereby announcing its journey.Banerjee will also distribute special awards among some doctors for rendering exceptional services. The Trauma Care Centre (TCC) will be thrown open for public at the hospital following its inauguration by the Chief Minister. The newly built TCC will facilitate immediate resuscitation, emergency life-saving surgery, close monitoring, investigation and rehabilitation post surgery/treatment. All the necessary infrastructure has been put in place at the 244-bed state-of-the-art TCC, housed in a 10-storeyed building on the hospital premises. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellersIt may be mentioned that the Mamata Banerjee government has laid great stress on infrastructure development in the Health sector. Various trauma care centres have already been constructed in RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, Burdwan Medical College and Hospital and various others district hospitals to reduce the mortality rate in trauma patients in Bengal. According to a senior official of SSKM Hospital, it will be the largest TCC in the eastern region, which has been demarcated as Level-I on the basis of its infrastructure facilities. The Bengal government has spent a total cost of Rs 250 crore for setting up the world class unit. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaProdded by the Chief Minister, the Health department initiated the process of setting up trauma care centres in the district hospitals. It often becomes difficult to ferry accident victims from the districts to the city. The mortality rate in trauma patients is as high as 21 percent in the country, against six percent in the West. Altogether there will be 40 ICU beds and as many as eight operation theatres. The assessment of patients will be done for prioritising the treatment on the ground floor of the TCC. There will also be a disaster preparedness zone that will cater to patients injured in disasters. It has been learnt there will be three separate zones in the Trauma Care Centre, namely ‘Green Zone’, ‘Yellow Zone’ and ‘Red Zone’. The ‘Green Zone’ will be meant for the patients requiring minor surgical interventions. The ‘Red Zone’ is a place where the patients requiring immediate life support or surgery would be admitted. A day care centre will be housed at the ‘Green Zone’. The ‘Red Zone’ on the other hand will have a separate Critical Care Unit (CCU) and Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU).
Mumbai: Former India opener Gautam Gambhir Wednesday blasted the MSK Prasad-led senior selection panel after middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu decided to retire from all forms of cricket, saying the five selectors combined would not have made the runs Rayudu has scored in his career. Ignored for the ongoing ICC World Cup Rayudu announced his retirement from all forms of the game without specifying his reasons for calling it quits in his email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football together “According to me, the selectors have been a complete disappointment this World Cup. Rayudu’s retirement decision is because of them and their decision-making skills are to be blamed for this,” Star Sports expert Gambhir said on Cricket Live. The 33-year-old was in the official standbys list for the big event in the UK but was ignored despite the injury-forced ouster of all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Opener Mayank Agrawal was brought in on the team management’s insistence and it is learnt that Rayudu was left quite disappointed by the turn of events. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open Gambhir, who played 58 Tests and 147 ODIs, minced no words in targeting the selectors by saying the five selectors combined would not have made the runs Rayudu had made in his career. “Five selectors combined would not have made the runs Rayudu has in his career. I feel extremely sad about this retirement. Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal got selected amidst the World Cup injuries, and anyone in Rayudu’s place would have felt equally bad,” said Gambhir, who is now a BJP MP. He termed Rayudu’s decision to retire as a sad moment for Indian cricket. “A cricketer like him that has played so well in the IPL and for the nation, scored three 100’s and ten 50’s, and despite that if a player has to retire – it is a sad moment for Indian cricket,” Gambhir added further. Rayudu played 55 ODIs for India, scoring 1694 runs at an average of 47.05. The player, who could never break into the Test team, was in the spotlight before the World Cup. Declared the preferred No.4 batsman by captain Virat Kohli not many months ago, Rayudu was ignored as Vijay Shankar got the nod in India’s final squad for the big event. Rayudu reacted on his omission with a sarcastic tweet that he would watch the World Cup wearing 3D glasses, in an obvious reference to chief selector Prasad’s defence of Vijay Shankar’s selection. Prasad had said that the Tamil Nadu player brings three dimensions to the table – as a middle order batsman who could bowl at medium pace and is also a handy fielder – and that was the reason he got the nod ahead of Rayudu.
Lucknow: BJP working President J.P. Nadda has set a target of 36 lakh new members for the party’s membership drive in Uttar Pradesh.He said that efforts should be made to increase the target to 50 lakh.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally launch the membership drive on Saturday from Varanasi.Nadda, who arrived in Lucknow on Friday evening on his first visit after being appointed working President, held a late night marathon meeting with BJP National Secretary (organization) Shiv Prasad, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP UP in-charge Sunil Bansal, Union Minister and state BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey and Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Former Union Minister Kalraj Misra was a special invitee at the meeting.The party discussed the success of pre-poll programmes such as ‘Mera parivar, BJP parivar’ and ‘Mera booth, sabse mazboot’ as well as restructuring of community-wise cells and sabhas from booth to top level.”At present BJP has 1.8 crore members in UP and our intention is to register 20 per cent increase in membership which is 36 lakh. I would like to see this go up to 50 lakh,” he said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe membership drive is being billed as a big event by the party ahead of by-polls to 12 state Assembly seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is seeing the event to sustain the momentum gathered after Lok Sabha results for 2022 UP polls.Nadda also made it clear that relatives of legislators who had been elected to the Lok Sabha would not be considered for tickets in the by elections.He thanked party workers for their hard work, saying it had created an atmosphere in its favour in the recent Lok Sabha elections which was converted into votes.”Through hard work, workers created an atmosphere which was in the party’s favour and converted it into votes leading to a historic victory,” he said.
Lucknow: The much-talked about Lucknow-Agra Expressway is turning into a killer expressway. According to the data made available by the UP Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), between August 2017 and March 2018 there have been 858 accidents causing 100 deaths. Between April 2018 and December 2018, 1,113 accidents claimed 91 lives. The bus accident on Monday which claimed 29 lives is just another addition to the list. Agra Development Foundation (ADF) Secretary K.C. Jain had posted a RTI query and the reply confirmed that an abnormally high number of accidents and casualties are taking place on the expressway. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! According to the response to the RTI query, in the past nine months, 100 persons have died in 853 accidents that have taken place on the expressway. Reports of UP State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) drivers — the bus that crashed down on Monday belonged to UPSRTC — being fatigued and overworked have been doing the rounds and are cited as the cause of Monday’s accident. Drivers are required not to drive beyond 14 hours a day but most of them go up to 18 hours per day since it brings in financial incentives. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed Principal Secretary (Transport), Aradhana Shukla, while explaining the situation, said, “In the case of Monday’s accident, the driver was well rested since he had come after a three-day leave. He was a night long-distance driver and did not have a single accident to his credit. The bus was new and in good condition. It was a pure accident and nothing else.” She said that the CCTV footage at a toll plaza showed that the driver had stopped and even had a conversation with the staff there barely minutes before the accident. Other reports suggested that the driver had started dozing off and some passengers had even advised him to wash his face. The Principal Secretary also said that most drivers show keenness to drive beyond the stipulated hours because it brings them additional money. She further said that the department will now take sterner steps to check such incidents in future. A senior official, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, said that the vehicles moving at a high speed on the expressway was one of the major reasons for the mishaps. The 302 km expressway still does not have any infrastructural support including petrol pumps, vehicle repair shops, medical facilities and rest rooms. Ambulances are also not available on the expressway in case of emergency. The speed limit on the expressway is 120 km per hour, but most vehicle race beyond the speed limit, causing fatal accidents. The state government has recently announced that those covering the 302 km stretch from Lucknow toll plaza to Agra in less than three hours will have to pay a fine for speeding. Avanish Kumar Awasthi, Chief Executive Officer, Uttar Pradesh Expressways Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA), said, “If any vehicle is found to have covered the distance between Agra and Lucknow or vice versa in less than three hours, it will be fined and an e-challan will be sent to the registered address of the vehicle owner.” He said that high-tech equipment have been installed at toll plazas in order to capture images of vehicles for data analysis reports. The details are then sent to the SP (Traffic) of Agra and Lucknow districts for issuance of e-challans. The Lucknow-Agra expressway, built at a cost of Rs 15,000 crore, has six lanes which can be extended to eight lanes. There are four railway over bridges, 13 bridges, 57 small bridges, 74 underpass, 148 pedestrian underpass, and nine flyovers along the way. The expressway was completed in a record time of 23 months and over one crore vehicles are expected to use it in one year. The expressway is built across 10 districts and 3500 hectares of land. The districts through which the expressway passes are Lucknow, Hardoi, Unnao, Kanpur, Kannauj, Auraiyya, Etawah, Mainpuri, Ferozabad and Shikohabad.