Citizens' Issues
Cyclone Nilofar to hit Gujarat coast in 48 hrs, Met issues warning

If it moves towards the Gujarat coast, then it may bring atmospheric changes like rainfall and strong winds, but at present it is difficult to say anything, Additional Director of Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre Mohanty said.


Gujarat's state administration is preparing to face 'Cyclone Nilofar', which has developed in the Arabian Sea and is likely to move towards the state's coast. The Met Department issued a warning asking port authorities to hoist distant warning signals.


"The cyclonic storm has developed in the Arabian Sea. The system would move initially north-northwest wards during the next 48 hours. Keep hoisted distant warning at your port," the port warning of the meteorological department read.


An Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre official said that the exact situation of the cyclone could be ascertained only after 48 hours.


"At present, the cyclonic storm is centred in the west central and adjoining south west area of the Arabian sea. The exact situation, how and whether it will affect the Gujarat coast, can be ascertained, only after it moves from its current location. It may take 48 hours to ascertain that," Additional Director of Ahmedabad Meteorological Centre, Manorama Mohanty, said.


If it moves towards the Gujarat coast, then it may bring atmospheric changes like rainfall and strong winds, but at present it is difficult to say anything, Mohanty said.


Considering the probability of 'Cyclone Nilofar' hitting the Gujarat coast, the Kutch district collector has issued an advisory to various authorities directing all sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) to keep their control rooms functional.


District Collector Mahendra Patel has also asked authorities of the Kandla Port Trust (KPT), the state maritime board and the forest department, besides all talatis and sarpanches in coastal villages to remain alert.


Control rooms would monitor the situation and issue alerts every three hours to authorities in the coastal region of the state, the advisory said.


Gujarat State Relief Commission DN Pandey said that the situation is being monitored.

Nilofar is likely to hit western Rajasthan, especially Barmer and Jaisalmer, in the next five days.


If the Indian Meteorological Department gets it right, Nilofar is like to move towards northern Gujarat and adjoining Pakistan and its impact could also be witnessed in western Rajasthan.


By Saturday, many places in Barmer and Jaisalmer may face dust storms followed by rains.


EAS Sarma appeals citizens to help Hudhud victims

Along with other NGOs and companions, former Union Expenditure Secreary, EAS Sarma, who is involved in activism for better governance, is looking for assistance to reach solar lamps to cyclone affected slum-dwellers in costal Andhra Pradesh. His appeal hopes to garner support to help many more in need


Mr EAS Sarma, former secretary to the government of India, has issued an appeal to help victims of the cyclone Hudhud. The well-known and widely respected former bureaucrat, who has been working as an activist for various causes in his retirement days said, “After the cyclone that hit Vizag on October 12, I have gone round the slums in different parts of the city, which have been badly affected. The slum dwellers have lost whatever little they had. Most of them have no electricity and were exposed to snake bites.”

Mr Sarma went around Vishakapatnam to assess the damage in the aftermath of the cyclone and in collaboration with local NGOs and Dr B Ranganayakulu of Thrive Solar Energy Co., had distributed solar lamps to the affected slum-dwellers. So far they had distributed 600 lamps, he said.

“When I visited some slums for the second time after they received these lamps, I saw happiness on their faces. I attach pictures of a ragpickers colony celebrating Diwali with solar lamps. We distributed 66 lamps there on the Diwali day and the residents, who encountered more than 25 poisonous snakes in their colony after the cyclone, proudly celebrated the festival with the solar lamps,” he said.

Mr Sarma has appealed to citizens across India to donate and help in the distribution of more solar lamps to those in need. “The retail price of a lamp is Rs300, for individuals wishing to donate, the price could be lower at Rs150,” he said. Talking about the wide need of these lamps, “There are hundreds of slums in Visakhapatnam and the residents there lead sub-human lives,” he said.


“If you wish to be present and take part in the distribution exercise, you are most welcome,” he added, encouraging volunteers in coming to help in the distribution of the aid. He explained that their work in Vishakapatnam was not restricted to merely distributing lamps. He said they were trying their best to sit with the slum-dwellers and understand their problems, so that they could alert the authorities and get these problems resolved.

If you wish to donate to the cause, the details are as below:

Bank account name : Thrive Solar Energy Pvt Ltd

Bank name: State Bank of Hyderabad

Branch name: MSME Moulali Branch, Hyderabad

Branch code: 20096

Account on: 62267746317

IFSC code: SBHY0020096

“Kindly circulate this appeal widely among your friends. A solar lamp can trigger a positive change in the lives of the slum residents,” Mr Sarma said in his appeal.


Retirement: EPFO To Launch Online PF Transfer for Private PF Trusts

EPFO is all set to launch an online facility for transfer of provident fund (PF) accounts for organised sector workers covered under private PF trusts. “The EPFO has planned to launch the facility of online transfer of PF account from private PF trusts to un-exempted firms which are filing PF returns and vice-versa, this month,” a labour ministry official said.


At present, this facility is available to workers of firms which do not have their PF trusts.


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