Citizens' Issues
e-toll at all 360 plazas by April: Gadkari
Mumbai : All the 360 toll plazas in India will change over to e-toll system by April, Union Minister for Shipping and Road Transport Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
 
"We have already put this project on fast-track and expect the system to become operational before April," Gadkari told the media during the ongoing 'Make In India Week' here.
 
Gadkari said a Special Purpose Vehicle will be formed to implement the project and the introduction of e-toll will drastically reduce waiting time at the toll plazas, which will lead to huge savings in fuel cost.
 
About the status of national highways in the country, he said the total length had increased from 96,000 km to 152,000 km and would hit the key milestone of 200,000 km by April-May. In Maharashtra, road length has increased from 7,000 km to 22,000 km.
 
"Stalled road projects entailing expenditure of Rs.380,000 crore have been revived and a Rs.100,000 crore contract order for roads in the north-east region has been issued," the minister added.
 
He said the central government planned to promote inland water transport in a big way.
 
"On the river Ganga, the ministry is building three multi-modal hubs at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal, with plans to create 30 ports on that stretch and another overall 500 water ports around India," Gadkari said.
 
The government also planned to invest Rs.80,000 crore to modernise major ports, besides building new major ports at Colachal in Tamil Nadu, Sagar in West Bengal and Dahanu in Maharashtra.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Now, Jadavpur varsity students raise pro-Afzal and 'azadi' slogans
Kolkata : Amid the row over anti-India slogans at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi, slogans eulogising parliament attack mastermind Afzal Guru and demands for "azadi" echoed in Jadavpur University here on Tuesday.
 
Slogans like "Afzal bole azadi, jab tum na doge azadi, to cheen lenge azadi, arey cheen ke lenge azadi" were heard during a torchlight procession brought out at Jadavpur University in protest against the "atrocities" perpetrated on JNU students by the Narendra Modi government.
 
They also raised slogans chanting the names of S.A.R. Geelani, a former professor of Delhi University who was arrested on Tuesday for raising anti-India slogans at the Press Club in Delhi.
 
Another slogan heard was "Jo ishrat ne manga, azadi/Jo Manipur mange azadi/To Cheen ke lenge, azadi".
 
The rally, convened by students unions of the three faculties -- science, arts and engineering -- of Jadavpur University in the campus, was well attended.
 
The students also spoke out against the arrest of JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar, and the "ill-treatment" meted out to Hyderabad University Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula that "forced him to take his own life".
 
All India Students Association (AISA) leader Anumita Mitra justified the slogans saying these only questioned the lack of transparency in Afzal's trial and his subsequent death penalty.
 
"The slogans demand azadi from making Indian laws like khap panchayat.
 
"If slogans protesting against the branding of scholars like Rohith Vemula as anti-national and terrorist by the Modi government for challenging cast exploitation are anti-national, then we are all anti-nationals," said Mitra, a third year student.
 
However, Nirjhar Mukhopadhay, another student leader who was at the forefront of the rally, blamed "some fringe elements" for the slogans raised supporting Afzal Guru and Geelani.
 
"Various types of people are present at rallies. Some fringe elements gave these slogans. But that does not reflect the stand of the majority of students. They don't reflect my opinion."
 
But he admitted that he had said: "Kashmir mange azadi/Manipur mange azadi".
 
"Please let me tell you in what context I have said that. We all love our country. 'Azadi' for us signifies freedom from atrocities, atrocities of the Modi government, and freedom from intolerance," he added.
 
In a separate statement, the Students Federation of India opposed the slogans, saying "such slogans should not be raised from processions of students which directly or indirectly support any act of terrorism or a terrorist". 
 
"At a time efforts are on to peddle a fundamentalist brand of nationalist across the country, and brign about communal polarisation, and undermine left student politics, such irresponsible acts will strengthen the hands of the fascist forces. And harm the ongoing movements."
 
"SFI is determined to oppose secessionism, communalism, as also fundamentalist brand of nationalism and efforts at communal polarisation," said SFI president Maadhuja Sen Roy.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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'The Jungle Book' to hit Indian screens a week before US
New Delhi : Disney's "The Jungle Book", starring 12-year-old Indian-American Neel Sethi as Mowgli, has a special treat in store for Indian fans of the timeless tale. The film will come out in the Indian theatres on April 8, a week before it releases in the US.
 
"We are thrilled to confirm that Disney's all-new live-action epic, 'The Jungle Book', will be out in Indian theatres a week prior to the US release. We have a few more surprises in store for 'The Jungle Book' fans in India," Amrita Pandey -- vice president, Studios, Disney India, said in a statement.
 
Directed by "Iron Man" fame Jon Favreau, and featuring voices by iconic actors like Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba and Christopher Walken, "The Jungle Book" is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves.
 
Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he is forced to abandon the only home he has ever known.
 
It is based on the adventure stories penned by Rudyard Kipling and inspired by Disney's animated adaptation.
 
The movie blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using high-end technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences.
 
"Tales of 'The Jungle Book' have been an intrinsic part of most of our growing up years. Adventurous stories of Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Kaa and Shere Khan are so beloved by the Indian audience," Pandey added.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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