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Midday News

1400 HRS

1400 HRS.

10th February, 2019


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility and ONGC's Vashishta project in Andhra Pradesh; Also to launch several development projects in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka later today.

  • Questioning of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar resumes at CBI office in Shillong.

  • In Jammu & Kashmir, five terrorists killed in an encounter in Devsar area of Kulgam district.

  • Lakhs of devotees take holy dip during third and final Shahi Snan at Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj on Basant Panchami.

  • In Cricket: New Zealand Women's team defeats India by 2 runs in the third T20 in Hamilton to win the series 3-0. Match underway between the Men's teams.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation the 1.33 million metric ton capacity Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility at Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. He also inaugurated Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited's Vashishta and S1 development project located in the Krishna-Godavari Offshore Basin. Mr Modi also laid the foundation stone for setting up of a new terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) at Krishnapatnam. Addressing a gathering in Guntur, Mr. Modi said, these projects are not only important for Andhra Pradesh but for the entire nation to meet its energy needs. He said, these projects will create huge job opportunities.

"सारे प्रोजेक्ट से यहां के युवाओं को सीधा रोजगार तो मिलेगा ही, साथ ही गैस पर आधारित उद्योगों का भी विकास होगा। साथियों भारत को गैस और क्लीन फ्यूल बेस इकॉनमी बनाने के लिए हम तेज गति से काम कर रहे हैं। चाहे रसोई में एलपीजी और पीएनजी के कनेक्शन हों, गाड़ियों में सीएनजी हों या फिर गैस से फर्टिलाइजर बनाने वाले कारखानें, पूरे देश में व्यापक काम हो रहा है।"   

Prime Minister Modi said, the government is focussing on development of all coastal lines of the country as Petroleum hubs.

"साथियों मुश्किल परिस्थितियों में देश को अपनी आवश्यकता के लिए गैस, पेट्रोल, डीजल की कमी हो, इसके लिए केन्द्र सरकार देश की अलग-अलग जगहों पर ऑयल रिजर्व बना रही है। आवश्यकता पड़ने पर करीब महीने भर तक देश की पेट्रोलियम से जुड़ी जरूरतें पूरी हो सके। हमारा प्रयास है कि हमारी जो कोस्टल लाइन है, चाहे दक्षिण भारत हो, पूर्वी भारत हो या पश्चिमी भारत, उनको पेट्रोलियम के हब के तौर पर विकसित किया जाए।"

The Prime Minister said, work of providing free gas connections to the poor, Dalits and tribals is progressing at a faster pace. He said, the central government has selected Amrawati as a heritage city under the HRIDAY scheme.

Criticising the opposition, Prime Minister Modi said, political parties which left the people to live in smoke, are now spreading smoke of lies. Mr Modi said, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh has also lost his vision of development and has joined the alliance of these parties in the competition of abusing him.

"जिन लोगों ने देश को धूएं में जीने के लिए छोड़ दिया था। वह अब देश में झूठ का धूआं फैलाने में जुटे हैं। झूठ की बुनियाद पर महामिलावट का खेल खेलने में लगे हैं। संगत का असर ये है कि यहां के मुख्यमंत्री जी भी आंध्र प्रदेश के विकास के विजन को भूलकर मोदी को गाली देने की कॉम्पेटिशन में कूद गए हैं।"   

The Prime Minister praised the people of Andhra Pradesh and said they are ahead and progressive in all fields.

After his programmes in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Modi will reach Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu this afternoon. From there, he will inaugurate several development projects and lay foundation stone for a few other schemes in the state through video-conferencing. 

"One of the key projects to be commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the ten km stretch of Chennai Metro rail. It connects DMS and Washermanpet and also completes the over 19-thousand crore rupees, 45-km long Metro rail first phase in the state capital. Commuters can now comfortably travel to the domestic and international airports, mofussil bus stand and Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations. Tiruppur is known as the knitwear capital of India, where lakhs of people are employed in knitting industries. Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for a 100-bedded ESIC hospital there for their welfare, besides inaugurating a 470-bedded modern ESIC hospital in Chennai. Launching the modernization and expansion works of Chennai and Trichy airport terminals, commissioning of Bharat Petroleum and Chennai Petroleum’s infrastructure are the other programmes of the Prime Minister. Later, he will address a mega rally of the BJP as well. Jayasingh, AIR News, Tiruppur.

The Prime Minister will then proceed to Karnataka, where he will lay the foundation stone of the Indian Institute of Technology- Dharwad and Indian Institute of Information Technology -Dharwad at Hubli. City Gas Distribution Project at Dharwad will also be unveiled. Mr Modi will  dedicate to the nation SPR facilities in Mangalore and Padur. Doubling of the Chikjajur-Mayakonda railway line is another highlight. The Prime Minister will address a public rally later in the evening.


The 13th International Oil and Gas Conference - PETROTECH - 2019 got underway at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida today. Over 95 Energy Ministers from partner countries are expected to participate in the three day Conference. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate the event tomorrow. Welcoming the delegates at the event, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, India is the third largest consumer of crude oil and petroleum products and the government has taken several measures to provide energy for all.

"We have undertaken several transformational policy reforms to revitalise the E&P ecosystem and establish a conducive business environment which would facilitate investments and boost domestic production. The launch of hydrocarbon exploration licensing policy 2016 with the new revenue sharing model, uniform license for all hydrocarbons and marketing freedom for oil and gas is a major step in this direction.

Mr Pradhan said, the theme of the conference is Collaborating For Sustainable and Secure Energy Access for All. He said, India is the fastest growing economy in the world and this has been achieved through a series of policy reforms undertaken by the government.

Our correspondent reports that the event will also serve as a platform to discuss solutions to the challenges faced in delivering affordable, efficient, clean and assured energy supplies to all.

"The three-day event will showcase the recent market and investor friendly developments that have taken place in the country's oil and gas sector. It is expected to see participation of over 86 eminent speakers and 7 thousand delegates from around 70 countries, including technologists, scientists, planners, policy-makers, management experts, entrepreneurs, service-providers and vendors. The Exhibition will see participation of over 13 country pavilions and about 750 exhibitors from over 40 countries, with exclusive areas on the Make in India and Renewable Energy theme. With Dipendra Kumar, Suparna Saikia, AIR News, Delhi."


Questioning of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar resumed this morning at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office, in Shillong, Meghalaya. The questioning lasted for over eight hours yesterday. The Kolkata Police Commissioner is being questioned by a team of CBI officials in connection with the Saradha Chit-Fund scam case.

Meanwhile, another accused in the scam former Rajya Sabha MP and Trinamool Congress leader Kunal Ghosh has also appeared for questioning at the CBI office.

Earlier, a special investigation team headed by the Kolkata Police Commissioner had arrested Kunal Ghosh. Later, Gosh was released on bail.


In Jammu & Kashmir, five terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces at Kellam Devsar area of Kulgam district today. The gunfight erupted in the area in the early hours after a joint team of security forces launched cordon and search operation on the basis of specific information about the presence of terrorists in the area. As the forces zeroed in on the suspected place, the terrorists fired upon the forces indiscriminately.


In Rajasthan, additional Security forces have been deployed in several eastern districts of the state in view of the Gurjar agitation demanding 5 percent reservation under special backward classes. Rail traffic on the Delhi- Mumbai route is  affected for the last two days due to blockage of railway tracks near Malarna Dungar in Sawai Madhopur District. The railways has diverted routes of several trains.


The festival of Basant Panchmi is being celebrated today with religious fervour and gaiety. It is celebrated as Saraswati Puja on Panchmi of Shukla Paksh in Magh Maas.

At the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj, lakhs of devotees took a holy dip this morning during the third and final Shahi Snan on the occasion of Basant Panchami. The Shahi Snan was taken by Saints and seers of various Akharas at Sangam, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. The Prayagraj Mela Authority has claimed that over two crore devotees are expected to take a holy dip on the occasion. Our correspondent reports that a large number of foreigners are also witnessing the grand ceremony.

" The scene at Sangam is amazing and divine due to the yellow cloths worn by the devotees on the occasion of Basant Panchami. The Mela area is spread over 32 hundred hectares seems a Mini India where people from all parts of nation have flocked in. As far as security arrangements are concern, the whole region has been demarcated into nine zones and 20 sectors with the deployment of over 20,000 police personnel, 6,000 homeguards and around 100 companies of central and other forces. Sanjeev Sharma, AIR News, Kumbh Nagri, Prayagraj."

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have greeted the people on Basant Panchami.

West Bengal is celebrating Saraswati Puja with traditional fervour. The idol of Saraswati- the goddess of learning is worshipped in every household particularly in educational institutions. Schools and colleges have been beautifully decorated. Special musical sessions have also been organised in different parts of Kolkata and elsewhere.


In Men's Cricket, New Zealand have set a 213 run target for India in the final T20 of the three match series at Hamilton.

Batting first, the hosts put 212  runs on the board losing 4 wickets. Opener Colin Munro contributed 72 while Tim Seifert scored 43. Kuldeep Yadav bagged two wickets.

Earlier, the New Zealand Women's team defeated India by 2 runs in the third T20 in Hamilton to claim the three match series 3-0. Chasing a 162 run target, the Indian eves started aggressively with Smriti Mandhana's 86 off 62 balls but fell little short as they have required 16 off the final over. 


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