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News Digest: 8 crore in India deprived of safe drinking water, says report

News Digest: 8 crore in India deprived of safe drinking water, says report

Here are some important reports from the biggest newspapers of India.

Here are some important reports from the biggest newspapers of India:

1. 8 crore in India deprived of safe drinking water: Study

India has the world's largest number of people without access to safe water, according to a report released to mark World Water Day on Tuesday.

China, Bangladesh and Pakistan are also among the top 10 countries where maximum number of people are living without uncontaminated drinking wate, reported Times of India.

According to the report "Water: At what cost?" released by WaterAid, about 7.6 crore people, which is 5% of India's total population, are deprived of safe water and the country registers around 1.4 lakh child deaths annually due to diarrhoea, a mainly water-borne disease.

2. Controversial remarks: JDU suspends two legislators

Two JDU legislators were Tuesday suspended after causing embarrassment to the party with their controversial remarks. While the party's Gopalpur MLA allegedly threatened to resort to "politics of murder", MLC Rana Gangeshwar Singh was accused of insulting the national anthem by saying that it read like a "paean to slavery", reported the Indian Express daily.

Speaking in Samastipur on Tuesday, Rana Gangeshwar Singh said: "How can Jana Gana Mana be the national anthem when it has lines like 'Adhinayak Jai He (victory to the ruler)'. In fact, it reads like a paean to slavery. I would demand that the national anthem be changed."

3. Babu's pet's vet trip has government staff on toes in Bareilly

The entire secondary education department machinery in Bareilly was mobilised for assistance when the St Bernard of a principal secretary-ranked official of the department was brought to Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) this week for a check-up.

The dog was brought to the city from Lucknow by an aide of the official on Monday, and was diagnosed with calcium deficiency. Senior officials of the department stayed at the hospital while the dog was examined, administered medicines, and until the visitors set off for the return trip to Lucknow, reported the Times of India.

4. Gatiman Express runs over 2 kids in final trial run

Two children were run over by India's fastest train, the Gatimaan Express, on its return leg to New Delhi on Tuesday after it successfully completed its final trial run to Agra. The train also got delayed for over an hour due to a technical snag during the journey back.

After a good run from New Delhi, the train departed from Agra Cantt station around 10 am. It was while heading to the Runkuta station that the express ran over 10-year-old Yogesh Kumar and eight-year-old Arvind, both residents of Nagla Jaupura village. While Yogesh was a student of Class VII in Bhim Bai Public High School here, Arvind studied in Class V at a government primary school, reported the Time of India.

5. Latest journalist arrest in Chhattisgarh is for a WhatsApp dig at a cop

With the Opposition in Chhattisgarh slamming the BJP government for "turning Bastar into a police state", a Dantewada-based journalist was arrested in Jagdalpur on Monday for allegedly posting an "obscene message" about a senior police officer on WhatsApp groups. The journalist, Prabhat Singh, was produced in a local court on Tuesday, where he alleged that he had been "assaulted by policemen in custody".

6. Swaraj to help Indian driver held in Saudi

New Delhi has taken up the case of an Indian driver who was detained twice in Saudi Arabia this month after he made an emotional appeal for help citing ill-treatment by his employer, officials said on Tuesday.

A video of Abdul Sattar Makandar's appeal for help went viral after it was posted online by a social worker, sparking outrage on social media amid calls for government intervention.

Sattar’s plight rekindled memories of an Indian maid who was allegedly tortured and one of her hands cut off by her Saudi employer in 2015. The maid was repatriated to India but not before the issue almost sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries, reported the Hindustan Times daily.

7. At just Rs 10 per hour, you can save your city

Come April, if you wish to cycle to work, all you need to do is shell out Rs 10 an hour. The BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation plans to launch a cycle-sharing project during phase-II of the city government's odd-even programme.

The corporation has roped in a private agency that is involved in a similar project with the Delhi Metro. While the corporation will provide infrastructural support, the agency will bear the project cost.

"This project will complement the Delhi government's odd-even scheme. It will not only ease the pressure on public transport but also help fight pollution," said a South Corporation official. While the project launch will coincide with the odd-even scheme, it will continue beyond that.

The cycles will be GPS-enabled and users will get smart cards, reported Times of India.

8. From April 1, pay more for entry to Taj Mahal

From April 1, be prepared to shell out more to see the Taj Mahal and other centrally-protected monuments across India. According to a senior official, the Union culture ministry will implement its planned hike in entry ticket rates at the beginning of the new financial year.

In September 2015, the ministry had announced a 200% hike in entry fees across India from November 1, but then stalled the hike till April after several tourism bodies lodged their protest, reported Times of India.

"It is going to be implemented from April as it's a government decision, but a final call is to be taken.Final notification awaits the minister's nod."

9. Missing for eight years, Delhi girl was found in two searches on a police database

All it eventually took was entering her father’s name on a police central database and doing a search, twice. Seven days later, the teen at a government-run shelter for girls in Kanpur, who was resisting being shifted as she wished to continue studies, was identified as the child from North East Delhi who went missing eight years ago.

Aarti left home on April 26, 2008, afternoon, trailing her mother to the market in Bhajanpura, where they lived. Found roaming around by two policemen, she was first taken to a women's short stay home at Nirmal Chhaya in Delhi, and later moved to a home in Agra. Officials determined her age as 11 when she was found, though her parents say she was eight at the time, reported the Indian Express.

10. Delhi to stay up all night: Restaurants and bars can now apply to run 24/7

The Delhi government’s proposed excise policy for 2015-16 may open the gates for 24-hour restaurants and bars, giving the capital's nightlife a facelift.

"The policy will come into effect subject to Cabinet approval. It proposes slashing the annual 24-hour excise licence fees by 45 to 60 per cent for restaurants and bars inside hotels or motels," sources told The Indian Express.

Along with slashing the fee, the policy also proposes doing away with prerequisites for a 24-hour excise licence, to serve alcohol in restaurants, such as a tourism licence, police registration and fire clearance, said sources.

first published:March 23, 2016, 08:44 IST
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