Morning briefing: Massive cyclone likely to hit TN, Puducherry today

GN Staff | November 9, 2015


#cyclone   #tamil nadu   #tn   #puducherry   #bihar elections   #maggi   #diwali   #pollution  

The Meteorological Department has sounded a high alert as a massive cyclone is likely to hit Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and adjoining areas on Monday night triggering heavy rainfall. The state authorities have ordered the closure of schools and colleges in view of the cyclone warning issued by the Met department. The Met authorities have predicted heavy rainfall in most parts of Tamil Nadu, including Chennai and adjoining districts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur. Heavy rain has been forecast in Puducherry, coastal and interior Tamil Nadu due to a depression some 320 kilometres southeast off Chennai. The depression is expected to turn into a cyclonic storm and will make landfall close to Puducherry tonight. The wind speed could touch 55 kilometres per hour. Under the influence of the cyclonic storm, rainfall is expected in most parts of Tamil Nadu with heavy to very heavy rainfall over north coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the next 24-48 hours.

Tax collection in Mumbai region up
The Mumbai region, which accounts for one-third of the total income tax netted in the country, has accounted for Rs 1.08 lakh crore tax collection up to October 29, 2015. This makes it 42.22% of the target for the financial year 2015-16. The collections during the financial year have been about 3.5% higher than the same time last year.

Parliament's Winter Session dates to be decided today
With Bihar polls over, the Centre will on Monday take a call on Parliament's Winter Session as it pitches for the passage of a host of reform legislations, including Goods and Service Tax Bill. The Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs will meet in Parliament House to decide the date of winter session, which usually begins in third week of December. The government is keen to take up important legislations to be passed in Parliament like GST bill, land bill, the real estate regulation and development bill and negotiable instruments arbitration bill.

BJP's Parliamentary Board to meet today on Bihar polls
A day after losing to the Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Parliamentary Board is likely to meet on Monday to analyse the poll results in Bihar. The parliamentary board with prime minister Narendra Modi as a member, is likely to meet at 4 pm today to assess the party's defeat today and ascertain the reasons.

Delhi court to hear Himachal CM's plea today

A Delhi court will on Monday hear a plea of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh regarding an alleged incomplete copy of an FIR furnished by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a disproportionate assets case against him and his wife. In his application, Virbhadra Singh urged for directions to the Central Bureau of Investigation to file a complete copy of the First Information Report in the case. The chief minister said that the annexures, as mentioned in paragraph five of the FIR, were not sent to the court along with the FIR copy.

India condemns Nepal deputy PM's remarks as 'malicious'
India has strongly condemned Nepalese deputy prime minister's allegations that it is trying to disintegrate Nepal and annex the Terai region, saying such "baseless and malicious" comments vitiate the age-old historical and familial ties between the two countries. The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in a statement reiterated that "India's only objective is peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal. India hopes that internal issues facing the country will be resolved through political dialogue and reconciliation. India will support all efforts in this regard." Condemning deputy prime minister CP Mainali's statement, it said, "The Embassy strongly condemns such baseless and malicious comments, which divert attention from the real issues facing the country and vitiate the age-old historical, familial and civilisational ties between India and Nepal. Mainali during a media interaction here yesterday said that the blockade of key border trade points with India which is led by Indian-origin Madhesis was part of "Indian conspiracy to annex the Terai region by disintegrating it from the rest of the country" with the 'one Madhes, one Pradesh' (province) demand. Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal's Terai region, are protesting division of their ancestral homeland in the new Constitution.
Meanwhile, border guarding force SSB has cancelled Diwali leave of its officers commanding battalions deployed along the Indo-Nepal border in view of the prevailing situation in the neighbouring country and the declaration of poll results in Bihar.

Maggi noodles back in market
Nestle has relaunched its Maggi noodles on Monday with new packaging and the company is planning a consumer helpline and says it says it will be more active on social media. Nestle had to destroy 400 million packets of Maggi products and stop production for five months after local regulators said that some packets of noodles had unsafe levels of lead. Nestle India chief executive Suresh Narayanan said the labs could have lacked the right equipment. The product recall cost Nestle $67m.

'Inspector Raj' still exists in system, says Venkaiah Naidu
The 'Inspector Raj' introduced by the then prime minister Indira Gandhi still exists in the system even though it started fading away after India embarked on the path of economic reforms in 1990s, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu has said. Inspector Raj refers to over regulation/supervision by Government of factories and industrial units, a practise which was rampant in 1970s and 1980s. "The 'Inspector Raj' has begun to fade away, but it has not totally vanished," said Naidu, who is minister of  urban development, housing, urban poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs.

Over 3 lakh Volkswagen vehicles in India fitted with pollution-cheating device
Volkswagen cars across the world have been affected by the recent emissions scandal and it looks like India is no exception. The EA 189 engine- which was found to be fitted with a defeat device that showed reduced emissions during testing – currently powers 3.14 lakh vehicles in India. The Nitrogen Oxide (Nox) emissions in the affected cars were found to be 40 times above the permitted limit in Europe. Now, after the recent probes, the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) has found discrepancies in the NOx emissions in Volkswagen vehicles fitted with the diesel engine in question.

Diwali puts pollution on watch, take steps to protect
Various pollution control boards in the country have urged people to curb bursting of crackers this Diwali. Officials from the boards have been spreading messages about adverse effect of crackers on the environment and how firecrackers pollute the air.  When crackers are burst, the air gets charged with partially combusted low volatile organic compounds which remain suspended in the atmosphere for several days. This causes breathing difficulties.
What to do: Stay indoors, keep windows closed.  Those suffering from asthma or bronchitis should take medicines regularly during this period. At any sign of increased breathlessness, seek medical attention. Wear plain glasses or wear mask if you are in proximity of burning crackers as the chemicals can cause redness and watering of the eyes.

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