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SC committee recommends halting rail expansion plans in Goa due to environmental concerns

The expert group from SC has also recommended changes in the highway project and power transmission line in Goa.

Hoping to preserve Goa's rich biodiversity and natural heritage, a Supreme Court panel has recommended stopping the execution of the rail expansion project in the state. While the central government had given its approval for this scheme, the Central Empowerment Committee of the Supreme Court has red-flagged the project, attributing environmental concerns behind its decision. Besides this, the authorities have also suggested alterations in the highway project and power transmission line in Goa.

Move to protect Mollem National Park & the wildlife sanctuary

Reportedly, the proposed intervention would interfere with the ecosystem of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary (BMWS) and the Mollem National Park (MNP) in South Goa. Citing the biological and ecological importance of these hotspots, the committee formed by the Supreme Court has asked advised against the expansion of railway lines in sensitive areas. It stated that the Western Ghats are known nationally and internationally as regions of high environmental significance.

Additionally, the reports state that the CEC has recommended altering the 400KV line transmission line project as per the 220KV standards, in order to protect and preserve the forest cover and fauna in the region. In the four-lane highway project, starting from Anmod near the Karnataka border to Goa's Mollem, the group has asked to elevate the roads in order to diminish the possibilities of dangerous man-animal interactions.

Environmental externalities outweigh the expected benefits

In the past, several environmentalists had raised repeated alarms over the environmental spillovers of these projects in Goa. Later, Goa Foundation filed an application and sent it to the country's highest judicial authority for reviewing the implementation of the schemes. In a cost-benefit analysis detailed in the CEC report, the environmental externalities outweigh the expected benefits from these plans.

Goa's coal import policy was also tweaked earlier but the changes are not reflected on ground, as yet. If the initial plans are implemented, it shall further lead to destructive effects on Goa's sensitive habitats of flora and fauna.

Unity Day celebrations underway in Lucknow; know about Sunday route diversions here:

Check full list of route and traffic diversions in Lucknow on Sunday

Traffic movement will be affected in Lucknow on Sunday (October 31) on account of a National Unity Day programme at the KD Singh Babu Stadium. The Deputy Commissioner of Traffic Police, Lucknow, Raees Akhtar has released an order to announce all restricted routes and alternate diversions applicable here. Due to the rehearsals of the event, the traffic movement was affected today also.

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Surgery & casualty wards to soon become functional at South Goa District Hospital

Outpatient departments (OPDs) are already operational at the new South Goa District Hospital.

The multi-storied South Goa District Hospital (SGDH) is being upgraded with new facilities to lessen the load off older hospitals and health institutes. As per reports, the new hospital is likely to house the surgery and casualty departments soon in a bid to clear space at the Hospicio Hospital. Earlier also, all outpatient departments (OPDs) were relocated to the spacious new SGDH for the same reason.

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Mumbai local trains to operate at 100% capacity from today!

The suburban train services were suspended on March 22, 2020 on account of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

After running restricted operations for over a year, Mumbai's local train services are all set to resume with 100% seating capacity from today. This is being done in order to account for the increased flow of commuters on the trains. Till now, the Central and Western Railways had been operating with 1,702 and 1,304 services respectively, which account for 95.75% of their total capacity. Today onwards, this number will go up to 1,774 in the CR division and 1,367 in WR, thus making complete use of the total capacity on the two lines.

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Atal Indore City Transport bags national award for Excellence in Urban Transport

Indore CNG bus fleet is a 'green' step towards environmental protection.

After winning several titles in the cleanliness category, Indore has now managed to create another record for itself. The Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has recognised the Atal Indore City Transport run by the Indore Municipal Corporation with an Award for Excellence in Urban Transport. Reportedly, this honour marks Indore as the 'City with Most Innovation Financing Mechanism' for managing its public transport services.

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​Two Paralympics Gold medalists from Jaipur get nominated for Khel Ratna Award

This is the first time in the 30-year-old history of Khel Ratna that 2 players from the city are being conferred the award.

Two Paralympics players from Jaipur have been recommended for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Award, the highest rank for sports in the country. Notably, this is the first in the 30 year-old-history of Khel Ratna that 2 sportsperson from the same city will be conferred with the award. The two nominated players are Avani Lekhara and Krishan Nagar, who bagged gold medals at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.

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The Lucknow centre of Sports Authority of India has set up a new weightlifting hall in the city, in order to give a boost to the sport. Spread over 15,000 square meters, this circular building has ample space to allow 100 players to practice at a single time. Pegged to be the largest in India, this hall is equipped with 26 platforms and machines worth 1.5 crores. These platforms can also be increased in number, as per need.

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