Jharkhand: Three Naxals accused in killing of policemen arrested

Source: timesnownews.com

Saraikela Kharsawan: S Kartik, Superintendent of Police (SP) Saraikela Kharsawan on Sunday said police have arrested three hardcore Naxals accused of killing policemen in an ambush in the state.

“We arrested Lakhan Sardar, resident of Chetanpur, and two supporters of Maharaj Pramanik, Tipura and Anam. They were involved in the killing of policemen in a landmine blast and ambush in the previous month. By cross-examining them, we also got to know the involvement of Lakhan in many incidents across the state, especially in the killing of policemen in June,” Kartik told reporters here.

Kartik added that the arrested Naxals are giving more information about the incidents and the modus operandi of their organisation. He added that many such operations by the police are ongoing in the state which will lead to more success in the future.

“Under the guidance of the Director-General of the Police (DGP), police have launched many operations against the Naxals to curb their influence. This success is a part of those operations which are ongoing in the state, more shall follow in the future,” Kartik said.

Odisha urges Centre not to shift CWC office to Patna

Source: asianage.com

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has urged the Centre to rescind its decision to shift the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) office to Patna, saying the move will jeopardise the state’s interests.

State Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain conveyed Odisha’s concerns in a letter to Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Saturday.

“The recent decision to merge Bhubaneswar and Patna regions (of CWC) into a single entity and renaming it as Patna region with headquarters at Patna will seriously jeopardise the interest of the people of Odisha,” Swain said.

Noting that monitoring of scientific storage from Patna will be difficult, he said warehousing operations in Odisha will be hampered as a result of the proposed relocation. The minister also pointed out that members of the Odisha Assembly, cutting across party lines, have raised their concerns over the issue in the House.

“The regional office of CWC at Bhubaneswar has been playing a vital role in storage and warehousing of various commodities including foodgrains and notified commodities of the Food Corporation of India as well as the Odisha state Civil Supplies Corporation,” Swain said.

Established in 1990, the Bhubaneswar regional office now has an operational capacity of 3.48 lakh MT and caters to the storage needs of 15 districts of the state, he said. Swain said that the Bhubaneswar regional office has been making profit over the past five years.

 “In this backdrop, I would like to request your (Paswan’s) personal intervention for allowing the regional office at Bhubaneswar to continue as such in modification of the earlier decision of its merger with Patna region,” he said.

Flood situation improves in Bihar

Source: indiatoday.in

The flood situation in Bihar showed signs of improvement on Sunday as the water level in four rivers receded and no fresh casualty was reported from any of the 13 deluge-hit districts, officials said.

Death toll in the floods remained unchanged at 130 for the fifth consecutive day.

People started returning to their homes as flood waters receded in some areas, officials said.

According to Water Resources Department, three rivers – Baghmati, Burhi Gandak and Khiroi – are flowing above danger level at five places in Bihar.

Baghmati river is flowing above danger mark at Kataunjha (Sitamarhi) and Hayaghat (Darbhanga), it said.

Burhi Gandak is flowing above the danger mark at Samastipur rail pul and Rosera rail pul in Samastipur district, while Khiroi is flowing above danger mark at Ekmighat in Darbhanga district.

Altogether 13 districts have been hit by the calamity.

Sitamarhi, with 37 casualties, topped the list followed by Madhubani (30), Darbhanga (14), Araria (12), Sheohar (10) Purnea (nine), Kishanganj (seven), Muzaffarpur and Supaul (four each), East Champaran (two) and Saharsa (one).

Two of the flood-hit districts – Katihar and West Champaran – have reported no deaths so far this season, the department said.

The Disaster Management Department has put the total number of people hit by floods, so far, in the state at 88.4 lakh in 1,301 panchayats of 111 blocks of 13 districts.

Relief and rehabilitation measures are being carried out by the state government with assistance from the NDRF.

The Meteorological Department has forecast light to normal rainfall in the catchment areas of all the rivers of Bihar in next 24 hours.

Herbal pills of ‘happiness’ brood in Ranchi

Source: dailypioneer.com

At a time when mental health has become the elephant in the room and the use of psychotropic drugs is becoming as common as antacids, Ayurvedic experts and clinical scientists in Ranchi claim that herbal medicines coupled with proper counseling can be an effective substitute for popping in an antidepressant every time you feel low or anxious.

Ranchi has been long known for its psychiatry institutes and the treatments they offer to patients suffering from common and severe mental illnesses. However, the use of herbal medicines to ease mental stress –a major contributor to most of the mental illnesses—is an area that remains unexplored so far. “The use of herbal medicines for treating mental illnesses has great potential. A class of plants called Medhya Rasayana has been clinically proven to improve memory and enhance cognitive functions,” said Dr. Suresh Kumar Agarwalla, an MBBS who has worked closely with patients in the psychiatry ward of Kolkata’s NRS Hospital.

Dr. Agarwalla, who runs his own practice in Ranchi, is against the use of antidepressants for common mental illnesses caused by daily stress. “First of all, counseling is must for any patient suffering from stress induced disorders. The commonly prescribed antidepressants only mask the symptoms, but do not address the root cause of it. Besides, these medicines also have side effects,” he said.

According to Agarwalla, in many cases, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), which are commonly called antidepressants, further increase symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients. In some cases, they make patients lethargic, passive or too sleepy, he said. “Many doctors these days are in a hurry to treat patients in a short span of time, so they resort to prescribing psychotropic drugs even to patients who may get treated with counseling and lifestyle changes,” he said.

Another Ayurvedic practitioner based out of Ranchi, Dr. Akhawri Shankar, said that extracts of Ashoka tree is effectively used in treating diseases such as insomnia and dementia. Shankar also runs his own company of Ayurvedic medicines by the brand name KDS4 and sells medicines for treating mental illnesses. “There are nearly 900 types of mental diseases and around 300 of them are curable. Common disorders such as anxiety disorder and even severe ailments such as autism can be treated using Ayurvedic medicines,” he said.

Shankar added that thorough research in the field of Ayurvedic treatment for mental disorders can give major breakthroughs and help people lead better lives without the side effects of psychotropic drugs. Several scholars and even the American Psychological Association, one of the leading umbrella bodies that deals with psychiatric disorders and its treatments, has criticized the over-prescription of psychotropic drugs across the globe lately. Clinical psychologists and counselors have also voiced their reservations towards unabated use of psychotropic drugs, a practice becoming common in the younger generation in India.

“If you are in stress over a loss of job or a divorce, how can any pill make you feel better? You have to undergo counseling and address the core issue,” said Dr. Agarwalla, adding that the approach of “take a pill for every problem” was plaguing the society and making people vulnerable and fragile when it comes to dealing with challenges in life.

Psychiatrists, however, say that severe cases of mental illnesses do require the use of drugs. Dr. D Ram, Director of Central Institute of Psychiatry in Ranchi refused to comment on the effectiveness of Ayurvedic medicines claiming that it was not his area of expertise.

He, however, said that psychotropic drugs prove to be life saver in many cases of severe mental illnesses and they should not be stigmatized.  “Psychiatry institutes have a multi-disciplinary approach towards patients. Common mental disorders are often treated with counseling and other forms of therapy, while the serious disorders may even require hospitalization and heavy dosage of drugs,” he said.

Road projects to get pace ahead of Assembly poll

Source: dailypioneer.com

The Raghubar Das Government ahead of year-end Assembly election is to focus on infrastructure improvement, especially road connectivity. The State Road Construction Department has set a 120 day deadline with a target to construct 400 km roads and 15 bridges in this duration. As the construction of roads and bridges will require technical expertise, the Road Construction Department is to recruit 969 engineers on the rank of assistant engineers and junior engineers in the coming days.

Department secretary KK Soan said, “The department, to fill up the vacancies of engineers, has decided to make appointment of 969 engineers. 732 posts of assistant engineers and 237 posts of junior engineers will be filled. The appointment process will be completed within two-three months.”

He added, “While the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) will carry out the appointment process of assistant engineers, the junior engineers will be appointed by Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission (JSSC).”

The appointed engineers will be placed at various projects of road construction department.

Some of the major road projects which the department has a target to complete within 120 days includes—Hazaribag-Barkagoan-Tandwa-Khelari-Bijupara Road (115.65km), Chhattarpur-Japla road (115.65km), Patratu-Hendegir-Mcluskiganj (45km), Vikas-booth More-Kantatoli to Rampur road (25.35km), Ghaghra-Netarhat road (54 km), Chanho (on NG 75)-Dighia (on MDR-001)-Purnapani (on NH-23)-Lapung (on MDR-030 road) among others.

Apart from these roads, there are around 41 other roads in which construction will begin or will be completed within the stipulated time frame.

Sources said that the Road Construction department has been asked by Government to speed up the construction work ahead of year-end Assembly election.  Sources said that as improvement and strengthening of road infrastructure has been the top priority of Raghubar’s Government, the Road Construction department has been asked complete or start work on all major road projects.

According to Road Construction department sources, the department has earmarked Rs 4,700 crore budgetary provision in the financial year 2019-20. Out of this, the department expenditure till July 2019 is Rs 1,904.34 crore which is nearly 40.51 per cent of the total allocation in the financial year.

As per the total allocation of the budget, the physical target for construction of roads is 1350 km while bridges are 40. Against the physical target, around 290 km road has been constructed at the same six bridges has been constructed.

A senior road construction department official requesting anonymity said, “As per target set by department, the construction work on major road projects will gain momentum. We have been asked to complete the construction work on new projects or to complete the pending projects.”