The Rajasthan Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has unearthed a racket in the smuggling of bajri (riverbed sand), allegedly involving police officials who were taking bribes from trucks carrying sand brought from the Banas river in the Tonk district. A police constable carrying bribe money worth ₹1.4 lakh was arrested on Thursday night.‘Large-scale corruption’The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Peeplu Police Station, suspected to be involved in the racket and named as a co-accused in the case, is missing. Constable Kailash Jat reportedly told the ACB sleuths that large-scale corruption involved several police officials among whom the bribe money was distributed.According to the ACB’s sources, trucks packed with sand passing through highways in the Tonk, Sawai Madhopur and Dholpur districts were stopped by policemen for checking and their drivers forced to pay a bribe. Illegal sand mining is reported to be rampant in these districts.Riverbed sand, which is mixed with cement for construction, has not been legally available in the State since November 2017, when the Supreme Court imposed a ban on its mining. The non-availability of sand had an adverse impact on the construction of houses and stalled several government and private projects, besides leading to illegal mining.Complete ban Though the halt to construction activities rendered a large number of workers and labourers unemployed, the Supreme Court later came down heavily on the State government for giving licences for sand mining without environmental clearances, while staying as many as 82 such licences.The complete ban on riverbed sand mining came following the failure of State government and miners to get environmental clearances on time. The apex court earlier this month also stayed the auction of sand mining blocks for which Letters of Intent were issued without getting clearance from the Environment Ministry.
zoomImage Courtesy: Anthony Veder Dutch gas carrier operator Anthony Veder has taken delivery of two secondhand 10,000 cbm combined gas carriers.The ships in question are the 2011-built Norgas Invention and the 2010-built Norgas Creation, bought from Singapore-based Skaugen Marine Investment.Renamed Coral Fungia and Coral Favia, the vessels were purchased in an en block transaction for USD 54.2 million, according to data provided by VesselsValue.The 10,400 dwt ships can transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemical gases including ethylene (LEG).Anthony Veder said it would take over the commercial operation and ship management from the current managers.With this transaction, the company expands its fleet to 33 vessels. With eight small scale LNG vessels, the company continues its strategy focused on supporting the potential for LNG as a marine fuel and on the distribution of LNG for power supply.“The acquisition is consistent with our focus on providing safe and sustainable shipping solutions to our customers in the petrochemical gas segment and in the small scale LNG market. This fleet expansion marks an important step in our continuous commitment to both segments,” Jan Valkier, CEO of Anthony Veder, commented.“After a short yard period to upgrade them to our standards, the vessels are available to our customers in the second quarter of 2019,” Valkier added.
New Delhi: Three days after Azam Khan landed himself in a controversy for making objectionable remarks against BJP leader Rama Devi in Lok Sabha, Hindustani Awam Morcha leader Jitan Ram Manjhi defended the Samajwadi Party MP, ANI reported.”When a brother and sister meet, they kiss. Does it equal sex? A mother kisses her son and the son kisses his mother. Is that sex? Azam Khan’s statement is misinterpreted. So, he should apologise but not resign,” Manjhi told ANI. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The former Bihar chief minister’s remarks come a day after Devi, who was officiating the Lok Sabha on Thursday when Khan made the objectionable comments, stated that the Samajwadi Party leader must be suspended from the House for five years as a mere apology would not be enough. “He should be given a serious punishment and suspended for five years,” said Devi. The BJP leader also stated that she would have forgiven him had Khan tendered an immediate apology, but he walked out of the Parliament. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday On Friday, after a meeting with representatives from various parties, Speaker Om Birla had asked the SP leader to tender an apology or he will face stringent action. Khan’s remarks were expunged from the records following an immediate uproar in the House on Thursday. Cutting across party lines, several MPs condemned Azam Khan’s remarks and demanded strict action against him. Among women legislators who spoke out against the Rampur MP’s remarks were Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, BJP MPs Anupriya Patel and Meenakshi Lekhi, TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty, Independent MP from Amravati Navaneet Kaur Rana, and NCP’s Supriya Sule. (With inputs from Indian Express)