At least nine migrant labourers were killed after an elevator box being used for an under-construction tunnel plunged into the ground near Bhigwan in Pune district, 100 km from here.The incident occurred on Monday evening. The tragedy struck as the deceased were emerging from the underground tunnel aimed at linking the Nira and Bhima Rivers near Indapur Taluk. The deceased have been identified as Mukesh Maurya, Mukesh Kumar, Sushant Pandi, Sabinga Naidu, Avinash Reddy, Chhotu Gole, Surendra Yadav, Rahul Narute and Balram Suan.“The elevator carrying the workers and construction equipment plunged down at least 100 feet after the cable broke. We will be conducting a thorough probe into the tragedy,” said Inspector Neelkanth Rathod of the Bigwan police station.The State government has announced an ex gratia of ₹2 lakh to the kin of the deceased, informed State Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan.The labourers were working on the project which involves the construction of a 24.8 km-long ‘Nira-Bhima Link -5’ underground tunnel which is to enable the waters of the Nira River to be linked to the Bima River Bhima in a bid to bring relief to parched districts in the State.
Voting for the third and final phase of the 2017 civic polls in Uttar Pradesh concluded on Wednesday with yet another round of malfunctioning EVMs and discrepancies in voter lists, leading to angry protests in several districts.The third phase, which covered 233 local bodies across 26 districts, however, registered an increase of 1.5% voting and touched 53%. The overall voting over the three phases was 52.5%, around six per cent increase from 2012.Complaints over EVM malfunctions and discrepancies in voter lists were received from several districts, including Bareilly, Bulandshahr, Auraiya, Jaunpur and Barabanki.Vijay Mishra, a resident of Bareilly, was frustrated after he found the wrong name listed on his address in the booth. “The address was correct but they listed the wrong name, some Radhelal Maurya instead of me,” said Mr. Maurya, adding that due to missing names only three out of his 30-member family were able to vote.Voters lathichargedIn Barabanki, voters faced similar issues and in ward 26 in Peer Batawan, police lathicharged people allegedly without provocation, breaking chairs and tables of polling agents, to disperse the crowd which had assembled to inquire about the lists.State Election Commissioner S.K. Agarwal said polling was conducted peacefully, even as he downplayed the incidents of malfunctioning EVMs, 27 on Wednesday, as normal. A total of 503 EVMs had to be replaced over the three phases, out of which 250 were in Lucknow itself.Mr. Agarwal said the figure of 503 was negligible compared to the total number of EVMs deployed by the SEC, 32,374.Counting will be held on December 1.
Bula Choudhury powers her way to a string of medals: Sensational debutWhen her frail, waif-like figure joined the line-up for the start of her first race, the 200 m butterfly, the general reaction bordered on sympathy. Her 34 kg weight contained in a 138 cm frame, Bula Choudhury, the 12-year-old,Bula Choudhury powers her way to a string of medals: Sensational debutWhen her frail, waif-like figure joined the line-up for the start of her first race, the 200 m butterfly, the general reaction bordered on sympathy. Her 34 kg weight contained in a 138 cm frame, Bula Choudhury, the 12-year-old entrant from West Bengal was dwarfed both literally and figuratively by her better-known and more experienced rivals.The sympathy, however, soon changed to grudging admiration, incredulity and, finally, elation as the tiny figure powered its way to a sensational record-shattering win in the event, lopping off as much as 9.6 seconds from the existing mark. No individual performer in the meet could better an existing mark by a wider margin.The general belief that Choudhury’s effort was a flash in the pool was soon dispelled as she followed up her first day’s performance with a string of medal-winning performances. On the second day of the six-day meet she added a silver medal in the 100m backstroke followed by a silver in the 800m freestyle, a bronze in the 200m medley, two more silvers in the 100m and 200m freestyle, a gold in the 100m butterfly and another silver in the 400m freestyle.Her final tally of eight medals and 43 points, five points more than closest rival Persis Madan, won her the best swimmer of the meet title and a place in Indian sporting history. Her sensational debut in the nationals, at the age of 12, is an all-time record in itself and guaranteed her a place in the relay quartet for the Brisbane Commonwealth Games as well as a prominent place on the list of Asiad probables. Says current coach Bernad Johnke: “Bula is far superior to the other 14 girls in my camp and easily the best potential in the country. She is at an early age when her body is not yet fully formed and so she can adapt better to techniques that will help improve her timings.”advertisementSelf-trained: Obviously, in that tiny frame, is a budding powerhouse, a bundle of talent, grit and going-for-gold determination. Incredibly enough, Choudhury is largely self-trained. The third of four children born to a petty trader (a wholesale dealer in combs), Bula took to water like the proverbial duck. At age six, she plunged into a local pond which became her future training ground and only graduated to the Ganges river nearby when she outgrew the pond.”Even now, she goes as often as possible to the river to swim,” says her proud mother, Bakul, who chaperons her on her various aquatic appearances. Bula’s potential and her young age make her the most exciting swimming prospect the country has had in decades. Now that she has joined the Asiad training camps and Johnke has taken her under his wing, she has the potential to develop into a champion, if not in the coming Asiad then in the next one in 1986 when she will be 16.Though not overawed by the adulation and her triumphs last fortnight, Bula still displays a childish naivety and a schoolgirlish air. That is hardly surprising considering she is still in the eighth standard at the Rajmohan Paul Balika Vidyalaya in Calcutta. When a sudden attack of fever sent her into hospital at the end of the Trial Games, and tragically aborted her hopes of accompanying the Indian team to Brisbane, she displayed more worry about what her school friends would say than disappointment at not being able to go. “I promised them I would make it to Brisbane and now how can I face them?” she wailed.Her talent, however, has earned her a Rs 900 Central Government scholarship which pays for her schooling and her training. What she has clearly lacked so far is a balanced and proper diet and expert guidance. Now that she has the benefit of both, Bula Choudhury seems all set to become a female Mark Spitz.