10022021-TT-01.qxd 2/9/2021 10:50 PM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.40 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 himachal pradesh PRACHANDA SEEKS INT’L HELP AGAINST OLI WORLD /thetribunechd BITCOIN ON FIRE, NEARS $50,000 AS TESLA TAKES IT MAINSTREAM BUSINESS INDIA INKS MoU FOR DAM IN AFGHANISTAN BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com wednesday | 10 february 2021 166 untraced, hope for survivors dims Five more bodies found, toll touches 31 | No contact yet with 35 feared trapped in tunnel Mukesh Ranjan NEPAL ALERTS UP ON SHARDA RIVER SURGE Tribune News Service Joshimath, February 9 With the recovery of five more bodies, the toll in the Uttarakhand flashflood disaster rose to 31 today even as 166 persons were still missing. A rescue operation was on in full swing to reach 30 to 35 workers feared trapped inside a power project tunnel at Tapovan in Chamoli district. Two bodies were extricated from the debris at Raini village in Joshimath and the rescue efforts currently remain concentrated to the tunnel of the hydel project, which was ravaged by the Sunday deluge. The missing persons include the labourers who were working at the site of the National Thermal Power Corporation’s 480 MW Tapovan-Vishnugarh project and the 13.2 MW Rishiganga Hydel Project. Some villages too were affected with houses being swept away by the floods. Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel are part of the rescue effort, which is being led by the ITBP a force equipped with , trained mountaineers. “The work of clearing the second tunnel of slush and debris was underway all night. The work is going on,” said ITBP continued on page 9 IN BRIEF Petrol, diesel prices touch new highs NEW DELHI: Petrol and diesel prices on Tuesday touched new highs as rates were hiked by 35 paise per litre. The increase took petrol prices to a fresh high of Rs 87.30 a litre in Delhi and Rs 93.83 in Mumbai. Diesel went up to Rs 77.48 per litre in Delhi and to an all-time high of Rs 84.36 in Mumbai. — PTI Khalistani operative held in Lucknow AMRITSAR: The counter intelligence wing nabbed alleged Khalistani operative Jagdev Singh, alias Jagga, from Lucknow in a joint operation with the Uttar Pradesh Police on Monday. Jagdev was produced in a UP court. He is being brought to Amritsar on transit remand. INSIDE Actor Rajiv Kapoor passes away at 58 MUMBAI: Actor-director Rajiv Kapoor, son of celebrated filmmaker-actor Raj Kapoor, died on Tuesday due to heart attack. He was 58. He breathed his last around 1.30 pm. — PTI Lakhimpur Kheri (UP): Officials in Kanchanpur district of Nepal have sent an alert to the Lakhimpur Kheri district administration, informing that one of its ‘under repair’ lake banks has developed cracks and may cause an increase in the water level in the Sharda river, known as Mahakali in Nepal. IANS OPsON WARFOOTING: HM NDRF personnel carry the body of a flashflood victim near Raini village in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. PTI “Satellite data shows a landslide at 5,600 m triggered an avalanche covering 14 sq km area. This caused a flashflood in the Rishiganga. Rescue operations are on at a warfooting,” Amit Shah told Parliament. 60 hrs and counting, no sign of life in tunnel Mukesh Ranjan Tribune News Service A woman shows the photo of her missing husband in Chamoli. PTI Joshimath, February 9 A grim atmosphere is gripping the Tapovan hydel project site where multi-agency rescuers have been working overtime to find traces of life in tunnel-1, but have found none so far. “We are not giving up hope,” says Benu Dhar Nayak, Commanding Officer of the ITBP battalion in Joshimath, who led 50 personnel to the flashflood-rav- 110 m of debris remains to be cleared, says ITBP aged site on Sunday morning and pulled out 12 workers alive from tunnel-2. All of 50 metres length, tunnel-2 was easier to access. But that has not been the case with tunnel-1, which is 180 metres long, structurally challenging and flooded with slush, hampering rescue operations from the word go. At least 30 to 35 labourers are estimated to be trapped in the tunnel, where highpower machines landed only yesterday to clear some debris. As of today, 31 bodies have been recovered and only two identified. As many as 166 are still missing. “So far, we have been able to enter only 70 metres inside the tunnel. We are using drones and sensors to locate continued on page 9 Pb Cong MPs to move Bill for repeal Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 9 Congress MPs from Punjab will move Private Member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha to pressure the government for repeal of farm laws and urge other MPs to join them. Eight MPs — Preneet Kaur, Manish Tewari, Ravneet Bittu, JS Gill, Gurjeet Aujla, Amar Singh, Mohd Sadique and Santokh Choudhary — collectively and individually submitted the Bills to the Lok Sabha secretariat today. They said they would request Speaker Om Birla to R-DAY VIOLENCE: DEEP SIDHU ARRESTED On the run since Red Fort incident on January 26, actor-turned-activist Deep Sidhu was nabbed by the Delhi Police from Karnal. He was remanded in police custody for seven days. The prosecution claimed that Sidhu was seen entering the fort with supporters carrying swords and flags. SC STAYS ARREST OF THAROOR, SARDESAI & 5 OTHERS prioritise the legislations in the interest of farmers. The Congress effort took off on a note of disunity with- in its Punjab ranks with Rajya Sabha MPs Ambika Soni, Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo Adieu to Azad, PM gets emotional New Delhi, February 9 Prime Minister Narendra Modi got emotional in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday while reminiscing about his close association with Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, whose term is coming to an end next week. Modi recalled his “friendship” with Azad and mentioned the incident where some Gujarati tourists were killed by militants in Kashmir when he was the CM of Gujarat and Azad his counterpart in J&K. The PM said he could sense genuine grief in Azad’s voice who had telephoned him to give the news. continued on page 9 PM Modi gives a friendly salute to Ghulam Nabi Azad in Rajya Sabha. PTI HARD FOR ANYONE TO FILL HIS SHOES Power comes and goes but (only a few know) how to handle it... therefore like a friend, I respect him on the basis of things he has done all these years. Narendra Modi, PM ❝ missing from the picture. Bajwa said: "We had no information about the move. We were not even consulted. This is disappointing." Dullo also said he had no idea about the move. Tewari earlier mentioned that the Bills sought repeal of laws on grounds of "illegality and unconstitutionality". On why no plea in the SC, Tewari said, "The SC is seized of the matter. We did what we thought was best." Bittu appealed to 247 MPs, who have mentioned farming as their profession in records, to join them. Hry to terminate services of 816 art & craft teachers Chandigarh, February 9 Nearly 11 years after their recruitment by the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government, 816 art and craft teachers of the Haryana Education Department are set to lose their jobs in the wake of a Supreme Court verdict. The state government has asked the District Elementary Education Officers (DEEOs) to terminate their services. The recruitments were made in 2010 on the basis of an advertisement issued in June 2006. continued on page 9 In Lahaul-Spiti, outrage over proposed hydel projects Dipender Manta Tribune News Service Mandi, February 9 Apprehending an Uttarakhand-like catastrophe, residents of Lahaul-Spiti district have raised their pitch against the proposed hydel projects in the ecologically fragile Chenab river basin. Himachal has allocated several power projects in the Chenab basin to prominent companies like the SJVN, NHPC, HPCL and NTPC. In addition, several hydropower projects are in the pipeline for Tandi, Rashil, Bardang, Miyar and Jispa in Lahaul-Spiti. Petrified by the Chamoli mishap, residents of Tandi and Goshal panchayats held a meeting to oppose the proposed projects on the Chenab banks. Tandi panchayat pradhan Virender Kumar said: “We oppose the DEMAND TO SHELVE CHENAB PROJECTS ■ Himachal has allocated several power projects in the Chenab basin to SJVN, NHPC, HPCL and NTPC ■ An association of NGOs, Himdhara, has demanded a complete moratorium on new projects in the fragile Himalayan regions of Kinnaur & Lahaul-Spiti decision of the government to set up power projects in Lahaul-Spiti as it will adversely affect the ecology of the area. We have passed a resolution against the Tandi project.” Voicing similar fears, vicepresident of NGO Save Lahaul Samiti Vikram Katoch said residents of the district were united in their opposition to setting up of more hydel projects in the Chenab basin. He added that campaigns would be held across the district to spread awareness about the illeffects of power projects. Rigzin Semphel Heyreppa, president of the Jispa Dam Sangharsh Samiti, said, “In Kinnaur, projects have been set up indiscriminately, causing severe damage to the ecology. People in Lahaul-Spiti will not allow a repeat of Kinnaur.” US-India cooperation to expand under Biden New Delhi, February 9 The phone call between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden late on Monday night indicated a widening of areas of cooperation between India and the US to include climate change and restoring global economy. The US President also assured continuing cooperation with India in fighting global terror, but also underlined that “the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld”. The US State Department and a member of the US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee have already underlined the need for observing democratic norms while handling BLINKEN: TRUMP’S TOUGH CHINA STANCE WAS RIGHT Washington: Former US President Donald Trump was right in taking a tough stance against China, newly appointed Secretary of State Tony Blinken has said in an interview. WORLD farmers’ protests on Delhi’s borders. Several prominent Democratic Party members have earlier spoken against the Kashmir lockdown and the NRC. A White House readout listed five areas where the Biden administration wanted to work closely continued on page 9 edit: biden-modi phone call India, China discuss UNSC coordination New Delhi, February 9 India and China today held consultations on cooperation on issues relating to UN Security Council in an attempt to ease tension and set the stage for a concrete LAC disengagement schedule. BACK PAGE
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
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