TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 22+ 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES, PUNE, `5.00 ● SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA BUDGET 2018-19 Maharashtra debt to cross Rs 4.61 lakh crore mark PASSIVE EUTHANASIA, LIVING WILL PERMITTED Terminally ill allowed to pull the plug: SC ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar with Minister of State for Finance Deepak Kesarkar, in Mumbai on Friday. Prashant Nadkar SANDEEPASHAR MUMBAI, MARCH 9 IN A fresh warning that Maharashtra’sfiscaloutlookisworsening,thestate’sbudgetfor2018-19 hasprojectedthatthestate’spublic debt will cross Rs 4.61 lakh crorebyMarch2019,whichcould force the government to spend a staggering Rs 34,385 crore from its spending plan for 2018-19 on servicing this debt. In its fourth budget since assumingofficeinMaharashtra,the Devendra Fadnavis government on Friday spelt out a Rs 3.06 lakh crore expenditure plan with enhanced allocation for capital investments in the farm-intensive and rural infrastructure sector headlining the budget. With the ruraleconomy,whichcaterstothe livelihood of 52 per cent of the state’spopulation,thefarmsector was again the focal point of Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar’s budget speech in the Legislative Assembly. INAlandmarkrulingthatmakes itlegalforaterminallyillindividual to decline use of life support measures and allows families of those in incurable coma to withdraw such measures to reduce the period of suffering, the SupremeCourtFridaypermitted passiveeuthanasia.Italsorecognised the right to an advance directive (also called living will), spelling out views and wishes regarding medical treatment in terminally ill cases. A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, ruled that “smoothening” the process of death for terminally ill patients with no chance of recovery was integral to life with dignity. The ruling, which runs into 538 pages, came on a petition filed by NGO Common Cause. “Thisisanimportant,historicdecision which clears the air. Everybody will breathe a sigh of relief because people were ear- lier apprehensive that if theywithdrew life support, they couldbeprosecutedforculpable homicide,” Prashant Bhushan, lawyer for Common Cause, said. The Constitution Bench, interpretingArticle21whichdeals with the right to life or personal liberty, said “it has to be stated without any trace of doubt that the right to life with dignity has to include the smoothening of the process of dying when the CONTINUEDONPAGE2 DOCSWELCOME‘LANDMARK’ SCRULING:NEWSLINE BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Safeguards to check misuse ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 RECOGNISING THE right of a person to execute an advance directive that would specify his/her choice of medical treatmentincaseof aterminalillness, the Supreme Court also laid down the procedure to be followed, and elaborate safeguards lest the facility be misused. This is what the Constitution Bench said: WHO ■ The advance directive can be executed only by an adult who is of sound and healthy mind and in a position to communicate, relate and comprehend the purpose and consequences of executing the document. ■ It must be voluntarily executed, without any coercion or inducement or compulsion and CONTINUEDONPAGE2 CONTINUEDONPAGE2 BJP managed to convince people we are a Muslim party: Sonia EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, MARCH 9 UPACHAIRPERSONSoniaGandhi Friday said the BJP had managed to “convince” people that the Congress was a “Muslim party” andindicatedthatCongresspresident Rahul Gandhi’s visits to temples was an attempt to shed that perception. “The BJP has managed to, I don’t say brainwash because that is a rude word, but it has managed to convince people, to persuade people that the CongresspartyisaMuslimparty. In my party, the great majority is Hindu. Yes, there are Muslims too. So I fail to understand this branding us as a Muslim party,” she said at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai. She also said the Congress hadbeen“pushedintoa corner” and so felt the need to draw attention, rather than keeping quiet,toRahul’sfrequenttemple visits before the Gujarat assembly elections in December 2017. Then,hisvisitshadsparkedadebate on whether the Congress party was resorting to ‘soft Hindutva’. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PM Narendra Modi with Manik Sarkar, former Left Front chief minister, at the swearing-in ceremony of the BJP-led government in Agartala, Friday. Abhisek Saha REPORT: PAGE5 30,000 farmers march towards Mumbai, to stage protest Sunday VISHWAS WAGHMODE MUMBAI, MARCH 9 CLOSE TO 30,000 farmers are marching towards Mumbai to stage a protest outside the state legislature against the government's response to the distress in the state's farm sector. The farmers' "long march" has been called by Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Sabha (ABKS) which is affiliated to the CPI (M) and the farmers are expected to reach Mumbai on Sunday. On Friday, the farmers reached Bhatsa river in Thane districtwhereover5,000people from Palghar district joined the march. The farmers had started theirmarchonTuesdayfromthe CBS Chowk in Nashik, the location of the March 2016 demonstration when close to one lakh Farmers march towards Mumbai from Kalamb village, near Shahpur in Thane, on Friday. Deepak Joshi farmers had gathered for two days. The farmers will cover 35 kms daily, on an average. Some of the demands of the farmersincludeacompletefarm loan waiver, transfer of forest land to tillers, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommenda- tions, compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre to farmers hit by hailstorm and pink bollworm, and putting a stop to sharing the state's water with Gujarat. Apart from middle-aged farmers and youngsters, a large number of women and senior CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Madhya Pradesh govt released surge of water for Narmada dam inauguration, then shut tap NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2017, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada district’s Kevadia, the water level in the reservoir was 129.58 m, just one metre short of the all-time high it has ever reached. It was five weeks before the Gujarat elections. Official records show the high level that day was achieved mainly because BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh released an unusual amount of water from upstream dams over five days until the inauguration. In fact, on three of those five IN 5 DAYS, WATER LEVEL ROSE BY 3.39 METRES WATER LEVEL (METRES) SOWMIYA ASHOK 132 128 129.58 126.19 124 120 September12-17 116 August1,2017 AugustDecember 2017 December31,2017 Source: Narmada Control Authority days, records show, the rate of flow into the reservoir was five times the limit — “0.3 metres in 48 hours” for initial filling — set bytheCentralWaterCommission (CWC),theapexwaterregulatory body. The surge stopped the day of the ceremony (see charts). While a former chairman of the CWC described the unprecedented release of water over those five days as optics for the inauguration ceremony, officials associated with the dam said it waspartof adamsafetyexercise and that the timing was just “a coincidence”. Today, with Gujarat staring at a harsh summer, the state government has announced that it will stop supplyingwaterfromthedamforirrigation of crops from March 15. Now consider what official records of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) show about the unusual surge in flow of water from September 12-17, 2017: ■ Levels swelled by 3.39 m in those five days. In contrast, it took 28 days, from August 1-28, 2017,fortheleveltorisebyabout 2 m. It then took 15 days, from August28-September12,forthe reservoir to swell by 3.24 m. ■ The live storage of the reservoir gained 777 million cubic metres (MCM) of water. MP released720.8MCMinthisperiod. Live storage is the portion of water that can be released for CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE
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