LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● WEDNESDAY, JULY 25, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE EC ORDERED 16.15 LAKH VVPATS FROM BEL & ECIL LAST YEAR VVPAT delivery way behind schedule, advancing Lok Sabha polls not so easy EC promised SC September deadline, only 22% units received until mid-June BUSINESS AS USUAL YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW RITIKA CHOPRA NEW DELHI, JULY 24 THE EC INVENTORY THE MACHINES ORDERED (QUANTITIES, SEPTEMBER 19, 2017) Ballot Unit* Control Unit* BY UNNY THE ELECTIONCommission (EC) is struggling to meet the deadline it committed to Supreme Court for procuring 16 lakh voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines for the Lok Sabha elections due next year, according to official records accessed by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. On April 24, 2017, the EC filed E AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION an affidavit in the Supreme Court, promising to introduce VVPATs in all polling stations for the 2019 general elections. It also committed that the two manufacturing PSUs — Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) in Bengaluru and Electronics BEL ECIL TOTAL VVPATs 10,46,480 3,48,826 13,95,306 6,98,037 2,32,679 9,30,716 10,63,500 5,51,500 16,15,000 4,80,000 1,00,000 5,80,000 3,50,000 50,000 4,00,000 2,45,500 1,02,500 3,48,000 DELIVERED (AS ON JUNE 19, 2018) BEL ECIL TOTAL *One ballot unit and one control unit make one EVM Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad — will deliver the requisite paper trail machines by September 2018. As on June 19 this year, almost 14 months after the EC placed orders for 16.15 lakh VVPATs with BEL and ECIL, the poll panel had received 3.48 lakh units (see box) — in other words, meeting only 22 per cent of the target three months before the deadline. This has a direct bearing on the debate and speculation over early general elections. Given the current shortfall in the VVPAT numbers, any move to advance Lok Sabha polls will have to deal CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 2016 vs 2015: 20% drop in farmer suicides but 10% spike in suicides of farm labour Maratha stir picks up, Fadnavis checks with quota panel Andhra Pradesh, Telangana show most improvement; farmer suicides surge in Punjab and Haryana DEEPTIMAN TIWARY THE SUICIDE COUNT, ALL INDIA NEW DELHI, JULY 24 2014 FARMER SUICIDES in the country have declined but suicides among agricultural labourers have gone up. According to figures released by the government for 2016 — the latest year for which data is available — farmer suicides in 2016 have come down to 6,351 from 8,007 in 2015 — a drop of 21%. Agricultural labour suicides, however, have gone up by about 10% — from 4,595 farm labour suicides in 2015 up to 5,019 in 2016. The government has begun collecting separate figures for suicides of farmers and farm labour since 2014. Earlier, it collected figures for suicides in the “farming sector” which included farmers and farm labour. 2015 2016 FARMER 5,650 8,007 6,351 FARM LABOUR 6,710 4,595 5,019 A fire tender was torched near Aurangabad Tuesday. Express Source: National Crime Records Bureau SANDEEP ASHAR Latest government figures, released in Parliament, show that states with high number of farmer suicides have also witnessed high number of farm labour suicides. However, with the exception of Telangana, all states which have witnessed a drop in farmer suicides have witnessed an increase in farm labour suicides. Certain states such as Gujarat stand out for the wide gap between farmer suicides and farm labour suicides. Recording double-digit farmer suicide figures, which have reduced by about 50% in 2016, the state records 378 labour suicides in 2016 as against just 244 in 2015. Similarly, in Karnataka, while farmer suicides have increased marginally, farm labour suicides have more than doubled between 2015 and 2016. Only Maharashtra has witnessed a marginal reduction in farm labour suicides but it pales in comparison to the reduction the state has witnessed in farmer suicides. Experts believe that this trend could be due to the fact CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUMBAI, JULY 24 TO RWANDA, FROM INDIA Prime Minister Narendra Modi donated 200 cows for Rwanda’s Girinka programme (a cow to every poor family) at Rweru Tuesday. Rwanda President Paul Kagame looks on. PIB PAGE 6 PAKISTAN VOTES TODAY THE EDITORIAL PAGE EXPLAINED WORLD ARMY VS NAWAZ SHARIF BY MOHAMMAD TAQI THE POLLITICS OF PAKISTAN ARMY VOTERS HEAD TO BOOTHS AMID CHARGES OF RIGGING PAGE 11 PAGE 8 PAGE 12 WITH THE Maratha community’s agitation for reservation in jobs and education picking up in Maharashtra and, in some parts, taking a violent turn, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis called an emergency high-level meeting Tuesday to review the “progress” made by the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission on the quota issue. In May 2017, the Fadnavis government had informed the Bombay High Court that it was referring the matter to the Commission headed by a retired judge. Marriage to jobs, study says more women on the move across India Seized diary shows India’s missile system two hitlists, Lankesh deal with Russia set THE UPTICK: PERCENTAGE OF MIGRANTS was Number 2 on one to escape US sanction SEEMA CHISHTI NEW DELHI, JULY 24 NSS Round(year) THE NUMBER and rate of women migrating within India are increasing; it has been on the rise over the past three decades in rural and urban areas; at the same time, the ratio of adult male migrants to adult population has decreased. These are among the findings in a new paper, which indicates that Indian women are travelling more within the country — primarily for economic reasons and better employment — often alone and at a higher rate than men. The findings “undermine the thesis of massive migration to the existing urban centres leading to their demographic growth and of labour market integration in the country” says a paper by Distinguished Fellow at the Research and Information 64(July 2007June 2008) 55(July 1999June 2000) 49(JanuaryJune 1993) 43(July 1987June 1988) 38(JanuaryDecember 1983) RURAL Male Female 5.4 47.7 (6.5) (68.6) 6.9 42.6 (9.0) (64.5) 6.5 40.1 URBAN Male Female 25.9 45.6 (31.4) (57.9) 25.7 41.8 (32.0) (55.4) 23.9 38.2 7.4 39.8 26.8 39.6 7.2 35.1 27 36.6 Note: The figures in brackets are population in the 15-59 age group. Source: Mobility in India, Recent Trends and Issues Concerning Database System for Developing Countries, Prof Amitabh Kundu, titled Mobility in India, Recent Trends and Issues Concerning Database. The paper reflects many significant social and economic realities and takes into account the 64th round of the National Sample Survey (NSS), the most recent for which migration data is available, as well as figures from the 2011 Census and the National Health and Family Survey IV. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JOHNSON T A Gauri Lankesh was gunned down on Sept 5, 2017 BENGALURU, JULY 24 THE NAME of Gauri Lankesh was No. 2 on one of two lists with a total of 34 names, who were marked in 2016 for murder in a diary recovered from a key suspect linked to a radical Hindutva group, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Karnataka Police has found. Lankesh was shot dead outside her house a year later, on September 5, 2017. All the other persons based in Karnataka named in the diary, including theatre legend Girish Karnad whose name was No. 1 on the Lankesh list, have been provided state security. A majority of names from the two lists are from Karnataka and Maharashtra, sources told The Indian Express, adding that security agencies in other states have been alerted. The diary was among documents found in the possession of Amol Kale, 37, a resident of Pune and a former convenor of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORT PAGE 7 SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JULY 24 INDIA, ALONG with Indonesia and Vietnam, is likely to get a waiver from US sanctions against Russia, South Block sources told The Indian Express Tuesday. The US, sources said, has communicated this to the Indian government, thereby removing one of the friction points in bilateral ties. A crucial S-400 air defence missile systems deal with Russia would have invited US sanctions. New Delhi had made it clear that it would go ahead with the deal which is in an “advanced stage”. On the waiver, a South Block source said: “This makes the at- Sources privy to the discussions Tuesday said Fadnavis sought to know the progress made by the Commission on the reservation issue. The panel was said to have conveyed to the government that at least four more months would be needed to submit a report. Once the Commission submits the report, the state government will have to go back to the Bombay High Court which had rejected the reservation demand twice in the past. In 2014, when the CongressNCP government had first issued CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FULL COVERAGE PAGE 7 Choksi flees to Antigua, gets local passport EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 24 mosphere conducive for a productive discussion when the 2+2 dialogue takes place between Defence and Foreign Ministers in September.” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis in New Delhi on September 6. Sources said that a US Congressional committee has proposed waivers for India from stringent sanctions under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). This is directed against those doing business with Russia’s defence industry. FUGITIVE JEWELLER and PNB scam accused Mehul Choksi has fled to Antigua and taken the Caribbean country’s citizenship, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been informed. The authorities in Antigua have communicated to the ED that Choksi arrived in the Choksi, Nirav on country this the run month and was given an Antiguan passport. The information has been sent in response to a ‘diffusion notice’ issued against CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR YEAR AFTER BEING CUT OFF, MORBI VILLAGERS GIFT THEMSELVES RS-1 CR BRIDGE GOPAL KATESHIYA RAJKOT, JULY 24 EXACTLY A year after a flooded Machchhu river cut them off from the rest of the district following extremely heavy rain, residents of Paj village in Wankaner taluka of Morbi district gave themselves a bridge on Tuesday. The Rs 1-crore bridge, constructed by villagers who are mainly farmers with a little help from the state government, was dedicated to the public by Morbi District Collector R J Makadia. The bridge across the Machchhu, one of the largest rivers of Saurashtra, gives Paj allweather road connectivity to the taluka headquarters of Wankaner via National Highway 27. The village is 12 km southeast of Wankaner town. Makadia inaugurated the bridge in the presence of Morbi District Development Officer S M Khatana and local government officers in Wankaner at a ceremony organised by Paj residents on Tuesday. “After our village was cut off on July 24 by the swollen river last year, residents decided to take an initiative instead of waiting for the government to do something. Therefore, villagers formed a 13-member committee consisting of five graduates, businessmen and farmers. The apolitical committee decided to construct the bridge with public contributions only. Construction started in December and was completed in 190 days,” Paj sarpanch Usman Mathakiya told The Indian Express. The Machchhu river flows to the west of the village while Machharo, a tributary of Machchhu, flows from southeast to north-east of the village. When both rivers are in spate, the village becomes an island. The level of water in Machchhu near Paj remains high as there is The bridge across the Machchhu, one of the largest rivers of Saurashtra, gives Paj all-weather road connectivity to the taluka headquarters of Wankaner via NH 27. Ravi Motwani a check-dam downstream. “The alternate route via Gariya, Mahika and Khanpar villages is a mud track, and doubles the distance between Paj and Wankaner. And it is not motorable in the rainy season. But the route via Rasikgadh, a village on the western bank of Machhu river and onward to NH 27, is just 12 km long. So we had to find a permanent solution for road connectivity,” said Gulab Sipai, a Paj resident who works for an NGO and is part of Paj Gram Lok Samiti or Paj village people’s committee (PGLS). Paj has a population of around 1,200, divided among 165 families. “We decided to collect Rs 15,000 from each family for the bridge. We weclomed bigger contributions. People make donations during Ramzan. But this Ramzan, they donated for the bridge. When we were falling short by a few lakhs, we made a representation to the Morbi district collector, and the collector and DDO allotted Rs 10 lakh. We got cooperation from the government and people,” said Sipai. Sipai said that Ismile Sherashia, a retired deputy executive engineer with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) wing of the Gujarat government and a resident of Sindhavadar village in Wankaner, and Amiyal Badi, who was an engineer with the irrigation department of the state government, helped with the design and technical aspects of the bridge, which is 80 metres long, six metres wide and seven metres high from the river bed. “PGLS formed six groups of 25 members each to volunteer as labourers for construction. Many volunteered out of turn, and work went on round the clock,” the sarpach added. “Because Machchhu is flooded in the monsoon, people can’t leave the village for a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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