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Around 550 Gujarati tourists stranded in Nepal; most are safe

Ahmedabad: Around 550 tourists from Gujarat are stranded in Nepal which was hit by a massive earthquake today, but most of them are safe, the state officials said.

The Gujarat government has set up a special control room
in Gandhinagar with helpline numbers 07923251900, 23251902
and 23251908.

"We have compiled the information that we have received
...around 550 tourists from Gujarat are stranded in Nepal,"
state relief commissioner D N Pandey said.

"Most of them are safe," he added.

Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, meanwhile, said, "I
express my grief over the loss of life due to the earthquake.
We stand with Nepal in this hour of crisis. The state
officials have been instructed to keep the disaster management
mechanism on alert. I appeal to people not to panic and follow
safety guidelines issued by the government."

Pandey also said that people should avoid visiting the
quakeaffected areas for some days.

Health Minister Nitin Patel said many Gujaratis visit
Nepal during vacations.

"The state, alongwith the Centre, would do everything to
bring the stranded tourists back," he added.

A strong earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale
shook Nepal this morning, leaving a trail of destruction in
the Himalayan nation.

High intensity quake hits Delhi

New Delhi: High intensity quake today shook the national capital and adjoining areas prompting people to rush out of offices and homes and leading to restriction of metro services.

However, no loss of life or property damage was reported
in any part of the city.

According to a senior Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)
official, services were not suspended but were put on
restricted mode by slowing the speed of the metro trains,
causing a little delay in the services.

"As a precautionary measure we restricted the services by
slowing the speed of the trains. Services are now normal," the
official said.

The DMRC claimed that so far they have not received any
reports of damage or crack in the metro line.

We will carry out inspection to check if earthquake
caused any damage to the property, the official said.

Delhi police and Fire department officials also said that
they have not received any complaints of damage or causality.

According to a senior government official, all emergency
support functionaries including police, civic agencies,
hospitals and fire services have been alerted.

Civil defense volunteers have been alerted and instructed
to do patrolling in their areas, the official said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed the people
to maintain calm.

"Earthquake tremors in Delhi. I appeal to people to
maintain calm. Officials out in the field to assess
the situation," he said on microblogging site Twitter.

Panic triggered after the tremor and people rushed out of
their offices, market places and buildings.

"As soon I felt the shock, we took stairs and rushed out
of the building. All the residents waited outside for over 30
minutes expecting another spell of tremor," Sudakshina
Rathore, a Mayur Vihar resident said.

The netizens also shared their experiences on the social
media and the hashtag #earthquake was trending.

Some residents also complained of mobile network
congestion as they were trying to reach their friends and
relatives soon after the earthquake.

Farmers will benefit in the exchange: Javadekar on land bill

New Delhi: Amid stiff opposition to land bill especially over consent clause, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said while some farmers will have to "sacrifice" their land for welfare of many others, they will be adequately compensated and will benefit in the exchange.

"Discussion on the consent clause is going on presently
on the land acquisition bill in the entire country. There may
be various opinions on the consent clause.... The compensation
which is presently there in the law, is adequate compensation.
The farmer will get four times more than what is the price of
the land or the price at which it is being brought," Javadekar
said during an event.

He said that in addition, the farmer will also get back
20 per cent developed land.

Elaborating on the issue, Javadekar said that in the
1960s after a farmer's agitation in Maharashtra, the formula
of giving back 12.5 per cent developed land to the farmers was

"So whatever compensation was given on the basic land,
100 times more than that was given by that 12.5 per cent to
the farmers. Here (new bill) 20 per cent of developed land is
being given back," Javadekar said.

The bill for amending Right to Fair Compensation and
Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Act, 2014 has been approved by the Lok Sabha but
could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha as the NDA government
is short of numbers in the Upper House.

The Opposition has termed the ordinance as "antifarmer"
and accused the BJP government of pushing it forcibly without
holding any discussions.

"Farmers will be greatly benefited by it. Each acre will
be given Rs 2000 per month as annuity for 30 years. One person
in the family will be get job. So the farmer will get these
huge four to five benefits and it is an adequate
compensation," Javadekar said.

He noted that there will always be two opinions on the
issue of consent.

"When an dam for irrigation comes up, the land of 100
people goes but 10,000 people get benefited. It is a sacrifice
of 100 people. There was a rule which was introduced in
Maharashtra that not only compensation, the affected people
should get land at that place which will be benefited by the
particular dam.

"But if you ask those 100 people, who will say that come
and destroy my house and make a dam. None will say. So on
consent there maybe be different opinions," he said.

The 2013 Act had called for mandatory Social Impact
Assessment and consent of 80 per cent of affected families in
land acquisition for private companies and 70 per cent of
affected families in land acquisition for publicprivate
partnership projects.

The NDA government had expanded the list of projects
exempted from these two requirements.

Ramdev has a narrow escape, to stay in Nepal for relief work

Kathmandu/New Delhi: Yoga Guru Ramdev had a narrow escape during the devastating earthquake in Kathmandu today as a dais from which he had addressed a gathering collapsed soon after he stepped down.

The Yoga teacher also said that he saw a multistory
building collapsing and many people were trapped inside it.

Ramdev is in the Nepalese capital with his associate
Acharya Balkrishan for his Yoga Shivir from April 24 to 29.

"Narrating the incident in a state of shock and grief,
Ramdev said that in front of his eyes, an old multistorey
building collapsed and many lives were trapped inside," said
an official statement released from his office.

Union minister Sushma Swaraj said in a tweet,"We have
contacted Ramdev in Kathmandu. He wishes to be there in this
hour of crisis."

According to Ramdev, massive damage to property and loss
of lives was caused in Nepal. He has seen such natural
disaster for the first time and was not in a position to
understand what actions he should take in first place.

The statement further claimed that over two lakh people
had assembled in Tundi Khel Maidan the venue of Yoga Shivir
and also Kathmandu's largest open area and taken shelter

"Patanjali Yogpeeth in Nepal has started all possible
emergency and relief operation through doctors and volunteers.
Cooking of food for people assembled in the ground has begun
on massive scale," the statement added.

Ramdev expressed solidarity with the people of Nepal in
this tough time. He also appealed to the Government of India
and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help affected people on

He has postponed the ceremonial schedule of inauguration
of first Patanjali Ayurved college and Hospital and of laying
of foundation of first Acharyakulam in Nepal.

Masarat Alam's bail plea rejected

Srinagar: A local court in Budgam today rejected the bail application of hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Masarat Alam Bhat.

"The court has rejected the bail application of Bhat.The
grounds on which the plea was rejected will be known when we
get the detailed order copy," the Hurriyat leader's counsel
Shabir Ahmad Bhat told PTI.

The 45yearold separatist leader, arrested last week
on charges of waging war against the country and sedition, was
booked under Public Safety Act on Thursday and shifted to
Kotbhalwal Jail in Jammu.

Bhat was arrested on April 16 in the case relating to
hoisting of Pakistani flag and antiIndia slogans during a
rally in Hyderpora area on April 15 organised by the Hurriyat
to welcome Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Police had registered a case against Bhat, Geelani and
several other separatist leaders for provocative activities
including hoisting of Pakistani flag.

The separatist leaders have been booked under Sections
121A (waging war against the country), 124 (Sedition), 120B
(Criminal Conspiracy), 147 (rioting) of Ranbir Penal Code
(RPC) and other minor offences.

"During investigation, the video footage of the incident
was examined and it was found that the said individual
(Masarat Alam) was involved in leading the crowd to raise
antinational slogans and hoist Pak flags. He himself was
found raising such slogans and thereby instigating the crowd
to follow him," a police spokesman had said after Bhat was

"In this rally provocative and seditious slogans were
raised by the supporters of the group which were led among
others by Masarat Alam. Masarat Alam himself instigated the
crowd by hoisting antinational flag and shouting proPak and
antiIndia slogans," he charged

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