16 JAN 1681 SAMBHAJI MAHARAJ CORONATION(RAJYABHISHEK)

Sambhaji

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sambhaji Raje Bhosale
Shambhuraje1.jpg

Sambhaji
Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg 2nd Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire
Reign 20 July 1680 – 11 March 1689
Coronation 20 July 1680, Panhala
or 16 January 1681, Raigad
Predecessor Shivaji
Successor Rajaram
Born May 14, 1657
Purandar Fort, near Pune, India
Died March 11, 1689 (aged 31)
Tulapur-Vadhu Dist. Pune, Maharashtra, India
Spouse Yesubai
Issue Bhavani Bai
Shahu
Father Shivaji
Mother Saibai
Religion Hinduism

|other_names = Shambhuraje Sambhaji Bhosale (14 May 1657 – 11 March 1689) was the eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji, the founder of the Maratha Empire, and his first wife Saibai. He was successor of the realm after his father’s death. Sambhaji’s rule was largely shaped by the ongoing wars between the Maratha kingdom and the Mughal Empire, as well as other neighbouring powers such as the Siddis, Mysore and the Portuguese in Goa. Sambhaji was captured, tortured, and executed by the Mughals,[1] and succeeded by his brother Rajaram.

Early life[edit]

Sambhaji was born at Purandar fort to Saibai, Shivaji’s first and favourite wife. His mother died when he was two and he was raised by his paternal grandmother Jijabai. At the age of nine, Sambhaji was sent to live with Raja Jai Singh of Amber, as a political hostage to ensure compliance of the Treaty of Purandar that Shivaji had signed with the Mughals on 11 June 1665. As a result of the treaty, Sambhaji became a Mughal sardar and served the Mughal court of Aurangzeb and the father and son duo fought along the Mughals against Bijapur. He and his father Shivaji presented themselves at Aurangzeb’s court at Agra on 12 May 1666. Aurangzeb put both of them under house arrest but they escaped on 22 July 1666.[2]

Sambhaji was married to Jivubai in a marriage of political alliance, and per Maratha custom she took the name Yesubai. Jivabai was the daughter of Pilajirao Shirke, who had entered Shivaji’s service following the defeat of a powerful Deshmukh who was his previous patron. This marriage thus gave Shivaji access to the Konkan coastal belt.[3]:47

Sambhaji’s behaviour, including alleged irresponsibility and “addiction to sensual pleasures” led Shivaji to imprison his son at Panhala fort in 1678 to curb his behaviour.[3][4] Sambhaji escaped from the fort with his wife and defected to the Mughals in December 1678 for a year but then returned home when he learnt of a plan by Dilir Khan, the Mughal viceroy of Deccan to arrest him and send him to Delhi.[5] Upon returning home, Sambhaji was unrepentant, and was again confined to Panhala.[3][6]

Accession[edit]

When Shivaji died in the first week of April 1680, Sambhaji was still held captive in Panhala fort. Shivaji’s 2nd son Rajaram Rajaram was installed on the throne on 21 April 1680 by consensus. Upon hearing this news, Sambhaji plotted his escape and took possession of the Panhala fort on 27 April after killing the bramhan commander. On 18 June, he acquired control of Raigad fort. Sambhaji formally ascended the throne on 20 July 1680. Rajaram, his wife Janki Bai, and mother Soyarabai were imprisoned. Soyarabai was executed in October 1680 on charges of conspiracy.[3]:48[7]

Attack on Burhanpur[edit]

Sambhaji then plundered and ravaged the city in 1680,[when?] his forces completely routed the Mughal garrison and punitively executed captives. The Marathas then looted the city and set its ports ablaze. In contrast to his father’s tactics, Sambhaji permitted torture and violence by his forces. Sambhaji then withdrew into Baglana, evading the forces of Mughal commander Khan Jahan Bahadur.[8]

War against the Mughal empire[edit]

Statue of Sambhaji at Tulapur

In 1682 the Mughals laid siege to the Maratha fort of Ramsej, but after five months of failed attempts, including planting explosive mines and building wooden towers to gain the walls, the Mughal siege failed.[9]

War with Siddis of Janjira[edit]

Entering the 1680s, the Marathas came into conflict[why?] with the Siddis, who were Muslim of African descent settled in India and held the fortified island of Janjira. At the start of 1682, a Maratha army, later joined by Sambhaji personally, attacked the island for thirty days, doing heavy damage but failing to breach its defenses. Sambhaji then attempted a ruse, sending a party of his people to the Siddis, claiming to be defectors. They were allowed into the fort, and planned to detonate the gunpowder magazine during a coming Maratha attack. However, one of the female “defectors” became involved with a Siddi man, and he uncovered the plot and the infiltrators were executed. The Maratha then attempted to build a stone causeway from the shore to the island, but were interrupted halfway through when the Mughal army moved to menace Raigad; Sambhaji returned to counter them, and his remaining troops were unable to overcome the Janjira garrison and the Siddi fleet protecting it.[10]

Portuguese and the English[edit]

Sambhaji with his infant son Shahuji.

Having failed to take Janjira, in 1682 Sambhaji sent a commander to seize the coastal fort of Anjadiva instead. The Marathas seized the fort, seeking to turn it into a naval base, but in April 1682 were ejected from the fort by a detachment of 200 Portuguese. This incident led to a larger conflict between the two regional powers.[10]:171

The Portuguese colony of Goa at that time provided supplies to the Mughals, allowed them to use the Portuguese ports in India and pass through their territory. In order to deny this support to the Mughals, Sambhaji undertook a campaign against Portuguese Goa in late 1683 storming the colony and taking its forts, while local Goans uprose against the Europeans.[citation needed] The situation for the colonists became so dire that the Portuguese viceroy, Francisco de Távora, conde de Alvor went with his remaining supporters to the cathedral where the crypt of Saint Francis Xavier was kept, where they prayed for deliverance. The viceroy had the casket opened, and gave the saint’s body his baton, royal credentials, and a letter asking the saint’s support. Sambhaji’s Goa campaign was checked by the arrival of the Mughal army and navy in January 1684, forcing him to withdraw.[11]

Meanwhile, in 1684 Sambhaji signed a defensive treaty with the British at Bombay, realising his need for British arms and gunpowder, particularly as their lack of artillery and explosives impeded the Maratha’s ability to lay siege to fortifications. Thus reinforced, Sambhaji proceeded to take Pratapgad and a series of forts along the Ghats.[12]:91

War with Mysore[edit]

Much like his father Shivaji’s Karnataka campaign, Sambhaji attempted in 1681 to invade Mysore, then a southern principality ruled by Wodeyar Chikkadevaraja. Sambhaji’s large army was repelled,[12]:91 as had happened to Shivaji in 1675.[13] The Chikkadevraja later made treaties and rendered tribute to the Maratha kingdom during the conflicts of 1682-1686. The Chikkadevraja however began to draw close to the Mughal empire and ceased to follow his treaties with the Marathas. In response, Sambhaji invaded Mysore in 1686, accompanied by his Brahmin friend and poet Kavi Kalash.[14][15]

Capture and execution[edit]

Stone arch at Tulapur confluence where Sambhaji was executed.

The 1687 Battle of Wai saw the Maratha forces badly weakened by the Mughals. The key Maratha commander Hambirao Mohite was killed, and troops began to desert the Maratha armies. Sambaji’s positions were spied upon by Shirke clan Marathas who had defected to the Mughals. Sambhaji and 25 of his advisors were captured by the Mughal forces of Muqarrab Khan in a skirmish at Sangameshwar in February 1689 .[3]:47

Accounts of Sambhaji’s confrontation with the Mughal ruler, and following torture, execution, and disposal of his body, vary widely depending on the source, though generally all agree that he was tortured and executed on the emperor’s orders[citation needed].

The captured Sambhaji and Kavi Kalash were taken to Bahadurgad, where Aurangzeb humiliated them by parading them wearing clown’s clothes, and they were subjected to insults by the Mughal soldiers. Accounts vary as to the reasons for what came next: Mughal accounts state that Sambhaji was asked to surrender his forts, treasures, and names of Mughal collaborators with the Marathas, and that he sealed his fate by insulting both the emperor and the Islamic prophet Muhammad during interrogation, and was executed for having killed Muslims.[16] Maratha accounts instead state that he was ordered to bow before Auguranzeb and convert to Islam, and it was his refusal to do so that led to his death, lending a religious martyrdom to the narrative.[17][verification needed] By doing so he earned the title of Dharmaveer (“protector of dharma“).[18] Aurangzeb ordered Sambhaji and Kavi Kalash to be tortured to death; the process took over a fortnight and included plucking out their eyes and tongue, pulling out their nails, and removing their skin. Sambhaji was finally killed on 11 March[citation needed] 1689, reportedly by tearing him apart from the front and back with wagh nakhe (metal “tiger claws”) and beheading with an axe at Tulapur on the banks of the Bhima river, near Pune.[citation needed]

Other accounts state that Sambhaji challenged Aurangzeb in open court and refused to convert to Islam. Dennis Kincaid writes “He (Sambhaji) was ordered by the Emperor to embrace Islam. He refused and was made to run the gauntlet of the whole Imperial army. Tattered and bleeding he was brought before the Emperor and repeated his refusal. His tongue was torn and again the question was put. He called for writing material and wrote ‘Not even if the emperor bribed me with his daughter!’ So then he was put to death by torture”.[18]

Some accounts state that Sambhaji’s body was cut into pieces and thrown into the river, or that the body or portions were recaptured and cremated at the confluence of rivers at Tulapur.[19][20] Other accounts state that Sambhaji’s remains were fed to the dogs.[21]

Succession[edit]

The Maratha confederacy was put into disarray by Sambhaji’s death, and his younger half-brother Rajaram assumed the throne. A few days after Sambhaji’s death, the capital Raigad fell to the Mughals and Sambhaji’s wife, Yesubai, and son, Shahu were captured. Rajaram shifted the Maratha capital far south to Jinji, while Maratha guerrilla fighters under Santaji Ghorpade and Dhanaji Jadhav continued to harass the Mughal army. Yesubai and Shahu, who was 7 years of age when captured, remained prisoners of the Mughals for 18 years from February 1689 until Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb‘s death in 1707. Shahu was then set free by Emperor Muhammad Azam Shah, son of Aurangzeb. After his release Shahu had to fight a brief war with his aunt Tarabai, Rajaram’s widow who claimed the throne for her own son, Shivaji II.

The Mughals kept Yesubai captive to ensure that Shahu adhered to the terms of his release. Yesubai was finally released in 1719 when Marathas became strong enough under Shahu and Peshwa Balaji.

Preceded by
Shivaji
Chhatrapati of the
Maratha Empire

1680–1689
Succeeded by
Rajaram

See also[edit]

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14 JAN 2017 PATNA BOAT CAPSIZED

2017 Patna boat accident

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2017 Patna boat accident
Gangesriver.jpg

River Ganges
Time Around 18:00 (IST)[1]
Date 14 January 2017
Location Ganges, Patna, Bihar State, India
Cause Overcrowding
Deaths 25

On 14 January 2017, a boat carrying more than 40 passengers capsized in the Ganges in the Indian city of Patna, Bihar, killing 25 people.[2][1] The boat was about to reach the bank when it capsized.[3] Overloading is suspected to be the cause of the accident.[2]

Incident[edit]

The boat was returning from a kite-flying festival on an island in the middle of the Ganges, as part of the Makar Sankranti celebration in the city of Patna.[3][4][5] The small boat, which was overloaded with passengers,[3] was about to reach the bank when it capsized.[3] The boat’s capacity was 30 people, but estimates from local officials placed its actual load at 40 to 50.[6]

Rescue operation[edit]

Rescue operations located 19 bodies on January 14, and five more on the 15th before they ended once, according to local police, there were no more outstanding missing persons.[6] Nine people were retrieved from the river by rescuers,[5] while about a dozen swam to shore.[6] Eight people were hospitalized[6] at the Patna Medical College and Hospital.[5]

Relief[edit]

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced an ex-gratia payment from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund of ₹2 lakh for the next of kin of those who died in the boat accident and ₹50 thousand for those seriously injured.[1][7] Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar also announced that compensation of ₹4 lakh will be given to relatives of each of the dead.[4]\

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13 JAN 2017 INTERNATIONAL DAUGHTER DAY

Why India needs a Daughters’ Day

  • 11 August 2016
  • From the sectionIndia
Indian Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi (right) with her daughter-in-law and granddaughterImage copyrightCOURTESY: MANEKA GANDHI
Image captionIndian Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi tweeted this photo of herself with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter

India has launched a campaign on social media to celebrate daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters this week and is observing a Daughter’s Day on Thursday.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi told the BBC that the Daughters’ Day and the Daughters’ Week were aimed at reducing female foeticide, improving India’s skewed sex ratio and educating girls.

“We are asking people to celebrate the young women and girls in their lives,” Mrs Gandhi said.

“The time has come to celebrate women. Women are doing much better now, there’s more confidence in them. We want to spread the message that the girl child should be valued,” she added.

To kick-off the campaign to mark Daughters’ Day on Thursday, she tweeted a photograph with her daughter-in-law and granddaughter.

Vikram Singh ‏@Vikrambuzzy: Image copyrightINDIA WCD MINISTRY
Image captionMrs Gandhi has re-tweeted dozens of photos sent to her
AJAY RANA ‏@rana123ajayImage copyrightINDIA WCD MINISTRY
Image captionThe minister said the response to the campaign has been overwhelming

The campaign asks people to post photographs with their daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms using the hashtag #BBBPDaughtersWeek.

And in the first few days of the launch of the campaign, Mrs Gandhi has re-tweeted dozens of photos sent by people to her.

On the face of it, it seems to be a fun campaign, but dig a little deeper and what is at stake is much more serious.

India, and Indians, are often accused of patriarchy. And a look at the government data confirms that India is often very unkind to those of the female gender.

A preference for sons has led to hundreds of thousands of female foetusesbeing aborted every year, at least 22 women are killed for dowry every day, a rape is reported every 22 minutes and every five minutes a woman is assaulted within her home.

For decades, the authorities and campaigners have struggled to deal with these challenges.

Bibipur village familyImage copyrightMANSI THAPLIYAL
Image captionIn his monthly radio address last year, India’s PM asked fathers across the country to take selfies with their daughters and send them to him

Over the years, India has brought in tougher laws banning sex selective abortions, dowry has long been outlawed, there are civil remedies available to women trapped in abusive marriages and rape laws have been rewritten to include the death penalty.

Of course, there are more positive stories about Indian women – today there are many powerful women politicians, scientists, in leading banks – both private and government, and in the corporate sector.

But patriarchal attitudes are deeply entrenched in Indian society continue.

Mrs Gandhi explains why her campaign singles out daughters, daughters-in-law and granddaughters:

  • Daughters because people think “she’s a burden, she’s inferior to a son, she’s a bad investment since she will marry and leave for her bridal home”.
  • Daughters-in-law because “we are killing them the most” and “we are trying to tell people to treat their daughters-in-law as they would treat their own daughters”.
  • Granddaughter because “in most cases, it’s the mother-in-law who forces her daughter-in-law to abort her female foetus and we are appealing to the grandmothers to let the girl child a chance to be born”.

The government, she says, is working hard to better the lot of the women and the girl child.

Indian girl childImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe campaign wants to send out the message to value the girl child

In January last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (save daughter, educate daughter) programme (BBBP) to address the issue of the skewed child sex ratio.

In his monthly radio address last year, Mr Modi asked fathers across the country to click selfies with their daughters and send them to him, borrowing an idea from a villager in Haryana.

Mrs Gandhi’s Daughters’ Day campaign is another attempt to chip away at the patriarchy and to cajole more people to begin valuing their daughters.

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13 DEC 1955 MANOHAR PARRIKAR

Manohar Parrikar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Manohar Parrikar
मनोहर पर्रीकर
RM Manohar Parrikar.jpg

Manohar Parrikar
Minister of Defence
Assumed office
9 November 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Preceded by Arun Jaitley
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)[1]
Assumed office
26 November 2014
Constituency Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister of Goa
In office
9 March 2012 – 8 November 2014
Governor K Sankaranarayanan
Bharat Vir Wanchoo
Margaret Alva
Om Prakash Kohli
Mridula Sinha
Preceded by Digambar Kamat
Succeeded by Laxmikant Parsekar
In office
24 October 2000 – 2 February 2005
Governor Mohammed Fazal
Kidar Nath Sahani
Mohammed Fazal
S C Jamir
Preceded by Francisco Sardinha
Succeeded by Pratapsingh Rane
Personal details
Born Manohar Gopalakrishna Prabhu Parrikar
13 December 1955 (age 60)
Mapuçá, Goa, Portuguese India (now in India)
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Medha Parrikar
Children 2 (Sons)
Alma mater Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Religion Hinduism

Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar (born 13 December 1955) is an Indian politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party who is the current Defence Minister of India. Before being inducted into the Council of Ministers of the Union Government on 9 November 2014, he served as the Chief Minister of Goa, first from 2000 to 2005 and later from March 2012 to November 2014.[2][3][4] He is a member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Manohar Parrikar was born in Mapusa, Goa.[6] He studied at Loyola High School, Margao. He completed his secondary education in Marathi and went on to graduate in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay)[6] in 1978. He is the first IIT graduate to serve as Chief Minister of an Indian state. He was awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2001 by IIT Bombay.[4]

Political career[edit]

Parrikar joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a young age and became a mukhya shikshak (chief instructor) in the final years of his schooling. After graduating from IIT, he resumed RSS work in Mapusa while maintaining a private business, and became a sanghchalak (local director) at the age of 26. He was active in the RSS’s North Goa unit, becoming a key organiser of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He was seconded by RSS to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the objective of fighting the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.[7] Parrikar has often expressed considerable pride of his RSS background, saying that he learnt “discipline, progressiveness, gender equality, equality of all before the law, nationalism and social responsibility from the RSS”.[8] He is sometimes described as having been a pracharak of the RSS.[9]

As a member of the BJP, Parrikar was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the State of Goa in 1994. He was leader of the opposition from June to November 1999. He successfully contested the election to become Chief Minister of Goa for the first time on 24 October 2000, but his tenure would last only till 27 February 2002. On 5 June 2002, he was re-elected and would serve another term as Chief Minister.[citation needed]

Manohar Parrikar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2015 Republic Day Parade, New Delhi.

On 29 January 2005, his government was reduced to a minority in the Assembly after four BJP MLAs resigned from the House. Pratapsinh Rane of the Indian National Congress would subsequently replace Parrikar as Chief Minister. In 2007, the Parrikar-led BJP was defeated in the Goa state elections by the Indian National Congress led by Digambar Kamat. His party became victorious once again after the BJP and their party-allies won twenty-four seats against the Indian National Congress’ nine in the Goa Assembly Elections held in March 2012. In the 2014 General Elections, BJP won both the Lok Sabha seats in Goa.[10] Parrikar was reluctant to leave Goa and move to Delhi in November 2014, by his own admission but was persuaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to join the central government.[10] He was succeeded by Laxmikant Parsekar as Goa’s CM. Parrikar had represented the Panajiconstituency in the Goa Legislative Assembly when he was a player in the state politics.[11]

In November 2014, Parrikar was chosen as the Minister of Defence replacing Arun Jaitley, who, till then, held the additional charge of the Ministry.[9][12] His entry into the parliament was facilitated by choosing him as the party’s candidate for the elected Rajya Sabha seat from Uttar Pradesh.[11]

Family and personal life[edit]

His wife Medha Parrikar died of cancer in 2001.[13][14] They have two sons – Utpal Parrikar is an Electrical Engineering graduate from Michigan State University and Abhijat Parrikar who is a local businessman.

Controversies[edit]

Education policy

In 2001, the Parrikar government turned over fifty-one government primary schools in rural areas to Vidya Bharati, the educational wing of the Sangh Parivar, inviting criticism from certain educationists.[15][16]

European garbage tour junket

In November 2013, a 37-person delegation travelled to Italy, Germany and Austria to observe European waste management plants and practices. The delegation included deputy chief minister Francis D’Souza, government MLAs, members of panchayats and municipal councils, and ordinary residents. The taxpayer-funded trip cost about Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million).[17][18][19]

FIFA World Cup junket

He also drew criticism for approving a junket costing at least Rs 89 lakh (Rs 8.9 million) for six government MLAs from the ruling party, including three ministers, to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The Indian National Congress termed the trip “wasteful expenditure” and criticized the lack of other government officials or soccer experts in the delegation.[20][21]

Awards[edit]

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Manohar Parrikar
Minister of Defence
Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar is an Indian politician from the Bharatiya Janata Party who is the current Defence Minister of India.Wikipedia
Born: December 13, 1955 (age 61), Mapusa
Spouse: Medha Parrikar (m. ?–2000)
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12-14 DEC 2016 STORM VARDAH CHENNAI TN

Cyclone Vardah: Severe cyclone to weaken over next six hours

VINSON KURIAN/PTI

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  • The image taken from INSAT 3D at 2 pm shows cyclone Vardah making landfall near north of Chennai. Photo Credit: IMD
    The image taken from INSAT 3D at 2 pm shows cyclone Vardah making landfall near north of Chennai. Photo Credit: IMD
  • Vardah' has retained its strength and intensity as a destructive storm, beating forecasts for a prospective weakening. It was located just 61 km east-northeast of Chennai at 10.30 am and there is no sign of its weakening yet.
    Vardah’ has retained its strength and intensity as a destructive storm, beating forecasts for a prospective weakening. It was located just 61 km east-northeast of Chennai at 10.30 am and there is no sign of its weakening yet.
  • An uprooted tree fell on a car at College Road in Chennai on Monday. | Photo Credit: Dinesh Krishnan
    An uprooted tree fell on a car at College Road in Chennai on Monday. | Photo Credit: Dinesh Krishnan
  • Under its impact, rains started last night in the northern districts of Chennai. File Photo
    Under its impact, rains started last night in the northern districts of Chennai. File Photo
  • A tree was uprooted at Radhakrishnan Salai in Chennai on Monday as wind was gusting over 100 kmph due to cyclone Varda. - Photo credit: R. Ragu
    A tree was uprooted at Radhakrishnan Salai in Chennai on Monday as wind was gusting over 100 kmph due to cyclone Varda. – Photo credit: R. Ragu

Power supply suspended, 8,000 people from low-lying areas safely evacuated to 95 relief shelters

India Met Department (IMD) has confirmed that very severe cyclone ‘Vardah’ is crossing coast near Chennai and the landfall process will be completed during next two hours.

‘Vardah’ has subjected the coast to its full fury, which has been next only to the class-topping super cyclone on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of storm intensity.

‘Eye’ crosses

Satellite pictures indicated that the ‘eye’ of the storm may have crossed right over Chennai and immediate neighbourhood with intense rain bands strewn across over hundreds of kilomteres.

They also showed that 75-80 per cent of the clouding associated with the massive storm has penetrated into land around Chennai and adjoining North Tamil Nadu and South Andhra Pradesh.

The clouds have spread out to as far away as Ramanathapuram, Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruppur, Coimbatore, Satyamangalam, Mysuru, Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Anantapur, Bellari, Kurnool, Mahbubnagar, Hyderabad, Warangal, Jagdalpur, Sonepur and Phulbani.

Fresh rain?

These covered the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. According to several weather models, the weakened ‘Vardah’ will move west across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka before stepping out into the Arabian Sea.

It will cause varying amounts of rainfall over the parched interiors of these states which have faced drought-like conditions in the wake of failure of the ongoing North-East monsoon.

Some of them have indicated the possibility of a round of fresh rainfall later this week mainly for the southern parts of Tamil Nadu and adjoining Sri Lanka as an ‘easterly wave,’ an elongated area of low-pressure not amounting to storm strength, approaches the coast.

Two persons were killed as heavy rains accompanied by high velocity winds today pounded the city and coastal districts of north Tamil Nadu due to severe cyclonic storm “Vardah” which began making landfall near here, uprooting hundreds of trees, disrupting land and air transport and throwing normal life out of gear.

Power supply hit

Power supply was suspended in many parts of these regions as a precautionary measure. About 8,000 people from low-lying areas in north Chennai, Pazhaverkadu in Tiruvallur district and villages off Mamallapuram, in Kanchipuram district were safely evacuated to 95 relief shelters, officials said.

Flight operations at the airport here have been suspended till 5 pm.

Long distance buses have been stalled and traffic came to a grinding halt in most areas with uprooted trees and electric poles blocking the roads.

Train services suspended

All suburban train services have also been suspended.

Southern Railway has announced cancellation of all 17 trains originating from Chennai central, as well as Egmore.

State Principal Secretary (Revenue Administration) K Satyagopal said: “human loss is two”, without elaborating.

In a statement, he said 260 trees and 37 electric poles had fallen and 190 tress removed. As many 224 roads were blocked and 24 huts damaged.

Schools closed

The Tamil Nadu government had declared holiday for educational institutions in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur, besides coastal taluks of Villupuram.

Rail and flight services here have been affected, officials said.

Around 25 incoming flights, including those from international destinations, were diverted to the nearby Hyderabad and Bangalore airports due to strong winds and poor visibility, airport officials said.

Nearly 25 outbound flights were delayed, officials said, adding that there was no inundation of the runway.

An emergency management team was on standby to meet any eventuality, they said.

The Southern Railways, meanwhile, has announced suspension of services on the Chennai Beach and Velacherry MRTS route.

Similarly, suburban rail services on the MMC-Gummidipoondi line were also suspended until further notice. Some passenger trains coming to Chennai and leaving the city were also diverted.

NDRF teams deployed

Over 15 teams of NDRF have been deployed in various coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh which are on high alert due to the approaching cyclonic storm.

The armed forces have been asked to be on standby with the army, navy and air force prepared to be deployed anytime as and when required.

People in low-lying areas have been asked to move to safer zones.

Puducherry also experienced intermittent drizzle from early morning. The state government took precautionary steps to prevent tourists and other people from going close to the sea shore.

Police personnel were deployed on the entire two-and-a-half kilometre stretch of beach road and barricades were also put on all roads close to the sea shore. All schools and colleges are closed today.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief R K Pachnanda said while eight teams are ready in various areas of Tamil Nadu, seven are in Andhra Pradesh, apart from few others in nearby locations.

“Some more teams are on alert in Arrakonam and Guntur and they can be transported immediately in case they are required.

We are in constant touch with the two state governments, the Indian Meteorological Department and other relief agencies,” the NDRF Director General told PTI.

Nellore and Chittoor districts of Andhra Pradesh are also expected to affected.

Over 9,400 people in seven mandals along the Bay of Bengal coast in Nellore were evacuated to relief camps this morning amid heavy rains.

Eight fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu were rescued from the sea near the Sriharikota High Altitude Range while search was on for ten more persons.

The holy Tirumala Hills have been receiving rainfall since last night, causing some hardship to devotees visiting the shrine of Lord Venkateswara.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation through teleconference and asked the state agencies to remain on high alert to prevent loss of lives, officials said.

Trains to various destinations, including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Madurai, Coimbaore were all cancelled, Southern Railway said.

At Kalpakkam, all safety measures have been taken in view of the atomic energy centre there, they said.

Over 15 teams of NDRF have been deployed in various coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where over 9,400 people living along the Bay of Bengal coast were evacuated to relief camps amid heavy rains.

Seven army columns comprising around 70-80 personnel each are on standby and one has already been requisitioned in in Tiruvallur.

Vardah is expected to later move towards Andhra Pradesh.

In Chennai, only a minuscule number of vehicles plied as heavy winds and rains posed serious obstacles to movement.

In Chennai, traffic on arterial GST Road was affected with some trees falling near the Officers Training Academy point at St Thomas Mount.

A tree fell on a car at Ekkatuthangal near Metro Railway Station. Similarly, instances of trees getting uprooted were reported in many areas in all three coastal districts, even as Corporation workers in Chennai and municipal staffers in other districts were working to clear them amidst heavy rain and gusty winds.

Vehicular movement on the Ashok Pillar-Kodambakkam main road was affected with fallen tree branches.

Heavy winds also snapped electricity wires, flung barricades put up for traffic regulation in several points of the city, including Kathipara.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government said all measures are in place to tackle Vardah with Chief Minister O Panneerselvam holding a high-level meeting of top officials at the Secretariat.

The state government in an official release asked residents of Chennai to not venture out of their homes till about 4 pm when the cyclone will cross the coast.

Milk supply will not be affected tomorrow: AAVIN

Milk supply to cyclone Vardah-hit people in Chennai, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts was not affected today and will be normal tomorrow, state-run Tamil Nadu Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd said.

The Federation, popularly known as AAVIN, said it’s dairy farms in Madhavaram, Ambattur and Sholinganallur are operating with generators and milk will be supplied to its outlets and to residences across the city tomorrow as usual.

It asked customers who do not receive milk to call toll free number 18004253300.

(This article was published on December 12, 2016)
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