December 8, 2011 12:17:33 am
Cong vs everyone else
Senior Congress and NCP leaders are breaking bread together but building little trust in the run-up to forming alliances for polls to 10 municipal corporations. If NCP MP Supriya Sules visit to Bal Thackeray set the cat among the pigeons,the Congress has further unsavoury situations to tackle. It will not only take on the NCP in urban local bodies where the two have been traditional rivals but also face an alliance of the Shiv Sena,the BJP and the NCP in a handful of local bodies. Meanwhile,tongues are still wagging about Sules visit. Not long ago,following an attempt by Congress leaders in New Delhi to clip his wings over food prices,the senior Pawar had paid a similarly talked about visit to Thackeray. The chatter about Pawars inability to rein in food prices died quietly.
The cotton burden
THE Commission on Agriculture Costs and Prices attempted to administer a bitter pill,saying there was no cause for intervention in the minimum support price of cotton now,when market prices are still higher than the MSP even though much lower than the market prices of last year. But with the cotton farmers; agitation finding political support from the BJP and Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray,the government did the inevitable. A package for agitating cotton farmers is now in the pipeline,perhaps in the form of a per-hectare bonus. With the Centre not intervening,the bill for the largesse to farmers facing a bumper crop and slowing demand will have to be borne by the state government,and is expected to be upwards of Rs 1,000 crore.
An unexpected solution
After one of the citys biggest blazes in recent years spread from one to two and then three market complexes in South Mumbai,demands for compensation began to surface,including from the minorities department of the Mumbai Congress. Since one of the complexes gutted was the controversial Sara-Sahara Complex,the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation chose not to play ball. Quick to state that no rebuilding of the illegal Sara-Sahara Complex will be permitted,officials said the land would be cleared of rubble and handed back to the Central Public Works Department,which owns the land. The Sara-Sahara market,a haven for cheap foreign goods,was to have been vacated earlier this year. Officials admitted that the blaze perhaps achieved what a series of lawsuits couldnt.
Batting for n-power
WITHIN days of each other,the chairperson of the Atomic Energy Commissions of France and India,Bernard Bigot and Srikumar Banerjee,spoke in Mumbai about nuclear energy in the post-Fukushima world. Bigot spoke about the re-evaluation of Arevas controversial European Pressurised Reactor technology,and the go-ahead it had received from safety agencies elsewhere in the world. Banerjee,speaking at a debate on the proposed Jaitapur project,said that all safety precautions would be taken as they have been in n-reactors elsewhere. Banerjee made his point succinctly: post-Fukushima,there is actually a growth in nuclear energy generation according to the nuclear power trends for 2011. Countries had promised to shut down n-plants,he said,but the world knows we need n-power.
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