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l THURSDAY l MAY 16 l 2013

NATIONAL NETWORK

TheIndian EXPRESS
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Road builders cant take toll now, pay later


AMITAV RANJAN
NEW DELHI, MAY 15

From the FRONT PAGE

Do not be friends with India: Hizbul chief


Nawaz Sharif and his partys leadership must understand that till the time Kashmir is under Indias occupation, the national security of Pakistan, the safety and security of its borders, and its economic stability is at stake, Salahuddin said. Pakistans agriculture and energy needs depend on the waters that flow down from Kashmir, Salahuddin said. So our expectation from Nawaz Sharifs government is that he will make this the first priority and give it central place in the Indo-Pak relationship... Otherwise, it will be lethal to the interests of Pakistan and that of the Kashmir struggle in the same way that it proved to be during the regimes of Musharraf sahib and Zardari sahib. In the name of confidence building measures, in the name of friendship, in the name of trade and culture, moving ahead to establish a relationship with India, and going for a one-sided surrender on Kashmir, would hurt the feelings of the Kashmiri people and do irreparable damage to their confidence, Salahuddin said. If Pakistan is not able to help us militarily, it must continue to help us in diplomatic and political forums. If (Sharifs government) shows one-sided flexibility, extends an unreciprocated hand of friendship towards India like Musharraf, it will be suicide. What did Pakistan get out of Musharrafs policies? Salahuddin challenged Pakistan to stop advocating Kashmirs cause if it felt that doing so would harm it. But it must not stay silent on one pretext or the other sometimes it is trade, sometimes it is culture. Should Pakistan abandon Kashmir, Kashmiris would sustain the movement on their own, Salahudin said. In 2001 there was a ceasefire between India and Pakistan and a fence was erected across the border, but the mujahideen continued their activity. We can sustain our armed struggle without any foreign support for a hundred years the topography of Kashmir is very favourable. Salahuddin said he disagreed with the broad political consensus in Pakistan that Kashmir was not the immediate priority. We disagree with that, he said. We were trying to explain to President Musharraf too that if you want to take any measures on the diplomatic or political front, please do that, but the militant infrastructure on the ground is your basic leverage and provides you with your bargaining power. If you get anything, it is only because of that. And when your bargaining power is gone, what will you go to the table with? What have the weak ever achieved through negotiations? Salahuddin added, I can tell you with authority that when Musharraf showed an apologetic approach and came up with a policy of retreat, he inflicted irreversible damage on our movement. India felt relaxed after his retreat, and started infiltrating into Balochistan. Asked about the impact of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan on Kashmir, Salahuddin said, It will have a positive impact. It will send an invigorating message to Kashmiri mujahideen when America and NATOs 26 countries with their latest war technology and massive budgets were running away after being defeated in Afghanistan, why could the same not happen in Kashmir?

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India finishes phase I of Lanka rail project


NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has completed phase I of a 43-km rail link from Medawachchiya to Madhu Road in Sri Lanka at $81 million. According to IRCON, a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, services resumed on this track on Tuesday after 23 years. ENS

THE law ministry has overturned a decision by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) which would have allowed GMR Infrastructure Ltd to collect toll now but pay the government later. Allowing rescheduling of payment would open a Pandoras box of similar requests from other companies, the law ministry wrote to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways under which NHAI functions on May 9. ...When the agreement has been made, signed by both the parties, it is not advisable for renegotiation of the contract which is neither desirable nor permitted in the normal course and to make change in it at the belated stage, the law ministry wrote. It may open a Pandoras Box to the other equally-situated persons who have agreement with the NHAI. Further, making change now in favour of the concessionaire (GMR) may affect other parties who did not participate in the tenders due to this clause, it added. Despite objections raised

by Finance Secretary R S Gujral and Planning Commission Secretary Sindhushree Khullar, NHAIs board had on March 26 approved GMRs proposal for staggering a payment of Rs 32,508 crore so that the company would pay less in the initial years of the concession period and higher sums later while keeping the net present value of the premium unchanged. Gujral told the NHAI board that the quantum and schedule of premium to be paid by GMR as laid down in the contract signed after the open bidding was a clear bidding parameter. Varying the payment schedule at this belated stage implies departure from the legally binding contract and there could well be a series of requests for rescheduling premia payable so as to make schedules back-loaded, he said. Khullar observed that any change would mean all existing contracts will be open to review and renegotiation. Such whimsical changes in legally binding contracts are a poor reflection on the credibility of government and its agencies. Moreover, reopening a legally binding contract

mitigates against the principle of sanctity of contracts and should not be resorted to on a case-to-case basis, she added. The NHAI board later sought an appropriate public policy from the road transport ministry. The ministry, while asking the law ministry for an opinion, was of the view that any change in policy should only be made prospectively. Highway developers are sitting on 25 unfinished projects that are to yield Rs 98,115 crore in gross premium to NHAI. Besides GMR, NHAI received similar requests for staggered payment from GVK, IRB Infrastructure and Ashoka Buildcon among others. Road Transport objected saying these were done deals and should not be renegotiated. NHAI argued that this would mean the termination of most projects. The projects of GMR, GVK and IRB involve six-laning where toll collection starts from the four-lane stage. Staggering the premium over the concession period helps companies by reducing their cash outgo in the initial years when they incur construction costs.

India, China must shake hands says Li Keqiang


the recent border stand-off between the two countries. The linkage of our two vast markets will bring tangible benefits to people in both the countries and provide strong impetus for world economic growth and prosperity as well as that in Asia, he said. People say Asia represents the hope for the future of the world. That I think is because of you, the young people. To turn the hope into reality, we must start with exchanges between the young people of the two countries, he said. Recalling his earlier visit to India, he said, What I saw andfeltduringthattrip,visiting Taj Mahal, prestigious Indian universities, research institutes, the warmth and hospitality of Indian people, left a lasting impact on me... In a few days time I will make India the first overseas visit as a Premier ofChina.Ihavemadethisdecision not just because India is an important neighbour and one of the populous countries oftheworldbutalsobecauseof the seeds of friendship sown during my own youth. Stressing on friendly relations between the two countries, Li said, You are from Chinasfriendlyneighbourand here, on behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to express our greetings and best regards to you and through you, to all the young people in India, adding that it is so good to see the young people of China and of India getting along well with each other. China and India are friendly neighbours and we are also natural partners. Both our countries stand for amicable and peaceful relations between the countries and a multi-polar world. The peaceful and friendly relations between our two countries is a blessing, not just to Asia but also the whole world, he said. As I embark on my visit to India, I hope that you will, during this trip, sow the seeds of friendship and nurture the young sapling of this friendship so that it will grow into a towering tree and strong bridge between out two countries, he said. PTI

PM files RS papers amid protests


SAMUDRA GUPTA KASHYAP
GUWAHATI, MAY 15

PRIME Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here on Wednesday to submit his nomination papers seeking reelection to the Rajya Sabha for the fourth consecutive time amid protests by opposition political parties and the All Assam Students Union (AASU). While the AGP and BJP staged demonstrations opposing Singhs re-nomination from Assam, the AASU demonstrated by parading 15 persons with Manmohan Singh masks, each holding a placard saying I am responsible for the burning problems of Assam. There were also protests outside the legislative assembly secretariat, where Singh submitted his nomination papers, by mediapersons who were debarred from entering the premises. Several attempts made by different ministers of the state government to pacify the media

yielded no result. Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi himself came out to meet the media, and assured that the Prime Minister would interact with the media at the assembly gate itself. But all that Singh did was to make a statement of three or four sentences, and hurriedly boarded his car, leaving no scope for the media to ask any question. I thank the people of Assam for having sent me to the Rajya Sabha for the past 22 years. I am indebted to the people and will never be able to repay this debt, Singh said. He said he would continue his efforts to accelerate the pace of economic development of his adopted home state. Interestingly, several leading intellectuals of the state have come down heavily on the Prime Minister. Manmohan Singhs continuing as an MP from Assam for more than two decades has not served any purpose. Instead it has only demeaned the democratic system. He is in no way associated with the society in Assam, said Prof Udaditya

I HEREBY DECLARE
MANMOHAN SINGH
CONGRESS, ASSAM

Airlines unbundle services without cutting fares


JEWELLERY: ` 3.45 lakh, wife VEHICLES: Maruti 800, self

TOTAL ASSETS

` 11.60 crore
MOVABLE ASSETS

` Rs 4. 08 crore
CASH IN HAND: ` 20,000 (self nil, wife ` 20,000) DEPOSITS & SAVINGS: ` 37 lakh (self ` 20,31,385, wife ` 16,62,570)

IMMOVABLE ASSETS

(self ` 3.9 cr, wife ` 20 lakh)

` 7.52 crore

AGRICULTURAL LAND: Nil NON-AGRICULTURAL LAND: Nil RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY: House in Chandigarh, flat in south Delhi, self, ` 7.52 crore

Bharali, an intellectual and historian. In an article in a local daily, Bharali also said, Most people in Assam had never heard of him till he was first sent to Rajya Sabha in 1991. Moreover, the manner in which he proved his residential status in Assam way back in 1991 was not proper. He has

not lived even for 22 days in his rented house in Guwahati in the past 22 years. Another leading intellectual Prof Deven Dutta said Singh comes to Assam only on specific occasions. While the cuckoo comes to Assam only during spring, Dr Singh comes to Assam only to renew his Rajya Sabha seat, he said.

India in Arctic Council with observer status


EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
NEW DELHI, MAY 15

CM, Sonia discuss 98 phantom vessels could pose real threat team today
KARNATAKA Focus on clean image,

Passengers will be charged only if they prefer a particular seat although it is not clear whether this applies only at the time of booking a ticket or even at the check-in counter. Jet and Air India have also reduced the free check-in baggage allowance for domestic passengers and Air India is contemplating charging for food on both domestic and international flights. But the airlines have not cut their base fares and claim fares should fall in due course after they get a clearer picture of the revenue potential from unbundling of services. Civil aviation ministry officials said that airlines are likely to be told to be more transparent about the new charges during its quarterly meeting with airlines scheduled to take place by the end of this month.

EXPENSIVE RIDE

IndiGo:

Seats in first two and last two rows: Rs 500 (domestic) Rs 800 (international) Window and aisle seats: Rs 200 (domestic) Rs 300 (international) Middle seats: Rs 100 (domestic) Rs 200 (international)

Window and aisle seats till row 10: Rs 500 (international) Window and aisle seats on rows 11 to 15: Rs 250 (international) Free Luggage: Reduced from 20 kg to 15 kg. Rs 250 per extra kg (only domestic)

Jet Airways:

Air India:
Free Luggage: Reduced from 25 kg to 15 kg. Rs 250 per extra kg (only domestic)

Front row seats: Rs 1,500 (international)

There has to be a limit to the number of seats an airline can put a price tag on. If you are charging for all seats then there is a problem somewhere, said a senior ministry official. IndiGo said it is being transparent and seats are chargeable only if a passenger opts for it. The seats are not chargeable if the passen-

ger does not opt for it. In case there is only a window seat left and the passenger does not offer any choice of seat, he/she will be provided the seat without any charge, an IndiGo spokesperson said. Jet Airways did not respond to questions emailed to it. The Air Passengers Association of India, which has

opposed unbundling of services, is not convinced and demanded more transparency in the manner these levies are being imposed. I fear that airlines will start charging extra families or groups who want to get seats together and face the prospect of being allotted separate seats. All this is nothing but attempts to raise fares indirectly, said D Sudhakara Reddy, national president of the Air Passengers Association of India. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which is monitoring the situation, has asked IndiGo to make the system more transparent on its website. The DGCA has also asked IndiGo to put a condition in their ad on the website clarifying that the charges are levied only if one opts for it, said a senior DGCA official.

several ex-ministers may miss out


JOHNSON T A
BANGALORE, MAY 15

FIVE years after it set up a permanent research stationintheArctic,Indiahasbeeninductedintothe ArcticCouncilwithanobserverstatus,allowingitto have a greater say in managing the activities and resources in the Arctic region. The eighth ministerial meeting of the eightmember Arctic Council, held in Kiruna, Sweden, has inducted six countries, including India and China, to join the council as observers. The other countries to have been given the observer status are Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore. The application of European Union has been kept on hold. The council, that has the US, Canada, Norway, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden aspermanentmembers,isahigh-levelforumfordiscussions on issues relevant to the Arctic and the people who live there. It is concerned with issues of climate change, preserving polar environment, sustainable use of natural resources of the region and promotion of scientific research in harmony with natural surroundings. Its decisions have limited legal backing.The Arctic region is rich in mineral resources, and in oil and gas. Indias induction into the council is the fulfilment of its diplomatic efforts for some time to get this status.We welcome this consensus decision admitting India as an observer state of the Arctic Council and affirm our commitment to contribute our proven scientific expertise, particularly in polar research capabilities, to the work of the Arctic Council and to support its objectives, Syed Akbaruddin, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a statement.

THE intent of the new Congress governmentledbyChiefMinisterSiddaramaiah to appoint ministers with clean images in order to set the ground for a good Congress performance in Karnataka in the parliamentary polls next year has put several legislators with priorexperienceingovernmentonthin ice. Siddaramaiah and state Congress president G Parameshwara began an exercise on Wednesday in New Delhi with the party leadership to finalise a list of ministers to fill up the 33 available positions in the new ministry even as several prominent party leaders lobbiedagainstbeingleftoutofthegovernment. Siddaramaiah paid a courtesy call to Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday evening but a more detailed meeting is expected on Thursdayonceheisabletofinaliseatentative list with those involved in the exercise. He also called on President Pranab Mukherjee and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday. According to Congress sources, among the basic criteria being used for shortlisting the new Karnataka min-

istryarecleanrecords,peoplewhohave won elections more than once on Congressticketsandabalancemixofpeople with prior knowledge of administration and young upcoming leaders. Thesourcessaidtheinitialaimisto bring in party seniors into the government to balance caste equations and consolidate the government before moving for an expansion later on involving fresh faces and youngsters. Siddaramaiah has stated that he is striving for a well-balanced ministry in termsofcastesandageandwhereclean records are a priority. Before leaving for New Delhi, he had stated that he expects to have a ministry in place by Thursday or Friday. HVishwanath,CongressMPfrom Mysore, has already said that those involved in the real estate business, mining business and those with tainted records should not be allowed to becomeministersinthenewgovernment. A campaign has also been launched, spearheaded by nonagenarian freedom fighter H S Doreswamy, requestingSiddaramaiahandtheCongress to refrain from appointing a bunch of MLAs allegedly having tainted records, including former minister D K Shivakumar and mining baron Anil Lad.
WITH ENS, DELHI

supposed to check the vessels papers and equipment. The Coast Guard has also informed the Maharashtra government that it has found, during a separate exercise, that only one of the innumerable dhows sailing up and down the coast MSV Padmavati was fitted with the mandatory security equipment, Automatic Identification System (AIS). From the Coast Guards perspective, until the whereabouts of the 98 dhows plying between Middle Eastern waters and India are confirmed, they re-

main security threats, a security official said. Maharashtra DGP Sanjeev Dayal confirmed that the issues had been flagged, and that multiple agencies were working on them. MMD officials have told the government that AIS equipment should be offered at subsidised prices to the owners of dhows. A small sailing vessel without an AIS poses serious security and terror concerns. It is a moving vessel with no information, and is considered a floating threat, an official said. The Yusufi had no AIS and claimed it was headed

to Sri Lanka, even as it approached Mumbai. A functioning AIS provides all information about a vessel, including its identity, type, position, course, speed and navigational status. Following a coastal security review after the November 26, 2008 terror attacks in which an Indian fishing trawler was used by terrorists, the Directorate General of Shipping had issued mandatory guidelines on AIS. In May 2009, the directorate general asked all vessels longer than 20 metres to obtain Maritime Mobile Station Identification

(MMSI) numbers for AIS. Neither order has been complied with, Coast Guard officials said. According to the Coast Guard, it was in 2003 that the last sailing vessel was registered with the Mumbai MMD. Captain L K Panda, principal officer, said most of the dhows now exist only on paper. We wrote to all the dhow owners registered with us. We have waited for three months, and no one has responded from 98 vessels. We will cancel their registrations and send the details to the Coast Guard, Captain Panda said.

Monsoon likely to hit Kerala coast on June 3


have been predicted to receive above normal rains. The monsoon normally arrives on May 20 over the Andaman coasts with an error margin of a week either ways. The Mahasen cyclone, which is progressing steadily over the Bay of Bengal according to the IMD, would result in advancement of the monsoons. Mahasen is to hit the Bangladesh and Myanmar coasts on Friday. According

DATE WITH MONSOON


YEAR 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 ACTUAL ONSET June 7 May 26 May 28 May 31 May 23 May 31 May 29 June 5 PREDICTED ONSET June 10 May 30 May 24 May 29 May 26 May 30 May 31 June 1

Raja Bhaiyya quizzed by CBI, denies role in DSP murder


LUCKNOW: During questioning by the CBI, former minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya on Wednesday denied any role in the conspiracy to murder DSP Ziaul Haque, as alleged by the slain officers wife Parveen Azad, and said he had no information about the involvement of his driver Guddu Singh or other aides in the murder of Balipur pradhan Nanhe Yadav.
ENS

to IMD scientists, there is hardly any correlation between the setting of the

monsoon in Andaman and advancement of it over the Indian sub-continent.

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