Motorists using the Mumbai-Pune Expressway will now have to pay the toll till 2045. The earlier deadline for toll collection was 2030. A senior official of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) said the toll period is being increased by 15 years to fund the ‘missing link’ project. According to the government’s toll policy, the toll is revised every three years at 6% per annum. By 2045, the one-way toll for cars between the two cities would be a little over ₹1,000. The project involves the construction of a 13.3-km-long road, which will start from the Khopoli underpass and end near Sinhgad Institute at Kusgaon on the expressway. The link will shorten the distance between the two cities by six kilometers and is expected to reduce the average travel time by 25 minutes. The eight-lane road will be almost a straight road and comprise two sections of viaducts (measuring 700 metres and 750 metres) and two tunnel sections ( measuring 1.4 km and 8.9 km).A senior MSRDC official said, “There will be two four-lane viaducts and two four-lane tunnels in each section. The the link will eliminate six steep turns and reduce the gradient of the route considerably. This will go a long way in easing the congestion along the entire expressway.” After the link is built, motorists can avoid the ghat section heading to Pune.Three-year deadlineThe bids for the project were opened last week with Afcons Infrastructure and Navyuga Engineering emerging as the lowest bidders for viaducts and tunnels respectively. The total expected project cost is ₹5,300 crore. The official said, “The MSRDC board will take the final call on awarding the tender. We expect work on the project to start after the monsoon. The contractors are expected to complete the work within three years of awarding the tender.”
With an eye on the upcoming assembly elections in Jharkhand, the Raghubar Das Government has hit upon a ‘scheme’ of publicising its welfare programmes by getting journalists write about it for a fee.The advertisement published by State Information and Public Relation department has sought applications from interested journalist to apply for writing on welfare schemes. Thirty journalists from print as well as electronic media will be selected by a committee of journalists. According to sources in I&PR department, 30 selected journalists will get ₹15,000 each for writing four articles each on government programmes. Of the 120 articles, 25 best ones will be selected for their compilation in form of a booklet. Those whose articles will be selected for booklets will get additional ₹5000 each.The whole process will be completed within two days before September 18. As per media reports, Election Commission of India is likely to announce poll dates for upcoming assembly election including that of Jharkhand on September 19. Jharkhand assembly polls are due before year-end.Opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha took exceptions to the advertisement saying journalists were offered fee for writing articles. It demanded the Press Council of India should take cognizance of the matter. “The ruling @BJP4Jharkhand govt, it’s officials & our hon’ble CM @dasraghubar have breached all norms of ethics & moraliy. Open advrt by Govt publicity wing to journalists in #Jharkhand to write on #Vikas & earn money as fees. #PressCouncil & @MIB_India should take cognizance,” tweeted Hemant Soren, Leader of Opposition and Executive President of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.When asked if the advertisement was not akin to ‘paid news’, Ajay Nath Jha, Deputy Director of State I&PR department, said, “it is not. Applications have been invited from journalists to write about government welfare schemes. The write-ups could be success stories and critical pieces. We want proper and independent assessment of our projects.” Mr. Jha informed that the department had received huge number of applications from journalists.The Council of Ministers in its last meeting on September 11 had approved the scheme Mukhyamantri Patrakar Jeevan Vima Yojna (Chief Minister Journalist Life Insurance Scheme). Under the new scheme, the Jharkhand government would pay insurance premium on behalf of accredited journalists who would be benefited by the scheme.
March 2, 2002 Board of Trustees meeting is heldat Cosanti in Scottsdale. [T] It is often true thatit is warmer outdoors than it is indoors in the Arizona winter. [T] On a warm sunny dayin the winter when the patches of shade are well appreciated in theCatcast Courtyard at Cosanti, the opinions on the future of Arcosanti areexchanged among the members. [T]
THREE St Helens players have been named in the 21 man England Academy squad that will travel to France next month to take on the French Under 18 side on June 3.Jordan Case (pictured), Josh Jones and Daniel Yates have been selected by Academy coach Dave Elliott to join four players from Warrington Wolves and three players from Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors. Joining them will be two players from Hull FC, Harlequins RL and Bradford Bulls while Castleford Tigers and Widnes Vikings have one representative.Elliott led the England Academy side to a series win over the Australian Schoolboys last year and more recently secured a series draw against France with the England Youth side and he believes that the current Academy squad is amongst the strongest sides he’s seen.“The calibre of the players in the squad is fantastic,” said Elliott. “We’ve had to make some tough calls and we’re leaving some very talented players behind so it shows that the Academies are really working and the clubs are producing some genuinely talented players.“There’s also a lot of confidence in the squad. The guys have gained a lot of confidence from the victory over the Australian Schoolboys last year and we still have seven or so lads who took part in that, so they know what it takes to win and what this level is all about.“That success against Australia has also given these guys something to live up to. Players like Rhys Evans and Rhys Lyne have gone on from that experience to make their Super League debuts and now we need to put on another performance to back that series success up.“That means there is some pressure on these players, but it’s a good pressure and one that we’re all looking forward to. We’re confident that we can go over there and play to our best and get the result we want. The French lads are always a bit of an unknown quantity at this level but we know they will be a big, strong and athletic units but we’re a confident side.”England 21-man touring squad: John Bateman (Bradford Bulls), Michael Bishay (Harlequins RL), Daniel Bridge (Wigan Warriors), Greg Burke (Wigan Warriors), Jordan Case (St Helens), Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers), Ben Crookes (Hull FC), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves), Bobbie Goulding Jnr (Warrington Wolves), Josh Jones (St Helens), Reece Lyne (Hull FC), Adam O’Brien (Bradford Bulls), Jack Owens (Widnes Vikings), Matthew Russell (Wigan Warriors), Daniel Sarginson (Harlequins RL), Ryan Shaw (Warrington Wolves), Brad Singleton (Leeds Rhinos), Daniel Smith (Leeds Rhinos), Jared Stewart (Leeds Rhinos), Daniel Yates (St Helens).