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CISF Personnel Killed in Fire at Pandit Deendayal Antyodaya Bhawan at Delhi’s CGO Complex, Cooling Process Underway

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A CISF trooper died and important government documents were gutted in a major fire that broke out on the fifth floor of Pandit Deendayal Antyodaya Bhawan at the CGO Complex here on Wednesday morning.

The fire damaged many rooms of the Disability Division of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Delhi Fire Service (DFS) officials said.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) Sub-Inspector M.P. Godara, who was on security duty on the fifth floor, was found unconscious by fire fighters, who reached the spot after receiving an alert around 8.34 a.m., minutes after smoke and flames were noticed in the building.
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Ex-Air Force serviceman Godara, who joined the CISF in 2008, was declared dead at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Trauma Centre. He was a resident of Churu in Rajasthan and is survived by two sons.

DFS Director Vipin Kental told IANS that 25 fire tenders were pressed into service and the flames were completely doused by 10.05 a.m.

“The office was closed when the fire erupted,” the official said.

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The official said the exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained but the probability is a short circuit.

Many Central government offices, including a branch of the Indian Air Force, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and Ministry of Forest operate from the building.

The building was earlier called Paryavaran Bhawan.

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J&K Govt withdrawal of 50% additional duty on liquor’s.

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To make up for a revenue shortfall, the Jammu and Kashmir administration is contemplating the withdrawal of the 50 per cent additional excise duty imposed on liquor prices in the Union Territory

Excise Commissioner R K Shavan sought the waiver of the additional duty in a letter to Financial Commissioner Arun Kumar Mehta, sources said

“There has been drastic fall in the sale of liquor especially middle and low economy class brands and also the sales in army/para military unit canteens” during the past two months, the letter read, adding that “the 50 per cent additional excise duty has discouraged the consumers to purchase less quantity both in the open market as well as in the unit canteens”
“Figures have revealed that the quota lifted from the Army Depots across the Union Territory has declined as compared to previous period,” the Excise Commissioner wrote

Pointing out that it has been “reliably” learnt that many other states have rolled back the additional “corona virus duty”, Shavan recommended that the Union Territory administration waive the 50 per cent additional duty on liquor till a new policy comes into force so that the sale and manufacturing of liquor is enhanced to generate revenue

The administration had announced the hike in May to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the Covid-19 lockdown

Though there has been no official word on the quantum of fall in revenue from liquor sales during the past two months, sources put it at a whopping Rs 125 crore in April alone

The manufacture and sale of liquor has been a major source of revenue for the administration in Jammu and Kashmir. There are nearly 220 liquor shops and over a dozen distilleries in the Jammu region alone. Kashmir, on the other hand, is a different story altogether—there are only four liquor shops in Srinagar.

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