1. End Shiv Sena’s Political Drought, Will End The Other Drought: Uddhav Thackeray
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday urged farmers in the arid region of Marathwada to end the party’s “political drought” in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, promising that he would then find a permanent resolution to the agricultural drought. Uddhav is on a tour of the drought-hit districts in Marathwada, where he is donating fodder for cattle and essential supplies to farmers. “If you want to end drought from your life permanently, then you need to end the political drought of the Shiv Sena. You end one drought and I will end the other drought,” said Uddhav, while addressing a rally in Beed.
He attacked the Modi government at the Centre on the slow response to the drought-hit farmers’ problems. “The PM is making a speech in Solapur. A central team came to survey the drought-hit areas around two months ago. But did you get any assistance?” asked Uddhav, adding that this would not be his last visit to the area.The Samiti plans to reach out to OBC leaders across party lines, including in the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena, BJP and others. It also plans to seek support of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. In Maharashtra, the OBCs get 27 per cent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs. They are also entitled to reservation in the local bodies elections.
Source: Indian Express
2. Maharashtra: Onion Belt Hit By 65% Drop In Sowing Activity
A 65 per cent dip from the standard sowing activity was reported from the onion belt till the first week of January. Low prices in the previous season and drought have taken their toll on the ongoing sowing of rabi onion. Of the 2.55 lakh hectares of sowing reported normally, only 89,936.2 hectares of sowing has been reported.
Officials from the agriculture department said the state will not be able to cross the standard 2.55 lakh hectares of sowing. Farmers start sowing the rabi onion in December and finish by the end of January. Of the three crops of onion, namely kharif, late kharif and rabi, the rabi crop is amenable to storage and feeds the market till November. As much as 60 per cent of Maharashtra’s production is from the rabi season.
Source: The Indian Express
3. MESMA Notice A Bullying Tactic To End Strike: Workers
Striking BEST employees were in for a shock when they received eviction notices from the transport undertaking on Wednesday. As many as 2,000 workers were served eviction notices, while another 300 were slapped with a Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA) notices at the Bhoiwada, Ghatkopar, Colaba and Parel BEST quarters.
Workers said the MESMA was invoked to ‘bully’ them into calling off the strike, threatening with possible arrest, which the BEST management calls illegal. “I am ready to evict, but my pension money is awaited. How can I buy another apartment when I have not been paid post- retirement? And now, the BEST wants us to vacate our houses. This is unfair, and a strategy to scare employees so that they return to work,” Vishwanath Dhanawade (50), a retired BEST inspector, said.
Source: The Hindu
4. Plastic Ban: BMC's Blue Squad To Get Daily Targets For Action Against Violators Of Ban
After facing flak from citizens for the ineffective implementation of the ban on single-use plastic, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) now plans to give daily targets to its 125-member blue squad for taking action against violators.
The civic body will move ahead from its earlier target of 3,500 visits and collection of Rs 1.5 lakh fines per month by increasing the numbers, for better results. It further plans to implement Maharashtra Pollution Control Board's (MPCB) circular of cancelling trade licence of the hawkers and vendors found using plastic, so that the illegal stock can recycled.
5. Mumbai Temperature Drops To Lowest In January 2019
At 13.8°Celsius, Mumbai woke up to its lowest temperature of the month and second lowest of the season on Wednesday.
The Santacruz weather station recorded 13.8°C, 3.4 degrees below normal, while Colaba recorded 17.5°C, 2 degrees below normal. The maximum temperature in south Mumbai and the suburbs also fell below the 30°C-mark. Colaba recorded 28.5°C, 1.6 degrees below normal and Santacruz recorded 29.8°C, a degree below normal.
Source: Hindustan Times
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