The Hindu Important Articles 07 May 2018
# Electricity a distant dream for these settlements on hills
Residents still rely on kerosene lamps to beat the darkness
Electricity remains a distant dream for the residents of three settlements located in the remote hilly areas of the district.
As many as 480 people reside in Malliamman Durgham, a remote hamlet in Kadambur Hills. The residents were given conditional patta in 1972 and they cultivate ragi, tapioca, millets, guava and jack fruit for a living. Since the settlement is located inside the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, there are no proper roads. The villagers have created a trekking path for 9 km by themselves. Only pick-ups van and two-wheelers can pass through the steep road that connects the settlement with Kadambur.
Wooden lamp posts were erected in 1970s through the forest area and three street lights were installed. However, forest fire destroyed the posts.
Later, Special Task Force (STF), which was involved in nabbing forest brigand Veerappan, installed solar lamps. But they are non-functional now. In the absence of road connectivity and power, families keep migrating to Kadambur and other areas.
M.K. Subramani (37), a first graduate from the village, said that they use kerosene lamps at home and pay for charging their mobile phones in shops at Kadambur.
“There are no electronic devices in the village, except battery-operated radios,” he said.
P. Subramani (27) and S. Ravi (40), both farmers, said that their settlement remains neglected and they feared that more families would migrate to nearby towns.
Likewise, two other settlements, Ramaranai in Talamalai with 90 people and Kathirimalai in Bargur Hills with 85 people, do not have power connection. Both are located in remote forest areas and people have to walk two to four hours to reach the mainland.
There are two schools in these villages.
When contacted, Tangedco officials in Gobichettipalayam said that the three settlements were located in difficult hilly terrains inside deep forests and hence electrification would be difficult. A total of 203 houses in these habitations would be provided rooftop solar panels at a total cost of Rs. 21.31 lakh. “Work order is expected to be issued next week and work will be completed in two months,” an official said clarifying that they are not census villages.
# Congress will be decimated: Modi
PM breaks silence on Mahadayi row
On a campaign blitzkrieg in poll-bound Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday attacked the Congress on multiple fronts, deriding “ parivar” (family) politics, accusing the party of corruption and blaming it for the protracted Mahadayi river water dispute.
Speaking at Gadag in north Karnataka at one of his four rallies through the day, Mr. Modi predicted the decimation of the Congress after the Karnataka results, restricting its rule to only two States.
“After May 15 [when poll results will be declared], Indian National Congress will be reduced to PPP Congress,” Mr. Modi said, adding that PPP stood for “Punjab, Puducherry and Parivar.” He alleged that the Karnataka Congress had become a “corruption tank …with a pipeline connected to Delhi.”
On Mahadayi issue
Attempting to touch a chord with the farmers of Gadag, the heartland of the Mahadayi agitation, the Prime Minister broke his long silence on the protracted water sharing dispute between Karnataka and Goa.
Mr. Modi, who has rebuffed several appeals by the Karnataka government for a meeting of the heads of the riparian States, chose to blame the Congress. He said the party was “instigating” the people of Karnataka over the issue.
Stating that former Congress president Sonia Gandhi had said during the Goa Assembly elections in 2007 that the party was “committed” to not allowing Karnataka its share of water and was now talking differently, Mr. Modi promised to find an amicable solution.
In Shivamogga, he referred to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s Hublot watch controversy. The expensive watch, “gifted” to the Chief Minister, had kicked up a row with accusations that it was given in exchange for a business favour.
# RLD, SP to join hands for bypolls
Hoping to repeat the Gorakhpur and Phulpur feat, the Rashtriya Lok Dal has decided to join the united Opposition of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in the upcoming bypolls to two seats in Uttar Pradesh, an RLD leader said on Saturday.
RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary held a nearly three-hour-long meeting with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow on Friday.
An understanding was reached that both the parties would jointly contest the May 28 by-elections to Kairana Lok Sabha and Noorpur Assembly seats, RLD spokesperson Anil Dubey said. A broad understanding has also emerged that the 2019 Lok Sabha polls should be contested together by all Opposition parties, he added.
# ISRO’s clock to prop up India’s own GPS
Repeated failures of foreign-made atomic clocks have dogged NavIC project
Time is running out for the seven-satellite Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), also known as NavIC (Navigation in Indian Constellation). NavIC, whose seventh satellite was launched in April 2016, was expected to provide India a satellite-based navigation system independent of the U.S.-controlled GPS (Global Positioning System). But India’s own ‘regional GPS’ is yet to become officially operational owing to repeated failures of the atomic clocks on the satellites.
In view of the cascade of failing imported atomic clocks — nine out of the 21 clocks in the fleet have failed — ISRO has decided to add buffers to the NavIC by adding four more satellites. It hopes to have an indigenous atomic clock in each of them. “We are in the process of getting approval [from the government] for at least another four IRNSS satellites,” ISRO Chairman K.Sivan told The Hindu , confirming the failure of clocks. “However, they will have some advanced technology, apart from the atomic clocks developed by ISRO.” NavIC is meant to give Indian civil and military users reliable location and time information, for which the performance of the atomic clocks is critical.
The indigenous atomic clock is being developed by the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, Mr. Sivan said, adding that once it passes qualification tests, “We will first demonstrate the indigenous clock in an upcoming navigation satellite, along with the imported ones. Work on them is going on in full steam.”
The cost and timing of the new satellites are not finalised, Mr. Sivan said. The development and eventual use of an indigenous atomic clock, at a cost of a few hundred crore rupees, was part of the NavIC concept, he added.
First failures in 2016
The rubidium atomic clocks from Europe started failing on the first navigation satellite, IRNSS-1A, around 2016, soon after ISRO put the last and seventh satellite in orbit. Until a few months ago, three more satellites were said to have suffered “one or two dysfunctional clocks” each, while two satellites did not have any problematic clocks. Each satellite carries three atomic clocks, including a standby.
ISRO is concerned that if more clocks fail, it may render the Rs. 1,400-crore fleet a dud. NavIC, which will be controlled by India, unlike the U.S. GPS or Russian Glonass systems, will be serve the armed forces.
# Illegal electric fence kills tusker in Kadambur Hills
Farmer arrested; carcass buried
Two days after a 20-year-old elephant was electrocuted at Talavadi Forest Range, a 10-year-old male tusker was electrocuted in a farmland in Kadambur Hills here on Saturday.
Farmer Jegadeesh of Elanchi village had erected electric fence to protect the maize crop in his field.
The tusker attempted to enter the field, located near the forest area, and got electrocuted.
K. Ashokan, wildlife veterinarian of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, conducted post-mortem on the carcass in the evening. Later, the animal was buried at the spot.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered and the farmer was arrested.
After an elephant was electrocuted on May 3, forest officials had warned farmers to remove the illegally erected fences.