The Border guards of India and Bangladesh on Sunday celebrated Holi together along the International Border.The Border Security Force and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) played Holi at Akhaura, an integrated check-post, and other bordering areas of Tripura and exchanged sweets.Holi, was celebrated in some parts of the country on Sunday and it is being celebrated in other parts on Monday.“The BSF and the BGB are very close and have celebrated various annual carnivals each year. Celebration of each other’s festivities together would bring both the organisations closer,” BSF’s 195 Battalion Commandant Ajit Kurmar P. said at the Akhaura check-post here.
The new year has brought some good news to alcohol consumers and sellers in rural Maharashtra, as the State government has decided to allow liquor shops under gram panchayats to renew licences, a procedure that was on hold since April 2017. As per a government circular issued on January 1 and a letter sent by the State Excise Commissioner to all district collectors, except for the dry districts of Wardha, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli, the licences can be renewed in any gram panchayat which fulfils at least one of two criteria. The first is that the population under the gram panchayat should be at least 3,000 as per the 2011 census. Alternatively, the area should be located within 3 km of the limits of a municipal corporation or within a kilometre of a municipal council or municipal panchayat. According to a government official, the decision will benefit 1,500 permit rooms, and 400 country liquor and 700 beer shops. As per a Supreme Court decision of December 2016, wine shops and permit rooms within 500 m of highways were stopped from selling alcohol. Later, the move was amended to exclude highways within city limits.“A number of licence holders who still could not get their permits renewed had approached the Bombay High Court through writ petitions. In May 2018, the court directed the State government to hold hearings of these cases. Following the hearing, the government has decided to allow renewal of licences,” an official from the Excise Department said.
The Games Village, the heart of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in the Capital, had its soft launch on Thursday with organisers claiming that the facilities and ambience at the venue make it one of the best of its kind in the world.A bird’s eye view of the Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi on Thursday.The Village will be home to more than 7,200 athletes and delegates for the duration of the Games. Some of the participating countries have already started sending their delegates, while the athletes will start arriving from September 23.The Village, situated on the banks of the Yamuna adjacent to the Akshardham temple, has 14 blocks, 34 towers and 1,168 fully-furnished air-conditioned flats, out of which 1,100 will be used to accommodate athletes and delegates.The flats have between two and five bedrooms, with two occupants per room.The Village also has facilities such as a shopping centre, saloon, a bank and two swimming pools too.”One of the pools will be used for leisure and the other, of standard international dimensions, will be for training purposes,” Organising Committee’s additional director general Ashok Kapur said.”The Village also has VIP lounges, a post office, plaza, bar and an informal dining area,” he said.In a first, competitors in four disciplines will be able to train at the Village itself without having to go to the competition venues.”Apart from the swimmers, weightlifters, wrestlers and athletes will be able to train at the Village itself,” Dalbir Singh, mayor of the Games Village, said.advertisement”This facility had not been provided at any previous Commonwealth Games,” Singh said, adding that the paralympic competitors in powerlifting can also train there.The training area for athletes includes an eight-lane track as well as a separate throwing area.There is also seating arrangement for 1,086 people.”In this way, the athletes will save valuable time that they would otherwise have spent travelling to and from the competition venues,” Singh said.In addition, there is a state-of-the-art gymnasium for the residents.”There are machines for weight training, cardio-workouts as well as stretching,” Cyrus Appoo, gymnasium supervisor, said.Some delegates have already started assembling in the Capital with representatives from England, Wales, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand already working on registration formalities.”There are certain basic facilities we provide to all residents. If they want something extra, we will provide them a ‘rate card’ which has pre-determined charges for various facilities,” Kapur said.The soft launch started with an inter-faith prayer where leaders from various religions wished the Games success.”The soft launch is designed to give us a feel about what is required by the time all the athletes arrive. Whatever is missing can be arranged in the next few days as only nuts and bolts need to be looked into,” Kapur said.Organising Committtee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said that there will be daily entertainment programmes in the evenings.