Daily Briefing: Fears of coal crisis misplaced, says Centre; Pandora papers show Kamal Nath’s son had offshore links

Take a look at the latest on India's coal crisis, our exclusive investigation of the Pandora Papers, the Lakhimpur violence probe, Express Idea Exchange with former doubles World No 1 tennis players Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes and more.

The Big Story

Is the country heading towards a power crisis? The fears are “entirely misplaced”, says the Coal Ministry. A coal crisis, in effect, could lead to a power crisis. But Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi says there is sufficient stock that is “equivalent to 24 days coal demand”. However, shortage of coal since mid-july has led to outages in thermal power plants across UP, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. 

What is testing the fuel supply chain feeding the coal-fired thermal stations that form the backbone of the country’s electricity grid? We explain it here.

Only in the Express 

From former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath’s NRI son Bakul Nath to alleged middleman Rajiv Saxena, key persons indicted in the controversial AgustaWestland helicopter deal figure in the Pandora Papers because of their offshore networks and alleged money flows, an investigation of records by The Indian Express has revealed.

In this edition of Idea Exchange, former doubles World No 1 tennis players Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes talk about winning despite differences, the missed medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the great value in all that they achieved, and finding closure in a tell-all docuseries.

From the Front Page

Raids are underway by the UP Police Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Lakhimpur Kheri incident to trace a relative of former Congress MP, the late Akhilesh Das, for questioning in the case, The Indian Express has learnt. Das’s nephew Ankit was allegedly in one of the vehicles that hit a group of protesting farmers. During the probe, it came to light that Ankit was known to Union MoS Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra, who was arrested in the case.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Varun Gandhi said there was an “attempt to turn Lakhimpur Kheri into a Hindu vs Sikh battle.” Calling it “immoral” and “dangerous,” Gandhi asked parties to “not put petty political gains above national unity.”

Must read

Wonder why the city you’re living in is suddenly becoming hotter? A recent analysis by researchers at Banaras Hindu University has found a spatial shift of heatwaves in India, with this weather event now occurring in new regions in the country. The study has looked at temperature data spanning 65 years from 1951-2016 to assess the monthly, seasonal, decadal and long-term trends in heatwaves in the country. It has found a warming pattern over northwestern and southern India, while a progressive cooling phase over northeastern and southwest regions of the country. 

It remained shut for years but will now be seen again — in a new avatar. Popular since the early 20th century, the rail link between Nepal and India is ready to resume on the neighbouring country’s first-ever broad gauge passenger service. The first stretch is ready: a 34-km line between Bihar’s Jayanagar and Nepal’s Kurtha, with the Hindu pilgrimage city of Janakpur Dham in between.

Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, who died in Islamabad on Sunday of Covid-19-related complications at the age of 85, was revered in Pakistan as the “father” of the country’s “atom bomb”. In popular lore, he is eulogised as the man responsible for single-handedly ensuring that Pakistan became a nuclear weapons country, and thus saved it from India’s nuclear weapons. The man, who was born in Bhopal in 1936 and whose family migrated to Pakistan during Partition, was seen as a patriot, the victim of an international conspiracy to rob Pakistan of its nuclear jewels, and to defame the country.

And finally…

In space-starved Mumbai, it’s rare to find a wall of books in the middle of a restaurant. Rarer still to be able to walk in and browse through exclusive photobooks, coffee-table collections and special editions that once belonged to a Bollywood power couple — Nargis and Sunil Dutt. Neatly arranged on either side of a wall at Café Mommyjoon, a Bandra eatery co-owned by the late couple’s younger daughter Priya Dutt Roncon, are Sam Shaw’s iconic books — each bearing a small oval-shaped stamp that says ‘Dutts, Nargis-Sunil Library, Bombay’.

 

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