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In India, Mumbai offers highest quality of life, Chennai treats its women best: Study

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BY S VENKAT NARAYAN

Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, December 5:

In India, Mumbai offers the highest quality life, and Chennai treats its women the best, according to a study on urban quality of life index in the country by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Bombay. And Chennai has been ranked as the most women-friendly city, and Patna in Bihar the least.

Overall, Mumbai tops the list of 14, followed closely by Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. But so important is the gender role index that quality of life rankings of six cities would have changed had it not been considered. Delhi, Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh) would have been ranked higher, and Mumbai, Bhopal and Lucknow would have ceded their spots. Only Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai surpass the average score for gender index, while Indore, Jaipur and Patna are way below the average.

“Women experience cities differently; meeting women’s needs becomes essential in promoting sustainable urban development,” the study, to be published in Elsevier journal ‘Transport Policy’, said.

The study found that Jaipur has the highest crime rate against women, Chennai has the lowest. The gap in literacy rate between men and women is the widest in Jaipur (13.2%) and lowest in Kolkata (5.4%). The unemployment rate for women is the highest in Patna — at 346, it is more than four times the urban average of 73.

Another often overlooked factor are the basics: power, water, education. Only 36% urban households in Patna have access to treated tap water. Literacy was the highest in Pune (91%) and, surprisingly, the lowest in Hyderabad (83%).



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Six nabbed with over 100 kg of ‘Ice’

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By Norman Palihawadane and Ifham Nizam

The Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) yesterday arrested six suspects in the Sapugaskanda Rathgahawatta area with more than 100 kilos of Crystal Methamphetamine also known as Ice.

Police Media Spokesman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ajith Rohana told the media that the PNB sleuths, acting on information elicited from a suspect in custody had found 91 packets of Ice.

A man in possession of 100 kilos of heroin was arrested in Modera during the weekend and revealed that a haul of Ice had been packed in plastic boxes.

The PNB seized more than 114 kilos of Ice from the possession of a single drug network.

According to the information elicited from the suspects, more than 100 kilos of Ice were found.

The PNB also arrested six persons including two women with 13 kilos of Ice, during an operation carried out in the Niwandama area in Ja-Ela on Sunday.

DIG Rohana said the ice had been packed in small plastic boxes and hidden in two school bags.

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PM intervenes to iron out differences among coalition partners

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By Norman Palihawadane

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he was confident that differences among the constituents of the SLPP coalition as regards the May Day celebrations and the next Provincial Council elections could be ironed out soon.

Leaders of all SLPP allied parties have been invited to a special meeting to be held at Temple Trees with the PM presiding on April 19.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa said it was natural for members of a political alliance to have their own standpoints and views on matters of national importance. “This is due to the different political ideologies and identities. It is not something new when it comes to political alliances world over. In a way, it shows that there is internal democracy within our alliance.

The PM said: “As a result of that the allied parties may express their own views on issues, but that does not mean there is a threat to the unity of the alliance. An alliance is more vibrant and stronger not when all the parties think on the same lines but when the member parties have different ideologies.”

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Thilo Hoffman remembered

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A copy of the book “Politics of a Rainforest: Battles to save Sinharaja” was handed over to Dominik Furgler, the Swiss Ambassador in Sri Lanka by the author of the book, Dr. Prasanna Cooray at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo last Tuesday, to be sent to the family of the late Thilo Hoffman in Switzerland.

Hoffman, a Swiss national, who made Sri Lanka his second home for six decades, was a pioneering environmental activist who led the battles to save Sinharaja from the front in the early 1970s, abreast with the likes of Iranganie Serasinghe, Kamanie Vitharana, Lynn De Alwis and Nihal Fernando of the “Ruk Rekaganno” fame. That was the era when the trees of Sinharaja were felled for the production of plywood by the then government. Hoffman was also a livewire of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) for a long time. Hoffman died in 2014 at the age of 92.

The book includes a chapter on Thilo Hoffman.

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