Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Thursday said days are not far off when it will be possible to unfurl the tricolour in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). “I have faith that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the way New India’s caravan is progressing ahead, that day is not far off when it will be possible to unfurl that tricolour or ‘Nishan’ for which Shyama Prasad Mukherj sacrificed his life in Pakistan occupied Kashmir,” Mr. Singh said at an event to rename Chenani-Nashri Tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir.Mr. Singh, credited Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari for accepting the proposal of renaming the tunnel after Shyama Prasad Mukherjee without wasting time. In 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dedicated to the nation this 9 km-long tunnel that reduces the distance between Jammu and Srinagar by 31 km but due to “some compulsions” this could not be named after Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, he said. He further noted that 66 years ago on May 11, 1953, Mukherjee was arrested from Lakhanpur in an illegal manner without any FIR, chargesheet or warning and was taken to Srinagar through this Chenani-Nashri road. After Mukherjee’s death on June 23, 1953 his mother wrote to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to hold an enquiry into his death. “For some reasons then Prime Minister Nehru did not pay heed to that letter, no enquiry was done. It is a new era now. It was Nehru government then, today it is Modi government… That probe or lapse can not be compensated but this tribute for coming generation will preserve his heritage and memory. “The lapse on part of Nehru government has been atoned by Modi government,” he said. The decision to rename the tunnel comes over two months after abrogation of the provisions of Article 370. The ‘Chenani-Nashri Tunnel’ was built at the cost of ₹2,600 crore. The tunnel, bypassing snow-bound upper reaches, reduces the journey time by two hours and provide a safe, all-weather route to commuters travelling from Jammu and Udhampur to Ramban, Banihal and Srinagar. The key features of the tunnel are — it is a single-tube bi-directional tunnel, with a 9.35-metre carriageway, and a vertical clearance of 5 metres. There is also a parallel escape tunnel, with ‘Cross Passages’ connecting to the main tunnel at intervals of 300 metres. It also has smart features such as an integrated traffic control system; surveillance, ventilation and broadcast systems; fire fighting system; and SOS call-boxes at every 150 metres.
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn has asked the fans to respect AB de Villiers’ decision to retire from international cricket.De Villiers retired from international cricket in May this year citing unbearable pressure as the reason behind the decision.”I believe AB doesn’t deserve to get a bad rap. Even though we both made our Test debuts in 2004, him and I are in two completely different boats. He is married with children and I only have dogs. Family time is a big pull for him right now. We spend on average 220 days of the year out of the country. Its a long time to be away from your family especially when your children are growing up,” Steyn told Sport24.”The pleasing aspect is the Proteas have managed to win without him. Its nice that the circle (of talent) is getting bigger and there is hope for the future. Calling time on his international career has also given AB time to recover from a physical point of view. His back had been giving him trouble for so many years. Through sheer pride of representing South Africa he pushed on,” Steyn said.The pacer also added that he wishes to win a World Cup trophy for his side.”I would love to win a trophy for South Africa in white ball cricket. A number of cricketers who have played before me – Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Graeme Smith are legends of the game, but weren’t fortunate enough to win an ICC event during their playing careers. I might join those names, but hopefully I will still be around in 2019 to play in the next World Cup and have a crack at winning the trophy in the UK,” Steyn saidadvertisement”However, I have got to earn my way back into the Proteas ODI team,” he added.Praising the current generation of South African bowlers, Steyn said that they are performing quite well and he would be happy to sit out of the team and watch them shine. He, however, asserted that he is still capable of making a useful contribution to the national side.”Our fast bowlers are doing quite well of late and, if they are in-form and performing, I don’t mind sitting aside and watching them shine. However, I still believe I can deliver the goods and hopefully I can represent my country for a couple more years,” Steyn said.”Hopefully I can get some white-ball games this year and put my hand up for the spot in that World Cup team next year,” he added.The pacer, who made his ODI debut in 2005, played his last one-day match against Australia in 2016.Steyn has played a total of 116 ODIs and has taken 180 wickets with an economy rate of 4.94 while in Tests, he has snared 421 wickets with an economy rate of 3.23 in 88 matches.(With ANI inputs)