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Mrs. Leona Chesson, A Mathematician, Lawyer, Former Asst. Minister, Dies

first_imgThe late Mrs. C. Leona ChessonThe death is announced of Mrs. C. Leona Tucker Chesson, former Asst. Minister for International Cooperation, Foreign Ministry, Liberia.Mrs. Chesson died last Friday, January 19, 2018 at the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland, after a brief illness.She was 89.An exponent of the first graduating class of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law in the late 1950s, she shortly thereafter passed the National Bar exams and was appointed resident attorney with the Liberian American Swedish Minerals Company (LAMCO).In 1972 President William R. Tolbert, Jr. appointed her Assistant Minister of Justice for Taxation, and later as Assistant minister of Foreign Affairs for International Cooperation.In 1969 the Liberian government appointed her Labor Advisor and during that period she worked with the International Labor Organization (ILO) in writing the Labor Laws of Liberia.Leona represented Liberia at all ILO meetings in Geneva and Africa and at non-governmental agencies at many international meetings and conferences.  In 1957 she participated in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy. She also represented Liberia at several meetings of the United Nations General Assembly.  In 1976 she was a Liberian delegate to the Conference of Non-Aligned Nations in Colombo, Sri Lanka; and later at the UN meeting for the Media in Africa, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  She represented Liberia at the World Congress of Women in Moscow in 1963.In 1977 Leona Chesson was requested by the Conference of Non-Aligned Nations to proceed to Bagdad, Iraq where she joined other representatives from six nations to organize the conference for women in development, and attended the conference the following year.She was later elected Deputy Secretary General of the Pan African Women’s Organization in 1968, and administered the affairs of the Headquarters in Algiers, Algeria, where she traveled frequently over many years, organizing most of these conferences.Among her many accomplishments in the international arena was her organization and hosting in 1967 in Monrovia, Liberia of the International Federation of Women Lawyers Convention, of which she was Vice President.  She also helped establish the Liberia Opportunities Industrialization Center (LOIC), a vocational training program that has trained thousands of Liberians in various vocational fields and is still doing so.While studying at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Leona Tucker befriended and married Mr. Joseph J.F. Chesson, who was a senior Law student at American University in Washington. To this union five children were born—two sons, Leonardo Alhaj, a musician and artist; Rouchell Hilary R.W. Chesson, Sr., a social worker and businessman; and three daughters—Yvette Mnuma Chesson Wureh, an eminent Liberian and and international lawyer and now head of the Angie Brooks Foundation; Pscopelia Marilyn Elizabeth Chesson-Wilkins, a Registered Nurse and business manager. Leona was blessed with eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.One daughter, Gaynelle Wiyata Chesson, predeceased her mother at age 5.Catherine Leona Tucker Chesson was the first child of the marriage between John Payne Tucker and Danielette Johnson Tucker.  Leona was born on May 29, 1928 in Monrovia.  Before her sixth birthday her father died, leaving two children and her mother six months pregnant.  Her maternal grandfather offered to help provide support, but died a month later.  The family was devastated.  Her maternal grandmother, a teacher and farmer, came to the rescue.  The children lived with their grandmother in Lower Caldwell, where they began their education.In 1938 Leona and her sister Danielette were enrolled at Bromley Mission in Clay Ashland.  Leona later attended the College of West Africa (CWA), where she graduated in 1947.  Her classmates included Dr. Henry Benson; Augustine Jallah, former Director General of the Archives of Liberia; Dr. Wilmot Dennis; Ernest Eastman, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Regina Williams; and Nathaniel Obi.A life-long Episcopalian like her parents and siblings, Leona in 1983 was elected by the Episcopal Diocesan Convention as member of the Diocesan Board of Trustees.Also that year the Africa Region of the World Student Christian Federation, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, invited her to help organize a highly successful Leadership Training Conference, held in Lusaka, Zambia.  The aim was to help revitalize the NSCC Africa branch.Her sister, Mrs. Danielette Tucker, former Accountant General of Liberia, and brothers John Payne Tucker, former Deputy Director of Police and Gabriel Johnson Tucker, former Minister of Public Works, also predeceased Leona.According to her daughter, Counselor Yvette Chesson Wureh, the funeral of Mrs. Leona Chesson will take place in Maryland, USA.  The details will be announced later.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Spurs won’t sell midfielder to QPR

first_imgTottenham manager Harry Redknapp has said there is “no chance” of him selling midfielder Niko Kranjcar to QPR.Rangers have enjoyed a good relationship with Spurs and have spent previous transfer windows waiting to discover which players Redknapp is willing to part with.But he says he is not looking to offload Kranjcar, who also played under him at Portsmouth.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Twitterlast_img

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Can Gratitude Be Studied Scientifically?

first_img(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some psychologists say gratitude improves one’s well being.  But is that a subject for science?According to a report on Science Daily, “Growing Up Grateful Gives Teens Multiple Mental Health Benefits.”  According to a psychologist from University of California, “Increases in gratitude over a four-year period were significantly related to improvements in life satisfaction, happiness, positive attitudes and hope.”For the study, 700 students aged 10 to 14 answered questionnaires, then 4 years later, were surveyed again.  Those categorized as “most grateful” were judged by the researchers as having 13 to 17% more purpose in life, more satisfaction with “life overall,” more happiness and hopefulness, less delinquency, and fewer negative attitudes.The researchers defined “gratefulness” as “having a disposition and moods that enabled them to respond positively to the good people and things in their lives.”  The New York based sample contained a mix of ethnic backgrounds, with 54% girls and (presumably) the rest boys.  The lead researcher, Dr. Giacomo Bono, made sweeping conclusions:“These findings suggest that gratitude may be strongly linked with life-skills such as cooperation, purpose, creativity and persistence and, as such, gratitude is vital resource that parents, teachers and others who work with young people should help youth build up as they grow up,” Bono said. “More gratitude may be precisely what our society needs to raise a generation that is ready to make a difference in the world.“Dr. Bono’s definitions of these qualities are not found in the article, nor is his view on what kind off difference in the world is good to make.Much as you might like to agree with these conclusions, this is another example of useless research done by modern psychopriests trying to justify their existence.  Who are psychologists to tell people about gratitude?  They can’t even define the word.  It’s “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful,” not a positive disposition.  What do they mean by positive?  Are we talking about electricity, protons versus electrons?  No; gratitude is inextricably bound up with thankfulness.  Thankfulness needs an object: you are thankful to someone who is deserving of appreciation for what they done for you – your parents, your teachers, your God.  It does no good to walk around with positive vibes aimed at nothing; you have to humble yourself and honor the subject of your gratitude with true, heartfelt appreciation.  Can science measure that?In addition, the so-called “science” of psychology lacks the precision expected of science.  How did Dr. Bono calibrate his gratitudometer?  What are the units of happiness?  The research summary is loaded with glittering generalities: ambiguous words like purpose (did not the Colorado killer have a purpose?), creativity (was he not creative as the Joker?), persistence (did he not persist in booby-trapping his apartment?).  All of these touchy-feely words are meaningless without their object: purpose for, creative about, persistence toward.  If the object of the word is evil, the quality becomes an accomplice to evil.  Wouldn’t you rather confront a robber who lacked purpose, creativity and persistence?  As for “ready to make a difference in the world,” Genghis Khan and Saddam Hussein were well qualified.  Science cannot make value judgements when pursuing quantifiable qualities.Another fault is that this study subliminally suggests that parents, teachers, and others who influence teenagers should teach them to be selfish.  How?  The conclusion stressed the personal rewards that the teen will receive from behaving a certain way: have a positive attitude “so that” you can have better health and happiness.  Needless to say, true gratitude is not concerned with self.  Gratitude should be encouraged because it is right, not because it provides health benefits.  Teach teens right ways as a matter of duty, whether or not it makes them happy.  When they learn to love righteousness, humility and thankfulness, any personal happiness they encounter will be fringe benefits; but teens need to be forewarned that doing right is often accompanied by suffering, rejection or strife.  Do right because it’s right.This shows that psychology is as useful to science as a foghorn to an orchestra.  Some psychologists can perform valid work in limited areas that are observable, testable, and repeatable, like learning theory (e.g., what is the best method for memorizing), but even then, the conclusions are often fuzzy and fungible.  You could learn memorization and the other things probably just as well from your parents or grandparents who have honed their conclusions in the furnace of real life experience, not by answering questionnaires from quacks.  When psychopseudoscience tries to raise its voice about moral qualities and values like gratitude and happiness, well; one thing is clear: you’ll enjoy the concert better without the foghorn.So do your duty: invite a psychologist to church, where he/she can learn all about the proper objects of gratitude, purpose, creativity, and persistence.  If the psychologist repents and gives up his/her pretensions, you have gained your brother/sister.last_img read more

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Alex to host Football for Hope

first_imgTeam Alexandra’s players with LOC CEODanny Jordaan, Zakumi and Fifa’s FedericoAddiechi. Some of Team Alexandra players. Theteam will have nine players. Player Catherine Skhosana withAlexandra-born former Kaizer Chiefs starIsaac “Shakes” Kungoane.(Images: Bongani Nkosi)MEDIA CONTACTS• FifaWolfgang EichlerMedia Officer+27 11 567 2010+27 83 2010• 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising CommitteeJermaine CraigMedia Manager+27 11 567 2010+27 83 2010 121jermaine.craig@2010oc.comRELATED ARTICLES• Street Child Cup kicks off in SA• Football for Hope to unite SA• Boost for school football• SA’s children get football fever• Nestlé nurtures future footballersBongani NkosiAlexandra, a sprawling and impoverished township north-east of Johannesburg city centre, may not have a stadium large enough to host any 2010 Fifa World Cup matches, but its residents will soon get the chance to witness top football action there.The newly built No. 3 Square Sports Facility, situated in the heart of the township, has been announced as the host stadium for the 2010 Football for Hope tournament, which will take place between 4 and 10 July.Fifa and its partners, including the City of Johannesburg, Street Football World and the local organising committee, launched the football facility on 25 March in Alex, as the township is known to locals.Although it has a small grandstand capacity, No. 3 Square Sports Facility is a standard stadium with a full pitch and private dressing rooms. It also has numerous basketball, volley ball, netball and tennis courts.“We need to applaud Football for Hope for choosing Alexandra,” said Bafana Sithole, a mayoral committee councillor for the City of Johannesburg. “Alexandra’s people have [now] got hope.”It was a good decision to host the tournament in Alex, said Frederico Addiechi, Fifa’s head of corporate social responsibility. “We are sure we will not regret this decision after 2010,” he said.The township will stage a spectacular event, said former Bafana Bafana midfielder and Alex resident Alfred Phiri. “We’re ready to host the 2010 Football for Hope [games],” he said. “We have never had a project like this in Alex …”Thirty-two football teams from 40 countries will participate in the Alex tournament in July, just as the Fifa World Cup action hots up elsewhere around the country.The Football for Hope matches will be played in a seven-a-side format on a field the size of a basketball court, making the games fast-paced and more exciting.Alex’s team will comprise nine youngsters, aged between 15 and 18, from the township. They are all active members of the NGO Play Soccer, which uses football to teach good social values.Five continents will be represented in the tournament, with Africa having 13 teams, including ones from Nigeria, Mali, Uganda, Lesotho and Zambia.Street Football World’s managing director, Jurgen Griesbeck, explained that one of the teams, the Peace Team from the Middle East, will represent two countries: Palestine and Israel, which have long been locked in deep conflict.The Australian team, meanwhile, will not only consist of Australian nationals, but also a variety of foreigners living in that country. The entire tournament will be a mixed one, with equal numbers of girls and boys participating.The matches will not be officiated by referees, as players themselves will sort out disagreements through dialogue during games. “You will see fair football…,” Griesbeck said.The youngsters chosen to play in the tournament are ambassadors of social change in their communities, and that’s why they were selected. “We’re talking here about role-models,” he added. “They are champions in heading movements in their communities.”Alex players ready for actionSello Mahlangu, an 18-year-old Alex resident, could not hide his excitement about the upcoming tournament. A coach for Team Alexandra, Mahlangu said he felt honoured to have been selected to play.“It’s a great honour for me to participate in this event,” he said. “For this to happen here in Alex is an inspiration.”For 18-year-old Catherine Skhosana, a passionate footballer, participating in the Football for Hope games is an achievement. “Young people, especially young black women, will see that we are getting somewhere,” she said.The Alex team have been vocal about their plans to win the tournament and earn the township a place in world football history. “We’ll get all the way to the final,” Mahlangu told Danny Jordaan, CEO of the local organising committee.Vehicle for social changeFootball for Hope is not your average football tournament. The participating youngsters, who are all from disadvantaged communities, will also take part in activities promoting an exchange of ideas and experiences.They will be encouraged to discuss topics such as HIV/Aids and take part in football coaching workshops, among other initiatives.Fifa uses Football for Hope, founded in 2005, as a way to bring about social change in communities across the world. “We want to celebrate the contribution of football in social development,” said Griesbeck.The competition is a great platform for nurturing young football stars, Jordaan said. “We want to see more Brian Baloyis, more Alfred Phiris [both played football for South Africa’s national squad Bafana Bafana] from Alexandra.”The Football for Hope tournament “is the world cup of change and opportunities”, Jordaan said.last_img read more

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For Storing Electricity, Utilities Turn to Pumped Hydro

first_imgIn the past decade, wind energy production has soared in Spain, rising from 6% of the country’s electricity generation in 2004 to about 20% today. While that is certainly good news for boosters of clean energy, the surge in renewables has come with the challenge of ensuring that electric power is available when customers want it, not just when the wind blows.To help accommodate the increased supply of wind, Spain’s utilities have turned not to high-tech, 21st-century batteries, but rather to a time-tested 19th-century technology — pumped storage hydroelectricity. Pumped storage facilities are typically equipped with pumps and generators that move water between upper and lower reservoirs. A basic setup uses excess electricity — generated, say, from wind turbines during a blustery night — to pump water from a lower reservoir, such as behind a dam, to a reservoir at a higher elevation. Then, when the wind ceases to blow or electricity demand spikes, the water from on high is released to spin hydroelectric turbines. Total capacity is now 142 gigawattsCurrently, 292 pumped storage hydro facilities are in operation worldwide, with a total capacity of 142 gigawatts. Another 46 projects, with a total capacity of 34 gigawatts, are being developed, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Global Energy Storage Database.Chemical batteries are typically installed at the electricity distribution level, where in addition to storage they provide other services, such as closing the gap between supply and demand in increments measured in milliseconds, notes Ruud Kempener, an analyst with the International Renewable Energy Agency in Bonn, Germany. The capacity of batteries is typically in the single to tens of megawatts.In contrast, the capacity of pumped storage hydro systems ranges from the hundreds to thousands of megawatts, providing flexibility to the electric system as a whole, a role that Kempener says will increase in importance in the future. He was lead author of a recent report that found pumped storage hydro would need to increase to 325 gigawatts by 2030 from about 150 gigawatts today in order to double the share of renewable energy in the global mix.Recent energy policy reforms in Spain have halted the hyper growth of renewables there. Still, several new pumped storage projects have recently come online in Spain, with more being developed in Germany, Austria, and Italy. In Italy, Swiss utility Repower is gaining approvals for its planned 572-megawatt Campolattaro pumped storage plant about 55 miles northeast of Naples, which would pump water from a dammed lake to a newly constructed reservoir in nearby hills.Pumped storage hydro is growing fastest in China, according to Chi-Jen Yang, a research scientist at the Center on Global Change at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “A new pumped hydro station comes online every several months,” he says, adding that “there are 10 or 15 under construction right now and each one is really huge, like 1 gigawatt or bigger.”China’s 22 gigawatts of installed pumped storage hydro capacity recently surpassed the United States’ 21 gigawatts and will overtake world leader Japan’s 27 gigawatts in 2018, according to Yang. The 3.6-gigawatt Fengning Pumped Storage Power Station under construction in Hebei Province will be the world’s largest when it comes online around 2022. John Roach is a Seattle-based journalist who covers technology, science and the environment. This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. Obstacles to new hydro facilitiesBuilding new pumped storage hydro faces numerous obstacles, especially in the United States. Public and private sector support for chemical batteries can outweigh interest in pumped hydro. Other challenges include the hundreds of millions of dollars in upfront capital, long construction times, and market structures that give insufficient value to grid flexibility.These hurdles have hobbled the Klickitat County Public Utility District’s effort to construct the JD Pool Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project along the Columbia River. Renewed interest is percolating, however, according to Randy Knowles, a commissioner for the utility district who has promoted the project for more than a decade. HydroChina Corp., a major hydropower construction firm based in Beijing, signed a memorandum of understanding with the county this October to discuss collaborating on the project. “They have an interest in entering the U.S. market, and this is a real attractive project given its size,” Knowles says.Since 2000, 47 wind projects have been developed in Washington and Oregon within about 50 miles of the proposed project site. The turbines have a combined capacity of 4,695 megawatts and generate enough electricity to power about 800,000 homes, according to data from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Power lines carry the electricity wrung from the wind to high-voltage transmission lines that lead away from the John Day Dam.Most of the time, the dam, and others in the Columbia Basin, work in concert with the wind turbines. When the wind slackens, for example, grid operators send more water through the dams to keep up with demand. When the wind howls, flows through the dams are reduced to save water until it’s needed. In a sense, the dams act as a giant battery that compensates for the intermittency of the wind, ensuring a low-carbon means to keep the lights on from Seattle to Los Angeles.But the capacity of the hydroelectric dams to accommodate wind generation is about maxed out, according to Knowles. In the spring of 2011, for example, the Bonneville Power Administration, the federal agency that operates the dams, ordered many Pacific Northwest wind farms to shut down generation for several hours a day to accommodate water releases (and a resulting surplus of hydroelectric generation) that was legally required to maintain safe passage for migrating fish.The Klickitat County Public Utility District’s proposed 1,200-megawatt project, Knowles says, would reduce the wind sector’s reliance on the dams, allow more wind turbines on the Columbia Plateau, and, in the process, help the United States meet long-term emissions reduction targets.“We are just ahead of the curve, frankly, in recognizing the need,” he says. “So at some point everybody will catch up and the project will get built.” The technology dates from the 1890sPumped storage hydro was first used in the 1890s in the Swiss, Austrian, and Italian Alps to provide greater flexibility for the management of water resources. The technology was widely adopted in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s to provide load shifting, which transfers electric generation from peak hours to off-peak hours of the day, according to Koritarov. The technique allows utilities to continually operate large, inflexible assets such as nuclear and coal-fired power plants at their optimal efficiency. Surplus generation from these plants is used to fill storage reservoirs; when demand peaks, the water is released to generate additional electricity. When nuclear and coal plants stopped being built, “the pumped storage also quit being built,” he says.Pumped hydro in Spain: The upper reservoir of the Cortes-La Muela hydroelectric station in the municipality of Valencia, Europe’s largest such facility.Today’s growth in pumped storage hydro is strongest where access is limited to inexpensive natural gas-fired “peaker plants,” which are built to run specifically during times of high demand, such as the late afternoon on hot summer days. Peaker plants are also increasingly used to fill the gap when the wind dies or clouds blot the sun, causing a drop in intermittent renewable generation. Pumped storage hydro can perform the same tasks. An added bonus of pumped storage hydro is the capacity to absorb excess electricity, Koritarov says. Wind generation, for example, is typically highest at night, when demand is lowest and the electricity is often unwanted.Pumped storage hydro requires more energy than it produces, notes Yang, meaning that the technology only makes sense in electric power systems that have surplus generation during certain parts of the day and lulls at others.The technology is not without environmental costs. Their operation leads to rapid fluctuations in reservoir water levels as the systems switch between pumping water from dam reservoirs to elevated storage reservoirs, and then lowering those upper reservoirs during electricity generation. “You may have an artificial flood for four hours, and then a drought for 20 hours, and then another artificial flood,” Peter Bosshard, the interim executive director for International Rivers, an environmental advocacy based in Berkeley, California, says. Such fluctuations wreak havoc on the ecologically rich areas where terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems overlap.“We are seeing that there are other, more interesting ways of storing electricity coming up on the horizon, in particular battery storage through distributed systems,” Bosshard says.center_img New projects in the U.S.In the United States, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued licenses for two projects in 2014, both in California. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s $800 million, 400-megawatt Iowa Hill Pumped-Storage Project involves construction of a reservoir 1,200 feet above Slab Creek Reservoir, along with an underground powerhouse and tunnels to connect the water bodies. Eagle Crest Energy Company’s $1.4 billion 1,300-megawatt Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage Project involves construction of upper and lower reservoirs at an old iron mine near Joshua Tree National Park.Several dozen other U.S. projects are in the early planning and preliminary study stages. These include the $2.5 billion, 1,200-megawatt JD Pool Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Project in Washington State, which would site a pair of upper reservoirs between strings of wind turbines on the Columbia Plateau and a lower reservoir, located 2,400 feet down the wall of the Columbia River Gorge at an abandoned aluminum smelter near the John Day Dam. Planners envision close coordination among Columbia River dams, large arrays of wind turbines, and the proposed pumped storage facilities, which would hold water in reserve during steady winds and unleash it during calm periods. That’s precisely what the giant Spanish utility Iberdrola has done with the expansion to its $1.3 billion Cortes-La Muela hydroelectric scheme, completed in 2013. The company uses surplus electricity to pump water from the Júcar River to a large reservoir on a bluff 1,700 feet above the river. When demand rises, the water is released to generate electricity. The 1,762-megawatt pumped storage generating capacity is Europe’s largest and is part of a hydroelectric complex capable of powering about 500,000 homes a year.While much of the buzz around energy storage today centers on the development of innovative battery technologies, more than 98% of installed storage capacity globally is, in fact, pumped hydro, according to Vladimir Koritarov, an energy systems engineer at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. And today, fueled by the world’s embrace of solar and wind power to help combat global warming, pumped storage hydro is in the midst of a surge, with power generators and utilities building new facilities from Italy to China as a way of balancing supply and demand across electric power grids.“Among all energy storage technologies,” Koritarov notes, “pumped storage hydropower is still the only one that is mature, reliable, proven, and commercially available to provide large utility-scale energy storage.” RELATED ARTICLES Spanish Island Kicks the Oil HabitA Novel Way to Store Energy Surge in Renewables Remakes California’s Energy LandscapeUndamming Rivers Could Make Room for PVlast_img read more

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CBI begins probe into BSF helibase scam

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the allegations of corruption and use of “sub-standard material” in executing a contract for the construction of a helibase at the high-security BSF campus in Srinagar.Four Central Public Works Department engineers — Umesh Chandra, Sanjay Kumar Srivastava, Prabhat Singh and Sharvan Kumar — have been booked along with the government contractor, Ghulam Mohi-u-din Bhat & Sons.The contract also pertained to the construction of chain-link fencing adjoining the airbase with a provision of helicopter hangar at the BSF campus. The contract worth ₹2.11 crore was awarded to Mr. Bhat, of Budgam in J&K.It is alleged that the engineers conspired with the contractor to cheat the CPWD by submitting fake invoices of cement and TMT steel and also used “sub-standard material” in the execution of work that had started in March 2014 and completed in September 2015. The accused contractor had submitted fake retail invoices for about 42.76 metric tons of steel worth ₹24.35 lakh and about 23,880 cement bags for ₹1.06 crore.The probe “also revealed that extra cement for ₹28 lakh approx. has been provided by the above mentioned CPWD officials in the 6th and final bill, in addition to the basic quantity of cement to the contractor agency, thus providing undue benefit to the said contractor and subsequent loss to the government exchequer has been caused”. The accused persons had also showed deployment of technical staff at the work site, as required under the contract conditions. Investigations revealed that no such officials were deployed and that the payments for the same were shown on paper.last_img read more

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