Haryana Minister Anil Vij donates Rs 50 lakh to Dera Sacha Sauda for sports

A top Haryana minister donated Rs 50 lakh from his discretionary fund to a sect headed by controversial Sikh leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, reported said on Sunday.
Haryana sports minister Anil Vij travelled to Sirsa in Haryana to attend a “Tiranga Rumal Chhu” programme in the presence of Singh on Saturday, when he reportedly praised the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda’s efforts to establish sports facilities.
“To promote sports facilities, I donate Rs 50 lakh from my fund,” Vij was heard as saying in a video tweeted by said. Television reports said the donation was made to build a sports stadium. “I have given Rs 50 lakh from my discretionary fund, I am in charge of this money,” he added.
Hindustan Times could not independently verify the details.
The Dera sect has been in the news, often for its colourful and controversial leader Singh, who commands a following that runs into millions.
“I hope in the next Olympic games, players from the Dera win us medals,” Vij said, according to the Hindi daily Dainik Jagran
Last year, a controversial pardon granted to Singh over blasphemy charges sparked protests across Punjab. Actor Kiku Sharda was arrested twice for mimicking the leader.
He burst onto the national scene when a movie on him, MSG: The Messenger, was released in February last year, triggering violent protests across several states and the national capital region. Punjab banned the movie.
Air India to soon fly over Pacific Ocean to San Francisco, save fuel, time
New Delhi, August 28
Saving significant fuel costs and time, Air India will soon start flying over the Pacific Ocean region for its lucrative direct services to San Francisco from here with aviation regulator DGCA approving the new route.
The regulatory nod comes as a boost for the national carrier, which would be doubling the frequency of its Delhi-San Francisco direct flights to six per week from November.
Air India would also be the first Indian carrier to operate on the Pacific region route where weather conditions and speed of winds would help the airline in reducing fuel burn and the overall journey time. Officials said the route would be a “win-win situation” for the carrier as well as passengers as it would save crores of rupees worth of fuel costs and also reduce the flying time by up to three hours. Approving the request from Air India for services through the new route, the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has issued a detailed operational circular.
Some years ago, Jet Airways used to have Mumbai-Shanghai-San Francisco connection service which was stopped.
A senior DGCA official said using the new route would help in saving a lot of fuel as well as time.
In the new route, Air India would fly eastwards to reach San Francisco by crossing the vast Pacific Ocean.
Even though the route would be almost 1,400 km more compared to the current trajectory where the flight flies over the Atlantic, there would be significant saving on fuel and journey time due to powerful tailwinds.
“The Boeing 777-200 LR aircraft, used on the Delhi-San Francisco route by Air India will get only strong tailwinds on its eastward journey and cut flying time by up to three hours,” a senior pilot said.
According to the pilot, the plane, on an average, burns 9,600 litres fuel for each hour of flying.
“Reducing the flying time to SFO from an hour in summer to three hours in winter (due to high tailwinds then) will mean huge fuel saving. So it will be a win-win for fliers and the airline as passengers will reach San Francisco faster while the airline will burn less fuel,” he said.

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