Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement made before the 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Varanasi that he had come there on the invitation of (river) Ganga mata, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said “Ganga maiya” now has been asking where was her son.Mr Kumar also said the condition of the river had become so deplorable that “he gets emotional over it.”“When I visited Varanasi recently people there were saying river Ganga has been asking for her son who earlier had declared that he had come there only on the invitation of Ganga mata…why he (PM Modi) has stopped saying so…the condition of river Ganga has become so deplorable that I get emotional seeing it,” the Chief Minister said while addressing an international conference on “Incessant Ganga” here.“Close Farraka”Mr Kumar said he had demanded the closure of the Farakka barrage in West Bengal “as it has been the root cause of siltation causing floods every year in Bihar.”“Several river experts have expressed a similar opinion but nothing has been done yet,” he said.“It is because of the Farakka barrage that Bihar gets flooded every year…there is a danger to Bihar due to the barrage,” Magsaysay award winner and water conservationist Rajendra Singh said.He said the Central government project of Namami Gange has been benefiting only contractors.Another river expert and economist, Bharat Jhunjhunwala, said the Central government raises the issue of cows but not of Ganga.Problem of silt depositBihar Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh said the conference would discuss in detail the problem of siltation in the river bed.The experts and delegates would look into all aspects of human intervention, including the proposed construction of barrage for inland waterways, which have resulted in the deterioration of the Ganga, an official of the state Water Resource Department said.
Drama is in very short supply so far in these playoffs. Close games? Few and far between (more on this later). Ratings? They’re down double-digit percentages from last year, a massive hit that suggests casual fans aren’t watching if LeBron James — out of the playoffs for the first time since 2005 — isn’t playing. Tickets? There were seats on the secondary market available for Monday’s Milwaukee-Detroit game for as little as $18.That’s $18, by the way, to see a Bucks team that was the best team in the NBA during the regular season. The Bucks have the likely MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Pistons fans had to have known it would be their team’s last home game of the season. And it was, with Milwaukee winning in a rout to finish off a four-game sweep.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsA predictable one, at that.The divide between the haves and the have-nots in the NBA looks like a canyon right now. Unless San Antonio takes two of the next three against Denver, or someone rallies from 3-1 or 3-0 down, the eight higher-seeded teams will all win in the first round for the first time since 2008. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles On the one hand, that means the second-round matchups could be really good. Boston-Milwaukee. Golden State-Houston. Philadelphia-Toronto. None of them are set yet, but they would all be fascinating if they happen.“You take control of a series by winning games on the road,” Golden State star Stephen Curry said. “We’ve been able to do that.”This past weekend, all the higher-seeded teams took control by winning away from home. Road teams went 4-0 on Saturday. Road teams went 4-0 again on Sunday. That’s never happened in NBA history. And with lower seeds not cashing in on home-court advantage, this first round might wind down real fast.Boston swept away Indiana. Milwaukee swept Detroit. Houston could sweep Utah on Monday night. Philadelphia, Golden State, Toronto and Portland all have a chance to win in five games. Entering Monday, only one series — Denver vs. San Antonio — was assured of going six games. There might not be a single Game 7 in the first round. The last time that happened was 2011.Fans might want the drama that comes with close games, long series, back-and-forth tussles. Players, of course, don’t mind going without. There have been moments, of course. Portland-Oklahoma City has given us flashes of Damian Lillard vs. Russell Westbrook. And Brooklyn-Philadelphia had some on-court shenanigans, plus Nets general manager Sean Marks somehow getting into the referee locker room to complain and a Nets owner tweeting to the league’s chagrin.ADVERTISEMENT Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) defends against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) as he drives up court in the first half during an NBA basketball game Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)ORLANDO, Florida — If there was a silver lining for Indiana fans after the Pacers were the first team to be bounced from the 2019 NBA playoffs, it’s this: They won’t have to watch any more first-round games.For that, they should be thankful.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Hot tempers, yes. Great games, not so much.“Not worried about it or paying attention to anybody else right now,” said Toronto guard Danny Green, whose team is up 3-1 over Orlando. “We’re focused on us and Orlando. We don’t skip steps here. We can’t think about the next series. We haven’t won this series yet. Can’t even think about the next series. Orlando’s our focus. They deserve all our focus. They’re a pretty damn good team. And we’re not looking ahead because we haven’t beat them yet. The job’s not finished.”Out of the first 31 games in these playoffs, road teams have gone 17-14. That’s absurd.And just two of the 31 games have been decided by three points or less. The average margin of victory so far in these playoffs: 14 points per game.So there’s been lopsided games, and for the most part, lopsided matchups. By Wednesday, most of the second round might be set. By Thursday, the first round might be completely done. There’s a chance this could be the fastest first round since the NBA made the opening matchups all best-of-sevens in 2003.The earliest the second round can start is Saturday.Here’s hoping the intrigue ramps up around then as well.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SYKES Philippines dominates Manila and Cebu Inter-BPO Basketball Leagues DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess