Indian media: Post-floods challenges

Floods have damaged many roads in Uttarakhand state
Image caption Floods have damaged many roads in Uttarakhand state

Media in India feel the government is facing "massive challenges" in cleaning up the flood-ravaged northern state of Uttarakhand as the evacuation process enters its final stage.

The Indian Express says the "disposal of bodies lying in affected areas and transportation of relief material to locals in flood-hit villages" are going to be tough because the floods have washed away most roads in the Himalayan state.

"Clearing tonnes of debris lying in the affected areas and extricating decaying bodies which may be lying under them is our topmost priority at the moment," the CNN-IBN website quotes a top police official as saying.

The Times of India says water contamination, food shortages and power cuts are also some of the key challenges.

"Many (locals) here emptied their food stock for the stranded pilgrims but now they're struggling," the paper quotes a resident as saying.

Subhash Kumar, a senior state government official, tells the paper that "the loss of infrastructure has been massive since 16 June, with drinking water supply, power and road connectivity among the worst hit".

The rebuilding could take from "a few days to three months" and the cost could come up to millions of dollars, he said.

The Mail Today says the ancient Hindu shrine of Kedarnath not only lost many of its priests in the floods, but also ancient manuscripts, many of them over three centuries old.

More rape cases

Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times reports "a sharp increase" in the number of rape cases in Delhi.

"Delhi has witnessed 806 rape cases this year until 20 June, a sharp increase from 330 for the same period last year," the paper reports, citing statistics released by the Delhi police.

The police say more women are "coming forward" to report rape and this has contributed to the increase in numbers.

The gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December 2012 had sparked protests across India, shining a spotlight on crimes against women in Delhi.

Meanwhile, India has asked some of its nationals in Saudi Arabia to immediately apply for exit visas in view of the country's new "Nitaqat" law, which makes it mandatory for firms to hire one local person for every 10 migrants, the Deccan Herald reports.

Many businesses in Saudi Arabia rely on the migrant workforce, but now they have to make space for more locals.

This has made many Indians jobless and without any work permit in the oil-rich country.

In arts-related news, the Vishwa Bharati University in West Bengal state, founded by cultural icon and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1863, has published a book and dedicated a museum to the illustrious founder's eldest son Rathindranath in a move to honour him in his own right as an artist, The Statesman reports.

"The intention is to honour a man who was largely overshadowed by his father but who dedicated his entire life to the institution," Amrit Sen, professor of English at the university, said.

Mind your language

Meanwhile, a litigant's bid to impress the Supreme Court with his English language skills seems to have backfired, The Pioneer reports.

Unimpressed by the litigant's use of the word "mind-boggling", Justice AK Patnaik told him: "Don't use such words; this is television stuff."

In sports, hosts West Indies registered a pulsating one-wicket win over India in the second one-day international of the Celkon Mobile Cup tri-series on Sunday, reports.

And finally, The Indian Express supports the idea of a Test cricket championship, saying "such an event for the game's most revered format is long-awaited".

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