Patnaik in Washington
The Orissa Chief Minister, Mr. B. Patnaik, arrived here as both the Indian Embassy and State Department spokesmen were issuing statements that his 10-day visit was mainly connected with projects within his own home State. These officials, however, conceded that Mr. Patnaik may also utilise his presence here to look into questions affecting the Emergency in India. Mr. Patnaik himself dismissed as speculation a New Delhi report in Washington Post which stated that his principal interest was to explore how the U.S. could assist India in the mechanics of guerrilla operations behind the enemy lines, should there be another flare-up on the northern border.
There was a time when the Railway Ministry, armed with a High Court judgment, used to contend that it was not its business to have all the unmanned level-crossings in the country manned. The legal obligation apart, there have been so many collisions between trains and road vehicles at such road-rail intersections since then that indignant public opinion has been able to prevail on the Railway administration to change its stand and do something to stop this needless slaughter. The cost of manning all the thousands of level-crossings was estimated to add up to a sizeable sum — about Rs. 20 crores towards capital cost and Rs. 10 crores per annum for upkeep — and so it was agreed that a beginning may be made with manning about 1,200 level-crossings that needed such a precaution badly, by virtue of the volume of traffic.
Control of emigration
The Rajya Sabha passed the Indian Emigration (Amendment) Bill to restrict and control the emigration of skilled and unskilled workers for work beyond the limits of India. Mr. B.M. Misra, Deputy Law Minister, who piloted the Bill, said the scope of emigration under the measure would now cover journeys abroad by air, besides “departure by sea out of India” as provided in the original Act. The Bill, accordingly, empowered the Government to make such rules for the security, well-being and protection of emigrants going by air also.