Sunday, November 12, 2017

Govt of India ministry uses Canadian, US road pix to show how nice Indian highways built under Modi are: Alt News

By Our Representative
In a second major exposure, well-known fact-check site, Alt News, has found  that the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways, Government of India, has used two photographs from Canada and US to showcase how good India's roads are. Alt News did this on checking a Tweet by Khalid Hussain (@khalidmfp) who said that the ministry website used the photograph of Gardiner Expressway, Toronto, Canada, "fooling 1.3 billion Indians".
Using internet tools, Alt News, run by Pratik Sinha, a Gujarat-based human rights campaigner, who also happens to be a software engineering, said, as the picture shared by the Twitter user seemed to be of the "same road as seen from the similar background" but was "not identical to the picture used on the ministry website", it was verified using "street view feature of Google Maps", and found that the allegation was true.
"Yes, it is indeed the Gardiner expressway that the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Highways has used on the website", Alt News said, adding, a YouTube video of Gardiner expressway further confirmed that "the imagery used by the Transport Ministry website is actually from Toronto Canada."
Not stopping here, Alt News looked at more photographs of the ministry website, and it found that another photograph is had used "is of Kyle Canyon Road in Nevada, US. The photograph was taken by Nicola on June 23, 2011, which he posted on his Flickr account."
Nicola, says altnews.in, has described the image as, “State Route 157 (SR 157), also known as Kyle Canyon Road, is a state highway in Clark County, Nevada. The highway connects the Las Vegas area to the recreational areas of Mount Charleston in the Spring Mountains.”
Commented Alt News: ministry website is "designed, developed and hosted by National Informatics Center (NIC). A Government of India institution, NIC prides itself as the 'prime builder' of e-governance applications. Is it too much to ask them not to use images from other countries as representative of India?"
Four months ago, Alt News created a major flutter around how the Union Ministry Home Affairs (MHA) annual report used the picture of Spain-Morocco border to show Indian border floodlighting.
"Spain and Morocco have a sea between them but there are Spanish conclaves on the north coast of Africa that have a fenced and floodlit border with Morocco. The picture was taken in 2006 by a Spanish photographer, Javier Moyano", it said.
According to Alt News, "As per MHA, floodlighting of the border started in 2003. The MHA annual report of 2013-14 states that 'the entire stretch of the Indo-Pakistan border has been completed except for a small part of pending work in the Gujarat sector of Indo-Pak border'. While the India-Pakistan border was nearly fully floodlit in 2013, only 1763 km out of the sanctioned 2840 km (62%) of the India-Bangladesh border was floodlit at the end of 2013."
Alt News further said, "Out of the 647 km floodlit in the three years by Modi Sarkar, around 45 km was on the India -Pakistan border and the balance was on the India-Bangladesh border. Around 496 km of the sanctioned length of India-Bangladesh border still remains to be floodlit."
It added, The fact that floodlighting of the India-Pakistan border was nearly complete even by 2011 can also be seen from the ... photograph of the border by NASA. Around 1,861 km of the border had already been floodlit when the picture was taken."

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