ADVERTISEMENT

Andhra Pradesh

Five dead as truck collides with Bangalore-Nanded Express in Anantapur district

Five people, including a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, died when a truck laden with granite crashed through the gate of a manned level crossing and rammed into the Bangalore City-Nanded Express in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Monday.

 
Five dead after truck rams into Bangalore-Nanded Express in Anantpur
 
Five people, including a member of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, died when a truck laden with granite crashed through the gate of a manned level crossing and rammed into the Bangalore City-Nanded Express in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of today.
 
Those killed in the incident included three passengers of the train, a railway AC mechanic, who was travelling in the AC I coach which bore the brunt of the collision, and the driver of the truck, South Western Railway and Anantapur police officials told NetIndian.
 
The victims included senior Congress leader A Venkatesh Naik, 79, four-time member of the Lok Sabha from Raichur in Karnataka and the current member of the state legislative assembly from Devadurg constituency, they said.
 
At least three other people suffered injuries in the mishap, which occurred at around 2.23 am when the 16594 Bangalore City – Nanded Express was crossing the level crossing gate number 77 between Rangepalli and Penukonda stations on the Dharmavaram section of Bangalore Division of South Western Railway.
 
The officials said the driver of the truck appeared to have lost control over the vehicle and it crashed through the level crossing gate and hit the train.
 
Four coaches of the train -- an AC I coach (H1), an AC III coach (B1) and two sleeper coaches (S1 and S2) derailed due to the impact of the collision.
 
Top railway officials, police and district administration officials have rushed to the scene of the mishap and efforts were being made to restore normal traffic on the affected station.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have diverted the following trains to run on alternate routes:
 
1. Train No. 17308 Bagalkot – Mysore Basava Express which left Bagalkot on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
2. Train No. 12735 Secunderabad – Yesvantpur Garibrath Express which left Secunderabad on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
3. Train No. 18463 Bhubaneswar – Bangalore Prasanthi Express which left Bhubaneswar on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
ADVERTISEMENT
4. Train No. 12252 Korba - Yesvantpur Express which left Korba on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
5. Train No. 16339 Mumbai CSTM – Nagercoil Express which left Mumbai on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Gooty, Renigunta.
6. Train No. 17603 Kacheguda - Yesvantpur Express which left Kacheguda on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Gooty, Renigunta.
7. Train No. 12628 New Delhi – Bangalore Karnataka Express which left New Delhi on 22.08.2015 is diverted to run via Bellary, Raidurg.
8. Train No. 12785 Kacheguda - Bangalore Express which left Kacheguda on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
9. Train No. 12591 Gorakhpur - Yesvantpur Express which left Gorakhpur on 22.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
10. Train No. 22692 H.Nizamuddin – Bangalore Rajadhani Express which left Hazarat Nizamuddin on 22.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
11. Train No. 11301 Mumbai CSTM - Bangalore Express which left Mumbai on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
12. Train No. 22133 Solapur - Yesvantpur Express which left Solapur on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
13. Train No. 16572 Bidar - Yesvantpur Express which left Bidar on 23.08.2015 is diverted to run via Dharmavaram, Pakala, Katpadi.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines:
 
Bangalore City Railway Station: 080 22354108, 09731666751, 080 22156553
Bangalore Cantonment: 080 2333 9163, 
Hindupur Station: 08556220444
Penukonda Station: 0855220244
Dharmavaram Station: 08559224422
Accident spot: 09701374062, 09493548005, 09448090399, 00873-763945549
Anantapur :- 09100992941, 09676903449; 08554-236444
Dharmavaram: - 08559-222555
Guntakal:- 09676903466
Yadgir:- 078999300084; 08473250365
Tandur:- 08411-272010
Vikarabad:- 08416-252013 
Bidar:- 08482-226329
Parli:-02446-222008
Nanded:- 09730471077
 
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 

Kiran Reddy quits as Andhra Pradesh CM day after LS passes Telangana Bill

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation on Wednesday in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.

Andhra Pradesh CM Kiran Reddy resigns, quits Congress
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy announced his resignation today in protest against the decision of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre to go ahead with its decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state of the Union.
 
Mr Reddy handed in his papers to Governor E S L Narasimhan a day after, amid noisy schenes, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to bifurcate the state to create the new state of Telangana.
 
Before driving down to Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation, Mr Reddy addressed a press conference at which he hit out at his Congress party for allegedly flouting Parliamentary procedures in its haste to get the Bill passed.
 
"I am ashamed. They did it like thieves, blacking out the live telecast. What was the need to do all this?" he asked.
 
Thanking the party for giving him the chance to serve as Chief Minister, he, however, made it clear that he could not continue in the Congress because, according to hi, it had betrayed the Telugu people.
 
He said he would also resign as a member of the Legislative Assembly as well as from the membership of the Congress.
 
Mr Reddy said the Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had got together in the Lok Sabha yesterday to get the Bill passed.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
He was particularly upset that the Bill was passed in the absence of several MPs from Andhra Pradesh, who had been suspended from the House for disrupting proceedings on February 13.
 
There has been media speculation about Mr Reddy planning to launch a new party but he did not touch the topic today. "My future is not important," he said when asked about it.
 
Some of his Cabinet colleagues from the Seemandhra region, who were opposed to the bifurcation of the state, and several legislators were present at the press conference.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 

See News Videos

Naidu to lay stone for NIDM’s Southern Campus in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday

ADVERTISEMENT
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu will lay the foundation stone of the Southern Campus building of the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) tomorrow at Kondapavuluru village in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and other Central and State Government officials will attend the ceremony.
 
The NIDM is a premier institute of the Government under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The NIDM, in pursuance of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act 2014, has established a Southern Campus in Andhra Pradesh.
 
An interim set-up of NIDM Southern Campus is currently operating in the State from Andhra Pradesh Human Resource Development Institute (APHRDI) Campus at Bapatla, Guntur.  The State government has allocated 10 acres of land to NIDM for the establishment of its permanent Southern Campus at Kondapavuluru village. The Central Government has approved construction of the South Campus at a total cost of Rs. 36.76 crore.
 
The NIDM’s Southern Campus would be focusing more on ground level issues, district and local planning, last mile connectivity and mainstreaming disaster management into Sustainable Development Goals through its training and capacity building programmes as relevant to the region, an official press release said.
 
The campus will function to support the overall goal of resilience and capacity building of various stakeholders through its programs. There will be programmes designed and developed with special emphasis on the disasters specific to southern States.
 
The South Indian geography plays a vital role in designing the NIDM programmes, especially coastal areas, the rocky terrain of Deccan Plateau and the Western Ghats. It would be vital for the NIDM Southern Campus to focus more on the needs of South India hazard profile and develop it as a Centre for Excellence for this region.
 
India is a signatory to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) adopted by the United Nation’s member states and the Prime Minister’s 10-point agenda on Disaster Risk Management is aligned to its strategy and ground implementation. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Capacity building including training -- education, research, knowledge management and mass awareness -- holds the key to success in achieving the targets of Sendai Framework as understanding disaster risk, enhancing disaster preparedness and “Build Back Better” still remain the most important input in saving lives, property and environment from natural and man-made disasters.
 
NIDM has taken big strides in building the capacity of stakeholders, but the gaps, demand and expectations are huge. Hence, partnership, collaborations and networking across geographies, states, institutions and international agencies and private player are the need of the hour.
 
A two-day national workshop on “Forging Partnership: Capacity Building for DRR” also began today at Vijayawada to bring the multiple stakeholders, agencies, donors and governments to deliberate, discuss and share experience and to explore cooperation opportunities.
 
The aim of the workshop is to discuss and deliver a roadmap for making India a disaster resilient country by enhancing and building the capacity of the state institutions by encouraging partnerships between the various stakeholders.
 
International and ational experts and senior officials would be participating in addition to National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) officials, State Disaster Management Authority (SDMAs) and State Disaster Management Institutes (SDMIs), NGOs and professionals working in the areas of disaster management.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Cabinet approves setting up of Central University in Andhra Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
The Union Cabinet today gave its in-principle approval for establishing a Central University by the name of “Central University of Andhra Pradesh” in Janthaluru village of Ananthapur district in Andhra Pradesh. 
 
A provision of funds worth Rs. 450 crore has been approved for meeting the first phase expenditure towards establishment of the university, the release said.
 
The Cabinet also approved the proposal for operationalization of the Central University in the transit campus, initially by forming a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in order to give a legal status to it till the amendment to the Central Universities Act, 2009 is enacted and to enable commencement of academic activities from the Academic Year 2018-19. 
 
The Central University would be mentored by an existing Central University till its governing structure is in place.
 
The approval would increase access and quality of higher education and help in minimizing the regional imbalances in education facilities, and give effect to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the release added.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Andhra launch capsize: 12 bodies recovered

ADVERTISEMENT
Bodies of 12 persons including two children were retrieved from Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday as a search was on for others who went missing after a launch capsized the previous evening.
 
Rescue workers pulled out the launch by using boats and heavy cranes. Earlier, the Indian Navy personnel traced the launch reportedly at a depth of 60 feet.
 
Teams from the Navy, state disaster management department and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were engaged in the rescue operations with the help of Navy helicopters.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who rushed to the scene to supervise rescue operations, told reporters that 10 more bodies were yet to be pulled out.
 
The incident occurred near Manturu in Devipatnam block of East Godavari district around 5 p.m.
 
The boat, which sailed from Kondamodalu, was on its way to Rajamahendravaram. It is believed to have capsized due to gusty winds.
 
Naidu announced Rs 10 lakh compensation for the next-of-kin of each of the deceased. He said the government would provide jobs to one member each from the families of the victims and would also make arrangements for free education for their children.
 
The Chief Minister said human error led to tragedy. He was informed by the officials that the launch was carrying cement bags and two-wheelers.
 
When the boat was caught in gusty winds and rains, those onboard closed the windows. This led to the capsize and also sealed the escape routes.
 
The incident came close on the heels of a boat with over 100 tourists catching fire in the Godavari river in the same district on May 11.
 
The passengers had a narrow escape as the driver wheeled the boat to the shore and they jumped off before the entire boat was completely destroyed.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Andhra launch capsize: Search on for over 30 missing

ADVERTISEMENT
Rescue operations continued on Wednesday in the Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh where over 30 people are feared drowned after a launch capsized last evening.
 
Personnel from the Indian Navy have traced the launch, which is said to be at a depth of 60 feet. Rescue workers were trying to break open the windows to pull out the bodies, an official said.
 
Teams from the Navy, state disaster management department and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel were engaged in the rescue operations. 
 
They were mobilising heavy cranes near the shores to retrieve the launch that capsized on Tuesday.
 
The rescue work, which was halted late on Tuesday due to bad weather, resumed early on Wednesday. A helicopter was also pressed into service as part of the rescue work.
 
The incident occurred near Manturu in Devipatnam block of East Godavari district around 5 p.m. There were about 50 people on the boat when it capsized and 10 of them including two women swam to safety.
 
The boat, which sailed from Kondamodalu, was on its way Rajamahendravaram. It is believed to have capsized due to gusty winds.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed the officials to undertake rescue operations on a war footing.
 
The incident came close on the heels of a boat with over 100 tourists catching fire in the Godavari River in the same district on May 11. The passengers had a narrow escape as the driver wheeled the boat to the shore and they jumped off before the entire boat was completely destroyed.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Lightning kills 9 in Telangana, Andhra

ADVERTISEMENT
Nine people including three farmers died of lightning in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, officials said.
 
The three farmers died of lightning in Telangana's Mancherial district early in the day while six deaths were reported from Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra.
 
The farmers were killed in their field in Arepalli village. According to police, the farmers had gone to their fields to protect the paddy from rains. The deceased have been identified as R. Rajaiah, K. Bapu and J. Ramesh.
 
The farmers were trying to place covers on the paddy kept in the field after cutting but did not succeed due to strong winds and rains. In the meantime, they were struck by lightning.
 
When they did not return home, their family members went to the field and found their bodies.
 
Meanwhile, six persons died of lightning in separate incidents in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district. Heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds have been lashing Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts since early Sunday.
 
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been experiencing thunderstorm and unseasonal rains for more than a week.
 
The Met office has forecast thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds at isolated places in various districts of Telangana and coastal Andhra on Sunday and Monday. Some parts of the two states are likely to record maximum temperature between 42 and 44 degrees Celsius.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Andhra CM to be guardian of 9-year-old rape victim

ADVERTISEMENT
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday announced that he will act as guardian of a nine-year-old rape victim and bear all expenses of her education.
 
After calling on the victim at government-run hospital in Guntur town, he said he would provide his personal money for her education till she achieves her goal in the life.
 
Naidu said while the girl's parents would do their duty, he would ensure best education for her with all facilities.
 
"I have already asked the District Collector to identify the best school in Guntur," he said.
 
The state government has already announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to the family of the victim. Naidu on Saturday announced that another Rs 5 lakh would be made fixed deposit in the girl's name.
 
He also assured two acres of land for the family for agriculture, a job to her father and house site.
 
The girl was raped by 50-year-old rickshaw puller on Wednesday in Dachepalli in Guntur district, causing public outrage. The accused later committed suicide by hanging near the village.
 
Calling for publicly hanging the rapists, Naidu said his government would be tough in dealing with such criminals.
 
The Chief Minister said there was a need to instil fear in rapists that the day they commit such heinous crime will be their last day on earth. "Only this fear could act as a deterrent," he added.
 
Naidu said there would be no place for such people in the state. "Man should live like man not like beast," he said.
 
He also announced that the government will set up special courts for early trial of rape cases. He appealed to lawyers not to defend the accused. "Lawyers are also part of the society. They too have children," he said.
 
He called for conducting rallies across the state on Monday with the slogan 'Let us save the daughters' and appealed to all people to participate.
 
Voicing concern over the misuse of technology and the menace of porn films on Internet also resulting in such incidents, Naidu said the government would work out how to deal with this problem.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

5-year-old Andhra girl raped by minor

ADVERTISEMENT
In another shocking incident of rape of minor girls in Andhra Pradesh, a five-year-old was sexually assaulted by a 15-year-old boy with the help of three friends on Friday, police said.
 
The incident occurred in Tetali village near Tanuku in West Godavari district.
 
The boy lured the girl with the offer of chocolates and took her to a toilet of a local school and raped her. Three of his friends of the accused allegedly helped him by standing guard.
 
The incident came to light after the girl returned home and started bleeding. When questioned by her parents, she narrated the incident.
 
The victim's family lodged a complaint with police, which picked up the boys. However, no case was registered as the families of the accused were talking to the relatives of the victim for a "compromise".
 
This is the second incident of rape of a minor girl in the state in three days. In Dachepalle of Guntur district, a 50-year-old man had raped a nine-year-old girl on Wednesday. The incident triggered public outrage.
 
The accused, a rickshaw puller, was Friday found hanging from a tree in a village near Dachepalle. Police said he committed suicide.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

10 killed as heavy rains lash Telangana, Andhra

ADVERTISEMENT
Ten people were killed as heavy rains lashed Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, officials said.
 
While five people were killed in various rain-related incidents in Telangana, an equal number of deaths were reported from Andhra Pradesh.
 
Heavy rains accompanied by hailstorm and gusty winds wrecked havoc in several parts of both the Telugu states, uprooting trees and electricity poles and inundating low-lying areas, affecting vehicular traffic and electricity supply.
 
The unseasonal rains provided relief to people from scorching heat but affected the normal life and caused widespread damage to crops.
 
Heavy downpour with hailstorm and strong gales lashed many parts of Hyderabad and the outskirts, throwing the normal life out of gear. A seven-year-old boy died when he was struck by lightning while playing under a tree at Karmanghat on the city outskirts.
 
The strong winds uprooted trees in several areas in the city, damaging few vehicles bringing the traffic to a halt. Near darkness enveloped the city in the afternoon and the heavy rains significantly brought down the temperature.
 
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) pressed emergency teams into service to remove the trees from roads and also hoardings which were hanging precariously.
 
Telangana Excise Minister T. Padma Rao, who visited some areas in Hyderabad, told reporters that GHMC received reports of tree falling at 45 places in the city. There were also complaints of water logging at 25 places.
 
Several districts of both the Telugu states were receiving rains since morning. Lightning claimed four lives in Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy districts.
 
Telangana Energy Minister Jagdish Reddy said they received reports of 1,250 electricity poles being damaged due to strong winds. The authorities have opened two control rooms in Hyderabad and Warangal and were making efforts to restore electricity supply in the affected areas.
 
Heavy rains battered Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts in north coastal Andhra early Thursday. Many parts of south coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions also recorded heavy rainfall.
 
Three persons died of lightning strike in Guntur and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh. In Guntur town, a man died when a hoarding fell on him. In Kurnool district, one person was crushed to death under a tree which uprooted due to strong gale.
 
The heavy rains damaged mango, paddy, maize and other crops. Several cattle perished due to lightning. The unseasonal rains also disrupted electricity supply in towns and villages.
 
According to the met office, the rains were triggered by cyclonic circulation over north Odisa and neighbourhood and another cyclonic circulation over West Vidarbha and neighbourhood. It has forecast thunderstorm accompanied with squall/hail at isolated places in all the districts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Truck runs over 'Dappu' artistes in Andhra, 5 killed

ADVERTISEMENT
Five 'Dappu' artistes were killed and three others were injured when a truck ran over them in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district on Thursday, police said.
 
The accident occurred when the cement-laden truck ran amok, hitting a group of artistes returning from a village fair.
 
According to the police, the musicians, who play the drumming instrument Dappu, were returning from the Nallagangamma Jatra when the truck crushed them in Tana Vaddipalle village in Pileru. Two died on the spot.
 
The injured were shifted to Ruia Hospital in Tirupati. Two others succumbed on the way, while one injured died while undergoing treatment.
 
The truck driver escaped after the accident. Police suspect brake failure might have caused the accident.
 
IANS
 
 
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

ECI announces dates for elections for six seats in Maharashtra Council, bye-election to AP Council

ADVERTISEMENT
The Election Commission of India (ECI) today said it would hold biennial elections to six Maharashtra Legislative Council seats and a bye-election for one seat in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council on May 21.
 
The biennial elections in Maharashtra will be from six Local Authorities Constituencies and the bye-election in Andhra Pradesh will be from the Chittoor Local Authorities' Constituency, an official press release said.
 
The notification for the elections will be issued on April 26 and the last date for making nominations is May 3. Scrutiny of nominations will be held on May 4 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures will be May 7, it said.
 
Polling wil be held between 8 am and 4 pm on May 21, and counting of votes will be taken up on May 24, the release added.
 
The release said the term of office of six members of the Maharashtra Legislative Council is due to expire on May 31 and June 21. They are Anil Dattatrey Tatkare (Raigad-cum-Ratnagiri-cum-Sindhudurg -- May 31); Jaywantrao Pundlikrao Jadhav (Nashik); Mitesh Gotulal Bhangdiya (Wardha-cum-Chandrapur-cum-Gadchiroli); Abdullah Khan A. Latif Khan Durrani (Parbhani-cum-Hingoli); Pravin Ramchandraji Pote (Amravati) and Dileeprao Dagdojirao Deshmukh (Osmanabad-cum-Latur-cum-Beed), all of whom will retire on June 21.
 
The casual vacancy has occurred in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council due to the death of Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu, representing the Chittoor Local Authorities’ Constituency, on February 7. His term of office would have normally expired on August 11, 2021.
 
NNN
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

DRI busts diesel smuggling racket, arrests four persons, seizes 14 containers

ADVERTISEMENT
The Directorate Revenue of Intelligence (DRI) has busted a major racket involving the smuggling of diesel into the country in the guise of mineral spirit and arrested four persons, including the alleged mastermind and a hawala operator, and seized 14 containers of diesel valued at more than Rs. 1 crore.
 
An official press release said that, on the basis of inputs provided by the Andhra Pradesh (AP) State intelligence Department, the DRI, Hyderabad developed intelligence indicating that diesel is being smuggled into India in guise of mineral spirit by certain operators based in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
 
The diesel was being brought from Dubai in huge quantities on regular basis through containers at Chennai Port for further illegal sale in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it said.
 
Simultaneous search operations were carried out by the officers of the DRI, Hyderabad and Chennai with the active support of Andhra Pradesh State intelligence at various places across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu  from April 17 onwards, it said.
 
The release said the searches conducted at two Container Freight Stations (CFS) in Chennai revealed that 14 containers imported at Chennai Port in the names of SAF Petroleum and Aditya Marine landed at Sanco CFS, Chennai and Gateway CFS, Chennai, where the goods were declared as mineral spirit. 
 
These containers were found to be actually carrying 263.78 MT (3 lakh litres approximately) of diesel. On being questioned, this was admitted by the operators and also confirmed during chemical examination. 
 
Simultaneous searches were conducted across Kakinada and Chennai covering 12 places belonging to operators, importers clearing agents, transportation broker, supervisor, hawala operators and so on, the release said.
 
Diesel is a restricted commodity for import as per the Foreign Trade Policy and allowed to be imported only by the public sector Indian Oil Corproation (IOC) and other oil marketing companies which meet the requirement of Ministry of Petroleum Resolution No. P-23015/1/2001-Mkt and not allowed to be imported by others. 
 
To circumvent this restriction, the operators of diesel smuggling based at Kakinada hatched a plan and started smuggling the fuel in the guise of mineral spirt.
 
They not only imported the restricted item but also declared a much lower value, around 40% of the actual value, thereby evading customs duty on the consignments, it said.
 
The operators had offices in Kakinada, storage yard at Maraimalai Nagar, Chennai and an office front at Guindy, Chennai to facilitate the smuggling and distribution. A relative of one of the operators from Kakinada was looking after the logistics, moving the diesel into the grey markets in Chennai, Kakinada, Ongole and parts of Telangana. 
 
Dummy companies were opened in Dubai to purchase diesel and import it Chennai by creating false documents and invoices. The price difference was being adjusted by payments through hawala channels. 
 
"It is found that in the past these operators have smuggled around 5366 MT (63 lakh litres approx) of diesel valued at around Rs. 17.7 crores, which comes to around 285 containers," it said.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Chandrababu Naidu on day-long fast to protest injustice to Andhra

ADVERTISEMENT
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who turned 68 on Friday, began his day-long fast to protest what he calls the injustice being meted out to the state by the Central government.
 
Naidu launched the 'Dharma Porata Deeksha' hunger strike at Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada. The fast, which began at 7 a.m., will conclude at 7 p.m.
 
State ministers Kala Venkat Rao, D. Umamaheswara Rao, Nara Lokesh, Kollu Ravindra, MPs and state legislators and leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) joined him in the fast at the massive programme organised by the state government.
 
Naidu garlanded statues of Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, Jyotirao Phule and N.T. Rama Rao before reaching the stadium.
 
The TDP chief was blessed by Hindu, Muslim and Christian religious leaders before he began the fast. Prominent freedom fighters also called on Naidu to extend their support.
 
Naidu's fast is to demand the Centre to accord special category status to the state and fulfil all commitments made at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to carve out Telangana state in 2014.
 
Last month, the TDP pulled out of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to protest its refusal to give special status to the state. Naidu alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gone back on the promises he made in 2014 elections.
 
Naidu has appealed to people to observe the fast against the Central government's attitude, instead of celebrating his birthday. 
 
TDP leaders say this is the first time in the country's history that Chief Minister of a state is observing fast on his birthday.
 
Expressing solidarity with the Chief Minister, leaders and workers of TDP and various organisations are observing the fast across the state. State ministers were also on hunger strike in their respective districts.
 
IANS
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Disabled Dalit woman gang-raped in Andhra

ADVERTISEMENT
In a shocking incident, a physically challenged Dalit woman was gang raped in Vijayanagaram district of Andhra Pradesh, police said on Monday.
 
An auto-rickshaw driver and his two accomplices allegedly raped the 21-year-old, in Phool Bagh area of Vijayanagaram town late on Sunday night.
 
According to police, the woman was on her way to her sister's house in the three-wheeler. The auto driver, who was accompanied by two other men, diverted the vehicle and took the victim to an isolated place, where the accused violated her.
 
A passer-by rushed to rescue her after hearing her cries. He dropped the victim at her relatives' house. She was later admitted to government-run hospital. 
 
Police registered a case of rape and also under the SC/ST Act against the auto driver and the two others. A police officer said they were on the lookout for the accused.
 
People condemned the inhuman act of the accused and demanded stringent punishment.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

ITDC bags Rs 550 crore infra project in Andhra Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
The India Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) has bagged a Rs 550 crore project for infrastructure development in Andhra Pradesh.
 
ITC signed the MoU on April 10 with Hyderabad-based firm Suraas Impex Pvt. Ltd. for developing a Mega Tourism Destination project at Bhairav Lanka in Kakinada, East Godavari District.
 
This is the first of its kind project for the state-owned ITDC, which got preferred against several private contenders.
 
ITDC will be the consulting agency as well as implementing agency for the detailed project report (DPR) and the execution which will be taken up in three stages from preparing the DPR to the implementation of the project in two phases.
 
ITDC has been the prime mover in the progressive development, promotion and expansion of tourism in the country. The Division has completed 67 infrastructure projects for Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Culture and various State Governments.
 
The division has also prepared more than 85 DPRs for various tourism projects in the country. The corporation provides Engineering Consultancy Services through its full-fledged Ashok Consultancy & Engineering Services Division.
 
It undertakes the development of Tourism infrastructure projects from concept to commissioning. It provides services to Ministry of tourism and State Tourism Departments.
 
Suraas Impex Pvt. Ltd. is engaged in trading, renewable energy power generation & hospitality etc.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

ISRO not facing funds crunch, says its Chairman

ADVERTISEMENT
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is not facing any funds crunch for its ongoing activities, the agency's Chairman K. Sivan said on Thursday.
 
Sivan made the remark while was speaking to reporters here after the successful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, a part of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) series, earlier in the day.
 
The 1,425 kg satellite was carried into space by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket's 'XL' variant.
 
Responding to a question on the reported funds crunch, Sivan said: "There is no funds crunch. We will ensure the ongoing activities are not affected."
 
The total allocation for the Department of Space for the next fiscal in the Union Budget for 2018-19 is Rs 10,783 crore (including Rs 8,936.97 crore for various space related projects) - up from Rs 9,155.52 crore allocated for 2017-18 net of recoveries and receipts.
 
To a question on ISRO getting its basic needs right -- heavy lift rockets, heavier or higher capacity satellites instead of inter-planetary missions -- Sivan said work had already started to increase the carrying capacty of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-III to 6 tonnes.
 
He said the space agency will be making high throughput satellites that weigh less but give the output of a heavier satellite.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
On the concerns raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the navigation satellite system, Sivan said with the launch of IRNSS-1I, the system was now put in place and the applications would have to be rolled out.
 
He said the industry has to make the necessary products so as to use the navigation satellite system.
 
"We have developed our own atomic clocks which would be used in the upcoming navigation satellites," the ISRO chair said.
 
On the status of the recently launched GSAT-6A satellite that lost communication link soon after it was put into orbit, Sivan said the space agency was able to locate the satellite and track its movements.
 
Asked about space missions for 2018, Sivan said the space agency would launch 5.7 tonne GSAT-11, a high throughput satellite using Ariane rocket.
 
He said the GSAT 29 would be launched using a GSLV Mk III rocket. 
 
There are also launch missions for remote sensing satellites, NavIC satellite and the Chandrayaan-2/moon mission.
 
On the status of resuable launch vehicle project, S.Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) said the next phase will be to test ground landing.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

New technique developed to monitor coastal landforms

ADVERTISEMENT
Indian scientists have developed a remote sensing technique that uses satellite data to delineate between various coastal landforms like beaches, mangroves and marshes. This method can help monitor and understand impacts of natural disasters as well as human activities on coastal ecosystem.
 
Coastal ecosystems that comprise mangroves and other landforms protect the shores from natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes etc., prevent soil erosion and are hotspots of biodiversity. Over the years, excessive exploitation of coastal resources for fisheries and other commercial benefits has led to an ecological imbalance. Better surveillance systems are needed to keep a check on anthropogenic activities in such regions.
 
Although images from satellite data are commonly used to study various landforms on earth, distinguishing different landforms in coastal region remains a challenge due to their low lying nature, and absence of clear-cut boundaries between various landforms.
 
Scientists from the National Remote Sensing Centre, Andhra University College of Engineering and Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya utilized an image analysis technique - Object-Based Image Analysis - to demarcate various landforms such as ridges, marshes, mangroves etc. surrounding the Krishna delta present on East coast of India. 
 
The new technique deploys parameters like tone, texture, shape, context, proximity to the sea and height derived from satellite images for classification of landforms. Combining the values of these parameters, a total of 11 landforms such as beach, beach ridge, swale, tidal creek, marsh, spit, barrier bar, mangrove, natural levee, channel island and channel bar were given their peculiar characteristics and were differentiated.
 
The reduced inflow of water from Krishna river to the delta due to construction of dams and reservoirs together with overexploitation of mangroves surrounding Krishna delta for agriculture, aquaculture and industrial is disturbing the ecosystem of this region. In such a scenario, a method that helps to keep a better check on this region could help environmental organizations.
 
“The work is useful for identification of vulnerable zones so that mitigation measures can be planned. However, some more advanced remote sensing data and machine learning techniques can be additionally used for obtaining better results,” commented Dr. Prafful Singh from Amity Institute of Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing, who is not connected with the study, while talking to India Science Wire.
 
The results of the study have been published in journal Current Science. The research team included Tapas R. Martha and K. Vinod Kumar from National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad; A. Mohan Vamsee from Andhra University College of Engineering, Vishakhapatnam;  and Vikas Tripathi from Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya, Madhya Pradesh.
 
(India Science Wire)
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Second lead-up conference to 3rd Annual Meeting of AIIB begins in Visakhapatnam

ADVERTISEMENT
India has a huge potential and entrepreneurship for development of ports infrastructure, according to Dr Vishwapati Trivedi, former Secretary in the Ministry of Shipping.
 
Delivering the keynote address at the two-day lead-up conference to build up the momentum to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) here yesterday, Dr Trivedi said the present Government has taken several steps including the launching of Sagarmala project to develop maritime trade and infrastructure.
 
The theme of the conference is “Enhancing Port and Coastal Infrastructure: A Primer on Potential Areas".  The AIIB’s two-day Regional Conference is being organized by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with AIIB, CII and Research and Infrastructure System (RIS) for Developing Countries.
 
Around 150 delegates representing different colour industry, academic and research institutions are participating in the conference to deliberate upon the major bottlenecks in the quest for developing the blue economy in order to achieve higher and inclusive economic growth.
 
Dr Trivedi said during the last 10-15 years, the rising middle class in the country has seen large amounts of imports in the form of crude and oil, simultaneously registering growth in exports of various products including automobiles.
 
The national waterways development render safe transportation of cargo which is also cost-effective and less cumbersome if port connectivity is networked properly. The Union Government has taken several initiatives to develop waterways for hassle-free transportation across the country, he said.
 
India has identified 107 waterways under Sagarmala Project in order to lessen the logistic stress on road/rail freight transport in the country.  He observed that for investments to flow in, maritime-related regulations need to be relaxed, while ease of doing business should be promoted to facilitate the investors especially foreign investors to come with huge investments.  
 
Speaking on the PPP projects in the ports sector, he said the Central government has initiated 70 to 80 projects under PPP mode for Coastal Infrastructure Development. In Andhra Pradesh, Gangavaram and Krishnapatnam are being developed under PPP mode.
 
Most of the ports have huge land resources which can be utilized for the development initiatives. Visakhapatnam Port is one of the few in the country with the highest net-worth in terms of development, he added.
 
Mr Trivedi pointed out that India was focusing on ship repair as one of the major businesses. Bunkering and Transportation were other key areas where there was a huge potential for the development of shipping sector in the country.
 
Professor Amitabh Kundu, Distinguished Fellow, RIS who chaired the inaugural session of the two-day conference, observed that coastal infrastructure development plays a major role in the development of the shipping sector.
 
Attracting larger traders as partakers in the shipping sector was a big challenge. The initiatives should be sustainable for development along the coastal areas of the country.  Such initiatives must also take along people of various economic backgrounds so that no one is left behind.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
Mr Shakil Alam, Director, Multilateral Institutions Division, Department of Economic Affairs said that AIIB is one of the sourcing handles for India’s investment needs next only to China. Five new AIIB funded projects were underway in India with investments worth US$ 1.1 billion, he added.
 
Director General, Investment Operations, AIIB, Yee Ean Pang said the bank was established in 2016 with 57 founding shareholders. AIIB wanted to change the landscape of infrastructure funding across its partner countries, laying emphasis on cross-country and cross-sectoral investments in the shipping sector.
 
It also focuses on mobilizing the private sector for its major participation in infrastructure development of Port and coastal areas. In the shipping sector, there is a need for the private companies to step in. About 40-45% stake in the partnership was being offered to the private players.
 
The AIIB is co-financing with World Bank and ADB in the spread of infrastructure development activities in underdeveloped and developing countries of the Asian region.  Since its launch in 2016, the AIIB has been associated with 24 projects across the world including five approved for India even though there is no project related to Blue Economy.
 
The panel also discussed various port and coastal infrastructure related issues including facilitation of trade, port infrastructure and maritime regulations among others for implementation of the Sagarmala project in a time-bound manner.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu meets political leaders in Delhi

 
AP CM Naidu meets political leaders in Delhi
 
 
On his first visit to the capital after parting ways with the BJP, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday met leaders of various political parties including Congress, Trinamool Congress and NCP and vowed to defeat the saffron party in the next Lok Sabha polls.
 
Naidu, who spent considerable time in the Central Hall of Parliament, met NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, Congress leaders Jyotiraditya Scindia and K.C. Venugopal, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav and Trinamool Congress leaders Sudip Bandhopadhyay and Derek O'brien.
 
He complained to them about how Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP "let down" the people of Andhra Pradesh on the issue of conferring the special category status on the state and lack of adequate financial assistance in building a new capital, Polavaram projects and other schemes.
 
The Chief Minister told reporters later that his break with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was final and he would work towards defeating it in the next elections. He declined to reveal his political strategy further.
 
Naidu also met TRS leader Jitendra Reddy and Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, and Union Ministers and BJP allies Anupriya Patel and Harsimran Kaur. DMK's Kanimozhi and AIADMK's V. Maitreyan also met Naidu. 
 
O'Brien said that Naidu thanked the Trinamool Congress for its strong support to the no-confidence motion brought by the TDP and conveyed his greetings to party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
 
Interestingly, a number of BJP MPs, including veteran Murli Manohar Joshi, greeted Naidu. 
 
The Telegum Desam Party quit the NDA and the government at the Centre last month after accusing the Modi government of "betraying" his state by failing to execute the promises made at the time of its bifurcation.
 
IANS
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

TDP quits NDA, gives notice of no-confidence motion against Modi govt.

The TDP on Friday formally quit the ruling BJP-led NDA at the Centre over its demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh to overcome the financial and other difficulties it is facing after its bifurcation in June, 2014 to create the new state of Telangana.

 
Naidu attacks Centre, accuses them of doing injustice to AP
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today formally quit the  ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre over its demand for special status to Andhra Pradesh to overcome the financial and other difficulties it is facing after its bifurcation in June, 2014 to create the new state of Telangana.
 
"Telugu Desam Party has decided to officially exit the National Democratic Alliance due to failure in fulfilling the promises made in the State Reorganisation Act," TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"This decision was taken unanimously, in a teleconference with Politburo members, today," he added.
 
Soon after the formal announcement, the party gave notice of a motion of lack of confidence in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.
 
The notice, signed by Thota Narasimham, the leader of the TDP in the Lok Sabha, was given under Rule 198 (b) of Chapter XVII of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha, said the party wanted to move a one-line motion: "This House expresses no-confidence in the Council of Ministers".
 
Notice of a similar motion of no-confidence has also been given by the YSR Congress, headed by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.
 
The motion is expected to be supported by the Congress, the Trinamool Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Left parties and some other Opposition parties.
 
Mr. Naidu's decision to quit the NDA came eight days after, in a clear indication of his intentions, he had, on March 8, pulled out the party's two representatives in the Union Council of Ministers -- Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati and Minister of State for Science and Technology Y. S. Chowdary -- as differences over the demand for special status for the state persisted between the Centre and the state government.
 
At that time, the party had said that it continued to be in the NDA and to support the government.
 
Mr. Naidu had had a telephonic conversation earlier that day with Mr. Modi during which he explained the reasons for his decision to pull out the TDP Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
Mr. Naidu's announcement at a late night press conference at Amaravati on March 7 came hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told newspersons in Delhi that the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.
 
Amid increasing signs of the unease in ties between the TDP and the  BJP over the alleged neglect of Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget presented last month, Mr. Naidu had said that his party would take a decision on its ties with the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre later. "This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later," he said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"The Centre has been taking one-sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the Union Cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now," he had said.
 
Mr. Naidu had said then that the TDP had cooperated with the Centre but the BJP had done injustice to his state, forcing him to withdraw his Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
He said the Centre was insulting the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh by not keeping the promises made to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, under which the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Naidu said Mr. Jaitley's statement was the proverbial last straw. "They have apparently pre-determined the issue. They don't appear to be  helping the  state," he said.
 
The announcement by the TDP chief came a few hours after Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference that the Centre could not offer "special status" to Andhra Pradesh but would offer a "special package with equivalent funding".
 
"We are committed to giving the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," he had said. Agreeing with the state government's assertion that Andhra Pradesh was suffering in financial terms after the bifurcation, he said the Centre would honour all commitments made by  it at the time of the division.
 
Parliament had passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganiation Bill in February 2014, amidst noisy protests by those opposed to the bifurcation, after then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six-point development package for the Seemandhra and Rayalaseema regions.
 
Intervening in the debate, Dr Singh had said that, first, for purposes of Central assistance, Special Category Status will be extended to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh comprising 13 districts, including the four districts of Rayalaseema and the three districts of north coastal Andhra for a period of five years. 
 
"This will put the state`s finances on a firmer footing," he had said.
 
"Second, the Bill already stipulates that the Central Government shall take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives to the successor states in order to promote industrialization and economic growth in both the states. These incentives will be along the lines extended to some other states," he had said.
 
Dr Singh had said that the Bill already provides for a special development package for the backward regions of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, in particular for the districts of Rayalaseema and North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. "This development package will be on the lines of the K-B-K (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) Special Plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand special package in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh," he had said.
 
The BJP said the TDP had decided to leave the NDA because it was finding the going tough in Andhra Pradesh and feared a defeat in the 2019 elections. The party wondered why the TDP had not raised the issue for four long years.
 
It said the TDP was "resorting to lies" to cover up its "inept and inert" governance. "Far from being a threat, TDP's exit is a timely opportunity for the BJP to grow in AP," its spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao said.
 
Congress has backed the no-trust motion. The party's leader in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Mallikarjun Kharge, said the Congress had been supporting the demand for Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh since the beginning. He said his party would make efforts to secure justice for the people of the state, adding that it was in touch with other parties in this regard.
 
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury said his party supported the no-confidence motion being brought against the government.
 
"Its betrayal of the promise of special status for Andhra Pradesh is inexcuseable. Its all-round failure and evasion of parliamentary accountability needs to be highlighted," he said on Twitter.
 
Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi said his AIMIM would support the motion because the NDA had failed to implement the State Reorganisation Act and fulfil the promises made by it on jobs for the youth and justice for minorities.
 
NNN
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BHEL commissions 600 MW thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh

ADVERTISEMENT
The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned a 600 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh.
 
The unit has been commissioned at Rayalaseema Thermal Power Project, of Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGENCO), located in Cuddapah district, a press release from the company said.
 
BHEL has a long-standing relationship with APGENCO, having supplied 100% of its coal-based power generating sets. At present, BHEL is setting up two supercritical units of 800 MW rating in the state, one each at Vijaywada and at Krishnapatnam.
 
BHEL’s scope of work for the Rayalaseema project includes design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection and commissioning of Steam Generator, Turbo Generator, ESP along with associated Auxiliaries, Electricals, state-of-the-art Controls & Instrumentation (C&I), and Switchyard.
 
The key equipment for the project has been manufactured by BHEL at its Haridwar, Tiruchirapalli, Bhopal, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Jhansi and Bengaluru plants, while the construction of the plant was undertaken by the company's Power Sector-Southern Region.
 
"Significantly, 600 MW sets are in-house engineered, higher rating units based on BHEL’s highly successful 500 MW rating units, which form the backbone of the Indian Power Sector. So far, BHEL has successfully commissioned 18 sets of 600 MW rating in the country," the release added.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

TDP Ministers quit Union Cabinet over issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh

The TDP on Thursday pulled out its two Ministers -- Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Y. S. Chowdary -- from the Union Council of Ministers as differences between it and the Centre persisted over its demand for special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh.

 
Naidu says TDP Ministers at Centre will resign on Thursday
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today pulled out its two Ministers -- Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology Y. S. Chowdary -- from the Union Council of Ministers -- as differences between it and the Centre persisted over its demand for special status to the state of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Gajapathi Raju and Mr. Chowdary met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here this evening and submitted their letters of resignation to him.
 
Talking to newspersons later, the two Ministers said the TDP, however, continued to be a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). "We continue in the NDA and support the NDA," they said.
 
Mr. Gajapathi Raju said they had explained their position to Mr. Modi. "He knows the issues involved. We hope a solution can be found," he said.
 
Mr. Chowdary said Mr. Modi told them that he stood with the state and the people of Andhra Pradesh and that the Centre would protect their interests.
 
Earlier in the day, Mr. Naidu had a telephonic conversation with Mr. Modi during which he explained the reasons for his decision to pull out the TDP Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
Mr. Naidu's announcement at a late night press conference at Amaravati yesterday came hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had told newspersons in Delhi that the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.
 
Amid increasing signs of the unease in ties between the TDP and the  BJP over the alleged neglect of Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget presented last month, Mr. Naidu said that his party would take a decision on its ties with the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre later. "This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later," he said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"The Centre has been taking one-sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the Union Cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now," he said.
 
"I am not angry with anyone. This decision has been taken only to benefit the people of Andhra Pradesh. I tried reaching out to the Prime Minister to inform him about our decision. But sadly, he was unavailable," he said.
 
"It's a crucial time.  We have to stand, we have to fight, we have to get it done," he said.
 
Mr. Naidu said the TDP had cooperated with the Centre but the BJP had done injustice to his state, forcing him to withdraw his Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
He said the Centre was insulting the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh by not keeping the promises made to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, under which the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Naidu said Mr. Jaitley's statement was the proverbial last straw. "They have apparently pre-determined the issue. They don't appear to be  helping the  state," he said.
 
The announcement by the TDP chief came a few hours after Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference that the Centre could not offer "special status" to Andhra Pradesh but would offer a "special package with equivalent funding".
 
"We are committed to giving the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," he said. Agreeing with the state government's assertion that Andhra Pradesh was suffering in financial terms after the bifurcation, he said the Centre would honour all commitments made by  it at the time of the division.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

BJP has let down Andhra Pradesh, TDP Ministers to quit Modi govt: Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced late on Wednesday night that his party's two Union Ministers would resign on Thursday, hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.

 
Naidu says TDP Ministers at Centre will resign on Thursday
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N. Chandrababu Naidu announced late tonight that his party's two Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers would resign on Thursday, hours after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Centre could not offer special status to the state but would provide a package with equivalent funding.
 
Amid increasing signs of the unease in ties between the TDP and the  BJP over the alleged neglect of Andhra Pradesh in the Union Budget presented last month, Mr. Naidu told a late night press conference that his party would take a decision on its ties with the ruling BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre later. "This is the first step. We will go ahead with other actions later," he said.
 
The two TDP Ministers in the Union Council of Ministers are Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State for Science and Technology Y. S. Chowdary.
 
"The Centre has been taking one-sided decisions and our patience has run out now. When the purpose of joining the Union Cabinet hasn’t been fulfilled, it’s best to resign now," he said.
 
"I am not angry with anyone. This decision has been taken only to benefit the people of Andhra Pradesh. I tried reaching out to the Prime Minister to inform him about our decision. But sadly, he was unavailable," he said.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"It's a crucial time.  We have to stand, we have to fight, we have to get it done," he said.
 
Mr. Naidu said the TDP had cooperated with the Centre but the BJP had done injustice to his state, forcing him to withdraw his Ministers from the Union Council of Ministers.
 
He said the Centre was insulting the sentiments of the people of Andhra Pradesh by not keeping the promises made to the state in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, under which the erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two States -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Mr. Naidu said Mr. Jaitley's statement was the proverbial last straw. "They have apparently pre-determined the issue. They don't appear to be  helping the  state," he said.
 
The announcement by the TDP chief came a few hours after Mr. Jaitley said at a press conference that the Centre could not offer "special status" to Andhra Pradesh but would offer a "special package with equivalent funding".
 
"We are committed to giving the monetary equivalent of special status to Andhra Pradesh," he said. Agreeing with the state government's assertion that Andhra Pradesh was suffering in financial terms after the bifurcation, he said the Centre would honour all commitments made by  it at the time of the division.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 

Premium tag for coffee grown in Araku Valley

ADVERTISEMENT
The Coffee Board has applied for registration of Araku coffee under Geographical Indications to protect the unique identity of the coffee grown by the tribal communities of Araku Valley in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C. R. Chaudhary said the Central Government, through the Coffee Board, was promoting production of coffee in Araku Valley by implementing the “Integrated Coffee Development Project”. 
 
The scheme includes extending financial support for replanting and expansion, creation of water harvesting and irrigation infrastructures and mechanisation of coffee estate operations. In the non-traditional areas, financial support is extended for consolidation of existing coffee plantations through gap filling and application of compost. Technical assistance is also provided by organising capacity building programs and field demonstrations. 
 
The Coffee Board is facilitating collective marketing of Araku Coffee by providing incentives at Rs. 10 per kg for Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and grower collectives.
 
Arabica coffee from the Araku Valley area has gained popularity as a high quality speciality coffee internationally. The Coffee Board has developed exclusive logos for coffee grown in the country based on their geographical distinctiveness, he said.
 
Coffee Board encourages the coffee growers to participate in the “Flavour of India-The Fine Cup Award” competition organised by Coffee Board every year, he added.
 
NNN
 
Did you like this story? Make a donation and help us to serve you better.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.