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Andhra Pradesh

8 die as cyclone Titli batters Andhra, Odisha coast

A very severe cyclonic storm, Titli, unleashed havoc in north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south coastal Odisha on Thursday, claiming eight lives in Andhra and causing widespread destruction, officials said.

 
Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh
A very severe cyclonic storm, Titli, unleashed havoc in north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south coastal Odisha on Thursday, claiming eight lives in Andhra and causing widespread destruction, officials said.
 
The cyclone, which made landfall between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha early on Thursday, triggered widespread rains in the two states, uprooted trees, electricity poles, communication towers, damaged houses and crops and snapped electricity supply.
 
Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh were affected by the cyclone, which hit the coast near Palasa close to the border with Odisha. Srikakulam district bore the brunt as the strong winds uprooted a large number of coconut trees.
 
Officials said five deaths were reported from Srikakulam district while three persons were killed in neighbouring Vijayanagaram district. Six fishermen were among the dead.
 
According to the Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, Titli crossed between North Andhra and South Odisha coast near Palasa with wind speed of 140-150 km per hour.
 
Parts of the two Andhra districts received heavy rainfall triggered by the cyclone. A few places in Srikakulam district got over 20 cm rainfall, flooding the low-lying areas and roads.
 
Uprooted trees fell on the roads, disrupting vehicular traffic. The state-owned road transport corporation suspended all bus services on the Andhra-Odisha border area.
 
Several trains were cancelled or diverted due to the cyclone.
 
According to East Coast Railway, railway stations were damaged at several places. The station at Palasa suffered massive damage. Teams of railway officials were studying the impact of cyclone between Palasa and Brahmpur.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reached Visakhapatnam on Thursday evening and left for Srikakulam by road to review the situation.
 
Titli triggered heavy rainfall in eight districts in Odisha. However, there was no loss of life in the state.
 
Heavy rains lashed Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts as Titli left behind uprooted trees and displaced three lakh people.
 
Odisha is facing a possible flood in its coastal belt on Thursday, an official said.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places were very likely in Odisha in the next 24 hours.
 
"We believe that the entire state, except some western parts, is likely to receive rain throughout the day. Depending upon the rainfall, we may see some flood in coastal Odisha. However, there is no flood-like situation as of now," said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.
 
"There may be flooding of the Vansadhara river as Gajapati and Rayagada districts received heavy rainfall due to the cyclone," he added.
 
The officer said that Gajapati district, which was most affected, received more than 200 mm of rainfall while Mohana block in the district received the maximum rainfall of 315 mm.
 
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday reviewed the cyclone situation.
 
Around three lakh people have been evacuated in the coastal state and 1,112 relief camps set up for the evacuees. As many as 105 pregnant women in Ganjam and 18 in Jgatsinghpur were shifted to hospitals.
 
All schools, colleges and anganwadis would remain closed on Thursday and Friday. Trees have been uprooted in large numbers in the coastal belt.
 
The system is very likely to move northwestwards for next 12 hours and then re-curve northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha.
 
The coastal alert has been put at 10 -- the highest with fishermen prohibited from venturing into the sea for the next few days.
 
IANS
 

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.
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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
 
 
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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.
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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.
 
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Nirav Modi held in London, in police custody

Nirav Modi. Image from Nirav Modi group's Facebook page.
Nirav Modi. Image from Nirav Modi group's Facebook page.
Fourteen months after he fled India, fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi has been arrested in London in connection with the Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud case and was sent to police custody till March 29 after being denied bail.
 
The 48-year-old businessman was arrested from Holborn on Tuesday afternoon on behalf of Indian authorities and was produced before a judge at the Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
 
He was denied bail and will stay in custody until the next hearing on March 29.
 
According to informed sources, the Westminster court in its lengthy hearing observed that Nirav Modi should be kept in Metropolitan Police custody due to his involvement in fraud of high value funds and access to means of escape. 
 
The Police made the arrest seven days after the Westminster Court issued an arrest warrant against Nirav Modi who left India days before the scam came to light in January 2018. 
 
The court had issued arrest warrant after UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid referred to India's extradition request for Nirav Modi.
 
The Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice against Nirav Modi in July 2018 at the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 
 
The businessman's whereabouts were a mystery as he had been spotted in New York, Hong Kong and other cities. Along with his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group, Nirav Modi left the country before the CBI formally started investigating the PNB scam.
 
The ED had on May 24 and 26 last year filed chargesheets against both men. Non-bailable warrants were also issued against them.
 
The development came days after the The Telegraph newspaper in Britain claimed that Nirav Modi was spotted in London.
 
He was said to be living in a three-bedroom flat, occupying half the floor of the landmark Centre Point tower block, the daily reported. 
 
It claimed Nirav Modi was involved in a new diamond business, run from an office in Soho, just a few hundred yards from his apartment. The new business was incorporated in May 2018, it said.
 
An extradition request against him had been pending before the UK authorities since September last year.
 
The ED on February 26 attached Rs 147 crore worth of property of Nirav Modi and his associate companies in connection with the PNB case.
 
IANS
 

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Andhra Pradesh: Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy found dead; he was murdered, says police

Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy
Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy
YSR Congress party leader and former state Minister Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy, who died today, was murdered, police said after a preliminary inquiry.
 
Hours after the 68-year-old former MP was found dead at his home in Pulivendula town of Kadapa district, police said they were treating it as a murder case and investigating it from all angles.
 
Kadapa Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma told reporters that there were seven injury marks on Reddy's body, including four on the head. The injuries were inflicted by a sharp object. He said the crime scene and the clues indicated that it was murder.
 
He constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. "We have collected fingerprints from the scene and will match the same with those of the suspects," the SP said.
 
The police suspect that as the rear door was open, somebody entered the house and killed him on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
 
Earlier, it was believed that Vivekananda Reddy died of cardiac arrest. However, on a complaint by his personal assistant, the police registered a case of unnatural death under section 174 of Code of Criminal Procedure and took up investigation.
 
After an autopsy at a hospital, the body was handed over to the family.
 
Vivekananda Reddy was the younger brother of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and uncle of YSR Congress party president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.
 
The former MP, who was alone at his house, was found dead in a pool of blood in the bathroom when Krishna Reddy along with housemaid entered the house from the rear door after there was no response to the knocks on the main door.
 
The personal assistant said Vivekananda had head injuries. As the rear door was open, the family suspected foul play.
 
YSR Congress party has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with Director General of Police R. P. Thakur and other top police officials in Amaravati. He directed them to conduct a thorough probe and ensure that the guilty were apprehended at the earliest.
 
Vivekananda Reddy was elected from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency on Congress ticket in 1999 and 2004. He was twice elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly (1989, 1994) from Pulivendula, a family stronghold.
 
Vivekananda was also elected to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2009 and served as Agriculture Minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet.
 
He remained loyal to the Congress when Jaganmohan Reddy raised a banner of revolt against the party for not picking him as the successor of his father and Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy following his death in a helicopter crash in 2009.
 
Jagan Reddy had alleged that the Congress tried to engineer a split in the family by making Vivekananda a Minister. The young leader subsequently floated YSR Congress party.
 
Vivekananda contested the 2011 bye-election to Pulivendula constituency against his sister-in-law and Jagan's mother Y. S. Vijayamma, who contested as YSR Congress candidate and won the seat with a huge majority.
 
Vivekananda later quit the Congress and joined YSR Congress. He lost elections to the Legislative Council in 2017.
 
IANS

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YSR Congress leader Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy passes away

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YSR Congress party leader and former Andhra Pradesh Minister Y. S. Vivekananda Reddy died of cardiac arrest on Friday, his family said.
 
He was 68.
 
Vivekananda, also a former Lok Sabha member, suffered cardiac arrest at his residence in Pulivendula town of Kadapa district.
 
He was the younger brother of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and uncle of YSR Congress party president Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
 
He is survived by his wife and a daughter.
 
He was elected from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency on the Congress party ticket in 1999 and 2004. He was twice elected to Andhra Pradesh Assembly (1989, 1994) from Pulivendula, a family stronghold.
 
Vivekananda was also elected to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2009 and served as Agriculture Minister in the Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet.
 
He remained loyal to the Congress when Jaganmohan Reddy raised a banner of revolt against the party for not picking him as the successor of his father and Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy following his death in a helicopter crash in 2009.
 
Jagan Reddy had alleged that Congress tried to engineer a split in the family by making Vivekananda a Minister. The young leader subsequently floated YSR Congress party.
 
Vivekananda contested the 2011 bye-election to Pulivendula constituency against his sister-in-law and Jagan's mother Y. S. Vijayamma, who contested as YSR Congress candidate and won the seat with a huge margin.
 
Vivekananda later quit Congress party and joined YSR Congress. He lost elections to the Legislative Council in 2017.
 
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Andhra physician among Ethiopian plane crash victims

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A US-based young physician from Andhra Pradesh was among the 157 killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.
 
Nukavarapu Manisha, hailing from Guntur district, was on her way to Nairobi to see her sister who had delivered three baby boys a few days ago.
 
She was also looking to visit her parents Venkateshwar Rao and Bharathi, who were with their elder daughter.
 
A relative of Manisha tweeted to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj that her parents were waiting to receive the body in Nairobi. The Minister replied that she had asked Rahul Chhabra, the Indian High Commissioner in Nairobi, to provide all help and assistance.
 
Four Indians were among those who died in the Boeing 737 jet crash on Sunday which occurred shortly after it took off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
 
After doing medicine from Guntur Medical College, Manisha went to the US for higher studies and was settled in Tennessee.
 
She is listed as one of the resident physicians of Department of Internal Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University.
 
IANS
 

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Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh get new NCLT benches

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The Government has approved the establishment of two new benches of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), one at Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh and the other at Indore in Madhya Pradesh. 
 
The step has been taken keeping in view the increasing caseload, especially under the Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code 2016, an official press release said.
 
The jurisdiction of the Bench at Amaravati will be the state of Andhra Pradesh and that of Indore will be the state of Madhya Pradesh. At present Andhra Pradesh comes under the Jurisdiction of NCLT Bench at Hyderabad and Madhya Pradesh comes under the jurisdiction of NCLT Bench, Ahmedabad.  
 
It is expected that the creation of new benches will enable faster disposal of cases, the release said.
 
The NCLT, which has been set up under the Companies Act, 2013, has provided an effective and time-bound adjudication mechanism to deal with matters related to the Companies Act, 2013, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 and the LLP Act, 2008.  
 
The Act provides for the appointment of a President and such number of Members as the Government may deem necessary. As on date, there are 17 Judicial Members and 10 Technical Members.  Presently, 14 numbers of NCLT Benches have been established, including the Principal Bench in New Delhi, and three recently set up benches at Jaipur, Kochi and Cuttack.
 
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First Aqua Mega Food Park in Andhra Pradesh inaugurated

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Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal commissioned the Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park at Tundurru village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh via video conferencing from here on Tuesday.
 
This is the first Mega Aqua Food Park exclusively established for fish and marine products processing in the state, an official press release said.
 
Another Mega Food Park sanctioned by the Ministry in Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh has already been inaugurated on July 9, 2012. The third Mega Food Park sanctioned by the Ministry in Andhra Pradesh is under construction in Krishna district.
 
The Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park Pvt. Ltd has been set up in 57.81 acres of land at a cost of Rs 122.60 crore. The facilities created by the developer at Central Processing Centre (CPC) of this Mega Food Park include pre-processing line for fish of 1.5 TPH, pre-processing line for shrimp of 1.5 TPH, freezing of fish of 1.5 TPH, freezing of shrimp of 1.5 TPH, cold storage for fish of 2000MT, cold storage for shrimp of 1000MT, ice plant and food testing laboratory, besides a state-of-the-art enabling infrastructure.
 
The park also has a common administrative building for office and other uses by the entrepreneurs and two primary processing centres (PPCs) at Amalapuram, East Godavari district and Karlapalem, Guntur district having facilities for primary processing and storage near the farms in the catchment area to benefit farmers. 
 
This Mega Food Park will benefit the people of West Godavari district as well as nearby districts of East Godavari, Krishna of Andhra Pradesh and nearby districts of Telangana.
 
The modern infrastructure for food processing created at the park will benefit the farmers, growers, processors and consumers of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining areas immensely and prove to be a big boost to the growth of the food processing sector in the state, the  release added.
 
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Modi to visit Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on Sunday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu and Hubbali in Karnataka tomorrow when he will  unveil several development projects in these States.
 
Modi's first step will be in Guntur, where he will unveil various projects at Yetukar Bypass, an official press release said.
 
He will dedicate to the nation the 1.33 MMT Visakhapatnam Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL). He will also inaugurate ONGC’s Vashishta and S1 development project located in the  Krishna-Godavari (KG) Offshore Basin in Andhra Pradesh.
 
He will lay the foundation stone for a new terminal of Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) at Krishnapatnam.
 
The projects will give major push to the gas-based industrial units in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring states, an official press release said.
 
In Tiruppur, Modi will, among other projects, lay the foundation stone of the 100-bed ESIC Hospital. He will lay the foundation stone for a new integrated building at Tiruchirapalli airport and for the modernization of Chennai airport.
 
He will also dedicate to the nation the 470-bed ESIC Hospital Chennai and BPCL's Ennore Coastal Terminal.
 
Modi will also inaugurate a crude oil pipeline from Chennai Port to Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited’s (CPCL) Manali Refinery. 
 
Passenger service for the 10 km section of Chennai Metro from AG-DMS station to Washermenpet, which is a part of Phase 1 of the project.
 
At Gabbur in Hubbali, on the last leg of his visit, Modi will lay the foundation stone of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Dharwad and Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Dharwad.
 
He will also dedicate to the nation the City Gas Distribution Project at Dharwad and the 1.5 MMT Mangalore Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) facility and 2.5 MMT Padur SPR facility of ISPRL.
 
Doubling of 18 km long railway line on the Chikjajur-Mayakonda section is another highlight. This section is a part of 190 km long Hubbali – Chikjajur Doubling project and is located on Bengaluru – Hubballi route of South Western Railway. Doubling will increase line capacity of this important route connecting Bengaluru to Hubballi, Belagavi, Goa, Pune and Mumbai, resulting in faster movement of trains, the release said.
 
Modi will also launch electrification work of the 346-km-long Hospet-Hubbali-Vasco da Gama line and witness the "E-Griha Pravesh" of 2,384 houses constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) at Dharwad, the release added.
 
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Gadkari inaugurates, lays foundation stone of 39 National Highway projects in Andhra Pradesh

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Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 39 National Highway  Projects in Andhra Pradesh at a function at Akidu in West Godavari district on Monday.These include construction of eleven road over-bridges (ROBs) under Setu Bhartam programme. 
 
The projects have in all a length of 1384 kms, and involve investment of Rs 16,878 crore, an official press release said.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gadkari said the length of National Highways (NHs) in Andhra Pradesh had gone up from 4193 km before May, 2014, when the present government took over at the Centre, to 7246 km (including in-principle NHs) -- an increase of 3053 km length.
 
He said the total likely investment for development of national highways in the state was Rs. 1,00,000 crore.
 
Under the Bharatmala scheme, about 2,520 km of roads amounting to Rs 44,000 crore have been envisaged. Under SethuBhartam, 31 ROBs have been approved with cost of about Rs 2,500 crore. Out of these, 18 ROBs amounting to Rs 1,310 crore have been sanctioned which are at construction/award stage. In addition, 136 CRF works for total length of 1,805 km amounting to Rs 1,769 crore have been sanctioned since May 2014 in Andhra Pradesh. Out of these, 56 works for total length of 835 km amounting to Rs 570 crore have been completed, he said.
 
He said a total of 108 projects costing Rs. 1,64,719 crore were identified for the State. Of these, 19 projects worth Rs. 2242 crore have been completed till October 2018. He said 53 focus projects of Rs 33,042 crore are planned for completion during 2018-20. 
 
As many as 27 projects are under implementation with investment of Rs 83,713 crore and 38 projects with investment of Rs 74,000 crore are under various stages of development. Further, detailed project reports (DPRs) are under preparation for 23 projects worth Rs 4,151 crore, he said.
 
Mr. Gadkari, who also holds the portfolios of Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, said a roadmap had been developed for increasing the capacity of Visakhapatnam Port to 211 MMTPA by 2025 from the existing 152 MMTPA.
 
Eleven port capacity expansion projects costing Rs 2,536 crore have also been identified to add 71 MMTPA capacity.
 
He said 36 road projects are planned for the State under Sagarmala Programme. Of these, 35 are by NHAI/ MoRTH, and one by the Port Trust. He said three projects have been completed and eight projects are under implementation. 
 
He said 19 Railway Projects worth Rs 10,000 crore are also planned, of which nine are by Indian Railways, six by IPRCL and four by Andhra Pradesh Ports department. He said, six projects have been completed, and another six are under implementation.
 
Mr. Gadkari said nine industrial clusters are being developed under Sagarmala programme in the State. These include, port-based mega food processing park in Kakinada-Godavari Mega Aqua Food park costing Rs 373 crore which has already been completed. 
 
APIIC Mega Food Park worth Rs 375.3 crore, Greenfield Electronics manufacturing Cluster in Renigunta and Yerpdeu Mandal- Chittor District- Tirupati costing Rs 9706.75 crore, Greenfield Electronics manufacturing Cluster in Vikruthamala Village - Yerpadu Mandal - Chittor District – Tirupati costing Rs 5719.8 crore, Greenfield Electronics manufacturing Cluster in Cherivi Village - Satyavedu Mandal - Chittor District – Tirupati costing Rs 1604.41 crore, and 6340 MW Power Cluster - Krishnapatnam worth Rs 37428 crore are under implementation. 
 
DPR is to be prepared for Petrochemical cluster worth Rs 4520 crore in Kakinada, Export based apparel cluster in central AP for Rs 3321 crore, and Cement cluster in AP worth Rs 24500 crore.
 
The Minister said, under the coastal community development programme, Center of Excellence for Maritime & Shipbuilding is being set up in Visakhapatnam with total cost of Rs 574 crore. 
 
He said DPR has been prepared for five fishing harbor projects worth 1500 crore under Sagarmala. These include, Fishing Harbour in Juvvaladinne in SPSR Nellore District  for 242 crore, Phase 2 development of existing fishing harbour at Machilipatnam in Krishna district – Rs 252 crore, Phase 2 development of existing fishing harbour at Nizampatnam in Guntur district - Rs 341 crore, Development of fishing harbour at Vodarevu in Prakasam district for Rs 409 crore, and Development of fishing harbour at Uppada -V U. Kotapalli -M in East Godavari district - Rs 289 crore.
 
Under the Coastal Berth Scheme, nine Ro-Ro and tourism jetty projects worth Rs 560 crore have been taken up, in addition to another three projects worth 200 crore.
 
The Minister said, National Waterway-4 with total length of 1078 km was declared in November 2008. These include, River Godavari (Bhadrachalam to Rajahmundry) - 171 kms, River Krishna (Wazirabad to Vijayawada) - 157 kms, Kakinada Canal (Kakinada to Rajahmundry) -  50 kms, Eluru Canal (Rajahmundry to Vijayawada) - 139 Kms, Commamur Canal (Vijayawada to Pedaganjam) - 113 kms, North Buckingham Canal (Pedaganjam to Chennai) - 316 kms, South Buckingham Canal (Chennai to Merkanam) - 110 kms, and Kaluvelly Tank (Markanam to Puducherry) - 22 kms. He said, NW-4 was extended to a revised length of 2890 kms by NW Act-2016 by including River Krishna from Wazirabad to Galagali (628 Km) and River Godavari from Bhadrachalam to Nasik (1184Km).
 
He said, development work on some of these stretches has commenced in 2017-18. Ro-Ro services from Ibrahimpatnam to Lingayapalem are ready for commencement. He said development of this stretch will provide an efficient logistics solution to boost the economic growth of the region and facilitate the development of the capital city Amravati during its early development stage as substantial construction material is expected to be transported on this stretch of NW-4.
 
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Mega irrigation project Polavaram sets two new records

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Navayuga Engineering Company Limited (NECL), which is building the world's largest flood discharge capacity dam at Polavaram in Andhra Pradesh, has claimed that it has entered the Guinness World Records for the most concrete continuously poured in 24 hours and the largest continuous concrete pour while working on the project.
 
A press release from the company said it had created the world record by pouring 32,315 cubic metres of concrete in 24 hours. The concrete work to make the spillway began at 8 am on Sunday, January 6 and concluded at 8 am on January 7, Monday.
 
"It was the unparalleled planning and engineering skills of NEC that made realize a task of such mammoth proportions," it said.
 
Polavaram witnessed 20 agitator trucks delivering concrete from 10 batching plants and 90 transit mixers that were engaged in this incredible engineering feat. The attempt was monitored by an official adjudicator from Guinness World Records in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, the release said.
 
Mr. Naidu, who was on his 30th visit to the Polavaram Irrigation Project site, said, “We congratulate the team at Navayuga and everyone who has been part of the project for achieving the feat and developing such a mammoth project in such a short period of time. For those who say Indians can't perform, Polavaram Irrigation Project is an answer to them. India has not seen a project of this size and scale. We have not just accomplished a colossal infrastructure milestone but have brought India on a global map by breaking the earlier records. Every Monday has been a ‘Polavaram Day’ as we have been reviewing the status of this project every Monday consistently. In the process we have countered and resolved multiple challenges and have been able to accomplish the work in a very short period of time. We aim to complete this project by May this year which will solve the water problems of millions of people."
 
Mr. Sridhar Chinta, Managing Director, Navayuga Engineering Company Limited said, “It is an extremely proud moment for Navayuga to be a part of such an iconic and landmark project in terms of its scale, expanse and impact on livelihood. Taking up the challenge of building this mega project is a perfect showcase of NEC’s superior and world-class engineering capabilities. Working tirelessly round the clock to achieve an epoch-making feat in just 24 hours is a true testament to the hard work, dedication and sincerity of every member of the Navayuga family. This is a significant step towards achieving the real victory, delivering a half-century old dream of the people of Andhra Pradesh, the Polavaram Project, before the start of the next monsoon season. This is indeed a very proud moment not just for NEC, but also for the state of Andhra Pradesh and the nation.”
 
The project once completed will irrigate a total of 42 lakh acres ayacut in two phases and influence the supply of water to all 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh. The project envisages meeting the water supply needs of an aggregate population of 20 million.
 
The project has a total of 48 gates, each of height 20 m and a width of 16 m and spanning a total of 1,119 m. It required pouring of 36.7 lakh cubic meters of concrete, 50,000 tonnes of steel and 9,30,000 tonnes of cement, all in record time to complete the project. 
 
The Polavaram spillway is set to have one of the highest discharge capacities in the world. At 50 lakh cusecs, it is all set to surpass even the 3 Gorges Dam of China, one of the largest dams in the world, which has a discharge capacity of 47 lakh cusecs. The total storage capacity of the water reservoir is 119 TMC, the release added.
 
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Foundation stone laid for Andhra Secretariat Complex in Amaravati

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday laid the foundation stone for the State Secretariat Complex in this upcoming state capital.
 
The launch of the work on the complex at Rayapudi village in Guntur district on the banks of river Krishna comes four-and-half years after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Naidu said the foundation stone for the complex, which comprises five towers, marked a major milestone in the development of the state capital.
 
He thanked the farmers for parting with 33,000 acres of land under the land pooling process for developing the State capital.
 
Naidu said the whole world was looking at Andhra as the Secretariat Complex would be a jewel in the crown.
 
Coming up on a 41-acre site, the complex is expected to be amongst the largest such constructions in the country featuring 50 storeys and built-up area of 6.9 million square feet.
 
The complex, housing the seat of governance, can accommodate 145 departments, over 16,000 employees and 10,000 visitors.
 
Four towers will have 40 floors each, while the fifth will have 50 floors and will also house the Chief Minister's Office and General Administration Department.
 
The complex, to be built at a cost of Rs 4,890 crore, will also have 1.3 million square feet parking facility for 4,000 cars.
 
According to officials, Foster Partners have provided the master design for the Complex. Construction major Shapoorji Pallonji are executing the construction work.
 
The Capital Regional Development Authority (CRDA) and the Amaravati Development Corporation (ADC) will oversee the work.
 
Currently, the State Secretariat is functioning from an interim complex built at Velagapudi village in capital region Amaravati in 2016.
 
IANS
 

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Andhra Pradesh, Telangana to have separate high courts from January 1, 2019

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Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will have separate High Courts from January 1, 2019 with an order in this regard signed here today by President Ram Nath Kovind.
 
The order, issued by the Department of Justice, Ministry of Law and Justice said the President had, under it, constituted a separate High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh from January 1, 2019 with its principal seat in Amaravati.
 
The order was signed by President in exercise of powers conferred under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 30, sub-section (1) of section 31 and sub-section (2) of section 31 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
 
It said the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall become the High Court forthe State of Telangana.
 
The order said that, with  the constitution of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, the following Judges of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh shall cease to be the Judges of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad, and shall become the Judges of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravati with effect from January  1:
 
(i) Justice RameshRanganathan (presently working as Chief Justice of High Court of Uttarakhand);  (ii) Justice Chagari PraveenKumar; (iii) Justice Sarasa Venkatanarayana Bhatti; (iv) Justice Akula Venkata Sesha Sai; (v) Justice Dama SeshadriNaidu (presently working on transfer as Judge, High Court of Kerala); (vi) Justice Mandhata Seetharama Murti; (vii) Justice UpmakaDurga Prasad Rao; (viii) Justice Talluri Sunil Chowdary; (ix) Justice Mallavolu Satyanarayana Murthy; (x) Justice Gudiseva Shyam Prasad; (xi) Justice Kumari Javalakar Uma Devi; (xii) Justice Nakka Balayogi;  (xiii) Justice Mrs. Telaprolu Rajani; (xiv) Justice Durvasula Venkata Subramanya Suryanarayana Somayajulu; (xv) Justice Mrs. Kongara Vijaya Lakshmi; and (xvi) Justice Manthoj Ganga Rao.
 
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The following Judges shall cease to be the Judges of the common High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad and shall become the Judges of the High Court for the State of Telangana with January 1:
 
(i) Justice Puligoru Venkata Sanjay Kumar; (ii) Justice Mamidanna Satya Ratna Sri Ramachandra Rao; (iii) Justice Adavalli Rajasheker Reddy; (iv) Justice Ponugoti Naveen Rao; (v) Justice Challa Kodandaram Chowdary; (vi) Justice Bulusu Siva Sankara Rao; (vii) Justice Dr. Shameem Akther;  (viii) Justice Potlapalli Keshava Rao;  (ix) Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili; and (x) Justice Todupunuri Amarnath Goud.
 
The order said Mr. Justice R. Subhash Reddy, who was a Judge of the common High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad and who has been elevated as Judge of the Supreme Court of India, had exercised the option for allocation to High Court for the State of Telangana.
 
Telangana came into existence as the 29th state of India on June 2, 2014, marking the culmination of decades of struggle in the region for carving out a state from Andhra Pradesh.
 
Article 214 of the Constitution provides that there shall be a High Court for each State.
 
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was enacted with a view to provide for the reorganisation of the existing State of Andhra Pradesh and for matters connected therewith.
 
Clause (a) of section 30 of the said Act provided that the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall be the common High Court for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh till a separate High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh is constituted.
 
Sub-section (1) of section 31 of the Act provided that subject to the provisions of section 30, there shall be a separate High Court for the State of Andhra Pradesh and the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad shall become the High Court for the State of Telangana.
 
Sub-section (2) of section 31 of the Act provided that the principal seat of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh shall be at such place as the President may, by a notified Order, appoint.
 
The Supreme Court had earlier this year held that there is no embargo for the Competent Authority to issue a notification bifurcating the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad into the High Court of Telangana and the High Court of Andhra Pradesh.
 
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Cyclone 'Phethai' hits Andhra coast, triggers heavy rains

 
Cyclone Phethai makes landfall in Andhra Pradesh
Cyclonic storm ‘Phethai crossed the Andhra Pradesh coast in East Godavari district on Monday, causing widespread rains, uprooting trees, paralyzing transport and damaging crops.
 
‘Phethai' made the landfall near Katrinekonda in East Godavari district with a wind speed of 80 kmph and re-emerged into the Bay of Bengal before crossing the coast between Kakinada and Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry in the same district. 
 
Authorities heaved a sigh of relief as no loss of life was reported till Monday evening. The coastal region was also spared of major losses, barring damages to standing crops over hundreds of acres.
 
According to officials at the Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, the severe cyclonic storm weakened due to unfavourable environmental conditions and crossed the coast as cyclonic storm. After crossing the coast, it moved towards Odisha.
 
The incessant rains accompanied by gusty winds lashing the coastal district since Sunday inundated low-lying areas, disrupted electricity and drinking water supply throwing normal life out of gear. The cyclone also paralysed road, rail and air traffic in the region.
 
East Godavari District Collector Kartikeya Mishra said electricity supply was disrupted to 99 villages and it would be restored soon.
 
Over 5,000 people from some coastal and low-lying villages were shifted to relief camps opened by the East Godavari district administration.
 
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Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu monitored the situation from Real Time Governance Society (RTGS) control room in Amaravati. 
 
Home Minister N. Chinna Rajappa, who monitored the situation at the Collector's office in Kakinada, said all measures were taken to tackle the situation. He said efforts were on to restore normalcy in the affected areas.
 
RTGS officials said the measures taken by the authorities and the precaution by people ensured that there was no loss of life and also minimised the property damage.
 
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and naval helicopters were on standby along with 10,000 government employees as part of disaster preparedness.
 
Rescue workers were busy removing fallen trees, electric poles and debris from roads to restore vehicular traffic.
 
Turbulent weather conditions forced the authorities to cancel 14 flights to the port city of Visakhapatnam and divert many others to Hyderabad. Over 700 passengers were stranded at Visakhapatnam airport due to cancellation of flights.
 
A holiday was declared for all educational institutions in the coastal region. Authorities also suspended long-distance bus services and cancelled over 50 trains as a precaution.
 
The cyclone, the second to hit Andhra coast this year, had its impact on seven out of nine coastal districts. The rains inundated roads and low-lying areas in Vijayawada, bringing vehicular traffic to a halt.
 
‘Phethai' also had impact on neighbouring Telangana state with heavy rains lashing many districts. Paddy, cotton and other agriculture produce brought by farmers to the markets for sale were damaged. 
 
The weather in Greater Hyderabad was cloudy and chilled. Parts of the city experienced showers. 
 
IANS
 

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Cyclone Phethai: Over 50 trains cancelled in Andhra

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The South Central Railway has cancelled over 50 trains in coastal Andhra Pradesh in view of severe cyclonic storm Phethai, which is set to hit the coast near Kakinada on Monday afternoon.
 
Many trains from Vijayawada to various destinations in coastal Andhra were suspended as a precautionary measure.
 
The Visakhapatnam-Guntur Simhadri Express, Guntur-Visakhapatnam Simhadri Express, Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada Ratnachalam Express, Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam Ratnachalam Express, Narsapur-Nidadavolu Link Express and Nidadavolu-Narsapu Link Express were among the trains cancelled.
 
Passenger trains between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Guntur and Bhimavaram were also cancelled.
 
Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) passenger trains between Vijayawada and destinations like Rajahmundry, Kakinada Port, Tenali, Bhimavaram, Guntur and Machilipatnam, MEMU trains between Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada Port, Tenali and Guntur, Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry, Rajahmundry and Bhimavaram, Bhimavaram and Nidadavolu, Rajahmundry and Narasapur and Narasapur and Guntur were also cancelled.
 
The other cancelled trains include Kakinada Port-Kotipalli Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger, Kotipalli-Kakinada Port DMU passenger, Machilipatnam-Gudivada, Bhimavaram-Rajahmundry, Nidadavolu-Bhimavaram, Ongole-Guntur passenger trains.
 
Vinod Kumar Yadav, General Manager, South Central Railway directed officials of divisions likely to be affected to be prepared to handle any emergency situation.
 
Helplines were opened at Vijayawada, Guntur and Guntakal station for round-the-clock monitoring of the situation.
 
IANS
 

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Heavy rains lash coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh

 
Cyclone Phethai: Storm to hit AP coast
Heavy rains accompanied by squally winds were lashing parts of coastal Andhra Pradesh on Monday as the severe cyclonic storm 'Phethai' is set to hit the coast near Kakinada later in the day, officials said.
 
Incessant rains were lashing East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts since Sunday night under the impact of Phethai in Bay of Bengal. Squally winds have uprooted trees and electricity poles in some places.
 
Electricity supply to Kakinada town and several other parts of East Godavari district was snapped. The meteorologists have asked people to remain indoors during the landfall of the storm.
 
Authorities have sounded red alert in seven out of nine coastal districts and opened over 300 relief camps to provide shelter to people evacuated from coastal villages and low-lying areas.
 
A holiday was declared for all educational institutions in the coastal districts. Authorities have also suspended long-distance bus services and cancelled several trains as a precautionary measure.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation with district collectors through vide-conference from Amaravati. He directed them to treat this as an emergency situation and gear up the district administration to prevent loss of life.
 
Naidu asked officials to keep helicopters on standby for rescue and relief operations. 
 
Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were already deployed in the districts likely to be impacted by the cyclone.
 
According to the Met Department, Phethai lay centred at 160 km southeast of Machilipatnam and 190 km south of Kakinada early Monday. 
 
"It is very likely to move northwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast around Kakinada during 17th December afternoon. However, due to unfavourable environmental conditions, it is likely to weaken before landfall and cross coast as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 70-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph," it said.
 
The IMD has forecast rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and extremely heavy falls at isolated places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry, which is an enclave in East Godavari district.
 
The Met office warned that storm surge of height of about 0.5 to 1.0 metres above the astronomical tides may inundate the low lying areas of East Godavari, West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam and Krishna districts and Yanam district of Puducherry at the time of landfall.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea and those already out in deep sea were advised to return to the coast.
 
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National Medical Devices Promotion Council to be set up under DIPP

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A National Medical Devices Promotion Council will be set up under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhu announced here on Friday. 
 
Addressing a programme on the occasion of 4th WHO Global Forum on Medical Devices, at Andhra Pradesh Medtech Zone here, Mr Prabhu said it would give a fillip to the medical device sector, a sunrise sector.
 
The Medical Devices Industry (MDI) plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem and is indispensable to achieve the goal of health for all citizens of the country. The manufacturing and trade in MDI are growing steadily which includes a wide range of products, an official press release said.
 
Although the industry has been growing in double digits, it is predominantly import-driven with imports accounting for over 65% of the domestic market, an official press release said.
 
As Indian manufacturing companies and startups move towards creating innovative products, the setting-up of the Council will spur domestic manufacturing in this sector, it said.
 
The Council will be headed by Secretary, DIPP. Apart from the concerned departments of the Union Government, it will also have representatives from the healthcare industry and quality control institutions. Andhra Pradesh MedTech Zone, Visakhapatnam, will provide technical support to the Council.
 
It will act as a facilitating and promotion & developmental body for the Indian MDI. The council will hold periodic seminars, workshops and all related networking activities to garner views of the industry and understand best global practices in the sector and deliberate on various parameters for inclusion in the industrial and trade policies in medical devices.
 
It will identify redundant processes and render technical assistance to the agencies and departments concerned to simplify the approval processes involved in medical device industry promotion & development.
 
The council will enable entry of emerging interventions and support certifications for manufacturers to reach levels of global trade norms and lead India to an export-driven market in the sector.
 
It will support dissemination and documentation of international norms and standards for medical devices, by capturing the best practices in the global market and facilitate domestic manufacturers to rise to the international level of understanding of regulatory and non-regulatory needs of the industry.
 
The council will adopt a robust and dynamic Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy, by identifying the strengths of the Indian manufacturers and discouraging unfair trade practices in imports while ensuring pro-active monitoring of public procurement notices across India to ensure compliance with PMA guidelines of DIPP and DoP.
 
It will undertake validation of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) and other such entities within the MDI sector, which add value to the industry strength in manufacturing to gain a foothold for new entrants.
 
Make recommendations to government based on industry feedback and global practices on policy and process interventions to strengthen the medical technology sector, including trade interventions for related markets.
 
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Cyclone Phethai likely to cross Andhra Pradesh coast on Monday afternoon

Cyclone Phethai (pronounced Pay-Ti) over southwest Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during  the next 24 hours and cross the Andhra Pradesh coast between Machilipatnam and Kakinada tomorrow afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
 
A bulletin issued by IMD at 0530 hours today said Phethai had moved further north-northwestwards with a speed of 17 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 0230 hrs IST today over southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 11.1°N and longitude 84.5°E, about 450 km east-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 510 km southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and 670 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh). 
 
"It is very likely to intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours. It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Machilipatnam and Kakinada during 17th December afternoon," the bulletin said.
 
Under its influence, rainfall is very likely at most places over coastal Andhra Pradesh today and tomorrow, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, it said.
 
Extremely heavy falls (20 cm or more) were also likely at isolated places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh on December 17.
 
Rainfall was likely at many places over adjoining districts of north Tamil Nadu today, with heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Rainfall was also likely over most places in Odisha and Chhattisgarh today and tomorrow, with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places.
 
Rainfall is also expected over Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal today and tomorrow, it said.
 
The bulletin said squally winds, with speech reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, are likely to commence along and off South Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from this morning. They are very likely to increase gradually, becoming gale winds with speed of 80-90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph, along and off central Andhra Pradesh coast and Yanam district of Puducherry tomorrow.
 
Gale winds with speed reaching 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph, are likely to prevail along and off the remaining parts of Andhra Pradesh coast and squally winds with speed 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, are likely to prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts on December 17.
 
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The bulletin said gale winds with speed reaching 60-70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph, would prevail over southwest and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal. They are very likely to increase gradually and become gale winds with speed reaching 80-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, over westcentral and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal tomorrow.
 
The sea condition is high over southwest and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal. The sea condition is very likely to be high to very high over southwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal from today morning and over westcentral and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal from today evening to tomorrow evening.
 
It is very likely to become rough to very rough along and off south Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from today morning and very rough to to high along and off central Andhra Pradesh coast and Yanam district of Puducherry from today evening to tomorrow evening.
 
Storm surge of height of about 0.5 m to 1.0 m above the astronomical tides is likely to inundate the low-lying areas of coastal Andhra Pradesh (East & West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Krishna and Guntur districts) and Yanam district of Puducherry at the time of landfall, the bulletin said.
 
The cyclone could cause damage to thatched huts and  minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of branches. There could be major damage to "Kutcha" and damage to "Pucca" roads. 
 
There could be uprooting of small trees and some damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards. Sea water inundation is likely in low-lying areas after erosion of "Kutcha" embankments.
 
The bulletin advised total suspension of fishing operations along and off Andhra Pradesh coast today and tomorrow. Fishermenn were advised not to venture into southwest and westcentral Bay of Bengal and along and off Andhra Pradesh, north Tamilnadu and Puducherry coasts till December 17. Those who are out in deep sea areas were advised to return to the coast.
 
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'Mother of Telangana' Sonia says Congress paid price for creating new state

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United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday said the Congress carved out Telangana state, though it had to pay a political price for it.
 
On her first visit to Telangana after it came into being as a separate state in 2014, the former Congress president said the Congress accorded statehood though it had to pay a price for it.
 
She was apparently referring to the drubbing Congress faced in Andhra Pradesh in Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in 2014.
 
Sonia Gandhi was addressing a massive public meeting at Medchal near Hyderabad to formally kick off the campaign of People's Front headed by the Congress for the next month's elections to Telangana Assembly.
 
Gandhi projected herself as the 'mother of Telangana' by stating that she is feeling happy to be in Telangana in the same manner as a mother would feel happy to see her child after many days.
 
"Every mother wants to see her children prosper, but I am pained to see the condition of the new state," she said castigating the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government for failing to fulfill the promises at the time of formation of their state.
 
"You know if a newborn is not properly taken care of in the initial years, he has to face many problems in future. Unfortunately, the responsibility of looking after the child was entrusted to those who only looked after themselves and left the child to fend for itself," said Sonia Gandhi.
 
Stating that elections are an opportunity for people to get rid of this difficult situation, she appealed to people to use the power of vote to teach TRS a lesson and bring Congress and its allies to power with a huge majority.
 
"I remember what difficulties we had to face in taking a decision to form Telangana state. It was not an easy task," said Sonia Gandhi recalling the passage of bill in Parliament by Congress-led UPA government for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
 
"We kept the interests of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana before us but your emotions and aspirations gave Dr Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and others the strength, enabling us to take this big decision," she told a huge gathering amid loud cheers.
 
The Congress leader said they felt the pain of Andhra Pradesh and that was why they announced special schemes and promised special category status to that state.
 
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She assured people of Andhra Pradesh that the Congress stands by the commitment it made including the special category status.
 
Recalling that Telangana was achieved on the slogan of "water, funds and jobs", she alleged that TRS failed to live up to the expectations of people.
 
She said people had hoped that the new state would bring about change in their lives but it did so in the lives of those in power and their near and dear ones.
 
Stating that farmers were yet to get water for irrigation, she said their suicides were continuing. Gandhi said the youth were still waiting for jobs.
 
Telugu Desam Party's Telangana unit president L. Ramna, Telangana Jana Samithi's M. Kodandaram and Communist Party of India's state secretary Chada Venkatreddy shared the dais with Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
 
Rahul Gandhi said the TRS rule was about to come to an end. Without naming TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, the Congress president said during last five years, one person ran the state at his whims and fancies for the benefit of his family.
 
Rahul Gandhi assured the people that the alliance would fulfill their dreams which Chandrashekhar Rao failed to do.
 
"The government of the alliance will not work for one person but for all the people of the state. It will work to address the problems of farmers, provide employment to youth and carry all sections people with it."
 
The meeting was held as the first show of strength by the four-party People's Front ahead of the December 7 elections to 119-member Assembly.
 
IANS

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Andhra bars CBI officials from entering state without permission

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In an unprecedented move, the Andhra Pradesh government has barred the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from conducting raids or carrying out investigations in the state without its permission.
 
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government issued the orders withdrawing 'general consent' to CBI officers to exercise jurisdiction in the state to investigate corruption charges against officials of central government and private persons.
 
The move by the Chandrababu Naidu government came amid the continuing crisis in the CBI in the wake of allegations of corruption against its director Alok Verma by his deputy Rakesh Asthana.
 
The Principal Secretary (Home) in Andhra Pradesh, A.R. Anuradha, issued the orders dated November 8, exercising powers under Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, 1946,
 
The state government on August 3 this year had issued orders giving its general consent to the CBI to exercise its powers and jurisdiction in the state. The same has now been revoked as per Section 6 of the DSPE Act.
 
It is under this Act that CBI exercises its jurisdiction in states. The state governments every year issue notifications to give ageneral consent' to the investigating agency to probe corruption cases.
 
Official sources said the move was necessitated by the fact that CBI had lost its credibility and integrity in the wake of recent developments.
 
The latest move by the TDP government is seen as another flash-point between the state and the Centre after TDP pulled out of BJP-led NDA in March this year.
 
TDP President and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu had been accusing the Modi government of misusing central agencies to target TDP leaders for demanding special category status to the state.
 
There have been a series of Income Tax searches at the offices and residences of TDP leaders in recent weeks. TDP leaders had also voiced the apprehension that the Centre could use CBI and other agencies to target top leadership of the party.
 
Following the recent developments in CBI, Naidu had targeted Modi government for what he called damaging the credibility of the premier investigation agency.
 
Naidu, who is trying to mobilise all opposition parties to form a front against the BJP, alleged that Modi was weakening the central institutions.
 
IANS
 

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Cyclone Gaja to cross Tamil Nadu coast on Thursday evening

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Cyclone Gaja over southwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal is expected to cross the Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore tomorrow evening with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph.
 
The cyclone had moved west-southwestwards with a speed of 13 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 2030 hrs IST of today over southwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 12.2°N and longitude 84.0°E, about 410 km east-southeast of Chennai and 480 km east-northeast of Nagapattinam, a bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department at 2130 hours said.
 
"It is very likely to move west-southwestwards and intensify further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours. While moving west-southwestwards thereafter, it is likely to weaken and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Cuddalore during 15th November evening as a Cyclonic Storm with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph," it said.
 
The IMD has issued a red alert for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, warning that rainfall would occur at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places tomrrow. It also said that extremely heavy rainfall (20 cm or more) was also likely over Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tuticorin and Ramanathapuram districts.
 
IMD has also forecast rainfall at most places in interior Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on November 16, with heavy falls at a few places and very heavy falls at isolated places.
 
It has also issued warning for rainfall, with isolated heavy falls, over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Kerala tomorrow. Heavy to very heavy falls were likely at isolated palces over Kerala on November 16, it said.
 
The bulletin warned that gale wind speed reaching 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph prevailing over southwest Bay of Bengal was very likely to increase gradually, becoming 90-100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, over these areas from early morning of Thursday.
 
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Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is very likely to prevail along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts. It is very likely to increase, gradually becoming gale wind speed 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph along and off central parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from tomorrow afternoon onwards.
 
Strong wind speed reaching 30-40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph was very likely over interior Tamil Nadu, Kerala, southeast Arabian Sea along and off Kerala coast, Comorian area, Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait on Friday. Strong wind speed reaching 30-40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph was very likely to prevail over southeast Arabian Sea and along and off Kerala coast on Saturday.
 
The bulletin warned of rough sea conditions and said that storm surge of height of about 1 meter above astronomical tide was very likely to inundate low lying areas of Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai and Ramanathapuram districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal district of Puducherry at the time of landfall.
 
The bulletin called for total suspension of fishing operations along and off Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts during this period.
 
Coastal hutment dwellers were advised to move to safer places. Other people in the affected areas were advised to remain indoors.
 
NNN

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Four of a family charred to death in Andhra

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Four members of a family were charred to death in Andhra Pradesh's Chittoor district on Sunday, police said.
 
The couple and their children were burnt alive while they were asleep at their home in Rajulakandriga village in the early hours of the day.
 
According to police, charred remains of Srinivas Reddy, 38, an autorickshaw driver, his wife Bujjamma, 33, daughter Bhaviah, 4, and son Nitin, 3, were found on a bed.
 
Senior police officers along with forensic experts rushed to the scene and gathered clues.
 
Police were investigating the cause of fire. They suspect that cooking gas leakage might have led to the tragedy.
 
IANS

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Andhra CM inducts two ministers in cabinet

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday expanded his cabinet with the induction of two ministers.
 
Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan administered the oath of office and secrecy to NMD Farooq and Kidari Sravan at a ceremony attended by Naidu, his other cabinet colleagues and senior officials.
 
Farooq, a member of the State Legislative Council, had been serving as the chairman of the Upper House of the state legislature. 
 
He had earlier served as a Minister in the cabinet of N.T. Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
 
Sravan is the son of Kidari Sarveswara Rao, who was gunned down by Maoists in Visakhapatnam district in September. Sarvesawara Rao was a member of the State Legislative Assembly from Araku.
 
With this expansion, Naidu has given representation to Muslims and tribals in the cabinet, seven months before the Assembly elections.
 
Farooq, a senior leader of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), is likely to be allotted the minorities welfare portfolio while Sarvan, who is not a member of either house of the state legislature, is expected to get tribal welfare. 
 
The induction of two ministers has taken the strength of the cabinet to 26. 
 
The two cabinet berths were vacant after two ministers belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resigned from Telugu Desam Party (TDP)-led government in March. 
 
This followed TDP pulling out of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre.
 
IANS
 

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Andhra Pradesh cabinet expansion on Sunday

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will expand his cabinet on Sunday.
 
Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan will administer the oath to the new ministers here at 11.45 a.m., official sources said on Friday.
 
The exercise, seven months before the assembly elections, is aimed at providing representation to Muslim and tribal communities. 
 
There has been no Muslim and tribal in Naidu's cabinet since he assumed office in 2014.
 
According to sources in the ruling Telugu Desam Party, Naidu is likely to induct a representative each from the Muslim community and the scheduled tribes.
 
The Andhra Pradesh cabinet currently has 24 members, including the Chief Minister. As per the rules, it can have two more ministers.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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