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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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Six of family die in Andhra accident

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Six members of a family were killed and 15 others injured in a road accident in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district early on Wednesday, police said.
 
The passengers were travelling in an auto trolley which was hit by a truck from behind near Peddahutur village.
 
The family was on their way to a 'dargah' at Eltari for a tonsuring ceremony of a newborn when the accident occurred.
 
According to the police, 21 people were travelling in the vehicle. The dead included three youth, two children and a woman.
 
The injured were admitted to a government-run hospital in Kurnool.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu directed officials to provide the best possible treatment to the injured.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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IT searches end at TDP MP's premises

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Income Tax Department officials on Sunday ended two-day long searches at the residences and offices of TDP MP C. M. Ramesh.
 
The searches, which began at the premises in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Friday, concluded around Sunday noon.
 
For over 50 hours, the IT officials conducted searches at the premises including Ramesh's company Rithwik Projects in Hyderabad.
 
Simultaneous searches were also conducted at his residences in Hyderabad and at Potladurti in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
Ramesh is a member of Rajya Sabha belonging to Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and considered close to Chief Minister and TDP President N. Chandrababu Naidu.
 
Ramesh told a news conference on Sunday that the IT raids were conducted at the instance of Narendra Modi government due to political vendetta.
 
He claimed that one IT official told him that the raids were conducted because he was taking on the ruling party at the Centre. 
 
"An official told me to convey to your boss that this will be the result of working against the ruling party," he said.
 
Ramesh also claimed to have recorded the conversation with the IT official.
 
The TDP had pulled out of the BJP-led NDA government in March this year over the latter's refusal to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
 
The MP said the houses of his relatives and friends were also raided. He denied reports that IT officials seized documents from his office and residence. He said they seized Rs 3.53 lakh cash which was kept in house.
 
There has been a series of IT raids on TDP leaders in the last few days. Searches were conducted at the houses and offices of TDP leader and industrialist Beeda Masthan Rao in Andhra Pradesh on October 5.
 
Earlier, there were also reports of IT raids on Narayana group of educational institutions run by TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Minister K. Narayana. He denied the reports.
 
IT officials also raided the premises of former TDP leader Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad last week. Revanth, who was once a close aide of Naidu, is currently the working President of Congress Telangana unit.
 
IANS
 

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IT searches at TDP MP's houses in Telangana, Andhra

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The Income Tax Department officials on Friday conducted searches at the residences and offices of TDP MP C. M. Ramesh in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
 
The tax officials began simultaneous searches at his residences in Hyderabad and at Potladurti in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh, informed sources said.
 
They also conducted searches at the offices of Ramesh's company Rithwik Projects. The raids, which began simultaneously around 8 a.m., were still underway and about 30 officials were participating in them.
 
Ramesh, a member of Rajya Sabha belonging to Andhra Pradesh's ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was in Delhi at the time of the raids.
 
A team of officials, which reached the lawmaker's residence in Kadapa district, asked his brother C. M. Suresh to leave before beginning the searches. They were searching every room and going through the records.
 
Ramesh, considered a close aide of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, alleged that the tax raids were witch-hunting by the Centre for fighting against the injustice done to the state. He said he would continue to raise his voice against injustice.
 
There have been a series of IT raids on TDP leaders in the past 10 days. Searches were conducted at the houses and offices of TDP leader and industrialist Beeda Masthan Rao in Andhra Pradesh on October 5.
 
Earlier, there were also reports of IT raids on Narayana group of educational institutions run by TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh Minister K. Narayana. He, however, denied the reports.
 
IT officials also raided the premises of former TDP leader Revanth Reddy in Hyderabad last week. Revanth, who was once a close aide of Naidu, is currently the working president of Congress party's Telangana unit.
 
IANS
 

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Cyclone Titli claims eight lives in Andhra

 
Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh
Eight people were killed in the very severe cyclonic storm Titli which wreaked havoc in north coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, officials said.
 
The cyclone, which made landfall between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha early on Thursday, uprooted trees, electricity poles and communication towers and also damaged crops.
 
Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts 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.
 
Parts of the two districts received heavy rainfall triggered by the cyclone.
 
Uprooted trees fell on the roads, disrupting the 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 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.
 
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.
 
Local cautionary signal number three kept hoisted at Kalingapatnam port but the warning was withdrawn from Bheemunipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and other ports.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the cyclone situation at a meeting with top officials in Vijayawada. He directed officials to launch relief operations and closely monitor the situation.
 
IANS

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Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, crosses coast

 
Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh
Very severe cyclonic storm Titli which is being referred to as a Category 2 hurricane, made landfall in Odisha's Gopalpur on Thursday with surface winds reaching 126 kmph, the Met said. There has been no casualty reported yet.
 
Heavy rains were dumped in at least eight districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore as Titli with high-velocity winds crossed the south Odisha-north Andhra Pradesh coasts leaving behind uprooted trees and displacing three lakh people.
 
Gajapati district is the worst affected till now. Road communication from district headquarters to various parts like Mohana and Kashinagar was disrupted, said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.
 
Odisha's Balasore received very heavy rainfall of 117 mm and Paradip recorded 111 mm of rains. Gopalpur, where the cyclone made its landfall, has so far received 97 mm of rain, and hefty showers were further expected over the region, said Skymet Weather. 
 
Power supply and telephone lines were snapped in Ganjam, where wind gusted at 165 kmph uprooting trees, levelling houses disrupting road communication.
 
According to hourly coastal observations, Gopalpur reported surface wind speed of 126 kmph at 4.30 a.m., the IMD said. "Titli will completely cross the Odisha coast in two to three hours," Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director H.R. Biswas said.
 
The coastal alert has been put at 10 -- the highest with fishermen prohibited from venturing into the sea for the next few days.
 
It crossed Palasa in Srikakulam district between 4.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m., said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
 
Damages to houses with thatched and asbestos roofs and street lights were reported in Ganjam district. Road were blocked by falling of trees, said a government report. 
 
About three lakh people were shifted from low-lying and vulnerable areas in Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Khordha districts.
 
A total of 1,112 relief camps have been opened for the shelter of those evacuated.
 
The landfall process which continued for two to three hours till 8.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. with a wall cloud in the rear sector of the cyclone yet to enter completely into the land brought heavy rains in several parts of the state that may continue till Friday.
 
Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi announced that all schools, colleges and anganwadis would remain closed on Thursday and Friday.
 
Trees have been uprooted in large numbers in the coastal belt as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik set a mission "zero casualty" for the and directed district administration, police, fire service, and coastguard to closely monitor the situation and remain prepared with adequate relief materials.
 
A total of 13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and nine Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed at strategic locations.
 
The system is very likely to move northwestwards for next 12 hours and then re-curve northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha, said Biswas.
 
IANS

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Cabinet approves permanent campuses of IISERs at Tirupati, Berhampur

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the establishment and operationalisation of permanent campuses of the two new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Berhampur (Odisha). 
 
The total cost likely to be incurred is Rs. 3074.12 crore (Non-Recurring: Rs. 2366.48 crore and Recurring: Rs. 707.64 crore).
 
Creation of two posts of Registrar, one in each IISER in Level 14 of 7lh CPC has also been approved by the Cabinet.
 
The total cost is assessed at Rs. 3074.12 crore, out of which Rs. 2366.48 crore will be spent for construction of permanent campuses of these institutes.
 
Both the IISERs will construct an area of 1,17,000 sq. m which will have complete infrastructural facilities for 1855 students in each IISER.
 
The construction of permanent campuses of these institutes shall be completed by December 2021.
 
The IISERs will provide top quality science education at the Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate levels, PHDs & Integrated PHDs.  They will carry out research in frontier areas of science.  They will enable India to move towards being a knowledge economy by attracting the best scientific talent as faculty and prepare a strong base of scientific manpower in India.
 
In 2015, IISER, Tirupati was established in pursuance to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, while IISER, Berhampur was established in 2016 in pursuance to the announcement made by the Union Finance Minister in his Budget speech, 2015. These institutes are presently functioning from transit campuses.
 
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Cyclone Titli likely to cross Odisha, north AP coasts on Friday morning

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The severe cyclonic storm Titli over westcentral Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify into a very severe cylonic storm today and cross Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam around tomorrow morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
A bulletin issued by the IMD at 11 am today said Titli had moved northwards with a speed of about 14 kmph during the past six hours, and lay centered at 0830 hrs IST of today over westcentral Bay of Bengal near latitude 16.5°N and longitude 85.8°E, about 320 km south-southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 270 km southeast of Kalingapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). 
 
"It is very likely to intensify further into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during next three hours. It is very likely to move northnorthwestwards and cross Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam around morning of 11th October. 
 
"Thereafter, it is very likely to re-curve northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually," the bulletin said.
 
The bulletin said that, under the influence of the system, there was likely to be rainfall at most places over coastal Odisha and, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places, today and tomorrow, with isolated heavy rainfall over interior parts of the state. There was also likely to be rainfall at many places over north Odisha on October 12, with heavy falls at isolated places, it said.
 
According to it, there would be rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places in north coastal Andhra Pradesh today and tomorrow.
 
Similarly, there would be rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places in Gangetic West Bengal from today to October 12, it said.
 
Rainfall was also likely on October 11 and 12 in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, it said.
 
The bulletin said gale winds, with speed reaching 100-110 kmph, gusting to 125 kmph, would prevail over deep sea areas of westcentral and  adjoining north Bay of Bengal and gradually increase to 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph from today evening to forenoon of tomorrow.
 
Gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph is very likely to commence along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from today afternoon. It is very likely to increase gradually becoming 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph from today night onwards along abd off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts and 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph along and off north Odisha and remaining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts.
 
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Squally winds speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting 70 kmph is very likely to commence along and off West Bengal coast from today afternoon and gradually increase to 60-70 kmph gusting 80 kmph from today night onwards, it said.
 
The bulletin said the sea condition was very high over westcentral Bay of Bengal around system centre.
 
"It is very likely to be phenomenal over westcentral and adjoining north Bay of Bengal and along and off south Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts from tonight to 11th October 2018 forenoon," it said.
 
The bulletin said storm surge of height of about 1.0 meter above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh; Ganjam, Khurda & Puri districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
 
The IMD warned that there could be destruction of thatched houses and extensive damage to kutch houses along with some damage to pucca houses in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh and Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha.
 
It said there could be bending and uprooting of power and communication poles and beaking of tree branches and uprooting of large avenue trees. There could be major damage to kutcha and pucca roads, flooding of escape routes, minor disruption of railways, widespread damage to standing crops, plantations, orchards, falling of green coconuts and tearing of palm fronds. 
 
The bulletin called for total suspension of fishing operations and advised fishermen not to venture into westcentral and north Bay of Bengal till tomorrow. Those who are out in deep sea areas were advised to return to the coast immediately.
 
"Evacuation from coastal areas need to be mobilised," it said, advising people to remain indoors and calling for judicious regulation of rail and road traffic when needed.
 
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Election Commission clarifies about not announcing Andhra Pradesh Lok Sabha bye-elections

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The Election Commission on Tuesday clarified why it had announced Lok Sabha bye-elections in Andhra Pradesh along with those in Karnataka, stating that, in the case of the former state, there was no need to hold bye-elections as the remaining term of the Lok Sabha in the vacant seats was less than one year.
 
“It is understood that some newspapers have reported that the Commission on the one hand announced the byelection to fill the three casual vacancies in Lok Sabha from Karnataka while the byelection to fill five vacancies in Lok Sabha from Andhra Pradesh have not been announced," a statement from the Commission said.
 
“In this connection, it is to be noted that vacancies from Bellary (ST), Shimoga and Mandya parliamentary constituencies of Karnataka took place on May 18 and 21, respectively,  whereas vacancies from the five parliamentary constituencies from Andhra Pradesh have occurred on June 20, 2018," it said.
 
"Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission to fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bye-elections within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more.
 
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"The term of 16th Lok Sabha is up to June 3, 2019. As the vacancies from Karnataka have occurred more than one year before the expiration of the term of House, bye-elections are required to be held under Section 151A of R. P. Act 1951 to fill these vacancies within six months from the date of occurrence of vacancies that is May 18 and 21, 2018.
 
"In the case of vacancies from Andhra Pradesh, there is no need to hold bye-elections as the remaining term of the Lok Sabha is less than one year from the date of occurrence of vacancies that is June 20, 2018.
 
"Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 states that the time limit for filling vacancies referred to in sections 147, 149, 150 and 151.—Notwithstanding anything contained in section 147, section 149, section 150 and section 151, a bye-election for filling any vacancy referred to in any of the said sections shall be held within a period of six months from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy: Provided that nothing contained in this section shall apply if— (a) the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is less than one year; or (b) the Election Commission in consultation with the Central Government certifies that it is difficult to hold the bye-election within the said period."
 
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Cdr Abhilash Tomy reaches Visakhapatnam safely

Commander Abhilash Tomy
Commander Abhilash Tomy
Commander Abhilash Tomy, who was rescued from his sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ on September 24 after having suffered a serious injury during the Golden Globe Race, was brought to Visakhapatnam on board the INS Satpura on Saturday.
 
Vice Adm Karambir Singh, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C), Eastern Naval Command (ENC), briefly interacted with Cdr Tomy and enquired about his health condition and the rescue operation. 
 
Cdr Tomy has now been shifted to INHS Kalyani, the naval hospital of ENC for observation and medical assistance as required.
 
The Commander-in-Chief also interacted with Capt Alok Ananda, the Commanding Officer of INS Satpura who lost his father while the ship was on operational deployment and diverted for the Search and Rescue operation.
 
Cdr Tomy was participating in the Golden Globe Race 2018 (GGR) representing India in the round-the-world race without modern navigation aids.  On September 21,  his sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ was demasted on being caught in a violent storm in the South Indian Ocean, approximately 1900 nautical miles West of Perth, Australia. 
 
Cdr Tomy suffered a severe back injury and dropped out of the race. The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre at Canberra coordinated the rescue mission in conjunction with many agencies including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy. 
 
Indian Navy launched ‘Operation Raksham’  to rescue the injured officer by immediately deploying the Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft P8I in the area staging through Mauritius for providing close support and monitoring the rescue operations and diverted IN Ships Satpura and Jyoti to undertake Search and Rescue Operations.  
 
On   September 24, French Fishing Vessel (FV) Osiris reached in the vicinity of ‘Thuriya’  and carried out a successful rescue operation and later shifted Cdr Tomy to Ile Amsterdam for shelter. 
 
INS Satpura after fuelling from INS Jyoti arrived off the Ile Amsterdam and safely evacuated Cdr Tomy using the ship’s helicopter on September 28.  He was thereafter provided with the requisite medical treatment onboard during the passage to Visakhapatnam. 
 
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Woman Maoist led attack on Andhra legislator

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A woman Maoist is suspected to have led the team of rebels which gunned down a ruling TDP MLA and a former legislator in the tribal area of Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday.
 
The police on Monday released the names and pictures of three Maoists including two women who took part in the attack near Lipittuputtu village, about 15 km from the Odisha border.
 
Sarveswara Rao, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA from Araku (Reserved-Scheduled Tribe), and his party colleague and former MLA Siveri Soma were gunned down when they were visiting a village to attend a party programme.
 
Based on the information gathered from witnesses, the police identified three guerillas who took part in the attack. They include Aruna alias Venkataravi Chaitanya, a Special Zonal Committee Member (SZCM) of the Communist Party of India-Maoist.
 
Aruna, who heads Nandapur Area Committee on Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB), is suspected to have led a group of 50-60 Maoists who allegedly crossed over to Andhra Pradesh from Odisha.
 
According to witnesses, a woman Maoist aged about 40 years was heard pulling up the MLA for amassing wealth through mining in agency areas, affecting the interests of tribals.
 
Aruna, a native of Visakhapatnam district, is wife of Pratapreddy Ramachandra Reddy alias Chalapati, who heads AOB Special Zonal Committee Military Commission.
 
Swarupa alias Kameshwari and Julumuri Srinibabu alias Sunil also took part in the attack.
 
Police said they were trying to identify the other Maoists involved. Special police teams have launched a hunt for the guerrillas involved in the attack.
 
Meanwhile, the slain TDP leaders were cremated on Monday with state honours.
 
IANS
 

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Massive anti-Maoist operations launched on Andhra-Odisha border

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A day after Maoists gunned down a sitting MLA and a former legislator, personnel of the elite Greyhounds anti-Maoist force and the CRPF launched a massive combing operation in the tribal areas of Visakhapatnam district on Monday.
 
The Andhra Pradesh Police Greyhounds and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers combed the tribal belt along the inter-state border with Odisha to flush out the insurgents.
 
About 50-60 Maoists, including women had participated in Sunday's attack near Lipittuputtu village, about 15 km from the Odisha border. 
 
They gunned down K. Sarveswara Rao, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA from Araku (Reserved-Scheduled Tribe) and his party colleague and former MLA Siveri Soma.
 
The armed guerillas intercepted the TDP leaders' vehicles and shot them dead after snatching weapons from their security guards.
 
As the first major attack on legislators in more than a decade shocked the state administration, top police officers rushed to the region to redraw their strategy to counter Maoists.
 
Director General of Police R. P. Thakur was monitoring the situation. A team headed by Visakhapatnam Deputy Commissioner of Police K. Fakeerappa, probing Sunday's incident, on Monday visited the scene along with Visakhapatnam Rural Superintendent of Police, Rahul Dev Sharma. 
 
The team spoke to the eye-witnesses and the villagers.
 
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In a related development, the DGP has ordered the suspension of Amman Rao, Sub-Inspector of Dumbriguda police station for dereliction of duty. The action came amid allegations by the supporters of the slain leaders that the police failed to protect them.
 
The villagers on Sunday staged violent protests against the alleged police negligence. They ransacked Dumbriguda and Araku police stations and attacked police personnel.
 
An autopsy on the bodies of Rao and Soma were conducted at the government-run hospital in Araku late on Sunday. The body of the MLA was shifted to Paderu and that of Soma to his native Battivalasa. Their last rites would be performed with state honours later in the day.
 
The tribal region remained tense with huge deployment of police force and a two-day shutdown called by the supporters of the slain leaders. 
 
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) suspended bus services while shops and business establishments remained closed.
 
Araku Valley, the tourist hotspot about 100 km from the coastal city, wore a deserted look on Monday with transport and tourism operators suspending their services.
 
As some state ministers and TDP leaders were scheduled to take part in the MLA's funeral, the security agencies were making arrangements to ferry them in a helicopter from Visakhapatnam to Paderu in view of the prevailing condition in the area.
 
IANS
 

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TDP MLA, ex-legislator shot dead by Maoists in Andhra

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A ruling TDP MLA and a former legislator of his party were on Sunday gunned down by Maoists in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam district, police said.
 
In what is believed to be the first major attack on public representatives in a decade, K. Sarveswara Rao, 45, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLA from Araku (Reserved-Scheduled Tribe) and his party colleague and former MLA Siveri Soma, 52, were shot dead near Thutangi village, about 125 km from the coastal city of Visakhapatnam, while they were returning from a programme at a village in Araku, a tribal area.
 
Their car was intercepted by a group of 40-50 Maoists, including women. After snatching weapons from three security guards, they tied them along with the driver to trees. They threatened them with dire consequences if they tried to escape or resist.
 
Swamy, one of the security guards, later told the media that the Maoists spoke to both the leaders for nearly an hour about their involvement in mining in agency area which is reportedly threatening the livelihood of tribals.
 
The TDP leaders suggested that the matter could be resolved peacefully. However, an argument ensued and the Maoists opened fire on them from point-blank range, killing them on the spot. Both were shot in the head and chest.
 
Deputy Inspector General of Police Ch. Srikanth said that the crime occurred between noon and 1 p.m. about 15 km from the Odisha border.
 
Both Rao and Soma had received threats from Maoists in the past. The public representatives in the region were alerted by the police to be cautious while moving in interior villages in view of the formation week celebrations of the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist till September 27.
 
Rao was elected from Araku on a YSR Congress Party ticket in the 2014 elections by defeating Soma of the TDP. In 2016, Rao switched loyalties to the TDP.
 
In July this year, tribals had protested against the MLA for allegedly obtaining mining lease in the name of his brother-in-law. They had alleged that quarrying of black stones was damaging the houses of tribals at Guda village.
 
Deputy Chief Minister N. Chinna Rajappa said that a probe will be conducted to ascertain as to how Maoists managed to attack the two leaders despite the fact that their activities were under control for the last 4-5 years.
 
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The CPI-Maoist was believed to have considerably weakened in its former stronghold on the Andhra-Odisha border in recent years following intensive police operations by both the states.
 
Following the killings, police went on high alert in Andhra-Odisha border area and public representatives were advised not to visit interior villages.
 
Senior police officials reviewed the situation. Additional forces including personnel of anti-Maoist force Greyhounds were rushed to the region for combing operations.
 
Tension prevailed in Araku constituency as relatives and supporters of slain leaders attacked two police stations.
 
Accusing the police of "failing" to protect the public representatives, the protestors ransacked Araku and Dumbriguda police stations and set afire to the furniture and other articles.
 
When police tried to disperse the protestors at Dumbriguda, they vent their ire on policemen, injuring one constable. Other policemen ran away to escape from the mob fury.
 
Some people again staged a protest at the police station with the bodies of Rao and Soma. They claimed that the police had not reached the scene even four hours after the crime.
 
Senior officials rushed to the spot and pacified the protestors.
 
Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the killings. Naidu, who is currently visiting the United States, in a message condemned the killings and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families.
 
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said that such attacks and killings are a "scar on humanity".
 
The Chief Minister directed senior Cabinet colleague Kala Venkatrao to rush to the district.
 
IANS
 

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Andhra MLA, ex-leader shot dead by Maoists

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Maoists on Sunday shot dead a ruling TDP MLA and a former party leader in Andhra Pradesh's Visakhapatnam district, police said.
 
The incident occurred near Thutangi village, about 125 km from coastal city of Visakhapatnam.
 
K. Sarveswara Rao, belonging to Telugu Desam Party (TDP), was representing Araku constituency in the Andhra Pradesh state Assembly.
 
The Maoists attacked Rao and former MLA Siveri Soma when they were attending a programme in Araku.
 
They were shot from point blank range. A large number of Maoists allegedly participated in the attack.
 
Rao was elected from Araku, a constituency reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, on YSR Congress Party ticket in the 2014 elections, defeating Soma of the TDP. 
 
In 2016, Rao switched loyalties to TDP. 
 
According to the police, both Rao and Soma had received threats from Maoists in the past.
 
IANS
 

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Man, two children die of electrocution in Andhra Pradesh

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A house warming ceremony turned tragic for a family in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district on Thursday as a man and his two children died of electrocution.
 
The incident occurred in Ganikapudi village in Prathipadu.
 
Yesu (28) was holding a cable wire in his hand when he was electrocuted. As his five-year-old son Solomon Raju and three-year-old daughter Rani were standing close by, they were also electrocuted.
 
Yesu, hailing from Prakasam district, along with his family had come to his brother's house for the ceremony.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Andhra Pradesh cuts petrol, diesel prices by Rs 2

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In a move to provide some relief to people reeling under increasing fuel prices, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday announced reduction in Value Added Tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre in the state.
 
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced in the state Assembly that this decision will come into effect from Tuesday.
 
Andhra Pradesh has the third highest percentage of VAT on petrol (35.77 per cent) after Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, and highest 28.08 per cent on diesel.
 
Naidu said that, owing to the reduction in VAT, the state would lose Rs 1,120 crore in revenues annually.
 
He made the announcement on a day when the Congress and the Left parties called for a nation-wide shutdown to protest fuel price hike.
 
The activists of Naidu's Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also took part in the protests against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government across Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Telangana.
 
Naidu, whose party pulled out of NDA in March, accused the Centre of misleading the people by attributing the steep hike in the prices of petrol and diesel to growing crude oil prices globally.
 
The TDP chief pointed out that the crude oil price during 2013-14 was 105.52 dollars per barrel but even when the price fell to 46 dollars, the NDA government did not pass on the benefit to common man.
 
Naidu said the current price of crude oil is 72.23 dollars but the Narendra Modi government is increasing the prices every day, burdening the common man.
 
He demanded that the Centre, too, provide relief to people by cutting down taxes on fuel prices.
 
IANS
 

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Indian youth among three killed in US bank shooting

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An Indian youth was among the three people who were killed when a gunman opened fire at a bank in the US state of Ohio.
 
Pruthviraj Kandepi 25, who hailed from Andhra Pradesh, and two others, Luis Felipe Calderon, 48, and Richard Newcomer, 64, were shot dead on Thursday by the gunman identified as Omar Perez, 29. Perez was later shot dead by the police.
 
Five others were also injured in the incident that took place on Thursday morning at the headquarters for the Fifth Third Bank near Fountain Square, Cincinnati.
 
Kandepi was working as a consultant with the bank. 
 
His family in Tenali town of Guntur district was shocked when his friends informed them about the incident over the phone.
 
Officials of Indian consulate in New York were also in touch with Kandepi's family. 
 
The Telugu Association of North America (TANA) was making arrangements to send the body home.
 
Meanwhile, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said Perez acted alone and he entered multiple businesses before going to the bank, reports ABC News.
 
He opened fire in the building's loading dock before continuing into the lobby area and firing more shots, Isaac added.
 
Thursday's incident is the second this year where an Indian was shot dead in the US.
 
In July, Sharat Koppu, 26, from Telangana was shot dead by an unidentified person at a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri.
 
Last year, Hyderabad techie, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed in a race-triggered attack at a bar in Kansas state.
 
IANS
 

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BNS Somudra Joy at Visakhapatnam on a goodwill visit

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Bangladesh Naval Ship (BNS) Somudra Joy arrived on a four-day visit to the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) here on Tuesday.
 
The ship was accorded a warm welcome by officials from ENC and the Eastern Fleet with Naval Band in attendance on arrival. Capt M Moniruzzaman, Commanding Officer BNS Somudra Joy called-on Vice Adm Karambir Singh.
 
During the ship’s stay in Vizag, a variety of activities including professional interactions, cross deck visits, sports fixtures and social interactions between IN and BN personnel have been scheduled,  Defence Ministry release said. 
 
Commissioned on December 23, 2013, BNS Somudra Joy, a Hamilton Class frigate is one of the largest ships of the Bangladesh Navy. The ship earlier visited Visakhapatnam in February 2016 and participated in the International Fleet Review hosted by the Indian Navy.
 
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Andhra CM, NTR family members rush to Nalgonda

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and other members of the NTR family rushed to Telangana's Nalgonda district, where NTR's son Nandamuri Harikrishna died in a road accident early on Wednesday.
 
Shocked family members reached Kamineni Hospital at Narketpally, where Harikrishna, 61, son of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N T Rama Rao, known popularly as NTR, succumbed minutes after he was brought with critical injuries.
 
Harikrishna's sons Junior NTR and Kalyam Ram, both actors, were the first to reach the hospital and broke down on seeing the body of their father.
 
His brother-in-law N. Chandrababu Naidu along with his son Nara Lokesh flew in a helicopter from Vijayawada.
 
Harikrishna's brother actor Balakrishna, sister and former Central minister D. Purandeswari and brother-in-law D. Venkateshwara Rao also reached the hospital. Actor Jagapati Babu was also among those who came to hospital.
 
Police had a tough time controlling the crowd, which had gathered outside the hospital.
 
Meanwhile, several relatives, friends, Telugu Desam Party leaders and Telugu film personalities started pouring in at Harikrishna's house in Hyderabad.
 
Harikrishna's another sister and Naidu's wife Bhuvaneswari and her daughter-in-law Brahmani reached the residence.
 
Naidu, who is also president of the TDP, expressed his shock over the death of Harikrishna, a member of party's highest decision making body, politburo. He described Harkrishna's death as a huge loss to the family and TDP.
 
Naidu recalled his services to the film industry and politics. He also recalled that NTR was very fond of him and picked him to drive his Chaitanya Ratham across Andhra Pradesh.
 
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao expressed grief over Harkrishna's death and conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family.
 
IANS
 

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Tirupati medical college student commits suicide

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A girl student of Sri Venkateswara Medical College in Tirupati committed suicide on Sunday, the second such incident in a week, police said.
 
Gitika, 19, was an MBBS second-year student. She ended her life by hanging at her house here in the evening, police said. The reason for her suicide is not known.
 
The incident came a week after the suicide of B. Shilpa, a postgraduate student in paediatrics, who hanged herself at her house in Pileru town of Chittoor district.
 
The 30-year-old student had in April written to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, accusing three Professors of Pediatric Department of sexual harassment.
 
The student was upset after she failed in exams. She told her friends that she was deliberately failed for complaining against the Professors.
 
Following an uproar, authorities transferred the college Principal and formed in May a three-member inquiry committed headed by the Director of Medical Education K. Babji. The panel is yet to submit its report.
 
IANS
 

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Minor boy chokes on ingested pen cap, dies

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An 8-year-old boy choked to death after swallowing a pen cap at his school in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district on Thursday, police said.
 
Class 3 student B. Naga Vinay was copying a lesson written on the blackboard in his notebook when he accidentally ingested the pen cap he had put in his mouth. He was rushed to a primary health centre but died of chocking, police added.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Eight workers killed in Andhra quarry blast

 
8 killed, several injured in quarry blast in Kurnool
 
 
At least eight workers were killed in a blast in a quarry in Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool district on Friday, police said.
 
Another eight workers were also injured in the incident that took place in Hathi Belgal village in Alur 'mandal' (block) of Kurnool district.
 
The injured were admitted to the government hospital in Alur, where the condition of three is stated to be critical.
 
About 20 workers belonging to Odisha were believed to be in a shed when the blast occurred. The police suspect that some more workers could be trapped inside.
 
A fire which broke out with the blast engulfed the shed. Three tractors, one lorry and two sheds were destroyed in the fire.
 
The huge blast also damaged a few houses near the quarry. 
 
The blast which was heard at a distance of more than 10 km sent panic among the residents. The cause of the blast could not be known immediately.
 
IANS
 

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NDA committed to development of Andhra, Telangana: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said his government is committed towards the development of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, "the states which the Congress divided in closed doors for political gain".
 
"I want to tell the people of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana that we will keep working for them. We will do everything possible for the development of the states," he said while replying to the debate on the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha.
 
Modi also said then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee created three states: Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand after talking to the people concerned and taking their consent.
 
"It was done peacefully. These states are peaceful and prospering. They are contributing in the development of the nation.
 
"On the other hand, the Congress divided Andhra Pradesh behind closed doors and their conduct then was shameful. Andhra Pradesh was divided for political gain," he added.
 
IANS
 
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