IndiGo commences flights from Rajahmundry to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai

Low-cost carrier IndiGo today expanded its regional network by commencing ATR operations from Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister China Rajappa, along with Mr. Sanjeev Ramdas, Executive Vice President of Customer Service & Operations Control, IndiGo flagged-off the flight from Rajahmundry to Chennai at Rajahmundry Airport today.
Other dignitaries who were present at the flag-off ceremony included Mr. Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Minister for Finance, Planning, Commercial Taxes, Legislative Affairs; Ms. Pantham Rajani Sesha Sai, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Rajamahendravaram; Mr. Kartikeya Misra, Collector and District Magistrate, East Godavari District; and Ms. B.Raja Kumari, IPS., Superintendent of Police, Rajamahendravaram Urban Police District.
A press release from the airline said it would connect Rajahmundry to Hyderabad with twice daily frequencies, and one direct daily frequency each on Rajahmundry–Bangalore–Rajahmundry and Rajahmundry–Chennai–Rajahmundry sectors. 
IndiGo is the only airline that connects Rajahmundry with direct flights to three major metros of southern India: Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad from day one of its operations, the release said.
The airline operates more than 1000 flights daily to 48 destinations.
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Cabinet nod for swapping of AAI land at Rajahmundry airport with State Govt. for road project

The Union Cabinet yesterday approved a proposal for the swapping of 10.25 acres of land belonging to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Rajahmundry Airport with equivalent extent of land belonging to the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
The proposal is intended to provide road connectivity to the villages around the Rajahmundry Airport, in order to facilitate ease of access to the general public of the area, an official press release said.
"The proposal will provide road connectivity and thus, ease of access to the general public of the area, especially facilitating access to farmers to their agricultural land," the release added.

Minor earthquake shakes Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand

An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale, shook the Uttarkashi region of Uttarakhand this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 30.9°N and longitude 78.0°E, occurred at 1001 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin added.

Land to be transferred for establishment of Agriculture College at Rajahmundry

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for transfer of 21.93 acre of land belonging to the Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), Rajahmundry to the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad on a long lease basis for a period of 50 years for establishment of an Agriculture College at Rajahmundry. 
The Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University had established a new agriculture college at Rajahmundry in East Godavari district during the academic year 2008-09 to train agricultural graduates for acquiring advanced agricultural knowledge associated with Godavari Delta.
At present, the college is temporarily running from rented accommodation of local Arts and Science College (SKVT College). 
An official press release said that, after transfer of the land, the college would be able to develop its own permanent campus. 
"Establishment of a new agriculture college at Rajahmundry would certainly go a long way in development of agricultural research and education in Godavari delta and also help the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to fulfill one of its mandates including education research and extension," the release added.

Andhra Pradesh proposes AMRUT Action Plan for 31 cities at cost of Rs 28,756 crore

The Andhra Pradesh government has proposed a comprehension action plan under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for 31 cities and towns of the state at an estimated cost of Rs 28,756.30 crore.
The plan is aimed at ensuring basic infrastructure relating to water supply, sewerage and septage management, drainage, urban transport and green spaces and parks during the next five years in these cities and towns.
An official press release said that, for the current financial year (2015-16), the State Government has sought approval of the Miistry of Urban Development for its State Level Annual Action Plan (SAAP) involving central assistance of Rs. 673.12 crore for water supply projects and development  of parks.
The State’s SAAP is based on city level plans formulated after assessing the gaps in basic infrastructure and investments to be made to meet the norms prescribed for urban areas.
The release said the extent of coverage of urban households with water supply connections in AMRUT cities and towns in Andhra Pradesh ranged from 7.50% in Tenali to 78.80% in Rajahmundry. On the whole, 50.22% of all urban households in the Mission cities have water connections at present.
Cities with  below 30% coverage include Tenali (7.50%), Madanapalle (20%), Chittor(21%) and Vizianagaram(30%).
Cities with coverage between 31% and 50% include Srikakulam (58%), Bhimavaram(43.60%), Kakinada(49.36%), Vijayawada(48.75%), Gudivada (48%), Machilipatnam(50%), Tirupati(45%), Ongole (49%), Nellore(45%), Proddatur(45%), Tadipatri(42.50%), Hindupur(37%), Guntakal (47%), Anantapur (45%), Kurnool (45.94%) and Adoni (43%).
Cities with coverage between 51% and 75% coverage include Visakhapatnam (61%), Tadepallegudem(57.37%), Eluru (66.31%), Chilakaluripeta (51%), Narsaraopeta (61.46%), Kadapa(52%), Dharmavaram(69%) and Nandyal (50.85%).
Rajahmundry has more 78% of households with water supply connections, the release said.
The per capita water supply rnaged from 20 litres per capita per day (lpcd) in Madanapalle to 145 lpcd in Vijayawada as against the norm for urban areas of 135 lpcd. On an average, water supply in AMRUT cities in Andhra Pradesh at present is 104 lpcd.
Cities with water supply of less than 50 lpcd include Madanapalle-20 lpcd, Chittor(48) and Tadipatri (49). Cities with water supply between 50 and 100 lpcd include Vizianagaram (70), Bhimavaram(88), Tadepallegudem(78), Gudivada (95), Machilipatnam (68), Chilakaluripeta(99), Guntur(100), Ongole (88), Proddatur(73), Hindupur(56), Nandyal(73) and Kurnool (80 lpcd).
Cities with water supply between 101 and 134 lpcd include Srikakulam(115 lpcd), Vizag(109), Kakinada (108), Narsaraopeta (126), Tirupati(114), Nellore(126), Kadapa (116), Guntakal(107), Dharmavaram(114), Adoni(104). 
Eluru, Rajahmundry, Tenali, Anantapur (135 lpcd each) and Vijayawada (145 lpcd) are among the cities with water supply of 135 lpcd and more, the release said.
The State Government reported that sewerage network services are available only in six Mission cities. These include : 10% in Guntur, 18% in Proddatur, 19.56% in Vizag, 49% in Kadapa, 70% in Vijayawada and 79% in Tadipatri. It has proposed to bridge the gaps in respect of these infrastructure areas progressively over the next five years.
The State Government projected a cost of Rs. 6,117.24 crore for ensuring universal coverage of urban households in Mission cities in respect of water supply and Rs.10,888 crore for providing sewerage networks and septage management over the next five years.
To provide adequate drainage facilities in the Mission cities in the state, the State Government has proposed construction of outfall drains, major and minor drains besides rejuvenation of existing drains covering a total length of 6,753 km at an estimated cost of Rs. 6,814.85 crore.
Regarding improving urban transport, the State Government has proposed development of 336.50 kms of pathways at a cost of Rs.178.10 crore, 232 km of cycle tracks at a cost of Rs.11.50 crore, 215 kms of BRTS (Bus Rapid Transport Systems) corridors at a cost of Rs.702 crore and procurement of 710 buses at a cost of Rs.376 crore. Total investments proposed in urban transport sector over the next five years is Rs.1998.88 crore.
Development of green spaces and parks will be undertaken at a cost of Rs. 120 crore under the Atal Mission.
Capacity building of urban local bodies will be taken up at a cost of Rs. 120 crore. Administrative and Other Expenses during the Mission period till 2019 is estimated to be Rs. 2,614 crore.
The State Government reported that as required under AMRUT Guidelines, Operation & Maintenance costs of infrastructure assets to be created will be included in the Detailed Project Reports and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs will be borne by the urban local bodies through user charges including tariff rationalization, reduction of quantum of water being supplied without any collection of charges, energy conservation and efficiency improvement and improvement of systems efficiency by adopting ICT.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has assured the Urban Development Ministry that the mandated 11 urban sector reforms will be implemented in 6 to 36 months. This includes e-governance, Municipal Tax and Fee improvement, improvement in levy and collection of user charges and credit rating of urban local bodies.
The Andhra Pradesh Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation (AUFIDC) has been designated as the financial intermediary for mobilization of required resources. The State Government has set up Andhra Pradesh Greening and Beautification Corporation for taking up greening projects.
Under Atal Mission, the Central Government provides assistance up to 50% of projects for cities with a population of up to 10 lakhs and one third of project cost for cities with population of above 10 lakhs. In Andhra Pradesh, only Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada have population of over 10 lakhs each, the release added.

27 dead, 34 injured in stampede at bathing ghat at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh

At least 27 people, mainly elderly women, died and 34 others suffered injuries in a stampede during Pushkaralu, when thousands of people thronged a bathing ghat for a holy dip in the river Godavari, at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh this morning.

27 killed in Rajahmundry stampede
At least 27 people, mainly elderly women, died and 34 others suffered injuries in a stampede during Pushkaralu, when thousands of people thronged a bathing ghat for a holy dip in the river Godavari, at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh this morning.
District Collector H Arunkumar told NetIndian that the injured had been admitted to hospitals in Rajahmundry, where they were stated to be out of danger.
He said the deceased included 21 women, nearly all of them above the age of 60. One of them was aged 30 and another 12. 
One of the victims was from Jamshedpur and another from Bangalore, he said.
"The situation is now totally under control," he said, adding that the bodies of the victims had been sent to their villages after completion of post-mortem examination and other formalities.
According to him, the stampede occurred around 8.30 am when thousands of people gathered at the Kothagammam ghat in the middle of the town though there are other ghats in other locations.
The stampede occurred, despite all the precautions taken and the barricades erected, when the unsually huge crowds surged forward towards the ghat, ignoring efforts by the authorities to divert them to other ghats.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his family had taken a dip at the same spot earlier in the morning.
Additional police forces were rushed to the area to ensure order, sources said.
"It is regrettable that lives are lost in stampede at Rajahmundry Ghat. Request people not to panic. Situation brought under control," Mr Naidu said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"I request to people to head to other Pushkar ghats to avoid overcrowding at  single ghat. I'm monitoring situation from control room," he said.
"Request people to follow queues lines & instructions. Pilgrims' safety is top priority for us. Will provide all possible assistance," he added.
The state government has announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 10 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the incident and an immediate assistance of Rs 25,000 for those injured.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi  condoled the loss of lives in the stampede.
"I am saddened to learn about the stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh, where a number of devotees have lost their lives and many others are injured. I understand relief and rescue operations are currently underway," Mr Mukherjee said in his message to Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.
"I call upon the State Government and other authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured. 
"Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons," he said.
"Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to stampede at Rajahmundry. My condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured," Mr Modi said.
"I spoke to CM N. Chandrababu Naidu and discussed the situation with him. The State Government is working to restore normalcy," he added.
The religious event is held once in 12 years when thousands of people from the region converge in the town to take a dip in the river. This year, it was an even more auspicious occasion, from the astronomical point of view, as it occurs only once in 144 years.

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Modi condoles loss of lives in Rajahmundry stampede

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today condoled the loss of lives due to a stampede at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh and discussed the situation with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
"Deeply pained at the loss of lives due to stampede at Rajahmundry. My condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers with the injured," he said.
"I spoke to CM N. Chandrababu Naidu and discussed the situation with him. The State Government is working to restore normalcy," he added.

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22 dead as van falls into sluice near Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh

As many as 22 people died when a van carrying them veered off the road and fell into a sluice of the Dowleshwaram Barrage near Rajahmundry in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh early Saturday morning, official sources said.

22 dead as van falls into sluice in Andhra Pradesh
As many as 22 people died when a van carrying them veered off the road and fell into a sluice of the Dowleshwaram Barrage near Rajahmundry in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh early this morning, official sources said.
District Collector H. Arun Kumar told NetIndian over the telephone that those killed in the incident included six men, 10 women and six children.
Only a young girl from amongst the 23 people in the van survived the accident and has been admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment, he said.
The mishap occurred around 5.30 am, at a spot five km short of Rajahmundry, when the occupants of the van were on their way back home in Visakhapatnam district after a pilgrimage to Tirupati.
The driver appeared to have lost control over the van as it crossed the pavement and crashed through the railing to about 30 feet below, where the water was less than a foot deep and, therefore, added to the impact.
District administration and police officials as well as other emergency personnel rushed to the spot and removed the victims to hospital where all but one were pronounced dead, sources added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Loss of lives due to a bus accident in East Godavari district, AP is saddening and unfortunate. My deepest condolences," he said on microblogging site Twitter.

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Nod for six-laning of Gundugolanu–Rajahmundry section on NH 5 in Andhra Pradesh


The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure (CCI) yesterday approved the investment proposal for six-laning of the Gundugolanu-Rajahmundry section of National Highway (NH) 5 in Andhra Pradesh under National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) Phase V on DBFOT basis in BOT (Toll ) mode of delivery. 

The cost of the project will be Rs.1766.25 crore out which Rs.149.25 crore will be towards land acquisition, rehabilitation, resettlement and pre-construction. The total length of the project is 120.741 km. 
The concession period will be 24 years including construction period of 30 months, an official press release said.
The main object of the project is to expedite the improvement of infrastructure in Andhra Pradesh and also in reducing the time and cost of travel for traffic, particularly heavy traffic, plying between Gundugolanu and Rajahmundry. It will also increase the employment potential for the local labourers for the project activities, the release added.

GMR adds 384 MW to Andhra Pradesh power grid

The first unit of GMR Rajahmundry Energy Limited’s combined cycle power plant at Vemagiri in Andhra Pradesh was synchronized last week, adding 384 MW capacity to the state power grid.
A press release from GMR said the group was setting up the 2x384 MW capacity Combined Cycle power plant, adjacent to its existing plant located at Vemagiri. The first unit has been commissioned in a record time of 24 months. The second unit is expected to be commissioned by February, 2012.
This GMR project was identified as a XI Plan project and accordingly was shortlisted for gas allocation by the Government of India. It is expected that gas will be made available to this project shortly, the release added.

Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


TDP's strike call over Naidu's arrest hits normal life in AP

The state-wide general strike called by the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to protest the arrest and shifting of its fasting president N Chandrababu Naidu to hospital hit normal life in Andhra Pradesh today.

Reports reaching here said TDP workers came to the streets and in several places prevented the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses from plying in towns and cities.

In several places, TDP workers forced the traders to close down their shops and business establishments and the window panes of the APSRTC buses were damaged at Kacharu in Rajahmundry Rural Mandal in East Godavari district.

Similar incidents were reported in Guntur and Nalgonda districts.

Vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt at several places in the state as the TDP leaders and functionaries blocked roads.

The Left parties extended full support to the "bandh" and termed the arrest and shifting of Mr Naidu to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) as "undemocratic".

In the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the bandh was partial and incident-free. In some areas, shops were open and in other areas businessmen downed shutters of their establishments. Central and State Goverment offices were working as usual.

Autorickshawss and some APSRTC buses were plying and police deployed in full strength in the city to prevent any untoward incidents.

A report from Vijayawada said the bandh call evoked good response as all commercial establishments and educational institutions remained closed and protests organised in front of APSRTC Bus Complexes in Krishna, Guntur and West Godavari Districts. Cinemas cancelled noon shows.

Police arrested the agitating TDP activists, including MLA D Umameshwara Rao and M Babu.

TDP activists at Machavaram in the heart of the city, where several colleges were located, obstructed college buses and forced the managements to declare a holiday.

The TDP activists organised road blockades at several places, including at Gollapudi, Kanchakacharla, Nandigama, Jagaiahpet on the busy Machilipatnam-Pune highway and several places on the Chennai-Kolkata highway, resulting in hundreds of vehicles stranded on either side of the roads.

In Guntur, the TDP activists went on the rampage pelting stones on RTC buses, smashing the wind screens of several of them. All the commercial establishments and educational institutions in the city remained closed. The Acharya Nagarjuna University cancelled engineering and post-graduate semester examinations in view of the bandh.

In West Godavari district, TDP activists staged a "dharna" in front of the RTC Bus Complexes at Eluru, Kovvuru and Jangareddy Gudem, obstructing the services.


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