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Mumbai

Six wagons of goods train derail on Kalyana-Lonavala section in Maharashtra

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Six wagons of a goods train derailed between Monkey Hill and Khandala on the Kalyan-Lonavala section of Central Railway this afternoon.
 
The derailment occurred on the down line on the Mumbai-Pune route at 1555 hours, infringing the middle line, the Central Railway said.
 
Breakdown train and tool vans have left for the site immediately to restore the line, it said.
 
Due to the derailment, at least ten trains have been cancelled, five were short-terminated and eight were diverted, it added.
 
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Six dead, 18 injured in fire on ground floor of under-construction building in Mumbai

 
6 dead in fire in under-construction building in Mumbai
Six people died and 18 others suffered injuries in a fire that broke out on the ground floor of an under-construction building in Juhu here last night.
 
The injured were rushed to the Cooper Hospital where some of them were stated to be in a critical condition.
 
The deceased included five men and a four-year-old girl, official sources said.
 
According to them sources, the fire broke out around 10 pm yesterday on the ground floor of the 13-storeyed Prarthana Building, where some labourers and their famileis were housed in makeshift accommodation.
 
The fire brigade rushed three fire tenders to the spot and put the flames within about an hour. A cooking gas cylinder in one of the houses exploded in the fire and led to more casualties, sources said, adding that the cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.
 
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RIL to acquire assets of Kemrock Industries, to foray into new materials business

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Energy and petrochemicals Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has acquired the assets of Kemrock Industries and Exports Limited of Vadodara in Gujarat as part of its foray into the new materials business.
 
A press release from RIL said the company won the online bidding process held by Allahabad Bank, as the leader of the consortium of 11 banks, to sell and dispose of the assets of Kemrock.
 
The release said RIL's participation in the process was part of its efforts to enter the composites business and establish a leadership position in this large and growing market in India. 
 
Composites are used in a variety of applications and industries such as renewable energy, mass transportation, infrastructure and a host of other industrial products, it said.
 
The release said the assets would pave the way for Reliance to foray into new materials (Composites and Carbon Fibre) and further strengthen its petrochemicals business portfolio.
 
"The company is in the process of complying with the necessary formalities for acquisition of assets," the release added.
 
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Star India wins Vivo IPL global media digital rights for Rs. 16,347.50 crore

Sports broadcaster Star India today won the Vivo Indian Premier League's (IPL) global media and digital broadcast rights for the five-year period from 2018 to 2022. 
 
The rights were won by Star India through an Invitation to Tender (ITT) bidding process with a winning global consolidated bid of Rs. 16,347.50 crore. 
 
As many as 14 bids were received earlier in the morning from beIN IP Ltd., Star India Pvt. Ltd., Followon Interactive Media Pvt. Ltd, Sony Pictures Networks Pvt. Ltd., Times Internet Ltd, Supersport International (Pty) Ltd., Reliance Jio Digital Services Pvt. Ltd., Gulf DTH FZ LLC, Econet Media Ltd., Facebook Inc., DAZN / Perform Group, Yupp TV, Airtel and BAM Tech.
 
C K Khanna, Acting President, BCCI said, “We are happy to announce Star India as our new global media and digital partner. We thank all the bidders that participated in the process. We have ensured that transparency of the highest form was maintained throughout the process. I would like to thank cricketers and franchises for making the league one of the eminent sporting leagues in the world. I would also like to thank all the fans for showing their continuous support for the Vivo IPL for the last 10 years.”
 
Amitabh Choudhary, Acting Secretary, BCCI said, “We welcome Star India on board as our broadcast and digital partner. Cricket as a sport has evolved over the years, and today’s bids were a reiteration of Vivo IPL’s growing global popularity.”
 
Uday Shankar, Chairman & CEO, Star India, said, "We are honoured to be selected as IPL's Global Media Rights Partner and we thank BCCI for conducting such a transparent process. The Vivo Indian Premier League is undoubtedly one of the most exciting sporting leagues in the world and this acquisition of media rights reaffirms our commitment to serve cricket fans and make cricket even bigger than it is. We are delighted that, in Star, IPL has found its natural home. We look forward to bringing this exciting format to our audiences across the world in a quality that all our viewers are accustomed to both on television as well as on digital on Hotstar."
 
“At Star India, we believe that Indian sports have barely scratched the surface of its potential. Both the viewership of sports and more importantly participation in sports is something that we would like to grow substantially over the next few years. The acquisition of these rights is symbolic of our commitment to not just cricket but to the growth of a wider sports culture in the country," he added.
 
Rahul Johri, CEO, BCCI said, "We are grateful to the Supreme Court, the Committee of Administrators and the office bearers of BCCI. We are also thankful to Deloitte and our legal partners Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas for their support in carrying out a fair and transparent bidding process efficiently. We would like to welcome Star India on board as our IPL Global Media and Digital partner, we believe this is a global benchmark and all the stakeholders of IPL will significantly benefit from this association with Star India."
 
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India's forex reserves increase by $ 1.148 billion to new high of $ 394.55 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 1.148 billion to a new high of $ 394.550 billion during the week ended August 25, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had dipped by $ 211.1 million to $ 393.401 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had increased by $ 1.142 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.9436 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 2.3 million to $ 1.4998 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased by $ 3.6 million to $ 2.232 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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21 dead, 13 injured, several trapped as five-storeyed building collapses in Mumbai

At least 21 people died and 13 others suffered injuries when an old, dilapidated five-storeyed building collapsed in the Bhendi Bazaar area, near J J Junction, in south Mumbai on Thursday morning, official sources said.

 
16 dead, 15 injured in Mumbai building collapse
At least 21 people died and 13 others suffered injuries when an old, dilapidated five-storeyed building collapsed in the Bhendi Bazaar area, near J J Junction, in south Mumbai here this morning, official sources said.
 
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai Assistant Commissioner J S Ghegadmal told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene that 34 victims had been extricated from the debris, of whom 21 were found dead.
 
The injured were rushed to the nearby J. J. Hospital, where the condition of some of them was stated to be serious, sources said.
 
With several more people feared trapped under the tonnes of debris, scores of men from the Mumbai Fire Brigade, the Municipal Corporation, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local residents were engaged in massive search and rescue efforts.
 
Cranes, gas cutters and other equipment were being used to clear the debris and cut through the mangled steel and concrete to reach the victims and look for possible survivors.
 
The structure was about 125 years old, sources said. It was located in a heavily congested area in south Mumbai's C Ward, and rescue teams with their big vehicles and heavy equipment had a tough time reaching the spot.
 
The building had a playschool on the premises which would have opened at 10 am as usual. However, the building came down at about 8.30 am, much before the children were scheduled to arrive.
 
This is the third major incident of building collapse in the metropolis in recent weeks. On July 25, at least 17 people died and 11 others suffered injuries when a four-storeyed residential building collapsed in the suburban area of Ghatkopar.
 
On August 26, six people lost their lives when a part of a seven-storeyed under-construction building collapsed at Chandivali while some unauthorised portions of the structure were being demolished.
 
Municipal officials said they received a call about the collapse of the building around 8.40 am and the fire brigade was immediately rushed to the spot. There was no immediate word on the number of people living in the building and how many of them were trapped under the debris. Police have cordoned off the area to facilitate the smooth conduct of the search and rescue operations.
 
The incident has come two days after Mumbai experienced its heaviest rainfall since the July 2005 floods.
 
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Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed grief over the loss of lives in the incident and is personally monitoring the situation. He visited the site and announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh to the next-of-kin of those who had lost their lives in the collapse.
 
He also ordered a detailed inquiry into the incident by a committee headed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Housing).
 
Mr. Fadnavis has asked the Municipal Commissioner to submit a detailed report on the tragedy. He also asked the Municipal Commissioner to focus on ensuring immediate medical assistance to the injured persons. State Minister Subhash Desai visited the spot and later briefed Mr. Fadnavis about the situation.
 
In Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed sadness over the loss of lives in the tragedy.
 
“Collapse of a building in Mumbai is saddening. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and prayers with the injured," he said on Twitter.
 
Civic officials said the building had been declared unsafe for living six years ago. The residents had been served with evacuation notices in 2011 and ordered to vacate the building to enable redevelopment of the area under the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) project.
 
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Three dead, several trapped as five-storeyed building collapses in Mumbai

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At least three people died and several others were feared trapped when an old dilapidated  five-storeyed building collapsed in the  Bhendi Bazaar area, near J. J. Hospital, in south Mumbai here this morning.
 
The structure was located on Maulala Shaukat Ali Road and was more than a hundred years old, sources said.
 
Fire brigade personnel and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) rushed to the scene and were trying to extricate the victims from under the tonnes of debris.
 
Initial reports said three people were found dead and 11 others who suffered injuries were taken to the J J Hospital.
 
This is the third major incident of building collapse in the metropolis in recent weeks. On July 25, at least 17 people died and 11 others suffered injuries when a four-storeyed residential building collapsed in the suburban area of Ghatkopar.
 
On August 26, six people lost their lives when a part of a seven-storeyed under-construction building collapsed at Chandivali while some unauthorised portions of the structure were being demolished.
 
Municipal officials said they received a call about the collapse of the building around 8.40 am and the fire brigade was immediately rushed to the spot. There was no immediate word on the number of people living in the building and how many of them were trapped under the debris. Police have cordoned off the area to facilitate the smooth conduct of the search and rescue operations.
 
The incident has come two days after Mumbai experienced its heaviest rainfall since the July 2005 floods.
 
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RBI says 99% of scrapped Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 bank notes have returned to it

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday revealed in its annual report for 2016-17 that Rs. 15.28 lakh crore or nearly 99% of the Rs. 15.44 lakh crore of the scrapped Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes had returned to it between November 8, 2016, when the demonetisation was announced, and June 30 2017.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today revealed in its annual report for 2016-17 that Rs. 15.28 lakh crore or nearly 99 percent of the Rs. 15.44 lakh crore of the scrapped Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 bank notes had returned to it between November 8, 2016, when the demonetisation was announced, and June 30 2017.
 
The RBI also said that only 89 million units of the demonetised Rs. 1000 notes, worth Rs. 8,900 crore, had not come back into the banking system.
 
The report said the RBI had spent Rs. 7,965 crore on printing new currency notes in 2016-17 as compared to Rs. 3,420 crore in the previous year.
 
According to the report, the value of banknotes in circulation declined by 20.2 per cent over the year to Rs. 13,102 billion as at end-March 2017. The volume of banknotes, however, increased by 11.1 per cent, mainly due to higher infusion of banknotes of lower denomination in circulation following the demonetisation. 
 
In value terms, the share of Rs. 500 and above banknotes, which had together accounted for 86.4 per cent of the total value of banknotes in circulation at end-March 2016, stood at 73.4 per cent at end-March 2017. 
 
The share of newly introduced Rs. 2000 banknotes in the total value of banknotes in circulation was 50.2 per cent at end-March 2017. In volume terms, Rs. 10 and Rs. 100 banknotes constituted 62.0 per cent of total banknotes in circulation at end-March 2017 as compared with 53.0 per cent at end-March 2016 
 
The report said that, during 2016-17, as many as 762,072 pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system, of which 95.7 per cent were detected by commercial banks. Detection of counterfeit notes was 20.4 per cent higher than the previous year. Barring Rs. 100, the detection of counterfeit notes increased across denominations – notably, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 - during 2016-17.
 
The report said that, based on a quick survey, covering 25 percent of currency chests (CCs) (1051 CCs for Rs. 500 and 1,018 CCs for Rs. 1000) and 9.2 percent (2.2 billion pieces) of the specified bank notes (SBNs, the rate of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) detected per million pieces of notes processed at the CC level was 7.1 pieces for Rs. 500 denomination and 19.1 pieces for Rs. 1000 denomination. These were higher than the rate of detection at the RBI (5.5 pieces for Rs. 500 and 12.4 pieces for Rs. 1000).
 
At the Reserve Bank’s currency verification and processing system, during 2015-16, there were 2.4 pieces of FICNs of Rs. 500 denomination and 5.8 pieces of FICNs of Rs. 1000 denomination for every million pieces notes processed; which rose to 5.5 pieces and 12.4 pieces, respectively, during the post-demonetisation period.
 
As compared to 2015-16, 12 clusters for Rs. 500 denomination and 14 clusters for Rs. 1000 denomination showed statistically significant higher rate of FICN detection during the post-demonetisation period. This implies a significant pick-up in the rate of FICN detection at the Reserve Bank level in the post-demonetisation period as compared to a year ago, it said.
 
The report said the trail of deposits of SBNs into bank accounts may provide valuable information to the revenue authorities in tracing unaccounted money. During 2016-17, the number of suspicious transaction reports filed by banks and other financial intermediaries with the Financial Intelligence Unit, Government of India, witnessed a quantum jump to 361,214 by banks, 94,836 by financial institutions and 16,953 by intermediaries. The corresponding numbers were 61,361; 40,333; and 4,579 for 2015-16.
 
The report said that, until June 30, 2017, SBNs were received by the RBI either directly or from bank branches/post offices through the currency chest mechanism. 
 
"Some of these SBNs are still lying in the currency chests. The value of the SBNs received by the currency chests has been credited to the banks’ account on 'said to contain basis'. Till such time these notes are processed by the Reserve Bank for their numerical accuracy and authenticity, only an estimation of SBNs received back is possible. Subject to future corrections based on verification process when completed, the estimated value of SBNs received as on June 30, 2017 is Rs. 15.28 trillion. 
 
"Moreover, vide notification no G.S.R. 611 (E) dated June 20, 2017,  Government of India allowed District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) to deposit SBNs accepted by them from their customers within the period of 10th November to 14th November, 2016. Further, in terms of AP (DIR series) circular no. 45/2015-16 dated February 04, 2016, rules governing import and export of Indian currency notes to, inter alia, Nepal are different vis-à-vis other countries. As such, Reserve Bank is in discussion with Government of India with regard to the acceptance or otherwise of SBNs held by citizens/ Financial Institutions in Nepal.
 
"Therefore, the value of notes in circulation is subject to adjustments to be made after the completion of the verification process of the SBNs received as also for the notes to be received from DCCBs and Nepalese citizens/ Financial Institutions," the report added.
 
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the decision on demonetisation in a televised address to the nation on November 8, 2016.
 
"To break the grip of corruption and black money, we have decided that the five hundred rupee and thousand rupee currency notes presently in use will no longer be legal tender from midnight tonight, that is 8th November 2016. This means that these notes will not be acceptable for transactions from midnight onwards. The five hundred and thousand rupee notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become just worthless pieces of paper. The rights and the interests of honest, hard-working people will be fully protected," he had said on that ay.
 
"This step will strengthen the hands of the common man in the fight against corruption, black money and fake currency," he had said.
 
Mr. Modi had spoken on that day about the growth of the spectre of corruption and black money as well as about terrorism and terror funding.
 
"There comes a time in the history of a country’s development when a need is felt for a strong and decisive step. For years, this country has felt that corruption, black money and terrorism are festering sores, holding us back in the race towards development. Terrorism is a frightening threat. So many have lost their lives because of it. But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years. Many times, those using fake five hundred and thousand rupee notes have been caught and many such notes have been seized," he said.
 
He listed the steps already taken by the government on these fronts. "Honest citizens want this fight against corruption, black money, benami property, terrorism and counterfeiting to continue. Which honest citizen would not be pained by reports of crores worth of currency notes stashed under the beds of government officers? Or by reports of cash found in gunny bags? The magnitude of cash in circulation is directly linked to the level of corruption. Inflation becomes worse through the deployment of cash earned in corrupt ways. The poor have to bear the brunt of this. It has a direct effect on the purchasing power of the poor and the middle class. You may yourself have experienced when buying land or a house, that apart from the amount paid by cheque, a large amount is demanded in cash. This creates problems for an honest person in buying property. The misuse of cash has led to artificial increase in the cost of goods and services like houses, land, higher education, health care and so on. 
 
"High circulation of cash also strengthens the hawala trade which is directly connected to black money and illegal trade in weapons. Debate on the role of black money in elections has been going on for years," he had said in his address.
 
The opposition Congress hit out at the government, saying that the RBI figures clearly showed that the stated goals of unearthing black money and fake notes and fighting terrorism had not been achieved. They also recalled the enormous amount of suffering for people who had to stand in long queues to get the new currency notes and the number of deaths that occurred during that period.
 
"Rs 16000 cr out of demonetised notes of Rs 1544,000 cr did not come back to RBI. That is 1%. Shame on RBI which 'recommended' demonetisation," former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Twitter.
 
"RBI 'gained' Rs 16000 crore, but 'lost' Rs 21000 crore in printing new notes! The economists deserve Nobel Prize," he said.
 
"99% notes legally exchanged! Was demonetisation a scheme designed to convert black money into white?" he added.
 
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Mumbai braces for another difficult day after Tuesday's downpour

People in Mumbai braced for another difficult day on Wednesday after the country's financial capital was brought down to its knees on Tuesday because of an incessant downpour which led to waterlogging in many areas and disrupted the suburban train network and road traffic.

 
Mumbai rains: Respite for commuters as train services resume
People in Mumbai and surrounding areas braced for another difficult day today after the country's financial capital was brought down to its knees yesterday because of an incessant downpour which led to waterlogging in many areas and disrupted the suburban train network, the lifeline of the city, and road traffic.
 
Thousands of people who were stranded on the streets in the heavy rains were able to reach their homes only well past midnight last night or early this morning when skeletal local train services resumed after the rain gods relented in the night.
 
Many people spent the night in their offices or took shelter at railway stations, schools and other buildings or stayed with friends and even strangers because there was simply no way of getting home. Several people spent long hours in the coaches of trains which were stranded on the waterlogged tracks, especially between Sion and Kurla, before they were rescued in the early hours of today.
 
Hundreds of people waded for several kilometres on the roads or railway tracks through knee-deep water.
 
Several people in the city posted messages on social media websites, offering food, water and even shelter for stranded people.
 
Schools and colleges, which closed early yesterday, have declared a holiday today as have some offices in view of the forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) of heavy rains for the next 48 hours.
 
"In the wake of warnings issued by #IMD people in Mumbai and areas around #Mumbai are advised to stay back home unless there is an emergency," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on microblogging site Twitter.
 
"However, the essential services and critical staff in the Government will be on duty tomorrow," he said.
 
The IMD said intermittent rain or showers were likely in the city and its suburbs in the next 48 hours, with heavy to very heavy falls in some areas. Its Santacruz station recorded 315.8 mm of rainfall in the ten hours till 2030 hours yesterday and 88.4 mm in the 24-hour period ended 0830 hours yesterday. The IMD's Colaba station recorded 101.8 mm of rainfall in the ten hours to 2030 hours yesterday and 151.8 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ended 0830 hours yesterday.
 
The downpour in the last two days has been the heaviest in the metropolis since the unprecedented floods of July 26, 2005.
 
There was a lot of anger among people against the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for having allegedly failed to learn any lessons from the 2005 disaster and not taking steps to prevent the recurrence of such a crisis. BMC officials, on their part, said the city had received very heavy rainfall in the space of just a few hours and its geography, hemmed in as it is by the sea on two sides, added to the problems. They said they were doing their best to minimise the suffering of the people.
 
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For most of the day yesterday, traffic was crawling at a snail's pace on most Mumbai roads, including the Eastern and Western Express Highways. Traffic conditions improved by late in the night yesterday and that helped to clear a lot of stranded people. Traffic on the iconic Bandra-Worli Sealink, which was suspended for some hours, was restored late in the evening.
 
Helicopters of the Indian Navy, with flood rescue teams and divers, remained on standby in the city in view of the heavy rains in the city and adjoining areas.
 
Five people were reported to have died in the city and suburbs in rain-related incidents.
 
The Central Railway said suburban services on the Thane-Kalyan up and down slow lines resumed at 2230 hours yesterday. Up and down services through Sion resumed this morning, with stranded trains being cleared first before the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Thane services resumed. A CSMT-Kalyan special suburban train departed at 0726 hours from CMT. The first CSMT-Panvel local on Harbour line left CSMT at 0903 hrs.
 
On the Western Railway, the first rain for Virar left Churchgate at 2358 hours. Official sources said heavy duty pumps were used to evacuate water from tracks at various places. They said efforts were made to bring the water level down to safe levels so that normal services could resume. By this morning, local trains were running on all lines on Western Railway, though there were speed restrictions at some places.
 
However, both Railways have cancelled several long distance trains to different parts of the country from Mumbai and diverted or short-terminated others in view of the situation.
 
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Modi speaks to Fadnavis on situation arising out of heavy rains in Mumbai

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on the situation arising due to incessant rain in Mumbai and surrounding areas and assured him of all possible help from the Centre in coping with the crisis.
 
“Spoke to Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on the situation arising due to incessant rain in Mumbai and surrounding areas. Centre assures all possible support to the Government of Maharashtra in mitigating the situation due to heavy rains in parts of the state," Mr. Modi said on Twitter.
 
"Urge the people of Mumbai and surrounding areas to stay safe and take all essential precautions in the wake of the heavy rain," he added.
 
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Mumbai crippled as heavy rains disrupt rail, road traffic in reminder of 2005 crisis

Mumbai, India's financial capital, was crippled on Tuesday as several areas were waterlogged and thousands of people were left stranded after heavy overnight rains disrupted rail and road traffic in a grim reminder of the unprecedented July 26, 2005 crisis in the city.

 
Heavy rains cause waterlogging in Mumbai, rail, road traffic hit
Mumbai, India's financial capital, was crippled today as several areas were waterlogged and thousands of people were left stranded after heavy overnight rains disrupted rail and road traffic in a grim reminder of the unprecedented July 26, 2005 crisis in the city.
 
The heavy rains continued throughout the day today, creating traffic jams on key arterial roads, forcing closure of some sections of the suburban railway network, affecting flights to and from the city and clearly indicating that the civic authorities were ill-prepared for such a deluge.
 
As offices and educational institutions closed early, thousands of people found themselves without transport for the long journey home. While those with no alternative, braved it out by trekking on the roads in knee deep water, others took shelters at railway stations or sought help from friends or even strangers staying on the route.
 
There appeared to be no early respite with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasting intermittent rain or showers during the next 48 hours in the city and its suburbs, with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places. Added to this was the high tide expected late this afternoon, which could add to the people's woes.
 
According to sources, South Mumbai recorded 152 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ended this morning, the highest during this season so far. The Santacruz weather station recorded 88 mm of rainfall during this period.
 
Television pictures showed people wading through knee-deep water at many places and vehicles crawling on the roads and even stranded at many points.
 
The Disaster Management Unit of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said that heavy rainfall was expected in the next 24 hours and advised people to stay indoors and not venture out unless required.
 
It said the municipal administration was fully geared up and was monitoring the situation.
 
The Mumbai Police said traffic was moving slowly at many places such as Dadar, Churchgate, Akruti Mall, Andheri, Western Express Highway, Bahar Bridge and Santacruz Airport bridge sliproad due to the rains and waterlogging.
 
It said south-bound traffic towards Matunga was being diverted to Wadala due to waterlogging on Eastern Express Highway, SG Barve Road and V N Purav Road. Waterlogging was also reported at Byculla station (E) near Palace Cinema towards Rani Baug bus stop, it said.
 
Traffic on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link towards South Mumbai has been closed for some time for clearing traffic ahead, the police said, and advised commuters to plan accordingly.
 
The Milan subway and Andheri subway were closed due to waterlogging and traffic was slow at D N Nagar and BMW Junction. It also advised people to avoid going towards Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Bandra East.
 
"High tide of 3.32mts at 16:30. Avoid waterfronts, sitting on tetrapods or on promenades. Pls cooperate with policemen on duty," the police said on Twitter.
 
"Heavy waterlogging expected in the coming hrs due to heavy  showers coupled with high tide. Pls chk ur route b4 venturing out," it said.
 
"Stay indoors as far as possible.Move out only if it is very important. Due to waterlogged roads, traffic not moving and slow at most places," it said.
 
The police advised people to dial 100 if they were stuck on the road or contact it on Twitter. "We will assist you," it said.
 
"If you are still at work, don't panic and leave. A little delay & planned travel may help you better," the police added.
 
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The Central Railway said that, due to the very heavy and continuous rains, it had suspended its suburban train services on the main line between Parel and Kurla from 1230 hours and on the Harbour Line between Vadala Road and Kurla from 1220 hours.
 
The running of several long-distance trains was already affected by the derailment of the engine and nine coaches of the 12290 Nagpur-Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai) Duronto Express between Asangaon and Vasind, about 80 km from Mumbai, this morning.
 
The Western Railway said that, due to unprecedented heavy waterlogging, train services had been suspended temporarily between Elphinstone Road and Dadar on all lines from 1330 hours.
 
It said local services between Dadar and Dahanu Road were running but affected between Churchgate and Dadar due to water-logging between Elphinstone Road and Dadar.
 
Trains which were running were doing so 15-20 minutes behind schedule, sources said.
 
Teams of the  National Disaster Response (NDRF) are being sent to the affected areas to help the affected people.
 
At many places, the municipal staff had deployed pumps to pump out water from flooded areas.
 
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Several areas of Mumbai waterlogged as heavy rains lash city, disrupt rail, road traffic

 
Heavy rains cause waterlogging in Mumbai, rail, road traffic hit
Several areas of Mumbai were waterlogged and thousands of people were affected as heavy overnight rains disrupted the suburban railway system, the city's lifeline, and slowed down traffic on the roads.
 
The heavy rains continued for the fourth day today, creating traffic jams on key arterial roads and affecting flights to and from the nation's commercial capital.
 
The Central Railway said that, due to the very heavy and continuous rains, it had suspended its suburban train services on the main line between Parel and Kurla from 1230 hours and on the Harbour Line between Vadala Road and Kurla from 1220 hours.
 
The running of several long-distance trains was already affected by the derailment of the engine and nine coaches of the 12290 Nagpur-Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (Mumbai) Duronto Express between Asangaon and Vasind, about 80 km from Mumbai, this morning.
 
The Western Railway said that, due to unprecedented heavy waterlogging, train services had been suspended temporarily between Elphinstone Road and Dadar on all lines from 1330 hours.
 
It said local services between Dadar and Dahanu Road were running but affected between Churchgate and Dadar due to water-logging between Elphinstone Road and Dadar.
 
Trains which were running were doing so 15-20 minutes behind schedule, sources said.
 
Teams of the  National Disaster Response (NDRF) are being sent to the affected areas to help the affected people.
 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast intermittent rain or showers during the next 48 hours in the city and its suburbs, with heavy to very heavy fall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places.
 
According to sources, South Mumbai recorded 152 mm of rainfall in the 24 hours ended this morning, the highest during this season so far. The Santacru weather station recorded 88 mm of rainfall during this period.
 
Television pictures showed people wading through knee-deep water at many places and vehicles crawling on the roads and even stranded at many points.
 
The Disaster Management Unit of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai said that heavy rainfall was expected in the next 24 hours and advised people to stay indoors and not venture out unless required. It said the municipal administration was fully geared up and was monitoring the situation.
 
The Mumbai Police said traffic was moving slowly at many places such as Dadar, Churchgate, Akruti Mall, Andheri, Western Express Highway, Bahar Bridge and Santacruz Airport bridge sliproad due to the rains and waterlogging.
 
It said south-bound traffic towards Matunga was being diverted to Wadala due to waterlogging on Eastern Express Highway, SG Barve Road and V N Purav Road. Waterlogging was also reported at Byculla station (E) near Palace Cinema towards Rani Baug bus stop, it said.
 
Traffic on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link towards South Mumbai has been closed for some time for clearing traffic ahead, the police said, and advised commuters to plan accordingly.
 
The Milan subway and Andheri subway were closed due to waterlogging and traffic was slow at D N Nagar and BMW Junction. It also advised people to avoid going towards Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and Bandra East.
 
"High tide of 3.32mts at 16:30. Avoid waterfronts, sitting on tetrapods or on promenades. Pls cooperate with policemen on duty," the police said on Twitter.
 
"Heavy waterlogging expected in the coming hrs due to heavy  showers coupled with high tide. Pls chk ur route b4 venturing out," it said.
 
"Stay indoors as far as possible.Move out only if it is very important. Due to waterlogged roads, traffic not moving and slow at most places," it said.
 
The police advised people to dial 100 if they were stuck on the road or contact it on Twitter. "We will assist you," it said.
 
"If you are still at work, don't panic and leave. A little delay & planned travel may help you better," the police added.
 
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Nine coaches of Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derail, no injuries to any passengers

 
Nine coaches of Nagpur-Mumbai Duronto Express derail
Nine coaches and the engine of the 12290 Duronto Express from Nagpur to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Mumbai derailed between Vasind and Asangaon in Maharashtra this morning but none of the passengers was injured, official sources said.
 
The derailment occurred around 6 am, Central Railway spokesman Sunil Udasi told NetIndian. "No one has been reported injured so far," he said.
 
Mr. Udasi said doctors, officers and staff from nearby stations had rushed to the site, about 80 km from Mumbai, and the General Manager and other senior officers of Central Railway had left for the scene.
 
"We are arranging buses to bring passengers to their destination," he said.
 
The train had left Nagpur around 2040 hours last night and was due to reach CSMT, Mumbai at 0755 hours today.
 
According to Central Railway sources, apart from the engine, the coaches which derailed were the first to the ninth from the engine: SLR, H/1, A/1, A/2, A/3, B/1, B/2, B/3 and B/4.
 
Following the mishap, the Railways have diverted, short-terminated and cancelled some trains on the route.
 
The Central Railway has set up the following helplines for the benefit of passengers and their relatives:
 
CSMT 022-22694040
Thane 022-25334840 
Kalyan 0251-2311499 
Dadar  022-24114836
Nagpur 0712-2564342
Bhusaval 02582-222286
Nasik Road 0253-2467863
Manmad 02591-222345
 
This is the fourth derailment on the Indian Railways in the past ten days. On August 19, at least 21 passengers died and 97 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh.
 
On August 23, at least 43 passengers suffered injuries when 12 coaches and the engine of the 12225 Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh after a dumper collided with the train at an unauthorised crossing.
 
On August 25, five passengers suffered minor injuries when the four front coaches of a local train from Andheri to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) derailed in the railway yard near Mahim South in Mumbai.
 
After the accidents involving the Utkal Express and the Kaifiyat Express, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 23 and offered to resign, taking full moral responsibility for them. Mr. Modi, however, asked him to wait.
 
Later that day, the Government accepted the resignation of Railway Board Chairman A. K. Mital and appointed Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, an officer of the 1980 batch of the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME), as his successor.
 
On August 20, the day after the Utkal Express accident, the Ministry of Railways suspended four officials and sent three top officials, incuding Railway Board Member Engineering Aditya Mittal, on leave.
 
Based on prima facie evidence, the Junior Engineer (Permanent Way), the Senior Section Engineer (PW) and the Assistant Engineer of the concerned section as well as the Senior Divisional Engineer (II), Delhi Division of Northern Railway had been placed under suspension.
 
Apart from Mr. Mittal, a Secretary-level officer, the General Manager (GM) of Northern Railway, Mr. R. N. Kulshreshtha, and the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) of Delhi Division, Northern Railway, Mr. R. N. singh, had been sent on leave. The Chief Track Engineer of Northern Railway has been transferred.
 
Mr. M. C. Chauhan, General Manager, North Central Railway, will look after the duties of the post of General Manager, Northern Railway, while Mr. Anshul Gupta, Executive Director (Telecom Development), Railway Board has been temporarily posted as DRM, Delhi Division.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs. 1975 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs. 1975 crore across various business segment, including contracts worth Rs. 1331 crore bagged by its Power Transmission & Distribution Business in the domestic and international markets.
 
A press release from the company said these included orders secured across the Middle East for turnkey construction of various 132/11kV & 33/11kV sub-stations and 132kV cable feeders. These primary electrical power sub-stations and associated HV cable feeders are crucial elements in providing integrated infrastructure for spurring industrial growth.
 
In the domestic market, a rural electrification contract has been won from Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited (JBVNL) under the Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). The scope involves design, engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of 33/11kV substations, 33kV, 11kV and LT lines, BPL connections, and so on for the the electrification of Deogarh district in Jharkhand, the release said.
 
Other business segments of L&T construction have won orders worth Rs. 644 crores. An order has been secured from a prestigious government client to construct a Convention Center in Ranchi, Jharkhand. Another engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order has been bagged from Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Ltd. for design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of track works for the Ahmedabad Metro Rail Project Phase-1, it added.
 
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Eleven persons dead after their jeep collides with truck near Dhandhuka in Gujarat

 
11 killed as jeep collides with truck in Gujarat
Eleven persons, including ten members of a Mumbai-based family, died and one suffered serious injuries when a jeep they were travelling in collided head-on with a truck on the Dhandhuka-Barwala state highway in Gujarat, about 110 km from here, early this morning, official sources said.
 
Ahmedabad Rural District Superintendent of Police R V Asari told NetIndian that those killed included six women and five men. The victims included the driver of the jeep, Ahmed Malik, he said.
 
According to him, the family belonged to Mumbai and were in Gujarat on a visit. After spending some time in Vadodara, they hired a vehicle from there to visit Vallabhipur, their native place near Bhavnagar, and were on their way when the mishap occurred.
 
Mr. Asari said the driver of the jeep appeared to have dozed off at the wheel and lost control over the vehicle, which veered off to the opposite lane and crashed into the truck.
 
He said a boy, aged 16, was injured in the accident and has been admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment.
 
Police, fire brigade personnel and other emergency services personnel rushed to the scene and helped extricate the victims from the mangled jeep. All eleven victims died on the spot.
 
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One dead, two injured in building collapse at Chandivali in Mumbai

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One person died and two others suffered injuries when a part of a seven-storeyed under-construction building while some unauthorised portions of the structure were being demolished collapsed at Chandivali here this evening.
 
Fire brigade personnel who rushed to the scene pulled out three people from the debris and rushed them to hospital, where one was declared dead by the doctors while the other two are being treated for fractures in their legs, sources said.
 
The building had been vacated for the demolition work and only workers were inside it when the structure collapsed, they said.
 
The building was part of a redevelopment project and was originally a 17-storeyed structure. The demolition of the allegedly unauthorised floorshad started around September last year.
 
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India's forex reserves dip by $ 211.1 million to $ 393.401 billion

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India's foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 211.1 million to $ 393.401 billion during the week ended August 18,, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country's forex reserves had gone up by $ 163.8 million to $ 393.612 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement, the central bank said that  foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had decreased by $ 208.1 million to $ 369.691 billion during the week.
 
Foreign currency assets expressed in US dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 19.943 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went down by $1.2 million to $ 1.4975 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased by $ 1.8 million to $ 2.2696 billion during the week, the bulletin added.
 
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Five persons suffer minor injuries as four coaches of local train derail in Mumbai

 
Four coaches of Mumbai local train derail
Five passengers suffered minor injuries when the four front coaches of a local train from Andheri to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) derailed in the railway yard near Mahim South here this morning, Western Railway sources said.
 
The sources said the injured persons were given first aid. The mishap occurred around 0955 hours.
 
Traffic on the Wadala-Andheri section was affected due to the derailment, adding that efforts were on to re-rail the coaches as soon as possible. The restoration work was expected to be completed in three hours, they said.
 
All Western Railway main lines from Churchgate to Virar were unaffected by the mishap, they added.
 
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New biosensor promises faster kidney function test

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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay and IIT Indore have jointly developed a biosensor that makes it possible to detect kidney disorders in less than eight minutes.
 
The biosensor can accurately measure both the pH and urea concentration with a single drop of urine. Researchers who developed the biosensor believe that it will help make a point-of- care test to ascertain if kidneys are functioning normally.
 
For a kidney function test, doctors need an estimate of pH and urea as most kidney disorders result in reduced pH and higher concentration of urea. The available methods are accurate but patients have to undergo two tests. In addition, there is problem of contaminating components in urine such as calcium, chloride, ascorbic acid, sodium, and potassium.
 
The new biosensor, developed by Rashmi Chaudhari, Abhijeet Joshi, and Rohit Srivastava, can detect both pH and urea. It is made by encapsulating an enzyme urease and a molecule FITC-dextran in alginate microspheres. The combo emits fluorescence in response to chemical reaction with urea and changes in pH when urine is added. The fluorescence reduces when the pH is acidic and increases when it is alkaline. The changes in fluorescence intensity are measured, which helps to calculate the values of pH and urea.
 
“It is made using alginate which is safe and nontoxic to handle. It can work in the ideal pH range of 4-8, and is able detect even low concentrations of urea up to 50 millimolar,” says Chaudhari.
 
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Joshi, a co-author and faculty member at IIT Indore told India Science Wire that they had tested the biosensor on samples of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease procured from KEM Hospital and Apex Kidney Care in Mumbai and it showed an accuracy of more than 97%.
 
Srivastava, professor at the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Bombay, who led the study adds that, “the biosensor is stable for up to a month in a refrigerator and gives results that are unaffected by other components in urine samples”. It will help make a rapid and accurate point-of- care diagnostic test for kidney disorders, he says.
 
Bansi D Malhotra, professor at the Department of Biotechnology of the Delhi Technological University, who is not connected to the study, however, commented that while the biosensor uses fluorescence-based technique to detect urea in urine sample, “it is not user-friendly and cost-effective, compared to other (electrochemical) techniques, which is routinely used for this purpose.”
 
Results of the study, funded by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. 
 
(India Science Wire)
 
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RBI introduces Rs. 200 denomination banknotes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will issue tomorrow Rs. 200 denomination  banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series, bearing signature of Dr. Urjit R. Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India from select RBI offices, and some banks.
 
The new denomination has motif of Sanchi Stupa on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is bright yellow. The note has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the overall colour scheme, both at the obverse and reverse.
 
A press release from RBI said the following are the salient features of the new banknotes:
 
Obverse (Front)
 
1. See through register with denominational numeral 200
2. Latent image with denominational numeral 200
3. Denominational numeral 200 in Devnagari
4. Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre
5. Micro letters ‘RBI’, ‘Bharat' (in Hindi), ‘India’ and ‘200’
6. Windowed security thread with inscriptions ‘Bharat' (in Hindi) and RBI with colour shift. Colour of the thread changes from green to blue when the note is tilted
7. Guarantee Clause, Governor’s signature with Promise Clause and RBI emblem towards right of Mahatma Gandhi portrait
8. Denominational numeral with Rupee Symbol, Rs 200 in colour changing ink (green to blue) on bottom right
9. Ashoka Pillar emblem on the right
10. Mahatma Gandhi portrait and electrotype (200) watermarks
11. Number panel with numerals growing from small to big on the top left side and bottom right side
12. For visually impaired
 
Intaglio or raised printing of Mahatma Gandhi portrait, Ashoka Pillar emblem, raised Identification mark H with micro-text Rs. 200, four angular bleed lines with two circles in between the lines both on the right and left sides
 
Reverse (Back)
 
13. Year of printing of the note on the left
14. Swachh Bharat logo with slogan
15. Language panel
16. Motif of Sanchi Stupa
17. Denominational numeral 200 in Devnagari
Dimension
18. Dimension of the banknote will be 66 mm × 146 mm
 
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Banmali Agrawala appointed President, Tata Sons

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Tata Sons has announced the appointment of Mr. Banmali Agrawala as President, Infrastructure, Defence and Aerospace. 
 
He will report to the Executive Chairman, N Chandrasekaran, in his new role, a press release from the company said.
 
“The Tata group has a significant footprint in the infrastructure, defence and aerospace sectors. Banmali’s global experience in these industries will be very beneficial as we build scale and aspire for the next phase of growth. As part of the Tata Sons leadership team, his knowledge in several areas, including leadership development, digital infrastructure, innovation and technology, will be very beneficial to the Tata group,” Mr Chandrasekaran said.
 
“I am delighted to be back as part of the Tata group and contribute towards the phenomenal opportunities that the Tata group has in the core infrastructure-related sectors, in India as well as globally. I was privileged to be part of GE for close to six years and have learnt a lot at GE. I look forward to taking all my learnings and experience from GE onto my new role at Tata Sons,” Mr Agrawala said.
 
Mr Agrawala will assume his new role on October 1, 2017. Prior to this, he was President and CEO of GE South Asia, a position he held since February 2013. Earlier, Mr Agrawala was the executive director on the Board of Tata Power.
 
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Cabinet okays transfer of AAI land at Dahisar to MMRDA for metro shed

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for the transfer of 40 acres of Airports Authority of India (AAI) land at RR station, Dahisar to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) for its metro shed swapping with 40 acres of State Government land at Gorai, Mumbai.
 
The land transaction will enable MMRDA to complete the Metro rail project in Mumbai, an official press release said.
 
Under the modalities approved by the Cabinet, MMRDA will pay the difference in cost of land of 40 acres, as per the stamp duty ready reckoner rate based on 2016-17 arrived at Rs 472.70 crore or as per the ready reckoner rate at the time of final handing over of land, whichever is higher.
 
MMRDA will hand over the 40 acres of land at Gorai after levelling, grading and demarcating the boundary in all respects. It will also hand over all the land documents, revenue maps of Gorai land duly mutated in the Records of Rights in the name of AAI.
 
MMRDA will identify/demarcate 40 acres of land retaining 24 acres of land for AAI, with clear access/approach from the nearby city road. AAl will also hand over at least 2000 sqm. of land at Dahisar in advance on a temporary basis.
 
Maharashtra Government is implementing Mumbai Metro Rail Master Plan (146.50 Km) in phases to augment the overall public transport capacity of Mumbai. A special purpose vehicle, namely, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) under the MMRDA has been erected for implementing the Mumbai Metro project. MMRC has planned to construct a car shed on the Dahisar (E) to Andheri (E) metro corridor.
 
A portion of the identified land for car shed i.e. 17.47 hectares (approximately 44 acres) is owned by AAI. AAI owns a total land area of approximately 64 acres at Dahisar where Remote Receiving Station is located. Some part of the land is encroached upon, the release added.
 
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Essar Oil public shareholders to receive Rs 75.48 per share over delisting price

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Essar Energy Holdings Limited (EEHL) and Oil Bidco (Mauritius) Limited (OBML), the promoters of Essar Oil Ltd (EOL), today announced that they would pay to former minority shareholders, who tendered EOL shares in the Delisting Offer, an additional amount of Rs 75.48 per share, based on the current closing numbers, following the closure of the sale transaction with Rosneft and the Trafigura-UCP consortium.
 
The payment of around Rs 880 crore will be in addition to the Rs 3,064 crore that OBML had paid to the minority shareholders following EOL’s delisting in 2015, a press release from Essar said.
 
Essar founder Mr Shashi Ruia said: “We have always believed in creating value for all our shareholders. I am extremely happy with this outcome where we could maximise returns for our shareholders who had invested and believed in us. This transaction has created many records and the additional payout to shareholders over and above the delisting price is another first in the history of corporate India. This resonates with our philosophy of rewarding shareholders handsomely”.
 
EOL was valued at Rs 2,000 crore around the time of its listing in 1995, and has now been valued at about Rs 50,400 crore, a growth of 2420%. This value creation was made possible through continued strategic investments and growth of the businesses since commencement, the release said.
 
Mr Dhanpat Nahata, Director of EEHL said, “Essar Energy has created value not only for itself but also for the minority shareholders. The additional payment to minority shareholders is unprecedented as they got exit and liquidity upon delisting in December 2015, retained the upside from the transaction that has closed 20 months later, without carrying any downside risk.”
 
The promoters will shortly issue a public notice in this regard and as committed in the Delisting Offer of December 2015, the additional payout will be made within two months thereafter, the release said.
 
Of the 14.25 crore shares held by public shareholders, OBML acquired 11.66 crore shares through the delisting offer (including during the one year exit window) made to shareholders, as against the requirement of 9.26 crore shares for delisting. The shareholders tendered their shares through the reverse book building window made available to them under the delisting regulations. While the floor price for the delisting was set at Rs 146.05 per share in accordance with a SEBI-mandated formula, OBML agreed to pay Rs 262.80 per share, which was a premium of 80% over the SEBI mandated formula. Now, with the additional payout, the total price paid represents a premium of about 132%, the release added.
 
Russian oil giant Rosneft and the consortium of commodity and logistics major Trafigura and private investment group UCP have acquired 98.26% in Essar Oil Limited (EOL) for a total of $ 12.9 billion, making it India's largest inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) and Russia's largest ever foreign investment.
 
The transaction includes sale of includes sale of Essar Oil's refinery and retail assets ($10.9bn) together with Vadinar Port and related infrastructure assets ($2.0bn).
 
Rosneft (through its subsidiary, Petrol Complex Pte. Ltd) has acquired 49.13% stake, and Trafigura-UCP consortium (through Kesani Enterprises Company Limited) has acquired an equal stake. The remaining 1.74% stake continues to be held by retail shareholders.
 
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Essar Energy, Oil Bidco conclude sale of Essar Oil to Rosneft, Trafigura-UCP for $12.9 billion

A view of the Essar refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat
A view of the Essar refinery at Vadinar in Gujarat
Russian oil giant Rosneft and the consortium of commodity and logistics major Trafigura and private investment group UCP have acquired 98.26% in Essar Oil Limited (EOL) for a total of $ 12.9 billion, making it India's largest inbound foreign direct investment (FDI) and Russia's largest ever foreign investment.
 
The transaction includes sale of includes sale of Essar Oil's refinery and retail assets ($10.9bn) together with Vadinar Port and related infrastructure assets ($2.0bn), a press release from Essar said.
 
"The controlling shareholders of Essar Oil Limited (EOL)—Essar Energy Holdings Limited and Oil Bidco (Mauritius) Limited, both companies incorporated and managed under the laws of Mauritius—are pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the sale of 98.26% of EOL," the release said.
 
Rosneft (through its subsidiary, Petrol Complex Pte. Ltd) has acquired 49.13% stake, and Trafigura-UCP consortium (through Kesani Enterprises Company Limited) has acquired an equal stake. The remaining 1.74% stake continues to be held by retail shareholders, it said.
 
The release noted that the transaction had been initiated in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Panaji, Goa on October 15, 2016.
 
"This investment, which represents Russia’s single largest foreign investment made anywhere in the world, will open a new chapter for Indo-Russian economic cooperation. The transaction is also the single largest foreign investment in India, and re-establishes the country’s image as an attractive destination for foreign investments," it said.
 
"Essar Energy would like to thank the Government of India and the respective regulatory bodies for their support and guidance," it said.
 
Following this transaction, Essar has now helped attract more than $30 billion of foreign investments into India. Previously, in 2007, Essar Group, together with Hutchison Whampoa, brought Vodafone into India in a $11.1 billion transaction, the release said.
 
"Essar Energy thanks VTB Capital, its investment banking partner on the deal; and its legal and other advisors for their invaluable role in bringing this marquee transaction to closure.
 
"Essar Energy would also like to specially thank EOL’s lenders—State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Axis Bank, Yes Bank, and rest of the consortium—for supporting Essar Oil through its journey of over two decades that has now culminated in this value-accretive transaction," it said.
 
The deal includes EOL’s 20 MTPA Vadinar Refinery (one of the world’s largest, with a complexity index of 11.8), its pan-India network of over 3,500 retail outlets (representing India’s largest private sector retail network), as well as the associated refinery infrastructure. The transaction perimeter also includes the Vadinar Port (capacity of 58 million tonnes with world-class dispatch and storage facilities) and the Vadinar power plant (a 1,010 MW state-of-the art, multi-fuel unit that supplies both power and steam to the Vadinar refinery).
 
Essar founder Shashi Ruia said: “Today is a historic day for Indo-Russian economic ties. This transaction reflects the shared vision of two of the world’s most dynamic leaders. I congratulate Rosneft, Trafigura and UCP for investing in a world-class oil business, which we are proud to have built. For Essar, the closure of this landmark transaction ushers in a new phase of growth across our portfolio of businesses that hold great promise in India’s enduring development story.”
 
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Mr Prashant Ruia, Director, Essar Capital, said: “With this deal, we have completed our monetisation and deleveraging programme, which is the largest undertaken by any corporate in recent years. We have substantially deleveraged our portfolio companies’ balance sheets, reducing debt by over $ 11 billion (Rs 70,000 crore). With the completion of our capex programme, we now look forward to a period of growth in our wider portfolio of businesses.”
 
Mr Dhanpat Nahata, Director, Essar Energy Holdings Limited said: “With the closure of this landmark transaction, Essar Energy has set a stellar example of conceiving, building and nurturing a world-class asset and then monetising it at the right time. I would like to welcome Rosneft, Trafigura and UCP as the new shareholders of EOL, and thank my colleagues, the deal team of Essar Energy and our advisors for this achievement.”
 
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin stated: “This day marks the beginning of a new chapter for EOL. Together with our partners we intend to support the company to significantly improve its financial performance and, in the medium term, adopt an asset development strategy. The closing of the deal is a remarkable achievement for Rosneft too: the company has entered the high-potential and fast-growing Asia-Pacific market. The acquisition of the stake in the Vadinar refinery creates unique opportunities of synergies with existing Rosneft-owned assets and will help improve efficiency of supply to other countries within the region.”
 
Mr Jeremy Weir, CEO of Trafigura, commented: “Essar Oil will now be able to take advantage of the strengths of its international investors to further develop and enhance value to this world class asset.  Our stake in Essar Oil also complements Trafigura’s growing presence in India at a time when the country’s economic outlook is positive.”
 
Mr Ilya Sherbovich, Managing Partner of UCP Investment Group, commented: "Achieving a successful closing of the deal with a group of strong partners represents an important milestone for Essar Oil. We are confident that together with all the new shareholders - recognised leaders in their industries, we will oversee the growth potential of Essar Oil to increase the long-term value of the company."
 
Mr Yuri Soloviev, First Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank, said: “I would like to congratulate the parties on the successful completion of this important milestone transaction.  VTB Capital is pleased to have been able to act as financial adviser to Essar Energy on the sale of world-class assets to a strong consortium of investors.  India has become a core strategic market for the VTB Group and we look forward to working further with Essar and our broader Indian clients to further expand our franchise in the future.”
 
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RBI introduces Rs. 50 banknote in Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that it will shortly issue Rs. 50 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series.
 
The new banknotes, bearing signature of RBI Governor Urjit R. Patel, has motif of Hampi with Chariot on the reverse, depicting the country’s cultural heritage. The base colour of the note is fluorescent blue. The note has other designs, geometric patterns aligning with the overall colour scheme, both at the obverse and reverse, a press release from RBI said.
 
All the banknotes in the denomination of Rs. 50 issued by the Reserve Bank in the earlier series will continue to be legal tender, it said.
 
Some of the salient features of the new Rs. 50 banknote include see through register with denominational numeral 50; denomination number in Devnaari; portrait of Mahatma Gandhi at the centre; micro letters RBI, Bharat (in Hindi), India and 50; windowed demetalised security thread with inscriptions Bharat (in  Hindi) and RBI; Guarantee Clause, Governor’s signature with Promise Clause and RBI emblem towards right of Mahatma Gandhi portrait; Ashoka Pillar emblem on the right; Mahatma Gandhi portrait and electrotype (50) watermarks; and number panel with numerals growing from small to big on the top left side and bottom right side.
 
On the reverse side, the banknote has year of printing of the note on the left; Swachh Bharat logo with slogan; Language panel; Motif of Hampi with Chariot; and denominational numeral 50 in Devnagari.
 
The dimension of the banknote will be 66 mm x 135 mm, the release added.
 
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