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Mumbai rail services hit as commuters go on rampage against delays

 
Mumbai Central Railway Services hit as commuters go on rampage
Suburban train services on the Central Railway in Mumbai were disrupted today after angry commuters held protests against the delays in train services.
 
At Diva station, commuters also resorted to violence, resulting in injuries to some motormen and damage to railway property. This, in turn, led to a strike by motormen, which aggravated the situation further. Police resorted to a mild cane charge to disperse the protesters.
 
The commuters were angered by the delay in the suburban services after a pantograph of a train was broken near Thakurli station this morning, leaving hundreds of them stranded at Diva and other stations.
 
Some people pelted stones at trains and damaged railway property, sources said. 
 
As the protests gathered steam, train services were delayed by several hours.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, who hails from Mumbai and happened to be in the city, held talks with the motormen's union to persuade them to return to work and also with the Railway officials and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other state government officials to find a permanent solution to such problems.
 
Centrail Railway officials said the pantograph of a local train had tilted and broke arund 0650 hours between Thakurli and Dombivali stations on the Up slow line. Due to this, the overhead power was switched off for about 36 minutes and trains were diverted to other lines, leading to a delay.
 
Passengers began protesting by squatting on the tracks at Diva station, causing cascading delays. 
 
The officials said as many as 134 train services were cancelled today as a result of the protests. They said 10 EMU rakes were damaged, which will affect suburban services during peak hours over the next two days.
 
Two motormen and five personel of the Railway Protection Force were injured in the stone pelting, they said.
 
Seven automated ticket vending machines (ATVMs) and three booking counters at Diva station, two booking counters and six ATVMs at Dombivali station and a level crossing gate boom at Diva level crossing were damaged in the incidents, they said.
 
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India’s forex reserves decline by $287.5 million to $ 319.71 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $ 287.5 million to $ 319.71 billion in the week ended December 26, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had soared by a whopping $ 3.164 billion to $ 319.997 billion in 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 gone down by $ 271 million to $ 295.4 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 $ 18.985 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 13 million to $ 4.186 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 3.5 million to $ 1.139 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 2521 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said the Building & Factories business of its construction division had bagged orders worth Rs 2521 crore in December in the domestic and international markets.
 
A press release from the company said L&T Oman LLC, a subsidiary of L&T, had won a prestigious order from the Ministry of Transport & Communications in Oman for the construction of a new passenger terminal at Duqm Airport in the sultanate.
 
The scope of work includes constructing a modern passenger terminal building with a capacity to handle 500,000 passengers per annum,   a 37-metre high air traffic control tower, and an air cargo terminal equipped to handle 25,000 tonnes of cargo per annum.
 
The subsidiary also bagged an order from Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN); the Sultanate’s leading tourism and mega real-estate developer, for the turnkey construction of a 4-star hotel at Oman Exhibition and Convention Center.
 
In the domestic market, a major order has been secured from a developer for the design and construction of residential apartments at Bangalore, the company said. The scope of works includes civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and finishing works, it said.
 
Another order has been received from a client for the construction of 10 high end residential towers in Mumbai. The scope includes civil, structure and associated works, the release added.
 
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Dhoni retires from Test cricket, Kohli named captain for final Test against Australia

File photo of MS Dhoni.
File photo of MS Dhoni.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of India's greatest Test captains under whose leadership India became the number one team in the Test rankings, has decided to retire from Test Cricket citing the strain of playing all formats of cricket. 
 
"M S Dhoni has chosen to retire from Test cricket with immediate effect in order to concentrate on ODI and T20 formats," Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Sanjay Patel said in a press release.
 
"BCCI, while respecting the decision of M S Dhoni to retire from Test cricket, wishes to thank him for his enormous contribution to Test cricket and the laurels that he has brought to India," the release said.
 
Virat Kohli will be the captain of the Indian team for the fourth and final Test against Australia to be played in Sydney from January 6, the release added.
 
The announcement came shortly after Dhoni had faced reporters at the end of the drawn third Test against Australia in Melbourne, which meant that the hosts won the series 2-0.
 
He did not mention his retirement plans during the post-match press conference and the announcement came through a press release from BCCI.
 
Kohli, who has been considered Dhoni's successor for a long time, had led the Indian team in the first Test against Australia. Dhoni had been rested for the match as a prophylactic measure to ensure optimum recovery from an injury.
 
India lost the match by 48 runs in a close contest, but Kohli won praise for his aggressive approach.
 
Dhoni, 33, a wicket-keeper batsman, has had a poor run as captain on overseas tours in recent years, having lost to England in 2011 and Australia in 2011-12. The team also lost to South Africa and New Zealand before going down to England again in summer this year.
 
He made his Test debut for India against Sri Lanka at Chennai on December 2-6, 2005 at Chennai. The Melbourne Test against Australia, played from December 26-30, was his last.
 
In all he appeared in 90 tests and played 144 innings, scoring 4876 rus in all at an average of 38.09. His highest score was 224. He hit six centuries and scored 33 halfcenturies during his Test career.
 
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RIL's Nagothane manufacturing site to shut down for four weeks in planned turnaround

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) today siad it had scheduled a planned turnaround at its Nagothane manufacturing site in Maharashtra for about four weeks beginning around mid-January 2015.
 
During this period, the cracker and some of the downstream units will be shut down, a press release from the company said.
 
"This opportunity will be used to carry out routine maintenance activities and for implementing other profit improvement and energy conservation measures. RIL’s crackers and other downstream units at other locations will continue at normal levels of operations," it said.
 
"With advance planning and inventory management, impact on external sales is likely to be minimal," the release added.
 
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India’s forex reserves soar by $ 3.164 billion to $319.997 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves soared by a whopping $ 3.164 billion to $ 319.997 billion in the week ended December 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had jumped by $ 2.172 billion to $ 316.834 billion in 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 gone up by $ 3.31 billion to $ 295.671 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 $ 18.985 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRs) fell by $ 29.2  million to $ 4.199 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 117.6 million to $ 1.142billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Reliance signs shipping deal with Mitsui OSK Lines for ethane import project

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Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it had signed shipping agreements with one of the world’s largest and reputed shipping companies, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL) for transporting liquefied ethane from North America to India.
 
MOL will supervise the construction of six Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs), ordered by Reliance. MOL will also operate and manage the vessels after they are built and delivered, a press release from the company said.
 
Reliance, with this strategic tie-up with MOL, has achieved a key milestone for the successful implementation of ethane import project to feed crackers in India, the release added.
 
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Eros International acquires overseas rights of Dil Dhadakne Do, Bangistan

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Film entertainment major Eros International Media Ltd today said it had acquired the international rights of two Excel Entertainment’s films – Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do and Karan Anshuman’s Bangistan.
 
Dil Dhadakne Do stars Anil Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and Shefali Shah. Shot mostly in foreign locales on a cruise ship, the film is a drama centered around a dysfunctional Punjabi family.
 
Film critic turned director Karan Anshuman’s Bangistan stars Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat as two rival, blundering terrorists with Jacqueline Fernandez making a special appearance.
 
Eros International CEO Jyoti Deshpande said, "After a successful association for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, we are happy to once again partner with Excel who are known to make films that entertain as well as consistently offer a fresh take on cinema. Dil Dhadakne Do and Bangistan are looking extremely promising and we are looking forward to showcase these films internationally through our digital and distribution network."
 
Producer Ritesh Sidhwani, Excel Entertainment added, “We are happy to collaborate with Eros for these two exciting projects and present them on a worldwide platform through their outstanding distribution network”.
 
Eros will release Bangistan on April 17, 2015 and Dil Dhadakne Do on June 5, 2015 in the international markets, a press release from the company added.
 
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Thomas Cook launches customised holiday packages for senior citizens

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Travel services company Thomas Cook (India) Ltd has introduced a new product line, "Silver Breaks" that is exclusively focused on the segment of travellers of over 58 years of age --senior citizens or "Silvers".
 
A press release from the company said this segment offered an untapped opportunity of addressing the special needs of senior citizens who require personalised hliday solutions but currently have very few options.
 
The release quoted studies by Amadeus and Frost & Sullivan last year which said the market for outbound Indian senior citizens is projected to grow significantly from 1.3 million to over 7.3 million over the next 15 years.
 
Thomas Cook India said it expected the domestic segment to increase by a minimum of the same 7x multiple – and on a much larger base.
 
"Given this strong potential, Thomas Cook India intends to focus on serving the needs of middle and upper middle class senior citizens who have taken care of all their personal and professional responsibilities, have the means – and most importantly the time, to take top quality, competitively priced, specialised holidays where they do not have to worry or compromise," the release said.
 
The company said that, to ensure an in-depth understanding of the Silvers market segment,  it had worked extensively with members of the Dignity Foundation, a leading NGO in the elder space, to create special customised products for its Silver Breaks portfolio.
 
The specialized Siler Breaks itineraries offer support for special dietary needs, on- trip medical assistance, handpicked elder friendly hotels, experienced tour managers accompaniment, pre departure meetings,
entertainment evenings and high quality easy access vehicles covering destinations such as Thailand, UK and Italy in the outbound segment as well as the Golden Triangle and Kerala on the domestic front.
 
Mr. Rajeev D. Kale, President and Chief Operating Officer - MICE, Domestic & Sports Tourism, Thomas Cook (India) Ltd. said, “At Thomas Cook India, we continue our tradition of innovation by introducing a product line for a largely subserviced segment."
 
"Middle & upper middle class Indian senior citizens have taken care of all their responsibilities and have the means – and most importantly the time to take holidays where they do not have to worry or compromise. By working with members of Dignity Foundation, we were able to further understand their key needs– and hence our packages include airfare, all meals, elder friendly hotel accommodation and sightseeing, porter assistance, assistance for special dietary needs, on- trip medical assistance, handpicked experienced tour managers, pre departure meetings, entertainment evenings and easy access transport – all at very attractive price-value points. With the holiday season around the corner, Silver Breaks assures Silvers an unforgettable experience!” he added.
 
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Tata Motors opens online bookings for all-new Bolt

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Tata Motors today opened online bookings for its latest hatchback, the all-new Bolt, from its passenger vehicle stable. 
 
The Bolt will be available in petrol and diesel and will be the segment's first hatch to be powered by the 1.2L turbocharged Multi-point Fuel Injection (MPFi) Petrol Engine, Revotron 1.2T.
 
The diesel variant comes with a powerful 75PS engine, delivering 190 Nm of uninterrupted flat torque.
 
A press release from the company said Tata Motors has associated with Harman for developing the first-in-segment touchscreen infotainment and with MapMyIndia for next-generation smart phone based navigation, which also provides location-based services. 
 
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Jet Airways closes five-year syndicated loan in Middle East for $ 150 million

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Private sector carrier Jet Airways (India) Limited today said it had successfully concluded a five-year syndicated loan facility of $ 150 million, which was fully subscribed to by banks spread across the Middle East region.
 
Mashreqbank psc, was the sole Initial Mandated Lead Arranger and Book Runner for the transaction, a press release from the airline said.
 
The participating banks included Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, and Commercial Bank International PJSC as the Mandated Lead Arrangers and Ahli United Bank B.S.C and Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C., as the Lead Arrangers.  Alpen Capital acted as financial advisors to Jet Airways for the transaction.  
 
Earlier, Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways PJSC and Jet Airways had announced a long term strategic alliance with the investment by Etihad of a 24 per cent equity stake in Jet Airways and a 50.1per cent stake in Jet Privilege Private Limited.  
 
John Iossifidis, Head of the International Banking Group at Mashreqbank, said: “The successful closure of this transaction is clear evidence of the growing liquidity available from the Middle East, favouring large leading Indian corporates.”  
 
“India has always been an essential strategic market for Mashreqbank and we remain committed to working alongside our core relationship clients, to explore different forms of capital funding," he said.
 
Cramer Ball, CEO of Jet Airways, stated: “Jet Airways is renowned for introducing quality to India’s airline industry and it is time to re-energize and re-establish ourselves as the country’s leading full-service airline.  We will continue to build on this strong foundation as part of our three-year turnaround plan. This syndicated loan facility will be instrumental in underpinning the airline on this progressive path."
 
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Axar Patel to replace injured Ravindra Jadeja in Test series against Australia

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Twenty year old left arm spinner Axar Patel will replace injured all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja for the remainder of the Test series against Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said here today.
 
A BCCI press release said Jadeja, who has a shoulder injury, would return to India to undergo a rehabilitation programme.
 
Patel, who plays for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy, has played nine one-day internationals (ODIs) so far and taken 14 wickets, with 3 for 40 against Sri Lanka as his best figures so far.
 
He made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2012 against Madhya Pradesh.
 
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India’s forex reserves jump by $ 2.172 billion to $ 316.834 billion

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India’s foreign exchange resrves jumped by $ 2.172 billion to $ 316.834 billion in the week ended December 12, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here yesterday.
 
The forex reserves had dipped by $ 1.65 bllion to $ 314662 billion in 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 gone up by $ 2.406 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 $ 18.958 billion while its special drawing rights (SDRs) went up by $ 19.9 million to $ 4.228 billion.
 
India's reserve position in the Indian Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 253.5 million to $ 1.260 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Individual wealth in India grows 27.5% to Rs 257.4 lakh crore in FY 2014: Karvy

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Total individual wealth in India grew by 27.5 percent in financial year (FY) 2014 to Rs 257.4 lakh crore over FY13, while the total wealth held by Indian individuals in assets went up by 52.3 per cent to Rs 134.7 lakh crore and in physical assets by 47.7 per cent to Rs 122.7 lakh crore during this period, the latest India Wealth Report has said.
 
The 5th edition of the report from Karvy Private Wealth, the private management arm of financial services major Karvy Group, provides an overall perspective on wealth held by individuals in India across financial assets and physical assets (real estate, gold, diamond, silver and platinum).
 
The report said the wealth held by individuals in financial assets had grown by 84% in the last five years at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent.
 
"Considering the fact that the economy (Indian and global) had not shown healthy growth in this period, this gives an indication of how wealth will grow when the Indian economy does well in the next five years," it said.
 
According to the report, the Indian economy is expected to reach a GDP growth rate of 7.5% by 2018. 
 
"Due to macro- economic revival, we are seeing possibly the beginning of biggest bull runs in India. Direct Equity will become the single largest asset class contributing to individual wealth in India in year ending March 2015 overtaking Fixed Deposits and is likely to remain there. We expect a 25% CAGR on the equity markets and look at the Sensex touching 1,00,000 level by 2020!" it said.
 
The report said that overall Indian individual wealth is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.9% and double over the next five years. Wealth held by individuals in financial assets is expected to double in the next four years at a CAGR of 18.3%. Wealth in physical assets is also expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% in the next five years.
 
The report said individual wealth in India held in financial assets included Rs 29,39,702 crore in Fixed Deposits and Bonds (21.82% of the total financial assets).
 
It said the wealth held in other asset types included:
 
Direct Equity: Rs 26,66,202 crore (19.79%)
Insurance: Rs 22,12,654 crore (16.43%)
Savings Deposits: Rs 16,28,628 crore (12.09%)
Cash: Rs 13,00,900 crore (9.66%)
Provident Fund: Rs 7,36,096 crore (5.46%)
NRI Deposits: Rs 6,22,337 crore (4.62%)
Small Savings: Rs 5,78,851 crore (4.30%)
Mutual Funds: Rs 3,93,140 crore (2.92%)
Current Deposits: Rs 3,08,125 crore (2.29%)
Pension Funds: Rs 48,136 crore (0.36%)
Alternative Assets: Rs 23,727 crore (0.18%)
International Financial Assets: Rs 12,659 crore (0.09%)
 
Out of the Rs 122.7 lakh crore of individual wealth held in physical assets at the end of FY 2014, gold accounted for Rs 62,53,263 crore (50.96%), real estate Rs 50,38,978 crore (41.07%), diamond Rs 7,77,084 crore (6.33%), silver Rs 1,95,498 crore (1.59%) and platinum Rs 5,678 crore (0.05%).
 
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Mr. Sunil Mishra, CEO – KARVY Private Wealth, said, “Wealth with individual investors is expected to grow more rapidly in the next five years, riding on faster growth of the economy. The new government has undertaken a lot of initiatives to revive the Indian economy and make it among the fastest growing economies in the world. Several new policy measures like Make in India, Development of 100 Smart Cities, opening of FDI in several sectors, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Free pricing of auto fuels, financial inclusion by banking the unbanked etc. will also go a long way in making India more competitive and productive."
 
"We are standing at an interesting juncture where we are going to see a trend reversal between share of HH savings going into Financial Assets vs Physical Assets. This will change from 69:31 in favour of physical assets to 50:50, over the next five years," he added.
 
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Tata Power completes commissioning of 32MW wind project in Maharashtra

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Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, today said it had commissioned the final 8 MW of the 32 MW wind farm at Girijashankarwadi in Maharashtra.
 
The wind farm uses the 2 MW wind turbine from Kenersys India, a press release from the company said.
 
With this, Tata Power’s total wind generation capacity stands at 470.6 MW, with wind farms located across five states - Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, it said.
 
Tata Power has developed this project through its wholly owned subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited (TPREL). TPREL also has a further 300 MW of wind capacity under development and construction in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
 
The wind farm is expected to generate approximately 62 MUs per year which will be procured by Tata Power-Distribution towards fulfilment of its Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO). With this commissioning, Tata Power’s total generation capacity stands at 8623 MW.
 
Anil Sardana, managing director, Tata Power stated, “We are delighted to announce the commissioning of our wind project at Girijashankarwadi. Wind energy is an important part of our renewable energy portfolio and we aim to add 150-200 MW annually. We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through the generation of 20- 25 % of our total capacity through clean and renewable energy sources."
 
According to the release, Tata Power’s 470 MW wind portfolio and its 56 MW solar portfolio make it the largest renewable utility player in India.
 
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Railways to run Winter Specials from Mumbai to Ernakulam/Tirunelveli, Pune to Ernakulam

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The Railways will run 18 special trains between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Mumbai and Ernakulam in Kerala and Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu as well as between Pune and Ernakulam to clear the extra rush of passengers during the holiday season.
 
A press release from Central Railway said the composition of all three specials would be one AC-2 tier, one AC-3 tier, ten sleeper class coaches and one pantry car.
 
The 02065 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Ernakulam Special will leave LTT at 1250 hours on December 22, December 29 and January 5 and reach Ernakulam at 1400 hours on the next day.
 
In the return direction, 02066 will run as Normal Special and will leave Ernakulam at 17.00 hrs on December 23, December 30 and January 6 and arrive at LTT at 1930 hours the next day.
 
The halts for 02065 Premium Special are Panvel, Ratnagiri, Madgaon, Mangalore Jn., and Kozhikode.
 
The halts for 02066 Normal Special are Aluva, Thrissur, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalasseri, Kannur, Payyanur, Kanhangad, Kasaragod, Mangalore Junction, Udupi, Kundapura, Mookambika Road Byndoor, Bhatkal, Murdeshwar, Karwar, Madgaon, Karmali, Thivim, Sawantwadi Road, Kudal, Kanakvali, Ratnagiri, Sangameshwar, Chiplun, Khed, Roha, Panvel and Thane.
 
The 02057 LTT-Tirunelveli Premium Special will leave LTT at 13.20 hrs on December 25, January 1 and January 8 and reach Tirunelveli at 22.00 hrs next day. In the return direction, 02058 will run as Normal Special and will leave Tirunelveli at 07.55 hrs on December 27, January 3 and January 10 and arrive at LTT at 1620 hours on the next day.
 
The halts for 02057 Premium Special are Panvel, Madgaon, Mangalore Jn., Ernakulam Jn. and Nagercoil Town.
 
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The halts for 02058 Normal Special are Valliyur, Nagercoil Town, Eraniel, Kulitturai, Neyyantinkara, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kayankulam, Chengannur, Tiruvalla, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Aluva, Thrissur, Shoranur, Kuttipuram, Tirur, Kozhikode, Vadakara, Thalasseri, Kannur, Payyanur, Kanhangad, Kasaragod, Mangalore Junction, Udupi, Kundapura, Mookambika Road Byndoor, Bhatkal, Kumta, Karwar, Madgaon, Karmali, Thivim, Sawantwadi Road, Kanakvali, Ratnagiri, Chiplun, Roha, Panvel and Thane.
 
The 02059 Pune-Ernakulam Premium Special will leave Pune at 18.45 hrs on December 25, January 1 and January 8 and reach Ernakulam at 2005 hours on the next day.
 
In the return direction, 02060 will run as Normal Special and will leave Ernakulam at 05.15 hrs on December 27 and reach Pune at 07.10 hrs next day.
 
The halts for 02059 Premium Special are Panvel, Ratnagiri, Madgaon, Mangalore Jn and Kozhikode.
 
The halts for 02060 Normal Special are Aluva, Thrissur, Shoranur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Thalasseri, Kannur, Kasaragod, Mangalore Junction, Udupi, Karwar, Madgaon, Karmali, Kanakvali, Ratnagiri, Chiplun, Roha, Panvel and Lonavala
 
The release said bookings would open today through Internet only for train numbers 02065 leaving on December 22 and for trains 02057 and 02059 leaving on December 25.
 
For subsequent services, reservation will open 10 days in advance excluding the day of journey, the release added.
 
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Reliance Mediaworks to sell multiplexes business to Carnival Cinemas

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Reliance MediaWorks Ltd (RMW), a part of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) today said it had decide to sell its multiplexes business to Carnival Cinemas Ltd in the largest ever deal in the sector in India.
 
The proposed transaction will catapult Carnival to the ranks of the top three multiplex operators in the country, with over 300 screens nationwide, and set the company firmly on its path to achieve leadership in the business, a press release from the company said.
 
Shrikant Bhasi, Chairman, Carnival Group, said “I am thankful to Mr. Anil D. Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Group, for his support to a first generation entrepreneur like me, and in facilitating this transaction with Carnival Cinemas in preference to other leading cinema chains."
 
"We are targeting to achieve 1,000 screens by the year 2017, and look forward to the continued support of Reliance Group in our future growth," he said.
 
Sam Ghosh, CEO, Reliance Capital Ltd., stated, "We are delighted to begin a long term relationship with the rapidly growing Carnival Group, through the sale of the multiplexes business of Reliance MediaWorks to them. We look forward to supporting the group in their future growth initiatives in India and overseas."
 
He said the proposed transaction was in furtherance of Reliance Capital's stated objective of focusing purely on its core financial services businesses, significantly reducing exposure to non-core investments in the media and entertainment sector, and reducing overall debt.
 
The release said the transaction would reduce Reliance Capital's leverage by approximately Rs. 700 crore, through a combination of transfer of debt of RMW and infusion of cash proceeds.
 
The deal excludes real estate owned by RMW at IMAX Wadala and other properties, which are intended to be separately monetized for an approximate value of Rs. 200 crore.
 
Reliance Capital will have the option to acquire a pre-IPO minority stake in Carnival Cinemas at an appropriate discount, upon eventual listing of the company, the release said.
 
“We are very serious about exhibition business and are moving in an organic way also. Carnival Cinemas will not only make their presence in Tier I but would lay emphasis for strong presence across tier II & III cities. We want to make Cinemas synonymous to Carnival," Mr. Bhasi said.
 
The proposed transaction is subject to necessary statutory and other approvals and is expected to be closed within the current financial year.
 
EY are deal advisers to Reliance Group, and KPMG are acting as deal advisers for Carnival Group.
 
RMW has a presence across several businesses including film and media services, theatrical exhibition of films & and television content production and distribution. It operates one of India’s largest cinema chains, under the brand ‘BIG Cinemas’, with over 250 screens across India.
 
The Mumbai-based Carnival Group has diversified business in hospitality, media, real estate, entertainment and multiplexes. It operates cinema chains under the brand "Carnival Cinemas" with over 50 operational screens while 75 screens are to come on stream in the next two months taking the total portfolio to 125 screens. With the acquisition, Carnival Cinemas will reach 400 plus screens by this fiscal. Carnival Cinemas is currently present in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Prardesh and West Bengal. 
 
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Suresh Prabhu flags off three new trains from Mumbai

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Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu today flagged off three new trains frm Mumbai to Azamgarh via Allahabad and Jaunpur, Jaipur and Lucknow.
 
The trains are the 11053 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Azamgarh Weekly Express via Allahabad, Jaunpur; the 22933 Bandra Terminus-Jaipur Weekly Superfast Express and the 19021 Bandra Terminus-Lucknow Weekly Express.
 
Mr Prabhu also inducted the new rake of DEMU on Vasai Road-Diva-Roha section at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Mumbai).
 
He also declared the commencement of 11073 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Chennai Central Weekly Express from December 15 and 22115 Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Karmali Weekly AC Superfast Express from December 18.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prabhu underlined the need for the Railways to improve the travelling experience of railway passengers. He said expansion of tracks, signaling equipment, security and safety were areas which needed improvement.
 
He emphasised the need for cleanliness of stations, trains and coaches. He said base kitchens for quality meals and laundry for linen used in coaches must be set up so that users get the best amenities.
 
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Mr Justice Shiavax Vazifdar to perform duties of CJ of Punjab & Haryana HC

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The President has appointed Mr Justice Shiavax Jal Vazifdar, Judge of the Bombay High Court, to perform the duties of the office of the Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court.
 
The appointment will be with effect from the date he assumes charge of his office in that High Court, an official press release said.
 
Mr Justice Vazifdar, who has been transferred to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, has been directed to assume charge of his office there on or before December 16.
 
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India’s forex reserves dip by $1.65 billion to $ 314.662 billion

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India’s foreign exchange reserves dipped by $ 1.65 billion to $ 314.662 billion in the week ended December 5, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The forex reserves had climbed by $ 1.433 billion to $ 316.312 billion in the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, went down by 867.4 million to $ 289.955 million 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 fell by $ 753.2 million to $ 18.985 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDR) declined by $ 21.6 million to $ 4.208 billion during the week.
 
India's reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went down by $ 7.7 million to $ 1.513 billion during the period, the bulletin added.
 
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Tyeb Mehta's Falling Bull sells for Rs 17.54 crore at Christie's auction in Mumbai

Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's 'Falling Bull'
Tyeb Mehta's Untitled (Falling Bull) sold well above the estimate for Rs 17.54 crore ($ 2,818,072) to top fine arts auction house Christie's second auction in India here yesterday.
 
Francis Newton Souza's Untitled (Indian Family), an oil on board, went for Rs 9,02,25,000 ($1,449,398), while Vasudeo S. Gaitonde's Untitled 1998 oil on canvas ws sold for Rs 6,62,25,000 ($1,063,855).
 
Overall the auction totaled Rs 75,27,45,000 ($12,092,289), selling 90% by lot and 97% by value. This is the highest total for any auction of modern and contemporary Indian Art in 2014. 
 
Christie’s said they had a multitude of new clients, both online and in the room, and said it was an indication of its continuing success in India following a decade of market leadership in Indian art through international sales held in New York, London and Mumbai. 
 
More than 70% of the lots sold above their high estimates, a press release from the auction house said.
 
The evening’s auction buying came from India, Asia, the United States and Europe, with the top lot of the sale, Tyeb Mehta’s Untitled selling online against competitive bidding in the saleroom.
 
"This result confirms the international appeal of top quality Indian art and the power of online bidding. The pre-sale events in New Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai attracted a high number of collectors and interest from both new and existing clients.
 
A group of 10 contemporary works donated by the artists to benefit the New Delhi based Khoj International Artists’ Association, sold for a collective total of Rs 1.9 crore.
 
Sonal Singh, Head of Department, at Christie's Mumbai said: “Tonight’s results are an indication of the strong level of interest from clients who wish to buy exceptional works. The auction was sold 97% by value, mirroring the results from our inaugural sale in India."
 
She said the list of the top ten reflected the interest from clients for works by the modern masters.
 
"I was particularly delighted to see the interest in the Tagore pocket book, which sold for four times its pre-sale estimate, the highest price for a manuscript sold in India.”
 

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Actor Dilip Kumar discharged from hospital on 92nd birthday

 
Dilip Kumar discharged from hospital on his 92nd birthday
Renowned actor Dilip Kumar, who turned 92 today, was discharged this morning from the Lilavati Hospital here where he was admitted on December 6 for treatment of a chest infection.
 
Scores of his fans greeted the actor as he and his actress-wife Saira Banu as he stepped out of the hospital.
 
Later, he had a quiet birthday at home with members of his family and friends.
 
Pulmonologist Jalil Parkar, who was among those who treated the actor at the hospital, said, "Dilip Saab is feeling great now and does not require to be in hospital. So we have discharged him."
 
He said the actor would only be required to continue with his routine medication at home.
 
Dilip Kumar was taken to hospital after he complained of cold and breathlessness. He was later diagnosed with bronchopneumonia.
 
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Mumbai Indians appoint Ricky Ponting as head coach

File photo of Ricky Ponting
File photo of Ricky Ponting
Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Mumbai Indians (MI) today announced the appointment of former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as its head coach ahead of IPL season 8.
 
The most successful captain and is one of the most celebrated cricketers in cricketing history, Ponting was associated with Mumbai Indians as a captain and player in IPL 6. He continues his association in an enlarged role from the upcoming season.
 
John Wright, who was the team’s coach for season 6 and 7 is now tasked with evaluating and establishing a youth development organisation and will be working closely with the MI management on talent scouting for the team.
 
Meanwhile, Anil Kumble is elevated to the Owners Group and shall oversee the implementation of the Vision for Reliance Sports that currently has interests across multiple sports including football, basketball and cricket.
 
Kumble said, "We are delighted to have Ricky back with us and look forward to his contribution based on his experience and expertise. John Wright will continue his association with MI and will look after talent scouting and youth development, which is one of the areas that we would like to build a stronger base in years to come".
 
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Tata Power to acquire Ideal Energy Projects Limited

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Tata Power, India's largest integrated power company, today said it had signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) for acquisition of 100% shareholding in Ideal Energy Projects Limited (IEPL).
 
IEPL owns a 540 MW coal-based thermal power project near village Bela in Nagpur district of Maharashtra, out of which 270 MW was commissioned in May 2013 and is based on domestic coal.
 
"An agreement was reached between Tata Power and IEPL for sale of 100% stake in IEPL. The acquisition is subject to statutory approvals and certain conditions precedent," a press release from the company said.
 
"We are happy to announce our intent to acquire this project in Maharashtra. It is our constant endeavour to maximize stakeholder value in line with our vision," Mr. Anil Sardana MD and CEO, Tata Power, said.
 
With this acquisition, Tata Power's total generating capacity will increase to 8885 MW. This project will help Tata Power service its customers in Maharashtra competitively and also give opportunity to the company to work closely with the local communities in the vicinity to improve their quality of life, the release added.
 
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L&T Construction wins orders valued at Rs 2008 crore

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Infrastructure major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) today said its construction arm had won orders worth Rs 2008 crore, including two new international contracts, in November-December 2014.
 
A press release from the company said these included new orders worth Rs 1058 crore in the Power Transmission & Distribution Business.
 
Among these are an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) order from an Algerian transmission utility company, Sonelgaz-GRTE (National Society for Electricity and Gas). The order is for engineering, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of a 220/60 kV EHV sub-station at Bougzoul. 
 
The scope includes the construction of an air insulated sub-station comprising 220/60 kV bays, protection and substation automation systems, a DC system and auxiliaries. The contract encompasses design and construction of civil buildings with a complete set of utilities such as air-conditioning, fire protection and lighting systems.
 
This is a second order in Algeria after a breakthrough award of a 400kV sub-station.
 
At home, the business bagged an order in Jammu & Kashmir from the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited for the supply and erection of transmission lines as part of tower packages 2 & 3. The order involves setting up 220 kV single circuit and 66 kV double circuit transmission lines with associated transmission & interconnection systems.
 
Another transmission line order has been received from the Bihar Grid Company Limited for the supply and erection of 132 kV and 220 kV double and single circuit transmission lines. This is a part of tower packages which are associated with strengthening Bihar’s electric transmission system.
 
The business has also received an order from Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited for rural electrification works to be carried out under RGGVY -12th Plan on turnkey basis in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh.
 
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Additional orders worth Rs 319 crores have been received for various transmission line and sub-station works of various ongoing jobs.
 
The release said the Buildings & Factories Business had secured contracts worth Rs 920 crore, including one for the construction of a midfield airport terminal building and car park at Abu Dhabi.
 
The scope involves the construction of a multi-storey structure with extended at-grade parking to accommodate approximately 3,400 parking spaces with provisions for future development. The project also includes overall MEP systems comprising HVAC, MV, LV, plumbing, fire-protection, IT, security systems and a decorative PTFE facade with associated framework.
 
On the domestic front, an order has been secured from a two-wheeler manufacturer for the construction of various buildings for their upcoming manufacturing plant in Gujarat. The scope involves civil, structural and other associated works.
 
Orders worth Rs 30 crores have also been received from various ongoing jobs of Heavy Civil Infrastructure and Water & Renewable Energy Businesses, the release added.
 
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