Kapu leader Mudragada put under house arrest
MMNN: 26 July 2017
AMARAVATI:kapu leader and former minister Mudragada Padmanabham was on Wednesday placed under house arrest along with other leaders in Kirlampudi and other adjoining areas in view of his Chalo Amaravathi Padayatra starting Wednesday from his native place Kirlampudi.
Heavy police force deployed at Mudragada's residence. As many as 3,000 police personnel besides 50 inspectors and, 25 DSPs have been rushed from Kadapa, Chittoor, Kurnool and Krishna districts to the Konaseema region.
Police posts have also been set up on both sides of the road-cum-rail bridge and Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage and the Gammon Bridge at Rajamahendravaram, Kovvur and Vijjeswaram besides Ravulapalem and Siddantham bridges.
On Tuesday evening, as he boarded his car to leave the house police deployed at his residence sent him back. They informed him of his house arrest for the next 48 hours. Police also prevented his supporters from meeting him.
Mudragada Padmanabham is leading an agitation to force the state government to include Kapus in the BC list.
Director General of Police N Sambasiva Rao had earlier made it clear that if Mudragada did not take permission for his protest, the police would go by the apex court guidelines and take stringent action.
Jaganmohan Reddy sounds poll bugle at plenary, draws battle lines
MMNN: 13 July 2017
AMARAVATI: Blowing the conch two years ahead of the general elections, the opposition YSR Congress on Saturday urged the cadre to get battle-ready to take on the TDP with a call to the party rank and file to aggressively campaign against corruption in the Chandrababu Naidu government.
At the well-attended two-day national plenary at a specially-decorated dais in an open ground near Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) in Mangalagiri in the capital city region, party president Jaganmohan Reddy said the people are fed up with the three-year rule of the TDP government and waiting for an opportunity to send Naidu and his ministers packing.
In what could be a clear message, the plenary set its focus on Naidu as leader after leader who spoke at the meeting lambasted the three-year rule and targeted the TDP regime in 16 of the 18 resolutions adopted at the plenary. Making a brief address, Jagan said Naidu has turned the government as his personal fiefdom. "People of the state are saying that they have never seen such an atrocious government in their lifetime. They are eagerly waiting to oust the TDP government," he thundered amidst loud clapping and whistling.
As slogans like 'Jai Jagan' and 'CM Jagan' rent the air, Jagan released a book titled 'Emperor of Corruption' in which the party alleged Naidu had amassed Rs 3.75 lakh crore through kickbacks in the last three years alone. Appealing to the party leaders and cadre to stay united in their fight against the TDP, he said the party cadre should go to the masses to highlight the undemocratic rule of Naidu government.
Strongly pitching for revival of the his later father YSR's legacy, he said no leader in the country had stayed in the hearts of the people even eight years after death except YSR. "YSR is still alive in the hearts of millions of people in the state right from elderly people to the students. It is because of his golden rule. The only chief minister who is alive after death is YSR," said Jagan, prompting the party cadre to raise slogans like 'Johar YSR' and 'Amar Rahe YSR.'
Jagan said that any leader should live for the people and asserted that YSRC is following in the footsteps of YSR and take every step to live up to the expectations of the people. He said the party would chalk out an action plan for the next two years during the deliberations at the plenary.
Andhra Pradesh CM announces Rs 20 lakh financial assistance to Lakshmi Prasanna
MMNN: 6 July 2017
AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday showed empathy towards Laxmi Prasanna whose father Ramsubba Reddy killed himself after murdering his wife and two daughters for not being able to pay their college fees.
The CM announced Rs 20 lakh financial assistance to Lakshmi Prasanna, and assured to provide all the needed help for her education.
The barbaric crime of Ramsubba Reddy left his daughter Laxmi Prasanna in terrible state. Reddy murdered his two daughters and wife on Tuesday night at Tadiparthi in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district. He himself committed suicide.
Laxmi prasanna is his elder daughter and she is studying at Tirupathi. As she was not at home when the incident took place she is still alive.
The chief minister attended a programme held at Muktapuram village in Kanaganapalle mandal in Anantpur district on Wednesday. Women Commission Chairperson Nannapaneni Rajakumari brought Lakshmi Prasanna to the dais. The chief minister was moved by the pathetic state of the girl and consoled her. He announced that the government would deposit Rs 20 lakh in fixed deposit in a bank in her name. The chief minister asked the district collector to settle all the debts of her father and free 14 acres of their land.
Highway curbs: AP liquor shops shut from midnight
MMNN: 30 Jun 2017
AMARAVATI: At least 60% liquor shops in Andhra Pradesh will be downing their shutters from Friday midnight (early hours of July 1) as they did not get the anticipated relief from the state government. All bars and wine shops located close to the national and state highways will face an automatic closure as the tenure of their licences expires at 11:59pm on June 30.
In fact, the excise department stopped release of stocks to shops located on the highways three days ago. Besides, it also directed all the shops on the highways that do not meet the specifications mentioned in the Supreme Court's directive to shut shop immediately. The government, however, is worried about the loss of revenue due to the closure of 60 per cent of bars and wine shops. Inciden tally, GST, which is likely to cause a dent to the exchequer, comes into force on July 1.
"Under the new liquor policy, there is no renewal and all licences are issued afresh.Al the old licences issued up to June 30, 2017, will expire automatically and new licences will be issued for shops and bars under the new guidelines," a senior excise official told TOI. While Thursday was the last day for submission of new applications, the excise and prohibition department did not receive a single application from the shops located on the highways as they kept waiting for relaxation of guidelines. "We have the entire list of shops that are located close to the highways. The licensees are aware that their applications will be rejected, so all of them have backed out," said the official.
Meanwhile, liquor traders are leaving no stone unturned to ensure de-notification of the highways is completed.
AMARAVATI:Expressing happiness about Centre's decision to pick up Amaravati
MMNN: 24 Jun 2017
Expressing happiness about Centre's decision to pick up Amaravati as smart city, municipal administration minister Dr P Narayana has said that the state government is readying plans to make all the cities in the state as smart cities.
He said that they are readying a blue-print to develop all the cities in the state as smart cities with state, central and private funds. Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Narayana said that chief minister Chandrababu Naidu had directed them to ready the plans to transform all the cities into smart cities. "Centre is extending funds for development of Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Tirupati and Amaravati as smart cities under its quota. We have already spared funds to develop another six cities with state funds. Now, we are contemplating to develop all the cities as smart cities," said Narayana.
Minister said that Centre is giving Rs.100 crore grant to the smart cities and state is granting the equal matching fund. He said that they have lined up several projects to develop Visakhapatnam with Rs.200 crore and Tirupati with Rs.100 crore. "In addition to the funds granted by State and Centre, we will take up develop Amaravati with another Rs.500-Rs.1000 crore," he said. He explained that they would pool up funds under Private-Public Partnership (PPP).
Narayana said that the AP stood in number slot in the country thanks to the reforms introduced by the state government in urban administration. He said that they have introduced e-governance, double-entry accounting system, urban planning, building bylaws prompting AP to secure 96.96 points. He said that they have initiated reforms in all the 13 wings as proposed by the Centre. "We got 100 per cent marks in 10 wings and little less in three wings resulting in securing a total of 96.96. Otherwise, we would have got 100 out of 100 in all the wings," said Narayana. He said that Orissa stood in second slot with 92 points.
Andhra Pradesh: Five dead after inhaling poisonous gas
MMNN: 30 March 2017
Five workers died today after allegedly inhaling poisonous gas in an aqua food processing unit at Mogalturu town in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, police said. According to a senior police official in Eluru here, the five persons, aged between 21 and 25, were cleaning a tank filled with chemicals, used for shrimp processing, when they inhaled the gas, and died. The poisonous gas was suspected to be ammonia, police said. The tank is located over 100 meters away from Anand Aqua Food Processing unit at Nallavari Cheruvu under Mogalturu. The deceased belonged to villages in the vicinity of the plant, police said.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke to West Godavari District Collector Katamaneni Bhaskar and enquired about the incident. He directed Bhaskar to immediately take up relief measures.
Also, Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa spoke to district Superintendent of Police Bhaskar Bhushan and directed senior police officials to rush to the spot and submit a report.
YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the incident. He conveyed his condolences to the bereaved families
5 lakh trucks go off roads in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 30 March 2017
Over five lakh trucks went off the roads in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as part of an indefinite strike by transporters which began on Thursday in the two states. The lorry owners' associations in both states said the members suspended transportation services from 6 a.m. in accordance with the decision taken by the South Zone Motor Transporters' Welfare Association in support of their demands.
The association has exempted essential services like transport of vegetables, milk and petrol from the strike.
Andhra Pradesh Lorry Owners' Association claimed that three lakh trucks had stopped plying. The association in Telangana said as many as 2.70 lakh trucks were off the roads. Some trucks and mini lorries were operating to supply essential goods.
The truckers are seeking withdrawal of the central government order on increased third party insurance, challan fees and penal amounts. Transporters are opposing steep increase of 50 percent in Third Party Premium (TPP) for commercial vehicles.
They say the move will further cripple the transport community, which was already suffering due to adverse economic conditions created by the increased toll gate charges, high cost of spare parts and diesel.
The association is also opposing the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill 2016 and the vehicle scrapping policy.
Stating that there was no link between the age of a vehicle and pollution, the transporters' body argues that it was fitness that was important.
Telangana State staff raises voice against Contributory Pension Scheme
MMNN: 27 Feb. 2017
Thousands of employees and teachers on Sunday protested against the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) for them and demanded the government to bring back the old pension scheme immediately at a programme organised at Nizam College Grounds here on Sunday.
The employees and teachers have raised their voice and protested against TRS MLA and president of Telangana Gazetted Officers Association V Srinivas Goud while he was addressing the meeting and demanded him to introduce a resolution in the Assembly opposing the new pension scheme.
Bowing down to the demand of the protesters, Srinivas Goud announced from the stage that he would ensure passing of a resolution in the Assembly against the new pension scheme and would also strive to convince Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for withdrawing implementation of new pension scheme.
The protestors wanted to know why the ruling party had failed to adopt a resolution in the Assembly opposing the new pension scheme in the recently concluded session. In fact, the Telangana government had adopted the CPS when it was asked to exercise its option after the formation of the new state. It may also be recalled here that Finance Minister Eatala Rajender strongly supported the CPS and said the employees who had opted for the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) would get more money at the time of retirement, compared to those under the old pension scheme.
Meanwhile, various government employees and officers' associations assured their support to the movement against the new pension scheme for the government employees. The protest meeting, named as Shankharavam, was organised by the Telangana State Contributory Pension Scheme Employees Association (TSCPSEA) with the participation of employees of CPS from 31 districts of the state.
Telangana Non Gazetted Employees Association honorary president Devi Prasad called upon the employees to participate in Chalo Parliament programme on March 2. He said that due to the opposition of the employees, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Bill was not introduced till 2013 in Parliament. Devi Prasad made it clear that the withdrawal of new pension scheme should be the aim and objective of the employees.
He said that a unified action plan should be prepared to bring pressure on the governments to withdraw the CPS. The NGOs leader said that a delegation of employees should meet the Chief Minister to convince him to reject the new pension system. President of TSCPSEA Sthitha Pragna said that with the introduction of CPS several retired employees were unable to get pension benefits. He called some retired employees and kin of the deceased employees on to the stage who narrated their woes.
Former MLC K Nageshwar said that under the new pension scheme the pensionary benefits of the employees would be subject to volatility of the stock market. The employees were also denied even the family pension under the new scheme, he said. Telangana State United Teachers Federation president Narsi Reddy said the government should scrap the new pension system immediately. He extended the support to the agitation of the CPS employees. Telangana should become a role model by scrapping the new pension scheme, he said.
Junior College Lecturers' Association president Madhusudan Reddy said the CPS system has become a nationwide issue and entire nation has been looking at Telangana on its movement against the new pension system.
The meeting was addressed by Uttar Pradesh Teachers' Association president Vijaykumar Bandhu, Panjab teachers' leader Surjeet Singh, Himachal Pradesh teachers' leader Naresh Thakur, TGOs president Mamatha, STU leader Bhujanga Rao, PRTU leader Sarvotham Reddy, TNGOs leader K Sivaji, Group - 1 Officers' Association, Tahasildars' Association, and Revenue Employees Association leaders.
Centre mulls dedicated cargo airport for Telangana
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 27 Feb. 2017
The Centre is considering a proposal each from Telangana and Uttar Pradesh for setting up a 'dedicated cargo airport.'
Telangana wants a dedicated cargo airport to be built in northern Hyderabad, while Uttar Pradesh is seeking the green signal to construct one such airport in the western part of the state, official sources said.
The Centre has informed these two states that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had appointed a consultant to study and suggest name(s) of airport(s) or site(s) in the country that can be 'developed' or 'converted' as 'dedicated cargo airport(s)' - which may also be termed as 'merchant airport(s).'
The AAI, subject to the Centre's approval, would facilitate the construction of such dedicated cargo airport(s) once the site(s) and plans are finalised, and after finding that the same would be geographically suitable for air transportation, the sources said. They added that the cargo airport(s) may also act as 'air cargo hub(s)' in the country.
To ensure commercial viability for airlines, the other pre-requisites for a dedicated air cargo airport include that the site has to be a 'consumption cluster' - where there is a huge demand for consumer-based goods. The site should also be an 'industrial cluster' - where there are many goods manufacturing units and a huge industrial base.
Besides, the site should also have well-connected rail/road and airport network for multi-modal transport connectivity, the sources said. The site should also be able to handle large aircraft for transporting cargo in large volumes and for airlifting purposes.
According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, there were five operational airports in the (erstwhile) state of undivided Andhra Pradesh. These are in Hyderabad, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, Vizag and Vijaywada - where commercial flights are operate carrying passengers and cargo.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) is managing the new Hyderabad airport in the Telangana state, the ministry said. It added that the AAI is still maintaining the old (Begumpet) Hyderabad Airport in Hyderabad that is not to be used for aviation-related commercial activity.
As far as Uttar Pradesh is concerned, the Civil Aviation Ministry said the operational airports are in Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi - where commercial flights run their business carrying passengers and cargo.
Air transport freight grows
According to the World Bank data, air transport-freight (volume of freight, express, and diplomatic bags carried on each flight stage - that is, operation of an aircraft from takeoff to its next landing) is measured in metric tons times kilometres.
Air transport-freight for India grew from 96.3 million ton-km in the year 1970 to 1833.8 million ton-km in 2015 (it was 1851.3 million ton-km in 2014). Global air transport-freight grew from 15,568.7 million ton-km in 1973 to 188,000.2 million ton-km in 2015, the Bank data showed.
Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu Says He's 'Breaking His Head' Over Demonetisation Problem
VIJAYAWADA:MMNN: 21 Dec. 2016
BJP ally and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who had initially supported demonetisation, on Tuesday did a virtual volte face, saying the decision was not as per "our wish" and that a "lot of problems" still remain without any solution in sight.
Chandrababu, who significantly heads a 13-member committee appointed by the central government to look into demonetisation issues, warned that unless remedial measures are taken, people's woes would continue in the long-term.
"Demonetisation was not our wish but it happened. More than 40 days after demonetisation, there are still a lot of problems but yet there appears to be no solution," he said addressing a workshop of MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other leaders of his Telugu Desam Party (TDP) here.
"It still remains a sensitive and complicated problem," said Chandrababu.
"We could resolve the 'August crisis' (an internal party coup dating back to 1984) in 30 days but this (demonetisation) still persists," he said.
He said banks were "not prepared" for a transition to digital economy. "They are unable to even register banking correspondents," he added..
Chandrababu had initially been a strong proponent of ban on high denomination currency notes of 500 and 1,000. In fact, he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 12 reiterating his demand.
On November 9, a day after the Prime Minister came out with the demonetisation announcement, the TDP had even claimed credit saying it was a "victory for Chandrababu" over his fight on corruption.
"This is a moral victory for the TDP," the party had said in posts on Facebook and Twitter.
"Prime Minister Modi may have taken the decision now but Chandrababu had these thoughts even when he was in the opposition (2004-14). He had been fighting for scrapping of 500 and 1,000 notes since then," the TDP said in a Facebook post.
The party media cell dug out newspaper clippings dated back to June 2013 when Chandrababu raised the demand for the first time.
But as people started facing trouble in exchanging the scrapped notes as well as in withdrawing cash from their savings accounts, Chandrababu seemed to change his tone and started making critical remarks about the Centre s move, particularly the introduction of 2,000 notes.
Telangana govt opposes more Krishna river water to Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 21 Dec. 2016
The Telangana state government has opposed the Krishna River Management Board's interim order to release higher share of Andhra Pradesh for the Rabi season and sought an immediate rectification of the order.
On Monday, KRMB ordered to an interim release of water to AP and Telangana in 70:30 ratio as against the agreed ratio of 63.13:36:37. The interim release, Telangana officials claim, would give an extra 6.87 per cent of water to Andhra Pradesh.
Special chief secretary, irrigation department, S. K. Joshi, wrote to KRMB member-secretary Sameer Chaterjee on Tuesday stating that the Telangana government is in disagreement with the order making allotments to AP and TS in the ratio of 70: 30 and has decided to protest. He wrote that on the basis of orders issued by the erstwhile AP government, out of 811 TMC ft of dependable water, the share of AP and Telangan-a is respectively in the rat-io of 512: 299 TMC ft, that is, 63.13: 36.87 per cent.
He wrote that this was also agreed to in the meeting between the two states held on June 21, 2016 in the ministry of water resources. "The same ratio should be maintained till it is modified by the Tribunal, as such you may take action to revise the release order at the earliest," Mr Joshi stated in his letter.
The Board passed the controversial order after failing to get consensus between the two states for an agreement on the release of Krishna waters to meet the needs of the Rabi crop. The KRMB member secretary in his order clearly observed that there are different views regarding sharing of the balance eligible water by the respective states.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh lag behind in buying medical insurance
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 17 Dec. 2016
The states of Telangana and AP are not in the list of top five states that insure their health. Five states, namely, Mahar-ashtra, TN, Karnataka, Delhi and Gujarat contributed 69 per cent of the total health insurance premium, according to the annual report of the Hyderabad-based Insurance Regulatory Development Authority released on December 15.
The IRDA report said, 'Rest of the 31 states and UTs including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana contributed 31 per cent of the total health insurance premium. Maharashtra alone contributed Rs 7,715 crore, that is, 32 per cent of total health insurance premium. On the other hand, the health insurance premium from the eight sister states of North Eastern India (including the state of Sikkim) was only Rs 195 crore (0.80 per cent) for the year 2015-16.
The report revealed that the premium collection in the health segment continued to surge ahead at Rs 27,457 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 22,636 crore in 2014-15, registering a growth of 21.30 per cent.
During the financial year the general insurance and standalone health insurance companies have settled 80.35 lakh health insurance claims and paid Rs 21,759 crore towards claims.
Meanwhile, the life insurance industry in the country recorded a premium income of Rs 3.6 lakh crore during 2015-16 as against Rs 3.2 lakh crore in the previous financial year, registering growth of 11.84 per cent.
"Around 8.54 lakh claims were settled with a total payout of Rs 12,636 crore. The claim settlement ratio of LIC was better than that of the private life insurers. Settlement ratio of LIC had increased to 98.33 per cent," said IRDA.
The number of claims rejected was 15,157 for an amount of Rs 736.51 crore. The number of claims pending at the year-end was 6,031 and the amount involved was Rs 444.23 crore.
Motor business continued to be the largest non-life insurance segment with a share of 43.89 per cent.
An IRDA official said, "Instances have been brought to the notice of the authority that insurers are not complying with the orders of Consumer Forums, Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, and Awards of Insurance Ombudsman. All insurers have to comply with the orders of judicial and quasi judicial bodies as per time lines specified in the orders or within 60 days of receipt of the order by the insurer in cases where no time limit is specified in the order. If the insurer chooses to prefer an appeal against the order, such appeal shall be preferred within the stipulated time limit as per applicable rules and the customer should be informed."
The Overseas Travel Insurance sector has issued 22.39 lakh overseas travel insurance policies covering 39.29 lakh persons.
Telangana: 11 Opposition MLAs suspended from Assembly
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 17 Dec. 2016
Nearly a dozen members of the Congress and TDP were on Saturday suspended from the Telangana Legislative Assembly over their demand for debate on defection of Opposition MLAs into ruling TRS. The suspension of nine Congress and two TDP MLAs for the day came as the Opposition members entered the well of the house.
Talking to reporters after suspension, Congress MLA M Bhatti Vikramarka alleged that their suspension and alleged defection of Opposition members into TRS was against principles of democracy.
The ruling TRS MLA G Suneetha told reporters that the Congress members tried to stall the House as they did not want the good work being done by the government to be discussed in the House.
It was decided to take up any adjournment motion after Question Hour but Congress members tried to stall the proceedings, she said.
Congress and TDP adopted double standards on defection as Opposition YSR Congress members have joined the ruling TDP in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh now and Opposition members were admitted into Congress when Y S Rajasekhar Reddy was Chief Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh, she alleged.
Where are High Security Registration Plates? High Court poser to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 14 Dec. 2016
The Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday issued notices to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on the issue of High Security Registration Plates (HSRP), directing them to file their counters to a petition questioning their inaction in ensuring HSRP on all vehicles.
HSRP has been favoured by both the Centre and the Supreme Court as it allows for easy tracking of vehicles in case of theft or terror acts.
The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice A Shankar Narayana was dealing with a plea by one Swatantra Rai from Uttar Pradesh urging the court to direct both the states to implement HSRP norms as per the directions of the SC and Rule 50 of the Central Motor Rules 1989.
Petitioner's counsel Turjya N Ganguly told the court that according to the rules brought in by the Centre and states, all new vehicles must have HSRP. For old vehicles, the two-year deadline to shift to HSRP had expired in 2015.
"The ground reality is that a scheme such as HSRP , which was approved by SC as one that is important for national security, has not been implemented at all," Ganguly said. The bench gave four weeks to the states to file their counters.
With just Rs 2,500 crore quota remaining, Telangana goes neutral
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 14 Dec. 2016
Telangana might have to make do with limited cash in the financial system with the state estimated to receive only Rs 2,500 crore more in new currency notes. The state, as per central government estimates, is to receive 20,000 crore in new currency that works out to 5% of its GDP.
RBI has already sent Rs 17,500 crore to the state.
At a meeting on Tuesday, the chief secretaries of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh discussed various issues including availability of currency notes, accessibility of ATMs and availability of smaller denomination currency. The meeting was chaired by Union minister of state for labour and employment Bandaru Dattatreya. State finance and labour ministers Etela Rajender and Nayani Narasimha Reddy, officials from the RBI and leading banks also participated. The officials estimated that the state needs smaller denomination notes -Rs 100, Rs 50, Rs 20 and Rs10 - totalling Rs 5,000 crore urgently.
Dattatreya told the media that he had urged Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to issue more lower denomination notes in large numbers as it will be beneficial to a large number of workers and the common man.
Dattatreya said that Te langana and AP received a total of Rs 33,000 crore in new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 so far. Another Rs 1,500 crore can be expected to reach Telangana soon, he said.
Rajender said of the money received by the state so far, 96% of the new currency notes were in Rs 2,000 denomination causing untold hardship to the people who have no access to smaller currency notes.
Andhra Pradesh Govt Braces to Face Cyclone Vardah
MMNN: 10 Dec. 2016
With severe cyclone Vardah expected to cross the Bay of Bengal coast in the next two days, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday placed the administrative machinery in SPS Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts on high alert to meet any eventuality.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu conducted a teleconference with officials of different departments this morning and directed them to take all precautionary measures.
"I have cancelled my trip to the Gulf (scheduled to begin tomorrow). I will constantly monitor the situation," he told the officials.
The cyclone is currently 840 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam. The sea continued to be very rough around the Andhra coast, according to the National Disaster Management Authority.
It moved west-northwestwards in the past few hours at the speed of 17 kmph. The system is very likely to move west-northwestwards and intensify further during the next 24 hours, the NDMA said.
"The cyclonic storm is very likely to maintain its peak intensity up to evening of December 11, 2016," NDMA added.
According to the weather forecast, the cyclone may make a landfall somewhere between Kavali and Machilipatnam and under its impact rainfall is likely in the south coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.
"Keep adequate stocks of food and also cash. Electricity poles and cement should also be kept ready for any emergency," the Chief Minister directed the officials.
Andhra Pradesh government removes Sekhar Reddy from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board
Chennai : MMNN: 10 Dec. 2016
The Government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to expel J Sekhar Reddy, from Chennai, from the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Trust Board, following an Income tax raid in his residence and other locations has resulted in seizure of a large amount of currency and bullion.
The decision to remove Reddy from the Board, which manages the wealthiest temple in the country Tirumala Tirupati temple, was taken by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, according to sources.
The Department of Income Tax Department at Chennai has started searches in the case of a group engaged in sand mining, allegedly including Reddy, on Thursday and has seized Rs 106.52 crore of cash and 127 kilogram of gold, according to a department release. Raids were conducted in eight premises including six residences and two offices.
"During the search, Rs 96.89 crore cash on old high denomination notes and Rs 9.63 crore in new Rs 2,000 currency notes along with gold weighing 127 kgs worth approximately Rs 36.29 crore were found and seized, as unaccounted assets," said the official announcement.
More specific details including modus-operandi would emerge after examination of the documents and other evidence detected during the search, it added.
According to the Devasthanams website, Reddy was one of the 16 members of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Trust Board.
College owner held for misusing employees' bank accounts in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada
Hyderabad:MMNN: 30 Nov. 2016
A private college owner was on Tuesday detained along with a bank manager for allegedly depositing demonetised notes worth around Rs 80 lakh into his employees' salary accounts and withdrawing the money in new currency in Andhra Pradesh's Vijayawada.
Officials said that Gandhiji Women's College owner C Laxmikanta Rao hoodwinked his employees into signing blank money withdrawal forms on November 11 before depositing the money into Tamil Nadu Mercantile Cooperative Bank's 42 accounts.
"The college had salary accounts with Punjab National Bank, but due to some service related complaints, the college opened new salary accounts with Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank in the first week of November before the demonetisation announcement," said Assistant Police Commissioner G Rama Krishna. "Although, some lecturers realised what was going on, they did not say anything at that time."
Rao and his clerical staff made the deposits without the knowledge of the staff before starting the process of withdrawing the money in new currency using the withdrawal forms from November 22.
"Over last one week, some lecturers got text messages that money was withdrawn from their accounts and they became alarmed and informed police," said Krishna. "We conducted an inquiry and have started questioning a few people from the college and bank officers who we suspected colluded to turn black money into white."
Telangana govt seeks suggestions on promoting cashless transactions
Hyderabad: MMNN: 30 Nov. 2016
Having decided to move towards a cashless economy, the Telangana government today invited suggestions from the public on going about the task.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has already constituted a task force, headed by senior IAS officer Suresh Chanda, to devise means to promote cashless transactions.
"A task force has been constituted to study the cashless payments and receipts system and suggest policy and infrastructure measures required for moving towards a cashless economy. Hence, the citizens are requested to give their suggestions on the above subject, positively by December 10, 2016 to the following email id: email@example.com," the state government said today.
After a meeting of the state Cabinet last night, the Chief Minister said the government has decided to promote bank-based, cashless transactions. The measures announced by him include accepting cashless transactions in the Registration Department.
He also said the state IT department would come up with a mobile application, 'TS-Wallet', for the benefit of the citizens.
Telangana Intentionally Delaying Assets Sharing?
MMNN: 23 Nov. 2016
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh officials were to sit in the presence of Central government to decide upon sharing of assets of AP Bhavan, following the directive of the Supreme Court.
Telangana government which is not keen on sharing the assets of population ratio is trying to delay the process in different ways.
The Union home secretary had convened a meeting of the Chief Secretaries of the two states on November 15th but it was postponed at the last minute to 21st of this month.
But then the meeting was also canceled as Telangana Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma has written to the Union home secretary that he would not be able to attend the meeting since he was busy with some assignment.
The meeting is likely to be pushed to December or later since Rajiv Sharma will be retiring this month-end and the new meeting on sharing of AP Bhavan assets between both the Telugu States will be possible only in December, after the appointment of a new Chief Secretary to Telangana.
Andhra Pradesh to launch family health insurance scheme
Hyderabad: MMNN: 23 Nov. 2016
The Andhra Pradesh government plans to introduce a family health insurance scheme in the state from January 1. A family can avail of the scheme by paying Rs 100 premium per head.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that Andhra Pradesh will be the first state to implement such a scheme. He added that the World Health Organisation, Bill Gates Foundation and other noted health organizations will be involved in the scheme. He promised that best global health insurance practices will be introduced.
Officials have been asked to complete premium collection and enrollment within two months to launch the scheme that is estimated to cost Rs 160.56 crore. They said necessary allocations for the scheme would be sanctioned in the next budget.
The Chief Minister plans to launch Swasta Vidya Vahini at 222 places to provide nutritious food to students in the state on December 24. He called the two schemes a new year gift.
Four crore people separately get free medical services in the state under NTR Vidya Seva while 16.13 lakh government employees have access to free health services.
Andhra Pradesh seeks Rs10,000 cr in smaller denominations to fight cash crunch
Vijayawada: MMNN: 19 Nov. 2016
In the wake of currency crunch caused by demonetisation of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday night wrote to the Centre listing a set of demands, including release of cash worth Rs10,000 crore in smaller denominations for the state.
He also sought waiver of user charges on all online transactions and supply of 'point of sale' swiping machines at a subsidy of 80%. "Treat AP as a special case and release smaller denomination notes to meet the people's needs," Chandrababu wrote in the letter.
The chief minister earlier reviewed the situation with RBI officials, bankers and state officials in Vijayawada on Friday night. "We will bring whatever cash is required for the people of the state. People also should make use of technology and cooperate with the government in this hour," Chandrababu told reporters later.
Online transactions would curb corruption, he said, adding that henceforth all government transactions would be only online. "From 1 December, we will start cashless ration distribution through the 29,000 fair price shops," he said.
Noting that people were apprehensive about security issues in online transactions, the chief minister said he requested the Centre to link all bank accounts with Aadhar card and iris imprint and finger prints.
"Right now user charges are being levied heavily on online transactions and PoS machines. The user charges should be waived and people given incentives to encourage cashless transactions," Chandrababu added.
Andhra Pradesh Engineering Student Kills Herself Due To Alleged Ragging
VIJAYAWADA: MMNN: 19 Nov. 2016
A girl student of an engineering college in Andhra Pradesh committed suicide on Friday allegedly due to ragging.
She was allegedly ragged by her seniors in a private engineering college in Nandyal town of Kurnool district.
Usha Rani, a first year B Tech student from Kadapa district, ended her life by consuming poison. She died at a hospital in her home town Budvel.
She had gone home early this month and returned to college hostel with her father on Thursday.
She told her father that she did not want to study in this college. They were returning to Budvel when Usha started vomiting. She was admitted to a hospital where she died in the early hours of the day.
Usha's family alleged that she committed suicide due to ragging. The college management has denied the claim.
Some junior students also claimed that she committed suicide due to ragging. They said the management failed to act on complaints.
The police were investigating the case to know the cause of the incident.
Rs 17,500 cr WB booster shot for Andhra Pradesh's Amaravati city
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 16 Nov. 2016
World Bank, Hudco and Andhra Bank together have 'in-principle' sanctioned an amount of around R17,500 crore for building the greenfield capital city, Amaravati. According to Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the state government has proposed to spend R32,500 crore in the next four years to build Amaravati city.
Naidu has also directed officials to scout for international funding agencies that extend loans at cheaper rates of interest. "The state government has to spend R32,500 crore in the next four years for creation of infrastructure in capital city Amaravati," Naidu said.
Ajay Jain, principal secretary, energy, I&I, CRDA, AP, said this is the first time in the country that any of the financial institutions have supported such a massive scale of construction.
Corporate majors such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Tesla, GE, etc, which are in the front-end for disruptive technologies, may be associated with Amaravati construction for economic development and employment generation. The government plans to pool up required funds and it was necessary to zero in on financial institutions for the funding, a release said.
Besides, the state government is also exploring alternative funding sources like pension funds and sovereign funds to achieve low-cost funding for capital construction. A loan of R7,500 crore had been tied up with Hudco and the World Bank loan for R4,700 crore had also been approved by the central government.
As per rough estimates, the government has proposed to spend R4,967 crore on roads and R750 crore on drinking water and sewerage facilities. Besides, R3,287 crore will be spent on the power sector. Another R1,000 crore was required for flood management and R250 crore for greenery, R519 crore was required to provide infrastructure in the villages of the capital city.
Explaining the latest developments, Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) commissioner Cherukuri Sridhar said SRM university's proposal for setting up of university in Amaravati was approved by the state cabinet and it is proposed to allocate 200 acres of land to set up university campus with 17,000 students by the end of phase-1 in five years and 52,000 students by the end of phase-2 in 10 years. This campus would include a medical college and university.
Indo-UK Institute of Health (IUIH) in collaboration with King's College, London, proposes to establish healthcare project in Amaravati with an investment of R1,000 crore. IUIH is allocated 150 acres of land in Amaravati. phase-1 of project 1,000-bed King's College Hospital, 200-student nursing school, 200-student paramedic training school, NHS Oncology Unit with rehabilitation centre, and IUIH supply chain centres. phase-2 project includes King's College London medical college, Zimmer Biomet PG Medical Centre, IBM Asia data analytics centre, implant manufacturing industry, NHS stem cells - transnational research and medical centre, 5-star and 3-star hotels.
Besides, the state government is also contemplating to allot 200 acres of land to Amrita university which has proposed to set up its campus in Amaravati with 18,000 students by the end of phase-1 and 47,000 students by the end of second phase.
Andhra Pradesh to buy 1 million set-top boxes for households
Hyderabad : MMNN: 16 Nov. 2016
Andhra Pradesh government will buy one million set-top boxes to facilitate the households to use three-in-one broad band services being offered through the government-funded AP Fibrenet project across the state.
The state cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to extend the government's guarantee to a Rs 300 crore loan to be availed from banks by the AP State Fibernet Limited towards purchase of these 1 million set-top boxes in the first phase.
The government is likely to recover the cost of these set-top boxes from the beneficiaries later.
Last year AP government had announced that it would provide television, telephone and internet services to each of the 13 million households for a charge of Rs 150 per month under under this project. It had set up a fiber-optic cable network across the state using the existing electricity distribution network by spending little over Rs 300 crore, for this purpose.
AP State Fibernet Limited has recently provided the broadband connectivity to a village in East Godavari district on a pilot basis. The government's nodal agency has also singed MoUs with various service providers, including the telecom companies, to allow its network to offer their services.
Telangana has commissioned 3,800 MW of solar power
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 12 Nov. 2016
Telangana has so far commissioned 3,800 MW of solar power and 100 MW of wind power, an official said here today.
"The State has so far commissioned 3,800 MW of solar power. The solar policy of the state has been widely received and there was tremendous response to the tenders floated for 2,500 MW solar power.
"So far, 100 MW wind power has been commissioned and nine more locations have been identified to take up wind power projects," Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary (Industries, Commerce and Energy), of Telangana said in an interaction with NITI Ayog Advisor Anil Jain.
The NITI Ayog official met Kumar to discuss the integration of renewable energy into electricity grid by promoting coordination between the Centre and states. They also discussed interventions required to promote India as a renewable energy investment destination for achieving national renewable energy targets, a state government release said.
NITI Aayog has been assigned the task of promoting India as a renewable energy investment destination so that its target of achieving 175 GW can be met by 2022, it said.
Kumar said the State Government is planning to actively encourage renewable energy and go for Hybrid (wind and solar) generation in the Hyderabad Pharma City and NIMZ.
The installed capacity in thermal power sector, which was around 8,000 MW now, would go up by another 9,000 MW by 2018 with the commissioning of Damarcherla (4000MW), Manuguru (1080MW) and NTPC Ramagundam (4000MW) plants, he said.
Kumar asked the NITI Aayog to look into infrastructure constraints and suggest models which would encourage renewable energy and serve as a sustainable model for discoms (distribution companies).
Jain said the NITI Aayog would assist the States in achieving their renewable energy targets, the release added.
Two prisoners escape from Warangal Central Prison
Warangal: MMNN: 12 Nov. 2016
Two prisoners, including one murder accused, escaped from Warangal Central Prison on Saturday in Telangana.
Sanik Singh was a court-martial personnel from the Indian army and the other, a resident of Bihar, Rajesh Yadav was charged for murder and robbery.
They escaped the prison in the morning at around 4 a.m.
As per reports, they used the bed sheets provided to them as a rope to escape from the prison.
The police have launched a massive manhunt to nab the two prisoners.
More details are awaited.
Andhra Pradesh agricultural panel recommends structural reforms
HYDERABAD: MMNN: 9 Nov. 2016
The Agricultural Commission, constituted by the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government to look into the aspects of inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in the State, has recommended various structural reforms in the farm sector.
According to the Commission Chairman Prof R. Radhakrishna, who is also the Chairman of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), the recommendations made are valid not just for AP but also other States in the country.
During the course of its study, the 11-member Commission representatives visited various other states including parts of Telangana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karanataka, Maharashtra and Kerala, besides interacting with 5,000 farmers, farmers' leaders/associations/advocacy groups and NGOs in 19 public hearings in 13 districts of AP.
"Nearly 100 people were involved in preparation of the Commission report" which has been submitted to the AP government in August, this year, Prof Radhakrishna told The Hindu . He said that recommendations do not envisage any substantial additional investments by the Centre or the States.
The Commission is stated to have examined the institutional issues relating to tenancy, credit and marketing that inhibit inclusive growth. It has also paid attention to the challenges of climate change, water resources and technology and finally put forth an overreaching institutional framework to promote inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth.
One of the main recommendations of the Commission was establishment of a State-level agency, which could be called Andhra Pradesh Society for Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment (APSAFE).
As per the recommendation, APSAFE is meant to help formation of Farmer SHGs (Self-help Groups) and their federations through handholding support and the provision of professional guidance. The agency should be registered as a society and should have full autonomy and authority for effective functioning. It will coordinate the activities of government departments and agencies involved in implementing government programmes.
The Commission also recommended that the State should lay greater emphasis on the promotion of Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) by relaxing some of the regulations, pumping credit through formal financial institutions and establishing institutions for regular capacity building.
In this regard, it said the State should take the initiative for facilitating tie-ups with reputed organisations like Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF), ITC, Tata Trust, Centre for World Solidarity (CWS) and Rallis India so as to pave way for partnerships for the development of agriculture and well-being of farmers.
In the case of tenant farmers, the commission, among other aspects, recommended that the State should create land banks, as it has been doing for industry. Absentee land owners and large land owners may be encouraged to give land to the land bank on lease. The land bank, in turn, may be leased out to tenant farmers for relatively long periods. The government should guarantee the restoration of land to owners at the end of the lease period.
Stating that there was a need to create a policy advisory body which can guide the State, the Commission recommended establishment of AP Farmers Commission(APFC) like in Punjab and Haryana. The APFC needs to be headed by an eminent economist with a few agricultural economists, agricultural scientists, vice chancellors of agricultural universities, consultants from various specialisations covering agriculture and allied activities and principal secretary (agriculture) as members.
APMC should be small advisory body and its recommendations relating to government interventions will have to be approved by the government, the commission stated.
These apart, the Commission has made various other recommendations.
UK delegation to visit Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Hyderabad: MMNN: 9 Nov. 2016
A delegation of MPs from Britain will visit the Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana from today and hold meetings with Speakers, politicians and business community members.
The visit is part of a series of programmes organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK Branch (CPA UK) with the Indian state legislatures.
The tour is aimed at enabling UK lawmakers to gain a better understanding of challenges faced by parliamentary colleagues on a range of issues, including relationship between members and their constituents, representation of women in political life, UK-India trade and investment, and development of new technologies, the British Deputy High Commission, Hyderabad said in a release here.
As part of the visit from November 9-12, delegates will learn how the states are responding to global challenges, including urban planning, gender equality and energy security, it said.
The delegates would visit T-Hub, an incubator for start-ups created by the Telangana government here, and also look at the work carried out by SHE Team, a special police team set up for the safety and security of women in the state.
Meetings will be held with Speakers of Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, senior politicians and also members of the business community and civil society organisations.
The delegation would also visit Sattanapalle in Andhra Pradesh, constituency of AP Legislative Assembly Speaker K Sivaprasad on November 11, apart from attending a round-table conference on Smart Cities, the release added.
World Bank declares Andhra Pradesh No 1 in energy efficiency
Vijayawada: MMNN: 5 Nov. 2016
The World Bank has ranked Andhra Pradesh number one in Energy Efficiency Implementation Readiness.
The World Bank felt that the political will, visionary leadership and result oriented approach of the State Administration, headed by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, helped the state in achieving the first rank with an overall score of 42.01, said A. Chandra Sekhara Reddy, MD, Andhra Pradesh State Energy Efficiency Development Corporation & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Energy Conservation Mission (SECM), said at a media conference in New Delhi on Friday. AP was followed by Rajasthan (41.89), Karnataka (39.34), and Maharashtra (39.29).
The World Bank is impressed with the effective implementation of energy efficiency and energy conservation activities in AP, with an assessed achievement of around 650 MW of avoided capacity and about 1,500 MU of annual energy savings within a span of two years by adopting emerging LED technology in domestic and urban street lighting.
The AP Chief Minister has become the champion of energy efficiency, said Subash Chandra Garg, executive director, World Bank, while launching the report during the ongoing international conference on Advancing the Global Transition to Energy Efficiency as the 'First Fuel' with Demand Side Energy Efficiency (DSEE) in New Delhi. The conference was organised by the World Bank and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL)-India on November 4 and 5.
In this context, principal secretary (Energy, Infras-tructure & Investment and CRDA) Ajay Jain, who was invited by the World Bank and Govern-ment of India as a special guest to the international conference, said that Mr Naidu is keen to make Andhra Pradesh the most energy efficient state in the country with his novel initiative, 'AP Energy Star Programme'.
AP has carved a niche for itself and become the front runner in energy efficiency, said Saurabh Kumar, managing director, EESL.
Simon Stolp, energy expert to the World Bank South Asia along with others released a poster with regard to energy efficiency potentiality in Amara-vati during the conference.
Andhra Pradesh wants to invite Dalai Lama for Buddhist ritual in Amravati
Hyderabad: MMNN: 5 Nov. 2016
The Andhra Pradesh Government has proposed to hold 'Kalachakra' initiation - 'wheel of time' or 'time-cycles' rituals in Buddhism, where disciples are initiated into higher forms of meditation and rituals - in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. This comes as part of the serious efforts by the AP govt to promote Buddhist centres in the state, and the ancient Buddhist town of Amaravati as a major tourist destination.
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, in a review held on tourism sector in Vijayawada Friday, asked the Tourism Department officials to invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and also Buddhist monks from 71 countries for the 'Kalachaktra' programme.
"The Chief Minister asked the officials to consult Buddhist monks and take suggestions for organising the initiation. He said that the largest Buddha statue will be built on the Seta Nagar hill near Vijayawada. He also said that the tourism sector in AP would become one of the main revenue generator," a Tourism Department official said.
The AP Government is also developing a Buddhist Pilgrimage and Tourist Circuit including the ancient city of Amaravati which is 18 kms away from the new capital city of Amaravati near Vijayawada; Undavalli Caves near Vijayawada which are said to be the finest rock cut architecture caves of Buddhists in India; Nagarjunakonda in Guntur; Chandravanam Buddhist sites in Prakasam district; Anupa in Guntur, the site of an ancient Buddhist University; Gopalapatnam stupas, and Bojjannakonda which has a huge statue of Buddha cut into rock, on the outskirts of Vizag; Thotlakonda near Bheemli town, 50 kms from Vizag, which was a popular exchange post for Buddhist culture between India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia in ancient times, and the site of a Hinayana Monastery; Bhattiprolu in Guntur, the site of an ancient Mahachaitya Stupa from Sala Kingdom; Dantapuram in Srikakulam district which was a popular religious centre; Pavuralakonda in Vizag district which was an ancient Buddhist settlement; and 17 other Buddhist excavation and settlements sites.
Tourism department officials proposed to extend the 100 per cent exemption of the luxury and entertainment tax for 2 years, which as of the 2015 tourism policy is valid only for 3 years. Officials informed the Chief Minister that to promote local tourism, the regional cooking contests will be held in Vijayawada and Tirupati this month and in Vishakhapatnam in February 2017.
A presentation was made by the officials of the tourism department on the various events which are being taken up by them. A total of 18 tourism events, 45 cultural programmes, 3 heritage fairs, 36 cooking contests and a range of other events will be held informed the officials to the Chief Minister.
TDP to launch 'Jana Chaitanya Yatra' in Andhra Pradesh
MMNN: 2 Nov. 2016
The ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) will launch 'Jana Chaitanya Yatra' from today in Andhra Pradesh to highlight the welfare and developmental initiatives of the government.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will also launch the membership drive of the party in Koppolu village in Prakasam district, with a target to achieve the one-crore mark.
The TDP national president will take the party membership first followed by his Cabinet colleagues and other senior party leaders and workers.
The TDP is targeting to double its membership base this year from the present 50 lakh.
Business killer could be from Uttar Pradesh or Andhra Pradesh
BENGALURU: MMNN: 2 Nov. 2016
Police investigating the murder of bizman Parachuri Surendra Kumar on Sunday suspect the assailants who pumped at least three bullets into Kumar's chest could have come from another state.
Surendra Kumar, 55, a native of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and resident of Bengaluru for the past eight years, succumbed to injuries after an unidentified assailant, riding pillion on a motorbike, fired six rounds at Surendra outside his house in RT Nagar, north Bengaluru. Surendra died in MS Ramaiah Hospital later that night.
Shot at close range: " The bullets were shot at close range and the assailants were standing bang opposite the victim. This shows the killer's professional approach. Based on this and after studying the antecedents of likely assailants in and around Bengaluru, we suspect the killers are either from Andhra or Uttar Pradesh where similar shootings have been reported in the past," said a senior police official.
"We have taken CCTV footage from nearby buildings and other places. Experts scanning these images are on the job," he added.
Cyclonic Storm Kyant May be Heading Towards Andhra Pradesh
Visakhapatnam:MMNN: 26 Oct. 2016
Cyclonic storm Kyant in the Bay of Bengal may be heading towards Andhra Pradesh and its impact will be felt from Thursday, weather officials said on Wednesday.
The storm over east-central Bay of Bengal lay centred at 620 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam and 830 km east-northeast of Machilipatnam at 5.30 a.m., on Wednesday.
According to a bulletin by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Kyant moved further west-southwestwards in past six hours with speed 14 kmph.
"The system is very likely to slightly intensify further during next 24 hours. It is most likely to move west-southwestwards towards westcentral Bay of Bengal during next 72 hours," the bulletin said.
Officials said the storm may hit the coast in Prakasam district on Saturday.
The cyclonic storm was earlier expected to be moving towards West Bengal and Odisha but it subsequently changed direction.
Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre said the sea will be rough from Thursday and strong winds will blow along and off the coast. It has advised fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off Andhra Pradesh coast. Those already in sea have been asked to return.
About 1,000 km long coastline of Andhra Pradesh is vulnerable to cyclonic storms during the October-December period.
Storm HudHud in October 2014 had slammed the coast at Visakhapatnam, killing 49 people and affecting about 21 lakh families in the state. It also caused massive destruction to infrastructure in the port city.
Setback for Andhra Pradesh, Centre not to fund Sagaramala
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 26 Oct. 2016
The Andhra Pradesh government has received a shocker with the central government flatly refusing to provide financial support to the prestigious Sagaramala project, which needs about Rs 25,000 crore. The AP government will now be forced to scout for funds from other sources.
Sagaramala is a series of projects aimed at improving the coastline and inland waterways to give impetus to industrial development. It is expected to reduce the cost and time for transport of goods through waterways. AP has the second longest coastline extending over 974 km.
The AP government has been seeking funds for the project which included funding for six new fishing harbours.
The state government even constituted a state-level Sagaramala committee with the chief minister as the chairman and finalised a port policy and a maritime concept plan, but the Centre turned down the state's plea.
The ports' department identified nearly 20 projects that needed about Rs 25,000-crore investment.
The main components included port-led modernisation (Rs 330 crore), port to rail connectivity (Rs 8, 180 crore), port to road connectivity (Rs 18, 503) crore, and coastal community development (Rs 3,089 crore).
AP even proposed setting up a mega interchange hub near Amaravati, and distribution parks near Machilipatnam, Visakhapatnam and Nellore. Logistic parks and truck terminals were also proposed in all districts.
The Union government is reportedly planning to constitute a national-level Sagaramala authority to oversee projects in different states.
Telangana govt lays claim to Hyderabad buildings given to Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 22 Oct. 2016
The Telangana cabinet on Friday passed a resolution requesting that the buildings in Hyderabad which are allocated to Andhra Pradesh be handed over to the new-formed state.
Certain government buildings, including the secretariat, have been allocated to the residual state of Andhra Pradesh as Hyderabad is the common capital of the two states for 10 years as per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act.
Telangana deputy chief minister Kadiam Srihari told reporters after the cabinet meeting that the AP government had already shifted its offices, including chief minister's office and offices of secretaries and heads of department to its upcoming capital, Amaravati. The AP government was thus not using the buildings in Hyderabad, he said.
Telangana government had also taken note of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu's statement that his government would deliberate on handing over the buildings to Telangana, Srihari said.
The buildings are to be allocated by the governor who is common to both states, he said. Telangana government is reportedly considering building a new secretariat because of 'vastu' defects in the current building. The cabinet on Friday also decided to form separate cabinet sub-committees to study the impact of the decision of Brijesh Kumar tribunal on sharing of Krishna river water, improvement in administration of universities, and other issues.
The government also decided to expeditiously clear the dues under the students' tuition fees reimbursement scheme, farmers' loan waiver and 'Arogya Sri' health scheme.
Assam wants to follow Andhra Pradesh's Fiber Grid project
Visakhapatnam:MMNN: 22 Oct. 2016
Assam seems to be going the AP way in providing internet to its citizens. A team from the Assam government comprising senior officials led by its IT minister Kesab Mahanta has been in Vizag since a week to study the functioning of AP FiberNet project.
The team also met Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu at Vizag on Thursday and discussed the AP FiberNet project and their plans to introduce such a scheme in their state.
"Our team has studied the AP FiberNet project and is impressed with it. We want to launch a similar project in Assam using the same technology and kind of infrastructure used in AP. We seek the Andhra Pradesh government's help in this regard," Mr Mahanta.
The AP government intends to provide internet bandwidth of 10 to 15 mbps speed, telephone connection and cable TV access at Rs 149. In the first phase, that costs around Rs 320 crore. The government used electric poles to run the fiber optic cables. Until now, 9,000 km of optic fiber cable has been laid. AP State FiberNet Ltd (APSFL) has plans to run 22,000 km of cable to connect every household in the 13 districts of AP.
The Assam IT minister also requested Naidu to send a team of officials from APFSL to visit their state to explain about the project to their CM. In Vizag, the team from Assam visited a government high school in Krishna Puram which was connected with FiberNet grid, electronic equipment centre at HB Colony and Network operations centre at AU.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana meet on assets split postponed
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 19 Oct. 2016
A meeting between the representatives of the AP and TS governments to discuss sharing of assets of all institutions listed in the 10th schedule ended without any agreement.
While the AP officials wanted to discuss sharing of assets of all institutions listed in the 10th Schedule,
the Telangana officials proposed to discuss institution wise - begining with the Council of Higher Education (CHE).
When the AP officials said that they have already sent the proposal to the Telangana government, the Telangana officials said that they will give their reply within four days.
AP officials, however, believe the Centre will have to step in as the TS government is not ready to share the assets of the institutions and is trying to delay the process.
Andhra Pradesh CM reviews progress: To meet 2018 deadline, CCTVs to monitor Polavaram work
Hyderabad :MMNN: 19 Oct. 2016
The Andhra Pradesh government is installing CCTV cameras around the Polavaram project to monitor the progress of work round-the-clock. The Polavaram project, a multi-purpose irrigation project on Godavari river, which was recently given national project status by the Centre, is being constructed in West and East Godavari districts. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has set a deadline of 2018-end for its completion.
The CM will monitor the pace and progress of work from the command and control centre in the CMO at the new Temporary Secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati. Sources said that in a review meeting Monday, Naidu directed officials to arrange CCTV cameras using optical fiber network for round-the-clock surveillance of the project site.
The CM asked for strengthening security measures at the project site. He directed the officials to set up facial recognition and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) bands to identify the work force.
Officials said that the government will also start Relief and Rehabilitation works immediately as Rs 3,000 crore has been released under the first phase. Talking to, Minister for Water Resources Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said that it is estimated that around 371 villages in 8 mandals of East and West Godavari districts are to be covered under R&R package of the Polavaram project.
About 54 per cent of tribal region of Devipatnam mandal and 77 per cent of Kunavaram and 60 per cent of Chintoor and 72 per cent area of VR Puram mandal, 52 per cent of Etapaka mandal of East Godavari district will be submerged once Polavaram project is completed.
In West Godavari district, 41 per cent of area in Polavaram mandal, 69 per cent in Polarapadu and 55 per cent in Kukunuru covering 55,799 hectares of land will be submerged. As many as 1,88,012 people are expected to lose their livelihood.
Officials said 28 lakh cubic metre of earth work and 564 lakh cubic metre spillway work has been completed so far.
They added that 18 lakh cubic metre of concrete works and 79 lakh cubic metre of earth-cum-rock fill dam work is yet to be completed.
Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu inaugurates his office in Amravati
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 12 Oct. 2016
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday morning inaugurated his office at the newly-built Transitional Headquarters and Secretariat at Velagapudi in Amaravati. The CMO in the first block was completed along with chambers and offices of all Naidu's Cabinet colleagues last week.
Four of the six blocks at Velagapudi known as the temporary secretariat are ready and a majority of the government departments, heads of departments, secretaries and staff have already shifted and started working from October 3.
Naidu broke a pumpkin and coconut amidst chanting by priests at 8:09 am and stepped into his office. Hundreds of Secretariat employees, ministers, MLAs and TDP leaders attended the inauguration.
The temporary secretariat was opened in the last week of June as per the deadline set by the CM for the government to move from Hyderabad but except for a few offices and officials, all the offices could not move to the new secretariat building as work was incomplete, although they moved to temporary offices at Vijayawada.
The heavy rains also caused lot of inconvenience as vehicles got stuck in the mud on the way to the Velagapudi, 31 kms from Vijayawada.
Of the six blocks at Velagapudi, block one is for the CM and his offices, one is for Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, and the remaining four are for the other departments.
Officials said that a central Command and Control Centre is also being set up in the first block as the CM wants to keep tabs by live monitoring of various activities of the government across the state.
Dream of "Golden Telangana" will soon come true - Mahmood Ali
Hyderabad :MMNN: 12 Oct. 2016
While addressing a gathering on the occasion of inauguration of Jagtiyal district, Dy. CM of Telangana State, Mr. Mohammed Mahmood Ali told that under the stewardship of Mr. K. Chandrasekhara Rao, CM of Telangana State, the dream of "Golden Telangana" would certainly be fulfill.
Ms. K. Kavita, TRS MP of Nizamabad attended the meeting as the Chief Guest.
Mr. T. Jeevan Reddy, MLA of Jagtial and Dy. Floor Leader of Congress in Assembly presided over the meeting.
Mr. Mohammed Mahmood Ali inaugurated Collectorate office. Mr. Sharad, new Collector of the district took charge on this occasion.
Mr. Mahmood Ali also inaugurated district police office.
Mr. Anant Sharma took over as the new SP of the district.
He told that Mr. KCR formed new districts in order to ensure the development and the prosperity of the State.
Telangana to take ordinance route on new districts
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 8 Oct. 2016
The Telangana government has decided to amend some provisions of the Telangana District (Formation) Act, 1974 by issuing an ordinance to abridge the process for increasing the number of districts beyond 27, as notified in the draft notification issued on August 22.
"Issuance of an ordinance to amend the Act has become necessary since the government has already made up its mind to increase the number of districts to 31 but there is no ample time left to follow the due procedure, as per the provisions of the Act, in case of four districts which have been proposed after the issuance of draft notification", official sources said.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao wants that all new administrative units start functioning on Dasara festival day on October 11 but it would not be possible if the procedure under the Act is followed.
As per the provisions of the 1974 Act, at least one month's time has to be given to general public and other sections of society to lodge their objections and give suggestions on the draft notification, the sources said.
Amendments proposed in the Act through an ordinance would allow the government to do away with the prescribed procedure since more new districts have been proposed only on the demand from people in the form of representations since August 22.
"It's exactly for the technical reasons the Friday's Cabinet meeting has given its nod for final notification on new districts including the ones proposed recently", the sources noted.
Learn local dialect to get hired for state jobs, says Telangana government
Hyderabad :MMNN: 8 Oct. 2016
Do you know what Khushki and Tari are? Or Mathadi or Alugu? If you don't, you aren't eligible to be employed by the Telangana government, which says understanding the local dialect is compulsory for state recruitment tests.
For record's sake, Khushki means dry land and Tari is wet land. And "mathadi" is the flow of water overflowing from a tank and "alugu" means the sluice of a tank to let out excess water.
The government says the rule is both a necessity and a tool to promote local culture, which has been long neglected under the shadow of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.
"How can a person who wants to get recruited in the revenue department or the agriculture department do justice to his a job if he does not understand what is Khushki or Tari?
That is precisely why we have introduced questions about Telangana dialect in the syllabus for recruitment tests, whether is for Group-I category or Group-II," Telangana state public service commission (TSPSC) chairman Ghanta Chakrapani told.
He said at least 10% of questions in the general awareness section of recruitment tests pertained to Telangana culture and dialect. "The candidates may belong to any part of the country, but they have to invariably study the Telangana dialect, which is essential to be a part of the Telangana administration," Chakrapani said.
The language spoken in Telangana is Telugu - the same as its neighbouring Andhra Pradesh - but in a distinct dialect mixed with Urdu and Marathi words. This is now being projected as the new state's own language.
In order to make things easy for people from other parts of the country, including those from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University is now coming out with a dictionary of Telangana dialect and an encyclopaedia of words typical to the region.
"There are thousands of words typical to Telangana dialect and culture, which do not find a place in any Telugu dictionary. The proposed dictionary is aimed at highlighting these words, their usage and their importance in the local parlance," university vice-chancellor S V Satyanarayana said.
This isn't the first attempt to focus on Telangana's unique dialect and culture. "There is a Telangana Pada Kosam (compilation of Telangana words) by writer Nalimela Bhaskar. Since the region was under the influence of Asaf Jahi dynasty and also neighbouring Maratha and Kannadiga rulers, one can find a number of words with Urdu, Marathi and Kannada touch in Telangana," said popular Telangana poet Juluri Gowrishankar.
The state was carved out of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh in 2014 after a six-decades-long bitter struggle and complaints of neglect. Soon after, the Telangana government embarked on changing the entire curriculum in schools and colleges by introducing chapters on the Telangana movement. At least a dozen pages have been dedicated to the role of Telangana Rashtra Samithi in general and its president and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, in particular, in achieving the statehood.
Similarly, the syllabus for the recruitment tests conducted by TSPSC also has been redesigned to include the chapters on Telangana movement, which took place in three phases between 1956 and 2014. "It is a crucial component of recruitment. If a person has to get a job, he or she has to have thorough knowledge of the Telangana movement. It doesn't matter whether he is from Andhra and does not like the bifurcation," Chakrapani said.
The Telangana government also planned to introduce Telangana dialect in text books and train the teachers accordingly, but it has not materialised so far.
But not everyone is convinced and many say Telangana doesn't have a separate language but a dialect, which is the case in many other parts of Andhra Pradesh also.
"This is absurd. There is no such thing as Telangana language or Andhra language. For that matter, there is no distinct Telangana dialect also, as the dialect of common people in Nalgonda is different from that of Adilabad district. Which dialect the public service commission will follow in the recruitment tests?," asked Kandula Ramesh, editor of Andhra Pradesh, the official magazine of the neighbouring state government.
"If it asks questions in Nalgonda dialect, it won't be understood by candidates from Adilabad. What is required is standardisation of language."
Traffic along TN-Karnataka border, sans buses resumes
KRISHNAGIRI:MMNN: 5 Oct. 2016
Vehicular movement along the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border at Jujuvadi in Hosur, which was stopped due to violence in Karnataka over the Cauvery water issue, resumed on Wednesday after 29 days.
Lorries, cars and other vehicles bearing Karnataka registration numbers entered Jujuvadi on the Tamil Nadu side, while vehicles with Tamil Nadu registration numbers entered Attibele on the Karnataka side from Wednesday morning.
However, bus services remain suspended, as Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation officials said a decision on resuming the services could be taken only after monitoring the situation.
Inter-State movement of buses remained suspended since September 6 and services were operated only for a day on September 11. As services remained suspended, people from both the sides had to walk for a km and cross the border to board buses.
Senior police officials said protection is given to vehicles that enter both the States and normality is expected to resume soon.
Karnataka desperate to get more tourists in otherwise busy Dasara season
Bengaluru :MMNN: 5 Oct. 2016
Every Dasara, there is a constant plea to the Karnataka's tourism minister office request tickets to the jamborees and help in hotel bookings in Mysuru. This year, it is just the opposite due to the nearly month-long Cauvery dispute.
Priyank Kharge, the state tourism minister, is now desperately trying to revive tourism during the ten-day festival, when Mysuru normally gets most tourists in the year.
Since violence broke due to the Supreme court directive to release water from half empty reservoirs of river Cauvery, tourist arrivals has reduced by more than half.
Public transport corporations of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have suspended service between both states; trucks have stopped passing through Karnataka to the southern neighbour and people movement have reduced. It has hurt business at restaurants at highways as well as hotel bookings in Mysuru.
So, Kharge says it is more important for the state to push tourism because the drought has hurt the livelihood of millions of people in Mysuru, Mandya and Bengaluru, the regions where Cauvery water is consumed.
"Our focus is interesting and affordable attractions for the tourist. We believe the initiatives we have launched will make it easier for the tourist and give them much more opportunity for them to explore and enjoy the festivities," said Kharge.
Hotels and resorts in and around Mysuru have slashed prices to encourage tourists after they saw massive cancellations as an aftermath of the violence.
Kharge says the state has planned over half a dozen initiatives to lure tourists to Mysuru and is running a campaign
On of the interesting and offbeat initiatives that the State government has planned for the coming week is 'Craziest leave application Contest'.
"We have this contest where anyone can take part and they just have to send us what according to them was the craziest reason they gave to apply for leave. We would then declare a winner for the contest," said Kharge.
Other than this the state also the organised the World Photography Contest. Where people who are attending the festivities can click pictures and submit to the contest. The state government recently conducted an hackathon and funded 8 startups working in the space of tourism a total of Rs 2 crore. This the government hopes will make stay and travel easier for tourist with the services offered by the startups. The helicopter Joy Ride that gives an aerial view of the city has also been revived after 6 years this year and the Karnataka State Tourism Devlopment Corporation has in a tie-up with taxi aggregator Ola to have exclusive tourism flight from Bengaluru to Mysuru at Rs 2000 per person. The department has also started Royal Routes. This Kharge says gives a much more in depth experience to the tourist.
He says unlike previous years where one palace was shown to tourist this year it will be 7 places with ancient importance that has been curated specially for tourist visiting during the festive season.
"These are the initiatives specifically done for Dasara but the department as a whole has made a lot of changes that gives convenience and make Karnatka more attractive for tourist," added Kharge.
Andhra Pradesh praised for implementing best practices in governance
Vijayawada:MMNN: 1 Oct. 2016
Andhra Pradesh state has won accolades from the NITI Aayog for implementing some of the best practices in governance. In its report 'State Forward - Best Practices from our States' release two days ago, the NITI Aayog listed Aadhar-enabled Fertiliser Distribution System, Aadhar-enabled Public Distribution System, Swachh Vidyalaya, Policy Intervention for Fisheries in AP, the CM Office Real-time Executive Dashboard as some of the best practices adopted by AP that could be replicated by other states. The Land Pooling Scheme for development of the state's new capital Amaravati and Digitalisation of Transport Department have also been listed.
"For the country to achieve over nine per cent sustainable growth rates, most states need to grow at 12-13 per cent. And, one of the enabling factors to this would be the replicability of innovative approaches and best project strategies amongst states," the Aayog noted.
A team of over 60 people, comprising senior officials, advisers, Officers on Special Duty, research officers and young professionals identified and vetted the case studies with the "most compelling prospects" in other states. The AePDS is the brainchild of Krishna district Collector Babu Ahamed, who initiated it on an experimental basis when he was Joint Collector of East Godavari district four years ago.
It is now being implemented on a full scale in Krishna district. Following the success in Krishna, the government has now extended it to all 13 districts of the state. In a period of 13 months from May 2015 to June 2016, a subsidy amount of Rs 69.78 crore was saved in Krishna alone with the implementation of AePDS.
"Portability has also been enabled in AePDS, which allows cardholders to draw commodity from any of the FPS as per his convenience," the Aayog report said. Referring to the CORE Dashboard, the Aayog said it provided a bird's-eye view of the state's situation - the performance of different schemes as well as that of government departments to both the state leadership and the public.
"It has, therefore, improved awareness and accountability. It has also enabled faster and smarter decision-making. Such dashboards should be developed by other states as well to monitor their performance. A similar dashboard was launched in Haryana in 2015," it said.
Andhra Pradesh proves too good for Kerala
OTTAPALM:MMNN: 1 Oct. 2016
In the end, Kerala could not win even a single game. Andhra was just too good for the host as it won the South Zone inter-State badminton championship in the most convincing of fashions.
Andhra won the final 3-0. It was given a great start by its mixed doubles team of D. Sudha Kalyani and R. Satwik Sai Raj, who overcame what was a formidable combination of K.P. Sruthi and S. Sunjith 21-12, 21-15.
If there was a player-of-the-match award, it would have gone to Satwik, who unleashed some brilliant smashes from the back of the court with remarkable regularity. Kalyani proved an able foil him.
Then, in the men's singles, M. Kanishq did not allow the talented Mohammed Munawar to reproduce the shots he brought out a day earlier in the semifinal against Daniel S. Farid of Karnataka.
A little later, Kanishq's sister, M. Tanishq completed the job, as she won the women's singles against Niranjana Anil, much to the delight of the Andhra coach J.B.S. Vidyadhar.
"We all know that Kerala's men's and women's doubles teams are too good, so I was relieved when Tanishq won her singles,' he said. "We were not expecting to win 3-0, but all our players played really well."
There was more joy for Andhra; it won the junior title, defeating neighbouring Telangana 3-1 in the final.
Senior (final): Andhra bt Kerala 3-0 (D. Sudha Kalyani & R. Satwik Sai Raj bt K.P. Sruthi & S. Sunjith 21-12, 21-15; M. Kanishq bt Mohammed Munawar 21-8, 21-14; M. Tanishq bt Niranjana Anil 21-14, 21-18).
Semifinals: Andhra bt Telangana 3-2 (Kalyani & V. Harika bt B. Sahithi & J. Shrisi 21-18, 21-17; Kanishq lost to B. Kiran Kumar Yadav 16-21, 21-12, 18-21; Krishna Prasad & Satwik bt D. Gopal Krishna Reddy & G. Aditya Bapineebu 21-12, 21-12; Tanishq lost to K. Vaishnavi 19-21, 17-21; Kalyani & Satwik bt Sahithi & B. Kiran 21-10, 21-11).
Junior (final): Andhra bt Telengana 3-1 (K. Preeti & Tanishq lost to Sahithi & Shrisi 21-14, 13-21, 21-23; D. Jaswanth bt Sayam Bothra 20-22, 21-17, 21-15; Akshitha bt K. Vaishnavi 20-22, 21-12, 21-11; S.D. Bashir & S.K. Ghouse bt B. Navaneeth & Siddarth Elang 21-11, 21-17, 21-12.
Semifinals: Andhra bt Karnataka 3-0 (K. Preeti & S.K. Ghouse bt Shikha Gautam & Balraj Kajla 17-21, 21-13, 21-12; Tanishq bt Deepthi Ramesh 21-15, 21-12; Jaswanth bt Balraj Kajla 21-15, 21-16).
Telangana bt Kerala 3-2 (Shrisi & Siddarth Elang bt Nafeesa Sara Siraj & John Dayas 21-17, 23-25, 21-17; Aditya lost to Ajay Satheesh Nair 4-21, 13-21; Vaishnavi bt Aadya Variyath 21-14, 13-21, 25-23; Navaneeth & Sidharth ost to Amrut Bhaskar & John Dayas 10-21, 16-21; Sahithi & Shrisi bt V. Anugraha & Nafeesa 21-19, 21-12).
Andhra Pradesh to impose extra taxes
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 28 Sept. 2016
To bridge revenue gap in the current fiscal, the state government is likely to impose additional taxes on the people.
According to a report prepared by the finance department to be presented at the two-day collectors' conference, starting on Wednesday, in Vijayawada, the revenue gap at the end of current fiscal is likely to jump to Rs 9,729 crore against the Rs 4,868 crore estimated in the budget.
The reason for the massive gap is because of the release of additional budget to various departments. At the end of current fiscal, the total expenditure will be Rs 1,35,132 crore and the expected revenue receipts Rs 1,27,631 crore. The revenue gap between expenditure and revenue receipts will be Rs 7,601 crore.
The state government has released Rs 2,128 crore additional budget to the departments. In the report, the finance department suggested many proposals to the government to bridge the revenue gap.
According to it, the gap can be filled by the mobilisation of additional taxes and revenues, allowing corporations to borrow with potential to repay with their own resources with state government standard guarantee, amounts to be deposited by departments like Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA), Genco and others, mobilisation of additional taxes and revenue through KPMG, funds to be received from the Centre for Polavaram and for capital city, revenue deficit grant for 2014-15 financial year, amounts due from the Tamil Nadu government for Telugu Ganga water and revisiting the amounts allocated in budget to allow space for additional committed budgets.
Meanwhile, about Rs 3,595 crore arrears are to be received from various sources. The state government has to receive Rs 240 crore under the salary component of the Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan, Rs 800 crore as salary component of SSA, Rs 468 crore as a share of Telugu Ganga Project from Tamil Nadu, Rs 1,804 crore under reimbursement of Polavaram, Rs 239 crore as principal receipt from Genco and Rs 44 crore as interest receipts.
Andhra Pradesh getting special treatment, don't ignore Telangana: TRS MP
Hyderabad:MMNN: 28 Sept. 2016
NDA government is giving special treatment to Andhra Pradesh because the ruling TDP is an ally at the Centre, claimed TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha. She said Telangana should be dealt in similar fashion and its people should not be ignored. The Centre earlier this month announced a Rs 2.25 lakh crore financial package to Andhra Pradesh, whose government had been demanding special category status to the state.
"Andhra is certainly getting a special treatment because they are part and parcel of government and their ministers have been constantly trying to get new projects into Andhra", the Lok Sabha member from Nizamabad in Telangana told.
"But we (Telangana) will certainly fight for our own ground, and whatever is written in the Bifurcation Act, I am sure Telangana will also get it. Basically, it's the responsibility of the central government to treat both states alike. Just because they (the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh) are political allies they can't give them special treatment and ignore people of Telangana", Kavitha said.
Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu had recently said, "Financial assistance announced by the Centre to Andhra Pradesh (for various projects), sanctioned and underway, will be worth Rs 2.25 lakh crore. The state will benefit from this special package more than the special status".
Naidu had also said as per the terms of the 14th Finance Commission, special status can no longer be granted. Responding to questions, Kavitha said she believed special category status certainly would have had more benefits, not in terms of finances only but attracting investment in future also.
"What the central government has given (to AP), various projects...grants or grants-in-aid, but what about attracting investment?", Kavitha, daughter of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, asked, noting that companies go to Himachal Pradesh because of certain advantages it enjoys due to special category status.
17 Dead In Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Met Forecasts More Rain
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 24 Sept. 2016
At least 17 people have died and thousands evacuated in Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Telangana as rain continues to batter the southern states.
Rescue teams and army have been deployed for relief works in rain-affected areas.
In Hyderabad, which has experienced worst rains in 108 years, situation remained grim.
According to reports, people stuck in worst-hit areas were facing shortage of food, drinking water and other essential items. Some non-governmental organisations were distributing food, milk and water packets.
Over 200 apartments in Bhandari Layout in Nizampet on the Hyderabad outskirts remained flooded for the fourth day. Many inmates, majority of them IT professionals, vacated the flats and moved to safe places.
With weather officials forecasting more rains in Telangana, administration remains on alert.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has ordered officials to set up control rooms in all the districts to reach out to people with necessary relief.
A team of army personnel today visited some of the worst-hit areas in Alwal in Ranga Reddy district to assess the situation.
According to an official statement issued by the chief minister's office at midnight, a 60-member National Disaster Response Force team has been kept on the standby in the city for necessary rescue operations.
The district administration of Rangareddy, Khammam, Warangal and Medak besides Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation have declared holiday for educational institutions today also.
Yesterday, the Telangana government had said that it has kept two choppers ready to move people from low lying areas in the city, if necessary.
Andhra Pradesh CM pitches for promoting tourism to create employment
MMNN: 24 Sept. 2016
Speaking at the sidelines of the CII Summit, the CM urged for more focus on tourism in the next Union Budget.
Expecting the industry to grow around 14 15% in the current financial year, Naidu stressed on the need to further augment the hotel room capacity. He also highlighted on how tourism opens the door for additional employment especially in the service sector such as hotels, resorts etc.
In India we have so many advantages, we have to build an environment and ecosystem which is more conducive for tourism. As tourism grows, the economy of the country will also grow, said Naidu.
Banking on its unique temples, pristine beaches, stunning caves and hill stations, scenic backwaters, and thrilling wildlife sanctuaries, the sunrise state of Andhra Pradesh continued to attract visitors from across the globe and registered 1218.3 lakh tourist arrivals in 2015 which is a jump of 30% over 2014.
With a long term envision of becoming the most preferred destination, Andhra Pradesh has already rolled out Tourism Policy 20152020 offering a number of attractive policy incentives for setting up tourism infrastructure projects in the state.
Its fiscal incentives such as automatic land conversion, 100% reimbursement of registration stamp duty, reduced rate of 5% VAT for all tourism projects etc. and non-fiscal Incentives such as Single Desk Approvals in 21 days, special incentives for all investments over USD 33 million etc. has already won the government praise and accolades from across the industry. Owing to its investor friendly policies Andhra Pradesh was ranked 2nd in Ease of Doing Business by World Bank (2014-15).
The Andhra Pradesh government which has recently unveiled an investor-friendly land lease policy has an available land bank of 1,500 acres and a host of other investment routes in tourism infrastructure projects across all of its 5 major tourist hubs of Visakhapatnam, Konaseema, Amravati, Rayalseema and Tirupati.
According to a study by HVS, the state which has an existing room inventory of approximately 7085 rooms has further absorption potential of about 18,150 hotel rooms.
Srikanth Nagulapalli, I.A.S., Principal Secretary to Government, Tourism Culture, said Andhra Pradesh is a land of opportunities. We have some of the finest tourist destinations in the country and the scope of investment is also plenty. Our investor-friendly policies in itself make a strong appeal towards the investors to come and be a part of this growth journey.
To showcase the various destinations of the state and its offerings, Andhra Pradesh Tourism has put up a stall at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi during the ongoing CII Summit.
The exhibition stall was inaugurated Shri Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India among the august presence of other notable dignitaries.
Monsoon rain continues over Andhra Pradesh
MMNN: 21 Sept. 2016
In the last couple of days, Andhra Pradesh has been witnessing good Monsoon rains, and it seems like the trend of these rainfall is most likely to not go away.
At present, the cyclonic circulation over Andhra Pradesh coast and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal and South Odisha coast. This weather system has almost remained stationary over the region.
And the associated cyclonic circulation from this system extends up to 7.6kms above sea level and is tilting with height south-westwards.
But with a very slow pace, the system is likely to move in the south-west direction. And due to slow movement of the weather system fairly widespread rainfall has occurred over Andhra Pradesh.
The rainfall remained confined to the coastal belt and Telangana. The rainfall will continue for next 12 to 24 hours over the region with moderate intensity at many places and will gradually shift towards the interior parts of the country.
In the last 21 hours, Machilipatnam has received 29 mm of rainfall; Visakhapatnam has received 16 mm of rainfall. And good rain was received over Bapatla and adjoining areas. Hyderabad in Telangana has received 67 mm of rains.
Mostly cloudy to overcast sky and low temp will be observed over the area. This rainfall activity will start decreasing over the region after 24 hours.
Visakhapatnam tops list of richest cities in Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 21 Sept. 2016
Gajuwaka assembly constituency in Visakhapatnam district has emerged as the richest among all assembly segments in the state. It has a per capita income of Rs 2,64,332.
On the other hand, Ichchapuram segment in Srikakulam with a per capita income of just Rs 46,905 stands at the bottom. The AP government has for the first time estimated per capita income (PCI) of all the 175 assembly constituencies. This is part of its plan to chalk out development strategies at the assembly segment level.
The state government is likely to entrust the responsibility of development of segments to local le gislators, who will also devise assembly constituency plans.
The PCI of people in the constituencies were assessed on the basis of gross value added (GVA) with regard to industry , agriculture, services and allied sectors.
The PCI calculations show that Visakhapatnam district has the highest average per capita income with Rs 1,24,171. Krishna district occupies the second place with Rs 1,22,773 PCI.
Vizianagaram district has the lowest per capita income with an average of Rs 76,623.
Curiously, chief minister Chandrababu Naidu's Kuppam stands last among all the assembly segments in Chittoor district. Kuppam has a PCI of Rs 61,115.
Opposition leader Jaganmohan Reddy's Pulivendula fares better in Kadapa district with a little over Rs 1 lakh per capita income.
When it comes to the three smart cities, Visakhapatnam stands at the top. The four assembly segments in Visakhapatnam city have PCI ranging from Rs 1,17,863 to Rs 1,74,109.
Kakinada has a PCI of Rs 1,22,439 and Tirupati has Rs 1, 00,935 PCI. Nellore city constituency has PCI of only Rs 86, 868.
Vijayawada, which falls in the state capital region, has three assembly segments west, east and central zones.
They have a per capita income of Rs 1, 66,853, Rs 1, 63,849 and Rs 1, 61,392 respectively. About 60 constituencies in the state recorded more than Rs 1 lakh PCI. Guntur city's east and west constituencies have PCI of Rs 1, 24,858, and Rs 1,23,785 respectively.
Constituency development plans are currently under final scrutiny of district collectors.They are likely to be released during the district collectors' conference to be held later this month.
Andhra Pradesh tops in attracting industrial investments
MMNN: 17 Sept. 2016
Andhra Pradesh has emerged on the top among all other states in attracting industrial investments in 2015-16, pushing the previous year's topper Maharashtra to the third spot.
Andhra Pradesh attracted an investment of Rs 21,914 crore out of the Rs 1,38,700 crore gross investments across India, the state government said in an official release today, quoting a report by the Reserve Bank of India. This was 15.8 percent of the total investments of over Rs 10 crore each unit.
In 2014-15, AP's share in the country's investments was 8.1 percent. Gujarat retained the second place attracting 14.5 percent of investments, up from 9.5 percent in 2014-15 while Maharashtra was pushed to the third spot with 10.9 percent in 2015-16, a decline from 14.8 percent.
Tamil Nadu also made quantum gains in investment, attracting 9 percent of the gross and jumping to the fourth spot. In 2014-15, investment flow into Tamil Nadu was a mere 2.9 percent. Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh were tied at the fifth spot garnering 7.2 percent share each in industrial investments, according to the RBI report.
According to the Industries Department of AP, industrial growth rate in the state shot up from 5.25 percent in 2014-15 to 11.1 percent in 2015-16.
A ray of hope for family of abducted Andhra Pradesh doctor Kosanam Ramamurthy
VIJAYAWADA:MMNN: 17 Sept. 2016
The rescue of two Telugu professors from the Islamic State captors in Libya has raised hopes of the family members of abducted physician Kosanam Ramamurthy.
A native of Eluru, Dr. Ramamurthy was working as a physician in the Lbn-e-Sina Hospital at Sirte. A group of IS militants gained entry into the hospital and kidnapped Dr. Ramamurthy, engineer Samal Pravash Ranjan of Odisha and seven other Filipino nurses from their residential quarters on September 8 last year.
Indian Ambassador to Libya, Azhar A.H. Khan, in a message to Dr. Ramamurthy's family, said the Embassy was making all efforts for the release of the captives.
"We felt happy over the release of two Indians on Thursday. But, it has been a long wait for the release of my husband. I request the IS to release him," Kosanam Bhavani, wife of the doctor, said in an appeal.
'In touch with govt.'
"When we heard of the release of Indians by IS, we expected my father to be among them. But, we are sad that he is still under captivity," Nirisha, daughter of Dr. Ramamurthy, said.
"We are in touch with Minister Sushma Swaraj's PA and the family members of the released engineers. We are praying for his release," Ms. Bhavani told The Hindu on Friday.
Bengaluru protests have cost Karnataka over Rs 25,000 crore; public transport worst-hit
Vijayawada:MMNN: 14 Sept. 2016
As Bengaluru hobbled back to normalcy, an uneasy calm was still prevalent in Bengaluru's IT city. According to reports, curfew was still on in a few parts of the city while the rest of Bengaluru was more or less normal. IANS, however, reported protests in Mandya and Mysuru in southern Karnataka on Tuesday.
Curfew, imposed late on Monday night, continued to remain in force in 16 police station limits of the city which were under prohibitory orders. Although the government has not declared a holiday for schools and colleges, few private institutions remained shut on Wednesday.
Monday's riot-like situation in Bengaluru had surprised everyone. Which started as a few stray and isolated incidents, snowballed into a massive rage with protesters rallying against the Supreme Court's directive in which the top court modified its earlier order and told the Karnataka government to release 12,000 cusecs of water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu on daily basis till 20 September.
Transport vehicles were back in service and shops and establishments functioned normally, senior police officials said, adding, adequate measures have been taken to prevent occurrence of untoward incidents.
Even as senior politicians and eminent personalities urged the people of Karnataka to maintain peace, the state, especially worst-hit Bengaluru, incurred a lot of losses and we are not just talking about business losses.
Public transport bore the brunt
The most damage was incurred by owners of public and private transport companies. The bus companies, which ply regularly between Bengaluru and Tamil Nadu, took the worst hit.
According to reports, 56 private buses were set on fire by protesters in Bengaluru. The first few images which flashed on TV on Monday were that of buses at the KPN depot at D'Souza Nagar in Nayandahalli. At least, 50 crores, as Deccan Chronicle reported, went up in smoke when around 200 agitators stormed into the bus depot and hurled crude petrol bombs at the buses.
Speaking to The News Minute, owner KP Natarajan of KPN Travels, which happens to be one of the leading bus operators in South India, said: "I am a businessman. How will targeting my buses and business solve the Cauvery issue? We have nothing to do with it."
According to Natarajan, who is a businessman from Salem in Tamil Nadu, Cauvery 'skirmishes' have happened in the past but not in this manner.
KPN runs hundreds of buses that ply through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry on a regular basis. Two SRS Travels buses were also reportedly set on fire by agitating protesters. TV 9 Kannada on Monday had reported that the vandals told the bus drivers to alight before setting fire to the buses.
According to this report in The Times of India, a total of 152 which belonged to KSRTC and BMTC were damaged by protesters causing a total loss of at least 20 crores to both the corporations. A protest led by garment factory workers on Hosur road and Tumkur road attacked at least 50 buses of KSRTC. At least seven KSRTC buses were set on fire by the protesters, 80 BMTC buses were stoned and 11 including two Volvo buses that were gutted by the vandals.
Loss of life
The violence claimed its second life on Tuesday. A 30-year old man, who had allegedly jumped in panic from a three-storey building while trying to escape police lathicharge in Bengaluru, succumbed to multiple injuries on Tuesday.
"Kumar, around 30 years old, has died. He was brought to our hospital at 9.30 on Monday night in a critical stage. He is said to have jumped from third floor of a building as he was trying to escape from a lathicharge yesterday," Dr Giridhar, managing director of Lakshmi Multi-Speciality Hospital, said.
One person was killed and another injured in police firing in the country's IT capital on Monday.
Image of Bengaluru sullied
Karnataka is estimated to have suffered a loss of around Rs 22,000-25,000 crore with the wide-spread agitation hitting transport services and businesses, Assocham said.
The industry body further said that violence in the state capital and other parts of Karnataka has "severely dented" the image of Bengaluru as the Silicon Valley of India, which is home to many of the Fortune 500 companies, making a fervent appeal for peace in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
"With widespread damage to vital urban infrastructure, interruption in the transport including, roads, rail and air and inability of the workforce to safely move to and from offices and factories, Karnataka, particularly Bengaluru city, is estimated to have suffered a loss between Rs 22,000-25,000 crore due to Cauvery dispute related violence," it said.
"The way the violent incidents had spread is demoralising the business and industrial community, particularly in the capital city of Karnataka. The image that India built around Bengaluru as its 'Silicon Valley' is being sullied," Assocham secretary-general DS Rawat said.
According to Assocham, widespread loss would accrue to IT and ITeS facilities due to poor attendance for the last few days and the inter-state tourism particularly involving pilgrims and domestic travellers has been affected. Cancellation of air tickets have also been reported to and from Bengaluru, it added.
Likewise, industrial production, movement of cargo and retail trade including malls, cinema halls and restaurants have been halted.
"All these losses would run between Rs 22,000 crore and Rs 25,000 crore, besides of course immense damage to the goodwill of the state as an attractive investment destination," the chamber said.
North Karnataka leaders back Cauvery agitation
MMNN: 14 Sept. 2016
Kalasa-Banduri Horata Samiti leaders, who are spearheading the Mahadayi protests in north Karnataka, have extended their support to the Cauvery agitation too. They joined Cauvery protesters in Mandya in their agitation on Tuesday.
Samiti president Vijay Kulkarni and other leaders, including Girish Mattannavar, Veeranna Malage and Shankarappa Huligola, met G Made Gowda and other office bearers of Mandya Zilla Raita Hitaraksana Samiti (MZRHS).
Kulkarni said that the people of Karnataka have been fighting for equal share of water from rivers which originate from their land. "It is unfortunate that Karnataka is being deprived of justice in every inter-state river dispute.
We cannot say whether it is a boon or bane for Karnataka to have so many rivers origin ating from here. Why should we be fighting and suffering defeats quite often? We should avoid opportunistic politicians in such issues," Kulkarni added.
Kulkarni thanked Mandya farmers and people for wholeheartedly supporting them in their Mahadayi river protest. Made Gowda thanked the leaders from north Karnataka for extending their support. Meanwhile, some protesters and office bearers of MZRHS vent their anger against former MP Ramya and her conduct with regard to Cauvery protest.
Andhra Pradesh shutdown over special status hit normal life
Vijayawada:MMNN: 10 Sept. 2016
The day-long Andhra Pradesh shutdown called by the opposition parties on Saturday to protest denial of special category status to the state hit the normal life and led to large-scale arrests of protesters.
Public transport was affected in all the 13 districts as activists of Yuvajana, Shramika, Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) stopped buses from plying.
The opposition workers staged sit-in at Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) depots since early Saturday to prevent buses from coming out.
However, the police arrested scores of protesters.
APSRTC was running buses in some districts with the police protection. Shops and business establishments and educational institutions also remained close in Vijayawada, Guntur, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Kurnool, Anantapur and other towns.
Shutdown was total in Vijayawada, the functioning capital of the state. Buses were off the roads and schools, colleges and shops remained shut.
Tension prevailed in parts of Tirupati as police arrested dozens of leaders of the opposition parties including YSRCP's Bhumana Karunakar Reddy.
The attempt by CPI-M workers to conduct mock funeral of Prime Minister Narendra Modi also triggered tension. The attempt was foiled by the police, which led to heated arguments between the two sides.
The protestors alleged that Modi betrayed the people of Andhra Pradesh by going back on his words to grant special status to the state.
The police imposed prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons in the temple town.
The shutdown was near total in Kadapa district. All 930 APSRTC buses in the district were off the roads while shops, petrol bunks and cinema theatres remained closed.
In Srikakulam district, YSRCP leaders including former minister Dharmana Prasad Rao was placed under house arrest.
YSRCP alleged that police were resorting to indiscriminate arrests and use of force to foil the shutdown.
The opposition parties took out rallies and staged sit-in at various places, condemning the attitude of the central and the state governments.
The protesters raised slogans against Modi and Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu.
Congress party staged road blockade on Bengaluru highway in Kurnool. The protest led by state Congress chief Raghuveera Reddy led to huge traffic jam.
Congress: Package for Andhra Pradesh, why nothing for Telangana?
Hyderabad:MMNN: 10 Sept. 2016
While AP is battling for special status and package, demand for similar aid is growing in TS too. After municipal minister K.T. Rama Rao met Union finance minister Arun Jaitely and sought financial aid, Telangana Congress has demanded financial package for the state on par with AP.
T-Congress leaders demanded Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to exert pressure on the Centre for implementation of promises made in the AP Reorganisation Act.
TRS MP Gutta Sukhender Reddy and other party leaders also sought financial assistance for TS. Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir demanded Mr Chandrasekhar Rao to take Congress leaders along and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek funds.
"People of Telangana are in trouble. Farmers, youth and all other sections of the society are unhappy. There are no jobs and no funds. Except for Mission Kakatiya and Water Grid, funds are not being released for any other department. The TRS government has failed to get
Telangana's due share from the Centre," Mr Shabbir Ali said. He said that Mr Jaitley announced special package of Rs 2.25 lakh-crore for AP, but there was no mention of promises made to Telangana in the AP Reorganisation Act.
"UPA promised Bayyaram steel plant, 4,000 MW power plant at Ramagundem, horticulture and tribal universities, Central institutions and other sops. Who is responsible for this? The TRS government in the state or the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre?" Mr Shabbir Ali asked.
"He (the CM) only makes tall claims like a 'Sheik Chilli'. With his 'idiocracy', KCR has turned a revenue-surplus Telangana into a bankrupt and debt-ridden state in 27 months. He is trying to take loans for every project," the Congress leader said.
Andhra Pradesh may get special status or economic package today
Vijayawada:MMNN: 7 Sept. 2016
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting here with his cabinet colleagues on Wednesday over a likely announcement from the Central government on either the grant of special category status to the state or a special economic package for AP.
In New Delhi, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Y Satyanarayana Chowdary and Rajya Sabha member C M Ramesh had a meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on the issue.
Chandrababu held the emergency meeting with some of his cabinet colleagues, discussing the happenings in the national capital.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to make an announcement on the things that are likely to be delivered to AP in accordance with the Reorganisation Act, 2014.
It is understood that Chandrababu has been invited to New Delhi this afternoon but there is no word from his office here on whether he will make it for the trip. "Indications are that the Centre may announce a special package to the state. There is no clarity on whether it will grant special status as is being demanded," a CMO official said.
In Delhi, Satyanarayana Chowdary said the Centre wanted to refer the special status issue to the National Development Council.
"But we are insisting on special status without any reference to the NDC as it will only further delay the process," he said.
There is also stalemate over the establishment of a new railway zone at Visakhapatnam with the Centre pointing to objections raised by Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
In the event, there are talks now that a new railway zone may be set up with Vijayawada as the headquarters. "The Chief Minister is in constant touch with our people in New Delhi on all issues. There will be some clarity later in the afternoon," the official said.
Telangana State power staff quit Andhra Pradesh utilities
Hyderabad:MMNN: 7 Sept. 2016
About 250 employees belonging to Telangana working with Andhra Pradesh power utilities have taken self-relieving letters even as the issue is pending before the Justice M Dharmadhikari Committee.
The employees have been allocated to Andhra Pradesh on the basis of 'Order to Serve' during the bifurcation of the State. Ever since the State was bifurcated, employees from Telangana working in Andhra Pradesh power utilities have been demanding that they be relieved from their duties so that they can serve their own State. However, the AP power utilities did not consider their demand for a long time.
The Telangana employees held series of protests till August 31 and had even threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike. In a dramatic turn, they have taken self-relieving letters from the AP management. Employees' Association leader Amar Singh said in May this year, the Telangana employees were assured that they would be absorbed by Telangana power utilities within two months of getting relieved from Andhra Pradesh.
The Telangana government also wrote a letter to the effect to the AP power utilities. The employees will not get salaries from the Andhra Pradesh power utilities from now on. The Neither Telangana power utilities will pay salaries since they have not yet been absorbed by them.
The Electricity Employees JAC leader K Sivaji said as per the AP Reorganisation Act, the distribution of employees should have been completed within one year but it was still pending.
He said it was unfortunate that the electricity employees were still fighting for their rights even two years after the formation of Telangana State. Telangana Electricity JAC coordinator C Raghu said if Telangana government agreed to accept the employees, there would not be any legal issues.
1,095 people violates Environment rules in Andhra Pradesh
Visakhapatnam:MMNN: 3 Sept. 2016
When it comes to number of people arrested on account of violating environment related norms, Andhra Pradesh is highest in the South with 1,095 people. It is the third highest in the country after Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
The number of environment crimes has also increased in the state from 117 cases in 2014 to 181 cases in 2015, according to the recent annual report of National Crime Record Bureau. The environmental crimes included offences related to violation of the Indian Forest Act 1927, Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act 1981 and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
About 98 per cent (177) of the total 181 cases filed in 2015 in the state was on account of violation of the Forest Act that mainly includes felling of trees or illegally moving of forest produce.
Ironically, only one offence each was reported for breaching Environment Protection Act and Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act. Moreover, not a lone case was filed for violation under Air Pollution Prevention Act and only two offences recorded under Wildlife Protection Act in the entire state. A forest official said sandalwood smuggling in the state could have increased the number of cases.
Additional principal chief conservator of forests N. Prateep Kumar however pointed out that proper vigilance by the forest personnel could have led to the increase in the people arrested in the state.
"There are violations, but bringing the offenders to task and report them is very necessary to check crimes," he added.
Environmentalist E.A.S. Sarma says the AP Pollution Control Board, being a statutory body, is unable to exercise its power due to various reasons.
Environmentalists have already expressed concern over the state government's new policies. APPCB member secretary V.S.R.K. Prasad admitted that there are violations from some industries, but said advent of new technologies to treat industry waste had largely helped to check pollution.
Monsoon rains to lash Odisha and Coastal Andhra Pradesh
MMNN: 3 Sept. 2016
Coastal Andhra Pradesh have been witnessing on and off Monsoon rains for the last many days. Now, the intensity of rains is all set to increase with the development of the fresh Monsoon system around the region.
According to Skymet Weather, a cyclonic circulation has developed in North Bay of Bengal. In addition to this, a trough is also extending from this system up South Coastal Andhra Pradesh skirting the East Coast.
These systems are likely to give mainly moderate rains and thundershowers over many parts of Odisha. Besides this, we can expect few spells of moderate showers as well.
Meanwhile, light to moderate rains and thundershowers are also expected over parts of Coastal Andhra Pradesh. This fresh rainy spell is likely to continue for at least next 48 hours, reducing subsequently.
Thereafter, the system is likely to move inland in north direction. It will then affect more parts of West Bengal and Bihar.
At present, the cumulative rainfall for Coastal Andhra Pradesh stands at 5%, while Odisha is witnessing deficit rainfall by 17%. However, with these good showers in offing, we expect Odisha to cover the rainfall deficiency.
Fresh Monsoon system continues to lash Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 31 Aug. 2016
Southwest Monsoon has been bringing Monsoon rains of varying intensity over Andhra Pradesh for the last couple of days. Particularly the coastal areas of the state have received good rains. Moreover, it seems like the rains will continue for next 24 to 48 hours as well.
Vijayawada in Coastal Andhra Pradesh received very good showers during last 24 hours. The coastal city recorded 72 mm of rainfall. Bapatla also recorded 21 mm of rainfall, Tirupati 12 mm, Visakhapatnam also 7.6 mm, Ongole 5 mm and Machilipatnam 4 mm of rains.
Kurnool in the interiors of Andhra Pradesh also recorded heavy showers to the tune of 78 mm during last 24 hours.
This ongoing spell of rainfall could be attributed to the persisting Monsoon system which is now lying over westcentral Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas of North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. The system is likely to move in a west direction. Moreover, a North-South trough is expected to form from Bihar to Telangana.
The Monsoon system will continue to give light to moderate rains over Coastal Andhra Pradesh along with the interiors of Rayalaseema for the next 2 days. The rain belt will also cover parts of Telangana during this time period. North Telangana will receive heavy rains at many places during next 48 hours.
Chandrababu Naidu reinforces drought mitigation measures
Vijayawada:MMNN: 31 Aug. 2016
Hours after he declared a "war on drought", Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said he was the "happiest" man as the skies opened up in the parched Rayalaseema districts of the state, giving fresh hope of saving the standing crop.
"My resolve has become fruitful. It rained in Kurnool, Anantapuramu and Kadapa districts though there is little rain in Chittoor. Today, I am the happiest man," Chandrababu told a press conference here as he explained various "drought mitigation" measures the government has put in place. Predominantly, groundnut crop in 15 lakh acres in Anantapuramu district, 4.5 lakh in Kurnool and two lakh in Chittoor faced the threat of drying up because rains played truant since 23 July.
"I am creating a model. It is a new experiment altogether. Traditional approach is no longer relevant," the Chief Minister observed, adding rain guns and sprinkler systems were being used in a big way to wet the crops and prevent them from withering.
He said 6777 rains guns and 6434 sprinklers have been deployed in Anantapuramu district, while in Kurnool the numbers are 2285 rain guns and 2686 sprinklers. 3915 rain guns and 3855 sprinklers in Chittoor and 356 each in Kadapa districts.
"Our aim is to save every acre of the crop and we are confident that we will succeed at least 90 percent. Thankfully, rain has helped since last night and we will complete wetting of 1.25 lakh acre using rain guns and sprinklers by tomorrow evening," Chandrababu added. The AP government was getting more number of rain guns from Maharashtra to tackle the situation. "This is the first time in history that we have undertaken such a massive drought mitigation exercise. Hitherto, farmers never had hope in such situations and that resulted in suicides. "Now, there is new confidence among farmers. This is a revolutionary change," Chandrababu remarked.
Replying to a question, the Chief Minister said they were sending reports to the Centre on the prevailing situation, particularly in Rayalaseema region. "Why can't the Centre join with me in this (drought mitigation) exercise? Why can't the bankers and insurance companies too join? They can share the expenses with the state government," the Chief Minister said. As this was a new experiment being carried out by the state government, engineering, polytechnic and ITI students were being involved to help the farmers.
Voluntary groups were also being formed in each village while ministers have been deployed in each Assembly constituency to oversee the operations. As many as 21 IAS and 80 state civil service officers have also been put on duty in the affected districts, the Chief Minister added.
Andhra Pradesh grapples to fulfil job promise
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 27 Aug. 2016
The AP government has been struggling to fulfil its ambitious poll promise of 'one job per family' despite roping in major multi-national companies. After two-and-a-half years in the government, TDP could provide not more than 50,000 jobs as against the pre-poll promise of creating 10 lakh jobs in the manufacturing sector.
Some of the major investments received in the last two years include Walmart, Dalas, Sun Edition, Ashok Leyland, Bharat Forge, Essel Group, Suzlon Energy and Linde Group. However, they have not yet started their operations in the state.
The AP government had set a target of developing 5,000 startups and 100 technology incubators by 2019. Introduction of the new industrial policy to bring down the approval time for business to an average of 14 days in 2016-17, compared to an average of 21days in 2015-16, had succeeded in attracting foreign direct investment into the state.
The government could convince 41international companies and 328 Indian companies to make an investment of about Rs 4,800 crore in AP. But, only US-based Mondelez International (Cadbury) opened its manufacturing unit in Chittoor district.
"Many of these units are still bargaining for more incentives and free infrastructure. Some of them are even threatening to move to other states. These issues will be resolved at a higher level," said a senior official in the investment and infrastructure department. The companies, which entered into MoUs with the state government, are still finding it difficult to get the necessary infrastructure, including power, water and road connectivity. There are several complaints over lack of cooperation at the ground level resulting in the delay.
Thinking that tourism will be the next big thing, the AP government also entered into agreements with 16 companies that agreed to invest Rs 4,000 crore. It also released the new tourism policy, which projected creation of 50,000 jobs every year.
But in reality, none of the projects has started. In the last 26 months, only 2,000 jobs have been created in the tourism sector.
The state government also launched a Skill Development Corporation to train local talent in various skills.
As many as 90,000 people were imparted 'employability' skills. Interestingly, most of them refused the offers saying that the salary offered was meagre. Only 20,000 people took up jobs in the construction sector.
AP ranks 10 in the list of unemployment rate in the country. About 30 per cent of people in the state do not have jobs in urban areas.
The TDP stormed to power in the May 2014 elections after it promised jobs to all unemployed in the state. It had also promised unemployment allowance.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana agree to Krishna River Management Board allocation for September
HYDERABAD:MMNN: 27 Aug. 2016
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Friday agreed to abide by the allocation made by the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) for September.
While Telangana submitted request for 39 tmc feet water from Nagarjunasagar, Andhra Pradesh sought 47 tmc ft from Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar dams. The meeting was chaired by KRMB acting chairman Ram Saran. It directed that member-secretary Sameer Chatterjee finalise the allocation and inform two states on Saturday.
The board found fault with two states for not reporting the yields of minor irrigation sources. Flood water from canals, tanks and wells are listed as minor irrigation sources. Both states have not been informing the board about the inflows and the quantity utilised by them.
The KRMB appointed a committee comprising the chief engineers of two states and KRMB to study and submit a report on minor irrigation yields by September 15. The board pointed out that a portion of the total allocation of 811 tmc ft comes from minor sources. As per allocation, AP will get 512 tmc ft and Telangana 299 tmc ft water.
The board also decided to fix telemetry meters at 10 water drawal points in the first phase for which AP government will provide Rs 2.5 crore. Telangana government will give its share at a later date, the board secretary said.
When mediapersons asked about the reported proposal by Telangana on sharing of drinking water supplied to joint capital city of Hyderabad, Sameer Chatterjee said "It is not a serious issue. The board did not discuss it".
However, AP irrigation secretary Sashibushan wondered how Telangana government could ask for AP's share in the water supplied to Hyderabad when it is collecting water bills from citizens.
Andhra Pradesh experiencing erratic monsoon
Visakhapatnam:MMNN: 24 Aug. 2016
Andhra Pradesh too has been experiencing an erratic monsoon. A few bursts of rain at the beginning of the season have been interspersed by prolonged, dry spells.
This year, coastal AP and Rayalaseema registered about 55 per cent and 80 per cent excess rainfall respectively in June, which was the highest in the country. But as of August 22, many districts are dry.
Such an inconsistency in the Monsoon carries many disturbing implications. It is
upsetting the prospects of farmers, is depleting groundwater levels, causing a water crisis and is lowering the amount of food produced.
Retired meteorologist, Rallapalli Murali Krishna, told DC that even though many weather systems had formed in recent times, they were shifting base to other states due to lack of a southward tilt in the emerging low pressures and depressions.
"The South-West Monsoon currents have been drifting towards China. But good rains are on the cards in September. Climatic change has its own role to play in erratic monsoon patterns," Mr. Murali Krishna added.
Also, farmers in Andhra Pradesh had started the kharif season on a positive note but the situation now is grim. A good spell of rain towards the start of September is needed for crops to survive. The South-West Monsoon is a lifeline for farmers in Andhra Pradesh.
India may auction 70 atomic mineral deposits in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala
MMNN: 24 Aug. 2016
With the department of atomic energy (DAE) submitting a list of around 70 atomic mineral blocks, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala may shortly auction these deposits containing rare earth elements such as monazite.
The plan is an integral part of the National Democratic Alliance government's strategy for India's resource security, wherein the respective state governments will bid out blocks which contains monazite below the threshold value.
The ministry of mines on 18 July notified the Atomic Minerals Concession Rules, 2016, allowing for auction of specific mineral deposits such as monazite, ilmenite and rutile, which are not used for atomic energy production, but have high economic value.
"We have received a communication from DAE that it has identified around 70 blocks spread over an area of 1,400 sq. km along the country's coastline, which can be auctioned by the states," said a senior government official on condition of anonymity.
These blocks are located in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, he added.
InfraCircle on 18 August reported about the mines ministry seeking help from DAE in demarcating areas containing specific atomic mineral deposits.
Rare earth elements are used in modern technological devices such as smartphones, solar panels, wind mills and hybrid car components, with China having a monopoly in rare earth element production.
A second government official, who did not want to be named, said the states will now be asked to expedite the auction process of these mineral blocks.
According to information available on the ministry of mines website, beach sand minerals are considered as economic heavy minerals and include ilmenite, rutile, zircon, garnet, monazite, leucoxene and sillimanite. Most of these minerals are found together, with their individual contents varying from deposit to deposit.
Experts believe that India is well-positioned in terms of rare earths and there will be interest among investors for these deposits.
"In case of rare earths, a degree of certainty in terms of reserves will be key for beach sand mining even though there are limited number of entities in this segment and huge capital is required for sand processing," said Dipesh Dipu, partner at Jenissi Management Consultants, a Hyderabad-based energy and resources sector consulting firm.
After China, India has good reserves of rare earths in sandy beaches, which can be harnessed for local consumption as well as for supplies to other countries, Dipu added.
Queries emailed to the ministry of mines and DAE on 22 August remained unanswered. The state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala couldn't be immediately contacted.
As per the National Mineral Exploration Policy 2016, the government reserves beach sand mine deposits, containing more than 0.75% monazite in the total heavy minerals, for state-owned companies. At present, concessions for atomic minerals are awarded by DAE and related agencies.
Telangana never opposed any package to Andhra Pradesh, says Kavitha
Hyderabad:MMNN: 20 Aug. 2016
Lok Sabha member Kalvakuntla Kavitha on Friday said that Telangana government has not opposed to any package given to any state, including Andhra Pradesh.
Her remarks came on the Centre's decision to provide special assistance of Rs 1,976.5 crore to Andhra Pradesh during 2016-17 to compensate the financial impact arising out of bifurcation of the erstwhile state.
When asked if Telangana also needed such a package, Kavitha said, "Why should I compare myself with Andhra? Whatever they are supposed to get, they must be getting, we won't oppose it."
"What is due to Telangana, should be given to Telangana. That we will certainly demand; we will not oppose any package given to any state, including Andhra," she added.
She expressed confidence over the Centre's nod on increasing the number of Assembly seats in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, saying the move warrants amendment only to the AP Reorganisation Act 2014, and not to the Constitution.
In the last Parliament session, Union Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, had said there was no such proposal (increasing the number of seats) under government's consideration, adding, the Attorney General had replied in the negative when the Law Ministry's opinion was sought in this regard.
"The minister initially thought an amendment to the Constitution would be required but we had clarified to him that only an amendment in the Reorganisation Act is required which is quite easy owing to the Lok Sabha majority of Bharatiya Janata Party," Kavitha said.
"We are speaking with the minister, making sure they understand that only the (AP Reorganisation) Bill needs to be modified and not the Constitution. So, that should make things a little bit more easier," the Telangana Rashtra Samiti MP from Nizamabad and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said.
Telangana officials pointed out that it has been provided in section 26(1) of the AP Reorganisation Act that subject to provisions contained in Article 170 of the Constitution and without prejudice to section 15 of this Act, number of seats in Legislative Assemblies of successor states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana shall be increased from 175 and 119 to 225 and 153, respectively.
"We certainly want the number (of Assembly seats) to be increased. We are reorganising the districts and our revenue divisions. Basically for administrative purposes, I believe reorganisation has to be done," she said.
Andhra 'ammayi' or Telangana 'bidda'? Admirers on both sides stake claims
HYDERABAD/ VIJAYAWADA:MMNN: 20 Aug. 2016
Even before Pusarla Venkata Sindhu pumped up the excitement on Friday in Rio, her admirers staked claim to her: both in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The champion shuttler was their 'ammayi' (girl, in Telugu), both sides said.
Some asserted that she was born and brought up in Hyderabad and was a Telangana 'bidda.' The counter was that she belonged to Vijayawada and was therefore an Andhra 'ammayi'. Many even researched the champion's caste, as her parents had a love marriage.
A third group played safe, calling her a Telugu 'Tejam.' Chiding all 'parochial' factions were the nationalists who said Sindhu was an Indian.
The champion player's parents, Mr. Ramana and Ms. Vijayalakshmi, meanwhile, made a quick 350-km trip to Eluru from Hyderabad to offer prayers at Ratnalamma temple on Friday.
In Hyderabad, the Gopi Chand Academy was full of fans keen to watch her battle Carolina Marin.
Ms. Vijayalakshmi said her girl is an Indian first. "Let us all enjoy this moment of triumph and look forward to a golden finish and not engage in a debate," she said, as the family settled down to watch the final on a giant screen, accompanied by guests like Daggubati Purandeshwari and London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang.
Sindhu was born in Secunderabad and lives in Marredpally. Her father is Sports Officer, South Central Railway.
Images of the player carrying the traditional Bonam at the recent Bonalu festival in Hyderabad strengthened her Telangana supporters' claims. She should be the State's brand ambassador, replacing Sania Mirza, some said on social media.
Mr. Ramana was born in Nirmal, Adilabad district in Telangana, and Ms. Vijayalakshmi, a volleyball player like her husband, is the daughter of a Vijayawada businessman.
Krishna Pushkaram commences with traditional fervour in Andhra Pradesh
Vijayawada:MMNN: 12 Aug. 2016
The Krishna Pushkaram river festival that comes once in 12 years began with traditional gaiety. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his wife Bhuvaneswari joined Kanchi seer Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswati in taking a holy dip in river Krishna at Durga ghat here at the start of the 12-day festival.
After the stampede on the opening day of Godavari Pushkaram at Rajamahendravaram last year, the Chief Minister stayed away from any fanfare this time and the Durga ghat was closed for common people for the inaugural event.
Deputy Chief Minister N China Rajappa and a host of other ministers also took a holy dip on the occasion. Vijayawada wore a festive look as lakhs of pilgrims arrived in the city and headed for various Pushkar ghats to take the holy dip.
Devotees swarmed the hill shrine of Goddess Kanaka Durga, the presiding deity of Vijayawada, and offered special prayers. Today being an auspicious Friday in the month of Sravana, women conducted Varalakshmi vratam, a traditional ritual, with devotion. The replica temple of Lord Venkateswara at Swarajya Maidan also attracted scores of devotees.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and Akshaya Patra Foundation have made arrangements for free food supply to four lakh pilgrims in all every day.
Police deployed drones to keep a vigil at all Pushkar ghats while the government administration is using mobile applications to monitor every aspect, including crowd management, related to the event.
Krishna Pushkaram is conducted in Srisailam, Guntur and Krishna districts of AP where the river flows. In all, 170 bathing ghats have been readied for the event in which a total of 3.5 crore devotees are expected to take part over the 12 days. Vijayawada city alone is expected to witness a crowd of about 25 lakh per day.
Cancer cases in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh rise about 50 per cent
Visakhapatnam:MMNN: 12 Aug. 2016
The number of cancer cases is increasing with every passing year in the two Telugu states. Mortality rates are also high with about 50 per cent cancer patients succumbing to the disease.
As per data provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in 2015, about 48,000 patients (20,235 in Telangana and 28,082 in Andhra Pradesh) died from various types of cancer.
Sedentary lifestyle, rising obesity and pollution levels, smoking and consumption of tobacco and alcohol and changing dietary habits are some of the reasons for higher incidence.
As per the Consolidated Report on Hospital Based Cancer Registry: 2012-14, approximately 17 per cent patients approach hospitals only after the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body from its origin.
Managing director and renowned surgical oncologist at Mahatma Gandhi Cancer Hospital & Research Institute, Dr Murali Krishna Voonam, said, "The increase in cancer cases might be due to higher detection. The government should concentrate on creating awareness among people about preventive measures as well as early detection. Society and the government play a crucial role. Cervical cancer forms a major share. Effective mass vaccination programme would help," Dr Voonam added.
"Non-healing ulcers, change in voice or trouble swallowing, haemoptysis (coughing up of blood), unusual bleeding or foul smelling discharge from any orifice, nagging cough, pigmented moles or warts, change in bowel habits or bladder function, anae-mia, lumps in the breast and unexplained weight loss are some of the signs of cancer," he said.
Among all cancers, breast cancer occupies the top position. followed by lung cancer. Cervical cancer, which was once prevalent among women, has now been relegated to third position in Andhra Pradesh.
Dr P. Ramana Rao, an integrated practitioner at Varam's Multispeciality Hospital, commented that foods grown with pesticides, chronic consumption of repeatedly heated cooking oils, higher pollution levels and changing lifestyle and dietary habits are leading to increased cases of cancer.
42 Lakh LED Bulbs To Be Distributed In Andhra Pradesh
MMNN: 22 July 2016
In order to save energy in power utilisation, 42 lakh more LED bulbs would be distributed in the state in addition to the 1.90 lakh bulbs already distributed, an official said.
With the use of 1.90 lakh LED bulbs, nearly 1,500 million units were saved in energy utilisation, which in monetary terms is equivalent to Rs. 600-700 crore.
The state has targeted to distribute 2.32 lakh LED bulbs by this month-end and the remaining 40 lakh would also be distributed soon, State Energy Conservation Mission CEO A Chandrasekhar Reddy said here yesterday.
He was speaking at the East Godavari District energy conservation committee meeting held here.
Under this policy, each household was given two LED bulbs at the rate of Rs. 10 each on subsidy basis and now efforts are being made to make available LED bulbs to the public for Rs. 85 in open market, Mr Reddy said.
The state is also contemplating to replace nearly 16 lakh old pump sets in the coming five years which will save 3,000 million units every year, he said.
The Centre has quoted Andhra Pradesh as a model state in energy conservation methods by using LED bulbs, with regard to LED-based street lighting in all urban local bodies, Mr Reddy said.
East Godavari District Collector H Arun Kumar, who presided over the committee meeting, said a pilot project to replace ordinary pump sets with energy efficient ones has been taken up in Rajanagaram mandal.
He suggested government departments, municipalities and gram panchayats to use LED bulbs to save energy and adopt energy efficient methods.
Man Murders Wife, Father-In-Law In Andhra Pradesh
MACHILIPATNAM:MMNN: 22 July 2016
A man hacked his wife and father-in-law to death at Kotapadu village in Chatrai Mandal of Krishna district last night, police said.
Circle inspector Kishore Babu said that the accused K Subramanyam went to his father-in-law's house last midnight and hacked to death his father-in-law V Venkateswara Rao, 55, and his (Subramanyam's) wife V Vijaya, 25, as everybody in the house was asleep.
V Sivaramakrishna, the brother-in-law of the accused, woke up hearing cries of victims and tried to rescue them.
The accused attacked him and his mother Sarojani too. Both were seriously injured.
Venkateswara Rao and his daughter Vijaya died on the spot. Sivaramkrishna was battling for life at Eluru government hospital.
The accused fled from the house and police were searching for him. Nuzvid DSP Srinivasa Rao and Inspector Kishore Babu visited the spot.
Family dispute is suspected to have led to the murders, police said.