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Hyderabad Traffic Police use ‘Akhanda’ scene to drive home message on seat belts


The Hyderabad Traffic Police has used a scene from director Boyapati Srinu’s blockbuster film ‘Akhanda’, starring Nandamuri Balakrishna and Pragya Jaiswal, to underline the importance of wearing seat belts while driving.

The film has a scene in which Balakrishna and Pragya Jaiswal are seen travelling together in a four-wheeler. Balakrishna, who is driving the vehicle, is forced to suddenly apply the brakes on the vehicle, to avoid colliding with a lorry.

As a result, Pragya is about to hit her head on the windshield when Balakrishna saves her. He then urges her to wear her seat belt and says, “Life is precious.”The Hyderabad police have picked this scene and have now posted it on their Twitter handle with the message, “No Matter How Far, No Matter Whose Car, Always Buckle Up!”

Apart from tweeting this message with the hashtags #WearASeatBelt, they also thanked both the director and the hero of the film for the message.They tweeted, “Thank you Nandamuri Balakrishna garu and Boyapati Srinu garu for promoting Road Safety. #Akhanda.”

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Demolition of illegal buildings continue around Hyderabad


Continuing their drive against unauthorised constructions in the municipalities surrounding Hyderabad, the authorities on Wednesday razed 10 more structures.

The District Task Force and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) intensified the drive by pulling down major illegal structures that included five-storied buildings and warehouses spread over two acres.

The Task Force has cracked down on 33 major unauthorised constructions in three days.

On Wednesday, Task Force teams pulled down illegal buildings in Thumkunta, Manikonda, Shamshabad and Pedda Amberpet municipalities.

Five structures were demolished in Thumkunta municipality, two each in Manikonda and Shamshabad and one in Pedda Amberpet.

The demolished structures include two constructions spread over 2.25 acres in Thumkunta and another construction on 1.20 acres in Shamshabad municipality.

The officials had razed 10 unauthorised constructions on the first day and 13 on the second day of the demolition drive.

Earlier, the drive was carried out in Shankarpalli, Badangpet, Dundigal, Boduppal and Pocharam municipalities.

Town planning officers were also pulled up for failing to identify the unauthorised buildings during their construction.

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Hyderabad’s Numaish shut due to Covid situation


Numaish, the popular annual trade fair of Hyderabad, has been suspended till January 10 in view of the curbs imposed by Telangana government to check the spread of Covid-19.

Authorities on Sunday night ordered closure of Numaish, a day after it was inaugurated by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and state Home Minister Mahmood Ali.

Hundreds of visitors were at the fair when officials stopped the ticket bookings and ordered all those who were in Exhibition Grounds to leave immediately.

About 10,000 people visited the exhibition from Sunday afternoon till night when authorities ordered the All India Industrial Exhibition Society (AIIES) to close it.

The action was taken in view of the state government extending restrictions to check the spread of Covid-19 till January 10. The government has prohibited rallies, public meetings and mass gatherings of all types, including religious, political and cultural.

The 45-day long annual exhibition was inaugurated on January 1 and the first day saw lukewarm response from visitors.

The AIIES, which has been organising the fair for 80 years, had put in place various measures to adhere to Covid-19 safety rules like compulsory wearing of masks, maintaining social distance, and vaccination of all stall owners.

The organisers had allotted 1,600 stalls to traders and various business organisations from different parts of the country to sell their products at the fair.

The exhibition could not be held last year due to Covid-19 situation. This was only the third time in its history that it could not be held.

Numaish-e-Masnuaat-e-Mulki, or Numaish in short, made a humble beginning in 1938 as an event to promote locally produced goods.

The fair begins on January 1 every year and continues for 45 days. Traders from various parts of the country set up their stalls during the exhibition, which is visited by 45,000 people every day. Over 20 lakh visitors had visited the exhibition in 2019.

A unique blend of economy and culture, the event is organised on the sprawling grounds and revenues from the fair are spent on a group of educational and charitable institutions run by the Society.

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Tissue culture lab for endangered plant species come up at Kanha Shantivanam


A modern tissue culture laboratory to help propagate critically endangered plant and tree species in the country has come up at Kanha Shantivanam on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

This project by Heartfulness Tree Conservation Centre was inaugurated by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday. While Heartfulness Institute aims at growing the plantlets at the ashram, a good share will also be given to the forest department, NGOs, and other plantation bodies that are involved with afforestation in India.

In his remarks, Tomar said that Kanha Shantivanam is very inspiring. “It is the centre for spirituality, which is important for human life’s development, continuity and durability. We all know that for humans with spirituality, deeds are equally important. So, when spirituality and deed stands together a creative power emerges. During my visit to the Heartfulness centre, I feel under Daaji’s guidance and vision. The ashram makes you feel like being touched by nature,” he said, adding that protecting nature’s beauty is everyone’s responsibility.

The minister said after his visit, he realised that species which are getting endangered can be saved and further developed which would create employment and bring revolution in agriculture as well.

Heartfulness guide Daaji claimed that much before the West proved that plants are living beings, the Vedic knowledge had always recommended putting trees ahead in priority. “Many trees are not only worshipped but also find a spiritual significance in Indian culture. Our proprietary medical knowledge is also plant-driven and trees have always been given their due as revered species in most parts of the country. By safeguarding the many species of plants, it is only a minuscule effort in the direction for the benefit of our future generations and the overall ecosystem,” he said.

The Heartfulness Tree Conservation Centre has a 5,000 square feet facility with 10,000 cleanroom technology, 15,00,000 annual sapling production capacity with the finest equipment and infrastructure with the tissue culture processes being overseen by a team of experts from India and Israel. More experts will be joining the team in the next three months, Heartfulness Institute said.

At least five endangered varieties are propagated at the rate of 1.5-2 lakh saplings per year per variety by the Heartfulness Tree Conservation Centre. The raw material sources are obtained from native locations of the endangered species with the help of the Forest Department. Elite plant materials are obtained from fields of Kerala, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.

Kanha Shantivanam already has ongoing conservation projects such as the Rainforest Project, the Deccan Plateau Project, the Food Forest Project and the Yatra Garden with volunteers helping in mass plantations. So far over 6 lakh trees have been planted and more than 10,000 trees saved through translocation efforts and an in-house nursery that has over 6 lakh varieties of saplings.

The have resulted in impacting the microclimate of the region in a very positive way transforming a once barren stretch of land to a fertile green oasis resplendent with a variety of flora and fauna not seen before in the region, the institute said.

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Hyderabad’s latest flyover under SRDP named after Abdul Kalam


Hyderabad added another flyover under Strategic Road Development Project (SRDP) as Owaisi-Midhani Junction Flyover was thrown open on Tuesday.

The 1.36 km long flyover has been named after former President and father of India’s missile programme Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Telangana’s minister for municipal administration and urban development K. T. Rama Rao, who inaugurated the flyover, called it a small tribute to a great great man who worked at DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and also lived in the neighbourhood for over a decade.

Built at an estimated cost of Rs 80 crore, the flyover will facilitate hassle-free traffic movement over Owaisi Junction, a busy intersection near Owaisi Hospital and Research Centre in Santosh Nagar, the area which has several defence research laboratories including DRDO, Defense Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (Midhani) and Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL).

Home minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali, education minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and Chandrayangutta MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi attended the inaugural ceremony.

The flyover has been constructed under SRDP, an initiative of the state government to improve the infrastructure in Hyderabad. The multilevel flyover will ease traffic congestion and help provide better connectivity between eastern part of the city and the old city.

During the last four years construction of 19 flyovers, underpasses and bridges was completed during the last four years.

These include iconic Durgam Cheruvu cable-stayed bridge is a four-lane elevated corridor which reduces the distance between Jubilee Hills to Hitec City, Gachibowli areas, Mindspace Junction flyover, Mindspace Junction Underpass in the heart of Hitec City, the second level flyover at Biodiversity Junction which provides a conflict-free corridor for the traffic in Hitec City, Madhapur, Gachibowli and IT corridor, Biodiversity Flyover (Level I) which eases the traffic congestion on Old Bombay Highway from Gachibowli towards Raidurg.

Minister KTR had told the state Assembly in September that the government is making all efforts to complete SRDP on priority to ease traffic congestion in the city. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) had taken Rs 5,900 crore loan for the project.

He had revealed that of the total 46 projects proposed under SRDP, about 22 were completed and 24 were under progress. The 22 works have been thrown open to traffic.

The remaining 24 works (21 by GHMC and three by NHAI and R & B Department) are under various stages of construction, he had said.

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Dissidence grows in TRS against lady mayor!


Hyderabad Mayor Gadwal Vijayalaxmi is facing opposition not just from BJP and Congress corporators in GHMC but also from her own TRS corporators.

There is already a buzz in TRS circles that TRS working president K.T.Rama Rao himself opposed selection of Vijayalaxmi as GHMC mayor in February 2021.

But TRS chief and Telangana CM KCR selected her as GHMC mayor under pressure from TRS secretary general and Rajya Sabha member K.Keshava Rao. Vijayalaxmi is daughter of Keshava Rao.

Now TRS corporators are also opposing Vijayalaxmi as mayor accusing her of remaining inaccessible even to TRS corporators. They complained to KTR that Vijayalaxmi does not respond on any issues concerning pubic or on their requests and simply remain inaccessible to all by always being confined to her home in Jubilee Hills.

TRS corporators requested KTR to ask her to mend her ways and if not, the party should remove her from mayor post and appoint someone who is accessible to all. Her continuance as mayor will only damage TRS further under GHMC limits, they warned.

But KTR reportedly expressed helplessness on this issue saying she has the backing of her father Keshava Rao as well as CM KCR.

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Alert in Hyderabad’s Paramount Colony after 2 Omicron cases detected


The health authorities on Thursday sounded an alert in a residential area in Hyderabad where two cases of Omicron were detected among foreigners.

Teams of health workers along with the employees of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) were conducting door to door surveys in Paramount Colony in the Toli Chowki area.

All the foreign nationals living in the area and their contacts were being traced and tested under the special drive. The municipal staff also formed a containment zone as part of the precautionary measure.

A 23-year-old female from Kenya and 24-year-old male from Somalia had tested positive for Covid on arrival at the Hyderabad International Airport on December 12. Since they came from countries other than ‘at-risk’ countries they were allowed to go home, but their samples were sent for genome sequencing. The results available on Wednesday showed them to be positive.

The health officials traced both the persons in Paramaount Colony and shifted them to Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS), the government designated isolation facility for Omicron cases.

Director of public health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said the contacts of the two persons were also sent for RT-PCR tests.

The health workers conducted Covid tests on all the residents of the two apartment buildings where the two foreigners were living. All those who came in contact with them were also subjected to RT-PCR tests.

As the Somalian, who tested positive for Omicron, had visited two corporate hospitals for checkup and went to a couple of other places in the city on Monday and Tuesday, the authorities were trying to trace those who came in contact with him.

About 100 Covid tests were conducted in the areas during the last 24 hours. The results are likely to be available later in the day. Officials said the samples of those found positive will be sent for genome sequencing. The GHMC staff also took up spraying disinfectants in the area.

Foreign nationals, mostly from African countries, take houses on rent in Paramount Colony and surrounding localities in Toli Chowki.

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Pak tank sitting as war trophy on Hyd’s iconic Tank Bund


The bund of picturesque Hussain Sagar in the heart of Hyderabad is thronged by hundreds of tourists everyday and battle tank there is a centre of attraction.

Visitors to Tank Bund, a key city landmark linking twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, are seen taking photographs with the tank in the background but not many are aware of its significance.

The only piece of information available about the tank is on a stone inscribed plate but very few bother to find out why a tank is lying on Tank Bund.

This is Pakistan’s M-47 Patton tank, which was given as war trophy to 54th Infantry Division after the 1971 war. It was installed on Tank Bund after the battalion gifted it to the city.

“Bash On Regardless. Presented to the citizens of the twin cities on 26 Nov 1973 by Major General, WAG Pinto, PVSM, and all ranks 54 INF Division (The Bash-on-Regardless Bison Division) as a token of esteem and appreciation for their unstinted support ever since the division was raised in Hyderabad-Secunderabad in Oct 1966. This M-47 Patton Tank is one of the 66 tanks knocked out by the Division in the wake of its swift advance and capture of 988 SQ KMS of enemy territory during the 14 days war of Dec 1971,” reads the plate.

The tank which was disabled during Battle of Basantar, one of the major events in the war, is sitting as the enduring testimony of the valour of the Indian Army, especially the Bison division which had played a key role in foiling the plans of Pakistan to take over Shakargarh Bulge.

During his visit to Hyderabad in 2011, Lieutenant General Walter Anthony Gustavo Pinto (retired), who had commanded the 54th Infantry Division during the Battle of Basantar, had recalled the story behind the tank.

He had to convince the then Andhra Pradesh administration to accept the war trophy as a gift to the city. The state was then under President’s rule and the officials were reluctant to accept and install it for public display. The advisor to the governor thought that this might unnecessarily arouse old sensitivities and animosities. He, however, agreed after some persuasion and second thought.

The war hero, during 2011 visit, had also released a book on his war experiences. The title of the book is ‘Bash on regardless’, which is also the motto of the 54th infantry Division.

The phrase, Lt Gen Pinto had recalled, originated from a sign he had erected in the Pakistani territory after capturing it. The signs read “You are now entering Pakistan. No passports required. So Bash on Regardless.”

Well-known heritage activist Anuradha Reddy described the M-47 Patton Tank as a very good reminder of the sacrifices made by the Army at that time. “By gifting it to the city and in public visual state, it is a constant reminder for people with that memory and it is an introduction to the newer generation that see, learn and value the role of the defence forces in safeguarding India,” she told IANS.

She, however, laments lack of proper protection and the poor maintenance of the war trophy by the civic authorities concerned.

Over the years, the iconic symbol was dilapidated. There are no railings to protect the tank and visitors are often seen climbing and playing on it. A closer look shows the tank catching rust at a few points. The negligence has led to the serial number and other signs on the tank getting erased.

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2 from non-risk countries test positive for Omicron in Hyd


Telangana on Wednesday reported the first case of Omicron with two air passengers from Kenya and Somalia testing positive for the new variant of Covid-19.

Both the cases were detected among air passengers from non-risk countries. Both had arrived at Hyderabad International Airport on December 12 via Abu Dhabi and Qatar, a top health official said.

A 24-year-old female had arrived from Kenya while a 23-year-old had come from Somalia.

The Kenyan national has been isolated at Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) while health authorities were trying to trace the second case.

Director of public health Dr G. Srinivasa Rao said two close contacts of the Kenyan national have also been sent for Covid-19 test.

He said the cases were detected among two per cent tests being conducted randomly on passengers arriving from non-risk countries. Both had tested positive for Covid on arrival and their samples were sent for genome sequencing. The genome sequencing reports received Tuesday night showed them to be positive for Omicron.

The official said both the cases were asymptomatic and there was no need for any panic.

He also revealed that a seven-year-old boy who had landed at Hyderabad Airport along with family and later left for Kolkata also tested positive for Omicron. “We have informed the health department of West Bengal,” he said.

The director of public health said, none of the 5,396 passengers who arrived from at-risk countries have tested positive for Omicron. Eighteen of them had tested positive for Covid and their samples were sent for genome sequencing. While 15 have tested negative for the new variant, reports of three others were awaited.

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Ordnance Factory Medak displays infantry combat vehicles


Ordnance Factory Medak on Monday organised a public exhibition of infantry combat vehicles as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to celebrate 75 years of Indian Independence.

The products of Ordnance Factory Medak, that is infantry combat vehicles like Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle (AERV), Sarath Vehicle (BMP) and Mine Protected Vehicle and its variants were displayed. A photographic exhibition was also organised on the occasion.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh virtually launched ‘Path to pride’, public exhibitions, curated museums and a booklet showcasing 75 resolutions of DDP from New Delhi.

B.S. Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad was the chief guest for the event at Ordnance Factory Medak (OFMK) and expressed support to OFMK in the area of research and development.

Alok Prasad, General Manager, OFMK has said that the exhibition showcases Atma Nirbhar Bharat and will be open for the general public till December 19. Students from various schools and colleges were invited on the occasion.

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Afghanistan’s Abdul Azim, Brazil’s Marcelo come face-to-face ahead of Matrix Fight Night 7 in Hyderabad


Afghanistan’s Abdul Azim Badakhshi and Brazil’s Marcelo came face-to-face ahead of their Matrix Fight Night 7 bout at the Taj Falaknuma Palace here on Thursday.

After holding three editions of India’s biggest MMA competition in the UAE, MFN returns to India and will be hosting its 7th edition on Friday. The event is sanctioned by the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA).

Speaking on his Featherweight main event fight against Marcelo at the press conference, Abdul, who proudly waved his Afghanistan flag, said that he wants to win to give a reason to cheer to people back home.

“I have trained really hard for this fight. I want to win. People back in Afghanistan have faced hardships in recent times. I have focused all of those emotions on winning this fight. If I could spread happiness in Afghanistan with a win here, I will feel proud,” he told reporters here.

Marcelo, too, admitted that he has a big responsibility on his shoulders to win the bout on Friday for his nation.

“I have a big responsibility. This is why I am training every day. I am never afraid. I was born to do this. MMA is in my blood and I am always ready to fight,” Marcelo said, as he proudly waved the Brazil flag.

Alan Fenandes, Director Operations, went on to describe the main event between Abdul and Marcelo as a “cracker of a contest”. “We needed to infuse some international talents in MFN. It’s good to have all the fighters on the heels that there is a better level of talents coming to you. With these two guys fighting on the card, these guys need to understand that they have a lot of catching up to do. The sky is the limit now,” he said.

Meanwhile, AIMMA commissioner Daniel Isaac spoke on his responsibility of keeping the fighters safe and explained the process that goes with the same, including strict implementation of weight limit guidelines.

“This is the most important job we have as officials. We cannot allow a single lapse. A simple lapse will affect all of our safety and health norms of our athletes. MMA fighters risk their lives every time they enter the cage. We have a responsibility to keep them safe. There is no bigger job for us than this. We take all the procedures to ensure that, and sometimes the fighters do not like our interferences. But we, as parents, have to look out for them,” he said.

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179 pending fines worth Rs 42K for traffic violations, Hyd man flees again


A man escaped leaving behind his motorbike after the traffic police in Hyderabad caught him for some violation and found that the two-wheeler had 179 ‘challans’ (Fines) worth over Rs 42,000 pending for the last seven years.

The incident occurred in the Moosarambagh area under the limits of Kachiguda traffic police station on Monday evening.

The vehicle was found parked in the carriage way by a sub-inspector. While issuing Rs 250 challan, the police officer was shocked to find that the vehicle had a large number of challans pending since 2015. He took the printout and asked the rider to pay all the penalties. The total amount worked out to Rs 42,475.

According to Kachiguda traffic inspector Srinivas, the rider fled leaving behind his vehicle. The bike is registered in the name of P. Rathnaiah, a resident of Medak district.

The bike (AP23M9895) had challans pending since January 9, 2015. The rider was fined for various violations, including triple riding, wrong side driving, not wearing a helmet. Majority of the challans were for not wearing helmet.

In June, the traffic police in Hyderabad had caught a two-wheeler owner, who had 132 challans worth Rs 36,185 pending against him for violating traffic rules for the last four years.

The police had seized the vehicle as the rider failed to pay the penalty amount pending against him since 2018.

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Cyberabad police bust fake SBI call centre in Delhi


Cyberabad police on Thursday claimed to have busted the biggest cyber fraud racket in the country with the arrest of 28 members of two gangs, who were operating call centres from the national capital.

While one gang was running a fake call centre of State Bank of India (SBI) in Delhi, the other was operating a call centre in Noida by offering loans. The accused allegedly cheated people in different parts of the country to the tune of several crores.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner Stephen Ravindra said they busted the SBI Call Centre racket in Delhi’s Uttam Nagar and arrested a gang of 14 members including a woman. They were involved in 14 cases in Cyberabad Commissionerate and 195 cases all over India. They pretended to be SBI employees and cheated citizens to the tune of crores of rupees, he said.

The accused are Nikhil Madaan, Deepanshu Madan, Pinky Kumari, Rohit Mathur, Hitesh Chopra, Vikas, Sanjay Kumar, Prabhat Kumar Singh, Saksham Raj, Anuj Kumar, Sameer Mishra, Murshid Alam, Farman Hussain, and Gourav Bharara.

Barring Alam and Hussain, who are from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh respectively, all the accused are residents of New Delhi.

According to police, fraudsters have vast experience in the banking field and they have collected data of SBI credit card holders from agents.

Main accused Madaan established a call center in Uttam Nagar, and took reseller ids for the spoofing applications like MoSIP and Silver Dialer. Fraudsters use these applications to generate calls through the desired number to dissimulate the original number. By using spoofing call applications, they contacted the SBI credit card holders as SBI employees by disguising the original customer care number. Then they collected card details and OTPs by misguiding the customers in the name of activation of card or deactivation of insurance or enhancing the credit card limit etc.

The police took up the investigation after a man lodged a complaint that he lost over Rs 1.64 lakh after he shared card details and OTP with the fraudsters, who contacted him to issue new credit cards as the old cards were about to expire.

The police seized from them a four-wheeler, a bike, 30 mobile phones, three laptops and a router.

The Cyber Crime Police of Cyberabad also busted a fake loan call center racket operating from Sector-63, Noida and arrested 14 persons including 7 women for luring customers in the name of Dhani Loan Bazaar.

The accused are involved in 9 cases in Cyberabad Commissionerate, 5 cases in other districts of Telangana, and 13 cases in other states. They called the citizens posing as genuine lending platforms and cheated them to a tune of lakhs of rupees.

The police took up the investigation after a man lodged a complaint that the accused cheated him to the tune of Rs 2.17 lakh by offering him a personal loan of Rs 5 lakh.

Main organiser Abhishek Midhra is absconding. Rajendra Kumar is also an organiser.

The other accused are Brijesh Kumar Thakur, Akash Bhati, Nitin Kumar, Dileep Kumar (absconding), Hemalata, Ritik Singh, Hemant Rawat, Radhika Yadav, Sadhana Kumar, Saraswati Halder, Kajal Singh, Nisha Varun, Kanchan Singh, and Puthan.

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Tsunami warning centre to promote awareness among coastal population


The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) on Friday announced that it will promote tsunami awareness and education for the coastal population and enhance community resilience over the next decade.

“This education and outreach programme promotes hazard understanding and awareness, and offers tools and information resources to guide preparedness and response. This will be met by making the development of science and technology at scientific organisations go hand in hand with the community preparedness and response,” said INCOIS Director Dr T. Srinivasa Kumar said on World Tsunami Awareness Day on November 5.

“We cannot control the occurrence of an earthquake even with state of art technologies. However, we can definitely mitigate the possible disaster by taking adequate measures by improving community awareness and preparedness, like people must be aware how to respond to them, either natural warnings (signs) or official,” he added.

As part of the 6th World Tsunami Awareness Day, INCOIS conducted a tsunami mock drill in coordination with the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and the Odisha State Emergency Operation Centre wherein INCOIS issued bulletins to Odisha stakeholders for evaluating their SOPs and communication media.

A total of 69 coastal communities/wards actively participated and evacuated during the mock drill to test the tsunami ready indicators.

The INCOIS Director said though tsunami science has been going through several important developments, it is equally important to strengthen the downstream part, which they were taking as a challenge.

He said that the recent recognition of two villages of Odisha (Venkatraipur and Noliasahi) as “tsunami-ready” is just the beginning.

The INCOIS is putting more efforts to make all vulnerable communities as tsunami resilient communities through the tsunami ready programme in collaboration with the state disaster management authorities, he added.

The Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 claimed around 10,000 lives in India and around 2,30,000 in surrounding countries. India was the first one to step forward to take the initiative to establish Tsunami Early Warning Centre at INCOIS, the first state of the art warning centre in the Indian Ocean countries.

The Indian Tsunami Early Warning Centre (ITEWC) not only acts as national warning centre, but also as a “tsunami service provider” responsible to provide services to all Indian Ocean member states under the framework of UNESCO’s the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (ICG/IOTWMS).

“Though the tsunami services have been improving through several initiatives, we are still facing challenges in limited observation networks, limited knowledge on tsunami risk, and inadequate community response. The recent tsunamis of Indonesia in 2018 brought us another challenge of tsunamis that are triggered by other than earthquakes such as submarine landslides and volcanic eruptions which can wash away the near-source regions within a few minutes,” Srinivasa Kumar said.

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Police grills main accused in gambling at Hyderabad farmhouse


Cyberabad police on Wednesday began questioning Gutta Suman Kumar, the main accused in the case relating to gambling organised at a farmhouse allegedly belonging to the father of a Tollywood actor.

Police on Sunday raided a farmhouse at Manchirevula in Narsingi on the outskirts of Hyderabad and arrested 30 people including a former MLA for gambling.

A local court on Monday sent the accused, including former MLA from Mahabubabad, Sriram Bhadraiah, to judicial custody for 14 days.

The court on Tuesday allowed police custody of the main accused.

A police team from Narsingi Police Station under the limits of Cyberabad Police Commissionerate took custody of Suman and after his medical checkup at the government-run Osmania Hospital, began questioning him.

Suman had taken the farmhouse on rent for one day from the father of a young actor, who, in turn, took the property on lease from a retired bureaucrat for film shootings. The police on Wednesday called the actor’s father to the police station along with the lease document to ascertain the facts.

According to police, Suman had taken the farmhouse on rent for one day for a birthday party but organised gambling by inviting several people. Those arrested include some realtors.

Police booked the accused under Telangana Gaming Act. They seized Rs.6.77 lakh cash, 33 mobile phones, three cars and 29 gambling sets.

Police learnt during the investigation that main accused Suman already had cases registered against him in Hyderabad and Bengaluru under Anti-Gambling Act and was arrested in the past.

The questioning by police is likely to bring out the modus operandi of the main accused. He is allegedly involved in organising casinos at star hotels and farmhouses by inviting rich individuals through WhatsApp groups. After receiving the payments, he used to issue coins to them to participate in the gambling.

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Police seize 110 kg ganja in Hyderabad


Police in Hyderabad on Friday seized 110 kg of ganja which was being transported from Andhra Pradesh to Maharashtra.

The Special Operation Team (SOT) of Rachakonda Police Commissionerate seized the narcotics consignment in LB Nagar and arrested two inter-state drug peddlers.

Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat told reporters that the ganja was concealed in a mini truck loaded with bananas. The contraband, valued at Rs 18.50 lakh, was being transported from the agency area in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh to Nagpur via Hyderabad.

The operation was carried out by SOT along with Abdullapurmet police. The arrested were identified as Lumbaram Solanki and Kishna Ram, both aged 24 and natives of Rajasthan.

Supplier Masada Pedda Balanna, a resident of Visakhapatnam and receiver Rasheed of Uttar Pradesh were absconding.

A case under NDPS Act 2001 was registered at Abdullapurmet police station of Rachakonda

The ganja was seized amidst an intensive campaign launched by Telangana Police to tackle the drug menace.

Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda Police Commissionerates, which cover Hyderabad and suburbs, have launched a special drive against narcotics by taking up searches at suspected places and arresting the accused.

About 72 kg ganja was seized and four persons were arrested by police in two different raids in Hyderabad Police Commissionerate limits on Thursday.

According to Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar, 70 kg of contraband was seized from a house in Yousufguda. Two persons, who had sourced the ganja from Sileru in Andhra Pradesh, were arrested.

In another case, police seized two kg ganja from two persons, who were scouting for customers.

Last week, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had directed Police and Excise Departments to take stringent measures to curb the growing drug menace in Hyderabad and other parts of the State.

Bhagwat said the police were carrying out raids on pan shops and kirana shops selling ganja and gutka. The Police Commissioner announced that a drug de-addiction programme ‘Naya Savera’ will be launched soon to save students from drug abuse.

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World’s largest cricket bat unveiled in Hyderabad


World’s largest cricket bat, certified by Guinness World Records, was unveiled here on Saturday by the former Indian captain Mohammed Azhrauddin.

The bat, which is 56.1 feet long and weighs 9,000 kg has been gifted by Pernod Ricard India Ltd, to the government of Telangana, will be on display on Tank Bund till November 16 and will be later kept at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal.

Unveiled on the eve of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Pernod Ricard dedicated the bat to the Indian team.

Made from poplar wood, the bat has been fabricated by BSL Events. It took almost a month to make it.

The bat, made at a cost of Rs 70 lakh, has beaten the previous Guinness Record of 51 feet long bat made at Chennai.

Azharuddin, who is the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association, unveiled the bat in the presence of Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary, municipal administration and urban development, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, industry, commerce and information technology, Udit Dugar, Zonal Head, South India and Gopal Akotkar, Regional Head, Telangana & AP, Pernod Ricard India.

“Because of this world’s largest bat and India-Pakistan match scheduled on Sunday, we will be celebrating Diwali tomorrow itself. We are installing the bat on Tank Bund for people coming to Sunday Funday to savour the visual treat,” said Arvind Kumar and requested Azharuddin to install the bat later at Uppal stadium.

Jayesh Ranjan congratulated Pernod Ricard for making the world’s largest bat and for choosing Hyderabad to display it. “A record holding bat will permanently be displayed in Hyderabad and that’s a tremendous honour. This World record bat can be a huge inspiration for our fans ahead of the World Cup,” he said.

Azharuddin congratulated Pernod Ricard for making the bat. “I was amazed to know about the weight of the bat. Being Hyderabadi, I am more than delighted that this iconic bat was made in Hyderabad. It’s all the more rewarding as it is certified by the Guinness World Record. You are being rewarded for the time, effort and planning put in to make this epochal bat,” he said.

“I wish the Indian Cricket Team the very best in the T20 World Cup and for tomorrow’s match against Pakistan, it is going to be a great tussle and India will come off with flying colours. We have a very experienced team and my favourite player is Rohit Sharma,” he added.

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Rs 6,300 crore for Hyderabad Airport expansion


GMR Hyderabad International Airport will be investing Rs 6,300 crore to increase the airport’s capacity to 34 million passengers per annum.

This will make Hyderabad Airport larger than Orly Airport Paris, said Antoine Crombez, Deputy CEO, GMR Airports Ltd while addressing Indo-French Investment Conclave 2021 here on Friday.

Last year, GMR Infrastructure Limited (GIL) had announced a strategic partnership with Groupe ADP for its airports business. Groupe ADP’s acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in GMR Airports set a robust industrial partnership.

Meanwhile, French fruit beverages manufacturing company Georges Monin has doubled investment in its upcoming manufacturing plant in Telangana to Rs 200 crore.

The conclave organised by the Indo-French Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IFCCI) to strengthen French investment opportunities in Telangana, saw participation by over 100 CEOs, CXOs and diplomats of France.

The event showcased and promoted existing French investments in the state within its large network and position Telangana as one of the most sought-after investment destinations due to its strategic location, conducive business environment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, proactive governance, and favourable ecosystem.

The delegation also visited French companies that are successfully operating in the state such as Safran Aircraft Engines, Mane India and Sanofi Shantha Biotech.

The conclave included several panel discussions focusing on key industries and the official session was attended by Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, KT Rama Rao, minister for information technology, Telangana, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT department, Telangana, and Sumeet Anand, IFCCI President.

“France and French companies are fully committed to increasing their presence in Telangana and seizing the many opportunities of this thriving, innovation-oriented state. Many French groups have already invested in Telangana, particularly in biotech, IT and aeronautics. These Indo-French business endeavours in key sectors in Telangana also help to strengthen the strategic partnership between our two countries,” said the French ambassador.

He said he was proud that that French companies demonstrated exceptional solidarity with Telangana during the second wave of Covid-19 by contributing to a French-made world-class oxygen generator plant to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences.

“Telangana is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. Since the formation of the state, the Telangana government has been introducing innovative policies to attract global firms and investments,” said K.T. Rama Rao.

Highlighting the TSiPASS policy, he stated that the Telangana government has been giving approvals for various investment proposals within 15 days. He added that through this policy, the Telangana government has attracted crores of investment to the state and has created lakhs of employment opportunities in the region.

Rama Rao also mentioned that Telangana has been the favorite destination for IT, Aerospace, Life Sciences, and Pharma companies. He noted that Telangana is home to many French companies.

He claimed that many more companies from France are showing interest in investing in Telangana.

“If any company wants to invest in India and can mention what other states are offering, We will meet their offer or beat their offer,” he said.

Sumeet Anand, President, IFCCI told the conclave that Telangana has a very healthy investment climate with strong leadership, investor friendly reforms, strong cluster competency in key sectors, innovation and digital acceleration along with increased urbanisation and consumption levels.

Payal S. Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI said that Telangana is a key state for French investment in India and can already see the strong and successful establishment of companies like Safran, Sanofi, Mane, Monin, Capgemini, among many others.

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Govt asks Hyd IT companies to open offices but..


Srinivas, coordinator of public health in Telangana, gave a call to IT companies of Hyderabad to open their offices as these companies provide lot of indirect employment. He urged the companies to function in the same way as they used to do prior to Covid 19. However, both the employers and employees are still not convinced with the proposal of the government.

Employers and employees both benefited by WFH:

Even though Work from home concept has been there in countries like US and UK for so long, Indian companies, except for a few product based companies, did not provide this facility for employees until 2020. However, with Corona pandemic, the functioning style of Indian companies also changed and all the companies provided work from home option to their employees. Employees and employers – both benefited with the WFH culture. Employees saved their time and energy as they could avoid long traffic lines and travel, while employers could save their logistic costs. Some companies even passed their cost savings to employees this year in the form of bonuses.

But some others negatively impacted:

However work from home culture impacted negatively not only the small the employees like housekeeping staff, auto drivers and other small businesses in IT corridor, but also negatively impacted real estate business and petrol bunks. It seems, the associations of real estate and petrol bunks are urging Telangana government to open offices. So, the government now wants the companies to open the offices and justifying its decision by citing the indirect employment to small time employees.

Employees are not welcoming government decision:

However, employees are criticizing government on this and say they are not getting any kind of benefits from the government despite paying huge taxes promptly and they don’t get any additional benefit by working from offices. They are adding, the real estate groups in Hyderabad were rising their prices at ridiculously high rates before pandemic and now also the government is opening offices only upon the pressure from such real estate tycoons. They add, contrary to common perception, the work load didn’t decrease because of work from home but it increased a bit more. But still they prefer work from home because it is economical for them.

However, the companies, even though they want to continue WFH, do not want to go against the government and want to open the offices. Some companies have already asked their top management personal to work from offices.

We need to wait and see whether all IT offices in Hyderabad will get opened by the end of the year.

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Gates of Hyderabad’s Himayat Sagar reservoir opened


Authorities in Telangana on Tuesday opened two gates of Hyderabad’s Himayat Sagar as the incessant rains increased the water level in the reservoir drastically.

Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) officials opened two of the 17 gates of Himayat Sagar to let water into Musi river, which runs through Hyderabad.

The flood gates were opened after the water level reached 1,763.15 feet against the full reservoir level of 1,763.50 feet at 11 a.m.

With rains continuing in the catchment area of Himayat Sagar, 2,000 cusecs of water was flowing into the reservoir.

According to HMWS&SB, the reservoir capacity is 2.97 TMC while the water level on Tuesday morning was 2.837 TMC.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials alerted the people living in downstream areas.

The authorities had opened the gates of both Himayat Sagar and Osman Sagar reservoirs last month.

This is also the second consecutive year that the gates of Himayat Sagar have been opened. In October last year, when massive floods had wreaked havoc in Hyderabad, 13 gates were opened.

Earlier, it was in 2010 that the gates of Himayat Sagar were lifted to release flood water into the river.

Meanwhile, a bus of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) was washed away in flood waters in Rajanna Sircilla district. There was no loss of life as all the passengers were already rescued by the locals.

The bus was caught in flood waters near Maneru Vaagu low level bridge on Sunday. After all passengers were rescued, the rescue workers tried to pull out the vehicle with the help of a JCB but failed. The bus got washed away in flood water and got stuck in the middle of the stream.

Heavy rains lashed north Telangana on Tuesday. Some low-lying colonies in Warangal town were inundated. Rain water entered the houses in some parts of the town, causing severe inconvenience to residents.

Incessant rains also led to flash floods in Nizamabad district. Rivulets, lakes, tanks and other water bodies were overflowing. Officials said some villages were cut off as roads were submerged.

A similar situation prevailed in Nirmal district. Medarawada was marooned due to incessant rains since Sunday. Rescue workers shifted the stranded people to safe places.

As Sriram Sagar project was receiving huge inflows, authorities lifted 18 crest gates to discharge flood water.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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