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Durga Temple Board Member resigns: Liquor smuggling

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Vara Lakshmi, YSRCP leader, has resigned as there member of the governing body of Kanaka Durga Temple following a case of illegal liquor smuggling. The special forces have caught and seized large quantities of liquor bottles from her car in Jaggayyapeta area. The direct involvement of the ruling party leader created a sensation all over the State.

A case has been filed against Surya Prakash Gupta. Her car driver Siva has been arrested. The YSRCP Vijayawada leaders have announced resignation of Vara Lakshmi saying that it was done in order to respect the sentiments of the devotees of Kanaka Durga.

Interestingly, Vara Lakshmi has not sent her resignation letter to the temple board chairman or the executive officer. She sent this letter to YCP MLA Samineni Udaya Bhanu.

For quite some time, there were allegations that the ruling YSRCP leaders were making fast money by taking advantage of the high rates of liquor and also non availability of most popular liquor brands in Andhra Pradesh. They were charged with bringing large quantities of liquor from neighbouring states to sell illegally in connivance with the local officials here in AP.

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Robbery of silver lions confirmed but no police case yet

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The endowment officials have finally concluded after a day that 3 silver lions were stolen from the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada. Immediately, this should have been complained to the city police to launch investigation. But, as of now, an internal inquiry was begun in the endowments department. The regional joint commissioner and executive officer of the Penuganchiprolu temple will enquire and submit a report.

Even within the Durga temple, the officials launched an internal inquiry to find out when the robbery took place. The sole work of these departmental enquiries was to determine the day and time of robbery of lions. On the day of robbery yesterday, the executive officer said that lions might have been in a locker somewhere. Now, it’s being confirmed that the robbery has been committed and the lions are gone for good.

Questions are being raised now why no police inquiry is launched till now. Are there CCTV cameras there? Concerns are being expressed that no evidence is being available in temple incidents just like in Antarvedi chariot burning.

The Durga temple incident has created a bigger controversy. Even BJP AP President Somu Veerraju visited the spot and demanded immediate nabbing of the robbers.

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Covid scare atop Indrakeeladri, 15 +ve and 3 dead

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The Coronavirus threat is increasing menacingly in Vijayawada city limits. The virus infections triggered a scare among the devotees about the Indrakeeladri Kanaka Durga Temple. The temple executive officer has become infected. Till now, nearly 15 staff have tested positive atop the hill temple while three succumbed to the disease. The rise in infections caused a deep fall in the devotees at the temple.

As a result of the rising infections, the temple staff have been bringing pressure on the officials for closing down the temple for darshans till the disease subsides and a vaccine becomes available. On the other hand, the temple committee is unable to take a final decision in view of the financial constraints and the need for getting funds for meeting maintenance costs. The situation at most of the temples is more or less the same. After darshans are allowed amid virus preventive measures, infections increased among the staff and caused a big crisis.

Following the deepening crisis, the Raj Bhavan has decided to cancel the At Home meeting of the Governor which was scheduled for today as part of the Independence Day celebrations. The meeting was traditionally conducted to facilitate the Governor to meet with leaders, officials and others and exchange pleasantries.

The political leaders were also taking part in the I-Day celebrations on online platforms. In view of the physical distance restrictions, the parties and the government departments were taking additional care to stay safe from infections.

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11 die in Covid centre fire at Vijayawada Swarna palace

Over eleven patients died so far in the huge fire at the Covid centre being run at the Swarna Palace Hotel in Vijayawada. The fire broke out due to a short circuit in the early hours of Sunday. There were nearly 40 patients and 10 medical staff at the time of the mishap. The death toll is expected to rise further. This Covid centre is being run by Ramesh Hospital management. Many hotels in the city were converted into Coronavirus centres and handed over to different hospitals.

Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy, Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu, Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita and other leaders expressed deep shock at the death of patients. Reports came out that the Covid centre staff gave wrong reports to the government that only 5 patients were taking treatment at Swarna Palace quarantine centre.

Mr. Naidu and former Minister Nara Lokesh demanded that the best medical care be provided to the injured persons. They demanded immediate compensation to the bereaved families who lost their dear ones in the fire.

Two of the eleven deceased persons were women. The injured persons were shifted to other hospitals in over 15 ambulances. Some patients even jumped from the top floors of the building after flames engulfed their rooms.

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Political twist to Bezawada gang war murder: Corporator ticket

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Tejaswini, wife of murdered Thota Sandeep, is making sensational comments on her husband’s death. She told the media that Sandeep’s murder has nothing to do with the apartment or real estate disputes. Sandeep became targetted only after he started trying to contest the corporator elections on the Telugu Desam Party ticket.
Tejaswini’s allegation is that political rivals used Manikanta alias Pandu as a pawn to eliminate Sandeep. She said that till recently, both Pandu used to follow Sandeep and accompany him to many places. But since a few days before the murder, Pandu began picking up heated arguments and even threatening Sandeep. Actually, Sandeep went to settle the issue but the rival gang came armed with chilli powder and launched their murderous attack in a surprise manner.

The latest allegations by Tejaswini have raised political temperatures in the city which was once a hotbed of gang wars and caste wars. The police have also faced critical remarks that they have not acted in time to nab the accused or to prevent the gang war that left one dead and many injured. There are also reports that the corporator ticket was offered to Tejaswini at one stage in the woman’s quota.

All said and done, Sandeep’s murder has now cast a shodow on the municipal corporation elections in Vijayawada.

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Chandrababu Naidu detained amid high drama in Vijayawada

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Amid high drama, police detained former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and other TDP leaders when they were trying to embark on a ‘bus yatra’ to Amaravati on Wednesday night.

The police later let off the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and other leaders at his house at Undavalli in Amaravati.

Tension prevailed near Vedika Kalyana Mandapam when Naidu, Communist Party of India (CPI) state Secretary K. Ramakrishna and other TDP leaders were leaving on a ‘bus yatra’ as part of the continuing protest by Amaravati farmers over the YSRCP government’s three capitals proposal.

Police stopped the Leader of Opposition and others, leading to a heated debate between the two sides. Protesting against the police behavior, Naidu and others squatted on the road at Benz Circle.

Naidu condemned the high-handed behavior of police and demanded that they be allowed to undertake the ‘bus yatra’. The protestors raised slogans against Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and the police.

The protest led to huge traffic jam at the busy city centre. Amid a tense situation, the police forcibly lifted the protesting leaders and carried them to waiting police vehicles. They were later dropped at Naidu’s residence.

Naidu’s son Nara Lokes, former ministers Atchan Naidu, Devineni Uma and TDP MLAs were also among those detained.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharitha slammed Naidu for the “drama” and said that he is turning out to be an anti-social element after losing power. She blamed him for the chaotic situation in Krisnna and Guntur districts.

“He is just trying to save the lands of his benamis in the capital region by creating a law and order problem in the region,” she said.

The minister said under the three capital proposal the legislative capital will remain in Amaravati and hence there was no need for any protest over the issue.

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Vijayawada and Siddipet win Cleanest city awards

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Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced Swachh Survekshan Awards 2018 in which Vijayawada and Siddipet won India’s Cleanest City awards. Vijayawada has been awarded India’s Cleanest City award in the category of population over 10 lakhs. Siddipet has been announced as the cleanest city in the South Zone that falls under the category of population less than one lakh. The garbage collection vehicles in Siddipet have been equipped with GPS / RFID and the garbage is collected on regular basis across the town.

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First Aid saved me – Eluru MP Maganti Babu

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Eluru MP Maganti Babu has been discharged from a private hospital in Vijayawada. He was initially admitted in a local private hospital in Eluru Friday afternoon, after suffering a mild heart attack. Later he was transferred to another private hospital in Vijayawada for better medical care.

Talking to the reporters, Maganti Babu said, ‘it is one of the situations where we don’t expect ourselves to be in. No doctors were available when I had the heart attack. Tele-medicine has saved in that golden hour.

While I was being transferred from Eluru to Vijayawada,Chief Cardiologist Dr Ramesh was available on the phone. It was under his supervision, the first aid has been performed. After going through the reports (of my ECG) sent over the phone, Dr Ramesh has been continuously in touch with the Ambulance crew guiding them through the medical process. Thanks to tele medicine, and timely first aid, I survived’, said Maganti Babu.

The MP is currently resting in his residence in Eluru, and few politicians have visited him.

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Pawan Kalyan addresses NRIs in Vijayawada

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Pawan Kalyan addressed the NRI Wing of Janasena Party. With last evening’s fiery speech in Guntur, all eyes are on the NR meeting. Speaking to NRIs (Non-Resident Indians), Pawan Kalyan called for their support and backing for the state of Andhra Pradesh and Janasena party too.
He said, ‘we are not looking NRIs as a fundraising option or a monetary bank. Instead, we request you to support the state, given your wide connections in the US. I only have very limited connections in the US’.

It is understood that Pawan Kalyan pledged the NRIs to take part in active politics of Telugu states. ‘Pawan Kalyan asked whether the NRIs had any doubts regarding his approach or party’s stance on various issues raised at the meeting yesterday. NRIs came from different countries and attended the meeting voluntarily. Valuing and respecting their presence, Pawan Kalyan met them. At the same time, he wanted them to be the ambassadors of Janasena internationally, and carry forward welfare programs’, said a party source.

Over 40 NRIs have reportedly attended the Janasena Formation Day party meeting last evening in Guntur.

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Janasena office land: Disputes, statements and politics

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Janasena office land Vijayawada

Janasena Chief Pawan was almost ready to start his party office in 3 acre land in Chinnakaakani (Mangalagiri mandal). But suddenly a Muslim family popped up and raised concerns that this land belongs to them and questioned how Pawan can make a lease agreement on this land with someone else. With this sudden incident, Pawan’s plans of starting this party office soon seems to got messed up.

Janasena took a land for 3 year lease from a person named Yarlagadda Sambasivrao and entered into a lease agreement accordingly. But a Muslim family came in front of media claiming that the land actually belongs to them. They revealed that the land has been in court dispute since 1981. In fact, in 1997, Guntur court ruled in favor of them (Muslim family) but Yarlagadda approached the high court, which ordered for status quo on the land. The family asks how Yarlagadda can give the land on lease to Pawan. They asked Pawan to constitute a committee to decide to whom the land belongs to.

Janasana chief Pawan Kalyan responded immediately on this controversy saying, this issue came to his notice. Pawan said Janasena gave a press note some days back regarding this land lease agreement but no one brought any objections to his notice. Moreover, he was in Vijayawada on 8th and 9th of December but none came to him with any objection on this land. Not even when he visited the land recently nobody raised any concerns or objections. He added, now suddenly these people are revealing all these things in the presence of a politician which is actually creating doubts if there is any political conspiracy. But Pawan said he and his party has the courage and strength to fight such political conspiracies. But in case if it is genuinely disputed land, he assured he will stay away from the land. He also told they just took the land for 3 year lease and so they don’t have any malicious intentions on this land.

We have to wait and see if there is any political conspiracy and how Janasena deals this issue!!!

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Maestro Ilaiyaraaja Live in Vijayawada

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Ilaiyaraaja Live in Vijayawada

The Music Maestro Ilaiyaraaja needs no introduction to the world of Indian Film Music. The innovations and amazing changes he brought in film composing can never be forgotten. After his native language Tamil, it was Telugu in which Ilaiyaraaja has done maximum songs and earned unique fan following for the distinguished sound, experimentation in music and of course- chartbuster songs throughout 80s decade and 90s as well.

Temple Bell Events has organized Maestro Ilaiyaraaja concert in Hyderabad during November and earned overwhelming response from the audience. With the same zeal and enthusiasm, the young event management team is organizing Ilaiyaraaja’s show for the first time ever in Vijayawada, the commercial hub of the sunrise state Andhra Pradesh. This is indeed a great news for all Andhra Pradesh natives to visit and experience the musical extravaganza in live!

The event is scheduled on Jan 27th 2018 and Ilaiyaraaja will be arriving with his live orchestra to enthrall the audience of Vijayawada. The tickets are available on sale at https://www.meraevents.com/

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Boat accident – YSRCP ruckus impedes rescue operations

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It is known news that the boat carrying 38 tourists capsized at Ferry Ghat in Vijayawada leading to death of several people. Still some people are missing. The incident that happened yesterday evening left entire state in a tragic mood as the tourists dying in this most unfortunate incident. Initially the local people tried to rescue some of them but later NDRF reached the spot and was part of rescue operations.

However, the Bhavani island was in chaos and tensions as the political leaders from YSRC party, Partha Saradhi and Jogi Ramesh, reached the spot and staged a protest. The leaders from the opposition alleged that the government has failed in providing safety and should be held responsible for the accident.

However, the police who were busy with the rescue operations struggled to handle these protests at that point of time. City police commissioner Gautam Sawang reached the spot and immediately deployed more forces to aid the rescue operations. Sawang said “These protestors (YCP members) are obstructing rescue operations for us, we are unable to move from one location to another freely” . He slammed the protesters of being insensitive.

But YSRCP leaders alleged that police has reached the location very late and until then it was the local people who were trying to rescue the missing people and once police reached the spot, they beaten and pushed away those locals who were doing rescue operations. Soon the location was filled with slogans by cadre who accompanied YSRCP leaders. The accident spot was filled with mourning’s on one side and these protests on other side leaving the location in full chaos.

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Kancha Ilaiah placed under house arrest in Hyderabad

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Police placed Dalit writer and social activist Kancha Ilaiah under house arrest here on Saturday to stop him from leaving for Vijayawada to address a public meeting.

Policemen were deployed outside his house in Tarnaka. A team from Andhra Pradesh has conveyed to him that he will be arrested if he steps out of the house.

A large number of Ilaiah’s supporters gathered outside his house. One of the supporters said they were determined to leave for Vijayawada.

The police team on Friday served notice on the Dalit thinker, informing that there is no permission for the public meeting in Vijayawada as prohibitory orders were in force in the city.

Some Dalit and backward classes organisations had planned to organise to express solidarity with Ilaiah, facing threats from various groups from Arya Vysya community.

The Hyderabad High Court on Friday had refused to give directions to Andhra Pradesh Police not to grant permission to Ilaiah to conduct a meeting in Vijayawada. The court was hearing a petition filed by Arya Vysya Sangham.

Arya Vysya-Brahmana Aikya Vedika or the joint committee of Arya Vysya and Brahmin communities had threatened severe consequences if Ilaiah was allowed to visit Vijayawada and hold the meeting.

The joint committee had also planned to organise a meeting but dropped its plans after police imposed orders banning meetings and rallies in the city.

Ilaiah alleged that the governments of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were trying to suppress freedom of expression.

The writer has been facing protests from the Arya Vysya groups for describing the trading community as social smugglers in his Telugu book “Samaajika smugglerlu komatollu”.

Arya Vysya communities are seeking a ban on the book and the arrest of the writer for hurting their sentiments.

The Supreme Court on October 15 refused to ban the book.

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Kancha Ilaiah denied permission to address Vijayawada meeting

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The Andhra Pradesh Police on Friday served notice on writer and social activist Kancha Ilaiah, asking him not to visit Vijayawada on Saturday to address a public meeting.

Police officials from Vijayawada visited Ilaiah’s house in Tarnaka here and told him there is no permission for any meeting or rally in the city as this could create law and order problems.

The writer was told prohibitory orders have already been imposed in the city.

Arya Vysya-Brahmana Aikya Vedika or the joint committee of Arya Vysya and Brahmin communities had threatened severe consequences if Ilaiah was allowed to visit the city and hold the meeting.

Aikya Vedika had also planned to hold a meeting to counter the one proposed to be organised by groups backing Ilaiah.

However, it called off the meeting after an assurance by the police that the writer would not be allowed to address the meeting.

Reacting sharply to the notice served on him, Ilaiah alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government is resorting to undemocratic methods.

He said the public meeting was planned by groups from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and backward classes to demand reservation in the private sector.

The Dalit thinker alleged that there is a grave threat to free speech and expression in Andhra Pradesh.

He has been facing protests from the Arya Vysya community for describing them as social smugglers in his Telugu book ‘Samaajika smugglerlu komatollu’.

Arya Vysya communities are seeking a ban on the book and the arrest of the writer for hurting their sentiments.

The Supreme Court on October 15 refused to ban the book.

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MoU of Vijayawada Metro Rail cancelled

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The Memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been cancelled, following the differences emerged after the state failed to secure permissions from the Centre for Vijayawada Metro Project.

AMRC agreed to pay only the amount spent so far as the works have not progressed, even though DMRC requested to pay Rs 75 core capital expenditure; reported Deccan Chronicle.

DMRC made the first move for Vijayawada Metro Project and entered into MoU without approvals from Central government. It called tenders twice but had to cancel it. Differences cropped up between officials of DMRC and AMRC. AMRC is of the view that had the tenders not been cancelled, project works would have started.

Union Government asked the State to go ahead with Light Metro project. Consequently, tenders have been called for on DPRs without the consulting DMRC which irked the officials.

The DMRC reportedly penned a letter to cancel the MoU and the AMRC supported it.

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‘Vijayawada for Sale’ protests erupt as Govt bestows lands to private firms

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Challenging the Andhra Pradesh government’s bid to handover the lands of Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) to private firms, Members of the Taxpayers Association and CPI-M activists staged a protest in Vijayawada.

On the poster ‘Vijayawada for Sale’, they listed out the government properties and their worth that are being given to private holdings.

The protest led by CPI-M State secretariat member Ch Babu Rao, raised slogans to “Save Vijayawada” and sought termination of such project resolutions.

Rao reportedly said that Swarajya Maidan, VMC office, council and several other public properties are being given to private persons on the pretext of development

Terming it as a biggest scam, the CPI-M leader terming it as a biggest scam said that VMC is up to forgo 49acres land worth ₹3,528 crore to corporate firms.

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Reasons why Hyperloop between Amaravati-Vijayawada is not a viable option

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Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and the United States based Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for development of Hyperloop transport system between city centres Vijayawada and Amaravati. In the first phase the firm will conduct a feasibility study commencing in October for six months. The proposal though sounded momentous, it has raised several eyebrows as singing MoU isn’t a thing.

The Capital Region Development Authority master plan envisions six-lane expresses ways connects the two cities. Also, Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC) is working on Medium Metro Rail or Light Rail. The two cities will be already well connected with these modes of transportation.Moreover, capital city is being planned using the 5-10-15 formula on basis of walk to work culture.

Implementing Hyperloop is not competitive considering its financial viability. For about 42kilometers which can be covered in maximum of 30minutes, people will be reluctant to spend money for reaching the destination in 6minutes. Hyperloop is not financially lucrative project unless Government of Andhra Pradesh is ready to bear the financial burden.

This seems to be a merely attention seeking strategy as the brain behind Hyperloop Mr.Elon Musk himself doesn’t have a written approval from United states government yet. The government of Andhra Pradesh without weighing the options is on a MoU signing spree just because of the buzz words.

This hi-tech mode of transportation will change how people commute, but the implementation is not realistic yet. Government looking at the latest technologies is appreciable, but it should realise that too much attention to futuristic technology, distracts it from the crucial improvements that must be made to the existing system.

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MetroMan suggests Medium Metro for Vijayawada, says ‘No’ to LMR

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Andhra Pradesh government is reportedly considering to go ahead with the implementing the Vijayawada Metro Rail project, after Centre’s new policy for expanding and regulating metro rail services.

MetroMan E Sreedharan who met Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday allegedly advised the GoAP to seek exemption from Centre from the new metro rail policy as Medium metro would be a better option over Light metro rail (LMR).

Sreedharan reportedly said that the LMR will be useless and lacking and held that it will be a tough task for AP to get approvals from the central government

He held that it would be easy to get Centre’s nod for Medium Metro Rail as the detailed project report (DPR) is already with Union Finance Ministry.

It may be recalled that, following Edward Dotson suggestion that the LMR would be a better option for Vijayawada, Amaravati Metro Rail Corporation (AMRC) hit the board to prepare the DPR.

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MetroMan says Hyderabad Metro Rail is a Loss, Advises to Stick to Vijayawada metro rail

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‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan said that Andhra Pradesh’s government plan to drift towards light rail technology is irrational and advised the government to adhere to the already approved Vijayawada Metro Rail Project. He said that the light rail technology not only takes a long time but also doesn’t suffice fast growing cities like Vijayawada.

Light rail technology’s capability and transport capacity is 50% less than normal metro and the difference in cost of construction is insignificant. Considering the fact the Vijayawada will be a big city in next hundred years, Sreedharan suggested going ahead with simple Metro project on similar lines with Delhi Metro.

Speaking to a leading daily in Telugu, Metro Man said that Hyderabad Metro Rail will not be profitable. He said that once the operation of metro rail commences, Larsen & Turbo company has to face huge losses and simultaneously has to pay the banks that have lent the money. So, it is apprehensive on starting Metro Operations in the state. He said that Hyderabad Metro is an example of the PPP model being unsuccessful. It’s been seven years since the project began, yet L&T is not coming forward to run even first phase of metro fearing huge losses. If the company does not start operations in the future, Sreedharan said that the government will have to bear that burden.

He said that private parties do not take up this because Metro as it is not a profitable business. Private firms expect 12-15% profit while metro project doesn’t fetch more than 1.5-2% profits.

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Emirates to operate global flights from Vijayawada

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For the interim period, the Vijayawada Airport authorities are modifying the old terminal building to accommodate international operations.

Emirates Airlines is set to launch international flights to and from the Vijayawada international airport. It is the first operator to have initiated a dialogue regarding bilateral traffic rights with the Airports Authority of India (AAI). If all goes well, the flights could be operational from the first week of September.

The AAI has decided to invite tenders for the appointment of a Project Management Consultant (PMC) to prepare the detailed project report for the construction of an integrated terminal building at Vijayawada. For the interim period, the Vijayawada Airport authorities are modifying the old terminal building to accommodate international operations.

According to a senior AAI officer, a bilateral Air Service Agreement (ASA) or Air Transport Agreement (ATA) is one whereby two nations allow their respective airlines to launch flights in each other’s territories. Bilateral rights are national assets; the two participating countries agree upon them not only enhance transport but also to deepen diplomatic ties.

The rights are negotiated by the governments and stakeholders in the industry. The two countries set a capacity that they can each fly into the other’s territory. For example, India and Abu Dhabi are each allowed to fly 50,000 seats worth of people and cargo to and from each other’s territory per week.

The agreement may also include details regarding flight frequencies and the kinds of aircraft that may be used. It also lists the points of call, which are a fixed set of cities in a country where the other’s airlines may fly into. Abu Dhabi has access to nine Indian cities as of now. According to the officer, the number of cities may be increased at a later stage.

Indian carriers are in need of traffic rights abroad, and so these government-to-government negotiations will continue. The NDA government had also conducted auctions for imported gas, through an online portal, for gas-based power plants reeling under fuel shortage.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation may adopt a similar strategy and auction air traffic rights as well. However, this may be restricted to countries within 5,000 km or seven-hours of flying time from India, which includes countries in the Gulf region, the Middle East and South East Asia.

Courtesy : DC

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