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Indian National Rally Championship to kick-start in Visakhapatnam next month

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After a couple of postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian National Rally Championship 2021-22 season is all ready to set the engine revving from December 16-18 here.

The announcement was made by the Sports Minister of Andhra Pradesh Muttamseti Srinivas Rao in a function on Wednesday.

The event will be conducted by the Karnataka Motorsport Club and apart from Round 1, they have been given the responsibility to take care of the K100 Rally as well, which is Round 2 and will take place in Bengaluru in January.

“It is a matter of huge pride for me that I am able to take the sport to new places which has always been my vision. I have always wanted motorsport to reach every nook and corner of the country. I would like to thank the Government of Andhra Pradesh for their support and cooperation,” said Vamsi Merla, promoter of the INRC.

While the promoter wanted to go all out and have a full calendar, due to paucity of time and delays, this year there will be only four rounds, with the Round 3 happening in Coimbatore to be conducted by Coimbatore Auto Sports Club in February, MMSC has been awarded the right for organising the grand finale which will happen in March. The venue for the finale is yet to be decided.

Apart from the championship rounds, a contender round is also being planned for April in Hyderabad.

The championship this year is expected to break all records in terms of participation and would see the involvement of major stakeholders of Indian motorsports including JK Tyre, MRF and Yokohama.

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YSRCP leaders eye Ramananaidu Studio lands in Vizag!

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The ruling YSRCP leaders in Andhra Pradesh are exploring all the options to grab valuable lands in Vizag especially after AP CM YS Jaganmohan Reddy announced to make Vizag as executive capital of Andhra Pradesh last year.

YSRCP leaders are on a hunt to identify and grab valuable land parcels by wielding power.

Speculations are rife in Tollywood and political circles that YSRCP leaders are now bringing pressure on family members of star producer late D. Ramanaidu to handover their studio land in Vizag and offering them alternate land parcels in return.

The previous TDP government headed by then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had allotted 34 acres to Ramanaidu Studios to set up film studio in Vizag as part of TDP government’s policy to promote Vizag as alternate destination for Tollywood, which is now confined only to Hyderabad.

Accordingly, Ramanaidu developed studio in 10 acres. The studio inaugurated in 2008. Ramanaidu kept balance 24 acres aside to meet future expansion plans and requirements.

The YSRCP leaders are now reportedly asking Ramanaidu family membrers to handover Studio lands and in return they will allot land in other location near Vizag.

But Ramanaidu’s family members reportedly refused to handover Studio lands saying that they want to take up expansion of studio in the existing location in memory of late Ramanaidu.

It remains to be seen how YSRCP government and Tolloywood circles react to this development.

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School demolished as it illegally occupied Vizag civic body land: Official

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Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) commissioner G. Srijana on Thursday said ‘Hidden Sprouts’, a school for specially-abled children, was demolished because it was an illegal occupant of the civic body’s open site.

“Actually it is an open site. As per Supreme Court’s guidelines, there should not be any construction on an open site,” Srijana told IANS.

According to the commissioner, Srinivas, who is running the school, produced a letter given to him by a commissioner in 2012 of which the GVMC has no official record.

“It was true that the school was running there. It is unauthorized. The structure is unauthorized. There is no record in our office as to that letter he was showing,” she said.

Srijana said no construction is allowed in an open site, complying with the Supreme Court’s orders and clarified that even if any kind of a construction was allowed, it can only be a park.

Srinivas made a representation to the civic body to extend the ‘lease’ but Srijana contended that ‘first there is no lease. Second, I cannot give a lease on an open site’.

She said that every layout must have a certain portion of land as an open site which should be open to the sky, bereft of construction.

“So it is one of those reserved sites. Now that he made a representation to us, seeking extension of that supposed lease, I need to reply to him officially. First there is no lease and I cannot now give a lease because it is an open site again,” the official asserted.

The civic body had served two notices to Srinivas to vacate the premises in MVP Colony, as schools were not operating due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Srijana said ‘Hidden Sprouts’ was not a residential school and it was the right time to free that space from this unauthorized occupation.

“Since there were no children and no running school there, we asked him to vacate the premises. Because we were not removing anybody from there. We were not closing down an actively running school,” she observed.

In addition to clearing the school, GVMC also offered an alternative space like a community hall or some other place to run it but Srijana said Srinivas got emotional and mobilized children to create a scene in the form of a protest.

Former chief minister and Andhra Pradesh’s principal opposition leader Nara Chandrababu Naidu condemned the demolition of the special school.

Former Indian cricket team’s chief selector and former cricketer M. S. K. Prasad had also appealed to Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Member of Parliament V. Vijayasai Reddy to stop this move by the civic body.

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High Court blocks sale of Govt lands in Vizag

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The High Court of Andhra Pradesh has ordered the Jaganmohan Reddy Government to stop the sale of the Government lands in Visakhapatnam. The court issued these interim stay orders on the Government lands located at over five places in and around the port city. These orders were issued after hearing a petition filed against the Government’s notification. The petitioner challenged the notification and sought the court’s intervention to stop the sale of public property.

The High Court has pointed out how there were already stay orders on the sale of the Government property under the Build AP programme. The same orders would be applicable now to the sale of the public lands in Visakhapatnam. This has come as a big shock to the Jagan Reddy regime, which is desperate to mobilise funds to develop the Executive Capital city in the North Coastal Andhra.

In the beginning itself, the Opposition parties strongly objected to the sale of public property. They accused CM Jagan and some top leaders in the Government of buying back the Government lands in the name of their benamis.

The North Andhra leaders have expressed many concerns that the ruling YCP leaders were bent on lotting the public resources in the name of Executive Capital there.

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YSRCP ‘cable war’ in Vizag!

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After Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy announced that Vizag will be made AP’s executive capital, the YSRCP leaders are trying to take control of everything in Vizag right from politics to real estate.

YSRCP leaders are now eyeing to gain control over “Cable TV” network in Vizag.

They are damaging the already existing cable TV networks in Vizag controlled by others, namely TDP supporters.

Complaints of damaging the cables of other networks are on the rise in Vizag for the past few weeks.

When police investigated these complaints and took some persons into custody for damaging the cables, the accused took the names of ruling YSRCP leaders in Vizag and even went to the extent of threatening police.

Police arrested one Madan Reddy in the case. But no one knows what happened later. They released him and took two of his followers into custody.

Madan Reddy is said to be the close aide of top YSRCP leaders in Vizag.

He runs SSC Fiber Home Networks Pvt Ltd in Vizag and trying to take control of entire cable TV network in Vizag.

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Jagan one more step towards Vizag Capital

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The YCP Government is making steady progress in developing basic infrastructure in Visakhapatnam to meet the future Executive Capital needs. Though the Capital shifting matter is locked in the court, the Chief Minister is going forward in his own inimitable style in the decentralisation drive.

The port city area is being expanded now to accommodate the coming developmental activities and residential needs of Executive Capital. Already, the Millennium Towers, Bhogapuram airport project, metro rail project and beach corridor project are under way. Whereas, such development projects in Amavarati and Vijayawada cities came to a standstill.

Now, the Government has taken a bold step to bring all the non-tribal mandals and areas in the Vizag district under the Vizag Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA). The orders have been issued already for bringing 431 villages to an extent of 2,280 sq kms under the VMRDA area. No such development or expansion focus has been placed on the proposed Legislative and Judicial Capitals.

The Vizag district has got a total of 43 mandals. Of these, 11 mandals are tribal areas. About 19 mandals are already in the VMRDA limits. The remaining 13 non-tribal mandals are also brought under the VMRDA limits.

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Jagan 3 Capitals face a tough test in Vizag civic poll?

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All the critics and Opposition leaders are now challenging Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy for a free and fair fight in the coming municipal elections. The rival leaders are confident that the ruling YCP excesses and threats would not work in towns and cities where the people would fight back even the police intimidation to a large extent.

Amid this, there is a rising curiosity on the Vizag civic polls. The Opposition leaders are throwing challenges at Jagan Reddy and Vijay Sai Reddy to prove their strength there in a fair fight. The Chief Minister and his party MP should agree for treating the Vizag municipal corporation election as a referendum on the AP Capital shifting. On its part, the YCP is confident of winning more corporators seats there by continuing its iron grip with the help of the police, ward volunteers, money and muscle power.

Now, YCP rebel MP Raghu Rama Raju has come out with a new challenge. He said that Jagan Reddy and Vijay Sai Reddy should withdraw Capital shifting if their party gets less than 100 out of the total 150 corporator seats in the port city. If the YCP wins more than 100 seats, then it should be seen as the approval of the Vizag people for shifting AP Capital to their city.

The Opposition leaders’ demand is that the YCP should consider the Vizag civic poll as a referendum on the 3 Capitals plan of Jaganmohan Reddy. A very smart leader, Raghu Rama Raju has told the CM and the YCP MP not to take U-turns just like on the issue of Special Status, Amaravati, etc. If the YCP fails to win 100 seats in Vizag city, then the CM may say it was a referendum against the steel plant privatisation.

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RRR’s indirect attack on Jagan Govt on Vizag Capital

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The Jaganmohan Reddy government is hell bent on making Kapuluppada on the outskirts of Visakhapatnam the centre of the State future administrative Capital. But, rebel MP Raghu Rama Raju (RRR) gave a new twist to this. He says Kapuluppada is heritage place with the presence of historical structures there. It’s located nearest to the Thotlakonda Buddharamam. Hence, the Central Government should declare and include Kapuluppada in the list of the country’s heritage sites.

Rajugaru is further demanding that all efforts should be made to protect Kapuluppada from destruction. It’s clear that the unstoppable MP is making indirect attacks on the Jagan Reddy regime. RRR has even written a letter to the Union Ministry of Culture to protect and preserve the Buddhist heritage place.

The MP wrote another letter to CM Jagan saying that the schools should not be reopened on September 5 considering the rising Coronavirus threat. RRR says the children are very vulnerable and it would be very difficult to enforce social distancing in schools. The parents’ opinions should be taken into consideration before taking a final decision on this. It’s well known that each day nearly 10,000 Covid are being reported in AP.

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Chaos at KG Hospital as doctors battle to save gas tragedy victims

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Utter chaos prevailed at the government-run King George Hospital (KGH) where about 160 people affected by the gas leakage from a chemical plant were brought in early on Thursday.

Already under stress due to Covid-19 situation, the doctors and other medical staff at the hospital have been making frantic efforts to provide medical aid to the gas leak victims.

Three of the 160 succumbed while undergoing treatment.

KGH officials said they were mobilizing all the human resources and equipment to deal with the situation. They claimed that they have sufficient number of ventilators to tackle the emergency.

At least 10 persons were put on ventilators while some others were being supported with oxygen.

About 70 people were shifted to various private hospitals in the city.

Families separated from each other in the utter confusion that prevailed after the gas leakage have frantically searching for their loved ones. People ran helter skelter after the leakage of Styrene from LG Polymers India plant in RR Venkatapuram near Gopalpatnam.

Municipal Commissioner Srijana Gummalla said the gas leaked from the plant around 2.30 a.m. Hundreds of people who inhaled the gas either fell unconscious or felt breathing problems, she said.

Shocking scenes were witnessed with people including women and children lying unconscious on the roads. People were seen rushing the victims to ambulances and private vehicles.

Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) officials threw water through mist blowers to subside the effect of the gas leak at Gopalapatnam area.

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Toxic leak from industry sickens local public in Vizag

In a pre-dawn industrial mishap today, chemical leakage from an industry caused widespread sickness among local people in Gopalapatnam area in Visakhapatnam Executive Capital City. The toxic leak took place at LG Polymers located at RR Venkatapuram. It had an immediate impact on local population such that some people were seen fallen on the roadsides there. The authorities shifted them to hospitals. Many families hid themselves inside their homes. There were no immediate reports as to when the leakage would be controlled.

Amid fears of bigger threat, the Vizag authorities decided to sound alarm and vacate the residents from the locality. Police have already issued cautionary warnings to residents to shift to safer places early. Small leakages from industries located within the limits of the port city were common but they would be fixed immediately. But, this time considerable damage has been done to the public health.

Most of the affected persons were stated to be women, children and aged people.

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A sea of gratitude for frontline warriors in Vizag

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Elaborate arrangements made across the Vizag coast for the Indian Air Force aerial fly-pasts, light up ships at sea and shower flower petals on several Covid-19 hospitals including KGH and Chest Hospitals on Sunday to express gratitude to thousands of doctors, paramedics, sanitation staff and other front-line workers engaged in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian Navy helicopters would shower petals on hospitals treating coronavirus patients at Vizag between 10 am to 10:30 am. The Eastern Naval Command will illuminate two ships at anchorage from 7:30 pm to midnight at Visakhapatnam coast
while military bands will play “patriotic tunes” outside the hospitals treating coronavirus patients to express gratitude to doctors, nurses and paramedics. The army will also display formations at the sea. Further, the Indian army will also lay wreathe at the police memorials on May 3 to honour the police personnel who died in the fight against covid-19.

On Friday, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat expessed his gratitude to the medical staff, “On behalf of armed forces, we want to thank all Covid-19 warriors. Doctors, nurses, sanitation workers, police, home guards, delivery boys & media which has been reaching out with the message of government on how to carry on with lives in difficult times.

The Indian Navy had recently set up a quarantine camp at INS Vishwakarma in Eastern Naval Command-ENC for Indian nationals being evacuated from Covid-19 affected countries.

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No lockdown for land settlements: Vizag Capital woes

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AP Government issued a GO to take back a Rs. 100-Cr worth land from one Lalithesh in Vizag City. The land concerned was already regularised during the previous governments. The process was completed long time back. The land was shown as private land. But now, Jagan Reddy Government says the land rates have gone up by lots of times. Hence, the move to take back the land. The 17,135 sq meters land is located facing the national highway at Marripalem in the proposed Administrative Capital.

Land owner Lalithesh bought this piece of land long time ago. So, transactions also took place duly paying stamp duty. Now, Pulivendula persons Balanarayana Reddy and Lingala Ramalinga Reddy along with some others entered the scene. They began threatening Naresh, to whom Lalithesh gave GPA on the land. CCTV video clippings were also available about their shady activities.

The final twist in all this is that Lalithesh is not an easy pushover. He is a software professional and currently an advisor in the IT team of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Still, the land mafia is making its relentless efforts to snatch the land somehow. One top most person presently camping in Vizag is said to be running all this from behind the scene. In the past, fake documents and threats were used to grab lands. But now, scene has changed. GOs are coming out in support of this.

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Light Metro and Tram for Vizag Capital?

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The Jaganmohan Reddy government has decided to develop Light Metro and Tram Corridors in Vizag, Bheemili and Bhogapuram areas in the Executive Capital Region. The government has also ordered for preparing the detailed project report (DPR) on this. With this, one more step is taken towards making the port town the administrative capital city of Andhra Pradesh.

The Light Metro corridor will be developed from the Vizag Steel Plant to the Bhogapuram airport. There will not be potential traffic on this route to make it viable but the government is sticking to its decision. The tram corridors are proposed to connect RK beach, Bheemili beach, Pendurthi, Steel Plant, etc.

In all, these Light Metro and Tram Corridors will be developed for a length of 140 kilometres. Jagan Circar is determined to develop modern facilities to develop Vizag on the lines of Bangalore and Chennai. As part of decentralisation, Jagan Reddy has vowed to develop Vizag to put it on par with Hyderabad.

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TDP lists out Vizag properties being grabbed by YCP?

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The TDP Fact-finding Committee completed its survey on the ongoing illegal real estate deals in Vizag prime areas. The Committee concluded that the YCP main coterie is grabbing most precious lands in the port city one by one. Hundreds of crores worth properties in the heart of Vizag and lands along the coast are under YCP MP Vijayasai Reddy gang’s grip right now. TDP MLA Nimmala Rama Naidu, Ex Minister Nakka Ananda Babu and others are on the TDP committee.

The properties that are listed by TDP Committee are as follows:

1. Over 650 acres near Bheemili with Rs. 320 Cr American NRI funds. Vijayasai’s close relatives’ Aurobindo Pharma involved in these illegal land deals through its associate companies.
2. Dispute Christian missionary land near Siripuram Tycoon Hotel being grabbed for constructing a state hotel for CM brother-in-law Anil Kumar and Vijayasai.
3. Prime property of Kartheeka Vanam belonging to a local TDP sympathiser on Vizag beach. Jagan Circar gave notices to take back this property. But YCP gang finalised a deal for 50 per cent property share.
4. Tagarapuvalasa Jute Mill lands.
5. Efforts on to grab the historic Waltair Club lands.
6. Dasapalla Hotel disputed lands.

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Vizag will compete with Hyderabad in 10 years: Jagan

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Strongly defending his decision to shift the administrative capital of Andhra Pradesh from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday exuded confidence that the capital city would be able to compete with Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai in a decade.

Stating that the state has no financial capability to develop a grandiose capital like Amaravati, he said by announcing three capitals to ensure decentralisation, he has done what a father would do.

“I have done what a father would do. I am bestowed with the responsibility of being father of the state. I have down my fatherly duty to the best of my ability,” Reddy said defending the decision to distribute the capital’s functions among Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.

The Chief Minister explained the rationale behind his move at Education Conclave organized by ‘The Hindu’ here. He was replying to a query from ‘The Hindu’ Chairman N. Ram.

Reddy said if he had not taken the decision, it would have badly affected the future generations. “As the Chief Minister I am answerable to the next generation, which expects jobs and engine of growth. They come out of college with degrees in hands looking for jobs. Where will they get. I don’t have funds to complete a grandiose capital like Amaravati,” he said.

Jagan, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said while providing basic infrastructure in Amaravati alone would have cost Rs.1.09 lakh crore as per the estimates of the previous government, Visakhapatnam can be developed as the capital by spending only 10 per cent of this amount.

“Imagine what would it (Amaravati) contribute. It would be just a drop of water in an ocean. It would not even be visible whereas Visakhapatnam or Vizag is already number one city in Andhra Pradesh. It has all the infrastructure already in existence. Out of this one lakh crore, even 10 per cent of this amount if I were to put in Vizag at least if not now, if not in 5 years, at least in 10 years we would be competing with Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai,” he said.

He claimed that by breaking the seats of governance into three parts, he tried to justice to all. He clarified that Amaravati continue to have the Legislative Assembly. “It has not been deprived of anything. The growth will take place in the natural course.”

He said Vizag would become executive capital, where the Chief Minister and Ministers would sit and the Secretariat and heads of department would operate. Kurnool in Rayalseema would be the judicial capital.

He reiterated that Naidu and his “cronies” bought huge chunks of lands in Amaravati after Naidu became the Chief Minister and before announcing the capital.

He said to develop basic infrastructure on 53,000 acres of land pooled by the previous government, it required Rs.1.09 lakh crore at the rate of Rs 2 crore per acre. Stating that the state has no capability to pump in such huge money, he pointed out that the Centre provided Rs 1,500 crore which was peanuts. “I don’t expect anything beyond this.”

Jagan said the Rs 1.09 lakh crore required for Amaravati would have become Rs 3-4 lakh crore with interest added to it.

Stating that his predecessor Chandrababu Naidu spent only Rs 5,677 crore on Amaravati in five years, he said if this government was to go ahead with Amaravati, the state would have no proper capital even after five years.

He disagreed with Naidu that Amaravati has the land bank. He said after leaving the lands as per National Green Tribunal (NGT) norms, it would have been left with just 5,200 acres.

He also pointed out that Amaravati is neither in Vijayawada nor in Guntur but in the virgin land with no infrastructure, not even two-land access road.

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Vizag Capital Bill passed in Assembly

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The YCP government passed the Capital shifting bill in the Assembly on Monday night. After a big debate till late night, the House passed the bill to create three Capital Cities in the state. Jagan Circar passed the bill amid strong objections raised by the TDP inside the House and police lathicharge against the Chalo Assembly protesters.
Meanwhile, some TDP MLAs were suspended for storming into the well of the house and obstricted the concluding speech of Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. Sakashi Media and CM Jagan alleged that the TDP MLAs deliberately were doing drama in the Assembly to obstruct the CM. Jagan Reddy deplored that only 7 members of YCP spoke in the Assembly though their party has 151 members while 5 TDP Members of TDP spoke though they have only 23 member in the House.
Opposition leader Chandrababu Naidu described the bill as against the spirit of the AP Reorganization Act 2014 which clearly suggested just one Capital for AP but not 3 Capitals.

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Jagan Cabinet to meet at Vizag on Dec 27?

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It all looks like the December 27 AP Cabinet meeting will be held in Visakhapatnam. Jagan Circar is not interested any more in functioning from Amaravati effectively. Moreover, all political parties activists are revolting against the government in the 29 Capital City villages. At such a time, it is not considered safe to hold the most significant Cabinet meeting there. The December 27 meeting will be historic as it will take a final decision on Three Capitals. It will discuss the recommendations of GN Rao Experts Committee. If Cabinet meets at Vizag, then there is no doubt that majority functions of the government will immediately start in North Coastal city itself. Ever since the Three Capitals announcement, the administration has come to a halt in Amaravati and Vijayawada cities.

Jagan Reddy’s move is badly crippling almost all sections of society in Vijayawada, Amaravati and Guntur cities. Already, construction workers committed suicides for loss of livelihoods. Now, others will also feel the same suffering. Even IAS and IPS officers have bought housing plots on loans through EMIs. They are in deep shock over the unilateral Capital shifting. The pro-Jagan Reddy bureaucrats are also shocked at the oppressive decisions. Senior bureaucrats have no courage even to tell Jagan Reddy how government employees will also suffer badly. The general comment is that the people gave brute majority to Jagan Reddy and nobody can stop him from doing what he is doing.

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Stage set for Partnership Summit in Vizag

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The CII Partnership Summit 2018, beginning here on Saturday, is expected to witness signing of MoUs involving over Rs 2.50 lakh crore of investment in Andhra Pradesh, officials said.

At the three-day annual event, Andhra Pradesh is hoping to sign over 280 MoUs with companies in various sectors. This is expected to generate employment for 4.25 lakh people.

To be inaugurated by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, the summit with the theme ‘Charting new India’s global integration strategy’ will be attended by several Union Ministers and 2,000 delegates from India and abroad.

Union Commerce and Industry Ministry Suresh Prabh will be the chair of the summit, being organised by the state government in partnership with hjis ministry’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will meet top business leaders on the sidelines of the event.

There will be sessions on sectors such as automobile, tourism, aerospace & defense, textiles, renewable energy, food processing, medical equipment and electronics.

There will be special plenary session on ‘Technologies for tomorrow’.

This is the third consecutive year that Andhra Pradesh is hosting the summit and it is being held at a time when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government of the state is virtually on a warpath with its ally BJP, which is heading the ruling coalition at the Centre for not fulfilling the commitments.

Chandrababu Naidu is continuing the pressure on BJP-led NDA to fulfil commitments made at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to carve out separate Telangana state in 2014.

He is miffed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not doing justice to the state during last three-and-half years. The TDP is gearing up to further mount the pressure on BJP during the second leg of budget session, beginning on March 5.

Alleging that Andhra Pradesh suffered huge loss due to division, the TDP chief is demanding that the Centre do the handholding to the residuary state till it comes up to be at par with other southern states.

In the first Partnership Summit held in 2016, MoUs involving investment worth Rs 4.68 lakh crore were signed. The projects, if realised, would create 9.59 lakh jobs. Last year’s edition saw MoUs worth Rs 1.90 lakh crore were signed and the expected jobs were 3.58 lakh.

The state government claims the MoUs are in various stage of implementation.

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Is Google X really setting up development centre at Vizag??

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With Nara Lokesh, minister of IT for AP, signing an agreement with the moonshot factory of Alphabet -X (Google X), many mainstream media started reporting Google X is about start a research center in Vizag. Is it true, that this semi-secret agency of google will start office in AP? Let’s dig a bit deep…

What is Google X?

Do you know there is one high technology office that has some sort of relation with google and it has no official website? Or can you imagine, their office, situated inside Google campus in California has no sign in front of the building and it is just a three-story red-brick building with no name board and signs? Yes, we are talking about Google X. The semi-secret research division of Google. But this “X” is not same as “Google Research”, the lab division of Google.

Google Research is mainly devoted to computer science and Internet technologies. But google X is tasked with making actual objects that interact with the physical world like – driver less cars, Google Glass, high altitude Wi-Fi balloons, and glucose-monitoring contact lenses. The staff at Google X office also idiosyncratic. Some of their employees are former park rangers, sculptors, philosophers, machinists and novelists one X scientist has won two Academy Awards for special effects. It was called as Google X until 2015, but now it is renamed to ‘X’ and it works as subsidiary of bigger company called Alphabet.

What is so secret about Google X:

Google X (or X) works on moonshot ideas. Moonshot is a crazy idea or an improbable project that has a million-to-one scientific chance of ever being solved or making a difference. But if it all solved, it will radically change the world. Some of the projects google X worked on are ridiculous if it would not be for Google. Space elevators, teleportation, hover boards, and driver less cars – These are some of the ideas/ projects worked at the top-secret Google X innovation lab.

What are projects at Google X:

Google X sometime back revealed developing a smart contact lens for diabetics. This contact lens will measure glucose levels in tears, because it features miniaturised electronics like chips, sensors and a hair-thin antenna.

Another project they developed is driverless cars which did not get government permission in US and many other countries. There were rumors that powerful lobbying by insurance companies against these self driven cars in US.

“Wing” is another project that aims to rapidly deliver products across a city by using flying vehicles. These flying vehicles take off vertically, then rotate to a horizontal position for flying around. For delivery, it hovers and winches packages down to the ground.But dropping the cargo or landing were found to be unfeasible, as users compromised the safety

What is the MoU with AP all about:

Project Loon: Google X has a unique solution for those in rural areas who struggle to get access to the internet. Called Project Loon, the endeavor uses air balloons to beam 3G internet speeds to remote places.Specifically, the system uses balloons carried by the wind at altitudes twice as high as commercial aircraft, to beam internet access to the ground at speeds similar to today’s 3G networks or faster. This is the project that will be implemented in AP.

“X” has signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Andhra Pradesh government to setup developmental centre in Visakhapatnam and to create a high speed internet network that doesn’t require special cabling. Instead of cables, the X internet network in Andhra will use “Free Space Optical Communications, aka FSOC, technology”. This network will power internet in 13 districts through 2 thousand FSOC links. The X centre in Visakhapatnam will be its first development centre outside the US.

Finally, Is it true or not?

So Google X having a separate development center in Vizag is partially true and partially false. The X centre in Visakhapatnam will be its first development centre outside the US. But it is not a full-fledged X research centre in Vizag. It is going to be a center in Vizag that will implement the project that they have already developed. It is unlikely that this Vizag center will have any other research similar to what happens in California’s “X” office.

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.

Blockchain business conference in Vizag from Monday

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Experts from around the world will be attending the blockchain business conference, beginning in this Andhra Pradesh coastal city on Monday.

Regional and international experts, startups, corporates, leading FSI executives, regulators, entrepreneurs, policy makers and academics will explore blockchain technologies, its applications and how it will impact the financial services industry.

The two-day event, being organised by Fintech Valley Vizag, will connect the government bodies, emerging startups and corporates working on blockchain technologies to create business and investment opportunities.

The conference will also feature discussions covering international and regional case-studies, and global best practices in blockchain technology implementations which will be shared among the delegates, said the organisers.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu will inaugurate the conference, which will also have sessions on blockchain in banking, insurance and capital markets.

The prominent speakers will include American Blockchain Council President Jack Shaw, Special Secretary for Cyber Security at the Prime Minister’s Office Gulshan Rai, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority Director Hans Christensen, Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty and National Stock Exchange’s Chief Technology officer Shankerson Banerjee.

As a pre-cursor to the conference, Fintech Valley Vizag in collaboration with TiE Global on Sunday conducted Fintech Valley – TiE Global Summit Golf Tournament 2017.

As many as 40 CEOs from companies all over the world and 40 members of the East Point Golf Club participated in the tournament, which brought the top CEOs together to promote Vizag as a destination for the CEOs and create opportunities for investments in the region.

According to the organisers, the networking session helped explore opportunities for Fintech Valley Vizag and promote the blockchain business conference.

Eastern Naval Command chief Vice Admiral H.C.S. Bisht inaugurated the tournament.

T.S.N. Murthy, Senior VP Systems Engg at CG CorEl-Coreel Technologies, was declared the overall winner. Lt. Col. Mathew Thomas emerged as the gold winner while K.S.R.K. Raju, Secretary, CREDAI won silver.

Noel Treasure, Director, Vizag Chamber of Commerce and Industry was adjudged as gold division runner up while Sachin Tummala, Managing Director, Corpus Investment Group was the silver division runner up.

N. Appa Rao of Coronmandel Fertilizers won the prize for the longest drive while Karanbir Singh of HSBC bagged the prize for closest pin.

J. A. Chowdary, the Special Chief Secretary and IT advisor to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said the event was conducted not only to bring the CEOs together in Vizag but also to show the aesthetic side of the city for them to commit long term investments.

Visakhapatnam District Collector Pravin Kumar hoped that the event would definitely showcase the hidden potential of tourism in this region while creating job opportunities.

Fintech Valley in Vizag is a self-sustainable global Fintech ecosystem that focuses on converging finance and technology, to create world-class infrastructure, entrepreneurship and innovation in Andhra Pradesh.

The initiative hopes to promote business and infrastructure in the state by attracting investors and multinational corporations to set up bases.

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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