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Thursday, December 14, 2017
ASHWANI LOHANI INSPECTS BRIDGE NEAR BORRA CAVES: The Ministry of Railways has not taken any decision yet on the demand for formation of a new zone with headquarters in Visakhapatnam, a promise made by the political parties during bifurcation in 2014. "Status quo continues," was the answer given by Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani when he had a brief interaction with reporters here on Wednesday. He was here along with a team of senior officials to inspect the landslide-hit bridge near Borra Caves which was repaired by the railways in a record span of 58 days. Mr. Lohani, who complimented the railway officials for brilliant job in repairing the track in a short span, later inspected the amenities at the railway station here and expressed satisfaction over cleanliness. He said the Ministry had to take a decision on creating a zone as it was an administrative matter. General Manager of East Coast Railway Umesh Singh, who was also present, said carving out a new zone, was a ''political decision'' when asked to comment on the promise made at the time of bifurcation that the headquarters of new zone would be located in the city. Mr. Lohani said he was not aware of any objections raised by BJP leaders of Odisha to the formation of new zone as reported in a section of the press. During 2014 general elections, all parties, including BJP and TDP, promised to grant a zone with headquarters in the city. ''Bulb line'' project Stating that Visakhapatnam was in the first batch of stations selected for further beautification into a model station, he said they were still hopeful of getting land sought from the Visakhapatnam Port Trust for the ''bulb line'' project to reduce congestion. He said they had already sanctioned a new express train from Visakhapatnam to Varanasi and indicated that they might consider plying direct overnight trains from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada, Chennai and Bengaluru. On the possibility of introducing a bullet train between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, he said now their focus was on completing the India''s first bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in next five years. Divisional Railway Manager Mukul Saran Mathur earlier briefed Mr. Lokhani about the progress of various projects.
TWO NEW GUESTS ARRIVE IN CITY ZOO: For 52-year-old elephant Saraswati and her female calf Laxmi, it was a celebration of freedom as they arrived here from Aurangabad zoo to the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park on Wednesday. After being confined for years in a tiny space in violation of the Central Zoo of Authority (CZA) norms, the two jumbos seemed to be happy at their new home in the city zoo. Laxmi gave herself a dust bath in a playful mood, much to the amusement of scores of visitors who came to welcome the new members of the zoo park. The elephants set off from Aurangabad on Monday covering 1,200 km en route Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary and arrived in IGZP late on Tuesday night. The animals were accompanied by two mahouts from Aurangabad zoo who will be here till the animals get acclimatised to their new surroundings. Caretakers from AP also helped in shifting the animals.
SOLAR POWER PANELS BEING INSTALLED ON ROOFTOP OF 22 BUIDLINGS OF GVMC: GVMC has initiated a number of smart city projects to bring about efficiency in services, conservation of energy and clean environment to citizens. Of them, solar power generation is an initiative on clean energy that falls in the pan-city category. The objective is to create 10 MW of renewable energy in a total of four projects to offset about 30% of the total energy consumption of GVMC that is about 58 to 60 lakh units a month. "With this GVMC will achieve the distinction of being the first municipal corporation in the county to tap solar power in such a big way," Municipal Commissioner M. Hari Narayanan Said. As a part of it, installing solar panels on 22 GVMC buildings, comprising the main office near Asilmetta, its Town Service Reservoir office nearby and zone offices including at Anakapalle and Bhimunipatnam, was planned. However, some of the buildings are found not feasible with shade covering them. As a result, the capacity of 1.5 MW is retained with only 15 buildings being utilised for the purpose. "The GVMC main office will save 50 % of power by going in for solar power," says Mr. Hari Narayanan. In an innovative design, GVMC has decided to position solar panels at its front yard too and use the shade for parking. The TSR Complex with several motors running accounts for the maximum saving of 800 KWh, about 40 % of its consumption. The solar power generation project on the buildings is estimated to cost Rs.7.62 crore. The power will be connected to net-metering of AP EPDCL and the power generated after utilisation will go to the grid. Erection of panels on 80 of the 140 GVMC schools has been completed. The rooftop energy from the schools account for 0.25 MW. The solar panels on 140 civic schools are being installed at a cost of Rs 1.3 crore of which 30 % of funds provided by MP K. Haribabu from his MPLAD funds.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017
LEOPARD SCARE HITS WALKERS AT KAILASAGIRI HILL PARK : The reported spotting of a leopard at Kailasagiri Hill Park and the subsequent closure of VUDA Health Arena has forced the regular walkers to explore other options to burn their calories. The most frequented spot located on the foothills of Kailasagiri registers everyday a footfall of 1500 to 1600 from all walks of life in the morning and 2,000 in the evening for walk and cycling. The number swells during the weekends. It has a walking track of 3.7 km. "Now the closure thoughout of compulsion by the authorities has divided the walkers. Those without vehicles are walking on the roads of MVP Colony. However, many with vehicles are preferring to walk at nearby Sivaji Park and go to VUDA Park or Beach Road to burn their calories," Health Arena Walkers'' Association honorary president V. Peda Somulu told. The panic raised by the watchman at the Kailagiri Hill Park on the movement of a leopard, however, had not yet been confirmed by the Forest Department officials who suspect that he might have been mistaken after seeing a sambar. No pugmarks were found. Leopards in the past had strayed into a residential building at Akkayyapalem, an abandoned house at MVP Colony and feasted at a poultry farm at Visalakshminagar from the neighbouring Kambalakonda reserve forest. Some walkers, who changed their venue due to closure of Health Arena, have gone back to their old place for regular walking. "We used to spend our mornings at Sivaji Park.
CHAITANYA SRAVANTHI MOVES SC ON UNIFORM LIQUOR POLICY : Chaitanya Sravanthi Organisation moved Supreme Court for a nation-wide policy on liquor, said organisation president Dr Shirin Rehman. Shirin Rehman said that they filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court on December 5 and the case will come up for hearing on December 15. Citing the results of National Institute of Mental Health Survey – 2016, she said illiterates and the poor were the worst-hit of alcohol consumption. Stating that the survey was conducted in urban, semi-urban, slums and rural areas, she said the results of survey showed that majority of the dwellers were suffering from mental health issues due to alcohol addiction. "Twenty years ago, only persons who have crossed 21 years used to consume alcohol and the addicts were two per cent. But now, the alcohol addicts’ percentage had shot up to 22 per cent. Moreover, these days children from 13 years of age are consuming alcohol," she said, quoting WHO report. Finding fault over spread out of liquor shops, bars and pubs at every nook and corner, the woman activist said the governments should take interest in changing this distressing trend. "According to Article 47 in the Constitution, the government should take responsibility of every person''s health. But as the liquor sale is contributing major share to the revenue of the government, the authorities concerned are turning a blind eye toward the issue," she pointed out. Shirin Rehman stressed that the government should come out with a uniform liquor policy across the country. Chaitanya Sravanthi vice-president Vijayshanakar and secretary Ashok Kumari were present.