Know where your train is with GPS Tracking App
Mumbai: Mumbaikars may soon get an app to get real-time locations of local trains on Central Railway (CR). A CR official said the railways will soon finalize a contractor to install GPS trackers on trains. CR runs 1,672 services on its three lines—main, harbour and trans-harbour—with 140 trains. All will be fitted with trackers. “CR will not spend a penny on the technology. Instead, we will get a share of what the contractor will earn through this project,” said a CR official. “The contractor’s earnings will be through app downloads”. At present, commuters get information about local trains on the National Train Enquiry System (NTES) app, but it is not popular. Nor is it GPS-based. It only gives the tentative arrival time of a particular train. People TOI spoke to have welcomed the introduction of the GPS app as indicators at stations often developed snags and do not display correct information. Kurla resident TB Jain said, “Often, the train for a particular destination departs from a station, but the indicator continues to display the arrival time”.
A tailor by day & butcher by night, Bhopal man killed 33
Bhopal: During the day Adesh Khamra stitched clothes, hunched over his sewing machine in a small shop on the fringes of Bhopal. In the night, as he tossed in bed, consumed by visions of deadly crimes that he wanted to commit, he perhaps saw himself switching the needle for an axe, the thread into a hangman’s noose. Then the killings started. Sometime around 2010. The first one in Amravati, the other in Nashik. Soon, bodies started popping up everywhere. Some in Maharashtra, others in MP, UP and Bihar. There was one element that connected the murders. All the victims were truck drivers and their apprentices. But no one thought the quiet, affable tailor from Mandideep could have been behind the brutality. Last week, when the local police finally nabbed Khamra, they were stunned he admitted to 30 killings. On Tuesday, he said he had killed three more. At 33 serial strikes, that would make him one of India’s deadliest killers, behind the likes of Raman Raghav, who was charged with slaughtering 42, Surendra Koli and the Stone man of Kolkata. Khamra, who was arrested from the jungles of Sultanpur in UP by a daring woman cop after a three-day chase last week, “was admitting to murders so rapidly” that the raiding team said it was struggling to keep up with the flow of information.
Blaze in Seven Storey Andheri building, Fire officer injured
Mumbai: A fire officer sustained serious injuries during a fire-fighting operation in a seven-storey commercial building at Andheri (East) on Tuesday. While firemen rescued a person trapped on the fifth floor, there were no casualties as all other occupants had evacuated the building before the arrival of the fire brigade. Fire officer, Y P Shelar, though, ended up with deep burn injuries on his hand. Since he was standing near the gate and reviewing the situation, he also ended up inhaling the smoke. He was rushed to Cooper Hospital and later shifted to the National Burns Centre at Airoli. Doctors will be closely monitoring his condition for the next 48 hours. Officials stated the fire started on the second floor of the glass-façade Madhur Industrial Park building around 10 am. The fire brigade declared it a level III fire (major fire) around 11.45 am and rushed eight fire engines to the spot.
The office-cum-storage facility of a pharmaceutical company, also located on the second floor, posed the biggest challenge to firemen. With no direct access to the firm’s three galas, materials, including chemicals, stored there, were ablaze. Though they managed to confine the fire to the second floor, entering the affected areas proved difficult. The fire was brought under control at 9 pm. Officials said they took a call on allowing the material to burn. An officer, “After cooling operation, we will examine what kind of materials were stored and if the company had permission for storage”. Chief fire officer P S Rahangdale said, “The building’s fire-fighting system was not in working condition. We are examining other violations in the building and will take action accordingly”.
Plastic cutlery with your plate adds 22000-ton waste per month
Chennai/New Delhi: Most Saturday nights, Arti Mallik and her husband Ratan Bansal, an “IT couple”, follow a common ritual. They call a few friends to their Noida home, open some bottles of wine and sit down to scan their food delivery apps. Each one of them has at least two, if not three. Of late, though, something has been bothering Arti. “Some of these restaurants pack their food with plastic in the form of cutlery, much of which we don’t use,” she said. “Initially, I liked forks and spoons that came along and kept them, but gradually I began to wonder where all that waste would go. We don’t ask for plastic cutlery anymore. It’s not just about the environment. Every meal generates so much of waste”. If Arti and her gang feel guilty about it, they perhaps ought to. Industry estimates suggest that nearly 22,000 tons of plastic waste is created every month when cutlery made from it is bunched in with the food that’s ordered online. And it’s only going up, as is the food app business. But there is some good news now for Arti. App-based food delivery start-ups have woken up to the fact and are now doing something about it. Swiggy and Zomato, two of the biggest in the business, have decided that they want to reduce plastic in their packages. While one is asking the buyer to give up the cutlery, the other is attacking the supply side and brainstorming with restaurants on cheaper, environmentally friendly packaging materials and alternatives.
Launched recently, Swiggy Packaging Assist program — a marketplace for restaurant partners launched initially in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru aims to provide access to a variety of solutions primarily made of aluminium and paper that suit menu needs at various price points. “The company plans to introduce ecofriendly meal trays and other items made of materials such as cornstarch and bagasse,” said Srivats TS, VP marketing, Swiggy. Zomato, on its part, is asking customers to choose the “no cutlery” option if they don’t really need it. “An unintended consequence of our business is that as more people order more food, the industry will consume more plastic packaging material. Zomato alone processes 16.5 million orders a month,” wrote Deepinder Goyal, founder of Zomato, in a recent blog post. “All food delivery aggregators put together process around 35-40 million orders a month. These many orders add up to 22,000 metric tons of plastic waste that’s created every month in India. And whether we intend it or not, quite a lot of it ends up in the ocean,” Goyal said.
57 dead, 31 injured in India’s worst bus tragedy in state
Locals pull out bodies from the TSRTC bus that fell into a valley at Sanivrampet village of Kondagattu mandal in Jagtial district on Tuesday
Hyderabad: In the worst ever bus accident in India, 57 people including 39 women and four children were killed and 31 injured, six of them critically after an overcrowded Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) bus swerved off the Ghat road and hurtled 30 feet down into a valley at Sanivarampet village of Kondagattu mandal in Jagtial district on Tuesday. This is the first time that 57 people were killed in a road accident involving a bus in the country. The highest toll in a bus accident thus far in the country was 51 deaths in Kashmir. In an earlier tragedy in Telangana, 45 people were charred to death as a private bus caught fire in Mahbubnagar district on October 13, 2013. The ill-fated bus belonging to Jagtial depot was jam-packed with 88 passengers. It was returning from Kondagattu, the hill shrine of Sri Anjaneya Swamy. The mishap occurred when the bus driver lost control over the wheel near Sanivarampet. The bus was proceeding to Jagtial, district headquarters town. The driver took the Ghat road to save on two km distance. The bus driver, Srinivas, who also died in the accident, reportedly failed to slow down as he could not notice the speed breaker on the road. Under the impact, the driver lost control over the wheel resulting in the bus falling into the gorge. The vehicle turned turtle four times on the road before falling into the valley. As the bus was jam-packed, some of the passengers fell on the driver resulting in the mishap. Incidentally, Srinivas received a commendation certificate from TSRTC authorities on Independence Day this year for his meritorious service. It is believed that most of the passengers died due to suffocation as they fell over one another.
Sudden burst hits city life as skies rain trauma on roads
Hyderabad: Heavy rain lashed the city on Tuesday evening, throwing normal life out of gear. Traffic came to a standstill at several places within city limits, including Hashamabad, Chandrayangutta and near CM’s Camp Office, due to waterlogging. The downpour also left traffic crawling on various other routes, including the route from VV Statue Junction, Eenadu Office, NIMS hospital to Punjagutta junction; from Monappa Junction, Somajiguda Road, MMTS, Raj Bhavan till V V Statue Junction; from SD Eye Hospital, Masab Tank, PTI till Ayodhya Nagar Colony; from Abids Taj Mahal Hotel, Esamia Bazar, Chaderghat junction, Nalgonda X Road to Malakpet Gunj and from Liberty Junction, Himayat Nagar Y Junction to Narayanguda. Severe waterlogging was also reported at Aramghar Railway track, Cyber Gateway and Shilparamam in Madhapur, between Cyber Towers and ROB towards Kukatpally and Durgam Cheruvu within Cyberabad limits. Commuters also complained about problems booking cabs and cab aggregators jacking up fares exponentially. According to rain gauges set up by the Telangana State Development Planning Society, Asifnagar received the highest rainfall at 68 millimeters, followed by Charminar, Serilingampally and Bahadurpura at 66.8mm, 63.8mm, and 50.8mm respectively.
The heavy rainfall also forced Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials to conduct an emergency meeting, put its staff on alert and advise denizens to desist from moving onto roads unless extremely necessary. GHMC commissioner Dana Kishore also urged citizens to call 155313 for manhole issues and 040-21111111 for any rain related complaints. “We conducted an emergency meeting and alerted both corporation and Water Board staff to clear waterlogging from time-to-time. Special instructions were given to concentrate on low lying areas. Also, denizens are requested not to open manhole lids,” said Kishore. Denizens took to social media to express their anguish and said civic officials should have been better prepared to deal with the rains. “Due to improper traffic management after heavy rain, it almost took me two hours to come out of Raheja Mindspace. I don’t know when I will reach my home-…Maybe it will take around four hours to reach my home in the current situation,” tweeted Sai Kiran Konduru. Another twitterati with handle @gauravbhartiya wrote “@KTRTRS Respected IT minister, why only half an hour rain exposes all the infrastructure reality of the state capital Hyderabad? Traffic movement speed at HITEC Mindspace circle is 1 km per hour. It’s simply pathetic”. Expressing resent over rain @raghusandrahul tweeted “Just a ten-minute rain creating havoc. Absurd traffic maintenance. U-turns after 3 KMs. I think we are living in a jungle. How come permissions were given to so many constructions at a time?”.
10 rescued from sinking barge in Geonkhali
Geonkhali (East Midnapore): Ten people on board a sinking barge were brought to safety by locals at East Midnapore’s Geonkhali on Tuesday. The incident took place at the confluence of the rivers Rupnarayan and Hooghly at Badurnatpatia. Locals said when the barge started sinking, people on board, including the sailors and some labours gathered outside the cabin. When the local fishermen’s boat reached the barge before it completely drowned, all 10 boarded the boat and were carried to the river bank. Less than two months ago, on July 20, a passenger ship heading to the Andaman & Nicobar Islands had hit a jetty on the river bank at Geonkhali. Hariballabhpur gram panchayat member Mamtaz Mullick, who was on the river bank and organised the rescue effort. She arranged the boat within minutes and informed the local Sutahata police station. Cops from Sutahata and Mahisadal reached the spot and joined the rescue operation. By then, the river was on high tide. The barge drowned in another four hours. Mumtaz said, “A large number of boats and barges sail along the river. Siltation of the river is increasing day by day but no dredging operation is ever carried out. Vessels prefer to sail along the East Midnapore stretch of the rivers as depth is greater on our side during high tide”.
Humanitarian group: 100 migrants drown off Libyan coast
Cairo: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says more than 100 people have died in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast and the remaining survivors are being held in detention in Libya. The humanitarian organisation says in a Monday news release the shipwreck occurred September 1 and survivors include people with severe burns, pregnant women and babies. A team from the organization provided medical care. The group says two rubber boats left the Libyan coast carrying migrants from Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Libya, Algeria and Egypt. One of the boats deflated and sank. One boat’s engine failed later that day and the other began to deflate, MSF quoted an unidentified survivor as saying. Some survived by clinging to floating wreckage. The Libyan Coast Guard recovered 276 survivors from both boats and brought them to the port city of Khoms, Libya, and only two bodies were reportedly recovered. “On our boat, only 55 people survived. Many people died, including families and children. They could have been saved if rescuers had come earlier,” MSF quoted the unidentified survivor as saying.
Dozens killed and injured in suicide attack at Afghanistan protest
Kabul: A suicide bomber in Afghanistan killed at least 32 people and wounded more than 120 others at a demonstration on Tuesday on the highway between the city of Jalalabad and the border crossing into Pakistan, officials said. Officials and elders said Tuesday’s attack targeted a gathering to protest against a police commander, adding that hundreds of people were present when the blast happened. The blast dispersed the crowd, but more people gathered after the explosion to continue the protest. The details of the complaint against the police chief were not immediately clear. The blast came as violence has flared across the nation. Officials have warned violence is likely to intensify ahead of parliamentary elections next month and a presidential election in April. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Tuesday’s attack. The Taliban issued a statement denying involvement. Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar, said 32 people were dead and 128 were wounded in the blast.