News Flash – 20 July 2018

National News



Metro 3 to get made in India driverless trains



Mumbai: When the city’s first underground Metro line starts operations, the eight-coach trains that will traverse across the 33-km network will have the option to run without a driver. And in a first for Mumbai, these driverless trains will come from manufacturing units located in India, although built by a foreign firm. French rail transport manufacturer Alstom was on Thursday awarded the contract to build 31 trains for the Cuffe Parade-Seepz Metro 3 at a cost of Rs 10.14 crore per coach. In the bidding process, Alstom’s competitors from China, Japan and Europe had quoted Rs 11crore, Rs 13crore and Rs 16 crore per coach, said Ashwini Bhide, MD of Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC). “Being the most competitive among the pre-qualified bidders, the contract has been granted after receiving clearance from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), the funding agency,” the MMRC said.


An official said the consortium of Alstom Transport India Ltd and Alstom Transport SA France will be responsible for “design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of 31 trains”. Alstom already has manufacturing facilities at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. The eight-coach trains, with longitudinal seating arrangement, will have an approximate carrying capacity of 2,350 passengers each. An MMRC spokesperson said the state-of-the-art trains will be also equipped with Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) System. Another French firm, Veolia Corporation, had provided rakes for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro, but the coaches were manufactured in China.



Two looted of Rs. 42 lakhs gold in Dahisar



Mumbai: A gang of four allegedly looted two gold workshop employees of 1.4 kg gold at Dahisar West on Wednesday night. The MHB Colony police have registered a case of robbery and are looking for the accused. Two employees were carrying the gold, worth Rs 42 lakh, for polishing. The victims have told the police they were on Jaywant Sawant Road when four men snatched their bag and assaulted them. The employees informed their senior and later approached the police. CCTVs on the stretch are being examined. Police said the gang must have kept a watch and, perhaps, knew they were carrying such a large quantity of gold. The employees are being questioned in detail to get a detailed description of the accused, police said.



Fire damages solar panels at New Delhi station platforms

Railway officials said the fire was caused by a short circuit at a vending machine and brought under control within minutes.



New Delhi: There was a minor scare at New Delhi railway station recently after a fire broke out on the roof of platforms 9 and 10 of the station, damaging solar panels along with portions of the roof. The incident took place around 1am on July 10, but no casualties were reported. Sources said the incident had taken place due to a short circuit, which occurred from an IRCTC vending machine installed at the station. “An enquiry was conducted and it was discovered that the source of the fire was a vending machine. The short circuit caused the roof, and the solar panels on top of it, to catch fire, while a couple of benches were also damaged in the process,” said an official. Railways said the fire was brought under control within minutes, and both RPF and railway staff had been called into action. “The fire was doused by us before the fire tenders reached the spot, using fire extinguishers and other equipment. We were helped with the fact that there was not much of a crowd at the station,” said an RPF official, involved in the operation. Railways said the solar panels will soon be replaced, while another audit will be conducted to ensure no such incidents occur again. Delhi’s Subzi Mandi railway station had also seen a minor fire on July 12, after the 12425 Jammu Rajdhani express reached the station. Railway officials said that a miscreant had thrown a rag towards the train that caught fire when the locomotive passed across it, causing ‘sparking’ from the overhead equipment (OHE). “The situation was brought under control and the train departed after all the necessary clearances and checks were made,” a railway official said.



14 killed as bus rolls down gorge; second such accident in Uttarakhand in a month


New Tehri: An Uttarakhand Roadways bus rolled down a 250-metre deep gorge around 15 kilometers from Chamba in Tehri district early on Thursday killing 14 people, including two women, and injuring 17 others, officials said. The bus was on its way to Haridwar from Bhatwari when it met with the accident, the second such tragedy in the hill state this month. The accident occurred near Kirgani on the Chamba-Uttarkashi highway at 8.20 am on Thursday when the bus plunged into a 250-metre deep gorge killing 13 people on the spot and leaving 18 injured, Tehri district magistrate Sonika said. One of the injured persons died at a hospital during treatment, she added. There were 31 passengers, mostly locals, in the bus, she said. Seventeen of the injured were under treatment at different hospitals. Eleven people, who sustained serious injuries, were flown in choppers to AIIMS, Rishikesh, while the rest were under treatment at district hospital in Baurari and Masihi hospital, Chamba, officials said. Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat expressed grief at the loss of lives and announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for the next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured. The CM also visited AIIMS, Rishikesh, to enquire about the injured persons admitted here and assured director Ravikant of all support from the state government in their treatment. He said the accident was sad and a magisterial inquiry had been ordered to ascertain what caused it.



KMC’s dengue team may break into locked houses


Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials will storm into locked premises with help of police as part of its drive against dengue. This was decided by the civic top brass on Thursday after a meeting at the KMC headquarters. An amendment to the KMC health department act will enable the anti-dengue squad to break the locks with help of officers from local police stations. “We have already informed about a special drive against dengue to Kolkata Police. We need help from local cops in our effort to zero in on these buildings or premises which could be potential dengue breeding grounds this season,” said a KMC health official. According to him, getting entry into locked premises was of utmost importance as some of these turn into breeding grounds for mosquitoes during monsoon. “Our experience of dealing with locked buildings — both residential and commercial — has been very bad during our campaign last year.


Our crack team members were at a loss when they saw lack of cleanliness turned such locked houses into breeding grounds for mosquitoes. But, they could not do anything as they could not enter these premises,” said Atin Ghosh, MMiC (health). An official said one of the reasons for outbreak of dengue in some areas of south Kolkata and off EM Bypass last year could be the civic body’s inability to enter locked premises. Some of these areas in the south include Behala, Golf Green, Bijoygarh, Jadavpur, Lake Gardens, Anwar Shah Road and Patuli. Among areas off EM Bypass, Mukundapur, Madurdaha, VIP Bazar and Topsia figured among the high-risk zones. Times View: The KMC seems to have woken up early this year, which is a positive sign. But these drives need to be carried out consistently — and fairly — to yield results.



48 HD cameras will aid police round the clock



Chennai: The 48 high-definition CCTV cameras that will be installed across Chennai under the smart city project will relay live feed round-the-clock and aid police in solving cases and addressing traffic problems in key areas including Besant Nagar and T Nagar which have been shortlisted for the pilot project. Police said the CCTV cameras can zoom in on registration numbers of vehicles 500m away. “These are high-end cameras and can identify any object from a distance,” said a senior police officer. The cameras will be connected to the Command Control Centre to be set up at Ripon Buildings. The data will be stored in a separate hard disk at the same complex. “The data can be accessed for 30 days and then it will be overwritten. If the data is needed in connection with a case, officials at the data centre will flag it and secure it. Until they get the police nod, CCC staff will not delete it”.


A police officer said live feed from CCTV cameras will enable them to respond better to situations. “At present, we get live updates and complaints in our control room via 100. What is overlooked by the general public is sourced from informants,” said an officer. “But once we start getting video footage, the details will be real time and accurate. We will not have to dig for basic details”. A police officer will be stationed at CCC which will be fitted with huge LED screens connected to all the 48 cameras round the-clock. If any untoward incident on the road is cited, the officer can alert those in the field through exclusive wireless systems and bring down the response time, a senior officer said.



Man held for forging credit, debit cards, had stolen Rs. 4.8L



Chennai: Central Crime Branch sleuths have arrested a Medavakkam resident who stole debit and credit card details using skimmers to make duplicate cards. He withdrew nearly Rs. 4.8 lakh from HDFC Bank ATMs using fake cards. Officers seized several fake debit and credit cards, skimmer devices, encoders, electronic data capture devices from Imran Khan. Khan had been arrested previously in cheating cases, said police. The arrest was made after a 7D theatre owner in Kodaikanal approached the Chennai commissioner saying a few customers lost money from their accounts after paying through a Paytm and MobiKwik stall at the theatre. The complainant, Karthik, told police that the accused approached him in 2017 claiming to be a Paytm representative and told him that visitors to the theatre would get a 30% discount in tickets if they purchased tickets from him using their debit and credit cards. Karthik agreed and Khan was allowed to put up a stall but soon customers began complaining about money vanishing from their accounts. “He showed fake identity cards to trick them into thinking he was employed with the digital wallet companies,” said an investigating officer of the CB-CID.



International News



Google’s bundling of house apps must stop: EU body



US: Google’s bundling of search, Chrome and Play and pre-installations is illegal, harmful and must now stop, Angela Mills Wade, executive director, European Publishers Council has said. Her comments came soon after the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion ($5 billion) for breaching EU antitrust rules. Since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to cement its dominant position in general internet search, the commission said in its ruling. Google has said it would appeal against the ruling. Google’s appeal will mean that the case will go on for some time to come. The question that arises is how the authorities will implement the ruling given the high stakes involved for the US tech firms and the prospect of a long drawn legal battle. The stiff fine imposed by the EU is in line with the tough stance adopted by regulators against US tech firms on a range of issues from privacy to taxes. The latest action is also expected to embolden regulators in other parts of the world to look at the dominance of US tech firms a bit more closely as issues of privacy and antitrust take centre-stage. It could also prompt regulators in the US to take a closer look at the EU ruling.


President Trump on Thursday said the EU was taking advantage of the US. “I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the US, but not for long !”. The European Commission has said that Google must now bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, its parent company. The Commission has also said it would have to determine such non-compliance in a separate decision, with any payment backdated to when the non-compliance started. It also said that the US firm is also liable to face civil actions for damages that can be brought before the courts of the member states by any person or business affected by its anti-competitive behaviour. The new EU antitrust damages directive makes it easier for victims of anticompetitive practices to obtain damages, it said.

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