News Flash – 21 April 2018

National News



Alert! High energy waves to hit Tamil Nadu coast this weekend

A barge bound for Gujarat from Odisha was stranded off Pamban railway bridge on Friday after it was caught in strong sea current.



CHENNAI: The multi-model based operational wave forecasting system of Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services has indicated that southern coastal districts of Tamil Nadu, especially Kanyakumari and Ramanathapuram, are likely to experience high-energy swell waves on Saturday and Sunday. Fishermen and coastal population have been advised to be cautious. INCOIS officials said it was unlike the usual wave event that is normally experienced during cyclones. “In the present case, the swell waves come from very far off areas in the Southern Ocean. There is high wave period and the waves are very energetic. It will cause an unpleasant situation like inundation of low-lying areas. We explicitly make it clear that this is not anything like a tsunami, but will cause flooding in low lying areas,” a senior scientist told TOI. Discomfort is expected in the Gulf of Mannar region since the other side of the Tamil Nadu coast is sheltered by Sri Lanka. Wave surges are expected between Kolachel and Ramanathapuram. In a communique sent to the state government, the agency said the sea would be rough near the shore and the low-lying areas would experience the surges intermittently from 8.30am. on Saturday to 11.30pm on Sunday due to the high period swell waves. The waves could go up to a height of 11.5 feet. “As the coastal areas will experience the effect, plying of boats could be avoided during those two days. The boats could be anchored at a distance from each other to avoid any collision and leading to damage,” Revenue administration and disaster management commissioner K Satyagopal said.


Those at sea have been warned not to come to the shore as the waves will be rough close to the shore. Water-based recreational activity in the coastal areas was a strict no. “If there are advisories from the district administration, the people along the coast should be ready to move to safe locations immediately,” Satyagopal said. INCOIS advised the public to check its website ( for further information and updating of the event like early warnings and withdrawal of warnings. Ramanathapuram collector S Natarajan appealed to the public to avoid taking bath in the sea at Arichalmunai, Dhanushkodi and Agnitheertham in Rameswaram where pilgrims usually take a holy dip after visiting the Rameswaram temple. Similarly, the public have been asked to avoid playing on the beaches. The Kanyakumari district administration has warned tourists to avoid playing on the shores as well, as the giant waves could drag them into the sea. Boating for tourists to the Vivekananda Rock and Thiruvalluvar Statue will be suspended in Kanyakumari this weekend. The fire and rescue services department and all emergency vehicles like ambulances have been alerted and asked to keep ready their vehicles for any emergency. The multi-purpose cyclone centres in coastal areas have been asked to be ready as well. Collectors said the public and fishermen could contact toll-free number 1077 to seek help.



Delhi: All metro stations to go counterless soon, tokens only from machines

Manual sales counters have been substituted at 118 stations by 519 TVMs and all of them were already operational.



NEW DELHI: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is planning to make almost all metro stations ‘counterless’ soon by replacing manual token counters with token vending machines (TVMs). Almost all running and upcoming Phase III stations — except those having interchange facilities with railway stations and bus terminals— don’t have manual counters and DMRC has started replacing them at many Phase I and II stations as well. A DMRC spokesperson said manual sales counters had been substituted at 118 stations by 519 TVMs and all of them were already operational. The network’s first TVM was installed at Rajiv Chowk station in 2011. “All new stations are having more and more TVMs and very few manual token counters,” DMRC’s managing director Mangu Singh told TOI. Eventually, very few stations will have manual counters, but the pace at which these will be replaced by TVMs will depend on the experience at the stations and the confidence level of passengers in using these machines, Singh added. “We are ultimately attempting to move people towards TVMs”.


So far, the shift hasn’t been easy with most passengers finding it difficult to use TVMs to get tokens. At many stations, DMRC initially deployed customer care executives to guide commuters on how to use the machines. “If somebody has a problem, he can go to our customer care centres at every station,” Singh said. The measure will let DMRC deploy a reduced workforce at the stations. It will also encourage commuters, DMRC hopes, to shift to smart cards. Singh said that in the past few months, more commuters had been using smart cards. “As per the TVM policy, all stations where the daily sale of tokens is under 5,000 are provided with TVMs as it increases transparency, takes less time once people get used to it and we can avoid change issues and human error,” the spokesperson said. However, the system is subject to review at every station, keeping in mind passenger convenience and overall usage and ridership pattern, he added.



Home Guards jawans become ‘police impersonators’



AHMEDABAD: An alert citizen caught a person who had extorted Rs 25,000 from him a month ago. Police arrested two women whereas three other accused, including two Home Guards jawans, are absconding. Sola police said, Darshit Patel, 31, a resident of Ghuma, is a manager at a car showroom near Sola Bridge. On April 20, he was going from Bhopal to Vaishnodevi Circle at about 9.45am when two women sought a lift. On SG Road, they drove for barely a kilometer when two persons standing near a private car stopped him. The women then claimed that Patel was molesting them. The women left in the private car with a driver and two persons sat in Patel’s car and took him near Jaspur. They robbed Rs 25,000 from Patel’s car, to not take him to the police station, before letting him leave.


“On April 18, Patel spotted the same two women at the same spot. When he approached them, the duo rushed to the same private car involved in the previous incident. Patel realized it was an elaborate scheme and gave chase. The car stopped at a signal near Pakwan Crossroads and the two women got down and car driver managed to flee, damaging a few cars in process,” said an official. The two women were identified as Kanchan Parimal, 42, a resident of Vatva, and Radhika Dixit, 27, a resident of Chandkheda. The duo identified the other accused as Yogesh and Gemar Parmar, both Home Guards jawans from the Sabarmati area, and Sunil.



International News



Plane skids off runway in Nepal; close shave for 139 on board


KATHMANDU: All 139 people on board a Malaysian passenger plane had a miraculous escape when the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight skidded off the runway and got stuck in mud while attempting to take off from Nepal’s only international airport here, officials said. Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) was forced to halt all international flights after the incident involving Malindo Air jet late last night, The Kathmandu Post reported. TIA today resumed international flight operations after a suspension of over 12 hours, the report said. At least a dozen of international flights were cancelled after the incident. There were 139 people, including four crew members, on board the aircraft, Boeing 737-900, registration 9M-LNJ. No casualty has been reported, the report said. “The flight captain aborted takeoff at the final moment after he saw an error at the monitor inside the cockpit,” TIA general manager Raj Kumar Chettri said quoting the captain. The aircraft apparently could not stop because of the takeoff speed and load at the final moment and overran 50 metre south from the runway threshold and rested in a grassland at around 22.08pm (local time), Chettri said.


The runway was closed following the incident. However, the aircraft has not suffered any damage but the front tyre has been stuck in the mud. Chhetri said the aircraft was towed away from the grassland to the runway and kept at the parking area. He further informed that the airport runway did not suffer any damage during the incident and all international flights have resumed. The latest incident is one of the many plane accidents that Nepal’s TIA has witnessed in recent years. Last month, a Dhaka to Kathmandu US-Bangla Airlines flight, with 67 passengers and four crew members on board, caught fire after it careened off the runway and ploughed into a football ground near TIA, killing 51 people. In 2015, a Turkish Airlines plane also suffered a runway excursion during landing, closing the airport for four days, creating chaos among travellers.



Evacuation in Slovakia after unexploded WW-II bombs found


BRATISLAVA (SLOVAKIA): Slovak authorities have started evacuating people in a town near the southern border with Hungary after four unexploded World War II bombs were found. Police said Friday they are evacuating people from a street in the town of Sturovo after the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Soviet bombs were found in a field. The number being evacuated as experts remove the bombs and transport them to a safe place was not immediately clear. The bombs were discovered by a man walking his dog. The finding came as Berlin police were evacuating thousands of people from a central area of the German capital and shutting down the main train station in preparation for the removal of an unexploded World War II bomb found during recent construction work.



Indonesian fishermen rescue Rohingya in seas off Aceh



JAKARTA: Indonesian fishermen rescued 76 Rohingya Muslims from a boat stranded off Aceh province on Friday, police said, in the latest attempt by members of the persecuted ethnic group to flee Myanmar by sea. The police chief of Bireuen regency in Aceh on the island of Sumatra, Riza Yulianto, said the group of eight children, 25 women and 43 men was brought ashore Friday afternoon. Several were in weak condition. It was unclear how long they had been at sea. Myanmar’s persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority has sparked a massive exodus of people over land into neighboring Bangladesh since August, though some have also tried to flee by boat. An Indonesian fishing boat rescued a group of five Rohingya Muslims found in weak condition off westernmost Aceh province on April 6 after a 20-day voyage in which five other people died. Just days before, Malaysian authorities intercepted a vessel carrying 56 people believed to be Rohingya refugees and brought the vessel and its passengers to shore. About 700,000 Rohingya have fled western Myanmar’s Rakhine state to neighboring Bangladesh in the past seven months to escape a brutal counterinsurgency campaign by Myanmar’s army. Rohingya, treated as undesirables in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar, used to flee by sea by the thousands each year until security in Myanmar was tightened after a surge of refugees in 2015 caused regional concern.

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