Chennai Flood: PM reviews situation, announces 1000cr additional relief
- Normal life continues to be severely affected in flood-hit Chennai but residents got a brief respite when it finally stopped raining from Wednesday night until Thursday morning
- The floods that have killed 269 people in Tamil Nadu began to recede on Thursday, giving rescue teams a chance to evacuate thousands of residents stranded by the heaviest cloudburst in the city of Chennai in over a century.
- Floods and incessant rainfall cut off more than three million people from basic services and hampered rescue efforts by the Army, which has so far evacuated 18,000 people from rooftops and outlying villages.
- City authorities were deploying bulldozers and bags of concrete to repair collapsed roads, while several bridges were under water as urban lakes in the low-lying coastal city of six million overflowed.
- Train services and flights to Chennai remain cancelled and the Navy has pressed fishing boats into service to evacuate people from the worst-hit suburbs to temples, schools and wedding halls.
India’s domestic market growth highest in the world: IATA
- India’s domestic aviation market grew the highest in the world during the month of October, shows International Air Transport Association (IATA) data.
- The data shows that revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) in the Indian domestic passenger market grew by 17.6% followed by China that grew at 12.8%. During the month, Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 7.5%, which was in line with the 7.4% year-over-year expansion seen in September, said IATA.
- IATA said that the growth in air travel has been stimulated by lower fares, particularly for leisure travel.
Sixteen CIL projects get green nod in current fiscal
- A total of 16 mining projects of Coal India have received green nod in the current fiscal, Parliament was informed today.
- The clearances come at a time when the government has set an ambitious one billion tonne production target for Coal India Ltd (CIL) in the next five years.
- “During the year 2015-16 (as on 1.12.2015), 12 projects have been accorded environment clearance (EC) and four projects have been accorded Stage II forestry clearance (FC)”, Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
- Of the 12 projects granted environment clearance, five belong to Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL), two are under Eastern Coalfields and two others belong to South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), Goyal said.
- The four projects given Stage-II forestry clearance include one each of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, SECL, Central Coalfields Ltd and WCL, the minister said.
Drad Sankalp: Army’s Southern Command exercise
- The Southern Command of Indian Army is undergoing a Command level exercise ‘Drad Sankalp’ in the deserts of Rajasthan.
- Through the exercise, the capabilities of the Army in a Tri-Service environment are being practiced and validated on a capability based approach, while relying on the adoption of new age technologies, transformed war fighting and integrated theatre battle concepts.
- The exercise is also focusing on the aspect of jointsmanship between the three services and in developing the required synergy in order to achieve operational effectiveness.
- Drad Sankalp has commenced with an aim to achieve perfection in basic battle drills & procedures with emphasis on exceptional standards of training and exploiting our doctrine through Manoeuvre Warfare and Directive Style of Command.
Tata group companies firm up digital teams before launch of e-commerce venture
- In the final leg of the run-up towards their e-commerce venture, Tata group firms have sewn in digital teams to liaison with their new business.
- Tata Unistore, the unit that will spearhead the group’s hybrid online retailing venture, will have representation from the group’s consumer companies.
Gas prices in India to fall 16% next year
- Natural gas prices in India are likely to decline 16 per cent next year before recovering gradually, but may not regain the current year rate till at least 2020.
- Price of natural gas, using the formula approved by the government in October last year, is projected to fall to $3.22 per million British thermal unit in the first half of 2016-17 from current $3.82 per mmBtu.
- Rates, which are set using prevalent price in gas surplus nations like the US, Russia and Canada, are fixed for six months and accordingly are projected to rise to USD 3.32 in second half of 2016-17 fiscal.
- According to the forecast, gas prices will be USD 3.36 per mmBtu and USD 3.42 in the first and second half of 2017-18 fiscal and would be around USD 3.45 in the next fiscal. In 2019-20, gas prices are projected to reach USD 3.49.
- As per the mechanism approved in October, 2014, the price of domestically produced natural gas is to be revised every six months using weighted average or rates prevalent at Henry Hub of the US, National Balancing Point of the UK, rates in Alberta (Canada) and Russia with a lag of one quarter.
- The current price of USD 3.82, for the period October 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, is based on average of prices during July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
Volkswagen allocates 20 billion bridge loan to 13 banks
- Volkswagen has split a 20 billion euro ($21.1 billion) bridge loan between 13 banks to help shoulder the costs of its emissions scandal, two people familiar with the matter said.
- Eight banks which had initially offered tranches of 2.5 billion euros will supply 1.825 billion euros each, while five banks which offered 1.5 billion euros each will provide loans worth 1.08 billion euros, the people said.
- The biggest corporate scandal in the German company’s 78-year history has forced out its long-time CEO, wiped billions of euros off its stock market value and hammered its bonds – making it much more expensive for the company to borrow through its traditionally preferred route of the debt market.
Government to ban trucks older than 15-years as cities choke on dirty air
- The government will force all commercial trucks more than 15 years old off the road from April and is reviewing how it checks vehicle emissions, a senior transport official said, as it tries to curb soaring urban air pollution.
- The World Health Organization said last year that India had 13 of the 20 most polluted cities on the planet, including the worst offender, New Delhi.
- Fumes spewed by a multiplying fleet of commercial vehicles, many of them old and badly maintained, are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution nationally: the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) think-tank estimates their share of vehicular emissions at 60 percent.