Andhra Pradesh

  • Civil defence system to fight natural calamities

    The state government has decided to strengthen the civil defence system to tackle man-made and natural disasters. It is proposing to give two acres of land at the existing AP Fire Services Academy in Vattinagulapally to set up the Civil Defence Training Institute. The Centre will provide funds for construction of the institute. Sources in the home department said the plan was to merge the civil defence system with the fire and emergency services department. Initially, training will be given to volunteers from all major cities in the state. Following this, volunteers from villages will be given training. A senior official said the government wanted to make civil defence system the first response or first level defence network in case of any disaster or calamity. "Volunteers who are trained at the institute in Vattinagulapally will be paid a stipend during the training period,' said the official. "But they will be paid honorarium only when their services are utilised,' he added. At present, the civil defence in Hyderabad comes within the ambit of the city police commissionerate. Training is being imparted to volunteers in fire fighting, rescue operations, first aid and air raid precautions.

  • Osram to distribute cheaper CFLs in three states

    For promoting usage of energy saving compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in the country, leading lamp manufacturer Osram will distribute more than 2 million CFL units to poor families in Mahrashtra, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. A unit of CFL will cost around Rs 10- 15 while actual cost of the unit is around Rs 300. Osram has already carried out the ground works for the project, which is expected launched over the next few weeks. "We have signed MoUs with respective state electricity boards and the project would be financed through carbon credit generated through the clean development mechanism (CDM) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC),' Gagan Mehra, managing director of Osram India told FE. However the company is yet to decide volume of carbon credit needed for the implementation of the project. Osram model for CDM is an arrangement under the Kyoto protocol for reducing CO2 emission in the lighting industry. The company in collaboration with state electricity boards will distribute special CFL bulbs with a longevity of 15 thousands hours amongst the poorer section of the population. "We have identified as present districts such as Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh, Sonepat and Yamuna Nagar in Haryana and Pune in Maharashtra for distribution of CFL units and gradually the programme would include other districts in the state,' Mehra said. Osram would be importing most of the components of the CFLs to be distributed in the three states and it would be assembled at the Sonepat plant of the company. "As the project would be in operation for seven to 10 years in three states, after two years of implementation, we plan to manufacturer the CFLs at our plant,' Mehra said. Mehra admitting that despite the low energy consumption by CFLs, the disposal of these bulbs has been a key issue. "All the manufacturers of CFLs are working out a strategy for proper disposals of these bulbs with the Electricity Lamp and Components Manufacturers Association of India (ELCOMA),' he said.

  • State to form agri commission

    The minister for agriculture, Mr N. Raghuveera Reddy, said an Agriculture Regulatory Commission would be appointed to decide payment of bonus for various crops in the state. Speaking to newsmen here on Thursday, he said that the state government has decided to pay minimum support price and bonus for various crops. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and he had studied various benefits being provided to farmers in China, Israel, America and other countries. The minister said the government has decided to directly pay bonus to farmers. He said subsidy and bonus would be directly credited to the bank accounts of farmers as was being done in other countries. The minister said the government would initiate a discussion on establishment of regulatory commission in Legislative Assembly and Council. After taking into consideration suggestions given by farmers unions, Opposition parties and experts, the government would take steps to help farmers, the minister added. He said a study was also being conducted to help tenant farmers, who were facing problems. The minister said for the first time in the country loans were being directly given to tenant farmers in the state. So far, loans were given to 75,000 tenant farmers in the state, he added. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said there were more tenant farmers in Prakasam district. He said 50,000 ideal farmers would be selected and 4,500 rythu sanghams would be formed in the state. The minister said specific plans would be formulated to strengthen agriculture from village-level. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said it was shameful for Telugu Desam (TD) leader N. Chandrababu Naidu to announce that he had a great plan to help farmers. The minister said that state farmers were unhappy with the statement of Mr Naidu, who during his nine-year-old rule had detested farmers. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leaders had resigned from their posts due to fear that they would lose their existence in Telangana. He said the Congress was ready to face by-elections in the seats vacated by the TRS leaders and the party would abide by the decision of the people.

  • TDP to launch new programme for farmers

    In its bid to woo the farming community, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is now planning to launch another programme across the State on the lines of Eruvaka. "The TDP has got an impressive response from the public, in particular, the farming community when our party leaders took out several road shows as part of the Eruvaka programme to enlighten farmers on the need for enhancing minimum support price (MSP) for paddy to Rs 1,000 per quintal. The party has now decided to launch similar programme with another name to raise agriculture-related issues further in the coming months across the State. And the whole objective is to exert pressure both on the Centre and State government to implement recommendations of M. S. Swaminathan Commission as well as Commission for Agriculture Costs and Prices (CACP) in toto and in particular, the MSP for paddy and wheat. Hence the party will launch a programme, whose name will soon be finalised,' TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu told reporters on Wednesday. He was here to attend a marriage function of TDP senior leader Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy's daughter. Lack of clarity Claiming credit for the Centre's decision to waive farm loans, Mr. Naidu said that the Finance Minister would not have announced it, had TDP and UNPA not taken up the farmers' cause. "As a whole, the incentives announced in the Union budget are peripheral, while certain aspects lacked clarity. For instance, the definition of small and marginal farmers is a broad one. We want the Government to adopt a new definition as there is a different definition for marginal farmers in dry land, non-irrigated and irrigated lands.' When asked whether the TDP is still committed towards an integrated Andhra Pradesh, the TDP president ducked a direct reply by taking a dig at the Congress on separate statehood to Telangana. "Let the Congress first spell out its stance on the issue clearly. As the single point agenda of the Congress is to defeat TDP in elections, the party forged an alliance with Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who left the TDP on the separate statehood agenda after he was denied a ministerial berth. The ruling party had an understanding even with naxalites and cheated both of them along with its electoral partners CPI and CPI(M).

  • Loan waiver scheme for all farmers

    Seeking to stave off criticism that the Centre's loan waiver scheme would mainly benefit defaulting farmers, the Congress Government in the State has decided in principle to extend it to those farmers who have promptly repaid their debts. The State Government will initially request the Centre to somehow allow the benefit of waiver to all farmers or, at least, bear the financial burden partially. If there is no positive response from the Centre, the Government may work out a scheme on its own. Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy held detailed discussions with Ministers and senior officials here on Thursday on the loan waiver scheme. Apart from the Opposition's criticism, Dr. Reddy has himself expressed reservations on the scheme benefiting only the defaulters while ignoring those farmers who repaid their debts sincerely. He is credited with the view that it would benefit only 50 per cent of the small and marginal farmers even though the expenditure on it in the State would be around Rs. 10,000-12,000 crore. Speaking to reporters later, Finance Minister K. Rosaiah said the Government would formulate its plan once the Centre issued guidelines on the scheme which would reveal the actual number of beneficiary farmers and also the extent of the financial burden. Essential commodities Mr. Rosaiah said another scheme on the anvil, also outside the budget proposals, was to ensure sale of some more essential commodities in addition to rice, to card-holders at subsided prices and thus arrest inflationary trend in the open market. Edible oil would be sold for Rs 60 a kg and red gram for Rs 35 a kg. Asked whether the Government was justified in taking these policy decisions without referring them to the Legislature, now in its budget session, Mr. Rosaiah said the Chief Minister had already informed the Assembly about the plan to sell oil and pulses at subsidised rates while the loan waiver for SCs and STs announced on Wednesday was a relief and not a policy decision.

  • Land Ceiling Bill finds no place on list

    The much-talked-about Bill to repeal the Urban Land Ceiling Act may not be taken up in the current session of the Assembly.

  • Loan waiver cheers DCCB

    The farm loan waiver announced by the Central government has come as a boon to the District Central Cooperative Bank (DCCB), which is facing financial problems with bad debts amounting to Rs 200 crore

  • Mining lease issue rocks A.P. Assembly

    Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S.

  • On Metro Rail systems

    The article

  • State's land for poor scheme is a farce: Naidu

    State's land for poor scheme is a farce: Naidu

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