Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Name :Thiru. Santosh K Misra IAS
Address : District Collector, Collectorate
Phone : O : 044-27237433, 27238478, 27237102
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
ISDN for VC : 044-27260503
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
New Delhi, June 01: Government will consider bringing out an Initial Public Offer to infuse funds in Air India, but the exercise will not dilute the carrier's public sector character, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said on Monday.
Taking charge of the Ministry for the second consecutive term of five years, he also made it clear that there would be no further privatisation of airports in the country, although the private sector could invest in this infrastructure area through the greenfield route.
With airlines in India accounting for almost one-third of global industry losses, Patel cautioned the cash-strapped industry against going for "reckless expansion and avoid financial misadventure in these testing times." Air India had earlier proposed to the government for additional equity infusion of Rs 1,231 crore and a soft loan worth Rs 2,750 crore. On infusion of funds in the national carrier to cover its ambitious fleet expansion programme, he said depending on the stock market situation, "the IPO for Air India will be considered.
But the airline will not lose its public sector character and it will not be privatised." He gave the examples of SBI, LIC, ONGC and IOC which have gone in for equity infusion without losing their state-owned character, but declined to give a time-frame for issuance of the IPO.Air India, which has placed orders for 111 new planes worth over Rs 45,000 crore, currently has a paid-up capital of Rs 1,450 crore with an authorised capital of Rs 1,500 crore. Its total losses for FY'09 are estimated around Rs 4,000 crore, up from Rs 2,226 crore in the previous year.
The unfavourable debt-equity ratio forced Air India, which was earlier merged with sister carrier Indian Airlines, to seek urgent infusion of funds. Patel, however, said the idea of IPO was "one area of intent ... it will bring in much-needed liquidity infusion and also accountability" to the airline. "We will try to get AI the money from the government that has been promised, but I can't speak on behalf of the Finance Ministry and neither can I comment on the (impending) Budget," he said in reply to a spate of questions. Regarding upgradation and modernisation of airport and related infrastructure, the Minister made it clear that no more existing airports, operated by the Airports Authority of India, would be divested or privatised.
"We are not going to go for any more disinvestment or take the PPP (private-public partnership) route for any more airports." Noting that AAI was already developing two major airports of Kolkata and Chennai, he said, "We want to let AAI have a good level-playing field. They are also developing major airports at Amritsar and Ahmedabad, besides the non-metro airports."
Monday, June 8, 2009
CHENNAI: Chennai airport has been identified as one of the most sensitive airports in India. While security agencies and government have been making claims about security arrangements being in place to ward off possible threats, CISF personnel deployed at Chennai airport are struggling to meet demands and working under tremendous presssure.
More than 40% of positions in CISF has remained vacant the past three years. The CISF contingent at Chennai airport has a sanctioned strength of 1,000 personnel, but only around 600 personnel are on duty currently. "We are forced to work continuously 12 hours a day. When voices are made about an administrative lapse, we were threatened and told that since we are a paramilitary force, we are supposed to work like this. Even those in the army do not work like we do - continuously for many hours - unless there is a war or insurgency. Overworking has been routine for us the past three years," a CISF staff member told The Times Of India.
Apart from overwork, CISF personnel are also deprived of leave. According to sources, whenever they apply for leave, applications are turned down, citing short of personnel, sources said. The prolonged stress and mental agony has resulted in CISF personnel on duty at the airport tending to be lethargic and, often, highly irritable. "Passengers are the victims. CISF personnel choose to vent their frustration on passengers during security check. They fail to be cordial.
No amount of courtesy and behaviour training will bring change unless the working hours of the personnel are regulated," a CISF oficial said. Though government is aware of the shortage of personnel, very little had been done to address the issue. "As far as manpower allocation is concerned, Chennai airport is the worst in the country. Shortage of manpower is pardonable for few months. But shortage three years means official apathy," the official added.
Airport sources agreed that shortage of CISF men was affecting proper security at the airport. "Vital points are secured always. However, they have to reduce strength at security check points. The problems are evident when you monitor the airport security," an airport official said. A senior CISF official in Chennai admitted that there was acute shortage of CISF personnel in Chennai airport.
"We had done a survey again, taking into account the enormous increase in flight operation over the past few years and the airport expansion. We are going to get one more terminal. So we had sent a proposal for allocation of additional strength. The proposal is pending with the ministry of home affairs for more than a year. The reason for the delay is not known to us," the official pointed out. The proposal had requested an allocation of around 1,200 CISF personnel for Chennai airport.
CHENNAI: Summer holidays and reduced fares have failed to boost international air passenger traffic in April, which has dipped by 4% compared to the corresponding period last year. Airport officials have reasons to fear that the numbers might go down further in the coming months.
Domestic passenger traffic decreased by 15% while the number of departing passengers alone dipped by 18% in April 2009, compared to the period last year. Consequently, several of the private commercial establishments have notified that they would be closing down their shops in the international and domestic terminals. International passenger departures dipped by 8% while domestic passenger departures came down by 18% in April. "
Departing passengers bring business for shops inside the airport. As footfalls dropped, many of the licensees have intimated that they will be withdrawing from the airport," said an airport official. The shops that will be closing down include a handicraft store, jewellery and a recently-opened lounge. "May is going to be worse. Airlines were hoping that holidays will draw passengers, but that has not happened.
The H1N1 flu threat seems to have added to the woes," the official said. Airlines are also not starting new services or increasing frequencies of existing services. International passenger traffic has been showing a decline month-on-month since December 2008, but it registered an overall increase of 7% last year. However, international aircraft movement has increased by 8%.
In a bid to boost passenger traffic, international airlines like Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa have been offering attractive fares. When domestic airfares skyrocketed last year, travellers chose to fly abroad. International passenger traffic went up in spite of a decline in the total number of passengers who flew in and out of Chennai airport from April 2008 to March 2009.
Industry experts say that a combination of factors including aggressive promotion by foreign tourism boards and cheaper international airfares helped boost international passenger traffic then. "A couple of airlines started services to new sectors, like Kingfisher Airlines to Colombo, while other increased their frequencies to high-yield routes when routes were rationalised following recession," an AAI official said.
Chennai airport saw a 7% increase in international passenger traffic from 34.1 lakh passengers in 2007-08 to 36.63 lakh in 2008-09 even as domestic passenger traffic declined 15% from 72.47 lakh in 2007-08 to 61.79 lakh last year, according to the statistics compiled by AAI. All that appears to have come to a halt.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Chennai: Soon after MK Stalin was made deputy chief minister, the government has spelt out the scope of his powers. They include vital issues affecting peace and tranquillity in the state and promotions and posting of district judges.
In a standing order issued on June 2, the government made it clear that “cases which affect or are likely to affect the peace and tranquillity of the state or any part there of ” would be looked into by the deputy chief minister. His duties include sanctioning proposals for appointments, postings and promotions of district judges including additional district judges, joint district judges, chief judges, civil court judges, chief metropolitan magistrates, service judges and additional service judges as well as “important changes in the strength or distribution of any police force.”
Stalin’s key functions include proposals for “the making or amendment of any rules, regulations or orders relating to any police force” and posting in the cadre of DSP. The deputy CM’s powers would also extend to all cases in which “it is proposed to deviate from the advice tendered by the state public service commission.”
Other appointments and postings in which Stalin would have a say include that of additional secretaries, joint secretaries, and deputy secretaries to the government and government pleaders, government prosecutors and additional public prosecutors besides other subordinate legal officials of the Madras high court. He will also have a say in cases in which land acquisition proceedings are proposed to be dropped.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
By TBM Staff Mumbai
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has earmarked Rs 3,000 crore for undertaking various developmental works in different airports across the country during 2009-2010, according to D Devaraj, Regional Executive Director (Southern Region), AAI.
According to a UNI report, while talking to media persons after the launching operations of the new two-storeyed Integrated Terminal Building at Tiruchirapalli Airport, which is constructed as per international standards at a cost of Rs 80 crore, Devaraj said the terminal with a capacity to handle 400 passengers at a time has two aerobridges.Devaraj said of the Rs 3,000 crore outlay, Rs 2,000 crore was for carrying out developmental works at Chennai Airport.
The ongoing work at Chennai Airport included expansion of the secondary runway across the Adyar River. The work is expected to be completed by end of next year or early 2011.
Apart from this, Rs 125 crore had been sanctioned for undertaking developmental work at Madurai Airport, Rs 90 crore and 70 crore for Mangalore and Coimbatore Airports respectively. Work on these airports has already commenced. Replying to a question, he said a decision on user charges to be collected from airlines for Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) was yet to be finalised.
The possibility for utilising the existing terminal building for cargo operations will also be explored. He said a private airline had approached AAI for its nod to operate flights between Chennai and Salem and a final decision on this was yet to be taken.
S Sreekumar, Director, Tiruchirapalli Airport said it recorded 4.6 lakh passenger arrivals and departures during 2008-09, registering 18 per cent growth. District Collector T Soundiah, who was present said, AAI had sought 430 acres for expansion of the runway to 12,500 feet from the present 8,000 feet. The required land will be acquired and handed over to the AAI within six months.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Voltas' electro-mechancial business has secured two orders worth Rs3bn for electro-mechanical projects for the most prestigious and noteworthy 'new generation' airports in India, namely Kolkata's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport, and Chennai International airport.
At the new Integrated Passenger Terminal of Kolkata's international airport, Voltas will undertake HVAC, internal electrification, and plumbing & drainage system works, to be completed in 24 months.
NSCBI airport, once completed will be the nation's third largest (after Mumbai and Delhi), built to handle a load of 20 million passengers annually. The challenge is to keep airport operations flowing smoothly while activating new facilities part by part, and simultaneously reconstructing existing buildings.
The Chennai project is for airport expansion, in which Voltas' scope of work includes HVAC, fire protection and internal electrification systems, to be completed in 21 months.
Voltas first proved itself in India's airport sector with Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Executed in 30 months, the project is distinguished by world-class installations for HVAC, internal electrification, plumbing and drainage, and a slew of utilities and low-voltage systems, from fire alarm to building management systems. It also earned the distinction of being the world's second and Asia's first airport to be awarded the LEED certification by the US Green Building Council.
The Hyderabad job showcased the capabilities Voltas had already shown in projects executed in more than 30 countries over the last three-and-a-half decades; the record includes the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chep Lak Kok, Bahrain International Airport, and Al Ain International Airport among others.