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Saturday, February 28, 2009

BMC will take flight to deal with floods

Mumbai: The BMC will no longer rely on archaic maps while drawing up plans against natural disasters such as floods. In a first of its kind initiative (first municipal corporation in Asia), civic officials will travel on a private helicopter on Thursday to capture vital locations and floodprone areas on a camera. The flight will cross the city over a period of one month to complete the process.
    The permission to carry out low-lying aerial photography required for contour mapping in the city came from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) last month. Contour mapping is a significant aspect of the flood modelling system which is practised worldwide.
    "The planes are all ready with cameras. The permission from the defence ministry came early but it took long to obtain permission from the air traffic control (ATC). In fact, we will have to take permission from the ATC every day before flying,'' said additional municipal commissioner R A Rajeev.
    After the deluge in July 2005, the Madhav Chitale Committee had emphasised the need for a fool-proof flood system to guide civic authorities
during rescue efforts. The committee had recommended that a contour map survey be conducted, recording the contours at intervals of 5 metres.
    A senior official from the storm water drain department said that the mapping would help identify the location of structures above sea level. "When we compare the height of a location above the sea level (which is taken as 0 m), we will know exactly what needs

to be done, the chronic flood areas and what relief can be given to these spots,'' he said.
    "The benefits of this type of flood modelling also involves digitised maps. Contour mapping can point to the depth, height and steepness of slopes,'' he added.
    The BMC has appointed two private firms—MWH from Mumbai and ORG from Gurgaon—to carry out the exercise.

WHAT IS CONTOUR MAPPING ALL ABOUT?
    
Contour mapping can point to the depth, height and steepness of slopes. The mapping requires low lying aerial photographs that are taken by cameras attached to the air planes. Once the maps are in place, it will be easy for the civic body to carry out relief and rescue operations during a flood-like situation. TNN


Diamond hub is not safe for occupation: fire dept

Fire brigade disallows occupation at Bharat Diamond Bourse. BMC says if the bourse doesn't comply with fire safety norms soon, its occupation certificate will be revoked

The jinxed Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), Asia's largest diamond bourse—situated at Bandra Kurla Complex—has received another jolt as the fire department has disallowed the occupation in the building, following a fire there in October.
    "Once they comply with all [fire safety] norms, we will reconsider their application," said P D Karguppikar, Chief Fire Officer, adding, "During a survey, immediately after the October 20 fire, the depart
ment found that the complex did not h a v e requisite fire fighting equipment and therefore, the department wrote to the BMC disallowing occupation in the complex," added
Karguppikar.
The civic body had written to the bourse management in November, asking it to convey action taken by it to comply with the fire safety norms. But it hasn't got any reply till date.
"We are planning to
write another letter to give them a fair chance to comply with the norms. If we don't receive any response, we may have to take stringent steps to ensure the safety of the building and its occupants," said A T Shintre, Chief Engineer, Development and Planning, BMC. He explained, "After seeking explanation from the concerned architect of the bourse, we may revoke the Occupation Certificate."
    Of the eight buildings, the bourse had received Occupation Certificates for only six. "We set up proper fire fighting equipment after last year's fire. Now, we have decided to apply for a fresh OC for all buildings once work on all towers is over," said Anoop Mehta, president of the bourse.

THE BDB PROJECT
    
The bourse is spread across 20 acres of plot comprising eight towers. The ground floor will have 30 banks. The BDB anticipates deals with over 30,000 people every day.
    The project was started in 1993, but internal disputes and payment defaults put the project on hold in 1998.Work resumed in 2001. Since then, the BDB committee has set up several deadlines to make it functional.The current deadline is April 27, which falls on Akshay Tritya
    Currently, trading of rough and polished diamonds is concentrated mainly in three buildings: Prasad Chambers, Panchratna Building and Shreeji Building in Opera House.

Bharat Diamond Bourse situated at Bandra Kurla Complex

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SMS alerts for online card deals

CREDIT card frauds through online transactions may soon see a dramatic decline. From August 2009, banks will clear online card transactions only after they are authenticated by a separate password.
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also made it mandatory for banks to send SMS and
online alerts for all online transactions exceeding Rs 5,000.
    The central bank will also shortly prescribe security measures to be employed for card usage in in
teractive voice response (IVR) transactions, where cardholders punch in their card details into the telephone to make payments.
    At present, anyone who has ac
cess to information printed on credit cards, such as the card number and the Credit Verification Value number, can misuse the card online. This loophole will now soon be blocked. With the increased use of credit and debit cards in the country, RBI has been reviewing various options to enhance the security of online transactions. New rules to come into play from August '09
    AFTER consulting with banks and card companies, the RBI has decided to make an additional online authentication compulsory for all banks. "It would be mandatory to put in place with effect from August 2009 a system of providing for additional authentication/validation based on information not visible on the cards for all online card not present transactions," the RBI said, in a circular issued to all banks.
    IT experts have been highlighting this security risk for a long time now. Some banks have already put in place a credit card verification process for online transactions. Now, with the passage of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, the central bank has got the power to regulate all online transactions.

    In the same circular, the RBI has asked banks to provide customers with online alerts on every transactions over Rs 5,000 where the card is not required to be presented physically. The directive on online verification has been issued under Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007.
    Section 18 of the Act gives the RBI broad-based powers to give directions to "system providers or the system participants or any other person either generally or to any such agency and in particular, pertaining to the conduct of business relating to payment systems". These orders can be given by the RBI if it is satisfied that it is in public interest.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

its a school in Gaza .. this is the current situation of the innocent people in Gaza !

The below photos are not a Movie Shooting or Celebrating a festival with crackers... its a school in Gaza .. this is the current situation of the innocent people in Gaza !

Make sure you read till last to know what is white phosphorus! and the effect! 

 

UNRWA SCHOOL IN BEIT LAHIA, GAZA , PALESTINE )

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Friday, February 13, 2009

18 coaches of Coromandel Express derail in Orissa, 15 dead

BHUBANESWAR: Within hours of railway minister Lalu Prasad gloating over his safety record during his budget speech in Parliament, one of the

country's flagship expresses derailed from its tracks on Friday, leaving at least 15 passengers dead and about 60 injured, many of them critically.

Reports from the railways said 18 coaches of the Coromandel Express derailed at 7.50pm near Jajpur Road in Orissa, 120 km north of Bhubaneswar. Three of the coaches were totally crushed. The train had left Howrah station on Friday afternoon and was to reach Chennai on Saturday evening.

"We have 15 people dead," the spokesman for eastern railways, Murlidhar Sahoo, told AFP.

The number of dead could go up steeply, officials feared, because many passengers were still trapped in the overturned coaches. Rescue operations were hampered because of darkness.

The train was travelling at a very high speed. Lalu Prasad said a probe will be ordered into the accident.

"Suddenly there was a lurch and a screeching sound, as if brakes had been applied. The whole train shook violently from side-to-side and we were thrown off our berths,'' said Rajendra Singh, a passenger in S-5 coach, who survived without any injury. ``There was a tumbling sensation as everything seemed to be turning upside down. We were terrified. After what seemed to be a long time, the rolling and screeching stopped,'' he said from the accident spot on phone. He said he had joined rescuers in trying to help trapped passengers. The coaches badly damaged were S-1 to S-3 and S-6 to S-8, he said.

While officials at Jajpur refused to speculate about the cause of the accident until senior railway brass arrived, they confirmed that the worst-hit coaches were the ones closest to the engine. These included one luggage-cum-sleeper coach, two unreserved coaches and 11 second class sleeper coaches. The train had a total of 24 coaches and the AC cars were towards the tail-end, officials said.

While local policemen were trying to extricate survivors and bodies with their bare hands, railways commissioned rescue teams with gas cutters and requisitioned help from nearby industries.

Lalu Prasad has said minister of state for Railways R Velu and Railway Board chairman S S Khurana have been asked to proceed to the site of the accident.

Earlier in the day, Lalu had boasted about how Indian Railways had become safer under his stewardship.

"In the last five years, there has also been a significant improvement in railway safety and a steep reduction in the number of railway accidents. The number of consequential accidents came down to 194 in 2007-08 as against 325 in 2003-04,'' he said.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Disaster averted as AI pilot slams brakes 300m from Prez’s chopper

Communication Gap Leads To Near-Collision At Mum Airport

Manju V & Chinmayi Shalya | TNN


Mumbai: A split-second decision to abort take-off by an Air India pilot and air-traffic controllers helped avert a horrifying collision at Mumbai airport on Monday morning. The heartstopping, high-speed drama unfolded in the span of less than a minute when an IAF helicopter from President Pratibha Patil's VVIP squadron landed on runway 27 on which an Air India aircraft was speeding towards a take-off at the same time. The AI aircraft aborted take-off and came to a halt about 300 metres away from the chopper.
    Expectedly, the blame game began shortly after, even as radio telecommunication recordings between the ATCOs, IAF and AI pilots were confiscated by officials of the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for investigation. The IAF, which will also be investigating the matter, said through its spokesperson that their "pilots had followed the instructions from Bombay Approach (Air Traffic Control) meticulously''. Officials of the Intelligence Bureau also reached Mumbai airport later in the day to do a background check of the personnel involved and to rule out sabotage.
    The incident took place at 9.17 am, when six civilian aircraft were circling for landing and an equal number were waiting for departure. As per the norms, the ATC was informed in advance about the VVIP movement. "At 9.17 am, Pratap 1, one of the three MI-17 helicopters of the President's squadron reported to the radar controller that it was three miles away from the airport. The three IAF helicopters were flying in formation and only the leader of the pack is in touch with the ATC,'' said an ATC source.

ON CRASH COURSE
1 At 9.17 am, IAF chopper Pratap 1 (one of the 3 choppers in the VVIP squadron carrying President Pratibha Patil) reports to Mumbai ATC that it is 3 miles away from the airport 2 Immediately, IC-866, carrying 148 passengers and 7 crew members, is cleared for takeoff to Delhi from runway 27 3 As the plane starts its take-off roll and reaches a speed of around 120-130 knots (about 222-240 km/hr), an ATC tower controller suddenly notices that Pratap 2 has already landed near the end of the same runway 4 IC-866 given 'Stop Immediately' instruction thrice 5 Pilot applies emergency brake.
Another 3 secs would have taken the plane to decision speed,
after which it would have been impossible to abort take-off
6 Aircraft comes to a halt just 300 metres from Pratap 2. Pilot manages to steer plane into rapid exit taxiway 'Whisky'. Tyre bursts and smoke comes out of the undercarriage 7 Pratap 1, which is carrying the President, lands on runway 27 at 9.20 am.
Pratap 3 lands a minute later

HEART-STOPPER Had the stop order been delayed by even 3 seconds or if the pilot had not braked immediately, the plane would have crashed into the MI-17 helicopter with horrendous consequences
BLAME GAME BEGINS
The chopper just landed without taking landing clearance. I cannot say much more —S S Kohli | CAPTAIN OF THE AIR INDIA A-321

There seems to have been a communication gap between Pratap 1 and Pratap 2. Pratap 1, as the squadron leader, was in touch with the ATC, but it was Pratap 2 that landed without intimation —ATC source
Our pilots had followed instructions meticulously. The presidential entourage was cleared to take off from INS Kunjali and land at Santa Cruz between two taxiways—IAF
It may have been an ATC mistake. It needs to take this issue seriously in order to avoid any accident in future —Ashok Chavan | CM
'Sparks flew and smoke rose from the wheels'
    Take-off permission was given at 9.17 am to a Mumbai-Delhi flight, IC-866, which had lined up on runway 27. An A-321 generally takes about 30-40 seconds to take off. At Mumbai airport, there is either a landing or a take-off every 90 seconds. "Since VVIP movement was expected, a three-minute gap before and after the VVIP flight was kept. Pratap 1 was to land at 9.20 am and the AI aircraft would have taken off before 9.18 am,'' the source added.
    But seconds after the A-321, with 148 passengers and seven crew members on board, commenced its take-off roll with full-on power, the tower controller, who physically keeps a watch on the runway, saw an IAF chopper touching down near the end of runway 27, which is near taxiway Charlie.

    "The A-321 had accelerated to a little above 120 knots (222 kmph) when the commander got the 'Stop Immediately' instruction three times from the ATC. Had the stop order been given three seconds later, or had the commander not acted quickly, it would have resulted in a crash since the A-321 would by then have crossed 145 knots (262 kmph), which was the decision speed for this flight, in three seconds,'' said an airline commander.
    Decision speed or V1 is that speed at or below which a takeoff can be safely aborted. Once an aircraft crosses that speed, the pilot has to continue the take-off procedure under any circumstances. Any attempt to brake or halt the aircraft after decision speed is likely to end in a crash as the plane would speed out of the runway.

    Then again, if such an incident had taken place on a rainy day, even at 120 knots, the A-321 would have crashed into the IAF helicopter as braking action is poor on a wet surface.
    The commander of the A-321, Captain S S Kohli (who is also an instructor pilot), wondered how the chopper could have landed when he (Kohli) had been given clearance by the ATC for take-off. "The chopper just landed without taking a landing clearance. I cannot say much more,'' Capt Kohli said. The commander steered the aircraft into rapid exit taxiway Whisky, which is located between the runway intersection

and the end of runway 27. The IAF helicopter was just 300 metres away from the A-321 when the latter came to a halt.
    "There seems to have been no communication between Pratap 1 and Pratap 2. Pratap 1, the only helicopter in touch with the Mumbai ATC, landed at 9.20 am and Pratap 2 landed at 9.17 am without informing the ATC,'' said an airport source, adding that as the choppers were flying low they were not detected on the radar.
    "It was a dramatic braking action as sparks flew and smoke rose from the aircraft wheels and fire brigade engines sped to the spot anticipating a fire,'' said the source. Said an A-320 commander, "It
could have ended in a catastrophe as all the ingredients for disaster were present. Here was an aircraft trying to stop at high speed with sparks flying off its wheel even as it sped along with full fuel tanks and a full passenger load.''
    The seriousness of the situation dawned on the passengers when the A-321 took the turn into the taxiway and the IAF chopper appeared in full view of the passengers. "There was complete silence inside the cabin. Then the commander informed us about the aborted take-off,'' said a cabin crew member on board the flight.

    At 9.20 am, Pratap 1 landed on runway 27, as scheduled, followed by the other IAF chopper at 9.21 am. Sources said that Pratap 1, which landed at 9.20 am, had Patil, along with Maharashtra governor S C Jamir and some other dignitaries on board. An IAF spokesman said in New Delhi, "The pilots of the chopper had followed the instructions for the Bombay approach meticulously. The presidential entourage was cleared to take off from INS Kunjali and land at Santa Cruz between the 'R' (Roger) and 'W' (Whiskey) taxiways. An inquiry has been ordered by the IAF into the incident''. The inquiry may include questioning of officials responsible for sanitizing the airport which is mandatory before and during VVIP movement.
    IAF sources said before every VVIP movement the airspace has to be closed for other flights, clearly indicating lapses on the part of the ground controlling authority. The President was to fly to Gondia by her special IAF plane to attend a function.

The A-321 is attended to immediately after the near-miss




Capt S S Kohli with his sons

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Many Nations Banning or Limiting Cell Phone Use by Children

While nations around the world are either banning or limiting cell phone use by children, and some by those under the age of 12 years-old, Health Canada has remained mum on the subject.

France is nearing the point where it will make it illegal to market cell phones to children.

Russian officials have recommended that children under the age of 18 years not use cell phones at all.

Similarly, the United Kingdom, Israel, Belgium, Germany and India have discouraged use of cell phones by children.

In Finland, the Radiation and Nuclear Power Authority has urged parents to err on the side of caution, because despite there being no definitive research indicating health risks related to the use of cell phones, there is also no definitive research indicating the absence of health risks from cell phone use. The truth is, cell phone use, and especially its wide use among children, is a relatively new phenomenon which has not yet enabled study of possible long term effects.

CBC-TV conducted a survey of 1,000 children in Canada; the results indicated that almost half of the children in the 9-13 year-old range have cell phones.

An epidemiologist, Professor Devra Davis, at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has been quoted as stating, "Because the latency between exposure and brain cancer could be 20 or 30 years...we are basically treating ourselves like lab rats in an experiment without any controls" (CBCNews.ca. 2009, January 22).

The fact is, children's brains are less dense--more porous--than adult brains. Radio frequency signals penetrate a child's brain more deeply than they do an adult's brain. Scans have confirmed that the low-level radiation emitted by cell phones penetrate the brain of a 5-year-old child more than halfway through.

Source: CBCnews.ca (2009, January 22). "Health Canada has little to say about cellphone risks for kids".

Note from Ben Kim: Another reason for keeping cell phones away from children is that the bones that make up their skulls are thinner than those of adults. Consequently, children have less protection against deep penetration of radio frequency signals into their brains.

Here are a few additional thoughts on minimizing exposure to radio frequency signals:

  1. The greatest exposure to radiation from a cell phone occurs within about half a foot of the emitting antenna, so be sure to keep your cell phone at least six inches away from all of your body parts whenever it's turned on.

  2. When you must use a cell phone, try to use it where reception is strong; weak reception requires that your phone emits more radiation, which leads to stronger radio waves that can affect your deeper tissues.

  3. Use a headset or at the very least, the speaker phone function when you must use your cell phone.

  4. When you're not using your cell phone, keep it turned off. Cell phones that are not in use but left on emit radiation on an intermittent basis.

  5. Minimize use of all other wireless devices, including cordless phones at home and at work. If you must use a wireless/cordless phone, choose an older version that operates at 900 MHz - though such phones still emit harmful waves when in use, they don't broadcast nonstop like higher frequency phones (2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, etc.).

If you're interested in getting a simple device - called a Gauss meter - that you can use to detect EMF activity around cell phones, cordless home phones, and other wireless devices, have a look at the Cell Sensor EMF Detector - it's relatively inexpensive, and it's what I use to look for "hot spots and devices" in our home and office from time to time.

Holding a Cell Sensor EMF Detector up against a cell phone and having it give off a strong and steady beep is a good way to help children and skeptical adults become more aware of the presence of electromagnetic fields.

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