Monday, December 30, 2013

'Will Build Pit Line in Khanapur'

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge flagging off the Humanabad-Bidar DEMU train at Humanabad railway station on Sunday

A railway pit line will be constructed at Khanapur of Bhalki taluk in Bidar district at a cost of `10 crore and the project will be inaugurated in 15 days, said Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

He was speaking at the commissioning of the Khanapur-Humanabad new rail line and flagging off the Humanabad-Bidar Diesel Multiple Unit (DEMU) train at Humanabad railway station on Sunday.

“Due to the lack of a pit line, we could not run the Bidar-Yesvantpur train regularly. The regular service of the train will start by March-April,” he said.

The parliament has approved the proposal to set up a railway administrative office at Gulbarga, he said.

Kharge instructed South Central railway general Manager P K Shrivatsav to complete the remaining line between Humanabad and Gulbarga within two years. He said `200 crore was spent on the 37.20 km new railway line between Khanapur and Humanabad (part of the Bidar-Gulbarga rail line project) and `18 crore for the Bidar-Humanabad DEMU train. Bhalki railway station will be renovated at a cost of `50 lakh, he added.

“The 106.60 kilometre long new railway line between Bidar and Gulbarga was sanctioned at a cost of `369.70 crore. This is a 50:50 cost sharing project between the Ministry of Railways and the government of Karnataka. The total expenditure on the project was `397.61 crore by November 2013.

The revised cost of the project is estimated at around `839.83 crore and has been vetted by the Finance ministry, said Kharge.

Former chief minister and Bidar MP N Dharam Singh, Humanabad MLA Rajshekhar Patil and Bhalki MLA Eshwar Khandre also spoke.

MLC Basavaraj Patil Humanabad, Chincholi MLA Dr Umesh Jadhav, ZP president Santoshamma Pundalikappa Koudyal, South Central Railway General Manager Shrivatsav and other officials were present.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nanded-Bangalore Express catches fire in Andhra Pradesh, 26 charred to death

 In a tragic incident, a coach of Nanded-Bangalore Express caught fire here early Saturday.

At least 26 passengers, including 12 women and two children, were burnt to death when an air-conditioned coach of the Bangalore-Nanded Express caught fire near Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh, officials said.

"Of the 65 passengers in the AC-3-tier B-1 coach, 39 escaped the blaze with injuries and 15 of them were admitted to hospitals at Anantapur and Puttaparthi for emergency treatment," South Western Railway spokesman S Biswas told a news agency.

The ill-fated train left Bangalore at 10:45 pm on Friday for an overnight journey to Nanded in Maharashtra, about 1,040 km away.

Though the exact cause of the fire is not known, railway officials suspect a short circuit in the AC coach could have triggered the inferno.

Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar said prima facie there could be two reasons - one is short circuit and the other presence of inflammable material.

"Preliminary reports indicate that the cause of the fire was electrical short-circuit near the Air-Conditioning Unit," Andhra Director General of Police B Prasada Rao said.

The blaze spread rapidly in the early hours (around 3 am) when the train was travelling towards Dharmavaram from Kothacheruvu station after leaving Prashanti Nilayam station at Puttaparthi pilgrim town, about 150 km from Bangalore.

"A couple of passengers who jumped out of the burning coach reported seeing fire in the electrical unit at one end of the coach and flames spreading across rapidly as the coach has sealed windows and hydraulic air-tight doors on either side," a railway engineer, supervising the rescue and relief operations, told a news agency from the spot.

The gutted coach was carrying passengers to Nanded and other destinations en-route. The train passes through north Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Marathwada region of eastern Maharashtra.

The blazing coach was detached from the vestibule train soon after passengers noticed flames leaping out of it and the train was suddenly stopped. Some of the survivors jumped out of the burning coach after breaking window panes of its toilet.

Read more detail here

Friday, December 27, 2013

Centre sanctions two more NIMZs at Bidar and Gulbarga

The ministry of commerce and industry has approved two more National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) in Karnataka. The second and third NIMZs will be set up at Bidar and Gulbarga. The ministry has already sanctioned the first such zone in Tumkur, for which land acquisition is under progress.

Anand Sharma, minister for commerce and industry today said the ministry is awaiting proposal for one more NIMZ in the state. He reviewed the progress of various proposals of Karnataka government along with chief minister Siddaramaiahand government officials, here today.

“We have reviewed the progress of National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) in the state of Karnataka. The new government headed by Siddaramaiah had proposed to set up three more NIMZs in Karnataka and had sent proposal for two and we have approved their proposal,” Sharma told reporters.

He said each of these NIMZ would require at least 5,000 acres land and the government of India would provide assistance for creating the infrastructure. “NIMZ is one of the biggest policy rollouts of UPA government with a view to increase the share of manufacturing from 16 per cent to 25 per cent of the GDP. We have approved 14 NIMZs so far, of which eight will come up along the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor,” he said.

These NIMZs will be developed as standalone integrated industrial townships. The land will be the equity of state governments and government of India will provide infrastructure, he said.

Sharma said the government has also agreed to provide the status of NIMZ to the proposed Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) near international airport in Bangalore. All the incentives being provided to units in NIMZ will be extended to ITIR, he said.

The minister also reviewed the progress of two industrial corridors passing through Karnataka. The first one is Bangalore Chennai Industrial Corridor, which will be extended to Chitradurga. “We have accepted the proposal to extend it up to Chitradurga. The government of Japan, which is partnering in this project, has also agreed. The master plan is completed and the second phase of feasibility report is being done,” he said.

The second industrial corridor is the 1,000-km long Bangalore Mumbai Industrial Corridor, for which the government of United Kingdom will be the partner. This is expected to attract $25 billion investment and create employment for 2.5 million young people. The feasibility study has been commissioned for the project, he said.

“There will be a joint steering committee between the UK and government of India, which will be constituted soon. Both the government of UK and government of India will come out with innovative financing for this project,” he said.

The minister also reviewed many other proposals of Karnataka government such as setting up of a convention centre under the ASIDE scheme. The government of India will give Rs 20 crore assistance for this project, he said.

The government has also approved upgradation of NID centre for R&D into a full-fledged educational campus with more post-graduate and graduate courses under the 12th plan period.

Agriculture Produce Export and Development Authority will set up more cold storages and pack houses at the Bangalore international airport for the export of perishable commodities. The commerce ministry has also approved a proposal for setting up of a Chilli Park in Haveri and a Pepper Park jointly Spices Board, for which the location is yet to be finalised.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bid to improve quality of education in Bidar

Bidar district seems to be on the cusp of a revolution in the educational sector. Officials are pooling resources from Central and State government schemes to increase the level of reach and quality of education.

They start from streamlining the quality of the teaching-learning process in schools, rehabilitating dropouts, increasing access to higher education and creating vocational education opportunities.

“We are initiating small steps. Their impact will only be felt 10 years later,” said P.C. Jaffer, Deputy Commissioner.


Dr. Jaffer, who has a Ph.D. in Education from Jamia Milia Islamia University, New Delhi, has drawn up a comprehensive plan to address issues in the education sector. These include long-term and short-term interventions.

The process of identifying issues and addressing them will be taken up by a district-level agency consisting of government officials and citizens.

The short-term interventions include identifying problems in primary and secondary education. The first stage of conducting a baseline survey of the quality of teaching in government schools has been completed.

“This taught us that a lot of work needs to be done at the grassroots. We learnt that if we have to develop higher education, we need to strengthen the foundations of primary education,” Basava Kumar Patil, president of the Kalyan Karnataka Pratishtan Trust, a NGO working in the field of education, said.

Night classes

Special night classes are being held for low performing schools. Resource persons from Central universities such as English and Foreign Languages University are being deputed to train teachers of 1,350 government primary schools. Resource persons from the Karnataka Vigyan Parishat have been requested to train teachers in science and mathematics.

“I have told Chief Minister Siddaramaiah that implementation of Article 371-J is meaningless without training our youth to make them competitive and employable,” N. Dharam Singh, MP, said.

“A long list of demands has been submitted to the Union and State governments to help us set up new institutions. The Chief Minister has promised me that the district will get more secondary schools, block institutes of teacher education, an ITI and girls hostels under Rashtriya Madhyamika Shiksha Abhiyan,” he said.


The demands include a new Kendriya Vidyalaya in the civil sector.

The present one serves only children of Air Force personnel.

A Community College to train SSLC and PUC drop outs in vocational skills, opening a Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Open University to strengthen correspondence education and opening a Residential Coaching academy for the IAS and other examinations. M. M. Pallam Raju, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, has promised that these demands would be met, the MP said.

“The government has been requested to provide facilities at the postgraduate centre of Gulbarga University at Halahalli near Bidar. This includes appointment of permanent teachers, more buildings, improvement of the library and extending career guidance to students. We have also asked for more government degree colleges with more courses, building and staff,” Mr. Singh added.

  • ‘Process of identifying issues in education sector will be taken up by a district-level agency’
  • We are initiating small steps, the impact will only be felt 10 years later: Deputy Commissioner

Monday, December 16, 2013

ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿ ವಿಸ್ತರಣೆ

ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆ 9 ಅನ್ನು ಚತುಷ್ಪಥ ರಸ್ತೆಯಾಗಿ ಉನ್ನತೀಕರಿಸುವ ಕಾರ್ಯವನ್ನು ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿ ಪ್ರಾಧಿಕಾರ ಆರಂಭಿಸಿದೆ.

ಗಡಿ ಪ್ರವೇಶದ ಭಂಗೂರ ಗ್ರಾಮದಿಂದ ರಾಜೇಶ್ವರ ವರೆಗೆ ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿ ಅಕ್ಕಪಕ್ಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳೆದಿರುವ ಮರಗಳನ್ನು ಕಡಿಯುವ ಕೆಲಸ ಭರದಿಂದ ಸಾಗಿದೆ. ಮಾವು, ಆಲ, ನೀಲಗಿರಿ ಜಾತಿಯ ಮರಗಳು ಧರೆಗುರುಳಿ­ಸುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ಪರಿಸರ ಪ್ರೇಮಿಗಳಿಗೆ ನೋವುಂಟು­ಮಾಡಿದೆ.

ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿ ಮಧ್ಯದಿಂದ 25 ಮೀಟರ್ ವಿಸ್ತೀರ್ಣದ ಅಂತರದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ ಎರಡು ಬದಿಯ ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮರಗಳನ್ನು ಕಡಿಯುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಇಲಾಖೆಯಿಂದ ಟೆಂಡರ್ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆ ನಡೆದಿದ್ದು, ಭಂಗೂರ ಗ್ರಾಮದಿಂದ ರಾಜೇಶ್ವರವರೆಗೆ ವಿವಿಧ ಬಗೆಯ ಮರ­ಗಳನ್ನು ಕಡಿಯಲಾಗುತ್ತಿದೆ.

25 ಮೀಟರ್ ಅಂತರದಿಂದ ಹೊರಗೆ ಉಳಿದ ಮರಗಳು ಆ ಭೂಮಿ ಒಡೆತನದ ರೈತರಿಗೆ ಉಳಿಯಲಿವೆ’ ಎಂದು ಹುಮನಾಬಾದ್ ವಲಯ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿ ಚಿಕ್ಕಮಠ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ನೀಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಚತುಷ್ಪಥ ರಸ್ತೆಯು ರಸ್ತೆ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ ಕಾರ್ಯದ ಬಳಿಕ ಅರಣ್ಯ ಇಲಾಖೆಯು ಹೆದ್ದಾರಿಯ ಎರಡು ಬದಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವಿಧ ತಳಿಯ ಹೊಸ ಸಸಿಗಳು ನೆಡಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ ಎಂದರು.


Bidar gets animal care unit

It run by the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal, and Fisheries Sciences University

A state-of-the-art critical care unit for animals was started at the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal, and Fisheries Sciences University on Chidri Road here on Friday.

“This is the first hospital in the district providing emergency medical services to animals. It has testing, life support systems, and post operative treatment facilities in the general medicine, surgery and gynecology wings,” C. Renuka Prasad, Vice-Chancellor, KVAFSU, said. “It will provide quality treatment to animals and reduce mortality rates among cattle and small animals. This will reduce the loss of animal rearing farmers. This will also make our students better veterinarians,” he said.

“The unit has been set up with funding from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research. We have several other plans to strengthen the teaching–learning process in the university,” Suresh Honnappagol, assistant director-general (education quality assurance and reforms), who inaugurated the centre on Friday, told The Hindu .

The hospital has a large animal screening area, pet treatment area, diagnostic facilities such as X- ray, ECG, ultra sound scanning, pathology laboratory, and a well-equipped operation theatre for large animals. It also has an artificial insemination centre and inpatient care facilities. The laboratory has blood sampling facilities. It is also equipped with instruments to carry out bio-chemical estimations of patients.

“The hospital will reduce the reaction time in the treatment of animals,” M. Khaja, assistant professor, who is in charge of the gynaecology wing in the hospital, said, adding “We will help pet lovers by offering treatment and counselling on pet keeping.”


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bidar may get an interactive district innovation centre

Centre will work as a forum for exploring novel methods

The district administration plans to set up a district innovation centre, comprising resource persons of the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Science University, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, College of Horticulture and four engineering colleges.

Deputy Commissioner P.C. Jaffer said here on Monday that this would be an interdisciplinary forum for exchange of thoughts and exploring innovative methods between research institutions and the public.

He was speaking at a meeting of officials from the Department of Industries and representatives of colleges and trade bodies.

Dr. Jaffer said the resource persons will interact with farmers, traders, housewives and government officials, and find out if their problems can be solved through technology. Then, the teachers in engineering colleges will work with those in veterinary and horticulture colleges and the KVK, to draft plans for implementing technical tools to solve them.

According to estimates, over 700 engineering students pass out every year from the district. Colleges should consider asking them to take up projects that could help farmers and other groups, he said.

The Department of Industries has decided to support some clusters in the district.

It will fund automobile and bangle cutting clusters in Basava Kalyan and Bidriware and fabrication clusters in Bidar. It has also sought proposals from farmers for a horticulture cluster to process cashew and custard apple, he said.

Each cluster will get up to Rs. 2 crore funds, with beneficiary contribution being only 10 per cent.

The progress on industries-related clusters was satisfactory, while the horticulture cluster projects were yet to be approved.

Horticulture cluster

Praveen Naikodi and Praveen Jholgikar, resource persons from the College of Horticulture, gave details of the horticulture cluster. These horticulture-based industries would help raise income-levels of farmers and provide employment to members of self-help groups, they said.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Sultanpur farmers savour the sweet taste of success

Rajkumar M. (left), assistant professor of entomology, College of Horticulture, Bidar, with Kashinath Hugar, a farmer who has taken to beekeeping in Sultanpur village. Photo: Gopichand T.

Flower growers in the village have been introduced to apiculture

Sultanpur village, known across Bidar district for its flowers, is soon likely to be known for its honey too, thanks to an initiative of the College of Horticulture, Bidar.

The village lies in the Manjra river valley on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border. Most of the 200 farmer families in the village are into flower cultivation. As part of an internal arrangement, they grow various varieties of flowers to have an assured harvest every month. The flowers are sold either in retail shops here or in the wholesale market in Hyderabad.

Rajkumar M., assistant professor of entomology, said, “During a visit to Sultanpur, we realised that pollen-bearing flowers were found round the year in the village and that the use of pesticides and insecticides was minimal. We thought this would be an ideal place to start promoting apiculture (beekeeping).”

Promoting IFS

“When we were planning to train farmers, the State government announced a scheme to promote integrated farming system (IFS). Under the scheme, farmers are trained in agricultural diversification and provided financial incentives. We placed an order for 25 beehive boxes from the government apiculture farm in Sirsi, Uttara Kannada, and provided them free of cost to farmers in Sultanpur in October,” said Mr. Rajkumar, who is coordinating the IFS project.

Resource persons from Sirsi, along with Mr. Rajkumar and Brahma Dattatri, technical assistant of the IFS scheme, trained farmers in beekeeping.

“The response has been encouraging. We plan to double the number of boxes this year and train beekeepers in post-harvest technologies and branding,” he said.

Kashinath Hugar, whose family has been growing flowers for generations, wonders why he did not think of beekeeping earlier. “I’m happy that the college introduced me to it. I will setup four more bee boxes,” he said. He harvested honey from the first batch of beehives earlier this week and is preparing boxes for the next batch.

Kalyanrao Sangappa, who grows 11 varieties of flowers, said he was reading up about producing honey with different flavours. He plans to manufacture bee boxes on his farm using locally available materials.

Sharanappa Basavaraj has enrolled his name in the next list of beneficiaries and is eagerly waiting for the boxes. He plans to place the boxes near his farm where he grows onions.

The college has supplied colonies of Asiatic honey bee (Apis cerana indica) to farmers. They are best suited for the Indian climate and can be easily domesticated, Mr. Rajkumar added.