PTI, New Delhi, 6 May : For the first time in India's aviation history, seaplane operations are likely to begin in Andaman and Nicobar islands in October this year, with state-owned Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited (PHHL) planning to launch its services.
"We plan to launch seaplane operations by 15 October," PHHL CMD R K Tyagi said at a seminar on helicopter operations here, adding that the operations would be launched jointly by the public sector chopper firm and the island administration to operate sorties for tourists and inter-island movements. The PHHL, which currently operates helicopter services in the group of islands, also plans similar services in Goa and Lakshadweep after the Andaman operations settle down.
The public sector chopper firm plans to wet-lease one seaplane, likely from a Mauritius-based company, for one year. The cost of the project, which is to be shared 50:50 with the island administration, would be about Rs six to eight crore.
"There is a good scope of operating three to four seaplanes in the region, but we will wait for the launch operations to take shape first," the PHHL chief said, adding that the seaplanes would either be eight or 16 seaters.
Not To Vote Right န Don't want to vote, fill form 49-0
PTI, New Delhi, 6 May : If you are dissatisfied with the candidate of your area, then just don't sit at home, instead voice your disapproval by filling Form 49-O at the polling booth tomorrow on V-day which gives you a right to not to vote. "Though there is no such button (right not to vote) on an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), there is a provision in the law to ask for Form 49-O at polling booths. "A voter can exercise his/her right to not to vote. We have instructed our presiding officers to give the forms who demand for it," Deputy Chief Electoral Officer JK Sharma said.
He said in this election, they will also compile a data on the number of people opting for such forms in the city where polls are being held in seven constituencies on 7 May. As per the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, the voter deciding not to vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.
However, even if the number of voters who choose to exercise their option not to vote through Form O exceeds the margin of votes secured by the winning candidate over the runner up, it will not invalidate the election, Sharma added.
Polling to 85 LS seats along with Singur-Nandigram
Kolkata, 6 May : The second phase of elections in West Bengal will be of interest not just to politicos but also India Inc with Nandigram and Singur, the two areas which hit the spotlight for anti-industrialisation protests, going to the hustings Thursday.
With one round over in the state and one more to go on 13 May, more than 21 million voters spread across 17 constituencies in seven southern districts will choose their representatives in parliament from among 134 candidates, the most high profile among them being Congress veteran and Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The two trouble spots that have hit the international spotlight will also vote. Singur, the original site of Tata Motors' Nano factory in Hooghly district, comes under the Hooghly parliamentary seat. Nandigram, which became a synonym for political violence after protests over land being acquired for a chemical hub, falls under the Tamluk Lok Sabha constituency in East Midnapore. National and international poll watchers will be closely following the verdict in the two areas to gauge the relative potency of the twin issues of industrialisation and anti-land acquisition protests, common in developing countries like India where bulk of the land is fertile and a majority of the people cultivators.
Howrah, 6 May : Altogether two persons were killed and as many injured today while making bombs in Aamta area of Howrah district, just two days ahead of the 7 May polls, police said.
The injured, who were getting treatment at a nursing home in Udaynarayanpur area, were taken into police custody, Howrah Superintendent of Police Neeraj K Singh told Bengal Newz today. He, however, refused to divulge whether they were associated with any political party.
Local Trinamool leaders alleged that they were making bombs at the behest of CPI(M), who are conspiring to disrupt the poll process by unleashing violence.
Inaugurated about a year ago, the state-of-the-art unit is the only BSL-III laboratory in eastern India. It is well-equipped to carry out tests, research and surveillance during outbreaks of highly contagious diseases like bird flu, SARS and the latest swine flu.
"We had to seek requisitions since swine flu is something new and we did not have any testing kits and reagents for this particular influenza. Those are expected to arrive in a day or two. Once they reach us, we will be able to carry out tests in case of human infection of H1N1," said Shekhar Chakraborty, deputy director of NICED.
Gandhi had on Tuesday said in New Delhi that the Congress looked forward to working with the Left parties in the post-poll scenario while expressing confidence that the communists would accept Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister in a Congress-led disposition.