Citizens' Issues
As oil prices decline, big is once again beautiful at Auto Expo
Greater Noida : The stars were there in large numbers. Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Zaheer Khan, Mohinder Amarnath and top racing driver Karun Chondok came to lend some of the shine of their stellar names to the vehicles on display at the Auto Expo here, some 30 km from the Delhi border.
 
But on Thursday, the big cars were the real heroes, sought after by visitors in large numbers. Officials expect those numbers to swell when the show is opened to public on Friday. 
 
Notwithstanding the anxiety over recent Supreme Court ruling banning any fresh registration of diesel-powered large SUVs and cars (over 2,000 cc) till March, every player in this segment has something new to offer at the India Expo Mart. 
 
Perhaps the declining price of oil has convinced manufacturers that big is once more beautiful. 
 
It not as if the hatchbacks and sedans are not vying with their dazzling displays. But in the desire for owning a vehicle, the sports utility vehicles win hands down. 
 
Compact SUVs and multi-utility vehicles (MUV) seem to be the flavour now. More than a dozen such vehicles are making their debut as part of 80 new offerings that the 13th edition of the Auto Expo is promising to some 600,000 visitors expected till February 9.
 
One example would be the Mahindra Aero XUV which was showcased in front of the media on Thursday. An in-house Mahindra design, the SUV is powered by a mHawk 210 HP engine which houses a Next Gen turbo boost, delivering high torque.
 
Loads of fans came to view the vehicle, some even saying that they would be interested in buying it irrespective of the new emission laws put in place in the national capital.
 
Elsewhere, India's love for cricket was evident as Tendulkar, brand ambassador of BMW, came to give a boost to the car's image. Kohli launched an Audi sports car.
 
Amarnath and Zaheer, on the other hand, came in as a part of the International Cricket Council (ICC) initiative. They launched two ICC limited edition cars to commemorate the upcoming 2016 World Twenty20 to be held in India.
 
Tendulkar was, as always, followed around by legions of his fans who, for the moment, forgot about the cars when they saw him.
 
Former Formula 1 racer Chandhok was also a crowd puller. The auto-enthusiasts spotted him and managed to hold him off, asking for selfies and autographs.
 
"It has been quite chaotic, hasn't it" Chandhok, who is a Nissan GT Academy coach, asked while speaking to IANS.
 
"The Auto Expo has been developed into a great show. I came here in 1993 with my dad. I was a young boy at that time. Obviously it has changed a lot now. It is a great place for manufacturers to showcase their products," added the Chennai-resident.
 
A top upcoming Indian racer, Aditya Patel, was spotted at the entrance.
 
"The passes and tickets have been in high demand. I am waiting here to give some passes to a whole bunch of friends," Patel said.
 
Raymond Group chairman Gautam Singhania, a self-confessed car enthusiast, was seen checking out the newly unveiled Nissan GT-R.
 
"It is a nice car but they have got the 2015 edition. It is a cult car. I also enjoy the Ferraris because I race them. The Ford Mustang was nice so was the Wrangler Jeep," Singhania said in a brief chat.
 
"It could have been done bigger though, closer to New Delhi as this place is very far from the airport. I was supposed to come here on Saturday for a function but I am not going to make it now," added Singhania before heading to the Audi pavilion.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Close shave for passengers as train derails near Vellore
Chennai : It was a narrow escape for the passengers of the Bengaluru-bound Kanyakumari-Bangalore City Express after four of its coaches derailed in Vellore district, around 170 km from here, the Southern Railway said.
 
There were conflicting reports about the number of passengers injured in the accident, with some placing the number at 15, while others 40. 
 
The Southern Railway in a statement said the coaches derailed at 4.15 a.m. between Somanayakkanpatti and Patchur of the Bangalore Railway Division.
 
No lives were lost in the accident.
 
According to railways, buses were arranged to transport passengers to Bengaluru and senior officials have reached the accident spot.
 
Owing to the accident the Southern Railway has cancelled 11 trains between Chennai-Bengaluru, Jolarpettai-Bengaluru and Arakonam-Bengaluru.
 
The Chennai-Mysore Shadabdi Express for Friday has been partially cancelled between Jolarpettai and Mysore. 
 
Similarly, the Mysore-Chennai Shadabdi Express has been partially cancelled between Mysore and Jolarpettai.
 
Train number 16614 between Coimbatore-Rajkot has been diverted via Tirupattur, Jolarpettai, Katpadi and Renigunta.
 
For Passengers' assistance, the following help line numbers are provided by the Southern Railway:
 
Madurai: 0452-2308250 
Salem: 0427-2431947 
Trichur: 0487-2430060 
Thiruvananthapuram: 0471-2320012 
Palakkad: 0491-2555231 / 0491-2556198 
Bangalore: 080-22156553, 080-22156554, 080-22873103 
Bangalore Cantonment: 080-23339162 
Krishnarajapuram: 080-25650308
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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CBI prosecution of Maharashtra ex-CM Ashok Chavan gets governor's nod
Mumbai : In a major embarrassment to the opposition Congress, Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao here on Thursday accorded sanction to the CBI to prosecute former chief minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh Society scam.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), through its letter dated October 8, 2015, sought the governor's sanction to prosecute Chavan under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code after "fresh incriminating material" was allegedly found against Chavan.
 
Reacting to the development, Chavan said: "The CBI's re-application to the governor to prosecute me is illegal. I will react in detail after consulting my legal advisors."
 
Chavan is currently a Lok Sabha member from Nanded in Maharashtra and the state Congress president. 
 
Condemning the governor's sanction for Chavan's prosecution, senior party leader and MLC Sanjay Dutt termed it "BJP's vendetta politics to throttle the opposition expose on their misdoings".
 
The CBI included in its request for prosection sanction a report by a two-member Commission of Inquiry, comprising Justice J.A. Patil (retd) and former chief secretary P. Subramanian, besides Bombay High Court observations in a criminal revision application filed in 2014.
 
Accordingly, Rao granted the sanction to prosecute the Congress leader under Section 197 of CrPC and Sections 120-B and 420 of the Indian Penal Code in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society case.
 
The Maharashtra cabinet, at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last week, recommended to the governor to accord the sanction.
 
In its report, the commission of inquiry had indicted four former chief ministers - Chavan, late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar-Patil, also revenue minister at the relevant time - besides several top bureaucrats and other officials for their role in the high-profile scam.
 
The commission was set up in January 2011. However, its report and recommendations were rejected by the then Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government in December 2013.
 
Chavan, 57, served as the chief minister between December 2008 and November 2010 before he was replaced by Prithviraj Chavan following the scam. he is a son of former Congress strongman S.B. Chavan, a union minister and two-time chief minister of Maharashtra.
 
The scam revolved around the allotment of flats in a 31-storey building constructed on a plot of land in the upmarket Colaba area of south Mumbai.
 
On September 21, 1999, the Adarsh Society applied for land for constructing a building for war heroes and retired defence personnel. It was allotted the land reserved for a road on July 9, 2004.
 
After the posh building was constructed, only 37 of the total 102 society members were defence personnel, including three related to the Kargil war. The remaining included several top politicians and serving or retired bureaucrats or their kin.
 
Ever since the scam broke out, the controversial towering building is lying vacant with no power or water supply. Chavan resigned as chief minister after the Congress Party asked him to do so over corruption allegations.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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