Citizens' Issues
ED raids firms allegedly linked with Chidambaram's son
Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Tuesday conducted searches at offices allegedly connected with former finance minister P.Chidambaram's son Karti P. Chidambaram here.
 
However, the officials are tightlipped on the reasons behind the searches.
 
Reacting to the raids, Chidambaram said in a statement: "If the government wishes to target me, they should do so directly, not harass friends of my son who carry on their own businesses and have nothing to do with politics."
 
"We have made it clear, repeatedly, that no member of my family has any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted. They are companies that are professionally managed and are capable of answering any questions that may be put to them by the authorities. I condemn the attempt to link them to my son and harass them on that ground," he said.
 
According to Chidambaram, the government agenda is being implemented by an ED officer who has a pending dispute with the Department of Revenue in the finance ministry.
 
"Orders in his case were apparently passed during the term of my predecessor. He met me and wanted me to intervene in his favour. I declined and I told him that I cannot reverse orders that were issued during the term of my predecessor. The change of government has given him an opportunity to misuse his powers to harass my son and his friends," he said.
 
"My family and I are quite prepared to face the malicious onslaught launched by the government," he added.
 
Attempts by IANS to reach Chidambaram and Karti Chidambaram were not successful.
 
In a different issue, there were reports this September of the ED registering a case against Karti Chidambaram for money laundering in the Rajasthan ambulance scam case.
 
In response, Karti Chidamabaram said that he had "not received any notice from any agency. I came to know about this from news reports".
 
The case was against Ziquita Healthcare Ltd., which had been awarded the ambulance service contract, now under investigation. 
 
Karti Chidambaram said he was an independent director in Ziquita Healthcare till 2012 and the last board meeting of the company he had attended was in 2008.
 
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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State operated buses might run on batteries: Gadkari
Aimed at cutting the huge crude oil import bill, the government is mulling converting diesel guzzling state-run buses across the country into battery-operated vehicles, union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Tuesday.
 
Addressing the 115th Annual General Meeting of the Bharat Chamber of Commerce here, he also said the central government was targeting two percent contribution by the roads and highways sector to the national GDP growth and creating about 50 lakh jobs, within the next two years.
 
"Currently, ten lithium ion battery-operated buses are being built in Pune and on a pilot basis they will be operated for three-four months.
 
"If the pilot project is successful, the entire fleet of 1,50,000 state run buses which now run on diesel will be converted into battery operated. Besides being pollution free, this will also help in reducing the huge Rs.8 lakh crore that we spend on crude import," said Gadkari.
 
The minister said there have been "positive" talks with German development bank KfW on providing loan for the project of converting the entire fleet of state-run buses.
 
He informed that the lithium ion batteries that cost around Rs.55 lakh in the west, have now been developed by the ISRO in collaboration with Automative Research Association of India at around Rs.5 lakh.
 
"Our target is to ensure that the sector contributes at least two percent to the GDP growth and create about 50 lakh jobs, in the next few years," said Gadkari, claiming that under the BJP led government, road infrastructure was making rapid progress.
 
Lamenting "years of neglect" towards agriculture, he batted for bio fuels including ethanol and said the use of the non-conventional fuel will help in changing crop patterns that will boost agriculture.
 
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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Mumbai-Nagpur road 80% of the Rs52,000 crore infra projects just sanctioned

The CM Devendra Fadnavis, who hails from Nagpur, has asked the MSRDC to complete all the projects by 2019

 

The Maharashtra government has approved infrastructure projects, including Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, tunnels bridges on Mumbai-Pune expressway and east coast water transport project.

 
In a meeting the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure, headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the government also approved Thane-Borivali tunnel under the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a new 12kms tunnel through the Lonavla hills for a road parallel to the existing ghat section of the Mumbai-Pune expressway, and a six-lane bridge parallel to the existing Vashi creek bridge.
 
Quoting officials from Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), a report from DNA, says, the east coast water transport project worth Rs300 crore was also approved during the meeting. It will operate at three nodes - Ferry Wharf, Mandwa and Nerul. The construction of the terminals will take around 12-14 months, which means the operations will begin in early 2017. CIDCO is expected to float tenders next week while the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has split the work into packages, the report says.
 
Some other projects which were approved include the 4-km elevated road (Rs800 crore) on Ghodbunder Road (Thane) from Gaimukh to beyond the forest area. The construction of a third bridge on the Thane creek at Vashi (Rs800 crore), an underground tunnel between Thane and Borivali, an elevated road at Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Shil Phata (Rs2,600 crore), 27 rail over bridges in Vidarbha (Rs 800 crore) and the four-laning of the Vakan-Pali-Khopoli road (Rs500 crore) are also planned.
 
The new Vashi creek bridge will make the bridge section 12-lane wide to match the existing width of the rest of Sion-Panvel highway.
 
An elevated road on the Thane-Ghodbunder road and between Bhiwandi and Shilphata via Kalyan will make vehicle movement faster Panvel, Navi Mumbai and Dombivili from Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Borivili and Thane.
 
Chief Minister Fadnavis has asked the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) that will implement the projects to complete them by 2019. 
 
Here are the major projects and estimated costs...
  1. Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Highway -    Rs41,200 crore
  2. Thane-Borivali Tunnel -                                                     Rs3,000 crore
  3. Bhiwandi-Kalyan-Shilphata Elevated Road -                  Rs2,600 crore
  4. Rail over bridges at 27 places in Vidarbha -                    Rs810 crore
  5. Vashi creek bridge -                                                             Rs800 crore
  6. Wakan-Pali-Khopoli four lane connector -                        Rs500 crore

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