World
In Beijing Ikea bans customers from napping on furniture

In the Beijing Ikea store, people can commonly be found sleeping peacefully and unabashedly on the display sofas and beds, a fact verified by Efe

 

Swedish furniture chain Ikea has banned customers from napping on the furniture displayed in a store in Beijing, where hundreds of shoppers come everyday to enjoy the air conditioning and furniture comforts with no intention of buying, Efe news agency reported.
 
The ban and other measures seek to exclude from the store all but those making purchases and to improve the brand's local image, reported Chinese media on Tuesday.
 
In the Beijing Ikea store, people can commonly be found sleeping peacefully and unabashedly on the display sofas and beds, a fact verified by Efe.
 
In order to expose its products to the Chinese market, Ikea initially opened additional showrooms of furnishings, inviting shoppers to “take a nap” on beds and sofas, reported the news website China.com.
 
After the workers of Beijing Ikea complained that “nappers” had become a real nuisance, creating an unsightly image for the Swedish company and discouraging potential buyers, the company decided to put an end to the promotion.
 
The trigger for this measure, noted workers of the establishment, came two years ago when an elderly woman helped her grandson to urinate in a plastic bottle while the child was standing on one of the display beds.
 
Despite Ikea's efforts, the Beijing store continues to experience difficulty ensuring customers adhere to the new regulations, according to China.com.
 
Many nappers allegedly refuse to obey staff or follow regulations and they slyly seek out zones hidden from view to prolong their comfortable siestas. 
 

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Multi-mode transport plan emphasising waterways on anvil: Gadkari

Five waterways have been approved by parliament, and the objective is to create numerous multimodal hubs that would not only be efficient but also reduce pollution, Gadkari said

 

The government is developing a multi-mode transportation plan with an emphasis on waterways to reduce the dependence on land transport, Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
 
Such a change would help industry in lowering overall logistics' costs and contribute to promoting trade, Gadkari said while addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry national conference and annual session here.
 
"While in China around 47 percent of goods and services are moved via water, the corresponding percentage in India is at a dismal 3.3 percent, including coastal shipping and inland waterways," the minister said.
 
He said the public-private partnership (PPP) model was more successful in waterways, and this assumed greater significance because it remains largely under-utilised in India.
 
Five waterways have been approved by parliament, and the objective is to create numerous multimodal hubs that would not only be efficient but also reduce pollution, Gadkari added.

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Now, monitor the quality of electricity supply online
Pune-based Prayas has developed a technology to monitor electricity supply quality, and hold electric utilities accountable for their performance
 
Pune-based Prayas Energy Group, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has developed an Energy Supply Monitoring Initiative (ESMI), to monitor the supply quality provided by electricity companies across the country. The supply quality data can be viewed in real time at www.watchyourpower.org, which would be useful in assessing hours of power supply and in comparing supply quality across different locations. As the data is both reliable and easily accessible, it can be used by consumers to become more aware of the quality of supply they receive. 
 
Consumers often face inconveniences owing to frequent interruptions in energy supply, low voltage and load shedding. This forces them to invest in alternative power sources or voltage stabilizers.
 
“Electric utilities continue to justify large capital expenditure and consequent tariff increase by citing the goal of improvement in supply quality. However, there is no independent mechanism to monitor the supply quality and hold electric utilities accountable for their performance. Through ESMI we want to provide evidence based feedback about the quality of supply to all stakeholders in the electricity sector, including distribution companies, regulatory commissions, government agencies, civil society organisations, and consumer groups. We hope that this will lead to improvement in the quality of supply and fairness in distribution of electricity in India,” Prayas says.
 
Using credible data from ESMI, consumers can now hold distribution companies accountable. Currently launched at 60 locations across eight states including five mega cities, Prayas plans to cover a few hundred more locations in the coming months. 
 
The Electricity Supply Monitor (ESM) is an internet of things (IoT) technology that can be easily installed at any location in an ordinary power supply socket. The ESM combines a voltage recorder and a communication modem; it records voltage every minute at its location and this information is then sent to a central server using a standard mobile data network.
 
 
ESMI will be beneficial to all stakeholders in supply of electricity. Regulators and policy makers can use the data to make investment decisions and improve effectiveness of various government programs and schemes. Both commercial and industrial consumers will be able to assess the quality of power in different regions in order to plan their operations. Researchers and scientists can use the information gathered from ESMI to study linkages between electricity supply and peoples’ health and livelihoods. Moreover, the data will help increasing accountability of power supply distributors and push them to improve the supply quality and fairness in distribution of electricity in all areas across the country.
 
The ESMI was one of the finalists for the Google Impact Challenge, India, 2013 given to NGOs using technology for social impact. 
 
Here is the link to a short presentation that provides an overview of ESMI and sample analysis based on data collected till now:  www.slideshare.net/PrayasEnergy/introduction-to-electricity-supply-monitoring-initiative-esmi

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COMMENTS

Parimal Shah

2 years ago

We need some application about theft of electricity - this being the biggest leakage of both our electricity and our money.

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