Indian Navy planning to issue world’s largest helicopters tender

The Indian Navy is planning to procure these new multirole helicopters for carrying out anti-submarine warfare, Special Forces' operations and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare

New Delhi: In one of the world's largest tenders for multirole helicopters, the Indian Navy is planning to procure more than 75 such choppers at an estimated cost of over $4 billion to meet the demand of its expanding area of operations, reports PTI.

The Navy had recently asked global helicopter vendors to provide details about naval multirole helicopters and is planning to issue a global Request for Proposal (RFP) in this regard very soon.

"The Indian Navy would require more than 75 of these Naval Multirole Helicopters (NMRH) and this would be world's largest tender for multirole helicopters," US defence major Lockheed Martin's Vice President for Ship and Aviation Systems George Barton told PTI in the capital.

The Navy is planning to procure these new NMRH for carrying out anti-submarine warfare, Special Forces' operations and anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.

Mr Barton said the US Navy operates a fleet of over 350 MH-60 variants. The Indian Navy is already holding a competition for procuring 16 multirole helicopters in which European NH-90 and American Sikorsky S-70 Bravo are in the race.

The Navy at present relies on its fleet of Sea King helicopters which were inducted in two different phases in the 80s.

The Navy would require these multirole choppers in view of its expanding fleet size and expansion in its area of responsibility with the government stating that country's strategic interest ranges from the Gulf of Aden to the Malacca Straits.

The Indian Army and the Air Force have also issued a tender for procuring 197 light utility helicopters but the worth of the choppers in the naval tender is expected to be much more than that as they would be equipped with complex machinery and weapon systems.


Goa Pollution Board issues show causes notices to 40 mining companies

The mining companies have been accused of extracting ore much beyond permissible limit

Panaji: The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has issued show-cause notices to 40 mining firms for allegedly extracting ore much beyond permissible limit, reports PTI.

These companies have been asked why appropriate action under relevant laws should not be initiated against them. They have been given three dates, 11th, 13th and 16th April to appear before the board with relevant documents and submit their replies, a GSPCB official said on Friday.

The mines found to be extracting ore in excess of their stipulated limit will have their consent under Water and Air Pollution Control Act revoked, the official said.

Several mines in the state have been under the scanner for allegedly extracting ore beyond permissible limit set under the Environment Clearance (EC) issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

Goa has 90 operational mining leases, which tapped 43 million tonnes of ore during the last financial year.


Viom plans to run 30% of towers on alternate power resources

TRAI, in a report, had also said in the next five years, at least 50% of rural towers and 33% of urban towers are to be powered by hybrid power or renewable energy technologies

New Delhi : As part of its efforts to create a 'green' mobile network and reduce carbon footprint, telecom infrastructure company Viom Networks aims to run about 25%-30% of its towers on alternate resources in the next two years.

"We are targeting to run over 2,000 towers on solar power in the next two years. Our target is to run over 25%-30% on alternate energy sources in the same period," Viom Networks President Umang Das told PTI.

The company operates over 38,000 towers in the country. He added that their solar-based projects have resulted in reduction of diesel consumption by around 50%. Viom has conducted electrolysis-based fuel cells trials and is also exploring the possibility of using piped natural gas to run their sites.

"The outcome of all these initiatives is very encouraging and these are being appreciated by our customers," he said.

According to estimates, the Indian telecom tower industry has about 3.5 lakh towers and over Rs8,500 crore is spent a year on diesel to run these sites.

"Diesel is an expensive fuel with high cost of movement as well as storage that brings with it issues of safety and misuse. It is almost four times the cost of electricity board power supply," Mr Das said.

Increasing price of diesel and its misuse adds to the expenses of running the towers, say analysts.

Sector regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has also made recommendations to promote use of energy efficient technologies to reduce carbon emissions.

TRAI, in a report, had said in the next five years, at least 50% of rural towers and 33% of urban towers are to be powered by hybrid power (renewable energy technologies) by 2015.

Further, all telecom products, equipments and services in the telecom network should be energy and performance assessed.

The TRAI report has said while service providers should declare to the regulator the carbon footprint of their network operations they should also aim at reducing carbon emission for the mobile network at 8% by FY13 and 12% by FY2015.

According to TRAI, it is estimated that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector worldwide is responsible for around 2% of global CO2 emissions and by 2020, this would increase to about 3%.

The total emission of the Indian telecom industry is estimated to be around 1% of the country's total CO2 emissions, according to the regulator.

However, the high initial capital to run telecom towers on alternate fuels acts as a deterrent.

"The high upfront cost and the accompanied technology risks have deterred roll outs and its large scale adoption," Mr Das said adding that continuity of service and affordability are major concerns on standalone renewable energy solutions.


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