Companies & Sectors
Mumbai Metro I misses deadline again, would be ready by March 13

This is for the fourth time that the deadline for the first phase of the 12 kilometre Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor has been extended

Mumbai: Mumbaikars will now have to wait for another nine months to enjoy the ride on the city's first metro corridor from Versova to Ghatkopar as the deadline for its completion has been extended to March 2013, reports PTI.

This is for the fourth time that the deadline for the first phase of the 12 kilometre Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor has been extended.

Initially the deadline was for December 2010, which was extended to June 2011 then March 2012. Later it was again extended to November 2012.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who reviewed the progress of various projects of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Tuesday, said the project will be completed by March next year.

"We have been informed by the project developer that the first corridor will become operational by March 2013," Chavan told reporters.

The Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium Mumbai Metro One Private Ltd (MMOPL) is developing the 12 km Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor under public-private-partnership (PPP).

On the progress of metro II project from Charkop to Mankhurd, Chavan said, "There has been a delay in construction of the 32 km route mainly due to the environmental clearance issues for the car depots at Charkop. We expect things to be sorted out soon."

The contract for construction of the ambitious Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will be awarded by November, he said.

"We have received tremendous response not only from domestic giants but also international firms who have formed several consortium. We expect the contract to be awarded by November this year," Chavan said.

Emphasising on completion of projects, he said, "Our prime focus now is to complete the existing projects as soon as possible. We want to project Mumbai as an international financial hub and the infrastructure projects undertaken are a step taken towards achieving this target."

The entire 16.8 km Eastern Freeway from PD'Mello Road to Ghatkopar is expected to be ready by March 2013, Chavan added.


Google, Apple using hi-tech mapping cams that can peep into your room

Google has admitted to having sent planes over cities, while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations

London: You think technology has made life easier, safe and secure. Think again. For US tech giants are using military-grade cameras so powerful that they can see into homes to produce aerial maps which can show up objects just four inches wide, reports PTI.

Google and Apple will use new hi-tech mapping planes that can film through skylights and windows, putting privacy at risk, the Daily mail reported.

The technology is similar to that used by intelligence agencies in identifying terrorist targets in Afghanistan, the report said.

Google has admitted to having sent planes over cities, while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations, including London.

The search engine giant will use its spy planes to help create 3D maps with much more detail than its satellite-derived Google Earth images.

Google expects by the end of the year to have 3D coverage of towns and cities with a combined population of 300 million. It has not revealed any locations so far.

Apple is expected to unveil its new mapping applications for its iPhone and other devices today along with privacy safeguards. Its 3D maps will reportedly show for the first time the sides of tall buildings, such as the Big Ben clock tower, the report said.

Current 3D mapping technology relies on aerial images taken at a much lower resolution than the technology Apple is thought to be using. This means that when users 'zoom in', details tend to be lost because of the poor image quality.

Spy planes are able to photograph around 40 square miles every hour, suggesting they would be flying too quickly and at too great a height to access domestic wifi networks.

But experts say the technology is a sinister development that brings the surveillance society a step closer.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, warned that privacy risked being sacrificed in a commercial 'race to the bottom'.

"The next generation of maps is taking us over the garden fence," he said.

"You won't be able to sunbathe in your garden without worrying about an Apple or Google plane buzzing overhead taking pictures," he warned.

Apple has previously used Google for its mapping services but last year it emerged it had bought C3 Technologies, a 3D mapping company that uses technology developed by Saab AB, the aerospace and defence company.

At the time C3 had already mapped 20 cities and it is believed to have added more with Apple's backing. Its photographs have been shot from 1,600ft and one C3 executive described it as 'Google on steroids'.


SBI says Reserve Bank may cut CRR by 1%

SBI chairman said he expect the central bank to cut CRR by 1% to ease liquidity and lower interest rates

New Delhi: Amid economic slowdown and contracting growth in the manufacturing sector, the country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said it expects 1% cut in cash reserve ratio (CRR) -- the portion of deposits that banks are required to keep with the central bank -- for boosting growth, reports PTI.

"We expect the RBI to cut CRR by 1%...It will ease liquidity significantly and lower interest rate," SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri told reporters on the sidelines of an event in the capital.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its mid-quarter review of monetary policy on 18th June is widely expected to announce steps to boost sagging economic growth, which dipped to nine-year low of 6.5% in 2011-12.

As per the latest data released by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the industrial production during April slowed to 0.1% from over 5.3% in the corresponding month a year ago.

According to the data, the capital goods output declined by 16.3% as against a growth of 6.6% in the same month last year. Mining output contracted by 3.1% in April, as against growth of 1.6% in the same month last year.

In order to ease liquidity position in the market, RBI had on March 9 cut CRR by 0.75% down to 4.75%.

In January, it had reduced CRR by 0.50% to unlock primary liquidity.

On the possibility of cut in short-term lending (repo) rate by RBI in its mid-quarter review, Chaudhuri said, "Repo rate cut is meaningless because is more symbolic and (its impact is) not very substantial".


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