Storm Damage Largely Spares New York


Sources :
Tropical Storm Irene swept through the desolate streets of New York on Sunday, flooding low-lying areas and leaving millions of homes without power along the Eastern Seaboard as it continued on to New England. Most New Yorkers emerged from their makeshift bunkers to find little of the widespread devastation the authorities had feared
The storm, which was downgraded from a hurricane shortly before it hit New York, attacked in a flurry of punches. A police station in Cranford, N.J., flooded and had to be evacuated. Firefighters paddling in boats rescued more than 60 people from five-foot floodwaters on Staten Island. New York’s major airports were closed, and at least four storm-related deaths were reported in New York State and New Jersey.

But after wide-ranging precautionary measures by city officials that included shutting down New York’s mass-transit network, sandbagging storefronts on Fifth Avenue and issuing evacuation orders for 370,000 people across the city, Hurricane Irene is likely to be remembered by New Yorkers more for what did not happen than for what did.

Windows in skyscrapers did not shatter. Subway tunnels did not flood. Power was not shut off pre-emptively. The water grid did not burst. There were no reported fatalities in the five boroughs. And the rivers flanking Manhattan did not overrun their banks.

Still, when the center of the storm arrived over New York City, about 9 a.m., winds had reached 65 miles per hour, making Irene the largest storm to hit the city in more than 25 years, even as the bulk of the storm’s power was reserved for the suburbs.

“All in all, we are in pretty good shape because of the exhaustive steps I think we took to prepare for whatever came our way,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon.

Before striking New York, the storm left a path of wreckage that killed at least 16 people in six states, paralyzed most modes of transportation across the Northeast and caused flooding in several states.

“Many Americans are still at risk of power outages and flooding,” President Obama said, “which could get worse in the coming days as rivers swell past their banks.”

New York’s economic costs have yet to be calculated, but with Broadway dark, storefronts covered in plywood and virtually the entire population shuttered indoors, the weekend’s lost sales and storm damage could end up costing the city about $6 billion, said Peter Morici, a business school professor at the University of Maryland. The total national cost could reach $40 billion, Mr. Morici added.

Outside New York City, the storm’s wrath was stark. In New Jersey, more than 800,000 customers were without power on Sunday, and the state’s largest utility, Public Service Electric and Gas, estimated it could take a week to restore electricity to all of its customers. In Connecticut, 670,000 customers had lost power — roughly half the state — which surpassed power failures caused by Hurricane Gloria in 1985.

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said more than 300 roadways were blocked, but he warned that dire problems were still to come, particularly along the Delaware, Ramapo and Passaic Rivers. “The real issue that we are going to have to deal with now is flooding,” Mr. Christie said.

Flooding in Philadelphia reached levels that had not been seen in that city in more than 140 years. Vermont was also struck particularly hard; even as the worst of the winds had dissipated, flooding forced officials to evacuate parts of southern Vermont, and floods were expected in the northern portion of the state as late as Monday.

In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said it could take a week to fully restore power to the 750,000 customers without electricity. That included 457,000 on Long Island, 50,000 in Westchester County and 34,000 in Queens, officials said. Consolidated Edison said power was not cut in Manhattan.
Mr. Obama said that though the storm had not proved as strong as many feared, the aftermath would be substantial. “The impacts of this storm will be felt for some time,” he said Sunday from the White House. “And the recovery effort will last for weeks or longer. I want people to understand that this is not over.”
But despite the lack of power, flooding and foiled weekend plans, the soggy Northeast’s collective mood shifted Sunday from dread to relief.

In New York, joggers, not floodwaters, were spotted along the East River. Restaurants, bookstores and bars reopened. Traffic picked up, and officials at the United States Open announced that the tournament would begin on Monday after all.

By 11 a.m., with the sun peeking out, tourists flocked to Central Park even though police officers shooed them away for fear of falling branches.

“I slept like a baby,” said Steven Boone, a homeless man who rode out the storm in a shelter in the East Village. “Nowhere near as bad as I thought.”

Despite the region’s relative good fortune, many applauded the preparations for a worst-case disaster. Mr. Bloomberg strongly defended the drastic measures, which saw 9,000 evacuees enter 81 emergency shelters.

“I would make the same decisions again without hesitation,” he said. “We’re just not going to take any risk with people’s lives, and the best scenario possible is you take the precautions and it turns out they’re not needed.”

The city lifted a highly unusual evacuation order of low-lying neighborhoods a day after residents of Zone A — including Coney Island, the Rockaways and Battery Park City — were ordered to leave for their own safety. (The city’s zoned labels showed signs of outlasting the storm’s more tangible effects. Viktoriya Gaponski, a fashion blogger, said on Twitter that she planned to “only date Zone B men from now on. Less dangerous than Zone A, but edgier than Zone C.”)

The region could be grappling with snarled transportation lines for days. In New York, officials said that most of the subway’s 22 lines would be partially restored in time for the Monday morning commute. On the Metro-North Railroad, fallen trees and downed wires caused problems throughout suburban New York and Connecticut. The Long Island Rail Road faced similar challenges.

New Jersey Transit officials hoped to resume bus and commuter rail service on Monday. PATH trains were expected to resume on Monday, as well.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the city’s three major airports would reopen by Monday morning.

The storm caused several deaths in the region, including at least three in New Jersey. Celena Sylvestri, 20, was driving to her boyfriend’s house when she was caught in flood waters in Salem County. Ms. Sylvestri called police to say she was trapped in water up to her neck, but by the time rescue workers found her, eight hours later, she was already dead inside her car.

In Buena Vista, N.J., in Atlantic County, officials scrambled to evacuate three dozen elderly residents from trailer homes that were threatened by sudden flooding.

The police also said a 39-year-old volunteer rescue worker for Princeton Township’s Rescue and First Aid squad was in critical condition on Sunday after he was injured while trying to make a rescue in swift-moving water at 4:30 a.m.

There were close calls in New York City, as well. In the Bulls Head section of Staten Island, dozens of people stood on their nearly submerged porches to flag down firefighters who took them to safety in their rafts. The flood waters had swallowed rows of parked cars, angering at least one resident.

“I was like, ‘This hurricane isn’t cool anymore,’ ” said Safina Skaf, 27, who woke up to find her new sport utility vehicle underwater. “Please go away now.”

In Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon, bars flung open their windows and sidewalk cafes set up outdoor tables as businesses and patrons looked to make up for a lost Saturday night. The Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene said it was packed less than 10 minutes after opening around 2:30 p.m. Across the street, Habana Outpost served margaritas and planned to play a movie outdoors as long as the weather cooperated.

Others found poetry in the gales of wind and sheets of rain.

“You may not see this again in your lifetime,” said Teddy Ferris, 55, an East Village resident who had refused to evacuate and had taken a seat along the East River on Sunday morning. “This is beautiful. This is nature at its best.”

Sri Lanka power firm Lakdhanavi Ltd to build 52.2 MegaWatt power plant in Bangladesh

 Lakdhanavi Ltd, a Sri Lanka based company  has been asked to build a 52.2 MegaWatt power plant in Comilla in Bangladesh to provide ‘quick rental’ power.

Lakdhanavi is a brand used by a plant built by Sri Lanka’s Lanka Transformers group.

Asiapulse news agency said a government purchasing committee has approved the plant which will sell power at 4.77 Taka a unit.

Two other coal plants of 300 MW have also been approved, media reports said. Bangladesh is estimated to be facing a power deficit of over 1,000MW.

About Lakdhanavi

This Power Plant was envisioned in January 1996 as an immediate measure to overcome the poor hydrological situation prevailed in that year. After obtaining the Cabinet approval in June 1996, the Power Purchase Agreement was signed between Lakdhanavi Private Limited and Ceylon Electricity Board in December 1996. Lakdhanavi Private Limited is 100% owned subsidiary of Lanka Transformers Limited. The Plant was commissioned in record time of 340 days and is in operation since November 1997. The Project Agreements do not contain an Implementation Agreement between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Company, unlike for other conventional Independent Power Projects in this region.

The Power plant is located in the Industrial Estate of Lanka Industrial Estates Limited at Sapugaskanda, adjacent to the Refining Facility of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

 

 

Shab-e-kadar :: Lailatul Qadr = The Night of Power !

SURAH AL_ALAQ :

Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-

Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:

 Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-

 Taught man that which he knew not.

Nay, but man doth transgress all bounds,

In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient. Seest thou one who forbids-

A votary when he (turns) to pray?

Seest thou if he is on (the road of) Guidance?-

Or enjoins Righteousness?

Seest thou if he denies (Truth) and turns away?

Knoweth he not that Allah doth see?

Let him beware! If he desist not, We will drag him by the forelock,-

A lying, sinful forelock!

Then, let him call (for help) to his council (of comrades):

We will call on the angels of punishment (to deal with him)!

Nay, heed him not: But bow down in adoration, and bring thyself the closer (to Allah)!
Verily, to thy Lord is the return (of all).

 

LAILATUL QADR = THE NIGHT OF POWER
Allah The Almighty revealed the goodness of Lailatul Qadr in ‘surah’ or chapter Al-Qadr, in the Holy Al Quran. This chapter was revealed in Makkah. Its basic theme is honoring the revelation of this blessed Holy Al Quran.

The Night of Power is a special gift only to our Prophet, his companions and the Ummah i.e. Muslims, mankind of the Islam faith, after Nabi Muhammad SAW. The night is one, when even the angels in the heavens see as worthy of witnessing. The night is so rich with holiness, as the night is when good deeds are returned, and Allah promises the best of HIS blessings which equals to that of a thousand months, which in essence is equal 83 years and 4 months.

It was revealed the our Great Prophet, Nabi Muhammad SAW was saddened by the fact that his Ummah would not be able to get as much abundance and blessings as those of the earlier time because of our shorter lives. So Allah SWT revealed this Surah to inform that HE had just blessed Rasulullah, his companions and the Ummah with this Honor, Night of Power, “We have indeed revealed it (the Quran), in the Night of Power.” (Al Quran 97:1). [ “We” here means respect and exaltation of the One and Only]

By revealing the Quran in the Night of Power, Allah SWT inaugurated or started its revelation for the beginning of the

Sura: Al-Qadr

1.
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
2.
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
3.
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.

4,

Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:
5.
Peace!…This until the rise of morn!

 

prophethood, and the Prophet’s mission of Islam began in the month of Ramadhan on that Night. Incidentally, we are also told that the Holy Al Quran was not revealed in one night. Instead it was revealed over the course of 23 years [Ibn Abbas (RAA) said, “The whole Qur’an was revealed to the lower heavens from the protective slate (Lawhin Mahfuz) on the Night of Power, then from there to the earth in the course of 23 years.”].

The power word, Al-Qadr, has several implications and meanings. We will briefly look at the relevant implications.

‘Qadr’ implies having power over something. In the case of Allah, the Creator, it is HIS power over HIS creations. Allah’s SWT The All Excellent implies HE is Omnipotent, Almighty, All-powerful and Most Capable. This Night of Power is highly esteemed and Allah in HIS power, promises HIS blessings of over 80 years for the Lailatul Qadr.

Bangla Qur’an.

It also implies to maintain, appoint, assign or decree an order. Thus, in the Night of Power, Allah SWT proclaims to the angels His commands and orders in regards to the affairs of the universe. This is the essence of Al-Qada Wa Qadar, the fifth article of faith; that Allah has decreed or preordained. Allah has full knowledge of all that the human beings will do with his free will; A man’s decision to act freely in good conscience or bad conscience is all known to Allah SWT, including all the past, present and future.

‘Qadr’ also implies measurement, i.e. all the events of the year will occur in accordance to the exact measurement of what is in the knowledge of Allah. We are told, “Verily, all things have We created in proportion and measure.” (Al Quran, Surah Al Qamar, 54:49)

The Night of Power is also known as the Night of Taqdeer for Allah SWT announces to the angels HIS already decreed commands, rules, events, etc. for the coming calendar year, from the present Night of Power to the next Night of Power. Allah SWT revealed, “We sent it down during a blessed night; We forever wish to warn (against evil). In that (night) is made distinct every affair of wisdom.” (Al Quran, Surah Ad Dhukhan, 44:3-4).

Most scholars believe Allah’s commands and rules are not made on that Night of Power itself. It has already been decreed in the eternity what is known to Allah, but that knowledge is not known to anyone, including the angels, until HE announces it to the angels on that night so that they will record it on the protective slate. This is also the Night of Honor and Prestige which may be awarded to the servant who devotes himself to special deeds, or to the deeds themselves, in the higher value attached to that night.

The Night Is Concealed

The problem pertaining to the exact night on which the honors are attained are not unique to the Night of Power only. Allah SWT in His Mercy, has concealed many things such as:

HIS pleasure from us in all our good deeds so that we will strive in all of them.

HIS wrath from us in all of the sins we commit so that we will avoid them.

HIS most beloved servants, the ‘Awliya, so that we will respect all the believers.

The time of HIS acceptance of our supplications so that we will strive in all our supplications.

HIS greatest name, so that we mention all HIS names.

The time of death so that we will be conscious of HIM and our deeds all the time.

Thus, in HIS GREATNESS, Allah has concealed the exact date of the Night of Power
so that we would double our efforts in the whole month, or at least in the last ten days of Ramadhan. He has also concealed the exact date so as to test the serious and the non-serious. The seriously interested person will search for the night late and in the early hours until he or she attains it, regardless of the hardships.

When Is The Night?

There is evidence that the night comes on the last ten days of Ramadan, specifically on the odd numbered nights. In a report by Bukhari, our Prophet said, “Seek it on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan.” In another incident, The Prophet said, “Seek the night in the last ten days, and if any of you is weak, or can’t observe it, he should not miss the remaining seven days.” In yet another incident, Rasulullah stated, “Seek it on the 29th; it may be on the 27th or on the 25th.” Imam Ibn Hajr in his book, ‘Fathul Bari,’ concurred, “I accept the ruling that the night occurs on the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadhan, namely the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and/or 29th.”

The fact remains that still no one knows for sure which night is the Night of Power, in any given year. It seems that the night shifts and rotates to different nights from one year to another. It may occur on the 29th in one year, while the next year it will be on the 27th, while on the following year it may fall on the 25th. The only concensus is that it will fall in the final 10 days of Ramadhan.

Seeking The Night

It is recommended for us to seek the night and spend it diligently in devotion, such as performing the night Sunnah prayers or Tahajjud, recitation of Al-Qur’an and supplications. In a hadith related by Abu Hurairah (RAA), Rasulullah said, “He who spends the night in prayer on the Night of Power, as a sign of His faith, and seeking rewards from Allah, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari/Muslim)

This citation indicates that regardless of whether a person knows the night or not, Allah will grant him forgiveness for previous shortcomings, as HE stated, “… And what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is?; The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” (Al Qadr:2-3)

Allah SWT emphasized the significance by putting the second verse in question form. The answer being no one knows, or comprehends, the awesomeness and the depth of honor of the night. Nonetheless, HE mentions the honors of the night such that “The Night is better than a thousand months … and Peace! This (The Night of Power is better than a thousand months) until the rise of Fajr (dawn)”. Thus, it indicates that acts of worship such as prayer, charity, and recitation done on this night are better in rewards than the same act done on other nights.

For the sake of illustration, let us just try to put this down mathematically. If you worship Allah on this night every year for 55 years after attaining your puberty, then you would have 55,000 months to your credit. It is likened to as if you had lived for over 4,500 years, and achieved the rewards of a person who had lived that long and much more.

We are told, “Therein, come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, … ” (Al Quran, Al Qadr, 97:4). The angels descend on the Night of Power, group after group; some coming down to earth while others ascend into the heaven. Allah further stated, “…On every errand…” This indicates the angels and the Spirit descend for different purposes: some come down for prostration, some for bowing, and others for supplications for the believers and salutations. Or they come down carrying with them the proclamations of the coming year. What is evidently clear is that the angels will only bring good things on this particular night “…Until fajr, (break of dawn)” (Al Quran 97:5); The heavenly, angelic traffic of blessings will continue until the break of dawn, and the entire honor, blessings and peace of the Night of Power will continue in every second of the night until Fajr.

That is why the devotions are highly encouraged by our Prophet. Indeed, you can achieve the honor of Lailatul Qadr or the Night of Power and reap its maximum benefits if you so wish by spending the odd nights of the last 10 days with acts of worship. [Wallahu Wa A’alam – Allah SWT is the Best Knower.]

Bangladesh Television has signed an agreement with BDeshTV of USA.


US based BDeshTV signs strategic agreement with Bangladesh’s National TV. BDeshTV starts online-broadcast of BTV News Live to worldwide.(92 countries)

BDeshTV, a new Online TV company based in the USA, announces that Bangladesh’s National Television (BTV) has signed an agreement with BDeshTV. The agreement allows BDeshTV to broadcast all BTV news and related items live from its online TV Channels to audience worldwide. Viewers anywhere in the world can now watch BTV news instantly and freely at www.bdeshtv.com. The agreement was signed in Dhaka, Bangladesh by BTV Director General, Mr. Kazi Abu Jafar Siddiqi and visiting BDeshTV Director Mr. Rabiul Islam, Ph.D. The ceremony was witnessed by Mr. Aminul Islam, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Information, Government of Bangladesh.

“We have tremendous demand from our NRB viewers to broadcast quality and substantive news of Bangladesh,”, says Dr. Rabiul Islam, a founder and Director of BDeshTV. “This agreement to broadcast news directly from BTV is a giant step towards meeting that demand and spreading Bangladesh all over the world,” adds Mr. Abdullah Al-Amin, another founder and Director of BDeshTV.“For Transmitting contents live and then allowing online viewing from any part of the world, BDeshTV enhanced its OVI Platform and worked closely with our Bangladesh technology partner for development needed on Bangladesh side,” says Mr. Afsar Zaman, BDeshTV’s Director and Development Lead. “The results are BTV News can be shown Live to the world using only the internet and it also shows how well Engineers in USA and Bangladesh can work together producing innovations.

IFRC assists to assist 50,000 people affected by heavy monsoon rains and floods in Bangladesh.

Source : — The Red Cross on Friday launched a 1.3 million franc (1.6 million dollar, 1.1 million euro) appeal to assist 50,000 people affected by heavy monsoon rains and floods in Bangladesh.

“The floods have engulfed vast areas spanning the length and breadth of the country, impacting on the lives of more than 1.56 million people,” the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement.

Heavy monsoon rains in recent days have caused at least five rivers in Bangladesh to burst their banks, flooding more than 1,000 square kilometres (400 square miles) of farmland in the remote Satkhira district.

“The districts of Satkhira and Jessore have been particularly hard-hit,” the IFRC said.

“Around 20,000 houses in 548 villages collapsed completely, and poor farmers/share croppers have lost their investment as over 66,000 acres of standing crops have been either partially or fully damaged by the floods,” the humanitarian agency added.

The appeal will provide emergency relief in the districts of Cox’s Bazar, Satkhira and Jessore, “including food and non-food relief items, emergency shelter materials, latrines and drinking water”, the IFRC added

Gas supply from Semutang field likely to start !!

CHITTAGONG, Source: Laying of Semutang pipeline is expected to be completed by September and supply from the gas field is likely to start from the first week of October this year.

Adviser to the Prime Minister for Energy and Power Dr Taufiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury said this after inspecting the under-construction gas pipe line and visiting the Semutang Gas Extraction Project at Manikchhari of Khagrachhari hill district this afternoon.

Earlier on the day, the PM’s Adviser visited the Sundalpur Gas Field of Companyganj in Noakhali. He went there on board a helicopter and from there to Semutang by helicopter at 1.30 pm.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Enamul Haque, Energy Secretary Mesbah Uddin, Chairman of Petrobangla Hossain Mansur, Managing Director (MD) of Karnafuli Gas Distribution Co Ltd Engineer Sanwar Hussain and Project Director of Semutang Gas Project and general manager of Petrobangla Shahiduzzaman Khan were present at that time.

When contacted over phone, Engineer Sanwar Hussain also confirmed the FE that supply of 20 million cubic feet (mmcft) gas from the Semutang Gas Filed would be supplied for Chittagong from the first week of October.

Sanwar Hussain said the Adviser has expressed satisfaction over the progress of pipe line laying during his visit to the pipe line laying site today.

He said that the Semutang Gas Field will be in a position to supply gas from September 12 but supply in full swing is expected from October..

The Adviser said laying of 65- kilometre gas pipe line from Semutang under Manikchhari upazila of Khagrachhari hill district to the Oxygen Point of Chittagong city is nearing completion as more than 95 per cent work is done. The rest 5.0 per cent work of the pipe line will be completed by the end of next month, he hoped.

“The gas available from Semutang and Sundalpur will be supplied to the power plants, fertiliser factories and industrial units in Chittagong region on priority basis,” he said.

He informed the newsmen that 100 mmcft gas will be added to the national grid this year and another 200-250 mmcft gas will be added to the national grid in 2012.

Shahiduzzaman Khan said there is a reserve of 150 billion cubic feet gas at the Semutang Gas Field. The country will be extracting natural gas from this field for over 20 years at the daily extraction rate of 20 mmcft.

Currently Chittagong has a total demand for 400 mmcft gas per day against which the KGDCL can supply only 240 mmcft. The gas shortage will be partly covered from the gas extracted from Semutang. Still there will be a shortage of 140 mmcft gas in the region, according to estimates of the local entrepreneurs.

Due to inadequate gas supply, new gas connections to residential, commercial and industrial units in Chittagong have remained suspended since 2009. More than 70 new industries established over the last two years involving huge investment are waiting to go for production, sources said.

Islam for All

Islam is known as the religion of happiness !! Human has designed as the best creature of Universe . To achive the best perfection as Human Islam is the best religion which is guided by The Holly Qur’an !!
The Qur’an is verified by science,technology ,mathmatics ,Chemistry and with the all real knowledge of our known.
So before anything we have to know the facts behind Qur’an.We need to learn. We have to understand we need to calculate . 1st thing of Islam is belive – Who belive in Qur’an and follow islam Called Muslim .
Muslims believe that Allah(God) is one and incomparable and the purpose of existence is to worship Allah(God).[1][2] Muslims also believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed at many times and places before, including through Abraham, Moses and Jesus, whom they consider prophets .[3] Muslims maintain that previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time,[4] but consider the Qur’an to be both the unaltered and the final revelation ofAllah( God).[5] Religious concepts and practices include the five pillars of Islam, which are basic concepts and obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law, which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, providing guidance on multifarious topics from banking and welfare, to warfare and the environment

About Qur’an
“This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah” – Sura Bakrah

Apollo to set up 250-bed hospital in Bangladesh at Chittagong .

Apollo Hospitals Group will soon begin work on a 250-bed hospital in Chittagong (Bangladesh) and hopes to complete the Rs 125-crore hospital in a span of 18 months.“We have some issues with approach (to the hospital). We are confident of clearing that and begin work on the hospital,” Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman of Apollo Hospitals group, said.
.
“We are expecting in the initial phase 250 beds hospital costing around Rs 125 crore. I think we need to acquire a better land to approach to that site. Once that is settled … this will also be completed within 18 months (from then),” Apollo Hospital Group Chairman Pratap C Reddy told reporters.
Apollo Hospital already runs a 450-bed super-speciality hospital in Bangladesh.
He said the company”s performance in the remaining quarters will be better than the first quarter.
Apollo Hospitals had reported a net profit of Rs 54.5 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2011 up 30 per cent over corresponding in the previous fiscal. Total revenues stood at Rs 723.4 crore up 22.4 per cent over previous fiscal.
Replying to a query, Reddy said they will exceed the target of adding 2,400 beds, with an investment of Rs 1,500 crore by the end of 2011-12. At present, the Group has a total of nearly 9,000 beds.
“We already have six Apollo Reach hospitals (for Tier II and III cities) and another six or seven are under construction. We hope that we will be able to build a large segment of reach hospital,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Apollo Hospitals and Philips healthcare division entered into an agreement, according to which the later will set up its MRI-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound solution at Hyderabad Apllo Hospital on revenue- sharing basis.
Reddy said initially they are looking at setting up such facilities at six of their hospitals across the country.
Shares of Apollo Hospitals settled at Rs 542 today, down 0.08 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange..

North-east plan

The group was also planning to open hospitals in the North-East. “A dedicated team is scouting for likely sites for setting up hospitals,” he said.

He said the second quarter numbers and full financial year would be robust. “Elections in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu did have an impact early this year. The first quarter numbers showed up. We are expecting this to continue in the remaining quarters,” he admitted.

Addressing reporters here on Friday, he said the company had completed 50 per cent of the target to add 2,400 beds during 2010-11 and 2011-12. “By the end of this financial year would have 9,400 beds,” he said.

Asked whether the global economic slowdown had impacted inflow of patients from abroad, he said the number, in fact, had gone up. “We are expecting 75,000 foreign patients during the financial year 2011-12 as against 60,000 last year. About two-thirds of patients are outpatients, with the rest being in-patients,” he said.

Dhaka, Delhi closer to inking deal on textiles, jute

source:Bangladesh is set to sign an agreement with India as both countries seek to broaden cooperation in cotton, jute, silk, handlooms, clothing and fashion industries.

The five-year agreement between textile and jute ministries of the two neighouring nations could be nailed down during next month’s visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka, officials said.

New Delhi has shared a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh officials who met Wednesday to review it in a meeting, chaired by textile and jute secretary Ashraful Moqbul.

“We have discussed pros and cons of the MoU in today’s meeting with all relevant government and private sector stakeholders,” he said.

Some of the articles of the agreement will be reviewed following recommendation from the stakeholders, he said.

“The People’s Republic of Bangladesh agrees to the request of the Republic of India for extending the benefit of certification of GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) on the fabrics and other inputs imported from India towards GSP benefits from EU (European Union) under the SAARC cumulation,” says the MoU, a copy of which has been obtained by the FE.

Responding to a question about the restriction of third country export in EU under GSP facilities, textile and jute secretary said the article has some “sensitivity” and it will be reviewed later.

“India has focussed more on the textile sector, but jute has remained ignored. We want to give similar priority on the jute sector as per proposals of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Association,” he told this correspondent after the meeting.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the industry lobby, has opposed the withdrawal of restrictions on the import of yarn through Beanpole port, which is in the MoU of India, he said.

Bangladesh and India are two of the world’s top clothing exporters, stitching garments for global retailers like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Tesco, Target, Metro and JC Penney. Apparel shipment is also a critical pillar of the two economies, which are growing, despite the global economic troubles.

Mr Moqbul said both countries will benefit from the agreement as India imports jute from Bangladesh and exports textiles.

“Textile and Jute minister is abroad now. We will prepare a draft by incorporating our opinions and excluding some in the Indian MoU. It will be submitted before the minister,” he said, adding the minister will take the final decision.

In the MoU, India has pledged to share the cutting-edge of fashion technology, develop skill in the apparel sector, and enhance productivity in textiles and jute machinery.

“The parties will assist each other in carrying out all necessary techno-commercial collaboration in development of textiles including cotton, jute, silk, handlooms, clothing and fashion industries in the home markets of their countries,” the MoU said.

Under the agreement, both the nations will assist each other in the areas of research and development, technical collaboration in product development and manufacturing, testing and certification in accordance with the established international requirements in the fields of textiles and clothing, silk, handlooms and fashion technology.

“The parties agree to enhance business to business collaboration for facilitating Indian cotton export to Bangladesh,” it said.

National Institute of Fashion Technology of India and the BGMEA Institute of Fashion Technology of Bangladesh will work together on fashion forecasting, curriculum design, joint research projects and student exchange programmes.

Academic collaboration will be forged between Sardar Vallabhai Patel International School of Textiles and Management with the Bangladesh Institute of Textiles and Management.

India will also collaborate with the Bangladesh National Institute of Textiles Research and Design.

BGMEA president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said he is yet to be aware of the nitty gritty of the draft agreement.

“I can’t comment on this because I have no idea about the articles of the agreement,” said the head of the apex body of 5000-odd apparel units.

How to sattle 12 million stateless people worldwide who are denied basic rights

The United Nations refugee agency today launched a campaign to highlight the plight of up to 12 million stateless people worldwide who are denied basic rights, including access to jobs, housing, education and health care by dint of their lack of citizenship.

The stateless may also not be able to own property, open bank accounts, get married legally, or register the birth of a child. Some face long periods of detention because they cannot prove their identity or domicile, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a press release.

“These people are in desperate need of help because they live in a nightmarish legal limbo,” said Ant” Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, launched the campaign, five days ahead of the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which will be marked on 30 August.

“This makes them some of the most excluded people in the world. Apart from the misery caused to the people themselves, the effect of marginalizing whole groups of people across generations creates great stress in the societies they live in and is sometimes a source of conflict,” said Mr. Guterres.

Although UNHCR puts the number of stateless people roughly at 12 million globally, an exact figure has been difficult to compile. Inconsistent reporting and different definitions of statelessness has meant that the true scale of the problem remains elusive.

The agency has decided to raise awareness on the international legal definition, while improving its own methods for gathering data on stateless populations.

The problem is particularly acute in South-East Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East, but pockets of statelessness exist throughout the world, according to UNHCR.

State secession carries a risk that some people will be excluded from citizenship if those issues are not considered early on in the process of separation. The world welcomed South Sudan as a new State last month, but it remains to be seen how new citizenship laws in both the north and south will be implemented, the agency pointed out.

“The dissolution of States, formation of new States, transfer of territories and redrawing of boundaries were major causes of statelessness over the past two decades,” said Mark Manly, the head of the statelessness unit at UNHCR. “Unless new laws were carefully drafted, many people were left out.”

In the 1990s, the break-up of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia left hundreds of thousands throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia stateless, with marginalized ethnic and social groups bearing the brunt of the exclusion.

While most cases of statelessness have been resolved in those regions, tens of thousands of persons remain stateless or at risk of statelessness.

An unfortunate consequence of statelessness is the fact that it can be self-perpetuating, according to UNHCR. In most cases when the parents are stateless, their children are stateless from the moment they are born. As a result the destitution and the exclusion of statelessness are visited upon yet another generation.

Discrimination against women compounds the problem as they remain the group most vulnerable to statelessness. According to UNHCR analysis, at least 30 countries maintain citizenship laws that discriminate against women.

There is, however, a growing trend for States to take action to remedy gender inequality in citizenship laws. Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kenya and Tunisia have amended their laws to grant women equal rights as men to retain their nationality and pass their nationality to their children, UNHCR pointed out.

Another underlying theme of most stateless situations is ethnic and racial discrimination that leads to exclusion, where political will is often lacking to resolve the problem, the UN agency said.

Groups excluded from citizenship since States gained independence or were established include the Muslim residents (Rohingya) of northern Rakhine state in Myanmar, some hill tribes in Thailand and the Bidoon in the Gulf countries.

While most Roma do have citizenship of the countries where they live, thousands continue to be stateless in various countries of Europe, UNHCR added.