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IRB to construct southeast Asia’s longest tunnel


Mumbai: The Indian highway construction company, IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd will construct Southeast Asia’s longest tunnel at Zozi La, stretching over 14.08 km, in Jammu and Kashmir, an official said here on Monday.

A letter of intent has been issued to construct the tunnel at a cost of Rs 10,050 crore, making it the country’s biggest national highway project in terms of project cost, on a design, build, finance, operate, and transfer (DBFOT) basis, within seven years.

The project will include approaches on NH-1 (Srinagar-Sonmarg-Gumri Road), and provide an all-weather connectivity to the Leh-Ladakh region which remains cut-off from the rest of the world during winters.

Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman-cum-managing director of IRB Infrastructure said that the project of ‘national importance’ has a strategic and socio-economic importance as it will be will provide much-needed all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir and Leh-Ladakh which remains cut-off during winter to due to heavy snowfall.

“The project involves constructing the 14.08 tunnel, 10.80 km approach roads, with three vertical ventilation shafts, snow gallery of 700 metres and avalanche protection measures,” Mhaiskar said.

Hoping to complete the project within the stipulated time-frame (7 years) in the tough Himalayan terrain, he said the concession period for the project is 22 years.

The company would receive a semi-annual annuity of Rs.981 crore from the ministry of highways, commencing after completion of construction of the project, twice every year till the end of the concession period.

IRB now expands its base to the ninth state in the country with this esteemed project and its book increased to Rs 16,430 crore, including 20 Road BOT project, including 14 which are already under operation.(IANS)

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Google Rolls out Training for Game Startups From India, Southeast Asia

The accelerator curriculum consists of mentorship, training workshops and clinics, and networking sessions

Ad firms suffer as Google, Facebook dominate digital dollars. Pixabay

Google is launching a new four-month training programme for gaming start-ups and developers in Asia including India, to successfully build, scale, launch and market the next generation of hit mobile games.

The new Indie Games Accelerator targets gaming start-ups based in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam who will have an opportunity to work with mentors from Google and the gaming industry.

“Emerging markets now account for more than 40 per cent of game installs on Google Play. Rapid smartphone adoption in these regions presents a new base of engaged gamers that are looking for high quality mobile gaming experiences,” Anuj Gulati, Developer Marketing Manager, Google Play, said in a blogpost.

“We’re always looking for new ways to support developers. So, as a special edition of the Launchpad Accelerator, we’re announcing a new four-month Indie Gaming Accelerator to train promising developers from these countries in Asia,” Gulati added.

The accelerator curriculum consists of mentorship, training workshops and clinics, and networking sessions.

“There are many passionate gamers in Asia. The talented mobile game developers in the region have a tremendous opportunity to build apps and deliver experiences that entertain, educate and inspire,” said Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations Program Manager, Google.

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“At Google Play, we are focused on helping local game developers from these markets achieve their full potential and make the most of this opportunity,” Kizilbash added.

Interested developers can apply for the Indie Games Accelerator by July 31 and the results will be announced on August 8.

Those accepted into the programme will be matched with the best of Google — our people, network, insights and technology, Google said.

As part of the programme, the developers would get two all-expenses-paid gaming bootcamps at the tech giant’s Asia-Pacific office in Singapore.

They will also get access to Google Cloud Platform credits and invites to exclusive company and industry events, as well as the opportunity to be showcased on Google Play, the company said. (IANS)

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