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Missing Dornier: Coast Guard aircraft found, black box recovered

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Chennai: A Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, missing for over a month now, has been found on the sea bed off the Tamil Nadu coast and its flight data recorder recovered, an official said on Friday. There is no information about its three crew members though family members were still hopeful.

“The Dornier aircraft has been found in the sea at a depth of 900 metres off Chidambaram. There is no information about the crew members,” Coast Guard Commander East Region, Inspector General Satya Prakash Sharma told IANS.

The Dornier aircraft with pilot, Deputy Commandant Vidyasagar, co-pilot, Deputy Commandant Subash Suresh and navigator/observer M.K. Soni went missing on the night of June 8 while returning to the base after a regular surveillance sortie along the Tamil Nadu coast and Palk Bay.

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The announcement sparked some hope among the family of the missing crew members. Padma Suresh, mother of co-pilot Subhash Suresh, told IANS that they had heard that the black box or data recorder of the missing flight had been recovered but there was no information about the crew.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed… we are praying,” she said in a shaky voice.

According to a Coast Guard release, Indian navy submarine Sindhudhavaj, deployed in the search mission, had picked up transmissions at a depth of 996 meters on July 6, thus enabling Reliance Industries’ multifunctional support vessel Olympic Canyon, which also pressed into the operation, to localize the search.

The Olympic Canyon’s integrated remotely operated vehicle was able to locate and recover the missing aircraft’s flight data recorder (FDR) and one line replacement unit from a depth of 950 metres in “a unique and first ever salvage at such depths”, it said.
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The FDR could provide vital inputs towards establishing the cause of the incident, said the Coast Guard, terming it a major accomplishment to the search operation which was launched soon after the Dornier went missing and has included 693 hours of surface effort and 196 hours of air effort. (IANS)

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Pakistan releases 78 Indians imprisoned in Karachi Jail

Seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail, returned to India after being released by Pakistan

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India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.
  • Pakistan released seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail
  • Yesterday the 78 prisoners were handed over by Pakistan to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a joint check post at Attari/Wagah border in a goodwill gesture
  • The Indian fishermen were arrested when their boats ended up in Pakistan’s waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where they were surrounded and later caught by the coast guards

Amritsar, July 11, 2017: Pakistan released seventy-seven Indian fishermen and a person from Bihar, who were imprisoned in a Karachi jail and allowed them to return to India.

Yesterday the 78 prisoners were handed over by Pakistan to the Border Security Force (BSF) at a joint check post at Attari/Wagah border in a goodwill gesture. They crossed over to India using the land transit route on the basis of Emergency Travel Certificates issued by the Indian High Commission based at Islamabad.

Last year in May, the Indian fishermen were arrested when their boats ended up in Pakistan’s waters in an area of the Arabian Sea where they were surrounded and later caught by the coast guards, mentioned PTI report.

A team of Indian doctors conducted medical check-ups immediately after the repatriation of the released civilians, officials posted at Attari Border on the Indian side stated yesterday.

ALSO READ: Growing Nuclear Weapons Increase Concerns About Possible Pakistan-India War

It was an emotional homecoming for the group. The moment they crossed over to their motherland, they expressed happiness and gratitude by bowing their heads and kissing the Indian soil.

However, an expression of anxiety was reflected by the faces of the fishermen when they talked about their uncertain future as their boats still remain in the custody of Pakistan, mentioned the PTI report.

The cost of a boat usually varies from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, depending on its size and quality. Most of the fishermen added that they were already debt-ridden before their arrest as they purchased the boats with the help of loans. Now their current situation would make them jobless.

According to the fishermen, identifying the territorial waters and borders during fishing in the Arabian sea was difficult.

There have been frequent cases where Fishermen have been taken under arrest along with their boats by both India and Pakistan. The reasons behind that are nothing but the poorly defined maritime border in the Arabian Sea and the lack of needed technology to ascertain their precise location in the boats used.

prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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“Reliance Jio crosses 100 million customer mark in just 170 days,” says Ambani

Ambani said by the end of 2017, 99 percent of the country's population will be covered by the network with its presence in nearly all cities, towns and villages

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Reliance Jio Prime Benefits are introduced with Triple Cashback offer. Wikimedia.

Mumbai, Feb 21, 2017: Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani on Tuesday said Reliance Jio has crossed the 100 million customer mark since its launch on September 5.

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“Jio was launched on September 5 last year. In only 170 days we have crossed the 100 million customer mark. This achievement is of India and Indians,” Ambani told the media.

He said that on an average Jio added seven customers on its network every second.

“This is an unprecedented level of acceptance of any technology company anywhere in the world.”

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Ambani said that prior to the launch of Reliance Jio, India was ranked 150th in terms of data penetration. It was now at number one.

“Last month Jio users have consumed 100 crore gigabytes of data. India is number one today in terms of mobile data usage.”

Ambani said by the end of 2017, 99 percent of the country’s population will be covered by the network with its presence in nearly all cities, towns and villages.

He pointed out that the company has doubled its 4G stations as compared to its competitors.

Announcing free user benefits for another 12 months under a cost-effective membership plan, Jio’s latest offerings are expected to stiffen the competition further in the telecom sector.

“Under Jio prime membership plan, the users can become members for a full year for a nominal one-time fee of Rs 99. Enrolment will start from March 1 and will remain open till March 31. They would continue enjoying the unlimited benefits for another 12 months,” he said.

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Post-March 2018, Jio prime members would be able to avail the same benefits for another year at Rs 303 per month tariff plan, he added.

Apart from that, he said the company will start offering tariff plans starting April 1 for people who do not opt for the prime membership plan.

“We will start offering tariff plans starting April 1. Calls to all networks, roaming will remain free after April 1,” he added.

Ambani also vowed to match the tariff data plans of its competitors with 20 percent more data. (IANS)

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Demand for natural gas in India will increase, so will domestic production: ICRA

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New Delhi: The demand for natural gas in India will increase to 330 million standard cubic meters per day by 2024-25, while domestic production will rise by 60 percent to around 150 mscmd, research and ratings agency ICRA said on Friday.

Photo: http://www.livemint.com
Photo: http://www.livemint.com

The increase in supply will come from the likely commencement of Gujarat State Petroleum Corp’s Deen Dayal block and state-run ONGC’s KG basin blocks along with marginal increase in Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries’ KG basin production and other sources, ICRA said in its latest report on Indian gas utilities.

“Despite high domestic demand-supply deficit, the demand for regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) in the country is critically dependent upon the prices of liquid fuels and global spot LNG prices,” it said.

“The prices of long-term RasGas LNG are expected to be at materially higher level than liquid fuel prices and spot LNG prices till FY17, thereby leading to significant pressure on demand and marketing margins of RasGas RLNG in view of lower prices of liquid fuels and spot LNG,” the report said.

The marketers are expected to partially mitigate the risk by taking recourse to offtake flexibility available under the GSPA and by marketing a higher share of spot LNG, it added.

Due to competition from liquid fuels and coal, the actual consumption of RLNG could be lower than demand potential resulting in significant competitive pressures among LNG terminals, said ICRA senior vice-president K.Ravichandran.

“Even though the government of India has ambitious plans to double the pipeline capacity to 30,000 km, the constrained gas availability may be a key hurdle for new pipeline projects, which require large investments,” he said.

Meanwhile a petroleum ministry source here told IANS on Friday that a decision is expected soon on the premium to be paid on natural gas for all new discoveries in ultra-deep-water and deep-water areas as well as in high pressure-high-temperature areas.

In October 2014, the government had announced an upward revision to $5.61 per unit against the industry’s demand for at least doubling it to a little over $8 per unit, as per the Rangarajan Committee recommendations.

As per the mechanism approved in October 2014, the new price of $5.61 per unit will be applied for normal categories of gas.

But for all new discoveries in ultra-deep-water areas, deep-water areas and the high pressure-high-temperature areas, it said that a premium will be given but did not spell out further details on how it will be calculated.

While shallow-water blocks are at a depth of up to 100-500 metres, deep-water blocks descend to around 1,000 metres. Those at depths beyond 1,500 metres are classified as ultra-deep-water blocks.

These are the areas where the Reliance Industries-led consortium has maximum discoveries.

Reliance Industries will not immediately be able to avail the new price as it remains locked in an arbitration with the government over alleged shortfall in production from its Krishna-Godavari basin fields.

The government has announced a new rate, effective April 1, at $4.66 a unit – lowering it by 8 percent from the earlier $5.61 owing to lower international prices.

(IANS)