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5 killed as heavy rains lash Andhra Pradesh, Army deployed in Tamil Nadu

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Chennai/Hyderabad: As many as 76 people have lost their lives and several injured in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh since November 9.

According to reports, after a week of torrential rains left many areas in Tamil Nadu marooned, the Army, the Air Force and the Coast Guard were called in to rescue thousands of flood-hit residents in Chennai and Kancheepuram.

As many as 71 people have died in rain-related incidents in Tamil Nadu in the past one week.

Food and drinking water are being air-dropped by Air Force choppers in worst-hit areas in the state.

Meanwhile, heavy rains continue to lash three districts of Andhra Pradesh, killing at least five people and damaging crops over thousands of acres.

Chittoor, Nellore and Kadapa districts bordering Tamil Nadu received heavy rains for a second day on Tuesday, inundating dozens of villages and disrupting road and rail transport.

The rains, under the impact of low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, have resulted in largescale damage to crops in the districts besides wrecking havoc in Tamil Nadu.

All five deaths in Andhra Pradesh were reported from Chittoor while two people were missing.

Flash floods also claimed the lives of 80 cattle and damaged 80 houses. For a second day, all educational institutions in Chittoor district declared a holiday.

River, rivulets, tanks and streams in the affected districts overflowed. In Nellore districts, 40 villages were marooned. Officials said at least 100 tanks have breached.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation with top officials in Vijayawada.

Minister for Municipal Administration P Narayana told reporters in Nellore that two Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopters had been kept ready in Chennai to rescue people stranded by flood waters in Nellore.

The choppers, however, could not take off due to bad weather.

The minister said 10,000 food packets were ready for air drop in the marooned villages. The authorities have shifted 5,000 people to relief camps.

Three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were pressed into service in Nellore district.

Traffic between Vijayawada and Chennai came to a halt as a part of Chennai-Kolkata national highway washed away in Nellore district.

For a second time in three days, the Mumbai-Nellore highway was breached by authorities to make way for flood water which had entered some villages.

The highway at Naidupeta-Sullurpeta was also flooded, disrupting vehicular traffic between Tirupati and Kanchipuram.

Eight mandals in Chittoor district received 20 cm rainfall during the last 24 hours. Some places in Nellore district received as high as 30 cm rainfall.

East Godavari and West Godavari districts were also receiving heavy rains since Monday night, damaging standing crops.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Andhra Government to Give Free Smartphones to 1.4 Crore Women

1.4 crore women in Andhra to get free smartphones

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smartphones

The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to give free smartphones to all members of women’s self-help groups in the state to enable them to avail various government services on digital platform.

The state has around 1.4 crore members in Development of Women and Children in Rural Area (DWCRA) groups, popularly known as the women’s self-help groups.

The phones will have Android operating system and will come with a sim card with required speed, unlimited calls, daily 50 SMSes and 1 GB data.

K. Vijayanand, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, on Wednesday said Andhra Pradesh Technology Service will be the nodal agency for procurement of the phones.

A procurement committee will announce guidelines for the same.

OnePlus, smartphone
Smartphone by OnePlus. Flickr

A technical committee will be framing guidelines to distribute the phones.

The Internet is expected to increase the reach of citizen services being provided by the government. He said the move would help bridging the digital divide.

Also Read- Blogger Sues Micro-blogging Site Twitter Over Ban on Tweets About Transgender People

The government is providing citizen services under various platforms like E-Pragati, Mee Seva, Yuva Nestam and Real Time Governance. There is also a toll-free number 1100 to lodge complaints.

There are already 900 web-based and 100 mobile applications available to provide various services to the people. (IANS)