Tuesday, 14 March 2006

AP surpasses Bihar in crime rate

From Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, March 14: The crime-hit Laluland seems to be safer than Andhra Pradesh at least when it comes to kidnapping of people, particularly women and girls.
If statistics are any indication, for every person kidnapped in Laloo Prasad Yadav's Bihar, three persons are abducted in YSR's Andhra Pradesh. This simply means Andhra Pradesh is 200 per cent worse than Bihar in kidnapping incidents. And the number of cases of "missing persons" is steadily increasing by about six per cent in the State.
According to State police records, as many as 1014 persons including about 800 women and girls were kidnapped during 2004. This is in contrast to around 350 incidents of abduction reported in Bihar. So far this year, about 250 cases of kidnapping were reported all over the State.
Last year Hyderabad city alone reported 60 cases of kidnapping and if the incidents within Cyberabad police limits are also included the number goes up to 130 cases. Twin cities are followed by Warangal with 70 incidents. Former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu's native Chittoor stands third among districts in the State in terms of total number of abductions.
Andhra Pradesh is notorious for its specialised kidnapping gangs which employ kidnapped children in forced child labour and begging. The abducted women are forced into prostitution. The CID maintains a list of such gangs but quite often fails to curb abductions. On an average 20 kidnappings take place every week in the State.
While the incidents of "missing persons" went up by seven per cent, those of kidnappings remained constant between 2003 (1029 cases) and 2004 (1014). If all types of "bodily offences" are put together, the total number of cases shoot up to 2892 during January 2005 alone. This is in contrast with 2570 cases in December 2004.
Officials attribute to the high incidence of kidnapping and other offences in the State due to lack of sufficient manpower, particularly women in the police department. The police to population ratio in the State is 1:1000 as against 1.6:1000 for all-India average. Ironically, women police staff make just 1.6 per cent of the State's total police force.
MIM floor leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday took the "friendly" Congress government by surprise in the State Assembly when he said the rule of Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy was worse than that of Lalu Prasad Yadav's in Bihar. "Not a day passes without three persons kidnapped in the State. The government has utterly failed to control kidnappings", he pointed out.

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Triveni Sangamam: The confluence of musical streams

By Syed Akbar

Hyderabadis were treated to a rare musical feat, on the eve of the World Music Day, by Mrudangam maestro Yella Venkateswara Rao and his team of 100 artistes. The concept was also rare and never presented before in the country.
Venkateswara Rao, who has become synonymous with Mrudangam with his unique style blended with the classical tradition, musically captured the origin of the Holy Ganges and its tributaries the Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati and took the audience through the civilisations enroute till they merge into what is known as Triveni Sangamam or the confluence of the three holy rivers.
The symphony, aptly named Triveni Sangamam, was organised by Chaitanya Art Theatres. It was unique in that Venkateswara Rao and his team narrated the entire episode lasting 90 minutes without depending on lyrics. It was all pure music and Venkateswara Rao ensured that the concert was enlivening and interesting.
He and his team used a variety of ragas and musical instruments to create a spiritual aura for the audience as they took them on an experience of a never-ending journey of the three holy rivers that formed part of the Indian civilisation for ages and continues even now. They made the audience the feel of the rivers, the splashing of the waters under the influence of gentle winds, the dangerous curves they take as they flow through the ridges and the valleys and the greenery they create all along their routes. In short, Venkateswara Rao created an altogether different world of music of his own and transported the audience into it for an equally different feeling.
"I have chosen the Triveni Sangamam theme because we cannot separate our rivers from our civilisation. Ganga, the most sacred river, chisels through the Himalayas and meanders through the plains exhibiting various moods, colours and attitudes while blessing millions of lives on her journey to the ocean. Even in art, Ganga is visualised as a beautiful maiden, carrying an overflowing pot in her hand. The vessel conveys the idea of abundant life and fertility, which nourishes and sustains the universe. Just as the confluence of Yamuna and Saraswati with Ganga forms the Triveni Sangamam, this union of voice, instruments and dance has created a musical symphony," Venkateswara Rao points out.
The maestro had carefully chosen three different patterns (tribhinna) of Gaana, Laya and Nritya to showcase the magic that the Ganga weaves in a ragamalika of three ragas entwined with traditional dance forms.
Venkateswara Rao has already carved out a niche for himself in the world of percussion and the Triveni Sangamam has simply added another feather to the cap of this distinguished musician.
The symphony comprised of various musical instruments like ghatam, violin, tabla, nadaswaram, dhol, mrudangam, bhasuri, saxophone and veena among others. And managing as many as 50 instruments is really a Herculean task. And Venkateswara Rao has proved once again that he is maestro par excellence.

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Uranium, thorium search in Kadapa basin

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: After beginning the process for mining uranium in the Nagarjunasagar belt, the city-based Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research will search for uranium and thorium reserves in the Kadapa basin including its Kurnool sub-basin.
The Kadapa basin covers a major portion of Rayalaseema area, south of the river Krishna from Srisailam and extends beyond Pennar river. The exploration covers the basin along the Kurnool-Kadapa canal and parts of Kurnool and Kadapa districts including the Rajampet, Vempalle, Mulapalli, Kanampeta and Rachakuntapalle.
The Kadapa basin is rich in mineral wealth, particularly uranium and thorium reserves. The geology of the basin dates back to 2.5 billion years
and contains minerals like diamond (Kohinoor was found here), barite, asbestos, copper, lead, limestone and Kadapa slabs. About 25 per cent of the world’s barite resources are also present in this area.
The present study of uranium and thorium reserves in Kadapa basin gains significance in view of India's plans to generate about 20,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2020. Uranium reserves in the country have been dwindling and the country is now looking forward to thorium. Availability of uranium and thorium reserves in the Kadapa basin will boost the nuclear energy plans of the country with 14 nuclear reactors and nine under construction.
If everything goes on well with the uranium reserves in the Kadapa basin, Andhra Pradesh may emerge as the largest contributor of nuclear energy sources in the country. Mining of uranium has already begun in Nalgonda district.
The study will cover about 11,000 square km area of the 44,000 sq km Kadapa-Kurnool basin in Rayalaseema. To begin with AMD will take up testing of 900 km in a test block of 15 km by 15 km and on its successful completion, the remaining area will be released for survey at an estimated cost of Rs 5 crore. Multiparametre geophysical surveys using gamma and electromagnetic waves are useful in mineral exploration and bedrock mapping studies.
“There is a possibility of encountering a number of surprises in the metallogenic evaluation of the terrain when probed at greater depth than that is usually superficially perceived,” points out RM Sinha, additional director and VP Saxena, regional director, of AMD in their recent study paper.
Though Uranium exploration began in this area in late 1950’s to search for uranium, a proper scientific survey is yet to be taken up. Thorium reserves were found at Gulcheru. Subsequent exploration in late 1980’s also throw some light on signficant uranium reserves in the area.
A decade ago, uranium mineralisation was located in the Kadapa basin near Srisailam, thereby establishing in India for the first time the presence of unconformity related uranium mineralisation — a category considered most potential world over.
Earlier studies by the AMD recognised three distinct types of uranium mineralisation, strata bound, fracture controlled (both basement granite and sediment hosted) and unconformity-related type.

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This Day In History

Mother's Care

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Minnu The Cat & Her Kittens Brownie, Goldie & Blackie

Someone with Nature

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Syed Akbar in an island in river Godavari with Papikonda hills in the background

Recognition by World Vegetable Centre

Recognition by World Vegetable Centre

Under the shade of Baobab tree

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At Agha Khan Akademi in Kenya

Gateway to the Southern Hemisphere

Gateway to the Southern Hemisphere

Convention on Biodiversity

Convention on Biodiversity
Syed Akbar at the 11th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity