India to Invest 4 Billion in Power industry to Wipe Out Theft

first_imgThe Indian power ministry announced on Thursday that it will invest $4 billion (INR 25,300 crore) in the power industry to roll out a new metering system and upgrade distribution networks around the country to help tackle the power theft issue.The announcement is a key step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to wipe out the electricity theft problem plaguing the country and to introduce uninterrupted power supply. The total project will reportedly cost $5.27 billion of which $4 billion will be contributed by the government.The new scheme will see the power ministry rolling out new meters for distribution feeders, transformers and consumers. The plan also intends to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution networks, Reuters reports. The project will help cut technical and commercial losses in the power department.Power theft has been a major problem in the country. According to a previous Bloomberg analysis, India loses $17 billion in revenue annually due to prolonged power cuts and blackouts. The country also loses over a quarter of its power due to poor wiring.Billing rates “are too low, and theft is too high. If you look at the power losses, 80 percent is theft,” Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects , a privately held power plant operator told Businessweek in an earlier interview.The government has raided several private companies after the Modi administration stepped in. More than 750 cases of power theft were reported before June.Experts suggested that power should be subsidized to solve the emerging problem. But theft- from both the poor and rich – made it unfeasible.In a 2013 feature for The Hindu, William Ash, a Strategic Program Manager at the IEEE Standards Association explained that “smart meters” are a great way to tackle the theft problem.”Most of the time, this theft happens through tapping of electricity from live wires, which also poses risks to people’s lives. The use of smart meters thus becomes extremely relevant in developing countries such as India,” Ash wrote.A smart meter is an electricity-measuring device that remotely switches “the customer’s power supply off and/or individual appliances based on demand response. It can remotely control electricity consumption to maximise energy efficiency and load balancing,” Ash explained.The Modi government has set a goal to use renewable energy to power at least one light bulb in the remote areas of India by 2019. Narendra Modi has been credited for solving the power theft problem in Gujarat when he was the chief minister. o f the statelast_img read more

Netanyahus wife charged with fraud

first_imgIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu wave during a visit with Indian Prime Minister Nerendra Modi to the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad on 17 JanuaryIsraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara was charged Thursday with fraud and breach of trust after a lengthy probe into allegations she misused state funds to claim for delivery meals costing $100,000.The move represents the latest legal headache for Netanyahu and his family, as the authorities investigate the combative leader over allegations of corruption in a string of eye-catching cases.The justice ministry announced that “the Jerusalem district prosecutor… filed charges against the prime minister’s wife”.The ministry said Sara Netanyahu, who turns 60 in November, was accused of falsely declaring there were no cooks available at the premier’s official residence and ordering “hundreds of meals from outside caterers at public expense”.From 2010 to 2013 Netanyahu, her family and guests received “fraudulently from the state hundreds of prepared meals (each including a number of courses) to the value of 359,000 shekels ($99,700)”, the indictment read.Netanyahu, a high-profile presence at her husband’s side throughout his lengthy time at the helm, has denied any wrongdoing.Her lawyers, in a statement, dismissed the charges as “delusional” and pointed out that she herself had not ordered the meals, many of which were for official guests and in some cases for residence staff.According to the charge sheet, the meals were ordered from a variety of well-known Jerusalem establishments, including an Italian restaurant, a Middle Eastern grill joint and a sushi establishment.The trial, which could run for months, is to be held in the Jerusalem magistrates court, with the prosecution requesting a panel of three judges due to the “public sensitivity” of the case.Husband’s legal woesThe legal woes come as Netanyahu’s husband himself is under the microscope on suspicion of a series of corruption offences.In one case, the prime minister and his family are suspected of receiving one million shekels worth of luxury cigars, champagne and jewellery from wealthy individuals in exchange for financial or personal favours.In another case, investigators suspect the premier of trying to reach an agreement with the owner of Yediot Aharonot, a top Israeli newspaper, for more favourable coverage.Netanyahu has protested his innocence and vowed to remain in power, saying he is the victim of a “witch-hunt”.He also faces suspicions of government favours that allegedly saw regulatory breaks go to Israel’s largest telecom firm Bezeq, in return for favourable coverage of him and his wife by a news website.He was questioned last week as a witness in a probe of alleged corruption over the state purchase of three German submarines.He is not considered a suspect, but some of his close associates have been questioned several times.The case centres on alleged graft surrounding Germany’s sale to Israel of three submarines manufactured by industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.Despite his troubles, opinion polls suggest Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would remain the largest in parliament if elections scheduled for November 2019 were held now.last_img read more

Houston Suspect Sought After Woman Fatally Struck By Pickup

first_img Share Photo via Twitter of Houston Police @houstonpolice Police said Thursday that 28-year-old Eddie Roy Olvera has been charged with murder.The Houston Police Department is searching for a man suspected in the death of a 33-year-old woman who was intentionally run over by a vehicle.Police said Thursday that 28-year-old Eddie Roy Olvera has been charged with murder in the death of the woman on Tuesday evening.Authorities said Olvera, who was driving a pickup truck, was following a vehicle driven by the victim. An ex-girlfriend of Olvera’s was inside the victim’s vehicle.Police said the victim got out of her vehicle and began arguing with Olvera. Police said he then struck her with his pickup and fled the scene.The woman was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Her identification is pending verification by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.North officers are at a homicide scene 10500 W, Hardy. Adult female was transported to the hospital where she died. Initial information is victim was intentionally struck by a vehicle driven by a known suspect. 202 pic.twitter.com/qHb677gZF7— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) July 4, 2018last_img read more