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Western Railway uses modern technique to scan old Mumbai bridges

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Western Railway

Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) After Railway Minister Piyush Goyal cracked the whip, the Western Railway (WR) launched a safety audit of all 445 bridges on the Mumbai suburban section, deploying modern techniques to scan some of the oldest structures, an official said here on Saturday.

The first to be inspected and audited was the 98-year old Mahalaxmi road overbridge (ROB) and later the Bandra ROB, with the new time-saving technique through the “tower wagon car”.

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“The tower wagon has been designed to save inspection time to two hours against the normal four hours by conventional methods and even perform urgent repairs,” said WR spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar.

Image result for WR spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar.

Western Railways chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar

Conventionally, a long ladder was transported from Lower Parel station to the required station, shifted manually to the bridge site and only one person at a time could climb it, while clutching a load of equipment. The ladder needed to be shifted continuously for examining each girders, pillars or spans.

However, the new tower wagon allows the entire inspection team to climb to the targeted site armed with tools and machinery, and even carry out spot emergency repairs, making it a quick, safe and quality process, said Bhakar.

On the WR’s Churchgate-Virar sector, there are 29 ROBs, 110 Foot overbridges (FOBs) and four pipeline bridges, and the rest are on the Central Railway (CR), across Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, catering to over eight million daily suburban commuters.

Top WR officials including General Manager A. K. Gupta, Divisional Railway Manager Sanjay Mishra, Principal Chief Engineer R. K. Meena and Chief Safety Officer Manoj Sharma were present when the inspections were carried out in the early hours on Saturday.

Image result for WR General Manager A. K. Gupta,

Western Railway top boss Western Railway GM A.K Gupta

Spelling relief, the Mahalaxmi ROB was found to be “structurally sound and in safe condition” at all its 15 girders and five spans after it was inspected in minute details by two tower wagons.

The 56-year old Bandra ROB with 13 girders and three spans was also found structurally safe and sound, the WR said.

Bouyed by the results, the WR will now carry out the safety audits of all the remaining bridges with tower wagons over the next three-four months, as resolved at a high-level meeting on July 5.

Following stringent observations by the Bombay High Court, a public uproar after the July 3 crash of a portion of the Andheri FOB which killed one woman, the beleagured WR, CR, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation along with IIT-Bombay experts launched the full-scale bridges’ audits.

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July 3 crash of a portion of the Andheri FOB

It was decided to order repairs or reconstruct the stressed bridges on priority without procedural delays, with precedence given to the oldest structures, while ensuring complete coordination among various agencies.

The three organisations will also conduct regular monthly meetings of top officials, clear issues about designs, drawings, approvals, land issues, etc, to speed up the required works.

They would also explore the feasibility of creating a special corpus fund for the purpose of an appropriate amount, to ensure financial resources are readily available, especially for undertaking works of urgent nature or in emergencies.

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NASA solar probe launch delayed

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nasaa soler

Washington, Aug 11 : NASA on Saturday scrubbed the scheduled launch of its historic small car-size probe to “touch the Sun” from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The agency is now targeting Sunday for the launch of the spacecraft which is designed to go all the way to the Sun’s atmosphere, or corona — closer to the Sun than any spacecraft in history.

“This morning’s launch of @NASASun’s #ParkerSolarProbe was scrubbed. Launch teams will attempt to launch on Sunday morning,” NASA said in a tweet on Saturday.

The probe is named after Eugene Parker, a solar physicist who in 1958 first predicted the existence of the solar wind, the stream of charged particles and magnetic fields that flow continuously from the Sun.

Nestled atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy — one of the world’s most powerful rockets — with a third stage added, Parker Solar Probe will blast off toward the Sun with a whopping 55 times more energy than is required to reach Mars.

Weighing just 635 kgs, it is a relatively light spacecraft, Andy Driesman, project manager for the mission at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in the US, said in an earlier statement issued by NASA.

“And it needs to be, because it takes an immense amount of energy to get to our final orbit around the Sun,” Driesman added.

Zooming through space in a highly elliptical orbit, the Parker Solar Probe will reach speeds of up to 700,000 kms per hour, setting the record for the fastest spacecraft in history.

During its nominal mission lifetime of just under seven years, the Parker Solar Probe will complete 24 orbits of the Sun — reaching within 3.8 million miles of the Sun’s surface at the closest approach.

In an orbit this close to the Sun, the real challenge is to keep the spacecraft from burning up.

“Recent advances in materials science gave us the material to fashion a heat shield in front of the spacecraft not only to withstand the extreme heat of the Sun, but to remain cool on the backside,” said Adam Szabo, the mission scientist for the Parker Solar Probe at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The heat shield is made of a 4.5-inch thick carbon composite foam material between two carbon fibre face sheets.

At the Parker Solar Probe’s closest approach to the Sun, temperatures on the heat shield will reach nearly 1,371 degrees Celsius, but the spacecraft and its instruments will be kept at a relatively comfortable temperature of about 29.4 degrees Celsius.

IANS

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Hackers transfer Rs 94 crore from Pune’s Cosmos Bank

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Pune, Aug 14 : Suspected hackers siphoned off Rs 94.42 crore from the Cosmos Cooperative Bank Ltd — the second oldest and second biggest cooperative bank in India — to various foreign and domestic bank accounts, police said on Tuesday.

The bank was cyber-attacked twice, on Saturday and on Monday, according to an FIR lodged by an official of Cosmos Bank with Chaturshringi Police Station.

The complaint said the first attack took place on August 11 between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. and on August 13 around 11.30 a.m., affecting its headquarters on Ganeshkhind Road.

A police officer said that during those hours, some unknown persons hacked into the ATM Switch (servers) at the headquarters and acquired the sensitive data of its Visa and RuPay debit card customers.

As per tentative estimates, the hackers siphoned off Rs 78 crore by 12,000 Visa card transactions and transferred it out of the country, including bank accounts in Hong Kong.

Another amount of Rs 2.50 crore from 2,849 transactions was transferred within India, details of which were being investigated, said the police.

Before the bank could react, in a fresh attack on Monday (August 13), the hackers initiated SWIFT transactions and transferred Rs 13.92 crore to the accounts of a company, ALM Trading Ltd, with Hang Seng Bank, Hong Kong. The amounts were soon withdrawn from that bank.

Established in 1906, the Pune-headquartered Cosmos Bank is the second oldest and se

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to be launched in India on August 22

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Samsung Galaxy Note 9

New Delhi, Aug 14: After a successful global launch in New York on August 9, South Korean giant Samsung will unveil its flagship Galaxy Note 9 in India on August 22.

Industry sources on Tuesday confirmed to IANS that the India launch — to be attended by top Korean executives — will be the biggest ever for Samsung in the country.

The pre-booking for Galaxy Note 9 — which will be available in 6GB+128GB and 8GB+512GB variants for Rs 67,900 and Rs 84,900 respectively — opened in India on August 10.

Those who pre-book the device will get a chance to own a Samsung Gear Sport smartwatch for Rs 4,999, which originally costs Rs 22,990.

All variants of the device will be available across retail and online stores. The smartphone will also be available on Flipkart in the country.

The device, to be made available globally from August 24, will be manufactured at the world’s largest mobile manufacturing plant in Noida that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 9.

Galaxy Note 9 comes with a mammoth 1TB memory, a bigger 4,000mAh battery and a Bluetooth-equipped S Pen.

The device that runs OS Android 8.1 (Oreo) has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip (SoC) for the US customers and the models powered by Samsung’s very own “Exynos 9 Series 9810” chips will come to India.

The device sports a dual camera system (12MP+12MP) with dual optical image stabilisation (OIS) at the rear — with 2 times more powerful optical zoom and up to 10 times powerful digital zoom — and an 8MP front shooter.

When it comes to Stylus Pen (the company calls it S Pen), there is much more to experience this time. S Pen now has remote control functionality along with Bluetooth connectivity and extremely fast charging.

IANS

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