Dan Cohen AUTHOR While the Defense Department continues to push for a new BRAC round as the most effective way to deal with excess infrastructure, the Army has begun consolidating personnel into its newest facilities and shuttering unused buildings to manage its surplus capacity.The Army has ordered garrison and senior mission commanders to develop installation reduction plans, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, told the House Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee last week.“The strategy for right-sizing within the installation means that we consolidate personnel into the best-quality buildings and we are able to shut down those buildings, which means you modify the temperature controls, you don’t have lights that you have to manage, and you put them pretty much in cold storage,” Hammack said.Officials believe the consolidation initiative will save the Army $140 million annually by mothballing about 40 million square feet of space. The service previously has said it spends an estimated $500 million to maintain excess or underutilized facilities.“It’s going to take us a while to consolidate into the best buildings,” Hammack said. The Army estimates that 21 percent of its infrastructure will be excess to it needs by fiscal 2018 when its active-duty end strength drops to 450,000.The Air Force, however, can’t take advantage of a similar consolidation effort since much of its excess space stems from a sharp drop in its aircraft inventory, Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, told Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.), the panel’s ranking member.“A lot of our excess infrastructure has to do with iron, with actual aircraft, so we have extra parking spaces, excess hangar space, excess maintenance space,” Ballentine said. “And really, the only way that we can get at that excess is to consolidate by closing bases entirely. And that’s really where the big dollar savings come,” she said.Written testimony and a webcast of the hearing on the installations, environment and energy budget request for fiscal 2017 submitted by DOD and the military services are available on the committee website.
Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel in collaboration with Qualcomm is set to roll out commercial 4G services in four cities across India, following a successful launch in Kolkata and Bangalore in March and earlier this month.US-based chip-maker Qualcomm has acquired Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to introduce 4G networks in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. It has signed an agreement with Airtel under which Qualcomm has permitted Airtel to operate the new networks in these cities for the next two years till 2014.The upcoming launch of 4G networks has come on the heels of Airtel’s high stake partnership with Qualcomm. On Thursday, the teleco announced it has acquired 49 per cent of Qualcomm’s 4G venture in India for a staggering Rs. 9.23 billion (INR 923 crore).”We are delighted to partner with Qualcomm, who shares our commitment to the government’s agenda of broadband for all,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and managing director of Bharti Airtel, according to IBN Live.Qualcomm will maintain the remaining 51 percent stake until 2014, after which Qualcomm will withdraw from the broadband venture but maintain technology services in the country, Reuters cited an unnamed source as saying.”This partnership will combine the strength of Bharti’s national telecom footprint and Qualcomm’s technological leadership in the LTE TDD space. With a broadband ready network across India, Bharti is well positioned to lead the next phase of Indian’s telecom revolution,” Mittal added.Apart from Kolkata and Karnataka, 4G networks are also available in Punjab and Maharashtra circles. The teleco has already issued 3G licenses across 13 circles in the country.
Kolkata: Bengal Imams’ Association has urged all Muslims taking part in Muharram processions not to carry arms like lathis or swords as this is against the principle of Islam.A press release, issued by Mohammad Yahiya, chairman Bengal Imams’ Association on September 14, read that to preserve democracy against monarchy, favourite grandson Hossain of the Great Nabi Hazrat became a martyr at Karbala.Unable to forget the brutal incident, some Muslims carry out processions to express grief and play lathi and swords which is against the principle of Shia and Sunni sects. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHazrat Mohammad was a preacher of peace. He never wanted this.The best way to express grief is to observe fast on the day of Muharram and pray to Allah for the good of all, the statement added.It further mentioned that no procession with members carrying arms is desired and allowing children to hold the same in the procession is against the Shariat and the Indian Penal Code.The Association has urged all Muslims not to allow any children to take part in the anti-Islam activity. They urged people not to get swayed by any instigation.”It is our responsibility to project Islam as a religion of peace,” the release added.It further stated that it is to remind people that by organising processions to carry arms, none can claim to become developed, as conceived by Rahamatulla–Al Amin.The period, leading to the Ashura, the day of martyrdom, the 10th of Muharram, is marked with councils of contemplation, remembrance and narration of the event.
Kolkata: A person and his family members were allegedly harassed and beaten up by a car driver in front of Dum Dum station on Monday.According to local sources, Pankaj Debnath, a professor of Physics at a Kolkata based college, was returning home along with his wife, daughter and mother after attending an invitation. When they were crossing the underpass, a car allegedly passed Debnath’s family dangerously, which resulted in the left mirror of the car hitting Debnath. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseWhen he shouted, the car allegedly stopped a few meters ahead. Debnath reportedly approached the car and asked the driver for an explanation for driving in such a way and demanded an apology. He alleged that the driver of the car, who was later identified as Anupam Das, allegedly pushed him from inside. He then opened the door in a way that it hit Debnath on his face, resulting in an injury near his eyes. When Debnath’s family members came to his aid, Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataDas allegedly harassed them too and started assaulting Debnath. Later, the accused went away with the car. It was alleged that despite several pedestrians and locals witnessing the whole incident, no one came to help the Debnath family. He later lodged a complaint with the Dum Dum police station against Das by intimating the vehicle’s registration number. Police traced out the car and Das and he was arrested on Monday night on charges of beating Debnath and driving in a rash and negligent manner. Sources informed that Das has claimed that Debnath hit him while he was sitting inside the car and he just defended himself. Police are investigating the matter. Das will be forwarded to the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (ACJM) Court, Barrackpore on Tuesday.