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IndiGo plane returns after mid-air engine failure, government to review incident

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Mumbai | An IndiGo Airbus A320neo plane flying to Kolkata from Chennai suffered a mid-air engine failure with a “loud bang” and was forced to return mid-way on Thursday, prompting the civil aviation ministry to order a review.

The January 3 incident, which came to light on Saturday, is the latest in a series of cases involving a Pratt & Whitney engine. The plane returned mid-way to Chennai and has been grounded there since then due to damaged engine blades, sources said.

An IndiGo spokesperson said in a statement that its crew took note of a “technical caution” and decided to return the flight to Chennai, even as sources said the engine of the aircraft stalled mid-air with a “loud bang”.

When contacted, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey told PTI, “Ministry has taken serious note (of the incident) and we will review it on Tuesday.”

He was asked whether the ministry will direct the aircraft maker Airbus and US-based engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to stop deliveries unless all issues are fixed.

“One of the P&W engines of IndiGo neo aircraft operating on Chennai-Kolkata route on January 3 stalled mid-air followed by a loud bang and sparks from it and smoke, leading to heavy vibration,” a source said.

The incident forced the A320neo aircraft to return to Chennai under emergency conditions, he added. The number of people on board the flight could not be ascertained.

“This was for the first time that that an A320neo faced multiple problems — smoke, heavy vibration, loud bang and engine stalled — in one single flight,” the source added.

IndiGo, which is facing such issues in the A320neo planes powered by P&W engines since their induction in the fleet in 2016 and has received compensation from both Airbus and the engine maker for each grounding, said the aircraft returned to Chennai due to “technical caution” noted by the crew.

“An IndiGo flight 6E 923 (Neo) operating Chennai-Kolkata route on January 3 returned to Chennai after take-off due to a technical caution noted by the crew.

“The crew followed the normal operating procedures and asked for a priority landing. There was no engine shutdown and no emergency landing was declared as per the report,” IndiGo said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the government’s apex aircraft investigation body AAIB has rushed a team to Chennai to assess the incident and take a call on the probe.

“As per settled practice, we have sent a team. We are awaiting details,” a senior official of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) told PTI.

The official, however, said it was not yet decided whether AAIB will probe the incident or the aviation regulator DGCA.

The bureau, which investigates serious incidents and accidents involving Indian registered aircraft, is already probing IndiGo Jaipur-Kolkta flight smoke incident on December 10.

Queries sent to Pratt & Whitney remained unanswered.

Airbus evaded a detailed response to PTI queries and only said that it was “working closely with the engine maker to minimise disruptions”.

In India, two budget carriers IndiGo and GoAir operate P&W engine-powered Airbus A320 planes, while Air India and Vistara, which also operate these latest single-aisle planes, have CFM engines.

However, the P&W engines-run aircraft have been facing glitches every now and then since their induction in the fleet by the two operators in 2016, with several instances of mid-air engine shutdowns. However, the engine maker has failed to come up with any tangible solution to fix these issues so far despite frequent grounding of these planes and passengers safety at risk.

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Javed Akhtar could have called us: ‘PM Narendra Modi’ producer Sandip Ssingh on credit row

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Javed Akhtar

Apart from Javed Akhtar, another veteran lyricist, Sameer, had said that he was surprised to find his name in the credits. 

 

Mumbai| Producer Sandip Singh, whose latest film “PM Narendra Modi” is embroiled in a controversy after Javed Akhtar expressed shock over getting credit for a song in the biopic, says the noted lyricist could have shared his grievance personally.

The 74-year-old writer’s name was mentioned in the credits of the film’s trailer alongside lyricists Prasoon Joshi, Sameer, Abhendra Kumar Upadhyay, Sardar, Parry G and Lavraj.

“Javed sahab is a senior writer in our country. We have grown up listening to his songs. We have used one of his old songs ‘Ishwar Allah’ from ‘1947: Earth’ and gave him credit. T-series is our music partner.

“I did not get any call from him and so I also did not call him. He spoke about it on Twitter, so even I replied there. But he could have called us,” Singh told PTI.

Apart from Akhtar, another veteran lyricist, Sameer, had said that he was surprised to find his name in the credits.

In his response, Singh said on Saturday that they gave credit to Sameer because they had incorporated his song “Suno gaur se Duniya walon” from the film “Dus”.

The trailer of the Omung Kumar-directed film, featuring Vivek Oberoi in the lead, released on Wednesday.

When asked about the response to the trailer, Singh said, “We can’t always have everyone like our work. We welcome all the criticism and we will learn from it.”

The film, which also features Boman Irani, Manoj Joshi, Zarina Wahab and Prashant Narayanan, releases on April 5.

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Vice Admiral Karanbir Singh becomes the new Navy Chief

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 New Delhi| The Modi government on Saturday appointed Vice-Admiral Karanbir Singh as the next Naval Chief of Staff. He will take over the charge from former Navy Chief Sunil Lamba. Vice Admiral Singh has been serving as the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief of the Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam. According to a news agency, Lamba will retire as the Navy Chief on May 31, 2019.

The Vice-Admiral in his career spanning over 36 years has served as the Fleet Operations Officer of the Western Fleet. He has also been Joint Director Naval Air Staff at the Naval Headquarters, Captain Air and Officer-in-Charge of the Naval Air Station at Mumbai and as a member of the Aircrew Instrument Rating and Categorisation Team (AIRCATS).

 

 

 

 

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In the election month, 4.74 Cr farmers to get second installment of PM Kisan Scheme

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PM Kisan

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre announced the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) scheme.

 

New Delhi| About 4.74 crore small and marginal farmers registered under the PM-Kisan scheme before the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for general election came into effect on March 10 will get the second instalment of Rs 2,000 each in their bank accounts, a senior government official said Saturday.

Of these 4.74 crore beneficiaries, 2.74 crore farmers have so far received the first instalment and the rest will be covered by month-end, he said.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has allowed the Union Agriculture Ministry to transfer the first and second tranche of the payment to all those beneficiaries registered under the scheme before March 10, the official added.

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Centre announced the Rs 75,000-crore Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM Kisan) scheme under which Rs 6,000 per year would be disbursed in three instalments to around 12 crore farmers who hold cultivable land up to 2 hectares.

In the budget, the NDA government allocated a sum of Rs 20,000 crore, to transfer Rs 2,000 each to farmers in the first instalment by March-end, for the ongoing fiscal under the scheme.

The PM Kisan scheme was formally launched at the national level by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24 at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh by transferring the first instalment to 1.01 crore farmers, amounting Rs 2,021 crore.

“We were hoping to have the data of 12 crore farmers from across the country. But the data of 4.74 crore farmers have come before the MCC was enforced,” the official told PTI.

The government has already released the first instalment of Rs 2,000 each to 2.74 crore beneficiaries and the remaining will be covered before this month-end, he said.

With regard to the payment of the second tranche to begin from April 1, the official said the ECI has allowed making the payment to all those beneficiaries registered before the MCC kicked in.

“We can go ahead and make the payment of the first instalment to the rest of the people whose names are on the portal. We can go ahead and make the payment for the second instalment as well,” the official said.

In Uttar Pradesh, the first instalment has been released to around one crore farmers so far and the Centre has received data of additional 66 lakh farmers.

The official further said that Punjab and Haryana are amongst the top beneficiary states as more than 80 per cent of the farmers registered under the PM Kisan scheme have received the first instalment.

While, some states including West Bengal, Delhi and Sikkim have yet not submitted the farmers’ data and therefore no money has been transferred.

The official also mentioned that no fresh data has come from states after the MCC came into effect.

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