News Bulletin : August 2021 – Issue 2

1. New report details America\’s water infrastructure cyber vulnerabilities : COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Danny Jenkins, CEO and cofounder of the cybersecurity firm ThreatLocker, was terrified when he first heard the details behind a cyberattack on a Florida water treatment plant earlier this year. Officials said hackers exploited an outdated version of Windows in an apparent attempt to poison the water supply for a local community. Jenkins wasn\’t just alarmed that hackers had successfully managed to gain remote access to the plant\’s TeamViewer software to jack up levels of sodium hydroxide to a lethal dosage, but that a single operator could potentially tamper with the chemical levels – regardless of whether that person was a hacker or utility employee. Source: FCW

2. Are floating cities a real possibility? : FLOATING STRUCTURES

With the world’s population nearing 7.9 billion, and estimates projecting that it will reach 9.7 by 2050, architects and urban planners naturally speculate about cities of the future. In the 1960s, the visionary architect Yona Friedman imagined Spatial City (Ville Spatiale), a city raised on stilts that could straddle existing cities. Around the same time, the influential British architecture collective Archigram drew up Plug-In City, a computer-controlled, adaptable megastructure of a city with removable units. And just this year, the speculative architect and film director Liam Young proposed Planet City, in which the Earth\’s entire population could live in one hyper-dense city the size of Tokyo, devoting the rest of the planet to rewilding. Source: Smithsonian Magazine

3. The Known Unknowns of Sea Level Rise : INLAND WATERWAYS

As ice sheets melted at the end of the last Ice Age, sea levels rose and an inland sea formed in New England and southeastern Canada. Whales swam in what is now central Vermont. Ten thousand years later, the atmosphere and oceans are warming rapidly and land ice at all latitudes is melting. Data collected by satellite altimeters over the past three decades show that global sea level has risen by an average of 3.4 millimeters per year and the rate is accelerating. Source: Earth Observatory

4. \’New Noida\’ logistics and industrial hub plan and why does it matter? : LOGISTICS

More than four decades after the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, or Noida as we know it, was set up as a satellite city of Delhi, a logistics and industry hub, to be called New Noida, is being planned close to the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). The Noida authority recently signed an agreement with the Delhi-based School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) to design the master plan, which is expected to be ready within a year. “We are at a very initial phase. We have just nominated the School of Planning and Architecture for preparing the master plan and it will take at least a year to prepare and approve it,” Noida Authority CEO Ritu Maheshwari, CEO, told Moneycontrol. Source: Moneycontrol

5. Railways registers highest ever freight loading for month of July: RAILWAYS

The railways has registered its highest ever freight loading for the month of July, the national transporter said in a statement on Monday. \”Indian Railways has achieved highest ever incremental freight loading of 17.54 million tonnes (MT) in July 2021 — an increase of 18.43 per cent over July 2020 — with total freight loading of 112.72 MT as against earlier best of 99.74 MT in July 2019 and as against 95.18 MT in July 2020,\” it said. The statement issued by the railway ministry said that major incremental growth was registered in coal loading. This July, 9.31 MT was loaded, which is an increase of 23.47 per cent over July last year, it said. Source: Business Standard

6. Indian Railways proposes to spend Rs 2.15 lakh cr in FY22 for revamp of overall infrastructure: RAILWAYS

The Indian Railways have proposed to spend Rs 2.15 lakh crore in this financial year namely for revamp of overall infrastructure. This amount is 4 times of what the Railways used to spend a decade ago, said Chairman of Railway Board while inaugurating Gandhi Nagar Capital station. The national transporter claim that they laid new rail lines and augmenting the capacity of existing networks across 1900 kms, Dedicated Freight Corridors of 1110 kms are coming up plus electrifying 6015 route kms in 2020-21 at cost of Rs 1.55 lakh crore. Now, this year they will be spending on modernization of rail infrastructure that includes procuring new rakes, Vande Bharat trains, augmenting rail capacity and other projects. A 100 percent electrification is expected by December 2023. Source: Free Press Journal

7. 1,058-km metro network under construction in 27 cities: Hardeep Singh Puri: METRO

Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said 1,058 km of metro network is under construction in 27 cities to boost urban mobility across the country. He was speaking after inaugurating a section of about 289 metres between the Mayur Vihar Pocket 1 and the Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake stations on the Delhi Metro\’s Pink Line via video-conference. The DMRC has been a trailblazer in urban mobility, and the missing link at the Trilokpuri section of its Pink Line Line was bridged with least possible disruptions, the minister said. He said 721 km of metro line was operational in 18 cities in the country at present, and a network of 1,058 km was under construction in 27 more. Source: Financial Express

8. Japan plans to set up two more SEZs in Bangladesh : BUSINESS PARKS/ ECONOMIC ZONES

Japan is expected to set up two more special economic zones (SEZs) in Bangladesh to bring more investors from the industrially developed country. \”Japanese investors eye Bangladesh as a potential destination,\” Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Naoki Ito told a virtual meeting on Sunday, revealing the plan to establish the SEZs at Matarbari and Mirsarai. He, however, said that the new SEZs would depend on the success of the one already being developed at Araihajar. To attract the investors, he added, Bangladesh also needed to remove the existing bottlenecks like complicated customs clearance procedures and other trade restrictions. Source: Financial Express

9. India\’s top explorer ONGC looks at acquisitions for 10GW renewable aim : RENEWABLE ENERGY

India\’s top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC.NS) is looking at acquisitions in order to have 10 gigawatts (GWs) of renewable energy capacity by 2040, Chairman Subhash Kumar said. \”Renewable seems to be making lots of business since today and we are looking at the possibility of inorganic investment in renewables,\” Kumar told an analysts\’ conference, after the company\’s June quarter earnings. India has set up ambitious target to raise its renewable capacity to 450 GWs by 2030 from the current 100 GWs to cut dependence on thermal power generation and reduce pollution. Source: Reuters

10. 6 reasons why energy transmission & distribution utilities need Digital Twin technology : RESOURCES AND UTILITIES

Digital twins – as with any new technology, they can create as many questions as they do answers. This fact creates a natural resistance to the concept, especially among senior utility executives who are used to the old ways and need a compelling case to invest in new ones. What is a Digital Twin? Is it just a fancy name for modelling? And why do many senior leaders and engineers at power transmission & distribution (T&D) companies have a gnawing feeling they should have one? But ultimately it comes down to one question: is this a trend worth our time and money? Source: Geo Spatial World

11. What’s the new vehicle scrappage policy that will create 35,000 jobs & help ‘circular economy’ : ROADS AND HIGHWAYS

The Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme was unveiled in March. It has now been launched with an aim to remove unfit and polluting vehicles off India’s roads. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the much-awaited vehicle scrappage policy at an investment summit in Gujarat Friday. Also known as the Voluntary Vehicle Fleet Modernisation Programme, the policy was first unveiled in March. It has now formally been launched, aiming to remove unfit and polluting vehicles off India’s roads and replace them with modern fuel-efficient and environment-friendly cars. Source: The Print

12. Flash floods will be more common as climate crisis worsens, say scientists : WATER & ENVIRONMENT

Flash flooding of the type seen in London this weekend will become a more common occurrence as the climate crisis worsens, scientists have warned, and the UK government, businesses and householders must do much more to protect against future harm. Dr Jess Neumann, a hydrologist at the University of Reading, said: “Flooding from intense summer rainfall is going happen more frequently. No city, town or village is immune to flooding and we all need to take hard action right now if we are to prevent impacts from getting worse in the future.” Climate policy in the UK has focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which is a primary concern, to reduce the human impact on the climate and ensure global heating does not reach catastrophic levels. But the government has also been warned frequently that measures to cope with the impacts of extreme weather are urgently needed, and that the UK has been falling behind on such adaptive measures. Source: The Guardian

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