BJP siege throws life out of gear in city

Workers throng Secretariat seeking Thomas Chandy’s resignation

The BJP’s siege of the Secretariat from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday seeking the resignation of Transport Minister Thomas Chandy had several shades — for the common man, it meant a harrowing commuting time while for the roadside vendors, such a huge gathering meant good business.

As traffic through the arterial road was hit from early morning, students, office-goers, and others had a tough time. The spin-off effect of the siege was felt elsewhere too in the city. Many junctions and corridors witnessed snarls on the first working day of the week.

As the workers squatted in front of the North, South and YMCA gate of the Secretariat, its employees and the Ministers had a tough time reaching the Cantonment gate to enter Secretariat. “We had to walk all the way from Palayam to the Secretariat”, said a person from Kottarakara. Although the BJP made arrangements to provide food for the party cadres participating in the stir, street vendors made use of the opportunity. Lottery, ice cream and peanuts were in high demand. “A crowd is a good thing,” said Jose Prakash whose peanuts had great demand. For the lottery agents, it was a mixed bag. “BJP workers do not buy much tickets. LDF and UDF protests are much better,” said lottery agent V.S. Rajan.

Inaugurating the siege, BJP State president Kummanam Rajasekharan said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan should show the courage to take back the land acquired by Mr. Chandy in violation of Kerala Land Reforms Act and redistribute it to the farmers.

BJP’s national council member P.K. Krishnadas, district president Velliyamkulam Parameswaran, O. Rajagopal, MLA, State general secretaries Sobha Surendran and A.N. Radhakrishnan spoke. Traffic was restored around 2.30 p.m.

Source:-The hindu

Dublin named 12th best ‘Tech City’ in the world

Dublin named 12th best 'Tech City' in the world

Dublin has been named the 12th best ‘Tech City’ in the world, according to a new report from UK real estate provider Savills. 

The report analysed over 100 different metrics, from the number of days needed to start a business to the cost of a flat white coffee.

Savills said that all of the cities on the list are: “at the top of global shopping lists for tech companies looking for space in which to locate.”

They created an interactive globe which highlights each city on the list and ranked them under five different categories: Business Environment, Tech Environment, Buzz and Wellness, Talent Pool and Real Estate costs.

Dublin came 12th out of a total of 22 cities, with Savill saying that: “Dublin offers a young, tech-savvy workforce and a host of big names including AirBnb, Apple and Facebook.

“A business-friendly, low tax environment may have drawn big players to the city, but it is the city’s legendary social scene that cemented its position as a major global tech player.”

Business Environment

When it came to Business Environment, which looks at things such as investment environment, business costs and start-up culture, Dublin was above the average.

The average GDP per capita was around €46,000, with Dublin coming in at around €58,000.

Dublin was below the average when it came to the amount of annual passengers across city airports. The average for the other tech cities was 48 million passengers, with Dublin having 25 million annual passengers.

Tech Environment

Dublin was slightly below the average for broadband download speeds, with the average in tech cities being 19.4 megabytes per second (mbps) and Dublin being 17.4 mpbs.

Dublin was also below the average when it came to start-ups per 1000 people, with Dublin sitting at 1.1 and the average being 2.3.

Buzz and Wellness

Possibly the most important metric was the price of a flat white coffee. Thankfully, Dublin was below the average price, with a flat brew coming in at €2.75 and the average being around €2.90.

Dublin was also below the average when it came to commute times. The average journey to work in Dublin was around 26 minutes and the average in other tech cities was 32 minutes.

Talent Pool

When it came to the city’s youthfulness, tech education credentials and ability to attract talent, Dublin was ahead of the curve.

In terms of population growth, Dublin was above the average expected population growth for the next ten years with 11%, compared to the average which was 10%.

Real Estate Costs

Finally, when it came to real estate costs, Dublin was below the average for weekly residential costs.

Dublin was well below the average of €1,070, sitting at around €770.

The full list saw cities from all over the world being included, with cities such as : Santiago, Tokyo, London, Berlin, New York and San Francisco making an appearance.

Surprisingly, San Francisco came 2nd on the list with Austin, Texas taking the top spot as the world’s best ‘Tech City’.


Uber Teams With Florida City on Public Transit Test

Uber Teams With Florida City on Public Transit Test

A Florida city is testing whether it can save millions of dollars in road-building and other public transportation expenses by subsidizing the cost of rides with Uber Technologies Inc.

Altamonte Springs, an Orlando suburb, on March 21 will become the nation’s first city to pay a portion of the fare for all trips with Uber within its limits, according to Christine Mitchell, Uber’s general manager in Central Florida.

The goal is to integrate the on-demand ride service into the transportation network, get cars off the road and induce people to use mass transit such as SunRail, the two-year-old regional commuter train, said city manager Frank Martz.

Altamonte Springs has budgeted $500,000, partly from local businesses, for a year-long study during which it will pick up 20 percent of all Uber rides in city limits, and 25 percent for those to or from its SunRail station.

“It is infinitely cheaper than the alternatives,” said Martz, whose city has a population of about 43,000 and median income of $50,000. “A mile of road costs tens of millions of dollars. You can operate this for decades on $10 million.”

Some economics and public policy experts who study Uber disagree.

“I see this plan as blowing (the city’s) budget out of the water,” said Joann Weiner, director of the master’s programme in applied economics at George Washington University.

Subsidies usually cause costs to increase because someone else is picking up part of the tab, she said. The city’s budget also may not account for rider demand.

The other big question is public acceptance.

Martz said suburban sprawl in Florida has made transportation solutions like bus routes inefficient and unaffordable. He believes cheaper Uber rides also will help those who need public transportation to reach available bus and rail services.

However, advocates for the homeless and poor who rely on buses say this will not help them.

Andrae Bailey, chief executive for the Central Florida Commission on Homeless, argued that the homeless and poor who rely on city buses typically don’t benefit from technological solutions because they don’t have easy internet access.”

Lyft, Uber’s largest ride-hailing competitor in the United States, is also in negotiations with transit agencies about subsidies for Lyft rides, said Emily Castor, Lyft director of transportation policy. She did not provide the names.

If the city decides to continue the service, Martz said the contract will be open to other bidders.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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This City Just Unseated New York City as the Billionaire Capital of the World

This City Just Unseated New York City as the Billionaire Capital of the WorldBeijing just surpassed New York City to become the city with the most billionaires in the world. A hundred billionaires are based in the Chinese capital compared to New York City’s 95, according to findings from theHurun Global Rich List, an annual wealth ranking from the Shanghai-based Hurun Report.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are still the first and second wealthiest people in the world, with net worths of $80 billion and $68 billion, respectively. Zara founder Amancio Ortega comes in at number three with assets totaling $64 billion, followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ($53 billion). Mexican business magnate and investor Carlos Slim Helu rounds out the top five with a net worth of $50 billion.

Related: These Are the World’s Top 10 Young Billionaires

The two wealthiest people in China are Wang Jianlin ($26 billion), the Chairman of the Wanda Group — a luxury commercial property company and the world’s largest movie chain operator – and Li Ka-Shing ($25 billion), the 87-year-old Chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings, investor and philanthropist.

For the first time, China has overtaken the U.S. as the country with the most billionaires. The five-year-old list reports that there are now 2,188 billionaires around the world, 50 percent more than in 2013.