25 students dead after Nanded-Secunderabad passenger train hits school bus

The tragic accident took place in Masayipet village of Telangana’s Medak district at 9.10 am on Thursday.

The students were of a private school and came from nearby villages Islampur, Gundredpalli, Kishtapur and Venkatapur. Several other children in that bus, which had 38 in all, are seriously injured and undergoing treatment at the Yashoda Hospital at Secunderabad.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao visited the hospital and has ordered a probe into the accident. He reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and DGP Anurag Sharma. He has ordered officials to take necessary steps to extend all medical assistance to the injured. Police say the toll may rise as some of the children are critically injured.

Villagers blame railway authorities for the mishap, but grieving parents found fault with the bus driver for overspeeding and negligence while crossing the railway track.

Photos

Medak School bus accident

Medak accident

Medak school bus

Train hits school bus in medak

Medak school bus accident pics

Water Board seeks hike in water tariff

Hyderabad: In a bid to earn more revenues, the Water Board has proposed a hike in the water tariff.

Officials of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board are working out the different slabs and are likely to target the high-end consumers like hotels and other commercial establishments while bringing the hike to effect.

The tariff for the 16-30 kilolitre slab consumers may increase from Rs 8 to Rs 12 or maybe even Rs 14 per kilolitre.

Similarly, for the 31-50 kilolitre slab, there may be an increase from Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kilolitre.

The Water Board expects an increase of Rs 10 crore in its monthly revenue due to the hike. Currently, the Board collects Rs 32 crore as revenue from water bill payments each month against a monthly expenditure of Rs 45 crore.

The water tariff was last increased in 2002. The officials are planning to place the proposals before the Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, who is also the chairman of the Water Board. He is scheduled to review the performance of the Board on March 27.

Sources say that domestic consumers, currently, paying Rs 6 per kilolitre are likely to be exempted from the hike. The Rosaiah government is averse to the idea of imposing additional burden on the middle and lower middle classes of the society. When contacted, the Water Board executive director, Mr Ashok Reddy, told this correspondent that nothing had been finalised and there had only been a discussion among officials regarding a hike.

It may be mentioned that Andhra Pradesh was was the first state to increase bus fares.

Even Transco is reportedly proposing a revision in power tariff.

Book LPG cylinders at e-Seva

Hyderabad: Applications for new cooking gas connections will soon be accepted through all e-Seva centres across the state. This comes after a good response to the initiative in Hyderabad.

Many applicants allege that dealers insist they purchase a gas stove and other gadgets from them to get the new connection. A dealer makes a profit of around Rs 1,000 on the sale of the stove etc. but for consumers who already have a stove it’s a waste of money

AP joins Maha battle against Almatti

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has presented crucial data of water storage before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal to prove that Karnataka had secretly increased the height of the Almatti dam of the Supreme Court guidelines.

It also joined hands with Maharashtra to oppose Karnataka’s proposal to increase the height of the dam further by arguing that it would submerge large habitats and would also delay water release during Kharif season in AP.

Officials of AP presented a detailed investigation report stating that Karnataka had impounded 210.38 tmc ft water during the 2006-07 season, which would not have been possible if its height had been 519.6 metres as decided by the Supreme Court.

The state contended that Karnataka raised the height of the dam by 0.60 metres to accommodate additional 37.38 tmc ft water in violation of the Bachawat Award and the SC judgment. This allegation by AP created furore in the tribunal hearings with Karnataka denying increasing the height.

“But we have evidence that Karnataka indeed impounded more than what it could have done with the declared height,” said a senior official in the irrigation department. Karnataka argued for raising the height of the dam to 524.256 metres for utilising another 130 tmc ft out of its share of surplus water of 517 tmc ft.

It alternatively proposed storage of between 519.60 metres and 524.256 metres as carryover for the benefit of all the three states and offered to store about 100 tmc ft water belonging to AP and release it whenever the state wants. However, AP rejected these proposals and argued that Karnataka can use only 155 tmc ft and not 173 tmc ft as claimed during the hearings before the tribunal.

5 killed as Union Minister’s escort jeep hits auto in Andhra

At least five people were killed when a jeep in the convoy of Minister of State for Defence Pallam Raju hit an autorickshaw in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh today, according to media reports.

Four women who were travelling in the autorickshaw died on the spot and a man was also killed. There are reports of few people suffering injuries. These people were travelling in the jeep.

Details are awaited.

–hindustantimes

APPSC announces exam schedule

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission on Monday announced the written examination schedule for the recruitment of junior lecturers in government junior colleges, Group I preliminary, Group IV service for hostel welfare officers and Group IV service junior assistants and supervisors/matrons.

The dates of the examinations are July 4, 25, August 8 and October 3 respectively, a press release issued by the Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission secretary stated here.

SSC students told not to come in uniforms

The SSC public exams begin on Monday across 5,854 centres in the state. Over 13.63 lakh students will take the exams that will go on till April 8. The exams are scheduled from 9.30 am to 12 noon.
As many as 905 “problematic centres” were identified across the state and officials have taken special measures to check malpractice at these centres.
However, in nearly 460 centres students will have to sit on the floor and write the exams due to lack of furniture. Students will not be allowed entry to the centres if they wear school uniform, said Ms Pronoti Suhasini Kavoori, director of the SSC Board.
For the first time, students will be awarded grades this year instead of marks, as part of the reforms introduced by the state government to reduce stress among students.
Also, bar-coding method has been introduced for all the papers to maintain confidentiality and to check irregularities during valuation of papers.
Students will be awarded A, A+, B, B+, C, C+, D, D+ grades in the descending order from this year. Although there will be no “fail category”, but students who fail to get any of the eight grades above will get E-grade and they will have to reappear for the exams.
A control room has been created in the office of the director of government exams to help examinees.
Students throughout the state taking the SSC exam can avail free transport to the exam centre on RTC buses by showing their hall ticket.

Students are Inter invigilators

It seems that the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) has not learnt anything from Saturday’s fiasco of leaked question papers in Nellore.
Faced by an acute shortage of junior lecturers, it has now deputed hundreds of untrained students from universities and degree colleges to act as invigilators.
Though BIE officials say that the shortage is due to the clashing of dates with SSC exams which are scheduled to begin from Monday, the move hasn’t gone down well with students as well as lecturers.
While students fear that the “ill-trained invigilators” may have problems during bar-coding their answer sheets, the government lecturers’ associations feel that the appointment of students as invigilators might complicate matters if any untoward incidents occur because of “hasty decision” of the officials.
“Instead of appointing students, the Board should have insisted on faculty from private colleges. What action can it take against students in case of any irregularities?” asked the general secretary of the AP Government Junior Lecturers Association, Mr Madhusudhan Reddy.
However, the BIE secretary, Mr G. Balaramaiah said, “There will not be any problem as student invigilators will be guided by the chief superintendents and departmental officers.”

Firms get power for all-India purchase

The state government, grappling with a major power crisis, has adopted the ‘open access’ system which will enable industries to directly purchase electricity from private players anywhere in the country.

After Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh is the first state in the country to adopt the system. Under this, an industry in Hyderabad can even buy power from a hydel station located in Arunachal Pradesh and APTransco will facilitate its transmission.

The move is aimed at allowing industries to continue the production at full level. Earlier, the industries had to depend on power provided by government controlled APTransco and Discoms. The new policy is all set to revolutionalise the industries sector. “It is aimed at reducing the hardships faced by the industry,” said Mr Ajay Jain, chairman and managing director of APTransco. “We want to open lines even within the State.”

Initially, open access will be offered for supplies from outside the State. As local industries are struggling to run their units in the context of three-day power holiday, it was decided to allow the same in the State grid also.

“This would allow industries to buy power from local captive power units and we will only charge for transmission service,” said Mr Jain. The Electricity Regulatory Commission will decide the average charge to be collected from the industries for transmission. Sources said it would be less than 50 paise per unit.

APTransco would enter into agreements with the industries for short-term open access and long and medium term open access. Captive units, which till now could not sell their
surplus power, will also benefit from the the latest move.

Flood victims live in shadow of fear

Reconstruction work in Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts yet to get a foothold

 

No relief:A woman cradles her child, born near the Sunkesula Dam near Kurnool during the floods in October last year, on Saturday.

SUNKESULA (KURNOOL DISTRICT): The worst may be over for the people of villages along Tungabhadra river in Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts, but the scars left on their lives by the devastating floods of October 2009 are yet to be healed.

The rehabilitation and reconstruction work in these villages is yet to get a foothold, irrespective of tall claims of the government. The stench left behind by the unprecedented flood is yet to evaporate and the lives remain shattered, though the people could overcome the mental agony, even five months after.

The fear looming large in the minds of affected people, particularly those rendered homeless and are forced to live in makeshift huts, is the forthcoming wind season to be followed by rainy season. The temporary shelters are not in a position to withstand the heavy winds that blow in the area during the ‘gali kalam’ (wind season) commencing from April and in no way they can protect the dwellers from rains. “Our home was washed away and sand silt has left our six-acre land uncultivable. Even the pipeline laid with a cost of Rs. 1.3 lakh, months before the flood, was washed away robbing our livelihood”, explained G. Padma of Sunkesula. Except Rs. 8,000 cash assistance and 20 kg rice twice and sugar, redgram, kerosene and edible oil once nothing has come their way so far. Laxmidevi, a farm worker of the village says the cash assistance was not important for them but their worry is how they would stay in makeshift tents that cannot endure heavy wind and in the rainy season. “We are living just with the hope in the almighty”, says Suvartha, who delivered a baby days before the floods and was carried to safety during the floods.

The woes of thousands of other families affected by floods are no differentNot many elected representatives, particularly of the ruling party, have taken pains to infuse confidence among the displaced people by visiting the villages.

Naidu’s visit

Kurnool Special Correspondent adds: TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu accused the assailed the Congress government accusing it of miserable failure in providing timely succour to the flood victims in Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts.

Mr Naidu, accompanied by the leaders of CPI, CPI (M) and TDP, undertook an extensive tour of flood affected areas in both districts on Friday and Saturday. He said there was no end to the woes of flood affected people, with the government failing to provide house sites, houses, compensation for crop loss of crops, lands and cattle. Except the initial Rs. 8,000 cash component and Rs. 3,000 assistance under the NREGS, nothing was given to the victims.

Microsoft free software for AU students, faculty

Andhra University (AU) signed a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) with IT giant, Microsoft here on Friday. The MoU entitled ‘Dream Spark’ was signed by the general manager and country head, developer platform evangelism of Microsoft Mr Moorthy Up-paluri and registrar of Andhra University Prof P.V.G.D. Prasad Reddy in the presence of vice-chancellor Prof Beela Satyanarayana.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Moorthy said that he was delighted that Micro-soft had signed the memora-ndum with one of the oldest and biggest universities in the country. The agreement would brighten the prosp-ects of university students and those studying in affiliated colleges in the region.
Microsoft under the ‘Dream Spark’ initiative would provide free software to college students and upgrade the knowledge of teachers. A free key was also given to the university under which three lakh students can access their latest software. Asked by media whether the company had any plans to develop a centre here as the city was growing fast in the IT sector, following proposals by IBM to set up their unit here, Mr Moorthy said that there was no immediate plans thought the place was promising to them.
The vice-chancellor, Prof Beela Satyanarayana, said the university had signed MoUs with three important organisations – the RINL, the holding company of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Brandix Apparel and now Microsoft. These agreements would give ample opportunities to talented and hardworking students, the vice-chancellor said.

‘Road accident deaths highest in State’


43,108 lives were lost in 1,35,713 road accidents during the last three years, says Minister


 HYDERABAD: As many as 43,108 lives were lost in 1,35,713 road accidents during the last three years in the State, Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy informed the Assembly during Question Hour on Friday.

Replying to a question by P. Venkata Rathnaiah (TDP) and others, she said 4,887 accident prone spots have been identified. Geometrical corrections have been taken up and completed in 2,476 spots and they were in progress in 413 spots. Geometrical corrections in the remaining spots would be taken up in a phased manner.

Admitting that it was “painful” that the State topped in the deaths caused by road mishaps.

Tourists centres soon

Replying to another question by P. Mahender Reddy (TDP), Tourism Minister J. Geetha Reddy said that 31 new Tourist Centres were being set up in the State with assistance from Government of India and State Government. The Tourist Centre at Ananthagiri in Ranga Reddy district would be ready by May this year. The facilities at Ananthagiri include entry plaza, restaurant, 36-room accommodation, amphitheatre, ayurveda and yoga centre, adventure activity centre and gymnasium.

Water crisis

Minister for Rural Water Supply, P.Viswaroop told J. Ranga Reddy (CPI-M) that the government had earmarked Rs.39 crore under contingency plan to supply water in areas facing shortage this summer. Many places were facing water scarcity due to deficit rainfall ranging from 20 per cent to 50 per cent. The ground water table went down by 10 metres in nine districts. He said that transportation of drinking water was being done in 114 habitations and private agriculture sources were hired in 120 habitations to tackle drinking water problem.

IT sector to come under ESMA

Bill to amend ESMA to be introduced in the current Assembly session’

Tech platform:Minister for Information Technology Komatireddy Venkat Reddy at 18

HYDERABAD: The stage has been set to bring Information Technology and IT Enabled Services (ITES) sectors under the Essential Services Maintenance Act, Minister for Information Technology, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy said here on Friday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 18 {+t} {+h} annual awards and software products showcase Expo and annual conference of IT and ITES Industry Association of AP (ITsAP), he indicated that a Bill to amend ESMA would be introduced in the current Assembly session. The amendment was necessary to spare the IT industry from disruption to their mission critical applications during agitations, he said.

Reiterating the government’s commitment to create investment and business friendly environment in the State, he said exemption of IT units, particularly small and medium enterprises from power cuts would also be considered. A task force was already in place to provide security to the IT sector.

Andhra Pradesh was the first State to send Information Technology and Investment Region proposal in an area of 202 sq.km for development of infrastructure and generate a revenue of 3.10 lakh crore and 15 lakh direct and 53 lakh indirect employment by 2035, he said.

Mr. Reddy invited suggestions from industry captains for inclusion in the new five-year IT Policy to be ready by June. He made it clear that action would be initiated against companies who sought land for IT Special Economic Zones but used it for other purposes.

Mr. B.V. R. Mohan Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director, Infotech Enterprises, said it was a proud moment for founders of HYSEA, as from a small beginning, the IT industry was now worth Rs.32,000 crore. It was time IT industry re-positioned itself by promoting inclusive growth, giving incentives to small and medium enterprises, focusing on product innovation and taking the IT sector to tier two cities and semi-urban areas.

Mr. M. Narasimha Rao, ITsAP president, said with return of positive environment, IT industry was expecting 15 per cent growth next year.

He said the two-day event was aimed at giving a platform to State-based software product companies, including those from two-tier cities, to showcase their products. Over 110 nominations, the highest ever, were received for product showcase, he added.

Top Naxals killed in Andhra Pradesh

A file photo of Sakhamuri Appa Rao
Two top Maoist leaders Sakhamuri Appa Rao and Solipeta Kondal Reddy were shot dead in two separate alleged encounters by the police in Prakasam and Warangal districts in Andhra Pradesh on Friday morning.

Police recovered AK – 47 rifles from both the encounter sites. Both the slain leaders are of the State committee member level. While Appa Rao had a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, Reddy had a reward of Rs 5 lakh on him.

In Prakasam district, the exchange of fire took place around 6.15 p.m. yesterday on a hillock near Isullapaya penta village under Pullala Cheruvu police station limits.

“A combing team which was returning had cited four or five naxalites on top of a small hillock. Police encircled it and there was an exchange of fire in which one naxalite was killed. He was later identified as Sakhamuri Appa Rao”, Prakasam SP, V. Naveenchand told The Hindu from the encounter site on phone.

Sakhamuri Appa Rao, who operated under different names in the Maoist party, had earned the distinction of being both an ideologue and a military strategist.

He was arrested in Hyderabad city in 1993 and was in Chanchalguda central prison for seven years along with Patel Sudhakar Reddy (Central Committee member who was recently killed in Warangal).

After he was released on bail in January 2000, he went underground again and had worked for a long time in Andhra Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC).

Rao would have been in the Central Committee of the Maoist party, but was demoted by several ranks, after certain allegations were levelled against him by his party colleagues. Later he was elevated to the state committee member level and the time of his death, he was believed to be taking care of the State Military Commission in Andhra Pradesh.

Appa Rao, police records show, was accused of being a mastermind of almost all the major naxal-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh ranging from the abortive assassination attempt on former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Alipiri of Chittoor and killing of IPS officer K.S. Vyas in Hyderabad. Appa Rao hailed from Khanapur village of Warangal district.

Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao in Warangal adds:

Solipeta Kondal Reddy, a top maoist leader was killed in an encounter with the police in the wee hours of Friday near Kodishala village in Tadvai mandal here.

According to the information reaching here, the exchange of fire took place between the Maoist party naxals and special party of police in the early hours. Later, the police found one naxal dead and recovered one AK 47 weapon and some kitbags from the spot. The combing operations by the police were still continuing in the forest area.

Speaking to The Hindu, Superintendent of Police, Shah Nawaz Qasim said they received information about the movement of Maoist party naxals for the past 10 days and they were planning for major violence in the district. As per preliminary information, the slain naxal was identified as Solipeta Kondal Reddy alias Tech Ramana, he said.

The encounter that took place after a long time in the district created tension all over. Since early hours, it was widely rumoured that Mohannana of Praja Prathighatan who was most wanted by the district police for long was killed in the encounter. The police too were not sure of the party to which the naxals involved in the exchange of fire took place for quite sometime.

With the help of former naxals, the police succeeded in identifying the deceased and confirmed that they belonged to Maoist party.

Solipeta Kondal Reddy, the other top naxal leader was from Chittapur village in Medak district and had gone underground in 1988 while studying in Badruka college in Hyderabad.

He was arrested by Mahankali police in the state capital in 1992 and on being given bail, he went underground some six months later. He was working in military and technical field of the Maoist party and had gone by the name of ‘Tech Ramana’ in his party.

He had worked as the secretary of the South Telangana Regional Committee (STRC) coordinating the naxalite movement in south Telangana districts.

Students may have to sit on floor for exam

Hyderabad: Nearly 365 centres out of the total 2,331 that have been identified for Intermediate public exams scheduled to begin from March 10, have no benches, desks and tables and the students would be forced to sit on the floor to write the exams.

The Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) is making last minute efforts to provide furniture in these exam centres. It has asked all the districts’ administration to arrange for benches and desks on rent if required, and, even agreed to bear the expenditure.

Over 18.70 lakh students will appear for the Inter exams.

“The furniture problem is especially acute for centres located in interiors and remote areas. We have asked the officials to explore various options like shifting the furniture from nearby government offices, private schools and colleges. They were also asked to hire them from private institutions and we are ready to pay the rent,” said Mr G. Balaramaiah, secretary, Board of Intermediate Education.

He said the Board was forced to alter the timings of three papers as they overlapped with the SSC exams, which will begin from March 22.

“The Inter exams between March 22 and 25 will be held from 2 pm to 5 pm. The remaining papers will be held as scheduled from 8 am to 11 am from March 26 to 30,” he said.

The overlapping of Inter and SSC exams occurred due to the postponement of Inter exams from March 3 to March 10 due to the Telangana agitation.

Students can contact the following helpline numbers: Control room phone: (040) 24601010. Joint secretary (First year exams):

(0) 9848309007. Joint secretary (Second year exams): (0) 9848018289. Joint secretary (Vocational): (0) 9848803114.

BSNL’s 3G services rolled out in state of Andhra Pradesh

State-run telco, BSNL introduced its 3G services in the state of Andhra Pradesh for its subscribers to the pre-paid and post-paid services.

In the initial phase for the launch of the 3G services in Andhra Pradesh, 29 cities and towns across the state would be covered including the state capital Hyderabad. Later the telecom operator plans to extend its reach.

The 3G services are being provided by BSNL in two plans for the pre-paid customers, namely, 3G 120 general and 3G 120 promo. As for the post-paid customers, the 3G service pack brings in several options.

Being services delivered on the third-generation of the mobile technology, the users have a more enriching multi-media experience on their cell phones. The 3G platform provides faster download speed for video and data, has the facility to make video calls, can avail mobile TV broadcast, video conferencing among others extensive services.

For video calls BSNL has fixed the charges at 70 paise per minute for local calls and Re. 1 for national calls. The download charges are Paisa 1 for 10 kbps of data.

State-run telcos MTNL and BSNL are the only players that are authorised to provide 3G services in the Indian region. The private players are expected to enter the 3G services domain later this year after the auction and allocation of spectrum is completed by the government to them.

Mild tremors in Kadapa district

Mild tremors shook some villages in Rayachoti, Chinnamandem and Veeraballe mandals in Rayachoti area of Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday morning.

The tremors that lasted for two to three seconds caused panic among people. Most of them stayed indoors on account of the holiday for Milad-un-Nabi.

Many of ran out of their houses in panic but soon returned when they realised there was no damage. The tremors reportedly caused minor cracks on the walls of some houses in villages bordering Chittoor district.

Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, the National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) said it recorded an earthquake measuring 2.5 on the Richter scale in Kadapa district. According to the officials of the institute’s seismic observatory, the earthquake was located near Rayachoti around 10.51 a.m. and the location was being monitored.

4,000 AP youth to get rail jobs

With the changes in the recruitment policy of the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), as announced in the Rail Budget 2010, hundreds of unemployed youth are likely to get jobs in Andhra Pradesh itself.
As many as 4,000 posts, which are lying vacant in the South Central Railway (SCR), are likely to be filled by candidates from the state.
So far, AP candidates have not been allowed to sit for the RRB exams in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Mumbai and other places because applicants from those states have not allowed it. They have threatened and harassed AP candidates, and the police of the concerned states have generally been of little help. Candidates from other states, however, come to Hyderabad and sit the exams for vacant posts in the SCR without being threatened in any way.
The railway ministry has now proposed to conduct the examinations on the same day in all regions.
Candidates can, therefore, choose only one place from which to write the exam whereas earlier, when exams were conducted on different days in different places, a candidate could sit for several exams. The railway board has also waived the examination fee for women, minorities and economically backward class candidates.
The AP Backward Classes Welfare Association president, Mr R. Krishnaiah, welcomed the decisions.
“In the old system, candidates used to appear for multiple RRB exams and were often selected from different regions. However, they could opt for only one region, resulting in backlog vacancies in other regions. In the new method, there is no chance for backlog.”

20 feared buried in Ongole mishap

As many as 20 people are feared dead after tonnes of granite tumbled on them while they were working in a 250-feet deep quarry at Chimakurti on Thursday night.

Police rescued two workers, Srinivas Rao and Venkat Rao, and have pulled out three dead persons including M. Pitchaiah. Rescue workers are pessimistic about the chances of the others coming out alive, as stones have piled up to a height of 70 feet in the bottom of the quarry. Experts said the rocks could not be shifted out using earth movers.

Sources said those who were working in the second shift had blasted the rock in the bottom of the quarry following which the rocks on the sides collapsed.

Police arrested the quarry general manager of Hamsa Mineral Granite, Mr N. Chandrasekhar Reddy, and quarry safety manager, Mr A. Balakrishna Reddy.

This village is known for twins

 


According to a popular belief, married couples who drink water from Doddigunta village well in East Godavari district are blessed with twins


 

TWO MUCH: Twins assemble on the outskirts of Amalapuram on the eve of World Twins Day, on Sunday.

Rangampeta/Konaseema: There are two different places in East Godavari district which are known for their population of twins.

Doddigunta village in Rangampeta mandal of East Godavari district which is referred to as the ‘village of twins’ is popular for its legacy of twins. According to a popular belief, married couples who drink water from the village well are blessed with twins. “This is not a blind belief. Recently a teacher of this village got married to a lady teacher of Kakinada and they were blessed with twins. In another incident a security officer of a largest circulated Telugu daily was also blessed with twins,” said Vedulla Srinivas, a writer of Rangampeta village.

The water was tested by the Ground Water Department on several occasions and also sent to laboratories in Vizag and Hyderabad but the exact reasons were not established till date. At present there are 30 twins in the village.

On Sunday twins from various villages in Konaseema organised a get-together to mark the World Twins Day which falls on Monday.

Bhamidipati Padmapriya-Krishnapriya are two such twins studying engineering first year in the same college. Likewise, Pottupotu Ram-Laxman dress and behave similarly and are now looking to marry twins.

Nine-year-old daughters of Archaka — Rameswarapu Ramya-Lavanya, are popular as twin dancers in Amalapuram. There are number of twins in Konaseema mandals like-Bandaru Ramatulasi-Lakshmitulasi of Vadapalem in Kothapeta Mandal, studying Inter 2nd year, P. Sandeep-Dileep of Bandarulanka in Amalapuram mandal, studying Inter first year, B. Swarna-B. Swetha of B.Tech first year from Razole, to name a few.