Vijayawada, Sept. 14: The minister of state for health and family welfare, Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, announced that the Union Cabinet has approved the allocation Rs 600 crore to encourage medicinal plantations by tobacco farmers in the country. She laid a foundation stone for Advanced Ayurvedic Research Centre for vector-borne diseases at Payakapuram Rajivnagar in the outskirts of city on Sunday.

Vijayawada, Sept. 10: The number of vehicles using compressed natural gas (CNG) is on the rise in the city with several advantages attracting the users of three-wheelers and four-wheelers.

But supply of CNG is not in proportion to the demand. "The first advantage is the price. There is a difference of Rs 16 in the price between diesel and CNG. But the mileage is the same in both cases. This was the reason I have converted my autorickshaw to CNG," said Raju, an autodriver in Patamata.

The state government on Wednesday launched a fresh round of regularisation for land declared as surplus under the Urban Land Ceiling Act, which was repealed recently. The lands which to be regularised are those which had been taken into possession by the government but were later encroached upon. Applications for regularisation can be submitted till August 30, 2008 .

The city topped in the implementation of Jawaharlar Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). With abundant funds available the execution of the projects is going at a fast pace. According to sources, after Ahmadabad, Vijayawada stands in the best position in following the guidelines of the mission in the implementation of various projects in urban areas. The city has also received accolades as it has successfully implemented projects like e-governance, double-entry accounting, collection of more than 95 per cent of property tax and funds allocation for urban poor.

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals on Monday said it would set up Integrated Coal Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant at Vijaywada with Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (APGenco). "Bhel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with APGenco to set up country's biggest 125 MW IGCC power plant at Vijaywada,' a company release said. "Bhel has earmarked on several initiatives to meet the

Pinakini Express between Vijayawada and Chennai has been fitted with newly-built environment-friendly toilets.

The state government has decided to call for short tenders for the pending projects in Krishna delta. Earlier, tenders were called for two times but there was no response from the contractors.

The Union Ministry of Urban Development has chalked out a quality bus system plan, under which the bus rapid transit system project has started in eight cities

District Collector Navin Mittal on Wednesday expressed displeasure over non-completion of first phase of Indiramma Housing Scheme. He said 41,606 houses were constructed of the 66,886 sanctioned in the first phase.

Programmes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission hold the potential for transforming the urban water supply and sanitation sector. The mission is in its third year of implementation. Four urban service providers discuss the progress and their future plans in addition to the key to smooth implementation of the programme.