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Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes…

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This article ‘Fracking a ‘Catalyst to Earthquakes’ looks at the link between fracking and earthquakes:

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!’ (in the link below):

Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

Fracking a Catalyst to Earthquakes

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Fracking is a catalyst to Earthquakes and this is evident in a rise in seismic activity in places like USA’s – Oklahoma where earthquakes have been occurring on a much larger scale; than before Fracking had begun for oil and gas, so much so that Oklahoma now sees more Earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. The most recent happening on the 30 December 2015 with a magnitude of 4.3, followed the next five days by aftershock/tremors with a further threat of more to follow. As a result 4,400 residents were left with no electricity and caused damage to the properties.

The United States Geological Survey says that more Earthquakes are to be expected as a major fault may have been re-activated by the Earthquake and that as a result this may result in further 4.0 and more magnitude earthquakes.

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Oklahoma went from two earthquakes a year before 2009 to two a day. This year, roughly 700 earthquakes of magnitude 3 or higher has shook the state, compared to 20 in 2009.

In August 2015, Oklahoma Governor – Mary Fallin admitted there was a “direct correlation between the increase of earthquakes that we’ve seen in Oklahoma [and] disposal wells.”

The latest 2015 figures for Oklahoma, show that fracking has become common, state authorities issued a report saying that the state has experienced 585  (magnitude 3+) earthquakes in 2014 compared to 109 events recorded in 2013. Oklahoma has more earthquakes in 2015 than all of continental U.S. combined. Earthquakes are hitting in swarms, and it has been reported in America that in Oklahoma no one apart from concerned residents is taking this seriously.

The disposal wells are a particular problem as the waste fluids pumped underground seems to be causing the ground to form faults and displace the stable earth to an unstable state leading to these Earthquakes.

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Honn Kao, a research scientist with Geological Survey of Canada said of this pumping of fluid, “In theory, a bigger injection of fracking fluid can certainly trigger a bigger quake.”

At the moment there is not much concern about the Earthquakes with a magnitude of 3.0 or under it is only when it reaches 3.5 magnitude that regulators have suggested shutting down the fracking operations and re-locating to a new location. There should be some serious concern for these smaller magnitude quakes too.

A lady from Oklahoma said of the multiple Earthquakes – “I live in Medford and my husband is a handy-man and we can tell you that these little quakes do cause damage. Doorways are askew, cracks are appearing and growing, and parts of houses are sinking!” she also said “The Oklahoma Corporate Commission refuses to fine these wells that are injecting too much waste fluid too deep.”  Frustrated by the media she says that “they are not even reporting all of the quakes we’ve felt.”

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In the UK test drilling for Shale gas, twice caused magnitude 2.0 earthquakes, and this in the testing stage in Lancashire, after two earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area a subsequent study found it was “highly probable” that shale gas test drilling triggered the tremors.

The UK government-appointed panel said there could be more tremors as a result of fracking, but they will be too small to do structural damage above ground. This is what was said in Oklahoma and they are reporting currently Earthquakes at 4.3 magnitude.

Does the UK not need to take all this into consideration rather than speeding up the process as they are currently doing. In most recent Earthquake News Ohio has been linked to Fracking where a new study links nearly 80 earthquakes ranging between 1.0 magnitude to 3.0 magnitude that occurred in Ohio’s Mahoning County in March 2014 to nearby fracking operations.

shale diagram

The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission released a report in August 2015 stating that a  4.6 magnitude earthquake that rocked northeast British Columbia in August was caused by fracking and may be the largest earthquake on record to be attributed to the controversial energy extraction process.

These human related earthquakes are human made with the number of earthquakes rising in many areas, with this in mind should Fracking continue in the US, UK, or anywhere in the World?

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The National Parks are under threat to with David Cameron confirming that the UK is to go “all out” for shale gas. The Parks could be in danger from Earthquakes too, yet the plans to do this fracking under national parks has already been approved.

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Many residents from all around the country have opposed fracking by protesting in places like Chester, Balcombe, Greater Manchester and Blackpool and Fylde Coast. Yet the government seem to be pushing for fracking.

In an insight from former Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith, The UK is going into reverse on renewable energy while trying to hasten the beginning of the fracking process. The emphasis should be on working on developing green energy and not putting the UK/US/EU/World land at risk of earthquakes. Asia will be watching with keen eyes as to what kind of approach the richer nations take on this risky road of Fracking before making a stake for their own Fracking Revolution or Fracking Revolt, as for the Indian strategy they seem to be moving cautiously a smart approach and small scale explorations/operations are occurring.

 

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In conclusion:

We are learning more every day about this linking of Fracking to Earthquakes and it is becoming more evident by the day.  

Renewable energy is the future that needs to be worked further towards and invested in much more, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 the world agreed to officially work towards a greener future and work to keep global warming down, fracking for shale gas is injurious to the planets Earth if it triggers quakes especially a large one. 

And these quakes are a first of their kind they are Human made; is Human kind really sizing up Seismic activity and are they ready to take on the consequences and why are countries not exploring green energy alternatives to the dangers of Fracking as outlined in this article and its link to earthquakes.

 

On an interesting note:
Did you know many animals may be able to sense Earthquakes days before they happen, there is ongoing scientific studies, mainly in Asia with animals like dogs, snakes, bees, as Scientists try to understand how prior to an earthquake animals can go into hiding like when this happened in Peru in 2011 when  magnitude 7.0 struck.

 

I also have an article which looks at the basics of Fracking and tells you more about what Fracking is and how its done.
T
he other article is titled ‘Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet poll shows Fracking not in Favour!(in the link below):
Lords’ Pro-Fracking Report published yet Poll shows Fracking not in Favour!

India’s submergence in Water, Poverty, Smog and the list goes on …

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india

India’s Submergence and future emergence is the topic of this post, however I would first like to draw to attention the monsoon rains which are economically important to India when they fall in fair amounts is good for Agriculture with 17% of the population relying on the rains as a means for profit and survival within the agriculture industry.

Unfortunately I mentioned the monsoon early on with the natural flooding disaster which is a sad state to see happening right now in Chennai; where floods have taken hundreds of lives and where two-thousand residents have been evacuated. Many poor people living in wood built homes have been left homeless and many have lost everything including their lives. The Indian Government have come in for criticism for building to close to the rivers which are seen as a reason for the substantial levels of water, with bad drainage and architectural planning taking criticism.

Prime-minister Narendra Modi fresh from his visits to Britain and France (which I will mention more about later) has gone to see for himself the devastation that has been caused in Chennai.

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India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed India’s fourth largest city (Chennai) that the government had released 9.4 billion rupees ($141 million) for flood relief and restoration. Mr. Modi went on to announce an additional 10 billion rupees for relief operations, he said:

“The Government of India stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Tamil Nadu in this hour of need.” Chennai formerly known as Madras is said to have been impacted by the effects of climate change, Mr Modi claims, however this could be an attempt to shy away from ongoing criticism of his Governments handling of the situation and the lack of taking onboard that much of the flooded land is low in level and that this should have been flagged as a danger to Chennai early on to prevent the crisis coming to people wading through the depths of muddy water amongst snakes and debris.

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As Modi was leaving Britain onto his next stop in France for the Climate Conference, rain was beginning to fall continuously across Scotland, David Cameron spoke a week later about the mass floods’ in Scotland (which are still ongoing) and attributed the floods to Climate Change too, although he too came under criticism for the same reasons as Prime-Minister Modi in India.

In France there have been many events occurring such as the awful terrorist incidents, immediately followed by the UN Climate Change Conference held in France near Paris.

The conclusions after these events were a declared war by France on the terrorist organisation responsible (Daesh).

Also a new 1.5 to a Max of 2.0 warming limit has been drafted by the countries involved in the UN Climate Change Conference, the Coalition of about 100 developed and developing countries could have some influence over nations less willing to sign up to a truly ambitious deal due to be finalised soon.

The US have set out an aim for the 1.5 warming limit for the climate, however countries like Africa and India have said that it is not fair that they take the burden of the developed countries who have for the most part developed at the cost of polluting the skies, whilst expecting the undeveloped countries to put their poor people aside and take the burden to clear the airs.

Although the developing countries want to work with greener energy they are still set on the route of fossil fuels like coal to continue burning and stressing that the onus is on the developed countries to cut their emissions and assist in greener development in the undeveloped world.

The UN Climate Change conference has seen most countries asked to answer to the call for a legally binding, fair, durable agreement in Paris that must set a long-term goal, be reviewed every five years and include a system for tracking progress.

India receive aid from the UK and on the back of this Conference taking place many of the British Tabloid and broadsheet papers had eye catching headlines highlighting that the UK gives hundreds of millions in Pounds of Aid to India. Britain gave India nearly £300million in financial aid last year despite pledges by ministers to end the handouts.

India became the second highest recipient of Britain’s aid spending after its funding rose by £10million to nearly £279million, more than Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Syria. Conservative MPs said the amount of taxpayer’s money being given to one of the World’s fastest growing economies is “ridiculous”. India has its own space programme and recently unveiled plans to spend more than £10billion on a fleet of new warships and submarines. “A country with its own space programme does not need aid from us” said Sir Gerald Howarth, Conservative Party Member of Parliament.

Japan gives more in Aid to India than the UK and Germany and the US are said to be giving more in the future which will outdwarf that of the UK.

It sounds unfair that although the developed world have brought about their ease of development through fossil fuels that they can then turn around and expect the opposite from the undeveloped nations. Although India is being helped in aid it is to promote greener cleaner use and implementation of green energy.

It was reported recently that Uruguay now have a solely green energy for the country with 100% renewable energy being used to provide electricity.

The leaders of 30 of the world’s poorest countries said they wanted the world to be 100 per cent renewable by 2050 at the UN Climate Conference.

Renewable energy and climate targets will be a key theme of these talks in the future. There is a major push by poorer nations for their – and the world’s – energy needs to be supplied by renewable energy, as part of their insistence that the climate target be tightened to prevent average warming of more than 1.5C.

India is focusing on strong solar power generated energy, yet it is being said that India may cause an upset in Paris at the UN Climate Conference, with a possibility that they may not play ball in the talks or come to agreement with other countries.

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When will India eradicate poverty and be a key developed country and emerge to be a real Superpower who talks the talk and walks the walk. Prime-Minister Modi before being elected campaigned on the reforms he would bring in and ensure that India will continue to develop at a leading economic rate which they are continuing to do, despite China’s slight slow-down. Modi has made it clear that he will continue as China and Africa will be doing to continue relying on fossil fuels whilst slowly working towards greener and renewable energy.

With PM – Modi it seems his nationalism is what is driving him and he is intent on driving the country to the best possible rise in economy, not a graceful rise but a rise by any means for Modi; India has recently seen pollution that is worse than China’s smog in places like Delhi. Is it right that India are saying that fossil fuels are essential in bringing the poor out of poverty or is it a case that to fund the green projects is less profitable even though green renewable is the right thing for the long-term as it is sustainable and clean.

Government official was quoted as saying “We’ve taken more care for nature than the earlier regime.” The introduction of an air pollution monitoring system, a revision of emission norms and a bill to plant trees in degraded forest areas.

India is not doing enough and have made the talks in Paris seemingly look like it is all about money, and in this world it is always about money to every Country around the globe. The British empire were selfish when they raided India and left it in a worse position economically before they arrived. It will be interesting to see how India reduce its carbon footprint and poverty by 2020, it is a choice that they will decide whether to act on the aforementioned or not.

David Cameron went all out for PM Modi’s arrival to the UK and this was because he wants to promote more investment and trade between the two nations, can the former colonial empire/power work well with India, already TATA’s success in the UK with Jaguar and Land Rover is a symbol of success between the two. India may choose to invest more in the UK and also vice-versa although the Indian market is still seen as difficult to break into for UK companies wanting to expand into the lucrative Indian market.

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train2Before I conclude on some positives about India, I would like to note that there are many upsetting things in relation with India – (the list as mentioned in the title) :

  • Natural Disasters
  • Smog/Pollution/Emissions
  • Poverty still not eliminated although being considered as a superpower
  • Corruption in all areas of governance and black money
  • Banning of NGO’s like Greenpeace India amongst 5,000 other banned NGO’s
  • Forest cutting bad for the environment bad for the Tigers and projects like WWF Tiger
  • Human Rights Abuse not just in India but also in Nepal
  • Internet over-regulated and censored
So does India allow itself to get submerged with all the negatives or does it try and make many improvements along the road of continual support and progress for the betterment of the country and its people, through good governance rather than the nationalistic approach Modi has taken to and feels restricted and promised to, after all he wants to keep his promises.
Contrastingly the positives are that India is one of the biggest contributors to the UN and one of the main contributors to the UN Peacekeeping forces of the UN.
The Times of India’s recent headline is that: At 7.3% in 2016, India to remain fastest growing economy: UN – Times of India
Also India has just contracted Japan to build a Bullet train system from Mumbai to Ahmedabad which will reduce travelling time from 8 hours to 2 hours, India was also considering China for the contract however Japan nipped it to the finish line in this race; it is hoped it will continue to push the Indian and Japan economies and create more jobs.

I hope to have given you all an insight into India as it is leading into 2016 on some of the most important aspects, what Incentives will India choose to act upon and how they go about it will be a point of focus by many nations as India is clearly a key player in the future, it is a leader in its region already, whether it remains in the future depends on Modi for now and his successors; Technology company IBM has said India needs better governance too if it is to be a real leader in the 21st Century.

Will India make it to a Developed nation and be a real superpower, will India set a stable platform on which to lead on, before rushing into a super pose, as Modi seems to be doing a lot of. When will India re-emerge and emerge as a real force for the future, only time will tell, although going by India’s economic performance it can be done and substance will be key, alongside key alliances for economic trade and progress.

India will be a focus and how it emerges in 2016 will be interesting to see.

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Written by Raj

December 11, 2015 at 3:51 am

Leopard still on the prowl in northern Indian town of Meerut?

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Meerut has been panicked by a leopard on the prowl, schools and colleges have been closed since the leopard was first spotted on Sunday in a warehouse and a person felt the power of the leopard as it attacked him and escaped.

The leopard also entered a hospital and was locked in a room before the leopard escaped via a window and could not be tranquilised by the wildlife rescue teams called in to take this leopard away from the public and relocate it back to the forest.

Many Police officers have been called in too as have army units, the town is on a high alert after the total number of people injuired has been 7.

There was an opportunity for the wildlife rescue teams which went wrong after the crowds seemed to alert the leopard to their presence, at which point the leopard made a hasty escape.

Leopards are large territorial mammals. They need space to move around. Some of their corridors are getting blocked so there is bound to be an interface,”

“We can’t put all the leopards into cages. We can’t remove all the people living near forested areas. We have to manage the situation the best way we can.”

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Deepankar Ghosh from The World Wildlife Foundation India gave the statement on what needs to be done after this dangerous encounter in Meerut and also the string of occurences throughout India, referring to other incidents such as in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh, where a leopard caused the death of a 5 year old boy and a female tiger which has caused the death of 8 men in a number of encounters and the many other incidents across India.

The WWF’s call for an operational and organisational approach of forests and other habitats is vital as currently there is a problematic scenario of territorial corridors being blocked, with no access for the leopards without being detected by the communities scattered about near these routes.

These largely territorial species need free corridors, their territories have been encroached upon, and there is a  lack of space for the leopards to move around, the leopards need to find open corridors to move about, yet these  have become narrower mainly due to the saturation of communities. India’s leopard population is numbered at 1,150 according to the 2011 census.

Leopard looks through Meerut window

Written by Raj

February 27, 2014 at 3:06 am

Indian Air Force: Boeing Transporter makes flight work of things!

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IAF C17

The Indian Air force are making light work of things by bringing in their third Boeing Transporter aircraft. Ten of these Transporter aircraft have been purchased from the US at a cost of billions, $5.1 billion to be precise, the deal was arranged in 2011.

The aircraft is capable of easily transporting military tanks, the media have reported that these aircraft will be transporting tanks to the Indian borders; the reason for the spreading of tanks to the border is to act as a deterrent, and China have sparked India into a response.

China has at the ‘line of actual control’ built up a military infrastructure presence and this has instigated India into a speedy response with their purchasing of the largest of Indian Air Force transporters. As mentioned before the Indian Air Force have three of these planes and by the end of this year the air force is expecting a delivery of two more and in 2014 another five more Boeing Transporters will have arrived amounting to ten large transporters for the Indian Air Force.

The transporter plane’s title is ‘The C-17 Globe Master III’ and it has already made its debut with a test flight at the Hindon base in Uttar Pradesh, India it is set to help replace its outdated Russian IL-76 airlifter fleet.

The C-17 can carry 150 military personnel, can land on forward make shift runways and has a short turn around time, it can lift up to 70 tonnes in one go and will be used for the transportation of tanks, machines and personnel, it can also refuel whilst in the air.

“The C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft will change the way we deploy forces in the North and North East,” said Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne.

India are now enabled to deter threats of encroachment upon their territory, although they will still be working on developing their own infrastructure along the borders.

The C-17 will certainly be making light work of things in the development process and help by transporting tanks to act as a deterrent.

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Eye on the Tiger!

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WWF work towards Saving Tiger Numbers

in the Terai Arc with the

help of India and Nepal

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India has revered the Royal Bengal Tiger for a long time and the tiger is affectionately referred to as the Indian Tiger. The Royal Bengal Tiger’s scientific name is Panthera tigris tigris.

The conservation of Tigers in the wild has been a difficult fight and a constant struggle for Conservation groups like the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Indian government. The fight is not off as yet though, as India and Nepal backed by the WWF keep their eyes on the tiger! The trio are planning on a census to document the amount of Royal Bengal Tigers within India and Nepal through the use of planted trap cameras in both India and Nepal. The Royal Bengal tiger’s numbers have said to be dwindling and therefore they have been given the status of an endangered species since 2010 which was the year of the tiger in the Chinese horoscope, the next year of the tiger is 2022 and WWF’s gobal tiger campaign aims to have doubled the number of Tigers by then, the global campaign is being led by Hollywood actor Leonardo Di Caprio.

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The WWF, India and Nepal are all set to meet their objectives of putting a number on the tigers and also helping in a conservationist aspect through many objectives such as:

  • Protect, restore and manage corridors to ensure connectivity between tiger habitats while ensuring that human-tiger conflicts are reduced.
  • Reduce pressures on tiger habitats by promoting alternative livelihoods for local communities.
  • Create incentives for local communities as well as state and regional government and opinion-makers to support tiger conservation.
  • Enhance capacities of the Forest Department to control poaching of tigers and prey species.
  • Promote the political will as well as popular support within all sectors of society for tiger conservation.

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Source : WWF

WWF began in 1960 and in 2010 they had been around for 50 years, they are a prestigious organisation and global in their efforts being present in 100 countries where they have offices working at a local level to ensure conservation for the countries’ species.

India’s Project Tiger was launched in 1972 by WWF, and saw a six-year national tiger conservation plan and 15 new tiger reserves. The county’s tiger population increased by 30% in just seven years.

Although due to poaching and encroachment upon the tigers habitat by man, tiger conservation is important as ever as numbers are said to be low and the Indian Tiger an endangered species. The following video is WWF’s Indian Save the Tiger campaign video:

WWF’s mission statement on the joint partnership between India and Nepal for Tigers is:

“WWF-India’s goal is to restore and maintain tiger habitats, protect the tiger and its prey base in important tiger landscapes in India.”

WWF have been working to conserve the tiger since on a large scale since 1972 and throughout their campaigns they have always sought to raise awareness of the danger of the Royal Bengal tiger becoming an extinct species. The following is a poster by WWF highlighting the danger of extinction to the tiger in the countries listed below (where they can be found), extinction is a possibility that is very real if tigers do not stop being hunted and their habitat being continually destroyed by Humankind:

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The announcement for the joint tiger survey was made on the 8th January at the 6th Indo-Nepal consultative meeting organized between the two governments, India started work on the project in November 2012 and Nepal are working on the project between January 2013 to March 2013. The project will cover 15 areas within the Terai Arc located between the two countries and at the bottom of the Himalaya’s.

The names of the Protected Areas in India in the Terai Arc are as follows:

Sonanadi Wild Life Sanctuary, Corbett National Park, Kishanpur WLS, Dudhwa National Park, Katarniaghat WLS, Sohagibarwa WLS, Valmiki National Park and Valmiki Sanctuary, those are a few of the main tiger territories. The Survey will also look at the availability of prey for the tigers, which will also be captured by motion sensitive camera’s of which there will be many hundreds in both India and Nepal. There will be a more accurate census for the tigers as the teams working alongside WWF will ensure that no tiger is counted twice as this will be confirmed by photographs on both sides. India is said to have the most densest of Royal Bengal Tigers with the number at around 500.

The names of the Protected Areas in Nepal in the Terai Arc are:

Three national parks (Chitwan, Bardiya, Banke) and two wild life reserves (Shuklaphanta and Parsa).

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Source: Report by : The Terai Arc Landscape in India:  Rajeev L. Semwal

In India the Terai Arc Landscape is an 810-km stretch that extends from the river Bhagmati in the east in the state of Bihar to river Yamuna in the west near India’s Capital Delhi.

After the consultation meeting between India and Nepal took place Dr S. P. Yadav, Deputy Inspector General of the Government of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority said of the strengthening partnership to save the tiger that the – “bilateral meetings between India and Nepal have resulted in positive outcomes for wildlife conservation. Our governments need to continue strengthening trans-boundary ties for protecting tigers and enabling their free movement between India and Nepal.”

The number of Royal Bengal Tigers in the wild has been put at approximately a minimum of 1,576 to a maximum of 1,875, this number comes from The National Tiger Authority and included numbers of tigers within 17 states within India from 41 tiger reserves. India has the largest population of the Indian Tiger and as for the estimated remaining population within the World that number is at a meagre 3,000, when 100 years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild.

The problems that have caused tiger numbers to decline are due to many reasons and those that have mainly been responsible are those who have in the past culled tigers, and consumers of tiger products, there is also the problem of poachers/criminal networks who deal in selling tiger products to places like China where tiger parts are highly prized. Another few key responsible parties are tiger farm operators who breed tigers and sell their parts, which leads to a higher demand for tiger products, also Governments that are not working hard enough to protect tigers from poachers and their habitat and they’re not upholding the laws against illegal trafficking. Even the everyday person is responsible as people who waste paper are often responsible for the loss of the tigers forest habitat where trees are cut down for the demand of paper, of course this responsibility also lies with large corporations who are not considerate of the tigers habitat and cause deforestation on a mass scale.

The ones that are responsible are up against the non-stop global scale tiger campaign to preserve the tiger with the help of pro-active governments and organisations such as WWF who are working to bring about solutions to the problems posed (mentioned above).

The solutions to these problems are simple although require action to solve the problem there needs to be an end to the tiger killing for their skins and other parts and countries like China are where these products are often in high demand for traditional believed to be healing medicinal reasons and as status symbols of power, these are some reasons as to why some tigers have been driven to extinction and numbers have fell. Poaching is a major part of the problem which needs to be met head on and stopped governments like India and China are looking at ways to stop this with options such as armed tiger personnel, tigers should be monitored more closely and effectively in the wild and in captivity. There needs to be a continuity in maintaining tiger reserves and new ones should be established to ensure successful flourishing of tiger numbers. Sustainable living is another solution which will save the trees and thus the tiger habitats and it is not just individuals who need to do this but also corporations. Educating people about tigers and their dire situation is an essential part to the tigers success, an increase in political campaigning and will and funding is as always ever needed.

A good reason to protect the tigers is that their environment is just as essential to us as it is to them and if there were no tigers that would it is suggested more than likely lead to deforestation and the loss of the important features of the forest such as cleaner air and countering climate change and fresh clean water. Tiger tourism can benefit poor communities by providing a source of income through local tourism consumerism.

SOURCE:  http://www.savetigersnow.org/problem

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The following is a map of where the tigers can be found roaming, it has been produced by the Wildlife Protection Society of India:

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The compilation of the results is said to take up to about 4 months and then an accurate census on tiger numbers should be available. WWF India says:

“The shared monitoring results between India and Nepal will enable the development of a comprehensive management approach for tigers across the TAL for the first time.”

As for both governments this initiative for the tiger will continue to be focused on the aim to double tiger numbers by 2022. Mr. Bishwo Nath Oli, head of the Nepal delegation and Joint Secretary of the Government of Nepal’s Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation said “The survey results will play an important role in shaping strategies to get us to our ultimate goal of Tx2, doubling the number of wild tigers, which was set during the historic Tiger summit in 2010.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

India spends about US$75 million a year to provide protection for its tigers.

The Bengal can live as long as 15 years in the wild.

The five surviving subspecies are:
1. Bengal Tiger – Panthera tigris tigris
2. Siberian (Amurian) Tiger – Panthera tigris altaica
3. Sumatran Tiger – Panthera tigris sumatrae
4. Indo-Chinese Tiger – Panthera tigris corbetti
5. South China Tiger – Panthera tigris amoyensis

The three extinct subspecies are:
1. Javan Tiger – Panthera tigris sondaica – extinct since early 1980’s
2. Bali Tiger – Panthera tigris balica – extinct since the 1940’s
3. Caspian Tiger – Panthera tigris virgata – extinct since the early 1970’s

Source: http://www.wpsi-india.org/tiger/tiger_facts.php

Swedish owned IKEA: the introduction of another global giant within India

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IKEA

IKEA the home-furnishings company are to open 25 stores across India. The Swedish company had initially been set back by India’s foreign investment agency, the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB), and after putting forward an appeal to their proposal, the company was given access to the Indian market which they have been trying to enter for years. Currently IKEA are present in 40 countries with 338 stores. It is owned by the richest man in Sweden, Ingvar Kamprad, who started the company when he was just 17 in the year 1943. IKEA will be approximately investing Rs 10,500 crore (€1.5 billion – euros).

IKEA are also known in India for the ‘IKEA Foundation’ which has partnered up with UNICEF in India. “For more than ten years, UNICEF has partnered with the IKEA Foundation to deliver tangible results for millions of children and women in India.  By the end of 2012, funding from the IKEA Foundation will have enabled UNICEF to help over 74 million children in India create a better future for themselves and their families.”

The delay for IKEA stores to enter the Indian market has been that the Indian Foreign investment board (and The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in India) November 2012 had cleared the IKEA proposal to operate in India, yet however put restrictions on IKEA selling only furniture and not products it does not brand such as office supplies, food and beverages, textiles, books and a cafeteria. IKEA sells these products all around the world without any restrictions and may have found this restricted proposal unusual. They appealed to the board with a re-submission of their proposal.

India soon accepted the proposal due to changes in their Foreign Investment Law which has been amended to counter the slowing economy, Juvencio Maeztu, IKEA country manager said of the accepted proposal and new venture in India “We consider this as a very positive development.”

“After FIPB’s clearance, the proposal will have to be finally approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) as the board can clear investment applications worth up to Rs 1,200 crore only.” Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

IKEA still had concerns about going through with the proposal even though they were being given a 100% subsidiary (ownership was previously capped at 51%) as India had a 30% sourcing clause, the government however relaxed the mandatory 30 per cent sourcing clause in September to attract more foreign investment and keep the economy growing. The final proposal which went through was sent by IKEA in November 2012.

The argument on the other side of IKEA being good for the Indian economy is that it could damage the income of farmers and local businesses who do not have the means to compete with the global giant IKEA. The Swedish company are also a cause of concern as they may make workers work unfair amounts of hours, as the story goes, and with little pay, this remains to be seen, the rumours have stemmed from other stories that IKEA is an unfair company in many aspects, including their charity work (they are seen as not giving even a little amount of the massive profit they total).

IKEA2012

The Indian venture is not the only development on IKEA‘s global strategy, in August 2012, they announced the plan to open 100 hotels in Europe, which will be operated by a group of anonymous hoteliers, and the hotels will not carry the IKEA name. IKEA also have a few hotels in Scandinavia bearing the IKEA name.

IKEAFoundationSmall

IKEA have a campaign every holiday season, since 2003, which has seen IKEA selling soft toys, the funds from these sales have gone to helping children all over the world in 40 countries. “To help educate children around the world – already helping 8 million children with over 35.2 million EUROS raised.”

“These funds support UNICEF and Save the Children projects aimed at creating child-friendly schools with well-trained teachers for all children, girls and boys, including those from ethnic minorities and those with special needs.” IKEA have 338 stores in total around the world in 40 countries.

IKEA have a sustainability policy which involves taking care of people and the planet a recent example of this is “a plan to install solar panel arrays on 150 stores. They also use geo-exchange heating and cooling systems on several stores to reduce energy consumption.”Source: http://www.buildingmygreenlife.com/is-ikea-sustainable/

IKEA have made a statement on their policy and also a list of 77 improvements they have made to be more sustainable:

We have decided to help create a world where we take better care of the environment, the earth’s resources, and each other. We know that sometimes we are part of the problem. So, we are working hard to become a part of the solution. We are weighing the pros and cons, continually examining and changing things. All these steps, in lots and lots of areas, add up to something big … and noticeable. The job has already started, and it is a never-ending one.

The list of improvements can be found on this link:

http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/our_responsibility/the_never_ending_list/index.html

This decision by India to allow foreign investors in the form of multi-branding superstores is certainly a first and announcements have been made by Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, that the Indian government will see them through their entry into India with clarity and assurance on the Indian policy of Foreign Direct Investment. Whether the country will move in a new direction with this policy and whether it works is what the government will be hoping for.

Additional Information & Links:

Walmart is a US superstore already within India although it is under investigation for corruption. Walmart entered a 50:50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprise.

Tesco’s is set to enter the Indian market too.

IKEA may see legal battles in India due to copycat companies who have used the IKEA name, of which there are three. “There is IKEA Home Decor Private Limited, which carves out a living by making and selling furniture in India. Then, there is IKEA Constructions and IKEA Furniture Private Limited.” Source: blogs.wsj.com

“Thanks to IKEA’s dedicated co-workers and customers, 100 million children will benefit from our currently funded programmes by 2015. In 2011 alone, we:

  • donated €65 million
  • supported 15 partners with 47 grants benefitting children in 33 countries
  • raised €12.4 million through our Soft Toys for Education campaign for UNICEF and Save the Children.”

http://www.ikeafoundation.org/About-Us

IKEA is the 3rd largest consumer of wood in the world.

To view IKEA’s different advertising campaigns in different countries follow this link: http://adhibition.tumblr.com/post/17950628838/ikeas-internationalization-advertising-in-different-coun

SWARAJ – Swaraj Mazda and Punjab Tractors Limited – India’s original pioneer!

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The Swaraj Brand, Mazda and Punjab Tractors Ltd have been around since the beginning of the Indian Automobile scene; selling Tractors and vehicles such as Ambulances, Police carriers, Water Tankers, Buses, Trucks, and special vehicles such as Harvesters, Orchard Tractors, Tourist Buses, Rail Track Inspection Vehicles, Fork Lifts and Crane Vehicles.

Video of Swaraj Tractors

As for Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd they have a rich history:

Punjab Tractors limited was promoted by the Indian Government’s department for Industries and Commerce – PSIDC (Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation)  as one of its projects in 1970 for the manufacturing of agricultural tractors, its objective was to promote new industrial projects in the State of Punjab. Swaraj tractors conceived in 1965 by a team of dedicated engineers and scientists working at Central Mechanical Research Institute.

(http://vedyadhara.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/c/cd/MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf)

“The Unit went into production in 1974. The tractor was based on completely indigenous design and was the result of six years of design, development and field proving effort at the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), a national laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Government of India. The group of design engineers, who had developed the first model at CMERI, were later transferred to Punjab Tractors Limited to commercialise the product.”

In 1983 the Swaraj design along with its promoter Punjab Tractors Ltd who now owned Swaraj (since 1970), went into a financial collaboration with Toyokogyo Ltd, a company from Japan which was now working with PTL to manufacture light commercial vehicles; the name Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was formed.

A year on (1984) was a time for a Joint Venture (JV) which occured between Punjab Tractor Ltd, Mazda Motor Corporation (Japan) & Sumitomo Corporation (Japan). Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was renamed Swaraj Mazda  Ltd. This JV’s commercial operations began in 1986 and by 1987 the JV produced and introduced an indigenously developed bus. Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd had forged an alliance with Mazda in particular and this saw them working together in an alliance which has seen much success until 2009.

Between the years 2004 and 2009 there was a drift between Mazda and Swaraj as both companies had their own agendas – for example Swaraj were focusing on Swaraj tractors, Swaraj engines, Swaraj Automotives and Swaraj scooters, whereas Mazda were looking to focus on passenger cars.

In 2004 Mazda withdrew from its partnership with Swaraj and since then this has seen Swaraj have a couple of name changes from Swaraj Mazda to – Swaraj Buses and Trucks Ltd, this indicated an end to working with Mazda (who ceased to be a shareholder in 2005). Mazda however gave the go – ahead initially to Swaraj to continue using their name without any royalty fees till 2007.

The Mazda Motor Corporation later in 2007 also notified Swaraj to not use their name in alliance with Swaraj Enterprise and thus the company name that used to be Swaraj Mazda was now going to be called Swaraj Vehicles Ltd as agreed by the board of directors this however was contested by the other shareholders such as PTL and did not go through. Swaraj no longer used the name of Mazda in their title.

Punjab Tractors Ltd were now without their main partner and a lot of speculation surrounded the Swaraj brand, with links to a TATA take-over, this didn’t happen instead Mahindra Tractors had made a smart investment in 2008 which saw them buy all of PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj.

This investment by Mahindra saw conflict over the use of the Swaraj name with Sumitomo who had purchased a 41% controlling stake in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) from Mazda in 2005, the Sumitomo Corporation purchased PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) in 2009; Mahindra and Mahindra along with PTL took the case to court whereby Sumitomo were ordered to continue using the name for a further two years only – in 2006 Sumitomo hooked up with Isuzu motors and in 2010 Swaraj (Swaraj Mazda) became SML Isuzu Ltd this was one year before the Sumitomo Corporation were ordered to stop using the Swaraj Brand name.

Today there is speculation that TATA are looking to buy a 50% or more stake in SML Isuzu.

Here is a quote from Swaraj and Mahindra and Mahindra :

(http://www.mahindra.com/What-We-Do/Farm-Equipment/Products/Swaraj)

“The combination of Swaraj’s longstanding reputation with our cutting edge design and manufacturing has made the name Swaraj synonymous with power, reliability, and expertise.  We enjoy a market share of nearly 12 percent and a community of more than 700,000 satisfied owners in India alone.  We bring our customers excellent tractors and product support at 600 dealerships across India.  We are 2,100 dedicated, highly trained, and customer-centric employees working to bring you the best in farming equipment and customer support.

In addition to our strong presence in India, Swaraj tractors are used across the world in the US, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana.  In each region we enter, we seek to provide farmers with tractors and implements precisely suited to their agricultural conditions, helping them maximize their prosperity.”

Ravinder the CEO of M & M Ltd Swaraj Division says:

http://www.indianexporters.com/M-and-M-Ltd-Swaraj-Division-com-555662764.html

“We feel honored to get an opportunity to introduce our brand SWARAJ to you. SWARAJ was India’s first indigenously designed, developed & commercialized tractor manufactured by erstwhile Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL), a company promoted by Punjab Government. In 2007, PTL was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the world’s largest tractor manufacturers. Mahindra & Mahindra is a leading Indian business conglomerate with group revenues of $ 6.7 billion. Mahindra & Mahindra, Farm Equipment Sector, of which Swaraj brand is now the part, has the distinction of being the only Tractor Company in the world at present to have received two of the world’s top most quality prizes i.e. Japan Quality Medal and Deming prize. We have a tractor portfolio of 9 models with more than 100 variants in the range of 22 HP to 75 HP. We have a strong domestic presence with more than 0.7 million satisfied customers. Swaraj tractors, ruling the rural hinterlands for more than three decades, are synonymous with power, ruggedness & reliability. We have also expanded our presence in the overseas markets including select African and SAARC nations.”

As you can see – the Swaraj brand has a long-standing history with many companies trying their utmost to keep this brand to themselves – however Swaraj has withstood the test of time and is still continuing to operate as an Indian brand name and company which exports world-wide and to many developing countries and also America.

“In Hindi, the word “SWARAJ” means freedom from bondage – and self – rule. Since P.T.L. was the only first largest tractor project in India, moreover fully based upon Indian technology. So SWARAJ was appropriately chosen as its brand name. SWARAJ group sells its products under this same brand.

(http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fseminarprojects.com%2Fattachment.php%3Faid%3D3359&ei=Y3LFT4SCNay20QXjvJDqBQ&usg=AFQjCNHqxzY10FgMCVpZoK7l6vFSCswGKA&sig2=-fSq8w8c73kx3DKawjsQ0A)

“With more than 2 lacs of tractors and harvesters combines operating in Indians farms, SWARAJ are now well-established brand name in the country.”

(Same source as above)

The Original factory where the tractors were built by Swaraj and PTL is at S.A.S Nagar – Punjab in the City of Mohali. The factory was one of its kind in the industrial town which is 5km away from Chandigarh. The Tractor factory was the beginning of this town.

“A Tractor is a self-propelled vehicle capable of pulling a load. It is usually powered by an internal combustion engine, and is used on highways and in factories; but its greatest use is on agricultural land. Tractors can be classified according to their main functions such as farm tractors, industrial tractors and highway tractors. The farm tractor has revolutionised the mode of farming wherever it has been used. It has relieved farmers of arduous work and made great increases in production possible. Through the use of the tractor, farmers can control power that is equivalent to many horses and men. The average man is rated at 1/10HP, but when he drives a 20HP tractor across his fields – he is doing the work of 200 men. Tractors are used for a variety of purposes such as ploughing, harrowing, sowing, harvesting, pumping and transporting.”

http://vedyadhara.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/c/cd/MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf

“These tractors have contributed significantly to the green revolutions in India. Tractors are also being exported to a number of developing countries.”

It is the farmers that are the most important to the country and the alliance between Swaraj and Mahindra has seen the farmer benefit not only through the use of the tractor they purchase but also in the way they make the purchase; Mahindra Finance has been providing customized loans to farmers and as a result this has helped India; in 2004 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Syndicate Bank and Punjab Tractors Ltd (Swaraj) to provide finance to farmers who purchased Swaraj Tractors – where the bank would finance 95% of the farmers costs and the farmer would have to finance 5% themselves. This is just an example of how banks and Swaraj have been operating – there are other similar agreements between banks and Swaraj too depending on the state and banks of India.

The Swaraj tractors have certainly been effective in India and World-wide and the company will only look to grow further in the tractor and automotive industries. Swaraj has been doing much for India and its development and its operations in developing countries is helping to raise the standards of World development. To conclude Swaraj has survived through a lot and many evolutions along the way and has always adapted and evolved – it is truly one of India’s pioneers and has shown this through many decades – they will want to continue doing this throughout the future too.

I’ll leave you with the quote from one of Swaraj’s adverts : “Swaraj Tractors – Kissan Ka Power, Desh Ka Bharosa!” – Which translates to Swaraj Tractors the Farmer’s Power and the Countries’ Trust!

(http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm)

Additional Information:

“In 1974 it went into commercial production with SWARAJ 724, 26.5 bhp as its first model. During its 38 years of production, it has not only expanded its manufacturing capacity to more than 24000 tractors per annum but added more products into its manufacturing range.”

Its product range includes the following (FE – Is the vehicle specification given to denote it is a tractor/truck/lorry (tractors are under the heavy vehicle category and could also denote Fuel Economy):

Tractors:-

Swaraj 722 super                                                                  Swaraj 724 FE

Swaraj 733 FE                                                                        Swaraj 735 FE

Swaraj 744                                                                             Swaraj 834 FE                                Swaraj 855

Here’s a timeline of the key dates and what happened at these times in Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd history.

The major manufacturers of tractors in India are:

  • Escorts Ltd.
  • Mahindra and Mahindra
  • Ashok Leyland
  • Swaraj Enterprise
  • Force Motors

Special Features of Swaraj Tractors at the time of writing include:

  • Higher capacity 60 liters diesel tank
  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Ammeter
  • Lockable battery

You can visit: http://business.mapsofindia.com/automobile/heavy-vehicle/tractors.html for a full specification/features list of other non-Swaraj tractors.

You can also visit: http://www.indianmirror.com/indian-industries/tractor.html for an insight into India’s Tractor Industry.

There are still some serious issues being looked at, and to be resolved for farmers such as how to economise on fuel (through the effective way of changing gears at the right time), research has shown that many farmers spend a lot on the cost of fuel for their tractors and there is a need for support for the farmers with the help of efficiently economising their fuel consumption – research is ongoing as how best to support farmers, such as through the use of digital technology to inform the tractor driver as when to change gear. Another issue which is ongoing research at the time of writing is the dangerous vibrations being sent from the tractor to the driver and the threat it poses to the drivers head. Lastly it is important to stress the importance of farmers, tractors and agriculture, here’s a quote from the above website: “India is an agrarian economy and so mainly depends on agricultural produce. As a result, tractors play an important role in the growth of the economy itself. Tractors help farmers increase the output and in turn help the economy to grow further.”

PTL HISTORY

 

1965            Govt. of  India‘s  research institute(CMERI) at Durgapur initiates design &     development of SWARAJ tractor based  on indigenous know how.

 

1970

 

Punjab Govt. through PSIDC acquires SWARAJ tractor’s design from CMERI and establishesPunjab Tractors Ltd. (PTL) for its commercialization.

 

1971-73

 

PTL sets up SWARAJ Project for 5,000 tractors per annum at a capital outlay of Rs. 37.0 million with an equity base of Rs 11.0 million.

 

1974

 

Swaraj 724 (26.5 HP) tractor commercially introduced.

 

1975

 

2nd tractor model SWARAJ 735(39 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1978

 

3rd Tractor model SWARAJ 720 (19.5 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced. 

 

Maiden equity divided declared.

 

1980

 

Guided by social concerns and responsibility, PTL takes over PSIDC’s sick scooters unit –Punjab Scooters Ltd. (subsequently renamed as SWARAJ Automotives Ltd.)

India’s first Self propelled Harvester Combine – SWARAJ 8100 developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

SWARAJ Foundry Division set up in Backward area.

 

1981

 

Issue of maiden Bonus Shares (2:5), paid-up equity moves to Rs 15.4 million. 

 

1983

 

4th Tractor Model – SWARAJ 855 (55 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

Expansion of annual capacity to 12,000 tractors per annum at Plant 1.

 

1984

 

SWARAJ MAZDA Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Mazda Motor Corpn. & Sumitomo Corpn. Japan for manufacture of Light Commercial Vehicles. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 30.4 million (29%) and that of Mazda and Sumitomo’s Rs. 27.0 million (26%).

 

1985

 

SWARAJ Industrial Forklift Trucks developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1986

 

SWARAJ ENGINES Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd.(KOEL) for manufacture of diesel engines. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 6.9 million (33%) and that of KOEL’s Rs 3.6 million (17%). 

 

1989

 

1st Right Issue (1:1) at a premium of Rs 50/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid up equity moves to Rs 31.6 million.

 

1990

 

2nd Right Issues (1:2) at a premium of Rs 60/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid-up equity moves to Rs 50.6 million.

 

1992

 

2nd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up capital moves to Rs. 101.2 million.

 

1993

 

Annual tractor capacity expanded to 24,000 per annum at Plant 1. 

 

1995

 

Setup of tractor Plant II at Village Chappercheri with annual capacity of 12,000 per annum.

 

1996

 

3rd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up equity moves to Rs. 202.5 million.

 

1998

 

Commencement of expansion to 60,000 tractors(30,000 at each plant). Capital outlay of Rs 1000 million, funded mainly through internal accruals. 

 

1999

 

5th and 6th tractor models – SWARAJ 733 (34 HP) & SWARAJ 744 (48 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

FY 1999’s divided @ 250% was corporate India’s highest.

 

2000

 

Expansion of annual tractor capacity to 60,000 completed.

4th issue of Bonus Shares (2:1), paid up equity moves to Rs 607.6 million.

 

2001

 

PTL won National Championship trophy in competition organized by All India Management Association (AIMA) for young managers.

Economic times and Boston Consulting Group selects PTL as one of the India’s finest 10 companies out of Economic times top 500 Companies.

 

2002

 

Cumulative tractor sales crosses 5,00,000.

 

2003

 

PSIDC’s disinvestment of its entire Equity holding (23.49%) in PTL in favour of CDC Financial Services (Mauritius) Ltd. With this, total holding of CDC & its associates in PTL stands at 28.48%.

 

2004

 

7th & 8th tractor models – Swaraj 939 (41 HP) & Swarj 834 (34 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

2005

 

PTL disinvested 15,73,000 euity shares of Rs. 10/- each of Swaraj Mazda Ltd. (constituting approx. 15% of SML’s paid up capital) in favour of Sumitomo Corporation, Japan, a joint venture partner in Swaraj Mazda Ltd. at a total consideration of Rs. 629.2 million

 

2007

 

CDC/Actis Group and Burman Family’s disinvestment of their Equity holding in PTL (43.3%) in favour of Mahindra Group (M&M).

M&M made open offer to shareholders for another 20% equity of the Company.

Mahindra Group’s equity holding in the Company stands at 64.6%

Cumulative Tractor Sales cross 600,000.

Swaraj Track Type Combine designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

 

2008

 

Swaraj 3 Tonne Battery forklift, designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm

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