In a first-of-its-kind initiative to get households to help manage the load on electricity grid, residents will be called upon to adjust usage during peak demand periods. The initiative, called Residential Demand Response, will tentatively involve about 1,000 households that have smart electricity meters by utilities firm SP Group. These will receive alerts to temporarily cut down or defer electricity usage. Households that reduce their energy usage will receive financial incentives. The programme follows a similar initiative for commercial firms and industries.
The Straits Times
Thailand: Bracing for Naga fireballs
Thousands of people are expected to line the Thai side of the Mekong river in Nong Khai on Sunday and Monday to view the mysterious annual phenomenon of Naga fireballs, in which glowing red orbs up to basketball-size rise from the water and shoot high into the air. Scientists offer explanations ranging from flammable gas bubbles rising from the riverbed to plasma orbs formed by electrical conditions. However, the faithful insist that the fireballs are the work of Phaya Nak, a mythical serpent believed to reside in the Mekong, to honour Lord Buddha as he descends from heaven to earth.
Maldives : Hitting 15-lakh tourist mark
The Tourism Ministry estimates that Maldives will see the arrival of 15 lakh tourists by the end of October and 18 lakh by the end of the year. Russia remains the top tourist market to the Maldives with over 1.7 lakh arrivals. China, which had been the second top tourist market, has dropped to third. India, which had been third, is now second with nearly 1.6 lakh arrivals. As many as 33 foreign airlines operate to the Maldives at present. According to the Tourism Ministry, there are 62,814 beds in operation at the moment, registered to 1,269 tourist establishments.
Sun Online International
Bangladesh : First underwater tunnel
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has opened the much-anticipated 3.3-km underwater expressway tunnel, first of its kind in South Asia, beneath the Karnaphuli river in Chattogram. She unveiled the plaque of the tunnel connecting city’s Patenga with Anwara upazila. The 9.3-km tunnel includes an approach road. It has been built on the lines of the ‘one city, two towns’ model at Shanghai in China. It would connect the proposed Asian Highway with Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Highway by reducing the distance by 40 km.
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