Monday, January 23, 2017

Lawlessness rules the roost in Okhla amidst public health crisis

NGT reserves final verdict on Jindal’s hazardous Okhla ‘waste to energy’ plant, residents await relief
Takes cognizance of violation of Supreme Court’s order, unapproved Chinese technology used by waste incineration based power plant
Lawlessness rules the roost in Okhla amidst public health crisis  
January 23, 2017: The final hearing in the case pertaining to unapproved Chinese incineration technology based Waste-to-Energy plant of The Timarpur Okhla Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd. (TOWMCPL), M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited at Sukhdev Vihar, Okhla has been completed and the judgement has been reserved as per National Green Tribunal (NGT)'s order dated December 23, 2016. In the meanwhile, prior to the pronouncement of the final verdict, NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar called the parties again on January 16, 2017 for a final round of clarification. NGT asked the Jindal company whether, the plant in question is a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) plant? Is it one of the five Supreme Court approved pilot projects based on biomethanation technology? It inferred that the plant was neither a RDF plant for which approval was taken nor is it a Supreme Court approved pilot project. The plant is situated in the vicinity of Okhla Bird Sanctuary, public institutions and residential colonies.   
The NGT's Principal Bench of Justice Kumar, Judicial Member, Mr Raghuvendra S. Rathore, Expert Member, Bikram Singh Sajwan and Expert Dr. Ajay A Deshpande passed the following order titled 'Orders of the Tribunal Supplementary matter':
"Learned Counsel appearing for the parties submit that the original project was with regard to Waste Processing Plant at Timarpur and Okhla. RDF was to be generated at Timarpur and pallets were to be brought to Okhla to be used as a fuel for generation of power. The Timarpur Project never took off. Infact, it never was established as proposed.  Bio-methanisation did not commence as wet/green waste from Azadpur was not available to the plant. It is also commonly agreed that principal challenge of the Applicant to the issue of change in technology is that the plant, to which the Environmental Clearance, consent to operate, establish was granted was to the process waste/bio-methanate/ RDF and energy which was changed without amendment of Environmental Clearance or taking consent and that it was changed to waste directly to incineration in boilers and generation of power."
It must be recalled that it all began with a proposal of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) for a waste to energy (WTE) project at Timarpur with The Timarpur Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd. (TWMCPL), a subsidiary of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. (IL&FS).  A Memorandum of Understanding between MCD and IL&FS was signed in March 2005 by D K Mittal, the then CEO of TWMCPL and Rakesh Mehta, the then Commissioner of MCD. On March 14, 2005, MCD said that it plans to earn carbon credits from the project. In a subsequent development, Unique Waste Processing Company (UWPCL), a subsidiary of the IL&FS had incorporated the Timarpur Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd (TWMCL) – through a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative – as a ‘special purpose vehicle’ for developing the waste-processing project at Delhi’s Timarpur site. 

Later, the management took a decision to also include the Okhla site and, hence, had the name of the company changed to TOWMCL. The original project proponent IL&FS incorporated a company named UWPCL as a 100% subsidiary for developing municipal waste processing projects. Then, UWPCL established a company namely TOWMCL for implementation of this project which was to be run by a Project Developer selected on the basis of competitive bidding.  

The project proponents remained unmindful of the fact that RDF, a co-incineration technology is completely inappropriate for Indian urban waste, which is largely biodegradable in nature. They extract a very high cost for the energy, which the plant claims to generate. The cost–benefit scenario projected by the proponents does not include environmental and health costs caused by toxic releases. These technologies also use valuable resources that can be recycled, such as plastics and metals, and support a massive recycling sector in the country. RDF is a thermal and combustion technology, mainly used to prepare waste for mass incineration. Burning of mixed waste will create problems of very toxic compounds such as dioxins and furans, heavy metals, and other pollutants. The calorific value for the waste comes from material such as plastics and metals. Plastics, especially chlorinated plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), when combusted gives rise to these highly toxic pollutants like Dioxins. PVC plastic combustion, which is part of the mixed waste, is banned in India by regulations both in the municipal and bio-medical waste-handling rules.

The order in the Sukhdev Vihar Residents Welfare Association Vs State of NCT of Delhi (Original Application No. 22 (THC) of 2013) dated December 23, 2016 reads: "Arguments heard. Judgment reserved" by the order of NGT's Principal Bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar, Chairperson, Judicial Member Mr U.D. Salvi, Judicial Member Mr Raghuvendra S. Rathore, Expert Member, Mr Bikram Singh Sajwan and Expert Member, Ranjan Chatterjee.
In a related development, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) wrote Lieutenant Governor, Government of NCT of Delhi on January 2, 2017, on the subject of “Lawlessness in Okhla after expiry of consent to operate & provisional authorization too expired on December 31, 2016”. 

The letter drew his attention towards the specific case of the lawlessness in Okhla that is setting a very bad precedent now that the after expiry of consent to operate, even the provisional authorization of for municipal solid waste (MSW) based thermal power plant of Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited has expired on December 31, 2016. 

The minutes of the meeting held on 24/06/2016 under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi to implement the orders of National Green Tribunal in the matter of Original Application No. 22/2013 reveals that “Regarding Okhla plant it was informed by the DPCC, that as per the decision taken by Consent Management Committee (CMC) in its 26th meeting held on 11/3/2016 the plant may operate on provisional basis and improve its emission standards to 30 mg/Nm3  as per direction of DPCC/Hon’ble NGT for transitional period till 31/12/2016. The Chief Secretary, Delhi, desired that the Chairman DPCC should take a meeting with all the stake holders, and an all out effort should be made to improve emission standards before 31/12/2016”. (Source: Department of Urban Development, Government of NCT of Delhi dated 06.07.2016 (F.N 13/56/CC/MB/UD/2016/1327-1341). It is quite clear from this minute that after the expiry of consent to operate, provisional authorization too has expired on December 31, 2016. 
The official documents reveal how conditions of Land Allotment to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), the municipal council of the city of New Delhi imposed by Delhi Development Agency (DDA) have been breached to facilitate “land grab” for a hazardous waste to power plant in Okhla endangering public health. It may be noted that Indian waste has hazardous waste characteristics.

A letter dated June 18, 1980 sent from DDA to NDMC on the subject of allotment of land at Okhla for compost plant. The letter specifically states the conditions for the allotment. The letter reads: “The land shall be used by N.D.M.C. for the construction of compost plant and for no other purpose whatsoever.” It further reads: “The land shall not be transferred to any other Department without prior permission of DDA obtained in writing.” Another letter from DDA dated August 4, 1995 sent to N.D.M.C. reiterates: “The allotted land shall be used for the purpose of compost plant and no other purpose whatsoever”. These letters reveals that the allotment of land to NDMC was a conditional allotment subject to compliance with the stated conditions. Given the fact that NDMC has violated these conditions in an apparent exercise of facilitating “land grab” for municipal solid waste (MSW) based thermal power plant of Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Co Pvt Ltd (TOWMCL) of M/s Jindal Urban Infrastructure Limited (JUIL), a company of M/s Jindal Saw Group Limited.  In a significant disclosure it has come to light that there are two lease deeds for a total of 13.5 acres. NDMC has violated the conditions imposed by DDA with regard to both of them.

A September 2008 document of Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services (IL&FS) Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd focused on Timarpur-Okhla integrated municipal waste facility referred to contractual framework and mentioned about “Land License Agreement for Okhla and Timarpur land for use of land for 25 years” and Shri Anurag Goyal, the then Director Projects, NDMC was recorded saying, “NDMC provided land as its equity to the project.”

It is noteworthy that Appellate Tribunal for Electricity for New Delhi headed by Justice Surendra Kumar and Mr Rakesh Nath recorded on 19th May, 2015 a submission about “Land leased by NDMC on nominal rate” as part of “promotional steps were taken to promote Timarpur Okhla’s Plant” as part of its Judgment in Appeal Nos. 251 of 2013 and 325 of 2013.  The company Timarpur-Okhla Waste Management Company Ltd (TOWMCL) Old NDMC Compost Plant, Behind Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), Mathura Road, New Delhi was appellant.

The documents from 1980, 1995, 2008 and 2015 create a compelling logic for DDA to cancel the land allotment to NDMC and ensure that the land from TOWMCL is taken back and given to DDA.

It is an established practice that even a minor change with regard to land use is required to published in the Gazette notification but the same has not been done. Had DDA permitted changes in land use at Okhla, it would have published a similar Gazette notification.

Residents and environmental groups like ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) have been at a loss to comprehend as to why have Delhi Government and Central Government not acted to save public health in the face hazards from a highly polluting plant which has violated every environmental norm and caused serious public health crisis. Unmindful of the demands of the environmental groups and residents who seek closure of the plant, the Chief Secretary has been paying lip-service about making efforts to “improve emission standards.” This is manifestly misleading given the fact that emission standards fixed by law have to be complied with and in the case of non-compliance the plant has to be shut down for good.  The legality of allowing the plant to operate with “provisional” consent following withdrawal of consent to operate has been highly questionable. 

Given the fact that all the relevant clearances were granted for RDF technology, not for the unapproved Chinese technology which has been used by the company, the grant of provisional consent demonstrates collusion and connivance of the DPCC and Delhi Government. 

This power plant of TOWMCL was supposed to use RDF technology but it has been using an unapproved Chinese technology brought to light by the report of Technical Experts Evaluation Committee headed by Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) prepared pursuant to 22th March 2011 dated order of the Union Minister of Environment & Forests. This constitutes deviations from approved technology. The Chinese technology provider is from Hangzhou New Century Company Ltd of Hangzhou Boiler Group. The High Powered Technical Experts Evaluation Committee of CPCB in its 31 page report on the Timarpur-Okhla Waste to Energy Incinerator Plant brought to light the illegalities committed by Jindal's TOWMCL. The report was communicated on March 22, 2012. This report is based on three meetings of the Technical Experts Evaluation Committee held on April 26, 2011, August 11, 2011 and September 22, 2011 under the chairmanship of Chairman, CPCB. 

In a related case in an order Delhi High Court has observed, "10. In Master Plan for Delhi, 2021, notified on 07.02.2007, hazardous waste processing viz. hospital/medical/industrial waste is amongst the industries, manufacturing of which shall be prohibited within National Capital Territory of Delhi." The Court observed that "This is a mandatory requirement of the guidelines issued by CPCB, that such facility should be far away from residential and sensitive areas"

This plant occupies some 10 acres of green area under the Master Plan of Delhi. In view of the above submission, the letter has sought intervention of Lt Governor to ensure compliance with conditions imposed by DDA, relevant environmental rules and consider closure of the Dioxins emitting power plant located in a residential and ecologically sensitive area.
Residents and environmental groups who have been struggling against the proposal of such hazardous technology based plant since March 2005 await the final verdict of NGT with bated breath.     

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660, 08227816731, E-mail: krishna1715@gmail.com, Web:www.toxicswatch.org

England beat India by 5 runs

India finished on 316-9

23.01.2017 09:44:16 – Third Test between India Vs England is being played at Eden Garden Kolkutta WB India.India lost their top five batsmen for 173 but Kedar Jadhav (90) and Hardik Pandya brought the hosts back in the match with a sixth-wicket stand of 104.
With India needing 16 off Chris Woakes’s final over, Jadhav, who scored a century in the first ODI at Pune, smashed the paceman for a six and a four but was then caught by Sam Billings at deep cover after two dot balls. The hosts finished on 316-9.
(live-PR.com) – Third Test between India Vs England is being played at Eden Garden Kolkutta WB India. India won the toss elected to Field. India replace Dhawan for his poor performance with Rihane. At the end of five overs England has scored 27 runs.England lost first wicket of Sam billing on score 35 caught Gumurah bowled Ravindra Jadeja at score 98/1. JC 
Roy 65 runs is out by Ravindra straight ball England score,110/2 .England skipper E Morgan at crease. England score 321 runs in stipulated 50 overs. India chasing 202 /5 in 35 over.India could not chase the total fell short of five runs hence lost Eden Garden rest .But India won the series against England . India Vs England India Win 2 -1 .
India had just taken 16 runs off Woakes in the 47th over and needed 27 in 18 balls when England captain Eoin Morgan called on Stokes to bowl his final over.
Stokes gave away just four runs, added the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin to his tally and finish with 3-63
Kohli is confident the problems will be sorted out by then.
“Whatever areas or concerns we have, we’ll address them,” Kohli told reporters.
“First we didn’t have an opening problem, it was an issue with the middle order. Now the middle order has been sorted.
“We have very good openers with us. It’s not a case where we have to find openers. You have to give chances for people to come back into form.
“I think if we back our openers and give them confidence, it’s all about one or two innings in international cricket. Once you get the flow, everything clicks.”
Stokes, who rallied to pick three Indian wickets after being hammered around the park.
Stokes first dismissed India’s best batsman Virat Kohli for 55 before returning to remove Pandya for 56 and break his dangerous partnership with Jadhav.
England beat India by a narrow margin of five runs in the third and final cricket One-day international in Kolkata last night. The win prevented the hosts from making a clean sweep of the series. India still won the series 2-1, having won the first two matches played in Pune and Cuttack. Sent in to bat, the visitors made 321 for 8 in their 50 overs. Jason Roy was the top scorer with 65.
Chasing the target of 322, Indian batsmen wilted under pressure and lost the plot in the final over after nearly pulling it off in the nail-biting encounter. Kedar Jadhav who made 90 off 75 balls, was on the verge of single-handedly taking his side to a memorable win as he hit a six and four in the first two balls of the final over. But after his dismissal, India failed to rattle up the required runs to lose the match.
England’s Ben Stokes was declared Player of the Match for his fine all-round display. He remained unbeaten on 57 and also claimed three wickets for 63 runs in the Indian innings. India’s KM Jadhav was adjudged the Man of the Series. The three-match series went into the record books with a total of 2090 runs that eclipsed 1892 runs scored in the Afro-Asia Cup in 2007. Now the two sides head for the three-match T20 International series beginning on January 26 in Kanpur.
India lost their top five batsmen for 173 but Kedar Jadhav (90) and Hardik Pandya brought the hosts back in the match with a sixth-wicket stand of 104.
With India needing 16 off Chris Woakes’s final over, Jadhav, who scored a century in the first ODI at Pune, smashed the paceman for a six and a four but was then caught by Sam Billings at deep cover after two dot balls. The hosts finished on 316-9.
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Peace talks to resolve Syrian conflict

Fresh peace talks aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict will begin today in the Kazakhstan capital, Astana. The agenda at the two-day meeting brokered by Russia, Iran and Turkey is expected to focus on how to come up with a lasting ceasefire. Russia has backed the government of President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has supported the rebels.
The negotiations will bring together representatives from the armed opposition, along with delegates from the Syrian Government, Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations. Russia’s main negotiator, Alexander Lavrentyev,UN Special Envoy on Syria, Staffan de Mistura,Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jafaari is also participating in the talks. The US ambassador to Kazakhstan is scheduled to participate as an observer.
Syrian Government has said observance and separation of the Syrian armed opposition from terrorist groups will be in focus of the talks.The opposition has said that its sole focus will be to shore up a nationwide ceasefire. Major rebel groups are represented in the talks but militants including Islamic State (IS) are excluded. More than 300,000 people have been killed and 11 million displaced in almost six years of conflict.

National Girl Child Day

INVITATION
Dear Sir/Madam,
                        You are cordially invited to cover the following event:
EVENT:Union Minister of  Women and Child Development Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi will be the Chief Guest on celebration of National Girl Child Day. MoS for Women and Child Development Smt. Krishna Raj will chair the Event.
DATE:24th January, 2017
TIME:11:00 AM
VENUE:Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, Chankyapuri, New Delhi

Malaysian Perspective on River Pollution, Sanitation and Sewerage Management

Malaysian Perspective on River Pollution, Sanitation and Sewerage Management – A Discussion on Policy and Operational Framework.
River System and Pollution
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Malaysian Rivers at CPR Chanakyapur New Delhi:
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Dorai Narayanan
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
Malaysia has developed an integrated approach to management and treatment of waste from sewered and non-sewered areas that is considered very successful. It is estimated that around 65% of the urban population of Malaysia is covered by network sewerage, while the rest rely on Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) services which are provided by the same agency that provides network sewerage services. As with any other success story, the Malaysian experience has contextual details, and its own share of problems and challenges, but there have been significant achievements in terms of coverage, quality of services and environmental outcomes. These achievements make it possible to think of FSM not as a second-rate solution for poor cities, but a viable and first-rate alternative to network sewerage.
The talk was focus on two themes: (i) The causes and remedies of river pollution and the linkages with the sanitation sector; and (ii) Sanitation and sewerage management in Malaysia as a case study of reform and sector transformation.
Dorai Narayanan was the Head of Department of the Planning & Engineering Department in Indah Water Konsortium. He joined Indah Water Konsortium in March 1996 as the Regional Planning Manager (North). Before joining Indah Water Konsortium, he served as Senior Sewerage Engineer in Penang ULB. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Technology degree in Civil Engineering from IIT Madras, and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering (Environmental Management) from Melbourne University. He is a registered professional engineer.

Reflections on Europe and UK after Brexit

JAN
24
CPR is pleased to invite you to a talk on
Reflections on Europe and UK after Brexit
Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 11:30 a.m.
Timothy Garton Ash
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
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Timothy Garton Ash is the Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford and Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College. He has written extensively about the recent history and politics of Europe. His books include The Polish Revolution: Solidarity (1983); The Uses of Adversity: Essays on the Fate of Central Europe (1989); We the People: The Revolution of ’89 witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague (1990); In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent (1993); The File: A Personal History (1997); History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Despatches from Europe in the 1990s (1997), Free World: Why a crisis of the West reveals the opportunity of our time (2004) and, most recently, Facts are Subversive: Political Writing from a Decade Without a Name (2009).
His current research interests include the future of free speech in a multicultural and interconnected world – on which he is writing a book – and the relationship between an enlarged European Union, the United States and China. 

19th Edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav

National School of Drama, we would like to invite you to the Press Conference on the 19th Edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav on 27th January 2017, Friday at Sammukh Auditorium, National School of Drama, Bhawalpur House, Bhagwan Dass Road, New Delhi from 2:45 PM Onwards.
Shri. Ratan Thiyam, Chairman, National School of Drama and Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama will be available during the conference to address the media.

Invitation

NATIONAL SCHOOL OF DRAMA
Cordially invites you to the

PRESS CONFERENCE

ON
19th Edition of Bharat Rang Mahotsav

Date:   Friday, 27th January 2017
Time:   2:45 PM Onwards
Venue: Sammukh Auditorium,
National School of Drama
Bhawalpur House
Bhagwan Dass Road,
New Delhi – 110001

TO BE ADDRESSED BY

Shri Ratan Thiyam, Chairman, National School of Drama Society
Prof. Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama

Honda racers steal the show at the season finale of National Championship 

Honda racers steal the show

Honda racers steal the show at the season finale of National Championship

23.01.2017 09:18:50 – Rajiv Sethu closes this season emerging as champion in the Pro Stock 165 category
(live-PR.com) – Action packed Saturday for Honda racers in season finale of National Championship!
Aishwarya P storms to victory in the Honda All Ladies Race – Honda’s initiative to get female racers on the grid
Rajiv Sethu finishes first in Race 1 of Pro Stock 165 category, winning pole position for the much awaited final round of season finale
Piyush Ranjan dominates CBR 150R Novice 
championship, finishes remarkably ahead in both – Race 1 and Race 2
Hari Krishnan rules CBR 250R Open Race 1, fought closely by Mathana Kumar (2nd) and Ananth Raj (3rd)
48 racers including 9 women racers complete the Honda arsenal in Round 5
Chennai, January 21, 2016: Saturday proved to be a high adrenaline start to the season finale of National Championship which got underway at the Madras Motor Race Track, Chennai today.
Honda All Ladies Race:
Aishwarya P, from Bangalore, produced a clinical display and continued to have a comfortable lead in the final round of the Honda All Ladies Race at Honda All Ladies race. Claiming victory, Aishwarya clocked an overall timing of 00:09.27.007 minutes over the 4 lap race. Ryhana, from Chennai, clocked 00:09.39.365 minutes to finish second. Niranjanie, from Chennai, followed closely to finish third by clocking 00:09:56:604 minutes. The super women in the Ladies Race garnered a lot of interest as 9 racers across India competed for top honors in the final round of the first ever full-fledged season for women riders at the Honda One make Race.
Congratulating the winners, Mr Prabhu Nagaraj, Vice President, Customer Service, HMSI said, “Our women racers have come of age and it was really heartening to see them fight it out with such intensity. This augurs very well for women in motorsports and makes motorcycle racing a truly diverse and equal opportunity sport. My heartiest congratulations to all women riders who took to the grid today. I am confident that we will witness some stellar performance by these ladies in next racing season”.
CBR 250R Open Championship results:
The grid for Honda’s flagship CBR 250R Team Championship saw India’s top notch 14 racers. Team Honda Ten10 Racing were the early pace setters in the CBR 250R Open category as its riders Hari Krishnan and Mathana Kumar clinched the first 2 podiums in the Race 1. The excitement filled race was keenly fought between the two, Hari Krishnan eventually ahead, with a timing of 00:15:06:767 minutes. Mathana Kumar finished a close second with a timing of 00:15:07:349 minutes.
CBR 150R Novice category:
The CBR 150 R Novice Race 2 was won by Piyush Ranjan with a close finish from Mahesh Murali (2nd) and Soorya PM (3rd). Piyush clocked 00:09:05:163 and stood on the first position followed by Mahesh Murali who clocked 00:09:07:506.
Honda racers make impressive strides in Open categories:
The Madras Motor Race Track also witnessed scintillating action in the Race 1 of three new categories of National Championship – Stock up to 165cc, Pro Stock 165cc and Super Stock 165cc.
The Pro-Stock 165 witnessed 3 CBR 150R’s on the grid with winner Rajiv Sethu securing first position (00:12:43:867 minutes) and Mithun Kumar finishing at second position (00:12:48:541 minutes)
Now all eyes are on the second races scheduled on Sunday which will determine the champions for this season.
For further information, please contact:
Honda racers make impressive strides in Open categories:
The Madras Motor Race Track also witnessed scintillating action in three new categories of National Championship – Stock up to 165cc, Pro Stock 165cc and Super Stock 165cc.
Leading from the pole position to the chequered flag, Rajiv Sethu Sethu from Honda Ten10 Racing Team rode his way to the championship in the Pro-Stock 165. Honda also won the manufacturer award in his category.
For further information, please contact:
Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.
E-mail: public.relations@honda2wheeler sindia.com
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SONY AIMS TO POST AN OPERATING PROFIT OF 4.5 BILLION DOLARS Posted on  May 24, 2017 Japan electronic company, Sony has set a target f...