VIJAYAWADA l THURSDAY l AUGUST 16, 2018 l `5.00 l PAGES 14 l LATE CITY EDITION VAJPAYEE CRITICAL, PRIME MINISTER MODI CALLS ON HIM PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday evening inquired about the health of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who has been hospitalised in Delhi FORMER PM ON LIFE SUPPORT ■ 93 WHY WAS VAJPAYEE HOSPITALISED? “Former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been admitted for the last 9 weeks at AIIMS. Unfortunately his condition has worsened over the last 24 hours. His condition is critical and he is on life support system,” AIIMS said in a statement on Wednesday night. ■ He was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on June 11 with kidney tract infection, chest congestion, urinary tract infection and low urine output The BJP leader, a diabetic, has one functional kidney. In 2009, he suffered a stroke and subsequently developed dementia AGE OF THE BJP LEADER AND FORMER PRIME MINISTER CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Aspirational India on the move, says Modi in Red Fort address M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi The Cochin International Airport, which is situated near the Periyar river, inundated on Wednesday with water from the river and torrential rains flooding the runway | ALBIN MATHEW UNPRECEDENTED DEVASTATION With 29 people killed in one day alone, Wednesday was the worst since monsoon rains began pounding Kerala; Kochi airport inundated, out of action till Saturday; Cheruthoni, Munnar flooded, people marooned E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi THE 72nd Independence Day turned out to be one that Kerala would want to forget as torrential rains battered the state on Wednesday triggering widespread floods, landslides, death and destruction. As many as 29 people were killed on Wednesday , making it the worst natural calamity the state has seen in recent times. Over 67 lives perished in the past week alone in rain-related incidents. Toll could rise further as many are still missing. Several towns including Cheruthoni, Ranni, Aranmula, Thiruvalla, Kozhenchery, Aluva, Paravur and parts of Wayanad district remained cut off from the other parts of the state as flood water entered roads. The Cochin International Airport, the busiest in the state, had to be closed as runways were flooded. Trains were running at low speed as the Periyar water was rising dangerously close to the railway bridge at Aluva. The Ernakulam district bore the brunt of nature’s fury as downstream areas of Periyar were flooded. The Army Navy Air Force and , , a team of National Disaster Response Force from Pune pitched in to rescue thousands of people stranded in various parts of the state. The water level in rivers kept rising as the shutters of 33 of the 39 dams in the state were opened. After the Mullaiperiyar dam Rain wreaks havoc across Karnataka Unrelenting rains in parts of Karnataka wreaked havoc with incidents of landslides, flooding of several villages and stranded people being reported from across the state. Three people were killed after a tanker fell into a 30-foot ditch in Shiradi Ghat on Tuesday water level breached 142 ft, the maximum level permitted by the Supreme Court, in the wee hours on Wednesday the Tamil Nadu Ir, rigation Department opened all 13 shutters of the dam. This led to flooding of areas between Mullaiperiyar and Idukki dams. Around 4,000 people in down- stream areas were evacuated ahead of the water release. Meanwhile, the water level in Idukki dam was rising at an alarming rate touching 2,399.32 ft as of Wednesday evening. All five shutters were raised to a height of 3.2 metres releasing a whopping 15 lakh litres of water per second (1,500 cumecs). The heavy flow of water led to flooding of Cheruthoni town, located near the Idukki dam. At least four shops were swept away as water gushed through the town inundating several houses and forcing over 2,000 people in five panchayats adjoining Cheruthoni to shift to relief camps. There were three incidents of landslide in Cheruthoni itself. Munnar town was cut off from other parts of the state as vehicle traffic on the Kochi-Dhanushkodi National Highway came to a halt due to land slides. Police and Fire Force personnel rescued six people trapped in a hotel, which collapsed due to landslide. One person died in the incident. As water was being released from the Mattupetty dam, many parts of Munnar town got inundated. P6 SCARY STATS Incessant rains continued to pound Kerala on Wednesday, forcing weather dept to sound red alert for the entire state 33 of 39 dams in the state have been opened 29 Idukki-Cheruthoni dam releasing 15 lakh ltrs of water per second persons died on Wednesday alone in rain-related incidents @ Srikakulam/Kakinada/Kurnool WATER Following Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan's request, TN govt issued oral orders to reduce Mullaiperiyar dam level from 142 ft to 139 ft LEVEL Heavy rains expected in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari; moderate rains in West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur August 18 Another depression likely to north of Bay of Bengal Tirumala sees lowest devotee footfall in 50 yrs The slump `73 L hundi collection dips drastically on August 12 as against average of `2.35 crore Devotee footfall to rise after August 16, last day of Maha Samprok shanam E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Tirupati THE ghat roads connecting Tirupati and Tirumala wore a deserted look on Wednesday, with the otherwise bustling Sri Venkateswara Temple registering the lowest devotee footfall in five decades. The hill shrine is being opened to the public for a very limited number of hours since August 11 as Ashta Bandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshanam is in full swing. Darshan timings will remain the same until Thursday, when the purification ritual held once in 12 years ends. On an average, 78,000 people receive darshan of the Lord every day . The TTD administration had initially planned to close entry to all devotees until the conclusion of Maha Samprokshanam, but reviewed its decision after the intervention of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. The cleansing of the temple complex commenced on August 11. Though mandala krathuvu lasts 41 days, the main purification activity lasts just six days. “During thula lagnam on Thursday from 10.16 am to 12 noon, the main segment of the Ashta Bandhana Balalaya Maha Samprokshanam will conclude after bringing back the ‘power’ of the Lord from a golden pot to the main idol,’’ a source said. Since August 11, Alipiri toll gate has been recording 8 per cent to 12 per cent vehicular traffic between Tirumala and Triupati. The gate controlled by the TTD on an average witnesses the movement of around 10,000 vehicles per day . Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Healthcare plan rollout on Sept 25 The flagship Ayushman Bharat healthcare scheme will be rolled out on Sept 25 to coincide with BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary, covering 10 crore families or 50 crore population in the initial stage | P9 Wooing the middle class Apparently aware of the challenge to rediscover his 2014 appeal among the middle class, Modi talked at length about their service to society by honestly paying taxes, which went into feeding the poor HEAVY RAIN FORECAST l Ernakulam l Idukki l Palakkad l Malappuram l Kozhikode l Wayanad l Kannur districts on Thursday Preliminary estimates of state govt put losses at over H8,000 cr Bansasurasagar 775.6 m Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with children during the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort, in New Delhi on Wednesday | PTI Idamalayar 169.2 m TIGHT ’22 DEADLINE TO PUT MAN IN SPACE LA Heavy rains to continue for 48 hrs There was a time when the North-East used to feel that Delhi is very distant. Within four years, we have brought Delhi to the doorsteps of the North-East WITH big-ticket electoral battles just months away , Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday portrayed himself as one who is “restless, agitated and impatient” in the pursuit of a transformed India. Countering charges of unkept promises, he said, “hum makkhan par lakir nahi, patthar par lakeer kheenchne wale haen (we don’t promise things lightly we mean to keep our words).” , In his final speech from the ramparts of Red Fort here in the NDA’s current term, Modi portrayed an India on the move, fuelling aspirations of the poor - from offering healthcare benefits to scores of other entitlements - and connecting with the middle class by lauding them for honesty in paying taxes. Modi, in his 82-minute speech, invoked 2013 to contrast the achievements of his government and burnish his credentials before the 2019 general elections. He, however, skipped contentious issues like demonetisation and lynching. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) took special care to get the content right, with Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari vetting the speech, sources said, indicating the importance Modi attached to his message to the masses. “You may recall the comments made about India prior to 2014, by eminent international institutions, top economists of the world, and by those considered authorities on the subject. This was a time when the Indian economy was considered risky. But now the same experts and institutions say that our reform momentum has strengthened the economic fundamentals. They talk of our focus on reform, perform, and transform,” Modi underlined. He then rolled out the NDA’s achievement canvas. Among the points he ticked were the 13 crore Mudra loans, including four crore first time youth who availed the benefits, three lakh villages where young men and women are providing digital services, Gram Swaraj Abhiyan reaching 65,000 aspirational villages, WHO’s statement that three lakh children were saved because of the cleanliness campaign, and five crore poor lifted above the poverty line in the last two years. He also announced a manned space mission plan by 2022. Many towns including Munnar, Cheruthoni and parts of Aluva are submerged RA Weather forecast cate the boat belonging to Mosa Pethuru from Dummulapeta in Kakinada. The missing fishermen are Garikina Anand (39), Apparao (52), Yeripelli Laxman (38), Sattibabu (39), Dasari Koyyaraju (37) and two others. District collector Karthikeya Mishra has alerted the Marine and Coast Guard Department to launch a search operation. In Srikakulam, continuous rains resulted in the disruption of road connectivity between Alikam Battili road in LN peta and flood waters gushed into several houses at Koyilam colony of the low-lying village. P4 rivers in Kerala are in spate FAMILIES HAVE BEEN EVACUATED FROM THE BANKS OF PERIYAR KE WITH heavy rains lashing Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts for the last two days, a flood-like situation prevailed in several parts of the north coastal districts on Wednesday . Even as major reservoirs across the State are brimming with continuous inflows, the Indian Meteorological Department on Wednesday predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall, under the influence of a depression over Odisha coast, across the three districts in the next 48 hours. In Kakinada, seven fishermen who ventured into the sea on a mechanised boat on August 7, haven’t returned yet. The district administration is seeking the support of Coast Guard to lo- 44 5,000 Flood-like situation in north Andhra, 7 fishermen from Kakinada missing EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE All Regarding J&K, the path shown by Atalji is the right one - of pursuing Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat (humanism, democracy, Kasmiriyat) IDUKKI DAM Mattupetty 1,599.55 m Idukki 2,399.32 ft All 5 shutters opened to a height of 3.2 metres AMIT BANDRE Mullaperiyar 142 ft Kakki-Anathode 981.48 m EXPRESS READ 6 drunk youth, including son of MLC, thrash forest officer for ‘ruining’ party Kurnool: Six youngsters thrashed a forest officer in an inebriated condition for interrupting their booze party at Sunnipenta in Nallamalla Tiger Reserve area on Tuesday night. One of the accused claimed that he was the son of an MLC from Telangana, but police are yet to P4 confirm the same. Legendary Indian cricket captain and coach Ajit Wadekar passes away at 77 Mumbai: Former captain and coach of the Indian cricket team, Ajit Wadekar died in Mumbai on Wednesday evening after a prolonged illness. He was 77 and had been suffering from cancer. Wadekar was captain when the India registered its first-ever Test series wins in the West Indies and England, in 1971. He played 37 Tests till 1974, scoring a century and 14 half-centuries. P12 A K R A M M O H A M M E D @ Bengaluru PRIME Minister Narendra Modi, from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi on Wednesday set a dead, line of 2022 for India’s first manned space mission and to join the elite space-faring club of Russia, the USA and China. But it comes with steep challenges for the country’s space scientists to meet. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Sivan, at a media briefing just three days ago, was sceptical about the organisation’s human space flight programme, but expressed his “pleasant sur prise” at Modi’s Independence Day announcement. Knowing well the challenges ahead, Sivan told reporters on Wednesday following the PM’s announcement — which termed the mission ‘Gaganyaan’ — that the space agency would first conduct an unmanned dummy mission into space, mimicking all human space flight parameters within two years and only then go for the country’s first human space flight. Experts, while maintaining that ISRO has the capability to meet the deadline, feel that the three-and-ahalf-year countdown to achieve it is too tight. The main issue: acquiring technology for the project, as ISRO is yet to safely develop and test a range of it for the mission. Space scientists pointed out that one of the most crucial technologies required for the success of Gaganyaan — the capsule in which the Indian astronauts, called Vyomanauts, will travel to space — is yet to be fully developed. R Aravamudan, former director of U R Rao Satellite Centre, ISRO, told The New Indian Express that although the deadline set for completion of such a specialised project was a tough one, ISRO has done some projects with similar deadlines in the past, but this one would be challenging. “So far, the project was not fully approved. But now, since the Prime Minister has cleared it, the project can go ahead full steam,” he said. Another source at URSC said the exercise to begin funding would take around six months, leaving the space agency about two-and-a-half years to complete the project.
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