KOCHI l WEDNESDAY l JULY 17, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l LATE CITY EDITION IF YOU WANT GOOD SERVICE, YOU HAVE TO PAY: GADKARI Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said people will have to pay toll fee if they want to use good roads THE TOLL SYSTEM IS HERE TO STAY ‘TREAT ROADS AS NATIONAL ASSETS’ Replying to a discussion on demands for grants for the road transport and highways ministry in the Lok Sabha, the minister said toll will have to be collected to help the government create world-class infrastructure across the country. He said money collected from localities having the capacity to pay will be used to build roads in rural and hilly areas ■ ■ The toll system can never end though the rates may vary from time to time, the minister said adding, “Toll is my brain child.” Gadkari said roads are national assets and he had told his officials that they will be held accountable for any alignmentrelated mistakes as these are also cause of accidents 40,000 km TOTAL LENGTH OF HIGHWAYS BUILT IN PAST 5 YRS, ACCORDING TO GADKARI 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 Malabar Hill MISTAKES CREATE BAD IMPRESSION CM gives police stick, says beating accused a hobby for at least some MUMBAI TANDEL STREET B A C K B AY FORT Church Gate Nariman Point protest. Many senior officers hesitated to take up Sabarimala duty and instead went on COMING down heavily on the leave. police for the increasing inciSome of those who were dents of custodial torture, posted at Sabarimala acted on Chief Minister Pinarayi Vi- their whims and fancies. The jayan said beating the accused police lost control of the situation when women behas become the hobby longing to Manithi, a for certain officers. Tamil Nadu-based “Mistakes made by progressive outfit, ata section of officers tempted to trek the have created bad impression among pubhills. lic. The department Asking the district should rectify them chiefs to take responsibility for better coand do the needful to ordination, the CM ensure welfare of the said they should visit public,” he said while police stations at regaddressing a high-level meeting here on Mistakes made by ular intervals. They Tuesday . should also inspect a section of officers have Pinarayi, who also major crime scenes created bad handles the home and take strict action portfolio, said those impression among against communal public. The who resort to custoforces that try to fodepartment dial torture and illement polarisation. should rectify gal detention would While dealing with them. be ousted from political issues, the Pinarayi Vijayan service. police should stick to Addressing officers a neutral stand, he in the rank of DySP and above, added. the CM slammed a section of Pinarayi said an organisaofficers for dereliction of duty tion on the lines of C-DAC while handling the Sabarima- would be formed to modernise la agitation following the Su- the force. preme Court verdict on womMeanwhile, State Police en’s entry . Chief Loknath Behera prePinarayi said information sented the Badge of Honour was leaked from the police to for excellence in their area of extremist groups during the duty to 239 police officers. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram Colaba Fire brigade personnel rescue a child from the site of a collapsed building at Dongri in Mumbai on Tuesday 10 KILLED IN BUILDING COLLAPSE Eight rescued so far; no clear count on the number of people trapped under the debris of the century-old structure CRUMBLING CITY APRIL 4, 2013 Lucky Compound building in Mumbra collapses; 76 dead and 64 injured 1 JUNE 10, 2013 2 Altaf Mansion in Mahim collapses killing 10 people JUNE 25, 2018 3 Wall of Antop Hill high-rise caves in, burying 6 cars and forcing 200 residents to evacuate JULY 25, 2018 4 Four-storey building in Ghatkopar collapses killing 17 EXPRESS READ Postal Exam in regional languages Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Postal Exam on Sunday would stand cancelled and a fresh one would be held in all regional languages. P9 Interpol helps extradite Keralite Kollam: A Keralite accused of abusing a minor girl, who was extradited from Saudi Arabia, was brought here from Riyadh on Tuesday by a police team. Sunil Kumar, 38, was arrested in the Saudi capital with Interpol help three weeks ago. P5 A B H I J I T M U LY E @ Mumbai AN illegal portion of a centuryold building in the congested Dongri area of South Mumbai collapsed on Tuesday killing at least 10 people. While rescue workers managed to save eight lives, several others are still feared trapped under the debris. “It is difficult to say how many are still trapped, as nobody has a reliable headcount of people staying in the building,” said a fire officer on the site. Confusion prevailed over the name of the building, its ownership, the authority responsible for it and whether it was declared dangerous or not. There were claims and counter-claims between the Maharashtra Housing Development Authority (MHADA) and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) re- On a day when the BCCI advertised for the position of India’s head coach, incumbent Ravi Shastri is keen on continuing in his role till Nov 2021. He will get a direct entry and CAC will decide whether he gets an extension or not | P14 20 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS no, said it collapsed in seconds. “The building was inhabited mostly by lower middle class people who do all kinds of jobs at small commercial establishments in the business district of South Mumbai. There were two families in each house of the building,” said Ismile Khan who lives in neighbouring building. In all, at least 15 families were living in the building, which was declared dilapidated and had already been handed over to a developer for redevelopment, said BMC officials on the spot. NDRF officials expected delay in the rescue work because of onlookers crowding the site and the lanes leading to it. It threw up problems of quick evacuation of the injured. Also, NDRF couldn’t bring in earthmovers because of the cramped lanes. DEVASTATION ELSEWHERE 25.72 lakh BIHAR people affected by flash floods so far 25 killed over one lakh people evacuated 19 NDRF teams deployed so far for rescue and relief NEPAL 78 dead in floods and landslides, 40 injured; at least 32 missing 280-300 mm rainfall in the Terai region in the last few days, as against the normal of 50 mm Custodial death: Action against jail officials T’Puram: The Prisons Department has initiated action against Peermedu sub-jail officials for their lapses in providing timely treatment to Raj Kumar, who was brutally tortured by policemen in Nedumkandam station, that finally led to his death. P6 EXPRESS IMPACT State does an assist, provides Rahul `15L to build his house E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kasaragod AFTER kicking him around for a year and a half, the state government has sanctioned `15 lakh to help build a house for footballer K P Rahul. In a Facebook post on Tuesday Sports Minister E , P Jayarajan said the government allocated the money to the midfielder from the Sports Development Fund. The gover nment made the promise of a plot, house and job Pak reopens airspace for civilian traffic EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi Shastri keen to continue as India coach garding the structure throughout the day even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the first priority is to save lives. The four-storey structure collapsed around 11.40 am and the fire brigade got the first information at 12.10 pm. Narrow lanes in the Abdul Hamid Durgah area of Dongri made it very difficult for the official agencies to quickly reach the spot. While local people began rescue operations along with the fire brigade and BMC officials, the NDRF team arrived after two hours. “I was having breakfast when it rained briefly followed by gusty winds. I felt like the building was shaking. That is when I realised that the structure next to ours has fallen,” said a teenager, while a middle aged women, Hamidaba- MONTHS after shutting down its airspace following the February 26 Balakot air strikes by India, Pakistan on Tuesday reopened it to all civilian air traffic. While there was no immediate word on the timing of the decision, it is well known that Pakistan PM Imran Khan is scheduled to meet US President Donald Trump next Monday . Whatever the reason, international airlines and passengers will no longer feel the pinch of circuitous routes and longer journeys. Till now, Indian airline companies lost an estimated `600 crore due to rerouting of flights, with Air India taking the biggest hit of over `490 crore. when Rahul and his team helped Kerala lift the Santosh Trophy in April, 2018 after a gap of 14 years. On July 8, Express front-paged the plight of the midfielder, who lives with his 70-year-old grandmother Narayani in a dilapidated shed, wrapped with tarpaulin, in Padna. Rahul had said he made the rounds of the Padna Village office at least 15 times to get what was promised to him. Despite the collector’s order, the village office could not find a plot. ● More on P6 Govt steps in to wake consumer forums up from slumber E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi I got a call from the office of the minister today and the official said the house will be ready by December. I’m happy the government took a positive step K P Rahul The vacancies will be filled very shortly after completion of administrative formalities. Interviews are scheduled for filling up 17 vacancies A Consumer Affairs Department officer THE state government has initiated action to wake up the district consumer dispute redressal forums (DCDRF), which have been remaining dormant for a while. A Consumer Affairs Department official said the government has decided to conduct interviews for appointing the president for Pathanamthitta on July 22 and members for Thiruvanan- thapuram, Kottayam and Alappuzha forums on July 23. Express had reported on the sorry state of the district forums, mainly due to the political indifference showed by the state governments in appointing forum members. The functioning of the forums, except Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Kasaragod, has been affected as the posts of president and members are currently lying vacant. DISINVESTMENT Centre may sell entire stake in Air India E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE government is planning to sell its entire stake in Air India through an international bidding process that is expected to start next month, sources said. The government may also hold road shows for the disinvestment process abroad to woo potential bidders. However, a final call on the percentage of stake to be sold in Air India will be taken by a Group of Ministers. Officials said they had prepared separate notes for selling 100 per cent and 74 per cent stake in the national carrier. Last year, the government had asked for initial bids to sell a majority 74 per cent stake in the carrier but the sale did not materialise as there were no buyers. According to civil aviation ministry officials, some potential bid- FIGURE IT OUT 49% The current foreign direct investment limit in domestic carriers ders had last year expressed concerns over certain clauses in the bid document that forbade mergers with other existing airlines as long as the government continued to be a shareholder. Concerns were also expressed over the gove r n m e n t ’s ve t o p owe r o n downsizing. “Restrictive clauses are likely to be replaced this time round as we need to re-kindle interest in the airline. However, protection will be given to existing employees,” said officials. While foreign stakes will be allowed, currently there is a 49% cap on foreign ownership. Unless the FDI rules are changed, it will restrict foreign airlines wishing to bid for Air India to be junior partners in a bidding consortium. Earlier this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said in a select interaction with the media that the government “can think of a bit more than 49%” foreign direct investment in civil aviation. KEEP AIR INDIA FLYING... PAGE 8 RAIN LIKELY IN 7 DISTRICTS T’Puram: The IMD has forecast heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in seven districts from Thursday to Saturday. P6 App to read Ramayana Thrissur: The MCA Department of Vidya Academy of Science and Technology in Thrissur has launched ‘Ramayana Parayanam’, an Android-based mobile application through which users can read the Hindu epic. P6 Apex court to draw curtains on Karnataka drama today EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its verdict on the pleas by 15 rebel Congress-JDS MLAs seeking direction to the Karnataka speaker to acce pt their resignations. Rebel MLAs’ counsel senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi asked the bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi to continue with its interim order directing the Speaker to maintain status quo on the issue of resignations and disqualification of the MLAs. Citing the case of Umesh Jadhav, he said, “He resigned as MLA on March 20 and although his disqualification was pending, the Speaker accepted his resignation on April 1. So, it isn’t as if speaker has always considered disqualification needs to be decided first.” Rohatgi argued the Speaker acted in a partisan manner by not accepting the resignations and stifling the fundamental rights of the lawmakers to resign. “If I don’t want to be a MLA, you cannot force me to be one. Moreover, acceptance of resignation is based on the criterion alone - whether it is voluntary or genuine,” Rohtagi said, adding, Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy, told the court it had no jurisdiction to pass the two interim orders asking the Speaker to decide and, later, to maintain the status quo.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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