PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE CHENNAI SUNDAY OCTOBER 06, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 32 LATE CITY EDITION ‘I DON’T GIVE UP EASILY’ BOOKSHELF TO SCREEN FOOT SOLDIERS OF CHANGE Vaani Kapoor resurfaces in Bollywood with War, her fourth film since her 2013 debut. The 31-year-old actor says the lack of visibility is a conscious decision and adds she is not a fan of social media A popular trend in the 1970s and 80s, films inspired by books and novels are now making a comeback in Karnataka’s Sandalwood In collaboration with Slum Soccer, a 16-year-old girl starts her own initiative—Strive—in Delhi to help marginalised children learn some important life skills COVER STORY PERIL IN A PACKAGE EXCLUSIVE VOICES Researchers say packaged food in India, which is fast replacing a balanced diet, is among the most unhealthy in the world. In the absence of clear policy measures, people are faced with serious health complications such as type 2 diabetes T J S George Shankkar Aiyar ■ K Srinath Reddy ■ ■ 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 DEEP DIVE Creaky infra kills tap water quality Paswan for mandatory BIS norms, but ‘Waterman’ Rajendra Singh says bunkum, calls minister clueless A fter Prime Minister Narendra Modi set an ambitious target of supplying piped water to every household by 2024, his minsterial colleague Ram Vilas Paswan recently sought to raise the bar by talking about benchmarking the quality of tap water. Paswan wants to make it mandatory to provide Bureau of India Standards (BIS) quality tap water to households in all state capitals and 100 smart cities. Whether or not it is political jumla is not yet clear as water is not part of Paswan’s portfolio. He actually spoke in his capacity as the consumer affairs minister. Also, Paswan’s comments came as an offshoot of his squabble with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who claimed the Delhi Jal Board supplied pure water, while a BIS probe found ample evidence to the contrary . On paper, nearly 90% of urban households currently have access to piped water, but over 80% of rural households are not yet on the map. But is uniform mandatory quality benchmarking across the country feasible or even desirable? Weird idea Rajendra Singh, a Magsasay HICCUPS Green crackers here, says min; not quite, say manufacturers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/ Virudhunagar UNION Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday announced that ‘green crackers’ -- which the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research had been working on for the last two years, since the Supreme Court imposed a ban on conventional firecrackers -- will be available in the market this year. These crackers emit less light, sound, and, most importantly, particulate matter (PM). The cost, on the other hand, will remain almost same as regular crackers. PM pollution, experts say, is 30 per cent less in these crackers. However, back in Sivakasi, which manufactures and supplies 80 per cent of all firecrackers used in the country the mood is grim. , Traders say that of about 1,070 manufacturers here, only about 350 have registered with CSIR, and are currently producing green crackers for the upcoming season. “Of these 1,070 units, about 250 are small ones. Many of them are not even aware of the court verdict or the formula for green crackers,” says a manufacturer, speaking on the condition of anoP7 nymity . award winner known as the ‘Waterman of India’, questioned the logic of uniform BIS specifications in a country that has many agro-ecological zones with differing water qualities. As per BIS standards, the pH value of the water needs to be between 6.5 and 8.5, while calcium carbonate must not exceed the maximum permissible limit of 600 mg per litre, among many other specifications. The pH value, a measure of acidity, for instance, would vary across states, Rajendra said, and added, “People of Vizag cannot consume high pH water available in Rajasthan.” In a withering comment, the ‘Waterman’, who recently visited Visakhapatnam and suggested measures to the local municipal corporation for protection and rejuvenation of water bodies, said the Union minister does not understand the dynamics of water, adding any attempt to impose uniformity would be an exercise in futility and only help the corporates in the water business. CONTINUED ON: P8 State secret? Water quality is a national worry, but its benchmarking is a big secret in Kolkata, if one were to go by the bizarre claim of Khalil Ahmed, the civic body commissioner. “We have an experts’ body in the water supply dept. They decide the desirable limits of various parameters in drinking water, which we don’t share due to security reasons,’’ he said. Grisly plot by relatives wipes out 6 of family EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AUG 22, 2002 AUG 26, 2008 SEP 9, 2011 FEB 24, 2014 MAY 3, 2014 JAN 11, 2016 @ Kozhikode A woman who allegedly murdered six of her family over the last 17 years through cyanide poisoning to grab the family property was arrested by the crime branch police here on Saturday . The murders happened in Koodathayi near Thamarassery in Kozhikode. The first victim was Annamma Thomas, the alleged murderer’s mother-in-law. She died in 2002. The next death was in 2008, when Annanma’s husband P Tom Thomas collapsed Bus rams 8 cars as driver dies of heart attack EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IT was a narrow escape for several commuters when an MTC bus ran amok in the city on Saturday after its driver suffered a cardiac arrest and died behind the wheel. The bus rammed eight cars, and had to be brought to a halt by a bystander. The incident happened at 2 pm at a traffic signal in Velachery Rajeshkanna . (36) was driving the 576S bus towards Koyambedu from Siruseri. As it was Saturday noon, there were only about 10 passengers in the bus. “As soon as he suffered chest pain, he fell unconscious and the bus rammed eight cars waiting at the traffic signal. Soon, a man identified as Vijay (25) boarded the bus and applied the brakes,” said the P3 police. (From left) Annamma Thomas, P Tom Thomas, Roy Thomas, Mathew Manjadiyil, Alphine and Sily, who died between 2002 and 2016 due to cyanide poisoning immediately after having food. In fact, all six died shortly after consuming food. The third in the series of deaths was of Roy Thomas, exhusband of Jolyamma Joseph (47), who is the prime suspect. He died in 2011. According to the crime branch, the plot was hatched by Jolyamma, her relative M S Mathew alias Shaju (44) and Preji Kumar P (48). Preji sourced the cyanide from the jewellery shop he worked in. Kozhikode Rural superintendent of police K G Simon said Jolyamma has already confessed to her involvement in the killings during custodial interrogation. “First we investigated the death of Roy Thomas based on a complaint from his younger brother Rojo. Since the postmortem report found cyanide in his bloodstream, we expanded the probe to find the source of the poison. It led us to Mathew, who provided cyanide to Jolyamma,” he said. Jolyamma fell off with mother-in-law Annamma as she had a vice-like grip on the family properties. She then bumped off Tom to grab the properties by forging papers. Murders most foul in Kerala Jolyamma (pic) allegedly killed her former husband Roy and wanted to marry Mathew a.k.a Shaju. To do that, she plotted with Shaju to kill his wife Sily and daughter Alphine Love jihad frame-up of sex abuse witness S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi IN what appears to be a one-of-a-kind case of religious persecution of a government servant by his superiors, an education officer working in Bhopal was charged with waging “love jihad”, all because he was witness to an alleged sexual harassment of his colleague in office. Initially the department Mohammad Khalid Haque (name changed) works for victimised him. He was transferred to Jharkhand’s Dhanbad and his salary stopped after an inquiry But subsequent probes by his . department, the police, the court and the National Commission for Minorities absolved him of the charges. Khalid’s departmental director told NCM that “the allegation of love jihad, after investigation of police found to be false (sic), and also by the honourable court.” It started in January 2017 after Radhika charged Prabhakar (both The allegation of the petitioner of discrimination against him (due to religion) was found to be correct and action taken was malicious Union labour ministry deputy secretary names changed) with sexual harassment. Both are Khalid’s colleagues. He was witness to the alleged harassment. Radhika’s husband, incidentally, is Prabhakar’s brother-in-law. While a department probe gave Prabhakar a clean chit, the Union labour ministry under which it func, tions, found him guilty of sexual harassment, with Khalid giving crucial evidence. This perhaps led to Radhika’s husband filing a “love jihad” complaint against Khalid. According to Khalid, Radhika’s husband pressured her to take back the harassment charge. CONTINUED ON: P9
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.
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