CHENNAI FRIDAY MAY 22, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION KHELO INDIA KHELO, AGAIN: SOP OUT, TRAINING SOON Sports Authority of India’s standard operating procedure for resumption of sporting activities implemented on Thursday REDEFINING SPORTS PRACTICE SIGNING CONSENT FORM, COVID TEST Training will not be the same for some time. Emphasis has been put on social distancing, maintaining hygiene, sanitising complexes and not sharing equipment. The SOP, covering all sports, includes dos and don’ts for athletes and others. No timeframe, but training will depend on local govt’s guidelines and restrictions. Resumption will be in a graded manner. ■ ■ ■ All athletes and staff including administrative staff joining the training facilities afresh shall be tested for the coronavirus No sparring for boxers, wrestlers; no usage of long jump pits or pole vault mats; singles only and shuttles cannot be shared SOP requires athletes to sign consent form for acknowledging risk 4 categories NON CONTACT, MEDIUM AND FULL CONTACT, AND WATER SPORT 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 Howrah BALANCED APPROACH 2 dead, trees and civic amenities like lamp posts and overhead wires collapse EN GAL ST WE Govt caps airfare, to ease quarantine norms for fliers BENGAL RAVAGED B North 24 Parganas 16 dead, farmers and fisherfolk affected East Midnapore 4 dead, sea water inundates agricultural fields; at least 1.5 lakh people rendered homeless South 24 Parganas 35 dead, fisheries sector takes a big hit, thousands of houses collapse K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi Kolkata 15 dead, over 5,000 trees uprooted; electricity poles broken, cables snapped A scooterist tries to pass under an uprooted tree lying across a road, in the aftermath of the extremely severe cyclone Amphan, in Kolkata on Thursday | PTI Mamata attributes all deaths to house collapse, electrocution and uprooted trees, pegs the loss at `1 lakh crore; Kolkata airport flooded; toll may mount as rescue teams yet to reach large parts of the worst-hit Parganas districts MONSTER CYCLONE KILLS 72 AERIAL SURVEILLANCE BY MODI, DIDI TODAY New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake an aerial survey of cyclone-hit West Bengal and Odisha on Friday. In Bengal, he will be accompanied by Mamata Banerjee. “He will conduct aerial surveys and take part in review meetings, where aspects of relief and rehabilitation will be discussed,” the PMO tweeted NO WORD YET FROM THE SUNDERBANS Kolkata: The West Bengal government has not been able to assess the damage in the Sunderbans region where the Amphan made landfall, as rescue teams are yet to reach there and the cyclone has uprooted the communication networks. Similarly, rescue workers are yet to reach many of the worst-hit villages in the Parganas C O V I D - 1 9 B AT T L E Fresh cases in TN stand at 776 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE State reported 776 new COVID-19 cases and seven deaths on Thursday, taking the tally to 13,967 and toll to 94. Chennai topped the districts with a huge 567 cases. Among the fresh cases, 76 had come from Maharashtra, and one each from Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi. In a televised address to reporters, Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said, “These cases continue to pose a challenge. Even in districts like Sivaganga, Tirupur and Coimbatore, where no cases had been reported for 28 days, such cases surface. As regards Chennai, we have engaged additional teams for screening. All the deceased were from Chennai and suffered from co-morbid conditions. Three died at government hospitals and four at private hospitals.” WITH THIS ISSUE CHENNAI’S BEST WEEKEND GUIDE 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF INDULGE (TABLOID) P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata A day after extremely severe cyclone Amphan tore into West Bengal with rare ferocity not experienced in decades, it emerged that it had killed at least 72 people, including 15 in Kolkata alone, and left a trail of destruction so big that survivors are still struggling to come to terms with it. The toll is likely to go up as the rescue teams are yet to reach many of the badly-hit areas in the South and North 24-Parganas districts, where thousands of people have been rendered homeless after their houses collapsed. In Kolkata, the cyclone uprooted over 5,000 trees and residents faced power outage beside patchy mobile connectivity . And the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport was flooded, with two hangars damaged beyond repair. “I have never seen such a disaster before. I would like to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the cyclone ravaged areas in Bengal,’’ Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said. This is perhaps the first time she is inviting Modi to her state. Almost all the fatalities were due to house collapse or uprooted trees or electrocution, she said, adding her initial estimate of the damage was `1 lakh crore. The CM also announced `2 lakh interim compensation to the next of kin of the victims. Maximum casualty was reported in the low-lying areas of South 24-Parganas district where hundreds of villages were flooded. At 35, its fatality count was 50% of the state’s figure. Hit hard by last year’s Cy- clone Fani, the devastation wrought by Amphan not only swept away people’s livelihood again, but also their courage to fight back. “When I returned to my village, I saw my thatched roof house was reduced to a heap of rubble. My small fishing boat, the only tool that I had to ear n my l ive l i h o o d , w a s swept away,’’ said Gopal Maity of Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas district. A large number of people living in South 24-Parganas’ worst-hit areas are either fishermen or depend on the fisheries for their livelihood. With the cyclone destroying their homes and livelihood, they have nowhere to go. As for the Sunderbans re- gion, since rescue teams are yet to reach it, the state government has no idea about the extent of the damages there. In East Midnapore district, at least 1.15 lakh have been left homeless. “I have a five bighas of land which have been flooded with saline water. I know, I will not be able to produce crop there for next one decade,’’ said Bhagirath Naskar with tears running down his cheek. “I used to work at a fishery that has been flattened. My mud-hut collapsed. Now I have no land to produce crop and no home to live,’’ said Sheikh Abdul Rezzak. In Odisha, an estimated 44 lakh people were affected by power outages and damages to communcation networks. P7 Industrial credit growth slips to negative terrain POOR SHOW Bank credit growth down for the fourth successive quarter in December 2019, year-on-year At -0.8% industrial credit growth moved to negative territory for first time after September 2017 Personal loans segment continued to grow at a robust pace of 17.1% Private banks led credit expansion, accounting for 35.7% share in Dec 2019 from 32.2% a year ago Share of private non-financial companies in total credit declined to 25.8% from 28.4% a year ago But for individual borrowers, it increased to 40.3% against 37.3% a year ago EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad INDUSTRIAL credit, which has been on a weak footing for much of last year, finally gave up with credit growth entering a negative territory for the first time since September 2017. For the quarter ended December 2019, industrial credit growth contracted 0.8%, which in turn decelerated overall bank credit growth for the fourth successive quarter last December, according to RBI. On a fortnightly basis, bank credit declined by `21,010 crore. Within industry, of the total outstanding credit of `28 lakh crore as on March 29, 2020, infrastructure accounted for over `10 lakh crore, or 36%. But, the segment has been in a severe slump and has been registering a decline in credit disbursements for some time. Within infrastructure, the power sector comprised over half at `5.6 lakh crore followed by telecom, roads and others. Strangely, while the power sector, too, was witnessing a negative growth, roads was barely scraping through, followed by telecom sector that saw a rather healthy credit growth last fiscal. Some of the other major sectors that saw slow credit offtake include gems & jewellery elec, tronics, food processing industries, and textiles. According to RBI, private sec- tor banks led the credit expansion with their share in the total credit successively rising to 36% in December 2019 compared with 30% two years ago. However, credit g rowth among metropolitan branches decelerated to 5.2% during the December quarter from 14.7% growth a year ago, while bank branches in rural, semi-urban and urban areas maintained double-digit credit growth. The share of private non-financial firms in total credit declined to 25.8% (28.4% a year ago) whereas, for individual borrowers, it increased to 40.3% (37.3% a year ago); the share of female borrowers in total loans also increased marginally, the central bank said. PEOPLE planning to take domestic flights from May 25 need not fret about abnormally high fares and the possibility of quarantine at the destination, as the Centre has capped the cost and decided to ease quarantine norms. While there was some speculation about service providers charging exorbitant fares, the ministry is yet to officially announce the resumption of the ticket booking process from May 25. Announcing its price band computed on the basis of the flight duration, the aviation ministry said it has studied equivalent rail fares on the routes while capping airfares. For example, on the DelhiMumbai sector where the journey time is 90-120 minutes, the minimum and maximum fares will be `3,500 and `10,000, respectively . In all, there will be seven sectors (see box). Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said airlines will have to sell at least 40% seats at the midpoint between the lowest and the highest fare. To start with, services will begin on all routes with onethird capacity. For example, for operations from metros PLAN YOUR TRAVEL Min Class of sectors fare (H) A: Under 40 mins 2,000 B: 40-60 mins 2,500 C: 60-90 mins 3,000 D: 90-120 mins 3,500 E: 120-150 mins 4,500 F: 150-180 mins 5,500 G 180-210 mins 6,500 Max fare (H) 6,000 7,500 9,000 10,000 13,000 15,700 18,600 like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad to metro cities, 1/3rd capacity of the summer schedule has been approved. For metro to non-metro operations and vice-versa, where weekly departures are greater than 100, the government allowed one-third of approved schedule capacity But if the weekly . departures are less than 100, airlines are free to operate any routes that work up to 1/3rd of the approved capacity . According to an estimate, the country had an average daily operation of over 7,000 flights before lockdown. When flying resumes from May 25, initially about 2,300 flights are expected to operate. Speaking on the quarantine issue, the minister said, “The quarantine issue will be dealt with in a pragmatic manner. For instance, if I go to Kerala, then I will have to be in quarantine for 14 days. When I come back, will I be sent to quarantine again for 14 days? This is not practical.” However, the Assam government insisted on subjecting all arrivals to quarantine. Puri also said that under the revised standard operating procedures (SOPs), symptomatic passengers will not be allowed to travel at all. No point in keeping middle seat vacant As this newspaper reported on Thursday, there is no proposal to keep the middle seat in flights vacant. “Even if the seat is kept vacant, the social distancing norm is not met and then we also had to balance between the interest of flyers and commercial viability of the airlines,” Union minister Hardeep Puri reasoned Aarogya Setu app mandatory for flying All passengers have to show their status on their Aarogya Setu app. Those who don’t have the app will be sent to a counter to download it. Under-14s exempt from the app EXPRESS READ Railway reservation counters to open today Phase 2 evacuation stretched till June 13 New Delhi: The railways will open its reservation counters at select stations for booking of only reserved tickets from May 22, the Railway Board said on Thursday. It will also allow reservation of reserved tickets from Common Service Centres and agents from Friday | P7 New Delhi: The second phase of the Vande Bharat Mission, to bring back Indians stranded abroad has been stretched until June 13 and this would be followed by the third phase, the Centre said on Thursday. Private airlines are likely to be included in the third phase | P8 With coffers drying up, TN begins Wife trouble, man takes Google to task austerity drive to save `800 crore MAPPING TURBULENCE ANTONY FERNANDO @ Nagapattinam T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai THE Tamil Nadu government on Thursday embarked on a cost-cutting drive, expecting to save around `800 crore for its coffers. The move comes within two weeks of the government raising the retirement age of its employees to save `5,000 crore. The government is trying to cut expenditure in all possible ways, a top official told Express. On how long the measures would be in force, he said, “At least for the rest of the current financial year. After that, depending on the situation, further orders will be issued.” Faced with a huge shortfall in revenue receipts in terms of stamp duty and registration, liquor sale, fuel tax and GST among others, the gover nment has been looking for ways to cut expenditure. The measures im- posed on Thursday under many heads included hospitality entertainment expenditure, , machinery, equipment, daily allowance, travel concession and publicity . Presentation of gifts, bouquets, shawls, mementoes, and similar articles are suspended. All official functions, including conferences, seminars, workshops and cultural programmes with more than 20 persons, except for official review meetP3 ings, are suspended. TECHNOLOGY giant Google has faced breach of privacy charges on an international scale — ranging from European Union to the US. But, it would never have imagined that an angry consumer sitting all the way back in Mayiladuthurai would press police charges against it for ruining his marital life. A 44-year-old fancy store owner wanted a police case to be registered against the com- AMIT BANDRE pany for showing details of places on his phone, though he had not visited them. His wife of 18 years, a tailor by profession, has allegedly been accessing this timeline and now suspects him of infidelity. The ‘victim,’ R Chandrasekar, took everyone at Mayiladuthurai Police Station by surprise when he arrived with his complaint. “I do not know how she is getting to know my travel history without accessing my phone,” Chandrasekar said, demanding action against Google for ruining his peace of mind. P4
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