MADURAI MONDAY JUNE 15, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION PETROL PRICES UP BY `4.52, DIESEL BY `4.64 IN 8 DAYS FUEL DEMAND PICKS UP AS INDIA UNLOCKS Price of petrol went up by `0.62 and that of diesel by `0.64 as fuel prices were hiked for the eight day in a row on Sunday HIT BY INCREASES IN EXCISE DUTY On March 16, facing a dip in domestic demand for oil and a slump in international benchmark prices, the oil companies had stopped daily fuel price revision, despite a hike in excise duty by the government two days earlier. But the daily price revision resumed 82 days later on June 7 as the coronavirus lockdown started easing and the demand for fuel picked up ■ ■ The hike in prices has added to the burden on consumers, who are already reeling under extensive layoffs and wage cuts Analysts say the two hikes in excise duties—which added `13 to the cost of petrol and `16 to that of diesel—sat heavily on oil companies, which avoided raising prices so far due to low demand `75.16 THE RETAIL PRICE OF ONE LITRE OF DIESEL IN DELHI ON SUNDAY 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 Shah steps in to ramp up Delhi’s Covid defences Union home minister reviews situation with L-G, Kejriwal; all-party meet lined up today TAMIL NADU COVID-19 BATTLE Ranipet 6 Tiruvallur 81 Tirupattur 2 Dharmapuri 1 Salem 10 Erode 1 Tirupur 1 Coimbatore 3 Karur 1 Dindigul 10 Theni 8 Madurai 16 Virudhunagar 6 Tenkasi 16 Tirunelveli 19 Kancheepuram 32 Chennai 1,415 Chengalpattu 178 Tiruvannamalai 31 Villupuram 15 Kallakurichi 14 Perambalur 1 Tiruchy 9 Nagapattinam 7 Tiruvarur 8 Thanjavur 4 Sivaganga 14 Ramanathapuram 23 1,138 DISCHARGED As many as 1,138 people were discharged following recovery on Sunday, taking the total number of cured patients across Tamil Nadu to 24,547. The State also tested 18,782 samples on Sunday. SEVEN OF 38 DECEASED HAD NO CO-MORBID CONDITION S A N A S H A K I L & S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A @ New Delhi mitted within a week, the home minister later tweeted. The number of containment zones UNION Home Minister Amit in the Capital has increased Shah on Sunday stepped in to from 122 on June 1 to 242. For ramp up the fight against the proper monitoring, Shah said, coronavirus in the national the Aarogya Setu app will be Capital, where it is growing at downloaded in every person’s an exponential pace, announc- mobile phone. ing a slew of measures, includ“In view of shortage of beds ing more testing and boosting in Delhi, the Modi government hospitalisation has decided to immecapacity . diately provide 500 Doubling Covid-19 r a i lw ay c o a ch e s testing, converting which will be 500 railway coaches equipped with all fainto well-equipped cilities,” he added. Covid-19 care centres Shah said the govto enhance Delhi’s ernment will issue bed capacity by 8,000, new guidelines for directing private hosconducting the last pitals to offer 60% of rites of those who beds dedicated for More testing, succumb to the virus coronavirus patients so as to help reduce more beds... at a cheaper rate were the waiting period for Delhi’s testing the key decisions takthe funeral. capacity to be en at a high-level Shah also andoubled over the meeting chaired by nounced that a joint next two days Shah. After doubling team of doctors from Delhi’s testing capathe Union health min500 railway bilities within the istry, Delhi governcoaches to be next couple of days, it ment’s health departconverted into will be tripled after Covid care facilities ment, AIIMS and the six days. three Municipal CorAccording to the 60% of the beds poration of Delhi will Delhi government’s earmarked for visit all Covid-desigrecent submission in Covid-19 patients in nated hospitals in the Delhi High Court, private hospitals to Delhi to evaluate the the combined daily be available at situation. testing capacity of 40 cheaper cost Soon after the labs — 17 public and meeting, the Delhi 23 private — is 8,600 per day . government directed all district Union health minister Harsh magistrates and other officials Vardhan, Lieutenant Governor to set up nearly 20,000 more Anil Baijal and Chief Minister beds within a week. Arvind Kejriwal parricipated To take the initiative forin the meeting with Shah. ward, Shah will hold an all-parFor effective contact tracing ty meeting on Mondayat 11 am in containment zones, a com- in North Block. The parties inprehensive house-to-house vited include Delhi’s ruling health survey of every person Aam Aadmi Party, the Conwill be done and its report sub- gress, BJP, BSP and SP. Among the 38 people who died, seven had no co-morbidities. As many as 31 were from Chennai, and one each from Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Virudhunagar, Villupuram, Madurai, Chengalpattu and Tiruvannamalai. All of them were in the 30-82 age group. WHEN train services resumed, though partially many were re, lieved that they will not be tied down to a place any longer. But their relief has now given way to paranoia. Special daily trains from Chengalpattu, the district that has gained the notorious sobriquet of a Covid hot spot, thanks to its proximity to Chennai, have stoked fear among people. Local residents in Tiruchy fear a spurt in infection rates as this daily special train service, started on June12, would bring more passengers from the three major Covid hotspots, Chennai, Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram. Their fear is not totally unjustified as till now, Chengalpattu has reported 1,602 active cases with 24 deaths, Chennai has 14, 667 active cases with 347 deaths and Kancheepuram has 291 cases with seven deaths. But most of Tiruchy’s 46 active cases have E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu reported 38 Covid deaths on Sunday, the highest ever on a day. The Statewide death toll now stands at 435, with 128 of them (29.4 per cent) being reported during the past five days. There were a whopping 1,974 fresh cases in the State, taking the tally to 44,661, while Chennai recorded 1,415 cases, taking its total to 30,444. Meanwhile, three judges of subordinate courts in Chennai recently tested positive. All the three were presiding over small courts located within the Madras High Court campus. A few court staff in the same building, too, are said to have tested positive even though their numbers could not be ascertained. Among the 38 deceased, seven had no co-morbidities. As many as 31 were from Chenn a i , a n d o n e e a ch f ro m Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Virudhunagar, Villupuram, Madurai, Chengalpattu and Tiruvannamalai. All the deceased were in the 30-82 age group. A 52-year-old nurse employed at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital died on Sunday triggering charges , that she was put on Covid duty , despite an order exempting staff above 50 years for such work. POWER POINT Sulking Congress unit puts Uddhav govt on notice S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai PRAYER IN THE AGE OF COVID Worshippers keep distance as they attend a drive-in mass organised by a church in Bengaluru on Sunday amid the ongoing lockdown | SHRIRAM BN EXPRESS READ Earthquake shakes parts of Gujarat Ahmedabad: Parts of Gujarat were on Sunday night shaken by a 5.3 magnitude earthquake. People reportedly ran out of their homes in Kutch, Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Patan where the quake was felt. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST Top cop of US city quits over black man’s killing Atlanta: The police chief of the US city of Atlanta resigned on Sunday after a white officer fatally shot a black man on Friday night. The killing has sparked a new wave of antiracism protests in the city | P9 YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) From relief to paranoia, trains spark serious concern J O S E K J O S E P H @ Tiruchy 38 deaths, highest single-day toll in TN; 1,974 fresh cases reported been reported during the past five days, coinciding with the resumed train services “We heard that a majority of the cases reported in Tiruchy were Chennai returnees. In such a situation, the new train will bring in more passengers from the hot spot. The number of cases, which was in single digit, increased only after passengers started arriving with e-pass, either by road or train,” Ramamurthy, a Tiruchy resident, said. Even auto and cab drivers waiting at the Tiruchy junction are hesitant to ferry passengers coming from the Chennai zone. Murugan, an auto driver, said, “There is always a risk in taking passengers from any place. But the risk is greater when they are from Chennai.” Moreover, sources said, regular thermal screening or swab tests are not being done on passengers arriving by the Chengalpattu-Tiruchy special train. TN CABINET MEET TODAY TO DISCUSS SCENARIO E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai WITH Covid-19 cases rising sharply every day , Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has convened a Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat at 12.30 pm on Monday . According to sources, the Cabinet will discuss strategies and preventive measures, the impact of the current lockdown and the feasibility of relaxing a few other commercial activities. In another development, the Chennai Corporation on Sunday formed a response team to enhance micro-level containment across 15 zones as there has been no let-up on the spiralling of cases in the capital district. During a meeting at Ripon Buildings, Corporation Commissioner G Prakash said the job of the team is to conduct fever camps in wards, doorto-door checks, and to focus on the elderly . The civic body has appointed assistant engineers as heads of the response team across 200 wards in 15 zones of the city. The team will also include health staff, sanitary staff and volunteers. “They will identify co-morbid people through door-to-door campaign and find out if anyone has symptoms,” said Prakash. Earlier during the day Palaniswami called , up Sriperumbudur MLA K Palani, who recently tested positive and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chennai. A sulking Maharashtra Congress has put the three-party coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray on notice, saying it would no longer accept playing a junior role in power sharing and decision making. Sources said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi went to the extent of advising the state unit to take the call on walking out of the alliance if it continues to be loaded against it. Senior party leader Ashok Chavan said keeping the BJP out of power should not read as weakness, adding the voices of Congress ministers are not heard in the Thackeray government. “I am confident the chief minister will address all these issues and fair and equitable distribution of power will happen in the coalition,” he claimed. Sources in Cong ress griped about ally NCP fielding its second candidate, Fauzia Khan, for the Rajya Consult us, Sabha polls without consays Cong sulting the it. “Also, when elections to the nine vacant “MVA should seats in the state legislative not look like a government of council was held, all three parties in the coalition two parties. could have fielded two canCongress didates each. But the Conshould be gress was forced to give the consulted on ticket to only one because all policy decisions,” says Thackeray insisted on a unstate unit head opposed election. We were forced to withdraw the secBalasaheb ond candidate’s name. We Thorat went along because the CM promised an equal share of power,” said senior Congress leader. In the end, the Maha Vikas Aghadi picked up five and the BJP four seats without a contest. Now, 12 state legislative council seats in the Governor’s quota are up for grabs. “Each of the three ruling parties should get four seats. But we have been told that the Congress will get only three, while the Shiv Sena and the NCP will get five and four respectively based on their strength in the As, sembly. This is completely unfair. Why should the Congress tolerate it?” he added requesting anonymity State Congress presi. dent Balasaheb Thorat admitted his party’s ministers are not happy with the government, but they are not walking out of it yet. GONE TOO SOON He was a talented actor of science & faith, and a searching human SHILAJIT MITRA M y first assignment as an entertainment journalist in Mumbai was an interview of Sushant Singh Rajput. It was June 2017, a few days before the release of Raabta. Too young to be made an anchor, I was relegated to the task of assistant cameraman. The setup I was handed (and barely knew how to operate) was a small, rigged iPhone — not a bulky TV camera typically used on such shoots. As Sushant settled down with his co-star Kriti Sanon, he cast a curious look in my direction. “iPhone shoot?” he wondered aloud. I might have thought he may look down on it, but then, he added, “How cool.” Sushant was ever a man of the future. The actor was always seeking out new paths, new innovations. He shared a deep love for science and cosmology, and his film choices were marked by this need to experiment. He started out on television, debuting in the romantic show Kis Desh Mein Hai Meraa Dil and later breaking out with the household hit Pavitra Rishta. The restrictive nature of Indian soap operas is well known, but Sushant was already making a mark. Asked about his impressions of the actor, director Dibakar Banerjee later commented that he found him ‘understated on TV’, which as anyone can tell you is a miracle in itself. This knack for restraint was evident in his big screen debut, Kai Po Che!, where he played the inflammable ex-cricketer Ishaan. Lean and bewhiskered, Sushant soared over Abhishek Kapoor’s dusty friendship drama, announcing himself as the next big thing in Bollywood. Two big-bannered vehicles followed — Shuddh Desi Romance, PK — and for a while, his journey seemed resigned to the beats of mainstream stardom. Sushant, though, responded with an astonishing choice, appearing as the newest iteration of the 20th century Bengali NO SUICIDE NOTE FOUND, SAY POLICE Sushant Singh Rajput found hanging in his Bandra apartment on Sunday morning. He was 34 An accidental death report will be registered on the basis of preliminary information. No suicide note found Police claim they did not find any foul play in their initial investigation His died days after his former manager, Disha Salian (28), ended her life by jumping from a high-rise on June 9 SUS HA N T S I N G H RAJPUT 21-01-1986 14-06-2020 His body was later brought to the Dr R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital in Juhu. He is survived by his father and four elder sisters sleuth in Dibakar’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshi! It was a matter of great cultural debate — and I had my own reservations against the film’s narrative as well as his performance. Yet, there was no denying that this was a good kind of a shake-up. He would quickly bounce back with the celebrated M S Dhoni biopic. Directed by Neeraj Pandey this was perhaps his most , definitive performance, a boxoffice winner that brought out the lesser-known indecisions of an ace cricketer. Sushant could hold his own in most films. Twee and old world, the disaster epic Kedarnath was bogged down by convention; still, the actor took great and obvious pains lugging Sara Ali Khan up and down a mountain. In Sonchiriya, he was stoutly reliable as a dacoit losing his faith in his tribe. He was efficient in Chhichhore too, r unning through as many tics and jitters as an old man as he did as a college fresher. At the trailer launch of Kedarnath in 2018, Sushant was asked about faith. “There are different ways to investigate the truth,” said the actor known for both quoting Shiv mantras and Carl Sagan. “One is science…. the other is faith.” To whichever world we have lost him to now, our love shall no doubt reach unbound.
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