KOTTAYAM l MONDAY l JUNE 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l CITY EDITION COVID-19 SLAMS BRAKES ON XI JINPING’S PET INITIATIVE Most projects under the multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are either on hold or getting minimal works AT LEAST 60% PROJECTS HIT BADLY CHINA-PAK CORRIDOR TOO HIT BY DELAYS About 20% of the projects have been ‘seriously’ affected, a senior Chinese foreign ministry official said. Another 40% are ‘adversely’ affected, while a further 30-40% are ‘somewhat’ affected. The BRI, that aims to link parts of Asia with Europe and Africa through a network of land and seabased trade routes, is China’s attempt to spread its influence abroad | P9 ■ ■ The projects disrupted include the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir The BRI, mostly funded by borrowed Chinese money, has trapped many countries in debt. Some of the projects were already on hold prior to Covid outbreak due to the mounting debt burden 2,951 PROJECTS COSTING $3.87 TRILLION ARE PLANNED UNDER BRI 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 CORONAVIRUS POSITIVE CASES CROSSED 10 MILLION GLOBALLY ON SUNDAY ● 2,03,051 ACTIVE CASES REPORTED IN INDIA | P9 Now, China psy-ops with 20 martial arts trainers Claims to have posted them in Lhasa; it’s an indirect admission of its troops’ inferior skills in hand-to-hand combat, feel experts CONTRIBUTION OF MAJOR CHINESE FIRMS TO INDIA’S COVID RELIEF POOL AMID continuing Sino-Indian tension along the Line of Actual Control in Easter n Ladakh, China on Saturday announced it has posted 20 martial arts trainers in Tibet’s capital Lhasa. Experts see it as part of China’s mind games as also an acknowledgement of the deficiency of its troops in hand-to-hand combat at high altitudes. “Their losses in the physical fights in Galwan and before that at Finger-4 have compelled them to identify and send martial arts trainers,” an Army officer said, adding the announcement was part of China’s psychological ops. “The answer lies in the move getting announced after so many days of the deadly clash of June 15,” the officer said. He was referring to the brutal clashes at Patrolling Point 14 on June 15 in which both sides suffered casualties. While India made public the loss of its 20 soldiers, including the local commanding officer, China hasn’t revealed its fatalities yet. Hand-to-hand combat also took place on the intervening night of May 5 and 6 after which the Chinese troops began their stand-off. Two armies also clashed on May 14 and May 31, sources revealed. The 1996 agreement between the two countries prevents the use of sun within 2 km of the LAC. Infantry units in the Indian Army have soldiers in large numbers trained in the art of unar med combat (UAC). Each infantry unit has a team for special tasks, called the Ghatak Platoon. It comprises the fittest soldiers in the unit who take a commando course, where they learn the intricacies of unarmed combat. “It is compulsory for every officer of the infantry and a large number of soldiers to complete 43 days of gruelling THOSE WHO EYED OUR SOIL GOT A FITTING REPLY: PM Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address on Sunday said India gave a befitting reply to China in eastern Ladakh, without naming the neighbour. “Those who cast an evil eye on Indian soil in Ladakh have got a befitting response. Our braves made supreme sacrifice, but did not let adversaries prevail,” Modi said. On the Covid-19 front, he urged citizens not to lose their hope. “We must face the challenges and use them to march ahead,” he said | P7 M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi While sentiments against Chinese-owned companies have been rising after the border clash at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, almost all major Chinese-owned brands operating in India have contributed in some way to the fight against Covid-19 in the country. A look Xiaomi ■ D15 crore contribution/pledge in all for Covid-19 fight in India ■ I10 crore towards PM and various state CMs relief funds ■ D1 crore raised in partnership with NGO Give India to make hygiene kits available for 20,000 families ■ Balance pledged towards protective equipment for doctors Huawei ■ D7 crore contributed in total towards PM CARES Fund and six other state govts TikTok ■ D100 crore worth equipment donated, including 400,000 hazmat medical protective suits and 200,000 masks ■ Acquired with support from the Union Ministry of Textiles and handed over to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ■ D30 crore raised for PM CARES Fund from TikTok users through a quiz MG Motor (Owned by SAIC Motors) ■ D2 crore contributed to government hospitals and health institutions in Gurugram and Halol (Vadodara), where the carmaker’s facilities are located ■ Provided 100 MG HECTOR SUVs to facilitate transport of doctors, medical staff, police and local government officials for community service across the country training at Commando School in Belgaum, Karnataka,” the officer said. “Training goes without a break with a weeklong capsule of UAC, which is compulsory to clear before one is declared successful in training.” The Ghatak Platoon inducts a select few new soldiers and young officers every year. Those who are replaced also stay with the unit fulfilling other requirements. As such, every unit has a large number of soldiers trained in the basics of the unarmed combat. The Indian Army also has a large number of regiments with troops from mountain states, thus giving them an edge during operations in m o u n t a i n o u s a r e a l i ke Ladakh. In fact, Ladakh has its own regiment, the Ladakh Regiment, which comprises youth drawn from the region. They are fully competent for battles at high altitude. It is the youngest among the Indian Army regiments. Oppo ■ D1 crore towards PM CARES Fund and UP fund and distributing masks to UP govt 2 docs, 3 nurses +ve 118 4,189 in Malappuram; dist admn to act tough KERALA CASE DIARY cases reported on Sunday 2,150 2,017 are under treatment Guruvayur KSRTC bus depot closed Thrissur: The KSRTC bus depot in Guruvayur was closed on Sunday after a conductor from Malappuram tested positive for Covid-19 Saturday. Health officials have urged those passengers who had travelled in the bus on the particular days to contact them. Caseload: 4 dists lack facilities T’Puram: As the Covid-19 situation enters a critical phase, the state government has decided to take stock of the preparedness with special focus on four districts —Palakkad, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasaragod. P2 Why tainted PwC given e-mobility consultancy, Chennithala asks CM Pinarayi decided to award the contract on August 17, 2019, to PwC at a meeting convened by him without calling tender applications. Alibaba Group ■ Donated medical and protective equipment to seven Asian countries, including India Satellite images taken on May 22 (left) and June 23 (right) show the extent of construction at the Galwan Valley within a month, near the border between India and China, known as the Line of Actual Control | AP INDIAN SEAFOOD EXPORTERS TO CHINA FEAR RETALIATION R A J E S H A B R A H A M @Kochi -plus Indian exports to China in 2019-20 Year China Quantity (in tonne) Value Value (in crore) (in $m) 2017-18 49,701 1,448.03 227. 39 2018-19 2,25,519 5,672.76 811.14 China is India’s 2nd market after the US 500 Number of Indian seafood exporters to China 22 DEATHS A SENSE of fear has gripped Malappuram after five healthcare workers, including two doctors, tested positive on Sunday . A physician and two nursing assistants at the Sukapuram Hospital and a pediatrician and a staff nurse at the Edappal Hospitals, both in the Vattamkulam panchayat near Edappal, have contracted the virus. Their swab samples were tested on June 19 as part of the sentinel surveillance. They have treated several people and preparing their list of primary contacts could be a tough task for health officials. “The physician has treated several aged people in the area. Also, the pediatrician is a known name in Edappal and he too must have attended to many children,” said a local resident. The hospitals temporarily closed down the respective sections and they would be reopened only after disinfecting the area. Five people from Vattamkulam panchayat had contracted the virus through local contact on Saturday . Fearing the possibility of community transmission, the district administration has de- E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @T’Puram Vivo ■ Contributed 15,000 PPE suits and 50,000 litre of sanitizer to the Central government ■ Donated over one lakh medical masks to healthcare workers in Maharashtra $1 BILLION V I S H N U P R A S A D K P @ Malappuram have recovered so far OnePlus ■ D1 crore towards PM CARES Fund Note: Compiled from public announcements made by companies cases confirmed so far CALLS to boycott Chinese products have left the Indian seafood exporters fearing retaliation even as the military standoff between the two neighbours threatens to derail economic ties. With China being the second biggest market for seafood exports from India, the stakes are high for exporters who are battling the economic fallout of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown. “There is a sense of panic among seafood exporters. We have been getting calls from our members on whether there will be retaliation from the Chinese side,” said Alex K Ninan, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India (SEAI) Kerala region. “We hope that things do not escalate further.” Indian seafood exports to the Middle Kingdom have been growing at a healthy clip from $227.39 million in 2017-18 to $811.14 million in 2018-19, an increase of 256 per cent. For the year ended March 31, 2020, Indian seafood exports to China are expected to cross $1 billion by a big margin, an official with the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) said. The authority has not released the official numbers for 2019-20 yet. There are around 500 Indian exporters shipping seafood to China. For the April-December period 2019, the total seafood exports to China stood at 2,42,218 tonnes, valued at $ 1.032 billion as against 1,65,950 tonnes valued at $ 589 million during the same period the previous year. Amid calls to shun Chinese products, there are also reports that import consignments from China are facing hurdles at some ports, including Chennai and Mumbai. It is learnt that the Customs authorities have indicated to importers that there will be delays in clearing Chinese shipments. ● More on P4 WHEN THE HUMMINGBIRD FOUND MISING THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Ramesh Chennithala Min bats for CM Transport Minister A K Saseendran said the CM would not intervene in granting any favours to a particular company. P4 LEADER of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala on Sunday alleged corruption in awarding the consultancy contract to London-based PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for preparing the detailed project report for the Rs 4,500-crore e-mobility project and posed five questions to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The project involves the purchase of 3,000 electric buses. Chennithala also demanded cancellation of the contract stating that PwC has been blacklisted by Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for two years and is facing nine cases in the country. He also sought a clarification from the chief minist e r o n why s u ch a c o m p a ny w a s contracted. Three days after levelling allegations against the LDF government on giving Rs 8 crore to KPMG in consultation fee for the post-flood Rebuild Kerala initiative, Chennithala said Justice A P Shah, former chairman of the 20th Law Commission and former chief justice of Delhi High Court, had sent a letter to Pinarayi during 2017 after realising that the state had awarded several ● More on P4 contracts to the banned PwC. cided to impose stringent lockdown regulations in four panchayats and majority of wards in the Ponnani municipality . Edappal, Vattamkulam, Alamcode and Maranchery panchayats and all wards except 1, 2, 3, 50 and 51 of the Ponnani municipality have been designated as containment zones. “We’ve decided to impose strict restrictions in these containment zones. The district is going through a very tough phase and imposing restrictions on people’s movements in the containment zones is the only way to contain the spread now,” said Malappuram District Collector K Gopalakrishnan. “People’s movement will be allowed only between 7am and 1pm. They should use this time for purchasing grocery items and availing of essential services. People coming from Palakkad and Kozhikode through the highway should exit the containment zones 30 minutes after entering it. They shouldn’t go into the interior places,” Gopalakrishnan added.Meanwhile, the Health Department will do RT-PCR test on 1,000 people to check for community spread in the new containment ● More on P4 zones. I-T exemptions for conveyance under new rule EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Central Board of Direct Taxes has notified amendments in Income Tax rules, which allow salaried employees to claim a set of exemptions if they apply for the lower personal income tax regime. This includes exemptions that may be claimed on conveyance allowances extended by employers. The new regime, which is optional, will be applicable for income earned from financial year 2020-21. A new sub-section has been added to the rule 2BB to implement these exemptions. They include any allowance granted to meet the cost of travel on tour or on transfer; any allowance, granted on tour for the period of journey in connection with a transfer, to meet ordinary daily charges incurred by an employee on account of absence from his/ her normal place of duty . CONTINUED ON: P10 JAL SHAKTI Lake Man’s watershed moment –PM’s praise A S H W I N I M S R I PA D @ Bengaluru FOR four decades, a shepherd from Karnataka’s Mandya district has been going about his job of digging ponds quietly on a barren hill near his village with the aim to provide sources of water for humans and the wildlife. Known fondly as the ‘Lake Man’, 84-year-old Kaamegowda became the talk of the town on Sunday when he was praised for his ‘ atmanirbhar’ A efforts by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his ‘Mann ki Baat’. Minutes earlier, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Sin- Kaamegowda stands near one of the ponds he built. The octogenarian has built 14 ponds on the barren Kundinibetta hill in Mandya district | PANDARINATH B gh Shekhawat, who came to know about Kaamegowda through this reporter’s tweet spoke to him over a video call, amazed by his efforts to harvest ‘jal shakti’. Two years ago, The New Indian Express wrote about Kaamegowda, who hails from Daasanadoddi village. When TNIE visited his haven then — a half-complete house — the hill presented itself in lush green attire, thanks to the 14 ponds, linked by a waterway that ensures when the upper ponds on the hill are filled, the surplus water flows into the ponds below. “He might have not done bigger lakes, but constructed 16 ponds for which he has invested in his energy and time,” the Prime Minister said. Kaamegowda was understandably happy “Someone in . Delhi recognised the work of a person from Daasanadoddi,” he said. It was 40 years ago when Kaamegowda first came up with the idea of developing water sources.
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