MADURAI TUESDAY AUGUST 11, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION 80% RURAL INDIANS SAW WORK COME TO HALT AMID LOCKDOWN Yet, only 23% says the lockdown was bad, and 74% feels the Centre has tackled the pandemic well, says a new survey 68% FACED MONEY CRUNCH, 23% BORROWED ONLY 20% GOT WORK UNDER MGNREGA Over 68% faced “high” to “very high” financial difficulties during the lockdown, the survey by rural portal Gaon Connection found. Twenty-three per cent had to borrow money while 8% had to sell valuable assets. The survey, done in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, was based on interviews with over 25,000 people in 20 states ■ ■ ■ About 38% households could not get necessary medicines Only 20% respondents said they got work under MGNREGA “Interestingly, respondents in BJP-ruled states were less impressed with the Modi govt’s handling of the pandemic than those in many other states,” the survey said 75% POOR FAMILIES SUFFERED A DIP IN INCOME DURING LOCKDOWN 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 Govt is reaching out to people: Palaniswami BAGA L AVA N P E R I E R B @ Kallakurichi “THE AIADMK government is reaching out to the people directly instead of asking them to come forward with their needs,” Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Monday. Seeking people’s cooperation to eradicate the Covid pandemic, Palaniswami said he was travelling across districts to review the containment measures. He conducted a meeting with officials in Kallakurichi to re- view the steps taken. “Thanks to proper action, the pandemic is under control in the district,” Palaniswami said. He also listed out the measures his government had launched for the newly formed district. Palaniswami laid the stone for 60 new projects worth `20.86 crore and launched the distribution of welfare assistance worth `33.31 crore to 15,061 beneficiaries. The new medical college in Kallakurichi Gas ‘leak’: Audit exposes chinks in MFL armour? S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai EVEN before tension over seized ammonium nitrate in Manali could fully be addressed, a safety audit of Madras Fertilizers Limited (MFL) has exposed chinks in its armour. The plant has reportedly been found operating without an adequate monitoring system, including ammonia sensors. However, an MFL official told Express, “A purchase order for the sensors has been placed. The delivery is getting delayed owing to the pandemic.” The official said this had been conveyed to TNPCB in an official response and had been recorded by the National Green Tribunal. In May, Express had reported an ammonia gas leak from MFL, following which the souther n bench of NGT took suo moto cognizance and ordered Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for a safety audit of the plant. The NGT had formed a joint committee to investigate, which submitted its interim report and safety audit. and the upcoming trauma care facility at government Ulundurpet hospital will improve healthcare in the district, he said. Law Minister CV Shanmugham, MLAs R Kumaraguru and A Prabhu, Collector Kiran Gurrala and senior officials were present. Palaniswami also announced free patta land to homeless people and residential flats to people living in urban and town panchayat areas. Statewide Covid tally crosses 3-lakh mark Chennai: The State’s tally of Covid-19 cases crossed the threelakh mark with 5,914 fresh cases being reported on Monday. As many as 114 deaths were also included in the day’s medical bulletin, taking the Statewide death toll to 5,041 FRESH CASES DEATHS 5,914 114 Covid-19 to change the way you spend The pandemic can alter consumer behaviour permanently and cause structural changes to consumer goods and retail industries, says a new study. Here are the key findings Consumers are focused on their most basic needs while cutting back on nonessential items Pandemic is causing more people to shop for groceries online Source: Accenture Covid-19 Consumer Pulse Research PEOPLE ARE STRIVING TO LIMIT FOOD WASTE, SHOPPING MORE COST-CONSCIOUSLY AND ARE MAKING HEALTHIER AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE CHOICES Pandemic has taken a toll on brand loyalty as consumers now prefer more local products To retain shopper’s trust, brands will need to show proof of good hygiene as well as safety Demand for products through home delivery and virtual consultations is surging, and is likely to endure beyond this crisis EXPRESS READ Pranab Mukherjee on ventilator support New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee was on ventilator support on Monday after he underwent a brain surgery at a hospital in New Delhi. His condition is critical. He had tested positive for Covid-19. Probe finds no rubber deposits on runway T’puram: Three days after an Air India Express jet overshot the runway and crashed in Kozhikode, an inspection team could not find any rubber deposits on the runway, contradicting claims that excess rubber deposits on the wet runway reduced the traction and caused the accident Lebanese govt resigns over blast Beirut: Lebanon’s Cabinet has resigned over last week’s blast in capital Beirut, the country’s health minister Hamad Hassan said on Monday. The blast, blamed on a lack of safeguards at an ammonium nitrate storage facility, has led to a renewed outrage against the government | P9 In new Raj twist, Pilot back in Cong Rebel leader’s meeting with Rahul, Priyanka sealed deal; no clarity on his new role though RICHA SHARMA & RAJESH A S N A N I @ New Delhi / Jaipur ENDING a month-long political impasse in Rajasthan, rebel Congress leader Sachin Pilot on Monday met party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra while the party agreed to constitute a threemember committee to look into the young leader’s concerns against Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. The move comes four days before the Rajasthan Assembly session, where Gehlot was expected to take the floor test to prove his majority . However, there is no clarity if Pilot will be reinstated as deputy chief minister and Rajasthan Congress chief but party sources said his demand for being made the CM in place of Gehlot is unlikely to be met. Sources said he may be accommodated in the central party for time being before the matter is resolved. “Sachin Pilot met with former Congress President Rahul Gan- dhi and expressed his grievances in detail. They have had a frank, open and conclusive discussion. Pilot has committed to working in the interest of the Congress party and the Cong ress gover nment in Rajasthan,” said a statement by Congress organisational secretary K C Venugopal. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was briefed about the developments. She subsequently spoke to Gehlot and informed him about the party’s decision. The committee consisting of Priyanka, Venugopal and senior party leader Ahmed Patel met Pilot and the MLAs supporting him to listen to their grievances. During the talks between Gandhi siblings and Pilot, he was assured all issues would be looked at and no action be taken against rebel MLAs. This was the first meeting between them since the crisis started. In Jaipur, Bhanwarlal Sharma, an MLA from Pilot camp, said the Congress government will complete 5 year term.
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