KOCHI l THURSDAY l AUGUST 13, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 16 l LATE CITY EDITION FOUR STATES FINED `20 CR FOR POLLUTING RIVER GANGA Uttarakhand, UP, Bihar and West Bengal told to pay the sum for failing to stop untreated sewage from flowing into Ganga IN LINE WITH NGT’S DECEMBER ORDER UTTAR PRADESH ASKED TO PAY L18 CRORE Wednesday’s move by the Central Pollution Control Board comes after a National Green Tribunal order last December, directing it to calculate the environmental compensation and raise demands with the states through which the Ganga flows, in case sewage treatment plant projects are not completed or interim measures not taken after Nov 1, 2019 ■ ■ ■ Despite the order, none of the four states has yet deposited the compensation while reminders have been sent to all A total of 131 drains dump untreated water into the river Uttar Pradesh has to deposit J18 crore and Bihar J1.2 crore. Together these states account for as many as 128 drains A5 lakh U.P., UTTARAKHAND, BIHAR TO PAY PER MONTH PER DRAIN FOR 3 MONTHS 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 3 dead after Tuesday rioting in Bengaluru, nearly 200 arrested Angered by an offensive social media post, mob torches Cong MLA’s house, damages vehicles and attacks police NIGHT OF HORROR Dozens of people attack Cong MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s residence on Tuesday night over a sacrilegious Facebook post by his nephew Charred remains of vehicles set on fire by a mob in Bengaluru. (inset) Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s residence which came under attack on Tuesday night | VINOD KUMAR T Attacks planned in other areas too They looted our house and attempted to burn it. This is the house I was born and brought up in. I feel sad to see my house like this Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka has said miscreants who vandalised properties in DJ Halli and Kaval Byrasandra were planning such acts in other parts of Bengaluru too. Assembly to convene on Aug 24 to pass Fin Bill T’Puram: The Kerala assembly will convene for a day, on August 24, to pass the Finance Bill. The session is likely be stormy as Opposition UDF plans to move a no-confidence motion against the government and also move a notice seeking to remove the speaker. P4 Guv, CM to visit landslide site at Pettimudi today T’Puram: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will visit Pettimudi, where a landslide claimed 55 lives, on Thursday. The duo will reach Anachal, Munnar, by helicopter and go to Pettimudi by road from there. NIA team reaches UAE to probe gold smuggling Kochi: The NIA team probing the smuggling of gold via diplomatic channel has reached the UAE. The team led by an SP-rank officer is trying to get access to the diplomats who had worked in the Consulate in the state capital. P4 16 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS Thousands gather in front of DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations, pelt stones and torch police vehicles. A mob sets DJ Halli station on fire @ Bengaluru A DAY after violence and arson broke out in Kaval Byrasandra area in DJ Halli police limits on Tuesday night, police arrested 193 people and registered 12 FIRs in two police stations in connection with the incident. A 3,000-strong mob had attacked and set ablaze Pulakeshi Nagar constituency Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy’s house. The arson and rioting led to the deaths of three persons when the police resorted to firing. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has ordered a probe into the incident by the District Executive Magistrate. An offensive Facebook post, allegedly posted by P Naveen, nephew of Srinivasa Murthy, is said to have sparked the violence in Kaval Byrasandra, which started with the attack on the MLA’s house. Sources said besides the three deaths, 33 peo- States can’t procure Covid-19 vaccines directly, says Centre S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AN expert group on Covid-19 vaccine administration, which formally met for the first time on Wednesday, has asked states not to procure vaccines themselves as the procurement will be done centrally . The directive came in the backdrop of some states showing interest in tying up with Russia, which on Tuesday registered Sputnik V the world’s first , Covid-19 vaccine. The meeting was chaired by Niti Aayog member Dr V K Paul, with Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan as co-chair. A senior member of the committee told TNIE that India would not procure Sputnik V as it has not even completed Phase III clinical trials. Also, the full details of its early human trials are not available. “Even the WHO points out that the earliest time horizon we’re looking at is January next KERALA CASE DIARY EXPRESS READ MLA Akhanda Srinivasa Murthy MLA’s family flees and the house is set on fire. MLA’s nephew P Naveen surrenders before police claiming his FB account was hacked. Mobsters ransack his house EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 1,212 test positive on Wednesday 880 recover 59 inmates of Poojapura Central Jail in T’Puram test positive for Covid-19. P2 year for any vaccine to pass our safety and efficacy parameters,” he said. Meanwhile, Russia has claimed Phase-III trials of its vaccine will be conducted in various countries including India. It has also listed India as a partner country for mass production of the vacine. However, Union health ministry and the ICMR sources said they are unaware of any such deal with Russia. The expert group, which met on Wednesday, discussed the modalities for creating a robust digital infrastructure to track the vaccination process, inventory management as well as last-mile delivery . “The expert group discussed the financial resources required for procurement of Covid-19 vaccine and various options of financing the same,” a government release read. India is also looking to support its key neighbours and development partner countries for vaccines. Women engaged in retail sales of fish will have to undergo Covid-19 testing, the CM has said. The state government allows walk-in Covid testing at private labs and hospitals. P2 27 KEY FINDINGS Audit finds financial irregularities in Sree Chitra Institute, director denies it A J AY K A N T H @ Kochi THE country’s premier Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Thiruvananthapuram has courted controversy after the Internal Audit Wing of the Union Ministry of Science and Technology has found large-scale financial irregularities in the institute between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2019. The audit report has listed 27 key findings of which 13 have been flagged red, highlighting it as a major weakness that must be addressed soon. The auditing was done from February 10 to February 14 this year and it found irregularities which included writing off of assets valued at `4.42 crore, infructuous expenditure amounting to `8.34 crore incurred on paying irregular allow- Report points out assets written off worth L4.42cr Irregular allowances of L8.34cr Non-recovered dues of L5.7cr ances, non-recovery of outstanding debt for more than six months to the tune of `5.7 crore, irregularities in procurement of goods amounting to `1.22 crore. The audit report said, “On scrutiny of Schedule-7 of the annual accounts of SCTIMST for the FY 201819, it has been noticed that the assets valued at `4,42,89,192 have been written off by declaring the equipment as condemned and auctioned. The sale prices received against auction of such unserviceable items have not been reflected anywhere, which is irregular and does not depict true picture in the annual accounts.” On the findings of infructuous expenditure amounting to `8.34 crore incurred on paying irregular allowances, the report said, “Verification of records reveals that SCTIMST, Trivandrum has given irregular allowances, viz Learning Resource Allowance, Patient Care Allowance and Academic Allowance, during 2017-18 and 2018-19. These allowance are not in line with that of Central Government admissible allowances. Similar observations were also made by C&AG in their report.” When inquired about the audit findings, SCITMST director Dr Asha Kishore said the institution has replied to all findings in the audit report to the Department of Science ● More on P4 and Technology . ple, including 14 policemen, were injured while 50 two-wheelers and 19 four-wheelers were torched or damaged. Home Minister Basavaraja Bommai and leaders of Opposition visited the spot on Wednesday and took stock of the situation, after which he said the cost of damage will be recovered from the rioters. The angry mob had attacked the MLA’s residence in Kaval Byrasandra by pelting stones. Soon, the mob surrounded the house and allegedly threw petrol bombs and torched it. By that time, thousands had gathered in front of DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations seeking action against Naveen. In no time, people started pelting stones and damaged police and private vehicles. Senior officers were also targeted and their vehicles damaged. While the reserve police tried to control the mob, they were attacked with boulders and glass bottles. P5 Indian-origin Kamala Harris is Joe Biden’s vice-president choice P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi DEMOCRATIC US presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday night named Indianorigin Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate, evoking waves of cheers from the Indian community in the US. Harris was born to two immigrant parents. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was born in Chennai and immigrated to the US in 1960. Her father, Donald Har ris, was bor n in Jamaica. Those close to her say, Harris grew up embracing the Indian culture. So, given her strong bonds with India, what impact would she have on India-US ties, if Biden wins the election in November and she becomes the vice-president? Harris has been a vocal supporter of human rights, and has expressed concerns over the alleged human right violations in Kashmir. But, experts say it is unlikely that as VP she will have a huge impact on Washington’s ties with New Delhi. “Human rights in India have been under scrutiny long before the Trump administration assumed office. Under More progressive than Biden Harris is a California Senator and former presidential candidate Her mother was born in Chennai. Her uncle says she understands a bit of Tamil. Trump our actions in Jammu and Kashmir last year and also the CAA have drawn greater Congressional scrutiny which has not impacted the trajectory of the overall USIndia relations. Bilateral relations with India are not viewed in the prism of human rights alone. Hence, if elected, Kamala Harris as vice-president, though a vocal supporter of human rights, will not make a big difference to IndiaUS ties,” Harinder Shekhon, an expert on India-US relations, said. P9
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