VIJAYAWADA l THURSDAY l SEPTEMBER 10, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l LATE CITY EDITION OXFORD VACCINE HALTED IN US, UK, S. AFRICA AND BRAZIL AstraZeneca Plc said it has paused global trials of the Covid-19 vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a study participant VOLUNTEER GOT SICK AFTER VACCINE SHOT WATCHDOG STINKER TO SERUM INSTITUTE On Tuesday, a participant in the UK who was administered the vaccine had to be hospitalised after developing transverse myelitis — an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and can be caused by viral infections. However, it is not clear whether the syndrome was related to inoculation. It will be confirmed only after a detailed medical review ■ ■ Serum Institute (SII), which has partnered with AstraZeneca to make the vaccine for India, said Indian trials will continue Meanwhile, the Drugs Controller General of India has issued a show-cause notice to SII asking why the permission to conduct trials be not suspended till patient safety is established | P7 1 billion DOSES OF THE VACCINE WILL BE DEVELOPED BY SERUM INSTITUTE 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 SC orders interim stay on Maratha reservation law in Maharashtra E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Supreme Cour t on Wednesday passed an interim stay on reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions in Maharashtra. A three-judge bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao referred the matter to a larger bench, to be set up by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, for final adjudication. However, the bench said those who have availed the reservation shall not be affected. The SC is seized of a batch of petitions challenging the SEBC Act, which provides for reservation to Marathas. The court heard detailed arguments of senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Mukul Rohatgi and Gopal Sankaranarayanan for various parties. The Maharashtra Assembly had passed the SEBC Act, 2018 granting 16% reservation to Marathas beyond the 50% ceiling imposed in the Supreme Court’s 1992 verdict in the Indra Shawney case. The Bombay High Court had on June 27, 2019 upheld reservation for Marathas in the state but quashed the 16%, terming it “not justifiable”. The high court had ruled that it should not exceed 12% for education and 13% for government jobs as recommended by Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission. The HC had said the 50% cap on total reservations imposed by the SC could be exceeded in exceptional cases. It had accepted the Maharashtra government’s argument that the Maratha community was socially and educationally backward, and the state was duty-bound to take steps for its upliftment. The high court’s decision was challenged before the Supreme Court. SKYROCKETING 47 new cases at ISRO, AP ramps-up testing S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai THE Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota (SDSCShar) finds no respite from Covid-19, as another 47 fresh cases have been reported on Wednesday taking the tally to , over 100 in just the last four days. Considering the gravity of the situation, the Nellore district administration has deployed Sanjeevani buses to beef-up the testing there. Add i t i o n a l l y, t h e A n d h r a Pradesh government has also converted the State transport cor poration’s (APSRTC) Garuda buses into testing facilities. Even as the Shar administration conducts the regular RT-PCR tests, the district administration has also ramped up Rapid Antigen tests, through Sanjeevini. A total of 3 3 c a s es were detecte d through RT-PCR tests, and 14 through antigen tests done on Wednesday . Meanwhile, the district administration has assured that there was nothing to panic about the situation. “Through Sanjeevini, we have screened over 600 people at Shar in the last three days, of which 61 tested positive, of which most are asymptomatic. The tests are still in progress,” District Collector KVN Chakradhar Babu told TNIE. AP VIRAL WATCH NEW CASES DEATHS 10,418 74 A total of 71,692 samples were tested in the 24 hours ending 9 am Wednesday, and 9,842 Covid-19 patients recovered in the same period BMC officers demolish ‘illegal alterations’ at Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow at Bandra, Mumbai on Wednesday | PTI BMC pulls down part of Kangana’s bungalow, Pawar says ‘bad timing’ criticism of the Shiv Sena. Meanwhile, supporters of PART of actress Kangana Ranaut and Shiv Sena hurled Ranaut’s bungalow in Mumbai slogans against each other was demolished by the Shiv while the Sena workers waved Sena-run Brihanmumbai Mu- black flags at the film actor nicipal Corporation (BMC) on shouting at her to go back. Wednesday citing illegal alter, While the BJP in Maharashations in the building. tra supported Ranaut, the NaThe Bombay High Court lat- tionalist Cong ress Par ty er stayed the demolition term- (NCP), which is part of the i n g t h e B M C ’s c o n d u c t coalition government in the “malafide” and “deplorable”. state, expressed displeasure at A division bench of the demolition. Justices S J KathaNCP chief Sharad walla and R I Chagla Pawar said illegal asked why the BMC constructions are gave only 24 hours to not new in Mumbai. Ranaut to respond to “The BMC may have its stop-work notice taken the action as and why it took acper procedure, but tion when she was the timing was not outside the state. right,” he said. Kangana Ranaut Kangana, a threeMaharashtra BJP time National Award president ChandraWinner, tweeted some of the kant Patil said the Sena is unvideos and photos of the demo- necessarily targeting the aclition process. “I am never tor. “Sena is chasing Kangana wrong and my enemies prove like a fox. They should stop again and again this is why my petty politics and concentrate Mumbai is POK now,” she on real issues like Covid-19,” tweeted soon after the demoli- Patil said. tion work began. Leader of the Opposition in The actor, who returned to the Maharashtra Assembly Mumbai on Wednesday after- Devendra Fadnavis said the noon from her home state state of Chhatrapati Shivaji Himachal Pradesh, alleged the Maharaj has not seen such a Maharashtra government was “timid and anti-democracy” targeting her because of her government till now. S U D H I R S U RYAWA N S H I @ Mumbai Luncheon meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, India and China today in Moscow before Sino-Indian talks in the evening; analysts downbeat on outcome of the interactions Trilateral before bilateral P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi in Moscow. Russia being a close ally of both India and China, HOURS before the India-China certainly would like to see a bilateral meeting amid the on- peaceful resolution of the isgoing tension along the Line of sue, therefore Putin urging Actual Control (LAC) in both sides to disengage and deLadakh, the foreign ministers escalate in private cannot be of the two countries — S Jais- ruled out. If the situation aghankar and Wang Yi — will gravates, participating counhold a trilateral luncheon meet tries may opt out the forum,” B with their Russian counterpart R Deepak, Sinologist and Sergey Lavrov on Thursday . Chairperson of the Centre for The announcement of the Chinese and South Asian Studtrilateral was made by the Chi- ies at JNU said. nese foreign ministry on Moscow-based political anaWednesday. Both Jaishankar lyst Andrew Korybko echoed and Wang are already in Mos- Deepak’s view, adding there is cow to attend the SCO foreign nothing Russia can do to bring ministers’ meeting. China and India closer. “In the While the India-Chievent that the Chinese na bilateral is schedand Indian foreign uled to take place at ministers meet on the 5.30 pm IST, given the sidelines of the SCO Pleasure to meet fresh stand-off on the in Moscow, it would be FM Sergey southern bank of the because India did so Pangong Tso and the Lavrov... Excellent out of respect for its talks that reflect shocking firing by the Russian hosts, just our Special and PLA on Monday, the like when their DePrivileged p e rc e p t i o n i s t h e fense Ministers met Strategic meeting could end in a Partnership. Value last week. IN and PRC stalemate. Just last our exchanges on have irreconcilable week, Defence Minis- the international stances on the LAC,” situation ter Rajnath Singh and he said, adding all his Chinese counterMoscow can do is to ofS Jaishankar part Wei Fenghe’s fer a venue. meeting was Korybko was also of inconclusive. the opinion that the meeting Though Moscow had said up- would be overshadowed by the front it would not intervene be- recent gunfire on the LAC. “Intween Beijing and New Delhi, it dia and China have different had urged the two countries to interpretations of what hapuse the SCO to resolve their dif- pened and who is responsible ferences. However, experts are for violating the bilateral not optimistic of any positive agreement that hitherto preoutcome from the bilateral vented any firearm escalation. meeting. “The SCO is a multi- That escalation placed them on lateral forum where no bilat- an irreversible trajectory of soeral issues are brought for dis- called decoupling, with the cussion. However, these are ‘best case’ scenario being that discussed at the sidelines, as it it’s ‘manageable’ whereas the happened between Rajnath Sin- worst case one is a repeat of the P9 gh and his Chinese counterpart 1962 conflict,” he said. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov (left) before their bilateral meeting, in Moscow on Wednesday | TWITTER India on dominating heights in Finger 4 too M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi The Indian Army has positioned its soldiers on higher peaks in the Finger 4 area on the northern bank of Pangong Tso lake and fortified its positions using barbed wire in both the north and south banks of the lake in eastern Ladakh. “We have now repositioned our troops at dominating heights within our area around Finger 4 on the north bank of Pangong Tso,” a senior officer confirmed. The Indian side is now able to observe all Chinese movements in and around Finger 4, which was where the flareup first began in May . “We have placed barbed wires ahead of our positions all along these areas. PLA troops in the south bank tried to remove them on Monday so as to reach our positions. But we warned them sternly of strong ac- NGT to take action against AP as EC not obtained for 3 irrigation projects E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada NOTING that Purushottapatnam, Chintalapudi and Pattiseema lift irrigation schemes need environment clearances (ECs) as they are not a part of the Polavaram Irrigation Project, as argued by the Andhra Pradesh government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) appointed a committee to estimate the penalty to be levied for executing the projects without EC. The tribunal also directed that the penalty be collected and an ‘action taken report’ be furnished within six months, and posted the matter to April 12, 2021. The principal bench of the tribunal, headed by justice AK Goel, on Wednesday continued the hearing on the petitions filed by former Congress minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar — against the three lift irrigation schemes (LIS) alleging damage to the Godavari delta — and farmers — alleging damage to their land. While Supreme Court advocate Sravan Kumar represented the petitioners, AP was rep- COMMITTEE REPORT INACCURATE: GOVT The Andhra Pradesh government contended that the report furnished by the committee does not reflect an accurate picture and added that it is yet to submit its views resented by senior advocate Venkataramani. The bench examined the joint report submitted by a committee, with members of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and IIT, constituted ear- lier (as per NGT order dated February 20, 2020) to determine if EC was required. In the report submitted dated April 28, 2020, the committee noted that the Purushottapatnam LIS involved irrigation component and would need EC as per an EIA notification in 2006. It added that consent to establish (CoE) and consent to operate (CoE) were to be obtained from the Pollution Control Board, and clearance was to be obtained from the Central Water Commission. The committee also noted that though the AP government said the pumps would be dismantled after the completion of the Polavaram Project, there was no clarity on dismantling the pipeline laid in Stage-I of the project. It noted that the CWC said the project was never cleared/accepted and that it was not appraised as a part of the Polavaram Project. CONTINUED ON P4 tion,” a source said. When the PLA fired bullets into the air for intimidation, “we used megaphones to convey in Mandarin that it will be dealt with sternly . After some time the Chinese went back. At present, they are about 300 metres away from Indian positions on at least three heights in south Pangong,” the source said. The Chinese have now deployed battle tanks in the Spanggur Gap. “They have around 15-20 tanks near Spangur Gap and are trying to intimidate us,” the source said. Also, the Chinese have amassed 5,000-7,000 troops in Moldo, opposite Chushul Sector. According to sources, the top leadership in China is directly in contact with its military and is coordination all action along the LAC. Meanwhile, the Brigade commanders of both sides met in the Chushul-Moldo area. EXPRESS READ EPFO to stagger interest payout New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO on Wednesday said it will provide 8.5% rate of interest on EPF for 2019-20 as committed earlier. “It would comprise of 8.15% from debt income and 0.35% capital gain from the sale of exchange traded funds subject to their redemption by 31st December,” a labour ministry statement read. This means, the EPFO will provide 8.15% interest on EPF soon and 0.35% would be credited into the subscribers’ account by December 31 P10 VMRDA parks to reopen from today Visakhapatnam: The Visakhapatnam Metro Regional Development Authority (VMRDA) has decided to open its major parks and museums from Thursday. Kailasagiri, Telugu Museum, YSR City Central Park, Tenneit Park and health arena will be open as per regular timings, and Covid19 protocol will be followed ANTARVEDI AGITATION FIRST FROM SOUTH INDIA ‘Govt reconstructing temples in AP’ Fruit-laden Kisan Rail leaves A’pur for Delhi E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Kakinada/Vijayawada A day after the BJP and other Right-wing activists staged a protest at Antarvedi during which convoys of Cabinet ministers were attacked to protest the government’s “inaction” in nabbing those responsible for burning the Antarvedi Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple chariot, Endowments Minister Vellampalli Srinivas on Wednesday hit back at the BJP and Jana Sena (JSP) for trying to incite communal passions in the state. “The BJP and JSP were part of the previous TDP government. BJP leader P Manikyala Rao was the endowments minister then. What were these parties doing when the TDP government demolished 40 temples in the name of Pushkarams? The Chandrababu Naidu government demolished ancient temples such as the Dashamuka Anjaneya Swamy temple, Rahu-Ketu temple, and Sitamma Padalu. What were the BJP and JSP doing?” he asked, and said the present government is now reconstructing P4 the demolished temples. E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada THE first Kisan Rail from South India, connecting farms to markets, chugged out of Anantapur on Wednesday and , headed to Azadpur mandi in New Delhi carrying 322 tonnes of fresh fruits. The train will run between Guntakal Division of the South Central Railway and Adarsh Nagar in Delhi. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar virtually flagged off the train. Jagan thanked Tomar, PM Narendra Modi, and Union Minister of State for Railways Suresh C Angadi for starting the second Kisan Rail and first from South India, to transport P4 horticulture produce.
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