MADURAI SUNDAY NOVEMBER 08, 2020 `8.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION 5K COACHES TURNED INTO COVID CARE UNITS, BUT ONLY 813 USED `90K AVG COST OF CONVERTING A COACH On average, about `90,000 was spent on each of the 5,231 coaches, RTI replies received by TNIE from multiple railway offices revealed. The South Western Railway spent `3.55 crore on conversion of 320 coaches. Central Railway zone converted 482 coaches into isolation units for `3.74 crore. North Eastern Railway converted 217 coaches for `1.49 crore Nearly `45 crore was incurred on converting non-AC railway coaches into isolation facilities, according to an RTI reply ■ 573 PATIENTS RELUCTANT TO USE THEM ■ Many Covid patients complained of extreme heat inside these coaches during May, June and July. This, the authorities said, was a reason why most of them were not used The converted coaches will be restored for passenger services once their requirement to serve as isolation centres is fulfilled COACHES CONVERTED INTO COVID CARE UNITS BY SOUTHERN RAILWAYS 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 JOE BIDEN 290 DONALD TRUMP Electoral college votes 7,48,57,880 votes Electoral college votes 270 TO WIN NORTH CAROLINA (99% votes counted) Electoral votes:15 Trump: + 76,479 7,05,98,535 votes 214 GEORGIA (99% votes counted) Electoral votes:16 Biden: + 7,248 JOE BIDEN DONALD TRUMP NEVADA (88% votes counted) Electoral votes:6 Biden: +25,699 But Trump refuses to concede, threatens legal action on vote counting EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AFTER four days of uncertainty and slow pace of vote counting due to a surge of mail-in votes. US media outlets on Saturday declared Joe Biden as the winner of the November 3 presidential elections. The 77-year-old former US vice president will become the 46th president of the US, after a victory in Pennsylvania, the state where he was born put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win. With Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, Biden now has a total of 290 electoral votes, according to some projections. Welcoming the victory call, Biden said, “America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise I will be a President for all Americans - whether you voted for me or not.” Before becoming the Democratic presidential nominee, Biden served as vice president under former President Barack Obama. He is also Delaware’s longest-serving senator. Meanwhile, incumbent Republican President Donald Trump, 74, has not yet conceded defeat yet. “We all know why Joe Biden is rushing to falsely pose as the winner, and why his media allies are trying so hard to help him: they don’t want the truth to be exposed. The simple fact is this election is far from over,” Trump said in a hurriedly issued statement, indicating that the fight is far from over. He added Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states and pointed out that highly contested states are headed for recounts. Earlier in the day he had re, iterated allegations of fraud in vote counting and continued to raise doubts about mail-in P9 votes. BEEN CASTE IN BIHAR? 243 122 IN PROGRESS PRESIDENT BIDEN! HAS THE DIE NITISH EXIT WRITTEN ALL OVER Total seats PROJECTIONS MGB NDA LJP OTHER 116 1 6 TV9 BHARATVARSH 115-125 110-120 3-5 10-15 REPUBLIC-JAN KI BAAT 118-138 91-117 5-8 3-6 ABP-CVOTER 108-131 104-128 1-4 4-8 TODAY’S CHANAKYA 180 55 0 People’s Pulse RJD: 85–95 TIMES NOW C-VOTER 120 RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR & MUKESH R A N J A N @ Patna/Muzaffarpur Cut-off mark 8 BJP: 65–75 JD(U): 25–35 CONG: 15–20 LEFT PARTIES: 3–5 LJP: 3–5 GDSF/ Independents: 5–13 (Margin of error - Plus or Minus Three per cent) 2015 124 107 80 71 53 27 2 10 MGB RJD INC NDA JDU BJP LJP OTH SIPPING tea at a roadside stall in Nathnagar, Muzaffarpur, Ram Charan Yadav was of the view that under chief minister Nitish Kumar, Bihar has seen unprecedented development. He claimed that not only him but people of all castes, Yadavs included, would vote for Nitish. “At 65, I have seen days when power used to come only for a few minutes. Now it is regular. There were no roads or water but now there is water supply at home. What else do we need, Nitish Kumar is doing his best to change the face of the state and we must support him,” Yadav said. With the third and last phase of the polling over on Saturday, the die has been cast on the Bihar elections. All the rivals can now do the math on the likely outcome at leisure. But is caste no longer a factor in the elections, as the elderly Yadav claimed? Traditionally, caste has always played a dominant role in the elections. Not surprisingly, it is said that the people of Bihar don’t cast their vote, they vote their caste. But the striking feature of this campaign was the emergence of issues, among them development, unemployment, corruption and jungle raj. It is not that caste been cast aside totally But there is a wide. spread feeling that voting this time will n o t t a ke p l a c e s o l e l y o n c a s t e considerations. “It cannot be denied that caste is not an issue in Bihar, but at the same time the development brought by Nitish Kumar is also an issue in these polls,” said Raman Jha, a businessman at Kamtaul village of Muzaffarpur. Jha is joined by Manoj Kumar, 35, of Hajipur and Shashank Kumar Yadav, 30, of Gaya. While Kumar is a Kurmi, Nitish’s caste, Shashank is a Yadav. Both claimed to have not voted along caste lines but on issues such as development and employment. Given this mood, many political parties rose above caste and community even during the distribution of election tickets. The Rashtriya Janata Dal, a champion of caste and mandal politics, effected the biggest change, giving wider representation to candidates of other castes. Of the 144 candidates it has fielded this time, only 58, or 40%, are Yadavs. In 2015, the party had contested 101 seats and gave tickets to 65 Yadavs, or 64%. As for Muslim candidates, the RJD has fielded 17 this time, down from 21 in the last elections. Muslims and Yadavs have always taken the lion’s share of the RJD’s tickets as they constitute the party’s main vote bank. The change this time is largely because of its young leader, Tejashwi Yadav, who has made Nitish his key attack. P8 TN bags best State award for water management in 2019 T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai ‘Kerala church routed money via hawala’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kochi AFTER conducting detailed raids in the premises of selfstyled evangelist and Believers Eastern Church founder K P Yohannan at different locations across the country the Income , Tax (IT) sleuths have found that the group routed unaccounted money through organisations that remained only on paper. “The group runs about 30 trusts, registered across the country, and most of them exist only on paper and have been found to be used for routing the unaccounted funds and for accommodation transactions,” said an IT department communique. TAMIL Nadu has been awarded the best State for water management for the year 2019. The State secured the top position under the ‘Normal Category’ in the National Water Awards, besides securing significant places under the categories – Best District in Revival of River, Water Conservation, Best Urban Local Body, Best Research/Innovation/Adaptation of New Technology for Water Conserv a t i o n a n d B e s t Wa t e r Warriors. Of all the awards in as many as 16 different categories to be presented for various States, Tamil Nadu has won 11 prizes under five key categories. The awards will be presented during a two-day ceremony to be held virtually on November 11 and 12, in the presence of Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu, Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, and Union Minister for Environment, Prakash Javadekar. On behalf of the State government, PWD Secretary, K Manivasan will be receiving the award. Under the category of ‘Revival of River’, Vellore and Karur districts bagged the top two spots, while Perambalur district won the second prize in the ‘Water Conservation’ category at the national level. , 1,200 CRORE Lankan bizman behind major fraud held in TN ANTONY FERNANDO @ Nagapattinam Winning big One of the State’s major achievements in conservation is renovation of 6,278 water resources at `1,433 crore through the Kudimaramath scheme EXPRESS READ Bombay HC reserves order on Arnab’s bail plea Mumbai: Republic TV Editorin-Chief Arnab Goswami, arrested in an abetment of suicide case on Nov 4, failed to get any relief on Saturday as the Bombay HC reserved its order on his interim bail plea WITH THIS ISSUE Plea for straw in jail: NIA seeks 20 days to respond Lucknow: The NIA has sought 20 days to respond to Jesuit priest Stan Swamy’s plea seeking a straw and sipper in prison to drink water, as he can’t hold a glass because of Parkinson’s disease UNLOCK, TRAVEL PLUS 12 PAGES Tax raids at IT Infra group’s premises; `1,000 cr unaccounted income detected E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai THE Income Tax department conducted raids at six locations in Chennai and Madurai of IG3 Infra Limited, a Chennai-based group operating in the IT Infra sector on Wednesday, and detected an unaccounted income of `1,000 crore. The search also unearthed evidence relating to the group’s investments in a Singapore-registered company – it was found that the group had suppressed foreign income received in form of share subscription, equivalent to `200 crore, taxable in India in the hands of the shareholder, said the I-T department. Incorporated in 2004 as ETL Infrastructure Service Limited (EISL), IG3 Infra also owns the Chennai One IT Special Economic Zone. The group specialises in developing and managing secure business infrastructure across highgrowth sectors, such as Information Technology and Hospitality Its board of . directors include C Ramachandran, a retired senior civil servant who was instrumental in bringing Ford Motors and Hyundai Motors to set up plants in TN, while he was the Industries Secretary . According to a spokesperson from the I-T department, the shareholding of IG3 Infra is held by two companies – one owned by the group searched, while the other company is a subsidiary of a major infrastructure development and financing group. Gains of `200 crore not disclosed in FA schedule It has been found that the company belonging to the group has invested a very nominal amount, although it has a 72 per cent shareholding, while the other company, with 28 per cent shareholding, has invested almost the entire money. This resulted in a benefit of almost Singaporean $7 crore (about `200 crore). This was not disclosed in its return of income and the Schedule FA, which is the details of foreign assets a taxpayer is required to disclose. FUN ON WHEELS Even as the darks clouds continue to play hide and seek with the city amid these gloomy days, it is the small joys of life that keep people moving. Here, a young lad is seen attempting stunts on the stagnant waters near Marina on Saturday | ASHWIN PRASATH A Sri Lankan businessman accused of swindling crores of rupees from investors in the island nations, has been arrested with his family from Kodiyakarai on Saturday Ahamed Shar. eem Mohamed Shihab (45), a resident of Colombo, is accused of swindling 1,200 crore Sri Lankan rupees and escaping to Tamil Nadu via Jaffna on a fiberglass boat, allegedly with the help of a few smugglers. The Marine Police claim to have received information from a few fishermen about a Lankan family landing near the dense casuarina plantations along the Kodiyakarai shores around 10pm Friday They, along with . the Law & Order unit, launched a search operation. “We intercepted a family near the Kodiyakarai bus stand. During checking it came to light that they were holding fake ID cards,” said M Selvaraj, Inspector of Marine Police Station in Vedaranyam. “We learnt about the financial crime and have taken the family in for interrogation,” added the inspector. Unlocking campuses: What’s the dilemma? ‘State should disinfect campus’ Principal of an arts and science college said two blocks were used as isolation wards. Staff can start rearranging furniture only after the State clears and disinfects the campus, she added SUSHMITHA RAMAKRISHNAN @ Chennai WITH the scheduled reopening of schools and colleges just a few days away, students and teachers say they feel massively under-prepared for it. They have urged the State government to come up with a set of guidelines for a phased reopening, along with a schedule for classes to be conducted in an offline-online combination mode. The primary fear among teachers as well as parents seems to be conversion of most government colleges in the State into quarantine centres for Covid management. Classrooms and hostels were cleared off of their furniture, and beds were laid for Covid patients. Government college faculty say with only about a week left , for the scheduled reopening, patients have not been sent out and the beds and other equipment are still placed inside the campuses. College administrators fear they may be unable to clear out the beds, disinfect the rooms and refurnish classes on time for the reopening. “Four out of the five blocks in my college were converted into quar- antine centres. Even the beds have not been cleared yet. How will the college be ready for over 4,800 students to come?” asks the principal of a government arts and science college in Thiruvarur. The principal added that patients had walked around the campus and even spat or coughed outside of the rooms. “Disinfection should be done, from the gate to the toilets. Even then, the virus stays for a few days.” Even though there are only a few patients now, the set-up has not been cleared out. All benches and chairs are propped up together in one of the three blocks in the college. Principal of a government arts and science college in Chennai
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