CHENNAI SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION GOVT CAPS CAB AGGREGATORS’ COMMISSION AT 20% OF FARE As per the guidelines issued by the Union Transport ministry on Friday, 80% of the total fare must go to driver partners SURGE PRICING LIMIT FIXED AT 1.5% ALL-FEMALE POOL OPTION FOR WOMEN In what could be a relief to the riders, the Motor Vehicle Aggregator Guidelines stipulate that the surge price imposed during peak hours be capped at 1.5 times the base fare. It also allows the aggregator to charge a fare that is 50% lower than the base fare when the demand is low. Where taxi fare has not been determined by the local government, `25-30 will be the base fare | P13 ■ ■ ■ Drivers welcomed it, but said the commission should be capped at 10%. At present, cab aggregators charge 25-30% According to the guidelines, women riders opting to pool their trips should be able to do so with only female passengers Cancellation fee of 10% applicable to drivers if they cancel trips 15-day TRAINING MUST BE PROVIDED FOR NEW DRIVERS BY THE AGGREGATOR 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 Delhi gate opens after clashes Farmers permitted to hold protest at Capital’s Burari ground, but opt to stay put at border EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi/Chandigarh/Lucknow Police fire water canon on farmers marching towards Delhi, protesting the Centre’s farm reforms, at Singhu Border | SHEKHAR YADAV After intense clashes at the Delhi border, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar reaches out, invites farmers’ organisations for a fresh round of talks on the new farm laws on December 3 With the AAP supporting the agitation, the Delhi govt rejects the Delhi Police’s request to convert stadiums inside the city into temporary jails to house the detained farmers AN ISLAND SLOWLY BEING CAST AWAY... S V K R I S H N A C H A I TA N YA @ Chennai AROUND 18,000 residents of the Pasiyavaram island near Pulicat are living in fear of being marooned, for the thin strip of cement road that connects it with the mainland is slowly but steadily going under water. While cyclone Nivar has already brought heavy rainfall to this region – leaving parts of the island in 2-3-foot deep water – the current crisis is because Andhra Pradesh opened the shutters of the Arani Dam, dumping a whopping 7,500 cusecs of water into the Arani River. The neighbouring State had to open the gates because of the continuous rainfall in Chittoor district. The consequence: hundreds of families running pillar to post to stock up on essentials. By local official estimates, the road will go under water in the next 1-2 days unless the outflow into the river is reduced. A steady stream of vehicles was seen moving at a snail’s pace along the road, with people preparing for the deluge. “In the past, a pregnant woman and a few schoolchildren have drowned to death after a boat capsized in the flooded lake,” recalls Durai Mahendran. “We pray such things do not happen anymore.” THE ISLANDERS’ PLIGHT: P4 The thin stretch that leads to Pasiyavaram island is on the brink of being submerged due to the overflowing Arani river | EXPRESS CM announces Nivar relief E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai STATING that the State government has been engaged in repairing the damage caused by cyclone Nivar on a war footing, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday announced a solatium of `10 lakh each to the families of four persons who lost their lives in rain-related incidents. Palaniswami also directed the officials to estimate the damage caused to standing crops and provide compensation from the Disaster Response Fund for those farmers who have not taken crop insurance. Pointing out that big losses to human lives were averted due to the precautionary steps taken by the government, he said that each of the families in relief camps was given 10 kg rice, a saree, a dhoti and one litre of kerosene, along with cooking oil and pulses. He added that they were already provided with basic P4 amenities like food, drinking water, mats and blankets. “While a section of farmers want to block the highway to pressure the Centre, others want to protest at the designated Nirankari ground,’’ said a farmer leader on condition of anonymity THOUSANDS of farmers from Punjab and Haryana clashed at least thrice with the Delhi Police on Friday as they were prevented from entering the Capital even as Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar urged them to end the agitation and come for the third round of talks on December 3. “The government has always been ready to discuss issues. We have invited farmers’ organisations for another round of talks on December 3,” Tomar said in a statement. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi INDIA’s economy, on a slowdown path since March 2018 and pummelled by the coronavirus pandemic, has officially entered recession with GDP growth contracting 7.5% yearon-year in the July-September 2020 quarter. This is, however, a notable improvement from the mindnumbing 23.9% decline in the previous three-month period (April-June 2020). Recession is when economic growth rate is negative for two consecutive quarters or more. Assuming a 5-6% trendline growth, the effective output loss during the first half of the current fiscal is upwards `20 lakh crore. On the brighter side, the data released by the National Statistics Office on Friday have come Chirag biggest loser as Sushil Modi gets RS by-election ticket E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE BJP on Friday nominated former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi for the Rajya Sabha by-elections from the state necessitated after the demise of former Union minister and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) founder Ram Vilas Paswan. While the LJP was hoping to get a party nominee into the Rajya Sabha, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) didn’t want any truck with the Chirag Paswan-led outfit. With the BJP leaning towards Nitish’s side, the JD(U) appears to have won this round against the LJP . The Rajya Sabha ticket is also a clear indication of the BJP taking Sushil Modi out of active politics at the state level, creating the ground for a role for him at the national level either in the government or the party. It also indicates that the BJP wants to groom an alternative leadership in Bihar to expand its footprint by accommodating representatives of the extremely backward castes as a counter to the social base of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal. The BJP had committed an RS seat for Ram Vilas Paswan in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha P10 elections during its seat-sharing deal. BENGAL TRANSPORT MINISTER SUVENDU ADHIKARI QUITS The heavyweight Trinamool minister was a known critic of CM Mamata Banerjee. He sent his resignation letter to the CM and the Governor | P10 State bags best performer award, again @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu has been adjudged the best performing big State for the third consecutive year, a study revealed on Friday . The study titled, “States of the State”, conducted by India Today, says that Tamil Nadu has topped in as many as 11 categories from a total of 12, including economy tourism, in, frastructure, inclusive development, law and order, along with entrepreneurship, cleanliness, environment, health, education and agriculture. Expressing happiness over the recognition, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, said in a tweet: “Tamil Nadu has been chosen for this recognition for the third consecutive year only because of the concerted and untiring work done by government officials, employees and with the cooperation of the people of the State. UP and blocking highways. Other than the Yamuna Expressway the BKU protested at , Ba ghpat, Muzaf f ar na g ar, Meerut, Bijnor, Hapur, Shamli, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Noida, Moradabad and Saharanpur. Officials in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs maintained that the government is in constant touch with the concerned states to maintain the law and order situation. In many areas along the Delhi border, such as Tikri, Singhu border, protesters refused to move to the Nirankari ground. At Tikri border, the Delhi Police took hundreds of farmers to the Nirankari ground but the protestors returned to the border. At the Singhu border, the farmers instead sought permission to protest at the Ramlila maidan instead. “We are not moving anywhere now. We have enough dal, wheat and gas to prepare our own food. We will stay here till Saturday morning as more farmers are coming to join us. We are in talks with our unions and representatives. Once they reach, we will move to the Nirankari ground,” said farmP9 ers at the Singhu border. Recession stays, but recovery faster than thought THREE TIMES IN A ROW EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE But his appeal hardly found any takers as the far mers stayed put at Delhi’s doorstep, blocking the national highway to Chandigarh. They also ignored the Delhi Police, which after blocking their entry into the Capital, permitted them to go to the Nirankari ground in north Delhi’s Burari area to stage their protest. The Punjab and Haryana farmers received support from their Uttar Pradesh counterparts, with the Bharatiya Kisan Union holding sit-in protests across several districts of west I dedicate this award to all of them. Let us continue to work unitedly for the growth of the State.” Tamil Nadu secured the top spot, scoring a total of 1,263.1 points out of 2,000 for its overall performance. The State also stood second in fighting the Covid pandemic, securing 74.2 points out of a 100. The recognition comes in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu bagging the first position in the composite ranking for good governance index (GGI), last CONTINUED ON: P5 year. TN tops organ donation Tamil Nadu has bagged the top spot in cadaver organ donation for the sixth time in a row. “The award is dedicated to the families of the donors,” said Minister C Vijayabasker READ ON: P4 as a relief as various projections had pegged GDP growth to be much worse. Even Reserve Bank of India’s forecast was a contraction of 8.6%. This, according to economists, shows the economy is healing faster than thought. In absolute numbers, national output fell to `33.14 lakh crore from `35 lakh crore recorded in the year-ago period. In the previous quarter, it had stood at `26.9 lakh crore. So, on a sequential basis, it amounts to a growth of 23.2%. While the danger of a second CORE OUTPUT SHRINKS Contracting for the 8th straight month, the output of eight core infra sectors fell 2.5% in October, mainly due to decline in production of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and steel wave of the pandemic still looms large, experts believe the worst may be over as most economic parameters have improved on the back of resumption in economic activities. For example, manufacturing and electricity sectors bounced back, growing 0.6% and 4.4%, respectively. Agriculture continued to grow, at 3.4%, while the trade and services sector showed lower-than-expected contraction at 15.6%.
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