COIMBATORE SATURDAY DECEMBER 05, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION COVID-19 VACCINATION DRIVE AFTER SCIENTISTS’ NOD: PM Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that experts believe the coronavirus vaccine will be ready in a few weeks HEALTHCARE WORKERS TO BE GIVEN PRIORITY PANDEMIC A SECURITY CHALLENGE: AZAD In his remarks at a virtual all-party meeting, Modi said healthcare workers involved in treating Covid-19 patients, frontline workers including police personnel and municipal staff, and old people suffering from serious conditions would be inoculated on priority. On vaccine price, the PM said public health will be accorded top priority and states will be fully involved ■ ■ Covid-like pandemics can pose a threat to the country’s internal security and policy makers should address this challenge, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said This is the second all-party meeting by the Centre to discuss the Covid-19 situation since the outbreak of the pandemic | P7 8 vaccines AT VARIOUS STAGES OF TRIAL & THEIR PRODUCTION ASSURED IN INDIA: PM 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 ‘COMMITTED TO MAKING TN WATER SCARCITY-FREE’ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Madurai/ Sivaganga Farmers during their protest against the new farm laws at Ghazipur on the Delhi-UP border on Friday | PARVEEN NEGI Farmers intensify stir, announce Bharat Bandh H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh FARMER unions on Friday intensified their agitation by announcing a Bharat Bandh on Tuesday (December 8) if the Centre fails to agree to repeal three contentious farm sector reform laws that were rammed through by Parliament. Rejecting the government’s offer to suitably amend the laws to address their concerns during Thursday’s talks, the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha’s meeting at the Singhu border unanimously decided to explore other means as well to bring the Centre to its knees, including laying siege to toll plazas across the country to stop them from charging toll tax from commuters and choking all entry points to Delhi. Though a timeline for the new agitation programme is yet to be firmed up, the earlier decision on burning effigies of the Modi government and corporate leaders on Saturday will happen as scheduled. Also, the award wapsi that began on Thursday with Badal Foreign office pulls up Canadian envoy The foreign office on Friday summoned the Canadian High Commissioner and lodged a protest against comments by Canadian leaders and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the farmers protests, saying it could have a damaging impact on bilateral ties Senior returning his Padma Vibhushan, would intensify on Monday they decided. In all, 51 , union leaders participated. All 32 protesting farmer unions had a joint session before the marathon meeting of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha. Though farmers will participate in the next round of talks with the Centre on Saturday a , categorical assurance on repealing the three laws and constitutional guarantees on the minimum support price (MSP) regime alone will take the process forward, they said. MONETARY POLICY RBI holds key rates, projects revival by Q3 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi WITH inflation remaining stubbornly high, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday chose the predictable option of leaving interest rates unchanged for the third time in a row, but maintained its accommodative stance and improved growth forecast. The banking regulator’s six-member Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep the benchmark repo rate — at which RBI lends to commercial banks — at 4%. The reverse repo rate — at which banks lend to the central bank — was kept unchanged at 3.35%. The MPC also decided to continue with the accommodative stance “as long as necessary” — not just in the current financial year but also in the next year too. Talking to reporters after the MPC meeting on Friday RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said inflation , continues to be a sticky issue, hinting at similar monetary policy action in the next MPC meeting. Factoring in the nascent signs of economic revival, Das said RBI now expects GDP to contract only 7.5% in FY21, as against its previous projection of 9.5% slippage. It also expects the economy to clock positive growth of 0.1% in the third quarter and 0.7% in Q4. “Data available for Q3 FY21 confirms the economy is recuperating faster than anticipated,” said Das. EXPRESS READ Anna Univ V-C Surappa files impleading petition in PIL against inquiry Madurai: Anna University Vice-Chancellor, MK Surappa, on Friday moved the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking to be impleaded in a PIL filed this week, challenging the State’s GO ordering an inquiry against him over complaints of corruption. The judges issued a notice and adjourned the matter to December 9. November 19 Nagrota terror attack handed over to NIA New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency will investigate the recent November 19 Nagrota attack in which four terrorists of the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed were killed by police. Sources said that the Centre decided to hand over the case to NIA as a central agency would be more suitable in a case where Pakistan’s hand is evident Bharatiya Kisan Union, Punjab (Lakhowal Group) general secretary Harvinder Singh Lakhowal said, “Now that farmers from across the country are with us, dharnas will be held in Karnataka, Maharashtra and elsewhere. It’s no longer an agitation restricted to Punjab farmers. We have told the government to call a special session of Parliament to repeal the three farm laws.’’ Bharatiya Kisan Union general secretary Yudhvir said, “Farmers are upset across the country We have told our state . leaders to get the farmers ready for a long battle as the government wants to test our patience.’’ Political support for the protest snowballed on Friday with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav announcing a series of agitations in solidarity Mamata spoke to . various groups of agitating farmers and announced street protests from next week in Bengal to amplify the call against the new farm laws. CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami exuded confidence that his government’s strong performance would see AIADMK through in the 2021 hustings. The chief minister was here on Friday to give a major fillip to the water management efforts and works in the field of artificial intelligence, besides a slew of infrastructure facilities. Reiterating his commitment to making Tamil Nadu a scarcity-free State, the chief minister listed out the giant leaps the State has taken on the integrated water supply scheme front. Later in the day, Palaniswami visited Sivaganga, where he launched Tollscope Phase-II project. The project aims at helping traffic police to enforce laws strictly through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). He then attended a Covid review meeting. Meanwhile, distancing himself and the party from O Panneerselvam’s remarks hinting at a possible tie-up with Rajinikanth, the chief minister said, “Let the actor register and float his party. Till then, I will not make any comREAD ON: P4 ment.” The Thillai Nataraja temple in Chidambaram was flooded after nearly 43 years, on Friday | SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT Cyclone Burevi loses steam, but takes Delta districts by surprise MORE RAINS TO LASH TN? Burevi is in a quasi-stationary position over Gulf of Mannar, close to the Pamban coast. It is likely to cause more rains, but the intensity is expected to come down CENTRE TO TAKE STOCK An interministerial Central team will be on a four-day visit to Tamil Nadu from today to assess damage caused by cyclone Nivar CM Edappadi K Palaniswami giving away cows to beneficiaries at an event in Sivaganga on Friday Tollscope project HIGH-TECH TRAFFIC CONTROL The police have installed 15 automatic number plate recording cameras with embedded AI system in and around Sivaganga, to track the traffic flow, identify and capture an image of the violater, vehicle registration number and take owner’s details from RTO database EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EVEN as cyclone Burevi weakened into a deep depression on Friday, rains wreaked havoc across northern and Delta districts in the State. While Kanniyakumari was anticipated to be among the worst-hit districts, hardly any rainfall was recorded in there. The district administration had made elaborate arrangements with about 75 shelter camps being set up and rescue teams being deployed to help the affected. However, except Nagercoil, no other place in the district received rainfall for the last 24 hours. The sky remained mostly cloudy, and the sea receded a few metres in the district. Coastal districts in northern part of the State, however, witnessed heavy downpour. Lowlying areas across Villupuram, Cuddalore, and Puducherry went under water. In Cuddalore, two persons, a 55-yearold woman and a 10-year-old girl, died after parts of their houses collapsed. Over 40,000 people have been moved to camps, and the district administration is continuing with mitigation measures. Nearly 43 years later, the Thillai Nataraja Temple in Chidambaram was seen flooded as rain water gushed into its premises. Meanwhile, in the Delta districts, close to 60,000 hectares of farm fields were left inundated, according to estimates. (Inputs from across State)
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