KALABURAGI TUESDAY DECEMBER 22, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION $ U.S. LAWMAKERS REACH DEAL ON $900BN STIMULUS PACKAGE Top Capitol Hill negotiators have sealed a $900-billion Covid-19 economic relief package for businesses as well as individuals DIRECT BENEFITS TRANSFER TO AMERICANS MORE STIMULUS MEASURES ON THE CARDS The agreement, announced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday, would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction ■ ■ ■ The agreement came after months of battling and posturing Delays in finalising the pact prompted the House to pass a oneday stopgap spending bill to prevent a govt shutdown on Sunday “In 31 days, when Joe Biden enters the White House, more help will be on the way,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi | P9 2nd largest STIMULUS PACKAGE AFTER THE $2.3-TN PACT ANNOUNCED IN MARCH 2020 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 THUS SPAKE CHIEF MINISTER The government is taking steps to ensure that investor sentiment is not affected We will extend all possible support to companies This incident will not affect Brand Karnataka We are committed to hold the Global Investors Meet 2020-21 FULL INTERVIEW ON |P4 CM: Wistron violence will not dent Brand Karnataka A S H W I N I M S R I PA D @ Bengaluru A week after violence at Wistron’s iPhone manufacturing plant at Narasapura in Kolar, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said it was a stray incident that has been addressed adequately and it will not affect the Brand Karnataka image. The large-scale violence by workers hit national and international headlines, catching the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The State Government, competing with neighbouring states to attract investments, was planning to hold the Global Investors Meet (GIM) this year, but could not due to Covid. Yediyurappa told The New Indian Express that the State Government stands by its EXPRESS READ Sensex sinks 1,407 pts amid new Covid-19 fears Mumbai: Sensex crashed 1,407 points on Monday as a new strain of the coronavirus in the UK clobbered global markets. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty tanked 432.15 points or 3.14 per cent to finish at 13,328.40. Congress leader Motilal Vora passes away at 93 New Delhi: Veteran Congress leader Motilal Vora, a staunch Gandhi family loyalist who had a political career spanning almost five decades, died at a hospital here on Monday following postCovid-19 complications, his family said. He was 93. Actor Arjun Rampal questioned by NCB Mumbai: Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal was on Monday questioned for nearly six hours by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in connection with a drug case lodged following the death of filmstar Sushant Singh Rajput, an official said. earlier decision of holding GIM 2020-21. “But appropriate decision will be taken depending on the industrial scenario post Covid situation,’’ he said. On Wistron violence and labour unrest at the Toyota Kirloskar Plant in Bidadi, he said they are one-off incidents. “We have been in constant touch with both the companies. The Government of India and we are taking steps to ensure that investor sentiment is not affected,’’ he added. After the violence at Wistron on December 12, the police, taking swift action, arrested all 128 workers for vandalising the of- fice premises. Minister for Small and LargeScale Industries Jagadish Shettar said the government is not ruling out the possibility of violence being premeditated. “The deputy commissioner and police are conducting the inquiry , and we will get a clear picture once the probe is done.” He too said the incident will not damage Brand Karnataka as the state is always known for its industry-friendly policy “We . have told the company authorities that the government will extend all facilities and cooperation. We will also provide them with police protection. We appeal to them to restart the unit at the earliest,’’ he said. We have been in constant touch with both the companies (Wistron and Toyota). The Government of India and we are taking steps to ensure that investor sentiment is not affected — B S Yeddiyurappa, CM Five projects cleared, likely to create 13K jobs EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru THE State High-Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) headed by Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has given clearance for five projects that bring in investment of `26,659 crore, and are expected to generate employment for 13,341 people. Clearance was given for five companies at the SHLCC meeting held on Monday Elest . Pvt Ltd plans to set up an electric vehicle manufacturing unit on 85 acres in HubballiDharwad, with an estimated investment of `14,255 crore, and will create 867 jobs. The same company was given clearance to establish a lithium-ion cells and battery manufacturing unit on 88 acres in Hubballi-Dharwad, with an investment of `6,339 crore, and is expected to generate 1,804 jobs. Hyunet Private Ltd, which is setting up a plant to manufacture lithium batteries and electric vehicles on 300 acres in Chikkaballapura, is expected to invest `1,825 crore and create employment for 2,210 people. Hyderabad-based Miraculum Green Power Pvt Ltd was given clearance to establish a 110-MW hybrid wind solar power project at an investment of `1,290 crore. The project, coming up on 700 acres in Jagalur taluk of Davanagere is likely to create 2,820 jobs. Another Hyderabad-based firm, Sanali Power Pvt Ltd, will also up a hybrid wind solar power project on 1,710 acres in Jagalur taluk of Davanagere. It will invest `2,950 crore and is expected to create 5,640 jobs. DAM IMPACT 28 villages to sink with last poll hurrah D E V A R A J B H I R E H A L L I @ Tumakuru THESE 28 villages will not face Gram Panchayat elections ever again. Over the next five years, all these hamlets from Koratagere taluk in Tumakuru district and Doddaballapur taluk in Bengaluru Rural will disappear from the face of the earth, as they will be acquired for Bhyragondlu dam, which is being built as part of the multi-crore Yettinahole irrigation project. The emotional and economic cost is huge on these villagers, but they are putting up a brave face and facing this last election with enthusiasm. The common thread of wor ry among the villagers is the low compensation package being offered for their land to be acquired for the project, which is the major poll issue here. “We have been told that `14 lakh per acre has been fixed which is not justifiable. That is the reason we have put up educated people, like S H Ravikumar from Sunkadahalli and Sujatha Local farmers holding a demonstration in Tumakuru recently | EXPRESS M Shivaraj from Kaluvehalli to contest the Chinnahalli Gram Panchayat elections. Once elected, they can fight for better compensation for us,” said V Siddagangaiah, a teacher. Of the villages that will disappear, Sunkadahalli is special, as it has a history of over 300 years and is just 8 km away from Manne, the capital of Ganga dynasty But still, there . is hope against hope. Nagendrappa, who is one of the can- didates contesting the election, wished that the village will not go under water. He suggested that instead of building the Yettinahole project, the government should fill up 38 tanks in the district. “It is painful to see our village, where we were born, disappearing. People here are only delaying the inevitable and have not yet planned where to relocate from here,” he added P5 ruefully . India too imposes UK flight ban Temporary curbs from Tuesday midnight till December 31 as new Covid strain found 70% more transmissible than the original one; All passengers who have come in to be tested E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi INDIA on Monday joined a slew of nations that temporarily barred flights from the UK to firewall themselves from a highly infectious strain of Covid-19 that was recently detected in Britain. The variant, called N501Y, is 70% more transmissible than the original Covid strain, and has already been found elsewhere, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia. The suspension of flights comes into effect from Tuesday midnight and will continue till December 31. The decision was taken following recommendations by the Covid-19 joint monitoring group and the Covid-19 national task force whose emergency meetings were held on Monday . As a measure of abundant caution, passengers arriving from the UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or those that will reach before the ban comes into effect) will be mandatorily subjected to RT-PCR tests on arrival to detect Covid-19 cases. Those testing positive will be under mandatory institutional quarantine. States have been advised to also monitor those who test negative; they need to remain in isolation for at least seven days at home. Sources in the health ministry said scientists and the ICMR have sounded out to keep a watch for any new strain of Covid in any part of the country even though the pandemic seem to have stabilised in most parts of India over the last P8 several weeks. New strain can’t dodge vaccines, say experts MUTATED VIRUS FOOTPRINT First found in Kent in the UK on Sept 20, later in Whales and London. Also in Scotland in Greater Glasgow 9 cases in Denmark 1 each in the Netherlands and Italy 4 in Belgium 2 in Australia FLIGHT STATS 60+ Weekly flights by Air India and others including Vistara and British Airways between India and the UK Air bubble Arrangement exists between the 2 countries Vistara has one daily London flight from Delhi Air India has 23 FLIGHTS to the UK per week. Also started the DelhiAmritsar-Birmingham sector on December 11 S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi JUST as we thought the end of pandemic was in sight, a new mutation of SARS CoV 2 — detected in the UK — has brought fresh concerns. The discovery has also put a question mark over the Covid vaccines — some of which have been rolled out in some coun- Consumer’s king, discoms to pay for poor service E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi ELECTRICITY consumers in India now have the right to uninterrupted quality power supply with the Centre on Mon, day notifying the Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules. The new guidelines also mandate distribution companies (discoms) to provide new connections within seven days in metro cities, 15 days in small towns, and 30 days in rural areas. Discoms that don’t meet these standards will have to pay consumers. Union Power Minister R K Singh said consumers’ rights had to be laid down in Rules since discoms were acting as monopolies and users had no alternatives. The rules stipulate that discoms must supply power on request from the occupier of any premises, and that minimum standards of service is consumers’ right. Also, discoms have to supply power 24x7, except for areas such as agriculture where continuous power is not required. Discoms are also required to put in place systems for monitoring and restoring outages. According to power ministry officials, since Electricity is a subject on the concurrent list, the new rules will have to be followed by discoms in all states. While the respective regulatory commissions may set standards of compliance, any violation of these standards is to result in the discom paying compensation to the customer. The amount to be paid for each type of standard violation will also be notified by the respective commissions. The compensation mechanism is also required to be automatic. 138 flyers from UK slip into K’taka without test EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru AT least 138 air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom, where a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus was reported a fortnight ago, have entered Karnataka after flying in without Covid-19 negative certificates or being subjected to tests on arrival. With the Civil Aviation Ministry banning all incoming flights from the UK, and the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry issuing directions on Monday to all states and Union territories to put in place testing and quarantine protocols for air travellers on arrival from the UK, the State Government is now tracing these passengers. The State Government is yet to establish how many such air travellers have arrived in Karnataka from the UK over the past fortnight. The state Health and Family tries. Will the vaccines be effective against the new strain, which is said to be 70% more infectious than the earlier variants? However, most experts believe the vaccines under development will be effective against the new strain as viruses change all the time. These changes take place to help the virus survive, and by Welfare Department on Monday evening issued a circular directing Bengaluru and Mangaluru international airports to provide the lists of passeng e r s w h o h av e a r r iv e d from the UK from since December 7. Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar revealed that on Sunday and Monday of the 291 air pas, sengers who arrived from the UK on a British Airways flight, 49 travelled without Covid-19 certificates, and neither were they subjected to RT-PCR tests. Of the 246 passengers who arrived on an Air-India flight, 89 came without a Covid negative cer tificate and remained untested. “T hese passeng ers are asymptomatic, but for safety, we have sought their details from the civil aviation ministry and are tracing them. Once traced, RT-PCR tests will be conducted on them.” said Sudhakar. CONTINUED ON: P3 way of natural selection, most changes die out while a select few propagate. “The capacity to transmit more efficiently also means that the pathogen’s virulence could go down as viruses would not want to exhaust its hosts in order to survive and thrive,” said K Srinath Reddy, senior member of National P8 Task Force on Covid-19.
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