WARANGAL 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 INDIA TOO IMPOSES U.K. FLIGHT BAN Temporary restrictions from Tuesday midnight till December 31 as new Covid strain found 70% more transmissible than original one EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ 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. 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) 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 Weekly flights operated by Air India and other airlines, including Vistara, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic between India and the UK. Air bubble Arrangement exists between the 2 countries Virgin has four weekly flights each from Delhi and Mumbai, to London 60+ British Airways has six Delhi-London and five Mumbai-London flights each week 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 MARKETS SPOOKED The S&P 500 Index headed to its worst drop in almost eight weeks, shedding 1.5%, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.5%. Indian bourses witnessed bloodbath with Sensex plunging 1,406 points and Nifty going below 13,350 pts 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 New strain cannot dodge vaccines, claim experts 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 several weeks. For his part, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said there is no need to panic yet. After Britain admitted the new strain was “out of control” and Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a stay-athome lockdown, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland, Turkey Israel and Bul, garia announced flight restrictions to the UK. Johnson is scheduled to travel to India for the Republic Day parade on January 26. Aviation regulator DGCA directed all airlines to ensure that passengers travelling from the UK do not board flights from anywhere outside the UK to come to India during the suspension period. S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA & C H E TA N A B E L A G E R E @ New Delhi / Bengaluru E N S @ Hyderabad 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 in the works. Will the vaccines be effective against the new strain? However, experts say the vaccines will be effective against the new strain as well. Virolo- UNION Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari virtually inaugurated and laid foundation for 14 national highway (NH) projects in Telangana on Monday The projects, which . include 765.663 km long roads, are worth `13,169 crore. Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that a total of 59 road works with approved length of 1,918 km and a cost of `17,617 crore have been sanctioned for Telangana in the last six years. Of this, 1,782 km works, worth `15,689 crore have already been CONTINUED ON P4 cleared. E N S @ Hyderabad COLD wave conditions will prevail in isolated places of the northern and western parts of Telangana on Tuesday, according to a forecast by IMD. In other parts of the State, the minimum temperatures will be 3-4 degree Celsius below normal in isolated places. IMD Hyderabad chief Dr K Nagaratna, said: “Mist or shallow fog conditions are likely to continue for one to two days in Hyderabad and adjoining regions.” On Monday the minimum , temperatures remained 1 to 4 degree Celsius below normal across the State with Hyderabad recording 11.1 degree Celsius followed by Hanmakonda (110 Celsius), Ramagundam (10.80 Celsius) and Ginnedhari in Asifabad (4.30 Celsius). THE ruling TRS is all set for a major makeover in the runup to simultaneous elections (One Nation, One Election) likely to be held in 2022 itself. After suffering a jolt both in byelection to Dubbaka Assembly seat and the GHMC polls that followed shortly afterwards, the party leadership wants to revamp party and the functioning of the government. Major changes are expected in the party and also in the government after Sankranti as currently there are no auspicious days. After the blows it received in the recent polls, the TRS leadership is understood to have come to the conclusion that organisationally the party was lacking in several aspects and that there was a need for a change in its organisational structure. At present, there are no incharges for the party’s district units. The TRS leadership may appoint a few senior leaders as district unit in-charges for better coordination. The gover nment may also relaunch the in-charge Ministers’ system. Several senior Ministers may be appointed as in-charges for all the 33 districts. Appointing in-charges for the party and the government may help in ensuring that the benefits of the welfare programmes reach the beneficiaries and also in taking the message into their midst that the government was taking care of them. CONTINUED ON P2 nets `71.7 crore E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad REVERTING to the old CARD system of registration for non-agricultural properties by the Telangana government on Monday did not make a big difference in the number of registrations in areas falling outside the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA). According to a press release issued by the State government, there were 2,536 registrations. It is further mentioned that from 4,706 transactions, the State generated `71.73 crore till date. However, according to data on the Telangana Registration & Stamps Department dashboard, 2,173 documents were registered, generating a revenue of `19.49 crore, on Monday Express gathered infor. mation of the number of registrations that took place in some of the districts. CONTINUED ON P4 Consumer’s king, discoms to pay for poor service @ New Delhi ELECTRICITY consumers in India now have the right to uninterrupted quality power supply with the Centre on Monday , 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 ar- eas. Discoms that don’t meet these standards will have to pay consumers. Union minister for Power 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 — prefer- ably automated — 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. CONTINUED ON P7 Hyderabad: The new virulent strain of Coronavirus has set the alarm bells ringing in Telangana. The State government has decided to conduct the RT-PCR test on all passengers who are already en route to Telangana from the UK. Those who test positive will be isolated and others sent to mandatory institutional quarantine for seven days | P5 RIGHT TO ELECTRICITY EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE gists point out that viruses mutate all the time; while there is no need for panic, there is no room for complacency either. TS to conduct RT-PCR tests on passengers from UK IMD predicts TRS all set for makeover NON-AGRI LANDS cold wave in as joint polls likely in ’22 Registrations remain low, State Telangana V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad Gadkari starts `13K cr NH projects in TS AUTOMATIC MECHANISM Amount to be paid for each violation will be notified by respective commissions. The compensation mechanism is also required to be automatic.
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