vijayawada l monday l january 25, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late city EDITION NINTH round of talks over LAC stand-off underway The Corps Commander-level talks to address the situation in Eastern Ladakh began at Moldo on Chinese side on Sunday India firm on demanding status quo ante ties in ‘difficult phase’ due to china While India is demanding that China pull back its troops from all stand-off points and restore status quo ante along the Line of Actual Control, the latter wants India to first withdraw its soldiers deployed on strategic heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Tso lake. Indian jawans continue to hold their positions despite the merciless Himalayan winter ■ ■ On December 9 last, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said ‘five differing explanations’ by China for its deployment on the LAC had pushed bilateral ties into its most difficult phase It’s not a problem of lack of communication. The fact is there are ample pacts but the other side is not following them, he said Round 8 of bilateral talks had taken place on november 6 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 Worry over proposal to tie forest to WPI index Formula suggested in a draft note to panel on revising Net Present Value of forest land used for non-forest purposes Why concern over high NPV rates practice to perfection Police personnel rehearse for the Republic Day parade at the Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation Stadium in Vijayawada on Sunday | P Ravindra Babu SEC seeks return of seized material from CID E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Amid row over conduct of panchayat elections, State Election Commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar has written to the CID, which is probing the letter written by him to the Union Home Ministry alleging threat to his life, to return the laptop, CPU and other electronic devices seized from his office by the investigating agency as they contain material pertaining to phase 1 and 2 of the local polls. CID chief PV Sunil Kumar, however, said since the case is in the court, they can return the devices only with its permission. It may be recalled that Nimmagadda dashed off a letter to the Union Home Ministry alleging threat to his life on the day the Supreme Court upheld the SEC’s decision to defer local body elections last March. In the letter, he sought security cover by Central forces apprehending threat to him and his family members. He alleged intimidation by the ruling YSRC following his decision to postpone elections to rural and urban local bodies for six weeks in view of Covid-19. Taking strong exception to the house motion petition filed in AP HC A house motion petition was filed in the AP HC on Sunday seeking stay on the panchayat elections as more than 3.6 lakh new voters will be deprived of casting their vote as the polls are being held based on 2019 electoral rolls letter, YSRC MP V Vijayasai Reddy lodged a complaint with the CID seeking probe into its origin and pointed the finger at the Opposition TDP for the entire episode. After conducting a raid on the SEC office and recording the statements of the staff, the CID stated that they found the laptop purportedly used by Nimmagadda to draft the letter, the desktop and the pen drive were tampered with. The CID seized a laptop, a mobile phone, CPU, scanner and despatch register from the SEC office durP4 ing the raid. Asha worker dies after jab? Family demands ex gratia E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Guntur An Accredited Social Health Activist (Asha), who received Covid-19 vaccine four days ago, died of brain stroke at the Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) centre in the Government General Hospital in the city on Sunday . Dr Neelam Prabhavati, GGH Superintendent, said Bokka Vijaya Lakshmi (42), an Asha worker at Tadepalli Primary Health Centre, was administered Covid vaccine on January 20 along with the PHC medical officer and 10 other staff. Vijaya Lakshmi was admitted to the GGH on January 22 when she complained of headache and dizziness. No Adverse Events Following Immunisation were reported from others who got vaccine along with the Asha worker. She died of brain stem stroke and not due to Adverse Events Following Immunisation, said Dr Prabhavati. District Medical and Health Officer Dr J Yasmin also said the provisional reports suggest the cause of death as brain stroke. According to her family members, she fainted and became unconscious on Thursday night, a day after receiving the vaccine. Alleging that she died due to Covid vaccine, her family members, along with Asha Workers Union members, staged a protest at the GGH demanding justice to her. They demanded an ex gratia of `50 express read Shah plays infiltration card against Cong-AIUDF Guwahati: Listing out achievements of the BJP-led government in Assam, Home Minister Amit Shah pitched for another term to ‘safeguard’ the State’s interests. Addressing his first political rally in the poll-bound state on Sunday, Shah said the Congress-AIUDF combine would open ‘all gates’ to infiltrators if voted to power. Set up SC bench in South India: Bar Councils Hyderabad: The Bar Councils of various Southern States on Sunday demanded setting up of the Supreme Court bench in South India. They demanded that all State governments pass resolutions in their respective Legislative Assemblies seeking setting up of the SC bench in South India to ensure easy access and P4 timely justice to the litigants. Mistaken identity Trio apologise to student after stabbing him E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Guntur In a suspected case of mistaken identity three youths stabbed a stu, dent, who stopped his car on the inner ring road in the city. The trio, however, realised their mistake while fleeing the spot and not just apologised to the victim, but also gave him `1,000 towards his medical treatment. Though the incident took place a few days ago, it came to light after the police nabbed the accused on Sunday . According to Nallapadu rural police, Pallam Teja of Chukkapalem village in Duggirala mandal, is staying at Dharanikota in Amaravathi, where he is pursuing BSc second year in a private college. On Sunday last, his parents visited him and in the evening he dropped them back at Chukkapalem in a car. While returning to Dharanikota late night, he got a flat tyre on the inner ring road. He stopped the car by the roadside, waiting for help. Meanwhile, a motorcycle-borne youth came there and started abusing and beating Teja. He also stabbed Teja in the abdomen with a knife. Even as Teja recovered from the sudden attack, two more youths came there on another bike and they too attacked him with sticks. When Teja collapsed, one of the attackers flashed a torch on his face and the car registration number while fleeing, and realised that they had atP5 tacked the wrong person. Asha workers stage a protest against a fellow worker’s death in Guntur on Sunday | Express lakh, a government job for her son and a house site. Tension prevailed at the GGH when TDP activists joined the protest. Police used mild force to disperse the protesting TDP activists. District Collector I Samuel Anand Kumar who spoke to the family members of Asha worker, promised to extend all possible help from the govP4 ernment to them. ‘Superstitious’ couple murder two daughters E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chittoor In a shocking incident, a couple allegedly bludgeoned their two young daughters to death with a blunt weapon, suspected to be a dumbbell, at their house in Shiva Nagar on the outskirts of Madanapalle late Sunday night. The couple -- Padmaja and Purushottam Naidu -- are working as a correspondent of a private school and principal of women’s degree college in the town. Their elder daughter Alekhya (27) completed her Master’s degree in Bhopal, while the younger one Sai Divya (22) did BBA. Divya who was a student of AR Rahman Music School in Mumbai, returned home after the Covid-induced lockdown. Madanapalle DSP Ravi Manohara Chari said the family members had been behaving strangely since the outbreak of Covid-19 by confining themselves to their house most of the time. On hearing strange and loud noises from the house, locals alerted the police. Initially, the couple prevented the police from enterP4 ing the house. W ITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) The note says high NPV rates could lead to a surge in the Centre’s import bills and render smaller projects unviable. It pointed out that the ministries of steel, coal and power as also the NITI Aayog had flagged reservations about the proposed abrupt jump in the rates If it was only timber and/or minor forest produce, it is acceptable but dense forest as commodity is the most inappropriate index. NPV is to dissuade people to look for forest land; but WPI will encourage them Manoj Misra, former Indian Forest Service officer R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi In what is being seen as a severe threat to the country’s green cover, the Union environment ministry has proposed that forests be treated as tradable commodity having value as per the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), to cut down the cost of diversion of pristine forests for infrastructure projects. In a draft note on the revision of the Net Present Value (NPV) of forest land diverted for non-forest purposes sent to a Committee of Secretaries (CoS), the ministry on January 22 suggested the interim arrangement of aligning the rates with the WPI till the information sought for revision in NPV rates as proposed by experts of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal, are compiled. “Keeping in view that more than three years had elapsed since the NPV came into force, the MoEF&CC proposed to revise the NPV based on the WPI,” said the ministry in the draft note, a copy of which is with this newspaper. The sticking point was articulated in clause 1.30 of the note. It said the IIFM had proposed scaling up NPV rates by as much as four times the existing figures, and warned that the higher tariff could impact ongoing power and other infrastructure sector projects. To soften the blow, the ministry is seeking to align the rates with the WPI, as the escalation that way would not be as steep. However, experts expressed concern over the proposed new system because high NPV rates are meant to be a deterrent, but WPI is a facilitator. Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at CPR-Namati Environment Justice Program, said: “This new proposal further embeds forests as a commodity to be traded through instruments such as the ‘Wholesale Price Index’. It is not focused at protecting forests or forest rights. Ironically the success of this exercise is only dependent on more forests being lost.”
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