BHUBANESWAR l wednesday l february 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION w.h.o. probe into origins of coronavirus a dud transmission from intermediary species WHO’s foreign expert Ben Embarek feels human transmission happened through an intermediary species, but identifying the actual host would require a detailed probe. Comprising experts from 10 countries, the mission landed in China on Jan 14 after being earlier stonewalled by Beijing, which had provoked the WHO’s China-friendly chief to issue a rare public rebuke Leak of virus from the Wuhan lab unlikely, claims team, inconclusive on the origin and human transmission; aligns itself with China’s line strict chinese monitoring ■ The run-up to the probe was marked by the US and China trading charges. China relented to host the team amid increasing global pressure, but kept the probe’s progress under strict monitoring ■ Incidentally, the Wuhan whistleblower Dr Li Wenliang’s first death anniversary was commemorated earlier this week 2.3 mn deaths caused across the globe by the virus since december 2019 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 Race against time Rescuers trying to reach 37 workers trapped deep within the tunnel; 32 bodies found so far at various places V i nee t U pa d h yay @ Dehradun (Clockwise from left) An aerial view of the Tapovan barrage two days after the flash floods; rescuers try to reach the tunnel from another end; and a recovered body | Shekhar Yadav Rescue effort Over 100 personnel from ITBP, SDRF and NDRF part of the rescue team. In all, over 800 personnel are on the site. 700 personnel are on standby Two excavator/JCB machines have excavated over 6,700 tonnes of slush from the tunnel. They have reached 130 m into the 30 ft high, 25 ft wide tunnel. But muck removal is taking time, reducing the cleared part to 90 m A drone is being used to look inside the tunnel to find possible entry points through the slush/muck Proud to be Hindustani Muslim, says Azad after PM’s speech E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi An emotional Prime Minister Narendra Modi bade a tearful farewell to Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, whose current tenure ends on February 15. Azad signed off with a poignant speech that drew a parallel between the lives of Muslims in India and Pakistan, and said he prided himself in being a Hindustani Musalman. Asserting that India was untainted by the evil practices prevalent in countries like Pakistan, Azad said, “If any Muslim in the world should be proud, it should be the Hindustani Muslims. I am among those who have never been to Pakistan, but when I read about the evils that exist in Pakistani society, I think Hindustani Muslims should be proud.” Modi’s speech was interspersed with many long pauses as he broke down while recalling his long association with Azad. Describing him as his true friend, Modi said, “His work will inspire generations of MPs to come. Posts come, high offices come, power comes, but one must learn from Ghulam Nabi Azadji how to handle them.” Recalling the 2007 terror attack in Kashmir, where a grenade was lobbed at a bus carrying Gujarat pilgrims, Modi said, “Nabiji was as concerned as he would have been if his family members were victims. He was the first person to call me. During that call, he continuously wept,” Modi said, adding that he would always expect Azad to share his inputs with him. With the toll in the Uttarakhand disaster climbing to 32, rescue workers raced against time on Tuesday to save the 37 workers trapped deep inside the Tapovan tunnel since Sunday’s flash floods that choked it with loads of slush. The 37 are part of the 174 others who are still missing. Officials from the Army Medical Corps (AMC) said the trapped workers are not just without food and water, night time temperature within the tunnel could go down to as low as 20C. “They don’t have food, water and additional amenities to shield themselves from the cold. Time indeed is running out for them,” an AMC official agreed.” But officials associated with the project said workers have enough clothing to give them some protection from the freezing temperature. Rakesh Dimri, an official from NTPC said, “The workers have war m clothes, boots, helmet with headlight, a torch, a rope, a knife and other items. I hope they will be rescued.” The key to survival is the availabliity of air vents, said medical experts. Dr Vipul Kandwal, a medical practitioner in Dehradun, said, “If they are not drowned, air passage would act as a lifesaver. The problem with sludge is it blocks almost everything, including oxygen.” Dr Adarsh Singh concurred. “Time is not on their side, as a human can survive without food or water or both for a week or so under such conditions.” However, they do not rule out the possibility of a miracle. “We have witnessed miracles and I am certain that our forces will save all those men. Whole nation’s prayers and wishes are with them,” said Dr Singh. Meanwhile, officials have deployed heli-bound Laser and Electromagnetic Pulse Imager to look for air pockets in the 1.9 km long tunnel network at the hydropower project site. Manjunath P C, commandant of Indian Reserve Battalion said, “This Cabinet nod for farm ordinance to open up markets for farmers ers for the farmers’ produce. Besides, it envisages to declare the Even as farmers’ protests against entire State as one enforcement the contentious farm acts continue area. to go strong, the Odisha governIt will also remove geographical ment on Tuesday decided to prom- restrictions on sale of agricultural ulgate an ordinance in the name of produce and allow producers to sell Agricultural Products and Live- their produce anywhere within the stock Marketing (Promotion and State. It proposes to promote single Facilitation), on the lines point levy of market fee of the Central laws, seekacross the State and ing to remove all barriers Statewide single trading for marketing of agricullicense to realise cost-eftural produce in the fective transactions. It will bring in a State. The ordinance will remore competitive T he ordinance, applace the Odisha Agriculmarketing proved by the State Cabi- environment that tural Produce Market Act, net chaired by Chief Min1956 (OAPM Act) which can ensure ister Naveen Patnaik, was in force in the State optimum value aims to abolish fragmen- return for farmers’ since 1957. produce and tation of markets within The draft ordinance, realize enhanced the State by removing the having similar provisions income for them concept of notified market as the Farmers’ Produce area and open up the field Trade and Commerce Government for farmers to sell as per (Promotion and Facilitatheir choice. It will bring tion) Act, 2020 of the Cenin a more competitive marketing tre, will be promulgated for the environment that can ensure opti- third time in the State. mum value return for farmers’ proChief Secretary Suresh Chandra duce and realize enhanced income Mohapatra told mediapersons that for them, a government release the ordinance was not approved by stated. the Cabinet earlier. “The ordinance The ordinance proposes creation has now been approved by the Cabof a conducive environment for set- inet and extended,” he said. ting up and operating private marSources maintained that the ket yards, farmer consumer mar- State government is likely to bring ket yards and sub-market yard to a Bill in the ensuing Budget sesenhance competition among the sion of the Assembly to replace the CONTINUED ON: P5 different markets and market play- ordinance. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar ‘Main instigator’ of Red Fort riots Deep Sidhu arrested E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Small-time actor Deep Sidhu, who was on the run after allegedly instigating a mob to desecrate the Tricolour at the Red Fort on Republic Day was arrest, ed from his hideout in Haryana’s Karnal on Monday night. Sidhu carried a reward of `1 lakh. A team of Southwestern Range of Special Cell led by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sanjeev Yadav made the arrest around 10.30 pm at Karnal, where he had been hiding for the past 15 days. However, he kept re- leasing provocative videos to instigate Punjab and Haryana youth, police said. Sidhu was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Prigya Gupta at the Tis Hazari Court on Tuesday afternoon and was remanded in sevenday police custody. Crime branch officials claimed that the actor had instigated the mob to break the barricades with tractors and deviate from the police-approved route. DCP Special Cell Yadav said Sidhu had been changing his location to evade arrest. Sources claimed Sidhu’s friends had refused him accommodation and help. Sidhu was in touch with a California-based woman, who helped him upload the provocative videos through Facebook when he was in hiding. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court stayed the arrest of Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor and six senior journalists, including Rajdeep Sardesai, who were booked for wrongly tweeting/retweeting that a youth driving a tractor was felled by police bullets during the January 26 tractor rally in Delhi. A three-judge bench said the stay on the arrest will continue till the next hearing after two weeks. will act as a multiplier in our efforts to save the trapped workers.” Meanwhile, six bodies were found at different locations on Tuesday, including Raini village, Tapovan, Nandprayag, Karnpyarag and Haridwar, taking the total body count to 32. From within the tunnel, nine dismembered body parts were found. Also five vehicles that were swept into the tunnel have been recovered. They include a Scorpio and a JCB. Naval divers have been deployed to search for bodies at various locations, including in the vicinity of the Tapovan project as more than 100 workers were at the site when tragedy struck. Aparna Kumar, deputy-inspector general, ITBP, Dehradun sector said, “No stone has been left unturned to save those men. We have reached beyond 100 metres into the 180-metre stretch of the tunnel where the men are trapped.” Many feel at this pace the operation to reach them could take threeP7 four more days. express read Draft bylaws for Ananta Vasudev, Brahmeswar shrines still in effect Bhubaneswar: The Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel on Tuesday said that only draft heritage bylaws for Sri Jagannath temple at Puri have been withdrawn and the same for Ananta Vasudev and Brahmeswar temples in Ekamra Kshetra of Bhubaneswar continue to remain in force | P2 State Cabinet approves proposal to amend BPUT Act Bhubanerswar: The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal for amendment of the Biju Patnaik University of Technology Act, 2002 to ensure smooth functioning and academic excellence. The Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved 27 | P3
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