PIC: vijith hegde renjala vijayawada l friday l february 12, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l late city EDITION 9.15-second dash breaks bolt’s record, again Usain Bolt’s 9.58-second 100-metre dash record stood bettered this year, too, with a 23 year-old clocking 9.15 secs in a buffalo race Nishant shetty, srinivas gowda bettered Kambala jockey Vishwanath Devadiga (23) sprinted through a slushy track in Udupi, taking 0.36 seconds lesser than last year’s champion Nishant Shetty, whose dash had clocked 9.51 seconds. Earlier, Srinivas Gowda’s 9.55 seconds sprint had brought him social media fame, resulting in the Union sports minister offering him a nationals trial, which he declined 3rd try elite club of four kambala jockeys ■ While kambala and a 100-m sprint are markedly different, the former draws national attention owing to the endurance of the buffalo racers, who sprint 140-odd metres through multiple laps ■ Vishwanath joins the elite club of four racers who have bettered the much-vaunted Jamaican sprinter’s 100-m record set in 2009 Vishwanath managed to set the record after falling twice 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 Govt talks tough, says Twitter can’t overstep Indian law E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Making a new beginning Clockwise from left: Indian and Chinese officers interact on Thursday; and armoured vehicles start moving as part of disengagement in the Pangong Tsu | PTI Full Pangong pullback expected in two weeks Rajnath says vacated space on the banks of the lake will be a no-go zone for both sides; disengagement elsewhere later M AYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi A day after the Sino-Indian disengagement began from standoff positions in Eastern Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday confirmed the pull back in a “phased, coordinated and verified manner” in Parliament, and gave a sense of how the whole process is expected to unspool. While the Chinese Army will move back to the east of Finger 8, the Indian Army will fall back to Dhan Singh Thapa post, short of Finger 3 in the North bank area of the Pangong Lake. A similar disengagement began on the South Bank of the lake on Wednesday Full disen. gagement on both sides of the lake is expected in 10-15 days, a senior officer said. After the drawdown from Finger 4, Rajnath said, unless a decision is taken otherwise, the area in between will be a no-go express read AP ‘invaded’ our territory: Odisha to SC New Delhi: More than five decades since the first status quo order on territorial jurisdiction dispute with AP over 21 villages, Odisha moved the Supreme Court once again on Thursday seeking contempt action against AP officials for notifying elections in three villages controlled by it. | P7 2nd year Inter exam fee last date Feb 18 Vijayawada: The Board of Intermediate Education has announced that the last date for payment of fee for the second year Intermediate public examinations is February 18. The last date for submission of MNRs and fee paid data to the RIO office is February 20, the BIE said. zone for both sides. “It has also been agreed to have a temporary moratorium on military activities by both sides in the North Bank, including patrolling to the traditional areas. Patrolling will be resumed only when both sides reach an agreement in diplomatic and military talks that would be held subsequently .” A similar action would be taken in the South Bank area by both sides, he said. Given the sensitivities involved, local commanders of both sides are meeting twice a day to iron out the wrinkles. India is wary as a similar disen, gagement in the past was dishonoured by the Chinese side earlier in the hot spring area, although they had withdrawn from the Galwan Valley Within . 48 hours after this phase is over, Corps Commanders of both sides will meet to work on other positions of the stand-off. Structures built after April 2020 to be removed On the heights India occupied in Rechen La and Razang La on the Kailash Ranges and fortified its positions, Rajnath said structures raised by both sides will be removed. “These are mutual and reciprocal steps and any structures that had been built by both sides since April 2020 in both North and South Bank area will be removed and the landforms will be restored.” He said nothing has been conceded as part of the agreements Gushing sludge, water stop tunnel floor boring V i nee t U padhyay @ Tapovan (Uttarakhand) With a change in strategy failing to deliver, attempts to save 37 workers trapped in the Tapovan hydropower plant tunnel since Sunday following flash floods appeared to be a long shot, as no official or agency could say how much longer it would take to reach them. Ravinath Raman, commissioner of Garhwal division of Uttarakhand said, “At this point of time, no one can tell how much time the operation will take. This is a developing situation and unstable landscape. The response strategy keeps changing according to the developing situation.” Also, a meeting in Delhi discussed reports of a lake formation in Rishiganga in the higher reaches. “We will act as per instructions,” he said. The changed strategy to drill into the floor of the tunnel to reach a silt filtration tunnel underneath in the hope that the men were perhaps stuck there, had to be suspended as sludge and water gushed in when they reached a depth of six metres. Earlier in the day , there was high drama as water levels of the Rishiganga and the Dhauliganga suddenly rose, forcing rescuP9 ers to suspend operations for two hours. A day after attacking microblogging platform Twitter for noncompliance, the Centre on Thursd ay w a r n e d s o c i a l m e d i a platforms of strict action if they fail to crackdown on inflammatory content. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Centre is committed to freedom of media, but it was equally concerned about the security and law and order in the country Naming . Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn, Prasad said: “We respect your good work. You bring FDI, but you have to respect the laws of the country .” On Wednesday, the ministry had come down heavily on Twitter, saying social media platforms should not have different yardsticks to confront developments at, say, Capitol Hill and the Red Fort. After the Republic Day violence, the Centre had asked Twit- We respect social media, it has empowered the common people. Social media has a big role in Digital India programme. However, if social media is misused, action will be taken Ravi Shankar Prasad, Information Technology Minister ter to block over 1,100 handles and posts that allegedly spread misinformation about the farmer protest. These included accounts of journalists, activists, and politicians. Twitter partially complied, saying the demands were inconsistent with the Indian law. Meanwhile, Twitter’s desi competitor Koo came under attack from a French expert who claimed it was exposing user data. The app developer quickly rebutted the charge and said user data was P12 very much safe. Govt sets up 9-member panel to decide fate of unfinished projects in Amaravati Domestic flights just became costlier Be ready to pay more for air travel as the cap on lower and upper limits of domestic airfares have been raised by 10% to 30% BAND 1 Up to 40 mins flight | Up from `2K-6K`2.2K-7.8K BAND 2 40-60 mins flight | Up from `2.5K-7.5K`2.8K-9.8K BAND 3 60-90 mins flight | Up from `3K-9K`3.3K-11.7K BAND 4 90-120 mins flight | Up from `3.5K-10K`3.9K-13K BAND 5 120-150 mins flight | Up from `4.5K-13K`5K-16.9K BAND 6 120-150 mins flight | Up from `5.5K-15.7K`6.1K-20.4K BAND 7 120-150 mins flight | Up from `6.5K-18.6K`7.2K-24.2K Fake health worker’s bid to loot house E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Vijayawada An unidentified miscreant made a vain attempt to loot a house after sedating a woman on the pretext of administering Covid-19 vaccine at Malakapatnam in Machilipatnam. The miscreant, however, could not lay his hands on any valuables in the house. Though the incident took place on Tuesday, when V Kusuma (55) was alone in the house, a complaint was lodged with the police on Wednesday. In her complaint, she stated that the miscreant introduced himself as a health worker and collected the details P7 of her family members. Augment State revenue, CM directs officials E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada In a move that appears to fasttrack the three-capital plan, the State government on Thursday constituted a committee headed by Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das to examine the buildings and housing units required for the legislative capital in Amaravati. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in a review meeting in , August 2020, directed officials to constitute a committee to examine the buildings and housing units required for the legislative capital and also suggest the future course of action regarding other unfinished apartment units and bungalows in Amaravati whether to fully execute or explore means to reduce the burden on State exchequer. Following the direction, the Amaravati Metropolitan Region Development Authority (AMRDA) Commissioner asked for constitution of the committee as a ‘decision may be needed in respect of the Secretariat, Heads of Departments office buildings and the permanent High Court building in view of the Act 28/2020 (three capital law)’ to expedite the process of implementation of the Chief Minister’s directions. In other words, sources said the reference to the Secretariat E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada indicates a decision on establishing the executive capital in Visakhapatnam soon. Accordingly, the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department issued a GO constituting a nine-member committee with CS Das as its chairman. Prior to the issuance of the order, the Chief Secretary is learnt to have inspected various projects. According to the order issued by the Chief Secretary, the committee will have nine members, including Legislative Assembly Secretary Principal Secretary of , GAD (Services), MAUD Principal Secretary, Principal Finance Secretary, Law Secretary and AMRDA Commissioner, while Planning Secretary is its member-convenor. The Principal Advisor to CM will be special inP4 vitee, the GO stated. Shifting focus on revenue generating avenues to fund his government’s flagship Navaratnalu programme, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday directed officials to lay emphasis improving the State revenue. He wanted the officials to operationalise AP coal mines in other States and expedite the sale of red sanders logs. At a review meeting with the higher officials of various departments at his camp office, he said it is the bounden duty of the government to fulfil each and every promise made in the party election manifesto. Hence, it is imperative to ensure fund flow for effective implementation of the Navaratnalu programme and other welfare schemes, he said. With regard to red sanders stocks, Jagan instructed the Forest Department officials to expedite the process of getting permission from the Centre for the sale of seized logs. Rahul’s ‘Hum Do Hamare Do Sarkar’ 067 barb at BJP, says it’s a 16,rule of four vijayawada l thursday l february 11, 2021 l `7.00 l PaGes 12 l late city editiON AcAdemic regressioN duriNg PANdemic: study The Loss of Learning During the Pandemic study reveals 92% kids lost at least one specific language ability from the previous year Negative impact oN learNiNg levels of kids scrap vacatioNs, redraw syllabi The language ability lost includes describing a picture or their experiences orally; reading familiar words; reading with comprehension. The study on primary school children, carried out by Azim Premji Univ, highlights the negative impact on the learning levels of children due to prolonged closure of schools and suggests immediate action to rectify the regression ■ 82% of children have lost at least one specific mathematical ability like identifying single and two-digit numbers; using basic problem solving operations; describing 2D/3D shapes ■ Report suggests measures like eliminating vacations, extending academic year, reconfiguring syllabus as ways to arrest the slide kids of mp, chhattisGarh, karNataka, rajasthaN aNd uttarakhaNd survEyEd 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 Mamid H A N A N D @ New Delhi speech spat with twitter, govt begins Kooing A N IS full-blown freedom of B i s m a h m a l i k @ Bengaluru however, the site took a dig at the government saying the others were not suspended as the blocking orders were not consistent with Indian law. “Keeping with our principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression, we have not taken any action on accounts that consist of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians. To do so, we believe, would violate their fundamental right to free ex- Jim Baker at a virtual meeting. pression under Indian law,” “India has a robust mechanism Twitter said. for protection of freedom of The ministry termed speech and expression unTwitter’s statement as ‘unusual’, posting its refully indian firm sponse first on a rival Aprameya R, the co-founder platform, Koo, which garnered more than three million and CEO of Koo, said it is an India registered firm backed by downloads in two days. investors like 3one4 capital. A Later, MeitY Secretary Ajay Sawhney ticked off top Twitter Chinese investor, Shunwei, is also a shareholder, but will exit fully officials Monique Meche and der Article 19 (1) of the Constitution. But freedom of expression is not absolute and it is subject to reasonable restrictions as mentioned in Article 19 (2),” he said. Sawhney said Twitter it is welcome to do business in India but must respect local laws and institutions. “Twitter is free to formulate its own rules and guidelines, like any other business entity, but Indian laws en- and northern banks of the Pangong Tso started synchronized and organised disengagement from February 10.” It was in accordance with the consensus at the ninth round of China-India Corps Commander level meeting, he added. From the Indian side, a senior Army officer confirmed the pullback of armoured vehicles, including infantry combat vehicles. “The armoured vehicles are moving back but troops at the frontline have not been thinned,” he said. The disengagement is expected to happen in phases, another senior officer said. “The infantry moving back will be the last step; it will depend on compli- ance of the phased disengagement from the Chinese side,” the officer said. The disengagement began on a day when the Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, in an article said that the two countries should meet each other half way in addressing problems while putting the boundary issue in an appropriate place in bilateral ties. “We should put the boundary issue in an appropriate place in bilateral relations.... “It’s important for China and India to respect each other, enhance mutual trust, seek common ground while shelving differences and meet each other half way,” Sun suggested. acted by Parliament must be followed,” he emphasised. Legal experts said Twitter may have very few options since it has only partly complied with the government orders, while free speech activists denounced the government’s crackdown on social media by using ‘legal weapons’. India remains a key market for the social media giant with more than 75 million active us- ers, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has a 65.5 million strong user base with his key cabinet colleagues as well as government departments active on the site. Ministers Piyush Goyal and Ravi Shankar Prasad and actress Kangana Ranaut were amongst those who shifted to Koo, which also onboarded key government departments on Wednesday. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hurled Hum Do Hamare Do Sarkar (we two, ours two government) barb on the NDA government, alleging Shed status quo mindset and let new laws surprise disengagement in ladakh as wroNg tuNNel help empower small farmers, urges PM that the country was run by only suffers for want of four persons. china, india pull back combat vehicles search direction changed layout; Without naming anyone, he claimed the contentious farm laws are meant to benefit big corporate entities alone. The BJP hit back sharply at the Congress, saying Gandhi’s barb must be a The first farm law would destroy APMC reference to Didi-Jija and two Mandis as anyone could purchase any (sister, brother-in-law and amount of grains; the second would family). unleash hoarding; the third would The Congress leader sought to deprive farmers of judicial remedy sc stays hc Order astrazeNeca link his charge of crony capitalGets w.h.O. stamP questiONiNG the Rahul Gandhi ism against the current dispensawisdOm Of GOvt CAuGhT in the eye of a political storm over the ongoing farmers protests, uS social media giant Twitter on Wednesday said it had suspended more than 500 of the 1,178 accounts the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) wanted purged citing the possibility of inciting violence and threat to national security. ready for talks, says Modi amid reform hardsell E x p r E ss N E ws s E r v i c E @ New Delhi NOBODY had asked for the triple talaq or dowry laws, but they were still enacted, for reforms must be attuned with changing times, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday as he rebutted the Opposition’s charge that farmers had not sought the contentious agri reform laws. Wrapping up the Lok Sabha debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address, Modi reiterated his government’s willingness to resume talks while describing the laws as progressive. “Besides creating an additional, but optional, avenue has there been any change after the enactment of the laws? When the laws offer only an option, there can’t be any reason for protest,” he reasoned. Conceding that 100% acceptance to any new measure was not possible, Modi, however, said progress could not be gained without shedding the status quo mindset. Recalling the late farmer leader Chaudhary Charan Singh’s words on farm fragmentation, he said: “We cannot progress if we do not care for small farmers, who constitute 80% of the farming community. Fragmentation is a reality, and this is what the farmers’ producers organisations aim to address.” “A new world order is in the agitatioN path On 77th day of their protest on the borders of the National Capital, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha on Tuesday prepared a detailed pan-India protest plan. The finer details will be decided later fEB 12: All toll plazas in Rajasthan will be made toll free fEB 14: Candle and mashaal march across the country m aya N k s i N G h a N d p u s h k a r B a N a k a r @ New Delhi AFTeR a nine-month-long stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, the situation appeared to ease a tad on Wednesday as both China and India began a “synchronized and organised” disengagement process. While Indian sources said it was limited to armoured vehicles, the Chinese Ministry of National Defence claimed that the frontline troops from both sides along the Pangong Tso had started disengaging. Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defence, said: “The Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern fEB 16: Solidarity day to mark birth anniversary of Sir Chhotu Ram fEB 18: Four-hour rail roko across the country making in the post-Corona era, and we have to choose between being a mute spectator and making reforms. An Atmanirbhar Bharat will play a crucial role in the new world order,” the prime minister asserted. When Congress members began disrupting his speech, Modi took potshots at them, saying it was divided and confused. “The party has different stands in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. It can neither work for its own good nor solve the country’s challenges,” he said even as Congress and TMC members staged a walk-out. he also made a distinction between andolankari (protesters)and andolan jivi (professional protesters), saying the former is pious while the latter is an anarchist. The kisan andolan is pious, he said. E x p r E ss N E ws s E r v i c E @New Delhi The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an order passed by the Andhra Pradesh high Court, which questioned the wisdom of the legislature, the government, the Chief Minister and advocates representing the State. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, stayed the order after hearing submissions by senior advocate Sajan Poovayya, appearing for the State. The high Court order was passed on December 30, 2020 after the government filed an application seeking recusal of the judge on the ground that he had prejudged the issue even without hearing the State. The plea was filed on the basis of the observations made by the judge during the hearing of the case. In its plea before the Supreme Court, the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government maintained that since the judge indicated his predisposition to the case, it was constrained to file an application seeking recusal of the judge. In its order, the high Court had also called for an explanation from the Chief Minister as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him, even as it claimed that the statements made in the application were untrue. The plea also pointed out that the same judge in October 2020 posed a question as to why the court should not declare that there was a constitutional breakdown of State machinery. The high Court order was stayed by the top court. People above 65 years age category can get the shots as the benefits of the jab outweigh any risks, says WHO | P12 v i N E E t u pa d h yay @ Tapovan (Uttarakhand) IT’S not just the topography that has made the rescue of 37 workers stuck in the Tapovan tunnel following flash floods on Sunday, difficult. “For the first two days, we were blind,” said a senior rescue official as they did not have the layout of the tunnels they were negotiating with. The layout plan was shared only on Tuesday and a course correction was ordered the following day. Till Wednesday, the assumption was 37 workers were trapped at a point 180 metres deep into the Tapovan tunnel at a bend, which was why sludge was cleared up to 130 metres and beyond. The plan changed to start drilling the ground at 70-75 metres inside the tunnel to reach a silt filtration tunnel there, as officials now think the workers could be trapped there. The decision was taken at a combined meeting of state officials, the armed forces and the NTPC, which is developing the power plant. Rescue operations continue at Tapovan Tunnel in Joshimath | shEkhar yadav Confirming the change, R Raman, commissioner of Garhwal division, told TNIE, “Information is constantly emerging and developing because everything is based on anticipation on the basis of the tunnel’s layout. Today we found that the sludge is pushing back from the tunnel. A consensus was reached to look for the workers in silt filtration tunnel below the tunnel.” Why the hyderabad-based tunnel developer, Rithwik Projects Pvt Ltd, took this long to share the layout when network connectivity was available and the company’s officers were very much on site boggles the mind. tion with the ongoing farm agitation by harping on his slogan in the Lok Sabha during the Budget discussion. The former Congress president alleged that the first farm law would destroy APMC Mandis as anyone could purchase any amount of food grains; the second would unleash hoarding; the third would deprive the farmers of judicial remedy . “The farm laws will destroy the rural economy said Gandhi ,” amid protests from the Treasury bench, objecting to his speaking on the farm laws instead of the Budget. Though Gandhi said that he was laying the foundation for discussion on the Budget, he abruptly ended his speech. P9 sanitation worker dies a day after vaccination Express impact E x p r E ss N E ws s E r v i c E @ Tirupati A sanitation worker died a day after being administered Covid-19 vaccine here on Wednesday. According to the medical and health officials, Krishnaiah (50), a sanitation worker of Mallamgunta panchayat, was administered Covid vaccine around 11 am on Tuesday. he developed No Adverse events Following Immunisation. When he fainted at home later, his family members rushed him to SVR Ruia Government General hospital, where the doctors declared him brought dead. Chittoor DM&hO M Penchalaiah said the body was sent for postmor- tem to ascertain the exact cause of Krishnaiah’s death. As Krishnaiah had a history of heart disease, he might have died of a cardiac arrest. A group of specialist doctors will meet on Thursday to determine the Adverse events Following Immunisation in this case, the DM&hO added. Collector directs police to fix pvt ambulance rates E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Nellore Pillars of strength The Polavaram Irrigation Project reaches a major milestone on Thursday as its 52 spillway pillars rose to a height of 52 metres | Express I Report P4 Responding to a news item published in TNIE on private ambulance operators’ fleecing, District Collector KVN Chakradhar Babu on Thursday warned them of stern action if they charge exorbitant rates. The Collector held a meeting with the officials of revenue, medical and health, police and transport departments and directed them to rein the errant pri- vate operators. “It has come to express read HC allows Peddireddy cargo ops our speak to media Airthattothe private operanoticeat Tirupati soonbegin to tors are charging exorbitant rates from the patients. The police will fix charges after discussing the Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday gave relief to Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy from SEC N Ramesh Kumar’s order denying him access to the media till February 21 to ensure free and fair elections. | P4 Vijayawada: Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri informed the Rajya Sabha that domestic cargo operations from Tirupati International Airport will begin once the necessary security clearances are given, answering a query by a BJP MP. fleecing patients Pvt ambulance charges soar in Nellore d s u r E N d r a k u m a r @ Nellore PRIVATe ambulance operators have nearly tripled their charges to transport patients to hospitals or ferry bodies. The situation has worsened post-Covid-19, as the operators claim sanitising the vehicles after every trip involves huge expenditure. Vexed people are suggesting the authorities to fix rates depending on the distance just like prepaid cabs and deposit the money into the bank accounts of operators to prevent them from exploiting patients and their kin. A large number of private ambulances along with body freezer boxes are seen at the government hospital in Nellore. Drivers and middlemen move on the hospital premises freely to contact patients. The commission of the middlemen is also added to the ambulance charges. The operators charge between `7,000 and `10,000 to transport a patient home from a hospital within the city limits. “Recently, we paid `15,000 to a ventilator ambulance to shift my mother to Narayana hospital from the GGh for a distance of 7 km,” said K Srinivasulu of Balaji Nagar. In fact, all the operators quote the same charge giving no scope to the patient’s kin to bargain. Red Cross Society Nellore chairman P Chandrasekhar Reddy has underlined the need to rein in private ambulance operators who formed into a syndicate, to safeguard the interests of patients. No system to fix rates There is no system to fix charges of ambulances. The DM&HO will only ensure that operators ply ambulances as per health standards and maintain good hygiene, said official sources matter with ambulance operators. The operators should not charge more than the fixed rates henceforth,” the Collector said. He also directed the Superintendent of GGH to eradicate the menace of middlemen on the hospital premises. Boards displaying the ambulance rates should be set up on the hospital premises for the benefit of patients and the newly fixed charges should come into force with immediate effect, he said. Addressing the ambulance operators, the Collector lauded them for their services during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Ambulance operators have earned a good name by supporting the district administration during the pandemic. You have to continue the same spirit and not exploit the patients by charging exorbitant rates. Fleecing of patients by ambulance operators s h o u l d n o t b e t o l e r at e d , ” Chakradhar Babu said.
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