kollam l saturday l February 27, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION fare reward for domestic fliers travelling light pay only for the services you require DGCA separates base fare and service charge, paving the way for concessions to travellers checking in without baggage Earlier, base fare was bundled with services like preferential seating, meal or drink charges (except water), access to lounge, check-in baggage, sports equipment and music instrument charges, and valuable baggage fee. With its Friday’s notification, the DGCA has unbundled base fare and service charges. Now, fliers will get to pay for only those services they opt for ■ 7-kg linked to ticket price capping order ■ In January, air travel turned costlier after the fare price bands were hiked by 10%-30%. It was described as an extraordinary but temporary measure to help the sector reach pre-Covid flight level The DGCA’s notification says the relief will be extended to fliers only when the extraordinary fare order ceases to be applicable weight ceiling on cabin bags you can carry along 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 Datesheet out for poll exam in four states, UT the schedule West Bengal Eight phases March 27, April 1, 6, 10, 17, 22, 26, 29 CM Pinarayi Vijayan and CPI leader Binoy Viswam, who led the Vikasana Munnetta Jatha, greet each other at its valedictory function in T’Puram | Vincent Pulickal CM calls fishing deal a drama, slams Rahul, projects devpt work While Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma has mainIN AN attempt to wrest the tained that Kerala Shipping newfound momentum from the and Inland Navigation CorpoUDF, Chief Minister Pinarayi ration MD N Prasanth kept the Vijayan dwelt on the deep-sea state government in the dark fishing deal at the culmination regarding the signing of the of the LDF camdeal — permitting Longliners paign rally here, US firm EMCC to for fishers calling it a “drama” carry out fishing enacted without the off Kerala coast — The state govt will knowledge of his the IAS officer has provide 10 deep-sea government. refuted her claim. boats to fishermen The job aspirants’ Addressing the society with the protests against the valedictory of the Central support. gover nment’s alsouthern leg of the Each boat will cost leged backdoor apVikasana Munnetta J1.63 crore. J48 lakh pointments and Jatha led by CPI will be given deep-sea fishing deal leader Binoy as subsidy. P6 have pushed the rulViswam, Pinarayi ing front on the back foot. And said: “The government came on the day the assembly poll to know about the MoU only dates were announced, the CM when it snowballed into a contried to clear the air on the fish- troversy It was cancelled in no . ing deal, having announced time. The MoU was against the hours ago that Law Minister A government’s fisheries policy. K Balan would hold talks with The MoU signing drama was a the representatives of the job result of yesterday’s memo● More on P5 aspirants. ries.” Assam Three phases March 27, April 1, 6 Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala April 6 Counting of votes May 2 Seats up for grabs West Bengal 294 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram 350 detonators, 117 gelatine sticks seized from train E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kozhikode The Railway Protection Force on Friday seized a huge cache of explosives from ChennaiMangalore Superfast train at Kozhikode railway station on Friday morning. During a routine inspection, the officers confiscated a bag which contained 117 gelatine sticks and 350 detonators. The bag was found under a seat in D1 compartment of the train. A woman passenger, identified as Ramani, hailing from Tiruvannamalai in TN was taken into custody and handed over to the railway po- lice, who booked her under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act. Kozhikode railway police SHO Prathabhachandran C C, who is leading the probe, said the woman was on her way to Thalassery from Chennai. During preliminary questioning, she said the bag belonged to her. The woman said the explosives were brought from Chennai for blasting rocks in quarries and digging wells in Thalassery said the SHO. , A detailed probe has been launched to ascertain whether the explosives were brought in to the state for quarries or anti-social activities. express read Walayar case: Mother of victims to tonsure head Disha Ravi to stay back in Delhi for a fortnight Palakkad: The mother of Walayar rape case victims has threatened to tonsure her head if the government does not initiate action against police officials who committed lapses in the probe. Bengaluru: Green activist Disha Ravi will stay in Delhi for two more weeks. “I am not sure of the actual reasons but we have been told that Disha will be back only after two weeks,” said her mother. Kerala 140 Assam 126 Puducherry 30 Tamil Nadu 234 Model code The Model Code of Conduct comes into force from the moment the poll schedule is announced. It ends with the declaration of the election outcome it hopes to reap political dividends of the Citizenship AmendThe onset of summer will coin- ment Act in Assam and Bengal. cide with soaring political tem- Banking heavily on turncoats peratures in the country as four from the ranks of the TMC, the states and a Union Territory will BJP is hoping to build on the see electoral heat in March-end massive gains it made in Bengal and April. The Election Com- in the 2019 LS poll, bagging 18 mission of India announced the seats and over 40% vote share. In poll schedule for TN, Kerala and Assam, the party, in alliance Puducherry in the south and with regional players, will seek West Bengal and Assam in the to outsmart the Opposition, east, sounding the bugle for the while the Congress-AIUDF comnext big battle for states. bine will attempt to consolidate The assembly elections in Ben- minority votes. gal will be chief minisIn Kerala, the BJP, ter and Trinamool Conwhich had polled about gress chief Mamata 15% votes in 2016, will Banerjee’s biggest test make a pitch to estabyet in the face of a saflish itself as the third fron onslaught while force. To find a foothold Assam will see the rulin TN, the party is exing BJP face a challenge perimenting with caste CEC Sunil Arora from a plethora of coaequations by promotlitions. Among the two southern ing Dalit and OBC faces. The states, the Congress nurtures Congress, which is grappling hope of returning to power in with leadership issue and inKerala. In TN, the two national fighting, has grim chances in parties will piggyback on the lo- Bengal, where it’s contesting in cal players — Congress on the alliance with the Left, but is DMK and BJP on the AIADMK. looking at making some gains in Puducherry is heading for an in- Assam. But the party’s main foteresting fight amid defections cus is on Kerala, especially befrom the Congress to the BJP, cause Rahul Gandhi is MP from leading to President’s Rule. Wayanad, though the Left Front’s The BJP under the leadership performance in the local body , of JP Nadda, will seek to assert polls is a cause of worry for the its status as a pan-India party as Congress-led UDF. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e India snaps out of technical recession E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With the economy finally coming out of technical recession, growing marginally at 0.4% in the third quarter of 2020-21, the government on Friday said it expected the GDP to contract by 8% for the whole financial year. “Real GDP growth of 0.4% in Q3 of 2020-21 has returned the economy to the pre-pandemic times of positive growth rates. It is also a reflection of a further strengthening of V-shaped recovery read a finance minis,” try statement. However, in its second advance estimates, the National Statistical Office (NSO) has projected 8% contraction in 2020-21, up from 7.7% predicted on its earlier forecast in January . Experts claimed that while the growth remained flat, the real recovery will be visible in the final quarter. “My understanding is that the real push will come in the Q4 2021, because lockdowns on many sectors, particularly hospitality and travel, eased substantially during this quarter. It is hoped that it remains that way, given the uptick in Covid-19 cases in some pockets and in some states,” said Sanjay Kumar, partner, Deloitte India. Meanwhile, the output of eight core sectors returned to positive territory, growing marginally by 0.1% in January . Ambani the wealthiest in asia again With a net worth of about $80 billion, Ambani topped the list after China’s Zhong Shanshan lost $22 billion Kerala makes RT-PCR test free at airports E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram THE RT-PCR test for passengers arriving at the state’s airports from abroad will be free of cost. Health Minister K K Shailaja said on Friday that the state would bear the expense of the tests. The decision comes in the wake of protests from various corners that the authorities are putting extra financial burden on the passen- gers by asking them to undergo Covid test prior to departure and on arrival. Shailaja said results of the tests will be issued without delay . Recently the Centre had made , RT-PCR test mandatory for all passengers coming to the country in the wake of the emergence of new coronavirus variants, which reportedly have higher transmission rate. “India has reported a 31% rise in Covid cases within a week. Hence the Centre has asked the states to strengthen surveillance in airport to prevent the spread. The new variants are also spreading. Hence the government has made the Covid test mandatory for all passengers,” she said. Passengers boarding flights from abroad have to carry a negative Covid certificate issued not more than 72 hours prior to departure and then again on arrival. The Centre has asked the states to strengthen surveillance in airport to prevent the spread. The new variants are also spreading K K Shailaja, Health Minister 38 days to go LDF, UDF on a high, BJP hopes to improve show A N I L S @T’Puram With just 38 days remaining for the assembly elections that may script history in Kerala’s bipolar politics, both the ruling LDF and Opposition UDF have exuded confidence. Meanwhile, BJP which opened its , account for the first time in 2016, hopes to better its performance. Fresh from a resounding victory in the recent local body polls, the Left is confident of continuing in office which, if it happens, would be a first for a ruling front in the state’s political history. With a slew of controversies fresh 2021 and alive in the state’s political memory -- especially the deep-sea fishing deal and backdoor appointment charges -- the UDF hopes to cash in on the same. The BJP vows to be a force to reckon with this time around. Contrary to its usual practice of dillydallying, UDF has been pushing ahead in full throttle. No sooner than the elections were announced on Friday, a confident UDF leadership made it clear that the front is fully geared up to face the polls. Expressing confidence that UDF will come to power, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala announced that seat-sharing in the front would be finalised by Monday . “The talks are currently in the final phase. We will announce seats for allies by March 3. The final draft of our poll manifesto too will be ready by then,” said Chen● More on P2 nithala. assembly ELECTIONS KERALA GOES TO POLLS 140 assembly seats Malappuram LS constituency KEY DATES March 12 Issue of election notification March 19 Last date for filing nominations March 20 Scrutiny of nominations March 22 Last date for withdrawal of candidature April 6 Date of poll
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