CHENNAI WEDNESDAY MARCH 03, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 VELLORE EDITION ‘INDO-PAK EXPRESS’ TO COME TOGETHER AT ACAPULCO ONLY ONE EVENT TO START WITH Despite tension between India and Pakistan, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Rohan Bopanna join hands for ﬁrst time since 2014 The pair, nicknamed ‘Indo-Pak Express’, will be teaming up at the ATP 500 meet in Mexico, slated to be held from March 15-21. “For the time being, we will only be playing in Acapulco,” Aisam said. “Let’s see how it goes.” With invaluable ranking points up for grabs, it’s a big meet for P11 Bopanna, who is yet to win a match this year (three losses). ■ FIVE ‘STOP WAR, START TENNIS’ ■ They were praised after they wore T-shirts that had the above slogan in order to promote peace between the two countries. They won the 'Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of The Year' award The pair decided to come together as a team after spending time together in Melbourne in February during the Australian Open THE PAIR HAS PREVIOUSLY WON FIVE TITLES ON THE ATP TOUR 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 Sale of lands around nuclear plant worries scientists C S H I V A K U M A R @ Chennai THE State government has recently started allowing the sale of lands within the 5-km radius of the Madras Atomic Power Station (MAPS) in Kalpakkam, ringing an alarm among the nuclear plant officials. They are worried that urbanisation in the vicinity could hamper evacuation in case of emergencies at the nuclear facility . The 1-km radius around the nuclear plant, which is located 80 km south of Chennai, is called the ‘Exclusion Zone’ where no development is allowed. The next 4-km radius after it, was until last year termed as ‘Sterile Zone’. The nomenclature was changed last year from ‘Sterile Zone’ to ‘Natural Growth Zone’ by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). After that, the lands in the zone have been made open for sale, which concerns the nuclear power plant officials as it may lead to urban growth in the area. A State government official, who is a member of the Kalpakkam Nuclear Installation Local Authority (KNILA), told Express that registration of sale deeds was allowed soon after the change Officials feel their concerns are twisted Nuclear power plant officials are a worried lot as they feel their concerns and views on the issue are being intentionally twisted and misrepresented. They cited news reports and dimissed rumours in nomenclature was made. T he process was briefly stopped when some officials from the plant raised objections to it. However, the official added that, “The registration (of sale deeds) could happen in villages but then the approval (for any new building) will have to be given by KNILA, a 10-member committee headed by the director of Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR).” A Revenue Department official said people are buying lands in the zone, unaware of the fact that they need to get an approval from KNILA for any development. This also opens a door of possibilities for unauthorised developments in the zone, thereby posing risks. The official claimed that KNILA had relaxed the norms and allowed some educational institutions in the zone; provided the developer also has evacuation plans charted out. However, the officials of KNILA refused to comment on the issue. According to AERB’s norms, a ‘Natural growth Zone’ is synonymous to ‘Precautionary Action Zone (PAZ) for emergency planning’. It suggests that no large scale development be permitted in the zone. Debt crisis staring India in the face, warns former PM TRICKY WICKET ‘Test’ match between TN majors & national allies may end today T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai Could affect small and medium scale sectors; says temporary steps can’t paper over issue be revived provided schemes for the poor and the downtrodden FORMER prime minister Man- are implemented,” he opined. mohan Singh on Tuesday Regarding Kerala, he said warned of a looming debt crisis, even though its social standards saying temporary steps taken by are high, due diligence should the Centre and the Reserve Bank be given to certain other sectors of India cannot paper over the that require periodic review. he credit problems staring the pointed out that the state is faccountry in the face. ing several hurdles that have to Blaming the BJP be overcome at a time government’s ‘ill-conwhen the global ecoceived’ demonetisation nomic slowdown over for the country’s high the last two to three unemployment rate, years has skyrocketed Manmohan Singh due to the pandemic. warned that the crisis “The proliferation of could adversely affect digital use would give the small and medium an impetus to informasectors of the industry . tion technology, but it He was speaking after will still hamper the inaugurating a develprospects of the touropment summit, orism sector. The more Unemployment is ganised virtually by the pandemic is creathigh and the the Rajiv Gandhi Instiing havoc, the chalinformal sector is in tute of Development lenges faced in the shambles, a crisis Studies at Neyyar Dam precipitated by the tourism sector are in Thiruvananmore. The public fundill-considered thapuram on Tuesday . ing is in a shambles in demonetisation “Due to the ill-conKe r a l a a n d o t h e r Manmohan Singh ceived demonetisation states, which has led in 2016, unemployment them to seek loans. skyrocketed and the unorgan- This will create further issues in ised sector landed in a shambles. future budgets,” added Singh. If India’s political and economic Expressing happiness at the philosophy stood for a founda- UDF’s “people’s manifesto”, tion as envisaged in the coun- which has promised the NYAY try’s Constitution, having a fed- scheme that aims to provide eral set-up and communication `6,000 per month to the poor between the states, the incum- households, Singh hoped it bent Union gover nment is would usher in revolutionary against this. The economy can changes in the society . E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram EXPRESS READ Landslide win for BJP in Gujarat civic body polls Ahmedabad: The BJP won all 31 district panchayats, 70 out of 81 municipalities and was far ahead of main rival Congress in 231 taluka panchayats as counting for the second phase of local body polls in Gujarat was underway on Tuesday. Shortly after the results, Congress state unit chief Amit Chavda resigned from his post. The success follows the BJP’s clean sweep in six municipal corporations last month Tandav row: Amazon Prime issues apology New Delhi: Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday said it respects its viewers ‘diverse beliefs’ and apologises unconditionally to anyone who felt hurt by scenes in Tandav, a webseries that landed in trouble over allegations of depicting Hindu gods in an objectionable manner. Tandav premiered on January 15. In a statement, the streamer said it ‘deeply regrets’ the fact that viewers considered certain scenes to be objectionable. POLL BREW Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tries her hand at plucking tea leaves at the Sadhuru tea garden in Biswanath, Assam, on Tuesday | TWITTER More Jammu-like G23 meets lined up, Congress wary of taking action R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi THE group of 23 (G23) dissenters in the Congress is planning to raise their pitch against the high command by organising a series of meetings in other states on the lines of the one they held in Jammu recently . With four states and a Union Territory set to face Assembly elections soon, the party leadership is treading cautiously even as the G23 seeks to fan out in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the coming weeks. “These meetings will be held before the party’s presidential election, which is scheduled by May-end. Anand Sharma has been asked to arrange one meeting in Himachal Pradesh, Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Ku- rukshetra and Manish Tewari in Ropar or Anandpur Sahib,” said sources, adding that Hooda’s event may spell trouble for the party as he enjoys mass support in Haryana. The party leadership is wary of taking any precipitate action against the rebels ahead of the crucial election. “The build up by these leaders will fizzle out soon. Taking any disciplinary action at this moment (ahead of Assembly elections) will send a wrong signal to people and draw unnecessary attention. If the party does well in the Assembly election under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, it will automatically subdue the momentum these leaders are trying to build Govt to mop up `20K cr this fiscal from spectrum sale MOLESTATION VICTIM’S FATHER SHOT DEAD IN U.P. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Lucknow THE henchmen of an alleged molester who is out on bail since 2018 in UP’s lawless Hathras, shot dead the victim’s father in his potato farm as he refused to withdraw the case, triggering outrage across the nation. A day after the incident, the police on Tuesday arrested two of the four assailants even as Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered that the National Security Act (NSA) be slapped on them. A c c o rd i n g t o s o u rc e s, Amrish Sharma, a resident of Nauzarpur in Hathras, had registered a complaint against Gaurav Sharma in July 2018 for allegedly molesting his daughter. Gaurav had been pressing Sharma to withdraw the case after coming out on bail in 2018. Hathras Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Jaiswal said on Monday the wife and the aunt of Gaurav picked up a heated argument with the daughters of Sharma at a temple in the village. “The accused and Sharma, too, arrived at the spot and joined the issue,” the SP said. Later, around 3.30 pm, Sharma was at his potato field when Gaurav and his three accomplices shot at him in front of his wife and daughter. Sharma sustained injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, and died on the spot. The SP said special teams were on the lookout for the other two suspects. Sharma is associated with the Samajwadi Party and was planning to organise a Kisan Mahapanchayat in Tappal, in which the party chief Akhilesh Yadav is slated to participate on Wednesday . up before the presidential election,” said a party leader. At the Jammu meeting, the dissenters had said that the Congress was getting weaker and they were working to strengthen it. The party has refrained from making any harsh comments and instead urged them to work for strengthening the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections. As it is, the G23 has already weakened as some members are unhappy over a few of them articulating their misgivings in public. Ghulam Nabi Azad’s praise of Modi and Anand Sharma’s critique of the Left-Congress alliance in Bengal coopting the new Indian Secular Front floated by Abbas Siddique are the latest flash points. India’s first spectrum auctions in five years ended on Tuesday with the government selling `77,815 crore worth of airwaves and Reliance Jio walking away with the lion’s share of winning bids worth `57,122 crore. The expensive 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz band did not attract any buyers 20 PER CENT OF SPECTRUM PUT UP FOR AUCTION SOLD Assets on offer Quantum: 2,308.8 MHz Reserve Price `3.92 lakh crore Spectrum sold Quantum: 855.6 MHz Total bids `77,815 crore BOTH the Dravidian majors are yet to conclude seatsharing talks with their national allies. While DMK and Congress are still haggling over numbers — with the Dravidian partner offering only 20 seats, 10 less than what was demanded by the grand old party — BJP is reported to be persuading its ally AIADMK, to , consider joining hands with AMMK. While Congress claims all is well within the alliance, the delay in Rahul Gandhi, who has visited the State several times since January, sharing a dais with MK Stalin has raised a few eyebrows. A decision from the AIADMK camp may be expected well ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and national president J P Nadda’s likely visit to the State on March 7 and March 10 respectively The AIADMK . is keen to close the seat-sharing talks on Wednesday as only nine days are left for the start of filing the nomination papers. AIADMK functionaries are, however, confident that Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami will remain firm on his stand, and not agree to join hands with VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran. The BJP is considering the option of reconciliation to avoid splitting of votes, explained sources. “Our Chief Minister is sure about not taking the ‘Mannargudi family’ into the party through any means - either a merger or an alliance,” a senior AIADMK functionary explained. In fact, another ruling party functionary explained, “Palaniswami has effectively communicated to them how a reconciliation can become counter-productive.” The loss of a section of the “community votes” can be compensated with recent policy initiatives of the government that benefit the society at large, the functionMORE ALLIANCE DRAMA ON PAGE 4 ary said. FARMERS CAMPAIGN AGAINST BJP IN POLLS Samyukt Kisan Morcha, which is leading the anti-farm law protests, will send its leaders to poll-bound states to appeal to farmers to defeat the BJP in elections COMPANY-WISE BREAKUP RELIANCE JIO BHARTI AIRTEL VODAFONE IDEA Quantum 488.35 MHz Total amount Quantum 355.45 MHz Total amount Quantum 11.8 MHz Total amount `57,122.65 cr `18,698.75 cr `1,993.4 cr `19,000-20,000 cr to be received by the government from spectrum auctions during the current fiscal year, with the rest to be paid later A-U Deputy Registrar arrested for job fraud EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai THE Central The Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials arrested the Deputy Registrar of Anna University-MIT campus on charges of job fraud on Monday . According to the police, E Parthasarathy (57) was arrested based on a complaint from one Vigneshwaran filed a year ago. There were similar other complaints after that. Parthasarathy’s son, Vishveshwar, the main accused was arrested last year. The police said Vishveshwar had received money from aspirants with a promise of getting them jobs using his father’s ‘influence’ in Anna University TNEB , and PWD. The father-son duo had employed eight agents to con over 75 people to the tune of ` 3.29 crore, said a senior police officer. While Vishveshwar was arrested and remanded in 2020, police gathered evidence against Parthasarathy before remanding him on Monday. The agents Valli Ilango, Ramaswamy, Elangovan, Rajpandi, Raju, Arumugam, Ravindraraja and Deivasiga- mani were arrested along with Vishveshwar on different dates (October 25, 2019, November 5, 2019, and February 17, 2021). The first complaint was registered on October 25, 2019, and police said that the job fraud has been going on for over three years. The officer said Parthasarathy allegedly interviewed candidates at his office in the P5 campus.
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