vijayawada l wednesday l march 10, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Amid chaos, Trai suspends anti-spam rules for 1 week The decision follows disruptions in banking, credit card payment and other transactions that involve SMS and OTP generation New norms use blockchain technology The disruption happened after telcos implemented the new norms for commercial messages, which came into effect on Monday. The rules aim to curb unsolicited and fraudulent messages. SMSes and OTPs, when sent by banks and payment companies, are checked against the templates registered on the blockchain platform — a process called SMS scrubbing 40 crore Telcos blame payment companies ■ On Monday, banking and telcos traded charges over the SMS, OTP disruptions. Telcos blamed it on the payment companies saying they did not register their content template before the deadline ■ “It has been observed that some of the principal entities have not fulfilled the requirements,” Trai also said in a statement Messages failed to deliver on Monday, according to media reports 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 Jagan wants to lead all-party delegation to Centre; seeks PM’s appointment in 2nd missive on steel plant Naidu asks CM to resign instead; steel plant employees threaten to go on strike any time after March 25 CM FOR UNITED FRONT ON VSP Ukku agitators recall fire & fury, question Centre Now, I am feeling very sad as the plant is being privatised,’’ he said, adding that some of his The Centre’s plan to disinvest colleagues who attended senior its entire stake in the Visakhap- citizens meeting at Gokul Park atnam Steel Plant and the agita- on Tuesday cried as the icon of tions against the move are caus- the steel is staring at a bleak fuing much heartburn to those ture. Recalling that the steel who had actively parplant was achieved ticipated in the Visadue to the agitation ‘My friend fell spearheaded by legkha Ukku Andhrula prey to CRPF Hakku agitation in ends like Tenneti bullets’ the late 1960s. Viswanadham, BhatOne among them, My friend had fallen tam Srirama Murthy, 75-year-old S Suriba- prey to bullets. I am Appalaswamy Naidu bu recalled how he and sacrifices made an eyewitness to along with students by people, he rued the opening of fire and football players by ‘inapa topi vallu’ that the Narendra actively participated Modi government at (CRPF personnel) in the agitation. “My the Centre was selling at Poorna Market friend had fallen prey off PSUs while helpand Jagadamba to bullets. I am an eyeing business houses Junction in Vizag, witness to the openwho defaulted bank said 75-year-old ing of fire by ‘inapa loans. S Suribabu topi vallu’ (CRPF perFo r m e r A n d h r a sonnel) at Poor na University Rector Market and Jagadamba Junc- Ayyagari Prasanna Kumar, who tion,’’ he recalled. was in the thick of action dur“We joined the agitation then ing the agitation, said M Venkaiwith the hope that setting up of ah Naidu, now Vice-President of the plant would provide employ- India, too participated in it. “I ment to youth. We were happy saw some youngsters fired at by when the steel plant was an- the police. I ran to a safer place nounced after the agitation. when the firing took place.’’ P5 G Janardhana Rao @Visakhapatnam Employees picket the administrative office of the steel plant in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday against privatisation | EXPRESS E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday proposed to lead an all-party delegation, including trade union representatives, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain to him options available to revive the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant. Jagan wrote a letter to Modi seeking an appointment for this purpose. This is the second letter Jagan dashed off to the Prime Minister after the Centre announced its decision to divest 100 per cent of its stake in the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL). The second missive comes in the wake of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday to queries by YSRC MPs, reiterating that the Centre would go ahead with 100 per cent disinvestment of Government of India’s stake in RINL along with RINL’s stakes in joint ventures. Sitharaman’s assertion triggered protests in Vizag with the Vizag Steel Plant Parirakshana Committee hitting the streets and employees blocking traffic on the national highway at Kurmannapalem. Though Jagan The steel plant was realised only after many sacrifices by our people. The people of my State rallied for the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, in which 32 people had laid down their lives YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister wants to lead an all-party delegation, it remains to be seen if opposition parties will come along, given the intensified political rivalry in the context of the ongoing municipal elections. When contacted, TDP State president K Atchannaidu told TNIE, “First of all, PM has to give the CM an appointment. Thereafter, the State government will have to invite us. Till then, we can only consider this as a poll gimmick.” TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu challenged Jagan to resign if he was sincere on the VSP issue. BJP MLC PVN Mad- message to bjp cms Rawat forced to resign, new CM to be named V i nee t U pa d h yay @ Dehradun After four days of intense lobbying to save his chair, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday tendered his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya, who asked him to continue in a caretaker position for now. Rawat is the first BJP chief minister to be replaced midstream during the Modi-Shah tenure at the helm. It’s also being read as an indication to other party chief ministers to perform or perish. Had Rawat stayed on, he would have completed four years as CM. The BJP’s Uttarakhand legislature party is scheduled to meet at 10 am on Wednesday to elect its new leader. The party’s central observers, including national vice-president Dr Raman Singh and national general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam, will oversee the change of guard. Leaders like Dhan Singh Rawat, Anil Baluni, Ajay Bhatt and Surendra Bhatt are in the race to replace Rawat. There is some buzz on the party experimenting with a Brahmin as the new CM, in which case Baluni could be the frontrunner. “Since the party has already given opportunities to Thakurs, it may want to put a Brahmin at the helm to balance the vote bank in the state,” said a source. The oath taking ceremony for the new CM is said to be scheduled on March 11, the auspicious Shivratri day . Sources said the party did not want to go into 2022 state elections with Rawat as its face since at least 22 party MLAs are upset with him. “His kitchen cabinet, including certain ministers and a whole bunch of bureaucrats, exercised too much power. At least onethird of the MLAs were sidelined by the government under his leadership,” said a party insider. Changing faces won’t help: Harish Rawat “By removing the CM, the BJP has accepted that the government has failed. Changing faces won’t help. The people will punish the BJP for betraying them,” said former Congress CM Harish Rawat “This is a mere change in responsibility. Each worker is given a suitable role. That is why we are the biggest party of the world in the world’s biggest democracy,” said Ajay Bhatt, ex-state BJP chief hav said they will discuss the matter in the party and take a call on joining the all-party delegation. Jagan, in his letter to Modi, reiterated the importance of reviving RINL, its association with the sentiments of the people, various options available to revive the plant and its sustainability in the future. He stated that the steel plant, a Navratna Company, is the largest public sector industrial unit in the State providing direct employment to around 20,000 people. “The plant was realised only after many sacrifices. The people rallied for the Steel Plant, in which 32 people had laid down their lives. On April 17, 1970, the then Prime Minister of India, announced the Government’s decision to establish a steel plant at Visakhapatnam culminating the decade-long public agitation “Visakha Ukku - Andhrula Hakku” in the erstwhile undivided AP he recalled. ,” Jagan explained that the steel plant had pragmatically turned around in 2002 after being reported to the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) as a sick company It . performed well from 2002 to 2015 P4 earning profits. Central govt gives environmental clearance to Kadapa steel plant Vijayawada: In a significant development towards establishing a steel plant in Kadapa, the Centre on Tuesday gave environmental clearance to the project. After going through the proposals sent by the Andhra Pradesh government on December 20, 2020 and also the revised proposals sent on January 29, 2021 enclosing the environmental assessment copy, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change gave the clearance to the proposed steel plant. AP High Grade Steels Limited will set up the steel plant in Sunnapurallapalle and Pedda Nandalur villages with an initial production capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum in the first phase. A greenbelt will be developed across 484.4 hectares, which is 33 per cent of the total project area. About 12.1 lakh saplings will be planted over a period of five years to develop the greenbelt as part of the project. Trinamool Congress sees red as Election Commission shunts out Bengal DGP E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Central Election Commission on Tuesday axed the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra and replaced him with Neeraj Nayan Pandey ahead of the high-voltage Assembly election contest in the state. It also directed the state government not to give Virendra any post that directly or indirectly related to the conduct of elections. The change of guard came amid concerns of violence flagged by the BJP . Till now, Pandey was the Additional Director General of Police (organisation), who was part of the CBI team that had probed the Taj corridor scam in 20022003 when he was on deputation. Earlier, the poll panel had removed Bengal’s additional director general of police (law and order).“The ECI is acting at the behest of the BJP Virendra was . an efficient officer. The remov- High Court will come up at Jagannatha Gattu in Kurnool: Buggana E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kurnool The Andhra Pradesh High Court, which is proposed to be relocated in Kurnool, will come up at Jagannatha Gattu on the outskirts of the city, once all the required formalities are completed. The State government, as part of its policy of having three capitals to decentralise development, has proposed Kurnool as the judicial capital. Ever since the announcement was made, there were speculations on where the High Court would come up in Kurnool. Putting an end to the speculations, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy on Monday night announced that the High Court buildings will come up at Jagannatha Gattu, which is located 10 km away from Kurnool city . Speaking to mediapersons after offering traditional silk robes to the presiding deity at Srisailam temple on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri Brahmotsavams, Buggana said, “We have decided to relocate the High Court subject to compliance of court conditions. The location of High Court in Kurnool also has a background as the Sri Bagh Pact of 1937 allocated the High Court to Kurnool.’’ Elaborating further, he said, “However, since it is related to court and a sub-judice matter, we are awaiting passing of a resolution (by the court).’’ The government has identified Jagannatha Gattu as the suitable location for the establishment of High Court and 250 acres of land P5 is available there, the Finance Minister said. express read 83 urban local bodies to go to polls today al of senior officials will not have an impact on poll result and the Trinamool is all set to retain power,” said Saugata Roy, the party’s MP and spokesperson. C o n g re s s B e n g a l president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the BJP’s trick to remove efficient officers would not provide electoral dividend in their favour. Bengal is set for a closely watched contest between the ruling TriP7 namool Congress. Vijayawada: The stage is set for the elections to 12 municipal corporations and 71 municipalities in the State on Wednesday. Though the SEC issued notification for elections to 75 municipalities, Pulivendula, Punganur, Macherla and Piduguralla went unanimous in favour of the YSRC. A division bench of AP High Court on Tuesday stayed the single judge order not to conduct polls to the Eluru Municipal Corporation. CAG Murmu appointed chief of UN panel New Delhi: Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Girish Chandra Murmu, has been appointed chairman of the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations for the second time in a row for 2021. Currently, the panel consists of 13 countries, including India. As the chairman, India’s CAG plays a key role in achieving the panel’s objective of greater degree of collaboration and coordination among members countries. e nvo y s ummon e d India ticks off UK for holding debate on farm protests P U SH K AR B A N A K AR @ New Delhi A day after the UK Parliament held a debate on the farm protests and the three farm laws, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned British High Commissioner Alex Ellis to express New Delhi’s opposition to the “gross interference”. “Foreign Secretary summoned the British High Commissioner and conveyed strong opposition to the unwarranted and tendentious discussion on agricultural re- forms in India in the British Parliament. Foreign Secretary made it clear that this represented a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country He advised that . British MPs should refrain from practising vote bank politics by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to another fellow democracy ,” a terse statement from the ministry read. Earlier in the day, the Indian High Commission in London dismissed the debate as being based on false asser- Press freedom intact, says Indian mission Dismissing aspersions on press freedom in India, the Indian mission in London said, “Foreign media are present in India and have witnessed the events first-hand”. tions and without substantiation of facts. British parliamentarians held the debate on Monday in response to the e-petition initiated by Liberal Democratic Councillor Gurch Singh. UK law mandates that any petition which garners over one lakh signatures must be debated in Parliament. According to a former diplo- mat, the harsh tone of British MPs indicates India’s handling of the farm protests has not gone down well with them. Another diplomat said that any country can discuss any issue in their Parliaments but it will affect India’s image if a resolution is passed. “If the debate had resulted in a resolution against the government and had there been any government-to-government communication on this, only then it is a cause of worry else such debates keep happening in world,” he said.
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