tadepalligudem l thursday l march 18, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Koo becomes 100% desi as chinese investor exits Start-up A-listers buy out Shunwei stake A bunch of Indians, including ex-cricketer Javagal Srinath, buy out Shunwei Capital’s stake in Koo, India’s answer to Twitter Traction after govt-Twitter tussle Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, BookMyShow founder Ashish Hemrajani, Udaan co-founder Sujeet Kumar and Zerodha founder Nikhil Kamat were the others who bought out Shunwei’s 9% stake in Bombinate Technologies Pvt Ltd, which runs Koo. The homegrown microblogging platform has not revealed the financial details of the latest deal | P12 ■ ■ ■ Koo has so far raised around $4.1 million from investors including 3one4 Capital, Kalaari Capital, and Blume Ventures Koo first caught public attention after Centre’s tussle with Twitter over the removal of inflammatory contents It is available in Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati & Marathi 4 million People have downloaded koo so far. one million of them are active users 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 Modi flags vax wastage, seeks corrective steps losing Precious drops E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Himachal Pradesh Uttarakhand Tripura Tamil Nadu Bihar West Bengal Gujarat Ladakh Assam Rajasthan Jammu & Kashmir Karnataka Uttar Pradesh Andhra Pradesh Telangana 17.6 11.6 9.4 6.9 6.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3 4.8 4.0 3.7 2.2 1.6 1.4 india average 6.5% (Vaccine wastage in %) Claims of short supply baseless Officials dismissed claims by some states of vaccines being in short supply. “Since the beginning of the drive, 7.54 crore doses have been sent to the states. Just half of it has been administered so far, so the charges are baseless,” said Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan @ New Delhi The issue of humongous Covid-19 vaccine wastage by a few states figured prominently in a meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with chief ministers on Wednesday . While 6.5% of vaccine doses are getting wasted in the country on an average, peak wastage is at Telangana. Modi advised the states to immediately introduce correctives in planning and governance at the local level. “It should be reviewed in states as to why is the vaccine wastage happening. Monitoring must be done every evening and people should be contacted proactively (for correctives) so that there’s no wastage,” he stressed. Later in the day, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan shared data on states where vaccine wastage is more than the national average (see graphic). They are J&K (6.6%), Karnataka (6.9%), UP (9.4%), Andhra Pradesh (11.6%) and Telangana (17.6%). On the flip side, Himachal Pradesh, at 1.4%, is the best performing state. “In the current scenario, Covid-19 vaccine doses are like elixir and should be used very judiciously,” said V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog in the briefing. Talking to this newspaper, sources in the health ministry explained that the wastage is happening more in Covaxin, as compared to Covishield. “There are two reasons. One, Covaxin has more doses (20) per vial than Covishield (10). As all doses have to be administered within four hours of a vial being opened, it naturally means that doses that are not used within the time frame get wasted,” said an official. “Second, before the efficacy data for Covaxin was announced, fewer people turned up at centres for this vaccine, resulting in wastage,” the official pointed out. The coronavirus spurt is likely to be in smaller towns this time; PM urges states to take proactive measures It’s official, second peak coming SU M I SU K A N YA DU T TA @ New Delhi India is headed towards a second peak of coronavirus, the government confirmed on Wednesday. The difference this time is that it will not be the metros but tier-2 and tier-3 cities closer to the rural areas that will be the worst hit. “We are seeing an emerging second peak,” said Dr V K Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog, who also heads the na33,000 28,000 tional task force on Covid-19. Over the past two weeks, small towns across 70 districts have seen a steep rise of over 150% in new cases, with Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh) recording a shocking 500% spike. Fifty-five districts in 17 states have seen a 100-150% spike in the same time period. The alarming statistics also came up during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with chief ministers on Wednesday The PM urged the . Worrisome uptick in daily cases CMs to stop the ‘emerging second peak’ with decisive steps including strict enforcement of Covid protocols. “Wherever necessary micro-containment , zones should be declared without hesitation,” he said, adding, “If we don’t stop Covid right now, there could be a nationwide outbreak.” According to the details shared by the Union health ministry, India now has over 2.34 lakh active Covid-19 cases. Over the past two weeks, there Daily new cases 7-day moving average of daily new cases New cases (As on March 17, 2021) has been a 43% week-on-week increase in cases and 37% rise in deaths. Data show that Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu continue to report a high number of daily new cases. Together, these states accounted for 71.10% of the 28,903 new cases reported on Tuesday. Overall, there are eight states where the pandemic graph is on a rising trajectory . Nearly 28,902 New deaths Nearly 43% 37% 23,000 18,000 week-on-week incease 18,855 week-on-week incease 17,407 10,050 14,264 9,110 13,000 8,000 Jan 19 express read TMC manifesto offers universal basic income Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress, which is bracing for a tough fight with the BJP in the Assembly polls, on Wednesday released its manifesto promising universal basic income, financial grant to women family heads, credit card for students pursuing higher education, home delivery of ration and creation of five lakh new jobs every year. Shaik Sabjee wins EG-WG MLC seat Kakinada: UTF candidate Shaik Sabjee has won from the East and West Godavari Districts Teachers’ MLC constituency by a majority of 1,534 votes defeating his nearest rival Gandham Narayana Rao. Shaik Sabjee got 7,987 votes, while Narayana Rao was polled 6,453 votes. A total of 17,467 teachers cast their vote in the election. Seetharama Murti to be new APSHRC chief Vijayawada: The State Human Rights Committee meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday, recommended the name of retired HC judge M Seetharama Murti as the chairperson of the APSHRC, and retired district judge D Subramanyam (judicial) and advocate G Srinivasa Rao (non-judicial) as its members. Jan 29 Feb 9 Feb 21 Mar 4 Mar 16 AP reports 10% wastage of Covid vaccine E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada A day after serving notice on former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to appear before it for questioning in the Amaravati land scam, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) officials on Wednesday served a similar notice on former Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) minister P Narayana and conducted searches at his residence in Nellore. Narayana is named as accused no 2 in the case. Three separate teams of the investigating agency went to Narayana’s residences in Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Nellore to serve the notices. As they could not find him at any of the three places, they handed over the notice to Narayan a ’s w i f e R a m a d e v i i n Property tax hike will not exceed 15%, says Botcha E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development Botcha Satyanarayana has said the property tax hike in urban local bodies will not exceed 15 per cent of the existing tax and the tax for structures built in less than 330 square feet of land is fixed at `50. Speaking to mediapersons in Anantapur on Wednesday, Botcha said the State government had enacted an Act by which the property tax cannot be increased by more than 15 per cent of the existing tax. Explaining the provisions of the new Act, the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister said the old tax assessment system had several loopholes wherein households could use their influence or even bribe civic officials to get their property tax P4 minimised. Hyderabad. While Chandrababu Naidu was asked to appear before the investigating officer on March 23 for questioning at the CID’s regional office in Satyanarayanapuram of Vijayawada, Narayana has been directed to come in person on March 22. The CID sleuths reportedly conducted searches at the residence of Narayana at Chintareddypalem on the outskirts of Nellore city on Wednesday afternoon. The CID sleuths accompanied by local police for bandobust locked the doors of the premises and did not allow anyone to enter inside and searched the premises for doc- Wednesday, later held a meeting with the officials. “The remaining process pertaining to Stating that the elections to the MPTC and ZPTC elections MPTCs and ZPTCs have be- can be completed in just six come a hindrance to the ongo- days. It would have been approing Covid-19 vaccination drive, priate if the MPTC and ZPTC Chief Minister YS Jaelections were held gan Mohan Reddy disoon after the complerected officials to aption of urban local prise the Governor and body polls,” Jagan the High Court of the said. need to complete the “As there is a spurt re m a i n i n g s i x - d ay in Covid-19 cases process at the earliest. across the country, The State Election the vaccination drive Commission (SEC) had can be intensified in issued a notification Jagan Mohan Reddy the State, if the MPTC for the conduct of and ZPTC elections Mandal Parishad Ter- It’s just 6-day are completed at the process ritorial Constituency earliest,” he asserted. and Zilla Parishad Ter- Covid vaccination Otherwise, containritorial Constituency can be expedited ing the spread of vielections last year, but in the State once rus and ramping up it was put on hold due the remaining six- of Covid tests will be to Covid-19. With the difficult, he added. day MPTC and d e c l i n e i n C o v i d ZPTC poll process The Chief Minister spread, the SEC had is completed, said instructed the officonducted elections to cials to intensify the CM YS Jagan gram panchayats and vaccination drive by Mohan Reddy urban local bodies. taking each ward and But, it is yet to take up village secretariat as the conduct of the held up a unit. Asking the officials to MPTC and ZPTC polls. come up with an action plan on The Chief Minister, who par- vaccination, Jagan said more ticipated in the virtual confer- emphasis should be laid on conence chaired by Prime Minister taining the spread of virus Narendra Modi on Covid-19 rather than providing treatand the vaccination drive on ment to the infected people. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada @ Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh is one of the States where the Covid-19 vaccine wastage is around 10 per cent. In neighbouring Telangana also, it is the same. During his video conference with the Chief Ministers of all the States on Covid vaccination on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Andhra Pradesh should reduce the vaccine wastage so that more people could be vaccinated. According to the Medical and Health Department officials, the wastage of Covid -19 vaccine has increased after the commencement of vaccination of people above 60 years of age and those in 45 to 59 age group with comorbidiP4 ties. CID conducts searches in Narayana’s house E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e CM for early completion of MPTC, ZPTC elections People wait at a vaccination centre at Jaggaiahpet in Krishna district on Wednesday to get themselves vaccinated against Covid-19 | Express Privileges panel directs SEC to be available for inquiry E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e uments related to the Amaravati land scam, sources said. In a related development, the CID also served a notice under Section 160 of the CrPC on Mangalagiri MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy, on whose complaint the case was registered, to present any evidence he has on the allegations he has made. The CID asked Ramakrishna Reddy to appear before the investigating officer (IO) on Thursday and submit proofs pertaining to the case. The CID registered the case based on a complaint lodged by Ramakrishna Reddy alleging alienation of assigned lands in violation of law. P4 @ Vijayawada The AP Legislative Assembly Committee of Privileges, which met virtually under the chairmanship of Kakani Goverdhan Reddy on Wednesday, directed State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar to be available for inquiry into the notices served by Panchayat Raj and Rural Development Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy to move a privilege motion against the SEC. Goverdhan Reddy said the notices given by Peddireddy and Municipal Administration Minister Botcha Satyanarayana in the past and another notice served by Peddireddy on February 7 were referred to the committee by Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitaram. “The Privileges Committee has decided to take up inquiry on both the notices. A letter will be sent to Ramesh Kumar through the Assembly Secretary asking him to be available for an inquiry. The date and time of inquiry will be decided soon and it will be intimated to the SEC,’’ he said. The Privileges Committee Chairman said that the inquiry will continue even after Ramesh Kumar retires as an SEC on P5 March 31. shake-up Police chief of Mumbai shunted to limit damage S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday began a damage limitation exercise, shunting out Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh and replacing him with Hemant Nagrale in the wake of the arrest of controversial police officer Sachin Waze. Till now, Nagrale was holding additional charge of the state Director General of Police. This newspaper was the first was the frontrunner for Mumto report that Singh’s job was bai CP but most of the senior on the line. The transministers in ruling fers were part of a big Maha Vikas Aghadi police de par tment insisted on naming a shake up. Rajnish Marathi instead. “So, Seth, director general Nagrale, who was othat the Anti-Corruption erwise senior in rank Bureau, has been givto the Mumbai CP was , en additional charge brought back as a of director general of Mumbai CP he said. ,” the state police. Singh “Singh was NCP Hemant Nagrale is now director genchief Sharad Pawar’s eral of home guard. choice as Mumbai CP But later . Sources said Rajnish Seth Singh moved out of his orbit and refused to follow orders of home minister Anil Deshmukh despite repeated calls in several cases. He also stalled probes on politically significant cases citing pressure from Delhi,” the source said requesting anonymity . Singh and Waze started acting on their own and even allegedly set up an extortion racket. “Pawar is no-nonsense politician. He lost interest in Singh after the latter started playing games,” said a senior officer.
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18-03-2021 of The New Indian Express-Tadepalligudem