Scrap 5% 4-6% Manufacturer discount that pays A voluntary scrappage scheme for personal vehicles from 2024 and heavy commercial vehicles from 2023 promises discounts on new buys. A look made 100 Scrapping centres to betwo years operational in the next ■ toll booths to make way for GPS-based collection Physical plazas will be done away with in a year as Centre will use GPS imaging to collect highway levy through FASTag While new vehicles are FASTag-enabled by the manufacturers, the older ones would get the RFID tags for free from the Centre, said transport minister Nitin Gadkari. He said 93% users were paying the levy through the tag ever since it was made mandatory on February 16. Those not complying will face the heat for toll theft and GST evasion, he added Steep hike in FCs for vehicles that are older than 15 years ■ old vehicles to get free FASTag A GST cut on new vehicles, whose buyers have scrapped their old cars ■ tirupati l friday l march 19, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Road tax rebate of up to 25% for personal vehicles and up to 15% for commercial vehicles by states proposed Registration fees may be waived for the new vehicle against the scrapping certificate ■ Of ex-showroom price of a new car as scrap value for the older one Scrap centres must ■ Comply with environmental and pollution norms and with all applicable Acts Have adequate parking facility, de-pollution equipment for air, water and sound pollution and adequate facilities for hazardous waste disposal ■ 35,000 jobs likely to be created due to the scrappage policy 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 Highest one-day spike in Maha since last year S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai Maharashtra on Thursday recorded 25,833 new Covid-19 cases, marking the highest single-day spike since September last when 24,896 cases were recorded. With the caseload mounting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to ramp up testing and expedite containment measures. While the cases have increased in the State, the mortality rate at 2.2% is lower than Ex-CEA quits, pressure on Univ to take back Mehta E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi The faculty and students at the Ashoka University issued strong statements in support of political commentator Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who resigned from the university two days ago citing infringement on academic freedom, and demanded that the institution ask him to join back. A day after Mehta’s exit, noted economist and former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian put in his papers, ruing that the institution “even with its private status and private capital, can no longer provide space for academic expression and freedom”. Mehta, who quit as the university’s vice-chancellor two years ago, in an email to his s t u d e n t s o n We d n e s d ay evening — a day after he resigned — had hinted that a discussion with the university regarding the “prevailing circumstances” led to his exit. “The decision to leave Ashoka was not an easy one, especially because of the exceptional quality of students I have been privileged to teach,” he wrote. “But after discussions with the university about the prevailing circumstances, it became clear to me that it was best to move on. Hence, I took the decision to resign.” express read Future tense as Delhi HC judge validates S’pore deal verdict Bengaluru: Debt-riddled Future Group led by its embattled founder Kishore Biyani suffered a major setback after the Delhi High Court upheld an emergency arbitration (EA) award delivered by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre last year. The EA had put on hold a `24,713crore deal between Reliance and Future Group. A single judge bench of Justice J R Midha on Thursday delivered the verdict on an appeal filed by Amazon. last year’s, a senior official said. “Of the total cases reported, a majority are asymptomatic. Further, the cases are coming out in clusters unlike last year when individual cases led to the spurt,” the official said. With a view to shoring up the vaccination drive, state health minister Rajesh Tope urged the Centre to deliver more doses. At a time when the numbers are rising, there is a shortage of vaccines, Tope claimed. “Lockdown is not the answer to the present situation. Rapid and massive vaccination drives must be undertaken. We need 10-day advance stocks or else the vaccine centres will run out of shots soon,” Tope said. Many places in Pune, Amaravati, Nashik, Navi Mumbai and Jalgaon opted for localised Request for 2.2-crore more doses Maharashtra Health Minister Tope has sought 2.20 crore doses to immediately vaccinate 1.70 lakh people in the co-morbid and senior citizen categories. The Centre has made available 56 lakh does, of which36 lakh have been already used, so far lockdowns, ordering schools, colleges, hotel and restaurants to shut down. Meanwhile, after reporting 2,039 fresh cases and 35 fatalities on Wednesday Punjab, gov, ernment on Thursday ann o u n c e d a t wo - h o u r extension in the night curfew in the state’s nine worst-affected districts. The night curfew will now span 9 pm to 5 am. A similar extension was ordered in Ahmedabad, where cases surged significantly . With the surge in Covid-19 cases in the State, the government on Thursday issued orders to employers of all the factories, industries, shops and establishments to extend work from home option to its employees and organise virtual conferences or meetings instead of physical ones. Physical distancing of two metres, wearing of masks and screening by thermal scanners at the entry points should also be ensured by the managements. Principal Secretary of Labour B Udaya Lakshmi issued an order to this effect and in- Modi’s nationalism pitch to attack Didi P r o n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata Reviving the BJP’s nationalism plank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday cited the Pulwama terror attack in J&K and the subsequent airstrike deep inside Pakistan’s Balakot to put West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the back foot for criticising the Army earlier. Modi also recalled Mamata pitching the Batla House shootout in 2008 as a fake encounter, a narrative that was negated by a Delhi court convicting a terrorist and awarding capital punishment in the case recently . “The people of Bengal have not forgotten who you stood with after the Pulwama attack and criticised the Army No one . has forgotten how Mamata Didi and a few other parties reacted when the Batla House encounter took place. These people stood with the terrorists at that time and raised questions on the encounter. A court recently convicted one of the terrorists and sentenced him to capital punishment,’’ said Modi, while addressing a rally in Junglemahal’s Purulia district. Turning to the alleged extortion and cut money issues that have smeared the reputation of the ruling Trinamool Congress, Modi said, “BJP believes in DBT, which stands for direct bank transfer, whereas Didi believes in TMC, which is transfer my commission. TMC’s days are numbered in Bengal.” Referring to the foot injury Mamata sustained while on her campaign trail in Nandigram, the PM said, “Like millions of relief Chances bleak for Naidu and co: Alla E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada On a day when TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu knocked on the doors of the AP High Court appealing it to quash the FIR registered against him by the CID in connection with GO 41, Mangalagiri YSRC MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy who is the , complainant, exuded confidence that chances of relief are bleak for Naidu and co. Speaking to TNIE, Ramakrishna Reddy said there are judgements by the Apex Court against quashing FIRs in different stages. Stating that prima facie evidence against Naidu is very strong, Ramakrishna Reddy said he has handed over ‘Note Filings’ pertaining to GO 41 by officials who had pointed at violation of Assigned Lands Prohibition of Transfers (PoT) Act, 1977 and PoA Act, 1989 (An Act to prevent the commission of offences of atrocities against members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes). The GO 41 is in contravention of the above Acts, the MLA said and opined that court will not interfere at this stage in the face of such substantial evidence. Though GO 41 was abolished by GO 316 in December, 2019, Dalits fell victim as their lands have been taken away he said. , “Another interesting thing is that though lands fall under the jurisdiction of the revenue department, in this case, the Municipal Administration and Urban Development department issued the GOs. One of the Principal Secretaries raised this issue in a Note File,’’ he revealed. The Mangalagiri MLA also pointed out that the previous gover nment had wrongly dealt with another GO 1117 originally issued in P4 1993. The Trinamool has created a new breed of Maoists in Bengal who loot public money. The money is meant for poor people. Didi’s government has patronised Maoist violence Narendra Modi, Prime Minister other women, for me, Didi is also a daughter of the nation. When she got injured, I was worried. I pray for her speedy recovery .” Referring to the khela hobe (there will be a game) one-liner dra Bhatt said, “Judges play — at all levels — a vital role as teachers and thought leaders. It is their role to be impartial in words and action, at all times. If they falter, especially in gender related crimes, they imperil fair ness and inflict great cruelty in the casual blindness to the despair of the survivors.” The judgment came on a plea filed by nine woman lawyers who had challenged the high court’s directive saying such bail orders have the effect of trivialising sexual offences. “Using rakhi tying as a condition for bail, transforms a molester into a brother, by a judicial mandate,” the judgment read. “This is wholly unacceptable, and has the effect of diluting and eroding the of- Mamata is making at every public rally, Modi said, “Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole chaakri hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole shiksha hobe. Didi bole khela hobe, BJP bole vikas hobe. Khela sesh hobe, vikas aarambh hobe (Didi says there will be a game. BJP says, there will be employment, education, development and education. The game will over over and development will begin.” Modi also accused Mamata of encouraging West Bengal’s Maoists, who have waged war against the country for her po, litical gain. Castigating her for playing the politics of religion, Modi said, “After practicing politics of appeasement in Bengal, suddenly there seems to be a change in Didi. This is not transformation of the soul. This is fear of defeat.” structed all the managements to continue to implement Covid prevention measures without any negligence or compromise in order to protect their workforce from the pandemic. “Now, there is an upsurge in Covid-19 cases in some of the States in the country There is . an upward trend in Covid cases since the last few days even in AP also,’’ the GO issued by the Labour Department stated. Further, the managements have been asked to make business travel optional and such travel should not be suggested because of surge in Covid-19 cases. The managements have also been directed to take steps for getting their employees or workers vaccinated. E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and former minister P Narayana on Thursday filed similar petitions in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, urging it to quash the FIR filed against them by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) in the alleged Amaravati land scam. Terming the FIR illegal, unsustainable and a mala fide case of reg i m e reve n g e, t h e former chief minister said in his plea that it was “simply a tool of political vendetta of the current ruling party (YSRC) and its members to silence any dissent in the State.” Former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas mentioned the petitions filed by Naidu and former minister and co-accused in the FIR, P Narayana, before Justice CH Manavendranath Rai. He informed the Justice that the CID had searched the resi- fence of sexual harassment. The act perpetrated on the survivor constitutes an offence in law, and is not a minor transgression that can be remedied by way of an apology, rendering community service, tying a rakhi or presenting a gift to the survivor, or even promising to marry her, as the case may be,” the 24-page judgment stated. It stressed the need to include gender sensitisation in the curriculum. dence and offices of Narayana and urged him to hear the pleas on Friday to which the judge agreed. Naidu also urged the court to direct the CID not to take any coercive action or arrest him. The CID had registered the FIR against Naidu based on a complaint from YSRC leader and MLA Alla Ramakrishna Reddy for allegedly facilitating alienation of assigned lands in the Amaravati capital region to benefit those close to him. It had summoned him on March 23. Naidu, while narrating the sequence of events culminating in the announcement of Amaravati as the State capital, claimed “it was well known” that the region between Guntur and Vijayawada was one of the most probable locations for the new capital and no part of the information related to the process could be said to be “privileged or not publicly known” -- in a rebuttal to the allegation. P4 TDP wins Tadipatri R B Lakshmi, Vijayawada Sirisha Yadav, Tirupati GHV Kumari, Vizag K Manohar Naidu, Guntur Won’t let NPR, says Mamata Asserting the Trinamool would never allow the enumeration of the National Population Register in Bengal, Mamata said, “The BJP will omit names of voters if they are not found at home during the visit of enumerators. But we will not allow them to do the exercise in Bengal.” Babu cites legislative privilege, says FIR is ‘regime revenge’ SC slaps HC on wrist on rakhi-for-bail order Terming the Madhya Pradesh High Court order last year that had asked a man accused of sexual assault to have a rakhi tied by the victim to get bail, as a judicial stereotype, the Supreme Court on Thursday set it aside and issued a slew of guidelines on gender sensitivity in judicial approach. A bench comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and S Ravin- E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada Prime Minister recalls Mamata’s critical take on the Army during the Pulwama attack in J&K in 2019 and the Balakot counterattack; slams her for calling the 2008 Batla House shootout a fake encounter Judicial sensitivity K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi Adhere to Covid norms to curb surge in cases: Govt The FIR was simply a tool of political vendetta of the current ruling party (YSRC) and its members to silence any dissent in State Chandrababu Naidu, ex-CM It was well known: Naidu “It was well known” that the region between Guntur and Vijayawada was one of the most probable locations for the new State capital, said former CM Naidu Anantapur: Ending the four-day drama, former MLA JC Prabhakar Reddy was elected chairman of Tadipatri. “Hats off to (CM) Jagan. He would have wrested the seat, if he wanted, but he did not,’’ said Prabhakar Reddy YSRC gives women, BCs lion’s share in civic chief posts for their empowerment E x p r ess Ne w s S e r v i c e @ Vijayawada Proving that it is committed to the empowerment of women and uplift of downtrodden sections, the ruling YSRC has given a lion’s share to them in mayoral and municipal chairperson posts in the newly elected urban local bodies. It nominated BCs and women for civic chief posts of several general category seats. Of the total 86 mayoral and municipal chairperson posts, 40 were given to BCs, providing them 46.51 per cent share. Similarly, 12 posts went to Muslim minorities, enabling them to 13.95 per cent share. “In all, we have given 60.46 per cent representation to BCs and Muslims in Veggie vendor the total 86 posts,’’ YSRC turns civic chief general secretary Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy Kadapa: It took just a few weeks for Shaik said. In all, 67 posts were Fayaz Basha to given to SCs, STs, BCs become chairperson and minorities, making of Rayachoti from a their total share 78 per vegetable vendor. “It cent. Similarly, 52 wom- is an unbelievable journey. I thank CM en were given mayoral Jagan for giving and municipal chairpersomeone like me the son posts, providing opportunity to be the them 60.47 per cent Rayachoti civic chief,” share. This is a history said Basha with joy of a kind in the entire country where majority of the mayoral and municipal chairperson posts were given to women, BCs, SCs, STs and Muslims, he said. “It is the firm belief of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy that people from these sections, who constitute majority of the population of the State, should have political empowerment too. If people from these sections are given power, they will take the social welfare schemes effectively to the targeted sections,’’ he said, adding that once again Jagan has proved that he considers BCs as backbone classes and not P4 as backward classes. 30% mangrove area destroyed: Panel G Janardhana Rao @ Visakhapatnam The joint expert committee constituted by the Southern Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) to study the destruction of mangrove forest in divisions 10 and 12 at Dummulapeta and Parlaraopeta in Kakinada for the Pedalandariki Illu scheme, in its report submitted to the NGT, has stated that 30 per cent of the area having mangroves has been destroyed. The committee found that works were taken up in 58 out of the total 116 acres meant for the housing project and the texture of the mud in the area changed due to additional soil and gravel brought from outside for levelling the ground. The ground levelling obstructed the flow of the stream in the area. Though the East Godavari district administration informed that it had initiated the process of changing the CRZ category of the area from CRZ-IA to CRZ-II, counsel Sanjay Upadhyay, arguing on behalf of the petitioner Satya n a r a y a n a , a n environmentalist, said there is no process known to law which can convert a natural categorisation to another category such as CRZ-II under P5 the CRZ notification.
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