HYDERABAD MONDAY MARCH 29, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION 439 PROJECTS GET THE NOD IN MoEF’s LOCKDOWN OVERDRIVE The environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee took up 837 proposals, the highest in past 3 years, and rejected one COMMITTEE HURRIED THROUGH SCRUTINY? MINISTRY CLEARS THE AIR ON SITE VISITS Bi-monthly virtual meetings between April and May saw around 200 projects getting the EAC approval. This means the panel had only 2-4 days to deliberate on the projects, leading to some members saying that they were given very less time to scrutinise the proposals. Among the proposals given expedited nod was the one for the country’s new Parliament building ■ ■ ■ Clearing doubts over site visits during the pandemic, the ministry said sub-panels carried out inspections, when required by the EAC EAC in mining, infrastructure, thermal power and hydel projects in CRZ had considered 822 and 798 projects in 2019 and 2018 Gujarat topped the list of states with most number of approvals 466 PROJECTS RECEIVED E.A.C. CLEARANCE IN 2019; THE NUMBER WAS 436 IN 2018 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 Limited Maha lockdown coming LABOURER DIES AS LPG CYLINDER EXPLODES CM directs officials to prepare detailed plan that will have minimum impact on economy EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Adilabad IN a horrific accident, a construction worker was burnt alive as an LPG cylinder exploded, while food was being prepared inside the camp of an irrigation project, at Pippalakoti in Adilabad district on Sunday evening. The deceased worker has been identified as Shuklal, a native of Maharashtra. He was standing close to the LPG cylinder in a makeshift hut when the explosion occurred. GALLOPING RATE @ Mumbai/New Delhi Flames devour vehicles parked near the irrigation camp that caught fire near Pippalakoti in Adilabad on Sunday The flames that devoured the camp, which was set up for the construction of Pippalkoti Barrage on Penganga, quickly spread to the vehicles parked nearby, reducing three tippers and a tractor to cinders. There are about 20 make- UK variant prevalent in Hyd, indicates study they had returned from Dubai four days before the date of AROUND 13 per cent of 93 Cov- sample collection. Meanwhile, id-19 cases detected by a private one of them had returned a lab in Hyderabad were found to day before sample collection have been caused by the UK from Maharashtra. The lone variant of the novel-coronavi- sample containing the E484K rus, as per a pre-print research mutation of the virus tested paper. The study also rene g ative for the UK ported another sample variant. consisting of the E484K While NITI Aayog mutation of the virus, Member (Health) VK which is characteristic Paul had said last of the South African month that the virus variant of Covid-19. variants with N440K The researchers and E484K mutations Primer-probe were detected in Mahad tested 93 samples mix used that were positive for harashtra, Kerala The tests used to Covid-19 in the month and Telangana, it detect the virus of February at a priwas not clear which variants were vate lab in Hyderaones were reported bad, and had found performed using a in which State. Later, that 12 of them were primer-probe mix the Centre for Cellucaused by the UK var- developed by the lar and Molecular Biresearchers. The iant, which has the ology (CCMB) constudy has four N501Y mutation. One firmed the presence authors, with the of the samples detectof the virus with corresponding ed the E484K mutaN440K mutation in tion, which is also author affiliated to Telang ana. Now, known as an escape Tenet Diagnostics, with the recent remutation, as it helps Banjara Hills, and search, the presence another author the virus evade antiof E484K mutation from AIG Hospitals in the State has also bodies in the host. The pre-print pabeen confirmed. per mentioned that out of the The pre-print research pa12 people who tested positive per, ‘Detection of SARS-CoV-2 for the UK variant, seven had N501Y mutation by RT-PCR to no recent travel history They identify the UK and the South . had not come in contact with African strains in the populasomeone who had just trav- tion of South Indian state of elled either. Only four of them Telangana’, is available on mehad history of foreign travel; drxiv.com. V N I L E S H @ Hyderabad shift tents at the project site, where the workers live. Fortunately, the explosion occurred when all the other labourers were away working at the project site. Fire tenders were pressed into service to bring the rogue flames under control. 535 new cases, 3 deaths in TS E N S @ Hyderabad TELANGANA yet again reported more than 500 Covid19 cases in a single day on Saturday Of the 535 cases re. corded, 154 were from the Greater Hyderabad region. Among districts other than Hyderabad, Medchal reported the highest number of cases (49), followed by Rangareddy (39), Nizamabad (32), Sangareddy (22) and Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri (19). Cases were reported from all 33 districts in the State. Telangana also recorded three more deaths due to Covid-19. While as many as 278 people recovered from the disease, 37,072 people were vaccinated across the State on Saturday . WITH Maharashtra’s Covid-19 positive cases continuing to grow exponentially Chief Min, ister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday directed the state’s health task force to prepare a detailed lockdown plan that would have minimum impact on the economy . Minister Nawab Malik confirmed plans for a limited lockdown without major impact on economic activities. “Industries where large number of people gather, which could increase the virus spread, may have to follow stringent guidelines while manufacturing units will function without any impact,” Malik added. Maharashtra Chhattisgarh Karnataka Punjab Gujarat Madhya Pradesh Tamil Nadu Kerala Cases in last 24 hours ending Sunday morning 35,726 3,162 2,886 2,805 2,276 2,142 2,089 2,055 62,714 Fresh Covid positive cases registered in India in a day The meeting convened by the CM was attended among others by the health minister, health secretary and members of the health task force. Apparently, current measures like restricted mobility in public areas and places of work as also night curfews, have not slowed down the pace of infections. 24 crore+ Tests for Covid-19 conducted across India so far 4.97% Cumulative positivity rate so far The health secretary informed the CM that there is shortage of beds and ventilators in some parts of the state. Last year on September 17, there were three lakh active patients and 31,351 deaths. But now, as of Saturday, there are 3.30 lakh active patients and the cumulative toll is 54,073. Farmers’ dole of `6,000 will apply to fisherfolk too, says Rajnath EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ T’Puram DEFENCE Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the Centre will provide an assistance of `6,000 per year to fishermen on the lines of the aid currently given to farmers under the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. The BJP’s manifestos in Bengal and Puducherry have already promised to replicate the annual assistance of `6,000 given to farmers for fishermen as well if it comes to power. “Under the scheme, our government is transferring `6,000 per year to the bank accounts of farmers across the country . We will transfer `6,000 to the bank accounts of fishermen as well and effectively implement the Central scheme,” said Rajnath, who was in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the NDA’s election campaign. Last year, the fisheries minister had urged the PM to extend the benefits of the scheme to an estimated 20 million fishermen in the country . He said Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has been demanding a separate Union ministry for fisheries, is unaware that the Prime Minister constituted such a ministry in 2019. Later, he termed the Kerala government’s decision to institute a judicial inquiry against Central agencies probing gold smuggling and related cases as ‘unconstitutional’ and said it was a challenge to India’s federal structure. Vani Devi tests positive Newly elected TRS MLC Surabhi Vani Devi tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday . In a tweet, she urged people who she was in contact with to stay isolated at home. Rama Navami to be subdued this year too E N S @ Hyderabad WITH Covid-19 casting a long shadow over Telangana, this year too, the Sri Sita Rama Kalyanam at Bhadrachalam temple on April 21 will be a low-key affair. A decision to organise the celebrations in compliance with Covid-19 protocols was taken by the En- dowments Department on Sunday . The State government has already imposed restrictions on celebrations of festivals of all the other faiths. Likewise, Sri Rama Navami celebrations will go on without the usual flourish at the historic Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam, Endow- ments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy said on Sunday. The Minister, while reviewing the situation with Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar, assured that those who had purchased tickets online to witness the celestial wedding would get a full refund. He urged the devotees to watch the ritual on television at home. WARDING OFF EVIL Women perform Holika Dahan puja on the eve of Holi festival, in Hyderabad on Sunday S Managing competing identities in poll-bound Assam I have been sent by a Bharatiya Janata Party leader, she checked and gave me the shot,” the loquacious Biswas said. “You see, my age is different in all my documents,” he said, fishing out his election identity card from his shirt pocket where he is aged 46 and his PAN card where he is 66. “The teachers who carried out the survey for these documents goofed up, they are useless,” he declared. Bonda Colony a town of a few , hundred households just outside Guwahati, is inhabited ASSAM POLLS H KHOGEN SINGH @ Guwahati/Goalpara/Kokrajhar mainly by Bengali Hindus, like Biswas. Locals said they are mainly settlers from Bangladesh who have over the years acquired documents that give them the right to claim they be- ROAD RAGE Drunk man knocks down 2 policemen with vehicle EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad AN Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of police and a traffic homeguard suffered serious injuries in the wee hours of Sunday, after a man, in an inebriated state, hit them with his car during a drunken-driving check under the KPHB police limits. Both the policemen have been admitted to a nearby hospital. The injured ASI, Mahipal Reddy, works at the KPHB police station, while the home guard, Prahlad, is attached to a traffic police station. Mahipal Reddy The incident occurred at Nizampet, shortly after traffic police officials detained a car, and performed breathaliser test on its driver Srujan. They found that his blood alcohol level was very high. While the police were serving him the challan, Srujan reversed his car, and hit another car in the process. A scuffle broke out between Srujan and the driver of the other car, Aslam. Soon, ASI Mahipal Reddy and other officials rushed to the spot. Aslam, who was also drunk, hit them with his car, injuring the two CONTINUED ON P2 officials. WITH THIS ISSUE MELTING POT hyamal Biswas, not his real name, walks briskly into his sparse, customer-less hotel in Bonda Colony Kamrup district, , to engage in an animated discussion with his wife and petite daughter. Moments later he comes out with a cup of tea and rather proudly declares that he had just got his first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. His free vaccination was not without hiccup, though. “The girl there said my name is not in the list but when I told her that “The task force said the toll could climb, especially due to delay in hospitalisation without timely testing and non-compliance of the home isolation protocol. On March 27, as many as 35,726 patients with infections were detected and this number might touch 40,000 in the next 24 hours,” the health department said. Amid the spike, officials in Pune and Chennai plan to assess whether people with a history of infection are getting reinfected. In the first such exercise in India, they have decided to look for igG antibodies in newly infected people. The antibody igG typically appears nearly 14 days after exposure to the virus and lasts for several P7 months. long here. These documents are often got through illegal means, which perhaps explains the wide discrepancy in Biswas’s age. The Bengali Hindus mostly support the BJP In return, the . party gives them government benefits, like the vaccination shot Biswas got which he was perhaps not entitled to yet. “Why shouldn’t the Hindus be given citizenship in India, where else will they go,” he said of the Citizenship Amendment Act as the conversation traversed from small talk to politi- cally-loaded issues, inviting surreptitious glances from a motor mechanic next door. About 100 kms away in Dhanubanga near Dudhnoi towards Bangladesh, shop owner Sundar Kumar Rabha has different political priorities. Belonging to the Rabha tribe, an Indo-Tibetan community who are among the first settlers of Assam and considered as indigenous people, Sundar said the Rabha Autonomous Council should be included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. CONTINUED ON P7 THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) EXPRESS READ Upper Manair to get Kaleshwaram water in 2 days Rajanna-Sircilla: As per the directions of Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) Minister KT Rama Rao, Irrigation Department officials have begun taking all the necessary steps to lift water from the Kondapochamma reservoir and divert it into the Upper Manair Dam (UMD), via the Kudavelli Vagu. The water is expected to reach the dam in two days | P2 ‘NEP IS LIKE KHICHDI’ The new National Education Policy is like a khichdi, said BJP MP Subramanian Swamy on the third day of the ThinkEdu Conclave 2021. Though it tried to do a lot to correct the colonial hangover, it didn’t quite make it, he added | P5
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