visakhapatnam l monday l march 29, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l 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? 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 ■ 466 ministry clears the air on site visits ■ ■ 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 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 Covid lockdown coming in Maharashtra More EG Residential college students contract virus Rajamahendravaram: The number of students of a residential college who contracted corona, rose to 230 from 163 on Sunday. As many as 163 students of the college tested positive on March 22. Covid tests were conducted for all the 900 students of the college. Twelve more students tested positive on March 24. As many as 56 students were found infected with corona on Saturday night. The college was closed and the affected students were kept in isolation in hostel blocks. Their health condition is being closely monitored by a team of doctors Prepare plan that will have minimum impact on economy: CM E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai/New Delhi Students of Andhra University vacate hostels in Visakhapatnam on Sunday due to Covid-19 | G Satyanarayana AU Covid cases rise to 110, all in isolation E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Visakhapatnam The total number of Covid-19 cases in Andhra University Engineering College increased to 110 on Sunday Some teach. ing and non-teaching staff also tested positive for Covid. As many as 97 students contracted the virus. The entire engineering college campus was declared as a containment zone. As many as 1,700 students and staff underwent Covid tests after a student from Vijayawada tested positive for coronavirus. A girl also contracted the virus. Speaking to TNIE, Andhra Medical College principal PV Sudhakar attributed the Covid spread on the AU Engineering College campus to non-adherence to Covid Appropriate Behaviour by students. Since segregation of contacts is difficult, all the students who tested negative, are also quarantined. They will be under observation for a week and if they test negative in the second Covid test, they will be allowed to leave the college campus, he said. Five hostels were converted into quarantine centres and three hostels into isolation blocks for boys. For girls, three hostels were converted into quarantine centres and one hostel into an isolation block. Much to the relief of the university authorities, no case of the second variant of Covid-19 has been found among fresh cases in AU as well as in Visakhapatnam district. “We are sending 5 per cent of samples to the CCMB in Hyderabad a day for further analysis. But there are no reports of new Covid strains,” he said. All the students and staff are in a stable condition and their condition is being monitored round-the-clock. The average positivity rate is only 1.5 per cent, he said. Minister for Tourism Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao inspected the AU college hostels where students are quarantined. He allayed the fears of the parents of students, stating that the best possible medical treatment is being provided to those who tested positive for Covid. “A total of 550 beds in super speciality blocks and 650 beds in VIMS have been kept ready in case of necessity . Steps have been taken to provide nutritious food to students in isolation,” he said. 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. 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. The health secretary informed the CM that there is Galloping rate 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 Study on igG antibodies Amid spike in cases, officials in Pune and Chennai plan to assess whether people with a history of infection are getting re-infected. In the first such exercise in India, they have decided to look for IgG antibodies in newly infected people 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. 1,005 new corona cases emerge from 31K samples E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh recorded more than 1,000 new infections on Sunday, taking the total Covid cases past the 8.98 lakhmark. For the first time after November 26, 2020, the daily count crossed the 1,000-mark. According to the media bulletin released by the State Command Control Room, 1,005 new infections emerged from 31,142 samples tested in the 24 hours ending Sunday 9 am. Guntur, Chittoor, Visakhapatnam and Krishna accounted for more than 700 of the new cases. On Saturday 947 new in, fections emerged from 42,696 samples. The surge in Covid cases can be clearly seen with more than 1,000 new cases reported from just 31,000-odd samples on Sunday The total . samples tested in the State so far has surged past 1.49 crore. Guntur recorded the highest number of 225 new cases, taking its total to cross 77,000mark. On the other hand, the new recoveries stood at 324, pushing the active caseload to 5,394, which is the highest since December 9, 2020. The caseload in Chittoor is more than 1,000. Vizianagaram is the only district in the State with the caseload of less than 100. Two fatalities, one each from Chittoor and Krishna, were reported taking the Covid toll to 7,205. ceremonial welcome The first flight (IndiGo 6E7911) gets water cannon salute at Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy Airport in Kurnool on Sunday on its arrival from Bengaluru | Express Ordinance allocates `70K cr budget for key sectors The State government has prioritised budgetary allocations to the welfare and housing sectors in the Andhra Pradesh Appropriation (Vote-on-Account) Ordinance, 2021, which was promulgated by Gover nor Biswabhusan Harichandan on Sunday . The promulgation of the ordinance allows the govern- 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) @ Vijayawada ment to spend `70,983 crore in the initial three months of the financial year 2021-22 by withdrawing money from the Consolidated Fund of the State. With the gover nment set to start the construction of YSR Jagananna Colonies under the housing for poor scheme on April 15, the housing sector was allocated melting pot s Managing competing identities in Assam 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 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 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 differ- Cumulative positivity rate so far “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 IgG appears nearly 14 days after exposure to the virus and lasts for several months. P7 @T’Puram The new National Education Policy is like a khichidi, 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 YOUR LIFE COACH 4.97% E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST Tests for Covid-19 conducted across India so far `6K dole for farmers to apply to fisherfolk too ‘NEP is like khichdi’ WITH THIS ISSUE 24 crore+ ent in all my documents,” he have over the years acquired said, fishing out his election documents that give them the identity card from his shirt right to claim they belong here. pocket where he is aged 46 and These documents are often got his PAN card where he is 66. through illegal means, which “The teachers p e r h ap s e x who carried plains the wide out the survey discrepancy in for these docuBiswas’s age. ments goofed The Bengali up, they are Hindus mostly useless,” he suppor t the Assam Polls declared. BJP In return, . Bonda Colo- H K hogen S i ngh the party gives ny, a town of a @ Guwahati/Goalpara/Kokrajhar them governfew hundred ment benefits, households just outside Guwa- like the vaccination shot hati, is inhabited mainly by Biswas got which he was perBengali Hindus, like Biswas. haps not entitled to yet. “Why Locals said they are mainly shouldn’t the Hindus be given settlers from Bangladesh who citizenship in India, where else will they go,” he said of the Citizenship Amendment Act as the conversation traversed from small talk to politicallyloaded, highly emotive 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 hence considered as indigenous people, Sundar said the Rabha Autonomous Council should be included in the Sixth Schedule of the ConContinued on P7 stitution. `1,239 crore for the first three months. The YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government, after allotting house site pattas to more than 30 lakh beneficiaries in the State, had announced to take up construction of 15.6 lakh houses for the poor in the first year. The other priority sector, welfare, too got more than `10,000 crore allocation. Of the total `10,000 crore, `6,346 crore was allocated to the BC welfare, while the other four welfare departments got the remaining funds. For the Jagananna Vidya Kanuka and Vasathi Deevena schemes in the first quarter of the next financial year, the Education Department was allocated `7,300 crore. The Agriculture Department too got adequate allocation for ryot P4 welfare schemes. express read Badvel YSRC MLA dies of illness Kadapa: Dr G Venkatasubbaiah, Badvel YSRC MLA, died of illness here on Sunday. He was 61. He is survived by his wife and two children. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy visited Kadapa and paid homage to Dr Venkatasubbaiah and consoled his family members. His last rites will be performed with State honours on Monday. Nilam Sawhney appointed new SEC Vijayawada: The government on Sunday issued an order appointing former Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney as the new State Election Commissioner. She will be in the post for five years from the date of assumption of office. She will succeed the incumbent SEC Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar, whose tenure ends on March 31. Temple intruder nabbed in Tirupati Tirupati: The urban police on Sunday arrested a minor who made a vain attempt to break open the Hundi in Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple on Friday night. Disclosing this to the media, SP Ch Venkata Appala Naidu said the special teams had examined the footage of CCTV cameras at busy junctions to nab him. Constables Barusha and Dinakar spotted the intruder wandering near Govindaraja Swamy Pushkarini on Sunday afternoon and immediately took him into custody, the SP said. 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 West 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 in the Assembly elections. “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 Prime Minister 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. Rajnath Singh termed the Kerala government’s decision to institute a judicial inquiry against Central agencies probing gold smuggling and related cases ‘unconstitutional’ and said it would pose a serious threat to the federal structure of India.
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29-03-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam