chennai l saturday l may 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 18 l late city EDITION advocate on EC’s panel quits Citing conflict of values Mohit D Ram resigned stating that his values were not in consonance with the current functioning of the poll watchdog resigns day after sc rejects ec plaint Court had refused to gag media Ram had been a panel counsel for the Election Commission in the Supreme Court since 2013. His resignation comes a day after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the poll panel, seeking to expunge pungent remarks of the Madras High Court on holding elections during the pandemic, saying they were not part of the written order. Ram was not part of the case ■ 8 yrs The Supreme Court had also refused to bar media organisations from reporting the oral observations made by various courts ■ “Media is powerful and communicates what happens in court... Not only judgments, but raising questions, answers and dialogues. the term served by ram, who called it a ‘cherishing milestone’ of his career It not reporting observations is far-fetched,” the SC had said 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 Chandigarh Ambulance to Delhi with oxygen and ventilator Normal cost Now Hyderabad Five-litre imported oxygen concentrator Normal cost Maharashtra Tocilizumab to treat severe cases Now Normal cost Now Bihar Oximeters essential to check oxygen saturation Normal cost Now H 15,000 H 35,000 H 40k-60k H 95k-1.2L H 45,000 H1.2L H 1,800 H 3,500 Four promises delivered on day 1 MK Stalin signs 5 key announcements soon after taking oath as Chief Minister TOP 5 b l a c k m a r k et Pandemic profiteering adds to patient stress Private hospitals demand huge sums upfront for admission; ambulances make a killing and so do oxygen cylinder providers; pulse oximeters cost a bomb eXPRESS nEWS SERVICE I China said Friday the risk of damage from a rocket falling back to Earth was “extremely low”, after the United States warned it could crash down on to an inhabited area. Military experts in the US expect the body of the rocket to come down some time around Saturday or Sunday and warned it was difficult to predict where it will land and when. 16 t is not just that the totally inept national healthcare management has made the second wave of Covid-19 more lethal than it ought to have been. It’s that pandemic profiteering by vultures in the system has amplified patient distress and even led to loss of lives. From oximeters to oxygen to ambulances to hospital beds and life saving medicines, the prices of all of them have jumped manifold. Even in states that imposed a price cap on those services, there is hardly any regulatory system to curb fleecing. Amid a surge in Covid cases, the demand for hand sanitisers, masks, pulse oximeters and thermal scanners has gone up. With no cap in the pricing or mechanism to ensure quality, the market is flooded with low-quality products. For example, a pulse oximeter which used to cost around `300 a few months ago now costs upwards of `3,000 in many states. In Tamil Nadu, an oximeter was priced at `700 in March. But one has to shell out `3,000 to buy it now. The inflation in price is almost the same across the country — from around `900 before the pandemic to up to `3,500 now. According to sources, medical shops get branded oximeters priced between `900 and `5,000, for which MRP is charged. However, products from some Chinese companies will not have MRPs on them. “This is where overpricing occurs. Though the cost is only `700-1,200, medical shops charge up to three times that amount,” said a source. The demand, as well as price, of infrared thermal scanners has also shot up. “During the first wave, the price of infrared thermal scanners had gone up and later the demand declined. Till recently the price was , around `500. But now the price has gone up to `1500-2,000 again,” said All Kerala Chemist and Druggist Association’s Ernakulam district presi- SATURDAY VELLORE newindianexpress com 08 05 2021 Despite challenges in these desperate times, many NGOs, organisations and volunteers are actively engaged in helping those in need by providing food, shelter, running errands, animal care...you name it. These selfless bunch of people are keeping the spirit of humanity alive. In the first of a series, here’s the list of a few KERALA Sahrudaya, charitable organisation HAND OF GOOD Sahrudaya, a charitable organization under Ernakulam-Angamaly Archdiocese of the Syro Malabar Church, caters to the needs of the destitute in the district under its project ‘Karunya Sparsham’. Food packets are distributed on all weekends. lockdown. Oncologists will attend to cases through video calls. People For Animals (PFA) Rajiv Youth Foundation Ernakulam 0484-2344243 The organisation has been engaged in rescue and rehabilitation, feeding and taking care of animals. PFA provides shelter for pets when all family members are Covid positive. Thiruvanathapuram 9061607700 Fr Davis Chiramel’s Hunger Hunt Fr Davis Chiramel, Founder of Kidney Federation of India, is engaged in feeding those requiring food anywhere in Kerala. This priest has started another humanitarian effort to provide food for those in his locality — Thrissur — in coordination with a group of people. Thrissur 9447883378 Rakshak Accident and Rescue Service Angamaly (Ernakulam) 9847048674 Malapurram email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Annapoorna Charitable foundation The NGO distributes food kits to the poor in society. Providing food and essential items to those who are in need during the pandemic. Also helping in blood donation. Kannur 94477 35845 The volunteers have stepped into social service like, giving food to the beggars, protecting animals, taking care of around 200 palliative patients and providing ambulance services. Mattannur, Kannur 0490 2473512 As the cyber crime increases during covid with people claiming to sell remdesivir injections and other covid related resources. The organisation helps people to file cyber crime complaints. Hyderabad 9133266399 https://twitter.com/cyberjagrithi Feed the needy Hyderabad Hyderabad 9866006269 @nfw_hyderabad Shakina Foundation Rikit Shahi Delivery of commodities or run errand for any one in home isolation in Khairatabad area Hachiko They are delivering medicines at the doorsteps of elderly people, epsecially those who cannot venture out due to the the pandemic Kochi For Speech and Hearing Impaired National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) has launched a 24*7 helpline exclusively for speech and hearing-impaired persons. The helpline offer counselling services to stressrelated issues in addition to answering queries and concerns relating to Covid-19. Sign language interpreters are available to attend the WhatsApp video calls. 9446750983, 9496918178, Anywhere 9249505723. Their cancer care campaign under Caritas India has launched a telemedicine helpline for cancer patients who can’t travel to hospitals during the 9061080017 Kochi Khairatabad, Hyderabad 9963033832 9746061123 AMBULANCE HELP All Kerala Ambulance Owners and Drivers Association has been on the forefront of helping people reach hospitals on time. They help make available vehicles in areas which has a dearth of it anywhere in the state. Hyderabad 9566170334 Seva Bharthi The organisation is providing beds in Covid Isolation Center at at RVK School, Annojiguda, for mild and asymptomatic cases. It is free. Hyderabad 040-48212529 Covid Surge Impact Alliance Chennai Chennai Helps in finding covid resources. They can verify resources leads. 99405 63528 9884089770 Karunai Ullangal The group runs free emergency rescue vehicles to transfer patients from one hospital to another, get CT and other scans or pick up and drop services to and from government hospitals. They have two vehicles with oxygen, one normal rescue van and an auto. Chennai 9841776685 Pasi Illa Thamilaham The NGO is performing last rites of Covid victims along with a free hearse service. They bury or cremate the corpse and conduct rituals pertaining to the victim’s religion. They also distribute food for the homeless on Sundays. Tenkasi Relief riders Hachiko is a dedicated pet boarding, grooming and pet clinic in Vennala. Since March, Hachiko provides facilities for pets whose owners are in isolation or quarantine. Have clinic facilities, pet supplies and other facilities at the center. The foundation is providing free lunch to Covid patients in home quarantine. They have provided food to more than 2,800 patients around since they started last week. They help in buying groceries, essentials and over the counter medicines for Covid patients in home quarantine and senior citizens. The group has two doctors among them to verify the medicines. They plan to start food delivery. 7995404040 No food waste Providing Free Ambulance, free food and medicine kit to home isolated patients. They also provide oxygen cylinders (2 nos) and concentrators (2 nos) on free rent She takes care of pets especially dogs and has been offering her service to people who have been quarantined or hospitalised. She will visit the pets and feed them. 9847727088 Rajasthan Youth Association Cosmo Elite Foundation Relief Riders The group is helping people to coordinate with patients and donors for plasma donation. Also helping with ambulance service The foundation is providing free food, oxygen cylinder, isolation centres, medicine, oxygen on wheels Hyderabad 8008008012 Sachithra Soman The organization has been providing food for those in quarantine and also those suffering due to the lockdown, besides the poor. The central kitchen provides food for over 1,000 and this sometimes goes above 2,000. TAMIL NADU Cyber Jagrithi PET CARE Sehion Preshita Sangam Ashakiranam 9400778362 The Malappuram-based NGO provides home delivery of food kits and medicines to people during the lockdown. Mini Sports and Arts Club The service is providing help by getting medicines and other facilities for COVID care. The NGO helps people get medicines that are unavailable in their area. Those in need can contact Rakshak 24/7 Edakochi Alapuzha TELANGANA 88833 40888 Community kitchen Sridhar Vembu, CEO of Zoho, announced that his company’s community kitchen has begun providing meals to people in Tenkasi. People who have been struggling for food can get a meal there. Tenakasi 97914 26564 R Soya (Self help group in coordination with Tirunelveli Corporation) They distribute food to approximately 1500 people every day. They are also providing shelter at two homes for the homeless (at the Corporation as well as at a shelter near the high ground in the city) ANDHRA Seven Hills Arcade Residents of this society have set up provisions to distribute food to patients in home isolation. Report needed to avail free services. Vidyanagar (Tirupati) 7382013870/9100640979 YMJ Trust Provides food to patients’ relatives who wait at government and private hospitals. The trust also offers financial help to those in need and provide an ambulance service Kanniyakumari 7010259901 Ambulance service, hearse vans and last rites of Covid victims. Also distribution of food to those in need, especially during Sunday lockdowns. Aruppukottai (Virudhunagar) 98421 22046 / 7010763134 Virudhai Vizhudhugal Distribution of food to the homeless as well as other programmes like door delivery of items to patients in isolation. Virudhunagar 99941 81139 Anbaal Inaivom Ilaignargal Sangam Distribution of food to the homeless as well as those in quarantine. Also supply of medicines and food if there is demand. Subsidisation of grocery items in villages and town area Sivakasi 73392 37879 Aram Trust Last rites of Covid patients and, distribution of food and medicines to isolating patients. Rajapalayam 93453 96026 90807 70910 / FOOD ON PUSHCART To cater to the needs of daily-wage labourers, who have lost their source of income due to Covid, a financier has come up with a novel way to give them food. He places food parcels and bananas in a pushcart near Gobichettipalayam bus stand Gobichettipalayam SRI SATHYA SAI SEVA ORGANISATIONS The organisation will be providing lunch to patients in isolation from Saturday. Salem Student organisation A team of students working in an organisation is supplying medicines and other essential commodities to Covid patients in home isolation Gudur, Nellore Rajesh Udhavum Karangal 9994349579, 9487569702 PET CARE Nari Sena Global Women Forum The forum is providing free food for Covid positive patients in home isolation. Visakhapatnam 9603648754, 7893656403, 8106407087 Homemade Goodness Providing free food to families in home isolation. Visakhapatnam Carbon emissions from energy dropped 040-67419503 covidhelphyd Tirunelveli 9976649066 Sarella of Future-India Foundation is delivering food packets to people in home isolation. Vijayawada 8317553253 Cooking food The cooking teacher, who is also part of Art of Living, and her team are providing food packets to those in home Isolation and unable to cook Vijayawada 9618000399 Sanjeevini Seva Trust V Venkataramana Reddy of the trust is helping in transporting unclaimed bodies of Covid victims and performing their last rites. Anantapur 9440476651 Life World Charitable Trust Uday Kumar of Life World Charitable Trust in Hindupur of Anantapur district, with the help of his friends, is performing last rites of victims. Hindupur 9908052099 Spandana Organisation Providing patients food to those in home isolation and takes care of other necessities without charge. Also performing last rites. Kadapa 998556385 The Bashas Urvanam The animal rescue group offers free pet care if families are down with Covid. They take care of dogs, cats, birds and fish. Madurai 6300667177 Satish Savitri Sarella SK Mehaboob Basha and brother SK Jillani are providing free food and operating ambulances for free transportation of patients to hospitals and shifting bodies to burial grounds. t h e b r i g h te r s ide : P 1 2 9895261141, 9846021141 9505908258 9940832133 Kadapa 9441030986 Everest open but get tested, keep distance Britain wants climate finance for poor nations by 10% in dent EU last year P V Tomy . It is the same story for essential drugs. A pharmacist working in a private hospital in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu said Covid patients are fleeced by private hospitals and pharmacies in several hearing in a small theropod suggest it was a moonlight predator Night vision and superb ways. “Ulinastatin, Methylprednisolone Sodium Succinate, and Enoxaparin Sodium injections are currently sold three times their MRPs. A respiratory exerciser worth `250 is sold for `900 in the pharmacies attached to hospitals. A high concentration oxygen mask worth `300 is sold for `1,100,” he added. An official with the Tenkasi govENVIRONMENT CLIMATE CHANGE BRUSSELS: Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion dropped 10 per cent in the European Union last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates from the EU’s statistical office. Eurostat said in a statement Friday that emissions fell in all of the EU’s 27 member nations compared to 2019 as governments imposed lockdown measures to slow the spread of the virus. Greece recorded the largest decrease (-18.7per cent), followed by Estonia (-18.1per cent), Luxembourg (-17.9per cent), Spain (-16.2per cent) and Denmark (-14.8per cent). The countries with the smallest reductions were Malta (-1per cent), Hungary (-1.7per cent), Ireland (-2.6per cent) and Lithuania (-2.6per cent). Eurostat said the sources of the cutbacks varied. ‘The largest decreases were seen for all types of coals. The consumption of oil and oil products also decreased in almost all member states, while natural gas consumption decreased only in 15 member states and increased or stayed at the same level in the 12 others,’ the office said. CO2 emissions from energy consumption account for about 75per cent of all man-made greenhouse gases in the EU. The amounts produced are influenced by many factors, including economic growth, transportation and industrial activities. As part of the ‘European Green Deal,” the EU has committed itself to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Brussels is also aiming to become ‘climate-neutral’ by midcentury . Scientists say this goal needs to be achieved to keep average global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) by the year 2100. ADVENTURE MEDAN (INDONESIA): Indon e s i a ’s r u m bl i n g M o u n t Sinabung erupted Friday spew, ing a thick column of volcanic ash 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles) into the sky . Villages near the volcano in North Sumatra province have been relocated after past eruptions, and there were no further evacuations or casualties from the new blast. People have been advised to stay 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the crater’s mouth and to be aware of ashfall and avalanches of volcanic debris. Activity at the volcano was increasing, with at least 15 smaller eruptions recorded in the past week, said Armen Putra, an official at the Sinabung monitoring post. ‘The potential for eruption is still high. There will be more eruption in the near future,’ Putra said. Sinabung is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, and some 30,000 people have been forced to leave nearby homes in the past few years. Sinabung is among more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which is located on the ‘Ring of Fire,’ an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Ocean. BEIJING: China has opened Mount Everest’s norther n slope to a few dozen mountaineers who will be tested for the coronavirus and must keep their distance while ascending the world’s highest peak. Both Nepal and China closed the mountain to foreign climbers last year because of the pandemic. Nepal has allowed in foreign climbers this season despite a surging COVID-19 outbreak, and at least one climber, a Norwegian, confirmed last month he had contracted the virus. Nepal mountaineering officials have denied any outbreak on the mountain, citing only altitude sickness and other ailments common in the cold, harsh, low-oxygen environment where climbers stay in close quarters. This week, the Himalayan nation halted all flights as part of a strict lockdown of its capital and major cities amid its recent surge. In contrast, China, where COVID-19 first emerged, has now largely contained domestic transmission of the virus, but it has maintained restric- tions such as health checks and is on guard against imported cases. The 38 people who were issued Chinese permits to climb the peak, known as Qomolongma in Tibetan, must come from parts of China that are at low risk for infection and must show a clean bill of health before attempting the summit, state media reported Friday . They must undergo temperature checks regularly use bot, tled oxygen and stay 4 meters (13 feet) from other climbers at the summit. They will be provided masks, thermometers and disinfectant. Climbing schedules from the south side of the mountain, which is in Nepal, will be consulted so packs of climbers don’t meet, said Nyima Tsering, head of the bureau overseeing Chinese climbing operations. People not registered to climb on the Chinese side are strictly barred from that side. Last year, China used the break in climbing to haul some 6 tons of garbage off the mountain that has attracted everlarger groups of climbers enabled by commercial mountaineering companies. Since the individual bony ossicles of these rings fell apart after these animals died more than 60 million years ago, our team made scans of the fossils and then digitally reconstructed the eyes. Of all the theropods we examined, H. sollers and S. deserti had some of the proportionally largest pupils. S. deserti‘s pupil made up more than half of its eye, very similar to night-vision specialists that live today like geckos and nightjars. In today’s nocturnal animals, hearing can be as important as keen eyesight. To figure out how well these extinct dinosaurs could hear, we scanned the skulls of 17 fossil theropods to decipher structure of their inner ears and then compared our scans to the ears of modern animals. All vertebrates have a tubelike canal called the cochlea in their inner ear. Studies of living mammals and birds show the longer this canal, the wider the range of frequencies an animal can hear and the better they can hear very faint sounds. SPEWING FIRE Mount Sinabung erupted in North Sumatra on Friday I AP SIGHT-KICK PALEONTOLOGY Today, barn owls, bats, leopards and many other animals rely on their keen senses to live and hunt under the dim light of stars. These nighttime specialists avoid the competition of daylight hours, hunting their prey under the cloak of darkness, often using a combination of night vision and acute hearing. But was there nightlife 100 million years ago? In a world without owls or leopards, were dinosaurs working the night shift? If so, what senses did they use to find food and avoid predators in the darkness? To better understand the senses of dinosaur ancestors of birds, our team of paleontologists and paleobiolo gists scoured research papers and museum collections looking for fossils that preserved delicate eye and ear structures. And we found some. Using scans of fossilised dinosaur skulls, in a paper published in the journal Science on May 6, 2021, we describe the most convincing evidence to date for nocturnal dinosaurs. Two fossil species – Haplocheirus sollers and Shuvuuia deserti – likely had extremely good night vision. But our work also shows that S. deserti also had incredibly sensitive hearing similar to modern-day owls. This is the first time these two traits have been found in the same fossil, suggesting that this small, desertdwelling dinosaur that lived in ancient Mongolia was probably a specialised night-hunter of insects and small mammals. Looking to theropods By studying fossilised eye bones, one of us, Lars Schmitz, had previously found that some small predatory dinosaurs may have hunted at night. Most of these potentially nocturnal hunters were theropods, the group of three-toed dinosaurs that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds. But to date, fossils for only 12 theropod species included the eye structures that can tell paleontologists about night vision. Eye bones for night Scleral ossicles are thin, rectangular bone plates that form a ring-like structure surrounding the pupils of lizards as well as birds and their ancestors – dinosaurs. Scleral rings define the largest possible size of an animal’s pupil and can tell you how well that animal can see at night. The larger the pupil compared to the size of the eye, the better a dinosaur could see in the dark. The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a Karnataka High Court order, directing the Centre to raise the state’s daily oxygen allocation to 1,200 MT. The order came on a day the Karnataka government opted for a fortnight lockdown from May 10 to 24 amid a crippling shortage of oxygen and a massive spike in fresh cases and deaths. The state recorded 49,058 cases and 592 on Friday . “We do not want to leave the citizens of Karnataka in the lurch. The HC order is a careful, calibrated and judicial exercise of power. We see no reason to entertain the Special Leave continued on: P8 F i r s t p e r s on a c c o u nt O2 supplier We were told to cheated us pay `5L upfront when my oxygen saturation plummeted to 88%, I was recommended an oxygen concentrator, a device that separates and supplies oxygen from ambient air. We were told the selling price was`90,000 but rental would be only `22,000. As we could not afford the price, we chose to rent it. Later, through a doctor, we found that the actual rental was only `4,000 and the device’s price less than `45,000. We had to borrow money to get the concentrator on rent. Cheating people in times of distress is inhuman S Prabhakar, T Nagar SC throws out plea against K’taka HC raising O2 quota K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi ernment hospital said private hospitals were paying `10,000-13,000 bribe to health workers for referring Covid patients to them. “The amount spent on bribing does not matter to these hospitals as they collect `1.5-6 lakh from each Covid patient,” he added. Similarly, private ambulance charges have also risen multiple times. If the charge was `1,000 for a certain distance before the pandemic, it would be around `7,000 now. Sangeeta Mishra, a resident of Uppal in Hyderabd hired an ambulance to ferry a Covid-19 patient to a hospital in Secunderabad — a distance of 10 km. It cost her `15,000. There have been many cases of people shelling out more than `30,000 for ferrying patients within the city limits. Getting admission in hospitals has never been so difficult. Many hospitals in Hyderabad demand an upfront payment of `5 lakh saying initial charges will be drawn from the same. And, people are willing pay this due to scarcity of beds in government hospitals. Petition,” said a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud. Earlier, solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the bench that HCs should refrain from passing orders on immediate supply of oxygen. “We are trying our best to solve the problem. If every high court starts to pass orders, then it will lead to a complete breakdown of pandemic management,” Mehta said. While assuring to set up a panel to revi sit oxygen allocation, the bench questioned the Centre’s rationale behind allocating oxygen from far-flung places after the Karnataka government pointed out that it could not pick up 30 MT earmarked for it from a distant port. e x p r e s s r ead Shankar Jiwal named Chennai City Commissioner Chennai: In a major shuffle of senior IPS officers in the State, the Home Department late on Friday night issued orders posting Additional Director General of Police, Shankar Jiwal as the new Commissioner of Police, Chennai, replacing Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal. In other changes, Coimbatore CoP S Davidson Devasirvatham has been appointed ADGP, Intelligence, Chennai, and ADGP P Thamarai Kannan replaces Dr K Jayanth Murali as ADGP, Law and Order, Chennai | ENS NATIONWIDE My brother tested positive for Covid and on April 15 was rushed to Abhaya Medical Care Centre at AV Road in Rajamahendravaram. They checked him and gave prescription for 10 days and suggested home isolation. However, during home isolation, he experienced breathing problems. We rushed him to hospital again, where after a battery of tests, they asked us to pay `2.5 lakh to get an oxygen bed but at the last minute said there were no beds. We hired an ambulance and took him to different hospitals, where we were asked to pay `5 lakh Basheer Ahmed, East Godavari Prioritise 2nd dose recipients: Centre S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The Centre on Friday directed the state governments to prioritise the second-dose beneficiaries during the inoculation drive to ensure the recommended schedule is maintained. It also advised them to utilise the supplies made out of the Central pool in 70:30 ratio for the second and first doses, respectively . The advisory comes amid concerns that an acute shortage of vaccines might result in a many seconddose recipients missing out on their scheduled jabs. It came in the backdrop of anecdotal reports of many first-jab beneficiaries in the 45 plus age group struggling for slots. The recommended gap between two doses of Covaxin is 4-6 weeks; for Covishield the interval is 6-8 weeks. MAY 6 MAY 7 Fresh cases 4,12,262 4,14,188 Recoveries 3,29,113 3,31,507 Deaths 3,980 3,915 tamil nadu may 6 may 7 Fresh cases 24,898 26,465 Recoveries 21,546 22,381 195 197 Deaths Jab-o-meter Take your shot May 6: 22,98,530 doses May 7: 21,27,057 doses Total doses 16,71,64,452 Here’s a look at the five key announcements CM MK Stalin signed off on Friday 1 Governor Banwarilal Purohit greets Chief Minister MK Stalin after swearing-in ceremony on Friday | P4 | ashwin prasath E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai Shortly after swearing-in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, at a simple function held at Raj Bhavan in Chennai on Friday MK Stalin , signed off on five key announcements. The major one was provision of `2,000 first phase Corona relief to all ration cardholders in the State, at a total cost of `4,153.39 crore. Over 2.07 crore cardholders will benefit from this. Further, the price of Aavin milk has been cut by `3 per litre, and it will come into force on May 16. Free travel for women in all ordinaryfare buses run by public transport corporations, within cities, was also announced. The `1,200-crore burden this will place on the corporations will be refunded by the State. The CM also declared that the State will foot the medical bills of those undergoing treatment at private hospitals for Covid, under the CM’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme. He has also announced the formation of a separate department to address public grievances, who handed over petitions to him during the campaign. The department will take steps to address these petitions within 100 days. `2,000 as first phase Corona relief to all ration cardholders in the State 2 Aavin milk price reduced by `3/litre 3 Free travel for women in all ordinary-fare buses run within cities 4 State government to foot medical bills of those under Covid treatment at private hospitals, under CMCHIS 5 Formation of a separate department to address public grievances within 100 days TN bureaucracy rejig: ‘Clean hands’ take over E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai In the first bureaucracy rejig after the new government took charge on Friday, ‘clean hands’ were given prominent posts. Dr V Irai Anbu has been appointed the Chief Secretary, replacing Rajeev Ranjan, who has been posed as the CMD of Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Limited. Anbu was heading the Anna Institute of Management during V Irai Anbu the previous AIADMK regime. Chief Secretary He is considered a fair administrator, and is known to spruce up the government machinery to provide effective governance. Meanwhile, T Udhayachandran, a 1995 batch IAS officer, T Udhayachandran has been appointed the First Sec- First Secretary to CM retary to CM. Dr P Umanath, who was heading the TN Medical Services Corporation has been appointed the Second Secretary MS Shanmugham, Com. P Umanath missioner of Museums, and Anu George, Industries Commission- Second Secretary to CM er, have also been appointed Secretaries to the CM. Udhayachandran had been instrumental in exposing the TNPSC scam. He had filed a complaint with the then Chief Secretary, following which the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption registered graft case against the then TNPSC chairman, Sellamuthu and all 13 members of the commission. P4
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