PTI WARANGAL SATURDAY MAY 22, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION CHIPKO MOVEMENT PIONEER SUNDERLAL BAHUGUNA DEAD The 94-year-old environmentalist died of Covid-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh on Friday SUNDERLAL BAHUGUNA 9 JANUARY 1927 21 MAY 2021 CREMATED WITH FULL STATE HONOURS ROPED IN VILLAGERS TO SAVE FORESTS Bahuguna had been undergoing treatment in the hospital since May 8. He was cremated with full state honours at the Poornanand Ghat. He, along with other environmentalists launched Chipko in 1973 in Uttarakhand (then part of UP) as a nonviolent social and ecological movement of villagers to protect trees slated for government-backed logging | P7 ■ ■ Chipko means to embrace. The activists, mostly led by village women, would hug the trees and stay put often chaining themselves to the trunks so that loggers could not cut them. Such protests not only slowed down forest destruction but also brought the issue of deforestation to the public’s attention 5,000 km BAHUGUNA LED A PROTEST MARCH ACROSS HIMALAYAS DURING 1981-1983 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 Breather to UP as SC stays HC’s ‘Ram Bharose’ order Direction to provide two ambulances each in 97,000 villages with ICU beds impossible to implement within a month, agrees bench K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi A doctor treats a patient infected with mucormycosis at the NSCB Medical College and Hospital in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, on Friday | PTI Industrial O2 tied to black fungus spurt? S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi AT the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) in Sevagram in Wardha, a major tertiary care centre in rural Maharashtra, nearly 4,000 Covid-19 patients had undergone treatment before March this year. None developed mucor mycosis, a deadly fungal disease that is posing a fresh challenge to the healthcare system in India. Be ginning April through the first week of May, when nearly 1,000 Covid patients were treated at MGIMS, 20 of them went on to develop mucormycosis, which has a reported fatality rate of nearly 50%. At present, the hospital has at least 15 patients of black fungus, in which a group of molds infect sinuses, lungs and the brain. Raymond Savio, a critical care expert from Chennai, explains that there are multiple reasons for this fungus to infect those with Covid-19. “It’s a combination of the virus, nature of treatment, steroid and other immune-suppressants, nature of body’s response to Covid infection, uncontrolled blood sugar and humidification systems for O2 that makes it appropriate for the spores to infect patients,” he said. The sudden rise in mucormycosis cases, however, has prompted S P Kalantri, a senior doctor and medical researcher at MGIMS, to question whether the popular perception that indiscriminate use of steroids, suppressed immunity, history of diabetes and unhygienic ICUs may be triggering this spurt in cases. “It’s my assumption and I may be completely wrong but maybe Covid-19 virus and mucor are now hunting together. Something about the Covid-19 virus has changed,” he said adding more research is reCONTINUED ON P8 quired A Supreme Court bench on Friday stayed a bunch of orders on Covid management issued by the Allahabad High Court to the Uttar Pradesh government recently, agreeing they were impossible to implement. It also advised high courts dealing with Covid cases to refrain from dealing with issues that have trans-national and inter national ramifications, since the top court itself is seized of pan-India matters. The Allahabad High Court had on May 17 ordered the UP government to upgrade its health facilities on a war footing, specifically directing it to provide two ambulances with ICU facilities to each village within a month. But a Supreme Court bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and Bhushan Gavai agreed with the state’s position, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, that UP has 97,000 villages and an order of this magnitude was impossible to implement within the HC’s deadline. “We are of the opinion that high courts should normally consider the possibility of execution of their directions. If such directions cannot be implemented, then such orders may not be passed. The doctrine of impossibility is equally applicable to courts,” the No stay on further proceedings “We are staying the order but we are not staying the proceedings before the Allahabad High Court. The matter be listed on July 14,” the Supreme Court bench said while appointing senior advocate Nidesh Gupta as amicus curiae to assist in the matter bench said. It added that the high court’s May 17 order can be treated as advice and not directives. The Allahabad High Court has been scathing in its observations of the state government’s handling of the pandemic, going to the extent of saying that the state’s healthcare system is Ram Bharose (at God’s mercy). Mehta also sought a direction from the bench to transfer all Covid-19 related matters pending in various high courts to benches headed by their respective chief justices. “In Allahabad High Court, there are other PILs which is listed before other benches in which notice has been issued. Similar cases in other high courts too. But let such matters be placed before only Chief Justice-led benches,” he urged. However, the court said it could not pass such sweeping orders as the constitution of benches was the prerogative of the chief justice of the high court. “We cannot demoralise the high courts,” it said. At this, Mehta said, “Health infrastructure can never be ignored. But these directions are impossible to comply with...we understand the anxiety of the court. But this is a matter of concern. Courts should also have some judicial restraint and not pass orders which are difficult to implement.” THE Reserve Bank of India on Friday sprang a pleasant surprise for the Centre, announcing a handsome dividend of `99,122 crore for FY22. Constituting 0.5% of the GDP this is , more than double the Budget estimate of `45,000 crore and comes as a major relief for the gover nment reeling under strained public finances owing to the pandemic. The surplus transfer will help the Centre provide more pandemic relief measures. However, RBI’s generosity may not be enough. In FY22, the government expenditure is set at `34.83 lakh crore. Reve- Big transfer Dividend (J cr) FY14 33,010 FY15 52,679 FY16 65,876 FY17 65,876 FY18 30,659 FY19 50,000 FY20 1,75,987 FY21 57,128 FY22 99,122* Year *RBI is transitioning to April-March accounting year (earlier July-June). Hence, FY22 is a 9-month year (July ’20- March ’21) Source: RBI nues may come in at `16.5 lakh crore. So, the government will still have to raise `1.75 lakh crore via disinvestments to pursue its FY22 fiscal deficit target of 6.8% of the GDP . RBI’s surprise handout may have been driven by higher re- Cyclonic storm likely to hit Odisha-West Bengal coast EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Vijayawada THE India Meteorological Department, which predicted formation of a low pressure area over East Central Bay of Bengal and adjoining North Andaman Sea around May 22, in its updated forecast said, “Cyclonic circulation over Southwest Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood now lies over Southeast and adjoining Central Bay of Bengal between 3.1 km & 5.8 km above mean sea level. A low pressure area is very likely to form over East Central Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Andaman Sea around May 22.” The low pressure is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 24 and reach Odisha -West Bengal Coast around May 26 morning. R I D H I M A G U P TA @ Hyderabad THE second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought along with it multiple fears — contracting the virus yourself, near and dear ones getting affected, the ever-increasing death toll and a teetering health infrastructure. This has resulted in all-time high levels of stress and anxiety among people. “Hope you are safe”, is usually the first message people greet each other with these days. Psychological counselling helplines, started either by the police and city activists, are constantly buzzing as the new wave has taken a toll on the mental health People are anxious of people. Rachikonda police’s Psycho- for different reasons. Some are Social Helpline received around 206 calls scared about their from May 10 to May 20. The helpline was parents and launched last year soon after the pan- children getting demic broke and was restarted on May 10 infected. Others, especially women, as the Covid cases began to climb. Rachakonda police say there has been talk about a multiple increase in calls from people challenges of seeking mental help as compared to the working from home. Closure of last wave. Around 14 counsellors are cur- institutions are rently offering advice through the hel- adding to worries pline. “People are anxious about differ- of many students ent reasons. Some are scared about their parents and children getting infected. Dr Anitha Are, Others, especially women, talk about psychologist working challenges of working from home. Clo- for Rachakonda police sure of schools and universities are also adding to the worries of many students,” says Dr Anitha Are, psychologist working for Rachakonda police. Krishna Mohan, another counsellor from the Rachakonda’s psycho-social counselling helpline, says, “Now, even the black fungus infection is a cause of concern. Those in leadership positions at government offices and private companies are calling in to get help with their mental health issues as they are receiving many SOS alerts, which are adding to CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 their stress.” Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths TIED UP IN KNOTS The city police check a bridegroom’s vehicle during lockdown at Madina Circle in the Old City of Hyderabad on Friday | VINAY MADAPU RBI hands out generous dividend amounting to 0.5% of GDP to govt S E SA S E N @ New Delhi STRESSED BY 2ND WAVE, MANY DIAL POLICE HELPLINE TELANGANA MAY 20 TELANGANA LAUNCHES HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR BLACK FUNGUS Hyderabad: For the prevention of mucormycosis, also known as black fungus, a rare but serious fungal infection, which is being detected frequently in Covid-19 patients, the State government on Friday launched homeopathic treatment developed by the Ayush Department. The treatment will be offered at Homeopathy Hospital in Ramanthapur, Hyderabad. In order to prevent mucormycosis among the Covid-19 patients, a protocol for treatment has been issued. The treatment prescribed is different for various conditions and the duration of courses range from five days to 30 days. HEAVY HEARTS turns from domestic assets. “RBI recently allowed itself to book profits on its forex transactions from a weighted average cost perspective. This move could have helped the central bank boost yields on its foreign asset holdings. Increased holdings of domestic government securities likely further amplified RBI’s income,” said Rahul Bajoria, Chief India Economist, Barkclays. According to Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA, the higher transfer will offer a buffer to the Centre to absorb the losses in indirect tax revenues that are anticipated in May-June 2021 due to the localised lockdowns. INSOLVENCY CODE Promoters liable for their companies’ debt, rules SC E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi IN what may make high-profile corporate honchos such as Anil Ambani personally liable for the loans their companies have taken but not repaid, the Supreme Court on Friday upheld the constitutional validity of the Centre’s November 15, 2019 circular that brought personal guarantors of corporate loans under the ambit of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The verdict has come as a major boost for banks, which can now seek recovery of dues from the promoter guarantors even while bankruptcy processes against the companies are pending. The order came on a plea by industrialists Anil Ambani, Kapil Wadhawan, Sanjay Singhal, and Venugopal Dhoot – whose firms are facing insolvency proceedings – challenging the 2019 notification. According to the promoters, the Centre targeted them though the law was for individuals, corporate guarantors as well as partnership firms. The SC held that the government’s intent was to implement the provisions of the IBC in a phased CONTINUED ON P10 manner. 3,660 4,826 23 MAY 21 3,464 4,801 25 The Psycho-Social Helpline of Rachikonda police received as many as 206 calls between May 10 and May 20 Sedition case: SC grants bail to Raghurama Raju E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E & P T I @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to rebel YSRC MP Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju, who was arrested in a sedition case by AP CID. A vacation bench of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai, while referring to Raju’s medical report received from the Army Hospital in Secunderabad, said it cannot be ruled out that the MP was ‘ill-treated’ in the custody . The apex court imposed several bail conditions on Raju, including that he should not give any interview to the media with regard to the case. On May 17, the top court had May 20 14,56,088 doses May 21 13,83,358 doses TOTAL DOSES: 19,32,97,222 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT ordered forthwith transfer of Raju to the Army Hospital in neighbouring Telangana from AP for medical examination and hospitalisation till further orders. Raju, an MP from Narasapuram, alleged that the sedition case was filed against him by the State police ‘because of political vendetta’ as he has been criticising the actions of his own party’. “Charges against the petitioner are not such that custodial interrogation should be required. Considering the totality of the plea and the health condition of the petitioner since he has undergone open heart surgery, we deem it fit that petitioner be enlarged on bail,” the SC order CONTINUED ON P5 reads. NATIONWIDE MAY 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 21 2,76,110 2,59,551 3,69,077 3,57,295 3,874 4,209 TWIST IN THE TONGUE God! I need a Tharoorosaurus, KTR tweets to classy Shashi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad CONGRESS leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor has lived upto his billing that he has a passion for farfetched and unpronounceable words. In a playful banter Tharoor reacted to Industries and IT minister K T Rama Rao’s tweet on him that he (Tharoor) may have had something to do with the nomenclature of the medicines used for treatment of Covid-19 and black fungus as all of them are difficult to pronounce. Tharoor, known for his bombastic style of English, replied to KTRs tweet, saying: “Not guilty! How can you indulge in such floccinaucinihilipilification.” Responding to this, Rama Rao said he had to run for a dictionary . On a lighter note, Rama Rao first tweeted on Thursday night wondering who had come up with such unpronounceable names for medicines like Posaconazole, Cresemba, Tocilzumab, Remdesivir, Lipo- somal Amphoterecin, Flav i p i r av i r, M o l n u p i r av i r, Baricitinib and tagged Shashi Tharoor: “I suspect Shashi Tharoor Ji Pakka has a role to play in this.” Shashi Tharoor on Friday tweeted: “Not guilty! How can you indulge in such floccinaucinihilipilification, @ KTRTRS? Left to me I’d happily call them “CoroNil”, “CoroZero”, & even “GoCoroNaGo!” But these pharmacists are more procrustean.... (sic).” In reply to Thiruvananthapuram MP’s comment, Rama Rao said: “Devudaaaa..... had to pull out a dictionary & Tharoorosaurus to comprehend. PS: loved the Coronil dig (sic).” The conversation between the two left the Twitterati in splits of laughter. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
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