BHUBANESWAR l Saturday l may 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Chipko movement pioneer Sunderlal Bahuguna dead Sunderlal Bahuguna 9 January 1927 21 May 2021 Cremated with full state honours The 94-year-old environmentalist died of Covid-19 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Rishikesh on Friday 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 Direction to provide two ambulances each in 97,000 villages with ICU beds impossible to implement within a month, agrees bench Breather to UP as SC stays HC’s ‘Ram Bharose’ order 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? Need thorough study 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. Beginning 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 (ferritin level), uncontrolled blood sugar and humidification systems for oxygen that makes it appropriate for 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 A senior doctor at AIIMS, Delhi said she has been treating autoimmune disease patients with steroids for years but mucormycosis cases were rare. “Something has changed now. Whether it is the use of industrial oxygen or the way oxygen has been instituted in health facilities, I am not sure. That is for researchers to find out.” the spores to infect patients,” he said. The sudden and unprecedented rise in mucormycosis cases, however, has prompted S P Kalantri, a senior doctor and medical researcher at MGIMS, like many others in different parts of India, to question whether the popular perception that indiscriminate use of steroids, suppressed immunity his, tory of diabetes and unhygienic conditions in 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 over the months,” he said adding that more research is required to understand the rise in the disContinued on: P8 ease. ODISHA Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths MAY 20 11,498 9,870 25 MAY 21 12,523 10,881 27 EXPRESS READ Tarun Tejpal acquited in 2013 sexual assault case Panaji: A sessions court in Goa on Friday acquitted journalist Tarun Tejpal of sexually assaulting a woman colleague. Tejpal, Tehelka’s ex-editor-inchief, was accused of sexually assaulting her at a Goa hotel in 2013 | P8 Twitter told to drop manipulated media tag New Delhi: The Centre objected to Twitter using manipulated media tag for tweets on an alleged Congress toolkit and asked it to remove it. It also made it clear that the platform cannot pass judgment on sub judice issues | P7 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.” Hemant Kumar Rout Until a fortnight ago Dudpal village in Bhograi block of Balasore district did not have a single Covid case. Now the village has 42 cases listed by the local administration. The infection spread in the village after a group of migrants returned from their workplace. Locals said the returnees infected their families and six to eight members from each family have now tested positive. Most of them are in home isolation. With the State government insisting patients to remain in home isolation, people with symptoms are ignoring tests and are in self medication as they fear villagers will not al- system will move northwestwards and intensify into a cyclonic storm by Monday, With the south-west monsaid Umasankar Das, Sciensoon onset coinciding with tist, Bhubaneswar Meteoroformation of a low pressure logical Centre. over Bay of Bengal which is The cyclonic storm will likely to turn into a tropical continue to move north-weststorm, the India Meteorologwards, intensify further and ical Department (IMD) on reach Odisha-West Bengal Friday issued a yelcoast around May 26 l ow w a r n i n g f o r morning. Advanceheavy rainf all at ment of south-west many places of the monsoon will favour State beginning May Squally winds cyclogenesis which is reaching a 25. expected to take place The State Govern- speed of 40-50 after the low pressure ment alerted coastal km/hr likely to intensifies into a welldistricts to remain in prevail along marked low pressure and off readiness as Puri, Odisha-West on Sunday . Khurda, Cuttack, Bengal coasts Squally winds Balasore, Bhadrak, from Monday reaching a speed of 40 Jajpur, Kendrapara km to 50 km/hr and evening and Jagatsinghpur gusting up to 60 km/ Met office may get heavy rain hr are likely to prewhile parts of Ganvail over north Bay of jam, Dhenkanal and MayurBengal, along and off Odisbhanj are likely to receive ha-West Bengal-Bangladesh showers on Wednesday . coasts from Monday evening. The Met office said a cyThe wind speed may pick up clonic circulation lies over from Tuesday evening. Fishsouth-east and adjoining ermen in the deep sea area central Bay of Bengal and have been advised to return the low pressure area is liketo the coast by May 23, said CONTINUED ON: P5 ly to form on Saturday. The Das. Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar More cyclone shelters to ensure safe distance Wedding ride A newly married couple cross the Hooghly on a boat during Covid-induced lockdown, in Bengal’s Nadia district on Friday | PTI Rural Odisha gasps with 2 lakh Covid cases @ Bhubaneswar May 20 Take 14,56,088 doses your May 21 shot 13,83,358 doses Total doses: 19,32,97,222 Jab-o-meter 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 Low pressure, monsoon band together, rains to follow INFECTION SURGE RURAL URBAN 17 to 98,134 cases, 65,970 40 age 75 deaths cases, group 40 deaths 55,616 44,187 (41-60yrs) All age groups (41-60yrs) 14,403 13,514 14,042 8,669 (60+yrs) (60+yrs) (below 16 yrs) Deaths (below 16 yrs) infections 2 kids 132 infections 1 child 40 (41-60 yrs) 67 senior citizens youths 102 middle-aged low them to stay at home if they come to know that they are positive. Unlike the previous year, the panchayat level quarantine centres are not available. Close to West Bengal, several villages in Bhograi have been affected as people in border areas frequent the neighbouring State despite the restrictions. A former Zilla Parisad member Ashish Mohanty says once detected positive, it is difficult to remain in home isolation in a complex family pattern in villages. “Every third family has a suspect Covid patient. But many have not tested. Since there is no isolation facility available at GP level and the patients are deprived of required treatment at cluster isolation centres, people are preferring to adopt symptomatic treatment at home. Such people are helping the infection to spread as they do not follow quarantine protocol,” he said. The Covid-19 infection spread in rural Odisha is fast and furious in the second wave. Hundreds of miles away from the urban localities, the virus has reached the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups who were relatively untouched in the first wave. Health department sources said of the 3.14 lakh cases and 502 deaths reported till May 18 this year, 1.82 lakh cases and 276 deaths were from rural pockets. Rural Odisha is paying heavy price this pandemic as the State government has failed to improve testing and treatment infrastructure. Although 74 Covid hospitals and Covid Care Centres have been set up across the State, they are mostly located in towns CONTINUED ON: P5 or cities. Bhubaneswar: The State government on Friday asked the collectors of coastal districts to be prepared with more cyclone shelters to maintain safe distance between affected people who will be shifted to these facilities as the system in the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm on May 24 | P3 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 RBI hands out generous dividend amounting to 0.5% of GDP to govt S e sa S e n @ New Delhi 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 ow- ing 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. Revenues 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 fis- Big transfer Year 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* *RBI is transitioning to April-March accounting year (earlier July-June). Hence, FY22 is a 9-month year (July ’20- March ’21) Source: RBI cal deficit target of 6.8% of the GDP. RBI’s surprise handout may have been driven by higher returns 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. 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. Israel Hamas agree to ceasefire after days of deadly fighting PAGE 9
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