tiruchy l monday l June 21, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late city EDITION `4L relief to covid victims not doable, centre tells SC The govt’s affidavit expressed inability to offer the proposed ex gratia as it would exhaust the disaster relief funds of states could affect pandemic response: Govt The Union home ministry was responding to a plea seeking minimum standards of relief to the relatives of Covid-19 victims. “Utilisation of scarce resources for giving ex-gratia, may have unfortunate consequences of affecting the pandemic response and health expenditure in other aspects and hence cause more damage than good,” the affidavit said ■ `1,313-cr ‘Don’t encroach on executive’s domain’ ■ The Centre said it is the authority that decides on such matters. This is not a matter where the Supreme Court should substitute its own judgment in place of the Executive’s decision, it argued The affidavit said the term ex gratia means it’s not based on legal entitlement. The matter will be heard by the SC on Monday given to states through national health mission for covid this year 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 All districts Weddings with up to 50 people allowed after getting e-pass from district administration (Exceptions - Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai) Emergency travel to Kodaikanal, Nilgris, Yercaud, Yelagiri and Kutralam allowed after getting e-pass from respective district Collectors Wholesale vegetable, fruit and flower markets permitted Railway, airport, sea port and associated operations and services permitted Normalcy nearer as lockdown lightened The State government has extended the lockdown till 6 am on June 28 with additional relaxations. Public transport within certain districts will resume from Monday, and in Chennai, Metro services too will resume. Districts have been placed in three categories, with separate rules for each. Here’s all you need to know red flags Kumbh testing scam: Sleeping at the wheel April was conducted in Haridwar, but they were able to detect alarmingly fewer positive cases than the rest of the state. The state’s positivity rate during April mirrors the new cases. An analysis of the official data showed Uttarakhand’s average positivity rate during the month was 14.18% while that of Haridwar district was 2.89%. That means Haridwar’s positivity rate during the Maha Kumbh was 80% less than the rest of state. The figures indicated two things: either fake testing was going on rampantly, or the numbers were covered up, deliberately or otherwise. But either way the authorities did not ap, pear to have smelt a rat. Haridwar district magistrate C Ravishankar attributed the low detection to rapid antigen tests. “Thousands of people were arriving daily and it was not possible to conduct RT-PCR test of everyone coming for the Kumbh.” Continued on: P7 V i n e e t U pa d h yay @ Dehradun There were clear red flags of Covid-19 testing irregularities in Haridwar during the Kumbh mela in April, but they don’t appear to have stirred the authorities into action, resulting in the testing scam being unearthed only last week. Official data analysed by this newspaper of testing and positivity rate during April 1-30, the duration of the Maha Kumbh 2021, showed that Haridwar conducted more tests than the rest of the state, but the number of positive cases detected was far less. During April 1-30, a total of 6,00,291 tests were conducted in Haridwar, of which only 17,375 positive cases were detected. During the same period, the rest of the 12 districts of the state conducted 4,42,432 tests and this showed 62,735 positive cases. In terms of percentage, almost 60% of all Covid tests in Coimbatore, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai Category 1 Can’t cut fuel prices now; it’s Centre’s fault, says PTR EXPRESS NEWS SER V ICE @ Chennai State Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan on Sunday said it is currently not possible to decrease fuel prices, and blamed the Central government, saying it tripled the tax per litre — from `10.39 in 2014 to `32.90 now. The DMK had promised to reduce fuel prices in its election manifesto. In the current situation, it is impossible to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel, the minister said. “In the name of cess and surcharge, the Union government is keeping all the money to itself. Earlier, about 45 per cent of the tax was the State’s share. However, the Central government is collecting cess and not even giving one per cent to States. Of the `32.90 tax, `31.50 is being kept by the Union government,” he added. As the result, the Union government’s share of tax increased from `2,40,000 crore in 2019-20 to `3,90,000 crore in 2020-21, the minister pointed out, adding that according to the 14th Finance Commission formula, the State must still get `336 crore. Existing lockdown continues Travel related to homes for children, differently-abled, mentally challenged, senior citizens and destitute women permitted with e-registration Inter-district travel for weddings and similar events not allowed Category 2 Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Dindigul, Kallakuruchi, Kanyakumari, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Perambalur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Ranipet, Sivaganga, Theni, Tenkasi, Tirunelveli, Tiruppattur, Tiruvannamalai, Thoothukudi, Tiruchirappalli, Viluppuram, Vellore, Virudhunagar Individual shops (including tea stalls): 6 am to 7 pm Hotels, restaurants, bakeries, e-commerce food-supply services: 6 am to 9 pm Beauty parlours, salons, spas (non-AC): 6 am to 7 pm Govt depts for essential services to function with 100% capacity | Continued on: P4 E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi THE Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to donate `10 crore to the Sports Ministry to support the Indian contingent that will take part in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to start on July 23. Interestingly the major, ity of the funds will be used for promotional activities of the Olympic-bound athletes. The BCCI will directly pay the agency handling the promotional campaign. On receiving the request from Relaxations given to ‘Category 2’ districts, plus: Roadside food stalls: 6 am to 7 pm (takeaway only) Public transport within and between these districts: With 50% of passengers, only in non-AC buses Call taxi and auto services permitted without e-registration Metro services permitted with 50% of passenger capacity Construction work permitted Private companies: With up to 50% of employees Potters and other handicraft workers: 9 am to 7 pm India on Sunday rebuffed concerns raised by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that the country’s new IT rules may hamper freedom of speech, saying such concerns were misplaced and the new rules were designed to empower ordinary users of social media. India’s Permanent Mission to the UN told the Special Procedures Branch of the UNHRC that the country’s democratic credentials are well recognised and the new rules were finalised after consultations with various stakeholders, according to a statement issued by the IT ministry . “The right to freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. The independent judiciary and a robust media are part of India’s democratic structure,” the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in the statement. “The rules are designed to empower ordinary users of social media. The victims of abuse on Fresh CBM to draw J&K leaders to meet F aya z W a n i @ Srinagar A day after the Centre sought to rev up political activity in J&K by calling an all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on June 24, authorities shifted detained PDP leader Waheed Para to Srinagar as a confidence building measure (CBM). Another senior PDP leader and Mehbooba Mufti’s maternal uncle SarDeal street taj Madni was released on Mufti had Saturday after nearly six made her months of detention as a participation in ‘goodwill gesture’. The twin the Delhi meet gestures are expected to conditional to brighten the chances of Mufthe release of ti attending the meet. With the Opposition GupSartaj Madni and Waheed kar alliance deciding to hold Para. While its strategy session on TuesMadni was day, major J&K political released on players on Sunday went into Saturday, Para a huddle with their senior was shifted to party leaders take a call on a Srinagar Jail participation. PDP’s Polition Sunday cal Affairs Committee was largely in favour of Mufti attending the Delhi meet, but party spokesman Suhail Bukhari said the final decision will be taken after Tuesday’s meeting. The Centre has invited 14 J&K leaders for the meet. While there is no ambiguity on the participation of 10, it remains to be seen whether Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar, Mufti — under detention in 2019 — and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami would attend it. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Sports ministry requests, BCCI donates `10cr the ministry the BCCI made the , decision at an emergent Apex Council meet on Sunday. During the meeting, the BCCI also decided to form a commmittee to decide on the compensation package for domestic cricketers. The Sports Ministry’s request to BCCI to fund promotional activity is curious. Does it mean the ministry lack funds? For its part, the ministry said its funding essentially goes towards sports development activities and not event promo- Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur India rebuts UN concerns on IT rules olympic support V e n k ata K r i s h n a B @ Chennai Category 3 tion. But apparently, the ministry is keen on creating buzz ahead of the Olympics, where it expects a record haul of medals, hence the outreach. “BCCI is helping the ministry on that front too. The campaign is handled by a private agency and the BCCI will pay them directly ,” said the ministry . The BCCI will also place expressions of interest to the ICC to host the 2028 T20 World Cup, 2031 WC and 2025 Champions Trophy . Based on the request received from the IOA/ MYAS, the Apex Council of BCCI has decided to extend support to the IOA and has pledged a monetary gesture of `10 crores Jay Shah, BCCI secretary social media platforms shall have a forum for redressal of their grievances,” it said. The special branch of the UNHRC had on June 11 raised concerns on a number of provisions in the new IT rules saying they do not appear to meet the requirement of international law and standards related to the right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression as protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, acceded to by India on April 10, 1979. express read Walk-in vaccinations Walk-in vaccinations for the 18-44 age group will begin from Monday as the Centre has relaxed its norms. Pre-registration on CoWIN app is no longer required NATIONWIDE june 19 june 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths tamil nadu Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 60,753 97,743 1,647 58,419 87,619 1,576 june 19 june 20 8,183 18,232 180 7,817 17,043 182 ‘Delta variant drove second wave in TN’ The Delta variant of the coronavirus caused widespread infection during the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak in Tamil Nadu (Dec 2020 to May 2021), according to a preliminary report of the whole genome sequencing analysis released by the State Health department on Sunday | P4
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