bhubaneswar l monday l july 19, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l late city EDITION At least 25 killed as heavy rains pummel Mumbai Landslides triggered by downpour claimed the lives of 25, besides hammering the civic infra in Mumbai on Sunday Cloud top twice the height of mt. everest whopping 200 mm rainfall in six hours Seventeen died when a wall overlooking an illegal tenement collapsed in suburban Mahul. Images from a doppler radar showed a cloud top height of 18 km, twice the size of Mt Everest and comparable to the one that wreaked havoc in the city in 2005. All major reservoirs were spilling over, while waterlogged streets raised health concerns amid the pandemic ■ ■ 200 mm rainfall was recorded over a six-hour window, prodding the IMD to issue a red alert. The rain fury reminded Mumbaikars of the the 24-hour rainfall figure of 944 mm on July 26, 2005 43 pumps were operating continuously to discharge rainwater into the sea and have so far pumped out 442 crore litre water `7 lakh Ex-gratia announced by the Pm (`2L) and maharashtra govt (`5L) 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 Sidhu elevation is now official E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi PM Narendra Modi leaves after an all-party meeting, a day before the monsoon session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Sunday | PTI PM’s jt address plan to LS, RS on Covid opposed Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday appointed Navjot Singh Sidhu as the new president of the party’s Punjab unit despite stiff opposition from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Sonia also appointed four working presidents. However, contrary to the assurance given to Amarinder on Saturday that he will have a say in the selection, none of the four — S S Gilzian, S S Danny Pawan , Goel and K S Nagra — was from his camp. Amarinder had also said Sidhu must publicly apologise for foulmouthing his government before an in-person meeting with him. There is no word yet on if and when Sidhu would issue the P7 apology . Oppn against it, wants debate on the floor of the House E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi With the Opposition flagging a slew of issues it wants to discuss during the monsoon session of Parliament that will begin on Monday in, cluding the farm laws and price rise, especially those of petrol and diesel, at an allparty meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured that the Centre is ready for a healthy discussion on all matters. Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi told the Opposition that Modi will jointly address members of both Houses on Tuesday on the pandemic situation at Parliament annexe. Health experts will be present during the address, Joshi said, but the Opposition demanded a full discussion on the floor of the House, adding the current proposal was another way of bypassing parliamentary norms. Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien was caustic: “MPs do not want fancy PowerPoint presentations on Covid-19 from the PM or this government in some conference room.” He also said the regular presence of the PM in the House was important. “What is the need to go outside Parliament? Any address should be on the floor of the House,” he added. CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said that the party’s position has always been that when Parliament is in session, whatever the government has to say, it can do so on the floor of the House. Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge demanded a discussion on the security situation with China while NCP chief Sharad Pawar said the Afghan situation after withdrawal of US troops must be discussed. Many members demanded that the MPLAD funds be restored. More than 40 members from 33 parties attended allparty meeting and suggested subjects that ought to be discussed. Addressing the meet, Modi said the suggestions of all are valuable and the government will make note of them, Joshi said. The monsoon session will begin on Monday and is scheduled to conclude on AuP7 gust 13. School reopening hasty, ensure vax for teachers first: Experts Hemant Kumar Rout got at least a single dose is available, as per estimates by various teachers’ bodies, EDUCATIONISTS and parents around 50 per cent (pc) teachhave flagged concern over stu- ers have been fully vaccinated dents’ safety with the Odisha and around 70 pc have got one government announcing to dose. reopen schools for Class X and Educationist Prof Pritish XII students from July 26. Acharya said every parent and They alleged the decision to teacher want the schools to reopen schools before ensur- reopen as there is no alternaing vaccination of teachers tive to offline classes, but not at and staff could jeopthe risk of infection. ardise the plan like “Classes can resume the reopening of after vaccination of schools in January all teachers and staff after the first wave. on priority he said. ,” What is more shockThe teachers have ing is that neither been requesting the the School and Mass government to priEducation (SME) and oritise vaccination Higher Education for them and declare departments nor the them Covid warriVaccination of Health and Family ors as they have teachers should be Welfare department been engaged in difprioritised by have any data on vac- reducing the second ferent works like dose gap as it was cination of teachers uniform, books and made for the and other school and MDM distribution students and college employees. besides assessment sportspersons While, it is a fact that and surveys. But the visiting abroad. some higher educag ove r n m e n t h a s Several states like tion institutes and turned a blind eye to Uttar Pradesh, schools became Covthe demand. Haryana and Delhi “Vaccination of id hotspots when have vaccinated they were opened teachers on priority teachers should be prioritised by reducprior to the second Prakash Mohanty, ing the second dose wave. OSSTA gen secy gap as it was made for Sources said Odithe students and sha has around 2.58 lakh teachers in both elemen- sportspersons visiting abroad. tary and secondary schools. Several states like Uttar There would be around 85,000 Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi teachers only at secondary have vaccinated teachers on priand higher secondary levels. ority,” said Odisha Secondary Though no official data on School Teachers Association how many have been fully vac- general secretary Prakash MoCONTINUED ON: P5 cinated and how many have hanty said. @ Bhubaneswar NATIONWIDE july 17 july 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 38,079 41,157 43,916 42,004 560 518 odisha july 17 july 18 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 2,182 2,215 2,400 2,492 67 66 UNESCO proposal on Barrier Reef sparks Aus-China row The Chinese host of this year’s meeting of the U.N, World Heritage Committee on Sunday defended the body’s proposal to label the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger” against Australian government suspicion that China influenced the finding for political reasons | P12 WI T H T HI S I S S U E THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Discriminated for being Odia, Maoist cadres say ‘I quit’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Discrimination in the ranks basing on nativity as well as ethnicity seems to be driving Maoist cadres back to the mainstream in Odisha. At least three members who gave themselves up before the police in Malkangiri and Koraput districts on Sunday had similar tales to tell. One of the three who surrendered before DGP Abhay was Sabita Podiami who had spent 20 years in the Maoist movement. The 35-year-old was commander of Palachalam local organisational squad under Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee. She was a seasoned cadre and involved in attacks that caused death of over 25 security personnel in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. “Sabita served under Ramanna, Secretary of Kalimela Dalam and his wife, but never reached the rank beyond area committee member because she was from Odisha whereas others from Chhattisg arh and Andhra Pradesh went past her. That ran- Sabita served under Ramanna, Secretary of Kalimela Dalam and his wife, but never reached the rank beyond area committee member because she was from Odisha whereas others from Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh went past her Sources kled her from inside,” said sources. In last two years, as many as 30 have surrendered which also speaks volumes about how the State Police has leveraged its surrender and rehabilitation policy to wean the Naxals away from their ideology and outfit. There are about 250 Maoists operating in the State. Just about 20 are from Odisha while over 180 are from Chhattisgarh and the remaining from Telangana and West Bengal. What has also worked in favour of Odisha is its changed strategy of soft policing which included extending medical assistance to injured Maoist cadres even after a gun battle in the past. In another instance, Naxal cadres taking bath in a pond in Tulsi hills of Malkangiri and adjoining Andhra Pradesh were not fired upon by the security forces as the former were unarmed, said an officer. Sabita was apparently not very sure of surrender in the neighbouring state which wages a grim and bloody battle against the Maoist outfit and chose to come to Odisha because of its sound and humane policy The 35-year. old was carrying a reward of ` 4 lakh on her head. So was Talse Huika (23), another area committee member of Boipariguda local unit that operated under Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) who surrendered along with Raidhar Dhurua. A party member of Mahupadar local organisation squad, Raidhar was carrying a cash reward of ` 1 lakh. Apart from the discrimination, they said, the cadres from Odisha are also disillusioned with the mindless violence the top cadres have been ordering against tribals who are branded as police informers and put on CONTINUED ON: P5 target. Boxer dreams, village hopes Lovlina’s performance could fetch water & road connectivity to Baro Mukhia village P rasa n ta M a z um da r @ Guwahati Two SA athletes positive in Village W hen boxer and a hot medal prospect, Lovlina Borgohain, steps into the ring at Tokyo’s Kokugikan Arena, the boxing venue for Olympics 2020, the hopes of a billion Indians will ride on her as a medal will bring them joy and pride. But for the 2,000-odd dwellers of Baro Mukhia, Lovlina’s village in Assam’s Golaghat district about 320 kms east of Guwahati, a medal at the world’s showpiece sporting event could mean much more than that. It could shake off years of government neglect and bring to the village facilities as basic as a road and water supply . The village has no concrete road worth the name, it is connected with the rest of the world by a mud and stone track. The last time an effort was made to build a road was in 2016, when the Par then chief minister Sarabanda Sonowal promised to connect Baro Mukhia with Kargil war martyr Padum Bahadur Shrestha’s village in Hatighuli. But after only 100 metres of Boxer Lovlina Borgohain (centre) with her parents the 12-kms stretch was constructed, the gover nment seemed to give up and the broken road remains to this day. Villagers claimed seriously ill patients have died because they could not reach the hospital quickly enough. The champion pugilist’s village also has no piped wat e r s u p p l y. t - 1 From washing, irrigating and drinking, it depends on tubewells and ponds for water. Healthcare fa- cilities at Baro Mukhia are also non-existent. The nearest primary health centre is 3 kms away at Barpathar, but it has no bed and doctors seldom turn up. If anyone at the village falls seriously ill, they have to travel 45 kms to the district headquar ters in Golaghat. But all this could change if Lovlina rewrites the history books. Her co-villagers are aware of the transformation to the village of Hima Das after she scorched the 400 metre track to win a gold at the World under-20 Championship in Tampere, Finland, in 2018. Maya bets on Brahmin-Dalit combo E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Lucknow Fourteen years after BSP’s Dalit-Brahmin social engineering earned it a majority on its own for the first and the only time in Uttar Pradesh, the party on Sunday brushed dust off the formula to tap into the community’s disgruntlement over its perceived sidelining by a pro-Thakur Yogi Adityanath dispensation ahead of the crucial 2022 polls. Announcing the revival of the formula, party chief Mayawati said the Brahmin outreach would be spearheaded by her second-in-command and party general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra from Ayodhya, a key rallying point for BJP and allies. “I am confident that Brahmins will not vote for BJP in the next Assembly polls. A campaign Joins call for oppn unity Mayawati said Opposition parties should come together to hold the Centre accountable on its apathy towards farmers, among other issues. “BSP will raise fuel and LPG price, inflation and vaccination in the monsoon session of Parliament,” she said under the leadership of our party general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra will be launched from Ayodhya on July 23 to connect with the Brahmins and assure them that their interests are safe only under the BSP’s rule,” Mayawati said. According to BSP sources, at least six Brahmin meetings would be convened across the state to attract the crucial Brahmin vote bank, which not only played a pivotal role in bringing BSP to power in 2007, but also ended the 16-year-old era of coalition politics in UP. Before 2007, the last majority government was headed by BJP’s Kalyan Singh in 1991. Sources said the spadework for the revival of the connect began six months ago, when Mishra sent out feelers to prominent Brahmin caste bodies in 70 out of 75 districts. The Bhaichara Committees (brotherhood) that played a key role in BSP’s social engineering by bringing under a common banner the SC, MBC, EBC and Brahmin votes, too, are being revived to win back the non-Jatav votes, which have moved to the BJP after the 2014 Lok Sabha P8 elections. Tokyo: Two members of the South African football squad, Thabiso Monyane and Kamohelo Mahlatsi, have tested positive for Covid-19 in the Games Village. In all, four members of the South African contingent — including football team’s video analyst and rugby sevens coach — have tested positive. Also, eight members of the British contingent have been put in isolation after they came in contact with a positive case The Assam government built a 1.5 km road, a village gate, a namghar (a Vaishnavite prayer centre), a youth club and a mini stadium in Kandhulimari, Hima’s village. “We pray that Lovlina wins a gold medal at the Olympics as her success could change the fate of our village. It has happened with Mary Kom’s village in Manipur. Her village has developed on all fronts after she shot into the limelight,” said Horen Gogoi, a family friend of Lovlina. Hemanta Mahanta, another villager, agreed. “We hope Lovlina excels at the Olympics. We have waited for long to see some infrastructure development. Continued on: P7 E x press re a d Odisha breaches 5K Covid-19 death mark Bhubaneswar The Covid death toll in the State crossed 5,000-mark as the State government announced 66 more fatalities on Sunday. The State also reported 2,215 new infections in last 24 hours. Health department sources said the fresh fatalities from 16 of the 30 districts took the death toll to 5,058 | P2 FICCI urges govt intervention in coal blocks Bhubaneswar: Expressing concern over the delay in commissioning production of the auctioned coal blocks, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has urged the State government to set up a dedicated cell to monitor the progress and sort out issues relating to land acquisition and expeditious approval of statutory clearances | P3
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