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 ■ ■ BHUBANESWAR l wednesday l july 21, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Oppn, govt spar over ‘hiding’ deaths E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Opposition on Tuesday accused the BJP-led government of ‘hiding’ the exact number of Covid deaths, saying the official figures reflect only a fraction of actual fatalities. The parties, led by the Congress, also panned the Centre for the inordinate delay in vaccinating people and demanded to know the preparedness for the third wave of the pandemic. During the discussion on the management of Covid-19 in the Rajya Sabha, members demanded that the Centre provide correct data of Covid-19 deaths. Alleging large-scale under-reporting of Covid deaths, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the Centre declared victory over Covid when people were still dying, and got into election mode conducting huge rallies. “India has 6.38 lakh villages, if even give people die in a village due to Covid, it comes to 21 lakh and may go up to 52 lakh. But the government claims 4-5 lakh only he said. ,” TMC MP Dr Santanu Sen said if the Centre was so concerned about Covid-19 management, why did it decided to have an eightphase election in West Bengal. In its response, the Centre said it compiles and puts out data sent by state governments and that it hasn’t asked any state to suppress Covid fatalities. Health Minister Mnsukh Mansukh Mandaviya said vaccine production is being ramped up to cover the entire eligible population in the country . Later in the day major opposi, tion parties barring the Congress participated in the all-party meeting on the Covid situation. P7 Nobody died of oxygen shortage! Believe it or not, not a single state reported Covid death due to oxygen shortage, Centre told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday However, there was unprecedented demand for medical oxygen during the 2nd wave. Peak demand touched 9,000 mt compared with 3,095 mt during the 1st wave Two out of three VACCINE SUPPLY 56% A total of 188 crore Covid vaccine doses needed to inoculate 94 crore 18+ population Centre expects NATIONWIDE july 19 187 crore doses will be available during Jan- Dec 2021 july 20 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths of jabs given from May 1-July 15 were in rural vaccination centres Indians may have been infected with Covid virus, says ICMR’s latest serosurvey Covishield: 11-12 cr doses per month Covaxin: 3.5 cr doses per month from Aug 38,164 30093 38,660 45,254 499 374 Jab-o-meter Take your shot July 19 47,77,697 doses July 20 31,79,469 doses Total doses: 41,52,25,632 odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths july 19 1,648 2,248 58 july 20 2,085 2,341 56 United Oppn decides to stall both Houses till govt comes clean on it Parliament’s Pegasus paralysis R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi A united Opposition on Tuesday decided to continue paralysing Parliament demanding that the Modi government come clean on Israeli spyware Pegasus, following an expose on its possible use to snoop into smartphone conversations of loads of politicians, journalists and other prominent persons. Leaders of Opposition parties in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met before Parliament’s proceedings began and agreed to keep up the pressure on the Centre to reveal whether it is part of Peagsus’ clientele, since the NSO group, which owns the spyware, claims it sells it only to vetted governments. With new revelations suggesting that Pegasus could have been used to topple the JD(S)-Cong coalition government in Karnataka led by H D Kumaraswamy, the Congress felt the matter will resonate in the House. Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh said the Opposition will collectively continue to protest inside both Houses from Thursday. Parliament is closed on Wednesday to mark Bakrid. While Lok Sabha was adjourned for the second successive day without transacting any business following protests from the Opposition, there was consensus on Rajya Sabha taking up a short discussion on the management of the pandemic. “Discussion in Rajya Sabha was agreed upon under special circumstances keeping in mind the importance of the matter. Non-participation would have been projected as Congress behaviour irresponsible: Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday criticised the Congress for its ‘irresponsible behaviour’ of disrupting Parliament because of its negative mindset, while urging members of the BJP Parliamentary Party to proactively combat the Opposition | P7 the Opposition being unsympathetic to people who have suffered due to the pandemic,” said a senior Congress leader. Also, when the Business Advisory Committee meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu agreed to take up the Covid debate, the expose on the possible destabilisation of the Kumaraswamy government had not been revealed, the leader said. “We will not allow Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to function till the Pegasus issue is discussed in the House. Today is different as Rajya Sabha took up discussion on Covid-19 as the Centre does politics on the issue. Pegasus is the Number 1 issue and it is a national security issue, so no compromise on that,” said Derek O’Brien, Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha floor leader. He said the repeal of three farm laws is also topmost on the party’s priority list, adding they would continue pressing it in Parliament. Did spyware help BJP snatch govt from HDK? E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Bengaluru Illegal surveillance may have helped the BJP topple the JDSCongress coalition government in Karnataka in 2019, a digital media outlet reported on Tuesday . Then Karnataka coalition government’s deputy CM G Parameshwar, personal secretaries of then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and former CM Siddaramaiah, and a gunman working with former PM H D Deve Gowda were among those whose phones were tapped, the website claimed in its third tranche of reports on the Pegasus spyware. While the report could not establish these phones were infected since they did not undergo digital forensic testing, personal secretaries of Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, Gowda’s gunman and Parameshwar confirmed they were using the phones. Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, held a press conference in New Delhi demanding a judicial inquiry into the matter. He said that Congress will hold a nationwide ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ campaign, demanding a judicial inquiry into the scandal. Activists on list Names of activists and anti-caste leaders, including former JNU leader Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, figure as potential targets of Pegasus. The others include Ashok Bharti and Bela Bhatia | P7 A car caught on the waterlogged road while a street vendor makes his way through waist-deep water near Iskcon temple in Bhubaneswar | Express Capital woes overflow after rain E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar A 77 mm rain in a span of an hour and half left large parts of Bhubaneswar in kneedeep water, exposing the Capital City’s best kept secret its urban planning. Ending days of sultry conditions, the heavens opened up and within the next hour, major residential colonies and thoroughfares, including the NH, were overflowing with storm water. Not just the 27 chronic flooding spots of the city large areas of the , Capital reported acute waterlogging. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s helpline numbers kept ringing after complaints over the urban deluge poured in. Homes were flooded while water-logged city left the traffic on its tracks. SC raps Kerala over Bakrid relaxations New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Kerala government over relaxations granted for Bakrid. The SC observed that pressure groups, religious or otherwise, cannot interfere with the most precious Fundamental Right to Life of all the citizens of the country | P5 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Nothing is done on cleaning up politics: SC Return journey The three chariots parked near Singhadwar of Srimandir in Puri on Tuesday | Express HC stays order quashing school merger plan E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Cuttack The Orissa High Court on Tuesday stayed the single-judge bench order that had quashed the State government’s notification for merger of schools having very low roll strength. The notification issued on March 11 by the School and Mass Education department envisaged merger of nearly 16,000 primary schools with upper primary schools. Justice sides of the culvert on drainage channel no - 10 n e a r E s h a Ap a r t m e n t turned to a main cause of flooding in parts of Nayapali Behera Sahi locality In . case of drainage channel no 4, the erstwhile Water Resources Department’s poor planning comp o u n d e d p e o p l e ’s miseries. BMC’s inability to carry out drainage system restructuring in the last two years was on full display as the major natural drainage systems, with constructions encroachments in most parts, aided the deluge, leaving the corporation at its wit’s end. Poor de-siltation before the monsoon also added to the chaos. Drainage division executive engineer Goutam Chan- dra Dash informed 10 BMC teams were deployed to clear water from the low-lying areas. While BMC continues to struggle with water-logging problems in the city the woes , are yet to end as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted more rains for the capital for next 48 hours. The weather office issued a warning for heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of Odisha in the next two days. Heavy rainfall is expected in parts of Khurda, Puri, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Sambalpur and Deogarh districts, it said. It said a low pressure area is likely to form over northwest Bay of Bengal (BOB) and neighbourhood around July 23 and it will enhance rainfall activity in the State. Odisha sees stunning revenue growth of 112 per cent in Q1 express read New Delhi: “Nothing is ever done and nothing will ever be done,” the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, while reserving its order on a plea seeking contempt action against several political parties for non-compliance of the court’s directions aimed at decriminalising the polity. While the stretch in front of Iskcon Temple saw waistdeep water accumulating on the road, the 120 BattalionKalinga Stadium Road near Shastri Nagar was overflowing. The route is a key road as it connects Biju Patnaik Airport to Patia. Many residential areas including, Nayapalli, Jayadev Vihar, Bomikhal, Nig amananda Na g ar, Gajapti Nagar, Gayati Nagar, Basudev Nagar, Baramunda and Sailashree Vihar were flooded. People’s misery doubled after TPCODL resorted to a two hour unscheduled power cut. Many were stranded on the roads as gushing storm water made commuting difficult. Residents alleged trash racks installed on both BR Sarangi’s order had come on May 4 on a batch of 168 petitions filed mostly by management of primary schools which had challenged the notification on the ground that it violated the Odisha Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2010. The government had challenged it by way of a writ appeal claiming that the plan for merger of schools was a policy decision. As the policy decision was not contrary to provisions of Constitution of India, the court’s interference by way of the single judge’s order was not called for, the government contended when the writ appeal was taken up on Tuesday . After a preliminary hearing, the two-judge bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray issued the interim stay order. The bench posted the matter to September 14 for further hearing. While quashing the merger notification on May 4, Justice Sarangi had directed the department to restore the position of the school in question as before and provide necessary infrastructure for smooth functioning of the CONTINUED ON: P5 same. Beating all adversities of the Covid-19 lockdowns and shutdowns, the State has recorded an impressive growth of 112.54 per cent (pc) in its revenue income in the first quarter of this fiscal. Revenue generation by Ju n e - e n d i n c r e a s e d t o `17,656.7 crore against last year’s collection of `8,307.54 crore during the same period. Revenue collection from own-tax sources grew by 74.66 pc to `8,036 crore against `4,601 crore during the same period last fiscal. Similarly, the non-tax revenue till June 2020 was `3,705.54 crore which increased to `9,621.16 crore by June 2021 recording a growth of 159.55 pc. This significant growth in non-tax revenue was assigned to improved collection of royalty from the mining sector. Informing about the financial performance of different departments and revenue collection in the first quarter of the current fiscal at the all secretaries meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra here on Tuesday , Revenue jump `17,656 cr collected by June-end `8,036 cr from own tax-sources `9,621 cr non-tax revenue till June `8,307 cr in Q1 last year `4,601 cr in 2020 Q1 `3,705 cr till June 2020 Principal Secretary of Finance Ashok Meena said keeping pace with the revenue generation, there has been significant growth in budget utilisation. The overall percentage of the budget utilisation by June-end g rew to 21 pc (`12,864 crore) against that of around 17 pc (`9,873 crore) during the corresponding period of the last fiscal. A review of fund collection under DMF and OMBADC and its utilisation showed that progressive collection till May 2021 under DMF was around `13,173 crore against which around 20,372 projects estimated around `14,490 crore were sanctioned in different districts. Of the sanctioned projects, 13,132 were completed by end of May and the rest were in different stages of implementation. Similarly under OMBADC , Phase-II, 38 projects in seven sectors estimated around `13,782 crore were sanctioned till end of May. The progress of the projects was found to be satisfactory . Mahapatra directed the executing agencies and departments to complete the projects before the scheduled time. He advised the secretaries to focus on preparation of digital assets register for management and maintenance of the government assets created under different departments. The register should be available in public domain for citizens. Development Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena suggested all departments to nominate a senior officer for coordinating with Odisha Space Application Center for preparation of the register.
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