sambalpur l Saturday l august 28, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION Bhavinaben creates history at paralympics impaired from the waist down Gujarat paddler first Indian to be assured of a medal in the sport, faces China’s Zhang for a place in the final on Saturday trained with robot during lockdown Tragedy struck Bhavinaben Patel early on in her life. While learning to walk as a one-year-old, she fell down. During treatment, an injection impaired her from the waist down, according to father Hasmukhbhai Patel. She picked up the sport at the age of 12. In the Tokyo Paralympics, she is also competing in the doubles event. The 34-year-old is confident of reaching the final | P13 ■ ■ She trained with a second-hand machine worth `50,000 during lockdown before the Class 4 paddler was given a new robot after she was included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme She beat World No 5 Borislava Rankovic 11-5, 11-6, 11-7. ITTF removed bronze medal playoffs after the last Paralympics 2.8 lakh worth of the new equipment top scheme had given bhavinaben 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 Baghel gets a Priyanka Dire future lifeline till UP elections Industrial pollution set to pose serious threat to Bhitarkanika There was 1 suicide bomber, not 2: Pentagon Biden vows to avenge; toll 182 RICHA SHAR M A @ New Delhi Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel will retain his seat for now though the power tussle in the state is far from over. After a three-hour long meeting with former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Baghel said: “I have told Rahul Gandhi my dil ki baat (heart’s desire). He is coming to Chhattisgarh next week and will visit Bastar to see the work done by the Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel greets government.” Sources said the decision Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in Delhi came after Priyanka backed on Friday | Special Arrangement Baghel, an OBC leader, while Rahul insisted that he crucial Assembly elections, abide by the promise made especially Uttar Pradesh, to T S Singh Deo. A senior will not go down well with party leader said Priyanka the backward class vote was of the view that chang- bank. ing Baghel just ahead of the Flanked by party incharge inputs suggesting more attacks. US Central Command chief AT least 182 people were killed General Frank McKenzie said in Thursday’s Kabul terror at- there could be rockets or car tack and the final tally could go bombs targeting the airport. up as many dismembered bodEarlier in the day, US Presiies are yet to be accounted for. dent Joe Biden vowed to avenge Local health officials, quoted the deaths of Americans. Blamby news agency AP said 169 Af- ing the lesser known ISIS-K for , ghans were killed. the attack, Biden said, This is over and above Indians in Af “We will not forgive. the 13 US military perWe will not forget. We Most Indians sonnel who lost their will hunt you down who wanted to lives in the attack. The and make you pay .” Wazir Akbar Khan return have been Despite the attack, evacuated, MEA the US continued its Hospital in central Kasaid on Friday. bul alone reportedly evacuation operation received 145 bodies. There could be a at the Kabul airport on According to CNN, at few stll stranded Friday. In an earlyin the war-torn least 200 people were morning update, the country, but the White House said injured in the attack. Meanwhile, the Pen- exact number is 12,500 people were unknown, it tagon on Friday clarievacuated in the previadded | P9 fied that the Kabul airous 24 hours, taking port explosion was by the total number of a single suicide bomber and people airlifted abroad since that there was no blast near the August 14 rose to 105,000. Baron hotel. “We do not believe The UN Security Council, there was a second explosion. currently being presided over We felt it was important to cor- by India, on Friday condemned rect the record,” said US Army the Kabul terror strike, adding Major General William Taylor. that the world needs to unite US forces on the ground are against those who provide sacP11 on alert with fresh intelligence turies to terrorists. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e 1jabs in a day crore New Delhi: India on Friday administered 1,00,64,032 Covid-19 vaccine doses, the highest ever done in a single day, the Union health ministry’s Cowin dashboard showed at 10:30 pm. With this, India’s vaccination coverage has crossed 62 crore, the data showed. “Crossing 1 crore is a momentous feat. Kudos to those getting vaccinated and those making the vaccination drive a success,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted | P9 What I.S. has unleashed in Afghanistan KABUL: The group has shocked the world with its brazen targeting of civilians — in May 2020 Washington blamed IS-K for an attack on a maternity hospital in a Shiite neighbourhood of the capital that killed 25 people including newborns | P11 express read Cabinet nod to electric vehicle policy Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet on Friday approved the Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy-2021 with an objective to achieve adoption of 20 per cent EVs in all vehicle registrations by 2025. The Cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also approved the draft Odisha Sand Policy-2021 to ensure sustainable mining | P3 CM dedicates ECMO facility at SCB MCH Cuttack: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dedicated the muchawaited extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) facility for critically ill patients at SCB Medical College and Hospital here on Friday. “With nine ECMO machines, the facility is among the largest in Eastern India. This will be helpful in treating critical patients affected by Covid-19. We will not have to airlift and send them to metro cities,” said the Chief Minister | P2 for the state P L Punia, Baghel did not give a direct response to the claim of rotational CM by his cabinet colleague Deo. “The problem is not over yet and the party would have to address Deo’s concerns. Rahul ji’s proposed visit needs to be also looked at from that perspective,” said a state party leader. In a show of strength, Baghel came to Delhi along with over 50 MLAs and met C o n g re s s l e a d e r s K C Venugopal and Punia. The MLAs from the Baghel camp were at the AICC headquarters during the day and the CM met them after his meeting with Rahul. “Rahul ji has accepted an invitation to visit Bastar given by the CM. There are no differences between the two leaders,” Punia told this newspaper. NATIONWIDE Aug 26 Aug 27 Fresh cases 46,164 44,658 Recoveries Deaths 34,159 32,988 607 496 odisha Aug 26 Aug 27 Fresh cases 849 816 Recoveries Deaths 764 66 986 69 Postmaster siphons off `2.09 cr, buys property during pandemic E x p r e s s ne w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar A postmaster in Malkangiri district has allegedly siphoned off `2.09 crore of depositors’ money taking the advantage of Covid-19 pandemic. The accused Biswanath Podiami, branch manager for Lachipeta and Malkangiri Colony post offices, allegedly made fake deposits against some of the depositors and then withdrew money in their favour without their knowledge. He allegedly used the money to amass property and built a house worth `1 crore. Two others have also been booked for helping Podiami in the fraud, officials said. Following complaints of fraud during his recent visit to the State, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had directed a speedy enquiry and appropriate action against those involved. “The fraud has been reported during the pandemic last year when monitoring of deposits was affected due to poor internet connectivity in the Malkangiri and Koraput belt. This could be the first of its kind fraud in the postal department,” said an official. The Department of Posts (DoP) has detected misappropriation of `2.44 crore of depositors’ money in three branch post offices in Odisha. This includes `1.16 crore at Malkangiri colony and `93.5 lakh at Lachipeta branch post offices besides, `35 lakh at Bhejangiwada post office, all under the Koraput division. Secretary of DoP Vineet Pandey said the investigation into the fraud at Lachipeta and Malkangiri colony post offices has been handed over to CBI, which has registered a case against postmaster Podiami and two others. Branch postmaster of Bhejangiwada post office Mana Pujari, who misappropriated `35 lakh instead of depositing the amount in the accounts of depositors, was booked under various sections of IPC and arrested. “The departmental investigation has already been completed in Lachipeta post office case and ongoing in the other two cases. The CBI and police have been urged to complete the investigation soon. Directions have been issued for attachment of properties of the main accused and their family members,” Pandey said and informed that the monitoring through robust IT network has been strengthened after the CONTINUED ON: P7 fraud. healing touch Five ‘invisible’ Covid orphan siblings E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhopal Three months after Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country to announce a slew of welfare measures for Covid orphans, five little Scheduled Caste siblings — three girls and two boys — in Amaha village of Bhind district are still awaiting assistance for want of paperwork. They were completely invisible to the administration till the local MLA spotted them recently . Their rickshaw driver father Raghvendra Valmiki succumbed to Covid in January while mother Girija died , two months later. Panchayat officials claim both possibly died due to Covid, Welfare assistance in MP In May this year, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced `5,000 monthly pension to each Covid orphan, besides free education and free monthly ration supply. The action came after The New Indian Express ran a nationwide series on Covid orphans, starting with that of twin sisters in Bhopal but there is no documentation yet. At seven, the eldest is a girl who is now shouldering the responsibility of a parent because the granddad they live with doesn’t care. Her youngest sibling is an eight-monthold boy They live in a partially dam. aged hut near the village’s cremation ground and are surviving on food and milk offered by villagers. “Our parents died during the Corona wave. We request the government to provide us a house, food, a safe drinking water connection and education,” said the eldest. It was local Congress MLA Dr Govind Singh who spotted them during a recent visit to the village. He immediately offered `2,000 to the orphans and asked the village sarpanch and secretary to pool in `10,000 each. Singh also granted them `20,000 from his Local Area Development Fund, but since they do not have a bank account, the money is yet to reach Continued on: P8 them. Jab-o-meter Take your shot August 26 67,87,305 doses August 27 1,00,64,032 doses Total doses: 62,17,06,882 S i b a M o h a n t y @ Bhubaneswar 7,450 hectare that consume over 15,800 kilo litre (KL) waPressure on freshwater sup- ter daily. Waste water from ply and climate change are not discharge from these mines the only perils Bhitarkanika stands at a staggering 9,480 Wildlife Sanctuary stares at in KL. Brahmani river remains not so distant future. The man- the most vulnerable. Water samples collected grove ecosystem so critical to Odisha’s identity and exist- from highly-industrialised ence is set to be suffocated and Angul in Brahmani basin to determine quality status carstifled by a growing load of pollution from industrial, ried out in past decades mining as well as human showed upstream sites had 10 times lower concentration of activities. The basins of Brahmani heavy metals than downand Baitarani are home to stream site samples. Fly ash dozens of industries that in- generated during power plant clude some of India’s major operations and ash ponds in Central PSUs in steel, alumin- coalfield area also create enium, coal, ther mal power vironmental hazard, the reapart from private industries por t says and calls for in fertilizers, ferrochrome and monitoring. Industrial development, cement, and standalone mines dense population along Brahamong others. mani river and feThe pressure cal contaminathey exert on rivpress er Brahmani is clusive tion can result in high BOD and deimmense - not terioration of wajust in terms of drawal of water but also waste ter quality. “In Bhitarkanika water generation. The Hydro- mangroves, sediment-associecological Assessment of Bhi- ated trace element concentratarkanika report by Ministry tions are also increasing as a of Environment, Forest and result of anthropogenic inClimate Change (MoEFCC) puts, and would influence the quotes data to throw light on biota and bio-geochemistry of enormity of the situation and this ecosystem,’ the MoEFCC why State’s second Ramsar report claims. A study in 2008 had found that site needs an integrated management system in place now Brahmani and Baitarani rivers have extremely variable trace more than ever. Raw water estimated at 86.26 of element concentrations, conmillion cubic meter (MCM) is sistently higher than world rivdrawn from the river every er average. It reported high conyear for industry and mining centration of heavy metals at activities. There are at least 10 the estuarine sites of the namines spread over a combined tional park. CONTINUED ON: P7
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