thrissur l tuesday l august 31, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Tomato prices slump to three-yr seasonal low Steepest fall in Maharashtra, where rate fell 80% to K4/kg, forcing farmers to dump produce on roads amid supply glut Favourable weather added to yield Need more food processing units In 23 of the 31 centres across the country monitored by the government, the average price slump was 50% compared to year-ago Kharif rate. Acting director of National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation P K Gupta said, “Favourable weather helped boost yield, but tendency to grow crops with higher price at the time of sowing added to the situation.” ■ ■ ■ India’s production rose 2.20% to 21 million tonnes in 2020-21 crop year as against 20.55 million tonnes in the year-ago period Gupta said farmers can be cushioned from the impact of falling prices if food processing companies absorb the excess output India, as per industry estimates, consumes 99% tomatoes fresh 1.5L Tonnes of tomatoes are processed annually in India 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 ACCUSED A CRIMINAL MAN BARGES INTO HOUSE, STABS 20-YR OLD 15 TIMES E x p ress Ne w s S er v i ce @ T’Puram A 20-YEAR-OLD woman sustained life-threatening injuries after being stabbed by a man repeatedly at her rented house near Karipur in Valiyamala police station limit here on Monday afternoon. The woman was attacked by a 28-year-old man, identified as Arun, with a knife. Soon after the attack, local residents caught him and handed him over to the police. The police said they are yet to ascertain the motive behind the attack, but added that the accused, a native of Peyad, and the victim have known each other for at least four years. The police sources said Arun was an accused in a few criminal cases. The victim’s mother told the police that the accused had snatched the mobile phone and gold ornaments from the victim about four years ago and she had filed a case in this regard with Aryanadu police. The victim, who got married a year ago and had been estranged from her husband for some time, has been living with her parents. The victim’s father said he spotted someone walking past their house quickly and to find out who it was, he went out with the victim. When they returned, the assailant grabbed his wife by her neck and yelled at his daughter, threatening to kill her. “On seeing the victim, he shouted that he would kill her. Suddenly , he got hold of her and banged her face on to the wall and the dining table. Later, he stabbed her multiple times,” said a police officer. The woman received dee p wounds all over the body She has . also suffered multiple fractures and is said to be in a highly critical condition. “She sustained fractures on her face and head after being banged against the wall and the table. She sustained about 30 wounds, 15 of them inflicted with a sharp knife,” ● More on P4 the officer added. Sumit Antil in action during Tokyo Paralympics. He set new world records three times in his throws. Avani Lekhara (R) set a new paralympic mark during shooting final | PTI/Afp india’s gold reserve Neeraj’s mate, Sumit, sets new world record able-bodied men too. He even competed against Neeraj and IT turned out to be a manic co at the Indian Grand Prix 3 Monday for India at the Tokyo in March. Sumit finished sevParalympics. Five medals in- enth then with Chopra shattercluding two gold, as many sil- ing his own national record ver and one bronze in one day with a throw of 88.07m. No is the best by the country The wonder, as soon as the news of . five protagonists had five dif- Sumit’s gold flashed across soferent stories but the two that cial media, Neeraj tweeted definitely hogged the limelight “Khatarnak performance bhai were javelin thrower Sumit, proud of you Sumit Antil and Jhajharia adds (Deadly perfor mshooter Avani Le- to legacy with ance brother Sumit, a silver khara, and both enproud of you).” twined by similar Devendra Jhajharia, “This is my first tales of agony Paralympics and I a two-time —accidents. was a little nervous Paralympic gold When Sumit lost because the competimedallist, won a his leg in a motortors are great. I was silver this time, bike accident in 2015, hoping for a 70m+ while discus his first love, wresthrow, maybe I can thrower Yogesh tling, had to be do 75m. It was not Kathuniya also shelved. He turned my best, I am very finished second. his attention to- Sundar Singh Gurjar happy to break the wards javelin. With also chipped in with world record,” said prosthetics on, SumSumit after the win. a bronze it managed to show “We have a commuglimpses of his prowess and nity of javelin throwers in the on Monday he won gold with a country. Sumit loves competworld record. As fate would ing against Neeraj. They prachave it, he met Tokyo Olym- tise together and they share a pics gold medallist Neeraj Cho- special bond,” Naval Singh, pra three years ago and even Sumit’s coach, told this daily. had a training stint together in “Back in 2018, they even had a 2018. Sumit doesn’t limit him- one-month long training stint self to competing in Para in Finland. They share knowlsporting events. Such is his edge and give suggestions to confidence that he challenges each other,” he added. f i r oz m i r z a @ Chennai Sudhakaran calls for truce, Chandy refuses to budge C y n t h i a C ha n d ra n @T’Puram AS the voices of dissent refused to die down in the Congress following the selection of new party district chiefs with senior leader Oommen Chandy himself levelling serious criticism against state president K Sudhakaran, the latter called for truce on Monday . Sudhakaran urged all leaders to stop public reactions on the seI request all to lection and took action put an end to against those who had controversies. refused to listen, even The district while going soft on presidents’ selection is a Chandy and former O p p o s i t i o n l e a d e r closed chapter. Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala. Chennithala “For the sake of the have to coopparty, I request all to erate with us put an end to controversies,” Sudhakaran K Sudhakaran said. “The district presidents’ selection is a closed chapter. The Congress party needs the guidance of both Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala and they have to cooperate with us,” he said, adding other office-bearers of Shooting paralysis, depression with sport the district committees will be appointed soon. Sudhakaran’s offer of truce assumed significance in the wake of continuing criticism from Chandy . While he extended an olive branch to dissident leaders, his trusted lieutenants like Rajmohan Unnithan continued their public attack on Chandy and Chennithala. Making it clear that the room for criticism allowed for senior Disclosing the leaders won’t be applidetails of the cable to others, Sudtalks shows hakaran expelled Conone’s style of g ress leader P S functioning. It should be Prasanth from the parrecalled that ty after he slammed there were no Palode Ravi, the new complaints Thiruvananthapuram during our district president. tenure Chandy who critiOommen Chandy cised the state leadership for not holding the promised last round of discussion on Sunday complained on Monday about Sudhakaran’s display of the latter’s diary page claiming to be containing the panel of leaders submitted ● More on P4 to him. Chandy & Chennithala can go and form own party: Unnithan Kasaragod MP and senior leader Rajmohan Unnithan stoked controversy in the factionalism-hit party by sarcastically asking senior leaders Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala to form their own party if they want only their nominees as presidents of all the 14 district Congress committees (DCC). The Kasaragod MP said Chandy and Chennithala controlled the Congress in the state for 18 years. P4 sport but also found a purpose in life. Close to a decade’s ON that fateful day in 2012, worth of hard work and dediPraveen Lekhara and his fam- cation paid rich dividends on ily were travelling from Monday as Avani became InDholpur, where the former was dia’s first woman gold medalposted as an ADM, to Jaipur. list at the Tokyo Paralympics The car skidded near Agra and when she shot a total of 249.6 flipped two-three times injur- in the 10m Air Rifle Standing ing all the passengers. It in- SH1. By doing so, the 19-yearcluded Praveen, wife Shweta, old shooter also equalled the children Avani and world record. Vinod loses Ar nav and their The father said bronze over cousin. They susthis is just the begincriteria tained injuries but ning. “She will comrecovered in the next pete in three more Indian discus few months. Avani, events and is hopethrower Vinod though, wasn’t so Kumar lost his F52 ful of winning more fortunate. The accimedals.” Avani is set category bronze dent rendered her to compete in mixed medal after being immobile, paralys10m air rifle prone, found ineligible in ing her from the women’s 50m rifle 3 disability waist down. positions and mixed classification “It made her an in- assessment by the 50m rifle prone. trovert. She went competition panel. Given the equipi n t o d e p re s s i o n . He had won bronze ment she has to carThen we suggested ry, she is accompaon Sunday her to pursue sports. nied either by her She tried her hand at archery father or mother for every but balancing turned out to be event. Her mother is with her an issue,” Praveen, who is now in Tokyo. “I feel happy and posted as Revenue Appellate grateful right now. I feel right Authority in Rajasthan’s Sri on top of the world. I dedicate Ganganagar, told this daily . my medal to all Indians. I have The father then took her to a lot of competition days ahead the JDA shooting range in Jag- and more medals to come. I atpura, Jaipur. The decision have three more events and am worked wonders as she not focusing on them,” Avani was only developed interest in the quoted as saying. f i r oz m i r z a @ Chennai 7-day institutional quarantine must for travellers to K’taka Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has mandated sevenday institutional quarantine for people travelling from Kerala, including students and employees, and they will have to undergo an RT-PCR test on the eighth day, Revenue Minister R Ashoka announced on Monday. TN to Kerala students: Produce Covid papers Institutional quarantine is not applicable to tourists or those who travel on short visit With schools and colleges set to open in TN on Wednesday, managements of educational institutions have been directed to ensure that students coming from Kerala are vaccinated and produce RT-PCR results. P5 As many people commute to Dakshina Kannada and Kodagu districts from Kerala, weekend curfew as well as night curfew will continue in those districts aug 29 aug 30 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 45,083 35,840 460 42,909 34,763 380 statewide aug 29 aug 30 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 29,836 22,088 75 19,622 22,563 132 The rule is applicable from Tuesday The steps are being taken as a precautionary measure R Ashoka, Revenue Minister NATIONWIDE Afghan resistance movement and anti-Taliban uprising forces take part in a military training in Panjshir province on Monday | afp IS rocket attack on airport foiled, evac ends today E x p ress Ne ws S er v i ce A day before the evacuation operation in Afghanistan is set to wind up, the US on Monday thwarted five rockets fired at the Kabul airport. While the ISIS reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, US officials said there were no casualties. US Major General William Hank Taylor said three rockets landed off the airfield with no effect, one was intercepted by an anti-missile system, while the other landed “with no effect to the mission or any danger to our personnel”. Meanwhile, the US drone strike targeting a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber in Kabul on Sunday killed nine members of a family including six children, the CNN reported quoting locals. The US had specifically warned of a string of attacks targeting the airport where evacuations have entered the final stage. US troops are slated to pull out of Kabul by Tuesday, ending their 20-year stay in Afghanistan. The ongoing evacuation will also come to an end, leaving behind thousands of people frantically trying to get away from the brutal Taliban as far away as possible. However, a joint statement signed by over 90 countries said Afghan nationals who helped the US-led coalition over the past two decades will still be able to travel to a safe destination outside Afghanistan. The statement, signed by the US, Australia, Canada and major European nations, claimed the Taliban have agreed to this arrangement. Notably key players in the region such as Iran, Rus, sia, China, Pakistan and India are not among the signatories according to a list put out by the US Department of State late on Sunday night. P9 ‘Af raises new security questions’ New Delhi: The developments in Afghanistan have raised new security questions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, adding the Centre is capable of dealing with any situation. Meanwhile, top Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai said the militia wants to have good ties with India P7 ‘ un f rui t f ul e x p endi t ure ’ Road rollers a ‘vellana’, `18.34 cr spent on idling staff R A J E S H A B R A H A M @ Kochi The old-model road rollers, which one may have last seen in ‘full swing’ in 1983-released Mohanlal-starrer ‘Vellanakalude Nadu’, are still idling with the Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) and they are costing the exchequer a bomb! According to the latest audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the PWD has incurred “unfruitful expenditure” of `18.34 crore for five years — from 2014-15 to 2018-19 — towards the sal- ary of the staff of 86 road rollers idling in eight department divisions in the state. The gravity of the state’s financial waywardness will be clearer when one finds that only 13 road rollers are in working condition and they were used only for an average of six days a year. Here are the details of the staff. As of October 2019, the department had 26 roller drivers and 57 roller cleaners, who are “idling in their posts”, the CAG said. In November 2003, the state government identified 140 posts of roller drivers and 110 posts of roller cleaners as surplus and abolished 80 posts of drivers and 60 posts of cleaners. However, they were retained as supernumeraries, the report said. The condition of the road rollers is Though most of the 73 road rollers are unserviceable, the department retained them. Failure to take timely action to dispose them of would result in a reduction in their value — CAG also on expected lines -- unusable. Of the 86 road rollers, 73 had been idling for periods ranging from eight months to 27 years (March 2019). Of these 73 rollers, 47 are beyond repair, while nine were sold for `13.21 lakh. “The average use of the 13 rollers in operation was around six days a year. Though most of the 73 road rollers are unserviceable, the department retained them. Failure to take timely action to dispose them of would result in a reduction in their value when they are put to auction,” the report said. The CAG findings on the PWD come at a time when the state government is neck-deep in debt, with most of its revenues going to pay the salaries and pension of the em● More on P4 ployees.
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