SAMBALPUR l thursday l september 02, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION Air pollution cuts avg life expectancy by 6 yrs: Study Average Indian life expectancy cut short by 5.9 years, relative to what it would be if WHO guidelines were met, says a study Delhi, UP worst-affected states: study India’s average particulate matter concentration in 2019 was 70.3 microgram per cubic metre (μg/m3) compared with the WHO’s guideline of 10 μg/m3, according to a new study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago. It said air pollution shortens lives of people by 9.7 years in Delhi and 9.5 years in Uttar Pradesh, the worst-hit states ■ 40% 1.3 billion Indians breathe dirty air? The study says air pollution has reduced the average life expectancy by 8.8 years for the people of Bihar, 8.4 years for Haryana and 7.3 years for Jharkhand. It further states that all of India’s 1.3 billion population lives in areas where the annual average particulate pollution level exceeds WHO norms | P7 of Indians exposed to pollution levels not seen in any other country 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 2 Didi ministers in ED chargesheet on dirty money sting Afghanistan Taliban govt in the works, parleys on Express News Service With the US forces completely withdrawing from Afghanistan, the Taliban leaders are holding hectic negotiations to form a government in the wartorn country While some lead. ers of the outfit have claimed they have finalised the broad contours of the government, no formal announcement has been made yet. According to various reports, the delay is due to differences among various factions of the Taliban are vying for lucrative posts. It is widely believed that top Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada will head the regime as Supreme Leader from Kandahar, with his deputy Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar running the daily affairs of the government from Kabul. There are talks about including women in the government to make it inclusive, but the top posts are likely to be held by men. With the Kabul airport remaining inoperable after the withdrawal of US troops, the Taliban are in touch with both Qatar and Turkey for help to resume commercial flights. A Qatari aircraft landed in Kabul on Wednesday carrying a technical team to discuss the resumption of airport operations, Saudi Arabian TV channel Al Arabiya reported. In his address to the nation, US President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw all US troops ahead of the August 31 deadline. “This decision is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” he said. P9 E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Kolkata Firhad Hakim Girls returning home after their first day at school, ever since the pandemic forced a months-long break, in Madurai on Wednesday | k k sundar Schools reopen, students upbeat Sense of joy, some trepidation and a smattering of bending of the Covid SOPs on Day One Subrata Mukherjee Govt mulls reopening of upper primary schools Bhubaneswar: The State government is planning to reopen schools for upper primary (UP) students after Ganesh Puja. As Covid-19 graph has started declining in the State, sources in School and Mass Education department said steps are being taken to make campuses ready for offline classes for Class VI, VII and VIII after Ganesh Puja on September 10. The department’s move came after it received a proposal from the Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (OSCPCR) for reopening of schools at elementary level in a graded manner. OSCPCR chairperson Sandhyabati Pradhan had requested the department to reopen schools from Class VI to VIII across the State in a phased manner citing that many stakeholders including parents and teachers had appreciated the reopening of schools for secondary and higher secondary students. Express News Service Have you ever yearned to go to school so badly that you’d even brave a downpour to get there? Well, if you haven’t been a school student during Covid, you might not get that feeling. On September 1, a whole 17 months after she last set foot in a classroom, Sanjana Sen, a Class XI student from Delhi was halfway to school when it started raining in Delhi. Her father wanted to take her back home. But she was adamant. “I wanted to go to school very, very badly So we somehow got . there even without an umbrella,” said the teenager who hadn’t met her friends in what seems like forever. A student of Sharda Sen Rajkiya Kanya Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, she added that getting back to school was an exhilarating experience for her. “I met new teachers in Class XI Stormy start to monsoon session children Ready with plan to among 50 dengue deaths in U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has rushed a team of 11 doctors to take control of the suspected dengue outbreak in and around Firozabad district, which has claimed 50 lives in 10 days | P8 Jab-o-meter Take your shot August 31 1,04,42,184 doses September 1 69,42,335 doses Total doses: 66,17,38,647 NATIONWIDE Aug 31 sep 1 Fresh cases 30,941 41,965 Recoveries Deaths odisha 36,275 33,964 350 460 Aug 31 sep 1 Fresh cases 638 719 Recoveries Deaths 762 68 666 53 and it was an amazing day. I was dying to go to school,” she chirped. But not everyone in Delhi was as lucky as Sanjana. Himanshu and Nandini, siblings and classmates in Class IX, said that they were yearning to go to school but couldn’t. The heavy rains coupled with rumours of how flooding increased the imminent threat of Covid accounted for a large degree of absenteeism (far lower than the allowed 50% limit) in the Capital. As schools reopened in several states — Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tripura, Delhi, Meghalaya and Arunachal — with strict Covid-19 protocols in place, nostalgia met trepidation down the middle. While the closure in Rajasthan only stands at five months, most parents are still apprehensive as only around 20% `25 mitigate drought LPG price up crisis, says govt Express News Service @ Bhubaneswar The State gover nment on Wednesday claimed that the farmers are fully prepared to face the crisis arising out of scanty rainfall due to timely intervention of the administration. Dismissing the Opposition allegations that the farmers are in distress due to government inaction, Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Minister Arun Sahoo said the government is constantly monitoring the field situation at different levels of the administration. Replying to the admissibility of an adjournment motion on the drought situation in the State, the Minister said that 23 districts are experiencing deficit rainfall of about 29.8 percent. Reports from districts said that crop condition in 47 blocks of 14 districts is worsening due to scanty rainfall which is less than 59 per cent in 15 blocks. Kharif operation could not be taken up in 3.45 lakh hectare. Admitting that agricultural operations like transplanting and intercultural operations in direct sown paddy have been held up in rainfall deficit pockets, Sahoo said paddy transplantation activities have picked up in Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Gajapati, Keonjhar, Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts following sporadic rains in the last few days. The Minister said that crop contingency plan has been prepared by the chief district agriculture officers in rainfall deficit areas and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has issued a series of instructions to departments concerned and district collectors on Tuesday to save the kharif crops wherever possible and assist the farmers for taking up early rabi crops. The monsoon session of the Assembly started on a stormy note as the Opposition Congress created ruckus demanding a special debate on the prevailing dry spell which has sparked fears of a drought. Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra raised the issue as soon as the question hour commenced after the House made obituary references to some departed members, martyred soldiers and frontline personnel who succumbed to Covid-19. Even as Speaker SN Patro accepted BJP’s adjournment notice on drought situation after the question hour, Congress MLAs trooped into the well of the House demanding suspension of all business to discuss the issue. They shouted slogans against the government terming it as anti-farmer. The Speaker adjourned the House for one hour after his repeated appeals to bring back normalcy failed. However, normalcy returned to the House when it reassembled after the one-hour adjournment. for 3rd time since July Petrol, diesel prices cut Petrol price was cut by 10 paise a litre diesel by 14 paise on Wednesday. Petrol price in Delhi is now at `101.34 per litre, while diesel price is `88.77 a litre express read Cabinet paves way for 27 pc OBC quota Bhubaneswar: The State Cabinet on Wednesday gave its stamp of approval to the proposal of Panchayati Raj department for necessary amendments in the laws regulating elections to rural local bodies (RLBs) and urban local bodies (ULBs) to provide 27 percent reservation to other backward classes (OBCs) | P3 Mohapatra made CBDT chairman Senior bureaucrat JB Mohapatra has been appointed the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the Personnel Ministry said in an order Wednesday. Mohapatra, a 1985-batch Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) officer, is currently the member in the board that frames the policy for IT department | P10 have given written consent to send their children for physical classes. With kids yet to be vaccinated, parents continue are a worried lot. Dr Rekha Moolchandani, the mother of a Class 12 student, said she was not ready to send her son to school as the vaccination process for students is yet to start. “The third wave may hit any time and sending them to school is not safe. My son is comfortable studying online and we support him as he is safe,” she said. Schools in all 75 districts in UP reopened, but private schools deferred it because of a lack of consent from parents. Madhya Pradesh had a similar problem with attendance figures stuck around 15-20%. The turnout was similarly low in the Northeast, where states like Meghalaya have only vaccinated about 72% of the teachContinued on P5 ers. Timed for 2016 state elections Hakim is the transport and housing minister and Mukherjee looks after panchayat affairs in Mamata’s cabinet. Mirza is now under suspension. The sting footage showed representatives of a fake firm approaching people resembling Trinamool leaders and offering bribe. It was aired days before the 2016 Bengal polls E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi Two Trinamool Congress ministers, one party lawmaker, a former mayor and an IPS officer were named as accused in the Narada sting money laundering chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate in a Kolkata court on Thursday All five had been arrested on May 17 . by the CBI in a separate case on the sting operation filed by it, a fortnight after the Trinamool returned to power with a thumping majority for the third straight term, drawing charges of political vendetta. The five persons named as accused in the ED chargesheet are ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra, former mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee and IPS officer S M H Mirza. The fact that the CBI chose not to go after two other heavyweight accused, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy, both defectors from the Trinamool to the BJP, had strengthened allegations that the probe agency was a caged parrot. By then Suvendu Adhikari had become Leader of Opposition in West Bengal. Mukul Roy later did a ghar wapsi, heading back to the Trinamool. To do a balancing act, the ED on Thursday sought the court’s permission for further probe against both Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy . Others on its list for further probe are Trinamool MPs Kakali Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee and Aparupa Poddar and former MLA Iqbal Ahmed. The court accepted the ED’s request to allow summoning of the accused to its Kolkata office on November 16. It told the ED to send summons to the three Trinamool lawmakers through the office of the Speaker of the state Assembly and summon Chatterjee and Mirza directly The CBI . had secured prosecution sanction from Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar instead of the Speaker, which had triggered an uproar. “The ED submitted the chargesheet holding the five accused guilty of laundering money during the course of the Narada sting operation. They have been summoned by the agency to follow the next course of action,’’ said ED’s lawyer Abhijit Bhadra. 1000 LPG cylinder price was hiked yet again by `25 on Wednesday the third hike since July 1. After , the latest price rise, a 14.2-kg non-subsidised cylinder costs `885 in Delhi and Mumbai, `900 in Chennai, and `911 in Kolkata. The last price change was on August 17, when the price was raised by `25. On July 1 also, the price was hiked by the same amount. LPG prices have gone up `190 since the beginning of 2021 and `290 since last September. The prices have more than doubled since September 2014, when a cylinder cost `427. This is the 9th hike in LPG prices in the past one year, during which the price was cut only once, on 1 April, by `10. Hitting out at the Centre for the LPG price hike, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “The Centre has earned `23 lakh crore from the GDP , not Gross Domestic Product but Gas Diesel Petrol. Now my question to the government is, where did they spend this `23 lakh crore.” 800 770 695 720 645 860 820 835 795 810 Refill cost (`) 600 595 400 885 LPG cylinder price in Delhi Sep Dec 16 04 15 25 01 01 01 17 01 2020 2020 Dec 20 Feb 20 Feb 21 Feb 21 Mar 21 Apr 21 Jul 21 Aug 21 Sep 21 Note: Price is of 14.2 kg non-subsidised cylinder Source: IOCL The subsidies on LPG cylinders are now limited to those in remote locations. Beginning May 2020, standard direct benefit transfer subsidies for domestic LPG were eliminated, with the government taking advantage of the crash in global crude oil prices to equalise the price of subsidised and unsubsidised cylinders. As a result, the government’s total subsidy burden on LPG has come down from `22,726 crore to `3,658 crore in 2020-21. 17-week foetus terminated, flushed out of toilet at Nayagarh clinic A s i s h M e h ta @ Bhubaneswar IN a shocking incident, a private clinic allegedly conducted abortion on a 17-week pregnant woman before flushing out the foetus in an unused washroom in Nayagarh town, about 86 km from here, on Wednesday . Police said, the abortion was carried out ‘without the woman’s knowledge and consent’ and that the husband had allegedly paid `13,000 to the clinic for the pregnancy termination after an ultrasound imaging showed the foetus had deformity . After chief district medical and public health officer of Nayagarh received an input about the abortion being carried out at Aditya Hospital Clinic, he alerted District Headquarters Hospital (obstetrician and gynaecologist) consultant Dr Aurobindo Mohapatra. Dr Mohapatra along with Nayagarh Tehsildar, Inspectorin-charge and other police personnel immediately rushed to the spot and conducted a raid at the clinic. “Initial investigation suggests the woman’s abortion was being carried out without any license and permission of the authority A . case has been registered under Sections 312,313,417 and of 34 IPC and Section 5 of Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,” Nayagarh SP Sidhharth Kataria, told the , New Indian Express. Police said, exact details can be ascertained after recording statement of the woman who is undergoing treatment at Nayagarh District Headquarters Hospital. Preliminary investi- gation said, the clinic did not have doctors who have expertise to carry out an abortion procedure. During the raid, the team ascertained that Ganesh Pradhan, a resident of Tudigadia village under Odagaon police limits, had admitted his wife to the private clinic to terminate her pregnancy . Nayagarh Police have seized case records and risk bond of the woman from the hospital but could not find medical termination of pregnancy form of the patient. Besides, none of the documents had signatures of any doctor. Aditya Hospital and Clinic’s proprietor Satya Priya Swain, two female nurses, woman’s husband Ganesh and a middleman have been arrested, the SP Continued on P5 informed.
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