HYDERABAD TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION RETAIL INFLATION EASES TO 5.3% IN AUG AS FOOD PRICES SOFTEN Subdued prices of food items like vegetables pulled down retail inﬂation for the third month in a row, within RBI’s comfort zone VEGETABLE PRICES CONTRACT 11.7% IN AUGUST Consumer Price Index-based retail inflation was 5.59% in July and 6.69% in August 2020. According to data released by National Statistics Office on Monday, food inflation decelerated to 3.11% in August from 4% in July as vegetable prices contracted 11.68% during the month. RBI primarily considers retail inflation to decide the monetary policy every two months ■ 5.7% RECORD KHARIF PRODUCTION LIKELY: GOVT ■ The Centre expects foodgrain production to touch a new record of over 150 million tonnes in 2021-22 crop year (July-June) “We have received good rains so far this year... foodgrain production will definitely be much higher than last year’s Kharif season,” Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Agarwal said on Monday RBI’S PROJECTION OF RETAIL INFLATION DURING 2021-22 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 TS MAY MOVE SC OVER IMMERSION ORDER While HC refuses to budge on directive against PoP idol immersion, festival organisers see ordinance as way out S BAC H A N J E E T S I N G H @ Hyderabad PUSHED to the corner by the refusal of the Telangana High Court to review its order banning the immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in the Hussainsagar, the State government is likely to move the Supreme Court to f i n d a w ay o u t o f t h e conundrum. With the immersion of idols having begun already and the possibility of the order triggering a political recoil, the State government wants to plead with the Apex Court to allow it to continue the practice of immersion of all types of idols in the Hussainsagar. Though the ban order was issued on September 9, devotees have been immersing Ganesh idols in the lake over the last few days without a care in the world. The government agencies, meanwhile, are not lifting a finger to prevent them from polluting the lake as they are wary of ruffling feathers. As the High Court has dismissed the lunch hour motion petition of the government, the COVID TRACKER Study backs push for booster dose New Delhi: Antibody levels reduce within four months of the second dose of Covishield and Covaxin, says ICMR, validating demands in some quarters for a booster shot. Researchers associated with ICMR’s centre in Bhubaneswar in their study found those who did not get breakthrough infections showed ‘significant’ decline in their antibody levels | P7 JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT A youngster immerses a Ganesh idol in the Hussainsagar | VINAY MADAPU Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), police and other departments concerned are now waiting for a direction from the State on the future course of action. The GHMC has no immediate action plan on how to ensure immersion of huge idols. Officials believe that if the High Court orders are honoured, then the idol immersion in the 25 baby ponds would take more than a week to complete. The police department is yet to take a call on the orders of the High Court. “Our job is to ensure that there is no trouble at the time of the immersion of idols. We provide protection wherever required. It is the GHMC that has to take a call on where the idols should be immersed,” a source from the department said. Meanwhile, the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi (BGUS) general secretary Bhagavanth Rao said, “More than one lakh idols have been installed in the Greater Hyderabad limits and they have to be immersed in water bodies, including the Hussainsagar in the coming days. It is the responsibility of the State government to see to it that there are no hurdles. If any attempt is made to prevent the devotees from immersing the idols, then it would be tantamout to undermining the citizens’ fundamental right to freedom of practising the religion of their choice. In the wake of the High Court orders, the government should consider bringing an ordinance to overcome the difficulty .” R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi IN a bid to connect with people on the ground ahead of the crucial Assembly elections, the Congress plans to deploy ‘vicharak’s on the lines of RSS ‘pracharaks’. These young activists, primarily members of the Congress’ grassroots front organisation Seva Dal, will visit select constituencies and have meaningful talks with voters on pressing issues such as price rise, unemployment and farmer distress. The experiment will also mark an image makeover for the Seva Dal, whose role and responsibilities were tweaked after Rahul Gandhi became party chief in 2017, by actively engaging in election campaign and public outreach programmes in states where it has good presence. The organisation has around 3.7 lakh active members in over 600 districts. It has around 450 members in UP . “It is vicharaks vs pracharaks. We are training our workforce to focus on people’s agen- 28,591 27,254 SEP 12 SEP 13 Fresh cases 249 315 Recoveries Deaths 313 2 318 2 NEW FEATHER IN HYD’S CAP Investment banking firm JP Morgan launches campus in Hyderabad on Monday | P3 Only 55 of 1.10 L screened students tested positive for Covid, says DPH that there were no instances of any outbreak. “We have taken due caution while operating DISPELLING fears of students schools. We have asked each contracting Covid-19, Telanga- district to monitor children. na Director of Public Health This has helped us nip any in(DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao, on fection in the bud. It has been Monday said that it was safe to about a fortnight since schools , send children to school. have been reopened and Speaking to the media, we would like to assure he said that Covid had parents that their kids not affected school-going are safe,” he said. children as feared. The DPH also stated “From the day the that children are natuschools were reopened, rally shielded from around 1.10 lakh kids Covid-19 due to lack of studying in 3,200 schools Dr G Srinivasa Rao ACE receptors onto across the State were which the virus latches tested and just 55 of them tested itself. positive for the virus, which Speaking about students’ atmeans the test positivity rate is tendance, he said: “In governless than 0.05 per cent among ment schools, around 50 per these children,” he pointed out. cent of the students are attendHe contended that only spo- ing classes, while the attendradic cases were reported from ance is about 20-30 per cent in P4 schools across the State and private schools.” E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad da away from emotional and religious agenda of the RSS and other parties ahead of elections. Members of Seva Dal will work in tandem with state units to reach out to people and talk to them on pressing issues,” said Lalji Desai, chief organiser, Seva Dal. He says the team is young and dynamic with 80% of them below 45 years. They have been divided in three groups — Seva Dal young brigade, Seva Dal and Mahila Seva Dal. They have been @ New Delhi 34,848 37,687 338 219 TELANGANA IN a major setback to the State government, the Telangana High Court on Monday refused to revisit its orders from September 9, prohibiting the immersion of Ganesh idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP) in the Hussainsagar and other water bodies in Hyderabad. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice MS Ramachandra Rao and Justice T Vinod Kumar dismissed the lunch motion petition filed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC), stating, “This court is not inclined to modify its order because you created the circumstances with your own actions. If aggrieved by the orders of this court, the State can approach the Supreme Court. The High Court respects all religious sentiments. But no scripture says that one should pray to the Ganesh idols made of PoP and synthetic colours and that these idols must be immersed in the Hussainsagar alone.” The bench expressed doubts over the bona fides of the GHMC Commissioner, stating that nowhere in his previous three affidavits did he disclose that bigger Ganesh idols could not be immersed in the 25 baby ponds in the GHMC area. It observed that P3 such crucial information was withheld from the court. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SEP 13 Fresh cases TG N A I D U @ Hyderabad trained in efficiently using social media tools to communicate with youths and working class. Congress Seva Dal, which was once seen more as a ceremonial organisation, has zeroed in on 100 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh where their members would be campaigning for the party The selection . was based on research by team members and work will start after the final go-ahead from Congress general secretary and in-charge for UP Priyanka Gandhi and UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu. will be placed before your lordships,” Mehta added. WITH the Centre again refusBut the bench said Mehta ing to file a detailed affidavit on was beating around the bush. whether or not it used the “We just wanted you to clarify Pegasus software to snoop on whether their (civil society) journalists and members of privacy was violated or not. the civil society, the SuWhether surveillance, if preme Court on Monday done at all, was after said it will pass its inlawful permission. Was terim order on a batch the interception done of petitions in a twoby any agency unlawthree days. fully? Should the govSolicitor General ernment not be conTushar Mehta said the cerned if any ‘outside Sibal’s Centre did not want agency’ had violated counter matters of national inour citizens’ privacy?” “My friend terest to be part of it asked. Mehta re(Mehta) says public discourse or jusponded saying that making that dicial debate through he had have already statement on an affidavit. “Existfiled an affidavit sayoath itself is ence of whether a paring there was no unaudetrimental to ticular software was thorised interception. used or not cannot be- national security. Pointing out that it I am sorry, it is come part of an affidahad given fair oppordetrimental to vit or subject of public tunity to the Centre to the process of d i s c o u r s e. Ta r g e t make its statement, justice,” Kapil groups, terror groups the CJI said, “Now we Sibal said should not know what have to look into the software is being whole issue and deused,” Mehta told the bench led cide something.” by Chief Justice of India N V The court then reserved its Ramana. interim orders. “We will set up a committee Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, of domain experts. The peti- appearing for journalists N tioners who say their numbers Ram and Sashi Kumar, who are were put under interception among the petitioners, said the can be considered by the com- government cannot tell the SC mittee. The committee report to ‘shut your eyes’. K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi JOHN KERRY SAYS ZERO-EMISSION TARGET IS FOR ALL Visiting US special presidential climate envoy said it is imperative that all parties commit to it, adding India and US are working towards speedier deployment of clean energy | P7 Info heads urge CJI to shoo HCs off turf TOTAL DOSES: 75,10,41,391 Recoveries Deaths No scripture mandates PoP idol immersion, asserts HC Congress vicharaks vs RSS pracharaks in UP September 12 72,86,883 doses September 13 67,04,768 doses NATIONWIDE SEP 12 This court is not inclined to modify its order because you (State government) created the circumstances with your own actions — Telangana High Court Govt again cites security to duck full affidavit, SC order on Pegasus soon IT firms encouraged to resume work from office Hyderabad: Encouraging IT employees to rejoin work from office, Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said that just as schools have begun functioning, tech companies can also reopen their offices. “With their reopening, several allied services like cabs, roadside eateries and sanitation services will be supported. It is a safe time for the IT industry to reinstate the work-from-office system as the caseload is low in the GHMC region and nearly 100 per cent of the population are vaccinated with at least one dose. We have saturated the community with vaccines,” he said. He stressed that as long as companies ensured means of social distancing and masking, there was no visible threat A group of 15 sitting and retired information commissioners last week wrote to Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, urging him to direct high courts not to entertain petitions against orders passed by the Central Information Commission (CIC). Section 23 of the RTI Act says, “No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceedings in respect of any order made under this act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act.” So, Parliament clearly intended that the final appeal will lie with the information commissions, the letter pointed out. Yet, directions of information commissioners were being negated due to high court stay orders. “At the very least orders of imposition of penalty should not be stayed as no irrevocable harm can come to the penalised official. It should also be ensured that if any stay order is given it should give reasons for staying the statutory order of the commission, the letter said. Its signatories include two sitting state information commissioners of Madhya Pradesh, Rahul Singh and G Krishnamurthy, four retired central information commissioners and one retired chief central information commissioner. The CIC has been set up under the RTI Act. EXPRESS READ Delay in JEE results makes students anxious Hyderabad: After anxiously waiting for the JEE (Mains) result 2021 for the entire day on Monday, thousands of aspirants, who appeared for the exam from the State, were left disappointed as the results were delayed once again. The National Testing Agency (NTA), in late evening on Monday, confirmed that the results that were supposed to be announced on Monday, would now be declared in the coming week | P3 BREAK POINT Emotionally spent Djokovic falls at final hurdle S W A R O O P S W A M I N AT H A N @ Chennai CHASING invincibility is never easy Pressure, as most elite ath. letes maintain, is a privilege. But add expectation and history to the mix and it can turn heady. Especially in a world filled with unending news cycles, where the best can feel claustrophobic from all the attention. Novak Djokovic temporarily lifted the veil to allow mortals a peek into this world at the Tokyo Olympics. He arrived in Japan as the prohibitive favourite to win a fourth gong in his quest to complete a Golden Slam: winning four Majors as well as an Olympics gold. It’s hard. Only one player in history, Steffi Graf (1988), had done it. The Serb failed in this lofty quest, going down in the semifinal in Tokyo. In the bronze medal match, there was a spectacular implosion. At one point, he flung his racquet into the stands. On another occasion, he broke it so badly even the scrapyard wouldn’t have accepted its remains. On Sunday night, inside the sport’s biggest theatre — Arthur Ashe Stadium — the 34-year-old was chasing another piece of history. The Grand Slam, win- ning all four in a calendar year. Only five have done it ever. The narrative was set in stone even before the final. It would be the night of Djokovic’s coronation. Not just a Grand Slam but the night would also see him move past both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for sole lead of Russia’s Daniil Medvedev won his first Major defeating World No 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the US Open final Everything that mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot. It was a lot to handle — Djokovic Novak Djokovic breaks the racquet after losing a point to Daniil Medvedev | AP most Majors won by a male. There was logic behind that assertion. Coming into the final, the Djokovic-ian trait of coming back after losing the first set, winning the most important points in matches and outlasting opponents were all present. Even when he lost the first set to Daniil Medvedev, there was no cause for alarm. Ten minutes later, though, the pendulum shifted dramatically . The Serb lost five break point opportunities to let the Russian off the hook. There was also a code warning for racquet abuse in this period. Watching him, it was evident he wasn’t being himself. It seemed like he was emotionally spent. Something he agreed in the post match press conference. “I was glad it was over,” he said. “Mentally, emotionally I had to deal with throughout the tournament in the last couple of weeks was just a lot to handle.”
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