SAMBALPUR l thursday l september 23, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION wORLD HEALTH oRGANIZATION sets HIGHER bar for air quality W.H.O. on Wednesday issued its first air quality guidelines since 2005 aimed at reducing deaths from key pollutants Advised levels of pollutants revised In the revised guidelines, the United Nations health agency slashed the recommended maximum levels of several pollutants, including particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. WHO halved the recommended limit for average annual PM2.5 level from 10 micrograms per cubic metre to 5. It also lowered the advised limit for PM10 from 20 micrograms to 15 ■ 90% Air pollution biggest health risk ■ ■ Exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause 7 mn premature deaths and affect the health of millions more people each year According to the WHO, air pollution is now comparable to other global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking Reducing exposure to particulate matter is the priority, WHO said OF WORLD POPULATION ALREADY LIVEs IN AREAS WITH HARMFUL pollutantS 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 PM weighs in on Pradhan seeks Jagan’s help for ending border dispute vax certification at global summit E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar UK okay with Covishield, not India’s certificate E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Takeda, qualify as approved vaccines.” From 4 am on October 4, those who have taken A day after India threatened re- vaccines from a relevant public ciprocal measures on its dis- health body and are from a specriminatory policy on vaccina- cific list of countries, will be tion, the UK on Wednesday considered fully vaccinated. Inincluded Covishield in its list dia does not figure on that list. of approved vaccines. However, “We’re clear Covishield is Indian travellers not a problem. The UK will still have to unis open to travel and Jab-o-meter dergo quarantine we’re already seeing a Take your shot lot of people going upon arrival as the British government Sep 21 68,26,132 doses from India to the UK, is yet to recognise Sep 22 64,98,274 doses be it tourists, business the vaccination cerpeople or students,” Total doses 83,33,46,676 tificate citing techsaid Alex Ellis, British nical issues. High Commissioner to Later in the day, NATIONWIDE sep 21 sep 22 India. “We have been P r i m e M i n i s t e r Fresh cases 26,115 26,964 having detailed techniNarendra Modi al- Recoveries 34,469 34,167 cal discussions regard252 383 ing certification, with luded to the hassle Deaths and stressed the odisha sep 21 sep 22 the builders of the need for nations to CoWIN app and the Fresh cases 462 734 NHS app, about both mutually recognise 560 445 apps” he added. vaccination certifi- Recoveries 05 04 cates for ease of Deaths At the virtual sumtravel. “We need to mit, Modi said India`50,000 focus on addressing has managed to adex-gratia the pandemic’s ecominister 800 million NDMA has nomic effects. To vaccine doses so far end the adverse ef- recommended that and the production of fects on the econo- `50,000 be given vaccines is also being my, international to the kin of those ramped up. “As our travel should be who died of Covid- production increases, 19, the Centre made easier by muwe will be able to informed the tually recognising resume vaccine supva c c i n e c e r t i f i - Supreme Court on plies to others too. For Wednesday | P7 cates,” the prime this, the supply chains minister said in his of raw materials must address at the virtual Global be kept open.” Covid Summit on the sidelines US President Joe Biden anof the United Nations General nounced that his country will Assembly According to the UK double its purchase of Pfizer’s . government’s amended guide- shots to share with the world lines, “Formulations of the up to 1 billion doses, in keeping four listed vaccines, such as As- with the goal of vaccinating traZeneca Covishield, Astra- 70% of the global population by Zeneca Vaxzevria and Modern next year. @ New Delhi Zee Entertainment, Sony Pictures announce merger The proposed merger will combine both the companies’ linear networks, digital assets, production operations and program libraries Sony Pictures Networks India to hold majority stake in the merged entity Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd MD and CEO Punit Goenka to lead the merged entity The proposed merger will, HOWEVER, need shareholders’ approval The development comes a week after two largest investors of ZEEL — Invesco Developing Markets Fund and OFI Global China Fund — sought to remove Goenka | P10 express read Reserve Bank Reshuffle Private consumption AI chief Rajiv Bansal key to economic is the new civil recovery: Das aviation secretary Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said on Wednesday that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the poor harder than others and restoring private consumption will be the key. “Our endeavour should be to ensure livable and sustainable growth in the post-pandemic future. Restoring the durability of private consumption, which has remained historically the mainstay of aggregate demand will be very crucial,” he said | P10 The Centre on Wednesday appointed 13 senior bureaucrats as Secretary in various Union ministries and departments. Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal will be the new civil aviation secretary, replacing Pradeep Singh Kharola, who is retiring on 30 September. Anurag Jain will be the new Secretary, DPIIT while K Sanjay Murthy will be secretary of Higher Education. K Rajaraman will be telecom secretary after incumbent Anshu Prakash retires on | P7 afghanistan Gunmen open fire at Taliban vehicles, five including three civilians killed Attackers struck Taliban vehicles in an eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, witnesses said, killing at least two fighters and three civilians in the latest violence since the group’s takeover of the country in mid-August. In one attack, gunmen opened fire on a Taliban vehicle at a local gas station in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, killing two fighters and a gas station attendant, witnesses said. A child was also killed, they added. Another child was killed and two Taliban were wounded in a separate attack — a bombing of another vehicle | P9 As the border dispute between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh continues to escalate, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has sought personal intervention of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy t o r e s o l ve t h e i s s u e amicably . In a letter to Reddy, the Union Minister requested for bilateral discussions with his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik and lay the broad parameters of future roadmap to address the problems. “These skirmishes which started in 20 odd villages of Kotia panchayat in Pottangi block of Koraput district have unfortunately now spread to other border villages in Gajapati district. Needless to emphasise, these run-ins fuel inter-state border disputes and is a matter of serious concern,” the letter said. Such disputes pose a threat both to the security as well as developmental aspirations of people at border villages in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, Pradhan added. He requested Reddy to create a conducive environment for talks between the two states by withdrawing armed police forc- es in the disputed villages and immediate withdrawal of cases registered against local representatives and government officials registered with police in both the states. He assured all support of the Union Government and his availability for facilitating an amicable environment for bilateral talks and peaceful resolution of the dispute. Noting that Odisha and Andhra Pradesh share much common history, developmental challenges and welfare objectives, Pradhan said the developmental initiatives of both the states in these remote areas have gone a long way in mitigat- ing the threats arising from Left-wing extremism (LWE). It is a matter of great satisfaction that the administration, police forces and political leadership of both the states have joined hands to curb the LWE and the combined efforts have ensured return of peace in these villages, he added. “The present volatile situation arising out of inter-state conflicts on the issue of delimitation of physical boundaries is extremely unfortunate and uncalled for. They have the potential to derail the ongoing developmental initiatives and nullify the peace dividends which have accrued over the years in these areas,” the Union Minister said. He further said situations like these would only fuel mistrust and prop up divisive forces to work against the socio-economic-political and economic interests of both the states. “I am sure you would appreciate that settling boundary issues are time-consuming and require intense parleys coupled with involvement of a mature political leadership at the highest levels, based on mutual trust and cooperation between states. There is a need for building an enabling environment to facilitate talks between the states in view of the flared-up situation on ground,” Pradhan said. Capt raps Gandhis, vows to trounce Sidhu H a r p r ee t B a j w a @ Chandigarh Risky affair Labourers without safety gear working atop an under-construction building at Bapuji Nagar in Bhubaneswar | Express Can’t cover natural drains, says BMC citing NGT order E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar BHUBANESWAR Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday said the drainage channels cannot be covered with slabs as per the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order. The corporation, however, said that it will come up with a long-term action plan to revamp the drainage system to free the capital of urban flooding problems. A 15-year-old boy had died after falling into drainage channel 8(A) on September 20 leading to intense outrage and demands by the political parties for covering all drains of the City. Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Kumar Singh who had asked engineers to make a fresh assessment of places vulnerable to urban flood said covering storm water drainage channels is not possible as NGT has directed against covering natural drains. In 2014, the tribunal in an order to Delhi environment department had said that covering storm water channels will result in increased toxicity and health hazards owing to trapped gases. It also said that if the channels are covered, it would hinder the work of cleaning and identifying checked drains. BMC said, temporary barricading will be done a ro u n d v u l n e r a b l e drainage points, especially in 13 storm water drainage channels during monsoon to prevent such mishaps. Priority will be given to such points in the 75 locations vulnerable to flooding during t h e m o n s o o n a n d h e av y rains. “The entire drainage system will be redesigned and revamped to bolster the city’s drainage system to make it robust so that it could deal with heavy rainfall,” the Commis- sioner said after a review meeting with engineers and senior officers of BMC. BMC will follow the guidelines of the Supreme Court, National Green Tribunal as well as the State Pollution Control Board while revamping the drainage systems in the city, he added. The Commissioner also instructed the engineers to find out the cause of water logging in vulnerable areas that were flooded in recent rains. He said the long-term plan to be worked out will involve land acquisition for widening of the drainage channels. As BMC has decided to expand drainage channels 7 and 10 on a priority basis to prevent water-logging in New Forest Park and Bairagi Nagar areas, Singh said that BMC will soon submit a proposal to the State government for the acquisition of land for expansion of these channels. CM launches projects worth `800 crore in Balangir Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday distributed BSKY smart health cards besides launching projects worth over `797 crore in Balangir district | P4 Days after stepping down as Punjab chief minister, Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday took his first public swipe at the Gandhi siblings leading the party, Rahul and Priyanka, for forcing his hand, saying they were quite inexperienced, adding they were misguided. He also announced his decision to field a strong candidate against new Punjab Congress unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu — who led the rebellion against him — to ensure his defeat in the for thcoming Assembly elections. “He is dangerous for the state,” he said as he lit into Sidhu. By saying so, he appeared to be baiting the party to expel him. Amarinder also said he would continue fighting against Sidhu’s elevation or making him the chief ministerial face tooth and nail. He questioned the judgement of the Gandhi siblings’ advisors, K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken and Randeep Surjewala, who helped constitute the new ministry led by Charanjit Singh Channi, and termed Sidhu as the super chief minister. Asserting that he will only leave politics on a high, Amarinder said, “I was ready to leave after victory but never after a loss. He disclosed that he had offered his resignation to party president Sonia Gandhi three weeks ago but she had asked him to continue. “If she had just called me and asked me to step down, I would have,” he said, adding, “as a soldier, I know how to do my task and leave once I am called back.” He bitterly criticised the Congress Legislative Party meeting called in a secretive manner to unseat him. “I would not have taken MLAs on a flight to Goa or some place... the Gandhi siblings know that is not my way he ,” said, adding, “Priyanka and Rahul (Gandhi siblings) are like my children. This should not have ended like this. I am hurt.” Options open on future trajectory Indicating he was keeping his political options open, Capt Amarinder Singh said he was talking to his friends before deciding on his future course of action. “You can be old at 40 and young at 80,” he quipped, making it clear that he did not see his age as a hurdle, going forward express read UP cleric held on charge of illegal conversions Lucknow: The Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh Police has zeroed in on a prominent cleric from western UP on charges of illegal religious conversions. Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, who hails from Muzaffarnagar district, is believed to be one of the most prominent clerics in the region. A statement issued by the UP ATS said the cleric was taken into custody while he was returning to his home in Muzaffarnagar after attending a programme in Meerut on Tuesday night. Angry locals immediately launched a protest outside Lisari Gate police station to know his whereabouts | P8 Another low pressure by Friday, more rains likely Bhubaneswar: A fresh low pressure is likely to form over Bay of Bengal around Friday evening and trigger rainfall in Odisha. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday said that a cyclonic circulation lies over Myanmar coast and adjoining Gulf of Martaban. The system is expected to move north-westwards and emerge into northeast and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal. Under its influence, a low pressure area is likely to form over the same region | P2 SC pushes govt to let women write NDA exams this year K a n u Sa r da @ New Delhi ThE Supreme Cour t on Wednesday rejected the Centre’s request to defer the induction of women into the National Defence Academy (NDA) till next year, directing the defence ministry to do the needful to ensure female candidates appear in the upcoming NDA entrance exams in November itself. Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati told the bench that the military establishment would need some time to ind u c t wo m e n i n t o NDA. She said a study group is looking into the infrastructure and course require- ments for women cadets and that a system will be put in place by May 2022. However, a bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said the admission of women cannot be postponed as it will mean losing a year. “What answer would we have for the students who are on the anvil of taking the exam? Don’t ask us to effectively vacate the order. You go on with the exercise. Let us see the result and see how many women get in,” it said. “We have given a thought to the matter, and the difficulties expressed by the armed services. What effectively would mean by the submission of armed forces is ‘No Jam today Jam tomorrow’. It will be difficult for us to accept that position,” the bench said. The court said the armed forces are trained to deal with emergencies and expressed hope that they will come up with a faster solution to facilitate the entry of women. The bench kept the petition pending and slated it for further directions if needed in January 2022.
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