Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 22 64,98,274 doses September 23 65,26,432 doses Total doses: 84,08,21,190 NATIONWIDE sep 22 sep 23 Fresh cases 26,964 31,923 Recoveries Deaths 34,167 31,990 383 282 tamil nadu sep 22 sep 23 Fresh cases jabs at home for people with restricted mobility, disability The Centre announced the decision on a day it said 66% of the country’s adult population has been given at least one dose suicide victims’ kin entitled to ex-gratia ■ 1,627 21 1,624 27 23% uk has no issues with Cowin, too The Centre also informed the Supreme Court that the family members of people who die by suicide within 30 days of testing Covid positive are also entitled to compensation from the State Disaster Relief Fund. Earlier, the ex-gratia of `50,000 was limited to Covid deaths, which were defined as death in hospital or elsewhere within 30 days of contracting the infection 1,745 Recoveries Deaths TIRUNELVELI l friday l september 24, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION 1,682 ■ A day after indicating that CoWIN app is the sticking point in certification of Indian vaccination to avoid quarantine, the UK shifted its position, saying the app was not a problem No concerns on certification were raised in Thursday’s talks, UK High Commissioner said. Yet, the issue is to be fully resolved Of indian adult population has received both the doses 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 Man stabs ex to death in public near Chennai and Ramachandran had been in a relationship for three years. Inquiry revealed Swetha A 20-year-old woman was had ended the relationship, stabbed to death in broad day- said a senior police official. light near Tambaram railway “The man had called her to station in Chennai on Thurs- speak about it,” he said. day, allegedly by a Police said Ramman with whom she a c h a n d r a n a s ke d had ended a threeSwetha to meet at the year relationship. Pospot after her class lice said the assailant ended. They met near subsequently attemptthe railway station ed to kill himself but and walked to the was stopped by memr a i lw ay q u a r t e r s bers of the public. nearby. Police, quotThe deceased was ing eyewitnesses, said Jabbed in identified as M Ramachandran had a throat Swetha from heated conversation Chromepet, a secondwith the woman and, Ramachandran, year student of Mediafter a while, pulled after a heated cal Laboratory Techout a kitchen knife he talk with the nology at the Madras deceased Swetha, h a d h i d d e n a n d Christian College’s stabbed her in the stabbed Swetha in the School of Continuing throat. As passers-by throat with a Education. raised an alarm, Ramkitchen knife he The assailant, iden- had kept hidden. achandran cut his tified as Ramachanown throat. “While Later, he cut his dran, a native of own throat in an the attempt inflicted Tirukkuvalai in Nadamage on his neck, attempt to kill gapattinam district, the public nabbed the himself has been admitted to man and informed pothe Rajiv Gandhi Government lice,” said an officer. General Hospital after injuring The ambulance crew that arhimself, police said. He worked rived declared Swetha dead at a private manufacturing unit while Ramachandran was at Maraimalai Nagar in the rushed to the hospital. The outskirts of Chennai. Selaiyur police have registered According to police, Swetha a case and further probe is on. S a h aya N o v i n s t o n L o b o @ Chennai Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by members of Indian Diaspora upon his arrival in Washington DC on Thursday | Press Information Bureau Modi woos business czars in the US Seeks fresh US investments in India; deals on military drones, 5G and solar power expected E x p r e ss N e ws S e r v i c e @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday hit the ground running, holding backto-back meetings with the top executives of five leading US companies from diverse sectors. Among the CEOs who met Modi in Washington DC the first day of his four-day US visit were Indian-Americans Shantanu Narayen, chairman of software major Adobe, and Vivek Lall, CEO of military drone manufacturer General Atomics. The others included Cristiano Amon of Qualcomm, a leader in 5G solutions; Mark Widmar, CEO of solar panel maker First Solar; and Stephen Schwarzman of global invest- ment firm Blackstone. During the one-on-one meetings with the business leaders, Modi highlighted the unique opportunities India could offer to them, sources said. Modi’s first interaction was with Qualcomm’s Amon and the discussion was on how 5G technology could be acceleated. “We talked about an incredible opportunity to advance the industry not only domestically in India but India as an export of technology,” Amon later said. According to the PMO, the Qualcomm CEO “expressed keenness to work with India in areas such as 5G and other @ DigitalIndia efforts”. Sources said Qualcomm wants to work with India on semi-conductors, 5G and the Prime Minister WiFi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme. Talks with Adobe’s Narayen revolved around the firm’s future investment plans in India. “Ideas to leverage Digital India flagship programme in sectors like health, education and R&D were also discussed,” read a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). India’s solar energy potential was the focus of Modi’s meeting with First Solar’s Widmar. “Discussions took place about First Solar’s interest in setting up manufacturing facilities in India using their unique thinfilm technology by availing the Production Linked Incentive Scheme,” MEA said. India eyes General Atomics’ predator drones Blackstone to invest $40 billion in India over 5 yrs Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with the CEO of General Atomics, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of military drones, set off buzz that India could be looking at boosting its defence arsenal India is Blackstone’s best market in the world, said the firm’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman. He said Blackstone has already invested $60 billion in assets in India and will pump in another $40 billion over the next five years express read aatmanirbhar bharat out of Rti ambit proxy war The Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Thursday placed an order for supply of 118 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) Arjun Mk-1A for the Indian Army worth `7,523 crore. This was the first bulk order in several years for the Chennai-based Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) in Avadi. MBT Mk-1A was designed and developed by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), also located in Avadi, along with other laboratories of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary of Department of Defence (R&D) and Chairman of DRDO, told TNIE, “It’s a major boost to Aatmanirbhar Bharat and will make industries flourish.” New Delhi: Stating that the PM CARES Fund was not a government fund, the Centre on Thursday told the Delhi High Court the donations received by the fund did not go to the Consolidated Fund of India. Refusing to share third-party information, the government said it functioned with transparency and the funds were audited by an auditor — a chartered accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. The government was opposing a petitioner’s plea seeking a direction to declare the PM CARES Fund a ‘State’ under the Constitution and a ‘public authority’ under the RTI Act. Further hearing was fixed for September 27 | p7 New Delhi: Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir were put on high alert based on intelligence reports of terror groups planning a ‘spectacular’ attack in the Union Territory to coincide with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with the US President Joe Biden. Sources said terror groups were planning a fidayeen (suicide) attack on a senior police officer or a government installation. Modi reached Washington on Thursday for a three-day visit. “Pak-based terror groups are trying to learn newer techniques to attack our forces from terrorists based abroad,” a senior security official said, referring to the nexus between groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba and Taliban | P8 Heavy Vehicles Factory in Avadi to produce 118 battle tanks for Army PM CARES is not government fund, Centre tells Delhi High Court DVAC books TNPCB chief on graft charges holding the posts of member secretary, TNPCB (October 14, The Directorate of Vigilance 2013 to July 29, 2014), member and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) on secretary, State Environment Thursday booked AV Venkatach- Impact Assessment Authority alam, chairman of the Tamil (2017-18) and, after retirement, Nadu Pollution Control Board chairman of TNPCB (since Sep(TNPCB), on charges of “crimi- tember 27, 2019). He was booked nal misconduct” and “criminal under sections of The Prevenmisappropriation”. Venkatach- tion of Corruption Act, 1988. alam is scheduled to retire on The DVAC said it has requestSeptember 27. ed forest officials to The agency also take necessary action Allegations launched a search at and added the search Sources said five places, including operation will continVenkatachalam the TNPCB office at ue. Sources said sevwas accused of Guindy in Chennai, eral complaints were and Venkatachalam’s “seeking monetary lodged against the benefits” for residences in ChenTNPCB chairman by nai and Salem. Net issuing ‘Consent to applicants seeking Establish’ and cash of `13.5 lakh, permission to estab‘Consent to gold jewellery weighlish and operate entiOperate’ ing 6.5 kg (worth `2.5 ties. Quoting allegadocuments crore), and docutions in the ments relevant to the complaints, sources case were identified, said the said he was accused of “seeking agency, adding these would be monetary benefits” for issuing seized. “Around 10kg of sandal- ‘Consent to Establish’ and ‘Conwood articles and pieces were sent to Operate’ documents and identified at his residence,” a during their renewals. Some DVAC statement said. complainants also accused him The statement alleged the of causing “unjustifiable delay” 1983 TN cadre Indian Forest in granting permissions for the Service (IFS) official was in- want of “illegal gratification”. volved in criminal misconduct (With inputs from and misappropriation while SV Krishna Chaitanya) Continuing our series on TN’s rivers ahead of World Rivers Day, we pan to the Adyar and Cooum in Chennai | P4 SC to set up technical experts’ panel on Pegasus Express News Service @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Thursday said it is planning to set up a committee of technical experts to look into allegations of unauthorised surveillance using Pegasus software, adding a formal order will be issued by next week. The information assumes significance since the Centre had earlier offered to set up an expert panel on its own to look into allegations of snooping on civil society . Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said the matter was taking time because some of the experts it wanted to induct had declined citing personal difficulties. “We will be able to finalise the members of the technical expert team by next week and then pronounce our orders.” The remarks came when he was hearing some other case in which senior advocate C U Singh, one of the petitioner’s lawyers in the Peagsus case, was appearing. The top court had on September 13 reserved its order, saying it only wanted to know whether or not the Centre illegally used Pegasus to snoop on journalists, activists and politicians. The Centre had stoutly refused to file an detailed affidavit citing national security . The Congress appreciated the SC’s initiative to set up a probe panel, saying it is a step in the right direction. “The Pegasus spy scandal is... an assault on national security and privacy The solution is simple ... — A SC-monitored full investigation. SC observation of setting up a technical committee is a right step in this direction,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted. BJP warming up to Amarinder Singh H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh CP B a l a s u b r a m a n ya m @ Chennai choked by capital city Alert in J&K on major terror strike to coincide with Modi-Biden meet snoopgate seer death probe Police bringing Sundeep Tiwari (centre), accused of abetting the suicide of Mahant Narendra Giri, to the district court in Prayagraj on Thursday. Sundeep is the son of co-accused Adya Tiwari, the priest of Bade Hanuman Temple in the city | PTI A day after former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh chided the Gandhi siblings, Rahul and Priyanaka, for unseating him, the BJP seemed to be cosying up to the veteran Congress leader. With the political pot in pollbound Punjab already boiling following his high-pitched spat with state Congress unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu, the BJP’s overture has added a new dimension to it. They have not only gone soft on him but are spinning him as a nationalist icon. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Thursday sought to slam Sidhu, saying Amarinder was axed as he was a hurdle in installing pro-Pakistan forces in power in Punjab. The BJP, which had gone on the backfoot in the state after the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) broke its two-decade old alliance with it last year citing the controversial farm sector reform laws, is now tempting Amarinder to jump ship so that the saffron party become a significant player in the state polls. As for Amarinder, he is keeping his options open. The BJP wants to fight on all 117 seats in the state this time around. At present, it has only two MLAs in the Assembly In the last As. sembly elections, the BJP contested only 23 seats, as it was in alliance with SAD. Po l i t i c a l a n a l y s t P r o f Ashutosh of Panjab University said, “Amarinder has two op- tions. Either he floats his own regional party like others did or join the BJP The kind of po. litical language he is speaking and idioms he is using of late are in consonance with the BJP line on national security and Pakistan bashing.’’ Amarinder, even after demitting office, is clearly no pushover. With him holding his cards close to the chest, nothing can be definitively said as yet. To draw him, the BJP has to find a workaround for the three farm laws as also introduce a law guaranteeing minimum support prices (MSP) for crops. The other option for Amarinder is to launch his own regional political outfit with tacit support of the BJP . more roads under nhai control Six new toll gates to come up soon on highways in TN B A N B USELVA N @ Chennai In a couple of months, motorists will have to shell out more to travel on National Highways (NH) in Tamil Nadu with six new toll gates coming up soon. As the State hands over four highway stretches, running for 312 km, to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for it to maintain, the number of toll gates in Tamil Nadu will rise from 48 to 52. Two toll gates each will come up on the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai-Villupuram stretch (121 km) of NH 234 and Cuddalore-Virudhachalam-Salem section (92 km) of NH 532. Similarly, the Avin a s h i - Av i n a s h i Palayam section (33 km) of NH 381, and Perambalur-Thanjavur section (66 km) of NH 226E will have one new gate each. The roads, which were so far under the maintenance of the State Highways wing, have been developed into two and four lanes using funds from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. “All the administrative procedures have been completed to hand over the roads to NHAI. The Union government has passed a gazette notification for toll collection at new gates on NH 226E. Upon completing the pending road works, the gates will commence collection,” said an official from the highways department. The Union government, however, has not responded to the demand for closure of five toll Over 1,800 km taken over Until 2017, as much as 3,285 km of the total 5,324 km of NH passing through TN was maintained by the NHAI. However, as of August 2021, it has risen to about 5,134 km gates on Chennai-Tiruchy, Chennai-Bengaluru, and Chennai bypass, the official added. Official data accessed by TNIE revealed that over 1,800 km of roads in Tamil Nadu have been brought under NHAI’s maintenance in the last four years and have been converted into tolled roads. This, even as there has been an expansion in the road network, boosting industrial and real estate growth in the State. continued on: p5
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