coimbatore l thursday l October 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Two win Chemistry nobel for green molecule tool The two scientists found an efficient way to build molecules that can be used to make everything from drugs to food flavourings David W.C. MacMillan Benjamin List Useful in cost-efficient drug discovery Introduced Alternative Catalysts The work of Benjamin List of Germany and Scotland-born David WC MacMillan has allowed scientists to produce those molecules more cheaply, efficiently, safely and with less environmental impact. Their method, known as asymmetric organocatalysis, is used widely today in drug discovery as well as in fine chemicals production ■ ■ The two scientists independently revealed that organic molecules can be used as catalysts, a fundamental tool in chemistry which is used to speed up reactions Before the breakthrough, there were just two classes of catalyst available: metals and enzymes 35% CONTRIBUTION of Catalysis TO WORLD G.D.P., ACCORDING TO THE NOBEL PANEL 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 765 FIRs registered, `97.86 lakh seized Narikuravar women pose after voting in Tirunelveli on Wednesday | V KARTHIKALAGU State Election Commissioner V Palanikumar said 765 FIRs were registered for various poll-related violations, and cash worth `97.86 lakh was seized from the nine districts till the day before the polls. While panchayat presidents alone are elected directly, district panchayat presidents, deputy presidents, and others are chosen by ward members Gandhis meet grieving families in village; SC steps in on its own Mishra meets Shah, no talk of resignation Polls peaceful, almost 75% turn up to cast votes THE first phase of elections to rural local bodies on Wednesday was conducted peacefully in nine districts with a voter turnout of 74.37 per cent. The last time local body elections were held in these districts was 2011. The voting went off without any major complaints at most polling stations between 7 am and 6 pm. A few polling booths in Ranipettai and Kallakurichi districts, however, witnessed altercations between DMK and AIADMK workers after election sym- bols were displayed near the polling booths. Contestants at a few places claimed their supporters’ names were removed from the voters’ list. In some parts of Kallakurichi district, polling was delayed due to rain. The polling time was extended by more than two hours in a few polling booths for various reasons. Hence, assessment of the final polling percentage was delayed, said officials from the State Election Commission (SEC). The nine districts that witnessed elections had 41.94 lakh voters on the rolls to choose from as many as 79,443 candidates. Polling for presidents and ward members of 1,577 village panchayats was conducted through paper ball o t s. T h e r e a r e 1 2 , 2 5 2 ward-member posts in these panchayats. Besides this, votes were cast to select 78 district panchayat ward members and 755 panchayat union ward members in Villupuram, T i r u p a t t u r, R a n i p e t , Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts. Full coverage: P4 Disabled persons left in the lurch Kin and cadre carry voters into booths Since many booths didn’t have wheelchairs in Tirunelveli, the disabled and elderly were carried in by relatives or party cadre, especially in booths at Koovachipatti, Vannikonendal, and Chettikurichi KV Navya @ Chennai As 20-odd people stared at her, V Kamala crawled on the floor while adjusting her saree to cast her vote during the local body elections at Villupuram. The disabled 43year-old had no other option since there were no wheelchairs or other facilities for persons with disabilities. Ground reality at Muttukaadu and Villupuram | Ashwin prasath, G Pattabi raman Such was the plight of several members of the disabled community across the State. Unwilling to face such humiliation, some of them refused to cast their votes. Ahead of the elections, Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) member Smitha Sadasivan had sent a recommendation to the State Election Commission (SEC) requesting for NATIONWIDE Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter October 5 Take 54,08,420 doses your October 6 shot 40,43,600 doses Total doses: 92,60,48,527 oct 5 Fresh cases 18,346 18,833 29,639 24,770 278 263 tamil nadu oct 5 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 1,449 1,548 16 oct 6 oct 6 1,432 1,519 25 LPG price up, nears `1,000 in some cities E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi NON-subsidised liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices were raised by `15 on Wednesday, taking the price close to `1,000 in some cities. A 14.2 kg cylinder will now cost `899.50 each in Delhi and Mumbai, `911 in Kolkata, `900.50 in Chennai and `887.50 in Bengaluru. In Patna, the price has touched `983. Oil marketing companies had raised prices by `25 in. In the past one year, LPG prices have surged a whopping 50%. This increase is mainly attributed to the rise in international prices of the fuel. The price of LPG sold by Saudi Arabia, one of India’s biggest suppliers of LPG, has gone up from $483 a tonne in May to $797 in October. According to experts, Saudi Arabia is likely to raise the price even further. Petrol and diesel prices were also increased on Wednesday. Petrol price was raised by 26-30 paise and diesel by 34-37 paise across the country on the back of crude oil soaring to 2014 highs in the inter national market. Petrol price in Delhi rose to polling booths to be made disabled-friendly . “When I asked a State Election Commission official, he said they would provide all facilities notified by the Election Commission of India (ECI). But officials in a few districts said they didn’t get any such instructions from the SEC,” she said. Continued on: P4 @ New Delhi/Lucknow Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi sharing the grief of a farmer family in Lakhimpur Kheri, on Wednesday | PTI N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow Political activity around Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh intensified further on Wednesday with an eight-member Congress delegation led by Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meeting the families of deceased farmers in the violence-torn village. The Supreme Court, too, entered the scene by taking suo motu cognisance of the violence. The matter will be heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice if India N V Ramana and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli on Thursday The court is already seized . of two petitions on the controversial farm laws. After blocking visits of Opposition leaders since Sunday, the state gover nment on Wednesday allowed all parties to send five-member delegations to Lakhimpur. The Congress delegation included chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Punjab, Bhupesh Baghel and Charanjeet Singh Channi. Aam Admi Party leader Sanjay Singh, too, went to Lakhimpur and met the families of the deceased farmers. Through his cell phone, AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejri- wal spoke to the grieving families and assured all help. The day began with Rahul reaching the Lucknow airport along with his two chief ministers. He insisted on using his own vehicle instead of a car provided by the government, for which he had to stage a protest briefly. On his way to Lakhimpur, he picked up Priyanka from a PAC guest house in Sitapur, where she was hitherto under arrest, after her release. Before leaving for Lucknow, Rahul alleged that the BJP government was carrying out ‘systematic attacks’ on the farmers in the country “Almost all insti. tutions are under the command of the BJP and the RSS. Those who speak against injustice are jailed and those who commit crimes go free,” he alleged. Both Channi and Baghel announced `50 lakh ex-gratia relief for the bereaved families. Later, two Congress leaders Sachin Pilot and Pramod Krishnan were taken into custody when they proceeded separately to Lakhimpur Kheri. Meanwhile, the cremation of all the eight victims of the violence was completed. The government wanted it to be over and for tempers to cool before allowing visits of politicians. Chinese realty bubble burst looming as stress spreads beyond Evergrande E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The over-leveraged Chinese real estate market has begun to unravel with another developer, Fantasia Holdings Group, failing to repay $206 million debt this week. This triggered a slew of rating downgrades of real estate debt papers and created panic among investors. Experts are keeping a close tab on a dozen real estate firms, which are up for debt repayment by the end of this year. The next in line are Xinyuan Real Estate Co, which has a $229 million debt repayment due on October 15 and Central China Real Estate, which is supposed to repay a $400 million bond on November 8. The default by Fantasia Holdings comes close on the heels of Evergrande missing interest payment of $83 million on September 24. Evergrande has a total debt of $300 billion. Experts fear another default by a realty firm in China may trigger a domino effect leading to a global financial crisis of the magnitude of Lehman Brothers in 2008, which wiped off bond and equity markets across the world. The effect has al- ready started showing. After an impressive run over the past 18 months, Indian equity markets are now cautious with China remaining an immediate risk. “Asian equities have seen heavy foreign outflows since the start of this month on concerns about China’s property sector,” said Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities. Bond yields have also inched up on fear of widespread defaults by Chinese firms. China recorded corporate bond defaults worth $9.68 billion in the first half of this year. No questioning or arrest yet Neither have the police arrested accused Ashish, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, nor questioned him yet. “This was a very sensitive issue and with the help of local officers’ free, fair and thorough investigation will take place. Action will be taken against the culprits,” Additional Director General (law and order) Prashant Kumar said Second autopsy fails to find bullet injury Even during the second autopsy of farmer Gurvinder Singh of Bahraich, which was sought by the protestors, no bullet injury was found on his body. The post-mortem report said that he died of trauma and haemorrhage. Farmers had alleged that he was shot at by Ashish Govt forms probe panel The state government constituted a single-member judicial commission, appointing a retired judge of Allahabad High Court, but the name of the judge was not immediately available neet Embattled junior home minister Ajay Kumar Mishra on Wednesday briefed Union home minister Amit Shah in person on the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, but the question of his resignation did not figure in the meeting, sources said. This was their first meeting after Sunday’s violent face-off in the village. Mishra’s son Ashish has been booked for for allegedly mowing down four farmers on that ill-fated day . Before calling on Shah at his residence, Mishra went to his first-floor office in North Block and attended to work for about half an hour. The meeting lasted 30-40 minutes. The Opposition has been Ajay Mishra demanding the resignation of Mishra, who has denied allegations of his son’s role in the violence. “There was no mention of resignation during the meeting. Neither was it offered nor asked for,” sources said. Meanwhile, an event by the government’s police think tank Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), scheduled for Thursday in which Mishra was to be the chief guest and deliver a speech was cancelled. A media officer for the BPR&D said the programme was put on “hold and the invitat i o n m ay b e t r e a t e d a s cancelled”. Sources said the Yogi government sent a detailed report on the violence to the Union home ministry on Wednesday . express read SS exam pattern: Govt blinks In a big relief to doctors who are scheduled to give the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test - Super Speciality this year, the Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the 2021 exam will be conducted in the old pattern. The revised pattern will, however, be implemented from 202223 onwards, the government told SC | P7 New welfare board for non-resident Tamils Chennai: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday announced a welfare board for non-resident Tamils, and said January 12 would be celebrated as NRI Tamils Day. A sum of `20 crore would be allocated to constitute the welfare board | P5 100% FDI in telecom via automatic route New Delhi: The government on Wednesday allowed 100% FDI in the telecom sector through automatic route to promote ease of doing business. The Centre has also reduced financial bank guarantee requirements of telecom operators by 80% Time to clear stock? Hungry elephants take easy route, raid ration shops at Valparai S Sen t h i l K u m a r @ Coimbatore its highest ever level of `102.94 per litre, while it jumped to `108.96 in Mumbai. In Kolkata, petrol prices soared to `103.65 while in Chennai, the fuel was sold at `100.49 a litre. Meanwhile, the price of piped natural gas (PNG) has also gone up by `2 to `32.67 per standard cubic meter of gas. It’s that time of the year when elephants migrate to find food in the Valparai plateau. They usually rummage through the tea and coffee fields. But in recent years, they’ve been going straight for the ration shops, thanks to the abundance of rice, dal, and sugar there. With the animals arriving in herds and damaging the shops in Valparai, under the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR), offi- soumyadip sinha Express News Service @ Chennai E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e cials at the reserve, along with wildlife researchers from the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), feel their usual conflict-mitigation strategies — using LED flashlights, sending SMSes about the movement of elephants, etc — aren’t enough. The only option ahead is immediately clearing the ration No of ration shops & house kitchens they damaged 2018 shops of their stock. They’re now planning to hold a meeting with stakeholders, the civil supplies and revenue departments, and estate authorities, to suggest that ration-shop stock be cleared so elephants stop visiting. “We are planning to do this in one or two of the 48 shops in Valparai after meeting 65 2019 2020 65 75 the stakeholders. All stakeholders must work together to devise a strategy as the forest department alone can’t tackle the problem,” said ATR deputy director MG Ganesan. The elephants stay near the border of the Valparai plateau throughout the year, and have been targeting ration shops while migrating from Akkamalai and Kerala in search of food and water. They usually migrate between October and December. Continued on: P2
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