KOLLAM l Thursday l October 14, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION `100 Lakh cr Master Plan for infrastructure development The master plan for multi-modal connectivity aims to develop infrastructure to reduce logistic costs and boost the economy Projects to get more power, speed PM Gati Shakti, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, seeks to raise cargo-handling capacity and cut the turnaround time. It will speed up projects by connecting all departments on one platform, Modi said, adding that the infra schemes of various ministries and state governments will be designed and executed with a common vision $1.5 trillion Integrated planning across ministries ■ A digital platform, Gati Shakti will bring 16 ministries including ■ Railways and Roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infras connectivity projects It will incorporate the infra schemes of various ministries and state govts like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, etc National Infrastructure Pipeline expected to benefit from gati Shakti 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 BPL families of Covid victims Double life term & 17 yrs in jail for Sooraj to get L5,000 extra monthly also imposed a fine of `5.85 lakh on Sooraj, 32. Uthra’s famSOORAJ S Kumar, convicted ily said they would appeal of murdering his sleepagainst the verdict. ing wife by making a coUthra, 25, died of bra bite her, was handed snakebite at her house 17 years’ imprisonment in Anchal near here on and a double life senMay 7, 2020. It was altence in addition on leged that Sooraj had Wednesday The Kollam . bought two snakes --Additional Sessions first a viper and then a Court, which refused to Sooraj S Kumar cobra --- to kill her. describe it as a rarest of Pronouncing the quanrare case, stopped short of tum of sentence, judge M handing him capital punish- Manoj sentenced the accused ment “considering his young to life imprisonment under IPC age” and “the absence of crim- 302 (murder). It further awardinal background”. The court ed imprisonment for life under E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kollam Direct money transfer for 3 yrs; in addition to C50k offered by state FUND RELEASE IN 30 DAYS The Supreme Court had directed the Centre to compensate the kin of Covid victims The families availing social welfare, welfare fund or other pensions will not be disqualified from getting the additional relief Fund to be released within 30 days of receiving the application NATIONWIDE oct 12 oct 13 Fresh cases 14,313 15,823 Recoveries Deaths 26,579 22,844 181 226 statewide oct 12 oct 13 Fresh cases 7,823 11,079 Recoveries Deaths 12,490 106 9,972 123 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram The state cabinet on Wednesday decided to provide `5,000 every month as additional relief to dependent BPL families of people who die of Covid. The money will be distributed as a direct money transfer for three years. It will be in addition to the one-time relief of `50,000 offered by the government after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to compensate the kin of Covid victims. The families availing social welfare, welfare fund or other pensions will not be disqualified from getting the additional relief. The case of Covid deaths outside the state or the country will also be considered if their families are staying permanently in the state, according to the government statement. The village officers have been directed to ensure that there are no government employees or income tax payers in the beneficiary family The beneficiaries . shall give an application in a single page to avail the relief. The government will entrust district collectors and other revenue officials with setting up mechanisms to receive the applications. The fund will be released within 30 days of receiving the application. The officials have been directed to not inconvenience the applicants by calling them to the office, said the statement. The money will be released from the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund till the government makes a budgetary allocation for the same. The decision follows the demand raised by the Opposition and some other sections of society to provide additional relief considering the socioeconomic background of families. RIL concedes its Zeel, not interested now Tvm airport in Adani’s hands, not all staff happy D i pa k M o nd a l @ New Delhi D h i ne s h K a l l u n g a l @T’Puram AFTER its name was dragged into the boardroom battle between Zee Entertainment and Invesco Developing Markets Fund, Reliance Industries on Wednesday revealed that it had proposed to merge its media properties with Zee at “fair valuations” but never resorted to any hostile transaction. “The valuations of Zee and our properties were arrived at based on the same parameters,” a Reliance statement read. It also clarified that differences arose between Zee Entertainment MD Punit Goenka and Invesco over the founders’ bid to raise their stake by subscribing to preferential warrants, following which the merger plan was dropped. Earlier on Wednesday, Invesco said it had tried facilitating a Reliance-Zee deal. “The role of Invesco, as Zee’s single largest shareholder, was to help facilitate that potential transaction and nothing more,” it said in response to Goenka’s charge that it tried to push a one-sided Reliance deal on Zee. Though Zee had not mentioned Reliance in its statement to exchanges on Tuesday it talked about two Invesco , representatives presenting a deal to Punit Goenka “involving the merger of the Company and certain entities owned by a large Indian group (strategic group)”. According to Zee, Reliance’s deal valued its shares at `220 apiece, with total valuation of the public shareholding of the company at `21,129 crore. Amid the disquieting silence of the state government, the Adani Group will formally take over the Trivandrum airport on Thursday. Thus far, the state government has been claiming — both inside and outside the assembly — that it will not allow the Adani Enterprises to take over the airport. Under the circumstances, the employees attached to the Airport Authority Employees Union (AAEU) — the Left-affiliated union that had been holding protests against the privatisation of the airport for three years — share a sense of disappointment as they had pinned hopes on the tall promises of the state government. At the same time, various trade bodies remain upbeat over the takeover. They say privatisation will bring more amenities to the airport. The airport has around 600 Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees -- including executive and non-executive staff -- who will have to work with the Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, the wholly owned subsidiary of the Adani Enterprises, for the next three years. After three years of joint operation, they can either join the private entity or can opt for other airports under the AAI. ● More on P4 READY FOR TAKEOFF Formal takeover of T’Puram airport on Thursday morning 600 Airports Authority of India employees are working at the airport at present A168 will be paid by the new airport company to the AAI per each domestic passenger as part of the privatisation agreement signed for 50 years ayudha pooja Rajesh Gurukkal performs ayudha pooja as part of the Navaratri celebrations at Bhargava Kalari Sangham in Kozhikode on Wednesday | T P Sooraj E X P RESS RE A D Mappilapattu ‘Sultan’ V M Kutty no more Kozhikode: V M Kutty, who brought Mappilapattu into mainstream society, passed away aged 86 here on Wednesday. Suffering from heart ailment for some time, he died at a private hospital. Known as the ‘Sultan of Mappilapattu’, Kutty popularised the genre riding on the shoulders of the expatriate community. He was also a lyricist, musician and author. P4 SilverLine will bring about change: CM T’Puram: The SilverLine project will bring about a massive change in the state’s infrastructure sector, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said. “At present, it would take as long as 16 hours to travel from one end of the state to the other. This should change. The best solution is the semi highspeed rail project. It will shorten the travelling time to just four hours,” he said. E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi While the Centre is scrambling to restore normalcy in coal supply to thermal power plants, several power deficit states have been forced to spend scarce resources on buying energy from the national exchange at extremely high rates to avoid power cuts. Tenders for 15-minute realtime blocks are invited by the Indian Energy Exchange 1.5 hours before the actual sale. The normal cost through this mode is `5-6 per unit, but because of the crippling coal crisis, the rate has shot up to `20 a unit now. Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday bought a peak hour block of 2,102 MW at `20 per unit for 15 minutes from 6.30 pm to 6.45 ASSEMBLY RUCKUS Court bins discharge plea, asks Sivankutty, 5 others to face trial E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram IN A setback to the LDF government, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court here on Wednesday turned down the discharge petitions filed by General Education Minister V Sivankutty and five other LDF leaders, including former ministers K T Jaleel and E P Jayarajan, in the assembly bedlam case. The court also directed all the accused to appear in person on November 22, when the charges framed against them will be read out. The court accepted the prosecution argument that the footage of the visual channels depicting the episode can be considered as evidence of the offence committed. The court observed that since the accused were also charged under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, the cases can only be concluded only by conducting a trial. Earlier, the accused had argued that the video footage were doctored and the media had exaggerated the incident. Hence the footage cannot be accepted as evidence, ● More on P4 the defendants had argued. Corporate funding to protect wildlife? In a move that could open up the country’s over 700 protected and wildlife areas to the private sector, the Union environment ministry is exploring options to seek corporate funding for the management of wildlife protected areas like national parks and sanctuaries due to inadequate budgetary funding. The ministry is considering a proposal to establish a National Foundation for Resource Mobilization for Wildlife Conservation (NFRMWC) to raise funds. The matter was placed before the meeting of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) last month held under the chairmanship of environment minister Bhupender Yadav. He advised wider consultation on the matter. Cautioning the ministry over the move, NBWL member Dr R Su- kumar said care should be taken to ensure that the corporate sector does not have a disproportionate Panel to study proposal “The Standing Committee decided that the ministry will constitute a committee to study various issues relating to the establishment of the national foundation after inviting suggestions/opinions,” said the minutes of the meeting Uthra murder verdict Life sentence for murder Life sentence for attempt to murder Uthra 10 years for poisoning 7 years for destruction of evidence Another reason cited for not awarding death was the lack of criminal history of the convict. J5.85 lakh the court has imposed as total fine on the convict Coal crisis forces costly buys to avoid power cuts new trust R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi IPC 307 (attempt to murder). For the other two charges --section 328 (causing hurt by means of poison with intent to commit an offence) and section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of the offence), he was awarded 10 years and seven years’ imprisonment. The prosecution had demanded death penalty for Sooraj. Uthra’s mother Manimegalai said she is not happy with the verdict. “He had to be awarded death penalty for the brutal act he committed. We will go for an appeal in the higher court,” she ● More on P4 said. say in the decision making process of the trust. The NFRMWC is envisaged as a government-owned public trust, which will be registered under the Societies Act. It is expected to provide a range of activities for private or corporate funding and will have flexibility in terms of resource mobilisation, operations and collaboration with other organisations for the purpose of wildlife conservation, including zoos. pm, and at the same rate from 7 pm to 7.15 pm. On Tuesday, it procured 2,000 MW in two 15-minute blocks at `20 a unit. On an average, the state buys 28-40 million units of power from private players in the market and exchanges daily . Kerala, too, has been doing real-time buying of around 0.41.10 million units each day, spending about `20 per unit. As for Rajasthan, it has been forced to buy around 4 crore units of electricity each day at rates between `15 and `20 a unit. That works out a needless daily spend of around `80 crore. The rate during normal times is `3-4 per unit. With Bihar Chief Minister promising uninterrupted power during the festival period, his government has been purchasing over 1,200 MW at `20 per unit to bridge the gap. The Punjab government spent about `282 crore in the last 13 days to buy costly power from the exchange. On Wednesday, it bought 1,800 MW at `10.55 per unit. Its per unit deal with the exchange on Tuesday was for `14.06. Reports from poll-bound UP indicate it struggling to manage its energy demand, as load shedding is continuing in rural areas. With about eight thermal units shut for want of coal, the state government has been compelled to purchase power from the exchange at `13 a unit, yet the gulf between demand and supply remains. P7 Industry pushback With the Centre taking temporary measures like stoppage of secured coal supplies and rakes for the non-power sector, there was pushback from aluminum manufacturers. They issued an SOS, saying the supply halt will jeopardise the sustainability of their plants as they are not designed for ad-hoc shut downs and restarts
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