tirupati l friday l december 3, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION 164 proposals on appointing HC judges in consideration Law minister informs Parliament about the judge-selection process conducted by the Supreme Court collegium and govt 406 judge vacancies in high courts Huge Case backlog in lower judiciary A total of 164 proposals on appointing high court judges are at different stages of consideration, Kiren Rijiju said in response to a Rajya Sabha question. High courts have a vacancy of 406 judges while the apex court has one. This year, nine apex court judges and 118 high court judges were appointed. Currently, no high court has a woman Chief Justice | P7 ■ ■ Of the proposals to appoint HC judges, 55 have been either remitted or returned on SC collegium’s advice to HCs this year While 70,038 cases are pending in the Supreme Court, 56,42,858 are pending in the various high courts. In the lower judiciary, a staggering 3,79,42,466 cases are pending, according to Rijiju 1,098 combined Sanctioned strength of judges in 25 high courts 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 First cases of Omicron found in India what we know 1 2 medical practitioner, 46, from Bengaluru with no history of travel tested positive on November 22 Was in home isolation after complaining of tiredness, body ache, mild fever Govt traced his 13 primary and 205 secondary contacts and found that five of them tested positive South African man, 66, tested positive on November 20 at the the Bengaluru International Airport He had been isolated in a hotel and his symptoms were not severe, authorities said Contact-tracing done. His 24 primary and 240 secondary contacts tested negative. He flew out for Dubai later that month Both men were doubly vaccinated 373 cases of Omicron found in 29 nations so far The variant also has three mutations in the furin cleavage site, which increases SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. However, it is still unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible than other variants Both detected in Bengaluru after genome sequencing; mask up, but don’t panic, says govt; concern over community transmission C h e ta n a B e l a g e r e @ Bengaluru India’s first Omicron cases were recorded in Karnataka on Thursday, and one of the two cases is a local from Bengaluru with no international travel history . Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar, said the 46-yearold doctor, the local case of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, is a doctor residing in Bengaluru. The doctor was in home isolation for the first two days and, on November 25, was admitted to a private hospital. After three days of treatment, he was discharged on November 27. Authorities in the state have expressed fears of community spread of the variant as the doctor had no travel history and five of his contacts have also tested positive for Covid-19. Their genome sequencing reports are awaited. The announcement of the two Omicron cases was made by the Union Health Ministry at a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Health, called for calm and strict surveillance. “There is no reason to panic, Gloves are off as Cong hits back at Mamata but we need to be monitoring the situation and follow Covidappropriate behaviour.” Meanwhile, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike (BBMP) has tested 13 of the doctor’s primary contacts, mostly his family and health care workers, and 205 secondary contacts. It has found that two of the primary contacts and three secondary contacts have tested positive for Covid-19. The other case was a South African national, who left India on November 27 for Dubai. He arrived at Kempegowda International Airport from Dubai on November 20 with a RT-PCR negative report from South Africa and was screened and tested at KIA on arrival. He had checked into a hotel and his test reports had come positive. He was found to be asymptomatic and advised to self isolate at the hotel. On November 22, his samples were sent for genome sequencing through the BBMP The pa. tient took another test at a private lab on November 23 and his report was negative. His 24 primary contacts and 240 secondary contacts are asymptomatic and negative. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy inspects the damage caused by Cheyyeru deluge at Pulapatturu village in Kadapa district on Thursday | Express Passengers arrive from Singapore at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Thursday | PTI symptoms different from that of Delta? Surveillance stepped up in Andhra Pradesh Extreme tiredness and body pain The AP medical and health department has started contact tracing of foreign returnees to various districts, besides keeping a track of those arriving from high risk countries. In all eight foreign returnees have been traced in Guntur and six in Prakasam district No loss of smell or taste While WHO says the symptoms of Omicron are not different, South African doctors say most Omicron patients have mild issues, such as extreme tiredness, body pain, besides sore throat, dry coughs and fever. Loss of taste or smell & low oxygen was typical of Delta Jab-o-meter Take your shot Dec 01 71,55,049 doses Dec 02 66,21,382 doses Total: 1,25,65,96,957 NATIONWIDE dec 1 dec 2 Fresh cases 8,954 9,765 Recoveries 10,204 8,548 Deaths 267 477 statewide dec 1 dec 2 Fresh cases 184 159 Recoveries 183 169 Deaths 1 1 Samples tested 29,595 29,263 14 returnees from abroad asked to be in quarantine returned to Guntur from the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Nepal and Hong Kong. After conducting Covid-19 test, the foreign returnees have been asked to be in home quarantine. Simultaneously they , have started ramping up medical infrastructure as well as testing in the district. “As many as 2,000 Covid tests are being conducted a day in the district on an average. We are making arrangements to ramp up testing by deploying mobile testing vehicles. Plans are also afoot to conduct spe- CM Jagan visits flood-hit areas, promises financial help, houses to victims E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kadapa / Tirupati Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who visited the flood-hit villages in Kadapa district on Thursday promised to , extend all possible support to the affected families. Each affected family will get 5 cents of land and a house, apart from provision of employment under the NREGS. He also said job melas will be conducted for youth of the affected villages and a compensation will be paid for the sandcast agricultural fields. The A n n a m ay ya a n d P i n c h a projects will be redesigned to avert floods, he said. After landing at a helipad near Mandapalle, Jagan went to Pulapatturu village in Rajampet mandal. He went round the village to see collapsed houses and damaged roads in the deluge caused by a breach to the bund of Annamayya project on Cheyyeru. He interacted with villagers and enquired about loss due to the deluge. He consoled the kin of those who were washed away in the deluge. He went round a photo exhibition on the flood havoc. He also enquired about the official response to the calamity. The villagers told him that officials and local leaders responded promptly in mitigat- CM announces slew of measures Pincha and Annamayya projects to be redesigned to handle more flood water `12,500 per hectare to be paid as aid to farmers to reclaim sand-cast lands Job Melas to be held for the benefit of educated youth within 10 days One year moratorium to be imposed on loans of DWCRA women in flood-hit villages 60 deputy collectors are overseeing relief works in flood-hit villages of Kadapa ing loss and implementing relief and rehabilitation measures. He lauded the efforts of youth who saved the lives of people during the floods. Gandham Siva Prasad told the Chief Minister that he could save seven of his nine-member family, but two others died due to suffocation. Later, he interacted with people in relief camps and enquired about facilities being provided to them. He visited the village secretariat, which had saved the lives of many people during the floods, and interacted with the staff. P4 With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee making pointed attacks on the Congress, the latter began giving it back in equal measure, with the charge led by its young leaders to start with. From calling Congress incompetent to saying there is no UPA, Mamata has been vocal in her criticism so as to wrest the Opposition leadership space. At her recent meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai, she is learnt to have floated the idea of regional parties forming an Opposition alliance and making seat arrangements for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, while bringing the Congress to the table after the polls, sources said. Separately, her strategist Prashant Kishor took a swipe at Congress leader Rahul Gan- dhi, calling for democratically electing the Opposition leadership, adding it was not the “divine right of an individual”. Congress leaders this newspaper spoke to said the party will drop its restraint and taken on the Trinamool based on facts, though seniors would stay out for now. The counterattack has already begun with party MPs Manickam Tagore, Sayeed Naeer Hussain and others saying Mamata has no business commenting on the UPA. A senior leader said the Congress is the principal opposition party with around 20% vote share in the 2019 elections. “The Trinamool Congress is limited to Bengal. They went chest thumping in Tripura but we saw the results in the local body polls. Goa Assembly results would further clear the air,” the leader said. CPDCL to adjust true-up charges in Dec bills Bumpy ride ahead with Cyclone likely to hit north AP coast tomorrow cars, houses to cost more E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e ARSHAD KHA N @ New Delhi In a relief to electricity consumers under the purview of the Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APCPDCL), trueup charges paid by them will be adjusted in CC bills to be issued in December. The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC) has directed Discoms to adjust the true-up charges collected from consumers along with CC charges for September and October. It may be recalled that the APERC issued an order on August 27, allowing the Discoms to recover `3,669 crore in instalments over a period of eight months from August as true-up charges at the rate of `397.42 crore per month at `1.11 to `1.27 per unit. The Discoms had started collecting true-up charges from consumers. P4 With commodity prices showing no signs of abating, year 2022 is going two be costlier on many fronts — especially if you were planning to buy a new car or a house. India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Thursday said it would increase vehicle prices from January to offset the impact of the rise in raw material costs. It is common practice for automakers to hike price of vehicles by 2-4% in January every year. However this year, buyers will feel the pinch more as most automakers have gone for at least three price hikes in the past one year. Maruti had increased the prices of its vehicles by 1.4% in January 2021, 1.6% in April and then again in September by 1.9% — taking the total quantum of increase to 4.9%. R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi @ Vijayawada B a n d h a v i Ann a m / IV N P P r a s a d B a b u @ Guntur / Ongole With the threat of Omicron looming large, the medical and health department has started contact tracing of foreign returnees, besides keeping a track of those arriving in Guntur from foreign countries. The scare of a possible spread of Omicron has increased after a woman who landed in Hyderabad tested positive for Covid-19. Though it is yet to be confirmed if she contracted Omicron or not, the Telangana authorities have alerted other passengers, who were on board the flight, including 72 from Andhra Pradesh. In the past few days, medical and health officials have identified eight persons who 6 foreign returnees traced in prakasam “We got information that a family of four came from an African country to Vaikunthapuram. Two others returned to Mundlamuru and Ongole from Hong Kong,” said official sources in Prakasam taking no chances Sources said Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai will issue similar announcements soon. Luxury automakers Mercedes-Benz and Audi have already announced price hikes of 2% and 3%, respectively from January 2022. , MSIL’s senior executive director (marketing and sales) Shashank Srivastava had recently said the firm would be forced to hike vehicle prices with steel, aluminium, copper, plastic and precious metals becoming costlier. Steel prices, which stood at `38 per kg last April-May, shot up to `77 a kg this year. Similarly, aluminium which was available for $1,700-1,800 a tonne last year, now costs $2,700-2,800 per tonne. If unchecked, this surge in metal prices, along with a surge in cement prices, is going to jack up property prices as well. cial vaccination camps in the district. As many as 84 hospitals, including 22 government hospitals, are being readied to treat Covid-19 patients,” they said. DM&HO Dr Yasmin told TNIE that they are all geared up to face any situation. The oxygen facility is now available at the Primary Health Centre level in the district. The establishment of TSA oxygen plants has been completed in Guntur GGH, Government Fever Hospital, Narasaraopet, Sattenapalli, Bapatla and Tenali hospitals. 29 NDRF teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment deployed. Another 33 on standby Indian Coast Guard and Navy deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search & rescue ops Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army on standby Surveillance aircraft readied for monitoring the coast Disaster relief and medical teams put on standby at various locations Power Ministry activated emergency response systems for immediate restoration of power in case of outage All telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch to avoid disruptions NDRF assisting State agencies in evacuating people from vulnerable locations besides holding awareness campaigns `143 cr penalty imposed on state government by ngt for eco violations E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The district administrations of Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram were put on high alert on Thursday after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned of a low-pressure area over the Bay of Bengal intensifying into Cyclone Jawad, and crossing the north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts on Saturday morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level review meeting on the preparedness of States and Central ministers to deal with the cyclone and its aftermath. In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a virtual meeting with the collectors of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Vishakapatnam districts. The IMD predicted winds with speeds of up to 100 kmph and heavy rainfall in coastal AP Odisha and West Bengal. , Jagan directed officials to set up relief camps. “Maintain alert in low-lying areas. Ensure no one is troubled due to cyclone,’’ he urged. The State government also appointed one officer each for Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Vishakapatnam districts. H Arun Kumar has been appointed as special officer for Srikakulam, Kanthilal Dande for Vizianagaram and Syamala Rao for Vishakapatnam, to monitor relief measures. They were told to leave for their as- NGT has imposed a penalty of `143 crore as environmental compensation for violation of laws, resulting in damage to environment, while executing four irrigation projects in AP | P4 signed locations immediately . The weather department said the cyclone may to move northnortheastwards after making landfall. Under its influence, heavy to very heavy rains are likely at few places in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam on Friday and Saturday Heavy rains are likely at . one or two places in East Godavari. Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely along and off North Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts from Friday midnight. The State Disaster Management Authority advised fishermen against venturing into sea and asked people in low-lying areas to be alert. Vizianagaram collector A Suryakumari announced holidays for schools on Friday and Saturday. Schools in Srikakulam will be closed on Friday . Vizag collector A Mallikharjuna cancelled the leaves of all revenue staff and asked them to report for duty immediately . 24x7 divisional-level control rooms were also set up.
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