villupuram l sunday l january 23, 2022 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city EDITION influential zen monk and peace activist passes away Thich Nhat Hanh, whose reach within Buddhism is seen as second only to the Dalai Lama, died at the age of 95 Nominated for nobel by martin luther king In the early 1960s, the Vietnamese monk travelled to the US, where he taught at Columbia and Princeton. In 1966, he met civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr and called him a ‘Bodhisattva’. The monk’s efforts to promote reconciliation between communist North Vietnam and the US-backed South impressed King and he nominated Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize | P9 ■ >100 books helped spread meditation in the west ■ Barred from home due to his call for peace, the monk spent more than three decades in France. During his stay in the West, Nhat Hanh set up meditation retreats around the world Allowed into Vietnam in 2005, ties again soured after he called for an end to the communist government’s control over religion written by the monk, most of them on meditation and finding inner peace CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Towering inferno kills six in Mumbai EC extends ban on road shows till Jan 31 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e K u m a r V i k r a m @ New Delhi @ Mumbai The early morning calm at Tardeo in central Mumbai was shattered around 7 am following a massive fire at an upscale 20-storey building that left six people dead and 29 injured on Saturday . According to fire brigade officials, a fault in the air-conditioning unit of a flat caused the blaze, which quickly engulfed the 18th floor of Kamala Building, perhaps due to the strong sea breeze. Thirteen fire engines and seven jumbo tankers had to be rushed to douse the fire. Residents of the building said they heard a loud sound followed by black smoke and recalled a frenzy among them to get to safety “We heard a big . noise and rushed outside. There was smoke coming out of some floors above us. We immediately rushed downstairs and came into the open area,” a resident said. Nanda Chavan, a relative of an injured person, said the hospitals asked them to deposit money first before admitting the victims. “They even asked for Covid-19 RT-PCR tests. That consumed a lot of time while admitting the injured people,” she added. Smoke billows out from the 18th floor of Kamla Building on Saturday | PTI Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal said he has asked for a report in the next 15 days. It was alleged that some additions and alterations were being carried out. RTI activist Anil Galgali claimed the BMC’s fire brigade department does not carry out fire audits of buildings. “I had sought fire audit reports on 1 January 2018, but they are yet to furnish the details,” he said. PM Narendra Modi expressed grief over the tragedy and said ex gratia of `2 lakh each would be provided to the family of the deceased from the PMNRF. Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray went to the site and said the state would give a compensation of `5 lakh each to the families of those who lost their lives. Some curbs eased; physical meetings with 500-people cap allowed from Jan 28 for Phase 1 and Feb 1 for Phase 2 The Election Commission on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies and road shows till January 31 but gave some relaxation for physical public meetings of political parties and contesting candidates for Phase 1 of the Assembly elections from January 28 and Phase 2 from February 1. The commission also increased the limit of five persons for doorto-door campaigning to 10. The decision to extend the ban was taken following a review meeting that the EC had with the Union health secretary and chief secretaries, chief electoral officers and the health secretaries of the five poll-bound states. After taking into consideration the inputs and ground reports from these officers, the commission deliberated on requirements of the campaign period for Phases 1 and 2 where the candidate lists will be finalised on January 27 and January 31 respectively . The commission decided to allow physical public meetings in designated open spaces with a maximum of 500 persons or 50% of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by state disaster management authorities, whichever is fewer. The EC has also allowed video vans for publicity with the usual Covid restrictions at designated open spaces. Political parties and contesting candidates shall ensure compliance with Covid-appropriate behaviour and guidelines and the model code of conduct on all occasions during the activities connected with elections, the poll panel said. It shall be the responsibility of the concerned officer to identify and notify the desig- @ Chennai The State government will take steps to create Classical Tamil Chairs in five universities in South East Asian countries, Chief Minister MK Stalin said on Saturday . Presenting the Kalaignar M Karunanidhi Classical Tamil Awards to Tamil scholars, Stalin also announced that the Medvakkam-Sholinganallur Road will be renamed to Semmozhi Salai as the new premises for the Central Classical Tamil Institute (CICT) is located on the road. “Tamil is not an offshoot of any language; many languages have blossomed from Tamil. Only Tamils name their children after their language,” the CM said. Trapped after 5 days in Kovai, leopard released into the wild S Sen t h i l K u m a r @ Coimbatore A four-year old leopardess which had been stranded in an abandoned warehouse at BK Pudur near Kuniyamuthur in Coimbatore for the past five days, was caught in a trap on Saturday morning and released into the wild by forest officials. The big cat, which had walked out of the trap thrice earlier without being caught, got trapped around midnight on Saturday said forest staff , of Madukkarai and Coimbatore forest ranges. After the animal entered the cage, the staff manually locked the door by operating a rope from a distance. The Leopard released into the forest near Topslip in ATR | Express S Ramasubramanian, conservator of forest and Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) field director, said the animal was later released into the wild near Topslip at Ulanthy Forest Range in the tiger reserve. CONTINUED ON: P5 A day after hinting that she is the party’s CM face in UP, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra makes a U-turn. “I said that in irritation because you all were asking the same question again and again” Akhilesh Yadav makes official decision to contest from family stronghold of Karhal, promises 22 lakh IT jobs for youth Amit Shah begins door-to-door campaigning from Kairana, where there was an alleged exodus of Hindus before 2017. Meanwhile, the JD(U) decides to go solo in UP Devil in the details With the BCCI closing the registration for IPL 2022, a look at some of the key points about the upcoming mega auction.. 33 `72 cr Retained /drafted Over-bridge under water A 150-foot-long concrete block of a bridge being constructed across Kollidam collapsed early on Saturday due to a technical malfunction while placing it on the bridge’s pillars in Ariyalur. Nobody sustained injuries | Express Classical Tamil Chairs in five SE Asian countries soon: Stalin E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E b a t t l e g r o u n d u . p. He recalled how Karunanidhi had fulfilled the dream of declaring Tamil as a classical language and that in 2007, Karunanidhi had allocated 16 acres in Perumbakkam to establish a permanent building for CICT. The campus was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on January 12, he added. As the Classical Tamil Award was not presented since 2010 due to political reasons, the DMK government has now chosen scholars for the award, said Stalin. Each scholar receives `10 lakh, citation, and a bronze statue of former CM M Karunanidhi. The DMK patriarch had established Semmozhi Tamil Research Trust in CICT by donating `1 crore. On behalf of this Trust, the Kalaignar M Karunanidhi Semmozhi Tamil Award is presented to a scholar every year who contributes to archaeology, numismatics, literature, linguistics, etc. The first award was given to a Tamil scholar from Finland, Asko Parpola, in 2010 for the year 2009. Pon Kothandaraman, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Madras received the award from the Chief Minister for the year 2011. MORE ON: P5 TN plants await Odisha coal to go live S GURUVA N MIKA N ATHA N @ Chennai With three new thermal power projects getting ready to go live, the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO), the Stateowned electricity producer, has sought support from the Central and Odisha governments to develop an earlier-allotted coal block in Angul in Odisha. “The three new thermal stations, with a total generation capacity of 3,480 mega-watt (MW), will need at least 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes of additional coal every day a senior TAN,” GEDCO official told TNIE. Sources in TANGEDCO said the Centre allotted Chandrabilla coal block to the State power utility in 2016. The given du- 318 As many as 318 overseas players have registered for the auction, with the highest of 59 players from Australia, followed by South Africa (48) and West Indies (41). A maximum of 60 overseas players could get picked in the auction, with 10 players already retained and drafted by the teams. Big names express read File statement, HC tells Thanjavur girl’s parents Madurai: The Madras HC on Saturday requested the parents of a Class 12 girl, who allegedly died of suicide in Thanjavur, to receive the body and conduct last rites. The court also asked her parents to file a statement before a magistrate and asked police not to “harass” the person who shot the video | P4 US asks kin of embassy staff in Kiev to evacuate Washington: The State Department on Saturday ordered evacuation of families of US embassy personnel in Ukraine as soon as Monday, according to reports. The US is expected to issued guidance next week encouraging American civilians to begin leaving Ukraine on commercial flights | P9 Scientists flag concerns on Omicron sub-variant Paris: With more than 400 cases in Britain and the new sub-variant being detected in some 40 other countries, scientists are keeping a close watch on the latest version, dubbed BA.2. Though the subvariant spreads rapidly, experts say that it is too early to conclude that the sub-variant is more virulent | P12 David Warner, power-ful statistics Plant Generation Capacity North Chennai Thermal Power Station stage III 800 MW(1x800) Cost `6,376 cr Udangudi Thermal Power station 1,320 MW(2x660) `13,076.705 cr Ennore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) 1,320 MW(2x660) `7,817.13 cr ration to excavate coal from the block was between 2016 and 2021. But the development of the coal block was delayed due to the lack of clearance for exploration in the forest area of the coal block by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). “If the Centre doesn’t approve Chandrabilla coal block quickly TANGEDCO will have to go , for private purchase,” the official said. The construction work on the upcoming coal-fired North With the existing 8 teams retaining 27 players, and the two new teams drafting three each, as many as 1214 players have expressed an interest in taking part at the auctions. Punjab Kings is the team to retain the least number of players, two, and will go into the auction with C72 crores in their purse. nated spaces in advance for the aforesaid purposes, the commission added. The poll panel also reviewed the vaccination status and action plan for expeditiously completing inoculation for first, second and booster doses for eligible persons among polling personnel. CEC Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey, accompanied by the secretary general and concerned deputy election commissioners, participated in the review meeting. Chennai stage III is already complete, while the two other thermal projects — Ennore Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and Udangudi — are nearly (95 per cent) over. The Tamil Nadu government has chalked out plans to commence North Chennai stage III before May 2022 and others, by the yearend. A senior official said in 2019, TANGEDCO had floated a tender worth `21,000 crore to hand over the Chandrabilla coal mine project. MORE ON: P4 R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plesis, Dwayne Bravo, Trent Boult & Pat Cummins are top draws. Missing out Ben Stokes, Chris Gayle, Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes, Mitchell Starc, and Sam Curran are among the overseas stars who have opted out citing various reasons. p11 WITH THIS ISSUE Jab-o-meter Take your shot January 21 58,37,209 doses January 22 61,62,171 doses Total doses: 1,61,81,65,913 NATIONWIDE Jan 21 Jan 22 Fresh cases 3,47,254 3,37,704 Recoveries Deaths 2,51,777 2,42,676 703 488 tamil nadu Jan 21 Jan 22 Fresh cases 29,870 30,744 Recoveries Deaths 21,684 33 23,372 33 Cryptoman Rises PLUS 12 PAGES Bi t c o i n c r a s h gandhi’s favourite hymn Cryptos shed over $1 tn in market cap ‘Abide with me’ dropped from Beating Retreat U m a K a nn a n @ Benglauru Cryptocurrency prices, which have been falling ever since Russia’s central bank proposed a ban on crypto trading, touched a new low on Saturday with Bitcoin tumbling to $36,000 levels, a drop of over 17% from last week. In the past 24 hours alone, Bitcoin has shed over 8.5%. Ethereum, the second largest crypto, also dropped 12% in 24 hours. Other altcoins such as BNB, ADA and SOL too tanked. In all, the cryptocurrency market cap has shrunk a whopping $1.3 trillion. On Thursday, Russia’s central bank had called for a ban on cryptos citing threats of citizens’ well-being and also financial stability. The move created considerable concern among investors as Russia is one of the world’s largest crypto adopters. However, major players such as CoinDCX, India’s largest cryptocur- rency exchange, are unfazed as they believe the current meltdown won’t have a longterm impact on the crypto market. They point out the sector has weathered bans, restrictions and regulatory scrutiny in the past as well. Not just cryptos, most other markets are down this week, points out Sathvik Vishwanath, co-founder and CEO of Unocoin. He attributes the fall to the Covid pandemic, among other things. Bitcoin was trading at $35,486 on Saturday . E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The hymn Abide with me, which endeared itself to Mahatma Gandhi and has been a part of the Beating Retreat ceremony since 1950, will not be played this year. All the tunes in this year’s list are of Indian origin, according to a brochure released by the Ar my on Saturday . Abide with me has been replaced by the popular patriotic song Ae mere watan ke logon, written by Kavi Pradeep to commemorate the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers in the 1962 India-China war. In 2020 too, there were reports that the tune would be dropped but no such decision was taken. The soothing hymn was written by Henry Francis Lyte in 1861 and it was set to tune by William Henry Monk. The retreat tune will continue to be Sare jahan se accha. Twitterati react- ed sharply to the news. “Gandhi ji’s favourite hymn dropped from Beating Retreat. There is no end to the hate,” said one. “New India, No Amar Jyothi, no Abide With Me during the Beating Re t re at . S i cko ’s B J P, ” C o n g r e s s leader Ajoy Kumar tweeted. The move to drop the hymn comes days after the decision to merge the Amar Jawan Jyoti flame at India Gate with the eternal flame of the National War Memorial. A total of 44 buglers, 16 trumpeters and 75 drummers from six bands of the Army, Navy, Air Force and central armed police forces will be performing at this year’s ceremony . Beating Retreat is a centuries-old military tradition of troops disengaging from battle at sunset. As soon as the buglers sounded the retreat, the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield.
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