Sweden’s PM Magdalena Andersson bhubaneswar l tuesday l may 17, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late CITY EDITION after finland, now sweden confirms bid to join nato Citing threats from Russia, Sweden said on Monday it will seek to join NATO, reversing two centuries of military non-alignment Best thing for our security: Swedish PM putin warns of consequences Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said NATO membership is “the best thing for Sweden’s security”, a day after neighbouring Finland confirmed its plan to seek a berth in the alliance. The historic shift in Stockholm’s security policy comes amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has led to a rise in public support in Sweden for joining NATO ■ President Vladimir Putin warned that the expansion of NATO military assets to these countries will provoke a Russian response ■ It may take about one year for the alliance’s 30 members to ratify Sweden’s application. NATO has assured Sweden of support in case it faces Russian aggression in the meantime | P9 51% People in Sweden support nato membership, as per a poll 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 Shivalinga? Gyanvapi area sealed Supreme Court to hear plea today challenging a Varanasi court-mandated survey of the mosque Nam i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow express read Indigo ‘mishandled’ passenger: DGCA New Delhi: Indigo staff acted inappropriately in not allowing a speciallyabled child from boarding a flight at the Ranchi airport last month, a preliminary probe by the DGCA has found. The civil aviation regulator has asked the airline to submit a show-cause notice and said action will be taken after hearing the submissions | P7 The controversial court-mandated videography of the Gyanvapi mosque complex on Monday took a dramatic turn with a Varanasi court ordering the sealing of a pond after claims of having spotted a ‘Shivalinga’ in it, though the other side said it was just a defunct fountain. The pond is used by Muslim devotees for wuzu or purification rituals before offering namaz. The ongoing drama will shift to the Supreme Court on Tuesday where a bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and P S Narasimha will hear a plea filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid that manages the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque, challenging the courtmandated survey . The Varanasi court’s order came even as the videography was on, as one lawyer Harishankar Jain, representing a plaintiff, left the survey team midway and filed a court application about the ‘Shivalinga’. “As it is a very important piece of evidence, the area should be sealed immediately for its safety,” he Policemen stand guard during the third and last day of the controversial videographic survey at the Gyanvapi mosque complex, in Varanasi on Monday | PTI Report to be out today Varanasi District Magistrate Kushal Raj Sharma and courtappointed Advocate General Ajay Kumar Mishra neither confirmed nor denied the presence of the Shivalinga, saying it might be someone’s personal claim. Having concluded the three-day survey on Monday, they said the report will be submitted to the court on Tuesday said in his application. Jain also sought a ban on the entry of Muslims in that area besides allowing not more than 20 people to offer namaz at any given time. Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar, while directing the district administration to seal the area of the wuzu pond, ordered restricted entry of people into that part of the mosque premises, but did not put a figure to it. The judge, however, made the state chief secretary and director general of police responsible for the supervision of the sealing process and the work done by the district magistrate, commissioner of police and the CRPF for the execution of the order. The Muslim side was shocked that the court ordered the sealing without hearing it. “The other side is misguiding the nation by calling a defunct fountain a Shivalinga,” said Raees Ahmad Ansari, the lawyer of Anjuman Intenzamia Masjid. Abhay Nath Yadav, representing the Muslim side, said everyone should wait for the submission of the survey report and subsequent court verdict without jumping to conclusions. District Magistrate Kushal Raj Sharma said after receiving the order, the wuzu pond area was isolated and sealed, adding alternative arrangements for wuzu were being made to ensure that Muslims did not face any problem in offering namaz. Other lawyers accompanying the court commission during the survey termed it a ‘historic day’ saying the evidence they collected would play a key role in all cases related to Gyanvapi in different courts. Sri Lanka’s new PM wins support for ‘economic war cabinet’ Sri Lanka’s new prime minister won crucial support from two main opposition parties on Monday, easing the pressure on the ruling Rajapaksa clan in the face of the island’s worsening economic crisis | P9 PM uses buddhism thread In coastal Odisha, women and children to strengthen nepal ties turned more anemic in last six years Y e s h i S e l i @ New Delhi Connected by the noble thread of Buddhism, India and Nepal are deepening ties in many spheres, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said during a day-long visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha on the occasion of Buddha Purnima. “Today’s meeting with PM @SherBDeuba was excellent. We discussed the full range of relations between India and Nepal,” Modi tweeted. He also laid the foundation stone for the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage besides visiting the famous Mayadevi temple along with his Nepal counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba. Both sides signed six pacts. Modi’s visit has cheered up Tibetans, many of whom hope it will help reduce China’s influence in Nepal. “China uses Buddhism for political reasons. We are glad that India and Nepal ties are strengthening again. Nepalese leaders need to be mindful of Chinese political man o e u v re s, ” s a i d Te n z i n D i a n a Sa h u @ Bhubaneswar Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses a gathering on the 2566th Buddha Jayanti and Lumbini Day 2022 in Lumbini | pti Sister city pact India and Nepal agreed in principle to establish sister city relations between Lumbini and Kushinagar, that are among the holiest sites of Buddhism, a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said Lekshay spokesperson for the Central Tibetan Administration. For long China has sought to develop Lumbini and re- cently offered $3 billion to make it a World Peace City through the Asia Pacific Exchange and Cooperation Foundation. But China’s interest in Nepal through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is making people wary . “I have always told my friends in Nepal that you are second in line after Tibet to be occupied by China. Nepal seems to have understood China’s objective and has pushed back in India’s favour,” Lekshay said. ANEMIA in women and children of Odisha has increased in last 6 years but worryingly, its incidence has seen an alarming rise in coastal districts, considered the most developed pocket of the State. A close analysis of the detailed report of National Family Health Survey (NHFS)-5 reveals that anemia perpetuated in 11 coastal districts while it has increased over most of Odisha as compared to NFHS-4. As per the data maps generated by Geographic Insights, a Harvard University-based lab which compared NFHS 4 and 5 to find out health, nutrition, and population indicators, anemia among women was in the ‘extremely worsened’ category in Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Nayagarh, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Puri, Kendrapara and Ganjam districts. In Cuttack, its incidence rose from 37.8 per cent in NHFS-4 to a massive 64.5 per cent in 2019-21 when NFHS-5 survey was carried out, clocking a 26.7 per cent jump. ANEMIA CONCER N w o m en Dists NHFS - 4 NHFS - 5 Cuttack 37.8 64.5 26.7 Dhenkanal 39.4 65.9 26.5 J’singhpur 35.8 59.8 24 Khurda 45.3 68.1 22.8 Nayagarh 39.8 62.5 22.7 CHILDREN Dists NHFS - 4 NHFS - 5 CHANGE (%) Bhadrak 22.7 68.7 18.9 63.8 19 56.1 37.1 J’singhpur 23.4 58.2 34.8 Kendrapara 28.7 61.5 32.8 In Dhenkanal, the rise was from 39.4 per cent (NFHS-4) to 69.9 per cent (NFHS-5) reporting a 26.5 per cent rise. Jagatsinghpur (24%), Khurda (22.8%), Nayagarh (22.7%), Balasore (20.7%), Bhadrak (20.5%), Jajpur (20.1%), Puri (19%), Kendrapara (16.5%) and Ganjam (15.4 %) were other As nor’westers vanish, Odisha records 47% deficit rainfall Even as the spectre of climate change has begun to hang precariously over the country with unprecedented heatwave sweeping across the north, while the north-east is battling floods and rainfall, Odisha too is witnessing major deviations from the usual weather conditions this year. The State has suffered a whopping 47 per cent rainfall deficit in the past three months as the ritualistic evening nor’westers and pre-monsoon showers have made a vanishing act. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Odisha’s rainfall deficit stood at an unprecedented 96 per cent in March and 76 per cent in April, and the State has recorded 13 per cent less rainfall between May 5 and 11. Odisha’s normal rainfall (pre- monsoon) between March and May 31 is 128.4 mm. The State’s average rainfall for the month of March is 23.5 mm, April 33.9 mm and May 71 mm. But, it has received only 51.2 mm rainfall between March and May 16, which is 47 per cent lower than the rains the State receives during the period. Some of the large rainfall deficient districts are - Sonepur 92 per cent, Balangir 77 per cent, Bargarh 73 per cent and Jagatsinghpur 72 per cent. While Cuttack has recorded 27 per cent deficit rainfall between March and May 16, only three districts including Khurda, Deogarh and Koraput have recorded normal rains during the period. “Lack of factors like wind flow from Bay of Bengal containing moisture, westerly trough and cyclonic circulation were some of the reasons behind less nor’wester rains in the State in the last two months,” R A I N S TAT S Odisha received only 51.2 mm rainfall between March and May 16, which is 47 per cent deficit Normal rainfall Deviation March - 23.5 mm -96% April - 33.9 mm -76% May -13% (From 5 to 11) - 71 mm said Bhubaneswar Meteorologic a l C e n t re D i re c t o r, H R Biswas.‘In April, mostly dry and warm north-westerly winds from the land approached Odisha. The winds had no moisture for which heatwave conditions prevailed and there was hardly any rainfall activity In the last . two months, there were only a few feeble cyclonic circulations which also did not provide adequate moisture to the State,’ he added. Director of Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) at SOA University Sarat Chandra , Sahu expressed similar views and said that flow of moisture carrying winds from Bay of Bengal to Odisha was not very strong. “No cyclonic circulation formed in the lower level over Odisha which could have helped in moisture incursion towards the State”, he said. Meanwhile, the sweltering heat and humid conditions have also returned to the State after cyclone Asani dissipated last Lack of factors like wind flow from Bay of Bengal containing moisture, westerly trough and cyclonic circulation were some of the reasons behind less nor’wester rains in the State in the last two months HR Biswas, Bhubaneswar Met Centre Dr Veena Shatrughna, Nutritionist 44.9 Khurda If ration was being provided regularly year after year, why did it lead to such a spike in anemia in last 6 years? 46 Cuttack Climate Change! A s i s h M e h ta @ Bhubaneswar CHANGE (%) week. On Monday, 10 places in the State recorded 40 degree Celsius or more. Balangir was the hottest at 42.8 degree, followed by Sonepur and Boudh 42.5 degree each. The Twin City of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack recorded 35.8 degree Celsius and 35.6 degree respectively on Monday . The IMD officials said rainfall deficit is expected to reduce in Odisha this month due to the thundershower activity “Thun. derstorm activity is likely to occur at a few places in the State till Friday and daytime temperature is expected to remain normal during next four to five days,” said Biswas. Sahu said daytime temperature is likely to remain normal in the coming days and thund e r s h owe r a c t iv i t y m ay strengthen from May 23 onwards as the flow of winds carrying moisture is expected to increase during the period. coastal districts that figured in the ‘extremely worsened’ bracket. Angul, however, was at the top with an over 30 per cent jump recording a total 75 per cent anemia among women while Mayurbhanj and Deogarh stood second with 72.2 per cent, revealed the map by Geo- graphic Insights which is an interdisciplinary research lab based at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and the Harvard Center of Geographic Analysis within the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. Similarly anemia in children , in districts like Bhadrak rose by 46% followed by Cuttack (44.9%), Khurda (37.1%), Jajpur (36.4%), Jagatsinghpur (34.8%), Kendrapara (32.8%), Nayagarh (28.7%), Ganjam (23.9%) and Puri (21.8 %) in last six years as these districts shot up to ‘extremely worsened’ bracket. Among pregnant women too, anemia shot up and Jajpur, Bhadrak, Dhenkanal, Khurda, Nayagarh and Kendrapara - all coastal districts - were placed among the ‘extremely worsened’ districts. Despite pumping huge funds for addressing nutritional deficiency in children and women and implementing food security the sharp rise in anemia , has come as a shocker. Interestingly the ruling Biju Janata , Dal government enjoys a huge base in the coastal districts of CONTINUED ON: P5 the State. Pricey fuel set to make flights costly A r s h a d K h a n @ New Delhi Airfares are likely to soar further as the government has hiked jet fuel prices by 5.29%, its 10th hike in the year so far. Fares have already shot up by 25-40% this year. The latest jump would only make flying costlier. Jet fuel rates account for about 40% of an airline’s running cost. Fares in many sectors have nearly doubled in the last two years or so. A quick search on any travel portal shows that a one-way flight in the busy Delhi-Mumbai sector is priced between `6,550-7,850 (May 23, non-stop, economy) while in the DelhiBengaluru sector it is `8,400-9,850. In the early 2020s, before Covid struck, a one-way Delhi-Mumbai economy class flight booked a week in advance was priced roughly at `3,500. For the Delhi-Bengaluru sector at that point in time, it was about `5,000. Multiple ticketing agents this newspaper spoke to said airfares in 2022 alone have shot up by up to 40% for tickets booked for flights that would take-off in 15 days, while it went up by up to 25-30% if booked after 15 days. Rajiv Mehra, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators, told this newspaper, “5-10% hike is absorbable but when the fares go up by 30-40%, it dents the tourism sector. After the pandemic we were now hoping for good tourists’ arrival but these high fares have poured water on all our hopes.” The price of jet fuel, also called aviation turbine fuel, was increased by `6,188.25 per kilolitre, or 5.29%, to `1,23,039.71 per kl (`123 per litre) in Delhi. The fuel cost has been raised by a cumulative 61.7% from January to May 16 this year.
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