chennai l wednesday l november 23, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l vellore EDITION Air India beats all others, becomes most punctual Indigo’s on-time performance slips This is a notable achievement for Air India given that it was usually at the bottom of the chart when it was a run by the government. In October, Vistara and AirAsia India claimed the second spot with on-time performance score of 89.1% each, followed by IndiGo (87.5%). IndiGo was the most punctual airline in February (95.4%) and March (93.9%) The Tata group-owned airline clocked an impressive 90.8% on-time performance in October, the best among all carriers ■ 1.14 crore Go First at bottom of the chart The monthly data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday also showed that SpiceJet’s punctuality rate stood at 68.9% in October, while Go FIRST ended up at the last spot with on-time performance tag at 60.7%. The data is based on punctuality at Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad & Mumbai Number of passengers flown by Indian carriers on domestic routes in October 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 Mukesh passes RIL mantle to Anant, Dhanraj Younger son already handling matters related to govt, politics and legal; Nathwani scion to manage corporate affairs in Delhi S h a h i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a young visitor at his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence late evening in the middle of October. The meeting signalled a big change at the top level of India’s largest private sector corporation — Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). The man who drove into the Prime Minister’s residence in a black Mercedes was Anant Ambani, the younger son of India’s second richest man Mukesh Ambani. Sources said RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani has handed over the job of handling matters relating to government, politics and le- gal affairs to Anant. The young Ambani has been travelling to states to meet chief ministers. He is said to have developed a good rapport with several chief ministers, including prominent ones from the BJP-ruled states, with whom he is maintaining close contact. His one-and-halfhour meeting with the prime minister was focused on the impending change of guard at Maker Chamber in Mumbai, RIL’s headquarters, it is reliably learnt. The 27-year-old Anant will handle the legacy business of oil, while his older siblings Akash and Isha will focus on the group’s new ventures — digital, including tel- Dhanraj Nathwani Anant Ambani ecom, and retail. Akash, along with sister Isha, will also look after marketing and brand building. Anant was inducted into the board of RIL’s clean energy companies last year. Sources said the Reliance group’s key troubleshooter and Rajya Sabha member, Parimal messi argentina lose way in arabian desert S i d d h a n t h A n e y @ Doha What undid the CRAZY things can happen in sport. A resolute, brave and technically sound Saudi Arabia put Asia on the board at the 2022 FIFA men’s World Cup in Qatar on Tuesday In the process, they . scripted one one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. The thousands of Saudi fans who made the trip across the border would be lying if they said a final scoreline of 2-1 against Argentina was a result they expected anywhere other than in their wildest fantasies. Yet, that’s how it ended at a roaring Lusail Stadium that was draped in a sea of green. It was reminiscent of Argentina’s 0-1 loss to Cameroon in Italy 1990, where they were defending champions. A remarkably composed Herve Renard, Saudi coach, summed it up in the postmatch press conference. “Argentina are a fantastic team with great players,” he said. “They were unbeaten in 36 games and the champions of South America. But this is football. Sometimes crazy things happen.” It could have gone very differently With the clock barely at the . double digit mark, Lionel Messi, in his last World Cup, stepped up to the penalty spot and calmly stroked the ball home. From then on, it was hard work for the Saudis. Argentina dominated possession and had all the chances. In the next 20 minutes, they found the back of the net thrice, first it was Messi who latched on to a lofted through ball and finished with characteristic compo- 66 years on, Ariyalur remembers train crash Ariyalur: Sixty-six years after 144 people died and hundreds were injured as Thoothukudi Express train crashed into Marudaiyaru River in Ariyalur with 800 passengers onboard following a bridge collapse, locals want a plaque to be installed at Ariyalur railway station in memory of those who perished on the fateful night on November 23, 1956. Lal Bahadur Shastri, the then railway minister in PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet, had resigned from his post taking moral responsibility for the train accident. PAGE 4 albiceleste? Saudi Arabia’s energy and highintensity caught Argentina unawares. The Saudi primary league has been shut since October third week, so players have been in sync with each other, training together and playing friendly matches for the last two months. That level of understanding showed in a display full of heart and effort from the first to the final whistle Saudi Arabia declared Wednesday as public holiday It's a very heavy blow, a defeat that hurts, but we must continue to have confidence in ourselves. This group is not going to give up. We will try to beat Mexico Lionel Messi Argentina captain Today’s matches Morocco vs Croatia 3.30 PM Germany vs Japan 6.30 PM Spain vs Costa Rica 9.30 PM Belgium vs Canada 12.30 AM on Thursday Nathwani, will also hand over the baton to his son, Dhanraj Nathwani, who will henceforth handle corporate affairs in the national capital. Dhanraj has so far been handling RIL’s affairs in Gujarat. He is now being given a new office in Delhi. Dhanraj is married to the daughter of Ahmedabad-based businessman Rajesh Khandwala. Khandwala has had financial links with Jay Shah, son of Union home minister Amit Shah. Dhanraj was last week elected as the president of Gujarat Cricket Association, a post earlier held by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Dhanraj also played a key role in the construc- Civilians among 6 shot dead on Assam-Meghalaya border P r a s a n ta M a z u m d a r @ Guwahati Five civilians and a forest guard were killed and several others injured in an incident of firing on the Assam-Meghalaya border early morning on Tuesday . The firing took place between “Assam forest officials and unknown miscreants” at Mukhrow under Jirikinding police station in the state’s West Karbi Anglong district, the Assam government said. It happened when the forest party attempted to stop a truck smuggling out illegal timber. “When the truck was stopped by the forest party personnel, they were gheraoed by unknown miscreants who resorted to violence. In order to save their lives, the forest party resorted to firing,” the Assam government’s statement said. Later in the day the Assam gov, ernment decided to hand over the probe to a central/neutral investi- e x p r e s s r e ad Dejected Lionel Messi walks off the pitch as Saudi Arabia celebrate after their stunning victory over Argentina at the World Cup in Doha on Tuesday | AP sure. Then the in-form Lautaro Martinez did the same, twice. Each time FIFA’s new semi-automated offside technology came to Saudi’s rescue. Playing a high line and, despite all the attempts by Argentina, Saudi’s offside trap held. Seven times in the first half, the linesman held his flag up. Still, going into the break a goal up and under little or no pressure, it seemed only a matter of time before Lionel Scaloni’s side cemented the lead. The Green Falcons, cheered on by fans, produced a stunning 10minute spell to flip the game on its head. Playing on the counter, Saleh Al-Shehri converted superbly off a low-percentage chance off his left foot, levelling things up three minutes after half-time. Then Salem Al-Dawsari produced a magical solo goal. The two-time champions had opportunities to level but Saudi resisted to script a famous win. Continued on: Page 11 Pastor, 2 more held in child trafficking case in Chennai Chennai: Police on Tuesday arrested a pastor and two others in Chennai over an alleged child trafficking case. The baby born out of wedlock was sold to a childless couple for several lakhs, police said. Actor Gayatri Raghuram suspended from TN BJP Chennai: TN BJP chief K Annamalai on Tuesday suspended actor Gayatri Raghuram for six months and ordered an inquiry against another functionary, Surya Siva, for abusing Daisy Saran, a woman member | P4 A ri t t a p a t t i i n M ad u rai TN gets its first biodiversity heritage site SV K RI S HNA CHAITANYA @ Chennai The state government on Tuesday notified 193.215 hectares of area spread across Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in Madurai district as ‘Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site’ under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. This is the first Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) notified in Tamil Nadu. Biodiversity heritage sites are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with high diversity of wild and domesticated species, presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species. The village Arittapatti consists of a chain of seven barren granite hillocks. The distinctive landscape of rocky hills acts as a watershed and supports 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools, and three check dams. One of the water bodies, Anaikondan Lake, was built during the reign of Pandyas in the 16th century Hill. ocks in Arittapatti village have rich biological and historical signifi- Arittapatti village hillocks are home to more than 250 bird species | Express cance with the presence of around 250 bird species, including three flagship raptor species—Laggar Falcon , Shaheen Falcon, and Bonelli’s Eagle—and wildlife such as Indian pangolin, python, and slender loris. The site also features various megalithic structures, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions, Jain Beds, and 2,200-year-old rock-cut temples, lending it historical value. “The decision to declare Arittapatti as a Biodiversity Heritage Site was made after consulting local communities, the department of ar- tion of the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad. Sources said Anant and Dhanraj will henceforth handle government affairs in Delhi. The old Reliance hand, V Balasubramanian, a.k.a Balu, and Parimal Nathwani will continue to mentor the two young leaders in government affairs for some time. According to sources, the group plans to aggressively promote the Jio brand and ultimately phase out the Reliance name. The group’s founder Dhirubhai Ambani had picked Reliance as the brand name to send out a message to his investors and supporters that they could rely on him. chaeology, Tamil Nadu Minerals Ltd., and other stakeholders. This notification will strengthen the biodiversity conservation efforts with the participation of local communities. This will also help to preserve the rich biological and historical repository of the area,” said Supriya Sahu, additional chief secretary to the government in the environment, forests and climate change department. Shekhar Kumar Niraj, member secretary Tamil Nadu Biodiversity , Board, told TNIE, “Future of conservation is in saving microhabitats such as Arittapatti which are not protected areas. I visited the site a month ago and saw nesting of spotted owl, a near threatened species. A total of 36 biodiversity rich sites are identified in Tamil Nadu and I am personally visiting each one of them to prepare a priority list. We sent three proposals to the state government and Arittapatti got declared first. The other two sites are Vaagaikulam in Tirunelveli and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore.” P5 gation agency It also instituted a . judicial inquiry by a retired judge of the high court to ascertain the facts, circumstances and reasons behind the incident. Besides, it transferred West Karbi Anglong Superintendent of Police Imdad Ali and placed under suspension Officer-in-Charge of Jirikinding police station Kajal Nath and Forest Protection Officer Shikari Enghi. Both Assam and Meghalaya gover nments also separately announced `5 lakh each as ex gratia to the next of kin of the victims. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma strongly condemned the incident. He said the Assam Police and its forest guards entered Meghalaya and resorted to unprovoked firing. “GoM will take all steps to ensure justice is served and action is taken against those responsible in this inhuman act.” Why no CEC gets 6-year term, asks Supreme Court S HRUTI K A K K AR @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the way Chief Election Commissioners (CEC) are appointed, noting that whichever party comes to power, CECs invariably get truncated tenures. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Justice K M Joseph made the observation while considering a petition seeking a collegium-like system for appointment of members of the Election Commission. Underlining various examples of CECs having very short tenures since 2007, Justice Joseph said the candidates’ date of birth is known to the government and yet, they pick those who wouldn’t last the full ter m of six years. According to the Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of ‘Need CJI in Business) Act, 1991, a CEC select panel’ will have a tenure of six The Supreme Court years but will have to vacate said “silence of the office when he or she attains Constitution” is the age of 65 years. exploited by all Justice Joseph said short parties, adding that tenure affects the independthe absence of a ence of the CEC. “This trend law governing the has continued... be it the UPA appointments of government or this governECs and CECs a ment,” he added. “disturbing trend”. The judge further said that It said the presence the court is very well aware of the CJI in the of the government’s relucselect panel would tance to let go of the present be the best system structure. Referring to Article 324(2) of the Constitution under which the appointments to members of the Election Commission of India are made by the President subject to law made by Parliament, the court asked Attorney General R Venkataramani to apprise the bench on whether any law has been implemented by the legislature for such appointments. The bench said, “The Constitution has cast an obligation on Parliament. If there is a room for making a law, can how long you can argue you will not? We are taking this up after 70 years.” The AG submitted that the court should not step into Parliament’s domain.
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