Quality at Value VOL. 33 NO. 13| MUMBAI, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL SUNDAY| AUGUST 1, 2021| 15 PAGES | ` 4 COVID ALERT IN 9 MAHARASHTRA DISTRICTS Tomorrow, the EX-SC JUDGE SUSPECT IN MOISE’S KILLING, SAY HAITI POLICE PORT-AU-PRINCE: The Haitian police had issued an arrest warrant for former SC judge Wendelle Coq-Thelot in connection with Moise’s assassination. (Pg 9) CORONAVIRUS CASES 198,295,012 DEATHS 4,229,654 Source - Worldometer HAMILTON TAKES 101 POLE POSITION IN HUNGARIAN GP Centre’s warning: Nine districts in the state continue to report high Covid-19 growth; 10 districts show high positivity rate SANJAY JOG Mumbai Amid galloping Covid-19 cases and positivity rate, the Union health ministry on Saturday asked 10 states to step up surveillance and containment and management measures, based on mapping of cases and contacts traced. The states are Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, and Manipur. After Kerala, Maharashtra is under scanner as nine districts have a high weekly growth rate in patients and 11 districts have high positivity rate against the average of the state. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has warned against complacency with around 40,000 cases being reported daily in the past few weeks. At the national level, 46 districts are exhibiting more than 10% positivity while another 56 are show, ing a positivity rate between 5-10%. In Maharashtra, of the nine districts, Sangli tops the list with high weekly growth rate of 0.44% in patients, followed by Kolhapur (0.43%), Satara (0.38%), Sindhudurg (0.33%), Ratnagiri (0.30%), Ahmednagar (0.25%), Solapur (0.24%), Beed (0.20%) and Raigad (0.19%). This is against the state average of 0.11%. n At the national level, 46 districts are exhibiting more than 10% positivity, while another 56 are showing a positivity rate of 5-10%. n In Maharashtra, nine districts topping the weekly growth rate are Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Beed and Raigad. n Centre asks state to undertake intensive containment and active surveillance in clusters reporting higher cases n ICMR warns against complacency, advises state to increase testing and conduct state-level sero-surveys for district-wise disease prevalence data BETWEEN THE LINES ‘50% of Delhi’s eligible population got at least 1 jab’ The total number of anti-coronavirus vaccine doses administered in Delhi so far crossed the one-crore mark on Saturday. Of the eligible population in the city, 50 per cent have received at least one jab, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, hoping that more vaccine doses will be soon available for the city. The national capital has a population of about two crore and among them, about 1.5 crore are eligible for Covid-19 vaccination. Kejriwal said there was an acute shortage of vaccines for which inoculation could not be scaled up. “We have the capacity to vaccinate three lakh people daily. But due to shortage, only 50,000-80,000 people are getting the Covid jabs every day,” he said, adding that there are two challenges before the government: to vaccinate those who have not yet taken even the first dose and to administer the second dose to those who have got the first jab. K’taka says Rt-PCR mandatory for entry from Kerala, Maha The Karnataka government on Saturday made an Rt-PCR test certificate compulsory for those travelling from Kerala and Maharashtra to the state. The certificate has been made mandatory for all travellers visiting the state by bus, flight, train and private vehicles. Karnataka Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, Jawaid Akhtar has issued an order saying that a negative Covid report or certificate should not be dated more than 72 hours. The order has also tasked the railway authorities and bus conductors to ensure only people with certificates come into the state. For private vehicles, district authorities have been told to put up additional checkposts at border districts. Swabs will be collected from those who travel to attend funerals and medical emergencies. JeM chief’s kin, key Pulwama conspirator killed Srinagar: Two top Jaish-eMohammad (JeM) terrorists involved in the Pulwama attack of 2019 were killed on Saturday in an encounter in the south Kashmir district, officials said, terming it "probably the biggest strike of the year" for the security forces. They said IED expert Ismal Alvi was from the family of JeM chief Masood Azhar and had trained the suicide bomber who carried out the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel. They said the second terrorist has been identified as Sameer Dar (an A+ category ultra) from Pulwama. He was also involved in Pulwama attack and figured in an NIA chargesheet in the case, they added. PIC BHUSHAN KOYANDE ultimate throw Discus-thrower Kamalpreet Kaur’s coach Rakhi Tygai recounts her single-minded journey JOE WILLIAMS / Mumbai Further, 10 districts with high positive rate are Satara (8.03%), Pune (7.23%), Kolhapur (7.18%), Sangli (6.91%), Sindhudurg (6.49%), Solapur (5.90%), Ahmednagar (4.95%), Beed (4.88%), Raigad (4.70%) and Ratnagiri (3.83%). This is against the state average of 3.8%. The Union health ministry has asked the states, including Maharashtra, to focus on those districts where the positivity rate is less than Babul Supriyo’s final political song, or not? Speculation rife as two-time MP edits Facebook post on quitting politics ARITRA SINGH Kolkata Former minister of state and two-time BJP MP from Asansol, Babul Supriyo hinted on Saturday at quitting politics in a social media post. One of the farewell reasons, he mentioned, is the Centre taking away his ministerial posts. In another post, Supriyo said he will not defect to any other political party and then edited it, , deleting the portion mentioning that he will not join TMC, CPI (M) or Congress. This sent the political rumour mill into overdrive. “After sensing several things, I am confirming that I am not going to TMC, CPI (M) or Congress. I am a one Team Player! I have always supported one team MohunBagan. Have done only oneparty BJP West Bengal. BUDAPEST: Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Hungarian GP ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, with leader Max Verstappen in third place. That’s it,” read his initial post, which he later deleted. An earlier post by the singer-turned-politician post read, “Had spoken with my family and close friends; and for last few days visited Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda over leaving politics, but they somehow convinced me to carry on in BJP . CONTD. ON NATION PAGE 10%, to protect them and their populations by focusing on saturation of vaccination. The ICMR has asked the states to ramp up testing and conduct state-level sero-surveys for district-wise disease prevalence data. Further, it has advised to ramp up vaccination in the 60-plus and 4560 age categories as evidence shows that near 80% of the mortality is from these vulnerable age-groups. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Assam, Nagaland sign agreement to de-escalate border tension AGENCIES / Guwahati The Chief Secretaries of Assam and Nagaland on Saturday signed an agreement to de-escalate the tension prevailing at two locations in the Dessoi valley forest/ Tsurangkong valley by simultaneously withdrawing security forces within the next 24-hours. The agreement was signed following a meeting at Dimapur between Assam chief secretary Jishnu Barua and his Nagaland counterpart J Alam in the presence of Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and Assam education minister Ranoj Pegu. As per the agreement, “security personnel of both states shall simultaneously move back from their present locations to their base camps and withdrawal of the security personnel shall begin immediately and be completed in the next 24 hours”. “She is one of the few athletes who gives everything to prove she is the best. I hope she does the same on August 2 at 4.30 pm when she takes to the field for the final showdown,” said Rakhi Tyagi, discus-thrower Kamalpreet Kaur’s coach from SAI hostel in Badal, following pan-India jubilance over the athlete’s ‘monstrous’ throw on Day 9 at the Tokyo Olympics. The 23-year-old athlete from Punjab has qualified for the final round as the secondbest thrower with a best effort of 64m. As stardom awaits her, she is determined to achieve what none of the athletes have at this highest-level sporting extravaganza in recent times. End of the road for archers The much talked about medal prospects in archery for India are done and dusted, as the last archer in the fray fell by the wayside. It was none other than one of the best in the business, Atanu Das who was shown the door by home favourite Takaharu Furukawa, 4-6 in an intense five-setter. “Yes, she took to cricket during the lockdown, as there was no practice. She is a fan of Virendra Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, but there is nothing beyond that. She is a born athlete,” said Tyagi of Kamalpreet, who comes from a family of farmers. “Come what may she will never leave dis, cus, as she is very passionate about the sport,” said Tyagi, who has been training with her for over seven years. “She is more a foodie than a cricketer; but I am sure food comes after athletics,” she added. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Pegasus snooping: Opposition divided on jointly moving SC Congress fears it may meet fate akin to Rafale case FROM OUR BUREAU / New Delhi Even as the Opposition parties are united in the blockade of Parliament until the issue of Pegasus snooping is discussed, they are divided on a proposal to jointly move the Supreme Court for an investigation into it. The move has been discussed twice this week. Though the dominant view is to take the legal recourse, the Congress is reluctant. It scuttled a decision by pleading that it would like to consult its top lawyers. The reluctance apparently stems from the fear of an adverse court judgment providing relief to the government cornered on the issue, as it happened with Rafale in 2019. The Congress lawyers have told the party leadership that they find no need to go to court since the issue is already flagged for consideration by the SC the next week, as assured by the Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Friday Senior . advocate Kapil Sibal, who is also a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress, got the case listed the next week by mentioning it on behalf of senior journalists N Ram and Sasi Kumar. Moreover, they say some of them are in any case going to appear in the court on behalf of those who have filed the petitions. They do not agree with the view of the Opposition leaders that a joint petition will create a moral pressure. They point out that the Congress had opposed the idea of moving court over the Rafale deal as well on their advice, but former BJP ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie and activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan went to the SC and cut a sorry figure as the court refused to order an inquiry . That judgment came from a Bench headed by then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, who was awarded a Rajya Sabha membership after his retirement. The Opposition leaders insisting on a joint plea claim the recent decisions since Justice Ramana took over show the judiciary is no longer favouring the government as in the past and all political parties moving it together would inspire it to order a probe into the Pegasus racket. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE SANJAY JOG / Mumbai consultant was taken during a high-level meeting of the ongoing monsoon preparedness and review on Friday . Alongside the senior officials of BMC, the meeting was attended by officials of Railways, Indian Navy National Disaster Re, sponse Force, Indian Meteorological Department, MHADA and Collectors of Mumbai City and Suburban. "After the report is submitted, the agency concerned, which is the owner of the land, will have to take responsibility for its maintenance and relocate the slum dwellers, if there are any . The collector's office can use the District Planning and Development Committee (DPDC) funds for taking action," Kakani said. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Maharashtra has reported its first case of Zika virus infection. A 50-year-old woman from Pune’s Purandar tehsil tested positive for the infection and was admitted to the Belsar primary health center. Sources said she has recovered and has been discharged. Her family didn’t contract the infection from her, sources said. With this case, Maharashtra has become the second state after Kerala to report Zika infection. A health department team comprising state survey officer Dr Pradeep Awate, assistant director (elephant disease) Dr Kamalapurkar, state entomologist Dr Mahendra Jagtap, and members of the state-level rapid response team visited Belsar village An official spokesman said that the chief minister has recommended handing over the probe in the death of District and Sessions court-8 judge Uttam Anand to the premier investigating agency . The 49-year-old judge was allegedly mowed down by a heavy autorickshaw while he was on morning jog on July 28 morning in Dhan- bad. The Jharkhand government had set up a Special Investigation Team to crack the judge's death case expeditiously After meeting the . family members of the judge, Soren had on Friday said the government was serious on the matter and had assured the family that justice will be done. CONTD. ON NATION PAGE Civic body identifies 20 high-risk areas prone to landslide in the city PRATIP ACHARYA Mumbai and took stock of the situation. The team held an emergency meeting of sarpanch, gram panchayat members, staff of the primary health centre, medical officers of Purandar taluka and health workers. They were instructed over next steps and line of action after finding Zika patients in the area. Zika virus disease is a mild disease caused by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which bite during early mornings or even late evenings. Over 80 per cent patients exhibit no symptoms. Unlike dengue and chikungunya, Zika can also be transmitted through bodily fluids like blood, and semen, or even organ transplants. Those who show symptoms could have fever, body ache, itchy eyes, acne, and joint pain. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to appoint a consultant for carrying out surveys on the high-risk landslideprone areas in the city . According to senior officials of the civic body 20 , high-risk areas have been identified by the BMC that are prone to landslides. Most of these areas are in the L Ward (Kurla, Saki Naka and Chandivli) and S Ward (Bhandup, Kanjurmarg and Powai). However, officials said that the land in all these areas is owned by government agencies like the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Mumbai district collectorate office. "As there are multiple agencies involved, a consultant will be appointed by the BMC who will carry out a detailed survey of these lands. The survey will include geological study and calculation of a risk-benefit ratio. The The decision was taken at a recent meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, in the presence of state home minister Dilip Walse-Patil and minister of state for home Satej Patil. It will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray following a test and safety audit next month. Powered with high-end technology, ‘Dial 112’ – already the single emergency number across the country – will be available through mobile applications, SMS service, email, or chat. A click away will be state-ofthe-art control rooms of all 45 police commissionerates and district police offices across the state. As part of the project, as many as 1,502 four-wheelers and 2,269 two-wheelers used by the police will have a mobile data terminal and GPS system. Of them, 849 fourwheelers and 1,372 twowheelers have already been installed with a technically fool proof system. Patil said the technology has enabled these vehicles to be ready in the service of the people round-the-clock. Tweeting about the project, he said, “We are training 15,000 police personnel and officers for use of this technology…” report submitted by the consultant will then be shared with all the other agencies involved," Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, told FPJ on Saturday . The decision to appoint the SANJAY JOG Mumbai The hospitality industry on Saturday urged the Union Finance Minister to reintroduce the scheme granting ex-gratia payment of the difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers. Hit hard, yet again, due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) stated that the industry has witnessed rampant closures across the country in the past few months. The tourism and hospitality sector has borne the worst brunt of the economic turmoil stemming from the pandemic, both in the first and the second waves. The sector hopes that the payment against compounding interest, like the one during the first wave, will provide some relief. The scheme was announced in October 2020, with ex-gratia payment to borrowers in specified loan accounts from March 1 to August 31, 2020. Borrowers with loan accounts with sanctioned limits and outstanding amounts not exceeding Rs 2 crore were eligible under the scheme. FHRAI vice-president Gurbaxish Singh Kohli said the industry has suffered maximum losses during the last 16 months, and so it’s imperative that the government provides some relief. According to FHRAI, 2030 per cent of the hotels and restaurants in the country have permanently shut down due to financial losses, and over 20 per cent have still not reopened since the first lockdown in March 2020. The remaining 50 per cent that may have reopened are continuing to run in losses and revenues are below 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. Now, Zika in BMC to appoint consultant for Maharashtra survey on landslide-prone areas First case reported in the state, in Pune’s Purandar tehsil; the 50-year-old patient has recovered Hospitality industry craves Relief 2.0 CM Dial 112: Crisis response goes digital JharkhandjudgeSoren to hand over Dhanbad death case to CBI LAST WORD SANJAY JOG / Mumbai Are you in a critical situation, including floods, landslides or even waterlogging? You can soon call for help through ‘Dial 112’. The Maharashtra government will soon launch this Big Analytics project to enable the police to reach complainants faster – within 10 minutes in urban areas and 15 minutes in rural areas. AGENCIES Ranchi Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday decided to hand over the probe into hit-andrun case of Dhanbad judge to the Central Bureau of Investigation.