Published on May 27, 2020
1. ?=BQ =4F34;78 As the stand-off between India and China continues at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed the situation here with the top security brass, including National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and the three Services Chiefs. The high-level meetings took place against the backdrop of the Chinese Army adopting an aggressive attitude at the LAC and bolstering substan- tially its troop strength besides intruding more than three kms into the Hot Springs area of Eastern Ladakh. It has also brought forward heavy vehicles like armoured personnel carri- ers while the Chinese heli- copters have increased aerial surveillance along the LAC. With the LAC now “hot” for nearly a month after the Chinese transgressions and four ongoing stand-offs, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh too took stock of the ongoing tension at the LAC earlier in the day with the defence top brass. The month- long flashpoints will also be on the top of the agenda of the two-day Army Commanders conference beginning here on Wednesday. With China coming into the Hot Springs area and its sol- diers pitching tents there besides deploying more than 5,000 troops at the four face-off sites spread over a frontage of 20 to 30 km, the Prime Minister was also briefed about the steps taken by India to meet any challenge arising out of the sensitive situation at the border. The meeting between the Defence Minister and the CDS along with the three Chiefs last- ed for more than an hour, sources said. The issue of Indian and Chinese Armies coming to blows in two face-offs at Naku La, Sikkim and Pangong Tso, Ladakh as well as increased troops strength of China and the Army’s operational readi- ness to face the situation will figure prominently during the Army Commanders meet. It comes at a time when at least six rounds of talks between the Brigadier-rank officers of Indian and Chinese Armies to resolve the confrontation have not yielded any positive results. Diplomatic efforts are also on to defuse the situation. The Commanders’ Conference is held twice a year and was postponed from its earlier scheduled dates in April due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. The second leg of the conclave will be held in the last week of June, officials said here on Tuesday. The apex level leadership of Indian Army will brainstorm on current emerging security and administrative challenges and chart the future course for Indian Army. To ensure due diligence, decisions are taken through collegiate system com- prising Army commanders and senior officers. During the first phase, which will be organised at South Block, various aspects pertaining to operational and administrative issues, including studies pertaining to logistics and human resources, will be discussed, they said. As regards the LAC, even though the focus is on Eastern Ladakh due to ongoing face- offs, the Indian forces have also started reinforcing its posi- tions in borders of Uttarakhand which face China besides some parts of Himachal Pradesh too as a precautionary measure, sources said. On Ladakh, they said the Indian defence forces are fully geared to increase the troops strength besides heavy weapon- ry in case of any emergency. All the advanced landing grounds like Daulat Beg OIdie and oth- ers in Ladakh region are ready to accommodate extra work- load of landings and take offs of heavy transport planes car- rying soldiers and weapons, they added. Moreover, the Indian Army has enhanced vigil on the 250- km long strategic road in the Galwan valley where one of the stand-offs is now on. The Chinese Army is protesting against the construction of a bridge on this road running parallel to the LAC. The road provides vastly improved con- nectivity to the Indian forces for mobilisation, sources said, adding the road is well within the Indian region. The two armies had fought a battle in the Galwan valley during the 1962 war. Meanwhile, the Defence Minister also reviewed the ongoing implementation of the recommendations of the Shekatkar Committee report. The Lt General DB Shekatkar (Retired) committee had made a series of recommendations to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Aday after the WHO sus- pended clinical trial of Hydroxycholoroquine (HCQ) on Covid-19 patients citing safety concerns, India on Tuesday said it will continue using the drug as preventive care for its healthcare and frontline workers under strict medical supervision. Dr Balram Bhargava, the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said the drug was rec- ommended initially in March based on in-vitro studies which showed it had antiviral proper- ties. “There have been observa- tional studies and case control studies that have not shown many side-effects due to the use of HCQ. “We thought it might be useful drug for prevention of Covid-19 and taking the bio- logical plausibility, the in-vitro data, and taking the availabil- ity and safety of this drug, we recommended it as empiric use under strict medical super- vision,” Bhargava said at a presser here. “During the weeks since it was recommended, we got some data (on HCQ) which showed there is no harm, but benefit may be there,” he said. “They were mainly obser- vational studies in different cohorts done at AIIMS and case control study at ICMR and studies were also done at three Delhi public hospitals. We found that it may be working and there were no major side effects, except nau- sea, vomiting and some palpi- tations occasionally. We have clearly said it should be con- tinued for prophylaxis,” he said. The ICMR DG said the Government’s latest advisory regarding expanding the use of HCQ to frontline workers such as paramilitary and police per- sonnel is based on “risk-bene- fit analysis”. “We should not deny this to our healthcare workers and frontline workers who are deal- ing with virus-hit patients. At the same time, we have also said they should follow medical recommendations like not eat- ing it on empty stomach and that PPE use must be contin- ued. Our study on HCQ will be published soon,” Bhargava said. 344?0::D0A970Q =4F34;78 The migrant issue took a political turn on Tuesday with Congress, Left, Samajwadi Party as well several trade unions and labour front organ- isations criticising Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for decreeing that States will have to take his Government’s permission before employing workers from Uttar Pradesh. Calling this is an “absurd” and unconstitutional “move which encroaches on the right to individual to earn his liveli- hood wherever he wants with- in the country, they said the CM’s move was an attempt to divert attention from the plight of the migrant workers. Except for the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), top labour union such as the INTUC, AITUC, CITU and other outfits are coordinating to launch a countrywide protest and move the court against the proposed decision. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed Yogi’s remark as “unfortunate.” “I think it’s unfortunate. I think people are first Indian and then they belong to their States. The decision on whether somebody goes to work from Uttar Pradesh to the rest of the country is not the Chief Minister’s. It is of the people of India and the people of Uttar Pradesh,” Rahul said at a video Press conference. “If a citizen of Uttar Pradesh wants to go and fulfil his dreams in Maharashtra or in Delhi or in Karnataka or anywhere else, he should have the right to do so,” he said. “It is very unfortunate that the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh views India in such a way. These people are not his personal property. They are not the personal property of Uttar Pradesh. These people are Indian citizens and they have the right to decide what they want to do and they have the right to live the life they want to live,” he added. Karnataka Congress pres- ident DK Shivakumar in a series of tweets also attacked Yogi Adityanath saying UP was not the private property of his Government. 0A270=09HC8Q =4F34;78 After it allowed millions of migrant workers to cross the borders to reach their native villages, Union Health Ministry has now woken up to the Covid-19 shadow looming over their home States — par- ticularly big five — UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Anticipating huge surge in these regions, the Centre has asked the State Governments to mobilise all resources like setting set up temporary health sub centres in the exist- ing buildings, rope in volun- teers from various streams and enhance incentives to ASHA and ANM workers to identify the symptomatic cases to check the spread of infec- tions. To keep up with the increasing demand, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) too has ramped up its testing facilities and capacities. From a few thousands in the beginning, India is now testing up to 1.1 lakh samples in a day, according to Dr Balram Bhargava, Director General, ICMR ?=BQ =4F34;78 Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 2,091 fresh cases, nearly 1,000 less than two days ago and third day of back-to-back decline in the number, giving some respite to the highly strung health work- ers and officials as the total number of cases in India climbed to 1,50,739 and 4,334 deaths on Tuesday. The day saw as many 170 deaths and the number of fresh cases stood at 5,789, far less than 7,000-plus spike in cases the country two days ago. At this rate of increase, India is likely to overtake Turkey too, in a day or two if the current pace remains. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat have report- ed the highest number of cases in the last 24 hours on Tuesday. Maharashtra reported 2,091 fresh cases and 97 deaths in the last 24 hours. The State continued to be on top in the list of coronavirus cases in the country, taking the total num- ber of cases in the State to 54,758 and deaths to 1,792. Mumbai city alone accounted for 39 deaths. The worst-hit Thane divi- sion, which includes Mumbai and surrounding satellite towns, has reported 41,886 cases and 1,226 deaths. Mumbai has reported 1,002 new cases taking the total number of cases in the city to 32,791 and 1,065 deaths. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday slammed the Modi Government’s decision to con- tinue with the nationwide lock- down and the strategy of han- dling the coronavirus crisis. Rahul said the nationwide lock- down in India has failed as the coronavirus cases have spiked in this period. “The lockdown in India has failed. Four stages of lock- down have not given the result that the Prime Minister expect- ed,” Rahul said at a live press conference through his Twitter account. He also slammed the Modi Government’s strategies of relaxing the lockdown and said, “India is the only country in world which is removing lockdown when the virus is exponentially rising.” “PM and his entire adviso- ry staff claimed coronavirus cases will come down, but this has not happened,” said Rahul Gandhi. “I want to ask PM Modi, what is the strategy of the Government,” Rahul said, adding, “They are thinking about curbing the disease, sup- porting migrants and support- ing MSMEs.” “Now that the lockdown has failed, we need to know the Government’s strategy on the next step. The Centre must divulge its Plan B,” Rahul Gandhi said. “Congress is running some States. We are giving direct cash to the poor to help them sur- vive in this crisis. We are not getting the Central Government’s support,” he said. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Denouncing Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi for “double-faced politics” and “telling lies” over coronavirus situation, BJP on Tuesday claimed success in containing the pandemic in the country saying the Modi-Government has brought down the doubling rate of the Covid-19 positive cases and brought it to 12-13 days after March 25 lockdown when the two-fold rise was tak- ing place in two to three days. The BJP said its Government has provided much more economic package than the former Congress President is demanding from the Government. Senior BJP leader and information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar accused Rahul of telling “lies” and not knowing “facts” on economic package granted by the Centre to the poor follow- ing the country-wide lock- down on March 25. He said 80 crore people were receiving 25 kg wheat and five kg ‘dal’ for five months and 10 crore labourers receiving 10 kg grain and two kg ‘dal’ for free for five months. He also maintained that 20 crore women have received C500 per month and already C500 deposited in the accounts. BC055A4?AC4AQ =4F34;78 With the Ghaziabad district administration sealing its border with the national Capital again on May 26 amid coronavirus spread, commuters were stuck in heavy traffic at the Ghaziabad border. Hundreds of people were stuck in the traffic jam at the border even as the police deployed at the check-post stopped vehicles to check e- passes before allowing anyone to pass, which slowed down the vehicular movement. Both sides of the district near Ghazipur mandi that con- nects Delhi with Ghaziabad on National Highway 24 witness- es long traffic jam. “In Ghaziabad district, there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the last few days. A large chunk of these cases are linked to those who travel between Delhi and Ghaziabad,” the district admin- istration in an order on Monday had said. “The district administra- tion has decided to seal the Delhi-Ghaziabad border until further orders on the recom- mendations of the Chief Medical Officer,” the order read. The administration said the people employed in essen- tial services will be allowed. Doctors, paramedical staff, police, media personnel and bank employees will not need passes. ?C8Q =4F34;78 Taking cognizance of the “unfortunate and miser- able” plight of the migrant labourers stranded across the country due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Supreme Court Tuesday said they need “suc- cour and help by the con- cerned governments” with regard to free food and shelter. “The adequate transport arrangement, food and shelters are immediately to be provid- ed by the Centre and State Governments free of costs,” the top court said. Referring to various media reports showing the “unfortu- nate and miserable conditions” of migrant labourers walking on foot and riding cycles from long distances, the top court issued notices to the Centre, States and Union Territories and sought their replies by May 28. AeRVdde`T`W=24deR_U`WW 16$ '6 WKUHH PLOLWDU FKLHIV DWWHQG PHHWLQJ WR UHYLHZ VLWXDWLRQ SRVW KLQD¶V DJJUHVVLRQ ,QGLD WR VWLFN WR +4 JXQV 5cfXe`SVfdVU f_UVcdecZTeTRcV [email protected]¶d dRWVejT`_TVc_d RJL GUDZV IODN IRU GLUHFWLQJ 6WDWHV WR VHHN MRE RIIHU QRG EcRUVf_Z`_da]R_ _ReZ`_hZUVdeZc @aacRadFA 4 RYR]VRUdSfed]`hdU`h_ SjTRdVdd`U`Vd_ReZ`_ %-3 VODPV 5DKXO IRU µOLH¶ VDV ORFNGRZQ VORZHG RYLG VSUHDG 7UDIILF VQDUO LQ 'HOKL DV *]E VHDOV ERUGHU Ac`gZUVWcVVW``U dYV]eVce`^ZXcR_e h`cVcd D4Rdd 4V_ecVDeReVd =`TU`h_WRZ]VUe` jZV]UcVdf]ed+CRYf] 2WX]PX]cadSTScWT7^c B_aX]VbPaTPP]SXcbb^[SXTab _XcRWX]VcT]cbcWTaT CWT?fPbQaXTUTSPQ^dccWT bcT_bcPZT]Qh8]SXPc^TTc P]hRWP[[T]VTPaXbX]V^dc^U cWTbT]bXcXeTbXcdPcX^]PccWT Q^aSTa CWT^]cW[^]VU[PbW_^X]cb fX[[P[b^QT^]cWTc^_^UcWT PVT]SP^UcWTcf^SPh0ah 2^P]STabR^]UTaT]RT QTVX]]X]VWTaT^]FTS]TbSPh [email protected]=24 0aPX[fPhT_[^hTTaTUX[[bfPcTaQ^cc[Tb ^UXVaP]cbX]PcaPX]Pc9PQP[_da^] CdTbSPh ?C8 0_^[XRTR^]bcPQ[Tbc^_bR^dcTabc^Ra^bbX]c^6WPiXPQPSUa^3T[WX^] CdTbSPh ?C8 ?C8Q 14898=6 Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday ordered the military to scale up the battle preparedness, visualising the worst-case scenarios and asked them to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty. Xi made the remarks while attending a plenary meeting of the delegation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and People's Armed Police Force during the current parliament session being held here. Xi ordered the military to think about worst-case sce- narios, scale up training and battle preparedness, promptly and effectively deal with all sorts of complex situations and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and devel- opment interests, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, without mentioning any specif- ic issues that posed a threat to the country. His comments came in the backdrop of the continuing standoff between the militaries of India and China at the LAC. The US- China military frictions were also on the rise with the US navy stepping its patrols in the disputed South China Sea as well as the Taiwan Straits. IZe`A=2+ DTR]Vfa SRee]VacVaRcVU_Vdd FPah^UXVaP]cbRPaahX]V 2^eXS2T]caTPbZbBcPcTb c^aP_d__aT_PaPcX^]b 4`gZU* 20B4B) $( 340C7B) ## A42E4A43) %#!! 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2. dccPaPZWP]S!347A03D=kF43=4B30H k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·V ZLOO QRW EH KHOG UHVSRQVLEOH IRU DQ NLQG RI FODLP PDGH E WKH DGYHUWLVHUV RI WKH SURGXFWV VHUYLFHV DQG VKDOO QRW EH PDGH UHVSRQVLEOH IRU DQ NLQG RI ORVV FRQVHTXHQFHV DQG IXUWKHU SURGXFWUHODWHG GDPDJHV RQ VXFK DGYHUWLVHPHQWV ?=BQ 270=3860A7 Haryana on Tuesday report- ed 94 new cases of corona virus, taking the State's case tally to 1305 even as 22 patients recovered from various hospi- tals of the State over the last 24 hours. According to the State gov- ernment’s health bulletin, 94 fresh cases were reported from Gurugram, Faridabad, Mahendragarh, Panipat, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Bhiwani, Hisar, Rewari. Palwal, Sirsa and Nuh. Meanwhile, the total number of active COVID-19 cases in Haryana is 464 while the number patients who have been discharged are 824. The State has a recovery rate of 63.14 per cent, fatality rate at 1.32 per cent while tests per million being con- ducted are 4024. The dou- bling rate in the State is 17 days. As per the bulletin, 17 deaths have been reported so far in the State. Gurugram continues to dominate the Covid-19 spread with 33 new cases on Tuesday, out of total 94 new cases reported across State. The Statewide count of Covid-19 cases stood at 1305 and 17 deaths. Faridabad spot- ted new 22 cases, followed by Mahendragarh (12 new cases), Panipat (5), Ambala (5), Kurukshetra (3), Karnal (3), Bhiwani (3), Hisar (2), Rewari (2). Palwal(2), Sirsa (1) and Nuh(1), Yamunanagar is corona free district of the State as eight persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the district has been discharged from the hos- pitals, as per the state health bulletin. As many as 22 patients walked out of hospital from dif- ferent districts of the State on Monday. So far, 824 patients have been cured and dis- charged from hospitals in Haryana, including the 14 Italian nationals. According to officials, a total of 22 Covid patients were discharged from various districts including 17 in Gurugram, two in Palwal and one each in Sirsa, Rohtak and Kaithal, PUNJAB GETS 25 FRESH CASES, TALLY IS 2106 Punjab on Tuesday report- ed 25 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the state’s COVID-19 infection tally to 2,106, of which just 148 are active as over 91 percent have recovered. The state has till date recorded 40 COVID-19 deaths. Out of the new cases, Jalandhar has the maximum of 10 and all are the contacts of already diagnosed cases. Besides, Pathankot has report- ed five new cases, four in Hoshiarpur, two each in Amritsar and Ludhiana, and one each from Faridkot and SBS Nagar. Notably, Faridkot and SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr) districts had, only a day before, became corona-free with all patients recovering from the conta- gion and sent back home. Both districts reported new case each. With 10 more cases in Jalandhar, the district tally has reached 238. Four of 10 cases were reported since Monday night, including the healthcare workers employed at the Jalandhar Civil Hospital of which two are Class IV work- ers and two nurses. The health workers who tested positive had been given duties in three wards at the hos- pital — the emergency and tuberculosis ward and flu cor- ner — causing health authori- ties to worry about the spread of the virus. The health work- ers were reportedly sympto- matic. The five cases reported in Pathankot and four in Hoshiarpur were also con- tacts of already diagnosed cases. The two casess report- ed from Amritsar are new cases and self reported, while the Ludhiana's two cases were people with a travel history to West Bengal. Among the districts, Amritsar is topping the chart with 331 cases followed by Jalandhar at 230, Ludhiana at 175, Tarn Taran at 154, Gurdaspur (132), Patiala (108), Hoshiarpur (110), SBS Nagar (106), SAS Nagar (103), Sangrur (89), Muktsar (66), Faridkot (62), Ropar (60), Moga (59), Fatehgarh Sahib (57), Ferozepur (46), Pathankot (44), Fazilka (42), Bathinda (42), Kapurthala (36), Mansa (32) and Barnala (22). Eight districts — Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar, SAS Nagar — that have over 100 cases account for 68 percent of state’s cases. Meanwhile, seven Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel deployed at Ludhiana railway station have tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday. The RPF Director- General said: “Seven RPF per- sonnel posted at Ludhiana rail- way station have tested positive for COVID-19 and around 100 personnel have been quar- antined.” These cases were not added in the state’s official tally as the earlier positive cases of RPF personnel were also added in the central pool. FOUR NEW CASE IN CHANDIGARH Four more positive cases including of a one-and-a-half- year-old boy have been report- ed from Bapu Dham colony (BDC) till Tuesday evening taking the total number to 279 in the city. The doubling rate of Coronavirus cases stood at 15 days in Chandigarh as com- pared to the current national average of around 13 days. 12 family members includ- ing parents of the three days old baby girl, who succumbed to Coronavirus on Sunday, have been tested negative for the virus. The family belongs to Dadumajra here. The baby girl was the youngest ever Coronavirus fatality recorded in the city. So far, four Coronavirus related deaths have been reported in Chandigarh. The total cases stood at 279 while the active cases are 88 in Chandigarh, stated Chandigarh Health Department’s evening bulletin. 187 patients have so far being declared cured of Coronavirus and discharged from the hospital, the bulletin stated. The BDC, which has been declared as containment zone in Chandigarh has report- ed more than 200 cases till now. “32 samples have been collect- ed on site in BDC, Sector-26 on Tuesday. The Administration had last week started onsite sampling facility at a school in BDC,” the bulletin stated. “Among the fresh positive cases reported included a male child aged 1.5 years, 22 years, 60 years and 61 years from BDC,” it added. ?=BQ B78;0 Ten more people tested pos- itive for the novel coron- avirus in Himachal Pradesh, taking the number of cases to 234 on Tuesday, a Health Department official said. There are 161 active cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state and 61 people have recovered so far, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said. Of the 10 new COVID-19 cases, eight were from Hamirpur, and one each from Shimla and Una districts, Dhiman said, taking the total confirmed cases to 234. In Hamirpur, four of the eight new patients had returned from Maharashtra's Thane dis- trict in a train and were at quar- antine centres. They will be sent to dedicated COVID-19 care centres for treatment, Deputy Commissioner Hairkesh Meena said. A man who recently returned to Rohru subdivision in Shimla district from outside the state has tested positive, Superintendent of Police Omapati Jamwal said. In Una, a man who recent- ly returned from Delhi has also tested positive, a district official said. Hamirpur has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases at 64, followed by 42 in Kangra, 14 in Una, 11 in Solan, eight in Mandi, seven each in Chamba and Bilaspur, five in Shimla, two in Sirmaur and one in Kullu, the Health Department official said. ?=BQ 17D10=4BF0A As many as 79 new Covid- 19 cases were reported in the State on Tuesday. With this, the total number rose to 1,517. Cuttack district regis- tered the highest 16 cases. It was followed by Balangir district with 14, Keonjhar eight, Kandhamal seven, Kendrapada six, Ganjam five, Puri, Baleswar and Khordha four each, Nayagarh three, Jajpur, Angul and Jharsuguda one each.The virus spread to one more dis- trict on the day when Subarnapur reported a maiden positive case. With this, the number of affected districts rose to 29. Rayagada is the only district which has managed to protect itself from the disease spread till now.Of the 79 new cases, 71 were reported from various quarantine centres, the Health and Family Welfare Department said. ]Tf2E83 (RPbTbX] 7XPRWP[?aPSTbWcP[[h!# (^aTcTbc eT*SXbWP c^cP[ $ 7PahP]PaTR^aSb(#]Tf2^eXS (RPbTb ?=BQ 70A83F0A Urban Development minis- ter and local MLA Madan Kaushik inaugurated a selfie- point developed by a voluntary group on Premnagar Ashram bridge. Kaushik appreciated efforts of the volunteers working to clean and beautify the city using their own resources. Members of Being Bhagirath said that the motif they have made on the bridge to create a selfie-point is aimed at encouraging positivity and concern for the city. They said that they want people visiting Haridwar from across the world to return with images of a clean and beautiful city. The group’s convener Shikhar Paliwal said that the group had earlier set up a ver- tical garden in the city using plastic bottles for plants. For the selfie-point on the bridge, a motif has been made using scrap metal with small potted plants and the message “I love Haridwar”. RfdYZZ_RfXfcReVd dV]WZVa`Z_e`_ScZUXV ?=BQ 347A03D= The NHPC Limited Koti- Bhel project officials dis- tributed ration kids and other items to families in need here on Tuesday. Dehradun mayor Sunil Uniyal ‘Gama’, MLA Khajan Das, NHPC indepen- dent director BP Makwana and project general manager Satish Kumar Chauhan were among those present on the occasion. Chauhan informed that the company was provid- ing relief materials and assis- tance to those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, NHPC had presented Rs five lakh to the Tehri district magistrate for purchasing nec- essary equipment for the dis- trict hospital. Gama and Das also appreciated the efforts of the corporation to assist peo- ple in these difficult times. =7?2_a^eXSTb aPcX^]ZXcb ^cWTaXcTbc^ ]TTShUPX[XTb CWTaTPaT % PRcXeTRPbTb ^UR^a^]PeXadb SXbTPbTX]cWT BcPcTP]S% _T^_[TWPeT aTR^eTaTS b^UPa 0=9:D0AQ 270=3860A7 Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on Monday said that there has been mounting pressure on State Government to start different modes of transportations. The resump- tion of inter-state bus services, train services and domestic flight services would add many unforeseen challenges for the State Government in Covid-19 lockdown 4.0. The number of Covid-19 cases would increase swiftly after movement of pas- sengers from red zone to green and orange zones, he added. The Home Minister said that the fight against Covid-19 has to be more focused now to reduce spread in lockdown 4.0. The situation of corona in the State is largely under con- trol. But about 70-80 percent of the cases in Haryana are from four districts adjoining Delhi. As cases are increasing so there is no chance of opening borders with Delhi, he added. In an exclusive interview with ‘The Pioneer’ over the phone, Vij shares his views about the challenges before the State Government during ongoing nationwide lockdown 4.0 and steps being taken to contain spread of Covid-19 earliest: Excerpts from the interview: What are the challenges you see in lockdown 4.0 in Haryana? Have you set any tar- get to achieve in Covid-19? We see multiple challenges ahead for the State Government in Covid-19 lock- down 4.0. According to Ministry of Home affairs guidelines, we have given relax- ation to start economic activi- ties. Migrant labourers willing to return to their home states are being sent free of cost by the State Government. But we see emergence of more unfore- seen challenges before the States after the resumption of inter-state bus services, train services and domestic flight services in the Country. Rampant public movement in the country would result into rising Covid-19 cases. Thermal screening is not appropriate to judge Covid patients. Recently, 76 Haryana natives were deported back from the USA and were kept under quaran- tine in Panchkula. But 22 of them tested positive for coro- na virus infection. The number of Covid-19 cases would increase swiftly after movement of passengers from red zone to green and orange zones. Regarding setting up any target in lockdown 4.0, we have no discussion yet and no target has been set. But our focus is to contain it completely earliest. The numbers of Covid-19 cases in Haryana are rising on daily basis. Have you assessed the situation in the State? We need to prepare people to live with corona virus till vaccine is ready. There is a global recognition for India’s success in handling the pan- demic and Government of India appreciated the efforts made by State government in this regard. The situation of corona in the State is largely under control. We are in bet- ter position in comparison to neighbouring States including national capital New Delhi. As per Health bulletin reports, the total number of active COVID-19 cases in the State is 380 while the number patients who have been discharged are 791. The State has a recovery rate of 66.64 per cent, fatality rate at 1.35 per cent while tests per million being con- ducted are 3,885. The doubling rate in the State is 19 days. But at the same time, about 70 per- cent of the cases in Haryana are from four districts adjoining Delhi. The number of Covid - 19 cases would increase more if people from all the directions would start reaching the State through different modes of transportation. Haryana people have better immune system. But they should not fall into the misconception that they cannot be infected with the corona. It is important for everyone to take precaution. India entered the 63-day nationwide pandemic-induced lockdown. How long it would continue? No one wants lockdown to continue but it was enforced when unprecedented situation had arisen in the country in the form of Covid-10 outbreak. We should be hopeful to contain it earliest. Opposition parties especially Congress party should not play politics at a time of crisis. Why do you want to bring an ordinance enforcing people to wear mask, maintain social distancing and ban on spitting in open? People should follow social distancing norms by observing ‘Do Gaj Doori’ (six- feet distance). But reality on the ground is not appreciable. To stop spread of Covid-19 fur- ther, we have planned to bring in an ordinance to impose penalties on those violating instructions and instructions have been issued to the depart- ment concerned to come out with a draft. The ordinance would soon release in the State. Congress leader says State Government does not have a lockdown exit plan. What would you say? Now Congress leaders are in touch with astrologers. Congress leader should tell the nation when Covid-19 outbreak would com- pletely vanish then we would be able to tell lockdown exist plan. 5XVWcPVPX]bc2^eXSWPbc^QT^aTU^RdbTS]^fc^aTSdRTb_aTPSX][^RZS^f]#)7Pah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
3. dccPaPZWP]S347A03D=kF43=4B30H k0H !!! ?=BQ 347A03D= The salons and beauty par- lours have been allowed to operate in Dehradun in the fourth phase of lockdown but people are still avoiding such places. According to various bar- bers and salon owners, they are earning only about two per cent of what they used to earn before the lockdown. Some salon and beauty parlours own- ers have even stopped opening their shops due to lack of cus- tomers. A local salon owner Vasundhara Sharma said that she has earned only C500 since last week. She added, I pay C 600 per day to each of the hair- dressers in my salon which is more than what I earned last week. Initially, I thought that customers will increase this month because all the salons and beauty parlours have been closed for over two months. Obviously, the customers are still avoiding unnecessary vis- its to any place. Ashfaq Ahmed, a local bar- ber said that people are calling him for home visits to give them a haircut and other services rather than coming to his shop. “Customers say that they will pay me a few extra bucks to give them my services at home. I, obviously, do not go to everyone's house. If there are more than three to four hous- es in the same locality, I do visit them. Only a few people are vis- iting the shop these days and most of them include those who attempted DIY haircut during the complete lockdown and messed up their hair. The maximum number of cus- tomers I have been visited by since last week is five in a day but sometimes there are zero customers too, said Ahmad. The salon and beauty parlour owners said that they are using masks, gloves and sanitisers while providing services to customers besides regularly disinfecting their equipment but it is not possible in every part of work. We cannot do threading or give a specific haircut to cus- tomers while always wearing gloves. In some cases, we need our bare hands for precision, said a Raipur salon owner Tripti Tripathi. She added that they regu- larly sanitise their pieces of equipment the customers do not need to worry about viral infection but to ensure safety they still suggest customers to take a full body shower after reaching home. BP[^]QTPdch_Pa[^dabPfPXcRdbc^Tab_^bcPXSaT[PgPcX^]bX][^RZS^f] ?=BQ 347A03D= The Uttarakhand Forest Development Corporation (UFDC) is planning to cut five healthy trees near Indira Market for the construction of a complex under Redevelopment of Indira Market project. This elicited protest from concerned citizens under the banner of Citizens For Green Doon (CFGD). According to Himanshu Arora of CFGD, these trees that include Peepal and banyan tree among others are about 70 to 80 years old which makes them among the oldest trees in the city. He informed that MDDA is supposed to build a complex in the said area under the Indira Market redevelopment project. For this project, UFDC was planning to cut down 22 trees about four years ago. We pursued and con- vinced UFDC to not cut all these trees. Subsequently, it was decided by MDDA and the corporation that only five trees will be cut down while the remaining will get transplant- ed to other locations, said Arora. However, some employees from UFDC arrived at the site on Tuesday to cut down the five trees before transplanting 17 trees, added Arora. According to him, they requested the cor- poration to cut down the trees after they finish the transplan- tation of 17 trees. The employ- ees from UFDC kept refusing to transplant the trees first and said that they will cut down the five trees on Wednesday early morning around 5 AM. The manner of cutting these trees at this time is questionable, stated Arora. He said that there is no confirmation whether the con- struction of complex will begin right away or will take a few more months so why cut down the trees now because the tress can easily be cut within two days. As stated by Arora, it is also unclear as to who will bear the cost of transplantation as the agreement of complex con- struction is with a private party. This correspondent tried to contact the divisional forest officer for his views on the mat- ter but there was no response. LWL]HQV TXHVWLRQ SODQQHG FXWWLQJ RI WUHHV IRU ,QGLUD PDUNHW UHGHYHORSPHQW SURMHFW ?=BQ 27010 The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) suc- ceeded in joining the northern and southern portals of a tun- nel being constructed below Chamba town in Tehri district on the Rishikesh-Dharasu national highway number 94. Joining the two portals of the tunnel being built as part of the Char Dham road project was carried out with necessary pre- cautions during the lockdown in place to contain the spread of Covid-19. According to the BRO, the construction of this tunnel was especially challenging due to aspects like weak geology, constant water drainage and the risk of subsidence due to densely constructed area above the tunnel site. Speaking on the occasion through video link, the Union minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari said that the BRO is playing an important role in the ambitious Char Dham road project. The completion of this tunnel will help in lending speed to move- ment of traffic. Latest Australian technol- ogy has been used in the con- struction of this tunnel which will be ready for traffic by October this year, about three months earlier than the sched- uled time of January 2021. This 440 metre long tunnel and 4.2 kilometre road is being constructed at a cost of C 87 crore. It is pertinent to mention here that the BRO is con- structing 249 kilometres of national highway as part of the C12,000 crore Char Dham road project. The roads being con- structed by the BRO are for Gangotri and Badrinath. Most of the works are running ahead of schedule and are expected to be completed by October this year. Gadkari congratulated the BRO director general, lieu- tenant general Harpal Singh, chief engineer Ashu Singh Rathor and the team for com- pleting various works of national importance during the past two years. Meanwhile, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat thanked Gadkari and congratulated the BRO on this development. He said that with the completion of the tunnel, not only will Chamba be free of traffic jam, the jour- ney to Gangotri and Yamunotri will also become more conve- nient. This tunnel will provide major relief to the locals and also boost economic activities in the area, added Rawat. 1APRWXTeTbX[Tbc^]TX]cd]]T[R^]bcadRcX^]QT[^f2WPQP ?=BQ 347A03D= Expressing grave concern over the mismanagement of the quarantine centres and problems faced by the people kept there, the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) President Pritam Singh has held apathetic attitude of state government responsible for it. Singh said that situation of quarantine centres in the state is very pathetic and the death of a four year old girl from snake bite at quarantine centre of Betalghat in Nainital district exposes the system. He said that in Udham Singh Nagar, one security per- sonnel tried to sexually assault a woman at a quarantine cen- tre. Singh said that the admin- istration’s insensitivity could be gauged from the fact that dead body of a girl in Rudrapur was not cremated for three days as her Covid-19 report was awaited. The PCC chief alleged that quarantine centres are plagued with problems of drinking water and sanitation. He said that 900 bed sheets went missing from the quar- antine centre at Maharana Pratap Sports stadium, Raipur which shows gross misman- agement and corruption. Taking the government to the task for all these failures, the PCC chief said that such things happen when the government severs all communication with the opposition. He claimed that things could have been better man- aged had the government paid heed to the advice of the oppo- sition on time. Singh said that the Congress party had sug- gested that the returning migrants should have been quarantined at the borders of the state but the government failed to take cognizance. The government sent the returnees to their homes and offloaded its responsibilities on the Pradhans who were ill equipped to deal with the situation. Singh said that the carelessness of gov- ernment is now manifested in sudden spike in the number of patients of the disease and now no corner of the state is spared from the menace of the Covid-19. 7_fdbUc`_^cYRUV_b]YcUbi Y^aeQbQ^dY^USU^dbUc*3_^W ?2227845?A8C0B8=67B0HB @D0A0=C8=424=CA4B0A4 ?;06D43F8C7?A1;4B5 3A8=:8=6F0C4A0=3B0=8C0C8= ?=BQ 347A03D= People arriving from other states in Dehradun contin- ued to argue with the district administration officials over paid quarantine on Tuesday. This was stated by Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Doiwala, Laxmi Raj Chauhan who is supervising the arrival of passengers in the district by flights. According to him, despite being aware that peo- ple arriving here by flights have to stay under paid insti- tutional quarantine for seven days, people are raising ruckus on their arrival stating that they cannot pay to get quarantined in hotels. He stated that people are well informed about the Uttrakhand Government guidelines through different media and the airlines are also informing the passengers about this at airports. Chauhan informed that the minimum charges of paid quarantine in hotels start from Rs 900 and increase as per the hotel stan- dards. He further informed that there is only seven day quarantine period for people arriving by flights and the remaining seven days will be spent in home quarantine. The SDM also clarified that each person under paid quarantine is also paying for their own meals. According to district mag- istrate Ashish Kumar Shrivastav, 307 people were put under institutional quarantine in several hotels of Dehradun after their medical examination while 190 people departed to other states by flights on Tuesday. 0aaXeP[bR^]cX]dTc^WPVV[T ^eTa_PXS`dPaP]cX]T ?=BQ 347A03D= With the State health department reporting 52 new patients of the disease, the number of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Uttarakhand crossed 400 figure mark on Tuesday. The State now has 402 patients of the dis- ease with 330 active cases. On the day 14 new patients each were reported from Pithoragarh and Tehri districts while ten patients surfaced in Nainital district. In Haridwar, six more people were found infected with the disease on the day. Similarly three patients were reported from Almora district while two patients were found in Udham Singh Nagar district. The 14 new patients reported in Tehri district have a travel history from Mumbai. In Nainital, all ten persons found positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday had recently returned from Delhi while in Haridwar, a staff nurse deployed in gov- ernment hospital was found infected. In this district, a nine year old boy who had recently returned from Mumbai was also found infected with the virus. In Dehradun, six patients of the disease were discharged from the hospital after their recovery from the disease. The additional secretary, state health department, Yugal Kishore Pant said reports of 729 samples were found negative for the disease on Tuesday. He added that reports of 3530 samples are still awaited by the department. On Tuesday, a total of 749 samples were col- lected for COVID -19 testing. The authorities have so far taken swab samples of 23076 suspected patients for COVID- 19 test. Out of the total sam- ples taken, 2.14 percent sam- ples have been found positive for the disease. On Tuesday, the rate of recovery from the COVID-19 in the state dropped further to 16 percent. Thedoublingrateofthedis- ease now stands at 3.84 days for thestatewhichindicatesthatthe number of patients are getting double in less than four days now. A total of 1689784 people have so far downloaded the ‘Aaroggya Setu App’ on their smart phones. A total of 18228 people are in facility quarantine in different parts of the state. Uttarakhand now has 330 active cases of the disease. The Nainital district is at top of the table with 126 active cases. The Udham Singh Nagar districts is at second spot with 43 cases while Dehradun with 38 cases is on third position. Tehri district now has 25 active cases while Haridwar has 21 active cases. With 14 new cases on the day, Pithoragarh district has 17 active cases. Almora and Chamoli districts have 12 and 11 active cases respectively while Uttarkashi district has nine active cases. Bageshwar, Pauri and Champawat districts now have eight active patients each. Rudraprayag district has three active cases of the disease. 4`gZU*TRdVdTc`dd%!!^RcZ_FeeRcRYR_U ?=BQ 347A03D= Amid spike in the Covid-19 curve, the state health department apparently gal- vanised by change of guard at top has constituted an expert group for controlling the men- ace of the disease. The depart- ment has also set up five working groups for different aspects of the pandemic. The newly appointe0d secretary of the state health and family welfare department, Amit Negi has included the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the HNB Medical university, Dr Hem Chandra and representatives of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh, Himalayan Hospital Jollygrant, Mahant Indiresh Hospital, Max hospital, Medicity hos- pital Rudrapur and Brijlal hospital, Haldwani in the expert group. This group would suggest and assist in the policy deci- sions for control of Covid-19 in the state. The expert group would hold video conferenc- ing sessions as and when required. In another effort to streamline functioning in the department, Negi has also ordered for setting up of five working groups in the depart- ment. In the working group ‘Covid-19 testing’ would be headed by secretary, in charge , Pankaj Kumar Pandey while Mission Director (MD) of NHM, Yugal Kishore Pant and state nodal officer IDSP, Dr Pankaj Kumar Singh would be its members. Similarly Pant, additional secretary Health Arunendra Chauhan, Director General (DH) health services Dr Amita Upreti and Additional MD, NHM, Jharna Kamthan would be in the ‘Resoucre Management Facilitation Group’. In surveillance and quar- antine strengthening group, VC of HNB medical universi- ty Dr Hem Chandra and nodal officer IDSP Dr Pankaj Kumar Singh are included. In the fourth group, ‘ clin- ical management and strengthening’, the Principal Government Doon Medical College (GDMC) Dundan, Dr Ashutosh Sayana, Dr Anurag Agarwal of GDMC and rep- resentative of AIIMS Rishikesh are included. The ‘ training and capac- ity building’ group includes Additional Director Dr S K Gupta and officer in charge NHM, Dr Fardidurjaffar. 0=C82E83 (40BDA4B 4g_TacVa^d_c^VdXSTWTP[cWST_c ?=BQ 347A03D= The All India Institute of Medical Sciences Rishikesh has started remote monitored Covid-19 isolation wards with the help of a Banglore based startup. The set up aims to significantly reduce the risk of exposure to the healthcare workers while increasing patient safety and reduce the need for Personal Protective Equipment kits, which are in short supply. The AIIMS, Rishikesh authorities claim that they are the first autonomous institute in India to have deployed this tech- nology to combat COVID-19. The indigenous remote patient monitoring solution has been deployed for 38 beds in four designated Covid-19 Isolation Wards and ICUs of the institute. Doctors will have access to key non- invasive patient vitals data on their smart-phones with the Stasis app heart rate, oxygen satu- ration, electrocardiogram, res- piratory rate, blood pressure and skin temperature. A cen- tral dashboard has also been set up to monitor all patients by a remote clinical team with access to real-time data. The director of AIIMS Rishikesh, Professor Ravi Kant said, “In the current time of pandemic, it is important to rationally use PPE kits and protect all the front-line work- ers while giving the best clin- ical care from the team of spe- cialists at AIIMS, Rishikesh. Using the Stasis solution, we were able to get 38 Covid-19 ICU beds ready for remote monitoring to reduce unnec- essary exposure of staff and doctors and get real time data 088BAXbWXZTbWbTcbd_ aT^cT^]Xc^aTS2^eXS82D ?=BQ 347A03D= The nine mountainous districts of the State which were almost free from contagion of Covid-19 till second week of May, now constitute 27 per cent of the total patients of the disease. These districts now have 107 cases of Covid-19 which is an alarming situation for the state health authorities. As per the report of the state health department released on Tuesday, Tehri has 25, Pithoragarh 17, Almora 15, Chamoli 11, Pauri and Uttarkashi 10 each, Bageshwar and Champawat eight each and Rudraprayag three cases of the disease. !^Uc^cP[ RPbTbX] ^d]cPX]^db SXbcaXRcb $!=4F?0C84=CB A4?AC43= CD4B30H ?=BQ 70A83F0A Bathing in a canal to beat the summer heat proved fatal for a young man on Tuesday. Twenty year old Sharif drowned when he was taking a dip in the Bahadrabad canal. It is being stated that four of his companions were also bathing in the canal, but Sharif went deep towards the swifter flow which carried him away. Other people bathing in the canal informed the police. Apart from informing his fam- ily members, the police also began searching for Sharif though they had not succeed- ed till the time of this report being filed. Bahadrabad police station officer Govind Kumar told informed that the youth from Imlikheda came to the canal with his cousin when the incident occurred. The water police had begun search for his body on being informed about the incident. H^dcWSa^f]bfWX[T QPcWX]VX]RP]P[ ?=BQ 347A03D= Major general Rajendra SinghThakur,theGeneral Officer Commanding , UttarakhandSubAreavisitedthe NatrajBookshoponTuesday.He was accompanied by his staff officers, colonel S Shankar and colonel Sukhjit Singh. With the lockdown easing slowly in the city, booklovers are making use of the oppor- tunity to visit their favourite bookstores. On the occasion of the visit, a copy of the classic on Dehradun, the “Gazetteer of Dehra Dun” by HG Walton was presented to the GOC by the pro- prietor, Upendra Arora. The GOC enjoyed browsing through the various sections of the bookstore and appreciated the wide variety of books on display, especially those related to the his- tory and culture of Uttarakhand. During his visit, he interacted with veteran jour- nalist Raj Kanwar who briefed the general about the rich her- itage of the city. Kanwar also signed a copy of his new book “Dateline Dehra Dun” which was also purchased by the GOC for the reading pleasure of the sub area officers. Uttarkhand Sub Area is one of the largest sub areas of the Army in the country. It is worth mentioning here that the General is also a keen student of history and has a doctorate from the Jammu University. Eµ[XQ^TceRQbUQ7?3 fYcYdcQdbQZ2__[cX_`
4. ]PcX^]#347A03D=kF43=4B30H k0H !!! 2E83 (DC1A40: A0:4B7:B8=67Q =4F34;78 The medical wing of the CRPF, with a sanctioned strength of 3,083 personnel, has a vacancy of 43 per cent. This is when the sanctioned strength is already a little below just one per cent of the 3.25-lakh-strong CRPF. The figure of one per cent medical/paramedicalstaffinthe CRPFisalreadyonthelowerside in a Force which is continuous- ly deployed across various the- atresandthereisavacancyof43 percentofthemedicalandpara- medical staff, officials said. The details relating to the vacancy position in the medical rankswassharedbytheDirector (Medical)duringareviewmeet- ingheldbyparamilitaryDirector General AP Maheshwari earlier this month. The wing has been asked to hiredoctorsoncontractbasisfor the next three months as the Force has recorded 369 Covid- 19 positive cases which include two deaths and 226 recoveries. The Director (Medical) Dr HL Raskaran refused to visit quarantine centres and Covid CareCentresoftheCRPFciting healthconditions,seniorofficials said. During the meeting, the Director (Medical) presented thedetailedstatus/pathogenand the increasing number of cases of Covid-19in CRPF and status of Covid Care Centre, Covid Care Health Centre available in andoutsideDelhi.Availabilityof PPEs, trained doctors, para- medicalstaffinthesecentresand arrangements made and avail- able in the CRPF were also pre- sented by him during the meet- ing. While the DG directed to Raskaran to ensure periodical visitstoquarantinecentrewhere Covid-19 patients kept but the Director (Medical) expressed his inability to do so due to his age factor and other health con- ditionsbeing in high risk cate- gory. However, Raskaran said duringthemeetingthatallbasic facilities have been made avail- abletoCovid-19patientsandall instructions issued to Medical Officers on ground, officials saidquotingfromtheminutesof the meeting. Raskaran also told the top CRPF brass during the meeting that necessity to converse with patientsontelephonewasnotfelt by him but he, Director (Medical), was always available foradviceandguidance.Hefur- ther said that speaking to patients,visitingthemandmak- ingarrangementsforfoodarein the purview of administrative authorities. The CRPF DG directed the Director (Medical) to take the pandemic seriously and keep a close watch on Covid-19 cases and patients. The also directed that if there is need to acquire/hire additional land, building or hotel, the same may be worked out by Inspector General (Northern Sector). Maheshwari also expressed displeasurewithRaskaran’scon- tentions on the Covid infra- structure in the paramilitary as he had not even visited 31 Battalioncampusherewhichhad reported 139 positive cases out of which one Sub Inspector had succumbed to the coronavirus infection. Now, 134 from the 31 Battalion have recovered from the disease. Last month, as many as 200 CRPF personnel including the DG himself had to be quaran- tined after a medical officer of the paramilitary facility here hadtestedpositiveforCovid-19. There is a sanctioned strength of about 650 doctors includingtheveterinarydoctors, Group A paramedics/matron are required to be four in num- ber followed by about 45 Group Anon-gazettedparamedics,over 60 Group B paramedics, 450 other Group B paramedics like pharmacistsandphysiotherapists and veterinary personnel. In the Group C paramedics category intherankof Assistant Sub Inspector, about 640 per- sonnel are required but there is vacancy in all the ranks. ?=BQ =4F34;78 Churu in Rajasthan on Tuesday recorded 50 degrees Celsius, second high- est in the last 10 years, followed by Palam in Delhi with 47.6 degree Celsius. The northwest and central parts of the coun- try are reeling under severe heat wave conditions since May 23 this year while the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued red warning for Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya from May 26 to 28 predicting very heavy rainfall in these two northeastern States. According to the IMD, Churu had recorded 50.2 degree Celsius in 2016. Heat wave conditions will persist over Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, east Madhya Pradesh, and Vidarbha till May 28. Hot weather conditions will also prevail in isolated pockets over Punjab, Chhattisgarh, interior Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, interior Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, and Jharkhand for the next two to three days. “Due to prevailing dry northwesterly winds over plains, northwest, central and adjoining parts of the eastern India are reeling under the severe heat wave conditions,” the IMD said. Akola in Maharashtra recorded maxi- mum temperature of 47.4 degree Celsius. IMD director general Mrurunjay Mohapatra said that red-colour coded warning has been issued to Assam and Meghalaya for the next three days. Sathi Devi, head of the IMD's national weather fore- casting centre, said there is a strong flow of south-westerly winds from the Bay of Bengal, bringing a lot of moisture to these two States. This is aided by the orographic factors of these two states that will bring in very heavy rainfall, she added. Parts of Assam and neighbouring Meghalaya have been receiving extremely heavy rains since May 20 after super cyclone Amphan weakened. Cherrapunji has received 1,105 millimetres of rain in the last four days. The IMD said rainfall is likely at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places. A few isolated will also receive extremely heavy falls, it added. Meanwhile, advancement of the monsoon which was hin- dered by super cyclonic storm Amphan will start from Wednesday, Devi said. She added that the mon- soon will start moving ahead in other parts of the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago and Bay of Bengal from Wednesday. The water level of the Brahmaputra river is rising gradually due to continuous rainfall in the state. As per State Disaster Management Authority, five districts have been affected till now- Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Darrang and Goalpara. According to the IMD, the monsoon is likely to hit Kerala on June 5, four days after its normal onset date. A low pressure area is also building up in the Arabian Sea from May 30, Mohapatra said. A low pressure area is the first stage of any cyclone. However, it is not necessary that every low pressure area intensifies into a cyclone. The IMD has also cau- tioned fishermen along the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka not to venture out for deep sea fishing from May 30-June 4. ?C8Q =4F34;78 The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre to treat with urgency the issue raised in the pleas challenging home ministry's March 29 notifica- tion asking private establish- ments to pay full wages to workers during the COVID-19 lockdown, saying lot of people are affected by it. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, conducting hearing through video-con- ferencing, asked the Government to file its response on the petitions and posted the matter for hearing next week. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and M R Shah, that the Centre has issued a new notification on May 17 which supersedes the March 29 Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order. Treat this with urgency. Lot of people are affected, the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was also appearing in the matter. The apex court had on May 15 observed that the March 29 notification, direct- ing companies to make pay- ment of full wages to workers even while not being in oper- ation during the lockdown period, was an omnibus order and there was a larger question involved which needs to be answered. It said there may be small industries which are affected due to the lockdown and if they cannot earn, how are they going to pay wages to their workers. It had also observed that if Government does not help these small com- panies, then they might not be able to pay their workers. The counsel appearing for one of the petitioners had argued that firms are going out of work as they do not have orders for production of goods and they are being prosecuted due to the government circu- lar. An association of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has said in its plea before the apex court that the MHA order was passed with- out due care and deliberation on the financial implications for employers. The small industrial units have said that making full payments would lead to their closure, which, in turn, would cause permanent unemploy- ment and adversely affect the economy. The association has further contended that during this unprecedented situation, var- ious Governments across the globe have taken measures for the benefit of workers/ employ- ees, but the Centre without taking any such step has put the entire burden on the employers/ owners to pay full wages. ?C8Q =4F34;78 The Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Centre and the RBI to respond to a plea chal- lenging levy of interest on loans during the moratorium period, which has now been extended by another three months till August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, hearing the matter through video-confer- encing, issued notices to the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India asking them to file their replies within a week. The counsel appearing for the petitioner informed the bench, also comprising Justices S K Kaul and M R Shah, that earlier the moratorium period was for three months till May 31 but now it has been extend- ed by another three months. The counsel argued that borrowers should not be penalised like this and banks should not add interest on the loan amount during the mora- torium period. Counsel for the Reserve Bank of India prays for and is granted a week's time to file counter affidavit. Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, also obtain instructions in the meantime, the bench said in its order and posted the matter for hearing next week. On March 27, RBI had issued a slew of measures to check financial impact of the nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19. It issued a circular giving liberty to all banks and financial institution to allow a moratorium of three months on payment of installments in respect of all term loans out- standing as on March 1, subject to the borrower making such a request. 4CA7^VUZTR]hZ_X YRd%$gRTR_Tj 2WdadQda]bPc$^2]^aT[XTU X]]^acWRT]caPSXPcX[[CWdab BPcWX3TeXWTPS^UcWT 83b]PcX^]P[fTPcWTa U^aTRPbcX]VRT]caTbPXS cWTaTXbPbca^]VU[^f^U b^dcWfTbcTa[hfX]Sb Ua^cWT1Ph^U1T]VP[ QaX]VX]VP[^c^U ^XbcdaTc^cWTbTcf^ BcPcTb ?=BQ =4F34;78 While the country is strug- gling to get back on its feet amid the coronavirus lock- down, a locust infestation could cause further devastation to the agri-economy. After wreaking havoc in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, swarms of locusts have been spotted the eastern part of Maharashtra, in the Vidarbha region. There are also reports that swarms of locusts have invad- ed Madhya Pradesh and cov- ered areas of the Panna Tiger Reserve. Reports of crop dam- ages have been pouring in from these States as farmers try and get rid of locusts by smok- ing them out, scaring them away by making loud noises, beating drums and thalis or spraying chemicals. There are apprehensions that locusts may move towards the national Capital region (NCR) in the next few days if wind speeds and directions are favourable. Earlier in 1944, the northern sky in Delhi became completely black in the late afternoon due huge locust swarms. The locusts initially entered Rajasthan from Pakistan. From Rajasthan, locust swarms also entered Madhya Pradesh over the past few days. IFS officer Parveen Kaswan on Tuesday tweeted pictures of these desert locusts that had invaded the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. The swarms has the potential of eating everything destroy the crops, he said in his tweet. The images posted by Kaswan can make anyone cringe as the swarm of desert locusts can be seen engulfing everything in their path, covering trees and fields. Officials of the ministry of agriculture said that the swarm of desert locusts entered in Maharashtra from Amravati district. It then went to Wardha and now it is in Nagpur's Katol tehsil. The authorities have advised people to beat drums, thalis and use crackers to keep them away. Besides, the process of spraying chemicals on crops is underway. BR Kadwa, Deputy Director of Agriculture Department, Rajasthan said that swarms of locusts are entering Rajasthan from adjoining areas in Pakistan every two-three days since a month. “As rabi crops has been harvested and kharif sowing season is yet to be started in the state, that’s why the reason of their fast movement,” he said.