CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 06 DECEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 35,884.41 -249.90 Morning mist, later partly cloudy sky. Max and min temperature will be around 25 and 16 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY ` vs $ 70.46 +3 PAISE Min. 36% Max: 27.6°C (0) SUN RISES 06:04 hrs MOON RISES 04.52 hrs Min: 15.6°C (-1) SUN SETS 16:52 hrs MOON SETS 16:18 hrs GOLD 29,845.00 -100.00 PM-Cong clash over Michel SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 5 DECEMBER day after Christian Michel James ~ an alleged middleman in the scrapped Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal ~ was extradited to India, he was produced before a Delhi court which remanded him in the CBI custody for five days, even as a war of words broke out between the ruling BJP and the principal Opposition Congress afresh over this case. On the last day of campaign in Rajasthan ahead of the Friday Assembly poll, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah separately raked up the matter. At his rally there, PM Modi, while referring to Michel's extradition, said, "The government has brought the middleman involved in a helicopter scam from Dubai. He served politicians and will now disclose secrets,” adding "Let's see how far this goes.” The BJP has said Michel's extradition was a diplomatic victory and could spell “serious trou- A New moon on 7 December THUMBNAILS Bulandshahr violence accused claims innocence: Bajrang Dal's Bulandshahr convener Yogesh Raj, the absconding main accused in the mob violence, issued a video message on Wednesday claiming innocence, saying he was not present at the site. CM ordered arrests of accused but was mum on cop killing. SC orders attachment of Amrapali property: Continuing its crackdown on the embattled Amrapali Group, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered attachment and sale of the realty firm's five-star hotel, cinema hall, malls and factories across India, calling it “a worst kind of cheater” and “a perfect liar” for not complying with the court's direction. Trump asks OPEC not to cut production: US President Donald Trump has urged OPEC members not to slash production at their two-day Vienna meeting beginning Thursday, saying global oil prices should remain low. His comment came as members of OPEC and other oilproducing nations prepared to meet. Mallya offer on payback LONDON, 5 DECEMBER Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya on Wednesday took to social media with an offer to pay back 100 per cent of “public money” to various Indian banks and urged the government to accept his offer, days ahead of a UK court's decision on his plea not to extradite him to India. Mallya is fightPTI ing extradition. ble” for the Congress's Nehru-Gandhi family. Shah challenged the Congress to spell out its stand on Michel's extradition. Hitting back, the Congress slammed PM Modi and the BJP for “latching” on to Michel for their “smear campaign” against Opposition leaders. A British national, Michel was brought to India late last night following his extradition by the UAE. He was produced before special CBI judge Arvind Kumar here this afternoon. Michel's lawyer urged the court to send him to judicial custody but the CBI sought his 14-day custodial interrogation to confront him with evidence and unearth the money trail in the case. However, the judge allowed the CBI to interrogate Michel for five days in its custody. The court also asked the agency to provide all relevant documents, including the charge sheet, to Michel. A bail plea was also moved on Michel's behalf. The court did not give any specific date for hearing the bail plea. Security was tightened at the Patiala House court complex here ahead of production of Michel. Dozens of CRPF and Delhi Police personnel were deployed in the court premises. Michel is one of the three European middlemen being probed in the case, besides Guido Haschke and Carlo Gerosa, by the CBI and the ED. Both the agencies notified an Interpol Red Corner Notice (RCN) against him. Superfast trains come super slow to Delhi… A STATESMAN SPECIAL REPORT NEW DELHI, 5 DECEMBER They don’t figure in election promises, nor does their plight attract the attention of the apex court. Legal luminaries do not take up their cause through public interest litigation, and the Prime Minister does not feel it is necessary to pull up the Railway Minister for his department’s tardiness. And yet in the silent loot that is perpetrated on them several thousand times every day, users of long-distance trains are each made to shell out between Rs 30 and Rs 75 when they travel on a train that is described as a “superfast” but takes scandalously longer than it ought to before it reaches its destination. A random analysis of superfast trains – excluding Rajdhani and Shatabdi expresses which enjoy exalted status - coming to the national Capital from various state headquarters shows that several of these trains never reach on time, and many are significantly late, sometimes up to six-and-ahalf hours on a 10-and-ahalf hour run. And these shocking delays have taken place before the onset of the winter fog, which means travellers would have to suffer even more in the weeks to come. Last November, Indian Railways had blithely “upgraded” 48 additional trains to the superfast category and thereby levied additional charges of Rs 30 on sleeper class tickets, of Rs 45 for second and third AC and Rs 75 for first AC classes. With this, the number of trains designated as superfast touched 1072; impressive on the face of it but depressing when compared with performance. At the time itself, it was known that the decision was a desperate one to mop up more revenue and was not aimed really aimed at making journeys shorter. In its report last July, the ROUTE HOWRAH-DELHI 12259 Duranto 12381 Poorva 12311 Kalka Mail 12303 Howrah-Anand Vihar BHUBANESWAR-DELHI 12815 Nandan Kanan 12801 Purushottam CHENNAI-DELHI 12621 Tamil Nadu Express 12615 Grand Trunk Express PATNA-DELHI 12505 North East Express 12487 Jogbani-Anand Vihar 12391 Shramjeevi LUCKNOW-DELHI 12571 Humsfar Express 12419 Gomti Express 12555 Gorakhdam Express BHOPAL-DELHI 12715 Sarkhand Express 12617 Mangala Express Scheduled Run 17 hrs 21 hrs 50 m 26 hrs 03 m 22 hrs 15 m Performance on last 3 days Late by Late by Late by (hr:m) (hr:m) (hr:m) 04:38 02:20 01:42 03:47 08:25 05:59 01:25 01:54 02:24 03:30 03:40 05:45 On-time %age last 3 months 28 hrs 47 m 29 hrs 13 m 07:59 03:56 04:03 03:30 04:20 03:35 0% 10% 33 hrs 05 m 35 hrs 45 m 00:15 01:08 01:28 00:05 00:15 00:49 74.44% 48.89% 15 hrs 53 m 15 hrs 14 m 18 hrs 15 m 03:54 05:35 04:15 04:59 06:28 03:45 04:35 05:45 01:18 0% 0% 15.56% 7 hrs 30 m 9 hrs 5 m 8 hrs 5 m 00:25 03:03 01:15 02:15 02:47 01:15 02:30 01:20 01:35 40.38% 4.44% 20.00% 11 hrs 15 m 10 hrs 30 m 00:35 00:25 01:20 00:51 01:23 06:22 28.89% 55.56% 15.69% 0% 3.33% 0% ...except when they touch Gujarat NEW DELHI, 5 DECEMBER Trains that originate in Gujarat or pass through the Prime Minister’s home state show remarkable punctuality, suggesting that when the Railway Minister wants to please his ROUTE MUMBAI-DELHI 12907 Bandra-Nizamuddin 12903 Golden Temple Mail 12925 Paschim Express AHMEDABAD-NEW DELHI 12917 Guj Sam Kranti Express 12915 Ashram Express 12216 Garib Rath Comptroller and Auditor General of India had made scathing remarks about the imposition of the superfast levy saying that test audits had revealed many trains had not achieved the stipulated average speed of 55 kmph for broad-gauge services. But the CAG report did not cause even a ripple. Of course, there is no provision in railway rules for refund of the superfast surcharge when because of delay the train ceases to be fast enough to make the grade. For instance, on its 1722 boss, he is capable of doing so. Trains from Mumbai to Delhi that pass Gujarat, and those from Ahmedabad to Delhi show on-time performances that verge on the incredulous when compared with those from other points Scheduled Run of origin around the country. As our analysis shows, even when they are late, it is by a few minutes and not as in the case of trains from Kolkata, Patna and Bhubaneswar by several hours each day. 21 hrs 10 m 21 hrs 20 m 23 hrs 05 m Performance on last 3 days On-time %age Late by Late by Late by last 3 months (hr:m) (hr:m) (hr:m) 00:15 00:15 88.46% RT RT RT 72.22% 00:07 00:13 RT 75.56% 17 hrs 05 m 14 hrs 54 m 16 hrs 12 m 00:05 00:05 00:12 RT 00:15 00:11 km run between Bhubaneswar and Anand Vihar Terminus, the Nandan Kanan Express ought to run at an average speed of 59.89 kmph. When it is delayed by 7 hours 59 minutes, the average speed drops to 46.85 kmph; when it is delayed by four hours as it almost invariably is, the average speed drops to 52.5 kmph. Similarly, if the Northeast express were to adhere to its schedule, it would operate at an average speed of 61 kmph between Patna and Delhi. But when it is four or more hours late, as it often is, the RT 00:05 00:08 97.44% 56.67% 84.62% average speed drops to 47 kmph, insufficient to earn the superfast tag. While The Statesman’s analysis of on-time performances of 22 superfast trains coming here from state capitals tells a sorry tale, it does not disclose the added inconvenience countless passengers face when after having planned to reach their destination in the evening and when buses and the Metro are available, they find themselves being fleeced by taxi and auto-rickshaw operators late at night. CMYK PAINE FOCUSSED ON THWARTING GUNG-HO INDIANS P6 5-day CBI remand for AW chopper deal ‘middleman’ Max.90% TEMPERATURE P7 NIFTY 10,782.90 -86.60 WEATHER RAJAPAKSA REINED IN REALISTIC FANTASIES IN KOREAN DÉTENTE ‘IF US DEVELOPS BANNED MISSILES, SO WILL RUSSIA’ P12 SILVER 36,800.00 -300.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 61.81 -0.27 RBI keeps key rates unchanged Coalgate: Ex-coal secy jailed, gets bail MUMBAI, 5 DECEMBER PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 5 DECEMBER The monetary policy committee or MPC of the Reserve Bank of India not only maintained the status quo on key policy repurchasing or repo rate at 6.5 per cent, but also retained its "calibrated tightening" stance of its fifth bi-monthly monetary policy citing that economic growth is on track and needs close monitoring. Delivering a big surprise, the MPC drastically lowered the consumer inflation or CPI for the second half of the current FY 2018-19 to 2.7-3.2 per cent and for H1 in 201920 to 3.8-4.2 per cent. Expressing satisfaction over the macroeconomic parameters, MPC retained its GDP projection for the current fiscal at 7.4 per cent after taking into consideration H2 GDP at 7.2-7.3 per cent. The GDP projection for H1 2019-20 has been suggested at 7.5 per cent. The policy makes positive reference to falling crude oil prices and subsequent stability in foreign exchange market where INR looks stable, albeit for now. SNS DETAILS ON PAGE 8 A Delhi court on Wednesday sentenced former coal secretary H C Gupta to three-year imprisonment in a coal block allocation scam which happened during the previous UPA regime at the Centre, saying such “white collar crimes were more dangerous to society” than ordinary offences. Special Judge Bharat Parashar also awarded similar punishment to two other bureaucrats -- K S Kropha and K C Samria - sentencing them to threeyear jail term. All the three government servants were also fined Rs 50,000 each. Samria's lawyer had earlier informed the court that he has been suspended after he was convicted and taken into custody on November 30. Awarding the punishment to the three bureaucrats, the court said: “Such white collar crimes are in fact more dangerous to the society than ordinary crimes, firstly, because the financial losses are much higher, and, secondly because of the damages inflicted on public morale. “The average loss from ordinary crimes such as burglaries, robberies Special Judge Bharat Parashar also awarded similar punishment to two other bureaucrats. Sentencing ex-coal secretary HC Gupta to 3-year jail in a coal block allocation scam during the UPA regime, court said such crimes were more dangerous than ordinary offences and larcenies etc. may run into few thousand rupees only but the loss which the 'white collar crimes' may run not only in lakhs but in crores of rupees.” The government servants were later granted statutory bail to file appeals against the judgement before the superior court as the jail term was three years. The court, however, said that none of them deserves to be given the benefit of probation. It sentenced other convicted persons Vikash Patni, MD of Vikash Metals and Power Limited (VMPL), and its authorised signatory Anand Mallick to four years in jail. IISc lab blast kills 1, hurts 3 BENGALURU, 5 DECEMBER A suspected cylinder blast killed a 32-year old technician and injured three others during an experiment in the aero-dynamics laboratory of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here Wednesday, police said. Four technicians of a private start-up company were involved in some experiment at the laboratory when an explosion occurred suddenly at around 2.20 pm, they said. Technician Manoj from Mysuru died on the spot while three others suffered injuries. The injured have been admitted to a private hospital where their condition was said to be stable, police said. Though the nature of explosion and its cause were yet to be established, it was suspected that the incident occurred due to a blast in a cylinder containing some gas, they said. Assistant Commissioner of Police Niranjan Raj Urs told PTI that the start-up company Superwave Technologies Private Limited was having a tie-up with the IISc for carrying out experiments pertaining PTI to its research.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.