CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 MAY 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR TRUMP SAYS CHINA IS DEFLECTING ATTENTION INSURANCE WON’T SEE MAJOR GROWTH P9 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. Light rain likely to occur in some areas. Temperature will be in the range of 31-25 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 15.7mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.98% TEMPERATURE QUEEN ELIZABETH II'S B'DAY HONOURS LIST DELAYED P8 P5 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 MAY ARUNIMA GHOSH Max: 27.8°C (-8) Min: 23.4°C (-3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:54 hrs 18:13 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 04:35 hrs 17:55 hrs New moon on 22 May THUMBNAILS Migrant workers screeed for Covid-19 as they arrive to board Shramik Special train from Faridabad to Bhagalpur on the third day of the fourth phase of lockdown in Faridabad on Thursday. IANS 7 envoys present credentials online: For the first time in the history of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, President Ram Nath Kovind today accepted credentials of Ambassadors/ High Commissioners of seven nations digitally. Those who presented credentials were: Choe Hui Chol, AmRules for domestic flights announcedbassador of North Korea; Abdoul Wahab Haidara, Ambassador of Senegal; Roger Gopaul, High Commissioner of Trinidad & Tobago; Santi Bai Hanoomanjee, High Commissioner of Mauritius; Barry Robert O’Farrell, High Commissioner of Australia; N’DRY Eric Camille, Ambassador of Cote d’Ivoire, and Jacqueline Mukangira, High Commissioner of Rwanda. KOLKATA, 21 MAY uper cyclone Amphan that created havoc in many districts of south Bengal has claimed 72 lives till now, said chief minister Mamata Banerjee while announcing an ex-gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh for the family members of the deceased and creating a Rs 1000 crore fund for undertaking relief and restoration work. She urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the affected areas for assessing the damage and sought assistance to rebuild everything. She said that she would try to conduct an aerial survey of the most affected districts of North and South 24 Parganas on Saturday and asked ministers to visit all the districts. Union home minister Amit Shah called up this afternoon to enquire about the situation in Bengal and assured of all help to the state for undertaking relief and rescue operations, said Miss Banerjee. Miss Banerjee said that she is hopeful of receiving Central assistance but would not get into any kind of controversy at this moment of crisis. “After spending Rs 55,000 crore as debt repayment, bearing the huge cost for accommodating three to four lakh migrant workers in quarantine centres and creating infrastructure to combat Covid-19, we have managed to continue with all social schemes and salaries of government S Uprooted trees leave vehicles damaged and roads blocked after Super Cyclone Amphan IANS made its appearance on Wednesday in kolkata. employees though there was no economic activities in the last two months. Now, we have been hit by a disaster that is much bigger than Corona. The cyclone created havoc across 400 kilometres, blowing up shanties, uprooting thousands of trees besides swamping low-lying areas. We are taking this as a challenge and will fight like a war-like situation,” said Miss Banerjee at a Press Conference after holding a meeting with senior bureaucrats and ministers and officials of all departments at Nabanna Sabhaghar. “I have never witnessed such a big disaster. We have heard that a similar disaster occurred in 1737 which claimed several people. Thank God we evacuated over five lakh people to safer locations. Seven to eight districts are fully damaged and in four to five districts there is complete disaster. It is a big loss to us. I request all to extend their help during this hour of crisis,” said Miss Banerjee. Miss Banerjee today formed a taskforce headed by chief secretary Rajiva Sinha for planning relief and restoration work. The preliminary report on the damage is being prepared by the district magistrates. The state agriculture department has been asked to conduct field level surveys to assess the extent of crop damage and identify agricultural plots that have been destroyed. Along with this, the department will conduct a block-level survey with the departments of panchayat, fisheries, animal resources development, horticulture, food and food processing and prepare a report within seven days on the extent of damage and plan-of-action. Miss Banerjee told PWD officials that in view of the current economic condition of the state, funds should be spent judiciously while undertaking restoration work. She asked PWD P12 PM, Shah assure all help Amphan claims 72 lives in Bengal CM announces an ex-gratia of Rs 2.5 lakh for family members of deceased Min. 81% BETTER CRICKET UPLIFT THAN VANITY PROJECT not to go for patchworks on roads and instead rebuild roads such that these sustain for at least three to four years. She even asked district officials to undertake work of clearing ponds, uprooted trees and debris under the MGNREGA. Arranging drinking water facilities should be done immediately along with restoration of electricity, she added. Detailing the 72 deaths, Miss Banerjee said 15 people died in Kolkata and 57 died in the districts including seven in Howrah, 17 in North 24 Parganas, six in East Midnapore, two in Chandannagore Police Commissionerate, six in Baruipur, eight in Diamond Harbour, six in Bongaon and six in Ranaghat. In the city, casualties were recorded from Beniapukur, Reform Street, Girish Park, Manicktala, Bhawanipore, Watgunge, Kalakar Street, Vivekananda Road, Tiljala, Jorasankho and Regent Park. The Prime Minister has assured West Bengal that the nation stands in solidarity with the state and would do everything to help people affected by cyclone Amphan. In a series of tweets, Narendra Modi hoped the situation would normalise in West Bengal and Odisha soon. The Prime Minister said he had been seeing the visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by the cyclone Amphan. “In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal… Praying for the well-being of the people of the State. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy,” he tweeted. The messages came even as West Bengal Chief Minister urged Mr Modi to visit the state for a first-hand assessment of the damage caused by the cyclone. The Prime Minister said that NDRF teams were working in the cyclone-affected areas and that top officials were closely monitoring the situation in coordination with the West Bengal government. "No stone will be left unturned in helping the affected", Mr Modi said. West Bengal bore the brunt of the cyclone as it made landfall in the coastal town of Digha and later went on a rampage in Kolkata and adjoining areas. According to initial reports, 72 people have died in the state. Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah today spoke to the Chief Ministers of Odisha andWest Bengal and assured them of all possible help. In a tweet, he said “We are closely monitoring the cyclone Amphan and are Bookings for 200 trains commence STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE 112,359 63,624 5,609 3,002 3,435 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 10.00 P.M. THURSDAY 23 APRIL 2020 Rules for domestic flights announced STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE in continuous touch with concerned authorities.” Mr Shah added: “I have also spoken to CM Odisha Naveen Patnaik ji & CM West Bengal Mamata Banerjee ji over situation arising due to the cyclone and assured all possible help from Centre.” As reports poured in of destruction caused by the cyclone, the Home Minister, earlier in the day, had said “PM @narendramodi’s government is committed for the safety and security of every citizen. NDRF teams are already on ground to help people in need.” He urged people of West Bengal and Odisha to stay indoors and follow instructions. A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) took stock of the preliminary reports from the States on the extent of damage. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General S N Pradhan said a team of the Home Ministry will visit the two States to assess the damage to property. The number of people dead and injured was also being estimated. Mr Pradhan said four additional teams were airlifted to Kolkata. The NDRF teams were operational. “We will continue to provide services till states (Odisha & West Bengal) require services that are expected to be required for a longer time in West Bengal,” he said. Mr Pradhan said additional alert teams of NDRF were being sent to Kolkata. FCI will also ensure adequate availability of food grain, especially rice, to West Bengal so that marooned people are provided immediate sustenance. Around five lakh people evacuated in West Bengal were told to remain in shelters; more than two lakh people in Odisha were evacuated. As the situation improved and weather turned moderate in Odisha, some people started returning to their homes, Mr Pradhan said. The India Meteorological Department's prediction regarding cyclone Amphan was accurate, he said. All agencies working on the ground were grateful. Damages were minimized because of this, Mr Pradhan said. He said the cyclone had entered Bangladesh, after making landfall in West Bengal yesterday. NEW DELHI, 21 MAY Passengers were able to book tickets online from today for trains like the Lucknow Mail, Godavari Express, Sabarmati Express, Purshottam Express and Brahmaputra Mail which will commence regular operations from 1 June. These are among 200 AC and non-AC trains that will be restored to service. Five Duronto, 15 Jan Shatabdi services and many other popular trains including the Sampark Kranti Express, Konark Express, Shramjeevi Express, Mahamana Express, Awadh Express and Golden Temple Mail are scheduled to start operations from next month, the railways announced. These 200 trains have both AC and non-AC coaches and tickets can only be booked online, said a railway official. There will be no unreserved coaches in these trains. These services will be in addition to the 15 pairs of Special AC trains which the railways started from May 12. In the first three hours the railways sold 1.78 lakh tickets for 4.23 lakh passengers in 76 trains. The tickets are being booked online through the IRCTC website and its mobile application. Emphasising on the resumption of more train services in the coming days to transport more people across the country, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today said that more trains will be announced soon to take India towards normalcy. He also said that bookings of tickets will resume at 1.7 lakh common service centres from Friday. "We are developing a protocol," the Minister said. The announcement comes a day after Indian railways, which suspended passenger, mail and express train services on March 25, announced it would run 100 pairs of trains from June 1. One can book the ticket in 30 days in advance while RAC and wait list will be generated as per rules. However, waiting list ticket holders shall not be permitted to board the train. All passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. Only passengers with confirmed tickets can enter the station. If a passenger is denied boarding, the ticket price will be refunded. All passengers must wear face covers at the entry and during travel. Passengers shall reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station. According to the guidelines, all passengers are required to download and use the Aarogya Setu application. NEW DELHI, 21 MAY Around one-third of scheduled commercial domestic flights will commence operations from 25 May, two months after all flight operations were suspended in the country. Depending on challenges to be faced in due course of time, the number of flights may be increased, the Civil Aviation Ministry today said as it issued detailed standard operating procedures to be followed by airlines, airports, passengers and other stakeholders. In its detailed guidelines, the ministry advised vulnerable people like the elderly, pregnant women and passengers battling health issues to avoid air travel till the coronavirus pandemic abates. People residing in the containment zone will not be allowed to travel. Announcing the calibrated approach to the resumption of flight services, civil aviation minister Hardip Singh Puri said that this lockdown could not have gone on any longer and it had to be lifted. Mr. Puri said only one-third flights will be permitted to operate from metro to non-metro cities where weekly departures are more than 100. The ministry has also put a cap on the minimum and maximum fares so that they do not skyrocket owing to market forces. For three months, airlines will be required to sell 40 per cent of the tickets at the mid-point of the lower and upper air fare limits prescribed for a route by the government. A set of standard operating procedures have been prescribed for airlines, airport operators and security agencies. Passengers are required to do a web check-in instead of the physical check-in to avoid queues at the check-in counter. Pat-down search by security personnel will be resorted to only if there is an alarm raised by the Door Frame Metal Detector (DFMD) after the passenger has been divested of all metal objects. A self-declaration or a green status on Aarogya Setu App would certify that the passenger is free of Covid-19 symptoms. Passengers with “red” status on the Aarogya Setu app would not be permitted to travel. Passengers may also have to quarantine upon reaching their destination depending on the norms decided by states. “On arrival at the destination airport, passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as prescribed by the destination states/UTs,” the guidelines added. Those travelling will be required to wear a face mask and have been asked to reach the airport at least two hours before departure. Only one check-in bag will be allowed and airlines will not provide meal HYDERABAD, 21 MAY The two Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telagana today experienced hot dry weather with the mercury soaring to even above 45 degree Celsius in some pockets as the weather office issued warnings about a severe heat wave for the next five days beginning from today as a fallout of cyclone Amphan which had pushed in North westerly dry winds in the area. Heat wave conditions usually prevail in early summer in April every year leading to large number of casualties and they are rare so late in May. But with most of the moisture concentrated around the cyclone Northwesterly winds are blowing in causing the heat wave and dry weather conditions. The heat wave has come as a shocker to people looking forward to resuming work after the state government granted some relaxations following complete lock down for almost two months. Hyderabad too experienced tremendous heat with the mercury soaring after getting some respite last week due to intermittent thunderstorms which had brought down the temperature. People complained that the heat was unbearable and causing discomfort, particularly as they had started venturing outdoors after the lock down. “I travelled from Khammam to Hyderabad today and felt completely dehydrated after travelling for four-five hours because of the unbearable dry heat,”said Mr Kiran, an IT professional who returned to the city after the lock down was lifted. People have been urged to stay indoors at least till 6 pm in the evening. In the past twenty four hours Hyderabad recorded 40.9 degrees which is more than the normal temperature. According to the warning issued by the weather department temperature is likely to soar further to around 42 degrees till 24 May and predicted light rains on 25 May followed by thunderstorms in the next two days. Although officially the highest maximum temperature in the districts was 43.8 degree celsius at Adilabad, Khammam, Nizamabad and Ramagundam, people post- ed screen shots of the phones on social media showing the local temperature at 44 or even 45 degree Celsius in Mancherial and Asifabad. Andhra Pradesh too experienced severe heat wave conditions with temperatures soaring above 45 degrees in Coastal Andhra districts and Rayalaseema too. Many places in Guntur, Krishna and West Godavari districts recorded temperature about 45 degree Celsius even at 3 pm in the afternoon. Rayalaseema in down South also saw the mercury soaring past 45 degrees. AP State Development Planning Society recorded between 45-47 degree Celsius in many parts of the state at 3 pm. The CMYK It said the passengers should not travel if they are staying in a containment zone. The passengers who have been tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel. “The passengers are expected to certify the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form,” said the ministry's guidelines. Airports have been advised to earmark areas for isolation as well as to carry out Covid19 testing of suspected passengers. According to the guidelines, the airports will have to ensure easy availability of hand sanitisers at all entry points and at various touch points. The ministry also allowed resumption of services by all food and beverages (F&B) outlets on the condition that they follow all Covid-19 precautions. “Take-away, digital payments, self-ordering booths at F&B and retail outlets to be encouraged to prevent crowding of people", it said. India rejects China’s trespass charge Amphan effect : Heatwave in two Telugu states ANINDITA CHOWDHURY services on board. Passengers have been advised to familiarise themselves about new procedures at the airport, especially the norms of social distancing, minimum touch, baggage limitations, Covid-I9 declaration, registering on Aarogya Setu app and digital payments. Resuming domestic flight services is seen as yet another step by the government in the direction of a graded exit from the lockdown which has been extended till the end of this month. The curbs have taken a toll on the Indian economy, stalling activities across sectors, including the aviation industry. The guidelines say passengers should expect a slower process at the airport and avoid last-minute arrival. Boarding for a flight will commence 60 minutes before departure and the boarding gate will be closed 20 minutes before departure, it said. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Meteorological Centre in Amaravati issued warnings at 1 pm today saying “heatwave conditions are very likely to prevail in isolated pockets in Coastal and Rayalaseema districts for the next three days. Temperature will be between 42 to 45 degree Celsius with dry weather conditions. Tomorrow, the temperature will be between 45-47 degree Celsius at the three North Andhra districts and East Godavari while in the rest of the state it will be between 43-45 in coastal districts and a little lower in Rayalaseema. The dry heat conditions and severe heat wave across the state will continue till 25 May. The district authorities have asked to run a campaign to ensure people remain indoors till 6pm. NEW DELHI, 21 MAY India today rejected Beijing's allegation that its troops crossed over to the Chinese side of the frontier in Ladakh and Sikkim. It was, in fact, the Chinese side that had recently undertaken activity at the border hindering India's normal patrolling pattern, New Delhi said. ''Any suggestion that Indian troops had undertaken activity across the LAC in the Western Sector or the Sikkim sector is not accurate. Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the LAC in the India-China border areas and abide by it scrupulously,'' External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava asserted, adding all Indian activities were entirely on the Indian side of the LAC. China has recently accused India of unilaterally attempting to change the status of the undemarcated border in Ladakh after troops of the two countries were involved in scuffles at Ladakh and Sikkim in which more than ten of them were injured. The Indian spokesperson said the country has always taken a very responsible approach towards border management. At the same time, it was deeply committed to ensuring India’s sovereignty and security. ''The Indian troops strictly follow the procedures laid down in various bilateral agreements and protocols to resolve any situations which may arise due to difference in perception of LAC. The two sides have established mechanisms to resolve such situations peacefully through dialogue. Both sides remain engaged with each other to address any immediate issues,'' he added.
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