CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 SEPTEMBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR REFLECTIONS OF A MASTER MIND GLOBAL COMMUNITY MUST NOT ABANDON AFGHAN: PAKISTAN FM P9 Humid and discomfort weather is very likely. Temperature likely to be in the range of 34-28 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: 1.8mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE P7 P5 P12 After 20 yrs, last US troops exit Afghan WEATHER Max.94% ‘HOW TSITSIPAS WON IT THE DEVIOUS WAY’ NC WILL WIN NEXT POLLS IN J&K: FAROOQ Min. 68% Max: 33.2°C (+1) Min: 27.5°C (+1) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:20 hrs 17:54 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 23:47 hrs 13:45 hrs New moon on 7 September THUMBNAILS Heavy showers in the Capital on Tuesday led to traffic snarls at ITO. SNS Sensex scales 57K: Equity benchmarks galloped to record highs for yet another session on Tuesday, with the Sensex closing above 57,000 for the first time while the Nifty scaled the 17,000-mark as investors remained in buying mode amid growth optimism and bullish global cues. Market sentiment was positive ahead of the release of Q1 GDP data, traders said. Rising for the fourth session on the trot, the 30-share BSE Sensex soared 662.63 points or 1.16 per cent to its fresh record close of 57,552.39 points. (p 8) US degraded but never defeated Taliban and ultimately failed to build an Afghanistan military that could hold off insurgents ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON, 31 AUGUST merica’s longest war concluded as it withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan and in its final days entailed gigantic failures, rise of a tyrannical outfit, losses of lives and a nation in tatters. Thousands of troops had spent a harrowing two weeks protecting the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seeking to escape a country once again ruled by Taliban militants. In announcing the completion of the evacuation and war effort, Gen Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3.29 pm Washington time, or one minute before midnight in Kabul. He said a number of American citizens, likely numbering in “the very low hundreds,” were left behind, and that he believes they will be able to leave the country. Secretary of State Antony Blinken put the number of Americans left behind at under 200, “likely closer to 100,” and said State Department would keep working to get them out. He praised the militaryled evacuation as heroic and historic and said the US A UNSC adopts resolution on Afghanistan; China, Russia abstain: UN Security Council, under India's Presidency, adopted a strong resolution demanding that territory of Afghanistan not be used to threaten any country or shelter terrorists and that it expects the Taliban will adhere to commitments made by it on regarding the safe and orderly departure from the country of Afghans and all foreign nationals. The Security Council on Monday adopted the resolution sponsored by France, UK and the US with 13 members voting in favour, and permanent, veto-wielding members Russia and China abstaining. See pg 9 diplomatic presence would shift to Doha, Qatar. US President Joe Biden said military commanders unanimously favoured ending the airlift, not extending it. He said he asked Blinken to coordinate with international partners in holding Taliban to their promise of safe passage for Americans and others who want to leave in the days ahead. The acme was dramatic as American troops were tackling evacuation of the final batch and getting themselves and some of their India’s Qatar envoy meets Taliban leader Stankzai PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST A US military aircraft takes off from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP equipments out while monitoring repeated threats. A suicide bombing on 26 August killed 13 American service members and some 169 Afghans. The final pullout fulfilled Biden’s pledge to end what he called a “forever war” that began in response to 11 September 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 in New York, Washington and rural Pennsylvania. The US war effort at times seemed to grind on with no endgame in mind, little hope for victory and minimal care by Congress for the way tens of billions of dollars were spent for two decades. The human cost piled up-tens of thousands of Americans injured in addition to the dead. In Biden’s view the war could have ended 10 years ago with the US killing of Osama bin Laden, whose al-Qaida extremist network planned and executed the 9/11 plot from an Afghanistan sanctuary. Congressional committees are expected to hold public hearings on what went wrong in the final months of the US withdrawal. It was not supposed to end this way. The administration’s plan, after declaring its intention to withdraw all troops, was to keep the US Embassy in Kabul open, protected by a force of about 650 US troops. Washington planned to give the now-defunct Afghan government billions more to prop up its army. Biden now faces doubts about his plan to prevent al-Qaida from regenerating in Afghanistan and of suppressing threats posed by other extremist groups such as the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate. Indian envoy to Qatar Deepak Mittal on Tuesday met Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai in Doha, first highlevel contact between the two sides on a day the US completed withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan. The Ministry of External Affairs said Ambassador Mittal raised India’s concern at the meeting that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used for antiIndian activities and terrorism in any manner. It said the discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan as well The final US exit included the withdrawal of its diplomats. Speaking shortly after that attack, Biden stuck to his view that ending the war was the right move. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “it was time to end a 20-year war.” The Taliban’s forces were overwhelmed and Kabul fell in a matter of weeks. as the travel of Afghan nationals wishing to come to India. The MEA said the Taliban leader assured Mittal that these issues would be positively addressed. “Today, Ambassador of India to Qatar, Deepak Mittal, met Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the Head of Taliban’s Political Office in Doha,” the MEA said in a release. It said the meeting took place at the Embassy of India, Doha, on the request of the Taliban side. “Discussions focused on safety, security and early return of Indians stranded in Afghanistan. Travel of Afghan nationals, especially minorities, who wish to visit to India also came up,” MEA said. Some parts of the country modernized during the US war years, and life for many Afghans, especially women and girls, improved measurably. But Afghanistan remains a tragedy, poor, unstable and with many of its people fearing a return to the brutality the country endured during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001. US failures were numer- GDP growth rebounds to 20.1 % in Q1 on low base History in SC: At one SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST The Indian economy grew by a record 20.1 per cent in the April-June quarter, helped by a very weak base of last year and a sharp turnaround in the manufacturing and services sectors despite a devastating second wave of Covid-19 cases. India is now poised to achieving the world's fastest growth this year. While there was a sharp year-on-year expansion, sequentially the economy slowed down by 16.9 per cent over the January-March quarter and was 9.2 per cent short of pre-Covid levels of April-June 2019, according to the firstquarter GDP data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) Tuesday. The economy had contracted by a massive 24.4 per cent in April-June 2020 after one of the world's most strict lockdowns was imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus infections, suffocating economic activity. GDP had grown by 1.6 per cent in the January-March 2021 quarter. The sequential contraction in GDP in Q1 of the current fiscal came after three consecutive quarters of expansion. GVA expanded by 18.8 per cent year-on-year in Q1 but sequentially it recorded a double-digit contraction of 13.3 per cent given the disruptions in April-May due to the lockdown restrictions imposed in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19. The rebound in the first quarter of the current fiscal was Daily vaccinations cross 1 cr mark for 2nd time in 5 days led by a better-than-expected manufacturing performance and a milder hit to services, combined with a robust pace of vaccinations. Vaccination coverage has risen from 4.7 per cent of the total population in January-March to 24.5 per cent in Q1. The rebound was led by a near 50 per cent year-on-year jump in manufacturing, 68.3 per cent rise in construction activity and 34.3 per cent growth in services such as trade, hotels and communications. Agriculture, which was the only sector that showed growth amid the stringent lockdown in April-June last year, posted an impressive 4.5 per cent growth over the previous year. Last year, it had expanded by 3.5 per cent. Government consumption and exports also picked up. Despite the record growth in the first quarter, the Indi- HYDERABAD, 30 AUGUST 3,70,640 Sanitisation before reopening Vidya Bal Bhavan Senior Secondary School Mayur Vihar phase 3 in the Capital on Tuesday. SNS SNS & PTI NEW DELHI/KOLKATA, 31 AUGUST India’s daily vaccinations crossed the 1 crore mark on Tuesday for the second time in five days, taking the cumulative doses administered to over 65-crore, the Union health ministry said. “Another milestone achieved in the world’s largest vaccination drive under PM @NarendraModi ji. 50 crore people received their first #COVID19 vaccine dose. I applaud the hard work of COVID warriors and diligence of citizens in helping achieve this momentous feat,” tweeted Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya. India’s total caseload rose to 3,27,68,880 with 30,941 new infections, while the active cases declined to 3,70,640 as cases increased by 5,684, Union health ministry data showed. The death toll has climbed to 4,38,560 with 350 fresh fatalities. The number of people who have recuperated surged to 3,19,59,680. Bengal scenario:West Bengal today registered 546 fresh Covid cases and 13 deaths. 30,941 36,275 4,38,560 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 31 AUGUST 2021 Kolkata recorded 92 cases and three deaths while North 24 Parganas recorded 89 cases and 4 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total Covid case count is 15,48,604 and death toll is 18,447 in the state till now. go 9 judges sworn-in PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST History was created in the Supreme Court on Tuesday as for the first time nine new judges took oath of office at one go, taking the working strength to 33. The new judges who were administered oath of office as apex court judges include Justices Abhay Shreeniwas Oka, Vikram Nath, Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari, Hima Kohli and B V Nagarathna. Besides, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana also administered oath of office to Justices C T Ravikumar, M M Sundresh, Bela M Trivedi and P S Narasimha. The strength of the SC judges has now risen to 33, including the CJI, out of the sanctioned strength of 34. Justice Oka was Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court before being elevated to the apex court. Justice Nath was appointed Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court on 10 September 2019. Justice Maheshwari was Chief Justice of the Sikkim HC before being elevated to the top court. Justice Kohli was Chief Justice of the Telangana HC before the elevation. Justice BV Nagarathna was a judge of the Karnataka HC before being elevated to SC and is in line to become the first woman CJI in September 2027. Justice Ravikumar was appointed a permanent judge in Kerala HC with effect from 15 December 2010. Justice Sundresh was judge of Madras HC before being elevated to SC. Justice Trivedi was a judge of the Gujarat HC before being elevated to SC. Justice Narasimha was a former Additional Solicitor General. Nizami and Qutub Shahi era heritage structures to be restored by T’gana govt ANINDITA CHOWDHURY 3,27,68,880 an economy is yet to reach preCOVID levels. The size of the Indian economy in April-June 2019 was Rs 35.66 lakh crore, which shrank to Rs 26.95 lakh crore a year later. In the first quarter of the current fiscal, it stood at Rs 32.38 lakh crore. Fiscal data was also released on Tuesday that showed a sharp growth of 83.1 per cent in the Centre's gross tax revenues during April-July of 2021-22 over the corresponding period of 2020-21 and a growth of 29.1 per cent over 2019-20. “Economic growth in the April- June quarter of 2021-22 (Q1) has come in at 20.1 per cent, which is at the upper end of all estimates, making the apparent consensus redundant. This rebound in Q1 will be the foundation of sustained growth in successive quarters,” Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar tweeted. After years of neglect the architectural marvels that are stepwells of Hyderabad are getting a new lease of life as Telangana government as well as activists and common citizens have joined hands to clean the accumulated debris and restore the heritage structures of Nizami and Qutub Shahi periods. Once the debris is removed and water oozes out, each of these the stone structures will be beautified with trees and fencing and even illuminated to serve as a tourist spot. Stepwells or baolis as they are locally known as, are man made water bodies which have to be reached by descending a series of steps. Considered as architectural marvels these stepwells in Telangana were built by zamindars, kings and landlords as a part of community welfare projects. They are found in forts, temple complexes and other places of worship or at shelters for travellers. They were not only places from where drinking water was drawn but they also served as venues for social gathering. In forts they provided succour for inhabitants during long sieges. There are more than 140 stepwells in the state capital alone and more in the districts. However, later these stepwells were left in neglect and unscrupulous land grabbers dumped garbage and construction waste in these derelict wells. Some of the neighbourhoods in Hyderabad derived their names from these bowlis including Gacchibowli, a posh suburb, home to corporates and university campuses. Last year after reopening the renovated Moazzam Jahi Market complex it was the CMYK municipal affairs and urban development minister KT Rama Rao who announced: “We will be taking up restoration of stepwells (baolis) in Hyderabad next, about 10 in phase I by municipal affairs and urban development department.” After restoring the tanks built during Kakatiya era it is the turn of stepwells constructed during Nizams and Qutub Shahi eras. After painstaking work by government agencies, NGOs and volunteers some of these stepwells have already been restored to their previous glory. Badi Bowli at Qutb Shahi tombs, one of the six stepwells in the Necropolis has been painstakingly revived and other stepwells in the tomb complex are slowly being restored. Bhagwandas Bagh Baoli located at Gudimalkapur was cleaned and restored by Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. The heritage stepwell at Banshalipet belonging to the era of the Nizam’s got a new lease of life as decades of waste dumped in it was removed by GHMC with ample help from activist Kalpana Ramesh, the founder of The Rainwater Project. Water oozed out once decades of garbage were lifted. Planting of trees and fencing work are being taken up to transform the filthy surroundings into beautiful place in the neighbourhood apart from recharging the groundwater. Another well at Bapughat has also been restored by Gandipet Welfare Society members who not only got rid of the debris but also rejuvenated the waterflow. Gachibowli stepwell too was revived and the recharge springs came alive. A well of Qutub Shahi era, Piran Bowli near Athara Sedhi of Golconda fort is also being taken up for restoration. Jaishankar-led group tracking Afghan rescue operations NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST A high-level group comprising External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval and a number of other senior officials is focusing on India’s immediate priorities in Afghanistan following the drawdown of American forces. Official sources said on Tuesday that the group has been meeting regularly over the last few days following a direction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “It is seized of issues pertaining to the safe return of stranded Indians, the travel of Afghan nationals (especially minorities) to India, and assuring the territory of Afghanistan is not used in any manner for terrorism directed against India,” a source PTI said. ous. It degraded but never defeated Taliban and ultimately failed to build an Afghan military that could hold off insurgents, despite $83 billion in US spending to train and equip the army. See Pages 9,10 Top court orders demolition of Supertech’s twin towers NEW DELHI, 31 AUGUST Nine years after taking up the cudgels against Supertech Ltd, home buyers finally got relief from the Supreme Court on Tuesday as it ordered demolition of the under-construction twin 40-storey towers-Apex and Ceyane of Emerald Court Project-which would have blocked sunlight and fresh air, violating building norms “in collusion” with Noida officials. The case revealed a “nefarious complicity” of the planning authority (Noida) in violation of the provisions of law by developer (Supertech), the apex court said. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said, “The order passed by the (Allahabad) High Court for the demolition of Apex and Ceyane (T-16 and T-17) does not warrant interference and the direction for demolition issued by the High Court is affirmed”. “Unfortunately, the diverse and unseen group of flat buyers suffers the impact of the unholy nexus between builders and planners,” the bench said. The top court in its 140page verdict said, “as this case demonstrates, they (home buyers) are denied access to information and are victims of misinformation. Hence, the law must step in to protect their legitimate concerns”. The top court on Tuesday directed that the work of demolition shall be carried out within a period of three months from the date of this judgment and that the entire amount of home buyers be refunded with 12 per cent interest from the time of the booking and the Residents Welfare Association be paid Rs 2 crore for the harassment caused due to the construction of the twin towers. PTI
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.