CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 14 JANUARY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ADANI, POSCO TO INVEST $5B IN GREEN PROJECTS HYPERSONIC BOOM P6 P V SINDHU STAYS ON COURSE UK MINISTERS RALLY AROUND EMBATTLED JOHNSON, FOR NOW P8 P10 Generally cloudy sky with light rain.Temperature likely to be in the range of 25-17 degrees Celsius. Train derails in N Bengal: 7 dead, many injured No lockdown: PM interacts with CMs on Covid situation RAINFALL: 0.6mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P12 Modi asks states to ensure momentum of economy, focus more on local containment WEATHER Max.96% TEMPERATURE Min. 56% Max: 25.4 °C(0) Min: 17.7 °C(+3) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:18 hrs 17:11 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 13:30 hrs 02:18 hrs Full moon on 18 January THUMBNAILS Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking during a virtual meeting with chief ministers to review the Covid situation, in New Delhi on Thursday. ANI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JANUARY rime Minister Narendra Modi who on Thursday chaired a ‘comprehensive’ high-level meeting chief ministers and administrators of states and Union Territories (UTs) to review preparedness for Covid put to rest speculations about a nationwide lockdown in the wake of rise in Covid and Omicron cases in the country and instead asked them to focus ‘more on local containment’. Prime Minister Modi said the current momentum of the economy had to be maintained and it would be better to focus more on local containment. “Momentum of the economy should be maintained. So it would be better to focus more on local containment,” he said. Modi suggested continuation of the preemptive collective and proactive approach to combat the Covid and its new variant Omicron. “Hard work is our only path and victory is our only option. The way the central and state governments had adopted a preemptive, proactive and P People celebrate Lohri, in Bhopal on Thursday. ANI Two Army soldiers killed in accidental firing: Two soldiers of the 14 battalion of the Punjab Regiment were on Thursday killed in an ‘accidental firing’ near the LoC in Jammu’s Rajouri district.The killed soldiers have been identified as Sepoy Sarvajeet Singh and Sepoy Navraj Singh.It is learnt that the incident took place at the forward location in Dunga Gala area of Rajouri at 1.40 pm. Bodies of both soldiers bore bullet injuries of their own rifles. SA 101/2 at stumps: Being set a target of 211 to win the Capetown test, South Africa were 101/2 at stumps on day 3. Bumrah got rid of the dangerous Dean Elgar just before end of day's play. Peterson was unbeaten on 48. PG12 Mekedatu padayatra suspended: The Karnataka Congress was forced to take a step back on Thursday and suspend its controversial Mekedatu padayatra following rising cases of Covid, while keeping yesterday’s observation of the PG4 Karnataka High Court in mind. collective approach, the same is the mantra of victory this time as well,” he added. Stressing on the need for vaccination, the Prime Minister said, “India has given the first dose to about 92 percent of the adult population. The coverage of the second dose has also reached around 70 percent.” Prime Minister Modi asserted, “Irrespective of variants, vaccination remains the most potent way to deal with the pandemic.In order to defeat Corona we need to keep our readiness ahead of every variant. Along with tackling Omicron, we need to start preparing for any future variant from now itself.” The meeting among others was attended by Union ministers Amit Shah, Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State Bharati Pravin Pawar besides the officials of concerned ministries who briefed the meeting about the latest updates on the pandemic situation in the country. The Prime Minister said that India’s battle with the biggest pandemic of 100 years has now entered its third year. “Hard work is our only path and victory is our Centre holds meet with states on impact of surge in 3,63,17,927 cases on migrant workers 11,17,531 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JANUARY The Centre has reviewed the states’ preparedness to deal with the impact of rising Covid cases on migrant workers, but there are no reports of workers’ exodus from anywhere yet. At the review conducted by Labour and Employment Secretary Sunil Barthwal, the State officials were advised to reassure the migrant workers regarding their safety, security and livelihood. Twenty-one Monitoring Centres have been activated across the country by the Office of Chief Labour Commissioner (Central). State Governments informed the Labour and Employment Secretary that barring night curfews and weekend curfews at few places, where the Covid cases were rising, there were no restrictions on construction or business activities, running of shops and industrial activities. So far, there was no report of unusual movement of migrant workers owing to the limited restrictions imposed by the Governments, State officials said. Some media reports of mass exodus regarding movement of migrant workers to their home States were found to be untrue and it was also noticed that such reporting was based on old photographs. As on the day of review, the business situation is normal throughout the country except 50 per cent restrictions on workforce at some places, the review revealed. The Central as well as the State governments are keeping a close watch on the situation and fully ready to tackle the situation as per demand of the situation, the review meet was told. Some state governments have already made plans for distributing dry rations to needy labourers, if required. only option. We, 130 crore people of India, will surely emerge victorious against Corona with our efforts”, he said. “The earlier confusion about Omicron is slowly getting cleared now. The Omicron variant is infecting the general public many times faster than the earlier variants. We have to be alert, be careful, but we also have to take care that there is no panic situation. We have to see that in this festive season, the alertness of the people and the administration is not low- 2,47,694 The Guwahati-Bikaner Express that derailed near Domohani on Thursday. SNS 84,825 STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE SILIGURI/ MAYNAGURI, 13 JAN 4,85,035 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 13 JANUARY 2022 Bengal registered 23,467 fresh cases and 26 deaths ered anywhere,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said the way the central and state governments had adopted a pre-emptive, proactive and collective approach, the same is the mantra of victory this time as well. The more we can limit the corona infection, the less the problem will be, he pointed out. The Prime Minister said that made in India vaccines are proving their superiority all over the world. “It is a matter of pride for every Indian that today India has given the first dose to about 92 percent of the adult population. The coverage of the second dose has also reached around 70 percent in the country,” he said adding that within 10 days, India has also vaccinated about 30 million of its adolescents. Modi lauded the states for using the 23,000 rupees package that was given earlier to revamp the health infrastructure. At least seven passengers were killed and many others injured, 15 critically, after the 15633-UP Bikaner Guwahati Express derailed in between Domohoni and Maynaguri Railway Stations in Jalpaiguri district near Siliguri around 5 pm on Thursday. Railway officials said 12 coaches of the train derailed, while some coaches climbed atop others. According to witnesses’ accounts, several passengers were trapped inside the mangled coaches, while police, with the help of rescue teams, pulled out the passengers by cutting open the coaches with the help of gas cutters. Local people sprang into action as soon as the accident happened and rescued several passengers trapped inside the coaches. Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Maumita G Basu also took quick steps to rescue the injured passengers with the help of the police, civil defence and other machineries, and took over 50 passengers to the Maynaguri hospital, and referred some to the Jalpaiguri district hospital. “Over 15 passengers are BJP’s CEC meets to finalise UP poll candidates UP: Third OBC minister quits STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JANUARY The BJP Central Election Committee on Thursday held a meeting in hybrid format at the party headquarters to finalize the party’s candidates for the upcoming seven- phase Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP national president J P Nadda, and other top members of the committee including Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh took part in deliberations virtually. Other members of the committee were physically present at the BJP headquarters to take part in the meeting. Union home minister Amit Shah and several other party leaders and top leaders from It was learnt that the BJP mulled over the possibility of dropping some of the sitting MLAs in UP to offset the anti-incumbency factor in the ensuing elections in the state Uttar Pradesh including chief minister Yogi Adityanath were physically present at the party head office to take part in discussion. The meeting came at a time when the party is grappling with internal turmoil and some of the senior party leaders and cabinet ministers having already quit the party and recently one of the prominent ministers in the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh resigning accusing BJP of being indifferent to the dalits and backwards, among others. The discussion primarily veered around finalizing candidates for the first and second phase of the elections. About names of 58 candidates for the first phase and 55 for the second phase for the elections scheduled for 10 and 14 February reportedly came up for discussion. It was learnt that the BJP mulled over the possibility of dropping some of the sitting MLAs in Uttar Pradesh to offset the anti-incumbency factor in the ensuing elections in the state. As part of its scheme of things, the BJP is also learnt to have been seriously pon- dering over fielding five-term Lok Sabha MP and chief minister Yogi Adityanath from Ayodhya instead of Gorakhpur. Meanwhile, according to some reports reaching here from Uttar Pradesh indicated that the BJP had finalized its seat sharing arrangement with its old ally Apna Dal and Nishad Party for the coming assembly elections. According to some reports, the BJP leadership unwilling to annoy its pre-poll partners have agreed to give Apna Dal about 10 to 14 seats and 14-17 seats to Nishad Dal. Some of the party candidates from these parties are likely to contest on the BJP symbol. An official announcement about seat sharing with the two parties is likely soon, sources said. BJP,walks into Akhilesh's SP INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW,13 JANUARY Uttar Pradesh minister Dharam Singh Saini has also resigned from the council of ministers. He is the third minister after Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan to quit. Saini, who represents the Nakud Assembly seat, has returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government. Dharam Singh Saini was the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration. After sending his resignation to the Governor, he went to meet Samajwadi Party Former UP ministers Dharam Singh Saini (R) and Swami Prasad Maurya (L) show victory signs after resigning from BJP on Thursday. ANI president Akhilesh Yadav. Interestingly, in his resignation letter, Saini levelled the same allegation that other legislators had levelled against the Yogi government. He said he was resigning due to "gross neglect" towards Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders. The BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit has witnessed a string of defections over the last few days, starting with cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya. At the time, Maurya had said that many more legislators would follow suit. After legislators belonging to the OBC category left the BJP it is now a Brahmin MLA , Bala Prasad Awasthi who has also walked into the Samajwadi Party fold. He also met Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday afternoon.Awasthi is a fourterm MLA from Lakhimpur Kheri and a known Brahmin face in the Terai region. India’s total forest and tree cover area India, China agree to make efforts to has increased by over 2000 sq km: FSI maintain stability in Western Sector STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JANUARY The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectare which is 24.62 per cent of the total geographical area. As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country. Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km, according to the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI). The report was released here today by Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav. Yadav expressed happiness over the fact that the present assessment reveals that 17 states/UT’s have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover and stated that the focus of the government is not just to conserve the forests Top three states showing an increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km). quantitatively but to enrich it qualitatively. The report provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, forest cover in tiger reserve areas, above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data & climate change hotspots in Indian forests. An increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest. Top three states showing an increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km). Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (84.53per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33per cent), Meghalaya (76.00per cent), Manipur (74.34per cent) and Nagaland (73.90per cent). A total of 17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these states and UT’s, five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 per cent forest cover while 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33 per cent to 75 per cent. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 13 JANUARY India and China failed to make much headway at the 14th round of Corps Commander-level talks to disengage at the remaining friction points in Eastern Ladakh but agreed to make “effective efforts” to maintain security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector, including during winter. “The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue via military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. In this context, it was also agreed that the next round of the Commanders’ talks should be held at the ear- CMYK CRISIS RESOLUTION The Indian side was led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta, the new Commander of the Leh-based Fire & Fury Corps on the Indian side and by Maj Gen Yang Lin on the Chinese side. Both sides agreed to follow the guidance provided by the state Leaders and work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. India is believed to have demanded disengagement and eventual de-escalation at the remaining friction points like Hot Spring, Depsang Plains and Demochok. liest,” said a joint press release issued today on the marathon 13-hour talks held at the Chushul-Moldo border point yesterday. The Indian side was led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta, the new Commander of the Leh-based Fire & Fury Corps on the Indi- an side and by Maj GenYang Lin on the Chinese side. The joint statement said representatives from the defence and foreign affairs establishments of the two sides were present at the meeting. The two sides had a frank and in-depth exchange of views for the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. They agreed that both sides should follow the guidance provided by the state Leaders and work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. “It was noted that this would help in restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations. The two sides also agreed to consolidate on the previous outcomes,’’ the joint statement added. India is believed to have demanded disengagement and eventual de-escalation at the remaining friction points like Hot Spring, Depsang Plains and Demochok. Deeply concerned to hear about the tragic accident at Maynaguri. Senior officers of state government are supervising rescue and relief operations. Those injured will receive medical attention as early as possible MAMATA BANERJEE admitted in the Maynaguri hospital. More than 25 passengers were admitted to the Jalpaiguri district hospital. Two passengers were declared brought-dead. Others, who were critically injured, were referred to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri,” a source said. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who was in a virtual meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Covid situation, asked administrative officials in North Bengal to rush to the spot and make arrangements for the rescue operation and treatment of the injured passengers. PM Modi also extended his condolences to the bereaved families. Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced an enhanced ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh in case of death, 1 lakh for the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 for the others injured. First arrest made in ‘Dharma Sansad’ case Waseem Rizvi who changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after converting to Hinduism is among more than 10 people named in the FIRs ROORKEE, 13 JANUARY In the first arrest in the Dharma Sansad hate speech case, Waseem Rizvi(in pic),aka Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, was arrested from Roorkee in Haridwar district on Thursday. Rizvi who changed his name to Jitendra Narayan Tyagi after converting to Hinduism is among more than 10 people named in the FIRs lodged in connection with the case. He was formerly the head of Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board. Waseem Rizvi was arrested from Narsan border, Roorkee, Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Yogendra Rawat said. This is the first arrest in the case. Some participants at the Dharma Sansad held in Haridwar from December 17-19 have been accused of delivering highly provocative speeches against Muslims. When asked whether more arrests will follow, the SSP said it will depend on how the investigation progresses. The Uttarakhand government was under tremendous pressure to take action against those who had delivered the speeches at the event. Even the Supreme Court had pulled up the state government for not acting against the guilty. AGENCIES
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