thursDAY `100 Lakh cr Master Plan for infrastructure development 14 The blueprint for multi-modal connectivity aims to develop infrastructure to reduce logistic costs and boost the economy october, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in Projects to get more power, speed PM Gati Shakti, unveiled by Narendra Modi on Wednesday, seeks to raise cargo-handling capacity and cut turnaround time. It will speed up projects by connecting all departments on one platform, Modi said, adding that schemes of various ministries and states will be designed with a common vision. facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard in the news t o d ay INDIA Manmohan at AIIMS New Delhi: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi Wednesday evening after complaining of weakness following fever. According to the sources, he was admitted to the cardioneuro unit under the care of a team of cardiologists led by Dr Nitish Naik, Singh’s personal physician for years. The 89-year-old had fever on Monday and recovered, but turned weak and is currently on fluids, sources added. In April, Singh was admitted to the same hospital due to coronavirus infection. Dabholkar murder Pune: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday submitted in a special court a list of 32 witnesses in connection with the murder case of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. Charges in the case have already been framed. The prosecution had earlier submitted a list of 13 documents, considered evidence in the case. However, the defence has refused to admit this list of documents. and moved an application before the court and demanded some documents, such as photos of the crime scene on the first day. UK restrictions lifted New Delhi: India has withdrawn a travel advisory that added Covid-19 related additional checks and restrictions on those arriving from the UK after the British government ordered discontinuation of mandatory testing and quarantine norms for those vaccinated with Covishield travelling from India. The health ministry said it has been decided that the revised guidelines stand withdrawn. On October 1, India had imposed a new rule that British nationals arriving in India, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to undergo 10 days of mandatory quarantine. INTERNATIONAL Typhoon hits China Beijing: A strong tropical storm bearing down on Hong Kong on Wednesday left one person dead and 21 others injured, as city authorities suspended classes, stock market trading and government services. Typhoon Kompasu moved across South China Sea before hitting China’s southern island province of Hainan, where it was downgraded to a severe tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 105 km per hour. Authorities cancelled flights at major airports. A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS l New Delhi l J8.00 PAGES 12 l RIL concedes its Zeel, not interested now Coal crisis forces costly buys in response to Goenka’s charge that it tried to push a one-sided AFTER its name was dragged Reliance deal on Zee. into the boardroom battle beThough Zee had not mentween Zee Entertainment En- tioned Reliance in its statement terprises Ltd (ZEEL) and Inves- to exchanges on Tuesday, it co Developing Markets Fund, talked about two Invesco repreReliance Industries sentatives presenting (RIL) on Wednesday a deal to Punit GoenWhat revealed that it had Reliance ka “involving the proposed to merge its merger of the Comsays media properties with pany and certain entiZee at “fair valuaties owned by a large Invesco had in tions” but never reIndian group (strateFebruary/March sorted to any hostile this year assisted gic group)”. transaction. “As per the deal prein arranging “The valuations of sented to me, upon discussions with Zee and our propercompletion of the Punit Goenka ties were arrived at aforesaid merger, the based on the same pa- Differences arose Strategic Group would between Goenka hold majority stake of rameters,” an RIL statement read. It also and Invesco over the merged entity and clarified that differ- founding family’s I would be responsible increasing their ences arose between for running the operastake ZEEL MD Punit Goentions of the merged ka and Invesco over entity as its MD and Reliance did not the founders’ bid to CEO,” Goenka said. proceed further raise stake by subHe added that the deal after this, as it scribing to preferenwas not in the best inrespects all tial warrants, followterest of public sharefounders ing which the merger holders and that he RIL never resorted was uncomfortable plan was dropped. to any hostile Earlier on Wedneswith the manner in transactions day, Invesco said it which Invesco was had tried facilitating pushing the deal. a Reliance-Zee deal. “The role According to Zee, Reliance’s of Invesco, as Zee’s single larg- deal valued its shares at `220 est shareholder, was to help fa- apiece, with total valuation of cilitate that potential transac- the public shareholding of the tion and nothing more,” it said company at `21,129 crore. E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi D i pa k M o nd a l @ New Delhi States forced to purchase at high prices to tide over shortage of electricity in festive season While the Centre is scrambling to restore normalcy in coal supply to thermal power plants, several power deficit states have been forced to spend scarce resources on buying energy from the national exchange at extremely high rates to avoid power cuts. Tenders for 15-minute realtime blocks are invited by the Indian Energy Exchange 1.5 hours before the actual sale. The normal cost through this mode is `5-6 per unit, but because of the crippling coal crisis, the rate has shot up to `20 a unit now. Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday bought a peak hour block of 2,102 MW at `20 per unit for 15 minutes from 6.30 pm to 6.45 pm, and at the same rate from 7 pm to 7.15 pm. On Tuesday, it procured 2,000 MW in two 15-minute blocks at `20 a unit. On an average, the state buys 28-40 million units of power from private players in the mar- Capital loss KKR beat delhi to reach IPL final Union coal minister Pralhad Joshi (R) visits projects in Chhattisgarh | twitter Industry pushback With the Centre taking temporary measures like stoppage of secured coal supplies and rakes for the non-power sector, there was pushback from aluminum manufacturers. They issued an SOS, saying the supply halt will jeopardise the sustainability of their plants as they are not designed for ad-hoc shut downs and restarts ket and exchanges daily . Kerala, too, has been doing real-time buying of around 0.41.10 million units each day from Pant’s team takes match to last over, but Rahul Tripathi’s six denies Delhi place in summit clash | P11 Corporate funding to protect wildlife r i c h a s h a r m a @ New Delhi In a move that could open up the country’s over 700 protected and wildlife areas to the private sector, the Union environment ministry is mulling to seek corporate funding for management of national parks and sanctuaries due to inadequate budgetary funding. The ministry is considering a proposal to establish a National Foundation for Resource Mobilisation for Wildlife Conservation for putting together resources for wildlife conservation. It was placed before the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) last month held under the chairmanship of environment minister Bhupender Ya- dav, who called for wider consultation on the matter. Cautioning the ministry over the move, Dr R Sukumar, a member of NBWL, said care should be taken to ensure that the corporate sector does not have a disproportionate say in the decision making process. The foundation is envisaged as a government-owned public trust which will be registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, that will provide a range of activities for private or corporate funding and have flexibility in terms of resource mobilisation, operations and collaboration with other organisations for the purpose of wildlife conservation including zoo related activities. During the meeting, R P Gupta, Secretary of MoEF&CC, mentioned that the budget available for the management of protected areas is not sufficient and funds need to be mobilised from other sources. “The ministry will constitute a committee to study issues related to the establishment of the National Foundation after inviting suggestions/opinions from Chief Wildlife Wardens, Central Zoo Authority, conservationists, experts, NGOs,” said the minutes of the meeting accessed by this newspaper. Dr SP Yadav, Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority, said tiger conservation foundations have been established in reserves as per the provisions in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. Panel to study proposal “The Standing Committee decided that the ministry will constitute a committee to study various issues relating to the establishment of the national foundation after inviting suggestions/opinions,” said the minutes of the meeting the exchange, spending about `20 per unit. As for Rajasthan, it has been forced to buy around 4 crore units of electricity each day at rates between `15 and `20 a unit. That works out a needless daily spend of around `80 crore. The rate during normal times is `3-4 per unit. With Bihar promising uninterrupted power during the festival period, his government has been purchasing over 1,200 MW at `20 per unit to bridge the gap. The Punjab government spent about `282 crore in the last 13 days to buy costly power from the exchange. On Wednesday it bought 1,800 MW , at `10.55 per unit. Its per unit deal with the exchange on Tuesday was for `14.06. Reports from poll-bound UP indicate it struggling to manage its energy demand, as load shedding is continuing in rural areas. With about eight thermal units shut for want of coal, the state government has been compelled to purchase power from the exchange for around `13 a unit, yet the gulf between demand and supply remains. Continued on P7 Disquiet among CPM, Left union as Adani takes over T’puram airport D h i ne s h K a l l u n g a l @ T’Puram the Adani Group will formally take over the Thiruvananthapuram airport in the wee hours of Thursday amid the disquieting silence of the CPMled Kerala government, which had many times in the past claimed that it would not allow such a move. The Left-leaning Airport Authority Employees Union (AAEU), which had pinned hopes on the tall promises of the state government, is disappointed while various trade bodies including the Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry are upbeat about the privatisation as the feel the new entity would bring more passenger amenities to the airport. The 600-odd Airports Author- ity of India employees will now have to work with the Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport for the next three years. Thereafter, they can either join the private entity or opt for other airports under the AAI. It is pointless to move to other airports, said AAEU state president K P Suresh. “AAI has plans to privatise around 25 airports in south Indian states in the coming years. So our main demand to the management is to allow us to continue to work here till retirement,” he said. A case against the privatisation of the T hir uvananthapuram airport is pending in the Supreme Court but chances of the Central government’s decision getting revoked is remote, said a union leader. AAP appeals to centre for chhath puja guidelines Russia-US ties Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the Kremlin has ‘constructive’ relations with Washington and voiced hope that mutual interests would eventually help normalize US-Russia ties. Putin, speaking during a panel discussion at an international energy conference in Moscow, also said Russia is ready to boost natural gas supplies to help assuage nervous energy markets in Europe. He rejected allegations from some European experts and politicians that Russia has been holding up gas deliveries. Integrated planning across ministries A digital platform, Gati Shakti will bring 16 ministries including railways and roadways together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infra connectivity projects. It will incorporate schemes of various ministries and state govts. e x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi With the BJP trying to corner it over denial of permission for public celebration of Chhath Puja, the AAP government is now seeking to turn the tables by putting the ball in the Centre’s court. Asserting that the Delhi government was keen to allow Chhath Puja celebrations at public places, Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday appealed to the Centre to issue revised guidelines on Covid restrictions a soldier never dies Near ones at the funeral of Naib Subedar Jaswinder Singh, killed by militants in J&K, in Kapurthala on Wednesday | Pti and accused the BJP of playing politics over the issue. On Tuesday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, urging the Centre to issue guidelines for the Chhath festival following consultations with medical experts. However, BJP MP Manoj Tiwari questioned the AAP government’s move saying it should have sought the guidelines before prohibiting the festival if it was “serious”. “I am sorry to say…you are guilty of hardline Muslim ap- peasement in Delhi. Through the ban on Chhath, you have hurt the sentiments of Hindus,” Tiwari said in a letter to CM Arvind Kejriwal. The BJP has been up in arms, trying to rally Purvanchalis, since the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on September 30 prohibited Chhath at riverbanks, water bodies and other public places. Tiwari took out a rath yatya against the ban and was even injured on Tuesday after being hit by a water cannon during a protest outside Kejriwal’s residence. home away from home Kin of slain gol gappewalla moved by generosity of Kashmir residents f aya z w a n i @ Srinagar Pankaj Paswan from Bihar has been working in Kashmir for 27 years and never faced any problems. Despite witnessing the volatile phase of 2016, he returned to the Valley Naturally . , he was shocked when his close relative Virender, a gol gappa seller in Srinagar, was shot dead by militants 10 days ago. “On October 5 evening, I was told that a gol gappewalla was shot dead at Lal Bazar area. I thought they were joking. Some people showed me photographs on Facebook. I rushed to the spot and came to know that his body was taken to Sher E Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, so I went there,” said Pankaj, also a gol gappa seller. According to Pankaj, the ad- ministration told him they would facilitate the return of Virender’s body to his native place. “But we were only twothree persons…I told his family we would cremate him here as per rituals. His brother and nephew were also here. They talked to his wife, children and mother and they agreed.” The administration provided `25,000 for Virender’s crema- tion and a cheque for `6 lakh to his family. Praising the Kashmiris for being generous, Pankaj said during the Covid lockdown last year, locals provided him ration, food items and vegetables for four months. “On their own, they came forward and helped me. Who will do that in Bihar,” he said. “I am a Hindu and my family lived here for 12 years. I never faced any problems. My children were studying here. When the situation worsened in 2016, I went back with my family. I later returned but did not bring back my children,” he said. Asked whether he or any non-local are facing any problems in the Valley Pankaj said, , “Had this been the case, I would not have been coming here again and again. There is no problem here. People here are very generous and helpful”. Asked if they (the migrant workers) are scared after the killing, Pankaj replied in the negative, although he said the street vendors were never targeted earlier. “If we fear, what will we give to our families to eat? We are here to work for our livelihood. Rest depends on the Almighty .”
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