MONDAY MAHA STRIKE: STAFFERS SUSPENDED, WAGERS DISMISSED 29 The stir-hit Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on Sunday suspended 93 staffers. NOVEMBER, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard PAPER LEAK Total number of employees who have faced this action so far has reached 6,497. TEST FOR TEACHER HIRING CANCELLED UP government says the exam for 20 lakh aspirants will be held within a month A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS PAGE 8 NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Services of 1,525 daily wage workers have also been terminated. MSRTC officials said over 50 cases have been filed so far with the police since the stir began, including 31 pertaining to damage to buses. An MSRTC spokesperson said operations resumed at 50 out of 250 bus depots in the state: 20 in Mumbai, 22 in Pune, three each in Aurangabad and Nashik and two in Nagpur. Not a single depot out of the 33 located in Amravati division was functional. Test norms for Opposition demands MSP law at all-party meet flyers from ‘risk’ nations revised EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE TRINAMOOL SEEKS TO FORGE THIRD FRONT AGAINST BJP @ New Delhi Centre to also review decision on resuming full international travel from December 15 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH the highly infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus being detected in at least two more countries on Sunday , the central government decided to review its decision on resuming full international travel from December 15. Also, new guidelines were issued by the health ministry on Sunday stating that passengers travelling from or transiting through “at risk” countries will have to take a RT-PCR test on arrival in India and will be required to wait for the results before leaving the airport or taking a connecting flight. Five per cent of travellers from other countries in each flight will be randomly tested at the airport. The “at-risk” countries are European nations, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. On Sunday, in an urgent meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, the government issued a slew of directions to states for ramping up testing-surveillance measures and health facilities, asking them focus on intensive containment, monitoring of hotspots and increased vaccination coverage. The meeting follows a highlevel review by Prime Minister S Africa: Catching the bug in time South Africa didn’t wait for gene sequencing to spot the variant, as it used a RT-PCR test with a gene kit that can show a result of a undetectable S-gene target — a marker for Omicron. India doesn’t have the kit yet, but it can begin manufacturing quickly, says scientist Anurag Agrawal | P7 Narendra Modi on Saturday . For their part, states began to re-tighten Covid restrictions and trace people who arrived from abroad, especially from ‘at risk’ nations in the last one month. Though no Omicron cases have been recorded in India yet, confirmed or suspected cases have emerged in Europe, Israel and Hong Kong — just days after it was first detected in South Africa. The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases, Australia two and the UK one on Sunday. In a drastic move, Israel barred entry to foreigners and Morocco suspended all inP7 coming air travel. T O D AY Sec 144 in Mathura INTERNATIONAL China at colossal risk China is expected to continue its much-criticised Zero COVID policy, shutting the country to most of the world as a new study has warned of a “colossal outbreak” with over 6.30 lakh patients per day if it opens up. According to a report by the Peking University mathematicians, China could face more than 6,30,000 coronavirus infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance approach and followed other countries by lifting travel bans. Nov 28 36,58,756 doses TOTAL DOSES NOV 28 Fresh cases 8,318 8,774 Recoveries 10,967 9,481 465 621 Deaths DELHI NOV 27 Leaders attend an all-party meeting ahead of winter session in New Delhi | PTI Lakhimpur Kheri incident, floor leaders pressed for the sacking of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni whose son is the prime accused in the violence. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjuna Kharge demanded a law to guarantee MSP. He also said the government should give financial P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati 122,34,81,344 NOV 28 Fresh cases 27 32 Recoveries 37 33 Deaths 01 01 THREE DECADES ON, RIVER STILL GASPS FOR BREATH INDIA 62 test Covid +ve The Mathura district administration has imposed prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 following an announcement by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha that it will install a Lord Krishna idol at the deity’s “actual birthplace”, which it claims is in a mosque close to a temple. “Nobody will be allowed to disturb the peace and tranquillity in Mathura,” District Magistrate Navneet Singh Chahal said. Nov 27 73,74,792 doses NATIONWIDE NOV 27 ‘NOBODY IS UNTOUCHABLE FOR US’ compensation to victims of Covid-19 as well as the farm agitation. V Vijaysai Reddy of the YSR Congress demanded the expansion of the MSP basket to cover marine and poultry products. Some opposition leaders also raised the issue of extended jurisdiction of the Border Security Force in some states, in- The Trinamool has burnt bridges with the Congress as it has opened its door to rebels so as to realise its national ambition. “We will reach out to all like-minded parties, whether it is the Samajwadi Party or BJD, for a stronger Opposition front. Nobody is untouchable for us,” said a TMC MP | P7 cluding West Bengal. He also sought caste census. The AAP, however, walked out of the meeting. Party MP Sanjay Singh said he was not allowed to raise issues related to farmers, especially a lw on MSP . Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal said after the Spectacular victory for BJP in Tripura civic polls; TMC pats self for vote share JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT YAMUNA IN THE NEWS Sixty-two inmates of an old age home in Maharashtra’s Thane district have tested positive for the coronavirus infection. Following complaints of ill-health by a couple of inmates, a team of doctors on Saturday tested 109 inmates of the ‘Matoshree’ old age home located at Khadavali in Bhiwandi taluka. All the inmates have been admitted to the Thane Civil Hospital for treatment. WITH the Opposition making a slew of demands, including a law to guarantee Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farm produce, at an all-party meeting on Sunday, defence minister and Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Rajnath Singh told floor leaders that the government is ready for a healthy discussion on all issues in the Winter Session of Parliament. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the all-party meeting a miss, though in the past he had attended them. The meeting is called a day before the Parliament session begins. Opposition parties indicated they will further pressure the government on farm issues, with some of them expressing concern that the Centre could bring in provisions of the three contentious laws that are up for repeal in a different form. Making it clear that the Opposition parties will take up the Delhi govt needs to strike a balance between engineering and river’s natural ecology as well as work in tandem with states through which the river flows, according to experts | P5 THE ruling BJP in Tripura swept the civic elections on Sunday capturing power in all , 20 urban local bodies (ULBs). The elections were held against the backdrop of sporadic incidents of political violence. The CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had accused of BJP of assault and intimidation of their workers. Of the total 334 seats, the BJP won 329. It had won 112 seats in seven ULBs unopposed earlier. Three seats went to the CPI(M) and one each to the TMC and the TIPRA Motha. That the BJP was serious about the polls was evident from PM Narendra Modi taking to Twitter to congratulate people and party workers on the success. “I would like to applaud the @BJP4Tripura Karyakartas who worked tirelessly on the ground and served people. Under the leadership of Shri Biplab Deb Ji, the State Government has been at the forefront of many initiatives, which the people have duly blessed,” he tweeted. The TMC was optimistic about its success in the Agartala Municipal Corporation but the BJP won all its 51 seats. “People of Agartala have shown abundant confidence in the double engine government led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri @Narendra Modi ji,” CM Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted. The TMC had viewed the polls as its launch pad to make inroads into the Bengali-majority state. Its defeat comes days after it became Meghalaya’s main opposition through a political coup that saw 12 of the 17 Congress MLAs defecting to it. TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee said it was exceptional for a party with negligible presence to to get over 20% vote share. “This is despite the fact that we commenced our activities barely 3 months ago and @BJP4Tripura left no stone unturned to BUTCHER DEMOCRACY in Tripura. Congratulations to all the brave soldiers of @AITC4Tripura for their exemplary courage,” Banerjee tweeted. BJP supporters celebrate the party’s victory in Agartala on Sunday | PTI Tribal women on a mission to destroy breweries, save families M U K E S H R A N J A N @ Ranchi PEEVED by the drinking habit of their men, nearly 10,000 women from the Gond-Bhuiyan tribal community from more than 35 villages in West Singbhum district of Jharkhand have embarked upon a unique de-addiction drive where they destroy local breweries. According to Jayanti Biruli, a Panchayat Samiti member who is leading the campaign, their objective is to save families from destruction. Most of the women associated with this drive are illiterate. After the drive was launched, the selling of liquor and ‘handia’ (rice beer) along the roadside has started disappearing in the region. “Though the campaign has slowed down due to the pandemic, we have been conducting deaddiction drive for quite some time covering more than 35 villages and nearly 10,000 SHG (self-help group) women are as- sociated with us. Under this campaign, we destroy the breweries in the villages. We warn breweries’ owners to change their business or they will be handed over to police,” said Biruli who hails from Choya village under Jhinkpani Block. According to Biruli, it all started during a weekly meeting conducted by the SHG members a few years back. “One of the women raised the issue of addiction which had been destroying several families and the decision was taken to launch a campaign against it,” Biruli said. People in the region are so much addicted to drinking that death takes place almost every week. Another woman Lenboti Honega from Rajanka Village under Tonto Block, who is also associated with ‘Nasha Mukti Abhiyaan,’ said: “Now as the things are getting normal, we are planning to revive the campaign under which women from all the villages will march towards district headquarters to stage a day-long ‘dharna’ and hand over a memorandum to the deputy commissioner asking him to impose a complete ban on liquor.” “Due to lack of development, there is no source of income for the people in this region and hence people take up brewing as the easiest way to make money she added. ,” They would also be meeting CM Hemant Soren requesting him to ban liquor to save families from getting destroyed. PARTIES NOT ALLIED WITH CONGRESS TARGETED Sources in the Trinamool, which will skip the joint strategy meeting today of the Opposition for the winter session, said the party is looking to coordinate with others that are not in alliance with the Congress anywhere. The second largest party in Rajya Sabha and the fourth largest in Lok Sabha, TMC said it won’t align itself with Congress’s floor strategy meeting that the government was ready to discuss any issue brought by the Opposition. Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi sought the cooperation of all the parties in the smooth functioning of both the Houses, while sharing the brief details of the legislative business, P7 which includes 26 bills. FLYING HIGH Village children in Punjab share chopper ride with Channi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chandigarh A group of village children in Punjab’s Morinda got a pleasant surprise when they got to share a helicopter ride with Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Sunday The CM in. vited the children to fly with him in the government helicopter when he saw them playing near the chopper that had landed in the village when he had gone to Morinda in Rupnagar district. “During my visit to Morinda, saw children playing near the helicopter. When I was young, I used to see planes & think that one day I too would get a chance to sit in it. Reminiscing about the same, I made a few village children fly with me in helicopter & fulfilled their dream,” said Channi in a tweet. He also posted photographs of the children along with him in the helicopter. Ever since becoming CM, Channi has been trying to project himself as an “aam aadmi” (common man) during his public interactions in the pollbound state. From being spotted performing bhangra at an event, Channi has grabbed attention on social media for stopping his vehicle to wish a newly married couple and joining villagers in rescuing a cow trapped in a pit. On his tryst with the children, Channi said while interacting with them, he felt that there was no dearth of talent in Punjab but there was a need to give proper guidance to these children. “...I will do my best to create a bright future for them,” he said in another tweet. TOURISM NEAR LAC Work on toy train theme-based park in Arunachal to kick off soon RAJESH KUMAR THAKUR @ New Delhi THE Railway’s plan for developing a toy train theme-based park at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, is all set to take off. Work will start soon for the project that is expected to give a boost to tourism in the region close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. Located at an altitude of about 3,048 m and nearly 450 km from state capital Itanagar, Tawang is home to India’s larg- est Buddhist monastery . “Our soldiers posted in this district along the Inda-China border will also have an opportunity to indulge in recreational activities at the park with their family members. Facilities like food plaza, toy train and other recreational spots will be included in the park,” a senior railway official said. According to Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), the park would be developed at a loca- tion about 14 km towards the Bumla pass. “The Railway is developing (the project) jointly with the government of Arunachal Pradesh for strengthening tourism and recreation facilities for our brave soldiers,” the NFR said. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu had given his nod to the project at a meeting with NFR general manager Anshul Gupta in August. “A detailed estimate of ap- proximately `15.5 crore was submitted to the state government after receiving its in-principle approval. Contracts will be awarded after deposition of funds by the government,’’ an NFR spokesperson said. With a total track length of about 2500 m, the toy train will comprise of an engine and three coaches having a capacity of 12 passengers each. The track of toy train is to be built along the periphery of the picturesque Pankang Teng Tso Lake, famously known as PTSO Lake, which is ahead on a bumpy road on a peak sur- Seven places in N-E to get world-class rly stations Railways has shortlisted seven places — Naharlagun (Arunachal), Dimapur (Nagaland), Kamakhya (Assam), Imphal (Manipur), Sairang (Mizoram), Rangpo (Sikkim) and Agartala (Tripura) — in NFR zone to develop them as world-class railway stations. rounding Tawang town. Once the toy train comes in operation, it will be second of its kind in the eastern region of India after Darjeeling’s Himalayan Railway. The Tawang toy train project is one of the major projects of Indian Railways in Northeast India aimed at expanding the train footprint in the region. As part of its expansion plan, the national transporter has already shortlisted seven places in NFR zone to develop them as world-class railway stations.
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