YK MYK RAVEENA TANDON, SANJAY DUTT OPEN UP KGF: CHAPTER 2 TEASER RESPONSE SCREEN & CINEMA Rs. 3 KOLKATA TUESDAY, 12 JAN, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—236 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 16 C Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE 96 NOW HAVE NEW UK MUTANT STRAIN NEW DELHI : The central government on Monday said that a total of 96 persons have been detected with the new 'more transmissible' UK coronavirus mutant strain. They are kept in physical isolation in health facilities. "The total number of persons found infected with the mutant UK strain of COVID-19 is 96," the Union Health Ministry said in a statement. According the Health Ministry, all persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. "Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on," the ministry said. Since last Friday, flights from UK have been landing in Delhi amid concerns about the mutant strain that emerged in Britain. The flights from UK resumed after the government suspended services between on December 23. On December 29, a total of six UK returnees were found to be positive with the new variant genome. These were the first cases to be reported by the country that has the second highest number of cases after the United States. The tracing and testing was initiated after UK government announced that a newly identified strain of the virus was found in their population which is up to 70 per cent more transmissible. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 10,467,431 TOTAL DEATH: 151,198 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 90,781,538 TOTAL DEATH: 1,944,894 PANT, INDIA'S X-FACTOR, REDISCOVERS SELF WITH COUNTER-ATTACKING 97 SPORTS Morning India SC pulls up Centre, says extremely disappointed NEW DELHI : The Supreme Court Monday pulled up the Centre for its handling of the farmers protest against the new farm laws saying it is extremely disappointed with the way negotiations between them were going and it will constitute a committee headed by a former Chief Justice of India to resolve the impasse. Indicating amply that it may go to the extent of staying the implementation of the contentious farm laws, the apex court refused to grant extra time to the Centre to explore the possibility of amicable solution saying it has already granted the government a long rope. 'We have given you long rope, Mr Attorney General, please don't lecture us on patience,' a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasu bramanian, that the top court has made ?harsh observations regarding handling of the situation by the government. That was the most innocuous factual thing for us to say, the bench said The apex court, which said it will pass orders on the issue concerning farm laws and farmers' protest in part in the matter, asked the parties to suggest two-three names of former CJIs including former CJI R M Lodha who can head the apex court-appointed panel At the outset, the bench said, "What is going on? States are rebelling against your laws"We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process, it said, adding, We don't want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process. The apex court, which was hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, said it is not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment This is a very delicate situation, the bench said, adding, There is not a single petition before us which says that these farm laws are beneficial. We are not experts on economy; you tell us whether government is going to put on hold farm laws or we will do this, the bench said. We are sorry to say that Centre has not been able to solve the problem and the farmers agitation. Attorney General K K 'Don't lecture us on patience..' NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday appeared determined on staying the implementation of the three farm laws, and during the hearing, made many critical observations on Centre's inability to settle the issue through negotiations with protesting farmers staying put at various Delhi borders. Here are five of the CJI's other critical observations during the hearing. 1."We don't know whether you are part of the solution or the problem. There is not a single petition filed here which says the laws are beneficial." 2. "All of us have a heavy responsibility to ensure things don't go wrong. We don't want blood of any one on our hands." 3. "Sorry to say, we are because you, as the Union of India, did not take responsibility. You were not able to solve the problem... You should have been able to solve the strike, but you did not." 4. "Right to protest is intact. Right to protest should be exercised like Mahatma Gandhi's Satyagraha. Do it peacefully." 5. "... we are disappointed in the way you're handling this situation. States are up in rebellion against you." Venugopal argued that a law cannot be stayed unless the court finds it violates fundamental rights or constitutional schemes Our intention is to see whether we can find an amicable solution to all this. That is why we had asked you (Centre) whether you are willing to keep these laws on hold for sometime. But you wanted to buy time,? the bench observed, adding, ?We don't know whether you are part of the solution or part of the problem?. The apex court, which said the matter is getting worse and people are committing suicides, reiterated the need for having a committee comprising representatives from the government . and farmer organisations from over the country and said it will stop the implementation of these laws if the panel advises to do so. Made in India vaccines most cost effective in world, says PM Modi ‘States not to bear cost of vaccination’ Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and minister Sujit Basu inaugurated Fire station at Ganga Sagar and Cossipore, Kolkata on Monday. Prabir Bhattacharya TMC is rubbing soap, and BJP is the sun light: Mamata KOLKATA/RANAGHAT: When the assembly election is on the doorstep, it is as if the political leaders of the state are in frenzy. And the main part of that change is from grass flower to lotus flower. Shuvendu Adhikari has changed the camp by holding the hand of Union Home Minister Amit Shah after keeping the speculation alive for a long time. The former Trinamool minister is now the BJP's 'poster boy'. Why only Shuvendu? Shilbhadra Dutt and many leaders and workers from Sunil Mandal have left the party. There is even speculation about 'dissonant' Rajiv Banerjee. In such a situation, Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee slammed the leaders and workers who left the party from the meeting in Ranaghat on Monday. "The BJP is a washing machine. If you go to the grassroots (TMC), it is black. And if you go to the BJP, everyone is fine. If you go to the grassroots, the rubbish is the soap. And if you go to the BJP, it is sunlight," she said at a meeting in Habibpur. Incidentally, dissatisfaction has also taken root among some sections of the BJP over the inclusion of TMC leaders and workers in their party against whom the BJP is fighting. Para teachers took part in a protest rally, agitated and blocked the road against the State Government in Kolkata on Monday. NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday emphasised that India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19, as the country prepares for the Made in India vaccination drive from January 16. Making the closing remarks at the meeting with the Chief Ministers on Covid vaccine roll-out, the Prime Minister said that the public representatives are not in the priority list and the first round of vaccines will be given to the frontline workers. He also said that the state governments will not have to pay for the first round of Covid vaccines as the Centre will bear the cost. "We have to continue creating public awarreness, but the maximum awarreness is required after the second and third round when we complete three crore vaccinations," Modisaid. "Public representatives are not in the priority list. Only the frontline and healthcare workers are on the list. The fight against coronavirus is an example of India's federalism," the Prime MInister said. "India is entering into a decisive battle against Covid-19 and we should not let our guard down now. We are going to start the vaccination drive from January 16. It is a matter of pride for us that the two approved vaccines for Covid19 are both Made in India," Modi said. The Prime NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday said that state governments will not have to bear the expenses of COVID-19 vaccination of three health and frontline workers in the first stage. Speaking at an interaction with chief ministers on vaccination rollout, PM Modi said the country is about to enter a very decisive phase of the fight against COVID-19. The vaccination drive will be rolled out from January 16. "The country is about to enter a very deceive phase of the fight against the COVID-19, which is the phase of vaccination. It is a matter of pride for us that two vaccines that have been provided emergency use authorization are made in India. Not only that, four more vaccines are in progress," he said. The Prime Minister noted that India's vast experience with vaccination will prove handy in this endeavour. He said that the priority of vaccination has been decided as per the advice of the experts and scientific community after consultation with the states, and health workers, from both government and private sector, will be the first ones to receive thevaccine. MInister said that both the Indian vaccines are more cost effective than any other vaccine in the world. "Apart from the two already approved vaccines, four others are in the pipeline. It will help us plan for the future in a better way. Pune firm gears up to transport Covid-19 vaccines PUNE (MAHARASHTRA) : As India is all set to start the massive inoculation drive against the COVID-19 outbreak, the Pune-based logistic firm Kool-ex Cold Chain is prepared to transport the vaccine vials from Serum Institute of India to other parts of the country. Speaking to ANI, Kool-Ex Managing Director Rahul Agarwal said, "Preparations began a month ago, now we are ready. We have been asked to prepare for vaccine transportation anywhere in India. We have 300-350 vehicles and a back up of 500-600 more. As soon as we get orders, we can start loading vaccine from consigner in 3-4 hours." Logistics is a major challenge for the vaccine vials which are required to be kept under measured temperature. Plus, in this unprecedented situation when a potential vaccine against the global pandemic attracting the key attention, its security remains a mat- ter of concern. "We have been doing this for over 12 years. Our trucks are laced with tem- perature control feature ranging from -25 degrees to +25 degrees Celsius. Every truck is tech-enabled. Various state governments have given security cover for trucks with police escort till the destination," Kunal Agarwal, a director at the company. The COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country will start on January 16. The decision was taken at a meeting on Saturday in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed the status of COVID-19 in the country and the preparedness of states and union territories for vaccination against the disease. Earlier in the month, the Drugs Controller General of India had granted emergency use approval for Serum Institute of India for 'Covishield' vaccine which has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford for COVID-19. Work on Varanasi-Delhi bullet train project gains momentum NEW DELHI : Over three years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of India's first 508-km Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail corridor, the work on the second such rail corridor in the country -- on the Delhi-Varanasi route -has gained momentum. An aerial LiDAR survey of the 800-km Delhi-Varanasi High-Speed Rail (DVHSR) corridor has now been undertaken by the Railways as part of the project to connect Modi's parliamentary constituency with the national capital through the bullet train. On Sunday, the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) launched the LiDAR survey for the Delhi-Varanasi route from Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida, wherein a helicopter fitted with state-of-the-art aerial LiDAR and imagery sensors will capture data related to the ground survey along the proposed route. NHSRCL spokesperson Sushma Gaur said that the light detection and ranging survey (LiDAR) technology helps gather all ground details and data in three to four months as against normal time period of 10-12 months through the traditional method. She said that the ground survey is a crucial activity for any linear infrastructure project as it provides accu- rate details of the geographical areas around the proposed railroad alignment. "This technique uses a combination of laser and GPS data, flight parameters and actual photographs to give an accurate survey data," she said. Gaur said that the LiDAR survey will capture data of 300 metres (150 metres on either side) of the proposed railroad alignment area. Thereafter, threedimensional (3D) topographical map of 50-metre corridor on either side of the proposed alignment on a scale of 1:2500 will be made available to design vertical and horizontal alignments, structures, location of stations and depots, land requirement for corridor, and identification of project-affected plots/structures, and right of way etc. The NHSRCL official said that as per nine standard benchmarks set by the Survey of India in this field, 86 master and 350 secondary control points have been established. These coordinates are used to fly the chopper on the DelhiVaranasi HSR corridor route. "To provide clear pictures of structures, trees and other minute ground details, 60 megapixel cameras have been used in the LiDAR survey," she said, adding that the NHSRCL has been entrusted to prepare the Detailed Project Reports for seven high-speed rail corridors. Gaur said that the first draft of the DPR for the DVHSR corridor was submitted to the Railway Ministry on October 29, 2020. The corridor aims to connect the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi with Mathura, Agra, Etawah, Lucknow, Raebareli, Prayagraj, Bhadohi, Varanasi, and Ayodhya. The HSR route also pro- poses to connect the upcoming international airport at Jewar in Gautam Buddha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. On September 14, 2017, Modi along with then Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation stone of the MAHSR corridor, popularly known as the 'bullet train' project. On February 15, 2019, Modi had flagged off an indigenous 'Train 18', which was rechristened 'Vande Bharat Express' between Delhi and Varanasi, capable of running at 180 kmph.