YK MYK HOW MODI GOVT POLICIES MADE AIR TRAVEL MORE COSTLY OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA FRIDAY, 7 MAY, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—7, ISSUE—348 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) COVID AID RECEIVED FROM ABROAD GIVEN TO STATES/UTS NATION Morning India Union Minster's convoy attacked in West Midnapore Curbs on transport inconvenience Bengal commuters Nadda condemns attack BJP president JP Nadda on Thursday condemned the attack on Union Minister V Muraleedharan's convoy in Bengal and claimed that "TMC-sponsored" violence was in full swing in the State after the Assembly poll results were declared. Condemning the attack, Nadda alleged that law and order has completely collapsed in Bengal. "If an Union minister can be attacked then what would be the condition of a common man?" he posed. "TMC-sponsored violence is in full swing in Bengal after Assembly elections in the state," the BJP president alleged. He also claimed, "Murderous attacks on BJP workers, rapes happening in West Bengal and people in thousands are fleeing to save lives." MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: In a shocking incident, the convoy of Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan was attacked by a group of unidentified miscreants at Panchkhuri area in West Midnapore district on Thursday afternoon. The BJP alleged that the attack was the handiwork of TMC goons but it was strongly refuted by the TMC leadership alleging that the BJP leadership is provoking people to resort to violence. The incident took place when Muraleedharan accompanied by the BJP State leader Rahul Sinha was going to Ghatal in East Midnapore to meet some of the BJP supporters who were injured in the attack allegedly by TMC goons. When his convoy was at Panchkhuri which falls under West Midnapore, suddenly there was brick batting on his vehicle and people came with sticks and other things and stopped his vehicle. He posted a video on Twitter and wrote, "TMC goons attacked my convoy in West Midnapore, broke windows, attacked personal staff. Cutting short my trip." Later speaking to the reporters, the Union Minister said, "The attack was orchestrated by TMC workers. He said that the incident took place in the presence of police, adding that the Mamata Banerjee Government has turned a blind eye. I shall give my report to the Central Government". The Ministry of Home Affairs asked Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to send a report on the lawand-order situation in the State, sources in the Government said. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the ruling Trinamool Congress is responsible for this. "The Trinamool violence has crossed all limits. So far 14 BJP workers have been killed and lakhs of people have left their homes. This cannot be democracy". The Trinamool Congress leadership has strongly refuted the allegation. TMC district secretary of West Midnapore Ajit Maity claimed that nothing had happened and BJP was trying to create sensation. Speaking to the media, veteran Trinamool leader Sougata Roy said, "Muraleedharan is a person from Kerala. What was he doing in Bengal? They are now defeated and so they are trying to create disturbance in different areas. The BJP has won in most of the places where there are disturbances. I ask them to go back. We will take care of the law-and-order situation". SC: Need to prepare for third Covid wave, revamp oxygen formula 65% MORE WHEAT PROCURED IN RABI SEASON THAN LAST YEAR NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to spell out its plan to deal with a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as it held that the Centre's formula to distribute oxygen to state governments, particularly the national capital, was "a gross underestimate". A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah said: "The third surge which is MAX 34 C around the corner, accordMIN 24 C ing to experts, will affect children. What is the problem in enhancing the supply? It will save from oxygen panic and Rainfall may occur. create a buffer." The top court told the Centre, which c l a i m e d though it supplied 730 MT oxygen on We d n e s d a y, TOTAL CASES: 2,12,42,580 that this much oxygen was TOTAL DEATH: 2,31,419 not required in Delhi. However, it TOTAL CASES: 155,962,448 also emphasised need for TOTAL DEATH: 3,258,558 a speedy vac- NEW DELHI: The Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said on Tuesday that about 65 per cent more wheat has been procured during current Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) as compared to the corresponding period of last year, adding that over 299.16 LMT of wheat has been procured at MSP so far by the central procuring agencies, benefiting 29.46 lakh farmers. Procurement of wheat in the ongoing RMS 2021-22 is continuing smoothly in the procuring states of Punjab, Haryana, UP, MP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, J&K and Bihar at MSP, as was done in the previous seasons, the ministry said. Till May 3, over 299.16 LMT of wheat has been procured as against 181.37 LMT procured during the corresponding period of the previous year. WEATHER TODAY CORONA METER INDIA WORLD c i n a t i o n process, and suggested forming a committee of experts for oxygen audit as sought by the Union government. Earlier, during the hearing, the top court observed that Centre's oxygen formula requires complete revamp. If preparations are made right away, we may be able to tackle the third wave for which scientific planning to vaccinate persons would be needed, it said. Elaborating on the third wave, the top court observed that when a child goes to hospital, the mother and father will also have to go. "That is why vaccination will have to be over for this group of people. We need to plan for this in a scientific way and thus make arrangement," it said. The Centre informed the top court that oxygen supplies may dip to 560 MT in the next two days. But the top court said that supplying 700 MT daily will help Delhi build buffer stock and panic will not be there among people. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted that the government must have a solution thereby, to have a minimum fault-prone formula. "We are not saying that formula is cast in stone. We will revisit the formula," he added. Justice Chandrachud told Mehta that important points were missed by the Centre's committee, which they, as judges, came across. "We need to deal with it. I'm not saying it's the Centre's fault. I am saying that we need to deal with the third surge in a scientifically planned manner," he noted. Sealdah Station wears a near deserted look on the first day of suspension of local train services in view of the surge in Covid-19 cases in Kolkata on Thursday MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Commuters braved the scorching sun in serpentine queues at bus stands in several places of Bengal Thursday morning as new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 took effect, including halving the number of State Transport buses and suspending local train services. Overcrowded buses were seen in different parts of the city and neighbouring districts of North and South 24 Parganas during the morning rush hour. "I stay at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas, and I travel to my office in Kolkata by local train. But today, I had to take the risk of boarding a jam-packed bus amid this raging pandemic," said Manoj Ghosh. Several passengers said they had to shell out hefty sums in search of alternatives like shuttle cabs and private taxis. A commuter from Madhyamgram in North 24 Parganas said he had to pay Rs 100 for a shared cab, a journey which usually costs him Rs 10 in a suburban train. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, following a highlevel meeting with top officials on Wednesday, had said Metro rail and State Transport services will be curtailed by 50 per cent and local train operations sus- MHA asks Governor for report on Bengal law and order situation report but has not yet received it, the officials said. The Governor has been asked to assess the situation and submit his report to the ministry at the earliest. The ministry has formed a four-member team, headed by an additional secretary ranked officer, to investigate the post-poll violence. The BJP claims six of its workers were killed by TMC supporters, a charge denied by the Mamata Banerjee-led Government. MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The Union Home Ministry has asked Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar to give a report on the law and order situation in the State, particularly the violence that took place following the election results last weekend, officials said on Thursday. The Home Ministry had earlier asked the State Government to submit a RIMS gets 528 new Covid beds PATENT WAIVER IN WTO Mfg, timely availability of affordable COVID vaccines to get boost, says Govt NEW DELHI: India on Thursday said temporary waiver of certain provisions of intellectual property rights under a WTO agreement would be an important step to enable scaling up of manufacturing and timely availability of affordable COVID19 vaccines and essential medical products. In view of the COVID-19 crisis, India and South Africa had on October 2 last year proposed in WTO a relaxation in norms of the TRIPS agreement to ensure quick and affordable access to vaccines and medicines for developing countries. India welcomed the US government''s support for this initiative. "We are hopeful that with a consensus based approach, the waiver can be approved quickly at the WTO. The waiver is an important step for enabling rapid scaling up of manufacture and timely availability of affordable Covid-19 vaccines and essential medical products," the commerce and industry ministry said in a statement. The proposal has received support of more than 120 countries. "We welcome the US government supporting this initiative and joining 120 other countries working towards affordable COVID-19 vac- cines," Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted. The statement also said during his phone call with US President Joe Biden on April 26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed him about India''s initiative at the WTO which was aimed at the benefit of humanity. The Biden administration has backed the initiative by India and South Africa at the WTO to temporarily waive patent rules on COVID-19 vaccines, seen as a breakthrough in the global fight against the deadly pandemic by potentially expanding the supply of the vaccines and more affordable doses for less wealthy nations. Announcing the major policy decision after intense internal debate and strong pushback from American drugmakers, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Wednesday said that this is a global health crisis and the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic call for extraordinary measures. In October 2020, India and South Africa submitted a proposal suggesting a waiver for all WTO (World Trade Organization) members on the implementation, application and enforcement of certain provisions of the TRIPS. pended, from Thursday, as part of fresh measures to combat the rampaging second wave of COVID-19. Suburban trains, considered the lifeline for millions in Bengal, had resumed services on November 11 last year after more than seven months, owing to COVID-19 restrictions. Bengal on Wednesday registered its highest single-day spike of 18,102 COVID-19 cases and 103 deaths. (Above) The newly opened ward dedicated to house Covid-19 patients at RIMS on Thursday; CM Hemant Soren during inauguration through VC. SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: Chief Minister (CM) Hemant Soren on Thursday launched the much-awaited 528-bed temporary Covid facilities at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) online. The RIMS has set up 327 oxygen-supported beds in its multi-level parking space, 73 ICU beds in the Oncology department and 128 oxygen supported beds in its old building. Speaking on the occasion, the CM opined that the temporary facility would be beneficial for the Covid patients. He added that the health department and the RIMS officials' efforts have led to the achievement of the challenging task in 12 days. The CM said that the infected persons would get all facilities in the hospitals, including round the clock doctors, nurses and ward boys. A help desk has also been created for the convenience of the patients, he said. The CM informed that the state government was preparing plans for the medical colleges located in Ranchi, Dhanbad and Jamshedpur where a large number of infected patients are coming. These institutions are being provided more resources to handle the patient load. The CM stated that many patients are requiring oxygen support in the second Covid wave, adding steps have been taken to increase the number of oxygen supported beds and ventilators. He said that oxygen supported beds have been set up at the Ranchi district hospital and also the Risaldar. 22 engineers died of Covid, over 500 infected: Bihar Association PATNA : The second wave of coronavirus is not only taking lives of frontline warriors but several other key government officials as well, with the Bihar Engineering Service Association (BESA) claiming 22 engineers of different departments died while over 500 others are infected across the state. BESA General Secretary, Dr Sunil Kumar Chaudhary, said that the majority of infected persons are battling for their lives in home isolation or in hospitals. "As per our report, three engineers of the Road Construction Department, four from the Water Resource Department, one from the Micro Water Resource Department, two from the Building Construction Department, one from the Public Health Engineering Department, one from the Rural Development Department and 10 more engineers from other departments lost the battle of life in second wave of corona," he said. "The deaths of engineers are continuously taking place in Bihar. Despite that, several departments are forcing engineers to stay at work.