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Chennai Hyderabad March 26 Highlights: Active cases in TN cross 10,000 as state records 1779 fresh cases, 11 deaths

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 March 26 Highlights: As of Thursday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 10,487. Till date, 5,27,343 males, 3,45,841 females and 35 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: March 29, 2021 8:48:08 am
Chennai, Chennai temple, covid-19A guard checks a woman's temperature at a temple in Chennai. Express Photo: Srinivas K

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 March 26 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 1779 positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state tally to 8,73,219. Among these, Chennai reported 664 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,43,954. The state recorded 11 deaths on Thursday, putting the state toll at 12,641. Ten of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 1027 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,50,091.

An Independent candidate from Madurai South constituency in Tamil Nadu is grabbing eyeballs for his extraordinary poll promises ahead of the state Assembly elections. Thulam Saravanan (Saravanan R as per the affidavit), who works as a reporter in a local daily, is contesting from Madurai South, where more than 13 candidates are in the fray. Saravanan, who is contesting on a dustbin symbol, has promised to provide a mini-helicopter, Rs 1 crore to every household, a robot for homemakers to do household work, and 100 sovereigns of gold for women when they get married.

Follow Chennai Hyderabad March 29, 30 Live Updates

Live Blog

Catch the latest news in Chennai and Hyderabad as we bring you live updates on Tamil Nadu Elections 2021, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19, lockdown 6.0 and phase 6 of the unlock across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and more through the day. Also read Karnataka Bengaluru news

18:27 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Reject ‘corrupt,’ ‘dynastic’ DMK, Congress combine: Nadda

In a poll salvo, BJP national president J P Nadda on Friday accused the DMK and its key ally, the Congress party of corruption and slammed them for following ‘dynasty politics.’

The top Saffron party leader, at his poll rally in Tittakudi appealed to the people to support the AIADMK-BJP alliance to take forward the development work initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The growth initiatives of Modi should go forward and the ‘dynastic’ politics of the DMK and Congress parties should be rejected, he said. Barring the BJP, a ‘development’ oriented party, all other political parties from Kashmir to Kerala and Gujarat to the North Eastern states have become family parties, he alleged.

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17:41 (IST)26 Mar 2021
AP govt gives nod for purchase of limousines for use by High Court judges

Judges of the Andhra Pradesh High Court will get a fleet of brand new limousines for their use as the state government has given its consent for the purchase of 20 Kia Carnival premium vehicles at a cost of Rs 6.30 crore. 

The state government late on Thursday night gave permission for the purchase of the limousines, each worth Rs 31.50 lakh, within hours after the High Court Registrar General writing a letter requesting that the former give consent and also allocate an additional budget of Rs 6.30 crore.

The AP High Court currently has 19 judges, including the Chief Justice and the Registrar General said the new limousines are for their use. Despite the severe funds crunch, the government decided to make an exemption in the case of the High Court and oblige the judges, with directions for file clearance coming directly from the Chief Minister's Office, bureaucratic sources said.

"Tens, if not hundreds, of crores of rupees of payments are stalled for want of money and there is a general ban on purchase of new vehicles. Even payments running into several crore rupees for Covid-19 management are also not paid for months," a top bureaucrat pointed out.

Legal and Legislative Affairs Department Secretary V Sunitha issued an order sanctioning the expenditure under the head 'Administration of Justice' and requested the High Court Registrar General to take further action in the matter. (PTI)

17:03 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Bookings for festival special trains to commence from tomorrow

Following an extension in services, the Southern Railway has announced that bookings for Festival Special trains operated by the Eastern Railway and Western Railway will commence from 8 am on Saturday.

    • Train No.02389: Gaya – Dr. MGR Chennai Central Festival Special leaving Gaya at 05.30 hrs on Sundays will be extended on April 4, 11, 18 and 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and June 6, 13, 20 and 27.
    • Train No.02390: Dr. MGR Chennai Central – Gaya Festival Special leaving Dr. MGR Chennai Central  at 09.15 hrs on Tuesdays will be April 6, 13, 20 and 27; May 4, 11, 18 and 25 and June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.
    • Train No. 09424: Gandhidham – Tirunelveli Festival Special Train leaving Gandhidham at 04.40 hrs on Mondays will be extended on May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and June 7, 14, 21 and 28.

    • Train No. 09423: Tirunelveli – Gandhidham Festival Special Train leaving Tirunelveli at 07.40 hrs on Thursdays will be extended on May 6, 13, 20 and 27; June 3, 10, 17 and 24 and July 1.

16:27 (IST)26 Mar 2021
WATCH : Singam Annamalai breaks into dance while campaigning
15:14 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Stalin has backtracked on promise on dynasty politics: Palaniswami

The debate over dynasty politics has taken the centre stage once again in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Over the years, the AIADMK has accused DMK of being a corporate company and not a political party that keeps projecting their own family members for a higher position in the party.

On Thursday, AIADMK’s chief ministerial candidate Edappadi K Palaniswami said even senior leaders in DMK have to “adjust” to a young heir in order to stick to their positions.

Saying that it was previously Karunanidhi and then his son Stalin and now it is Udhayanidhi, Palaniswami said the upcoming polls should put a full stop to dynasty politics.

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14:30 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Explained: Why DMK keeps facing questions over 2006-11 term

While the DMK is looking at a good chance of returning to power in Tamil Nadu, one apprehension constantly raised is the alleged violence and abuse of power under its regime in 2006-11.

DMK leaders were accused of widespread violence and land-grabbing. Among the most prominent leaders constantly in the news was Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s own elder son M K Alagiri. Besides him, Veerapandy S Arumugam in Salem and N K K P Raja in Erode were accused of running demarcated territories as fiefdoms in western Tamil Nadu.

Dozens of DMK leaders, including ministers and MLAs, were subsequently arrested after the AIADMK came to power in 2011. Among those held was former DMK mines and minerals minister K Ponmudy, who had got mining licences along with son and other relatives since 2007, for alleged role in quarrying of red sand without payment of fees. Ex-DMK ministers Veerapandi S Arumugam and Vellakovil Swaminathan were arrested on land grabbing charges, while another former minister I Periyasamy was arrested for illegal granite mining and KKSSR Ramachandran for his alleged role in covering up a murder during the DMK regime. Swaminathan was also arrested on charges of intimidation. Another DMK leader, K P P Samy, was held for the murder of a fisherman, while former DMK minister Pongalur Palaniswami’s son was arrested for land grabbing.

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14:04 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Telangana reports 518 fresh COVID-19 cases, three deaths

Telangana continued to witness an upward trend in COVID-19 cases with 518 new infections being reported on Thursday, a record high this year, taking the tally to 3,05,309, while the death toll rose to 1,683 with three more fatalities, the state government said on Friday.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 157, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts with 44 and 38 cases respectively, it said in a bulletin.

The bulletin said 204 patients recovered from the infection on March 25. The cumulative recovered cases stood at 2,99,631, while 3,995 were under treatment. The bulletin said 57,548 samples were tested on March 25. Cumulatively, the number of samples tested was 99,03,125. The samples tested per million population was 2,66,069, it said.

The recovery rate in the state was 98.14 per cent while the case fatality rate in the state was 0.55 per cent. (PTI)

13:12 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Chennai: As Covid-19 vaccination drive gains pace, Corporation warns against fake messages on social media

Even as Tamil Nadu is gearing up for the third phase of Covid-19 vaccination from April 1, where persons over the age of 45 can get inoculated, a series of messages being circulated on WhatsApp seem to be creating confusion among citizens in state capital, Chennai.

Currently, according to Central government regulations, the vaccine is being administered to frontline workers, senior citizens (those above 60 years of age) and those over 45 years with comorbidities.

However, several messages being shared on WhatsApp claim that the vaccine is now available for anyone over the age of 18. Following this, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) Tuesday tweeted that such messages are false and urged people to await their turn for vaccination.

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12:25 (IST)26 Mar 2021
235 fever clinics conducted in Chennai Thursday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) conducted 235 fever clinics in Chennai on Thursday. A total of 18,263 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 103 people who were identified with ILI symptoms, while others were provided with medication for minor ailments.

The most number of camps were held in Tondiarpet (Zone 9) where 38 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with three camps.

11:44 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Explained: What is Andhra govt’s VMRDA order on non-tribal mandals, and why are activists opposing it?

The Andhra Pradesh government has issued orders to expand the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Development Authority (VMRDA). The move to include 13 non-tribal mandals under the VMRDA has met with opposition from several organisations. They say including these villages would deprive the tribals of their constitutional rights.

The government issued an order on March 23 for inclusion of 13 non-tribal mandals covering 431 villages into (VMRDA). The government is of the opinion that Visakhapatnam city is expanding rapidly and the jurisdiction of VMRDA has to be expanded to include these 13 non-tribal mandals to provide better services. Out of 43 mandals in Visakhapatnam district, 11 mandals are tribal mandals. Of the remaining 32 non-tribal mandals, 19 were already in VMRDA.

As per the government, due to rapid urbanisation of Visakhapatnam city, a significant urban sprawl has been detected in the fringe areas of existing VMRDA limits towards western corridor of Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region. In order to reduce pressure on urban infrastructure of the city, and to ensure planned development in the fringe areas by curbing unauthorised constructions, the said 13 mandals have been brought into VMRDA. These mandals are said to be ‘contiguous in nature’, having the potential to develop as urban areas.

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11:07 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu cop stops biker on highway, the kind reason is winning the internet

It’s not unusual for commuters to be stopped by the police on busy roads but a Tamil Nadu biker was surprised when a traffic officer gave him the reason why he asked him to pull over, in a recent incident. It turns out that the officer’s ‘unexpected’ action was motivated by a Good Samaritan spirit as he wanted the biker to help an elderly woman who had dropped her medicine. A video that has gone viral captures how the medicine was returned to its owner.

‘Kindness costs nothing but means everything’ is the refrain that best describes the collective and chivalrous effort to help out a complete stranger and the act is winning wholesome praise on the internet. In the video shared by travel blogger and biker Arun Kumar Moolya, the officer is shown as asking him if he is from Karnataka. He then hands him a medicine bottle, saying that it was dropped by a woman passenger travelling ahead in a bus.

He requested Moolya, who is popularly known as ‘AnnyArun’ on the internet, to chase the government bus on the highway and return the bottle of medicine to her. He didn’t think twice. After driving for some time, he managed to spot the bus and urged the driver to pull over before handing the medicine to her. “Mission accomplished!” the biker is heard saying in the end.

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11:06 (IST)26 Mar 2021
AP CM inaugurates Kurnool airport, names it after freedom fighter Uyyalavada Narasimha Reddy.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday inaugurated the Kurnool Airport at Orvakallu and named it after the first freedom fighter from the region Uyyalavada Narasimha Reddy. 

This is the sixth civilian airport in the state after Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Vijayawada (all three international) and Rajamahendravaram and Kadapa (domestic), the Chief Minister said, addressing a public meeting on the occasion. "Kurnool will become the Judicial Capital of the state.This airport will be the pride of the city.This is a memorable day for the region," the Chief Minister said.

The airport has been categorised as '3C' and is capable of handling turboprop aircraft like ATR-72 and Bombardier Q-400. Developed on a 1,010 acre site at a cost of Rs 110 crore, the Kurnool airport has a 2000-metre runway with four aprons for parking of aircraft.     

"In the last one and a half years, we have constructed the passenger terminal building, air traffic control tower, VIP lounge and other infrastructure besides completing the runway. We have imported two fire tenders from Austria for the airport," Jagan said.

Commercial flights from Kurnool to Visakhapatnam, Bengaluru and Chennai would commence from March 28, he added. The Chief Minister released a special postal stamp with the Kurnool airport picture, to mark the inauguration. (PTI)

10:58 (IST)26 Mar 2021
AIADMK cadre has no faith in EPS-OPS; Sasikala victim of Dhinkaran’s conspiracy: Thanga Tamilselvan

Thanga Tamilselvan, a former Rajya Sabha MP and three-time MLA, is contesting the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections against Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, from Bodinayakkanur constituency in the Theni district.

Tamilsevan was earlier in the AIADMK, where Pannerselvam was his arch-rival. He then moved to AMMK, and is now a DMK candidate. His last electoral battle was in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where he lost to P Raveendranath, the son of O Panneerselvam.

Tamilsevan contested his first election in 2001. Following AIADMK chief and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death, he sided with AIADMK’s rebel faction Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). After a public fallout with the party’s leader TTV Dhinakaran, Tamilselvan sought refuge in the DMK camp in 2019.

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10:40 (IST)26 Mar 2021
HC rejects plea to close state-run liquor shops till April 6

The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to close all TASMAC liquor shops till April 6, when Assembly elections will be held in the state, to enable voters choose the right candidate without the influence of alcohol.

The petitioner and similar minded persons can very well abstain themselves from consuming intoxicant materials to take the right decision, the first bench of the court said while dismissing the plea of advocate AP Sooriyaprakasam of Royapettah in Chennai.

A blanket direction cannot be issued in this regard, the bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said. (PTI)

10:21 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Lankan Navy arrests 54 Indian fishermen

The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 54 Indian fishermen and detained five of their boats for allegedly fishing in that country's waters, officials in Rameswaram said on Thursday.

The fishermen, hailing from Rameswaram and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal, an enclave of neighbouring Puducherry, were picked up from near Neduntheevu on Wednesday night by the Lankan navy, officials from Fisheries and police departments said.

They have been taken to different locaations in Sri Lanka for further probe and are likely to be handed over to authorities to be isolated along with the detained boats, officials added.

Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha MP K Nawas Kani took up the matter with the Centre. 

Fishermen association representatives expressed concern over such repeated instances of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu being arrested by the Lankan navy and urged the Centre and state government to ensure their early release. They threatened to shun fishing operations indefinitely if the fishermen were not released at the earliest and also warned of boycotting the April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. (PTI)

09:50 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Helicopter, robot, trip to moon: Tamil Nadu candidate’s poll promises go viral

An Independent candidate from Madurai South constituency in Tamil Nadu is grabbing eyeballs for his extraordinary poll promises ahead of the state Assembly elections.

Thulam Saravanan (Saravanan R as per the affidavit), who works as a reporter in a local daily, is contesting from Madurai South, where more than 13 candidates are in the fray. Saravanan, who is contesting on a dustbin symbol, has promised to provide a mini-helicopter, Rs 1 crore to every household, a robot for homemakers to do household work, and 100 sovereigns of gold for women when they get married.

Not only this, Saravanan has also promised to provide Rs 1 crore to youth who wish to start a business, a car worth Rs 20 lakh for every household, Rs 10 lakh per month for differently abled people, a 100-day trip to the moon, a 300-foot artificial iceberg to keep the residents of the constituency cool, a space research centre and a rocket launch pad.

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09:28 (IST)26 Mar 2021
MTC buses get auto-retractable rails to avert accidents

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Chennai, has come up with a technique that might prevent people from slipping from the footboards of buses and getting run over subsequently.

The corporation has fixed auto-retractable rails on the sides of some of the buses. The rails will lower themselves automatically when the busses pass over a speed breaker on the road.

Despite multiple actions and fines, people, especially school and college students, are often seen traveling on the footboards. Unfortunately, they slip and are run over by the rear wheels of the buses. To avert such accidents, these rails will push them outside and prevent them from getting stuck under the wheels.

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09:13 (IST)26 Mar 2021
235 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities today

A total of 253 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 117 arrivals and 118 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

08:59 (IST)26 Mar 2021
TN reports 1779 fresh cases, 11 deaths

Tamil Nadu recorded 1779 positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state tally to 8,73,219. Among these, Chennai reported 664 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,43,954. The state recorded 11 deaths on Thursday, putting the state toll at 12,641. Ten of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 1027 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,50,091.

As of Thursday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 10,487. Till date, 5,27,343 males, 3,45,841 females and 35 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.

According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,90,92,221 samples from the state have been tested till date, with 80,761 samples having been sent yesterday. There are 259 COVID-19 testing facilities in the state, out of which 69 are government and 190 are private facilities.

08:49 (IST)26 Mar 2021
Welcome to today's live blog

Good morning!
Welcome to the live blog from Chennai and Hyderabad where we bring to you the latest updates on Tamil Nadu elections 2021, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, UK COVID-19 virus in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and more across Chennai and Hyderabad throughout the day. Follow the blog to stay up to date with the states in real time.

Thanga Tamilselvan, O Pannerselvam, Bodinaykkanur constituency, tamil nadu assembly elections, sasikala tamil nadu polls, dhinakaran tamil nadu polls, indian express Thanga Tamilselvan ironing clothes as part of campaigning for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. (Express photo)

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), Chennai, has come up with a technique that might prevent people from slipping from the footboards of buses and getting run over subsequently. The corporation has fixed auto-retractable rails on the sides of some of the buses. The rails will lower themselves automatically when the busses pass over a speed breaker on the road.

READ | MTC buses get auto-retractable rails to avert accidents

Thanga Tamilselvan, a former Rajya Sabha MP and three-time MLA, is contesting the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections against Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, from Bodinayakkanur constituency in the Theni district. Tamilsevan was earlier in the AIADMK, where Pannerselvam was his arch-rival. He then moved to AMMK, and is now a DMK candidate. His last electoral battle was in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, where he lost to P Raveendranath, the son of O Panneerselvam.

READ | AIADMK cadre has no faith in EPS-OPS; Sasikala victim of Dhinkaran’s conspiracy: Thanga Tamilselvan

For assistance on COVID-19-related queries and mental health support in Chennai, citizens can contact the Greater Chennai Corporation's (GCC) COVID-19 helpline 044 46122300 | Citizens can find the nearest GCC-facilitated COVID-19 fever clinic here | For lodging rain-related complaints and assistance during the monsoon, citizens can contact the GCC's monsoon helplines 044 25384530 or 044 25384540 or the control room 1913 (available 24x7)

Chennai Hyderabad March 24, 25 Highlights

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