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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chennai Hyderabad March 19 Highlights: Active cases cross 6000 as TN reports 989 fresh cases, including 394 from Chennai

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 March 19 Highlights: As of Thursday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 6222. Till date, 5,21,520 males, 3,41,808 females and 35 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: March 20, 2021 10:34:45 am
Chennai, COVID-19 Test, Coronavirus TestA corporation official checks the temperature of a resident in Chennai. Express Photo: Srinivas K

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 March 19 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 989 positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state tally to 8,63,363. Among these, Chennai reported 394 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,40,245. The state recorded nine deaths on Thursday, putting the state toll at 12,573. All nine of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 569 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,44,568.

Ahead of the Assembly elections, two announcements in the last leg by the AIADMK government seem to be paying off for it: a decision to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh taken by women’s self-help groups from cooperative banks, unions; and loans taken against jewels up to six sovereigns from agriculture cooperative institutions by farmers. The waivers have been welcomed by farmers in the Cauvery delta region, hit hard by storms, and the Covid lockdown that derailed food supply chains and markets. The state government claims Rs 12,110 crore worth of loans have already been waived, with around 16 lakh farmers benefiting.

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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

18:30 (IST)19 Mar 2021
All India NR Congress announces candidates for Puducherry polls

The All India NR Congress has released its list of candidates for the Puducherry Assembly polls on April 6. The party will be contesting from 16 constituencies.

17:53 (IST)19 Mar 2021
TISS NET 2021 result to be announced on March 25

TISS NET 2021 result to be declared on March 25. The result for the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) National Entrance Test (NET) 2021 was initially scheduled to release on March 19, however, it has been postponed, as per the official notification on the official website.

The candidates who appeared in the exam can check the result through the official website- tiss.edu.

The selection process consists of passing the TISS national entrance test (TISS-NET) exam followed by the programme aptitude test (TISS-PAT) along with online personal interview (OPI). The qualified candidates will be eligible for admission to TISS campuses including Tuljapur (Maharashtra), Guwahati (Assam), Hyderabad (Telangana), and centre in Chennai (Tamil Nadu).

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17:31 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Haasan releases MNM manifesto, assures income for women by developing their skills, says ‘no’ to doles

Makkal Needhi Maiam chief and actor Kamal Haasan unveiled his party’s manifesto here on Friday and promised income for housewives by honing their skills.

By initiatives like skill development, women could earn as much as Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month and “that is what we call payment to housewives and not doles to them.”

Haasan was the first to promise what he called in December last ‘payment’ to homemakers for their work. 

Outlining his party’s manifesto, Haasan said facilitation is proposed to be made for homemakers to get suitable opportunities to earn and it does not mean doles from government treasury.

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16:26 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu elections: Last-minute loan waivers may help ADMK, stall Opposition

Ahead of the Assembly elections, two announcements in the last leg by the AIADMK government seem to be paying off for it: a decision to waive loans up to Rs 2 lakh taken by women’s self-help groups from cooperative banks, unions; and loans taken against jewels up to six sovereigns from agriculture cooperative institutions by farmers.

The waivers have been welcomed by farmers in the Cauvery delta region, hit hard by storms, and the Covid lockdown that derailed food supply chains and markets. The state government claims Rs 12,110 crore worth of loans have already been waived, with around 16 lakh farmers benefiting.

G Ajithan, general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Banana Growers’ Federation, who took a Rs 1 lakh loan, says, “There are many farmers who haven’t been able to repay loans for months and the interest was mounting. The loan waiver will definitely fetch the AIADMK votes.”

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15:44 (IST)19 Mar 2021
2 deaths, 313 new COVID-19 cases reported in Telangana

Telangana continued to witness an upward trend in COVID-19 cases with 313 new infections being reported on Thursday, pushing the tally to 3,02,360 while the death toll rose to 1,664 with two more fatalities.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 47 followed by Rangareddy and Nirmal districts with 29 and 25 respectively, a bulletin said.

The bulletin said 142 patients recovered from the infection on March 18. The cumulative recovered cases stood at 2,98,262, while 2,434 were under treatment. The bulletin said 62,972 samples were tested on March 18. Cumulatively, the number of samples tested was 94,82,649. The samples tested per million population were 2,54,772, it said. 

The recovery rate in the state was 98.64 per cent while the case fatality rate in the state was 0.55 per cent.

Meanwhile, an official release said vaccine wastage in the state was 1.22 per cent. It said the doses issued as per eVIN portal were 9,52,550. It mentioned 40,540 as less doses issued to armed forces and 25,680 under less buffer doses with CVCs for
advance scheduling. The net vaccine consumed was 8,86,330. The doses administered as per government's Cowin website were 8,75,478 and the vaccine wastage was 1.22 per cent, the release said. (PTI)

14:22 (IST)19 Mar 2021
IT dept seizes over Rs 16-crore dubious cash after raids in TN

The Income Tax Department has seized “unaccounted” cash of over Rs 16 crore and detected black income of about Rs 80 crore after it raided multiple entities in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the CBDT said on Friday.

It said the action was part of an election surveillance being carried out by the department for the ensuing assembly elections in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

The searches were carried out on March 16 and 17 in Chennai, Tiruppur and Dharapuram. 

“Five premises belong to five entities, who, in addition to their regular business, are also acting as cash handlers. The action resulted in a cash seizure of Rs 5.32 crore,” the Board said in a statement.

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13:44 (IST)19 Mar 2021
DGP-rank IPS officer in TN facing sexual harassment probe suspended

A former special DGP level official, charged with sexually harassing a woman subordinate officer, has been placed under suspension, days after the Madras High Court made a recommendation in this connection, official sources said on Friday. He was suspended by the government in concurrence with the Election Commission and the order to this effect was issued late on Thursday, they said.

The officer, against whom the Madras High Court has taken up a case on its own, besides monitoring the probe by the Crime Branch-CID (CB-CID), had been earlier placed under 'compulsory wait'. The CB-CID had registered an FIR against the former Special DGP over sexual harassment allegations, levelled by a subordinate woman IPS officer.

The Election Commission had earlier ordered the suspension of a then Superintendent of Police, whose name also figures in the FIR. He allegedly prevented the woman officer from proceeding to the city to file a complaint against her senior. Earlier, the State government had also constituted an Internal Complaints Committee, days after the woman filed the complaint accusing the top IPS officer of sexual harassment when they were deputed on duty during a recent tour of the Chief Minister.

The Madras High Court, which is monitoring the probe, had strongly recommended to the State government to suspend the official, saying such a move "will bring in more confidence in the perception of the general public that the issue has been taken up with all seriousness and the investigation will progress in a free and fair manner." Initiation of disciplinary proceedings such as suspension from service must be done to ensure that the delinquent officer does not misuse his official position and the investigation can be carried out in a free and fair manner, the court had said. (PTI)

13:06 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu polls: Meet Preethi Parkavi, the election officer who wants to bring change among voters

With less than three weeks to the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, an election officer is going the distance to make sure people turn up at polling booths to cast their votes. Preethi Parkavi, Tiruvallur Revenue District Officer (RDO) and the officer of the election in Poonamalle constituency, is doing her best to achieve 100 per cent voter turnout.

A few weeks ago, she visited the Adhigathur village in Tiruvallur taluk and helped the Irula, Narikurava and Arunthathiyar communities get voter IDs in a span of 10-12 days. Along with her team, Preethi set up a camp to register around a 100 people who had never voted before.

“I came to know of their plight when they submitted a petition seeking a Patta two months ago. They were residing in a poromboke land, and when I interacted with them I learned they don’t have any government ID cards, like a ration or Aadhaar card. So, I visited the area with an E-Seva operator and issued the necessary documents. After that, I thought why can’t we issue them a voter ID as well, because with Aadhaar and ration, you can apply for it. When I asked them, I was shocked to know that none from their community had exercised their right to vote. They thought they needed to submit several documents, pay money to the government and pass many procedures to attain a voter’s ID. They even had apprehensions whether authorities in polling booths would allow them to vote,” Preethi said.

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12:48 (IST)19 Mar 2021
‘Wanted real destruction’: Maker of spice bombs used in Balakot air strike

Around 25 km away from Hyderabad, a private manufacturer of advanced weapons systems has been operational since August 2017. On Tuesday, it announced the delivery of the first batch of 1000 midsection Medium-Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) to the Indian Armed Forces, an order worth US dollars 100 million.

Rudra B Jadeja, who helms the Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems (KRAS), a joint venture between the Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd and Israel-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, points out that the very first product to roll out of the facility was the SPICE-2000 bombs that were used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to strike terror camps in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26, 2019. In a significant order worth $30 million, more than 200 SPICE-2000 bombs have been sent out of this very facility. Of them, 80 per cent were for the Indian forces. In an interview with indianexpress.com, the CEO of KRAS spoke about the journey so far, programmes in the pipeline, Atmanirbharta, and goals set for the future.

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12:20 (IST)19 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 19,519 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 120 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 4) where 38 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with three camps.

11:33 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Hyderabad: 1,600 gelatin sticks, 1,800 detonators recovered; three arrested

Three persons were arrested on the outskirts of Hyderabad Thursday after they were found illegally transporting a huge cache of explosives, purportedly for blasting rocks at construction sites.

The special operations team (SOT) of Rachakonda police recovered 1,600 gelatin sticks and 1,800 detonators from Putta Raju (47) and Kotagiri Rajeshwar (33), both illegal suppliers of explosives, and one Varikoppula Jagan (40), a compressor blasting contractor, who received the consignment. The police also seized the two cars they used to transport the explosives.

The Bibinagar police registered a case under section 5 of Explosives Substances (Amendment) Act, 2001, and section 9 B (1) of Explosives Act, 1884, and started an investigation.

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11:32 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Telangana guv seeks report from Health dept on rising virus cases, vaccine wastage

Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan on Thursday expressed concern over the high rate of vaccine wastage and a spurt in COVID-19 cases in the state and directed the Raj Bhavan officials to obtain a report from the health department.

Soundararajan, presently camping on Puducherry Raj Nivas  holding additional charge as the Lt Governor of the union territory, gave the direction during a video conference held with her officials in Hyderabad on the developments in the state, a Raj Bhavan press communique said.

"I am concerned about the high number of Covid-19 positive cases in a couple of residential schools. I am worried about the high rate of vaccine wastage in our Telangana state. When more than 70 countries are seeking our vaccine, we cannot afford to waste vaccine. All the eligible need to get vaccinated," the communique quoted her as saying.

The governor, a medical doctor, urged the people to strictly adhere to the preventive measures to contain the pandemic. (PTI)

11:07 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Minor girl raped by her late mother's acquaintance in Telangana

A 17-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a man, said to be a ruling TRS worker, in Kamareddy district in Telangana, police said on Thursday.

The 30-year old man, known to the girl and her late mother, allegedly raped her on March 10, and was arrested on Wednesday after a complaint filed by the teenager. 

A case under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, has been registered, a police official said.

The man used to often visit the girl's mother at their house in Kammareddy town till her death, police said, without giving further detail. The girl has been lodged in a state-run centre and further investigations are underway. (PTI) 

10:37 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Madras HC acquits man awarded death sentence in murder of minor

The Madras High Court on Thursday acquitted a man sentenced to death in the murder of a minor in 2017 and ordered the Tamil Nadu government to pay a compensation of Rs five lakh to the family of the victim. A lower court had awarded death sentence to the man in connection with the killing of the minor victim, aged 13 then.

A bench of Justices PN Prakash and V Sivagnanam passed the order on an appeal filed by the accused against the capital punishment awarded by the Mahila court in Chengalpattu, while pointing out at 'lapses' in the probe. The court ordered an investigation by the government into the alleged lapses and take suitable action against those who are responsible for them.

Dealing in detail with the various material evidence in the case, the bench said, "this Court is unable to confirm the conviction of the appellant" under relevant POCSO and IPC sections, including murder. "Further, this court is saddened to note that the investigation of the case of the murder of a young girl has been done very shabbily," the court noted.

"Therefore, we direct the state government to conduct an enquiry with regard to the lapses in the investigation of the case and take suitable action against those who are responsible for the lapses," the court said.

The bench also directed payment of Rs five lakh compensation to the victim's family "as reparation" not only for the failure to protect her but also for failing to bring the perpetrator to guilt. (PTI)

10:16 (IST)19 Mar 2021
TN polls: Khushbu declares Rs 22.55 crore assets; State BJP prez Murugan owns Rs 1.53 cr worth assets

Actor-turned politician Khushbu Sundar, the BJP candidate from Thousand Lights constituency in Chennai, on Thursday filed her nomination for the April 6 Tamil Nadu assembly polls, declaring assets worth about Rs 22.55 crore.

BJP state unit president and party nominee from Dharapuram (Reserved) constituency L Murugan declared assets (movable and immovable) worth Rs 1.53 crore and the value of assets of his spouse Dr C Kalayarasi is Rs 1.09 crore.

While Khushbu's self-acquired, immovable assets were to the tune of Rs 17.99 crore, it was Rs 16.57 crore as regards her husband, Sundar C, a noted filmmaker. Moveable assets of the actor and that of her husband is Rs 4.55 crore and Rs 1.83 crore respectively. She has loans of Rs 3.45 crore and her spouse Rs 5.55 crore, the BJP member declared in the affidavit filed with her nomination papers.

The duo's immovable assets include non-farm lands in more than one location in Tamil Nadu besides flats and residential buildings here and suburbs.

Khushbu, who joined the BJP in October last year after ending her six-year old association with the Congress, also has residential buildings in Telangana and Udhagamandalam (Ooty) which includes land portion as well. She has a total of four criminal cases pending against her. (PTI)

09:46 (IST)19 Mar 2021
Stalin slams AIADMK for ‘not fulfilling’ previous poll promises

DMK president M K Stalin on Thursday alleged the AIADMK did not fulfill its promises made during previous elections and accused it of copying his party’s manifesto for the April 6 Tamil Nadu assembly polls.

The AIADMK has now given a slew of assurances and people knew which of those could be honoured and and several of its promises cannot be fulfilled, Stalin said in his campaign at Gummidipoondi near Chennai.

“A manifesto has been released on ruling party’s which is a copy of DMK’s manifesto,” he said adding the AIADMK’s promises made ahead of 2011 and 2016 assembly polls have not been kept.

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09:21 (IST)19 Mar 2021
In Telangana budget, focus on welfare of backward sections

A new scheme for Dalit empowerment, welfare measures for socially and economically backward sections and continuation of schemes such as Rythu Bandhu were the highlights of the Telangana budget for 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Thursday.

“In this budget, a new scheme named CM Dalit Empowerment Programme is proposed with an allocation of Rs 1,000 crore. These benefits will accrue to the Scheduled Castes following the introduction of this new programme. In the financial year 2021-22, I am proposing total expenditure of Rs 2,30,825.96 crore. Of this, revenue expenditure is Rs 1,69,383.44 crore and capital expenditure is Rs 29,046.77 crore. Revenue surplus in the Budget is estimated at Rs 6,743.50 crore and the estimated fiscal deficit is Rs 45,509.60 crore,’’ he said.

A sum of Rs 21,306.85 crore has been allocated to SCs Special Development Fund and Rs 12,304.23 crore towards the STs Development Fund. For the Backward Classes Welfare department, Rs 5,522 crore has been allocated and Rs 1,602 crore has been earmarked for minority welfare.

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09:16 (IST)19 Mar 2021
TN records 989 fresh cases, 9 deaths

Tamil Nadu recorded 989 positive cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the state tally to 8,63,363. Among these, Chennai reported 394 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,40,245. The state recorded nine deaths on Thursday, putting the state toll at 12,573. All nine of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 569 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,44,568.

As of Thursday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 6222. Till date, 5,21,520 males, 3,41,808 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, 1,85,57,485 samples from the state have been tested till date, with 72,025 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.

09:14 (IST)19 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.

Rice, AIADMK MLA, Madurai The AIADMK cadres were taken aback and attempted to pacify the women.

AIADMK MLA K Manickam was in for an unpleasant surprise when he arrived to campaign for the assembly elections at Thandalai village that falls in his constituency of Sholavandan in Madurai district in Tamil Nadu. Over 50 women and children stood before the MLA and held plates filled with rice grains and took his aarti — a ritual held to welcome guests. The rice, which the women said they had bought from the public distribution shops in their area, was yellow and black in colour indicating that they were of poor quality.

READ | AIADMK MLA left red-faced as Madurai villagers welcome him with poor quality rice

A new scheme for Dalit empowerment, welfare measures for socially and economically backward sections and continuation of schemes such as Rythu Bandhu were the highlights of the Telangana budget for 2021-22 presented by Finance Minister T Harish Rao on Thursday. A sum of Rs 21,306.85 crore has been allocated to SCs Special Development Fund and Rs 12,304.23 crore towards the STs Development Fund. For the Backward Classes Welfare department, Rs 5,522 crore has been allocated and Rs 1,602 crore has been earmarked for minority welfare.

READ | In Telangana budget, focus on welfare of backward sections

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 17, 18 Highlights

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