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Chennai Hyderabad February 10, 11, 12 Highlights: Nine killed, over 20 feared injured in a blast in fireworks factory

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 February 10, 11, 12 Highlights: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora added that the polling stations in the state have been increased to 93,000 polling stations in the state for the upcoming assembly elections due to the pandemic.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: February 15, 2021 9:08:34 am
Sunil Arora, Election Commission, Assembly electionsChief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. (File)

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections February 10, 11, 12 Highlights: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora Thursday said the polling time for the upcoming assembly election in Tamil Nadu would be extended by an hour to adhere to the social distancing guidelines issued by the centre in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the reporters in Chennai to brief upon the Election Commission’s (EC) preparedness for the general election, Arora said apart from the normal election observers, they have decided to send two special expenditure observers. This initiative is taken by the EC to prevent the rampant money distribution which the state had witnessed in the past elections.

“Due to Covid-19, the polling stations in the state have been increased. With the additional 25,000, there will be a total of 93,000 polling stations in the state for the upcoming assembly elections,” Arora said.

The Tamil Nadu assembly tenure is due to expire on May 24, 2021. The elections are due for 234 constituencies — General – 188, SC – 44, and ST – 02.

The EC added that the bypoll for the Kanyakumari parliamentary constituency would be held along with 2021 assembly polls. The seat fell vacant following the demise of Congress MP H Vasanthakumar.

Follow Chennai Hyderabad February 15, 16 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

19:33 (IST)12 Feb 2021
PM Modi to visit Chennai on February 14

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be in Chennai on February 14 to lay foundation stones for several projects and inaugurate many other completed projects. A grand event has been organised at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai. PM Modi will be arriving at the Chennai airport at 10:35 am and will be reaching the stadium in a helicopter at 11:15 am. He will be leaving for Cochin after the programme. The police have tightened the security across the city.

18:45 (IST)12 Feb 2021
Explosion at firecracker factory in Tamil Nadu, 11 dead

At least 11 people, including one woman, are feared dead and more than 20 injured in a blast Friday at a private fireworks factory at Achankulam village near Sattur in Virudhunagar district. Local reports said many people are still trapped inside the factory.

The ‘Sree Maariyamman fireworks’ factory which belongs to one Santhanamari had been manufacturing firecrackers for a couple of years. As per local reports, firecrackers that were stored in close to six rooms at the factory caught fire one after another leading to a huge blast.

17:08 (IST)12 Feb 2021
Chennai has a new Miyawaki forest, near Secretariat

The Greater Chennai Corporation Wednesday inaugurated a new Miyawaki forest near the Secretariat in the city. This is part of the civic body’s initiative to set up 1,000 urban forests across the city. The Miyawaki forest has been developed by the Inner Wheel Club of Madras, out of barren land spread across 3,000 square feet. The club had started planting the saplings on September 16, 2020. The area has a total of 837 trees of 30 indigenous trees. The functionaries of Inner Wheel Club participated in the event alongside the corporation officials.

16:48 (IST)12 Feb 2021
Telangana rifle shooters offering to cull wild pigs for farmers free of cost: Forest dept

The Telangana Forest department on Thursday said it has identified and empanelled 30 rifle shooters for culling wild pigs in the state, who have agreed to do the job as a voluntary service to farmers. The government had recently issued orders empowering over 12,700 Gram Sarpanches as Honorary Wildlife Wardens who can order culling on receipt of a written complaint and due inquiry. The latest order was dubbed by many as an open invitation to indiscriminate hunting that could impact the local wildlife adversely.

15:03 (IST)12 Feb 2021
Five killed in blast at firecracker unit near Virudhunagar

At least five people, including a woman, were killed in a blast at a private fireworks factory at Achankulam village near Sattur in Virudunagar district. As per the reports, at least 10 of them have been critically injured and they have been admitted to Sivakasi Government Hospital for treatment.

14:42 (IST)12 Feb 2021
English and Foreign Languages University students demand hostels to reopen

The students of English and Foreign Languages University, a central university in Hyderabad, sit on a protest demonstration at gate no: 2 Friday demanding reopening of hostels for willing students.  This sit in protest began around 11 am.

14:09 (IST)12 Feb 2021
Captain Vijayakanth makes public apperance after a long time

DMDK founder and actor Captain Vijayakanth made a public appearance after a long time in Chennai. Vijayakanth alongside his wife and DMDK treasurer Premalatha paid a visit to their party headquarters at Koyambedu to take part in their party's flag day celebrations. The ailing politician spoke a couple of words amid the hundreds of cadres gathered at the venue.

13:38 (IST)12 Feb 2021
COVID-19 tracker: Telangana recorded 143 new cases

Telangana on Thursday recorded 143 new cases of COVID-19,  taking the cumulative number of affected persons to 2,96,277. Of the new cases, Greater Hyderabad topped the list with 27 new infections. The state also recorded one death due to the virus. As many as 1614 persons have succumbed to the viral infection in the state so far. The case fatality rate in Telangana stands at 0.54 percent and the recovery rate is 98.84 percent, said the daily medical bulletin from the office of director of public health and family welfare, released Friday morning. The number of active cases in the state stands at 1815 as on Thursday. Of them,  838 persons are in institutional or home quarantine. 

12:27 (IST)12 Feb 2021
Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan paid tributes to the martyrs of 1971 war on the occasion of 50th year celebrations

Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan on Thursday paid rich tributes to the martyrs of 1971 war on the occasion of 50th year celebrations and commemoration of our country’s decisive victory over Pakistan.
Participating as the chief guest at the Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations organised by the Telangana and Andhra Sub-Area military unit at Parade Grounds, here, she said that our war heroes showed the bravery, valour, courage and sacrifice of highest form during the 1971 war.

“We have registered an iconic victory over the enemy. We could register a decisive victory in just 13 days. The 1971 war witnessed the surrender of more than 90,000 enemy soldiers. It was a landmark victory in the history of Indian armed forces. I salute our war heroes valour and sacrifices,” she added.

11:08 (IST)12 Feb 2021
IT Hyderabad-Incubated startup 'Pure EV' set to launch first e bike

IIT Hyderabad incubated startup Pure EV Thursday said it will be deploying 50 demo vehicles of its flagship electric motorcycle ETRYST 350 by end of March 21 across the country to make them available for test drives at specific outlets. Pure EV will be hitting the roads in metropolitan cities Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune by August 15. As per the startup,  ETRYST 350 has been designed and developed at PURE EV’s technical and manufacturing centre in Hyderabad. It boasts of a top speed of 85 KMPH, delivering on par ride experience with most Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) motorbikes. A single full charge will provide a range of 120 KM, till the battery has to be charged again. 

09:54 (IST)12 Feb 2021
COVID-19 tracker: 481 cases reported in TN on Thursday, total recovery reaches 8.26 lakh

A total of 481 fresh Covid-19 cases reported on Thursday in Tamil Nadu. The overall tally reached 8,43,690. Six deaths were reported taking the toll to 12,402. The total number of recovered people increased to 8,26,994 including today’s tally of 490. There are 4,294 active cases in the state.

09:33 (IST)12 Feb 2021
BJP State executive member detained under Goondas Act

Bharatiya Janata Party State executive committee member R Kalyanaraman who was arrested by the Mettupalayam police for making derogatory remarks on Prophet Muhammad and Islam at a public meeting has been booked under Gundas Act. Coimbatore District Collector passed the orders on Thursday based on the recommendation of SP Ara. Arularasu. Kalyanaraman who has been lodged at Gobichettipalayam sub-jail will now be shifted to Coimbatore Central Prison.

18:29 (IST)11 Feb 2021
IN PICS | Weapons display organised at Secunderabad as a part of Swarnim Vijay Varsh

As part of 'Swarnim Vijay Varsh', a weapon display was organised by Telangana and Andhra Sub Area at Gen KV Krishna Rao Parade ground in Secunderabad today.

18:18 (IST)11 Feb 2021
Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao likens protesters to ‘dogs’, Oppn hits back

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Wednesday kicked up a storm after he asked a section of people, including women, to leave his public meeting and likened them to “dogs”. Rao was in Nalgonda district to lay the foundation stone for several irrigation schemes.

The incident occurred during a meeting in the Nagarjunasagar Assembly segment, which is due for a bypoll after the death of TRS legislator Nomula Narsimhaiah in December. The CM reportedly lost his cool when he was interrupted by a group of people who wanted to submit a representation and asked the police personnel present to take them out of the venue.

“Take the papers from them. Now that you have given the memo, please leave,” Rao said.

Read more

18:02 (IST)11 Feb 2021

IIT Hyderabad-incubated startup PURE EV will to launch its first electric motorcycle - ETRYST 350 on August 15. The bike has been completely designed, developed and manufactured in India and represents a major leap in the Indian Electric Vehicles sector. According to a release, the company will deploy 50 demo vehicles by the end of March across the country for test drivesto make them available for test drives at specific outlets. 
 
ETRYST 350 is scheduled to hit the roads on August 15 at a price that would be economical in comparison with conventional motorcycles in Indian markets with similar pickup and power, the release stated. PURE EV will first launch the product in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune before expanding to other outlets by the end of the year.
 
The release said that ETRYST 350, which has been designed and developed at PURE EV’s technical and manufacturing centre in Hyderabad boasts of a top speed of 85 KMPH, delivering on par ride experience with most Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) motorbikes. A single full charge will provide a range of 120 KM, till the battery has to be charged again. The vehicle is powered by a 3.5 KWH patented battery, developed by PURE EV.

The release further added that the product engineering has been done to provide a very stable ride experience even at speed of 85 kmph and to deliver a high pickup at par with premium ICE motorcycles.

17:22 (IST)11 Feb 2021
EC to extend polling time in TN by an hour to maintain social distancing norms

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora Thursday said the polling time for the upcoming assembly election in Tamil Nadu would be extended by an hour to adhere to the social distancing guidelines issued by the centre in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the reporters in Chennai to brief upon the Election Commission’s (EC) preparedness for the general election, Arora said apart from the normal election observers, they have decided to send two special expenditure observers. This initiative is taken by the EC to prevent the rampant money distribution which the state had witnessed in the past elections.

“Due to Covid-19, the polling stations in the state have been increased. With the additional 25,000, there will be a total of 93,000 polling stations in the state for the upcoming assembly elections,” Arora said.

Read more

16:36 (IST)11 Feb 2021
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi extends wishes new GHMC Mayor, Deputy Mayor

AIMIM President Asauddin Owaisi extended his wishes to the newly-elected GHMC Mayor and Deputy Mayor. G Vijayalakshmi, the TRS corporator of Ward 93 (Banjara Hills) was elected the GHMC Mayor today, while Mothe Srilatha, the corporator of Ward 143 (Tarnaka) was elected the Deputy Mayor.

"Hope that, under their leadership, Hyderabad will be taken to new heights and public works will be actively taken up in areas that need them the most, including Old City of Hyderabad", he tweeted. (sic)

15:54 (IST)11 Feb 2021
Stand vindicated on our accusations that TRS and AIMIM have a secret alliance, says BJP

After TRS corporators G Vijayalakshmi and Mothe Srilatha were elected the GHMC Mayor and Deputy Mayor respectively, the BJP Thursday said that the party "stands vindicated over their accusations during the GHMC campaigns that TRS and AIMIM have a secret alliance". 

"Today with AIMIM openly supporting TRS Mayoral bid, 'the cat is out of the bag'. They have unravelled their seven year old secret alliance publicly, as TRS was left with no option. TRS would not have won half the seats, if it would have announced this alliance prior to GHMC elections", the BJP said in a statement.

The BJP said that Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao should apologize to GHMC voters for his statements which had been made during the campaign denying TRS' "secret arrangements" with AIMIM and that the party will not a have a formal alliance.

"With BJP in the house, GHMC now has a strong opposition voice.TRS and MIM alliance Mayor can no more take unilateral decisions and the interest of GHMC citizens will be protected", the BJP added.

14:41 (IST)11 Feb 2021
Kamal Haasan’s party meets to decide on prospective alliance partners

The general body meeting of actor Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) commenced on Thursday to decide on the party’s prospective alliance partners and other party developments. The meeting, presided over by party president Kamal Haasan, is taking place at a marriage hall in the outskirts of the city.

On several occasions, Kamal Haasan has said he will form an alliance with honest people. He has also categorically ruled out an alliance with Dravidian parties, alleging they are “corrupt”.

Haasan had claimed his party was the third largest player in the state and the upcoming assembly election will decide where they stand among the big political parties.

Read more

14:40 (IST)11 Feb 2021
GHIAL launches direct flight service between Hyderabad and Male

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), today launched GoAir’s maiden direct flight service from Hyderabad to Malé, Maldives. The GoAir aircraft took off from Hyderabad to Malé around 11.40 am amid fanfare. The airlines has started touch-less e-boarding facility for international passengers with this service. 

Senior officials from GMR Hyderabad International Airport along with GoAir officials, other airport stakeholders were at the terminal to see off the passengers and crew.

GoAir’s Flight G8 1533 will depart from GMR Hyderabad International Airport at 11.30 am and arrive at the Maldive’s Velana International Airport at 1.30 pm. The return flight G8 4033 will depart from Malé at 2.30 pm and will arrive at Hyderabad at 5.30 pm. 
Flights will be operated between GMR Hyderabad International Airport and Malé four times a week - Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, said a press release from GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL).

In a shot in the arm for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, late screen legend and Rajya Sabha MP Sivaji Ganesan’s son Ramkumar and former Chennai mayor Karate R Thiagarajan joined the saffron party on Thursday.

They were ushered into the saffron fold in the presence of top state BJP leader L Murugan and party national secretary CT Ravi.

READ | Sivaji Ganesan's son, former Chennai Mayor join BJP ahead of TN polls, Congress hits out

The general body meeting of actor Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) commenced on Thursday to decide on the party’s prospective alliance partners and other party developments. The meeting, presided over by party president Kamal Haasan, is taking place at a marriage hall in the outskirts of the city.

On several occasions, Kamal Haasan has said he will form an alliance with honest people. He has also categorically ruled out an alliance with Dravidian parties, alleging they are “corrupt”.

READ | Kamal Haasan's party meets to decide on prospective alliance partners

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 February 9, 10 Highlights