22052020-TT-01.qxd 21-05-2020 23:25 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.4 no.141 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 AS CASUALTIES RISE, VIJ ORDERS AUDIT OF DEATHS HARYANA /thetribunechd CORPORATE REVENUES DECLINE OVER 25% BUSINESS DEFENCE PRODUCTION HIT MOST BY COVID: RAJNATH BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com friday, may 22,2020 Amphan leaves 72 dead in WB One-third flights to operate, cap on fare for three months Fiercest storm to hit state in century| Destroys houses, crops| Lakhs hit in Odisha too Kolkata/Bhubaneswar, May 21 Cyclone Amphan that tore into West Bengal killed 72 people and “completely devastated” two districts as Kolkata and several parts of the state wore a battered look on Thursday, a day after the storm left thousands of people homeless, washed away bridges and swamped low-lying areas. The fiercest cyclone to hit West Bengal in 100 years destroyed mud houses and crops, and uprooted trees and electricity poles. It also wreaked havoc in Odisha, damaging power and telecom infrastructure in several coastal districts. Odisha Government officials estimated it had affected around 44.8 lakh people in the state. “So far as per the reports we have received, 72 people have died in the state due to Cyclone Amphan. Two districts — North and South 24 Parganas — are completely devastated. We have to rebuild those districts from scratch. I would urge the Central Government to extend all help to the state,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters after conducting a review meeting with officials. “The restoration work will start soon. Large parts of North and South 24 Parganas and Kolkata are facing a massive continued on back page Cop killed, two injured in J&K militant attack Anantnag/Srinagar, May 21 A policeman was killed and two other security personnel were injured in a militant attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district today. Militants opened fire on a joint checkpoint set up by the police and the CRPF at Prichoo, Pulwama. “Two policemen and a CRPF jawan were injured in the incident. An injured policeman later succumbed to his injuries,” a senior police officer said. The slain cop has been identified as Anoop Singh of 10 Battalion of the IRP . Soon after the attack, security forces cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to arrest the militants. This was the second attack on the forces in less than 24 hours in Kashmir. Two BSF men were killed in an ambush near Srinagar yesterday. Meanwhile, a day after a picture of three gun-wielding youths went viral on social media, security forces arrested them in Kupwara district. The trio, the police said, had joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba. SSP Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar said, “After their picture went viral, we started picking up their contacts. During a search operation, we nabbed the trio and recovered weapons from them.” — TNS Tribune News Service Remains of a bus in Kolkata after a tree fell on it during the cyclone. PTI TELECOM IN TATTERS PM TO SURVEY AREA In Kolkata, hundreds of cars were overturned by strong winds with speeds up to 125 kmph. The fierce cyclone felled trees and electricity poles, blocking key roads. Mobile and Internet services were disrupted as 1,000 mobile towers across Bengal were destroyed. PM Narendra Modi will undertake an aerial survey of “cyclone-hit” areas on Friday, sources said. Earlier, Modi had tweeted no stone would be left unturned in helping thosehitbythe cyclone. SHAH SPEAKS TO CMs New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday spoke to Chief Ministers of Odisha and West Bengal — Naveen Patnaik and Mamata Banerjee — and assured them of all possible help. ASSISTANCE ON THE WAY ■ NDRF is moving more teams to West Bengal for restoration work ■ FCI to ensure availability of food- grain for the marooned ■ Railways, which suffered major INUNDATED: Submerged cars in an alleyway in Kolkata. AFP damages, to restart ops soon 2 DISTS DEVASTATED Two districts — North and South 24 Parganas — are devastated. We have to rebuild the districts from scratch. I urge the Centre to extend all help ❝ Mamata Banerjee, BENGAL CHIEF MINISTER China hindering normal patrol: MEA New Delhi, May 21 In a firm response, New Delhi has rejected Beijing’s suggestions that its troops had crossed the border and instead maintained Chinese troops had recently undertaken activity hindering India’s normal patrolling patterns. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asserted India’s “deep commitment” to safeguarding country’s sover- Rejects Beijing charge of Indian troops crossing LAC ‘WE ARE COMMITTED TO PEACE’ ❝ Indian side remains firmly committed to working for the common objective of maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas. Anurag Srivastava, MEA SPOKESPERSON eignty and security but said it would address all such issues on a direct basis with China. “Any suggestion that Indi- an troops had undertaken activity across the LAC in the western sector or the Sikkim sector is not accurate. Indian troops are fully familiar with the alignment of the LAC in the India-China border areas and abide by it scrupulously,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. Maintaining that improvement of India-China ties hinged on peace and tranquillity in border areas, he pointed to several bilateral mechanisms to resolve such situations. — TNS New Delhi, May 21 A day after announcing the government’s decision to allow resumption of domestic flights from May 25 after suspension of air services for two months because of the Covidinduced lockdown, Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri today said only one-third of the regular flights would be permitted to operate and the routes had been divided into seven sections for the purpose of fare control. The minister said the Delhi-Mumbai (the busiest domestic route) flight tickets, for instance, would be priced between Rs 3,500 and Rs 10,000 for the next three months and at least 40 per cent of the seats should be sold at a price which should not be more than the mean value of the price band. “All stakeholders such as airlines and airports have cooperated, so we took the decision to continued on back page Edit: Allay flyers’ fears NEW GUIDELINES FOR DEPARTURE ■ Wear mask through- out the journey ■ Reach entry gate for thermal screening two hours before departure ■ Display Aarogya Setu App staPRICE BAND FOR 7 CATEGORIES tus at entry gate. Otherwise, fill in a form on health condition DURATION FARE LIMIT ■ At baggage drop counter, Less than 40 min ~2,000 - ~6,000 show PNR. Electronic receipt 40 - 60 min ~2,500 - ~7,500 will be sent to passenger 60 - 90 min ~3,000 - ~9,000 FOR BOARDING 90 - 120 min ~3,500 - ~10,000 Collect safety kit (3-layered mask, 120 - 150 min ~4,500 - ~13,000 sanitiser) at boarding gate INSIDE AIRCRAFT 150 - 180 min ~5,500 - ~15,700 ■ No meal service, water 180 - 210 min ~6,500 - ~18,600 bottle to be made AVERAGE FARE FOR 40% SEATS available on seats At least 40 per cent of the seats to ■ Eatables not to be consumed during flight be sold at a price not more than the ■ No newspaper/magazine on board mean value of the price band Eatables not allowed; no institutional quarantine; people from unsafe zones barred BOOKINGS AT 1.7L SERVICE CENTRES New Delhi: Booking of train tickets will resume at 1.7 lakh common service centres across the country from Friday, said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. More passenger trains will be resumed in the next two to three days. Meanwhile, within 2.5 hours, 4 lakh passengers booked tickets for special trains. TNS Sonia booked for Cong tweet claiming misuseof PM fund Bengaluru, May 21 A case has been registered against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Karnataka in connection with a tweet posted on the party’s official handle alleging misuse of PM-CARES Fund. The Sagara town police in Shivamogga district registered the case on Wednesday based on a complaint by Praveen KV, who alleged that @INCIndia, the official Twitter handle of the Congress, tried to create distrust among masses with its tweet by spreading ‘baseless charges’. The state Congress condemned PARTY SLAMS FIR New Delhi: The Congress has condemned registration of an FIR against Sonia Gandhi. A Congress spokesperson said, “Registration of an FIR depicts BJP’s dictatorial mindset.” IANS the registration of the case. The case has been registered under Sections 153 and 505 (1)(B) of the IPC, G’gram hotels turn PGs; more to Accused distiller has licensed vends follow suit, seek govt approval Illegal booze delivered home to hoodwink authorities Aman Sood Parveen Arora Tribune News Service Karnal, May 21 The lockdown has hit the hotel industry hard, prompting distressed hoteliers to seek a change of business. At least 40 hoteliers have urged the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Haryana (HRAH) to approach the state government for nod to change of land use (CLU). They plan to put out their hotels on rent as paying guest accommodation and office space, besides offering banquet halls and swimming pools to clubs to generate revenue and meet expenses. Some are even planning to sell their property to pay off LOCKDOWN& LIVELIHOODS Haryana hoteliers to seek CLU nod, some may sell property loans. Sources say some hotels in Gurugram have already turned their properties into PG accommodation, though they are yet to obtain government nod. Sounding an alarm at the predicament faced by the hotel industry, HRAH president Col Manbeer Choudhary says around 40 hoteliers have urged him to send a representation to Chief Min- ister Manohar Lal Khattar for seeking CLU certificate. “We are unable to meet expenses like staff salary, power bills, maintenance, property taxes and others as the industry has been shut for the past two months and revival is nowhere in sight,” he says. Raj Sehgal, a Gurugram hotelier, says this is the first time in 24 years that he has seen such recession. “I am exploring options of renting out property to PGs and commercial space for office to meet daily expenses,” he says. Col Choudhary fears the numbers may grow in the coming days. “The government should waive GST to attract clientele,” he adds. Tribune News Service Patiala, May 21 After sealing an illegal liquor distillery run from a cold store in Rajpura, the Excise Department has started collecting samples following a revelation that key accused, Khanpur Khurd sarpanch Amrik Singh, is a partner in many authorised liquor vends in and around Rajpura. A probe is now under way to ascertain if premium liquor brands sold at vends across the state and in Haryana were made at the illegal distillery using ENL (extra neutral alcohol). The department is also contemplating cancelling liquor vend licences of the accused. An excise team collects samples. BOOZE SCAM “We will take action once the police complete the probe as we are yet to ascertain if the same liquor was sold at vends owned by Amrik,” said Patiala ETO (Excise) Upkar Singh. “Amrik Singh, who was operating the distillery along with some politicians, made liquor by diluting ENA, which costs Rs 55 a litre and has 72.5 per cent alcohol content. They would dilute it to 40 per cent alcohol by mixing water and add artificial flavour and colour,” the police said. Political patronage allegedly ensured that the entire operation went on smoothly and the accused made 1,000 per cent profit. “They profited by more than Rs 100 crore over the past few months,” local liquor contractors say. “An order for a premium brand of IMFL costing Rs 24,000 per carton in the continued on back page Asr to Ballia on foot, 3 brothers say couldn’t wait more Aparna Banerji Tribune News Service Prakash with his brothers Dharmendra and Kanhaiya along with fellow migrants in Jalandhar. Jalandhar, May 21 Prakash, in his teens, checks the last message on his mobile. It’s from the Punjab Government, urging migrants to be patient. He responds with a derisive shrug. He and his brothers Dharmendra and Kanhaiya left Amritsar for their hometown Ballia in Uttar Pradesh four days ago. They intend to walk all the way to their village Noorpur, more than 1,318 km away, each carrying a bag with two sets of clothes. The trio is accompanied by five co-workers. Resting under a bridge at the Pathankot bypass here on Thursday, Prakash told The Tribune: “Many of our colleagues left days ago. Government messages mean nothing. We have no money or ration. We can’t wait any longer.” Dharmendra (28) and Kanhaiya (30) arrived in Punjab two years ago. They worked with an embroidery unit. Prakash, who came only a few months ago, sold vegetables. Having lost his livelihood, Dharmendra wants to return to his wife, who is pregnant. Kanhaiya wants to be back with his three young kids aged two, three and five years. “We will resume our journey tomorrow after a day’s rest,” said Prakash, who worked with a bike repair shop after the lockdown, but the shop too was shut after a while. “We received ticket confirmation messages from the Railways, but the message for boarding the train never came. Our landlord kept pestering us for rent. He asked us to leave if we could not pay it. We left without our luggage. It seems like a nightmare. I just want to be home,” said a desolate Dharmendra. which relate to wantonly provoking people and inciting them to commit offence against any other class or community. The complainant alleged that on May 11 at 6 pm, the INC India Twitter account posted messages against Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging ‘misuse’ of PM-CARES Fund set up to enable people contribute to help the government fight against coronavirus and “similar distressing situations”. Karnataka Congress spokesperson Subhash Agarwal condemned the registration of case. — PTI HP’s Director of Health Services held for graft Shimla, May 21 Himachal Pradesh’s Director of Health Services Dr Ajay Gupta was arrested by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau in connection with a bribery case last night. Audio of accused seeking ~5 lakh bribe goes viral Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RD Dhiman referred the matter to the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau after an audio in which Gupta was purportedly heard seeking a bribe of Rs 5 lakh went viral. In the 43-second clip, two persons can be heard talking about a transaction of Rs 5 lakh in lieu of some purchase. The Vigilance is trying to identify the other person and ascertain the origin of the recording. During interrogation, Gupta was not able to give any convincing reply, resulting in his arrest. ADGP (Vigilance and AntiCorruption Bureau) Anurag Garg said after hours of questioning, Gupta gave misleading replies. He was taken to Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital for examination, where he was admitted as a patient of diabetes and blood pressure. — TNS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).