23042021-TTB-01.qxd 4/23/2021 12:24 AM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.111 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 VANITA US ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MAKES HISTORY WORLD /thetribunechd S&P FLAGS SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT OF CURBS ON INDIAN ECONOMY BUSINESS PM FOR CONCRETE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com friday | 23 april 2021 ‘Patients dying’ Delhi hospitals raise alarm; , fresh cases scale past 3 lakh, highest globally SC wants national plan to tackle Covid crisis Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service Plea in SC for probe into Nashik mishap New Delhi, April 22 A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an independent judicial inquiry into the oxygen leak incident in a Nashik hospital that killed 24 patients. The PIL filed by NGO “Save Them India Foundation” has sought setting up of a three-member inquiry commission under the chairmanship of a retired apex court judge. — PTI ICMR to study vax delivery via drones New Delhi, April 22 The government today said the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), in association with Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), had given permission to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct a feasibility study on using drones to deliver Covid-19 vaccine. — TNS IN BRIEF RCF sends 1,210 kg O2 to Asr hospital KAPURTHALA: The Rail Coach Factory (RCF) here has supplied 1,210 kg liquid oxygen from its plant to Guru Nanak Medical College and Hospital, Amritsar, through a gas supplying firm. INSIDE Thief abandons vax vials in Haryana JIND: A thief who stole 1,710 vials of Covishield and Covaxin from the storeroom of the Civil Hospital here, abandoned the bagful of vaccines at a tea stall outside Jind Civil Lines police station on Thursday. INSIDE Maha orders probe against Param Bir MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Home Department has ordered an inquiry against former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh over corruption allegations against him. — PTI 5 die as train rams into vehicles in UP SHAHJAHANPUR (UP): Five persons were killed and one person was injured after the LucknowChandigarh Express rammed into some vehicles at a manned level-crossing here on Thursday, the police said. — PTI New Delhi, April 22 A major health emergency loomed over the national Capital on Thursday with several hospitals reporting exhaustion of medical oxygen. Health institutes, including Apollo, Fortis, Sir Ganga Ram and Shanti Mukund, sent an SOS to the government, forcing PM Narendra Modi to call an urgent review meeting. Amid a worsening crisis on a day when India logged 3,14,835 cases, the highest for any country in 24 hours, the PM announced cancellation of rallies in West Bengal. He said he would conduct Covid management meetings in the Capital tomorrow, including one with oxygen producers. Though the Centre invoked the Disaster Management Act to ensure uninterrupted transport of oxygen, hospitals continued to report how states were blocking tankers midway. SK Saggar, CEO of Shanti Mukund Hospital, broke down while speaking about the crisis. “The situation is deplorable. Patients will die. We have no oxygen. We are asking doctors to discharge those who can be discharged. We have only two hours of continued on page 9 Satya Prakash Tribune News Service GRIM REALITY: Family members of patients wait outside an oxygen refill centre in New Delhi. PTI OZ TO CUT FLIGHTS FROM INDIA BY 30% 18+ CAN REGISTER FOR JAB FROM APRIL 28 Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced a 30 per cent reduction in flights coming from highrisk Covid-19 nations like India. Registration for vaccination against Covid-19 for those aged above 18 will begin on CoWIN platform and Aarogya Setu from April 28, officials said. The inoculation process and documents to be submitted for the jab remain the same as before. UK AIRPORT REFUSES EXTRA FLIGHTS FROM INDIA London: The Heathrow Airport in London on Thursday declined requests from at least four international aircraft carriers to land eight extra flights from India. UAE TRAVEL BAN Dubai: The UAE has banned travel from India for 10 days. The ban will come into effect from 11.59 pm on Saturday. WHY THREE RATES? How can a vaccine manufactured by the same company have three prices? How can the Centre permit such brazen profiteering? ❝ A Covid patient waits for bed at LNJP Hospital, New Delhi. MR BHUI CAN’T TURN AWAY VETERANS, ARMY STATIONS TOLD BACK PAGE Sonia Gandhi, CONG PREZ New Delhi, April 22 Describing the Covid situation as “grim”, the Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Centre, states, UTs and others on issues relating to pandemic management, particularly supply of oxygen and essential drugs. Taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, “We expect the Central Government to place before this court a national plan for dealing with the above services and supplies during the pandemic.” The top court asked the Centre, states and UTs and the parties who had approached various high courts to explain why uniform orders could not be passed in relation to supply of oxygen and essential drugs, method and manner of vaccination, and declaration of lockdown. “We want the power to clamp lockdown to be with states. It should not be a judicial decision,” the Bench said. Appointing senior advo- Tribune News Service Solan,April 22 In a bid to evade taxes, the multi-axle vehicles carrying tonnes of industrial goods, especially from the steel units in Baddi-BarotiwalaNalagarh (BBN) industrial hub, are using the narrow village roads of Kasauli tehsil. Though the e-way bills are compulsory for vehicles carrying industrial goods, truckers are evading tax payment by Centre to spell a national plan for dealing with Covidrelated issues, mainly supply of oxygen and essential drugs ■ On Friday, it will hear a suo motu case related to Covid management in the country ■ The court says hearing by six different HCs on pandemic issues may create confusion HC seeks info on Hry dist nodal bodies in 24 hrs Tribune News Service Chandigarh, April 22 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today set a 24-hour deadline for the Haryana Government to inform the Bench whether a coordinating body was available in each district for the people to approach in case of crisis. HRY SHOPS TO SHUT AT 6 PM SC TO HEAR VEDANTA PLEA ON STERLITE PLANT cate Harish Salve as amicus curiae to assist it, the Bench posted the matter for Friday. Noting that certain degree of panic has been generated as people sought relief from high courts, it said the orders passed by them “may accelerate and prioritise the services to a certain set of people continued on page 9 edit: a national plan Haryana also undertook to inform the High Court Bench whether the designated toll-free helpline number (1075) was operational. As the case came up for resumed hearing, the court observed: "Though a statelevel committee is already in existence in Haryana, a question has arisen whether nodal agency is available in every district for people to approach in case of any emergency." INSIDE Over 200 Sikh pilgrims test Can’t restrict oxygen transport:MHA to states +ve on return from Pakistan Amritsar, April 22 Over 200 Punjab pilgrims who went to Pakistan to celebrate Baisakhi tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. They underwent the mandatory rapid antigen test on their arrival at the Integrated Check Post, Attari. As they were all asymptomatic, they were advised homequarantine. Some of the pilgrims, however, confronted the health staff after their reports came positive for the infection, said Civil Surgeon Charanjit Singh. High drama prevailed at the ICP as a few of them tore the test reports, saying that when they left for Pakistan their reports were negative. Some pilgrims even took away the official records and forced the health staff to leave their counters at the Attari border, Singh said. The Sikh jatha of 815 pilgrims, sponsored by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, had gone to Pakistan on April 12 to celebrate Baisakhi. Meanwhile, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur appealed to the pilgrims who tested positive to follow the health guidelines and isolate themselves in their homes. New Delhi, April 22 Invoking the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Centre on Thursday directed all state governments and UT administrations to ensure uninterrupted supply of medical oxygen across the country. It said: “No restriction shall be imposed on the movement of medical oxygen between the states. Transport officials shall be instructed to allow free interstate movement of such vehicles. No authority shall attach the oxygen carrying vehicles passing through the Sikh pilgrims return from Pakistan after celebrating Baisakhi, at the Wagah border in Amritsar on Thursday. VISHAL KUMAR The Pakistan High Commission had granted the pilgrims a 10-day visa and they were allowed to visit various Sikh shrines, besides attending the main event at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal on April 14. They also visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, on April 19 and took out a nagar kirtan from Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal district to Zero Line connecting Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side. — TNS edit: virus ravaging punjab Free vax for 18-45 age group in Pb hospitals CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Chief Minister on Thursday announced that for the inoculation of the 18-45 years age group, vaccines would be supplied free of cost to all government healthcare facilities in the state. In view of the limited supplies, he said an expert group, that would include eminent virologist Dr Gagandeep Kang as one of the members, would suggest a prioritisation strategy. INSIDE Dist admn, police heads to be ‘personally liable’ A guard pastes a “no bed” notice outside a hospital in Prayagraj. PTI IN HRY, TRUCK WITH OXYGEN MISSING, CASE FILED Panipat: A truck filled with medical oxygen went missing while on its way to Sirsa from the Air Liquid Naphtha Cracker Complex here on Wednesday evening. A case has been filed. TNS using village routes which have no excise and taxation barriers. These trucks usually start their journey after 10:30 pm from the BBN hub when there is little fear of checking. “On the regular route, a vehicle has to pass through the excise barrier at Parwanoo, but these truckers use escape routes to evade tax,” said an excise official. Villagers in the affected areas are up in arms over the use of rural roads as an indus- INDUSTRIAL TRAFFIC ON RURAL STRETCH Towards Nalagarh Baddi Route adopted Chamiyan Barotiwala Garkhal Regular Route Dharampur Route adopted: Baddi-Patta Mehlog-Baand-ChamiyanKalka Parwanoo Garkhal-Dharampur-KalkaShimla national highway Regular Route: BBN (Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh)-Kalka-Parwanoo (tax barrier) BAAND | CHAMIYAN | GARKHAL | DHARAMPUR FALL IN KASAULI TEHSIL districts or areas for making supplies specific to any particular district or area.” The directive under the stringent Act was issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in the wake of reports that some states blocked supply of medical oxygen to other states amid a sudden spike in Covid cases. Those found violating the order will face punishment up to one year of jail or fine or both. Bhalla said the district administrative and police heads would be “personally liable” for implementation of the directives. — TNS ‘Anti-national’ acts by At Singhu, farmers to J&K staff under lens clear part of NH-44 New Delhi, April 22 The Jammu and Kashmir Government has constituted a special task force (STF) to scrutinise cases of its employees allegedly found involved in “anti-national” activities for which it will engage with members of the Terror Monitoring Group (TMG) and seek assistance of other agencies. Additional Director-General of the Crime Investigation Department RR Swain will head the STF The other mem. bers will include representatives of the Home Department, Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and the department of the employee under investigation. “On several occasions during investigations, the J&K Police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) have found instances where government officials were allegedly involved in terror or separatist activities,” said a senior official. — TNS To evade tax barriers, heavy vehicles use rural roads in Kasauli area Ambika Sharma SUO MOTU NOTICE ■ The SC has asked trial corridor. They have been complaining about trucks descending on the Patta Mehlog-Kasauli road after midnight on a daily basis. The village roads are neither designed to withstand such heavy load nor are repaired on a regular basis. “A steep road from Baand to Chamiyan village has been the worst-hit,” a local resident said, adding that these vehicles also face difficulty negotiating the narrow Garkhal junction where five roads meet. There are traffic jams too when several trucks cross the area. The Solan DC said the police had been directed to ensure that multi-axle trucks did not ply on rural roads leading to Kasauli. The DC, State Taxes and Excise, said: “Staff will be deputed to check these trucks and see if there is evasion of tax as this is not a regular route used by trucks carrying industrial goods.” Mukesh Tandon Tribune News Service Sonepat, April 22 The Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) today announced to remove barricades on one side of National Highway-44 at the Singhu border to make way for vehicles carrying oxygen and ambulances. This was decided following a meeting with officials of the district administration. Farmers’ leaders Darshan Pal Singh, Gurnam Singh Charuni and others met officiating DC-cum-ADC Ashok Kumar Bansal, Jashandeep Singh Randhawa, SP Shashi , Vasundhara, SDM, and Civil Surgeon Dr Jaswant Singh Punia at the PWD rest house in Rai. Bansal said the SKM leaders agreed on unhin- dered passage to emergency vehicles as well as vaccination of farmers. “The leaders said if any farmer wanted to vaccinate himself, the SKM would not stop him,” he added. In a statement later, the SKM said the farmers would lend all help to the administration to fight the Covid pandemic. “The SKM and the protesting farmers are committed to causing the least inconvenience to the citizens. The BJP and the government have without any basis accused the protesting farmers of obstructing oxygen supply to Delhi. In fact, it is the police that have been directing vehicles to the protest sites instead of the actual route,” alleged Darshan Pal Singh. Samyukt Kisan Morcha members at a meeting with govt officials.
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).