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Yogi govt sets 15-day deadline for land allotment to attract investors in state

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CM Yogi Adityanath.
CM Yogi Adityanath.

The Yogi Adityanath government has set a deadline of 15 days for allotment of land after it receives an application. The move, being taken to improve ease of doing business in the state, is aimed at attracting investors.

The Uttar Pradesh government has issued an order, setting timelines for allotment of land for various categories of investment projects under the UP Industrial Investment and Employment Promotion Policy, 2017.

 It states that land allotment for mega, mega plus and super mega industrial units will be fast-tracked to be completed within 15 days of receipt of application.

A monthly cycle for land allotment will be fixed, under which allotment through e-auction for applications received by a certain date, will be carried out by the end of the month.

 The steps, aimed at improving ease of doing business in the state, will be implemented by land owning agencies like Noida, Greater No ida, Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority, UP State Industrial Development Authority, Lucknow Industrial Development Authority (LIDA), Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority, Satharia Industrial Development Authority and Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Integrated Industrial Township Greater Noida Ltd.

According to UP Industries Minister Satish Mahana, “UP is getting investment proposals from many multi-national and national investors, especially in focused sectors like defence, aerospace, logistics, warehousing and electronics manufacturing. To build investor confidence in the state, it is necessary to have land available and a policy for quick allotment.”

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PUNJAB CM SEEKS FUNDS RELEASE FOR SPORTS VARSITY CONSTRUCTION

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday directed the Finance Department to immediately release the sanctioned amount of Rs 60 crore for the first phase construction of the Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University (MBSPSU), Patiala campus.

He also asked the Finance Department to enhance the allocation for the premier institution in this year’s budget, saying that the Rs 15 crore allotted for the university was too less.

Virtually reviewing the progress of the state’s first sports university, the Chief Minister also asked PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla to assign a chief engineer to steer the campus construction, in consultation with a good external consultant, to ensure speedy completion of the project.

He also directed Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi to set up a three-member committee to coordinate with the PWD for expediting the work on the university, which has been functioning from another campus since 2019.

To ensure world-class curriculum for the university, the Chief Minister approved a draft MoU to be signed with UK-based Loughborough University to institutionalise the collaboration between the two.

Stressing that he wanted to see Punjab develop as a sports hub, Captain Amarinder asked the departments to expedite work on the campus.

Vice Chancellor MBSPSU Lt. Gen (Retd.) J.S. Cheema told the meeting that the construction of the university was currently going on in full swing on the Patiala-Bhadson road at Patiala. The campus would spread over an area of about 100 acres. The meeting was also informed that currently, admissions have been made from the session 2019-20, and 130 students have been enrolled. A total of 76 posts have been sanctioned in this year’s budget.

At present, the university has three constituent colleges, namely Prof Gursewak Singh Government College of Physical Education Patiala, Government Art & Sports College Jalandhar and Government College Kala Afghana, Gurdaspur. The courses planned for the next two years are BPES, BA, PGD Yoga, B.Sc. (Sports Technology) and PGD coaching.

It may be recalled that the foundation stone of this prestigious Sports University was laid on 25 October 2020 by the Chief Minister as his flagship programme to promote education in the areas of sports sciences, sports technology, sports management and sports coaching. It will focus on education, training and research in areas related to sports based on high standard infrastructure, besides offering professional and academic leadership to other institutions in the field of physical education and sports sciences.

The university will also serve as a centre of excellence for the elite and other talented sportspersons of all sports and innovations to carry out, endorse and propagate research. It will also generate capabilities for the development of knowledge skills and competencies at various levels in the field of sports technology and high-performance training for all sports and games.

Besides the Sports and PWD Ministers, the meeting was attended by Senior Advisor to CM Lt. Gen (retd.) T.S. Shergill, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Sports Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Principal Secretary Finance KAP Sinha and Principal Secretary PWD Vikas Pratap.

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COVID TAKING A HEAVY TOLL ON HARYANA COPS

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The Covid-19 crisis is taking a heavy toll on Haryana Police personnel, with 21 police personnel losing their lives to the disease. In 2021, a total of 1,607 policemen have been infected so far, while 2,970 were diagnosed positive in 2020. It is pertinent to mention that 1082 were infected by Covid-19 in April this year. Giving this information, a Haryana Police spokesperson informed that these “Karmaveer” police personnel remain on the frontline without any fear and are busy serving the people with dedication. These “brave-hearts, ensuring effective lockdown and Covid appropriate behavior for the protection of the people, often come in direct contact with the infected persons. Nevertheless, the police personnel have neither lost courage nor has there been any decrease in devotion to public service”. He said that Haryana Police officer Virender Singh, DSP, posted as Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Narnaul succumbed to Covid-19 today. He was suffering from corona and was undergoing treatment for 15 days at a private hospital in Rohtak. He was just 50 years old and was DSP Hansi before being posted as Secretary RTA. He was posted in several districts of Haryana

Condoling the sad demise of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Virender Singh, DGP Haryana, Manoj Yadava, said that Haryana Police has lost a dedicated and hard working officer. Expressing his heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved family, he prayed to the almighty to give courage to them to bear this irreparable loss and grant eternal peace to the departed soul. Earlier, Ashok Dahiya, DSP posted at Badli in Jhajjar, succumbed to Covid-19 during treatment at Badsha AIIMS.

He said that so far, 48,373 police personnel have taken their first dose of vaccine, while 30,130 have taken their second dose.

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TELANGANA IMPOSES 10-DAY LOCKDOWN FROM 12 MAY

Lokeswara Rao

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The meeting of the Telangana State cabinet, held at Pragathi Bhavan (CM’s residence) and chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, has taken several decisions on lockdown and curtailment of the coronavirus spread in the state.

The state Cabinet has decided to impose lockdown for 10 days beginning from 12 May from 10 am. The Cabinet also decided to give relaxation period from 6 am to 10 am for the people for their general activities and needs. Only for these four hours, all the shops will be opened and they would close for the rest of 20 hours, as the lockdown would be imposed strictly. The state Cabinet will meet again on 20 May to review the situation on the continuing of the lockdown and take a decision accordingly. The State Cabinet has also decided to invite global tenders to procure vaccines on a war footing.

The State Cabinet has instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to make corona related medicines, oxygen and injections like Remdesivir available for hospitals in the private sector along with the government-run hospitals.

The Cabinet also decided to constitute committees with ministers as chairman in all the districts, along with collectors, DMHO, drug inspectors. CM KCR has instructed the ministers to have a daily review meeting at their district headquarters on the corona pandemic.

From the Cabinet meeting, the CM spoke with the manufacturers of the remdesivir injections and asked them to supply required quantities of injections to the state. The Cabinet also approved constitution of a Task Force under the Chairmanship of IT and Industries Minister K.T. Rama Rao to ensure regular procurement and supply of the medicines and injections. The other members of the Task Force include Principal Secretary (Industries) Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (GAD) Vikas Raj, Principal Secretary (Panchayat Raj) Sandeep Sultania and CM secretary and Special Officer from the CMO on Covid Rajasekhar Reddy.

Sectors exempted from the lockdown include: works related to the agriculture produce, allied sectors, works undertaken with agriculture machines, running of rice mills, transport of paddy and rice, supplying paddy to the FCI, fertiliser and seed shops, seed manufacturing companies, and other agri-based sectors.

The Cabinet has decided, keeping in view welfare of farmers, to continue purchasing of the paddy.

Pharmaceutical companies, companies manufacturing medical equipment, medical distributors, medical shops, all types of medical and health services, government and private hospitals, their staff are also exempted. The staff and employees of these sectors would be given special passes and will be allowed with their vehicles. Supply of drinking water, sanitation works in rural and urban areas would continue. Power generation, distribution and their allied services would also be continued.

Transportation on National Highways will be allowed as it is. Petrol and diesel pumps would be open on the National Highways. Warehousing and cold storage activities have been exempted too, along with print and electronic media, and EGS works. Government offices would work with 33 percent of the staff. Like during the lockdown last time, banks and ATMs would also work. Only 40 members are allowed for marriages with prior permission.

The State Cabinet has instructed the DGP to strictly implement the lockdown following the Covid guidelines strictly.

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Maharashtra mulling importing vaccines directly: Aaditya Thackeray

Urvashi Khona

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MUMBAI: In the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination drive, Maharashtra on 11 May crossed the 1.82 crore mark. Citing vaccine shortage in Maharashtra and in Mumbai, Maharashtra Tourism And Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray, who is also the guardian minister of Mumbai Suburban, said that the state is now looking at possibilities of global procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to meet the inoculation demand.

Maharashtra–the state where Covid-19 has taken the maximum toll–is considering looking at the possibility of importing vaccines directly for the use of citizens in Mumbai. Thackeray tweeted, “Looking at the need for adequate vaccines to ensure that vaccination is swift & efficient, after discussing the issue with CM Uddhav Thackerayji, as guardian minister of Mumbai, we have asked @mybmc to explore possibilities of global procurement of vaccines.” Aaditya also tweeted about increasing vaccination centres to have one in every municipal ward; the road map for administering the second shot for every age group will be published soon. 

Aaditya Thackeray met BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal and Assistant Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani on Tuesday to discuss and work out on a strategy and roadmap for administering the second shot to all age groups in time, on communication and slots for those not tech savvy or on social media, on activation of 227 ward vaccination centres. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a different app than Co-WIN for its registration because with many people on the app at a time, it is difficult to get appointments.

Aaditya, who has been speaking about a possible third wave, also discussed about preparations for the same. “As for the possible third wave, while we add jumbo Covid care centres to increase bed and ICU capacity, we are also taking advice from Task Force of pediatricians constituted by CM Uddhav Thackerayji to prepare for Covid cases in children, if the need arises,” he tweeted.

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MAHARASHTRA TO DIVERT COVAXIN DOSES FOR 45-PLUS AGE GROUP

The 3 lakh vials of Covaxin were meant for the 18-44 age group.

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With the country reeling under the severe impact of the second wave of Covid-19, Maharashtra has been getting lower vaccine doses than it requires. Amid a shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses, Maharashtra has suspended vaccination for those in the 18-44 age group who want Covaxin. The state government on Tuesday said it has decided to divert three lakh vials of Covaxin meant for the 18-44 age group for the use of people aged above 45 years.

Speaking to reporters, Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday said that the Covaxin stock will be diverted to those above 45 years of age who are due for a second dose of the Covid vaccine.

According to a report by the State Bank of India’s (SBI’s) economic wing, Maharashtra should have a share of 17.8% in the total vaccine allocation. However, as per the current data, its share is only 10.1%. “Even if we include the vaccine doses in the pipeline, the share is going to rise marginally to 10.2% which will still be below the required doses,” the report.

“Around 35,000 doses of Covaxin are available for people above 45 years, but over five lakh people need the second dose of Covaxin. For this, we are diverting Covaxin stock to those above 45 years of age,” Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said.

The minister also demanded a separate vaccination app for Maharashtra. “There are technical difficulties and people from cities are taking vaccines in rural areas; therefore, we have requested for a separate app for Maharashtra,” the health minister said.

On mucormycosis, Tope said, “Multi-treatment is needed to treat mucormycosis. All hospitals do not have facilities to treat it, but we are preparing more hospitals which can treat mucormycosis. More than 2,000 cases in the state have been reported in state. Cases are likely to increase rapidly so immediate action is required on this.”

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has, meanwhile, been asked to explore the possibility of global procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to ensure efficient inoculation.

Maharashtra’s Covid-19 recovery rate stands at 86.97% as on 10 May, whereas according to the BMC, Mumbai’s recovery rate stands at 91%.

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ED REGISTERS MONEY LAUNDERING CASE AGAINST DESHMUKH

Preeti Sompura

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday registered a case of money laundering against former Maharashtra Home minister Anil Deshmukh. The case, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was registered based on the FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said people familiar with the development. The CBI case claims that ex-Maharashtra Home minister Deshmukh and “unknown others” had used their official position to obtain an undue advantage, as well as influenced the transfers and postings in the Mumbai Police, as alleged by former Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh. The ED was probing the financial aspects of the CBI case, as the central anti-money laundering agency is mandated to do so in any scheduled offence.

Param Bir Singh had alleged that Deshmukh, when he was the Maharashtra Home minister, had asked the then assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze to collect Rs 100 crore from hotels, bars, and restaurants in Mumbai. Vaze, later suspended, is currently behind bars in the 25 February Antilia explosives scare case as well as the alleged murder of businessman Mansukh Hiran on 5 March. The Bombay High Court had asked the premier anti-corruption agency to look into the allegations against Anil Deshmukh as part of a preliminary inquiry. Later, the case was converted into a regular First Information Report (FIR) and the agency teams raided the former Maharashtra home minister›s residences in Mumbai and Nagpur last Saturday. The ED has said that it was «looking into» the CBI FIR, considering that the allegations involving a Rs 100 crore sum each month are «huge» and warrants a case of public importance. The central probe agency may now summon Deshmukh for questioning apart from others, they said. The ED case comes after the CBI first carried out a preliminary enquiry, followed by filing a regular case, on the orders of the Bombay High Court that asked it to look into the allegations of bribery made against Deshmukh by Param Bir Singh.

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