TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 22 PAGES, NEW DELHI, `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) ● SATURDAY, AUGUST 18, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FAREWELL TO ATAL BIHARI VAJPAYEE National Mourning His final journey ends at Smriti Sthal, SAARC leaders attend funeral, condolences pour in from across the world 12 THE EDITORIAL PAGE His foreign policy: Relaxed realism By C RAJA MOHAN 13 THEIDEASPAGE Why I have been assaulted By SWAMI AGNIVESH BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY At ground zero of deluge, Idukki remains cut off for third day Vajpayee’s family at his funeral, Friday. Looking on are President Kovind, PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah, L K Advani, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu. Tashi Tobgyal SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, AUGUST 17 ASBUGLESsoundedthelastpost and soldiers fired in the air in salute, a sea of people at the SmritiSthalincentralDelhi bida tearful farewell to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee whose mortal remains were consignedtotheflameswithfull state honours Friday, a day after he passed away at age 93. The final journey somewhat symbolised his life: somewhat planned, somewhat unpredictable, some moments of bridging a divide, some moments of being out in the cold. And it all played out on a hot, humid afternoon. Friends and rivals sat together, watching in silence as Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya lit the pyre. Many in the crowd fought tears when the Tricolour draping Vajpayee was folded and handed over to grand daughter Niharika. Not since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991 had Delhi seen such a multitude gather to have a last glimpse of their leader. People in hundreds poured on to the roads as the cortege headed to Smriti Sthal from the BJP headquarters on Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Marg — Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah led the HIS FOOT SOLDIERS Prime Minister Narendra Modi leads the funeral procession from the BJP office to Smriti Sthal. Abhinav Saha mourners on foot the entire distance. At Smriti Sthal, Modi and Shah were joined by President RamNathKovind,VicePresident M Venkaiah Naidu, BJP veteran and Vajpayee’s close friend L K Advani, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congresschief RahulGandhiand a host of dignitaries, including Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai. The ceremony, watched in homes and offices across the country,wentoff withclockwork precision—itwas,afterall,astate funeral.Butlongbeforetheceremony, there were moments of panic,last-minutearrangements at the cremation venue. Shortly after noon, when people were filing past Vajpayee’s body at the BJP headquarters, policemen showed up at Smriti Sthal with boards announcingtheVIPalightingpoint. As Army personnel brought the wreaths, someone raised an alarm about stray dogs. Three dogcatcherspromptlyturnedup and began chasing the dogs — and a municipal van showed up. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGES 5, 6 As per new GDP measure, UPA SC said no to highway in Corbett but decade growth revised up to 8.12%, MoEF institute agrees to help clear it hit 10% in 2006-07: NDA panel CONFLICT OF INTEREST JAY MAZOOMDAAR ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU AVERAGE GDP GROWTH—NEW SERIES THE INDIAN economy grew at a faster clip in two terms of the UPA government between 2004-05 and 2013-14, when compared with average growth recorded in the first four years of the NDA government, according to new back series data released by a committee that was tasked with recommending ways to strengthen India’s data collection system. The average economic growth rate, or Gross Domestic Product at factor cost, was 8.87 per cent during the first term (2004-05to2008-09)of theUPA government, which fell to 7.39 per cent during its second term (2009-10 to 2013-14). In con- UPA-I NEW DELHI, AUGUST 17 10 WORLD 2004-05 to 2008-09 8.87 In 2006-07, growth hit 10.08% UPA-II 2009-10 to 2013-14 7.39 UPA decade 2004-05 to 2013-14 8.12 NDA 2014-15 to 2017-18 7.35 All figures in %, Source: Ministry of Statistics Committee on Real Sector trast, the average growth rate in first four years of the NDA government was recorded at 7.35 per cent (2014-15 to 2017-18). This data was presented in a report of the Committee on Real Sector Statistics, which was submitted to the National Statistical Commission recently. The data shows that the only year India grew in double digits was 2006- Kotdwar NEW DELHI, AUGUST 17 07 when growth touched 10.08 per cent. Growth fell to 7.16 per cent in 2008-09, as the global financial crisis of 2008 affected financial markets and economies across the world. In last two years of UPA government, the growth rate fell to 5.42 per cent and 6.05 percent,respectively,in2012-13 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RAISINGQUESTIONSofpropriety andconflictof interest,theUnion Environment Ministry’s premier researchcentreWildlifeInstitute of India (WII) has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd (NBCC) to “help and facilitate...in obtaining necessary approvals” underwildlifeandforestlawsfor a 50-km highway cutting through the core of the Corbett tiger reserve. This, when WII is part of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) which decides on proposalsseekingwildlifeclearance and provides technical expertise to the Ministry’s Forest Advisory Committees that examine projects for forest clearance. RouteclearedbySC Routegovernmentwants People airlifted during a rescue operation on Friday. Reuters ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, AUGUST 17 WITH KERALA battling floods unleashed by heavy rain — 165 people have lost their lives since August 8 — the ground zero of the deluge, Idukki district in the Western Ghats, remains the most affected. With a series of landslides adding to the destruction, officials and residents said Idukki has been “cut off from the outside world” since Wednesday. A ham radio set up at the district headquarters is the primary official mode of communication tosenddataonwaterlevelstothe state headquarters and disaster KERALA FLOODS PICKING UP THE PIECES FULL COVERAGE PAGE 7 management experts, officials said. Road and communication CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Inside Kochi’s SOS centre: ‘This is beyond imagination’ JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK VISHNU VARMA Bhogpur KOCHI, AUGUST 17 Ramnagar Kalagarh Uttarakhand Badigarh Jaspur Construction of thishighway between Kotdwar and Ramnagar is on the priority list of the state government. A major part of this proposed highway runs through Corbett tiger reserve as a restricted and unpaved forest road. But if opened asahighway,itwillcuttravelling Patrampur distance between Ramnagar in Kumaon and Kotdwar in Garhwal by 78 km but go right through one of India’s most rich elephant and tiger habitats. The state government is pushingthisdespitethefactthat in 2005, the Centre and the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE TWO rooms on the first floorof thedistrictcollectoratein Kochi,nearly40menandwomen arebusyhandlingphonecallsand scribbling notes on pieces of paper. These are the faceless voicesworkingthehelplinenumbers, handling distress calls in flood-ravagedErnakulamdistrict in central Kerala. Most of them are from the state’s revenue department, police and various IT firms in Kakkanad, the city’s software hub. And their mandate is clear: Get the contact number, address At the control room in Kakkanad, Kochi. Vishnu Varma andotherdetailsof allthosewho call, pass them on to colleagues operating desktops and laptops to be added to an excel sheet database. These sheets are then forwarded to local taluk offices, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR NEPAL’SNEW CRIMINALCODE CURBSPRESS FREEDOM IMRAN KHAN TO TAKE OATH AS PAK PM TODAY FROM ANDAMANS, 17-YEAR-OLD CYCLES TO WORLD NUMBER TWO NITIN SHARMA CHANDIGARH, AUGUST 17 ON THURSDAY night, Esow Alban won India’s first ever junior cycling World Cup medal when he finished second in the keirin event in Aigle, Switzerland. But it wasn’t until a day later that his mother found outaboutherson’sachievement. His father may not get to know about it for another week. Heavy rainfall over the last two days in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where the Albans hail from, has meant that there’s been little communica- tion between Esow’s parents. His father, Alban Didus, a head constable with the fire force, is on the remote Teressa Island, about 480 km away. His mother, Lelly Alban, has been busy sending messages about thehalf-dayholidayowingtothe death of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to rangers and other forest officials at the Kadamtala Forest office on Middle Andaman Island where sheworksasaClassIVemployee. It was only on Friday, when the 17-year-old Esow had already started training for his nexteventattheWorldCup,that she came to know about how theyoungestof herfourchildren hadbeenedgedoutby0.017seconds in a photo-finish by the Czech Republic’s Jakub Stastny. “Was it really a photo-finish? There has been no contact with hisfather overthelastoneweek. When he gets to know about the medal, he will be elated. Even though we are saddened by the loss of Vajpayeeji, Esow’s medal has made this day memorable for all of us. My eldest daughter told me she got the news about Esow from the Internet (Twitter),” says an excited Lelly, who belongs to the tribal village of Ginyuka. A student of Government Esow Alban with his medal in Switzerland Model School in Port Blair, Esow was sent to the State Sports Council Netaji Stadium by his mother after she came across a newspaper ad for induction of junior sports trainees. The youngster was enrolled for rowing but was soon shifted to cycling due to his low height. That one move turned out to be a masterstroke, as Esow quickly pedalled his way to a number of medals at the agegrouplevelandcaughttheattention of national coaches. It started with a silver in the under-14 500m time trial event in the 67th National Cycling Championships in Kerala in 2015. Soon, he shifted base to Delhi after being picked for the National Cycling Academy. “Esow is the youngest, but dearest to me. To send him to Delhi to train was very tough for us,” the mother recalls. Earlier this year, Esow won gold medals in the junior keirin and sprint events, in addition to a team gold in the junior sprint event at the Asian Track Cycling ChampionshipinNilai,Malaysia. It was his first major feat on foreignsoil,andonethathisformer coach,SudhenduSengupta,cannot stop gushing about. “There were around 20 junior cyclists, including Esow, who trained under me. He would spend hours watching others train on the cemented track and would practise till late. After one month, his mother told me that Esow had stopped attending school. I ensured that he returned to school but he latertold me, ‘Sir, this training is my real education’,” recalls Sengupta. Back then, the former SAI coach had four Colnago bikes with normal wheels, which had beenboughtin1994.Thecyclists would train on tracks that weren’t aligned to national and international standards. But for someone who grew up cycling CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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