DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2020, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES MEASURING THEEPIDEMIC BY MILIND SOHONI PAGE 10 BUSINESS AS USUAL AFTER CJI TOOK SUO MOTU COGNIZANCE OF ‘HORRIFIC SCENES’ Deplorable, pathetic: SC slams Delhi, says state duty-bound to provide care BY UNNY Citing fears over public transport, Govt tells states to push for cycles KARISHMA MEHROTRA NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 ESTIMATING THAT the “90 per cent dip” in public transport ridership volumes during the lockdown is unlikely to pick up any time soon, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has called on states and Union Territories to come up with “alternative modes of transport” and “encourage and revive NonMotorised Transport (NMT)” such as bicycles. “Re-establishing the earlier level of ridership in public transport is a big challenge for cities, as people may be looking for moreoptions,especiallypersonal modes that allow for safer travel in the post lockdown scenario... Such dramatic and dynamic changes in demand and supply will require complementing these public transport systems with alternative modes of transit,” says the advisory, signed by SecretaryDurgaShankarMishra. The advisory says the “sense of insecurity in the minds of the publicintravellinginpublictransport during these testing times” Grieving relatives of the victim in Sitamarhi. Sanjay Kumar At the GTB Hospital, which is a Covid-only facility, in New Delhi on Friday. Abhinav Saha EXTRAORDINARYSITUATION,TRYINGOURBEST:DELHIGOVTONSCRAP, PAGE5 Issues notice to five states and Centre, calls for status report on hospital infra TRACKING INDIA’S COVID CURVE LOCKDOWN DAY CASES: 80 2,97,535 RECOVERED:1,47,194 | DEATHS:8,498 TESTS:53,63,445 | DOUBLINGRATE:18.20** SUKRITA BARUAH & ANANYA TIWARI ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 THE SUPREME Court on Friday strongly criticised the governments of Delhi and four other states for their handling of the Covid crisis, and directed them to take “immediate remedial action”. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul, and M R Shah describedthesituationinthenational capital as “deplorable & pathetic”, and expressed concern over the “grim situation” in Maharashtra, West Bengal, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu. The bench issued notices to the Centre and the state governments, and directed the chief secretaries to “immediately take appropriate notice of the status of patients’ management in the Government hospital in their respective States and take remedial action”. Thestateshavebeenaskedto CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At Delhi’s GTB Hospital, relatives are forced to tend to Covid patients NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 TOTAL CASES SURGEIN 24HRS 7-DAYAVG. DOUBLING GROWTH* RATE ** 97,648 22,067 34,687 38,716 5,958 9,768 3,607 513 1,877 1,875 260 440 3.30% 2.46% 4.79% 5.14% 4.25% 5.14% KEYSTATES TOWATCH ■ Maharashtra ■ Gujarat ■ Delhi ■ Tamil Nadu ■ Bihar ■ West Bengal * Compounded Daily Growth Rate over last 7 days 21.81 29.21 15.04 14 16.94 14 ** Calculated over 7-day growth CONCERN CAUTION A GLIMMER TAMIL NADU: Rise continues unabated. Now close to 2,000 cases every day MAHARASHTRA: Big jump after several days. Too early to say if this will halt slowdown HARYANA: Surge shows signs of easing. Growth rate drops 2 percentage points in last 3 days Based on daily data by Centre, ICMR, state governments SC ON OTHER ISSUES this war TRAVEL CURBS at NCR private hospitals: Asks government to step in FULL WAGES for lockdown: Says no coercive action against employers REPORTS,PAGES5,6 borders: Seeks minutes of meeting ACCOMMODATION for healthcare staff: Says cannot have dissatisfied soldiers in PAY CUTS for doctors in AT ONE of Delhi’s Covid-only hospitals, when patients need help, family members say it is theywhogoin,intowardswhich aremeanttobeisolated,toassist with food and water or take them to the toilet. GTB Hospital in Northeast Delhi was among the first state government hospitals to be designated a coronavirus facility, andhad228patientsasof Friday evening,aspertheDelhigovernment website. Amongthosewaitingoutside is Vipin Shrivastava. He says his sister has just gone in to tend to herhusband,whowasadmitted to the hospital seven days ago. He and his sister spend their CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Experts say watch death toll, not cases; PM to talk to CMs ABANTIKA GHOSH NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 AS COVID cases surge in India, epidemiologists,bothwithinthe governmentandoutside,saythe key metric to watch nowmaybe the death toll — a crucial marker both of the course of the epidemic and the success of state governments in tackling it. Over two days next week, June 16 and 17, Prime Minister NarendraModiwillinteractwith statechiefministers,withthesecond day of the video-conferencing set aside for CMs from states suchasMaharashtra,Delhi,West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and others, which are seeing a spurt in cases and death numbers. Thedeathtollhasbeenrising CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 As revenues plunge, GST Council Slow pick up in retail sales, only may borrow to compensate states those ‘with purpose’ stepping out AANCHAL MAGAZINE & LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 WITHREVENUEconcernsloominglargefortheCentreandstates alike,theGoodsandServicesTax (GST) Council on Friday decided to hold a single-point agenda meeting in July which will discuss market borrowing by the Council itself as one of the ways to raise money and compensate PAGE 1 ANCHOR At the GST Council meeting in New Delhi on Friday. ANI states for GST revenue losses. TheGSTActextendsaguaran- tee to states that any loss in revenues in the first five years of GST implementation(2017-2022)will be made good through a cess. If states’ actual revenues are less than projected revenues, the difference would be compensated. The projected revenues for states assumea14percentgrowthevery year,thebaseyearbeing2015-16. In thefirst two months of the current financial year, cumulative GST revenues of states and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PRANAV MUKUL & AASHISH AARYAN NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 WITH RESTRICTIONS on public spaces being lifted, retail outlets in the organised sector are witnessing a discernible shift in the way business is done. Retailers point to an interesting trend over the last couple of weeks. They say only a quarter of pre-lockdown customers are Outside a mall in East Delhi. Amit Mehra contributing to more than half therevenuestheyearnedearlier. Stores are not really offering discounts to boost demand or clear inventories given the fear of crowding,andtheneedtomaintainsocialdistance.Thissuggests only purposeful shoppers are visiting stores. “Only 25-30 per cent customers (compared to pre-lockdown)are visiting us. Now these customersaccountforalmost60 per cent of the sales compared to last year. They are coming CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Nepal border guards open fire at Bihar crossing, Indian killed Local issue, say officers on either side; Nepal House votes on map Bill today Kathmandu SANTOSH SINGH, YUBARAJ GHIMIRE & DEEPTIMAN TIWARY SITAMARHI, KATHMANDU, NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 AN INDIAN national was killed and two others were injured when the Nepal Armed Police Force, responsible for border security, opened fire on a group during a clash at a border point near Sitamarhi in Bihar Friday morning. SeniorpoliceofficersofNepal and Bihar and the Sashastra SeemaBalcalleditalocalincident andsaidithadnothingtodowith the border row between Delhi and Kathmandu over territorial claims to Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand — Nepal’sHouseofRepresentatives will vote Saturday on a Bill seeking to include the areas in the country’s new map. There are conflicting accounts of what led to the firing in which Vikesh Rai, a 25-yearold from Sonbarsa in Sitamarhi, was killed and two others, Umesh Ram and Uday Sharma, alsofromSonbarsa,wereinjured CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Malangawa NEPAL Janakpur Sonbarsa Sitamarhi BIHAR Patna E X P L A I NE D THE EDITORIAL PAGE `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 E ● Takinga hardline IGNORING INDIAN calls not to precipitate a crisis, the Oli government has fast-tracked the passage of a Bill to get parliamentary sanction for Nepal’s new map that includes territories on Indian maps. The territorial issue gives it a new lease of life, but the government, beset with challenges on the home front, may have complicated the future of negotiations with India on the matter. Pangong Tso still a concern, no response from China so far KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, JUNE 12 DEFENCE MINISTER Rajnath Singh met the military brass Friday for another review of the situationineasternLadakhwhere the Chinese, while agreeing to withdraw from some points along the Line of Actual Control, have so far not responded to Indian concerns over Pangong Tso.Thefaceoff betweenthetwo armies continues there. It was on the banks of this contested lake that Indian and Chinesetroopscametoblowson the night of May 5-6, triggering deployment of troops by both sidesatmultiplepointsalongthe LAC in eastern Ladakh. Indian Army sources told The Indian Express Friday that though theChinesehaveacceptedIndia’s viewsaboutotherpointsintheregion,theyhavenotacceptedorresponded to Indian concerns over the ground situation in Pangong Tso—notevenattheJune6meeting between XIV Corps CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Over 60% skilled, migrant workers fuel Rajasthan’s NREGS high DEEP MUKHERJEE JAIPUR, JUNE 12 CHAMPALAL BHIL walked home to Rajsamand in Rajasthan, from Botad in Gujarat, once the lockdown began. An electrician who migratedtoGujaratwithhisfamilyaroundtwoyearsago,Bhilsays he had stopped getting work there. Back in his Kaletra village, there is no work either, forcing him to look for MNREGS jobs, alongwithhiswifewhoisexpecting their third child. The 25-year-old skilled TEST REP RTS FROM THE FIELD TRACKINGTHEVIRUS, LOCKDOWN worker who is now looking at MNREGS to survive is not alone. Says Rajasthan MNREGS Commissioner P C Kishan, “Of the migrant workers who have returned to the state, 60-70% are skilled. Because they have no options, most of them haveturnedtoMNREGS,whichis currently engaging more than52lakhlabourersdailyinthe state, the highest in the country.” SinceApril17,whenthatnumberstoodat62,000,ithasbeenrising daily. MNREGS workers earn a maximum of Rs 220 a day in Rajasthan, with payments made fortnightly. Bhil says it is risky for his wife Chandra to work as a labourer at constructionsites,liftingmaterial like bricks, in her condition. However,withearningsdropping and with Bhil yet to find work Women workers engaged under MNREGS in Rajasthan after the lockdown. Express file evenundertheMNREGS,thefamilyhaslittlechoice.“Wehadnever done menial labour before as I know electrical work,” he says. Chandra says Bhil earned around Rs 10,000 a month in Gujarat. “I had an MNREGS job card, but didn’t have to work.” Data from the Rajasthan Labour Employment Exchange Department website show that, as of Friday, 13,13,678 migrant workershadreturnedtothestate –mostofthemtodistrictssuchas Udaipur, Dungarpur, Rajsamand, Pali, Sriganganagar, Bhilwara, Barmer,AjmerandAlwar.Thede- mand for MNREGS is the most in districtsthathaveseenthehighest numbers returning. Among those back in Dungarpur district, after seven yearsinGandhinagarinGujarat,is RameshMeena.Inhisearly20s,he fitsmarbletilesforalivingthere.“I earned Rs 600 every day, adding uptoaroundRs18,000amonth.I camehomebeforeHoliandcouldn’t go back as the lockdown was announced.NowIamworkingas an MNREGS labourer, earning aroundRs150-200aday,”hesays. Rajendra Vijay, Project Director cum Join Secretary, EmploymentGuaranteeScheme, says payments are made in proportion to the work done. On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who also holdstheRuralDevelopmentand Panchayati Raj portfolio, said the highest numbers were enrolled under the MNREGS in Bhilwara (4.11 lakh), followed by Dungarpur(3.55lakh),Banswara (3.50lakh)andAjmer(2.67lakh). Government data show that 38,843migrantshavereturnedto Bhilwara, 53,095 to Dungarpur, 7,956 to Banswara and 38,793 to Ajmer districts.
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.