DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 73 dead, 8 at a Covid hospital: rain disrupts west Maharashtra ` 108 per kilo ` 136 per kilo ` 168 per kilo ` 70 per Dozen Districtsreportlandslides,housecollapses;2trainsstranded EXPRESS NETWORK MAHARASHTRA HURRIYAT LEADERS, MEHBOOBA FAMILY AMONG POTENTIAL PEGASUS TARGETS MUMBAI Raigad Satara ArabianSea PAGE 7 BUSINESS AS USUAL Sangli Kolhapur Ratnagiri BY UNNY Empty seats during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Tokyo on Friday. Reuters MOREREPORTS,PAGES15,16 A year late, the Tokyo Games begin... slower, lower, quieter, unflagging SC dismisses EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS telcos’ pleas on ‘errors’, no MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, JULY 23 change in dues AT 8 pm sharp local time Friday, ANANTHAKRISHNAN G & AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, JULY 23 THE SUPREME Court Friday dismissed applications by telecom companiesseekingcorrectionof what they claimed were “arithmeticerrors”inthecalculationof Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) payable to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). “All applications are dismissed,” a bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah said. While Bharti Airtel had estimated its AGR dues at Rs 18,000 crore and Vi (Vodafone Idea) at Rs 25,000 crore, the DoT told the Supreme Court the two companies owed it Rs 43,000 crore and Rs 58,000 crore, respectively. The SC order will particularly intensifythefinancialtroublesfor debt-laden Vi, market analysts said. It has to pay nearly Rs 6,000 crore in AGR dues every year between 2021 and 2031. The companyalsoowedRs96,270crorein CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Uncertaintyends THE QUESTION of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues payable by telecom companies to the government had been a point of dispute since 2003. In 2011, the SC first ruled that TRAI and TDSAT did not have the jurisdiction to exclude certain items of revenue included in AGR. On Friday, it dismissed all pleas by companies over arithmetic errors in the calculation of AGR. the lights dimmed and the fireworks went off. And the country obsessedwithpunctualitycould finallybegintheOlympicGames a year later than originally scheduled. It was surreal outside the National Stadium, sombre and strange inside. Roughly a thousand people lined up on the narrow lane leading to the cavernous facility. They have been banned from entering the stadium during the Olympics because of the sharp rise in Covid19 cases — so, the Tokyoites jammed the streets. They waved at every bus heading in the direction of the stadium, posed in front of the rings, and clicked pictures every time the pyrotechnics went off from the roof. A Japanese flag THE EDITORIAL PAGE PLAY IN THE MOMENT BY PULLELA GOPICHAND PAGE 10 hung from the window of an adjoiningbuildingandrightbelow, a lone Indian man, seemingly in his late-20s, milled about carrying a message of support for the country’s120athletes.Inthedistance,theimposingTokyoTower shone bright in the Olympic colours. PEGASUS STANDOFF: FIRST WEEK WASHED OUT TMC MP suspended, Naidu says conduct assault on democracy Santanu Sen digs his heels in, his party says faced hooliganism in Rajya Sabha WITH THE BJP Government not yielding to the demand for a discussion on the Pegasus spyware phone hacking scandal and the Opposition remaining firm on answers from it, Parliament remainedstalledforthefourthday Friday. In the Rajya Sabha, TrinamoolCongressMPSantanu Sen who tore IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s statement Thursdaywassuspendedfor the remaining part of the session, leading to more uproar. The Lok Sabha, too, could not transact any business. Barring a discussionontheCovidsituation in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday, the first week of the Monsoon Session was a complete washout, primarily over the hacking revelations. In the Rajya Sabha, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharanmovedamotion seeking the suspension of Sen CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Gyanvapi mosque gives land near it for Kashi temple corridor project ASAD REHMAN LUCKNOW, JULY 23 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 23 There were protesters, too. Not in huge numbers but loud enough to be heard inside the stadium. Every time there was a lull in the music, the protesters outside could be heard. “Go to hell, IOC!” they chanted, directing their anger at the International Olympic Committee, who, let’s just say, aren’t too popular here. These sharply-defined emotions were felt inside the stadium, too. There wasn’t any synchronised banging of the drums, like TMC MPs Sukhendu Sekhar Ray, Santanu Sen and Derek O’Brien in New Delhi on Friday. Prem Nath Pandey All my phones tapped, says Rahul; hand them for probe, counters BJP My security tell me they have to report to seniors all I say: Gandhi EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 23 DAYS AFTER it was reported that his phone was on a list of potential targets for surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Friday that not only all his phones are “tapped” but his securitypersonnelhadbeenasked to report to their seniors everything he said. Gandhi accused the BJP government of having used the Pegasus spyware, which he called a weapon, against the Indian state and institutions. Gandhi said he was not a potential target. “My phone is tapped. It is clearly tapped, so it is not a potential target.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE COMMITTEE that runs the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi has handed over a piece of land outside the mosque complex to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust, in exchange for another plot of land in the vicinity. The land ceded by the mosquehadbeengivenbyitearlieronaperpetualleasetotheadministration, to build a police control room, in the wake of the demolition of the Babri Masjid, mosque officials said. The Trust hadsoughtitseveralyearsagofor the temple corridor project in Varanasi, a mosque official said. While this plot, located around 15 metres from the mosque complex, is equal in valuetotheoneitwasexchanged for, it is larger in size. The land given by the mosque measures 1,700sqftcomparedtothe1,000 sq ft given to it in exchange. S M Yasin, joint secretary of the AnjumanIntezamiamosque and the caretaker of the Gyanvapi Masjid, told The Indian Expressthattheplothandedover was not connected to the mosque and is separate. “Under the Gyanvapi mosque committee, there are three plots of land. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Covid year, 2 lakh students move from private to govt schools in Andhra, 60,000 drop out PAGE 1 ANCHOR SREENIVAS JANYALA HYDERABAD, JULY 23 IN THE academic year 2020-21, more than 2 lakh students between Classes 1 and 12 moved from private schools to governmentinAndhraPradesh.Around 60,253 are estimated to have dropped out of the system. In total, 3,57,873 students either dropped out of school or took transfer certificates for moving to other schools. The number of students who moved from private schools to government is exactly 2,02,599, as per Education Department data, while 8,448 moved from governmentto private. Whileenrolment is still on, as of now, the student strength in government schools is estimated to be 72,33,040 compared to around 10 lakh in private schools. The move from government to private schools is in line with whathasbeenobservedinother states in the 2020-21 academic WRITING ON THE BLACKBOARD 2,02,599 No. of Class 1-12 students who moved from pvt to govt schools 2020-21 60,253 No. of students out of the school system 3,57,873 No. of students who have dropped out or taken transfer certificates 8,448 No. of students who moved from govt to pvt schools 72,33,040 Strength in govt schools 10 lakh Strength in pvt schools year, which coincided with Covid-19 and consequent economic distress. Officials said the number of dropouts in districts in 2020-21 was three or four times previous years,goinguptonine times. For instance, 19,800 dropped out in Visakhapatnam in 2019-20 compared to 36,016 in 2020-21. In East Godavari, the numbers stand at 3,800 versus 36,237; and in Kurnool, the numbers have surged from less than 10,000 in 2019-20 to 42,328 in 2020-21. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 YOGESH NAIK, VALLABH OZARKAR & MANOJ MORE MUMBAI, PUNE, JULY 23 MORETHAN73peoplehavedied in Maharashtra since Thursday evening as rain described as "unprecedented"bythestategovernmentcausedlandslidesandhouse collapses in the western and southern areas of the state. Over 7,000 were rescued in badly hit Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts. Among the dead were eight admitted to a Covid hospital in Chiplun, Ratnagiri, who were killed when water entered the premises.CollectorBNPatilsaid, "Four people were on ventilator and they could have died due to lack of power, and four probably died because of trauma." The Aparant Hospital had 22 pa- IAF personnel carry out rescue work in Chiplun, in Ratnagiri district, on Friday. Defence PRO MOREREPORTS,PAGE4 tients, and the others have been shifted. Konkan Divisional CommissionerVBPatilsaidthey hadnotreceivedanydistresscall from the hospital. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Mahad like a river, city under water’ VALLABH OZARKAR & JAYPRAKASH S NAIDU MUMBAI, ALIBAG, JULY 23 INTENSE RAINFALL coupled with excess rainwater from Mahabaleshwar draining into river Savitri and causing it to overflow triggered disaster at Mahad in Raigad, with the city and surrounding villages under water, two landslides in the district in which more than 40 people are dead, rescue operations Taliye village in Mahad on Friday. Deepak Joshi hampered by the floodwaters and disruption in telecom serv- ices and power supply. Taliye in Mahad taluka, whereahugelandslideoccurred on Thursday evening, is a village of 240 people, located 22 km from Mahad city. Around 35 houses were buried under the debris of a hillock that came crashing down on the houses. Officials said over a 100 people escaped the landslide as they were out for work. Around 85 people were hit by the landslide. A rescue team of National CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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