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Buses return on Telangana roads after 58 days



Telangana CM KC Rao
File Photo

Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) After a gap of nearly two months, buses returned to the roads in Telangana on Tuesday with the state government relaxing the lockdown norms to allow resumption of bus services.

State-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) resumed bus services from 6 a.m. across the state, except in Hyderabad where city bus services remained suspended.

Buses were back on the roads in all 32 districts after a gap of 58 days. The services were suspended due to nationwide ”Janata curfew” on March 22 and the same day the state government announced a total lockdown.

The state cabinet on Monday decided to relax the lockdown norms to allow the resumption of bus services. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday night told reporters that the TSRTC would resume the services from Tuesday.

Since Greater Hyderabad is the worst affected by Covid-19 and part of the state capital still reporting new cases every day, the government decided not to resume the city services.

Even the buses to and from the districts are not being operated from the Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), the biggest bus station in the state, and certain other bus stations close to the containment zones.

Jubliee Bus Station (JBS) in Secunderabad is handling the bus services to and from the Karimnagar side. Similarly, the TSRTC authorities designated certain points on the city outskirts to operate the services to and from other districts.

The TSRTC has also not resumed bus services to other states. The Chief Minister said since neighbouring Maharashtra is worst affected by Covid-19 and Andhra Pradesh too has high number of cases, it was decided to keep the interstate bus services suspended.

Telangana is also not allowing buses from other states to enter its territory.

The bus depots and stations across the state, which were deserted for nearly two months, saw the return of some hustle bustle early Tuesday as drivers, conductors and other employees resumed their duties. Wearing face masks, the employees attended to the work.

Buses and the premises of bus depots and stations were sanitized. Conductors were seen carrying sanitizer bottles and sprinkling it on the hands of passengers. “We are issuing tickets only to those passengers who are wearing face masks. The conductors are ensuring that the social distancing is maintained in buses,” a TSRTC official said.

While seating arrangements in few buses have been changed to ensure social distancing, in the majority of the buses the conductors are making sure that the seat next to a passenger remains vacant. The conductors have also been issued directions not to allow standing passengers to ensure social distancing.

People lined up since early morning to buy tickets at the JBS and other bus stations. Since autos and taxis also resumed the service from Tuesday, the passengers are not likely to face the hardships in the last mile connectivity.

Both the city bus services and the Hyderabad Metro services have not resumed and hence the passengers will have to depend on auto rickshaws and cabs to reach the bus stations or designated boarding and alighting points.

The TSRTC has 10,460 buses and in normal days its services ferry a little over one crore people every day.


Rape accused Bishop Franco tests Covid positive





JALANDHAR: Former Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is facing the case of raping a nun in Kerala, has tested positive for Covid-19. On Monday a court in Kottayam cancelled bail granted to him earlier and non-bailable arrest warrant was issued.
Court cancelled the bail after prosecution brought out the evidence that he had not appeared on July 1 on a false pretext that Jalandhar was a containment zone and he could not move out. Prosecution produced records taken from Jalandhar administration to drive home its point that the area where he has been staying was not a containment zone.

However on Monday evening he tested positive for Covid-19. It is learnt that he was tested on July 6 also but he tested negative. Now he has sore throat and cough due to which he gave his sample again on Monday and tested positive.
When asked, Jalandhar Diocese spokesperson Father Peter said that Franco had two long sessions of discussion with his counsel Mandeep Sachdeva on June 29 and 30 and a couple of days later Sachdeva tested positive.

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Coal mines auction: Soren thanks SC for notice to Centre




Supreme Court

Jharkahnd Chief Minister Hemant Soren has thanked the Supreme Court for seeking a response from the Centre on a plea by the state government challenging the decision to auction coal mines for commercial mining.

“I would like to thank the Hon’ble Supreme Court for today’s (Tuesday) directives. As reiterated before, Jharkhand Government is committed to an inclusive welfare centric development model safeguarding environment, forests and forest dwelling communities; minimising socio-environmental impact”, the Chief Minister said in his tweet.

The state government’s statement quoting the Chief MInister said, “Government is against the auction of coal blocks. The state government is committed to an overall development safeguarding environment, forests and the forest dwelling communities”.

A bench of Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and Justices R. Subhash Reddy and A.S. Bopanna on Tuesday gave four weeks to the Centre to reply to the petition filed by the Jharkhand government challenging the Centre’s decision to allow commercial mining of coal blocks.

Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Fali S. Nariman represented the Jharkhand government.

Nariman said that this plea was adjourned, and he would like to make short submissions.

The state government has alleged that it was not consulted in the process of making this announcement.

Chief Justice Bobde noted that the bench is inclined to issue notice on the matter and hear it on injunction and list it as early as possible.

Nariman urged the bench to list the matter before August 18. The bench said it will list the matter after four weeks and will give a date later.


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Bengal Madhyamik results on Wednesday: Mamata




Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced that the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) Board Madhyamik Class 10 results for 2020 will be declared on Wednesday.

The class-10 results are expected to declared on the official website at 10 a.m.

“I want to congratulate all the candidates whose results will be announced tomorrow. Some students may not do well in the exam. But there is no reason to lose hope. They should prepare themselves and appear for the examination next year,” the Chief Minister said.

Around 10 lakh candidates, including 5 lakh female students, appeared for the Madhyamik examinations this year. The examination ended in February but the results have been delayed owing to the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown.

Sources said that candidates can check their results on wbbse.org and wbresults.nic.in or the third-party website, examresults.net.

Source: IANS

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