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TN Last Week: Oppn Corners Govt Over Power Cuts; Surge in COVID-19 Cases

Sruti MD |
Several areas in the state reported repeated power cuts since last week. The Electricity Minister said that outage from the central grid was the reason for load shedding in the state.
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A 25-year-old man Vignesh, who was arrested for possessing ganja and for trying to assault policemen on April 18, died in police custody the next day. The probe into the case was transferred to the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department on April 22.

Struggling to make a living in the crisis-hit island nation, about 18 Sri Lankan Tamils including a 4-month pregnant woman and a one-and-half-year-old child arrived in two batches in Rameswaram on April 21. Reportedly, about 42 migrants have turned up since the recent economic crisis struck the country.

Health Minister M Subramanian on April 21 rejected the demand to reduce the tuition fees in Cuddalore Government Medical College. He said the students agreed to pay Rs 5.44 lakh per annum at the time of admission, the fee is already reduced to Rs 4 lakh per annum. Students have been on protest demanding fee reduction for several months.

Three conservancy workers have died due to asphyxiation while cleaning a sewage tank in Madurai April 21 night. The issue reverberated in the ongoing state assembly with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) legislator Sellur K Raju questioning the deaths. Tamil Nadu tops man-hole deaths in the country

Also, a 32-year-old worker was killed in an explosion, which occurred at a cracker manufacturing unit near Sivakasi in Virudhunagar on Wednesday.

NewsClick brings you a round-up of the happenings this week.

SURGE IN COVID-19 CASES

Tamil Nadu continued to see an uptick in daily COVID-19 cases this week, 53 infections were added afresh on April 23.

A COVID-19 cluster was formed in IIT-Madras; a total of 55 people were infected with the virus this week.

Amid a surge in cases, the Tamil Nadu government on April 22 reintroduced levying a penalty on those who don't wear a face-mask.

SPIKE IN POWER CUTS

Several areas in the state reported repeated power cuts since last week. Electricity Minister V Senthilbalaji said that outage from the central grid was the reason for load shedding in the state.

Opposition party AIADMK hit out at the Dravida Munntra Kazhagam (DMK) government saying it did not take any precautionary measure in beefing up the coal stock despite knowing that power demand will increase during summer.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 22, demanding his intervention to ensure the supply of 72,000 MTs coal per day at Paradip and Visakhapatnam ports as per the FSA (Fuel Supply Agreement).

PROTEST AGAINST GOVERNOR

Activists of various political outfits staged a black flag protest against Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi in Mayiladuthurai on April 19, when he visited a well-known mutt in the district.

Alleging the governor was attacked by the protestors, the opposition AIADMK wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi among others, seeking an "appropriate enquiry" to ascertain if it was pre-planned or there was a failure to provide protection to the Governor.

The ties between the DMK government and Governor Ravi are already waning, last week the cabinet members boycotted the 'in house reception' hosted by him. Read more

MID-DAY MEAL WORKERS AGITATE

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Thousands of Tamil Nadu mid-day meal employees from across the state gathered in Chennai on April 19 and held a protest with a 10-point demand. They urged the chief minister to pay them periodically, provide a pension of Rs 9,000 and to open a separate department for the scheme.

FARMERS OPPOSE LAND ACQUISITION

A massive protest was led on April 17 in Coimbatore in protest against the plans to acquire fertile farmlands to lay a new greenfield bypass road.

However, farmers have been opposing the project since its announcement in 2018. Read more

POWER ENGINEERS PROTEST

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TN Power Engineers Organisation protest. Image credit: Theekkathir

Engineers of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) held a protest on April 19 at the head office of the Board in Chennai. They voiced out against efforts to curtail the autonomy of the Board. They also demanded that vacancies must be filled.

Auto drivers also held a protest this week, on April 18, demanding the state government to open a software application on par with Ola, Uber and Rapido. Around 15 trade unions came together for the cause.

BJP DEFENDS ILAYARAJA

Renowned Tamil music composer Ilayaraja was mercilessly trolled by his fans for comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Babasaheb BR Ambedkar on April 14.

On various platforms, leaders of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) ridiculed the comparison.

The Bharatiya Janata Party came out in support of the music maestro and said his freedom of expression is being curtailed.

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