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There’s a scandal, people must know about it: SP Tyagi

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There’s a scandal, people must know about it: SP Tyagi

Former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi on Wednesday refuted allegations that he was paid bribes to swing a Rs. 3,600 crore deal for procuring 12 choppers from Italian firm Finmeccanica to ferry VVIPs. “I am innocent. These allegations are totally baseless and I am denying them categorically. The deal was signed in 2010 whereas I retired in 2007 itself,” he said.
Asked if he had changed any specifications for the contract to favour Finmeccanica, Tyagi said the “staff qualitative requirements for the VVIP choppers were frozen in 2003, much before I assumed the office of Chief of Air Staff, and the IAF did not change any requirements after that.”

Asked about his relations with three alleged middlemen for the deal including one ‘former IAF officer Captain Tyagi’, the former Chief said he was his cousin but their relationship did not go beyond this.

Reports on Wednesday suggested that Italian investigators have alleged in a preliminary inquiry submitted in an Italian court that business conglomerate Finmeccanica bribed S P Tyagi when he was chief of the Indian Air Force to swing the controversial AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal in favour of the company.

After the arrest of Finmeccanica’s head on Tuesday in Italy in connection with the controversial deal, the Defence Ministry here ordered a CBI probe into the charges.

“I have been hit by a thunderstorm,” Tyagi told reporters on allegations that the Italian company had bribed him to swing the chopper deal in its favour.

Another scam unfolded with the arrest of the head of a state-controlled Italian aerospace company that is suspected of paying bribes of about Rs. 362 crore in India to get orders for helicopters to ferry Indian VVIPs, prompting the government to order a CBI probe.

The Ministry of Defence also decided to put on hold the receipt of the remaining nine of the 12 helicopters for which the Rs. 3600 crore deal was struck in 2010.

“Giuseppe Orsi, the head of Italian defence and aerospace giant Finmeccanica, was arrested on Monday in relation to a probe into international corruption. He is suspected of involvement in the payment of bribes regarding the sale to the Indian government of 12 helicopters produced by Finmeccanica’s subsidiary AgustaWestland,” Italian news agency Ansa said.

“There is smoke,” Tyagi said while favouring a probe into the deal.

“When I became the Air chief in 2004 and in 2007, I retired, during that period no changes were made.

“According to my information, nothing was done which raises a suspicion from my side. But it is true if there are so many reports, then there is something in it.

“I don’t know what it is but all I can say is that it should be inquired. There should be an inquiry so that all the facts come out. I am not only ready for an inquiry but I want an inquiry,” he said.

“There is a scandal. People must know about it,” Tyagi said.

Asked about the alleged involvement of three of his relatives, he said, “The fact is they are related to me. But there are no business links (as alleged) with them….We were really not in touch when I was in service”.

“Tender was issued during my tenure but the charge is that the company which got the tender, AugustaWestland they may not have been able to compete if the requirements would not have been changed. For these matters only somebody will bribe me.

“So I want to tell you two-three things – Air Headquarters cannot change requirements. It is not a general store, there is a system. The system is Air Headquarter can recommend but cannot approve,” the former Air chief said.

Maintaining that there were no changes between 2004 and 2007, he said, “If you remember in 2000, the Defence Minister was George Fernandes, he use to go to Siachen and other places. So it was thought that VIPS will go to Siachen. So till 18000 feet the plane should operate.

“If Prime Minister accompanies them, SPG will also go. His PS will also go. So what should be its weight and other technicalities. So I don’t know about these things. But there was a talk about 18,000 feet. When in 2000 tender action was taken they got to know that nobody in the world builds a plane that operates at 18,000 feet only. In the entire world, a French plane was there which could operate at 18,000 ft,” he said.

In 2003, Government said it is not proper. SPG said cabin weight of the copter is low and they will not be able to stand in it, he said, adding that the SPG wanted to be involved in the selection process.

These changes were made in 2003 before he took over, Tyagi said.

“After that I know only this much that SPG and Defence Minister had a lot of correspondence on the kinds of fittings in the plane for example SPG wanted to install an armour plate but we said plane will not fly because it will be heavy. It will become a tank,” he said.
-PTI

Himachal Watcher is a Himachal Pradesh Based Non-Funded & Independent Online English Magazine

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Himachal: 58 More Patients Succumb to Covid-19, Total Active Cases Reach 36,633

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covid cases and deaths in himachal on may 17

Shimla-The death toll in Himachal Pradesh reached 2,369 on Monday after 58 patients of coronavirus succumbed to severe symptoms of the infection. According to official data released by the state government, 3,546 new cases of coronavirus were detected in the last 24-hours. This takes the total cases of infection in the state to 1,63,786 out of which 36,633 are active cases.

With 24 deaths, the Kangra district reported the highest number of casualties on Monday.  The district also reported the highest 1241 cases. The Solan district reported 10 fatalities in the last 24-hours.; while at the same time, Shimla reported seven deaths. 45 patients who succumbed to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours had no comorbidities while 16 patients were under the age of 50. Out of 13,556 Covid tests that were run across the state, 647 remain awaited.

Also Read: Himachal’s Positivity and Fatality Rates for Last Week High at 28.9% and 1.52% Respectively

 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 17, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

covid cases in himachal pradesh on may 17

The state government opened the vaccination drive for people in the 18-44 age group category on Monday. A total of 23,319 people received their first dose of vaccine across the state. While only 90 people across the state received their second dose of vaccine on Monday. 4,34,604 people have received both doses of the Covid vaccine by Monday. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Monday that for the latest vaccination drive, 213 centers have been set up in the state.  Under the 18-44 age group, 21,090 people have already booked their slots.  CM Thakur also urged people to observe Covid-prevention protocols like wearing face masks and sanitising hands at the Centres.

The next day of vaccination for 18-44 years is on Thursday and the sessions for the same would be made available on the COWIN portal on Tuesday. Other sessions for the vaccination would be held on May 24, May 27, and May 31. 

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths in Himachal Pradesh for May 17, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

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On First Day of Vaccination Drive in Himachal Pradesh (18-44 years), 19810 Vaccinated

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vaccination scheudel in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Vaccination drive for 18-44 years age group in Himachal Pradesh has begun from today. On the first day of the drive, 19810 persons were administered the first dose of the vaccine in the state, informed the state health department. The highest 4121 persons were vaccinated in Kangra district, which is the epicentre of the pandemic in Himachal Pradesh.

For this drive, 213 vaccination centres had been set up in the State. The state government urged people to get registered and schedule their appointments

Registered persons have been asked to arrive at the vaccination centres as per their schedule to avoid overcrowding.

A total of 21090 people had registered so far. The next date of vaccination for 18-44 years would be 20th May 2021 and sessions for that day would be published on the COWIN portal on 18th May 2021. Other sessions for the vaccination would be held on 24th, 27th and 31st May 2021 for this age group.

The HP government claimed that 31 per cent of Himachal Pradesh’s population has been vaccinated and 21,50,353 doses of vaccine had been administered.

Vaccination drive for health care workers was stated on 16th January 2021, for front line workers on 2nd February 2021, for 60+age groups and 45-60 years with co-morbidities on 1st March 2021 and for 45+ population on 1st April 2021.

The government informed that 386 cold chain points had been established along with State Vaccine Store-I and Regional Vaccine Store-2 through which these vaccines were being distributed. These points were being monitored on Electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) basis.

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Himachal’s Positivity and Fatality Rates for Last Week High at 28.9% and 1.52% Respectively, Recovery Count 124434: HP Govt

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Himachal Pradehs' Fatality and positivity rate

Shimla-So far 161072 persons have been tested for COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh, out of which 124434 persons have recovered and the recovery rate is 75.5 per cent, the state government said in an official statement on Monday.   

From 200 active cases in the state in February 2021, the number has increased to 34258. Last week Himachal reported 28817 positive cases. The positivity rate was 28.9 percent and during the same period. During this period, the state reported 439 deaths- at a case fatality rate of 1.52 percent.

A total of 99807 Covid samples were taken. of which 28817 tested positive.

District-Wise Covid-19 Tests and Positive Cases in Himachal Pradesh During Last Week

District Persons Tested Found Positive
Bilaspur 10006 2055
Chamba 11149 2003
Hamirpur  7169 2255
Kangra  22824 8686
Kinnaur  2287 248
Kullu  3276 691
Lahaul and Spiti  2267 196
Mandi  10896 3471
Shimla  7926 2418
Sirmour  5948 2215
Solan 7945 2624
Una 8114 8114
     

 

The state government claimed that a delay in shifting the Covid patients in home isolation to hospitals was one of the major cause of fatality in Himachal Pradesh.

The government said that though a large number of people are recovering from the disease, many people are reporting a wide variety of signs and symptoms including fatigue, body aches, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, etc during the recovery period. As of now, there is limited evidence of post-Covid complications, the government claimed.

Patients recovering have been strongly advised to continue Covid appropriate behaviour such as the use of mask, hand & respiratory hygiene, physical distancing, drink an adequate amount of warm water, take immunity booster medicines. Such persons were also advised to practice yogasana, pranayam, meditation and breathing exercises daily.

They must go for morning or evening walk, follow a balanced nutritious diet, have adequate sleep and rest, and avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol, the statement said. In case of persistent dry cough / sore throat, saline gargles and steam inhalation were suggested.

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