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October 24, 2001 - October 24, 2001

Traffic diverted on S-G highway Wednesday, October 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Heavy vehicles have been asked to stay off the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway between 9 pm and 2 am till Thursday on account of the heavy traffic due to Navratri.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (traffic) Samiullah Ansari said that till this time heavy vehicles will not be allowed to move on this highway from the Vishala circle, Sanand chowkdi and Adalaj cross-roads. They would have to use the Ashram Road and pass through the city, he said.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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MLA's tip-off leads to seizure of wheat from mill Wednesday, October 24, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: The flying squad of the civil supplies department has impounded a truck laden with 107 bags of wheat allocated for the Public Distribution System (PDS) from a private flour mill in Dahod following a tip-off provided by Congress legislator Urvashidevi.

Civil supplies minister Bharat Barot told mediapersons here on Tuesday that the district collector had been asked to conduct an inquiry.

The officials impounded the wheat stock as well the truck and has even alerted district collectors to be vigilant against sale of commodities meant for PDS in black market at other places.

Barot has convened a meeting of district collectors and district supply officials to take stock of the supply position of essential commodities through fair price shops numbering more than 14,200 of which 3,804 are in urban areas and the remaining 10,425 in rural areas.

He said the number of ration card holders in Gujarat had crossed the 1.6-crore mark which included 34 BPL card holders and 72 lakh APL card holders. The functioning of PDS would be streamlined in coming months he said adding that these issues would be discussed at the meeting with collectors and DSOs.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Arvind Patel's induction into Cabinet demanded Wednesday, October 24, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: A group of supporters of BJP legislator Arvind Patel on Tuesday staged a demonstration in Sachivalaya demanding his induction into the state Cabinet, or else taluka committee functionaries of the BJP in Chansma and Bahucharaji would resign en masse.

Police stopped them from entering the ministerial block. Later a delegation was allowed to meet Chief Minister Narendra Modi. It is learnt that Modi expressed his displeasure over the pressure tactics adopted by the BJP workers.

Modi reportedly told them to make a representation regarding their demand to state BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana. Taluka leaders Dhanjibhai Patel and Vishnubhai Patel told mediapersons that they would continue their agitation till their demand was conceded. They said it was shocking that Arvind Patel was meted out a great injustice as his name had earlier figured in the list of probables, finalised by the BJP leadership.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Another Vadodara boy has made to Indian Team Wednesday, October 24, 2001

VADODARA: Another Vadodara boy has made it to the national cricket team, riding on his excellent domestic record and the Indian team's search for an ideal opener for Tests on South Africa's bouncy wickets. With Vadodara Ranji captain and elegant left-hand opening batsman Connor Williams being picked up for the Test series, the city keeps up its tradition of contributing to Indian cricket.

"I am really happy to have been chosen though it has not come as a total surprise. I had an expectation since my knocks in the recent Irani Trophy in Nagpur. I will put in my best and make the most of this opportunity," Connor told TNN from Mumbai.

Though Connor was knocking on the doors of the Indian team that has been hard pressed to solve its opening problem, many feel that the two sterling knocks of 143 and 83 that he played during the Irani Trophy paved the way for his entry.

And, if Connor does win his India cap, he would be pairing up with his opening partner Shiv Sundar Das with whom he opened for India A team against Pakistan A team during a match in Abu Dhabi.

"Connor's selection has made us all happy. We are delighted. His hard work has paid off and I know he will put in his best," said an exalted Cecil R Williams, father of Connor, who has also captained the Vadodara Ranji side.

"Connor is an ideal opening batsman. He is tough and his technique is perfect. He has experience of about six to seven years of first class cricket and I am sure he will do a good job. It's a great achievement for Vadodara," says former Indian keeper Kiran More, who has coached Connor.

Incidentally, it was Kiran More who got Connor to open the innings. "He began his career as a middle-order batsman. It was More who suggested that Connor had the technique to open an innings. And, the efforts have paid off," said CR Williams.

While Connor began representing Vadodara in the Ranji Trophy matches since 1993-94, he scored his first century as an opener against Punjab in 1995-96. He has already scored more than 3,000 first class runs with six centuries and a double century.

Connor has not only played an important role in taking Vadodara to the Ranji Trophy championship this season, he scored 720 runs at an average of 52 in 2000-2001, 600 runs with an average of 60 in 1999-2000 and 585 runs in 1998-1999 with an average of 62.

Here's wishing him all the best!

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Infant's death in City Gold exposes political chinks Wednesday, October 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The death of 13-month-old Agastya Bhatt appears to have exposed political links in the City Gold cine-multiplex, the mention of which were hitherto considered taboo since the earthquake. Curiously, son of former state revenue minister Vajubhai Vala, Bhavdeep, admitted publicly on Tuesday that he had withdrawn his shares and resigned as director from the Sujas Members Association of Sujas Entertainment which built City Gold.

Vala's admission in a public notice published in all major newspapers is not merely incidental, coming as it does after the multiplex got caught in another whirlpool of controversy following the infant's death. Agastya drowned in the 10 feet deep water sump located in the cine-multiplex premises last Friday, but the family which is recovering from the trauma has not yet lodged a complaint with the police.

What prompted Vala to declare that he had resigned as director and shareholder from the City Gold project three months after he submitted his resignation, (he claims to have resigned on July 2) is still a mystery. When contacted, Bhavdeep Vala denied that there was any connection between his declaration and the accident. "It was necessary so that nobody misuses Vajubhai's name to bring pressure in case a legal notice has to be served," he said.

Asked why he had withdrawn from the project, he said, "I am building a multiplex right here in Rajkot and find it difficult to come to Ahmedabad all the time. Moreover there were people bothering me for tickets and all that ... ," he confessed.

But Bhavdeep is clear that his business stakes in Ahmedabad were only restricted to the theatre bit of City Gold and nothing else. "I am not interested in politics and my father is not involved in my business, just because I was friendly with Sanjay Agrawal (Chimanbhai Agrawal's son), I took this up," he said.

Chimanbhai Agrawal flatly denied that there was negligence involved in the accident and added that "Vala's declaration of his resignation was long overdue." Denying that there was any political or business pressure on him, he said "Vala wanted to restrict himself to Rajkot".

The Navrangpura police station took cognisance of the incident by making an entry under 'accidental death' and is investigating into the case of Agastya's death.

Meanwhile, the Citizens Council Ahmedabad has written to the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court requesting his intervention in the matter. Chairman Hariprasad Vyas and co-ordinator Ranjit Singh Dhillon of CCA have demanded that the owners of the complex be brought to book and the multiplex be closed down immediately. A similar letter has also been shot to the Chief Justice by the Lokshahi Suraksha Sangathan, Vijay Mistry from the Sangathan told TNN.

Police officials opine, "it will be considered an accident unless proved otherwise." Incidentally, this is not the first accident in this premise after a painter suspended from a cord to touch up the multiplex's exterior, slipped to his death some six months back.

Today the police has evidence to prove that there was negligence on the part of the painting contractor involved "since the cord had thinned at certain points and was already weak when the labourer was using it," said a police officer investigating the case.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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