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October 24, 2001 - October 24, 2001

CERS moves power panel on AEC bills Wednesday, October 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Consumer Education and Research Society has, on the basis of complaints received from consumers, filed a petition before Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission against the Ahmedabad Electricity Company regarding overcharging.

CERS has claimed that the overcharging is a result of meters continuing to run even when there is no load at the consumer's end, change in the date of meter-reading for AEC's convenience and abrupt replacement of existing meters with electronic ones.

CERS has stated that this is clearly a violation of rule 57(2) of the Indian Electricity Rules (1956) which states "no meter shall register at no load".

It has brought to the notice of GERC that random check of meters by representatives of CERS, AEC and the Inspector of Electricity found that a significant number of these showed consumption at "no load".

CERS has estimated that the total amount overcharged on this account may be as high as Rs 60.56 lakh a month. There are about 11 lakh AEC consumers.

As for changing the date of meter-reading to suit AEC's convenience, CERS has said in such cases AEC had altered the approved tariff slab rates to the disadvantage of consumers. With the addition of electricity duty and sales tax , the amount overcharged is substantial.

About abrupt replacement of existing meters with electronic ones, CERS has said several consumers had complained that the consumption recorded after the change of meters is higher though there is no change in usage pattern. AEC has not given prior intimation of replacement of meters as required under Section 14 of 'conditions of supply and miscellaneous charges' of AEC and Section 26(4) of the Indian Electricity Act, 1910 which permits removal of meter for testing purposes alone.

CERS has suggested that to give "fair and proper justice" to consumers, there should be third-party inspection of energy meters. It has also suggested that consumers should be permitted to install their own ISI-tested meters so that they are not required to pay meter rent to AEC.

CERS has filed the petition as AEC had not responded satisfactorily to the above matters when it was taken up with it earlier. CERS has also requested GERC to ask AEC to place the disputed amounts of recovery in a separate account till the matter is sorted out.

CERS submission
In a related development, CERS has filed a submission urging GERC to approve AEC's proposal to purchase power directly from a source other than Gujarat Electricity Board.

CERS has pointed out that apart from GEB's inability to meet the requirement of AEC in full, the power offered by another party is at a rate lower than charged by GEB. Permitting AEC to purchase power from non-GEB sources will enable it to supply adequate power at lower rates to the benefit of consumers.

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

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AMC convenes meeting of restaurateurs Wednesday, October 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on Tuesday held a meeting with around 700 hoteliers and restaurant owners of the city to discuss steps to ensure hygiene at the eateries.

Mayor Himmat Singh Patel urged the hoteliers to ensure supply of hygienic food, especially during festival time when more people frequented the food joints.

He warned them of harsh steps to prevent cases of food poisoning and asserted that AMC would never compromise on the health of its citizens.

Standing committee chairman Badruddin Sheikh said owners of food joints owners should co-operate with the authorities in ensuring strict hygiene levels for the benefit of the public.

Health committee chairman Narendra Brahmbhatt pointed out that AMC spends Rs 40 crore to ensure proper hygienic standards at hotels and restaurants while it raised only Rs 50 lakh through issuing health licences.

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

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Surat in brief on 23rd Oct. 2001 Wednesday, October 24, 2001

Export awards function
SURAT: The South Gujarat Textiles Exporters Association will organise an export awards function on October 27. Union minister of textiles Kashiram Rana would be the chief guest, said a press note.

SMC reshuffle
The Surat Municipal Corporation commissioner on Monday ordered massive internal transfers of senior level officers for administrative convenience, said an official press note.

Alumni meet
SVR College of Engineering & Technology will organise its first alumni meet on October 31, according to a press note.

Valuables stolen
Valuables and cash worth Rs 11,000 were stolen by unidentified persons from the living quarters of the civil hospital on Monday.

Athletic meet
An athletic meet for visually challenged persons of the state is being organised by the Manubhai Pithbathiwala Charitable Trust on October 28, said a press note.

Man stabbed
A 30-year-old man was stabbed to death near Athwalines on Monday following an altercation with a passer-by, police sources said.

Nirmal Hospital
City-based Nirmal Children Hospital will be expanded into a full-fledged general hospital from October 26, said a press note.

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

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Cong corporators issued whip for mayoral polls Wednesday, October 24, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Congress corporators on Monday were reportedly issued a whip to vote in favour of incumbent mayor and deputy mayor prior to AMC general board meeting called on Tuesday for election to the posts.

Sources in the party said the Congress corporators were asked to favour the re-election of Mayor Himmatsinh Patel and Deputy Mayor Khemchand Solanki. "Corporators have decided to have the present mayor and deputy mayor for another term," a senior councillor told TNN, adding that the decision for re-constitution of committees would be decided in the next general board meeting.

Earlier, the administrative wing postponed the farewell ceremony of the outgoing Municipal Commissioner K Kailashnathan due to meeting of the ruling Congress party corporators being convened at the last moment. The fresh date would be announced soon after the re-election of the top functionaries, sources said.

The corporators meeting assumes significance due to bumpy ride the party has had during its one-year rule since assuming power, as also the fact that voices of dissension are growing among a group of Congress corporators venting their ire against the mayor and standing committee chairman Badruddin Sheikh.

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

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1 more arrested in fake currency scam Wednesday, October 24, 2001

VADODARA: Organised crime branch of the city police have arrested one more person in connection with the counterfeit currency scam. Police disclosed the identity of the arrested person as one Dipu Bhailal Patel hailing from Rampur village of Dholka. Police said Patel was arrested on Tuesday.

Patel is the third accused arrested in the scam so far, besides Hasan alias Lala Sindhi of Vadodara and Hanif Vohra of Surat. All the three are learnt to be carriers in the fake currency scam which has been linked with the ISI.

Police said Patel had showed fake notes of Rs 50,000 to a city builder and offered him to sell it to him on his next visit. Patel had asked the builder for Rs 1.10 lakh in exchange of the counterfeit notes, OCB police inspector B Jadeja said.

Jadeja avoided disclosing the name of the city builder. Incidentally this is the third occasion when reference has been made to a city builder in the scam who is believed to be a resident of Karelibaug area.

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