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October 20, 2001 - October 20, 2001

Rana urges Modi to speed up Surat projects Saturday, October 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Union textiles minister Kashiram Rana has urged Chief Minister Narendra Modi to expedite pending problems of Surat, including construction of new air port complex and setting up of garment park in the city.

Rana called on Modi in Gandhinagar and submitted a detailed note on various proposals. Some of them have been cleared by the state government, while many others were still lying undecided. He also discussed organisational issues with the chief minister.

The textiles minister drew Modi's attention towards the inordinate delay in the execution of the airport project under which only the fencing task has started. The state officials have not yet taken any decision on upgradation of operational facilities at the existing air strip. Once such vital facilities were installed, private airlines could launch flight operations from Surat to Mumbai and other places in Saurashtra.

Despite several reminders from the Union textile ministry, the state industries commissionorate has not prepared the feasibility report on the proposed garment parks for Surat and Ahmedabad. At least 70,000 unemployed persons could be employed in these two parks for which several private textile groups had shown willingness to put up units in the proposed parks. The minister also pleaded to the chief minister to convene a separate meeting of concerned officials and institutions to discuss the developmental projects of Surat and other cities of south Gujarat.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Laghu Udyog Bharati led by Vallabhbhai Savalia and Nikhil Patel met the chief minister and requested him to solve the problem of unemployment in the state. For this, the state government, the delegation members said, should accord high priority to small-scale units which could provide employment to large number of educated unemployed youths.

They also met energy minister Kaushik Patel and urged that power staggering for industries should be only for one day, as new norms for two-day staggering would adversely affect industries. The minister assured them that he would visit Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot to know for himself the problems faced by the industries.

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


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Apologise to citizens for many failures, BJP tells mayor Saturday, October 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: Leader of opposition in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) Dharmendra Shah, has decried Congress' 'ineffectiveness' to focus on its civic duty.

Shah's statement was in response to mayor Himmatsinh Patel's tom-tomming his 'achievements' on Wednesday after completing a year in office. Shah termed the Congress rule as one pandering to the whims and fancies of the political wing instead of being people-centric. He wanted the Congress to apologise to Amdavadis for its failure.

"The Congress' inefficiency and lack of drive has brought the corporation to the brink of financial disaster. Even their so-called waiver of 18 per cent penalty on pending property tax is a sham," said Shah.

Listing out Congress' failures Shah pointed at: incomplete work of the railway underpass near Income Tax circle, no work on the Behrampura-Khodiyar-Vasna bridge though approved at AMC's annual budget, non-payment of contractors and raw material suppliers bringing many departments to a standstill.

Shah talked of 18 such half-complete or incomplete jobs that, he said, had come to a standstill because 'the Congressmen are busy serving self-interest and have scanty respect for the people's well-being'.

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


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In three months, Amul pizzas touch the 1 m sales mark Saturday, October 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: In the next couple of days, Amul would have touched a sales figure of one million pizzas across the country. And this landmark has Amul brand manager for pizzas and frozen foods Pawan Kumar all exited. "We are already leaders in the organised pizza market. This is a big achievement within three months of launch", he gushes.

Since its low-key launch in mid-July, Amul, is currently selling 25,000 pizzas a day from its 680 outlets in 29 cities. Add to that sales of another 12,000 frozen pizzas a day and one gets a total daily sale of 37,000 pizzas out of a total pizza market of one lakh pizzas of the organised sector. "This is way above the no. Two, Dominos, which is selling 15,000 pizzas a day", says Kumar. Of course, while Amul is the market leader as per volumes, it would still be next to Dominos as far as value goes because its pizza, with mozzarella cheese as the main ingredient, is priced at Rs 20 each.

But it is the competitive price advantage that has encouraged Amul to set its targets high - at 3000 outlets in 100 cities by December 31. By the turn of the year, Amul hopes to be selling three lakh pizzas a day. And guess what it would be doing to its market share of cheese which already stands at 68 per cent out of a demand for 5,500 tonnes in the country. Kumar said the first outlet in Ahmedabad had clocked sales of 1800 pizzas on the very first day and, quite expectedly, the sales had tapered off since then.

Basically, the pizza venture was a bid to move up the value chain of cheese and create demand for the product where Amul is way ahead of its nearest competitor, Britannia. Next in the line of launches are frozen sandwiches, parathas and burgers which are still in the developmental stage and are being readied for launch after Diwali.

Kumar said a team of specialists is working on the spree of opening new outlets to reach the 3000 mark by the year-end. In the next few weeks, an average of 30 outlets will be opened every day to meet the target by December-end. Amul already has a sizeable presence in the north and the west. It is now spreading across to the east and the south. "In states where we have captured the market in the major cities, we are now moving into the smaller towns", said Kumar. Changing the taste of the semi-urban area, so to speak, because pizzas have remained a largely urban phenomenon in the country.

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


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Day 4 may turn out to be turning point for Navratri Saturday, October 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: After a slow start and warming up which lasted three evenings, organisers of 'garba' and 'dandiya' across Gujarat are hoping that 'Super Saturday' on Day 4 of the Navratri would set the pace for the nine-day extravaganza. There is excitement in the air as the most colourful festival of Gujarat heads for the week-end which will send the crowds of gaily dressed dancers into the arenas.

Traditionally, it has been a slow start for the Navratri and organisers are really not disappointed by the thin crowds which have turned up at the grounds on the first three evenings. But the crowds had already started thickening on Friday. "You haven't seen anything yet, the real show will begin on Saturday and the tempo will spill over to the next week," said the entertainment committee chief of Rajpath Club in Ahmedabad, Jigish Shah.

'Garba' organisers are expecting the crowds to swell exponentially even in other urban centres of Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot where the dances have been organised at scores of places. It is of course going to be a nightmare driving to the hot-spots in the evening and getting a place to park one's vehicle.

The secretary of Karnavati Club, Girish Dani, said, "there is a huge demand for passes over the weekend, I think Saturday will be a defining moment in this year's Navratri." Most 'garba' organisers who had a lean start say that this is an annual feature and every year Navratri picks up only after three days. "The first day was lean, but on the second day, the crowds doubled and we are expecting a full house from Friday going through the weekend," said BITA president Dinesh Patel who is organising a 'garba' in Vadodara.

The festival is being held under the cloud of the US-led strikes on Afghanistan and the earthquake in Gujarat, and organisers were worried if they would be able to recover their investments -- almost up to Rs 1 crore in some cases. Yogesh Desai of Ace Promotions also said he expects a huge turnout over the weekend and once the tempo is built, the crowds would keep coming in till the festival peaks on October 26.

In Vadodara, organisers say though the festive spirit of Navratri already hangs thick throughout the city, the real Navratri tempo would pick up over the weekend when most 'garba' grounds would see their grounds chock-a-block with eager dancers. The weekend is a suitable time for most youngsters -- especially those who are working. "I plan to start from Friday night. Last year when I was a student I could bunk the early morning classes throughout the Navratri, but that is not possible any more as I now work and cannot take so much leave," said Kshama Bhatt. "I regret that I would not be able to dance on all the nine nights but I prefer to remain fresh and energised if I have work," she said.

This is a common trend seen among youngsters who pick their days for dances instead of dancing nine days on a trot which can be completely exhausting. Some MSU students who live in hostels also prefer to wait till the weekend. "It makes sense to take outstation pass over three to four days. I prefer to wait for weekends as that is when it's more fun when the ground is full of people. The first few days are dull in any case," said Juhi, a student at S D Hall. Shalini Muni, an FYBA student, said most hostel girls go to the faculty of fine arts' 'garbas' in the first few days. During weekends, they go to bigger venues, like United Way.

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


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Day 4 may turn out to be turning point for Navratri Saturday, October 20, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: After a slow start and warming up which lasted three evenings, organisers of 'garba' and 'dandiya' across Gujarat are hoping that 'Super Saturday' on Day 4 of the Navratri would set the pace for the nine-day extravaganza. There is excitement in the air as the most colourful festival of Gujarat heads for the week-end which will send the crowds of gaily dressed dancers into the arenas.

Traditionally, it has been a slow start for the Navratri and organisers are really not disappointed by the thin crowds which have turned up at the grounds on the first three evenings. But the crowds had already started thickening on Friday. "You haven't seen anything yet, the real show will begin on Saturday and the tempo will spill over to the next week," said the entertainment committee chief of Rajpath Club in Ahmedabad, Jigish Shah.

'Garba' organisers are expecting the crowds to swell exponentially even in other urban centres of Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot where the dances have been organised at scores of places. It is of course going to be a nightmare driving to the hot-spots in the evening and getting a place to park one's vehicle.

The secretary of Karnavati Club, Girish Dani, said, "there is a huge demand for passes over the weekend, I think Saturday will be a defining moment in this year's Navratri." Most 'garba' organisers who had a lean start say that this is an annual feature and every year Navratri picks up only after three days. "The first day was lean, but on the second day, the crowds doubled and we are expecting a full house from Friday going through the weekend," said BITA president Dinesh Patel who is organising a 'garba' in Vadodara.

The festival is being held under the cloud of the US-led strikes on Afghanistan and the earthquake in Gujarat, and organisers were worried if they would be able to recover their investments -- almost up to Rs 1 crore in some cases. Yogesh Desai of Ace Promotions also said he expects a huge turnout over the weekend and once the tempo is built, the crowds would keep coming in till the festival peaks on October 26.

In Vadodara, organisers say though the festive spirit of Navratri already hangs thick throughout the city, the real Navratri tempo would pick up over the weekend when most 'garba' grounds would see their grounds chock-a-block with eager dancers. The weekend is a suitable time for most youngsters -- especially those who are working. "I plan to start from Friday night. Last year when I was a student I could bunk the early morning classes throughout the Navratri, but that is not possible any more as I now work and cannot take so much leave," said Kshama Bhatt. "I regret that I would not be able to dance on all the nine nights but I prefer to remain fresh and energised if I have work," she said.

This is a common trend seen among youngsters who pick their days for dances instead of dancing nine days on a trot which can be completely exhausting. Some MSU students who live in hostels also prefer to wait till the weekend. "It makes sense to take outstation pass over three to four days. I prefer to wait for weekends as that is when it's more fun when the ground is full of people. The first few days are dull in any case," said Juhi, a student at S D Hall. Shalini Muni, an FYBA student, said most hostel girls go to the faculty of fine arts' 'garbas' in the first few days. During weekends, they go to bigger venues, like United Way.

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


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