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October 8, 2001 - October 8, 2001

BSNL opens single-window service Monday, October 8, 2001

AHMEDABAD: To strengthen its Wireless in Local Loop set up in the city, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited's Gujarat Telecom will be introducing three more towers in the city.

Three more towers are being constructed to provide better coverage in the city, said chief general manager Gujarat Telecom P K Chanda. Construction is on and these towers will be commissioned by October end, he said. The towers are located at Vatwa, Odhav and Sabarmati.

In addition, a tower is to come up at Gandhinagar which will facilitate WiLL communication in the state Capital.

The three towers in Ahmedabad are expected to solve the reported inconvenience of the consumers who have often been reporting non-availability of signal in certain areas of the city.

Till date the total number of WiLL phones in the city have crossed the 6,000-mark, with the network being supported by towers at Railwaypura, Naranpura and Vastrapur.

The department on Saturday started a multi-functional single window system to expedite its service availability and customer care programmes in the city.

A fully-computerised centre was inaugurated on Saturday by Chanda, which would process connectivity for internet, new telephone lines, lease lines, provisions for video-conferencing and other facilities on the spot.

"We have delegated clerks sitting on the counters with the powers of commercial officers so that work can be done faster," says Chanda.

The facility has been provided at the Gulbai Tekra office of the department where seven counters have been set up to attend to all problems of the customers.

The set up, apart from providing internet facilities and ISDN lines, will also provide temporary arrangements for video-conferencing, leasing of two mega-byte lines, 64 kilo-byte lines and also has provisions for bill payments.

"Soon, we will also start counters for payments of bills between 8 am till 9 pm, where the staff will be operating in two shifts," Chanda said.

To strengthen its service providing, the department also proposes to make bookings on telephone. The service required by the customer would be provided within hours of the phone call, with people from the department personally attending them.

"Apart from the installation aspect, the necessary details of the service and the filling of forms will also be done at the residence of customers under the tele-booking category," Chanda said.

WiLL mobile phones are also available from these counters. "With the backlog cleared, phones are now available across the counters on payment within half an hour, the chief general manager of Gujarat Telecom, BSNL said.

The BSNL had earlier started a similar counter at its C G Road administrative block where eight computerised counters have been provided, all computerised. Chanda said similar counters would be opened this month at Vastrapur also.

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

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MSU dept to hold pre-Navratri garba Monday, October 8, 2001

VADODARA: With just a couple of days left for Navratri, the city is gearing up with a number of 'ratri before Navratri' programmes organised to push up the tempo in the run-up to the festival, which begins on October 17.

This year, the MSU faculty of home science's department of extension and communications has planned one such programme on October 14. Faculty dean professor Anupama Shah said the purpose behind the programme is to raise funds for the faculty.

"The home science's garbas have been popular in the past. And now after a gap of few years we are once again organising this event," informed department head Uma Joshi.

The programme will be staged at Akota Stadium.

"We have started issuing passes for the function at the department. The function is being managed by stage craft " she said.

"The funds that we collect from passes (priced at Rs 50 for girls and viewers and Rs 100 for boys) will be used to establish a media laboratory and computer laboratory. In the past, too, we have similarly used funds donated by the alumni association. The UGC has provided us with funds to construct the media laboratory room but additional funds would be needed for buying computers and other equipment," she said.

The Economics Society, an organisation of students and staff of the department of economics, too, has planned a special one-day Navratri for the department on October 20 in the evening.

Similar programmes are also being planned at the faculty of performing arts. The MSU's faculty of fine arts, which has acquired a distinct identity for itself as a venue for traditional garba, will continue its tradition this year too throughout the nine nights.

Other private organisers too have planned 'ratri before Navratri' programmes with one planned at Sayaji Vihar Club on October 9, and another near Parsi Agiary Ground.

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

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Delegation lodges protest over KPT terminal Monday, October 8, 2001

AHMEDABAD: A delegation comprising of several trustees of the Kandla Port Trust and representatives of the Gujarat and Gandhidham chambers of commerce and industry met Union minister of state for shipping Ved Prakash Goel on Sunday and protested against the clearance of the proposal for allowing P&O Ports Australia to develop a Rs 370-crore container terminal at Kandla.

The trustees who met the minister, who had come to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as chief minister, had voted against the proposal at a meeting of the board of trustees which granted approval to the company. The members said the proposal was against the interests of the port as well as the trade and industry.

Girish Dani, a KPT trustee, told TNN that "the minister gave us a very patient hearing. He said he would take into considerations the views of the port users."

It may be recalled that the proposal, which had been rejected by the KPT board in August 2000, was brought back before it last month on instructions from the Union ministry of surface transport.

Despite protests from the non-official trustees, who also boycotted a presentation made by the company, the proposal was later accepted with some amendments by 7:9 votes.

The delegation feared that the company would impose a high tariff on the use of the container terminal and this would take business away from Kandla (to ports like JNPT in Mumbai) where the company also operates a container terminal.

They said it was surprising that while the contract was on Build-Operate-Transfer basis on a 30-year lease, the company had been allowed to develop the terminal at an existing berth rather than building a new one.

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

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LG doctors bugged by bug in soup Monday, October 8, 2001

AHMEDABAD: A bug served on the lunch table and rats and lizard found in the residential mess on Friday almost brought L G Hospital to a standstill as disgusted doctors threatened to go on strike if the hospital authorities failed to take immediate cognisance of the unhygeinic food being served to them.

Resident doctors at L G Hospital have time and again complained about bugs and insects being 'served' to them in cooked food (a cockroach was found swimming in the 'dal' five months ago).

The flashpoint, however, came on Friday as the doctors discovered a bug in the 'dal' served to them for lunch.

More horror was in store for angry doctors as a surprise check conducted by the hospital superintendent Nimish Pandya following the complaint revealed rats and live lizard in the containers storing pulses!

"The food served to us in the mess here is fit only for zoo animals. It is ironical that the very people who are responsible for public health are being forced to put up with such unhygeinic food stuff. This is disgusting," fumed a resident doctor.

Repeated pleas to improve the quality of food has reportedly fallen on deaf ears, what with the caterer refusing to even throw away the vermin-infested food stuff.

"Even today, when we asked him to throw the insect-contaminated 'dal' and prepare it afresh, the canteen guys simply refused. How can we put up with such inhuman conditions," questioned one doctor.

Apparently, the doctors have also been complaining about the defunct water cooler but to no avail, leaving them with little choice but to drink straight from the tap since the last eight months.

With their cup of woes brimming over on Friday, the doctors even threatened to go on a strike if the hospital authorities did not spruce up the place at the earliest.

The doctors were later pacified by superintendent Dr Pandya who assured them that all possible steps would be taken to ensure an early end the doctors' problems.

"We have taken immediate cognisance of the doctors' complaint. Orders have been given to thoroughly cleanse the mess. Open containers will be discarded and tins with lids immediately bought to store food stuff. Moreover, we will also look into bringing about long-term solutions to end this problem once and for all," Pandya told TNN.

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

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RMC seeks loan for civic projects Monday, October 8, 2001

RAJKOT: The Rajkot Municipal Corporation has sought an additional loan of about Rs 65 crore to bear the cost of water distribution to newer areas (Rs 25 crore), and for setting up an underground sewage system (Rs 40 crore).

Already reeling under a debt of Rs 70 crore, and failing to find any new sources of income, the corporation desperately needs funds to continue its civic works.

To make matters worse, RMC is paying out Rs 10 crore every month as instalments against borrowings.

Besides, financial bills worth Rs 1.5 crore are pending. To make matters worse, of a total revenue of Rs 110 crore, nearly Rs 40 crore goes towards payment of salaries and pension.

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

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