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September 14, 2001 - September 15, 2001

Dry spell helps Mangrol lignite power station Saturday, September 15, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: The long dry spell might have worried the Gujarat Electricity Board, but not the Gujarat Industries Power Company as it has helped in picking up power generation at the 250 mw lignite-based thermal power station at Mangrol, 170 km from here.

Huge quantity of lignite near this unit was drenched hitting the power generation. It had gone down to 125 mw from 250 mw for the past several days.

GIPCL managing director G L Bhagat said the unit generated 210 mw power. The generation had dipped when the GEB needed the power most.

Only dry spell could help in drying up the water drenched lignite. The stock of lignite there lasts 90 days. The daily requirement of this fuel is 5000 tones.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]


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Close shave for some from Vadodara Saturday, September 15, 2001

BY SACHIN SHARMA, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: They could well have walked into the mayhem at the World Trade Centre and around it. They could have been reduced to mere names in the list of injured or lost.

But, circumstances changed the course of their lives. And, today, they and their families here are all thanking their lucky stars for a close shave.

Son of city-based doctor Sudhir Merchant, Anand was late to get out of his house that morning and missed the train he had to catch from the WTC subway station. Anand decided to wait at his residence at Queens for an hour before going to WTC.

According to Sudhir, "he travels from Queens to New Jersey via WTC. He usually catches the 9 a.m. (EST) train from WTC, and would have been there around the time of the attack. However, the delay proved lucky for him."

Anand's family had no news of their son for about four-and-a-half hours. "My daughter and son-in-law also stay at Queens. We could somehow get through to them and got the news that Anand was safe. Those four hours were really tense for the family," Sudhir said.

Municipal corporator Chirag Jhaveri's son, Ronak, who studies in New York and at the same time works with Tuning Capital Finance, also had a close shave in the incident. "We were very tense as Ronak's office is located in a complex near WTC," Jhaveri said.

Luckily enough, Ronak did not go to office that day as he had some work at his college. "He went to the college which is far away, and was safe," Jhaveri said.

Oblivious of the fact that their son was safe, the Jhaveri's made frantic calls to Ronak. "Eventually we got through on his cell phone after making constant attempts for over two hours. He has been very lucky," he said.

Tejesh Contractor, an IIM-Ahmedabad graduate from Vadodara and now working for an MNC in New York, heaved a sigh of relief when he looked out of his office located just 12 blocks away from the WTC on that fateful day.

As he looked out his window at the columns of dust and deafening sound of the massive building collapsing, he shuddered. Tejesh's company had relocated its office from a building very close the WTC just a month ago.

"Whenever I think of my days at that office when passing by the ill-fated building every day," he said.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]


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Attacks don't deter prospective immigrants Saturday, September 15, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
AHMEDABAD: It is 4 pm on Wednesday, one day after the World Trade Centre is flattened by a terrorist attack, and Viraj Sanghvi is standing in line at the regional passport office, Ahmedabad, biting his nails off.

He is about to get his passport without which he would not have been able to sit for the TOEFL exam on Thursday. Viraj's admission to the prestigious Rochester Institute of Technology in New York state for a masters in biotechnology would not take place without his TOEFL scores.

One would expect students like Viraj and Gujaratis in general wanting to emigrate to the USA to think twice before packing their bags , now that the World Trade Center has collapsed in a terrorist attack. After all the two towers were the symbol of free trade and the nerve centre of the US economy.

Instead, the push for the modern-day El Dorado continues unabated. As Viraj puts it, "I am more worried about the US consulate at Mumbai becoming stricter with their visa norms than about another World Trade Center collapsing on me. What can be worse than the earthquake that we recently went through?"

The passport office is in fact a good place to gauge how the attack on US's business and defence heart has made no difference to the Gujarati, blinded by the glitter of dollars. There is a long line of people who already have a visa and getting the final immigration clearance stamp on their passport.

"I consider myself very lucky to have applied for a visiting visa before the terrorist strikes," says Dhiren Patel who will be visiting his brother in Los Angeles and only then take a decision on whether to emigrate or not.

Good Wind Travels, one of the larger travel agencies and emigration consultants inn the city, too does not foresee a dramatic shift in the emigration trend. Says director Dharmesh Shah, "Some of these people have been waiting for their final clearances for more than 10 years.

There is no way that they will change their mind because of one terrorist attack. After all such things don't happen every day. Not to forget that the earthquake seems to have hardened many of us!"

Interestingly the January 26 temblor is a recurrent theme with all those who have their eyes set on the US. They seem to believe it has prepared them for just about anything.

Haresh Bhatt is one such patient person who has spent a decade waiting for the elusive stamp on his passport presumably giving him the key to the land of opportunity. "I am the only one in three brothers to be stuck here," he says.

"Changing my mind after all these years would nullify the last ten years. When most of my family has already left for the US, there is hardly anything left for me here."

Not many however are worried about the USA closing its doors to outsiders overnight. "If anything they will have better security at their airports instead of stringent visa norms," says former chairperson of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce Abhijit Pathak.

"I don't see Indians being kept out of the USA as they have excelled in almost every field, from science and technology to even as teachers."

Pathak adds that that this is a perfect time for India to reverse roles and become a donor country instead of one that always accepts help from outside. "We should give them all the help they require and build and even better relation with them."

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]


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Reprisal fear for Muslims relatives in US Friday, September 14, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Rajiv Bhojak, a cement trader, is worried about his friend Mohammed Lunat, who drove a taxi in New York. He said Mohammed had given up driving a cab because, as an Asian, he had often been the target of attack by muggers.

Mohammed had taken up an accountant's job in Manhattan and when Rajiv spoke to him, "he sounded quite shattered, he was also worried about his future as Muslims are feeling quite vulnerable in the US".

While friends and relatives of Gujaratis settled in New York are feeling relieved after hearing from them, Muslims with relatives abroad are concerned that there could be a backlash against the community.

Femida Patel, a resident of Binnagar in Vadodara, was worried about her sister after hearing of chances of Muslims being singled out for attack in the US.

"My sister Afsana is in Chicago. I was very much worried about her. Initially we could not get her on the telephone. Later we could and she is fine", Femida said.

"My nephew Raees is studying in the US. He is safe but we are still worried", said Zakira Sheikh, head nurse at SSG hospital.

"We heard a mosque near my sister Parveen's house had been attacked. I spoke to her on phone. They are safe but said there is a curfew like atmosphere. Everybody is tense", said Mubin Saiyyed, a businessman from Khanpur in Ahmedabad.

He wished his sister was closer home. "One could not imagine being insecure in the US but all of a sudden everything has changed. Its almost like a communal riot and you are tensed about your relatives. Only this time it's not some infamous street of Ahmedabad but the fantasy land of America", he said.

Sadar Saiyyad of Dariapur nurses similar fear. His brother Kamal is in Chicago. "I got relief only after talking to Kamal yesterday. Everybody at home wanted Kamal to be here. The fear is still there. Things are no more the same in the US", Saiyyad said.

Iqbal Syed is a worried mother. A resident of Mirzapur, she could eat only after hearing her daughter Shameena's voice. "I was glad to hear her voice. I want to be close to my daughter. She is in Los Angeles where situation is quite OK; yet I am tensed", she said.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]


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Reprisal fear for Muslims relatives in US Friday, September 14, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Rajiv Bhojak, a cement trader, is worried about his friend Mohammed Lunat, who drove a taxi in New York. He said Mohammed had given up driving a cab because, as an Asian, he had often been the target of attack by muggers.

Mohammed had taken up an accountant's job in Manhattan and when Rajiv spoke to him, "he sounded quite shattered, he was also worried about his future as Muslims are feeling quite vulnerable in the US".

While friends and relatives of Gujaratis settled in New York are feeling relieved after hearing from them, Muslims with relatives abroad are concerned that there could be a backlash against the community.

Femida Patel, a resident of Binnagar in Vadodara, was worried about her sister after hearing of chances of Muslims being singled out for attack in the US.

"My sister Afsana is in Chicago. I was very much worried about her. Initially we could not get her on the telephone. Later we could and she is fine", Femida said.

"My nephew Raees is studying in the US. He is safe but we are still worried", said Zakira Sheikh, head nurse at SSG hospital.

"We heard a mosque near my sister Parveen's house had been attacked. I spoke to her on phone. They are safe but said there is a curfew like atmosphere. Everybody is tense", said Mubin Saiyyed, a businessman from Khanpur in Ahmedabad.

He wished his sister was closer home. "One could not imagine being insecure in the US but all of a sudden everything has changed. Its almost like a communal riot and you are tensed about your relatives. Only this time it's not some infamous street of Ahmedabad but the fantasy land of America", he said.

Sadar Saiyyad of Dariapur nurses similar fear. His brother Kamal is in Chicago. "I got relief only after talking to Kamal yesterday. Everybody at home wanted Kamal to be here. The fear is still there. Things are no more the same in the US", Saiyyad said.

Iqbal Syed is a worried mother. A resident of Mirzapur, she could eat only after hearing her daughter Shameena's voice. "I was glad to hear her voice. I want to be close to my daughter. She is in Los Angeles where situation is quite OK; yet I am tensed", she said.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]


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