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September 10, 2001 - September 10, 2001

Mumbai police serve notices to fishermen associations Monday, September 10, 2001

SURAT: Keeping in view of the chances of deteriorating law and order situation at Bhaucha Dhakka in Mumbai, in the face of no solution to the fishing row between Gujarat and Maharashtra, the Mumbai police served notices to the office-bearers of various fishermen associations to restrain themselves from any unlawful activities at the fishing jetty.

According to Laxman Y Chouhan, officer-bearer of Trawlers Owners Association (TOA), the local police have made bandobast, though the situation is quite normal as fishermen from the coastal areas of south Gujarat are still hoping that some favourable solution to the continuing imbroglio would come any day because several leaders across the political parties have assured them to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, some of the fishing boats which landed near the fishing jetty had to face harassment by the port authorities as they did not possess 'parvanas' (licences) to sail into the sea for fishing purpose. But, most of them have been reported to have offloaded their catch after paying a hefty sum as bribe to the concerned port authorities, Chouhan alleged.

However, in view of the difficulties, it is most likely that all the boats _ numbering around 750 _ from the coastal region of south Gujarat would have no option than to return to their respective areas and from there to launch a movement against the Gujarat government, as no sincere efforts have been taken up by the authorities despite several representations by the Shree Gujarat Vahanvatu and Machhimar Sangh (SGVMS). For this, a general meeting would be convened shortly, if nothing is done to end the deadlock, sources in SGVMS said.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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Escort Heart Institute ties up with Bhailal Amin hospital Monday, September 10, 2001

VADODARA: Advanced cardiothoracic surgery techniques like minimal invasive cardiac surgery, port access surgery without the use of heart lung machine would be available to the increasing number patients in Gujarat where incidence of heart diseases is the highest in the country.

The advanced techniques would be brought to the Bhailal Amin General Hospital (BAGH) here which has tied up with New Delhi's Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC).

Eminent cardiothoracic surgeon and recipient of Bharat Ratna, Dr Naresh Trehan, who is the executive director of the EHRIC, said the tie-up would help patients in the state who until recently had to go to other parts of the country for complicated surgery.

"Gujarat has one of the highest incidence of heart diseases and diabetes which could be linked to the diet of this region. In the past patients had to migrate but now eminent cardiac surgeons from Escort would be based permanently at the BAGH and share their experience, knowledge and skill with the doctors here.

He said the risk of heart attack increases when there is a family history of diabetes and heart diseases. Family history coupled with sedentary lifestyles, increased stress levels and irregular food habits make an individual an ideal candidate for higher risks.

Unlike in other countries in India the increased incidence of heart diseases occur during the age groups of 40 to 60 which is ten years lesser than in other countries, he said.

According to Trehan, the new techniques that are used in case of coronary heart diseases, Kidney and liver failure, etc, make the operations easier as they do not involve the use of the heart lung machine. Patients can be operated upon without requiring their hearts and lungs to be stopped. Therefore, these techniques are called beating heart surgery wherein the patients are able to be discharged within two or three days. After the operation the patient is also able to talk to his patients. This is therefore a safer and quicker surgical technique.

Robotic & Internet medicine: The era of robotic surgery and medical consultation through use of the internet has already made waves in the world of medicine. In India, the first generation of robots have been used for robotic surgery and internet and intranet facilities are already in use in the EHRIC, in New Delhi.

"These techniques would be available in Vadodara within the next one year," said Dr Naresh Trehan.

Trehan said he is already using these techniques wherein all patients, operating rooms and doctors are connected on the intranet making it easy for him to interact and monitor a patient's condition. The same would now be available in Vadodara in a year's time. IT has thus made it possible to bring expertise to different regions and geographical barriers do not exist anymore.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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Race against time keeps Surtis ticking and clicking Monday, September 10, 2001

SURAT: Any outsider is surprised by the pace of life in this boom city. "Let us get down to business, I have only 24 hours in a day", is the message conveyed by people when one meets for the first time. Indeed, the enterprising Surtis have no time, not even for God.

Ask Ram Narayan Avtar. A pundit, he earns a decent amount every month in a manner which is rather unique. From 9 am to about 11 am every day, he visits about 40 business establishments to clean up the idols and pictures of gods and goddesses and to garland them. Avtar says he earns a living because his clients have no time. "Once I am through, the shop owner or office manager offers a brief puja before the deities", he says.

And Avtar himself is a busy man. He cannot afford to spend more than three to four minutes at one shop and is always in a tearing hurry. A native of Uttar Pradesh, he says this city amazes him. "People want to be religious and yet they don't have time for it", he says.

Krishna Aggarwal came to Surat some nine years back and is one of the prosperous textile traders of the city. He comes to office at sharp 9.30 am and leaves at 9.30 pm after pouring over the day's balance sheet. His only wish in life is "if there were a few more hours in a day". He says Surat has always been a business hub and those who are in the trade try to make maximum out of every moment. Even outsiders who come to the city get sucked in by the rat race.

But the long working hours and the single-minded quest for wealth acquisition is taking its toll.

Sudhir Patel is a supplier of stickers that textile traders use on the cloth for labelling. He feels that he should join a health club now. He is obese and feels he is unable to manage his time efficiently.

"This is no joke", says Geeta Modi, who runs a fitness and personality development club in the city. "There are actually people who come to us for a better health, so that they can perform more effectively at work", she says. "People have now realised that it is better to spend time in a health club and be more fit, so that their productivity at work goes up", she adds. Geeta says it is usual for even government officials to have a side-business. "They may have a 10 am to 5 pm job, but they spend both the morning and evening hours in other businesses. As they have no peace of mind, it starts taking a toll on their bodies", she adds.

"Free time kills me", says Laxman Patel, a Varacha-based diamond merchant, who has been facing financial problems owing to the recession. "Since the diamond trade is not doing well, I thought I should use my time more efficiently, so I decided to set up a restaurant serving traditional food. Now all my time goes in planning how to improve the restaurant", he adds.

Sociologist Vidyut Joshi analyses that in the last 20 years Surtis have developed "Protestant ethics", which contrary to the Catholic preachings, have put work next to worship. He says a Surti would prefer to forego family and social commitment for the sake of business. "A bent towards business was always there but it intensified with the coming of big industries in the 1980s when an average businessman realised the need to even compete with giants", he adds.

The rats which triggered the plague in Surat may have gone but the rat race is on, in fact, gathering speed.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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Stray cows test your patience on Mehsana way Monday, September 10, 2001

MEHSANA: Shedding its identity as the oil city or the milk city of North Gujarat, Mehsana is acquiring a new identity: city of cows, for witness them any time any spot! Where civic amenities, if any, have collapsed this scene takes you back to a medieval setting, not sylvan though, a Gokul gaam of sorts, perhaps!

Once you cross the Khari bridge an endless stream of cows welcome you from the road divider ravaged since 1997. Some citizens feel the divider is more hazardous than traffic friendly; if you are a pedestrian you have to be doubly careful while passing by these stray cows lest you find yourself within the reach of a sudden flick of their horns. Those driving any vehicle will have to apply brakes and change gear to suit the whims and moods of these cows who might suddenly rise and run. Often one could see the traffic snarling near Modhera and Radhanpur cross roads in deference to these cows who occupy half the highway.

Stray cows loitering, lazing or frisking out are, in fact, not without their owners. For despite all the care if you happen to hit a cow the invisible owner would present himself from nowhere and lay siege to you and your vehicle and would not allow you to budge till you part with some cash. These maaldharis mostly Rabaris leave cows at the mercy of nature after milching them and the forsaken animals survive on anything: polythene bags, filth to banana peels.

The Mehsana nagarpalika, as always, takes refuge under the pretext of lack of resources. Civic president Manisha Vyas said the cattle menace was common to all the towns. The Mehsana municipality, after abolition of octroi, has been facing severe resource crunch. It did not have funds to catch and feed the cows, she added. Seventy impounded cows had been kept at the Patelpara cattle pound. No body had come to claim them. Transporting the stray cows to remote places, she felt, was too costly for the civic body.

Alka Kshatriya, ward five councillor, said this was a lame excuse to hide political compulsions. She had offered to bear the transport cost of ten cows and wanted that all 36 councillors should do likewise at least once. But the proposal was scuttled, she complained. Ferrying cattle was not as expensive as was being magnified by the president.

Encroachments by transporters and the auto garages on the high way make the traffic more chaotic. Authorities seem to ignore the problem under the pressure of some vested interests. But then, what stops them from removing the garbage heap at the fringe of the highway opposite Nagalpur Patia. The heap which expands everyday has never been cleared all these 15 years. It is here where all sorts of filth and dirt from housing societies (more than a hundred) is emptied here by the sweepers.

Bharatbhai Brahmbhatt, administrator of the superseded Nagalpur gram panchayat said panchayats had no funds for the disposal of solid waste and they never tackled the problem.

Most rickshaws in Mehsana ply on kerosene mixed petrol, emitting fumes that irritate the eyes and hamper breathing. Kerosene is sold with impunity at many points near petrol pumps The police prefer to look the other way.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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Cleaning MSU's faculty of arts dome Monday, September 10, 2001

VADODARA: The MSU students and teachers from the faculty of science, fine arts and arts would get together to initiate a clean-up operation for the faculty of arts dome -- the second largest dome in the country.

The 120-year-old building has faced adverse weather conditions over the years and a wide variety of plants, parasites and grass have sprouted on it.

The students and teachers would carry out a three-day operation from September 10 to September 12. Mayor Bharati Vyas would inaugurate the project.

The multidisciplinary operations -- initiated by faculty of arts dean PJ Patel -- would involve prof YT Jasrai, Arun Arya, NR Shah and deputy engineer MSU RR Thakor.

News Source : Times News Network [ Lightning News ]

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