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August 25, 2001 - August 25, 2001

Diamond merchant's wife found murdered Saturday, August 25, 2001

SURAT: A 27-year-old woman married to a diamond trader was found murdered inside her house located at the plush Adarsh Society, near Athwalines, in the city on Wednesday night.

According to police, the deceased, Sangeeta Shah, was alone in the house with her two-year-old daughter when the incident took place.

Deputy commissioner of police Praful Kumar Roshan said, her husband, Kamlesh, and other members of the family left the house in the afternoon to meet some relatives and returned at 8.30 in the evening.

But when after constantly ringing the bell no one opened the door, Kamlesh got suspicious and entered the house from the balcony of his neighbour's flat, only to find Sangeeta, with her throat slit, in a pool of blood. The child was, however, spared and found crying in another room of the house.

Police are still clueless as far as the motive behind the incident is concerned. Things in the room were found scattered and suggested a struggle between the victim and the accused, but the manner in which some of the things were found in the room indicated that the murder was well planned by someone known to the deceased.

However, lack of concrete evidence prevented the police from coming to a definite conclusion, Roshan said.
Interestingly, though the watchman of the apartment told the police that no one suspicious had entered the house since afternoon, he also admitted that he was not familiar with everyone residing there as he had been on the job for the past two days.

According to Roshan, some blood-stained items have been sent for forensic examination and the post-mortem report is awaited. A case has been registered and is being investigated.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Self finance course in banking and finance Saturday, August 25, 2001

VADODARA: The centre for continuing adult education and community services of the M S University, Vadodara has instituted a self-financed certificate course in banking and finance.

Though the course has started on July 30, admissions are still open for those interested. The course in English medium costs Rs 5,000 per annum, and would cover topics like Indian financial system and financial markets, bank management, law and practice relating to banking, computers and information technology in banks, financing of foreign trade and foreign exchange, and bank lending policy and practice.

A dissertation and viva voce as well as a month-long internship in a bank too would be a part of the course.

For more information, contact centre for continuing adult education and community services director, opposite drugs laboratory, Fatehgunj, Vadodara.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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JAMANAGAR :: Reliance plants 5,000 peepal trees Saturday, August 25, 2001

JAMNAGAR: Reliance Petroleum Ltd (RPL) applied its corporate resources for the setting up of a sacred grove of ficus religiosa i.e. a mythological ashwattha or peepal. In a 17-acre plot of land adjacent to its refinery at Jamnagar, the first of the 5,000 peepal trees was planted with Vedic rites and chanting of the Vedic mantras.

It was also to commemorate 5,000 years of Lord Krishna that Reliance has taken up to create a huge Krishnadham or the Ashwattha Upavan, besides enriching the surrounding for a better environment.

"This will be a jewel for rural Jamnagar", Parimal Nathwani, the Reliance executive said. The renowned naturalist, Lavkumar Khachar, urged the company to plant this tree in plenty so as to highlight native species of trees in the greening process undertaken by Reliance, which would ultimately make the place a habitat for birds' life too.

Reliance has already earmarked about 1,900 acres of land for greening purpose and hitherto has planted about 2.5 million trees in and around its Jamnagar complex.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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GEB draws up plan to electrify 5 lakh hutments Saturday, August 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat Electricity Board has chalked out an ambitious programme to electrify five lakh hutments for the benefit of socially, economically and educationally weaker sections living in selected slums in urban and rural sector.

Giving this information, GEB chairman Nalin Bhatt said that the programme would be implemented through local bodies and other agencies. He said that an outlay of Rs 5.50 crore was provided for 2001-02 to electrify 20,000 hutments. He said that for the quick implementation of this programme, preference was being given to those who were living in groups or cluster. For identifying such groups, GEB, other licencees and local bodies will jointly work out the list. The local agencies will collect necessary fund for electrification and deposit to the concerned electricity authorities. Thereafter, GEB and licencees will take appropriate action for energisation of single point power supply.

Bhatt said that as many as 8,560 Petaparas had been electrified under tribal area sub-plan scheme till December 2000.

He said that for the uplift of scheduled castes, 9,071 Harijans' bastis have been electrified till March 2000. He said that top priority was being accorded to electrify Petaparas and Harijan bastis for improving the living standard of backward areas.

GEB chairman said that against the target of electrifying 27,000 wells during 2000-01, as many as 23,741 wells were electrified in the rural sector.

He said at present 207 villages were electrified on solar system in remote areas. GEB was verifying the feasibility to convert all such solar villages into the conventional grid system, he added.

Bhatt said that against the target of electrification of 2,500 Petaparas during the ninth five year plan, 1,577 Petaparas had been electrified in the first three years of the plan. He said during 2000-01, as many as 634 Petaparas were electrified and in 2001-02, about 1,100 Petaparas are being targeted to be electrified. Thus, 3,311 Petaparas would be electrified against the target of 2,500 during the ninth five year plan.

GEB chief said that against the target of electrification of 1,500 Harijan bastis for ninth five year plan, 2,634 bastis have been electrified during the first three years of the plan.

He said that during 2000-01, as many as 1,620 Harijan bastis had been electrified, and it was proposed to electrify 1,400 bastis in 2001-02 taking the total to 5,654 bastis.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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Big Net project in varsities runs into trouble Saturday, August 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Students in technical institutes around the state may dream of some day standing at the frontier of cutting edge technology. For the time being however they are finding it difficult to lay their hand on something that is taken for granted in states like Maharashtra and Karnataka- high speed internet connectivity.

An ambitious project to connect 15 technical education institutions in the state with high-speed access has fallen to rough weather because of high costs. The IT division of GNFC which has been approached in principal for the project has quoted Rs 63 lakh for simply providing one 2 MBPS lease line alone while the higher and technical education department wants the entire project completed in that much.

"We can get a similar lease line from a private ISP for anywhere between Rs 20 and 25 lakh," a government official said. "There is no need for us to shell out three times the market price and that too when GNFC is a quasi-government organisation."

GNFC IT division's chief manager A R Krishna however feels at even at Rs 63 lakh they may make a loss. "Besides, you have to pay a price if you want quality," he says. He will soon be meeting officials to renegotiate the price.

The project includes setting up the server at the L D College of Engineering, Ahmedabad from where fibre optic cables would carry bandwidth to its 12 departments. Satellite links would then carry it to 15 institutions across the state.

What the education department officials did not realise is that apart from the Rs 63 lakh fore initial connectivity, connecting the various departments would cost another Rs 20 lakh apart from the Rs 50,000 each year for maintenance. Equipment connecting the 15 institutions would cost Rs 5 lakh per institute ballooning costs by another Rs 75 lakh effectively bringing the cost of the project to nearly Rs 1.25 crore.

Sources in the education department said that the department of information technology will bear the Rs 63 lakh for the first year, but it is not ready to take on the additional cost. Also from the second year onwards, the education department will have to bear the entire burden which many feel is steep considering that their budget has been drastically cut since the earthquake in January.

"We can not accept the proposal as it stands now," state higher and technical education secretary Gauri Kumar told TNN. "We will have to ask the GNFC to reconsider the project as the costs have almost doubled from what we had initially discussed."

The technical education department has only Rs 38 crore for its nearly 30 institutions after the 20 per cent budget cut since the earthquake. The cash crunch has even stalled projects to upgrade and improve existing facilities in many institutions. The government engineering colleges at Bhavnagar and Modasa are a case in point. They have been given a number of additional courses and increased but not the funds to either enlarge their campuses or buy better equipment fore their laboratories.

The Gandhinagar engineering college on the other hand is having a new complex built on 2.46 lakh square feet of land. It needs about Rs 6 crore to construct four buildings for the primary disciplines of mechanical and electrical engineering but the government has sanctioned only Rs 2.14 crore.

News Source : Times Of India News Service [ Lightning News ]

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