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August 20, 2001 - August 20, 2001

'Water supply is a fundamental human right' Monday, August 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: "Water has the potential to sustain human life and also to develop it further, and, that is why, various international instruments have aptly recognised its role in sustainable development," observed former state major irrigation minister and international water management expert Jay Narayan Vyas while addressing the plenary session on the opening day of the Stockholm Water Symposium, 2001.

"A basic supply of water to allow a healthy lifestyle is a fundamental human right," he added.

Vyas warned the adverse consequences of the global shortage of water for sustainable development, human health, food security, etc is a matter of great concern and added more than 800 million people - roughly 15 per cent of the world's population - mostly women and children are worst suffers of this shortage of quality and quantity of water supply.

Four per cent of the water resources of the world are available in India, which occupies 2.5 per cent of the world area. But dividing the water among 16 per cent of the world population in India makes it among water stressed category.

Again, the water available in India is not uniformly distributed since one-third of the area is on the planes, which has river Ganges, Meghna and Brahmaputra, blessed with two-thirds of water resources, while remaining two-thirds share the balance - one-third.

In Gujarat, he said, irrigation dams could give water only if it gets filled by rains. As seven out of ten years, rains are below average, they do not give full answer to the problem. Women spend up to eight hours a day finding water sources, collecting, storing and purifying water in this region.

Children, too, join the queue for water at times, thus leaving less time for their studies. In North Gujarat many people consume fossil water, about 15,000 to 17,000 years old, which causes flurosis. This apart, the mining of water is likely to result in to the exhaustion of underground acquifer forcing millions of people and cattle to migrate.

Vyas asked why these were not considered as issues of human rights or environment.

He said that the state was not against smaller or micro rainwater harvesting projects, but they had severe limitations and cannot answer the problem totally. In the past three years, the state has spent as much as $150 million for constructing check-dams with people's participation.

Despite all these, there is water shortage. A four-day flood couple of years back in Narmada river gushed away to sea such a lot of water that could cater to the need of whole Gujarat for 18 years.

The Narmada project acts as a catalyst for environmental and regional development harnessing water for overall development, he underlined.

Vyas said that the international community, which once upon a time looked at Narmada from the anti-dam activist's point of view, has now started accepting the arguments from the other side. It has realised that the project has the potential to contribute to sustainable development of the state.

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

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Couple commit suicide Monday, August 20, 2001

A couple who shared an intimate relationship and lived in the Danapith firebrigade staff quarters killed themselves on realising that their relationship would not materialise since the boy was already married.

The incident occurred on Friday when 20-year-old Sunita Devkaranbhai Sabaria and her paramour 27-year-old Ranjitsinh Dalpatsinh Parmar, who was already married, consumed Baygon Spray on the stairway of the staff quarters.

Both were admitted to VS Hospital, where the girl succumbed that very night while Parmar died on Sunday. The Khadia police station has registered a case of accidental death.

Parmar was the son of a driver in the Ahmedabad fire brigade, while Sunita's father is a fireman.

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

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Man killed for breaking specs, accused held Monday, August 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: In a ghastly incident that took place in the Sarkhej area on Saturday, a 40-year-old man paid with his life for colliding with an oncoming motorbike, in the course of which the oncoming rider lost his glasses.

The accident took place around 10 pm near Royal Hotel in Makarba.

According to a complaint - that appears to be straight out of a Bollywood script - lodged by the deceased's wife, Khatoonbibi, at the Sarkhej police station, Abdul Gaffoor accidentally collided with Sirajuddin Shahbuddin Shaikh, who was on a bike (GJ1 CH 7170). Shaikh's glasses were damaged in the accident.

Seething with rage at the loss, Sirajuddin drove his bike at full speed right between Abdul Gaffoor's legs, knocking him over. He then turned around and drove over his chest and legs, injuring him badly.

The victim was admitted to hospital where he succumbed on Sunday. Late on Sunday, the police arrested the accused, Sirajuddin Shahbuddin Shaikh.

Abdul Gaffoor was a resident of Rajivnagar in Makarba.

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

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Music for the monsoon Monday, August 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: To celebrate the rainy season, the Youth Services and Cultural Affairs department of the state government is organising Varshotsav, a festival of classical music for two days from August 23.

The first day of the concert will see a vocal recital by Dhanashree Pandit of Mumbai and a shehnai recital by Pandit Dayashankar and party. Both are considered up-and-coming artists of repute.

On August 24, Allarakha Kalavat will play the sarangi followed by a vocal recital by Savita Devi, performing both thumri and dadra. Yamimkhan and Ballokhan Varsi will provide accompaniment on harmonium, while Shabbir Hussain, Hetal Meha and Akram Khan will be on the tabla. The festival will be held at Gajjar Hall.

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

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Protect Gopalnagar lake: High Court Monday, August 20, 2001

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has directed the state authorities concerned to protect Gopalnagar lake near the Kalol town, which has been a habitat for rare migratory species. The lake, which comes under the jurisdiction of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority, was removed from the green belt and was shifted under the residential category.

The land, which originally belonged to the farmers of the area, was bought off by builders who were planning to develop a multi-storey in the area by filling up the lake. The court has also directed to revise the plan of the area.

While directing its conservation of the land, a division bench comprising chief justice D.M. Dharmadhikari and justice K.R. Vyas, also directed the government to set up a Wild Life Advisory Board for the state within a month's time.

The court was hearing two similar petitions filled to seek the preservation of the lake, a natural habitat for species like flamingos, ibis, and a lot of other rare species, from the clutches of rapid urbanistion.

While the first petition was filed by Biren Padhya, a wild-life activist, the subsequent was filed by Sandip Brahmbhat, a local resident.

While directing the formation of the Wild Life Advisory Board, the court also defined some of its roles whereby it will advice the government in the selection of sanctuaries and natural parks, formulation of policies for the protection of and conservation of wild life and specified plants and matter relating to conservation of wild life and dwellers in forest.

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

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