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November 26, 2001 - November 26, 2001

VMC contractor's bash rakes up a controversy Monday, November 26, 2001

SOURCE - TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: It seems to be a bash which no Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) functionary or political leader wants to say he was a part of. The 'lavish party' reportedly organised recently by a contractor has raked up a major controversy in VMC. Tongues are wagging over who met whom and who made deals related to a tube-well drilling project that has now run into trouble.

The party was organised by a contractor who was involved in the work of drilling tube-wells in Mahi river. The corporation had to incur losses amounting to Rs 2.5 crore due to the haphazard drilling of the wells.

According to sources in VMC, the contractor held the party before work began on the drilling of wells. Several corporation functionaries reportedly attended the event, which was more a public relations exercise or a courtesy at that time.

However, with controversy hounding the tube-well project, the party itself has come under a cloud. VMC functionaries and the Opposition have started pointing fingers at those who attended the party.

Said Opposition leader Dalsukh Prajapati, "I came to know of the party through the media. I have asked all my corporators regarding the event and whether they attended it. They have denied their involvement in any such bash."

Similar views were expressed by Standing Committee chairman Bharat Shah, "The event was like a get-together. It was an annual feature, which has been blown out of proportion.
People are whipping up a controversy to take mileage out of the irregularities related to the tube-well project." He added the incident is stale now, as the party was held about a year back. "I fail to understand why people are raking it up at this juncture," Shah pointed out.

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


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Battery-operated bus in Gir sanctuary Monday, November 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
RAJKOT: The forest department has introduced battery- operated bus for tourists visiting the Gir sanctuary.

Deputy conservator of forests B P Patti said on Saturday this was aimed at preventing degradation in the forest. Its noise pollution is minimal and air pollution is nil. The bus has 17 seats. Six routes have been specified for tourists who are allowed to move within a range of 22 to 40 km.

The department has banned petrol and diesel vehicles in the jungle. Three battery operated buses had been procurred from BHEL.

The Gir forest, open for almost eight months, is closed during the monsoon from July 15 to October 15.

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


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Battery-operated bus in Gir sanctuary Monday, November 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
RAJKOT: The forest department has introduced battery- operated bus for tourists visiting the Gir sanctuary.

Deputy conservator of forests B P Patti said on Saturday this was aimed at preventing degradation in the forest. Its noise pollution is minimal and air pollution is nil. The bus has 17 seats. Six routes have been specified for tourists who are allowed to move within a range of 22 to 40 km.

The department has banned petrol and diesel vehicles in the jungle. Three battery operated buses had been procurred from BHEL.

The Gir forest, open for almost eight months, is closed during the monsoon from July 15 to October 15.

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


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Battery-operated bus in Gir sanctuary Monday, November 26, 2001

TIMES NEWS NETWORK
RAJKOT: The forest department has introduced battery- operated bus for tourists visiting the Gir sanctuary.

Deputy conservator of forests B P Patti said on Saturday this was aimed at preventing degradation in the forest. Its noise pollution is minimal and air pollution is nil. The bus has 17 seats. Six routes have been specified for tourists who are allowed to move within a range of 22 to 40 km.

The department has banned petrol and diesel vehicles in the jungle. Three battery operated buses had been procurred from BHEL.

The Gir forest, open for almost eight months, is closed during the monsoon from July 15 to October 15.

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


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Residents want better use of Arkee Garba venue Monday, November 26, 2001

BY SACHIN SHARMA, TIMES NEWS NETWORK
VADODARA: The Arkee Garba Ground might be a favourite venue for those who want to let their hair down during Navratri. However, residents around the area have better ideas for which the ground can be utilised.

Residents of about 200 societies in the locality have been facing problems in water supply despite claims to the contrary by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC). Since the ground is centrally located in the area, the residents have raised the demand for erecting an overhead water supply tank there.

According to residents of the area, around one lakh people stay in the locality. The demand for the tank has been raised since about eight years now, but to no avail. The Arkee Garba Ground in Subhanpura, they say, is very huge and can be used for the purpose.

Jashbhai Patel, a social activist, who has been fighting for the cause pointed out that the corporation had earlier agreed in principle for the tank. "However, there have been no developments since we received the letter in July, 2001. We reminded them of the issue on several occasions, but nothing happened," Jashbhai said.

The perennial problem of low water pressure or supply of water for short periods has pestered women in the area for a long time. "We hardly get four-to-five buckets of water at a time. Several people have resorted to installing hand-pumps in their residences to meet this shortage," said Mitaben Patel, a resident of the area, adding that the situation became embarrassing if guests arrive at their residence.

Another issue raised by the residents is that of a pubic garden in the area. Political leaders have been promising them a garden in the area since quite some time now. They go to the extent of claiming that when they had purchased the plots, it was promised that a park would come up in the ground.

"We purchased the plots in late 1970s, but the park has not come up so far. There is no place to take the children or elder persons for a walk. The authorities have not looked into the problem. While there are a series of small gardens in several other areas of the city, not a single one exists here," said Devyani Ankleshwaria, a housewife.

Another major issue pestering the residents is that of dubious activities in the area. "There are encroachments on the ground and people there collect garbage for selling it off. They also relieve themselves in the open and make the ground dirty. Dead animals are often disposed in the ground," said Nayna Patel.

Meanwhile, Jashbhai pointed out that a large portion of the Arkee Ground had been given to the central excise and telecom department. "Neither have these authorities done any construction there, nor have they made any security arrangements. People have built shanties here. The only time when the area is cleaned up is during Navratri or when there is some other programme here," he said.

A memorandum submitted regarding the issue recently to VMC has threatened to approach the court if the issue was not resolved at the earliest. It adds that since the localities came up, the authorities had largely ignored them. According to the memorandum, there were four-to-five overhead tanks on the southern side of the road leading from Gotri to Alkapuri under-bridge. At the other end there was not a single one on the northern side.

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


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