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November 25, 2001 - November 26, 2001

GWSSB accountant held for embezzlement Monday, November 26, 2001

AHMEDABAD: An accountant working with the Gujarat Water Supply & Sewerage Board (GWSSB), Gandhinagar, was booked for tampering with official records and embezzlement of government money to the tune of Rs 1.56 lakh by forging cheques.

A case lodged at the Sector 7 police station against accountant S B Joshi , posted in Jalseva Bhavan of Sector 10, accused him of having illegally withdrawn money by tampering with cheques drawn in favour of the State Bank of Saurashtra.

Joshi is accused of withdrawing money from the bank in different instalments while showing a credit in the department's account records between August 3, 2001, and September 24, 2001.

The complaint lodged by executive engineer B D Shah from the project cell alleged that Joshi not only tampered with the cheques and used the money from the department but also changed records in the official account books.

Cheating case: A man posing as a railway officer duped one Rameshbhai Babubhai Patel and his colleague of Rs 1.38 lakh on the pretext of letting their vehicle to the Railways.

The victims lodged a complaint at the Dehgam police station against Yasinkhan Jivamiyan Shaikh of Mehsana accusing him of impersonating as a railway officer and talking them into letting their jeep.

Shaikh collected Rs 68,000 from Patel and Rs 70,000 from his colleague and decamped with the money.

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

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Sanghani may take over state BJP's reins Sunday, November 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Chief Minister Modi seems to be on course in assuming total control over the state BJP organisation. Just weeks after despatching the BJP's organisation secretary, Sanjay Joshi, to New Delhi, Modi, according to highly-placed sources, has succeeded in persuading the party leadership to replace state BJP president, Rajendrasinh Rana, with Amreli MP Dilip Sanghani.

This is among the several sweeping changes being planned by Modi in the coming weeks including replacing a number of chairmen of corporations and boards.

A long-standing friend and ally of Modi, Sanghani's appointment may be finalised shortly. He is a Patel, a very important factor, considering the feeling in the BJP that the ouster of Keshubhai may have hurt the sentiments of the community.

Sanghani hails from Saurashtra, a region crucial for the BJP's fortunes. But he was never a part of the Keshubhai clique.

Modi is pressuring the party leadership to take prompt decisions in order to have the new BJP chief in saddle much before the assembly elections due in March 2003.

Modi, after he was banished from Gujarat at Keshubhai's instance, used to stay in Sanghani's official residence in New Delhi, a sign of the bonding between the two.

The other change Modi is trying to effect is to bring in an organisation secretary of his choice in place of Sanjay Joshi. The BJP has already sounded minister of state for revenue Haren Pandya who has agreed to accept "whatever job is assigned top him".

Though Pandya is believed to be doing a good job of cleaning up the revenue department, many believe that his services could be better utilised for organisational work.

If Pandya makes it, it will be a departure from tradition the organisation secretary is usually an RSS nominee. Party sources feel this should not be a problem because Pandya is known to be steeped in RSS ideology. Besides, he is also very close to Union ministers Advani and Arun Jaitley who have been taking an active interest in Gujarat affairs.

Before Pandya's name was considered, it was rumoured that state BJP vice-president Suresh Gandhi was tipped for the post. But as soon as the news came out, representations were made against his nomination by sections of the party.

Modi is also believed to have made up his mind to replace numerous chairmen of corporations and boards.

Nalin Bhatt is in danger of losing his job as Gujarat Electricity Board chairman, notwithstanding RSS leader Pravin Maniar's backing. Modi has apparently learnt that a number of BJP leaders are also doubling up as coal suppliers to GEB.

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

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Clamour for sarees shown in serials, films Sunday, November 25, 2001

SURAT: Sick of shuffling through piles of sarees in search of elegance with catching appeal? Fed up with non-admiring looks? Do not worry. Tulsi of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi and Parvati of Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani are there to help you be eye-catchers.

For many Surti women, it has been a blessing in disguise as prime time serials like KSBKBT and GGKK have not been just engrossing for them but the sarees worn by leading ladies are the best ones to go for them so to feel good and be attractive as well.

Sarees worn by characters in some serials are in great demand and this is one area without any dissent among all, no age bar.

Not to be left behind, shop keepers, too, help out customers make the right choice. Asking for embroidery or jari work is now passe.

Nitin Rateria of Sadbhavna Sarees says that they have a fair idea of what is worn in these serials. Hence, encashing the trend happens to be the core commercial sense among all saree dealers,

The community classification is also evident. For example, Rateria says the family depicted in KSBKBT is Gujarati and the sarees displayed are art silk with a fair amount of shiny jari work.

In contrast, the family in GGKK is Marwadi and the choice is light colours in cottons with a little work on the sarees, he adds.

Pointing to an embroidered sari in pale yellow, he says it is very similar to the one worn by Shilpa Shetty in Dhadkan.

Says Lalit Shah of Ria Sarees, "Such branding helps in selection of the sarees as customers can identify the kind of look they want. Fully responsive to the appeal of the serials, their staff has distinguished many sarees as those shown in serials and films.

Till recently, the bandhej saree worn by Karishma Kapoor in Hum Saath Saath Hain was a big draw, he says.

These serials have changed the way women would dress even at home. For Anjali Patel of Adajan who is about to get married, a choice of sarees worn by women in a particular serial looks perfect for a newly-wed to wear at home. She plans to buy at least half a dozen such sarees.

Kalpana Joshi, a housewife, says she realised that one need not look shoddy just because one stays at home. Good grooming does matter a lot and the saree texture, design and colour in the serials are appealing, she adds.

The flip side is husbands' annoyance, says Rateria recalling that a customer told his wife, who asked for a type of saree akin to the one worn by Aishwarya Rai in Mohabbatein, that she would not be same Aishwarya even by wearing it.

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

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Migrants facing accommodation problem in Surat Sunday, November 25, 2001

SURAT: People are known to prosper in this city of diamonds. With every passing day there is quite an influx of people from other parts of the state to this city of textiles. People are migrating in large numbers to this city to realise their goals. The migrants otherwise have no complaints with the city but for the accommodation part. Most of the migrants are having a torrid time searching for a rented house here, thanks to lack of organised property dealers or real estate agents like those in other cities. Looking for a house here can best be described as a nightmare.

Take the case of Rohit Joshi, a native of Ahmedabad, who came to Surat with a high paying job. Joshi, who has no relatives in Surat, was put up in his company's guest house as a protem arrangement. As all his children were in high school, he decided not to shift the family immediately. Joshi later even realised that it was a very wise decision, as he could not find a house for nearly three months. Finally, Joshi got an offer for a two-room apartment at a very high rent, which he grabbed it with both the hands. He accepted the offer immediately as it was one that met his needs by at least some margin, and besides, he could not continue living in the company guest house for an indefinite period, Joshi says.

Without a proper channel of estate agents, it has become a difficult exercise to find an accommodation for oneself in this diamond city.

The case of Shalini Mehra is slightly better. She joined her husband working in Surat, although he didn't have a decent house to live in. Nowhere she could locate any estate agent. Even the directory (yellow pages) offered address of a lone agent. But, luckily for her, a friend in her native Baroda knew someone in Surat who requested them to rent out their flat to the young couple.

However, Ajay Shah, an engineer by profession, was not so lucky. He managed to find a house as per his needs and even the deal was almost finalised. But, as ill luck would have it, he was asked to pay rent for one full year in advance, which he could not afford. Shah remained without a house for another month. Finally, he managed to get a house through some friendly connections in the city.

The construction industry in the city is still enjoying a boom period, which is very much apparent from the number of buildings under construction at different parts of the city. In fact, for a casual visitor, the city's skyscrapers would be a sight to rejoice.

However, it's a paradox that though people are finding it difficult to get a house on rent, many apartments at Parle Point, Ghod Dod Road, City Light Area and other parts of the city are having nearly half of their flats vacant. The reason cited by builder Amulbhai for this is "the amount of money as advance or 'pagari' asked by the owners". Even for corporate houses, it is difficult to buy houses through cheque payment. No wonder, all those even willing to dispose of their flats are found quite reluctant to accept white money.

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

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Cable operators ransack ESPN office Sunday, November 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: ESPN and Star Sports channel yet again faced the brunt of internal squabblings between cable operators in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Their local distributor's office, Bizz World, was ransacked by 25 sub-cable operators from Maninagar and Behrampura areas as the distributors refused to give them a new decoder.

Their office at Samudra complex in Navrangpura, now in a state of disarray, was the venue of a meeting between Bizz World officials and sub-operators. Bizz World partners Sashikant Patel and Harsh Modi averred, "The dialogue apparently did not proceed according to our visitors' liking as we wanted to protect our business interests. A female member among the 10 staffers working at our office was so scared that we had to give her the day off while all official work was brought to a standstill after the incident."

Sources told TNN that trouble began after Bizz World officials refused to comply to the sub-operators' wish to get an ESPN decoder for their viewers. The problem is an old one as this ESPN distributor of Ahmedabad has already reposed faith with an operator functioning in Maninagar, Behrampura and Vatwa areas. These sub-operators were working under the same operator till recently."

Matters came to a pass when these sub-operators opted for autonomy and began dialogues with Bizz World for an independent ESPN decoder for a control room they have since set up in Behrampura. When decision-makers of Bizz World refused to comply, the enraged sub-operators ransacked the premises. A FIR has also been filed.

The two channels, however, have never been in the good books of the operators. Last year, in December, cable networks had switched off transmission of the two popular sports channels for more than a week upset over the channels' decision to give a decoder to the new entrant, a major business house.

The channel managers did not bow to the pressure and refused to get involved in the fight saying it was an internal issue between the operators.

Sources in the industry say there are about 4.5 lakh cable homes in Ahmedabad, but the two channels get revenue for only 1,00,000. Other channels endorse this, saying, operators show a very small number of homes they actually cover.

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

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