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July 27, 2001 - July 27, 2001

33 lose partial vision after cataract operation Friday, July 27, 2001

PTI
AHMEDABAD: As many as 33 patients, who had undergone cataract operations at a private hospital here, have lost partial vision due to eye infection, state health and industries minister Suresh Mehta said on Friday.

In all 40 persons were operated upon between July 7-14 for cataract at the hospital, he said here.

The patients, aged over 60 years, who had developed infections, had lost vision partially, he added, saying that the investigations into the operations was being carried out by the commissioner of health.

The eyes of at least two patients have been removed as the problem became serious, official sources said.

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


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Ahmedabad residents protest slow rehabilitation Friday, July 27, 2001

Friday, July 27, 2001 (Ahmedabad): It's been six months since the devastating earthquake hit Gujarat, but rehabilitation for the victims has been very slow. The residents of Ahmedabad held a protest rally on Thursday, angry at the government's red tapism, which they say has been stalling rehabilitation work.

The residents protested, saying none of the 85 buildings that gave way are being repaired. One of the reasons is government rules. Kirtee Shah, chairman, Home Losers' Association, said, ''The government has announced that cement will be available for Rs 101 per bag. Market price is about Rs 150. We run an institution which is 30-years-old and has maximum experience in rehabilitation. It took us two-and-a-half months to get the first bag of cement."

There are other problems as well. Reconstruction can only begin once all flat owners in a collapsed building agree, which is often difficult to achieve. Also, government compensation is being paid in installments. So far only Rs 70,000 has been given, the rest will be paid when construction is complete.

Most middle income people say they don't have the money to build new homes and pay for rented accommodation.

Pratik Parikh, a resident of Nayan Apartments, said, "NIRMA had given us temporary accommodation for six months. Now that the time has ended, they have asked us to make our own arrangements. We really don't know where to go. Our new building plans have not been approved. The construction will take two years. Where will we stay then?"

These people will now submit a memorandum to the state and central government asking for procedures to be streamlined so they can get on with rebuilding their homes and lives.
Source - NDTV.COM

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FICCI promises more help in Kutch Friday, July 27, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
BHUJ: Federation of Indian chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) and its partner Co-operative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) would camp permanently in quake-ravaged Kutch to help people resume their normal activities, a source close to the matter said.
FICCI chairman Chirayu Amin also told a press meeting here on Tuesday that a special project would be formed for the uplift of rural artisans. A marketing linkage has been already established with the US-based Aids to Artisans organisation for this purpose. "We have found Anjar as an ideal location for the project", he added.

Tom Alcedo, the country Director of CARE said that a project team of 30 has been camping in Bhuj and several programmes under the Gujarat Rehabiliation Project has been undertaken, including construction of earthquake and cyclone-proof housing, training in the vocational fields, repairs of dams and construction of community halls. He confessed that 21 villages out of 30 sought to be adopted by FICCI-CARE have decided not to be with the project. "We have requested the district administration to allot us other villages instead", he added. District collector Harsh Chhiber also attended the press meet.

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


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FICCI promises more help in Kutch Friday, July 27, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
BHUJ: Federation of Indian chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) and its partner Co-operative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) would camp permanently in quake-ravaged Kutch to help people resume their normal activities, a source close to the matter said.
FICCI chairman Chirayu Amin also told a press meeting here on Tuesday that a special project would be formed for the uplift of rural artisans. A marketing linkage has been already established with the US-based Aids to Artisans organisation for this purpose. "We have found Anjar as an ideal location for the project", he added.

Tom Alcedo, the country Director of CARE said that a project team of 30 has been camping in Bhuj and several programmes under the Gujarat Rehabiliation Project has been undertaken, including construction of earthquake and cyclone-proof housing, training in the vocational fields, repairs of dams and construction of community halls. He confessed that 21 villages out of 30 sought to be adopted by FICCI-CARE have decided not to be with the project. "We have requested the district administration to allot us other villages instead", he added. District collector Harsh Chhiber also attended the press meet.

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


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Quake, MMCB to dominate session Friday, July 27, 2001

THE TIMES OF INDIA NEWS SERVICE
GANDHINAGAR: The Congress, which awaited the arrival of Leader of Opposition Amarsinh Chaudhary from New Delhi late on Wednesday night, is expected to launch a blistering attack on the government on the issue of its handling of earthquake rehabilitation, failure to get a notification for revival of Madhavpura bank, as also the incidents of kher wood smuggling racket allegedly involving forest minister Kanjibhai Patel's son in the budget session commencing on Thursday.
The budget session will continue till August 31, with the budget being presented on the first day itself by finance minister Vajubhai Vala. The last session had seen unprecedented scenes of violence in the assembly and, sources said, the BJP members have this time been asked to observe restraint even if the Congress is on the offensive.

"We will adhere to democratic norms and rules of the House, and not indulge in any act which should affect the honour and decorum of the august House," said senior BJP legislator Gordhanbhai Zadaphia. He asserted that the government would not be on the defensive and would highlight the work done on rehabilitation in earthquake-affected areas, as also the laying of the Saurashtra drinking water pipeline. The government has dented the hopes of the Opposition which was expecting water riots and large-scale migration during drought.

Congress party whip Naresh Rawal said, "We will corner the ruling party on several issues, but our focus would be mainly on the government's failure to construct temporary houses in earthquake-affected areas even six months after the natural calamity." He said Congress members will give vent to the feelings of the people who were fed up of the misrule of the BJP in the state, and would compel the Treasury Benches to give an account of the state's finances which were in bad shape.

Chaudhary, who has been recently appointed as GPCC chief, will address the meeting of the Congress Legislative Party on Thursday morning, an hour before the commencement of the session.

The Opposition members will also grill the government for delay in announcing various economic packages for speedy rehabilitation in Kutch and Saurashtra where more than 900 villages and 10 major towns were destroyed in the killer quake. Members from Kutch and Saurashtra will take lead in making a representation on the plight of the people in rural areas where debris was yet not cleared in some villages.

The government will also have to face strong criticism from the Opposition during debate on the official Bills replacing the earlier ordinances promulgated by the government. The Bills to be introduced in the session include the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations (Gujarat amendment) Bill pertaining to abolition of octroi from municipalities.

Another Bill which will lead to battle of words between the Opposition and the BJP is the Gujarat Regularisation of Unauthorised Development Bill aimed at regularising illegal constructions in six municipal corporations and urban development authorities by collecting impact fees. The other Bills are the Gujarat Panchayats (second amendment) Bill and the Gujarat Motor Spirit Cess Bill.

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


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