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July 18, 2001 - July 19, 2001

2nd spell of rain brightens crop prospects in Kheda Thursday, July 19, 2001

The Times of India News Service
NADIAD: The second round of rain that began in July first has brightened Kharif crop prospects in the district, says deputy director of agriculture Shankar Patel.

He said here on Wednesday that the total rainfall recorded in ten talukas from June 1 to July 17 was: Nadiad 313 mm, Matar 359 mm, Kheda 360 mm, Mehmedabad 346 mm, Mahudha 349 mm, Kathalal 374 mm, Kapadwanj 231 mm, Virpur 224 mm, Balasinor 285 mm and Thasra 436 mm.

He said the main crop of paddy would have been sown on nearly a lakh hectares and paddy farmers have taken up even transplantation of seedlings, thanks to the renewed spell of rain.

The acreage of other crops: maize 18,000 hectares, jowar 310 hectares, tuwar 15,140 hectares sesame 22,450 hectares, cotton 12,840 hectares, tobacco 45,000 hectares, greengram 2,073 hectares, soya bean 230 hectares, Matha 816 hectares, vegetables 10,000 hectares, grass 9,441 hectares.

Following reports of release of canal water in Kheda district, farmers had begun sowing and the rain has further boosted prospects.

DDO Dilip Raval said that following the second round of rain all the drought relief works have been called off and the considering timely rain and if the trend continued there would be bumper monsoon crops.

The district agriculture department is providing guideline to farmers, he added.

N Vittal coming: Human Society of India, a local voluntary service organisation involved in activities like education, human rights, social awareness and literature, has organised lecture, press conference with chief vigilance commissioner N Vittal here on July 19, said Human Society of India president Prakash B Rao.

He said that N Vittal would address people at the municipal town hall on Station Road at 6.30 p.m. He will also address the press at 5 p.m. and will visit Santram temple.

The programmes of Human Society of India have had a positive and encouraging response from all citizens.

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


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Stampede kills 2 students in Ahmedabad Thursday, July 19, 2001

By GujaratPlus.com News Service
July 18 2001 : Two children are reported to have died in a stampede at Pratap High School in Ahmedabad today. The stampede occurred after a small fire broke out in the building and the children rushed out in panic.

Twenty-two children have been injured in the accident and are in hospital. The fire, which was caused due to a short-circuit has been brought under control.

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Stampede kills 2 students in Ahmedabad Thursday, July 19, 2001

Two children are reported to have died in a stampede at Pratap High School in Ahmedabad today. The stampede occurred after a small fire broke out in the building and the children rushed out in panic.

Twenty-two children have been injured in the accident and are in hospital. The fire, which was caused due to a short-circuit has been brought under control.

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Quake-hit villagers fast to protest discrimination Wednesday, July 18, 2001

By Ramesh Tanna, Indo-Asian News Service
Gandhinagar, July 18 (IANS) A hunger protest by the people of the Maliya-Miyana villages of the Saurashtra region, alleging discrimination in quake relief, has come as an embarrassment to the Gujarat government.

While the government has been stoutly denying charges of discrimination on any ground -- region, religion or caste -- the people of Maliya-Miyana of Rajkot district, about 225 km west of here, are staging a protest in Gandhinagar for the second time in less than two months.

"Even we do not like the idea of protesting in the open in monsoon with our children in tow. But we have been forced to do so to get justice," said Lakshiben Naranji, who has joined the protest with her children. The protesters include 20 children and 11 women, one of whom is pregnant.

Demanding an inquiry into the way aid was distributed following the January earthquake, Umardin Sanghvani said, "Some people whose hoses did not suffer any damage or very little damage were paid up to Rs. 90,000 in compensation whereas we got little even though the quake razed our houses to the ground."

"In one case, some people have cornered the benefit in the name of a person who does not exist. Actually they have been doing so for the last 22 years," he alleged.

Abdulbhai Gaffar said about 45 people from Maliya-Miyana had sat on a protest fast at the same spot on June 4. "At that time the district chiefs of Gandhinagar and Rajkot had assured us of looking into the matter. The Rajkot district chief even visited our village, but nothing has happened till date," he said.

"There is nothing hidden about it. The discrimination is all too obvious, anyone can see it," said Suraj Naranbhai. He alleged that hundreds of families of Maliya-Miyana have been denied ration cards -- which entitle them to subsidized grain and fuel -- for more than a decade.

"More than a 1,000 people had sat on a protest fast March 7 in front of the office of the (Morbi sub-district revenue officer. Morbi legislator Kantibhai Amritiya intervened and assured us of ration card issuance by April 20, but we have not yet received our cards," he said. Hundreds of families, he alleged, have been denied quake relief in the absence of ration cards, which are in many cases treated as identity cards.

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


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Vala to present state budget on July 26 Wednesday, July 18, 2001

The Times of India News Service
GANDHINAGAR: Finance minister Vajubhai Vala will present state's annual budget for 2001-2002 in state assembly on July 26 the inaugural day of a month-long budget session.

Speaking to media persons the minister said the pre-budget exercises with the concerned ministers and the senior officials of the various departments were on and the proposals would be given final touches in next few days. However, he did not make any mention about the taxation aspects of the new budget.

Though the minister did not give any hint whether he would propose new taxes or not, it is believed that the government would not levy fresh taxes in accordance with the earlier tradition of past two years. Though the government has incurred heavy expenditure on account of drought and the earthquake, senior officials of the finance department would insist that the some special cases should be levied to mop up additional resources to meet the huge expenditure of around Rs 20,000 crore on rehabilitation of around 1,000 earthquake-affected villages in six districts of Kutch and Saurashtra.

It is learnt from reliable sources that the government would work out ways and means to step up the revenue from existing sources of revenue like sales tax and motor vehicle tax and other duties collected by the state government.

In view of the next assembly elections the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party might announce new schemes and programmes for the welfare of poor sections of the society particularly Scheduled Castes and Tribes who have favoured the Opposition Congress party in district panchayats and civic elections held last year.

Meanwhile, Vala described the rally of farmers organised at Rajkot as political gimmick of the Congress party. The BJP government he said has increased the crop insurance amount to Rs 50,000 from a meagre Rs 10,000 given by the earlier Congress regime.

Not only that the state government has already settled the claims of Rs 196 crore of the ground nut growers of Saurashtra, while the remaining claims of around Rs 400 crore would be settled by the end of this month. Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and state agriculture minister Becharbhai Bhadani have already given this assurance to farmers in Saurashtra during their recent visits to Rajkot and Junagadh.

He said the government had taken up the matter with the Central government so that the pending claims of cotton growers could be cleared at the earliest. The farmers covered under the crop insurance scheme were sanctioned 50 per cent amount from the state while remaining share of 50 per cent was borne by the Centre in consultation with the General Insurance Corporation.

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


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