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July 18, 2001 - July 18, 2001

17 remanded for conspiracy to sabotage Gadar screening Wednesday, July 18, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: City court has remanded two of the 17 persons arrested in connection with a sabotage attempt at Sagar theatre during the screening of Gadar on June 29 for five days in police custody. The remaining 15 people have been remanded for two days. The remand orders were issued on Tuesday.

City police's detection of crime branch had nabbed 17 persons for hatching a conspiracy to whip up communal passion and disrupt the communal harmony. Those arrested had hurled big size crackers in Sagar cinema hall on June 29 during the last show of film Gadar. One Suresh Solanki was stabbed in the commotion that ensued after crackers burst in the hall. Solanki's abdomen was punctured with a sharp weapon.

Police had got a tip off that the conspiracy was masterminded by Nashir Godhrawala, a resident of Bavamanpura in Panigate. Further investigation revealed that Nashir had contacted Iqbal Dudhwala. The two got together and readied 15 more youngsters. The conspiracy was to disrupt the screening of Gadar, frighten audience and send a signal to the society that it was not safe to watch the movie.

On June 29, Nashir and Iqbal had bought 15 tickets of upper stalls and sent their man to create trouble in the cinema hall. About 30 more people were asked to wait outside the cinema hall and give cover to those who were to burst crackers inside the theatre.

"This was a conspiracy. They had planned the sabotage in advance," city Police Commissioner J Mahapatra said. He indicated that more arrests are likely and the number of conspirators can shoot up.

He said that further course of investigation would reveal whether there was some external motivation behind the sabotage attempt.

Meanwhile, those arrested are Nashir Godhrawala (25), Iqbal Dudhwala (22), Munaf Mohammedmustafa (14), Sarfaraz Pathan (23), Amjadkhan Pathan (23), Sabir Machhuwala (21), Imtiaz Pathan (21), Asfaq Godhrawala (21), Abdulwasim Shaikh (18), Asifali Saiyyad (18), Salimmiya Sheikh (19), Majid Sheikh (18), Sarfaraz Sheikh (18), Abdulrehman Lokhandwala (32), Abdulaziz Tattiwala (25), Gulamrasul Thesiwala (27) and Nasimogani Sirajwala (22).

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

Nestle ghee rated best Wednesday, July 18, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: A consumer magazine has rated Nestle EveryDay as the best brand of ghee.

'Insight' put Nestle EveryDay on top, based on its overall performance in sensory and analytical tests. Britannia Milkman came second in the ratings. Devi's overall score was the least because of its low performance, especially in the sensory tests. The tests were done on 15 brands as well as two locally-sold loose samples.

EveryDay came out the best in the analytical tests followed by Britannia Milkman. Goa Dairy scored the least in analytical tests.

DDT was present in all the samples taken for tests. Devi was the only brand to show heptachlor. Amul, Farm Fresh, Gayatri, Gits, Goa Dairy, Sagar, Nandini and Nova showed the presence of lindane. All the samples conformed to the 30 parts per million (ppm) limit for copper, set by the PFA Act. Excess of Copper, a heavy metal, causes discomfort in the intestines, dizziness and headache.

Devi, Farm Fresh, Milkman, Nova and Vraj Gopi gave less than the labelled weight.Goa Dairy did not give the expiry date, batch number, nor the packaging date while Devi, Gayatri, Nandini and RKG did not specify the expiry date.

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


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VRS to employees of slum clearance board Wednesday, July 18, 2001

The Times of India News Service
GANDHINAGAR: The winding up of the state slum clearance corporation has been delayed by six months to expedite the recovery of around Rs 56 crore from the beneficiaries even as the board management paid Rs 7.14 crore to 140 employees under the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).

Minister of state for Housing Harjivanbhai Patel said that the land owned by the corporation in six big cities would be sold to the municipal corporations as decided by the government. He said that as many as 30 employees have not given their consent for the VRS.

He admitted that the recovery from the beneficiaries who have been allocated houses by the board was a difficult task but the staff has been asked to expedite it to pay the loan of Rs 32 crore availed from Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).

While referring to the performance of the Gujarat Housing Board, the minister said the government has directed the housing commissioner to undertake housing projects for various income groups only after proper survey of real estate markets in big cities and towns.

The project of constructing big towers in Ahmedabad and Vadodara has met with success, he said. In Ahmedabad, almost all the flats in the tower constructed on Sola Road have been sold out.

To a question, the minister ruled out the possibility of closure of Gujarat housing board pleading that there was no need as the board has good track record and has been adjudged as one of the best housing boards in the country.

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


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RIL employs innovative tech to rebuild Kutch Wednesday, July 18, 2001

The Times of India News Service
RAJKOT: The Reliance group on Sunday handed 5,000 square feet of office blocks, manufactured employing innovative plastic housing technology, to the state government as part of its ongoing rehabilitation programme in Bhuj, in the presence of Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and other senior officials.

The group plans to supply 1,00,000 square feet of such blocks to the government to house offices of the taluka mamlatdar and taluka panchayat offices at various places in quake-affected Bhuj, Anjar, Mundra and Mandvi by August.

Components of these earthquake-resistant plastic offices have been imported from Canada and are cost effective.

Reliance had, in the first phase of rehabilitation, built two plastic houses made using PVC and handed them over to the state government in March.

The technology, introduced in the country by Reliance, has been used in more than 50 countries across the world particularly in seismic and cyclone-prone areas.

A statement issued by Reliance said the walls of these structures, made of hollow profiles, are filled with concrete. The technology conforms building codes of numerous countries including quake-prone ones like Japan, China, Russia and Mexico.

According to the statement, these plastic houses are able to withstand quake in excess of 8 on the Richter scale. Depending on the site infrastructure and preparedness, a plastic house can be set up within 3 to 5 days with the help of locally available unskilled workers.

The system has been used effectively in regions that are hot and arid to regions with sub-zero climates. A plastic house has a life span of 1000 years and is totally maintenance-free besides being cost effective as compared to a brick and mortar house.

Reliance has identified possibilities of constructing townships using this technology in future and a proposal is under the consideration of the state government.

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


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Cong protests VMC's inability to keep city clean Wednesday, July 18, 2001

By A Staff Reporter, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA: In a unique protest, Congress corporators brought two piglets to the general meeting of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) here on Tuesday evening to protest against the VMC's "inability to keep the city clean." They alleged that the VMC was solely responsible for the spread of diseases like cholera, gastroenteritis and jaundice in the city.

Congress corporators also disrupted a requisition meeting called to discuss the issue of spread of diseases. The requisition meeting was demanded by the Congress and an ally of the BJP in the VMC, the Samata Party.

There was lot of commotion in the Khanderao Market of the VMC when Congressmen brought out two piglets from a bag. "This is a symbolic protest. The piglets symbolise the sorry state of affairs in the city and the utter failure of the VMC to keep the city clean," says a Congress corporator.

In the Sayaji sabhagruh, where the requisition meeting was being held, Congress and BJP corporators had a heated exchange.

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


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