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July 18, 2001 - July 18, 2001

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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SAURASHTRA:::: Miffed Saurashtrians raise banner of separate state Wednesday, July 18, 2001

By Yusuf Khan, The Times of India News Service
SURENDRANAGAR: Trade and industry circles in Saurashtra, after having been denied a 'fair share' in the quake rehabilitation measures, have decided to raise the demand for a separate state of Saurashtra and Kutch.

An initiative in this regard has been taken by general secretary of the Surendranagar District Industries Association Navin Jobanputra, who has sought the opinion of nearly 1200 prominent people of Saurashtra from the field of politics, social work, trade and industry.

Jobanputra, who is also a Congress leader, told 'The Times of India' recently that he had dispatched letters to "people who matter" in Saurashtra and had been receiving a positive response. The movement for a separate state of Saurashtra, he clarified, would be non-political one.

Jobanputra claimed at least two prominent leaders of Surendranagar district, Congress committee president Jitubhai Bhatt and Congress MP from Surendranagar Savsibhai Makwana, had backed his idea of a separate state. He claimed even former finance minister Sanat Mehta had favoured the idea of a separate state.

Jobanputra said he had sent out the letters after consulting several senior leaders of the region who had favoured a discussion on the issue. This includes president of the Morbi Chamber of Commerce Becharbhai Patel, president of the Bhavnagar District Small Industries Association Mahendra Shah and president of the Rajkot District Engineering Association Pravin Garala.

Jobanputra said after soliciting the views from nearly 2000 prominent citizens of Saurashtra, an agenda would be finalised to represent the case for a separate state, particularly in the light of the BJP-led Union government accepting the demand for creation of separate states of Chhatisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand.

Jobanputra claimed that to press for the demand for a separate state, the next assembly elections would be fought on a non-party basis by the leaders hailing from Saurashtra who would quit their political parties.

He admitted that while the leaders from Kutch were yet to respond, none of the BJP leaders from Saurashtra who had been approached had responded to his letter.

Jobanputra said the movement for a separate state was not directed against the ruling BJP in the state or the BJP-led NDA alliance at the Centre.

He said the injustice meted out to the region, right from the merger of Saurashtra state into the state of Bombay in 1956 and the creation of Gujarat in 1960 had triggered the demand for a separate state.

Jobanputra said his letter had specifically listed the injustice meted out to Saurashtra and Kutch during relief operations in the wake of natural calamities. On the developmental front, the dice was loaded heavily in favour of the Gujarat region.

Successive regimes in the state and at the Centre had ignored the interests of Saurashtra which was still underdeveloped despite having the longest coastal line, the country's second largest port, Asia's biggest ship-breaking yard, oil refinery etc.

Marine produce and cotton are exported from the region earning a lot of foreign exchange, but the region's development hardly gets priority. He alleged that even now, if a farmer wanted to obtain a power connection in Saurashtra, he had to wait for over a decade.

He said the newly-created states were receiving liberal assistance from the Centre which was bound to accelerate the pace of development.

Jobanputra, however, admitted that even those who favoured the idea were sceptical as to who would lead the agitation, as the region lacked in leaders of the stature of the late U N Dhebar, the first chief minister of Saurashtra, who had introduced many land reforms and improved the farmers' lot.

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


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Miffed Saurashtrians raise banner of separate state Wednesday, July 18, 2001

By Yusuf Khan, The Times of India News Service
SURENDRANAGAR: Trade and industry circles in Saurashtra, after having been denied a 'fair share' in the quake rehabilitation measures, have decided to raise the demand for a separate state of Saurashtra and Kutch.

An initiative in this regard has been taken by general secretary of the Surendranagar District Industries Association Navin Jobanputra, who has sought the opinion of nearly 1200 prominent people of Saurashtra from the field of politics, social work, trade and industry.

Jobanputra, who is also a Congress leader, told 'The Times of India' recently that he had dispatched letters to "people who matter" in Saurashtra and had been receiving a positive response. The movement for a separate state of Saurashtra, he clarified, would be non-political one.

Jobanputra claimed at least two prominent leaders of Surendranagar district, Congress committee president Jitubhai Bhatt and Congress MP from Surendranagar Savsibhai Makwana, had backed his idea of a separate state. He claimed even former finance minister Sanat Mehta had favoured the idea of a separate state.

Jobanputra said he had sent out the letters after consulting several senior leaders of the region who had favoured a discussion on the issue. This includes president of the Morbi Chamber of Commerce Becharbhai Patel, president of the Bhavnagar District Small Industries Association Mahendra Shah and president of the Rajkot District Engineering Association Pravin Garala.

Jobanputra said after soliciting the views from nearly 2000 prominent citizens of Saurashtra, an agenda would be finalised to represent the case for a separate state, particularly in the light of the BJP-led Union government accepting the demand for creation of separate states of Chhatisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand.

Jobanputra claimed that to press for the demand for a separate state, the next assembly elections would be fought on a non-party basis by the leaders hailing from Saurashtra who would quit their political parties.

He admitted that while the leaders from Kutch were yet to respond, none of the BJP leaders from Saurashtra who had been approached had responded to his letter.

Jobanputra said the movement for a separate state was not directed against the ruling BJP in the state or the BJP-led NDA alliance at the Centre.

He said the injustice meted out to the region, right from the merger of Saurashtra state into the state of Bombay in 1956 and the creation of Gujarat in 1960 had triggered the demand for a separate state.

Jobanputra said his letter had specifically listed the injustice meted out to Saurashtra and Kutch during relief operations in the wake of natural calamities. On the developmental front, the dice was loaded heavily in favour of the Gujarat region.

Successive regimes in the state and at the Centre had ignored the interests of Saurashtra which was still underdeveloped despite having the longest coastal line, the country's second largest port, Asia's biggest ship-breaking yard, oil refinery etc.

Marine produce and cotton are exported from the region earning a lot of foreign exchange, but the region's development hardly gets priority. He alleged that even now, if a farmer wanted to obtain a power connection in Saurashtra, he had to wait for over a decade.

He said the newly-created states were receiving liberal assistance from the Centre which was bound to accelerate the pace of development.

Jobanputra, however, admitted that even those who favoured the idea were sceptical as to who would lead the agitation, as the region lacked in leaders of the stature of the late U N Dhebar, the first chief minister of Saurashtra, who had introduced many land reforms and improved the farmers' lot.

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


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Surat-based gang linked to Chhota Shakeel busted Wednesday, July 18, 2001

The Times of India News Service
SURAT: Investigations into the shooting incident on May 22 this year at Kamela Darwaja in which ex-corporator Harivadan Banawala had sustained bullet injuries has finally led to the busting of a city-based gang which had been operating at the instructions of Dubai-based gangster Chhota Shakeel and had planned major extortions, murder, rioting and loot cases in the city.

With the arrest of one Gulam Mouddin alias Allarakha on Monday, the city police claimed to have busted the city-based associates of the Chhota Shakeel gang. Other members of the gang in the city, Montu alias Mehboob Ali, Mohammad Imran, Mehboob alias Ibrahim Faniwala, Babu Hussain and Lali Ansari and Abid Wahidbhai had been picked up during the last few days, and interrogations revealed that they had planned to commit major crimes in the city.

City police commissioner Vineet Kumar Gupta said investigations into the firing incident on Banawala were on and the police had been working on several theories. Meanwhile, the Salabatpura police station received an anonymous letter with details of three persons, Montu, Mehboob and Imran who were involved vehicle theft cases in the city. They were picked up by the police and later released on bail.

But, the prints of telephone calls made by the mobile of Montu revealed that he had made calls to Mumbai and Dubai frequently. On enquiry, it was found that he had made calls to Chhota Shakeel in Dubai and his associates in Mumbai, Gupta said.

Further interrogations revealed that Montu was in touch with one Alamkhan of Mumbai, and had been operating in the city on his instructions. Montu had been asked to carry out a series of crimes in the city, and accordingly he had fired at the former BJP corporator Wanawala on May 22, to create a political-cum-communal tension in the city.

Commissioner said interrogations so far revealed that the city-based gang had planned to kill former deputy mayor Naval Patel on the Rath Yatra day last month, but did not succeed. They had planned to kidnap businessman Jivraj Dharukawala, and had also planned to kill R K Silkwala Azizbhai. According to Gupta, the gang had also planned to commit crimes in Jamnagar in association with the local gang there.

However, it was a tip-off that the gang had planned to loot one Aziz Resham Wala at his shop in 451, Textiles Market near Ring Road that led to arrests of the four gangsters on the spot. Two others were picked up later from different places in the city. With their arrests, major crimes as planned had been averted and their schemes had been nipped in the bud.

From the gangsters, the police recovered a Chinese pistol, country-made pistols and some live cartridges. Further investigations are on and the Mumbai police too have been contacted for further details, Gupta said.

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


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SGU V-C placates students demanding admissions to all Wednesday, July 18, 2001

The Times of India News Service
SURAT: Vice-chancellor of South Gujarat University Prem Sharada assured the students' representatives on Tuesday that the authorities were looking into the various options to accommodate all the eligible students in the undergraduate courses in the colleges affiliated to the university.

For this he has asked for a fortnight's time to find out how many students have actually been admitted and how many are still on waiting-list and then depending on the number of yet-to-be admitted ones, the alternative provisions could be planned.

Students belonging to different political organisations had demanded for admission to undergraduate courses in the colleges for all students who passed the HSC from the city this year and for this they had submitted a memorandum on Monday to the vice-chancellor asking him to find out ways to accommodate each and every eligible student in various colleges in the city.

According to Sharada, the students who visited him at his office on Monday asked for morning and evening classes so that there could be more batches to admit the left-out students.

The university has already instructed principals of all the colleges affiliated to the SGU to have 130 students per class, Sharada informed.

The university has already introduced the system of admitting the students as external candidates, but the group of students have demanded that all of them should be admitted as regular ones, Sharada informed.

One of the possibilities could be that students may be offered to get themselves enrolled for undergraduate courses on a nine-hour per week classroom teaching basis, on the lines of IGNOU, he said. But, things are being deliberated upon and in a day or two, decision to this effect would be taken, he said.

Sources in the university said that a section of students having political ambitions in view of the forthcoming students' elections were creating confusion among the general students, as on Monday morning they demanded for introduction of evening classes to accommodate more students, but in the evening they visited again the vice-chancellor's office and demanded for admission on regular basis.

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


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