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July 8, 2001 - July 8, 2001

Overwhelming response to AMC's property tax recovery drive Sunday, July 8, 2001

By Civic Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: It was a unique sight to behold. Many Amdavadis, who had been at loggerheads with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) over its property taxation -- and had even taken to legal recourse -- queued up to clear their years-old tax dues and boosted the civic body's income by Rs 4 lakh on Friday.

At its first Lok Darbar in Dariyapur in central zone (held specially to address pending property tax cases), the tax department officials and AMC's tax committee chairman Vinodbhai Modi were in for a pleasant surprise when they had 50 tax-payers queuing up to clear their dues, some of which had been pending for about a decade.

With AMC's recent decision for waiver of 17 per cent penalty interest for tax defaulters being a convincing factor the corporation expects old property tax dues worth Rs 7 lakh to fill its fast-emptying coffers on Saturday too.

"The response was overwhelming for both parties," said Modi, adding, "while we were surprised at the organised manner in which the Lok Darbar went off with many tax-payers clearing their dues on the spot. For the tax-payers it was like a wish fulfilled as they went away showering blessings on us for having sorted out their years-old problems."

Of the 32,455 cases that have been pending for years (some as old as 15 years) 16,079 have been resolved while the rest of the cases will be sorted out through similar Lok Darbars in all AMC's five zones. "The next such property-tax programme is slated for the Shahpur and Khadia areas. Within the next three months we should get a sum of Rs 20 crore in our coffers," informed Modi.

After being in financial doldrums for more than four months now the increase in revenue through clearance of old property tax dues is the first good news for AMC. The central zone has recorded a jump in monthly income of Rs 3.08 crore from June 1 to July 6, 2001, as compared to the 6.9 lakh of last year.

With similar revenue boosts recorded in the other four zones the AMC now boasts of an average monthly increase of 1.5 crore. But, even with this better tax collection the corporation is still looking at a 43 per cent decrease in its annual income when compared with the corresponding period of last year.

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

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Vehicle thieves caught in Ahmedabad Sunday, July 8, 2001

By Crime Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The Sardarnagar police arrested five motorcycle thieves and seized five bikes from them, four of which were stolen from the Kalupur area.

The arrested have been identified as Haresh alias Jackie Ghanshyam Sindhi (GJ1 AM 5443), Dhimant Dilipbhai Vyas (GJ 2 m 9424), Rupesh Nathubhai Mankar (GJ 1BN 5554), Parsottam alias Chinku Trikamdas Sindhi ( GJ 1 BH 4448) and Ajay Hiralal Sindhi.

Meanwhile, the Gandhinagar police caught a vehicle thief who admitted to have stolen at least five top models of cars in connivance with his accomplices. In one case, he had even murdered the driver of a Tata Estate before driving away with the vehicle. The miscreant has been identified as Kailasram Amraram Jivaram Mali, a resident of Jhalor in Rajasthan.

The police caught Mali with a Yamaha (GJ 18 E 3480), which he claimed to have stolen from Kalupur darwaja.

After detaining him, Mali admitted of his involvement in the theft of Tata Estate and the subsequent killing of the vehicle driver.

Mali confessed that he had stolen the Tata Estate with the help of one Umesh Patel and Kiran Patel after killing the driver on Abu Road, a month and a half ago.

Then with Kiran and another Jashu Patel, he stole a Tata Esteem from Kalupur followed by a Honda car, another Esteem and a motorcycle.

His other accomplices have been identified as Sanjay Patel, Vikram alias 'Vikla' Jawanji Thakore, Surendrasinh Amarsinh Rajput and Ashoksinh. The latter two have been arrested by the Modasa police.

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Form consensus on seat allotment, HC tells varsities Sunday, July 8, 2001

By Legal Correspondent, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Friday directed state's universities to arrive at a consensus on allotment of seats reserved for non-resident Indian candidates in professional colleges. The court also directed the state government to frame necessary rules to facilitate allotment of NRI seats in colleges.

The views will be submitted before the HC on Tuesday, next week. Further hearing has been scheduled for Friday.

The Centralised Admissions Committee will now have five members, three from the state government representing different authorities.

Besides, it was suggested that the non-NRIs seeking admissions to BBA, BCA and MCA courses will have to take entrance tests.

Advocate Amit Panchal, party-in-person, appeared for the original petitioner, advocate Mitul Shelat for the Medical Council of India and government pleader Arun Oza and advocate general SN Shelat appeared for the state.

Earlier, the division Bench comprising Justice BC Patel and Justice RR Tripathi had ordered that a representative of self-financed colleges be allowed to remain present during admission interviews to be conducted by Centralised Admissions Committee. This had followed a petition by CU Shah Medical College, Surendranagar, challenging rule 3.2 of admission to professional colleges for year 2001-02.

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

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ACB arrests govt official for accepting bribe Sunday, July 8, 2001

By Our Crime Reporter, The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD: The Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested a work assistant from the office of the deputy executive engineer, Ankleshwar for accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000 from a factory owner for surveying his unit to award the explosive licence.

According to ACB additional director G K Parmar, Chandubhai M Kothia - who trades in chemicals under the banner of 'Ganesh Corporation' at GIDC in Ankleshwar - had approached the office of the deputy executive engineer, Ankleshwar for a No Objection Certificate for setting up a chemical store.

In this connection, the job of site verification was assigned to work assistant Harishchandra K Patel. Patel initially refused to go to the site but later, agreed on payment of Rs 1,000. The ACB then laid a trap and arrested him.

In another incident at Junagadh, a resident of Pipalia village, Viram Laxman Bapodara, lodged a complaint with the ACB stating that the Ranavav taluka talati cum secretary, Prafulchandra Ravishankar Mehta, had demanded Rs 500 from him to transfer his land in the name of his wife.

The Junagadh ACB laid a trap and arrested Mehta after booking him for corruption.

In yet another incident, the ACB on Thursday booked a medical officer from sector 30 in Gandhinagar for accepting a bribe of Rs 50 from a patient for awarding him a medical certificate. The medical officer has been identified as Saurabh Dashrathbhai Patel.

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

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Infighting in civic Cong comes to the fore Sunday, July 8, 2001

The Times of India News Service
RAJKOT: The dissatisfaction and infighting within the Congress in the RMC was raising its head at the civic office. And if the happening on Thursday was any indication, the party was in for trouble.

Soon after the standing committee meeting, deputy mayor Meena Vasant sprang a surprise by saying she was returning her official car and mobile phone as she was being left out of all official functions. She handed over the car keys car and phone to mayor Ashok Dangar.

Congress sources said the infighting had begun some time back and the deputy mayor was fretting and fuming for quite sometime as she felt slighted. She told the mayor she could come to the municipal corporation office only when the mayor was not in town and she had to function as officiating mayor.

Congress corporators have decided not to react to the incident and the party provided no official version. However sources close to Meena said that under the law, the mayor and the standing committee chairman had powers to entertain quests while the deputy mayor had no such powers.

She had stated that she was highlighting this disparity and she wanted to ensure the deputy mayor got the powers to entertain guests.

She complained to the city Congress leaders that she was neglected by the party at the official level and that she was never taken into confidence when important decisions were taken by the civic body. She had earlier said that the deputy mayor was not given any power and she had no right to have an official car or a mobile.

During a recent visit to the Lapasari dam, while the car of the deputy mayor was taken, she was not even informed. This confirms that the deputy mayor was being overlooked by political bosses.

The infighting and dissidence in the Congress was rising steadily and even the Congress corporators were unhappy with the mayor and the Rajkot city DCC president who was calling the shots.

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

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