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November 23, 2001 - November 23, 2001

Polio eradication drive launched by civic body Friday, November 23, 2001

RAJKOT: As many as 1.37 lakh children would be administered polio drops from December 2 onwards, when the polio eradication programme would be launched, health officials in the Rajkot municipal corporation said. While there were 1,07,614 children in the old Rajkot areas, there were 29,725 children in the three new wards of the city. As many as 922 teachers, 99 supervisors, 420 anganwadi workers and 24 medical officers would join in the polio eradication drive.
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GEB disconnects power to erring locality Friday, November 23, 2001

RAJKOT: The Gujarat Electricity Board regional office here on Tuesday night disconnected power supply to the Dhoraji nagarpalika, which had not paid its dues worth Rs 50 lakh. As a result, the street lights at Dhoraji could not be operated, executive engineer P A Shah said on Wednesday. The power supply would be restored once the outstanding dues were paid, he said.
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Navy week celebrations from Nov 24-Dec 11 Friday, November 23, 2001

RAJKOT: Navy week would be celebrated at INS Valsura from November 24 to December 11, commander Sanjiv Kapoor said in a statement on Wednesday. The Navy Day celebrations on December 2, include a health camp at Moda village, blood donation camp and a performance by the Naval band, the statement added.
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Jalaram Jayanti celebrated with gaiety Friday, November 23, 2001

RAJKOT: The 202nd Jalaram Jayanti was celebrated with traditional gaiety. A shobhayatra was also taken out in the city on Thursday that passed through the main routes of the city. A mahaprasad was also organised at Junction plot for the people of the city. Special celebrations and prayers were offered at the famous Jalaram temple at Virpur, where lakhs of devotees participated.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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PUCs without getting vehicles checked Friday, November 23, 2001

SURAT: And one thought pollution control certificates (PUC) would help the city _ with over eight lakh of vehicles _ keep its pollution level within the prescribed limits. But it would be wrong to think so, particularly with the way these rectangle-shaped PUC stickers _ to be pasted prominently on vehicles _ are issued by over 25 PUC agents in the city.

In most of the cases, these PUCs are issued without testing the volume of emission by vehicles and even without the required settings done on the vehicles. Most of these PUC centres are manned by persons, who work on daily wage basis, without having any basic knowledge of vehicular emissions and the required setting measures on the vehicles. So, PUC stickers for many vehicle owners serve the purpose of keeping the traffic police away from imposing any penalties.

No wonder, the PUC certificate, a measure of how environment-friendly a vehicle is, has become something to ridicule about in Surat. Defying all concerns for the environment and law, vehicles in Surat are issued PUC certificates even in absence of the vehicles in question.

Take the case of Akshay Pawar who owns a two-wheeler. He says the PUC was issued to him without testing the emission of his bike. Same thing happened with Paresh Khengar, another two-wheeler owner, who, in fact, had an even a more shocking experience. As his PUC was being issued, he informs, another person came along and got a PUC merely by quoting his vehicle registration number. The vehicle was, in fact, lying at his home. He just happen to pass by the PUC centre and thought of 'updating' his PUC and got it, Khengar said.

Even this correspondent had a similar experience. Without testing the level of emission, the PUC was issued to him certifying that the vehicle conforms to the standards of the emission level of exhaust prescribed under Rule 115 (2) of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. Volume of emission 'after setting' was put at 2.0 and Rs 15 was charged as fees. When asked, the person manning the gadgets for testing admitted of not knowing anything technically and was on a daily wage basis.

Hence, keeping in view the ways PUCs are obtained, many conscious road users like Pawar and Khengar strongly feel that the police checks for PUC is futile. They say that even if the vehicle may be polluting the air, a PUC declares that it is not polluting.

When contacted, regional transport officer P S Patel said no complaints as such has been brought to his knowledge and moreover, the licences for PUC agencies are issued by commissioner of transport from Gandhinagar. However, a strict vigil would be kept on all PUC centres in the city, and appropriate measures would be taken against those issuing the certificates without adhering to the rules and regulations, Patel said.

Already a joint operation by regional transport office, traffic police, forensic laboratory and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board is underway to prevent vehicles from emitting pollution in the city. As of now, the target is those autorickshaws in the city which are run on kerosene mixed petrol, causing emission of carbon monoxide which is dangerous to human health, he informed.

Sources said out of 35,000 three-wheelers in the city, nearly two-third of them use the mixed oil. On day-to-day basis, over 30 such vehicles are impounded, and in the last few days over 500 three-wheeler owners were booked and their vehicles were kept at Athwalines traffic police station, pending penalties, Patel said.

Sources said that there are several sale depots in the city where one could buy kerosene mixed petrol kept in cans of different volumes. One such was noticed by this correspondent in a residential lane across the Gandhi Baug. The district supply office should intensify their raids on such depots to keep a check on them, Patel remarked.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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