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November 23, 2001 - November 23, 2001

AT&T to revises tariff Friday, November 23, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Reacting to the latest move of CelForce, the other cellular service provider in Gujarat Birla AT&T Communications Limited has announced a revision of its tariff structure.

The rentals are as low as Rs 295 and airtime rates have been slashed up to 32 per cent in certain schemes. But no incoming calls would be free now.

The company which is offering three schemes earlier -- Value Talk, Super Talk and Mega Talk -- have announced a new scheme, the Eco Talk, where the monthly rental has been fixed at Rs 295.

While there has been a substantial reduction in outgoing calls with the subscribers being charged Rs 1.50 under the Mega Talk scheme, but the incoming calls even on AT&T cellphones would be 50 per cent of the outgoing charges under the particular scheme. Messages would be charged Re 1.

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

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Modi to discontinue 'guard of honour' Friday, November 23, 2001

Source - Times News Network
GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has decided to discontinue the 'guard of honour' prescribed under the protocol system during his visits to local and district places.

The chief minister, has accordingly given instructions to the home department to stop the guard of honour and described it as the tradition under colonial system, an official release quoting Modi said here on Thursday.

The concerned departments were also instructed to reduce the strength of security personnel during his tour programme and keep minimum security staff, the release added.
( PTI )

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

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Police vigil keeps inter-state gangs away from Surat Friday, November 23, 2001

July 3, 2001. An intersate gang comprising five from Mumbai and three from Kerala arrested at Palsana. The gangsters had planned robberies in this district and in the neighbouring district of Navasari.

July 26, 2001. An attempt to loot a bank near Kadaodara by three unidentified men believed to be migrants.

August 9, 2001. Four armed men of an inter-state gang looted a petrol pump near Kamrej.

August 25, 2001. District police busted two major gangs from the Ved Road. The accused were involved in distribution of fake currency notes amounting to over Rs 20 lakh.

November 8, 2001. Three members of an inter-state gang were nabbed by the district police with the help of passers-by near Kamrej, when the accused tried to rob a businessman. The gang had plans to loot major banks, petrol pumps

SURAT: Had it not been the spontaneous response of four youths playing volleyball to a call by a petrol pump owner Raju Modi on November 8 near a bank at Kamrej, the gangsters would have escaped with Rs 5 lakh and would have perhaps inflicted serious injuries on the victim, too.

The youths Altaf Yususf, Imran Yakubhai, Amir Saiyyad and Siddiqi Sheikk not only overpowered Jawahar Singh, Balesh Kumar and Rampal Singh Chamar but got the bag containing Rs 5 lakh back to Modi.

Interrogation revealed they were from Muzaffarnagar in UP and two of their associates were nabbed from there by the UP police, after being informed of their hideout by the Surat police.

Finding city outskirts as likely spots to hit targets and then flee to the places they come from, many inter-state gangs have attempted to loot banks and petrol pumps.

However, the district police and the city police have mounted vigil and in the past three months busted four inter-state gangs, said DSP K L N Rao. To check influx of anti-social elements through the National Highway several nakabandis have been put and highway patrolling intensified, he says.

In the recent attempt to loot a petrol pump owner, the kingpin Sushil, a suspended police constable in UP, has been residing in the city for the past few months. He had a network in rural areas to elicit tips about the possible targets. Then he enticed his fellowmen from Muzaffarnagar to come here to commit the crime and flee with the booty, says Rao.

This time Sushil had planned first to loot a bank but his associates who had come on October 30, did not approve of his idea of killing the security guard at the bank. The second plan was to rob a local businessman Himanshu near Kamrej but that day Himanshu did not turn up. So they planned to rob Raju Modi who was on his way to deposit money at a Kamrej bank, Rao says.

Since many of the links spill over in the city, the city police have to strictly monitor the incidents occurring near the periphery, says ACP Ashish Bhatia. "We keep exchanging notes with the district police and also pass on vital information", he says.

He cites the case of gangs from Jhambua (MP). They always took the bus for return journey after crime. So the police intensified checkings on inter-state buses.

Of late, monitoring by the police has helped to reduce the crime rates, says Rao.

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

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AMTS puts onus of financial crunch on civic chief Friday, November 23, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service is the topic of furious debate in the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation these days with commissioner P Panneervel relegating AMTS to an also-ran status while redirecting focus on primary amenities like provision of drainage, water and redressal of people's grievances.

Smarting under the scathing remarks of municipal commissioner, that precluded immediate funds for the transport service, chairman of AMTS Surendra Baxi hit out with: Whatever be the consequences it is the commissioner's responsibility. Though this subject will be taken up at the party meeting one can always add that neglecting an essential service, whose responsibility had been accepted by AMC at its general board meeting on June 10, 1940, will not be taken lightly by the masses."

"The responsibility was shared by the state government that contributed 80 per cent of AMTS' expenditure and the AMC supplied the rest. Even last year we got Rs 19.8 crore from the AMC while former principal secretary P K Laheri on deputation as administrator gave AMTS Rs 5.85 lakh in three months! One cannot just stop providing public transport service because AMTS is unable to break even," said Baxi.

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

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VMC white paper on financial status Friday, November 23, 2001

VADODARA: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) will prepare a white paper on its financial status following apprehensions regarding its financial health. The paper will be released early next month.

According to sources, the administrative wing of VMC will prepare the paper. The corporation is already facing a cash crunch and has to do a difficult balancing act since quite some time now.

Standing Committee chairman Bharat Shah said the corporation's income from various sources had gone down by 10 per cent as compared to last year. "This can be attributed to the overall recession. Income from all types of sources has seen a downfall. Octroi in particular has been affected adversely due to the slump," Shah said.

Sources also pointed out that a major reason for the difference in the projections made in the budget and the actual receipts was the fact that the elected wing had set unnecessarily high targets for tax collections. Said an elected representative of VMC, "The targets set by the administration were much nearer to reality. We overestimated the possible collections."

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

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