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June 25, 2001 - June 25, 2001

'Brown' water in taps helps push purifier sales Monday, June 25, 2001

By Jahnavi Contractor, The Times of India News Service
VADODARA, June 25: The brown muddy water that has become a common sight in almost all city areas has turned a large number of citizens towards use of mineral water and water purifiers and filters.

However, Dr Satish Pandya, a paediatrician and secretary of the Society for Rational Therapy, has a word of caution. He says that most water filters and purifies are not able to filter out or kill bacteria and virus. "The most that they can do is filter out some bacteria. But that is not enough to prevent viral infections like hepatitis."

"The surest and the healthiest way," he says "is to drink water which is boiled for 15 to 20 minutes." According to him children should not be given water without boiling, especially if they are susceptible to infections.

Meanwhile, city-based dealers and retail sellers say that monsoons are the best time to market purifiers and filters thanks to the apathy of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation which is unable to stop the contamination of underground drinking water in most city areas.

Neena Vaidya of the Baroda Home Appliances said monsoons is the preferred season to market water purifiers and filters as these are in demand due to the turbid and polluted water supply. She said taking this into account, a manufacturer dealing with home appliances decided to launch their water purifiers, filters and dispensers her on Saturday. "We got a response," she adds.

Most citizens in Nizampura, Siyabaug, Rajmahal Road, Karelibaug, Raopura, Warasia and Dandiya bazaar areas were complaining that water supply of the VMC had become worse since the past week. "I have two children, and both of them need to be given either mineral water or boiled water as the water we get in the taps is a deep-brown in colour. We do have a water filter, but despite the filter, the water remains brown. When alum was used in the filtered water we saw dust particles settled at the bottom," says Snehaben Upadhyay a resident of Karelibag.

According to her boiling water in large quantities is difficult especially because we have a large family, and that is why we plan to but a good water purifier. "The elders in the family can use the water purified by the purifier and for the children we can boil water," says her mother in law.

Manager of Aqua Engineers a dealer of water purifiers and filters, Sushma Raval says that the water purifiers that they sell too have received an overwhelming response from the public. "The demand has picked up especially since the past week," she says.

A service technician of the Aquagaurd water filters and purifiers, Vipul Brahmabhatt also feels that demand has suddenly picked up since the past few days. According to him most city areas are currently facing the problem on turbid water supply.

Similar is the response of Bhavana Kansara of Bharati Enterprises a retail shop in Raopura. "The sale has picked up since the past one week. The water is so turbid that only a water purifier can help in eliminating the micro-organisms present in it," she says.

Dr. Pandya says that water purifiers and filters should be inspected before being bought and the government should have some regulatory authority to monitor such products. "In India we do not have any standards for such products. Ideally the Drug laboratory should be able to certify that the water purified from a given water purifier does indeed kill micro-organisms that are present in it," he says.

Turbid water supply in most city areas turns people towards buying water filters and purifiers. Society for Rational Therapy member warns that the best way to kill germs is by boiling it for 15-20 minutes.
Source - The Times of India

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Double-barrel Bollywood fire leaves viewers in trance Monday, June 25, 2001

The Times of India News Service
AHMEDABAD, June 24: Patriotism, in whatever form, never fails to appeal. And if it is a three-hour package which has a cricket match as its central theme or a love saga set during the freedom struggle, the response it can whip up can be seen at crowded cinema halls in major cities of Gujarat which have not had it so good for a long time.

Both Lagaan and Gadar which were released on June 15 are running to packed houses for all shows, something which happened last in the Rajshree blockbuster Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. And comparisons are only natural with these much-hyped twin releases.

Akash Patel, a middle-aged businessman of Ahmedabad who seldom watches movies in halls, surprised himself and his family by sitting through shows of both the films on the same day at a multiplex. "It is difficult to say which one is better, both are superb films in their own way," he remarks.

Lagaan, which is being described as another Sholay by enthusiasts, grossed Rs 11.68 lakh from 21 shows in R World in the first week. Shringaar Distributors, who also released the movie in City Gold, City Pulse, Milan and Galaxy (Naroda), collected Rs 5.71 lakh, Rs 6.69 lakh, Rs 2.58 lakh and Rs 2.85 lakh respectively for the shows in these movie-halls.

"We have been able to make such a huge collection in the first week for the first time after Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun. The movie is especially popular with women and everyone relished songs like Radha Kaise Na Jale and the Barish," says Shringaar manager Rajesh Shukla.

Even though Surya Distributors, one of distributors for Gadar in Gujarat, don't have the collection figures, they say it could easily be put at 95 per cent in the first week. They last had such a huge collection for Taal more than a year back. Drive-In cinema in Ahmedabad is witnessing serpentine queues of cars these days.

After repeated efforts to buy tickets for Lagaan failed, Rinish Sekhani hit the jackpot but only after he parked himself at the ticket counter very early in the morning. He says it was worth the effort. "Both movies, which are trying to revive the lost Indian values and morals, left a lasting impact. It feels good to be transported back in time," says the 20-year-old Sekhani.

For many like Suhani Dasani, who could see Lagaan only on the fifth day at R World, it was "like watching a tension-soaked one-day cricket match on the big screen".

In Surat, the two theatres screening Lagaan and three showing Gadar are drawing huge crowds with almost all shows running to packed houses.

Says Chandravijay Gulshan, whose two cinema halls Rajkumar and Rajmahal are screening Lagaan, "It is not a question of one movie affecting the box office of the other. People want to watch both the films." Gulshan opines that the crowds could thin in the second week, especially for the early shows on weekdays, but the weekends and evening shows would be packed.

In Vadodara, both films have clicked but in different ways. While Gadar has an edge over Lagaan in terms of box-office collections, Lagaan seems to have impressed connoisseurs of cinema.

Vadodara district entertainment tax official Yogesh Dave, who has watched both the films, says while Lagaan is a well-made film, Gadar has the right masala to woo the masses.

Dave says Lagaan is now drawing only the balcony crowds and the lower stalls have empty seats. But the shows of Gadar are houseful. This shows that while Aamir Khan's film is attracting the elite viewers, the popular vote is for Sunny Deol.

Alpana theatre owner Kanaksinh Thakore says in Gadar dialogues against Pakistan and those that speak of love for India are being applauded by the audience. " Gadar has the right masala, Lagaan class," he adds.

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


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Sorry for the interruption, no TVs for MLAs Monday, June 25, 2001

The Times of India News Service
GANDHINAGAR, June 24: The idiot box, in fact some 182 of them, have put minister of state for information Bharat Barot in an embarrassing situation in less than a fortnight after he snatched the lucrative department from Haren Pandya. When he sat in Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel's chair in Committee Room No 2 on the fourth floor of Block No 1 in the Secretariat and briefed newspersons last Wednesday about a Cabinet decision on giving each MLA a television at the MLAs' Quarters, little did he realise that he would be forced to eat his words two days later.

The proposal was floated in the Cabinet by senior minister Nitin Patel for approving the MLAs' long-standing demand to provide them televisions and a refrigerators. A discussion ensued. There was consensus to give at least the TV sets before the state assembly session in July-end. Without talking with the CM, Barot placed himself in the chair which CM occupies to brief newspersons on Cabinet proceedings and announced that TVs would be provided, not the refrigerators.

"It was an informal Cabinet meet, the discussion was too general," informed a source close to the CM, indicating that the minister had jumped the gun. "Though there was consensus on giving the idiot box, the CM did not give a final nod." Yet, Barot announced it as a decision taken by the Cabinet. The move was interpreted as an attempt by Keshubhai himself to woo the BJP MLAs, even at the cost of inviting criticism from the public.

In fact, ministerial colleagues who were upset with the announcement, said Barot was not present in the Cabinet when the discussion on the TVs and the refrigerator was on. He just consulted two senior ministerial colleagues after the meeting and made the announcement the next day. The CM was away at Delhi for the crucial meeting on Madhavpura revival, and hence was not consulted.

Finding that his announcement led to resentment among all sections of party MLAs, Barot sent across an official note on Friday to say that the state government had "taken no decision... only an informal discussion took place."

But by then, several BJP MLAs had registered a protest with the party top brass against Barot's announcement, fearing a backlash from the people about the largesse at a time when the state government's finances were in bad shape combating natural calamities. BJP general secretary and spokesperson Gordhanbhai Zadaphia, an MLA himself, told TOI, "I have talked with a dozen MLAs who have strongly disapproved of a decision supposed to have been taken by the Cabinet."

Sunil Oza and Dhiru Gajera from Surat, Ramesh Rupapara from Rajkot, Vadibhai Patel from Gandhinagar, Kamlesh Patel and Maya Kodnani from Ahmedabad and Chunibhai Gohil from Veraval were some of the BJP MLAs who pointed out to the government that it would be wrong on their part to accept television sets when people were suffering because of the earthquake and drought.

Zadaphia, a known hard-liner, met the CM earlier on Friday and told him point-blank that the BJP organisation disapproved of the decision. "The CM told me, there was no decision, only discussions had taken place," Zadaphia informed. "He said he would take into account the MLAs' feeling before arriving at a final decision." Zadaphia said he found the CM's position rational. "I am sure, he would decide against it. He knows the amount involved is not much, but it would send a wrong signal to the people about the BJP which is seen as a party with a difference."

A senior minister who supported the idea to give TV sets to MLAs said he saw nothing wrong as such facilities had been given in several states. "Maybe the timing was wrong," he, however, admitted.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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State budgets Rs 5 cr for non violence Monday, June 25, 2001

AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 24: The state government has decided to make a provision of Rs 5 crores to spread the message of non-violence throughout the world. Chief minister Keshubhai Patel said here that a convincing message of non violence should be spread from the state across the world while felicitating the Jain devotees to celebrate the 2600 Mahavir birth anniversary welfare year.

Mr Patel applied tilak to the devotees at a programme organised by the Shri Godi Parshwanath Prernatirth Jain Sangh here on Sunday. The state government has also decided to set up a Ahinsa Vishwa Vidyapith, a university for non violence, and also to further inspire the society to celebrate the year as a year of non violence.

Mr Patel emphasised on the need to make the campaign against non vegetarian food more extensive.
The chief minister said it is essential that the society understands the significance of the prohibition on government controlled restrooms and circuit houses and the decision of not giving more licenses to slaughter houses or fisheries projects. Former health minister Ashok Bhatt also felicitated the Jain devotees on the occasion.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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State budgets Rs 5 cr for non violence Monday, June 25, 2001

AsianAge
Ahmedabad, June 24: The state government has decided to make a provision of Rs 5 crores to spread the message of non-violence throughout the world. Chief minister Keshubhai Patel said here that a convincing message of non violence should be spread from the state across the world while felicitating the Jain devotees to celebrate the 2600 Mahavir birth anniversary welfare year.

Mr Patel applied tilak to the devotees at a programme organised by the Shri Godi Parshwanath Prernatirth Jain Sangh here on Sunday. The state government has also decided to set up a Ahinsa Vishwa Vidyapith, a university for non violence, and also to further inspire the society to celebrate the year as a year of non violence.

Mr Patel emphasised on the need to make the campaign against non vegetarian food more extensive.
The chief minister said it is essential that the society understands the significance of the prohibition on government controlled restrooms and circuit houses and the decision of not giving more licenses to slaughter houses or fisheries projects. Former health minister Ashok Bhatt also felicitated the Jain devotees on the occasion.

News Source : The AsianAge Ahmedabad Edition [ The coolest Newspaper for city ]


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