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June 9, 2001 - June 9, 2001

Relief road fire: Land records destroyed Saturday, June 9, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 8: A major fire broke out at the office of city surveyor superintendent-3 and additional city survey superintendent’s office destroying records of about 77,000 properties in the walled city.

Housed in the district collectorate office’s compounds on Relief Road, the office caught fire at 12.30 AM, and was sighted by a deputy mamlatdar on night duty, who raised the alarm.
It is expected that only 10 per cent of the records can be salvaged.

The land records pertain to areas of Khadia, Jamalpur, Raikhad, Railwaypura, Asarwa, Jehangirpura, Bhavanipura, Kalupur, Saraspur, Rakhial, Raipur-hajipur, Gomtipur, Amraivadi and Raghunathapura.

As per a press release issued by the DC office, it is expected that destroyed records can be quickly reconstructed. A special task force under settlement commissioner Arun Sutaria has been formed to draw a time-bound action plan. It is expected that he will submit a report of Monday.

The report will include the plan for reconstruction and the sources, which will help to reconstruct the records. While about 40 per cent records are computerised, the DC office is likely to bank heavily on the AMC tax records and the individual property maps.

The detailed survey done by the heritage cell of the AMC and the GIS project under way is also likely to help in reconstruction. The fire brigade reached the spot by 12.40 AM but the building could not be saved.

As many as 12 water tankers, five fighters, one snorkel had been pressed into service to check the spread of fire. Dating back to 1858, the wooden structure of two offices of the building caught fire easily and turned to ashes in no time.

The building’s structure is wooden and the beams have burnt thus making the building unsafe. However, the district collector, K. Srinivas said such things are mere speculations. “A police complaint has been lodged and Forensic Science laboratory is investigating,” he said.

However, a fire official told The Asian Age that there was a delay in intimating the fire station about the fire. “My experience tells me that whenever in the past there have been fires at government offices, it has been foul play,” he said.

The security scene at DC office is quite dismal and only one night watchman is on duty. The whereabouts of the security guard and the reason that he was not able to report the fire are not clear. Mr Srinivas refused to comment on the issue saying it was mere speculations.

The speculation of foul play is also fuelled by the fact that land records were strewn on the floor and this would be possible only if locks for holding the records were open.

Mr Srinivas said that it is too early to comment and locks may have melted due to the heat.
Meanwhile, Mr Srinivas said that none of the records burnt include those of earthquake related queries.

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

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Vaju Vala raps Opposition statements Saturday, June 9, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 8: Finance minister Vaju Vala on Friday said that the ‘frustration of disintegration within the Congress’ is the cause of the statements made by the leader of the Opposition in the legislative assembly.

Mr Vala said Mr Amarsinh Chaudhary had distorted statements made by the Prime Minister while presenting before the media and is merely flustered at the pace of the rehabilitation work in the quake affected areas, which is actually picking up.

The revenue minister said the people in the quake affected areas are convinced that the rehabilitation work undertaken by the state government is the fastest as compared to that done in other countries and have resigned themselves to the enormity of the entire task.

Calling statements made by Mr Chaudhary as provocative, Mr Vala said such allegations will do little to help the situation in the quake affected regio. Mr Vala said despite the adverse propaganda by the Congress the response to the Kutch Bhuj bandh call failed to make an impression on the people, who rejected the move.

The finance minister said the Prime Minister, besides visiting the works of various NGO’s, had also visited the works carried out by the state government and said statements made to the contrary by the Opposition leader was a mere lie.

It is impossible for any state government to take up the task entirely by itself and the work
done by the voluntary organisations, but the state governments share in the work carried out by voluntary organisations cannot be denied.

Mr Vala said 145 voluntary organisations are presently working in 10,907 villages affected by the earthquake of which 115 volutnary organisations are working in Kutch alone. Mr Chaudhary said Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had already said the entire country is with the state government in rehabilitating the quake affected victims.

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

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‘Historical fight’over Karnavati issue likely Saturday, June 9, 2001

Ahmedabad June 8: BJP will launch a ‘historical fight’ for renaming of Ahmedabad as ‘Karnavati’ and would oppose the anti-cultural attitude adopted by the Congress, announced BJP senior leader Ashok Bhatt and party general secretary Gordhan Jhadafiya on Friday.

Mr Bhatt said that after Congress came to power in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, every policy it announced reflects a feeling that ‘Moghul Yug’ has once again descended on the city.

The recent proposal of renaming Ahmedabad as ‘Karnavati’ rejected by the Congress ruled AMC is one such decision that reflects the anti-cultural attitude of the party. Mr Jhadafiya on his part alleged that some of the present Congress councillors have been associated with criminal gangs in the past.

These councillors have forced the ruling party to take this decision, he said. The issue of renaming of Ahmedabad was taken up by the BJP earlier as well, however, the BJP dropped the issue fearing communal tension. Political experts believe that raking up the issue once again is aimed at achieving political mileage for the party.

The image of the party has taken a battering in recent times due to malfunctioning of the government. Experts opined that the move would benefit the BJP as it is in line with its ideology of ‘hindutava’.

Continuing its attack on the Congress ruled AMC senior BJP leader Surendra Patel said that since the Congress has come to power it has not taken any important decision for development of the city.

BJP has announced that on Sunday its members will meet near Karnamukteshwar Mahadev temple and take an oath to fight for renaming of Ahmedabad. The party will also announce its further plan of action in support of renaming the city during the meet the official press release of BJP said.

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

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Admission crisis: Varsity may penalise institutes Saturday, June 9, 2001

Ahmedabad, June 8: The Gujarat University has decided to come down heavily on the institutions denying admission to candidates. In wake of the ongoing controversy surrounding admission to various degree courses, the acting vice-chancellor of the Gujarat University Chaitanya Khambholja on Friday vehemently objected to such institutions and held them responsible for the admission crisis.

Mr Khambholja, pro-vice-chancellor of Gujarat University, took over as acting vice-chancellor of the university after vice-chancellor Dr Naresh Ved went on a 15-day leave following Wednesday’s vandalism by student representatives in his chamber.

While 6,000 students are still waiting for their turn to get seats for their degree courses, the admission committee meeting headed by Mr Khambholja, ended without deciding upon a concrete action plan. This is the first meeting that he presided over after he took over the reins of the university

A walk out by some of the syndicate members — Sudhir Nanavati, Narhari Amin, M.N. Desai, K.S. Shastri, Prabodh Bhatt, and three others — resulted in the meeting being recalled later in the day, without any results. The university is yet to finalise the list of self-financed colleges, which might be given a go, ahead after the university grants them affiliation.

Addressing the media on Friday, Mr Khambholja remarked, “As many as 1,650 seats of commerce and 1,392 seats at the arts colleges are yet to be filled. I see no reason why students should be left out during admissions.

I would also like to bring to the notice of people that colleges who are denying admission to deserving candidates for what-so-ever reason will be penalised appropriately.” He further informed that the most appropriate way to make the institution pay for the foul play is by deducting their grants.

Briefing the media about the focus of the two admission committee meetings, Mr Khambholja said, “About a 1,000 students of all streams are yet to find colleges for their first year degree courses. Compared to last academic session, about 150 more students are left out.”

He confessed that in absence of sufficient commerce colleges to accommodate the growing number of HSCE (commerce) students each year, the university is facing tough time. “Some colleges like the Prabhudas Thakkar commerce college have even increased their cut off marks to 70 per cent as against last year, when the per cent was kept low,” he observed.

Responding to how are the self-financed colleges will decide upon admitting outstation students, he said that the university has urged the colleges concerned to enroll students from Ahmedabad.

“Rest of them can be taken care of when the crisis of the city is solved. Even after these steps, if some students are left out, the university will accommodate them in the Gujarat College,” he said. The Gujarat University even issued a press released late on Friday night assuring students admission to their respective degree courses of choice.

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

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State home dept. bans Dindar Anjuman Organisation Saturday, June 9, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 8: After banning the Students Islamic Movement of India and calling upon the Centre to do the same, the state home department on Friday has put a ban on the Dindar Anjuman organisation for activities disrupting peace, communal sensitivity and threatening internal security.

Minister of state for home Haren Pandya said here on Friday that the home department will initiate legal steps against the banned outfit. According to powers given to the state under the Illegal Activities (Detention) Act, 1967, the state government can ban any activities that are harmful to peace, communal and harmful to internal security.

And secularism and initiate legal steps against it.The directions banning the outfit have been given as a security measure considering that Gujarat is a border state. All police comissioners and district magistrates have been directed to initiate legal action against the organisation.

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

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