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June 8, 2001 - June 8, 2001

City to face harsh realities on rainy days: Mayor Friday, June 8, 2001

AsianAge

Ahmedabad, June 7: The city is likely to face problems during the monsoon this year and nothing much can be done about it, according to city mayor Himmatsingh Patel. Mr Patel said that this is because no long-term plans were made for the city’s storm water and drainage disposal.

“We cannot do much about the nature’s fury and proper planning to tackle such situations is lacking,” he added. “In 13 years of its rule, the BJP never sanctioned any long term project for this. A 300-crore project for the same is awaiting clearance for a long time,” he added.

Moreover, Badruddin Sheikh, chairman of the standing committee added that the pre-monsoon action plan is not being implemented as efficiently as it should be. “We have asked all the officers to speed up the de-silting process and clearance of the storm water pipes and drainage pipes, which should all be done within a week,” he added.

Mr Patel said that there are about 25 areas, which get clogged and create traffic hazards. But these are the areas where disposal of water is not planned. The proposed project is a long-term one and is likely to take time for implementation.

“So the city is likely to face problems as we are not able to control natural forces,” Mr Patel said. Till date, a concrete action plan or an alternate action plan has not been announced by the AMC. However, the standing committee sanctioned the purchase of about 50 additional pumps last week.

Mr Sheikh also said that instructions were given for handing over the charge of the posts of assistant and deputy town development officers in the central zone as the absence of these two officers, who are on leave, was slowing the implementation of the action plan.

“We have asked the officers to look out for small but important problems like piling of trash and potholes on the roads during rounds,” he said. A special meeting of the officers will be held in three days to discuss these issues. Municipal commissioner, K. Kailashnathan is likely to announce steps taken by AMC for meeting the monsoon on June 10.

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


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Facing trouble? Just call me up: Haren Pandya Friday, June 8, 2001

AsianAge

Gandhinagar, June 7: The state home department has decided to establish a direct rapport with the people in an apparent bid to usher in more transparency and ensure that harried citizens restore confidence in the law and order in the state.

Citizens can now directly contact the minister of state for home Haren Pandya and top police officials in a novel experiment initiated to bring the criminals to book and to ensure that they do not get an open ground for criminal activities.

Complaints pertaining to gambling, liquor, anti-social elements and affecting peace and security or that of harassment by the administration can now be registered even by a common man directly with the minister of state for home Haren Pandya and top police officials.

Mr Pandya said the telephones if made at the specified time will be picked up by himself and top officials, details of the complaint collected and action immediately taken.

Giving details of the direct contact telephone programmed Mr Pandya said any person can contact him between 2 PM and 5 PM on Mondays, state DGP on Tuesdays between 11 to 11.30 AM and police commissioners of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot between 1 to 2 PM on all days.

Mr Pandya’s contact number is 3235526, DGP’s number is 3246338 while that of the Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot is 5633636, 431414,472922 and 479655 respectively.

Mr Pandya said directions have been given to set up the direct contact system at the district level where the district superintendent of police will give the number and time where he is directly available to receive the complaints of the common man. The public can also contact the home secretary through email on secsrp@guj.nic.in.

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


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IOCL’s environmental assessment rejected Friday, June 8, 2001

AsianAge

Vadodara, June 7: In an important decision, the district level committee on Environmental Public Hearing has rejected Environmental Impact Assessment for the Indian Oil Corporation’s Rs 673-project to improve the quality of motor spirit.

The move is a blow to IOCL’s ambitious plans to set up the project at their existing premises at Jawaharnagar, Vadodara district. The project was to be set up in line with the government’s decision to follow Euro norms I, II, III and IV and to improve the quality of diesel/motor spirit.

For doing so, various parameters of motor sulphur need to be improved with respect to content of sulphur benzene, aromatics and olefins along with anti-knock index improvement. The project would have helped in reducing vehicular pollution.

Regional Officer of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board S.M. Jha told The Asian Age that the IOC has been asked to make a fresh EIA. “The EIA submitted was inadequate,” Mr Jha said. The EIA was prepared by National Environment Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur.

The EPH Committee observed that the EIA report given by the NEERI for the proposed project was not satisfactory, as they could not give clarifications to the charges made against them.

The committee also opined that they should contribute 0.3 per cent of their total project cost towards the urban infrastructure development of the surrounding villages. While the GPCB sent the letter seeking fresh details from the IOC, a couple of days ago, the public hearing was held on May 2.

Members of the cross section of the society, including Rohit Prajapati of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti and Mahesh Pandya of the Ahmedabad-based Centre For Social Justice, had raised doubts about the environmental measures to be taken by the IOC. As per amendments of 1997 in the EIA Notification, it is mandatory to conduct a public hearing.

The Committee was headed by district collector Bhagyesh Jha. Other members were Rahul Kanojia of the forest and environment department, Gujarat, president of Vadodara taluka panchayat Jashoda Dabhi, president of Society for Clean Environment V.V. Modi, general secretary of International Society of Naturalists G.M. Oza, N.M. Bhatt of civil engineering department, MSU, and then regional officer of GPCB N.L. Kansagara.

It may be recalled that recently the IOC had to withdraw the move to set up a power plant in Savli taluka because of financial viability. For that project too several doubts were raised about environmental measures.

In the hearing for the latest project, Mr Prajapati had demanded nothing less than withdrawal of the EIA. Maya Valecha of the Samiti had also questioned as to how the SO2 emission cannot have any impact on plants.

The IOCL also had no reply to the query about what is being done to decrease the sulphur from sludge. Mr Pandya had objected to non-mentioning of odour pollution in the EIA. He had also demanded that the committee and the ministry of environment and forest should inspect the plant.

While panelist Dr Oza said that the data given on plants and horticulture is “really horrible,” Dr Modi said people would have expected a proper reply from an organisation like NEERI.
Despite repeated attempts, The Asian Age could not contact executive director of IOC P.S. Rao and general manager (technical) B.N. Bankapur for comments.

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


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KHEDA:::: ‘Communal forces harass Christians in Kheda district’ Friday, June 8, 2001

AsianAge

Ahmedabad, June 7: Christian leaders in the state submitted a memorandum to the collector of Kheda regarding the confiscation of Christian cemetery and illegal possession in five places in Kheda district itself.

In the memorandum, they have alleged that various vested communal forces are trying to harass the minority communities and their basic human rights are being violated.

The five incidents include the recent one on May 27, 2001 where Mr Dawood Solanki’s body was not allowed to be buried in the Christian cemetery in Kapadwanj and had to be buried in Ahmedabad despite the fact that the Christians in Kapadwanj had asked for police protection to conduct the burial and also got a court order for the same.

The four other incidents that were cited in the memorandum submitted by Christians include the case of Kapadwanj village in Kheda district where the Christian cemetery has been encroached by squatters, the land dispute in Mehemdabad, the Khuntaj village in Nadiad and Bhavanipur village in Petlad.

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


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‘Communal forces harass Christians in Kheda district’ Friday, June 8, 2001

AsianAge

Ahmedabad, June 7: Christian leaders in the state submitted a memorandum to the collector of Kheda regarding the confiscation of Christian cemetery and illegal possession in five places in Kheda district itself.

In the memorandum, they have alleged that various vested communal forces are trying to harass the minority communities and their basic human rights are being violated.

The five incidents include the recent one on May 27, 2001 where Mr Dawood Solanki’s body was not allowed to be buried in the Christian cemetery in Kapadwanj and had to be buried in Ahmedabad despite the fact that the Christians in Kapadwanj had asked for police protection to conduct the burial and also got a court order for the same.

The four other incidents that were cited in the memorandum submitted by Christians include the case of Kapadwanj village in Kheda district where the Christian cemetery has been encroached by squatters, the land dispute in Mehemdabad, the Khuntaj village in Nadiad and Bhavanipur village in Petlad.

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


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