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June 7, 2001 - June 7, 2001

Chaudhary demands more central funds Thursday, June 7, 2001

The Times of India
BARODA, June 7: Former Gujarat chief minister Amarsinh Chaudhary has pleaded for more funds from the centre for relief and rehabilitation operations in quake-hit areas of the state.

The Congress leader alleged that prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had given a package of Rs 1,000 crore to cyclone-hit Andhra Pradesh as the ruling TDP there was a key ally of the NDA.

Due to three natural calamities of cyclone, drought and earthquake, Gujarat suffered a huge loss of Rs 37,000 crore in last three years against which the centre's allocation to the state was only Rs 950 crore, he told PTI.

Chaudhary, who met Vajpayee during the latter's visit to the state on Sunday, had pleaded with the prime minister to declare earthquake as a national calamity. (PTI)

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

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Kahani har ghar ki: Harried viewers stage protest Thursday, June 7, 2001

By Hitarth Pandya, AsianAge
Vadodara, June 6: The reckless attitude on the part of cable operators has brought acute dissatisfaction among TV lovers of the city. Distressed by the situation most of the TV lovers came out on streets and started discussing the issue. This incident appeared in Gorwa, Nizampura, Alkapuri, Chikuwadi and other adjoining areas in the walled city.

The reason for the panic can be accounted to the discontinuation of prime time entertainers like ‘Kyonki Sas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Ghar Ghar ki Kahani’, due to non-payment of connection charges by cable operators.

While some of the viewers kept waiting for the connection to be corrected, many started giving panicked calls to the cable operators to reconnect the channel of their choice. Mr Prakash Thakkar, a cable operator in Gorwa area commenting on the situation said, “I have no option left, and am forced to disconnect some of the channels.

Carrying out the cable business these days has become a messy affair for us. Due to increase in rates, I have already increased the rentals from Rs 100 to Rs 170 and am forced to further increase the charge to Rs 200.”

A cable operator at Rajmahal road said, “Most of our clients are addicted to some of the prime time serials. I am almost fed up attending telephone calls from our clients. The only solution that I have discovered is to tape the prime time serials and show them to my clients.”

Mr Kanan Soni, a television addict from Hariom Nagar said, “I cannot resist myself from watching serials like ‘Kyonki Sas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and ‘Ghar Ghar ki Kahani’. Ms Pratiksha Shah, a housewife in Kothi area said, “Everyone in our family watch Kyonki Sas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ and eagerly wait for its recorded transmission, as promised by our cable operator.”

She added, “The irregular transmission of the serial is creating unnecessary hassles in our life and if the situation would continue we might even think to buy our own satellite connection disc.”

Ms Shaheena Unia, resident of the Chikuwadi area said, “I started watching the serials in the vacations only and found most of them unquestionably gripping. Though the discontinuity did not affect me much but I felt something missing in my life.”

District entertainment officer Mr Yogesh Dave told The Asian Age that the department has not received any complaint regarding the problem that is cropping up, due to discontinuity of certain channels.

He said, “We are not bothered about whether the operators are showing certain channels or not but since we know the operators personally we try to make them understand in friendly manner that they should air the popular channels on regular basis.”

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

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Tenders worth Rs 86 crores approved for state highways Thursday, June 7, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 6: Tenders worth Rs 86 crores have been approved for the modernisation of the six state highways, said chief minister Keshubhai Patel at the post Cabinet briefing on Wednesday. The total length of the highway is expected to be 185-km in the quake-hit areas.

This is the first phase of the World Bank project. World Bank has given aid worth Rs 1,822 crores for nine projects to improve the condition of roads in the state. Out of the nine projects sanctioned, four projects have already been completed and five others are on the verge of completion.

Keshubhai Patel said, “The road improvement work of four out of nine projects has already been accomplished and the World Bank has sanctioned Rs 95.32 crore for the 253 km long road improvement project.”

The work of the four projects completed so far include 27 km long Borsad – Padra road completed at the cost of Rs 6.83 crores, 43 kms long Halol – Bodeli road at the cost of Rs 12.09 crores, 17 kms long Dharampur Ambheti road at the cost of Rs 6.75 crores and 11 kms long Sachin – Palsana road at the cost of Rs 6.06 crores.

The road improvement work of other five projects is scheduled to be complete by the end of the current month. This includes 20 Kms long Pipli Dholera road at the cost of Rs 7.30 crores, 35 Kms long Vansda Dharampur road at the cost of Rs 15.05 crores, 19 Kms long Manuva Rajula road at the cost of Rs 9.28 crores, 56 Kms long Dholera Bhavnagar road at the cost of Rs 25.65 crores and 25 Kms long Ahmedabad – Mahemdavad road at the cost of Rs 6.27 crores.

Talking to media persons after the cabinet meeting, Mr. Patel said, “Tenders for the modernisation of six highways of the total length of 185 kms in the earthquake devastated areas with the World Bank assistance of Rs 86 crores have been approved.”

Among the six highways, the foundation for 51 km long Bhuj – Bhachau highway that is to be modernised at the cost of Rs 22.86 crore was laid by the Prime Minister on June 3.

Other highways to be modernised are 25 km long Bhachau – Rapar highway at a cost of Rs 5.01 crores, 25 Km long Maliya – Amran highway at the cost of Rs 12.66 crores, 24 Km long Maliya – Navlakhi highway at the cost of Rs 15 crores, 16 Km long Maliya Halvad highway at the cost of Rs 7.79 crores and 45 Km long Mehsana – Radhanpur at the cost of Rs 22.05 crores.

To a question about the policy for taking toll charges for the use of new bridges and roads principal secretary of the roads and building H.P. Jamdar said the present policy permits tolls on a stretch of minimum 80 kms where works to the tune of Rs 50 lakhs have been completed.

However, when told that there are three centres for collection of tolls between Ahmedabad and Vadodara which is 120 kms Mr Jamdar said private parties have been given rights to collect tolls for construction works completed by them even within the 80 km distance.

“The State Government has successfully combated the twin natural calamities of the devastating earthquake and the acute scarcity situation without hampering the ongoing development projects,” said Mr. Patel. He also said that the government has utilised foreign capital in a planned manner and the road development works have been completed in a time bound manner.

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

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Family planning key to progress, says state Cabinet Thursday, June 7, 2001

Gandhinagar, June 6: In a move that is likely to generate some controversy, the state Cabinet on Wednesday took a decision in principle to make a two-child norm compulsory in the state by adopting a carrot and stick policy, carrot for those who adhere by it and stick to those who do not.

The law will be effective one year after it is passed in the forthcoming Vidhan Sabha session.
Chief minister Keshubhai Patel said here at the post Cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the population explosion in the last decade has been a cause of serious concern for the state and the government needed to take radical measures to clamp down on it.

Mr Patel said a special law to encourage a maximum of two children by giving incentives and discourage more children by introducing disincentives will be given final shape and passed at the next session of the legislative assembly. “The situation is worrying and we want results,” Mr Patel affirmed.

Mr Patel said the state government has already taken a step forward in the direction by announcing the social infrastructure Vision 2010 - an action plan for control of population and has put eradication of poverty and unemployment high on the list.

He admitted that efforts to control population have met with limited success till date.
A cabinet sub-committee headed by industries and health minister Suresh Mehta has been constituted to consider all aspects to frame the law and table a report before June 30.

The committee will comprise education minister Anandi Patel, forest and environment minister Kanji Patel, minister of state for home Haren Pandya, minister of state for cooperatives Raman Vora, minister of state for fisheries and food and civil supplies Babu Bokhiriya and minister of state for cottage industries Ranjitsinh Chavda besides Mr Mehta.

The committee will hold a comprehensive discussion with experts, voluntary agencies and other related organisations on various aspects of the law before the report is tabled by June end.

When asked whether the decision will give rise to incidence of female foeticide at a time when the recent census figures show a rapid decline in the birth rate of the girl child Mr Patel said the committee will be asked to consider the aspect.

Mr Patel replied in the affirmative when asked whether the state has any law banning sex determination. Minister of state for home Haren Pandya asserted that the law will be applicable to all communities in the state.

Mr Pandya was responding to a question whether the decision would go down well with the minorities whose religion may not permit abortions. Mr Pandya said public awareness will be raised through educative programmes and the media.

In cases where parents have two girls, the committee ‘may’ consider the prospect of giving a concession to the rule Mr Patel said in reply to a query. Mr Patel said several states have already implemented the law successfully and there should not be any problems in implementing it here.

Giving details of the population increase, Mr Patel said the population in 1991 was 4.13 crores which has increased in the last decade to 5.05 crores as per the census 2001 figures. He said the state population has increased three fold after independence and the state is presently placed 10th in the country as far as the population size is concerned.

The percentage increase in between 1991 and 2001 has been 22.48 per cent, which was 21.19 per cent in the preceding decade.

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

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Polyester yarn worth Rs 15 lakhs confiscated Thursday, June 7, 2001

Surat, June 6: Three trucks carrying about 15 tonnes of imported polyester yarn were seized by the Directorate of Revenue and Intelligence at Karanj, Surat on Tuesday night. The persons involved were tying to evade customs duty to the tune of Rs 15 lakhs.

According to information received from DRI officials, it was revealed that many 100 per cent export units were getting duty free materials which were processed and instead of being exported, it was sold in the local market.

Acting on a tip off, assistant director of DRI Rakesh Pandey and his team conducted a raid and confiscated two trucks of Gold Multisat Ltd and one truck of Prime Poliweave Ltd, both situated at Karanj, Surat.

This is the eighth raid in two months and DRI officials have detected Rs 60 crores of customs duty evasion. Sources added that several export oriented factories which should process imported polyester yarn and then send it back end up selling the unprocessd goods directly in the market for a higher price.

Inferior quality polyester yarn available locally is then mixed and processed for export. DRI Ahmedabad has uncovered customs evasion of Rs 5 lakhs.

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

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