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May 28, 2001 - May 28, 2001

VERAVAL:::: Veraval awaits de-alert signal Monday, May 28, 2001

Veraval, May 27: After functioning round the clock for five days, the cyclone control room here is now awaiting official orders of de-alert from the state Control.

Deputy collector Bhavin Pandya told The Asian Age that the cyclone that was located 460 km/h north-west of Porbandar has weakened and is expected to hit between Veraval and Naliya in Kutch after Monday afternoon. He was quoting a message received from the Cyclone Warning Centre in Ahmedabad.

As the cyclone has moved away from Veraval, the Junagadh district administration has returned buses and JCB machines stationed in the city. Only two trucks carrying boats are lying in front of office of the mamlatadar here.

According to Mr Pandya, the wind speed, which was earlier expected to be around 200 km/h during the cyclone, has now reduced to between 60 and 70 km/h. “We are waiting for official de-alert warning,” he stated. Officials in the administration opined that even if the cyclone strikes, it would cause minor damage.

The damage can be done to old trees and kachha houses, they said. They observed that in Naliya there could be some problem because houses are not designed to withstand cyclonic storm.
Meanwhile, as the cyclone is not centered on Veraval, the Army has not reached this coastal town.

Officials said that if required the Army will be called. In the meantime, one platoon of Special Security Bureau reached here on Sunday morning from Jamnagar to help the administration. Interestingly, as the delay in receiving updates from Ahmedabad continues, the officials here get the latest news from the internet websites.

Mr Pandya, however, tried to defend officials in Ahmedabad saying that usually the messages reach here within two hours and if the fax is not working the office here is informed telephonically.

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


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Draft plan for 4 quake-hit towns Monday, May 28, 2001

Gandhinagar, May 27
The state government has prepared draft development plans for rehabilitation of the four most severely affected towns of Bhuj, Anjar, Bhachau and Rapar in a comprehensive and planned manner within four months of the earthquake that wreaked havoc in the state.

The state government will put the draft development plans for the consideration of the public and will call for representations and grievances to give them final shape. The state government also reiterated its commitment to rehabilitate and reconstruct the four towns in a preplanned manner.

The plans envisage adequate planning of the entire region. The emphasis is on stringent and better use of land, social and economic development, a health conscious environment, planned development of under developed areas, proper traffic planning, planning for proper population controls, adequate balance between the man and nature, curb on irregular and haphazard development and the plan also focuses on other related areas in detail.

Adequate provisions have already been made in the GDCR for the purpose by making the necessary changes in the Town Planning Act through ordinance and housing experts, structural engineers and town planning experts have been included in the provisions.

The state government said it is for the first time that a draft development plan has been prepared within a time limit of four months. The draft development plan has also made provisions for adequate width of roads so as to ensure maximum safety.

The state government has also appointed agencies for development of infrastructure facilities in the four towns. The agencies have been appointed through the Gujarat Urban Development Co. Ltd for the purpose of the ADB assistance for the quake hit areas.

The state government has also appointed members for the area development authorities and accordingly Anil Mukim has been appointed in Bhuj, A.K. Sharma for Rapar, Atanu Chakraborty for Bhachau and Sanjay Gupta for Anjar. The responsibilities and duties of the various area development authorities have also been fixed.

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


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Draft plan for 4 quake-hit towns Monday, May 28, 2001

Gandhinagar, May 27
The state government has prepared draft development plans for rehabilitation of the four most severely affected towns of Bhuj, Anjar, Bhachau and Rapar in a comprehensive and planned manner within four months of the earthquake that wreaked havoc in the state.

The state government will put the draft development plans for the consideration of the public and will call for representations and grievances to give them final shape. The state government also reiterated its commitment to rehabilitate and reconstruct the four towns in a preplanned manner.

The plans envisage adequate planning of the entire region. The emphasis is on stringent and better use of land, social and economic development, a health conscious environment, planned development of under developed areas, proper traffic planning, planning for proper population controls, adequate balance between the man and nature, curb on irregular and haphazard development and the plan also focuses on other related areas in detail.

Adequate provisions have already been made in the GDCR for the purpose by making the necessary changes in the Town Planning Act through ordinance and housing experts, structural engineers and town planning experts have been included in the provisions.

The state government said it is for the first time that a draft development plan has been prepared within a time limit of four months. The draft development plan has also made provisions for adequate width of roads so as to ensure maximum safety.

The state government has also appointed agencies for development of infrastructure facilities in the four towns. The agencies have been appointed through the Gujarat Urban Development Co. Ltd for the purpose of the ADB assistance for the quake hit areas.

The state government has also appointed members for the area development authorities and accordingly Anil Mukim has been appointed in Bhuj, A.K. Sharma for Rapar, Atanu Chakraborty for Bhachau and Sanjay Gupta for Anjar. The responsibilities and duties of the various area development authorities have also been fixed.

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


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Saffron brigade redefines Beauty and the Beast Monday, May 28, 2001

The VHP and Bajrang Dal, which are the self-proclaimed moral guardians of Gujarat did not like the idea of a beauty contest. The Mr and Ms Gujarat, according to the VHP, is an assault on Indian culture.

“It is a Western concept and it promotes vulgarity,” claim these organisations. Three years ago, it had proudly “attacked” one such contest in Ahmedabad and then in Vadodara. The organisers bowed down to their whims. But the fact is what right does the BD and VHP have to impose their line of thinking on us?

They are more of cultural terrorists than some sort of protectors of our culture. They are the Talibans of Gujarat and for them vandalism and violence are the only means to get their ends.

In the process of protecting our culture, the VHP and Bajrang Dal expose their fascist ways. Do we want such self-proclaimed culture custodians who decide whether there should be a Ms Gujarat or Mr Gujarat or not?

The understanding of Indian culture of the VHP and Bajrang Dal is so very twisted. Does Indian culture stress that you burn up Muslim owners of a restaurant in broad daylight and then boast about it? And then if you happen to fall in love with a Muslim, you could have the VHP coming and explaining to you of how bad Muslims are.

What wonderful way to interpret and spread Indian culture. Maybe the BJP should appoint them as ambassadors of Indian culture. The BJP, because it is just during the BJP regime that some goons have gained grounds.

The day VHP and Bajrang Dal decided to get the Ms and Mr Gujarat contest stopped, I looked in a few papers. What about those cheap movies with vulgar story synopsis that run houseful in city theatres, ranging from Saali Poori Gharwali (enjoy the masti of how a sister creates havoc in her own sister’s bedroom with her brother-in-law) and many more like Letin (sic) Lover to Pati Anari Devar Khiladi.

Isn’t all this more vulgar than a beauty contest? Why doesn’t the VHP and Bajrang Dal in Gujarat begin a campaign against all such dirty vulgar and senseless “Western” things? The other day, an honourable Cabinet minister was at a city multiplex enjoying Urmila gyrating to Kambakht Ishq and having Coco Cola.

Nothing wrong in it except that the VHP and Bajrang Dal should protest because the song is shot at a Western location, the clothes are skimpy and the song is a lift from an English number. And the minister was not with his wife. We have no problems but maybe the BD and VHP should. For they are supposed to be the “moral guardians.”

This was my 100th column and I thought I would be less cynical and Grapevine Gujarat would focus on good things in Gujarat. They are aplenty, but the VHP and the Bajrang Dal did not want it that way.

Can we in Gujarat have a hair cut the way we want? Can we date the men we love? Can we watch Jennifer Lopez singing Love doesn’t cost a thing? Can we savour sevaiyya at a Muslim friend’s house? Can we go for midnight mass? Can we please live the way we want or will the VHP and BD keep on acting like some cultural terrorists? Sick.

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


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NCCL demands ban on Narmada Bachao Andolan Monday, May 28, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 27: The National Council for Civil Liberties has requested Union home minister L.K. Advani to immediately ban the Narmada Bachao Andolan for its disturbing and little known anti-national activities. A press release issued by NCCL to this effect on Sunday accused NBA under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1957.

“President of the council V.K. Saxena has brought to the notice of Mr Advani specific instances where NBA’s calculated moves have hindered development of various important projects of the nation,” informed the NCCL press release.

The NCCL has submitted a memorandum to the minister to this effect. The release claimed that the council has gathered evidences against NBA that exposes the myth of it being a much-acclaimed social organisation.

Referring to one of the instances of violation of human rights by the NBA, the release said, “NBA activists have beaten up those Sardar Sarovar Project-affected persons who were willing to accept the government’s rehabilitation and resettlement schemes.”

“The council has also listed the names of people and organisations of foreign origin, which have been working in unison with the NBA to halt several projects of national importance such as the SSP, NTPC power projects, Umargaon port and Indra Sagar Project, Madhya Pradesh, amongst others,” said the release.

“The investigation also found several controversial activities of NBA like it being involved in disputed financial dealings and funds acquisition. Also, volumes of unaccountable money in the accounts of the prominent activists, passing of confidential projects documents to foreigners and attacks on villagers who supported the government raise doubt about NBA credentials,” the release said.

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


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