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May 19, 2001 - May 19, 2001

Circle of life: Plan to restore ecology Saturday, May 19, 2001

Vadodara, May 18: The number of instances of carnivorous animals straying into human habitation areas in central and south Gujarat has been on the rise with each passing day. But if all goes as per the plans of the forest department, the problem is likely to be curtailed in years to come.

In a bid to check the movement of leopards and other carnivorous animals from forest areas to cities and villages, the department has proposed to increase the number of herbivores in the sanctuary and reserved forest areas of central and south Gujarat.

Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife Division) S. K. Mehta told The Asian Age that the number of herbivores in the forests of central and south Gujarat have decreased drastically owing to multiple factors.

The plan, proposed some time back, aims to increase the herbivores in sanctuary and reserved forest areas by breeding this species of animals on an experimental basis. According to highly placed sources in the forest department, herbivores have decreased in the forests of central and south Gujarat due to the tendency of the local people to keep migrating, their dependence on non-vegetarian food, the depletion in forest cover and the water shortage.

Officials in the Vadodara division of the forest department claim that this is not the case in north Gujarat. Mr Mehta said that as per the plan, breeding centres will be set up in the region and the herbivores will increase in Soolpaneshwar, Jambughoda and Purna wildlife sancturies and, Vansda National Park.

Herbivores will also be increased in the Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary in the Panchmahals and forest areas in the Vadodara district. The DCF said that two to three places have been identified to breed the herbivores on experimental basis and then let loose in the forest areas.

According to the DCF, tests of breeding sambar have been already conducted elsewhere. The results have been successful, he said, adding that to being with attempts will be made to breed cheetal, blackbuck, rabbit and jungle foul.

Sources said that the experiment will be on a small scale to begin with and each of the breeding centers will initially require Rs 5 lakh. Depending upon the success, it will be introduced on a large scale, sources said.

Sources confirmed that the plan for breeding the herbivores has been incorporated in the management plans of various sanctuaries in central and south Gujarat. Sources further said that the state government has given in principle approval for the breeding plan.

Mr. Mehta said that the management plan is in the final stages of approval. The approval will come from the Centre after meeting with officers of the department concerned and the representatives of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. It is believed that the breeding centres will come up in about year’s time.

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


Related News - Needs draw carnivores to concrete jungles

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Former TDO’s bail plea rejected Saturday, May 19, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 18: The court on Friday rejected the bail application of former Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s town development officer Mr Jayantilal Premshankar Solpura in the case of Vidhyalakshmi building’s collapse.

Additional sessions judge Mr A C Rao listened to both the parties and decided to reject the bail application. Mr Solpura, who was the TDO with the AMC, from January 1992 to December 1994 approved the final plan for the Vidhyalakshmi building situated in the Sabarmati area.

The building collapsed during the January 26 earthquake since all the norms were flouted.
The AMC officials found out that the building was constructed on 16 pillars instead of 18 and also discovered that instead of 8 flats the builder had constructed 12 flats.

Government pleader Ashit Desai in his argument said that common people trust the building use permission given by the authorities. In the case of the Vidhyalakshmi apartment, the BU permission was granted without the final inspection by then TDO Mr Solpura. “This mislead the common people who in turn lost their property and lives when the building collapsed,” he added in his argument.

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


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Bullion scam: Bail pleas turned down Saturday, May 19, 2001

Ahmedabad May 18: The court on Friday rejected the bail applications of the three accused in the cheating case with the overseas branch of SBI.

Special CBI judge H.D. Antani rejected the bail application of accused Suresh Gautecha, Naresh Chokshi and Jignesh Chokshi who were involved in Classic Cooperative Bank scam case and were arrested by CBI in last week of March.

SBI DGM vigilance Mr M.M. Sharma had filed the complaint with the CBI saying that the accused had cheated the overseas branch of the SBI in Ahmedabad of Rs 4,726 crore by giving bogus pay orders of classic cooperative banks and procuring gold from the branch.

The accused were arrested by the CBI after the bank authorities filed a complaint. The CBI in its investigation found out that the firm of the accused K.L. Chokshi had no money in its accounts with the Classic Cooperative Bank. However, the bank issued the pay orders for the firm to procure gold from the SBI.

The accused took the gold from the SBI and no payment was made for the same. The judge after listening to the arguments from both the sides ruled that it was a serious case and bail to the accused would create set a wrong precedent.

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


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Beast, VMC create trouble for hospital Saturday, May 19, 2001

Vadodara, May 18: After a leopard sneaked into the Mayo Hospital premises on Wednesday, the hospital authorities were in for another trouble on Friday. This time the Vadodara Municipal Corporation sealed the hospital for defaulting in payment of property tax since 1992.

Assistant municipal commissioner Kantibhai Solanki issued the orders to seal the hospital, which has been shut for the last few years due to severe financial crisis. According to VMC sources, the hospital had not paid property tax amounting to Rs 2.07 crore. The VMC had served a show-cause notice to the hospital after conducting an assessment in 2000.

In the VMC general board meeting on Thursday, ruling BJP corporator Ajit Patel had lambasted the administration for not taking stern action against the big shots. Mr Patel had questioned as to why the VMC harasses common man when it comes to paying property tax and let the influential class scot-free.

When the VMC’s financial condition came up for discussion, the former deputy mayor informed the authorities that property tax recovery of Rs 42 crore, including Rs 21 crore for 2000-2001, was pending.

Mr Patel had suggested the need for holding Lok Adalats so that the cases in dispute are settled and the corporation gets money at the earliest. Opposition leader Dalsukhbhai Prajapati had criticised the VMC for giving away more than Rs 50 lakh to a consultant for a storm water drain master plan.

When the civic body does not have enough resources to execute the master plan what is the need to spend even for making a plan, he had questioned.

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


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SBI RESTORES OVERDRAFT FACILITY Saturday, May 19, 2001

Ahmedabad, May 18: The state bank of India has restored the facility of the overdraft loan to all the cooperative banks in the state from Thursday.

According to the spokesman of the cooperatives department, a delegation of the cooperative banks in the state, led by Mr Amit Shah, the president of the district cooperative bank, met chief minister Mr Keshubhai Patel and drew his attention on this matter.

The chief minister, in turn, directed officials in cooperative department to take up the matter with the Reserve Bank of India. Mr Shah said that the due to restoration of this facility, the cooperative banks could hope to overcome liquidity crunch.

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


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