Rediscover Gujarat. Rediscover the Gujarati in you !!


Channels : Free Home Pages | Chat | Discussion Board | Graffiti | Music | Reminder Services | Calendar | Horoscope | Dating | Weather | Matrimonial | Jobs

Info

City Guides | City News | Education | Festivals | Food | Greetings | Earthquake fact file | Home

April 25, 2001 - April 25, 2001

Gujarat government gives quake victims option on relocation Wednesday, April 25, 2001

By Ashraf Sayed, India Abroad News Service

Ahmedabad, Apr 24 - Old Anjar town will be shifted to a new site and Rapar will be rehabilitated at its original site while two other major towns of the earthquake-ravaged Kutch district - Bhuj and Bhachau - will be given time-bound options for their rehabilitation and the resettlement of their residents, the Gujarat government said Tuesday.

These packages were given their final shape by the state government Tuesday after a nearly three-month-long fierce controversy over shifting of the towns and villages and their rehabilitation. The delay had prompted the residents of Kutch to undertake a march from Anjar to Ahmedabad earlier this month to pressurize the Keshubhai Patel government to end the agonizing "uncertainties" over the rehabilitation program.

Performing a complete somersault on the previous announcement of building more than 800,000 one-room houses and relocating the four towns, Patel told reporters after a five-hour-long cabinet meeting that his government would now assist the quake-affected people in cash and kind to rebuild their houses and also provide infrastructure facilities.

He said that the packages for the four towns were likely to cost Rs. 12.79 billion, including Rs. 3.85 billion for housing, Rs. 2.6 billion for soft loans to residents, Rs. 2.7 billion for infrastructure facilities and Rs. 1.9 billion for the health and educational sectors.

Patel said that the government had now decided to set up a separate urban area development authority for the four towns which will each be allocated Rs. 5 million for proper town planning and to provide modern urban facilities. The rehabilitation packages would be completely "flexible" and give the people the option to stay at their old places or to move out to new sites.

The Gujarat Disaster Management Authority, which has been given the powers a ministry, took nearly three months deliberating details of the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) packages in view of conflicting views prevailing not only among the quake-hit people of four towns but also among senior bureaucrats and ministers.

Replying to a spate of questions, the chief minister said that it was premature to give the exact financial implications of the R&R packages for all quake-hit regions in the state. "But constrains on the financial front will not be allowed to jeopardize the implementation of various packages. Moreover, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Central government and various national and international agencies have already made firm commitments to rehabilitate the quake-hit people," Patel said.

According to conservative estimates of senior officials associated with the various relief packages, the entire R&R program might take one-and-a-half year to two years to implement as it required not only a complete survey of structures damaged in the quake but also the planning of roads, water supply, sewerage, banks, markets and other establishments.

Before carrying out relocation work, the government will conduct a soil testing checks and undertake seismological surveys to ensure the safety of the people being relocated.

Voice your opinion on this story Generate printer friendly page Send this page to your friend

DGP moots economic offences cell Wednesday, April 25, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: It's only 22 days he has been in charge and DGP K Chakravarthi has taken a serious note of the rise in 'white-collared crime' and economic offences. He plans to strengthen the economic offences cell by hiring professionals.

Topping his priorities, obviously is the Madhavpura Mercantile Co-operative Bank scam. After the controversy that nagged his predecessor, Chakravarthi is already raring to go, albeit cautiously. After a dogged pursuit, he spoke exclusively to the TOI on Monday, about his plans of hiring chartered accountants, experts in company law and banking to be engaged on a short-term, case by case contractual basis for investigating economic offences which he noted were 'predominating and were full of complexities'. Additional DG KR Kaushik who is in charge of the CID (crime) that handles economic offences, will prepare a proposal to be submitted to the government for approval. "It is not economical to employ a full-time CA as he is not needed in all cases", he observed, admitting that he had realised its benefits during his stint in the Anti-Corruption Bureau where such expertise was used.

A 1965 batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Chakravarthi, is already being regarded as a probable CBI director. Incidentally, he was with the CBI in the 80's moving out as deputy director in 1987 after which he was a part of the committee investigating the 1984 Sikh riots and then he returned to Gujarat.

He believes that the traditional concept of crime remained only in the rural areas, and cities had spurt in economic crimes. So the stress on 'scientific methods of investigation'.

Cybercrime is another area where the idea is to tap in-house talent and prompt policemen to get computer training.

"Our jurisdiction ends where the trials begin, hence my thrust will be on proper investigation and effective presentation in court", Chakravarthi says. Further, the proximity to Mumbai on one side and Pakistan on the other, makes it a fait accompli for the underworld, though he feels that such incidents are only sporadic.

About the increase in extortion cases, he says, "victims do not want to talk to the police even in confidence, either for personal safety or for fear of income-tax raids and they try to settle it among themselves".

"I am going to emphasise on proper and prompt investigation", Chakravarthi declares. He agrees the size of the police force has not kept pace with the population, but his move is 'to fix achievable targets at various levels of officers to help them attain minimum performance level".

Ask him about the rise in corruption in the Gujarat police and he claims, 'incidents of misdemeanour are very less'. Yet, he admits that in some cases 'there is a collusive corruption where both sides are happy and its is a quid pro quo situation and there is no complainant'.

Denying any 'political interferences' in his job he quips 'mine is a full-time job and it is only 22 days!'

Voice your opinion on this story Generate printer friendly page Send this page to your friend

Pilgrims shun Fazalpur now Wednesday, April 25, 2001

VADODARA: For 85-year-old Kusumben of Anand a trip or two to the river Mahisagar at Fazalpur a year is mandatory. Despite her failing health she made it this year, too, only to be disappointed.

"I never expected the water to be so dirty", she said. "I have been coming here for the past 20 years and never missed a holy dip here during Chaitra Poonam and Somavati Amavas. It's dirty, yet this river is 'sati', a mother" she adds.

According to a tea stall owner near the river bank, crowds this year have thinned somewhat. Those who came here to perform rites left after seeing the water. Some prayed for a while and then left without bath, he said.

Former sarpanch Fatehsinh Gohil said last month was bad for the vendors who earned their livelihood from pilgrims.

"Almost 50 per cent of the people in our village depend on the river for their livelihood. They set up their tea, snacks, coconut and puja stalls on the riverbank on Sundays and Tuesdays when visitors pour in. The panchayat even collected a tax from them for use of land near the riverbank for hawking. This time none of them could pay as devotees did not stay long and they had no business.

A visitor Suresh Punjabi from Anand said the water was dirty. "This is a holy river so I took some water in my palms for prayers. But I did not bathe here. But a few of my family members are bathing here" he said. According to him shortage of water has led to this reverse flow of water.

Gohil says that Fazalpur has religious importance; so devotees come here on auspicious days. They can go to other banks upstream where it is not polluted. But the reason over 500 came here on Sunday shows that this place is important.

Despite the religious significance, the VMC and the industry have turned a blind eye to the damage they have caused to the river. "The onus for causing damage to the river has to be shared by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation and the industrial units which have constructed bunds in the river and the polluting industries that dump their effluents in the river" he says.

"Despite a notice from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, the Raymons Glues and Chemical Company has continued to discharge its effluents into the river and the GPCB remains a mute spectator" he says.

Parayavaran Suraksha Samiti's Rohit Prajapati claims that Raymons Gelatin has dumped 18,250 lakh litres of effluent comprising organic and chemical wastes into the river over the past five years. "Even today they are dumping 10 lakh litres of effluent daily into the river," says Prajapati.

This despite the fact that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has cancelled the permission to dump its effluents. The GPCB has asked the Raymons Glues company to dump its effluent into the sea at Sarod through a closed pipeline. But the company has ignored the notice, he says.

According to a Bhallabhai of Poicha village many bathers now prefer to go to Poicha as the water here is not yet polluted.

Voice your opinion on this story Generate printer friendly page Send this page to your friend

Pilgrims shun Fazalpur now Wednesday, April 25, 2001

VADODARA: For 85-year-old Kusumben of Anand a trip or two to the river Mahisagar at Fazalpur a year is mandatory. Despite her failing health she made it this year, too, only to be disappointed.

"I never expected the water to be so dirty", she said. "I have been coming here for the past 20 years and never missed a holy dip here during Chaitra Poonam and Somavati Amavas. It's dirty, yet this river is 'sati', a mother" she adds.

According to a tea stall owner near the river bank, crowds this year have thinned somewhat. Those who came here to perform rites left after seeing the water. Some prayed for a while and then left without bath, he said.

Former sarpanch Fatehsinh Gohil said last month was bad for the vendors who earned their livelihood from pilgrims.

"Almost 50 per cent of the people in our village depend on the river for their livelihood. They set up their tea, snacks, coconut and puja stalls on the riverbank on Sundays and Tuesdays when visitors pour in. The panchayat even collected a tax from them for use of land near the riverbank for hawking. This time none of them could pay as devotees did not stay long and they had no business.

A visitor Suresh Punjabi from Anand said the water was dirty. "This is a holy river so I took some water in my palms for prayers. But I did not bathe here. But a few of my family members are bathing here" he said. According to him shortage of water has led to this reverse flow of water.

Gohil says that Fazalpur has religious importance; so devotees come here on auspicious days. They can go to other banks upstream where it is not polluted. But the reason over 500 came here on Sunday shows that this place is important.

Despite the religious significance, the VMC and the industry have turned a blind eye to the damage they have caused to the river. "The onus for causing damage to the river has to be shared by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation and the industrial units which have constructed bunds in the river and the polluting industries that dump their effluents in the river" he says.

"Despite a notice from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, the Raymons Glues and Chemical Company has continued to discharge its effluents into the river and the GPCB remains a mute spectator" he says.

Parayavaran Suraksha Samiti's Rohit Prajapati claims that Raymons Gelatin has dumped 18,250 lakh litres of effluent comprising organic and chemical wastes into the river over the past five years. "Even today they are dumping 10 lakh litres of effluent daily into the river," says Prajapati.

This despite the fact that the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has cancelled the permission to dump its effluents. The GPCB has asked the Raymons Glues company to dump its effluent into the sea at Sarod through a closed pipeline. But the company has ignored the notice, he says.

According to a Bhallabhai of Poicha village many bathers now prefer to go to Poicha as the water here is not yet polluted.

Voice your opinion on this story Generate printer friendly page Send this page to your friend

Miraculous escape for bus passengers Wednesday, April 25, 2001

RAJKOT: As many as 40 bus passengers on the Junagadh-Satwadi route had a miraculous escape on Sunday evening when the driver, Chhabilbhai Bavaji (28), suffered a massive heart attack while driving the vehicle. The bus reportedly travelled for about one-and-a-half km before the conductor realised what had happened.

Fortunately for the passengers, the bus stopped after going off the road and got stuck in sand. Conductor Madhavji Hamir and the passengers came out of the bus unhurt. The Junagadh depot manager and other staff rushed to the spot and shifted the driver to a hospital.

The depot manager said on Monday the driver was recovering in the hospital.

The bus had left Junagadh depot in the evening, and before reaching Maliyala village, the driver suffered a severe attack and he lost control of the vehicle. He collapsed on the steering wheel and the bus moved driverless for a distance before coming to a halt.

Voice your opinion on this story Generate printer friendly page Send this page to your friend

Gujarat | Pharmacy SEO | Copyright 2000-2006
 A eZee Web Solutions Presentation !

E-mail - webmaster@cybervapi.com
GSM - 9825130401