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April 25, 2001 - April 25, 2001

Gujarat unveils relief package for quake survivors Wednesday, April 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Quake-ravaged Gujarat unveiled a 12.79 billion-rupee plan on Tuesday to reconstruct four of its worst-affected towns within the next two years.

State government officials said the towns of Anjar, Bhachau and Rapar in Kutch district would be rebuilt at their existing sites while Bhuj would be partly relocated.

These towns were completely flattened in the massive January quake that measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and claimed more than 30,000 lives.

The government is distributing money and material to quake victims to build temporary houses until the new towns are built, state Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel told reporters.

"The reconstructed towns will have all urban infrastructure facilities and quake-resistant buildings that will become a model for other quake-prone nations," Patel said.

The Gujarat government's rehabilitation efforts will be supported by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Patel said, adding that USAID would also lend its technical expertise.

The World Bank has given $400 million to help rebuild the quake-hit state while the ADB has said it will raise a $500 million emergency loan to fund reconstruction in the province.

"The rehabilitation of Kutch district is in addition to the ongoing efforts to provide temporary shelter to millions of homeless people in Kutch and other quake-hit areas," G.C. Murmu, the state's additional relief commissioner said.

The government plans to build nearly 400,000 temporary tin-roof houses before the onset of the southwest monsoon expected in early June.

"These temporary shelters would ensure that people are not subjected to greater hardships during the intervening period of completing permanent quake-resistant houses," Murmu said.

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Gujarat unveils relief package for quake survivors Wednesday, April 25, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Quake-ravaged Gujarat unveiled a 12.79 billion-rupee plan on Tuesday to reconstruct four of its worst-affected towns within the next two years.

State government officials said the towns of Anjar, Bhachau and Rapar in Kutch district would be rebuilt at their existing sites while Bhuj would be partly relocated.

These towns were completely flattened in the massive January quake that measured 7.7 on the Richter scale and claimed more than 30,000 lives.

The government is distributing money and material to quake victims to build temporary houses until the new towns are built, state Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel told reporters.

"The reconstructed towns will have all urban infrastructure facilities and quake-resistant buildings that will become a model for other quake-prone nations," Patel said.

The Gujarat government's rehabilitation efforts will be supported by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Patel said, adding that USAID would also lend its technical expertise.

The World Bank has given $400 million to help rebuild the quake-hit state while the ADB has said it will raise a $500 million emergency loan to fund reconstruction in the province.

"The rehabilitation of Kutch district is in addition to the ongoing efforts to provide temporary shelter to millions of homeless people in Kutch and other quake-hit areas," G.C. Murmu, the state's additional relief commissioner said.

The government plans to build nearly 400,000 temporary tin-roof houses before the onset of the southwest monsoon expected in early June.

"These temporary shelters would ensure that people are not subjected to greater hardships during the intervening period of completing permanent quake-resistant houses," Murmu said.

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Saurashtra oil mill owners to move SC Wednesday, April 25, 2001

RAJKOT: The Saurashtra Oil Millers' Association (SOMA) has decided to move the Supreme Court after their petition was rejected by a division bench of the High Court. The oil millers were fighting a legal battle with the state government on the issue of cancellation of license for groundnut oil and oilseeds.

The Division Bench of the High Court had struck down an order of a single judge. After the Division Bench order, SOMA general board meet was called on Sunday where the oil millers decided to go into appeal in the Supreme Court.

SOMA president Ukabhai Patel and secretary Samir Shah later told TOINS that 250 oil millers had attended the emergency meeting of the board where it was decided to fight it out against the state government, this time in the Supreme Court. The oil millers were of the opinion that a legal battle was the only way to fight corruption in the civil supplies department and their harassment.
The oil millers unanimously decided to back the fight against the department. The meeting also recalled the 1997 decision of the Central government removing the license raj following which Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi governments had also done away with the license system. Traders from Andhra Pradesh had also taken their case to the Supreme Court won there.

Patel said a writ petition would be filed in the Supreme Court by the first week of May. Patel also said that if the oil industry in the state had to be saved from such political interference, oil millers would have to the enter the electoral arena and expose the politicians. He said only a sizeable number of legislators in the assembly from the oil lobby could portray the true picture of the industry.

The SOMA president said that as a result of the single judge order almost one lakh units in the region would have been benefited besides benefiting almost two crore groundnut growers in the state. Patel said even a small oil mill owner would have benefited from the groundnut oil trade.

Patel blamed the corrupt civic supplies department officials for the present state of affairs. He said oil millers were forced to seek justice from the High Court as the civil supplies department had made their life miserable for the last two years. Patel added that due to harassment by the civil supplies department, as many as 600 oil millers were forced to closed down their operation.

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Saurashtra oil mill owners to move SC Wednesday, April 25, 2001

RAJKOT: The Saurashtra Oil Millers' Association (SOMA) has decided to move the Supreme Court after their petition was rejected by a division bench of the High Court. The oil millers were fighting a legal battle with the state government on the issue of cancellation of license for groundnut oil and oilseeds.

The Division Bench of the High Court had struck down an order of a single judge. After the Division Bench order, SOMA general board meet was called on Sunday where the oil millers decided to go into appeal in the Supreme Court.

SOMA president Ukabhai Patel and secretary Samir Shah later told TOINS that 250 oil millers had attended the emergency meeting of the board where it was decided to fight it out against the state government, this time in the Supreme Court. The oil millers were of the opinion that a legal battle was the only way to fight corruption in the civil supplies department and their harassment.
The oil millers unanimously decided to back the fight against the department. The meeting also recalled the 1997 decision of the Central government removing the license raj following which Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi governments had also done away with the license system. Traders from Andhra Pradesh had also taken their case to the Supreme Court won there.

Patel said a writ petition would be filed in the Supreme Court by the first week of May. Patel also said that if the oil industry in the state had to be saved from such political interference, oil millers would have to the enter the electoral arena and expose the politicians. He said only a sizeable number of legislators in the assembly from the oil lobby could portray the true picture of the industry.

The SOMA president said that as a result of the single judge order almost one lakh units in the region would have been benefited besides benefiting almost two crore groundnut growers in the state. Patel said even a small oil mill owner would have benefited from the groundnut oil trade.

Patel blamed the corrupt civic supplies department officials for the present state of affairs. He said oil millers were forced to seek justice from the High Court as the civil supplies department had made their life miserable for the last two years. Patel added that due to harassment by the civil supplies department, as many as 600 oil millers were forced to closed down their operation.

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Indian American groups raise funds for quake victims Wednesday, April 25, 2001

By Abraham Thariath, India Abroad News Service

New York, Apr 24 - Four groups in New Jersey jointly organized a cultural program to raise funds in aid of the survivors of the earthquake in Gujarat.

The program, attended by about 800 people, raised about $5,500, Dr. Vijaya Desai, president of the Garden State India Association, told IANS.

The organizations were New Jersey chapters of the India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF) and Hindu Students Council (HSC), Garden State India Association and Indo-American Senior Citizens Association of Hudson County.

Among those who attended were Jersey City mayoral candidates Lou Munzo, Tom DeGise, Kevin Sluka, Glen Cunningham and Gerry McCann, Desai said. Other attendees included Linda Mayo, deputy mayor of Jersey City, and Maureen Corcoran, who is running for the city council there.

Held at Dickinson High School in Jersey City, the program comprised classical and folk dances and music and skits, presented by the students of Kalanjali dance school, members of HSC and others.

The masters of ceremonies were Sudha Shekhar, director of Kalanjali school, and Neeti Desai, one of her students. Desai coordinated the event along with Vinod Kothari, president of the senior citizens group, and Samir Raval of HSC.

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