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April 22, 2001 - April 22, 2001

Expert warns of damage to ecology Sunday, April 22, 2001

VADODARA: The recent reverse flow of sea into the Mahi river is not a local phenomenon, it is a global phenomenon and in Gujarat it has already led to pollution and salinity of many rivers like Narmada, Tapi and Daman Ganga.

"If policies are not framed by the government to control damage to down stream ecology of rivers as a result of bunds and dams, South Gujarat too would one day become like Saurashtra and Kutch," warns Rohit Prajapati of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti. According to him the TDS level that indicates the presence of solid particles in water has already reached 2000 TDS in river Narmada at Bharuch.

According to him government needs to formulate polices for water recharging. "There should be control on the use of ground water. Unlike other countries in India drawing sweet water is not regulated. This leads to wasteful use of water by industries. Many of which add to the pollution by using pure water from the rivers and the underground water bed," he said.

He says that the reverse flow of sea inwards is global phenomenon that has occurred in several parts of Gujarat and in other countries like the US, Brazil where the greenhouse effect is one of the factors that has caused it.

The depleted sweet water flow in rivers like Mahi, Narmada, Tapi, Daman ganga and others has depleted due to bunds and dams as well as the green house effect has caused the reverse flow here, says Prajapati.

He says that Mahi is not the only river that has been afflicted by the reverse sea flow. River Narmada too has been severely affected despite the fact that the dam is not complete yet. "Pollution and reverse flow of sea inwards have affected the entire 10-km belt on the golden corridor. If the government does not think of a policy for water recharging and ways to stop such a phenomenon the damage would aggravate," he says.

"This area might soon become Saurashtra and Kutch due to increase in salinity both in underground water as well as the soil. There is a need for more study on this phenomenon so that a decisive policy can be framed," says Prajapati.

There should be a policy that can regulate the use of underground water and efforts should be made to control the greenhouse effect and protect the down stream ecology of rivers where dams and bunds are constructed.

According to him the issue of sea level rise as a consequence of climatic warming and the greenhouse effect is of grave concern for Gujarat. Rising air temperature resulting from green house warming would increase Sea Surface Temperature (SST). This in turn would trigger off factors that would cause cyclones.

* Government should regulate and control use of ground water

* Effort should be made to protect down stream ecology of rivers on which dams and bunds are constructed

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BHAVNAGAR:::: Malpractice comes to light in relief works Sunday, April 22, 2001

BHAVNAGAR: Two cases of malpractice in relief works have come to light in less than a fortnight after work began in Bhavnagar district.

Deputy DDO in-charge of scarcity works told TOINS that a police complaint had been filed against road clerk Pranlal Chauhan, for recording higher number of labourers than those present at Katpar village, 107 km from Bhavnagar. Mahuva deputy collector, on a surprise visit to a relief site, found lesser number of labourers working than those shown on record.

In another incident Ashok Balabhai Vegad, a muster clerk attached to a relief site in Vallabhipur taluka, was caught red-handed while putting greater number of workers on the muster roll than those present.

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Malpractice comes to light in relief works at Bhavnagar Sunday, April 22, 2001

BHAVNAGAR: Two cases of malpractice in relief works have come to light in less than a fortnight after work began in Bhavnagar district.

Deputy DDO in-charge of scarcity works told TOINS that a police complaint had been filed against road clerk Pranlal Chauhan, for recording higher number of labourers than those present at Katpar village, 107 km from Bhavnagar. Mahuva deputy collector, on a surprise visit to a relief site, found lesser number of labourers working than those shown on record.

In another incident Ashok Balabhai Vegad, a muster clerk attached to a relief site in Vallabhipur taluka, was caught red-handed while putting greater number of workers on the muster roll than those present.

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Builders making innovative bids to secure bail Sunday, April 22, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Many of the 78 builders, currently lodged in Sabarmati jail because their buildings killed people in the earthquake, are trying innovative ideas to get bail.

Vinod Chand Joshi, the builder of Maruti Apartments in Ghatlodia, had surrendered earlier when his anticipatory bail plea was rejected. Later he applied for a regular bail stating that he was diabetic and also had blood pressure. His advocate pleaded that due to his ailments it was difficult for him to cope with the stressful conditions in jail. The plea, however, was turned down.

Tonsuring ceremony of his son was the ground cited by Kartik G Pasawala, builder of Divyalaya Flats of Maninagar, for which he needed to be out with his family. He said his new-born son, Sahil, was to undergo mundan, for which his presence was necessary. But he did not find his way out as he said he wanted to go all the way to Chanod where the ceremony was to be held. Public prosecutor Akhil Desai objected to this. He said an accused under section 304 (culpable homicide) cannot be allowed to go all the way to Chanod as he may never return.

Samyak Apartments builder, Manish Kothari, appealed for bail on grounds that his infant son was admitted to Anuradha Nursing Home with typhoid. The builder's wish to see his son once was granted. He was allowed a visit to the hospital on Wednesday, from 12 noon to 4 pm, escorted by a battery of prison security personnel.

But, builder of Chandrama Apartment Pravin Dhanjibhai Rajpara, tried a more "scientific" approach to convince sessions judge as to how he had no role in the building collapse due to the quake.

In his 135-page bail plea, the accused explained the entire phenomenon of earthquakes, taking into account every physical, geographical and mathematical aspect of it.

He explained, magnitude-wise, the effects and the extent of damage, scaling, movement of plates, travelling of shock waves - the horizontal and the vertical aspects - soil quality, the different scales of measurement, the crest and the trough generated due to the wave transmission... and how amidst all these factor he had no role in the damage suffered by the building which came down. And of course, he had annexed with the petition, clippings from all newspapers, magazines and even photographs of quake devastation in Western countries.

But the prosecution thwarted his bid to break free on grounds that he as a builder had the knowledge of violations committed in the construction of Chandrama Apartment which collapsed killing 28 people. The foundation was almost half the specified norm, four additional penthouses in violation of permitted 16 flats, no building use (BU) permission, no soil test, revised plan not approved. The verdict, bail plead rejected.

A similar attempt was made by Raoji Hari Patel, builder of Akshardeep Apartments which collapsed killing 11 people. But despite his 148-page plea, the court ruled he should remain in jail.

Builder Hasmukh Kalidas Shah could not afford his freedom from jail. He preferred to stay back. He pleaded he was suffering from hypertension and diabetes, and also had hernia. Additional sessions judge allowed him to be out of jail. He was allowed to be admitted separately at V S Hospital. But all the expenses, including the charges of the police security, were to be borne by Shah. The offer found all that too expensive. He did not take bail.

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Vadodara in brief on 22nd April 2001 Sunday, April 22, 2001

Shields announced
The general manager of Vadodara division of Western Railway has announced five major shields for outstanding performance in various fields. A special shield for exemplary relief work in the aftermath of the earthquake has also been announced.

Children's workshop

Manthan Centre for Counselling is organising a workshop for children between 12 and 18 years of age titled 'Adventures of adolescence'. The workshop will be held at Hotel Yuvraj from April 23 to 27.

Research award

Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited (IPCL) scientist Anand Halgeri has been conferred with the prestigious Hari Om Ashram Prerit S S Bhatnagar endowment research award in applied catalysis. The award has been conferred to him in recognition for the meritorious work carried out in the area of eco-friendly catalyst, its development and commercialisation.

Vipassana course

Vadodara Vipassana Samiti is organising a 10-day Vipassana course from May 20 to 31 for simple, scientific and practical methods of mental purification.

Bhajan programme

Sursangam group is organising a bhajan sandhya 'Santwani' on Saturday at 8 pm at C C Mehta Auditorium.

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