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November 14, 2001 - November 14, 2001

Prohibition on sale of high-decibel crackers Wednesday, November 14, 2001

AHMEDABAD: As part of the Supreme Court directive, the city police has prohibited the sale of firecrackers which do not indicate on the wrapper as to how much decibel it would emit on explosion.

The wrappers of firecrackers, which emit very loud sounds, would have to say that the sound produced would be within 125 decibels in a four-metre area surrounding the place of ignition. Disciplinary action would be taken against vendors selling crackers without having these instructions.

The directive also prohibits the bursting of crackers between 11 pm and 6 am and completely prohibits their use in silence zones like hospitals and dispensaries. While the police admits it is going to be a difficult job to book people breaking these rules, an official said, "people will have to do it on their own initiative."

The police also warned of disciplinary action against vendors found selling firecrackers without having permission or stocking more crackers than permitted.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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State prepared for any eventuality at Haripur: Bhatt Wednesday, November 14, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: State health minister Ashok Bhatt on Tuesday said the state government has taken all possible precautionary measures to deal with any situation arising out of violent shaking of the earth at Haripur village of Talala taluka in Junagadh district.

Talking to TNN before leaving for the village at the behest of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the minister said besides teams of doctors, the government has already moved the mobile hospital close to the village. At least four rescue teams of medical personnel have been kept ready at medical colleges in Jamnagar, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Ahmedabad so that they could rush to Junagadh district at short notice to meet any eventuality there.

The district authorities have already dispatched nine teams of doctors to Haripur and nearby primary health centres as a pre-cautionary measure. The health department has already sent required stock of medicines to Haripur and in surrounding villages.

Bhatt said that he would make an on the spot assessment of the situation and suggest certain measures against possible earthquake around the village, where tremors have been reported intermittently since October 26.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Junagadh :: Haripur to give Diwali the go-by Wednesday, November 14, 2001

HARIPUR (Junagadh dist): Haripur will give the Festival of Lights the go-by, this time around. No, the decision is not in deference to the Supreme Court order banning the bursting of crackers between 10 pm to 6 am and restricting the noise level to 125 decibels.

The villagers believe they have "offended" Mother Earth and, as Sarpanch Ramnikbhai Naranbhai told this correspondent, they would desist from bursting of crackers and other Diwali festivities in a bid to pacify her.

Haripur and neighbouring areas have been rocked by mild tremors for quite some time now. Even as the earth shakes, some villagers have also reported "loud explosions".
As Ramnikbhai observes, "Mother Earth herself is bursting crackers and hence we have to be mute witnesses."

While the sarpanch may have decided to stay put and be a silent spectator to the wiles of nature, fellow villagers, who have been living under constant terror, have opted to take no chances.

Many have fled the village, leaving some elderly folks to take care of their houses and livestock. Almost all houses in Haripur and other villages are empty. The women and children were the first to be moved to safety. But with the 'wrath' of nature showing no signs of subsiding, the able-bodied members, too, decided to move.

Members of most of the remaining families have started sleeping out in the open, something wouldn't dare to under normal times, fearing an attack by lions from the Gir forests.

The tiny village of Haripur has 45 families belonging to the minority community, 38 of Kadva Patels and 33 Leuva Patel households. In addition it has 60 families of Kolis and 40 of Harijans.

The tremors, perhaps for the first time, have united the villagers, who have forgotten their caste and community labels.

Teams drawn from the meteorological department are camping in the village. According to Junagadh Collector Suyana Tomar, more seismographs would be installed at different places to ascertain the intensity of the tremors which, so far, have measured below 3 on the Richter scale.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Stop palmolein oil import: Saurashtra farmers Wednesday, November 14, 2001

RAJKOT: Farmers of Saurashtra region have urged the state government to stop the import of palmolein oil so as to give better and remunerative prices to their groundnut produce. About 25 per cent of their produce are yet to hit the already-flooded marketing yards.

Sources in the groundnut industry told TNN on Tuesday that despite the purchase of groundnut by co-operatives the state government should stop the import of palmolein oil to give the necessary push to groundnut prices.

The Saurashtra Oil Millers Association (SOMA) has asked the state government to lift the curb on groundnut oil stock or to hike its limit. It said this will enable a trader or an oil-miller to keep a much larger stock and ensure that farmers get remunerative prices for their produce.

Association president Ukabhai Patel felt the best way to give remunerative prices to the farmers is to stop the import of palmolein oil for the next four months as during this period they usually dispose off their stock.

The president of Rajkot District Kharid Vechan Sangh, Lalji Savalia, said though the farmers are not getting good prices for their produce now, they should wait for the government to offer remunerative prices.

Haribhai Patel, president of the Oilseeds Bullion Merchants Association, said the state government rule that allows oil-millers and traders to stock 30 tonnes of groundnut oil should be increased to 75 tonnes. This, he felt, would help the farmers to get a remunerative price for his produce.

A large number of oil-millers are interested in stocking more groundnut oil and have also agreed to pay higher prices to farmers, provided the state government lifts the curb.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Fireworks colour Rajkot skies Wednesday, November 14, 2001

RAJKOT: The night sky over the city was lit up with riotous colours as firecrackers shot up and burst off, giving out dazzling formations, as part of the 'atashbazi' organised by the Rajkot Municipal Corporation at the Race grounds here on Monday.

Firecrackers worth about Rs 90,000 were used in the 50-minute show that left nearly 40,000 people spell bound.

The civic body organised the 'atashbazi' after a gap of nearly two years. The annual event on the eve of diwali was postponed during the past two years due to drought.
Mukul Vyas, a retired official of the civic body, told TNN that firecrackers of 56 varieties were burst during the show. The crackers and other arrangements for the show were made by Rasidbhai Fatakdawala of Ahmedabad.

Rasidbhai said some of the new varieties of firecrackers included 'farti chakdol plane', 'asopalav golden flower', 'Naigara dhol', 'electric golden star' and 'dholki flower.'
Ahmedabad mayor Himmatsinh Patel was present on the occasion.

The fire brigade had made special safety arrangements for the event.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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