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April 4, 2001 - April 4, 2001

Kutch gears up for Clinton's visit Wednesday, April 4, 2001

BHUJ: Anti-sabotage teams and the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) accompanied by State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel have swarmed the sensitive border district ahead of former US president Clinton's whistle-stop visit here on Wednesday.

Several battalions of SRP and border wing home guards have been deployed all along Bhuj, Ratwal, a village devastated in the killer quake of January 26 and Anjar, which figure on Clinton's itinerary.

The district police have also requisitioned BDS and anti-sabotage teams besides the state-of-the-art security equipment including mine detectors from other parts of the state and central agencies to meet any eventuality, DGP border range A K Singh told PTI.

A large number of ISI agents have been nabbed and huge quantity of RDX and other explosives and weapons have been seized in the region in the last two years.

He said while Clinton's personal security would be looked after by US security services, the peripheral cover would be provided by local police.

Police sources said as per protocol, Clinton comes under the "distinguished foreign visitor" or "y" category, but he is being provided with "z" plus security cover.

"There is only a general threat perception, but we are taking no chances," Singh said.

Nevertheless, police are keeping a strict vigil on mischievous elements, he said.

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Kutch gears up for Clinton's visit Wednesday, April 4, 2001

BHUJ: Anti-sabotage teams and the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) accompanied by State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel have swarmed the sensitive border district ahead of former US president Clinton's whistle-stop visit here on Wednesday.

Several battalions of SRP and border wing home guards have been deployed all along Bhuj, Ratwal, a village devastated in the killer quake of January 26 and Anjar, which figure on Clinton's itinerary.

The district police have also requisitioned BDS and anti-sabotage teams besides the state-of-the-art security equipment including mine detectors from other parts of the state and central agencies to meet any eventuality, DGP border range A K Singh told PTI.

A large number of ISI agents have been nabbed and huge quantity of RDX and other explosives and weapons have been seized in the region in the last two years.

He said while Clinton's personal security would be looked after by US security services, the peripheral cover would be provided by local police.

Police sources said as per protocol, Clinton comes under the "distinguished foreign visitor" or "y" category, but he is being provided with "z" plus security cover.

"There is only a general threat perception, but we are taking no chances," Singh said.

Nevertheless, police are keeping a strict vigil on mischievous elements, he said.


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SMC enforces new construction rules Wednesday, April 4, 2001

SURAT: All new constructions in the city will have to adhere to safety norms laid in the national building construction code, Surat Municipal Corporation officials have said.

In wake of large-scale devastation wreaked by the killer quake on January 26, emphasis would now be laid on new building plans having proper safeguards, right from testing the strength of the soil to its structural stability. In case of lapses or deviations, blame will rest on all parties involved, SMC officials have said.

The corporation is presently scrutinising over 100 applications for granting building permission. As per the new rules, submission of details of construction work at each stage by architect, structural engineer, builder as well as the land owner will be compulsory for periodic monitoring of the building under construction.

Besides, the corporation will have to be provided assurance with regard to the new structure being able to withstand natural calamities like earthquake, flood and cyclone. In addition, essential services like drainage, water supply, electricity and fire safety will have to be provided in the buildings, according to the SMC.

The corporation has asked the Gujarat Electricity Board (GEB) and the Surat Electricity Company (SEC) not to provide electricity connection to any buildings at the construction stage. Power connection is to be provided only when construction is complete and all safety provisions are adhered to.

The corporation is to complete inspection of newly constructed buildings within three weeks of submission of the completion certificate by the builder. If any fault is found during inspection, the same has to be rectified, failing which final permission will be withheld by the corporation.

Laminated copies of the building plan as submitted to the corporation would have to be given to all buyers as well as, a civic official said. The impact fee for regularisation of additional construction in the buildings is still in effect. The new rules will be applicable to constructions undertaken after March 27, said a SMC official.

The corporation plans to hold a series of workshops in the city to help engineers, builders, architects and others to acquaint themselves with the new construction rules.

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Quake-affected resort to blocking highway Wednesday, April 4, 2001

RAJKOT: As many as 4,000 quake-affected people of Maliya-Miyana resorted to rasta roko agitation on Monday evening, blocking traffic for nearly two hours on the Kandla-Ahmedabad national highway.

As many as 68 agitators were arrested and released late at night.

The residents were protesting against failure of the administration in solving their problems. Nearly 100 people also sat on fast on Tuesday. The local leaders have given a Maliya bandh call on April 7.

Initially, the residents had resorted to peaceful agitation. But, when the administration failed to respond to their demands, they formed a Maliya Taluka Ladat Samiti for spearheading the agitation.

Convenor of the Samiti Ramesh Vidja told TOINS on Tuesday that people had brought their tractors, tempos, trucks and farm equipment and parked them on the national highway to block traffic.

Adequate police bandobast was made but tensions ran high on the issue of arrest of the agitators.

The Samiti also organised lockout of the mamlatdar and taluka panchayat offices.

A public meeting was organised at the venue of the camp where people sat on fast. It was decided at the end of the meeting that Maliya taluka bandh would be observed on April 7 and the agitation would continue till the problems were solved to the satisfaction of quake-affected people. As many as 23 resolutions were passed at the meeting.

The key demands of the agitators include prompt payment of cash doles and supply of relief material including tin sheets and cement. Another important demand is to put Maliya under seismic zone five instead of four. Almost 95 per cent of the property in the town was damaged in the January 26 quake.

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Negligence case against doctors dropped Wednesday, April 4, 2001

VADODARA: A case filed against city-based doctors Shashikant Shah and Harsha Shah in the Vadodara District Consumer Grievances Redressal forum was dropped by the jury of the forum following lack of conclusive documentary evidence indicating that they had been negligent.

The case was filed by Madhuben Ramanbhai Thakore who complained that she had to undergo another operation due to negligence by the two in the first hysterectomy that they conducted on her.

Thakore had visited the doctors for consultation on November 11 1996 for stomach aches. She was advised to undergo a hysterectomy operation on November 16. In her petition Thakore complained that after the operation her stitches came out and she underwent physical pains in addition to stress.

However, after perusing the facts of the case forum president AS Syed and jury member Dr Ashok Mehta found that the litigant had not provided medical certificates that can conclusively proof that Madhuben had to undergo another operation due to negligence.

"The patient underwent a second operation for hernia and this cannot be construed to be due to negligence during the first operation which was conducted ten months before. No records or proof of actual duration spent at the hospital and medical certificates have been provided," they have said. The forum does not therefore accept the complaint.

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