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March 31, 2001 - March 31, 2001

GEB's appeal on metered power well received Saturday, March 31, 2001

VADODARA: Despite stiff opposition to the move to introduce metered power to the farm sector, the Gujarat Electricity Board's appeal to farmers for giving their letters of consent for metered power has received a good response. More than 28,000 farmers have given their consent till Thursday, a reliable GEB source told 'The Times of India'.

This is seen as a serious setback to the Gujarat Khedut Samaj campaign which is opposed to the introduction of the metered power for farmers.

In view of the overwhelming response, Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel has extended the last date for availing of concessional power by a month. Now, those applying before April 30 will be entitled to power at 40 per unit, said a reliable source.

GEB had put out advertisements in the press appealing to farmers to give their consent letters to the GEB. As an incentive, the Board had announced offering concessional power.

To counter this campaign, the Gujarat Khedut Samaj has organised a huge rally on March 31 against the "anti-farmer policies" of the state government and the GEB. Kisan leader Sharad Joshi will address this rally which is likely to be attended by about 2 lakh farmers from different parts of the state, Samaj leaders claimed. The rally will be flagged off at the Exhibition Ground on Rajmahal Road on Saturday noon.

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Rajkot in brief on 30th March Saturday, March 31, 2001

Rajkot rly suffers Rs 20cr loss in quake

The divisional railway users' consultative committee which met here on Friday said the Rajkot division had suffered a loss of Rs 20 crore in the earthquake. One km of railway line near Navlakhi had been badly damaged and closed to vehicular traffic. The line would reopen in two months' time. A decision was also taken on reducing the halt time of Trivandrum and Cochin Express trains at Viramgam station to just five minutes.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has extended a loan of Rs 27 crore for maintaining animal wealth in the Saurashtra region. NABARD has deposited this money with the Rajkot district bank to help needy farmers owing to second consecutive year of drought.

Fasting students taken ill

The condition of three more fasting students of Saurashtra deteriorated on Friday. The students were protesting against an attack on them by a group of students from Mehsana at the L E College at Morbi.

Banks to work on April 1

All branches of the State Bank of Saurashtra will work on Sunday, April 1, for the annual closing of accounts, a statement issued by the SBS said on Friday. The branches will also remain open for public transaction on April 3, the statement added.

Vehicle lifters held

A police party on Thursday nabbed seven vehicle lifters and recovered four vehicles, three motorcycles and a luna, from them.

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Maliya residents threaten stir Saturday, March 31, 2001

RAJKOT: Residents of Maliya-Miyana on Friday threatened to launch a rasta roko agitation if officials do not issue new ration cards to them immediately.

Congress leader Dinesh Dangar said citizens had earlier launched an indefinite fast on the issue in front of the mamlatdar's office and several had been hospitalised. He said if the issue was not resolved by end of the week, they would block movement of traffic on highway joining Kandla and Ahmedabad. Residents have also threatened to gherao the collector's office.

The issue of new ration cards has been pending for long. No new ration cards had been issued in the last seven years, he said. Youth Congress leader Ayub Alarakha Movar had organised an on-the-spot redressal of the ration card issue on January 27, but it had to be postponed due to the quake. Dangar further said residents had lost their rations cards in the quake and were not being given relief material because of this.

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PALITANA :: Demonstrators caned in Palitana Saturday, March 31, 2001

Rallies, dharnas and bandhs to protest against non-availability of drinking water have become routine in Saurashtra, reeling under severe water crisis, owing to the second consecutive year of drought.

On Thursday evening, it was the turn of Palitana residents to take out a rally to protest against non-supply of water for the 16th consecutive day, to the town. However, the rally taken out by Congress leaders was lathi-charged when it reached the nagarpalika office after some stone-throwing was reported. Twelve people were injured in the lathi-charge and 17 people were arrested for disturbing public peace.

The rally, led by Congress president Pravinbhai Gadhvi, moved through the town throughfares with rallyists shouting slogans. Shop owners downed their shutters and a complete bandh was observed in support of the issue.

In Junagadh, 3,000 women from Joshipara and Khamdhrol areas staged a noisy demonstration in front of the Junagadh nagarpalika office. In Dhoraji, people from ward number 5 ransacked the nagarpalika office and damaged the furniture, as they did not get water.

According to reports, residents of Jetpur had closed the valve supplying Narmada water to Dhoraji, as a result of which the people did not get water. However, on hearing about it, acting water works committee chairman Gobarbhai Patel and Ahmadbhai rushed to the spot to rectify the problem.

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Opening of Jajoo-AMA Center for ENTERPRENEUTERSHIP in I.T Saturday, March 31, 2001

Jajoo-AMA Center for ENTERPRENEUTERSHIP in I.T has been inaugurated by Mr. Narayan Murthy, C.E.O Infosys. The center is started with aim of helping ENTERPRENUURS of Gujarat. Prof. Jajoo of IIMA is going to facilitate people of Ahmedabad for getting information and will guide them to start business in IT and IT enabled services. Mr. Yatindra Sharma, President AMA has given welcome talk. Vote of thanks has been given by Mr. Rajesh Mehta, Vice President, AMA. We wish all the best to Prof. Jajoo for his mission.

- By our special correnspondent Mr. Darshan Patel.

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