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November 11, 2001 - November 11, 2001

Holiday declared on November 17 Sunday, November 11, 2001

State government offices will remain closed on Saturday, November 17 to enable employees to celebrate Diwali festival for three consecutive days beginning with the New Year's day, according an official release.

The government employees will have to work on November 24 in lieu of the special holiday.

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

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First ever 'fishery harbour' before polls Sunday, November 11, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
The state government is all set to establish the first ever 'fishery harbour' in Gujarat. The Rs 11.70 crore project at Dholai in Valsad district, has got the Centre's green signal, fisheries, labour and employment minister Kanjibhai Patel told TNN.

The government has begun acquiring land, making budgetary provisions and will ask New Delhi-based Engineers India Limited to prepare an environment assessment (EIA) report.

With the elections just 15 months away, the state government seems to be in a hurry to speed up the project. Patel, who got the fisheries portfolio last month, resolved a long-standing issue of payments to the firm. The EIA reportedly got delayed by three months after the firm sought advance payments.

All the three minor fishery harbours at Veraval, Mangrol and Porbandar are located in Saurashtra. Another minor fishery harbour at Jakhau on the Kutch coast is under construction, said Patel.

The bigger mechanised fishing vessels (MFVs) operating in and around Dholai now have to travel long distances by sea to use the ferry wharf at Mumbai to dispose off their catch due to lack of suitable fish landing facilities and markets in the region.

The distance between Dholai and Mumbai being about 230 km, fishermen of Dholai find it convenient to stay and operate from Mumbai during fishing season and return to Dholai village during off season.

Fishermen feel, if landing and berthing facilities are provided at Dholai, considerable amount of fuel and time can be saved. Fishing vessels are parked upland on either side of the banks of River Ambika. During the fishing season, they catch fish off south Gujarat coast and land their catch at the new ferry wharf in Mumbai.

Valsad district, with 116 km long coast line, has nine important fishing villages around Dholai _ Mendher, Bhavri, Bhatt, Kukwasi, Nani Danti, Moti Danti, Mithiya, Dandi and Bhagal. The district, however, does not have a fishery harbour. The fishing zones off Valsad are reported to be rich in prawn.

Statistics of 1995-96 reveal that the number of non -mechanised fishing craft operating in Valsad has been dwindling over the years. It came down to 548 from 1,140 in 1982.

Though Valsad has no full-fledged fishery harbour, the district contributes 12 per cent of the marine fish production of Gujarat.

The fishing season in Valsad generally commences in September and lasts up to May-end. According to Patel, the state government is keen in increasing the fish production to meet the rising demand and earn foreign exchange by exporting processed sea-foods. And, with Gujarat topping the list in marine fish production in India, the government realised the need to upgrade the fish landing centre at Dholai, he added.

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

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Do's and don't for the Diwali revellers Sunday, November 11, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: Are you planning to celebrate Diwali with a bang? Something like lighting the 'mirchi' bomb in a 'matka'. Or, better still, covering it with a tin can for that amplified surround sound effect -- neighbour's envy sake?

Before you embark on any of these dare-devil acts this Diwali, better be warned. Bursting a bomb in a 'matka' can leave you permanently deaf for life. A cracker exploding inside a tin box can leave you with your face or abdomen split wide open!

Diwali is synonymous with bursting of crackers, but trust fireworks to turn celebrations into tragedies. Experts point out that on an average around 15-20 cracker-related accidents are reported every day in any small or big general hospital in the city on each of the five days of the Diwali festivities.

No wonder, when all other departments are enjoying more or less complete vacation, the plastic surgeons are put on 24-hour emergency call during Diwali!

Dare-devilry of lighting crackers in one's hands, covering crackers with tin boxes or glass bottles for that extra-sound effect, daring to evaluate unburst crackers, stuffing crackers in one's pockets for easy access -- these are some of the most potent causes of fire accidents and that had blackened the Diwali nights for many in the past.

"One of the worst cases I have seen was of a man whose entire stomach exploded when an innocuous 'kothi' (flower pot cracker) burst, ripping his digestive system apart. Lapratomy had to be done as he barely managed to survive the wrath of the sub-standard cracker," recalls Dr N Sheikh, plastic surgeon attached with Civil Hospital. A similar case had happened with a 10-year-old boy, Raghu Rajeshbhai, who had bought a small cracker from Re 1 stolen from his widowed mother's purse but the same landed him at V S Hospital with severe abdominal burn injuries instead.

Honorary plastic surgeon at V S General Hospital Dr Vijay Bhatia recalls the mishap with a NRI who had come to Ahmedabad a few years back to celebrate Diwali. Not practising the safe Diwali norms, he covered a 'mirchi' bomb with a tin container to amplify sound but the same ripped through his face instead, slicing it into two halves. "The small cracker had become a potent weapon due to the tin box and left him with a split face. It took nothing less than six months for him to recover and he still writes e-mails, swearing not to touch crackers again during his lifetime!," said Dr Bhatia.

Noise pollution is another fallout of the festival of lights. There might be a ban on manufacturing and bursting of crackers above 125 decibels, but a quick survey of crackers available in the market reveals that hardly any cracker has the decibel values displayed. "Even if it is displayed, people will ensure that pollution is created by using crude tricks like bursting crackers inside a 'matka'," said ENT specialist Dr Paresh Bhatt.

Curiously, what adds to the problem of accidents is ignorance about first aid to be provided to the injured. People are notorious to apply ink, curd, cotton-ash and even cow dung on cracker burns and scare the daylight out of plastic surgeons!

"People have some horrifying misconceptions about treating cracker burns. We get cases where the entire burnt area is smeared with ink or cow dung ... people don't realise that ink also colours the unburnt body parts and makes it extremely difficult to access the degree and depth of burns. As for cow dung, the less said is better," concedes Dr Bhatia.

Some more word of caution for those readying to revel in lighting up the Diwali night with the magic of fireworks. If you get a burn injury, don't splash cold water or rub ice on the wound. "Tap water is the best panacea for cracker burns," says Bhatia.


*Buy quality crackers from standard shops
*Store crackers away from source of fire or inflammation
*Wear jeans for maximum safety from crackers and fire
*Light crackers with incense stick or candle


*Let children burst crackers unaccompanied by an adult
*Wear lose clothes like saris, kurta-pajamas, dhotis etc
*Cover crackers with tin containers or glass bottles
*Examine unburst crackers. Leave them alone

precautions to be taken this Diwali? by Dr Ketu Patel


News Source : Times News Network

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Power cuts darken Diwali in Rajkot Sunday, November 11, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
RAJKOT: Dark days and darker nights during the ensuing festival of lights seem to scare citizens here. The city is facing severe power shortage and power cuts - both for domestic and industrial users.

The GEB has imposed daily power cut from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on industries. Domestic power cuts have no fixed time. Deputy engineer (technical) K B Daftari said though the city's demand was around 100 MV, there was a 'definite shortfall'. He refused to divulge any information on the shortfall. "We will have to get the data from sub-stations", he argued. Daily instructions are faxed from the load dispatch centre at Jambuva near Broach, he added.

Rajkot gets supply from the Vikram and Ganteshwar power station which draws power from the 400 KV power station near Jetpur.

Rajkot Engineering Association president Pravin Garala decried the three-hour power cut o industries. "This would upset production schedule. The worst-hit hit were continuos process industries." The industries in the city and its surroundings face a loss of Rs 4 lakh every day. There are nearly 8000 small and medium units in and around Rajkot city.

Shop owners on the busy Lakhajiraj and Dharmendra roads said power cut during peak hours affected their business. The people and industries have sought restoration of supply in the next full week of Diwali celebrations or else they could take up the issue to the street against the GEB.

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

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Judge takes note of prisoner's letter, issues notice to govt Sunday, November 11, 2001

News Source : Times News Network
RAJKOT: Mahesh Khimji, housed at the central jail here has in two letters to the district and session judge sought medical treatment for his ailment which has been denied by the jail authorities.

Mahesh has written, "I have tuberculosis and AIDS. Despite repeated pleas jail authorities have denied me medical attention. I fear I will die in my prison cell itself."

"Jail authorities have been discriminating against me as I am poor and they are even torturing me. I urge you to give priority to my case and ensure that I get medical attention." He has stated he was denied fruit and milk. Mahesh faces murder, loot and scuffle charges.

The judge has deemed the letters written on October 23 and November 2 as a bail application and has issued notices to the state government and the jailer. He has directed the jail authorities to supply milk and fruit to Mahesh.

When contacted jailer G J Makwana said, "all the case papers regarding his medical history have been presented to the court. He has been given khichidi and milk. Besides, MRI, TB and HIV tests have been done on him. And all reports have come positive."

Makwana said the motive of writing letters was to keep the jail authorities under control.

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

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