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March 19, 2001 - March 19, 2001

Varsity panel submits report on corruption Monday, March 19, 2001

A special inquiry committee set up by Saurashtra University (SU) to look into reported malpractices and corruption in BEd admissions for academic year 1999-2000 has pointed fingers at BEd admission committee chairman K M Daunga in its report. The BEd admission committee, which was formed in 1999-2000, under the chairmanship of former principal of J J Kundaliya College of Graduate Teachers K M Daunga was mired in controversy with beginning of the admission procedure.
Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) said,``Starting from the very first admission advertisement given by the Committee to the transfer of students to other centres, corruption has prevailed at every stage of the admission procedure.''

With representation of the ABVP, SU Registrar V H Joshi, ordered a special committee to inquire into the matter. The special inquiry committee, which comprised of Syndicate member Bhavin Kothari, former principal of J J Kundaliya College Shamji Zala and professor Janak Dave, has submitted its report on Thursday. The report will be presented in the Syndicate meeting on March 29.

SU Vice-Chancellor Dr Kanubhai Mavani told the Express Newsline that he had received the report of the inquiry committee giving many findings against Daunga. He, however, said that he has not gone through the entire report.

According to university sources, the report indicated involvement of Daunga in several malpractices in the admission procedures. Out of 550 BEd seats, 11 were reserved for students of other universities, but Daunga allotted 16 seats in this category depriving five SU students of admission.

The report further said the admission given to a student on May 25, 1999 was cancelled due to her shortage of attendance. But the same student was again given admission in J J Kundaliya College by Daunga in the same year. The findings said despite being absent in the first term a student was given admission in the second term. In another case, the chairman, increased merit percentage of a student from 66.29 per cent to 67.29.

Further Daunga had given transfer to many students violating the rules. Beside this, the inquiry committee indicated that in three years from 1996 to 1999, the admission expenditure per student rose from Rs 269 to Rs 605. Moreover, the admission committee for 1999-2000, has spent Rs 3 lakh against an income of Rs 4 lakh. The committee also found corruption in administration work of the panel.

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Gujarat not prepared to handle chemical leak Monday, March 19, 2001

VADODARA: Being an industrially hazardous zone, Vadodara needs to better manage its industrial zones, said ministry of environment and forests additional director Dr Saroj.

According to Saroj, the emergency preparedness in India is still not up to the mark, and if there were a disaster similar to the Bhopal gas leak, we would not be able to tackle it.

"But we things would change now. We have already started mapping all the industrial zones of the country and are compiling a database of all industries with details of the chemicals and hazardous substances that they store or manufacture. This data would be available to all Central Control Rooms in the country so that they can act swiftly when a crisis strikes," she said.

"As a part of the first phase of this plan we have set up Emergency Response Centres (ERCs) in Vadodara, Bhopal, Thane and Chennai the areas that have large concentrations of MAH industries," she said

"But we want the industries to play an active role in the ECRs. Industries are better equipped to handle disasters as they have technically qualified personnel who understand chemicals and components and therefore can help the district administration in managing disasters.

"However there is no plan to have a legislation to rope in the industries in these ERCs that manage disasters, but voluntary participation by industries is the need of the hour. Unless we work towards ensuring this partnership, we might not be able to cater to an eventuality similar to the Bhopal gas tragedy," she said.

"At present, we do not have adequate facilities to cater to disasters and this needs to change. The three main issues that the ministry is looking into are the emergency control rooms, the police and the hospitals of the city. These three wings need to be better co-ordinated so that in emergency they can handle crisis better. Hospitals need to better equipped especially with reference to chemical burns and poisoning due to hazardous materials," she said.

"Although there are state, district and area specific crisis groups in several industrial areas throughout the country, they are still not up to the mark," she said, adding that technical upgradation is required in terms of technicians as well as in terms of equipment.

Many representatives of industrial organisations who were present on the occasion called for a specific cell that is headed by a technically qualified person to handle disasters. They requested Dr. Saroj to help form such a cell that can be under the control of the district collector.

Some of them also pointed out that there is often a lack of co-ordination between the chief inspector of factories and the officials of the state pollution control boards with reference to legalities. This leads to mis-interpreation of acts.

While the GPCB insists that they are legally in charge of air and water pollution issues and, therefore, cannot be held responsible for chemical leak, the factories inspector say the task of controlling chemical leakage is not in their area of expertise.

Dr Saroj said though the factories inspector fall under the ministry of labour, they have to ensure the implementation of the rules on chemical accidents. There is a need for better co-ordination so that managing disaster is done efficiently.

She was in Vadodara to attend a training programme on effective implementation of manufacture storage and import of hazardous chemicals rules held by the Environment Quality Management Systems and the Enviro Infrastructure Company Ltd.

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Gujarat not prepared to handle chemical leak' Monday, March 19, 2001

VADODARA: Being an industrially hazardous zone, Vadodara needs to better manage its industrial zones, said ministry of environment and forests additional director Dr Saroj.

According to Saroj, the emergency preparedness in India is still not up to the mark, and if there were a disaster similar to the Bhopal gas leak, we would not be able to tackle it.

"But we things would change now. We have already started mapping all the industrial zones of the country and are compiling a database of all industries with details of the chemicals and hazardous substances that they store or manufacture. This data would be available to all Central Control Rooms in the country so that they can act swiftly when a crisis strikes," she said.

"As a part of the first phase of this plan we have set up Emergency Response Centres (ERCs) in Vadodara, Bhopal, Thane and Chennai the areas that have large concentrations of MAH industries," she said

"But we want the industries to play an active role in the ECRs. Industries are better equipped to handle disasters as they have technically qualified personnel who understand chemicals and components and therefore can help the district administration in managing disasters.

"However there is no plan to have a legislation to rope in the industries in these ERCs that manage disasters, but voluntary participation by industries is the need of the hour. Unless we work towards ensuring this partnership, we might not be able to cater to an eventuality similar to the Bhopal gas tragedy," she said.

"At present, we do not have adequate facilities to cater to disasters and this needs to change. The three main issues that the ministry is looking into are the emergency control rooms, the police and the hospitals of the city. These three wings need to be better co-ordinated so that in emergency they can handle crisis better. Hospitals need to better equipped especially with reference to chemical burns and poisoning due to hazardous materials," she said.

"Although there are state, district and area specific crisis groups in several industrial areas throughout the country, they are still not up to the mark," she said, adding that technical upgradation is required in terms of technicians as well as in terms of equipment.

Many representatives of industrial organisations who were present on the occasion called for a specific cell that is headed by a technically qualified person to handle disasters. They requested Dr. Saroj to help form such a cell that can be under the control of the district collector.

Some of them also pointed out that there is often a lack of co-ordination between the chief inspector of factories and the officials of the state pollution control boards with reference to legalities. This leads to mis-interpreation of acts.

While the GPCB insists that they are legally in charge of air and water pollution issues and, therefore, cannot be held responsible for chemical leak, the factories inspector say the task of controlling chemical leakage is not in their area of expertise.

Dr Saroj said though the factories inspector fall under the ministry of labour, they have to ensure the implementation of the rules on chemical accidents. There is a need for better co-ordination so that managing disaster is done efficiently.

She was in Vadodara to attend a training programme on effective implementation of manufacture storage and import of hazardous chemicals rules held by the Environment Quality Management Systems and the Enviro Infrastructure Company Ltd.

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'Bunkers essential in quake, cyclone prone zones' Monday, March 19, 2001

VADODARA: The state government should ensure that in all earthquake- and cyclone-prone zones equipment and essential commodities are stored in an underground bunker from where they can be taken out later to handle a crisis, says Dr Gyaneshwar Rao, a surgeon from Bhuj.

According to Rao the experience of handling the earthquake crisis in Bhuj and the experience of experts in other countries like Japan indicate that bunkers that are replenished and changed frequently to maintain their freshness helps in times of crisis.

Dr Rao was in Vadodara to attend a special talk organised by the Indian Medical Association here for planning for disasters. The talk was held at the Indian Medical Association hall on Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Rao said on January 26 there were no food, water, medicines, equipment or vehicles. The situation remained tense for long. "This could have been avoided has the government of India followed the recommendations made at a conference held in Japan by the United Nations. India has participated in the conferences and Kutch was mentioned at the time as a high-risk zone. But what is important now is to plan for the future" he said.

According to him, an underground bunker or a small godown made of earthquake-resistant materials should be made specifically in the natural disaster prone zones. These should have stocks of medicines, medical equipment, foodgrains, and other essential commodities. An underground water tank, which is changed regularly, can help maintain a stock of fresh water that could be used for drinking.

He said in addition to these precautions, a certain number of vehicles should be identified for use in case of emergency. Four days reserve fuel should also be kept in generators to ensure that in case electricity is not available it can be made available by using the reserve fuel.

He said managing disasters is an art but there can be no set thumb rules. "Each crisis differs and therefore a general plan would not work. But management skills are tested during such calamities when a doctors needs not just medical know how but also management skills that cover an entire gamut of experiences.

"I had to do many operations in an unscientific manners but these were required to save lives. Presence of mind and ability to organise things efficiently in the shortest time frame was needed. But if we choose to learn from this experience, then we would definitely be better prepared," said Rao, who had played an important role along with other doctors in giving medical aid in the first crucial 48 hours after the earthquake.

He said that disaster preparedness and its management techniques should be taught not just to medical personnel and high level government officials but even to the common man so that they can help when disaster strikes and the entire salvage operation are carried out successfully.

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'Bunkers essential in quake, cyclone prone zones' Monday, March 19, 2001

VADODARA: The state government should ensure that in all earthquake- and cyclone-prone zones equipment and essential commodities are stored in an underground bunker from where they can be taken out later to handle a crisis, says Dr Gyaneshwar Rao, a surgeon from Bhuj.

According to Rao the experience of handling the earthquake crisis in Bhuj and the experience of experts in other countries like Japan indicate that bunkers that are replenished and changed frequently to maintain their freshness helps in times of crisis.

Dr Rao was in Vadodara to attend a special talk organised by the Indian Medical Association here for planning for disasters. The talk was held at the Indian Medical Association hall on Sunday.

Speaking on the occasion Dr Rao said on January 26 there were no food, water, medicines, equipment or vehicles. The situation remained tense for long. "This could have been avoided has the government of India followed the recommendations made at a conference held in Japan by the United Nations. India has participated in the conferences and Kutch was mentioned at the time as a high-risk zone. But what is important now is to plan for the future" he said.

According to him, an underground bunker or a small godown made of earthquake-resistant materials should be made specifically in the natural disaster prone zones. These should have stocks of medicines, medical equipment, foodgrains, and other essential commodities. An underground water tank, which is changed regularly, can help maintain a stock of fresh water that could be used for drinking.

He said in addition to these precautions, a certain number of vehicles should be identified for use in case of emergency. Four days reserve fuel should also be kept in generators to ensure that in case electricity is not available it can be made available by using the reserve fuel.

He said managing disasters is an art but there can be no set thumb rules. "Each crisis differs and therefore a general plan would not work. But management skills are tested during such calamities when a doctors needs not just medical know how but also management skills that cover an entire gamut of experiences.

"I had to do many operations in an unscientific manners but these were required to save lives. Presence of mind and ability to organise things efficiently in the shortest time frame was needed. But if we choose to learn from this experience, then we would definitely be better prepared," said Rao, who had played an important role along with other doctors in giving medical aid in the first crucial 48 hours after the earthquake.

He said that disaster preparedness and its management techniques should be taught not just to medical personnel and high level government officials but even to the common man so that they can help when disaster strikes and the entire salvage operation are carried out successfully.

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