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March 14, 2001 - March 14, 2001

Political parties take credit for Narmada Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Even as the Keshubhai Patel-led State Government is taking pride in reaching Narmada waters to Ahmedabad amid fanfare, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are trading charges of using the occasion for political gains. Both the parties have come out with their own versions of how they were instrumental in getting the project to its logical end.
The BJP leaders insist that their Government has not forgotten other important projects even at times when it was busy tackling earthquake relief and rehabilitation work. To project this view, it has planned Narmada Kumbh Poojan programmes in all the 43 wards of the city on Wednesday. "It is basically a party programme by which we want to convey to the people that the Government cares for them," asserts city BJP president and Naroda MLA Dr Mayaben Kodnani.

"BJP is doing all this in its vain bid to regain the lost prestige and political ground in the areas where it had lost miserably to the Congress," claims Ahmedabad City District Congress Committee (ACDCC) president Raj Kumar Gupta terming the pooja functions as gimmickry. He said it was Congress that brought the Narmada project to Gujarat in the first place.

Kodnani on the other hand said, ``Congress is free to call it whatever it likes, but the fact is, that there is no political angle to these functions which we expect about 100 to 150 persons will attend."

But what does such a thin attendance in a ward of average population of around 35,000 to 45,000 signify? To this, she admits that it is not a public programme and that "We only hope people will take part without any insistence on our part." She said the Congress had not even requested the State Government to release Narmada water whereas "Our Government took the initiative. The Mayor did not even bother to remain present at the official function at Jinjar village."

And talking of Raska, the Congress has been accusing the BJP of large scale corruption in its implementation. Surendra Patel, the State BJP treasurer, who was at the helm unofficially then, is stung by this and offers to quit public life if a single charge is proved.

"Let a panel of retired High Court Judge probe the charges and if proved wrong, the Congress Mayor and Standing Committee chairman should then show moral courage to quit public life," he said. Patel says by hurling these accusations, the Congress was hiding its own failure in doing developmental works.

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Exam panel to look into marksheet forgery case Wednesday, March 14, 2001

The South Gujarat University Syndicate will now transfer the forged marksheet case of a student of P. T. Science College to the examination committee. The committee after investigation will suggest the Syndicate whether any action should be taken against the student.
Kuldip Nayyar, a Second Year BSc student had got A.T.K.T. in two subjects in the first year examination. He, however, a forged marksheet to convince his parents that he had cleared the exam.

Though, he cleared the second year exams, his result was put to hold by the South Gujarat University because he did not clear the A.T.K.T. exam for the first year.

The forged marksheet was brought to the notice of the registrar when the student's parents inquired about his result, inquiring why his result was not declared when he had cleared the exam. The university then took possession over the forged marksheet and a FIR lodged.

Vice chancellor Prem Sharda said that the issue was dicussed at length in the meeting but since the marksheet was not used for admission or for other purpose, the Syndicate decided to refer it to examination committee. The commitee will decide whether any action should be taken against the student and if so under what section.

Sharda said that after investigations by the commitee, the matter will then be sent to the Syndicate for final decision.

He said in this particular case the student had forged the marksheet to state to his parents that he had cleared the exams. He had not used it to fool any organisation, so prima facie there is no case against him.

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Vadodara in brief on 14th March Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Girl tries to kill self

VADODARA: A teenager preparing for Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board exams tried to commit suicide for not being allowed by her family to concentrate on studies.

According to Vaghodia police, Kokila Udaysinh Parmar of Nurpui village consumed a pesticide after being forced by her mother to join farm work instead of 'wasting time on studies'.

Police said the girl took to her heart her mother's scolding and apparently in frustration consumed pesticide. She was rushed to a local hospital in Vaghodia. Her condition is reported to be critical.

Body found

A body of an unknown person was found near Vaghodia road on Tuesday evening. Panigate police are investigating the case. Police sources said the body might be of a young man from Panigate who went missing on Saturday last. The detection of crime branch (DCB) was called on the scene of crime to investigate further in the case. The police, however, did not disclose the name of the deceased.

Fatal accident

An unknown person was run over by a speeding truck (GJU-5892) near Sayajipura village on national highway 8 on Tuesday. Police said the deceased seemed to be of 20 years of age.

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Jamnagar population up by 20% Wednesday, March 14, 2001

JAMNAGAR: Unofficial reports after completion of Census 2001 have put the population figure of Jamnagar at 18 lakh up by about 15 to 20 per cent.

The rise is said to be because of mega industrial projects coming up in the district.

Rural population is put at 9.50 lakh. Population in Jamnagar city and adjoining areas is put at 5.50 lakh. The quake-affected Jodiya taluka has not been covered under the census. Census here will be undertaken after the situation is conducive to conducting it.

Scarcity conditions: Scarcity conditions have now become impossible to ignore in the district with water and fodder problems becoming acute in the region. According to deputy collector (scarcity) Ajit Sinh Jhala, 398 of 675 villages in the district which have no source of water, are being provided water through tankers. Jhala said relief work had been started in nine villages of Jamjodhpur taluka, providing daily wages to 4,126 persons. Grass depots have been started in eight talukas, the only exception being Kalyanpur and Dwarka, where cattle-breeders are being provided grass at Rs 2.50 per kg.

Central team: The central team, headed by joint secretary of agricultural and co-operative department Anil Sinha, Shila Prasad of finance ministry and Ray secretary of village development and S D Misra visited the quake-hit areas of Jamnagar district. Sanjay Prasad, state secretary on special duty, accompanied the team.

Rohit Pathak, Jamnagar collector and DDO A A Ansari provided details of the situation in the district. He said 22 villages had suffered 70 per cent damages while 15 villages had suffered 60 per cent damages. Residents of nine villages were prepared to relocate and various industrial companies and social organisations had shown willingness to adopt 12 villages.

Pathak said Rs 1 crore had been distributed as compensation for death of kin, Rs 6 crore as cash relief and Rs 1.75 crore for purchasing household items for quake-stricken families.

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120 fishermen to be freed from Pak jails Wednesday, March 14, 2001

RAJKOT: A seven-member Pakistani delegation which visited the Okha port on Tuesday told members of the fishing community that 120 Indian fishermen detained in different Pakistani jails would be freed soon.

The delegation is seeking release of Pakistani fishermen detained in jails here. The Pakistani fishermen were arrested by the Coast Guard from the Gulf of Kutch. One hundred and fifty fishermen are believed to be various Indian jails.

The Indian fishermen and their boats were similarly seized by Pakistani authorities for fishing in their waters.

The seven-member delegation, which is here to pave the way for freedom of their fishermen, said boats of these fishermen would have to be made seaworthy as they had been lying idle for quite some time.

Okha port officials said the boats would be repainted and machinery overhauled. Preliminary checks would be carried out in Indian waters before the fishermen were allowed to set sail.

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