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March 12, 2001 - March 12, 2001

Textile associations register protest with Keshubhai Monday, March 12, 2001

AHMEDABAD: A 30-member delegation, comprising representatives from the Maskati Kapad Mahajan, Ahmedabad Textile Processors' Association and Textile Processor Merchants' Association, met Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel on March 9 and submitted a memorandum on the removal of the 16 per cent excise duty imposed on fabrics produced by independent textile process houses (ITPHs).

In the memorandum, the associations have asked the government to reinstate the stenter-based excise duty. They said the additional duty would come as a death blow to the industry which was already in a bad shape owing to competition from imported goods.

The three main demands of the associations are: Reintroduce individual stenter-based excise duty, at present, covered under the net of the compounded levy; mobilise and overhaul the government machinery in such a manner that the evasion of excise duty on stenter basis is totally stopped; and remove the clause of rebate of export of fabrics and compensate the exporters by allowing them draw back.

The Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association has also joined the protest against the ad valerom duty. The federation president Tarachand Kasat said while the wholesalers have kept their shops open, the ITPHs have stopped procuring goods from the grey market and it has also not despatched finished products to the market.

In a separate development, Ahmedabad Textile Processors Association on Sunday launched a web site to focus the attention of the government towards their problems. The web site - - features a comprehensive coverage, facts and figures of this movement and acts as an All-India Textile Co-ordination medium.

The spokesman for the association said a delegation of leading processors would meet Union textile minister Kashiram Rana to discuss the burning issues of the processors.

Rana has already assured them that finance minister Yashwant Sinha was aware of the problem, and, most probably, the government would sympathetically consider the processors' plea.

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Gujarat Pradesh Seva Dal decides to setup disaster emergency cell Monday, March 12, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat Pradesh Seva Dal has decided to set up a disaster emergency cell and also adopt a quake-hit village in Anjar taluka of Kutch district. This was decided at a meeting of the Seva Dal working committee held here on Sunday.

Chairman of the Gujarat unit of Seva Dal, Maulin Vaishnav, gave an outline of the plan of the Congress party to help in rehabilitation of the quake-affected people. Vaishnav said Ahmed Patel, chairman of the National Relief Committee of the party, is in-charge of the rehabilitation work in Gujarat.

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VHP demands ban on Student Islamic Movement of India Monday, March 12, 2001

AHMEDABAD: State Vishwa Hindu Parishad joint secretary Jaidip Patel on Sunday demanded that the government ban Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as it was an Indian version of Taliban.

In a statement Patel alleged that after destruction of Buddhist temples in Afghanistan, Pakistan wanted to engineer disturbances in India with the help of ISI. However, its sinister designs have been foiled as Indians have reacted peacefully and in a democratic manner. The VHP leader charged that SIMI was working hand in glove with the ISI. He alleged that the government had received evidences of the SIMI's involvement in attempt on life of Union home minister L K Advani and the blast on Sabarmati Express.

Meanwhile, a meeting of SIMI held in Bapunagar on Saturday night demanded that the government take stern action against those VHP workers who were involved in burning copies of their religious book. In a statement Khalid Shaikh said the SIMI would continue its protest till action was taken against the culprits.

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5 lakh pilgrims take part in Dakor festival Monday, March 12, 2001

NADIAD: Nearly five lakh pilgrims came on foot from various parts of the state to take part in the annual Fagani Purnima festival at Dakor's Ranchhodraiji temple, 35 km from here in Kheda district, on Friday.

Kheda district president deputy collector Manojbhai Daxini said the festival had passed off peacefully. This year, the attendance was 30 per cent lower than last year when nearly nine lakh pilgrims had turned up.

The district administration made adequate arrangements for the pilgrims.

Kheda district's new collector B N Joshi followed the special action plan prepared by former Kheda district collector Bhagyesh Jha, who was transferred to Vadodara last month. To avoid stampede at Ranchhodraiji temple, the timing of darshan was also increased, he added.

Planning for the festival was done much in advance with district collector holding extensive meetings with the Gujarat Pavitra Yatra Dham Vikas Board chairman Pravini Kotak and vice-chairman Bhupendra Khatri, besides manager of the Dakor Ranchhodraiji Temple Committee and leading social workers of Dakor.

Collector B N Joshi and Kheda DSO Bhavsinh Vaghela, along with top district officers, monitored the situation round the clock for two days.

Taking care of the law and order situation were seven DySPs, 20 PIs, 67 PSIs, three SRP companies, 30 black commandos, 565 constables, 49 woman constables, 12 mounted policemen, 250 jawans of the Gram Rakshal Dal and Home Guards.

The Nadiad ST division ran 400 ST buses and set up temporary ST bus stands at Dakor.

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17 hospitalised with dysentery, vomiting Monday, March 12, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Twenty-five-year-old Manoj Kumar's blood pressure dipped abnormally as he was rushed to VS Hospital. Suffering from severe dehydration due to dysentery and vomiting since late Saturday, Kumar's condition is stated to be critical.

Kumar is one among 17 other residents of Mataji na Chabbra near Ashram Road who were hospitalised early on Sunday with complaints of dysentery and vomiting. The doctors, on their part, are mystified about the cause of this disorder.

"Mataji na Chhabra is dominated by people from UP who work as contract labourers. Often they are found indulging in intoxicants and their physical disorder could have been caused after consuming bhaang during Holi," reasoned chairman of the health committee of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Narendrabhai Bhrambhatt.

Following reports of the disorder, which could be caused due to anything from food poisoning to water contamination or even intake of polluted intoxicants, Mayor Himmatsinh Patel, Brambhatt along with senior officials of AMC's medical wing rushed to VS Hospital on Sunday.

Subsequently, a special ward for emergency treatment of the 17 patients, all aged between 22 to 40 years, some of whom are still in critical condition, was set up by the authorities.

"Preliminary and emergency arrangement for treatment is satisfactory," said Himmatsinh.

"All victims are males and show symptoms that point to food poisoning or consumption of something that is spurious. I have asked the doctors to conduct an inquiry into the causes and am expecting a report by Monday," added Patel.

VS Hospital superintendent Dr MH Makwana, on the other hand, believes that stomach upset could have been caused due to intake of polluted water.

"Though the patients could be showing similar symptoms they are not from the same family and neither did they go to any party together. So the chances of food poisoning are next to nil. That they did not show any signs of intoxication when admitted also rules out the probability of spurious liquor or bhaang. The only possibility is water contamination. However, we are examining the patients and will soon arrive at the actual cause of the disorder," says Dr Makwana.

Dr Makwana's claim gains credence in light of the recent 52 cases of jaundice due to consumption of polluted water reported at various private nursing homes and hospitals in the Gomtipur area in eastern parts of the city.

The AMC has deployed three water tankers in the area where the localities are apprehensive of consuming polluted water. A mobile dispensary has also been pressed into service.

Deputy municipal commissioner (East Zone) TG Jhalawadia said, "We have collected over 150 samples of water from different areas of Gomtipur. Of these four samples turned out to be unfit for drinking after laboratory tests were conducted. However, on running a second check two water samples were cleared while two others are now being tested again."

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