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March 7, 2001 - March 7, 2001

Mansi building partner, four more builders arrested Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Five more builders involved in three building collapse cases including Nirav Shah, the partner of Rakesh Shah whose three buildings in Maninagar area collapsed, were arrested by city police on Monday.
Besides Nirav Shah, two builders of Haveli Apartment in Vatva area were arrested by Vatva police while the builder of Sreesadan Apartment in Maninagar was also arrested by Maninagar police.

Builder of Nayan Apartments in Navrangpura, Himanshu Mehta was arrested late on Monday night.

Builders of Haveli Apartment, which collapsed following the January 26 earthquake killing 14 people, Chirag Shah of Krishnakunj Society in Ishanpur and Bharat Patel, also from Ishanpur, were picked up by senior inspector N B Parmar from the residence of one of their common friends in Vatva area.

A complaint was filed against the builders, architect, engineer and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation officials for the collapse of the building by a resident of the same building Bhupendra Patel with the Vatva police on Februray 5. With the arrest of these two, accused builders named in all the three cases registered with the Vatva police have been arrested.

Ramanlal Panchal, builder of Sreesadan Apartment in Maninagar was arrested from his residence at Mangalmurti Society in Ghodasar by local police acting on a tip-off that Panchal came to visit his family members after a month since a case was registered against him.

Three residents of the high-rise were killed following collapse of the building. The builder was arrested after a manhunt for more than a month since a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, cheating and forgery was registered by the Maninagar police following a complaint lodged by Harikrishna Kutchhi.

Nirav Shah, partner of builder Rakesh Shah against whom an order of PASA detention has been pending was also arrested by Maninagar police. Nirav is accused in collapse cases of Utsav Apartment, Jalasmriti Apt and Pujal Apt, all in Maninagar area. "We are trying hard to track down Rakesh Shah and with the arrest of Nirav, our job will be easier," Deputy Commisioner (Zone-VI), B S Jebaliya said.

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Remand for Maaldar Swami of the Vadtal Swaminarayan Sanstha Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Maaldar Swami of the Vadtal Swaminarayan Sanstha, a murder-accused and parole jumper who was arrested in Mumbai, was taken by police to Rajkot for identification and arrest of an influential religious leader who helped him during his days as fugitive.
The Swami has been remanded in police custody till March 10.

Police sources said that one Chandraswami of Rajkot had asked one of his contacts to provide temporary accommodation to Maaldar Swami, till arrangements were made for him in Mumbai. Maaldar Swami stayed at the Borivili residence of one Ashish Kanhaiyalal Shata, a disciple of Chandraswami, under the assumed name of Raju Barot.

However, neither Maaldar Swami nor Chandraswami told Shata that Maaldar Swami was a murder-accused and had jumped parole. Maaldar Swami allegedly told Shata that he had come in connection with his business and would return to Gujarat soon.

Shata did not suspect Maaldar Swami as the latter had put off his saffron cloth and reached Mumbai in shirt and trousers. Maaldar Swami did not give even an inkling to Shata that he was associated with the Vadtal ashram.

District Superintendent of Police (Anand) Vikas Sahay said efforts were on to nab persons who provided shelter or abetted Maaldar Swami in his escape. However, he did not give the names of all these persons as revelations of names would alert the accused ``Sheltering criminals is a serious offence,'' said Sahay.

Sahay said Maaldar Swami had procured tranquilizers in Nadiad jail and given it to two policemen by mixing it in tea at Vadtal temple, where he had gone to meet his guru. However, the pills did not have any effect on the cops.

Then the Swami took the policemen to Navli Gurukul, from where he gave the slip to police and drove away.

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AMC promises water twice a day Wednesday, March 7, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Summer will be scorching as usual in Ahmedabad but there's some consolation. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) says it will provide water twice a day throughout the summer months.
The water of Narmada canal is expected to arrive at the Raska weir by March 20.

While residents of the city get water for two hours in the morning at present, Municipal Commissioner K Kailashnathan on Monday said that once summer actually sets in, the water supply can be increased to twice a day. Earlier, the city expected to get Narmada water by the first week of March, but this might be delayed slightly and the water is likely to flow into the Raska weir by March 20.

Kailashnathan said that while 4.8 crore gallons of water is presently being received on a daily basis by the Raska weir, this will increase to 7.5 crore gallons.

``Ahmedabad will have a smooth summer as far as drinking water is concerned,'' he told Express Newsline.

Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Engineering) J D Parmar said, ``Narmada water has come up to Bodeli in Vadodara district and it might take a fortnight more before the water actually begins flowing into the Raska weir,'' he said.

Plans have been made to divert water from the Narmada canal into the Mahi canal from where it will be released into the Shedi canal and then into Raska, the AMC official said. He, however, added that even if this takes a few days, the supply of water from Raska will not be affected much as it has already been getting water from the Kadhana reservoir.

When asked what was the reason for the delay, DyMC Parmar said the AMC was in no way involved in the job and the State Government was looking into the matter. However, standing committee chairman Badruddin Shaikh reiterated that the Narmada water will reach Raska by March 20. ``I do not think there will really be any problem and the summer months will pass without any water cuts,'' he said.

Incidentally, the present method of bringing water into the Raska weir is an arrangement made only for this summer. Once the Narmada canal is completed, Ahmedabad will receive its regular quota of water from the canal.

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Grant lapses as MSU tarries Wednesday, March 7, 2001

VADODARA: M.S. University (MSU) here have lost valuable amount of money as aid from the University Grants Commission (UGC) due to its failure to use the initial sum allocated to it. The UGC has now asked the university to give the proper account of the allocated money.
According to sources, Rs 13.5 lakh was released to the university by the UGC for five courses as part of a five year plan.

The courses were on Food Science and Quality Control, Instrumentation, Communicative English, Tourism and Travel Management as well as Mass Communication and Video Production. Sources said that the university failed to make use of the amount for the purpose.

``After this neither did they bother to ask for more amount nor did they give details of how the allotted money was utilised. Following this, subsequent amounts entitiled to the university never came by,'' said a well informed source.

With the five year term having expired, the university does not stand to receive any amount now. The university was otherwise liable to receive an amount of Rs 27 lakh from UGC for the said courses.

Syndicate member I.I. Pandya, who had gone to UGC to point out the irregularities in the Career Advancement Scheme (CAS) promotions was caught in an embarrassing situation. ``The officials were very disturbed about the fact that the university had failed to take proper action in this regard. They will seek details of the expenditure made from Rs 13.5 lakh,'' said Pandya.

The failure to act in time has drawn flak due to the fact that the university subsequently started an instrumentation course which was self financed in nature. The students, sources said, had to cough up higher amount of money while the university had an opportunity to start the same courses with funds from the UGC.

Pandya said that the university could have sought more funds in future if the courses suggested by the UGC were successful. ``This is always possible when a course runs successfully. University Grants Commission will release more funds only if the university had something on hand to show its success,'' said Pandya.

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Amdavadis to watch Chori, Chori... with a clear conscience Wednesday, March 7, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Diamond merchant-cum-film producer Bharat Shah's film `Chori Chori Chupke Chupke', which had been stalled ever since the controversy over his links with the underworld, will finally be released this Friday at R World and Apsara cinema after a Maharashtra court order that all earnings from the movie will go to the Government of India. The order was passed on February 17 under the MCOC Act, 1999.
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, which stars Salman Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukherjee, Johnny Lever and Amrish Puri, has been directed by Abbas Mastan, produced by Nadeem Rizvi and financed by Bharat Shah.

Santosh Singh Jain, renowned social worker and a film distributor, has been appointed court receiver to ensure that the entire proceeds from the film go into government coffers.

Ajay Chudasama, managing director of R World where the movie is due for release, says the decision of the government is along the lines of what the customs department does with confiscated smuggled goods. "Just like confiscated goods that are sold by the customs department and the earnings go to the State Government, the proceeds from this movie will also go to the government. It's the same case but happening for the first time in case of a film," says Ajay.

Ajay is not expecting any problems on the day of the release as the funds will go to the government. "Since the money will go to the government, there should be no agitation from various groups who have been protesting against its release,'' says Ajay.

Sameer Chawla, manager with R World, says they are expecting a good crowd inspite of the controversy associated with the movie. "It is a good movie and hence people are sure to like it. The controversy should not really affect its ratings," says Chawla.

Amdavadis are also not too bothered about the underworld connection. "How will this matter to us? We go to watch a movie because it's good and interests us. Whether it has been financed by Bharat Shah through the underworld is of hardly any concern to us. I have heard it's a good movie and the songs are also nice. Moreover, I am a big fan of both Preity and Rani and so I'll definitely watch the film," says Sandeep Parikh, a student of St Xavier's College.

Sheela Pant, a housewife, is also planning to watch the movie as she found the trailor interesting. "I think it's a beautifully made film with great locales. Who cares whether it was financed by the underworld or not?" says Pant, who adds that the decision to pass on the earnings to the government is a wise decision. "I think it is a good decision as the fans can watch the movie and the money generated will be of use to the nation. I think the government should do the same thing with other Bharat Shah films that are stalled," says Pant.

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