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January 13, 2001 - January 15, 2001

Rajkot police get list of phone calls made Monday, January 15, 2001

RAJKOT: The city police have stumbled on the phone numbers used by Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja during the 1996 India-South Africa one-day match in Rajkot, which is said to be have been fixed.

The joint secretary of the Rajkot Bar Council had filed a police complaint, naming Azharuddin and Jadeja as the players involved in match-fixing. Even some bookies were said to have been named in the complaint, following which the investigations were launched.

The police had asked Hotel Silver Palace, where the Indian players had stayed, to submit the list of phone calls made by these two players from their rooms.

It was found that Jadeja had made three phone calls to his relatives in Jamnagar.

The police have recorded the statements of his relatives, it was reliably learnt from sources.

On the other hand, Azhar had made six phone calls to Mumbai. The city police is contemplating sending a team to Mumbai to check on these phone numbers.

The investigations are being carried out by PSI Samantsinh Jadeja of Pradyumanagar police station.

SU to discontinue Oct examinations Monday, January 15, 2001

RAJKOT: The Saurashtra University authorities have decided to do away with the October examinations. This step has been taken to avoid the administrative hassles, inconvenience to students and delay in declaring the results.

The university is planning to implement a 'March-to-March' examination schedule from the next academic year.

Highly placed sources told The Times of India on Saturday that the October examinations were a big burden on the university examination department. The results of examinations taken in March were being announced as late as in October, when it was time to hold next examinations, the sources pointed out.

Besides, the students who had failed in March were not greatly benefited by the October examinations, the source added.

"If the October examinations are done away with, there are chances that the quality of examinations would improve and even the results could be better. The secondary examination board has already decided to do away with the October examinations," the sources said.

RMC to announce incentives for paying taxes Monday, January 15, 2001

RAJKOT: Keeping in view the favourable response received by them, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation authorities are considering to continue the scheme providing incentives to the people for timely payment of house and water taxes.

This year, the incentives would likely include writing off interest upto Rs 70 on house tax and Rs 150 on water tax.

Highly-placed sources in the tax department of the civic body told The Times of India on Saturday that a formal announcement would be made soon.

Last year, the RMC had written off interest upto Rs 500 on house tax and Rs 100 on water tax.

The scheme would be valid for a month from the date it is announced and special facilities would be created to cope with the rush, the sources said.

Meanwhile, it is feared that the civic authorities would not be able to meet the target of house tax collections. The octroi department may also face a shortfall of nearly Rs 10 crore in its targeted income.

Mehta meets affected persons, questions staff Saturday, January 13, 2001

JAMNAGAR: Sonalben Lakshmanbhai has lost her left eye after last Friday's operation at the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital here. She is now totally blind having lost her vision in the right eye because of an injury 15 years ago.

Nathabhai, a mentally challenged person has not yet been told of his predicament by family members, fearing further rise in health problems.

Laxmiben is very panicky after the eye operation and wants to go back to her village.

The three patients have been blinded totally because of doctor's negligence.

After the furore the incident generated, state industries minister Suresh Mehta paid a surprise visit to the wards on Thursday morning, where he met affected persons.

Expressing anger at the incident, Mehta ordered that relevant papers, samples of medicines, liquid used in the operation etc. be collected and checked. Mehta, however, refused to comment on the in cident saying that an inquiry had already been ordered into it.

According to insiders, four persons are said to have been totally blinded while 14 others are said to have been partially affected. These partially affected patients had all been allowed to go home, according to insiders. There were not many patients in the ward when TOI correspondent visited the hospital. The operation theatre at the hospital has been closed down until further orders.

Those totally blinded have been named as Nathalal Mulji (60) of Kadiawad in Jamnagar city, Laxmiben Jeram (55) of Verad village in Bhanwad taluka and Sonalben Lakshmanbhai (55) of Godavari village in Jamjodhpur taluka. The patients were operated for cataract and implant of cornea

Residents doctors at the hospital told this correspondent that the patients could have lost their eye-sight due to infection. The infection could have been caused either because of poor functioning of the auto-claving equipment in the operation theatre, improper sterilisation of instruments or use of contaminated liquid.

Four operations were conducted at the same time throwing all norms to wind, according to insiders. Patients complained of burning sensation and watering of eyes immediately after the operation.

Relatives of affected patients were not ready to buy the argument that the infection could have been caused by accidentally touching the affected eye. Neeruben, wife of Nathabhai said, "there was no question of touching the eye as it was bandaged." Nathabhai is the only earning member of the house.

Laxmiben, panicky after the operation, has been asking the doctors to send her home. "I will definitely come to have my stitches cut but let me go now", she begs.

As for Sonalben, fate has played a cruel joke with her. She has lost her only healthy eye. Mare kapda badalwa che, mane kain nathi dekhatu.(I want to change my clothes. I cannot see anything), she keep repeating.

Meanwhile, the entire operation theatre has been fumigated and except for an occasional murmur from the wards, an eerie silence greets a visitor. This is enough to frighten even the most die-hard person.

Plastic kites material floods market Saturday, January 13, 2001

VADODARA: Though Teashop Bakeries Ltd, UK, is a wafer and biscuit-manufacturing company that is too far away from Vadodara, do not be surprised if the stray kite that glides down your balcony bears Teashop Bakeries Ltd's Finger Wafers label.

Even as environmentalists are crying horse over the use of plastics and urging municipal corporations to ban its use, kite-makers here have cashed in on the cheap availability of PVC yarns to make colourful kites that have formed a major chunk of the stock of kites in the city.

Most of these kites are made from packaging material used for packing various consumer products. Some are rejected lamination covers of foreign consumer products like Finger Wafers and Bourbon Creams manufactured by Teashop Bakeries UK, while others are of products like Breeze soap, Tata tea, Margo soap, Hathi Cement and a variety of gutkha and pan masalas. There are many local manufacturers of packaging material in and around Vadodara who supply them.

Ramesh Surti of the Chhaganlal Chhotalal Surti paper merchants here says the use of PVC to make kites has increased over the years thus affecting their paper market. "Earlier, these PVC sheets were expensive, but today they are cheap and available for Rs 25 per kg, many kite makers have therefore opted to make kites from these. They are cheap and more resilient than paper. Our sales have definitely gone down over the years," he says.

"These kites are made from rejected PVC paper that is used as lamination for packaging products. They are therefore cheap and can be recycled," he says.

According to him a major chunk of the kite market is flooded with these kites. He said manufacturers of these products are not aware of the way these are being used. Those who are aware turn a Nelson's eye to it as it gets them free publicity. Some of these kites are also brought in from Ghaziabad, Delhi, Aurangabad, Lucknow and other countries.

However, though preferred for its lower cost and higher resilience most retail sellers like Ashok Mali who sells at Chokhandi say these kites are not very popular with adults, especially, those who fly to win battles in the sky. "Paper kites fly better and sustain better than the lighter PVC versions, so these are not as much preferred. But for an accomplished kite-flyer, even these kites can fly well and many buy these. Some buy these cheaper versions for kids," he says.

This year many new designs have entered the markets. Amongst these are striped kites of papers made in different colours. "Plastic kites may be cheaper, but these can never replace the traditional paper kites that are more steady when flown. Also, they are colourful and more attractive," says Bharat Panchal an avid kite-flyer.

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