Indian Airlines reschedule flights for winter Wednesday, November 1, 2000
AHMEDABAD: Indian Airlines has announced its winter schedule for Ahmedabad area. The schedule came into effect on October 29. As per the new schedule, IC613 will leave Mumbai at 5:45 am and will arrive in Ahmedabad at 6:45am. The IC614 will leave Ahmedabad at 7:30am and reach Mumbai at 8:30 am.
Flight IC 817 will leave Delhi at 6 am and will arrive at Ahmedabad at 7:45 am. On the way back the flight will leave the city at 8:05 am and reach Vadodara at 9:15 am. It will leave Vadodara for Delhi at 9:15 and will reach the Capital at 10:40 am.
The evening flight from Delhi, IC 861 will take off at 7:45 pm and will reach Ahmedabad at 9:10 pm, and will return for the Capital as IC 862 at 9:50 pm. It will reach Delhi at 11:15 pm.
The IA will be reintroducing its Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Bangalore services daily with effect from October 29.
Flight IC603 will leave Mumbai at 5 pm, reaching Ahmedabad at 6 pm. Flight IC609 in the return flight will leave Ahmedabad at 6:45 pm and reach Mumbai at 7:45 pm. The flight will leave Mumbai at 8:30 pm and reach Bangalore at 10 pm.
The flight from Muscat will leave at 9 pm (local time) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and will arrive at Ahmedabad at 12:35 am the next day.
Flight IC 886 will leave Ahmedabad at 1:30 am and arrive at Delhi at 2:55 pm.
The flight IC564 will leave Sharjah on Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:10 am (LT) and will arrive at Ahmedabad at 4:05 am. The flight will leave
Ahmedabad at 4:45 am and reach Hyderabad at 6:25 am.
IC981 for Kuwait will leave Hyderabad at 5:45 on Thursdays and Sundays and will reach Ahmedabad at 7:35. It will leave for Kuwait at 10:35 pm. It will arrive at Kuwait at 11 pm (LT).
Gujarat ministers at the receiving end Wednesday, November 1, 2000
VADODARA: An irate mob torched the cars of four state ministers and damaged other vehicles, soon after the function held to mark resumption of work on the Sardar Sarovar dam at Kevadia colony on Tuesday.
Tempers ran high when most of the 2 lakh people, who had come to attend the function, were caught in a traffic jam which lasted several hours.
Thousands were streaming in hours after the function ended, blocking the exit of those desperately trying to get out. Soon, the crowd started targeting official vehicles, particularly those flashing the red light.
According to police sources, just after Union home minister Advani left the venue along with Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, the crowd turned restless. They first attacked a minister's car before setting other vehicles on fire. A police jeep was also damaged.
Minister of state for co-operatives Ramalal Vora, urban development Parmanand Khattar, state minister for social welfare Gabhaji Thakore and minister for adult education Mulubhai Bera had to be bundled out of the cars and taken to the circuit house at Kevadia. Apparently, a car meant to ferry Rajasthan minister for irrigation Kamladevi was also set on fire, although the minister did not turn up for the function. There were also reports of panchayat minister Dilip Patel being heckled by the mob.
Sources said trouble broke out around 3 pm when a group of people, mostly from North Gujarat and Saurashtra, were refused permission to enter the function venue since they arrived late. The confusion was confounded with the exit of the soiree of VIP vehicles and jam-packed GSRTC buses. Lack of proper arrangements for providing food and drinking water also irked the crowd.
Later, a helicopter was sent to pick up the four ministers along with revenue minister Vajubhai Vala, consumer minister Leeladhar Vaghela,
agriculture minister Behcharbhai Bhadani and small irrigation projects minister Nitin Patel, sources said.
State health minister Ashok Bhatt and two other ministers were camping in the area when reports last came in.
Partial bonus to cops dampens festive spirit Saturday, October 28, 2000
Ahmedabad, Oct 26: Diwali is holiday and revelry time for most. But, for the 50,000-odd staff of the Gujarat State police, it is time to ensure that the locked houses of those on holiday remain just that way, safe from the burglars, and also ensure that Diwali remains peaceful, incident free.
But these cops have been unable even to buy Diwali gifts this time, as they were handed over the bonus just a day before the festival, that too just 50 per cent of the amount, and did not have any time to go shopping.
"We have to obey the orders only, a single word against Government decision is a revolt here and we cannot afford to do so," a constable posted at city Police Commissionerate said in a pensive tone on Thursday afternoon. This is for the first time in the history of the State, that the Government employees are given just 50 per cent of their festive bonus amount. The State Finance Department has assured them that the balance will be deposited at their Provident Fund accounts.
"We were ready to agree with the Government proposal, but they disbursed even the half amount only on Wednesday evening when we do not have any time to go for shopping with our family members. Today we are, as usual, on duty," the constable requesting anonymity told Express Newsline.
The cop, who has four children, also said, "They are waiting for the last one year for this day, when I am supposed to buy new clothes and other gifts for them, but the 50 per cent of bonus amount, Rs 1219, is still in my pocket, as I cannot afford to go to the market while on duty." Pleading to remain unidentified, the constable said, "If you write my name, tomorrow I will be transferred to a remote place as a punishment for talking to the media."
As per rules of the State Government, policemen up to the rank of constable and police sub-inspector are given Diwali bonus every year before the festival. But the PSIs will not get Diwali bonus if their pay scale exceeds the limit of Rs 5,500-8,000. "Among a huge force of about 6,50,000, only 20 per cent comes above this level. And they do not need bonus as they get higher pay packets," an official of State Home Department told Express Newsline while talking about the grievances of the policemen belonging to the lower levels.
"It is inhuman and illogical, the entire State police administration depends on the active role of these men in the lower level and one must not cheat them only because they cannot protest against such decisions," said a senior city police official.
Similar opinion was voiced by another senior IPS official who said, "Today we can enjoy time with our family and can go out for a trip also, only because these men in the lower level are working round-the-clock to ensure a safe festive day."
"They should be first taken care of by the Government before us. Even the ministers' security guards from State Reserve Police are also lower level officials," the officer added.
Ten-year-old Rajiv Parmar, whose father was busy on duty at the bungalow of Director-General of State Police C P Singh at Shahibaug area on Diwali evening said, "Never mind, you people celebrate Diwali today, I will go with my papa for buying firecrackers on Friday, and that evening will be our Diwali."
Jain muni plans fast to attain moksha Saturday, October 28, 2000
AHMEDABAD, OCT 26: Haraklalji Bhairulalji Mehta, the 86-year-old shravak of the Terapanth sect of the Jain community, who has given up food for the past 23 days and water for the past four days, will be conferred deeksha as Muni on Friday with blessings from Muni Lokprakashji.
Since Deeksha conferred in this way is a demanding ritual as it requires one to give up food and water till death. A large number of Jains are descending in the city to witness the occasion which is considered very rare. This is the first time such a thing is happening in Gujarat. The fast is called Santhara.
Muni Lokprakash says the Santhara cannot be equated with suicide because while suicide involves loss of hope, mental tension and fear or non-fulfilment of desire. Contrary to all this, in Santhara, a person frees himself from the shackles of all temptations and desire to live. His ultimate objective becomes attainment of salvation in this condition by embracing death with a longing for it.
According to Muni Lokprakashji, while others teach the art of living, Jainism offers the art of dying also through Santhara in which the fear of death goes away as a person gives up everything that has anything to do with life. He said even Acharya Vinoba Bhave had opted for Sathwara.
Haraklalji hails from Mahendragarh near Bhilwara in Rajasthan and comes from a big joint family. But his care will be taken over by Jain Muni disciples after he becomes Terapanthi Jain Muni.
The legal position is ambiguous in this case because the issue involves religious sentiments of a community. Thus, even as it is a clear case of attempted suicide under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, normally the police won't register a case against the person who is being helped in committing the act of Santhara.
According to a senior police officer, the threshold of tolerance varies from people to people, some persons can go on fasting for days and weeks on end while others may not tolerate hunger for even a couple of hours. He said in view of this biological situation, nothing much can be done against a fasting person. It can be stopped if the authorities are sure that the fasting is going to lead to death of a person.
Fire Brigade kept on toes Saturday, October 28, 2000
AHMEDABAD, OCT 26: It's not just the firecrackers that are going up in fire and smoke during the Diwali season. A number of fires have occurred over the past few days in various parts of the city after airborne fireworks -- rockets have landed in houses, shops, establishments and the like.
On Thursday, phones of the fire brigade control room at Danapith area kept ringing throughout, where panic-stricken callers were seeking help after fires broke out because a rocket landed in a house, industrial estate or a shop.
The number of calls that the fire brigade has received during the past three or four days has registered a sharp increase, and most of these were caused because of a firecracker.
Says station officer M F Dastur, ``Yes, there has been a sharp increase in the number of fire calls during the past few days. Most of these have been a result of fireworks landing in houses or other places, setting off fires.''
And despite a large number of requests for leave, the fire department has not sanctioned leave for most applicants as a rise in incidences of fires was anticipated. ``All the fire fighting machines are kept on an alert and leave applications too have been restricted,'' said Dastur. The `sursuriya' rocket, as it is called, has been the cause of most fires, say personnel of the fire brigade. The firecracker does not blast and create a sound, but travels haphazardly in the air. With a thin foot-long stick attached to it, people light the rocket while holding it in their hand and then hurl it into the air.
The rocket then takes any route into the air, sometimes going straight up, but in many cases it takes a zig-zag route, travelling over 50 metres in the process. Such rockets sometimes enter a house or building through an open window or door. As it is not totally extinguished, the rockets sets on fire things that it comes in contact with.
``The trouble with such rockets is that the fires break out on a roof or in some place, where the rocket can reach, but fire tenders may find difficult to go,'' said a personnel at the fire control room.
There have also been a couple of incidences in the past three days, where larris selling firecrackers have caught fire. Although rockets and other fireworks were set off, no damage to life has been reported so far.
Fire brigade personnel stated that while the days pass off relatively incident free, most cases of fires because of fireworks occur in the night, when most of the firecrackers are burst.