Ahmedabad: After a four-day low daily tally, new Covid cases spiked in the city and the state on Tuesday. Against 150 cases on Monday, the city recorded 249; whereas against 419, the tally for Gujarat was 572.With 4,219 tests conducted on Tuesday, the test positivity rate (TPR) for Ahmedabad was 6% compared to 1.8% for Gujarat. Active cases also rose for Ahmedabad and Gujarat, reaching 1,564 and 3,595 respectively.Other cases included 82 in Surat city, 41 in Vadodara city, 22 in Bhavnagar city, 21 in Rajkot city, 18 in Valsad, 16 in Navsari, 13 in Jamnagar, and 12 each in Kutch and Surat. Of the 33 districts, only three now have zero active Covid cases.Gujarat in 24 hours vaccinated 13,285 people with the first dose and 27,694 with the second. TNN
GANDHINAGAR: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was in Gandhinagar earlier this week, will likely visit Gujarat again on July 15. Key sources privy to the developments said the PM is likely to come for the inauguration of the international bullion exchange centre and India’s first international financial services centre (IFSC) headquarters at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) in Gandhinagar. The PM is likely to visit Rajkot and other places in Saurashtra to inaugurate public works. Sources said that PM Modi is likely to visit on July 15, but the dates may change.
Ahmedabad: Nagdan Tapariya (Gadhvi), wanted in 31 offences of prohibition violation across Gujarat, was located in Gurugram by a team of State Monitoring Cell (SMC) of Gujarat Police. Two teams apprehended him from his flat on Monday. He is arrested in a case registered with Kanbha police station in 2021.According to SMC officials, Gadhvi, a native of Wadhwan in Surendranagar, was a driver. Lured by quick money in ferrying illegal liquor, he got involved in the trade and became a part of bootlegger Vinod Sindhi’s network. “He started looking after the supply arm in various districts of Gujarat including Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar and Rajkot,” said an SMC official. He was last caught in 2017 by an SMC team after which 31 offences have been registered against him, primarily for storage and supply of IMFL in different parts of the state.Teams led by SP Nirlipt Rai and DSP K T Kamariya got intelligence on Gadhvi’s whereabouts after which two teams were sent to Haryana. The team officials said that Gadhvi, who was on the run and had gone to meet Sindhi to ensure supplies, sustained cardiac issues about five months ago.“He got angioplasty done in a hospital in Delhi and got a stent inserted. He avoided Gujarat fearing that he might get caught. He had taken a flat in Gurugram in the name of his nephew. The teams were in Gurugram from June 29. After a close watch, he was found to be living in a flat on the 18th floor of an upscale scheme,” said the official. The officials said that his arrest will provide the investigators link between north India and illegal IMFL trade in Gujarat.
RAJKOT: Five people including three women were arrested for attacking three policemen who had gone to arrest a member of their family wanted in a theft case lodged in Gandhidham town of Kutch on Saturday. Police got information that Akram Chavda, who has at least 10 offences of theft registered against him, had come to his house. Three cops Bharat Bhati, Tanerajsinh and Pradeepsinh arrested him from the house but the family members attacked them with knives and axes. Additional police force was called, and on combing, they recovered 36 sharp and blunt weapons including knives, axes, iron rods from the house of the accused. Those arrested were Akram Chavda, his father Ismail, aunt Shabnam, Jalaben Ladak and Sabera Sorathiya.
AHMEDABAD: As many as 1,655 students of Class 12 (general stream) from two centres, 38km apart in Dahod, chose one essay of the two in their Gujarati exam — “Vasant no Vaibhav” (the glory of spring). This raised eyebrows and ultimately it was determined that mass copying had occurred at the two centres where all students wrote stereotypical answers and the essay from a guidebook. It is learnt that their parents had provided the answers from the guidebook. Sources in the state education department said that mass copying had occurred in Pipero and Dasa in Dahod. “The assessors found that too many students had written the same answers and all of them seemed to have even attempted to answer the questions in the same pattern,” said a source in the education department. “This issue was brought to the examination reform committee which analyzed the papers and found that 1,655 students were involved in the mass copying case.” The committee checked CCTV footage, took the statements of the examination-room observers, and questioned the students too, but did not find any clue for a long time. Last week, the committee again called the students and grilled them. This time, some students told the members of the committee that their parents had helped them write the answers. “Some observers of the two examination centres might have been involved in the mass copying case,” the source said. “But the state government is yet to initiate any action against the guilty.” This mass copying incident is similar to the ones involving the Jam Kandorna centre in Rajkot where irregularities had surfaced in 2010 and 2011. About 2,100 students’ results were withheld as they were found to be involved in cheating.
AHMEDABAD: For the city and state, the active cases of Covid are at a four-month high. However, the rise in the cases has had no major bearing over Covid vaccination. The statistics indicated that in one week, the booster dose jabs dropped by 21%, whereas the first doses have increased by 14%. In fact, the booster doses are at a three-week low at 1.41 lakh with approximately 20,000 doses administered daily. "Primary reason for the reluctance to take the third dose is lack of fear. After the second wave, the citizens were concerned about their well-being, and thus we saw huge queues last year. With the first and second doses completing nearly 100% coverage of the adult population, this year's spike is relatively milder and hospitalization is rare," said a city-based physician. "The pandemic has taken the form of an endemic with symptoms like body ache, weakness, low-grade fever with occasional complaint of cold." Cost is another factor, as 90% of the booster doses out of 40 lakh were administered by the government set-up to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens. There are still fewer takers for the paid jab, said health department officials. Analysis of the booster doses trend also threw an interesting trend - Banaskantha district had higher booster dose recipients than Surat and Vadodara cities. Likewise, many districts overtook Rajkot city in getting the third jab as the city reached 1 lakh booster doses recently.
Ahmedabad: Heavy rain lashed parts of south Gujarat and Saurashtra regions, causing flood-like situation in the affected areas, prompting the deployment of five National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams in Surat, Banaskantha and Rajkot districts, officials said on Sunday.Parts of Navsari and Tapi districts in south Gujarat, as well as Devbhumi Dwarka, Junagadh and Jamnagar received heavy rainfall in the 24-hour period ending 6am on Sunday. With the state’s 30 talukas receiving heavy rainfall of over 50mm, the State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) said.Parts of Narmada, Bharuch, Surat and Vadodara were among those that received good rainfall during the day, it said.With the India Meteorological Department predicting heavy to very rainfall in some isolated pockets of Gujarat over the next five days, the NDRF moved eight of its teams to Surat, Banaskantha and Rajkot districts as “pre-monsoon deployment” from its base in Vadodara, the agency said in a Twitter update.One team each has been moved to Surat and Banaskantha, and three to Rajkot, the specialised relief and disaster combat agency added.Navsari witnessed major waterlogging, leading to traffic jams and blockage of underpasses. In Junagadh and Devbhumi Dwarka, monsoonal rivers received water and so did local dams, officials said.According to SEOC, over a 24-hour period ending at 6am, Vansda taluka of Navsari district received 136mm rainfall, Khambhaliya in Devbhumi Dwarka got 114mm rainfall, while it was 106mm in Manavadar in Junagadh, and 98mm in Dolvan in Tapi.The IMD had, on Saturday, said the southwest monsoon had covered and was active over Gujarat region, with light to moderate rain very likely over the next five days. PTI
The Gujarat Crime Investigation Department (CID) Crime arrested Mumbai-based builder Abhay Lodha of ‘Topworth’ Builders Group in a case pertaining to Rs 4-crore fraud committed against a resident of Amreli.According to police, a team of the Amreli unit of CID Crime arrested Lodha from his residence in Mumbai and brought him to Amreli after he was booked under sections 420 for fraud and 406 for criminal breach of trust in an FIR filed at Rajkot zone CID Crime police station by Karshanbhai from Amreli. Lodha, who was brought to Amreli Saturday, was kept under police remand for a day and later sent to judicial custody in a local jail.According to officials, Lodha had allegedly lured Karshanbhai with prospects of a higher loan amount and in a fraudulent manner, had allegedly shown him as a guarantor in one of his loans.“The complainant had approached the CID Crime Rajkot zone three years ago in 2019 claiming he was approached by Lodha who suggested that he could get him a loan of Rs 45 crore-50 crore if he agrees to put his multiple properties in Sahaj City project in Amreli as a guarantee to a private bank in Mumbai. Lured by the prospects of a higher loan amount, Karshanbhai had handed over the property papers to Lodha. However, the latter had fraudulently made him a guarantor in one of his loans of Rs 50 crore.“After the victim demanded the loan amount, Lodha paid him only Rs 6 crore. Later, the victim realised that his properties were never used to apply for a fresh loan,” said a senior official of CID Crime Gujarat.“There are a total of seven accused in the FIR against Lodha. We had received a day’s remand of Lodha which ended today and now he is in judicial custody,” added the official.Lodha and Topworth Group have faced over seven FIRs filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the recent past for defaulting on loans. The group owes over Rs 4,392 crore to banks and has been undergoing insolvency process since 2019.
SURAT/RAJKOT: While the problem of delay in getting new connections or taking additional lines in existing MSME units from the Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL) has been acutely felt in various Surat circles, sources in PGVCL in Rajkot too said that material shortage has led to applications piling up for a long time now. In Surat, applications have been gathering dust since December 2021 while DGVCL has stopped accepting fresh applications. In the absence of power, the industrial unit owners who have invested heavily in machinery and building infrastructure are incurring huge losses. President of Anjani Industrial Society, Vijay Mangukiya said, “As many as 100 unit owners around Sayan have been waiting for power connection for the past six months. Due to unknown reasons they have not been provided with power supply.” Raju Jadvani, a unit owner in Delad village who had invested around Rs 1.5 crore on weaving machinery is in tenterhooks. “I have put the order of additional weaving machinery on hold as I am not getting additional power lines,” he rued. A facilitator who works for industrial society developers, Prashant Desai told TOI that his 100 clients were unable to start their units waiting for electricity connections. Situation in Sachin GIDC, one of south Gujarat’s largest industrial areas, is not much different either. “The industrial associations deposited Rs 80 crore with DGVCL to develop infrastructure for additional power. However, we have only been waiting since February. Machinery worth Rs 500 crore is lying unused in Sachin, while the DGVCL claims that they do not have equipment like transformers, conductors and cables,” said Mahendra Ramoliya, director, Sachin Industrial Association. Chief engineer of DGVCL, H R Shah said that the discom has been facing issues of getting machinery required for electricity distribution like transformers. “It is because of the farmers’ agitation, pandemic and other global issues that we have been facing the shortage,” he added. In Rajkot, 35 HT connections and several new LT connections applications are pending with the PGVCL which have been blamed for material shortage. According to sources in the discom, the Russia-Ukraine war pushed up material prices and vendors refused to supply at the old rates which disrupted the entire supply chain. Again, some materials that were being imported by the vendors got disrupted too due to the international political conditions. V J Baranwal, managing director of PGVCL said, “Generally, we keep a stock of 18 months. But owing to the Tauktae cyclone last year, we had to use all the material in repairing damaged infrastructure. We have already finalized new tenders and the problem will be solved in the next two to three weeks.” The four public Discoms adopt CPP (central procurement policy) under which each company issues tenders for various materials rotation wise for the needs of all four companies. The purpose is to get cheap material in bulk purchase. On the other hand, barring a few industrial units situated within established GIDC industrial estates like Vatva, Odhav and Sanand in Ahmedabad district, none others have not faced the issue. Manoj Dobaria, who runs an infrastructure development firm said, “Outside Kathwada GIDC, several factories located around 5km away along the Indore Highway have applications pending before the Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL). The power distribution company cites unavailability of adequate equipment as a reason for not processing applications for setting up new factories or starting operations.”
Surat/Rajkot: While the problem of delay in getting new connections or taking additional lines in existing MSME units from the Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Limited (DGVCL) has been acutely felt in various Surat circles, sources in PGVCL in Rajkot too said that material shortage has led to applications piling up for a long time now. In Surat, applications have been gathering dust since December 2021 while DGVCL has stopped accepting fresh applications. In the absence of power, the industrial unit owners who have invested heavily in machinery and building infrastructure are incurring huge losses. President of Anjani Industrial Society, Vijay Mangukiya said, “As many as 100 unit owners around Sayan have been waiting for power connection for the past six months. Due to unknown reasons they have not been provided with power supply.”Raju Jadvani, a unit owner in Delad village who had invested around Rs 1.5 crore on weaving machinery is in tenterhooks. “I have put the order of additional weaving machinery on hold as I am not getting additional power lines,” he rued. A facilitator who works for industrial society developers, Prashant Desai told TOI that his 100 clients were unable to start their units waiting for electricity connections. Situation in Sachin GIDC, one of south Gujarat’s largest industrial areas, is not much different either. “The industrial associations deposited Rs 80 crore with DGVCL to develop infrastructure for additional power. However, we have only been waiting since February. Machinery worth Rs 500 crore is lying unused in Sachin, while the DGVCL claims that they do not have equipment like transformers, conductors and cables,” said Mahendra Ramoliya, director, Sachin Industrial Association. Chief engineer of DGVCL, H R Shah said that the discom has been facing issues of getting machinery required for electricity distribution like transformers. “It is because of the farmers’ agitation, pandemic and other global issues that we have been facing the shortage,” he added.In Rajkot, 35 HT connections and several new LT connections applications are pending with the PGVCL which have been blamed for material shortage. According to sources in the discom, the Russia-Ukraine war pushed up material prices and vendors refused to supply at the old rates which disrupted the entire supply chain. Again, some materials that were being imported by the vendors got disrupted too due to the international political conditions. V J Baranwal, managing director of PGVCL said, “Generally, we keep a stock of 18 months. But owing to the Tauktae cyclone last year, we had to use all the material in repairing damaged infrastructure. We have already finalized new tenders and the problem will be solved in the next two to three weeks.” The four public Discoms adopt CPP (central procurement policy) under which each company issues tenders for various materials rotation wise for the needs of all four companies. The purpose is to get cheap material in bulk purchase.On the other hand, barring a few industrial units situated within established GIDC industrial estates like Vatva, Odhav and Sanand in Ahmedabad district, none others have not faced the issue.Manoj Dobaria, who runs an infrastructure development firm said, “Outside Kathwada GIDC, several factories located around 5km away along the Indore Highway have applications pending before the Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited (UGVCL). The power distribution company cites unavailability of adequate equipment as a reason for not processing applications for setting up new factories or starting operations.”
Rajkot: The edible oil manufacturers of Gujarat have urged the union government to impose a duty on the import of the commodity to save the local industry. In a letter to Union commerce minister Piyush Goyal, the Gujarat State Edible Oils and Oil Seeds Association has contended that edible oil prices in the international market had dropped and government should not lose out on revenue from import duty.The central government had reduced the duty on the import of various edible oils in phases in the last years in order to arrest food inflation. India imports 65% of the edible oil it requires with the major portion being palm oil. In October last year, import duty on crude palm oil was slashed from 10% to 2.5%, while duty on crude sunflower and soya oil was also reduced to 2.5% from 7.5%. The edible oil sector has been under stress recently due to an increase in the price of palm oil in the international market following its major supplier Indonesia mulling a ban on export. Secondly, with the world’s biggest producer of sunflower, Ukraine, at war with Russia, the price of the commodity has shot up significantly. Last month, the government allowed the import of 20 lakh metric tonne each of crude sunflower and soya oil duty free.President of Gujarat State Edible Oils and Oil Seeds Association Samir Shah said, “The price of edible oils came down by 15-25% in the international market. If the government imposes import duty it won’t result in a price rise in the domestic market. In this scenario, the government should not lose its revenue. Import duty will also give protection to domestic edible oil players.”
The Standing Committee of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) Tuesday decided to construct a new building for an urban health centre (UHC) on Morbi Road after deeming the existing building too old and small. This is the second UHC in the city for which a new building has been approved this month. At its meeting held Tuesday, the standing committee approved a proposal to construct the new UHC on Saheb Park Sheri near Jakatnaka on Morbi Road. The standing committee gave the green signal to award the construction of the new building to Bhumi Construction, a private firm, at a cost of Rs 1.13 crore. The construction cost quoted by the private developer and approved by the standing committee is nine per cent higher than RMC’s estimate of Rs 1.03 crore. As per the proposal, the existing building near Jakatnaka will be demolished. Currently, RMC runs 21 UHCs, many of which continue to function out of small buildings.
The Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has adopted a policy to partner with private entities to develop public gardens in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode with an aim to develop more gardens for the public and earn revenue. It has awarded the first such project to Orbit Bearings India Pvt Limited (OBIPL).The RMC standing committee Tuesday approved a proposal to select OBIPL as the private partner for the proposed garden behind Speedwell Party Plot in the Mavdi area. OBIPL is among the leading bearings manufacturers of Rajkot and also has an interest in real estate development.PP Developers and Victoria Gardens, two other city-based realty firms, were also in the race for the proposed garden but they lost out to OBIL as they had quoted Rs 1.64 lakh and Rs 1.68 lakh respectively as the annual premium payable to RMC. OBIPL, on the other hand, quoted Rs 1.80 lakh premium with a 10 per cent increase every year, in addition to bringing in the capital required for developing the garden on a 3,114 square metre (sqm) plot as well as bearing the cost of maintaining and managing it for five years.“So far, we used to seek the partnership of private firms in developing gardens only. But this is our first attempt to engage private firms for developing a garden as per the theme decided by RMC while also charging an annual premium on the private developer,” standing committee chairman Pushkar Patel said, adding, “This will help RMC save the capital expenditure the civic body will otherwise incur in developing gardens and maintenance costs. It will also allow us to develop more gardens for residents of the city.”Incidentally, RMC has a policy in place to engage private entities in developing traffic islands at major traffic junctions in the city at the latter’s cost, while allowing some advertising space to the developer on such an island. The civic body had introduced the concept of charging a premium to the developer last month while awarding the contract to develop a traffic island at Katariya Motors Chowkadi on the PPP mode.OBIPL said it views the garden project more like a corporate social responsibility activity. “There is no commercial interest involved in it,” said Vinesh Patel, OBIPL managing director.
RAJKOT: A 21-year-old college student was allegedly subjected to torture by four people who stripped him naked and made his video. The student had downloaded a gay chatting app on his phone two days ago and got a message from a person. The person asked him to meet at KKV Chowk on Sunday noon. After the student agreed, they met and the accused told him to accompany to his room. When they went to the room near Nanavati Chowk, three people were already present there. They stripped him and took away his mobile, cash and bike keys. "The four then made a video of the student and forced him to say that he kept relationship with young boys using this app and that he would never indulge in such acts again," said AB Jadeja, inspector, University Road police station. The accused called up his family and demanded Rs 50,000. When the kin said they did not have so much money, the four released the student. However, they again called and asked for Rs 20,000. The cops arrested the four people identified as Afrid Qadri, Aman Qadri, Sohil Qadri and Bhargav Dabhi and booked them extortion and illegal confinement.
Ahmedabad: The Lok Adalat held in different courts across the state on Sunday resolved over 3 lakh cases and settled disputes involving an amount over Rs 1,244 crore. Held under the aegis of the Gujarat State Legal Services Authority, Lok Adalat mainly aimed to deal with the cases related to traffic offences. With the indulgence of judiciary and the bar, 2,00, 543 pending cases and 1,01,878 pre-litigation cases were disposed in the Lok Adalat. The disputes settled involved total amount of Rs 1,244 crore, the GSLSA member secretary R A Trivedi said in a media statement and he added that organisation of Lok Adalat has reduced the burden of the pendency of cases in courts to some extent.The highest number of cases could be disposed in Surat district, 36,197, and Rajkot district stood second in terms of disposal with 33,107 cases.
RAJKOT: Police have arrested twelve members of Bicchu gang in Devbhumi Dwarka district. The gang was allegedly involved crimes likes attempt to murder and extortion in the region. The police have booked them all under Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCTOC) Act. According to police, the gang was involved in various criminal activities for last one and half decade in Okha, Mithapur, Khambhaliya and Dwarka talukas. Superintendent of police Devbhumi Dwarka district, Nitesh Pandey said, "The gang members were involved in several cases of extortion from various contractors and sub contractors in the district. The gang was running an organised crime syndicate." According to police the gang members were involved in various crimes like attempt to murder, threatening, extortion, running gambling dens and selling liquor etc. The arrested criminals have been identified as Lalubha Sumaniya, Vanrajbha Sumaniya, Hajabha Sumaniya, Jagdishbha Sumaniya, Sajabha Sumaniya, Rajeshbhai Sumaniya, Nathubha Sumaniya, Mapbha Sumaniya, Mansangbha Manek, Mansangbha Sumaniya and Malabha Sumaniya. The 12th accused Kishan Manek was already in police custody for a month, he was also booked under GUJCTOC.
Lucknow: Akash Chauhan of Kushinagar has bagged a silver medal in the 38th Sub-Junior National Aquatic Championship being organised in Rajkot (Gujarat).“Akash won a silver medal in 50m freestyle in boys’ group-III. It’s an honour for Uttar Pradesh,” said president of UP Swimming Association, Jai Pratap Singh.
Ahmedabad: State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) department on Saturday raided 25 fuel stations across Gujarat for suspected tax evasion. The raids were conducted across six fuel stations in Ahmedabad, four in Navsari, two in Dang, three in Bhavnagar, two in Rajkot, one in Valsad, three in Idar, one each in Bhiloda, Bharuch, Godhra and Vadodara. TNN
Two residents of Morbi district have been arrested for allegedly trying to derail a local train on the night of June 12 by placing bricks on the tracks, a railway police official said Friday.The motives of the accused were yet to be ascertained, he added. The accused, arrested by the Rajkot Railway police, were identified as Akbar Miyana, a resident of Wankaner town, and Laxman Koli, a resident of Chandrapur village in Wankaner taluka. Railway officials spotted several bricks on a stretch of track between Makansar and Wankaner railway station.“An FIR under Railways Act was registered against unidentified persons for trying to derail the Wankaner-Morbi DMU train. After a thorough probe, we zeroed in on these two men,” said deputy Superintendent of Rajkot division, J K Zala.
Parents should visit schools occasionally to check how education of their children was going on, Minister of State for Transport, Civil Aviation, Tourism and Pilgrimage Development, Arvind Raiyani, said Thursday, while while formally welcoming newly-enrolled students at a school in Kuvadva village on the outskirts of Rajkot as part ofShala Praveshotsav, even as 105 children shifted from private schools to a government school in the city.Addressing parents at Kuvadva Taluka Shala, a primary school run by the state government, Raiyani appealed to parents to be informed about the education their children are getting in schools.“Parents remain concerned about (the education) of their sons and daughters. They should visit school (where their children are enrolled) and check what the kids are learning, what they are being taught,” an official release said, quoting Raiyani.The minister also stressed the importance of educating the girl child while calling on teachers to inspire children from rural areas and become their guides.Meanwhile, 105 children who were studying in private schools in the city have shifted to School No.32 run by the Nagar Prathmik Shikshan Samiti or municipal school board functioning under the aegis of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC). As many as 61 new enrollments, including 32 boys and 29 girls were recorded in grade 1 in this school where Deputy Mayor Darshita Shah and District Collector Arun Mahesh Babu welcomed students formally, the release added.
Ahmedabad: Initially it appeared misfortune had rammed this Gujarat family, causing five of its members to meet with accidents on the same day, but investigations revealed that the crashes were orchestrated to make a fortune from insurance claims.A 40-year-old man from Rajkot and four of his kin had reported that they were victims of accidents at separate places. They were driving separate cars too, but all the calamities occurred on the same day — December 31 last year.The family had in March this year filed insurance claims with different companies. Two insurers sensed a theatrical spectacle in the tragedies and submitted applications to police in Rajkot, Amreli, and Ahmedabad to probe a potential attempt to defraud them.Sources in Gujarat Police and the insurance companies said that Tarun Kantaria, his brother-in-law G D Rathod, Tarun's brother Kaushal, his cousin Gagan Kantaria and his wife Bhoomi had bought different vehicles in November 2021.The family had taken insurance policies that covered high-end cars, premium sedans, and SUVs. Together, they had paid an annual premium of about Rs 68,000. After the ‘accidents', their total payout claim was Rs 80 lakh.In January this year, they again bought five vehicles, insured them, and sought about Rs 40 lakh for damages caused in accidents. This time, the private insurance company concerned refused to pay the amount as the family did not produce the original purchase documents. But the family filed a police complaint and got the amount sanctioned.An insurance firm assessor told TOI: "After that development, we submitted pleas to police to probe the case." He added: "We found that in all the so-called accidents, the damage had been done by an earthmover."Sources in Rajkot and Amreli police said that this seems to be an emerging modus operandi to claim insurance payouts using second-hand cars."We have recently come across several cases in which a person buys a second-hand car, takes the highest possible insurance on it, then damages it in a fake accident to claim the full payout," said a police officer. "Such people take help from professional drivers, insurance firm employees, and operators of earthmovers to make the accidents look real."The Kantarias too had hired such a team on the same day. The catastrophe was too good to be true in this case.In an unrelated case, a complaint was recently filed with Ahmedabad Police after a man threatened an assessor for denying a claim on an accident.A source in the Ahmedabad Police said: "These cases are reported often in Saurashtra and Surat." Now, police may take the help of insurance companies to probe dodgy cases.
RAJKOT: In an effort to conserve the endangered lesser florican, the smallest bird in the bustard family, a breeding centre has come up at Velavadar National Park. The breeding centre, which will be inaugurated shortly, will give the birds a feeling of a natural habitat. The forest department took a cue from the houbara bustard conservation in the UAE to develop this breeding centre. The department will prepare in-house food like insects and vegetation at the national park for the lesser florican. The national park is a sprawling grassland and an ideal habitat for the lesser florican that lays eggs here during the monsoon, particularly in August, which increases the chances of the eggs getting destroyed either due to water ingress or some animals eating them away. To save the eggs, forest officials started an experiment two years ago to hatch the eggs by artificially incubating them and they have hatched nine chicks so far. At the breeding centre, the forest department will be able to do breeding of this endangered species. This centre has come up in an half hectare area and around 20 birds can remain there. If required, the centre can be expanded. There is no chance of any disturbance to this endangered bird at the centre. Nilesh Joshi, assistant conservator of forest at Velavadar, said: “Now, the floricans will have more space and we will be able to do breeding after inauguration of the centre. We have put an air cooler and a heater to maintain the temperature required for hatching of the eggs. We have also started production of insects and vegetation like fenugreek and alfalfa lucerne for their food which will be be artificially fed to them.’’ A special grass has been grown at the centre to provide a natural environment to these birds. The chicks take three to four years to become sexually mature. The forest officials will try to breed naturally but if it is required, they will rope in assisted reproductive technology and try to produce chicks in the laboratory. After a sizeable population, a decision will be taken to release the birds. The population of lesser florican in the country is 300-500, of which only 100 are in Gujarat. Their numbers are limited to Bhavnagar district in Gujarat and Shokaliya-Bhinai in Ajmer of Rajasthan.
Gandhinagar: State health minister Rushikesh Patel tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Sources said Patel is not showing any serious symptoms and is recuperating at his official residence. Patel had tested positive for Covid-19 earlier as well.The city again recorded 100-plus daily cases at 106 after a day’s gap on Tuesday, accounting for 47% of the state’s daily tally of 226. With the discharge of 90 patients, there were 787 active cases in the city. In Gujarat, 163 patients were discharged in 24 hours as active cases reached 1,524, crossing the 1,500 mark for the first time after March 1.Other cases included 37 in Surat city, 22 in Vadodara city, seven in Gandhinagar city, six in Vadodara city, and five each in Rajkot city, Kutch, Mehsana and Valsad districts among others. Only nine of the 33 districts have zero active cases in the state. Two patients were on ventilators.In the past 24 hours, Gujarat vaccinated 7,281 persons for the first dose of Covid vaccine and 21,177 for the second. In all, 5.4 crore individuals were administered the first dose and 5.31 crore the second. The state administered booster doses to 27,126 persons, taking the total to 38.32 lakh.
The District Education Officer (DEO) in Rajkot on Monday issued an advisory to secondary and higher secondary schools in the district, asking students to wear masks and follow other safety protocols with an increase in Covid-19 cases.Interacting with media persons, DEO BS Kaila said that his office has advised schools to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) vis-à-vis Covid-19 pandemic from Tuesday.“The number of Covid-19 cases are rising in Rajkot and the entire Gujarat. Keeping the safety of children in mind, we have instructed all secondary and higher secondary schools to ensure that students come to school wearing face-masks and teachers also follow SOPs (related to Covid-19). We have also instructed them to ask parents not to send children to school if they are ill,” Kaila said, adding SOPs include facilities for hand-sanitisation and maintaining social distancing while gathering in large numbers.Underlining that state government or local authorities have not officially removed Covid-19 appropriate behaviour norms, the DEO said, “The SOPs issued earlier are very much in force. But people started taking them lightly as the cases of Covid-19 went down. Now, we have instructed schools to adhere to them strictly.”There are around 890 secondary and higher secondary schools in the district. Talking to The Indian Express later, the DEO said that his office issued these instructions in the form of advisory through WhatsApp groups.“These instructions are not in the form of any formal official circulars but advisory in nature so that schools take precautionary measures as children have started going back to schools after the summer vacation,” said Kaila.The DEO said that his decision was prompted by a rising trend in the daily fresh infections of Covid-19 in the state. “The number of daily new cases has been rising now… Yesterday, the state reported 244 new cases and I noted that many of those who contracted the virus were young. Therefore, we thought it was necessary to convey it to schools to take precautionary measures and go for vaccination,” said Kaila.Schools across the state reopened last week after the month-long summer vacation. Rajkot city reported 10 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, a bulletin from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) said on Monday, adding that a total 1,390 samples were tested during the day. However, no new infection was reported till noon on Monday.At present, Rajkot has 49 active cases and 1,857 tests were held in the rural and city jurisdictions on June 19. After the abatement of the third wave by mid-March, the district infrequently reported fewer than five Covid cases a day, with most days since mid-March seeing no new cases.However, since June 2, the district has been reporting new cases daily, with as many as 13 cases reported on June 15 and 12 cases on June 16. On June 19, the district reported 10 cases and on June 20, four cases.
Ahmedabad: The city on Sunday recorded 117 new Covid positive cases, accounting for 48% of the state’s daily tally of 244. For the fourth consecutive day, the city recorded 100-plus daily cases. After the discharge of 78 patients, there were 730 active cases. Gujarat had 1,374 active cases on Sunday evening. The test positivity rate (TPR) for Ahmedabad was 4% on Saturday – four out of every 100 tests performed turned out to be positive. Experts, however, said that the number could be a bit higher with many not opting for tests for mild fever or body ache and instead preferring over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to treat themselves. The share of the major cities remained at 84% in the first 19 days of June according to the state health department data. Other positive cases included 32 from Surat city, 29 from Vadodara city, 10 from Rajkot city, and six each from Surat and Valsad.
AHMEDABAD: The strike by bonded postgraduate medical students of government-run medical colleges in the state entered the third day on Friday. The students who have completed their MD and MS courses are demanding a waiver of their one-year bond service period. On Thursday, the health department had issued an ultimatum to striking students, asking them to end the strike and resume duty or be prepared to face legal action. However, the agitating students ignored this ultimatum and continued to stay away from OPDs and other duties on Friday. The health department makes PG students from government-run medical colleges sign bonds amounting to Rs 40 lakh each. The students are supposed to work at government-run health centres in rural areas for one year or forfeit Rs 40 lakh to relieve themselves of the bond condition. Similarly, the undergraduate students are required to sign Rs 20 lakh bonds. Around 1,000 PG medical students from Ahmedabad are part of the strike that involves students from government medical colleges in Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. TNN
Members of the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) of BJ Medical College (BJMC), affiliated with Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Wednesday went on strike from routine OPD and operation theatre duties over long-pending demands of equating the bond period with the senior residency duration owing to their service in Covid-19 wards for nearly 17 months.A JDA office-bearer told this paper, “Of the 36 months of course-work as a post-graduate course candidate, we served nearly 16-17 months in Covid wards, which also affected our academics as we were not dealing with regular OPDs. The state government considered equating the senior residency period with the mandatory bond period for those admitted in 2017 and 2018 but has not considered the same for those admitted in 2019, despite the Covid work that was done by the 2019 batch as well.”Meanwhile, state Health Minister Rushikesh Patel told media persons on the sidelines of an event in Patan: “If the strike continues, the state has its recourse and will take disciplinary action if required. It is my request that they rejoin duty.”BJMC JDA has been raising the issue since last year, and had in February this year made written representations to the chief minister’s office as well as to the health minister. In March, the health minister wrote to the additional chief secretary of the health department advising them to “take appropriate actions” with respect to the request put forth by JDA. BJMC post-graduate course director and medical superintendent of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, on May 28 and June 6 respectively, wrote to the additional chief secretary endorsing and recommending for counting bond service equal to the residency period.Residency is a year-long specialised training after three years of the post-graduate programme and becomes mandatory if one wants to apply for teaching positions. In Gujarat, for those admitted through state quota seats, students are also mandated to serve a year-long medical bond period as rural tenure, which is separate from the residency period.BJMC JDA plans to boycott Covid and emergency services on June 16 as well “if there is no positive response from the government”. A similar strike was held last year, following which, the state government agreed to consider one year of residency equivalent to one year of bond service.
Gujarat's health minister said doctors cannot shy away from serving people.(File)Ahmedabad: Nearly 4,000 resident doctors from five government-run medical colleges in Gujarat went on an indefinite strike from Wednesday to put pressure on the state government to consider 12 months of their senior residency as mandatory bond service.While hospital authorities have made alternate arrangements to cope up with the impact of the strike, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said the resident doctors cannot shy away from serving people in rural areas, as per their bond condition.Out of the state's six government medical colleges -- Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar -- resident doctors in Surat refrained from joining the strike and they gave one more day to the government to resolve the issue.As of now, the resident doctors have withdrawn from attending to all routine OPD (Out Patient Department) services for an indefinite period. Though they are available for emergency and COVID-19 services, their associations have threatened to launch a full-fledged strike in the coming days if the issue remains unresolved.According to rules regarding the service bond, students of government medical colleges have to serve in rural areas for at least one year after completing their post graduate (PG) medical course.If any student wants to break the bond signed at the time of taking admission, he has to pay Rs 40 lakh. This rule is applicable to students of the six government medical colleges in the state.Since some time, students of the 2019 batch, who have completed their course and are about to start their senior residency of 12 months in hospitals attached with their respective colleges, have been demanding that the government should consider this residency period as the bond period."Our demand is legitimate because students of this batch had served COVID-19 patients for 17 months, out of the total 36 months of the course. If the previous batches are exempted from bond service on the same ground, then why can't the government consider the batch of 2019 for the same relief?" asked Dr Rahul Gameti, president of the Junior Doctors' Association in Ahmedabad.However, Health Minister Rushikesh Patel has warned of disciplinary action against the agitating doctors."We will take disciplinary action if required. I urge these doctors to end the strike and join duties at the earliest. I don't agree with their demands. The government spends a considerable amount to make them specialist doctors. Thus, you have to serve in villages after completing your PG," Patel told reporters.According to officials at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, which is affiliated to the government-run Byramjee Jeejeebhoy(B J) Medical College, there is no major impact of the strike as of now.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"To cope up with the situation, we have cancelled the vacations of our faculty members and transferred non-clinical staff to clinical branches. As of now, there is no major impact on the services because the resident doctors have withdrawn themselves only from routine duties," the civil hospital's superintendent, Dr Rakesh Joshi, said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)