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
WHILE the entire state of Gujarat is expected to witness rainfall till July 9, parts of South Gujarat and coastal areas of Saurashtra will get extremely heavy showers in the next few days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.“In the coming five days the entire state is expected to receive rainfall. While most of the parts will receive light to moderate rainfall, heavy to extremely heavy rainfall will lash South Gujarat and Saurashtra Kutch, including the coastal districts of Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbamndar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar,” IMD’s regional director Manorama Mohanty has said.The rainfall activity is attributed to a low pressure area over central parts of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring regions with the associated cyclonic circulation.The state has recorded 117 mm total rainfall this monsoon season with a deficiency of 22 mm. On the day-wise forecast, Mohanty said, “Today, on July 5, South Gujarat region is expected to receive extremely heavy rainfall in Valsad along with Central Gujarat regions like Chhota Udepur.”She further said Saurahstra will report heavy to very heavy rainfall for four days barring Wednesday with a less rainfall activity. “But from July 9 Suarashtra Kutch is also expected to get very heavy rainfall while coastal districts of Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar are likely to receive extremely heavy showers.”From July 6 to July 8, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected along north Gujarat districts of Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Mahisagar and Dahod.“On July 8, extremely heavy rainfall is expected in South Gujarat like Valsad, Dang, while other districts might receive heavy to very heavy rainfall,” she said.For the forecast of Ahmedabad district, the regional director stated that South Ahmedabad is expected to receive heavy rainfall in the next five days.Also, the IMD has sounded alert for fishermen against venturing into the sea till July 9 along the Gujarat coast. Due to squally weather winds blowing at a speed of 40-50 kmph, fishermen are advised not to go to the sea off the South Gujarat coast from Mul Dwarka, Veraval, Diu, Jafrdabad, Pipavav, Bhavnagar, Victor, Alang, Bharuch, Dahej, Magdalla and Daman along with North Gujarat coast including Jakhau, Mandvi Kucth, Mundra, Navlakhi, Jamnagar, Salaya, Okha and Porbandar from July 5 to July 9.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued heavy rainfall warning across Gujarat till July 8 as the southwest monsoon got active over Gujarat.“Heavy rain is very likely in the districts of Gujarat region, namely Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Navsari and Valsad,” the IMD forecast for Monday stated.On Sunday, heavy rainfall was witnessed in more than 100 talukas of southern, Saurashtra and central districts Sunday. Mangrol in Surat recorded the highest rainfall of 38 mm till 8 pm Sunday followed by Songadh in Tapi at 35 mm, Karjan in Vadodara and Khambha in Amreli at 34 mm each, Navsari taluka in Navsari and Mandvi in Surat at 32 mm each, and Netrang in Bharuch 30 mm.During the week, more districts are expected to receive heavy rainfall, the weather department warned. These include Kheda, Ahmedabad, Panchmahal, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Dang and Tapi. Heavy rainfall is expected in the districts of Saurashtra, namely Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad on July 6.The weather department has issued heavy rainfall alerts for more districts of Saurashtra, including Porbandar, Junagadh, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Gir Somnath and Surendranagar on July 7 and 8.The widespread rainfall has helped in bringing down the mercury. On Sunday, the highest maximum temperature of 39 degrees Celsius in the state was recorded at Vallabh Vidyanagar followed by 37.2 degrees Celsius at Kandla Port. Kandla Airport recorded 37 degrees Celsius. Ahmedabad recorded 36.8, Bhuj and Naliya 36, Deesa 34.6, Gandhinagar 34.5, Bhavnagar 34.2 and Surendranagar 34 degrees Celsius.
PARTS OF Rajkot district were lashed by heavy rain leading to temporary waterlogging in many areas Friday. Moderate rainfall was reported from Amreli also.Lodhika taluka of Rajkot district received 115 millimetres (mm) of rain during the day Friday, an official release said. Neighbouring Gondal taluka recorded 78 mm. Jetpur taluka logged 50 mm, while Jamkandorna (37 mm) and Kotda Sangani (16mm) talukas of the district also recorded significant precipitation.Meanwhile, Rajkot city got its first spell of good rainfall this monsoon. It started raining in the afternoon and kept raining steadily until late evening. The flood control-room said the city registered 40 mm rainfall during the day. A rath carrying idols of Lord Jagannath and other deities in a procession taken out by ISKCON in Rajkot had to be covered with tarpaulin sheet as it started raining. The rain led to temporary waterlogging in Indrapasthnagar underpass, sections of 150-feet Ring Road, Kothariya Road, etc.Moderate rainfall was reported from Amreli district also. Lilia taluka of Amreli recorded 18 mm rainfall followed by Babra (17 mm), Vadiya (16 mm), Dhari (16 mm), Bagasara (15 mm), Amreli (13 mm), Jafrabad (10 mm) and Savarkundla (16 mm). Rain was reported from coastal Rajula taluka also. Isolated rainfall was reported from Devbhumi Dwarka and other districts of Saurashtra as well.
AHMEDABAD: Cloudy weather kept citizen’s hopes up all day on Wednesday, but rain eluded the city yet again. The maximum temperature rose to 39.4°C while the minimum was 27.5°C, both higher than normal. According to the IMD, light to moderate rain or thundershowers are expected in all parts of the state for the next four days with monsoon covering entire Gujarat.
Heavy rainfall was recorded in South Gujarat and Saurashtra on Sunday, while Ahmedabad also received rain in the evening, in a respite from the heat. As the Southwest monsoon further progressed in Gujarat, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a forecast of heavy rainfall across the state till July 1.“Heavy rain very likely in the districts of South Gujarat, including Valsad, and districts of Saurashtra Porbandar and Junagadh. Light thunderstorm with lightning and surface wind at 30- 40 kmph (in gust) accompanied with light tomoderate rain very likely in all the districts of Gujarat,” the IMD forecast issued Sunday stated.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxTemperature in Ahmedabad was 43.4 degrees Celsius Sunday, the highest in the state. While the city received an average of 9 mm rainfall till Sunday evening, the South west zone alone recorded 33 mm rainfall.Umerpada in Surat recorded the highest of 65 mm rainfall followed by Dharampur in Valsad (45 mm), Fatepura in Dahod (32 mm), Waghai in Dang (31 mm), Chikhli in Navsari (25 mm) and Sanjeli in Dahod (21 mm) till Sunday 6 pm. Till 8 pm, the localised rainfall over South West zone with high velocity winds in the city resulted in an average of 33 mm rainfall recorded between two hours. Jodhpur ward recorded the highest of 42.5 mm rainfall followed by Bopal (33.5 mm). Felling of several trees was also reported due to winds from the South west zone including the stretch from Rajpath Club till Sardar Patel Ring road leading to road blockages and diversions. Also, water logging from these areas was reported till late night.The only other ward to receive heavy rainfall was Usmanpura in the West zone also recorded 31 mm. According to IMD forecast, most parts of Rajkot, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Junagadh, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Dwarka, Gir Somnath, Botad along with Bharuch, Surat, Navsari are expected to receive heavy rainfall later this week.
Valsad police arrested a scrap merchant in Dhimsa Kakariya village of Umargam taluka on Sunday on allegations of suspected cattle theft ahead of the festival of Bakri eid, after receiving a tip-off from a cow vigilante group, Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal.The arrested individual, Zakir Shaikh, was booked under different sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, after two adult cows and six younger ones were found tied in a small room in his house. Shaikh told cops he kept the cows as a hobby. Members of the vigilante group accompanied police on their visit to Shaikh’s house.In another incident on Sunday, Umargam police and Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal gave a chase to a car allegedly loaded with cattle. The occupants abandoned their vehicle near Dhimsa Kakariya village and escaped into the nearby forest.Police seized the car and registered offences against the driver of the car and others under various sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act.In the third such incident on Sunday, police chased a car allegedly loaded with cattle from Bhilad village in Umargam taluka. The driver drove to neighbouring Talsari district in Maharashtra, abandoned the vehicle loaded with two cows and escaped from the spot. Umargam police contacted Talasari police and handed the seized cattles and car to them. Talasari police have registered offence in this connection, against the car drivers under different sections of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.These arrests and seizures comes as Bakri Eid is days away. Last week police established 17 checkpoints in Valsad and started keeping a strict vigil to prevent incidents of cattle theft by different gangs operating out of Maharashtra as the festival nears.Umargam borders Palghar district of Maharashtra. Valsad district has been witnessing cattle theft incidents by organised cattle thieves gangs from Bhiwandi in Thane district.The cattle seized from Shaikh’s house and from the abandoned vehicle has been sent to a panjrapole run by a private trust in Umargam.Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal, the cow vigilante group which has been providing information to police on alleged cattle theft and accompanying them during raids and arrests, claim that gangs operating out of Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi have been long involved in cattle theft in the area.Agniveer Gau Sewa Dal of Valsad vice president Umesh Rajpurohit said, “Since long, the professional gangs of Bhiwandi are involved in the theft of cattle from Umargam taluka. They use two or three cars are for patrolling and one car is used to keep cattles. Their patrolling cars first make rounds on the road and identify the cattles, later they make a round in the nearby area to spot cops or Gaurakshaks and later they steal the cattle. They also carry stones in the patrolling cars as when we chase them in the vehicles they throw stones on us or on our vehicles, in a bid to escape.”Talking to the Indian Express Valsad District Superintendent of police Rajdeepsinh Zala said, “We have till date arrested around five notorious cattle thieves gangs of Bhiwandi in Maharashtra for their involvement in the cattle thefts in Valsad, in last six months. There are many more gangs operational in Bhiwandi. The cars used by them are stolen ones. They fix the duplicate number plate of Maharashtra and after entering in Gujarat border, they fix the duplicate number plate of Gujarat registration.”“They identify the cattles on the roadside or grazing in the fields. The gang members give bread mixed with some chemicals to cows and later give them injection to make them unconscious. Later they lift cows in the car and escape. The gang sells the stolen cows to butchers in Maharashtra,” he added.
AHMEDABAD: On Sunday, the city experienced cloudy weather but no rain. In the periphery, however, Bavla recorded 12mm rainfall, Dhandhuka 5mm, Viramgam and Daskroi 3mm each. According to the state government data, 129 talukas received rains on Sunday with 53 recording 10mm or more. Mangrol near Surat recorded 38mm, followed by 35mm at Songadh near Tapi and 34mm reach in Kambha near Amreli and Karjan near Vadodara. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy rain is very likely in Bharuch, Surat, Navsari, Valsad, Porbandar, Junagadh, and Devbhoomi Dwarka on Monday, and Navsari, Valsad, Kheda, Ahmedabad, Panchmahal, Vadodara, Chhota Udepur, Narmada, Bharuc, Surat, Dang, Tapi, Amreli, Bhavnagar and Botad on Tuesday.
A 26-year-old Bihar native, who was caught moving suspiciously in a residential society in Vapi town of Gujarat’s Valsad district, allegedly died in police custody on Thursday. The police said he suffered a seizure while at the station and as he collapsed, his head hit the corner of a table.On the basis of the statement given by the deceased prior to his death, the police identified him as Akhilesh Chandrajeet Rai (26) of Daman. According to the police, doctors who carried out the post-mortem identified brain haemorrage as the cause of death. Officers said they are trying to trace the relatives and friends of Rai as he had not disclosed his address to them.The police said the security guard of an under-construction building of one Nirav Shah in Ajitnagar residential society in the Chala area of Vapi town spotted a youth moving suspiciously on Wednesday night. He caught the youth and handed him over to the police. Shah also handed an application to the police station in this connection, the police said, adding that during primary interrogation, the nabbed individual did not mention his full address in Daman or Bihar or the names of people he knew in Daman. The cops kept him on the first floor in the surveillance department room of Vapi police station for further questioning.Vapi police inspector B J Sarwaiya said, “On Thursday morning, he was walking in the surveillance room without any reason. While walking, he suffered a seizure and fell on the floor, but his head hit the corner of a wooden table and he became unconscious. The 108 ambulance took him to the government hospital where he was declared dead by doctors. On Friday, the post-mortem was done by a panel of forensic science medicine doctors at Surat New Civil Hospital. The doctors claimed that he died due to brain haemorrhage. The doctors told us that the deceased also had some old injuries on the other part of his head. We have lodged a complaint of accidental death and started probe.”The inspector added, “Rai had not provided full address and his details to the cops during primary questioning. We have sent our teams to labourers’ areas in Daman to identify him. We are also taking the help of Daman police to identify him. Our teams had found nothing except a handkerchief in his pocket. We suspect that he might be a mentally retarded person and the security guard suspected him to be a miscreant. Our teams are jointly working with the Daman police for his identification.”On February 17 this year, Lata alias Shushila Gawani (70), an alleged bootlegger who had been nabbed by the police, was found dead at the Vapi town police station.
SURAT: The Ukai reservoir started receiving fresh water of the season with rainfall in the catchment area in Maharashtra on Thursday. Over 11,000 cusecs inflow were reported at the dam while the water level was at 315.33 foot. Dam officials claim there will not be immediate change in levels as water is being released for irrigation at present. “Considering the demand for water by farmers, we are releasing water through the canal. Till the monsoon picks up in south Gujarat, there will be water demand from the dam and hence there will not be significant rise in water levels,” said a dam official. Meanwhile, Umapada in Surat district received 161 mm rain on Thursday while Mangrol got 71 mm, Kamrej 61 mm and Choryasi 29 mm. Surat city received 12 mm rain during the day due to which some areas witnessed water logging issues. Meanwhile, 159 mm rain was recorded in Valsad taluka and 89 mm in Pardi taluka of Valsad on Thursday. In Vapi 36 mm and Hansot of Bharuch got 32mm, Dharampur 23 mm and Kaprada 20mm rainfall. Parts of Surat, Bharuch, Navsari, Dang, Tapi and Valsad districts of south Gujarat are likely to receive more rainfall in the next three days, said Manorama Mohanty, the director of Meteorological Centre, Ahmedabad. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places of the region, she said. “Though there will not be any significant rain in Saurashtra and Kutch region today, the rainfall activity will gain momentum from tomorrow and may bring heavy rainfall in some parts of that region on July 3 and 4,” Mohanty said. In the last 24 hours ending at 6am, Valsad received 159 mm rain, while Pardi received 89 mm, it said. According to officials, waterlogging was reported in low-lying areas of Valsad town and some parts of Surat, such as Varachha, Kapodra, Mahidharpura and Patel Wadi.
Surat: The Ukai reservoir started receiving fresh water of the season with rainfall in the catchment area in Maharashtra on Thursday. Over 11,000 cusecs inflow were reported at the dam while the water level was at 315.33 foot. Dam officials claim there will not be immediate change in levels as water is being released for irrigation at present. “Considering the demand for water by farmers, we are releasing water through the canal. Till the monsoon picks up in south Gujarat, there will be water demand from the dam and hence there will not be significant rise in water levels,” said a dam official. Meanwhile, Umapada in Surat district received 161 mm rain on Thursday while Mangrol got 71 mm, Kamrej 61 mm and Choryasi 29 mm. Surat city received 12 mm rain during the day due to which some areas witnessed water logging issues. Meanwhile, 159 mm rain was recorded in Valsad taluka and 89 mm in Pardi taluka of Valsad on Thursday. In Vapi 36 mm and Hansot of Bharuch got 32mm, Dharampur 23 mm and Kaprada 20mm rainfall. Parts of Surat, Bharuch, Navsari, Dang, Tapi and Valsad districts of south Gujarat are likely to receive more rainfall in the next three days, said Manorama Mohanty, the director of Meteorological Centre, Ahmedabad.Heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely at isolated places of the region, she said.“Though there will not be any significant rain in Saurashtra and Kutch region today, the rainfall activity will gain momentum from tomorrow and may bring heavy rainfall in some parts of that region on July 3 and 4,” Mohanty said.In the last 24 hours ending at 6am, Valsad received 159 mm rain, while Pardi received 89 mm, it said.According to officials, waterlogging was reported in low-lying areas of Valsad town and some parts of Surat, such as Varachha, Kapodra, Mahidharpura and Patel Wadi.
GANDHINAGAR: Aiming to give an impetus to tourism and economic activities in the state, Gujarat government has proposed a new 1,630-kilometre coastal corridor from Umeragm in the south to Narayan Sarovar in Kutch. To be completed under PM GatiShakti scheme, the government proposes to set aside a buffer area along the highway for industrial and allied activities. The government has already earmarked the first 300 km covering Valsad, Navsari, Surat and Bharuch districts. With the objective of giving an impetus to tourism and economic activities in the state, the Gujarat government has proposed a new 1,630km long coastal corridor from Umargam in south Gujarat to Narayan Sarovar in Kutch. To be completed under the PM Gati Shakti scheme, the government proposes to set aside a stipulated area along the highway for various industrial and allied activities. The state government has already earmarked the first 300 kilometres of the project covering the districts of Valsad, Navsari, Surat and Bharuch in south Gujarat. A key source close to the development confirmed that the state government has proposed a new coastal corridor highway under the PM Gati Shakti project. "This will probably be the longest coastal highway in the country. Out of the total length of 1,630km, a stretch of 140km will be developed as greenfield coastal area while the remaining 1,490km will be brownfield road," sources said. Providing more information, sources said that the corridor will be minimum ten metres wide with three driving lanes, while at present, the existing roads are less than five metres wide. "A fixed area along the coastal corridor will be declared as a buffer area and will be reserved for future development. This will truly be a coastal highway corridor," sources said. Sources said that the total estimated project cost will be around Rs 2,400 crore and is expected to be completed in three years. "For the first phase, 300km has been earmarked in four districts of south Gujarat for development of the project. The objective is boost coastal tourism, transport and other economic activities," said informed sources. Under the PM Gati Shakti project, a detailed plan has been prepared for first 300km stretch. Sources said that the entire corridor is being planned keeping in mind the CRZ (coastal regulation zone) restrictions, forest regulations and the like. "We have followed all guidelines to avoid delays in clearances. All highway points have been designed to be 500 metres from the HTL (high tide level) so that people can enjoy the beauty of the sea coast. The government aims to link all tourism attractions and industrial hubs to the coastal corridor. The tourism and other departments will also prepare their respective roadmaps to optimize the outcomes of this ambitious 1,630km long project," said sources.
Over 130 trees were uprooted and around 10 hoardings fell, damaging over five vehicles, in the thunderstorm that lashed Ahmedabad late Sunday, with most of the damage in Jodhpur and Bodakdev areas, according to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). However, no casualty was reported.AMC city engineer Harpalsinh Zala, said, “Over 130 trees were uprooted in Jodhpur, Bodakdev and SG highway due to heavy winds. Hoardings on the roadside also fell, causing damage. Water-logging was also reported due to leaves of fallen trees getting stuck in the manholes. The blockages were cleared immediately.”The hoardings fell on three cars and two autorickshaws parked on the roadside, damaging the vehicles, he added.India Meteorological Department (IMD) regional director Manorama Mohanty said, “It was a thunderstorm activity that was reported across Gujarat, barring the South Gujarat parts.”As per IMD forecast issued Monday, there are five synoptic situations that are developing over the region, including an offshore trough, low pressure area over the Arabian Sea, cyclonic circulation and a trough from cyclonic circulation over central parts of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring areas.Heavy rain with thunderstorm is expected across the state in the coming days as well, she added. The state has recorded seven per cent rainfall.The weather department has issued a heavy rainfall warning for Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Dahod, Chhota Udepur, Bharuch, Dang, Tapi, Surat, Valsad, Navsari and in Daman, Dadara Nagar Haveli; in the districts of Saurashtra namely Amreli, Bhavnagar, Gir Somnath, Junagadh from June 28 and 30 as well as July 1 and 2.Sunday’s rainfall brought down temperatures across the state, majorly in areas like Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Rajkot and Surendranagar that reported a drop of 5-8 degrees.
Vadodara: Heavy rains accompanied by lightning and thunder lashed the city on Sunday evening. After the skies remained clear all day, it suddenly changed in the evening and by 8pm, it began to pour heavily again, sending people scurrying for cover in the city.The walled city areas, including Dandia Bazaar, Raopura Road, Panigate and Wadi, witnessed waterlogging due to the heavy downpour. In the western areas, the Old Padra Road saw heavy traffic snarls due to the ongoing construction of a flyover. The narrow service roads on both sides of the flyover got waterlogged for a while. Godhra taluka in Panchmahal district too saw heavy winds and lightning. A tree caught fire after it got struck by lightning about six kilometres from Godhra town. In Mahisagar district, a five-year-old girl got electrocuted as she got close to an electric pole. Her family members, though, saved the minor and rushed her to the hospital. Her condition is said to be stable.Across Gujarat, 84 talukas recorded rainfall till 8pm. Umarpada in Surat recorded maximum 65mm of rain, followed by 50mm in Dharampur, Valsad; 47mm in Jambughoda, Panchmahal; 42mm in Songadh, Tapi; and 41mm in Chikhli, Navsari. Viramgam recorded 25mm of rain, and Sanand and Mandal, 4mm each.According to IMD forecast, some parts of south Gujarat may experience heavy rainfall on Monday and almost all the districts are likely to get thundershowers due to a cyclonic circulation.
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
Hours ahead of June 21 morning, when the International Yoga Day was celebrated, a luxury hotel on the Surat-Dumas Road came under a tight police cordon. At least 30 Shiv Sena MLAs from Maharashtra, led by Eknath Shinde, a minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, had driven down to Surat on June 20 night to seek sanctuary in this hotel – and to declare a rebellion against the Uddhav-led Sena.Gujarat BJP chief Chandrakant Raghunath Paatil, popularly known as CR, was due to attend a Yoga Day event at Raisan village in Gandhinagar, which however was cancelled at the last minute.While Surat seemed to be a natural choice for the rebel Sena MLAs, given that it is just 279-km from Mumbai in the BJP-ruled Gujarat, the presence of a man at the Le Meridien hotel, where 40 rooms had been booked on June 20 night, confirmed that the operation bore the stamp of C R Paatil, a Lok Sabha MP from Navsari with roots in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district, who is also said to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.That man was Paresh Patel, Paatil’s confidant and the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC)’s Standing Committee chairman, who was at the hotel right from June 20 night when the rebel Sena MLAs arrived. So, although Paatil was out of sight, at his behest Paresh remained at the helm of the Surat scene from where Shinde’s rebellion plan was set into motion.Paatil told The Indian Express that he had been out of Surat “since Monday”. The presence of the Gujarat police personnel in significant numbers outside the hotel and that of a police team, including Surat city joint commissioner Sharad Singhal, inside it indicated that Paatil’s another confidant, the Gujarat minister of state for home Harsh Sanghavi, a Surat MLA, could not have been unaware of this operation and the identity of the guests there.Sources said that nearly 32 rebel MLAs reached Surat on June 20 night after being driven from Maharashtra, and six others joined them on early June 21 morning. At around 4 am on June 22, a chartered Spice Jet flight carrying 38 Sena and Independent MLAs along with Shinde, flew out of Surat to Guwahati in flood-ravaged Assam, another BJP-ruled state.From June 20 night to early June 22, two developments seemed to have led to this evacuation from Surat: one was the access gained by Uddhav’s two emissaries – his personal secretary Milind Narvekar and the Legislative Council member Ravindra Phatak – to the hotel to meet the rebel Sena MLAs and, secondly, the bid made by two party MLAs, Nitin Deshmukh and Kailas Patil, to “escape” from there against Shinde’s plan, insider sources told The Indian Express. “Being close to Maharashtra did not look like a good idea any more,” said a source.Surat city was selected as a safe haven by the Sena rebels because it is in a BJP-ruled state and barely 279-km away from Mumbai, even as it has a good road, air and rail connectivity. Maharashtra’s Palghar district shares its border with Gujarat’s Valsad district. All the rebel MLAs were brought to Surat by road via Palghar, a distance of 212 kms, said a source. While Navsari and Valsad districts are closer to Maharashtra, “neither has an airport or luxury hotels”, the source added. A significant part of Navsari, Paatil’s parliamentary constituency, lies in Surat district.According to a source who handled the logistics for the Shinde camp in Surat, 38 rebel MLAs were flown from the city on a chartered Spice Jet flight to Guwahati on June 21. Four MLAs flew out on a chartered flight on June 22, while four more followed suit on June 23 at around 6 am. Sources in the local BJP unit said that the two aircraft chartered from Mumbai and Delhi were stationed at the Surat airport “in readiness” with the city becoming the rebel MLAs’ key transit base. Thus, said the source, “46 Shiv Sena and Independent MLAs reached Guwahati”.While Paresh Patel was seen at the Le Meridien hotel in his official car, sources said he was assisted by his colleagues in the SMC, such as BJP councillor Dinesh Rajpurohit, councillor Amit Singh Rajput, and Surat party general secretary Kishor Bindal. All these BJP leaders, affiliated to the Paatil camp, were given various assignments, including the crucial tasks of booking flights and accomodation for the Sena rebels.The 170-room Le Meridien hotel on Surat-Dumas Road was chosen, sources said, because it was located just a km off the Surat airport. “In the case of an emergency all the MLAs could have been rushed in a short time to the Surat airport, which has good domestic air connectivity as well as parking space for chartered planes,” said a source.Surat, which is home to some of the country’s leading diamond barons, is not only flush with funds but has also those businessmen “willing to back such an operation”, of whom several own chartered planes too, sources said.Sources in the Surat BJP unit said that prior to the arrival of Shinde’s flock of MLAs to the city, local party leaders had contacted Le Meridien and made arrangements for their accommodation there.Before the MLAs checked into the hotel, the Gujarat police personnel were already deployed in its premises. The MLAs were kept in rooms on the hotel’s fourth floor, with the BJP leaders being present there to take care of their requirements. The cops in plainclothes were also stationed on different floors to ensure no one breached the cordon, and to keep the flock “insulated” from curious visitors. Three layers of security were ensured outside the hotel with only guests with prior bookings allowed entry on showing their identity proofs. The hotel staff were stationed along with policemen, who had the list of such guests.“An operation with such precision and secrecy could not have happened without the knowledge of the BJP top brass,” said a Congress leader.
Ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year, the Congress has expanded its organisational strength in the state by appointing presidents and working presidents in cities and districts.According to a release issued by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary KC Venugopal Thursday evening, the newly appointed unit presidents are Shailendrasinh Vaghela in Gandhinagar city, Patel Sureshbhai Maganbhai in Sabarkantha, Patel Manharbhai in Surat district, Hasmukh Desai, Surat city, Rambhai Mapabhai Odedra, Porbander district, Ranjit Thakor, Mehsana, Dinesh Patel, Valsad, Yajuvendrasinh Jadeja in Kutch, Prakashbhai Vaghani, Bhavnagar city, Parimalsinh Rana in Bharuch district, Tejpratapsinh Sokhi in Bharuch city, and Kamlendrasinh Puvar in Aravali.Four working presidents have been appointed in Surat — Firoz Malek, Bhupendra Solanki, Ashok PInpale, and Deep Naik.
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.
With monsoon arriving on time, farmers in Gujarat have started sowing for the Kharif season, covering 2.53 lakh hectares in the first two weeks of June, a 16 per cent rise in sowing compared to the same period in 2021.Cotton and groundnut farmers have taken the lead accounting for almost 2.33 lakh hectares of total area sown till June 13, states latest data from the Directorate of Agriculture, Government of Gujarat. During the same period last year, sowing was done in 2.18 lakh hectares.Among the groundnut farmers, those in Saurashtra region have taken a lead by sowing 98,400 hectares. Similarly, cotton also has seen maximum sowing in Saurashtra in 94,300 hectares.Among districts, the highest sowing in the state so far has been in Morbi district with 42,000 hectares, followed by Junagadh 39,300 hectares, Rajkot with 39,100 hectares and Surendranagar 368 hectares. Except for Surendranagar that has received 27 per cent more rainfall, all other districts in Saurashtra have rainfall deficits ranging around 88-19 per cent.While, monsoon is yet to cover the entire state, there is a 50 per cent deficit in rainfall. In most of South and Central Gujarat districts that also have similar rainfall deficit, Kharif sowing is yet to begin on a large scale. Panchmahal, Dahod, Mahisagar, Chotta Udepur, Bharuch, Dang and Valsad are the among the districts where sowing is yet to begin. These are also the districts that have large tribal population.The Gujarat government has already estimated that farmers in Gujarat will need 19.95 lakh metric tonnes of chemical fertilisers for Kharif 2022 which will be 19 per cent more than last year. The government will provide a subsidy of Rs 5,278 crore this season.Meanwhile, sowing of bajra, jowar, urad, sesamum, castor, tobaaco and guar seed is yet to commence.
In two separate accidents in Gujarat, two minors and two youths drowned in Surat and Valsad districts, respectively.As per reports, Mahenur Malek (8) and her cousin, Rehan Pathan (10), both residents of Limodara village in Mangrol taluka of Surat district, lost their lives Sunday after drowning in a pond. The two kids had reportedly gone to relieve themselves near a pond. The family members later retrieved Rehan and Mahenur’s body from the pond.Kosamba police have registered a case of accidental death and launched a probe in the matter. They have sent the bodies of the two children to the primary healthcare centre in Mangrol.Ilyas Pathan, the father of Rehan Pathan, told indianexpress.com, “Mahenur is the daughter of my sister, who resides in Moti Naroli village in Mangrol taluka. Mahenur and her elder brother, Farhan, had come to stay in my house for a couple of days. On Sunday evening, Mahenur, Farhan and Rehan went to answer nature’s call in our backyard near the pond. Mahenur and Rehan slipped into the pond. Farhan rushed back and informed us about the accident, but by then both the kids had drowned.”In another accident, Ajit Chauhan (19) and Babu Valmiki (21), both residents of Dungra village in Valsad taluka, drowned while swimming in Damanganga river near their village Sunday evening. Hitesh, who accompanied the two, rushed back to the village for help, sources said.Dungra police and Valsad fire department officials reached the spot after receiving information of the accident. Life Saver Group volunteers from neighbouring Chanderpur village also reached the spot. The body of Ajit was retrieved late Sunday evening. But till last reports came in, Babu’s body could not be located.Dungra police have registered a case of accidental death and handed over Ajit’s body to his family members Monday afternoon.
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.
His remarks on reservation may have invited the ire of several Rajya Sabha MPs in 2015, but during the Covid-19 lockdown and the pandemic’s second wave his injunctions and observations were a big reason why the Gujarat government was compelled to submit reports on action taken to help migrant labourers and patients.On Monday, Justice Jamshed Burjor Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court is set to take oath as a Supreme Court judge along with Gauhati High Court Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia. The Union Ministry of Law and Justice confirmed both their appointments on Saturday following the SC Collegium’s recommendation earlier in the week.Justice Pardiwala was born on August 12, 1965, in Mumbai to a family of lawyers and grew up in the town of Valsad in south Gujarat. He completed his schooling in the town’s St Joseph’s Convent and graduated from JP Arts College there in 1985. A source close to the judge said that as a student he took a keen interest in sports and “played tennis”. The source added, “He studied in Gujarati medium throughout college and later gained proficiency in English.”Justice Pardiwala studied law in the town’s KM Law College till 1988 and received his Sanad (a charter that lawyers need to practise law) on November 18, 1988. By the following year, he was a practising lawyer at the Valsad district court, said a source close to his family.At 56 years, Justice Pardiwala is among the youngest judges to be elevated to the Supreme Court. Senior Congress leader Gaurav Pandya said, “His father Burjorji Pardiwala was a Congress MLA and served as the Speaker of the seventh Gujarat Assembly (1989-1990) during the chief ministerships of Madhavsinh Solanki and Amarsinh Chaudhary.”Justice Pardiwala’s great grandfather Navrojji Bhikhaji Pardiwala practised law in Valsad in 1894 while his grandfather Cawasji Navrojji Pardiwala joined the Valsad Bar in 1929 and practised law till 1958. His father Burjorji, who was proficient in civil and customs matters, joined the Bar in 1955 and even became the president of the Valsad District Bar Association, said Pandya who was the Association’s vice president at the time. With his mother still living in Valsad, the judge’s link to the town has remained strong to this day.Justice Pardiwala shifted to the Gujarat High Court In September 1990 and began practising all the branches of law. He became a member of the Gujarat High Court Legal Services Authority and in 2002 he was appointed the standing counsel for the High Court and its subordinate courts. During this period, “he cleared nearly 1,200 cases that had piled up related to the court’s administrative functions”, said a colleague.He was elevated as an Additional Judge of the High Court on February 17, 2011, and was confirmed as a permanent judge on January 28, 2013. There, Justice Pardiwala presided over criminal, civil, taxation, and commercial matters. He also adjudicated environmental matters and took up the Sabarmati pollution issue suo motu. A source close to Justice Pardiwala described him as a “judge of the masses” who is “soft-spoken, gentle, and upright”.Rajya Sabha controversyIn 2015, 58 Rajya Sabha members petitioned Vice President of India and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Mohammad Hamid Ansari to initiate impeachment proceedings against Justice Pardiwala for his “unconstitutional” remarks on reservation while hearing a petition by Patidar leader Hardik Patel and others to quash sedition charges against them. The judge initially observed that in his opinion “reservation and corruption are two things that have not allowed the country to progress in the right direction”. Following the petition by the members of the Upper House of Parliament, he expunged his remarks and later deleted them through a “speaking to minutes” order.The judge, in May 2020, headed a Division Bench that heard a public interest litigation (PIL) plea on the Gujarat government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis. The Bench compared the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to a “dungeon” and did not agree with the state government’s narrative that all was well. Days later, following a roster change on the last working day of the week, Justice Pardiwala was shuffled out of the Bench.The judge, who is part of around 1,012 reportable judgments on varied subjects, will serve in the Supreme Court till his retirement in 2030.
AHMEDABAD: Southwest monsoon advanced to some parts of southern Gujarat on Monday, two days prior to the traditional onset date of June 15. The rainfall on Sunday night and Monday morning gave much-needed respite to the city that has experienced one of the hottest summers in a decade. Several parts of the city recorded drizzle to light rains in the early hours of Monday. At Ambedkar Bridge, several commuters slipped on an oil slick; a video of the same went viral on social media. The city experienced cloudy weather for almost the entire day on Monday and recorded a maximum temperature of 34.7°C, among the lowest temperatures in the past three months. It was also the first day of below-40°C temperature after April 20. At 40°C, Kandla was the hottest town in the state. 'Southwest monsoon has further advanced into some more parts of Arabian Sea, some parts of Gujarat, entire Konkan, most parts of Maharashtra, most parts of Marathwada and Karnataka, some parts of Telangana and Rayalaseema, some more parts of Tamil Nadu, most parts of sub-Himalayan West Bengal and some parts of Bihar today,' mentioned the India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin. It added that conditions are favourable for further advance of monsoon in some more parts of north Arabian sea and Gujarat state among other parts of country in the next 48 hours. The IMD forecast indicated possibility of light to moderate rains in Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Dang, Tapi, Navsari, Valsad and all districts of Saurashtra on Tuesday. In Morbi district, three members of a family were killed after a wall of their house collapsed, police said.
Gandhinagar: People from Gujarat who routinely frequent watering holes in neighbouring union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli adjoining South Gujarat border and Diu on the Saurashtra coast may have some discouraging news. The government of India’s Western Zonal Council in its meeting held at Diu last week, deferred the proposal to merge four South Gujarat villages and a part of Ghoghala village of Saurashtra into the neighbouring UTs.The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) had earlier decided on to merge four villages of Valsad district — Meghval, Nagar, Raymal and Madhuban — into Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and a part of Ghoghala village in Gujarat into the UT of Diu. Final ratification of the decision has to be made at the Western Zonal Council, and this has been deferred. There are groups supporting and others opposing the proposal.Officials said the four Valsad villages are geographically connected to the neighbouring UT. Meghval village is completely surrounded by the union territory while the three other villages are between the Madhuban dam reservoir and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. “In the monsoon, most areas of these villages get submerged and their only access point is through the union territory. There was long-pending demand to merge these four Gujarat villages into the union territory. It will also boost tourism and employment in the villages,” officials said.The state government reportedly agreed to hand over administration of Meghval village to the UT, but has reservations about the other three villages. At the meeting, Gujarat also raised a demand for preserving its rights over the Madhubani dam water.Sources, however, said that the coming assembly election is the primary reason why a decision has been put in abeyance.The western council standing committee also discussed the Ghoghala issue on the Saurashtra coast. Diu had given a plot of land to Gujarat back in 1989 for developing a fishing port, and in return, the state was expected to give a plot of land to Diu. This has been pending for over 30 years.“The collector of Diu identified a piece of land on the Ghoghala village beach line. Handing over the land will further boost tourist development in the UT. The administrator of Daman & Diu also requested the Gujarat chief minister in writing to give the said land to Diu, which will increase tourism in Diu. The Daman & Diu administration has also demanded possession of the once famous but now defunct Magico Do Mar resort of the Gujarat tourism department,” sources said.“If these decisions are ratified by the competent authorities including the Union ministry of home affairs, liquor can be sold and consumed in the four villages of south Gujarat and Ghoghala in Saurashtra,” sources said.
Contracts worth Rs 18,000 crore have already been awarded for the construction of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) in Gujarat, and a 100 kilometers stretch has already been commissioned, said officials of Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) on Saturday.DFCCIL is a special purpose vehicle set up under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways.DFCCIL’s Rs 18,000 crore investment “includes major civil, electrical and Signal and telecommunications contracts worth Rs 14,000 crore and ROB (Road Over Bridges) contracts worth Rs 4,500 crore,” said Niraj Verma, Group General Manager, DFCCIL.“The total length of DFC in Gujarat is 565 kilometers of which about one-fifth of the route has been constructed and commissioned from New SriAmirgardagh till New Mehsana. About 52 trains are running of which approximately 20 trains ply towards Gandhidham and 10 trains from Pipavav,” Verma added.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxThese are dedicated tracks for operating freight trains and run almost parallel to the Indian Railways at many places in the state. The first trail on the DFC in Gujarat was successfully conducted between New Palanpur and New Mehsana stations in May, 2022.A total of 2,578 hectares have been acquired for the project and Rs 1,955 crore has been paid to 9,342 Project Affected Families as compensation in Gujarat.The route of DFC passes through 12 districts including Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Navsari and Valsad.
NAVSARI: Taking a swipe at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that those who were in power for the longest time since Independence never gave priority to the development of tribal and far-flung areas as it required hard work. Launching projects worth Rs 3,050 crore for tribal districts of south Gujarat in Khudvel village of Navsari, Modi categorically rejected the narrative that development projects are launched only with an eye on votes ahead of elections and said welfare of poor has been the sole priority of his government for the last eight years. "I have been in public life for over two decades. I challenge them to dig out a single week when I did not launch a developmental project," he said. Without naming any political party, the PM added, "Those who ruled the country for a long time after Independence, never gave priority to tribal areas where development works were direly needed, because it needed hard work. Modi dedicated the Rs 586 crore Astol regional water supply scheme, an engineering marvel, which will end water woes of 174 villages of Dharampur and Kaprada talukas of tribal-dominated Valsad, by lifting water from Madhuban Dam to a height of over ,1800 feet (equivalent to a 200-storey building). The network of pipelines has been constructed criss-crossing the hills in this difficult terrain. The project was announced by Modi during his visit to Navsari in 2018. "In 2018 when I announced this project, critics had claimed that we were doing it with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Now, they have been proved wrong. We lifted water and took it to the top of the hill. Who would do such hard work for only 200-300 votes? We undertook this project to ease people's problems and not due to elections," he said. The tribal outreach by BJP here witnessed the participation of nearly five lakh people, which Modi said was a moment for pride for him as he had not seen such a rousing reception in the region even when he was the chief minister. Modi said there were a large number of students in this tribal region who excelled in academics but there was not a single science stream schools or colleges which could have nurtured their dreams of becoming doctors and engineers. "We have completely changed his scenario and there not just medical and engineering colleges but universities too now in tribal areas," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government’s development projects were “not to win elections” but for the “good of the people”. It is the “people who make us win elections”, he said during the Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan event at Khudvel village of Chikhli taluka in Navsari district Friday.“When we do work, some people taunt, saying (we are doing this) because of the upcoming elections. In our tenure, find one week, when we have not done one work of development… I am compelled to say this because in 2018, when I announced this project, some people said—the Lok Sabha elections are coming in 2019. So Modi saheb has come to show us aamba-aamli (dreams)… but today, I am proud that we have proved them false and we have taken water to homes. If we had to do this to win elections, then we wouldn’t do this magajmaari (take the trouble) for 200-300 votes… we don’t do this to win elections; we have come to do good for the people. It is the people who make us win elections,” the PM said. Modi laid foundation stones, inaugurated and dedicated projects worth Rs 3,050 crore during his day-long visit to Gujarat.The projects that Modi inaugurated included a GMERS Medical College at Navsari, Astol water supply project for different villages in Kaprada and Dharampur taluka of Valsad district that covers nearly 4.5 lakh people.He emphasised that members from the Adivasi community also have a right to clean drinking water. “It is for them that I have taken up these campaigns; not to win elections,” Modi stated.The Prime Minister said the entire world was hit by Covid-19, but it was only India that provided such a large vaccine coverage of 200 crore doses. “It is in our culture to care for those living in the faraway jungles,” Modi said.Without naming former chief minister of Gujarat, Amarsinh Chaudhary, who was a tribal, he said, “There was a time in Gujarat when there was a chief minister from this very region, this Adivasi region, and his own village had no water tank. They would install hand pumps that would dry up in a year and a half. When I took the responsibility of Gujarat, I built a water tank in his village.”
NAVSARI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the 'pride' of Gujarat is the rapid development of the state in the last two decades. PM Modi was speaking in the 'Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan' in Navsari. The PM said, "The rapid development in the state during the last two decades is the pride of Gujarat, development for all and a new aspiration born out of this development. The double engine government is sincerely carrying forward this glorious tradition." Before taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, PM Modi has the distinction of being the longest serving chief minister of Gujarat with his term spanning from October 2001 to May 2014. According to PM Modi, the government, in the last eight years has given importance to the upliftment of the poor. "In the last eight years, following the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, our government has laid the utmost emphasis on the welfare of the poor, on providing basic facilities to the poor," he added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth about Rs 3,050 crores in Gujarat on Friday. According to the Prime Minister's Office, these projects will help in improving the water supply in the region, along with boosting connectivity and enhancing the ease of living. Later in the day, he will inaugurate AM Naik Healthcare Complex and Nirali Multi Speciality Hospital in Navsari. (With inputs from ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a traditional welcome during his visit to Navsari.Navsari: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday highlighted the development in Gujarat, saying that the "pride" of Gujarat is the rapid development of the state in the last two decades.PM Modi participated in the 'Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan' in Navsari on Friday.Speaking on the occasion, he said, "The rapid development in the state during the last two decades is the pride of Gujarat, development for all and a new aspiration born out of this development. The double engine government is sincerely carrying forward this glorious tradition."Before taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, PM Modi has the distinction of being the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat with his term spanning from October 2001 to May 2014.According to him, the government, in the last eight years, has given importance to the upliftment of the poor."In the last eight years, following the mantra of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, our government has laid the utmost emphasis on the welfare of the poor, on providing basic facilities to the poor," he added.Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of multiple development projects worth about Rs 3,050 crores in Gujarat on Friday.According to the Prime Minister's Office, these projects will help in improving the water supply in the region, along with boosting connectivity and enhancing the ease of living.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comLater in the day, he will inaugurate AM Naik Healthcare Complex and Nirali Multi Speciality Hospital in Navsari.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a ‘Samrasta Sammellan’ in Khudvel village, Gujarat’s Navsari district, on Friday (June 10) where he will inaugurate a group water supply scheme and other projects.The visit is significant also because the BJP is trying to reach out to tribal voters in the region, who have been unhappy about the Par Tapi Narmada (PTN) project.The protests against the now-scrapped project were spearheaded by Congress MLA Anant Patel, and the BJP fears losing this vote bank, which has tilted towards it in recent years.What is the group water supply project about?In 2018, PM Modi laid the foundation stone of Astol Group Water Supply scheme, which aims to supply potable tap water to homes in remote tribal villages under the Nal se Jal mission.Sources said over 95 per cent work of this scheme is complete. Nearly 4.5 lakh people in 174 villages and 1,028 falias (neighbourhoods) in Dharampur and Kaprada taluka of Valsad district will get water at homes through this project. The main pipeline network is 74.77-kilometre long, and has been laid in hilly terrain.Pumps ranging from 15 horsepower to 300 horsepower have been installed for water transmission. The pipeline network also passes through Par river in Valsad, one of the rivers that was to be interlinked under the Par Tapi Narmada (PTN) project. The water will be sourced from Madhuban dam in Dadra and Nagar Haveli union territory.The PM will also inaugurate 339 development projects worth Rs 115 crore in Dangs district, including a government Higher Secondary School, a road built under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak yojana, and a new building of the District panchayat bhavan in Ahwa.Meet to reach out to tribalsThe BJP is aggressively reaching out to tribals in Gujarat after their massive protests against the PTN project in February-March.PM Modi’s Samrasta Sammelan is at Khudvel village, where he is expected to address tribals from the five South Gujarat districts of Surat, Tapi, Navsari, Valsad, and Dang, the region that saw the protests.The Par Tapi Narmada river link project would have led to these tribals getting displaced. According to a report by the National Water Development Agency (NWDA), about 6,065 hectares of land would have been been submerged due to the proposed reservoirs. A total of 61 villages and over 2500 families would have been affected.The project was meant to divert excess water from the three rivers, which flows into the sea in the monsoon, to Saurashtra and Kutch for irrigation.However, the tribals launched a series of projects under the leadership of Congress MLA from Vansda, Anant Patel. Patel started a movement in February, holding group meetings and 11 massive rallies. This culminated in a meeting in Gandhinagar, addressed by senior Congress leaders.Post this, in March, the BJP first announced the project had been put on hold, and later said it was scrapped. However, the tribals have demanded a white paper in place of the verbal announcement.Congress meet in same area cancelledA meeting by Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi, planned in Vansda on June 12, has been cancelled, on account of his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his sister and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra falling ill.The tribal voteThere are 11 Assembly seats in South Gujarat reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), out of which seven are with BJP and four with Congress. Amid the PTN project row, tribal leaders from the region made representations to state BJP president C R Paatil, telling him angry voters are moving away from the BJP.On March 28, Chief minister Bhupendra Patel and Paatil held a meeting at Gandhinagar with the tribal leaders, announcing the state would not give consent to the project. Later, Paatil and other tribal leaders, including state tribal minister Naresh Patel, met Union Home minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, explaining their concerns.On May 22, CM Patel and Paatil addressed a press conference in Surat, announcing the project had been scrapped. The same evening, Paatil addressed Adijati Utsav at Vansda in Navsari, saying the project would not go ahead. However, sources said that despite continuous efforts by the state BJP machinery, the tribals are not satisfied and want a white paper.Preparations at the venueAt the Adijati Utsav in Vansda, Paatil had announced that over 4 lakh people, majority of them tribals, would attend PM Modi’s address at Khudvel. The state BJP had given targets to its leaders to bring in 1.40 lakh people each from Surat, Tapi , Navsari, and Valsad district units and 20,000 from Dangs.Navsari district BJP president Bhuralal Shah said, “State transport buses, private school buses, private luxuries, trucks and tempos will be used to bring public to the venue.”Sources said that seven domes have been erected for around 3 lakh people, while separate pandals have been put up for the rest. The dome structures will have fans and sprinklers. As many as 70 LED screens have been fixed at different locations for the public.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a tribal gathering and launch a multi-speciality hospital in Navsari during his one-day visit to Gujarat on June 10. The PM will also inaugurate the headquarters of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) in Ahmedabad.The Prime Minister will also visit Vadodara city after nearly six years on June 18 when he is expected to participate in a road show from the airport to Leprosy ground on Ajwa Road. Modi was elected as a Member of Parliament from the Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency in 2014 — a seat that he later relinquished in favour of Varanasi.During his visit on June 10, Modi will address a “Samrasta Sammelan” at Khudvel village in Chikhli taluka of Navsari district in South Gujarat at 10.15 am, Gujarat government spokesperson and Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said after the cabinet briefing on Tuesday.The event is expected to see a large gathering of tribals from nearby districts of Dangs, Tapi and Valsad. “At 12.15 pm, he will inaugurate the AM Naik Healthcare campus named after the L&T Group Chairman at Navsari and also inaugurate Nirali multi speciality hospital. Modi is scheduled to address the function,” he added.At 3.45 pm, Modi will travel to Ahmedabad where he will inaugurate a new headquarters of IN-SPACe at Bopal. IN-SPACe is an autonomous government agency set up to promote, permit and oversee private sector space based activities.Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also be present.Meanwhile, in view of the PM’s visit on June 18, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has been carrying out work to “beautify” the city by painting the sidewalks, carpeting of roads and pruning of trees.On Tuesday, officials of the district and city administration, including District Collector AB Gor, Municipal Commissioner Shalini Agarwal, Mayor Keyur Rokadia, MP Ranjan Bhatt, police officers as well as office-bearers of the city unit of the BJP, took stock of the preparations.The city unit of the BJP has roped in the local cadre to ensure a crowd of about five lakh persons for the public address of the Prime Minister at Leprosy ground, following the road show of about five and a half kilometres from the airport. The party is also planning to set up cultural tableaux at various points along the route of the roadshow. Vadodara BJP general secretary and former mayor Sunil Solanki said that the visit aims to cover the Central Gujarat zone, ahead of the upcoming polls. Solanki said, “Modiji will first visit the Pavagadh temple before coming to Vadodara.”The party held a meeting of around 300 leaders on Tuesday evening to prepare for the “big event”. “The road show will pass through a six-kilometre stretch where people can see the convoy from their homes,” he said.PM Modi will also hand out benefits of various government schemes to beneficiaries, namely Ayushman Bharat card and Gangaswaroop scheme of the state government. Modi had earlier visited Vadodara city in October 2016 to inaugurate the new terminal building of the Vadodara airport, where he had also hinted at a “strike on black money”, days before announcing the demonetisation.
During his visit to Navsari district in Gujarat on June 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate projects worth Rs 3,054 crore for the tribal districts of South Gujarat.This includes the Astol project that will ensure tap water to 4.50 lakh people residing in 174 tribal villages and 1,028 hamlets on the hills of Valsad district.Giving details of the project, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel in an official release stated, “It was a challenging task to complete the Astol project in Kaprada and Dharampur talukas of Valsad district, but I am glad our engineers overcame all the hurdles. It’s a technological marvel from the engineering perspective as well. Through this project, we have ensured the availability of water in these hilly areas by taking water to the height of about 200-storey building (1,875 ft).”The project is significant for the region after the Gujarat government was forced to cancel the Narmada-Par-Tapi link project after opposition from tribals in South Gujarat.In 2018, the state government initiated the Astol project at the cost of Rs 586.16 crore with an aim to ensure potable water supply to the people living in these hilly areas. Under this project, water from Madhuban Dam (water holding gross capacity 567 million cubic metres) will be pumped through pumping stations using lift technique to reach people’s homes.This will be the first time that the Madhuban Dam’s water will be used for drinking purposes as earlier it has been only used for irrigation purposes. A total of 28 pumping stations with a capacity of 8-Megawatt Volt Ampere (MVA) have been set up that will help supply about 75 million litres of drinking water daily.To store water in these areas, six high tanks (capacity of 4.7 million litres), 28 underground tanks (capacity of 7.7 crore litres) and 1,202 tanks (capacity of 44 million litres) at the ground level in villages and habitations have been constructed.PM Modi will also announce completion of seven projects, lay foundation stone for 12 projects and bhoomi pujan for 14 projects, totalling to Rs 3,054 crore.These events have been lined up for his visit to Khudvel village where he will participate in “Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan”. These projects are in Valsad, Navsari and Surat districts.The Indian Express has already reported that PM Modi will also inaugurate a hospital at Navsari and headquarters of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe) at Ahmedabad on June 10.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Wednesday inaugurated urban development projects worth Rs 239 crore under Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) limits. These included overbridge constructed at a cost of Rs 103 crore, drainage project worth Rs 17 crore and four completed projects worth Rs 119 crore — Rs 55-crore housing project, Rs 53-crore sewage project, Rs 7-crore water distribution project and Rs 4-crore multipurpose hall.Patel in his address said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given direction to the politics of development and under his guidance Gujarat is developing steadily.“Gujarat is the growth engine of the country through development… All the basic facilities are available to the citizens of Gujarat. Ahmedabad has become a livable and lovable city. The eastern and western areas of Ahmedabad city are developing at the same pace,” he stated.The Chief Minister added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled his promise to provide free Covid-19 vaccines to the citizens as a pioneering initiative.“The government stood by the people even during the pandemic by providing free vaccinations to citizens. In addition, provision has been made in the budget to provide tests and results for senior citizens while sitting at home. The government is providing health facilities like telemedicine, free medicines for diseases like diabetes, free surgery for major diseases for children up to 12 years. The government has been striving for industrial development and job creation,” the CM added.The Chief Minister added that the school drop-out ratio in education in Gujarat has come down from 38 to 3 per cent.Patesaid that the dream of a house in the city has come true under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana for those who do not have a house or those who live in a small or slum area are well aware of the value of a house. All the basic facilities like light, water, gas are provided in these houses by the municipal corporation.Protest over naming overbridgeChief Minister Bhupendra Patel inaugurated Naroda overbridge Wednesday. It has been named as ‘Sadhguru Swami Teuram’ bridge — putting to rest the dispute over naming it. Around 60 persons were detained after they held a protest during the inauguration over naming the overbridge“The protestors were taken to Naroda police station where they were kept till evening and then released,” said VN Yadav, assistant commissioner of police, G Division, ahmedabad.The CM during his address announced that the name of the bridge which was in demand from residents for long has been kept as Sadhguru Teuramji as requested by the Sindhi community.The dispute was over naming the overbridge. While the Dalit community living on one side of it demanded it to be named after ‘Sant Shri Rohidas’ the Sindhi community had demanded to name it as ‘Sadhguru Swami Teuramji’. The name was cleared in the AMC standing committee recently.Calling the protest a “nuisance” created by a handful of residents from the Dalit community, Ahmedabad Mayor Kirit Parmar told The Indian Express, “It is drama (natak) and nuisance created by not all but merely 10-15 persons from nearby Dalit community…” The overbridge was built at a cost of Rs 103 crore on the Ahmedabad-Himmatnagar railway line near Naroda GIDC.
State BJP president C R Paatil Wednesday laid foundation stone of the expansion of the ice cream manufacturing unit of Sumul Dairy from producing 50,000 litres to 1 lakh litres daily, at the cost of Rs 125 crore, in Kamrej taluka of Surat district.SUMUL Dairy is also setting up an ice cream cone making plant at Navi Pardi village in Kamrej taluka — the first in Gujarat with a daily production of 3 lakh cones.Addressing the gathering, Paatil said, “The BJP has become an undefeated party due to the leadership and guidance of cooperative sector leaders like Bhikhubhai Patel (Surat Sahkari Sewa Sangh) and Raman Patel (Surat district Kharid Vechan sangh)… There are over 360 cooperative societies in Gujarat of which the BJP has captured 310 societies, till yesterday. We won with full majority without making coalition with the Congress.”SUMUL Dairy collects 18 lakh litres of milk daily from dairy farmers in Surat and Tapi districts associated with 1,200 milk societies which have 2.50 lakh members.Chairman of Sumul Dairy Mansinh Patel said, “We have fulfilled the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers. In 2013-14, the total income of dairy farmers was around Rs. 3.50 crore and now it has increased to Rs 7.50 crore. The amount gets directly deposited in the bank accounts of dairy farmers in Surat and Tapi.”The state BJP chief said that farmers are “satisfied” with the compensation amount given for acquiring their their agricultural lands for the bullet train project.“The farmers of Surat district got Rs 2,700 crore, while those from Navsari, Valsad and Bharuch also got crores of rupees. The farmers were paid Rs. 1.03 crore per bigah. A few areas are still left and it will be covered. The farmers of Surat and Navsari are satisfied with the amount they got and even they are ready to give more land. Even the Congress workers are also happy,” Paatil said.Meanwhile, Managing Director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation limited (GCMMF) R S Sodhi said, “In the milk sector, we are top in the world with production of 210 million metric tons and still we are progressing. Sumul Dairy collects 18 lakh litres of milk daily and gives good price to the dairy farmers. The main reason behind success in dairy farming is, it is linked to cooperative societies, which acts as a bridge between dairy farmers and the end customers…”
Parts of Amreli and Bhavnagar districts experienced mild showers even as the state awaits the southwest monsoon after a scorching May. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a forecast of light to moderate rainfall across the state this week.According to the district flood control room, thunderstorms accompanied by gusty winds were reported from Lathi, Amreli Savarkundla and Rajula talukas of Amreli as well as parts of the adjoining Gariyadhar taluka of Bhavnagar district. The control room added that 46 millimetres or around two inches of rainfall was reported from Lathi taluka in eastern part of Amreli district.Rain was reported from Vanda and nearby villages in Savarkundla taluka as well as in Mota Agariya village in coastal Rajula taluka.“However, there are no reports of any rain-related accident,” an officer of the control room said.Jesar and Vallabhipur talukas of Bhavnagar district also received light showers Tuesday evening.Meanwhile, the IMD has predicted light to moderate rain or thundershowers in Saurashtra’s Surendranagar, Rajkot, Botad, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts and north Gujarat region’s Banaskantha and Ahmedabad districts on Wednesday.The rest of the state will continue to experience dry and hot weather, the IMD forecast issued Tuesday said. Generally, the south-west monsoon hits Gujarat coast around mid-June and covers the entire state by the end of June.“As pre-monsoon activity for next 4-5 days, districts of Saurashtra including Amreli, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Surendranagar and southern districts too will receive light rainfall,” said IMD regional director Manorama Mohanty. The normal date of onset of southwest monsoon in Gujarat is June 15. However, the state reported arrival of southwest monsoon in its southern parts of Valsad on June 9 last year, nearly five days earlier.This year, so far, there is no forecast of monsoon onset for at least 3-4 days, said Mohanty.As per the IMD forecast till June 12, “Light thunderstorm with lightning and surface wind 30- 40 kmph (in gust) accompanied with light to moderate rain very likely at isolated places in the districts of North Gujarat region namely Banaskantha and Ahmedabad; in the district of Saurashtra namely Surendranagar, Rajkot, Botad, Amreli and Bhavnagar. Light to moderate rain very likely in the districts of South Gujarat region namely Valsad and Navsari.”This is expected to result in a dip in temperatures. On Tuesday, Ahmedabad recorded the highest maximum temperature of 42 degrees Celsius. Other centres with high temperatures were Gandhinagar at 41.6, Surendranagar 40.7, Deesa 40.6, Vadodara 40.2 and Amreli at 40 degrees Clesius.
AHMEDABAD: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Sunday unearthed a psychotropic substance manufacturing factory at the Vapi GIDC in Vapi town of Valsad district and seized 68kg of drugs having a total value of at least Rs 1 crore in the illicit market. According to the NCB officers, four men including a chemist from Telangana, were caught in the case. “Based upon specific information, further developed by NCB Ahmedabad zonal team, a factory involved in manufacture of psychotropic substances was identified and busted at Vapi Gujarat,” said an NCB officer The factory was being used for manufacturing of psychotropic substances mainly suspected to be alprazolam and nordazepam without any licence for illicit sale, added the officer. “The team was keeping surveillance for around a week. Till now, four persons have been apprehended and the factory premises has been seized along with chemicals used for manufacturing,” said the officer, adding that the further investigation is underway. Sources in the NCB said that the chemist from Telangana was the key accused in the case. “He ran the manufacturing lab along with two men from West Bengal and one from Maharastra,” said an NCB officer. The officer said that the accused were running the factory for around one-and-a-half-month. “The accused used to procure the raw materials through local units. This is worrisome as they could procure and manufacture the psychotropic drugs with ease and agencies may not get the inkling of the illicit method,” said a source in the central agency. Another NCB officer privy to development said that the accused had around a week ago made a sample of around 25 to 50 grams which they delivered to drug mafia. After preparing the sample, they finally manufactured the drugs in huge quantity of 68kg which they were supposed to deliver in Maharashtra and Telangana, said the officer. The NCB officer said that the commercial quantity of such psychotropic drugs through licence is between 20 and 50 grams. As they manufactured such a huge quantity, they are liable for a sentence between 10 and 20 years of imprisonment along with the fine according to the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance) act. In August last year also, the NCB had busted a mephedrone manufacturing factory in the Vapi GIDC.