The Indian Express | 2 months ago | 12-06-2022 | 03:50 am
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.
Following the footsteps of the BJP, the Gujarat Congress has instructed its workers to form page commandos to prepare voters’ lists, identify the party’s voters and ensure they reach the polling stations. With Assembly elections around the corner, the instruction came at the party’s ‘maru booth maru gaurav’ (my booth, my pride) event in Surat Tuesday. Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot who was to visit Surat and Rajkot on Tuesday to meet Congress leaders for the first time after being appointed senior observer, could not come. The special plane he was flying in, from Jaipur, was reportedly not allowed to land in Surat due to bad weather. He has now rescheduled his visit for Wednesday when he will only go to Vadodara and Ahmedabad. Gehlot will land in Vadodara Wednesday morning and meet Central Gujarat leaders and then head to Ahmedabad to meet north Gujarat leaders and is then expected to address a press conference.“Today, we have come up with matdar yadi (voters’ list) of 35 assembly seats of South Gujarat and handed them over to the district heads. A single page of matdar yadi (voting member list) consists of 30 voters. The page commandos should identify at least 19 Congress voters from the list and take them to polling stations for voting and also see who are left over and repeat it. It is the duty of page commandos to see nobody is left from the voting list. Generally, the average voting turnout of the assembly seat is between 65 to 70 per cent. We have to target those who had not voted and take them to polling stations as they are the voters of the Congress. If the voters’ turnout increases by 20 per cent, then we are sure to win 125 seats in the Gujarat assembly elections,” said state Congress President Jagdish Thakor. He added that in the Udaipur meeting, it was decided to form a new structure of organisation. In the city area, the ward committee will be treated as mandals and the polling booth committee will be treated as sector, while in the rural Talukas, panchayat seats will be treated as mandals and district panchayat seats as sectors.He also alleged that Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, who was to begin his three-day state visit and attend the event in South Gujarat, was denied landing permission at Surat airport Tuesday citing poor weather conditions. “I am afraid they will not allow us to organise a rally here like they did not allow the landing of Gehlot’s aircraft at the Surat airport today. He has been ready since 9.30 am in the morning to attend the first political meeting in Surat, but his aircraft was denied landing. Today, we have come to know what will happen if an airport is sold or privatised. The decision to give permission for flying and landing of aircraft lies with the airport authority,” he said.Thakor also announced various steps to begin the election campaign in the state from August 20. He urged workers to make elaborate arrangements for the rallies of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. “Around one lakh people should participate in the rally with 25,000 bikes and 10,000 cars,” he said.In a veiled reference to Gujarat BJP President CR Paatil, Thakor further said, “The Surat man is moving around the state and talking about the page committee and page president but it is all false. Their internal party survey says that the party will not cross 70 seats in the elections.”Gujarat, earlier known after leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel and for its cooperative movement, has now become a hub of drugs, said All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary BM Sandeep. “In the past four to five months, drugs worth over Rs 40,000 crore were seized from Gujarat ports. Through media reports and sources, we have come to know that drugs worth over Rs 2 lakh crore landed at Gujarat ports and were supplied to different parts of the country.”He added that the party has toured across the 35 assembly seats of South Gujarat. “During the last assembly elections, we (Congress) could not form the government due to the poor performance in South Gujarat. A majority of the area in the region are tribal and they face great problems such as land acquisitions for different development projects like the bullet train, Vedanta project, leopard park, Par-Tapi-Narmada river-linking project, Express highway project, etc,” he said, emphasising the need to organise meetings with the tribal communities in different parts of South Gujarat.Dr. Raghu Sharma, Gujarat Congress incharge, said his party had already discussed the announcements made by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal in the state. “Kejriwal should go to Rajasthan and see how the health infrastructure is. Insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh is given to the citizens. During the covid pandemic, the work done by the Rajasthan government was excellent and the work was appreciated by PM Narendra Modi,” he said.
Heavy rains lashed parts of north and south Gujarat on Tuesday with the Tapi, Banaskantha and Valsad districts receiving over 100 mm of rainfall in 12 hours since morning, officials said. A downpour in Ahmedabad city in the evening caused waterlogging, slowing down the traffic.Heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of Sardar Sarovar dam in Narmada district caused its level to rise to 134.65 metres around 8 pm, below the full reservoir level of 138.68 metres, officials said.It also received heavy inflow of water from Omkareshwar and Indira Dams in Madhya Pradesh. As of 8 pm, it had received 2.30 lakh cusec water, with 23 gates opened to 2.90 metres to release 4.50 lakh cusec water in riverbed powerhouse and turbines, officials said. More than 30 tehsils received over 50 mm of rainfall during the day, mainly in the districts of Tapi, Banaskantha, Valsad, Chhota Udepur, Navsari, Mehsana, Dang, Aravalli, Surat, Mahisagar and Patan, said a release issued by the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC).The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast widespread light to moderate rainfall in most parts of Gujarat in the next 24 hours with 'heavy to heavy rainfall' in isolated areas and `extremely heavy' rainfall in some districts of south and north Gujarat regions, Saurashtra and Kutch till Thursday morning.Shamlaji in Aravalli district reported a landslide which affected the traffic on a national highway connecting Gujarat to Rajasthan.Rainfall also caused swelling of rivers in several districts.Read the Latest News and Breaking News here
The Union Home Ministry has held discussions with representatives of Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu on the transfer of a piece of land and four villages to the Union Territory from the state but no decision has been taken yet, officials said. According to the proposal, four villages of South Gujarat’s Valsad district — Meghval, Nagar, Raymal and Madhuban — and a part of Ghoghala village of Saurashtra will be merged with the Union Territory.While the four villages are more accessible from Diu, the piece of land in Saurashtra is to be given in lieu of land given to Gujarat in 1989. The discussions were held with the representatives of the Gujarat government and the administration of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu recently but no decision could be arrived at, an official privy to the development said.While Nagar, Raymal and Madhuban villages are located between the Madhuban dam reservoir and the Union Territory, Meghval village is surrounded by the Union Territory. No decision could be taken as the Gujarat government is yet to give its full consent to the proposal of the complete merger of Nagar, Raymal and Madhuban with the Union Territory even though it has given its in-principle nod to the handing over of Meghval village.The Union Territory has been asking for handing over the piece of land in Ghoghala along the Saurashtra coast in return for land given by Diu to Gujarat in 1989 for developing a fishing port. The administrator of the Union Territory had also sent a letter to the Gujarat Chief Minister requesting it to give the piece of land in Ghoghala to the Union Territory.If the land and the four villages are handed over to the Union Territory, tourism is expected to get a boost since liquor will be available there after coming under the Union Territory’s jurisdiction as Gujarat is a dry state, the official said.Read the Latest News and Breaking News here
AHMEDABAD: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot will be on a three-day tour of Gujarat from Tuesday to review the Congress's preparedness for the state Assembly polls due later this year. This will be Gehlot's first visit to the BJP-ruled Gujarat after being appointed the Congress's senior observer for the state Assembly polls. Gehlot will begin his tour from Surat where he will interact with Congress leaders from south Gujarat zone before leaving for Rajkot, a state party spokesperson said. In Rajkot, the Congress veteran will meet party leaders of the Saurashtra zone later in the day. On Wednesday, he will be in Vadodara to meet leaders and discuss the party's election preparedness in the central zone. He will reach Ahmedabad the same day and meet leaders from the north zone in the evening, On Thursday, Gehlot will interact with mediapersons in Ahmedabad, the spokesperson said. The Congress had on July 12 appointed Gehlot as the senior observer for the Gujarat elections. During the 2017 Assembly polls, Gehlot was the All India Congress Committee's in-charge for Gujarat, a post currently held by Rajasthan MLA Raghu Sharma.
VADODARA: The battle to save the 107-year-old Pratap Vilas Palace in Vadodara has reached the Supreme Court. A two-judge bench of the apex court has issued a notice to the Union government, Railway Vikas Nigam Ltd, National Academy of Indian Railways and Gujarat government and asked them all to file a reply before September 29. Vadodara-based Heritage trust had approached the SC last year to stop construction of a new building in the Pratap Vilas Palace compound. The move came after the Gujarat high court dismissed the trust's PIL in June last year. "The government and railways have to file a reply. The matter will be heard on September 29 during which the court will take further decision on the merits of the case," said advocate Jaydeep Verma, joint secretary, Heritage Trust. "Citizens of Vadodara are keenly watching the developments in this matter as the Pratap Vilas Palace is one of the prides of the city and it would be very sad if the palace and its precincts are not preserved as envisaged by the royal Gaekwads," Verma told TOI. The battle to save Pratap Vilas Palace that is owned by the Indian railways began two years ago when the railway authorities took a decision to construct a four-storey building on the lawns right opposite the palace two years ago. The royal Gaekwad family, environmentalists, heritage conservationists and common citizens started an online petition to oppose the project wherein they argued that constructing a four-storey building next to the palace will ruin its aesthetics. Vadodara BJP MP Ranjan Bhatt too had raised the issue in the Parliament in September 2020. Heritage Trust then filed a PIL in Gujarat high court objecting to any new construction in the palace premises on Lalbaug Road. The railways then decided to shift the location of the building and proposed the new site that was 321 feet away from the palace. The Heritage Trust, however, opposed the new site too, arguing that the ecology in the campus will be damaged. The railways are planning to house the National Rail and Transportation Institute (NRTI) in the new building.