Impounder attacked, milk supply partially hit amid maldhari protest

The Indian Express | 3 days ago | 22-09-2022 | 05:50 am

Impounder attacked, milk supply partially hit amid maldhari protest

A cattle impounder, who was part of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s Cattle Nuisance and Control Department (CNCD) team, was attacked in the Nikol area during a drive to catch stray cattle late Tuesday even as milk supply was partly affected across the state Wednesday as maldharis continued their protest against the Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill, 2022 before the Assembly withdrew it.According to the FIR lodged at the Nikol police station, Ikramuddin Ayub Khan Pathan was attacked on his left shoulder by a local named Maheshbhai Rabari with a sword. The FIR further states that Pathan, along with other CNCD impounders and a police team, were near Manmohan crossroad in the Nikol area at 11:15 pm Tuesday to catch stray cattle on the road. When the team caught two cows from the Gomtipur vegetable market and were taking them away in their cattle van, Rabari attacked Pathan on the left shoulder with a sword and threatened to kill. He also tried to obstruct the CNCD team in their cattle drive.Following the complaint, Rabari has been booked under IPC sections 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), and 189 (threat of injury to public servant) and Section 135 (1) (penalty for contravention of rule or directions under section 37, 39 or 40) of the Gujarat Police Act.Meanwhile, supply and distribution of milk in Rajkot were partially hit following the strike by maldharis as protesters allegedly intercepted a tanker believed to be that of Gopal Dairy (Rajkot District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited) near Metoda and flushed milk from it, while others emptied the milk cans on roads.“Our operations were not much affected though we could not supply around 10 per cent of milk,” Gordhan Dhamelia, chairman of Rajkot Dairy told The Indian Express, adding, “In view of the strike announced by the maldharis, we supplied 3.5 lakh litres of milk to retail outlets Tuesday night itself so that they could sell milk to customers Wednesday morning and evening.”Rajkot Dairy procures around three lakh litres of milk from milk producers in the district and around one lakh litres from Sarhad Dairy of Kutch and Sursagar Dairy of Surendranagar to supply around four lakh litres per day (llpd).]Dhamelia said, “Some village-level milk cooperatives requested suspension of operations for a day in view of the strike. Hence, they didn’t send their consignments of the milk. However, there is nothing on record so far suggesting our milk tanker bringing milk to the dairy was intercepted and milk from it was spilled on the road.”The chairman further said that the dairy will start supplying milk to retail outlets from early Thursday morning. “Our distribution vans will start supplying milk to retail outlets from 3:30 AM on Thursday with police protection,” said Dhamelia.Meanwhile, tea stalls opened in the city late Wednesday evening as the protests ended after the withdrawal of the Bill.In Vadodara, many cattle owners fed milk to stray dogs instead of supplying milk to the dairy as part of the strike even as several milk parlours remained closed and supply was interrupted.Amul and Baroda Dairy shops in Vadodara city ran out of their stock of milk by 9am as customers queued up in a state of panic.

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Toll for six roads between Ahmedabad and Mumbai not reduced after concession period
Times of India | 52 minutes ago | 25-09-2022 | 07:31 am
Times of India
52 minutes ago | 25-09-2022 | 07:31 am

AHMEDABAD: Truck transporters are demanding that the government reduce the toll charged for roads where the concession period has ended, or costs have been recovered, in accordance with the rules. The All India Motor Transport Congress has said that six toll roads between Ahmedabad and Mumbai are in the category where the toll must now be only 40% according to the rules, but 100% is still being charged. The association said they will take a decision on an agitation in a meeting on October 10. Akhil Gujarat Truck Transport Association executive president Mukesh Dave said, "Earlier, toll made up were about 3% of our costs but has increased to between 12% and 20% for the past few years. In 2013, the central government announced that any concessionaire who has built roads on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model, will give the road back to the government once its concession period is over and from then only maintenance cost will be charged, which will be 40% of the original toll. However, on the Vadodara-Mumbai national highway, there are six toll roads, whose concession period is over, and the developer has handed over the roads to the government but there is still no reduction in the toll tax." He said that a truck currently pays about Rs 5,500 in toll for a return trip between Ahmedabad and Mumbai and if the government follows the 40% rule, the cost will come down to Rs 2,000. The association has written to various authorities, the Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari and the Gujarat chief minister's office, also the issue has not been resolved. According to the association, the private concessionaire of the Halol-Vadodara and Adalaj-Mehsana roads spent a total of Rs 513 crore on these roads and collected around Rs 2,200 crore and sold its stake for around Rs 760 crore and still wants to extend the toll collection duration by 10 years. All India Motor Transport Congress president Amritlal Madan said there are several highways across the country where higher toll is being paid despite the concession period having ended. "We are going to hold a meeting on October 10 in Mumbai to decide our course of action. If our demands are not fulfilled, we will stop our trucks at toll plazas with the demand to pay only 40% of the toll," he said.

Toll for six roads between Ahmedabad and Mumbai not reduced after concession period
BJP-run VMC sends bulldozers to AAP townhall event venue
The Indian Express | 9 hours ago | 24-09-2022 | 10:50 pm
The Indian Express
9 hours ago | 24-09-2022 | 10:50 pm

Four days after Aam Aadmi Party Convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held an interaction with parents and teachers at the Preet Party plot in Vadodara, the encroachment removal team of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) reached the venue on Saturday to “demolish” an “illegal construction” on the plot.Terming the move as “political vengeance” by the BJP, AAP party workers obstructed the bulldozers from razing the structure.તાનાશાહ ભ્રષ્ટ ભાજપના રાજમાં લોકશાહીનું પતન!સંસ્કારી નગરી વડોદરા ખાતે @ArvindKejriwal ની સભા માટે પાર્ટી પ્લોટ આપવા ભાજપના ગુંડા નેતાઓની ધમકીઓથી ન ડરનારા નવનીતકાકાના પાર્ટીપ્લોટ પર ભાજપે વગર નોટિસે બુલડોઝર મોકલ્યા!ભાજપના આ રાવણરાજનો જવાબ હવે ગુજરાતની જનતા આપશે. pic.twitter.com/DhhWjT8RXT— AAP Gujarat | Mission2022 (@AAPGujarat) September 24, 2022https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThe VMC claimed that it had served a notice to the owner, Navneet Patel, who had leased the plot to AAP for the town hall event on education. At the event, Kejriwal had felicitated Patel for the “courage and honesty” for allowing AAP to hold the event at his venue after 13 other bookings had been cancelled at the behest of the BJP, AAP had alleged.After the protest from AAP and an altercation with the owners, the VMC handed over a notice, dated September 22, 2022, to the owners, directing that the “illegal structure in the parking area”, should be razed immediately.The VMC has also served the Patel family notices for two other properties named Navneet and Prasang Party Plot, located close by. The notices also state that the sprawling lawn in the premises is “illegal”, and actually only parking space.AAP workers Saturday laid in front of the bulldozers in support of Patel and chanted anti-BJP slogans.Viren Rami of AAP Vadodara said, “The BJP had forced 13 other venues to cancel the booking made by AAP for Arvind Kejriwal’s September 20 event. When they realized that Navneet kaka was not willing to back off after leasing it out, they turned vengeful… They have sent bulldozers in the pretext of razing illegal construction without serving notice.”According to Patel, the “illegal construction” was temporary toilets made for labourers working on the plot.Patel told The Sunday Express, “I have constructed a kaccha toilet with just a tin roof and unplastered bricks for the labourers. It is true that I did not take permission for it… We have started bringing it down, but the VMC wanted to arm-twist me because I had not paid heed to their top leaders when they offered me Rs 10 lakh to withdraw my venue from AAP event.”ભાજપના માજી બુટલેગર પ્રદેશપ્રમુખને ચડ્યો સત્તાનો નશો!ભ્રષ્ટ ભાજપની આ તાનાશાહીનો આવનારી વિધાનસભા ચૂંટણીમાં ગુજરાતની જાગૃત જનતા મજબૂત જવાબ આપશે! pic.twitter.com/3NNqlLN7xZ— AAP Gujarat | Mission2022 (@AAPGujarat) September 24, 2022https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsBoth party plots and the lawns have been preferred for events by all political parties so far.“I personally do not manage the bookings but my plot is always booked for political events by all parties… AAP made a booking and paid Rs 2.5 lakh. The BJP, for all these years, has been using my plot for its own events too. They have never paid me even after assuring that they would,” Patel added.Ronak Patel, Navneet Patel’s son, gave an undertaking to the VMC in writing that the owners would “assess the illegal construction and bring it down”.Even as the VMC Town Development Officer and Encroachment Removal officer remained unavailable for comments, Mayor Keyur Rokadia took to Twitter and said, “AAP has revealed its true face as it interfered in the work of the Encroachment removal team of the VMC…”Denying allegations of political vengeance, Mayor Rokadia said, “The fact is that they (Patels) have created lawns in the parking area of the plots and are charging rent for the same. It is illegal. This is not the only drive against encroachment that the VMC has undertaken… In the case of Navneet party plot, the complaint came to the VMC about two weeks back from the adjacent residential colony regarding the illegal construction of the toilets.”When asked about the timing of the action and the time given to the owners after serving the notice dated September 22, Rokadia said, “When the VMC serves a notice for encroachment removal, the time given is about 24 hours only to remove belongings… After that, the VMC department can arrive and take action.”

BJP-run VMC sends bulldozers to AAP townhall event venue
It will be BJP vs AAP in Gujarat polls: Raghav Chadha
The Indian Express | 17 hours ago | 24-09-2022 | 02:50 pm
The Indian Express
17 hours ago | 24-09-2022 | 02:50 pm

The upcoming Assembly election in Gujarat will be a direct contest between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the ruling BJP, AAP’s co-incharge for Gujarat Raghav Chadha said Saturday, while dismissing Congress as an “aged” party which has failed to win any election in almost three decades.“After a 27-year rule of the BJP, now is time for a change, time for the Arvind Kejriwal model of governance in which the poorest of the poor get world class education, health facilities, operations, medicines free of cost…free electricity and water, financial support to women etc,” Chadha said.He added, “This model is changing lives of the people and therefore people want to adopt it. We will work hard and the way Aam Aadmi Party is progressing, it is quite evident that the 2022 Gujarat election has effectively become an Aam Aadmi Party versus BJP contest and we are ahead in the race.” Chadha was interacting with journalists after landing at the Rajkot airport Saturday.A former minister in the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi, 33-year-old Chadha had also served as AAP’s co-incharge for Punjab in the run up to the Assembly election in that state early this year. AAP had defeated Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP in a three-way contest and formed a government there, the party’s first outside Delhi.Months later, Chadha, who is a certified chartered accountant, was elected to Rajya Sabha from Punjab unopposed. On 18th of this month, AAP had appointed him its co-incharge for Gujarat where elections are due to be held in December. The Rajkot visit was Chadha’s maiden trip to Gujarat after being assigned the state’s responsibility.Incidentally, AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been campaigning hard in Gujarat since July this year and trying to woo voters by promising free electricity, overhauling government schools, good healthcare facilities, unemployment allowance, monthly allowance to women, 10 lakh government jobs etc.On Saturday, Chadha claimed that Kejriwal was the only politician whom God has “given His blessings” to make such things happen. “I often say this: God has given His blessings to only Arvind Kejriwal for providing free electricity. The God has given His blessings to only Arvind Kejriwal for providing world class education to every child, be it son of the poorest of the poor or that of a judge or bureaucrat. This is the reason, people starting from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Guwahati to Gujarat, want to try and adopt the Arvind Kejriwal model,” he claimed.Chadha also dismissed Congress as an aged party which had failed to give a fight to the ruling BJP. “Congress is that tired and defeated party which could not defeat BJP in 27 years. How will the party, which couldn’t give a fight to BJP in 27 years, will do it now. Congress has now become a very aged party and voters of Gujarat no longer look up to it,” Chadha said, adding, “This the reason this (election) has become a contest between BJP and Aam Aadmi Party.”The AAP leader also said that people of Gujarat are fed up with the almost three-decade-long rule of BJP and want a change this election. “With respect to the upcoming Assembly election, there are only three things on people’s mind. They are: change, change and change,” he said.“People are fed up with the BJP rule and want to try Kejriwal model of governance, they want an honest and pro-people government, the way the people of Delhi threw Congress out after a 15-year-long rule, said ‘I love you, Kejriwal,’ pressed the broom (poll symbol) button and never looked at any other party afterwards, the way people of Punjab also threw the Akali Dal and Congress governments of 50 years, said ‘I love you, Kejriwal’ and formed government of Aam Aadmi Party,” Chadha claimed.When asked what will be the party’s election strategy in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in the backdrop of failure in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh elections, Chadha said that AAP is the only party which keeps its promises.“Aam Aadmi Party goes among the people with its governance model and talks about getting work done. In the entire country, there is only one party which does what it promises and whose all leaders are honest. It is the only party which removes a minister from the council of ministers over allegations of corruption, it is the only party which can give people free electricity, education and good healthcare facilities,” he said.Chadha further claimed that the statement of Jagmal Vala, AAP’s candidate for Somnath Assembly constituency in Gujarat, was being quoted out of context. “Statement of some of our people was quoted out of context and presented after distorting it. When the Opposition has no issue, when the Opposition can’t point fingers at your policies, politics and character, it seeks to try and find its political feet on such issues,” Chadha said, adding the more BJP attacks AAP, the more it will prove that the BJP is “scared”.

It will be BJP vs AAP in Gujarat polls: Raghav Chadha
Gujarat This Week: From celebrating engineers’ day, live music and plays, to looking at historic narratives of Indian towns through Bulandshahr’s legacy
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 23-09-2022 | 05:50 pm
The Indian Express
1 day ago | 23-09-2022 | 05:50 pm

Event name: Conflictorium- Museum of ConflictAbout the event: A two-month long exhibition presenting the working stills (photographs) of podcast recordings of the marginalised communities- Chharas, Madaris, Rajbhois, Dafers, on their lives during the two years of pandemic. The exhibition will cover the nuances involved in the making of 35 episodes of the podcast – Budhan Theatre Podcast, on how these De-Notified Tribes (DNTs) and other marginalized communities like Dalits, Muslims, etc. navigated through the pandemic, following the health protocols and guidelines, and their lifestyles.Venue: Conflictorium, Museum of Conflict, Mirzapur, AhmedabadOrganisers: Budhan Theatre, The British Academy, BhashaHow to attend: Open to allDate and time: September 23 (Friday) onwards, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, Exhibition opening at 6:00 pm Event Name: Khalid Ahamed Live in BarodaAbout the Event: Indie band Parvaaz’s lead vocalist Khalid Ahamed will see him perform some of his greatest hits along with a curated menu at the venue.Venue: Nini’s Kitchen, VadodaraOrganiser: Leave no Fingerprints and Nini’s KitchenHow to Attend: Book your tickets hereDate and Time: Saturday September 24, 7:30 pmEvent Name: Jazz and Pop Night with Chirag Todi, Gouri and AkshaAbout the Event: Songer-songwriter duo from Mumbai Gouri and Aksha Singer and songwriter-guitarist Chirag Todi will perform to enthrall audiences with an evening of Jazz and Pop medleys.Venue: Buck Gallery, near Parimal Garden, AhmedabadHow to Attend: Book hereDate and Time: Friday September 23, 9 pm to 10 pmEvent name: The Case In Deed- play (English)About the event: A play by Aniket parmar and adapted by Kushali Haji, is an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s story the play follows a murder-mystery contextualized to the city of Ahmedabad. A lawyer and her assistant comes across a terror-stricken man accused of murder.Venue: Footlight Theatre AhmedabadOrganisers: Rangmanch Ki CharpaiHow to attend: Book here, or call- +91- 7412828983 / +91- 6359760919Date and time: September 22 (Thursday)- September 23 (Friday), 8:00 pm

Gujarat This Week: From celebrating engineers’ day, live music and plays, to looking at historic narratives of Indian towns through Bulandshahr’s legacy
Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara added to list of Critically Polluted Areas in Gujarat
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 23-09-2022 | 02:50 pm
The Indian Express
1 day ago | 23-09-2022 | 02:50 pm

Three new cities — Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara — have been added to the list of Critically Polluted Areas (CPA) in Gujarat while Odhav, Naroda (in Ahmedabad), Bhavnagar and Junagadh have been removed from the list, stated the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in a report tabled in the Gujarat Assembly, Thursday.“Based on Comprehensive Environment Pollution Index (CEPI), the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had declared (January 2010) six major industrial areas of Gujarat — Vapi, Ankleshwar, Vatva, Ahmedabad (Odhav and Naroda), Bhavnagar and Junagadh — as CPA and imposed moratorium on setting up industries and expansion of existing industries in these areas,” stated the report titled “Performance Audit of Air Pollution Control by Government of Gujarat”.“As per latest CEPI score submitted (July 2019) by Central Pollution Control Board to National Green Tribunal, three new cities Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot have been added to CPA list, while Odhav, Naroda, Bhavnagar and Junagadh were removed from the list,” it added.The audit watchdog stated that CEPI scores of Vadodara was highest in state, followed by Surat. Rajkot turned critically polluted from being a severely polluted area in 2009.Based on Remedial Action Plans proposed by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), approved by CPCB in September 2010 for the abatement of pollution in these CPAs, the ministry lifted the moratorium from Vapi (October 2010), Bhavnagar (February 2011), Junagadh (March 2011) and Ahmedabad (September 2013).The moratorium was reimposed in Vapi in September 2013 due to poor CEPI scores. The ministry finally lifted the moratorium on Vapi, Ankleshwar and Vatva in November 2016 based on re-assessed CEPI scores.The report stated that the GPCB was yet to comply with the 2016 directions of CPCB for installation of at least two Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations in each CPA.The CAG also rapped GPCB for not developing a system for period review of health impact assessment in critically polluted areas. The audit pointed out that 15 hospitals in industrial areas of Ahmedabad, Vapi and Ankleshwar reported 80,443 patients with asthma, bronchitis and acute respiratory infections between 2012-2017.“An increasing number of patients during this period depicts severity of the impact of air pollution on health,” the report stated.While the Gujarat government claimed that health impact assessment in CPAs were done by industries associations, the auditor stated, “Such studies were to be conducted by the GPCB through recognised health institutions once in 4-5 years…”The report also pointed out that under the National Clean Air Programme launched in January 2019, MoEF&CC had identified 102 cities as “non-attainment” cities that failed to meet the prescribed standards of air pollution.“Ahmedabad and Surat were among the non-attainment cities in Gujarat,” CAG stated adding that industries, vehicles, domestic fuel, construction and road dust were prominent sources of emission in these two cities.

Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara added to list of Critically Polluted Areas in Gujarat