Times of India | 2 months 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.
AHMEDABAD: A faculty member at Ahmedabad University has developed a method to identify individual crocodiles based on aerial images, which can be used to understand crocodiles' habitats and migration patterns. Ratna Ghosal, an assistant professor at the university, was co-author of the paper 'Identification of free-ranging mugger crocodiles by applying deep learning methods on UAV imagery', which was recently published in the Elsevier journal Ecological Informatics. "The biometric tool identifies mugger crocodiles or marsh crocodiles based on the pattern of their bony external plate, known as scute. Each crocodile has a unique pattern which can be identified by artificial intelligence (AI). We have so far developed a library of 143 crocodiles in three different habitats - Kutch, Anand and Vadodara districts," Ghosal told TOI. "The library can be expanded by drone images from different populations," he added. This identification will serve several purposes, she said. "The most important is understanding population clusters and migration patterns. With a large population base in some districts of Gujarat, it is interesting to see how an increase in population affects the habitat. We have also shared this research with the state forest department," she added. The researchers added that this method is much more animal-friendly compared to rubber or radio tags or collars, which often irritate the animals. "We are also trying to understand the various aspects of these populations such as human presence, interaction with the local environment, their adjustment to modified environments - some muggers live in the highly polluted waters of the Vishwamitri river and this could be affecting the health of these apex predators," said Ghosal, adding that muggers are a protected Schedule I species under the Wildlife Protection Act.
AHMEDABAD: A statement from the Admission Committee for Professional Postgraduate Medical Educational Courses (ACPPGMEC) on Saturday said that 508 students have been allotted colleges in the mop-up round of admissions in postgraduate courses such as MD, MS, MDS and diploma. In all, 443 students have been allotted seats in MD, MS and Diploma courses. At the end of the second round, 453 of the total 1,538 seats for MD, MS and Diploma had remained vacant. Sixty-five students have been allotted seats in the MDS course. Students will have to confirm their admissions by November 28.
AHMEDABAD: One more case has been filed against Raman Patel and Dashrath Patel, the promoters of Popular Builders, for allegedly occupying a plot in Godhavi, Ahmedabad district, in 1983, using forged documents. Ramkrushna Acharya, a resident of Green Leaves Apartments in Sola, in his FIR filed on Friday at Bopal police station, said that Raman and Dashrath along with an unknown man, Saryudasji Bava, forged papers for the land deal in the name of Ramkrushna's grandfather, and occupied the plot measuring around 63,772 square metres. Ramkrushna said that his grandfather, Shatrughnadasji, had only one son named Gordhandasji. Shatrughnadasji died on February 4, 1991. Gordhandasji did not get the Godhavi plot transferred to his name. Recently, Ramkrushna checked the revenue records and found that the land in Godhavi was first owned by Saryudasji who later sold it to Raman and Dashrath. Ramkrushna said that the land documents suggested that Raman and Dashrath had aided Saryudasji in transferring Shatrughnadasji's property to his name by showing Saryudasji as Shatrughnadasji's son. This plot was transferred to Saryudasji's name on November 13, 1982. Later, Raman and Dashrath got the plot transferred to their name on August 5, 1983. Ramkrushna alleged that the land document said that his grandfather Shatrughnadasji had died in 2001, whereas he had actually died in 1991. According to the local crime branch (LCB) of Ahmedabad rural police, Ramkrushna had filed a petition with the special investigation team (SIT) of the district collectorate which investigates land grabbing cases. The SIT found irregularities, after which an FIR was filed. An LCB team will investigate the complaint filed by Bopal police for forgery, cheating, producing forged documents as genuine and criminal conspiracy. Legal trouble started for the promoters of Popular Builders in August 2020, when Raman Patel's daughter-in-law filed a complaint of attempted murder and molestation against Raman and accused his son Monang Patel of domestic violence. In October 2020, the income tax department raided 26 premises . The same month, a paint manufacturer filed a complaint accusing Raman and Dashrath Patel of Rs 3 crore cheating.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s model of governance is sustainable, as it has defied the principle of diminishing returns, there is no anti-incumbency, and the graph is rising always upwards, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.Since 2014, Modi has given a “new, different kind of model of governance, which is based on a new, different approach, and a different work culture”, the MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and PMO said.Addressing the inaugural session of 25th e-governance conference here, Singh said, “What is this governance model that I am trying to be boisterous about? Some authors have described it as Modi’s model of governance… It is not simply for name-dropping, as some cynics might feel. It is a model that has sustained itself for nearly 20 years, or more than 20 years, with Modi as the longest-serving head of government in any democracy.“Therefore, I have the courage and conviction to say this is a sustainable model of governance.”He said, “This is a model which has defied the principle of diminishing returns. On the contrary, with each passing year, the dividends have increased. There is no anti-incumbency…. The graph is always upwards, never down.”This is a model that has “grown stronger with each challenge”, because it was always prepared beforehand to face a challenge, Singh said. “As chief minister (of Gujarat), Mr Modi faced the earthquake in Gujarat. As Prime Minister, the pandemic (Covid-19). We were already prepared for it; we could do better.”Singh said it was due to this governance model that the Covid-19 pandemic could be managed. Recently, he said, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands appreciated the way India combatted Covid-19. “He said we (Amsterdam) could not manage with such a small population, how could you? I said because we were already prepared. So, this is the governance model (he is referring to).”Singh said the basic mantra of the Modi government is “maximum governance, minimum government”.“This sounds very fanciful…like a philosophy, an ornamental phrase…. But the simple meaning is a government that acts as a facilitator but does not act as an intimidator. That is how I have sought to interpret it…sarkaar ka abhav bhi nahin aur sarkaar ka prabhav bhi nahi (neither the absence of government nor the influence of government),” he said.Singh said the “whole of government, whole of nation and whole of society” approach has become the new norm to achieve the desired results in the shortest span of time”.The two-day National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) is organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in association with the Jammu & Kashmir administration. The theme of this year’s conference is “Bringing Citizens, Industry and Government closer”.Addressing the gathering, DARPG Secretary V Srinivas said the maxim ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government’ is represented by a digitally empowered nation, a digitally empowered citizenry, and a digitally transformed institution. Between 2014 and 2022, he said, the government has brought about digital transformation that has been accepted by the rural population through Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, BHIM UPI, CoWIN, Arogya Setu App.J&K Chief Secretary Arun Mehta said it is a proud moment for the UT to be hosting the 25th National Conference on e-Governance at Katra, which shows signs of changes taking place in the UT.Information Technology Secretary Alkesh Kumar called it an occasion to recognise and showcase exemplary digital transformations brought about by the Centre, the states and the start-up community.On the occasion, Singh presented the National Awards for e-Governance (NAeG) under five categories of the NAeG Scheme-2022 to 18 e-Governance initiatives at Central, state and district levels, academic and research institutions and Public Sector Undertakings.(The reporter was in Katra on an invitation from the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions)
Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday slammed the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying industrial projects coming to Maharashtra are being diverted to neighboring Gujarat as Assembly elections are being held there. He also called the BJP a “party of imports” and “chor bazaar (flea market)”.While addressing a farmers’ rally at Chikhli in Buldhana, Uddhav also slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his “silence” over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, the alleged insult of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the government’s inaction on farmers’ plight in the state.After stepping down as chief minister in June this year, this was Thackeray’s first rally outside Mumbai. Last month, Uddhav had addressed party workers at its annual Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park.“The BJP has lost its ideology and is only importing people from other parties. It has become a party of imports. If you enlist, you will find how many people they have taken into their party from other parties. Nothing is left with them so they are stealing people from other parties. Is it a political party or ‘chor bazaar’,” Uddhav said.Hitting out at Modi, Uddhav said the PM would not hesitate to break Maharashtra and hand over villages to Karnataka with polls in Karnataka next year. “The projects coming to Maharashtra were diverted to Gujarat owing to the elections there. Now Karnataka chief minister is staking claims over Akkalkot and Solapur of Maharashtra. Karnataka is going to polls next year, I am afraid that as the PM sent the projects to Gujarat, he won’t hesitate before breaking Maharashtra into pieces,” Thackeray said.Taking a dig at Shinde, Uddhav said, “This CM might even say that what is the harm in handing over 40 villages to Karnataka …. PM has promised to get Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and give us 100 villages…..”Further attacking Shinde who along with his MPs and MLAs went to Guwahati, Uddhav said, “Today all these 40 people have gone to Guwahati to take blessings. A weekago he (Shinde) had gone to visit an astrologer to know his future. He doesn’t know his own future. And he is going to decide our future? In fact, his future is being decided by people sitting in Delhi. He has to follow their orders,” Thackeray said.Claiming that nearly 1,000 farmers had committed suicide in Maharashtra since the formation of the current dispensation in the state in July this year, Uddhav said if he would have been the CM, he would not have allowed such suicides to take place.In response to Uddhav’s attack, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which held the reins of Maharashtra between November 2019 and June 2022, should explain where was its concern for farmers and the agriculture sector. Why did it fail to address the agrarian crisis?”