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Author: Gargi Raval

Surat-based student makes solar dustbins

A Surat-based student has developed a solar run bin. Termed as an intelligent bin, the bin works on a sensor-based technology which compresses garbage into a bin.Milan Patel, a mechanical engineering student of CK Pithawalla College of Engineering and Technology, has designed the solar based smart dustbin. Apart from the sensor, the bin has a battery, a solar panel and a compressor. “When Prime Minister Narendra Modi envisaged the Clean India concept, I also thought of contributing to society in a noble way. Hence, I came up with the idea of a solar-based smart dustbin,” said Milan.”If the bins are kept at points across every street, a lot can be changed. Also, it will save the fuel cost as it has six times more storage than the normal bins,” said Milan.Patel says the capacity of the 120-litre bin will cost around Rs11,000. Patel presented his idea for at the event of Smart Villages & Cities Innovation Challenge, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry in Ahmedabad. The event was held on Thursday, where 15 shortlisted students gave presentation of their innovative ideas.Students across the state were asked to develop or design some projects for a smart city which could make any difference in society. 74 projects were received at CII from different colleges. Out these, around 15 were churned as innovative models. Professor Anil Roy of Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology screened all 74 received project and found 7 projects plagiarised. He also found 15 projects good and may be able to make a difference. The shortlisted projects were for waste energy, smart streetlight option, automated railway track alters, streetlights in farms, smart farming etc.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Water dept saves Rs 6 crore on electricity

At a time when several parts of the city are not getting sufficient water supply due to a frequent breakdown in the pipeline network, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is giving presentations to other local government bodies on how its water department saved Rs6crore last year on the electricity bill.The civic authority gives credit to Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) not only for the saving but also for utilising 23 MLD (Million litre per day) water that was going to waste.City engineer Jagdish Patel said, “This project includes monitoring of water quantity, quality and energy parameters of 148 water distribution centres, four french wells and four water treatment plants. Soon, we will add 51 water distribution centres in the system.”He added, “After one-year monitoring on the system, we found that we have saved Rs6 crore as electricity bill and also utilised 23 MLD water which was being wasted.”Biren Raval, additional chief engineer, said, “The unit here works round the clock. We monitor all the water stations attached to the system. There is an automatic message and automatic alarm for any trouble which fixes the problem in a couple of minutes. With the online system, we have recently introduced automated valve operating system.”He added, “It will prevent discrepancies and solve water deficiency. If the water tank is filled, the valve will be closed automatically. No manual operations will be required unless there is some technical fault.”Still, there is a problem of inadequate water supply to the end user. One of the engineers said, “SCADA system monitors only measure and gives an audit of water distribution centres and treatment plant. There is no audit from water distribution centres to the end users. Many of the walled city areas have water pipelines which are more than 40 to 50-year-old and leakages occur there.”Criticising the system, leader of opposition Dinesh Sharma, said, “The BJP-run civic body always hurries in announcing its achievements. There are thousands of people in the city who have to struggle daily to get drinking water. Water tankers are being provided by the AMC to many slum pockets on a daily basis. What has the SCADA done for them?”…& ANALYSISSCADA can be effective only when it audits water till end users. There is no water audit from distribution station to water tanks and then to end users. Still thousands of litre of water goes waste.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

LED, renewable energy helps civic body save Rs 30.25 crore

The introduction of LED streetlights by AMC has helped it save 26 million units of electricity helping it reduce its power bill by Rs15.50 crore a year. With this measure, the civic body says the carbon dioxide emmission would be reduced by 2,900 tonne anually.Not only this, the wind and solar power initiatives by the AMC alongwith the LED will help it ease its wallet burden by a total of Rs 30.25 crore.”We have implemented energy conservation programme under which we have installed 1.35 lakh LED bulbs on 2,800 km of road network,” said Deepak Suthar, additional chief engineer, streetlight and project, AMC. He added that by the end of January 2018, AMC will replace 14,000 more conventional streetlights with LED bulbs. “To generate a kilo watt of energy from fossil fuel, 0.546 emission of carbon dioxide occurs. We don’t use that much energy, and it has been saved. We have calculated the consumption, hence we are saying that we will reduce emission of 2,900 tonne of carbon dioxide annually,” the engineer explained.Meanwhile, a 4.2 MW wind power plant has been commissioned by AMC at Nakhtrana in Kutch which generates 11 million units of energy, which saves Rs7.14 crore a year. Another 4.2 MW capacity’s wind power plant is under construction. Both will help AMC save Rs14.3 crore a year. The civic body has also installed 540 KW solar rooftop power system as a part of renewble energy which generates 6.5 lakh electricity units annually which will help it save Rs45.5 lakh.However, city based environmentalist Mahesh Pandya scrapped AMC claims: “Construction business is mushrooming here. There is a loss in tree cover. Even for the Metro rail project, more than 2,000 trees were chopped.”…& ANALYSISThe AMC’s green efforts which are also pocket savvy are laudable. Its effort to calculate its CO2 emission reduction by introducing LED lights and renewable energy measures is noteworthy. But, it is high time that the wealthiest civic body in Gujarat shifts its focus to calculate carbon footprint on a yearly basis regularly.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

Teacher sits on 6 mats, kids on floor; DEO issues notice

During winter, people seek cozy environment! But, when you are at work, this might not be possible.The District Education Officer (DEO) Mahesh Mehta has recently issued a notice to a teacher of a government school in Ahmedabad district for sitting on six mats even as 25 children of the class sat on the cold floor in winter.Interestingly, the teacher, Deepika Suthar of government primary school of Loliya village in Dholka block, had placed the mats on the top of two chairs. The mats were meant for Pragya classes.Mehta spotted this ‘insensitivity’ on a field visit and as a punishment, Suthar’s one year increment has been stalled. The episode will also find a mention in her Service Book. The officer found out that the kids were asked to bring mats from their homes if they want to sit on the same though under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, the mats and school infrastructure has been provided to each school.The notice read that as per the disciplines and disputes, the teacher has barred the kids from their child rights. It further stated that according to Gujarat Panchayat Service Rule 1997 Act-6, without any future implication she will be barred from an increment.DNA has a copy of the notice issued by DEO to the concerned teacher.TEACHER FACES MUSICInterestingly, the teacher, Deepika Suthar of government primary school of Loliya village in Dholka block, had placed the mats on the top of two chairs. The District Education Officer (DEO) Mahesh Mehta spotted this ‘insensitivity’ on a field visit. A notice has been served to her and her one year increment stalled.

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Gardens, street lighting priorities for Asarwa MLA

As the newly elected candidates get ready to represent you for the next five years, DNA reviews the credentials and promises of each so you know what to expect from their term governing your constituency. Today, the focus is on Pradip Parmar.From a booth level worker, Parmar has risen to an MLA from BJP. Before Parmar, a former bureaucrat, who was fielded by the BJP, had won the election in 2012.Parmar represents Asarwa, which a reserved scheduled caste seat in Ahmedabad. A member of the BJP for past three decades, Parmar said it was an honour for him that a booth level worker like him was selected to contest the assembly election. He believes his victory is mainly because of his connect with people.“Local people know me as I have worked for them and raised their questions and issues. There are many things that have orked for my victory. I will continue to serve people with focus as I now have a larger area to look after,” said Pradip Parmar.His list of priorities include beautification of gardens in the constituency. “I also want to introduce modern amenities in my area, there are some light pole which needs to be replaced with LED light.”Having Asia’s largest hospital in his constituency, the first-time legislator wants to build amenities for visitors to the area. “I want to open more libraries and reading rooms in my area for the locals as well as those who visit the area for different purposes.”

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AMC pitches for more biogas plants as part of Swachh Bharat, total to hit 37

Standing committee of Ahmedabad civic body may approve a work to have more biogas plants in the city, as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission, on Thursday. In December 2016, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had approved the work of installation of 20 such biogas plants near the vegetable markets.Now, 17 more biogas plants have been conceptualised for the civic body-run party plots, hospitals, and educational institutes and campuses.With a capacity of 40 to 50 kilo, the proposed 17 mini-bio-gas plants will cost around Rs 10 lakh. The last time when 20 such biogas plants were set at the cost of Rs10 lakh, the observation was that it was converting the vegetable waste into biogas. As per an AMC official, the prices have shot up due to the Goods and Services Tax .Also, this time, the civic body is open to sell them, if one shows an interest. “If someone wants to have the biogas plant, we will sell them at the actual cost. We want equal participation from citizens also to come forward to set up such plants in their societies,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, the in-charge medical officer of health, AMC.On monthly basis, the 20 plants are producing around 300kg of gas. Soon after the code of conduct revoked from the state, AMC has pulled its socks to make the city clean and working hard for the solid waste management.In few weeks there will be the announcement of Swachhta Sarvekshan. AMC has not improved its ranking in 2016. AMC has tried a lot many innovations in solid waste management. AMC has hit two birds with two stone when air pollution in was observed very poorly. At the time, to control the dust particles from the air, AMC has washed flyovers, bridges, footpaths and trees, which is also claimed one of the drives and an innovative idea under the Swachh Bharat Mission program….& ANALYSISWhen smaller civic bodies are also acting on the lines of setting up toilet bio-gas plant, AMC should consider toilet bio-gas plants at least for their own housing scheme. Such plants ensure appropriate treatment and reuse of waste water and an additional incentive of bio-gas.

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AMC’s annual carnival branches out to more venues across city

This year will be the tenth edition of Kankaria Carnival and to make it more memorable, the authority at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has planned to organise cultural events, outside of Kankaria Lakefront.Performances have been scheduled at Vastrapur amphitheater and Sabarmati Riverfront as a part of the Kankaria Carnival. Kankaria Carnival is a week long festival held at the Kankaria Lakefront in the start week of December, since 2007. The event was marked to celebrate former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. During seven days, many performances are being held like cultural and art performances. Daily lesser show is also being organized every year.”It’s been nine years, the celebration is happening at Kankaria, majority of the people located are eastern side of the riverbank visit the event, while to engage more people form western side, we are organizing the event at two more places other than Kankaria,” said an official of AMC.”This is a public event and for public, so that we want to reach out to maximum people we can, so that people take part at a large number and enjoy the event,” added the official.At Sabarmati Riverfront jugalbandhi of Pankaj Udhas and Manhar Udhas is going to have, which according to the authority is it happening for the first time that the Udhas bothers are performing together, ever. At Vastrapur Kabir Cafe is going to have performance.It is to be noted that DNA did a story on how Kankaria carnival is losing its sheen over the year and authority has shown least interest for this annual event.

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One AMC councillor makes it to Assembly

Of the three existing councillors from Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) who tried their luck in the assembly polls, only one could make it through. Imran Khedawala, an independent councillor who won from Jamalpur-Khadia, was given a Congress mandate to contest the polls from the constituency keeping in mind the caste equation.Khedawala belongs to Chhipa community, which is why he was selected. The choice paid off as he won by a margin of 22,939 votes.Incidentally, he was denied a Congress ticket for the municipal election in 2015.The other two AMC councillors who contested are Atul Patel and Jamna Vegda, both of the Congress.The party asked the two to withdraw their nomination, following which Vegda, who had filed her nomination from Danilimda, complied. Congress then fielded Shailesh Parmar, who has won from the reserved SC seat by a margin of 32,600 votes.Atul Patel, a councillor from Vatva, however, remained firm on his candidature and lost the election. The Congress suspended him for six years. It was believed earlier that Patel would become Leader of the Opposition but he was denied that too.In the assembly election, he contested from Vatva constituency, from where he garnered 987 votes, way less than the 2,460 NOTA (None of the Above) votes cast in Vatva.Former councillor Raju Momin also contested from Dariyapur constituency. He turned a rebel and contested as an independent candidate.

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KNOW YOUR MLA: Danilimda MLA seeks to clear constituency air

As the newly elected candidates get ready to represent you for the next five years, DNA reviews the credentials and promises of each so you know what to expect from their term governing your constituency. Today, the focus is on Shailesh Parmar.Parmar, who has been elected from Danilimda for the second time, specifically spoke about seeking a solution to the health concerns surrounding the Pirana dumping site, which is blamed for polluting the air in the constituency. “Pirana is a major risk to the well-being of the people residing near it. I have raised this question a lot of times in the assembly house. I will keep hammering on the issue for a solution,” Parmar said.In 2012, he won by a margin of 14,300 votes. Five years later, he has won from the same seat by a margin of 32,500. He believes that a direct connect to the local people has contributed to his popularity and raised his vote share from last time.”I have been doing door-to-door campaigning for long and have noted the issues of the people. My priority is to ensure the supply of potable tap water to each household in my area.I also want to provide gardens and other public amenities,” he added.

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Cong rebel Ratansinh Rathod wins

Congress rebel from Lunawada, Ratansinh Rathod, won as an independent candidate by a margin of 3,200 votes.Rathod, a member of Indian National Congress for two decades, was fired by the party when he didn’t recall his nomination after the party decided to field Paranjadityasinh Paramar from the constituency.Parmar is the son-in-law of veteran Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.When DNA contacted Rathod after he won the election, he said, “I was a congress candidate but turned a rebel after I was denied the party mandate. I had served the party for a long time. But I am happy now that I have won. I haven’t decided to join any party as of now, and might not join any.”He said his priority is to provide a god drainage system and proper water infrastructure in his constituency.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Congress is a strong opposition now

Congress may have lost, but it has a very strong mandate as the Opposition. Thus despite a loss, Congress has gained enormously in stature. Its vote share and the tally both have gone up in the state. For the first time since 1995, Congress gave a tough fight to BJP in PM’s home state.BJP had claimed it will win more than 150 seats, but the party has been limited to double digits, albeit one short of a century. This is a huge morale gain for the Congress.But, then there is so much that the party still needs to do. For instance, the party failed to cash in on 22 years of anti-incumbency and massive agitations against the government. Four of its stalwarts had to bite dust. As a result, the party has good numbers in the House, but doesn’t have a capable leader to lead the resistance in the legislature. Mohansinh Rathva was assigned the task in the outgoing Assembly, but failed to make an impact. The party may have to look beyond Rathva and the job could go to a young face like Paresh Dhanani whom Rahul Gandhi could trust as his close confidante. Increased tally also augurs well in terms of Rajya Sabha voting that took centre stage in August.Resurgence?Increased tally also augurs well in terms of Rajya Sabha voting that took centrestage in August.Congress failed to cash in on 22 years of anti-incumbency.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Out of 112 female candidates, only 11 chosen in these polls

In a democracy a woman has the Right to Vote, and as a sign of progressive democracy there should be equal representation by them in the House as well. Sadly, the scene will be different in the Gujarat Assembly these elections.A total of 112 women candidates were in fray for the state Assembly election, but only 11 candidates are now going to make their way to the House. Only 11 per cent of the total fielded candidates have won people’s mandate.This is the lowest number as compared the last three Assembly elections. After 2002 election, there were 12 women candidates in the House. In 1995, there were two female candidates; in 1998, four women representatives were elected as Member of State Legislative Assembly (MLA). However, in 2007, there were 15 members and in 2012 elections there were 16 MLAs.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel’s magic works in Saurashtra, not on rural seats

Though Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Hardik Patel pooled crowd in his rallies, it seems it did not translated into the votes for Congress.The magic of the young Patidar’s nexus with the Congress, who was mired in controversy over his alleged ‘sex CDs’ that went viral in the run up to the Gujarat Assembly polls, however worked in rural areas, specially Saurashtra, results suggest. One of the factors can be the farmers issues in the region.Despite huge turnout during his roadshows in Surat, the crowd failed to translate into votes for the Congress. Though his campaigning suggests that if he continues to fight for his community, there is an opportunity for him to expand his political career. He has grown despite many hurdles.In Nikol in Ahmedabad, a Patidar-dominated constituency, he asked Patels during his rally to not vote for BJP. Here, BJP candidate Jagdish Panchal won with a margin of 24,880 votes.The ‘sex CDs’ too affected Hardik’s popularity among the veteran Patidars. Though he has often said that he will defeat BJP’s arrogance, he himself is being an arrogant leader. A few months back he had said that he will never join Congress. But ahead of polls, he met Congress president Rahul Gandhi to form an alliance.It seems after Keshubhai Patel, Patidars in Gujarat have a face in politics in the form of Hardik Patel. It won’t be a surprise if he contests Lok Sabha elections in 2019.’EVMS HACKED’Hardik gave controversial comments. A day before the results, he had tweeted alleging the BJP of hacking the EVM. He went to the extent of claiming that BJP hired 140 software engineers for the same. He created rucks over EVMs saying that BJP can win election in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh only by tampering EVMs in Gujarat.

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10 free WiFi zones to come up in Ahmedabad

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) that had announced to provide more than 45 free WiFi spots in city under its Smart City plan by August has now decided to at least start a trial run on 10 of these by December 30.Ahmedabad has lagged behind as Rajkot has been providing internet access to its citizens since February. For internet connectivity and fibre optic network, civic authorities of Ahmedabad have allotted a budget of Rs 239 crore including CCTV cameras for surveillance.The 30 minute of free Internet access would be provided to Amdavadis under Internet of Things (IoT). “We are ready with the 10 spots as part of a trial run. December 30 is the day when we are going to start the run. Initially, we have covered all zonal offices of AMC, MJ Library, Riverfront, LG Hospital and a dental college of AMC,” said Yatindra Nayak, manager e-governance of AMC. “User data and limit is yet to be finalised and will be based on TRAI guidelines,” added Nayak.”Any smart phone has to be connected with the Internet after generation of One Time Password (OTP),” said Ramyakumar Bhatt, assistant municipal commissioner. Interestingly, a private company had started to provide free internet service in some zones of Ahmedabad in 2014, when Narendra Modi was the CM. The PM had even launched eight Wi-Fi hot-spots for citizens to enjoy seamless network facility including Kankaria Lakefront, Gandhi Ashram, Science City and Civil Hospital. The facility at most of these areas is not available now.AMC promises that soon after the trial run, more than 45 such spots will be set up. It is to be noted that the civic body is providing free internet access during its annual book fair which is held in May.CONNECTING PEOPLEFor internet connectivity and fibre optic network, civic authorities have allotted a budget of Rs239 crore including CCTV cameras for surveillance A 30-minute free Internet access would be provided to Amdavadis under Internet of Things (IoT) by the authorities

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Gujarat elections 2017: Talkshows and public rallies, AMC gets rich by Rs 17.25 lakh

People are busy discussing opinion polls, exit polls and surveys related to elections as the poll hangover is still on. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), on the other hand, is counting notes.AMC earned Rs17.25 lakh during the poll season. The amount is very nominal for AMC, whose annual budget is more than Rs 6,000 crore. Apart from the riverfront space, not a single community hall of AMC was booked for political meetings.For talk shows in different news channel, AMC rented the space at Sabarmati Riverfront. As per data given by the civic authority, a total of 36 such talk shows were organised at the riverfront. This generated an income of Rs2.12 lakh.Also three major public meetings were held at riverfront which has fetched Rs9.33 lakh to AMC’s bank. “We are renting open spaces commercially. There are many religious events, sports events, and other functions. During elections, private news channels and political parties had approached us,” said a senior civic body officer.”By renting out space at Sabarmati riverfront, AMC earned Rs11.45 lakh. Space for advertisements and hoardings brought us another Rs5.80 lakh,” added the official.”The income of Rs 5.80 lakh is from political parties and applied via a single window system. Election related advertisements were also from the Collector’s office regarding voting awareness. We haven’t charged anything from the Collector’s office,” remarked the official.Also, the civic body is renting out space for shooting purposes, since 2014. However, income generated from renting out space for shooting is lesser than the entry to visiting the Riverfront park and Flower park.

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Gujarat elections 2017: ‘Dhandha manda hai’, cry campaign material makers ahead of second phase

Elections in India are marked by hectic campaigning, rallies, posters and hoardings which add colour and lift spirits of not just party workers but the voters. But those who are in the business of election-related material that DNA talked to say ‘Dhandha manda hai’ meaning the business is low this year.For Gulshan Khurana of New Delhi it is not just a seasonal business but a family one. The manufacturer-cum-seller, has visited 23 states for general, Assembly and local elections in last 50 years, has been in Ahmedabad for last three weeks now.”Selling of material is down at 70% compared to the last time I was here in 2012. Though people come to see pens, stickers, scarves, caps, t-shirts, bands and flags, they are not interested in buying these for voters. Generally, candidates or their supporters approach as soon as they file nomination,” he said. Khurana said the business is much lower than he had expected.Ahmedabad-based manufacturer, Hussain Shaikh is selling the items for the first time in retail. “This time hardly any retailer approached me to buy campaigning material as compared to the last 15 years. Dhandha Manda Hai.” A Congress worker from Kheralu of Mehsana district, who arrived at the shop, said, “Fund is one of the factors for both the party and the candidate. Its cash crunch this time. I am here to buy flags and caps.”POLL AFFAIRFor Gulshan Khurana of New Delhi it is not just a seasonal business but a family one. The manufacturer-cum-seller, has visited 23 states for general, Assembly and local elections in last 50 years, has been in Ahmedabad for last three weeks now.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Ideal village: Fail to vote? Pay Rs 51

When the first phase of elections came to a close at 5pm, Rajsamadhiyala village in Rajkot reported 93.23 per cent voter turnout. If the soaring number was not enough, some villagers are unhappy because a few of the few neighbours who couldn’t exercise their franchise.According to one of the rules of their own village, it is compulsory to vote for each adult to poll in the state and general election and if someone violates that rule, one has to pay Rs 51 as fine. This year, A 38-year-old man fractured his leg last Monday and couldn’t cast his vote as he is hospitalised and two others in his family couldn’t cast their vote as they had to go to some social function.”We don’t have local body election ever. We select our sarpanch, never elect. Party representatives cannot enter our village for campaign,” said Hardevsinh Jadeja, former sarpanch of the village.In spite of nearly 95 per cent of voting, the booth has not seen queues here, due to the micro management of Jadeja. “Timing has been decided two days before. A hundred voters have been called to vote at an hour,” he added.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Bharuch fishermen unhappy with BJP

Ever since the Sardar Sarovar Dam has been constructed, fishermen in Bharuch and nearby villages say there is less production of hilsa fish due to increase in salinity of water. There are around 20,000 families of fishermen which are cursing the BJP government as around 100 km Hilsa fishing stretch has been shrunk to 70 km.Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated weir-cum-causeway project at Bhadbhut which will prevent fresh water to the Gulf of Cambay and will almost stop the availability of hilsa fish here in future and it will become extinct. Environmentalist MSH Shaikh of Brackish Water Research Centre, Surat, said, “The development will imbalance the eco-system. To lay eggs Hilsa fish travels from more than 1000 km from sea and come to brackish water. The causeway will block the river and Bhadbhut which lies on the estuary will not have the brackish water, because it will create imbalance in the fresh and sea water which is the place where hilsa lay eggs,” added Shaikh. Instead of Bhadbhut, the government can construct a causeway somewhere in the fresh water which can’t damaged the ecology. “We are trying to convince government to change location of the weir so that damage can be prevented. There are very few locations across the world where Hilsa is available. The government is claiming that they are going to give a passage for the fish to enter fresh water. But that won’t work as hilsa lays eggs in brackish water and not in fresh or only saline water,” remarked Shaikh. Ramesh Tandel, fisherman of Bhadbhut said, “In the estuary between Narmada and Bhadbhut where the project is conceptualised is a place where sweet and saline water meet. That is the place where large quantity of hilsa is found. If the causeway is constructed the fishing industry will wipe out.” “If the causeway is constructed not only the fishermen would be affected but local fish vendors and ice business would be hit,” he said.OVER 30K TO BE HITAs per an estimate, there are around 30,000 families directly or indirectly banking upon fishing industry here with a turnover of around Rs 500 crore a year. This business is not getting any subsidy from government either.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Gujarat elections 2017: With Patels’ support, BJP feels safe in Anand

In a poll-bound state where Patels are going to be a deciding factor to leading a political party’s future, the BJP is feeling safe and secure in Anand city constituency. Local leaders in the constituency say they have worked for the people and introduced many projects.”Several development projects have been implemented in the constituency. We have introduced all facilities and doing changes as per central government schemes. We have allotted around Rs10 crore for beautification of two lakes in city. All streetlights in city are LED and all areas have roads,” said Vijay Patel, president pf Anand Nagarpalika.”To increase the tree cover in city, we have planted 10,000 neem samplings this year. Taking ahead the agenda of development, we are going to make dust free zones in some pockets of city. We are also planning to make free Wi-Fi zones and extended them to constituency also,” added Patel. Patel denied the fact that the Patidar agitation may damage their vote bank. “The Patels are loyal to the BJP, and here there is no issue of education or of unemployment. Moreover, we have worked so much for the people that people will vote for BJP and we will win with a majority,” remarked Patel.But, what local Congress people are saying is totally different. They claim that there is no development and few pockets where BJP have won wards at the municipality level.”Not a single college has been constructed here during the rule of BJP. There is no proper health facility. Location of the civic hospital has been changed three times by them,” said Ketan Barot, congress council at Anand municipality.”There is a major parking issue here. Permission of building construction to their favourites and there is always extra favour in them. They are not giving proper drainage lines to the people. During monsoon some of the pockets face flooding situation,” said Barot.”There is a government-run hospital here, but the doctors hardly visit the place. The building is so bad and not maintained that people hardly visit that as the doctors are never been in the hospital. Also, there was not a single streetlight in the 1.2 km-stretch of Dandi Heritage Marg for a decade. We installed 60 electric polls just two months ago,” added Barot. Barot also added that the rate of crimes have shot up in the area and there is absolutely no security for women in the area.COMPLAINTSThere is a govern-ment-run hospital here, but the doctors hardly visit the place. The building is not maintained and people hardly visit it as the doctors rarely come to the hospital, Barot said. Crimes have shot up and there is absolutely no security for women, he said.
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Gujarat Election 2017: Vadgam to be tough battle for Jignesh Mevani

Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani’s last-minute plunge into politics (he is contesting from Vadgam, a seat reserved for SC candidate) was accompanied by several good tidings.The Congress and AAP heeded to his appeal and have not nominated theircandidates for the seat. However, despite this, the seat that is dominated by Dalits and OBCs will not be a cakewalk for him. In the last three elections, the Congress won the seat twice (2002 and 2012), while the BJP won it once, in 2007 — Fakir Vaghela had won by a margin of 9,700 votes.To begin with, Mevani has to contend with the ‘outsider’ tag. He originally belongs to Ahmedabad. Moreover, he will have to battle the anger of Congress workers who have been working in the constituency for years, hoping one of their leaders would contest from there.Dinesh Parmar, a local Congress leader who had filed his nomination but had his form rejected after the party failed to give him a mandate, is not very happy with the party obliging Mevani.He claims to have been working in the area since 2007 and is not sure of supporting Mevani although the latter did meet him to seek his support.“The party has asked me to back him. I was earlier promised a ticket. I left my job to work for the party and the people, and now I’m left hanging at the last moment,” says Parmar.According to Parmar, Mewani contacted him on Wednesday for help with his campaigning. Parmar feels, Mevani’s ‘outsider’ tag may not endear him to voters.“Apart from Mewani, the BJP candidate is also an outsider for the Vadgam people. They are now wondering whom to choose, as they will be voting for candidates who don’t know their problem,” observes Parmar.He also wonders why Mevani chose to fight from this seat. Mewani did not take calls from DNA.Besides this, Mevani, unlike the Congress and the BJP, lacks organisational base that will help him in his campaign, for which he has less than a fortnight.Two days after filing his nomination, a non-bailable warrant was issued against him on November 28 for failing to respond to a court summons. That, his associates feel, was an attempt to get him busy with court dates and prevent him from campaigning.“This is a move by the ruling government to ensure that he does not get time to be among people,” said an associate of Mevani.
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Gujarat elections 2017: SC federation releases ‘Dalit Manifesto’

After discussing their issues in a democratic way, Gujarat Scheduled Caste Federation (GSCF) released Dalit manifesto on Tuesday evening. The manifesto, suggesting reforms of the community, was released by five sanitation female workers at Bhuvaldi village.GSFC is a federation of more than 30 organisations working for Dalit welfare in the state. They formed a federation on November 19 to draft the manifesto.”This manifesto is collective efforts of what we had discussed and think are core issues for the community. We believe in harmony and we don’t want to divide any community. But it is equally true that we want upliftment of Dalit community, enough of suffering,” said Jayesh Solanki, member of GSCD.”The manifesto was released by five women who are sanitation workers which is symbolically significant. There are 26 points we have highlighted in the manifesto which includes free education for Dalits in government as well as private institutions,” added Solanki.They have asked for a separate settlement to fulfil the dream project of Babasaheb Ambedkar. There is also a provision of 33% and 50% of reservation for women, the similar provision we want for SC/ST women.The Dalits organisations across Gujarat want the government to recall all the cases filed against Dalits during different agitations took place during atrocities.”We want a strong law which secures jobs for SC/ST in co-operative sectors and in private sectors. Also, we want to abolish the mentioning of any religion and sub-caste in school leaving certificates and there should mention of only SC/ST only,” remarked Solanki.
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Voters ready for other side of the coin

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Once known as a BJP bastion, Dariyapur was won by Gyasuddin Shaikh for the Congress in 2012. The area was ruled by the BJP through Bharat Barot for 25 years. After delimitation in 2012, the area now has more than 50,000 Muslim voters, who play a decisive role in the victory margin.Shaikh won in 2012 with the support of Muslim voters, but has failed keep up with his responsibilities. Voters are unhappy and most of them are ready to show him the door if Congress repeat their candidate. Nothing, they say, has been done for development or infrastructure. The local MLA has not turned up in the constituency in the last five years. Now, Shaikh is meeting people but locals have not been giving him very positive vibes.Congress may stick with Gyasuddin Shaikh as he remained loyal to the party even when there were allegations of horse trading during the Rajya Sabha elections.At present, the voters have revolted against him and so have the other party workers.Polluted water because of old drainage lines is a major issue in this area. The locals have complained about this many times but to no avail.According to Bharat Barot, the area has seen major development over the years. “With the support of funds from the BJP government, the area has seen growth in infrastructure. There is a BRTS, many gardens and schools here. Development has been done keeping all classes and communities in mind,” Barot said.”The area has illegal constructions and slaughter houses. A major chunk of the population stays in slums and suffer from many health issues. The problem with polluted water, floating sewage water and traffic persists,” added Barot.On the other hand, Congress leader and MLA Gyasuddin Shaikh claimed that the BJP is making false allegations on development as they want the constituency by hook or by crook. “BJP’s B team – Jan Vikalp and AAP —are working hard to fight against me. AAP is looking for a Muslim candidate for this constituency. Some people were offered millions to contest from AAP. The allegations over development are baseless,” he said.For 2017, election there 175 polling booths in this constituency.MAJOR AREASDariapurShahpurDARIAPURPopulation: Over 2.5 lakhVoters: 184089Male: 95257Female: 88830Others: 2CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSMuslim: 68,000SC: 35,000Patel: 9,000Vania: 7,000others: 15,000(all figures are approx)VOTER TURNOUT IN LAST ELECTION2012- 68.47%WHO WON IN 2012Gyasuddin Shaikh (60,967 ) INCKEY ISSUESILLEGAL CONSTRUCTIONILLEGAL SLAUGHTER HOUSESPOLLUTED WATERDRAINAGESLUMLIKELY CANDIDATESBharat Barot – BJPGyasuddin Shaikh– INCLEADERS SAYGyasuddin Shaikh, MLA, INCBJP has strategically divided votes of the Congress to ensure a win. Interestingly, in September we came across cases of around 6,800 Muslim voters, whose names were deleted from the voting list. They want to defeat me at any cost. But people know that I have stood by them and have worked for them.Bharat Barot, BJPIn last five years, illegal activities have been flourishing. He constituency is a den for illegal constructions, illegal slaughter houses and poverty. There are issues of polluted water and poor health. This area has major slum pockets, which too need some development. When BJP was in power, we gave them schools, gardens, roads, streetlights etc. But the Congress MLA has hardly taken any developmental measures.WHAT VOTERS HAVE TO SAYPraksh Soni, businessmanNarrow and small slums are the biggest concern in this area. People need a revamp in terms of basic necessities. Pollution is yet another issue and here is hardly any greenery here. There are government schools but they don’t provide quality education. Politicians at the local level are working, but MLAs are hardly seen here.Zil Shah, social media workerThis area has a mixed population, with a majority of Muslims. We can say that this part of Ahmedabad is unique in terms of heritage monuments and modern infrastructure. It is very old compared to others and some drainage lines need to be changed as this leads to problems with waterRaju Momin, former councillorCongress had a chance to develop the area. But Gyasuddin Shaikh listened only to some people. He has focused on a few Muslims only and has neglected overall change. We don’t want to see him again as MLA. We have made requests at higher levels for the same.Rajesh Brahmbhatt, social workerI have been living here for a long time and I am aware of the issues. Sadly, our MLA has missed many things during his tenure. There are issues with drainage and there is no permanent solution for it. The MLA has never tried to find a concrete solution.Manoj DabhiHardly any development has happened. We don’t need a complete face-lift but there needs to be a balance. Due to BRTS, the area is facing major traffic congestion. There was no need for an exclusive corridor for transportation. Also, there is no greenery, and so during summer, this area turns into an urban island.

Gujarat elections 2017: Unrest in Congress over urban seats in Ahmedabad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress supporters continue to be angry and protests against the party still prevail in Ahmedabad over the distribution of urban seats for the upcoming state Assembly election. The party members are arguing for strong candidates before the high command.According to the sources, on Tuesday, a delegation made a presentation before the high command in Delhi showing their displeasure over local candidate Sabir Kablivala. Kablivala lost the election in 2012 from Jamalpur Khadia constituency. Locals and supporters from Congress are not in favour of his selection. Councillor Sahnawaj Shaikh and former leader of opposition at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) have also demanded a ticket from Jamalpur-Khadia seat.For Bapunagar, sources said that former leader of AMC, Himmatsinh Patel, is likely to get mandate to contest elections. It is to be noted that Patel has lost two Assembly elections and one parliament election. And per Rahul Gandhi’s close confidantes, a candidate who has already lost two elections in a row will not get a ticket. Dinesh Sharma, an existing leader of Opposition is a Hindi speaker and a strong candidate from Bapunagar, but his selection is not going unopposed.Asarva is reserved seat and there is a fight between former Councillor Rajshree Kesari and former councillor Mangal Surajkar. Both are scheduled caste candidates. In 2012, Surajkar lost the election. Being a reserved seat, Congress has very few strong options.BONE OF CONTENTAccording to the sources, on Tuesday, a delegation made a presentation before the high command in Delhi showing their displeasure over local candidate Sabir Kablivala. Locals and supporters from Congress are not in favour of his selection. He lost the elections in 2012 and many don’t want him.

Along with heritage, need to revive traditional food habits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the first World Heritage City of the country, Ahmedabad is decked up once again with the World Heritage Week celebrations beginning Sunday, experts say the need of the hour is to revive our traditional food culture.Dr Hemant Bhatt of Khadia Itihas Samiti, who has been organising traditional food festivals at ‘pols’, said, “Consumption of traditional food items has now mostly became restricted to festivals or celebrations. Despite having rich, diverse and healthy cuisine, we prefer unhealthy items in our daily life, most of which are loaded with preservatives.”Elaborating, he said, “Kansar can be made with very few ingredients even today. Our forefathers stressed on its consumed during Diwali due to specific reasons. It contains cracked wheat, jaggery and ghee. It has carbohydrates, lipids and sugar.”Several others experts also believe that the increasing lifestyle diseases are because of our unhealthy food habits. “Earlier, irrespective of religion, people used to finish their dinner before 8 pm. It consisted of milk, Bhakhari and Sabji or Khichadi. Milk was the staple food of evening. It contains amino acids which prompt sound sleep. It also contains melatonin that is said to regulate the sleep and waking cycle,” added Dr Bhatt.Likewise, during Uttarayan, he said, we eat sweets in form of different chikkis and during Holi, dates are consumed because of scientific reasons.“What our forefathers had included in their daily meal was a complete nutritional food. We should not tamper with it but revive our local, traditional food.”He said a heritage food festival would also be organised during Uttarayan in old city.

Gujarat Dalits form federation, draft manifesto to press for demands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Representatives of around 22 organisations working for Dalit welfare from across the state gathered in city on Sunday and formed a federation besides drafting their own manifesto.The Gujarat Scheduled Caste Federation (GSCF) has decided on its executive committee members and it will launch the manifesto officially next week. Five persons from different regions of the state will be a part of the panel.The main highlight of the manifesto is a demand for separate settlement. “It is sad that even after 70 years of independence, most Dalits are deprived of their basic right. We are still considered untouchable. The government should be ashamed that we still have to fight for survival and equal opportunity,” said Jayesh Solanki, member of GSCF and organiser of the event.Elaborating on demands, Romel Sutariya, member of GSCF, said, “We want free education from KG to PhD and financial assistance to study abroad, equal employment opportunities in private sector and equal representation in democratic process. Our other demand is that accused in atrocity cases should be given life imprisonment. In cases, where the probing members are found to have adopted a lax attitude, strict action should be taken against them.”Solanki added, “Now, several communities are talking about reservation. Despite having reservation, there is hardly any upliftment of Dalit community. Many activists and organisations are working towards our rights. The manifesto was framed after discussion with the community members.”The newly formed Dalit federation is yet to decide on how to approach political parties with the manifesto. It is also wants that victims of Thangadh and Una tragedy should contest the polls.THE OFFICIAL DATEThe Gujarat Scheduled Caste Federation has decided on its executive committee members and it will launch the manifesto next week.

Ahmedabad – A city with a rich history of architecture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ever since it came into existence over 600 years ago, Ahmedabad has been a melting pot of various cultures. The city’s diverse traditions, languages and religion are a proof of this.The rich architectural heritage of Ahmedabad, comprising a fort, many mosques and temples, a bridge, among others, belonging to different periods, are a testimony to the fact of how the city’s heritage evolved over the centuries.City rulers have given different monuments, before Ahmed Shah to modern period. It has architecture from the Sultanate, Mughal, Maratha, Dutch and British periods. After Independence, the city had roped in American and European architects for modern structures like IIM building, Town Hall, Tagore Hall and Sanskar museum.Sarkehj Roza, Sidi Saiyad ni Jali, Bhadra fort, Gaekwad’s Haweli, Dutch Tomb, Nagina Vadi depict the timeline of the city’s rulers.“There is a uniqueness in the city’s monuments. The diversity adds value to the city’s timeline. Gaekwad Haweli in Ahmedabad is a structure from Maratha period but it is very different than other architects found in Maharashtra.In the Haweli, they have adopted the wooden carving but courtyard planning is local,” said Ashish Trambadia, conservation architect.“The diversity of architects is the main point in the dossier we had submitted to Unesco for world heritage city tag,” added Trambadia. “It has a multi-dimensional culture. There are some architectures that are modern, beyond the river,” he said.With heritage week celebrations round the corner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that celebrations will match up to the city’s heritage status.However, conservation experts warn that the city faces a mammoth task of defending its newly won UNESCO status as its fragile cultural icons decay under neglect, traffic and trash. The city is fast becoming one of the most polluted in the country.HERITAGE WEAKThe heritage week celebrations have been scheduled for November 19 to November 25. Ahmedabad civic body (AMC) authorities said that celebrations will match up to the city’s heritage status. A heritage exhibition would be held at Sabarmati Riverfront on the concluding day.

Tough battle, tougher task in hand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi’s winter pollution is making headlines all over the country, but for residents of Danilimda, it is a yearly issue, and a major one at that.Danilimda has the city’s own garbage hill — Pirana. Forty years of garbage dumping has made the dumpsite look more like a small range of three hills, each more than 100 feet high. A backward area with a growing population, the area needs a revamp, and breathing space.This is the den for illegal activities with migrants from Bangladesh residing here for a long time.Congress’s Dalit candidate Shailesh Parmar won the people’s mandate in 2012, beating BJP’s Girush Parmar, again a Dalit ledaer. Girish is himself a former Congress leader who had once defeated the BJP. He turned rebel when he was denied the newly formed Danilimda constituency. The battle will be interesting this year, as the area has hardly seen any development.Slum dwellers, illegal migrants, illegal chemical factories, health issues, and garbage plague the people living in this area. It life in the primitive age in a smart, heritage city.Sitting MLA Shailesh Parmar claims that he has done many things for the area, like installing streetlights, RCC roads, and drainage lines, while his opponent said that all this was actually done by the BJPIn 2012, the main battle were between Shailesh and Girish. However, Shailesh won by a margin of 10.37 per cent of votes. The area has mixed population of Muslim, Dalit, Rabari, and few vote shares of Brahmins, Vaniyas and Patels.Shailesh Parmar said that 90 per cent of the societies in his area had RCC roads. Other than the Rs 1 crore he had in his MLA fund, he utilised his MP fund too for developmental work. “We have made RCC roads, streetlights, improved the drainage network. Barel market, which is newly developed, has given basic amenities like street lights, water connection and others,” said Shailesh Parmar, MLA Danilimda.Girish Parmar said that he had plans to develop the area beautify it if he wins. “Many illegal activities are going on around the dumpsite. People need basic amenities,” he said.For 2017, there are 227 polling booths in the area.DANILIMDA (SC)Population: Over 3 lakhVoters: 201451Male: 106412Female: 95039CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSMuslim: 98,000SC: 67,000Patel: 9,000Rabari 5,000mix population: 15,000(all figures are approx)MAJOR AREAS OF THE CONSTITUENCYGomatipurBehrampuraShahalamDanilimdaA part of Narol crossroadsSome parts of JuhapuraA newly made constituency from Shaher Kotda.VOTER TURNOUT IN 201268.47%WHO WON IN THE PREVIOUS ELECTION2012 INC Shailesh Parmar, Victory margin73,573 KEY ISSUESGARBAGEHEALTHPOLLUTED WATERDRAINAGESLUMSLIKELY CANDIDATESGirish Parmar – BJPShailesh Parmar – INCWHAT PARTY LEADERS HAVE TO SAY1) Shailesh Parmar, MLA, INCDanilimda sarwa is made of lower and middle class voters. In the past five years, the area got a police station, an urban health center, an English medium school, and a community hall. With the installation of drainage lines, flooding during monsoon has been under control. We made a water tank in this area to cater to the needs of people.2. Girish Parmar, BJPIn the past five years, Shailesh Parmar has done not done anything for the community or for the area. A solution to Pirana is the first priority. There are many illegal activities, specially illegal chemical factories — around 324 — dumping their affluent into the river. We are working towards a proper solution for Pirana and other pollution issues in the area.WHAT VOTERS HAVE TO SAY1. Girish Parmar, studentGarbage and pollution are the two main issues in this area which are causing other health complications. Also, we don’t have pure drinking water. In terms of infrastructure, some of the pockets of the constituency has roads. But the area is still an underdeveloped one.2. Zaheer Derdiwala, businessmanThis area has a mixed population, with a Muslim majority. We can say that this part of Ahmedabad is excluded from modern infrastructure. There is a constant issue with water, which needs to be addressed. We get the support from local political leaders whenever we ask, but need strong action for a makeover.3. Irfan Sipai, mobile technicianPoliticians and matters of development are only discussed when elections are around. We are satisfied with whatever we have in our area. There is no expectation from the elected people, other than to provide proper basic facilities. Waterlogging during monsoon is a major problem which needs to be fixed. Just because the area is belongs to the poor, their issues go unanswered most of the time.4) Rehana Ansari, home makerI am living in this areas for a long time. All I worry about is my kids’ future. This area has so much pollution, which brings health complications. I am concerned about the living conditions here as there is a perpetua; smog most of the time. The politicians and the system needs to take quick action.5) Nazma Panara, home makerWe have an English medium school in our area, but still need more. We need some vocational training centers so that people can acquire livelihood skills. People need vocational or professional training for overall upliftment.

Poor struggle in slum pockets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asarwa, an Ahmedabad constituency, is a reserved seat. The area has largest hospital of Asia, but needs a lot in terms of infrastructure. According to an estimate, there are 240 slum pockets in the constituency. Both major political parties in the state have an eye on it. There is also a strong possibility that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), will rope in its candidate on this seat or may support the strongest candidate.In 2012, three parties contested the elections. Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), whose candidate RM Patel won the people’s mandate. From Indian National Congress (INC), Mangal Surajkar was roped in, who was the then municipal councillor and Gujarat Parivartan Party had fielded Chandravadan Parmar. That election saw a tough fight. RM Patel defeated Surajkar with 27.96 per cent of the votes.This constituency has 202 polling booths, which includes four wards of the city and a part Delhi Chakla made in 2012 as a reserved seat for the schedule caste. In 2007 and 2002, when it was a general seat, BJP’s Pradipsinh Jadeja won both elections, defeating INC candidate Madhu Patni and Chetan Raval, respectively.According to Mangal Surajkar, RM Patel has done nothing but rest in the past five years. He never worked for the people. The area has a major chunk of Dalit and non-Guajrati speakers, which has suffered a lot in terms of demonetization and GST.RM Patel claims that for Asarwa, many roads in societies have been constructed. Four pumping stations and three water tanks have been given to area. Beautification of Asarwa lake has been done in his period.Major areas of the constituency comprise of Shahibaugh Dudheshwar AsarwaIn 2007, Asarwas was partly made up of following constituencies – Dariyapur – Kazipur, Jamaplur and KalupurASARWAPopulation: Over 3 lakhVoters: 1,84,767Male: 98,010Female: 86,757CASTE-WISE BREAK-UP OF VOTERSSC: 52,000Pattani: 24,000Hindi Speakers: 18,oooPatel: 18,000Thakor: 17,000ST: 8,000Darbar: 7,000Jain: 5,000(all figures are approx)VOTER TURNOUT IN LAST ELECTION2012- 67.80%WHICH PARTY / MLA HAS WON IN THE PREVIOUS THREE ELECTIONS2012 – BJP- RM Patel, (victory margin :76829 )2007 – BJP – Pradipsinh Jadeja (66201)2002 – BJP – Pradipsinh Jadeja (61877 )KEY ISSUESRoadsPolluted WaterSlum developmentDrainage linesLIKELY CANDIDATESRM Patel – BJPMM Prabhakar – BJPDarshna Vaghela – BJPMangal Surajkar – INCVishal Solanki – INCDipak Sadhu – INCMLA TALKS1)RM Patel, MLA, BJP:Asarwa comprises lower class and middle class voters. It is a developing, constituency, which has Asia’s biggest hospital. In some areas, the water connection was a problem but now it has been solved as we have introduced three water tanks. There are some issues related to infrastructure, like roads but we are making more. The area is a BJP stronghold and people will vote for us again.2) Mangal Surajkar, INCThe area comprises the poor and slum pockets. There is a chunk of Jain merchants also. After demonetisation and GST, the Jains are not in favour of BJP. In this election, I am hopeful for a Congress win because most of the areas in the city have not seen any development in the last five years. I don’t see BJP winning. WHAT VOTERS HAD TO SAY1.) Manish Rana, studentIn our area we have had the problem of drinking water for long. I have hardly seen elected members have don’t anything to tackle this. We have roads and other infrastructure. There is a kind of development in terms of better road networks.2) Shilpa Rana, computer engineerLike any other area, this area has a mixed population. The elected people are working for us, sometimes the local councillors do come and visit. They sometimes visit our area – the Councillors, but I haven’t seen our MLA ever visiting. Now, as elections are around, they will come to know of our problems.3. Hasumati BariyaI was working from home in cloth patchwork and stitching. But then the supplier stopped giving raw materials to us since last one year. Demonetisation has affected us badly. Monthly expenses are difficult of meet as I have lost work. Why do I vote for such a government who will not help the majority.4) Ronak Dagra, shop ownerAfter I cleared my Plus Two, i joined my family business. We have a small shop in a chawl. But GST has affected it a lot as things have become costlier and people are now reluctant to buy things that they need. As the area has a poverty-stricken population, the elected come and visit us only during the time of elections, and we don’t exist for them thereafter.5. Tarabe Thakor, senior citizen (photo available)I don’t like this government. When he was here in Gujarat, he did nothing for us. When he is at the Centre, he has literally looted us. I struggled a lot when the currency notes were scrapped. How do I believe in his party now? I wan’t a leader who listens to us and understands our problems and tries to solve them.

6.4% pregnant women have diabetes: AMC survey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Due to a spurt in a lifestyle change, there is an increased chance of diabetes during pregnancy. The health department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has surveyed 26,811 pregnant women since January 2017, of which 1,734 were detected with diabetes.Pregnant women who have never had diabetes before but who have high blood glucose (sugar) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. “We are running a project to detect GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) in urban and rural Ahmedabad. We have started it in December and detection was started in January to check the level of diabetes during pregnancy,” said Dr Himanshu Naik, in-charge project coordinator, AMC.”In the urban areas, we screened 26,811 pregnant women, of whom 1,734 were detected with GDM. This is around 6.4 per cent in AMC limit while in rural areas, 5.5% women were detected with GDM,” added Dr Naik.AMC plans to spread awareness about diabetes among women. This year’s theme in World Diabetes Day is Women and Diabetes. AMC organised a rally from LG Hosptial to Kankaria and back.”For awareness, we have organised a rally with medical students of AMC college on Tuesday. Many a times, diabetes lasts only till pregnancy,” said Dr Naik

Food licence authority revoked, AMC to lose Rs 10 cr yearly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The urban development department on October 24 abolished the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s authority to issue food licences to the hotels and restaurants.The move was come after the policy of Ease of Doing Business, and the department said that the central regulation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been in place for more than a decade now.Because of this, AMC will incur an average loss of Rs10 crore. “We had the authority of issuing food and health licences for AMC limits. Those who want to start an eatery must to have a food licence from us. AMC used to earn Rs10 crore by issuing and renewing licences,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, in-charge medical officer of health.As per an estimate, there are around two lakh such food units in city. Earlier in 2016, municipal corporations of Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar had unilaterally withdrawn their health licence issuing practice.However, the civic body can keep checking the licences. “We have to check food samples at eateries to keep a tab on the items.We will make sure that people are getting healthy, hygienic and standard food,” added Dr Solanki.The civic body randomly collects food samples and sends them for laboratory testing. If the sample fails quality test, the seller gets punished and a fine is levied. Recently, the civic body collected Rs 1 crore in fines.

Open defecation: Now, AMC plans ‘hawan’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bad habits die hard! Somewhat similar is true for some occupants of around 1,100 housing units constructed with toilets as part of the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) housing scheme at Jivan Jyot Apartment in Odhav which comes under the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) East Zone.Sources said though the city has received the title of Open Defecation (ODF) Free city in 2016, it is one such place where open defecation is still prevalent.Though these units have individual toilets, some occupants are using open space, especially their terraces for defecation. Now, to keep them away from such a practice, AMC has planned to rope in Gayatri Parivar to perform a ‘Hawan’.It is on the lines of a practice to use wall tiles depicting gods to keep people from spitting tobacco. Earlier too, for behavioural change and motivate people to use toilets, former municipal commissioner D Thara had introduced a scheme ‘Úse and Get’ in which one was given a candy or Rs1 for using community toilet.”There are around 6,000 people staying in the colony of different communities. Inspite several awareness programmes, they are not using toilets. People learn what religion preaches quickly! So, Gayatri Parivar is going to organise Hawan at that place,” said a senior AMC official. “Either this Sunday or next Sunday, a Hawan will be organised with a holistic awareness campaign. People are using terrace to defecate inspite of several cleanliness awareness programmes. Hence, we have roped in Gayatri Parivar for this Hawan, asking people to use toilet,” added the official.Gaurang Jani, sociologist, said, “Our society believes religion solves everything. Such Hawan is only going to promote superstition. For behavioural change, concrete steps and communication besides follow up is required.” He added, “Hawan and religious gatherings can gather crowd but hardly change people’s mindset.”

20 youths to spread awareness about the Constitution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>November 26 is our Constitution Day! Two youths, who are taking the mantle of fair elections, are going to preach and spread awareness about the Constitution and democracy. Starting November 26, participants in the programmes are going to live as per the Constitution guidelines for a month, for which they have designed some tasks.City-based Harshita Ghorawat, of Sauhard, is going to head a team of 20 youngsters in pairs in the urban area. She will also head five pairs of girls in the rural area. “We have done a similar programme last year with a team of 12 people. The idea is to make them aware of thier duties. People are boasting about the rights, but how many people are aware of duty for the country?,” said Harshita.”For a social responsibility, there is one taskInline image 1 in which the participants are going to take hawker to a restaurant,” added Harshita.The programme is called ‘Jagrik’ which is going to take place in many places across the country. In Ahmedabad, two different organisations are going to organise a different activity to engage youth on the lines of the Constitution. Urja Ghar, of another group, is going to engage the muslim youth of school above the age group of 15 years for the programme.”Basically, the idea is to engage the youth on the lines of Constitution. There are different games and task have been lined up which are based on duties and rights. We believe ownership comes when you act in the real world when you co-create, when you see the consequences of your actions. Ownership cannot be given in classrooms. It has to be taken in the streets. Through public initiative, we want young people to experience how the rights and duties in our constitution are being lived, and report back their experiences to the rest of the world,” said Waqar Qazi of Urja Ghar.”In preparing a young people’s report card of how the constitution is implemented on the streets, we hope that not only the participating youth but all those, including judiciary, legislative, executive and media, who hear about their experiences, will be transformed forever into alert citizens or Jagriks as we call them”, added Qazi.The public initiative will kick off on 26th November, celebrating Constitution Day and will culminate on Republic Day, 26th January.

City to mark Heritage Week with special cultural events, exhibition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is all geared up to celebrate the World Heritage Week from November 19, the first after it was declared as the first World Heritage City of India by the UNESCO on July 8, while ensuring that it does not violates the model code of conduct.It has planned a series of lectures, music and dance events, play and panel discussions from November 19 to November 25.For most of the events, educational institutes and experts have been roped in. A heritage exhibition would be held at Sabarmati Riverfront on the concluding day. The list of events also include the Gujarati Film Festival and lectures on medieval architecture, Jain and Parsi Communities. Surprisingly, heritage week gave a miss to seminar or lecture on the Muslim community, which is a significant part of the city which was founded by Ahmed Shah.A mobile application on Heritage City Ahmedabad would be launched this week. Interestingly, the application is already available on the Playstore!

Brewing a green revolution in Amdavad’s tea cup

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon Amdavadis including kids would be able to hang out amidst nature, read books on gardening and even buy saplings of vegetables besides listening to experts debate on how to make our city green.Shanti Sadan, a 100-year-old estate in Mirzapur, owned by Kartikeya Sarabhai, director of Centre for Environment Education (CEE), is being converted into city’s first of its kind club-cum-nursery and would be inaugurated in January 2018.Christened as ‘Shanti Sadan Nursery’, the place will have over 200 types of saplings of vegetables, herbs and other plants. “The idea behind this nursery is to engage people in gardening and help in making city greener. We hope that the nursery would help in bringing down the temperature of the surroundings by two to three degree Celsius. Our aim is to bring like-minded people on one platform so that they can share ideas on how to bring temperature down,” said Sarabhai.He informed that workshop-cum-discussions would be organised every weekend at the venue, which will also house a library having books on gardening. “People would also be able to sell vegetables grown at their garden besides buying saplings from here. We have also planned a shop which will sell tools and organic compost for gardening,” the CEE director said.Explaining further, he said, “We have identified a few people who grow vegetables at their rooftops to educate the club members on the same. We will tell people how greenery can be increased by growing plants at rooftops, balconies and even in little and narrow spaces. Interactive sessions like lectures and seminars besides a provision of certificate have also been planned.”Sarabhai said a special kids area will help children connect with nature. “Shanti Sadan is a historical place situated in the heart of the city. By such activities, we want to show that greenery is possible every well, if we nurture well. People can come and explore their natural connect here, with family and friends,” explained Sarabhai.

Winter to set in after 10 days, may affect air quality: Experts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city has started to experience a nip in the air, particularly morning and nights. However, experts say winter will set in after 10 days.With this being an year of La Nina, also referred to as the cold phase, more cold days are likely this winter season.Mahesh Palavat, chief meteorologist at Skymet weather, said, “No significant snowfall has been recorded in the Himalayan region this year. Cold and severe cold will start in Gujarat once there is a significant snowfall. At present, northeasterly and northerly winds, which are dry in nature, are prevailing across Gujarat.”Director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Ahmedabad, Jayanta Sarkar, said, “There is a dip in temperature by one to two degree Celsius. City will experience chill after November 15.”IMPACT ON AIR QUALITYAhmedabad starts to witness temperature below 10 degree in December. Low temperature may affect the air quality. Priya Dutta, senior research associate at Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Gandhinagar, said, “Cold air traps pollutant, which is known as inversion. At present, some parts of the city are witnessing poor air quality. The severe the winter with low temperature, the poorer the quality of air would be and the more widespread the phenomenon.”As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, on Sunday, Air Quality Index (AQI) of Ahmedabad was 163 as against the normal of 100. It also stated the air in Ahmedabad was unhealthy.LOW TEMPERATURE TO HAVE ILL EFFECTSAhmedabad starts to witness temperature below 10 degree in December. Low temperature may affect the air quality.
As per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) website, on Sunday, Air Quality Index (AQI) of Ahmedabad was 163 as against the normal of 100. It also stated the city air asunhealthy
With this being an year of La Nina, also referred to as the cold phase, more cold days are likely this winter season. However, the cold is due to set in after 10 days.

City lost 351 trees in 2 weeks of July, over 900 this year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The first World Heritage City of the country, Ahmedabad, will have to get rid of 2,200 trees in its journey to get the metro rail network to cater to its estimated 5.571 million residents (as per 2011 Census).This when the city lost three times more number of trees this monsoon. “On an average, we lose around 250 to 300 trees but this year, city lost 351 trees in a span of just 15 days of heavy rain in July. Due to extreme monsoon, the number of tree uprooting cases were reported three times higher,” director of Parks and Garden Department, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), Jignesh Patel said.Ahmedabad also lost more than 900 trees in a short span of two and half months of monsoon. Patel said excavation unsettles roots which in turn damages tree. “Rapid and unplanned urbanisation besides the metro rail, underground network and pipeline-laying took a toll. A 70-year-old banayan tree near Raipur Darwaja was uprooted this monsoon,” he said.Director of Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Kartikeya Sarabhai, said, “In a short span of time, city witnessed heavy spell of rain, which was unexpected. This along with the development work underway in Ahmedabad were among other factors.”He added, “A tree in my area, which was over 100-year-old, was uprooted as it was not trimmed before monsoon. Generally before monsoon, tree trimming is conducted to ensure that leaves do not accumulate water which may burden the root and imbalance the tree. But in our city, it is not happening at large as monsoon is not so rigorous.”TREE PLANTATION DIRECTION-LESS:Though AMC had targeted to plant 1.50 lakh saplings in June, it has been able to plant only 68,000 till the end of October. “Last year, AMC planted 1.20 lakh sapling of which around 60% survived. Saplings planted on footpath were eaten up by cattle. Many of them did not receive enough water and did not survive,” said Jignesh Patel director of parks and garden department, AMC.Interestingly, Mayor Gautam Shah had announced Green Action Plan with engagement of locals and went to the extent of planting saplings at Valladolid city of Spain, which is a sister city of AMC. When Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev was in city in June, he planted saplings for AMC at the Mayor’s bungalow. Trees were planted along Sabarmati Riverfront or certain pockets but roadsides. An urban forest, with a variety of trees, was also developed near Pirana dumping site.”Planning in city is mostly about increasing infrastructure. Nature conservation comes at the last stage. This year saw heavy rainfall and that is not considered a good time to plant saplings. Proper planning and follow up also plays a huge role in sustenance of trees,” said Yatri Baxi (environment communication) from Paryavaran Santri Trust.TREE CENSUS AWAITEDLast tree census in city was conducted in 2012, after which rapid development took place. In 2015, AMC had announced to conduct one with the satellite technology but it never materialised. “Tree census is a state subject. We had announced to conduct tree census via GIS mapping but it is not much reliable, hence we dropped the plan,” said Patel.Sources, however, said, the state’s Forest department did not gave the nod and the plan had to be shelved. They said AMC is happy in expanding green cover as it has planned several gardens which hardly caters to the need of tree cover….& ANALYSISAhmedabad has been witnessing heat island effect every summer due to drastic decrease in tree cover. Though roads are widened, they are devoid of trees. Plantation drives are carried out but are limited to the newly added areas. Thus it witnesses extremely high temperature in summer. OVER 4L TRESS AS PER 2012 CENSUSCentral 23,518East 74,497West 84,035North 60,677South 89,863New west 84,189Gardens 25,190Total 4,41,969 tress

AMC to illuminate its heritage monuments

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was a lot of hue and cry on illuminating the city when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited. Not only important places and buildings, but trees and roads were also illuminated in vibrant colours.Pictures of the lit-up city created a buzz on social media and many people expressed a desire to see the city illuminated permanently, and not only when some important person paid it a visit. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has planned to illuminate all heritage monuments listed in the dossier. The decision was taken up in line with the inclusion of the city in the Unesco’s World Heritage City list.As part of the pilot project, Sidi Saiyyad ni Jali gets permanent light poles with a rustic touch “We have tried to give a more aesthetic touch to the monuments without disturbing its original essence. What we have done is simply placed light poles with rustic look, surrounding to that structure,” said Deepak Suthar, additional chief engineer streetlight and project.”We have identified monuments and the proposal is pending before the authority for the final approval,” added Suthar.Some of the Darwajas already have flood lights. It will be risky for AMC to make the decoration on a permanent basis, as some of the flood lights from Sabarmati Riverfront had been stolen. But, the authority is trying to make sure that people don’t steal from the monuments.The idea behind illuminating the structures is that their ornate architecture stands out. In most places across the country, the practice has been implemented.”On important days, the civic authority illuminates the structures. But after getting the World Heritage Tag, this is going to add beauty to them. We are definitely going to get more visitors. There are certain night heritage walks in the city, which will get a different colour now,” said Munindra Joshi, former assistant director of state archaeology.”Illuminations make it different for the visitors and this is good idea. This will definitely keep encroachments away from the monuments and gain respect of the people,” added Joshi.ILLUMINATION PLANSAs part of the pilot project, Sidi Saiyyad ni Jali gets permanent light poles with a rustic touch.
Some of the Darwajas already have flood lights. It will be risky for AMC to make the decoration on a permanent basis, as some of the flood lights from Sabarmati Riverfront had been stolen.

200 female AMC workers await their id-cards

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To ensure vehicles are parked properly and ease the traffic burden of the city, former commissioner D Thara had proposed a plan to rope in women from self help groups to manage the parking lots. In 2016, a total of 200 such women were trained. They have been working in the city streets to manage the pay and park lots on the roads at three zones of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Most people have been issuing cheques to these women, as they doubt whether they really are AMC workers. At present, the 200 female workers are deployed at 65 different spots in the city.Unfortunately, they struggle to assert their identity to people. Their designations are doubted despite them issuing memos with the civic body. What triggers this reaction from people is the lack of identity cards. These women do not have identity cards.In a bizarre case that happened to Manjula Makwana, one of the collectors assigned to take care of a stretch in the west zone, she was handed over a cheque of Rs 15 when she asked a car owner to pay the parking fee.”A man had parked the car on the road side for around half an hour. Legally, he is bound to pay Rs 15 for doing so. But, after arguing for long over the issue, he claimed he didn’t have cash on him,” said Makwana.”I asked him to cut me a cheque if he is carrying one. Doubting the authenticity of my claims, he wrote a cheque in favour of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. We are not extorting people in the nae of law; this money doesn’t fill our pockets, people should understand,” she said.Makwana has laminated that cheque as a proof of how she has been treated during her feat at the AMC parking lot! She had to pay Rs 15 to the civic body from her own pocket, later.”On several occassions, people argue that they had parked their vehicle for very less time, and refuse to pay parking charge. We have to explain the rules to them then — If they are parking their vehicle outside the white mark on the road, they have to pay the parking fees,” said Mina Bochiya, another woman looking into parking lots near the Darpan cross roads.The civic body has given them five sets of locks for four wheelers for cases when cars are not parked properly.Yogesh Maitrak, Director, Urban Community Development, AMC, said that they will arrange for identity cards for these women. However, this might take time, as model code of conduct has been implemented across the state for the upcoming Assembly election.

For the blind, their kids show the way at polling booths in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the election mood is gathering pace in the state, its citizens are busy deciding who to vote for. The Indian Constitution grants every citizen, above the age of 18, the right to vote. The right is universally granted to all Indians as per article 326 of the Indian Constitution, with few exceptions.The visually-impaired people in the city are also very excited to take part in the electoral process. In 2012, the state election commission has also made Braille ballot papers. It helps to keep monitor the representatives of respective parties on their own, that also prior to casting their vote. However, one thing that these specially-abled people still need is a hand to take them to the booth.Tarak Luhar, retired principal, Adult Centre for the Blind said, “It is an opportunity for us. We feel equal with others when the election comes. Initially, there were some problems. I used to take my daughter, but she was a minor them. Now, she is a grown up and can help me cast my vote. There is certainly document formality we have to follow at the polling booth.””For me, trust is the main issue. I can’t trust any random person or even some friend for voting. I took my daughter every time. She tells me what’s there in the ballot, ” added Luhar.Another voter Rajendra Gamit, who takes his son for polling, said, “It’s a confidential issue. I can’t trust anybody but my son. My son will do what I will ask for. In the last election, I used the Braille feature and pressed the number on EVM machine. Then, my son had assured me that I have voted for the correct candidate which we had discussed before coming to the booth.”This year, the election commission has made it mandatory for the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) usage, which will be dropped in a box within few seconds of casting the vote. To be sure that I have voted for the right person, I will take my son or daughter. Both of them are minors.”Another voter Babu Gamit, who has no idea who he has voted for till date, said, “Earlier when I was studying in Surat, they used to take us to the polling booth in a car. Someone used to vote on our behalf. I didn’t know who my vote went to. During the last election, I went with one of my friends. However, I’m not sure if he voted for the person I had asked him to.”Sarla Trivedi, a female voter, is always accompanied by her father-in-law. “I love to exercise my rights. But, with some physical challenges, I have to fight obstacles. I need someone to rely upon,” said Trivedi.MATTER OF TRUSTMany visually-impaired people across Gujarat go to the polling booths with their family members . Some are accompanied to the booths by their children. Some are even accompanied by their friends or immediate kin.

AMC still awaits Centre’s nod for Pirana fund

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the aim to make the city Zero Waste by 2031, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has decided to find a solution to Pirana’s waste problem that has been affecting the city’s environment or a long time now. It had put forth a proposal before the Centre to fund them and clear a bio-mining project spread across 84 acres, but are still waiting for the nod.The local authority dumps 4,700 metric tonnes of solid waste at this site on an average since 1980. The proposal is in accordance wih he Swachh Bharat Mission.Authorities believe that bio-mining is the best solution and a step ahead for the smart city. But for the first heritage city of country, Heritage Pirana Site is a complex issue.”After studying the options available for an issue like Pirana, we have finalised bio-mining as a viable solution. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the same has been submitted to the Centre. We are now waiting for the final approval by the urban development department,” said Mukesh Kumar, municipal commissioner.The project is estimated to cost around Rs 375 crore and the proposal was submitted three month back. AMC is waiting for the final nod to get rid of solid waste. Similar projects are at tandem in several towns and cities across India.WATT FROM WASTEThe civic authority is also thinking of converting the waste for energy production. Two companies have been awarded tenders and are likely to start production by next year. The energy to be produced will be close to 25 MW. Abellon Clean Energy and JITF Urban Infrastructure Limited, were also given land by the AMC. They will use 1,000 metric tonnes of the waste daily.Civic authority claim that their plans for Pirana are innovative. Surat, Pune and Delhi generate power from their waste.Abellon had inked an MoU with AMC in 2013 to produce 15 MW energy using 1,000 metric ton of waste, said a senior AMC official.FOR TAX-FREE BONDSAMC was all set to issue tax-free public bond in the third financial quarter, the fund from which was to be used for the smart city project. However, the central government has given the permission for private bonds. Civic authority has sent a proposal to the finance department for the conversion of type bond, which is pending before them. This year, the civic authority is considering Rs150 crore from the market by issuing bonds. Pune has raised Rs 200 crore this year in June by issuing bonds.CIVIC PLANSThe local authority dumps 4,700 metric tonnes of solid waste at this site on an average since 1980.. The civic authority is also thinking of converting the waste for energy production. Two companies have been awarded tenders and are likely to start production by next year.

Model Code casts shadow on World Heritage Week celebrations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is all geared up to celebrate the World Heritage Week from November 19, the first after it was declared as the first World Heritage City of India by the UNESCO on July 8.However, AMC which had to shelve its plan to observe fortnight-long celebration beginning August 1 to showcase its achievement, in the wake of heavy rains and subsequent widespread floods across the state does not want to take any chances this time.The civic body is taking steps on how to ensure that the week-long World Heritage Week celebration is a memorable one in the wake of the Model Code of Conduct that is in force in Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections in December.”With MICA, we are organising seven-day long celebration. There will an exhibition of some of the city’s iconic monuments at the campus with our experts. We are exploring several other things keeping in mind the Model Code of Conduct,” said Municipal Commissioner Mukesh Kumar.”Talks are underway with many other educational institutes to engage them in celebration. There are plans to erect several hoardings and banners for the celebration sharing information about monuments but, it too would be finalised after studying the Model Code of Conduct,” said a senior official at the AMC.Manvita Baradi, one of the members of the Heritage Conservation Society of the civic body and also the founder director of the Urban Management Centre (UMC), said, “During our research, we found 32 stepwells in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. We have prepared a book on the same which will be jointly launched by AMC and UMC during the World Heritage Week celebration. We have documented details of all the stepwells in our book. Most people are not aware about their existence.”Ahmedabad often wears a bridal look when any festival or an international VIP guest pays visit. For the World Heritage Week, starting November 19, once again Amdavadis would be able to enjoy and bask in the glory of their rich past as the monuments would be lit up with vibrant colours.GEARING UPAhmedabad often wears a bridal look when any festival or an international VIP guest pays visit. For the World Heritage Week, starting November 19, once again Amdavadis would be able to enjoy and bask in the glory of their rich past as the monuments would be lit up with vibrant colours. The civic body is taking steps on how to ensure that the week-long World Heritage Week celebration is a memorable one.

City’s ‘Satyarthi’ gets Ashoka fellowship

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gaurang Raval, 34, co-founder of Ahmedabad-based youth organisation ‘Sauhard’ has been awarded the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship. Gaurang joins a group of visionaries that include Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Nobel Peace Prize winners Muhammad Yunus and Kailash Satyarthi.Ashoka is one of the largest networks of social entrepreneurs world-wide, with over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 60 countries creating large-scale impact through new innovations. Founded by Bill Drayton in 1980, Ashoka is an international network that is driving the social sector and offering a platform for people dedicated to changing the world.Its website says, “For Fellows in the launch phase, Ashoka provides a living stipend for an average of three years, allowing them to focus full-time on building their institutions and spreading their ideas.”Raval has been working on youth development and conflict resolution since last 12 years and has led various campaigns at local and national level. He has also won Open Space media Fellowship, Change Looms Leadership Fellowship and Clinton Fellowship before he was recently awarded the Ashoka Fellowship.”In last 10 years, I have worked for youth development under the banner of ‘Sauhard’. My focus has been on how to channelise the energy of the youth. This the base of my selection at Ashoka Fellowship,” he said.”I got to know about selection for fellowship on Wednesday. We want to create more leaders. The youth trained under Sauhard know how to tackle conflict rather than the majority of youth engaged in creating it nowadays,” added Raval.He said one Bhavik was trained under Sauhard and now he has set up a parallel education centre at his village, Shersha.

Social stigma forces this mother to secretly take TB treatment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a country with the highest number of TB cases in the world, where treatment should be the need of the hour, social stigma continues to deter people.A 63-year-old widow, Jamnaben (name changed), who lives with her son in Amraiwadi, has been taking treatment of tuberculosis (TB) secretly, just because of the social stigma attached to it. Being kicked out of her house earlier when she had fallen ill, she does not want it to happen to her again. For last four months she has been taking treatment from the Meghaninagar urban health centre of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), hiding the fact of treatment from her son.”She was crying incessantly because she was detected with TB. She could not take dose of her tablets at home, just to avoid interrogation by her son. If he comes to know that she has been detected with TB, he would kick her out of the house,” said Dr Arumugam Pillai, health officer of AMC.She was diagnosed at Civil Hospital and was referred to us for DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment-Short Course), said the officer adding, “When doctor at the centre informed her that her family needs to be contacted so that she gets better care, she cried saying she will be neglected.”Dr Pillai added, “But that doesn’t mean we can let her go without treatment. We had convinced her to take treatment and find out a mid way. She has been visiting the centre thrice a week now, because of her daughter’s intervention. After four months of regular treatment, there are symptoms of cure.”Talking about the pain she has undergone, Jamnaben, who had stayed at her married daughter’s house for sometime earlier, said, “I was apprehensive about informing my daughter too. But, she understood the pain and knows about the disease. Now, she is the one who keeps asking and pushing me to get the DOT.”She added, “I had a bad experience at my son’s place. Due to my age and this disease, I feel helpless. He will kick me out of the house if he comes to know that I have TB. But, doctors are saying that there has been progress with my health.””We are screening several patients and it takes time to get cured. For at least nine months, they have to take treatment without fail. It is depressing that many people leave the medication halfway which won’t help them,” said Dr Sanket Patel, Project coordinator, AMC.STIGMA DOES MORE HARM“Social stigma doesn’t let many patients take their treatment and medication properly. It is to be understood that if a TB patient goes without cure, for instance one year, there is a probability that s/he will transmit it to 15 others in that period.
We as a society and patients too should understand that regular treatment is a must,” said Dr Sanket Patel, project coordinator, AMC.

Civic body plans 10 new parks across city’s west, east zones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The parks and garden department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has planned to give 10 new parks to newly added areas in the city. the aim is to increase the tree across these regions.”At present, there are 228 parks in the city. But there are a few areas where there are no parks or public gardens. We are aiming to provide gardens and areas for recreational activities to the people of Gota, Nikol, Vastral, Chandkheda, Ranip etc,” said Jignesh Patel, director parks and garden department, AMC.”The areas have developed and people are residing at those places at large. We are aiming to give them the garden space within this budget period only.The gardens will be ready by February 2018,” added Patel. The cost of the parks is not yet decided, but they will be completed at the cost of around Rs. 2 crores.At present, the city has only around 4.66% tree cover, and the areas just outside it has around 10% greenery.To increase the tree cover, AMC is trying to plant more saplings.”This year, we have planted 68,000 saplings. The drive will continue until December. We are encouraging people to join us and help plant more saplings,” said the director. “As a part of Green Ahmedabad initiative, we have developed certain rich green pockets in the city. At Gyaspur, we have planted and grown more than 68,000 trees near Pirana, which in itself is a bio-diversity rich pocket.,” said Patel.

Buying mawa this Diwali? Test it first

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It is festive times and also time when sweets are consumed in large quantities. It is also the time when adulterated sweets flood the markets. While the Flying Squad of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation routinely checks samples to check adulterations, experts show how simple it is to see if the sweets you are eating are safe.”Mawa is a common ingredient used in most sweets and hence it is also the most adulterated. It is often adulterated with palm oil and rice starch. It is quite simple to see if the mawa you bought is pure,” said Atul Soni, quality manager of AMC’s Public Health Laboratory.”One can test the mawa sample using this simple test. Boil a small portion of mawa in water. Let it cool. Then add a few drops of iodine solution. If it turns blue, it means starch has been added to mawa for volume,” he said.”Rub a little mawa on palm. Buy only if it leaves hands greasy and taste slightly sweet,” he said.He also revealed simple secret to identify if that silver foil used to garnish sweets is pure or not.”The silver foil has to be 99.9 percent pure if it is going to be used as a food item. If the foil has spread out smoothly on the surface, it is indeed pure. If it’s breaking, it’s not. To double check, rub a bit of the foil between fingers. Silver will not disintegrate while aluminium will roll up into a ball,” Soni said.

Most water samples collected by AMC failed during monsoon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maximum number of water samples collected randomly by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) from city were found to be unfit for consumption during monsoon.”We randomly collect samples from source and from end-user level. This is a weekly exercise. Also, whenever we found diarrhoea, typhoid or other water-borne diseases, we take water samples from such places,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, in-charge medical officer of health, AMC.Dr Hiren Mandalia, scientist in-charge of AMC, said, “For water, MPN test ensures whether it is for consumption or not in terms of bacteria present in it.”A total of 1,610 water samples were found to be unfit out of the samples collected from January to September. In June, the civic body had collected 4,348 water samples out of which 223 were found to be unfit. While in July, authorities had taken 4,272 samples out of which 267 were declared unfit. In August, AMC had sampled 3,953 units against which it found 275 water samples to be unfit.Now, consider these with January when out of 3,551 samples only 102 were found to be unfit. In September, 175 water samples were found to be unfit for consumption out of a total of 3,701 samples.Maximum 29% samples were unfit in South zoneMaximum water samples that failed the test were from South zone. A total of 1,610 water samples were found to be unfit out of the samples collected from January to September. Out of these, 468 samples were from south zone, which is 29% of the total unfit samples. Southern areas like Behrampura, Danilimda, Lambha and Vatva always report higher number of water-borne diseases than other zones. “In areas like Danilimda and Behrampura, many pipeline networks are too old. We are working to replace them,” said Dr Tejas Shah, deputy health officer of south zone AMC.No Chlorine in water during monsoonThe sample taken during monsoon had nil chlorine content as compared to other months. “Chlorine is naturally present in water. Non-availability of chlorine in water increases chances of bacteria infection. When no chlorine is found in water, we provide additional chlorine tablets and powder,” said Dr Tejas Shah, deputy health officer of south zone, AMC.EXPERT SPEAKDuring monsoon, there are high chances of drainage water overflow. This is very common and that’s why water samples taken during monsoon have higher unfit ratio than other months.—Dr Bhavin Solanki, officer of health, AMC.AMC collects water samples to check bacteria-level. We follow the Most Probable Number method as per the Bureau of Indian Standards to estimate the concentration of viable micro-organisms.—Dr Hiren Mandalia, scientist in-charge of AMC.If physical quality of water is not fit, meaning hardness and TDS level, it may lead to diseases regarding bones. Bacteria in water can lead to water-borne diseases like jaundice and typhoid.—Dr Pravin Garg, senior physician.Areas like Lambha in south zone, added to the AMC, has its population depending on private borewells. Most are very shallow and have a depth of 60 to 70 feet and thus the water is not potable.—Dr Tejas Shah, deputy health officer of south zone, AMC

Fuel pumps to give public free access to its toilets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To make more availability of toilets in the city, the civic authority is now officially going to issue a notification to the fuel stations within the limit of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).For the upcoming Swachh Sarvekshan project, Ministry of Urban Development has asked to make the toilets at fuel station accessible to the public. It is generally assumed that services such as air, water and toilet facility at fuel stations is free and is accessible to everybody.”It is mandatory for fuel stations to give people free access to their toilets. However, there is no signage or display mentioning that. We are going to ask them to display a board, mentioning about the toilet availability,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, the in-charge medical officer of health, AMC.”From now, these toilets at fuel stations will be included on the list of public toilets. Plus, they will also be given a GIS tag,” added Dr Solanki.”We have constructed individual and community toilets in the city. There are public toilets as well. And there is a provision for every fuel station to make the toilets accessible. Moreover, we have also made mandatory to provide free drinking water to the people,” Dr Solanki said.According to the ministry of petroleum, the allotment condition for fuel station mandates provision for proper toilet and drinking water facility. The stations are charging four paise per litre as maintenance charges for toilets.The officials also informed that all toilets at the fuel station will get GIS tagging and information of the same will be available on Swachhta App.LOO FOR ALLMinistry of Urban Development has asked to make the toilets at fuel station accessible to the public.
According to the ministry of petroleum, the allotment condition for fuel station mandates provision for proper toilet and drinking water facility.

Centre to replicate AMC’s cleanliness ranking model

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Swachh School Survekshan rankings scheduled to be announced for AMC-run schools on Friday, the Centre plans to adopt the same model for government-run schools across India from next year under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).”Ahmedabad Sanitation Action Lab (ASAL) team undertook a pilot project — Swachh School Survekshan — in 2017 on the recommendation of SBM, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. A total of 375 AMC-run schools were surveyed in June and July,” said Manvita Baradi, director of Urban Management Centre. “Based on the ASAL’s programme, a cleanliness competition will be organised for all government-run schools across the country from next year,” added Baradi.Dr Bhavin Soalnki, in-charge medical officer of health, AMC, said, “After starting ASAL, we have revisited several things related to hygiene. We have made certain changes in the designs of toilets and water stands (facilities) of different height. By doing this, we have enhanced water and toilet services along with ensuring better sanitation.”INSPIRING MODELThe ranking is based on points given by teachers, students and a third party —UMC
The ASAL, launched on October 2, 2014 under the supervision of Urban Management Centre (UMC), is a three-year action research programme for innovative solutions on sanitation in schools and slums.

Centre to adopt AMC’s MDR-TB policy nationally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The new drug and time intervention policy for the MDR-TB patients implemented by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in mid-2016 would find place in country’s health policy by the early half of 2018.The new drug, Bedaquiline, with a programme shortens the time of Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) for Multi Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis-which at present comprsies two years of tablets and daily injections.”For a tuberculosis patient, government is providing DOT for free. AMC has started a programme along with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other international organisations to shorten the time period of drug. The one in practice at majority of places in the country is much painful and time-consuming. The end result is also around 40 to 50% positive,” said Dr Sanket Patel, project coordinator, AMC.”Now a national-level policy will be made based on what Ahmedabad is practising for MDR-TB patients,” said Dr Patel.In 2016, WHO had recommended for shorter regime of drugs- nine to 12 months-for MDR-TB patients as against two to two and a half years. The Corporation had then identified 150 such patients out of 9,000 patients of tuberculosis. The nine-month long first phase of the programme started by AMC is on the verge of completion and based on that a new drug policy will be made at central level.Under this programme, instead of daily drugs, the medicines are given only three times a week.”After nine months, there has been an improvement.The result is better and chances of relapse are decreasing. Similar project has been successfully implemented in Bangladesh. Second phase will start soon. We are planning to rope in community leaders for the same,” added Dr Patel.On Tuesday, Ezio Tavora, an expert from Brazil, who runs a programme in 11 countries, conducted a workshop in the city.”We have selected Ahmedabad because the local body is well equipped and good at follow up,” he said.

More women in the city died of H1N1 than men

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swine flu cases in Ahmedabad went down in September compared to August but women accounted for more deaths due to the virus than men. This year, a total of 1,942 cases of H1N1 have been reported in the city, out of which 96 died. Of these 57 were women.August saw the the highest number of cases at 1,711, and 70 deaths. But with the mercury hovering above 35 degrees Celsius and rain abating in September, the cases are under control. “There is some respite when you look at the number of cases this month. Still we are carrying out awareness campaigns across the city,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, in-charge medical officer of health, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. He added that a total of 96 deaths were reported in the city this calendar year.According to the doctors, there is no specific reason for the difference, except that women have lower immunity. “Generally speaking, resistance among females is less compared to males. Also, the deaths reported have some or the other co-morbidity factor. That is, people suffering with some diseases get affected with the new virus, and their condition worsens,”added Dr Solanki.Dr Pravin Garg, senior physician, concurred, “Resistance power of women is comparative less than that of males. So if females encounter such a serious virus, they tend to get affected more than males.””As this is an airborne disease, the elderly, children amd women who are pregnant are more prone to it. Precautions are a must,” he said.

No World Heritage City celebration, says Mayor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Due to the flood situation in some parts of the city that prevailed during the last week of July, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had announced new dates for the Heritage festival. Earlier, to honour the Unesco ‘World Heritage City’ title awarded to Ahmedabad on July 8, it was decided that fortnightly celebrations will be held across the city. But, following the floods, the CM announced that the celebrations will be postponed by a week.The new dates announced by the Chief Minister were August 6 to August 14, instead of August 1 to August 14. Now, after the situation worsened in several areas across the state, including some pockets of Ahmedabad, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has decided to postpone the celebration further. New dates will be announced soon.“We have postponed the celebrations. The new dates are yet to be decided,” said Mukesh Kumar, Municipal Commissioner, Ahmedabad.Commenting on this, Mayor Gautam Shah said that many parts of the city are battling a tough situation post the heavy spell of rainfall. “We are not going to celebrate the heritage festival week. As of now, we are only focusing on the improvement of peoples’ health and reconstruction of city roads. Also, we are trying to work out ways to help the people in Banaskantha,” Shah said.Though the Mayor says that no celebration is likely, officials on the condition of anonymity said, the celebration might be held in the world heritage week.UNESCO TAGAhmedabad is the city first city in the country that was honoured with a World Heritage City tag.
To honour the UNESCO tag, it was decided that fortnightly celebrations will be held across the city.
Recently, the Delhi government also decided to file nominations for the same.

Brace for more: Weatherman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was virtual house arrest for most Amdavadis on Thursday as rain continued to batter the city. Roads wore a deserted look as schools and colleges remained closed and people were anxious about venturing out.With more rainfall predicted, it is unlikely citizens will get respite anytime soon. The Meteorological department had earlier forecast the intensity of rainfall would decrease by Friday. However, this has been revised and Jayanta Sarkar, director of Ahmedabad India Meteorological Department (IMD), said the city would continue to receive heavy rainfall for the next three days.“We were expecting the rains to abate by Friday. But the cyclonic circulation has not moved from Gujarat. Hence, the next three days will see heavy to extremely heavy rain in north and central Gujarat,” said Sarkar.Private weather forecast agency Skymet has predicted a decline in rainfall, but not much relief. “The torrential showers can be attributed to the low pressure persisting over South Rajasthan and adjoining Gujarat. This system has weakened into a cyclonic circulation and moved toward southwest parts of Rajasthan,” said Mahesh Palavat, chief meteorologist at Skymet.“A depression marked over Uttar Pradesh has moved to Madhya Pradesh and will create a low pressure area over South East Rajasthan which will bring heavy rains across some parts of north and central Gujarat,” added Palavat. Sabarkantha, Patan, Mehsana, Ahmedabad, Idar, Surendranagar are likely to be hit by heavy rainfall.

Come Friday, monsoon activity to simmer down: IMD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The weatherman has brought some good news for the people of Gujarat suffering from the continuous rains. According to the IMD, monsoon activity will simmer down by Friday, although on and off showers will continue until August 10.The downpour, which began on July 21, resulted in a loss of hundreds of lives and thousands becoming homeless. Jayanta Sarkar, director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) – Ahmedabad, said, “Monsoon is very active over Gujarat region and heavy to very heavy rains are expected at isolated places over the next two days. The intensity of rains will decrease Friday onwards.”Meanwhile, Mahesh Palavat, chief meteorologist at Skymet, said, “The current weather system will prevail for another 24 hours. Monsoon activity will reduce from Friday onwards,” adding, “Scattered on and off rains will continue across the state until August 10,” added Palavat.From Thursday, improvements in flood situations are expected. However, light to moderate rains with few heavy spells will continue until then,” Sarkar added.

BJP councillor ‘connects’ on bad roads, voters like

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On another occasion, BJP councillor from Vejalpur ward Dilip Bagaria would have attracted some appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for connecting with the people through social media sites. However, what Bagaria chose to post on Facebook was not a eulogy for the pro-digital PM or the party, but the apathetic system that has resulted in the bad condition of roads in his constituency. It is to be seen how his party will take that.On Thursday, Bagaria uploaded the copies of two letters of communication-cum-complaint on Facebook, after angry voters asked him what kind of work and action he was taking to address the poor condition of roads. The letters, about the poor quality of road work in his area, were the ones he had emailed to officials concerned“People have voted for me and I am answerable to them. But there are certain things I have to explain to them and this is the best way I could think of. Many of the roads in Vejalpur area were not in good condition and needed repair,” said Bagaria. His post has received 502 likes and 185 comments, besides getting shared 19 times.​“When road repair was going on in May, I found that the roads were not repaired the way it should be. The road from Jivraj cross road to Baliyadev Mandir was repaired in February. But, the road was not cut or aligned properly and the material was not used properly,” Bagaria pointed out. He has also mentioned the same in the letter, which was e-mailed to the deputy municipal commissioner, with a CC to the mayor, municipal commissioner, standing committee chairman and road committee chairman.Bagaria wrote (and emailed) his letter on July 7, when, after a light spell of rain, ‘the repaired’ road in his area was damaged. In the communication to the deputy municipal commissioner, he demanded a vigilance inquiry into the road repair work and said that no one has the authority to waste public money like this. He also demanded strict action against the ‘culprits’.

Fever struck over 4 lakh this month: AMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If you are feeling too cold, sneezing a lot and having fever than you are not the only one. The health department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) says on an average it is testing blood samples of at least 2,000 people who are suffering from viral fever. The number of cases is on the rise after the recent spell of rain. From July 1 to 15, we have collected over four lakh such blood samples who were suffering from viral fever, said Dr Bhavin Solanki, in-charge medical officer of health, AMC. Private practitioners also say they have seen a spike of 10 to 15% viral cases in the last three days. Dr Solanki said, “We have been screening over 2,000 people daily who are suffering from viral fever. Most of them are from slum pockets. We sent their blood samples for further laboratory testing to check whether they are suffering from dengue, malaria or any other vector-borne diseases.” However, Solanki said, the number of vector-borne diseases are less. Dr Pravin Garg, senior physician, said, “In last three days, there has been a rise of 10 to 15% in viral fever cases at my clinic. In this weather, people should extra care.”He advised to avoid sitting in A/C continuously and fan and drinking cold beverages. “In case of sickness, contact doctor and don’t go for self-medication,” added Dr Garg.Prevention is better than cure:Drink clean and boiled water Cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezingUse mosquito repellents and nets Avoid eating out and consume fresh food onlyAvoid getting wet in rain

AMC once proposed to destroy heritage structures

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Though Ahmedabad has bagged the World Heritage City tag, a look back at the seriousness, or lack of it, with which the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) handled our monuments may leave one perplexed. Experts say the civic body never had a plan for its heritage.That Ellisbridge or Rani Sipri mosque could have long been pulled down to make way for new structures may seem impossible to fathom now, but, if AMC had its way, then these structures could have been demolished much before Ahmedabad submitted the dossier of its heritage structures to Unesco.It was in 2013 that then mayor Asit Vora felt that the 125-year-old Ellisbride, which is now inscribed in the heritage list of the city, should be brought down. It had taken several protests and campaigns for the civic body to bury the proposal. Recalls Badruddin Shaikh, the then leader of opposition in AMC, “We held a signature campaign against the plan to raze Ellisbridge. The BJP government was hell bent on tearing down the structure and didn’t want to repair it. They saw it as a useless bridge.”AMC’s disregard for historical monuments dates back to 2006, when it proposed to bulldoze two mosques, over 400 years old, among many other structures. The purpose? Road widening.“The civic authority decided to demolish two Islamic monuments that have now been inscribed by Unesco— Rani Sipri mosque, which is a protected monument of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), and Siraji Sayad’s Darghah. Though not an ASI listed monument, it is a historical dargah nevertheless,” said Rizwan Kadri, city-based historian.“Legal intervention saved the two monuments. The civic body has, in the past, considered razing Old Jumma Masjid for a new road. It had even announced the plan, but dropped it later,” added Kadri.The historian said the restoration of city walls shows the civic body’s negligence. Proper attention was not paid during the restoration of Khanpur Darwaja. In 2016, repair works were carried out without putting protective measures in place and it cost a citizen his life. “AMC doesn’t have a proper vision for the protection of heritage. One of city’s tombs, Wali Gujarati Mazar, was destroyed by a mob during the 2002 riots at Shahibaug. With complete indifference, the civic body constructed a road there, instead of replacing the wrecked tomb with a new one,” said Kadri.The three structures that the AMC once wanted to demolish and the Unesco has now inscribed as heritage structures: *Ellisbridge*Rani Sipri mosque*Siraji Sayad’s Darghah

AMC tries and tries, while citizens succeed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahmedabad has bagged the coveted ‘heritage city’ tag and it’s time for celebrations. But, it’s also a good time to do a reality check. If several heritage monuments in the city are in good shape today, it’s owing to privately funded initiatives that ensured the city’s history was kept alive. On the other hand, the AMC’s efforts to repair the 125-year-old Ellisbridge are yet to take off.Seven years ago, Khadia Itihas Samiti along with the members of Desai ni Pol took it upon themselves to restore and repair heritage monuments and temples in the ‘pol’. They managed to restore structures like Akha Bhagat no otlo (residence of the famous 17th century Gujarati poet), the 300-year-old Hatkeshwar Temple belonging to the Maratha period, some bird-feeders etc.“We started collecting money through crowd-funding to restore Hatkeshwar Temple and managed to raise Rs25 lakh. Akha Bhagat no otlo was also restored through crowd-funding,” said Dr Hemant Bhatt, member of the samiti.With the city in the ‘heritage city’ bracket, locals hope they can do more work. “I had sent a proposal to paint all ‘pol’ houses in a uniform colour long back. Let’s see how things move with international recognition,” remarked Dr Bhatt.One of the city’s famous haveli, Zaveri ni Haveli, was also repaired without government help. “Family members and architect Rajesh Desai carried out restoration of Zaveri ni Haveli seven years ago,” said Bharat Zaveri.While the efforts of citizens have paid off, one wonders about the fate of structures that authorities have taken up.The 125-year-old Ellisbridge, a landmark in the city, is in a rickety condition. Even after announcement for its repair, the bridge continues to be neglected. The civic body, in its budget for 2016-2017, had allocated Rs5 crore and a tender was even floated. But, nothing moved after that.Mayor Gautam Shah said the bridge would be repaired as soon as possible. In early 2016, thieves had stolen the bridge’s iron rods, dating back to the British era.AMC’s week-long celebrations cut shortIn the wake of the terror attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday night, the civic body has cancelled its ongoing week-long programme to celebrate the recently acquired World Heritage City status. After the announcement by mayor Gautam Shah, the celebrations had begun from Sunday but cancelled from Tuesday as seven Gujaratis were killed in the attack.

Revenue department issues Twitter guidelines for collectors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After DNA published a report in its July 8 edition on whom the district collectors of the state are following on the social networking website Twitter, Pankaj Kumar, commissioner of the revenue department, issued an advisory-cum-guideline for them in the evening the same day. Sources said on Saturday evening, Kumar posted a 16-page guideline on dos and don’ts in the official WhatsApp group of the collectors. DNA had reported how some collectors were following Twitter handle of Bollywood celebrities through their official Twitter handle. Recently, all 33 collectors of the state were asked to be active on social media, particularly Twitter, to solve grievances. Several of them are new to Twitter and are not aware about its operations in detail. A senior official said, the guidelines states, “Avoid following controversial characters, comments on Twitter.” The officer said, “Kumar has asked to not entertain people who are always trolling the government. He has asked the collectors to focus on welfare schemes and update about it.”It also advises to post pictures if any minister visits them and post updates about the same.

No more changing looks, Pols better look old

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The newly acquired World Heritage City status has the entire country swooning over Ahmedabad, but house owners in Pols (walled city) are getting the jitters. Because, with great recognition come great responsibilities and uncomfortable restrictions. The ease with which heritage houses were sold off to realty sharks, who replaced them with concrete high rises, will soon become stuff of lore. As Unesco rules go, once a site/city is inscribed on the World Heritage List, it is important that the original characteristics of the place are retained. The recognition given to Ahmedabad specifically identifies Pols and their wooden carved houses. This means conservation of Pols will now be a priority for the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), while the owners of the houses there cannot take up renovation and repairs at will.To make any change to Pol houses, owners will now have to approach the Heritage Management Committee constituted by the AMC. Not just that, they will also have to adhere to the regulations formulated for renovating/repairing private Pol.P K Ghosh, chairman of Heritage Conservation Committee, says, “Any alteration done to heritage structures is a matter of concern. To make any change to Pol structures listed in the dossier submitted to Unesco are now to be done with much care. If any of the listed houses want to make repairs, they will have to submit a proposal before the Heritage Management society of AMC.” However, proposals will be approved only after considering the legal aspects, Ghosh adds, noting that making changes to structures will now become next to impossible.Experts like conservation architect Ashish Trambadia are of the opinion that the time has come to inform and educate citizens as well. “City authorities need to educate people and make them aware of what it means to own the heritage city tag. Even introducing urban amenities like air conditioners and western commode could put the tag at risk.”Pol residents, however, are unaware of the weight of the tag. Mahesh Soni, a resident of Desai ni Pol, says they haven’t received any circular from the civic body about the “stricter” regulations. When DNA told him house owners will have to seek AMC’s permission to repair/renovate their houses, Soni seemed unaware.“If we are not allowed to repair, then we expect the civic body to do the needful, as they have experts who can tell them how to the heritage characteristics can remain intact despite the repairs,” Soni says. There could be a lot of hand wringing in the coming days as Pols have a significant number of run-down structures that need attention. And with it, the civic body’s preparedness to walk the tight rope will also come to fore.

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