As heat rises,V-C halts work on his bungalow pool

Days after it triggered a row,construction on the Rs 17-lakh swimming pool at the official bungalow of Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Adesh Pal came to a halt on Friday.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published:April 13, 2013 4:17 am

Days after it triggered a row,construction on the Rs 17-lakh swimming pool at the official bungalow of Gujarat University Vice-Chancellor Adesh Pal came to a halt on Friday.

The order to halt the construction was issued by state Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma following reports in the media,which led to a furore since large parts of the state are facing acute water crisis.

Chudasma also called for a detailed report from university officials over the issue.

When contacted,Pal said,“I have instructed the university’s estate department to stop the construction with immediate effect as per directions of the state government.”

On Thursday,Pal had justified the swimming pool,saying that 80 per cent of vice chancellors’ bungalows in India had such pools.

The decision to construct a swimming pool at the V-C’s residence had been taken by the road and building committee of the university.

On Thursday,activists of National Students Union of India (NSUI) had staged protests outside the VC’s bungalow,saying it was waste of university’s finances. A lensman of a Gujarati language newspaper was injured in an alleged assault by security guards deployed at the V-C’s bungalow. A case of trespass was also lodged later by the university against the lensman.

Pal has remained in controversy ever since he joined about a year ago. Students and some members of the university’s senate and syndicate had opposed his appointment alleging he was alcoholic and so did not deserve to be the V-C of a university in a state where there was total prohibition.

Pal had liquor permit on medical grounds but he surrendered it after the protests.

Certain personal allegations were also levelled against him.

PIL seeks info on Rs 320-cr Central fund for water supply

Amidst the growing water woes in the state,a public interest litigation (PIL) has sought information on the Rs 320-crore annual fund for water supply provided by the Central government as well as other provisions for supplying water to the denizens,specially those living in the outskirts of Ahmedabad and the districts facing drought-like situation.

Following the petition,the Gujarat High Court issued notices to the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) commissioner and the state government. The PIL,filed by advocate KG Pandit,has stated that there is no system of water supply and drainage line in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Every summer,people living in these areas face water woes,despite the fact that the AMC taxes the residents for providing such amenities.

“The AMC knowingly doesn’t supply water to these areas. Sometimes after pursuing local corporators twice or thrice in a week,water is provided through tankers. People pay taxes yet they don’t get water. The situation is same in Saurashtra,Amerili and Jamnagar,which are facing water woes,” Pandit said.

While appearing for the state,government pleader P K Jani informed the court that three years back a similar kind of petition had been filed and the court had given certain guidelines. Following this,the court directed to put the guidelines on court’s record. The matter will be heard next week.

Pandit said that the irony of the system is that despite such guidelines,the state has done nothing.

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