Gujarat Confidentialhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-confidential-26/

Gujarat Confidential

Amid a mad rush to grab a look at the lions at Sasan Gir during the festival season,several tourists,who tried to break the law,were caught by forest officials and fined.

No illegal entry

Amid a mad rush to grab a look at the lions at Sasan Gir during the festival season,several tourists,who tried to break the law,were caught by forest officials and fined. Forest rangers caught 10 men entering the Gir forest area without permission in two incidents and imposed a fine of Rs 22,000 on them. “There is a heavy rush of tourists at Sasan Gir. Those who do not get permission,tend to enter the sanctuary area by any means. We have formed special teams of forest guards to check such activities,” said a top forest officer.

Special preference

The Ahmedabad Municipal School Board chose to be very selective while celebrating Diwali with its students. The senior-most officials of the Board were seen at the special celebrations organised at the recently opened English medium municipal school,the Ahmedabad Public School (APS) in Shahpur. However,they seemed to run out of time to visit the other municipal schools. Sweets and crackers were distributed among more than 150 students of this school,followed by a parents’ meet. By evening,the news of this activity reached the media houses through a press note. The Board seemed to grab this opportunity to not only share the festivities with the children and their parents,but also to publicise AMC’s first English-medium public school.

Caught unawares

A technical snag caught Chief Minister Narendra Modi unawares,as the video conference went live without his or even his technical team’s knowledge. As hundreds of party workers eagerly waited for Modi to appear on the two giant screens in front of them on Sunday,they were amused to see Modi’s face flash on the screen and the CM ask his technical men,“Main dikh raha hoon bahar…ye chalu hai?. (Can they see me out there…is it on).” One of the technical person’s voice was also heard saying,“Only you can see,not them (workers).” This few seconds long minor glitch made Modi visibly upset,who was also heard telling the cameraman to zoom in on his face,“Screen ko aur paas me lao.”

Catholic Association opens first old age home in city

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Ahmedabad: The Catholic Association of Ahmedabad opened the first home for the aged in the city on Sunday. Jeevan Sandhya,as the house is called,belongs to Errol and Juliet Fern,who now live abroad. John D’Costa,president of the Association, Ahmedabad said,“We had been looking for a place to set up an old age home since last December. The owners didn’t want to sell it; they decided to give the house to the Association for this purpose.” The building can comfortably house 20 people. “This house is a remembrance of my grandparents. It is my wish to donate the house for this good cause. Our children also wanted this,” says Errol Fern,the owner. “We will get its renovation started by January,once we have completed all legalities,” said Jude D’ Souza,state president of All India Catholic Union. ens

Ad kiosks put up by contractor irk locals

Vadodara: The fight for keeping commercialization out of Vadodara’s iconic Kamatibaug garden seems far from over. Although the people of the area are delighted about the step-by-step restoration of the garden,Sunday brought another day of face-off between the residents and those in charge of the garden’s renovation.

Even as the local people are trying to stop the garden from being put to any commercial use,the toy train contractor’s putting up advertisement kiosks on electricity poles along the railway track,sparked another confrontation.

The Kamatibaug citizen’s association has registered its protest with the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and threatened to pull down all advertising kiosks.

On Sunday,the contractor of the new Sayaji Express toy train,Ms Khodal,began to attach outdoor advertising kiosks to the electric poles that stand along the rail track for the toy train. Angry residents,who visit Kamatibaug everyday and have been campaigning for its restoration,got into an altercation with the contractor. When the contractor refused to remove the kiosks,the group registered a formal complaint with the VMC.

However,Municipal Commissioner Manish Bharadwaj is out of town and so the corporation officials refused to make any commitment to the residents in this matter.

Dipak Mehta,who has been spearheading the movement for the garden’s restoration,said that putting up advertising kiosks will not only pave way for commercial exploitation of the park,but also mean lack of control on the kind of advertisements coming up in the garden.

“We are extremely angry that the contractor has thought of exploiting the garden for commercial gains. We have been strongly against any sort of commercialization of the garden. Putting up outdoor ad kiosks is just unacceptable,” Mehta said,adding: “Since the Municipal Commissioner is out of town,we have already warned the contractor,as well as the VMC,that if the hoardings are not removed by Monday,our group will get together and forcibly take them down.”

V R Chikhalia,Director of Parks and Gardens,VMC,said the contractor is going by the norms of the agreement. Chikhalia said,“The clause of putting up ad kiosks is mentioned in the agreement signed with the contractor. However,since the Municipal Commissioner is out of town,we will take a final decision on the matter once he returns on Monday.”