Eleven persons dead after their jeep collides with truck near Dhandhuka in Gujarat

11 killed as jeep collides with truck in Gujarat
Eleven persons, including ten members of a Mumbai-based family, died and one suffered serious injuries when a jeep they were travelling in collided head-on with a truck on the Dhandhuka-Barwala state highway in Gujarat, about 110 km from here, early this morning, official sources said.
Ahmedabad Rural District Superintendent of Police R V Asari told NetIndian that those killed included six women and five men. The victims included the driver of the jeep, Ahmed Malik, he said.
According to him, the family belonged to Mumbai and were in Gujarat on a visit. After spending some time in Vadodara, they hired a vehicle from there to visit Vallabhipur, their native place near Bhavnagar, and were on their way when the mishap occurred.
Mr. Asari said the driver of the jeep appeared to have dozed off at the wheel and lost control over the vehicle, which veered off to the opposite lane and crashed into the truck.
He said a boy, aged 16, was injured in the accident and has been admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Police, fire brigade personnel and other emergency services personnel rushed to the scene and helped extricate the victims from the mangled jeep. All eleven victims died on the spot.

Sugar industry waste turned into next-gen battery material

Indian scientists have demonstrated that waste water from some of the dirtiest industrial processes can be turned into a carbon source for preparation of energy storage materials.
Researchers led by scientists from Bhavnagar-based Central Salt and Marine Research Institute (CSMRI) have used sugar and distillery industry waste to develop functionalized carbon material which has energy storage properties. Such electrochemical material can be used to make electrodes, sensors and supercapacitors which find applications in digital devices.
In a two-step process, spent wash from a distillery was acidified to bring its pH down to about 2. The acidified solution was stirred overnight at room temperature, resulting in precipitation of solid mass or sludge. This solid mass was then sun-dried and calcined at elevated temperatures to generate functionalized carbon material which has energy storage properties, scientists explained.
Water-intensive industries like sugar and distilleries produce huge amounts of liquid and solid wastes including biomethanated spent wash which was used in the study.
“Instead of dumping into landfills and generating leachate, solid sludge can be activated with a metal precursor and calcined at elevated temperatures under inert atmosphere. The inherent presence of sulphur and nitrogen containing impurities in the sludge acts as dopants and in combination with the metal precursor it can provide an alternate charge storage mechanism to the material,” Dr Ramavatar Meena, one of the co-authors of the group told India Science Wire. The study results have been published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials.
The sulfur and nitrogen impurities in the sludge in combination with a metal precursor impart ‘pseudocapacitance’ to carbon material. “Electrochemical studies have shown good charge-discharge cycles with almost 100 percent capacitance retention even after 1000 cycles,” Dr Meena added.
After recovery of sugar from sugarcane juice in an evaporation process, the residue left is molasses which is fermented in distilleries for bio-ethanol production. For every litre of ethanol produced, 12 to 14 liters of water is consumed. This results in high quantities of waste in the form of spent wash which is an environmental hazard.
The methodology developed can be used for wastewaters with high "total organic carbon" content generated by other polluting industries such as tanneries. Besides extraction of carbon material, a combination of adsorption and low pressure reverse osmosis (RO) can be used to further treat wastewater making it reusable in sugar industries as well as for irrigation purposes.
“Our aim is to reduce dependency of sugar industries and distilleries on fresh water by making them self-sufficient in terms of water consumption,” researchers said. Studies are also underway to recover potable water from this highly contaminated wastewater.
The research team included Ashesh Mahto, Rajeev Gupta, Krishna Kanta Gharab, Divesh N. Srivastava, Pratyush Maitib, R. Meena (all from CSMRI), D. Kalpana (Central Electrochemical Research Institute -Madras Unit), Paul Zavala-Revirae (Chemical Engineering & Metallurgy Department, Universidad de Sonora, Mexico) and S.K. Nataraja (Centre for Nano and Material Sciences, Jain University). The study was supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
(India Science Wire)

BHEL commissions 250 MW CFBC technology-based lignite power plant in Gujarat

The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned a 250 MW unit based on eco-friendly Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion (CFBC) technology, using low grade coal (lignite) as the primary fuel, in Gujarat.
The 250 MW lignite based thermal unit is the second unit to be commissioned at Bhavnagar Energy Company Limited's (BECL)’s 2x250 MW thermal power project, located at Padva village in Bhavnagar district.
The first unit of the project was commissioned earlier in May, 2016. The project is based on CFBC technology – an environment friendly technology to utilize India’s large resource of low grade, high moisture lignite, a press release from the company said.
BHEL has the distinction of engineering, supply, erection and commissioning of four units of India’s largest capacity CFBC boilers of 250 MW rating, including the two units at Bhavnagar, it said.
BHEL’s scope of work in the contract envisaged design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of Boilers, Steam Turbines and Generators along with associated Auxiliaries and Electricals, state-of-the-art Controls & Instrumentation (C&I) and Electrostatic Precipitators (ESPs), the release said.
Earlier in the state of Gujarat, BHEL has executed the 4x125 MW Surat Lignite Power project in Surat district, also involving CFBC technology.
CFBC boilers are highly fuel flexible and can burn a wide variety of fuels, including lignite, efficiently and are highly environment friendly with very low pollutant emissions. 
"The successful commissioning of CFBC technology-based units has reinforced BHEL’s leadership status in execution of a variety of thermal power projects involving supply of state-of-the-art equipment, suited to Indian fuel and Indian conditions," the release added.

38 dead as heavy rains lash Saurashtra, South Gujarat

A view from an IAF helicopter of the floods in Gujurat after heavy rains on June 24, 2015.
A view from an IAF helicopter of the floods in Gujurat after heavy rains on June 24, 2015.
At least 38 people have died in incidents related to the heavy rains that lashed Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions yesterday, official sources said.
Amreli district in Saurashtra bore the brunt, with most of the deaths reported from there, including 13 people who died when two hosues collapsed near Bagasara town.
Deaths were also reported from Bhavnagar district, Gondal in Rajkot district as well as from Surat district in South Gujarat.
The heavy downpour was caused by a depression over the Arabian Sea.
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been deployed for rescue and relief efforts in the affected areas, along with companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRP).
The rains caused large-scale submergence of low-lying parts in many areas of the state, with Gavdka and Khari villages of Amreli district being the worst affected, where IAF helicopters rescued 87 people with the help of two Mi-17V5 helicopters yesterday and air-dropped 120 kgs of food packets.
Heavy rains flood several areas in Gujarat
Today, the Air Force has put four Mi-17 V5 helicopters into service for rescue and relief operations in Amreli. Two additional helicopters are on standby at Jamnagar in case there is a need to step up operations. 
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel held a meeting with top state government, IAF and India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials in Gandhinagar yesterday and said the situation must be constantly monitored in the affected villages. Utmost priority should be given to rescue stranded people, she said.
She also reviewed the availability of rescue equipment, food stocks and medical supplies.
"I appeal people not to panic & co-operate with the administration in its rescue and relief efforts," she said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

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Gujarat: 5 labourers killed in blast after gas leak in Alang shipbreaking yard

Five killed, seven injured in Alang recycling yard blast
Five labourers were killed and seven others suffered injuries in a blast and fire at the Alang shipbreaking yard in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat this morning.
District Magistrate P K Solanki told NetIndian over the telephone that the injured were rushed to a hospital in Bhavnagar, about 50 km from the scene of the mishap, where the condition of one of them was stated to be serious.
The workers were dismantling a chemicals bulk carrier at plot number 140, using gas cutters, when there was a blast, probably caused by leakage of gas, he said.
Alang is the largest ship recycling yard in the world, with capacity to break about 4 million tonnes per annum.
The incident happened in around 11 am when a blast took place as the ship breaking was in progress at plot number 140 inside the yard, said an official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB). The injured were rushed to Bhavnagar, the official added.

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Togadia's reported statements set off huge controversy

The Congress on Monday urged the Election Commission to act promptly in the matter of an alleged hate speech made by Vishwa Hindu Parishad International Working President Pravin Togadia at Bhavnagar in Gujarat in which he reportedly targeted Muslims who bought properties in predominantly Hindu areas.

Togadia's speech, RSS document fabricated: RSS
The Congress today urged the Election Commission to act promptly in the matter of an alleged hate speech made by Vishwa Hindu Parishad International Working President Pravin Togadia at Bhavnagar in Gujarat in which he reportedly targeted Muslims who bought properties in predominantly Hindu areas.
According to The Times of India, which reported the incident that took place on Saturday night, Dr Togadia joined a group of VHP and Bajrang Dal members on a street protest outside a house purchased by a Muslim businessman near Meghani Circle in Bhavnagar.
It said Dr Togadia asked the  protesters to take control of the house and fight a legal battle which would go on for years.
The newspaper said Dr Togadia gave the Muslim occuant 48 hours to vacate the house. He told the people gathered there that there was nothing to fear, saying that the killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were yet to be hanged.
A team of policemen has been stationed outside the house to avert any trouble, the report said.
In its memorandum to the Election Commission, the Congress said the latest episode has come soon after the hate speech made by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate Giriraj Singh at Bokara in Jharkhand, in which he said last week that critics of its Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had no place in India and must go to Pakistan.
The Congress said that to describe Dr Togadia's statement as a hate speech in violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) would be too mild.
"His statement is anti-national, provocative, inflammatory and open threat to persons belonging to a particular community. The intent and purpose of such a statement is well known when the election process is on i.e. to seek votes for BJP and Mr Narendra Modi with whom they share the same philosophy and ideology," it said.
The memorandum said the statement was against the Constitution, various laws applicable in India and the basic structure of democracy in India. 
"Unfortunately, such statements are allowed and permitted by BJP to seek votes by spreading hatred amongst different communities and religions.
"Unless the Commission takes stern action against persons making such speeches, fair and proper election cannot be conducted. Even in the case of Mr Giriraj Singh, BJP candidate, the Commission has not taken action as per law and the FIR stated to have been registered at Devghar ignores various offences having being committed prima facie on the bases of the statement requiring action by the Hon’ble Commission.
"We hope the Hon’ble Commission would promptly take action in such matters to punish and prevent reoccurrence of such incidents," the memorandum added.
Meanwhile, Dr Togadia has issued a legal notice to the newspapes and other media organisations which reported about his statement, saying that the reports were "misinformed" and "false, malafide and mischievous", and denying he had made the remarks attributed to him.
He said the reports were part of a "bigger conspiracy" to defame him and to put his life in danger.
Dr Togadia said that a group of about a thousand people had come to meet him and present a memorandum about how their houses were purchased "under force and duress by some people".
"Hearing their plea, as a law abiding citizen, my client advised them to follow the legal process of writing to the local administration, the concerned state government & approach the court if they felt that they are being forced into any selling of their houses," the notice sent by Dr Togadia's lawyer said.
That my client also informed that there had been a ‘Disturbed Area Act’ existing in some places in Gujarat which was enacted by the earlier Government & that the said group may find out if the said act was applicable to them in the said matter.
"That we wish to state here emphatically that there was nothing socially or legally wrong in the above advice given by my client to the said group as mentioned above," it said.
The RSS and the BJP said they had talked to Dr Togadia and he had told them that the reports were fabricated and that he had not made any such statement. They also said no member of the RSS or the BJP would subscribe to such sentiments.
Apart from the Congress, several other parties, including the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the BJP, said they disapproved of the statement and called for action against him.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has sought a recording of the speech made by Dr Togadia from the district authorities in Bhavnagar.
"He always spreads venom, you know that. And he belongs to that category of people in this country who do not believe in the unity and the integrity of India. What can you say about people like this?," Congress leader and Union Minister Kapil Sibal said. 
"Democracy can survive only if there is accommodation and acceptance for each other....We can't be rigid about these things and anybody who speaks this kind of language has no place in our society," SAD leader Naresh Gujral said.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury called upon Mr Modi, who is the Chief Minister of Gujarat and also holds the Home portfolio, to act against Dr Togadia.

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Steelcast in long-term supply pact with global giant Caterpillar Inc


Gujarat-based steel castings manufacturer Steelcast Limited today said it had entered into a long-term agreement with the $ 60 billion Caterpillar Inc. under which it will set up a dedicated manufacturing facility where steel casting products with specifications given by the US major will be made.

“A long term agreement with Caterpillar Inc gives us an assured off-take capability and access to supply high quality products to a global major," Chetan Tamboli, Chairman & MD of Steelcast Ltd, said.
"Through this agreement, we expect sales to Caterpillar to grow multi-fold from around Rs. 40 crore in 2010-11 to about Rs. 150 crore in 2015. We will now look at entering into similar long- term agreements with other global majors, too," he said.

Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.


Five, including four policemen, killed in accident in Gujarat

Five people from this city, including four policemen, were killed when their car collided with a truck at Fatehpur Chokdi, near Anand in Gujarat, early today.

According to police, the four policemen were proceeding to Surat from here in connection with a diamond robbery of two days ago, The collision took place at around 0300 hrs today and five people, including son of an accused, travelling in the car, were killed on the spot.

Tarapur police in Anand district rushed to the spot and informed the Bhavnagar police about the accident. After conducting post-mortem examination, the bodies were handed over to Bhavnagar police.

The deceased were identified as Aniruddhsinh Chudasama, Samir Habib Kotharia and Jitendrasinh Chandubha Vaghela (all A division police station), Janyanti Ukabhai Chavda (LCB police) and Chetan Ahir, son of a suspect in the case, Bhupat Ahir.

Police had arrested Bhupat in connection with the robbery in the Nirmalnagar area of the city. Four of his accomplices are still at large.


Armed men loot diamonds from employees of courier firm in Bhavnagar

Three armed men looted diamonds worth lakhs of rupees after attacking three employees of a courier company in the busy Nirmalnagar area of this city of Gujarat today.

According to police, the three employees of the courier company were on their way to deliver a packet of diamonds on a motorbike in the Nirmalnagar area at around 0730 hrs today when three armed miscreants opened fire on them and looted the diamond packet.

The police sounded an alert in the area and sealed all exit routes of the city. About half an hour after the robbery, three suspects were spotted passing through Kumbharvada area of the city on a motorcycle.

When police accosted them, they attacked one of the policemen and managed to flee.

Meanwhile, people in the area rushed the three injured employees of the courier firm to a local hospital, where their condition was stated to be stable.

The police has sought details about the diamonds from the courier company and a search is on to nab the robbers.


NTC sells two plots of closed mills in Gujarat for Rs 145.93 crore

The public sector National Textiles Corporation (NTC) has sold two plots of land, belonging to closed textile mills, in Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar in Gujarat for a combined price of Rs 145.93 crore against a total reserve price of Rs 68.74 crore.

The plots were sold in a three-day e-auction that ended at 11 pm yesterday, a press release from NTC said here today.

Local firm Ahmedabad Advance Mills Ltd bagged the coveted 33,222 sq metre plot of the closed New Manek Chowk Textile Mills in Ahmedabad for Rs 118.40 crore, nearly 2.5 times higher than the reserve price of Rs 41.27 crore.

Lok Prakashan Ltd grabbed the 61,040 sq metre plot belonging to the closed Mahalaxmi Textile Mills at Bhavnagar for a price of Rs 27.53 crore against the reserve price of Rs 27.47 crore.

The auction for the two plots began at 10 am on December 29. The bidding for the Ahmedabad plot finally closed only six after the scheduled close of 5 pm due to the provision of auto-extension, the release said.

In the case of the Ahmedabad plot, the second highest bid was by Ajmera Realty at Rs 118.30 crore.

Altogether 21 participants were in the fray for the plot which also has a bungalow with a 400 sq mts built-up area.

In the case of the Bhavnagar property, the bidding was subdued for two days with the three participants lying low throughout. Gujarat-based Lok Prakashan Ltd made the all important bid on the final day at Rs 27.53 crore against the reserve price of Rs 27.47 crore and clinched the issue in its favour.

"The whole NTC family is extremely happy to witness the huge impact the e-auction could make this time, as in the previous cases. We have proved it again that it is the finest option to sell the property by a Government-owned company. NTC has set the trend and has its strategies clearly defined and they are working as per the plan," NTC Chairman and the Managing Director K Ramachandran Pillai said.

"We were expecting a good response and prices and what we got are the best for the two properties. The company has about 1,300 acres of land in various cities, such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Indore, Karnataka and Coimbatore. The NTC also intends to sell around 30 acres of Minerva Mills’ land in Bangalore through an e-auction in the near future," he said.

This is the third auction by the NTC after it took the e-route to sell off its surplus lands. In the first e-auction held from July 29, the company garnered Rs 474 crore for the 2.3-acre Poddar Mill land in Mumbai, against the reserve price of Rs 250 crore.

Likewise, the 8.3 acre land of Bharat Textile Mills at Worli in Mumbai was sold for a whopping Rs 1,505 crore against the reserve price of Rs 750 crore, in the second round of online auction from August 4 to 6.

The lands of the closed mills are being sold to support its ongoing modernisation-cum-revival package worth Rs 9,102 crore for 24 mills. The modernisation of 18 mills has been completed and they are now generating profits. Likewise, the NTC has also come out of the red through the comprehensive package, the release added.


NTC begins e-auction of plots in Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar

The three-day e-auction by the public sector National Textile Corporation (NTC) to sell off the plots of two of its closed mills at Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar in Gujarat got off to a start today.

The online auction for the 33,222 sq mts plot of the New Manekchowk Textile Mills in Ahmedabad began at 10 am with a reserve price of Rs 41.27 crore and 21 bidders in the fray.

After hours of bidding, the price for the plot, which also has a bungalow with 400 sq mtrs of built-up area, shot up to Rs 90.31 crore at 5.30 pm.

The 61,040 sq mts of land belonging to the closed Mahalaxmi Textile Mills at Bhavnagar started with a reserve price of Rs 27.47 crore and three participants. However, the day did not yield any fresh bidding so far.

The e-auction, third by the NTC this year, will conclude at 5 pm on December 31. However, it can go beyond the deadline because of the auto-extension option.

"One of the best aspects of the e-auction is that the bidders get multiple opportunities to secure a plot, unlike in the manual tender. Thus it also ensures the best price for the seller. Once again, the better sides of e-auction are reaffirmed in our latest online bidding today," NTC Chairman and the Managing Director K Ramachandran Pillai said.

NTC, which has made a turn-around in the recent past to emerge as a profitable entity with a comprehensive modernisation-cum-revival plan approved by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), launched the e-auction of plots in July-August this year, when it put land of closed mills in Mumbai, Bangalore and Indore on sale.

The company has already announced the sale of more properties of its closed mills to part-finance the revival package worth Rs 9102 crore for 24 mills. The modernisation of 18 mills has been completed and the mills are generating profits now.

The company has about 1,300 acres of land in various places like Mumbai, Bangalore, Indore, Karnataka and Coimbatore. NTC also intends to sell 30 acres of land of Minerva Mills, Bangalore through e-auction in the near future, a press release from the company added.


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