Ex-Gujarat cop Sanjiv Bhatt gets life in 1990 custodial death case

Sanjiv Bhatt
Sanjiv Bhatt
A Gujarat court on Thursday sentenced sacked IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to life imprisonment in a three-decade-old custodial death case, finding him guilty of murder.
Jamnagar District and Sessions Court Judge D. M. Vyas also awarded similar penalty to police constable Pravinsinh Jhala.
The verdict came after the Supreme Court last week rejected Bhatt's application seeking fresh examination of witnesses in the case, contending that this was key to arrive at a proper judgment.
The ex-officer had challenged a decision of the Gujarat High Court against this plea. The state government had meanwhile submitted in the Supreme Court that the trial court had reserved its verdict for June 20.
Bhatt was an additional superintendent of police in Jamnagar district when the incident occurred in 1990 in Jamjodhpur. He had detained one Prabhudas Vaishnani along with 133 others for rioting and other offences during a bandh call given by the BJP and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the wake of arrest of BJP leader L. K. Advani during his Ayodhya Rath Yatra.
Vaishnani, who was allegedly severely beaten up in police custody, later succumbed to his injuries days after his release. His brother Amrit Vaishnani had lodged a complaint against Bhatt and five other policemen. The trial started in 2016.
The former police officer is at present lodged at Palanpur sub-jail in North Gujarat in connection with an alleged case of framing a lawyer for possession of drugs when he was Superintendent of Police in Banaskantha district.
Bhatt was arrested in September 2018.
Bhatt, who has always been at loggerheads with the BJP government in Gujarat, had deposed before various inquiry commissions after the post-Godhra riots of 2002 against then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. However, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had given a clean chit to Modi.
The controversial officer was first suspended in 2011 for remaining absent from duty without proper permissions and subsequently sacked in 2015. Before his arrest last year, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation had demolished a portion of his house in Ahmedabad declaring it illegal.
His wife Shweta Bhatt had contested the 2012 Assembly election against Modi from Maninagar constituency in Ahmedabad and lost.

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Another Gujarat Congress MLA quits party, Assembly

In a jolt to the Congress a day before it holds its Working Committee meeting and a rally here, another of its Gujarat legislators resigned from the party and the Assembly on Monday.
Vallabh Dharaviya, who represents Jamnagar (Rural), submitted his resignation to Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi in Gandhinagar on Monday.
"He (Dharaviya) has stated that he has resigned on his own volition, without any pressure. I have accepted his resignation and now he is no more a legislator," Trivedi told reporters.
Dharaviya is the third legislator in last four days to leave the Congress and resign as legislator. Last week, four-time legislator from Manavadar, Jawahar Chavda and Dhrangardra legislator Parshottam Sapariya had quit. 
Both have since joined ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, with Chavda sworn in as a Cabinet minister in the Vijay Rupani government last week.
Dharaviya is said to be miffed over his chances of being considered for Jamnagar Parliamentary seat receding, as Patel quota stir leader Hardik Patel, who has announced his decision to join Congress on March 12 in presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, may be fielded from there.

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Modi urges Opposition not to play 'vote-bank politics' over national security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Monday that his government was committed to righting terrorism, corruption and other such menaces the country is facing and assured the people that strict action would be taken against elements working against the nation.
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that his government was committed to righting terrorism, corruption and other such menaces the country is facing and assured the people that strict action would be taken against elements working against the nation.
Speaking after launching a slew of development projects in Ahmedabad on the first day of a two-day visit to home state of Gujarat, he urged the Opposition not to play "vote-bank politics' over national security, saying such actions would only demoralise the armed forces and strengthen the enemy.
Among other projects, Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Ahmedabad Metro Rail at the Vastral Gam station. He also laid the foundation stone for the second phase of the project and also launched India's indigenously developed payment eco-system and automatic fare collection system based on the One Nation, One Card mode. 
After flagging off the first Metro train, he took a ride in it.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the 1200-bed New Civil Hospital, New Cancer Hospital, Dental Hospital and Eye Hospital in Ahmedabad. He also dedicated to the nation the Dahod Railway Workshop and Patan-Bindi railway line and laid the foundation stone of Lothal Maritime Museum.
Addressing the gathering at the BJ Medical College Ground, the Prime Minister said that it is an historic day, as the dream of Ahmedabad Metro has come into fruition. He said that the metro will provide a convenient and environment friendly mode of transportation for the people in Ahmedabad. Before 2014, there was only 250 km operational network of metro in the country, while now there is 655 km, he said.
The Prime Minister said that the common mobility card unveiled today eliminates the need for having multiple cards for travelling in metro and using other means of transportation throughout the country. He said the card would ensure ‘One Nation-One Card’ for mobility. He added that the indigenously built card has removed the previous international dependence on making such cards. India is one of the few countries in the world having a One Nation-One Card for transportation, he said.
Modi also spoke about the various initiatives taken by the State Government and Union government for the development of Gujarat, like water supply schemes, electricity for all, infrastructure development, housing for all and schemes for poor. He also explained in detail the various schemes undertaken for the welfare of Adivasi community in the State.
He said the transformation of Gujarat in the past couple of decades was due to meticulous planning and hard work of the people of the state. He said the state should be taken up as a case study on how development should be undertaken.
He said that the large number of infrastructural development projects being implemented in Gujarat would transform the state massively.
The Prime Minister said that Lothal Maritime Heritage Complex, once completed, will showcase the maritime strength of ancient India. He said that the museum will have world class facilities and will increase the tourism potential of the state.
Stating that health was a priority of the Union Government, Modi said that it was building quality health care infrastructure throughout the country, from Wellness Centres to Medical Colleges. He also mentioned about the world class health facilities being built throughout Gujarat. He added that, once completed, Medicity will cater to around ten thousand patients.
Earlier in the day, at Jamnagar, Modi flagged off the Bandra-Jamnagar Humsafar Express train.
He also dedicated the new 750-bed annexe of Guru Gobind Singh Hospital to the nation and unveiled various irrigation and water supply projects under the SAUNI scheme. He also launched other development projects at Jamnagar including the 51-km pipeline from Aaji-3 to Khijadia.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister talked about the resolve and hard work of the Gujarat Government in the past couple of decades to deal with the water shortage problem. In this context, he mentioned about his determination to not allow ‘Tanker Raj’ in Gujarat and how Sardar Sarovar Dam has brought relief to the people of the Gujarat. He appealed to the citizens to conserve each and every drop of water for the benefit of present and future generation.
Hailing the health sector revolution in Gujarat, Prime Minister said that the hospitals that have come up in the past few years in Gujarat will greatly benefit the poor. He said that Ayushman Bharat scheme rolled out by the Union Government will ensure affordable and quality healthcare for the poor.
Modi said that structural and long terms measures are required to overcome the challenges faced by the country, instead of poorly thought out short term ones. In this context, he mentioned about the long term visionary schemes introduced by the Union Government. He said that PM –KISAN scheme is a long term and comprehensive plan for the welfare of the farmers.
Talking about the Union Government’s efforts in boosting the MSME sector, he said that the easy availability of credit and people-friendly GST will greatly benefit the youngsters. He said that the initiatives taken by the Government has ensured improved India's Ease of Business rankings.
At Jaspur in Ahmedabad district, Modi laid the foundation stone of the Vishva Umiyadham Complex.

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Model building bye-laws amended for establishing EV charging infrastructure

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has made amendments to the Model Building Bye-laws 2016 and Urban Regional Development Plans Formulation and Implementation Guidelines 2014, in order to facilitate the availability of Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure. 
The Ministry of Power has issued guidelines and standards for charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which have also been considered while making these amendments, an official press release said.
The guidelines will act as a guiding document to the State Governments and Union Territories to incorporate the norms and standards of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in their respective Building Bye-Laws. 
The guidelines on Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure have been circulated to all the State Governments and UT Administrations with the request to amend their Building Bye-laws and Master Plan Regulations.
Cities and towns in the country are facing the problems of environmental pollution thereby severely impacting the health of the urban residents. India is committed to Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Change of the United Nations to take urgent action to combat climate change. 
The Government has initiated several steps to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. One of such steps is to encourage Electric Vehicles (EVs), which are environment-friendly. At least 25% of the total vehicles on roads should be EVs by 2030, the Government is hoping.

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Ahead of Rahul's visit to Gujarat, senior Congress MLA threatens to quit

Senior Congress legislator and OBC leader from Gujarat's Saurashtra region Vikram Madam on Friday threatened to resign if the party failed to address "several issues" worrying him.
His announcement, a few days before Congress President Rahul Gandhi visits Gujarat on July 16 and 17, comes less than a week after another veteran MLA from the same region Kunwarji Bavaliya resigned and joined the BJP to be made a cabinet minister.
Incidentally, Gandhi is scheduled to tour the same Saurashtra region, according to informed sources. BJP President Amit Shah, who is "credited" with engineering problems in the Congress, will also be in the state on July 13 and 14.
Madam, the legislator from Khambhalia and two-time Jamnagar Lok Sabha member, said that there were "several" issues that were bothering him. "I would continue to raise them within party forum and but if I do not get satisfactory answers, I may leave Congress," he told reporters.
Madam said even if he happened to quit he "would never join" the BJP. Incidentally, Bavaliya, who is a three-day-old cabinet minister, had also made similar claims.
Other than meeting state party leaders, Madam is pinning his hopes on a probable meeting with Gandhi during his visit. 
Madam and Bavaliya are not the only ones from the crucial Saurashtra region to rebel. Rajkot strongman and earlier the richest MLA, Indranil Rajyaguru, called it quits late last month. 
Rajyaguru, who had won from Rajkot East constituency in 2012, vacated this safe seat to take on Chief Minister Vijay Rupani during the December 2017 assembly elections but lost.
Party sources claimed they were upset with the Congress leadership for trying to bring in a generational shift in the party's Gujarat unit by ushering in two young men, Amit Chavda as state party President and Paresh Dhanani as leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly. 
Madam, like Bavalia, is an OBC strongman. He lost out to Dhanani, who is a Patel, and the party needed to keep the community in good humour, the sources added.
Saurashtra region, which sends 52 legislators to the 182-member Assembly, has been a bastion of the Bharatiya Janata Party for over two decades but the Congress made a huge comeback in the 2017 elections winning as many as 30 seats. It is also in this context that the going of these leaders is bad news for the party with the 2019 elections less than a year away. 
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IAF's second Jaguar crash in three days

An Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot escaped narrowly on Friday after the Jaguar aircraft he was flying developed a snag and crashed near an air base in Gujarat.
The pilot, a Squadron Leader, was returning to the Jamnagar Air Force base after a routine training mission when he detected the snag while landing, an IAF spokesperson said.
He managed to eject safely but it wasn't known immediately if he sustained any grave injuries.
Informed sources said the plane rolled for about 500 feet before the rocket-assisted ejection seat threw the pilot out. The plane then rolled for another 100 feet and slipped into the rough alongside the tarmac.
A court of inquiry has been ordered, the spokesperson said. 
This is the second IAF Jaguar crash in the last three days.
Air Commodore Sanjai Chauhan was killed after his plane went down in the Kutch region in northwestern Gujarat on Tuesday. He had also taken off from the Jamnagar Air Force base for a routine training mission. The cause of the June 5 crash is still unknown.
The Jaguar aircraft, in service for four decades, were built under licensing from SEPECAT - an Anglo-French consortium.
The IAF has been upgrading them with modern avionics, radar systems and modern engines to prolong their service life.
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IAF Jaguar crashes in Jamnagar, pilot dies

An Indian Air Force (IAF) Jaguar crashed in Gujarat on Tuesday, killing its pilot, an official said.
An IAF spokesperson said the aircraft was on a routine training mission when it met with the accident at Jamnagar around 10.30 a.m. 
"The pilot, Air Commodore Sanjay Chauhan, sustained fatal injuries during the crash," the spokesperson said. 
A Court of Inquiry has been ordered.
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RIL commissions world’s largest refinery off-gas cracker at Jamnagar

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it had successfully commissioned and achieved design throughput of the world’s first ever and largest Refinery Off-Gas Cracker (ROGC) complex of 1.5 MMTPA capacity along with downstream plants and utilities. 
The ROGC complex is a core component of RIL’s most innovative and world-scale J3 project at its integrated Refinery-Petrochemicals complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat, a press release from the company said.
"With the commissioning of ROGC complex, the largest ever expansion of RIL’s petrochemicals portfolio comes to a flawless completion. This is one of the largest capital expenditure programmes globally in the sector in recent times. It epitomises RIL’s core strategy of continuously pursuing opportunities for cost optimisation and efficiency enhancement through vertical integration across the value chain," the release said.
The ROGC complex has a unique configuration as it uses off-gases from RIL’s two refineries at Jamnagar as feedstock, the release said.
"This innovative approach of integration with refineries provides a sustainable cost advantage, making ROGC competitive with respect to the crackers in Middle-East and North America which have feedstock cost advantage," the release said.
"ROGC design is highly flexible and energy efficient. Given the complexities of such a plant, the start-up has been flawless adhering to the most stringent safety and technical integrity standards globally.
"ROGC is the latest addition to RIL’s existing cracker portfolio, consisting of cracker facilities at Nagothane in Maharashtra and Hazira, Dahej and Vadodara in Gujarat," it said.
There are nearly 270 ethylene plants globally with a combined capacity of over 170 MMTPA. RIL’s combined ethylene capacity is now close to 4 MMTPA at five of its manufacturing sites. With ROGC and imported Ethane, RIL has one of the most competitive and flexible cracker portfolios.
Ethylene from ROGC is used in downstream plants to produce Mono-Ethylene Glycol (MEG) and Polyethylene (LLDPE and LDPE). Similarly, Propylene from ROGC has enhanced output of the existing Polypropylene (PP) plants at Jamnagar complex to produce high-value co-polymers.
"The commissioning of MEG plant marks completion of all-round expansion of the polyester value chain post successful commissioning of Para-Xylene (PX), Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), Polyester filament and Poly Ethylene Terephthalate (PET) plants over last three years.
"With the commissioning of LLDPE and LDPE plants at Jamnagar along with its existing PE plants at other manufacturing sites, RIL has capability to produce entire range of PE grades covering all end-uses in the Indian market.
"The ROGC complex is built in a record time with approximately 40% lower capital cost compared to the similar projects globally. The unique configuration with sustainable cost advantage, competitive project schedule, lower capital cost and incident-free flawless start-up makes ROGC complex as one of the best executed project globally from concept to commissioning," the release said.
Mr. Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited said: “The world’s first ROGC and downstream plants mark a paradigm shift in the profitability and sustainability of RIL’s petrochemicals business. The ROGC complex is built on our core philosophy of deep feedstock integration to establish industry leading cost and efficiency benchmarks. This world scale petrochemicals expansion, once again showcases RIL’s unique competitive advantage in efficient execution of complex projects and flawless commissioning capabilities, adding yet another jewel to its crown. This is a fitting tribute to RIL’s visionary Founder Chairman Shri Dhirubhai H. Ambani."
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Rahul Gandhi woos Patidars, hits out at "Gujarat model" of development

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi being greeted by people at Rajkot on the second day of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in Gujarat, on September 26, 2017.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi being greeted by people at Rajkot on the second day of his three-day Navsarjan Yatra in Gujarat, on September 26, 2017.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today kept up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat on the second day of a three-day visit to the poll-bound state and urged its people to lead the nation to greater heights.
Travelling through areas dominated by the influential Patidar community, Mr. Gandhi invoked Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India's first Deputy Prime Minister,  who hailed from Gujarat, as went about wooing members of the community which had launched an agitation for reservation in jobs some time ago.
“You gave the country Sardar Patelji... Gujarat gave Sardar Patelji. Gujarat will have to take lead in taking the nation to new heights,” he said while addressing a series of meetings on the way from Jamnagar to Rajkot in the Saurashtra region. 
Mr. Gandhi said the BJP government in the state had opened fire at the agitating Patidars and committed atrocities against them.
"This is not how the Congress works. We will work with love and understanding. We will take everyone forward together. If Gujarat moves forward, it will be with everyone," he said.
The Congress Vice-President said Gujarat had been  built by its farmers, labourers, small traders and small shopkeepers. "If Gujarat has progressed, it is these people who made it possible. Today, the BJP government does not work for them, but for five or six of the richest industrialists in the country," he said.
Modi works for industrialists, not for common man: Rahul Gandhi
"He has fulfilled all the promises he made to them but not the ones he made to farmers, workers, the poor, the youth and others," he said.
"That is the Gujarat model of development that he keeps harping upon," Mr. Gandhi said. "He sells it all over the country and the world, but it is a flop here," he said.
Mr. Gandhi said the present Gujarat government is remote controlled from Delhi, and felt the people in the state were now yearning for a change.
"There is an undercurrent of anger against the present government, which is not being expressed openly because people are afraid but you will see it at the time of the elections. We will come to power this time, you will see, and we will work for the people of Gujarat," he said.
"Kem chho? Vikas ka kya ho gaya?" (How are you, what has happened to Vikas?), he asked at one place, in a reference to the popular memes on the theme "Vikas Gaando Thayo Chhe" (Vikas has gone crazy). The memes personify "vikas" as an individual, Vikas, who has gone crazy.
"And why has he gone crazy?" Mr. Gandhi asked the audience. "It is because of all the lies and the false promises," he said. "The people feel betrayed."

Rahul Gandhi reaches out to farmers, youth, traders on day one of Gujarat visit

Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Monday hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre and in Gujarat and tore into the Government's economic policies as he reached out to farmers, youth and traders on the first day of a three-day "Navsarjan Yatra" in the election-bound state.
PM dealt a severe blow to India's economy: Rahul Gandhi
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi today hit out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre and in Gujarat and tore into the Government's economic policies as he reached out to farmers, youth and traders on the first day of a three-day "Navsarjan Yatra" in the election-bound state.
Mr. Gandhi began the day by offering prayers at the famous Dwarkadhish Temple in Dwarka and interacted with people at several places and addressed small and big gatherings at various points along the route.
At one place, after being denied permission for a ride in an open jeep by the local authorities, he got on to a bullock cart on the Dwarka-Jamnagar route and seemed to relish the experience.
At several places, he was welcomed with banners and hoardings and people lined up to greet him with garlands as he shook hands with people and exchanged a few words with them.
The main theme of Mr. Gandhi's speeches today was about the lack of enough jobs for India's youth. He recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had, in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, promised to create 2 crore jobs a year and millions of youth across the country had believed him.
He said about 30,000 youths were joining the job market every day and the Government was able to provide jobs to just 400 of them each day. He said the youth who had reposed faith in Mr. Modi were now feeling let down. "There is anger among them, and this is growing," he said.
He said added to this was Mr. Modi's November 8, 2016 decision to demonetise Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 banknotes. He said this was a massive assault on the country's economy and the people, especially farmers, shopkeepers, small traders and others, had been dealt a severe blow.
Mr. Gandhi said the hasty implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) had added to the crisis. He said the poor implementation and the multiple rates of tax had created enormous difficulties for small businessmen. He said millions of jobs had been lost and thousands of small establishments were forced to shut down because of all this.
He said farmers around the country were in distress, unable to get a fair price for his produce.
"This government works for only a handful of industrialists. They get land, electricity, water, loan waivers and so on in a few hours. You have to wait for months for anything," he said.
"This is the Gujarat model of development that the BJP kept talking about. There is no place in their hearts for the weak, the poor. But all doors are open for the wealthy and the rich. This is the difference between them and us," he said.
He said privatisation had affected sectors such as education and health, and the poor were not able to afford such services any more.
He said that the primary duties of a government were to provide jobs, education, health services and safety and security. According to him, the BJP governments at the Centre and in Gujarat had failed on these counts.
Mr. Gandhi said that if the Congress were voted to power in the coming Assembly elections in Gujarat, expected to be held in November or December, it would provide a government that would work for farmers, teh poor and the youth. "I can guarantee this, and the Congress party delivers on its promises," he said.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Hardik Patel, who had spearheaded the reservation agitaiton by the Patidar community in the state some months ago, welcomed Mr. Gandhi on his Gujarat visit. 
"Congress ke rashtriya upadhyaksh Rahulji ka Gujarat mae hardik swagat hai..Jay Shri Krishna," Mr. Patel said on Twitter.

Reliance becomes second largest producer of para-xylene globally

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it had successfully and flawlessly commissioned the third and last crystallization train of its para-xylene (PX) complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
With this, RIL's PX capacity has more than doubled, making it the world's second largest producer of PX with about 11% of global production.
The plant is built with state-of-the-art crystallization technology from BP which is highly energy efficient, a press release from the company said.
Pursuant to installation and mechanical completion of the entire PX complex in the previous quarter, Reliance commissioned the second phase of PX comprising the second crystallization train (Train 2) and Trans-alkylation and Aromatic Extraction units at Jamnagar in April this year. 
Train 3, which was at an advanced stage of commissioning, has now been successfully started, the release added.

Reliance commissions Phase 2 of Para-xylene project at Jamnagar

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it had successfully commisisoned the second and final phase of its Para-xylene (PXP project at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
With the commissioning of the project, which includes PX crystallizers trains, trans-alkylation and aromatic extraction units, RIL is poised to emerge as the second largest producer of para-xylene in the world, a press release from the company said.
The release said Reliance is executing major projects in its energy and materials chain at Jamnagar, covering para-xylene, cracker complex along with downstream plants and gasification. 
"Jamnagar is one the largest contemporary project sites globally with some of the largest and most complex process units ever built anywhere in this industry. These projects will add significant value to Reliance’s Refining & Petrochemical business and enable Jamnagar complex to achieve energy self-sufficiency. The benefits of integration at the Jamnagar complex will set a new paradigm of scale and value addition in the Refining and Petrochemicals industry," it said.
"Para-xylene, cracker and downstream projects (MEG, Linear Low density and Low density Polyethylene) as well as gasification which is linked to RIL’s DTA refinery, have now been installed, mechanically complete and are in various stages of pre-commissioning and commissioning.
In December 2016, RIL had announced successful commissioning of the first phase of the PX project, comprising Train 1 of the PX plant. Train 2 as part of second phase has been commissioned earlier this month and the last Train 3, is at an advanced stage of commissioning and will begin production later this quarter, the release said.
According to it, the PX plant is built with state-of-the-art crystallization technology from BP which is highly energy efficient. With the commissioning of this plant, RIL’s PX capacity will be more than double. Reliance will emerge as the world’s second largest producer of PX with about 11% of global production, it said.
The release said the cracker project had a unique configuration as the  world scale plant is tightly integrated with RIL’s refineries and will use refinery off-gases as feedstock. The project comprises 1.5 MMTPA ethylene cracker along with downstream facilities for producing LDPE, LLDPE and MEG. This cracker will have one of the lowest cost positions globally. Additionally, flexibility to crack propane will help optimize feed mix further in a volatile market environment, it said.
Reliance has completed installation of cracker and downstream projects at Jamnagar in the previous quarter and pre-commissioning and start-up activities are in full swing, it said.
The release said gasification, one of the largest clean-fuel initiatives in the world, would make the Jamnagar complex highly energy efficient with the lowest energy cost for any integrated refinery and petrochemicals facility globally.
The installation and mechanical completion for the gasification project linked to DTA refinery has been completed in the previous quarter and the pre-commissioning and start-up activities are on in full swing. The installation and mechanical completion for the gasification linked to RIL’s SEZ refinery has also been substantially achieved and pre-commissioning activities are expected to start in the next quarter, the release added.

Reliance-Sibur JV plans to set up halogenated butyl rubber unit at Jamnagar

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Russian petrochemical giant Sibur signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the recently-concluded Vibrant Gujarat Summit at Gandhinagar to set up South Asia’s first butyl rubber halogenation unit at RIL’s integrated petrochemicals site at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
The unit will produce 60,000 MT of halogenated butyl rubber every year under Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Limited (RSEPL) – a joint venture (JV) of which RIL owns 74.9%, and Sibur 25.1%, a press release from RIL said.
Apart from the planned halogenation unit, the JV owns a 1,20,000 MT per annum butyl rubber plant, currently under construction at the same venue which will provide the necessary butyl rubber feed to the halogenation unit.
Mr Nikhil Meswani, Executive Director, RIL, said, “RSEPL’s halogenated butyl rubber plant will be well-poised to capitalise on the significant surge in regional demand in tyre and pharmaceutical industries. India is expected to see a quantum jump in tyre production, with Indian and international tyre majors gearing up to make capital investments of Rs. 15,000 crore. The halogenated butyl rubber demand is expected to grow at a rapid pace of 8-10% CAGR over the next few years, driven by increasing customer preference for tubeless tyres in India and neighbouring countries, and significant investments in the manufacture of pharmaceutical closures and tank inner liners.”
“India offers attractive investment opportunities given the growing local demand for synthetic rubbers and Gujarat’s favourable investment environment coupled with the well-developed infrastructure and raw material availability at a world-class Industrial site owned by RIL. Sibur has a long track record of successful cooperation with RIL and Gujarat’s government, which has provided us with a solid basis for expanding our footprint in India,” said Mr. Dmitry Konov, Chairman of Sibur’s Management Board.
Halogenated butyl rubber is a key ingredient for manufacturing inner liner of tubeless tyre. 
With the Indian automobile trend aligning with global trends, penetration of tubeless tyres is expected to accelerate in the Indian market, resulting in an increased demand of halogenated butyl rubber. The ingredient is also used in the manufacture of pharma stoppers, inner liner of storage tanks, and so on, the release said.
Construction of the butyl rubber plant is in full swing at Jamnagar and it is expected to be commissioned in 2018.
Production from RSEPL will substitute imports and reduce outflow of valuable foreign exchange from India, providing impetus to the government’s Make in India initiative.
Sibur is a vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. It owns and operates Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes, and is a leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry.

Reliance Industries commissions new paraxylene plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said that it had successfully commissioned the first phase of its new paraxylene (PXP) plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
The announcement came on the birth anniversary of RIL founder Chairman Dhirubhai H. Ambani.
A press release from the company said the plant, with capacity of 2.2 MMTPA, is built with state-of-the-art crystallization technology from BP which is highly energy efficient and environment friendly. 
With the commissioning of this plant, RIL’s PX capacity will more than double from 2.0 MMTPA to 4.2 MMTPA, it said.
On commissioning of entire PX capacity, Reliance will be the world’s second largest PX producer with 9% of global PX capacity and 11% share of global production, it said.
The new PX capacity will add value to the output from refineries and improve the profitability of the Jamnagar complex, the release said.
PX is the building block for the entire polyester chain. The new capacity will complete the integration within Reliance’s polyester value chain, leading to improved margins and also strengthen its position in polyester industry globally, it said.
“Commissioning of the new PX plant marks beginning of the culmination of a series of projects including the refinery off-gas cracker, ethane import project and petcoke gasification. These projects are part of the largest contemporary investment, in excess of Rs. 100,000 crore, in Refining and Petrochemicals sector anywhere in the world. Our projects are on schedule and at an advanced stage of mechanical completion. The new PX capacity takes us a step closer to being among the top 10 petrochemical players globally. This is a fitting tribute to our visionary Founder Chairman Shri Dhirubhai H. Ambani,” said RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani.

BJP MP Poonamben Madaam injured after falling into drain in Jamnagar

BJP MP Poonamben Maadam hurt in fall into drain in Jamnagar
Poonamben Maadam, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member of Parliament from Jamnagar in Gujarat suffered injuries when she fell into an eight-foot deep drain while interacting with slum dwellers during a demolition drive by municipal authorities in her constituency today.
Even as Ms. Maadam was talking to some people, a walkway built across the drain as a sort of bridge for some of the residents, on which she was standing, suddenly gave way and she and a few others fell into the drain.
Several people, including men of the fire brigade, who were a the scene, jumped into the drain and pulled her out and the others. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries. Later, she was flown to Mumbai for further treatment, sources said.
According to them, the MP had suffered a cut on her head and injured her shoulder and foot, but there were no fractures. The injuries were not of a serious nature, they said.
Ms. Maadam had gone to the Jalaram slum around 11 am to meet residents who were opposing the demolition campaign. The residents and officials of the Jamnagar Municipal Corporation had got into an argumentover the demolition and she had rushed to the area to talk to them and help find a way out.

RIL to shut down one crude distillation unit for maintenance for three weeks at Jamnagar refinery

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said that its SEZ Refinery at Jamnagar was planning to shut down one crude distillation unit for routine maintenance and inspection activities from May 1 for about three weeks.
In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange, the company said the other three crude distillation units, including all secondary processing units, were expected to operate at normal throughput at the Jamnagar refinery complex.
"The company does not anticipate any impact on its commercial commitments," it added.

President's Standard presented to 119 Helicopter Unit, Colours to 28 Equipment Depot of IAF

President Pranab Mukherjee presented the President’s Standard to 119 Helicopter Unit and Colours to 28 Equipment Depot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) here today.
In his speech on the occasion, Mr Mukherjee said the IAF had been fulfilling its role of protecting the Indian skies and safeguarding the sovereignty of the nation and also providing aid to citizens during natural calamities.
“The resilience and tenacity displayed by the Air Warriors is a great source of encouragement and a matter of pride for the nation,” he added.
“The massive relief operations undertaken by the IAF during many natural calamities in the past are all etched in our memories. Such operations are shining examples of the fortitude and determination of its gallant air warriors,” the President said.
“India is firmly committed to peace and equality for which we need an effective deterrence and a strong defence force,” he added.
While the nation is striving hard for all-round economic growth and social empowerment of its citizens, it remains equally focused on building capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.
The 119 Helicopter Unit was raised in Guwahati in March 1972 as ‘Angels of Mercy’ with Mi-8 helicopters. In the initial years of its formation, the Unit flew extensively in support of counter insurgency operations in Nagaland and ‘Op Falcon’ in Arunachal Pradesh.
It moved to Air Force Station Sulur in February 1988 and was immediately drawn into the battlegrounds of Sri Lanka in ‘Op Pawan’. Subsequently the Helicopter Unit was rechristened as ‘The Stallions’.
The Unit took part in ‘Op Cactus’ in November 1988 and played a major role during the 'Atlantique Crisis' of August 1999 and ‘Op Black Tornado’ after the terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008. The unit now operates the newly acquired Mi-17 V5 helicopters.
"‘The Stallions’ have time and again undertaken rescue and relief missions living up to the motto of "Apatsu Mitram” meaning "Friends in Distress” and continue to be the harbingers of hope and happiness to distressed people,” the President said.
The recent Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Operations undertaken by the Unit in Gujarat and Nepal stand testimony to this fact. The commendable performance of the personnel of the Unit during various operations has been recognised and appreciated in the form of gallantry awards.
“I am sure ‘The Stallions’ will continue to excel in the times to come,” he added.
The 28 Equipment Depot has completed 62 glorious years in service of the nation. This is the only kind of unit in the Indian Air Force which deals with all facets of air armament stores.
Established at Amla on September 24, 1953, the depot has come a long way in transforming and projecting itself as a one-stop solution for armament issues, he said.
The depot played a significant role in the operations of 1965, 1971 and 1999 by providing huge quantity of explosive stores in serviceable condition to the units engaged in the operations.
“It would not be wrong to say that this depot provides the lethality to the fighter and bomber squadrons of the Indian Air Force,” he added.
In the years gone by, the depot has been a trend-setter in innovation and has successfully modified the life-expired live missiles into its training version.
“I am sure the expertise gained by the depot in the field of armament will go a long way in meeting the operational requirements of the Indian Air Force,” Mr Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee to present standard to 119 HU and colours to 28 ED of IAF on Friday

President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to Jamnagar in Gujarat from today, an official press release said here yesterday.
During the visit, Mr. Mukherjee will present the Standard to 119 HU and Colours to 28 ED of Indian Air Force (IAF) at Air Force Station, Jamnagar on March 4, the release added.

RIL to shut down CDU at Jamnagar SEZ refinery for 10 days for maintenance

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said that it would shut down one crude distillation unit (CDU) at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) unit of its Jamnagar refinery for routine maintenance and inspection activities for about 10 days in the first half of July. 
This opportunity would also be utilized to carry out necessary modifications to improve the reliability and performance of the unit, a press release from RIL said.
The other three crude distillation units including major secondary processing units are planned to operate at normal throughput. 
"The planned maintenance turnaround at the refinery is not expected to have any impact on commercial commitments," the release added.

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BHEL commissions 250 MW thermal unit in Gujarat

The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned a 250 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Gujarat.
The unit has been commissioned at Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited’s (GSECL) Sikka Thermal Power Station (TPS) by BHEL, on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis, a press release from the company said.
Sikka TPS is located near Jamnagar, one of the major industrial towns of Gujarat. Two units of 120 MW each, supplied and executed earlier by BHEL are already in operation at Sikka. Another 250 MW unit, presently under execution at Sikka TPS, is also in an advanced stage of commissioning, the release said.
GSECL has also recently entrusted BHEL with an order for setting up an 800 MW supercritical coal-based project at Wanakbori, on EPC basis, it added.

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RIL carries out maintenance shutdown of paraxylene unit at Jamnagar

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has taken a planned maintenance shutdown of one of its three paraxylene units at Jamnagar in Gujarat.
The scheduled shutdown period is approximately for a period of six weeks, a press release from the company said.
"This shut down will also be utilized to improve reliability and performance of the unit. The other two paraxylene units will continue to operate normally," it said.
RIL has a total capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per annum of paraxylene at 
Jamnagar, the release added.

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RIL to shut down crude distillation unit at Jamnagar refinery for planned maintenance

Energy and petrochemicals major Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) today said it would shut down one of its four crude distillation units for maintenance and inspection (M&I) activities from March 20 for about three and a half weeks.
"As a normal practice, opportunity would be utilized to carry out necessary modifications to improve the reliability and performance of the unit," a press release from the company said.
"This planned shutdown period will also be utilized for catalyst replacement of VGO and Naphtha hydrotreater. The rest of the refinery will continue at normal levels of operations," the release added.

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Essar Projects secures Rs 70 crore sewage treatment project in Gujarat

Essar Projects (EPL), an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor headquartered in Dubai, has through its Indian subsidiary Essar Projects (India) Ltd. secured a project from Jamnagar Municipal Corporation (JMC) in Gujarat, involving construction of a 70 MLD sewage treatment plant (STP) and its allied infrastructure along with operation of the plant for 15 years.
A press release from the company, a part of the Essar Group, said this is a path-breaking project since it incentivises sale of treated water to industries. 
To facilitate these sales, Essar Projects will invest an additional Rs 80 crore to create the necessary pipeline infrastructure for sale of water to industries in and around Jamnagar. Both projects shall be completed in two years, it said.
Mr Alwyn Bowden, President & CEO, Essar Projects said, “This project provides a platform for launch of our water, sewage and solid waste business. While the sector is at a nascent stage in India today, this win shall open up a huge opportunity for these businesses, owing to rapidly growing urbanisation of the country."
"These sectors are well supported by government initiatives such as JNNURM and have a great future in India," he added.

Essar Oil exits CDR mechanism, refinances $ 500 m through ECB, swaps


Private sector oil refiner Essar Oil Limited (EOL) today said it had completed the process for exiting the Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) loan facility set up in December 2004 to help cover the construction of its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat. 

The CDR loan facility has been replaced with a new debt facility of about Rs 9,100 crore on commercial terms from a similar group of lenders, a press release from the company said.
“The CDR exit marks a significant step forward for Essar Oil. Complete stabilising of our expanded capacity paves the way for us to move forward positively to maximize value for all our stakeholders. Capacity expansion and high complexity have already improved our profitability," Mr Lalit Gupta, Essar Oil Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said.
Mr Suresh Jain, Chief Financial Officer, Essar Oil, said, “We are thankful to our lenders for their continued faith in us. The CDR exit will lead to greater operational and financial flexibility for the organization. We have begun the process of swapping our costly rupee debt with cheaper dollar loans that will lower our interest cost significantly, improve our cash flow, and strengthen the balance sheet.”
In addition, as part of dollarization of its rupee term debt, EOL, a part of the Essar Group, has refinanced Rs 2,611 crore of rupee term loans into equivalent foreign currency debt of $ 481 million through external commercial borrowings and swaps.
This will help in reduction of long-term interest cost, the release said. The company had received Reserve Bank of India (RBI) approval of $ 2.27 billion to replace its high cost rupee debt with ECBs, and now with the CDR exit, the company will be able to refinance the remaining rupee loans to ECB, it said.
Vadinar Refinery, which commenced commercial production in May 2008 with a capacity of 10.5  million metric tonnes per year (220,000 barrels per day) and complexity of 6.1, now has a capacity of 20 mmtpa, or 405,000 bpd and complexity of 11.8.  
This makes the fully integrated refinery India’s second largest single location refinery and amongst the most complex globally.  With increased complexity, Essar Oil is able to take over 85% of ultra heavy and heavy crude in its crude diet and yet produce higher grade products like Euro IV and Euro V compliant Gasoline and Gasoil to cater to the domestic and international markets, the release added.

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Construction begins on RSEPL butyl rubber plant in Jamnagar


Reliance Sibur Elastomers Private Limited (RSEPL), a joint venture (JV) between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and SIBUR today began construction of its new butyl rubber plant, in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The ceremony was attended by SIBUR CEO Dmitry Konov; Russian Consul-General Alexy V Novikov, RIL Executive Director Nikhil Meswani and senior officials of the two companies.
“Reliance is excited to join a select group of global Butyl Rubber producers. India, as a fast 
emerging auto hub, is a vast market for these products. We look forward to serving this 
market," Mr Meswani said.
Mr Konov said:"India is one of the most attractive petrochemicals markets right now due to the significant investment in infrastructure which has spurred demand. SIBUR’s technologies together with Reliance’s infrastructure and resources will help to establish a facility that will meet the demand for butyl rubber in Asian market.” 
When commissioned in 2015, the new plant will be India’s only manufacturer of butyl rubber and the JV will be amongst the world’s top five manufacturers of butyl rubber.  
RIL and SIBUR signed a technology licence agreement facilitating use of SIBUR's proprietary butyl rubber production technology at the new facility. The licensing package includes development of a Basic Engineering Package (BEP) and full-time provision of highly-experienced technical personnel on both project and operational stages.  RIL will supply monomer and provide the JV with world-class infrastructure and utilities. 
A press release from Reliance said the project is progressing as per the original schedule. The BEP has already been completed in Nov 2012, and Detailed Engineering is underway. At present, RSEPL is placing orders for long-lead equipment. When complete, the Jamnagar plant will have the capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes annually. 
Reliance has already started market seeding butyl rubber from SIBUR in India. The 
response is very encouraging, the release added.

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