Social Issues

2002 Gujarat riots: Supreme Court defers hearing on Zakia Jafri’s plea till Nov 26

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The Supreme Court on Monday deferred till November 26 hearing on the plea of Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit given by the Special Investigating Team (SIT) to Narendra Modi, who was then Gujarat Chief Minister, in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said, “The matter will take some time for hearing. The plea will be heard on November 26”.

The SIT objected to the petition stating that this matter had already been looked into by it and need to be given a quietus. It also objected to activist Teesta Setalvad, secretary of NGO – Citizen for Justice and Peace- joining the petition as one of the petitioners beside Jafri.

At the outset, senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for SIT said Zakia’s plea was not maintainable and social activist Teesta Seetalvad cannot be the second petitioner in the case.

The bench said it will look into the application before hearing the matter on making Seetalvad as the second petitioner in Jafri’s plea.

On February 8, 2012, the SIT filed a closure report, giving the clean chit to Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.

Ehsan Jafri was among 68 people who were killed at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad when a mob attacked it on February 28, 2002, a day after the S-6 Coach of the Sabarmati Express returning from Ayodhya at Godhra was burned, triggering the riots in Gujarat.

Zakia, the wife of Ehsan Jafri, an ex-MP who was killed in one of the worst incidents during the riots, has challenged the Gujarat High Court’s October 5, 2017 order rejecting her plea against the SIT’s decision.

“The present Special Leave Petition is filed before this Court against the final judgement and order dated October 5, 2017 passed by the High Court of Gujarat…which erroneously upheld the order of the magistrate accepting the closure report filed by the Special Investigative Agency appointed by this Court concerning the violence in Gujarat in 2002,” said the plea of Zakia filed through advocate Aparna Bhat on November 13.

The plea further said the high court “failed to appreciate” the Petitioner’s complaint which was independent of the Gulberg Case registered at Meghaninagar Police Station.

Zakia sought an interim order to the SIT to carry out further investigation with regard to her complaint and the evidence provided by her before the magistrate through the protest petition.

“The allegations in the case were against various bureaucrats, police officers and political leaders. The issues brought forth reflected conspiracy, abetment and hate speech by the accused, which culminated in the violence in Gujarat,” the plea alleged.

It said that the high court order be set aside as “it failed to appreciate that the then chief minister and other prominent members of the political right wing made inflammatory speeches, the home department turned a blind eye towards various SIB reports for prosecuting certain VHP office bearers and publishing houses for propagating an incendiary rhetoric which would amount to an offence under IPC”.

“Whether the High Court failed to appreciate that senior police officers and members of bureaucracy were not reprimanded but rewarded for gross dereliction of duty and collaborating with the illegal plans of the CM/BJP during 2002 riots and afterwards?,” the plea charged.

The high court in its October 5, 2017, order had said that the SIT probe was monitored by the Supreme Court but had partly allowed Zakia’s petition as far as its demand of a further investigation was concerned.

It had said that petitioner can approach an appropriate forum including the magistrate’s court, a division bench of the high court or the Supreme Court seeking further investigation.

Setalvad is also a co-petitioner in the appeal seeking reversal of the Gujarat high court order.

Delhi

Entire Congress n opposition stands with the security forces n the govt in this critical juncture says Rahul Gandhi

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Dr. Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi at 24 Akbar Road to address the press conference

The former prime minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh said that this is not the time to speak on contentious issues but to stand with the grief stricken families in this hour of grave crisis. Dr. Manmohan Singh said that terrorism is a scourge and it should be condemned at all costs. We all stand together with the government and the bereaved families to counter this dreaded menance with full force and strength. The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who’d called the press conference at theAICC headquarter today to express his party’s point of view on this tragedy refused to answer some political questions from the reporters saying that he will not be talking politics for couple of days except strongly standing with the bereaved families of the Jawans who’d sacrificed their precious life in the Pulwama tragedy. No power can break / disintegrate this nation. Those who’ve committed this blunder should not forget that India can’t be disintegrated to an inch n that they will not be spared at any cost. Rahul Gandhi said he alongwith the entire opposition stand with the grief stricken security firces families, the security forces, India Army and the government in total support. It is a terrible tragedy. It’s an attack on India’s soul added Rahul Gandhi. We are mourning and so is the entire nation. We stand by the security forces, their bereaved families n the government in total support n unity said Rahul Gandhi while addressing the media today. Meanwhile Prime minister Narendra Modi has unambiguously warned that the terrorists have committed a huge blunder and they have to pay a very heavy price for it. He said that Pakistan n the entire world should be ready to hear about the Indian retaliation to these terrorists n the powers backing them. The entire nation wants revenge n only revenge. The Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iran n America has expressed its condolences over this tragic incident and have accepted the Pak hand in this massive tragedy. The NSA Ajit Doval has held an urgent meeting with the Army chief n other senior officials of IB n other agencies to devise a formidable strategy to avenge yesterday’s massive terrorist attack on CRPF convoy and is likely to meet prime minister Modi with his decisive report on the vexed matter. Entire nation today is concerned over this tragedy and every Indian is glued to TV sets to know about each n every development. This is the biggest terror attack of 2019 on this national highway between Jammu n Srinagar. In 2016 there was an attack by Jaish killing approximately 19 soldiers. In the Uri attack too about 18 paramilitary Jawans were martyred. Till now about 430 jawans and officers have martyred themselves during the last five years valiantly fighting the terrorists n enemies of the nation.

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Delhi

Agriculture n horticulture land in Uttarakhand. How appropriate is it to put them on sale? Seminar at PCI on 16th February, 2019

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There have been tremendous dusenchantment and resentment amongst the right minded, educated n intellectual community of Uttarakhand about the recent amendment done by the present political dispensation allowing open sale of horticulture and agriculture lands for everyone including outsiders, obviously the big business houses and land mafia and sharks to purchase as much of lands abolishing the earlier maximum limit/ ceiling of 12.5 acres.

The Uttarakhand government has recently given the sanction to the Uttar Pradesh zamindari abolition and land reforms act, (1950 integration and uprantrn amendment order 2001 ordinance 2018). Under the new amendment the clauses 154(4) n (3) K of the act an infinite quantity of agriculture and horticulture land could be purchased by anyone for opening big industries and other forms of businesses on vast scale in Uttarakhand thus adversely impacting its demography, environment, ecology, peace, law n order situation, cultural heritage and serene beauty.

According to this new tourism policy designed to benefit the big business houses, industrialists, builders, real estate agents n corporates, the big money minting capitalists will establish big hotels, resorts, commercial institutions, private expensive hospitals, bars, restaurants, entertainment parks, eco lounges, parking areas, commercial convention centres, commercial Yoga Kendras, so called eco parks, marriage banquets, adventure tourism, branded spa centres, high profile, Ayurvedic chikitsa centres, rope ways, elevator projects etc etc by getting the status of Industry inside the state and thus purchase large tracts of land in the interior of Uttarakhand.

This arbitrary practice seems to be entirely against the sentiments and wishes of the people of Uttarakhand as well as a direct threat to its environment, ecology n demography of the 19 year old hill state.

In order to express the collective and unified protest against this anti people n anti eco friendly policies of the incumbent government of Uttarakhand n its policy makers several social and journalists’ organisations are organising a seminar cum meeting at Press club of India, New Delhi on 16th February, 2018 at 2.30 PM to be addressed by several prominent journalists and social activists who’d been relentlessly fighting n struggling on the issues of Jal, Jungle aur Jameen of Uttarakhand n outside for several decades.

The title of the seminar is Land Reforms in Uttarakhand. How aporopriate is to put the horticultural and agricultural land of Uttarakhand on sale? The seminar is being organised by Uttarakhand Patrakar Parishad in association with Uttarakhand Journalists Forum, Uttarakhand Chintan, Green Forum India, Rashtriya Uttarakhand Sabha, Think Democracy and Friends of Himalayas. The seminar is being organised across party n ideological lines and whoever interested to join the event is cordially invited.

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Crime

Gautam Gambhir tweet’s : Compensation is merely band aid to the oozing wounds, slams Delhi CM on 5 lakh compensation to the deceaseds’ of fire tragedy

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Gautam Gambhir tweet's : Compensation is merely band aid to the oozing wounds, slams Delhi CM on 5 lakh compensation to the deceaseds' of fire tragedy

The Delhi government of AAM AADMI PARTY’s chief minister Arvind Kejrival has announced Rs. five lakh as monetary compensation in connection with the hotel tragedy in which 17 persons were reported to have been killed.

A massive fire due to short circuit that started at 4.00 AM today early morning in hotel Arpit in Karol Bagh spread so rapidly that in just few hours the entire hotel especially its two upper stories were completely engulfed in fire killing 17 persons on the spot while a mother n child were constrained to jump from the fourth floor after they could not get the safe exit. Both of them died after the fall.

About 12 fire fighting engines could finally control the fire. The prime minister has also expressed his condolences over the tragic incident.

The Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has castigated the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejrival for the meagre financial compensation of Rs five lakhs announced by the Delhi government.

Celebrated cricketer Gautam Gambhir said : he is sorry to say that the Delhi chief minister has valued a person’s life to merely five lakh rupees. It may be recalled that in the past chief minister Arvind Kejrival has sanctioned Rs. 1 crores as financial compensation for two deceased policemen n a retired armymen but in the present case has confined the financial aid to merely Rs. Five lakh for each of deceased’s bereaved family.

Slamming the Delhi chief minister the former cricketer Gambhir has tweeted : Surely a human life is worth much more than INR 5 Lakh @ Arvind Kejrival. It underlines what our machinery thinks about us, d common man. Compensation is merely a bandaid on all oozing wounds whereas Delhi needs surgeries and it should begin with a systematic overhaul@ Aam Admi Party.

Gautam Gambhir also slammed the building authorities for their callousness by tweeting : It is so sad to see the callousness of regulators with regards to building bylaws being traded with loss of human lives. This hotel is right next to the GGF office and I know first hand how parking rules, building laws are conveniently flouted for commercial interests. Disgusting he added in the previous tweet.

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Delhi

A massive fire in Karol Bagh Hotel kills 17 people

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Atleast seventeen people are feared to have been killed and several grievously injured in a ravaging fire that broke out in a five storyed Hotel ARPIT in Karol Bagh early morning. The fire broke out due to short circuit reveal sources.

The fire tenders of Delhi fire service has controlled the fire. The entire fourth and fifth storey of the hotel has been completely ravaged killing 17 people inside the hotel. Several guests were constrained to jump from the fourth storey after the fire engulfed the entire upper floor giving them no space to exit.

Three out of the ten members of the Kerala family staying here are missing. This is the biggest fire tragedy in Delhi in the recent months.

The prime minister Narendra Modi quickly responded to the tragic incident n paid condolences to the bereaved families through his tweet: Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to the fire at Karol Bagh in Delhi.

I convey my condolences to the families of those who’ve lost their lives. May the injured recoved soon PM@ Narendra Modi.

A woman and a daughter died after they jumped from the upper story in desperation finding no exit. About ten fire engines were involved to bring the fire under control which erupted at 4 A.M. when majority of the hotel occupants were sleeping.

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Education

Singaporian painter YC exhibits his outstanding painting skills on Lodhi Colony govt quarters’ walls

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The Singaporian Painter Yip Yew Chong drawing n painting( graffiti in making) over the residential walls in Lodhi Colony to give the walls a fascinating look. It’s an initiative of an NGO called Start India ( Street Art India) where in majority of the residential walls of government quarters at Lodhi colony are being painted by artists from various countries to beauty the ambience of the colony n also to promote the street art culture. Huge amount of paint that is being used in these art work is reportedly being sponsered by Asian Paints n so is the crane used in the process, being provided free of costs by its manufacturers.

Many budding painters n commercial artists are participating in this endeavour to fine tune their calibre in painting with experienced, outstanding artists n painters. Lodhi Colony govt quarter walls with magnificient graffities have become hot spots for selfies n pre wedding shoots in the capital where students of Arts, the local residents n young ones collect for photo shoots using these serene/ attractive/ fascinating backgrounds. Even the You Tube professionals are making full use of these magnificient walls with colourful art work as attractive backgrounds for their shoots.

The residents n onlookers enjoy this outstanding feats of artists while they are busy painting the huge walls. In the first instance the walls chosen fit for painting are scratched of old n unwanted plasters and are fully repainted. The artists then come into the picture who first draw sketches of the art and thereafter multicolour painting executed. The process of drawing art n painting is going on for several months n many foreign painters have participated in the exercise with Delhi’s budding painters too fine tuning their art through these wall paintings in Lodhi Colony.

Singaporian Painter Yip Yew Chong said that after reaching Delhi at the painting spot in Lodhi Colony he was having no idea what to draw n paint on the walls. He therefore walked in the locality for few days to watch the peoples’lifestyle and happenings in the surroundings.

After observing the stray cows roaming in the colony, residents reading newspaper n flute baloon seller busy roaming the locality to earn hislivelihood, I finally decided to paint them n this is how I made up my mind. YC was on crane for at least 6 to 7 hours painting the balloon n fluteseller finally giving precision to his art work. Kudos.

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Featured

Anna Hazare who threatened to return back Padma Vibhushan calls of the 6 day old hunger strike after meeting Fadnavis n Radha Mohan Singh

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The social networking sites are abuzz with the news of the crusade against corruption Anna Hazare’s recent declaration about returning back the coveted award Padma Vibhushan in protest against the non fulfillments of his earlier demands especially appointment of Lokpal etc at the centre as well in other states of the country.

Highly dejected and critical of the BJP led NDA government n the top leaders Anna Hazaare says that he is now repenting of opposing the then Dr. Manmohan Singh government as the BJP n RSS has derived the maximum political advantage out of the movement against corruption organised in Delhi by way of dethroning the the earlier regime and acquiring power at the centre.

He catagorically said that it was the BJP which came to power at the centre in 2014 n Arvind Kejrival’s AAP a year later deriving entire political milieage from his nationwide movement launched by him at Delhi’ s Ramleela Ground n Jantar Mantar. He flatly refused to meet any centre’s emisary or minister to talk on any issue n said that if those at the helm are really serious they should transparently fulfill his demands especially the one related to appointment of Lok Pal.

He castigated the NDA government led by BJP n its political n administrative CEO of telling all lies n misguiding the people of the country and said that the time has come teach them a befitting lesson. It may be recalled that the renowned crusader against corruption Anna Hazare has been on indefinte hunger strike at his village Ralegaon Sidhi for the last six days in support of his demands n have threatened to return back the coveted Padma Vibhushan honour, the fourth highest civilian award of the country.

The indefinite Hunger Strike in support of the demands of farmers n setting up of Lok Pal was started by Anna Hazaare and his supporters in Rale Gaon Sidhi on 1st of January n today is the 6th day. His followers at pan India level organised deminstrations n sit ins in supoort of Anna’s demand in 136 places in Maharashtra n over 40 places in various parts of India.

Anna Hazare has however welcomed the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejrival to come at Rale Gaon Sidhi n join him in his noble endeavour but has unambiguosly said that he will not be allowed to share the stage with him.

He warned the union government that if the demands of the farmers of the country partaining to loan waivers and MSP etc including setting up of Lok Pals are not met he would have no option but to return back the coveted honour Padma Vibhushan forthwith.

As per the latest news Anna Hazaare has now given up his fast on the sixth day after having been assured by the Maharashtra chief minister Fadnavis and the the union Agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh of fulfilling the major demands pertaining to the farmers.

After a marathon meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare called off his fast Tuesday. The 81-year-old said that he was satisfied with the promises made by govt on Lokpal, Lokayukta and agriculture pricings.

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Featured

When Rahul walked to Sonu Nigam and requested to join him n mother for meals, with family

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The renowned bollywood singer Sonu Nigam who was in Goa recently alongwith his family on a personal visit had a chance to meet the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi n Sonia Gandhi as both the families were coincidently staying in the same hotel/ property.

According to a news report in ht live the bollywood singer Sonu Nigam and his family, wife and son were truly impressed by the humility, benevolent gesture and affable nature of Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi.

It is believed that Sonia n Rahul too were on a personal visit keeping themselves away from the usual media glare.

The report says that while Sonu Nigam was near the restaurant busy making his son learn driving bycycle inside the vicinity of the property he noticed Rahul n Sonia having meals.

Sonu avoided gazing or noticing them in order to give both, the mother son duo, space n privacy with the intention not to disturb them but within moments he noticed Rahul Gandhi approaching towards them from the pool side lawns.

Sonu was amazed to see Rahul being so humble in first loving his son n then requesting the family to join them for meals.

Impressed by Rahul Gandhi’s humility Sonu Nigam has no choice but to accept the invitation n they had meals with a towering political family laughing, enjoying, discussing old n new songs of films, Vipassana, Yoga, books n what not.

The meeting between Rahul Sonia n Sonu Nigam’s family was so blissful n cordial that both of them parted company wishing each other good luck n promise to continue the meetings in future as well.

The Gandhi’s extended future invitation to Sonu saying that he n his family is always welcome at 10 Janpath.

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Featured

Book on the saga of an adoloscent warrior of Himalayan region Tilu Rauteli of 15th century released in New Delhi

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A book on the saga of a renowned female adoloscent warrior of 15th century of Uttarakhand hills who merely at the age of fifteen valiantly fought for seven long years with the enemies and finally succeeded in establishing victory over thirteen citadels of the then rulers in the Himalayan region of the hilly region was released on 27th January at Garhwal Bhawan, New Delhi.

The eminent writer, poet n literateur from Mumbai who retired as the Director from the Hindi directorate having several books to his credit Rajeshwar Uniyal has authored this book based on the life sketch of the historic female warrior TILU RAUTELI titled as TARPAN. According to the book’s writer Rajeshwar Uniyal, his main objective and basic motto of authoring the book after deep research is to accquaint the rest of the world about the saga of this valiant girl who at merely 15 years of age not only bravely fought the war with her enemies winning 15 Garh (citadels) in the hilly region of Uttarakhand Himalayas but had also exhibited an exceptional courage n valour at the time period ( 15th century) when women were the most exploited lot.

Uniyal said : the time has come when this ancient saga of this warrior has to come to the knowledge of the outside world from the valleys of Garhwal, Uttarakhand. Prominent amongst those present in the book release function were , secretary of Sanskrit and Hindi Parishad of Delhi government Jeet Ram Bhatt, veteran journalist Diwan Singh Bajeli, Joint secretary of All India Congress Committee Haripal Rawat, Pawan Maithani, Secretary, Garhwal Hiteshini Sabha, theatre director from NSD Swarn Rawat, Neurologist Dr. Sharad Pandey, writer n literateur Ramesh Ghildiyal, Anil Makhloga, Meena Rana, Councillor, Ajay Bisht, Sr. journalists Vyomesh Jugran n Sunil Negi, Laxmi Rawat, Sharmila Amola n Vasndhara Negi.

The book release function was ably conducted by Ajay Bisht. The book jasbeen published by Naional Press n is available on line at the cost of Rs 200 per copy.
Sunil Negi, President, Uttarakhand Journalists Forum

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Delhi

Eminent personalities bestowed with Himalay Gaurav, Parvat Gaurav and Delhi Gaurav Awards

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The fourteenth Uttarayini Samman Samaroh was organised with full gaity and fervour at the Press Club of India auditorium on 27th January jointly by Uttarakhand Journalists Forum, Parvatiya Lok Vikas Samittee and Him Uttarayini in which prominent personalities of Uttarakhand working and giving their outstanding services n performance in various fields viz journalism, environment, writing, theatre, films, singing, sports n defence services etc were honoured with Himalay Gaurav, Parvat Gaurav and Delhi Gaurav honours ( Trophies n Shawls with certificates) in the presence of good number of people.

The event was presided over by eminent literateur, former professor of JNU, writer n thinker Dr. Ganga Prasad Vimal while the chief guests were the director General of Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh Bisht( Tomar). The special guest of honour was retired Real Admiral, PVSM, AVSM Mr. Om Prakash Singh Rana. The guest of honour of the programme were State Minister of Uttarakhand n eminent comedian Ghananand aka Ghanna Bhai, Jeet Ram Bhatt, Secretary Hindi Academy, entrepreneur CB Tamta, AICC joint secretary Haripal Rawat n the national spokes person of AAP Harish Awasthi.

The eminent budding singer n Sa Re Ga Ma fame Vasundhara Raturi impressed one and all by her sweet n melodious voice on the ocassion.

Those who were honoured with the Himalaya Gaurav Awards were senior journalist Hemendra Barthwal ( earlier in Hindustan Times), Rear Admiral Om Prakash Singh Rana, Director General of Indian Coast Guard Rajendra Singh Bisht, senior journalist Manoj Ishtwal, eminent literateur n author CPS Rawat, AAP’s national spokesman Harish Awasthi, Umesh Pant of Sarthak Prayas, entre preneur n social activist Rakesh Dhasma and prominent singer Vasundhara Raturi.

Those who received the Parvat Gaurav awards were MMC Sharma, poet, writer n literateur, Anil Negi, Secretary, Garhwal Heroes Footbal Club, international n national shooting prodigy Devanshi Rana, daughtervof International shooter Jaspal Rana , popular actor Bhagwan Chand, poet Vijay Madhur, Narayan Dutt Lakhera, eminent theatre activist, author Hem Pant, young writer n activist Mayank Arya, social activist Prema Dhoni n Karuna Bhatt.

Mr. and Mrs Hayat Bhandari were bestowed with Uttarayini Delhi Gaurav Samman.

Dr. Ganga Prasad Vimal, KG Suresh, Rajinder Singh Bisht n Rear admiral OPS Rana and other congratulated the organisers of the event Sunil Negi and Surya Prakash Semwal and expressed the optimism that in future as well the outstanding talents of Uttarakhand will be encouraged by publicly recognising their services.

They reiterated that Himalayas should be protected by planting more n more trees and giving impetus to environ friendly development with applying complete stop to felling f trees.

The programme was jointly and ably anchored by Surya Prakash Semwal and Sunil Negi which was indeed a great success.

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Social Issues

Bill for redevelopment of Gujarat Housing Board colonies in budget session

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The Gujarat government is all set to table an important bill for the redevelopment of housing colonies built by Gujarat Housing Board (GHB). The government will make an amendment into the Gujarat Housing Board Act, 1961 that will allow 25 years old or more GHB built housing colonies to undergo redevelopment with the consent of 75 per cent members.
Accordingly, the government had issued an ordinance in November last year and that will be implemented through the act by making an amendment.
Sources in the government informed, “After several incidents of collapse of old buildings in cities, the government had altered the act for private housing colonies and now the colonies built by GHB also would undergo redevelopment under the act. The ordinance issued by the government needs to make a provision in the act for its perpetual implementation.”
“The Urban Development Department(UDD) has drafted a bill providing the condition of consent of 75 per cent members required for redevelopment in place of 100 per cent members. This is already under implementation through the amendment made in Gujarat Ownership Flat Act for private housing colonies,” added the sources.
The Urban Development Department will invite private developers for the redevelopment of GHB colonies, in which, the original members will be given the flats. Moreover, the new building shall have ten floors in place of three floors at present. The developer will get 3-floor space index(FSI) for this public-private partnership initiative.
There are around 500 housing colonies that are 25 years old or more and more than 15,000 houses can undergo redevelopment.
Besides this, the UDD may come up with one more amendment in Gujarat Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, 1949. The amendment will be on delegation of power for recruitment of officials of deputy municipal commissioner(DyMC) and assistant municipal commissioner(AMC) to government and civic bodies both.
Sources from the department said, “The powers of recruitment of these class I and II level officials are with the state government but now the powers will be shared with the local civic bodies too. This will lessen the burden on government and will give freedom to civic bodies to recruit officials as per their choice and requirements. The draft of the bill is yet to be prepared. If everything goes smooth, the bill will be tabled in assembly for the approval of the house.”
Both these bills will be tabled in the Gujarat assembly during its budget session during February 18 to 22.

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