Friday, June 26, 2009

Junagadh District Saurastra -Veraval Keshod Mangrol Samachar

Moderate to heavy rain forecast in Junagadh.

Moderate to heavy rain has been forecast across Junagadh following a depression in the Arabian Sea off Veraval coast, to the extent that the danger signal no 3 has been sounded at the Veraval Port.

Fishermen have also been warned against venturing out into the sea.

B A Jethva, Port Supervisor, Veraval, said: “The depression in the Arabian Sea is located 10 degree north latitude and 71.5 degree east longitude. It might get converted into a deep depression followed by cyclone. Alert has been sounded and Signal no 3 have been hoisted at the Veraval Port.”

Since the last 24 hours ending Tuesday, rainfall has been reported in eight talukas in Junagadh district. According to the district flood control room, maximum 55 mm rainfall has been reported in Maliya town, followed by Keshod, 23 mm; Talala and Una 21 mm; Bhesan 15 mm; Visavadar 12mm; Junagadh 11 mm; and Manawadar 2 mm.

But the three talukas of Veraval, Mangrol and Mendarada are yet to receive rain.

With the beginning of rainfall, power supply was disrupted in Junagadh city for three hours on Monday evening.

Besides in Bhesan, rain accompanied by wind was reported and power supply was disrupted in some 117 villages. Power supply was, however, restored later, officials said.

Three incidents of lightning were reported at Najapur, Koyalana and Bhalgam village in Junagadh district. No casualty has been reported so far, but two domestic animals were reportedly killed in lightning strikes.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Junagadh District Monsoon Varsad Samachar

Rain hits Saurastra region, road traffic in Junagadh affected.

Rajkot/Ahmadabad (PTI) Road traffic in Junagadh district have been affected following an incessant rain in Saurastra region during the last 24 hours.

The road traffic of Veraval-Talala, Una-Dolasa and Gadu-Chorwad in Junagadh district have been affected and local authorities were busy clearing the road, said Junagadh district collector Ashwini Kumar.

The roads were blocked following rain with heavy wind that uprooted many trees in the district, officials said.

Sutrapada (175 mm), Veraval (149 mm) and Mangrol (145 mm) talukas in Junagadh received highest rainfall in the last 24 hours, officials from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Kodinar also recorded 90 mm rainfall they added. Low lying areas in Junagadh were inundated with water and people have been warned to be careful, Mr. Kumar said adding the situation is under control and there was no need to evacuate the people living in low lying areas.

Jamnagar district also received considerable amount of rain owing to the depression in the Arabian Sea.

Kalyanpur taluka recorded 67 mm rainfall, while Jamnagar and Bhanvad received 48 mm, and Khambhalia got 45 mm rainfall.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Junagadh District Monsoon News

Gujarat gets pre-monsoon showers.

Amid worries of a delayed monsoon, large parts of Gujarat have received pre-monsoon showers in the 24 hours to Tuesday afternoon, an official said here.

A total of 56 sub-districts in 17 districts have witnessed pre-monsoon activity with rains ranging from 3 mm to 10 cm being received during the period, the agriculture department official said.

He said Kaparda sub-district in south Gujarat had received the maximum of 10 cm of rain during the period raising hopes of a fresh sowing season if more rains are received in the next 72 hours.

However, most districts that received pre-monsoon showers are in Saurastra region, mainly Junagadh, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Surendranagar and Porbandar.

In particular, the drought-prone Kutch district has not received any pre-monsoon showers and most reservoirs in the desert region have very little water left.

Most check dams in the state also have on average only 20 percent of water left, he adde .

The specter of a draught still lingers in the minds of the Gujarat farmers if the pre-monsoon showers do not continue for another one week before the arrival of the monsoons, the official said.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Junagadh Talukas - Evenagar Padariya Plaswa Vijapur

New admission drive fails to gain momentum in village school.

The three-day new admission drive has been initiated in the aided primary schools in villages across Gujarat to improve literacy rate in general and female literacy ratio in particular.

But despite all support from the government machinery, the move, which began on Thursday, has received lukewarm response in many villages in the district.

V D Varu, the deputy primary education officer and in-charge deputy collector (Mid-day meal scheme), said: “On first Day, I visited five villages namely Evenagar, Padariya, Plaswa, Vijapur and Sodwadar of Junagadh taluka. In Evenagar, 73 new admissions were registered in Class I. However, the response was below expectations. Surprisingly, not a single male guardian turned up. Eight female guardians came for the admission of their wards.”

According to Varu, the situation was not different in the other four villages he visited.

Following this, he has instructed school authorities to hold teachers-parents meeting at least once a month and that too during evenings to ensure better attendance by laborer parents.

“The state government provides free education, uniforms, text books, school bags and mid-day meals. Now it is the people’s responsibility to extend support to this drive and help create education awareness in the society,” said Varu.

According to official data, 16,309 girls and 18,051 boys have taken admission in aided primary schools in the district during the three-day drive.

Senior government officials have been deployed to spread education awareness in villages across the state.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Junagadh District Saurastra Monsoon News - Junagadh Agriculture University JAU

Delayed monsoon spells trouble for cotton, groundnut farmers.

Farmers who have sown cotton and groundnut may suffer heavy losses if it does not rain in the next 10 days.

Farmers in the state fear a major damage to their crops if it does not rain in the next 10 days. Majority of the farmers feel that over 30 per cent yields of groundnut and cotton will be destroyed in the absence of timely rain.

Praful Senjalia, Bharatiya Kishan Sangh president, said, “If there is no rain in the next 10 days, I will suffer a heavy loss. I will not only lose what I have spent on sowing, but the entire season will be delayed.”

Gujarat has a total cultivation area of nearly 60 lakh hectors each for cotton and groundnut farming.

According to Agriculture Department reports, sowing, mostly for cotton, in around 30 per cent area has already been done.

This process of sowing cotton before rains is called koru (dry). It is usually done some 10 days before the expected arrival of monsoon.

The late monsoon is not only likely to damage the sown cotton crops, but also delay the cultivation cycle of groundnut.

“Monsoon should have arrived by now. But still we can wait for 10 more days,” said N C Patel, Vice-Chancellor, Junagadh Agriculture University. He is of the view that if there is no rain by June 25, the farmers would need a contingency plan, like change in the crop pattern.

Agriculture scientist with the university, K L Dobaria, endorsed Patel’s view, saying, “If it does not rain in the coming days, the farmers will have to cultivate bunch groundnut instead of the running type.

The running crop needs good irrigation.”

The fact that little underground water is available and most of the reservoirs have hit rock bottom has worsened the situation. “There is hardly any water left in wells, and there has been no supply of irrigation water,” said Harshad Patel, a farmer from Ghanteshwar, a village on the outskirts of Rajkot city.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Junagadh Saurastra City News - Junagadh Municipal Corporation

Civic body identifies 30 old buildings as ‘dangerous’.

The Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) has started taking action after conducting a drive to identify old structures that pose a threat to life.

Several notices have now been sent to the owners of these old structures in the old city areas.

In June 5, the decades old Liberty Talkies building had collapsed, killing two passers-by. Following this, a survey to identify old structures was conducted in 17 wards. Nearly 30 buildings have now been identified as ‘likely to prove dangerous’.

Municipal Commissioner R M Sharma said: “Around 30 notices have been served to the concerned persons, asking them to either repair the old buildings or face action. They have been given 10 days time, failing which appropriate action will be initiated.

According to Sharma, the notices have been served under Section 264 of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (BPMC) Act.

Apart from JMC officials, councilors of the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress have demanded immediate action.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Junagadh City Information – Girnar Mountain Parvat Ropeway Project

Will Girnar ropeway hit vulture breeding sites?

The proposed ropeway to the religious shrine atop Mount Girnar has outraged environmentalists who believe that the decision to promote Junagadh tourism will come at a huge cost to endangered wildlife such as Asiatic lions and vultures.

However, the forest department, expressing equal concern for the fauna's well-being, is confident that the ropeway will not disturb the wildlife in the region. If anything, the department argues, it will only ease the pressure on the wildlife created by visiting devotees who currently pass through the jungle to reach the holy shrine atop Girnar.

Naturalist Manish Vaidya, who had filed a petition in Gujarat High Court contesting the decision to build a ropeway nearly a decade back, had contended that the ropeway would disturb the lion and vulture habitat. Last month, the wildlife board cleared the project, which has now been sent to the Union ministry of environment and forests for approval. In a letter written to state foresters, environmentalists from the region said the ropeway project would bring more crowds to the mountains for picnics. "The picnicker will bring along plastic pouches and bottles and most probably throw them around here. Strong winds will then take the plastic to the forest area," they said.

"If the ropeway passes through the trees housing vulture nests, it will be a disaster. According to the last census, 79 vultures were counted in the region. Isn't it alarming enough that the vulture population has reduced to half of the 2005 in the 2007 estimate?" Vaidya said.

Another environmentalist from the region, closely involved in the vulture counting process along with the forest department, said, "We had noticed a spectacular breeding colony of long billed species of vultures on Mount Girnar. If the ropeway passes through their colonies, the vultures would certainly be disturbed," he said. The foresters, however, claim that they are conscious of the vulture breeding colony there and a detailed study conducted long back when the ropeway was first proposed says vulture colonies will not be affected.

"The ropeway will also ease the pressure on the lions, as thousands of devotees spending five-six hours climbing through the forest to the shrine cannot be controlled right now," principal chief conservator of forest Pradip Khanna said. In fact, he pointed out that Gujarat was perhaps the only state in India that has taken intensive projects for vulture conservation. Information supplied by the forest department under the Right to Information Act had revealed that Rs84 lakh has been spent by the state over the past five years through grants received by state and central government.

"A huge chunk of this has been spent on the vulture breeding centre in Junagadh through the Sakkarbaug Zoo," Khanna added.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Junagadh District News – Sasan Forest,Gir Sanctuary

Gir Sanctuary to be closed from June 16 to Oct 15.

Schools have reopened and people are trudging back to routine lives.

But, it's now the turn of Asiatic Lions of Gir to go on vacation as Gir sanctuary will be closed from June 16 to October 15 for visitors.

"According to Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, all sanctuaries and national parks are closed for visitors for a certain period," explained Conservator of Forests M M Sharma.

"Apart from the fact that jungle tracks are not conducive for vehicle travel in monsoon, the main reason for closure is that this period is mating season for lions," Sharma added.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Junagadh District News – Sasan Gir Forest

Was lion's land sold illegally?

Is the lions' abode up for sale, and by none other than the forest and revenue departments? It may appear so as shocking details emerge in a case filed in the Gujarat high court by one of the holders of a plot of land. The forest department and revenue department on Thursday furnished details about the 588 private owners of such plots of land.

Of the total 588 allotted plots of land, 300 plots have been sneaked into the hands of people who are not Maldharis.

The most shocking part perhaps is that at least 42 square km area of land adjoining the sanctuary in eight talukas along the circumference of the lions' abode has been sold off.

This list of those holding the 300 plots is possibly dotted with high profile businessmen, influential politicians and their kin. What has come out in the documents presented in the court by forest and revenue authorities is that these transactions have happened with their knowledge and consent.

This land is considered sacrosanct as well as extremely valuable due to its proximity to the Asiatic lions' habitat. This revenue land had been sought by the forest department to rehabilitate the Maldharis living inside the sanctuary area to create more space for the lions.

However, over the past two decades, 588 plots of land, each of 2.5 hectares, was sold off by these Maldharis, who then returned to dwell inside the forest sanctuary area.

The land when allotted to them was under the new tenure, under which they could not resell it to a non-tribal, non farmer entity. However, sometime after the allotment, the status of the land was changed to old tenure by the mamlatdar, under which sale was allowed to private entities. One such private owner Anil Chudasama had filed a petition in the High Court after he was stopped from tilling his land in Mendarda taluka, very close to the sanctuary. Justice MR Shah, who heard the case took serious note about such transfer of land.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled on Friday.There are contradictions between the forest department and revenue department's figures about the land that was sold under resettlement scheme.

According to an affidavit filed by the forest department, of the total 588 plots of land, some 300 plots of land have been sold by converting it into old tenure. 250 land plots are with Maldharis who are the original allotees and possession of 10 land stretches have been confiscated by the department.

However there is no mention about the rest 28 plots. On the other hand according to an affidavit filed by the Junagadh collector, 279 plots have been sold to various third parties in eight talukas of Junagadh.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Junagadh District News-Gir National Park(Sasan Forest)

Maldharis back in forest?

The forest department of the Gir, which is conserving lion habitat, has come under scanner after being accused of conniving with Maldharis.

The Maldharis, who continue to reside in the forest area despite getting land elsewhere in the government's resettlement scheme, are being encouraged by forest officials to stay rooted in the reserved forest area, claimed Anil Chudasama, who moved a petition against forest department in the high court on Thursday.

Chudasama had brought a land plot in Mendarda through registered sale deed from ancestors of one Maldhari Raja Amra Rabari. Chudasama approached the court after the forest officials stopped him from doing any activities on the plot.

“Heirs of Raja Amra who are residing at Gangajalia ness (habitat of Maldharis in forest) are occupying the forest area along with their families and cattle herd. The forest department slaps small fines on them from time to time without prosecuting them," alleged Chudasama in affidavit.

"Similarly, many other Maldharis have sold their land and stay in Gangajalia nes, Vanivav ness, Kathi Alwadi ness and Amrutwell ness," said Chudasama.

Interestingly, the forest department had also moved the high court for obtaining permission to remove Maldharis from the reserved area. The court had, however, turned down the request saying the government already had power to do so.

Chudasama, however, alleged that Maldharis were staying in reserved forest area with the blessings of forest department.

According to the details furnished by the collector of Junagadh, 279 transactions have taken place over the land in eight talukas of Junagadh - 21 in Mendarda, 49 in Talala, 10 in Keshod, 103 in Mangrol, 41 in Visavadar, 11 in Manavadar, four in Malia and 40 in Una.

On the other hand, the forest department data say 300 plots have been sold to the third party in those talukas.

Source Link :-

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Junagadh City - Aditi Vachhani

Junagadh City girl turns pain into power, ranks sixth in state.

When doctors could not alleviate an unbearable ache in her right hand, Aditi Vachhani decided to turn her pain into power.

She started to practice writing with her left hand.

All year through, she practiced her answers this way.

On the day of the exam, she switched over to her right hand. The pain had subsisted but her indomitable spirit got her the sixth rank in the state with 622 marks and 95.69 per cent.

"I converted my pain into strength," said Aditi, as tears of joy rolled down her cheeks. A student of Bhalodia High School, she wants to opt for science and become an engineer. She scored 100 per cent in her favorite subject mathematics. According to Aditi, her mother Jyoti, a teacher at Shapur High School, was her source of strength, while her father Ramesh, a Junagadh District Panchayat clerk, did his best to lessen her hardships.

"My parents took me to seven doctors one after the other, but to no avail. The pain was diagnosed as a muscular one, with no broken bones. Then, my school Principal Anjali Savalia came to my rescue," Aditi said.

"It was she who suggested that I practice with my left hand, thus giving rest to the right hand."
The same power and courage will surely see her excel in class XII too, said Mohan Patel, president of Patel Kelvani Mandal, which runs the Bhalodia School.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Junagadh District Saurastra News - Kesar Mangos Keri

40% decline in Kesar Mangos production at Junagadh District(Talala) this year. Raymal Kamaliya, a mango farmer in Chundadi village of Junagadh district, had earned Rs 1.5 lakh last year from his farm. Shocking as it may sound, Kamaliya is finding it difficult to buy mango for his own family this year.

Climate change has resulted in drastic reduction, as much as 40 per cent, of the famous Jungadhi kesar variety of mango, which sells maximum.
"There has been no mango harvest at all on our five-acre farm.

This is all because of the weather change that caused major decline in production'' said Kamaliya.
Kamaliya is not alone. There are number of farmers in Junagadh District who could hardly harvest 40 per cent of the mango production as compared to previous year, said officials in government horticulture department of Junagadh.

"Last year, the mango production was 1, 12, 840 tonnes in Junagadh district which is expected to be hardly 45, 500 tones from 16,500 ha land cultivation' said an official.

According Talala Market Yard official, the mango season started on May 5 and till date it has received 5.27 lakh boxes. But, daily inflow of mango boxes is declining with each passing day.

"Last year, we got around 9 lakh boxes in the market whereas this year it would remain around 6 lakh," said sources in Talala Market Yard. Officials said that close to 75 per cent mango harvesting is already over with farmers harvesting an average three tonnes per hectare.

"This year, there was no sign of cold that is required for good mango production.

Also, flowering was late and less in orchards," said farmer Mensibhai.
Moreover, reports of an early monsoon had also threatened to stop complete harvest of mangoes.

"Farmers were afraid that rains would spoil the fruits on the trees. But, now that monsoon will arrive at regular time, we will completely harvest the crop," said Gafar Kureshi, a farmer in

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Junagadh District News – Flood Control Rooms

Seven flood control rooms start work in Saurashtra.

With monsoon due to set in any time during the second week of June in Saurashtra, the state irrigation department has seven flood control centres in the region operational from June 1.

The flood control centres, with headquarters in Rajkot, will monitor 149 dams in the region comprising Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Junagadh -The Historical Place Gujarat India, Amreli and Surendranagar districts. Every flood control room will be manned by a deputy engineer who has been provided with a cell phone. "The engineers will send messages to the state flood control room at Gandhinagar daily, keeping them updated on the situation," an official source said.

While the Rajkot center will monitor 72 dams located at Rajkot, Jamnagar and Surendranagar districts, Bhavnagar center will monitor 77 dams located at Bhavnagar, Junagadh and Amreli districts. Among the bigger reservoirs to be closely monitored will be Bhadar, Shetrunjay, Khodiar and Machu dams, according to reports.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Junagadh City News – Girnar Mountain Ropeway Project

Ropeway project to begin soon between Girnar Parvat Taleti and Ambaji.

The project for providing aerial ropeway service between Girnar Mountain Taleti and Ambaji, about 3,300 feet above sea level, is likely to begin soon. It was earlier stopped after environmentalists objected to the use of the belonging to the sloth bear sanctuary for the project. The Rs 70-crore project was conceived two years ago.

Asked about the delay in the project, Junagadh District Collector Aswini Kumar said, “It was not because of administrative reasons. The company was carrying out its own feasibility studies.”Now, the Gujarat Tourism Corporation Limited (GTCL) has decided to generate public opinion to install aerial ropeway in Junagadh after a public hearing on June 3. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has decided to conduct a public hearing in which locals as well as environmentalists will be invited to air their views and suggestions.

The report submitted by Usha Breco Ltd, which is the project implementing agency, has said that during construction phase, forest land will be converted for non-forest purpose, which will cause minimal damage to flora and fauna.“This will be compensated by carrying out plantation in an area of 7.29 hectares. Operation Phase Analysis of abiotic factors reveals that ambient air and water quality will remain practically unaffected, thus indirect adverse impact on flora and fauna is ruled out.”

Pravin Sheth, an environmentalist who was assigned the task of analyzing the report submitted by Usha Breco, said, “The ropeway will be a blessing to those pilgrims who are not in a position to climb all the way up to Ambaji and Jain temples. Children, senior citizens, asthma and arthritis patients will also be benefited; tourists will also be attracted.”

Monday, June 1, 2009

Junagadh District(Saurastra) News – Kesar Mango(Keri) Production

Farmer exports jumbo-sized Kesar Mango(keri) over Internet, earns Rs 10 lakh every year.

Nagjibhai Boghra, a farmer from Ratang village in Junagadh District could perhaps give a tip or two to the state agriculture minister who is leading a delegation to the UK to explore the market for mangoes from Gujarat.

Boghra has a four acre land and nets a profit of 10 lakh rupees each year, selling mangoes overseas over the Internet. He now sells mango saplings as far as Egypt.

Incidentally, Boghra (48) has only studied up to the primary level, but has successfully mastered the craft of growing jumbo-sized Kesar Mangoes. Kesar is the famous brand of mango from Saurashtra and mangoes produced in his farm weigh 300 grams to 1 kg apiece, much more than the usual specimen of the same variety.

He says: “I sell my jumbo-sized mango at the price tag of Rs 800 per 20 kg. I receive the sale order on my computer. I have also developed my web site Several of my customers are from the UK.”

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