Thursday, December 30, 2010

Junagadh Sakkarbaug Zoo - Asiatic Lions Pair given to Mysore Zoo

After completing all technical and administrative formalities in this regard, Junagadh Sakkarbaug Zoo will give Asiatic Lions Pair to Mysore Zoo in exchange for other animals.

The exchange, to take place soon, between the two zoos comes in the wake of a request made in this connection a few months ago to Gujarat Chief minister Narendra Modi by legendary leg spinner Anil Kumble.

As per Latest Forest Department Director V J Rana Interviews, he said that, "Mysore Zoo will give us Indian bison, common marmoset, giant squirrel, Lady Amhrest pheasant, Kalij pheasant and green pheasant. The exchange of the animal and bird species will take place in the last week of January 2011."

"A new facility to accommodate the birds and the mammal is being made at the zoo. They will be on public display from February 2011."

The Sakkarbaug Zoo has over 1,000 different species of animals including a cheetah, which was brought from Singapore in exchange for an Asiatic lion. There are four cheetahs in the zoo, of which two are males and two females.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Junagadh News – Cotton Quality may damaged by Rain after Diwali

Ginners are worried lot because of heavy rain that lashed parts of Saurashtra region appears to have caused considerable damage to the cotton growers as the rainfall will have adverse impact on the quality of the cotton.

Unseasonal rainfall will play spoilsport for the crops, especially cotton.

As per Latest Bharat Wala who is president of Saurashtra Ginners Association that represents 540 ginning units in the region, said that, “The rainfall will have reverse impact on quality of cotton production. We are getting reports of impact of rainfall on cotton from various parts of the region. As of now, we can't say exactly but I am afraid the quality will suffer a lot after this rain," said Wala. He said the region produces 70 per cent of total cotton in the state and that is why the rain was causing worry to farmers and ginners in the region. "It is expected that 1.30 lakh bales of cotton will be produced in the state in this season”

Rainfall was reported in Bhavnagar District, Amreli District and Junagadh Districts. According to district flood control room officials, in Amreli district, Savarkundla received 56 mm rainfall, Khambha received 55 mm, Dhari received 41 mm, Jafrabad received 45 mm, Amreli 25 mm, Liliya 24 mm and Babra received 11 mm rainfall. Apart from Amreli district, parts of Junagadh district, mostly coastal areas, received significant rainfall. Officials said that Una received 44 mm rainfall, Talala (19 mm) Kodinar (57 mm), Keshod (13 mm), (15 mm) and MangrolSutrapada received 14 mm rainfall.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Junagadh News – Amitabh Bachchan in Rangoli this Diwali

This Diwali, Amitabh Bachchan was in Rangoli in Junagadh City by one Kathiyavadi.
Just Watch this video, to know how it can be possible.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Choki Sorath Police Training Academy Junagadh District News Gujarat India

13,000 constables and 868 sub-inspectors are being hired but four training academies can only support 1,640 personnel at a time.

The sudden recruitment of police personnel in the state on a large scale has left the police training departments in a fix as they have neither the capacity nor adequate trainers to manage it. The drive has also resulted in delaying the recruitment of sub-inspectors.

The four police training institutes in the state — Gujarat State Police Training Academy at Karai in Gandhinagar, Police Training Academy at Vadodara, at Police Training CollegeJunagadh City and SRP Training Centre also at Choki Sorath in Junagadh District — have a total capacity to accommodate only 1,640 police personnel while the drive is for recruiting 13,000 constables and 868 sub-inspectors.

Sudhir Sinha, ADGP (Law and Order), said: “Over 16,000 police personnel need to be trained this time, which is the case of the largest recruitment drive ever undertaken in one season. The institutes have a limited capacity and do not even have enough trainers.”

Sinha added: “Sensing the crunch, the state police has decided to postpone the recruitment of sub-inspectors, which was to take place by April-end. Now, it will be conducted six months later.

The candidates would be distributed among all the four institutes whose capacity would be possibly doubled. But it has not been decided as to how to manage the shortage of trainers.”

The first group of constables to undergo training would be SRPF recruits, who would be appointed by July. They will undergo eight months of training starting next month. This will be followed by other constables, who would be given four months of training.

Rajnish Rai, the principal of the SRP Police Training Centre at Choki Sorath, said: “We have not been told how the recruits would be accommodated. Candidates could possibly be sent out of Gujarat for training. But that depends on the permission. We were in a crunch situation last year also when more than 5,000 SRPF candidates were sent for training.”

Sources said some candidates may be sent out of Gujarat for training, but premier training institutes for NSG and BSF would not take more than four to five personnel from Gujarat at a time. In order to train all the recruits, the training period may be shortened, said sources.

The Karai Training Institute has been facing trainer crunch for a long time. Earlier also, the institute had to rope in retired servicemen for the work.

The state government had put a freeze on police recruitment in 1990, which had left 20,000 posts vacant last year.

The Gujarat Police have a sanctioned strength of 75,000 personnel.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Talala Gir Forest Junagadh District - mild tremor experienced

At 16th May – 2010, mild tremor was experienced in Gir Forest in Junagadh District.

Junagadh District Collector A M Parmar said that, "The tremor measuring 2.9 on Richter scale was experienced this afternoon but no casualties was reported.”

According to the official, the epicenter of the tremor was 50 kms north of Talala Gir Town in the district, where the Famous Gir Lion Sanctuary is located.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mendarda Taluka Check Dam Junagadh District Water Problem News Gujarat India

In this Junagadh District, water is available in plenty. Eleven years ago, people of Jamka village constructed 55 Check Dams without seeking any help from the Gujarat Government; today, they are functioning without any snag.

Even as water crisis looms large in the region and sowing has reduced to half this summer in Saurashtra, farmers of Jamka village in Mendarda taluka of Junagadh district are busy cultivating millet, pulses, sesame and sugarcane over one lakh hectares.

The village has recorded 100 per cent cultivation this season. This is because water is available in bore wells to irrigate fields. “Water is available at just 40-50 feet depth in bore wells.

Most of the bore wells in the village are active and there is no water shortage,” said village sarpanch Purshottam Sidhpara.
Besides, the water level in the two bore wells constructed by the nagarpalika to supply drinking water is quite high.

When many parts of Saurashtra are reeling under scarcity, Jamka village is somewhat unimpacted, thanks to the hard work the villagers did 11 years ago. Mansukh Suvagiya, a farmer-turned-industrialist in Saurashtra, had then come up with a design of a small dam.

He had convinced the villagers to build such dams on their own, with no help from the government.
A fund of Rs 45 lakh was raised by villagers for construction of small dams. In the summer of 1999, as many as 55 dams and five ponds were constructed in the village that has a population of little over 3,000. When it rained that year, the water level came up because of the check dams and the ponds, and the village could overcome the drought situation it had been facing for five years.

The water table in the area rose from 500-600 feet to 40-50 feet. The villagers said the level has been like that ever since.
The drive by the villagers became such a success that the Gujarat government, considering it a model measure to deal with drought, introduced check dam scheme across the state and decided to fund 60 per cent of the total expenses.

Suvagiya, who runs Jal Kranti Trust, said: “Even then, we were quite clear that it is our problem and we will solve it ourselves. For the same reason, the villagers agreed not to seek government help.” The 55 check dams built then are perfect in design and are functioning even after 11 years.

“The villagers were involved in each and every aspect of constructing the check dam as they wanted their money to be used for the right cause. And that is the reason why we have check dams of such good quality,” said Chunibhai Sidhpara, a villager.

Even today, the village has a committee to keep an eye on the maintenance of check dams and ponds. “A regular follow up is required to check for leaks or any other damage to the dams,” said Sidhpara.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Gir National Park Forest Department Junagadh District News – NIFT Design Uniforms

The new uniforms will have camouflage patterns with anti-bacterial finishing; may take over two months to come.

Over 400 field staff manning the Brihud (Greater) Gir National Park and Sanctuary in Junagadh District will soon have chic and comfortable uniforms designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Ahmedabad. The new uniforms will be of camouflage patterns with anti-bacterial finishing.

A three-member committee comprising Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife Crime Cell) D K Sharma, Gujarat Medicinal Plant Board CEO S C Pant and NIFT director will supervise the plan.

Associate Professor Vishal Gupta of NIFT-Fashion Designer, said: “NIFT did a survey on women beat guards and found that they prefer trousers. Our aim is to make the uniform more comfortable for them as they are on duty for over 12 hours every day. The fabric remains the same i e Polyester Viscose.

But it will now have an anti-bacterial finish and crotch guard, so that it is comfortable as well as rough and rough.”

There are some small modifications suggested in the prototype presented before the committee, D K Sharma said.

“Earlier, there were no bags or pockets. It became arduous and uneasy for the foresters to handle the burden all the time. The new uniforms have been designed keeping all these factors into account. There is a small rucksack so that the officers can carry their water bottles, wireless and other important accessories at work,” he added.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Administration, Pradeep Khanna said: “The prototype will be shown to the field staff, and then we will decide if the uniform is suitable for them. This might take two months or more.”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kodinar Junagadh District News – Shilpa Vala Volleyball Master from Saurashtra

When the nearly six-feet-tall Shilpa Vala catches a flight to Kuala Lumpur to represent India in the Asian Youth Girls Championships starting on May 20, she will become only the second girl from Gujarat to represent the country in volleyball.

But in Kodinar Town, her small hometown in Junagadh District, people may not be surprised. Volleyball runs in her genes. So much so that her four other sisters too play competitive volleyball. Shilpa's younger sister Geeta is a blocker.

She didn't make the cut for Kuala Lumpur, but is among the standbys. Elder sisters Shobhna (now working in a private firm in Junagadh) and Varsha have represented Gujarat. The youngest, Chetna, has already played two sub-junior nationals. In fact, when Gujarat beat Himachal Pradesh to win the gold at the National School Games near Gwalior in 2007, the entire team comprised of the Vala sisters. Varsha, Geeta and Shilpa teamed up with their cousins Parita, Nehal and Alpa. Shilpa's uncle and Parita's father Varjagha Vala was the coach. Despite the natural talent, life has not been easy for the Vala sisters as their father Maraman Vala, a small farmer, could barely make ends meet. Besides, their conservative Rajput community did not appreciate women playing competitive sport. "People would gossip behind our backs about the short dresses we wore while playing volleyball," Shilpa says.

"Who will marry these girls, they would ask. How can their parents let them stay away from home for days together? There was also fear of our family being boycotted. But our parents only encouraged us."

"Though I am not well-educated, I knew my daughters would do well if they studied and played hard. So I decided to support them," says Vala who arrived at the Sports Authority of India centre in Gandhinagar on Tuesday to see his daughters at a camp held there.

The achievements of the girls have brought more acceptances for the family. "People come to meet us and ask about our experiences. Volleyball is very popular in our village so some even come for training. Things are changing," says Shilpa.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Visavadar Taluka Junagadh District News – Eleven black bucks found dead

Eleven black bucks were today found dead on the outskirts of Gir Forest area in Visavadar Taluka in Junagadh District of Gujarat. Forest officials are trying to ascertain the cause of the deaths.

They suspect that this could be due to some kind of poisoning of the water nearby.
"Carcasses of 11 black bucks were found in the revenue area of Visavadar taluka," Range Forest Officer, Junagadh District, Sudhir Chaturvedi.

"These were found at five different places near the border of Kanavadla and Nana Hadmatiya villages. Three of the black bucks were males and eight were females," he said.

All the carcasses have been sent for post-mortem and forest officials are trying to identify the cause behind the death of these animals, he added.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kesar Mango Keri – The real taste of Mango

With a rich haul of Kesar mangoes, the Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation has decided to brand the fruit nationally. Production of the fruit is estimated to cross 10 lakh tonnes this season.

The Junagadh Agriculture University and the GAIC have estimated the production of Kesar at 10 lakh tonnes, which is more than three times the production registered last year.
The Corporation is also planning to certify naturally ripened Kesar mangoes and build Brand Kesar to market the fruit nationally as well as internationally.

As part of the Corporation’s efforts to distribute the fruit nationally, 50,000 boxes of Kesar will be transported to the Delhi Haat for display and sale.

“The sale of Kesar Keri is the highest in Ahmedabad City. People in Delhi are hardly aware of the taste of the mango. An effort will be made to popularize the fruit by encouraging people to taste the fruit. No one can resist the taste. We are confident that they will keep coming back for more,” said D Thara, Managing Director of the GAIC.

The GAIC is also in touch with the National Horticulture Board Gurgaon. The Board has tie-ups with several malls in Delhi. The mangoes will be distributed through these malls.
Once the fruit gains popularity in Delhi, it will be then distributed across six major cities including Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata.

Thara said that to get certification, the fruits will have to meet the standards prescribed for organic mangoes.

The managing director said the production of mango has been good due to good weather. “We have decided to export Kesar Mangoes in a big way.

We have invited the opinion of traders regarding possible markets where the fruits can be sold. We have a rich tradition to live up to. Gujarat will turn 50 on May 1 but the Kesar is 75 years old. We will celebrate its diamond jubilee with passion.”

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sasan Gir National Park Sanctuary

Last but not the least is the people's participation that was given credit for the spectacular increase in the population. "We got the maximum of people's participation in the census process this time. Lots and lots of volunteers had joined the exercise," the forest department stated.

Be that as it may, the main functionaries in lion conservation are the residents of the surrounding villages, who do not flinch when a lion kills their livestock. How possessive the villagers are about the lions is evident from this incident of 2007.

Soon after the poaching incidents in 2007, the forest department was seeking help from the villagers for better protection of the lions. The villagers said they would help the department only if it promised that it would not take away any of the lions (meaning, the relocation proposal of the central government).

"'You do not worry about the lions preying on our livestock that is our internal issue. The lions are part of our family; we can deal with them. But don't take them away,' the villagers told me. I was totally impressed by their humane legacy," Modi said.

Much as the king of the jungle gets the lion's share of attention, one should not overlook the other wildlife which keeps the ecosystem robust. Principal Secretary, department of environment and forests, Gujarat, SK Nanda said all volunteers had reported sighting large numbers of sambars, retells and porcupines. "The population of Sambar is estimated to be around 48,000, there are 250 leopards in the Gir Jungle and 1,070 all over Gujarat," he said.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Narendra Modi Interview – About Asiatic Lions Census Method at Sasan Gir National Park

Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modisaid the world should notice the scientific approach used in the lion census by Gujarat State this time. "Institutes should conduct a scientific study of this method and get it replicated in other wildlife censuses too," he added.

He said that, earlier, the census was carried out in a rather arbitrary manner, seeking input from passers-by about lion sightings and estimating their population on the basis of attacks made on other animals. But this time, the method used was technologically very robust.

According to the information given by the department, the special features of the latest census were the use of GIS, GPS and wireless technologies for effective coordination. Proper documentation was done for each observation. Through direct sighting, the animals were identified by distinct body-marks.

Each team involved in the census was to record these body-marks and other details such as time of the sighting, to and fro directional movement, etc, on a form prepared by the forest department. Digital pictures were also taken for the records.

Summer is the best time to conduct this exercise as the number of water resources gets restricted. Lions and other wild animals need to drink at least once in 24 hours. This makes it comparatively easy to decide the places in the jungle where the animals could collect.

The available water sources and probable places where the lions could visit were surveyed during the forest department's nine-month-long pre-census exercise.

"Long ranging animals like lions are not confined to man-made ecological boundaries. Keeping this in mind, a beat was decided as the smallest geographical unit inside the Gir protected area and a village was taken as the smallest unit outside Gir Jungle," chief wildlife warden RV Asari said.

The exercise to record the numbers and movement of the lions had begun nine months back. Based on the observations made during this period, 641 probable sites were identified where the chances of finding the lions were the highest. Also, data of the hunts of the last 10 years were analyzed. Gir National Park and the adjoining areas were divided into seven regions, 28 zones, and 100 sub-zones for the census.

At the last count, 135 officers, 450 enumerators, 900 assistants, 134 volunteers, 49 photographers, 13 doctors and 12 researchers were part of the census team.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Junagadh News – Amreli is rival as host of lions in Gujarat

Gujarat's Junagadh District seems to getting tough competition from Amreli District, a neighboring district, as a host of the coveted Asiatic lions. As many as 108 lions have been sighted in Amreli which is second only to Junagadh City where 270 have been recorded.

Incidentally, the Gir National Park and Sanctuary is located in Junagadh.
While Bhavnagar's grasslands are emerging as a favorite of the king of the jungle, not a single lion has been recorded in Porbandar district.

The latest census has reported the existence of 77 cubs less than one year old, and 75 cubs aged less than three. "40% of the lion population is 'youth', similar to India's human population," Modi quipped as he announced the census results on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rajkot Junagadh Amreli District Received Untimely Rain Hailstones

Amid the heat wave in the state, some parts of Saurashtra, including Rajkot District, Junagadh District and Amreli District, received untimely showers and hailstones on Thursday late evening.

While roads in Jetpur City in Rajkot District were covered by hailstones, traffic was disturbed in Dhoraji City following uprooting of trees on the state highway.
The fall of hailstones, which lasted nearly half an hour on Thursday, took the Jetpur City residents by surprise.

The fall of the hailstones brought down the temperature in the town which was reeling under the scorching heat of 41 to 42 degree Celsius. Jamkandrona, also in Rajkot district, also saw fall of hailstones.
Following the high speed wind and showers, many trees were reportedly uprooted on the state highway between Dhoraji and Jamkandorna.

According to the district police control room, it took a couple of hours to move the uprooted trees and clear the road for traffic on the highway.
According to Met department reports, several villages in Jamkandorna, Jetpur and Dhoraji talukas received 0.5 to 0.75 inch rainfall.

Bagasara Town in Amreli district also received showers along with high-speed wind. Following a heavy shower, the roads in the town were flooded with water. Besides, Dhari and Kukavav in Junagadh District also received a sharp spell of showers.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sasan Gir National Park News - Asiatic Lion Census Completed

The four-day exercise to count the number of Asiatic Lions at its only abode in the Gir Forest in Junagadh District Saurashtra region of Gujarat concluded.

Officials engaged in the census, refused to be drawn into the number game till all reports were cross-checked and tabulations completed, but preliminary information indicate a steady rise in the lion population in “Greater Gir,” including areas outside the Gir National Park where lions have strayed into lately.

Forest department sources said the lion population could have increased to 390 to 400 despite incidents of poaching and natural deaths during the last five years. In the last census, held in 2005, the count was put at 359 (plus minus 10).

The final result is expected to be announced on the Gujarat Foundation Day at 1st May - 2010.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Junagadh Agriculture University JAU - Two News Varieties of Groundnut

There is good news for farmers in the drought-prone Gujarat. Junagadh Agriculture University(JAU) scientists have developed two new varieties of groundnut — one for Kharif Crops and other for summer season. Both varieties promise to give better yield per hectare leading to reduced consumption of water, pesticides and fertilizers.

The varieties, named as Groundnut-9 and GG-31, were cleared by the Agriculture Research and Extension Council, the apex body in the state in agricultural research, at a recent meet held at JAU. At the meet, attended by leading scientists and top officials of all the four agriculture universities, including Junagadh Agriculture University Vice Chancellor N C Patel and Anand Agriculture University Vice Chancellor M C Vaishnav, 16 new varieties of various crops including sesame, millet, brinjal, turmeric and chilly were introduced.

Following the clearance to new varieties by the apex body, the two seeds will now be taken for multiplication by the university and in a year’s time they will be available in the market.

R L Savaliya, Director, Education department at JAU, said that Groundnut-9 is a Kharif variety which can give a yield of 1,632 kg per hectare. The three sub-varieties of Groundnut-9, including JG2, JG5 and JG7, give 30 per cent, 20.5 per cent and 15.5 per cent higher yield. It also gives higher kernel yield and has better oil percentage. Besides, it is tolerant to stem rot decease and pests like Gassid Thrises.

The second variety that has also got clearance from the apex body is a special summer variety – GG-31 – that gives 36.9 per cent higher yield. It has showed superiority in the quality of pod and kernel. This variety has been recommended for summer season because of is higher resistance to Gassid Thrises, halophiles and incidences of bud necrosis.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Junagadh Ahmedabad Rajkot Surat Vapi Cities Pollution Gujarat India

According to a recent report on pollution, Gujarat State - the second most polluted state in India after Uttar Pradesh - has nine places including Ankleshwar City, Vapi City, Vatva Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad City, Bhavnagar City, Junagadh City, Vadodara City, Rajkot City and Surat City which figure in the "severe level of pollution" areas.

And climatologists say that the rising level of pollution is becoming one of the key factors that affects climate variability and occurrence of extreme weather conditions like heat waves and heavy rainfall, in Gujarat. Rising temperature in the state is one of the major concerns that Gujarat State is facing right now, data collected by the city's India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows.

Meteorological records compiled over the past 40 years by IMD notes that the majority of the trends which include increase in frequency of heat wave conditions, both seasonal and annual, showed increasing levels in temperature.

The results of an in-depth-study conducted by IMD reveal that Gujarat showed a significant increase in minimum temperature during winter and annual mean temperature of Gujarat as a whole has also increased.

The IMD had gridded data of minimum temperatures over entire Gujarat during the period 1969 to 2005 and the results show an increasing trend of normal temperatures increasing by 0.107 degree Celsius during the past 40 years.

North and south Gujarat were analyzed separately and in general the rise in temperature was found to be highest in Saurashtra and Kutch, as compared to the north. And this conclusion becomes clear when the recent report of the most polluted spots shows that nine regions in Gujarat have reached a critical level of pollution.

"Pollutions certainly affecting and supporting rising temperature," confirms Dr. Kamaljit Ray, director of IMD, Ahmedabad. "Pollution certainly can be one of the prime factors for this temperature increase. Due to pollution, there are more gases in the air which trap more heat and the greenhouse affect keeps multiplying," adds Ray.

IMD's research notes that while frequency of heat waves conditions is on the increase, cold wave conditions have decreased drastically over the past decades.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Asiatic Lions Census India – 200 cameras for Sasan Gir National Park

The 13th Asiatic Lion Population Estimates 2010 will begin on April 24 in Greater Gir Sanctuary, which includes Gir National Park and Sanctuary. The area is spread in four - Junagadh Districts, Amreli Districts, Bhavnagar Districts and Porbandar Districts.

Principal sectary forest and environment department SK Nanda informed the media on Tuesday that the population estimates this time will be different from the earlier exercises.

"For the first time, we are using 100 GPS equipment, 200 cameras and 100 special camera teams for making an accurate documentation of the lions and keeping the exercise error free.

Another first is that the exercise will also incorporate Greater Gir," Nanda said and added that the many non-forest staff as ex-government officials, doctors, journalists, nature lovers would participate in the exercise.

"We have identified 450 locations in the Greater Gir area where enumerators will take estimate of the lions," he said.

Giving details of schedule, Pradeep Khanna, PCCF, Gujarat, said the exercise will start on April 24 and continue till April 27.The findings will be announced on April 29. "About 1,600 people will take part in the survey, out of which 100 will be volunteers," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, senior IFS officer RV Asari, the nodal officer for the survey, said, in order to make a comprehensive survey, the Greater Gir Jungle area has been divided into seven regions, 28 zones and 100 sub-zones.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sasan Gir National Park Gujarat Looking at return of Asiatic Cheetah

Gujarat State is willing to examine the remote possibility of the almost extinct Asiatic cheetah being reintroduced into its old home in the state, an official said Tuesday.

Pradeep Khanna, principal chief conservator of forests, while admitting in reply to a question that the possibility was remote, was nevertheless willing to examine the feasibility of such a move.

“Like Gujarat is the sole abode of the Asiatic Lion in the world, Iran is the only place where the Asiatic cheetah now survives. And it is critically endangered with less than 100 of them left,” he added.

Khanna said that the chances of Iran agreeing to part with any of its specimen of this carnivore were very remote. “We have four of the African variety in the Sakkarbaug Zoo Junagadh City but have had no success in breeding them in captivity,” he added.

Khanna said that for the very reason that the state was opposed to parting with the Asiatic lions for the proposed Kuno-Palpur Sanctuary Madhya Pradesh.

“While lions would never thrive in the proposed Madhya Pradesh sanctuary, we would like to study and survey, even involve the wildlife institute in it before arriving at some conclusion on a tiger reserve. Dangs in Gujarat was tiger country but these animals perished over time,” he said.

“So we need to address the reasons that caused their disappearance and remove them before we initiate any move afresh to bring them back,” he added.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Somnath Mandir Gujarat India – with wireless surveillance system

Gujarat State Police has allotted Rs 50 lakh for purchase and implement a wireless surveillance system on the Somnath Mandir Coastal Area.

The system once installed would keep vigil over five nautical mile coast from Somnath Mandir. Gujarat Police Chief S.S.Khandwawala, Coast Guard (Gujarat) Chief Satyakumar Sharma, DIG Pravin Sinha and District Chief of police from Junagadh District, Porbandar District and Amreli District took a glance of system in Junagadh City where cameras were put at five places for demonstration.

Gujarat State Police Chief Khandwawala briefed the reporters that this system would connect all 26 police stations of Junagadh State. After planting such cameras on all main roads of the district, the police would be able to trace suspects from Somnath Temple to Junagadh.

Khandwawala said the district of Junagadh has been selected as model district and Rs 50 lakh are to be allotted for that.

Khandwawala and state Coast Guard Chief Satyakumar Sharma took area survey of Junagadh district’s coastal areas from Keshod Town. They also visited Somnath.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Asiatic Lions Population Sasan Gir Jungle Junagadh District Gujarat India

The suspense that has built up over the last five years over the lion population in Sasan Gir Jungle will end within 72 hours of April 24, when the scheduled Asiatic Lions census in the region begins. But the exact number by which the population of the Asiatic Lions in Gir Wildlife Forest has risen will be known only on May 1, when Gujarat turns 50 as an independent state.

The census will be carried out by a team of 1,300 volunteers who will be joined by senior state foresters and big cat experts drawn from all over the country.
Spotting the lion king was never easy but foresters are hoping that technology will come to their aid this time.

This is the first time that the lion census is being conducted on such a massive scale over a large area and much more scientifically than in previous years.
The laborers, forest staff and volunteers involved in the census will fan out over 300 beats carved out of a 5,000 sq km area called the Greater Gir.

Seven regions were identified; these were then divided into zones, sub-zones and beats.
This is also the first time that the ‘Greater Gir’ region which includes areas in – Amreli Districts, Junagadh Districts, Bhavnagar Districts and Porbandar Districts- is to be covered for the census. Earlier, it was restricted to the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary spread over an area of 1,412 sq km.

The inclusion of other areas for the census is a restrained admission by the establishment that the lion habitat has now expanded much beyond the sanctuary area.
The majestic beast is now steadily reclaiming its traditional corridor all the way from Porbandar to Bhavnagar.

The last lion census of 2005, which stated that the lion population in the Gir sanctuary was 359, was conducted by identification of pug marks.
This time the methodology of ‘direct sighting’ will be used. Under this method, specific body marks will be identified and uploaded into the GPS device carried by each team. This data will be available to all other teams simultaneously.

“It will reduce redundancies to a great extent, but not completely,” said principal chief conservator of forests, Pradip Khanna. Ironically, it might be relatively easier to enumerate the lion king in summer as they tend to hover close to the water holes because of the heat.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Property Cards Gujarat – Junagadh Ahmedabad Surat Rajkot Vadodara News

The Gujarat State Government has started a pilot project in seven municipal corporations of the state under which, from May 2010, all registration of new property will be done only through ‘property cards’. The seven municipal corporations chosen for the project, named Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Surat Municipal Corporation, Rajkot Municipal Corporation, Vadodara Municipal Corporation, Jamnagar Municipal Corporation, Junagadh Municipal Corporation and Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation.

It may be recalled that, in December 2009, the state government had decided to make use of ‘property cards’ mandatory for authenticating the ownership of property in urban areas. It had also announced that all property ownership records in the urban areas would be converted into property cards.

The government was forced to take this decision because of illegal use of the ‘7/12 forms’ - a document used to decide ownership of agricultural land - in authenticating ownership of property in urban areas.

Much of the land and property in today’s urban areas was once rural property for which the ‘7/12 forms’ were sufficient. But use of the ‘7/12 forms’ became illegal once they were declared to be urban property. A senior officer in the state revenue department said the project to convert all ‘7/12 form records’ into ‘property cards’ was nearly over in AMC areas.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Saurashtra Kutch News – about Narmada Water Pipelines

With soaring temperature, water looks a distant mirage in Saurashtra and Kutch where many villages and small towns are reeling under acute water shortage for want of connectivity with Narmada Canal Water Pipelines.

While the state government claims to have supplied Narmada pipeline water to 10,000-odd villages and more than 100 cities, Amreli City, Junagadh City, Bhavnagar City and Surendranagar City, Morbi City and Kutch are getting water supply only once in four or 10 days.

"If some areas are hit by water scarcity, we will do our best to supply water there through pipelines. In fact, the administration has already been instructed to take necessary steps to ensure adequate water supply in those areas. That apart, collectors of several districts hit by water paucity have been instructed to ensure fodder supply for animal husbandry in the affected areas to be made available at cheaper rates from the forest department," said State Revenue Minister Anandiben Patel.

According to Gujarat State Water Resources Minister Nitin Patel, 1,100 cusec water is released on daily basis in Narmada canal to meet the requirement of Saurashtra and Kutch. "It is true that most of the reservoirs are drying up. Whatever water left in them has been conserved for drinking purpose. Yet, we are trying to find other alternative means to upgrade water supply in the affected areas. The alternative means could be repairing of hand pumps and sending water tankers," Patel said.

The water reservoirs report inadequate water level as the state registered only 76 per cent rain fall last year. After the last year monsoon, the water level in reservoirs was measured only 50 per cent, following which, the government ordered that the water in reservoirs be kept reserved for potable water. At present, there is only 24 per cent water left in 195 reservoirs across the state, which, it is feared, may not last till June 25.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Junagadh Forest Department News Tourism Gujarat India

Junagadh Forest Department has created new Trackers party to deal with issues pertaining to lions outside the Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary area.

Last month, locals of Mandanpara and Chorvadi villages near Bilkha Taluka killed a lion in self defense. On the backdrop of this incident, the forest department decided to extend its supervision also in non-forest area around Gir Jungle.

Trackers party will build relation with the village people settled around forest area. There would also be an information mechanism.

Junagadh’s CCF Sudhir Chaturvedi has appointed RFO Dipak Pandya to lead trackers party. In its first success, the trackers party relocated a 6-ft-crocodile from Sodavadar village to Willingdon Dam.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mango Productions Junagadh Ahmedabad News Gujarat India

Gujarat State may clinch the pole position in mango production this year edging past Andhra Pradesh.

Hopeful of clinching the top spot, Gujarat Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani said: “There will be a bumper mango production in Gujarat this year. Five years ago, Gujarat was in sixth position.
Last year, we were in second spot. We hope to emerge first in mango production in the country this year.” Sanghani said: “The average mango productivity in India is 17 tonnes per hectare of land. Last year, Gujarat’s productivity was 24 tonnes per hectare. This year, it can go up to 26 tonnes per hectare and we may emerge first in mango production in India.” According to reports, mango harvest will be poor in Andhra Pradesh this year. This summer, Amdavadis will have the privilege of savouring cheaper Kesar mangoes longer.

Thanks to its bumper harvest. Bolstered by additional flowerings, green Kesar mangoes have hit the city almost a month in advance. Its ripe variety will be flooding the city fruit shops from next week. They will be available at least till the first week of July and at a comparatively cheaper price due to 30 per cent surge in production.
At present, around 30,000 boxes, each weighing 10 kg, of green Kesar mangoes grown in Junagadh City are arriving at Naroda fruit market every day.

Ahmedabad City Fruit Wholesalers’ Association president Laxmandas Rohra said: “This year, Kesar mangoes have reached the city a month in advance. Now 30,000 boxes of green mangoes, each priced between Rs 250 and Rs 300, are reaching the city. A week on, 1 lakh boxes of ripe Kesar mangoes will arrive in Ahmedabad daily and its price will go down.”

Usually green Kesar mangoes surface in city markets in the last week of April. But this year, they are available aplenty from April first week. Scientists are attributing Kesar mangoes’ advance arrival to early and additional flowering.

Usually there are two flowerings of Kesar mangoes in a season. But this year four flowerings have been reported.
Research scientist at Junagadh Agriculture University Dr RR Viradiya said: “The four flowerings were due to global climate change.

The first flowering took place 15 days in advance. So, Kesar mangoes were visible in the market early.”
Viradiya added, “The season of Kesar mangoes used to last 45 days five years ago. This year, the season will double up to 90 days. The harvest will be also be 30 per cent more than last year due to multiple flowerings.” Former vice-chancellor of Junagadh Agriculture University KB Kikani said: “There has been a change in flowering pattern of Kesar mangoes this season. The last flowering was late. So, the season of Kesar mangoes will last longer.”

An officer in agriculture director’s office in Gandhinagar City said Junagadh produces maximum Kesar mangoes in the state.
Kesar Keri are grown on 17,000 hectares of land in Junagadh. Its average annual production is 90,000 metric tonnes. It may go up to 1 lakh metric tonnes this year,” he said.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur Ahmedabad Junagadh News Gujarat India

As school-going kids and living in the walled city, the Shaikh brothers used to often pass by the 200-year-old Swaminarayan Temple Kalupur Ahmedabad, not knowing that years later they would be telling the story of the sect’s founder in ‘3D’ technology.

In the first of its kind stereoscopic 3D film, Ahmedabad-based Mohammad Naim Shaikh, a graduate from National Institute of Design (NID), and Mohammad Nadeem Shaikh, an architect, have depicted the birth, transformation, life and learning of Swaminarayan Bhagwan in a 20-minute film to be released on May 1, marking 50 years of the foundation of Gujarat. The film is made by MSquare, the firm launched by the brothers two years ago.

The film — ‘Sahajanand’ — is directed by Praful Kharsani of PK Films, an Ahmedabad-based production house of Gujarati films.

Claimed to be the first initiative of its kind in the country, this film has been shot by S3D cameras. “Though there have been a few projects in the country using stereoscopic technology, they are all imported technology. For this film, we have customized most of the equipment and cameras. For editing we are using licensed version of software,” says Naim.

The film, which is in the post production stage right now, will be screened as part of the 20-day-long idol installation ceremony at the newly-constructed Swaminarayan temple Bhuj through a special projection installation, where close to 30 lakh devotees from across the world are expected to visit.

“Prafulbhai was exploring the idea of how the story of Swaminarayan Bhagwan can be told in a different and more interesting way. He visited Mumbai after which he learnt of the work I had been doing in the virtual 3D field. This 3D motion film is the first such project for us,” said Naim, who was a consultant with NID on the designing of Mumbai’s Monorail project.

As a part of the research, they visited various Swaminarayan temples, read the stories, talked to devotees about costumes, set and found the perfect setting in Junagadh City Districts Villages. “What we really liked about the sect is their teaching method, which includes aspects of many religious groups,” says Nadeem.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Kesar Mango Talala Gir Junagadh District News Gujarat India

A Major mango feast is in the offing for fruit lovers in the region due to an early arrival of the Kesar Keri variety coupled with a bumper crop this season.

This year’s first auction of the fruit began at the Talala Marketing Yard on Tuesday (April 6), which is generally held in May.

According to experts, the season is likely to last till June and rates may also come down as the yield is reported to be 15 per cent more than the last two years.

On the first day of the auction, 8,400 boxes (each weighing 10 kg) arrived from various villages in the Gir region of Junagadh district.

The minimum rate for 10 kg was Rs 150 — nearly Rs 100 less than the previous year.
Sadarsinh Chauhan, a member of the Talala Marketing Yard, said: “The weather was perfect this time, as a result of which the fruit has arrived early and in a large quantity. The first lot has arrived with that of hafoos.”

Last season, the marketing yard had auctioned over six lakh boxes, which is expected to increase significantly this year. “Initial trend indicates there will be 15 per cent more yield this season. On the first day itself there were 300 more boxes,” said yard chairman Chagan Kansagra.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Siddi Tribe Sasan Gir National Park History Junagadh Gujarat India

The men folk of African primitive tribe Siddi, who were brought here as slaves by the Portuguese, are being trained to become eco-guides of the Asiatic lions last abode -- Gir Sanctuary -- by the Gujarat State Government.

This is a part of the project initiated by the state Tribal Development department in order to improve livelihood, housing, access to safe drinking water and electricity, increase literacy, health facilities and roads to the five major Primitive Tribal Groups (PTG) of Gujarat, namely Kolgha, Kathodi, Kotwalia, Padhar and Siddi.

"Looking at the concentration of Siddi tribe near the Gir Forests in Junagadh District, we thought of training them to become eco-guides, which will help them take advantage of the growing eco-tourism in the state, especially around Gir Forest region," Secretary, Tribal Development A M Tiwari.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bhuj Bhavnagar Junagadh Ahmedabad Summer Temperature News Gujarat India

Current spell of heat wave is not expected to last long; situation may improve by March 20 Several parts of the state have been reeling under intense heat wave for the last two days, with the maximum temperature going as high as 43 degree Celsius.

On Thursday, Deesa in North Gujarat remained the hottest at 43 degree Celsius, followed by Vadodara City in Central Gujarat at 42.7 degree Celsius, Bhuj City42.6 degree Celsius, Junagadh City and Ahmedabad City 42.5 degree Celsius and Bhavnagar City recording 41 degree Celsius.

State capital Gandhinagar City, known for its greenery, recorded a maximum temperature of 41.4 degree Celsius.

Temperatures recorded in the last two days have been surprisingly high considering the fact that the average maximum temperature during March in Gujarat remains between 36 and 38 degree Celsius.

With the mercury remaining five to six degrees above normal, meteorologists and weather experts say it has resulted in heat waves.

The coastal region has, however, remained relatively less hot, with Okha recording a maximum temperature of 30.3 degree Celsius and Veraval City 33.3 degree Celsius.

According to meteorologists, a hot advection in the deserts of the north-western region coupled with anti-cyclonic circulation over the state has increased temperatures much above normal.
Senior meteorologists at the Meteorological Department said that anti-cyclonic circulation has added to the heat wave condition.

Prof P K Sahoo, Agriculture Meteorologist at the Junagadh Agriculture University(JAU), said it is because of the low atmospheric pressure over Gujarat that the hot north-westerly winds from the desert are coming to the region, causing a sudden rise in the temperature.

He said global warming is certainly to be blamed for the general rise in temperature, but whether it is due to any climatic change is a matter of study and research.

The current spell of heat wave is, however, not expected to last long.

Manorama Mohanty, a meteorologist said, the conditions will improve after March 20, as the north-westerly winds will subside by that time.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rajkot Junagadh Kutch Porbandar Water Shortage Summer News Gujarat India

Cultivation area for summer crops like sesame and pulses has shrunk by 1 lakh hectares.

The Saurashtra region and Kutch region, which is reeling under a drinking water scarcity, is now facing the problem of unavailability of irrigation water, leaving the farmers high and dry.

The total cultivation area for summer crops like sesame, pulses, millet and groundnut has shrunk by one lakh hectares, implying the yield will go down by at least 50 per cent.

Sowing in — Rajkot District, Jamnagar District, Junagadh District, Amreli District, Surendranagar District, Porbandar District, Bhavnagar District and Kutch District — has been over. The total cultivation area has touched the 1.62 lakh hectare mark, nearly 1 lakh hectare less than the previous year. Last year, the cultivation area for the main summer crops remained around 2.64 lakh hectares.

Bhartiya Kisan Sangh Secretary Laxman Patolia said: “Water is not available to the farmers either through bore wells or the pipeline supply. Farmers cannot even think of sowing and cultivation.”

A senior agriculture department official said on condition of anonymity that the water crisis has led to a shrinking of the area under cultivation.

“The farmers are going to miss one season. For the past 5-6 years, the rainfall had been good; the farmers could take summer crops also. But this is not the case this time, which means a big revenue loss for the agriculture sector,” Patolia added.

Sesame cultivation has been the worst affected. The sowing area has gone down by 67 per cent — from 63,772 to 21,077 hectares. In the last couple of years, sesame has emerged as one of the best cash crop for farmers in Gujarat. But this time, the water scarcity has changed the scenario a bit.

Junagadh City tops the list of areas under sesame cultivation at 6,785 hectares followed by JamnagarCity and Surendranagar City. These were the districts that received better rainfall.

In other districts, sesame sowing has remained between 500 and 1,500 hectares. Cultivation of black gram (urad dal) has gone down by 66 per cent — the sowing area has shrunk from 1,771 to 598 hectares. In case of groundnut, the sowing area has shrunk by 55 per cent.

The sowing of millet has been reduced by 15 per cent, from 17,592 to 15,094 hectares. In Junagadh and Surendranagar districts, millet has been sowed on 4,750 and 3,975 hectares, which were 6,785 and 5,550 hectares last year.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Junagadh Urban Development Authority Tourism News Gujarat India

In a state witnessing fast urbanisation, the Junagadh Urban Development Authority (JUDA), set up in July 2008, is yet to undertake even the basic exercises for town planning and expansion due to absence of technical staff.

Though the state government had appointed an executive officer in December 2009, the official is not in a position to start any project in the absence of town planner, surveyors, land record keeper, accountants and other supporting staff required for an urban development agency.

Junagadh City Local BJP MLA Mahendra Mashru said that Gujarat State Urban Development Minister Nitin Patel has promised him to appoint these staff and personnel as soon as possible. But Junagadh Deputy Mayor Girish Kotecha, a Congressman, said that so much delay in the appointments indicates step-motherly treatment meted out to the town located near Somnath Mandir and Gir National Park, the last habitat of Asiatic lions.

JUDA executive officer Jayesh Gadhia admitted that he alone could not undertake the works of an urban development agency. He said the government had sanctioned a total of 27 staff, including himself for JUDA but they were yet to be appointed. “I am hopeful that I will get my staff as early as possible,” he said.

While Patel refused to comment on the required appointments, saying, “it is JUDA chairman’s duty to arrange staff’’, Junagadh District Collector A R Parmar, who heads the Authority, said he was waiting for staff.

Kotecha said that against financial allocations of Rs 100 crore each for municipal corporations of Bhavnagar City and Jamnagar City for 2010-11, merely Rs 25 crore have been allocated for the JMC. He said the JMC, which came into being in 2004, required more funds for development to meet the requirements of lakhs of pilgrims visiting temples at nearby Girnar Hills every year.

The Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation, Jamnagar Municipal Corporation and Junagadh Municipal Corporation have 17 wards each and 51 corporators, with each ward electing three corporators. According to Kotecha, the areas on the outskirts of the city could be developed properly if JUDA began town planning schemes, with plans for roads and other amenities.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Solar Industry Ahmedabad Rajkot Junagadh Baroda Surat News Gujarat India

In a bid to boost use of clean energy, the Gujarat government is planning to frame guidelines for introduction of solar power lit billboards in the state, a top official said here today.

"We are thinking to introduce solar power lit billboards in seven big cities of the state to reduce consumption of energy generated from coal-fired power plants," Principal Secretary Forest and Environment S K Nanda said.

"The idea is to give a push to solar industry in the state," Nanda said, on the sidelines of a FICCI seminar.

Major cities like Ahmedabad City, Vadodara City, Surat City, Rajkot City, Jamnagar City, Junagadh City and Bhavnagar City are likely to be covered.

"With big-ticket advertising coming into play, especially after mega events like IPL, introduction of solar power lit billboards will be a feasible option to promote clean energy concepts," Nanda said.

Departments of Forest, Energy and Urban Development would meet soon to take this idea forward, he said adding, "A state-level steering committee could be set up to frame guidelines for this project."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Kesar Keri Talala Junagadh Amreli District News Gujarat India

Is the only agriculture product from Gujarat to get registered with Geographical Indication Registry?

Alike Darjeeling tea or Solapar chaddar, Kesar mango from Talala Gir will soon have its own identity.

The luscious fruit is all set for registration with the Geographical Indication Registry (GIR) of India, which conveys assurance of quality and distinctiveness — essentially attributed to the place of its origin in a defined geographical locality.

Kesar mango will be the first agricultural produce from Gujarat and the second mango variety in India (Dussheri from Uttar Pradesh being the first), to get this registration. Post-registration, villagers in a total of eight talukas across Junagadh Districts and Amreli districts in the periphery of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to reap the benefits of added value attached to their produce. Talala, Keshod, Vanthali, Una, Kodinar and Mangrol talukas are the main centers for Kesar in Junagadh district, while for Amreli; the centers are Dhari and Khambha.

Kesar Mango cultivation in Gir started about a century ago. In the past 100 years, the region has emerged as the hub of this fruit. Namely, the Gujarat government will bear all the registration charges for which the preparations are in the final stages by the Junagadh Agriculture University (JAU), with the help of the Agriculture Market Produce Yards of the various centers.

Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) has been preparing a presentation with scientific documents, mainly on the origin and characteristics of the fruit, such as its nutrient value, flavor, size, shape and color. APMCs across the two districts will do the registrations for the farmers.

Only registered farmers can avail the benefits.
Once GIR, located at Chennai, gives the go-ahead to the presentation, JAU will work on the logo for Kesar Keri. Only cultivators from the eight talukas of Gir will be able to use the logo, which will add value to their product. “The GI will give an edge to the cultivators. It can get the fruit recognition and quality assurance, which will result in better returns to the farmers through export in other states as well as the international market. Presentation papers are in the final stages,” said a senior JAU official. Kesar is among the most expensive varieties of mangoes. Valjibhai Patel, a cultivator from Talala in Junagadh district, said: “Many a times, a regular variety has been sold in the market in the name of Kesar.

But the registration will assure that there are no duplications. This will boost our chances of export.”
So far, Gujarat has obtained registration for furniture from Sankheda, agates from Cambay, Kutch embroidery and Tangaliya shawls.

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