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Gujarat This Week

Gujarat This Week


Prachi Thaker 

Modi performs pooja of Narmada water, compares Statue of Unity’s popularity with that of Statue of Liberty

Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his 69th birth anniversary by visiting the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat where he performed pooja of the Holy Narmada River with Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy CM Nitin Patel in attendance.

He inspected the facilities being developed as tourist spots in the vicinity of the Statue of Unity, dedicated to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on an island in the downstream river. Modi also captured an aerial view of the world’s tallest statue and kicked off the Namami Devi Narmada Mahotsava, being organized by the State Government to mark the rise in water level to its near-highest 138.68 metres for the first time.

Before returning to New Delhi, he sought blessings from his nonagenarian mother Hiraba at Raisan village in Gandhinagar district.

To mark the occasion, the Sardar Sarovar Dam was decorated in the Tricolur to mark the filling up of its reservoir. A large number of LED and laser lights were used to lighten up the dam which was filled up to the full reservoir level of 138.68 meter for the first time.

The dam supplies water to around 167 towns and 10,000 villages which account for more than 3 crore, or over half of the population of Gujarat, which sees in Narmada its “lifeline”. The dam’s foundation had been laid in April 1961 by the then PM Jawaharlal Nehru but it took decades to complete.

In September 2017, Modi had given approval to install gates on the dam raising its height to the current level.

RTOs in Gujarat allow automatic transmission cars for Driving License test

The Government of Gujarat has decided to permit automatic transmission cars (gearless cars) on driving test tracks of all RTOs conduct tests for driving license. Sunaina Tomar, Principal Secretary, Port and Transport, said instruction in this regard has already been issued. Until now, only manually-geared cars were allowed on driving test tracks of RTOs.

Also, in view of the heavy rush due to strict implementation of new Motor Vehicles rules, the RTO offices across Gujarat will function on Sundays as well.

The Ahmedabad – Mumbai Tejas Express train will start operations from November 2019

The new train ‘Tejas’ was scheduled to start operations between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in September/October 2019. However, due to the Model Code of Conduct coming into effect due to the ensuing Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Tejas will now start operation in November.

Tejas will be operated by the IRCTC. The train will have catering facility better than those on aircraft, according to IRCTC officials. Each coach will have female host and male caterer. Considering the Gujaratis’ preferences, the train will have stoppages at Nadiad, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Vapi, Borivali, Andhrei and Mumbai Central. Andheri has been added in the list due to proximity from the Mumbai airport.

Rupani asks youth to look beyond government jobs

Emphasizing that skilling and employment generation are the top priorities of his government, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani launched the state-wide Job Fair Fortnight at Gandhinagar. It is an initiative of the Labour and Employment Department and aims to generate over 35,000 job opportunities.

Rupani noted that Gujarat was the first state to start the Mukhya Mantri Apprenticeship Scheme last year, and said that more than 77,000 youths have already been trained under it. He also appealed youngsters to ignore the lure and safety of government jobs, and to look at other next generation avenues.

Gujarat to encourage solar power generation, relaxes norms for MSME units

Gujarat has announced relaxations for the MSME (Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises) sector’s industrial units in solar energy policy of the State Government since 2015. The decision was taken to encourage industries to scale up solar power generation.

The State Government decided to cover 8 lakh households by 2022 under the Solar Rooftop Policy. The changes in the 2015 policy will encourage 33 lakh MSME units towards production and use of green and clean energy.

BRTS to have new 300 electric buses in Ahmedabad

In the largest single order of air-conditioned electric buses in the country so far, the Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd, an Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation incorporated “Special Purpose Vehicle” that operates BRTS buses in the city, recently decided to place an order with Tata Motors Ltd for 300 new for supply, operation and maintenance. Janmarg currently operates 255 buses. After strict implementation of the new Motor Vehicles laws, the number of people using this public transport, as also the 700 buses run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services, has increased manifold.


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