Baroda News

Vadodara fire department seals five commercial buildings

Five commercial buildings that had for years neglected to take a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Vadodara fire department have finally been sealed by the authorities. The police department gave assistance in getting the buildings evacuated, and the electricity department did its part by disconnecting the power supply. The buildings sealed are: Shree Ram Chambers and Windsor Plaza in Alkapuri, Alankar Tower and Antriksh Complex in Sayajigunj, and Blue Diamond Complex in Fatehgunj. On January 1, the Vadodara Fire and Emergency Services (VFES) had given notices as per the state government’s gazette to such buildings threatening to seal them and disconnect electricity if fire equipment is not installed and NOC is not taken. The buildings will be unsealed only after fire equipment is installed and fresh NOCs are taken. (05-03-2021)

Construction contracts awarded for Baroda Cricket Association’s stadium

Two firms have been awarded the construction contract for the international cricket stadium of the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA). The stadium project, estimated to cost about Rs. 80 crore, has been split equally between the two firms. This is the initial cost of the project and will cover the pavilion, north and south stands, dressing rooms for players and other such facilities. The cost will go up in the second phase. In the first phase, about 8,000 to 12,000 seats will be provided; the full capacity will be 30,000 seats. The stadium should be ready to host international matches within 18 months. (05-03-2021)

Prison bank may be started in Gujarat’s four central jails

Gujarat may soon have a prison bank through which inmates of the state’s four central jails will be able to seamlessly transact with their family members. At present the system used is the old money order method; prisoners use this method to send money to their family members or receive money from them. Prisoners usually send to their relatives some of the money that they earn by working in different jail industries. Some inmates receive money from their families to purchase articles from the jail canteen. Inmates earn Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 15,000 every month. Jail industries have an annual turnover of Rs. 11 crore. The prison bank facility will be started in four central jails — at Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. These four jails house about 80% of the 16,000 prisoners in the state. (05-03-2021)

Vadodara among top 10 cities in ease of living index

The latest ease of living index (EoLI) of cities in 2020 has put 111 cities in two categories – cities with a million-plus population and cities with a population less than a million. The EoLI is based on four parameters: quality of life, economic ability, sustainability and citizen survey. The ‘Quality of Life’ includes affordable housing, access to clean water, basic education, healthcare facilities, safety and security, and recreation facilities. The report was released by the Union housing and urban affairs ministry. Some highlights:

  • Bengaluru is the best among 49 million-plus cities, replacing Pune which is now number two.
  • Ahmedabad, Chennai, Surat, Navi Mumbai, Coimbatore, Vadodara, Indore and Greater Mumbai are the other eight cities in the top 10 among the million-plus cities. Delhi is at number 13.
  • Among the 49 million-plus cities, Chennai, Coimbatore and Navi Mumbai rank as the first, second and third as far as the quality of life is concerned. In the economic ability pillar, the top rankers are Bengaluru, Delhi and Pune.
  • Among 62 cities with less than one million population, Shimla is at the top, with Bhubaneswar at number 2.
  • In the less than million category, Silvassa, Kakinada, Salem, Vellore, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Davangere, and Tiruchirappalli are in the top 10.
  • Among the 62 cities which have less than one million population, Panaji, Tumkuru and Vellore topped the list on the quality of life parameters, while the textile city of Tirupur, Gurugram and Kochi were ranked at the top three cities on the economic activity parameters.

Radio station launched by inmates of Vadodara Central Jail

As part of a programme designed to rehabilitate and reform prisoners and enable them to express their creative side, the Vadodara Central Jail administration has helped the inmates to launch their own radio station. A few prisoners will be trained to become radio jockeys of the 'Radio Prison' service. Prisoners can use the platform to express themselves through story-telling. They will also receive health bulletins and information about various legal aspects from guest speakers. The studio is inside the jail premises, and 60 speakers carry the programmes to different barracks. The jail is home to round 1,500 prisoners. Three other prisons in Gujarat have a similar radio service. (04-03-2021)

Gujarat allots Rs. 7,960 crores for police and vigilance infrastructure

The annual budget presented by the Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister has made a total provision of Rs. 7,960 crore for the Home Department to strengthen law and order. Some details:

  • Rs. 90 crore for new CCTV cameras in cities. 6,000 CCTV cameras have already been installed in 41 cities.
  • Rs. 36 crore for E gujcop project.
  • Rs. 50 crore to procure 876 vehicles for police patrolling.
  • Rs. 28 crore for a new ‘Conviction Rate Improvement’ project.
  • Rs. 30 crore for Border Area Development.
  • Rs. 26 crore for modernisation of the police.
  • Rs. 20 crore for the Commando Training Centre being constructed at Khalal in Kheda.
  • Rs. 14 crore for modernising the Forensic Science Laboratory in Gandhinagar.
  • Rs. 10 crore for broadband connectivity to outposts and police chowkis under ‘Bharat Net’ project.
  • Rs. 10 crore to procure 100 police control room (PCR) vans under the emergency response system.
  • 3,020 new posts.
  • 12 new police stations.

Overwhelming BJP victory

In the recent (February 28) elections the BJP  won all 31 district panchayats, majority of the 81 municipalities and over 200 of the 231 taluka panchayats. BJP had earlier won in all six municipal corporations. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made a small entry by winning 27 seats in Surat. It won 42 of the 2097 seats it contested. AIMIM made a debut in Godhra municipality by winning seven of the eight contested seats and nine seats in the Modasa civic body. (03-03-2021)

Female cops assist women who face domestic violence

Crimes against women, especially married women, are not unusual. To deal with such crimes the Vadodara city police department has adopted a new method. The department’s SHE team deploys female cops to visit the maternity wards of different hospitals in the city and talk with the women who face  harassment or domestic violence at home. They reassure the women that the police force is on their side and will assist them appropriately. When a woman is pregnant or has just delivered a baby, she needs adequate rest and mental peace. Some women also have to face angry husbands who want a male child. The cops offer to intervene in such matters and talk with their in-laws and husband. If so required, the cops also help the women to file legal complaints. The SHE team members also educate women about their rights and the illegality of sex determination tests. (02-03-2021)

Gujarat will conduct agricultural land survey in July-September

The Gujarat government will conduct an agricultural land survey across the state between July and September this year. The state revenue department has issued a notification to this effect. The survey will be conducted in three parts.

  • In part 1, revenue officials in all districts will collect data on the number of marginal, small, medium, and rich land-holding farmers. This will also include primary categories of SC and ST and men and women.
  • In part 2, revenue officials will collect data on land use, irrigation status, whether the land is leasehold or rented and cropping patterns.
  • In part 3, revenue officials will collect data on the type of fertilisers used, seeds preferred for farming, crop rotation patterns, along with the size of house, age and educational qualifications of the farmer.

Co-WIN app not for public, government clarifies

The health ministry has clarified that the Co-WIN app is "only for administrators" and that people who want to book an appointment for Covid-19 vaccination should instead visit the Co-WIN website. Registration and booking for an appointment for vaccination is to be done through Co-WIN Portal:

Where to register for Covid vaccine

  • Citizens can register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the Co-WIN 2.0 portal or through other IT applications such as Aarogya Setu.
  • There is also a walk-in provision for the beneficiaries to get themselves registered at the nearby session site to get vaccinated.
  • The eligible beneficiaries can choose the centre of their choice and book an appointment based on the slots available.
Who are eligible for Covid vaccine in the second phase?
* All citizens that are aged or will attain the age of 60 or more as of January 1, 2022, are eligible to register.
* Those who are aged or will attain the age of 45 to 59 years as of January 1, 2022, and have any of the specified 20 comorbidities.

How to register for Covid vaccine on Co-WIN website
* Citizens can register at the Co-WIN portal through their mobile number.
* A one-time password (OTP) verification will be done prior to registration to ensure the veracity of the mobile number and after registration, an account will be created on Co-WIN for the person.
* The person can access (login) account on Co-WIN using the mobile phone number used at the time of registration.
* Features for adding beneficiaries, editing their details and for booking an appointment(s) will be available in the citizen's account.
* The citizen can delete only beneficiaries as have been added by him/her. If one out of the four beneficiaries registered in an account is vaccinated, only three registrations are left, and so on.
* Till the time of vaccination, all the records of registration and appointment can be edited/deleted by the person making the registration.
* Only when a person gets vaccinated, the record is locked and cannot be edited/deleted.
* A beneficiary then has to select the ID card type and provide the ID card number.
* The photo ID card number for each such beneficiary must be different.
* Either of the following documents can be used for online registration: Aadhaar card/letter, electoral photo identity card (EPIC), passport, driving license, PAN Card, NPR smart card or pension document with a photograph.
* If the age of the beneficiary is from 45 to 59 years, the beneficiary will be prompted to confirm if he/she has any specified comorbidity.
* In such cases, the beneficiary will also be advised to bring the comorbidity certificate signed by a Registered Medical Practitioner (RMP).
*Once all the necessary details are recorded, registration is completed, and an acknowledgement (registration slip/token) will be sent to the beneficiary on their registered mobile number. (01-03-2021)

City based Cosmos to set up Rs. 100 crore technology park

Baroda based machine tool manufacturing company Cosmos plans to set up a Rs. 100 crore technology park at Ranu village in Vadodara district. Spread over 15 acres, the technology park will have plants producing key components to manufacture CNC machine tools and also a R&D division. It is likely to be operational by 2022. The park will serve the needs of industries in the fields of automobile, infrastructure, power and steel, electronics, aerospace and medical implants. It will offer single point design, engineering and development solutions to the core sector industry. Cosmos presently has over 800 employees. (01-03-2021)

Next phase of Covid vaccination drive to begin on March 1

People above the age of 60 and people within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities.

List of 20 comorbidities:
1. Heart failure with hospital admission in past one year
2. Post cardiac transplant/ Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
3. Significant Left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVEF < 40%)
4. Moderate or Severe Valvular Heart Disease
5. Congenital heart disease with severe PAH or Idiopathic PAH
6. Coronary Artery Disease with past CABG/ PTCA/ MI and Hypertension/ Diabetes on treatment
7. Angina and Hypertension/ Diabetes treatment
8. CT/MRI documented stroke and Hypertension/Diabetes on treatment
9. Pulmonary artery hypertension and Hypertension/ Diabetes on treatment
10. Diabetes (>10 years or with complication) and Hypertension on treatment
11. Kidney/Liver/Hematopoietic stem cell transplant: Recipient/ On wait-list
12. End stage Kidney Disease on haemodialysis/ CAPD
13. Current prolonged use of oral corticosteroids/ immunosuppressant medications
14. Decompensated cirrhosis
15. Severe respiratory disease with hospitalisations in last two years/ FEVI <50%
16. Lymphoma/ Leukaemia/ Myeloma
17. Diagnosis of any solid cancer on or after July 1, 2020 or currently on any cancer therapy
18. Sickle Cell Disease/ Bone marrow failure/ Aplastic Anemia/ Thalassemia Major
19. Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases/ HIV infection
20. Persons with disabilities due to Intellectual disabilities/ Muscular Dystrophy/ Acid attack with involvement of respiratory system/ Persons with disabilities having high support needs/ Multiple disabilities including deaf-blindness

  • People who want to get vaccinated in the second phase of Covid-19 vaccination will have to register on the Co-WIN platform.
  • Registration Co-WIN2.0 portal will open at 9 am on March 1 at
  • The beneficiaries will be able to self-register in advance by downloading the CO-Win 2.0 portal and through other IT Applications such as Arogya Setu etc.
  • This will show the government and private hospitals serving as Covid Vaccination Centres (CVCs) with date and time of the available schedules. The beneficiary would be able to choose the CVC of his/her choice and book an appointment for vaccination.
  • A beneficiary will just have to register with his or her mobile number and in turn, will receive an OTP with which his/her account will be created. One can also get their family members registered on the account.
  • The new version of the Co-WIN platform will be GPS-enabled and the beneficiaries will have the option to choose the inoculation session site both at the government and private facilities.
  • Registrations can be done for four people from one mobile app. People can also get themselves registered through the Aarogya Setu app by verifying One Time Passwords (OTPs).
  • For people who are unable to register themselves can directly visit the vaccination centre along with required documents and get themselves registered.

A government ID proof will be sufficient for people over the age of 60. People aged above 45 years will have to upload a medical certificate mentioning their comorbid conditions.
The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN2.0 by the beneficiary while self registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the CVC.

Cost of vaccination
The vaccination will be free at the government facilities and paid at private facilities.
The government has capped the price of Covid vaccines at private hospitals at Rs 250 per dose.

Where can you get vaccinated
At around 10,000 private hospitals empanelled under Ayushman Bharat PMJAY, more than 600 hospitals under CGHS and other private hospitals under states are being involved to ramp up vaccination capacity.
The health ministry has come out with two lists of private hospitals empanelled for Covid vaccinations.
The Centre has also released a list of private hospitals where vaccines will be available.

Mankind Pharma to set up plant near Vadodara

Indian pharma major Mankind Pharma has received approval in principle from the Gujarat government to set up a Rs. 500 crore pharmaceuticals plant near Vadodara. The company will invest Rs. 1,100 crore in phases. The virtual signing ceremony took place during the India Pharma and Medical Device 2021 event. The plant will be 100% exports oriented. Mankind Pharma is based in New Delhi and has products in therapeutic areas ranging from antibiotics to gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, dermal and erectile dysfunction medications. It was formed in 1991. Incidentally, During April-September 2020 Gujarat accounted for 53% of the total FDI investment received by India. (28-02-2021)

Ahmedabad’s SVPI airport ranked at the top in survey

Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport has been ranked at the top in the survey by Airports Council of India (ACI) and Airport Service Quality (ASQ). However, it was found wanting in a few areas: courtesy and helpfulness of check-in staff, flight information screens and parking facilities. The survey (for the quarter ending December 2020) ranks the airports across India for 30 performance-based parameters. SVPI airport was taken over by Adani Ahmedabad International Airport Limited (AAIAL) in November 2020, for operations, maintenance and development. It is a public-private partnership with Airports Authority of India (AAI). Earlier it was totally managed by AAI. (28-02-2021)

Polls for three municipalities in Vadodara district on February 28

Elections for 88 seats of three municipalities in Vadodara district, along with 34 zilla panchayat seats and 168 taluka panchayat seats will be held on February 28. 9,61,830 voters have registered for the zilla and taluka panchayat polls and 94,250 voters have registered for the Nagar Palika polls. The remaining 27 districts, which includes 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats, will also go to polls on February 28. (27-02-2021)

Gujarat government must enforce the mask rule strictly

Taking up a suo motu public interest litigation concerning the status of Covid-19 cases, a division bench of the Gujarat High Court observed on Friday that the state was in a position to get “good control” a few days back and it is imperative that the state enforces the mask rule strictly. The court also said that as soon as people get the feeling that everything is fine, they take it for granted. The bench said that videos of campaigns and related celebrations showed that “no one is wearing a mask, social distancing is out of question”. (27-02-2021)

Night curfew in 4 Gujarat cities extended by 15 days

The Gujarat government has decided to extend night curfew for 15 more days in the four cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot. The ongoing night curfew was to end on February 28.  This decision follows the recent rise in coronavirus cases in the four municipal corporations. The ongoing night curfew starts at midnight and ends at 6 am. The curfew first came into force in November 2020 after a post-Diwali spurt in cases. It was also decided to increase Covid-19 surveillance activities with Dhanvantari raths as well intensive screening at state borders. In compliance with the central health ministry’s directive, the state will be administering the vaccines to those above 60 years and those aged between 45 and 59 years but with serious comorbidities, certified by a registered medical practitioner, starting March 1. (27-02-2021)

Private hospitals can charge Rs. 250 per dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Private hospitals can charge up to Rs. 250 per person per dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The service charges were intimated at the training and virtual meeting on Co-Win 2.0 chaired by CEO National Health Authority and Union Health Secretary held on February 26. The service charge to be recovered by private hospitals acting as COVID Vaccination Centers will be subject to a ceiling of Rs. 100 per person per dose. In addition, private hospitals will recover Rs. 150 per person per dose as the cost of the vaccine. Hence, the total ceiling amount recoverable by private hospitals is Rs. 250 per person per dose. This arrangement will remain effective till further orders. States/UTs have been advised to inform empanelled private sector hospitals about the charges and encourage their participation in the Covid-19 vaccination drive. (27-02-2021)

Covid-19 vaccination centres for senior citizens from March 1

From March 1 the Gujarat government will initially open 500 Covid-19 vaccination centres for inoculating senior citizens and those with comorbidities. This has been announced by the state authorities.

  • Those who are 60 years of age (as on January 1, 2022) and above and those who are between 45-60 years and have comorbidities will be vaccinated from March 1 onwards.
  • People can opt for Government Covid Vaccination Centres (GCVC) or Private Covid Vaccination Centres (PCVC).
  • Those opting for government centres will get the vaccine free of cost, irrespective of their financial position.
  • At private facilities, Rs. 100 will have to be paid as processing fee, and the cost of the vaccine – yet to be decided by the Centre – will also have to be paid.
  • Arrangements have also been made to provide certificates to those who get vaccinated.

Gujarat’s fire departments are short of staff by 35%

It is difficult to fill vacant posts in the state's fire departments because of a lack of suitable candidates. Giving this information to the Gujarat high court, the government said that it is considering the lowering of eligibility criteria to get suitable candidates for senior positions in fire departments. The state’s fire departments have launched recruitment drives following the high court’s scrutiny of the Fire Safety Act’s implementation after the Shrey Hospital fire in Ahmedabad led to the death of several patients. Over 35% of the posts are still vacant in various fire departments. The government informed the high court that it did not get a single eligible candidate for two vacant posts of deputy chief fire officers for Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services. (26-02-2021)

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