QAhmedabad: 19 Liquor Shops Get Approval; Jasdan Bypoll on 20 Dec

1. 19 New Liquor Shops Get In-Principle Nod

With Vibrant Gujarat just around the corner in January 2019, the state government has given an in-principle approval to 19 new liquor shops at premium hotels. A high power committee headed by the tourism secretary cleared the approval for the new shops. With the addition of 19 shops the state will now have 77 licensed liquor shops.

The number of liquor shops had doubled from 26 in 2014 to 58 in 2018. Meanwhile the state government issued a new notification on granting renewed health permits for liquor consumption on 30 October which has been suspended for more than six months. Despite this, the prohibition department has not started issuing new permits or renewing old ones.

(Source: The Times of India)

2. 4 Flights Diverted, 6 Delayed as City Runway Is Closed

Thursday morning was quite chaotic for passengers flying out of Ahmedabad as some six departures were delayed after the runway at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport was shut for an hour. Officials of the Airport Authority of India stated that its calibration aircraft reported a jammed steering wheel and was brought back immediately.

Calibrated aircrafts are used for navigation. According to Manoj Gangal, director of SVPI, the disabled aircraft was towed away at 11 am and the runway was closed for one hour and two minutes.

As a result, inbound flights from Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi were diverted to Vadodara and one flight from Bengaluru was diverted to Surat. Once the runway was opened the diverted flights to Vadodara and Surat returned. Some six outbound flights including three to Mumbai and one each to Jodhpur, Kochi and Lucknow were delayed.

(Source: The Times of India)

3. Rural Gujarat Pay the Biggest Hospitalisation Bills in India

According to the latest National Health Profile (NHP) report, a poor person in rural Gujarat ends up paying more in a hospital than any other village dweller in India. The average cost of hospitalisation includes cost of medicine, pathology reports, x-ray tests adds up to Rs 32,503, pushing thousands in to poverty, debt and distress especially during droughts.

What paints an even more skewed image of Gujarat’s healthcare is the fact that Urban Gujarat pays 23 percent less than Rural Gujarat. Rural women are the worst hit as they an average Rs 36,225 towards hospitalisation among larger states where as urban women in Gujarat pay Rs 19,992 towards hospitalisation.

The health sub-centres in tribal belts and backward areas are manned by only two health workers, leaving very little scope for timely diagnosis and treatment of patients.

(Source: The Times of India)

4. Jasdan Voters to Decide Bavaliya’s Fate on 20 December

On Thursday, the Election Commission of India announced 20 December as the bypoll date for Jasdan Assembly Constituency in Gujarat. The seat was vacant after Congress MLA Kunvarji Bavaliya resigned from the party and joined the BJP and was immediately rewarded with a cabinet berth in the Rupani government.

The Koli community stalwart has served as a five-time MLA for Congress and one term Lok Sabha MP from Rajkot. Bavaliya holds the water supply, rural development and animal husbandry portfolio. He lost the 2014 general election but won the 2017 assembly elections. Meanwhile, rumours are rife that Congress has short listed five names to challenge Bavaliya.

(Source: The Times of India)

5. Hardik Pushes for Survey of Patels in Gujarat for Reservation

Patidar activist Hardik Patel is pushing for a survey to establish ‘social and economic backwardness’ of the community in Gujarat so that they qualify for reservation in jobs, days after Marathas were granted reservation in Maharashtra after a similar exercise.

Patel led a delegation on Thursday to meet chairperson of the OBC Commission of Gujarat and demanded a survey of the Patidar (Patel) community by the panel. "We met chairman of OBC Commission Sugnaben Bhatt and handed an 11-page letter asking her to conduct a survey that the entire Patel community is socially and educationally backward," he told reporters after the meeting.

(Source: PTI)

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