Gujarat- Demolition drive horror: one dies as 5 people set themselves on fire


PTI : Rajkot, Thu Apr 04 2013, 

Self-immolation

Five persons, including three women, today set themselves ablaze in Rajkot Municipal Corporation office to protest the civic body’s alleged demolition drive, police said.

The five, identified as Rekha, Asha, Vasumati, Bharat and Girish from Chhotu Nagar area near Raiya Dhar of the city, today poured kerosene and set themselves on fire in RMC’s central zone office, police said.

They were rushed to Rajkot civil hospital where condition of two of them was stated to be critical.

When contacted, Mayor Janak Kotak said that RMC has nothing to do with the incident as the civic body had no plan to carry out demolition in the area.

The five might have had a dispute with a member of their society because of which they took the extreme step, Kotak said.

The RMC has decided to initiate a probe in the incident and appropriate action would be taken against those found guilty, he added.

He extended all possible support to the victims and said they would be shifted to private hospital soon

Girish Sant – an Obituary


(January 23, 1966 to February 2, 2012)

Girish Sant was born in Thane in 1966. He was an alumnus of IIT, Bombay. Girish did his B.Tech. in Chemical Engingeering in 1986. While doing B.Tech. Girish became interested in energy issues and did his M.Tech. in Energy Systems Engineering in 1988. After his Master degree Girish moved to Pune and worked in the field of industrial and agricultural energy efficiency, evaluation of renewable energy technologies, and research on energy impacts of urbanisation. In 1990 he co-founded Prayas a non-profit organization based in Pune. He was the Coordinator and the driving force of Prayas Energy Group (PEG).

Girish was a member of the ‘Advisory Committee’ of Central Electricity Regulatory Commissions for last consecutive seven years. He was a member of the Planning Commission’s ‘Working Group on Power’ for preparation of the 11th5-Year plan and a member of the Expert Group on ‘Low Carbon Strategy for Inclusive Growth’.

Girish had been a member of several government and Supreme Court committees including Committee of Government of Maharashtra to evaluate Benefit: Cost of Sardar Sarovar Project, Supreme Court Committee to investigate the benefits of Energy generation projects from Municipal Solid Waste, Expert group to advice the Planning commission for the Interim review of 10th Plan.

Girish’s work comprised of analysis based advocacy, training, inputs in regulatory and policy process to further public interest in electricity sector. He had participated in several international projects such as development and implementation of tool kit to assess governance in the power sector, assessing role of World Bank, techno-economic evaluation of projects, and training of NGOs. Girish had also worked on renewable energy scenarios, integrated resource planning, agricultural energy efficiency, and performance of renewable energy systems.

Lately Girish did studies on global warming and was involved in the international negotiations on global warming. He had participated in the international conferences on global warming in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban on behalf of India.

Girish Sant was a warm human being and a very committed person. From the beginning he was interested in social and developmental issues. He was associated with the Narmada Bachao Andolan in the initial years. As a founder member of Prayas he brought together like-minded individuals and did very important and highly recognized work in the field of energy, power and equitable development.

Girish died of a heart attack on Feb 2, 2012 at the young age of 44 years while on an official visit to Delhi. He was a Bachelor. He is survived by his parents and sister and his close friends Dr. Vinayak and Dr. Sanjivani Kulkarni.

Girish’s demise has saddened all those who knew him personally and professionally. Girish’s death is a great loss to his family, friends, and  colleagues .

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