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Water parks drought-proof, courtesy Govt of Gujarat
Gandhinagar, April 27
(Rathin Das)

IN THE midst of the worst drought in the State, the Gujarat Government has succumbed to pressures from owners of water parks and resorts against imposing a ban on the industry.

Earlier this week, faced with media criticism about water parks doing roaring business, the state government had hinted that such resorts would be banned. The statement had shocked the amusement park industry, which claimed it used only recycled water, which is of no use for humans or agriculture.

This is at variance with the earlier statement of the industry that the parks always maintained a continuous flow of fresh and treated water. The park owners were responding to queries from newsmen about possible health hazards of having a splash in the same water used by hundreds of merry-makers.

Following a visit by a delegation of water park owners, deemed to be financially powerful and politically influential, the State Government has decided to drop the ban proposal at least in the areas which are not affected by water scarcity.

The water park owners told the political leadership that their bottomline would be affected since the three months till monsoon were the ones that generated maximum revenue. The industry, they pointed out, also provided employment to a few hundred people. Besides, a ban on the industry would hurt the food and beverages business in the parks, they said.

Food poisoning: Food poisoning, rather than starvation, was said to be responsible for the death of two persons in Sabarkantha district on Tuesday. Earlier reports had attributed the deaths of farmer Sybabhai Boomadia and his 10-year-old daughter to starvation. It now appears that they died after complaints of suspected food poisoning. The autopsy report has pointed out the presence of maize roti, locally called rotla, and mango juice in their stomachs.

The needle of suspicion is currently on the mango juice, which has chances of contamination. On the eve of World Health Day early this month, State Health Minister Ashok Bhatt had cautioned people against consuming mango pulp and juice unless it was fresh. The Health Minister's message had perhaps not reached the tribal districts of Sabarkantha.


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