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 PM grants Rs. 500 cr., toll may cross 30,000
The Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today admitted that the Gujarat Government had been initially ``slow'' to react to Friday's quake and said the Centre would set up a permanent National Disaster Management Cell to rush assistance in such a situation.

World Bank to provide $300 m
The World Bank today offered an immediate assistance of $ 300 million for emergency rehabilitation work. In the second phase, it will put together a long-term package for a new loan. The announcement was in response to a request today by the Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha.

 Enough relief but no coordination
Three days after the massive earthquake that devastated Gujarat, particularly Kutch, there are still villages where no help has reached. One such village is just five to seven kilometres from Bhuj.

 Rail link to Bhuj restored
Even as massive efforts are on to search for life under the rubble in quake-hit Gujarat, the Centre's Crisis Management Group is looking at restoration and reconstruction as the medium and long-term plans for rehabilitating the homeless.

Tremors spread wave of panic
Tremors jolted Bangalore and parts of Karnataka today, spreading a wave of panic and sending people scurrying out of their homes and offices but caused no damage or casualty. Measuring 4.3 on the Richter Scale with the epicentre 35 km south of Bangalore, the tremors were felt in Ramanagara, Kanakapura, Mandya, Kolar, Mangalore and Mysore, the Meteorological Centre Director, Dr. A. L. Koppar, told PTI.

Azhar moves court
Former cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin today filed a petition in a city civil court here, challenging the life-ban imposed on him by the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) for alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal.

India denies refusal of help from Pakistan
India today denied that it had refused help from Pakistan for the earthquake victims in Gujarat and thanked the international community for its timely response. The External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, in his daily briefing, said that the remarks attributed to the Pakistani Chief Executive, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, that India had refused the Pakistani offer of help were ``a trifle misleading''.

Pak. to send relief materials today
The Pakistan Government will send tents and blankets in a number of air sorties for despatch to Ahmedabad beginning tomorrow to provide relief for the quake-affected people in Gujarat.

Hinduja brothers appear before CBI
All the three Hinduja brothers, accused in the Rs. 64 crore Bofors pay-offs case, appeared together before the CBI for the first time today. They were questioned pinpointedly on certain aspects related to the track of payment received by them from the Swedish armaments firm, AB.Bofors, for helping it to clinch the Rs. 1437 crore gun deal from the Indian Government in March 1986.


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