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Mumbai’s first AC local train to begin operations tomorrow

The first Air Conditioned local train will depart on its historical introductory run on Monday from Borivali station at 10.30 am for the Churchgate station. After the introduction, the AC local train will be operated on an experimental basis between Churchgate and Borivali stations till December 29 wherein only 6 services shall ply per day.After reaching Churchgate, the train will depart for Borivali again within 5 minutes of its arrival. This train will follow a schedule of 6 services – 3 services each towards Churchgate and Borivali – until December 29.The train service will have halts at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri. It will then be monitored during the weekend. From January 1, it will have 12 services each day. Those having existing first class tickets and season passes wouldn’t be allowed to travel in AC rake but those with AC ticket/passes can travel in regular first class.People have been given option of buying daily tickets — for instance a journey between Churchgate to Borivali will cost Rs 165 which is Rs 15 more than the daily ticket price of regular first class.It will cost more to travel shorter distances. For instance, a Churchgate-Dadar/Bandra would cost Rs 85 (Rs 30 more than the regular first class). There is also an option of buying weekly, fortnightly and monthly passes.The Churchgate-Borivali weekly pass will cost Rs 855 as compared to Rs 755 for monthly pass for a regular first class on the same route. The fortnightly pass will cost Rs 1245 and monthly will be Rs 1640 for the same route of this AC rake. For those on Churchgate-Andheri route, AC passes will cost Rs 655, Rs 945, Rs 1240 for weekly, fortnightly and monthly respectively. In comparison, it costs Rs 670 for monthly first class pass on same route. The Churchgate-Dadar/Bandra would cost the same at Rs 445, Rs 630 and Rs 820 for weekly, fortnightly and monthly respectively.The coaches reserved for Ladies and Seats earmarked for Senior Citizens/Divyangs are different from Standard Configuration. 1st and 12th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked as Ladies coaches and 7 seats in 2nd and 11th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Senior citizens while 10 seats in 4th and 7th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Divyangs.

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From carnival to tradition to protest, X’mas is here

Christmas is here, and Mumbai is all geared up to welcome it in its traditional and varied style. From carnivals and road shows to rekla and crib competition, and singing carols to holding protest to express solidarity with murder victims, believers didn’t leave out anything. “We have a carnival every year, and it is attended by people of all communities,” said Mary D’Souza, member of Vakola and Kalina youth association. The carnival, held between Vakola and Kalina, had live East Indian band, live tableau, live cribs and revellers dancing in Santa hats and t-shirts. Rekla competition, which is otherwise held during the feast of St. Jerome at Kashimira, was held at the Gorai. People from eastern states decorate horses and bullock cart carriages and ride on them. “Earlier, we used to have rekla competition. But since the rules do not allow them now, we just have our people decorate their reklas without the horses or bullocks. A number of people still preserve and decorate their reklas. Hence, we thought of giving prizes to the best three. Earlier they would decorate it and go for the feast in Kashimira on them,” said Rossi D’Souza of Gorai Gaothan Panchayat, a body that organises the rekla competition. Mobai Gaothan Punchayet held a crib competition to encourage decorations in the city. The organisers said the best cribs will be given an award. In Bandra, there was also a carol singing service to sympathise, show solidarity, protest and seek justice after the killing of Afrazul Khan in Rajasthan and attack on carol singing groups in different states. “It was a spontaneous decision to come together. Carol singing is a joyous thing but we did this in the light of what happened in Rajasthan and Satna and other places where right wing groups attacked Christians who were singing carol,” said Dolphy D’Souza, one of the participants.

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BJP Mumbai President Ashish Shelar gets slammed on Twitter for promoting Christmas musical event

After Amrita Fadnavis came under fire for organising a Christmas event, on Saturday, it was the turn of BJP Mumbai President and Bandra West MLA Ashish Shelar to face the heat on Twitter.Right-wingers on Twitter seemed upset by Shelar supporting a musical event titled “Prabhu Yeshu Janmtosav” on December 17 at Girgaum Chowpatty. A lot of right-wingers and BJP supporters appeared to be angered by the BJP leader hosting an event which they felt promoted ‘evangelists’ and demanded an explanation from him and Maharashtra Chief Minis Devendra Fadnavis.Another claimed that while BJP General Secretary was uniting India with India Ideas Conclave 2017, here BJP was ‘supporting those who want to break India’.Also readWill follow my mind, Amruta Fadnavis to trolls who criticised her for attending Christmas-themed eventThe criticism is rather bizarre considering Bandra West has a sizeable chunk of Christian constituents who probably voted for Shelar.Here are the tweets: Also readMadhya Pradesh: Carol singers’ car set on fire in SatnaEarlier, Amruta Fadnavis had dismissed the criticism she faced saying: “I will do what exactly my mind tells me. I will not be swayed by disruptive criticism. I have a mind of my own and I will work as per that.”Trouble began when Amruta tweeted and posted photographs of a Christmas event organised by a FM radio station on December 12. She was assailed by an array of abusive posts, some of which questioned her faith before marriage.Amruta had told DNA: “The motive behind attending the function was to give Christmas gifts to poor children. I was approached by this professional radio channel. During any festival, we have to do something good. We have to share happiness, whether it is Diwali, Janmashtami or any other festival.”Recently, carol singers and priests were allegedly beaten up and detained in Satna, MP over what right-wing groups claim was forced conversions.Suspected Bajrang Dal activists were alleged to have beaten up some Christians, including 10 priests, and torched their car outside a police station in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh last night over alleged conversion of Hindus to Christianity.

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Toll booths on Bandra-Worli Sea Link to go solar

In the next six months, the toll booths on Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) will get electricity supply from the solar panels to be installed on the Sea Link. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) had announced the installation of solar panels earlier this year. However, now it seems electricity generated from solar panels will only be used for toll booths and not the street lights on the Sea Link.The toll operator of the sea link has said that they would be able to have panels installed in the next 3-6 months. Jayant Mhaiskar, managing director at MEP Infrastructure Developers, toll operator, said, “Our concession period has started from October 07, 2017 and as per the concession agreement we will be in a position to install solar panels in the next three to six months.”Mhaiskar, added, “As per the concession agreement, the electricity generated from the solar panels will be used for toll booths in the day and for the night hours we will have to use normal electricity connection as we do not have a power storage facility in India.”The MSRDC’s aim is to bring down their electricity bills and will also promote the Central government’s initiative of promoting solar energy and to cut down carbon footprints.

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DNA EXCLUSIVE: Flooding may affect underground Metro

After claiming that underground Metro corridors are more prone to terrorist attacks, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now claimed that the underground Metro is more likely to get affected during heavy flooding in the city, as compared to the elevated Metro corridors.The MMRDA made this claim while justifying its decision to build the DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B as an elevated corridor instead of an underground one. However, this has given rise to another debate as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) executing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground Metro has claimed Metro-3 to be a water-tight project, where seepage or clogging of water is impossible.In a letter written to the Guzdar Scheme Residents’ Trust in Khar, who have objected Metro-2B being constructed as an elevated corridor, MMRDA, said, “It should be noted that in the case of heavy rains when the city’s roads get flooded, all at grade systems and underground systems get severely affected. During the heavy flooding in Mumbai a few days back, it was only the elevated metro and monorail which continued functioning without any interruption. Underground metro, in such heavy floods, would be likely to get affected despite all necessary precautions.”However, the MMRC has earlier claimed that the Metro-3 corridor runs at least 25 meters below the surface and is a water-tight project where seepage or clogging of water is impossible.”The underground Metro-3 system is embedded in the ground at a substantial depth. To protect against flooding, the level of all station entrances or shafts will remain sufficiently above the recorded high flood levels of respective areas along with good margins. Our tunnels are also water-tight,” MMRC had said earlier.

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Smog grips Mumbai; air quality reaches hazardous levels

On Saturday morning, the Air Quality Index in Mumbai was recorded at 305, which falls in the hazardous levels.The AQI was shared by the US Consulate based out of Bandra Kurla Complex and the time recorded was 7.45 am.In Lower Parel, where the DNA office is located, there was no visibility beyond 100 metres, as the pictures suggest. The sun, too, was barely visible with thick smog covering it up, as the picture below suggests.People leaving near the sea also said that they could not see the waters due to the smogAt the time of writing this, Mumbai recorded 25 degrees Celsius. In October this year, Mumbai woke up to a smoggy morning with the Air Quality Index at US Consulate reaching a hazardous level of 341 at 6 am. This was primarily due to the firecrackers in Diwali, even though the city experienced a less noisy festival than previous years.Visibility did not exceed 100 metres – Pratik Mukane/DNA PhotoPeople even shared images on Twitter

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Aaditya Thackeray wants Joggers Park extn

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering a project to link Carter Road promenade and Joggers’ Park in Bandra west, which are adjacent to each other.According to a civic official, the idea is the brainchild of Yuva Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray. The missing link is hardly 25 metres long, and after the two are connected, the length of Carter Road promenade will increase from 1.6 km to 2.2 km.In a tweet on Friday, Thackeray said he has submitted the plan to mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar and municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta. Sharad Ughade, assistant commissioner of H-West (Bandra), confirmed that there is a proposal to connect the two. “It is being discussed at the civic chief level and I have yet to get it,” he said, adding that a feasibility study will be conducted once the proposal reaches the ward office.Farzana Fazelbhoy, a member of the Sunshine Walkers group of Bandra, has welcomed the move. “This is a great idea as walkers and joggers will enjoy a longer path,” she said.The missing linkThe patch between Joggers’ Park and Carter Rd promenade is 25 metres longThis will increase the length of Carter Road from 1.6 km to 2.2 km

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BKC locals vie for cycle stand at Bandra station

A group of diamond traders from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) have demanded that space be allotted for a cycle stand outside Bandra station (E) and inside BKC so that office goers are motivated to use cycles for commute.The group has also written to several authorities including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), traffic police department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking that space be allotted to park their cycles. They claim that using cycles is not only environment-friendly but will also help avoid traffic snarls during peak hours in BKC.The MMRDA had also requested offices in BKC to stagger office timings so that traffic can be managed efficiently during the ongoing construction work of DN Nagar Mandale Metro-2BBhavesh Shah, a diamond trader from BKC, said, “We have written several times to the authority to have cycle stands and parking. Earlier, in BKC, we had cycle tracks and cycle stands but that was shut down.”Shah added, “There are lakhs of office goers who will happily use cycles between Bandra station and BKC but without cycle stands, what is the point of cycle tracks? For now, we want cycle stands, cycle tracks can follow later.”Meanwhile, a senior MMRDA official, said, “Our cycle track project failed. However, if we want cycle stands, it will require coordination from several agencies. The proposal if found feasible will be implemented.”Off trackThe MMRDA had built a 10-km cycle track in BKC in 2011. However, the track was removed, and it was replaced with bus lanes. But those too were removed after motorists complained of traffic snarls.

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Ensure job growth, Pranab Mukherjee tells govt

Even as the Opposition continues to target the Narendra Modi-led dispensation over the state of the economy, former President Pranab Mukherjee called on the government to ensure a growth in jobs and stressed on the need for a balance between urban and rural job creation. He was speaking at the launch of an international economic convention on ‘Demonetisation: A Monetary Policy’ at RD National College in Bandra on Thursday.”Jobless growth cannot be the objective of a country like ours. Therefore, we must have job creation and there must be a balance between urban and rural employment,” noted Mukherjee.He added that the two areas that had seen substantial improvement included the current account deficit (CAD) position and fiscal deficit in terms of GDP. The inflation levels too were manageable and comfortable.Stressing on the need for quality and quantity in education, Mukherjee said it was necessary for students from IITs to be engaged in basic research. He also expressed concerns over the high NPAs in the banking system.”70 years of independence and 67 years of a Republic hugely provide us an opportunity to reflect on where we began and where we are today,” said Mukherjee, who demitted office earlier this year, adding that though the progress made by India could not be compared with the ASEAN economies, we could be satisfied keeping in view India’s peculiar position.”In the last quarter, the GDP growth rate which has been declared by the CSO has improved particularly in the context of five continuous quarters, the GDP was going down and there is an upward feel,” said Mukherjee.
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Chennai man accused of murdering his mother and a seven-year-old girl escapes from Mumbai Police custody

S Dashwanth, an accused in the rape and murder of a-seven-year-old girl and a suspect in the murder of his own mother, has escaped from the police custody near the Mumbai airport when Tamil Nadu police team was escorting him on Thursday a day after nabbing him.According to police sources, Dashwanth was handcuffed when he escaped from the police custody. The accused was heading to a toilet near the Mumbai airport when he gave a slip to the police on Thursday evening. The 23-year-old Dashwanth who was arrested from Race Course in Mumbai on Wednesday was earlier produced in the Bandra Court and availed a transit warrant.The accused who was out on bail in the child rape and murder case was missing since December 2 when his mother Sarala was found murdered in his home with her jewellery missing. His father accused him of murdering his wife. He alleged that his son was demanding money for some days and he refused to give him. The police traced Dashwanth to Mumbai after enquired his prison friends – history sheeters James and David.In February this year, Hasini, a seven-year-old went missing and later her burnt body was found. Dashwanth who was residing in the same apartment complex was arrested by the police for rape and murder of the girl child. The Mahila Court framed charges against Daswant and the trial in the case was set to begin on December 5. The case was adjourned as Daswant went missing.
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Mumbai to get another sea link! Maharashtra govt grants approval to Versova-Bandra route

The Maharashtra government today accorded administrative approval to the Versova-Bandra sea link (VBSL) project, eight years after the state cabinet committee on Infrastructure (SCCI) cleared it.In a Government Resolution, the state has pegged the project cost to be around Rs 7,502 crore and its length is estimated to be about 17.17 kms.The SCCI had cleared the project on August 18, 2009.However, it took another four years, for the government to get the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and environment clearance from the Centre which were given in January 2013, an official said.Also readIndia’s longest sea link: Work to start soon, but motorists have to wait till 2023In extending the area in length, the government has approved the design plan at a height of 900 meters from the coastline, states the GR.The main four by four lane bridge of VBSL will be 9.60 kms. The cable stayed bridge will be 0.30 kms long and the Balance Cantilever Bridge will be 0.10 km long.Besides this, the VBSL will have connectors at Bandra, Otters Club, Juhu Link Road and Versova Link Road. There will be toll plazas at Bandra, Carter Road, Juhu-Koliwada and at Nana-Nani Park, it added.Also read5 years on, Bhayander-Naigaon Sea Link estimate up by 200%The existing prevailing toll rates shall apply to the VBSL and the concession period shall be up to 2052.In case there is any change in the toll tax policy in the future, the concession period will be revived as per the toll tax policy prevailing then, it stated.The GR states that the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) shall appoint two separate contractors for toll collection and repairs and maintenance of VBSL.The government has also approved the MSRDC to set up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to raise loan.Also readSpeed limit at Bandra Worli Sea Link to stay, say city traffic police
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Bandra students turn gardeners, lead the green wave

In a bid to encourage people to make their homes greener, students of MET Rishikul Vidyalaya (MRV) in Bandra have started their own gardening services. The students take gardening orders and help households grow medicinal plants, vegetables and flowers in their premises.The initiative, which started around six months back, is already gaining attention with several households calling the students for their services. Over the past three years, students have been taking training in composting, planting medicinal herbs and flowering plants. In the initiative’s next leg, students will volunteer to work in the homes of people across the city to provide gardening services as per the needs of the households.”The Green Thumbs initiative is an extension of our three-year-old programme, MRV Greenworld, as part of which students have been trained in composting and gardening over the last few years. In a city like Mumbai, if we can get more people to have home gardens, it would be of immense help in reducing pollution. This will also give children the awareness about planting useful trees and maintaining them from a young age,” said Kavita Sanghvi, principal, MRV.”The entire process of home gardening is fairly detailed. Students first inspect the homes and after understanding the needs, they decide what plants can be included. Over the past two years, they have made a large amount of compost from the kitchen waste in school and have also grown several saplings which can be used in households,” said Monisha Narke, a parent who runs a waste management organisation and has been training the students. The students charge between Rs 500 to 1,000 for a two-hour service.
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World Disability Day 2017: Mumbai cyclists team up with NGO to create awareness

Pedal for Joy, a Mumbai-based cycling group founded by Sanket Subhedar and a group of friends, has joined hands with Muskan Foundation, an NGO that works with the disabled, to celebrate World Disability Day.As part of the programme, which will be held today, 35-40 cyclists will pedal for three kilometres in Mumbai to raise awareness about differently abled people.The main programme that will be organized by Muskan Foundation, will be held at the amphitheatre at Bandra’s Carter Road from 3.30 pm. Shiv Sena youth leader Aaditya Thackeray is expected to be the chief guest at the event.As per statistics given by the World Health Organization, over 15% the world’s population is disabled, with 2.21% coming from India, as per the 2011 national census.However, activists believe that the number could be higher in India, as people tend to hide their disabilities fearing social stigma.
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MLC polls: BJP cosies up to Shiv Sena for support

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the gloves are off for the state legislative council elections, the BJP is trying to solicit the support of their junior ally, the Shiv Sena for their candidate.On Thursday, revenue minister Chandrakantdada Patil and education minister Vinod Tawade met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence, Matoshree, in Bandra east. Shiv Sena leaders said the council poll was on the agenda of the meeting.The July 7 by-election has been necessitated after the resignation of Narayan Rane from the Congress, who has formed his own front, the Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksha, and is waiting in the wings to be inducted in the state cabinet as BJP’s ally.A senior Shiv Sena leader said that while there were no chances of them supporting Rane in case the BJP declared his nomination, their senior ally could not take them for granted when it came to the Sena’s support in the council polls. “Much of this depends on the candidate to be fielded by the Congress and NCP. The picture will be clear only then,” he added, while stating that the Shiv Sena would not stake claim to the seat.Polling in the elections takes place through secret ballot, which raises the spectre of cross-voting and horse trading.

Organic greens at Cuffe Parade’s farmer’s market

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Cuffe Parade have joined hands with the local corporator to organise an organic farmers’ market on November 25 next to Maker Arcade.”The idea is to promote healthy living among people and support farmers. Earlier I would have to go to Bandra to buy organic vegetables but now it will be easier,” said Harshita Narwekar, the local corporator behind the idea’s implementation. “I had mentioned having an organic market in my manifesto,’ Narwekar added.Following this Saturday’s market, it will then return on December 3, 9 and 17. “After that, we will renew the permission and ensure that it is continued in the future as well. It can either be at the same place or some other place,” said Narwekar.Residents are also using the opportunity to take up the larger issue of a healthy environment. “On December 10, we will take up our no-plastic drive in a bigger way. We are anyway asking our residents not to use plastic bags. We have also spoken to some shopkeepers and one of them has already stopped keeping plastic bags. When people come to the farmers’ market, we will discourage them from using plastic bags,” said Padmakar Nadekar, secretary general, CPRA. “Self-help groups will be selling cloth bags to residents who forget to carry their own,” added Narwekar.To make it a livelier experience, the residents have also organised sitting arrangements and activities for children. “We have activities for kids like pottery and candyfloss made of out of raw sugar. The idea is to try and give it the feel of a mela so that people can look forward to more than the big draw of organic food,” said Narwekar.

Three track deaths: Ex ZRUCC member write to Piyush Goyal to blacklist the contractor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A former member of Zonal Railway User Consultative Committee urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to blacklist the contractor and to give compensation to the family members of the three women labourers who died on the tracks.Two days after three women labourers were mowed down to death by the Bandra-Indore Holiday Express train between Malad and Goregaon railway stations, a former Zonal Railway User Consultative Committee (ZRUCC) member has now written to the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal demanding strictest action against the contractors for the deaths of the three women labourers on November 18.In the letter, Dr. Manoj Dube, a member of the Railway Pravasi Mitra and a former ZRUCC member states that the labourers risk their lives while working for the railways and must be compensated after the tragedy. “Deaths of women labourers is very unfortunate and the contractor is to be blamed for it. Moreover, the families has to be compensated. Similar such incidents have taken place in the past when the labourers working on the tracks for the railways have lost their lives.”, said Dr. Dube”The railways should conduct an inquiry into the incident and must blacklist the contractor if found guilty. The railways should ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future.”, said Dr Dube.

It’s raining offers at CREDAI-MCHI property expo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was an offer galore at the ongoing CREDAI-MCHI property exhibition at Bandra Kurla Complex. Developers appeared far more realistic in their sales pitches offering price discounts as high as 10 to 15 per cent.One developer was even offering 1BHK free on the purchase of a flat in one of his projects while others were offering a car or free stamp duty and registration. The four-day long exhibition began on Thursday and will conclude on Sunday.Shailesh Sanghiv of Sanghiv developers, who has projects in Dahisar and other parts of the town, had a fortune wheel placed at his stall offering car and 1BHK flat free along with the purchase of a 2 BHK flat or a 1 BHK flat.”The free flat is in Asangaon, and if the buyer doesn’t want the free house the price will be adjusted in his purchase in Mumbai. We want to sell flats and hence the offer,” said Sanghvi.Tejas Vyas, Chairman of CREDAI-MCHI’s exhibition committee said, “We had asked developers to give discounts and offers as they deem fit. Even big brands in the world sell their products at 50 per cent of total price during sale period. The property exhibition takes place only once a year so developers are offering heavy discounts and offers.”However, homebuyers claim that the prices are still very high and out of reach for many. “There are offers but developers have hiked the rate first then put a discount on it, which doesn’t make the offer exciting. I was expecting discounts but not much is being offered in real terms,” said Syed Noorudin, a homebuyer.

DN Nagar-BKC Metro work to kick off by Feb ’18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid protests by residents of Andheri, Vile Parle, Khar and Juhu demanding construction of DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B be underground instead of elevated, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday said civil construction of first phase between DN Nagar and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) will start by February 2018.Few residents had also approached the Bombay High Court, citing that Metro-2B should be made underground instead of elevated.However, the MMRDA on Monday opened the financial bids for the construction of Metro-2B wherein Simplex Infrastructure was found to be the lowest bidder. Simplex had quoted Rs 1,080 crore against an estimation of Rs 998 crore by MMRDA.This includes construction of 11 elevated stations from ESIC Nagar, Prem Nagar, Indira Nagar, Old Airport, Khira Nagar, Saraswat Nagar, National College, Bandra (W), MMRDA Office, Income Tax Office and BKC.”We have given nod to Simplex Infrastructures Limited, the lowest bidder at rupees one thousand eighty crores,” MMRDA said in a statement issued on Monday.”This is another important step towards developing metro network in the city which is the need of the hour. The contract will be awarded to the contractor after the Executive Committee accords its approval”, said UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.However, the residents who have challenged MMRDA, cited that an elevated Metro corridor over the major arterial SV Road will lead to traffic congestion and it would also close all doors for the future expansion of Metro.Expected daily ridership on the Metro-2B is over 8 lakh commuters. The 23.5-km-long Metro corridor is a part of the Metro 2 (Dahisar-Charkop—Bandra-Mandale), which was earlier planned underground, but later turned into an elevated corridor.The line was also divided into two parts: Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro-2A and DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B, which is being constructed in two phases between DN Nagar- BKC and BKC-Mandale.Meanwhile, tenders of remaining stations from MTNL Metro, SG Barve Marg, Kurla Terminal, Kurla-E, EEH, Chembur, Diamond Garden, Shivaji Chowk, BSNL Metro, Mankhurd, Mandala (Depot) will be floated separately.CITIZENS’ GRUDGESResidents, who have challenged MMRDA, said an elevated Metro corridor over the major arterial SV Road will lead to traffic congestion and close all doors for future expansion of Metro.

Linking of mobile with Aadhaar: Some people in Mumbai switch off mobile for an hour every day to register protest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of citizens in Mumbai have joined a movement of switching off their mobile phone for half an hour every day for 30 days to protest the linking of Aadhaar. The mobile has to be switched off from 11 am onwards for 30 days. The protestors also ask citizens to mail their protest to the chief justice of India (CJI) and seek opting out of Aadhaar. A template has been provided for the same. “The reason why I am supporting this is because these days for everything they are asking for Aadhaar. Even for the credit cards they are asking and want it to be linked. It seems that government wants to do some kind of surveillance on citizens. They are implementing Aadhaar without any thought process. Why they are not linking it with voter identity card is not known. That should have been done because it affects democracy and elections,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, resident of Dadar. “I have supported the movement. Since I am already a petitioner in Supreme Court in Aadhaar case and my case is going one, I do not have to write a letter to the chief justice,” said Vikram Krishna, a resident of Bandra who is actively supporting the movement and also sending emails in his contact list for people to support the movement. “Very simply any system that imposes arbitrary number is flawed approach. It is a very poorly designed programme. The user has no control and if the biometrics are lost, there is nothing to fall back upon. Aadhaar was designed to give identification to those who did not have one so that they can get schemes. When most people made Aadhaar, they had at least some identification. The DoPT has said that there is no last date for linking mobile but not many people know,” added Krishna. The mail sent also mentions how an 11 year old beneficiary of a scheme lost his life becuase Aadhaar was not linked to the ration card.

Joyride spins into tale of death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A joyride spun into a tragic story when a 17-year-old biker lost his life and a pillion rider sustained severe injuries, after the motorcycle they were riding, rammed into a car at Platina junction in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) on Saturday night.The deceased has been identified Siraj Shaikh, a resident of Kurla.The incident took place around 9:30pm when a car was heading towards Bandra from Kurla on BKC road. Shaikh, who was riding a scooter, jumped the signal at BKC and collided with the car. The police were informed and the injured were rushed to a hospital.”Pillion rider Atish Chudiwala didn’t have a driving licence. Shaikh was riding rashly. Neither of them were wearing helmets. Shaikh died at the spot. Eighteen-year-old Chudiwala is critical and is being treated at a hospital,” said Kalpana Gadekar, senior police inspector, BKC Police Station.”Shaikh owned the bike. The duo was going to Bandra for a joyride. We’re yet to record Chudiwala’s statement. We have registered a case of rash driving and causing death due to negligence against the deceased. The bike has been seized and we will send it to RTO for inspection,” she added.

Slum dwellers return to Garib Nagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Their shanties may have been demolished by the BMC in the last week of October but the slum dwellers of Garib Nagar in Bandra east have returned; cooking and sleeping beneath tarpaulin sheets. The civic body had demolished nearly 400 shanties in the slum in order to secure the Tansa Pipeline following orders from the High Court.Halim Khan, the local Shiv Sena corporator supporting the slum dwellers, said, “The BMC had issued notices to 326 shanties but demolished an additional 124. A fire broke out which affected more shanties. The residents are adversely affected and forced to come back as they have no other option,” said Khan, who claims that he is distributing food to more than 1,100 of the affected families daily with the help of locals.According to Khan, 35 slum dwellers are eligible for alternate accommodation and 200 more will be eligible once the paperwork is in place. “Even the eligible slum dwellers aren’t being given alternative accommodation. When they use toilet facilities at the nearby station, they are being heavily fined by the Railways,” said Khan.The Railways have enhanced security in the area and started proceedings to get rid of encroachment on its land adjoining the station. Ravinder Bhakar, CPRO, Western Railway, said, “The station is for commuters and the facilities are for people with valid tickets.”Despite repeated attempts, BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta and local ward officer Alka Sasane were not available for comment.

Stationary Torture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Mumbai’s local trains are often called the city’s ‘lifeline’, the 164-year-old rail system is struggling to keep pace with the 76 lakh commuters who now use the system daily. In the aftermath of the tragedy at Elphinstone Road station, several teams fanned across the city to audit railway stations.Shashank Rao takes a closer look at five of the city’s major stations to find out whether improvements, if any, have been made to the stations’ infrastructure only to find that not much has been done to plug the gaps to ensure the safety of commutersBandraBandra may be called the ‘Queen of the Suburbs’ and its station’s building may boast a ‘heritage’ tag but the condition of the rail premises in and around Bandra station are in dire straits. The Western and Harbour lines culminate at this station which caters to the commercial hub of Bandra-Kurla Complex on the east, and posh neighbourhoods and old villages on the west.While the platforms of the 19th century Victorian-styled station are wide enough to contain the high footfalls the station witnesses, the foot-overbridges (FOBs) that connect the west to the east are in poor condition.Over the past few weeks, the Railway authorities have rid the FOBs of hawkers. The station boasts the city’s first skywalk which is sadly occupied by hawkers.The FOB on the station’s south-end is incomplete, and connects only to the west. The other end leads to Harbour line platforms. Senior Western Railway (WR) officials claim they have begun the work of extending this FOB, and connecting it to the skywalk. “This work is expected to be complete by the end of this financial year,” said an official. The FOB on the station’s north-end is rarely used by commuters owing to the inconvenience it causes for hiring auto rickshaws.Plenty of food stalls dot this station, many of them near FOBs, blocking the free movement of commuters. Slums on both sides of the station lead to frequent instances of trespassing and people using the tracks for sitting and drying clothes. Besides, the slum dwellers often throw garbage on railway premises including the tracks which is one of the primary reasons for waterlogging of rail tracks every monsoon.The multi-disciplinary audit team, that was formed for both Western and Central Railway after the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, has proposed bar fencing as a way to prevent encroachers from using the fifth rail line on the east side of Bandra. The audit report submitted to the Railway ministry also states the need to demolish abandoned buildings on the station’s east side, provisions for proper lighting, cement-concrete boundary walls, and shutting down of unauthorized entry and exit points to the station.Daily Footfalls2016-171.41 LJogeshwariOwing to the ever-increasing crowd at Andheri station, Jogeshwari station too has grown in prominence over the past few years. Attention was drawn to the station’s poor infrastructure only after commuters went up in arms and resorted to ‘Rail Roko’ in the first week of October. The station is used by commuters to access area such as Oshiwara, Goregaon and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road.The station’s infrastructure is poor considering its dual-discharge island platform for the slow line which caters to platforms 1 and 2. Trains to Borivli and Churchgate arrive here but fast trains to Churchgate also halt here during peak hours. In all, nearly 480 services halt at Jogeshwari everyday.”We do not have sufficient space to walk or wait for the trains on this island platform. The situation has worsened especially after the platform on the west side was broken down,” said Mansoor Darvesh, secretary, Passenger and Traffic Relief Association and a Jogeshwari resident.The platform has been demolished to accommodate two more tracks that are meant for the proposed Andheri-Goregaon Harbour line. WR officials agree that the cutting down of the 3-meter wide platform on the west side has left little space for commuters, especially during peak hours. New platforms have been built further north of Jogeshwari station where the Harbour line trains are slated to make their halt. This has a subway built for people to enter or exit the station premises and has been completely covered by an oval shaped roof.A new FOB and an elevated ticket booking office has been built but commuters claim that the office is too high and there is a need for escalators. As a result, commuters tend to trespass rather than climb the long flight of stairs. Besides, the platforms do not have roof-cover at the ends which the WR authorities are now working to install.Daily Footfalls2016-171.06 LWadalaApart from local trains connecting the Harbour line, this station has a truck terminal and a junction which connects freight and goods trains from the city’s Port Trust to rest of the country. It is also the station where local trains connect both Andheri on the WR and Panvel on CR. Apart from the four rail tracks for the suburban system, there are at least eight rail tracks meant for goods trains carrying coal, cement and other freight.The daily footfalls at Wadala station have increased owing to the several offices that have come up around the area. Not to forget the college-going crowd of nearby degree and engineering colleges. To cater to this increasing crowd, CR officials say they have increased the number of services on the Harbour line with additional halts at Wadala. From October 2, the CR added 14 suburban services on the CSMT-Panvel Harbour line and another 14 on the Thane-Vashi Trans-harbour line.This station too witnesses several cases of trespassing due to the several illegal slums and encroachments around the rail premises. For instance, there are several encroachments causing problems at the Raoli junction near the station. “The CR needs to ensure that encroachments are demolished and people are rehabilitated so that garbage from rail premises can be removed,” said Gaurang Damani, a Wadala resident.CR officials said that the FOBs on the Kurla-end of the station witness heavy congestion. During peak hours, the station witnesses instances of overcrowding due to inadequate entry and exit points. The audit report has advised replacement of the existing FOB with a wider one, and extending it to the Monorail station.There is a possibility of creating four more entry and exit points, apart from removing railway offices to provide wider exits. The shops outside the station too need to be relocated and the Railways are in talks with the BMC for the same.Daily Footfalls2016-1770,767MasjidThis is one of the stations that connects older and busy markets such as Crawford Market, Manish Market, Masjid Bunder, Mangaldas Market and the Mumbadevi Temple. Additionally, it connects both the Main and Harbour lines.While the CR demolished and built a new road-overbridge at Masjid around seven years ago, the condition of this station continues to remain dismal.Platforms 3 and 4 slope towards the tracks, making them dangerous for commuters boarding and alighting from moving trains.”The iron borders of the staircase jut out which could hurt commuters hurrying to catch a train,” said a railway official. The multi-disciplinary team in its report noted that the staircases are slippery.This station too suffers from heavy encroachment with hawkers having residential dwellings outside and next to the station. These lead to congestion during peak hours. As there is a huge market area nearby, many vendors and sellers carrying bulk luggage use the FOBs which further leads to congestion.The CR authorities are working on providing space for extension on the FOB’s east side till the deck, in order to ensure speedy clearance on the CSMT-end of the booking office. Sources said that on the Kalyan-end of the FOB, on the west hand side, there is a shop blocking smooth movement of commuters and so the BMC has been asked to relocate this shop.Meanwhile, the middle FOB witnesses the maximum number of commuters as it is closest to the markets. The CR authorities are working on arrangements for walking using a skywalk on the vacant space connecting east and west. The officials said that the BMC has agreed to provide landings for the same.Daily Footfalls2016-1755,800KurlaThis station is among the most crowded in the suburban railway network. It provides access to Bandra-Kurla Complex on the west and Nehru Nagar, Andheri-Kurla Road on the east. It connects Main and Harbour lines of CR, making it an important station.The station has three FOBs which are densely crowded. Over 245 people who trespass have died on the tracks at Kurla until November this year. This is a particular problem near the northern end of the station from where Harbour line trains ply. Besides, the width of these FOBs are a mere 2.44 meters, needing immediate replacement with wider FOBs, and modification to connect it with the skywalk. Several women commuters at this station complain of being wrongly touched. After nearly a decade, a new subway has been inaugurated and thrown open to the public by the BMC.”This subway is needed to have arms connecting the platforms instead of only going from east to west,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Mumbai Rail Yatri Sangh.There are several shops — illegal and legal — that need to be removed and relocated in order to provide better access to commuters. At present, it is a struggle to exit the station premises but after the Elphinstone Road tragedy several hawkers have been cleared. Auto rickshaws parked haphazardly outside the station make smooth transit a problem. The audit report mentioned the need to disallow vehicular traffic from coming close to the station premises on the west side.There is also a proposal of having an elevated three-line Harbour station above the eastern part of the sprawling Kurla station. The Rs 96-crore project entails the creation of a rail flyover, starting from north of Chunabhatti to the south of Tilak nagar stations right above the current platforms 7 and 8. The elevated Harbour line will have two lines that will move towards CSMT and Panvel while the third line will terminate at Kurla. The rail line below will then be used by freight trains coming from Mumbai Port Trust via Wadala.Daily Footfalls2016-171.58 LWe have taken several steps to ensure that there is no congestion on rail premises. We are also coordinating with the BMC to demarcate no hawking zones.—Ravinder Bhakar, Chief PRO, Western RailwayWe have started taking initiatives to reduce congestion at railway premises. Work to improve infrastructure of platforms and FOBs has also begun.—Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway

2 carpenters kill customer for demanding furniture delivery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday late night, a 25-year-old man was bludgeoned to death by two carpenters for allegedly demanding a furniture delivery. The Kherwadi police have arrested two carpenter brothers and have seized a hockey stick and a hammer from the spot.According to police, Sudhir Pawar, 25, a resident of Bandra went to the furniture store belonging to carpenter Chotelal Sahani,34 near Gousiya masjid on the Western Express Highway, placed an order for furniture, and asked him to deliver it. When Sahani refused to accept the demand, Pawar and Sahani got into a verbal fight and in a fit of rage picked up a hockey stick and assaulted Pawar. Rakesh Sahani, 24,brother of Sahani intervened and joined in assaulting Pawar after using his hammer from the toolkit and repeatedly hit him on the head.”Relatives of Pawar rushed him to Bhabha hospital but he died during the treatment. Sahani too has been injured in the scuffle. We have arrested both the carpenter brothers,” said a Kherwadi police officer.”We have registered a case under section 302 (murder) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code and the accused has been remanded in police custody up to November 13,” said Rajendra Patil, Senior Inspector, Kherwadi police station.

Slum demolition in Bandra East: Bombay HC asks BMC to maintain status quo for a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Thursday continued till November 15, it’s order directing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, which was carrying out demolitions in the Garib Nagar slums in Bandra (E), to maintain status quo for a week. A division bench of Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice Riyaz Chagla have tagged the petition filed by local resident Nilofer Qureshi along with other petitions filed challenging demolition drive along the Tansa Pipeline.Recently, a major fire that erupted during a court-ordered demolition drive by the BMC to clear shanties falling in the buffer zone of the Tansa pipeline.Qureshi, who sought permission for the reconstruction of her shanty, claiming it was built prior to 1995. The plea also claimed that the corporation had carried out the demolition action without notice.However, senior advocate Anil Sakhare and advocate Joel Carlos opposed the plea on grounds that the demolition is in pursuance of the High Court order passed a few years back, ordering the removal of slums along the pipelines in phases. Accordingly, the slum tenements totalling around 325 were removed in phase II and phase III. The court on last hearing accepted the statement, and refusing to grant interim relief for the redevelopment of demolished shanties. Train services were affected on the Harbour line between Bandra and Andheri stations as slum dwellers spilled onto the tracks after a massive fire broke out in Garib Nagar slums in Bandra East.The incident, which took place during a demolition drive ordered by the Bombay High Court, saw slum dwellers getting their furniture, TV sets, refrigerators, sewing machines and even gas cylinders onto the railway tracks and platforms 6 and 7 of Bandra station, blocking the fifth line meant for long-distance trains, and also the Up Harbour line towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.

MMRC carrying out Metro work at night despite court stay, say Churchgate residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Churchgate have alleged that construction work of Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor is being carried out at night by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) despite a stay from the Bombay High Court which restrains MMRC from carrying out work between 10 pm and 6 am.Residents have claimed that the noisy construction work in their area disturbs their sleep cycle in odd hours of the night. They say that it is only after the police is contacted and they reach the spot that MMRC stops the work.The High Court, in August 2017, had directed MMRC not to carry out any construction or ancillary activities of the Metro-3 project at night for a period of two weeks after a resident complained of inconvenience. However, the stay has been extended subsequently.The direction had come after a petition was filed by lawyer Robin Jaisinghani, a resident of Cuffe Parade, citing inconvenience caused by the late-night construciton activities.Jamshed Khambatta, a resident of Jamshedji Tata Road in Churchgate, said, “I have been complaining to the control room of police for the past four days every night. Metro-3 construction work continues till 11.30pm every night despite there being a deadline of 10pm. At times, they start work in our pipeline at 4am in the morning causing air as well as noise pollution in my house.””The MMRC should compensate me and also install an air purifier and sound proof windows in my house. I have developed a problem of bronchitis because of the ongoing work and the dust that has come with it,” he addedHowever, an email query sent to MMRC remained unanswered till we went to the press on Wednesday.Earlier, MMRC had also installed noise barriers in Cuffe Parade to mitigate noise levels at the construction site. MMRC has been claiming that noise pollution rules cannot be enforced at Metro rail construction sites in Mumbai, which come under the Metro Act, a special enactment that can override the general laws under which such rules are framed.

Mumbai: That Whatsapp forward of a bomb blast in Bandra station is fake, confirms Western Railway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, the Western Railway looked to scotch rumours of a supposed bomb blast that took place at Bandra Railway station. Several messages on social media for the last fortnight have claimed that a bomb blast had taken place in Bandra station.DCP Government Railway Police, Western Railway said it was a false message and no such incident had taken place.Purhosttam Karad told DNA: “A false message about blast at Bandra Railway station is being circulated in some group. No such incident had happened.”

MMRC to film a documentary on Metro 3

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) on Thursday said that it will prepare a documentary on the ongoing work of Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor by appointing a private agency.The MMRC’s aim is to telecast the documentary globally to create awareness about the project implementation and its benefits.In the past, the MMRC had appointed private agencies to handle its social media presence, and PR agencies to carry out its communication.The MMRC has been facing flak over the rehabilitation of residents in the Girgaon and Kalbadevi area construction of Metro car depot inside Aarey Milk Colony, felling of trees for the construction of Metro-3. Also, a few citizens from South Mumbai have moved the Bombay High Court over the vibrations due to the tunnelling work of Metro-3 and MMRC’s alleged violation of noise pollution rules at the Metro construction site.An MMRC official, said, “The documentary exercise is merely for the record and to educate.” However, the MMRC official also said that they are not aware of the total cost for the making of the documentary and have called for expression of interest (EOI) floated dated November 2, 2017.The EOI floated by the MMRC on Thursday, reads, “The MMRC invites Expression of Interest from interested agencies working in the field of multimedia and film production for the work preparing high-definition documentary (audio-visual) on the implementation of Mumbai Metro Line 3 covering special events and activities for the entire project development phase.”ABOUT THE ROUTEThe Metro-3 corridor that will have 27 underground stations will be a crucial north-south link for commuters across the city.
The metro corridor will connect major Central Business Districts (CBD) such as Nariman Point, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Seepz in Andheri.

Fire breaks out at factory in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out at a factory in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja on Thursday afternoon.According to initial information, eight fire tenders are present at the spot and efforts are on to douse the fire.The reason is yet not known.On Wednesday, a fire broke out at an office park in Navi Mumbai’s Airoli.Last week, a fire had broken in Bandra’s Behrampada area.(More details are awaited)

Navi Mumbai: Fire breaks out in Airoli; no casualties reported

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out at an office park in Navi Mumbai’s Airoli on Wednesday, according to several media reports. No casualties have been reported.It was reported that three fire engines and ambulances have been rushed to the spot.Efforts are underway to contain the fire, according to the reportThe fire broke out a week after another one broke out in Bandra’s Behrampada area .Preliminary reports said that smoke was billowing from the slums in the area. A fire official told DNA that the fire broke out during a demolition drive that was carried out by the BMC. “It was part of clearing encroachments along the Tansa pipeline following a Bombay High Court order,” he said.

MMRC begins process of pvt land acquisition

1,442 square meters required for the construction of Metro-3 in areas like Grant Road, Marine Lines, Girgaum and Bhuleshwar <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) executing the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 underground corridor has initiated the process of acquiring privately-owned land measuring 1,442 square meters required for the construction of Metro-3 in areas like Grant Road, Marine Lines, Girgaum and Bhuleshwar.Apart from south Mumbai, acquisition of another 4,852 square meters in south central Mumbai and western suburbs will also be taken for temporary and permanent periods. The MMRC requires around 78 hectares of land for Metro-3, of which 13.57 hectares will be acquired permanently and 65.10 hectares temporarily. Of the total, MMRC has almost completed the acquisition of land owned by the government which is around 75 hectares. The remaining three hectares is privately-owned, for which the acquisition has begun.An official from MMRC said, “For privately-owned land parcels we have given 15 days to the general public for any suggestions or objections for the acquisition. The public notice was issued on Sunday and starting Monday we have given 15 days to the private parties who are going to be affected.”

Behrampada residents always interrupt fire dousing ops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking control of the major fire that broke out in the Behrampada area in Bandra east on Thursday was not an easy task for the Mumbai Fire Brigade. Fire officials claim the slum dwellers in the area are infamous for interrupting the firefighting.In 2015 too, the firemen struggled with the locals. Following the damage, a case was registered in Nirmal Nagar police station. However, on Thursday too, the firemen and police experienced the same disruption, in addition to dealing with crowds during the demolition drive.”The slum cluster has a history of fires and the locals try to dominate the firefighting operations. We not only take an extra force of fire brigades but also have to be ready for self-defense,” said PS Rahangdale, chief fire officer.According to sources from the police, an extra police force had been deployed on Thursday. While the police claim to have carried out the operations smoothly, the firefighters have a different story to tell.”They disconnect the coupling attached to fire engines. In the past, they have taken charge of fire brigade vehicles. Whenever we get a fire call from Behrampada, we have to ask for an extra police force to handle the crowd,” another officer said.”Whenever we get a fire call from the area, our firemen get psychologically stressed as facing the irate crowd is a challenging task. The slum dwellers snatch the water nozzle from while we attempt to control the fire strategically,” the officer added.

MSRDC to begin valuation of its assets; BWSL to be insured soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) was made operational in 2009 and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway in 2004, the cash-strapped Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), has, after so many years, decided to conduct a valuation of the iconic 4.7-km-long BWSL and the 94.5-km-long Expressway in order to have both projects covered by insurance.An official from MSRDC said, “We have initiated the process of appointing consultants who will do the valuation and on the basis of their fresh valuation we will decide the premium on insurance and the total amount of insurance of the assets owned by MSRDC.”Apart from the sea link and expressway, the other assets include city roads, bridges and flyovers owned by the MSRDC across the state, and bypass roads. Valuation will also be done for the corporation’s rail overbridges, subways, toll collection systems, residential and commercial premises, computers and other furniture and fixtures.Once covered by insurance, the MSRDC can make claims for the damages that may occur to both projects due to unavoidable circumstances such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack.The insuring of infrastructure projects is not new and has been a practice for a long time. Insurance also provides cover against third-party liability risks. However, currently, none of the projects of MSRDC — including the state’s toll collection booths and flyovers — are covered by insurance.An official from MSRDC, on the condition of anonymity, said, “The fact that none of our iconic infrastructures are covered by insurance is partly because of the corporation’s financial condition. As of today, our outstanding debt would be somewhere around Rs 4,000 crore.”The official added, “Many are questioning why we are going for insurance now, considering the financial condition is not good. It is only because the top political and bureaucratic authorities are afraid of facing flak. The development also comes in the backdrop of the state government sending managing director Radheshyam Mopalwar on forced leave after opposition parties alleged financial irregularities.”

Bandra slum fire disrupts Western Railway services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Train services were affected on the Harbour line between Bandra and Andheri stations as slum dwellers came onto the tracks on Thursday, after a massive fire broke out in Garib Nagar slums (Behrampada) at Bandra East.The incident took place during a demolition drive ordered by the Bombay High Court, and slum dwellers were seen getting their furniture, TV sets, refrigerators, sewing machines and even gas cylinders onto the railway tracks and platforms 6 and 7 of Bandra station, blocking the fifth line meant for long distance trains, and also the Up Harbour line towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus.The fire engulfed a portion of the skywalk near the eastern exit of Bandra station, causing that part to collapse. The ticket booking office and Automated Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) on the Foot-over-Bridge (FOB) on the east side were also damaged in the fire. Auto-rickshaw operations and bus services outside Bandra station were suspended.”The Up and Down lines were suspended from 4.25 pm to 4.50 pm,” said Sunil Udasi, chief PRO, Central Railway. The railways allowed services to run on the Main line.Following the Elphinstone Road stampede on September 29, in which 23 people died, BMC and the Railways have stepped up their demolition drives. In fact, a multi-disciplinary team formed by Western Railway had mentioned the need for fencing near the fifth line to avoid encroachment.At Bandra (East), the Railways have lost over 5000 sqmt of land to encroachment. “There are nearly 360 illegally slums on our land. These need to be cleared for safety purposes too,” said a Western Railway official. In Garib Nagar alone, there are 450 encroachers some of whom have occupied and obstructed the fifth rail line near Bandra station.This is the third incident of a fire at Garib Nagar, after fires broke out in the slums in June 2009 and March 2011.The fireThe fire broke out around 3:15 pm, following which 9 fire engines, 10 water tankers and other fire-fighting machinery was pressed into action. The fire was brought under control by around 7.30 pm. Two Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) officials, Arvind Parbhati Ghadge from Bandra and Ajay Ram Bandra from Marol were injured and admitted to Bhabha Hospital in Bandra. Their condition is stable.MFB officials said they would know the trigger for the fire only after investigation. However, locals say a cylinder blast could be the reason, as they heard a loud explosion before they noticed the smoke.MFB officials say they received a level-II fire call around 3.15 pm, and the intensity of the fire increased at around 4.30pm. Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said the fire was declared level-IV after its intensity increased.According to the BMC, the fire consumed electric wiring and installation, garments, scrapped material, plastic, kerosene, household articles, wooden furniture, LPG Cylinders, rags, among others, in an area of about 20,000 sqmt, counting some ground-plus-two and ground-plus-three storey structures.”A demolition drive was being conducted as the area was within the buffer zone of the Tansa Pipeline,” said an official from BMC’s H-East ward.A senior fire official said that they faced difficulty while dousing the fire in the initial stage as a crowd had gathered to take selfies.”The BMC told us on October 24 to clear our houses in 48 hours, but we weren’t told they would demolish our homes,” said Farida Begum, who was sitting on the tracks along with her family. “Now my house has been gutted and I couldn’t even carry all my belongings.” Her shanty was right next to the FOB.

La Mer gets 20 days to install active fire system

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plush La Mer residential tower in Bandra West, where a fire broke out on the 10th floor on Tuesday, has been served notice by Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFP) to install a proper firefighting system in the building within 20 days. The building was issued the notice on Tuesday night under Maharashtra Fire Prevention Act as it was found that the firefighting systems in the building were not in working condition at the time of the fire. On Tuesday afternoon, a duplex flat on the 10th and 11th floor of the La Mer building in Bandra West owned by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar was gutted in the fire. It took the firemen over an hour to douse the fire. A notice was served and standing instructions were given by the MFB Chief Fire Officer to disconnect the electricity and water connection to the building. When contacted, Tata Power which supplies electricity to the building, said, “Power supply to the building was disconnected as a precautionary measure and was restored on Tuesday to all except 10th & 11th floor.”

H/E ward locals miffed with officer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Brihanmumbai Corporation’s (BMC) H-East ward (Bandra east to Santacruz east) have been distressed for the past two months as their complaints are not being addressed in their ward’s public grievance meetings. This has compelled them to write an official complaint to the municipal commissioner and deputy municipal commissioner against the ward’s assistant municipal commissioner for not attending the meetings.Assistant municipal commissioners of every ward are expected to meet citizens at public grievance meetings that are held on Mondays and Fridays between 3 and 5 pm.”Ever since the new ward officer (assistant municipal commissioner) took office, she has not been attending the meetings. It has been two months. We are told that she is either supervising a demolition or some other issue is keeping her occupied,” said Clarence Pinto, member of Voice of Kalina. “To make matters worse, she has been putting officers in charge on her behalf for the meetings, and we have grievances against them too,” added Pinto. The residents’ grievances range from issues related to illegal encroachments, hawking to illegal banners.According to Ashwin Suvarna, ward resident, the bigger problem is that there is no deputy. “There is illegal construction in my building which is harming the structure and no action has been taken. An assistant engineer who was put in charge by her said he would take action but nothing was done,” said Suvarna.When contacted, Alka Sasane, assistant municipal commissioner of H-East ward said, “I will handle it.” The municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta did not respond to texts from DNA….& ANALYSISIt is vital that the BMC take public grievance meetings at the ward-level seriously.
It is during such meetings that officials can get a sense of gaps that need to be plugged on the ground. Taking such meetings casually will only dent the image of the BMC further.

Did not click a single marriage photo: Pillai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The defence advocate in Leander Paes and Rhea Pillai’s domestic violence case on Saturday continued with Pillai’s cross-examination. She informed the Bandra Metropolitan magistrate court that she married Leander Paes in the Gandharva Vivah tradition and it was performed twice. She also claimed that she did not click a single picture with Paes as she was waiting for the marriage to be solemnised.Rhea, while deposing, said that the two got married in the year 2005 and 2008. However, when the defence asked her if she had mentioned about it to the court, she claimed that she had mentioned about it to her lawyers, who in turn added the fact in some petition. Her lawyers failed to remember as to which pleading had the mention of this fact.Further, the defence questioned her the reasons for re-marrying Paes. In reply, Pillai said, that Sanjay Dutt and she got formally separated in the 2008 and as, Paes and she, wanted to re-visit their marriage vows, they got married once again.The court has issued the next date for continued cross -examination as October 10.

Stampede at Elphinstone Road: A first person account of what happened

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When I boarded the 10:23 Churchgate slow local from Bandra this morning, the rain pressed hard against the moving train forcing people to move in faster and shut the doors.By the time I entered the train, every seat in the compartment was occupied and so I stood guard at the door. As the rain became incessant, I held the door shut and stood that way for the next four stations.Before reaching Elphinstone Road station, there was chaos in the air. Distressed cries were heard even before we pulled into platform number 2. I only registered the severity of the situation after the train slowed down while entering the station.People had fallen down on the stairs of the Foot over Bridge (FoB) but commuters were climbing over them – literally walking over horizontal human sandwiches – to move up the bridge.The narrow bridge at Elphinstone Road station connects west and east Parel, as well as the Western Railway and Central Railway platforms. Like most railway bridges, it has a ticket counter on the west side. The width of the bridge is narrow and the ticket counter cannot boast of ample space either.People were hanging out of the stairs leading to the Foot-over-Bridge (FoB), and some had even climbed over the railing and were climbing the stairs slowly from the outside. Others were screeching and screaming at each other, urging everyone to move ahead.A lot more were still pouring in from both sides of the bridge, and the discipline of ‘Keep to your left’ was long-forgotten as commuters tried to board incoming trains.I made my way up the second bridge, which runs alongside Jagannath Bhatnakar Marg — it took me nearly 15-20 minutes to make it up one flight of stairs and out of the station. As a five-foot woman, I gasped for breath, while being pushed from one side to another. Some good Samaritans steadied those like me who kept losing their balance. We could not see where we were placing our feet and the fear of tripping over gripped me.Less than half way up the stairs I realised I probably should have waited it out on the platform and let those who were in a bigger hurry than me proceed. But how long could the platform be safe? As crowds swelled with each incoming train, we ran the risk of being pushed on to the tracks.Then, someone from the ascending traffic whispered, “Three women have been hurt”. Others said something about a short circuit, but were unaware of where it erupted or what caused it. Others kept mumbling about the burgeoning crowd.As I got to my office, which overlooks the station, the crowd looked like more than the station could handle. Soon, we heard multiple sirens roaring close by. We rushed out on to the office balcony to see ambulances zooming in.And the news broke that a stampede at Elphinstone station had cost us three lives, while 25 have been injured at 11:30 am.This article originally appeared in Zeebiz.com

Sachin Tendulkar rolls up his sleeves to clean up Mumbai streets

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray on Tuesday morning cleaned the streets of suburban Bandra to spread the message of cleanliness.Extending support to the central government’s ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ campaign, Tendulkar urged people to keep the city and its surroundings clean in order to make it not just beautiful, but also a healthy place.”The garbage is dumped here and there while there are dustbins. I would request everyone not to litter and please do not deface the city,” Sachin told mediapersons.”We each have to do our bit to keep #IndiaClean. So, pick a group of friends, a street, and together let’s #CleanUp India. #SwachhataHiSeva,” Tendulkar tweeted after taking part in the campaign.On September 15, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had picked up the broom and swept a lane in the busy Crawford market in south Mumbai while launching the 15-day sanitation campaign Swachhta Hi Seva (cleanliness is service) fortnight.

Maharashtra to deploy police at selfie spots

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Now when you spot a scenic location while touring Maharaahtra and are excited to capture it in a selfie, be prepared to spot cops there. The Maharashtra state has decided to deploy tourism police at these spot, who will ensure that no untoward incidents happen.”The tourist police will be given proper language training so that they could communicate with the touritist and help them in dire situations,” said minister of state for home Deepak Kesarkar.The Minister said they were initially planning to cover the coastal districts under the tourism police scheme. The soft skills training will be conducted by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).”The police are otherwise burdened with law and order duties. Hence, it is necessary to have designated tourism police,” said Ashutosh Rathod, Joint Managing Director, MTDC.Rathod said that they were seeking that this force be deployed at sites like Bandra Bandstand, Marine Drive, Hanging Gardens, Juhu Chowpaty and on the ramparts of forts like Raigad where accidents took place when people were clicking selfies. This will also be done in areas where tourists are vulnerable.”The tourism police will also create awareness among tourists (against such risky behavior),” said Rathod.This follows concerns over instances of people losing their lives while being engrossed in framing themselves for posterity in selfies. In May, Meenakshi Priya Rajesh (21), an engineering student from Tamil Nadu slipped and drowned at Bandra Bandstand while taking a selfie. In May 2016, Tarannum Ansari (18) was swept into the sea at Bandra while clicking a selfie with her friends and in June this year, a similar selfie with her friends went horribly wrong for 17-year-old Priti Pise dragged into the raging waters at Marine Drive.At present, the tourism police have been deployed in Mumbai at sites like Girgaon Chowpatty and the Juhu beach.”We will also give these tourism police vehicles that can run on sand,” said Kesarkar, adding that these personnel would co-ordinate with lifeguards to prevent drowning related deaths on Maharashtra’s beaches. He said they were eager to launch a pilot project in Sindhudurg district.”The tourism police are needed as often, domestic and foreign tourists are targets of crime, cheating and harassment. They can also help and extend legal aid to them,” said another MTDC official, pointing to how Agra had a tourism police station for those who visited the town to see the Taj Mahal.The official noted that at times, women tourists faced harassment and there were instances of foreigners being misguided or cheated.

62 dengue cases in 4 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city has recorded 62 dengue cases over the last four days, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) health department. The city recorded 164 dengue cases till September 5, and three patients — including two children – 1.5-year-old from Dharavi, 9-year-old from Juhu and a 34-year-old man from Bandra — succumbed to the infection, the department said.Around 102 cases were reported till September 11, the civic authority said. The cases of dengue rise sharply every year, especially after the monsoon. The maximum number of cases are in September, October, and November.The data also reveals that there has been 34 cases and two deaths due to leptospirosis registered in the city. Between September 1 to 15, over 1,659 people were admitted to civic-run hospitals. According to civic body authority, various surveys were carried out after the heavy August 29 flood.

East Indians to bring back 250-yr-old tradition

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reliving its over 250-year-old tradition, the East Indian community in the city will be marching towards Bandra’s Mount Mary on September 16, Saturday.According to the community, they will be reviving the memories dated back to 1761 when the Mount Mary statue was carried in procession, by the natives, from Mahim Church to Bandra.The initiative is organised by the Mobai Gaothan Panchayat with an aim to revive the tradition which their forefathers followed.A procession named ‘Mont Mauli Purcessao’ (Mount Mary Procession) will be carried out from Mahim Church to Mount Mary’s Church in Bandra.Speaking about the procession, Alphi Dsouza, head sarpanch and spokesperson of Mobai Gaothan Panchayat, said, “The tradition goes back to 1761. However, the community slowly started discontinuing the tradition. Community members stopped the tradition due to various reasons such as urbanisation, relocation from one place to another. In order to bring back the tradition, after over 100 years, we want to revive the tradition.”According to the members, the native East Indian Community are originally the founders of the Bandra Fair. Over 100 community members joining the procession will be dressed in traditional lugras and other traditional outfits”Three East Indian Brass bands will sing hymns as well. St Peter’s Confraternity will lead the procession along with members from other parishes,” said Dsouza.

Maharashtra: Govt official booked for duping jobless youths of Rs 55 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A case has been registered against five persons, including a PWD official posted at the state secretariat here, his wife and son, for allegedly duping over a dozen job aspirants to the tune of Rs 55 lakh, police said on Thursday.The accused have been identified as Madhav D Palladwar, secretary at Public Works Department at Mantralaya here, his wife Sheela, son Sameer (residents of Bandra), and two middlemen– Prakash Pathak from Pen in Raigad district and Prakash Raje, they said.The offence was registered based a complaint filed by one of the victims, Rajkumar Chavan.According to a police officer, the complainant came in contact with Pathak, who promised a job to him in the state Public Works Department (PWD) through Palladwar.”Similarly, they cheated several others on the false promise of jobs in the department. Palladwar used to demand Rs 5 lakh from each job-aspiring youth for different posts in the PWD. The money used to be collected either by Raje or Pathak.Sometimes, Palladwar himself used to collect the money or ask the victims to deposit it with his wife or son,” police said.Between May 2007 and 2011, the five accused collected money from over a dozen job-aspiring persons, police said.”To substantiate their claim about vacancies in the PWD, the accused used to show fake correspondence between various departments including the general administration department (GAD), State Election Commission, MPSC, Directorate of Health Services, and also Chief Minister’s Office (CMO),” police said.Some of the victims even borrowed money from others to pay to the accused, they said.Offences were registered last night against the accused at Nizampura police station under Bhiwandi division.They were booked under IPC sections 406 (breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), among others.Nobody has been arrested so far in this connection and further investigation into the case is on.

Bandra police grills pianist’s friend for suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rishi Shah, CEO of Crossbones Media and publisher of Rave magazine, was grilled twice by Bandra police on Tuesday, only to claim later in the day that no circumstantial evidence could be found to arrest him.He was being quizzed in connection with abetting the suicide of 29 -year-old Bengaluru pianist Karan Joseph, who was living in a flat with Shah in a posh highrise building at Bandra.The Bandra police had registered a case of abetment to suicide against unknown persons and had taken the statements of eyewitnesses Rishi Shah, his friend Susana Uzma, an Estonian National and the house help.”The police should probe the incident. It is unlikely that Karan committed suicide. We are very sure that Shah pushed Karan to death. Shah always showed his clout in the music industry and also had bouncers around him. Even a day before the committing suicide, Karan had texted about harassment meted to him.”, said a friend of Karan who was present at the Bandra police station.Meanwhile, the Bandra police said, “We have taken the statement of Shah again on Tuesday and questioned him about the incident. He has claimed innocence and said that he was completely unaware of the reason behind Karan’s suicide. We have also taken the statement of the house help who was present during the incident.”

Father, friends suspect foul play in pianist’s suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bandra police, probing the alleged suicide of 29-year-old pianist Karan Joseph, has allegedly found a substance they suspect to be drugs in the apartment from which he jumped to his death. Samples of the substance have been sent for analysis to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina. Meanwhile, his father has demanded a thorough investigation by the police.Joseph, a well-known pianist in the music industry, allegedly jumped to his death from Concord building in Bandra West on Saturday morning. Joseph was living in the flat along with his friend Rishi Shah.Thomas Joseph, Karan’s father, said, “We were in touch with him throughout but he never showed any signs of depression. The police have to probe this case so that we too can understand what pushed him to end his life.”Joseph’s friends too demanded a thorough probe stating that they suspected foul play. “We cannot believe that it’s a case of suicide. Police has to take this case to a logical conclusion,” said a musician who worked with Joseph.Police Sub Inspector and investigation officer, Sachin Choudhary, said, “It is not confirmed who was using the drugs. We have also seized Shah’s cellphone which will be sent for forensic analysis.”

Xavier’s questions impact of Metro work

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The geology department of the iconic St Xavier’s College in CST will approach the Metro authorities that are carrying out civil works for Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor opposite to the college, wanting to know whether the structural stability of the college would be affected due to the tunnelling work of Metro-3. The St Xavier’s College’s structure is a 150-year-old heritage building.Agnelo Menezes, Principal, St Xavier’s College, told DNA, “We are aware that the Metro work is ongoing but the MMRC authorities have not approached us till now. But I will ask my geology department to approach MMRC officials and ask them whether the civil works for the Metro-3 will compromise the structure of St Xavier’s College or not.”Considering that the tunnelling work is likely to result in vibrations, the MMRC is carrying out a pre-construction building survey of the structures parallel to the alignment of the Metro-3 corridor.A senior MMRC official, said, “We have carried out a survey and our contractors are in touch with the structure owners who are in the radius of 25 metres from the construction site which is our buffer zone. However, Xavier’s College is on the other side of the road which is around 100 metres or close to 100 metres away from the construction site.”The MMRC had also carried out a study in which, 1,435 buildings were identified throughout the alignment to be affected due to the construction of underground Metro.Building SurveyAs there are several heritage buildings in the South Mumbai stretch between Colaba and Girgaum Chowpatty, the MMRC had also carried out a study in which, 1,435 buildings were identified throughout the alignment to be affected due to the construction of underground Metro.

Legal tangles delay completion of Metro-3

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Legal tangles and hurdles owing to the stay order by the Bombay Hight Court has slowed the completion of the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor work. Consequently, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has said that there will be a delay in making the corridor operational.Recently, the MMRC said that the first phase which was initially planned for the metro to run between Aarey Colony and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) has now been shortened to operate only from Aarey Colony to Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA).According to MMRC officials, the distance of the phase has been reduced due to the tree-cutting restraints along the construction site, which was imposed by the HC earlier this year.The deadline to make the underground corridor operational has been moved from 2020 to 2021. MMRC officials say that the first phase will open in March 2021, and the second phase between the CSIA and Colaba will be operational from December 2021.Ashwini Bhide, managing director, MMRC, had last month said that, “Our earlier dates were 2020 but we lost about six months time due to the tree-cutting petition and the stay order.”In its August 2017 newsletter, the MMRC claimed that the recent HC stay order of not permitting metro work during the night has further slowed down the process.Bhide in the MMRC newsletter was quoted, saying, “The month began with yet another new challenge, in the form of High Court restrictions between 10:00 pm to 06:00 am on construction and ancillary activities by civil contractors in response to a writ petition. Though the restriction at present is for a period of two weeks, this order has obviously put constraints on the working times and slowed down the pace of construction work.”

BVSL: Chinese, S Korean bidders red-flagged

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After shortlisting Chinese and South Korean companies for construction of Bandra-Versova Sea Link (BVSL), MSRDC has raised a red flag on these bidders, stating that their eligibility is subject to security clearance from the Union Home Ministry considering that the construction site is crucial from the security point of view.In July, the Union Home Ministry had denied security clearance to a Chinese consortium for construction of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) between Sewri and Nhava Sheva being executed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).MSRDC, in a communication dated August 21, 2017, sent to the five shortlisted companies that include Chinese and South Korean consortium, that eligibility of the bidder shall be subject to the outcome of security clearance.A senior MSRDC official said, “We have submitted the names of the five bidders and have sought security clearance from the Centre a month ago and expect the clearance soon. Also, it was done after Chinese bidders shared with us the problems they faced when they were denied security clearance during construction of Bandra-Worli Sea Link.”A security clearance is required when the construction site is in the vicinity of crucial defence or security installations, and is granted by the Union Home Ministry that consults the Intelligence Bureau and the Ministry of External Affairs before granting it.In the past, Chinese companies or groups with Chinese connections have been barred from bidding for Indian port projects by the Union Cabinet Committee on security grounds because of the shifting political relationship between the two countries.The five shortlisted bidders include China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd-Soma joint venture (JV), Hyundai-ITD Cementation JV, L&T-Daewoo JV, HCC-SKEC JV and Reliance-CGCD JV.The 9.5-km-long Bandra-Versova sea link will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5,500 crore, and to make the project financially viable, the project’s concession period would be for 28 years, which means that the sea link will be tollable for 28 years.

Mumbai rains: Pregnant journalist braves 12-hour train journey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When 33-year-old Urmila Dethe boarded a Mumbai-bound suburban train at Dombivli in the adjoining Thane district last morning, little did she know that her journey, which normally takes just over an hour, will stretch for almost 12 hours.What made the matters more complicated was that the journalist, who works with a leading Marathi newspaper, is seven months pregnant.”I was in the compartment reserved for the handicapped which had around 20 people, including eight visually-challenged people who had spent the night in a train during the July 26, 2005 deluge,” said Dethe, who boarded the train at around 11.30 AM.She was headed to the Bombay High Court, her ‘beat’ for the newspaper. However, the journey came to a halt at 20 km before her destination, and ended with a dramatic rescue in waist deep waters in the dead of night.”My train got stuck between Kurla and Sion. Through the afternoon, I called and tweeted for help. At one point, I grew concerned for the fellow passengers in the handicapped compartment and chose to stay on,” she told PTI.Fire brigade and police officials tried to find her but did not make any headway.Dethe managed to contact her husband on phone but even he could not reach her due to the chaotic traffic caused by heavy rains. Her husband works in the suburban Bandra Kurla complex.The local Samaritans patrolling the waters, as the tracks had turned into, kept the marooned passengers well fed through their ordeal.Things took a dramatic turn after nightfall, and the number of such helpers also reduced. In between, a local teenager was rescued by an able-bodied passenger from neck-deep waters, after he slipped into a culvert along the tracks.Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar came to know about Dethe’s plight and called her on phone.”His (Shelar) call was very reassuring,” she said.To add to her woes, the mobile network also went down at the same time, proving to be a big stumbling block for rescuers, who were struggling to locate her.Finally, at about 11.55 PM, Dethe heaved a sigh of relief when she saw one end of a Mumbai Fire Brigade ladder recline against the train body and a hand come up, directing her to climb down.”They actually picked me up like a small kid without letting me touch the water. I cannot thank them enough,” an emotional Dethe said.

Mumbai Rains: Mumbai Metro comes to city’s rescue, adds additional services to cater to passengers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While several modes of transport like the suburban local train, bus, auto and taxi came to a standstill owing to heavy rains and water-logged streets, Mumbai Metro ran additional services to between Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor.According to Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), that operates Metro-1, as several offices were shut early, crowd gathered at Metro stations during non-peak hours.MMOPL said that it had run additional Metro services to cater the footfall due to heavy rains.Earlier in the day, MMOPL tweeted, “With Mumbai’s trademark rains giving us their best, so are we at #MumbaiMetro! Still running on schedule just like our beloved city!”MMOPL runs Metro at a frequency of 4 minutes during peak hours and eight minutes during non-peak hours.One of the main reasons behind Metro seeing more crowd is because Metro was the only transport connecting western Mumbai to the Central in the absense of services on Western Railway and Central Railway being suspended. Many commuters also took Twitter thanking MMOPL for running on time Metro services during heavy rains.Suburban services were disrupted with trains on all the three lines – western, central and harbour – running late.Water-logging on tracks was reported in Andheri and Bandra, civic officials said.The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said the situation was well under control and advised the citizens to step out of their homes only if necessary.”The metropolis has received heavy rainfall since last night. Between 8.30 am and 12 pm today, the city received 85 mm rainfall,” Sudhir Naik, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, told PTI.”Step out of homes only if it is too important because water-logging has been reported from several parts of the city,” he said.Naik, however, added things were well under control and senior civic officials were keeping a close watch on the situation.”Due to water logging on tracks & point failure at Bandra following very heavy rains, 3 lines except UP Fast line are affected. Efforts are on to start traffic on 3 lines (except UP fast line) at Bandra as soon as possible by attending the points,” the Western Railway tweeted.According to an official from the BMC’s Disaster Management Cell, “There have been reports of water-logging in Dadar, Andheri, Worli, Kurla and Sakinaka, among other areas.We have received 20 cases of tree falling and one of a wall collapse.””Despite heavy downpour, no untoward incident has been reported so far,” said the official.Commuters were stranded at some places.”Stuck in a local train between two stations #MumbaiRains no announcements if the train will go ahead. utter #chaos,” Vidya Kumar, a passenger stranded at Bandra station for over an hour, tweeted by tagging @RailMinIndia @drmbct.Actor-turned-entrepreneur Gul Panag tweeted, “Brace yourself Mumbai. Heavy rain coming. Plan ahead. Stay safe.”With inputs from PTI

Wait for homes in Mumbai suburbs to be longer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Knight Frank India, in its report released today, said that more than 50% of projects from Mumbai’s suburbs covered in the study extended their completion timeline by over a year after registering with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRera), while about 30% projects raised deadline by more than two years.The report took a close look at residential units registered with the MahaRera until August 16, 2017, including the Andheri and Borivli talukas which stretch from Bandra and extend up to Dahisar. In the central suburbs, the study covered the Kurla taluka spanning Tilak Nagar to Mulund.For nearly one-fourth (24%) of the 1,07,875 registered units, the completion deadline was pushed by 12 to 18 months. The report further found that 19% under construction homes were delayed by 24 to 48 months and 10% of these properties would not get completed before four years. Just about one-third of the units listed with the MahaRera are set to be completed on time, and timelines for almost six out of ten under construction units (57%) were revised by more than a year.Knight Frank India chief economist Samantak Das said the MahaRera database is an eye opener for customers in the residential market. “Our analysis of the database shows that significant number of residential units lie unsold in projects that should have been completed as per the initial commitment of delivery,” he said. “Another crucial trend that comes to light is that there was lack of seriousness in the completion time commitments made to the buyers before RERA came to effect.”The study also found that at least 48% of the registered units stood unsold, a third of which should have been complete as per their initial proposed date.

Packed with quiet gaothans then, bustling shopping area now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Popularly known among youngsters as a shopper’s paradise, Hill Road in Bandra was earlier a quiet road with small gaothans in perpendicular bylanes.Hill Road is an over 150-year-old road and used to be divided into settlements of different gaothans. It started from St Andrews and later started spreading up the hill, due to which it was termed Hill Road.Local architect David Cardoz, who was earlier part of BMC’s heritage committee, said, “It was always a mud road. There used to be a bullock cart with a water tank that used to travel on the road making the soil wet to avoid the dust from rising up. There was a small pyau for animals to quench their thirst near St Andrew Church.”Related story: We have dedicated anti-terror cell on the look out for suspicious elements: Sanjay KadamSpeaking about the shops which started popping up along the road, Cardoz said, “In the 1800’s, there was a regulation that stated that cobblers could sit anywhere on the road because walking on the mud road caused the residents who walked there to break their footwear often. The fancy shoe shops now seen on the road are mostly registered under the same regulation passed for those cobblers then. There fore we see so many shoe stalls on Hill Road.”Hakim Mister, member of (Ramdas Naik) Hill Road Residents and Shopkeepers Association, said, “We have been talking to the civic authorities and police officers regarding the security issues at Hill Road for a decade. Increase in number of illegal hawkers causes a big mess as they try to eve tease and involve themselves in other antisocial activities. There is lack of security as well as there are only a few CCTV cameras. The association has been following up on security issues with the authorities, but every time a new officials takes up a position, we again start facing issues.”Speaking about the security concerns, Cardoz added, “At Hill Road, there should be an control on illegal hawkers and we need to try our best to keep the market secure.”Also read: Shopper’s paradise an easy target of terror?

High-tide visarjan days worry BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has warned devotees and Ganpati mandals to take precaution while visiting city beaches during immersion, as high tides from 1.09 metre to 4.21 metre are expected to hit the city beaches during the next few days.As per the information issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on August 26, which marks the immersion of one-and-a-half day Ganpati idols, a 4.11-metre high tide is expected around 2.55 pm. Similarly, on the fifth immersion day, a 3.23-metre high tide is expected around 5.48 pm. As a precautionary measure, the BMC has decided to deploy extra lifeguards.”Besides our own lifeguards, we will also hire guards from agencies and pools across the city to help existing teams at various immersion points in the city,” said a senior official from the Fire department. Major points where these lifeguards will be deployed are – Dadar Chowpatty, Juhu Beach, Mahim, Girgaum Chowpatty, Bandra Bandstand and Backbay Reclamation.Agencies are especially concerned about safety arrangements for Anant Chaturdashi on September 5, when maximum number of idols are immersed. “On September 5, a 4.11 metre high tide is expected around 11.36 am and a 3.86 metre high tide at night around 23.45 metre. This will make it a difficult task to handle the crowd,” said the official.

Environment report misleading on Metro-3 car shed’s proposed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray today alleged that the environment assessment report provides misleading information about Aarey milk colony, where a car shed of the city’s Metro-3 project is proposed to be set up. The construction of the car shed at the Aarey colony in suburban Goregaon would pose a threat to the area’s biodiversity, he further said. A car depot of the Metro-3 Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor is proposed at the Aarey milk colony. The Shiv Sena had earlier objected to the hacking of 2,298 trees in Aarey colony to make way for the car shed for the Metro line. “We are not against the Metro (project) as I personally travel by it at times. But, officers have mislead the chief minister by stating that only mice are found in the area of Aarey milk colony,” Thackeray alleged. “The environment impact assessment report has mentioned that only mice are found in this identified area. The fact is that other animals, including leopards, are found over there. Hence, we are objecting to the location of the (proposed) car shed site here as it would end in large scale tree cutting and threat to the biodiversity,” Thackeray said. He was speaking after attending a tree plantation drive today at the Aarey milk colony. “The BMC has also omitted the car shed from its development plan, which was recently finalised and now the proposal is with the chief minister. Even other parties have opposed it,” Thackeray said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Thane louder than city as activists record festive noise levels

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Janmashtami celebrations saw a major dip in the usage of loudspeakers this year. Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation who was out measuring decibel levels across Mumbai and Thane along with Dr Mahesh Bedekar a Thane resident and a petitioner in High Court against noise pollution during festivals reported that Thane was much louder than Mumbai.”Its not that the noise levels were not high in Mumbai, in fact the noise levels at some locations went up to 101.3 dB but this noise was due to honking, whistling and usage of drums and trumpets. Since the sound of drums, whistles, horns were not amplified with loudspeakers, it did not carry to any distance and was loud only when standing immediately next to the noise source,” explained Abdulali.The activist claimed that the highest noise level was found near Hill Road at Bandra opposite Bandra Police Station, where the banners displayed photographs of Mumbai’s BJP chief Ashish Shelar. “The noise level at this site was the highest, 113.3dB and was higher than the noise at the same site during Dahi Handi in 2016, which was measured to be 103dB,” informed Abdulali. She further added that in the evening around 7.20 pm when she visited Hill Road she found the noise levels to be around 111dB however unlike morning they were using loudspeakers to only make announcements meanwhile at the same location another one organised by Congress too was using loudspeakers.Meanwhile in Thane, which witnesses high decibel levels during Gokulashtami celebrations saw lesser number of events organised as compared to last year. “In fact some hospital owners informed me that the cops had refused permission for sound systems and DJ’s in front of the hospitals which falls under silence zones,” said Bedekar adding that though the noise levels compared to previous years were low but were certainly much higher than normal.NOISIER …Activists claimed that the highest noise level was found near Hill Road, Bandra, at 113.3dB.
Most noise levels were high due to honking, whistling and usage of drums and trumpets

Passport office in Thane merged with RPO in Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major administrative decision, passport office in Thane has been merged with the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in Mumbai. The Thane Passport office will now relocate from their current premises at Vardaan Sankul in Wagle Industrial Estate, to Videsh Bhavan in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai with effect from August 21. Besides, the Branch Secretariat at Worli office and office of Protector of Emigrants, Mumbai at Khira Nagar in Santacruz (West) too have been shifted to BKC. According to a statement issued by RPO Mumbai, the regional office of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Branch Secretariat at Manish Commercial Centre on AB Road, Worli, Mumbai as well as office of Protector of Emigrants, Mumbai at Khira Nagar in Santacruz have been relocated to Videsh Bhavan in Bandra Kurla Complex, G-block, Bandra (East) in Mumbai. The telephone numbers for this newly located office are 022- 26520016 /26520017/26520071 and e-mail is [email protected] According to the statement, the public enquiry for RPO, Mumbai will be entertained from 10 am to 12.30 pm on any working day except Wednesday at the new office from today. The Passport Seva Kendras at Lower Parel, Andheri, Malad, Thane, Thane-II and Nashik will continue their functioning from existing premises, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cop’s ‘dual presence’ in drugs case leads to acquittal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dual entry of an official in the police diaries at the same time has led to the acquittal of a Nigerian national arrested in a 2012 drug case, by the special Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) court. The police diary at Azad Maidan police station contains the official’s entry record for handing over drug sample seized from Anti-Narcotic Cell’s (ANC) Bandra unit at 3 pm. On the same day, the record of the police panchanama which was performed to seize drugs from the Nigerian, mentions the presence of the same official at the spot in Masjid Bunder from 1.30 pm to 3.30pm.The case dates back to January 2, 2012, when Azad Maidan police received a tip off on a Nigerian national named Ifeamy Uzoma Osunde travelling with 10 grams of charas in Masjid Bunder. The accused was allegedly found in possession of 10 gm of cocaine. Chemical analysis of the drug was performed, police also filed a charge sheet, and examined six witnesses.When DNA spoke to defence advocate Shekhar Bhandari regarding the defence arguments which led to the acquittal, Bhandari mentioned the technical glitch in police functioning that led the cases’ failure.“Police was unable to explain his presence at two different places at one time, leading to the acquittal of my client,” said Bhandari.

Soon, ‘one rupee clinics’ at WR stations too

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cost-effective ‘one rupee clinic’ initiative, which has been successfully operating on the Central line railway stations for more than three months, will soon be functional on the Western Railway by the end of August.Authorities have planned to open the clinic at 10 railway stations on the Western line, and later cover all 24 railway station on this route.Till date, the ‘one rupee clinic’ initiative at the Central and Harbour line stations saw a footfall of over 17,000 visitors within three months in eight of these clinics. The first clinic was opened at Ghatkopar railway station on May 10, 2017. According to authorities, the initiative is benefitting daily commuters during emergencies.Work on the 10 clinics for the Western line has already started. In the first phase, major stations like Andheri, Churchgate, Mumbai Central and Bandra will be getting the clinic and slowly the initiative will expand across all the stations on Western Line.Speaking about the clinics set to be opened, Dr Rahul Ghule said, “We have been in talks with the Western line railway authority for few months. Our objective is to give affordable health service to the commuters. Due to our success in running cost effective medical services at various railway stations on the Central and Harbour line, we will be happy to help commuters travelling on the Western line as well.”Apart from railway and metro stations in Mumbai, authorities will be expanding the initiative in other cities like Pune. On August 15, the first one rupee clinic will be opened. “In Pune rather than making it functional on railway stations, it will be located in five different areas in the city,” added Dr Ghule.

Prabhu launches Bandra-Gorakhpur Antyodaya Express

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu today inaugurated Antyodaya Express and Humsafar Express at Bandra Terminus here via video conferencing. While Antyodaya Express is a fully unreserved service, Humsafar Express is touted as an affordable luxury train by the Railways. “These express trains and host of other services for Mumbai suburban stations were launched by the Railways Minister through video conferencing,” a Western Railway release said. While Antyodaya Express will run between Bandra (T) and Gorakhpur stations, Humsafar Express between Bandra (T) and Patna. “Antyodaya Express will leave Bandra terminus every Sunday at 5:10 am and will reach Gorakhpur at 5:35 pm the next day. It will leave Gorakhpur every Tuesday at 3:15 am and reach Bandra (T) at 4.15 pm the next day,” it said. Humsafar Express is fully air-conditioned train fitted with a GPS-based passenger information display system. “It also has a passenger announcement system, a fire and smoke detection and suppression system, CCTVs, comfortable seats, mobile and laptop charging points. It also has integrated Braille display,” the release said. This is the second Humsafar service to become operational on the Western Railway. “The first such train was launched recently between Ahmedabad and Chennai,” it said. The train will depart from Bandra (T) every Sunday at 12.55 pm and will reach Patna at 10.15 pm the next day. “Similarly, the train will leave Patna at 11.10 pm every Tuesday and will reach Bandra (T) at 7.35 pm on Thursday,” as per the release. The regular services of both the trains from Bandra will commence from August 20. Prabhu also inaugurated a lift facility at suburban Borivali station to facilitate the movement of specially-abled and senior citizens. He also inaugurated the wi-fi facility at suburban Vasai Road and Virar stations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Driver-less trains may now be a reality for three Metro corridors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) assisting the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) in executing Metro projects in the city has initiated the process to procure 63 driver-less trains of six coaches each for namely three Metro corridors in the city. This includes the Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro-2B corridor, DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B corridor and Dahisar East- Andheri East Metro-7 corridor.A similar technology of having driver-less Metro is also being worked by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) executing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor.The concept revolves around having a supervisor present in the Metro at all times. The supervisor will be in contact with the control room and inform about any emergency or suspicious activity along the corridor to the control room.As per the draft bid document prepared by DMRC and released by MMRDA for suggestions from manufacturers of Metro coaches, “Coaches must be of modern design, lightweight, and made of stainless steel/aluminium. The trains should be capable of running without an operator or ‘driver-less’ on the unattended train operation (UTO) mode.”The overall cost of the procurement of 63 trains that is 378 coaches or 21 coaches each for one particular Metro line is estimated to be around Rs 3,900 crore. The DMRC will manufacture only 15 trains of the total 63 trains in order to support the Central government’s ‘Make In India’ campaign.According to MMRDA officials, because it does not have any previous experience of solely procuring rolling stocks (coaches) for Metro, it has asked the DMRC to procure it for the three Metro corridors initially. The MMRDA will later procure for the remaining Metro corridors.Meanwhile, the MMRDA’s claim to commission two Metro corridors namely Metro-2A and Metro-7 by 2019 is likely to be missed as the DMRC has specified of giving 4 years and 2 months to the bidders bidding for manufacturing the coaches for the three above mentioned Metro corridors. This means the coaches will be ready only by 2020.AT A PRICEThe overall cost of the procurement of 63 trains that is 378 coaches or 21 coaches each for one particular Metro line is estimated to be around Rs 3,900 crore

MSRDC’s projects await green signal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two crucial road projects, namely the Thane-Ghodbunder elevated road and the Borivli-Thane underground tunnel, are stuck due to green hurdles. More than two years after planning the projects, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) awaits green clearance before executing them.In the case of the 4.4 km-long Thane-Ghodbunder elevated road, MSRDC has approached the state wildlife board as the proposed road runs parallel to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). As for the underground tunnel, the agency has just received permission to conduct a survey inside SGNP, as the tunnel passes under the park.”We are currently obtaining green clearances from the competent authorities that include the forest department, wildlife board and have also appointed a retired officer from the forest department to fast-track the approvals. They will take time as the flagship projects of MSRDC, namely Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and the Bandra-Versova Sea Link, are the priority too,” said a senior MSRDC official not wishing to be named.Further, smaller vehicles will be asked to take the elevated road while heavy vehicles will continue to ply on the existing road in order to ease the area’s traffic congestion. The underground tunnel is a six-lane tunnel and will connect Tikuji-ni-Wadi in Thane to Western Urban Road (WUR) at Borivli.Both these road projects are aimed at increasing connectivity between Mumbai and Thane, and decongesting the traditional Ghodbunder route.Similarly another project, that is planned to boost tourism inside SGNP, is a ropeway between Borivli and Thane, which will run over SGNP and provide a bird’s eye view. The project is being executed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) through a private company. The same is also facing issues, considering it is going over SGNP.

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