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MU allows Elphinstone stampede victim to write exam from home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a special arrangement of sorts, the University of Mumbai allowed a 19-year-old BCom student to write his exam from his home on Friday morning. Akash Parab, a victim of the Elphinstone stampede tragedy, was allowed to write his first paper from his Vikhroli home.On September 29, Akash and his brother Rohit had gone to the flower market in Parel to pick up flowers which could be sold at the family-owned shop in Bhandup. The duo was then caught in the stampede and while Akash suffered a few injuries, his brother, Rohit, lost his life. Keeping behind the huge tragedy, Akash appeared for his first paper — Financial Accounting — less than two months after the incident.A student of Bhandup’s Ramanand DAV College, Akash was given one additional hour to write his paper by the university. “The university has allowed Akash to appear for all his papers from his residence. A team of officials from the university and a nearby college visited his house on Friday with the question paper and answer sheet. He was given additional time and was provided all the necessary support,” said Leeladhar Bansod, spokesperson, University of Mumbai.Elated that he could give his exam, Akash said that he is now looking forward to writing all his papers well. “A huge tragedy struck us as we lost my brother and I had injuries all over. I thought that I would have to miss my exam as the doctor has not allowed me to walk,” said Akash while speaking to DNA.

Six councillors of Raj Thackeray’s MNS in BMC to join Uddhav’s Shiv Sena?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bypoll result of Bhandup civic body was begged by The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday. Shiv Sena lost the Bhandup bypoll, but Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) seems to be paying the price. According to reports, six out of seven MNS corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) are set to join the Shiv Sena. After Bhandup bypoll results, BJP seemed determined to challenge Shiv Sena’s number one position in BMC. As of now, the BJP has 82 corporators, while the Sena has 84 corporators, a lead of two councillors. The Sena further has the support of four independents and the BJP has the support of two independents.A slight change in numbers could change the fortunes of BJP and Shiv Sena. But Shiv Sena seemed to have made the first successful move. The group of six corporators led by Dilip Lande has written to the Konkan divisional commissioner to allow them to form a separate group in the BMC, the Hindustan Times reported.MNS has condemned the developments and vowed to teach the “traitors” a lesson. MNS will approach Konkan divisional commissioner to not allow this split, say media reports.BJP MP Kirit Somaiya has complained to the state election commission that a major political party in the Mumbai civic body was trying to buy corporators.

I did not want to get into any blame game, says BMC chief Ajoy Mehta

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Addressing a press conference at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters, Ajoy Mehta was evasive if the lessons learned lessons post July 26, 2005 deluge.During the PC, Mehta said that measures adopted after the 2005 deluge helped the city return to normal sooner and mitigated the problems to a large extent.The 2005 deluge had seen over 946 mm of rainfall in 12 hours while the Tuesday deluge saw over 325 mm rainfall in 12 hours. “Of this, 60 percent of the rainfall took place between 3 pm and 5 pm. Around 23 locations had rainfall over 200 mm while 26 of them had rainfall over 150 mm. In one hour, there was 90 to 100 mm rainfall in Worli, Bhandup, and Kurla,” he said.After the 26/7, a series of measures that included Brihanmumbai storm water disposal system (Brimstowad) project, increasing number of pumping stations and carrying capacity of drains from 20 mm to 50 mm, were rolled out. “The water carried was 300 mm. That is six times their carrying capacity,” said Mehta.Asked whether the BMC’s plans to tackle heavy rains had failed and whether the right lessons were learned after the 26/7 deluge, Mehta simply said, “We are coming back to the same question again and again.” Mehta said that all authorities co-ordinated well and that he did not want to get into any “blame game”.Around 6,000 liters of water was removed by pumping stations every second from five pumping stations. “Fifty sewer pumping stations too were pressed into action with 110 pumps removing 3,756 mm of water which was double the capacity of 1,700 mm water,” said Mehta.The municipal commissioner asked citizens not to self medicate for fever, headache and vomiting, and urged them to ensure that there is no mosquito breeding due to collected water. He also urged people to boil water before drinking it for the next few days, as there could be chances of water contamination.

BEST strike: Commuters opt for alternative transport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the 30 lakh passengers ferrying in BEST buses were left in a lurch due to the strike; other modes of transport came to the rescue. To begin with, suburban local trains played an important role as many shifted to it. It was also a field day for auto rickshaw and taxi drivers who milked people in every way possible. Even fleet cabs like TabCab and Meru were seen on the road, whose presence for several months has been a lull.Every day, around 74 lakh people travel by the suburban system, but as it was Raksha Bandhan, quite a number of offices had declared a public holiday or people opted for leave. This compensated for those using the BEST buses for travel. Sources in the railways said all local train services were operational and they did not run the holiday schedule where 30 per cent fewer services ply.”We expect an additional 10 per cent rise in daily commuters inside local trains,” said a CR official on the condition of anonymity. Trains and platforms were crowded in the morning and evening peak hours but then gradually eased. The Western Railway ran four extra services between Churchgate and Virar stations between 10am-2pm.Anticipating the crowd, rail authorities also opened up a few more ticket windows, at Kandivli, Goregaon, Bhayander, apart from regular counters being operated in double shifts and without lunch breaks. “We deputed commercial inspectors at the railway stations to monitor the rush at ticket windows,” said Gajanan Mahatpurkar, PRO, Western Railway.The Central Railway too opened additional ticket windows at Kalyan, Dombivali, Thane, Ghatkopar, Dadar, Kurla and Bhandup stations. “These catered to the extra rush of daily ticket seekers likely to occur due to BEST bus strike,” said Sunil Udasi, Chief PRO, Central Railway.People normally use buses to come not only as feeder routes to reach railway stations, but also as long distance routes along the highways on eastern and western suburbs, LBS Road, SV Road and various link roads. On August 7, due to the strike, few of the taxi and auto rickshaw drivers took advantage of the situation as they levied seat-wise charges instead of by the meter.”We had kept our officers from different RTOs outside railway stations and even at the BMC disaster control room to monitor the situation. We shall take action against those drivers who are overcharged,” said Praveen Gedam, Transport Commissioner.Even the fleet cabs TabCabs and Meru were seen plying. Over the past few months, the number of these fleet cabs on road have dropped. However, on Monday, the fleet cab companies claimed the demand spiked by 15-20 per cent. Meanwhile, the recurring problem of Uber and Ola, of surge pricing continued even on the day of the strike.

Jains celebrate Sadhvi’s 29th Diksha anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Followers of Gaurav Ganinipramukh Shri Gyanmati Mataji’s disciple Pragyasharamni Aryikaratna Shri Chandanamati Mataji’s 29th diksha anniversary was celebrated by her followers in Mumbai. The celebration held on August 3 were conducted in Jainam Hall, in Mumbai’s Bhandup area. In Mumbai, for the first time, the celebrations were held in the midst of Jain community’s senior most Sadhvi Gyanmati Mataji’s 65th Chaturmas where her disciple Pragyashramani Aryika Shri Chandnamati Mataji’s 29th diksha anniversary coincided. Chandanamati Mataji took diksha in the year 1989 in Hastinapur under Gyanmati Mataji. After taking diksha, she became Aryika Chandanamati Mataji. She was born on May 18, 1958, in Tikaitnagar, Uttar Pradesh. In 1997, she was given the title of “Pragyashramani” in Delhi. She has written more than 200 Granths and over 1,000 treaties.

RTI query reveals nearly 3,000 raids on meat shops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There were 2,928 raids conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in the last year on meat shops in the city. Of the total raids conducted, prosecution was initiated in 753 cases. The details were provided by the BMC on an RTI application of raids conducted between April 2016 to March 2017.As per the reply given to the RTI application made by RTI applicant Chetan Kothari, there are two categories of shops that are provided with licenses. These are inside markets and outside. As per information provided, the total number of such shops stood at 2,488.Of the total number of shops those selling mutton stood at 1,229, beef at 596, chicken at 551, pork at 29 and cold storage at 83. Wards L (Kurla), M (Chembur), N (Ghatkopar) S (Bhandup) and T ward (Mulund) did not have any shops that were selling pork.The information provided stated that the of the total raids in which prosecution was done, the court fined them Rs 11.90 lakh. The BMC also recovered Rs 6.43 lakh by auctioning poultry birds and fish that were seized during the raids.The quantity of poultry birds seized was 18,200 while that of the fish seized was 4,502 kgs. Number of goats / sheep seized stood at 1,844 while large animals stood at 12. The most quantum in seizure was in beef category which stood at 40,408 kgs. Seizures in chicken, mutton and pork stood at 1,399 kg, mutton at 430 kg and pork at 10 kg.”I had filed this RTI application because there was some action taken in some other states. Hence I wanted to check what is happening in city with respect to shops in city. I wanted to know if the take action and what they do. From what they told me, they said that there are very few staff and inspectors. I think it is satisfactory that they are taking some action,” said Chetan Kothari, RTI applicant.& analysisThe regular raids conducted show that officials have been acting on various illegalities. In fact, the applicant felt that the government should provide more staff so that issue of illegality does not arise at all.

Composting self-help groups falling short of space, asks BMC for more space

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The initiative of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to segregate dry and wet waste, and use uncooked wet waste for composting with help of self-groups has brought positive result. Not only new self-help groups are joining the initiative, existing groups are also seeking more space for composting.Ranjana Shinde who runs Pratigya Mahila Bhachat Gath, a self help group in Vidyavihar, has more than 140 women members in her group. They collect waste from households, segregate it and then put the uncooked wet waste in the composting pits. She has been composting for the last two years, and now wants the civic body to allot her a bigger space. Like Shinde, other self-help groups are also asking for more space.Shinde said more women are joining such initiatives. However, the space allotted to them by civic body seems small with rise in number of women joining the mission. “We are not composting as much as we can due to space crunch,” she said. She said if a bigger space is given to them, they can involve more women. With more women working on composting, the amount of waste that is taken to dumping grounds can reduce significantly.Several new self-help groups have come up in the last two months after getting training from existing self-help groups in Ghatkopar, Bhandup and Chembur area.Currently, the civic body has given these groups iron net pits that are 6 feet long, and 2.5 feet tall. These compost pits are put up nearby housing societies and vacant places. Around 100kg green waste that is generated in kitchens can be put up daily with little amount of water for composting.Shinde said, “We use the Vermi compost processing system which takes around one to two months to complete a cycle before a fresh load of waste can be put in. We sell the compost at exhibitions which are held for self-help groups like ours.”Vijay Balamwar, deputy municipal commissioner of solid waste management department says, the composting is being done by various slef-help groups in around 200 places, and more groups will be joining.Recently, the civic body identified 14 locations where pits have either already been set up or will be set up. The pits have been set up at Bandra, Borivli, Malad, Goregaon and, Andheri in the western suburbs and in Bhandup and Chembur in the eastern suburbs and in Matunga.

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