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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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Woman sees man molesting 2 women, police deny help

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Bhayander-based housewife, Vaidahi More, was in for a rude shock on Friday when she saw a man allegedly molesting and groping two women at Bhayander Railway station. More, along with one of the victims, approached the police, who were present on the platform to raise an alarm. However, the police refused to entertain the complainant.In a fit of rage, the woman shot a video and is seen threatening the police authorities to take the matter into her own hands and pick up weapons to fight the molester.More, a housewife, decided to confront the man with the help from other commuters and took the victim to the two police officers at the railway station. The police officers refused to help and asked her to catch hold of the person and bring him to them. More later found that the man had managed to escape after crossing tracks.”The policemen refused to nab the man and instead told me that we have other work to do. I came forward to fight after seeing the man molest other women. The attitude of police was pathetic and now I have decided that I will take the matter in my own hands and will attack men if they are found molesting women at public places,” an agitated More said.The housewife soon posted the video on social media and gained a huge response with over 8,000 people viewing it and a few others sharing it too. Purshottam Karad, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Western Zone, Government Railway Police, said, “We have got in touch with the woman and are also checking the CCTV camera footage.”

MBMC issues property tax bills after due date, penalizes residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) is forcing lakhs of residents to pay property tax penalty along with interest because of its own inefficiency. The civic body distributed property tax bills to the residents after the due date and is now asking them to cough up interest and penalty for delayed payment.The property tax bills distributed to lakhs of residents mention bill date of May-June, due date for which is August-end. However, the people received the same only a week ago, much after the payment due date.”In spite of their fault, by asking residents to pay 2% interest as well as penalty for delayed payment, the civic body is indulging in an unfair practice,” said Mira Road resident Mukhtar Khan.Another resident, Prabhakar Shetty, said, “The act of the civic authorities puts blame on to the law abiding citizens who clear all payments before the due date. In other words, residents are being tagged as tax-evaders, when the fact is the civic officials are incompetent”.”MBMC should have waived off the penalty and interest even before residents start raising objections. There are several property owners who have paid penalty, for such cases, civic authorities should adjust the amount in next year’s property tax bill along with 2% interest,” said Advocate Kishore Samant of Democratic Youth Federation of India, youth wing of CPIM.An MBMC official shared that despite repeated reminders to the authorities concerned, bills were generated and printed after several months, so when the time came to distribute these property tax bills, it was well past the due date. Now, people were approaching them daily with objections.Clarifying on the subject, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Swati Deshpande said, “There is error from our end, we would want people to pay their property tax bills along with penalty and interest. Those who have objections may also give an application so that the same can be taken up with higher authorities. However, at the moment we cannot commit if the penalty amount will get adjusted in the next bill.”Despite repeated attempts, MBMC Commissioner Naresh Gite did not respond for clarification on interest and penalty waiver or extension of due date.

Thane jail circle officer demands bribe through ATM watchman, suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Thane Jail superintendent suspended a circle officer for allegedly demanding Rs 30,000 as bribe from the father of one of the inmates.The family members of one of the accused recorded the incident and submitted it to senior prison department officials, who suspended him.Circle officer Arun Madne had given a handwritten note, which had the phone number of the family member of the accused, to the watchman of an ATM near the jail and had allegedly asked him to demand bribe from the family of the accused on his behalf.”After Madne handed over the written note to the ATM’s watchman, the latter made a call to the father of the accused and demanded Rs 30,000. The father later reported the matter to the prison department and a probe was initiated”, said a senior officer from the prison department.Nitin Yachal, Thane Jail superintendent, said, “The security guard in his statement confirmed that Madne had given him a note to contact the family of the accused to demand bribe. We have suspended Madne.”According to the prison authorities, this is not the first incident in which Madne had been mired in corruption charges.In January, this year, Rajesh Singh, an accused in a murder case had levelled accusations against Madne, alleging that he had demanded protection money of Rs 1 lakh from him. An inquiry was initiated in the matter, however, no substantial evidence was found against Madne. Singh was arrested for allegedly killing Bhayander Corporator Praful Patil in May 2010.Despite repeated attempts, Madne could not be reached for a comment.

Naypadmasagar Maharajsaheb, in the limelight, and how

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naypadmasagar Maharajsaheb, who has often courted controversy for his views, is an influential name in the Jain community. Founder of Jain International Organisation, which aims to connect the trading community globally for easy business opportunities, he initiated popular schemes including medical insurance, mobile schemes, coaching classes for UPSC exams, and arbitration centres among others.What threw him in the political limelight is the motto “one community, one voice” before elections.He is believed to be close to the BJP. He has unabashedly sought tickets from political parties for Jains. On this, he is said to have had a fallout with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray before a BMC election.Like Mira Bhayander, he sided with BJP in the BMC elections this year. In a letter that he released to the Jains before polls in Mumbai, he asked them to align themselves with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis because Fadnavis had agreed to the seven key points that were discussed, including modernisation of around 1,500 municipal schools and all municipal hospitals.

Shiv Sena equates Jain monk with Zakir Naik, BJP furious

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena went all out in its attack against Jain monk Naypadmasagar Maharajsaheb for calling on the community to vote for the BJP in the Mira-Bhayander civic polls, and likened him to controversial tele-evangelist Zakir Naik.The Sena also criticised the leader for aggressively promoting vegetarianism.”Do not defame the state and create fissures in society. Otherwise, selfish and fundamentalist people like you will have to quit the country like Zakir Naik did,” warned Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP and Sanjay Raut, executive editor of Saamana, the Sena mouthpiece.The Sena warned the state of retribution if it failed to take action.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC), part of Mumbai’s extended suburbs. It trounced the Sena to emerge as the single-largest party.Raut attributed the victory to “muni (priest) and money” but added that the Sena was taking a position against “an individual and not a community.” The party will file a petition with the election commission against this.All India Jain Minorities Federation national President Lalit Gandhi condemned Raut and sought an apology. National General Secretary Sandeep Bhandari said that political parties took up the issue of slaughter houses during Paryushan Parv, 2016 and the Jain community was annoyed then. He added that Jains were peace-loving and had never aligned themselves with any political force.President of Mumbai’s BJP unit Ashish Shelar said that Raut and the Sena should introspect on the defeat and not threaten religious leaders. He said that the Sena’s statements were a result of “depression” from the loss.

BJP sweeps Mira-Bhayandar civic polls; bags 61 of 95 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today swept the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation elections in adjoining Thane district, winning 61 of the 95 seats, trouncing the bickering ally Shiv Sena and the opposition Congress and NCP. Shiv Sena, which had shared power with the BJP in the urban body, fell far behind the BJP. It, however, improved its tally from 15 in 2012 to 22. The two parties had this time contested the polls separately. The biggest loser was the NCP which drew a blank. It had won 26 seats in 2012 polls. The Congress’s tally fell to 10 seats from 19 while Raj Thackeray-led MNS, which had one seat in the previous council, did not win a single seat this time. The outcome marks the dominance of the BJP in civic polls in Maharashtra as the party had put up a splendid performance in rural and urban local bodies across the state in elections since last year. The BJP raised its tally sharply from its score of 32 in 2012. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis termed the results as a “huge win for BJP.” “Now, development is certain. We will certainly live up to the expectations of people,” he tweeted. “Congratulations to leaders and karyakartas (workers) for spectacular win! I thank people of Mira-Bhayander for having faith in us! I assure speedy development,” he said. The election victory is because of wave of ‘vishwas & vikas’ created by PM Narendra Modi ji and team BJP’s efforts!” he said. A total of 509 candidates were in the fray for 95 seats, for which elections were held yesterday. Mira-Bhayandar is the second municipal body to be won by the BJP in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), after its victory in Panvel a few months back.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC to finally begin work on one-stop info website of city’s trees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as BMC is set to begin work on setting up a dedicated website, which will be the one-stop information portal for all details pertaining to trees in its jurisdiction, environmentalists have criticised the BMC for the delay, stating that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced this in March this year.Claiming this was a massive exercise and likely to take time, a senior BMC official said they plan to begin work soon. “This website will have information including number of trees in the city, along with details of permissions given to particular agencies or developers to cut or transplant trees. Apart from that there will also be updates on the health of trees transplanted and the success ratio,” said the official.He added that once ready, this website will bring major transparency as those seeking permission for tree-cutting or transplanting will know that now the information is openly available for people. This will make them more vigilant in taking care of trees.”We will write to all the authorities carrying out various infrastructure projects in the city requesting details of the trees they have transplanted as well as compensatory plantations. All permissions by Tree Authority will be scrutinised and uploaded onto the website. It will require a lot of time and initially we aim at putting up details of the past three years to begin with,” said another BMC official, adding that in case any agency fails to provide information on trees, they will be denied permissions in the future.In fact, recently, information procured under Right To Information (RTI) revealed that between the years 2014 to 2016 a total of 7,842 trees were axed by private individuals, BMC and other government bodies while a total of 13,070 were transplanted. Meanwhile, 49,060 saplings were planted in the last three years by BMC.It is not just BMC that will be required to set up this website, but all Municipal Corporations in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) including Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC), Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) and others will have to follow suit.

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.

Gas tanker turns turtle; traffic affected on Ghodbunder Road

A gas-tanker belonging to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) turned turtle on the Ghodbunder Road near Chana creek this noon while it was on its way to Mira Road from here, District Disaster Management Officer Manashri Mhatre of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation told <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A gas-tanker today overturned on the busy Ghodbunder road here affecting vehicular traffic for hours. A gas-tanker belonging to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) turned turtle on the Ghodbunder Road near Chana creek this noon while it was on its way to Mira Road from here, District Disaster Management Officer Manashri Mhatre of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Locals court arrest after ZP CEO files plaint against them

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As many as 37 villagers, including 11 women, courted arrest at Palghar police station in connection with a criminal offence lodged against them by a senior zilla parishad official. The villagers courted arrest yesterday after a complaint was registered by Palghar zilla parishad (ZP) CEO Nidhi Chowdhary against them, a statement issued by Palghar police (rural) here today said. The locals had held a protest on Monday at Palghar ZP office, under the banner of Shramajivi Sanghatana, on the issue of non-payment of wages to anganwadi workers in the district. Following the protest, the ZP CEO lodged a police complaint alleging that she was manhandled and gheraoed by the protesters and was confined to her office due to which she could not move out to attend a meeting. The 37 persons were produced before the local magistrate yesterday, which remanded them to 14-days judicial custody. Sanghatana founder and former MLA Vivek Pandit claimed that the protesters raised slogans for about two hours and held agitation in a peaceful manner. “A case was lodged under IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement). “IPC section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 504 (intentional insult) and 506 (criminal intimidation),” said the police. Following the development, workers of civic corporations of Mira-Bhayander and Vasai-Virar, who are also members of various workers’ union, did not report to work today as a mark of protest against the arrest of the villagers. Sanghatana’s Balaram Bhoir alleged that the CEO has filed a false case against the 37 activists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BJP MLA’s Lamborghini cynosure of all eyes at Vidhan Bhawan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s official vehicle did not evoke as many stares at the Vidhan Bhawan here as a flashy orange Lamborghini did today. The occupant of the luxury car was CM’s party associate Narendra Mehta, whose entry into Vidhan Bhawan (legislature complex) on the penultimate day of the budget session in the flashy car was the topic of discussion in the premises. Mehta, BJP MLA from Mira-Bhayander, was in news last year after his wife met with an accident as she lost control over the same car and rammed it into an auto rickshaw within seconds of taking it out for the first time. Mehta had reportedly gifted the Rs 5.5-crore car to his wife on her birthday. A real estate businessman from Mira Bhayander, he has been a mayor of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation. NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad said, “At a time when the legislature is in session and discussing issues of the common people, such show of flamboyance is unwarranted.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Civic engineer, three others booked for destroying mangroves

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four persons, including a civic engineer, have been booked for allegedly resorting to land fill and destroying mangroves in Bhayander township here, police said today. The accused were carrying out land fill at Pelni Aghar and Babu area of the township during the last week, Inspector Rajendra Kamble said. During the process, mangroves were destroyed which is a violation of environmental norms, he said. Civic engineer Deepak Khambit, attached with Mira- Bhayander Municipal Corportation, contractor Prakash Kamble, driver of crane turck Santosh Nangre and its owner Vikram Shinde have been booked under relevant sections of Protection of Environment Act-1986. No arrests have been made so far in this connection, added police.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian man who hid wife’s body in fridge sentenced for life in jail

An Indian man who murdered his French wife and hid her body in the refrigerator is jailed for life.

Mumbai vet’s wife booked for dumping six puppies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Navghar police on Wednesday booked a Bhayander based veterinarian’s wife for dumping stray new born pups in a plastic bag near a temple after residents residing in RNP Park complained about nuisance created by them.The police have booked her and a watchman under The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.Riddhi Vikram Niratle, wife of Veterinary Dr Vikram Niratle, who are residents of RNP Park in Bhayander East allegedly picked up six stray puppies with the help of the society watchman, bundled them in a bag, and took them on her scooty to abandoned them outside the residence society. An eyewitness tipped of animal activists on the incident.When Salim Charania, founder of Peace for Animals Welfare Association, approached Niratle she confirmed the incident. “She (Niratle) said she dumped the puppies because they were creating nuisance in the building,” he said.Niratle later showed them the spot, she left the puppies, and they were brought back in the society, so their mother could feed them. Later, the activist filed a formal complaint agaisnt her.Prafull Ambadas, Investigation Officer, Navghar police station, said, “We have registered a case under sections 119 of the Bombay Police Act and under section 11(1) of the Environment Protection Act against Ridhi Niratle and the building watchman. A notice will be sent and necessary action, taken against the duo.” Section 119 under Bombay Police Act prescribes fine of upto Rs 2500 or prison upto one month or both, and under 11(1) (a) of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, punishment could be fine of more than 50 Rs or jail term for three months or both.Dr Niratle, husband of the accused, however, denied all allegations. “We have been in social service for 30 years now. My wife just picked up the puppies and kept them near the local temple after the residents asked her to do so,” he said to DNA.

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