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Nitin Patel gets Finance, crisis blows over

The 48-hour-long drama that kept BJP’s Gujarat political circle on tenterhooks ended on Sunday, with party chief Amit Shah granting deputy chief minister Nitin Patel the Finance portfolio, following which the veteran leader took charge.Patel, who was given Road and Building, Health, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpsar and Capital Project during the portfolio allocation on Thursday night, stayed home and refused to take charge, making his displeasure over taking away important portfolios that he had held in the previous government evident.Addressing the media at his residence in Thaltej, Ahmedabad, around 10:45 am, Patel said, “BJP president Amit Shah called me up in the morning and assured me that I will be given a portfolio which befits my stature as the number two in the cabinet and as the deputy chief minister.””I have no more complaints. I was not happy as I didn’t get a befitting portfolio, but I never crossed the party’s line of discipline,” he added.The deputy CM thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah, the Patel community and other leaders who stood by him. He also acknowledged the Sardar Patel Group, an outfit of the Patel community seeking reservation.Though it was a Sunday, Patel rushed to Gandhinagar and assumed charge at 11:39am.With the new allocation, Saurabh Patel, who was orginally given Finance, is now left with just one ministry — Energy.Soon after taking charge, Patel left for his Assembly constituency, Mehsana, to meet his supporters.Shortly after his arrival at Mehsana in the afternoon, Rupani announced in Gandhinagar that the Finance portfolio had been given to Patel and that the issue was over now.”We have made certain changes in the portfolios. We have given Finance to Nitinbhai. With this, the issue is over now. Such small things happen in a big family like the BJP. I have already sent a letter to the Governor, informing him of this change in the portfolios,” the chief minister told reporters.Patel maintained that the issue was not about some departments, but about “self-respect”.”I had conveyed to the party high-command to either give me respectable departments or relieve me from the cabinet,” he said.The veteran leader added that he had been serving the BJP as a “loyal and disciplined” soldier for the last 40 years.The deputy chief minister performed puja at his office and assumed charge. “I will perform all my duties with integrity and honesty. I thank my party for the responsibility they have given me. I had assumed office soon after the swearing-in ceremony and had reviewed the process of purchase of groundnuts by government from farmers at minimum support price. From Monday, the first day of the New Year, the Gujarat government will work on fast track.”In the previous government headed by Rupani, Patel used to handle key portfolios of Finance and Urban Development, among other departments.However, this time, Finance was given to Saurabh Patel, while Rupani kept Urban Development with himself. Unhappy over the allotment, Patel had refrained from taking charge of the departments, prompting the top BJP leadership to swing into action to placate the senior Patidar leader.Sending feelers to the deputy chief minister, Patidar quota agitation leader Hardik Patel on Saturday said he would extend support to him and talk to the Congress leadership to ensure that Patel got the respect he deserved from the party, if he left the BJP, along with 10 other MLAs, and joined hands with the Congress to form a new government.DISPLEASURENitin Patel, who was given Road and Building, Health, Medical Education, Narmada, Kalpsar and Capital Project refused to take charge, making his displeasure over taking away important portfolios evident.

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Kamala Mills fire: Lookout notices against ‘1Above’ co-owners, 100 illegal structures demolished by BMC

The Mumbai civic administration on Saturday demolished illegal structures erected by restaurants in Kamala Mills compound. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) demolished reception cum entrance of 1Above pub and Mojo’s Bistro in the area. The action comes in the wake of a fire at 1Above pub in central Mumbai’s Lower Parel which snuffed out 14 lives.Entrance porch of the Trade House Building in Kamala Mills area was also demolished by the BMC team. Earlier in the day, BMC bulldozers razed unauthorised constructions in other parts of the city as well. The BMC took action against at least five eateries and restaurants.A BMC official confirmed that they have pulled down “illegal roofs” of two restaurants -‘Skyview Caf ‘ and ‘Social’ in Kamala Mills and encroachments of ‘Pranay’ and ‘Fumes’ and ‘Sheesha Sky Lounge’ at Raghuvanshi Mills in the same locality.Also readBMC files police complaint against Mojo, 1 Above and Kamla Mills for illegal constructionAction was also taken against some restaurants in Andheri, the official said.”We have already formed several teams and are collecting information about the hotels and restaurants, after getting complaints of unauthorised constructions by them. Several ward officers are also carrying out inspection and razing such illegal structures,” BMC spokesperson Ram Dotonde said.Also readMumbai fire: BMC carries out demolition drive against illegal structures in Kamala Mills areaA birthday bash at ‘1Above’ pub ended in a tragedy as 14 people, including 11 women, were killed after a blaze broke out shortly after midnight on Thursday. Most of the victims died of suffocation. 21people were injured in the fire, which broke out at the terrace on the third floor of the Trade House Building in Kamala Mills compound at Lower Parel area.(With PTI inputs)

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Unable to pay EMI and rent, residents forced out of city

Rendered homeless after their relatively new building began crumbling, many residents of the now-demolished Gaurav Enclave Cooperative Housing Society in Mira Road East have been staying in temporary accommodation, waiting for the redevelopment to reach completion so they can shift into their new homes. In the meantime, the developer has allegedly stopped compensating them for transit accommodation, so they have to shell out EMIs as well as rent.Gaurav Enclave shot to infamy in 2013 after it developed cracks within 15 years of its construction. Nearly 233 residents of the building had to move out of their homes so it could be razed and redeveloped. Now, the builder who had originally raised the building, Ravi Group, is carrying out its redevelopment.The residents allege that exorbitant rents have forced them out of the metropolitan’s limits, to places like Vapi, which is in Gujarat. This has drastically affected their lives and livelihoods.Krishna Malani, a building resident who expected to have a new home after redevelopment, is one of them. “I stay in Vapi now. I don’t have a home. It’s been five years that we vacated the building and we are still waiting to return,” he said, adding that the developer has stopped paying him rent.D Gala, another tenant, claimed that while signing the redevelopment agreement, they were promised monthly recompense (rent) till the building came up.The builder had committed to delivering the project in three years’ time.”In case of a delay in the project, he was to pay us rent with a 10 per cent yearly increment. In spite of this agreement, the builder didn’t pay us rent on time. And now, he has stopped paying us rent altogether. It’s been almost five years since we moved out and the construction isn’t anywhere near completion,” Gala said.Some tenants have been ‘lucky’ to find alternate accommodation in Mira Road itself. “I vacated the building long back. I have found a home on rent in this suburb. But I am waiting to return to my house which I had purchased in 1997,” said Thomas, another resident.Another tenant who didn’t wish to be identified is looking forward to returning to his shop in the building. He said, “People are paying EMIs for their homes and also paying rent to stay for their current lodging. It is really a difficult time for all of us. We vacated the building in July 2013. For the last two years we have not received payments towards rent from the builder. The construction is taking place but at a snail’s pace.”Repeated attempts to contact Ketan Shah of Ravi Group were in vain. He didn’t reply to our messages, nor receive our calls.Tomorrow, we will take a look at the lives of people who left their old dilapidated buildings in the hope of returning to a new one. But they are biding their time till the construction comes up.

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First day of job turns last day of life

Rocky Shaikh, a labourer working in the Chhipi Chawl building, met with a tragic death when the building collapsed on Friday. Shaikh was working on the fourth floor when the slab of the building caved in instantly killing him. It was his first day at work.Shaikh, a native of Malharpur near Kolkata, had come to the city on Thursday in search of work. Asraf Ali, one of his relative said, “Shaikh’s father had already died and Rocky was the sole breadwinner earning for his mother and other family members.”Two other labourers had a narrow escape as they evacuated the building when they realised that the wall was shaking and the building was about to fall.”There were heavy metal tanks on the fourth floor which the labourers were removing when the crash happened and our colleagues died,” said Ghulam Mustafa, a labourer who came out safely.Most of the labourers trapped inside were from West Bengal. “The contractor could have adopted certain safety measures that could have saved Firoz,” said Sohaib Khan, uncle of Firoz Khan who died in the building collapse. He added that he got to know about the incident after he received a call from his native village.Timeline: How it unfolded9 pm: Body of three labourer recovered from debris.One still feared trapped. Rescue operation continues1 pm: Around five labourers are rescued12 pm: Fire Brigade reaches the spot11 am: A slab of Chhipi Chawl building on Shamseth Street in Zaveri Bazar collapses

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Housing board moots extra area at lower cost

Tenants of dilapidated cessed buildings situated in South Mumbai should be allowed to buy up to 200 square feet of extra space at ‘construction cost’ from the developer redeveloping their building. This is one of the suggestions of the state government constituted a committee on housing. Currently, a tenant is entitled to get 300 sq ft house following redevelopment. If accepted the new rule may reduce the differences between tenants and developers and will also allow tenants with bigger families to stay together. There are more than 14,000 such dilapidated cessed buildings located in South Mumbai. These buildings pay a cess to MHADA for their repair. Many projects in the area are stuck either because of the tenants’ refusal to vacate their houses or when the developer delays a certain project. While the suggestion sounds good, architects who plan the building say that the tenant should at the time of planning of the building inform the developer about the extra space. “While giving extra space at construction cost wouldn’t be feasible for a developer but it can bring in liquid at initial stage to the developer, which will be of help to him in carrying out construction,” said Arqam Shaikh, of Arc associates.

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DRI recovers about Rs 50 crores of demonetised currency in Gujarat

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Saturday recovered demonetised currency of Rs 48.91 crores in 500 and 1000 denominations from Gujarat’s Bharuch district.The DRI recovered this amount after they conducted sleuth in an office premise in Bharuch, named M/S Yamuna Building Material.Also readDemonetisation played a great role in combating terrorism: Nirmala SitharamanAs per the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017, fine of about Rs 245 crores are expected to be slapped on the owner of the company and other charges will be framed on them after further investigation.The intelligence agency will be filing a complaint in the court against three in the matter.Further details are awaited. Also readDNA Exclusive: Post demonetization, Bitcoins new ‘black’ in property market

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Thirty-year-old woman found dead at bldg site

A 30-year old woman was allegedly found dead at an underconstruction building with her two-month-old daughter crying next to her in Rohini’s Sector 28 area on Thursday morning. Her husband who is the prime suspect in the case and was with them was found missing in the morning.According to the police the couple along with their child had come to the underconstruction building on Wednesday night. They asked the watchman of the building to provide them shelter and some food to stay the night. “The watchman of the building provided the couple some food and a tripal to spend the night on the first floor, keeping in mind the cold and the child along with them,” said a senior police officer.Around 9.30 am the watchman heard the cries of the child and reached the first floor to check. The watchman saw the little child crying next to her mother who was not responding at all whereas the husband was no where to be seen. The child was taken down by the guards and the police was informed. There were signs of vomitting near the woman’s mouth.Cops are probing all angles including food being stuck in the wind pipe or the possibility of being given stale food by the watchman.The husband has been identified as Shiv whose portrait has been made and circulated.
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Inviting investment: New Zealand can offer a lesson or two to India

While India’s new and improved rank 100 at the World Bank’s latest ease of doing business index has been ruling popular discourses for weeks, New Zealand, with its first position for two consecutive years, remains the easiest country in the world to conduct businesses.In fact, the island nation has also ranked first in several parameters determining the final result, such as starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit and protecting minority investors.New Zealand’s World Bank rank and that is the easiest place in the world to start a new business, reflects on ground with a steady increase in the establishment of new companies in the country following the Global Financial Crisis since 2012.As per official data, the number of company incorporations in 2014 was around 47,000, it was 50,000 in 2015, 56,000 in 2016 and 59,000 in 2017.But what is it that encourages such a positive business environment in New Zealand?A primary yet important step is the registration of a new company. At present, it takes just one working day for someone to register a new company through an online process in New Zealand.Another crucial step is that of securing construction permits –where India remains at the 181st rank. New Zealand’s Building Act contains a statutory requirement for a Building Consent Authority (BCA) is to grant a building consent within 20 working days from receiving the application (residential or commercial). According to New Zealand government officials, most BCAs report high compliance with this requirement.Officials also said government funding to a range of Research and Development and innovation proposals, and special encouragement to start-ups and early-stage businesses, has been going a long way in firming up New Zealand’s position as a top business-friendly economy.A classic example to support this statement is the Callaghan innovation established in 2013. The government agency backs innovative start-up companies by providing funding for company accelerator and incubator programmes. This also includes a Lightning Lab which works with digital and ICT entrepreneurs to develop their ideas over 12 weeks into an investment pitch.New Zealand’s schools and universities also play a major role in encouraging innovation, ideas and entrepreneurship in students from an early stage.Explaining the role of universities, a spokesperson from Education New Zealand (ENZ) said that three New Zealand universities, have joined forces to encourage entrepreneurship through an entrepreneurship project funded by the government.”The project partnering Canterbury, Lincoln and Otago universities has been awarded $3 million from the Government’s Encouraging and Supporting Innovation Fund. The goal is to encourage entrepreneurship. This project will facilitate the capture of intellectual property and develop technology-based businesses,” the spokesperson said in a written response to a query from DNA.Explaining further, New Zealand’s high commissioner to India Joanna Kempkers told DNA that students who go to those universities go through that programme have all the tools at their fingertips to be able to start a company or a business easily.Kempers added there is a special visa category for foreigners to come and start businesses in New Zealand.Another measure taken by the New Zealand government to encourage businesses is the Innovative New Zealand programme under the ministry of business, innovation and employment. Under this, an additional $372.8 million to be invested over the next four years in science, skills, tertiary education, and economic development initiatives, through Budget 2017.”This continues momentum from the $761.4 million investment made through the Innovative New Zealand programme in Budget 2016, and reaffirms the Government’s commitment in growing our science system, producing the 21st century skills New Zealand needs, and encouraging innovation and industry investment for a stronger, more resilient economy,” the ENZ spokesperson said.Another initiatives taken by New Zealand includes an investor migrant programme, aimed at attracting high net worth individuals to bring their capital and business acumen to New Zealand. The country also offers apprenticeships across a range of industries in New Zealand such as agriculture, horticulture and fisheries, construction and infrastructure, manufacturing and technology, which give youths an opportunity to “earn while they learn”.New Zealand also has 11 Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) specialising in training/apprenticeships for various industries. ENZ officials said ITOs are becoming increasingly popular with Indian undergraduate students.Universities supporting innovation and entrepreneurshipUniversity of AucklandThis New Zealand University features in the latest Reuters Top 75: Asia’s Most Innovative Universities rankings. Through UniServices, its commercialisation company, the University connects researchers and businesses, both nationally and internationally. UniServices has, on behalf of the University, over 1,200 active projects with more than 300 New Zealand firms at any one time. In 2016, UniServices created more than 11 businesses to commercialise university research.University of Canterbury – Centre for EntrepreneurshipThe UC Centre for Entrepreneurship promotes development of entrepreneurs through research, teaching and community engagement. It aims at the development of more employable UC graduates with exceptional entrepreneurial capability.
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A BMC cell for dilapidated bldgs soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to form a separate cell for dilapidated buildings in the city. The cell or the department will keep records of all dilapidated buildings and ensure that incidents like the Sai Siddhi building collapse in July are prevented.The proposal, which is at the initial stage of planning, is aimed at ensuring audit of every building that has completed 30 years. “The cell will ensure that the civic body must have complete information of dilapidated buildings, and also how many new buildings will require structural audit in the next five years,” said an official from the Building Proposal department of BMC.“With rapid construction and alleged compromise in construction materials, the city will have more number of dilapidated buildings in future than today. Keeping this fact in mind, we must have data of dilapidated buildings in the city, and accordingly we can plan to prevent Ghatkopar-like incidents,” said the official.According to officials working on the project, the cell is likely to take shape in the next two months. The civic chief himself is taking interest in the project and a meeting on the subject is scheduled on Tuesday.AUDIT MUSTThe BMC is also working to streamline the process of declaring a building dilapidated. The policy will have provisions from making structural audit mandatory before declaring a building dilapidated.

Bhiwandi building collapse: Man saves 7-yr-old from claws of death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 20 year old electrician residing in the ill fated building was first to rush out of the collapsing structure when it tilted to rest on the neighbhouring building. The youth had woken up early morning to store the water into containers at around 8.30 am when he managed to rescue the seven year old boy and wife of the developer who were stuck in the lobby of the building.Mohammed Ayaz, 20, resided on the third floor flat of the illegal structure which collapsed on Friday morning. Rehan Khan,7 was pulled out safely by the youth and was handed over to the locals who had gathered after hearing a loud thud on the ground floor when the structure tilted backwards.”We wake up early in the morning to fill water into the containers. My cousins were too inside the flat when i woke them up and asked to vacate the flat. When i reached on the first floor i saw Rehan crying and soon rushed towards the door of the flat and pulled him out to safety.”, said Ayaz.”Later i heard the cries of help from Salama, wife of the developer when i rushed upstairs and dragged her out of the building site which by then had collapsed from one side completely.”, said Ayaz.

3 killed in Bhiwandi building collapse

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An illegal building collapsed in Bhiwandi on Friday morning, killing at least three people and leading to severe injuries to more than seven. One woman is feared to be trapped inside the debris. The Bhiwandi Nizampura Municipal Corporation (BNMC) evacuated the neighbouring buildings after the structure collapsed on it. The fire brigade department and National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) is conducting the search operation under the debris.The seven-year-old structure was built inside the bylanes near Noori Masjib at Bhiwandi. The structure was allegedly built by Tahir Bijnor,49 who was arrested by the Bhiwandi City police after the building collapsed. Twelve people were inside the building in which the ground floor was given on rent to run shops.The first floor was occupied by a family from which one person died in the incident while another occupant of the first floor is missing. The second floor was occupied by the owner and his family members from which mother of the builder died in the building collapse, the third floor was occupied by the family of an electrician, Mohammed Ayaz. While the terrace was occupied by makeshift tents belonging to labourers.According to police, Ruksar Khan, 18, died after the debris fell on her when she was passing by the building in the morning at around 8.45am. Ashfaq Khan, 38, died on the first floor while his wife Parveen Bano Khan is still feared trapped inside the debris. Jaibrunissa Ansari, 61, mother of Tahir, developer of the building too have died in the collapse.Bijender Dahiya, second-in-command, NDRF, said, “We have pressed two teams for search, rescue and relief operation and have 50 personnel working to clear the debris. A dog squad too has been deployed for the rescue operation.””Rescue operation was tough due to small lanes which obstructed the movement of the rescue vehicles. But we have managed to bring out people from the debris. Rescue operation is undergoing smoothly.”, said Dahiya.DN Salvi, Chief Fire officer, BNMC fire brigade department said, “Our teams have pulled out three bodies so far. We are trying to locate one more person. The neighbhouring structure too has been affected due to the collapse and have asked the occupants to vacate it.”

BMC makes new policy on dilapidated buildings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to streamline the process of declaring any building dilapidated, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is finalising a policy which will be based on guidelines provided by Bombay High Court on vacating a dilapidated building.The policy has provisions for making structural audits mandatory for a building before declaring it dilapidated, and for prosecution of the owner for not carrying out structural audit even after a notice is issued by the BMC.”The policy will protect the rights of tenants, and it will do away with the practice of arbitrary declaration of dilapidated building,” said a senior official from the civic body’s Building Proposal department.According to the official, who declined to be named, the need for a separate policy arose after tenants kept approaching courts for clarity on the way buildings are being declared dilapidated, claiming that owners had kept them in the dark even after those buildings had already been declared dilapidated.”Disputes between tenants and owners often lead to delays in vacating a dilapidated building,” said the official.While hearing a writ petition on the issue, the Bombay High Court order had laid down a standard operating process (SOP) for vacating a dilapidated building, based on which the BMC has formulated the new policy, this official added.The owner of a dilapidated building will also have to certify the area each tenant has to ensure that they get the correct amount of space during redevelopment. “If the owner does not certify the area, BMC officials will certify,” said the official.The policy also suggests formation of five new Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) to address disputes over the structural audit.NEW POLICYThe new policy will protect the rights of tenants as the owner cannot declare a building dilapidated simply to go in for redevelopment. As a copy of the structural audit report must be displayed in the building premises, tenants’ complaints of not being aware of the status of the building will also be addressed.

JNU students fined for cooking biryani on campus

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) have been fined for cooking and eating biryani near the stairs in front of the university’s administrative building.The incident allegedly took place on June 27 when students, holding a night long protest against the Vice Chancellor, stayed at the administration block and cooked food.While three students — Chepal Sherpa, Amir Malik and Manish Kumar — have been fined Rs 6,000 each, former JNU Students’ Union general secretary Satarupa Chakraborty has been fined Rs 10,000.Chakraborty was also punished under another clause for “leading the protest demonstration along with slogan shouting against Vice-Chancellor, administration and Professor Atul Johri, and sitting inside the V-C’s office even after repeated requests from CSO (Chief Security Officer) and security personnel to stop”.”In the proctorial enquiry, you have been found guilty of being involved in cooking food (biryani) near the stairs in front of the Administrative Building and eating it thereafter along with other students. This act is serious in nature, unbecoming of a student of JNU and calls for strict disciplinary action,” the Chief Proctor, Kaushal Kumar, said in a circular issued to the students on November 8.Calling it a “serious act”, university authorities have asked Chakraborty to deposit the fine within 10 days of the issuing of the notice.The authorities also warned students “to be careful and not to get involved in such incidents in future”.Responding to the incident, Chakraborty said, “Is a university proctor’s office here to monitor who is cooking and eating what? Since when is seeking an appointment to meet the V-C or shouting slogans against him a crime? Is this how the ‘discretionary power’ is supposed to be exercised where student union members would be kept out of any dialogue with the university authority?”

Sessions Court rejects Sunil Shitap’s bail plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Sessions Court on Monday rejected bail application filed by the prime accused in the Ghatkopar building collapse, Sunil Shitap. However, the reason for the application being rejected could not be confirmed as the detailed order copy is yet to be received by Shitap as well as the prosecution.In his application plea, Shitap had claimed that the building was dilapidated and the BMC was to be blamed for not inspecting it even though more than 30 years had passed since it was constructed.He had also claimed that he had not made any structural changes in the building as mentioned in the BMC’s High Power Committee Report and charge-sheet filed by the police. The application, however, was opposed by the prosecutor and the intervener.The intervener’s application reply to the bail application said that the high power committee of BMC had arrived to a conclusion that the building collapsed after bearing the load of heavy beams and that the pillars were allegedly removed by Shitap in the ground floor rooms owned by him. The reply also mentioned that Shitap was known as a local goon in the area where the building collapsed and if he is granted bail, he would tamper with evidence.

Delhi High Court seeks reply on regularisation of colonies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi government and the civic bodies on a petition which sought directions to stop the regularisation of the unauthorised colonies till the proper infrastructure is developed in such areas and the buildings conform to safety norms.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar sought replies from the government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Development Authority. It directed them to file their replies within 10 days. The court’s direction comes on a petition filed by advocate Arpit Bhargava who claimed that 1,700 illegal colonies in the national capital have come up with the alleged “active connivance” with officials of the local authorities and the Delhi government.The plea sought that directions be passed to curtail the illegal constructions thereby adding that these have come up in violation of the National Building Code 2005 for seismic zone IV, in which Delhi falls.

Mazgaon bldg tenants at odds with builder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aggrieved tenants of Tambawala building in Mazgaon recently wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office urging him to take note of their complaint against developer Sumer Associates. Some of the aggrieved tenants have raised several issues against the developer, who himself is saying that few uncooperative tenants are raising unnecessary monetary demands that cannot be fulfilled, thus leading to this controversy.The letter reads, “From 2010 onwards the builder has not carried out repairs till date. It is surprising and shocking to note that in spite of sending a copy of Permanent Alternate Accommodation draft to the Builder for getting the Building redeveloped; and to come forward to settle the Draft in presence of both side’s Advocates. But the Builder is insisting to sign the agreements and other writings in their office, without allowing us to consult our legal advisors/advocates. And now the Builder has taken the plea of dilapidated and dangerous conditions without any evidence on record.”One of the aggrieved tenants Austin Fernandes, said, “Last year, we carried out a structural audit of the building by a BMC-approved consultant. It says the building can be repaired, but the developer, instead of repairing the building, sent us a letter indirectly threatening us, which talks about the Hussaini building collapse, where residents died. We also want proper housing and redevelopment, but there has to be some proper paperwork for us to trust the developer.”The building is around 70-years old and has 105 tenants, including 18 commercial ones.The developer has refuted all the allegations. Rahul Shah, CEO of the company said, “Sumer, being the landlord and owner of the property, had various meetings, negotiations and discussions with the tenants and ultimately it was decided that the building would be demolished and re-developed. We have intimated the same to all of them in writing, however, few non-cooperative tenants are still disagreeing and are raising unnecessary monetary demands that cannot be fulfilled.”He further claimed that around 40 tenants have already decided to move out. “Around 40 tenants, including committee members, through their advocates, had meetings with Sumer’s advocates. Various drafts of Permanent Alternate Accommodation were exchanged. The same has been finalised. We have also initiated flat allocation by a lottery system for the tenants on October 17, 2017 for our rehab building. 33 residential tenants were present that day and we have completed allocations for all. These 40 tenants of Tambawala building will vacate on or before November 30, 2017. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that Sumer is putting pressure on the tenants and/or not ready to enter into Agreements for Permanent Alternate Accommodation. Sumer at no point in time would be negligent in performing his duties,” said Shah.

Reaching out: Fair to assist entrepreneurs, MSMEs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a view to giving a boost to the environment supporting the Medium and Small medium enterprises (MSME), the state government has taken an initiative called the India Industrial Fair (IIF). To be held for two months from now, the fair is aimed at highlighting the products of young entrepreneurs while giving them a market at national and international level.Proposed to be organised from January 5th to 8th, 2018, the fair will be held at JECC with a proposal of a whopping eight hundred stalls and six hundred exhibitions of expected exhibitors.“There would be eight focus areas – namely Textiles & Home Décor, Furniture, Shilp Gram & Handicraft, Agriculture & food processing, Engineering & Mining, Energy & electronics, Plastic, Rubber & Packaging, Building & Hardware,” said Subodh Agarwal, principal Secretary – MSME.The official further added, “Providing an opportunity to share new technology, to provide common platforms between producers and consumers, to encourage start-ups, to promote export and to coordinate efforts to expand the MSME industry of the country. He said that the role of MSME industries in the economic development of the country can also be highlighted through this fair.” The government is leaving no stones unturned as it has approached various state government for participation as well as a host of public sector undertakings to participate in the fair.HIGHLIGHTSEstimated expenditure: Rs1.5 to 2 crore. India’s largest MSME B2B and B2C Exhibition Total 800 NOS. of proposed stalls at Exhibition Total 600 expected exhibitor’s exhibition 8 focus areas for participants— approximately 100 stalls in each sector

Minor labourer falls from roof, dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 17-year-old minor boy, working as a child labor to a private contractor today noon died during the treatment in a private hospital in the city after he had sustained severe head injuries after falling from the rooftop while he was fixing an iron angle of an advertisement hoarding in a multi-storied building in Talwandi area under Jawahar Nagar police station. The police have lodged a case against the contractor under sections of IPC and J.J. Act for causing death by negligence and employing a minor child to work. The dead body was handed over to the family members after postmortem later in the day on Sunday.Raju Erwal (17), a resident of Nagpal colony under Udhyog Nagar police station area sustained severe head injuries after he had fallen from the rooftop of multi-storied building in Talwandi area early on Sunday morning while he was getting down through stairway with iron angle, told Neeraj Gupta, Circle In charge (CI), Jawahar Nagar police station.The minor boy, while he was getting down through the staircase from the top floor of the building, lost balance and rolled down to floor with severe head injuries while the iron angle was left stuck to the wall, he said adding he was immediately rushed to nearby private hospital where he succumbed to injuries during treatment at noon today. Raju along with his co-worker Ajay Khateek was on contractual work to fix an advertising hoarding on the building at around 7 o’clock today morning when the mishap occurred, the CI said.The body was handed over to the family members after postmortem, he added. Police have lodged a case against the private contractor of causing death by negligence under section 304(A) of IPC and under sections of JJ. Act for employing a minor boy to work, CI Neeraj Gupta said adding the further investigation into the matter is underway, however, the accused contractor has not been arrested.HEAD INJURIESRaju Erwal (17), a resident of Nagpal colony under Udhyog Nagar police station area sustained severe head injuries after he had fallen from the rooftop of building in Talwandi area.

Residents object to lease boards outside bldgs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Churchgate and Marine Drive have taken exception to the huge boards put up by the Collector’s office outside their building which furnish details of their property lease.They have been put up even though most of these buildings have around 30 years to go before the 99-year lease expires. The Collector, however, says she is only following orders.Kanwal Shahpuri, who resides in a building on C-Road of Marine Drive, where one such board is posted, says, “Instead of spending so much money, the collector could have sent us notices making it mandatory for the society to paste it on a notice board; all would have obliged,” he said, adding that the boards outside their building is raising a lot of questions.Residents also fear that the renewal of the lease, based on the ready reckoner rate, would mean having to pay more than the amount they are already paying. Collector Sampada Mehta said, “The boards certifying the lease conditions are being put up as per the government and the High Court directions.”

India’s $100bn road building gamble

The road building project may spur employment but growth, but tardy execution could come in the way.

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.”

Watch: Fire rages at LIC building in central Kolkata; 10 fire tenders pressed into service

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire broke out around 10.20 am on the 16th floor of a commercial building on Jawaharlal Nehru Road in central Kolkata.The floor housed the server room of the State Bank of India’s global market office.The chief general manager (Kolkata circle) of SBI, P P Sengupta, said there was no news of anyone getting stuck on the floor.Ten fire tenders have been pressed into service to douse the raging fire on the 17th floor of Jeevan Sudha building, a fire brigade official said.Eyewitnesses said the fire was fast spreading to the other floors of the building.The building, which has 19 floors, houses offices of SBI and LIC branches and other financial organizations.

PIL seeks Delhi High Court order for govt to check if schools are following safety norms

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Delhi High Court demanding to know the “status of safety norms” in the several thousand schools across the city, both private and government.It asked the High Court to look into the matter and direct the government ansd various authorities to see if the schools were complying with the fire safety and building stability norms.The petitioner, advocate Kush Kalra, had alleged that the Delhi government and its various authorities, have not responded to his queries so far. following which he knocked the doors of the court.The plea alleged that the apex court in 2009 issued directions to all the schools in India to have fire safety certificate and stability certificates, but these were not being complied with.It further alleged that the Directorate of Education (DoE) the fire services and public works department have behaved negligently in performing their duty to take steps to ensure that the schools are complying with building stability and fire safety norms.The petition also claimed that the authorities, including the municipal corporations, were clueless as to whether any school under their jurisdiction is actually complying with the norms.The PIL, filed through counsel Rajesh Gogna, said the petitioner came to know about the lack of data with the authorities on this issue after he raised a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.It sought directions to the local authorities to ensure compliance of the apex court’s order as well as the National Building Code of India, claiming that the “safety of school-going students in Delhi is at risk.””School-going children are easy targets for any mishap and it must be the duty of the respondents (authorities) to check and identify which schools in Delhi have no fire safety and building stability certificate and the respondents must derecognise those institutions till the time the safety norms are implemented, the petition said.It further sought directions to the authorities to depute their officers to make periodic visits to the schools to check whether the fire safety and building stability measures are being implemented and to apprise the court about the same

A Dastangoi twist to the Maldhari story

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amdavadis will get a glimpse of the land and lives of pastoralists which will be organised by the Centre for Pastoralism, an initiative of Sahjeevan, at Mill Owner’s Association Building from October 5 to 8.The internationally acclaimed exhibition titled ‘Living Lightly – Journeys with Pastoralists’, will present a blend of music, poetry, art, photo essays, speciality food stores, films, workshops and live events from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm.Ankit Chadha, an acclaimed promoter of Dastangoi and an award winning author of “Amir Khusrau – The Man in Riddles” and “My Gandhi Story”, is in city to perform ‘Dastan-e-Khanabadosh’ – a story of nomadic Maldharis as part of the exhibition.Talking to mediapersons at an event on Tuesday, Chadha, who started performing Dastangoi in 2010, and quit his corporate job to take up Dastangoi as a full time profession, said, “Dastan (a persian word) means story and Goi means the act of narrating the story. I have tried to get some inspiration from Kabir in terms of what is the value of going slow in life. I do mention him in the storytelling.”Chadha has spoken on Dastangoi globally, including at Princeton, Harvard and Yale. He also introduced the form of musical narration that uniquely brings together stories and music. He has also worked on Dastangoi performances for children. Dastan Alice Ki was the first modern adaptation of Dastangoi for children.

Pensioners return empty handed after Rs 1.20 crore go missing from Burdwan post office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cash overseer of Burdwan Head Post Office was in for a shock on Friday morning when he realised that somebody broke open a vault and took around Rs 1.20 crore that has been operated by the postal department at the Treasury Building of the Burdwan Court complex .The missing cash was deposited on Thursday for pension distribution.”There are vaults in the complex that are operated by various departments. Treasury department has nothing to do with it. We are yet to get a formal complaint from the postal department,” District Magistrate Anurag Srivastav said.Following the incident, pensioners had to return empty handed as the post offices were devoid of cash.The police is still investigating the case.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, deputy CMs take oath as MLCs

Updated: Sep 18, 2017, 12:02 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday took oath as a member of the state Legislative Council.Two deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma were also administered oath by chairman of the Legislative Council Ramesh Yadav at a function at the Tilak Hall of the imposing Legislative Building here.Two other ministers Swantradev Singh and Mohsin Raza also took oath.All of them were recently declared elected unopposed to the Legislative Council in by-elections to five seats that fell vacant when sitting members resigned.All of them had to get elected to either the Assembly or the Legislative Council before September 19 in order to continue as ministers.​

Sunil Shitap knew about bldg alterations: accused

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three days after the arrest of Ranjit Aagale, an interior designer and the third accused in the Ghatkopar building collapse case, the Parksite police have revealed that Shiv Sena Strongman Sunil Shitap and Aagale had equal roles in it.The police say that they have found sufficient evidence against all three of them and have seized the 21-page design plan and images of the renovated construction that they had shared on their WhatsApp group. “He told us that Shitap knew everything about the changes being made. Aagale is not authorised for construction of buildings as he is not an architect and the construction was carried out without recommendation of any authorised architect. We are probing if Aagale’s interior designing degree is genuine or not,” said a senior police officer.Aagale was arrested by Parksite police late on Sunday night. The accused had taken a contract of renovation of the ground floor of the building and tampered with the pillars causing the building to collapse killing 17 people.

Pakistan should stop infiltrating terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir: HM Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after reviewing the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a high-level meeting, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday asked Pakistan to stop infiltrating terrorists into the Valley.”Pakistan should stop infiltrating terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir,” reported PTI quoting the Home Minister.”We wish to resolve the problems facing Kashmir. I am ready to make all the efforts in this endeavour The situation is improving in Kashmir valley. We wish to see smiles on the face of Kashmiri people,” the Union minister, who is on a four-day visit to the state said while addressing media.”The terrorists have destroyed many generations of Kashmiris. We will not allow another generation to go waste in Kashmir. The worst affected groups in Kashmir are the youth, businessmen, workers and the poor,” he said.Rajnath Singh also said that the government will not go against sentiments of people on Article 35A. “There are no issues left that are why such issues are being raised,” he said.The Home Minister also said that the Centre will run a special tourism drive for Kashmir to promote tourism in the state.The Home Minister also spoke about the permanent solution to Kashmir problem. He says his outreach is based on Five Cs. “The Five Cs of HM’s Kashmir outreach are 1-Compassion 2- Communication 3- Coexistence 4-Confidence Building & 5- Consistency,” Singh said.

Centre to develop Asia’s largest slum Dharavi after failing to get private developers?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Central Government’s National Building Construction Company (NBCC), wants to redevelop Dharavi. Last week, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that the state government will initiate the redevelopment of Asia’s largest slum after failing to get private developers.Now the Centre’s NBCC has jumped in and Devendra Fadanvis confirmed to DNA that the proposal is being actively considered.Dharavi Redevelopment gained prominence last week when the CM brought it up in his public outreach program, ‘Mi Mukhyamantri Boltoy’. “Immediately after coming to power, we floated a global tender but in spite of doing it thrice, developers haven’t come forward,” he had said. “It appears that developers see more difficulty than profit in this project hence we have decided to form a policy to redevelop Dharavi. The project will be done under the state’s SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) and on the lines of BDD Chawl.”There, instead of developers, we roped in MHADA. The initial investment will be raised by the government.”When asked whether NBCC had shown any interest in the project, Fadnavis replied, “Under active consideration.”Like MHADA’s role in BDD chawl redevelopment, NBCC’s role in Dharavi could be that of a contractor where it will construct homes for slum dwellers as well as create housing to be sold in market. However, nothing has been made official yet.According to the NBCC website, it will be redeveloping properties for the government. They will also provide houses at reasonable rates. When contacted, the NBCC office in Delhi didn’t respond.Dharavi is divided into five sectors of which sector V is being redeveloped by MHADA and the government had floated tenders for the remaining four sectors.

Civic body to accept part payments for bldg proposal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As part of Ease of Doing business, the Brihanumumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to accept payments for grant of commencement certificate (CC), additional FSI permission among others in installments. The civic body has taken this step after it received several requests from developers and architects in the city.Last year, due to unfavourable market conditions, several well-known developers had written to the BMC to provide installment facilities for payment of development charges, premiums and other fees to the civic body. As per the circular issued by the BMC, the developers will have options to make payment in three or four installments, depending upon the height of the building. In addition, the gross plot area under development should be 400 sq mtere or above, and the initial payment of the installment must be Rs 50 lakh or above.Four installments of 25 per cent can be paid for a building of height equal to or more than 70 metres while 33 per cent of two and 34 per cent one installment if the height of the building is less than 33 metres.The developers will not avail the facility in the initial stage, like IOD, scrutiny fees, debris deposit, labour cess development charges, the premium paid towards using additional FSI among others.

BMC takes a firm stand on evacuating residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Bhendi Bazaar building collapse, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has adopted a new approach to deal with dilapidated buildings in the city. The civic body with the help of police evacuated a ground plus three storey Damji Sadan building in Raigad Chowk at Ghatkopar East on Wednesday evening, after it received a call that the right side of the building had tilted.Despite a notice from the BMC in 2014 to vacate the building, residents continued to live in the crumbling Damji Sadan. The civic body now claims that its new approach has saved the lives of the residents, as they would not die in a possible building collapse.Dr Bhagyashree Kapse, assistant commissioner of N ward said, “We had issued a notice in 2014 and asked them to carry out a structural audit of the building as it was found to be dilapidated during a survey carried out before the monsoon.” She added that residents did not carry out the structural audit, following which the civic body issued two subsequent notices. However, residents claim that they never received any notice from the BMC.The Damji Sadan building was constructed 55 years ago, and rented out under the Pagdi system. Around 32 tenants – 13 residential and 20 commercial — who have been residing here for over 30 to 40 years were not ready to vacate.According to residents, the original owner of the building had sold the building to a developer who never came to see the building in the last seven years. “The developer might have received the notice,” said Nitin Mehta, a tenant.“We must be given time to find a new home to shift. The sudden action left us to come out of the home with our all belongings,” said Champaben Parekh, an 80-year-old tenant.BMC VS RESIDENTSDespite a notice from the BMC in 2014 to vacate the building, residents continued to live in the crumbling Damji Sadan.
The civic body now claims that its new approach has saved the lives of the residents

Saifee trust sublet flats in Hussaini building

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A playschool on the first floor, and Tawakkal sweets’ godown on the ground floor of the Hussaini building at Bhendi Bazaar, which collapsed on August 31 killing 33 persons, were sublet by the original landlords of the flats and the sweets shop.However, the subletting was not discontinued by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) even after it took over over the building for redevelopment, and SBUT itself was receiving rent from a trust who ran a playschool.According to DP Vataniya trust who manages the playschool, the school has been operational for the last 6-7 years. At least 60 students, who attend the playschool every day, escaped the mishap by a whisker as the building collapsed an hour before the school opened for the day. “We rented this place to run the playschool. Initially, we paid rent to the actual owner of the flat, but later we started paying rent to SBUT. We do not know anything more than this,” Kasim Shaida, one of the trustee of DP Vataniya told DNA.In another case of subletting, Tawakkal’s shop was shifted to the ground floor of the building in January 2017. Around 15-20 workers of Tawakkal were present at the shop when the building came crashing down. Many of them sustained injuries in the collapse. However, the SBUT spokesperson claimed, “We have no idea who all have sublet their houses and shops,” said SBUT spokesperson.”All our documents including passports, property documents and valuables are under the debris. There is no police protection, instead the SBUT guards are on duty at the dumping site even though they are not authorised to do so. What if we lose our important property documents?” said Anwar Hussain, brother of Syed Jaffar, who died along with his family in the crash.SBUT FAILSMHADA had served a notice to tenants of Hussaini building in March 2011, and again in May that year, to vacate, repair or demolish the building.
In August 2011, 256 buildings in the area, including Hussaini came under the Bhendi Bazaar cluster development project undertaken by SBUT.

Hussaini Building collapse: Cops probe non-evacuation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two days after the Hussaini building collapse in Bhindi Bazar that claimed 33 lives and injured 17 others, JJ Marg police has begun its inquiry and recorded statements of all the injured, relatives of deceased, and some residents who escaped unscathed. Police are now probing into how so many people were found living in the building, despite Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) stating it had shifted seven families out of the building some years ago.Police have also written a letter to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC), Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), and SBUT, which is undertaking the Bhendi Bazaar cluster development project, and the Mumbai Fire Brigade, requesting their stand on the reasons for the building collapse and details of any communication between the agencies regarding the building, or with the tenants, such as notices for repairs or eviction issued to the tenants.According to police, they have asked BMC and MHADA to give them details about the building’s condition, and details of when and how many notices were sent to residents to vacate the building. Police may register a case of negligence if they find any irregularity or lapses.”We have recorded statements of all the injured and relatives of the deceased to ascertain if there was any foul play. So far, only an Accidental Death Report has been registered and we are waiting for a reply from BMC and MHADA in order to ascertain whether SBUT, BMC, MHADA or residents themselves are liable for criminal negligence. We will take a decision regarding registering a case after receiving a reply from them and conducting a thorough inquiry into the matter,” said a police officer requesting anonymity.MHADA had served a notice to tenants of Hussaini building in March 2011, and again in May that year, to vacate, repair or demolish the building. In August 2011, 256 buildings in the area, including Hussaini building, came under the Bhendi Bazaar cluster development project undertaken by SBUT. The trust has said that of a total of 13 tenants, which included 12 residential and one commercial, it had shifted 7 families in 2013-14.On Thursday, the ground-plus-six story structure came crashing down, flattening a godown and some shops, and also causing damage to the four-storey Jumani building adjacent to it. The rest of this adjacent building is now being demolished by MHADA.Another senior police officer said, “The Jumani building was also occupied by some SBUT workers and others. We have found that most of the people who were killed or injured, apart from four families staying on the ground floor, were staying in Hussaini building illegally. We are yet to ascertain how these people were staying there, and how and who had allowed a play school to operate on the first floor of the building. But it is clear that some of the original tenants had allowed others to stay there on rent illegally.”Residents of the building who vacated their flats want authorities to probe into how, after they were shifted out of Hussaini and Jumani buildings, so many people were found staying in the two buildings. “When they(SBUT) told us to vacate the houses stating that the building is dilapidated, how did they allow others to stay at the building and run a play school on the first floor. There were also SBUT workers residing in the building adjacent to Hussaini, and few others were allowed to stay at the godown,” claimed former resident of Hussaini building, now living in a transit camp

Good samaritans help rescue survivors, offer food & water

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citizens from nearby areas extended a helping hand when Hussaini building collapsed at Bhendi Bazar area on Thursday by rescuing people from the debris and get them identified.Hashim Qureshi, 28, who was lucky to escape death after reaching late to the work on Thursday morning, worked for almost 48 hours at the site to help the rescue teams. Qureshi owns a shop in the neighbouring building and his uncle owned two ground floor shops in the Hussaini building.Qureshi was one of the many who helped rescue people trapped under the debris till the rescue teams reached the spot. Qureshi along with others helped carry the injured to the ambulance, distributed food and helped retrieve belongings.“I reached the building at around 8:40 am and saw the building come crashing down. I immediately started helping the injured and clear debris to look for survivors. I knew workers who were staying in the godown,” said Qureshi.Social worker Rafiq Soratiya, 46, was in the hospital since 10 am on Thursday morning to help the staff members and relatives identify their dear ones. Rafiq stayed in the hospital for more than 24 hours till the rescue operation was called off.“During such incident, it is difficult to manage the relatives of the patients who are rescued. I have been helping the staff carry patients inside the wards and identifying the people rescued. The hospital staff and police have been working round the clock. I tried to be helpful by distributing tea and water to them,” said Rafiq.

Mumbai building collapse: Search operation called off; 33 including 20-day-old child killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rescuers today called off operations at the Mumbai building collapse site believing that no more persons were trapped under the debris, over 24 hours after the tragedy killed 33 people, including a 20-day old child.The 117-year-old building in the congested Bhendi Bazar area in south Mumbai came crashing down on Thursday morning, two days after torrential rain brought the maximum city to its knees.”Rescue operations have been called off as it does not seem that anybody else still remains trapped under the debris. However, some fire brigade personnel along with the police team will remain at the site as a precautionary measure,” a senior fire brigade official told PTI.Personnel of fire brigade, NDRF, and the civic body have scoured the debris left by the crash of the five-story building, pulling out the dead and injured.Around 14 people injured in the collapse are undergoing treatment at the state-run J J Hospital, a senior police official said.”A total of 33 people have died, including a 20-day old male child. Apart from these, 14 are currently admitted in a hospital, out which 11 are residents of the building. Two persons are in a critical state,” Dr T P Lahane, Dean of JJ hospital told PTI.Three fire brigade personnel are also admitted, he said.The dead include 23 men, nine women, and a 20-day-old male child, police said.Earlier in the day, police sources had put the toll at 34, which was later corrected as 33. The search operations had continued through last night.Located in the congested Muslim-dominated Pakmodia Street, the dilapidated Husaini Building housed several families and godowns.It also housed a play school but children had not arrived yet when the tragedy occurred.The tragedy struck barely two days after torrential rain brought the city to its knees, crippling road, rail and air services, inundating homes and leaving at least 10 people dead. Many suspect the downpour caused further damage to the ramshackle structure, causing its crash.Some residents in the locality claimed that several families lived in crammed rooms in the structure, which was declared “unsafe” by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).The Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT), which was to have undertaken redevelopment of the old structure, said the building housed a total of 13 tenants — 12 residential and one commercial.”Of them, the trust had already shifted seven families in 2013-14,” it said in a statement.”MHADA notices dated March 28 and May 20, 2011, declaring the building dilapidated, were issued along with an offer of transit accommodation to the remaining tenants and occupants,” it said.The Maharashtra government had announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh each for the next of kin of the deceased.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who visited the site yesterday, also said that the entire medical expenses of those injured would be borne by the state government.This was the second major building collapse in the city in just over a month, after the crash of a residential complex in suburban Ghatkopar on July 25, which left 17 people dead.

UP youth visiting family in city dies in building collapse

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Twenty-two-year-old Mustafa Shah, who was visiting the city from Uttar Pradesh, was at the building in Bhendi Bazar to meet his uncle inside a godown.Unfortunately, he happened to find himself there at the time of the collapse. Mustafa had come to Mumbai two months back to meet his family.Shah has been staying in Uttar Pradesh. Villagers staying in the city visited Sir JJ Hospital to look for him.More than five hours after the building collapsed, he was rushed to the hospital but was declared brought dead.Shah, who lives in Balrampur district of Uttar Pradesh, would visit Mumbai once a year.Shah’s father Rais Shah said, “He went to meet his uncle. He had the habit of visiting the godown since people who stayed there knew him.”Shah, and few others have been running from pillar to post in the hospital looking for family members since they were rescued and admitted in different wards according to their injuries.Tohal Shah, a villager who stay in the city, said, “The people in the godown knew each other because they are all from nearby villages in Uttar Pradesh.People from the nearby areas who know them started visiting the hospital to get more information on the victim’s health.”

For two, it was a day of near misses as they cheat death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Abdul Aziz escaped death narrowly on Thursday as he had left the building for offering namaz and returned later than usual from the mosque. Even his two family members, who were visiting from Uttar Pradesh for Eid, survived with minor injuries.Aziz works at a catering shop on the ground floor of Hussaini building. He visits the mosque every morning around 6 am and returns between 7:30 and 8 am. On Thursday, he was delayed as he was chatting with his friends and reached the building after 8:30 am.On reaching, he learnt that the building had collapsed. Aziz’s mother and brother said they had gone to the sixth floor of the building to meet someone when the building came crumbling down. “My brother told me that they escaped with minor injuries. I stay alone in Mumbai and my family had come to meet me for Eid,” said Aziz.Mujahiddin Rehman, 28, who works in the building’s ground floor godown was lucky too. Rehman reports to work at 7 am but on Thursday, he was late. On reaching, Rehman found it collapsed and began searching for his brothers who also work with him. “My brothers were rescued by locals and were rushed to a nearby hospital,” he said.

UP man has close shave with death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thursday turned out to be a dark day for 31-year old Sagir Ahmed who he lost his two brothers and a nephew in the Hussaini building collapse.Ahmed, from Bharaich in Uttar Pradesh had come to city five years ago. He worked in a catering shop, situated on the ground floor of Hussaini Building and also used to have a business of dates and fruits.Ahmed, who was sleeping outside the building survived because when the building started trembling before it collapsed, a part of the roof covered him.”They pulled me out soon after the collapse. I suffered minor injuries but my two brothers and nephew did not make it,” said Ahmed.Ahmed, who is yet to get the body of his brothers and 18-year-old nephew Qayuum, said,”My parents and brothers’ wives are distraught. My brother Ahmed (29) has two children – the first is over a year old and second is barely six months old. Naseer (24) was just married.”

Two killed, three injured as water tank collapses in Guj

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons were killed and three others sustained injuries when a water tank atop a three-storey building here collapsed today, police said. The tank, having a capacity of 5,000 litres and installed on a cement foundation on top of the building in Shastrinagar locality here, came crashing to the ground after collapsing, Naranpura police inspector K A Makwana said. “Two persons were killed and three others injured in the accident. All three floors of the building suffered damages in the mishap,” Makwana said. The deceased were identified as Vinod Vyas (62) and Akanksha Khatri (17), he said. The injured persons were undergoing treatment at a government hospital, the police officer said. According to police, the building was constructed by the Gujarat Housing Board around three decades ago.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Residents of Tardeo’s 112-yr-old bldg prepare to shed the old, embrace new

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of Tardeo’s oldest buildings, the 112-year-old Petit Mansion Co-operative Housing Society is now up for redevelopment. Residents of the society at Nana Chowk called in tenders for redevelopment and recently held a meeting to discuss the hiring of a suitable Project Management Consultancy.The building, a load-bearing structure, comprises of three wings. While two wings are ground plus four storeys, one is ground plus three. The plot area is 1,544.33 square metres, and the total carpet area (rehabilitation) of all existing members is 4,475.25 sq m.Secretary of the building, Mukhi said, “We are following all the rules mandated for building redevelopment. We have received some offers and are in the process of finalising the PMC. The building isn’t a heritage structure, it is a British-era structure.”The society is looking for a developer who would offer a competitive corpus, carpet area and sufficient bank guarantees and rent for alternate accommodations.Most of the shops in the building are run by plywood dealers. One of the shopkeepers said, “Redevelopment process has been initiated, but the market isn’t good. There’s GST, there’s RERA… big developers aren’t taking up projects. Further, many precautions need to be taken, as we have seen many instances where residents have been out of their homes for years altogether. We cannot take such risks.”Another shopkeeper claimed that the building, in spite of being old, is strong. “It was built during the British era and is a sound construction. Around two years ago the society also carried out the repair work.”

Sunil Shitap caused G’kopar bdg collapse: report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its report on the Sai Siddhi building collapse in Ghatkopar, submitted to civic chief Ajoy Mehta on Wednesday, a three-member committee has placed the blame squarely on local Shiv Sena strongman Sunil Shitap.The committee found that “it is beyond any doubt that unauthorized work carried out by Shitap at the ground floor is the trigger for collapse of this structure, and hence he is solely responsible for the loss of life and property in this building collapse.” The committee recommended that Shitap be prosecuted by the police and the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).The committee was appointed to ascertain the cause of the collapse of the ground-plus-four storey building in Ghatkopar, and suggest a course of action to prevent such incidents in the future. Seventeen people were killed and 11 were injured in the incident that took place on July 25.The committee gave a clean chit to assistant municipal commissioner of N ward and two other civic officials who residents of the building claimed were in a nexus with Shitap. The committee did not find any documentary evidence against them.The committee, headed by Additional Municipal Commissioner Vijay Singhal, was formed on July 26 and was supposed to submit its report in 15 days. However it sought a 10-day extension on August 10, which was granted by the civic chief.The committee also includes Dy. Municipal Commissioner (Improvements) CD Chore and Director (ES&P) (i/c), Ch.Eng.(Roads &Traffic) VP Chithore.The committee observed that “Shitap had been acting extremely irresponsible, showing his disregard for the rules and regulations, and other fellow residents’ concerns.” Further, it found that “Shitap seemed to have indulged in unauthorized construction in N ward and S ward areas, and grabbing public land and constructing structures for monetary benefits.”The civic committee appointed M/s Structwel as structural consultant to investigate the reason for the collapse. Its report indicated that Shitap had carried out renovation work without adequate and scientific propping.The committee found that changes made to the building were were never checked either by the Building Proposal Department or the Assistant Engineer (Building &Factory) of N ward. Sai Siddhi was also not in the list of dilapidated buildings marked by BMC. However, two structural audits had suggested that it required immediate major repairs. One structural audit was carried out by a resident and another by Shitap. However, residents of the building disregarded the recommendations.According to committee report, according to the report they received from the assistant commissioner of N ward, no complaint in any form was made regarding any addition or alteration carried by Shitap. There were no complaints from any local public representatives, like corporators, either.

Nigerian jumps of 4th flr flat, dies; police recovers drugs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 40-year-old Nigerian national today died after he jumped off the fourth floor of a building in south Delhi’s Chhattarpur area during a raid by police which recovered drugs worth Rs 20 crore, police said today. Cyprian Ama Ogbonnaya jumped off the fourth floor of the building in Chhattarpur Enclave area this afternoon when a team of Special Cell sleuths of south range raided the house after it received an input that drug would be supplied in the area, a senior police official said. “He was rushed to AIIMS trauma Centre where he was declared dead by the doctors,” he said, adding that an inquest has been ordered into his death and a medical report by the doctors to ascertain the exact cause of death is awaited. The team was questioning some locals, when Ogbonnaya suspecting police presence in the building jumped from its fourth floor flat through a window, which was witnessed by many people who were present in the building premises. He said that two Nigerian women, who were also present in the flat, from where Ogbonnaya jumped off, are being questioned by the Special Cell. During the raid, 25 kg of Ketamine was recovered that is estimated to be worth Rs 20 crore, he added. Ketamine is sold popularly as Ketalar for anaesthetic purposes is also consumed by drug users for its trance inducing effect.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

West Bengal Assembly passes Panchayat (Amendment) bill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The West Bengal Assembly today passed the West Bengal Panchayat (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which empowers a gram panchayat to grant permission for construction of any building within its jurisdiction and levy fees on registration for running trade of any nature. The bill seeks to empower a gram panchayat to grant permission for erection of any building or any addition to any structure within its jurisdiction up to the plinth area of 150 sq metres and height of 6.5 metres and also charge fees for permission at the approved rate. It also empowers that a panchayat samiti may grant permission for erection of any structure with an area of more than 150 sq metres and up to 300 sq metres and height up to 6.5 metres in its area where there is no development authority and also charge fees for permission at approved rate. The amendment of the Bill also empowers a Zilla Parishad to grant permission for erection of a building with an area of more than 300 sq metres and height up to 15 metres. It also empowers the Zilla Parishad to examine the building plan of a structure with a height of more than 15 metres, examined by the state government in the panchayat and rural development department for granting permission. It was learnt that the panchayat and rural development department will place the building or site plan before a building committee which will be constituted by the state government for consideration and making recommendation for vetting.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Incident at Dutch radio station may be hostage-taking, NOS reports

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An incident at the building used by Dutch radio station 3FM may be a hostage-taking, national broadcaster NOS reported on Thursday. Dutch police have cordoned off the building in the city of Hilversum, NOS said. The station’s broadcasting is continuing at the moment with no sign of disruption. The NOS said a man forced his way into the building after making threats to a couple outside. The incident follows the departure of one of the radio station’s most popular disk jockeys on Wednesday. DJ Giel Beelen announced he was leaving the station after 19 years, probably to accept a job at a different broadcaster.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Portion of old building collapses in Kolkata, no casualty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A portion of an old building in central Kolkata collapsed today but there was no report of any casualty, police said. The front portion of the four-storied, almost century-old building on 66, Burrtola Street within Posta police station limits, collapsed at around 2.30 pm. “Nobody is injured in the incident but we are running a thorough search under the rubbles,” a senior officer of Kolkata Police Disaster Management Group, which rushed to the spot, said. A couple of families were staying on the rear side of the building and they are safe, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ghatkopar building was stable: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Sunil Shitap, a Shiv Sena strongman arrested in the Sai Siddhi Ghatkopar building collapse case, the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has tested samples of the debris from the collapse site and concluded that the material used to construct the building was of sound quality, and that the building was not in a dilapidated state.The report will bolster the police’s case that the cause of the building collapse was illegal alterations carried out by Shitap on the ground floor, and could dent his lawyer’s claims that the building was already in a dilapidated state.Seventeen people were killed and 13 injured when the ground-plus-four-storey Sai Siddhi building in Ghatkopar came crashing down on July 25. Shitap was arrested for allegedly making structural alterations on the ground floor of the building without permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The Parksite police submitted the debris samples from the site to the FSL and sought a report.”After we get the samples, we conduct various scientific tests to ascertain whether the proportion of materials like cement, sand, bricks and iron used to construct the building are in the right proportion. A study of the debris samples revealed that the building was constructed using the right proportion of materials. Also, the building was not constructed with inferior quality material, nor was it dilapidated,” said an FSL official.”Another detailed examination of samples will be conducted, after which an in-depth report will be submitted to the police. It could be used as evidence in court,” said Kalina FSL Director, Dr KV Kulkarni.A senior police officer, privy to the investigation, said, “Once the FSL report indicates that the building was not built with inferior quality construction material and neither was it dilapidated, Shitap will not be able to take the defence that it was not illegal alterations, but the dilapidated condition of the building that led to its collapse.”

Allow nursing home to operate, Bombay High Court to Mulund high-rise

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court recently rejected a petition filed by a housing society in Mulund, challenging the permission granted by the BMC, for a nursing home to operate on the second floor of a high-rise building. The dismissal of the petition holds significance as many buildings in Mumbai are similarly placed.A division Bench dismissed a petition filed by Manisha Heights Cooperative Housing Society, challenging an order passed by the corporation in 2016. The building, which is ground-plus-19 floors, has reserved the first two floors for commercial use. The third and fourth floor are reserved for parking, while rest of the floors are for residential purpose.The society claimed that the nursing home cannot operate in a residential building, relying on provisions of Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act and regulation 51, under the 1991 Development Control Rules, permission allowing a nursing home can only be in an independent building. The developer and civic body opposed the petition. They argued that permissions were granted in accordance with law. The commercial part of the high rise where the nursing home is situated has a separate access and developer has taken all efforts to ensure no inconvenience is caused to any resident of the building.The Bench after going through the Regulation and Provisions of the Act, said “Courts are required to read the provisions harmoniously. If we read the regulation 51 of DCR, words used indicate that nursing home can be permitted in an independent part of the building. User of nursing home can be permitted only requirement will be that such a premises must have an independent access, from within or outside of the building.”Further it said “Since in the present petition it is seen that the nursing home is in an independent part of the building having independent access. Moreover, two floors above the second floor are reserved for parking purpose, in that view of the matter nursing home is in an independent area.” Thus the petition stands dismissed.

WATCH: CCTV footage of Ghatkopar building collapse that killed 17 does the rounds on social media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CCTV footage of the Ghatkopar building collapse has finally been released and has been doing the rounds on social media two weeks after the tragedy.The nearly five-minute footage that was shared by DNA reporter Vallabh Ozarkar shows Shiv Sena member Sunil Shitap walking out of the building minutes before it collapsed.The three-storey residential building had collapsed in Ghatkopar on July 25.The building collapse had claimed 17 lives.Shitap was arrested and charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder in connection with the case. He was the owner of a nursing home on the ground floor of the four-storey dilapidated private building, Sai Darshan, in Ghatkopar, which had 15 flats.Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased.The government has assured that redevelopment permissions required to rebuild Sai Darshan building would be granted on priority.

No place for Mumbai’s homeless

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2010 the Supreme Court asked state governments to ensure that there is one night shelter large enough to accommodate 100 people for every one lakh population. According to 2011 census Mumbai has a population of close to 12.5 crore but there are only 9 shelters to accommodate the city’s estimated 57,416 homeless people. In an all-night status check, DNA decided to find out what the condition of the city’s ‘night shelters’ were like.Our first stop was a shelter run by the Salaam Balak Trust near the Chakala metro station. The shelter meant only for street children while functioned well was right next to an open sewage drain over 20 feet wide. Close to 60 children slept peacefully inside, watched by two guards, as it air was thick with the stench of sewage. The risk of mosquito borne infections notwithstanding, this was one of the best of all the city’s night shelters.Recent report by the three-member Justice Kailash Gambhir report submitted to the SC rated the state of night shelters in Mumbai as ‘poor’ with a capacity to accommodate a measly number of 412 urban homeless.National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) guidelines requires the city to have shelters that function for 24- hours and are open to the city’s homeless. We found none that were open to women. Most were shelters meant for street children masqueraded as day-shelters for homeless to comply with the SC guidelines.We followed the address of the ‘Sanskruti Building’ shelter listed on the NULM website that led us to a building in Thakur Village, Kandivali. To start with the NULM had listed the wrong address. Close to 20 dogs surrounded our car when we finally found a room under the building staircase, much like the closet in Harry Potter, that was meant to be the night shelter in question. Except that this one was shut. The city’s homeless were certainly not welcome here.The night shelter in red-light area Kamathipura was somewhat a mystery. With the address of 14th Lane, Kamathipura in hand we set about to find the night shelter. 45 mins later we were as clueless as the homeless sleeping on the streets who we asked about the night shelter there. If the mythical shelter did exist, we definitely failed to find it.The Dharamshala shelter opposite the Bandra Bus Depot in the West was one of the most interesting. Nestled inside the H/W ward office of the BMC the 10×10 shelter had two people sleeping inside – there was no room for the third one.While there were no 24-hour shelters in the city for the homeless, most of the night shelters were meant for street children. The catch is, they weren’t night shelters at all – just home for street children whose boards were changed to comply with the SC’s guidelines on night shelters.Homeless in the financial capital57,416: Urban Homeless (as per Census, 2011)9: Number of shelters in the City412: CapacityBalance capacity of shelters required to be created: 57,004Source: Justice Kailash Gambhir Committee ReportWhat the report says:The city needs to take extraordinary steps in a time bound mannerSurvey for identification of urban homeless has NOT been conducted in the cityMapping the homeless in the urban areas and identification of land for the shelter has also NOT been doneExecutive Committee& Shelter Management Committees have NOT been formed in the city under DAY-NULMOverall Grade : Poor

Mumbai: BMC puts on hold permission to Aamir Khan to connect four flats after resident files complaint

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The local civic body has put on hold its permission given to Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan to connect his four flats in an apartment building in Pali Hill area following a complaint filed by one of the residents.The actor wanted to amalgamate all his four flats, located on different floors in the building, Marina Apartments, through an internal staircase.He owns one flat on the ground floor, two on the first and another on the second floor. Khan wanted to merge them by cutting a few parts of slabs and connecting them through an internal staircase in the ground plus three-storey building in Virgo Housing Society (of which Marina Apartments is a part).Khan last month obtained the required permission from the Building Proposal Department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).However, the civic body has now put the approval on hold following a complaint filed by a flat owner, Geneve De Sa, with the BMC.An official from the BMC Building Proposal Department confirmed the development but declined to provide further details.”Amir Khan procured the required permission from the BMC in mid-July and has started work. But one of the flat owners, Geneve De Sa, found “illegalities” in the merger plan and approached me to file a complaint,” Shirish Sukhtame, a noted architect and friend of De Sa, told PTI.”I visited the online portal of the BMC where all such records are uploaded. I found that several key details were missing while procuring the approval, including non- destructive test (NDT) that is essential to carry out any alteration or amalgamation in old buildings,” he said.”I went through the last few structural audit reports of the building and submitted my reservation against the approval given to the actor,” said Sukhtame, an IIT graduate and a former president of the Practicing Engineers Architects and Town Planers Association (PEATA).”Civic engineers were satisfied by my submission and put the approval on hold,” he said.When contacted, housing society chairman Manoj Sapru said Khan was allowed to carry out internal changes, subject to BMC approval, as he had followed due procedure.”We held an AGM of the society, where 9 of the 10 members gave a go-ahead to his plan, provided he (Khan) gets approval for it from the BMC. The only member who opposed the plan was the complainant.”The actor approached the BMC which gave its permission to the plan after cross-verification,” Sapru said.The actor has not yet started work on the plan. The BMC has stopped the work but not cancelled the permission, the society chairman said.There was no response to multiple calls and text messages sent to the complainant.Khan was not available for comment on the issue.

IP University to get its own campus in Shahdara

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a long wait, the project committee of Delhi government has passed the decision on the construction of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University’s campus in east Delhi’s Shahdara. The foundation stone of the building was laid by the former Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani in 2014.”The decision has been taken on Friday. We all were waiting for approval from the board. The construction work will begin soon,” said a senior Delhi government official. The estimated cost of the campus is Rs 271 crore.Spread over 18.75 acres of land, the institute will accommodate 1,500 students in the two schools which will function from the campus. At present, the University’s School of Architecture and Planning is being run from the temporary campus located at Kashmere Gate.The two schools — School of Architecture and School of Design — will offer six courses including four undergraduate and two Master programmes in the field of architecture, planning and design.The campus will be a completely net-zero energy consumption campus, with all in-house facilities to deal with power, water, drainage and waste.”As per the plan, the campus will house an administrative block, residential areas, car parking and a block for sports and cultural activities. The campus will have solar panels, and extensive green roofing and reflective tiles,” the official said.Earlier, the university had decided to construct the campus of Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at this site. However, the IIIT was later established by the Delhi government separately.”Therefore the Building and Works Committee of Guru Gobind Singh University decided to establish the University School of Architectural & Planning and University School of Design (USD) at Surajmal Vihar,” added the official.What’s new on campusNet-zero energy consumption institutional campusThe campus will have solar panels installed acrossTotal plot area: 18.75 acreEstimated cost: Rs 271 cr

Dialogue between India and Pakistan ‘necessity’: Outgoing Pak High Commissioner Abdul Basit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit today said a dialogue between India and Pakistan was a “pre-requisite” and a “necessity” to mend relations between the neighbours, which might require “give and take” from both sides.Basit punctuated his pitch for dialogue with his advocacy for “self-determination” of the Kashmiri populace. The Jammu and Kashmir dispute must be resolved for any real progress, he said.”Both the countries need to decide that they need to be engaged…as was decided at Sharm El Sheikh, where we took a considered decision to separate talks from terrorism. We should not be hostage to forces that do not want progress,” he said.Basit made the remarks at an event, likely to be his last public engagement in New Delhi before demiting office, organised by the ‘South Asia Forum for Art and Creative Heritage’.Pakistan maintains that a joint statement issued after talks between former prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani in the Egyptian city in 2009 had delinked dialogue from action against terrorism.”Engagement is the key. Dialogue is a pre-requisite and a necessity to resolve our problems. Talks may not produce immediate results,” he said, adding “compromises always involve give and take”, when asked if Pakistan was ready to make certain concessions.The Indo-Pak peace process came to an abrupt halt after the Pathankot terror attack in 2016. Since then, bilateral ties have worsened, entering a period of fresh uncertainty with the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’sPrime Minister by the country’s top court.”Pathankot or no Pathankot, we need to decide that we will not disrupt the dialogue process. While we were cooperating on the Pathankot issue, we could have carried on the dialogue process. That would have helped,” he said.Basit was appointed as the High Commissioner to India in 2014. He will replaced by Sohail Mahmood, who is expected to take up his responsibilities next month.Basit, who was twice overlooked for the post of Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, said it was important “to get real” on the question of mending ties.”If we muster the political will, we can find a solution to our problems. Whenever we engage, we manage to get good results. We need to commence a dialogue process and ensure that the CBMs (Confidence Building Measures) are adhered to in letter and spirit. We must not allow artificial barriers between the two countries,” he said.

Police to take help of experts to ascertain cause of collapse

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parksite police probing the building collapse incident is likely to take the support of several experts as well as other government organisations to ascertain what exactly had caused the building collapse.Sai Siddhi Housing Society at the Damodar Park in Ghatkopar was built in the year 1983 and was not in a dilapidated condition as claimed by the accused’s lawyer in the court. However, to avail the information on paper, the police are going to take help of several institutions.According to the police, apart from the FSL report, they will be taking the help of Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). While the few equipment used by the contractors would be sent to IITB to ascertain what kind of construction the accused were carrying out, the police will be seeking reports from IMD to verify the weather condition of the day when the building collapsed.”We have recovered the propping from the debris of the building that was used as support while and after tampering the pillars. The IITB will give us an idea about where such propping is used, why it was used, and how the building collapsed even after providing support,” said a police officer privy to the investigation.”We will also be writing to the IMD to understand the weather condition on the day of the collapse. These reports will clarify if there was any other reason behind the collapse other than tampering the pillars,” he said.

#DNAExclusive | Unholy nexus built dodgy constructions: Minister Prakash Mehta slams BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>State Housing minister Prakash Mehta says that unauthorised constructions grow due to the blessings of civic officials. He hopes that the new act that the state is planning to introduce will have stringent provisions to break the unholy nexus. In an exclusive interview, Mehta says the government’s priority is now the rehabilitation of Sai Siddhi residents and it’s reconstruction.How serious is the government about addressing the menace of illegal buildings?The Sai Siddhi crash is certainly an eye-opener. With three decades of experience in the politics, I can tell you that unauthorised constructions cannot mushroom without an unholy nexus between developers and civic officials. The government proposes to bring in new act which will be deterrent to an officer even at a lower level – (s)he won’t dare help construction of illegal buildings or turn a blind eye to them.Did such a nexus lead to Sai Siddhi’s collapse?I have represented Ghatkopar (West) assembly constituency, where Sai Siddhi is located, for 20 years. The building was not on Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) list of dilapidated buildings that it releases every year, ahead of the monsoons. However, the occupant of three rooms on the ground floor was carrying out renovations and the leading cause for the collapse seems to be the major structural changes undertaken by him.Now the priority is rehabilitation of the residents and reconstruction of Sai Siddhi on the same plot.Today, the residents had a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He has accepted the suggestions made by me about immediate rehabilitation of residents in the tenements meant for project affected persons under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority project. These flats are just one kilometer away from Sai Siddhi.A road map will be prepared, in association with BMC officials, in 10 days for the building’s reconstruction. The government has assured all necessary assistance to the residents.Furthermore, the CM reiterated that stern action will be taken against those responsible for the building crash. He also assured residents that he will examine whether the offence can be registered under IPC Section 302, after they brought to his notice that punishment under Section 304 (under which the occupant has been arrested) is not enough.Your have also expressed fear about a bigger disaster waiting at Damodar Park, near Sai Siddhi. Can you tell us more?There are 13 buildings with 13 floors each at Damodar Park at Ghatkopar (West), but occupation certificate has been given only to the first four floors. If BMC does not quickly swing into action, there will be bigger tragedy. There has been no civic action so far.Does the structural audit get enough attention from the civic body and residents?Residents should carry out structural audit if the building is 30 years old. Redevelopment of dilapidated buildings, which is slowed down by objections from a few residents, will become smooth as the government proposes to amend the existing law.What steps are being initiated by the State to fast track housing development in Mumbai?The government will receive new Development Control Rules from BMC in four days. It will chalk out future policies thereafter, as it is clear that vertical development of buildings is inevitable in view of land constraints in Greater Mumbai. While doing so, the proposed policies will take into account rules regarding environment zone, funnel zone and Coastal Regulatory Zone (CRZ). While encouraging high rise buildings, the focus will be on keeping aside adequate open spaces in the city.The State will also explore developing salt pan lands and other land parcels for housing. It expects positive action from the Centre on relaxation of some norms with regard to funnel zone, salt pan lands and CRZ.

Tripathi family had paid almost Rs 70 lakh for flat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Sai Siddhi Society collapsed in front of RR Tripathi’s eyes on Tuesday morning, the 64-year-old’s heart skipped a beat. The father of three had brought a flat in the building for one of his sons who is all set to get married. His family was to get possession next week. His wife Madhuri said, “It is all a matter of fate. The Ajmera family living there was to move out this week but lost two members of their family in the collapse. No one saw this coming. It could have been us too.”Geeta Shah, the estate agent who brokered the deal, said, “I had helped the Ajmera family find buyers. I had even gotten prospective buyers for Rajesh Doshi, who was looking to sell his flat,” Shah said. According to Shah, the Tripathi family had paid close to Rs 70 lakh for the new flat.

Residents were going to file complaint

When the residents found out about the illegal renovation, they mutually decided to file a written complaint the next day. However, before they could do so the building collapsed <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Local corporator Archana Bhalerao of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, who was present at the Sai Siddhi building collapse site said that neither she nor the BMC ward office had received any complaints about the illegal construction work in the building.“The process making major changes in the structure of a residential building includes writing a letter to the BMC’s ward office and corporator. But we were not informed about it. “When the residents found out about the illegal renovation, they mutually decided to file a written complaint the next day. However, before they could do so the building collapsed,” Bhalerao said.

Prayed to God, had faith in my karma: Rajesh Doshi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The only thing Rajesh Doshi, 57, remembers about the building collapse is sleeping on his black bed and then being enveloped by a layer of darkness that lifted only over 12 hours later.It was 10.46 am on Tuesday morning when the fire brigade received the call about Ghatkopar’s Sai Siddhi Cooperative Housing Society.”I was sleeping on my bed one second and the next the building had collapsed,” said Doshi, whose business deals in finance. Doshi, a resident of the fourth floor of the building, lived there with his wife Rita and 23-year-old son Darshan. Being diabetic, he had been restricted to his bed for the past month due to pus formation in his right leg.Doshi found himself nestled against two pillars that kept him safe but also trapped. “There was complete darkness but there was close to two feet space around me. I could move my arms and my phone was right next to me,” Doshi said.He spent most part of the day in complete darkness, praying to be rescued safely. Initially, his phone did not have network but that changed at around 4 pm. “I called my son to inform him that I was safe,” Doshi said, whose son alerted the fire brigade after receiving his call. It was at 10 pm when Doshi was found and was given food and insulin shot to maintain his blood sugar levels. The rescue workers managed to drill through the pillar and help free Doshi after 1 am after which he was taken to the hospital.”I was sure I would be rescued. I believe in my karma and I kept praying to God,” Doshi said. “He has small fractures on his leg and a few scratches. The injuries are not major,” said Dr Praful Lokhande, who runs the 50-bed hospital.Timeline10.46 am: Fire brigade receives a call about building collapse4.00 pm Rajesh Doshi gets network on his phone, calls his son10.00 pm Rescue officials find Doshi trapped in the debris, give him food. They start trying to free him from below the pillars2.45 am Doshi finally freed after being rescued from under the pillar

Structural change on ground floor may have led to building

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ongoing structural change on the ground floor of the Ghatkopar building appears to have led to its collapse yesterday in which 17 people were killed, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the Assembly today. He informed the House that besides the police probe, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been directed to investigate the incident and submit report with the government within 15 days. The chief minister said the nursing home on the ground floor of the building was being converted into some other facility for which permission from the BMC had been sought. According to residents of Siddhi-Sai Cooperative Housing Society, the pillars of the building got weakened due to ongoing renovation of the nursing home. Sunil Shitap, a local Shiv Sena worker, reportedly owned the ground floor and has been arrested by the police. “The ground plus four storey building had a total nine flats with 46 occupants. The nursing home on the ground floor was to be closed and it had obtained the necessary permission from the BMC for the same. “As per the available information and photographs taken by fire brigade department, it appears that the ongoing work was damaging the beam and the column of the building. There are marks as well on the beams, which could have led to collapse of the building. The inquiry is still on,” Fadnavis told the House. Congress leaders Naseem Khan and Sanjay Nirupam had last night alleged that the BMC had failed to act on the complaint of the residents of the building about ongoing “alterations” in the nursing home. The chief minister told the House that no resident of the ill-fated building had filed any complaint about the ongoing structural change on the ground floor with either the BMC or any other authorities. “Sunit Shitap had sought the permission for running a nursing home on the ground floor (of the building) on July 18, 2009. The permission was valid till July 17 this year. The permission was sought under the name ‘Sunil Shitap and Others’ for setting up the nursing home. Later, Shitap filed an application with the BMC to close the nursing home and necessary permission was given in July this year. Shitap had plans to use the facility for some other purpose,” he said. Though the civil work was going on, as per the available information, no resident of the same building had filed any complaint with the BMC, Fadnavis said. “I have directed the commissioner of the BMC to investigate (the collapse) and submit a report within 15 days,” he said. After the building crumbled, some 14 fire engines and 300 workers rushed to the spot and undertook rescue work. The officials rescued 31 residents, while 17 have died and 12 are injured in the accident, he added. Fadnavasi said the state government has set up an inquiry committee. The BMC commissioner, deputy commissioner, and chief civil engineer will be members of the committee. “As per the demand of the Opposition leaders and other members of the House, a senior-level IAS officer will also be appointed in this committee to bring more transparency,” the CM said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Carpenter visits building for work, ends up losing life

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mansukhlal Gajjar, 75, a carpenter who died in the building collapse had plans of going to Gujarat to meet his granddaughters and was looking forward to the trip as had not seen them in a long time. Gajjar, who was not a resident of the building, was visiting the building to take furniture measurements from one of the flats.Gajjar’s family was deeply saddened when they learnt that he was present in the building when it collapsed. “We had planned to go to Gujarat and he had told me that after taking measurements at Parasbhai’s house, he will give me a call to book tickets for our journey. But instead we got a call about this incident,” Gajjar’s wife told DNA.”At this age too he worked and had no plans to retire. He would say that he will keep working till he dies,” said Anil Soni, Gajjar’s brother-in-law.

We were going to shift next week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parasbhai Ajmera, who lost his wife and daughter in the tragic building collapse incident, was about to shift with his family to their new house in Kharghar within a week.At the time of the incident, Ajmera along with his daughter Nirali and wife Divya were at home while his son Siddharth had gone to work.Just a few minutes before the building could come crashing down, Parasbhai was discussing the furniture for his new house with carpenter Mansukhlal Gajjar, who also died in the collapse. While the rescue team found the body of his wife, his daughter’s body was not recovered until Tuesday night.

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