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Rlys revives plan to take Harbour route till Borivli

The space constraint in Mumbai, could force the railways to either build an elevated rail line or elevate the existing road outside Malad station on the west for ensuring that the Harbour line is extended all the way till Borivli. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has revived the old plan of extending the Harbour line further from Andheri to Borivli, which it had first proposed in 2007.DNA had on November 30 reported on the proposed extension of Harbour line till Borivali – Railways plan to integrate big-ticket projects; elevated corridor may go.By end of this month, the MRVC intends to extend the Harbour line till Goregaon, which will mean that people boarding trains from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) can now go till Goregaon. At present the authorities are working on the basic plan on how to extend the Harbour line till Borivli. “There is no land available at Malad and it is too congested on the west side as the station immediately opens up onto shops and the road,” said a MRVC official on condition of anonymity.This is the reason they are contemplating two things — either take the rail tracks at an elevation as the Harbour line approaches Malad with road going below it. Or ask the civic authorities to remove encroachments, shift shops and allow rail tracks to go all the way towards Kandivli. The officials said that the road can then be taken as a flyover for the vehicles to pass. At Thane, similar exercise has been done as the authorities have implemented Station Area Traffic Improvement Scheme where the railway officials claim that there was sufficient space available for them. However at Malad there is space constraint for an elaborate elevated road to be constructed and that they will have to work out a proper plan.The railway planners stated that at Kandivali, there is space available on the west for the platforms to come up for the Harbour line. At Borivali station, the platform 1-2 can be used for the purpose of terminating trains on Harbour line. Once the Harbour line gets extended till Borivali it would mean that there would slow and fast corridors with two lines each, and at the same time work on 5th and 6th lines – meant for long distance trains – are also underway.The cost of this Harbour line extension till Borivali is yet to be calculated.Currently if a commuter wants to travel on the Harbour line to Navi Mumbai then he either changes at Wadala or catches a train that is going towards Panvel. However the number of trains on Panvel-Andheri/Bandra route is lesser in numbers. At present there are three different rail lines on the Mumbai suburban network – Western Railway runs train services on Churchgate-Dahanu route, Main line on CSMT-Karjat/Kasara and Harbour line on CSMT-Andheri/Panvel that is operated by the Central Railway.ELEVATED ROUTEUnder the plan, authorities will explore building either an elevated rail line or elevate the existing road outside Malad station, where space is a huge constraint
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Access denied

Last week the general body of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) passed an interim policy for the city’s open spaces, allowing citizen groups, non-government organisations (NGO) and private organisations to maintain playgrounds, recreation grounds and gardens. The policy allows them to maintain the city’s open spaces for a contractual period of 11 months as long as they adhere to the BMC’s rules, including non-discriminatory access to all citizens, without charging any money.Last year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had given directions to reclaim all the 216 open plots which were given to private entities on adoption basis for maintenance. The objective was to allow indiscriminate access for common public at no cost and prevent the commercial exploitation of the policy. Following this, the civic body started reclaiming its recreational grounds, playgrounds and gardens.The interim policyAccording to the interim policy, private bodies can maintain open spaces as long as they provide non-discriminatory access, and free entry to citizens. The BMC disallows commercial or political activities on these plots. Under the policy, interested parties will have to apply to the BMC to adopt an open space and will have to strictly adhere to BMC’s conditions. The application will have to be sent to a ward-level committee — comprising civic officials — which will scrutinise their eligibility and allot the spaces accordingly. The BMC is entitled to take back the plots without any notice.Moreover, the caretakers will have to ensure that no construction is carried out on these plots, failing which they will lose the plots to the BMC. The entities will have to create large boards informing citizens that the open space is accessible to everyone and is free of cost. The BMC’s move on the interim policy comes at a time when 28 plots are yet to be reclaimed. Civic activists, and the Congress and NCP corporators have slammed the decision saying that the corporation has gone against the CM’s directives and passed the policy in haste. They allege that, of the 28 plots, most are in the possession of leaders in the BJP and Shiv Sena, and the corporation wants to benefit them by being lenient in reclaiming the plots.DNA visited a few BMC plots which the civic body has failed to reclaim. Despite being civic plots, in many cases, not all citizens are not granted free entry. The plots are also commercially exploited.Thakur ShyamNarayan High SchoolThakur Village, KandivliThe Kandivli East-based school is run by Thakur Education Trust. The 2,177 sq m plot next to the school has been reserved by the BMC as a playground. As per the document available with DNA, the plot is maintained by M/s Shyam Narayan Thakur School. Besides using the plot as a ground for its schoolchildren, the school has rented the ground to groups to play box cricket and football. The rental charges are: Rs 1,000 on weekday mornings and 1,500 per hour on weekday evenings. During weekends, the ground can be rented out in the day for Rs 1,800, and Rs 2,000 per hour on weekend evenings. The employees deployed on the ground told this reporter that one cannot play on the ground without any advance booking. The playground is free for Thakur school students, and for those who are ready to pay a hefty amount on hourly basis.The employees are aware that the plot belongs to the BMC, and that the civic body has served notice to handover the plot.Resident voiceThe Thakur Trust has sublet the plot and exploits it commercially. No construction is allowed on the plot but they have constructed turfs. Even for playing football one has to shell out Rs 3,000 per hour, which is not only expensive but illegal. They do not allow free entry to play any sport. —Alok Choudhary Official speakWe have received the BMC’s notice to handover the plot and the handing over procedure is going on.— Ram Singh Thakur, ex-MLA of Kandivli, BJPSt Xavier’s groundParelThe St Xavier’s ground in Parel which is adopted by Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA), of which Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray is President, is a 16,000 sq m recreational ground of the BMC. But, it is open to public for only two hours in the morning and evening. Resident voiceThe MDFA has kept the ground open for two hours in the morning and evening, but people in the vicinity are not aware about it. The MDFA rents the ground and makes money out of it. MDFA is headed by Aditya Thackeray and Shiv Sena itself has passed the open space policy benefiting them. The MDFA will simply apply for extension of 11 months and the common public will never be able to utilise the open space.—Nikhil DesaiOfficial SpeakThere is no question of handing over the ground. It is adopted by the MDFA and according to BMC’s rule, we have applied to the Municipal Commissioner for extension.—U Banerjee, Secretary of Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA)Dilip Vengsarkar Cricket AcademyChembur WestThe cricket ground at the Dilip Vengsarkar academy, which is spread over 19,506 sq m, is a BMC-reserved playground which is being maintained by the Dilip Vengsarkar Foundation. The foundation is yet to hand over the ground to the civic body. If one has to play cricket here, the ground can be hired at Rs 30,000 per day.When DNA visited the ground, the employees said that the cricket ground is booked for weekends for the entire year. The academy, allows the teams of Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) to practice for free, a coach training the women’s cricket team informed.Resident voiceDilip Vengsarkar adopted the plot as a garden plot but has developed a playground only for his academy. Many SRA buildings are coming up in the area, but no one has access to the ground. The academy earns crores of rupees annually through rent. How can a BMC plot be allowed to exploit commercially.—Rajkumar SharmaDespite attempts, Dilip Vengsarkar was unavailable for comments. Poisar GymkhanaKandivli WestThe Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Kridangan is a 40,805 sq m-BMC plot reserved as playground. As one enters the ground, one cannot miss the instruction boards which have stipulated jogging timings, what not to wear inside the premises, and a message that reads ‘Only for Life Members’. The Poisar Gymkhana has been developed under the leadership of BJP MP Gopal Shetty. Even as a caretaker of the BMC plot, the M/s Poisar Gymkhana offers various activities and facilities for all but with a price tag and restrictions. Jogging fees ranges from Rs 77 to Rs 1,475 depending on the time period. The fees to use the gym for non-members ranges from Rs 472 to Rs 4,248 depending on the time period.Resident voiceThe Gymkhana offers numerous activities but at hefty rates, which is a violation of civic rules. If they are giving facilities by charging money, then what is the use of it being a public plot?—Vasant PatilOfficial speakI am out of town for the last 4-5 days, and I am not aware about handing over of the plot. Our gymkhana offers entry to all.—Mukesh Bhandari, President of the managing committee of Poisar GymkhanaVeer Savarkar UdyanBorivli WestThe Veer Savarkar Garden is a 25,395 sq m garden plot of the BMC which is maintained by M/s Poisar Gymkhana. The garden offers facilities — like a jogging track, and seasonal boating on the lake developed by the Gymkhana among others. Joggers have to pay Rs 2 per person to access the garden during the morning and evening peak hours. For other visitors during the day, the charge is Rs 5. The garden has hundreds of visitors daily. In the afternoon, many college students visit the lake but only after they have paid a price. A huge board has been fixed at the entrance gate, with a message from MP Gopal Shetty expressing his joy that the BMC has agreed to give the garden to gymkhana for maintenance. However, officials from BMC said that the garden is a civic plot and is yet to be handed over by Gymkhana.An employee at the garden on condition of anonymity said, “The BMC says that even if you have adopted the plot you have to run the garden for free of cost. When the garden was developed people paid around Rs 18,000 for membership. Our monthly electricity bills cost at least Rs 50,000, and the garden employees appointed by the trust are yet to be paid. If we run the garden for free, how will we bear all these expenses? So, BMC agreed to give the plot to the Gymkhana for maintenance.”Resident VoiceFirst of all, it is a public plot so no entry fee should be charged. But the gymkhana has told the BMC that they charge only Rs 2 but actually in daytime they charge Rs 5. If the caretaker is already giving the plot for commercial activities, they earn from it, there is no reason to charge entry fee.— Meera KamathOfficial speakI have been calling the BMC officials since last year to take over the plot as per their policy. We are ready to handover both the plots whenever the BMC officials are ready to take it and maintain it themselves. —Gopal Shetty, MP28 plots to be reclaimed by BMCSurakha Garden, Cuffe ParadeCPRA Garden, Cuffe ParadeSabina Chandrashekhar ground, Opp Regal Cinema, ColabaPriyadarshani Park, NapeanSea RoadAmarsons Garden, Bhulabhai Desai RoadSt Xaviers Playground, ParelPlayground adjacent to 71/72 Sion Estate, SionMai Mangeshkar Gardem, Shivaji ParkChhatrapati Sambhaji Garden, Khar WestMeenatai Thackeray Maidan, SVP Road, Andheri EastGround near Gayatri Apartment, Chakala, Andheri EastGround near Mara village, Juhu, JVPD schemeKarmayogi Pushpakant Anant Mhatre Playground, Mara village, Juhu JVPD schemeGround opposite Santosh Nagar, Chincholi Village, Gokuldham, Goregaon EastGround near Varsi hill, near Rustamji Complex, Malad WestGurunanak Garden, Tilak Nagar Road, Goregaon WestSheila Raheja Garden, Khadakpada, Dindoshi, Malad EastChhatrapati Shivaji Ground, Kajupada, Kurla WestGround near Vatsalatai Naik Nagar, Suman Nagar, ChemburGarden at Mahul, Chembur West (Dilip Vengsarkar cricket ground)Garden plot in Mahaveer nagar, Kandivli WestShyam Narayan Singh Thakur Manoranjan Maidan, Near Thakur Vidya Mandir, Thakur ComplexNetaji Subhash Chandra Bose Kridangan, Poinsar Gymkhana, Kandivli WestGround next to Shyam Narayan School, Opp Dream Park, Kandivli EastGround in Parekh Nagar, Spring club, Kandivli WestGround in Parekh Nagar, Kandivli WestSwatantryaveer Sawarkar Garden, Borivli WestGarden at Devidas Junction, D P Road, Goregaon West
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Demonetization turned people into beggars, says Shiv Sena

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking a dig at BJP leaders who called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘God’s gift to India’, ally Shiv Sena on Tuesday said citizens were god but the government had turned them into beggars after demonetisation.Many people termed British rule “divine dispensation’ during the colonial era, the Sena recalled in an editorial in its mouthpiece Saamana.But the British rule was not god’s gift as it only looted the people, it said.”They survived here for 150 years using divide and rule methods. Those who feel the current regime is divine dispensation should stop insulting god. Citizens are god and they have become beggars because of the demonetisation decision,” it said.The Sena also accused the Modi government of lavishing money on advertisements to claim credit for a host of issues and asked why it was silent on pests attacking the cotton crop in Vidarbha.In a sarcastic comment on the bullet train, the Shiv Sena said the project was a “gift” of the Modi government and asked why it did not take credit when three women labourers were run over by a train while crossing the tracks between Malad and Goregaon stations in Mumbai three days ago.”Thriving on some success achieved by sheer luck, will the Modi and Devendra Fadnavis governments take responsibility for the loss of traditional jobs in Vidarbha, bamboo growers losing jobs…?”If a jobless youth from Vidarbha joins Naxalites, who will take the responsibility, the ruling party’s ally wanted to know.Referring to Miss India Manushi Chhillar being crowned Miss World, the Sena wondered why no one had come forward to seek credit for her achievement.

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

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

Residents’ associations across India meet in Ghatkopar to discuss waste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Resident welfare associations from across the country met on Saturday to discuss the successes and challenges they experienced, at the fifth national Conference of Resident Welfare Associations (CoRWA) at Ghatkopar. The associations shared their ideas of waste management with an aim to inspire each other for the segregation of waste at the local level, rather than depending upon the civic body in their cities.”Children are the best sources to make parents and societies aware of how waste can be managed at the local level,” said Bandra-based Shyama Kulkarni, member of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI).According to the resident association member, segregating waste in schools help children learn and achieve practical experience.Nitesh Jadhav, member of Goregaon (E)-based Advanced Locality Management (ALM), said, “We were inspired to come together as a society and segregate waste after we witnessed the fire incident at Deonar dumping ground. It should be an individual social responsibility rather than just being the responsibility of a civic authority. More than BMC, we are responsible for managing the waste we produce.”Resident associations from different cities shared their ideas on various ways to keep the area ‘swachh’ and manage waste. Rekha Chari, a resident association member of Malleshwaram in Bengaluru, said, “We created a school outreach programme where students were told to bring waste from their home in order to learn waste segregation in their school premises. We raise these issues with our local representatives on a daily basis in order to make sure waste is collected and managed properly.”Udya Shriname, resident association member from Visakhapatnam, added, “Having a proactive administration is important for successful waste management. Segreagation and composting is the only solution to get rid of the waste problems across cities.”

Mumbai: Three women killed, one injured after hit by train in Malad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three women were killed and one got seriously injured after they were hit by a train on Saturday afternoon in Mumbai.The incident took place around noon in Malad when the women were crossing a railway track between Goregaon railway station.The police said the women were working with railways on a contractual basis and they were going to Malad station after the completion of their work.All of them were rushed to the hospital, however, three women were declared dead upon arrival and one was hospitalised. “Four women were run-over by the train in which three have died and one of them have sustained severe injury,” said Purushottam Karad, Deputy commissioner of police, Government railway police (WR).

In Dec, Harbour line to extend till Goregaon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In good news for commuters on the Harbour line, starting December, services will extend till Goregaon. The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) has acquired the much-needed rail tracks and ballasts earlier this month to be placed on the pending stretches between Andheri and Goregaon stations.In the last one week, officials and workers of the MRVC were seen at different stretches between Andheri and Ram Mandir stations where tracks were missing even though the alignment was made ready.Senior officials said that the process of dropping off the materials was to happen earlier but was delayed because of the Elphinstone Road stampede. The metals were then transferred for safety-related works rather than installation of new rail lines.”There was a shortfall of tracks for some time but we managed to convince the Railway Board to sanction it for this route as tracks were needed only for a small stretch,” said an MRVC official.Moreover, the MRVC acquired sand and ballasts, for the Rs 103 crore project, from Sabarmati river earlier last week. The two rail lines, whose height is slightly above the slow lines running next to it, are ready for trains to ply on them.This line will now allow trains from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), which currently terminates at Andheri, to go till Goregaon.For this project, new platforms for Jogeshwari have been created and are almost half a kilometre away from the existing station.

Identify land for Christian cemetery by Friday: Bombay High Court to state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There may be people who believe they are best, but before the court, everyone is equal,” the Bombay High Court observed on Monday while asking the state government to identify a plot of land between Dahisar and Khar by Friday, which can be allotted for a Christian cemetery.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice M S Sonak said, “The administration should show the public that they believe in secularism, unity in diversity, and we all are united in faith.” The court gave the direction while hearing a public interest litigation filed by United Christian Community Centre, claiming that the government had, after revoking the previous allotment of 12,500 square meters of land in Goregaon for a Christian cemetery, allotted a smaller plot ad-measuring 2,500 square meters. However, it failed to hand over the possession.The bench said the government has to come out with a solution. “When it deems to be a secular state, we cannot forget that all communities should be treated equally. The community’s requirement for a cemetery can be seen from the records of its population,” the court said.The central hall courtroom was packed with members of the Christian community, including the Bishop. Advocate Yeshwant Shenoy for the petitioners argued that the community looks at the court as a temple of justice and, thus, members have come on their own from different parts of the city and neighbouring districts to witness the proceedings.The bench said, “The state should show respect to the departed souls and I don’t think any authority will have any problem on that.” The court also suggested that a representative of the Bishop coordinate with the officials of the Urban Development Department and the Diary Development department to oversee the identification of plot of land for a cemetery.”If the government does not do it, then we know how to get it done. Don’t compel us to be not polite, don’t invite such things,” the bench warned. On the last occasion, the court had rapped the government by saying, “Don’t be a dictator, we live in a democratic society, we live in a secular state. You (government) cannot distinguish on basis of religion.”Shenoy had argued that other communities, such as the Hindus and the Muslims, have been allotted land for a cemetery, but not the Christians. Further, he argued that from Dahisar to Khar, there is no place available for Christian cemetery. The government has discriminated against the Christian community by not allotting even a single burial ground since 2000, thereby depriving the community its rights of proper a burial.As per the plea, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had, in 2014, identified a plot of land for the cemetery but it was not handed over. In 2016, a reservation was notified but in 2017, the department of animal husbandry refused to hand over the plot.The plea prays for directions to the government to allot land in Goregaon, which was originally conceived and notified. It also prays for the corporation and government to identify a plot of land for a burial ground in every ward or legislative constituency for the Christian community.

Mumbai: Following death of veteran cyclists, city riders call for precautionary measures

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai’s cycling community has mourned the death of Ashok Khale, a veteran cyclist who succumbed to his injuries late Sunday after being knocked down by a speeding vehicle a day earlier.The cyclists have emphasized that it was high time that their community took road safety seriously. They also stressed the need for authorities to acknowledge the presence of the increasing community in the city.According to cyclists, the year has been particularly bad for the community in terms of accidents. “Unfortunately, nobody has kept a record of accidents involving cyclists, but on an average we have been hearing of 5-6 such cases every month. Khale’s death has shaken most of us long-distance cyclists. The Mumbai traffic police and BMC have failed our community, as they haven’t even recorded the number of road accidents involving cyclists nor have they catered towards our safety,” said a cyclist who did not wish to be named.Firoza Suresh, an avid cyclist who commutes from her Juhu residence to her workplace at Dadar regularly said that riding in Mumbai came with its own set of challenges including the lack of apathy of motorists towards them as well as having to maneuver their bicycles on potholes, loose paver blocks as well as uneven roads.“We request the cyclists to wear helmets and carry some sort of identity tags that should include blood group and people to be contacted in case of any emergency. The most unfortunate part in the case of Khale was that since he had no identification on him due to which he was only found 12 hours later,” she said, adding that she has already begun working on creating awareness amongst cyclists.Firoza, who also heads the Smart Commute Foundation that promotes cycling to work place in Mumbai said that they also plan to meet the traffic police officials to initiate Road Safety Awareness dedicated to the cycling community, which should also include sensitising other road users about the cyclists.Oshiwara-based Karan Jotwani who is part of the Buddy Riders – a cycling group said that the number of cyclists is growing daily in the city and the worry is that many cyclists from the new breed who have just begun riding are often found to be reckless and do not take safety very seriously. “For past four months, we have made it a point to check that all those riding with us are wearing helmets and their cycles have a working taillight. If they don’t and if not we do not allow them to ride for safety reasons as Mumbai was becoming a scary place to ride,” he said adding that it was sad that a majority of motorists do not have any respect for cyclists and hence it was a duty of every cyclists to be very cautious while riding.Several veteran cyclists claimed that it was those cyclists who rode long distances for endurance or preparing for cycling events and hit the road early morning or late night were at very high risk. “Given the fact that during early morning and late night there is hardly any traffic, several vehicles move at extremely high speed putting a cyclists at higher risk and thus chances of fatal accidents only increase,” shared Firoza adding that during regular peak hours the cyclists were much safer comparatively and the best examples were the Dabbawala’s who hardly ever meet with accidents. In fact cyclists have been urging those riding long distance to never go alone but in groups so that in case of an emergency there is someone to respond.Meanwhile there are several cycling enthusiasts who have completely stopped riding on the streets of Mumbai due to fear of ending up in hospital. “I used to love riding in the city but after almost being knocked down on couple of occasions, I took a decision that riding on the streets of Mumbai was nothing sort of a suicide and then we decided to start a community- Mumbai MTB Off-roaders and now we put our cycles on our car and ride to some of the off-road sites including Aarey, Gorai village, Bhandup pumping station and others and ride there,” shared Goregaon based Manish Gadia.

Mumbai sessions court acquits duo who allegedly abused man’s caste

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Mumbai sessions court acquitted two gym trainers after evidence showed that they were falsely implicated in a case where they were accused of abusing a man’s caste.The special court designated to hear SC/ST cases in its verdict said that the allegations of abusing the complainant was slapped against the gym trainers as there was a conflict between them and the complainant.Mangesh Pawar, a resident of Goregaon, was a member of Siddhivinayak Mitra Mandal for 20 years. The gym trainers were also part of the same mandal. Pawar was reportedly removed from the mandal two years ago.In his complaint, Pawar alleged that on June 23, 2013, the duo abused him of his caste and assaulted him. He then approached the Vanrai police station and filed a complaint.The court after going through the evidence held that the accused and the complainant had differences among them and thus a complaint was filed against them.

Doctor ends life, family suspects foul play

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 24-year-old medical intern was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her hostel room of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-run Siddharth Hospital at Goregaon. The family members of the doctor suspect foul play and have asked Goregaon police for a thorough probe into the incident.According to police, Sayyed Mehjabeen Nasrin, a resident of Azad Nagar in Ghatkopar, had completed her MBBS course and was working in the Gynecology department in the hospital for the past two months. On Wednesday, Nasrin had a day off and had gone out of her hostel room. When Nasrin failed to report for duty on Thursday at 9 am, the hospital staffers asked the security guard to knock the door on the fifth floor of the hostel room but they failed to contact her. The staffers then broke open the door to find Nasrin hanging. She was declared dead before admission.Dhanaji Nalawade, Senior Inspector, Goregaon police station, said, “So far, we have filed an accidental death report in this regard.

Private school van bursts into flames

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A private van, which was being used for transportation of school students, was engulfed in flames on Friday afternoon at the Western Express Highway at Goregaon. Fortunately, there were no students in the van when it caught fire, and no one was injured, said the police.According to the Dindoshi police, the incident took place around 1 pm on Friday when the driver of the van was going to pick up students from schools in Goregaon. While he was on the way, he suddenly realised that smoke was emanating from the bonnet of the van.”He immediately stopped the van and tried to open the bonnet, when the car caught fire. The locals immediately informed us and the fire brigade was alerted too. The fire was doused by the fire fighters and the van was cleared from the road. There were no casualties,” said a police officer from Dindoshi police station.”We have completed the panchnama and the van caught fire due to a possible short circuit. We have made a diary entry of the incident. There were no school students in the van at the time of incident,” said Rajaram Vithoba Vhanmane, senior police inspector of Dindoshi Police Station.”These private vans are not well maintained and no one keeps check on them. The parents should never send their kids to school in such private vans. It was fortunate that there was no one in the school van,” said Arundhati Chavan, President of Parent Teachers Association United Forum.Anil Garg, Chairman, School Bus Owners Association, said, “These small vans ferry children everyday across the city. They don’t follow any government rules and regulations and neither are they stopped by authorities from ferrying school children. Our association has been demanding for years that such school vans, that take children beyond their seating capacity, be stopped. Vans who do not sign a contract with the school as per the school bus policy, should not be allowed to transport students.”

Goregaon hookah parlour brawl leads to stabbing, leaves one dead

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Early morning on Sunday, an alleged brawl inside a hookah parlour in Goregaon turned ugly when a 26-year-old salesman was allegedly stabbed to death by unidentified persons on the street. The Goregaon police are scrutinising the hookah parlour’s CCTV footage and have registered a case of murder against unidentified persons. The case has also brought to light the fact that the prominent hookah parlour was operational until the wee hours on Sunday.According to the police, Mayur Panchal, a Jogeshwari resident had visited Royal Smoke The Sheesha Lounge & Pool Parlour in Goregaon West. Panchal, along with his friends, entered into a verbal fight with another group of youths who were allegedly in a drunken state at 4 am. The confrontation and fight went on for an hour when one of the youths stabbed Panchal using a sharp weapon.”We are checking the hookah parlour’s CCTV footage and we are yet to make arrests in the case. We are taking statements of the people who were present inside the hookah parlour at the time of the incident and a case under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered,” said a Goregaon police officer. “We are also probing if the hookah parlour was operating illegally,” he added.

Clear land disputes in projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Railways has informed the state government and its agencies that until the land acquisition process for projects is not complete, they cannot start a project. “The Railway minister made it clear that unless the land acquisition process is not completed, we would not commence our projects,” said a senior railway official.One such example is the 6th line between Borivli and Mumbai Central, meant for long distance trains on Western Railway (WR), that is stuck since 2008 when the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-2 commenced. The WR is struggling to shift the rail-overbridge between Khar-Bandra by 40 meters on the east towards Bandra Terminus. The locals are objecting as the spot has a cemetery and are refusing other solutions provided.”We have agreed to all their demands and are in touch with the government agencies to resolve the issue but nothing has worked out in our favour which has led to an escalation in cost,” said a senior WR official. The cost of the 6th line has escalated from Rs 430 crore in 2008 to Rs 918 crore now.Opposition from residents of the area is also the reason the WR has been unable to use the 5th line despite its completion, which they could use to add more local train services.For the 6th line, the WR needs land parcels covering a total area of 2130 sq meters at Vile Parle, Malad, Goregaon and Borivli. They also need 435-meter long land space in pockets too. “We have started work near Santacruz, Goregaon and Vile Parle since March but unless we do not get land parcels, it will be difficult to proceed,” said a WR official.STILL IN HOSPITALAs per information from KEM Hospital, 19 injured victims are yet at the hospital. Akash Parab, 18, who fractured his leg was operated on Monday. Dr Avinash Supe, the dean of KEM Hospital, said, “On Monday, five of the injured in the orthopaedic ward were ready for discharge but they haven’t yet as the paperwork is going on and they will be discharged soon.” Few more patients will be undergoing surgery soon. COMPENSATIONThe WR has paid an ex gratia amount of Rs 1.34 crore to the victims of the Elphinstone Road stampede. They have paid Rs 1.15 crore via cheque to the kin of the dead, Rs 15 lakh to those with simple injuries, and Rs 4 lakh to those with grievous injuries. WR officials said that they are yet to pay Rs 4.85 lakh to the kin of one of the deceased as they are waiting for confirmation of his identity from the police.

State, Rlys fail to agree on MUTP-2

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Railways and state government continue to be at loggerheads over the implementation of Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) phase 2.On September 4, the Urban Development department had sent a letter to the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) asking them to give detailed explanation on the increase in cost of MUTP-2, status of the projects under it and status of the land next to Bandra railway station. The government has stated that they shall make the payments for MUTP-2 once they get the reply.As per understanding, the World Bank will pay 50 per cent of the cost and the remaining 50 per cent will be equally shared by the Railways and state. The cost of MUTP-2 has risen from Rs 5,400 crore to nearly Rs 8,000 crore now. Sources said that they have already sent a reply to the state government.The railways downplayed the matter by saying that there was no issue with the funding from the state, and that as of now they have received around Rs 2,000 crore.Meanwhile, the MRVC is struggling to get bidders for its prime plot at Bandra (E), worth over Rs 4,500 crore and the railways want to commercially exploit it.The projects under MUTP-2 are yet to be fully completed as they are yet to construct 5-6 lines between Kurla-CSMT, Thane-Diva, Borivli-Mumbai Central 6th line and extension of Harbour line till Goregaon station. The MRVC sends the bills to the state government for reimbursements depending on the projects that are completed.

Onyx, Lacteus: Two new jumping spiders found in Aarey milk colony

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A team of researchers have discovered two extremely small-sized jumping spiders at Aarey Milk Colony, Goregaon. In fact what makes this discovery fascinating apart from Aarey’s biodiversity is the fact that for the first time a jumping spider of an African genus is being reported from Mumbai.The new species Langelurillus onyx is a 4.67mm shiny black-coloured spider whose cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) is bordered with a band of white hair resembling ‘oxide mineral’ due to which the researchers chose to name it onyx, meanwhile the other species Langelurillus lacteus, which is even smaller — measuring 4.03mm — and has a milky white band of hair behind the anterior eyes, and thus the name lacteus.The discovery by researchers Rajesh Sanap, Anuradha Joglekar, Dhruv Prajapati and John Caleb was published on September 6 in Zootaxa — a peer-reviewed scientific mega journal for animal taxonomists.“Onyx is found in Gujarat as well as Maharashtra while lacteus is only reported in Mumbai,” informed Sanap an Andheri-based researcher who has been documenting the biodiversity of Aarey.According to Sanap the entire discovery was a challenge right from the start as it’s not easy to spot a spider whose mature adult is just 4mm.“It was while doing macro photography we came across these tiny spiders jumping around leaf litter and seeing them it was clear that they were different, thus we began the identification process,” said Sanap who contacted John Caleb, Research Associate at the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). It was Caleb who verified that while these two spiders were new species they belonged to a spider of genus Langelurillus, which were from Africa after discussion and consultation with several expert arachnologists.

Cong accuses Maha Govt of Rs 18K-cr land scam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and top notch developers from Mumbai are involved into a Rs 18,000 crore land scam in the proposed metro car shed development at Aarey colony at Goregaon, alleged Sanjay Nirupam, president of Mumbai congress on Tuesday.Nirupam claimed that as per the normal standard, any metro depot development requires maximum 18 hectares of land. “Maharashtra government has proposed to acquire 30 hectares of land at Aarey colony. So out of 30 hectares, maximum 18 acres land will be used for metro car shed while the rest will be handed over to builders. And, with the floor space index (FSI), it will be almost Rs 18,000 crore worth of land scam. Builders will be gain from this scam. It also shows that the Maharashtra government is hands-in-glove with the builders to usher Aarey land,” Nirupam said.Nirupam exposed the government claims of getting all necessary permissions for the proposed metro car shed. “The Bombay High Court has also not given permission to develop this depot. We are not against metro development, but, at the same time, city’s green cover also has to be protected. We need to maintain the ecological balance. There are other locations within city limits for this metro car shed, then why does the government not utilise those? Why are they eyeing Aarey colony?” Nirupam said.He also said that the government is misguiding people by giving the false information through newspaper advertisements. “It is saying that the land is legally viable and it will not disturb the ecology. However, we have obtained the various government reports and papers under right to information act which show that govt is clearly encroaching on Aarey land. It also violating the various set of rules and guidelines. We will not allow them to make it happen. We also appeal people to join us in this fight against to save the Aarey colony,” Nirupam said.The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), however, refuted all allegations. The clarification issued by the CMO said that it has no plant to use the proposed metro car shed land for commercial purpose.”We are going to use the entire 30 hectares for the metro car shed. Out of total 30 hectares, 21 will be used for metro car shed, 4 for approach line and station, while remaining 5 will be kept as the green patch. Former CM Prithviraj Chavan had approved this Aarey colony area for the metro car shed on March 31, 2014. This land any how will not be used for the commercial purpose so the using 4 FSI charges are baseless. Mumbai metro phase 3 is 33.5 km, therefore it will required at least 30 hectares of land to accommodate various metro activities,” the clarification note stated.

WR to run 40 additional services from new 5th line

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The travel of lakhs of commuters on the Western Railway (WR) is set to get easier as the proposal to use the fifth line between Andheri and Borivli has been accepted. The fifth line, which is currently used to run long-distance trains, is ready and will have local trains plying on it within a month. This will ensure that more suburban trains are available for commuters.”The Commissioner of Railway Safety has given clearance to run local EMU (electric multiple unit) trains on this (fifth) line. We are hoping to start operations in less than 45 days,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, WR.The EMU trains will run only during peak hours between 8.30 am and 11.30 am, and 5.30 pm to 8.30 pm. With stagnation in the existing network, additional services cannot be added. The fifth line is set to help decongest the line and add more services on their network.In the last one year, the number of daily commuters between Andheri and Borivli has increased from 11.29 lakh to 11.69 lakh. Only seven of the 37 stations on WR contribute to nearly 35 per cent of total daily commuters carried by them.”The fifth line will now allow us to operate nearly 40 additional services. Moreover, the Harbour line on Andheri-Goregaon belt too will be ready soon,” said a WR official.Each train carries nearly 4,200 people per 12-car rake during peak hours. In an hour at least 15 services will ply in each direction with an average headway of four minutes creating more room for commuters and increasing carrying capacity to 63,000 an hour.Over the past few days now, WR officials have been carrying out modifications to their system including to overhead cables, its poles, and other peripheries.

Absconding convict in arms case arrested from Goregaon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A convict in the arms case, who was absconding for past few months, has been arrested by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) from suburban Goregaon, an official said today. Acting on a specific tip-off that Akbar Idris Khan had returned home from Gulf last evening, the ATS officials arrested him from his residence in Idris Compound in Goregaon-west, said the official. Akbar, who is involved in more than 11 serious offences including house breaking, theft, loot and robberies in Mumbai, Gujarat was convicted under the Arms Act, the official said. He was caught with his aide Shivanand Pandey in a arms case in January 2014, he said. In November 2016 he was released on bail and since then he was absconding, the official added. During the investigation it was revealed that Akbar went to Hyderabad, there he changed his identity and obtained passport using forged documents and left the country, the official said. As he did not return to jail, the court declared him proclaimed offender, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BEST strike: Commuters opt for alternative transport

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

Ecologists want BMC to act fast to secure weak tree bases in Aarey

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Worried over losing the famous Aarey Milk Colony tree avenue to rapid soil erosion, environmentalists cautioned the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) against unscientific tree trimming and demanded that the process to reinforce tree bases be initiated at the earliest.Environmentalist and Project Director for NGO Vanashakti, Stalin D, said, “Due to the water gushing and water channels flowing close to the trees during monsoon, over a period of time several trees have been losing soil around the base and titling. I was surprised to see people trimming a tree’s branches falling on the side of the road. This will affect the balance of the tree and can cause tree fall.”He said, “The BMC or Dairy department should ensure that they do not trim the trees without the presence of a tree expert. The BMC, which collects tree cess from every citizen to care for the trees, needs to wake up and take efforts to save all the trees along the Aarey stretch.”Stalin said a proper plan needed to be drawn to reinforce the soil by taking steps like shifting the water channels and even creating rock barriers to balance the tree and save the soil from washing off.Biju Augustine, member of Aarey Conservation Group (ACG) said, “Several trees lined up on the left side while on the way towards Powai from Goregaon are titling. We are planning to organise a meeting with BMC to take up the matter soon,” he said.A senior BMC official from the Tree department said that the citizens need to approach the ward office and register their concerns.

Mhada sets lottery date for 800 houses in August

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There’s good news in store for Mumbai’s home buyers. Milind Mhaiskar, the newly-appointed Mhada CEO and VP, has confirmed that there will be a lottery for 800 houses in August. The advertisements for the same are expected to be out by the first half of July.Mhada has been coming out with an annual lottery for Mumbai on May 31 every year but failed to do so this time. This lead to speculations that there might not be a lottery this year at all. However, Mhada has finally closed in on the details and will be making the list public soon.The houses will be located in Tunga-Powai, Charkop, Vikhroli, Kandivli, Goregaon, and Mulund. “We are working on it in detail. We are about to complete the formalities and will announce the lottery soon,” said Subhash Lakhe, Chief Officer, Mumbai board.Until recently, the Mhada wasn’t very sure about whether they will be able to carry out the lottery due to a scarcity of houses. However, they managed to get nearly 500 houses for the same. “We looked at other projects and somehow managed to get all those houses that are still under construction. We even got them registered with MahaRERA to meet all the criteria before commencing the lottery,” said a senior official.Meanwhile, Mhada is planning to reserve most of these 800 houses for the economically weaker sections, that is, people who earn below Rs 25,000 per month. When asked, Mhaiksar confirmed the development. According to sources, the prices of the houses are being finalised, after which they will start advertising them for people to apply for these….& ANALYSISAffordable homes are a scarcity in the city and most Mumbaikars depend on Mhada lotteries to avail them. After this year’s delay, the Mhada managed to finally arrange for the lottery where 800 houses will be up for sale. However, it still lags far behind in meeting the rising demand for affordable housing in the city due to the perpetual urban sprawling and increased purchasing power.

Mumbai: 21-year-old student commits suicide in Kandivali

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 21-year-old student hailing from Patil Nagar in Mumbai’s Kandivali area committed suicide on Wednesday.Sanchita alias Nayana Wagh, a student of Patkar College in Goregaon, committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan.The parents took her to the Shatabdi hospital, where she was declared brought dead.Meanwhile, the Kandiwali Police has registered an Accidental Death Report (ADR) (56/2017) in this case.Initial inquiry report suggests that she committed suicide after failing her First Year B. Com exams. (

Eco-friendly crematoriums to get go-ahead soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ready with seven environment-friendly crematoriums which will be based on piped natural gas (PNG). Out of the seven, three crematoriums will be commissioned by June end, and the other four will be commissioned by July end. The BMC has a total of 46 crematoriums across the city, of which 11 run on electricity, and the rest on wooden pyres. In its first step, the civic body has planned to start 13 crematoriums to run on PNG, which will be cost effective, and will also save electricity consumption and protect trees and the environment.The three crematoriums the BMC will commission this month are located in Shivaji Park in Dadar, Dahanukar wadi in Kandivli and Daulat Nagar in Borivli. The four crematoriums which will be commissioned next month are located in Chandan Wadi in Marine Lines, Sion, Oshiwara and Charai. The remaining six PNG crematoriums in Amboli in Andheri, Bhabhai in Borivli, Marve in Malad, Aarey colony in Goregaon, Undarai in Malad, and Versova will take some more time to be ready.”The PNG crematoriums at Undarai, Marve, Versova and Aarey colony are completely new constructions for PNG crematoriums, for which the tendering process is on. It will take at least two years to be complete. The Oshiwara and Bhabhai crematoriums may be commissioned by the end of this year. Each new crematorium costs around Rs 5 crore”, said a civic official.BMC Executive Health officer Dr Padmaja Keskar said, “The main objective is to have an eco-friendly crematorium. It will save wood and electricity. “…& ANALYSISPNG-powered crematoriums instantly heat up to the optimum capacity once switched on and need not be run continuously. This will help reduce running and maintenance costs. Electric pyres, on the other hand, need continuous heating

Monsoon woes arrive before time

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Although monsoon is yet to hit the city full throttle, the moderate showers the city witnessed on Thursday was enough to water-log SEEPZ on Jogeshwari-Vikroli Link Road (JVLR), which hit the motorists hard in the peak hours in the morning. The Reliance Energy office in SEEPZ had around 1.5 to 2 ft surrounding it due to the debris dumped by the contractor constructing the Metro car shed in the area, civic body officials said.“We had cleaned the roadside drains. Only after receiving a complaint call we found out that there was an almost five feet of material dumped in the concrete yard by J Kumar & Company. Due to the debris dumped, rainwater couldn’t flow into the drains. We immediately pressed heavy machinery into action to clear the area, finally enabling the drainage,” Devendrakumar Jain, Assistant Munici pal Commissioner, said.“Officers from Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) were also present at the site. We have asked them to take strict action against J Kumar & Company,” Jain said.As water had collected post the midnight downpour, it began affecting traffic only vehicles began plying on Friday morning. The traffic started easing only after 12 noon. Bhavna Joshi, a resident of Goregaon said, “I left for Kanjurmarg around 8.30 am and got caught in the massive JVLR traffic. It took me four hours to reach a place that is barely 45 minutes away.”Stalin D, an environmental activist said, “I had raised concerns on this. Since SEEPZ is a low-lying area, the water from there is drained to Mithi river. The dumped debris were bound to hinder this flow and lead to waterlogging. However, the MMRDA and Chief Ministers Office did not take the issue seriously.”CHOC-A-BLOCCity saw pre-monsoon rains on Thurday which led to major traffic snarls in JVLR.
Entire Reliance Enterprise area saw major waterlogging and consequent jams
The water couldn’t drain out because the debris dump hindered its flow
MMRC officals claim J Kumar and Company, working on the Metro car shed had been dumping the dbris

Goregaon activists conduct waste management drive

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme, urged the nation to participate in waste management, activists in Goregaon took a step towards creating awareness on waste management. In the drive to prevent society’s waste, over 100 societies’ representatives attended the presentation. The reduce, reuse and recycle process was explained to them. BMC’s solid waste management department’s officials were also present to guide the citizens according to the rules and regulation of waste management.Social activist, Anthony Dias said, “Our next step is to start the segregation of dry and wet waste at the source, following which will be composting. Many societies lack space for waste composting, so we have suggested to them to start the process on their building terraces. We are very happy to see that citizens are aware of the importance of waste segregation. Our aim is to create a ‘waste free’ society and work towards the Swacch Bharat Mission”, Dias added who has organised the waste management drive.The presentation included various methods for waste management and information about the machines available, techniques for conversion of waste into mangrove, and others.Dias added, “The presentation was actively attended by senior citizens and the educated class of the area. We were surprised to see the readiness of citizens towards waste management. It is the need of the hour”.Although the drive organised on Sunday was limited to societies of Goregaon East, seeing a good response by the citizens, activists feel that the drive needs to be taken forward in others localities.A GOOD RESPONSEActivist Anthony Dias said the presentation was actively attended by senior citizens and the educated class
Although the drive was limited to societies of Goregaon East, seeing a good response by the citizens, activists feel that the drive needs to be taken forward

Road work to be completed only next year, locals to bear the brunt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Monsoon is one season that highlights the civic body’s preparedness and most of the time paints a grim picture. This year, too, residents may have to be ready for the worst as resurfacing and desilting of nullahs has been lying incomplete in several parts of western suburbs.One such area happens to be Goregaon. The roads here have been dug up since quite a few weeks for various civic works and an immediate completion is nowhere in sight.Along General AK Vaidya Marg in Goregaon (east), opposite Oberoi mall, construction of a culvert box is underway. As per the order, the repair work is likely to completed only by March next year.During monsoon, further construction of the culvert is likely to be brought to a halt. Thus, leaving the culvert construction midway may lead to a major traffic snarl during the monsoon. The construction site also lies along the junction of Western Express Highway, one of the busiest junctions in Goregaon east.According to reports, contracts of few roads in Goregaon were granted to civic contractors who were reportedly implicated in a scam. Residents of the area continue to witness poor quality of roads and long stretches have been left incomplete. Roadside drains on the Goregaon Station road leading to Aarey are also underway. However, civic officials assured that the work will be completed before the monsoon arrives in the city.However, residents have sought answers to the lackadaisical efforts made by the civic body. Suresh Poojary, a resident of the area said, “Drain repair work had begun sometime back and suddenly stopped in between. Now, they have again restarted it. They could have completed it in time, leaving no scope for water logging.”Metro work along the WEH may further add to traffic congestion. According to BMC, around 78 per cent nullahs have been desilted. A senior official added that desilting will be finished by this month end.

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

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

Buyers denied flat in Mumbai for being non-vegetarian: MNS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Raj Thackeray-led MNS has alleged that some builders in Mumbai were not selling flats to buyers who were non-vegetarian and also bringing in caste and community considerations in the transaction. MNS functionary from Mahim, Sandip Deshpande, in a letter to a builder, said buyers are being deprived of flats for being non-vegetarian. “We have come across complaints that you refused to sell flats to certain buyers by discriminating against them on basis of caste, religion and dietary preferences (whether the buyer is vegetarian or non-vegetarian),” Deshpande said in a letter to a builder yesterday. The letter warned that builders not implementing the MNS diktat would face the party’s ire. MNS sources said the appeal had got prompt response, with a prominent builder giving a written assurance that there won’t be any discrimination. Last year, then MNS corporator Santosh Dhuri had filed a complaint against a builder at the Goregaon police station, after being denied flat for being a non-vegetarian. Dhuri, who was looking to buy two-BHK flat, was apparently told that the housing complex was for Gujaratis only, when he had called the builder’s office. There have been instances of housing societies in Mumbai ensuring that only vegetarians are allowed to move in.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

TV actress’s husband who went missing, returns home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Husband of TV actress Sangeita Chauhan, who went missing four days ago, has returned home, police said today. Chirag Shah had gone missing allegedly after having a quarrel with his wife on Thursday night. Later, his brother filed a missing complaint at Bangur Nagar Police station in suburban Goregaon, they said. Chirag, 39, had left for Shirdi on Thursday, but returned home in Goregaon yesterday, senior police inspector, Bangur Nagar police, Santosh Bhandare said. He told police that he had gone to Shirdi, the official said. Chirag has produced short films like “Madam India” (2013), “In the Closet” (2015). He also has co-produced an upcoming Bollywood film “Dekh Indian Circus”. Sangeita is currently seen in a lead role in Sooraj Barjatya’s TV show “Ek Shringaar-Swabhiman”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai: Security manager assaulted, stabbed to death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fight to get the contract of the security guard at Film City went ahead too much when a rival party assaulted and stabbed a 35-years-old security firm manager. The Aarey police has registered the case of murder and is investigating further.According to Aarey police, the deceased has been identified as Veeramani Pandian,35, a resident of Goregaon had got the contract of providing security guards at the Film City. The rival security firm in a fit of rage attacked Pandian leading to his death.The three persons chased the deceased and stabbed him by using the sharp knife. The passersby have witnessed the incident and we will take their statements. The deceased was declared dead before admission.Kiran Chavan, DCP, Zone 12 said, “We are trailing the accused involved in the incident and have registered the case under sections 302(murder) of the Indian Penal Code. “We have found the weapon on the spot and will soon make the arrests in the case”, said Chavan.

Bombay HC stays FIR against Kapil Sharma, directs BMC to resolve dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bombay High Court on Thursday stayed the FIR against comedian Kapil Sharma over an alleged illegal construction in his flat in suburban Goregaon. The High Court has also directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to give a personal hearing to Sharma and resolve the dispute. The BMC told the High Court that it has withdrawn all litigations against Sharma. Earlier this month, Sharma stormed a controversy with his tweet alleging that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs. five lakh by an official of the BMC. The BMC later claimed that Sharma had flouted norms not only in his Versova office building but also at his apartment in suburban Goregaon.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

In Mumbai to pay tribute to Balasaheb, not for campaigning:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Patidar quota leader from Gujarat Hardik Patel today said he was in the city to “pay tribute” to late Balasaheb Thackeray and “not to be part” of the campaign for February 21 Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls. “I am here to say Jai Maharashtra and pay tribute to late Balasaheb Thackeray whom I liked and respected but could not meet him as I was very young (when he passed away). I am not here to campaign for Shiv Sena for the Mumbai civic polls,” he said on the sidelines of an event in suburban Goregaon. When asked why he was suddenly remembering Balasaheb, Patel said, “Enemy’s enemy is a natural friend” (in an apparent reference to BJP as his and Shiv Sena’s enemy). “Myself and members of the Patidar community will extend our support to Shiv Sena in Gujarat. It will be a friendly gesture,” he said. “Since many members from Gujarati community in Mumbai are associated with my movement it was their long-time wish to felicitate me in the city,” Patel said. He alleged that the state government machinery tried to derail his visit by arm twisting methods. “This is in the blood of BJP-ruled states to use official machinery against its rivals,” Patel alleged. He said he was supporting march by members of Marathas seeking reservation for the community. Shiv Sena leader Subhash Desai attended the meeting and said he and Uddhav Thackeray were very much “impressed” by the way the young leader carried forward his “fight” for reservation to the community.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SGNP’s Krishna to reunite with her Raja, thanks to taxidermy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanjay Gandhi National Park’s (SGNP) oldest captive leopard, who breathed her last on Sunday, will be reunited with her mate Raja in a unique way. Krishna’s mate, Raja, died in 2014 and his body has been preserved with taxidermy. The park has begun the process to preserve Krishna’s body. Dr Santosh Gaikwad, India’s only taxidermist working with the forest department at SGNP has already initiated the process to mount Krishna. Raja was Krishna’s companion since she was one.Gaikwad, Associate Professor, Anatomy Department, Bombay Veterinary College, said that the process of skinning Krishna was carried out on Monday.”The skin will now undergo treatment so that it does not lose its fur and can be preserved. I have already taken the body’s measurements. We will re-create her life-size model after casting her skeleton with plaster of Paris,” Gaikwad told DNA.Gaikwad has made models of 13 big cats so far, including lion Ranga and lioness Shobha as well as tiger Shiva from SGNP. Krishna will be the fourth leopard he’ll preserve.”The taxidermy model of Raja, who was around 20 years old when he died at SGNP in October 2014, is mounted in a snarling pose with his fore limbs resting on an elevation. Once Krishna will be ready, it will be nice to see them together again,” said Gaikwad.Raja and Krishna, who died at 18, had a special place in the hearts of forest officials and animal keepers. “Raja was brought in as a cub in 1992 after he was found abandoned by his mother near a tribal hamlet at Film City, Goregaon. Krishna too was brought in as a two month old in 1999 from Pen in Raigad. Both of them were hand-raised at SGNP,” said a park official.”There’s was emotional attachment with both these leopards. We plan to use their taxidermy model for educating people on mitigating man-leopard conflict,” said Shailesh Deore, Superintendent of Lion Tiger Safari, SGNP.

‘We carry resignation letters in our pockets’: Shiv Sena minister after splits with BJP for civic polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Shiv Sena said it will go all alone in the February civic polls in Mumbai and at other places in Maharashtra, Sena minister on Friday said they would resign from the government whenever party chief Uddhav Thackery will ask them to do so.”We carry resignation letters in our pockets. We will resign whenever Uddhav ji asks us to do so, said the state Environment Minister ​Ramdas Kadam said.Thackeray’s announcement on Thursday evening ended the suspense after the seat-sharing talks between the two parties had hit a deadlock amid bickering.”I will not bend in front of anybody. If somebody thinks we are lesser than them, we will displace them,” an aggressive Thackeray told a gathering of party workers in suburban Goregaon without naming the BJP.Meanwhile, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said that the party was supporting BJP-led government to prevent instability in the state, which will affect farmers and working class.”Like his decision to announce snapping of ties with BJP, Uddhav Thackeray may announce decision to quit government,” he added.The Congress party has dares Shiv Sena to sever alliance with BJP at Centre.”If Shiv Sena has the guts then it should withdraw support from state and Centre, otherwise it is just empty rhetoric,” said Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam.(With inputs from @DhavalKulkarni)

‘BJP is like Jallikattu bull, will tame it’, says Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray after rejecting alliance

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After days of speculation and suspense, the Shiv Sena finally snapped ties with the BJP and announced that it would contest the civic polls in Mumbai and other parts of the state on its own strength. “From now on, the Shiv Sena will unfurl the saffron flag in Maharashtra on its own. I will not go to anyone with a begging bowl seeking an alliance,” said party president Uddhav Thackeray who was speaking at a party workers convention in Mumbai on Thursday. “As the first step, we will not enter into any tie up for the municipal corporation and Zilla Parishad polls,” declared Uddhav, while effectively ruling out any pre-poll understanding with the BJP. Despite biting attacks on the BJP and its leaders, he was however mum on if the Shiv Sena’s ministers in the state and Central governments would resign from their posts or if the party’s support to the Devendra Fadnavis-led dispensation in Maharashtra would continue. “Of the Shiv Sena’s 50 year life, we have rotted away for 25 years in an alliance (with the BJP),” charged the Sena president, while lashing out at the BJP’s demand for 114 of the 227 seats in the Mumbai civic body, which is India’s richest. He claimed that due to this alliance, the Shiv Sena had not contested seats in non-Maharashtrian areas or even other states to prevent a split in the Hindutva votes. The Shiv Sena is upset at the BJP, which was earlier its junior ally in the saffron alliance, gaining the upper hand after the two parties went solo in the state assembly elections in 2014. While the BJP secured 122 seats, the Shiv Sena ended up as a distant number two with 63. Though it joined the Fadnavis government after a short stint on the opposition benches, Sena leaders admit that they are uncomfortable playing second fiddle to the BJP. The Shiv Sena also lost the edge in Mumbai, where it has 14 MLAs, one less than the BJP’s 15. This led to BJP leaders demanding that they get to contest from half of the BMC’s 227 seats considering the “changed situation on the ground.” However, the Sena was willing to part with just 60 seats compared to the 70 that were given to the BJP in 2012. Meanwhile at the Goregaon rally, Uddhav likened the BJP to a Jallikattu bull and called on Shiv Sainiks to tame it. He also ridiculed the BJP’s demand for transparency in the BMC and lashed out at the state government’s missive to remove all religious imagery from its offices. “If there was no Shiv Sena during the 1992-1993 (riots), would Mumbai be there today?” he questioned. Without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uddhav said it was the Shiv Sena supremo late Bal Thackeray’s support which had seen him through (in the upheaval after the 2002 Gujarat riots). Shiv Sena sources said they were banking on the Maharashtrian vs non-Maharashtrian undercurrent after the Shiv Sena- BJP spilt to see them through in the BMC polls. This would also help the Sena overcome the anti-incumbency after ruling the cash-rich civic body for two decades (four consecutive terms). “We tried to catch the BJP unawares like they did with us during the assembly polls before snapping ties,” the Sena source said, adding that despite the Modi wave, the Shiv Sena secured just one seat less than the BJP in Mumbai. The party is also banking on an anti-BJP sentiment in the trading classes, who form one of the core constituencies of the BJP over the demonetisation exercise and claims that its Hindutva agenda will help swing these votes into their kitty. Meanwhile, reacting to the Shiv Sena’s statements chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted that for the BJP, power was not an end but a means for development and added that transformation would happen regardless of if someone joined hands with them or not.

‘I won’t give up’: whistleblower cop Sunil Toke fights lonely battle against corruption in his department

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is the beginning of the end of corrupt,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared after criticism over demonetization recently. But what does it take for a police constable to fight against ‘rampant corruption’ in his very own department even after he has been repeatedly transferred and his complaints are ignored by his superiors? Sunil Bhagwantrao Toke, a police head constable is now a known face in Maharashtra. Earlier this month, Toke filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court, alleging rampant corruption in the city police’s traffic division and seeking a departmental inquiry against the corrupt officials. To prove his allegations, he annexed 40 video clips. The HC on Monday directed the Additional Director General of Police (Anti Corruption Bureau) to supervise the inquiry being carried out by the department into Toke’s allegations. DNA caught up with the whistleblower cop at his home to know more about his battle against corruption.Wearing a white t-shirt and shorts, sitting on a bed in his nearly 150 sq-ft room in BDD chawl near Jamboree maidan in Worli, Sunil Toke, who is now posted with the Local Arms (LA) division, showed me the video clips of various traffic police constables accepting bribes. The videos spanned over one and half year. “These traffic policemen are so corrupt, they don’t even give up on a bribe from ambulances or vans carrying dead bodies,” he said.The first time, he recalls, was only within a few months of him joining service when he’d caught three underage children counting money in a Vakola slum. “When they saw us, they dropped the money and ran away. My seniors asked me not to make an official entry of the money we had found but I refused to do that and registered the case. I was soon transferred to another police station.” While chatting with me, Toke was also arranging the other evidence he had collected over the years, to present before the Bombay HC to make his case stronger. “I joined (the) police force in 1985 and have been transferred over 12 times in my last 32 years of service because of my refusal to accept bribes,” he said.Till date, he has served at the Worli Police Station (PS), Local Arms (LA) Division, Azad Maidan PS, Special Branch and DB Mark PS. Between 2013 and 2016, he was posted with the Goregaon traffic police and Wadala traffic police, and now he has been transferred to the LA division again.There are reports that Toke was often on leave and not performing well which led to his many transfers. When I inquired about that, he quipped, “Yes, I was on a leave but there was a reason. What can I do if I have health issues? I have diabetes and heart ailments. One medicine costs Rs 1,700 and I have evidence to prove that.”Stating that the department could challenge his health issue claims at any time, he added, “There are constables who were on a leave for over 800 days. They were even paid salaries. Some people in the traffic department are not transferred for 15 years when the provision is for 5 years.”While making any claims or allegations, Toke makes sure they are backed with evidence. He has a pile of files, which include information that he obtained through RTI pleas. So far, he has filled over 70 RTI pleas but he claims he was always given the wrong or insufficient information.Toke wonders why his resignation was not accepted twice if he wasn’t performing well. Toke submitted his resignation for the first time on September 20, 2014, and then again on August 23, 2015, but he is yet to be relieved of his charge. He is scheduled to retire in 2023.”I nabbed bank robbers who turned out to be murderers, caught gutka worth Rs 7 lakh but my superiors rarely recognised my work,” Toke said, showing copies of the FIRs he has with him.Toke also proudly showed off the remarks made by a judge in 1998, asking to consider his commendable act in the case of apprehending accused, adding that he may also be considered for an award by the commissioner.Every police station gets at least Rs 5 to 7 lakh every month and to collect the money an unofficial post of ‘Cashier” is created. There are at least two cashiers in every police station and their job is only to collect money, says Toke.”Money is collected from illegally plying vehicles, overloaded trucks, tourist vehicles, school buses, five star hotels, and beer bars so that they can park vehicles illegally without paying fine. The amount is then shared between the constables right up to the senior officials,” he claimed.The whistleblower had sent letters to his superiors relating various incidents of bribery but they never reached them. “The letters I sent to my top officials never reached them. Why would someone (his immediate senior) carry out his own inquiry if I’ve filed a complaint against him (them)?”Talking about the enquiry that was initiated in 2015 after he complained about harassment for his refusal to accept bribes, he said, “I was literally treated like criminal. I was called and made to sit for hours. When the inquiry began, I was asked where was I born, why I joined only police department, why I studied in the village, why I came to Mumbai. I was asked silly questions in the efforts to make me lose my cool and mental balance so that they could say I was unstable.””The whole system is corrupt. Everyone is trying to prove me wrong. Seniors are saving there superiors. I have full faith in the judiciary, I won’t give up. I will even approach the Supreme Court,” says Toke, hoping to get justice from the court.Interestingly, last year, Toke had fined his own son for not wearing a helmet. Toke’s family has six members – Toke, his wife, daughter, two sons and a daughter-in-law. He says his son and daughter-in-law were employed. The salary he gets is sufficient for his family as their requirements are not big.

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