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Right to pee activists protest, detained

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 10 women activists from the Right to Pee campaign were detained by the Malabar Hill police for wanting to protest outside Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ bungalow. According to the activists, they wanted to meet the CM on the occasion of World Toilet Day on Sunday and show the government the ground reality of open defecation in Mumbai slums.Following the CM’s announcement declaring Mumbai open defecation free (ODF) on October 2, the women from BMC’s M ward started a survey in the area’s slums where they reside in order to check the toilet facilities provided by the civic authority to the residents. After surveying 100 toilets, the women wanted to meet the CM on November 19 and speak about the issue.Supriya Jan, Right To Pee activist, said, “Earlier we had written several mails to the CM for an appointment but we did not receive a reply. We do not agree with the fact that Mumbai is ODF. This is why we women decided to conduct a survey. We wanted to gift pictures of open defecation and poor toilet facilities to prove the ground reality. We were denied to enter the bungalow, and when we staged a silent protest, the police took us to the police station. We were detained in the police station for five hours.”Vinod Kamble, Senior Police Inspector, Malabar Hill Police station, said, “We brought the activists who had assembled outside the Chief Minister’s bungalow and we made them understand that they cannot gather on the street. They were given a warning and were let off. No police action has been taken against them.”

Stroll home turns fatal for Malabar Hill resident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A promenade along one of Malabar Hill roads swerved into a fatal journey for a 48-year-old man on Thursday. The Malabar Hill police have arrested a 24-year-old biker for allegedly mowing down the man who worked as a domestic help. The deceased has been identified as Danaram Rawal.Rawal was crossing a road near Bandstand police chowky when the speeding bike rammed him around 9:30 pm, police said. The biker has been identified as Akshay Nasare, a resident of Walkeshwar. According to police, Rawal got confused while he saw the bike racing towards him, police said.”While Rawal was crossing the road, he saw a bike coming towards him. Although he had stepped back, he sustained fatal injuries,” a police officer who witnessed the accident said.”We immediately rushed Rawal to Bombay Hospital where he died. He had sustained head injuries,” he added. Nasare, too, sustained minor injuries in the accident and was taken to Bombay Hospital. He was discharged after administering initial treatment.

Locals plan #SavePDP event for Sunday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Children from the city will be gathering at Priyadarshini Park on Sunday morning participate in an art event with the theme of saving open spaces. While residents from Malabar Hills, Nepean Sea Road and nearby areas have been protesting to save the open space at Priyadarshini Park (PDP) for a few months, through the Children’s Day celebration, they want to highlight the issues of open spaces.”Earlier, there was encroachment of a fire engine which has now been taken away. But the temporary infrastructure made for the fire engine is still in the park. BMC still have a plan to set up a swimming pool inside. We want the park to be maintained as an open space. With the theme #savePDP, we want to highlight that with the help of children,” said Tejal Mehta, resident of Nepean Sea Road and member of #SavePDP campaign group.”The entries for the art competition can be done online and we are expecting participation of a huge number of children. Citizens forum groups are coming together to organise the event,” added Tejal.With a signature campaign that began on September 30, residents garnered thousands of signatures before presenting it to the Chief Minister.

Corporator wants extra supply of water in C-ward

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Local BJP corporator Akash Purohit is demanding an extra hour of water in the market areas of South Mumbai’s C-Ward comprising areas like Bhuleshwar, Kalbadevi, Chira Bazaar and others. This is his demand for the floating crowd that comes to work in the area. The corporator has written a letter to the BMC chief saying that an hour’s supply of water is insufficient for residents as well as for the market area of C-ward.Almost 26 different wholesale markets are situated in the area, more than 2 lakh people live in chawls, and lakhs of people are in the area every day. Thus, this ward has a huge floating population creating a huge demand for water. “C ward gets its water supply from Malabar Hill reservoir through SK Patil garden. The chawls and buildings get water supply for one hour between 5 and 6 am, which is insufficient. Plus, the homes are small and storage capacity is limited. Apart from local residents, people coming to work also need water for drinking and sanitary purposes, but even they face water scarcity,” read the letter.The other problem is that of contaminated water. “There are many houses adjacent to the chawls and buildings, garbage and dirty water seeps into the soil and then gets into the pipelines wherever there are leaks, creating the problem of contamination,” said Purohit.Purohit has suggested that the timing of water supply be extended to 5-9 am instead of 5-6 am for residents, and that in addition to that, an extra hour of water supply be given during the day time for the floating population that comes in to work. He also wants house gullies be cleaned and special funds be provided for it.The ward officer for C-Ward, JS Gheghadmal, wasn’t available for comment.

Bombay High Court drops contempt plea as park fire engine is removed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following a statement made by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation(BMC), that it has removed the fire engine and temporary shack constructed inside Priyadarshani Park at Napeansea road, Bombay High Court dropped the contempt petition filed by Malabar Hill Citizens forum.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak was informed by Senior Advocate Anil Sakhare and Advocate Trupti Puranik, as per the statement made earlier, that the engine had been moved and restored, and thus the contempt plea does not survive.The forum had moved the court seeking action against Assistant Commissioner (D) ward and Municipal Commissioner. As per records, in 2006, the Malabar Hill Citizens’ Forum (MHCF) filed a public interest litigation challenging the decision of the corporation to post a fire engine in the park. On June 5 this year, the petition was dismissed, on default. On June 14, the corporation posted the fire engine inside the park. Residents moved a plea for restoration of the PIL, and by a June 19 order, direction for maintaining status quo was given. The civic body has not challenged the order, but moved an application for modification, which is still pending hearing.The court had earlier rapped the corporation for not following the order and had even warned of imprisoning the official not following court orders.The court has now posted the matter for further hearing after three weeks and asked the corporation and Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority to file their reply on whether the park falls under the CRZ 1 category.IN THE COURTIn 2006, the Malabar Hill Citizens’ Forum had filed a PIL challenging the decision of BMC to post a fire engine in the park. BMC’s application for modification is still pending hearing

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asks Navy to remain ever ready to counter any threat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday asked the Navy to remain “ever ready” to counter any challenge in the wake of recent developments in India’s neighbourhood, seen as a clear reference to China’s growing maritime presence in the critical sea lanes.In an address at the on-going Navy commanders’ conference, she also took note of the critical capability shortfalls the Navy was facing in ship-borne multi-role helicopters, conventional submarines, and minesweepers which are required urgently to maintain its combat edge.The minister assured the commanders that these issues were being given due impetus and efforts were in hand to mitigate these shortcomings at the earliest, Navy Spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said.He said the commanders also reviewed the Navy’s readiness to deploy over the entire range of missions in the maritime domain.In her address, Sitharaman talked about the challenges India was facing in the maritime domain and complimented the Navy for its high operational readiness.”Taking note of the recent developments in our maritime neighbourhood, she emphasised the need for the Indian Navy to be strong at sea, and be ever ready and vigilant to counter any challenges in the maritime domain,” Capt Sharma said.Official sources said China’s increasing presence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), its fresh military deployments in the geo-politically sensitive South China Sea and efforts to increase its overall dominance were discussed at the four- day-long conclave which began on Tuesday.Sitharaman acknowledged the high operational tempo maintained by the Navy in the last one year through regular deployment of ships, submarines and aircraft from the South China Sea and Sea of Japan in the East to the Persian Gulf and the Atlantic Ocean in the West.She also complimented the force for its sustained efforts to deter piracy attempts off the Gulf of Aden.Yesterday, the naval commanders had cleared a new plan for deployment of warships in the Indian Ocean region to effectively counter China’s growing assertiveness in the strategically key region.The “new mission-based deployment” plan involves deploying mission-ready ships and aircraft along critical sea lanes of communications, Navy sources said.The minister also commended the efforts of the Navy to constructively engage with the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) littorals to build their capacities and enhance their capabilities.She further stated that Milan exercise at Port Blair early next year would be an excellent forum to get the littoral Navies on a common platform to discuss regional maritime issues and security challenges, Sharma said.In her address, Sitharaman also mentioned about unprecedented success of the Malabar exercise with the US and the Japanese Navy earlier this year.At the conference, the top-level leadership of the Navy reviewed major operational, training and administrative activities undertaken in the last six months.

Panel visits park to check if fire engine caused any damages

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A five-member committee appointed by the Bombay High Court visited the Priyadarshini Park on Wednesday morning to check if the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s act of stationing a fire engine in the premises is obstructing or has caused damage to the jogging and walking tracks. The committee members took measurement of the track and its distance from the fire engine stationed there.During the visit, both members from Malabar Hill Citizen’s Forum (MHCF) and the BMC officials were present. A senior official from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Limited (MSRDC) was also present during the visit. A plot near Priyadarshini Park which belongs to the MSRDC is being suggested by members of MHCF as an alternative station for the fire brigade office.”The committee members surveyed the jogging or walking track and took measurements from track to fire engine stationed,” said a senior official from the Mumbai fire brigade. Meanwhile, both Malabar Hill Citizen’s Forum (MHCF)and BMC officials also presented their sides. However, the committee members focused on survey and measurements.The committee will submit its report to the court. “The committee will submit the report to the High Court which may to come up for discussion in the next hearing,” said the official.On October 11, a division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Nitin Jamdar of Bombay High Court whilehearing a PIL filed by the MHCFchallenging the BMC’s plans to set up a fire station on a 5,000 square feet portion of park that is spread over 65,000 square feet,appointed a committee to visit the site and submit a report.The forum had sought the removal of a fire engine and temporary structure that the corporation placed in the park in June 2017. The park occupies about 40,000 sq mt and includes a children’s park, walkway and jogging areas. The remaining area houses sports facilities.Since June 2017, the temporary fire station at Priyadarshini Park had received around 29 calls. And, the BMC claims that both Malabar Hill and Nepean Sea Road are having a large number of high rises and if there is an emergency a fire engine from the fire stations at Byculla, Fort, or Nariman Point takes around 30-50 minutes to reach the site.

City’s first ‘old modern’ police station marks 100 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gamdevi police station in south Mumbai is celebrating its centenary this year. The police station is the first “old modern police station” of Mumbai built in the year 1917 during the British Raj as a part of the Bombay town planning scheme 1915.To mark the station’s hundredth anniversary, the police officers are collecting its background information, photos, memories, and documents related to the station. “We are gathering all information regarding the history about the police station,” said a senior police officer.According to historians, the police station was the most modern station of its time. The police station was a crucial one as all the important areas including Nepean Sea Road, Lamington Road and today’s Raj Bhavan fell under its jurisdiction till the late 1980s, after which the Malabar Hill police station was established and took over one-third of the jurisdiction.Police historian Deepak Rao says, “Gamdevi was the most modern structure of that era in the city. There was even a compound and garden in front of the police station until 1975.”A few senior police officers who are now retired say, “In the 60s, it used to be a matter of prestige for police officers to be posted at this station. Not just because of its structure but also because of its status in terms of jurisdiction and presence of VVIPs.”They say several changes have been made to the police station over time.

India, Japan to step up naval co-op amid China’s rising presence in Indian Ocean

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India and Japan have decided to enhance their naval cooperation that will include training for anti-submarine warfare amid the increased control of China in the Indian Ocean Region.Frequent forays by Chinese vessels have been a matter of great concern for India as the Chinese Navy controls ports in Djibouti, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and now Myanmar.The increased frequency of Chinese vessels docked in Karachi and “unusual” activities of their naval units in the Indian Ocean has raised an alarm, sources said.The enhanced naval cooperation was decided on Tuesday during Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to Japan.”The Ministers expressed satisfaction at the success of Japan-India-US Trilateral Maritime Exercise Malabar 2017 in July this year and confirmed their intention to deepen and advance the objectives of this exercise. Japan’s Minister of Defense, Itsunori Onodera expressed his intention to have state-of-the-art Japanese assets to participate in the Malabar 2018,” the India-Japan joint statement said.Bilateral training and regular interactions between Indian Navy and Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) have also been decided. Japan has decided to invite Indian Navy personnel to mine countermeasures training held by JMSDF.Navy intelligence reports indicate that on the pretext of anti-piracy operations, the Chinese Navy has enhanced its power in the Indian Ocean Region.The decision to step up military ties is also significant as it comes in wake of China’s increasing efforts to dominate the South China Sea.”The ministers exchanged views and ideas with the aim to further strengthen defence and security cooperation under the framework of the Japan-lndia Special Strategic and Global Partnership,” the joint statement added.

Former civil servant turns South Mumbai into his canvas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 61-year-old former civil servant from Delhi regularly visits South Mumbai to pursue his passion for photography. On his visit to the city, he scours through the landmarks of South Mumbai in the morning. He has managed to capture various bird species at Sagar Upvan in Colaba, Hanging Garden at Malabar Hill, Haji Ali promenade, Byculla Zoo, and Marine Drive through his lens.Vinod Goel, 61, was employed with the customs and excise services in the country and took to wildlife photography after he first witnessed a Purple Rumped Sunbird in the city last year. The fascination to click such birds only grew further. Goel then planned another trip to the city and visited Sewri jetty, Mahim Nature Park, Sagar Upvan Park at Colaba, and Byculla Zoo among other places.”I had developed a hobby of photography and soon I decided to explore South Mumbai which is now a concrete jungle. However, I have managed to capture various species of birds at different locations and studied their living patterns as well,” said Goel.He observed the cattle egret, house crow, jungle crow, tailor bird, coppersmith barbet, Asian koel, white-throated fantail, white-cheeked bulbul, silver bill, flamingos, brown headed and black headed gulls, and Palla’s gull among a numerous species of birds.”I was fascinated to shoot the birds sucking nectar from the yellow trumpet flower at the Sagar Upvan in Colaba and later got an opportunity to find these species again at Hanging Garden at Malabar Hills,” Goel added. “No doubt Mumbai appears to be a concrete jungle but to me, it is a paradise for nature lovers and citizens must enjoy the beauty of small and big birds,” Goel concluded.

Indo-Japan ties special, for global peace: Ashwani Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Union law minister Ashwani Kumar today hailed the Indo-Japan relationship, saying it had assumed a “very sharp, strategic dimension” and become an engagement for peace and stability not only in Asia but in the entire world. “We have seen what is happening in Doklam. We have seen what is happening in Pakistan. We are seeing who the friends of Pakistan are. We have seen what is happening in South China. “We have seen the open defiance of the international legal regime by some countries…India and Japan seek harmony and friendship with all our neighbours, with all the countries,” he said. The former law minister was speaking at an interactive session at the PHD Chamber of Commerce here. “India and Japan’s engagement is an example of a special, strategic and global relationship in all its dimensions,” Kumar said. The Malabar Exercise in the Indian Ocean was intended to secure the sea links, which were the lifeline for not only for the economy of the entire Indian Ocean region, but also a guarantee for peace, stability and security in the world, he said. “We also know that the road to peace is through power not through weakness. And it is for that peace the India and Japan relationship have also assumed a very sharp, strategic dimension so that this engagement have become an engagement for prosperity, peace and stability not only in Asia but in the rest of the world,” he said. Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu said Japanese companies would further accelerate their pace of investments in India’s manufacturing, services and retail sector since the strategic alliance between the two is deepening with transformational tendencies surfacing in ease of doing business in India in the last five years. “With the Japanese prime minister coming to India in very near future, another comprehensive package is likely to be announced to strengthen Indo-Japan trade ties, as the two countries are preparing for better security, defence cooperation including better exchanges between the armed, naval and air force of the two nations. “Economic trade in 2015 was USD 2.6 billion which rose to USD 4.7 billion in 2016,” he said. To a question, the ambassador said the dedicated freight corridor project would be completed by 2019 whereas the real construction on Mumbai-Ahmedabad train project would commence in 2018, to be completed by 2023.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cops scramble for clues in son of senior IAS officers’ death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The absence of CCTV footage and any eyewitness in the death of Manmath Mhaiskar is making it difficult for the Malabar police to conclusively ascertain if it was a suicide case, or an accidental fall from the terrace of 20-storey Dariya Mahal building, senior police officers said.A broken mobile phone recovered from his body could provide leads about who he was in contact with prior to his death. His call details, e-mails and social media interactions are now being scrutinised by the Malabar Hill police.According to the police, they will record statements of family members, friends and anyone who knew Manmath well to piece together a clearer picture of his mental frame of mind leading up to his death, including his academic performance and social circles.While the police have ruled out any foul play, they are also probing whether Manmath died due to an accidental fall. Police officers said there is a possibility that he may have fallen by slipping from the terrace due to heavy rain. Going by the spot where Manmath’s body was found, the police suspect that Manmath may have been perched on the water tank of the terrace before his fall.”As of now, we cannot say conclusively whether it was a case of suicide or an accident as there is no CCTV footage of the victim falling, and no one has came forward saying they witnessed the incident,” said Bhaskarrao Sawant, senior police inspector of Malabar Hill police station.”We have not been able to conduct proper enquiries with deceased’s family and friends yet as they are all in a state of shock, and are not able to speak much on the matter. We have only got CCTV footage of the building in which Manmath can be seen entering the building, and from the lift which shows him heading up to the terrace,” he added.Mhaiskar was found in a pool of blood at the rear of the Dariya Mahal building with head injuries that are consistent with a fall from a height.

Aus minister bats for peaceful solution to Sikkim standoff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Australian Foreign Minister Julia Bishop today called for a peaceful resolution of the standoff between Chinese and Indian troops at Dokalam in Sikkim sector, an issue which she discussed during her meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior cabinet ministers. “My understanding is this it is long-standing dispute …It was a subject of discussion today. Australia’s position is that border disputes, territorial disputes should be resolved peacefully between the claimant countries…We don’t want to see any escalation of tensions which could lead to a miscalculation or misjudgement,” Bishop told a group of reporters. The visitng minister also said, “In the case of maritime disputes we said it should be subjected to arbitration under the UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), if necessary. Land disputes should be resolved peacefully between the competing claimants and urge the countries to do that.” Earlier, during a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Bishop had condemned the Amarnath terror attack and conveyed her country’s resolve to fight all terrorism. The Australian minister also held talks with Defence Minister Arun Jaitley. Bishop talked about cooperation between India and Australia in key areas of trade, energy and defence during the media interaction. “First shipment is on its way,” she said when asked about the status of supply of uranium to India. She also noted that all the necessary parliamentary clearances to activate the bilateral civil nuclear supply agreement had been accomplished. On India not allowing Australia to join the Malabar naval exercises, Bishop said she had not asked for an explanation from the Indian leadership. “It’s not upsetting, it is a question of priorities for each country…Australia conducts many exercises that India is not a part of. We said Australia would like to be part of Malabar exercises in the future. We are all working together to maintain relative peace and security and stability in our region,” she said. India recently completed the Malabar exercises with the US and Japan.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fire station in park may not look elegant but it’s must: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A fire brigade station set up in a portion of the Priyadarshini Park in south Mumbai may not look elegant and sophisticated but it was a necessity, the Bombay High Court observed today. A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar made the remark while hearing a lawsuit by the Malabar Hill Citizens’ Forum (MHCF) challenging the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s (MCGM) decision to set up a fire brigade station inside the park. The bench asked the citizens’ forum to meet the civic body officials instead and discuss their problems with them. The MHCF had moved the court claiming that several trees and the entrance to the park were demolished to make way for the fire tender vehicles. The petitioner added that the park gates have to be now kept open all through the night so that the fire trucks can go in case of emergencies. This has resulted in several unruly people making the park their night shelter and sleeping on its benches. The court sought to know if there was any other land available in the vicinity where the fire brigade could be set up. The corporation’s counsel Joaquim Reis replied in the negative and said, “The fire station has reduced the response time to fire emergencies in Malabar Hill, Walkeshwar and Peddar Road. Several lives have been saved since the fire station has been set up here.” The court then suggested the petitioners to have a meeting with the civic body officials and discuss the issue and then come back to the court. “The fire station may not look nice and sophisticated but it is a necessity. What if there is a fire somewhere nearby?” Chief Justice Chellur asked and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks. The Priyadarshini park, spread over 65,000 sq ft, was set up on a reclaimed land and was handed over to the MHCF on lease in 1985. The citizens’ forum developed a children’s park, joggers’ park and sports complex in the park and has been maintaining it. According to the BMC, around 4,000 sq m of the park was reserved for a fire brigade station.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ruling LDF asks government to end nurses’ agitation in Ker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ruling CPI-M led LDF in Kerala today asked its government to take steps to end the ongoing agitation by sections of nurses in private hospitals even as it described as ‘reasonable’ their wage hike demand. “Neither the CPI-M nor the LDF is against the stir of nurses who are fighting for a just cause. Their demand is reasonable,” LDF Convener Vaikom Viswam said. However, the issues should be settled through talks, he told reporters after a meeting of the front’s leaders here. Viswam pointed to the meeting of representatives of nurses’ associations and hospital managements convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for July 20 and said ‘a solution is expected’ during the talks. Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala also asked the Chief Minister to take the initiative to end the strike by nurses. Nurses under the banner of United Nurses Association and Indian Nurses Association, who held relay dharna in front of the secretariat for than a month, had announced an indefinite strike from today, but put it on hold till July 19 following the government’s intervention. Besides, the Kerala High Court has restrained nurses from holding the indefinite stir on a petition by private hospitals which contended their services fall under the ambit of essential services. An estimated 80,000 nurses were expected to join the strike. Meanwhile, a march taken out by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activists to the secretariat in support of the nurses’ turned violent today. Police used water cannons to chase away the agitators. Nurses belonging to Indian Nurses Association (INA) are continuing with their agitation, crippling functioning of various private hospitals in the Malabar region. A group of nurses affiliated to INA is still protesting in front of the secretariat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sparks fly at the steering committee of farmers leaders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A split down the middle seems to have emerged within the steering committee of farmers’ leaders constituted to have dialogue with the Maharashtra government for removing the cap on loan waiver. According to agriculture minister Pandurang Fundkar when most of the members across the board agreed to a financial cap of Rs 1 lakh, which was later even agreed to be raised to Rs 1.5 lakh, some members of the steering committee raised objections and demanded that farm loans up to Rs 15 lakh be waived. The BJP minister alluded to the fact that some of the steering committee members were clearly favouring the interests of the rich farmers owning vineyards and orchards. The minister said that matters came to such a pass that some members of the steering committee even burnt copies of the Government Resolution (GR) that had laid down the criteria to select the farmers who would get the loan waiver. He added that Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil who read clause by clause the government conditions, took consensus only after it was agreed upon and deleted those on which objections were raised. The senior BJP minister disclosed that only 10 members of the committee were allowed in at the meeting venue at Sahyadri State Guest House at Malabar Hill. They then communicated the deliberations to other members waiting outside, and those waiting outside disapproved and began using abusive language and burnt the copy of the GR, he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai’s maiden green fire station to come up at Malabar Hill

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai will soon get its first ‘Green Fire Station’ at the Priyadarshini park near Nepean Sea road in South Mumbai, civic officials said today. According to I A Kundan, Additional Municipal Commissioner, this green eco-friendly station will be having bamboo cladding, trees and creeper plants around it making it one its kind (non-concrete) structure. The Nepean Sea stretch has a large number of high rises and has witnessed 495 fire incidents in the last five years prompting authorities to come up with a fire station in the area (Malabar Hill), a fire official said. The Nepean Sea road, Peddar road area does not have even a single fire station and Mumbai Fire Brigade was contemplating to set up one there in order to lessen the response time during golden hours, said another civic official. Also, as per guidelines laid down by Standing Fire Advisory Council (SFAC), a central government body, there should be one fire station in every 10.36 square kilometres, he said. Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale said that considering the need of a fire station on Nepean Sea Road, the BMC had reserved an area of 4098.52 square meters in its 1991 DP and the same reservation was also carried in the 2034 DP. The DP reservation for fire station is on the land of 65,000 sq mt, which is owned by BMC. Mumbai Fire Brigade, one of the oldest in the world has 34 fire stations and 17 mini fire stations spread across the metropolis. A major fire at Mont Blanc in Kemps corner in 2013 had left seven persons dead.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MP Arvind Sawant assures action against parked fire engine at PDP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the past week, walkers at Priyadarshani Park (PDP) on Napean Sea Road have been facing problems due to a fire engine parked inside the park by the fire brigade department. The BMC had even cut trees to build a temporary shed for the fire engine.On Friday, Member of Parliament, Arvind Sawant had visited the park and assured residents that the park would be restored again. Speaking to members, he said, “I not only convey my resentment but I so deplore the action of the department. I will see to it that the PDP is restored.”BMC workers visited the park again to chop trees on Saturday.BA Desai, Chairman of PDP, said, “Arvind Sawant has given his assurance that he will save the park. Even as the matter is in the court. the BMC visited the park on Saturday to cut trees, without taking permission or informing us.”A regular visitor, Dr Viraf Kapadia, said, “While there is a need for fire engines in the area due to bottlenecks, parking a fire engine inside the park without informing the members is not right.”Origin of the parkIn the year 1988, Malabar Hill Citizens Forum, which was formed by BA Desai, Chairman of Priyadarshani Park, was given possession of the 20-acre PDP for its development and maintenance.

Kerala draws up Rs 300 crore river basin tourism project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Malabar region, the northern part of Kerala known for its picturesqueness, heritage and cultural uniqueness, will soon find a place in the global tourism map. With an aim to explore the untapped tourism potential of the region, Kerala government has drawn up an ambitious Rs 300 crore river basin tourism project for Malabar. “It is a very comprehensive river basin tourism project. The state government has sanctioned Rs 15 crore for this. It is worth to be included in the Centre’s Swadesh Darshan project. We hope, they will consider this,” Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran told reporters here. With the implementation of the project, holidayers can enjoy a river cruise for about 193 kilo metres enjoying the scenic beauty, cultural festivities and ethnic food of the region, he said. Air-conditioned boats with bio-toilet facilities would be launched for holidayers. Homestays would also be introduced in the region, the minister said detailing various features of the project. On the other initiatives of the department, Surendran said the much-hyped Thalassery Heritage Project would be revived and monsoon tourism package would be introduced to tap the potentials of rainy season. “The government wants to explore tourism potentials throughout the year. To tap the possibilities of rainy season, we are planning to introduce monsoon package focusing on Wayanad and Alappuzha districts,” he said. Two adventure parks would be set up in Veli here and Kottakkunnu in Malappuram to woo more holidayers, the minister said adding that a special programme to renovate heritage buildings is also on card. With regard to the Seaplane project, mooted by the previous UDF government, he said the department would consider if any entrepreneur comes with adequate license and clearance. “But, the government is not in favour of spending crore of rupees for infrastructure without getting any clearance or before exploring the possibility of such a venture,” Surendran added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

WATCH: Mumbai’s civic administration releases video of its ambitious coastal road project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday released a short video of its ambitious Mumbai Coastal Road project. The project, which is expected to become operational in four years, is expected to connect Marine Drive with Kandivali through the Bandra-Worli Sealink.The proposed eight-lane free way had received an environment clearance from the Centre last week. As part of its construction, the two-phases will begin from the Princess Street Flyover near Marine Lines Station to the southern end of the Bandra Worli Sea Link. This stretch is 9.98 km. The second phase of the project will connect the northern end of the sea link to Kandivali – a stretch of 19.22 km.The project will have 11 inter-connections to the city and the BMC has already issued notices for short listing tenders.The video gives us a glimpse of the road after it will become operational in four years. The video also shows how the land will be reclaimed from the sea for the project and the tunnel to be constructed between Girgaum Chowpaty and Priyadarshani Park. According to civic officials, the 3.4 km long underground tunnel would relieve the traffic on Pedder Road, Bhulabhai Desai Road and Babulnath Chowk.“The road will start from the Princess Street flyover on Marine Drive and go underground (below the sea) at Girgaum Chowpaty to emerge at Priyadarshani Park, through the Malabar Hill. From there, it will go along the coast to and connect to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL),” said a senior civic official.The 29.22-km project, to be built in two phases, will connect Marine Drive to Kandivli and is expected to cost Rs 15,000 crore. However, the final price discovery will be based on the finalised tenders. The eight-lane freeway will involve reclaimed and elevated roads, bridges and undersea tunnels, and users may have to pay toll for using it.There will be an underpass for Haji Ali and vehicles coming from Tardeo can go towards BWSL using the coastal road.

Syro Malabar Church questions manner of removal of cross

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Syro Malabar Church today reacted cautiously to the incident of pulling down of a 30-feet tall metal cross as part of an official anti-encroachment drive in the hill station of Munnar in Idukki district. Church spokesman Fr Jimmy Poochakkatt opined that there was no issue in removing a cross erected on an encroached land but questioned the manner in which it was demolished in Munnar by the Idukki district administration as part of its anti- encroachment drive. “Cross is a very important holy symbol in the Christian faith.. We have reservations in the manner in which it was demolished. “At the same time we are of the opinion that any such symbol, whether it is religious or political, situated on an encroached land should be removed,” Poochakkatt said. He also said the state government should take steps to see that the drive in Munnar is not stopped in the name of such incidents. “Some people try to rake up religious sentiments to sabotage such move by the government.. Authorities should beware of such forces,” the priest said. His statement came after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed strong displeasure over the act by the Revenue officials. Vijayan said the steps taken by the district administration has resulted in some misunderstanding among a particular section of the society. “A cross which was there was destroyed as part of an anti-encroachment drive.. The government viewed the matter very seriously,” he said in Kottayam. The cross, set up under the garb of spiritual tourism atop a hilly area, was brought down with the help of earth movers this morning, the officials said. It was set up on a 30-acre piece of land allegedly impinged by a group of people calling itself, Spirit of Jesus, they said. Besides the cross, some thatched sheds and a prayer hall too were also demolished, they added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jinnah House in spotlight over conflicting demands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Can history be wished away by demolishing buildings – this searching question asked by cricket legend Imran Khan sums up the sentiment of historians for Jinnah House, witness to Jinnah-Gandhi talks and meetings of the Muslim League that shaped the subcontinent’s destiny.The sprawling palatial structure spread across 2.5 acre at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai was built by Mohammed Ali Jinnah in 1936 at a cost of Rs 2 lakh. He personally supervised the construction brick by brick and lived there till the partition of India in 1947. Lying vacant for nearly three decades, the mansion was designed by architect Claude Batley in European style, complete with Italian marble and walnut woodwork.The prime property has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan for long with the neighbouring country demanding that it be handed over to it to set up its consulate in Mumbai. Pakistan recently voiced concern over the demand by a BJP legislator for demolition of the bungalow and reiterated its claim for the “ownership” right over it.Situated on the Bhausaheb Hire Marg at Malabar Hill opposite ‘Varsha’, the official residence of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister, the spot used to be known as Mount Pleasant Road during the Britsh rule. After Independence, it was leased to the British High Commission as the residence of the Deputy High Commissioner till early 1980s.In 1983, the Jinnah House was declared an unoccupied property and kept under the upkeep of the state Public Works Department. The building was in news recently when the Malabar Hill legislator from BJP, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, demanded that the structure be pulled down and a cultural centre highlighting the tradition and history of India and Maharashtra raised in its place.Dubbing it as a “symbol of partition”, Lodha said that Jinnah House was witness to the history leading to the partition of India as the Muslim League leader held several important meetings there to take his two-nation theory forward from 1944 to 1947. Reacting to the suggestion, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan termed it as “disturbing” and said that “history cannot be wished away” by demolishing buildings.History enthusiasts make a strong case for preservation of the majestic structure, as a witness to many events, including the Mahatma Gandhi-Jinnah talks. Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose were among the visitors to the bungalow.Lokmanya Tilak Swaraj Bhoomi Trust’s Prakash Silam wanted the bungalow to be handed over to the organisation for it to build a memorial in honour of the nationalist, famously known as “Lion of Maharashtra.””Jinnah helped Tilak in the freedom struggle and considering their friendship, Jinnah House should be given to the trust,” he said. Jinnah practised as a lawyer in the Bombay High Court last century and even defended Bal Gangadhar Tilak in a famous sedition case slapped on him by the British rule.Jatin Desai, secretary of the India chapter of Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy, said it is ironical that Jinnah, who mooted the idea of a separate nation for Muslims, was a Mumbaikar at heart and could never imagine settling down in any other city. “Even as he moved to Karachi after partition, Jinnah wished to spend his last days in his beloved house in his beloved city Bombay. However, he passed away few months after Pakistan’s creation,” Desai told

Yoga not a medium to attain divine experience: Church

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yoga is not a medium to attain divine experience, though it would help physical and mental health, according to the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. The synod of the Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church, which discussed the role of Yoga in their faith early this year, has opined that divine experience could not be experienced through a particular posture. “The God in whom we believe is a Personal God. God is not someone who can be reached through a particular posture,” said the circular signed by the Arch-Bishop of the Syro-Malabar Church, Cardinal George Alencherry. In its circular to its priests and laity in January this year, the Church said that recognising the important place given to Yoga in Indian culture, it is to be considered as a physical exercise or postures to concentrate or to meditate. “It is not quite right to think that the experience of God and the personal encounter with the Lord is possible through Yoga,” the circular said. It said those who hold different opinions other than that of the Church in this regard are not to be encouraged. “In this context, each one should take utmost care to avoid getting into those prayer groups and spiritual movements which are against the Catholic faith and do not recognise the official teachings of the Church,” the circular said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Swarajya Bhoomi Trust wants Jinnah House for Tilak memorial

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Lokmanya Tilak Swarajya Bhoomi Trust today demanded that the Jinnah House in Malabar Hill be handed over to it for creating a mural depicting the legacy of Tilak. In a statement issued here today, founder president of the trust, Prakash Silam said it had written to the Public Works Department on January 29, 2016 that the Jinnah House premises be handed over to it. ‘Jinnah House’ was the residence of Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Malabar Hill of south Mumbai. Recently, BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha had demanded that the Jinnah House be pulled down and a cultural centre be constructed in its place. Criticising the BJP MLA, Silam said the iconic Jinnah House is now an heritage structure and that pulling it down will not erase the “bitter history”. “Barrister Jinnah upon learning of the sad demise of Lokmanya Tilak rushed to Mumbai from Pune to pay his last respects to the leader,” he stated. He added that late Muhammad Ali Jinnah had great respect for Lokmanya Tilak. He further stated that two years ago the trust had written to the state government that they wanted to have a mural depicting the history of ties between Lokmanya Tilak, Jinnah and Mahatma Gandhi at the bungalow. Silam accused Lodha of deliberately trying to create obstacles in the process of having a mural at the Jinnah House. He said that the trust had expected that Lodha being the local MLA would help them in their efforts. Silam said that people will not tolerate any attempts by the government to take any decision favouring its party MLA. Pakistan had yesterday expressed concern over the safety of ‘Jinnah House’ and said India should show respect towards it, after BJP MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha last week demanded that the building be demolished and a cultural centre built in its place.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Indo-US naval ties thriving but bureaucratic obstacles stay’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indo-US naval relationship is thriving under Prime Minister Narendra Modi but he has not been able to break up the “entrenched” bureaucratic obstacles as much as he set out to do, a top American think-tank has said. Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) in its latest report has warned that the thriving relationship might come to a halt if the BJP does not win the 2019 general election. “Prime Minister Modi, in particular, has been an effective advocate for the relationship, despite Washington’s initial hesitation to embrace him because of his role in the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat,” said the report titled ‘The Future of US-India Naval Relations’ which has been authored by Nilanthi Samaranayake, Michael Connell, and Satu Limaye. Under the Modi administration, the benefits for the navy-to-navy relationship are evident, said the 50-page report. “The establishment of the aircraft carrier technology working group is an achievement that would not have been able to materialise a decade ago,” it said. Giving another example of progress in ties, it said trilateral MALABAR exercise with Japan in the Bay of Bengal was not considered possible so early in the Modi administration, given the 2007 MALABAR controversy. “Yet, it took place in 2015, only a year after Modi entered office,” it said. “In fact, Modi has used his authority to circumvent bureaucratic roadblocks that, while they might not have derailed the relationship, certainly could have arrested its forward progress,” the report said. However, the report rued that, “Modi has not been able to break up (the) entrenched bureaucratic obstacles as much as he set out to do.” “If the BJP were to lose the next election, for instance, or if his administration were to shift much more of its focus to dealing with domestic political issues, forward momentum in the mil-to-mil relationship could stall, with likely implications for USN-Indian Navy engagement,” it said. CAN, however, stated that that the US Navy and Indian Navy engagement plans are limited by decisions at the White House PMO, State Department Ministry of External Affairs, and Department of Defence Ministry of Defence levels. In addition, India will continue to face capacity challenges, extending to the Indian Navy, the report noted. Moreover, India interprets the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea differently than the United States regarding military activities in exclusive economic zones, it said. Since New Delhi’s stance is arguably closer to Beijing’s view on this important issue, this is a point of potential disagreement that could flare up unexpectedly, according to the report. New Delhi policymakers do not support the Indian Navy participating in US Navy Freedom of Navigation Operations that appear to be directed against China, CAN said. Recommending the US government to continue to build on progress in bilateral naval ties, the report calls for reinforcing successes in current and previous navy-to-navy engagements.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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