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Kolkata to get a floating market

What started off as a plan to rehabilitate shopowners ended up as a gift for Kolkata in the shape of the first market inside a water body, with walkways for customers from which they can shop.At Patuli, a neighbourhood in south Kolkata, an entire lake has been transformed into a floating market about 24,000 sq m in area.”When an adjoining bypass was being widened, the local market had to be removed and its 228 shopowners rehabilitated. Our Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, inspired by the floating market in Bangkok, wanted to set up a similar market here. I met him and gave him this proposal. A team of officials of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) came over for a feasibility study and okayed the place,” said Arup Chakraborty, councillor, Ward 110 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation.He said it would be the first such market in the country and the third in Asia. “There is one at Dal Lake in Srinagar but that is not an organised one. People just sell their wares at a venture. Over here, we will have ramps for customers. The merchandise will be sold in clusters. For example, one area would be for vegetable sellers, another for fruits, another for flowers and so on,” Chakraborty said.It was found out that 114 boats have been made in Hooghly district. Each boat would have two shops each. They would be stationary beside the ramps. The market timings are yet to be decided by the KMDA, but tentatively been fixed at 5 am-1 pm and 3 pm-8 pm.”We will avoid using plastic. We will instal a purifier for cleaning the water. The expenditure is expected to be about Rs 10 crore,” Chakraborty said, adding that the market was expected to be ready by the end of January 2018 and would be inaugurated by the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at her convenience.The market would include a cafe, a joggers’ track, seats, fountains and a light-and-sound show in the evening.

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Nepal Police confirms arrest of six Indian robbers

Police in Nepal have confirmed the arrest of six Indian robbers. According to the Kathmandu Post, the thiefs, known as the Challa Samuha gang, were arrested after crossing into Nepal on the pretext of collecting scrap.The Metropolitan Police Crime Division (MPCD) was quoted, as saying that the gang came from Samastipur, Bihar. The MPCD said that the gang members used to visit house-to-house for collecting scrap and steal anything valuable, including cash, jewellery, mobile phones and electronic devices. They have been identified as Dinesh Podar, Mukesh Kumar Podar, Ketalu Podar, Chandan Podar, Suraj Podar and Bikash Podar. Five of these thieves are below 20 years. A Nepali is identified as Raj Kumar Adhikari of Bara, who used to work in Pashupati Temple, has also been placed under arrest.

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Realty check: Buyers are sinking in negative equity

More than two lakh property-buyers are facing ‘negative equity’ (when an asset’s value plunges below the outstanding balance on the loan used to purchase that asset) due to delayed home projects in the National Capital Region (NCR). To most of them, these units had been sold with the promised of ‘price protection’, but prices are dropping so fast that the value of the ‘dream home’ is now lesser than the loan.Nishant (38), had bought a flat in 2013 at Godavari in Mahagunpuram society in Ghaziabad, but is still awaiting possession. He is one among the hundreds of buyers who are waiting for their “dream home” from the last four years. The builder, Mahagun Group, has already collected 100 per cent of cost from him. His flat had cost about Rs 44 lakh, but is now worth just Rs 27 lakh due to price correction. Nishant told DNA: “It’s been more than four years that I am paying home loan EMI and rent every month. The builder had promised us that we would be offered possession by last year, but that did not happen.”DNA found that Mahagun had agreed to pay the buyers a penalty of Rs 10 per sq feet, but nothing has happened till date. To queries from DNA, the Mahagun management evaded response saying that “our directors are travelling right now.” Almost all prominent builders of Delhi-NCR – from Amrapali to Supertech to Mahagun – have hundreds of delayed projects.By November 2017, average NCR housing prices had declined by over 30%-50% from its 2012 peak. Negative equity on the property will is leading to huge financial stress on buyers.These buyers are already paying rent for living in an alternate accommodation in addition to the EMI for the undelivered homes.Banks are also facing the heat of negative equity and delayed projects. Buyers have started threatening to stop or hold the EMI of delayed projects. “It is requested that the delivery of my flat, complete in every respect as per the agreement, may kindly be ensured within a period of two (02) months, or else I will be constrained to stop/hold my EMIs of the home loan to the banks, as I can see that I am the only loser in this tripartite agreement,” a buyer wrote in a letter to a prominent bank, a copy of which is with DNA. He was allotted a flat in the Greater Noida project of Amrapali in 2012.”Ultimately, I have to see the parity of our asset value and the loan amount. If it were 10% then I would manage, but how could I service (the loan) if my undelivered property is valued 20 to 30 per cent less than the ongoing loan amount,” another Noida Extension home-buyer Akshay Sharma told DNA.The delay in delivery by the builders imposes numerous direct and indirect monetary costs on the buyers. Sanjay Sharma, MD of Qubrex realty exchange, said, “If delays take place, the costs also rise for the builder who then extracts the same from the buyers as increased saleable area, escalation costs, inferior specifications, delayed construction of common facilities, and any other charges that they can extract from the buyers even if it was not explicitly stated in the builder-buyer agreement”.A recent report of the real estate research firm Liases Foras revealed that almost 33 lakh families across 50 cities in India are suffering due to delays in housing projects. In Delhi-NCR 1,97,302 units are delayed for more than two years.Anuj Puri, chairman of Anarock Property Consultants, said that “assessment of average prices for the past five years (Q3 2012 to Q3 2017) reveals that Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bengaluru were the front-runners in capital value appreciation, bucking the trends of larger areas such as Mumbai Metropolitan Region and NCR”.Lose-lose propositionBy November 2017, average NCR housing prices had declined by over 30%-50% from its 2012 peak The delay in delivery by the builders imposes numerous direct and indirect monetary costs on the buyers

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MMRDA writes to state govt over fare hike of Metro-1

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has written to the state government to ask the Central government to form a new fare fixation committee (FFC) to decide on the proposal of increasing fares for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), had proposed to increase fare for Metro-1. The FFC formed earlier too had also suggested an increase in the fare. However, a week ago, the Bombay high court had quashed the recommendation of the FFC along with the proposal of MMOPL. The court had also directed the formation a new FFC to decide on the fare structure for Metro-1.Currently, the fare slab is Rs 10,20,30,40 for the 11.4-km-long route, the MMOPL had proposed the fare slab of Rs 10,20,25,35 and 45. The fare fixation committee (FFC) had recommended the fare to be between Rs 10 and 110.”We have written to the state government, who will ask the Centre to form a new FFC in order to decide the fare structure of Metro-1. The high court has asked to form a new FFC in one month, and decide on the fare structure in the next three months,” UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told DNA.The MMOPL has been citing losses and has appealed for an increase in fare rates. However, the MMRDA had challenged the MMOPL’s proposal to increase fare citing that the concession agreement signed between MMRDA and MMOPL says that Metro-1 fare should be between Rs 9-13.

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Mumbaikars prefer 2 BHK houses over 1 BHK, says report

A report by international real estate consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) shows that as per data from MahaRERA, in Mumbai more 2BHKs were sold than 1 BHK and also the supply of flats is almost double than the demand.In the report, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) is divided into three areas- Mumbai City, its suburbs, and Thane. An analysis of the residential market reflects that of the 3,465 residential projects registered under RERA, maximum sales were recorded in Mumbai City (24,681 apartments sold out of the 50,329 units available), followed by Thane (86,479 apartments sold out of 1,80,071 units available) and Mumbai Suburbs (87,126 apartments sold out of 1,81,155 available). A distinct observation is that supply is double and clearly outstripping demand.The report further states that, Mumbai prefers living small, as the numbers reflect 2 BHKs to be the configuration of choice. Thane sold the maximum 2 BHKs (61,145 units) as compared to Mumbai Suburbs which sold marginally lower (60,728 units) with Mumbai city selling the least (11,142 units).According to the report, 1 BHKs were the second preference amongst Mumbaikars, with Thane selling most 1BHKs at a count of 29,551 units, while Mumbai City sold 5,295 units and Suburbs sold 19,803 units. However, supply far exceeded demand in Thane with 62,000 1 BHK units available for sale and only 47 per cent recording sales.The report states that, the luxury housing market performed better in Mumbai’s suburbs as compared to the city.While almost 49 per cent of the supply of 4 BHKs and 4 BHK+ sold in the suburbs, the city saw sales at 42 per cent of the total supply in this category for the region.”Post RERA, apartment details are provided only on the basis of carpet area, making it easier to compare one against the other. This ensures that home buyers don’t get tangled up in the confusing and misleading jargon of ‘built-up ‘ and ‘super built-up’ area and have a standard area comparison.REGISTER TO SELLThe confusion of selecting an appropriate real estate agent has also been resolved to a certain extent. Only agents who are registered on the MahaRERA site against a specific project are allowed to sell units of the respective projects.

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DNA EXCLUSIVE: Flooding may affect underground Metro

After claiming that underground Metro corridors are more prone to terrorist attacks, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now claimed that the underground Metro is more likely to get affected during heavy flooding in the city, as compared to the elevated Metro corridors.The MMRDA made this claim while justifying its decision to build the DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B as an elevated corridor instead of an underground one. However, this has given rise to another debate as the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) executing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground Metro has claimed Metro-3 to be a water-tight project, where seepage or clogging of water is impossible.In a letter written to the Guzdar Scheme Residents’ Trust in Khar, who have objected Metro-2B being constructed as an elevated corridor, MMRDA, said, “It should be noted that in the case of heavy rains when the city’s roads get flooded, all at grade systems and underground systems get severely affected. During the heavy flooding in Mumbai a few days back, it was only the elevated metro and monorail which continued functioning without any interruption. Underground metro, in such heavy floods, would be likely to get affected despite all necessary precautions.”However, the MMRC has earlier claimed that the Metro-3 corridor runs at least 25 meters below the surface and is a water-tight project where seepage or clogging of water is impossible.”The underground Metro-3 system is embedded in the ground at a substantial depth. To protect against flooding, the level of all station entrances or shafts will remain sufficiently above the recorded high flood levels of respective areas along with good margins. Our tunnels are also water-tight,” MMRC had said earlier.

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BKC locals vie for cycle stand at Bandra station

A group of diamond traders from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) have demanded that space be allotted for a cycle stand outside Bandra station (E) and inside BKC so that office goers are motivated to use cycles for commute.The group has also written to several authorities including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), traffic police department and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) asking that space be allotted to park their cycles. They claim that using cycles is not only environment-friendly but will also help avoid traffic snarls during peak hours in BKC.The MMRDA had also requested offices in BKC to stagger office timings so that traffic can be managed efficiently during the ongoing construction work of DN Nagar Mandale Metro-2BBhavesh Shah, a diamond trader from BKC, said, “We have written several times to the authority to have cycle stands and parking. Earlier, in BKC, we had cycle tracks and cycle stands but that was shut down.”Shah added, “There are lakhs of office goers who will happily use cycles between Bandra station and BKC but without cycle stands, what is the point of cycle tracks? For now, we want cycle stands, cycle tracks can follow later.”Meanwhile, a senior MMRDA official, said, “Our cycle track project failed. However, if we want cycle stands, it will require coordination from several agencies. The proposal if found feasible will be implemented.”Off trackThe MMRDA had built a 10-km cycle track in BKC in 2011. However, the track was removed, and it was replaced with bus lanes. But those too were removed after motorists complained of traffic snarls.

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Mumbai Metro routes going through airports will not allow heavy luggage

There are three Mumbai Metro corridors – either planned or under construction in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region – that connect the domestic and international airports in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. However, none of these routes will allow flyers to carry heavy luggage in trains – a move that may prompt flyers to rely on other modes of transport.Currently, three Metro corridors are planned in MMR to connect both the domestic and international airport in Mumbai and the proposed international airport in Navi Mumbai.The three Metro corridors include Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor, Dahisar East- Andheri East Metro-7 corridor extension up to airport and the Mumbai airport to Navi Mumbai airport of which work on Metro-3 and Metro-7 is ongoing and for airport Metro report is prepared.A official from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), assisting the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), in executing Metro-7 and Mumbai airport to Navi Mumbai airport Metro, said, “The Metro-7 and Mumbai- Navi Mumbai airport are being constructed keeping in mind the connectivity for city commuters as their ridership is far more than that of commuters going to airport. Both these corridors are not dedicated airport Metro corridors.”The DMRC official, added, “Particularly in case of Mumbai-Navi Mumbai airport, the Metro goes via areas like Mankhurd, Chembur, Vashi and the number of commuters using Metro without wanting to connect the airport are more than those looking to go from one airport to another. There are fewer commuters wanting to go from one airport to another airport. Furthermore, airlines have their connecting flights, accordingly.”In case of Metro-7, it passes via the core residential area of western suburbs and it is mainly being extended up to airport for connecting with Metro-3 from where commuters can go up to Colaba and further towards south Mumbai, said DMRC officials.MMRC, executing the Metro-3 in the past has said it won’t allow heavy luggage as the route is not a dedicated airport Metro route unlike New Delhi’s Airport Express.
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Yogi Adityanath


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JNU probe: Court dismisses lie detection plea

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed the CBI plea seeking to conduct a lie-detection test on nine Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, as part of its probe into the mysterious disappearance of another student, Najeeb Ahmed.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal dismissed the plea noting that the nine students were”opposing the application of the polygraph test filed by the investigating officer (IO) to the extent that they are praying for its dismissal which pre-supposes the lack of consent for the polygraph test.””It means that these persons are not willing to go for the polygraph test. Since a polygraph test cannot be done without the consent of the person whose polygraph test has to be done, this application thereof cannot be allowed at this stage.”Further, there is no requirement of calling these persons in the court for expressly recording their denial or consent as their reply of the application of the investigation officer (IO) virtually amounts to same,” the court said.It also said since the application seeking to conduct the test was moved by the IO and not by any of the nine suspect students, it”cannot be outrightly allowed”. However, the court said the suspect students” can at any time opt to volunteer for the polygraph test before the CBI”. In its application, the CBI had sought to conduct the test of nine JNU students as part of its probe into the disappearance of Najeeb Ahmed, claiming there were certain allegations against them.The application was opposed by the students’ advocate Viswa Bhushan Arya, who claimed that the agency did not follow various guidelines while moving the application.Najeeb, a first-year MSc Biotechnology student, has been missing from the Mahi Mandavi hostel in JNU since October 16, 2016, after a scuffle allegedly with the ABVP activists.

Civic offices, educational institutes to be included in plastic ban

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government’s ban on plastic bottles from beginning early 2018 will cover government offices, educational institutions and functions organised by it before it is extended to private offices. Apart from plastic bags, the ban from Gudhi Padwa (Maharashtrian New Year) will cover plastic and thermocol plates and bowls, spoons, and sachets and wrappers used to package pulses and eatables like chips and biscuits.Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam met officials from municipal bodies and district collectorates in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on Thursday and announced a ban on plastic bags from March 2018 considering its environmental impact.”Plastic bottles will be banned in all starred residential hotels, government and local self-government body offices and schools and colleges. Restaurants (eating houses) will be covered later. No plastic bottles will be served at government functions,” said Kadam. He added that private offices and mass functions will be included in the ambit subsequently.An environment department official said that before the ban, they planned to proscribe plastic bottles in the state government headquarters of the Mantralaya.”Mineral water producers can shift to glass bottles or these bulk consumers can establish reverse osmosis (RO) units to purify water and serve it in glass bottles or dispensers,” he added.It will reduce the use of plastic bottles, which are discarded, unlike glass bottles which can be recycled. However, customers will be able to purchase water packaged in plastic bottles from stores. The ban may be implemented in phases after modalities and alternatives are discussed with stakeholders.An official admitted that the PET bottles ban in private establishments and mass functions would largely depend on “self-regulation” though the authorities can invoke the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Village and ward-level committees will be formed to help in the implementation.About the banKadam said officials would visit states like Kerala and Himachal Pradesh where plastic had been banned before tabling a proposal before the Maharashtra cabinet. He added that violators who continued using plastic bags would attract a fine up to Rs 25,000 with subsequent violations leading to the suspension of licence.

DN Nagar-BKC Metro work to kick off by Feb ’18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid protests by residents of Andheri, Vile Parle, Khar and Juhu demanding construction of DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B be underground instead of elevated, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday said civil construction of first phase between DN Nagar and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) will start by February 2018.Few residents had also approached the Bombay High Court, citing that Metro-2B should be made underground instead of elevated.However, the MMRDA on Monday opened the financial bids for the construction of Metro-2B wherein Simplex Infrastructure was found to be the lowest bidder. Simplex had quoted Rs 1,080 crore against an estimation of Rs 998 crore by MMRDA.This includes construction of 11 elevated stations from ESIC Nagar, Prem Nagar, Indira Nagar, Old Airport, Khira Nagar, Saraswat Nagar, National College, Bandra (W), MMRDA Office, Income Tax Office and BKC.”We have given nod to Simplex Infrastructures Limited, the lowest bidder at rupees one thousand eighty crores,” MMRDA said in a statement issued on Monday.”This is another important step towards developing metro network in the city which is the need of the hour. The contract will be awarded to the contractor after the Executive Committee accords its approval”, said UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA.However, the residents who have challenged MMRDA, cited that an elevated Metro corridor over the major arterial SV Road will lead to traffic congestion and it would also close all doors for the future expansion of Metro.Expected daily ridership on the Metro-2B is over 8 lakh commuters. The 23.5-km-long Metro corridor is a part of the Metro 2 (Dahisar-Charkop—Bandra-Mandale), which was earlier planned underground, but later turned into an elevated corridor.The line was also divided into two parts: Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro-2A and DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B, which is being constructed in two phases between DN Nagar- BKC and BKC-Mandale.Meanwhile, tenders of remaining stations from MTNL Metro, SG Barve Marg, Kurla Terminal, Kurla-E, EEH, Chembur, Diamond Garden, Shivaji Chowk, BSNL Metro, Mankhurd, Mandala (Depot) will be floated separately.CITIZENS’ GRUDGESResidents, who have challenged MMRDA, said an elevated Metro corridor over the major arterial SV Road will lead to traffic congestion and close all doors for future expansion of Metro.

Fed up with poor infra, Central Railway commuters threaten protest

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tired of the Railways’ lackadaisical efforts to improve infrastructure on the Central Railway (CR) line, commuters have decided to take the matter into their own hands. The commuter associations on the Kalyan-Karjat/ Kasara belt have threatened to protest if CR fails to improve the infrastructure.Apart from them, associations from the Thane-Kalyan belt will also protest on November 13 if CR authorities don’t give a written assurance.To begin with, in the last two days the Locals and Passenger association on the Kalyan-Kasara stretch protested at Vasind station against the CR authorities for delay in implementing the third line between Kalyan and Kasara. The Kalyan-Kasara third line project, which is out of Metropolitan Transportation Project’s list, received only Rs 20 crore in this year’s rail budget. The state government had sought Rs 200 crore for the same.Apart from this, commuters also want two more additional stations of Umbarmali and Taanset to come up. These stations are supposed to bring more respite to locals who struggle during peak hours.”The CR authorities are delaying the third rail line which is very important. Moreover, despite funds of Rs 9 crore or so has been allotted, work has not begun at the two new stations,” said Rajesh Gangav, member, Kalyan-Kasara-Karjat Passenger Association.The association has also demanded new FOBs at Titwala, Khadavali, Vasind, Asangaon, Atgaon and Kasara to be built. Sources in CR said that they are already working on details to build more FOBs at these stations apart from raising the height of platforms and creating home platform wherever possible.The associations have threatened a protest at Thane on November 13 if CR authorities do not provide written assurance that they will build FOB at Retibunder, which is between Kalwa and Mumbra. “This demand is going on for the last four to five years now,” said Siddhesh Desai, vice president, Mumbai Railway Pravasi Sangh.RAILWAY’S APATHYCommuter associations on the Kalyan-Kasara stretch have protested at Vasind station for delay in implementing the third line project between Kalyan and Kasara.
The Kalyan-Kasara third line project received only Rs 20 crore in this year’s rail budget. The state government had sought Rs 200 crore for it.

Jay Shah case: HC maintains gag order against site

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court on Thursday refused to vacate the interim injunction granted to plaintiff Jay Amit Shah in a defamation case against The Wire, and issued a notice to the plaintiff asking him to file a reply within two weeks. The single bench judge Paresh Upadhyay heard petitions filed by The Foundation of Independent Journalism, the non-profit company that publishes The Wire and its founding editors Siddharth Varadarajan, Siddharth Bhatia and MK Venu, and a separate petition filed by the article’s author Rohini Singh. The petitioners have challenged the interim injunction granted to the plaintiff by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Ahmedabad.The high court refused to vacate the interim injunction without hearing the respondent. The judge orally observed, “You complained that the trial court did not hear the respondents or go into the crux of the news story published on The Wire, do you want me to repeat the same? The court will have to hear the original plaintiff and respondent here.”Senior counsel Dushyant Dave appearing on behalf of the foundation and founders submitted that the trial court, without hearing the respondent, had not given any justification for granting the interim injunction to the plaintiff, and that the injunction was not bound by a time limit.He further argued, “The interim injunction is based on hypothesis. It has not justified that if notice is issued and there is a delay in granting interim injunction, there could be irreparable damage to the plaintiff.”Dave referred to the Supreme Court’s orders that state that interim injunctions in defamation cases cannot be granted without hearing the respondent/s.

Najeeb case: Court seeks students’ stand on lie detection

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Monday sought the response of nine Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, regarding conducting of a polygraph test on them, in connection with the case of missing varsity student, Najeeb Ahmed.The students’ counsel sought 10 days to file the reply, following which the court fixed the matter for November 10. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal passed the directions after allowing the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) plea for advancement of the hearing.In its plea, the CBI has sought an early hearing on its application, seeking consent of nine students for a lie-detection test. The investigating agency approached the court on October 16 for an early hearing, which has been adjourned to January 24, 2018.Ahmed has been missing since October 15 last year. The case was initially being probed by the local police. Later, a special investigation team (SIT) was formed, before the Crime Branch took over the case. The Delhi High Court handed over the investigation to the CBI on May 16.The agency then approached the trial court, seeking an early hearing on its plea. On January 23, the police had issued notices to these nine students and asked them to appear before a magistrate to record their statement to confirm whether they were willing to undergo the lie detector test. The students, however, approached the court, challenging the notices sent to them. On May 3, the court quashed the police order.

A week on, no report on Metro construction site accident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than a week after the accident at Metro construction site of Andheri East- Dahisar East Metro-7 corridor, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has not yet been able to prepare any report on the accident wherein bunch of iron rods had come down tilting towards the ground at Western Express Highway (WEH) near Aarey Colony.According to MMRDA, it had issued a show-cause notice to both the contractor and general consultant for the Metro project asking for a reply to a report on the accident. However, the general consultant has not submitted the report yet.A senior MMRDA official, not wishing to be named, said, “We have not got the report by our general consultant yet and we are told the general consultant has received the reply of J Kumar Infrastructure, contractor for the project. We expect the general consultant to prepare and submit the report to MMRDA within next two days.”MMRDA had last week claimed, that the accident took place due to a crane touching the iron rods while work was in progress on a pier. No police complaint or case has been registered against the contractor by MMRDA in the accident that occurred a week ago.Meanwhile, this is the second time such an incident has taken place on the construction site of Metro-7. In June 2017, a pier reinforcement – colloquially, a bunch of iron rods came down crashing at WEH in Jogeshwari. At the time, MMRDA had held heavy rains and wind as the culprit.Metro-7 is 16.475 km long elevated corridor with 13 Metro stations from Andheri (E) to Dahisar (E). It will be made operational in 2019 and the corridor is expected to see the commuter traffic of 4.79 lakh people daily.

JNU missing student: Court allows CBI’s plea seeking advanced hearing of its application on polygraph test

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi court today allowed the CBI’s plea seeking advancing of hearing on its application on polygraph test on nine students in connection with JNU student Najeeb Ahmed who has been missing for over a year now.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal posted the matter for November 10 and sought the response of nine students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on the central probe agency’s application.Najeeb, a first-year MSc Biotechnology student, has been missing from the Mahi Mandavi hostel in JNU since October 16, 2016.The CBI, in its plea, had sought early hearing on its application seeking consent of nine students for a lie detection test regarding the disappearance of Najeeb in October last year.The CBI had on October 16 approached the court seeking early hearing of its plea seeking consent of the suspect students for a polygraph test.The application was moved by the agency on the direction of the Delhi High Court for an early hearing of the plea, which has been adjourned to January 24, 2018.27-year-old Najeeb went missing after a scuffle at his JNU hostel allegedly with ABVP activists. The RSS students wing has denied any involvement in his disappearance.A Delhi court had on May 3 quashed a police order summoning nine JNU students for recording their consent or denial for lie-detector test in the case after it noted a defect in the notice sent by the investigating officer to the students.On May 16, the high court handed over probe of the case to the CBI.The nine students, who are suspects in the case, had approached a magisterial court challenging the notice sent to them by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police seeking their presence before the magistrate for recording of their statement.The notice was sent after the Delhi High Court had asked the police to explore other avenues of probe as all other leads had not yielded any result.

Low Diwali sales for real estate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite offers raining over homebuyers, the real estate market has behaved other than what was expected. Offers like — buy three bungalows in Karjat and get the fourth free, reduced prices on real estate deals, stamp duty, and free registration, or even exemption on VAT — haven’t been able to attract homebuyers. Housing experts claim that the sales this Diwali were not as expected, and may even be lower than last year’s, as buyers didn’t enter the market. Builders say that property prices have come down, but homebuyers are still expecting it to come down further.There are various reasons experts are citing for the bad performance of the real estate market. One of them being the negativity surrounding the market. Pankaj Kapoor, MD. Liases Foras Real Estate Research Agency, said, “The sale this festive period was not good. The launches were very few this year, and fence-sitters didn’t jump into the market, because of the negativity. Developers did give discounts, but then there was no exhibition. The inertia of negativity in the market continued, despite there being no property price rise in three years.”Kapoor has placed the blame entirely on negativity in the market, saying that in spite of banking loan interest rates being down and prices not increasing in the last three years, deals should have taken place, but they didn’t.According to experts, buyers are reluctant to buy. Dr Sanjay Chaturvedi, executive editor of Accommodation Times, a realty newspaper, buyers no longer fall for the gimmick of developers offering cars or discounts. “Sales weren’t as expected, and one can easily attribute this to lack of funds available. There were around 48 new project launches all over Mumbai Metropolitan Region, but still sales haven’t happened as expected. Observing the market scenario, I will put it this way: This Diwali for real estate has been bad compared to the last one too.”Manohar Shorff, Vice President, CREDAI-MHCI’s Navi Mumbai unit said, “There’s hardly any money in the market. Homebuyers are noticing that property prices have come down, but they are still waiting, expecting the prices to reduce further. Meanwhile, developers are hoping that GST will come down on real estate, and this will lift the market again.”Whatever sales have happened, it has been in the affordable segment, that too in the far suburbs. He added, “Deals are taking place, but not in projects where a developer is offering freebies, but where he’s giving a direct discount on prices. Flats are available.”Reason: NegativityA developer cited that the reason for low sales is because of negativity in the market, despite property prices not rising in three yearsManohar Shorff, Vice President, CREDAI-MHCI said that deals are taking place, not in projects where a developer is offering freebies, but where he’s giving a direct discount on prices

Delhi Court seeks info on plea against Digvijaya Singh for ‘abusive’ tweet about PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Delhi court on Monday sought clarifications on whether an offence of defamation was made out against senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh for allegedly tweeting defamatory contents against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his followers.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Babru Bhan, who heard part arguments on the complaint seeking registration of an FIR against Singh, sought clarification from the complainant on the offence of defamation under the IPC.The court posted the matter for further hearing on November 29.During the hearing, complainant advocate Gaurav Gulati argued that Singh had allegedy posted a derogatory picture on Twitter on September 8 and captioned it with abusive words against the Prime Minister.He alleged that the picture was orginally posted by a journalist and was re-tweeted by the Congress General Secretary who had committed an “outrageous and shameful act”.He sought lodging of an FIR against Singh for offences under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (promoting enmity against different groups on grounds of religion, place of birth, language), 469 (forgery to harm reputation), 500 (defamation) and 504 (insulting with intent to provoke breach of peace) under the IPC

Faster than MS Dhoni’s stumping: Twitter full of jokes after Vijay Mallya gets speedy bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The 61-year-old flamboyant businessman, already out on bail on an extradition warrant executed by the Metropolitan Police earlier this year, will be appearing before Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London this afternoon where he is expected to be bailed.”Vijay Mallya has been arrested on money laundering charges and will be appearing in court today,” a CPS spokesperson said. However, he got bail within half an hour.Here’s what Twitter had to stay about the speedy act of justice:
ALSO READ Vijay Mallya arrested in London for role in money laundering; released on bail soon after of loveable politiciansThe case is being probed by the ED and the central probe agency has already filed a charge sheet against him and others in a Mumbai court.The CPS will be arguing the case against Mallya on behalf of the Indian government.Chief Magistrate Emma Louise Arbuthnot has been hearing Mallya’s extradition case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on his previous arrest warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April.Mallya’s trial in that case is scheduled for two weeks, starting December 4.The embattled businessman, who has been based in the UK since he fled India in March last year, is wanted in India for his erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines’ default on loans worth nearly Rs 9,000 crore.It remains to be seen if both cases will be clubbed together, which may lead to a delay in the trial date.Mallya had been arrested by Scotland Yard on an extradition warrant on behalf of Indian authorities on April 18.

AAP worker held for rape, blackmail over 2-yr period

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In another controversy for the party, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker, who is supposedly a close aide of south Delhi MLA Avtar Singh, has been arrested on charges of raping a 25-year-old woman in South Delhi’s Kalkaji district.Kamal Sandhu, the worker of the ruling party, had allegedly raped the woman repeatedly for two years. He had also allegedly threatened that if she did not establish a physical relationship with him, he would release her nude pictures and videos on the internet.Sandhu, who was arrested on September 25, had allegedly raped the victim in 2015 at Le Grand hotel in south Delhi on the pretext of offering her a job.According to the complaint, the victim alleged that she was called by the accused to the said hotel where he, along with his friends, spiked her drink and raped her. They also shot videos and took nude pictures of the victim.Thereafter, the accused also assaulted the victim and took her jewellery. He continued to blackmail her with pictures for jewellery. At one instance, he also took away her ATM card and withdrew money using it.Aggrieved by this harassment, the victim went to the police station to register a complaint against the accused. However, the victim alleged that the police refused to register the case and pressurised her to compromise with the accused.The victim then filed a petition under section 156 (3) of CrPC in the Saket court for the registration of an FIR through her counsel Pankaj Shrivastava. According to Shrivastava, the Metropolitan Magistrate Vikrant Vaid, sought an Action Taken Report from the police while listening the petition following which the FIR was registered and the victim’s statement was recorded.The court sent the accused to police custody for one day each on two instances, on September 26 and September 27 respectively. Sandhu is at present in judicial custody.AAP SCANDALSEarlier, the Delhi police have already arrested over a dozen AAP MLAs over a period of two years on charges of rape, extortion, cheating, forgery to rioting.
The most recent of the arrests is that of Commando Surender Singh, MLA from Delhi Cantonment on charges of defacement.

Cost of running Monorail 3 times of revenue it earned in two years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a reply to a Right To Information (RTI) query, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has revealed that Monorail services are being operated at huge losses.In the last two years the income from Monorail-I between Chembur and Wadala stood at around Rs 10 crore. This amount is not even half of the cost required to operate it. The total operational cost to run the Monoraill services in the past two years stood at around Rs 31 crore.The Monorail services are currently operational between Chembur and Wadala and ever since their inception in 2014, the average per day ridership has remained not more than 13,000-15,000 commuters.In an RTI reply to activist Prithviraj Maske, MMRDA has informed that total revenue generated from Monorail between April 2015 and March 2016 was Rs 4.36 crore and the expenses incurred to run Monorail in the same period stood at Rs 13.96 crore.Between April 2016 and March 2017 total revenue generated from Monorail was Rs 4.12 crore, and expenses incurred to run Monorail in that period was Rs 13.78 crore.Between April 2017 and August 2017, total revenue generated from Monorail was Rs 1.61 crore. While the expenditure for running Monorail between April 2017 and June 2017 stood at Rs 3.49 crore.The MMRDA has maintained that once the second phase between Wadala and Jacob Circle in Mahalaxmi is made operational the losses would be recovered.“We expect a ridership of 1 lakh commuters per day considering the second phase is going through densely populated areas,” said an MMRDA official.

Ashutosh moves Delhi court seeking Arun Jaitley to testify in Hindi in defamation case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The former journalist, who has himself been putting forth AAP’s views in Hindi and English news channels with equal elan, moved the plea before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Sherawat, saying Jaitely be directed to testify again, now in Hindi, as the law mandated.He claimed that as per law, the proceedings in Delhi courts should be conducted in either English or Hindi whichever language the litigants and counsel can understand.Ashutosh has also sought video and audio recordings of the court proceedings while referring to the earlier hearing in which chaotic scenes were witnessed after a lawyer had allegedly threatened another counsel inside the courtroom.The court reserved the order on the pleas for October 27.It also granted exemption to Kejriwal, AAP leader Raghav Chadha and others from personal appearance for the day after they referred to their political engagements.Jaitley had on August 5 charged Kejriwal with making a series of false, scandalous and defamatory allegations, with regard to the alleged controversy, claiming that it had adversely affected his reputation.Kejriwal and others had accused Jaitley of financial irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which he was the president from 2000 to 2013, leading the minister to lodge defamation cases against them.Kejriwal, Ashutosh, Chaddha, along with other AAP leaders Sajay Singh, Kumar Vishwas and Deepak Bajpai, were on March 25 put on trial in the case.The notice was framed against the accused under section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC to which they had pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.Jaitley had filed the complaint alleging that the accused had defamed him in a controversy regarding Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) which he headed for over a decade.A civil defamation suit was also filed by Jaitley before the Delhi High Court in the matter seeking Rs 10 crore as damages.

Mumbai rains: Despite security strike on Tuesday, Metro records all-time high of 4.13 lakh commuters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Metro 1 corridor that connects Versova to Ghatkopar via Andheri, on Tuesday had 4 lakh commuters ferrying the route on Tuesday. The reason for the rise in travellers was the heavy rains that started at 2pm. A Metro One spokesperson said, “We recorded 4.13 lakh commuters on Tuesday. The trains were punctual, which was a big plus.”Apart from the commuters, it as a tough day for the Metro officials as the state security staff had called a day-long strike.According to the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), operating the Metro, Metro-1’s record ridership announced last month stood at 3.8 lakh commuters on July 17, 2017 followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, 2017, and on September 21, 2016, it had carried 3.68 lakh commuters.The expenditure to operate Metro-1 stood at about Rs 1,500 crore between June 2014 and June 2017. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region recorded heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours with the state government deciding to keepschools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region to remain closed today in view of heavy rains.Also 56 flights were diverted to different airports till this morning as the main runway continued to be out of use.

Flamingos, night can’t stop MTHL work now

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what is a major relief for bai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), construction work for the 22-km long Sewri-Nhava Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will now be undertaken all through the night and even when flamingos flock to the Sewri mudflats during winters.The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has given green signal to the state government for carrying out the construction work all through the night and throughout the year. Earlier, the MMRDA through the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) had requested the MoEF to allow the construction work during night hours and scrap the condition that work cannot be undertaken when flamingos flock to the mudflats.Sanjay Khandare, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner of MMRDA, said: “We were informed last week that we can carry out work during the night hours and also when the flamingos arrive.”The MMRDA had contended that if the construction work is not allowed during the flamingo season, they would be left only with three months in a year as monsoon covers three months and the rest of the months would go with flamingos flocking the mudflats.“The restrictions would have resulted in delaying the project and in cost escalation,” said a MMRDA official.Furthermore, the MoEF has not permitted any type of blasting for the construction of MTHL during night hours. However, MMRDA has said it would not need to carry any blasting activities.An official from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), monitoring the impact on flamingos during construction of MTHL, said, “It is better MMRDA completes the work as early as possible, and leave from the area rather than carrying out work with restrictions for a longer period.”The MTHL is a project that was proposed way back in 1980’s but was stuck due to environmental clearance. MTHL will provide direct access to Navi Mumbai from Mumbai and will also connect proposed International Airport.

Extortion case: Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar’s list had 20 bizmen, say cops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Thane Police on Tuesday claimed that in the past four years at least 20 builders, jewellers and businessmen from Mumbai and nearby cities were allegedly targeted for extortion money by Iqbal Kaskar and his aides. The police will now record the statement of these ‘victims’ of Kaskar in order to bolster their case against him.Speaking to DNA, a senior police officer, who is privy to the investigation of Kaskar’s extortion case, said, “Though the current extortion took place in 2016, Kaskar and his men are believed to have extorted as many as 20 builders, businessmen and jewellers from Mumbai Metropolitan Region to the tune of crores of rupees.”As per the officer, Kaskar used to operate smartly while targeting his victims. “Two of his henchmen, who are also accused in the current extortion case, used to meet the victims and would dial Kaskar’s number from their phone. They would then make Kaskar speak to the victims.”Since Kaskar used to drop Dawood’s name, too, while threatening the victims, the police are examining if Dawood had a role to play in the extortion threats issued by his brother. “If we get any concrete evidence against Dawood, then we would certainly add his name in the FIR as well. We are probing if calls were made and received from Pakistan by Kaskar and his men,” the officer said.As per the police, the biggest evidence in the current extortion case against Kaskar is that the group had forcibly extorted four flats and Rs 30 lakh in cash from a builder and one of the accused was found occupying the flat when the police searched it. A team of 55 police personnel headed by Senior Inspector Pradeep Sharma arrested Kaskar from his Nagpada residence on Monday night.

Mumbai: Metro operator seek help from Mumbai Police after security staff goes on strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Carrying more than 3 lakh commuters daily, the Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) operating Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor has sought help from the Mumbai Police as security staff of the Maharashtra Security Force (MSF) went on strike Tuesday. The security staff from MSF have gone on strike demanding they be made permanent government employees from the current contract employees. The MSF is not staff recruited by MMOPL but by the state government and is also deployed by the state government for the security of Mumbai Metro.The MMOPL, however, said that due to the security staff of MSF going on strike it has sought assistance from the Mumbai Police including the state government and has also deployed its private security guards to secure the entry and exit points of the 12 Metro stations and depot at Andheri. MMOPL has maintained that no services of the Metro-1 were affected due to the MSF security staff going on strike. A MMOPL spokesperson said, “Today some MSF staff has not reported for duty without any notice. Keeping in mind the convenience and security of commuters, Mumbai Metro One promptly deployed the alternative arrangements. We have also apprised the issue to state govt., MMRDA and Mumbai Police for assistance.”The 11.40-km Metro is jointly owned by Reliance Infrastructure-led MMOPL and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).MMOPL, MMRDA, and Veolia Transport SA of France jointly own 69%, 26% and 5% stakes respectively.

MMRDA mulls metro link to Virar, Vasai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anticipating urban sprawl in satellite cities nearing Mumbai, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is now planning to have a Metro corridor connecting Vasai and Virar to Mumbai. With this corridor, commuters would be able to seamlessly travel between Virar and Churchgate.Commuters would be benefitted with direct connectivity between Virar and Churchgate by taking interchanging Metro at Dahisar and Airport. At Dahisar, commuters can take the Dahisar east- Andheri east Metro-7 corridor and travel up to Airport and from there, commuters can take the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor.UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told DNA, “We will have to ultimately connect Vasai and Virar with Metro connectivity and not have Metro only up to Bhayander. We would be preparing the detailed project report (DPR) for connecting Vasai and Virar with Metro.”“The Metro corridor connecting Vasai and Virar would not be taken up for execution immediately but would be taken up gradually. This because the priority of MMRDA is to complete the Metro works for which the work has already started or is at bidding stage,” said a MMRDA official.

Private buses to go on strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If you are planning to go to Pune or Goa next week, do not expect to ride in an air-conditioned or semi luxury bus. Bus owners running 33,000 private buses across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will be on strike, along with school and company bus operators, from September 18 midnight till September 20.Operators associated with the Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana, the largest association of bus owners in MMR, are taking their buses off the road, claiming harassment by traffic police. They claim that over the past two days, the police has been clamping down on buses running on city roads.”There are barely 100 buses that run on Mumbai roads during peak hours. How can the Traffic Police claim that we are the reason behind traffic jams?” said Malik Patel, president, Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana.The bus body claims that the Mumbai Traffic Police has issued an order to bar private buses from plying between 7am to midnight in south Mumbai; and from 8am to 11am and 7pm to 11pm in the suburbs. This is being done to ease traffic snarls caused by heavy vehicles.Around 18,000 private buses operate in Mumbai, which not only ply inter-city and inter-state, but also ferry people to workplaces. Sources in the Sanghatana said that the traffic police want them to park school buses beyond Mumbai limits even though they ferry children in south Mumbai.According to the private bus operators, their buses with passengers inside, have been stopped by the Traffic Police during the last couple of days. The bus association claims that nearly 200 buses have been detained and made to park at Wadala, Dockyard Road, Santacruz or on the highways; of which around 150 are used by families for picnics and by companies to ferry their employees every day.Krishna Nayak, owner of Raghvendra Travels, claimed, “At around 7 pm today, a 49-seater bus was made to stop near Vile Parle on the Western Express Highway. It was hired by students of N M College for Panvel. The children were asked to alight and go on their own. The bus is now with the Traffic Police.”Traffic authorities are issuing challans and asking drivers to pay anywhere between Rs 1,200 to Rs 3,000 as fine, the association claims. Each bus carries around 40 passengers, which is a good form of vehicle pooling as it replaces 30 cars, the association argues.

Govt goes soft BKC for bullet train entry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe going to conduct the stone-laying ceremony for ambitious bullet train project connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad on Wednesday, the Maharashtra government has softened its stand of allowing Railways entering Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) for construction of bullet train terminal.The state government has proposed two locations inside BKC for construction of the bullet train terminal. The third one is proposed at Dharavi, which the Railways is unlikely to accept, state government officials said.Earlier, the state government and Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) were opposed to giving land to the Railways for bullet train terminal at BKC, citing it to be costly and the MMRDA wanting the vacant land for construction of International Financial Service Centre (IFSC).However, the bullet train project is a pet project of PM Modi and it was on the demand of the Centre that the state government had to change its decision.”The state government has proposed two locations inside BKC. Of the two, one is near Mithi River. The other one is at IFSC,” UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told DNA.According to MMRDA officials, if the Railways does not find the site near Mithi River, the both the bullet train terminals would be at IFSC. The design would be prepared accordingly.MMRDA, however, earlier had pointed out that the land rate in BKC is very high and it wants to monetise the land parcels in BKC for garnering funds for crucial infrastructure projects in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). It also wants to construct an International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) on the plot, which the Railways want for the bullet train terminal.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will be laying the foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train on Thursday from Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The high-speed corridor will be elevated, and bullet train will ply at 300 km to 350 km per hour. The estimated cost of the project will be Rs 1,10,000 crore. Of this, Japan will offer a loan of Rs 88,000 crores at an interest of 0.1%. The amount will be repaid in 50 years to the foriegn country with 15 years grace.Bullet train will cover 508-km from Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The 12 proposed stations between Mumbai and Ahmedabad are BKC, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati. The distance would be covered in 2 hours and 58 minutes.AnalysisThe state government’s softening its stand on allowing construction of bullet train terminal at BKC would help the Railways clear one of the major hurdle considering BKC is proposed to be one of the starting point of bullet train and the land acquisition for the same is crucial for the project to begin civil construction work.

Locals to approach HC for underground Metro-2B

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents from Bandra, Khar and Juhu have decided to file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court against the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) demanding the DN Nagar-Bandra-Mandale Metro-2B corridor made underground instead of the currently planned elevated.Residents have cited that an elevated Metro corridor over the major arterial SV Road will lead to traffic congestion and the elevated Metro corridor would also close all doors for the future expansion of Metro.However, the MMRDA has been contending that the underground Metro corridor is not feasible because it is more costly.In a public meeting conducted on Sunday, residents decided that they will now take the legal route to compel the government to go underground for Metro-2B.Social worker and film-maker, Ashok Pandit, who also attended the meeting, said, “We are going to approach the High Court and are already in the process of preparing our petition. We are also going to write to the prime minister’s office (PMO) about how the state government and the MMRDA are going against the wishes of the residents.”Actress Raveena Tandon also attended the meeting on Sunday. Later, Tandon took Twitter, saying, “When all protests fall on deaf ears.When the state ignores its citizens.A cause that unites all. The betterment of our city. United. Please A humble request to retweet. Mumbaikers, we need to make an effort so our voice is heard! (sic)”The residents have been demanding the Metro-2B made underground since several years now and had also proposed that alternate plans to the same. A proposal has been drafted by the residents suggesting that Metro- 2B line be converted to an underground corridor from Santacruz to Bandra, to replace the elevated line planned from D.N. Nagar to Bandra.The proposal also suggested that the Metro-2B is connected to the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 underground corridor at Airport or at Mahim, in order to have better integration of the two lines.The Metro-2B DN Nagar-Mandale corridor is 23.5-km-long and the DN Nagar-Mandale Metro corridor is a part of the Metro 2 (Dahisar-Charkop—Bandra-Mandale), which was earlier planned underground but was later turned into an elevated corridor. The line was also divided into two parts namely Dahisar-DN Nagar Metro-2A, DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B.

Court rejects Radhe Maa’s request for removal from domestic violence case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Borivli Metropolitan magistrate court on Friday rejected self-styled god-woman Radhe Maa’s application requesting removal of her name from a domestic violence case filed against her. A Mumbai resident Niki Gupta, in 2014, had filed a case of domestic violence against the god-woman and Gupta’s entire family. The court, in its order copy, have refused to allow Radhe Maa and the family members to move out of the case.Raunak Agarwal, brother of the complainant, while speaking to DNA said, “The case was registered in 2014, when the so called god-woman, came to my sister’s house and she along with my sister’s family members started assaulting and abusing her. Thus we approached the police station and registered a complaint. However, for the past three years, the legal procedure did not move a step ahead, thus we moved the Bombay High court with our grievance, which requested the trial be completed at the fastest pace possible. Thus, this order by Borivli magistrate court has come after the High court’s order.”Meanwhile, when contacted, Sanjeev Gupta, spokesperson for Radhe Maa, said that he was unaware of the orders and that if such an order had been passed by the lower court then an appeal in the higher court’s would definitely be filed.

Shortage of trains derails MMRDA Phase 2 trial runs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After failing to operate the monorail efficiently, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now expressed difficulty in carrying out trial runs for the second phase that will operate between Wadala and Jacob Circle. The agency on Saturday said a shortage of trains was the reason behind the hassle.Keeping aside the operations of the first phase, now the MMRDA is unable to run a minimum number of trains for trial runs. The MMRDA said since over a year only four out of its ten trains are functional. The trial runs are conducted by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) and the process would require at least four trains, officials said.”If we use the four trains for trial runs, the operation between Wadala and Chembur would have to be shut. Since it is not possible to close the services, we have requested Scomi Engineering, the Malaysian operator, to make two more trains available. This is to ensure that we get sufficient trains for trial runs,” said a senior MMRDA official. “Currently, we are conducting test runs for which the four trains are sufficient, but when we approach the CRS, we would need more trains for balancing operations and trial runs,” the official said.Of the 10 trains in the first phase, only four are functional. The rest are under maintenance. Scomi is yet to deliver the additional five rakes, as per contract with MMRDA. The MMRDA has put the blame on the Malaysian operator, Scomi Engineering for not making the trains available that are lying unused at the Monorail depot in Wadala.However, a detailed email sent to Scomi Engineering, in regards to the allegations by MMRDA, did not yield any response.Ever since the first phase of the monorail was commissioned between Wadala and Chembur, it has been in the news for constant breakdowns in the rakes. The first phase of Monorail between Wadala and Chembur was made operational in 2014 and the second phase is expected to be made operational in December.Meanwhile, the MMRDA floated bids to appoint a new operator for the Monorail corridor between Chembur and Jacob Circle.Off the tracksIn July 2017, Monorail halted halfway into the Chembur station due to power failure.Further, in 2016, services were disrupted thrice due to problems related to tyre bursts and tyre fall of the rolling stock. Services were also disrupted several times due doors opening or problems in electrification.In 2015, a rake was stuck midsection near Bhakti Park, Wadala.

MMRDA floats bids for new monorail operator

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After facing several problems in running monorail services for three years, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is now looking for a new operator. The authority on Thursday floated bids for the second time to find a new operator, who would operate and maintain the monorail for the next 10 years between Chembur and Jacob Circle.The MMRDA had floated bids in January this year but scrapped the same citing that the prospective bidders had few concerns with the tender process. “The contractors had requested us to decrease the amount of deposit that is the earnest money deposit. So in this case, we had to float new bids,” Sanjay Khandare, additional metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA.According to MMRDA officials, the contract with Malaysian firm, Scomi Engineering was for three years, and now it was up to MMRDA to either stay with the same contractor or appoint a new one.The bid floated by MMRDA on Thursday, reads, “MMRDA invites bids for operation and maintenance for elevated Monorail for 10 years.”

12 yrs on, court clears 2 in beef-selling case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court acquitted an NRI mother-son duo, who were operating a cold storage facility in Delhi, of charges that they were selling beef.According to the prosecution, Darshan Jai Singhani and Narender Jai Singhani, owner and manager of the Darshan Cold Storage Private Limited, respectively, were found in possession of flesh of cow or its progeny on April 30, 2005, after a raid was conducted on their factory in the Lawrence Road Industrial Area.Appearing for the accused, counsel Pradeep Rana contended that the manner of lifting the samples created doubt about the entire version of the prosecution as no control samples were given to the accused, as per procedure. Control samples are any type of well-known forensic samples used to assure analyses are properly performed, so that results are reliable.The court noted this and held that giving of the control samples was necessary in order to ensure fairness. “This is a material omission, having the effect of vitiating the entire proceedings conducted in the premises of the accused, as the possibility of planting and tampering with the case property cannot be ruled out,” Metropolitan Magistrate Viplav Dabas said.THE RAIDDarshan and Narender Jai Singhani’s Darshan Cold Storage was raided 12 years ago in 2005
Their counsel said no control samples were given to the accused, as per procedure

Court slams cops for ‘lethargic’ probe in Sunanda Pushkar death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Monday summoned the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South district, while rapping the cops for their “lethargic attitude” towards investigating the death of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Dharmendra Singh directed the DCP to be present on the next date of hearing — September 12. The court was hearing a plea filed by the Leela Hotel authorities to de-seal suite number 345, where Pushkar was found dead on January 17, 2014.The court held that huge losses have been incurred by the hotel authorities in the guise of the investigation. “Due to the lethargic attitude of Delhi Police, the plaintiff (hotel) has already suffered a lot,” MM Dharmender Singh said.During the proceedings, the Delhi Police filed a status report, which stated that the forensic teams had visited the suite recently and collected evidence. They sought more time to complete the probe. “Till the reports clearly indicate ‘no further requirement’, the suite cannot be opened,” the police said.Following this, the court asked what evidence was to be collected three years after the incident.On July 21, Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma had ordered de-sealing of the suite within four weeks, saying that the hotel could not be put to unending hardship due to the laxity on part of the police.The court, however, had said that the probe agency would be at liberty to visit the suite before filing a compliance report regarding de-sealing. It had also noted that no offence was found on part of the hotel. The police were allowed to take out articles lying inside the suite with due care for the purpose of the probe.PASSING THE BUCKThe Delhi High Court on August 30 had rapped the Delhi Police for its delay and lackadaisical attitude in investigating the case.
Referring to the slow pace of the investigation, the bench observed, “It has been almost over three years but nothing concrete has come up as of today.”
Referring to the delay, the Additional Solicitor General then claimed that the delay was due to receiving the scientific reports from various agencies and not at the individual level of the police.

Over 2 lakh houses remain unsold in MMR: Mkt report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Unsold stock of the housing units has increased by 11 per cent in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and 10 per cent in Greater Mumbai this year so far, according to a quarterly research report on the city’s real estate.As per Liases Foras, a real estate research and data analytics firm, 2.76 lakh housing units Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and 1.05 lakh units in Greater Mumbai remain unsold in 2017 so far. This takes the total to 3.81 unsold units. In 2016, these figures were 2.40 lakh for MMR and 95,855 for Greater Mumbai. Liases Foras released this data in its quarterly research report on Monday. As per the report, despite an upturn in sales, the inventory has remained high since 51 months now.While Greater Mumbai had the highest share of unsold inventory, at 69 per cent. Meanwhile, in the MMR, Central Suburbs contributed the most to the inventory. “Major projects that contributed to MMR’s unsold inventory list include Chembur Central by Aryaman Group, Xrbia and Crystal in Ghatkopar East, Omkar Signet in Malad East and Ruparel Optima in Kandivali West,” the report stated.Pankaj Kapoor, MD, Liases Foras said, “The current inventory has been piling on for the last 51 months. It is not a good sign. Therefore, the disposing of the inventory should be the main target for developers rather than increasing rates and as result piling the inventory,” he said.According to Kapoor, inventory should be cleared within eight to 10 months.”It is good news that the property market improved despite the demonetisation and the implementation of RERA Act. But the inventory is piling due to new launches and high prices. The high supply will continue,” Kapoor added….& ANALYSISThe property market had witnessed a slowdown over the last two years. However, most of the new launches are at affordable segment and the sizes of the houses are also compact that buyer can easily afford, according to the latest report by Liases Foras

Delhi High Court terminates services of probationary judicial officer

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Judicial Magistrate Nitesh Gupta, son of Meghalaya High Court sitting judge, on Monday was terminated from his services by the Delhi High Court. Gupta was going to be elevated as the Metropolitan Magistrate at the Tis Hazari Court, but it was found that there is a transaction of Rs. 5 crore in his account and he was unable to explain the source. He was on probation since July 2016. The decision to terminate his services was taken on August 10. Under Rule 22 of the Delhi Judicial Service Rules, 1970, the services of a person on probation are liable to be terminated without assigning any reason. After a full court took the decision to terminate the services of Gupta, Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal approved it the same day. The decision was then communicated to the District Judge of the Patiala House Court, where Gupta was undergoing training, for a necessary action. On July 28, the High Court had passed an order posting and transferring 70 DJS officers, including Gupta. He was slated to take charge as a Metropolitan Magistrate at the Tis Hazari court from August 14.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police seek more time to inspect scene of Sunanda Pushkar’s death

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi police has sought more time to send a forensics team to conduct inspection of the suite in five star Hotel Leela where Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in 2014.Information about the visit was provided in court after the counsel appearing for the hotel management claimed they had received a letter from Delhi police on Friday.Earlier, Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma, on July 21, had ordered de-sealing of the suite within four weeks, saying the hotel could not be put through unending hardships due to laxity on part of the police.Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmendra Singh rapped the Delhi police for its delay in de-sealing the suite while referring to the order passed by his predecessor, Pankaj Sharma .According to the letter sent to hotel authorities, Delhi police had said they would send a Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) team on September 1.”Why did you take two months to inform the hotel you will need more time,” the court asked the police.The court, however, allowed the cop’s plea which sought one more opportunity to file the compliance report in the court regarding de-sealing of the suite. It directed the agency to file the report on September 4.The court also directed Delhi police to file a compliance report by August 19 in this regard thereby permitting them to take the articles lying inside the suite with due care for the purpose of investigation. It further observed that if investigating authorities cannot complete the probe due to some exceptional circumstances, then they can approach the court by application for further extension of time with an advance notice to Hotel Leela.In a plea filed by hotel authorities, they had claimed that due to the sealing of the suite, which costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 61,000 a night, it had suffered a loss of over Rs 50 lakh in the last three years.It claimed that a number of times, police and forensics teams had visited the suite and it was no longer required to be kept sealed.”The hotel continues to suffer a loss with each passing day. Continuous sealing of the suite is also affecting the use of other rooms/suites on the same floor,” it had said.Pushkar was found dead in the suite of the South Delhi hotel on the night of January 17, 2014. The suite was sealed on that night itself for investigation.

Dhara mustard oil manufacturers fined Rs 2.4 cr for adultration

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court has imposed a fine of Rs 2.4 crore on National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) for manufacturing Dhara mustard oil which found to be adulterated leading to epidemic dropsy which left over 50 people dead and 3,000 people ill in the year 1998.Deciding on a verdict for one of the oldest cases in the particular court after 19 years, Metropolitan Magistrate Ashu Garg imposed the fine in 12 cases with a fine of Rs 20 lakh each in individual cases.Considered one of the most tragic cases, the Delhi oil poisoning had led to a massive crisis following which raids were conducted at several places in the capital. Samples of Dhara mustard oil were collected from various grocery shops and sent to the Public Analyst (PA) for inspection, which confirmed the presence of Argemone oil, an adulterant which can cause dropsy, glaucoma and even blindness in humans.The matter was also taken up in the Lok Sabha in 2000, which led to the ban of loose sale of mustard oil to avoid more health hazards among the people.In 12 separate judgments, the court held that “the manufacturing company would undoubtedly be the most responsible for the offence as the substantial burden was on it to ensure compliance of rules while processing and packing the food article which was being sold under a recognised brand name having specific goodwill on the basis of which the consumers expected the guaranteed policy”.Additionally, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 60 lakh on Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd which was assigned for distributing the product.”It has been proved that the accused 6 (NDDB) had manufactured/sold and accused no 4 (M/s. Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd) had distributed an adulterated food in violation of sections 2(ia)(a) and (m) of Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) Act and have committed offence punishable under section 7/16(1)(a) of the PFA Act. The nominees of the respective companies would be liable under section 17 of the Act,” the court said.The samples were sent for examination for the second time by NDDB by moving an application under Section 13(2) of the PFA Act, thereby exercising the right to get the second counterpart of the sample analysed from the Central Food Laboratory (CFL).However, the results in both the PA and the CFL came out to be similar and suggested the presence of agremone oil.The counsel for NDDB had contended that agremone seeds look similar to mustard seeds and so traces of the poisonous seeds might have been mixed with the oil but it was not intentional. The contention was made while deciding on one of the cases, where the sample of mustard oil was picked up from a Departmental Store in Munirka.However, the court acquitted the vendors involved in selling of the product giving them the benefit of the doubt.Additionally, the court also awarded two years simple imprisonment to the nominee of the company, S Nagarajan, while imposing a fine of Rs 2 lakh on him.DistributorA fine of Rs 60 lakh, also, has been imposed on Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd for distributing the product Counsel for NDDB had contended that agremone seeds look similar to mustard seeds and so traces of the poisonous seeds might have been mixed with the oil unintentionally.

Srinagar city plan puts residents at risk of floods – officials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By Athar Parvaiz SRINAGAR, India, Aug 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A plan for the development of Srinagar city to 2035, put together by the government of Indian-administered Kashmir, ignores lessons from the 2014 floods that hit Srinagar and southern Kashmir, disaster prevention officials have warned. The large-scale destruction wrought by those floods was widely attributed to haphazard development in Srinagar, Kashmir’s largest city, and other urban areas over decades. Critics blamed housing and infrastructure construction in former flood basins in the mountainous north Indian state. The Master Plan for development of the Srinagar Metropolitan Region, which was open for public consultation until mid-August, is due to be finalised by the end of October. Kashmir’s Chief Town Planner Fayaz Ahmad Khan said the plan does envisage some new infrastructure development in flood-prone areas where homes, shops and government offices have already been built, because of a “pathetic” lack of state-owned land. The plan proposes solutions for all potential problems, including flooding, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In a letter dated July 27, 2017 and addressed to Khan, the Jammu and Kashmir Irrigation and Flood Control (IFC) department said it had analysed the plan from the perspective of its own recommendations based on flood scenarios. Before the plan was drafted, Khan had asked the IFC department to categorise areas as “undevelopable”, “vulnerable” or “suitable for development”, the letter said. In response, the department advised that some parts of the city should be classified as “undevelopable” and “vulnerable”, said the letter seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. However, those zones have been designated as “low density residential” areas in the plan, which will “encourage and eventually attract more people in these areas” which cannot be protected “by any means” if floods occur, warned the letter. ADMINISTRATION ‘AT RISK’ The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has also questioned a bid to move the secretariat of the Jammu and Kashmir government, which includes ministers’ offices, to a location at risk of flooding. “(The Master Plan) acknowledges many parts of Srinagar city as highly vulnerable to natural disasters, yet contradictorily gives proposals like shifting the Civil Secretariat to Railway Station Nowgam which, as per the plan, is a highly flood-prone area and a designated flood absorption basin,” said Saleem Beg, INTACH’s regional head. The IFC letter also argued the plan would allow construction on an important 242-hectare (598-acre) wetland, Narkara, in southern Srinagar, as its 100-metre (328-ft) buffer zone is depicted deep inside the wetland. The Chief Town Planner said the IFC assessment had categorised “more than half of the city”, which has a population of about 1.3 million, as vulnerable and undevelopable. “But people already live in these areas, and government and commercial infrastructure also exists there,” he said, noting the lack of alternative space for new development. The city faces a major land crunch, with as much as 57 percent of its total area of 766 sq km classed as unsuitable for development, including wetlands, water bodies, forests and areas used by the Indian army, said Khan. “This is why we have proposed some development within the developed urban areas, and also the creation of new townships around the city,” he added. DISASTER PREVENTION The Master Plan proposes – for the first time in over four decades of urban planning in Srinagar – a comprehensive disaster management strategy, he noted. It also includes measures to protect water bodies, he said. “Most significant of these … is to re-establish their connectivity with one another,” Khan said. To prevent recurring floods, the plan envisages afforestation and slope stabilisation, to retain rainwater in the upper reaches. It also recommends construction of mini-check dams, reservoirs, ponds and canals, and the preservation of natural flood basins, he said. The plan also suggests that people already settled in flood basins should be relocated in developable areas, rather than backing a proposed multi-billion-dollar flood spill channel. Experts have said the spill channel could have damaging consequences as it would require the acquisition of vast tracts of agricultural land, potentially harming food security, and could cause large silt deposits in Wular Lake downstream. Mohammad Sultan Bhat, head of Kashmir University geography department, which carried out a flood hazard study of Srinagar, said the regional government should plan land use in a way that protects residents from disasters like floods and earthquakes, especially in overcrowded Srinagar city. “The government’s urbanisation policy is such that Srinagar city bears the brunt of all the population,” he said. With the main government offices and health and education institutions located in Srinagar, people prefer to live there, he added. Jammu and Kashmir state has 46 towns, but 65 percent of the urban population is concentrated in its summer capital Srinagar, he noted. “This is what compels the government to allow construction, even in wetlands, which act as sponges during floods,” he said. “This is unfortunate.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Court issues production warrant against activist Medha Patkar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court today issued a warrant seeking production of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Medha Patkar who failed to appear before it in defamation cases filed by her and KVIC Chairman V K Saxena against each other. Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar issued the warrant against Patkar after a proxy counsel appearing for her sought exemption from personal appearance on the ground that she was arrested by the Indore Police last week and sent to jail. The court fixed the matter for further hearing on September 21. Patkar’s plea was opposed by advocate Mahipal Ahluwalia, representing Saxena, President of Ahmedabad-based NGO National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), who argued that she has repeatedly remained absent for hearings. The counsel sought a copy of the exemption application and apprised the court about the non-bailable warrant issued against Patkar on the last date of hearing and imposition of Rs 10,000 as costs on her. She was also granted a final opportunity by the court to appear before it, he told the magistrate. “It has to be ascertained whether she has paid the amount or not,” Saxena’s counsel said. The magistrate had on August 3 imposed Rs 10,000 as costs on Patkar for her repeated failure to appear before the court while warning her that he would dismiss her complaint against Saxena if she again failed to appear. The court had on June 26 warned Patkar to be “careful in future” and had cancelled the non-bailable warrant issued against her on May 29 for her non-appearance. It had in January 2015 also imposed Rs 3,000 as costs on Patkar for non-appearance, giving her the “last and final opportunity” to present herself before it. Patkar and Saxena have been embroiled in a legal battle since 2000 after she filed a suit against him for publishing advertisements against her and the NBA. Saxena, in turn, had filed two cases against her for making derogatory statements.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Despite increase in ridership, Metro-1 incurring loss

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BEST buses are not the only loss-making public transport system in the city, data obtained by DNA under Right To Information (RTI) Act, reveal that despite a steady increase in ridership, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor is facing a huge revenue deficit and is running in losses with the operator spending more than double the amount compared to the income.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL)’s expenditure to operate Metro-1 stood at about Rs 1,500 crore between June 2014 and June 2017. However, the latter could merely earn about Rs 640 crore in the form of ticketing and non-ticketing revenue in that period.In a RTI reply dated August 10, 2017, MMOPL revealed its gross income via ticketing revenue between June 2014 and June 2017 stands at Rs 5,79,71,45,418 crore followed by Rs 66,42,30,629 crore through non-ticketing revenue between the same period.The reply further revealed that the gross expenditure for the operation of Metro-1 in that period stood at Rs 15,72,70,47,735 crore, which means it is spending more than double the amount compared to its income through ticketing and otherwise.Non-ticketing revenue of Metro-1 is via real estate at the station as in renting of space to a third party for commercial operations or allowing a third party to conduct film or advertisement shooting inside Metro stations.One of the reasons anticipated behind the loss could be its daily ridership, according to the detailed project report (DPR) available on Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) website, it was anticipated that Metro-1 would carry 4.28 lakh commuters per day by 2011 followed by 6.65 lakh by 2021 and 8.83 lakh by 2031.But Metro-1’s record ridership announced last month stood at 3.8 lakh commuters on July 17, 2017 followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, 2017, and on September 21, 2016, it had carried 3.68 lakh commuters.The Metro-1 corridor is the eight densest Metro corridor in the world with 12 Metro stations. It is the first Metro corridor constructed on public private partnership (PPP) model in India in which MMOPL has 69 per cent stakes followed by 26 per cent stakes of MMRDA and 5 per cent of Veolia.FARE FIXATIONSince the inception of Metro-1, MMOPL and MMRDA are tangled in court case over increase of fares to avoid losses for the mass transit system.
Fare fixation committee set up by the state government had also recommended a fare of Rs 10-110, up from the current Rs 10-40.

1984 riots cases: Court asks SIT chairman to appear

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court has directed the chairman of an SIT, set up to re-investigate the 1984 anti- Sikh riot cases, to explain why further probe was carried out in a case while the mandate was to re-visit facts. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Ajay Singh Shekhawat said the reply filed by Special Investigation Team (SIT) chairman on interpretation of expression “investigation/re-investigation as per the mandate given to the SIT” was unsatisfactory. “In these circumstances, let court notice (be issued) to the chairman, SIT i.e. Anurag to appear in person to clarify on the facts as to why only further investigation was carried out despite the mandate of SIT to investigate/ re-investigate the facts,” the court said. It listed the matter for September 13 for clarifications. The court passed the order in the 1984 riots case in which the SIT filed a closure report on the ground that no incriminating direct or circumstantial evidence was available against any person and further investigation of the case has been closed. According to the prosecution, the case relates to an incident of November 3, 1984, when a mob of 300-400 people started pelting a 50-year-old Sikh man with stones in a factory area in west Delhi’s Anand Parbat. The victim fell down after which a policeman, patrolling the area, fired from his revolver in air to disperse the mob and the injured identified as Ajayab Singh was taken to hospital where he was declared brought dead by doctors. The prosecution said that a case of murder and rioting with armed weapons was registered at Patel Nagar police station. As the persons involved in the crime could not be identified, an untraced report was filed which was accepted by the court in January 1985. However, in February 2015, the government constituted the SIT for investigating/ re-investigating cases of 1984 riots. The SIT comprises its chairman IPS officer Anurag, members Rakesh Kapoor, retired district judge, and Kumar Gyanesh, Additional DCP. It was decided by the SIT to further investigate this case and several family members of the victim and others were examined who said they have no knowledge about the accused as they were not present at the scene of crime. The SIT said in its closure report, “during further investigation, it is revealed that Ajayab Singh was killed by a mob of 300-400 rioters on November 3, 1984 at about 10:45 AM … Anand Parbat industrial area. An offence as alleged in the FIR have been established. But despite making all possible efforts accused persons could not be identified.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MMRDA, jail officials face off over installation of cutters

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) readies itself to make the second phase of the monorail between Wadala and Jacob Circle operational by this year end, the long stand-off between jail authorities at Arthur Road jail and MMRDA does not seem to end.The jail authorities have said that the MMRDA has not installed steel ‘view cutters’ to block the view of the jail premises on the monorail route. Senior MMRDA officials, however, maintain that they had written to jail authorities and the home department expressing the inability to install the view cutters.The MMRDA has been contending that monorail takes only 15 seconds to pass through the prison premises and the idea of installing steel view cutters is not feasible technically and financially.”There has been no reply and hence it is anticipated that installation of steel view cutters is an issue,” a senior MMRDA official said.However, when contacted, Arthur Road jail superintendent, Harshad Ahirrao, told DNA, “Authorities want the cutters to be installed and the MMRDA had given us in writing that they are bound to install these cutters.”The idea behind the cutters is to block the view of the jail premises so that anti-social elements do not plan any kind of attack on the monorail.Jail authorities insist that the MMRDA has to install steel view cutters, as that is the base on which the Maharashtra home department had, in 2010, granted permission for construction along the Sane Guruji Marg near Arthur Road jail.

MMRDA scraps bids for two Metro corridors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With contractors quoting exorbitant rates for construction of two Metro corridors namely DN Nagar Metro-2B and Wadala-Thane-Kasarvadavli Metro-4, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has now scrapped the bids for civil construction of these two Metro corridors worth Rs 5,000 crore that were floated in January.MMRDA has also decided to re-bid for both the Metro corridors as contractors quoted almost 25 per cent higher than estimated by the MMRDA. This could further delay the construction of the two Metro corridors for which work was scheduled to start by year end and be ready for operations by 2021.DNA had first reported on August 3, 2017, that civil construction cost of Metro-2B is estimated by the MMRDA to be around Rs 1,900 crore. However, bidders short listed by the MMRDA have quoted Rs 2,293 crore for its construction, while for Metro-4, the estimated price is Rs 2,600 crore but bidders have quoted Rs 3,312 crore.UPS Madan, the metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, confirmed to DNA that both the Metro-2B and Metro-4 corridor will go for re-bidding. Meanwhile, MMRDA announced that it has re-floated bids for construction of 11 Metro stations.

Nitin Gadkari slams government for delays in passenger water transport projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday slammed the state government for failing to implement several passenger water transport projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region despite proposing it 22 years ago.On the sidelines of a promotional event in Mumbai on cruise tourism, Gadkari said that these services were proposed when he was the cabinet minister in Maharashtra in 1995. “Bureaucratic and administrative hurdles are the main reasons why passenger water transport is not a reality today despite it being a cheaper and environment-friendly option,” he said.Gadkari expressed displeasure with Maharashtra chief secretary Summit Mullick, who was also present at the event. “I don’t know when the passenger water transport system will start. Maharashtra has just been doing paper work for 22 years. I think only our grandchildren would be able to see passenger water transport.”Recently, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) had floated bids seeking expression of interest (EOI) from companies for the water passenger transport service between Nariman Point and Gorai in Borivali. However, MMB later cited that the project may not be technically and financially feasible. Gadkari told DNA, “I was informed about these apprehensions. We have proposed to them that if the state government does not find the project feasible, we will develop a feasible model for them. Thane Municipal Corporation officials assured me about implementing the project and I have even promised them 50 per cent for preparing detailed project reports (DPR) for passenger water transport services.”Meanwhile, the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), with assistance from state government agencies, is currently executing Ro-Ro passenger ferries that the government will start between Ferry Wharf, Mumbai and Mandwa, Alibaug.Projects on paperWater transport services have been proposed between several locations like Nariman Point and Gorai in Borivali, Thane and Navi Mumbai, but all these projects are on paper from past several years or at execution stage.

Metro 7: MMRDA to seek HC nod for felling 207 trees

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) will be approaching the Bombay High Court for permission to cut down 207 trees on the Western Express Highway between Andheri and Dahisar East for construction of the Metro 7 line.PRK Murthy, Director (Projects) Metro, MMRDA, confirmed the news. “Around 207 trees are likely to be felled as they are affecting the alignment,” he said.In February, during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by Zoru Bathena on the issue of trees suffering from mealy bugs, the HC had directed the authorities to not cut anymore trees on the said highway. Hence, the MMRDA has to now approach the court for permission.Advocate GW Mattos, who also appeared for the MMRDA in a case to secure land for Metro 2 (A), said both these projects were included in the Pragati Portal of the Office of Prime Minister of India (PMO). Timely completion of these projects is important to ensure that citizens benefit.”Authorities are willing to replant the trees elsewhere and at a higher than normal ratio. As per norms, three trees have to be planted for every tree cut. However, earlier when 25 trees were cut for the Metro 7 project, 154 trees were replanted. Authorities feels that balance of convenience is in their favour, because if the trees are not cut, execution of the Metro 7 Line would be affected, and would entail heavy cost to the MMRDA and the State Exchequer.

Man, his brother acquitted in dowry harassment case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court has acquitted a man and his brother in a dowry harassment case lodged by a woman, saying it seemed to be a “concocted and false” complaint filed due to a property dispute. The court absolved the man, along with his brother, of the charges of torturing, wrongfully confining and threatening his wife to grab the property given to her by her father. “The story as disclosed by the complainant on the face of it seems to be concocted and false and it appears to be a dispute over a 50-square yard plot in the complainant’s name. “There is nothing on record to prove that she was subjected to cruelty in lieu of demand for dowry,” Metropolitan Magistrate Chetna Singh said. According to the prosecution, a complaint was lodged by the woman and her father alleging that her husband used to beat her after consuming alcohol and was forcing her to give him documents of the property. It said she left her husband’s house and started living with her brother-in-law, adding that he too began beating and torturing her. A complaint was lodged and the two men were arrested for the offences of cruelty, wrongful confinement, voluntarily causing hurt and threatening of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). She, however, resiled from her statement during cross examination and said the complaint was lodged by her father and she was not aware of it. During the trial, the prosecution told the court that the woman was staying with her brother-in-law willingly and no allegations of her wrongful confinement were made by her to the police or at that time when the duo were arrested. The accused had denied the allegations levelled against them and claimed they were falsely implicated. The court said, “There is nothing on record to suggest that the woman was kept forcefully by the accused or that she was subjected to cruelty in connection with demand of dowry or that she was threatened by any of the accused persons.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

City court grants bail to AAP’s ‘Commando’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Saturday granted bail to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Surender ‘Commando’ Singh, hours after he was taken into judicial custody for repeated non-appearance for a case of defacement of public property in 2014.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ashu Garg released the AAP politician upon furnishing a personal bond of Rs 20,000 and a surety of like amount, advocate VK Shahi said. Earlier in the day, the court had ordered Commando’s custody when he appeared before the court. He had not done so on the last few occasions, despite directions by the court.The case relates to defacement of public property in the Naraina area in west Delhi allegedly by putting up posters and hoardings. A few days ago, ex-BJP MLA Karan Singh Tanwar, in his election petition, had challenged Surender Singh’s election on the grounds of non-declaration of government dues, non-furnishing of financial status and income tax returns, as well as incorrect disclosure of his educational qualification in his nomination papers.

Be fair to all: Bombay HC to state over ‘discrimination’ between black-and-yellow cabs and app-based services

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Observing that the Maharashtra city taxi rules discriminated between the black-and-yellow cabs and mobile app-based services, the Bombay High Court today asked the state government to be “more rational” to allow fair competition.A division bench of Justices R M Sawant and Sadhana Jadhav made this observation while hearing petitions filed by Uber India Ltd, Ola Ltd and six drivers plying cabs with these two companies challenging the Maharashtra city taxi rules implemented this year.”On a plain reading of the rules we found you (the government) are trying to discriminate between the ‘kali peeli’ (black-and-yellow) taxis and these private cab service providers,” Justice Savant said.”There seems to be a clear discrimination on several points wherein the black-and-yellow taxis are given benefit.You treat everyone on par. Make it more rational. Let there be fair competition,” Justice Savant said.The court noted that in the United States of America and a city like London, the app-based services ply on the same rates.”In London and America, there are regular cabs and Uber cabs plying on the same fares. Maharashtra should also do something like that and be a trend-setter for other states in India.”Additional government pleader G W Mattos sought time to file an affidavit in the matter and said the committee set up by the government to look into the aspect of fare structure fixation has still not submitted its report.”Till we file the affidavit the government will not take any coercive steps in furtherance of rules,” Mattos said.The court accepted the statement and posted the matter for further hearing on September 15.The petitioners submitted that the rules were arbitrary and bad in law.”According to the rules, app-based taxis will not be allowed to ply within Mumbai Metropolitan Region on a national tourist permit. The drivers will have to obtain local permits and will not be allowed to ply on their national tourist permits,” the drivers had said in their petition.”Obtaining local permits will cost private taxi drivers and owners ten times more than what it costs the drivers of black-and-yellow taxis,” they contended. PTI SP NRB NM

Campaign to involve citizens to save Lake greenery

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The KMDA and the Rabindra Sarobar monitoring commitee have decided to invite active participation of citizens to save the greenery around the large waterbody in the southern part of the city. The meeting attended by Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) CEO Saumitra Mohan and monitoring committee members decided to invite citizens for its ‘Adopt a tree’ programme. In this initiative citizens will be invited to adopt a tree within the Rabindra Sarobar compound as per their choice and spend for its upkeep, a KMDA statement said. This apart, citizens will also be encouraged to another programme – ‘Plant a Tree’ as part of celebrating family occasions like marriage anniversaries and birthdays. The meeting also discussed formation of an eco club ‘Taru Mitra’ (friend of trees) to organise awareness campaigns, look after trees and preserve eco-friendly ambience within the Sarobar area, the statement said. The meeting, held in the last week of July to discuss ways of retaining the rich bio-diversity of the Rabindra Sarobar area, also discussed regular dredging of the lake bed, work of removal of the silt from the public swimming pool, drainage of storm water from Rabindra Sarobar campus through nearby drainage line of Kolkata, giving no objection certificate for cutting dead trees for the safety of visitors and morning walkers among other issues. The committee members included KMC councillors, officer in charge of local police station, environmentalists and other prominent citizens.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Metro-2B corridor work hits a roadblock

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven months after floating bids for construction of DN Nagar-Mandale Metro-2B corridor, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has hit a roadblock with the corridor still lacking a crucial nod from the Airport Authority of India (AAI).The elevated Metro corridor will run parallel to funnel zone of the Juhu aerodrome. Due to this, the height of the elevated Metro-2B will have to alter as the Juhu aerodrome consists of an emergency runway. It is also one of the busiest heliports in the country.According to MMRDA officials, it is the AAI nod that will be crucial for commencing civil construction work on Metro-2B corridor. Funnel zone is an area where there are height restrictions and where construction of more than four storeys is not permitted. The restrictions are imposed due to two reasons. First, the area is in the funnel of the runway and periphery of the airport for takeoff and landing of aircraft. Second, to ensure that radar signals are not distributed.”We are following up with the AAI and we expect to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from them soon. The height of the elevated Metro will be less as compared to the height of Metro beams on the rest of the alignment,” UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA told DNA.Apart from the AAI nod, the construction of the Metro-2B will also have a couple of railway passes and the same will be done by constructing a rail overbridge (ROB). MMRDA has also approached the Railway for getting several clearances in the same regards.The MMRDA anticipates to begin work on both these corridors by year end and commission both by 2021…& ANALYSISThe NOC from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is crucial for commencement of civil construction of the Metro corridor. Delay in getting approval could also further delay the construction, and in turn, increase the project cost that is around Rs 11,000 crore.

FERA case: Abhishek Verma guilty of non-complaince of summons

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma has been held guilty by a Delhi court for non- compliance of summons issued to him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a FERA violation matter in 1999. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Jyoti Kler will pronounce the order on the quantum of sentence on August 9. The maximum jail term for the offence is three years. During arguments, ED counsel N K Matta submitted that due to his defiance of the summons, the probe was stalled. According to the ED, it had the filed a complaint on December 14, 1999 before the court saying Verma was required for investigation. He was summoned to appear before it, but he had deliberately avoided appearance and hence committed an offence under the now-repealed Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. The complaint filed by ED was for violation of seven summons between July and November 1999 issued by it to Verma to appear before the investigation officer of the agency. The charges in this case were framed against Verma in January 2005 when he had denied the allegations and claimed trial.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

People don’t want to get involved in police investigations, says court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a busy city like Delhi, hardly any person agrees to join police investigations considering it as a waste of time and do their best to avoid being summoned to police stations, a Delhi court said while sentencing a man to three years imprisonment for robbery.”Innocent and law abiding persons don’t want any kind of confrontation from the side of the offenders and harassment from the side of the police officials,” Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Naresh Kumar Laka said.The observation was made when the counsel for the accused Vicky alias Ganja argued that Investigating Officer (IO) did not join any public witness at the time of recovery of the mobile phone, which was stolen.According to the complaint registered by one Saukhi Lal, the accused snatched his brother’s mobile phone while they were coming from Noida and waiting at the bus stand at Kalyanpuri, in east Delhi.When Lal tried to stop Vicky, he snatched the former’s phone and cash worth Rs 400 from his pocket. Following this, the victim registered a complaint and the stolen mobile was recovered from the accused’s possession.”The offence of robbery is very serious in nature and he is involved in three other cases. But keeping in view the fact that the accused has the responsibility of one minor child, he is the only bread earning member in his family, and the fact that he is facing trial for the last three years, a modest view is taken,” the judge said.

MSRDC’s projects await green signal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two crucial road projects, namely the Thane-Ghodbunder elevated road and the Borivli-Thane underground tunnel, are stuck due to green hurdles. More than two years after planning the projects, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) awaits green clearance before executing them.In the case of the 4.4 km-long Thane-Ghodbunder elevated road, MSRDC has approached the state wildlife board as the proposed road runs parallel to Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). As for the underground tunnel, the agency has just received permission to conduct a survey inside SGNP, as the tunnel passes under the park.”We are currently obtaining green clearances from the competent authorities that include the forest department, wildlife board and have also appointed a retired officer from the forest department to fast-track the approvals. They will take time as the flagship projects of MSRDC, namely Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway and the Bandra-Versova Sea Link, are the priority too,” said a senior MSRDC official not wishing to be named.Further, smaller vehicles will be asked to take the elevated road while heavy vehicles will continue to ply on the existing road in order to ease the area’s traffic congestion. The underground tunnel is a six-lane tunnel and will connect Tikuji-ni-Wadi in Thane to Western Urban Road (WUR) at Borivli.Both these road projects are aimed at increasing connectivity between Mumbai and Thane, and decongesting the traditional Ghodbunder route.Similarly another project, that is planned to boost tourism inside SGNP, is a ropeway between Borivli and Thane, which will run over SGNP and provide a bird’s eye view. The project is being executed by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) through a private company. The same is also facing issues, considering it is going over SGNP.

E-system to grant nods for repairs in 24 hrs: Devendra Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The State Assembly on Wednesday saw a 258-minute debate in the assembly, 21 MLAs expressed their views on an adjournment motion moved by the Opposition. In his reply, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, announced that all buildings in Mumbai that are over 30 years old will undergo a structural audit, and ward officers will be made responsible for the job.Pointing out that many Assembly members have raised the issue of permissions for repair works, he announced that such permissions would be provided online within a day.He informed that after discussions with BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, it had been decided that if an application for repair work provides certificate from an RCC consultant or an authorised architect, permission would be given within 24 hours.Fadnavis announced that building permission process in all the municipal corporations would be made online. He also announced that the module developed by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation would be adopted by other municipal corporations for providing online building permissions.The CM also informed that the new development plan of Mumbai would have separate provision for redevelopment of dilapidated buildings. Fadnavis said that the online system for action against encroachments will be initiated. The system-generated record would be useful for fixing the responsibility of officials responsible for such incidents, he said.Fadnavis announced that the government is bringing out a notification through cooperation department, which would enable availing deemed conveyance despite not having occupancy certificate. He said that the issue of deemed conveyance would be sorted with this notification and the notification would be applicable to entire state including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.BIG ANNOUNCEMENTSPermissions for building repairs to be provided online within 24 hours if applicants sumbits report of an authorised architectNew development plan of Mumbai would have separate provision for redevelopment of dilapidated buildings

Delhi court says no polygraph test on 1984 anti-Sikh riots accused Jagdish Tytler for want of consent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court today said Congress leader Jagdish Tytler, who has thrice been given a clean chit by the CBI in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, cannot be subjected to lie detection test for want of his consent.However, it said, the CBI can conduct the polygraph test on controversial arms dealer Abhishek Verma, a witness in the case, as he consented to it.Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Shivali Sharma directed the concerned deputy commissioner of Delhi police to provide round-the-clock security to Verma till the time he undergoes the test, after which the threat perception would be re-assessed.The court also allowed advocate Maninder Singh, who appeared for Verma, to remain present during the test.It said the polygraph test should be conducted at an independent place and asked the CBI investigating officer (IO) to file a report on August 1, informing it as to when and where the agency proposed to conduct it.The court also asked the IO to inform it of places where the facilities to conduct the test are available.During the hearing, the court recorded Verma’s statement giving consent to the test, in which he endorsed his earlier statement given to the CBI against Tytler.While Tytler has refused to undergo the polygraph test, Verma gave conditional consent, saying he is ready to undergo the test if provided with round-the-clock security, as he fears threats to his life.Verma, however, has agreed to the suggestion given by senior advocate H S Phoolka, who has been representing the victims, in the court that he be given round-the-clock security till he undergoes polygraph test, after which the threat perception would be re-assessed.The CBI’s IO also said they have no problem if Verma is provided security round the clock till he undergoes the test.The CBI’s move seeking permission to conduct the polygraph test on Tytler and Verma came after the court’s December 4, 2015 order in which it was mentioned that such a test may be conducted, if required.The case pertains to the riots at Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi where three people were killed on November 1, 1984, a day after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.Tytler, who has denied any role in the riots, was thrice given a clean chit by the CBI in the case, but the agency was directed by the court to further investigate the matter. The victims had filed a protest petition challenging the CBI’s closure reports in the case.The court had on December 2015 directed the CBI to further investigate the matter and decided to monitor it every two months to ensure no aspect was left uninvestigated.The agency had reinvestigated the case of killing of Badal Singh, Thakur Singh and Gurcharan Singh near the gurudwara after a court in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report. The CBI has filed three closure reports in the case.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Former CBI DSP taken out of court after disrupting proceedings twice

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A former CBI Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), accused of falsely implicating an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer in a disproportionate assets case, had to be taken out of the court last month, after he interjected twice during the proceedings.”Koi sarkari naukar ki nahi sunta (no one listens to a public servant),”Ramnish, now posted as a DIG, shouted in the court, while maintaining that allegations levelled against him were not sustainable. Metropolitan Magistrate Ritu Singh then directed him to maintain the decorum of the court and gave him the option to convey his objections through his counsel.But then the accused interjected again and had to be taken out of the court. “I deem it fit for the conduct of uninterrupted proceedings of court to direct the accused, Ramnish, to remove himself from the courtroom,”the judge said, in the order dated June 3.The accused, however, tendered an apology for his behaviour, following which the judge asked him to be careful in future.The case, one of the oldest pending in the court, pertains to a complaint filed by IRS officer Ashok Kumar Agarwal, who had alleged that he was falsely implicated by the accused, in connivance with other CBI officers.Agarwal had also alleged that a Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) accused, against whom he was carrying out an investigation, had conspired with the CBI officers to register a false case against him.He had moved the High Court, demanding quashing of the FIR lodged against him. The court ruled in his favour and ordered registration of two FIRs against the CBI officers, for fabricating documents.

BMC video: RJ Mendonsa draws support from various sections

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Radio Jockey Malishka Mendonsa, facing the ire of the Shiv Sena for her music video mocking ‘ill-preparedness’ for monsoon of the party-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), is receiving support from various sections of the society. Over 100 activists of the Watchdog Foundation, an NGO working on civic issues, today assembled at Marol in suburban Andheri and expressed support to Mendonsa while highlighting the potholes issue in the city. Various bodies like ‘Save Our Land’, ‘The Bombay East Association’, besides many activists, joined the gathering. Activists of the MMR (Mumbai Metropolitan Region) unit of the Aam Aadmi Party gathered at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai to show solidarity and criticised the BMC for “targetting the messengers”. “There are hundreds of illegal buildings coming up in each municipal ward and everywhere, but civic body babus are siting idle on it. While Malishka raised her voice through a song, the BMC officers showed ‘extra-ordinary response’ and slapped a notice on her. “This is a crystal clear case of victimisation and we are here to support her (Mendonsa) at any cost, including fighting case for her in high court and supreme court,” said activist Godfrey Pimmenta. Pimmenta was referring to a notice issued by the civic body to Mendonsa’s mother for dengue breeding at her house in suburban Bandra, after the video became viral on social media. Ashutosh Senger, Co-Incharge of the AAP’s MMR unit, said they were against the pressure tactics of ruling parties. “We vehemently opposes the pressure tactics, hooliganism and complete goondaism with complete impunity of the ruling political parties in the BMC. We all must unite to rue this act of targeting the messengers,” he said. Activist Dolphy Desouza tweeted: “Instead of taking corrective measures, the BMC is shooting the messenger”. Meanwhile, hashtags like ‘Mumbai with Malishka, I support RJ Malishka’ and ‘Pothole rap’ continued to trend on the social-networking website. Former Central Information Commissioner (CIC) and RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi took to Facebook and posted a video supporting the RJ. In his 10-second video, Gandhi said, “Yes, I don’t have faith in BMC. I support the Malishka for telling the truth”. For its part, the BMC has clarified that the notice sent to the RJ’s Bandra home was a part of their routine inspection process and that the civic body doesn’t believe in revengeful acts. After the video, ‘Mumbai tula BMC var bharosa nahi ka’ (Mumbai, don’t you trust BMC?) was released, the Sena corporators had demanded that the BMC file a defamation suit against Mendonsa and the local FM channel for allegedly making fun of the civic body.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

BMC rejects MMRDA’s demand for Versova plot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The improvements committee of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday rejected the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority’s (MMRDA) demand for land measuring 4,400 sq meters in Versova to be handed over to it for the Metro-2 project. MMRDA had proposed to construct a sub-station for the Metro-2 line on the said plot.The committee led by Shiv Sena corporator Ananat Nar has also put on hold a demand by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRCL) for 15 BMC plots at various locations from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Mahim, which MMRCL would need for the construction of the underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 line.Speaking to DNA, Anant Nar said, “Construction of Metro is important but we cannot give the plot in Versova as it is reserved for sewerage project. Looking at the rising population, reservation for sewerage project is necessary. It is possible for MMRDA to find another plot for the sub-station.”A decision on whether to hand over the 15 plots required for Metro 3 line will be taken at next month’s improvements committee meeting.

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