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Joyride ends up killing two-year-old

A two-year-old Versova boy died on Monday after he fell from the bike on which he was taken for a joyride by the household help. The mishap took place on the flyover opposite Celebration club near Lokhandwala in Andheri on Saturday, when the help, Gopal Khandare, took two-year-old Jayan Khatri for a ride after his parents left for some work at night. The toddler plummeted headlong onto the road and succumbed to his injuries two days later.According to the Oshiwara police, Khandare, 24, works for Versova-based Abdul Khatri, 36, who trades in garments.”The boy was asking to go on a bike ride. When they were riding down the flyover at speed, Jayan fell down,” said a police officer.He added that Khandare had been working for the Khatris for four years and is like a family member to them. The parents were therefore reluctant to file a first information report.Senior inspector Subhash Khanvilkar of Oshiwara police station said, “We have registered a case under sections 304A (causing death due to negligence) and 279 (rash driving) of the Indian Penal Code. The accused was granted bail. We have recorded statements of the parents and witnesses.”

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Man stole items from temples to fund kids’ edu, nabbed

The Agripada police have arrested a 40-year-old man who was allegedly involved in stealing jewellery from Jain temples in south Mumbai. The accused has been identified as Naresh Doshi, a resident of Agripada.According to the police, the accused would specifically go to Jain temples and after the prayers, he would steal silver and gold items like idols and utensils from the temples. The accused told the police that he ran a business of metals. When this did not convince the officers, he claimed he was stealing the items to take care of his household expenses.”We had recently received a complaint from a temple in Agripada that a silver table and idols are missing. We scrutinised the CCTV footage of the temple in which Doshi was seen stealing the silver idols. We immediately swung into action and arrested the accused. He is a repeat offender however he claims that he stole to finance the education of his two children,” said a police officer from Agripada police station.The Azad Maidan police too had recently received a complaint from a Jain temple in south Mumbai about several missing silver items following which a case was registered in the police station. “We have taken him into custody on Sunday and are trying to recover the stolen items,” said Vasant Wakhare, Senior Police Inspector, Azad Maidan police station.Several cases have been registered against Doshi in three to four police stations in south Mumbai and the police are interrogating him to ascertain if he has committed theft in other parts of the city as well.

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Freeway expansion plans back on track

After putting the expansion plans of the Eastern Freeway in south Mumbai on hold, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has said that the extension of the freeway from Orange Gate in Mazgaon up to General Post Office (GPO) near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) is back on track and assured that the plan has not been discarded.The MMRDA has said that there were some issues related to procuring plots of land for the extension of the freeway further south considering the Railways have plans of building an elevated rail corridor between CSMT and Panvel.The MMRDA has decided that once the land is acquired for the CST-Panvel corridor and all modes of public transport are exhausted, they will turn to land acquisition for the freeway’s expansion as planned.UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA said, “We have not discarded the plans for expansion of the freeway up to CSMT. We will ultimately go for the expansion on both ends. As of now, on the northern end there are some issues related to slums and environmental issues but the expansion will be done on both the northern and eastern ends.”The Eastern Freeway is a major connector of the eastern suburbs and south Mumbai. Currently, the Eastern Freeway runs from Orange Gate on P D’Mello Road in the south up to the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road in the north.The Eastern Freeway was originally planned from the Prince of Wales Museum in Fort but the plan was dropped to due to the lack of space and was then built starting from the Orange Gate.FREEWAY FACTSThe Eastern Freeway runs from Orange Gate on P D’Mello Road in the south up to the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road in the north. MMRDA said there were some issues related to procuring land that led to delays.

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Lesson from building fire: Install fire safety equipment, maintain it

A major fire was controlled in the plush Legend Towers, a ground-plus-32-storey high-rise in south Mumbai’s Walkeshwar area, on Monday evening, because of the swift functioning of the fire safety installation in the building.Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer, Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB), said, “Fire was contained in the flat where it originated and it was possible because of the well-equipped fire fighting system in the building.” He added that fire fighting installations were working which facilitated the operations.Rutvi Mehta, a resident of Malabar Hill whose mother stays on the 10th floor of the B-wing where the fire occurred, said, “My mother is arriving from Dubai on Monday evening and I had just reached the building to check the arrangements. When I saw the fire, I immediately started getting phone calls from my relatives. I am glad everyone is safe.”Another resident who did not wish to be named shared that it was the alertness of the security staff and swift evacuation that ensured no one was injured. “The fire occurred at around 4 pm and we got information from our security guards. In the mean time even our neighbours began calling, after which all of us left everything and rushed out of the building,” she said, adding that they all heaved a sigh of relief on seeing the members from the flat where the fire had occurred too reaching the building podium safely.Rahangdale said that it is very important to have fire fighting and prevention measures to be put it in buildings and they should be maintained properly. “These are some measures that we always ask residents to maintain as it help a lot us to control the fire immediately,” he said.According to MBF, the reason of the fire’s spread on both the 17th and 18th floors of the building was the wooden items that are normally found in homes. Electrical wiring, false ceiling, furnishings, electrical, wooden wall paneling, wooden shelves, wardrobe, wooden beds, mattress, important documents, house hold articles, clothes, etc were damaged due to the fire, heat, smoke and water.SWIFT ACTION SAVES DAYAround 4 pm The fire broke out4.17 pm Fire control got call4.30 pm Residents started evacuating4.32 pm Fire Brigade reached the spot5.30 pm Fire controlled

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Tamil Nadu: 5 die on spot in car mishap

Five persons, including three women, were killed when a car and a mini lorry collided at nearby Nalatinputhur in Tuticorin district on Monday, police said.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readTwo killed in separate road accidents in MumbaiAll the five died on the spot, they said.Police said both vehicles collided head on.

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Fire breaks out in multi storied building in South Mumbai

A major fire broke out at the 17 and 18th floor of Regal Tower at Banganga in Balkeshwar in South Mumbai on Monday afternoon.According to Mumbai Fire Brigade, the fire took place on the 17th and 18th duplex flat of the grond plus 32 storey building. “We received fire call around 4.20 pm and it was declared level II fire by 4.32pm,” said the MFB official.Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire office of MFB said that fire fighters are already on 17 th floor and trying to douse fire at 17 th and 18 floor duplex flat. He added that three jets are in operation currently.Further details are awaited

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Mumbai: Indian Railways flags off first AC local train, curious commuters throng station to get a glimpse

The first maiden run of AC local was witnessed by a huge crowd of curious commuters who had come to witness history being written in front of them. People hooted and whistled as the AC local arrived from Mahalaxmi car shed on to platform 8-9 of Borivali station on Monday.Many people were seen clicking pictures. There was a small function that was organised by the Western Railway at the station premises. People were seen buying tickets from the booking clerk for this AC rake. The train left sharp at 10.30 am from platform 8/9 of Borivali station in its maiden run for Churchgate. The train operated on the fast corridor between Borivali and Churchgate. The train which was packed with media personnel’s, commuters and Western railway officials and reached its destination at 11.15 am. Also readThis is how much travelling from Mumbai’s first AC local train will cost you monthlyDNA travelled in the AC locals maiden journey and spoke to commuters who were thrilled to travel on the first journey. P Jain resident of Borivali was excited to be on board the AC train. “The AC local train will be a boon for passengers. The fares are priced properly if you see private cab aggregators hefty fares. AC local train will be a good alternative”.Also readSpoiler alert: 50 things can go wrong with the first AC local in MumbaiGuardian minister Vinod Tawde also took the ride till Churchgate. It reached Churchgate at 11.15am after which it left for Borivali again as 11.21 am fast local.

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Speak up Mumbai: Lax inspections allow flouting of safety norms

The fire in Bhanu farsan shop in Saki Naka has once again brought to light the fact that several commercial activities in Mumbai are carried out without the requisite licenses issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), and are run out of places that do not comply to fire safety normsMany residential structures across the city too have been found not complying to safety norms. La Mer building in Bandra, is a recent example, in which Sachin Tendulkar’s apartment caught fire. The building’s fire extinguishing system was found to be defunct and the Mumbai fire brigade issued a notice to the building under the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2005.While the BMC insists that it’s the citizens first that need to comply with fire safety norms, the question that also arises is why the civic body and fire brigade department is not more stringent with its inspections. Officials contend that it is impossible to inspect every building thus they are building a software that allows them to issue notices online. In the meantime, BMC has said that it will be sealing shops which are found to be violating fire safety norms.Residents tell DNA whether they think the authorities are taking fire safety lightly.EXPERTS SPEAKIt is the BMC’s responsibility to ensure that all residential and commercial units comply with fire safety norms but it is also the duty of citizens to comply. We have given buildings and shops one month’s time. The SOP for safety norms is available on the MCGM’s website. We appeal to citizens to read and comply with them. Inspections are necessary but awareness is required too.—Nidhi Chaudhari, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special)People are not aware of the importance of fire safety norms and put their own lives in danger. However, the BMC and fire brigade too do not inspect all structures nor do they take action against those flouting safety norms. Thus, it is supplementary. Illegal businesses take advantage of BMC’s leniency. The authorities should take action against structures whose complaints are lodged.—Anil Galgali, Social activistVOICESThere have been several incidents of fire in the city recently. In a way we are all responsible for taking fire safety precautions lightly. Every co-operative housing society in the city is supposed to carry out a fire safety audit every six months but we rarely see it being done. At times, the solution to the problem lies with us.—Rohan Salian, ParelIn many instances, the fire department does not have the necessary infrastructure to douse fire effectively. As active residents, we have often observed that the authorities’ reaction to fire incidents is only knee-jerk and there are no provisions in place to eliminate the causes of fire by the corporation and the government.—Sandeep Sawant, GoregaonConsidering the rise in fire incidents, it is true that we are taking fire safety lightly. Most of the fires broke in areas where the BMC has not given fire safety permissions due to illegal constructions. However, even BMC officials are responsible for such incidents as they often give permissions for such illegal constructions. The civic body should also keep a strict watch on residential societies and whether their fire safety equipment is in place.—Uday Nare, AndheriEvery residential society should conduct a fire audit to ensure that the building is safe from fire. As citizens, we do fail to keep fire safety equipment handy and maintain them giving room for such incidents to take place. If safety measures are taken care of, fewer such incidents will take place. We certainly take fire safety lightly. The fire department should enforce some strict measures and make sure citizens follow them to keep themselves safe.—Omkar Sawant, MaladEvery year hundreds of fires are reported across the city. We do not even bother to discuss it as it’s become a normal occurrence. We only discuss when the fire’s intensity is high or the number of casualties is more. From residents to authorities, we do not follow the guidelines to prevent fires at either residential or commercial places. Many of us are not even aware about the standard procedure to be adopted in case of a fire.—Amarjeet Singh, BhandupEveryone, authorities and citizens alike, is taking fire safety lightly. In a number of places the wiring is not done properly or wires are seen hanging or exposed. In case of a fire, one needs to ensure that they can run to safety. However, there are many people who do not listen. This creates impediments in the way of a fire officer while fighting the fire as well. People should also take precautions to not leave the knob of the cooking gas on.—Jagdish Kulur, FortIt is not that the citizens or authorities are taking fire safety norms lightly. Most of the commercial and residential premises in the city are fire compliant and the fire brigade also works promptly in the case of fire emergencies in the city. But there needs to be more awareness among citizens on fire safety norms and fire fighting methods and action should be taken against illegal shops and establishments in the city that are not fire compliant.—Krushna Gupta, BorivliAlthough the number of fatalities in such incidents is on the rise, we are not taking enough safety measures. Having fire complaint workplaces and eating houses should be mandatory. Awareness about the dangers of not having a fire compliant area should be widely publicised and people should be educated on simple safety measures which can prevent major outbreaks. The government should introduce strict fire safety laws.—Gaurav Pinglay, Dombivili

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Seizure of party drugs rises sevenfold this year

There has been a sevenfold rise in drug seizures in 2017 compared to last year. The data revealed by the Mumbai police’s Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) shows that the value of the party drugs seized in 2017 is roughly seven times that of the value of those seized in 2016.Data suggests that while drugs worth Rs 1.86 crore were seized in the entire year in 2016, drugs worth Rs 12.50 crore have been seized this year 2017 till December 15.More notable is the seizure and demand of high-profile party drugs like heroin and LSD, which are imported through the darknet using bitcoins, said police.The LSD haul has increased from 116 dot papers last year to 1,615 this year, while that of heroin has risen from 1 kg to 2.14 kg, which is worth almost Rs 3 crore.The ANC said that due to their sustained action on MDMA manufacturing units, which is the source of the supply of party drug M-Kat, the latter’s availability in the market has taken a hit.However, the demand for other party drugs started increasing and more heroin and LSD found its way into the city.”MD had replaced high-profile drugs like cocaine and heroin as it is manufactured in India itself and has a huge demand in the local market. But since the crackdown on its manufacturing units, other drugs’ supply started increasing. The origin of these drugs is out of India. For drugs like LSD, the suppliers use Darknet, which is alarming because all transactions take place in the virtual space using bitcoins,” said a senior police officer.MD, which is a component of the M-Kat, also known as meow-meow and mephedrone, is usually in high demand considering its easy availability and cheaper rate. In the year 2017, MD peddling saw a sharp rise, increasing from 3 kg to 33 kg (worth Rs 6.6 crore).”The increase in seizures is owed to sustained action against drug syndicates operating in the city.There is a change in the trend of drug supply after our crackdown on MD suppliers and manufacturers. We are continuously cracking the whip on drug peddlers and targeting suppliers,” said Shivdeep Lande, Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC).

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Spoiler alert: 50 things can go wrong with the first AC local

All may not be merry with the first air-conditioned local that is rolling onto the city’s suburban tracks on Christmas Day. The Western Railway officials have easily counted as many as 50 “small” hiccups with the rake that might lead to what is being dismissed as teething troubles. But compounded, some of these snags could become a prolonged rumbling strip for the AC service, DNA has learnt.Broadly, the problems relate to air conditioning, emergency halts, door closure, and machinery.These can affect the overall performance of the train and throw its schedule off-kilter.Senior railway officials said that two months ago, when the AC rake was being trialled, 80-odd problematic issues were recorded. But after Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that the AC train would make its first full run on January 1, a series of meetings between different railway agencies and the manufacturer led to as many as 30 issues being resolved. But others remain.”These are small glitches that can cause a bigger problem at the time of running. The biggest fear is the coordinated opening and closing of the rake’s doors, and on the same side,” said a railway official on condition of anonymity.Even after a couple of months of fine-tuning, it isn’t certain how the doors would open.If the doors don’t close simultaneously or one faces an obstruction while closing, then the train won’t start. This could happen even if there’s a tiny pebble in the door ridge. In such cases, the motorman or the train guard would have to manually open and close the door.The Railway Board has issued a rider that if the portals malfunction, the AC services will be suspended.The next is the pulling of alarm-chains. Rail officials feel that the guard would have to alight and walk up to the coach from which the chain has been pulled, manually open the door, and press a button, which is inside the coach, to restart the train, which will be time-consuming. In the existing system, in case an alarm chain is pulled, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) or the stationmaster inspects the issue from outside.On an average, around 2-3 cases of alarm-chain pulling are reported every day from the tracks, which affects punctuality, as it takes 7-10 minutes to restart the train after the emergency brakes are hit.”What would happen if this occurs during peak hours? How will we manage?” asked a rail official.Also, initially, the AC would stop working at the time the door opens or closes, as electric supply could only support one of them. It continues to be a suspense if the supply knot has been ironed out.Finally, this prototype rake is retrofitted. The engines, coaches, motors, ACs, and the information display system have all been assembled. As such, there are bumps on the system. For instance, the software has to be fed with fresh information about station halts every time the train starts a journey. A mistake could delay the service and have a cascading effect on other services.BROAD ISSUESIf someone pulls the chain, the door will have to be opened from the outside of the coach Cooling may not be uniform in all coaches, could be too high/low Door closing might not be fully coordinated Station names have to be fed afresh into info display for each journey

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FDA suspends 12 blood banks in state

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department has suspended the licenses of 12 blood banks in the state. During the inspection, a few blood banks also received show cause notices.While the NACO rule makes it mandatory to collect blood and its components in the presence of a Blood Transfusion Officer (BTO), many blood banks in the state do not have a BTO working in all shifts.FDA Joint Commissioner AT Khadtare said, “The suspension of licenses is mainly due to the lack of BTO officers in those blood banks. While only one Mumbai blood bank got a suspension, most of the suspended blood banks are from Pune. The inspection started in March.” A private blood bank from Vile Parle got license suspension notice.As per the rule of State Blood Transfusion Council, in 24×7 blood banks, every shift requires one BTO and one extra for camps.In July, a Right To Information (RTI) application was filed to know which blood banks have less number of BTO staff. The RTI reply stated that 34 private blood banks in the city which collect more than 2,000 units of blood had less number of BTO.RTI activist, Chetan Kothari, said, “Last year, the FDA had issued show cause notices to government-run blood banks for violation of SBTC rule. They should keep an eye on private blood banks too for violation of rules.”

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Ex-Ola driver, friend had gang rape on mind

Kashimira police have arrested Suresh Gosavi (32) who was earlier associated with app-based cab service Ola, and his friend Umesh Jhala (31). The survivor, who usually took a bus home, decided to take a cab on the fated day as she wanted to reach home early. She had not booked the cab via app. After she got into the car, Gosavi took the car to an isolated place and raped her. He then took her to a lodge, but she raised alarm and fled the spot. Gosavi has confessed that he was under the influence of alcohol. Cops are also checking his past record to see if he has any past offenses recorded against him.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Monday 25 December 2017 1:58 ISTMust readMumbai’s first AC local train to begin operations tomorrow210 train services to be hit this X’mas weekend<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>In the Kashimira rape case, where a former app-based cab driver and his friend were suspected to have raped a 32-year-old woman on December 19, it has now emerged that the survivor escaped gang rape as she raised an alarm when the accused were taking her to a lodge.Kashimira police have arrested Suresh Gosavi (32) who was earlier associated with app-based cab service Ola, and his friend Umesh Jhala (31). The survivor, who usually took a bus home, decided to take a cab on the fated day as she wanted to reach home early. She had not booked the cab via app. After she got into the car, Gosavi took the car to an isolated place and raped her. He then took her to a lodge, but she raised alarm and fled the spot. Gosavi has confessed that he was under the influence of alcohol. Cops are also checking his past record to see if he has any past offenses recorded against him.

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Homes stuck in pipeline, citizens spend a decade in transit camp

Nearly everyone dreams of owning a house in Mumbai but the number of homebuyers and tenants that have seen their hopes dashed is a cautionary tale for others. Many are awaiting possession, and even construction, of their houses years after paying the developer. Others, like slum dwellers and tenants who opted for redevelopment, moved to temporary accommodation but remain stuck there even after years, for they haven’t got the promised homes.DNA is launching a series to bring out the stories of people who have seen their housing dreams sour.Shyam Gupta is one of them. Gupta vacated his Worli hutment in 2007 after he was promised a larger and newer home at the same location. But 10 years after he moved out of his 10×10 shack, his 269-square-foot home in south Mumbai is still not ready. He has been staying on rent in Mira Road.Gupta is in the company of hundreds of other tenants who consented for their slums in Maryam Nagar, which falls in Coastal Regulatory Zone, to be razed and rebuilt as towers.But they never got to move back after they vacated the premises.The redevelopment project Gupta and his neighbours had agreed to in 2003 was initiated by Akshay Sthapatya Private Limited. Currently, the site houses transit camps.Many of Gupta’s neighbours were made to leave Worli even before 2007. Most haven’t been able to return as their houses are not ready. The developer, Akshay Sthapatya, claims they couldn’t start the work for about four years since they did not have an access road to the site of the project. They also blame policy changes for the work getting stuck.Neeraj Rungta, the company’s director, said, “There were 1,500 tenants and 1,100 of these were eligible to get new homes. We first constructed a proper bridge structure to have access to the area. Then we constructed one tower, but then the government changed the policy, and we were required to give tenants bigger homes. So the building constructed was of no use. We have converted it into a transit camp.”Another tenant, Ramlal Pal, vacated his house in 2014. He has been given a home in the transit camp built on the land where his house once stood. “I am lucky that my house was brought down only recently. There are many who left in early 2000s and we don’t even know where they are now. My transit accommodation is good. But in most cases, the transit camp is crumbling. The developer stopped giving rent to tenants. After we protested and had a series of meetings with them and the government authorities, we started getting the rent back,” said Pal.According to Rungta, there has been so many policy flip-flops that the project remains incomplete. “Because the land falls under Coastal Regulatory Zone, my project has not got extra FSI. Whatever FSI I have will be used up in constructing homes for the existing tenants. I will get no money. I am hoping that the current government makes it a point to provide housing for all. I may get some relief. As of now, I don;t have any sale component. The entire area will be used for construction of rehabilitation buildings,” said Rungta.Tomorrow, we are going to review the situation of tenants who had to vacate their buildings for redevelopment.

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Held up Air India flight dampens holiday mood

An Air India flight, AI 866 from Mumbai to Delhi, was allegedly delayed by five hours on Sunday morning resulting in passengers creating a ruckus at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.The flight was scheduled to take off at 9 am but could not due to technical engineering faults, claimed the passengers. After spending almost two hours in the aircraft, the 800 on-board passengers were offloaded, said Sanyukta Dharmadhikari, one of the passengers. She added, “At 10.15 am, there was an in-flight announcement that the flight would be ready to take off in 30 minutes but at 11.15 am we were told the issue couldn’t be fixed and that we would have to be offloaded.” Dharmadhikari continued, “The next flight was scheduled for take off at 1 pm but even at 12.30, the boarding gates were not open which agitated the passengers further and began shouting slogans like ‘Air India haaye haaye’.”The flight finally took off at 2.15 pm and landed at Indira Gandhi International Airport at around 3.45 pm. “I had to report to office by 2 pm which is why I had booked a 9 am flight. We couldn’t make an official complaint as the airline crew had moved out of the aircraft and sent in security,” Mihika Sarangi, another passenger.An Air India spokesperson told DNA, “The aircraft had developed a technical snag due to which the passengers had to wait until we could make arrangements to accommodate them in another aircraft.”

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Mumbai: In 24 hours Pilot crushed, bus crashes, teen run over

A trainee pilot, a student and a pedestrian were killed in three separate incidents while 15 passengers were injured in a fourth accident after a BEST bus collided with a dumper in Mumbai in 24 hours.Varun Bamrotia, 28, was riding his BMW superbike and was on his way for a routine Sunday ride to Manor when he was crushed under a trailer on Sunday around 7 am. Varun was a trainee pilot.A teenager student from Dharavi Mansoor Shaikh (19) was run over by a car near Marine drive promenade as he was crossing the road. The accident took place around 11.30 am on Saturday.In the third incident, an unidentified man was killed in a hit-and-run as a private bus hit him near Samata Nagar police station in Kandivli East. The driver, who fled the spot, was identified and was held in the evening.The BEST bus accident near Marol bus depot could have resulted into a major tragedy but the passengers escaped with minor injuries. As the bus was heading towards Agarkar Chowk around 12.45 pm on Sunday, it collided with a dumper that was in the wrong lane. All the occupants, including the driver and conductor, sustained minor injuries and were treated at Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre in Jogeshwari.

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Mumbai: Meet this 50-year-old Santa Claus who distributes gifts from kids to beggars on Christmas

The 50-year-old man dress up as Santa Claus every year and greet people.Darryl has been doing this for the past 15 years. (Photo: Aadesh Choudhari/DNA)Darryl distribute chocolates, gifts to kids road side people on Bandra road in Mumbai on the eve of Christmas. (Photo: Aadesh Choudhari/DNA)He started this activity to help people to simply bring a smile on their face. (Photo: Aadesh Choudhari/DNA)He chose to dress as Santa and go out and meet everyone from kids to begger to help them forget all unpleasant things in life and live to the fullest on Christmas. (Photo: Aadesh Choudhari/DNA)

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Koli community holds protest at Badhwar Park

The Koli community, living in Badhwar Park area of Cuffe Parade, held a protest on Saturday by wearing black t-shirts and waving black flags. They were protesting against three decisions, that they allege, were being forced on them. “The authorities had arrested around 150 of our volunteers who wanted to protest the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bhoomi-pujan on a rocky outcrop in the sea where the Shivaji memorial will be located on this day last year,” said Damodar Tandel, president of Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti. “We are also protesting state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam’s statement that they will reduce the CRZ limitation from 500 metres to 50 metres. He claims that he is doing it for us so that we can construct or repair our homes. In existing rules we can already repair them. They are reducing CRZ norms to regularise many illegal bungalows that have come within 500 metres in Ali Baug and are saying that they are doing it for us. That is a lie,” said Tandel adding that “We also want to register our protest against the setting up of theme park here.”

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Powai Hiranandani residents oppose hawking pitches

Residents of posh areas are not in favour of hawking pitches in their vicinity, reveal the objections and suggestions received by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Residents of Powai Hiranandani have opposed any hawking pitches within their premises. They have received backing of Niranjan Hiranandani, founder and managing director of Hiranandani.The Removal of Encroachment (RE) department of BMC has received hundreds of suggestions after it proposed around 23,900 hawking pitches across the city in the first week of December.Among objections and suggestions the civic body received, a substantial number of residents have opposed hawking pitches or zones in their areas. According to an official from the RE department of BMC, residents of Hiranandani Powai have also raised their objection to the idea of hawking pitches in their area.In their objections, they said that they are fed up with hawker menace in their area and they do not want hawkers allowed within Hiranadani Powai. Senior civic officials have also reportedly visited the area after residents of the Hiranandani Powai opposed hawking pitches.Nidhi Chaudhary, deputy municipal commissioner (special), confirmed that they have received Hiranandani Powai residents’ objections for setting up any hawking pitches in their area.Niranjan Hiranandani has also opposed the idea of hawking pitches within Hiranandani Powai. He said, “No. Certainly not. The residents are very much upset. They have been resisting the idea of hawking pitches within Hiranandani Powai for 30 years.”In December first week, the Removal of Encroachment department of the BMC had put up proposed 23,940 hawking pitches across the city online and sought residents’ objections and suggestions. “We have received encouraging response from residents and are considering many of the suggestions we have received,” said an official from the department.Residents have also suggested that gardens’ open space should be used for hawking once in a week. “We are considering a number of suggestions that we received to include in the final hawking pitches,” said another civic official.WHAT BMC CLAIMSIn December first week, the BMC had put up proposed 23,940 hawking pitches across the city online and sought residents’ suggestions. “We, in fact, received encouraging response from residents, and are now considering many of the suggestions we have received,” said an official from the department.

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MMRDA blinks, cedes BKC plot for bullet train terminal

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has blinked first in the long stand-off over the land reserved for the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and ceded it to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. An underground terminal for the bullet train and IFSC will now be accommodated on the same plot.This development comes after the Railways informed the MMRDA earlier this week that the alternate site for the terminal, near Mithi River in BKC’s G Block, was not feasible. It insisted on the same plot which the state government had reserved for IFSC.UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner of MMRDA, told DNA, “We were informed by the Railways that the Mithi River site is not feasible, and now we have told our consultant to prepare a new design. There will be some complications but a new design will be prepared to accommodate both.”MMRDA and the state government were reluctant to give up the plot, citing that MMRDA needed vacant land for IFSC.MMRDA had also pointed out that the land rate at BKC is very high.It wanted to monetise land parcels there to garner funds for crucial infrastructure projects under Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). However, the bullet train project is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, and on the Centre’s demand, the State changed its decision.Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train in Gujarat in September 2017. The high-speed corridor will be elevated, and bullet train will ply at 300 km to 350 km per hour. 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 two hours and 58 minutes.

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Air India launches direct Amritsar-Nanded flight

Air India launched a direct flight between Amritsar and Sikh pilgrimage destination of Nanded in Maharashtra on Saturday.It will deploy an A-320 neo aircraft on Amritsar-Nanded route twice a week on Saturdays and Sundays, according to Air India.Air India will also launch a direct flight between Amritsar and Mumbai.Fight AI815 departed from Amritsar at 10.55 am to reach Nanded at 1.10 pm, while the return flight AI816 departed from Nanded at 1.50pm to arrive in Amristar at 4.30 pm, the airline said in a statement.The inaugural flight was flagged off from Amritsar by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla, CMD Air India Pradeep Singh Kharola and other dignitaries.

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Teen on a mission to clean up the Mumbai

Inspired by the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sidharth Runwal, a 17-year-old student of B.D.Somani International School is on a mission to improve the quality of life of ragpickers and garbage cleaners in Mumbai through his non-profit organisation Clean-Up Foundation.The NGO aims to achieve the objective through various activities targeted at improving and enhancing the hygiene and sanitation factors around those who help in cleaning up the city but themselves live in appalling conditions.Runawal said, “The first step towards improving the quality of life for the garbage cleaners of Mumbai is to provide them with clean drinking water. It is ironic that the people who clean the city every day live in such deplorable conditions.” He added that as per the BMC report, the average garbage cleaner does not live for over 40 years. “They do not have access to fundamental necessities such as potable water that are essential for survival,” he added.“The Clean-Up Foundation installed water purifiers at multiple Chowkis across Bandra, Khar and Santa Cruz under the H/West Ward Office. This initiative ensured clean drinking water is available for over 12,000 garbage cleaners in Mumbai,” said Runawal.AWARD-WINNING WORKSidharth Runwal was felicitated by Ministry of Environment, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, BMC and Bhamla Foundation on World Environment Day for his efforts

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210 train services to be hit this X’mas weekend

Thirty years after the rail authorities proposed to connect Mumbai with Raigad through Seawoods-Uran Railway line; the Central Railway (CR) will kick off its first huge mega block this month. Ten lakh commuters on the Harbour line and 2 lakh commuters using the Trans-Harbour line will be affected by this super mega block as the authorities are expected to cancel around 210 train services between December 22-25. On December 14, the block carried out for carrying out this project-related work was delayed which disrupted services on Harbour line.During the next four days, the CR authorities will carry out work on the most crucial element of this 28-km suburban rail line during non-peak hours due to which 64 services will get cancelled.These cancellations will be mainly between Nerul-Panvel section on which on a regular day, 256 services ply on this route. “We will carry out work near Belapur station which is very crucial for this project,” said SK Jain, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), Central Railway.On December 24, 12 services will be cancelled. During this period, Nerul station will remain affected which will also hit services on the Trans Harbour section towards Thane. Trains will, however, be available between Vashi and Thane during this period.Sources said that they are working on laying tracks on a new tunnel towards Kile station. The most important block would be from the night of December 24. Services will begin at 2 am and end at 3 pm on the day of Christmas when 124 services on Harbour line and 40 services on Trans Harbour section will be cancelled.CANCELLATIONSThese cancellations will be mainly between Nerul-Panvel section; 256 services ply on this route on a daily basis Trains will, however, be available between Vashi and Thane On December 25, 124 services on Harbour line and 40 services on Trans Harbour section will be cancelled.

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Mumbai- Nagpur expressway to have 31 toll plazas, toll activists stage protests

While the state government’s ambitious Samruddhi Mahamarg, the Mumbai- Nagpur super communication highway is facing stern protest from farmers, this information about the highway under RTI may spark new controversy. According to the information, the 710 kilometre proposed highway will have as many as 31 toll plazas which toll activists are already opposing.The Samruddhi Mahamarg (prosperity highway) will run through ten districts and connect Mumbai and Nagpur. It is also considered as a dream project of the state government as once it is completed, the highway will connect backward regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha with growing regions of Mumbai and Thane. However, since the most part of the land which is to be acquired for the highway is agricultural land, the farmers community has been staging protests against the proposed highway and state government is trying its best to pacify the protest.Also readMumbai-Nagpur E-way: Trust deficit hits land acquisitionNow amidst the protests and government’s countering strategy, Pune based toll activist Sanjay Shirodkar had filed RTI with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) seeking details of projected toll plazas situated on the proposed Samruddhi Mahamarg. In the reply to his RTI, he has got the information that the proposed highway will have 31 toll plazas. Speaking to DNA, Shirodkar said, “While feasibility study and other such reports related to the proposed highway are yet to be completed, the state government has already finalised the locations of toll plaza on the highway which is still at the primary stage.”Also readNo runway on Mumbai-Nagpur E-wayAfter finding out that the highway will have 31 toll plazas, Shirodkar claimed that finalising 31 toll plazas on 710 kilometre highway is a clear violation of the state government’s toll policy. “In 2009, the state government came up with toll policy. According to the policy, the distance between two toll plazas on the same highway should not be less than 35 to 40 kilometre. However, if we calculate the number of toll plazas against the total length of the highway, the distance between two toll plazas on Samruddhi Mahamarg will be around 22 kilometres only. It clearly suggests that the state government is violating its own toll policy,” Shirodkar said. Shirodkar who has been fighting against the toll collection at various highways has filed some public interest litigation in the court, particularly in connection with toll collection of Mumbai- Pune expressway. Shirodkar stated that the present government in the state came to power by promising that they will be ending the toll culture in the state, however, now instead of shutting down toll plazas, they are opening new ones. “This information of RTI clearly shows that the government before coming to power had given false promises of shutting toll plazas. They are not bothered about the common people. They are more concerned about toll collection and therefore the first thing which they have done is to finalise 31 toll plazas on the proposed Samruddhi Mahamarg,” Shirodkar said.

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Israeli man arrested for possessing satellite phone at Mumbai airport

A 23-year-old Israel national was arrested for allegedly possessing a satellite phone, which is banned in India, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here, a police official said on Thursday.Based on a complaint by the officials of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Sahar police arrested Tsamret Ido, an ex-Army man from Israel, on Tuesday, she said.After Ido landed at the Mumbai airport, the CISF, during security check, found a satellite phone in his luggage following which he was apprehended and later arrested, the official said.Ido, who was in India on a tourist visa, was scheduled to go Goa from here through a connecting flight.’An offence was registered against him at the Sahar police station under relevant sections of the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, she said.The man was on Wednesday produced before a local court which granted him bail on a surety of Rs 25,000.According to sources, Ido told the police he was not aware that satellite phones are banned in India.Notably, the handlers of the 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists had apparently used these phones during the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008.The Bureau of Civil Aviation also issued a circular in 2012 to all airports in the country to detain passengers carrying satellite phones, the police said.

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Mumbai: 3 tonnes of meat seized by police, lab test confirms its beef

The Thane district police seized a stock of three tonnes of animal meat from a tempo with police claiming that it was beef.Police said that the vehicle was intercepted in the early hours of Wednesday within the limits of Padgha police station and two persons, the driver and cleaner of the tempo, had been arrested.The Station House Officer of Padgha police station said that the lab test of the meat had confirmed that it was beef.The official said that the tempo was coming from Nashik to Mumbai and the meat was concealed beneath scrap items loaded onto the tempo.Police said that the tip-off about the tempo allegedly transporting beef was received from Bajrang Dal activists and a trap was laid at Ajroli checkpost to intercept the vehicle.The meat was being transported from Sangamner to Govandi in Mumbai where it was to be delivered to a meat-seller, police said.

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Over 250 MHADA flats to be on offer

Here’s good news for homebuyers who have been looking for affordable houses within city limits. According to senior MHADA officials, the forthcoming lottery that in most likelihood will be held in May will have 278 homes in the affordable segment in the Wadala region. If one doesn’t consider Sion, then the authority hasn’t had many affordable home projects on this side of the city. This will help MHADA have its image correction as the lottery in November had only eight homes in the Economically Weaker Section.MHADA faced criticism from various corners after the November lottery had very few homes on offer — 820 to be precise. But what was worse that the number of homes for the EWS category was the lowest. MHADA is expected to construct homes for that segment of the society which cannot afford the homes constructed by developers in Mumbai.According to a senior officer from MHADA, its Mumbai board is carrying out redevelopment of a chawl in Wadala’s Antop Hill, where it will be constructing nearly four towers of 25 floors each. “The total number of homes that will be on offer from this redevelopment project will be around 700, which will be used for rehabilitation purposes. There are flats that will be used for transit accommodation. Then, over 250 homes which will be around 300 sqft each will be put in the lottery,” said a MHADA official.Repeated attempts to contact Subhash Lakhe, chief officer, MHADA’s Mumbai board, failed.

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Dawoodi Bohras extend helping hand to community members

With an aim to help the underprivileged families from their own community, the Dawoodi Bohras have organised a five-day ‘upliftment’ drive from Thursday. While it is the third edition of the project, this is the first time that over 21,000 members from the community have come together voluntarily to take part in the novel initiative.According to the members of the community, people from across the country as well as among those staying abroad have joined to volunteer in the project. During the last edition of the project, over 4,000 community members volunteered. However, in the third edition of the initiative, over 21,000 members volunteered.Speaking about the initiative, a spokesperson of the community said, “While there are various initiatives organised for the five-day upliftment drive, the major activity is House upliftment. Through these initiatives people from our community who are less fortunate will be helped by the volunteers. The upliftment drive involves various works like repairing or cleaning homes, providing food, giving basic necessities, building toilets if required, providing sanitation and providing education facilities. This will ensure that livelihood facilities for the families are available.”In Mumbai, the house upliftment project will be mainly organised in Marol, Mumbra, Dombivli, and Kandivli area among others. Volunteers from the the community include clergy and community officials, doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, businessmen, homemakers, and students.”The aim is to improve the well-being of members of the community as well as society at large. Beside house upliftment, every night there will be workshops on health, sanitation, education at religious centres across cities,” added the spokesperson.

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Sanjay Gandhi National Park initiates DNA mapping project for big cats

In one of its most ambitious projects, the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) along with Thane territorial department has decided to initiate the DNA profiling of leopards — a project under which it plans to create a scientific database of individual leopards.The female leopard rescued from Andheri east recently is the first big cat to undergo DNA fingerprinting. DNA profiling is essentially a technique by which individuals can be identified and compared from their respective DNA profiles.Dr Shailesh Pethe, Veterinary Officer, SGNP who triggered the idea of DNA mapping said,”The big cat was not only micro-chipped but we also collected her blood sample for DNA, which will be sent to Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). We also took photographs of her right and left flank and now we will have all the key data on this animal with us using which we can identify her.”Pethe said if this leopard were ever to become a problem animal they would be able to scientifically identify it after trapping.Dr Jitendra Ramgaonkar, Deputy Conservator of Forest (DCF), Thane said that similar profiling will be done on every leopard rescued. “We have to use all the scientific tools available for better wildlife management practises. We can only collect blood samples for DNA extraction of those leopards that are rescued for others we are planning to use scat or hair follicles for sampling in case a leopard is found visiting human dominated areas,” he said.

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3 more held in car theft case

The Mumbai Crime Branch sleuths on Tuesday arrested three more persons who were instrumental in altering parts of a stolen vehicle from Mumbai, which was used to ferry cache of arms by a criminal gang. The said gang had looted an arms godown in UP and had ferried the arms in the said vehicle which was intercepted by the Nashik police this month.The accused have been identified as Mehtab Khan (50), Mohamed Abdul Shaikh(49) and Shehzad Ali Shaikh (23) all residents of Sewree area.The police had on Tuesday also arrested a thief Sanjay Salukhe, 22, a resident of Chembur for allegedly stealing a Bolero jeep which was parked opposite Lashkariya Building in Andheri (w) on December 05. The case was being probed by Amboli police station, after there was a delay in registering the case.According to the police, the accused would run a garage and after stealing the vehicle the Salunkhe had taken the car to the accuse’s garage to alter the parts of the jeep after which it was used in ferrying in the arms.”After the arrest of Salunkhe, names of the three accused cropped up and we traced arrested them from Sewree area,” said a crime branch officer.

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Travel co to compensate family

The State consumer dispute redressal commission had pulled up Cox and King limited, travel company for failing to provide a South-Mumbai based family with a proper tour guide for their trip to London. The commission has asked the firm to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to the eight major family members, while Rs 10,000 towards the minors of the family. The commission has also asked the firm to pay back Rs 29,891 to all 11 complainants as the firm failed to take them to a few places as promised in the itinerary. The forum also asked the firm to pay Rs 10,000 each towards their litigation charges. Anurag Saxena and his family planned a London trip in May 2011 and accordingly made the bookings through Cox and King.According to the complainant, a 11-day Europe trip was booked for which they had paid Rs 12,20,736. The complainants were informed that their tour manager Anthony will remain present along with them throughout the trip. However, when the reached the London airport on May 28, 2011, a person named Jasbir Singh came and introduced himself to be their tour manager. Deficiency in service was seen right from the first day of the tour when Singh did it know the details of the tour and the places to be shown to the complainants in the tour.

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Minor actress molestation: Accused gets bail

Clean chits from the airline, the co-passenger, the air hostess and office support have helped the defence to put forth its case before the court, which granted bail to Vikas Sachdev, a senior corporate executive of a media firm. The court granted him bail in the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSOA) case, which was levelled against him by a minor actress. The actress had accused Sachdev of allegedly molesting her while he had boarded the same Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai on December 11.The court presided over by judge AD Deo granted bail to Sachdev on temporary cash bail of Rs 25,000 and two solvency sureties. The court has laid conditions of Sachdev attending Sahar police station on every first Sunday of the month between 10.30 am and 2.30 pm till the conclusion of the trial. The court has also asked him to not to tamper with evidence and witness in any manner.Family members of Sachdev, while speaking to DNA, said, “Our advocate had filed for his bail clearly on the merits of the case. Sachdev was arrested with no prior notice, which is a fundamental right of every accused. When the prosecution was confronted with the same, they were speechless on the fact that the accused was not given time to opt for a legal option. Furthermore, as per the sections imposed against Sachdev under POCSOA, it was not practical enough to touch the four body parts which were described in the Act, of which he was accused of. Also, clean chits were given to Sachdev by all the authorities concerned.”Vikas Sachdev was arrested after the actress filed a complaint and was presented before the court which sent him to police custody. Sachdev has been booked under section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) since the actor is a minor.The actor had alleged she was on a Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai when a co-passenger sitting behind her put his feet on her armrest.

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Nagpada junction to get 20 m flag pole

A 20-meter flag pole and congestion-free Nagpada junction is on its way. According to sources the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) recently approved a complete makeover of the junction that is famous for its congestion. The Nagpada Junction is one of the oldest junction in the city. Currently it is a traffic nightmare, where commuters get stuck for a long time. The local corporator Rais Shaikh, along with architects came up with a plan to redesign the area and give it a new look. Shaikh said “We will have a landscaping for the area done so that no one encroaches the area again and there is a smooth flow of traffic,” said Shaikh.According to Shaikh, the municipal commissioner recently gave the proposal an administrative consent and the work may start soon on the junction.The junction will have a small garden that can be used by the locals. “We are also planning to have a flag pole as huge as 20 meters. This flag pole will hoist the flag throughout the year. There are certain things like proper lighting and other regulations to be followed for the flag to be hoisted day and night, all of that is being worked out and will be followed,” added Shaikh.Shaikh claims that the makeover of the junction will help the locals have a beautiful place and also solve traffic and other problems like illegal parking in the area near the junction. Already that issue has been talked about and action on illegal parking has been taken on several occasions.

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Mumbai Port Trust occupants to file PIL, save homes

Residents of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) are planning to file a public interest litigation (PIL) to ensure that they are not thrown out of their premises, and have a more secure future. The occupants have been staring at an uncertain future ever since eviction notices have been served to some of the residents and some premises have been sealed on allegations of misuse.”We are meeting this Sunday to discuss modalities of filing a PIL for all of us. We are looking to form an association and also get it registered. We want to talk to our colleagues about creating awareness on the issue so that people know such a problem exists,” said Pervez Cooper, a MbPT occupant who lives in Colaba. Cooper said that they are planning to involve different stakeholders from Colaba to Wadala — the entire eastern seafront where MbPT owns lands.”A number of people who have not been served with eviction notice feel they are safe. They may be served one anytime and it may be too late. We have been trying to meet political leaders but there is nothing concrete that we get to know, ” said Preeti Shenoy, another occupant.

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MHADA yet to recover 13K sq m area from builders

The Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) is yet to recover around 13,000 sq m area from developers who were permitted to redevelop cess buildings, mostly situated in south and central Mumbai.While replying to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by activist Kamlakar Shenoy alleging that the authority has now recovered around 30 lakh sq m causing a loss of around 14,000 crore to the exchequer, it was said that the petitioner had misread the surplus due and arrived at a wrong conclusion.Relying on a chart of the number of projects completed under rule 33 (7) of the Development Control Rules, the authority said in 17 cases redevelopment work has been completed and 5734.26 sq m which is due is yet to be received. Similarly in 33 cases, MHADA has initiated criminal proceedings against the developers who have not surrendered surplus area, which is around 7392.88 square meters.The authority also informed the court that since 2011 developers are told to give an undertaking that surplus land will be surrendered to MHADA on completion of the project.On a question by the Bombay High Court, whether it has any mechanism to recover the surplus area, it said “It was helpless and did not have any mechanism of its own but it only writes to the collector asking him to attach the concerned area. The entire process is cumbersome.”The court then asked MHADA to give suggestions on the next hearing about the ways in which the state can delegate some powers to the authority to recover the surplus and also issue a policy to ensure that in future such a situation does not arise.Box: Expressing displeasure over the reasoning given by the government that the Maharashtra Assembly Sessions was ongoing and so a reply could not be filed, the court said “So have you locked Mantralaya?” and asked a responsible officer to be present on Thursday.

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Laughter club now in Cuffe Parade

"We started a laughter club when some senior citizens who are already part of it spoke about it to us. They said that we should also have one," said Padmakar Nadekar, secretary general of the Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA).”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Thursday 21 December 2017 1:01 ISTMust read12 die as farsan shop turns into an infernoMaharashtra shops can now run round the clock; bars and liquor shops excluded<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Health-conscious residents of Cuffe Parade have started a laughter club to ensure that senior citizens have a healthy life. The laughter club is among the series of initiatives that the residents of the area have taken up for senior citizens.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>”We started a laughter club when some senior citizens who are already part of it spoke about it to us. They said that we should also have one,” said Padmakar Nadekar, secretary general of the Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA).

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Horse dies after drowning inside Thane’s Masunda lake

In a shocking incident a horse died after drowning inside Thane’s Masunda lake on Wednesday afternoon. While the animal rights activists have alleged negligence by the owner, police officials have so far registered a case of accidental death.According to cops from Naupada police station, the horse owner claimed that they had just purchased the 14 year old horse named Baba from Kalyan on Tuesday. “The owner said that due to the road journey the muscles of the horse were stiffened and it was finding it difficult to move. As a traditional practice the handlers decided to splash some water from the lake on its body and as the horse was standing on the edge of the lake it slipped and since its leash got stuck in its feet it fell on its back,” according to a cop. By the time some bystanders could help pull out the horse from lake, a lot of water seemed to have entered its lungs and it died as it was being rushed to the animalhospital.However several animal rights activists have raised questions over how could the handlers take the horse so near to the lake. “We are sure they wanted to give the horse a proper bath and being noon with less people near the lake they decided to quickly allow a dip and the horse must have slipped causing its death,” said an activist adding that there have been several complaints about the horse owner who runs horse carriages during the evenings.Dr Suhas Rane a Vet and Secretary Thane SPCA said that ideally the owner or handlers should have consulted a vet or even if they wanted to give it traditional treatment they could have relied upon hot fermentation rather than risking its life by taking it to a lake.Meanwhile another cop from Naupada said that the owner informed them that due to this incident he has suffered a huge financial loss as the horse was just bought. “We have simply taken the statement of the owner and made a diary entry about the accident. However if animal rights activists come forward and lodge a complaint we will surely register a case,” said the cop.

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Minor actor molestation case: Accused Vikas Sachdev granted bail

A sessions court on Wednesday granted bail to accused Vikas Sachdev, who was arrested for allegedly molesting a minor Bollywood actress on-board a Delhi-Mumbai flightThe 39-year old was on judicial custody after being arrested on December 10. He has been granted bail after surety of Rs 25,000. Vikas Sachdev was arrested on December 10 and was presented before the court next day which sent him to police custody. Sachdev has been booked under section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and relevant sections of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) since the actor is a minor.The actor had alleged she was on a Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai on Saturday night when a co-passenger sitting behind her put his feet on her armrest.”He kept nudging my shoulder and continued to move his foot up and down my back and neck,” the actor said in an Instagram post soon after she got off the plane at the Mumbai airport.Also readMinor actor molesatation case: Actor’s mother didn’t want to register complaint, says Vistara AirlineWith agency inputs

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BEST may get back AC buses via wet lease scheme

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has proposed a fresh bid to go for wet-lease scheme and get 225 buses. This would include 100 AC buses and 25 mini-buses in which the contractor will provide drivers and take care of maintaining the buses. This comes as good news as the undertaking will revive the AC buses that have been removed from service.The BEST has proposed to revive wet-leasing of buses wherein they will only reduce the overhead costs for a period of seven years. The 225 buses include 100 air-conditioned mini-buses, 100 non-AC mini-buses and 25 mini-buses which can easily go through narrow roads and can cater to more number of passengers.According to the proposal, the total contractual value for seven years would be Rs 305.95 crore wherein the lowest bidder has agreed to supply mini AC buses at a rate of anywhere between Rs 49 to Rs 50.45 per km, mini non-AC buses at Rs 41 to Rs 43.09 per km and midi-buses at Rs 45 to Rs 47.30 per km.Earlier, the BEST Committee had rejected their last proposal for wet-leasing and asked to bring in a fresh proposal. The BEST has assured a run of 3,500 kilometres per month for mini-buses and 4,000 kilometres for midi-buses.The BEST Undertaking is a financial crisis with losses to the tune of Rs 880 crore; so, its parent body BMC has suggested a few reforms to reduce expenditure.Apart from this, even its supply division is under stress. The Undertaking’s contract with Tata Power — for supplying power to the BEST, which is then distributed by the latter to 10 lakh daily consumers — will end in March 2018.The BEST wants to lower its supply expenditure and thus looking at competitive bidding. However, in the last few days, there have been a lot of problems.”We have asked to extend the power supply by another 6 months, and if even by April 2018 we are unable to get a new power supplier,” said Surendra Bagde, General Manager, BEST.THE PROPOSALAccording to the proposal, the contract for seven years will cost Rs 305.95 crore wherein the lowest bidder has agreed to supply mini AC buses between Rs 49 and Rs 50.45 per km

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Man makes girlfriend’s nude pics

The MRA Marg police are on the lookout for a man who allegedly made his ex-girlfriend’s vulgar photos viral after the woman refused to marry him.The accused identified as Niteen Varma, 34, stole his girlfriend’s photos from her Facebook account. He morphed the photos and made them go viral on social media, using a fake Facebook profile.According to the police, a 28-year-old woman who was working at a clinic in south Mumbai met a man at the clinic recently and both fell in love. The accused had told the woman that he is from a rich family background, who run a jewellery business. However, the victim recently discovered that Varma is unemployed and had lied to her. She immediately broke up and stopped communicating. Infuriated, the accused downloaded her photos from her Facebook account and uploaded vulgar morphed photos. “The incident came to light after the woman received a call from her friends and relatives informing her about the photos. She lodged the complaint,” said police.

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University of Mumbai goes digital to process PhD study

Nearly eight years after the University Grants Commission (UGC) asked universities to digitise the whole process of PhD studies, the University of Mumbai has finally woken up from slumber.In a recent circular, the varsity has asked all university departments to send details of the eligible guides and research centres after which a list of the same would be uploaded on its official website.The varsity has also asked departments to furnish information about the research work done by the faculty members.In 2009, the UGC in its Minimum Standard Guidelines for Awardance of PhD had asked all the universities to maintain a database of all the theses of its doctoral students. The guidelines also prescribed that the universities should later upload the theses on Shodhganga a government portal hosting academic research.Despite these guidelines, the University of Mumbai which awards over 300 research degrees every year was yet to follow any of the norms with respect to digitisation.

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Western Railway set to run city’s first air-conditioned train

In all likelihood, the Western Railways (WR) will run the much-awaited air-conditioned (AC) local train from December 25, as promised by Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal. On December 19, the WR received permission from the Railway Board to run the 12-car AC local between Churchgate and Dahanu Road.”The dates have not come from the Railway Board, but we are ready to run on any day,” said AK Gupta, General Manager, Western Railway.The Railway Board, in a letter submitted to the WR, have set out a few directives that need to be followed while operating the AC local trains, which are expected to run at maximum speed of 100kmph. Sources said that as the coaches are different from a regular Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) or local trains, the Board has asked the WR to ensure that height of platforms from rail level should not exceed 900mm, Provide CCTVs in every coach of the AC train within a year, install fire alarms, smoke detection system and at least two fire extinguishers in each coach”Technicians have been asked to educate the commuters, apart from standing inside the coaches; to open the doors at the time of emergency,” said a WR official.

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No life insurance for leopard rescuers

The leopard rescue team from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) has been effectively managing increasing human-animal conflict situations including rescuing leopards that enter human-dominated habitat. However, the team faces one of the biggest challenges —absence of insurance despite several assurances by the Forest department.Case in point is the recent incident when a leopard had to be rescued in the Sher-e-Punjab area in Andheri east. The Thane rescue team was the first to reach the site. The leopard was tranquilised by the leopard rescue team from SGNP, which was on its way back from Chalisgaon where it had helped capture a leopard suspected of killing seven people.Both the leopard rescue teams have eight to ten members. Most of these members work on a contract basis called forest labourers (van majoor). While the forest officers are covered under the Government Insurance Scheme (GIS) the contract labourers who earn less than Rs 10,000 a month as wages have no insurance nor any benefits in case of an injury or death during rescue operations.”We do not let our work suffer and rush for any leopard rescue. We ensure that neither any human nor the leopard is harmed during a conflict situation. It feels sad that even the forest department doesn’t think about the work we do and the risk we take. Despite several assurances we are still awaiting the insurance scheme promised to us, which could help us or our families in case of an eventuality,” said a member from the rescue team who is on a contract basis.According to Pawan Sharma, honorary wildlife warden of Thane, a dialogue with a few insurance companies and agents was initiated five months back, and they were ready to provide insurance cover.

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Std V boy youngest innovator at event by Somaiya college

A Std V student is the youngest innovator will be showcasing his creation at the Somaiya riidl’s Maker Mela in January 2018.Arman Gupta has made a remote-controlled cleaning and mopping machine on his own.The three-day Research Innovation Incubation Design Lab at Somaiya Vidyavihar will see innovators from across the country.Gupta said, “Once I spilled juice on the floor and got scared that my mother would scold me. At that time I thought why not make a cleaning machine that will work on remote control. I love making robots and have made small toys with different devices. I have even participated in one of the exhibition in Kolkata where I was selected among best five innovators.”Arman said he started researching on the material to make a cleaning machine. “My problem was that my younger brother who is six used to break my work.”To encourage her son, Arman’s found that Somaiya campus has a incubation lab. “She took membership for me there and I started visiting it after my school hours. There no one use to disturb me and I got a chance to explore things.”The cleaning and mopping machine Gupta made dries the surface simultaneously. It has detachable sponges for its maintenance. The machine can clean the surface and dry it as well. His invention can also a play role in the government’s Swachh Bharat campaign, Gupta to DNA.“After school hours I use to be at riddl from 3pm till 6pm. When I had holiday on Saturday, I used to be there for the entire day. Science and maths are my favourite subjects and so is robotics. When I started making this machine I was encouraged to participate in Maker Mela. Right now, I have made a very basic machine. I want to make it more presentable. I started making this machine in November and completed it in three to four weeks.”This is the third year of riddl’s annual three-day showcase of innovation, creativity and technology. The one of its kind initiative Maker Mela invited applications from innovators across India out of which 100 have been selected to present their ideas. This year’s makers participating are from the age of ten years to seventy years; backgrounds are ranging from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, homesteaders, garage tinkerers and even commercial exhibitors.

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Man held for stealing car, ferrying arms

The Mumbai Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested a man who was instrumental in stealing a vehicle from Mumbai, which was used to ferry cache of arms of a gang. The said gang had looted an arms godown in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and had ferried the arms in the said vehicle which was intercepted by the Nashik police.The arrested has been identified as Sanjay Salukhe, 22, a resident of Chembur. According to the police, a woman had complained to the police that her son’s Bolero jeep which was parked opposite Lashkariya Building in Andheri West on December 5 was stolen. The case was being probed by Amboli police station after there was a delay in registering the case.Inquiry revealed that on December 15, Chandwad Police in Nashik had intercepted a Bolero and nabbed three persons who were ferrying a cache of arms in the saidvehicle.”During the probe of the car theft case Salunkhe’s name cropped up and he was later nabbed from Suman Nagar in Chembur. It was revealed that after the vehicle was stolen, a cavity was made on its roof to conceal weapons. The car was then driven to Banda in UP from where weapons were stolen from a godown,” said a police officer.

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Parsi community mulls Supreme Court order on mixed marriage

A recent interim order by the Supreme Court (SC) which allowed a Parsi woman married to a non-Parsi to enter the Tower of Silence in Valsad has got Parsi community talking about the issue.In a letter to the newspaper Jam-e-Jamshed, some members of the community have written that Goolrookh Gupta, who is allowed to enter the Tower of Silence, on the event of her parents’ death, should submit an affidavit that she has not converted.As per Parsi community’s unwritten rules, women married outside the community are allowed to enter the Tower of Silence across India only if they submit an affidavit stating that they will continue to practise their faith.Dinshaw Mehta, former chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) wrote a letetr demanding her to submit an affidavit to prove that she has not converted.”The BPP is an apex body here and they should discuss the issue. Community rights cannot be given to her,” said Nadir Mody calling Goolrookh as Neha.”Since 1982 they allow Parsis married to non-Parsis to enter the fire temples if they give an affidavit that they practice the faith,” said Viraf Kapadia

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Robbers leave empty-handed from PL Deshpande’s Pune flat

The locked house of noted writer and humorist late PL Deshpande was broken into by a gang of unidentified burglars on Monday. However, the burglars were disappointed as all they found in the house was the author’s treasure of books. Incidentally, the same house was burgled around five years ago. The burglars had to leave empty-handed on that occassion as well.The incident took place at Malati Madhav apartment situated on Bhandarkar Road in Deccan area at around 2 am on Monday, but according to the residents of the building when they went to the police to lodge the complaint, the police officers did not pay much attention. It was only after the writer’s relatives came down to Pune from Mumbai and contacted senior police officers, the police took cognisance of the incident.The late writer, popularly known as Pu La, has two flats in the apartment and both the flats were locked.

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Wrong announcement irks Central Railway commuters

A wrong announcement made at Wadala station caused chaos on the Harbour line of Central Railway (CR) on Tuesday morning. Angry commuters pulled the chain to stop the train and started walking towards the motorman’s cabin to question this confusion. This comes a day after the Federation of Suburban Passenger Association submitted a letter to the CR asking them to run trains without any delay, else commuters would be forced to come on tracks, in protest.At around 10.30 am, a local train headed towards Navi Mumbai arrived at Wadala station on platform 1. Sources said that chaos erupted as an announcement at the platform indicated that that train was headed to Bandra. It was a Belapur-bound train that started from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Commuters inside the coaches alighted and those going to Bandra boarded the train. “There was an announcement made before the train left Wadala station stating that the train was going to Belapur and not Bandra. But, it seems that commuters did not listen to the second announcement,” said a CR official. Irked by the chaos, commuters pulled the chain and the train stopped between Wadala and GTB Nagar. “The administration has failed to run the train services properly and there have been constant delays every day,” said Nandkumar Deshmukh, president, Federation of Suburban Passenger Association. Train services on the Harbour line were disrupted for 15-20 minutes.

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Residents of Worli Koliwada hold candle march against decision to declare 4 acres of land as slum

Nearly 10,000 residents of Worli Koliwada came together to protest against the area being declared as slums. The residents of Koliwada claim that there is an attempt from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and also from certain developers to declare around 4 acre land as slum, which it isn’t.Prahlad Worlikar, secretary of the Worli koliwada Owners Welfare Cooperative society, said, “Today we held a candle march as a silent protest and nearly 10,000 people from all over Koliwada came to protest against this plan. We aren’t slums, today they are targeting 4 acres, soon they will target whole of Koliwada. We are against it and hence we held the protest.”While only 4 acres is being affected because of this decision, but residents of unaffected parts also participated in the protest. “We have been here even before many people came to this city, we are original habitats not slum dwellers. We need a proper planning for redevelopment and we hope that government doesn’t treat it this way,” said Darshan Worlikar, resident of Koliwada.Koliwada is spread over 65 acres of land, and after the Worli sea link came up, various developers have been eyeing this piece of land to redevelop and hence residents claim this slum issue has cropped up.“Why residents of non affected part came in support is because today they are talking about 4 acres after this they will target whole of Koliwada,” said Worlikar.

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20-year-old BMC cleaner dies in an accident

A 20-year-old man, who was traveling by a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s clean up van died after the vehicle was hit by a speeding trailer on Monday afternoon.The deceased has been identified as Rizvan Shaikh. a cleaner of BMC.According to the police, the incident took place around 4:30 pm on Monday when Shaikh was seated beside the driver of the vehicle. Near the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link road, when the cleanup van was taking right turn, a speeding trailer came from behind and hit the van injuring Shaikh fatally. The police said, Shaikh had sustained a severe head injury and was immediately rushed to nearby hospital. However he succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday morning.The driver of the trailer fled from the spot,”We have registered a case of rash driving and causing death due to negligence. The victim was a friend of the driver and would come to help him. They were going home when the incident took place. We are trying to trace the vehicle that hit the van,” said a police officer from Tilak Nagar police station.

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Mumbai: HC stays cutting of 5236 trees in Thane

The Bombay High Court has till further orders stayed a decision taken by the Tree Authority appointed by the Thane Municipal Corporation allowing the cutting of around 5236 trees in the city for various development projects.A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M S Sonak while prima facie holding that the constitution of the tree authority was illegal, has stayed the authority from giving any further permissions.The court passed the order while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Thane resident Rohan Joshi.In his petition he has highlighted how the councilors and other special invitees appointed to the tree authority are not educated adequately in allied subjects related to trees to be appointed as the members. Further it was argued that only three members of the committee comprising of over 6 members only three are graduates in science/botonay/agriculture fields, while others have lower educational qualification and mostly have political patronage.The PIL also argued that in order to achieve the object of the Act, it is incumbment that the tree auhotiy be reconstituted. The decisions taken by it in October are not in conformity with law. A local developer who was given permission to cut 1506 trees, who had intervened in the proceedings told the court that he had paid around Rs 4 crore as chares. Following the stay order, he told the court that he would seek return of his paid amount from the corporation.The court has now posted the matter for further hearing in January 2018, and asked the members of the tree authority to file their personal affidavits, replying to the PIL.

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Mumbai shop fire: Owner gets five-day police custody

A Mumbai court on Tuesday remanded the owner of a snack shop, where 12 people were charred to death in a massive fire on Monday, to five-day police custody.Ramesh Bhanushali, the owner of the shop in Sakinaka-Kurla area, was arrested late last night.He was produced before a magistrate in suburban Andheri, who remanded him to police custody till December 24, a senior official attached to Sakinaka police station said.Bhanushali was booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.The blaze erupted in the ‘Bhanu farsan (snack) shop’ in Makaria Compound on the Khairani Road around 4.25am yesterday following which the structure collapsed.

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Gujarat elections 2017: One rebel leader eats words, other remains defiant

After BJP’s victory in Gujarat assembly election, the party’s MP Sanjay Kakade, who had predicted BJP’s loss on Monday stated that he is happy that prediction has gone wrong. Giving credit of Gujarat victory solely to the prime minister Narendra Modi,” Kakade said, adding, “Modi is real hero and I am zero.”Kakade had predicted dismal performance of BJP in Gujarat elections. He had claimed that his team had carried out a survey in Gujarat and as per the outcome of the survey, the BJP would get enough number of seats to form government in the state.However, after the results were out on Monday, Kakade stated that he is happy for party’s win and gave credit to Modi. “There was an anti-incumbency factor in the state and I had said that in spite of negativity against the party in the state, if it still wins, the will be only because of Modi.”Meanwhile, Nana Patole, the MP who rebelled and quit the party said, “The BJP has miserably failed to achieve 150 plus target set by Amit Shah. This despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing over 34 poll rallies and the party pulling in chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, Union cabinet ministers and ministers from the state governments. The BJP’s performance has been a reality check for the party.”

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More than 90% shops in Saki Naka operate without license

More than 90 per cent of the tiny manufacturing units in Khairani Road in Saki Naka are running without the requisite permissions. Officials from BMC’s L Ward said that a majority of the units had recently registered their shops, and were carrying out their business as per their choice without any intimation to the civic body or the concerned department.Even the farsan shop where the fire broke out on Monday was operating without licenses. The shop owner had once registered the shop but had never applied for any other licenses. Over the years, the premises have been used for various purposes from shoe manufacturing to farsan making.According to the records available with the ward office, kerosene oil, diesel, LPG cylinder or any other hazardous substances cannot be stored as the shop owner had not procured licenses for such purposes. However most of these items were stored in the congested area that spiked the fire. Ajitkumar Ambi, assistant commissioner, L Ward confirmed that the shop owner had never applied for a license to store such hazardous materials. The shop also had a wooden chimney for which a separate license is required.The report submitted by the BMC’s fire department has indicated that a short circuit was the main reason behind the fire while hazardous substances stored without requisite licenses fulled the fire further.

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7-year-old drowns in Madh hotel pool

The Malwani police have registered a case against the lifeguard of a four-star hotel in Madh island for allegedly causing death of a seven-year-old boy owing to negligence. The body of the deceased was found floating in the pool on Saturday.According to police, Idris Khokhar a resident of Prabhat colony in Santacruz, died in a pool at The Retreat Hotel and Convention Centre in Madh Island. Tasneem, mother of the victim had planned the outing along with her friends.There were six children playing in the resort when Idris went missing. The other visitors informed Idris’s sister Zahra,14 about the incident.The Malwani police sent the body for post mortem and registered a case of accidental death. Shrirang Nadgowda, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Malwani division), said, “We have taken the complaint of the parents and have registered the case against the lifeguard for failing to save the life of the child.”“We have acquired the CCTV camera footage and are probing the case further,” added Nadgowda.

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Visually challenged mother wakes up son from sleep, duo escape miraculously

Visually challenged Lata Pawar was fast asleep inside the ill-fated farsan factory when she woke up to the chaos of workers. She then woke up her 27-year-old son, Tushar, in the nick of time and the two managed to escape unhurt from the major fire. Her second son was also saved from the inferno as he was serving the night shift at his workplace.Lata Pawar, visually challenged after the death of her husband Tanaji, a year back, was sleeping beside her son, Tushar inside the company. Tanaji was employed with the owner of the industrial unit since past 30 year and after his death, the owner gave a small space inside the industrial unit for the family to live.She said, “I heard the workers shouting that there was fire. I could smell smoke and it is then when I woke up my son and asked him to leave the premises.””The workers were struggling to douse the fire. It is when that we decided to rush outside the factory.”, said her son Tushar Pawar.”As soon as we were out of the premises, the ceiling of the factory collapsed and major fire engulfed the factory. The workers were unable to come outside and only wight of us managed to escape”, said Pawar.Moreover, the family has lost all the identification documents and fear that they will be unable to use the government schemes meant for the disabled. “When the fire was doused, we tried to search the documents but were not able to find anything. We hope that the police will give us letter so that we can apply for the new documents.”, said Tejas Pawar son of Lata Pawar.FAMILIES MOURN DEATH OF THEIR LOVED ONES“Ram Naresh was working at Bhanu Farsan Mart for the past three years. Earlier I used to work at this mart, and later I got my brother employed there. I did not know that something terrible like this would happen to my brother. In a way, I hold myself responsible. If I had not got my brother employed there, he would not have met this end,” Arjun Gupta, elder brother of Ram Naresh Gupta alias Sonu, 20, who died in the blaze, told DNA. Arjun kept weeping inside the Rajawadi Hospital premises, waiting to get his brother’s body. Friends of Sonu gathered and tried to console Arjun.

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Meeting held to help streamline tribal, rural citizens in society

Ekal Sansthan organised a meeting in Worli on Monday to take forward the streamlining of tribals and rurals by retaining their love for the motherland and nationalism. The organisation is the research and development wing of Ekal Abhiyan, which runs a series of initiatives to streamline tribals and rurals into mainstream society.“Our idea is to look at ways in which the tribal and rural youth can be streamlined. We are trying to do this by imparting primary education, health programmes, village development education and empowerment education,” said Manju Srivastava, national president and trustee, Ekal Sansthan. Srivastava added, “The youth want rights and their own identity. We are trying to do that.” The Sansthan runs 61,000 primary schools across India in different villages.“We also discussed how we can provide them with skills because we need to give them support after their primary education. From each school, there are around 30 students passing out each year. They are taught how to read and write in a play-way, friendly manner,” said Nayantara Jain, trustee, Ekal Sanshtan and vice president, Friends of Tribals Society. Jain added, “We want more people to participate in this and there has been a good response. The idea is to integrate the vision of each.”“The idea of having something for senior citizens was a good one,” said Pooja Agarwal, convenor, Ekal Sansthan. The meeting saw participation and support from people belonging to various professions.

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Coaching class owners oppose proposed regulation bill

Coaching class owners from across the state have opposed the recent draft provisions of the Maharashtra Private Coaching Class Regulation Bill, 2018 which the government plans to table in the assembly soon.On Sunday, DNA had reported about the draft bill as per which the state government committee shall fix and regulate fees of coaching classes. Some other provisions in the bill state that the classes would have to part with 5 per cent of their total income to the government and keep seats reserved for underprivileged children.The Maharashtra Class Owners Association (MCOA), the biggest body of class owners in the state, will submit a representation to the government on Tuesday opposing the draft bill. “Classes are already paying 18 per cent GST and income tax to the state. Asking for more money in the absence of any support is unjust,” said Sachin Karnavat, President, MCOA.Narendra Bambwani, former president, MCOA said, “Coaching classes run on competitive markets and students’ needs. At the most, the government should monitor their quality.”Jagdish Walavalkar, a coaching class owner and member of the committee that prepared the draft bill, said that the government has not incorporated some of the key suggestions made by the committee. “We had proposed setting up a council which would have class owners, parents and government representatives instead of a complete state body. This was not included. We shall add a rejoinder to the draft with all such suggestions,” he added.OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE DRAFT BILLState government will govern the coaching classes, fix and regulate their fees. Classes will accept fees only via cheque. Classes will have to appoint ‘capable teachers’ instead of merely relying on educational qualifications. Only classes that have five or less than five students can be considered as home tuition. Class owners to reserve 5 per cent seats for poor students.

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Smart card gets smarter: MMRDA plans all-purpose card

Not only for using various modes of public transport in the city, the single transport smart card being prepared by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) can also be used for making cashless payments during shopping. The Authority has said that the smart card will also allow commuters use it as credit card or debit card along with using it for travelling in suburban local trains, metro, monorail, buses, auto and taxis along with paying toll.Sanjay Khandare, Additional Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “We have appointed a consultant and are in the final stages of preparing a bid document for integrated ticketing system which will also allow commuters use it for shopping as credit or debit card along with using it for paying toll and travelling on various modes of transport.”However, these cards will be the Rupay card promoted by Central government and not a Mastercard or VISA card. Rupay card is the first of its type of domestic debit and credit card payment network and was prepared by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).”It is going to be a complicated task considering it involves many parties unlike in London wherein they have an oyster card and only one single corporation operates all modes of transport. Here we have a different authority for every mode of transport like bus, train and metro,” added Khandare.He further, said, “We will also have to tie-up with banks and ultimately all the payments made by commuters will have to be routed to one single bank account that will keep the accounts and forward the funds to different agencies accordingly.”Similarly, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is planning to launch a common smart card for commuters who will travel by DTC buses and Metro train network being operated by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.The idea of a common mobility card, to provide a seamless travel between different modes of transport by Union Ministry of Urban Development to have a National Common Mobility Card but was put on back burner due to the complexity involved.ALL-IN-ONEPayments that the card will enable: Shopping and making cashless payments Metro, Monorail BEST buses and public transport buses in Thane and Navi Mumbai Suburban local trains Auto/Taxi Cities worldwide that have similar cards:London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Singapore

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Pirate pets and dog beer: Here’s what you missed at Pet Fed, Mumbai

Dog couture, paw-softening centres, canine ‘beer’ and human-grade dog biscuits that can be split over some cuddly time with your canine — the Pet Fed festival’s third stint in the city might appear partial to dog lovers, but Founder Akshay Gupta insists it’s only because of the high visibility that sociable pets like dogs enjoy. “We have a separate cat zone, and many bring along pet hamsters and rabbits. One guy at our Delhi edition even strolled in with his pet iguana!” the 25-year-old informs, describing the event as “a time that pet parents, caught up in a busy schedule, can dedicate wholly to their pets”.Spread over the weekend, the festival, hosted at Bandra’s MMRDA ground, engaged pets and pet parents in a flurry of activities like live security skits for dogs training to guard and protect, displays of obedience in the face of treats and temptations, and a fashion show where dainty Shih Tzus — a clear majority — sashayed on the runway to Rihanna and Jason Derulo numbers, while golden retrievers, beagles, labradors, huskies and even St Bernards gamboled beside their owners in costumes referencing Jack Sparrow, Santa Clause and Pennywise the evil clown.Away from the arc lights, any vibe of evil would have been warded off by the sheer abundance of ‘good bois’ in the house, with boxers, mastiffs, German shepherd’s and Indies stopping for incoming petting from the crowd as they ambled along their play area, packed with chew toys and trampolines. A rather majestic Great Dane, sitting Sphinx-like near the pet merchandise area attracted constant attention. Indie owners, for their part, basked in the glory of the festival’s ‘free entry for indies’ policy. It was cause for further cheer for the Indie community when guest Dino Morea, who attended the event alongside Yuva Sena head Aaditya Thackeray and actor Minissha Lamba, brought along his dogs — an energetic labrador and a very happy Indie.The smaller of frame chihuahuas, pugs, shih tzus and lhasas seemed to form their own clique, the exclusivity disrupted every once in a while with playful advances from curious big dogs. For when these interactions got a little too exciting, which was inevitable, even with the most well-trained dogs around, over a hundred volunteers were in motion to break up any furry scuffles.”We’ve tried to bridge gaps in the unorganized pet industry by bringing together consumers and businesses,” Gupta adds, pointing towards the stalls displaying a range of merchandise that includes chicken broth packaged as dog beer and a biscuit that can be enjoyed by both the pet and the pet parent. As I pick up a packet of cinnamon-ginger pet/parent cookie for my own doggo, a voice calls out in the dark — “come here, Shah Rukh”. I startle, only to see a great brown ball of fur dawdle towards his human. Ah well.

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