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Impractical, hilarious to ban display of meat products

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation’s latest diktat for eateries — banning them from “displaying” meat products in their establishments — has left owners as well as diners shocked. Complaining that the SDMC is dictating its terms, “teaching” them how to run their business, they say that the new rule is foolhardy and impractical.The civic body recently passed a resolution, instructing food outlets to not display products like tikkas, kebabs, tandoori chicken as citing hygiene as a factor. It further reasoned that showing them with a flourish at counters also “hurts the sentiments of vegetarians”. It comes into effect from January 3.DNA spoke to eatery owners in different parts of South Delhi including Greater Kailash, SDA, etc, as well as vendors who sell non-vegetarian items from kiosks in small markets or roadside. They remained unanimous in their view that the decision is not prudent and will affect their business too. “They are talking about hurting vegetarians. This is not the first time that the civic body has discovered non vegetarian items being sold openly and on display as well in kiosks. They are simply playing politics over food and trying to appease a section of eaters,”said Kailash Kumar who sells tikkas and chicken soup from a kiosk in Greater Kailash-II.Restaurant owners, too, have a similar opinion. Places like Al Bake in New Friends Colony, Rajender Da Dhaba, that are popular food joint to have non vegetarian delicacies draw a lot of customers because of succulent meat items displayed with flourish in their eateries. Denying that they allow dogs to roam free around their establishments, causing hygiene issues, a worker at Al Bake said, “We value our customers and their health. We have been running this place for years now and no one has complained ever as we take extra care of keeping the surroundings clean. While we do not know the real reason behind the new rule, we will comply by it.”Diners too are finding it difficult to agree with the arguments given by the municipal corporation. Satvik Dhingra, a resident of Panchsheel Park says, “The argument that it hurts sentiments of vegetarians does not sound practical. It is hilarious and tells a lot about the way our elected councillors think. If I consume meat, does it mean I am callous?”Shreya Verma, who lives in GK-I suggests that the SDMC should “rethink” its decision. “I do not agree with any of the reasons given by the civic body. I have not seen dogs surrounding places that sell non veg items and even if they do, the shop owners are careful enough because they have to protect their business.”

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JMC meets in its general clamour, passes 26 bills

Allegations, noise, disruption and adjournment marked the Jaipur Municipal Corporations general body meeting held on Wednesday.Despite the ruckus, Jaipur mayor Ashok Lahoti was able to secure approval of 26 of the 31 proposals tabled. Where two other proposals were sent for concerned committee for review, discussion could not be held on three proposals related to sewerage system, parks and Smart City works due to chaos at thehouse.Getting the proposals cleared was not a tough task as BJP dominates numbers among the 91 corporators at the corporation. However, the BJP mayor also faced opposition of some corporators of his own party.Congress councillors on the other hand were seen protesting from the very beginning of the meeting. One of the councillors startled the rest when he started beating self with a shoe, “This is how the public will treat us for not fulfilling the work expected,” said councillor Mukesh Chapol of Congress.The protest, however, turned tense in the evening when congress councillor Dharam Singh attempted to climb up mayor’s table and was apprehended by security personnel. While mayor suspended him for three board meetings, the meeting was adjourned as dispute deepened over the suspension.HighlightsFormer UP governor, BL Joshi paid homage. Now, procuring fire NOC a must for all institutions developed over 1,000 square meter area and offices on plot size above 100 meters. Fire NOC charges raised for commercial buildings. The proposal to levy charge on fire NOC on events cleared with amendment. Only commercial events to come under the tax ambit now. Cong councillor Dharam Singh Singhania suspended for three board meetings.

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SDMC seals 30 shops in Chhattarpur

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) continued with its sealing drive on Wednesday shutting down 30 shops, most of which included marble trade showrooms, located on Chhattarpur-Bhati Road for “illegal” construction.The civic body had sealed a farmhouse on Tuesday in Chhattarpur. The sealing drive is being conducted as per the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee to crack down on unauthoursied constructions in the city.”The Building Department of South Zone took action against commercial establishment on Chhattarpur-Bhati Road on the direction of the Committee. All the three members of the Committee visited the site,” said a corporation official.Meanwhile, South Corporation Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat met the Monitoring Committee to discuss the plan to reduce the conversion charges for commercial-cum-residential properties from Rs 89,000 to Rs 22,000. The move has come days after the civic body conducted a sealing drive and shut down 51 popular restaurants and shops in Defence Colony market.

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Over 4.5K towers aren’t fire safe

None of the high-rises inspected by the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) over the last two years was found to have adhered to fire safety norms. They only complied after legal notices were sent to them.As per the data accessed by DNA, the MFB inspected 4647 buildings over the last couple of years — residential and commercial – and all of them were found without fire safety compliance. They have issued notices under Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006 and given 120 days to comply with the fire safety norms. After the warning, 4637 toed the line, while 10 buildings are now being prosecuted as per law.Two incidents of fire are fresh in minds of Mumbaikars – the Bhanu Farsan shop fire in Saki Naka which claimed 12; and Monday’s fire on the 17thfloor of a high-rise at Walkeshwar, the Legend Tower. Bhanu Farsan shop was not fire-safety compliant, while the fire at Legend Tower was easily controlled as the building had functioning fire safety installations.Chief Fire Officer P S Rahangdale said, “Residents are not serious about fire safety and only install fire safety equipment after we send notices. It is out of fear of prosecution and not safety concerns.” “During inspection, we found that buildings flout basic safety norms such as encroachment on common passage, doors to staircases are closed, water from fire tank is used for domestic purposes,” said a senior MFB officer.Turn to “Some buildings do not have designated entry and exit gates, and while many buildings have firefighting equipment, it is not in working conditions. There will be a faulty or missing knob, rusted pipes or just an inability to operate the equipment,” he added However, residents feel that the Municipal Corporation and Fire Brigade fail to create awareness about fire safety and are lenient while granting permissions. Nita Bajpai, general Secretary of Juhu-Vile Parle Residents Association said, “It is true that most residents do not take fire safety seriously, but it also the work of the Municipal Corporation and Fire Brigade to create awareness through campaigns. Buildings should have fire-fighting installations and do regular servicing to keep it operational. It also cannot be rejected that authorities sanction building permissions when the locality does not provide sufficient space for fire brigade in case of emergency.”

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New TDR policy to way to more high rises in Island city

There will be more high-rises in South Mumbai as developers are now permitted to use the transferable development rights (TDR) in Island city that will make redevelopment projects viable there.According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) circular, developers had sought clarifications over the use of TDR from the state. “State government informed that the developers/promoters can use TDR in Island city up to 0.67 TDR against road set back, heritage, slum TDR,” a senior BMC official said.As per the circular, TDR has been given in proportion of returning land for widening road width. In cases of redevelopment, if the developer proposes to keep 9 metre and above, and less than 12.20 metre of road width, then the permissible TDR is 0.17 in the city and 0.50 TDR in suburban district. If road width is 12.20 metre and above and less than 18.30 metre, then allowed TDR is 0.37 here and 0.70 in suburbs. The cap is 0.67 TDR is in the Island city and 1.00 in Suburb if the road width is proposed 30 metre and above.Milind Samel, senior architect said the new TDR policy is a win-win for both developers and residents. “In Mumbai, there are more than 16,000 old buildings that urgently need to be redeveloped. With the additional TDR, more developers will take up projects. Now, undertaking redevelopment project in Island city will be more feasible for developers,” Samel said.Boman Irani, CMD at Rustomjee Group welcomed the state government decision. He said that the government should provide maximum incentives so that the redevelopment of the old and dilapidated buildings can takes place. “In South Mumbai, the sizes of plots are quite small so that the developers do not offer bigger size of houses to existing tenants/residences. And that became the deadlock for the redevelopment. Now, with the higher TDR, uploading in Island city will able to put the more floors in buildings,” Irani said.

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Kolkata to get a floating market

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

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Better mid-day meals soon

After a recent episode of food poisoning caused due to mid-day meal in a Jogeshwari school, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have decided to pull up its shocks and bring the necessary changes. BMC’s education department has permitted Citizens Association Child Rights, an NGO, to hold workshop sessions for self help groups to help them improve the quality of mid-day meal, and serve variety of kichdis with the help of expert nutritionists.There are 257 self help groups in the city that serves midday meal to students of around 2,400 aided and BMC schools. The first session of the workshop was held in the first week of December in which around 70 such groups, including their helpers and cooks took part.A BMC education official said, “The self help groups are not just being given sessions by the nutritionists about how to improve the quality of food, but are also being trained to cook variety of khichdis that students will love to eat.”Nitin Wadhwani, founder director, CACR, said, “After our interaction with the groups, we will be submitting a complete proposal with suggestions to BMC for necessary improvements.”At least 27 students of Balvikas Vidya Mandir at Jogeshwari suffered food poisoning and landed in hospital due to vomiting and nausea following their mid-day meal served by a self help group, Chafai Mahila Bacchat Gat. The BMC immediately served notice to the school to stop the self help group’s service.

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Gateway of India revamp put on hold yet again

The beautification work near Gateway of India was put on hold after standing committee members of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) raised questions on the lack of maintenance in the previous beautification that was carried out. Now, the standing committee members will pay a fresh visit to check the status of previous works before approving new work.Makrand Narvekar, BJP corporator from Colaba raised the issue of poor maintenance of footpaths and public toilets near the Gateway of India. He attacked the civic administration for failing to maintain previous works while showing promptness in introducing new proposals.Narvekar recalled a survey that was carried out by the BMC in April 2017 wherein it was found that the city’s dirtiest toilet was the pay-and-use toilet near the Gateway of India. “Has the civic administration taken any action to improve the condition of the toilet,” asked Narvekar.Even other members of the standing committee alleged that the civic administration was busy introducing new proposals to benefit contractors. “The Gateway of India is a heritage structure and the civic administration needs to maintain the footpaths, lights and other street amenities in a proper way,” said another member.Ramesh Korgaonkar, the civic standing committee chairman, asked civic officials to pay a visit to the adjoining areas of Gateway of India to know the status of civic facilities. “The proposal of new work has been put on hold till the visit,” said Korgaonkar.

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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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AMC pitches for more biogas plants as part of Swachh Bharat, total to hit 37

Standing committee of Ahmedabad civic body may approve a work to have more biogas plants in the city, as a part of Swachh Bharat Mission, on Thursday. In December 2016, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had approved the work of installation of 20 such biogas plants near the vegetable markets.Now, 17 more biogas plants have been conceptualised for the civic body-run party plots, hospitals, and educational institutes and campuses.With a capacity of 40 to 50 kilo, the proposed 17 mini-bio-gas plants will cost around Rs 10 lakh. The last time when 20 such biogas plants were set at the cost of Rs10 lakh, the observation was that it was converting the vegetable waste into biogas. As per an AMC official, the prices have shot up due to the Goods and Services Tax .Also, this time, the civic body is open to sell them, if one shows an interest. “If someone wants to have the biogas plant, we will sell them at the actual cost. We want equal participation from citizens also to come forward to set up such plants in their societies,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, the in-charge medical officer of health, AMC.On monthly basis, the 20 plants are producing around 300kg of gas. Soon after the code of conduct revoked from the state, AMC has pulled its socks to make the city clean and working hard for the solid waste management.In few weeks there will be the announcement of Swachhta Sarvekshan. AMC has not improved its ranking in 2016. AMC has tried a lot many innovations in solid waste management. AMC has hit two birds with two stone when air pollution in was observed very poorly. At the time, to control the dust particles from the air, AMC has washed flyovers, bridges, footpaths and trees, which is also claimed one of the drives and an innovative idea under the Swachh Bharat Mission program….& ANALYSISWhen smaller civic bodies are also acting on the lines of setting up toilet bio-gas plant, AMC should consider toilet bio-gas plants at least for their own housing scheme. Such plants ensure appropriate treatment and reuse of waste water and an additional incentive of bio-gas.

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AMC’s annual carnival branches out to more venues across city

This year will be the tenth edition of Kankaria Carnival and to make it more memorable, the authority at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has planned to organise cultural events, outside of Kankaria Lakefront.Performances have been scheduled at Vastrapur amphitheater and Sabarmati Riverfront as a part of the Kankaria Carnival. Kankaria Carnival is a week long festival held at the Kankaria Lakefront in the start week of December, since 2007. The event was marked to celebrate former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. During seven days, many performances are being held like cultural and art performances. Daily lesser show is also being organized every year.”It’s been nine years, the celebration is happening at Kankaria, majority of the people located are eastern side of the riverbank visit the event, while to engage more people form western side, we are organizing the event at two more places other than Kankaria,” said an official of AMC.”This is a public event and for public, so that we want to reach out to maximum people we can, so that people take part at a large number and enjoy the event,” added the official.At Sabarmati Riverfront jugalbandhi of Pankaj Udhas and Manhar Udhas is going to have, which according to the authority is it happening for the first time that the Udhas bothers are performing together, ever. At Vastrapur Kabir Cafe is going to have performance.It is to be noted that DNA did a story on how Kankaria carnival is losing its sheen over the year and authority has shown least interest for this annual event.

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Fingerprint, iris issues affect Aadhaar work, impact salaries

Hansa Jadhav from the B ward of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) did not receive her November salary as her fingerprints were of poor quality and could not mark her attendance in the biometric machine introduced by the BMC about two months ago.The BMC has made biometric attendance compulsory for all employees and even declared salary cut for those who fail to clock biometric attendance in their respective office.In December, the BMC administration decided to cut the salary of around 4,000 employees for not marking attendance in biometric systems. “I used to get my salary by first week of every month. But, till December 20, I did not receive my salary for November ,” said Jadhav.Udaykumar Shiroorkar, assistant commissioner of B ward took the matter to administrative department and Human Resource departments of the BMC.”Jadhav’s fingerprints are poor and it was not recorded when Aadhaar was being generated. So, she could not mark her attendance through the biometric machine,” said Shiroorkar. He added that she, however, had come to office all working days. Surprisingly, the BMC had stopped providing stationery for muster attendance soon after it introduced biometric attendance.In another case, Arun Karkhanis, 73, did not receive his pension for the last six months. The reason quoted was that the biometric machine couldn’t read his finger print. “Now, the bank has asked me to update my Aadhar as my finger prints do not come,” said Karkhanis. He added that the bank or his office from where he retired is unwilling to accept any other documents. “It is not possible to for me to go Aadhaar centre at 3 am to stand in queue to get my Aadhaar upadate,” said Karkhanis. He added that his office has agreed to pay pension till December but I have to submit my updated Aadhaar by January to continue to get pension.Sudhir Naik, deputy municipal commissioner said that there are around 140 employees in BMC who have such problems and now, the civic administration will not push them for biometric attendance.FOR THE RECORDAadhaar records finger prints, iris and face information while registering. However, if any person is having problem in finger print, it is mentioned in the acknowledgment copy whether the finger quality is good. In such cases, the Aadhaar operator mentions these while registering which appear in the acknowledgment copy.

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BMC blames socio-economic problems for Andheri farsan shop fire

A day after 12 people were charred in a fire at an illegal condiment factory in Sakinaka, the civic body on Tuesday tried to shrug off its responsibility by attributing the tragedy to a combination of several issues.Political pressure, court cases and government failure in checking illegal supply of electricity and gas cylinders for commercial purposes the hurdles that it faces in controlling unauthorised businesses in the city, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.”It is a socio-economic problem that people come to Mumbai to do odd jobs. The workers who died on Monday were from north India,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Bharat Marathe. The Bhanu condiment factory on Khairani Road was too small to operate as a factory and accommodate 20 people, said Marathe, the in-charge of civic affairs for the area.And the issues span across Mumbai, he said. “It is a reality that 60 percent of the city have the same scenario.” Regular inspections and strict action are the need of the hour, he said.Vote-bank politics undo all the efforts of the civic body, said a BMC official, who did not wish to be named. “We are under immense political pressure to not take action in slums. It is only after court orders that we can do something.” He said only a handful of politicians allow the BMC to do its work in good faith.Resource crunch is another impediment, said the second official. “We lack staff in sanitary inspections, factory and licence departments. One person can inspect maximum 20 shops per day but in Mumbai depending on the area ranging from 60 to 200 illegal small scale businesses come up every day. Many a times we don’t even come to know that some businesses start and even closes after few months. Even if we take the owner to court, high court penalises him sometimes with just Rs 500 and the illegal business continues”, he said.BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who has written to the BMC chief after Monday’s tragedy, said he has demanded inspection at all condiment factories in Mumbai. “It may be true that some politicians don’t allow BMC action, but it is not important at the moment. We have to look forward that such incidences should not occur and innocent should not lose their lives”.

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30,000 illegal shops still operational in Saki Naka

Even after an inferno in an illegal farsan manufacturing shop killed 12 people in Mumbai’s Saki Naka area, there are still thousands of shops running illegally in the area becoming virtual ticking tinderboxes for potential fires to happen. With population over 10 lakh and over 60,000 shops, officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) L ward are having a tough time keeping vigil on unlicensed shops. Officials are now demanding a split of the ward for effective management. Every month, the ward receives over 1500 fresh applications seeking permission to open a new shop. With limited number of staff available in the Shop and Establishment department, number of applications is always high. Additionally officials also have to visit to the site to verify documents. “We have only four employees in the Shop and Establishment department who have to look after all new applications they receive every month,” said Ajit Kumar Ambi, assistant commissioner of L ward.Though the civic administration have been pushing the online system as part of ease of doing business, it is mandatory for the officials to carry a site visit. “In the days to come, the pressure is likely to come down while registering new shops in the ward, but keeping a vigil on existing shops is a difficult task,” said an official from the Shop and Establishment department of L ward. “There is a consensus issue among the corporators on merging and splitting of wards in the city which is delaying it’s implementation,” said the official.However, following the fire incident the administration has sprung into action. “ Merging and splitting of L ward is under consideration and a decision will be taken in days to come,” said Sudhir Naik, Deputy Municipal Commissioner(DMC) of BMC. Of around 60000 shops registered with the L ward, around 30,000 tiny small scale manufacturing units in the ward around the Khairane Road in Saki Naka are running illegally. According to senior civic officials, politicians have vested interest in flourishing such shops.RESOURCE CRUNCHPopulation of L ward: 10 lakh Corporators: 16 Vacant staffs in the ward: 45 Shop and Establishment: 5

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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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You are unable to clear garbage, what education will you impart: HC raps Delhi govt, MCD

What kind of education will you impart, if you are unable to remove garbage from your schools — the Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government and the municipal corporations in the national capital.”It cannot be denied that the liability for collection, removal and disposal of garbage rests on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which exercises its functions under the MCD Act,” a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal said.The bench, also comprising Justice C Hari Shankar, further chided the civic bodies, saying they were “hopelessly unable to do their duty”.”Cleanliness, maintenance of hygiene in the city are your prime duties. If you are not able to do it, what kind of education will you impart? It is sad that you are not able to remove garbage from your schools,” the bench observed.”The point is inability,” the bench said and asked the counsel of the Delhi government and the three MCDs if it was not their duty.The bench directed the authorities to file their replies as regards removal of garbage generated in the schools run by the Delhi government as well as the MCDs and fixed the matter for April 23 next year.The directions of the court came during the hearing of a plea filed by an NGO, Justice for All, through its counsel Khagesh Jha, who urged the court to direct the authorities to make appropriate arrangements for daily collection and disposal of garbage from the premises of these schools.The petition claimed that multiple agencies in Delhi were busy shifting the blame on each other and that there was no coordination between these agencies as regards improving the infrastructure for the students.The petition also dealt with the “poor” condition of toilets in these schools.

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Speak up Delhi: Dropout rate a serious issue in civic-run schools

A recent report released on the condition of public schooling in the national capital, once again raised the alarm on the “deteriorating condition” of the school run by the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs).”The estimated dropout percentage in schools run by the North MCD is 6.1 per cent, South MCD is 6 per cent in the academic year 2016-17,” the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi 2017’ released by the NGO Praja Foundation on Thursday. The East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), however, has not provided any information on the number of dropouts in their schools.On average, from the three Municipal Corporations, in the last three years (2014-15 to 2016-17), the EDMC has witnessed the maximum dropout followed by North Delhi Municipal Corporation. Highest drop of 30 per cent being reported in Class 1, between 2010 to 2017.The data was compiled on the basis of RTI received from 640 schools of MCD. These schools offer education from Class 1 to Class 5. Afterwards, students move to government-run schools.The report also highlighted the status of teacher quality in these schools with 55 per cent of MCD schools show a medium level of teacher quality. “On an average, teachers from 55% MCD schools reported to have a medium level of teaching quality based on the various parameters under SSEF whereas 34% reported to have a high quality of teaching,” it said.In a bid to provide inclusive education under the right to Education Act, 2009, a ramp for differentially-abled is mandatory in every school under RTE norms. However, in the academic 2016- 17, 21% of the NDMC schools, 8% of SDMC and 15% of EDMC schools did not have ramps for the differently-abled students.Officials at the corporations, however cite “lack of resources” as the reason behind all these discrepancies. “We are always short of resources. We don’t even have money to spend on basic infrastructure,” a senior education official at the corporation said.However, the Praja report said that “there is no constraint on available resources”.”In terms of the infrastructure available, teacher quality and budget allocation, there is no constraint on available resources. The corporation is faring well on the student teacher ratio, the quality of teacher is above average and the budget estimate being set by the state government at 49,740 rupees per child,” it said.CRUNCHING FIGURES18,860The number of students who dropped out from New Delhi Municipal Corporation schools in the academic year 2016-1715,787The number of students who opted out from the schools run by South Delhi Municipal Corporation for the academic year 2016-17.BUDGET ESTIMATE (2016-17)NDMC: Rs 15,505 lakhSDMC Rs 12,360 lakhEDMC: 14,075 lakhEXPERT SPEAK“We have well-trained teachers who are being selected through an entrance exam conducted Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board. In terms of dropout rate, there are two reasons behind it is including regular relocation of slum clusters and the primary classes started by the Delhi government schools. People prefer to send their children in one school rather than changing their schools after Class 5”Tilak Raj Kataria, standing committee chairman North MCDVOICESI don’t believe in the quality of education in government schools. Around 15 years back when I had to choose school for my children, I opted for private school. And any parent would do the same as everybody wants to give best education to their child. Primary education makes the base of a student and it should be very strong for a better future which is not possible in public schools.Ritu Jain, HousewifeThe quality of government schools is getting better as compared to previous years. When I took admission in school, my parents did not even consider the option of public schools. Society taboo was a major reason behind it. Nobody wants to say that I have studied in public schools. But now the conditions are improving and I feel the next generation will have a more positive perspective for public schools.Aditya Jain, Engineering studentI took admission in government school when private schools rejected me for admission as I was from Bihar. I have done my higher education from there and it was the time when Aam Admi Party was promising (as their election agenda) that bribe taker will go through the rough ways. The irony is I had to give bribe on the very day when AAP won the elections.Aaryan Chand Prakash, StudentIf I would have this option of making choice between public and private schools, I would definitely choose the later one. Many reasons can be listed to justify my choice. For instance, teachers are kept busy with other activities like election duties, function preparations that leaves no time with them to teach students. Education quality is not up to the standards of tough competitions.Kavita Gupta, HousewifeI definitely will not choose public schools for my daughter. Government is lacking in many aspects for making the education system better and cheaper. There is no infrastructure in government schools, the toilets are not proper and also less efficient staff. When the basic needs are not fulfilled the quality education is a far sight. Also the class which is mostly associated with public schools is low and thus prevent the overall growth of the children.Razia Malik, Housewife

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Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation pushes to name Metro stns after Shivaji, Patel, Pratap

While the construction of a Metro corridor connecting Mumbai to Mira Road-Bhayandar has not yet started, corporators from Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) have already passed a resolution to name several Metro stations after social leaders like Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Mahavir Swami, and Maharana Pratap among others.The proposal was put forward by BJP and Shiv Sena corporators, and was tabled in the house last week in the form of a resolution which was subsequently passed. Naresh Gite, Municipal Commissioner, MBMC and Dimple Mehta, BJP corporator and Mayor, MBMC confirmed that the proposal was tabled in the house and passed.Mehta told DNA, “We will now forward the proposal to Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) who is executing the project. The proposal was made after considering local sentiments and discussions with the residents of Mira Road and Bhayandar. There is nothing else to read into it.”A MMRDA official said, “We proposed names of nine Metro stations according to the locality but the MBMC corporators had a few demands. Hence we asked for their suggestions.”UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, told DNA, “When we get suggestions, we forward them to the state government (urban development department) which takes the final decision.”Earlier this year, Shiv Sena Minister Ravindra Waikar had demanded that the proposed Metro station at Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road (JVLR) be named Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre.The Mira Road-Bhayandar Metro corridor, also known as Metro-10, is an extension of two Metro corridors planned on Link Road and Western Express Highway, connecting Dahisar and Andheri.Rohidas Patil, BJP corporator, MBMC, said, “It is a purely local demand taking into consideration the sentiments of the local citizens.”WHAT’S IN A NAME?Route: Dahisar Check Naka to Mira Road-BhayandarLength: 9 kmEstimated cost: Rs 3,600 croreStation name by MMRDA: Jankar FactoryProposed by MBMC: Chatrapati Shivaji MaharajStation name by MMRDA: Sai Baba NagarProposed by MBMC: Sardar Vallabhbhai PatelStation name by MMRDA: Deepak HospitalProposed by MBMC: Nanasaheb DharmadhikariStation name by MMRDA: Palika Krida SankulProposed by MBMC: Maharana PratapStation name by MMRDA: Shubhash Chandra Bose GardenProposed by MBMC: Sadanad MaharajStation name by MMRDA: Bhayandar (West)Proposed by MBMC: Mahavir SwamiStation name by MMRDA: Amar PalaceProposed by MBMC: Mira VillageStation name by MMRDA: Pandurang WadiProposed by MBMC: Penkarpada

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It was organised booth capturing: Sukhbir Singh Badal fumes after Congress sweeps Punjab civic polls

On Sunday, after the Congress won a thumping victory in the Punjab civic polls, SAD’s Sukhbhir Singh Badal alleged booth capturing and hit out at the EC and state government. He said: “It was organised booth capturing. We told EC that they are not letting our candidates file nominations. 20% candidates weren’t able to file nominations, some nominations were rejected & some candidates were arrested but state EC did nothing.” He added: “Our candidates & polling agents were thrown out of booths, media persons were beaten & booth was captured at every place. For the 1st time, state EC & govt became one & captured EVMs. We are going to High Court against this criminal conspiracy.”Also readYou can’t get a better result: Captain Amarinder ecstatic after Congress sweeps Punjab civic pollsOn the other hand, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh was ecstatic after Congress’ impressive performance in Punjab Civic Polls. He said: “Election results have been very good, we are very pleased. You can’t get a better result than this. Out of three corporations, we have swept polls and won all of them.”He added: “In Patiala, out of 60 seats, 56 results are declared, won those 56. Similarly, in Jalandhar, out of 80, 77 are declared and 63 we have won. In Amritsar, out of 85, 61 have been declared, 45 we have won.”He also tweeted: Congress won 66 wards in Jalandhar Municipal Corporation, BJP 8, SAD 4, Independent 2. Congress also bagged 56 out of 60 in Patiala and four results awaited. Congress clinched 69 out of 85 wards, BJP 6, SAD 6, Independent 4 in Amritsar Municipal Corporation Election.“This is the first victory that Rahul Gandhi has tasted as Congress President, third victory in our Captain’s turban,” Navjot Singh Sidhu said.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | BJP leaders chalk out strategy ahead of D-Day

After the second phase of Gujarat Assembly elections got over on Thursday, BJP leaders met at state party’s headquarters Shri Kamalam near Gandhinagar on Saturday. The meeting of top brass leaders was called by party chief Jitu Vaghani and attended by CM Vijay Rupani, Deputy CM Nitin Patel, Gujarat in-charge of BJP Bhupender Yadav and others.The senior leaders also met party candidates and the counting agents (who are present at counting venues) of BJP deputed for all 182 seats across the state. The party leaders guided them on the counting process, issues and objections that can be raised during counting, counting through VVPAT slips and EVMs and other aspects they should take care of.Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Vaghani said, “Bhupender Yadav is a lawyer in the Supreme Court and has good understanding of laws. He guided counting agents on the process and related acts. We appealed our workers besides those of Congress and other candidates that they should maintain peace and composure during the counting process and should not create any ruckus in case of adverse results.”He added, “Congress has already started to cry foul over the issue of EVMs when even the counting process has not started leave aside results. They have conceded to their defeat and are trying to pass the buck on BJP and EVM to shield the failure of their leader Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat polls.”On the other hand, it is also learnt that the Gujarat government has booked the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad for oath taking ceremony of the new cabinet. The booking for December 25 has been made with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).Sources in AMC said, “We have received the booking application of Sardar Patel Stadium three days back for oath taking ceremony of new cabinet. The booking date indicates that the ceremony can be held on Christmas on December 25.”BJP won the Assembly polls with 116 seats in 2012 and Narendra Modi became the chief minister of the state. He along with seven cabinet ministers and nine state level ministers had taken the oath at Sardar Patel stadium on December 26, 2012.Cabinet oath at Sardar Patel stadiumGujarat government has booked the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad for oath taking ceremony of the new cabinet. The booking for December 25 has been made with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).BJP leaders guided workers on the counting process, issues and objections that can be raised during counting, counting through VVPAT slips and EVMs and other aspects they should take care of.

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Prosecute officials under whose tenure Hanuman idol was constructed: Delhi High Court

Showing displeasure on the allegedly illegally built 108-ft high Hanuman idol in Karol Bagh area yet again, the Delhi High court said on Friday that it will ask the CBI to investigate the construction of the statue and prosecute officials of DDA and municipal corporation during whose tenure it was constructed.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that while it cannot go after individual unauthorised buildings, builders, or the “hapless people” who are buying them, “the time has come” to ensure that the authorities comply with the laws.”We propose to send it (the case) to the CBI,” the court said and asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the municipal corporation of the area to give the names of its officials who have been posted in the area since 1995, when the construction of the colossal statue started.The bench stated that the list of names sought were incomplete and unacceptable, thereby ordering to give the list by December, fixing it as the next date of hearing.The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) filed an affidavit stating that it has taken action to remove some of the encroachments around the statue and commercial activity outside the temple has been stopped. But the court did not seem to be satisfied and said that the NDMC has withheld vital information about when the road and pavement adjacent to the statue came under its jurisdiction.During the proceedings, Delhi police informed the court that it was interrogating the trustees running the temple and was also looking into its source of funding. It was stated that the temple has an account, containing Rs 11 lakh, in a UCO Bank branch at Model Basti area along with a fixed deposit of Rs 40 lakh.They also added that these cannot be the only funds of the trust, whose sole source of earning is the temple which has been running from 1978. The statue, however, was built completely only in 2002.Appearing for the Delhi police, its counsel Satyakam said that the general manager of the UCO Bank was seeking 30-60 days to provide information about who all deposited cheques in the trust’s account.The bench, thereafter, directed the general manager of the bank to provide the information sought by the police at the earliest and not later than two weeks. The DDA and the corporation told the court that neither the temple nor the trust was paying any property tax to them.The court had ordered a police probe after a committee appointed by it in May this year to look into illegal constructions all over Delhi had pointed to encroachments of up to 1,170 square yards on the DDA land which forms part of the Southern Ridge.

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South Delhi Municipal Corporation beautifies space under two major flyovers

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has beautified the space underneath Raja Garden flyover and Mayapuri flyover, constructed by PWD on the main roads. The aim, officials said, is to work on the look and image of the city .According to SDMC officials, an amount of Rs 78 lakh has been spent on this. The civic body had deputed employees of Horticulture and Engineering and Electrical Department and their resources for the purpose. Sarita Jindal, Chairperson, West Zone Ward Committee, said a few councilors and West Zone Deputy Commissioner Mona Srinivas were present for the occasion, along with West Delhi MP Pravesh Verma and Deputy Mayor Kailash Sankla.”The SDMC has been striving hard to beautify all its localities including flyovers that come under its jurisdiction. Keeping in view the instruction of L-G Anil Baijal, a number of flyovers have been beautified within the shortest possible time,” said Verma.He added, “The beautified spaces under the flyovers will glorify the image of Delhi in future, including in January 2018, when leaders of other countries will be in Delhi to attend a summit.”More than a dozen flyovers have been developed in the process so far. All the flyovers are being developed as per different themes. The details of the illustration for each were prepared separately and respective departments undertook the work assigned to them.”The Electrical Department also meticulously executed the work assigned to it. The entire work was undertaken under a mission to get rid of an atmosphere of filth and stink leading to an unhealthy ambiance and anti-social activities. Locals are now visiting the spaces for evening walks,” said Kailash Sankla, Deputy Mayor.”The actual work was done quickly once the unauthorised occupants were evicted. The entire work has been completed in a period of 30-40 days,” he said.

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Supreme Court raps Delhi govt over ‘illegal constructions’

The Supreme Court on Friday posed searching questions to the Delhi government on the issue of rampant unauthorised constructions in the national capital and asked whether it was prepared to stop them.A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said the Delhi government should reply to its queries in ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the issue.”Are you (government) interested in stopping unauthorised constructions? Is the Delhi government prepared to stop illegal constructions in Delhi or not? We are asking you a simple question. Answer in yes or no,” the bench told the counsel appearing for the government.Responding to the court’s queries, the counsel said “yes” and told the bench that the city government would file an affidavit in this regard.The court directed the government to file an affidavit indicating the exact plan to stop unauthorised constructions.The bench posted the matter for further hearing on February 15 next year.The South Delhi Municipal Corporation had on Thursday told the apex court that it was taking action against illegal constructions in its area from time to time.The court had earlier said the rule of law over sanction to construct buildings has “completely broken down” and expressed concern over rampant illegal constructions here.It had decided to restore powers of the 2006 Monitoring Committee, which was relieved in 2012, to identify and seal unauthorised premises and construction in the city.The Monitoring Committee, comprising K J Rao, former advisor to the election commissioner, Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and Major General (Retd) Som Jhingan, was set up in March 24, 2006, by the apex court to oversee implementation of the law relating to sealing of offending premises.

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56% private schools have medium-quality teaching

Claiming “higher discrepancies” between resources available and the learning outcomes, the Praja foundation report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi- 2017’ on Thursday said that “there is no constraint on available resources”.”In terms of the infrastructure available, teacher quality and budget allocation, there is no constraint on available resources. The corporation is faring well on the student-teacher ratio, the quality of teachers is above average and the budget estimate has been set by the state government at Rs 49,740 per child,” the report said.According to Right to Education (RTE) rules, primary schools must have a student-teacher ratio of 30. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools, on the contrary, had a much higher student-teacher ratio from 2014-15 to 2016-17.However, in terms of quality of teaching, 63 per cent of state government and 55 per cent of MCD schools show an average level of teacher quality. “On an average, teachers from 55 per cent MCD schools reported having a medium level of teaching quality based on the various parameters under SSEF whereas 34 per cent reported having a high quality of teaching. For state government schools 63 per cent schools reported medium teacher quality,” the report said.Fifty six per cent private schools reported having medium teaching quality levels whereas 30 per cent schools reported high teacher quality.

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‘Alarming’ transition rate in Delhi govt, MCD schools

Almost half of the students studying in Delhi government schools did not move to the secondary level through examinations between 2015-17, while in primary and middle classes, they were promoted irrespective of their learning levels, states a report released by an NGO on Thursday.“The transition rate of students in state government schools from Class 9 to 10 at 56.95 percent whereas it is 98.55 percent from Class 7th to 8th for the academic year 2015-16 to 2016-17,” says the report titled ‘State of Public (School) Education in Delhi-2017’ which has been compiled by NGO Praja Foundation on the basis of information collected by RTIs and Surveys.Calling the transition rate “alarming”, the report said, “It clearly shows that students were promoted irrespective of the learning levels in the earlier years and the teachers either were ‘callous’ in their approach or the monitoring of RTE norms was not stringent.”Under Right to Education (RTE) 2009, it is mandatory to promote students to higher classes every year till Class VIII. The policy was instituted to check the high number of dropouts, but gradually experts cited it as a reason for high failure and drop-outs in Classes IX and X.“44 percent of the students enrolled in Class 9 in 2013-14 could not reach Class 12 in 2016-17. Similarly, 43 percent did not go to Class 10 in 2016-17 from Class 9,” the report said.However, adviser to the Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia Atishi Marlena said that the transition rate in state government schools have increased after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government came in power.“The failure rate in Class IX was constantly high because of no detention policy until last year as the AAP government has been taking constant efforts to help students,” she said.The report further highlighted the drop in enrollment numbers both in schools run by the AAP-led Delhi government and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs), with highest drop of 30 percent being reported in class I, between 2010 to 2017.“Enrollment in class I has gone down from 1,92820 in 2010-11 to 1,35,491 in 2016-17 in MCD and state government schools,” it stated.While Delhi government officials held “deteriorating state” of MCD schools, responsible for the drop in enrollment in class I, officials at the civic bodies cited “insufficient resources” as the reason behind this. “Primary education in Delhi is under the MCDs and the condition of their schools are really bad. Why would anyone prefer to send their children in these schools,” Marlena said.Besides, the overall drop in enrollment was reportedly 7 percent from 2013-14 to 2016-17 in these schools. “Total enrollment fell down by 1,76743 students, including 93,444 MCD students and 83,299 state government students, from 2013-14 to 2016-17,” the Praja report said.Meanwhile, the report also revealed that 85 percent students from Municipal schools and 74 percent from state government schools are taking private tuitions “It shows that the parents are not satisfied with the quality of education being offered in these schools,” it added.

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BMC to give 89K vendors hawking spots in city soon

Around 89,000 hawkers out of the city’s 99,435 hawkers who were surveyed in 2014 by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will get designated hawking spots in the city in the next couple of months.The civic body has already put up around 24,000 pitches for objections and suggestions from citizens while another list of around 65,000 hawking pitches is also ready. These hawking pitches are spread across all wards in the city. In its crackdown on illegal hawkers over the past two months, the BMC had driven out over 22,000 hawkers from across railway stations, foot-overbridges and skywalks following the fatal stampede at Elphinstone Road station.However, soon after the hawkers were removed, hawkers associations as well as political parties demanded their immediate rehabilitation.In 2007, the BMC had to declare ward-wise hawking zones following an order from the Bombay High Court. Around 23,950 pitches were declared in 222 roads across the city. However, over the period, many of roads have become no-hawking zones. Moreover, the civic body has put up the same list on a public domain to seek public opinion.“The additional 65,000 hawking pitches will be available for objections and suggestion on December 19,” said a civic official.FACTS OF THE MATTERHawking is not allowed within 150 metres of railway stations, hospitals, religious places and schools. The total number of hawkers in the city is around 3 lakh. Out of these, the number of licensed hawkers is 15,159 The BMC can allow two hawkers at the same place in an area provided they have different timings. The BMC has decided to issue identity cards to hawkers. The civic body has also planned for biometric registration of hawkers.

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Residential parking in South Mumbai now one step closer to reality

Residential parking in Churchgate, Colaba and CST in South Mumbai will soon be a reality. The civic body, which has already received the traffic department’s no objection certificates (NoC) for residential parking slots at around 30 areas, is awaiting the approval of the civic chief to begin.The efforts of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s to make additional parking space available in South Mumbai under the new parking policy will bring relief for residents. Residents can now park their vehicles in front of their society building by paying a requisite fee.The civic body had received an overwhelming response from housing societies and commercial units in Colaba, Churchgate and Nariman Point for reserved parking slots. However, the operation was delayed for almost five months due to a delay in issuing an NOC from the traffic department. The traffic department had raised a query on the timings of the parking. The residential parking slots are available from 8 pm to 8 am only. However, the civic body managed to get the NOC from the traffic department.The BMC had received around 28 applications for reserved/residential parking. Of the 28 applications, 19 were housing societies while nine commercial establishments sought reserved parking spaces.For reserved residential parking (8 pm to 8 am), societies have to pay the BMC monthly charges which vary from Rs 600 to Rs 1,800, depending on the location. Initially, the residents association of A-ward were not satisfied with the civic body citing non-clarity in the implementation of the new parking policy.However, with NOCs from traffic department, the residential parking in South Mumbai as a pilot project seems to be a reality. “We has received traffic department NOC and send it civic chief for final approval,” said a senior official from A-ward of the BMC.NO SPACE AT ALLA-ward has several commercial complexes, government buildings and plenty of cars. The area also falls under ‘A’ category, which has the highest parking rates. The BMC has a total of 91 on-street parking spaces of which 54 falls under A-ward.

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No permission for commercial activity at Cross Maidan: Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court came to the rescue of Mumbaikars on Wednesday on the issue of commercial activity at Cross Maidan. It has restrained the city collector and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation from issuing permits for commercial activity on the over 19,230 sq mts land without prior permission from the court. A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice M S Sonak gave the order while hearing a petition filed by Organization For Verdant Ambience And Land (oval) trust, which maintains Cross Maidan and the Oval Maidan. The two open spaces in Churchgate area are used by citizens for recreational purpose. Advocate Shreya Parikh, appearing for the trust, argued that by way of a Government Resolution (GR) issued on November 6, 2017, the ownership of the land has been transferred from the government to the BMC. Parikh said that Cross Maidan is a deemed recreational ground and no commercial activity can be allowed there. It was further pointed out that the Collector has, even after the issuance of the GR, granted permission to the French Consulate from December 5 to January 2, to use the ground. However, the court noted that since the order of the Collector is not under challenge, it cannot pass any orders against the organisers of the event. Moreover, since, by the issuance of the GR, the state is not in possession and cannot grant permission to third parties. Similarly, the corporation, which has not yet received possession of the ground, cannot issue permits to third parties. There cannot be a grant of any interim relief except that authorities will not grant permissions for any event after January 2, 2018. Posting the matter for further hearing on January 16, 2018, the court asked the state and corporation to file their detailed replies.THE ARGUMENTAdvocate Shreya Parikh, appearing for the trust, argued that by way of a GR, ownership of the land has been transferred from the government to the BMC. Parikh said that Cross Maidan is a deemed recreational ground and no commercial activity can be allowed there.

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BMC Tree Authority an only neta club as tree expert slots lie vacant

Following the death of Sharda Ghodeswar by a sudden tree fall in Chembur last week, questions were raised about the casual and unscientific inspection that the city civic authority conducts. The various causes experts quoted were haphazard cutting, over concretization and planting of non native trees in the city. The city civic body BMC has a dedicated tree authority whose role is to protect and preserve the trees in Mumbai and take action against illegal tree cutting and trimming. However, information has come to fore that the authority does not have a single tree expert as its member and all the decisions are taken only by elected civic representatives from various parties.The BMC’s Tree Authority has 15 members including ivic chief Ajoy Mehta. The present tree authority was made in March 2017 after the BMC elections and has 6 members of Shiv Sena, 5 members of BJP, two from Congress and one from NCP. While, all 10 positions for the tree experts are lying vacant.”The state government’s social forestry department does not have any registered NGO in Mumbai zone to select tree experts from them”, said Sanvi Tandel, Shiv Sena corporator who head’s the BMC’s Garden committee. “The authority can be run under the chairmanship of municipal commissioner”, Tandel added.While, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Gardens), Kishore Kshirsagar said, “Till last year, the tree authority had passed a resolution that tree experts can be appointed from the NGO’s by putting ward wise notices. However, this authority has not yet passed any such resolution and thus the positions of the tree experts are vacant”.”If the tree authority, who is responsible for taking all decisions on trees in Mumbai has no expert, a person who will scientifically raise concerns on green cover, give opinion on tree cutting, trimming and transplantation from a technical and botanical angle, how will the decisions be partial ? A tree authority without a tree expert makes no sense at all. The political parties just don’t want any environmentalists interference in their decisions on haphazard tree cutting for their upcoming projects because of which they are not filling the positions reserved for experts”, said Zoru Bathena an environment activist who has been fighting against extensive tree cutting for metro projects in Mumbai.TREE TALKMANOJ KOTAKBJP group leaderNo NGO’s fit in the norms laid by the state government on the tree experts recruitment which includes forestation experience and many others. That is why till now no experts are appointed. Last year, we had relaxed the criterias and had appointed the members. But this year, we are yet to take the decision if to relax the norms because of which as of now there are no tree experts in the authority”.VISHWANATH MAHADESHWARMayorThe appointment of tree experts in the tree authority is important. The experts have their opinions are also necessary while taking any decision by the tree authority. The tree authority last year did have experts and we will see that the appointment of the tree experts in this tree authority is done soon”.DR NILESH BAXIAn enviornmentalist and former member of tree authority allegedDecisions like appointing tree experts as members, tree cutting, trimming and transplantation is just a political racket. All the decisions are taken for money and profit. All the political party members are anti-naturalists. They don’t want an expert as a member as they will put down their feet on every project and they don’t want any interference.ONE, TWO, TREE29.75lakh Total trees in Mumbai13.9lakh Native trees15.8lakh Non-native trees450 Variety of treesMORE NUMBERS2 times a year BMC conducts audit of trees939 Tree collapse incidences in city this year4 Death due to tree fall this yearWHY DO TREES COLLAPSE?Over concretisation Paving Damage of roots while laying the utilities Improper and loose earth filling after laying utilities Improper trimming causing the tree to loose its balance No modern equipment to find out tree health

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BMC apathy and marine pollution kills hundreds of fishes in Sion pond

Residents and elected representatives are up in arms against BMC’s apathy after around hundred odd fishes have been found floating dead in the polluted Sion pond during the past two days. The pond had last witnessed a mass fish deaths in 2012 where almost all the fishes in it died.Former principal scientist at Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Dr Vinay Deshmukh said that one of the most common reasons for fishes dying in water bodies specially ponds and lakes is due the lack of oxygen. “I have not visited the spot but going by the photographs and information , it clearly seems that the deaths are due to the increase in the organic pollution, which reduces the dissolved oxygen levels. Most of the fishes that are dead are species of cat fish, which are already sensitive,” he said stating that the pond water must be getting contaminated with sewage or other pollutants.Meanwhile BJP councillor of ward 172 Rajshri Shirwadkar expressed concerns over the death of fishes. She said that people immersed floral offerings as well as coconuts in the pond and despite repeated reminders BMC did scant action to save this historic pond. “It was first on Sunday morning that around 40 odd fishes were found dead and floating in the water and similarly around 50 were found on Monday and most of these fishes are fully grown and over 10 to 20 kg,” Shirwadkar said adding that the last clean up of the pond was done in around 2011. It has never been cleaned since then despite regular idol immersions happening in the pond.Deshmukh informed that a pristine fresh water body has around 6ml of oxygen per litre of water and the oxygen level can drop to less than 1ml of oxygen per litre of water in very polluted water. “Due to the pollution the dissolved oxygen reduced and it is lowest during early morning and hence most of the fishes are found dead during early morning period and this phenomenon is quite common during winters,” he said adding that some one needs to do a detailed study of the pond its water quality and not simply test the BOD, which might not result in proper results.Dr MJ Pravin Bhatt who is a priest in the nearby temple was pained by the death of the fishes. He bought an aeration machine to increase the oxygen in the pond. “Its a painful sight to watch these fishes that are dying due to lack of oxygen, hence I decided to buy this machine and installed it,” he said.Assistant Municipal Commissioner of F-North ward, Keshav Ubale said, “I have received a complaint from citizens that few fishes have died in the lake. Following residents complaints the pond water will be tested. We do not have any contractor for the maintenance of the lake, it is a natural body and has aquatic animals like fishes and tortoises.”

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Garbage management in Mumbai: BMC to set up 35 dry waste processing centres

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to develop dry waste collection and processing centres across Mumbai. The centres will be developed at CST, Churchgate, Colaba, Grant Road, Malabar Hills, Nana Chowk among others. Each centre is expected to process around 5 tonnes of dry waste every day.Since the BMC has been promoting segregation of dry and wet waste and composting of wet waste at source, the present move will help citizens to manage their dry waste with ease. “There has always been a complaint that BMC does not lift dry and wet waste separately,” said a senior official from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department of BMC.The cost of each processing set up will vary owing to quantity it will process. “The machine will cost from Rs 2.2 lakh to 7 lakh as per capacity it will process,” said an official from SWM.Also readBMC to help pick spot for waste management“We are taking a number of measures to bring down the quantity of waste being dumped every day at dumping grounds. The question being raised by a section of society that the civic body is doing nothing in waste management does not stand,” added the official. In the last six months, the civic body has brought down daily waste generation to 7500 MT from 9400 MT.“Everyday, the processing centre will process around 5MT dry waste,” said the official.Also readMumbai: Check how much this Kandivali society shells out each month to maintain a waste segregation machineIn addition, the civic body is also buying around 350 new garbage compactors for its Solid Waste Management (SWM) department which will have separate sections for carrying dry, wet and e-waste. This will put an end to the contract system for carrying dry and wet waste separately. The new garbage compactors will have around 85 percent space for wet waste while 10 percent space for dry waste. The remaining space will be used for the for e-waste. “With an increase in the amount of waste, it is becoming difficult to manage e-waste. The new compactor will prevent it from mixing with other waste,” added the official.

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BMC to connect LBS Marg & Bhandup station

To avoid another Elphinstone Road railway station-like incident, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to connect Bhandup railway station (West) with LBS Road by constructing a missing link. The construction of a 300-m missing link will give a second exit on the western side of the station.The proposed road will have a direct connectivity to platform number 1 of the station from LBS road.”The proposed road will ease the pressure from the existing road and mitigate any possibility of Elphinstone Road-like stampede,” said an official from the Road Department.The proposed road is expected to be 13-metre wide and will connect the MVR Shinde road near Jayesh Industrial Estate which is also adjacent to the station.”After Elphinstone Road accident, the BMC has swung into action and working on all such missing links that can give a better connectivity to the station. We have identified a number of missing links in every railway stations to give a better access to the station. The proposal will soon be tabled in the general body of BMC to get approval,” said the official.

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Tree fall death: No FIR filed yet

The mother and three kids of Sharda Ghodeswar, 45, who died on Thursday after a tree fell upon her were inconsolable, as her body was brought home after the postmortem. Ghodeswar, who was the only bread earner of the family died instantly when a 40 feet tree fell upon the garden bench that she was sitting on.Following the incident, the Ghodeswar family and residents of Chembur have been demanding FIR against the gardens department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for their negligence. However, the police and BMC have both brushed away their responsibilities. The Chembur Resident’s Group (CRG) met officials of the Govandi police station and urged to file an FIR against BMC’s Superintendent of Gardens for criminal negligence.However, the police refused to file an FIR saying that the investigation was still on. Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Bharat Marathe said, “The death is due to natural calamity and garden’s department has promised Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the family of deceased in ten days time.”Chembur citizens have urged BMC in a written correspondence that it does not have any mechanism to check the health of the tree and the officers just leave at a cursory survey of the trees.”How can the officer know if the tree is healthy by just looking at it. In July, after the death of another Chembur resident Kanchan Nath, who died after a tree fell on her, the Gardens officer promised to inspect the trees in Chembur.This is still pending,” said Manish Gangurde from CRG.

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DNA EXCLUSIVE | Construction of lifts in service lanes is not illegal: Delhi High Court

Striking down a plea which sought to set aside the No Objection Cerificate (NoC) issued by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to a housing society, the Delhi High Court ruled that the construction of lifts in the service lane or common areas in housing societies owned by corporations is not illegal.The court’s direction came while hearing a plea which had challenged the grant of an NoC for the construction of a lift in the service lane, to cater to four of the residential blocks in the society called Dhruva Cooperative Group Housing Society, which, in all, houses 52 blocks.Justice AK Chawla said that “the policy to issue NOC for the purpose of erection of the lifts in a Group Housing Flats built by DDA or Group Housing Societies, falling with the jurisdiction of the different Corporations, cannot be faulted with”.The petition had contended that the construction was permitted in the service lane, which is a common area and hence the NOC granted is illegal and bad in law. It also said that the common areas (service lane) are allowed to install lifts, services of fire vehicles, etc, in cases of emergency such as a natural calamity, as long as it doesn’t disrupt the commute of other flats owners.The plea also added that the NOC was issued without site inspection by the EDMC and without applying any rationality, or reasoning the rights of other residents, their convenience, safety and security.The court, while striking down all the arguments of the petitioner, stated that the whole premise, on which the petition is founded, was misconceived.The single bench referred to a Shaik Abdul Hameed vs Delhi Development Authority and ORS case, where it was observed by the High Court that housing societies were made at a time when lifts were not in vogue. It had held that such lifts would help the aged during medical complications.”Most of the flat owners, who may have purchased the same 30-40 years ago, would be old and infirm. It is often not possible for them to take the staircase up to the first, second, and third floor. They often feel marooned due to inaccessibility leading to further complications for aged “emptynestness”. Medical emergencies, too, would pose their own set of logistic problems. …The land where the lift-well is to be erected has been clearly demarcated and in any case is in a common area over which no particular individual can claim an individual or proprietary right,” the court had said.

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Construction of lifts in common areas of societies owned by municipal corporations not illegal: Delhi HC

The Delhi High Court on Thursday ruled that construction of lifts in service lane or common areas of housing societies is not illegal. The court was responding to a plea that sought to set aside a No Objection Certificate (NOC) issued by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) to a housing society.The court’s direction come while hearing a plea that had challenged the grant of NOC for theconstruction of a lift in the service lane, to cater to four of the residential blocks of Dhruva Cooperative Group Housing Society. The society houses 52 blocks.The petition had contended that the construction was permitted in the service lane, which is a common area and hence the NOC granted was illegal. It also said that the common areas (service lane) are permitted for installing a lift.The plea also stated that the NOC had been issued without site inspection by the EDMC and without applying any rationality or reasoning.The court, while striking down all the arguments of the petitioner, stated that whole premise, on which the petition is founded, is misconceived.Justice A K Chawla said, “The policy to issue NOC for the purposes of erection of the lifts in a Group Housing Flats built by DDA or Group Housing Societies, falling within the jurisdiction of the different Corporations cannot be faulted with”.The single bench referred to a Shaik Abdul Hameed vs Delhi Development Authority & Ors case where it was observed by the High court that housing societies were made at a time when lifts were not in vogue. It had held that such lifts would help the aged during medical complications and that it would be convenient for all.“Most of the flat owners, who may have purchased the same 30-40 years ago, would be old and infirm. It is often not possible for them to take the staircase up to the first, second and third floors. In the absence of the facility of a lift the prospect of having to take the stairs to reach the ground or to access a higher floor apartment can be very daunting,” the court saidDuring the course of hearing the bench found that it was only the petitioner along with three other members who were raising questions out of the 206 members in the society.“Societies cannot function in this manner. Once, a decision is taken by the society through its elected executive, all the members of the society are bound by it. It also does not lie in the mouth of the petitioners that the permission granted by the society for the issuance of impugned NOC is not in the larger interest of the occupants of the four blocks, where the lift is getting erected,” the court said and rejected the plea.
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Civic body floats fresh tender for Hancock Bridge as per GST rate

The construction of a new bridge in place of the demolished Hancock bridge in Byculla is likely to start in a month as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started to invite fresh tender for the project as per the new Goods and Service Tax (GST) rate. Earlier, the process of awarding the contract was put on hold due to change in GST rate.According to an official from the Bridge department of BMC, GST rate has been revised to 12 per cent from earlier 18 per cent. “With the change in GST rate, the overall price of the tender will also change,” the official said. So, the fresh tender has to be floated to award contract.SO Kori, chief engineer (Bridge) of BMC, said, “We have invited tender as per the new GST rate… We are expecting that the tender process will be complete in one month or a maximum of two-months time.”Earlier, the Supreme Court had given permission to carry out construction for a new bridge with a new contractor after taking account of the trouble faced by motorists and pedestrians.The construction of the new bridge was put on hold following a Bombay High Court order. The BMC had reportedly awarded the contract for construction of four bridges, including the Hancock Bridge, to a blacklisted contractor.The contractor was blacklisted for carrying out shoddy roadworks. After HC stayed the construction of a new bridge, the contractor approached the Supreme Court. However, the civic body managed to lift the stay.It is almost one and half years the 135-year-old Hancock bridge was demolished in November 2015.The British-era bridge near Sandhurst Road Railway station was deemed dangerous by the CR in 2013 and was demolished. The Railway overbridge was connecting Byculla and Dadar.ABOUT THE BRIDGEThe 135-year-old British-era bridge near Sandhurst Road Railway station was deemed dangerous by the CR in 2013 and was demolished. The Railway overbridge would connect Byculla and Dadar.
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Cyclone Ockhi: Rain spoils Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar followers visit

The sudden rains in the city due to Ockhi cyclone approaching Maharashtra coast has resulted as a spoiler for the Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar followers who have started camping at Dadar-Shivaji Park since Monday evening.To pay tribute to Ambedkar, lakhs of people across the state gather at Chaityabhoomi in Dadar on every December 6 and the civic body erects pandals at Shivaji Park for the visitors. However, the sudden rains from Monday evening destroyed the pandals at Shivaji Park and water and mud also have messed up the ground. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday evening arranged temporary accommodation for the Ambedkar followers in BMC schools in G-North civic ward (comprises Dadar-Shivaji Park, Mahim) and has also released a list of around 186 private schools where the visitors can be accommodated. BMC’s spokesperson Vijay Khabale Patil informed that the civic body has made all necessary arrangements especially food and water at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus for Ambedkar followers who are coming to Mumbai from long distance from Monday evening. Due to continuous showers in Mumbai, this years booklet on Bharatnatna Dr Ambedkar Jayanti was released in Mayor’s bungalow instead of Shivaji Park ground where it was originally planned to be released. The booklet was released by Mayor of Mumbai Vishwanath Mahadeshwar in his bungalow in Shivaji Park.
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BMC trying hard for good marks in Swachh survey

With a number of changes and revised methodology for the third cleanliness survey—’Swachh Survekshan-2018’—to rank 4,041 cities and towns in the country, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which has plummeted to 29th rank from 10th is forced to start preparation early and is taking all precautions to ensure it does not earn negative marks. Independent assessors will verify details provided by a civic body and any false information could lead to 33 per cent negative marks, said a civic official.Open defecation free (ODF) status is one of the parameters which is closely monitored during cleanliness survey apart from others. Though Urban Maharashtra including Mumbai was declared open defecation free (ODF) in October 2017, ground realities are far different.From Mankhurd in Eastern Suburbs to Andheri in Western Suburb, people can be seen defecating in open. Meher Moshin Haider, a Congress corporator from Andheri (West) had raised question on BMC’s ‘feat’ and written to Quality Council of India as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Aware that this could affect rankings, the civic body has a set a target of 5089 community toilet seats to be set up by March 2018.The Solid Waste Management (SWM) department had sought details from wards on required number of toilets seats to be set up by March 2018 and accordingly, it has decided to set up 5083 toilet seats with maximum 480 in L ward (Kurla) which is followed by M East (Chembur and Mankhurd) 400.In the 2017 survey, 434 cities with over 1 lakh population and all the state capitals were ranked. In 2018, the cities will be ranked based on 71 sanitation-related parameters with different weightage.FOCUS ON ODFThe BMC plunged to 29th rank from 10th in the last survey Open defecation free status is one of the parameters on BMC’s focus this time apart from other issues
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Floating brooms: BMC’s new tools

In order to prevent waste going into sea, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going to install floating brooms at the exit points of important rivers.The civic body will install floating brooms in at exit point in at least six rivers of the city. The broom will prevent floating articles like thermocol or bottle going into the sea.The BMC has deputed its hundred conservancy workers to clean beaches across the city to clean waste that are left at the shore during high tide almost everyday.The floating brooms will be installed at the exit points of rivers namely Poisar, Dahisar, Mithi, Oshiwara among others. Vijay Singhal, additional commissioner of BMC (Eastern Suburb), also in charge of Solid Waste Management said that the floating broom will be installed as pilot projects.”The floating broom will prevent floating materials going into the sea and it will be taken out from the exit point of the river and dumped in the dumping ground,” said Singhal.According to Singhal, the cost of the project is very low and there is no problem in experimenting it. “Since the broom will float in water, it will come down when force of water will be low and waste material will not go into the sea,” he said.Beaches in the city are often littered with polythene bags and other floating material.According to an official, the exact quantity of waste being found along beaches in the city is not known as it varies season to season.”During high tide, the quantity of waste is more than usual,” said an official from the Solid Waste Management of BMC.However, he added whatever we find waste at beaches are basically generated from the city which goes to the sea and comes back at shore during tide.THE LOCATIONSThe floating brooms will be installed at the exit points of rivers including Poisar, Dahisar, Mithi and Oshiwara. The brooms will prevent floating articles like thermocol or bottle going into the sea Civic officials said the cost of the project will be very low and there is no harm in experimenting with the floating brooms
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Citizens step forward to adopt abandoned baby saved by Mumbai police

A week after an abandoned baby was admitted in Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital (Sion Hopsital) at Sion by Mumbai Police, the baby got discharged from the hospital on Thursday, November 30. The infant was found in an auto-rickshaw on November 20 morning at Kanjurmarg by a man. He later handed over the infant to the Mumbai Police officers.According to the police officials, citizens are coming forward to adopt the baby since a week. The police officials stated that they are still tracing for the baby’s parents.Gajanan Taple, Senior Police Inspector at Kanjurmarg Police Station, said, “To trace her parents, we are scrutinizing CCTV footages of the road. Since it is a crowded road, it is difficult to find out but the search is going on. We have shifted the baby to Vatsalya Charitable Trust at Kanjurmarg. The baby will be taken to the hospital for follow-up check ups.”Taple, added, “While few citizens have come forward to adopt her, we have informed them to connect with the charitable trust since we don’t have authority to conduct adoption process. Yesterday the baby was handed over to the NGO and citizens who are wishing to adopt her, we are directing them to contact the ngo.”The baby was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid is build-up deep within the brain and requires a surgical intervention.“The baby underwent CT scan and we were waiting for the medical reports. A surgery was performed on her few days ago and is kept in neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU) of the hospital. While her condition is stable now, she is fit to get discharge from the hospital. We have informed the Mumbai Police. They completed the discharge process and have taken the baby to the orphanage,” said Dr Jayshree Mondkar, Dean and Neonatologist at Sion Hospital.
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BMC to construct stay facility for families of TB patients at Sewri Hospital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the line of KEM Hospital, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC ) has decided to develop an accommodation facility for the families of TB patients at Sewri Hospital. This will have facilities for stay of 50 persons with washroom and other facilities.The BMC’s stay facility in KEM Hospital receives good response as it is occupied most of the day.TB patients from across the state for their treatment and many of them are required to admit. However, patients’ family members face difficulty while staying as cost of living in Mumbai is very high. “We will take a nominal charge of Rs 50 to Rs 100 per day,” said Kishore Desai, assistant commissioner of F South ward of BMC.According to Desai, TB is contaminated easily and so, patients’ family cannot reside within hospital premises. “This is safety for patients’ family members to stay out of the hospital,” said Desai. He added that the facility will be available in the next six months time. The Sewri TB hospital receives over 30,000 patients across the year.

Rajasthan: Hostels told to recite national anthem daily in the morning

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Jaipur Municipal Corporation’s order to play the national anthem and national song at the civic body’s head office daily, now government hostels have been asked to recite national anthem daily. The notice has been issued by the state department for Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE). The national anthem is to be sung along with daily morning prayers at 7 am daily. The directive reportedly came into effect on Sunday, 26 November.Department’s Director Samit Sharma claimed that residential schools have already been reciting the national anthem and the current order is just an extension of the practice to government-run and government-aided hostels. The department believes that this practice will help kindle the spirit of patriotism in students.
ALSO READ From today, national anthem, song to be played at Jaipur civic offices everydayIn October, the Jaipur Municipal Corporation made it compulsory for all its employees to sing the national anthem in the morning and Vande Mataram in the evening. City mayor Ashok Lahoty further added that ‘those who don’t want to sing can go to Pakistan’.

A BMC cell for dilapidated bldgs soon

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

Week after slums are razed, shanties return near garden

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A week after the demolition of illegal slums near the Bayview Marina Garden in Cuffe Parade, the encroachers have made a comeback and set up shanties again. The residents have slammed the government for failing to ensure that the land remains free of encroachments. The BMC has assured the residents that another demolition will be carried out in the area and the shanties will be demolished. The first demolition was conducted in the presence of the police on November 21.”The government agencies are failing to protect their own land. We have been complaining about the illegal slums in our locality since a long time. The slums were cleared partly but now they are back,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general, Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA). “Taxpayers’ money is used for demolition. Besides, machinery and power is wasted when the encroachers come back to the same place on which the demolition work was carried out,” added Nandekar.Another resident said, “The BMC should carry out swift demolition drives inorder to protect the city’s open spaces.”Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner, A ward of BMC, said, “We will conduct the demolition drive again so that the slums are cleared. We will chalk out a permanent solution for the issue soon.”

BMC demolishes illegal construction in Anil Kapoor’s office

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday carried out a demolition drive in Bollywood actor office in Linking Road in Santa Cruz. The office cabin and a part of the office was removed.According to official from the H West ward of BMC, they had served notice to Kapoor’s office for alleged illegal extension in the office. The civic body had also given time to remove the same within a stipulated time. However, finding no action from Kapoor’s office, they removed the extension.“The outside cabin of the office was extended and even there was alteration inside the office,” said a civic official from the ward. He added that they had served notice earlier this month and given time till Saturday to remove. No one from Kapoor’s office confirmed about the illegal construction and BMC’s action.

BJP keeps Rane waiting, fields ex-NCP leader Prasad Lad in bypoll to state council

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing strong opposition from its ruling partner Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party was forced not to nominate former Shiv Sena leader and chief minister Narayan Rane in the by-election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council slated for December 7.BJP has now given candidature to a businessman turned politician and former NCP leader Prasad Lad who is now being pitted against Congress nominee and former legislator Dilip Mane who comes from Solapur. BJP spokespersons Madhav Bhandari and Shaina NC were two others whose names were doing the rounds for party’s nomination but BJP has picked up Lad who enjoys wide-ranging contacts has deep pockets.BJP preferred to take one step backward and not to make Rane’s nomination a prestige issue ahead of crucial Gujarat assembly election not to displease Shiv Sena but to keep it in good humour. BJP realises that Shiv Sena’s support is necessary for the survival of the state government. Rane had recently deserted Congress to form his own outfit and extend support to NDA. He was making unilateral announcements that his ministerial berth in the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis led the council of ministers was a matter of few days.This is despite Shiv Sena stepping up its criticism against BJP and the party led government on a number of issues including farmers’ plight, delays in the implementation of much ambitious crop loan waiver scheme, deteriorating law and order in some parts of Maharashtra and implementation of Mumbai Metro rail project and Mumbai Nagpur expressway.Lad, who had contested as an independent, had lost to Congress nominee Bhai Jagtap in the election to the state council held in December 2015.Lad, in the same election where corporators from BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation were to elect members of legislative councils, had managed to win 55 votes. That had led to the speculation that BJP was supporting NCP rebel Lad’s candidature to ensure the Congress candidate’s defeat. Lad then had thanked Fadnavis accepting his defeat with humility.Congress has already declared that it has a backing of NCP and other smaller parties. However, Congress party’s move to seek Shiv Sena’s support to give a united fight against BJP did not materialise after Shiv Sena’s refusal. Congress party however, will have to keep a close eye to avoid cross-voting.In the 288 members Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, the BJP has 122 legislators while Shiv Sena has 63. On the other hand, Congress and NCP have 42 and 41 members respectively, the Peasants & Workers Party 3, Bahujan Vikas Aghadi 3, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen 2, Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, CPM, MNS and Samajwadi Party one each. There are eight independents. The BJP enjoys support of four independent legislators

Setback for citizens on civic open space policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BMC’s general body on Thursday passed a policy for the maintenance of municipal recreational grounds/playgrounds (RG/PG). The long-pending policy stipulates that everyone should be granted access to plots, without any discrimination.The other highlights of the policy are: developed civic plots should be given to caretakers for maintenance only for a period of 11 months and no commercial or political events should be organised on civic plots.Deputy Municipal Commissioner D Kshirsagar said, “The policy allows any person, residents associations, NGOs, and private firms, to become caretakers.””However, a committee will be set up under the chairmanship of additional municipal commissioner, and it will pick caretakers from among applicants. The duration and renewal of contract will also be decided by the committee,” Kshirsagar said.There have been several instances wherein municipal plots maintained by private parties, especially firms owned by politicians and caretakers, have discriminated while granting entry. They have even rented civic plots for commercial activities. In view of such practices, the BMC last year decided to take back a total of 216 RG/PG plots handed over to private parties and appointed care takers or maintained them on its own.On Thursday, the Congress party expressed its disappointment, citing that the BMC general body passed the RG/PG policy without any discussion.The Opposition leader in BMC, Congress corporator Ravi Raja, said, “The BMC has failed to take back 60 plots which are maintained by BJP and Shiv Sen bigwigs. Before passing the RG/PG policy, they should have first taken possession of all the 216 plots; that would have ensured proper implementation of the policy guidelines. Now, it is unclear whether the 60 plots will be maintained by the same parties and whether the RG/PG policy norms will be applicable to them.””The mayor has silently passed the policy without putting it up for a debate. This shows his favoritism towards the BJP and Shiv Sena leaders who are the caretakers of municipal plots. The policy has been passed under pressure from the chief minister,” Raja alleged.Another Congress corporator, Ashraf Azmi, noted, “The corporation did not give us a chance to present our views on the policy. The Congress party is not in favor of the policy; after discussion with senior leaders, we will reopen the proposal for detailed discussion”.”When the BMC has funds to maintain its plots, why does it need private caretakers,” Azmi added.Considering that many corporate firms are owned by political leaders, there are chances that civic plots may go to political leaders again for maintenance. However, if the Congress decides to reopen the policy, for discussion in the BMC, it remains to be seen how soon the policy will be implemented.

BMC to convert all manual traffic signals in city to ATC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In order to make traffic movement smooth in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to convert all manually-controlled traffic signals to an automatic system (Area Traffic Control). At present, there are 613 traffic signals in the city of which 253 have already been converted to ATC.With more than 750 new vehicles being registered every day, the situation has become unbearable for both motorists and traffic authorities.A senior official from the traffic department of BMC said that ATC can solve the problem to some extent as it works on the flow of vehicles, and accordingly sets timing of traffic signals. “An intelligent traffic control system, ATC is equipped with sensors that capture the traffic data in real time, calculate the optimal time for signals and transmit the data to the control centre,” said the official. He added that this process makes it easy to set timing of a particular traffic signal.The installation of ATC at the remaining 360 signals will be completed soon and the civic body will need to spend around Rs 150 crore on the project. Most of the non-ATC signals are in the western and eastern suburbs.The official said that a non-ATC signal works manually and traffic density is studied by a team of BMC and traffic officials. These timings are fed manually from time-to-time. The team visits the spot and studies the traffic situation on all sides and the time taken for vehicles to cross the junction. However, with ATC, there is no need to do all such works. “The ATC works on sensors and it can check traffic at a particular signal, and set the timing accordingly,” said the official. He added that it also sets timings of a particular stretch of other traffic signals to clear traffic.

Kala Ghoda open art street gears up for ‘Peace’ theme event on 26/11

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The open art gallery on K Dubash Marg at Kala Ghoda is geared up for its second event on November 26. The theme decided by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is ‘Peace’, on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of 26/11 Mumbai’s terror attacks.In its second innings, the street will have 30 stalls for artists instead of 21. “For the November 26 event, the civic body and the MTDC have got an overwhelming response and all the stalls are booked by artists. The theme is ‘Peace’ and we are giving preferences to performing artists than exhibitions,” said Swati Kale, General Manager of MTDC.This Sunday, of the 30 stalls, 10 are for Bollywood theme performers, five stalls for Kolbat Art based on the 26/11 theme, and the remaining stalls for Warli and Mandali art, spray painting, jewellery art, and street magic.The 250-metre long open gallery has 21 stalls of 15×15 foot each, rented at Rs 200 per day, giving the city’s upcoming artists a prime platform to showcase their work. The art street will remain open from 11 am to 6 pm every Sunday till May 2018.

Delhi High Court pulls up DDA, NDMC over unused IFC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Miffed with the wastage of tax payers money, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday rapped the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) for its failure to ensure that the traders from the walled city shift to the integrated freight complex (IFC) in Narela, even after plots have been allotted for the purpose.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said that shifting of the markets, including chemical traders, from central and Old Delhi would decongest the area.”Tax payers money is being wasted. Why are you (DDA and North MCD) not doing your job? It is mind-boggling to think that a project with such a huge money value is being permitted to slide, while the Supreme Court, National Green Tribunal and this court are struggling with pollution issues. It is only because the officials are not doing their duty,” it said.The bench expressed concerns on the continuance of the chemical traders here and said that it would have disastrous consequences.During the course of the hearing, the DDA pinned the blame on the NDMC stating that it was the latter’s responsibility to make sure that people are shifted to the land allotted to them.The court also suggested the cancellation of allotment to such persons who are not shifting to commercial complexes, thereby directing the DDA and the civic agency to carry a joint inspection of the walled city to identify the chemical traders who have not shifted to Narela.The court was hearing an NGO’s plea seeking shifting of the wholesale markets from the walled city to the IFC.The bench directed them to file a report and listed the matter for hearing on December 19.

Laws seeking to centralize powers must be reworked: VP Venkaiah Naidu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outdated laws and regulations that seek to centralise powers and functions rather than decentralise them must be reworked, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Wednesday, pitching for a “bottom-up approach” to governance.”Laws will have to be amended if they come in the way of effective functioning of municipal bodies and lead to delays in execution of projects,” Naidu said, after inaugurating the golden jubilee celebrations of Kochi Municipal Corporation here.Naidu, who served as the Union Urban Development Minister before being elected as the Vice President, said he had “a fairly good idea” of the problems faced by municipal corporations and urban local bodies, their administrators and elected representatives.Rapid urbanisation, burgeoning urban population, unplanned and haphazard growth of urban areas, inability of the civic bodies to cope with increasing demand in services, lack of adequate financial resources and functional powers are the major problems faced by corporations and other urban civic bodies, he noted.”Firstly, outdated laws and regulations which seek to centralise powers and functions rather than decentralise them must be reworked,” he said.”The top-down approach must be replaced by bottom-up approach for finding effective governance at the local level… Times have changed and so have people’s expectations,” Naidu added.Stating that availability of funds might not pose a problem under various programmes, including the ‘Smart Cities’ initiative, launched by the Centre, the Vice President said the timely execution of the projects must be accorded the highest priority.Emphasising the need for providing more legislative powers to municipal bodies and the mayors empowered with greater administrative functions to enable effective governance, he said that since mayors and corporators are elected by the people, they would be directly answerable to the voters.”Therefore, greater accountability has to be infused in the functioning of the corporations and elected representatives,” Naidu said.However, they also need to be empowered with three Fs – funds, functions and functionaries, he said.”In case, each local body is governed by a different Act, the situation must be remedied by clubbing varied Acts and bringing out a single, umbrella Act for ensuring uniformity in functioning and governance,” the Vice President said.

Delhi High Court: Map dengue breeding areas in Capital

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the municipal corporation of the national capital to provide a geographic map of the city areas which are usually affected by vector-borne diseases like dengue.A direction was also issued to the Centre by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar to place before it a status report on whether any steps have been taken to develop the National Capital Region (NCR) as suggested by it in May this year.The directions for mapping of dengue-affected areas and development of the NCR came from the court when it was hearing some PILs relating to unauthorised constructions in the city.”Give us a geographic mapping of the areas affected by dengue,” the court said and added that the map would help it issue appropriate directions.The bench also said that carrying out the mapping would also help in better monitoring of those areas and prevention of the spread of vector-borne diseases.The bench said that developing of the NCR would help in reducing air pollution, over-crowding and vehicular congestion in the city, apart from addressing the problems of lack of cleanliness and rise in coaching centres being run from residential areas or properties.According to the data released by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) on Monday, the total number of dengue cases in Delhi has touched 8,549 with 486 cases reported in the previous week. Meanwhile, the number of people affected by malaria has also climbed to 1,111 while the figure for chikungunya stood at 878 with 23 new cases reported during the last week.The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), till November 18, reported 692 cases, the highest among the three civic bodies whereas the SDMC registered nearly 689 cases in the same period. Over 359 cases reported came from east Delhi.NEWS IN NUMBERSSDMC recorded a total of 8,549 dengue cases, and NDMC recorded 692 cases on Monday
Over 359 cases reported came from east Delhi.

BMC to link PAPs with Aadhaar to prevent repeated encroachment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to put an end to the oft-seen practice of people encroaching on civic land and claiming rehabilitation again and again, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now decided to ask Project Affected Persons (PAPs) to submit their Aadhar details while getting rehabilitation benefits from the BMC either in terms of monetary or homes.The BMC believes that this will prevent PAPs from encroaching on another plot to get rehabilitation package again after they are cleared out from an area, as details of people who have already availed of rehabilitation will be available in its database.The BMC observed that PAPs tenements were lying vacant despite PAPs being allotted homes there. “We found that several families shift to other areas, and start encroaching on another civic land to get rehabilitation benefits, while PAPs tenements are lying vacant or given to others’,” said an official from the Estates Department of BMC.At present, the BMC has a number of projects and these can be developed by removing encroachments. “There are around 16,500 encroachments along the Tansa pipeline alone which we have to clear following the High Court order,” said the official. He added that many of them were already given homes in Mahul in Chembur and other areas, but we fear that would shift other areas, and start encroaching another civic land.By using Aadhaar system, the BMC will take biometric details of the family and will ensure in future that the family does not get any rehabilitation again.”We often find difficult to clear an encroachment as we have to face protest both from who encroaches the land and people support with vested interest like politicians,” said the official. In many cases, it was found that political parties do not want PAPs to be shifted in other places even they are given homes as they will lose their vote banks. “The Aadhaar- based system will put an end to such ill practice of political parties,” added the official.

Brace for more traffic snarls at Hindmata junction

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hindmata in Parel is one of the most chronic waterlogging spots in Mumbai every monsoon. Even when there was severe water-logging in the city after heavy rains on August 29, Hindmata experienced water-logging for a much longer period than other areas where water had receded. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is finally going to carry out augmentation of the stormwater drains (SWD) at Hindmata junction to increase the rainwater draining capacity so that such flooding is not seen in the future.However, Hindmata Junction is already known for its traffic jams, and as road excavation by the stormwater drains department is expected to begin here next month, motorists will have to brace for even more traffic snarls in the area.The BMC will excavate road right from the B J Devrukhkar road at Hindmata to Madkebuwa chowk along Dr BA Road. The work includes converting the curved arc drain in the area to an RCC box drain, which will be around 800 meters long, to facilitate faster drainage of water. The drain will be widened from 1.5 x 1.2 meters to 3 x 1.5 metres which will increase its rainwater draining capacity and give relief from waterlogging at Hindmata.”However, traffic problems in the area due to work is unavoidable and we will carry out work in coordination with the Mumbai Traffic police”, chief engineer of SWD department, Vidyadhar Khandkar said.Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Amitesh Kumar said: “We will deploy more traffic police officers and additional traffic wardens in the area for traffic management”.Ajay Shete, a shop owner, said, “I travel every day to Hindmata market and take 30 minutes in an usual traffic at Hindmata junction. Now, when one lane will get shut for BMC work, it will take over an hour to cross the place. But as solving the severe waterlogging issue at Hindmata, there is no option but to bear the traffic woes”.The stormwater drain at Hindmata is at least 70 years old, curved and at certain locations has roots of the trees entered into the drains. “No work has happened at Hindmata junction since the British era. We have strengthened the SWD and did thorough desilting from Baristernath Pai Road to Britannia pumping station. It has eased the waterlogging in the areas nearby Hindmata junction. This is, however, the first time that work is carried at the exact water logging location”, an officer said.The work is expected to begin next month and will continue for the next 18 months. The proposal is expected to be tabled in Standing committee next week.ROAD RECOVERYBMC will excavate road right from the B J Devrukhkar road at Hindmata to Madkebuwa chowk along Dr BA Road. Drain will be widened from 1.5 x 1.2 meters to 3 x 1.5 mts which will increase its rainwater draining capacity and give relief from waterlogging.

Civic body to clear Versova beach garbage, finally

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Versova-based lawyer Afroz Shah announced that Versova beach clean-up was suspended, and took to social media criticising the ‘administrative lethargy’ blaming BMC for not clearing the garbage collected through the drive, the civic body has decided to clear it in the next three days.On Sunday, which was the 109th week of the Versova beach clean-up, some locals from Versova jetty began abusing and even asking Shah and his team of volunteers to stop the cleaning work and blamed them for all the garbage that was collected.Volunteers say that BMC had stopped picking up the garbage that people were clearing from the beach. “All the garbage and plastic waste cleared from the beach were collected and kept at a designated spot near Versova jetty from where BMC used to take it. However, they suddenly stopped and the quantity of garbage kept growing in size,” informed Naresh Suri, an actor, as well as part of the clean-up initiative.Speaking to DNA, Versova MLA Dr Bharati Lavekar said that she held a meeting with BMC K/West ward officials and the issue has now been resolved. “Assistant Municipal Commissioner Prashant Gaikwad has promised that the entire garbage will be cleared in the next three days. Some officials claimed that the garbage had huge quantity of sand stuck on it and it needed to be cleaned by volunteers and we explained them that it was done,” she said.

Needed: Jadu ki Jhadoo

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the mission to improve ranking in the Clean Survey (Swachh Servekshan)-2018 conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development, Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) has started with working on the areas that will help the city fetch points. But in the last one year, JMC has not done enough work and they require a lot of catching up if they intend to better their previous ranking. In the 2017, the Pink City scored 215th rank.Clean Survey 2018 will assess the cleanliness standards of 191 urban bodies in the state. During the survey, all India rankings will be given to 500 cities, including state capital and cities having more than one lakh population all over the country. The survey will be held in three parts and the points will be given out of total 4000 points.In part one, maximum 1400 points will be given under municipal documentation, part two will have maximum 1200 points for direct observation while in the third part, maximum 1400 points can be fetched under citizen feedback category.These three cleanliness parametres include waste collection, waste processing and citizen feedback and unfortunately JMC is most vulnerable in all the three categories. In the survey, 420 points are devoted to collection and transportation of solid waste. Apart from this, 350 points are set for collection and processing of solid waste. If we go by the situation prevailing in the city, an improved rank is a far fetched dream.The Door to Door waste collection in all 91 wards of Jaipur city has not yet started. People are not satisfied with the arrangement where the facility has been started. If the municipal corporation wants to score big, it will have to get rid of the garbage depot on the roads. The reality is that heaps of trash can be found lying on roads which conveys half-heartedness of the officials in carrying out swachhata abhiyan. Presently, only 40 per cent of the garbage is being processed. The segregation of wet and dry waste is also not in place.LOOPPROFILESoon, public toilets in the city will be seen painted in two colours. Women’s toilet will be pink in colour while men’s toilet will be of blue colour. On the occasion of World Toilet Day on Sunday, Jaipur mayor Ashok Lahoti announced the colouring of toilets in two shades. Blue and pink colour were coated on the toilets outside the municipal headquarters.The mayor inaugurated the restrooms. The mayor instructed JMC officials to construct 500 new toilets in the main markets, so that toilets are easily available to all. Also, he asked to make necessary improvements in the existing toilets. On this occasion, deputy mayor Manoj Bhardwaj and municipal officials and councilors were also present.ROADS THE REAL DUSTBINSTo improve the ranking in the survey, the city roads should be free of garbage depots and trash should not be seen lying in open. Moreover, 100 per cent door to door waste collection should be in place, which at present active in only 71 wards out of 91 in the city. 100 per cent garbage collection is not happening. The municipal corporation has declared all 91 wards of Open Defecation Free(ODF). But the Central government has not yet certified them. In such a scenario, Jaipur is likely to get fewer numbers in the survey.EXPANDING ‘WASTE’LINEThere is about 1400 metric tons of waste produced everyday in the city. This entire waste is not being processed currently. At present, the municipal corporation is processing only 500 metric tons of garbage. A year and a half ago, the tender for the waste to energy project was finalised. But, this plant hasn’t been established as yet. Mayor Ashok Lahoti implemented putting of two dustbins mandatory outside shops and commercial institutions, but there is no mechanism for segregation of garbage. Also, there is no arrangement for segregating garbage in the dumping yard.

BMC’s babus, netas on Guj poll duty from next month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) day-to-day functioning is likely to take a hit next month as two additional municipal commissioners (AMCs) as well as corporators from political parties will be on poll duty in Gujarat for the assembly elections. While civic officials have been chosen by the government for poll duty, political parties are sending their corporators to campaign for their respective parties.The two AMCs, both IAS officers, will be on poll duty from the first week of December.Requesting anonymity, a senior civic official said that the AMCs’ absence will stall important works in departments like solid waste management, IT, roads where a quick decision is required, and added that it would put additional pressure on deputy municipal commissioners.Congress and BJP are sending their corporators to areas bordering Maharashtra. Ravi Raja, a Congress corporator and leader of opposition in BMC, said, “All our 30 corporators will be on poll duty in Gujarat from next week.”BJP is sending around 15 corporators, mostly Gujaratis, to different constituencies. While BJP group leader Manoj Kotak will be in Porbandar in Gujarat, another BJP corporator Sandeep Patel is going to Surat.Shiv Sena, banking on Marathi voters in Gujarat, is sending its corporators too. Rajul Patel, a Shiv Sena corporator from Andheri is going to Rajkot. A total of 16 Shiv Sena corporators are concentrating on Surat, Valsad, Navsari, Vapi, and Baroda.

First edition of Open Art Gallery starts at Kala Ghoda, Aditya Thackeray to visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray will visit the Talent Street for Artists at the first edition of Open Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda on Sunday evening along with some renowned artists.The open art gallery at Kala Ghoda in South Mumbai which was closed a month after it was started last year, reopened today at 9 am. However, this time, the art gallery has a number attractions that will keep visitors busy.“There are a total 21 stalls where visitors will get something new,” said Kiran Dighavkar, assistant commissioner of A ward (CST, Colaba and Churchgate).He added that cartoons of Vikas Sabnis will be another attraction at the open art gallery.From this Sunday, the open art gallery will be open from 9 am to 7 pm every Sunday. “Every week, visitors will get something new and different,” said Dighavkar. Pottery painting from Dharavi will also be part of the first Sunday.The BMC had started the art gallery in October last year. However, it was closed due to poor response. This time, the civic body has come up with fresh ideas and promotion techniques in collaboration with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).AL Jadhav, Additional Municipal Commissioner of City said that this platform will be available for budding as well as struggling artists who don’t get the opportunity to showcase their talent.

Ahmedabad – A city with a rich history of architecture

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ever since it came into existence over 600 years ago, Ahmedabad has been a melting pot of various cultures. The city’s diverse traditions, languages and religion are a proof of this.The rich architectural heritage of Ahmedabad, comprising a fort, many mosques and temples, a bridge, among others, belonging to different periods, are a testimony to the fact of how the city’s heritage evolved over the centuries.City rulers have given different monuments, before Ahmed Shah to modern period. It has architecture from the Sultanate, Mughal, Maratha, Dutch and British periods. After Independence, the city had roped in American and European architects for modern structures like IIM building, Town Hall, Tagore Hall and Sanskar museum.Sarkehj Roza, Sidi Saiyad ni Jali, Bhadra fort, Gaekwad’s Haweli, Dutch Tomb, Nagina Vadi depict the timeline of the city’s rulers.“There is a uniqueness in the city’s monuments. The diversity adds value to the city’s timeline. Gaekwad Haweli in Ahmedabad is a structure from Maratha period but it is very different than other architects found in Maharashtra.In the Haweli, they have adopted the wooden carving but courtyard planning is local,” said Ashish Trambadia, conservation architect.“The diversity of architects is the main point in the dossier we had submitted to Unesco for world heritage city tag,” added Trambadia. “It has a multi-dimensional culture. There are some architectures that are modern, beyond the river,” he said.With heritage week celebrations round the corner, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that celebrations will match up to the city’s heritage status.However, conservation experts warn that the city faces a mammoth task of defending its newly won UNESCO status as its fragile cultural icons decay under neglect, traffic and trash. The city is fast becoming one of the most polluted in the country.HERITAGE WEAKThe heritage week celebrations have been scheduled for November 19 to November 25. Ahmedabad civic body (AMC) authorities said that celebrations will match up to the city’s heritage status. A heritage exhibition would be held at Sabarmati Riverfront on the concluding day.

BMC makes new policy on dilapidated buildings

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

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