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Mumbai: BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar raises Asiatic Society Central Library building roof leakage issue

The roof leakage of Asiatic Library would be done away with permanently since state Government has decided to seal the issue forever.BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar had raised the issue of water leakage leading to damage of hundreds of books in Central Library Asiatic Society. While raising the issue through a starred question Bhatkhalkar asked whether there would be any action against the contractor who undertook maintenance work of the roof last year after leakage. He also demanded blacklisting the contractor for repeated leakage of the roof. PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil informed the House that there was leakage five years ago and the repair work was carried out then. He informed that last year there was roof leakage but since any repair contract can not be guaranteed for more than five years, it was not possible to take action against the contractor. Ashish Shelar pointed out that the Asiatic Library is a construction of British Era and the lowest step of the Library is at sea level and the British construction ensured that water should not enter from below during high tide and heavy rains. Shelar criticised Government saying, “British ensured that water would not come in from steps and that is the reason our Government is allowing the water inside the library from the roof.”Bhatkhalkar asked how was it possible to have leakage again this year if the contractor had repaired it last year. He also questioned as to who was responsible for faulty tender which did not ensured maintenance after repair. Chandrakant Patil informed that he would take action against the contractor and hold a meeting soon after the winter session to sort out all the issues pertaining to repair and maintenance of Asiatic library for ever.

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Strict action against those who have delayed Mumbai University results: Vinod Tawde

Maharashtra state education minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday announced that stringent action would be taken against those responsible for delaying the Mumbai University results.Tawde was responding to a call to attention motion moved by several state leaders, including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Varsha Gaikwad, Abu Azmi, Ajit Pawar and Amit Deshmukh.NCP’s Ajit Pawar asked if action would be taken against ministers or whether it would be restricted to the vice chancellor only, even ask MoS Ravindra Waikar gave details of the chronology of events that led to the delay of results.Meanwhile, Vikhe Patil asked whether government would file criminal ase against vice-chanellor.

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Leopard killed near Nashik, activists cry foul

A leopard, alleged to have mauled seven people in Chalisgaon, near Nashik, was shot dead on Saturday night by a former hunter. While this gave politicians and locals a reason to cheer, wildlife experts and activists criticised the move to involve a marksman and raised doubts over whether the right animal had been shot.On Saturday, Hyderabad-based Nawab Shafath Ali Khan from the Wildlife Tranquil Force, shot the leopard at Varkhede village in Chailsgaon around 10 pm. In a surprising revelation, Khan, in a video said, even in the dark, he could sense the leopard would be a maneater, and so he shot it — a claim that has raised several eyebrows.Meanwhile, Unmesh Patil, the local BJP MLA from Chalisgaon, said Khan’s help was requested by the forest department after seeking special permission as the leopard had been wreaking havoc.”Forest department officials tried hard to trap it but in vain. This had been going on for the past two months, and in the process the leopard had killed seven people and injured another 20,” Patil said.Wildlife activists and experts aside, this move has also irked senior forest officials. Dr Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT), said that there is an urgent need for the forest department to tackle such situations scientifically and they need to equip themselves and not involve sport hunters to eliminate carnivores. Another photographer and conservationist claimed that it was a surprising move for the forest department that has so many trained vets and experts.NOT A SMART MOVEExperts believe the forest department needs to tackle such situations scientifically. A photographer and conservationist claimed that the forest department need not have depended on a hunter who does not have any knowledge of carnivore biology.

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RERA is constitutional, valid and legal, says Bombay High Court

There’s good news for home buyers as the Bombay High Court on Wednesday upheld the constitutional validity of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) act, 2016 (RERA)and the authority formed under it.A division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Rajesh Ketkar, in their 330+ page judgement, upheld various provisions of the act and the Constitution of the Maharashtra RERA authority. It said, “RERA is not a law relating to only regulating concerns of the promoters but it’s object is to develop the real estate sector, particularly the incomplete projects, across the country. The problems are enormous and it’s time to take a step forward to fulfill the dream of the Father of the Nation — To wipe out tears from every eye.”The court passed the order while deciding on a bunch of petitions filed by developers and plot owners challenging the validity of several sections of the RERA act. It said, “Having a careful scrutiny of the relevant provisions, we have harmoniously construed the provisions, and hold them to be constitutional, valid and legal.”However, the court partially struck down section 46 (1) (b), which relates to qualification of appointment of judicial members to the authority. The court has directed that the two member bench of the tribunal should always consist a judicial member and majority of the members shall always be judicial members, instead of bureaucrats, as is the formation now.Across, a few states, several builders moved high courts to question the Act, especially provisions saying it applies to projects not completed by May 31, 2017 and its “draconian” penal provisions with possible imprisonment for breaches.Among others, DB Realty Group, Real Gem Buildtech, MIG (Bandra) Realtors and Neelkamal Realtors had moved the high court.RERA came into effect on May 1, a year after both houses of the parliament passed it. Supreme Court had in September, on a Union government application, sought to club all petitions filed across the country. It also further urged Bombay High Court to decide first on the petitions, within a period of two months.As per the Act, developers, projects and agents had time till July 31 to compulsorily register their projects with the Authority. Any unregistered project would be deemed to be unauthorised by the regulator.Under RERA, each state and union territory will have its own Regulatory Authority (RA) which will frame rules and regulations as per the Act.THE JUDGEMENTDivision bench of Justices Patil and Ketkar upheld various provisions of the Act Judgement said: RERA is not a law relating to only regulating concerns of the promoters, its object is to develop the real estate sector It added: The problems are enormous and it’s time to fulfill Gandhi’s dream — Wipe out tears from every eye.
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Yogi Adityanath


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CM the only beneficiary of this govt, says Uddhav Thackeray

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coming down heavily on advertisement campaign of Mee Labhaarthi (I am the beneficiary) by Devendra Fadnavis led Government in the state, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday accused the CM and Chandrakant Patil of being the “only real beneficiaries” of this government.He was addressing a farmers’ rally at Karve in Vita of Sangli district. Thackeray had criticized Fadnavis Government on Saturday night during a rally at Miraj. He is on a Western Maharashtra tour.Criticising the government for the advertisement campaign, Thackeray said, “This entire campaign is based on false claims. This campaign is for misguiding the people of the state and Fadnavis along with Chandrakant Patil are real beneficiaries because people have given them mandate.’Minister of state for Water Resources Vijay Shivtare, MLC Anil Babar, Lok Sabha MP Gajanan Kirtikar, Zilla Parishad vice-president and Nitin Bangude-Patil were present on the dais.Stating that he was not interested in becoming Chief Minister of the state, Thackeray said that but he would ensure that Shiv Sena chief minister comes to power in the state. He cautioned the Government that if farmers’ issues are unresolved, he would take it to the streets.Recounting BJP’s slogan of ‘Kuthe Neun Thevlaay Maharashtra Majha’ during the assembly elections which was aimed at criticizing Congress and NCP in the state, Thackeray SAID, `We had supported BJP to bring Aache Din but when I am touring the state I have realized as to where have these people taken my Maharashtra now.’Thackeray said nothing has changed in the past three years and the government is still completing water schemes that were started in 1995 when a Shiv Sena chief minister at the helm. Pointing out that despite Chief Minister’s directions to reduce power rates, his orders are trashed by officers and if the government is ruining the farmers, farmers would not hesitate to pull down this government.Taking a dig at NCP president Sharad Pawar for his criticism of Sena for being in Government and criticizing Government, Thackeray said, `BJP and Sena are two different political parties but Pawar had back-stabbed his own leader late Vasantdada Patil to topple his Government. Pawar who criticized Sonia Gandhi for her foreign origin later became her sycophant. Pawar should not teach Shiv Sena since Pawar is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Guru.’SLAMS PAWARUddhav attacked NCP chief Sharad Pawar over his criticism of Sena for being in a part of the government He said BJP and Sena are two different parties, but Pawar had back-stabbed his own leader Vasantdada Patil

MLC polls: BJP cosies up to Shiv Sena for support

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the gloves are off for the state legislative council elections, the BJP is trying to solicit the support of their junior ally, the Shiv Sena for their candidate.On Thursday, revenue minister Chandrakantdada Patil and education minister Vinod Tawade met Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray at his residence, Matoshree, in Bandra east. Shiv Sena leaders said the council poll was on the agenda of the meeting.The July 7 by-election has been necessitated after the resignation of Narayan Rane from the Congress, who has formed his own front, the Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksha, and is waiting in the wings to be inducted in the state cabinet as BJP’s ally.A senior Shiv Sena leader said that while there were no chances of them supporting Rane in case the BJP declared his nomination, their senior ally could not take them for granted when it came to the Sena’s support in the council polls. “Much of this depends on the candidate to be fielded by the Congress and NCP. The picture will be clear only then,” he added, while stating that the Shiv Sena would not stake claim to the seat.Polling in the elections takes place through secret ballot, which raises the spectre of cross-voting and horse trading.

Maharashtra: In dramatic development, Fadnavis rushes to Ahmedabad to meet Amit Shah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a dramatic development, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday rushed to Ahmedabad along with senior minister Chandrakant Patil and met BJP National President Amit Shah.According to sources, Fadnavis is believed to have discussed possible Cabinet expansion in the state. As Fadnavis meets Shah, amid Gujarat elections, it cannot be ruled out that Cabinet expansion can take place before polling for Gujarat.Fadnavis and Patil likely to have discussed election for the post of a member of the legislative council which fell vacant after resignation Narayan Rane.Rane is aspiring to become MLC again with BJP’s support and it is likely that BJP may not field any candidate for the election scheduled on December 7th.

Farmers agitation takes violent turn, 5 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An agitation by sugarcane farmers, who were demanding an increase in the fair and remunerative price (FRP), took a violent turn in Shevgaon region on Wednesday with police firing plastic bullets, lobbing teargas and resorting to lathi charges to rein in restive protesters. Two farmers, three police officers were injured in firing and stone pelting and two constables were seriously injured.The agitation was led by the Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana and other farmer outfits. Ahmednagar police have invoked Section 144 in seven villages after firing plastic bullets, tear gas and lathi charge. Police have registered offences against 13 farmers in this incident.Meanwhile, Minister for cooperation Subhash Deshmukh has appealed farmers’ organisations to sort out issues through talks. Deshmukh stated that Centre government already has announced fair and remunerative price for sugarcane which Rs 250 more than last year.Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana (SSS) leader and Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti when contacted blamed it on administration and sugar factories. He said that despite the fact that farmers in and around Gangamai Sugar factory in Shevgaon, had gathered in a peaceful manner and have been agitating for last six days, police took action against leaders at wee hours, which agitated the farmers and it resulted in worsening the situation. He said that while government asks to resolve the matter peacefully, while the police is going hard on the protesters. Shetti said Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana’s western Maharashtra president Prakashtatya Balwadkar along with Amar Kadam and local workers were arrested by police in wee hours.Meanwhile, leader of Opposition in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has criticised the state government for wrongly handling the farmers’ agitation. Demanding an inquiry in to police firing at agitating farmers, Vikhe-Patil also demanded action against those involved in it.According to statement issued by Ahmednagar Superintendent of Police two farmers Uddhav Mapari and Baburao Dukare have been injured while two constables have been seriously injured. According to police statement farmers had resorted to rasta roko last week but withdrew it after discussions with local revenue officials. Police told that on Wednesday agitators resorted to stone pelting, setting ablaze vehicles while led to lathi charge, use of tear gas and plastic bullets and pump action gun.

Watch: Asked to follow traffic rules, biker slaps traffic constable in Navi Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Navi Mumbai police have arrested a 21-year-old biker for allegedly slapping a on duty traffic constable on Monday near Kopar Khairane. The biker was enraged as the traffic cop asked him to follow traffic rules.The accused has been identified as Danish Shaikh a resident of Navi Mumbai.A video of the incident has been also surfaced wherein Shaikh can be seen parking the vehicle on road, arguing with the cop and hitting him.According to the police, the incident took place on Monday evening when Shaikh came on bike and parked it on a road and was chatting his friend on the road. When traffic constable,Tanaji Patil then asked him to vehicle. The police said Patil asked him to remove the bike as it was creating hurdle in traffic, but Shaikh did not budge and instead started arguing with him. Patil then threatened him with legal action against him when Shaikh got furious and slapped him on his face. “Patil then immediately informed police control room and lodge complaint with us. After registering an FIR we arrested him on Tuesday,” said a police officer from Kopar Khairane police station.

Protesting farmers set ablaze vehicles in Ahmednagar, cops invoke Section 144

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agitation by sugarcane farmers turned violent on Wednesday when they set ablaze 2 buses in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar on Wednesday.The police resorted to plastic bullet firing and tear gas during protests in Shevgaon Taluka Two farmers and five policemen were injured in firing and stone pelting.Ahmednagar Police has invoked Section 144 in seven villages. Cases have also been registered against 13 farmers in this incident.Meanwhile, Minister for Cooperation Subhash Deshmukh has appealed farmers organizations to sort out issues on negotiating tables rather than resorting to violence.Deshmukh stated that Union Government already has announced fair and remunerative price for sugarcane which Rs 250 more than last year.He informed that state government has already announced that the sugar factories which would not give FRP to farmers’ produce would face action and that is the reason farmers organisations should sort out issues by discussion.Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana leader and Lok Sabha MP Raju Shetti when contacted blamed it on administration and sugar factories.He said that despite the fact that farmers in and around Gangamai Sugar factory in Shevgaon, had gathered in a peaceful manner and have been agitating for last six days, police took action against leaders at wee hours which agitated farmers and it resulted in worsening the situation.He said that while government talks of discussions on one hand and it is using police machinery to suppress the farmers’ agitation on the other hand.He said, “SSS western Maharashtra president Prakashtatya Balwadkar along with Amar Kadam and local workers were arrested by police at wee hours.”Meanwhile, leader of Opposition in state assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil has criticized state Government for wrongly handling the farmers’ agitation. Demanding an inquiry in to police firing at agitating farmers, Vikhe-Patil also demanded action against those involved in it.According to statement issued by Ahmednagar superintendent of police two farmers Uddhav Mapari and Baburao Dukare have been injured while 2 constables have been seriously injured.According to police statement farmers had resorted to ‘rasta roko’ last week but withdrew it after discussions with local revenue officials.The police told that on Wednesday, the agitators resorted to stone pelting, setting ablaze vehicles while led to lathicharge, use of tear gas and plastic bullets and pump action gun.

CPRA asks to retain caretaker status

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA) has written to the state revenue minister Chandrakant Patil demanding that they be given the caretaker status for maintaining a four-acre green patch of land belonging to the government.The CPRA had received caretaker status to maintain the Bayview Marina Garden in Cuffe Parade for five years which ended in 2012, and claims it has been spending Rs 50 lakh annually to maintain the garden. The CPRA says it has planted more than 5,000 trees in the garden and developed walking and jogging tracks and a lawn.”Previous city collectors had recommended to the state government in 2013 and 2015 to give us the garden’s caretaker status. We in turn ensured that the government land is not encroached upon. We developed a garden which is open to all. The caretaker status by the government will give us opportunities to develop it further and maintain the city’s greenery,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general, CPRA.

Cop-BMC-neta trio gives cover to hawkers: Citizen activists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been undertaking hawker-eviction drives following the stampede at Elphinstone Road station, residents groups and civic activists – who have been pushing for action against illegal hawkers for years – fear the crackdown may just be a cosmetic exercise.They claim that before the recent massive outrage from citizens, their grievances about encroachment fell on deaf ears as hawkers regularly greased the palms of civic staff and policemen. Thus illegal hawking in neighbourhoods across the city was allowed to carry on with impunity.”Hawkers give at least Rs 100 every day to the BMC and police,” said Nikhil Desai, co-ordinator of Action for Good Governance and Networking in India, “All senior BMC officials are aware of this. The current drive is just a knee-jerk reaction.”If they are really serious, why don’t they immediately form the Town Vending Committee that is supposed to demarcate hawking zones and follow court orders?”Sources in BMC admit to corruption within the ranks, but pass the buck on to the police and local politicians. “There are times when we call up the police asking them to provide security when we decide to raid a particular area,” a senior BMC officer requesting anonymity told DNA, “By the time we reach the spot or the police arrive, the hawkers have already vanished. It is quite possible some junior civic staff may be alerting them. Not all civic staff or policemen are involved in these illegal activities. But it is very difficult to identify who might be leaking the information. It is not easy to take action against hawkers as there is also involvement of local politicians.”Desai refutes BMC’s claim that they have cleared hawkers from all railway stations, saying there are at least 100 hawkers outside Matunga station. “On Monday,” he says, “I wrote to Deputy Municipal Commissioner Narendra Barde and also met F-North ward officer Keshav Ubale, and written instructions were passed on to the ward’s Removal of Encroachments officer. However, the officer told me that he did not have the JCB to remove the stalls.”Desai says he had to request the ward’s Solid Waste Management department and arrange for the JCB himself, after which the hawkers outside Matunga station were removed. “But, as usual, the road was filled with hawkers that very evening,” Desai said.Another civic activist, Vasant Patil from Kandivli, said the identity and contact details of residents who lodge complaints against hawkers have been leaked to the hawkers, resulting in threats to the complainants.”The hawkers are aided by the connivance of BMC, police and local politicians,” Patil said, “I know many incidents where people visit ward offices and lodge written or oral complaints against hawkers. Within a short while, the complainant gets a call from a hawker leader, asking him/her to withdraw the compliant or face the consequences. After such experiences, many stop complaining. The question arises: How does the contact number of the complainant reach the hawkers?”Nita Bajpai, secretary of Gulmohar Residents Group, Juhu said, “We have already lost six to seven lives to unhygienic street food. We have complained to the police and at the BMC ward office several times, but the hawkers give them some money and the officers go away. Such officers should be punished. We want footpaths to be free for pedestrians and we will keep our fight going.”Advocate Nitin Nikam, secretary of Tilak Nagar Residents Welfare Association, says that even when action is taken, it is short-lived due to the unholy nexus. “The BMC does take action against hawkers, but only after repeated complaints. Even when action is taken, the hawkers put up their stalls at the same place the next day.”

Pune horse trainer murders man, chops body, sets pieces ablaze over unpaid dues

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Pune Police has arrested five people for allegedly murdering a man over unpaid dues on Tuesday.The prime accused is Vikram Shekhar Pillai, who along with his four friends, hatched the plan to murder Vicky Ramesh Potan earlier this year.The 25-year-old victim was brutally murdered in January. To avoid being detected, the accused chopped the body and set the pieces ablaze. They, in fact, thought that it would look like a bonfire in winter and nobody would suspect a foul play.According to Pankaj Dahane, the Deputy commissioner of police (crime), Pillai had worked as a horse trainer in countries such as Malaysia and the United Kingdom. “He was earning good money there but recently, he left the job and he came to Pune where he started his own fast food joint,” Dahane added.According to the police, Potan, the victim, was known to Pillai and he had criminal background. Police officials said Potan would often visit Pillai’s fast food joint where he would have food but he would not pay.Senior police inspector Nitin Bhosale Patil, in charge of the Pune Police’s crime branch unit I said, “Pillai was fed up with Potan and he hatched a plan of killing him with his other four friends. In the month of January this year, they called Potan for a drink and after he consumed alcohol they killed him.”Cops said that the five men killed Potan on BT Kawade road area near Mundhwa and set his body on fire. Bhosale Patil added that “It was a planned murder. After killing Potan, they chopped his body into pieces. They had also brought a five liters of petrol to set it on fire.””They set the body parts on fire in a bushy area on the roadside. The body kept on burning for one-and-half day and all five accused were present near body till that time. Since it was a winter time, they projected as if they had set a bonfire so that no one would suspect them,” he added.Meanwhile, Potan’s mother had registered a missing complaint with Mundhwa police. “Now since they have confessed of the murder, we will be handing them over to Mundhwa police who will be registering the case of murder against them,” the official said.

State-wide protests on Dec 2 seeking better facilities at govt hosps

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking cognizance of the lack of facilities in government hospitals in Maharashtra, social workers have decided to hold protests across the state on December 2. According to the social activists, they have been receiving complains about the lack of facilities and medical staff in state-run hospitals from the citizens.Speaking about the protest, Swati Patil, a social activist from Lokjagruti Samajik Sanstha, who announced the protest, said, “We have been raising the issue and writing letters to the State Health Minister. There are many patients who visit government hospitals daily. They suffer due to a lack of medical staff. The government should provide good medical facilities and staff for the smooth functioning of these hospitals.”While there will be protests held at different hospitals on December 2, the activists are yet to finalise the hospitals where they will be protesting.Patil said, “Six locations are confirmed. We will be going to other locations soon and examine the facilities provided in rural areas, too.”The social activists filed different Right To Information (RTI) applications to acquire the details of the medical facilities provided by the state authorities at state-run hospitals. They had been filing RTIs for the past six months to avail the statistical data before the protests.”Our main demand is to increase the medical staff and make medicines available free of cost to the poor, at the hospitals. Many hospitals have equipment and devices that do not work,” said Patil.

Speak up Mumbai: Finding a solution to the city’s rush-hour chaos

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2015, Justice Naresh Patil of the Bombay High Court made a suggestion to the state government to change office timings, questioning whether the fixed routine of 9 am to 5 pm could be done away with.”What if some departments begin work at 11 am? Can some offices work on weekdays and take the weekends off? For instance, Dadar market is closed on Mondays — can similar options be worked out?” He had suggested, adding, “Will an integrated study of the situation by the state, Railways, police and other partners, like the private sector, help ease overcrowding in the city?”The court further directed the government to consider if changing the timings of office, college and school-goers, would divide the rush during peak-hours. “Mumbai is an island city, there is no scope for further expansion thus the lesser evil has to be tackled. The traditional schedule needs to be revised — zone and area-wise working hours need to be adopted,” it had said.Following this, a committee of officials from various government departments was constituted — which is yet to release its report.A cross-section of Mumbaikars tells DNA whether this proposal would be as good on the ground as it is in theory.VOICESOffice timings for employed people in the city should be different or flexible to ease congestion. Work from home should be made compulsory twice a month or so for jobs and companies where such an option is feasible in terms of work. The option of flexible timings will not only help in decongesting the local trains but roads in the city as well.—Shilpa Popat, WadalaChanging office timings of workplaces in the city to reduce peak time rush in local trains is the need of the hour. With the number of people travelling to work from the suburbs increasing every year, and the office-going crowd mostly concentrated in south Mumbai areas, there seems to be no better solution than this to control the rush of daily commute.—Rajendra Patil, BadlapurThe concept of peak-hours no longer exists in Mumbai — every hour is peak-hour. The city is so populated that one is bound to find the local trains crowded throughout the day. If office timings are staggered, it may thin the crowds to an extent but won’t serve the purpose entirely. Most companies work in shifts and those timings vary depending on the company. What we need is trains on time, better infrastructure and a reduced waiting time between trains.—Swapnil Waghmare, KalyanYes, this will ease the burden on trains. It will make travelling easier as the peak-hour rush will be distributed in a more even manner. Existing college timings should be kept in mind as well. However, only a change in timings is not enough. Better facilities for dispersing of passengers outside stations is needed. Several hawkers and vehicles block station entry and exit points, and action must be taken against them.—Cassendra Nazareth, BorivliIt is about time we have staggered working hours. People will be more at ease and will reach their workplaces with a smile instead of the manner in which they reach office now. In fact, not just staggered timings but work from home should also be considered as an option. For offices that have a five-day week, there should be an option of work from home twice a week and offices that have a six-day week should have the option of working from home thrice a week.—Swati Kondapalli, AndheriInstead of asking offices to change their timings, the government should provide adequate infrastructure and make commute more comfortable for citizens. The shift in office hours will affect the revenue for both the government and the firms. It is high time that office goers stop having to compromise and cross hurdles daily in order to make a living. The government has to give some relief to taxpayers rather than asking people to adjust yet again.—Riya Rawat, ThaneOffice timings should be staggered particularly for women. Besides, varying timetables will help people across the city travel with ease. Instead of a fixed timing, employees should be asked to put in a certain number of work hours every day within which the work should be completed. If that does not happen, they should be asked to put in extra hours the following day. This will also ensure efficient working.—Mili Shetty, KandivliThe condition of railway stations across the city is pathetic and it gets particularly worse during peak office hours. Daily commuters in the city are repeatedly becoming the target of poorly maintained infrastructure as well as the apathy of railway officials. Not only do we have to pay our taxes but we also seem to have to beg for basic facilities due to us as citizens of the city. Owing to the negligence of railway authorities, some have to pay the price by losing their lives.—Somesh Chowdhary, AndheriEXPERT SPEAKImplementing a timetable that is spaced out over the day is ideal for Mumbai. It will ensure that the crowds in the city are better managed. The Railways and government authorities should work on a schedule that separates the time of commute for office goers from that of school-going children. It is quite a hassle for students to commute during peak hours in the city.—Vivek Sahai, former Chairman Railway Board, Railway MinistryThere is no doubt that if office timings are staggered, it will reduce crowding inside local trains. But this solution needs to be supplemented by an improvement in the city’s rail infrastructure, in order to cater to the rising number of commuters in the metropolitan city.—Dr Rita Savla, Radhee Foundation

Golden roof of Ekvira temple at Karla stolen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Villagers living around Karla hill, near Lonavla, woke up to a shock when they noticed that the gold-plating on the dome of the famous Ekvira temple on the hill had been stolen. The Ekvira goddess is the Thackerays’ family deity, and each year, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray visits the temple at least once.The incident came to light at around 7 am on Tuesday. The trustees have approached Lonavala rural police and lodged a complaint.Assistant police inspector Sadhana Patil, who is in charge of Lonavala rural police station, said, “The dome was stolen in the wee hours of Tuesday, between 2 and 3 am. The incident came to light only after the sun rose.”According to villagers, the gold-plated dome was made of a five-metal alloy and was donated to the temple by a devotee.The temple area under surveillance of CCTV cameras and the police are checking the footage from for clues to the crime.”Some security guards also deployed on the temple premises, We will be questioning them too,” Patil said.The temple holds a special importance for the Thackeray family. After the Assembly elections in 2014, Uddhav Thackeray visited the temple with 63 of his party’s legislators to seek the goddess’s blessings.Earlier, in 2011, a gang of dacoits had attempted to rob the temple, but the bid was foiled by a policeman who opened fire at them. In 2016, a gang of robbers stole some ornaments from the shrine located at the foothills. Devotees pray at this shrine before they climb the hill to visit the main temple.

Onion prices in Nashik correct again after fall

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prices of onion, which plummeted in the week after the Income-Tax raids on the traders in Nashik, have started correcting again. In the wholesale market on Monday, onion was sold at the rate of Rs 1,800-Rs 2,000 per quintal as against the Rs 1,000-Rs 1,200 just a few days ago.According to the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Lasalgaon, the onion prices are rising steeply. “We are receiving 600-800 tractors and truck loads of onion daily. The supply is steady, but the waste percentage in the old onion stock is quite high. Besides, it will take a month for the arrival of fresh onion. Therefore, the prices of onion is likely to go up, but not through the roof, in the coming days,”said Nanasaheb Patil, chairman of APMC, Lasalgaon.Explaining that Lasalgaon is Asia’s largest onion market, Patil said, “In Nashik district, there are 14 APMCs. The daily supply in all these APMCs is around 14 lakh quintal, almost 35 percent of the total supply for India.”Ashok Walunj, onion trader at APMC, Vashi also confirmed the rise in prices. “There is 10 percent rise in onion rates. The prices are likely go up in the next week by another 20-30 percent. The supply of the old stock has been drying up, while new arrival has been delayed. In the next week, the prices in the wholesale market will be Rs 2,500-Rs 3,000 per quintal,” Walunj said.He added that the customers shouldn’t panic over the price rise. “This is the only period where the farmers benefit from onion price rise. Once this season is over, the prices remains the stable.” Walunj added.

Mumbai-Pune plaza takes toll on this banker who lost Rs 87,000 in card fraud

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Darshan Patil could have never imagined that a Rs 230 toll will cost him so dearly.A bank manager from Pune, Patil had paid Rs 230 toll at the Khalapur toll plaza on Pune-Mumbai Expressway on September 9 at around 6:30pm.Two hours and six messages later, Patil realised that he has been duped and that somebody has made purchases worth Rs 87,000 from his debit card.He has registered a complaint at the Hadapsar police station in Pune, a mid-day report said.Patil believes that his card details were compromised at the toll plaza when he swiped the card.”I don’t give my pin number to anyone. In fact, I entered the code myself. But I can’t deny the possibility of any mischief done by those guys. The toll window was at the top and there were CCTV cameras overhead,” Patil was quoted as saying to mid-day.

Bizman challenges decision to scrap AC buses

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The decision of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking to scrap 259 air-conditioned (AC) buses from its fleet has not gone well with Mumbaikars. A businessman with an office at Nepeansea Road, Firoz Khan along with others has challenged the decision in Bombay High Court.The plea has been filed through advocate VP Patil. “We have prayed for directions from the court to stay the decision of the BEST Undertaking to scrap AC Buses,” he said.The petition also opposes the BEST’s plans to lease out their properties to raise capital and instead convert them into playgrounds.”BEST had procured its first batch of 45 air-conditioned buses in 2008-09 at a cost of Rs 55.53 lakh each. In the next financial year, 200 AC buses, purchased at Rs 65.56 lakh each, were added to the fleet. In the last phase of procurement in 2010, the Undertaking procured 14 AC buses at cost of Rs 67.04 lakh each. However, the buses suffered many problems like regular breakdowns, non-functional ACs and rusting bodies.Patil is likely to mention the plea before a bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur on Tuesday, seeking for urgent hearing. He has also attached a report that appeared in DNA on September 8, titled “BEST to finally scrap 259 King Long AC buses,” along with his application.JUDICIAL INQUIRYThe petition also states that from 2012 to 2016, the total losses accumulated by the BEST undertaking are more than Rs 33,000 crore. “A judicial inquiry should be conducted into the matter,” Patil said.

Gang-rape and murder of 22-year-old daughter of cop: Police collecting evidence after accused surrenders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Thane Police are in the process of getting mobile phone tower locations of two people, allegedly involved in the gang-rape and murder of the 22-year-old daughter of a policeman from Nagpur. This is basically to bolster their case by confirming the presence of the suspects at the locations where they had met the victim and allegedly killed and dumped her body. The police are also collecting technical, human and forensic evidence to bolster the case.The police have taken custody of Nagpur resident Nikhlesh Patil, 24, and his Ambernath-based friend Akshay Valode, 25, in the case.According to the police, the victim, an engineering graduate, had gone to Pune to a relative’s place last weekend and had informed Patil about her presence in Pune. On September 3, Patil and his friend Nilesh Khobragade drove to Pune in the latter’s car and met the victim on September 4.
ALSO READ 3 held for rape, murder of cop’s daughterThe victim asked them to drop her at Vikhroli where she lived and worked. Instead, they went to Valode’s Ambernath residence where he and Patil gang-raped her and later strangulated the victim to death, police said.According to police, the woman was visiting a relative in Pune during the weekend and she informed Patil about the same. “Patil and Khobragade drove to Pune in the latter’s car and met her on September 4.”She asked them to drop her at Vikhroli. However, they drove to Valode’s Ambernath residence where he and Patil raped and strangulated her to death,” said a police officer.He added that the accused then stuffed her body in a suitcase and drove towards Karnataka.”They dumped her body near a highway at Pashti in Belgaum. It seems they panicked later. On Tuesday, while returning, they surrendered at City Police Station in Ratnagiri and narrated the entire incident following which the police recovered the body. Their motive is still unclear,” added the officer.Initially Ratnagiri police claimed that Khobragade too was involved in the crime, however, later Thane police clarified that he has not been arrested in the case and that his role is being examined.

Maharashtra to grow rare Ayurveda herbs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gulbel, narkya and rudanti may sound like abstract names, but those with knowledge of Ayurveda know that these rare, endangered and threatened (RET) plants have great medicinal value.The Maharashtra forest department is planning to rope in traditional healers or “vaidus” to document, cultivate and preserve these plants. These healers use wild herbs for treating various ailments ranging from liver disease to jaundice and cancer.The department also plans to cultivate such endangered plants for commercial use to reduce the pressure on forests. Officials admit that at present, these plants are often plucked and traded illegally, leading to them gradually vanishing from their wild habitat.”There is ample availability of Ayurvedic medicines across states and climatic zones. The biodiversity across India is huge,” noted Arvind Patil, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Kolhapur (Territorial), noting that these herbs were found in the Western Ghats and Kolhapur regions.”We have identified traditional healers to standardize the knowledge of these herbs and put it down in a written form. These rare plants can be planted and cultivated instead of plucking wild species,” he said. “Traditional healers have knowledge of herbs but do not maintain this in a written form. It is instead passed down through word-of-mouth,” added Patil, stating that hence, there was a risk of this being lost.

3 held for rape, murder of cop’s daughter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 22-year-old daughter of a Mumbai police officer was allegedly gang-raped and murdered by three persons, one of them ‘a friend’, in Ambernath on Monday. After the crime, the accused stuffed the woman’s body in a suitcase, dumped it in Belgaum and drove to Ratnagiri where they confessed to the crime.The woman, an IT engineer, worked in Vikhroli. Her father is an assistant sub-inspector with the Nagpur police.The accused have been identified as Nagpur residents Nikhlesh Patil (24) and Nilesh Khobragade (38) and Akshay Valode, 25, from Ambernath. While Nilesh is a government contractor, Valode works with an internet service provider company at Koparkhairane.According to police, the woman was visiting a relative in Pune during the weekend and she informed Patil about the same. “Patil and Khobragade drove to Pune in the latter’s car and met her on September 4.”She asked them to drop her at Vikhroli. However, they drove to Valode’s Ambernath residence where he and Patil raped and strangulated her to death,” said a police officer.He added that the accused then stuffed her body in a suitcase and drove towards Karnataka.”They dumped her body near a highway at Pashti in Belgaum. It seems they panicked later. On Tuesday, while returning, they surrendered at City Police Station in Ratnagiri and narrated the entire incident following which the police recovered the body. Their motive is still unclear,” added the officer.”The trio have been booked under section 376 G (gang-rape) and 302 (murder). We have forwarded all the documents and panchnama report to Shivaji Nagar Police in Thane for further probe,” said Pranaya Ashok, Superintendent of Police, Ratnagiri.

Karnataka Minister MB Patil accuses BJP of linking Lingayat faith to Hinduism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst an intensified campaign for a separate religious status to Lingayat faith, Karnataka irrigation minister M B Patil today accused BJP of linking the Lingayat faith with Hinduism.”The BJP has taken a stand. It has changed its position by calling Veerashaiva Lingayath a sect of Hinduism. They will not back our demand for Lingayat as a separate religion. It is apparent that Hindutva cannot accept Veerashaiva Lingayath as a separate religion,” said Patil, who is spearheading the campaign, at a press conference today.He claimed that Lingayat is different from Veerashaiva.”Lingayat is entirely different from Hinduism. It does not have caste based or any other kind of discrimination.Its founder Basaveshwara’s sayings never promoted rift among communities,” said Patil.He added that Veerashaiva sect forming only 10 per cent of the total Lingayat population does not follow the sayings of 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara.Patil also sought to allay the fear that separation of Lingayat will weaken Hinduism. “Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism were separated from Hinduism but that did not affect or threaten Hinduism.Lingayat religion too has features making it different from Hinduism,” said Patil. Shivanand Jamdar, a retired bureaucrat and Lingayat Mahasabha Vedike general secretary, said “Hindutva forces” do not want Lingayat to be a separate religion.As Assembly elections are due earlier next year, the demand for a separate Lingayat religion status is gaining ground among the community, concentrated largely in the northern part of Karnataka.The BJP, for which Lingayats form a significant electoral base, has so far remained non-commital on the demand. The Mahasabha Vedike had yesterday held a mega rally at Latur in Maharashtra, which has a huge Kannada speaking Lingayat population.

BMC reverses decision, to give Vikhroli plot for court building

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After being rapped by the Bombay High Court for changing the reservation of a plot of land allotted to construct a multi-storey building, which would house the Vikhroli Magistrate court, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has reversed its decision in the recently approved draft development plan.The corporation through their Counsel Ram Apte and Advocate Sagar Patil, recently submitted a decision of the civic body to reverse the reservation of the land from multipurpose hall to court building.The decision was tendered while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Joshi Jatashankar, who had raised the issue.Earlier, the court expressed displeasure over the decision of the civic body to change the reservation of a plot, and had directed the Maharashtra government to resolve the problem at the earliest.The plot was reserved for a working woman’s hostel but the reservation was deleted and in its place a 12-storey court building was planned. But the BMC, in its revised draft development plan republished on March 27, had shown that the plot is reserved a for multipurpose community centre.However, the court had told the government that if the decision of changing the reservation on the plot was not reversed, then it would have to give an alternate plot of the same size in Vikhroli.The state government had in October 2012, granted permission for the construction of the court building, and Rs 8 crore was the estimated cost of the construction. The construction cost was revised in September 2015, and the revised cost was Rs 25 crore.

Speak up Mumbai | This Dahi Handi, sky is the limit for Govindas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Monday, August 7, Dahi Handi Pathaks welcomed the Bombay High Court’s decision to not cap height restrictions while forming human pyramids during Dahi Handi festival.In 2016, the HC had restricted the height of the pyramid to 20-feet a day before the festival, due to the increase in the number of accidents while forming human pyramids.On August 7, during the hearing in the HC, the petitioners submitted that the height be restricted to a maximum of 10 feet not only because it is safe but also because Lord Krishna used to form only 10-feet high human chains. The HC dismissed the arguments stating, “We do not even know if Lord Krishna existed in the first place. Why only 10 feet? Why not 20, or 50, or 60 feet?”In the wake of the Bombay High Court revoking restriction on the height of human pyramids, DNA asked Mumbaikars whether they think there should be restrictions on the height of human pyramids despite the High Court order.The height of Dahi Handi shouldn’t matter as it’s a festival and everyone should be able to participate. But one thing that should be taken care of. If it is too high then proper precaution should be taken to ensure there are no fatal injuries. People get injured even while walking on the road, it is up to an individual to take precautions.—Sukesh Shetty, KalyanThere should be a restriction on height in Dahi Handi. Too many people have lost their lives. Festivals are meant to be enjoyed and celebrated, they are not a cause for gloom. The celebrations should not be at risk to life. It should be enjoyment for the person participating as well as those watching. If something happens, even people who watch feel bad about it. People tend to go with the flow and do not take as much precaution.—Ravi Nair, Marol residentWhile the best backup safety measures have been taken, one has to stop where it is needed. We know some of them are from poor families and need money but risking one’s life to such an extent will leave a huge void in the family. I have seen cases with my own eyes; pathaks falling and being bed ridden due to major injuries. Celebrating the festival is one thing but who will take responsibility for the injured govindas?—Rajesh Poojari, Charni Road residentThe government should ensure that the restrictions and rules set by the Bombay High Court are followed. Organisers should ensure that the festival is celebrated with fun and there should be no risk to life in the name of Dahi Handi. The government should also ensure that celebrations in the city are safe and no nuisance is created by the revellers. The rules must be followed.—Liza Bedi, Mulund residentThe celebration of Dahi Handi is a long-standing tradition across the country, especially in Maharashtra. However, in the past, we have seen participants receive severe injuries, and some of them even lost their lives. Since the tradition cannot be stopped, there must be some regulation to protect human lives. If the government imposes restrictions on the height of human pyramids, it is only in the interest of the participants.—Abhisekh Sinha, Parel residentKeeping the festive sentiment in mind, instead of a ban, there should be restrictions on the height of human pyramids. Safety and security are of paramount importance, not only for those participating in the activity but for onlookers too. Given the numerous accidents and injuries that happen every year, restrictions should help us cope, provided everybody abides by them.—Diwakar Mishra, Bandra residentEXPERT SPEAKControlling the height of human pyramids is the most crucial thing as most accidents have taken place after falling from a great height. The government is not taking any steps to ensure that the major reason why so many govindas lose their lives and get injured is eliminated. The festival should only be celebrated in good spirit without dirty competition for more layers at the cost of people’s lives.—Swati Patil, Activist and petitioner in the Dahi Handi caseOver a decade ago, Govindas performed without any practice. But over the last few years, Govinda pathaks have been practising well in advance. It is not compulsory for everyone to form a human pyramid above 20 feet but pathaks had practised hard and have the confidence to perform. The restriction on the 20-feet height cap was making a few pathaks under perform.—Arun Patil, Mazgaon Govinda Pathak coach, Dahihandi Utsav Samanvay Samiti member

Subhash Desai offers to resign, CM says no

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an independent inquiry in Minister for Industries Subhash Desai’s alleged corruption of land denotification and allottment, the minister on Saturday morning offered his resignation. Fadnavis, however, refused to accept his resignation.State Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil termed Desai’s offer as a “damage control exercise” by Shiv Sena. Leader of Opposition in legislative council Dhananjay Munde said the government has proved that it is a “corrupt government”.While the Assembly witnessed high drama over allegations against Desai and Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, Fadnavis announced inquiries against both of them on the last day of the Assembly’s monsoon session. While the Opposition insisted on resignations from both ministers, Fadnavis said there was no need for them to offer resignations.On Saturday morning, Desai went to the CM’s official residence and offered to resign. However, Fadnavis told Desai that since independent inquiry will take place, he will not accept the resignation.Later in the day, Fadnavis also spoke to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray as well.According to Desai, since inquiry was instituted against him, it was not moral on his part to remain in the chair of a minister. He also said he will cooperate during the inquiry.Criticizing Congress and NCP, Thackeray said that these corrupt parties have no right to criticize Sena since their scams, whether the irrigation scam or scams in cooperatives, have resulted in change of guards in Maharashtra.Thackeray said that even CM Fadnavis told him that there is no need for Desai to tender his resignation since the Opposition was leveling allegations with a political purpose.On the other hand, Patil, while criticizing the Sena leader, said that Thackeray should look at the scams in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which is the most corrupt corporation in the country. He also reiterated his demand of Maheta’s and Desai’s resignations.

Mumbai: 83-year-old lawyer booked for allegedly groping typist in Vikhroli court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Vikhroli Police have booked an 83-year-old lawyer for allegedly groping a 54-year-old woman stenographer in Vikhroli Court on Friday afternoon.The accused has been identified as Shivshankar Joshi who had filed an intervention in the Ghatkopar building collapse case.According to the complaint filed in Vikhroli police station, Joshi had raised objection over the seating of the woman in courtroom and started arguing.“He told me to get up and when I refused, he grabbed my arm and started abusing me. When I tried removing his hands, he groped me,” she said in her statement.The woman immediately approached Vikhroli police station and filed a complaint. “We have registered a case for molestation and insulting a woman. Our probe is on,” said Sachin Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone 6

New SP for Udupi district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sanjeev Patil today took charge as Superintendent of Police in Udupi district in place of K T Balakrishna, who has been transferred to Home Guards department as SP. Balakrishna handed over official charge to Patil, who was hitherto serving as SP of Anti-Corruption Bureau in Bengaluru. He had earlier served as Deputy Commissioner of Police in Mangaluru. Balakrishna had taken charge as Udupi SP in July last year. The transfer orders had been issued by the state government on August 4, police sources said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India’s booming massage parlours drives demand for Thai sex slaves

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By Roli Srivastava MUMBAI, Aug 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The booming spa and massage parlour business in India has led to increasing demand for women from Thailand, many of whom are being duped and trafficked into slavery in the country’s sex industry, police, diplomats and activists said on Wednesday. At least 40 Thai women have been rescued this year during police raids on massage parlours acting as fronts for prostitution in western cities such as Mumbai and Pune. “The demand for Thai masseurs is high in India as girls from Thailand are considered high profile for their fair skin,” Jyoti Nale, programme director for Save the Children India, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Girls rescued in raids are usually from different Indian states and neighbouring countries. But if all the girls in one rescue are from Thailand, it means there are many more (working in India).” In July, for example, 10 Thai women were rescued from a parlour in an affluent residential area in Pune, a car manufacturing and tech hub 150 km (90 miles) south of India’s financial capital Mumbai. There are an estimated 40 million sex workers globally, according to French charity Fondation Scelles. Activists say most have been lured, duped or forced into sexual slavery by pimps and traffickers, largely due to poverty and lack of opportunities. Girls from countries like Nepal and Bangladesh have long been trafficked into sex work in India. But police and campaigners say there is a rising demand among Indian men and foreign tourists for “more exotic” women from other countries such as Thailand. “This is the first time we have seen this trend,” said Police Inspector Sanjay Patil, head of the anti-human trafficking unit in Pune, who conducted the July raid. “They are not so literate, are from poor families and their families back home depend on their incomes.” He said following a tip-off about the parlour, an officer posed as a customer and found the Thai women, aged between 25 and 40 years, were being sold for sex. The parlour’s manager and another employee were arrested. The Thai women, some of them sex workers from Bangkok and other cities, are lured by the prospect of earning more money in India, said police. On average they earn 305 baht ($9) a day in Thailand, while in India they can earn twice that. “The girls we rescued had been working here for three to four months and had up to 100,000 rupees ($1,570) with them,” said Patil, adding the victims were now at a shelter home awaiting repatriation. Thai embassy officials confirmed more Thai women were being rescued from parlours across the country – including in the capital New Delhi, the tourist fort city of Jaipur, and tech hub Bengaluru. Rehabilitation schemes and skills training is being put in place for victims once they are repatriated, they added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai: Woman’s pregnancy terminated, blames it on unnatural sex forced by husband

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Naupada police have registered a case of dowry harassment and unnatural sex against a Mumbai based man, on a complaint lodged by his wife. The complainant has alleged that her pregnancy was terminated after her husband indulged in unnatural sex. Police has also registered a case of dowry against the family members of husband.According to police, the 38 year old woman from Thane approached them and complained that from 2013 to December 2015, her husband Vipul Nagda and in laws allegedly harassed her for dowry and repeatedly asked her to bring money to open a workshop. Moreover, the woman alleged that her husband abused her through unnatural sex when she was pregnant.”The woman has alleged that due to unnatural sex, her pregnancy was terminated leading to complications in health”, said a Naupada police officer.”We have registered a case under sections 377 (unnatural sex), 498 (A) (Dowry harassment), 406(breach of trust),323(causing grievous hurt), 504(intentional insult) of the Indian Penal Code. We are yet to make the arrests in the case and are investigating further”, said PN Patil, Police Inspector, Naupada police station.

ACB to register FIR against former SRA chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The special judge under the Prevention of Corruption Act, AD Tankhiwale has directed the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to register an FIR against former chief executive officer of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) Vishwas Patil, his wife and two developers, in an alleged corruption case.Patil, who was also the former collector of Mumbai, allegedly committed a major imbalance in the floor space index (FSI) of SRA land, after the developers made Patil’s wife the director of a construction firm owned by them. A private complaint was filed by one of the slum dwellers who claims to be affected by the alleged fraud.As per the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme, the maximum permissible on site consumption of FSI is 3. In SRA, there are two final plots of which one is the rehab plot and second is the sale plot. In the complaint it is alleged that there is a major imbalance in the FSI, where, on the rehab plot the FSI is far more than 3, whereas on the sale plot, the FSI is commensurately less.”Chandrasena Patil became the director of one of the companies of the developer and Patil had conveyed the land in such an imbalanced manner where the area became adverse to the slum dwellers. Further, after she was given the majority share in the stake, Patil on December 6, 2008 passed an order by which he allowed the entire project land owned by the government of Maharashtra, to the company controlled by the developer Ramjibhai Shah. On May 15, 2009, a lease agreement was given to the developer which said that of the entire 27,402 sq m of the land, 16,441 sq m were given to the developers, while the other agreement was of leasing 10,960 sq m towards the rehab plot,” the complainant alleged in his complaint.The complainant further claimed that there appears to be alleged ‘greasing of palms’ in the case. The court, after going through the complaint copy, held, “I find substance in the grievance made by the complainant against the accused as the accused are alleged of committing acts regarding criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy, thus definitely, the investigation through the ACB authorities would be necessary.”

Politicos welcome arrest of Shiv Sena strong man for Ghatkopar building mishap

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Cutting across party lines, several political leaders on Wednesday endorsed the arrest of Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap for not taking measures to save a building that he owned in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai from collapsing. A majority of them said that people responsible for the mishap should be held accountable. A number of allegations pointed towards Sunil Shitap, a local strongman linked to the Shiv Sena and accused him of doing extensive repairing in the maternity home on the ground floor of the building without taking appropriate precautions Rajya Sabha member Rajni Patil told ANI that a person and his political affiliations shouldn?t intervene with any arrest or investigation as a lot of lives are at stake. Hussain Dalwai, a Rajya Sabha member representing Maharashtra, said, ?Only his arrest won?t work. Everyone, including people who gave him permission and the ones who were negligent should be held as well.? He added that there are a number of encroachment cases in Mumbai and that the collectors and commissioners aren?t doing their jobs properly. On Tuesday, 17 people died after the building collapsed. Over thirty people were feared trapped under the rubble of the four-storeyed residential building. Eight fire engines were rushed to the spot. A rescue van along with 108 Ambulance was also rushed to the spot.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Over 600 buildings in BMC’s ‘most dangerous’ category

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raising the threat of further building collapses during the monsoon, the state government on Tuesday admitted that Mumbai has over 600 buildings which have been classified as “most dangerous.””According to a survey conducted by the municipal corporation in April / May 2017, a total of 617 buildings were found to be in the C-1 category of most dangerous and dilapidated structures,” said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a written reply to a question by Subhash Panditseth Patil of the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) and others in the state assembly during the ongoing monsoon session on Tuesday.Fadnavis said that according to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, it was mandatory for all buildings over the age of 30 years to submit a structural audit report.Elaborating on measures taken against these dilapidated buildings, Fadnavis added that of the 617 buildings, 112 had been evacuated and 42 cases have been sent to the technical advisory committee. The water and power supply of another 140 buildings has been cut while this action is underway in another 211 cases as well. A total of 112 cases are sub judice and for 45 cases, an affidavit has been submitted to the court stating that in a case of mishap, the BMC will not be responsible.”Since there is no guarantee about the time that will be taken to reconstruct these buildings, the tenants do not vacate them,” said Fadnavis, adding that amendments had been made to the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, to ensure the protection and security of these stakeholders.

Maha govt to build memorial of R S Gavai: Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today announced that the state government would construct a memorial of late veteran Dalit leader and former Governor of Kerala and Bihar R S Gavai. Fadnavis was speaking here at the release of a book on Gavai’s life and contribution. Union ministers Nitin Gadkari and Ramdas Athawale, Maharashtra ministers Chandrakant Patil and Girish Bapat, among others were present on the occasion. “Gavai is credited for building Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s memorial in Nagpur. Today, millions of people visit the place to offer their tributes to Dr Ambedkar….Gavai was an inspiration for people from all walks of life,” Fadnavis said. Gadkari said as the governor of Bihar, Gavai did a great job in improving the quality of higher education in the state. “He was a very humble, decent, cultured, mature and honest leader of the Ambedkarite movement. Between of 1964 and 1994, he made his mark in the legislature,” the union minister added. Gavai nurtured many leaders in the Republican movement. They wanted everyone to work together, he said. Several leaders from Maharashtra, including Legislative Council chairman Ramraje Naik-Nimbalkar, Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde, Council Deputy Speaker Manikrao Thakre, Leader of the Opposition in the Council Dhananjay Munde, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, were present on the occasion. Late Gavai’s widow Kamlatai was also present at the event.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

From Mamata-Modi bonhomie to chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai: Highlights of President Kovind’s swearing-in ceremony

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pomp and grandeur characterised the oath-taking ceremony of Ram Nath Kovind who took office of the President of India today.The ceremony at the Central Hall of Parliament had its share of interesting moments as Kovind, the first leader from the BJP and only the second Dalit occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan, began his stint as the 14th President of the republic.Following are the sidelights of the event:BJP leaders greet PM with thumping of deskAs Prime Minister Narendra Modi entered the hall before the start of the function, he was welcomed by BJP MPs, chief ministers and Union ministers with thumping of desk.Modi, Mamata exchange pleasantriesWhen Modi was about to leave the venue after the function got over, he spotted West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee among the attendees. Modi waved to her and the feisty TMC leader promptly responded with a ‘Namaste’. Putting their political acrimony behind, the two moved forward and chatted briefly.However, there were frosty vibes between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and former Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar, who lost the presidential race to Kovind. Though the two Bihar leaders sat next to each other, there was hardly any talk between the two. Nitish had supported Kovind, a former Bihar governor against Meira Kumar.Rahul has four suspended Congress MPs as company: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was seen occupying his place in one of the rear rows with four party MPs who were among the six to have been suspended for their “highly unbecoming” conduct in Parliament over recent mob lynchings yesterday. These included M K Raghavan, Gaurav Gogoi, Sushmita Dev and Ranjeet Ranjan.Mamata Banerjee was seen seated with her party MPs in the rear rows of the hall while most other chief ministers were in the front rows. As soon as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal entered the hall, Banerjee’s close confidant Derek O’Brien invited him to be seated with her. The two leaders, bitter critics of the prime minister, were seen chatting animatedly for a long time.Modi was seated with former president pratibha Patil and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda in the front row. Many were surprised at the arrival of Patil after Kovind had already taken oath.BJP president Amit Shah was seen seated with veterans L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, both members of the party’s ‘Marg Darshak Mandal’, the panel constituted to advise the party. Giving them company was M Venkaiah Naidu, the NDA’s vice presidential nominee.Naidu was seen engaged in conversation with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who occupied the seat beside him.The new president’s wife Savita Kovind, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Satish Chandra Mishra were seen seated in the front row.(Source: PIB)Judges of the Supreme Court were seated in the second and third rows. Modi exchanged pleasantries with them after the ceremony.Three service chiefs – General Bipin Rawat, Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa and Admiral Sunil Lanba – were seated in one of the middle rows.Among the governors who attended the function were C Vidyasagar Rao (Maharashtra), N N Vohra (Jammu and Kashmir, S C Jamir (Odisha), P Sathasivam (Kerala), Keshri Nath Tripathi (West Bengal), Najma Heptullah (Manipur), Banwarilal Purohit (Assam), P B Acharya (Nagaland) and Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi among others.Among the chief ministers in attendance were: Devendra Fadnavis (Maharashtra), E K Palaniswami (Tamil Nadu), Vasundhara Raje (Rajasthan), Sarbananda Sonowal (Assam), K Chandrashekar Rao (Telangana), Vijay Rupani (Gujarat), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Manohar Lal Khattar (Haryana), P K Chamling (Sikkim), Pema Khandu (Arunachal Pradesh) and N Biren Singh (Manipur).Yogi Adityanath is the toast of BJP MPs:Notwithstanding the presence of a galaxy of frontline leaders, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was the toast of BJP MPs. As the function got over, he was virtually mobbed by BJP lawmakers, many of whom touched his feet while others had a warm handshake. Adityanath sat beside Rajasthan Governor and former BJP stalwart Kalyan Singh.BJP MPs chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’:As has become quite common these days, some BJP MPs chanted “Jai Shree Ram” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, slogans that many see as reflective of divisive politics, after the formalities of swearing-in Kovind had concluded.

Woman rider dies in accident; not due to potholes, says Maha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a woman motorcycle-rider was killed on Jawhar-Dahanu road in the Palghar district near Mumbai, Maharashtra Public Works Minister Chandrakant Patil today said that potholes were not the cause of the accident. “The road on which she was riding was water-logged and had become muddy and slippery. Her motorcycle slipped and she fell down. A truck which was behind hit her, killing her instantly. The accident did not take place due to potholes,” he told reporters in the legislative complex. According to reports, 36-year-old Jagruti Hogale, a resident of suburban Bandra in Mumbai, fell after hitting a pothole yesterday and was crushed under the wheel of a passing truck. Hogale, member of all-women ‘Bikerni’ motorcycle club, was riding with two others to Jawhar in Palghar district. According to the police, the advertising professional was overtaking a truck at around 9 am on Sunday when her motorcycle landed in a pothole, throwing her off. Hogale was rushed to a hospital where she was declared dead before admission, Kasa police station’s Assistant Police Inspector Jaiprakash Guthe said. She had earlier ridden to Khardung La in Ladakh, one of the highest motorable roads in the world, police said. The truck driver was arrested under IPC sections 304-A (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash driving). This is the fourth death this year due to vehicles hitting potholes on the Jawhar-Dahanu road, police said. On July 4, an 18-year-old boy was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle while trying to avoid a pothole at Bhiwandi Naka. Meanwhile, Patil said that he had instructed officials of the PWD department to repair all potholes on roads leading to the Konkan region ahead of Ganesh festival. “All roads leading to Konkan will be clear of potholes before August 5,” he said. Earlier, he held a review meeting on the condition of roads linking Mumbai with Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Konkan. The issue of potholes was in news recently when radio jockey Malishka Mendonsa incurred the wrath of the Shiv Sena which controls Mumbai’s civic body for a satirical song on pothole ridden-Mumbai roads.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Loan waiver scheme of Maha govt is ‘misleading’: Vikhe Patil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today said the loan waiver scheme announced by the Maharashtra government was “misleading”. “The state government is buying time,” the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly told reporters here on eve of the Monsoon session. “The government had said it would issue the forms for farmers who wish to join loan waiver scheme. If the state had already announced figures of outstanding loan, why is it again compiling the same information. All the banks have the information about the outstanding loan and the state has to just waive it,” Vikhe Patil said. According to him, the government has given the name of “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to the loan waiver scheme, to pacify the people’s rage against it”. “The state government first delayed in announcing the scheme,” he claimed. Vikhe Patil also said the “state government continues to misled people in the name of memorials”. “We want to know what is the status of memorial of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar coming up at Indu Mill and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s statue in the Arabian Sea,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cross-voting in Maha as Kovind gets votes from 23 additional

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least six MLAs of the Congress and NCP in the Maharashtra Assembly seem to have voted for the victorious NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential poll. Kovind got the votes of 208 MLAs — 23 more than the collective tally of MLAs of the BJP and the Shiv Sena. Opposition nominee Meira Kumar bagged votes from 77 MLAs, which is six less than the total strength of the two parties in the House. In the 288-member House, the BJP has 122 members, followed by the Sena with 63, Congress with 42, NCP (41), Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWP-I) (3), Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA) (3), MIM (2), MNS, Samajwadi Party, BBM, CPI-M and RSP with one each and seven independents. Of the total MLAs, Maharashtra Bahujan Vikas Aghadi’s Kshitij Patil didn’t vote in the presidential poll on July 17 as he was abroad, while votes from two were MLAs invalid, leaving votes from 285 lawmakers valid. Meanwhile, the Peasant’s and Workers’ party (PWP) leader Jayant Patil claimed that more than six MLAs of the Congress voted for Kovind. “None of my party colleagues voted for Kovind. Same is the case with a CPI (M) member. This means that at least 10 Congress voters have crossed the party line,” he claimed. Incidentally, Ravi Rana, an independent MLA from Amravati in east Maharashtra, had ahead of the presidential election claimed that a group of 15 MLAs from independent and small parties would vote for the BJP candidate. He had also claimed at least six MLAs from the Congress and seven from the NCP were in touch with him and they would cross party lines to support Kovind. Meanwhile, the cross-voting has triggered a blame game between the Congress and the NCP. Of the two jailed NCP MLAs — Chhagan Bhujbal and Ramesh Kadam — who were allowed to vote by court, Kadam had publicly announced that he had voted for Kovind. NCP state unit president Sunil Tatkare today said 40 out of all 41 MLAs of the party had voted for Kumar. “It is the Congress whose members have voted against their party candidate. Sharad Pawar ji had announced the name of Meira Kumar, how can we then go against the party line?” he questioned. Tatkare’s Congress counterpart Ashok Chavan, however, said since there was no whip for the presidential poll, there is a possibility of a vote split. “We will find out who cross-voted though the voting was confidential,” he said, adding “it is not possible to say at this stage whether action will be taken against members who had voted against the party candidate.” Sena MP Sanjay Raut said it would be “deceptive” to think that the votes to the candidates represent the party position in the house as there is no whip in the election. “Sena was always of the view that the presidential election should have been unopposed. That means we would have been happier if all the 288 MLAs would have voted for Kovind,” he said. Interestingly, senior Congress leader Narayan Rane has congratulated Kovind for his victory. “Congratulations to Ram Nath Kovind for getting elected to the country’s highest post,” he tweeted. Speculation is rife that the entry of Rane — a former Shiv Sainik sulking in the Congress — in the BJP is imminent.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress, NCP rubbish chances of cross-voting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party on Sunday ruled out cross voting from their camp during the voting for Presidential election slated for Monday.The Congress and NCP in their meeting also said that like minded parties such as CPM, Samajwadi Party, Peasants and Workers Party and MIM will vote for the UPA nominee Meira Kumar. The Opposition expects 90 plus votes in favour of Meira Kumar.The Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP group leader in the assembly Jayant Patil rubbished claims made by a section of NDA that some Congress and NCP members would vote for its candidate Ram Nath Kovind.Both Vikhe Patil and NCP leader Jayant Patil said it was a fight for ideology and principles and said the opposition will vote for Meira Kumar.Congress legislator Sanjay Dutt blamed the NDA for spreading rumours about cross voting from some members of Opposition. He alleged that such claims are being made by the NDA fearing cross voting from some of their members.”Some disgruntled members from NDA may vote for Meira Kumar. So NDA should focus on keeping its flock together instead of spreading rumours about division in the UPA,” Dutt said.In the 288-member State Assembly, Congress has 42 members while NCP has 41, PWP two, Samajwadi Party two, CPM one and MIM two.This apart, NCP has four members in the Lok Sabha and Congress has two MPs.

One more cross desecrated in Goa; CM says no to CBI probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the latest incident of alleged desecration of Christian religious symbols in Goa, a holy cross was found defiled in South Goa’s Margao town with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar calling it a “planned crime”. Though at least 12 crosses and a temple have been vandalised by unidentified persons in south Goa district since July 1, the police have so far failed to achieve any breakthrough. Two crosses were found desecrated by unidentified persons in South Goa’s Loutolim village yesterday. However, Parrikar, who returned from the US today, has ruled out handing over the investigation into the incidents of desecration to the CBI as being demanded by the opposition Congress. “A holy cross at Calconda locality in Margao town was desecrated last night,” Margao police inspector C L Patil told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pilot project for injectable contraceptives launched

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Government hospitals in Maharashtra will now offer Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) injectable contraceptives to women. The initiative is part of the state government’s latest family planning programme, Antara, launched to mark the World Population Day on July 11.Maharashtra is the first state to launch a pilot project to promote the use of these injectable contaceptives.Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director of Family Welfare, said, “In the first phase, the central government has provided the state with 33,000 doses of MPA. It will be given free of cost to the women.”The injections, to be taken once in three months, have no serious side effects.”By making more options available, we hope to decrease the rates of maternal deaths and abortion-related maternal deaths in the state,” Dr Patil said.

Review GR on prosecution of govt servants

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the State government to review an earlier resolution issued by it, that allows a period of six months for carrying out an open inquiry into criminal cases against public servants, and seek extension for sanctioning prosecution from the home department.A division bench of Justice RM Sawant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav said, “Open inquiries are pending for over five years in some cases, so are proposals for getting sanctions to prosecute. It has to be done in a time bound manner or else the entire purpose is defeated.”The court made this suggestion while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Ankur Patil challenging a government circular which mandated the government’s nod to prosecute public servants. The PIL claimed that the anti-corruption bureau cannot prosecute such cases in the absence of a sanction and pointed out that there are at least 50 pending cases.

Sanction to prosecute govt servants should come quicker: HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government to review the rule that gives it up to nine months to decide on granting sanction to prosecute a public servant and make the period shorter. The period should be shorter, observed a division bench of justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav while seeking the government’s stand on a plea by social activist Ankur Patil, challenging the government’s circular which makes it compulsory for the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to get government’s nod to prosecute `public servants.’ As the ACB cannot try officials without the sanction, several cases are pending, pointed out Patil’s plea. Additional Public Prosecutor Prajakta Shinde said as per a 1996 government resolution (GR), a proposal seeking sanction to prosecute must be decided within six months. The period can be extended by another three months, if needed. Shinde also pointed out a case which is pending for sanction since 2002. “The time has come for the state government to review the policy. Otherwise all this seems like a farce,” the court said. “By now the public servant against whom sanction was sought must have retired. The government will have to fix a shorter time-frame to decide such proposals,” the court said. The concerned official from the home department should file an affidavit in reply to the plea in three weeks, the HC said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Khadse’s comeback will be a matter of joy: Chandrakant Patil

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid speculation over possible comeback of Eknath Khadse in the BJP-led ministry in Maharashtra, a senior minister today said it will be a “matter of joy”. “Khadse rejoining the ministry will be a matter of joy for us,” Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil told reporters in Jalgaon district, from where Khadse hails. “The Zoting panel has submitted its report, which is now with the chief secretary,” Patil said. “The chief minister and chief secretary will take a call on the issue,” said Patil, who was elevated to the number two position in the Devendra Fadnavis ministry after Khadse’s exit. Over a year after accusations of impropriety in a land deal prompted his resignation from the Maharashtra cabinet, the Zoting inquiry commission appointed by Fadnavis to probe the allegations recently submitted its report. Its contents have not been made public yet. Khadse stepped down on June 4 last year, after uproar over a series of allegations, including one involving a land deal in Pune. After his resignation, Fadnavis appointed the commission headed by retired Bombay High Court judge Dinkar Zoting on June 23 last year. The panel was originally expected to submit its report within three months, but was given extensions.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Man wants HC to revoke his ‘unfair’ degree, told to move on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Feeling guilty of securing his BE degree through unfair means, a 26-year-old man moved the Bombay High Court to get his engineering degree revoked, but was told instead to forget the episode and “move on” with life. A bench of justices S M Kemkar and M S Karnik rejected a guilt-conscious Vaibhav Patil’s plea today once again after doing the same in October 2016 when it had dismissed his same plea simply because there was no law to scrap an educational qualification for securing it through unfair means. Patil had sought directions to the University of Mumbai to cancel his Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree on the ground that he had resorted to cheating in his examinations. But the high court had on October 4, 2016, had rejected Patil’s petition, concluding that there was no provision in the University Act which allowed such cancellations. Patil then filed a review application which came up for hearing before the same bench. “We have full sympathy with you. Try to forget all this and move on with your life. You committed a mistake so many years ago and continued with it till now. What problem do you face now?” asked an exasperated Justice Kemkar. Patil told the court that he was not able to get over the guilt. “I have not even taken up a job since then. I approached the University in 2012 itself requesting them to revoke my graduation degree but they did not accept,” Patil said. He added he even met several psychiatrists who just gave him medicines and ask him to not come back. The court, however, said its hands were tied legally and said if Patil wants, he can approach the Supreme Court to challenge their order. Patil, who hails from Jalgaon, completed his engineering course with IT specialisation in 2011. He had flunked his Maths II paper in the first year, and on his friend’s advice, he allegedly paid an agent around Rs 20,000 to clear the subject. The court also asked Patil today that if he wishes so, he could give details of the agent, examiner or officials, who helped him pass the examination, to the university to enquire into the matter.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tanker driver held for collision with bus; 7 techies killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police have arrested the driver of the water tanker which collided with a mini-bus on Pune-Ahmednagar road yesterday, killing seven persons. All the deceased, including two women, were software professionals working with different IT firms in the city, senior police inspector Sarjerao Patil said today. Last evening, six persons died on the spot and seven others were injured when the private mini-bus in which they were travelling collided with the water tanker near Lonikand village, about 40 kms from here. One of the injured persons succumbed later at a hospital last night, Patil said. The victims were returning from a friend’s wedding in Ahmednagar district. Patil said when the mini-bus reached near Lonikand, the water tanker coming from the opposite direction veered off the road. It then rammed into the road divider, jumped on the other side of the road and collided with the mini-bus. “It seems that the water tanker was being driven in a rash and negligent manner. The tanker driver apparently lost control over the wheels following which the vehicle collided with the bus,” he said. The tanker also hit a car which was behind the bus, he said. The tanker driver, Krushna Kitarwad (22), was arrested in the early hours today, Patil said. Kitarwad has been booked under IPC sections pertaining to rash and negligent driving and also under section 304 part II, for offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, under which the imprisonment may extend up to 10 years. He has also been booked under relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act, the police officer said. Sameer Gaikwad, one of the bus passengers who sustained minor injuries in the accident, said, “We all are shocked. We are yet to come to terms with the tragedy.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

DNA CAMPAIGN | Never back down: Hearing-impaired girl scores 90.6%

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Payal Patil, a hearing-impaired student of Loknete and Datta Patil High School, scored 90.6 per cent in her SSC Board exams. Despite her physical and financial weakness, she has managed to score commendable marks in her exams. As told by her teachers, Payal is very good in academics and if blessed with an opportunity, she can prove her merit in many ways.Coming from a small village called Ghotwade near Alibaug, Payal has always been a bright student. She lost her father at a very young age. Her mother has been working as a labourer to support the family since. Payal continued her primary education with the help of her uncle. When she was in sixth standard, she suffered from mumps, causing permanent deafness. Apart from academics, Payal was also active in co-curricular activities.Payal’s family is trying hard to give her the best treatment possible. Doctors have suggested a cochlear implant which will help Payal in hearing properly again. However, the cost of the implant and other expenses incurred in routine check-ups will become expensive for Payal’s family.Nilesh Patil, Payal’s uncle, said, “Her dream is to become a collector so that she can bring a change in society and help the needy. We are now collecting funds for the cochlear implant, which costs Rs 6 lakh. We have collected Rs 3 lakh so far and would appreciate further help.”

HC stays new constructions for Thane, Pune civic bodies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High court on Friday restrained the Thane and Pune Municipal corporation from issuing fresh commencement and occupation certificates to new constructions in Ghodbunder and Baner/Balewadi areas, respectively, until further orders.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjulla Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar said, “Water scarcity is a major problem faced by cities. In the future it will increase if corrective steps not taken now.”The bench has asked both the corporations to submit an affidavit within two weeks giving details about how many construction projects are ongoing in the areas and their source of getting water. If water is drawn from bore well then how many such bore well are there in the area. The court said, “Such a study will help in the future.”The bench issued the directions while hearing two petitions filed by sitting corporator from Pune Amol Balwadkar and Thane resident Advocate VP Patil. Both the petitions highlighted the acute shortage of water in the areas and claimed that residents were sometimes not supplied water for a day. It was also argued that supply of water per as per central scheme, per person should be allowed 150 litres per day. However, the supply is less. To meet the requirement, citizens are forced to call for water tankers.

Sparks fly at the steering committee of farmers leaders

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

Maharashtra: Loan waiver criteria committee to meet on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A committee set up by the Maharashtra government to finalise criteria for farm loan waiver will meet here on Monday. Leaders of all farmers’ organisations will come to the megapolis to attend the meeting, to be chaired by the state Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil. An official release about this meeting was issued this evening by the state government. On June 11, the Maharashtra government had announced a loan waiver for farmers and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief. Members of the committee are Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna’s Raju Shetti, independent MLA Bacchu Kadu, farmer leader Raghunath Patil and coordinator of steering committee of farmers Ajit Navale among others.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

As residents fail to decide on builder, SRA to redevelop slums on its own

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While deciding on a case related to slum redevelopment in Bhandup, the Slum Redevelopment Authority (SRA) has decided that it will redevelop the slums on their own. In Bhandup case, the slum dwellers could not decide on who their builder should be even after giving them time beyond five years.SRA chief Vishwas Patil said that like MHADA, they will be appointing contractors to redevelop slums, and that their target will be those slums where the dwellers cannot decide upon a particular developer or cannot give the required 70 per cent consent.”If one particular case gets stuck for years, how will slum redevelopment take place? Hence, we have decided that in cases where slum-dwellers cannot decide for themselves, SRA will take over the slums and like MHADA shall appoint contractors and develop the slum on our own. For just a few, we cannot let everyone suffer,” said Patil.Under the SRA scheme, the builder rehabilitates slum-dwellers and gets incentives in FSI. Similarly, when SRA redevelops a slum via a contractor, it will also get the incentives, and thus more homes will be generated that can be sold at a relatively cheaper price.”The biggest amount spent on any construction these days is cost of land. Under SRA, land is mostly free of cost, and hence, it’s the construction cost that is the primary expenditure. The other component is getting permissions; but SRA being a government body, they will get permissions fast,” said a developer.Mhada, after constructing homes, sells them in the open market via lottery at affordable prices. The same is expected from SRA….& ANALYSISHaving 70 per cent consent from slum-dwellers is mandatory for redevelopment under SRA
However, in many cases this consent is elusive, and therefore, delays become a norm. SRA’s decision to develop slums by appointing contractors is a welcome move

Maha to disburse crop credit through PSUs in 16 districts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after agreeing in principle to waive loans of farmers with certain riders, the Maharashtra government today decided to disburse the crop credit through public sector banks in 16 districts where district central cooperative banks are in red due to financial mismanagement. Against the backdrop of the protests by farmers, the inter-ministerial committee appointed by the government announced the loan waiver after a meeting with farmers’ leaders yesterday. The government also decided to set up a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief, after which cultivators called off their protests. After the meeting, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil announced that loans of farmers with small and medium land holdings stand waived from yesterday itself. Explaining the government’s decision to disburse the crop credit through public sector banks in the 16 districts, Patil today said there are 14 district central cooperative banks in the state where either administrator is appointed or concerned bank’s financial condition is too weak to provide crop loan for farmers in the current kharif season. “After the announcement of the loan waiver for farmers on Sunday, the state administration is facing the biggest hurdle of infrastructure to provide crop loan to farmers. Hence, the government has decided to by-pass the route of DCC banks and provide credit supply through public sector banks in those districts,” the minister said. Patil is closeted with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in a closed door meeting where this issue is being discussed basis the ways to make funds available for farmers. “The district central banks for Parbhani & Hingoli and Dhule & Nandurbar are common. For remaining districts (14), each one has its own district central cooperative bank for crop loan disbursement. Hence there are 16 districts for which 14 DCBs are working but currently are unable to disburse the loan. “As these banks are not in a condition for credit supply, the state government has decided to ask the public sector banks in those respective districts to provide credit supply to farmers,” according to Patil. The districts where PSUs are likely to provide crop loans are Dhule, Nandurbar, Parbhani, Hingoli, Nashik, Jalgaon, Solapur, Jalna, Beed, Osmanabad, Nanded, Yavatmal, Buldana, Nagpur, Wardha and Amravati. “The farmers having land up to five acres are going to be considered as debt-free, hence these farmers will be eligible for fresh crop loans. To disburse the crop loan for these farmers, the state has decided to rope in the PSUs,” Patil added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

HC upholds govt decision to reduce age of retirement for assistant professors/librarians

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High court has upheld a government resolution, reducing the age limit of retirement for assistant professors and librarians, from 62 to 60 years, in government colleges, across the state.A division bench of Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sangitrao Patil, while upholding the resolution issued in 2016, said “In the circumstances, to avoid financial burden and to extend opportunities for newly qualified persons for employment, the government decided to reconsider its earlier decisions of enhancing the age of retirement up to 62 years, it is not arbitrary and illegal.”Around eight doctors who had not been considered for an extension had moved the petition seeking to quash the government resolution. They claimed that earlier the age limit had been increased from 58 years to 62, so now it cannot be reduced, as such a decision was illegal.The government opposed the petition saying all associate professors/librarians were being treated equally as per the existing policy in respect of age of retirement. Only the proposals of some of the incumbents, which were sent along with proposals of the petitioners, were considered prior to issuance of the Government Resolution. Granting them the benefit of enhancement of age of the retirement, cannot say that they have been subjected to discrimination.”The court, after considering the resolutions and submissions made said, “The orders extending benefit of enhanced age are not challenged in these petitions. Their cases seem to have been considered by the government keeping in view the exigency of their services in the concerned colleges. Even if it is assumed that they were wrongly extended the benefit of enhancement in the age of retirement, the petitioners cannot claim parity for getting illegal things done again, since two wrongs cannot make one right. In the circumstances, we are not inclined to consider the legality and correctness of the decision taken by the government to enhance the age of retirement in respect of the individual cases referred to by the petitioners.”

Loan waiver decision is victory of farmers’ struggle: Vikhe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil today said the Maharashtra government’s decision to waive farm loans is the victory of farmers’ struggle. The Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly said the decision, announced by the state government, was also the result of the ‘Sangharsh Yatra’ organised by the Opposition. “The Fadnavis government will have to bear a heavy cost if it fails to implement the decision,” he said. Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde today demanded that benefits of loan waiver should be given to all farmers. “The (Monsoon) session (of the state Legislature) is going to begin on 24 July. If the government takes the decision of waiving loan of all (farmers) it will be good and if not, the stir would be intensified,” Munde, a senior NCP leader, told reporters in Aurangabad. Welcoming the decision, Maharashtra BJP President Raosahbeb Danve said the loan waiver decision proves that the BJP-led government in Maharashtra supports farmers. “If farmers face any difficulty in future, the BJP government will always be behind them,” he said. The Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government today announced a loan waiver for farmers and decided to form a committee to decide the criteria of debt relief, after which cultivators called off their protests. “The government has, in principle, decided to waive farmers’ loans with certain stipulations. The loans of farmers with small and medium land holdings stand waived from today itself,” Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rift in farmer leaders’ committee which is meeting Maha govt

Its prominent members include BJP ally and MP Raju Shetti, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat, Raghunath Patil, Ajit Navale, MLA Bacchu Kadu and Dr Budhajirao Mulik. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A rift seems to have developed in the steering committee of leaders of agitating farmers in Maharashtra, with some of its members refusing to take part in a meeting with a high-powered group of ministers. The 21-member committee, formed five days ago, is to meet the ministers in Mumbai today. Its prominent members include BJP ally and MP Raju Shetti, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat, Raghunath Patil, Ajit Navale, MLA Bacchu Kadu and Dr Budhajirao Mulik. However, Giridhar Patil, Ramchandrabapu Patil, Anil Ghanwat and Dr Mulik have decided not to participate in today’s meeting. Giridhar Patil said, “The steering committee has not yet decided the exact demands of farmers and how to approach the government over them. I opposed the idea of meeting the government representatives before these things were finalised.” He also alleged that a couple of members of the steering committee announced a fast over farmers’ issues without consulting other members.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Minister faces flak for ritual to propitiate rain god

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka Water Resources Minister M B Patil came under attack in the legislative assembly today for performing rituals to appease the rain god, as the Opposition BJP today accused the government of practising “double standards” on such matters. BJP, chiding the government, said the minister is performing ‘parjanya homa’, while the chief minister known for his rational outlook is propagating the need for anti-superstition bill. The issue came up for discussion as Patil sought to clarify about the rituals performed by him that came under severe criticism. He said it has been part of “our culture” and “tradition” to offer puja to rivers. The rituals were performed for the state’s two important rivers, Cauvery and Krishna at their birth place for the “betterment” of people. He clarified he had not performed any “homa or hava”, but only “puja or japa”. This was contradicted by BJP’s Arvind Limbavali, citing media reports. The minister had recently performed pujas at ‘Talakaveri’ and ‘Mahabaleshwar’ (in Maharashtra). He said it was done with the quest for a good monsoon after recurring drought in the state for three years. Following criticism over allocation of Rs 10 lakh by the state-controlled Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd for the puja, Patil went ahead with the rituals as planned, and had said he and his friends would bear the cost. The minister in his statement today also cited various instances where such rituals or puja and even ‘parjanya homa’ were performed during BJP rule, specifically when Jagadsh Shettar, now opposition leader was chief minister. He claimed Indian Space Research Organisation too performed such rituals before any launch. As Patil alleged that BJP had spent Rs 17 crore for such rituals during their rule, the opposition demanded proof and asked him to be “responsible” before making such charges. Taking a dig at Patil, Shettar congratulated him for taking BJP’s “line” by following Hindu culture and traditions, which the Congress has tried to stay away from in the garb of “secularism”. Shettar and BJP MLA Basavaraj Bommai alleged that the government was practising “double standards”. When the chief minister with his rational outlook is propagating the need for anti-superstition bill, Patil who is one of the senior ministers is performing rituals for rain, they said. “We are not against performing puja or rituals, every one has right to do it, but don’t follow some thing and propagate something,” Shettar said. Stating that he does not believe in the philosophy that things will happen just by performing puja, he asked the minister to address the requirements of the people by taking up projects that will address their concerns. Intervening, Health Minister Ramesh Kumar said care should be taken that no one crosses the constitutional framework, while dealing with such issues.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

14 additional judges sworn in for Bombay High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fourteen judges were today sworn in as additional judges of the Bombay High Court, taking its strength to 75. The new appointees were sworn in by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur in the presence of all other judges of the High Court. The 14 new judges include Riyaz Chagla, grandson of M C Chagla, the first permanent Indian Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court after Independence, and five others from the Bar, and eight elevated from the subordinate judiciary. Of the 14, two are woman judges – Vibha Kankanwadi and Bharti Dangre. The sanctioned strength of judges in the Bombay High Court is 90. Apart from Riyaz Chagla, the new judges are Sunil Kotwal, Arun Upadhye, Mangesh Patil, Arun Dhavale, Prithviraj Chavan, Murlidhar Giratkar and Sopan Gavhane from the district judiciary. Patil was the HC Registrar General till his elevation. From the bar, Maharashtra’s Advocate General Rohit Deo and public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde were sworn in today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cong leader’s organisation to adopt 208 farmer families

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A non-governmental organisation led by Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra is all set to adopt 208 farmer families, whose sole bread winners have committed suicide owing to agrarian crisis in the region. This Foundation known as Padma Bhushan Dr Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil will be launched on June 15 and has decided to adopt distressed farmer families from Ahmednagar district, its Chief Executive Officer Sujay Vikhe Patil said. Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, a former Union minister was a visionary and engaged in several social works. The veteran Congressman’s son Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil is presently Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly. He has served as the Agriculture minister in the previous Congress-NCP regime. The initiative will commence on his birthday (June 15), Sujay said adding various social programs are organised every year on the occasion. The Foundation will provide aide to the wife, parents and children of 208 farmer families in Ahmednagar district, he said. It will take care of education, marriage and health-care needs of these families. It will also try to provide a source of income by supporting the family to start a business or secure a job, he said. These are families that are already covered under some government scheme. “However, we conducted a survey in the last two months across the district and realised that the state government’s aide was insufficient. Hence we decided to chip in and fill the gap,” he said. On Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil’s absence from the farmers’ stir scene, Sujay said, “My father got injured during the last phase of the Sangharsh Yatra, organised by Congress and NCP across the state. Doctors have advised him to avoid any stress and movement for sometime. Hence, he can not participate personally but he has extended his support to the farmers’ cause.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Nepean Sea Rd locals want median strip realigned

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nepean Sea Road Citizens Forum (NCRF) have requested a median strip to be realigned so that it solves traffic issues in the neighbourhood. At present, the residents say that it can lead to a delay of up to 25 minutes to exit the road. A median strip is a reserved area that separates opposing lanes of traffic.”One part of the Nepean Sea Road at Mukesh Chowk is narrow as compared to its south bound arm. The third lane cannot be used properly because the manner in which the median is aligned. Due to this, the north bound traffic witnesses a traffic jam at the Mukesh Chowk or where the St. Stephen’s Church stands. It leads to a delay of up to 25 minutes for a person to exit Nepean Sea Road and get to B Desai Road. If the median is realigned by three to four feet, that will help commuters use the third lane more effectively on the north bound arm of the road and ease traffic,” said Mukesh Mehra, secretary of the NSCRF.Around 50 meters, the stretch has more lanes on the south bound as compared to the north stretch. “We have had several meetings and the traffic police were in agreement when Mr Bharambhe was the joint commissioner of police (traffic),” said Mehra. While the traffic police have given a no-objection certificate the matter is now with the ward office and the BMC’s traffic department.Devidas Kshirsagar, assistant municipal commissioner of D-ward said, “We look at the issue in totality. There is a demand from residents and we have forwarded that to our traffic department for remarks. They will first look at the road line. In future, median will be the point from where the road width will be decided. We have asked for their opinion and once we receive them, we will go ahead with the realignment.”Ajay Patil, deputy chief engineer of BMC’s traffic department said, “We are studying it and as per vehicle movement a decision on the issue will be taken.”

K’taka Water Minister performs special prayer to please god of rain

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> To please the god of rain for good monsoon, Karnataka Water Minister M. B. Patil on Sunday performed a special prayer here on the bank of Cauvery River. Severely hit by the drought, the state water resources department has decided to spend Rs. 20 lakh for offering poojas to the deities this year. ?It is the duty of all of us to respect our mother, pray our mother and honour our mother. That is what we have done today because in our dharma, the Sanskriti of the nation we always say pray the god. Cauvery has blessed us since century,? Patil told ANI. The prayers were performed at two major river basins of the state. The first of the prayers was conducted on Friday at the basin of river Krishna and second one at the Cauvery river basin. Meanwhile, the monsoon has arrived in Kerala and other parts of India two days ahead of schedule. As per reports, in next two days, monsoon will enter into remaining parts of India’s coastal belt including Karnataka.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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