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Stone inscription should be made available for public viewing

A 14th century stone inscription which sheds new light on the history and evolution of Mumbai may be opened for public display and research.The state government has written to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) asking that the medieval-era stone tablet be handed over to it or displayed to the public. The inscription discovered in the BARC last year lists out a land grant by King Hambirrao, who ruled over Mahikavati (modern-day Mahim) and was a feudatory of the Tughlaqs. The edict was made in 1368 and (Samvat 1290) sheds new light on Mumbai’s pre-colonial history.Historians say that apart from the city’s history and social structure, it also reveals that Mumbai was not a medieval backwater before it was colonised.State Directorate of archaeology and museums officials said they had written to the BARC asking for the tablet, which was an important artefact about the history and urbanisation of Mumbai, to be handed over to the directorate.”It can also be displayed for people at an appropriate place in the BARC premises,” the official suggested.Mugdha Karnik, Director, Centre for Extra-Mural Studies (CEMS), noted that this stone inscription was “a property of the country and was very important for Mumbaikars.” “So, it should be available for public view, either (in) the BARC or they should hand it to the state department of archaeology,” she said. Karnik rued that despite communication from them, the BARC had not loaned the inscription for display at the ongoing exhibition organised by the CEMS at the varsity’s Kalina campus, which sees at least 20,000 footfalls.KN Vyas, Director, BARC could not be reached for a comment despite repeated telephonic calls. Queries sent to the director on email were not answered until the time of going to the press.”The history of Mumbai between 1300 and 1420 is very nebulous… the Yadava dynasty (of Deogiri) was routed by Allaudin Khilji in 1303 after which his son became the Governor. They were later replaced by the Tughlaqs. But we do not know who ruled Mumbai then,” noted archaeologist Kurush Dalal, Assistant Professor, CEMS, University of Mumbai.He added that the stone tablet referred to “Maharajadhiraj Shri Hambhirrao,” Ferozshah Tughlaq (whose vassal Hambirrao was), and Hambhirrao’s ministers like Arisini Prabhu. It mentions the grant of land near Nanale village (later acquired for the construction of the BARC). Hambhirrao, whose stone inscriptions are also found at Nagaon and Uran in Raigad, was the ruler of ‘Mahim Bimbasthan’ (today’s Mahim), which is referred to in the edict, and his domains encompassed northern Raigad and southern Thane.”The inscription also lists out names of people like Deonarkaru (from Deonar), Marolkaru (one from Marol) and Daithankaru (Daithan, though there is no evidence of where it was located in Mumbai) and Saharkaru (from Sahar)… as witnesses. The titles like Desila and Mhatara may be the root-words of surnames like Desai and Mhatre and tell us about the social system of those times,” explained Dalal.”(The inscriptions) reveal that in 1368 AD, there was a local Hindu ruler for Mumbai, whose domains covered Mumbai’s island city, Sashti, Deonar, Thane and parts of the Konkan and was a feudatory of the Tughlaqs… this has changed the understanding of Mumbai’s history. We know that Mumbai was not some backwater before the advent of the Portuguese,” he noted.

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Holiday for all schools in Mumbai, Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar on Tuesday: Vinod Tawde

In wake of Cyclone Ockhi, as a precautionary measure, the state government has decided to declare holiday for all the schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts.Minister Vinod Tawde has tweeted that this precautionary holiday is being declared for the safety of the students due to serious weather predictions owing to cyclone Ockhi by the IMD.He wrote: “Precautionary holiday declared on 5/12/17 for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurga, Thane, Raigad and Palghar Districts for the safety of the students due to the serious weather predictions on #CycloneOckhi #MumbaiRains.”India’s Metrological Department said light rains are likely to occur over north Konkan and Goa including Mumbai tonight. Several districts in Gujarat will also receive “light rains with increased intensity”, the weather forecaster said, adding, that sea conditions will become rough over north Maharashtra and Gujarat coast.The IMD has warned fishermen in the Maharashtra and Gujarat area not to venture into the sea. India’s defence forces are continuing efforts to airlift fishermen in the area who have been caught in the cyclone.India has deployed ten Naval ships and eight aircrafts to assist in rescue and relief effort. The cyclone has claimed 14 lives in Kerala and Tamil Nadu with several fishermen still missing.
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Restoration work at historic Raigad Fort to begin on December 15

The Historic fort of Raigad will soon have a new look as the actual work for the proposed restoration of the fort commences from December 15. The divisional commissioner Jagdish Patil visited Raigad Fort last week and reviewed the progress of the conservation plans for the fort. He directed the officials to complete the time bound action plan for the four sanctioned works out of total 19 works on the fort.Fort Raigad is around 160 kms from Mumbai and falls in Raigad district located off Mumbai-Goa highway near Mahad. It is considered as Gibralter of the East and built in 1030 AD by Chandrarao More. It was made Capital of Maratha empire by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who had his coronation at this Fort in 1674.After coming to power in October 2014, the present Devendra Fadnavis government ad prepared a detailed plan for the conservation of Raigad Fort. The state government has sanctioned a plan of Rs 600 crore for conservation and beautification of the fort.The review meeting chaired by Patil was attended by district collector Vijay Suryavansi, district planning officer Sunil Jadhav and other officials. The circumambulation or Parikrama Marg of 13 Kilometers made of stones would be prepared under the sanctioned four works which would be completed by March 2018. In addition to Parikrama Marg, desilting of 13 lakes on the fort would also be undertaken. Displaying the boards providing information in detail on the fort at various places along with history of the places is also included in first four works to be undertaken. The district administration already has received Rs. 59 crores for the first phase of work. Jadhav informed that the first phase of work would be completed by March 2018.
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IMD issues heavy rainfall warning for Mumbai and Konkan region in next three days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The weather department in Mumbai on Sunday issued a warning of heavy rainfall in Mumbai and the coastal Konkan region in the next three days.The districts in Konkan and Goa are likely to receive heavy rain at isolated places during the 72 hours commencing from tomorrow, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. It also cautioned the authorities in South Konkan, including Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts, of heavy rainfall tomorrow and on Tuesday. The IMD also warned of the likelihood of heavy rainfall at isolated places in North Konkan, consisting of Mumbai region, Palghar and Raigad districts.Rains or thundershowers are likely to occur at many places in Madhya Maharashtra. There would be showers at many places in Marathwada and at isolated places over neighbouring Gujarat, it said. On August 29, Mumbai received 331 mm rainfall in 24 hours, paralysing normal life in the metropolis. Several people were stuck in their offices and on railway stations for more than 12 hours as suburban train services were suspended after tracks were submerged following heavy rains.

Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani Mukherjea’s former driver identifies her, 2 others as conspirators and killers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A former driver of Indrani Mukerjea today identified her and two other accused in the Sheena Bora murder case as conspirators and killers in a court here.Shyamvar Rai, who is an ‘approver’ (a co-accused who turns prosecution witness in return for pardon) continued his deposition in the case for the second day today.When Special Public Prosecutor Kavita Patil asked him to identify Indrani, her husband and former media baron Peter Mukerjea, and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, Rai pointed to the dock where they were standing.Indrani and Khanna are accused of strangling her daughter Sheena inside a car driven by Rai on April 25, 2012. Peter is accused of being party to the conspiracy.Rai also told special judge J C Jagdale that a day after the murder, he went to work as usual and picked up Peter from the airport. Two days later, he drove Peter and Indrani to airport; and got a call from Indrani after some days where she told him she won’t be coming back to Mumbai and he should look for another job.”She also asked me to throw away the parcel (given to him earlier),” Rai said, adding that Indrani’s secretary Kajal gave him three months’ salary.”When I checked the parcel I was terrified as it contained a country-made pistol and bullets. I tried to throw away the parcel twice (but could not do it),” Rai said.In August 2015, three years later, he mustered courage and stepped out to dispose the pistol, but took to his heels on seeing a police van, he said.”The police caught me and found the weapon,” Rai said, adding that during the interrogation he told them about Sheena’s killing.He confessed about the crime before a magistrate later as he was “feeling remorse”, Rai said. Confession before a magistrate can be used as evidence.Defence lawyers today started his cross-examination, which is expected to go on for two-three days.Meanwhile, Rai told prosecutor Patil that he feared threat to his life. When she informed the court, the judge directed that he be given protection inside the jail, and additional security when he is brought to the court.The murder came to light in August 2015 after Rai spilled the beans and Mumbai police arrested Indrani, Khanna and Rai after recovering remains of Sheena’s body from a jungle in Raigad district. Peter was arrested later.According to the CBI, financial dispute was the reason for Indrani to hatch the conspiracy. Sheena was also in a relationship with Peter’s son from earlier marriage, Rahul, which Indrani disapproved of.

Maha working on SOPs book on helipad location, landing policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government has directed its department handling VIP security to draft helipad location and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for helicopter landing permissions. A Inspector General (IG) level officer has been tasked to prepare the SOPs. “The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) have already taken cognizance of the helicopter crash at Nilanga in Latur district involving me,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said. He was speaking in the legislative council while replying to supplementary queries raised by Sharad Ranpise, Sanjay Dutt (Congress) and others. Cutting across party lines, members in the legislative council expressed concern over the back to back helicopter mishaps involving the chief minister. Just days after the May 25 mishap at Nilanga, a similar incident of the helicopter used by the chief minister took place at Raigad. Raising supplementary query on his starred question Ranpise (Congress) wanted the government to bring out a book laying down guidelines for helicopter helipads and landing. Replying to the debate, Fadnavis, while thanking the members for showing their concern for his personal safety and well being, admitted that at present the government has no policy guidelines laid down for helipads and helicopter landing and take-offs. “A policy draft is ready and is currently being vetted by civil aviation experts. The policy shall be applicable to chief minister, ministers, leader of the opposition and other VIPs,” Fadnavis said. He added that there are many old helipads which are being used for ages now, but the surroundings have changed now with high rise buildings coming up and trees growing in their vicinity. Fadnavis said that the government has ordered an safety audit to be undertaken of all such old in use helipads in the state. Referring to the DGCA probe into the Latur chopper crash, he stated that the flying license of Captain Sanjay Karve and co-pilot Mohit Sharma have already been suspended by the DGCA, New Delhi. Replying to further queries, he said that captain Karve has already proceeded on long leave and there is no question of him influencing the on-going probe. Referring to the Raigad mishap, the chief minister said that he too was surprised as to how such an experienced pilot with so many hours of flying experience would have committed such a mistake. “Even before me and Minister for School Education Vinod Tawde could board the helicopter the pilot had started the rotor blades of the chopper and took off even before we had boarded it,” he said. Fadnavis added that the government will go in for hiring a helicopter on short term lease before it purchases chopper for its own VIP use. Raising a supplementary query, Congress MLC Sanjay Dutt said that many times pressure is exerted on the pilots to fly the helicopter at short notice ignoring the possibility of inclement weather conditions. He added that the DGCA does not have enough staff to inspect the air worthiness of the helicopters used by the government for its VIPs. To this, Fadnavis replied that the government shall consider the suggestions made by Dutt.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two trekkers missing since Jul 22 after falling into stream

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two trekkers are feared to have been washed away in a stream near Bhira dam in Raigad district of Maharashtra, police said today. The missing duo and their friend, all working at Kharadi IT Park, set out on a trek to Tamhini Ghat from Mulshi in Pune district on Saturday, police said. While crossing a stream, Sagar Dudhe (34) fell in the water due to slippery rocks, said senior police inspector Rajendra Pardeshi. His friend Rahul Umate (32) tried to save him but he too was washed away. The third trekker shouted for help but there was no one else around, the police officer said. Police started a search operation after he managed to reach the nearby police station. The National Disaster Response Force alongwith Pune and Raigad police is combing the stretch up to the Bhira dam where the stream ends up, inspector Pardeshi said, adding that so far there had been no trace of the two.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maharashtra government to formulate beach shack policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government has decided to come up with a beach shack policy to promote beach tourism along the coastline, develop the coastal areas, generate revenue and employment. Beach shacks will be temporary sheds, where basic amenities like toilets, furniture, fire cover, first aid kits would be provided by shack owners. To set up a shack, state will allot licenses to the locals. “Shacks will also provide tourists with shower, changing rooms, lockers, food stalls, drinking water facilities, beach safety instruments and a small stall of the tourist information centre,” Minister of State for Tourism Madan Yerawar said. “The state government intends to implement a beach shack policy on the lines of neighbouring Goa,” he said. “The state has a big coastal area like Tarkarli, Shirola-Velagar, Murud, Dapoli, Ganpatipule, Alibaug, Dive-Agar, Bordi and others which can be developed as tourist spots with coastal amenities and facilities like shacks, umbrella or huts,” said Yerawar. A senior official said that various departments are involved in this project. “Home department needs to handle safety and security related issues, cleanliness and garbage disposal needs local urban body that falls under urban development department while village council will be handled by rural development department. “There are health related facilities to provide, collector office, environment department, revenue, maritime board, ports and also excise if liquor is to be served,” he said. Yerawar, minister of state for tourism held a meeting with various department officials and discussed the issue today. The minister instructed tourism department officials to frame the policy involving other departments and appoint private consultants if needed. “The minister wants the policy along with the comprehensive beach tourism development plan of the coastal area to be ready in a month to be tabled before the state cabinet meeting to get a final nod,” said an official. The state has a 720 km long coastline spread over seven districts — Mumbai, Mumbai suburban, Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bridge over Savitri river reopens

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After taking toll of 42 lives on August 2, 2016 with its collapse due to flash floods, state Government on Monday once again threw open the bridge on Savitri river at Mahad.The bridge was newly built in just 165 days in the presence of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union Minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari. Union Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Gite, PWD Minister Chandrakant Patil, Raigad Guardian Minister Prakash Maheta, Minister of state Ravindra Chavan, Zilla Parishad President Adoiti Tatkare, MP Amar Sabale, MLAs Prashant Thakur, Bharat Gogawale, Pravin Darekar, Avadhoot Tatkare, Niranjan Davkhare were also present.Lauding the PWD for completing entire work for building new bridge in record time, CM Fadnavis said that this reopening of the bridge is in one way tribute to all those who lost their lives in bridge collapse incident last year.Gadkari said that being the Union Minister for this department he owns the responsibility of the bridge collapse incident and said that he has already gone for an aerial review of the new bridge construction work. Gadkari on Monday laid foundation for the construction work of three stretches between Indapur to Vadpale, Veer to Bhogaon and Bhogaon Khurd to Kashedi Ghat which are a of total 12 packages in Maharashtra falling under four-laning work of Mumbai-Goa highway.Thanking Gadkari for undertaking work worth Rs 3000 crores in his Raigad district alone, Gite said that state Government has reacted quickly on Mahad bridge collapse incident which was laudable.

Aadhaar-based app to secure coastline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To protect Maharashtra’s porous and vulnerable coastline, the state government will authenticate the identity of the crew on ships and vessels using an Aadhaar-based biometric system.”We are making Aadhaar cards compulsory for seafarers from October,” Atul Patne, chief executive officer of Maharashtra Maritime Board, told DNA.Patne said the issue of validating identities of seafarers assumed significance as many boats employed people from neighbouring countries like Nepal.”We have developed this app as a coastal security measure. It will be compulsory for the crew of these vessels to carry their Aadhaar cards for verification in surprise checks,” said Sunil Mahajan, Information Technology officer, MMB.He added that the identity of these crew members will be verified through this Aadhaar-based crew validation system using tabs fitted with biometric scanners which will be given to the 54 port inspectors at the 48 ports spread out across Maharashtra’s 720-km coastline. This will help identify any unauthorised people on these boats.Mahajan said the system will be used for around 4,000 inland vessels like cargo and passenger transport ships, boats used in water sports, barges and tugs.The MMB grants certificate of competency (COC), which is a licence for staffers such as engine drivers and masters, on these vessels. These details will be seeded with the Aadhaar database.”This will help us verify the identity of the crew member, the boat on which he is working, his nature and class of employment and past records,” he noted.These details will also be shared periodically with security agencies like the Indian Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Police.”We can validate a crew member using his Aadhaar card, biometrics and name. If he does not have his Aadhaar card, we can authenticate his identity using his name and biometrics. Any suspicious persons will be handed over to the police,” said Mahajan.The 1992 bomb blasts where explosives were unloaded on the beaches of Raigad district and the 26/11 terror attacks pointed to the vulnerability of Maharashtra’s coastline, which is spread over seven districts of Mumbai city and the suburbs, Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

Tribal schoolgirls lack facilities in Maha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While rapes and sexual assaults on tribal girls in state-run boarding schools continue to make headlines, a committee of legislators has detected major lacunae in the functioning of these institutions.The report of the committee, which was tabled in the state legislature on Thursday, noted that students studying in these tribal schools were not given adequate food, sanitary napkins, bedding, hot water for bathing during winters and good-quality soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The institutions also lacked proper security.After the rape of tribal schoolgirls in government-run ashramshalas (residential schools) at Pandhurna in Wardha and Raigad, tribal development minister Vishnu Savra had set up a committee of women legislators under Vidya Thakur, the minister of state for women, child and rural development, in December 2015.It has suggested that CCTV cameras be installed in the ashramshalas, self-defence training be provided to girls by the police, experienced security staff be deployed, and a toll-free complaint number be started.The committee visited ashramshalas including the government-aided residential school at Pala in Buldhana, where the rape of minor tribal girls had come to light last year, and noted that the hall which was being used by the students for sleeping and dining lacked adequate security, fans and the windows did not have grills.”The boxes in which these girls keep their luggage does not have locks. The girls have to get hot water for bathing from outside. The solar water heating system for hot water is non-functional. The girls do not get soaps, oil and other necessary things for bathing. The toothbrushes, tooth powder, soap, oil given to students is of local brands and poor quality. The girls did not have rugs to cover themselves and it came to light that the bedding given to boys and girls was spoilt. The girls staying in the ashramshala and hostel were not given sanitary napkins…. they were not given adequate food (and this is also of) poor quality,” the report said.SUGGESTIONS BY THE COMMITTEEThe tribal development department must fill all vacancies of lady superintendents
Lady counsellors should be appointed for sensitising students and teachers
Fast-track courts to conduct hearings in cases of sexual assault on girls in ashramshalas

Nine JSW-Dolvi Works directors booked for cheating

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nine directors of JSW-Dolvi Works were booked by the Raigad police under the charges of misusing the government land, cheating and violation of the Environment Protection Act on the directions of the high court, police said today. However, JSW Steel has dismissed the allegations as “baseless”. “On the directions of high court under section 156/3, Vadkhal police have registered an offence against nine directors and other persons under various sections of IPC on February 6,” Vadkhal police station senior inspector Uttam Sonawane told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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