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

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

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Powai Hiranandani residents oppose hawking pitches

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

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Mumbai Port Trust occupants to file PIL, save homes

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

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Cuffe Parade locals back plastic ban with march

The Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA), in their aggressive approach towards the plastic ban, held a march to promote plastic ban in Cuffe Parade with actress Juhi Chawla and local public representatives, on Sunday.The residents will now also use pet bottle flaking machine to dispose of plastic bottles which will be proceeded for recycling. More than 300 residents and school students from the locality were present during the march. On October 2, the residents had announced a complete ban on use of plastic in Cuffe Parade. Shopkeepers were given cloth and paper bags to be handed out to residents for groceries and household items.Actor Juhi Chawla handed over these bags to residents and guided students on the use of environment-friendly products.”We will be using pet bottle flaking machine which will flake the plastic bottles and later it will be sent for recycling. We will urge the residents to deposit the plastic bottles at designated centres which will be later flaked in the machine.”, said Hansu Pardiwala, Chairman of Waste Management committee for CPRA.Moreover, the local shopkeepers have been told to completely ban the use of plastic bags and discourage selling their products to the residents in the plastic bags.Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary-General, CPRA, said, “If the shopkeepers do not follow the rules, we will ask the residents to boycott such stores. We have ensured that the cloth and paper bags do not fall short for the shopkeepers which can be easily given to the residents after taking a nominal deposit fee which will be returned back to the residents once the bags are handed back to the shopkeepers.”

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Residential parking in South Mumbai now one step closer to reality

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

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Speak up Mumbai: Is BMC apathy turning trees into safety issue?

On December 7, Sharda Ghodeswar, 45, lost her life after a 45-foot long Gulmohar tree fell on her when she was sitting on a bench in Chembur. The incident has given Mumbaikars a new reason to worry as they consider whether the trees in their areas are healthy and strong enough to not be a safety concern.Environmentalists believe that concretisation and haphazard tree pruning is a major reason behind the recent tree collapse incidents from across the city. Residents also blame Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not inspecting trees properly before cutting them and deem a tree healthy based on its appearance.Civic officials accept the fact that they only visually inspect a tree before declaring it healthy and do not have a mechanism in place to inspect its roots for a better idea of its health status. In the recent fatal incidents of tree falls, the BMC has shirked away responsibility by terming the deaths ‘accidental’.DNA spoke to citizens across the city to find out what they think about BMC’s approach towards tree cutting and whether the body is cutting the right trees.VOICESThe work is outsourced to contractors, there is no inspection by BMC which is why the right trees are not cut. I have seen contractors cutting trees that don’t need to be. Trees should be judicially trimmed and not hacked.—Dr Vijay Sangole, ChemburAt times a particular tree looks strong from outside but its roots could be weak. The BMC should appropriately identify which tree is more inclined and threatens to fall. An annual survey of trees is required for this.—Dattatray Gosavi, AndheriThe BMC should ideally take the help of experts who understand which trees need to be cut or which need attention. There are people studying this as well. Unless it is not done, more such incidents will keep occurring. People should also be careful while sitting or standing below a tree especially after heavy rain or cyclones like the recent one.—Dr Rita Savla, GoregaonThe BMC is not taking care of the city’s trees. The contractors it appoints for pruning are not qualified ecologists or environmentalists, they simply cut the trees as per the road’s requirement. At times, they ignore the trees whose roots are damaged due to which they pose potential dangers of falling. BMC should use aboriculture which deals in tree maintenance, especially in metro cities where lateral growth of roots is not possible due to concretisation.—AD Sawant, ElphinstoneThe BMC cannot be blamed for unforeseen situations like a natural or sudden calamity. But since our city has a terrific monsoon, the BMC needs to start doing a lot more inspection. They should go around looking for weak trees and trim them. A number of times, utilities dig roads and they too make the tree base weak. That needs to be checked often. BMC should also regularly check whether trees are growing properly or if they are becoming weak. Even if there is a big area, they need to check them.—Nikhil Banker, Marine DriveOften, trees are chopped to benefit some or the other developer, hotel owner or shop keeper as the trees obstruct their view, project or accessibility. Most trees do not fall because of rain and don’t need chopping, their roots are damaged because of concretising on every side because of which the roots don’t get adequate water and they become weak.—Shiva Malik, AndheriIt is the BMC’s responsibility to ensure that the branches of trees and the trees that are likely to fall, are chopped in time. Several incidents of tree falls have resulted in the death of citizens or damage to property which means there is something wrong on the BMC’s part. It is time the BMC identifies such trees that pose a threat and ensure they are chopped before they claim lives. The authorities should conduct a regular audit of such killer trees.—Robin Sharma, KalbadeviSuch incidents are not new to the city. After every monsoon season, we see hundreds of trees falling across the city. The BMC claims that they surveys trees before trimming them but such incidents continue to take place. The BMC is aware that Mumbai is situated in a coastal area and strong winds can uproot any tree. The civic body must ensure that at least weak trees are trimmed or cut. The BMC does not pay heed to these issues and are busy announcing ambitious infrastructure projects.—Nisha Sunil Ramakrishanan, BycullaEXPERT SPEAKBMC appoints contractors to decide which trees should be cut, who simply select trees based on which wood is commercially useful instead of the safety aspect. Trees like Gulmohar have soft wood and are not useful for burning thus many a times they are not cut. Gulmohar trees are always the first to fall after monsoon. The BMC works only on the contractor’s whims and fancies. It is the work of the garden department that never inspects the trees scientifically before deciding to cut or trim them.—Biju Auhustine, Environment activistEvery monsoon, Gulmohar and rain forest trees are the first to fall. These trees are not native trees for our soil and thus have a lesser life span as their roots are not deep enough and wood is also soft. To begin with, the BMC should only plant native trees. Besides, BMC haphazardly prunes the trees. Taking a lesson from the recent death of a woman, BMC needs to stop haphazard tree cutting and inspect the trees scientifically.—Sandeep Athalye, Environment activist

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Cuffe Parade residents to walk for plastic-free habits

In order to turn their area plastic-free and motivate residents to change their habits by carrying environment-friendly bags instead of plastic bags, the Cuffe Parade Residents Association (CPRA) has organised a ‘Plastic Free Cuffe Parade’ walk on Sunday. The objective of the walk is to spread awareness among the citizens and encourage residents to start carrying their own bags when they head out for shopping and thus help make Cuffe Parade free of plastic waste.”This is a citizen initiative conducted by CPRA’s waste management committee and organised by Clean Mumbai Foundation. In the past we have also requested shops in Cuffe Parade to stop handing out plastic bags and have requested the residents and their staff to carry cloth bags when they go shopping,” said Kunti Oza, chairperson, Clean Mumbai Foundation.The walk is scheduled to start at 9 am from GD Somani Marg near Bayview Marina. Actress Juhi Chawla along with Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray are also expected to join the walk along with officials from the A Ward of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).In November, the BMC too had launched an awareness drive to educate vendors of municipal markets about the harmful effects of using plastic bags. BMC officials had visited different municipal markets in the city.The state government also plans to make Maharashtra plastic-free beginning from May 2018. The government is planning a ban on plastic bottles from early 2018 in government offices, educational institutions and functions organised by the state before the ban is extended to private offices.SAY NO TO PLASTICThe walk will start at 9 am from GD Somani Marg. Juhi Chawla, Aaditya Thackeray and BMC A ward officials will join the walk.
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Cessed building residents demand 500 sq ft houses

Amin Patel, Congress MLA, commented that it's because of such short-sighted decisions by the government that development comes to a grinding halt. "We cannot have separate norms for the same development. It will be an injustice to residents of cessed buildings if they are denied the 500 sq ft houses. I will write to the chief minister and apprise him of the conditions," said Patel.”

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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Cessed building residents demand 500 sq ft houses DNA
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written BySudhir Suryawanshi <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 5 December 2017 6:05 ISTMust readCome to Byculla and attack hawkers: AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan dares Raj ThackerayNCPCR invites tips to arrest CSA crimes<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>The state government’s decision to give houses of 500 sq ft under the BDD redevelopment scheme has ended up impacting other redevelopment projects of cessed buildings.According to a senior MHADA official, the Maharashtra government decided to give houses of 500 sq ft carpet area to BDD tenants against their existing homes of 180 sq ft. “Residents and tenants of cessed buildings are asking for similar houses of 500 sq ft carpet area against their existing 350 sq ft homes in cluster and individual cessed building redevelopment projects,” said the MHADA official.Amin Patel, Congress MLA, commented that it’s because of such short-sighted decisions by the government that development comes to a grinding halt. “We cannot have separate norms for the same development. It will be an injustice to residents of cessed buildings if they are denied the 500 sq ft houses. I will write to the chief minister and apprise him of the conditions,” said Patel.
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Cuffe Parde residents look to solar panels for savings

To protect the environment and cut their expenses on bills, Cuffe Parde residents have decided to install solar panels to generate electricity for the supply of water to their open space.“At present, we are using electricity at commercial rates for our open space with a monthly bill of Rs 15,000,” said Padmakar Nandekar, secretary general of the Cuffe Parade Residents Association.The move, according to residents, is to ensure that they contribute to the preservation of the environment, and make the most of the money they are spending without any benefits. “Cost is secondary to us. We are nature-friendly people and look to have a cleaner source of electricity. The panels will cost us around Rs 9 lakh. Now, the money we pay for our bills does not give us any returns. The input cost is high but in the long run, it will be cost-effective,” said Nandekar.The residents have been trying to adopt other environment-friendly measures such reducing the use of plastic bags and purchasing a plastic crushing machine. The drive for the same will start on December 10. They said that they have managed to get a sponsor and are waiting to start the work once the collector office gives them the extension for caretaker status to maintain the open space.The 1.85 lakh sqft open space has over 15,000 trees. “We are asking for caretaker status to be extended,” said Nandekar.
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Week after slums are razed, shanties return near garden

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

CPRA to install CCTV, monitor safety & traffic

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Cuffe Parade will soon be shelling out money to install CCTV camera in their area, and the footage will be shared with the police. The move comes as the residents look to help police in providing better security to the area and more importantly tackle the traffic issues. The residents had a meeting with officials recently on the issue in which they conveyed the same.”We want to have three CCTV cameras in each of our buildings. For this we will be paying and giving camera footage of one of the cameras to the police chowky,” said Sulakshana Chowgule, senior vice president of Cuffe Parade Residents Association.Chowgule added, “We already have cameras in our buildings but for better security on the road, we want to have cameras that face the main road.””Some people double park and then run away. We will put three cameras: one of 360 degree angle, one night camera and one more camera. All these will be put on our buildings and will face the road. The footage of two cameras will be with us and the main camera will be with the police chowky,” said Chowgule.

Slum squatters occupying Cuffe Parade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meeting Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis earlier this week, Cuffe Parade residents pleaded him to take strict action against the slum mafia who are allegedly operating at the Backbay Reclamation area of the region.The development plan for the city has earmarked four plots as green zone, belonging to the government which has been allegedly encroached upon.The four plots 106,107,108 and 109 on the Block IV of Backbay Reclamation has been termed as green zone and belongs to the City Collector. These plots have been allegedly encroached upon by slum dwellers. On November 13, the Cuffe Parade Residents Association met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to request him to take action against the slum lords for encroaching upon the open spaces.”We fear that the slum mafias are slowly moving towards the Bayview Marina garden which also belongs to the City Collector,” said Padmakar Nandekar, Secretary General, CPRA.

SoBo locals allege vindictive reply by traffic cops to parking woes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Colaba residents living on Boman Behram Marg on Tuesday alleged that traffic cops had adopted a vindictive approach to complaints of traffic mismanagement and double parking in the area, as the cars of two residents were towed away from outside their homes. Residents said the cars were towed away despite the fact that they are permitted to park their cars outside their buildings in a single lane.”The traffic cop who was present when the cars were being towed away said – You guys are very fond of tweeting and putting articles in newspapers. Now, look at us doing our job,” alleged Rocky Lobo, one of the two residents whose cars were towed.DNA had earlier reported that residents of Colaba had been complaining about double parking and other traffic violations in the area which were allegedly being ignored by traffic police.”The officer said that they were towing because we were complaining and there is a No-Parking banner put up by BMC. When I told him we complain about no action on double parking, he said now see our work,” said Lobo.Residents said since their buildings do not have parking spots, they are allowed to park on the road. A BMC banner put up on a building in the lane states that only cars of local residents are allowed to be parked. However, on Tuesday, a ‘No Parking’ banner was put up by BMC.”Despite my visiting card being on the dashboard that states my address, they towed away my car” said Lobo.

As election nears, sanitation drive ‘markings’ send shivers down Ahmedabad residents

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Paldi, a small suburb in Ahmedabad received a scare after they found their front doors marked with a cross on Monday. While locals initially thought it was targetting of a particular community, they later discovered that it was part of a sanitation drive, The Times of India reported.According to the report, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation health workers had marked the buildings in red as their stock of stickers to mark societies that got exhausted.Residents, however, expressed fear as such markings in the past were used in the past as a way to identify residents to be targeted during the 2002 communal riots. Paldi was one of the areas that witnessed violence in 2002.Residents had even written to the Election Commission and the polic chief AK Singh fearing that the motive was to disrupt peace in the area. However, Singh informed that the markings were made by sanitation workers, but added that an inquiry will be conducted. “If the houses are being marked as part of a garbage collection drive, we will send our teams to ensure that the residents are informed about it,” Singh told TOI.

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.”

Illegal parking haunts Dahisar wetland again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Environmentalists and residents of Dahisar Link Road who fought a long battle to save 15 acres of wetland, which was being used for illegal parking of tourist buses, are now planning to file a contempt of court petition. The aggrieved people are mulling to file the petition against the authorities who have failed to not only restore the wetland but also could not keep it encroachment-free.It was under the directions of the Bombay High Court hearing, a PIL filed in 2013 and several months of constant follow-ups by members of New Link Road Residents Forum (NLRRF), that a joint operation was launched in February 2016. The BMC, the police and the suburban collector’s office not only vacated around 350 buses which were parked illegally but also cleared the garages and paver block manufacturing units in the area. However, the joy of the residents was shortlived. Only six months after the exercise, buses started thronging to the wetland again. “Despite lodging several complaints about the improper restoration, including that of the waterbodies which existed till 2005, nothing has happened. Even now, several buses are parked illegally in the area. The authorities are not even bothered. In fact, the Tehsildar’s office has stopped taking our complaints seriously. Now, we have no other option but to approach the court again,” said Harish Pandey, president of NLRRF. Since the authorities did not protect the land, all efforts made by the citizens and environmentalists — some of whom even put their lives at risk fighting to save the land — has been wasted. A senior official from Mangrove Cell said, “It is the responsibility of police as well as BMC and Tehsildar to ensure that the buses are not parked illegally.” Meanwhile, cops at MHB police station said they were unaware of any illegal parking issue in the wetlands and assured that immediate action would be taken if anybody files a complaint.

Photo fest to be held at IHC for awareness about Aravallis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Not far from the choking pollution of Delhi and an increasingly urbanised Gurugram exists a village that has managed to preserve a 1,200-acre green patch, owing to their religious faith. Residents of the Mangar village, located just 25 km from the Cyber City in the Aravallis, have named this patch ‘Mangar Bani’, and have miraculously saved the area from the city builders.Earlier this year, however, despite the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order to maintain the state of affairs in the area, over 200 trees were cut in Mangar Bani, considered sacred by the locals. This act not just angered the locals but also highlighted the rapid movement of builders into the heart of the Aravallis. In fact, a five-star hotel , The Lalit Mangar, also exists in the village now.”In the last one decade, the external movement has increased in our village, which has led to chaos. It was shocking to see people cut trees in the Bani as we have always maintained that it is a sin. Nobody takes anything from here, not even the fallen trees or fruits. The Bani has existed for over 700 years and the temple here has fulfilled many wishes. Those builders have bought land around the villages, but they will not be able to enter our sacred space,” said Rajveer, a local.Soon after the felling of trees, environmentalists, artists, students, and photographers came together to highlight the importance of this 1,200-acre green patch. Campaigns were created on social media and walks were conducted to spread awareness about the issue.Taking the initiative to the next level, a three-week festival will be held at the India Habitat Centre (IHC) to create awareness about the importance of Aravallis. The festival, titled ‘Aravalli Utsav’, will showcase works of different photographers, and will have photos of the landscape and wildlife, between October 28 and November 20..”People have been reading about the ranges in the news, but they still do not know what they are. We have just brought Aravallis to the people. The response, so far, has been tremendous. Now, we feel we should start a minibus from here to Mangar, as everyone suddenly wants to visit. The installation has actually caused a stir. Recently, the Gurugram MCD commissioner visited and suggested that we take the festival and pictures to Gurugram after this,” says Aditya Arya, photographer and the mind behind the festival.

Moving with times: Urban bodies take to single window clearance of applications

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The civic and urban bodies of state are gradually advancing towards single window clearance of applications. Still in initial stages the departments have begun accepting online applications for several process such as building plan approval, lease transfer, change of land use etc. Residents can apply for these through the state government single window clearance system on which presently 6 modules of urban development department and five of local self governance are available. More modules are scheduled to be added to the list over the next few weeks. “As of now 5 modules have been activated while another 12 are on its final stages, by end of the year we will be able to deliver 22 services through the online process,” Manjit Singh, principal secretary for local self governance said to DNA. The urban development department has recently initiated accepting online applications for building plan approval, the Local Self Governance department has been on a pilot for the same at all seven division headquarters and two local bodies at the state. The results are, however, indicating of a slow progress and only few hundred applications have been received online so-far. “There are few hiccups, including lack of awareness among public to reluctance in the government staff,” admits a senior urban development officer. “Yet these are just temporary glitches and will be overcome soon, till than the applications will be accepted offline aswell,” he added. The digital step though assures to make the process, transparent and time bound. The residents can now check for the exact amount of taxes and other fees applicable for them while the process like building plan approval will have to be completed within 30 days, those to be taken under fast track process will be issued the approval in one day. The applicants will be able to proceed with the construction after deposition of due charges and applicable taxes if any.EXPANSION ON ANVILMore modules are scheduled to be added to the list over the next few weeks. As of now 5 modules have been activated while another 12 are on its final stages, by end of the year we will be able to deliver 22 services through the online process.

Encroachments return along Tansa pipeline

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) continued its demolition drive in Garib Nagar in Bandra East on Tuesday, the civic body has not even started construction of a mandatory wall along the Tansa pipeline in Marol in Andheri East where it had demolished around 1,500 illegal shanties about five months ago. Now, encroachments have started cropping up again.The K-East ward of BMC that consists of Andheri (East), including Marol, had carried out the drive in Great Indira Nagar in Marol in May-end, following Bombay High Court’s 2009 order which directed removal of illegal encroachments falling within 10 metres on both side of Tansa pipeline. The order was given to prevent water theft and leaks. BMC had removed encroachment at around 400 to 500 long stretch of the pipeline.As per the court order, the civic body has to construct a wall on both sides of the pipeline after removing the shanties. However, even after 5 months, the civic body has not done so.Now, encroachments have again started coming up. Residents in the area have complained that after demolition, the area along the pipeline is frequently used as a garbage dumping ground. “Apart from garbage being dumped, nullah water is also accumulating, raising the risk of transmitting diseases,” said Amar Murya, resident of Great Indira Nagar, Marol.Another resident said that if the civic body leaves the area after demolition in the same condition, chances of encroachment are high.A senior official from the water hydraulic department of BMC said they have floated the tender to construct the wall. “The demolition was carried out just before the monsoon and during monsoon we cannot carry out any civic work,” said the official, adding that they will soon complete the tender process.The 39-km long Tansa water pipeline is in two parts — first from Mulund to Dharavi, and the second from Ghatkopar to Sion. The pipeline crossed 10 administrative wards of BMC and fall in Mulund, Bhandup, Sahar, Wakola, Hussein Hill, Khar East, Mahim, Dharavi, Ghatkopar, Kurla East, and Anda Depot.As per data available with BMC’s water hydraulic department, of the total 16,409 unauthorised structures, ward offices have demolished around 8,000.

Residents object to lease boards outside bldgs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Churchgate and Marine Drive have taken exception to the huge boards put up by the Collector’s office outside their building which furnish details of their property lease.They have been put up even though most of these buildings have around 30 years to go before the 99-year lease expires. The Collector, however, says she is only following orders.Kanwal Shahpuri, who resides in a building on C-Road of Marine Drive, where one such board is posted, says, “Instead of spending so much money, the collector could have sent us notices making it mandatory for the society to paste it on a notice board; all would have obliged,” he said, adding that the boards outside their building is raising a lot of questions.Residents also fear that the renewal of the lease, based on the ready reckoner rate, would mean having to pay more than the amount they are already paying. Collector Sampada Mehta said, “The boards certifying the lease conditions are being put up as per the government and the High Court directions.”

Fort residents ask for aerial ladder truck

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Fort have asked for an aerial ladder or a turntable fire engine at the Fort fire station after the one that existed has been non-functional for nearly six months.An aerial ladder is required to reach buildings of a certain height. The fire brigade has aerial ladders between 32 m to 90 m, the tallest of which can reach the 25th floor of a building.“But we need an aerial ladder fire engine because there are high rise buildings and prominent places like the RBI office and stock exchange. Besides that, we also need a water tanker,” said Jagdish Kulur, who is writing a letter to the municipal commissioner.“I had written a letter to the municipal commissioner that one be put before Diwali. I had also taken up the issue last week in the standing committee meeting,” said Sujata Sanap, the local corporator from Shiv Sena.A fire brigade official said that aerial ladders are available in Nariman Point, Colaba and other fire stations from where they can reach easily if need be.

Don’t bother MPs on internal issues, AIIMS warns its staff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has asked its employees not to approach the Prime Minister, his ministerial colleagues and MPs on small service matters, failing which appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.A memorandum — dated September 15 and marked to the medical superintendent, the director and all centre heads — restricts doctors, students and nursing staff from making such representations.”It has been observed that a number of representations are being received on service matters from the employees of the institute directly addressed to the Prime Minister, ministers, MPs and officers outside the institute. Such representations bypassing the institute’s authorities have been seriously reviewed,” reads the memorandum.According to senior officials, the medical institute has been receiving many letters from senior bureaucrats and MPs asking it to give preference to their choice of candidates.”This had to be stopped. Senior doctors are coming to us with these letters from ministers and MPs. This is not justified. Every doctor stands an equal chance and we cannot give special attention to other doctors,” said a senior administrative officer from AIIMS.The AIIMS administration in the memorandum further said that submission of such representations directly to “outside authorities”, bypassing the hospital, would be treated as an “unbecoming conduct” and advised them to submit those to the officer concerned or to the director of the institute.”Submission of such representations by any means (including email/public grievance portal, etc.) directly to outside authorities… will attract provisions of Rule 3 (1) (iii) of CCS (Conduct) Rules, 1964, and appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against those violating these instructions,” the memo read.However, the memorandum has received mixed response from the medical fraternity on the campus. “This is not the first time that the administration has come out with a gag order. It has been regularly doing this. One cannot gag an academician,” said one of the senior faculty members from AIIMS.”The memorandum is not stopping us from writing directly to PM or any minister. It only says that regarding service-related issues like promotion, salary, increment, etc. to outside influences must be avoided. If anyone has concerns related to service matters, she/he can directly go to the administration rather than approaching the PM,” said Dr Harjit Bhatti, President, Residents’ Doctor Association (RDA), AIIMS.

Noida: Brothers brutally stabbed to death; locals protest, demand arrest of accused

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two brothers died after they were repeatedly stabbed by youths living in the same area in Noida on Monday night.The incident took place in Noida’s Barola area in sector 49. The victims have been identified as Yogesh (15) and Umesh (17).The brothers were rushed to the hospital, however, the succumbed to the injuries.”There was some issue at the school after which in the evening they were called near their residence and stabbed,” said a local resident.Locals have also claimed that the accused were roaming around close to the village area only. Demanding the arrest of the accused, the residents had kept the bodies on the stretcher and had jammed the 49-50 intersection.Police personnel have been deployed in a large number to avoid any untoward incident.

Khadda Basti residents being moved out in phased manner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At Jaisinghpura Khor, a community kitchen for nearly 250 people was held by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation and Jaipur Development Authority as dozens of families shifted at their newly allotted apartments on Thursday. These families were among 541 families being rehabilitated from Khadda Basti, an ‘illegal’ settlement on government land at Mooti Dungari municipality zone.A recent high court order has called for a time-bound evacuation of the illegal occupation by October 8, the residents were asked to voluntarily evacuate by October 5 after which the authorities were allowed to use force. In a display of the force option, the civic bodies along with police teams had been patrolling the area for past few days as the evacuation deadline approaches.However, the officials feel that use of force will not be necessary. “As of now, we have seen support from the locals and nearly 400 of these have been awarded possession letters of the alternative houses and will shift soon,” assured a senior JMC officer. The remaining families are also informed to have applied for the compensation package and their applications are under process.As the civic bodies only have the weekends time to evacuate the slum, they have also provisioned for nearly 70 tractor trolleys to help the residents shift their furniture and goods. The residents voluntarily vacating the buildings will be allowed to do so and the evacuation drive will be initiated cautiously on Friday. It will get more forceful in days to follow.Convinced that evacuation is ineluctable, the affected residents are also displaying co-operation. Most of them turned to deposit the base amount for allotment of the compensatory house on last day of voluntary evacuation deadline.EVICTION DRIVEThe residents voluntarily vacating the buildings will be allowed to do so and the evacuation drive will be initiated cautiously on Friday. The affected residents are also displaying co-operation. Most of them turned to deposit the base amount for allotment of the compensatory house on last day of voluntary evacuation deadline.

Bandra Fort soon to be rid of encroachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bandra Fort beautification project is gathering steam as the H-West ward `of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) served notices to 171 hutments who have encroached on the plot adjoining the fort. The notices were served last week under Section 314 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and the ward officials have asked the encroachers to provide eligibility documents by October 9.”If eligibility is proved, an alternate accommodation plan will be given to the encroachers while the rest will be demolished,” said Assistant Municipal Commissioner, Sharad Ughade. The ward recently demolished 51 illegal structures in the area.Two adjoining plots owned by the BMC with a combined area of 25,000 sq mt will be utilised in the project. Of the two plots, one has been developed as a garden and adopted by the Residents’ Trust while the other plot is partly encroached. The BMC can start the project once the plot is free of all encroachments.Meanwhile, the municipal architect Surendra Borale has asked consultant Hafeez Contractor to submit the project’s final design plan in 15 days. Borale said, “I have received the standing committee resolution to appoint the consultant and in a day or two we will ask him to submit a final design plan in 15 days after which the design plan will be sent to Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) for their final approval”.DNA had reported on July 3 that MCZMA has given its in-principle approval to the project and asked BMC to use only natural materials for the development.Revamp planThe beautification plan includes a promenade designed in the form of waves and a cycling track connecting the Bandra Fort to the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.

Menaced by dogs, locals turn to BMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mazgaon residents have been driven to the civic authorities in their area, marked as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s E ward, in the hope of a resolution to the rising menace from dogs. Residents said children and senior citizens find it difficult to venture out because some 15 to 20 strays in the area are frequently seen chasing people with their fangs bared.Residents have said that there have been many incidents of dog bites in the past one month and kids and the elderly are especially susceptible to the canines.Taha Sayed, a resident of the area, said he was bitten by a dog on Saturday at Anjeerwadi. “I was waiting for my aunt when before I know it, a dog sneaks up on me from behind, catches hold of my leg, and sinks his teeth into my flesh before scooting away. My leg would not stop bleeding after the bite so I headed to Prince Aly Khan Hospital, where the doctors told me that I was the ninth such case that day from Mazgaon.”Sayed said that in the last one month, there have been around 15-20 cases of dog bites. “They are wreaking havoc. I have complained to the BMC and we residents expect them to take necessary action.”Another victim of dog bite from the area, Pooja Singh, said, “There is an under-construction building where a pack of 8-10 wild dogs have taken shelter. They are creating nuisance in the area. One of them dog pounced on me one day and bit me. ”When contacted, a BMC official from the health department, said, on the condition of anonymity, “The particular complaint has not reached me in writing yet. When I get it, I will forward it to the dog squad which goes from area to area and catches strays to vaccinate and medicate them.”SMITTENMazgaon residents say there have been many incidents of dog bites the past month
Children, the elderly are more susceptible to the canines, they said
Complainants say the canines chase them

Stampede at Elphinstone Road: How KEM Hospital staff prepared themselves to take care of patients

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM) that is located near Elphinstone Road railway station went on overdrive on Friday after news of a stampede that killed 27 people started doing the rounds.The hospital is located at least 10 minutes from the station and as soon as they received the police alert of the incident, they sprung into action, according to this thread shared by Twitter user Amit Thadani, who is a surgeon.As soon as police contacts the hospital. Pre-designated ward is emptied out and prepared within minutes. Residents and bosses of all departments are informed and called to the emergency room. Minor or uninjured are admitted in designated ward, while the seriously injured are admitted to the trauma unit where dedicated teams rapidly stabilise them. All are admitted to hospital to avoid missing even a single patient with serious injury that may not be detected till after a few hours. Meanwhile, surgical, neuro, ortho teams work through the next 48-72 hours virtually non-stop, operating critical patients back to back. table patients who need surgery, such as for fracture, are worked up and posted in regular OT list that may go on for several days. No private hospital can match the sheer efficiency with which these hospitals (at least LTMGH and KEM) manage mass casualties and trauma,” he said in a thread that has gone viral.
ALSO READ Stampede at Elphinstone Road: Why no Mumbaikar will be surprised or shocked by the incidentKEM Hospital officials even told DNA that 400 citizens had shared their names and details to voluntarily donate blood. A number of WhatsApp forwards did the rounds requesting for A-ve, B-ve and AB-ve blood samples.KEM Hospital on an average treats 1.7 million patients every year.

Polluted water irks residents of Churchgate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After noise pollution, the residents of Churchgate and Cuffe Parade are irked with the supply of contaminated water to their houses. Residents of Moti Mahal building at J Tata Road in Churchgate were shocked to know that the water which is supplied to their building is unfit for human consumption. They claim that since work on the underground Metro-3 project has begun, they are getting contaminated water. DNA had reported on September 19 that BMC’s A ward, which comprises Churchgate and Cuffe Parade, has consistently been receiving poor quality water.Ashwin Nagpal, a resident of Moti Mahal, last week collected a sample of water supplied to his home, boiled it and sent to a private lab in Churchgate for testing. The lab released its report on Monday stating that the water sample contains bacteria not fit for human consumption. Nagpal said, “MMRC damaged the water pipe line in front of our building, They repaired it in a month and BMC restored our supply. But still many of the residents started falling ill.”An MMRC spokesperson said, “We are examining the cause. Temporarily, alternative supply has been ensured and attempts are on to get the issue resolved with the help of the BMC.” When Nagpal contacted the civic administration, the civic officials told him to re-test the water samples through procedure adopted by the BMC.

Speak up Mumbai: Whose clean-up act?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) making it mandatory for housing societies in the city to segregate waste and compost wet waste from October 2, a section of the city’s residents have accused the civic body of passing its responsibility over to the residents who have neither the experience nor the resources to compost waste.While housing societies from south Mumbai have cited scarcity of space as one of the major hurdles in composting waste, the BMC is likely to receive similar complaints from other areas too.The civic body has set October 2 as the deadline for housing societies that produce over 100 kg of waste and commercial units spread over 20,000 sq metre, to segregate waste and compost wet waste at their own premises. In case they fail to comply past the deadline, the civic body has said that it will not collect trash from such places.DNA spoke to residents across the city for their view on whether they are in a position to begin composting wet waste at their premises, and the hurdles they are facing in meeting the BMC’s deadline.Ours is an old society and will even undergo redevelopment soon. The idea is good and will help us too. While it’s not possible to implement it now, but it will be put in place post-redevelopment.—Vinod Singh, WorliI do not think it’s possible. There is no space for composting in all the societies. There is already a shortage of space and not every society will agree. The civic administration should think about a different solution.—Shashank Kulkarni, Malabar HillIt’s impossible for our building to implement the BMC’s decision. We do not have the space inside our society premises to even park vehicles, forget setting up a compost system. Segregating dry and wet waste can be done but turning it into compost will require extra effort. If BMC provides us with the infrastructure, we will try to implement it.—Jensy Maliakal, AndheriWe welcome the idea however the BMC should provide space especially in the Fort market. I don’t think residents can compost waste otherwise. There are no societies as such and all buildings are owned by landlords. There is hardly any space for the compost machine or for people living in houses as small as 10 by 12 sq ft to keep garbage at home.—Theresa Pinto, FortThe BMC cannot force this decision on citizens. It is the BMC’s responsibility and there is no law that can make it mandatory for citizens to compost wet waste. Residents cannot expect such kind of a draconian step from the country’s richest municipal body. The civic body itself can do segregation and composting in a better way.—Kadar Sayani, Malad WestBMC’s move is good. While big societies can do it easily, smaller societies may have space issues that pose a challenge in composting wet waste in their premises. The BMC should also take steps to train citizens and make space available for the same in phases. A sudden implementation of the decision might lead to chaos.—Vikas Kanchan, Lokhandvala, KandivliUnfortunately the BMC has done nothing in all these years and now waste segregation and composting is the need of the hour. However, it is impossible for housing societies to meet the deadline. I think the BMC should extend the deadline. In addition, the civic body should also think about some incentives and provide equipment for the composting.—Nitin Nikam, Tilak NagarThe BMC should first set up a cell in each ward that will demonstrate to residential societies how they should segregate and compost waste instead of simply making it mandatory. Also, now that they are putting the onus on people, there has to be some incentive given like reducing property tax so that people take it seriously.—Nikhil Desai, WadalaEXPERT SPEAKWe aren’t against BMC’s move but the civic body should have taken the time to create adequate awareness among citizens and societies. BMC should also give some rebate in property tax to those societies that compost waste. This will not only encourage them to comply but will also help to fund the setting up of a composting unit.—Ramesh Prabhu, Chairman, Maharashtra Housing Society Welfare AssociationThe BMC’s move is nothing but to harass housing societies. By putting the onus on them, the civic body is shrugging off its responsibility. The BMC did not make any arrangements for an alternate dumping ground and one day they woke up and put all the onus on housing societies to do the work that the civic body is supposed to do.—Vinod Sampat, President, Cooperative Housing Societies Residents Association

Include tree-cutting in Right to Service Act

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A BJP Corporator from Juhu, Aneesh Makwaney, has moved a notice of motion to include ‘tree cutting and trimming’ under the Right to Service Act. If the service is included, it will make it mandatory for the civic ward to either grant permission for tree cutting/trimming in a stipulated time, or give in writing that the permission is denied.Considering the fatal incident in Chembur in August, where a 54-year-old Kanchan Nath died after a coconut tree fell on her, Makwaney said, “In Nath’s case, the society had sought permission to cut the coconut tree two months ago, but it was denied by the civic ward’s tree officer. To avoid such fatal incidents and damage of property due to tree falling, if tree cutting/trimming is included under Right to Service Act, it will become mandatory for the ward’s tree officer to either grant permission to cut the tree or deny it by giving an explanation in writing within 14 days”.However, civic activist and President of Diamond Garden Residents Forum in Chembur, Rajkumar Sharma said, “The concept of including the permissions for tree cutting under Right to Service Act is appreciated. But, I feel that in the case of dangerous trees, if cutting permissions are not given in 14 days, it should be considered a ‘Yes’. This will only reduce the number of unfortunate incidences of big trees falling causing damage not only to property but also human life.””But there are high chances of misuse of the service. People who wish to cut a particular tree for their selfish purposes, can influence the tree officer to grant permission for it in spite of the tree being healthy. The concept of including tree cutting under the service act is a good concept, but there should be a stringent watch that no corruption takes place,” added Sharma.The notice of motion will be moved in BMC’s next general body meeting scheduled for September 15.

Marine Drive residents urge buildings redevelopment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Call it parking panic. Resident of one India’s most expensive stretches of real estate rush home early evening, not necessarily to spend quality time with their family, but for fear they might miss out on a parking spot for their car. Which is not suprising, considering a walk down Marine Drive at any point of time shows cars parked on both sides of the road.Now, an additional element of fear has crept into their lives — they say redevelopment of the area will be hampered if the heritage tag is stuck on without first making proper arrangements for their buildings’ development.”The buildings in Marine Drive are old, they do not have adequate parking arrangements. Hence most of the residents park on the streets,” said Sunil Lekhi, a Marine Drive resident.”If our buildings are allowed redevelopment, two to three major issues will be solved. First, we will get better amenities in terms of swimming pools and other facilities. Second, and most important, we will have ample space for parking inside the building we live in.”The residents had opposed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) parking policy, claiming that they were being charged to park on streets outside their own building. Residents say redevelopment will end all the squabbling.N Shah, another resident of Marine Drive said, “Our ceilings are high now; under redevelopment the height will be reduced and there will ample parking available which will help us park inside building premises instead of streets,” Shah told DNA.

Oval-Cooperage residents protest no-parking signs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of Oval Cooperage have written to traffic authorities protesting the ‘No Parking’ signboards put up in the area. Residets are saying that they have been parking in the area for years together and that they should be allowed to continue to do so as it does not obstruct the flow of traffic.The stretch the residents have taken objection to is mainly from Eros Cinema running up to Mantralay, and a little further up the Maharishi Karve Road. Buildings on the road that face Oval have a number of trees outside their homes. “It is between these trees that we park our cars. It is not even that our cars are blocking traffic. Other cars are not going to run over trees to reach their destination. There is no reason for them to have put up these parking signboards,” said Asha Mehta, president of Oval Cooperage Residents’ Association (OCRA).Residents have complained that there isn’t enough space around. “It is not that the buildings have too much space. They are old and hardly have any space in them,” said Mehta.”On the one hand they talk about smooth flow of traffic while further down the road, situation is such that there are huge traffic jams. The bus stop at Eros and share taxi stand create traffic jams regularly. Bus officials say that since they lose business to taxis, they need to have the stand closer. We have been asking them to move the stand further down the road so that traffic moves out quickly because at certain times buses do not move until they are full. For so many years we have complained but they have not doing anything. On the contrary, on the other side of the road, instead of putting up a pole and shed, they have made a bus stand in a way that the entire footpath is encroached upon,” said Nayana Kathpaliya, executive member of OCRA.”In a letter, we have informed them how this decision of no-parking sign boards has anguished the residents,” said Mehta. Traffic inspector of the zone was unavailable for comment

Bandra building guard stabbed 12 times, dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The residents of Cecilia Villa at Chapel road, Bandra were shocked to find the body of a security guard in a pool of blood on Saturday night. The Bandra police said that the 29-year-old man was stabbed at least 12 times by an unknown person. The motive behind the killing is yet to be established by the police.According to police, Anjani Ramshiromani Tiwari, 29, a resident of Mount Mary at Bandra worked as a security guard at night, and as a garment salesman during the day. On Saturday night, Tiwari was lying in a pool of blood when at around 11.35 pm the residents informed the police.”The victim has 12 stab injuries and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead before admission. We have found two cellphones and cash on him which remained intact. The family members of the deceased are in Allahabad. We are questioning his colleagues to ascertain the motive of the killing,” said a police officer.

Home over life

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When the 117-year-old Hussaini building in Bhendi Bazaar came crashing down on Thursday, thousands of residents within 500 meters were restless, fearing for their own building. But then they have left everything in the hands of fate, MHADA and the government. Despite the unsafe condition of their buildings, residents worry that if they move out, they will never be able to come back. At the transit camps of Mumbai, there are families who have been staying for as long as three to four decades. Some have given up hope of returning to their original building, and some now claim they want the government to rehabilitate them in the transit accommodation itself.There are more than 16,000 cessed buildings that belong to MHADA, and most of them are in south Mumbai. Of these, more than 8,000 need urgent repairs, while 3,000 are in a miserable condition. These buildings have lakhs of residents staying in them. About 16,000 such dangerous buildings all over the city belong to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).“Imagine you are stuck under debris, cannot move, cannot breathe because of the bricks and mortar above your head, which was once part of the house you stayed in. I live with this fear every day. I recently underwent a knee surgery so I can’t even move,” said Neela Pisat resident of the 117-year-old Chawate building located on Carpenter Street in the CP Tank area. MHADA has served numerous notices to this building terming it to be unsafe to reside. The collapsed Hussaini building was at a distance of barely 200 metres from Chawate, which had 27 residents of which now five continue to live, and are unwilling to leave till the government assures them of better accommodation facilities close to their existing building. Entry to the building is narrow, the staircase has crumbled, the left-side wall of the building has moved away from the main building structure. The rear of the building looks tilted. In all probability, the building is unsafe to reside. Despite being aware of the dangers, residents do not want to vacate. Ramchandra Joshi, who has been residing here for more than 30 years now said that their landlord is incommunicado. In spite of being fully aware of the dilapidated condition, Joshi cannot leave. “I don’t mind leaving the building, but all my work is here. If I go to the Sion transit camp, I will never return here as no one who has gone there comes back. If MHADA demolishes the building there’s no issue, but we should be given accommodation somewhere close to Parel, so that we can continue with our work.”Residents are reluctant to move to transit camps because they fear they will never return to their original building. “My father vacated his building in Girgaum and shifted to a transit accommodation in Dharavi. It’s been 10 years. He died five months ago and there has been no movement in the building construction at the original site. How can I trust transit accommodation now,” said Neela.Narendra Pisat, another resident of Chawate building said, “We are living in a pitiable condition but no politician is bothered. What is the use of giving us money after the building collapses? Why can’t we be given attention when we are alive?” Talking to DNA about residents who refuse to vacate dilapidated buildings, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The government has passed an Act that if a developer doesn’t do it (redevelopment of old buildings) on time then their (housing) cooperatives can do it.”The refugee colony in Sion-Koliwada for Punjabis and Sindhis, who came from Pakistan after the partition, is also unsafe to reside. Two decades ago, the BMC declared the refugee camps as dangerous to live in but residents continue to stay. They are waiting for a commitment from the BMC for transit accomodation. Their only hope is that a developer will appear in the future and the building will be redeveloped.According to Sukhdev Singh Mehta, a senior citizen, who has been residing in the refugee colony there is a lot of confusion on how and who will redevelop the area, and where will they be alloted the transit accommodation, once redevelopment begins. “There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the redevelopment of these buildings even the residents are not coming together,” said Mehta.According to Mehta, there are a total of 1,200 tenants, but around 200 tenants have not been able to secure ownership due to lack of clarity, even though the state government is ready to give it to them.Another resident Jai Bishan Talwar, 69, a resident of Punjabi Refugee Colony in Sion-Koliwada said that they wanted to vacate their home but they do not have an option as there is no clarity on redevelopment yet. He runs his business in the same neighbourhood, and his grandchildren go to a school nearby. “Where will I go with my family leaving this place?”NUMBERS SPEAK267 people died in the last two decades in building collapses (excluding the Hussaini building)
19 buildings collapsed in last two decades in Mumbai
632 buildings in Mumbai have been declared as dilapidated by the BMC
April 2013 74 people died in Mumbra’s Lucky compound building collapse
September 2013 61 people died in Babu Genu Market building collapse in Mazgaon
July-August 2017 3 buildings collapsed
In the last two months, 57 people died in building collapse LIVING IN DANGERThis year, before the onset of rains, MHADA declared nine buildings as dangerous. There are more than 16,000 cessed buildings, of which 8,000 need urgent repair and around 3,000 are in a dire state.In Bhendi Bazaar, there are 256 unsafe buildings in the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust’s redevelopment project alone that have affected more than 4,221 families including nearly 1,200 commercial outlets.The Pratiksha Nagar transit camp is the biggest with around 67 buildings and more than 5,000 families.Before the onset of monsoon, the BMC had issued a list of dilapidated buildings, and also issued a notice to vacate. The buildings fall under the C1 category of civic body and there are 632 such buildings.

‘Who is responsible for this,’ angry Panchkula demands answers after Dera violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Panchkula is limping back to normalcy a day after unprecedented violence engulfed the planned city and changed everything.Though there is an uneasy calm on the streets, the residents of this beautiful city overlooking Shivalik hills are asking some tough questions.A resident of Sector 4, who refused to be named, told DNA how mob torched his car parked right outside his house.“Why didn’t they call Army earlier? Why did they wait till 11th hour,” he asked questioning the way the Panchkula administration reacted to the violence that erupted soon after the CBI Court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.Most of the residents, who had virtually locked themselves in their houses on Friday, called the Dera violence a nightmare.Many question how despite orders, thousands of Dera supporters swarmed Panchkula and brought the city to its knees.”We were held like captives inside our homes because of the situation, which in the first place could have been avoided. Our children are still in a state of fear, they are scared to come out now. Who is responsible for this,” a senior citizen of the city asked.While administration maintains situation is under control, residents are worried about what will happen on Monday when the Court announces quantum of punishment after the verdict.Though the police has removed all the torched vehicles, the burnt down buildings are stark reminder of system’s utter failure in Panchkula.

Borivli locals raise stink over dung dumping

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a unique protest against cattle sheds dumping cattle dung in Dahisar River, citizens of a Borivli housing society along with members of the River March raised quite a stink at the BMC office on Wednesday by starting a Gobar Andolan. They presented the BMC R/Central ward officer Atul Rao with a box full of cattle dung.Citizens met Rao to protest against the tabelas that have been violating solid waste management rules and dumping dung directly into the river along with carcasses of the animals. The BMC had even installed grills twice to prevent them from dumping waste into the river but the grills were stolen.“We are facing a health scare. Residents of our building are forced to keep their windows shut throughout as the stench is unbearable,” said Pankaj Trivedi a resident of Shrikrishna Nagar Complex, Borivli, located adjacent to the river. Local BJP leader Vikram Chogle who has been supporting the River March movement launched by residents said that the citizens have started the Gobar Andolan to draw the attention of BMC officials to their problem.“We wanted BMC officials to understand that if they do not like dung in their offices, citizens too do not like seeing it being dumped in their rivers. BMC needs to begin taking up strict action against tabela owners who are violating the rules set,” he said.Gopal Jhaveri, Founder of River March, which is fighting for the revival of Dahisar river said that Rao assured them that the ward office will take action and send notices to all the tabelas.

Residents of Tardeo’s 112-yr-old bldg prepare to shed the old, embrace new

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of Tardeo’s oldest buildings, the 112-year-old Petit Mansion Co-operative Housing Society is now up for redevelopment. Residents of the society at Nana Chowk called in tenders for redevelopment and recently held a meeting to discuss the hiring of a suitable Project Management Consultancy.The building, a load-bearing structure, comprises of three wings. While two wings are ground plus four storeys, one is ground plus three. The plot area is 1,544.33 square metres, and the total carpet area (rehabilitation) of all existing members is 4,475.25 sq m.Secretary of the building, Mukhi said, “We are following all the rules mandated for building redevelopment. We have received some offers and are in the process of finalising the PMC. The building isn’t a heritage structure, it is a British-era structure.”The society is looking for a developer who would offer a competitive corpus, carpet area and sufficient bank guarantees and rent for alternate accommodations.Most of the shops in the building are run by plywood dealers. One of the shopkeepers said, “Redevelopment process has been initiated, but the market isn’t good. There’s GST, there’s RERA… big developers aren’t taking up projects. Further, many precautions need to be taken, as we have seen many instances where residents have been out of their homes for years altogether. We cannot take such risks.”Another shopkeeper claimed that the building, in spite of being old, is strong. “It was built during the British era and is a sound construction. Around two years ago the society also carried out the repair work.”

Save our ears this festival, Nariman Point residents urge BMC, CP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens Association (NPCCA) has written a letter to the commissioner of police and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), asking them to review relaxation of silence zones in the area.The letter, signed by the president of the Association Swarn Kohli, reads: “As we approach the festive season, it has come to our notice that silence zones will not be observed and use of loudspeakers permitted during the Ganpati festival, can continue for all other festivals, during Navratri / Christmas etc. Sir, as you are aware, this is a hazard to health and well being of senior citizens and the sick, and a disturbance to work and students (sic).”Residents of the area added that quality of life is also determined by the sound and environment one lives in. “At any given time the sound is 60, 80 or even 100 decibels. During the festival period, it goes out of control. What we are asking for is only enforcement of permissible decibel levels,” said Atul Kumar, vice president of the association.He added, “Celebration does not have to be correlated with the noise produced. It can be silent and peaceful. Diwali is an outstanding example of a festival that is becoming increasingly environment-friendly. It has gotten quieter and prettier every year. There are crackers with less noise and there is also a significant reduction in smoke pollution. Crackers also tend to harm birds and animals. Only permissible decibel levels should be followed. There is a reason why decibel levels are set.”Despite repeated messages, the commissioner of police and BMC’s municipal commissioner did not respond to queries from DNA.AT A GLANCERecently, the government informed the High Court that it is relaxing noise pollution norms for festivals
Residents have written to the BMC and the Commissioner of Police for enforcement of permissible decibel levels

CRPF organises cultural event to reduce stress level

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) authorities organised a cultural show here for the families of the jawans and officials to reduce their stress level. The event was organised by higher authorities, specially for the wives and the children of the CRPF personnel, as they are deployed at various places for counter militancy operations and they rarely get moments to cherish. It was organised for the residents of Srinagar?s RTC Humhuma, where the wives of the CRPF jawans and officers also performed. ?As they perform duties in extreme hard conditions across Kashmir valley, it is very stressful for us. Such kind of events gave us some moments of happiness and joy?, said a family member. Ends SJ/SS NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

The Indian schoolgirl fighting to save her neighbourhood park

The Indian schoolgirl has written a letter to PM Narendra Modi and filed a petition in court.

‘Sort hawker-menace at Churchgate subway’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens’ Association (NPCCA) has raised their voice against hawkers operating inside the subway that connects Churchgate Railway Station. Residents have also complained to the police about customers of a wine shop in subway consuming liquor on the premises.The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allows hawkers to operate on the premises. Residents claim that hawkers occupy more than half of the subway, and are a nuisance. They also allege that the police has failed to crack its whip against consumers of alcohol inside the subway. “Customers visiting wine shop consume liquor outside the store and pass lewd comments,” a Churchgate resident said.”Instead of hawking within the allocated area, hawkers set up their wares in the pathway. The BMC should cancel the licences of the hawkers violating the norms,” he said.Atul Kumar, Vice President, NPCCA, said, “It is unlawful to consume liquor inside the subway. Residents are facing issues on a daily basis. We have written to the authorities to resolve the issue.”Swarn Kohli, President, NPCCA, said, “We will be holding a meeting with the BMC and police authorities to curb this menace. We are strongly against the hawkers inside the subway and will ask the authorities to take action against these hawkers.”Kiran Dighavkar, Assistant Municipal Commissioner (A-Ward), BMC, said, “We will hold a joint meeting to derive a solution.”Vilas Gangawane, Senior Inspector, Marine Drive police station, said, “Action will be taken against persons found consuming alcohol and the shop owner if we find a violation of norms.”…& ANALYSISCommuters taking the Churchgate subway are often impeded by illegal hawkers or customers drinking right outside the wine shop. The police, BMC and railway authorities should take heed of complaints and take measures to ensure a safe and unobstructed path for people rushing for their trains.

Essel group helps provide electricity to village in UP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In this day and age, it might be difficult to believe that there are places in India that still do not have electricity connection, however there was one in Uttar Pradesh which has been provided electricity supply by Essel Group.A village in Meenapur in Uttar Pradesh which did not have basic facilities like electricity and road connectivity was provided electricity recently by the group.Even after 70 years of Independence, Kodariya Mahadalit ward 1 did not have access to electricity. Residents of the village who had never in their life seen fans and bulbs running on electricity until today, were delighted and thanked officials of the Essel Group for undertaking the effort for them.This was made possible after Essel Group with the help of local authorities organised camps to provide electricity connection in each and every house in the village. The group’s Deputy General Manager Rajiv Shasvat, public relations officer Rajesh Kumar Chaudhary and Jitendra Kumar were also present in the village on the occasion on Saturday.Residents were not charged any connection fee from the electricity department. Money will be payable only once they start using electricity. Bill will be delivered to them as per the usual bill cycle.

4 policemen injured in brick-batting by villagers over raising

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four police personnel, including two sub-inspectors, were injured allegedly in brick-batting by the residents of Bhainsa village over raising of a wall, blocking their way, by the Mathura Refinery administration, the police said today. The incident took place last night when the Refinery administration, in the presence of police, got the wall built on a passage leading to the village. The villagers alleged that it was done without their consent. Besides attacking the police, they also damaged the wall, police said. “Two persons have been arrested and hunt is on for others involved in the attack,” DySP Nitin Singh said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Poor sewage system riles Surya Vihar locals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Surya Vihar residents in Gurugram dread monsoon season, unlike other residents who can step out and enjoy the season, they are locked in homes due to sever waterlogging.Such is the poor condition of the sewage system at Surya Vihar that a drizzle will lead to knee-deep waterlogging.”Around 25 years ago, all the residents had collected money from every house and got the sewage system in place. But with the growing population the sewage system could not take the toll, and the water overflows onto the road. The sewage system needs to be reconstructed as per the houses occupied,” said Harish Gangoliya, General Secretary of Residential Welfare Association (RWA), Surya Vihar.The residents also have been facing health issues sue to the poor sewage system, but, the authorities have given a deaf ears to their complaints. As per the residents of the area, they have asked the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) to reconstruct the sewage system in the area. They approached the local MLA s and MPs but no one has responded with a definite solution.Gangoliya said, “We have sent nearly 240 letters to various authorities, still no steps have been taken. We have even dropped a letter to the Chief Minister, but they said they can’t help us. Moreover, it is not possible to self-contribute and reconstruct the sewage system of such a big area. “According to an official of MCG, “Surya Vihar is an unapproved zone. We have a planning committee that decides which area will come under the approved zone of MCG. There are various factors that decide which area to be marked as approved zone. As per the rules, MCG can’t do any development work.”

Karnataka’s Marathi belt seeks inclusion

At the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai, where the morcha culminated in a public meeting, activists of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES), a political front for Marathi-speakers in the Maharashtra-Karnataka border areas, were seen holding banners of their demands. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents of the Maharashtrian-dominated regions in Karnataka, joined the ‘Marathi Kranti Morcha’ in Mumbai on Wednesday to press for their decades-old demand to be included in Maharashtra.”We are here to demand quotas for the Maratha community and to seek that Marathi-speaking areas in Karnataka like Belgaum, Karwar, Nippani, Bidar and Bhalki are included in Maharashtra,” said Vivek Rajendra Kutre, who was part of a 10,000 strong contingent from Belgaum who came to Mumbai to participate in the rally.At the Azad Maidan in South Mumbai, where the morcha culminated in a public meeting, activists of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES), a political front for Marathi-speakers in the Maharashtra-Karnataka border areas, were seen holding banners of their demands. “We are drawing attention to the need to resolve the boundary dispute,” said Raju Patil, from Belgaum.Patil said that the Maratha community had also organised a similar protest in Belgaum and other towns in Karnataka to press for their demands like quotas in jobs and education.

Protesters beat up 2 electricity dept officials, 50 booked

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least two electricity department officials were injured today when angry villagers, protesting power cuts since yesterday, allegedly beat them up in this district, the police said. The villagers attacked the officials at the Sub- Divisional Officer’s office in Sampla town. Residents of two villages, including women, had come to the local office of the power department to lodge their complaint against non-supply of electricity since yesterday and long power cuts earlier. The police said following a heated argument with the officials, some of the villagers allegedly beat them up. A senior official of the power department told reporters that despite being told that the matter was being addressed, the villagers assaulted the officials, following which a police complaint was lodged. The police have booked around 50 people on the basis of the complaint lodged by the power department officials.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mahesh Sharma sides with Noida family accused of assaulting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Mahesh Sharma has come out in support of the Noida family accused of assaulting a domestic help, while asserting that he has directed BJP workers to give a “befitting reply” to NGOs running their “shops” in the name of human rights. Local MP Sharma, who was interacting on Sunday with the residents of the Mahagun Moderne society where the family resides, said a law and order issue was being given a “communal colour”. After the alleged assault, a mob had pelted the society with stones on July 12, following which two counter-FIRs were filed — one against the accused family by the domestic help and the other against unidentified people in the mob. Sharma said he will ensure that the accused in the case “never get bail”, while asserting that it was a clear-cut case of “mob violence” against the family. “There is no doubt that the family is not at fault. A few people, through NGOs, media, in the name of human rights are running their shops and trying to give a communal colour to the incident. I have told my party workers to give befitting reply to them,” Sharma said, as the residents cheered him on. In the audio of the interaction, shared by a few locals, Sharma is also heard telling the crowd that he understands the “compulsion” behind employing “these people, knowing fully well who they are”. “Someone told me in jest, we can do without husband and wives, but cannot do without domestic helps,” he said. When(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two women from M’rashtra killed in J&K terror attack cremated

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two women from Palghar district, who were among the seven Amarnath pilgrims killed in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir, were cremated today amid outpouring of grief. Usha Sonar (55) and Nirmala Thakur (58), residents of Dahanu taluka, were among over 50 Amarnath pilgrims whose bus was attacked by terrorists in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district last night. Seven pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured in the strike. The bodies of all the seven pilgrims were flown to Surat in an IAF plane this morning. From the Gujarat city, the mortal remains of Sonar and Thakur were brought to Dahanu in a helicopter and taken to their respective homes. Later in the day, their bodies were kept in a hall in Dahanu, where hundreds of people lined up to pay their respect to the departed souls. A pall of gloom descended on Dahanu, around 130km from Mumbai, when the news of the death of the two women from the taulka poured in. Residents bid a tearful adieu to Sonar and Thakur, whose last rites were performed at a crematorium in Dahanu in the evening. Palghar Guardian Minister Vishnu Sawra and local MLA Pascal Dhanare were among the mourners. BJP MLA Manisha Chowdhary was also present at the cremation site. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Killer had been harassing aspiring air hostess: Family

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The family of aspiring air hostess 21-year old Riya Gautam, alias Charu, claimed that their daughter would have been alive if the police had acted strictly on her complaint and not let the accused, Adil, roam around carefree.Riya was stabbed eight times by Adil on Wednesday, in front of a crowd, and succumbed to her injuries on Thursday morning.According to Charu’s sister Komal, Adil had been stalking and troubling Riya and would often try to force her to talk to him. On the day of the incident, when she was coming back home, he again tried to force her to talk to him. When she refused, he twisted her hand and stabbed her.”He had a knife and a revolver with him. So many people were present but no one helped. Had they done something then she would have been alive,” said Komal. She further added that she wants the accused to either be hanged or given life imprisonment.”My sister will rest in peace if this is done,” added Komal.Riya Gautam was said to have been a respectful young girl by her neighbours. She was polite and helpful, and would always greet the residents in her locality with a cheery ‘namaste’. Most of the residents who were fond of her were shocked to hear the news.Relatives reported that similar incidents involving Adil had taken place earlier. Charu was on her way to her institute in Preet Vihar when a harassment incident took place inside a bus.The family then attempted to file an FIR against the boy, following which the police then conducted a raid, but to no avail. They claimed that the accused was in Gujarat at the time so no action could be taken.

BDD in a fix as chawl residents protest Worli redevelopment project agreement

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rs 16,000 crore redevelopment of Bombay Development Department (BDD) chawls project is in trouble. Residents of the chawl had opposed the government decision to redevelop the project, alleging that the government forcibly relocated them without drawing up any proper agreement with the residents.Makrand Tasgaonkar, resident of a BDD chawl, Worli said that the Maharashtra government was arbitrarily undertaking redevelopment of the BDD chawls. “It has neither taken consent of residents, nor has made any agreement.More than 70 per cent of people who are not owners, are paying rent to the government. These residents are thrown out from the process of redevelopment,” said Tasgaonkar.“We had no guarantee that the government will give the houses after redevelopment. Why are the normal redevelopment rules not applied here? We met Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, NCP President Sharad Pawar and Dhananjay Munde, Opposition leader in the Upper House. The government should stop this process of redevelopment,” a resident said.Dhananjay Munde, NCP leader said that the state government cannot trample on the rights of the BDD chawl residents. “Residents have to be taken into confidence and only then can the redevelopment process be started. I have also written to the chief minister asking him to relax the terms and conditions for allotment of the flats in the project,” Munde said.“The tendering process of the BDD redevelopment has also not been done properly. How did only two companies participate in the tender process and how was work allotted only to them. There is ambiguity over applications of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act rules for the BDD redevelopment. The government should immediately drop all stringent terms and conditions so that as many residents of BDD chawl will get the benefit of this redevelopment,” stated Munde’s letter.

Two women molested by gang of men in Gurugram, 1 held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gurugram seems to have turned into a nightmare for women in the Capital. Residents and locals are up in arms over a recent incident involving two students of Ashoka University.On Friday (16 July), two women, both in their 20s, came to the area during their two-day visit in the city. They went to buy liquor from a wine shop and headed back to their apartment located near the MG Road Metro Station. Following this, they soon witnessed a group of men following and abusing them.One of the girls, studying under The Young India Fellowship in Sonipat narrated the entire incident in her Facebook post.”We were the only women there, though the place was teeming with men, ice cream vendors and autorickshaws. Just then, somebody shouted: Kitna leti hain (How much do you charge)? We responded by quickening our pace.”The women decided to take an auto-rickshaw to the way back home but the men did not stop there. “They first followed us till the auto-rickshaw, and then started groping us. Their hands were everywhere,” narrated the Facebook post.The duo later filed an FIR at the Rai Police Station in Sonipat on Monday night. On Thursday, one of the culprits, Ravinder, was arrested.Police said that the accused has revealed the names of his friends and they were in the process of locating them as well.

DNA Micro Edit: Increase in FSI is a win-win for residents, builders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Residents from Mumbai suburbs, Thane and Navi Mumbai residing in old and dilapidated buildings can now expect new homes with proper and upgraded civic amenities and infrastructure. This will not only lead to an increase in housing stock but also the much needed open spaces while minimising impact on infrastructure.The Cluster development is dubbed as a tool for better land utilization especially when there are lot of constraints on the availability of land to meet the residential housing requirements. It will be a game changer as it will help redesign old areas using best construction practices with higher incentives. This is expected to strike a balance between fast growing urbanisation and sustainable development. However, experts argue that it should not be met with red-tapism but it should be fast tracked by providing necessary government clearances.

Forest officials step up efforts to capture tusker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an elephant having trampled four persons to death less than a week ago on the city’s outskirts, Forest department officials are taking efforts to capture a tusker said to be moving around in human habitations at Madukkarai near here in the last two days. The pachyderm, which appeared to be sick was spotted at Press Enclave in Kovaipudur two days ago and damaged the gate of a house and fencing and brought down branches of a mango tree, Forest officials said. Even as the Forest department and police officials reached the spot, the elephant had made its way to another area, where it damaged some trees and pulled down a thatched shed. The animal left the place after residents burst crackers to scare it away. Residents of Theethipalayam and Thondamuthur today complained to Forest department officials that the elephant was entering their farms and destroying crops, police said. The department has formed a team, including anti-poaching watchers, to monitor the elephant’s movements and capture it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Govt waives power bills of victims’ families

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major relief to over 2,000 families of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, the Delhi government has decided to waive off the pending electricity bills of the families living in various parts of the Capital. The decision taken in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening will also help the families to get the rebate scheme of 50 per cent subsidy on power consumption over 400 units per month.There are 2,274 families living in Delhi in areas like Raghuvir Nagar, Tilak Vihar, Janakpur, Sangam Vihar, Kabul Nagar, Sarai Kale Khan etc. The Centre also had in 2014 raised the compensation for these affected families to Rs 5 lakh.“The decision was approved by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the Cabinet. All these families will no longer have to pay their pending electricity bills,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. The decision will cost the exchequer around Rs 13 crore.Apart from this, families from now onwards, like other residents, will get a 50 per cent power subsidy over 400 units consumption. As per the scheme, all consumers whose monthly power consumption do not exceed 400 units get 50 per cent subsidy in tariff and the scheme benefits around 36 lakh or 90 per cent of the consumers in the national capital.The move has brought smiles to families who have been struggling hard as most of them are surviving without any income. Residents who were suddenly slapped with bills of around Rs 10,000-20,000 have been fighting to get them waived off for quite a long time. The move has brought smiles to their faces.“This is a great move by the government. My mother who is residing in Tilak Vihar was asked to pay Rs 20,000 for the past years. How can one suddenly pay such huge amount of money suddenly? We are extremely happy that the government has finally taken a stand on this decision,” said Nirpreet Kaun, whose father died in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Her mother and brother are residing in Tilak Vihar with many other families. According to officials, a large number of residents from the rehabilitation colonies had requested the Delhi Chief Minister to waive off pending power bills as these families have no source of income.“Most of the families in these colonies do not have any source of income and which is why they fail to pay their power bills. All the previous bills worth Rs 13 crore have been waived off. These families have submitted many representations to the CM and he was keen in taking a decision which would help these people,” said a senior Delhi government official.AnalysisThe decision will benefit more than 2,000 families living in rehabilitation colonies in Delhi.A great political move as it will help the government in getting support from these families.

Nine cessed buildings in Mumbai dubbed `unfit for occupation’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra government’s housing agency MHADA, in its pre-monsoon survey, has identified nine cessed buildings in the island city as `dilapidated and unfit for occupation’. The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) is now focusing on shifting the tenants living in these buildings, identified as `dilapidated and unfit for occupation’, to temporary shelters, Housing Minister Prakah Mehta said. “Almost 500 people are currently living in the residential and commercial premises housed in these nine cessed buildings. Our efforts to shift them to transit camps are underway,” he said. Residents of the building categorised as “cessed” are required to pay a cess to the housing authority for their upkeep. Earlier, Mehta held a review meeting with the MHADA officials and asked them to shift these occupants without any delay. The minister appealed to the occupants to vacate the buildings. “MHADA has made arrangements for their accommodation. Considering the gravity of the situation, I appeal to the residents to vacate their dilapidated buildings as its a question of their lives.” Every year in February, the autho Mumbai, May 25(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Civic contractors’ work now a click away

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By the end of this month, around 900 civic contractors’ details like their past executed works, penal actions or penalty imposed if any and past performances will be available at one click as Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is going to link contractors’ registration code or vendor code with the Systems Applications Products (SAP) system. In the new system, apart from all details of vendors, officers who authenticate completion of projects, also have to grade the quality of work done by the contractors. “Qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation of all contractors registered with the BMC will be available with one click,” said a senior BMC official. The purpose of the initiative is to keep records of works executed by contractors. Such information will help civic officials while awarding future contracts. At present, work executing departments have to undertake a lengthy and tedious correspondence with each other for tender related remarks, which consumes a lot of time leading to unnecessary delay. “All details of contractors which are needed while evaluating bids will be accessible,” said the official. The new system will be operational from May 31.AnalysisCiting transparency in civic work as the main reason for the move, BMC chief stressed on implementation of SAP. Residents can now expect details of contractors to be made available in the public domain.

Road work to be completed only next year, locals to bear the brunt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Monsoon is one season that highlights the civic body’s preparedness and most of the time paints a grim picture. This year, too, residents may have to be ready for the worst as resurfacing and desilting of nullahs has been lying incomplete in several parts of western suburbs.One such area happens to be Goregaon. The roads here have been dug up since quite a few weeks for various civic works and an immediate completion is nowhere in sight.Along General AK Vaidya Marg in Goregaon (east), opposite Oberoi mall, construction of a culvert box is underway. As per the order, the repair work is likely to completed only by March next year.During monsoon, further construction of the culvert is likely to be brought to a halt. Thus, leaving the culvert construction midway may lead to a major traffic snarl during the monsoon. The construction site also lies along the junction of Western Express Highway, one of the busiest junctions in Goregaon east.According to reports, contracts of few roads in Goregaon were granted to civic contractors who were reportedly implicated in a scam. Residents of the area continue to witness poor quality of roads and long stretches have been left incomplete. Roadside drains on the Goregaon Station road leading to Aarey are also underway. However, civic officials assured that the work will be completed before the monsoon arrives in the city.However, residents have sought answers to the lackadaisical efforts made by the civic body. Suresh Poojary, a resident of the area said, “Drain repair work had begun sometime back and suddenly stopped in between. Now, they have again restarted it. They could have completed it in time, leaving no scope for water logging.”Metro work along the WEH may further add to traffic congestion. According to BMC, around 78 per cent nullahs have been desilted. A senior official added that desilting will be finished by this month end.

Ryots complain of effluent discharge into agricultural land

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of farmers today urged the district administration to take stringent action against some industrial units that are allegedly discharging untreated effluents into agricultural land in Sulur area near here. Members of Tamil Nadu Farmers Association submitted a memorandum to district collector, T N Hariharan, alleging that industries in the region were discharging untreated effluents into agricultural lands affecting the crop and the underground water. Considering the difficulties faced by the farmers, and the residents, the administration should take immediate action to shift the industries or ordered to be closed, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India gang rape: Two attacks near Delhi shock India

Activists say the incidents show that women continue to be unsafe in India.

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