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

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

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No parking at Gateway & Marine Drive on New Year’s eve

In order to ensure a peaceful and less congested New Year, the Mumbai Police has made special security & traffic arrangements at the iconic Gateway of India and Marine Drive.There will be a segregation of the crowd — that is, there will be a different walkway for families and another one for youths who are not accompanied by women. Also, at these places, no vehicles, including two-wheelers will be allowed to park near the Gateway of India or at Marine Drive. This is mainly to keep roads free of vehicles and from a security point of view.Every year, thousands of citizens visit the Gateway of India and Marine Drive for New Year celebrations, thereby posing a great challenge for the police to provide adequate security. The area is considered to always be one of the targets for terrorists and anti-social elements and had also witnessed the deadly 26/11 terror attack.”All seven police stations from Zone I will be kept on toes for New Year. Quick Response Teams and Combat Vehicles of police will be posted at Gateway and Marine Drive. We will be conducting anti-sabotage checks to ensure no abandoned vehicles or goods are lying that can pose any security issue at these places,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.He added, there has been a tendency among citizens to casually park their vehicles anywhere on the road and go for a stroll. “Keeping this tendency in mind, we have decided that on December 31, from 5 pm till the morning of the next day , no vehicles, including two-wheelers, will be allowed to park on Marine Drive and near Gateway. Vehicles can ply here, but can’t be parked during the said period. Citizens can park their vehicles at authorised parking space near Vidhan Bhavan and Mantralaya,” the officer said.HIGH SECURITYAround 400 CCTV cameras in South Mumbai to keep check on vehicular traffic & revellers activities Over 10,000 citizens expected to throng Gateway of India. Around one lakh citizens are expected to visit Marine Drive. This is including the moving crowd. Over 2,000 policemen will be deployed on bandobast duty at Gateway of India and Marine Drive.

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Fire breaks out in multi storied building in South Mumbai

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

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Mumbai: 65-foot tall tree, India’s tallest, attracts revellers in Worli

At 65 feet, or as tall as a seven-storey building, a pine conifer at a society in Worli here is attracting visitors, for its tag of being India’s tallest fully decorated Christmas tree.The tree, located at a garden in Adarsh Nagar society in South Mumbai’s Worli area, has been decorated with over 10,000 lights, bells, images of reindeer and snowmen, and a waving Santa Claus.The Saldanha family, originally hailing from Mangalore, acquired the tree from a neighbour who grew it on his verandah, for Rs 250 over four decades ago, Douglas Saldanha said.”My sister Twila and I re-planted it and watered it regularly,” the 56-year-old landscape architect told PTI.Saldanha said he has been tending to it for over four decades.”For the past 12 years, we have been decorating it on every Christmas, from top to toe as you may call it,” he said.”My sister Twila used to help me in the decoration, till she left for the US and died in 2005 after battling cancer. I have been doing it since,” he said.”Twila’s last wish was that I keep on decorating the tree fully so that she could see it from heaven,” he said.Saldanha claimed that the pine conifer has “entered record books as India’s tallest naturally grown fully decorated Christmas tree.”Come Christmas and the Saldanha family sees a steady stream of visitors who come to watch the tree and click selfies with it on their smart phones.Meanwhile, Mumbaikars heralded Christmas with a midnight mass, the most prominent one being at the Mount Mary Church in suburban Bandra.

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Building collapses in Zaveri Bazaar, four believed to be still trapped

At least four persons are believed to be trapped inside the debris of a building that collapsed during repair work in Zaveri Bazar area in South Mumbai on Friday morning. According to official from the Mumbai fire Brigade, roof of a decade-old cessed building at Zaveri Bazaar collapsed Eyewitnesses claimed that nearly four persons are said to be trapped in the building. The incident took place at 11.00 am. Repair work on the four-storey building on Shamset Street at Chipi Chawl was underway when the incident took place. The building falls under Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s Mumbai Repair and Reconstruction Board.Initially, around 11 people were trapped out of which seven were rescued. Four of the workers who were carrying out the repair work are believed to be trapped. The fire brigade reached the spot and rescue operation is underway.

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The deity who gave the city its name

Located near the crowded alleys and by lanes of Bhuleshwar in South Mumbai is the iconic temple of ‘Mumbadevi’. The city of Mumbai derives it’s name from this deity and hence is widely revered by a cross-section of Mumbaikars. The word” Mumba” is derived from the Sanskrit root “ Maha-Amba” or Great Mother and is one of the important shrines in the city praying the God Mother in the form of Shakti.The legend goes that the original Mumbadevi temple was built in 1675 in Boribunder (now called CST area). However, the original temple was demolished around 1737 and then rebuilt in Bhuleshwar where it currently stands. The land to build the current temple was donated by ‘ Pandu Sheth’ and his family were traditionally the caretakers of the temple. Later on ‘Mumbadevi Temple Board’ was formed after a High Court (HC) order. Till date, the temple board is entrusted with the administration of the shrine.People from the fishermen or the Koli community, who are also the original inhabitants of the island city revere the godmother as their ‘protector’ from any obstacle that comes from the sea. Hence, she is worshipped during any pious occasion in their family. The shrine continues to be one of the top attractions for national and international tourists visiting the commercial capital.

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Mumbai Bank offers Rs 50 cr loan for self-redevelopment

One of Mumbai’s banks gave a presentation to MHADA on Tuesday that it will give loans to societies to the tune of Rs 50 crore for self redevelopment. The bank in question is the Mumbai Bank.There are nearly 30,000 societies across the city, including cessed buildings located in South Mumbai, which need a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the MHADA to go ahead with redevelopment.The bank has said that it will directly pay the authority the money required for the permissions and will sanction the loan from the start of the project. This will eliminate the developer, to an extent, and the dependency of the societies on them for redevelopment.There are nearly 14,000 cessed buildings in the south of Mumbai, which are not only dangerous to cohabit, but also need urgent redevelopment as there’s a lack of transit accommodation within city limits. Many developers have got into redevelopment of these buildings but projects are stuck for various reasons, one of them being that tenants of these building do not want to shift to far away transit camps, thus not vacating the buildings. Apart from this, real estate market is also suffering a financial crunch, leading to many developers delaying their projects. Tenants thus continue to stay in dangerous buildings.Recently, this paper reported on how a committee of MLAs to look into the housing issues of the city had suggested that self redevelopment of cessed buildings be given certain concessions such as extra FSI. However, experts had raised the question of societies generating the initial finance required to get permissions, hire contractors and even architects. Under self redevelopment, the committee of the housing societies appoints a contractor to carry out construction and pays them. They get a larger space and a larger corpus amount too.Milind Mahiskar, CEO and VP, MHADA said, “The idea is good and MHADA will fully support it.” MHADA will be the authority that will be issuing the no objection certificate to cessed buildings.A bank official said, “This will also be of benefit to buildings which are under CRZ and under the funnel zone of the airport.
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Yogi Adityanath


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‘Vandal’ MNS leaders denied bail by court

The Mumbai Esplanade Court on Wednesday rejected the bail application of eight Maharashtra Navnirman Sena workers including Sandeep Deshpande, a former corporator from Dadar, who were arrested for allegedly vandalising a Mumbai Congress party office in South Mumbai on 1 December.The MNS workers’ lawyer, Parag Pradhan, had filed a bail plea that was heard on Wednesday. Apart from Deshpande, the Mumbai police had arrested Santosh Sarode, Abhay Malap, Yogesh Chile, Vishal Kokne, Harish Solanki, Diwakar Padwal and former corporator Santosh Dhuri.The Azad Maidan police opposed the bail saying that if the accused are released, they will again create law and order problems. Considering the argument by the prosecution, the magistrate rejected the plea. The MNS workers will be lodged in Arthur road jail till December 18.The Azad Maidan Police had registered a case of rioting, damaging property and house trespassing against the MNS workers, after they allegedly vandalised a Congress office in South Mumbai on 1 December at around 11.30 am with paver blocks, wooden batons and stones. Windows and glasses of Congress Mumbai President Sanjay Nirupam’s cabin were damaged. Soon after the attack, local leader Sandip Deshpande took responsibility for it via a tweet and called it a ‘surgical strike’ on Congress.The attack had sparked a controversy and Nirupam had warned Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that if he fails to take action against the MNS goons, the Congress party will give befitting reply to MNS in their own style.”We opposed the bail considering the recent atmosphere and clashes that have been breaking between MNS and Congress party workers,” said Vasant Wakhare, senior police inspector at Azad Maidan police station.We opposed the bail saying that if they came out, its possible that they might just repeat what they have done earlier which will ultimately create law and order situation.”
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Yogi Adityanath


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Teen’s high-rise acts raise security concerns

Videos and photographs of a 17-year-old mechanical engineering student that had gone viral on social media on Wednesday has brought to fore the issue of unguarded high-rise buildings in the city that could possibly be used for criminal activity.The youth had performed daredevil stunts on the top of four high-rises in South Mumbai buildings by breaching security. He was summoned by the police after the police were informed about it on Twitter.On Wednesday, DNA had reported about Pranal Chavan, who claimed to be India’s only ‘Urban Free Climber’. Chavan had started performing stunts last month and had uploaded at least three videos of him performing stunts, on social media. Chavan claims to have performed stunts at Lodha The Park at Lower Parel, Lokhandwala Minerva at Mahalakshmi and Worli Omkar 1973.“There is a need to crack the whip on persons who risk their lives by performing stunts. The teenager, if caught, can be booked under cognisable sections 447 (criminal trespass), which attracts imprisonment for a term which may extend to three months,” said former IPS officer-turned-lawyer YP Singh.“It has raised serious questions on the security measures inside the under-construction buildings. Any untoward incident could have led to a major accident at the building. The builder or supervisor should not allow outsiders to enter the building,” said Singh.APOLOGYThe teen on Wednesday deleted videos uploaded by him fearing police action and a warning. “Next time I will take permission from the builder before performing any stunts,” he said.
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Yogi Adityanath


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Indrani Mukerjea leases her property for Rs 3.46L/month

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indrani Mukerjea, who is accused of killing her daughter Sheena Bora, and is currently behind bars, recently gave her 2,756 sq ft property on lease. The property that was in news after her arrest is in Phoenix House, Lower Parel, and she has given it on lease for a period of 55-months.Documents available with DNA show that she will receive Rs 3.46 lakh per month as rent which will increase to Rs 4.01 lakh towards the end. A deposit of 18 lakh has also been accepted.The deal was signed in September and a micro finance company located in Chennai has been leased the office space.On Indrani’s behalf, a certain KMT Radhakrishnan signed the deal, the address mentioned is of Marlow building, Pochkanwala, Worli.The property leased by Indrani Mukerjea is located on the fifth floor of C Wing in Phoneix House, Lower Parel. A stamp duty of 51,600 was also paid to the government.According to a real estate broker from South Mumbai, there’s not much to read into the deal. The price at which the office space has been leased is as per market standards.After the arrest of Indrani Mukerjea in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case, this particular property did feature in several news reports as several angles were being probed into to find the motive behind the murder.

MMB to have jetties at Borivali, NCPA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The fate of its proposed water transport project on the route may be uncertain, but the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) may go ahead with the construction of standalone jetties at Nariman Point and Borivali.The MMB had floated expressions of interest (EoI) for developing passenger ferry services between NCPA at Nariman Point and Borivali with plans for stoppages at locations like Bandra, Versova, Marve, Juhu in the subsequent phase to link South Mumbai and the western suburbs. However, the rough seas on the western seaboard which affected operations, the proposed coastal road between South Mumbai and Kandivali and the likely low rate of return, led to second thoughts on the already-delayed project.”The MMB is planning to develop the proposed jetties near NCPA at Nariman Point and at Borivali. Regardless of the fate of the water transport project, these jetties can be used for purposes such as decongesting the anchorage at the Gateway of India and New Ferry Wharf, tourism, cruises, water sports and seaplanes. The jetties can be used for launching ferry services to other locations, including Goa and the Konkan,” said a senior MMB official.This will also reduce the MMB’s dependence on the jetties at the Gateway of India and the New Ferry Wharf, which are under the control of the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).”The two jetties can be developed on standalone basis. The NCPA jetty can be used for water transport operations across Maharashtra’s coastline while the jetty at Borivali, the site for which is located in the creek, can be used across the year due to the sheltered waters which makes it ideal for tourism purposes… the process is underway and instructions have been given to examine the viability,” he added.The MMB board, which met under chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, had approved a study for the west coast water transport project. Officials from the board claimed that through the creation of public transport facilities may not be financially viable, it was necessary from the point of view of public convenience.The potentiality of the water-transport sector in Mumbai and on Maharashtra’s 720km coastline remains under-utilised. Conceived almost a decade ago, the west coast water transport project has been overtaken by subsequent infrastructure addition plans including the coastal road.NO JETTY JITTERSMMB had floated expressions of interest for developing passenger ferry services between NCPA and Borivali. Stoppages will be at Bandra, Versova, Marve, Juhu in the subsequent phase, and will link South Mumbai with western suburbs. MMB board had approved a study for the west coast water project.

Corporator wants extra supply of water in C-ward

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Local BJP corporator Akash Purohit is demanding an extra hour of water in the market areas of South Mumbai’s C-Ward comprising areas like Bhuleshwar, Kalbadevi, Chira Bazaar and others. This is his demand for the floating crowd that comes to work in the area. The corporator has written a letter to the BMC chief saying that an hour’s supply of water is insufficient for residents as well as for the market area of C-ward.Almost 26 different wholesale markets are situated in the area, more than 2 lakh people live in chawls, and lakhs of people are in the area every day. Thus, this ward has a huge floating population creating a huge demand for water. “C ward gets its water supply from Malabar Hill reservoir through SK Patil garden. The chawls and buildings get water supply for one hour between 5 and 6 am, which is insufficient. Plus, the homes are small and storage capacity is limited. Apart from local residents, people coming to work also need water for drinking and sanitary purposes, but even they face water scarcity,” read the letter.The other problem is that of contaminated water. “There are many houses adjacent to the chawls and buildings, garbage and dirty water seeps into the soil and then gets into the pipelines wherever there are leaks, creating the problem of contamination,” said Purohit.Purohit has suggested that the timing of water supply be extended to 5-9 am instead of 5-6 am for residents, and that in addition to that, an extra hour of water supply be given during the day time for the floating population that comes in to work. He also wants house gullies be cleaned and special funds be provided for it.The ward officer for C-Ward, JS Gheghadmal, wasn’t available for comment.

BMC may get rid of sweeping machines

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Piled up with complaints about litter lying unattended across Marine Drive, Colaba and Churchgate, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may soon end services of the contractor who is responsible for cleaning these roads, in South Mumbai, with the help of mechanised sweeping machines. Recently, the civic body officials did not find the contractor’s work up to the mark.Despite issuing repeated warnings to the contractor, the civic body continues to receive complaints from residents. Earlier this week, senior civic officials visited and found unattended litter in the area.”After the visit by civic officials, Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner held a meeting over the issue, and asked concerned officials to end the contractor’s service if the contractor does not provide quality service,” said a civic official.According to officials, the contractor does not have an adequate number of mechanised sweeping machines to clean all roads in due time. “The contractor is supposed to use four machines to clean around 200 km road every day. However, it was found that the contractor was sweeping using fewer sweeping machines and managed to clean only 110 to 120 km per day,” said the official. Each machine can clean around 50 km road per day.

Sachin Tendulkar had written to Suburban Dist Collector about rail safety in August

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cricket legend and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar, who has received criticism in the past for poor attendance in the Upper House and has been accused of being a passive parliamentarian, had on August 28 written to the Mumbai Suburban District Collector putting forth suggestions on a wide range of issues. He had urged the Collector to consider them while drafting the Mumbai Suburban District Plan 2025 — a blueprint for development of the district till 2025.In a five-page letter, Tendulkar put forth suggestions on issues such as hawker zones, safety and security of Railways, public transport, public parking, solid waste management, water supply, water transport and open spaces for children, among others.In the letter written to Deependra Singh Kushwaha, Tendulkar had said, “A dedicated Hawker Zone/ Food Zone will help clear pedestrian area in and around railway stations and on skywalks.””Pedestrians should be directed to take pavements or skywalks where constructed and not walk between traffic in at station roads,” He added.Tendulkar added, “Vacant spaces can be utilised in every suburb for creation of weekly markets with clear markings on space and temporary/ permanent hawker zones.” He also stressed on having connectivity via water transport services to cut down road congestion and help boost tourism in the city.In the letter, written a month before the Elphinstone Road stampede in which 23 people died, Tendulkar also wrote about providing safety and security for railway commuters. “There are platforms where there is a wide gap between the train and the platform, and at some places, the edges of the platform have worn out creating dangerous situations for alighting commuters. It is time that not only this city, but the country as a whole, makes safety and security its utmost priority.”He had drawn on Hong Kong, New York and Singapore as examples for dedicated water transport systems. “I have read recent reports of linking various ferry points such as Gorai/Andheri. It will provide and alternative for people away from trains and roads – for example, Gorai can also operate to South Mumbai with vehicles on board the ferry, cutting short a three-hour drive.”Creating green spaces was also on the agenda. “Restoration of green spaces where families can sit and cook together will help create community settings in the city. We must also encourage the construction of green buildings which are self-sufficient in terms of generation of electricity and depend minimally on the grid for supply.”Other issues on which Tendulkar focused were rainwater harvesting, cleaning of rivers and water tributaries and security of road infrastructure and traffic management.

Bombay High Court appoints amicus curiae in stampede case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bombay High Court appointed advocate Zal Andhyarujina as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist the court on the Elphinstone Road stampede incident that occurred on September 29, killing 23 people.A division bench said, “This is a serious matter, utmost sensitivity has to be shown. We thus want to appoint an amicus who would assist us with same seriousness and sensitivity.”While appointing Andhyarujina, the court said, “We allow you to even file a fresh petition as the issues raised in the PIL are serious and need urgent attention, but they are not drafted properly.” The court has now posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks.The appointment came after the Bench rapped two petitioners, Thane resident Vikrant Tawde who sought a judicial inquiry into the stampede and Smita Mayank Dhruva, president of Congress’s South Mumbai division, who asked for railways to take measures for better crowd management.The bench said, “The station and bridge is in existence since 1867, according to the petitions. Till the incident occurred, everybody closed their eyes to the problem. Now, after the incident, these so-called activists have woken up and come with PILs.”The court also objected to relief sought in the petitions by saying these should have been sought before the incident.

Govt wants NDRF team in SoBo, but can’t find space

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government’s plans to station a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team island city to ensure a faster response during calamities remains stuck due to lack of space.NDRF is a specialist force to respond to natural and man-made disasters. At present, it has a battalion stationed at Sudumbare in Talegaon near Pune covering Maharashtra and Goa. Three teams of 45 men and two sniffer dogs each are also stationed at the Andheri Sports Complex since 2012.However, state government officials feel it was important to have a presence of the force in South Mumbai to ensure a shorter response time during disasters in this area. The island city of Mumbai, which extends from Colaba to Mahim and Sion, has many old and dilapidated buildings which are susceptible to collapse like the one at Bhendi Bazar that fell on Thursday.”We are intent to have the presence of the NDRF in South Mumbai but the biggest problem is the lack of land. These personnel require not just living quarters but also space for their equipment and training,” said a senior state government official.”We had sought more space in Mumbai. We were shown some land at Deonar but there were problems there,” said an NDRF official.”NDRF vehicles and trucks carry heavy equipment which makes them tough to maneuver in traffic. They also lack flashers or beacons to mark them out as emergency vehicles,” said a Mantralaya official….& ANALYSISThe state government’s inability to station NDRF personnel in island city adds to the response time during calamities
The proposed utilisation of Mumbai Port Trust and mill lands must serve as an opportunity for urban infrastructure renewal and for creation of these core facilities

BMC floats tender for new flyover over Mithi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Bridge Department will soon float a tender for widening and reconstruction of the bridge over Mithi river at Mahim Causeway which falls under the G-North ward.The civic body has received all necessary clearances for the crucial infrastructure project, that is believed to unclog the Mithi river, and mitigate the possibility of water overflowing during heavy rains in the city.The Mahim Causeway is a vital link road that connects South Mumbai with its northern suburbs. SO Kori, chief engineer (Bridge), BMC, said, “We have received all necessary clearances for widening and reconstruction of the bridge, and we will soon float the tender.” He added that apart from widening the bridge, the existing gap between the two pillars of the bridge will also be increased for better flow of water. At present, the overflow discharge of Mithi has narrowed down, especially near Mahim causeway, due to little space between the two pillars of the bridge.”At present, the gap of the two pillars is just 44 metre. This will be increased up to 100 metre, Whereas, the width of the bridge will be increased up to 52 metre from the existing 31.7 metre,” said Kori. The work is expected to be completed in 24 months time from the date of work order and the estimated project cost is Rs 87 crore.

The push to save Mumbai’s colonial-era water fountains

An architecture firm has embarked on a mission to restore Mumbai’s water heritage in an effort to reveal more of the city’s urban history.

Gold’s Gym asked to pay up after woman files plaint over no weight loss

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Peddar road based Gold’s Gymnasium has been pulled up by the South Mumbai district’s consumer dispute redressal forum after it failed to stand by the weight loss agreement signed between the gym and one of its consumer.The forum, while passing orders, held that the gym has failed to provide services for the entire period as the gym was kept closed, thus the deficiency in services was evident on the part of the gym.The forum thus asked the gym to pay back the gym fees of Rs 32,000 along with nine per cent interest rate on the same. It has also directed the gym to pay an additional amount of Rs 20,000 and Rs 5,000 towards the mental agony and litigation charges.Dimple Divecha, a resident of Bhulabhai Desai road, had enrolled herself in Gold’s gym in June 2013. She had entered into a 25-week weight loss programme and the gym had promised a weight loss of 750 grams per week and also had promised to undertake blood tests, complete blood count tests (CBC), cholesterol, thyroid and physiotherapist visit with the functional training twice a week.“The gym had closed down due to a short circuit in the gym, and she was not permitted to workout at the gym. She did not lose any weight and sent several emails to the gym to refund her fees but the gym provided her with an offer of Rs 19,750. Aggrieved by the gym’s behavior, she approached the forum,” reads the complainant’s version in the forum’s order copy.The gym in its reply denied that the gym was closed. However, it said that it was ready to pay back a certain amount as she had worked out there.

Soon, BMC to roll out new online parking app

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon, Mumbaikars will be able to book parking lot spaces online using a mobile app. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has almost finalised the tenders which will be floated soon.At present, officials from A ward, where the online system will start, are going through it.“The tender documents for the mobile app for booking space in parking lots have already been prepared. We are going through it to check if any changes are required,” said a senior civic official, adding that the tender to hire a software company to develop the mobile app as per BMC’s requirement will be floated soon.The mobile app will be similar to ticket-booking apps, and this will help citizens check the availability of space in parking lots in a couple of seconds. “It is very difficult to find parking space in Mumbai especially during office hours,” the official said. Now motorists can check for available slots, book and then go there to park their vehicles, he said ruling out the possibility of having to drive around looking for a space to park.According to another civic official, the app will be helpful as the user can book available parking space at any time for more than an hour and even make payments online.Initially, the civic body will provide parking through online booking at 12 South Mumbai parking lots and later look other areas of the city to implement the same.

Mumbaikars for ?e?co?-friendly Ganeshotsav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to curb pollution, South Mumbai ​residents ​are gearing up to celebrate Ganeshotsav in an eco​-​friendly manner. Many housing societies have come together to celebrate the festival through environment-friendly ways and are promoting the same in their locality. Moreover, artificial ponds will be set up in housing societies to immerse the Ganesha idols, civic officials have said.Alka Shah, 50, a financial consultant and a Worli resident, ha​s​ become ​the crusader for an eco-friendly Ganeshotsav. With six centres selling eco-friendly Ganpati idols in the city, Shah is spearheading a campaign in South Mumbai to promote environment-friendly ways to celebrate the festival. Shah​‘s trust – NirmalJyot – h​​as given employment to 15 artists who prepare clay idols of Ganesha throughout the year.“We sold over 2,000 clay idols online, of which 800 were sold in South Mumbai. Moreover, we are spreading awareness and promoting eco-friendly ways to celebrate the festival in South Mumbai,” said Shah.“Many people, including those residing in housing societies, have now joined hands to promote this. It is important that every person is conscious of keeping the environment clean and green, instead of exploiting it in the name of festivals,” she added.Shah expects to sell over 4,500 clay idols, with 2,000 being sold in South Mumbai alone before the festival begins. She revealed that purchasing an idol has become easier due to the internet. “It is a fight between natural versus artificial forms of idol-making and we are happy that we are getting a good response. The sale of clay idols in South Mumbai is more due to environmental consciousness among its people,” Shah added.BMC spokesperson Vijay Khabale said, “We are also spreading the word among Mumbaikars to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly way. Moreover, we will also have artificial ponds in the city.”

It’ll rain Mumbai theplas in flood-hit Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Mumbai-based women’s group, Food Army, has often come together to send home-cooked food to any area affected by natural calamities. The group is now gearing up to send 1,500 kg of theplas (a type of roti) to flood-affected villages in Gujarat.The group is asking other locals to help them in this noble cause. They have eight collection centers in South Mumbai — Opera House, Girgaum, Gamdevi, Napean Sea Road and Worli — and other centers across Western suburbs.Rintu Rathod, founder of Food Army, said, “We started circulating messages to social media groups on August 1, requesting citizens to contribute minimum 20 home-cooked theplas, which will help the villagers, who are affected due to the floods. Our aim is to send out 1,500 kg theplas to the affected villages with the help of the Ahmedabad collector. We plan to send theplas to Ahmedabad from Mumbai in a tempo. With the help of a team, the collector will collect the theplas, and distribute it among the affected people by Thursday evening.”According to Food Army, social media platforms have immensely helped in spreading the message.Viddhi Shah, Opera House resident, said, “I received more than 300 theplas by afternoon. After every half an hour I am receiving calls from people residing in nearby areas. People are willing to contribute. Posting the message on Faceboook and WhatsApp groups have helped us reach out to many people in one day.””The theplas are collected at one location and checked properly before dispatching,” added Rathod. Food Army had sent over 700 kg theplas during the Nepal earthquake in 2015, and over 35,000 theplas during the Kashmir floods in 2014.

Man arrested for false warnings of blasts at railway stations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Government Railway Police (GRP) in Mumbai have arrested a 55-year-old labourer for allegedly making calls warning of bomb blasts at railway stations earlier this month. An anonymous call on July 13 had sent the railway police into a tizzy, but the information proved to be wrong. It was Babu Chauhan who had called the control room at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and said that a blast was likely at the Churchgate station in South Mumbai, said a GRP official today. The police traced the call to a PCO in Mahim, central Mumbai, and zeroed in on Chauhan from CCTV footage. Chauhan, a native of Gujarat who works in the catering industry and lives on a footpath in Mahim, was arrested yesterday under section 177 (furnishing false information) of IPC, the official said. He was produced in a court today which remanded him in judicial custody till August 4. After reading about terror attacks in newspapers, he feared similar attacks in the city and called the GRP control room to warn the police, the official said. “After reading about attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Kashmir, he called the control room the next day and warned about a blast at Churchgate,” he said. Chauhan had also called earlier, on July 5, asking the police to increase the security at railway stations. “He called the control room and said, “Tomorrow is July 6. Increase the security at railway stations as explosives are being brought from Kharghar,” the official said. Though probe is on, it seems that Chauhan didn’t have any mischief in mind, the officer said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Starting from Rs 2 lakh, every building proposal has an under-the-table price

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Without greasing the palms of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation officials, project proposal files does not move. Each table has got its own rate card that range from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for the development of 500 sq m plot in Mumbai.Sources says developers/promoters pay between Rs1100-Rs 1500 per sq ft to get approvals. “Every official from the building proposal department is involved in the corruption racket. First the file is submitted to the sub-engineer, then it moves to the assistant engineer, after that, the executive engineer to deputy chief engineer, and finally to chief engineer of the department. Every table needs to be weighted with Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh as a kickback paid in gold coins or cash or foreign tours. If the development proposal area is more than the 500 sq metre, then the rate is double,” said a source.Kickbacks are not only paid for turning illegal work to legal but also for legal work. “Many officials sit on the files for an uncertain period. Developers raise the money at high interest rate from the market and delays pinch promoters badly. Therefore, we some times pay the bribe to officials just to approve the legal work on time. We are victims of the system,” a developer from South Mumbai said.For repairs and renovations, the ward offices are important. “In each ward, mukadam are appointed to inspect and inform the junior engineer of the renovations of a particular building. Mukadam are eyes and ears of the BMC. It is their duty to inform the junior engineer and junior has to apprise the designated officer.The designated officer makes the files and presents it before the assistant municipal commissioner either for action or approval. If some illegal construction is going on in any area and has not been stopped by the BMC, it means that the BMC officials have been paid to turn a blind eye,” said deputy municipal commissioner requesting anonymity.”Without the approval of the designated officials and ward officials, nothing can be done. Corporators are also part of the syndicate,” said a senior BMC official.Rate cardIn renovations cases, the mukadam gets paid Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 for not reporting the renovation work to junior engineer.Junior engineer gets Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for not reporting to designated official of the civic ward.Assistant Municipal commissioner gets Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for not taking the actions against the illegal renovations and additions and alternations.The local BMC corporator gets Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh for not raising the unauthorised renovations in the civic meetings.

Server fail lets down evaluation work on MU’s 1st non-instructional day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai University’s idea to speed up the evaluation process with non-instructional days failed miserably on its first day, as most teachers could not log into the systems due to servers being down.The university announced non-instructional days from Monday to Thursday to complete the evaluation of over 6 lakh papers with barely a week to go for the July 31 deadline.However, teachers at various centres were unable to log into the system. “Officials from the agency were also unable to resolve the issue. The day was a waste; we could neither conduct lectures nor evaluate papers,” said a teacher from a South Mumbai college.At centres with fewer computers, teachers has to wait endlessly, as teachers who logged in once didn’t want to risk logging out during breaks either. “I had to wait for a free computer for three hours, and then spend another six hours to screen papers as per guidelines,” said a professor from eastern suburbs.Officials at the university said, that though server issues were reported, the highest number of teachers assessed papers on Monday. “A total of 5,023 teachers assessed papers, the highest so far since mid-May. A total of 95,937 papers were assessed and moderated, which is very close to the target of 1 lakh papers per day,” said Vinayak Dalvie, Officer on Special Duty (OSD).

Cops on ‘flash’ alert after third SoBo incident

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In yet another shameful flashing incident in Mumbai, the Marine Drive police arrested a 39-year-old man for allegedly following and flashing a college student thrice in South Mumbai on Saturday afternoon.This is the third such incident of a woman being flashed in South Mumbai in the past 20 days.The accused has been identified as Manoj Mohite, 39, a Churchgate resident.According to the police, the 22-year-old victim was returning home from college at around 12.30 pm when Mohite flashed her in front of the main gate of the college. The victim initially ignored the man’s advances and walked ahead. However, the accused followed her and continued to flash her. The police said Mohite flashed the victim thrice. Left shaken and horrified, the victim approached a policeman on duty to report the matter. The policeman immediately nabbed the accused and registered a case against him for allegedly outraging the modesty of the woman.The victim said the accused allegedly kept staring at her and posed inappropriately.”We are currently investigating if the accused has flashed or molested other girls in past,” said an officer.In another flashing incident in the western suburbs, a scriptwriter of a crime-based television show was molested by her neighbour on Saturday night. According to the police, the victim recorded a video of the man who took off his clothes and flashed her. The victim submitted the video to the police for further investigation. The police has launched a search operation to nab the accused, who has been absconding since Saturday night. “We have registered a case and our probe is on,” said Subhash Khanvilkar, Senior Police Inspector of Oshiwara police station.CASE FILESEarlier this year, a housewife was outraged in the tony area of Churchgate on February 23. An alert driver, who was also present at the time of the incident, filmed a man who flashed the victim on his mobile phone. The victim, however, was unaware of what happened. The driver then informed the victim, and the accused was arrested.
The arrested accused has been identified as Hariram Bishnoi, 48, a resident of Aambewadi in Kalachowkie area.

Traffic diversion in south mumbai owing to Metro work

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With regards to the ongoing Metro line 3 project in South-Mumbai, the Mumbai Traffic Police have made changes in the routine traffic pattern. The police have also made few temporary arrangements of traffic routes from Friday till the completion of the first phase of work and for the smooth regulations vehicular traffic on the roads.According to traffic police, considering the ongoing Mumbai Metro Line-3 project of MMRCL that is carrying out construction work for total 6 Metro stations in South Mumbai and western suburbs have made several changes on total six routes where the metro station are being built.The stretch of D.N. Road on northbound from Hutatma Junction up to Purushottamdas Thakurdas Marg Junction will be closed for all types of vehicular traffic for 24 hours. There are also no left and right turns at few roads as well as no parking areas at various spots at D.N. Road, J.S.S road, Dr. Annie Besant Road, Sant Dnyaneshwar Marg in BKC and Kondvita Road.While due to the utility shifting work for Metro station at Domestic Airport, the Airport Road is closed for southern two lanes and traffic will be diverted in the same direction from northern three lanes from the eastern gate of hotel Taj to the Airport taxi stand.“People are requested to follow the instructions given by Traffic police deployed at strategic points, Necessary directional and informative boards are being put up at important junctions to guide the motorists,” said a traffic police officer.”We are taking all necessary steps to ensure minimum inconvenience to the commuters due to the ongoing metro work.The motorists are requested to co-operate with traffic police in their efforts to regulate traffic in the best possible matter,” he added.

Typist working in Maha minister’s office held for ‘extortion’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have arrested a typist working at the office of Maharashtra minister Ramdas Kadam for trying to ‘extort money’ using the minister’s name. Kadam, a senior Shiv Sena leader, is the minister for Environment. Mahesh Sawant, typist-cum-clerk was working at Kadam’s residential office here. He called up a few people using the official phone and demanded money from them, a senior police official said. When the minister came to know about Sawant’s actions, he informed the police, the officer said. A complaint was lodged at the Malabar Hill police station in South Mumbai on Friday. Police arrested Sawant on the same day, the official added. As per the FIR, Sawant had demanded Rs 10 lakh from a businessman from Vidarbha region. Police were probing if Sawant had made similar demand from others, the official said. The accused has been booked under section 384 (extortion) of the IPC, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Hawala operator held in Mumbai for funding suspected ISI man

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A 37-year-old hawala operator, who allegedly funded a suspected agent of Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, has been arrested, a police official said today. Altaf Qureshi was arrested late last night from Masjid Bunder area in South Mumbai in a joint operation by anti- terrorism squads of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, the official said. Qureshi had allegedly deposited money in the bank account of arrested ISI agent Aftab Ali in Lucknow for carrying out espionage activities, he said. ATS officials seized a cellphone and Rs 71.57 lakh in cash from the house of Qureshi, who himself is suspected to be an operative of ISI, he said. The hawala operator, who was in the business at the behest of one Jawed Naviwala, was nabbed after his name cropped up during interrogation of Aftab, who was held from Faizabad yesterday, the official added. Aftab, booked under the Official Secrets Act, had allegedly passed on information about Indian Army’s movements to officers posted at Pakistan High Commission and also to ISI, the official claimed. He had allegedly provided information about the army’s movements and units in Faizabad, Lucknow and Amritsar, he said. Police were questioning Qureshi to know on whose directive he had deposited the money in Aftab’s account, the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mumbai devotees ready themselves for Mahashivratri

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Devotees are gearing up to celebrate Mahashivratri, also known as Padmarajarathri (the great night of Shiva), on Friday with thousands expected to gather at Shiv temples across the city at midnight for puja.The festival falls on the new moon day in the month of Maagha or Phalguna according to the Hindu calendar.In one of the ancient Shiva temples in the city, Babulnath near Girgaum Chowpatty, over 300 volunteers from nearby areas voluntarily help devotees for the entire day. One such devotee, Pinkesh Trivedi, who’s now shifted to Mira Road, is planning to go with his family to volunteer at the temple.“I have been volunteering at the temple for more than seven years. The puja starts at 12 am and goes on till 4 am. Various abhishek pujas are done throughout the night. Volunteers decorate the temple and help manage the crowd as well. People start gathering hours before the day starts. We also go to Bhuleshwar temple to offer prayers,” said Trivedi, 34.Another landmark Shiva temple in South Mumbai is Walkeshwar, which has around seven Shiva temples within 2 km of Banganga. Residents decorate the Walkeshwar temple and carry out a procession of Lord Shiva.History has it that Lord Ram and his brother made the Shivlingam in the temple out of sand (known as Valu in Marathi) when they visited Banganga, and hence the name of the area.

Ahead of BMC polls, former Congress MLA Krishna Hegde, actor Dalip Tahil join BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Congress MLA Krishna Hegde and Bollywood actor Dalip Tahil joined BJP ahead of BMC elections slated for February 21.The duo joined BJP in presence of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and State BJP unit chief Raosaheb Danve at the CM’s official residence Varsha in South Mumbai late last night.Asked about reason for his leaving Congress, Hegde said the ‘autocratic behaviour’ of Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam was responsible for his decision.”I tried to point out to party leadership about how Nirupam was damaging the party. However, no cognisance was taken of my plea,” Hegde, who represented Vile Parle Assembly constituency said.”I am a second generation Congressman. Nirupam has ruined the party,” he said.Congress won’t get more than 25 of the total 227 seats in the BMC polls, he said.

Kite festival leaves birds injured across Mumbai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Activists involved in rescuing and providing medical treatment to birds that get injured due to kite strings are worried. According to them this year, with the increased number of kites in the sky, it could mean that the number of mortalities and injuries will only rise in the coming days.By Saturday evening, there were over 150 birds reported to be injured with various organisations working for birds. “We have got around 100 injured birds from across South Mumbai and Western suburbs, mostly pigeons, in need of treatment” said Harsh Shah of Bird Helpline.Shah said since this year the festival fell on a weekend there were more people seen flying kites. Mumbai Fire Brigade too was busy as its control room kept buzzing with bird rescue calls. “On an average we receive two calls a day informing about bird stuck in majha but on Saturday we received around 25 phone calls from across Mumbai related,” said a fire brigade official.

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