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Rescue centre for beached mammals awaits State’s nod

Maharashtra Mangrove Cell has written to the State Government to allot them a suitable piece of land near either Juhu or Versova beach for setting up Mumbai’s first rescue and medical aid center for turtles and other marine mammals found stranded on the beaches of Mumbai.Prashant Deshmukh, Range Forest Officer (RFO), Mangrove Cell said that as a majority of stranding of marine mammals happen on the Western coast it was decided to build a fully equipped marine rescue center in Mumbai where these mammals can be treated and released back in the sea.”We began scouting for a 1200 square meter plot and found two suitable locations at Juhu beach itself – one near the Shivaji statue and another near the garden close to the main entrance. We have also found a piece of land near Versova beach close to the Versova police beat chowky,” he said adding that the land at Versova belongs to Mumbai Maritime Board and they have even written to them for allotting the land. Juhu remains the first preference, though.Deshmukh shared that they have been regularly following it up with both the authorities and are hopeful that the land will be allotted by either January or early February. “Once we get the land it will only take a month for us to set up the centre,” he said.Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF) Mangrove Cell, N Vasudevan said, “The centre will have four tanks that can accommodate injured turtles and even a dolphin if required. There will be separate holding tanks especially for turtles and they can even be tested for their swimming abilities before releasing them in the sea in the bigger tanks. The center will also feature a fully equipped operation theatre with important equipments like X-ray machines and other facilities for carrying out treatment of injured marine mammals.”

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MMRDA writes to state govt over fare hike of Metro-1

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has written to the state government to ask the Central government to form a new fare fixation committee (FFC) to decide on the proposal of increasing fares for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), had proposed to increase fare for Metro-1. The FFC formed earlier too had also suggested an increase in the fare. However, a week ago, the Bombay high court had quashed the recommendation of the FFC along with the proposal of MMOPL. The court had also directed the formation a new FFC to decide on the fare structure for Metro-1.Currently, the fare slab is Rs 10,20,30,40 for the 11.4-km-long route, the MMOPL had proposed the fare slab of Rs 10,20,25,35 and 45. The fare fixation committee (FFC) had recommended the fare to be between Rs 10 and 110.”We have written to the state government, who will ask the Centre to form a new FFC in order to decide the fare structure of Metro-1. The high court has asked to form a new FFC in one month, and decide on the fare structure in the next three months,” UPS Madan, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, told DNA.The MMOPL has been citing losses and has appealed for an increase in fare rates. However, the MMRDA had challenged the MMOPL’s proposal to increase fare citing that the concession agreement signed between MMRDA and MMOPL says that Metro-1 fare should be between Rs 9-13.

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Mumbai to get another sea link! Maharashtra govt grants approval to Versova-Bandra route

The Maharashtra government today accorded administrative approval to the Versova-Bandra sea link (VBSL) project, eight years after the state cabinet committee on Infrastructure (SCCI) cleared it.In a Government Resolution, the state has pegged the project cost to be around Rs 7,502 crore and its length is estimated to be about 17.17 kms.The SCCI had cleared the project on August 18, 2009.However, it took another four years, for the government to get the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and environment clearance from the Centre which were given in January 2013, an official said.Also readIndia’s longest sea link: Work to start soon, but motorists have to wait till 2023In extending the area in length, the government has approved the design plan at a height of 900 meters from the coastline, states the GR.The main four by four lane bridge of VBSL will be 9.60 kms. The cable stayed bridge will be 0.30 kms long and the Balance Cantilever Bridge will be 0.10 km long.Besides this, the VBSL will have connectors at Bandra, Otters Club, Juhu Link Road and Versova Link Road. There will be toll plazas at Bandra, Carter Road, Juhu-Koliwada and at Nana-Nani Park, it added.Also read5 years on, Bhayander-Naigaon Sea Link estimate up by 200%The existing prevailing toll rates shall apply to the VBSL and the concession period shall be up to 2052.In case there is any change in the toll tax policy in the future, the concession period will be revived as per the toll tax policy prevailing then, it stated.The GR states that the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) shall appoint two separate contractors for toll collection and repairs and maintenance of VBSL.The government has also approved the MSRDC to set up Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to raise loan.Also readSpeed limit at Bandra Worli Sea Link to stay, say city traffic police
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New contractor for beach-cleaning soon

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has floated a tender to appoint a new contractor for ‘comprehensive management of cleanliness’ of Versova beach.The BMC this time has decided to levy three times the fine slapped on a contractor if the beach is not found cleaned. “At present, the contractor is paid around Rs 4.5 lakh monthly for picking up garbage from Versova beach.However, out of that the civic body deducts 20 per cent as fine. We have asked for more machinery and manpower from the new contractor, and additional charges will be paid for cleaning during festivals. The beach has to be cleaned for 365 days without any holiday,” said K-West ward officer Prashant Gaikwad.The contractor will have to clean and maintain the 3-km Versova beach and the 1.5-km jetty round the clock for a period of seven years. According to BMC’s Solid Waste Management Deputy Chief Engineer Vikas Rajwadkar, “The present Trimurti Contractors JV has limit of collecting garbage up to 6 metric tonnes per day. But in reality, the Versova beach has 20 to 25 metric tonnes of garbage daily. Thus, the cleaning activity lacks. The new contractor will have to collect 20 to 25 metric tonnes garbage per day and the quantity will be more during monsoon and festivals”.Activist Afroz Shah, who with his volunteers started a citizen movement to clean up the beach, said, “This is the best decision BMC has taken.”TASK AT HANDThe contractor will have to clean and maintain the 3-km Versova beach and the 1.5-km jetty for a period of seven years. The BMC this time has decided to levy three times the fine slapped on a contractor if the beach is not found cleaned. At present, the contractor is paid around Rs 4.5 lakh monthly.
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Versova beach clean-up resumes, Aaditya Thackeray to join in

After two weeks, the Versova beach clean-up was back in action on Saturday, with lawyer Afroz Shah and volunteers visiting Siddharth Nagar slums to check the status of a nullah that connects to the beach. Yuva Sena Chief Aaditya Thackeray too promised to join the operation on Sunday.According to Shah, he visited the slum to talk to the residents about the garbage thrown by them into the drain. “Siddharth Nagar is one of the slums through which the nallah connects the Versova beach. The aim of meeting the residents was not to create awareness but to have a conversation with the people to talk about garbage which they throw and later it gets choked inside the nullah. Many people came forward. People have a casual approach of throwing garbage in the nallah which needs to be changed by training them properly. I will be doing follow up rounds at Siddharth Nagar to continue to train them.”Thackeray who had met with Shah after he suspended his drive tweeted, “Spoke to Afroz I’m joining him this coming Sunday to clean up. I’m so glad we both kept our promises- me to assist him and his promise to not give up. This is for Mumbai and our Planet.”During the clean-up drive on Saturday, volunteers collected 40,000 kg of garbage from the Versova beach.Saha said, “Marine litter is a global problem. It can be handled in different stages by- making people to stop littering, cleaning of nallah, cleaning of beaches and provoking citizens to step forward to clean the surrounding.”IN FULL SWINGDuring the clean-up drive on Saturday, volunteers collected 40,000 kg of garbage from the Versova beach. Afroz Shah, the face of the efforts, also visited slum dwellers in the vicinity and talked to them about handling of garbage
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Beach clean-up act gets CM boost

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assuring full support from the state government, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday asked Versova-based lawyer Afroz Shah to not only go ahead with the Versova beach clean-up activity, starting this weekend, but also promised that he would join the clean-up next week.Shah and a few other volunteers who have been cleaning the Versova beach for 109 weeks met Fadnavis on Thursday. On November 19 Shah took to social media announcing the suspension of Versova beach clean-up drive citing ‘volunteers being abused’ ‘administrative lethargy’ and blaming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not clearing the garbage picked up during the clean-up.During the meeting, the CM spoke to police officials and even pulled up the BMC officials, questioning the delay in picking up of garbage. He sought an assurance from them that the volunteers do not face any kind of issue during the beach-cleaning drive. He even lauded the efforts of the Versova Residents Volunteers (VRV) and said that the state will back the VRV since this work was worth congratulating.Speaking about the meeting, Shah said that he was touched by the concern shown by the Chief Minister. “We discussed in detail about the Versova clean up and the mechanism that needs to be put in place and apart from that there was also discussion on the need for a proper tender system for beach cleaning across Mumbai as well as a policy on marine litter,” informed Shah adding that the partnership between citizens and the government, be it local body or state Government is crucial.During the meeting, Shah who is a recipient of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award for initiating the world’s largest community beach clean-up initiative also offered the CM his help in drafting a proper policy on marine litter for Maharashtra, given the huge coastline and constant impact of marine litter.WHAT’S IT?Afroz Shah along with Versova residents started the beach clean-up drive in 2015.
So far they have cleared seven million kilogram of garbage from the beach including piles of plastic waste.
On November 19, Shah took to social media announcing the suspension of the drive

Mumbai Metro: Passengers take to social media to complain about ‘non-functional air-conditioning system’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passengers have been registering their complaints on the social media every now and then about the alleged ‘non-functioning of air conditioning system’ inside the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 coaches in Mumbai.However, the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) has said that there is no technical issue and individual preferences are different. According to several passengers who have been voicing their opinion on social media, tagging the official account of Mumbai Metro, the air conditioning system ‘stops functioning’ at times which leads to suffocation. This year, there have been tweets from passengers in almost every month. MMOPL has been responding to the tweets seeking contact information of these passengers to understand their problem. However, in a query sent by DNA, MMOPL, said, “There are close to 4 lakh commuters who use the Metro on weekdays. We keep the air-conditioned environment in a specific range, keeping in mind all genre of customers and the ambient outside as per the guideline prescribed by the national agency.”MMOPL added, “There is no technical issue with the air condition but some time individual preference may be different.”In the past too, there have been several complaints reported relating to air conditioning or air condition ducts.The coaches for Metro-1 were procured from M/s CSR, Nanjing China. The air-conditioned coaches of Metro-1 are designed with a speed limit of 80-kmph and the operating speed to 50-kmph.Metro 1 connecting the western and eastern Mumbai recorded its highest ridership of 4.13 lakh commuters on a single day in September 2017. According to MMOPL, Metro 1’s record ridership stood at 3.8 lakh on July 17, followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, while on September 2, 2016, it stood at 3.68 lakh commuters.

Author loses Rs 15L and cheques, her accounts head in police net

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Versova police arrested a 30-year-old employee of author and motivational speaker Priya Kumar for allegedly siphoning funds worth more than Rs 15 lakh. The accused transferred the funds from the author’s account to his personal account by depositing signed blank cheques.According to the police, the accused Mahaveer Bagri, 30, was the accounts department head of Priya Kumar Training Systems (PKTS) in Andheri for the past eight years. Bagri allegedly transferred funds from Kumar’s HSBC and ICICI bank accounts over the period of one year. Kumar found out about the alleged fraud on November 14 after the bank contacted her to ascertain if the funds which were to be transferred were signed by her.When contacted by DNA, Kumar, said, “When we confronted him, he confessed that he had transferred the funds because he needed them. On learning that the transferred amount is to the tune of almost Rs 15 lakh, we reported the matter to the police.”A senior police officer from Versova police station, said, “The accused not only siphoned the money but also changed Kumar’s contact details so that the transactions conducted by him do not reach her via bank notifications. We have arrested the accused under section 408 of the Indian Penal Code and the accused has been remanded to police custody up to Tuesday. We have collected the bank statements of the accused and have seen transactions worth Rs 40 lakh in past 14 months. We are investigating further.”Kumar is the bestselling author of four books — I Am another YOU, License to Live, The Perfect World and Thinking Aloud. She is also a celebrity columnist and motivational speaker.

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.

Solar panels to cost Metro 1.5 cr less

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After completing the installation of solar panels on all 12 Metro stations along the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor, the Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL), operator of Metro has said that this initiative will save them Rs 1.5 crore every year. The Metro-1 corridor is already running in huge losses, and installation of solar panels will save carbon emissions of approximately 2,700 tonnes every year.The total quantity of solar panels installed along with the supporting and cable work is 6,987. The electricity generated from the solar panels will be utilised for operations of various Metro station equipment like lighting, lifts, escalators, pumps etc. The solar plants were set up on the renewable energy service company model wherein power purchase agreement has been signed.According to the MMOPL, currently, the Metro’s auxiliary power requirement for non-traction use is 6.9 megawatts, 30 per cent or 2.30 megawatts of which will be met with the installations of these solar panels.“The team made sure that in spite of hindrances like sloppy roofs, and the exceptional height of stations,” an MMOPL spokesperson said.

BMC’s STP plan rots as ministries spar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) plan, worth Rs 6,000 crore, to set up sewage treatment plants (STPs) has been stuck for the past two years with the ministries of urban development and environment and forests, as they spar over fixing the discharge standard for treated sewage. This, despite repeated pleas by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BMC for an early decision.BMC proposed to set up, in phases, five such STPs of 300 to 500 million litre per day (MLD) capacity at Ghatkopar, Dharavi, Malad, Versova and Bandra. The civic body, which has estimated a cost of Rs 2 to 3 crore per MLD, hopes to use the treated water for non-potable purposes. Civic chief Ajoy Mehta told DNA,”BMC is ready to float tenders the minute discharge standards are fixed.” A state urban development officer confirmed that BMC is unable to kickstart its plan as the ministries are yet to come to a unanimous decision.Mumbai needs 3,500 MLD of drinking water while 2,700 MLD is sewage which is released into the Arabian Sea — most of it untreated, threatening marine life and the coast.The ministry of environment and forests has consistently held that the level of biological oxygen demand (BOD) and suspended solid (SS) in the treated water should be 10 mg per litre each. However, the ministry of urban development is suggesting a relaxed discharge standard, and separate standards for treated sewage that is released in the deep sea, and that which is released in internal water bodies.BMC’S PLANBMC was to set up, in phases, five such STPs of 300 to 500 million litre per day capacity at Ghatkopar, Dharavi, Malad, Versova and Bandra
The civic body estimated a cost of Rs 2 to 3 crore per MLD

BVSL: Chinese, S Korean bidders red-flagged

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After shortlisting Chinese and South Korean companies for construction of Bandra-Versova Sea Link (BVSL), MSRDC has raised a red flag on these bidders, stating that their eligibility is subject to security clearance from the Union Home Ministry considering that the construction site is crucial from the security point of view.In July, the Union Home Ministry had denied security clearance to a Chinese consortium for construction of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) between Sewri and Nhava Sheva being executed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA).MSRDC, in a communication dated August 21, 2017, sent to the five shortlisted companies that include Chinese and South Korean consortium, that eligibility of the bidder shall be subject to the outcome of security clearance.A senior MSRDC official said, “We have submitted the names of the five bidders and have sought security clearance from the Centre a month ago and expect the clearance soon. Also, it was done after Chinese bidders shared with us the problems they faced when they were denied security clearance during construction of Bandra-Worli Sea Link.”A security clearance is required when the construction site is in the vicinity of crucial defence or security installations, and is granted by the Union Home Ministry that consults the Intelligence Bureau and the Ministry of External Affairs before granting it.In the past, Chinese companies or groups with Chinese connections have been barred from bidding for Indian port projects by the Union Cabinet Committee on security grounds because of the shifting political relationship between the two countries.The five shortlisted bidders include China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd-Soma joint venture (JV), Hyundai-ITD Cementation JV, L&T-Daewoo JV, HCC-SKEC JV and Reliance-CGCD JV.The 9.5-km-long Bandra-Versova sea link will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5,500 crore, and to make the project financially viable, the project’s concession period would be for 28 years, which means that the sea link will be tollable for 28 years.

Despite increase in ridership, Metro-1 incurring loss

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BEST buses are not the only loss-making public transport system in the city, data obtained by DNA under Right To Information (RTI) Act, reveal that despite a steady increase in ridership, Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro-1 corridor is facing a huge revenue deficit and is running in losses with the operator spending more than double the amount compared to the income.Reliance Infrastructure-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL)’s expenditure to operate Metro-1 stood at about Rs 1,500 crore between June 2014 and June 2017. However, the latter could merely earn about Rs 640 crore in the form of ticketing and non-ticketing revenue in that period.In a RTI reply dated August 10, 2017, MMOPL revealed its gross income via ticketing revenue between June 2014 and June 2017 stands at Rs 5,79,71,45,418 crore followed by Rs 66,42,30,629 crore through non-ticketing revenue between the same period.The reply further revealed that the gross expenditure for the operation of Metro-1 in that period stood at Rs 15,72,70,47,735 crore, which means it is spending more than double the amount compared to its income through ticketing and otherwise.Non-ticketing revenue of Metro-1 is via real estate at the station as in renting of space to a third party for commercial operations or allowing a third party to conduct film or advertisement shooting inside Metro stations.One of the reasons anticipated behind the loss could be its daily ridership, according to the detailed project report (DPR) available on Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) website, it was anticipated that Metro-1 would carry 4.28 lakh commuters per day by 2011 followed by 6.65 lakh by 2021 and 8.83 lakh by 2031.But Metro-1’s record ridership announced last month stood at 3.8 lakh commuters on July 17, 2017 followed by 3.71 lakh on June 28, 2017, and on September 21, 2016, it had carried 3.68 lakh commuters.The Metro-1 corridor is the eight densest Metro corridor in the world with 12 Metro stations. It is the first Metro corridor constructed on public private partnership (PPP) model in India in which MMOPL has 69 per cent stakes followed by 26 per cent stakes of MMRDA and 5 per cent of Veolia.FARE FIXATIONSince the inception of Metro-1, MMOPL and MMRDA are tangled in court case over increase of fares to avoid losses for the mass transit system.
Fare fixation committee set up by the state government had also recommended a fare of Rs 10-110, up from the current Rs 10-40.

Seven spots along city beaches are fatal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Mumbai Fire Brigade has identified at least seven spots along the beaches of the city which are dangerous to visit especially during the monsoon. The three school children on Saturday drowned at one of these spots. The lifeguards, too, could not rescue the kids as the sea is deep and rocky in nature.”The seven dangerous spots on the city’s beaches are high-risk spots for lifeguards as well. They have a chance of losing their lives if they venture into the sea. They may hit the rocks if they jump,” said Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer of BMC. The seven spots are the entire seafront of Nariman Point, Dadar Chowpatty to Hinduja Hospital in Mahim, Bandstand in Bandra, Juhu Koliwada, Gorai, the seafront of Priyadarshani Park and Haji Ali in Mahalaxmi.Rahangdale said that it is not possible to depute lifeguards at these places. “We have already warned visitors to not venture into the sea at these places, and maximum cases of drowning are reported from these places,” said Rahangdale.There are six beaches in the city—Juhu, Versova, Girgaum, Aksa, Gorai and Dadar where residents visit to enjoy the monsoons.However, during high tide, these places prove to be dangerous for visitors.”We make sure to deploy additional lifeguards during monsoon to avoid any untoward incident. However, we need support from visitors. They should not venture into the sea during high tide and also stay away from the shore,” added the fire chief.

Five Metro stations to get ‘one rupee clinic’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The cost effective one rupee clinic initiative will soon be set up at Mumbai Metro stations on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor. The authority has planned to open the clinic at five metro stations by mid-August. These metro stations are Andheri, Marol Naka, Ghatkopar, Saki Naka and DN Nagar.Till date, the one rupee clinic initiative at Central and Harbour line railway stations saw a footfall of 12,555 visitors within two months. The clinic was first opened at Ghatkopar railway station on May 10. The authority thinks that the initiative will benefit daily metro commuters during emergency situations.Speaking about the clinics which will now be opened at Mumbai Metro stations, Dr Rahul Ghule, said, “Our objective is to give affordable health services. Due to our success in running cost effective medical services at various railway stations, the metro authority has approached us to start the initiative at five metro stations. In the past, there have been emergency cases at the metro stations due to which medical services are needed. Ghatkopar and Andheri metro stations have more number of footfalls.”The objective of the initiative is to give medical treatment to the general public and address emergency cases with promptness at crowded stations.Within two months of the clinic on the central line, Ghatkopar station has received the highest number of footfalls followed by Dadar and Kurla. So far, 3,897 patients visited the clinic at Ghatkopar, 3,200 patients visited the Kurla clinic, 3,375 patients visited the Dadar clinic, 1,200 patients at Wadala Road and 980 patients at Mulund.SPEEDY SERVICEThe one rupee clinics at Central and Harbour line railway stations saw 12,555 visitors within two months.
The objective of these clinics is to provide speedy medical treatment at crowded railway stations.

Despite Maha loan waiver, major infra projects not funded by govt to be on track

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Notwithstanding the Rs 34,000 core crop loan waiver scheme, the Maharashtra government has projected that the implementation of a slew of development projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore across the state will be carried out smoothly. This is because these projects don’t have the government exposure as the funds are being mobilized by the government undertakings through internal accruals and multiple instruments including long term loan from domestic and foreign lenders including Japan International Cooperation Agency.Some of the projects being actively pursued by the government include Mumbai metro expansion (Rs 82,172 crore), Mumbai Nagpur expressway (Rs 40,000 crore),Mumbai Transharbour Link (Rs 17,750 crore), Navi Mumbai international airport (Rs 16,000 crore), Mumbai costal road (Rs 13,000 crore), Pune metro (Rs 11,420 crore), Nagpur metro (Rs 8,680 crore) and Bandra Versova sea link (Rs 7,500 crore). These projects are under various stages of implementation and they are expected to be complete in stages from 2019 onwards.A government officer, who did not want to be identified, told DNA, “The projects which are funded through the budgetary allocation in road, irrigation and power sectors may suffer as the government may introduce 30% cut in spending to implement the crop loan waiver scheme. The government has made an allocation of Rs 8,233 crore for irrigation, Rs 7,000 crore for roads and Rs 2,500 crore for energy.” He informed that the government will raise Rs 39,000 crore during the current fiscal as permissible under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budgetary Management (FRBM) norms. Of which nearly Rs 15,000 crore may be used for crop loan waiver and the balance for interest outgo worth Rs 28,000 crore. This will leave very limited funds for the capital expenditure.The officer said that the government proposes to tie up with banks to pay the amount of Rs 34,000 crore towards loan waiver in three to four instalments. “If the banks did not accept government’s proposal for payment in instalments, then in that case the government may use cash reserves of several government undertakings including the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation,” he noted.

Beach clean-up gathers steam across city

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the world’s largest community beach clean-up drive at Versova paving the way for others to follow suit, citizens in various parts of the city have been stepping forward to clean up filthy beaches in their neighbourhoods. Beaches at Juhu, Chimbai and Mahim are also being cleaned by nearby residents.On Sunday, Bandra residents with the help of civic officials of the H-West ward came forward to clean up Chimbai beach, from Laxmi Narayan Mandir up to St Andrews Church. Over 30 residents along with a few NGOs volunteered to participate in the H-West ward’s clean-up drive.Within a few hours of the drive, 42 metric tonnes of waste were collected through the initiative. Sharad “Residents, along with solid waste management (SWM) labour staff, removed plastic waste from the beach and mangroves.We managed to collect approximately 42 metric tonnes of waste in one clean-up drive. We will be continuing the initiative on Sundays,” said Ughade, Assistant Commissioner of H-West ward. Two weeks ago, Juhu residents stepped forward to clean-up the Juhu-Khar Danda area. The Mahim Beach Committee has also been following up on a clean-up drive along with the BMC’s SWM department staff. Besides the cleanliness drive, civic authority will also start beautification of Mahim beach soon.

MMRDA sends notice to R-Infra over unilateral withdrawal of fare discounts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The battle over the Versova-Ghatkopar metro fare continues, with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) issuing a notice to Reliance Infrastructure led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited (MMOPL) for partially withdrawing tariff discounts from June 12, 2017, onwards.MMRDA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the development, saying they will wait for MMOPL’s response before taking action.MMOPL had partially withdrawn fare discounts without prior notice to commuters or without approval from the board, which includes government officials.The fare changes made are for the two types of smart cards being sold, namely, Trip Based Pass and Store Value Pass and also for Return Journey Tokens.Those holding Trip Based Pass and travelling over 8 km to or from Asalpha or Jagruti Nagar or Ghatkopar to Versova will be hit the most as they will have to pay Rs 400 more every month.Till Sunday, there were two slabs under Trip Based Pass of Rs 675 (travel of less than 8 km) and Rs 900 (more than 8 km). These passes have been revised to Rs 750 and Rs 1,050, respectively.In case of Return Journey Tokens, Rs 5 and Rs 10 has been increased per trip depending upon the distance of travel.Similarly, if a passenger with Store Value Pass who had been paying Rs 32 to travel on the 11.40-km corridor, will now have to pay Rs 35. For the rest of the commuting distance, 10% discount in fare continues.

FULL TEXT PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat: From greetings on Ramazan to welcoming constructive criticism

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Urging the nation to make Yoga an essential part of their lives to remain stress free, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Yoga is the only thing that is uniting the world.”21st June has become one of the known dates across the world. The entire worlds celebrate International Yoga day. In very short span of time the message of yoga has spread in every corner of the world,” the Prime Minister said in his 32nd ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address.He further emphasized that Yoga has come forth as a gift from India to the world, at a time when disruptive forces are tearing the world apart, adding that Yoga helps to unite the body, mind, soul and now is similarly uniting the world.
ALSO READ Mann Ki Baat: For the first time, PM Modi’s speech will have Sanskrit subtitlesPrime Minister Modi also appealed the nation to take part in the International Yoga day and to post their pictures on social media. “I got a very interesting suggestion- since its 3rd Yoga Day, why not THREE generations of a family come together and practice Yoga. This will give new dimension to yoga,” he said.The world will celebrate the third International Yoga Day on June 21. It is celebrated annually since its inception in 2015. An International day for Yoga was declared unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 11 December 2014.
ALSO READ PM Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ now analysed in a book, President to get first copy Here’s the full text of his 32nd Mann Ki Baat address:My dear countrymen, Namaskar. It will perhaps be difficult for us to forget the year’s summer.. But, we are now awaiting the rains. As I am talking to you today, the holy month of Ramzan has already commenced . I convey my hearty greetings to all fellow Indians and everyone across the world, especially the Muslim brethren at the advent of this auspicious month of Ramazan. Prayer, spirituality and charity are accorded the highest priority during Ramzan. We, Indians, are very lucky that our ancestors have created such a tradition that today India and and its 1.25 billion people can take pride in the fact that people from all communities and faith are available here. This is a country where both theists and atheists, idolaters and those loathing idol-worship co-exist. We have adapted ourselves to myriad kinds of ideologies, different ways of worshipping and all types of traditions and imbibed the art of co-existential living. In the ultimate, any religion, faith, ideology or tradition- give us the message of peace, unity and goodwill. This holy month of Ramzan will definitely be helpful in further strengthening these values of peace, unity and goodwill. I once again convey my best wishes to all. Last time while sharing my thoughts in Mann ki Baat I had asked our youth to do something new, to come out of the comfort zone, experience new things, as this is the age when one can experiment and take risks and accept new challenges of life. I am glad that many people have given me feedback. All of them showed enthusiasm by personally speaking out their minds to me. I could not read them all nor could listen to all the messages because there were such a large number of messages.But whatever I could see from a cursory look that while some made efforts to learn music, some tried hands on a new musical instrument, some of them are trying to learn new things by using YouTube, some are trying to learn a new language. Some are learning cooking, some others are learning dance and drama, while some have written that they have now started to write poems. They are making efforts to know about nature and are learning the art of living and trying to understand the world. I am extremely happy and want to share one of the phone-calls with you.“I am Diksha Katiyal. I had almost left the habit of reading. Therefore I decided to pick up the habit during vacations. When I started reading about the freedom struggle , it was then I realized that how much struggle was involved in getting India freed, how much sacrifices were given and how so many freedom fighters spent years in prison. I am particularly inspired by Bhagat Singh, who achieved so much at such a young age. Therefore I request you that you tell something to the younger generation today on this topic.”I am delighted that younger generation is taking interest in knowing about our history, about our freedom fighters and about those who made sacrifices for the country. Countless great men spent their youth in jails. Several youngsters went to the gallows . They suffered despicable miseries and that is how we can now breathe in a free India. We see all those great men who spent their time in jails did a great job of writing and reading. Their writings provided a great strength and inspiration to our Freedom Movement. Many years ago, I visited Andaman & Nicobar Islands. I went to see the Cellular Jail there. Today is the birth anniversary of Veer Savarkarji. Veer Savarkarji had written a book “Majhi Jannmathep” while in incarceration . He used to write poems on the walls of his prison cell. He was confined to a very small cell. These seekers freedom must have gone through immense torture. I was inspired to visit the Cellular Jail only after reading Savarkarji’s book “Maazi Janmthep”.A light and sound show is also shown there which is very inspiring. There was hardly any state in India youths from which were not exiled to the dark waters of Andamans and were forced to spend their youth in this Cellular Jail during the freedom movement, which included people of every language, every state and every generation had faced tortures during this struggleToday is the birth anniversary of Veer Savarkarjee. I would definitely want to tell our younger generation that to even perceive what kind of torture and trouble these freedom fighters had suffered to achieve freedom for us one must visit this Cellular Jail. Once we go there We come to know as to why this was called Kaalaa Paani or the dark waters If you get a chance, please pay a visit to this place which is actually a pilgrimage of our freedom struggle.My dear countrymen, 5th of June is the first Monday of the month. Everything is otherwise normal. Yet, 5th of June is a special day as this is observed as “World Environment Day”. This year the United Nations have chosen the theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’. In other words, we may say “back to basics”. And What’s the meaning of connecting with nature? In my view, it means getting connected with one’s own self. Connecting with nature means nurturing a better planet. And, who can explain this in a better way than Mahatma Gandhi? Mahatma Gandhi often used to say, “One must care about a world one will not see”. This means that it is our duty to be concerned about the world which we shall not see and to care for that. Nature possesses a special power. You might have also observed that whenever we feel tired and exhausted, splashing a glass of water on our face has a wonderful rejuvenating effect. If you return after a tiring day’s work, just open the windows and doors of the room and take a deep breath of fresh air – this will fill you with fresh energy. Our body is made up of five basic elements and whenever we come in contact with these elements we get fresh energy. All of us have experienced this but we do not register this, we do not connect this in a single thread of sequence. Now on, kindly make it a point to notice that whenever you come in contact with a natural condition, a new spirit emerges from within you. So, the global campaign of connecting with nature on 5th June should become our individual campaign as well. And we are reaping the benefits of the efforts made by our ancestors to save the environment. And if we shall protect the environment, our future generations will reap the benefits. Vedas, describe the Earth and the Environment as the basic sources of energy. And, Atharva Veda, written thousands of years ago, is the most authentic guiding scripture about nature and environment. In India, it has been said – “Earth is the mother and I am her son”. According to Vedas, the purity within us is because of the Earth. The Earth is our mother and we all are her children. If we recall Lord Buddha, a fact comes to light that his birth, his enlightenment and his Mahaparinirvana, all three happened under a tree. We have many festivals and religious rituals which are based on worshipping nature and affection towards nature is a part of our everyday life. This is true in case of all sections of society whether lettered or unlettered, rural or urban and even tribal communities. But we need to present this in modern language and integrate with modern arguments. These days, I keep receiving news from our states. Almost in every state, a big plantation campaign gets underway with the onset of monsoon. Millions of trees are planted. School children, social organisations and NGOs also get connected with the campaign. Even State Governments take an initiative. Let us also make our contribution in enhancing this campaign.My dear countrymen, 21st June has become a well known day world over. The whole world observes this as World Yoga Day. In a very short time, 21st June has got worldwide recognition as World Yoga day and is connecting people. At a time when separatist forces are raising their ugly heads this has been India’s great contribution to the world.. We have successfully connected the whole world through Yoga. Like Yoga connects body, mind, heart and soul: similarly it is connecting the world now. Because of life style, because of the mad race to achieve success and because of increasing responsibilities, leading a stress- free life has become very difficult. It is seen, this situation is coming up even at a comparatively younger age. At a time when People are gobbling up medicines indiscriminately and passing their days, Yoga plays a very vital role in helping people to lead a stress-free life. Yoga is a guarantee of wellness and fitness both. Yoga is not merely an exercise. How to mount on the journey of life with the inter-play of body, mind, thoughts and behaviour can be better realised and understood through Yoga. Just two days back, I have written letters to all governments and all leaders of the world about the Yoga Day.Last year, I made announcements of some Yoga competitions and some awards as well. We shall gradually advance in that direction. I have received one suggestion and I compliment the gentleman who has made this creative suggestion. It is a very interesting suggestion. He has said since this is the Third International Yoga Day. I should make an appeal that on this third international Yoga Day, three generations of the family should do yoga together. Grand parents, parents and children should together perform Yoga and also upload their photos. It will be such pleasant blend of Yesterday, today and tomorrow that it will lend a new dimension to Yoga. I express my gratitude for this suggestion and I feel that as our ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign had proved to be a very inspiring experience. So will this campaign of posting pictures of three generations together performing yoga will evoke curiosity across the nation as well as across the world. You should certainly send the pictures of three generations doing yoga together to me on Narendra ModiApp or on Mygov. This will be the picture of “yesterday, today and tomorrow” and will be a guarantee of a brighter tomorrow. I invite all of you. We are still left with about three weeks for the International Yoga Day. Start practising from today itself. From 1st June, I will post something or the other about Yoga on twitter and continue to do so till 21st June. I will share with you. You too kindly spread the message of Yoga and connect people with it. This, in a way, is a movement on preventive health care. I invite you all to get connected to it. Eversince you entrusted me with the responsibility of being the Pradhan Sewak- the Chief Servant of the people and when for the first time when I got a chance to address from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15thAugust, I had talked of cleanliness. From then onwards, I get a chance to stay in different parts of the country. And, I have seen that people closely follow as to what Modi does, where does Modi go, what all has Modi done. I received a very interesting phone call and I had also not visualised from this angle. But, I am thankful to him for having seen the campaign in this way. This phone call will also attract your attention.“Pranam Modi ji, I’m Naina from Mumbai. Modi ji I watch whether on TV or Social Media, wherever you go, one can see people in that city pay special attention to cleanliness. Mumbai or Surat, your clarion call has led people to adopt cleanliness as a mission. Not only the elders but children also have become aware about cleanliness. Many a time we see them telling elders not to litter on the roads. The cleanliness drive that you had begun from the Ghats or Banks of the ganges in Kashi has now taken the shape of a movement inspired by you.”You are right, that wherever I go, the government machinery does the cleaning but nowadays cleanliness also turns into a social event. Five, seven or ten days before my visit a large number of cleanliness drives are held. Media also prominently highlights such programmes., A few days ago, I went to Kutch in Gujarat. A big cleanliness drive was conducted there. I also did not see a connect is in this. But, after receiving this phone call, I also started thinking that the point made there was pertinent. You can very well imagine how much pleasure I derive by knowing this fact and also by noticing that the country is also closely monitoring the programme. There cannot be any bigger pleasure for me than to know that my visit has been connected with the cleanliness campaign. Besides usual arrangements to welcome the Prime Minister, cleanliness will also be high on the agenda. This is very pleasing and inspiring for any cleanliness loving person. I congratulate everyone connected with this Cleanliness programme providing strength to it. Someone gave me a suggestion. This is in a way a humorous suggestion. I do not know whether I would be able to do it or not. Modi ji, when someone asks for your visit , your stay, you should ask as to what would be the standard of cleanliness, if they wish to invite you. How many tonnes of waste would you present to me so that I may accordingly decide the duration of stay. The idea is very good but I will have to think. But, one thing is right that this movement should be encouraged and it would definitely be better if cleaning tonnes of waste are cleaned and and given as presents in place of other gifts. How many people shall we be able to save from ill health. This will be a big service to humanity. One thing I would certainly like to say is that we should always consider these waste as resources and wealth. Do not see it as just garbage. Once we start looking at garbage and waste as a wealth, we shall also find newer, techniques of waste management. Young persons connected with Start-ups will also come forward with newer schemes and also come forward with new equipments.The Central Government has alongwith State Governments and with the cooperation of municipal representatives of cities decided to launch a massive and important campaign of waste management. On the occasion of World Environment Day on 5th June, there are going to be litter bins made available to collect solid waste and liquid waste in 4000 towns of the country.Two types of waste bins will be available, one would be of green colour and the other blue. There are two types of waste generated, is the liquid waste and the other is dry waste. If we follow discipline, then the waste bins that are going to be placed in these 4 thousand towns will collect dry garbage in blue waste bins and liquid garbage in green waste bins. The waste from our kitchens, be it vegetable peels, leftover food, egg shells or leaves are all part of liquid waste and are to be placed in green litter bins. This waste can be utilised in fields, and if you will remember that fields are green then you will remember what to place in the green litter bins. The second type of waste is like old newspapers, cardboard, iron, glass, cloth, plastic, leather, polythene, broken boxes, rubber, metals and other kind of waste are all dry waste or litter which can be recycled by machines but cannot be directly used and has to be placed in the blue waste bin. I’ve a firm belief that we will develop a culture and the new steps that we take towards achieving cleanliness will continue, only then will we achieve the dream of Gandhiji, achieve the kind of cleanliness that he dreamt of, today. I must admit with pride that if a single individual decides it in his heart then a huge Public campaign can be launched . Cleanliness is also one such drive; a A few days ago, you must have heard that the Versova beach in Mumbai, which was infamous for its filth has now transformed into a a clean and beautiful beach. People toiled for about 80-90 weeks, unceasingly and turned Versova beach around by extracting thousand of tonnes of waste materials and today Versova beach is clean and beautiful. This campaign was owned by Versova Residence volunteer or VRV. A gentleman called Afroz Shah started this mission from October, 2015 whole heartedly with all his might, slowly people started joining his bandwagon and turned into a people’s movement. For this outstanding work, United Nations Environment Programme or UNEP awarded ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award to Sh. Afroz Shah, and thus he has become the first Indian to achieve this distinction. I congratulate Sh. Afroz Shah, and felicitate this people’s movement. The manner in which Sh. Afroz Shah gathered the people of the area into a people’s collective and gave it the shape of a People’s movement in itself an inspiring example.Brothers and Sisters, it is with great happiness that I wish to tell you, that I am given to understand that under the aegis of ‘Swachch Bharat Campaign’, the Riyasi Block in Jammu and Kashmir has become completely free of open defecation. I wish to congratulate the people of Riyasi Block and also the public servants of Riyasi Block. Jammu & Kashmir has presented an excellent example. I congratulate one and all in the state. I have been told that this movement found maximum leadership amidst women. The women of that area took out torch rallies to spread awareness, went from house to house, street to street and inspired the people towards this goal. I felicitate the mothers and sisters of Riyasi from the bottom of my heart. I also congratulate the administrators there for making an excellent beginning by turning one block in the state of Jammu and Kashmir open defecation free.My dear countrymen, an audit and assessment of the performance of the present government in the last three years is happening all over on newspapers, social media or TV for the last 15 days.. Three years ago you vested the responsibility of ‘Pradhan Sewak’- the Chief Servant of the People upon me. There have been many surveys and several opinion polls. I see this entire process as a very healthy sign. The works done during these years were tested on every touch stone . It was analyzed by every segment of society. And this is a great process in democracy. I firmly believe that governments must be accountable in democracy and the public at large must be provided with report card of works done. I wish to congratulate those who took out time for an in depth analysis of our work, there were some praises some support and sometimes shortcomings were also pointed out, I understand the importance of all these things. I thank those people, who provided critical and important feedback. The mistakes and the shortcomings once highlighted can be rectified. Whether something is good, little less effective or bad, whatever it is, one has to learn from it and move ahead in life putting the learning from it into practice.Constructive criticism strengthens democracy; for an aware nation, an awakened nation, this churning is very important.My dear countrymen, I too am an ordinary citizen like you and like any ordinary citizen I too am influenced by good or bad things. Some people take ‘Mann Ki Baat’ as a monologue and some criticize it from a political angle but after a long experience, I now feel, that when I had first started ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ I had not given thought to the fact that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ would make me a member of every family in India. Now I feel as if I’m conversing with my family while sitting at home. And there are many families who have written to me these very feelings. And as I said, as an ordinary citizen, I too get affected emotionally. Two days ago there was a launch of an analytical book on ‘Mann Ki Baat’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan, it was attended by the Hon’ble President, Hon’ble Vice President , Madam Speaker of the Lok Sabha and as an ordinary citizen and as an individual this was very inspirational event for me. I’m grateful to the Hon’ble President, Hon’ble Vice President and Madam Speaker that inspite of their such high stature they took out time and they accorded importance to ‘Mann Ki Baat’. In fact it in itself has given a new dimension to ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Some of our friends, while working on this book had discussed it with me also. And some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised when this book was in the news again because Akbar Sahab an artist living in Abu Dhabi, proposed that he wishes to sketch the topics on which various episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ were based, and without taking a single rupee Akbar sahab transformed ‘Mann Ki Baat’ into art as a gesture of his love. I am grateful to Akbar Sahab.My dear countrymen, when we shall meet next time by then monsoon rains would be lashing every corner of the country, the weather would have changed, examination results would have arrived, the journey of education will begin anew and the rains would bring a hope, pleasant fragrance, a new aroma! Come let us move ahead while loving nature in such a pleasant atmosphere.My many felicitations and best wishes to you. Thank you.(With ANI inputs)

Juhu beach goes through sticky patch

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tourists visiting Juhu beach were in for a shock as thick sticky froth washed ashore from Birla Lane to the food court area on Saturday.Anand Desai a Juhu resident, said it could be the result of increasing pollution.”I was shocked to see so much froth on the beach. I do not recall this happening earlier, even during pre-monsoon times. I am deeply concerned about this development as it does not seem natural,” he said.However, experts say that such frothing is a normal phenomenon before the monsoons given the high-speed winds and tides.”Normally when the dissolved organic matter in the water is high coupled with high-speed winds just before the monsoon, such spume occurs. However, if the froth is foul smelling it is certainly the result of pollution,” said Vinay Deshmukh, marine biologist and former chief scientist of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).He said that while he did not know details of the froth at Juhu beach, the reason could be high sewage content in the sea since all the sewage from the Malad pumping station flows into Versova creek, which is next to Juhu.”Citizens should ideally contact the civic body who can contact expert agencies like NEERI or National Institute of Oceanography to collect samples and carry out a study,” he said.A stall owner from the beach said that while he was on the beach there was no foul smell. “It has been happening for the last two days at noon,” he said.

Bollywood singer Ankit Tiwari acquitted in rape case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bollywood singer Ankit Tiwari was today acquitted of raping a woman. A sessions court here today acquitted Tiwari after the complaint, allegedly his former girl friend, turned hostile and failed to support the prosecution version during the trial. Additional Sessions Judge SKS Razvi also acquitted Tiwari’s brother Ankur of the charges of of threatening the complainant. Tiwari, a playback singer, was arrested in May 2014 by suburban Versova police in the case. He was later released on bail. The complainant, allegedly his former girlfriend, had claimed that he raped her on several occasions between October 2012 and December 2013 after promising to marry her, but did not keep the promise. “The prosecution could not prove its case,” said Tiwari’s lawyer Rizwan Merchant. The complainant didn’t support the prosecution case during her testimony in the court and was declared ‘hostile witness’.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Second case of sexual harassment against TVF’s Arunabh Kumar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Another case of sexual harassment was registered today against the founder and CEO of web entertainment firm TVF, Arunabh Kumar. Based on a complaint filed by a former employee of the The Viral Fever (TVF), a case of sexual harassment was registered against Kumar at the suburban Versova police station this evening, a senior police official said. Yesterday, the MIDC Police in Andheri had filed a case of sexual harassment against Kumar based on another complaint. Earlier this month, an anonymous blog post by a woman, alleging sexual harassment by Kumar when she was working at TVF between 2014 and 2016, went viral on the social media. It was followed by similar allegations by some other women. TVF had denied all the allegations and had said it would “leave no stone unturned to find the author of the article and bring them to severe justice for making such false allegations.” Kumar, an IIT graduate, founded TVF in 2011.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bombay HC stays FIR against Kapil Sharma, directs BMC to resolve dispute

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bombay High Court on Thursday stayed the FIR against comedian Kapil Sharma over an alleged illegal construction in his flat in suburban Goregaon. The High Court has also directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to give a personal hearing to Sharma and resolve the dispute. The BMC told the High Court that it has withdrawn all litigations against Sharma. Earlier this month, Sharma stormed a controversy with his tweet alleging that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs. five lakh by an official of the BMC. The BMC later claimed that Sharma had flouted norms not only in his Versova office building but also at his apartment in suburban Goregaon.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Actor Jeetendra’s cousin Nitin Kapoor commits suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bollywood actor Jeetendra’s cousin Nitin Dwarkadas Kapoor, who was undergoing treatment for depression, allegedly committed suicide today by jumping from a building here, police said. The 58-year-old leaped off the terrace of the six- storey building where he resided in Andheri (West) in the afternoon. Neighbours took him to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, they said. Kapoor was a cousin of Jeetendra and staying at his sister’s house in the metropolis, police said. “Kapoor was jobless for the last 18 years. His family resides in Hyderabad and he was staying in Mumbai at his sister’s house,” said DCP Ashok Dudhe, a police spokesperson. He was under depression for the last one-and-a half years and undergoing treatment in a private hospital since February, he said. No suicide note was recovered from the spot, Dudhe said, adding there was nothing suspicious in the incident. A case of accidental death report has been registered with the Versova police station, the senior official said. The reason for Kapoor taking the extreme step was not yet known, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tracking the future: 2 reasons behind new Metro policy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The announcement by finance minister Arun Jaitley about a new Metro rail policy as well as a new Metro rail Act comes on the back of two important issues facing the sector, railway officials told DNA.The first was that on December 6, 2016, the works directorate of the Railway Board announced a new draft policy for suburban railway systems where it made the states the prime mover behind the construction of such projects. DNA carried a front page article on this in its December 13 edition.The second issue is the fight, currently on in courts, between the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority and the Reliance Infra-led Mumbai Metro One Private Limited over the fares of the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor.“With Jaitley mentioning in his speech the need for greater private participation and investment in construction and operation of Metro systems, it is imperative that we have a new Metro Act that improves upon the Metro Railways (Operations and Maintenance) Act, 2002. Since all these private Metro systems will have the status of non-government railways, the rules have to be clear so that issues, like the one being faced by the VAG corridor, are not repeated,” explained a Railway Board official.

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