|2007-03-31||Inspector saves girl seconds before suicide|
Vigilant approach by Bhagwan Jadhav, an assistant sub-inspector of Government Railway Police (GRP) saved a teenaged girl just minutes before suicide. The incident happened at Ulhasnagar railway station on March 26.
The sub-inspector along with his team members was patrolling the platforms at the Ulhasnagar railway station as usual. According to him, on the other end of the platform number 1, he noticed this baffled girl. The girl appeared to be around 15 years of age.
"She had jumped on to the tracks and was again climbing to the platform. However, she wasn’t going away from the tracks. Instead she was gazing on the tracks," explains Jadhav why the girl induced some doubts in him.
This behavior of the girl alarmed the inspector who was at a distance of 200 feet. Meanwhile an Ambernath bound local, scheduled for 10.15am was to arrive on the platform. The girl immediately jumped onto the tracks with fatal intentions. Bhagwan Jadhav was keenly observing every mannerism of the girl and he rushed to her rescue. The girl was only 100 feet away from the speeding local. However, he successfully took out the girl from the track before the local train reached the spot.
During the police interrogation the girl informed that she was 14 years old and her name was Kajal Rajesh Gaikwad. The girl is a student of Matoshri Ramabai Vidyalay, Samrat Ashok Nagar at camp 3. Her father is a flower vendor at Sai Baba Temple.
|2007-03-24||Unique campaign to end power trouble|
A lot has been written about and talked about conserving power. People have adapted themselves and adjusted their way of living in accordance with the load shedding in the suburbs. The power cuts have become a part of daily life with its sincere regularity.
Politicians have only tried to shine in their own constituencies by supporting protest marches and letters to the local bodies but nothing positive has come out of it.
Raj Asrondkar, an Ulhasnagar corporator has initiated a unique, feasible and interesting way to counter load shedding. He calls the movement ’sahkaar aandolan’, a movement with cooperation. "If consumers take this seriously and cooperate, the load shedding can be stopped effectively and gradually," he says.
His mode of operation is as follows. Asrondkar along with his supporters visit 25 households every day with brochures that explain innovative power saving techniques and explain to the family members, how they can help contribute to the movement.
When asked for the reason for starting this project, Asrondkar said, "To find the solution of any problem, knowing the facts clearly is essential." He goes on to explain that in Maharashtra, there is a deficit of 4000MW daily in the demand and supply of power. The load shedding is a result of this. This cannot be met with until the state gets a surplus of power. Till then, schemes like this have to be made use of.
Villages in Nashik district have already made wonders under the scheme of ’akshay prakash yojna’, wherein they subject themselves to self-load shedding for a stipulated number of hours per day and have thus done away with load shedding.
The following are some points in Asrondkar’s brochure. If all members of the family work in one room, and put other appliances of other rooms off, energy can be saved. Electrical appliances that contain heating coils, including geysers, iron presses should be regularly tested for energy consumption efficiency. "Such appliances tend to draw more power, as they get older," he says.
Most houses have washing machines with dryers in them. Asrondkar says that the climate of Maharashtra is warm enough to dry clothes easily and that use of dryers is just a lavish luxury and plain imitation of the west.
|2007-03-23||In Ulhas, pay tax or face the music!
If you live in Ulhasnagar, be prepared to cough up your taxes on time. Or else be prepared to be humiliated, as staff of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation are on the beat, beating their drums outside homes and offices, refusing to budge unless the dues are paid.
And the result is overwhelming! The success of this drive is reflected from the tax books.
According to Ramesh Kadale, Deputy Assessor and Collector of Taxes, UMC, the UMC has collected Rs. 4 crore as tax-money in the first 15 days of this drive with Rs.50 lakh collected on the first day itself.
Believe in the UMC to come up with innovative ideas and thoughts. If last year it was the street-plays to educate the taxpayers, this time it is the drummer boy's show. The reason? — the weak response of the people in the recovery of property tax.
The UMC has started this drive since the beginning of this month with a very simple modus operandi. The UMC staff reach the tax evader's house and by playing the drum, humiliate him to the extent he is forced to pay the tax.
|2007-03-18||Ulhasnagar NGO activists use Gandhigir|
The rule of darkness imposed by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDC) in the entire state has resulted in major embarrassment to the state chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. Apart from facing irate street protests over power failures, the CM is set to face protests in the form of Gandhigiri from a group of 25 NGOs from Ulhasnagar and thousands of citizens.
Naresh Tahilramani, a member of the school board of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) led the Gandhism assault on the state CM. The member has sought an appointment of the dignitary in a letter to thank him for landing the people in a situation that not only ensures their health but also reminds them of the ’dark’ situation that existed some 50 years ago.
In the letter the UMC board member has offered to compliment the CM for the so-called wonders taking place due to the eight to ten hours of load shedding in the town of refugees.
Tahilramani thanks the CM for closing down the industries and pushing the city back to primitive age. He has also complimented Deshmukh for giving a big boost to the inverter and generator industry by enforcing the rule of darkness and providing job opportunities to lakhs of unemployed youths in the process.
"I want to compliment you for making people to do a lot of physical exercises like walking up the stairs without a lift and sweating without a steam bath," the UMC member mentions in his letter.
Tahilramani ridiculed Deshmukh saying the load shedding saved a lot of money of people who had been spending lavishly on candle light dinners. Now the people are forced to take dinner in candle lights only. Students have also found a novel way of escaping the wrath of their parents for doing poorly in their exams. These students can get away with their poor performance by blaming the load shedding.
|2007-03-11||Dreaded gangsters in police net|
Ulhasnagar police last week arrested two gangsters, allegedly members of the dreaded Ravi Pujari gang. The arrested are Manoj Dinkar Vichare (31) and Santosh Mahadev Jadhav (30).
According to S D Trimbakey, deputy commissioner of police, zone VII, the duo was arrested from Shahad flyover area when they tried to escape a police patrolling party. The duo began running towards Shahad railway station when the cops tried to stop them for questioning. The police team gave them a hot chase and caught them some distance away from the bridge near the station. A search of their persons revealed three foreign made pistols and five rounds of live cartridges.
The duo was identified as Santosh Mahadev Jadhav, a resident of Ramabai Nivas, Aruonoday society, Dombivli West and Manoj Dinkar Vichare, a resident of Jai Ashwini society Vijay Nagar, Ahire Village in Dombivli East.
The police booked the duo under the provisions of the Indian Arms act for possession of illegal firearms and subjected them to intense interrogation, the cops found that duo was involved in running extortion rackets on behalf of the underworld don in Dombivli and Kalyan. The duo also confessed to the police that they had fired upon three businessmen from Dombivli East in the past two months to terrorise them into giving extortion money to the underworld don.
|2007-03-11||Mock Union Budget—2007-08|
Shankaran Iyer got the job that the middle class Indians often dream of—on February 25. He became the nation’s finance minister (FM) for only twenty minutes but could successfully present the prestigious Union budget for the year 2007-08, within this brief period. Of course, it was a mock exercise before a panel of eminent judges, at the famous RKT College, Ulhasnagar.
There were five teams of competing management students from nearby colleges for this intercollegiate event.
In total, 10 students participated in this cerebral exercise. But Model College got away with the first prize that consisted of a shield, certificate and a cash prize of Rs. 1,000/-. Iyer, a student of TYBMS (Bachelor of Management Studies), was assisted ably by Payal Gathany, a student of FYBCom (F/A).
The team presented some radical proposals for the discerning specialist audience that day. FM Iyer cut down the service tax from 12.5% to a reasonable 10% and everybody applauded the move. For the medium and small industries, the young innovator abolished the income tax. Senior citizens were allowed full relief for their savings in their sunset years. And, hold your breath, the income tax slab was raised from 1 lakh to 1.5 lakhs. "They really appreciated some of these sweeping changes in the mock budget that we have prepared with the help of Dr D John, our Economics teacher and a retired RBI employee. It has taken us two weeks of intensive preparations and a complete study of the past budgets, especially the gross domestic product. I am happy that our efforts could yield good results."
|2007-03-10||New evidence surface in old UMC recruitment scam|
The special recruitment drive of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) for recruiting employees in the reserve civic category ended in 2003 but it has left a deep scar on the image of the civic administration till today. The allegations of corruption leveled at the time of the recruitment are putting the civic administration in trouble as skeletons are tumbling out one after the other.
The latest in the series of evidence of corrupt practices involved in the drive is that of the recruitment of a clerk Alka Pawar. The woman had produced a bogus experience certificate from the Asmita Vidyalaya along with her qualification certificate. The certificate claimed that Alka worked with the institution as a clerk between 1998 and 2001. It was on the basis of this experience certificate that she was appointed as a clerk in the corporation.
The claims of the clerk have however been proved false. An alert citizen from Ulhasnagar sought information from the Kalyan based institution as to whether it had appointed any clerks ever since the institution was set up. The information was sought from Asmita Vidyalaya under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.
|2007-03-10||Two impersonators caught from exam hall |
Two cases of dummy students appearing for the Higher Secondary examinations were reported from the Kalyan colleges in the past week. The attempt to impersonate was exposed by the examination superintendent at the Mahendrasingh Kabulsingh Junior College in Kalyan. Both the cases were reported to the police and the students involved in the crime were arrested.
In one of the incidents, the police have arrested Amresh Hanumant Wuleful, a resident of Panjabi Colony in Ulhasnagar for attempting to write the HSC examination on behalf of the actual student. The boy was writing exams in the name of one Chetan Ganesh Suvarna, a student of MK Agrawal College. "The real student along with dummy has been sent to police remand for a week," informs investigating officer PSI Aherao from the Mahatama Phule police station.
In another incident, the dummy student ran out of luck when officials at the Mahendrasingh Kabulsingh Junior College randomly checked his hall ticket and found that the photograph on it was different from the one on the hall ticket they had received from the Higher Secondary Board.
|2007-03-10||Dosa on wheels|
Even as people complain about the lack of job for the educated as well for the poorly educated, some geniuses come up with unique ideas of self-employment one such person is thirty-year-old Mukund Pillai who has been vending dosas every evening outside Ulhasnagar’s CHM College, for the past four years.
What makes Pillai’s business unique and different from the others is his setup- his mobile dosa corner! The carriage of Pillai’s bicycle is fitted with a cubical metal box in which he carries the equipment required - a stove and the batter for dosas. This is from where the piping hot, steaming delicious dosas spring out from at deft speed.
Pillai’s family hails from Girdharnagar in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district. Initially dependant on agriculture for a living, Pillais elder brother happened to visit Mumbai in the search for a job and understood that selling south-Indian breakfast items like idlis and medu vadas can help make good profit. He suggested this idea to their father, back in the native village. Hesitant at first, he to came and stayed in the city for two months and saw that this was indeed true.
The family- including Pillai and his three brothers then shifted to Sion, thirty years ago, but shifted to the central suburb of Ulhasnagar seeing growing opportunities.
The brothers would then carry a steel container of idlis, wadas, chutney and sambar on their heads and walk throughout the town side sounding the trademark hoot of a hand-held air-horn. People soon began to demand masala dosas. However, masala dosa are supposed to be eaten hot and steamy and tend to get soggy very soon, thus reducing its palatability. It is about this time that Pillai spotted a man with a mobile dosa-maker. Pillai invested some money in the extra setup and created his own mobile dosa corner.
|2007-03-04||A new illegal structure|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) is already ill famed worldwide for alleged collapse of civic administration and is reported to be running solely on the orders of the Mumbai High court for the last several years. The UMC has however stepped one foot forward into the ill fame recently by declining to obey the HC order as well.
The allegation is evident from the construction of an illegal ground plus one storey bungalow on the site of the Trilokdas municipal garden on plot 125. The bungalow comprises of a RCC structure and one of the walls of the structures has even encroached upon the boundary wall of the garden belonging to the UMC.
It is however a different story that the plot was reserved for a public school but the civic administration developed the garden. The UMC then turned a blind eye thereby allowing the illegal construction to take place in the same way as it used to do so for the last two decades. This time even the HC order could not restrict the UMC from neglecting the illegal structure to come up.
The shocking fact came to light during the previous General Body (GB) meeting held on February 20. Bhavna Khilnani, a sitting corporator demanded explanation from the civic Town Planning Officer (TPO) about the illegal construction through a query. The TPO admitted to the illegal construction in writing on the floor of the House, much to the shock and surprise of the members.
The official informed the House that the civic administration had allowed one Arjundas Lehrani to construct a temporary structure on the site and put up cement asbestos sheet. The permission was given to Lehrani on June 3, last year and he had constructed the temporary structure on the site as per the order.
|2007-03-04||Tanker water scam|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) is notorious in the state for nursing all kinds of corrupt practices in its administration. So much so that even small, but essential tasks like retail water supply scheme is also not free from organised corruption and corporators are the major beneficiaries besides the very well organised tanker lobby itself.
The allegation appears to be true at least in the case of Shweta Water Suppliers, a firm supplying water to the city through its tankers. The firm was given the contract for supplying water to the city from two tanker points one each in camp 3 and camp 4. The firm was given the contract for lifting around 150 tankers of water from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) source and supplying them to the city reservoirs.
The transport company was given the contract on a remuneration of Rs 202 per tanker for lifting and transportation of water between the MIDC source and the end users of the UMC. The charges however did not cover the cost of water as the water belonged to the UMC. Each tanker would carry around 7000 litres of waters.
The contract of the water supplier had expired some five months back but being election time the commissioner used his powers to extend the contract by three months. The step was taken during the UMC election eve on the grounds that the task was an essential one. The extended contract also expired on February 9.
Even then the firm is continuing to lift around 80-100 tankers of water. Out of this around 50 tankers are lifted from camp 4 and the remaining from camp 3. This is despite the fact that the UMC administration has not given written permission to the firm to do so.