|2007-05-31||Illegal structures in state to attract double pena|
Illegal constructions in Maharashtra-except Mumbai-will invite a double penalty henceforth. The state Cabinet has decided on Wednesday to impose a penalty twice the property tax of an unauthorised structure-residential, commercial, or any other-in cities barring Mumbai.
The changes will form part of the amendments to the rules governing municipal corporations, municipal councils and industrial townships, which would be moved during the monsoon session of the state legislature, sources told ET.
However, the provision for a double penalty does not mean regularisation of illegal structures, according to officials. “So long as the illegal structure exists as unauthorised construction, its owner or occupant will have to pay twice the property tax as penalty,” an official said.
“The double penalty has been proposed as a disincentive to illegal structures. There have been a number of illegal structures in cities and townships across the state, the most notorious of them being Ulhasnagar and Kalyan-Dombivli,” said an urban development official.
In Mumbai, the proposal for double penalty will have to wait until the government accepts the capital value system of property tax. A bill proposing this change is pending with a legislative sub-committee. “This proposal is part of the Bill and will come into force once it is passed,” the official said.
|2007-05-30||Davkhare men bash up opponent
Tension gripped Ulhasnagar on Sunday after a skirmish between NCP's Vasant Davkhare, the deputy chairperson of the state legislative council, and Sai Balram, the chief of Gangajal, a breakaway faction of the NCP.
Balram was admitted to the hospital after he was assaulted allegedly by Davkhare supporters. Davkhare, for his part, lodged a police complaint at the central police station against Balram for allegedly trying to cause him physical harm.
The deputy chairperson was in Ulhasnagar to oversee elections to ward no 46 of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, elections to which were held in February. However, polls in the ward were postponed after the death of a Congress candidate. Gangajal had joined hands with the Shiv Sena and the Congress to defeat the ruling NCP.
According to political observers, Sunday's incident was a fallout of the ongoing political rivalry between Davkhare and Sai Balram.
|2007-05-24||Load-shedding to stay|
Sources in Ulhasnagar say that there have been no power cuts for over a week. Also concurring in this rosy picture, are sources from far flung places like Vasai and Virar. Even the scenario in the Mulund to Kanjurmarg belt, seems to be improving
Sources in Ulhasnagar say that there have been no power cuts for over a week. Also concurring in this rosy picture, are sources from far flung places like Vasai and Virar. Even the scenario in the Mulund to Kanjurmarg belt, seems to be improving.
Does this mean that we can say good-bye to the terrible days of load shedding? Some officials were asked if there is any additional power generation, or if power is being borrowed from other states or the national grid.
The officials explained, "We need to bear in mind that there has been no respite from power cuts for at least for three years, they may vary from three to four hours a day. If any area is getting uninterrupted power supply, it is because of several factors. The first factor is the prompt clearance of their bills, and the settling of their arrears. An important factor for improved power position is a decline in farming in May. The agriculture sector is a major consumer of power. Due to water constraints during the month of May, there was a slackening in farming activity. This resulted in a lesser power demand from this sector during this period. Besides, May being month of vacations, many educational institutions were shut. During this period, people had also left for their vacations. All these factors contributed to the saving of power. These benefits are passed on to rest of our consumers in MSEB. However, the power cuts will again happen in the month of June."
|2007-05-24||Media is the silver lining|
Ulhasnagar investors seem to be sailing through choppy waters. Life for investors in Ulhasnagar continues to be getting harsher day by day.
Tired of moving the courts, and seeking intervention from all and sundry for the recovery of the funds that they had invested, they have now started looking to the media to play the role of a "good Samaritan." In order to get the media to take notice, one source exhausted of moving from place to place said, "People in crisis often look to the media with the expectations that they will be able to help them in their hour of need. Surprisingly while the big newspapers of Mumbai have yet to heed our pleas, the electronic media often known for its very incisive and probing exposes has simply ignored us. It seems that though we are very near the Mumbai offices of media, we are yet too far away! The media is the only silver lining in the otherwise dark sky for us," he believes.
|2007-05-24||Ulhasnagar corpn revokes okay to illegal structure|
Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation has finally acted. After a rap from the Urban Development Department, Commissioner Sadashiv Kamble has revoked his order of April 20 approving the plan of a building which was already three storeys complete.
Newsline reported on May 22 how after a visit to room number 10, barrack number 1993 in Ulhasnagar camp number 5 on April 20 —along with civic town planner Anil Gurgule —Kamble approved the plan for the commercial and residential structure. At the time, he had noted in the certificate that the land was vacant when in reality the building was three storeys ready.
“The building plan at barrack number 1993, room number 10 which was approved on April 20, 2007 has been revoked with immediate effect,” said Kamble adding he had been misled by town planner Gurgule. “I was misled by the town planner in this case and I will be issuing a show cause notice to him,” he added.
The logical consequence of Thursday’s order by the commissioner is demolition of the illegal building. But Kamble was unwilling to comment on that when Newsline spoke to him, saying he was “busy” at Mantralaya.
Kamble had reason to be at the state administrative headquarters. Sources at Mantralaya revealed principal secretary (UDD) Ramanad Tiwari was extremely upset at the way the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation was seemingly encouraging illegal construction. He made is displeasure felt to Kamble in no uncertain terms.
|2007-05-22||Three robbers batter pregnant woman|
Three men robbed a pregnant woman at her Ulhasnagar residence on Sunday and their vicious attack gravely injured the victim, endangering her foetus.
Nitu Mishra (25) was alone at her home in Camp 4 when the attackers barged in demanding drinking water.
Mishra refused and asked the intruders to leave. But they dragged her into the hall and began pounding her. They then asked Mishra to hand over the keys to a household cupboard, threatening to kill her if she did not acquiesce.
To defend herself, Mishra bit the man who was holding her by the hair. Her action enraged the intruders and all three began to kick her in the stomach. One of the men found a stick in the kitchen and used that to pummel her, while another gagged her with a towel.
The three ransacked the house for the keys, which they eventually found. They left with Rs25,000 and gold jewellery worth Rs40,000. They also snatched away the jewellery that Mishra was wearing.
A semi-conscious Mishra was found lying on the floor by her mother-in-law, Gita, when she returned from a nearby temple. Gita informed her husband Awadhesh and son Akhilesh.
|2007-05-21||Ulhasnagar can not shrug off its past|
Considering Ulhasnagar’s dubious record of illegal constructions that ultimately forced the High Court to intervene, one would have expected civic officials to be extra vigilant. Not so. For, in its latest act of blatant misuse of power, a plan was approved and commencement certificate issued to a building after three storeys had already come up.
After a visit to room number 10, barrack number 1993 in Ulhasnagar camp number 5 on April 20—along with civic town planner Anil Gurgule —municipal commissioner Sadashiv Kamble approved the plan for the commercial and residential structure. At the time, Kamble noted in the certificate that the land was vacant —a mandatory requirement before issuing any commencement certificate.
Going by the certificate and according to the Ulhasnagar corporation’s official records, the building should only be up to the plinth level now. Town planner Gurgule said they are yet to issue a plinth certificate only after which the builder can continue construction.
But as of now, a three-storied RCC structure (ground plus two floors) is in place at the site. Photographs taken on May 9 show that construction had begun much earlier. Asked about this, Kamble said, “That day, I had visited about 40 sites. There was no construction at the site when I issued the certificate.” The plan was sanctioned for two a two-storied structure (ground plus one).
Interestingly, the builder, Raju Shera, admits he began construction on April 10, 10 days before the commissioner issued the certificate. “I had applied in December 2006 and for four months there was no response. I began construction before the approval due to the delay by the civic body,” Shera said. He also added that as of now, the second floor was illegal, which he would “regularise” later.
|2007-05-19||Where did UMC spent Rs. 13 Crores|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) is well known for its failures in providing facilities to its citizens but the corporation has also failed to do so in case of sick and dead as well. The ambulance of the civic body is suffering from ’chronic’ illnesses and the hearse van has been lying dead for the last five years.
It is evident from the scene visible just behind the civic headquarters. The lone hearse van of the UMC is lying dumped in the backyard of the civic administrative building. Neither the civic officials nor the office bearers are willing to take care of the vehicle that is used to carry the dead.
As far as the ambulance is concerned the vehicle is in extremely ’sick’ condition. Like the hearse, even the ambulance does not attract the civic administration. Hardly a few citizens of the refugee town are fortunate enough to see a glimpse of the vehicle running on the road once in a while.
The apathy of the civic administration has caused the citizens of the town of refugees very dearly. According to private ambulance owners on an average at least 50 patients from Ulhasnagar have to be carried to various hospitals of Thane and Mumbai everyday. The number of dead bodies being brought into the city from outside is also significant and the citizens have to pay dearly for hiring private ambulances for the purpose.
Notably under chapter 6 of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation (BPMC) Act 1949 it is the duty of each and every corporation in the state to provide ambulance and hearse vans for use of its citizens. Every corporation in the state performs its duties under the chapter of the act, but the UMC is an exception.
Interestingly every year the corporation allocates a sizeable amount of its earnings for purchase, hire and maintenance of its vehicles. In the previous budget of Rs 123 crores, Rs 13.8 crores was kept for the purpose. Out of this Rs 31 lakh was kept for the purchase of new vehicles and Rs 77 lakh for taking private vehicles on hire. The remaining Rs 30 lakh was allocated for maintenance and for buying fuel for civic vehicles.
|2007-05-15||Driver suspected in Ulhas murder|
The family of Ulhasnagar businessman Nanik Sukheja, who was found murdered on May 7, suspect driver Ajay Surve was behind the act.
One person has been arrested for the murder at Devrukh in Ratnagiri district on Sunday, but Surve, the main accused, is absconding.
Sukheja (63), a partner of Konark Constructions, which collects octroi in Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi and Mira-Bhayender, was on his way to Chiplun in Ratnagiri district, to oversee a sand contract, when he was murdered.
Inspector Girish Koyande from Devrukh police station said, “We have arrested Sajid Mukadam for the murder. Surve had called Mukadam on his cellphone hours before the murder. Primary investigations suggest money was the motive behind the murder.”
Sukheja was carrying Rs 3.5 lakh with him at the time of the murder. Surve had joined Sukheja’s company one-and-a-half months ago.
|2007-05-10||New shock wave sweeps Ulhasnagar!|
Ulhasnagar is in the grip of a new shock wave following the closure of an investment company that has duped hundreds here.
A certain United India Company is believed to be a little more than a year old. Its network is said spread over to other places in Maha-rasthra and outside too.
It must be emphasised, that in the short span of just one and half years, it could win the trust of the locals who believed its "double the money in three months" scheme and put their hard-earned money in it!
One individual went to the extent of investing Rs. 50 lakh, while another invested Rs. 80 lakh. Anything between Rs. 70 to 80 crores is said to be invested by local people, mostly women in Ulhasnagar, though there are reports that the amount at stake is about Rs. 200 crores!!
The panic-stricken inves-tors woke up only when people found the company closed for days together and gradually word spread across the city alerting the law keeping machinery.
Meanwhile, several of the affected investors are said to have landed in hospitals, suffering from sudden shock with the possibility of not recovering their hard-earned money. Uncon-firmed sources suggest there are also a few deaths from these shocks.
While the company cannot be excused for exposing investors to this sad state of affairs, what is intriguing is how people fell for the bait.
There was a time when the National Savings Certificates of the post offices used to double the money in five years. Now they do not double even in six years. How could people be so gullible to believe that they will get their amounts doubled in three months?
Initially, there were some cases where people had doubled their savings in this company in three months. This is how word spread, gaining the peoples' trust, till it crashed last month. It cannot be ruled out that these very people could be planted in the company and in reality none might have their savings doubled in three months.
Ulhasnagar is a very small place and such cases are a recurring phenomenon. Some get reported, while most go unreported.
About five years back, an individual in the real estate business as well as the allied business of money lending at high and tempting rates of interest betrayed people in similar fashion.
|2007-05-02||Buddhas ashes brought to Mumbai|
Buddha's ashes were brought to Mumbai from Sri Lanka to mark his 2500th birth anniversary on Tuesday.
Thousands of devotees at Ulhasnagar on the outskirts of the city gathered for a glimpse of the urn.
''Maharashtra is celebrating 50 years of Buddhism that's why we have brought the ashes here, also our faith is celebrating of 2,550 years of existence,'' said Ananda Mahatero, Monk, Sri Lanka.
From Ulhasnagar the celebrations will move to Kalyan where several high profile visitors are expected over the next two days.
It was also an occasion to remember Buddhist philosophy, and understand its relevance in today's time.
''Buddha is humanist that's why he is important today,'' said a local.
''Buddhism preaches equality, no one here is different, both boy and girl are same, that's why it's important,'' said another local.
The monks say that in turbulent times like these it becomes even more important to remember and follow the teachings of Buddha, so as to establish a safe and peaceful world for our children.