|2007-06-30||A Hearty Welcome|
The medical scene of Ulhasnagar is in for a huge change. The only loop hole is being filled by Navjeevan Trust. Their ambitious project of a 50-bedded heart hospital recently took off.
The Bhoomi pujan of Sri Saibaba Heart Hospital & Critical Care Unit was performed by His Holiness Sadguru Sri Sai Narayan Baba (Panvel) at Balkanji Bari ground on Sunday, June 17 .
On behalf of Balkanji Bari Trust, Chander Manghnani, President, Arjun Punjabi, Vice President and Mohan Sadhwani, General Secretary donated a prime plot of land to Sitaldas Harchandani, Chairman, Saibaba Educational Trust for establishment of above Hospital.
On the occasion Sant Sai Narayan Baba spoke about the Sindhi community and its inception around 7000 years ago. He expressed his happiness on the rising prosperity of the town. Following his appeal donors also came forward and presented their cheques for the noble cause.
Sitaldas Harchandani who has taken the initiative of setting up this hospital said that he had a dream of setting up this project for the benefit of the people and today his dream has come true.
"A heart hospital is the need of the hour in Ulhasnagar, considering the distance between Mumbai and Ulhasnagar which the patients have to cover in critical conditions," observed Harchandani.
Other dignitaries present at the function were Dr Rajesh Rajani, Head of Cardiology Dept., P D Hinduja Hospital, Sri Ruparam Saheb, Sri Madhusudanji, Dadi Som Didi, Sri Parmanand, Sri Swami Shastriji, Sri Balram Saheb, Dadi Gyan Ganga.
|2007-06-30||Jeans units polluting Ulhasnagar|
Ulhasnagar is known as an industrial town. There are many small-scale industries operating from the town, but many of them have not sought legal permissions. These un-authorized industries are also attracting illegal constructions. Pollution in the city is on rise and the illegal jeans industry is playing the main role in it.
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) and pollution board of the state have not taken any action except giving out notices to these jeans processing units. The situation has endangered the health of the residents of the entire city.
The jeans processing units have already captured most of the areas in the industry. To operate such industry, the owners need permissions from the UMC and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). But most of these industries are being operated without the necessary permissions.
The jeans fabric requires chemical process and the chemicals generated in this process is left into the nallahs directly. There are no effluent treatment plants. These chemicals are not processed and possess hazardous contents. This water ultimately pollutes the Ulhas River and pollution reaches various parts of the city.
Raj Asarondkar, an ex corporator of the UMC says, "Even when we can see the pollution taking place in front of our eyes, no authorities are taking action against it. Corporation should take strict action against these culprits. These chemicals should be processed before leaving them into the river. Municipal Corporation says that it is MPCB’s responsibility."
Baba Kesurkar, a shakha pramukh says, "The chemicals have also started affecting fishes in the river. Fishes usually choose the mangroves in Ulhas river for reproduction, but the chemicals have killed most of the mangroves."
|2007-06-29||Man killed for train spot|
Many Mumbaikars could justifiably characterise their daily commute on the city’s overcrowded trains as “killing”. But for Manikant Singh that figurative description became frighteningly real on Thursday night.
The 34-year-old hawker from Ulhasnagar was beaten to death by two customs clearing agents after the three men got into a fight over who had the right to stand near the compartment door, an airy spot much sought after — and fought over.
The police have arrested the two customs agents, Meena Nath Jadhav, 28, and Kiran Kadam, 23. They started the fight between Byculla and Dadar stations on the Central Railway network, the police said. Singh fell unconscious as the train approached Dadar. A passenger then called the home guard, who rushed Singh to Sion Hospital, but he died on the way, the police said.
“Jadhav and Kadam boarded the Titwala-bound train from CST at 11.10 pm in an inebriated condition,” said senior police inspector Shashank Shinde. “They work at Masjid Bunder as customs clearing agents, and were given licences on Thursday. They had drinks to celebrate that. The altercation started over the right to stand near the door.”
|2007-06-29||Man beaten to death in local train after quarrel|
In what is a ghastly first for Mumbai, two passengers beat up and killed another co-passenger on a crowded suburban train after an apparent quarrel over standing space.
During the fight, which occurred on Thursday night on a Titwala-bound train that left from CST, the other co-passengers did not intervene. But it was only when Manikant Kullay Singh collapsed that someone pulled the chain at Dadar to stop the train.
Kullay died while he was being taken to Sion Hospital. The assailants, Maninath Namdeo Jadhav and Kiran Anant Kadam, have been arrested.
According to the police, Kullay Singh boarded the slow train from CST at 10.50 pm and stood at the entrance of the compartment. Then, the two others—Maninath (28) and Kiran (23)— boarded the train from Masjid Bunder station.
The police said while no one could confirm when they started quarreling, they believe the dispute began at the time the train reached Byculla, when other passengers also got in and crowded the entrance.
Soon, things got serious and the two started beating up Kullay Singh. Initially, passengers did not intervene, but when they saw Kullay Singh collapse, they pulled the chain and stopped the train at Dadar.
|2007-06-20||16 convicts want case referred to SC|
Citing an opinion by a Supreme Court judge that questioned the applicability of TADA after it had lapsed, 16 of the 24 convicts being tried under TADA but yet to be sentenced by the Special court in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case moved an application today saying their case should be referred to the Supreme Court or Bombay High Court.
The SC judgment pertained to a case in the Special TADA court in Pune involving Ulhasnagar MLA Pappu Kalani’s aide Vijay Kumar Baldev Mishra, who was convicted for killing Anna Shetty, the alleged killer of Kalani’s uncle Duni Chand Kalani in 1990.
Delivering a concurring judgment with his fellow judge Justice S B Sinha in the case where Mishra, the accused, challenged the special TADA court’s order of refusing the Public Prosecutor to withdraw charges under the Act slapped on him, Justice Katju noted, “The point to my mind, is of such a vital and wide importance that I thought it fit to express my opinion on the same, so that this opinion can be considered in other cases where prosecutions under TADA are going on or where convictions have been made in relation to the offences under Section 3 of alleged to have been committed before 24.5.1995.”
|2007-06-18||Ulhasnagar staring at demolitions once again |
Of 1.5 lakh cases, only in 94 have fines been paid to regularise illegal constructions in Ulhasnagar. And with six weeks to go for its deadline to expire, the state government is now thinking of reviving its demolition plans.
At a recent review meeting in Mantralaya attended by senior officials from the urban development department, the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, revenue and town-planning, it was found that notices were served to 1,50,017 cases by the UMC. The civic body received 20,726 proposals, but fines were actually paid in 94 cases only. And now that the 18-month deadline for regularisation set by the State government ends in July, the government has decided to revive its demolition plan.
The government had decided to regularise illegal constructions in Ulhasnagar upto January 1, 2005 on certain terms and conditions as a special case, since it is a city of people who migrated from Pakistan during the Partition,” a senior official told Newsline. “We had set a deadline of July 31 for those eligible to pay a fine and get their structures regularised. But the response is very poor. We can’t wait endlessly…We have decided to take up demolitions, after informing the High Court.”
The government has now decided to issue a final notice of eight days to erring property-owners before beginning demolitions. Also, regularisation proposals which were rejected by the government will now be given 40 days time for filing appeals. The UMC has been asked to prepare a report to be submitted to the High Court to justify the government’s action.
“We are shocked at the poor response,” the official said, pointing out that the government had gone out of the way to get illegal structures regularised as a special case, considering the plight of the Sindhi migrants. “The fines we have levied are affordable and are about 10 per cent value of our ready reckoner. For instance, the fine for regularising a 600 sq feet flat comes to Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 depending on the locality. It is not exorbitant, considering the structure could have been demolished.”
ROAD TO REGULARISATION
1947: Migrants from Sindh in Pakistan settle at Ulhasnagar
1949: Ulhasnagar gets status of a township
1999: Nand Lal committee finds rampant illegal structures
2005: HC orders demolition of 855 structures
2006: State decides to regularise illegal structures upto Jan. 1, 2005
July 2007: Deadline for residents to pay fines for regularisation
ULHASNAGAR BY NUMBERS
5 lakh: Population
42,000: Nos of buildings
30,000: Nos of illegal buildings
1,50,017: Notices issued by State
20,726: Nos of regularisation proposals
94: Nos of cases fine has been paid
|2007-06-17||Boosting Water Infrastructure|
The cities of Kalyan -Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Bhiwandi are growing at a faster pace than expected. The population explosion is causing great strains on civic amenities in the three cities on the periphery of Mumbai. The existing water supply mechanism of these cities is severely under stress and the concerned civic bodies are trying hard to overcome the shortfalls.
UMC OPTS FOR A BOT WATER PROJECT
The water situation is more than satisfactory in Ulhasnagar. The town of refugees gets more water that is needed for the town but the problem lies with the distribution network. The distribution mechanism is so poor that a big portion of the drinking water is simply drained away in gutters or stolen from broken pipelines. The city needs 95 MLD of water but it gets 103 from the MIDC. Leakages drain away more than 20 MLD of waters thereby creating water scarcity for the citizens.
To overcome the crises the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) has embarked on an ambitious scheme worth Rs 108 crores. The scheme is on Build Operate Transfer IBOT) basis and has got the technical approval of the civic Standing Committee (SC).
Under the proposal a private contractor is being appointed to lift 103 MLD of waters from Ulhas river and distribute it in the city. The contractor would create new water infrastructure including changing of the old and worn out pipelines with new ones.
The project would ensure cheaper water for the citizens. As of now the citizens pay Rs 7.5 for 1000 litres of water. The cost would come down to Rs 5 per 1000 litres. The new scheme will also take care of the water needs of the town of refugees for ten years to come.
|2007-06-17||Tussle for space at UMC turns ugly|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) is facing the heat of illegal occupation inside its headquarters. The issue of allotting space for political parties resulted in Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) members illegally occupying the civic commissionerâ€™s office. The NCP members claimed that the ruling was partial in allotting spaces to political parties. Police had to be called to control the situation and the administration finally decided to seal the controversial cabins.
Gangajal Front, the ruling party at the UMC recently shifted Mayorâ€™s office to the existing commissionerâ€™s office and the commissionerâ€™s office was relocated to the Mayorâ€™s office. The offices were exchanged citing space crunch at the Mayorâ€™s office.
NCP corporators in the house objected this move and illegally occupied the commissionerâ€™s office on Thursday. NCP group Leader Surekha Velkar says, "The ruling party has occupied comfortable spaces for themselves and their supporters, whereas the opposition parties have been told to accommodate in 10â€™ x 10â€™ rooms. We occupied the commissionerâ€™s cabin to protest against this partiality. It is difficult for us to function in such a small spaces too."
Police had to intervene to evacuate the NCP members from commissionerâ€™s office and the scene continued for hours. Milind Sawant, deputy municipal commissioner says, "Commissioner Sadashiv Kamble has been transferred and the additional charge is with R D Shinde, the KDMC municipal commissioner who is also out of station. When informed, he ordered me to seal both the Mayor and commissionerâ€™s cabins until he returns. I followed his orders and have sealed both the cabins."
Jeevan Idnani, Gangajal Front leader says, "We did not make any partiality or made any illegal occupation. We shifted the Mayorâ€™s office with mutual consent with the then commissioner.â€
|2007-06-16||Sivaji The Boss in Ulhasnagar|
The Emperor and the King of Indian cinema finally came face to face. After many years, a film with Amitabh Bachchan in the cast - Jhoom Barabar Jhoom - was pitched against southern superstar Rajnikanth in Sivaji: The Boss. The verdict is out and Rajnikanth's movie is said to have grossed nearly Rs 20 million (Rs 2 crores) in advance bookings from 17 theatres in Chennai.
In Bombay, the Tamil version of the film opened at Metro Adlabs (one show), Aurora (three shows), PVR Juhu (two shows), Fame Adlabs (one show), Cinemax Versova (one show), Fame Malad (three shows), Imax (one show), Huma Adlabs (one show), PVR Mulund (two shows), R Adlabs (one show), Cinemax Wonder (Thane-one show), Cinemax Eternity (Thane –two shows), Palm Beach Adlabs (Vashi-two shows), Jawahar (Ulhasnagar- Fri- one show) on Sunday at Madhuban (Dombivali – one show) and Deepmandir (Mulund) (one show) on Saturday, 16 June, Monday 18 June to Thursday 21 June at Fame Nakshatra (Dadar – morning show).
|2007-06-05||Twice the property tax or regularise
The political leadership from the extended suburbs of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region has reacted strongly to reports which state that the Maharashtra government plans to hike property tax as a deterrent to the illegal constructions which are mushrooming all around.
These reports state that the state’s Urban Development Department has decided to levy a penalty amounting to twice the property tax every year till the buildings are regularised
The reports also indicate that amendments were passed at the previous week’s cabinet meeting to the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation Act and the Maharashtra Municipal Councils Act. The amendments are to be brought before the monsoon session of the State Legislature and then made applicable across the state.
The Ulhasnagar leadership, in another area that has seen much illegal construction activity, has endorsed similar opinions.
Sai Balaram, the founder of Ganga Jal, a new political outfit, said in reaction to these reports, “We welcome the government’s move to deter illegal constructions. But it is very difficult to define which constructions are illegal and unauthorised. While buildings are being termed as unauthorised, chawls or other dwellings coming up all around are not being treated so. This is confusing. Till the time that this confusion is resolved, let there be a status quo that even extends to the penalty.”
Jeevan Idnani, the Ganga Jal group leader in the Ulhasnagar Civic Body also shares similar views regarding the penalty. He said, “No one supports illegal constructions. But we have to accept that they come up one way or the other. Penalising people for this will send the wrong signals. This will earn the ire of the common man but would not help in curbing illegal activity. The authorities will have to come up with some effective alternative for curbing illegal constructions.”
Lal Punjabi, a BJP corporator and the President of the Ulhasnagar District BJP unit reacted in the same vein, “This will amount to penalising people twice for somebody else’s crime.” He demanded that Ulhasnagar should be exempted from the proposed hike. His reference to ‘penalising twice’ was about the state government’s ordinance which came to the rescue
of Ulhasnagar flat owners who were otherwise facing the threat of eviction.
The state government had come out with an ordinance saying that since Ulhasnagar was inhabited largely by refugees who had settled there in the aftermath of partition, their structures must be regularised against penalties. Thus any further penalties would amount to doubling the penalty for the same offence.
The Ulhasnagar Civic Body had moved a resolution on May 15 requesting the government to lower the penalty rates, ordered in the state government’s ordinance last year.
|2007-06-04||Ramprakash Yadav from Shiv Sena to be disqualified|
The likely disqualification of its corporators has dealt a heavy blow to the saffron alliance in Thane Municipal Corporation.
Five corporators from the 116-member Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) are facing disqualification after the Scrutiny Department found discrepancies in their caste certificates.
Sena corporator Pradeep Khade, along with independents Sanjay Tandel and Sunita Satpute, who were supporting the alliance, may be disqualified after the verification of their caste certificates. Mumtaz Abdul Qureshi from Samajwadi Party, who has been supporting the alliance from outside, is likely to be disqualified on the same grounds.
However, the Bombay High Court has stayed the disqualifications of Sanjay Tandel and Satpute. The court is yet to decide the fate of the other two corporators.
But the Scrutiny Department's findings have certainly pushed the Sena-led alliance to the back foot. Losing three corporators has brought the Sena's tally to only 61, just two numbers away from the requisite majority of 59.
Congress has only one corporator, Hareshwar Tandel, embroiled in the caste verification issue.
“The disqualification process will not affect the alliance because all committee members have been elected. But this could create problems during the mayoral election after two-and-a-half years,” said TMC secretary P M Nimbargi.
In Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, Shiv Sena's Ramprakash Yadav is the only corporator likely to be disqualified. But this will not affect the ruling alliance, which has 51 corporators under its belt in the 76-member UMC.