|2006-08-29||Mumbai Taxis will drive into city soon|
From September 15, Mumbaikars will witness a high tech and luxurious taxi (most likely Maruti Esteem) on city roads. These cabs will be of international standards equipped with world class GPS GPRS/ GIS track and trace technology by which one can call for a taxi wherever one wants within city limits, and stretching upto Dahanu Road, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi, Panvel and Dombivili. This taxi service will be called ‘Mumbai Taxi’.
Fulora Foundation, the company which is launching this facility with 500 cars at the initial stage plans to increase it to 5000 very soon. Arun Sabnish, Managing Trustee of Fulora Foundation, said, “We have put up a proposal to the government three years ago and finally in June this, we received the government’s nod. By September, we will start providing services.”
|2006-08-20||78 child labourers rescued|
In a major operation, the authorities rescued 78 children from various cloth-manufacturing units, tea stalls and restaurants in Ulhasnagar, on August 12. A special task force constituted by the state government to abolish child labour from the state carried out the rescue operation. The task force comprised of officials from the labour department, social service branch of the police department and NGOs.
The task force visited various cloth-manufacturing units in the Akash Colony, MG Road and Rationing Office localities of camp number 5 and Khemani locality in camp number 1 of Ulhasnagar and rescued minor children working in those units.
While 46 children were rescued from the manufacturing units in camp number 5, 32 were saved from Khemani compound.
“The rescued children are in the age group of 10 to 14 and worked in small units that manufactured jeans and trousers. Many of them were doing thread cutting jobs when we visited these units. Some of the children were rescued from tea stalls and restaurants,” said Dilip Kumar Pawar, assistant labour commissioner, Kalyan region.
The children rescued from the manufacturing units include four minor girls. The task force arrested 35 people who are the owners of the manufacturing units where these minor children were employed. The special task force that conducted the rescue operation had nearly 50 members.
“The employers will be booked under section 374 of the IPC and sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act. The rescued children will be sent to the Ulhasnagar remand home. They will be released after a day when their parents or guardians sill sign a bond to the remand home authorities that they will not send their children to work till they attain the legal age for employment,” added Pawar.
|2006-08-20||Temple Under Threat|
Police team is investigating the relation between the threat letter received by the pujari of the Shiv Temple and a recent fire at a jeans manufacturing unit in Ulhasnagar.
Alka D Joshi, Sudesh Malvankar
The police have increased security cover for the ancient Shiv Temple in Ambernath and other Hindu religious structures in the suburbs after the pujari of the temple received a threatening letter via post.
The letter has warned that the religious structures will be exploded in the coming days. The letter contains slogans such as ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ and ‘Laden Zindabad’. The letter posted from a local post office is written on an inland letter.
Other religious structures that have found mention in the letter are Chaliya Sahib temple and Shanti Prakash Ashram of Ulhasnagar. The Chaliya Sahib temple is popular among the Sindhi community. The community is presently observing the 40-day past and visit the temple during these days.
Reacting to the letter, senior police officials told that there were little reason to panic. The investigation is led by S D Trumbake, the deputy commissioner of police himself.
The DCP said that the police have not received any clues in the matter as on yet. “A team consisting of three officers and 12 personnel have been appointed for the temple’s security. Besides, local residents too will accompany the policemen,” he says.
|2006-08-20||UMC in financial crunch|
The corporation owes to pay crores to the contractors and temporary labourers.
DK+ Correspondent, Ulhasnagar
August 14, 2006 was a bad day for the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC). Early in the morning that day, the UMC building was surrounded by two groups of protestors. The first group consisted of Ulhasnagar Contractors Association (UCA), which went on a hunger strike to protest the non-payment of dues to them. Another was a group of temporary labourers who have not received their salaries for the past two months.
The strikes outside the UMC building reflect the financial trouble the civic corporation has fallen in.
Each year, the UMC appoints about 700 contract labourers for the two months of May and June to clear drains before monsoons. They are recruited at a salary of Rs 3,000 per month. A lot of them have been regularly taking up this temporary employment since 1998.
Says Bid Singh Sallan, one of the labourers, "Every year, they promise us a salary of Rs 3,000 per month, but actually gives us only half the money. This year, too, we worked for over 45 days in May and June. However, we have so far received only Rs 1,500. Even from this amount, the sanitary inspector who supervises us keeps his cut of Rs 300 per person. Also, a lot of us get injured while on duty since we work in drains and gutters. But there is absolutely no compensation for this."
On the other hand, the UCA was demanding for dues that were of a much greater magnitude. Says Rajesh Sudhija, president of the UCA, "At any point in time, about 80 contractors undertake work for the UMC. For the last one year, the UMC has not paid us anything and almost Rs 10 crores is due to us. Every time we ask for the money, they give us an excuse that there is a heavy financial deficit. The commissioner does not even have the courtesy to cooperate with us and behaves very arrogantly. This is too much. We have not given a memorandum that we should get payments on a monthly basis from now on."
|2006-08-14||Letter puts civic body on red alert|
Mumbai police have warned BMC officials that the civic headquarters and its ward offices might be targeted by terrorists.
In a letter, posted three days ago, one Abdul Hafeej wrote, “We won’t spare Hindus. We will attack the BMC headquarters and its ward offices.”
Hafeej went on to write, “We will also target temples in Ulhasnagar and Ambernath. We will go after the BMC officers who targeted the Sara Sahara complex owned by Dawood Ibrahim.” The city authorities are taking the threat seriously. RA Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner, said more plain-clothes policemen would man the important landmarks.
“We will make use of CCTVs and X-ray machines to scan people and goods entering our premises,” he said. BMC officials said metal detectors would be used to screen all visitors. Thane (Rural) SP Archana Tyagi has asked BMC, urging it to closely guard the water pipeline from Thane to Mumbai.
|2006-08-13||Journey of a refugee township|
On August 8, Ulhasnagar completed 57 years of existence. Like ever before, it went unnoticed. Sudesh Malvankar takes a walk down the memory lane.
Some call it Sindhunagar, some Ulhasnagar and the others, USA. What started as an infant refugee township has grown up to be a haven for the business enterprises. Unfortunately, except for the initial year or two, nobody in the town remember its inception date. DK+ gives you all the dope on the town’s history.
57 years ago, on August 8, 1949, the first and the last Governor General of India, C Rajgopalachari laid the foundation stone of this town. They called it the city for displaced people; in other words, a refugee township for people from Pakistan, mostly comprising of Sindhis.
During the time of World War II, the British army acquired 1200 hectares of land to set up camps for its military officers in an area nearby Kalyan. The British built about 1173 barracks for its 6000 soldiers. The total capacity of the camp was about 30,000.
Basic amenities like electricity were provided by the Ordnance Factory in Ambernath, while water came from the Barrage Dam in Badlapur. After independence, the town was filled with refugees from the Sindh province in Pakistan. Nearly 94,000 people took shelter in Ulhasnagar. The nearby James siding was developed into a small town of Vithalwadi.
In 1948 the government appointed ‘Relief and Rehabilitation committee’ to look after these transit camps. The Chief Commandant managed the things until the year 1964 under the auspices of Government Premised Control Act. “In the initial days, the government helped us a lot. They provided us with good accommodation and supplied free rations for two years. And as enterprising as Sindhis are, we started selling the biscuits, milk powder and the sweet toffees that we received in ration, after keeping little for ourselves,” reveals Sitaldas Harchandani, former MLA and a senior citizen of Ulhasnagar.
Meanwhile, in 1960, the first District Municipality was appointed under the presidency of Nevandram Vishindas Gurbani.
The main aim of this municipality was to collect funds and work for the betterment of the people. So, in 1962 the municipality started collecting Sanitation Tax; in 1963, Property Tax was also included. As a result, in the year 1975-76 the funds collected amounted to Rs. 1,76,96,153 and today the UMC has a total revenue generation of 123 crore.
The first developmental plan for Ulhasnagar was passed in the year 1974. At that time, Ulhasnagar had 158 sites that could have been developed for public use. But due to the lazy and unconcerned attitude of the polity none of the open spaces could be developed. Encroachments also started to take place around that time. Illegal constructions marked the decline of this already degenerated town. “In the late 1980s, politics started criminalizing. The town started degrading and lost its initial shine,” rues Prahlad Advani, a former president of the UMC.
Till 1985, Ulhasnagar gave shelter only to the refugees from Pakistan, but later, people from places in and around Mumbai started shifting to Ulhasnagar.
According to the census report of 2001, Ulhasnagar has a population of about 4.7 lakhs. Interesting the ratio of Sindhi and non-Sindhi community stands at 60:40. “Today, as things have financially improved for all the communities, a sort of egoist attitude has developed. Due to the lack of amenities, this refugee township has now turned into a huge slum. I can’t predict a better future for this town of ours,” shares Damodar Manulkar, 63, one of the early citizens of Ulhasnagar. “People of Ulhasnagar want it to develop into a better living place, that’s the only birthday wish that all of us can pray for and work towards,” he concludes.
|2006-08-13||300 Child Labourers Aged between 5 and 14 Rescued|
In a major operation spread across Mumbai and Thane districts, the state police on Saturday rescued around 300 children employed as labourers in various industrial conclaves. The children, aged between five and 14, were freed by police teams at zari and embroidery factories, hotels and even some residential complexes. Around 250 children were rescued in Mumbai, while 74 children were rescued from Ulhasnagar.
Industrial conclaves in Govandi, Kurla, Dharavi and Malad, which had come under the police scanner, were combed out by the police. Around 38 children from the Meghwadi (Malad) area, 72 from Bainganwadi (Govandi), 31 from Shahunagar (Dharavi) and 71 from Patel Wadi (Kurla) were rescued. Thirty-two child labourers from Camp 1 and 42 children from Camp 5 in Ulhasnagar were rescued.
A police team, along with members of the NGO Pratham Mumbai Education Initiative, rescued 29 child labourers aged between seven and 14 from the Jari Mills of Muslim Nagar, Indra Nagar and Kewdi Chawl, all situated in the Dharavi area.
|2006-08-12||2 held for faking top cop’s name|
The Mumbai Crime Branch arrested a distributor of Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd pre-paid mobile cards and his aide, on Thursday, for allegedly acquiring four prepaid cards by submitting forged documents in the name of Mumbai Police Commissioner AN Roy.
Crime Branch sources said the duo were identified as 37-year-old Santosh Madhani alias Nirankari — a distributor working for Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Ltd in Ulhasnagar and Ambarnath — and his assistant, Mangesh Nerpagare, 19.
In his remand application, Police Inspector KV Nigade of the Crime Branch said that the accused tampered with document details, like original names and addresses of mobile customers, and re-wrote Roy’s name and address on it.
The accused also allegedly forged the police commissioner’s signature on the identity cards of mobile customers, and acquired four prepaid mobile cards, the police said. However, the Crime Branch had not recovered the mobile cards yet, Nigade said.
|2006-08-12||Ulhasnagar couple steal for love and shelter|
A couple from Ulhasnagar, who did not have the funds to pay the deposit for their new house, broke into a shop and stole objects worth Rs 38,800 to do so.
Thane Police's Ulhasnagar Crime Branch arrested the 20-year-old college-going girl, but the man in her life got away.
Harsha Chawla and Nazim Ahmed, alias Nitin Ahuja eloped and got married in Goa a few months ago. Harsha studies in Ulhasnagar’s Jai Hind college.
On July 28, Harsha, Nitin and a friend broke into Total Computer Solution Store located in Peninsula park. They stole a gold chain, a ring, two mobile handsets, and computer parts worth Rs 38,800. They also took the two bearers cheques lying in the shop.
It was when they tried to encash those cheques that Harsha was arrested.
“I used to stay in Dubai with my family, and we shifted to Ulhasnagar and set up a medical shop. I met Nitin in a cyber café. Our relationship turned into love, and we ran away from home and got married three months back,” says Harsha.
After returning, both of them stayed in few dharmashalas in Kalyan, but soon began looking for a house. Since neither had the money required for a deposit, they decided to steal.
J D More, senior police inspector of Ulhasnagar Crime Branch says, “Nitin has a police record for 12 bike thefts. He used Harsha for the crime because the police do not usually interrogate couples that roam about in the night. Harsha, Nitin and another friend went to the shop in a car. The two men then broke the store.”
The next day, Nitin sent Harsha to Bank of Baroda’s Ulhasnagar branch to encash the bearer cheques written in her name. But the police were already expecting the move and she was arrested with Rs 10,000 and the gold chain and ring she stole from the shop.
Nitin, who was waiting at distance, ran as soon as he smelt trouble. “He told me that this was the last crime, that he would start a new life after this,” says Harsha, who is now out on bail.
|2006-08-12||Cyber crime accused jumps from Thane cop’s offic|
Shankar Sajwani (32), a resident of Vapi in Gujarat jumped from the third floor terrace of the Thane Police Commissioner's office and sustained severe injuries on back and head. He was summoned by the Thane Cyber Crime Cell in connection with a complaint filed against him by his in-laws.
Sajwani was accused of sending harassing emails to his brother-in-law Nawesh Thakur, who works in Dubai. After the interrogation, Shankar climbed straight up to the Commissioner’s office terrace and jumped. He landed on a tree before hitting the ground.
Senior police inspector Shekhar Tore, from Thane Cyber Crime said, "Manohar Thakur, a resident of Ulhasnagar had registered a complaint saying his son Nawesh was being harassed by Shankar through emails. Nawesh's office had received an email claiming that Nawesh has committed a fraud and was also responsible for of Rs 20 lakhs in India. When we traced the email ID from which the mails were sent, it turned out to be Shankar's official email ID. Shankar works as a manager in Intercomp Group of Companies in Vapi.”
Shankar arrived at the Thane Cyber Crime Cell at 1:00 pm on Friday. During interrogation he admitted to having sent the email. Ravindra Chavan, Police Sub-Inspector Cyber Cell said, “He spoke to his father-in-law Manohar Thakur over the phone and repented for his crime. We asked his father-in-law to come to the office and submit an application saying he would not like to pursue the case.
“Meanwhile, at around 2:30pm Shankar requested to go out for lunch. After some time we heard about a man trying to attempt suicide by jumping off the building and it turned out to be Shankar.”
Shankar was quickly rushed to the Thane Civil Hopital for treatment and his life was saved. Deepak Shah, Shankar's friend said, “There were problems in his marriage and he was depressed. His wife had left him and had filed a case against him for demanding dowry. It was his frustration that made him send those emails to Nawesh. He is feeling guilty now."
A case has been registered by the Thane Nagar Police station against Shankar for attempting suicide. Shankar is still recuperating in the hospital.
• There were problems in his marriage and he was depressed. His wife had left him and had filed a case against him for demanding dowry. It was his frustration that made him send those emails to Nawesh — Deepak Shah, Shankar's friend
|2006-08-12||Suburbs were down under|
Parts of Kalyan remained inundated on August 6 and 7, due to the heavy incessant rains that refused to stop for more than 72 hours. According to residents, this was bound to happen as the Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) took little corrective measures despite all the tall claims made by the officials after the 26/7 deluge last year.
Starting its cruel onslaught, the Saturday afternoon-to-Tuesday morning rains revived the painful memories and trauma of 26/7 again in the minds of the local inhabitants. “It was the same old story unwinding in slow motion. Mohone, Gholap Nagar, Ganesh Ghat are some of the chronic flooding spots that gets submerged every year, but municipality does precious little to alleviate this annual sufferings of the people of these areas,” says an agitated R Shrivastava whose apartment at Gholap Nagar was under floodwaters right from Sunday night.
"Besides, Waldhuni River has not been cleaned and desilted adequately. The encroachments have not been cleared near it. In fact, the authorities have taken no action so far in this regard. This has resulted in the severe flooding of all the areas near it, including low-lying stretches around Ulhasnagar and Vithalwadi,” he adds. For the thousands of people living in these scattered neighborhoods over large geo vicinity, it is a regular manmade calamity that visits unerringly in every monsoon. “Kids, women and senior citizens are worst affected. If there is an emergency, we cannot do anything except to wait for the waters to recede,” says Nirmala Bhalerao, a homemaker from Mohone.
|2006-08-12||Is Kalani becoming unpopular in Ulhasnagar?|
Strange equations are brewing in Ulhasnagar’s political scene, which has been always considered a bastion for MLA Pappu Kalani.
However, Kalani received a blow of his lifetime on July 30 when the results for the by election for ward number 20 A of Ulhasnagar Municipal Cooperation (UMC) was announced. In the by-election, Annu Manwani, an independent candidate defeated NCP’s Dr Prakash Nathani, who had the whole-hearted backing of Kalani. Manvani secured 3439 votes while the nearest rival Nathani was able to get only 1755 votes.
Manvani’s victory has thrashed the general concept that Kalani and his favorites are indomitable in Ulhasnagar.
The by-election result also has significance considering the fact that the corporation will be going for elections in next February. It’s known fact that the by-election was actually fought between Kalani on the one side and his enemies on the other side. Manvani had the support of BJP, Congress and other disgruntled elements of the NCP.
|2006-08-08||700 villages in state submerged|
The flood toll in Maharashtra rose to 69 on Monday even as the situation remains grim with large parts of Marathwada, Vidarbha and north Maharashtra still under water.
Nearly 700 villages in 19 districts across the state are flood-hit and 1.05 lakh residents have been evacuated to safer areas.
In neighbouring Thane district, nearly 1,200 persons were evacuated from the Ulhasnagar and Badlapur areas. District collector N Jantre said that there was waterlogging in the Bhiwandi bypass area, Manor and Kalywan Kon-Bhiwandi Road.
|2006-08-07||Roy pulls up cell firms over mobile fiasco|
City police commissioner A N Roy called for an urgent meeting with all telecom operators in the city recently after he came to know that a fraudster had applied for four pre-paid mobile connections in his name. During the meeting, Roy warned all operators that strict action would be taken against them if such cases recur, especially since security measures in the city are going through a major revamp after the 7/11 blasts. The culprit in this case was an Ulhasnagar-based retailer of Tata Teleservices Maharashtra Limited (TTML). "We detected four bogus pre-paid mobile applications in the name of A N Roy,"said a TTML spokesperson. The retailer had submitted forged documents including a copy of a ration card, employment verification and an identity card.