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News Archive of Ulhasnagar / Sindhunagar City

September-2019 News & Updates from the City of Ulhasnagar/Sindhunagar, Maharashtra, India. Ulhasnagar City News indexed across timeline for easy retrieval.

2019-09-30Thane: Cab driver rapes 50-year-old ashram volunteer, arrested - Times Now
Thane: Cab driver rapes 50-year-old ashram volunteer, arrested Crime Updated Oct 01, 2019 : Thane: A cab driver has been arrested for allegedly raping a 50-year-old ashram volunteer working in the Kalyan area of Thane district in Maharashtra. The crime took place on June 23 when the woman was returning home in Ulhasnagar. According to a report, the matter came to light after a friend of the 28-year-old cab driver told the police during interrogation that he had accompanied the accused to the crime spot the next day to search for his lost wallet. Police said that the cab driver raped the woman when she was returning to her house from an ashram on foot around 7 pm in the evening. The accused dragged the victim to an isolated place and violated her. The traumatised and injured woman later reached Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar for treatment. According to Titwala police, a case of rape was registered against the unidentified accused on the same day. Since there were no CCTV cameras in the area, the police during the investigation interacted with several local people in the area to identify the accused. The police also scanned the Call Record Details (CRD) of the several suspects to nab the accused. "During the course of the investigation, we interrogated several people including labourers, construction workers, slum dwellers. A man from Varap told us that he and his friend Lakhan Devkar had gone to the place mentioned by the police to pick up his wallet. We then arrested Devkar from his house in Pune district," said Balaji Pandhare, a senior inspector of Titwala police station.
2019-09-30Travel agent held for rape of woman devotee in Kalyan - Times of India
Travel agent held for rape of woman devotee in Kalyan Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 11:12 IST : KALYAN: A 30-year-old travel agent from Pune, who allegedly raped a 52-year-old woman devotee of a self-styled godman, was arrested by the Kalyan taluka police on Sunday. The arrested accused has been identified as Lakhan Devkar, resident of Kamba village in Kalyan Taluka. The incident had taken place last Monday when the victim, who works at an ashram of a self-styled Godman, was returning home in Ulhasnagar. Taking advantage, accused Devkar forcefully took the woman at an isolated spot and raped her. The victim later filed a police complaint. Titwala police formed separate teams and nabbed the accused from Junnar Taluka of Pune district, Balaji Pandhare, senior police inspector of Titwala police station said. (The victim's identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault).
2019-09-30Mumbai: Drummer Arrested For Groping Minor in Residential Area of Andheri, Police Nabs Culprit After Act - LatestLY
Mumbai: Drummer Arrested For Groping Minor in Residential Area of Andheri, Police Nabs Culprit After Act Gets Caught on CCTV Sep 30, 2019 12:57 PM IST : Mumbai, September 30: In a shocking incident of sexual harassment, a drummer was arrested for groping a 12-year-old girl in Andheri East. According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the accused Manoj Todankar fled from the spot after he realised that he was captured in the CCTV footage. However, police soon tracked him down and he claimed that he was sloshed and that made him commit the crime. The victim was with her younger brother and they both had stepped out of their home to purchase a few things. It was then that Manoj groped the minor girl in the staircase. She immediately came home and told her parents about the same. The Police were informed soon and he was arrested from a relative's place in Kandivali. In another incident of sexual abuse, a 28-year-old tourist cab driver was arrested by Thane Rural Police on Saturday for allegedly raping a volunteer working in an ashram in Kalyan. According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the incident took place on June 23 and she was on her way back to her house in Ulhasnagar. The 50-year-old volunteer used to walk between her home and ashram daily. The stretch was isolated and on the day the incident took place, the woman was returning home and it was then that the accused took her into the bush and raped her.
2019-09-30Ulhasnagar cops arrest wanted murder accused from Jharkhand - Times of India
Ulhasnagar cops arrest wanted murder accused from Jharkhand Updated: Sep 30, 2019, 20:25 IST : THANE: The Ulhasnagar crime unit late on Sunday night arrested a person wanted in murder case for the last one and half years in Jharkhand. The accused, Rajendra Yadav (46), is a habitual criminal and in past too was arrested in two different murder cases by Jharkhand police. While on bail in 2018, he shot dead a person named Rambabu Shah over property dispute at his village Barhat. He has been absconding since then. The crime branch sources said that recently Mahesh Tarde, senior police inspector of Ulhasnagar crime unit, received specific information that Yadav was hiding at Dhobhighat area in Ulhasnagar. Acting on the information, Tarde formed team and arrested him on Sunday late night from Maharal naka near Dhobhighat. Yadav was also arrested in 2003 and 1999 in two separate murder cases.
2019-09-29Maharashtra: Bite Marks Nail Accused In Rape Case - News Nation
Maharashtra: Bite Marks Nail Accused In Rape Case Updated : 29 September 2019, 01:14 PM : Thane Police have nailed a 48-year-old man in connection with the rape of a woman here in Maharashtra on the basis of bite marks on his chest, an official said on Sunday. The accused, Lakhan Devkar, caught hold of the 50-year-old woman, a resident of Ulhasnagar township, when she was returning home alone on June 23 this year. He dragged her to secluded place in the area where he raped her, police inspector Balaji Pandhre said. The woman was later admitted to a local hospital and she lodged a police complaint. While probing the incident, the police analysed CCTV footage of the area and made enquiries at several local eateries, slums and labour colonies, he said. After spotting the accused in some of the video clips of the area, they called him for questioning and found some bite marks on his chest, he said. On further questioning, the accused confessed to the crime and said the victim bit him on his chest in an attempt to resist his move, he said. Following the probe, the accused was arrested on Saturday on and booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 376 (rape), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) and 506 (criminal intimidation), he added.
2019-09-29Indore: 5.5 Kg smuggled gold seized by DRI, 7 arrested - Times Now
Indore: 5.5 Kg smuggled gold seized by DRI, 7 arrested Updated Sep 29, 2019 | 15:39 IST | : Indore: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of Indore zone has apprehended seven passengers including a female with approximately 5.5 kg of gold in their possession. The gold valued at Rs 2.10 crore was purchased from Dubai. The seven persons who have been arrested in connection with this smuggling are all natives of Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra. It is the second biggest catch by Indore DRI after October 2018 in which 6 kg of smuggled gold was seized. Smuggled gold from Dubai was brought in the form of a powdery paste by these passengers on an Air India flight. It is the first such catch after the start of an international flight from Dubai to Indore in July 2019. The onward tickets for these passengers were booked for Mumbai by an Indigo flight. These passengers are frequent flyers on the international route. To hide the yellow metal, they chemically treated the gold and converted it into form of a paste. The gold in paste form was hidden in body clothing and undergarments, the officials said. Searches are going on to trace out further links. A case under the Customs Act 1962 has been registered. Further investigation is underway.
2019-09-28Mumbai: Balcony of building falls in Ulhasnagar - Yahoo India News
Mumbai: Balcony of building falls in Ulhasnagar 28 September 2019 : Thane: The balcony of a ground plus five storied building collapsed on Friday afternoon in Ulhasnagar. The fire official said that no injuries or casualties were reported, while a civic official added that luckily no one was present in the flat when the balcony collapsed. Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) officials reached the spot and evacuated residents from the building having six flats and seven shops. The SAI Apartment building is situated in Camp 2 of Ulhasnagar city. The building is said to be constructed in 1993-94, when many of buildings were constructed in the city using Ulwa sand (inferior quality sand). The flats belong to leading businessmen from the city as each floor has over 2,000-3,000 square feet area on each floor. Ganesh Shimpi, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of UMC said, “The building was not in the list of dangerous buildings. But it was constructed in 1993-94 during which many buildings were constructed using the inferior quality sand.”
2019-09-28DRI seizes 5.5kg gold worth Rs 2.1 crore from seven passengers in Indore - Times of India
DRI seizes 5.5kg gold worth Rs 2.1 crore from seven passengers in Indore Updated: Sep 28, 2019, 20:36 IST : INDORE: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on Saturday arrested seven persons and recovered 5.5kg gold, worth Rs 2.1 crore in the local market, being smuggled from Dubai to Mumbai. The accused had converted the gold into paste form and filled in capsules – some concealed on the body, some were swallowed and recovered from the recta. The DRI’s Indore zonal unit intercepted the passengers, including a woman, all from Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra, at the Indore airport. They had brought appoximately 5.5 Kg of Gold from Dubai having Rs 2.1 Cr. of local market value, DRI sources said. It's second biggest catch by Indore DRI after October, 2018 in which 6 Kg of smuggled gold was seized, they added. Smuggled gold from Dubai was brought in the form of powdery paste by these passengers. It is first seizure after inception of international flight from Dubai to Indore, in July 2019. These passengers are frequent flyers on international route, and finally the racket was busted at Indore. Some of them are habitual offenders, DRI sources said. To hide the yellow metal, the accused chemically treated the gold and converted it in paste form. It was concealed in the body. Gold in paste form was also hidden in body clothings/undergarments, they said. The accused had arrived on Air India Flight No. 904 (Dubai to Indore) and were having onward tickets were for Mumbai, by morning Indigo flight. Sources said once this smuggled gold enters in domestic market, it is sold without bills while evading GST. Searches are going on to trace out further links. All seven accused will be arrested under Customs Act 1962, further investigation is underway.
2019-09-28Day after balcony collapse, residents want more time to vacate illegal bldg in Ulhasnagar - Hindustan Times
Day after balcony collapse, residents want more time to vacate illegal bldg in Ulhasnagar Updated: Sep 29, 2019 00:41 IST : A day after a portion of a ground-plus-six-storey illegal building in Ulhasnagar collapsed on Friday, the civic officials are yet to demolish the structure, as residents have asked for more time to vacate their homes. There were no casualties reported in the incident. But as the building had tilted slightly, the civic commissioner had asked the residents of Sai Kutir to vacate the building, following which the authorities would demolish it. “The residents have asked for a day more to vacate the building,” said Ganesh Shimpi, assistant commissioner, UMC. “So, we will abide by their request. If they fail to vacate the building in a day’s time, we will demolish keeping in mind the safety of the occupants of the structure and the nearby buildings as well as and those passing by it,” said Shimpi. Meanwhile, on Saturday, the civic body checked the safety arrangements made by a Gujarati-medium school next to Sai Kutir building. “The school is open and has not changed its routine. We had asked the management to ensure safety of students and to relocate them. The school management assured us that the 300-odd students would be accommodated in a huge space owned by the school on the other side of the road. We checked the accommodation and gave a go-ahead,” said Shimpi. The mishap has yet again highlighted the need for prompt action against illegal and dangerous buildings in the city. On August 13, a ground-plus-five-storey building, Mahak Apartment, on Link Road collapsed, leaving around 500 occupants homeless. The residents had taken to the streets after the incident, following which the state government had asked the civic chief to regularise and redevelop the illegal and dangerous structures in the city. The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) has initiated the process to do so. On February 3, three people, including a two-year-old, died, while four were injured, as the flooring on the second floor of a private clinic, Sai Ashirwad, in Ulhasnagar collapsed, bringing down the ground floor slab.
2019-09-27Ulhasnagar MLA quits NCP ‘to make way for others’ - Hindustan Times
Ulhasnagar MLA quits NCP ‘to make way for others’ Updated: Sep 28, 2019 00:41 IST : In another major setback to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), MLA Jyoti Kalani, 67, president of the Ulhasnagar unit, resigned from the party on Friday to “make way for others”. The NCP has now appointed Sonia Dhami, 47, as the president of its Ulhasnagar unit. In her resignation letter to NCP state president Jayant Patil, Kalani, a former mayor of Ulhasnagar, said, “I am resigning for personal reasons. I will not contest the elections. I resigned to make way for others from the party to contest. The party is still strong. I have taken retirement from the party for the time being. I have no plans to join any other party.” Earlier, there were talks of Kalani joining the BJP or the Shiv Sena as her son Omie, who runs Team Omie Kalani, is an ally of the BJP in the UMC. His wife, Pancham, is the mayor on a BJP ticket. “Ever since I sent my resignation letter, I have not heard back if it has been accepted or not,” said Kalani. Dhami has been working for NCP for the past 10 years in UMC corporator Bharat Gangotri’s ward. “I have been working for women and their welfare. The party chose me as the president and I will handle the party proceedings in the city,” she said. Meanwhile, former assistant commissioner of police, Jagdish Lohankar, 62, on Friday joined the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Sources from Kalyan said he is likely to contest the Assembly polls from Kalyan (East). “I am looking forward to do good work for the city. I know Kalyan and its problems, and I’m willing to solve them,” he said.
2019-09-27Give Ulhasnagar kids their open space, say residents - Hindustan Times
Give Ulhasnagar kids their open space, say residents Updated: Sep 28, 2019 00:59 IST : Sprawled over 2 acres, Gol Maidan in Ulhasnagar was popular with children and senior citizens. Children running around, playing sports or just enjoying the open space was a common sight. Not anymore. Gol Maidan has now turned into a venue for public and political gatherings, events and fairs. Children hardly have space to play here. Although there is a volleyball court, it has not been maintained properly. An open space with a stage is the venue for events and out of bounds for children. Only 20% of the ground is used for children and the rest is rented out for public and political gatherings. Pravin Duseja, 74, has been living near the ground for 50 years. “I shifted to this part of the city so that my children will have an option to play. Today, the ground has no space to play. We have seen the ground dying,” said Duseja, adding that the ground hosts functions throughout the year. The fight against the violations at Gol Maidan began in December 2016 after a spiritual event was organised on the ground. Residents complained about noise pollution during the event. Hirali Foundation, an NGO fighting against noise pollution, filed a contempt petition against the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) in the Bombay high court. “The loudspeakers recorded 100 decibel sound, which inconvenienced residents. Since then, we started acting upon violations and approached the court and state government with complaints,” said Sarita Khanchandhani, founder of the Foundation. Around 300 flats have been built around the ground. “The ground is given on rent for public and political gatherings which becomes noisy. There is a fair organised around Diwali. With so many people thronging the ground, the area becomes chaotic,” added Khanchandani. The Foundation wants the ground only for children. The Gol Maidan earlier was an open ground with no fencing, open for the children throughout the year. “The portion of the ground which is still with the UMC is occupied most of the time. As per the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act 1966, the ground can be given on rent for 12 days at a stretch and only 45 days throughout the year. Gol Maidan is rented out throughout the year. Portions of the ground have been concretised to put up pandals which is a violation,” said Khanchandani. When UMC was formed in 1996, the ground was reserved with it, and it started giving portions of the ground on lease. An UMC official, who did not wish to be named, said, “The civic body gives out a part of the ground on rent to generate revenue. The portions, which are on lease, have gardens where children can play. The civic body ensures that all the norms are followed while letting out the ground.” Noisiest spot in Ulhasnagar In a survey in June 2018 by National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Ulhasnagar was the noisiest city in the state. Last year, too, Ulhasnagar continued to be the noisiest city in the state. Hirali Foundation recorded the sound at night which showed that it has crossed the permissible level of noise. Gol Maidan was found to be the noisiest spot in the city. Resident speak “The civic body should have at least developed one portion of it as an open ground for children. There are several other places to hold public and political gatherings in the city,” said Manisha Wadhwani, 38, a resident of Gol Maidan, Ulhasnagar “I used to play on the ground when I was a child. My grandchildren do not have this option. The garden built is small and open for everyone. Children need space to hone their skill in various sports,” said Satya Kulkarni, 65, a resident of Gol Maidan, Ulhasnagar.
2019-09-26‘Ease process to regularise illegal bldgs in Ulhasnagar’ - Hindustan Times
‘Ease process to regularise illegal bldgs in Ulhasnagar’ Updated: Sep 27, 2019 00:45 IST : Residents want a single-window clearance to make the process of regularisation of illegal and dangerous structures easy. This was one of the suggestions by residents which will be submitted to joint director of town planning Konkan division, Navi Mumbai. Residents of Ulhasnagar can give their suggestions and objections till October 12. A group of 10 residents, headed by advocate Raj Chandwani, 29, have been approaching other residents, spreading awareness among them on sending suggestions and objections. On September 13, a Maharashtra government notification allowed redevelopment of unauthorised and dangerous structures in Ulhasnagar by using floor space index (FSI) up to 4. Structures which have not been regularised due to non-compliance under the Regularisation of Unauthorised Development in the City of Ulhasnagar Act 2006, those which are declared dangerous by Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation or buildings more than 30 years old can be redeveloped. “We have already sent a letter to the joint director with suggestions a few days ago. We have got signatures of 1,000 residents and we are targeting 10,000,” said Chandwani. The state notification came after Mahak apartments in Ulhasnagar collapsed on August 13, leaving around 500 residents homeless. Residents have formed five teams who will visit areas and appeal to people to send suggestions. “Residents can approach me if they have doubts on regularisation process,” added Chandwani. Residents also want buildings as old as 20 years to be allowed redevelopment. “A majority of buildings, which have been declared dilapidated or illegal, are less than 30 years,” said Chandwani. UMC commissioner Sudhakar Deshmukh has been given powers to carry out regularisation works. “The civic body will first serve notices to residents. There will be a single committee to deal with the process. The work will be uploaded online so that there is a transparency,” said Deshmukh. Amar Jagyasi, 45, a resident of Ulhasnagar 4, is drafting suggestions. He said, “My focus is on how the redevelopment policy can help residents. Buildings built on reserved plots or those which do not have land documents or those affected in widening projects may face hurdles. Authorities should think of all factors while implementing it.”
2019-09-26Pregnant woman found dead on tracks - Hindustan Times
Pregnant woman found dead on tracks Updated: Sep 27, 2019 00:35 IST : The Kalyan government railway police (GRP) found an unidentified pregnant woman’s body near a track in Ulhasnagar on Tuesday night. According to the GRP officials, they found the woman on the tracks around 10.30pm and took her to Central Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. “The woman, who was eight months pregnant, died after she was hit by a train. We have not found anything to identify her. We circulated her photo and asked the police, woman welfare foundation and local corporators to help identify her, the GRP official said.
2019-09-26Kalyan RTO gets 7 vehicle inspectors to ease burden - Hindustan Times
Kalyan RTO gets 7 vehicle inspectors to ease burden Updated: Sep 27, 2019 00:56 IST : Kalyan Regional Transport Office (RTO) has appointed additional assistant vehicle inspectors, taking the total number to nine. The hiring will lessen the burden on the existing officials. It will speed up the process of issuing licence. The officials will check violations, keep track of errant auto drivers and impose fine. The RTO office had only two inspectors. According to an official, Kalyan RTO had been demanding more inspectors for the past few months. “The increase in the assistant inspectors will definitely help the Kalyan RTO to speed up work,” said Sanjay Sasane, deputy RTO, Kalyan. The RTO in Kalyan caters to Kalyan, Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Badalpur, Shahad, Titwala and Murbad. People visit the RTO for license renewal, number plates, seized vehicles, driving test, transfer of vehicle, registration and other work. “Among the newly appointed assistant vehicle inspectors, five have already joined work. The others are undergoing training and will join work soon,” added Sasane.
2019-09-26Public anger against PMC Bank failure mounts - Times of India
Public anger against PMC Bank failure mounts Sep 26, 2019, 18:40 IST : BENGALURU: With public anger mounting, #PMCBank was the top trending hashtag on Twitter India on Tuesday and Wednesday with more than 22,000 tweets as stories of individual bank customers suffering began to emerge. WhatsApp and Facebook were also flooded with individual accounts of the plight of bank customers. Separately, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) tweeted, "Reports appearing in some sections of social media about RBI closing down certain commercial banks are false." Videos of hundreds of depositors queuing up outside the bank's branches, scuffles with the police, customers fainting, having chest pain and being taken to medical care were being widely shared. A video of an eldery woman, who fainted from shock and had to carried out to an auto in Ulhasnagar branch of PMC Bank -- has been going viral. So has videos of depositors queuing up outside PMGP colony branch, Poonam Nagar, Andheri East. Tweets from bank customers like Praful Shah went viral, after he said, "#PMCBank. Its nothing but bankruptcy. My 25 lakhs, saved for daughters' marriages, are now trapped. My lifetime saving getting washed overnite. Feeling sad." #PMCBank Its nothing but bankruptcy. My 25 lakhs, saved for daughters' marriages, are now trapped. My lifetime savi… https://t.co/HpJL7ZCsOR— Praful Shah (@PrafulS98568293) 1569300866000 Another user Mohit Jain asked, "I am going to buy my house, now how should I pay for registration of property." Twitterati was highly indignant on how poor and low-income households could survive on just Rs 1,000. “We stopped keeping money at home because of demonetisation and digital India and now we can’t withdraw our own hard-earned money.” There was also anger that the government could afford the Rs 1.48 lakh crore corporate tax cut but not ensure repayment of the Rs 11,000 crore customers had deposited with PMC Bank. Another issue with social media has been the spread of misinformation. As of now, RBI has permitted the bank only to allow Rs 1,000 per depositor per account for the entire six month period. But fake WhatsApp forwards were doing the rounds that "if customers are patient, you can withdraw Rs 1,000 every week and recover in part savings. Over a six month period, as much as Rs 26,000 can be withdrawn (26 weeks * Rs 1,000)." Union finance secretary Rajeev Kumar took to Twitter on Wednesday to condemn fake news on bank closures. "There are mischievous rumours on social media about @RBI closing some banks. No question of closing any PSB, which are articles of faith. Rather government is strengthening PSBs with reforms and infusion of capital to better serve its customers." There are mischievous rumours on Social Media (picture below) about @RBI closing some banks. No question of closing… https://t.co/LNxWhmgtDe— Rajeev kumar (@rajeevkumr) 1569402571000 He also attached a screenshot of the WhatsApp forward -- "Nine banks will be closed permanently by Reserve Bank of India. If anybody having transactions in it please kindly withdraw it. The names of the banks are Corporation Bank, UCO Bank, IDBI, Bank of Maharashtra, Andhra Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Centra Bank of India, Dena Bank and United Bank of India. 9 banks going to be close if u guys have any account in this banks so please immediately safe ur cash forward this msg to all. Order by supreme Court (SIC)." Former MP and BJP Maharashtra vice-president Kirit Somaiya tweeted, "I talked with @DasShaktikanta governor @RBI and appealed to consider increasing the withdrawal limit from ₹ 1000 to ₹ 1,00,000 in next few months for Small Depositors & Senior Citizens of Punjab Maharashtra Cooperative #pmcbank RBI agreed to study it @BJP4India." I talked with @DasShaktikanta governor @RBI & appealed to consider increasing the withdrawal limit from ₹ 1000 to… https://t.co/paMmRkILqZ— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) 1569323703000
2019-09-26Maharashtra assembly elections: BJP and Shiv Sena lock horns over five seats - Times of India
Maharashtra assembly elections: BJP and Shiv Sena lock horns over five seats Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 9:46 IST : MUMBAI: Although the BJP state president claimed that alliance talks with the Shiv Sena are in their final stage, sources said both parties had locked horns over five seats. Insiders said Wadala, Airoli, Belapur, Ulhasnagar and Ausa in Latur, all held by the Shiv Sena so far, were the five seats in question and these were proving to be a major challenge in alliance talks. The BJP wants to contest from these assembly seats. On Tuesday, BJP state president Chandrakant Patil had said that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena party president Uddhav Thackeray were discussing the seat-sharing formula, but Shiv Sena politicians said that the seat-sharing formula had been decided even before the Lok Sabha election and that it had to be equal seats for both parties. One of the most senior MLAs in the state assembly, Kalidas Kolambkar, who has represented Wadala (known as Naigaon before delimitation) seven times, recently switched over to the BJP from the Congress. Kolambkar defeated Mihir Kotecha of the BJP in 2014. The constituency was with the Sena in 2009, when the saffron parties fought as an alliance. Earlier, Kolambkar represented the constituency as Shiv Sena MLA for four terms from 1990 to 2004. In Belapur and Airoli, both in Navi Mumbai, Ganesh Naik’s family holds sway. Naik recently joined the BJP. In Ulhasnagar, former BJP MLA Kumar Ailani lost against Jyoti Kalani of the NCP in 2014. Kalani is said to have been refused an NCP ticket and may switch to the BJP or Shiv Sena.
2019-09-26Weddings in jeopardy, Rs 1,000 to run home — chaos at PMC Bank branches in Mumbai - The Indian Express
Weddings in jeopardy, Rs 1,000 to run home — chaos at PMC Bank branches in Mumbai Updated: September 26, 2019 8:47:33 am : The freeze of business imposed upon the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank has thrown Ankush Dewan’s wedding in a serious jeopardy. The 32-year-old is set to marry in November but Tuesday’s decision by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to limit withdrawals by account holders at Rs 1,000 for six months has locked up nearly all his finances. “My mother and brother have accounts at a PMC Bank branch in Vasai. My mother has put all her savings in the account and I have also recently given her most of mine. I am due to get married in November. That is going to be difficult now,” said Dewan, a financial services professional. Having made bookings for the nuptials months ago, it is too late now to postpone the wedding. To make matters worse, the crisis has also resulted in Dewan’s home renovations being stalled. “With just 30 to 40 days to go for the wedding, it is not possible to call it off. I have no choice but to take a loan,” he said. His brother is also looking at making alternative arrangements to pay his home loan as monthly payments will no longer go through. A day after the RBI asked the PMC Bank not allow withdrawal of more than Rs 1,000 per account for six months and limited facility of loans, investments as well as any fresh deposits or fund borrowal, several account holders started withdrawing Rs 1,000, fearing they will lose even that amount if they didn’t withdraw. Explained: Why RBI has put restrictions on a cooperative bank, what happens now “After I run out of money, I will start borrowing from neighbours,” said Ranjana Kharat, who held two Rs 500 notes outside the Chembur branch of the bank on Wednesday. Kharat works as a domestic help and has two children to feed. Her husband had passed away a few years ago. “My employer deposits my salary in the bank account. I also have a fixed deposit (FD),” she said. “I don’t know how I will run my house with Rs 1,000. Despite having money in my account, I have to borrow,” said Govandi resident Abdul Rehman, who works as lighting technician on production sets. Rehman stood from 10 am till 7 pm outside the Chembur branch — where a police van stood guard to keep crowd under control — on Tuesday to break his two FDs of Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 50,000. On Wednesday, he finally withdrew Rs 1,000.
2019-09-26BJP-Shivsena alliance talks hit a roadblock over five seats | HW English - HW News English
BJP-Shivsena alliance talks hit a roadblock over five seats September 26, 2019 : Mumbai: According to the sources, talks between the BJP-Shivsena alliance have hit a roadblock. It has been reported that the parties are at loggerheads with each other over five dominating Shiv Sena seats. The five seats that have been the main contention of the alliance are Wadala, Airoli, Belapur, Ulhasnagar and Ausa in Latur. Traditionally, these seats are a stronghold of Shivsena party but the Bhartiya Janta Party wants to contest them this time around. BJP President Amit Shah has also cancelled his trip to Mumbai which was supposed to happen today. The Union Home Minister was going to visit Mumbai today to announce the final conclusion of seat-sharing talks with the Shivsena. But now it is unsure that the coalition is on or not. The decision for a seat-sharing formula is likely to get delayed because of all this.
2019-09-25Why didn’t RBI warn us not to put funds in bank, ask angry depositors - Times of India
Why didn’t RBI warn us not to put funds in bank, ask angry depositors Updated: Sep 25, 2019, 11:27 IST : MUMBAI: Lakhs of small and big depositors in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank were struck by a bolt from the blue as RBI on Tuesday imposed a withdrawal limit of a meagre Rs 1,000 in six months. Many rushed to the branches, which witnessed unruly scenes and police had to be deployed. While bank officials and policemen had a tough time calming frayed tempers of many, others exhibited signs of deep anxiety and some even broke down. Tuesday’s announcement caused panic among account holders in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan, who rushed to their branches to seek answers. Many arrived to retrieve gold jewellery, share certificates, property documents and other valuables from their lockers. There were housewives, maidservants, sweepers, rickshaw drivers and businessmen — some ailing, others with school fees, EMIs and weddings to pay for. All of them were shocked by the withdrawal freeze. “Why did RBI not alert us to stop putting money before if they were aware of irregularities?” said an angry depositor from Oshiwara. All depositors had believed that their investments were secure with a “thriving bank that offered excellent service”. “PMC Bank is open until 8pm and also on Saturday-Sunday. That is why I switched my account from UCO Bank to PMC,” said distraught account holder Rose Violet. Well into the evening, customers milled inside the Manish Nagar branch in Andheri (W). Lakshmi B had brought her son from school, she had to pay his fees; Vinita Sharma and Gausia Lashkar had weddings coming up. They had Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh held up. Cancer patient Nirmala Shetty (name changed) paced up and down outside the Mulund branch, begging to be let in. “I am undergoing treatment at Apollo hospital and need to withdraw Rs 25,000 for medical expenses,” she said. Other aghanst account holders in Mulund said this was like a “second notebandi”, except with a reduced withdrawal limit. Bank officials announced that they may disburse money in special cases for hospitalisation or emergency treatment after clients produced the relevant documents. But depositors remembered similar false promises made during demonetisation, where no family managed to withdraw Rs 50,000 for wedding expenses despite government assurances. Also, RBI regulations do not leave scope for emergency withdrawals. In Navi Mumbai, groups of customers crowded outside branches in Kalamboli, APMC, Airoli and Kopar Khairane and began to agitate. DCP (zone 2) Ashok Dudhe visited the Kalamboli branch to pacify angry customers. DCP (zone 1) Pankaj Dahane said around 150 customers in Kopar Khairane raised a storm, but police managed the situation. Across Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Bhiwandi, the scene was similar. Autorickshaw driver Deep Narayan Upadhyay said: “I was in Mumbai driving a passenger when I got a message on my mobile phone from the bank. I do not understand English so I sought the passenger’s help. He informed me of the situation and I rushed back. My entire savings of Rs 40,000 is stuck in this bank, how will I repay my vehicle loan?” In Nalasopara, senior citizen B N Rawal whose only source of income is interest from fixed deposits, said he was likely to face starvation in the coming months. In a statement. bank CEO Joy Thomas said: “We assure depositors and well-wishers that this is temporary phenomenon. Our staff is confident that we will come out of this. We have been given six months, we are sure we will be able to come out before this time.”
2019-09-25Heavy rainfall in Mumbai causes traffic snarls, waterlogging in many parts; Skymet predicts downpour to... - Firstpost
Heavy rainfall in Mumbai causes traffic snarls, waterlogging in many parts; Skymet predicts downpour to continue for next four-six hours Sep 25, 2019 10:58:48 IST : Mumbai: Mumbai on Wednesday witnessed heavy rainfall, causing a traffic jam and waterlogging in several parts of the city in the morning. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that a severe thunderstorm is hovering over Mumbai and nearby regions in Maharashtra as the satellites and radar images captured by it shows the presence of heavy clouds over Mumbai. Skymet, a private weather forecast agency, also stated that intense rainfall will likely to continue in several parts of Mumbai for the next four to six hours. "Intense rain to continue in parts of Mumbai, Mumbai Suburban, Palghar, #Alibag, Virar, Bhiwandi, Kalyan, Dombivli, Dongri, Borivali, Goregaon, Mulund, Powai, Juhu, Dadar, Bandra, Chembur, Colaba, Navi Mumbai, Kurla, Mira Bhayandar and Thane during next 4-6 hours," said the agency on Twitter. On 19 September, several pockets of Mumbai including the suburbs, Navi Mumbai, Thane and north regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region witnessed heavy downpour. South Mumbai also received moderate rains.
2019-09-25Man hides 275gm gold in rectum, caught at airport - Times of India
Man hides 275gm gold in rectum, caught at airport Updated: Sep 26, 2019, 12:10 IST : SURAT: A gold smuggler was nabbed by the air intelligence unit of the customs department from Surat airport with 275 grams of gold worth Rs 11 lakh hidden in his rectum on late Tuesday night. Official sources said that the Manohar Rohra, a resident of Ulhasnagar in Mumbai, had arrived at Surat airport in the Surat-Sharjah flight. Finding his movements suspicious, the sleuths of air intelligence unit decided to scan his body. Scanning revealed that smuggler had hidden the gold capsules in the rectum. Detailed examination showed he had put the gold paste in the capsules that were covered with plastic sheaths in his rectum. Despite constant seizure of gold, there seems to be no dip in the smuggling gold through Surat airport. This is the fourth incident of gold smuggling reported from Surat airport in the last one month. Sources said that Rohra had brought the gold to be delivered it in Surat. There are many traders in Surat who are paying the smugglers handsome amount to bring the yellow metal from Dubai. The central government recently increased the import duty on gold from 10% to 12% in the last budget. Since the Surat airport operates a single international flight between Surat-Sharjah, smugglers find it easy to smuggle gold from Sharjah.
2019-09-25PMC Bank crisis: RBI’s punitive action due to a ₹2500 crore loan given by PMC to HDIL - National Herald
PMC Bank crisis: RBI’s punitive action due to a ₹2500 crore loan given by PMC to HDIL Published: 25 Sep 2019, 1:32 PM : On Monday, PMC account holders got a message on their phones that shocked them. PMC Bank was directed by the RBI to let the account holders withdraw no more than ₹1000 for the next six months; not extend or provide any new loans. All of this, overnight. No intimation was given to the customers. The reason behind this punitive action by the RBI was primarily the under-reporting of Non-performing Assets (NPAs) and underestimation of a debt. PMC gave out a ₹2500 crore loan to HDIL and despite the HDIL defaulting on repayments, PMC Bank’s auditors did not classify the loan to HDIL as an NPA, and the RBI finally put its foot down and termed the loan as a “complete loss”. But the ultimate victims of the action by the RBI are the PMC Bank’s account holders. They are at a loss and do not know how to sustain for six months without withdrawing cash. enraged and frustrated people are now demanding some solution to their problem and are asking why common account holders are being made to suffer; “The RBI guidelines in such cases say that the bank must make a provision for the loss. The PMC Bank’s cash reserves stand at around ₹1,000 crores, well short of the ₹2,500 crore loan granted to the HDIL,” The Economic Times quoted sources as saying. “In case the RBI felt that the loan was not a complete loss, the PMC Bank would have to make provision for 10% of the total loan, for which it had the resources. The fact that the RBI has put severe restrictions on the bank is proof enough that it considers the entire loan to HDIL as NPA,” Economic Times reported. The change comes amid the mounting despair among the people already facing a deep sense of hopelessness because of the economic slowdown which has resulted in job losses and an increase in prices of essential goods. The scenes outside the PMC Bank’s headquarters in Bhandup conveyed the chaos across the city as hundreds of depositors rushed in on hearing the news of the bank going ‘belly up’. Here are a few tweets showing what had happened on the day people came to know that PMC bank had to limit withdrawals.
2019-09-24RBI Curbs on PMC Bank, Panic in account holders - Afternoon Voice
RBI Curbs on PMC Bank, Panic in account holders September 24, 2019 : After detection of alleged irregularities in Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank, the Reserve Bank of India has placed restrictions on business of the bank for six months. RBI has barred it from allowing withdrawals of more than Rs 1,000 per account. Curbs imposed by RBI triggered panic in depositors and account holders of the bank. Customers and depositors of PMC Bank stormed social media to register their dissent over action taken by RBI. Some customers have sought the intervention of PM Narendra Modi into this matter. In addition to this, suicide warnings were also given by customers. Meanwhile, very soon the Andhra Bank and Union Bank would be merging and many bank employees will be laid off. The RBI is giving signal to all banks, since this is a tip of iceberg, now the bank employees too fear the loss of jobs. It is worth mentioning that PMC Bank had business of Rs 20,000 crore comprising deposits of Rs 11,617 crore and advances to the tune of Rs 8,383 crore at the end of March 2019. It has 137 branches across India. The multi-state cooperative bank had 3.76 per cent gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net 2.19 per cent NPAs as at the end of March 2019. As per reports, on September 23, RBI issued an order under sub-section 1 of Section 35-A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. RBI has said depositors would be allowed to withdraw a sum not exceeding Rs 1,000 of the total balance in every savings bank account or current account or any other deposit account. The bank could not grant or renew any loan, advances and make investments without prior approval of the RBI. These directions would remain in force for six months from the close of business of the bank on September 23, 2019, RBI said in a statement. A senior executive of PMC Bank said in course of inspection RBI had found some gaps in treatment of loans. He said that the bank was working to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, a message is being circulated in the name of Joy Thomas, the MD of PMC Bank, asking customers to exercise restraint. He claims in this message that objections raised by the RBI would be resolved within the six-month period, and the PMC Bank would soon revert to normal functioning. But the authenticity of his statement could not be confirmed. The statement said that PMC Bank has been put on regulatory restriction under 35-A of RBI act for 6 months for irregularities. It further said, “I, Mr. Joy Thomas, M.D., regret to inform you that your PMC Bank has been put under regulatory restriction under Section 35-A of B.R. Act by RBI for a period of 6 months due to irregularities disclosed to RBI. As the M.D. of the Bank, I take the responsibility and assure all the depositors that these irregularities will be rectified before the expiry of 6 months. All efforts are made to remove the restrictions by rectifying the irregularities. I know it is a difficult time for all of you and any apology may not restore the pain you are undergoing. Please co-operate with us.” We assure that we will definitely overcome this situation and stand strong, he added. Apart from putting a restriction of only Rs 1,000 withdrawal per account, the RBI has also barred the PMC Bank from renewing or granting new loans, making investments, accepting fresh deposits or discharging any payments under its liabilities except for the salaries of its employees, electricity bills and other office expenses. However, RBI has clarified that the issuance of directions should not, per se, be construed as a cancellation of a banking license by it. ”The bank will continue to undertake banking business with restrictions till further notice and instructions. The Reserve Bank may consider modifications of these directions depending upon circumstances,” it said.
2019-09-23Govt subsidy scheme shrinks affordable homes drastically - Ultra News
Govt subsidy scheme shrinks affordable homes drastically The size of apartments on sale in India are shrinking like never before, mostly due to a new affordable housing subsidy scheme announced by the government in early 2017. Under this credit subvention scheme, the government will today pay up to Rs 3.5 lakhs to banks on behalf of anyone who takes a home loan to buy an ‘affordable home’. Such homes also attract a goods and services tax of just 1%, instead of 5% for mid-tier homes, translating into another couple of lakhs of savings. However, to qualify for the tag of ‘affordable home’, the developer has to either price the flat at or below Rs 45 lakhs, or bring down the carpet area to 60 square meters (850 sq ft) or less in metropolitan cities and 90 square meters in other areas. This means that in places like Mumbai, where the cost of real estate is very high, most developers would opt for the carpet area method of achieving ‘affordable status’, instead of the price-based method. In markets where prices are not so high, developers could build larger flats and still qualify for affordable housing status by pricing it at Rs 45 lakhs or below. But this would be more difficult in markets like Mumbai, where average flat prices tend to be in the Rs 50-60 lakhs within the BMC zone. SIZE DECLINE Not surprisingly, therefore, the government’s incentive scheme for affordable housing has resulted in a sharp decline in the kind of flats that have come to the market in recent months. According to an analysis Anarock Consultants, the average size of an apartment offered for sale in Mumbai Metropolitan Region — which includes areas like Ulhasnagar, Vasai and Alibaug — has fallen by 45% over the last five years. The average flat sold in MMR is now just 530 square feet in size, compared to 960 sq. ft. in 2014. This is not even half that of other cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. In Delhi, for example, the average size of an apartment sold in the National Capital Region is 1,390 sq ft, which has hardly changed in the five years (a decline of 2% to be precise). The biggest flats are to be found in Hyderabad at 1,570 sq ft, while it is at 1,300 sq ft in Bangalore and 1,190 sq ft in Chennai. In other words, developers in these cities seem to be using the price-based definition of affordable housing, and focusing more on meeting the Rs 45-lakh cut-off instead of the 825 sq ft cut-off. Still, there has been some decline in flat sizes even in these cities, which may be related to other factors such as shrinking budgets and lower demand. For example, Hyderabad saw a decline of 12% in the average flat size in the five years, while Bangalore saw a reduction of 9% and Chennai 8%. Pune, for the record, also seemed to follow the pattern of Mumbai, with developers seemingly focusing on reducing the size of the flat instead of the price, to qualify for the affordable tag. Average flat sizes in Pune have fallen by a whopping 38% to just 600 sq ft over the same period. AFFORDABLE FLAT SIZES But the situation in Bangalore is somewhat more complicated, as the fall in the size of affordable homes has been masked by the relatively small proportion of affordable homes in the overall mix. In other words, Bangalore too saw a sharp decline in the size of affordable homes — to 710 sq ft from 1,070 — but this was not enough to swing the overall number much as affordable homes do not form as big a part of the total mix in Bangalore as they do in Mumbai and Pune. In other words, Bangalore would have shown trends similar to Mumbai and Pune if it wasn’t for the fact that most of the activity in this city is focused on mid-segment properties and not affordable housing units. The situation is very different in Pune. Of the total 22,830 units sold in Pune in H1 2019, nearly 47% belonged to the affordable category. This domination of affordable segment can also be seen in the impact that affordable housing has on the overall numbers for the city. In Pune, an average affordable house has an area of 565 sq ft, while the average apartment sold in the city is hardly bigger at 600 sq ft. Pune’s affordable houses (565 sq ft), while smaller than those in Bangalore (710 sq ft), are considerably bigger than those of Mumbai region, where it is just 425 sq ft in size — or roughly as big as a decent-sized living room in Delhi or Bangalore. In Delhi, the average affordable home is 650 sq ft in size (down from 890 five years ago), while in Kolkata, it is 705 sq ft and in Hyderabad, it is 810. On a national basis — taking into account data for all seven cities — affordable flats have an average size of 540 sq ft. This about half the size of an ‘average flat’ in these cites, including affordable and “non affordable” categories, at 1.020 sq ft. “Buyers are increasingly looking to avail the government’s credit subsidy benefits for affordable housing,” points out Anuj Puri, chairman of the consulting firm. “Buyers get reduced costs and added benefits, but lose out on space. Developers get to attract more buyers, but many have had to shed their cherished ‘luxury’ market categorization and stoop to conquer.” NOT JUST GOVT LAWS The data also indicates that it’s not just the government scheme that is responsible for the shrinkage, as some impact can also be seen outside the ‘affordable category’. On an all-India basis, luxury flats — priced in the Rs 1.5 cr to 2.5 cr band — also saw an 18% reduction in average property sizes from 1,640 sq. ft to 1,350 sq. ft. Ultra-luxury homes, priced above Rs 2.5 cr, saw an 8% decline in average property sizes to 2,200 sq. ft.
2019-09-225 used Hyundai Elite i20s that are less than 2 years old selling for more than Rs. 2 lakh less - CarToq.com
5 used Hyundai Elite i20s that are less than 2 years old selling for more than Rs. 2 lakh less September 22, 2019 : The Hyundai Elite i20 is among the best options in the market if you are looking for a premium hatchback. It rivals the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Honda Jazz in its segment but has managed to hold its own in the segment. It is also one of the best selling Hyundai cars in India and has even left behind the Baleno in monthly sales on several occasions. The Elite i20 became a hit in the market for its spacious and feature-rich cabin along with stylish exteriors and decent engine-gearbox options. But being a premium hatchback, the on-road prices of this car can go all the way up to Rs. 10-11 lakhs for the top-end variants. Even the mid variants are priced in the range of Rs. 7-8 lakhs. However, you can easily get a premium hatchback like the Hyundai Elite i20 for the price of a hatchback like the Maruti Suzuki WagonR. That’s right because if you go for a relatively new, 2-3 years old model of the Elite i20, you can make big savings all the while buying an almost new car. Interested? Take a look at these 5 almost new 2-3 years old examples of the Hyundai Elite i20 that are available for up to Rs. 2 lakhs cheaper. 1. 2017 model at Rs. 5.12 lakhs in Raigarh This dark grey Elite i20 is up for sale in Raigarh, Chattisgarh. It is a 2017 model and is being offered for Rs. 5.12 lakhs. As for the variant, it is the Sportz variant and the advertisement even says that there is a one-year insurance cover on the car. It has an odometer reading of 26,456 kms and has not changed hands till date. For more information about this car and to contact its owner, head here. 2. 2017 model at Rs. 4.95 lakhs in Delhi This white Hyundai Elite i20 is available for sale in Delhi. It is a 2017 model with a price tag of Rs. 4.95 lakhs. As for the variant, it is the Magna Executive variant that is powered by a petrol engine and comes with a manual box. This Elite i20 has covered a total distance of just 5,859 km which means it has not been used much. The car is with its first owner and you can head here to know more details about the car. 3. 2017 model at Rs. 5.54 lakhs in Kolkata This Blue example hails from the city of Kolkata, where it is available for sale with a price tag of 5.54 lakhs. This 2017 model Elite i20 is the Sportz 1.2 variant and comes with a manual transmission. Speaking about its odometer reading, this car has covered a total distance of around 17,000 km and is with its first owner currently. To know more about this Elite i20, head here. 4. 2017 model at Rs. 5.25 lakhs in Delhi This almost new example is available in Delhi and can be had yours for just Rs. 5.25 lakhs. It is again a 2017 model Elite i20 and is the Sportz 1.2 variant and comes with a manual transmission. The car has covered a total distance of around 19,000 km according to its odometer and is with its first owner currently. To know more about this car and to contact its owner, head here. 5. 2016 models at Rs. 5.25 lakhs in Ulhasnagar Last on the list is this well-maintained Hyundai Elite i20 available for sale in Ulhasnagar, Maharastra, and can be bought for Rs. 5.25 lakhs. It is a 2016 made model and is the Magna variant. The car has done a total of 13,000 km till date and is with its first owner currently. Head here to know more details about this Elite i20.
2019-09-22Maharashtra assembly elections: Bharat Gangotri to contest from NCP on Ulhasnagar seat - Times of India
Maharashtra assembly elections: Bharat Gangotri to contest from NCP on Ulhasnagar seat Updated: Sep 22, 2019, 20:17 IST : ULHASNAGAR: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Bharat Gangotri will be the NCP candidate from Ulhasnagar seat after sitting MLA Jyoti Kalani refused to contest on party ticket. Speculations are rife that Jyoti's daughter-in- law Pancham Kalani, who is mayor from Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) may contest on BJP ticket. Political sources said that since BJP has offered ticket to a Kalani family member from the seat, Jyoti Kalani refused to take ticket from NCP which is why the seat was given to Gangotri. Talking to TOI, Gangotri confirmed declaration of his ticket from party saying, I am happy that NCP chief Sharad Pawar who is giving tickets to youth has given me ticket to contest poll from the seat. Gangotri is two-time corporator from NCP, while his mother Pushpa was once corporator from the party. He is also the executive president of NCP from Ulhasnagar city. Political sources said that Ulhasnagar's powerful Kalani family was close to Pawar for a long time, but in 2013 when four-time MLA Pappu Kalani was sentenced life term in a murder case their ties started weakening and in 2017 Kalani family during UMC election came into contact with BJP. In UMC election, Pappu's son Omie Kalani made alliance with BJP and for the first time BJP's mayor Meena Ailani got elected in UMC. Kalani family refused to speak on the development but their close party workers, who did not wish to be named, confirmed the rejection of ticket saying Pancham Kalani may contest on BJP ticket. However, section of BJP's party leaders from city including Kalani's rival and ex-MLA Kumar Ailani who is also trying to get ticket from party for a long time are opposing Kalani's entry into BJP.
2019-09-22Reconstruction of six-lane Patripool bridge commences - The Asian Age
Reconstruction of six-lane Patripool bridge commences Sep 23, 2019, 2:06 am IST : Mumbai: The reconstruction of Kalyan’s Patripool rail overbridge, which was dismantled in August last year, has started. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has altered the basic design of the structure, which will now have six lanes to prevent traffic from being held up. The new bridge is likely to be opened to the public by February 2020, as its reconstruction has become a highly politicised issue. According to the MSRDC, two mega blocks of five hours each are likely to be operated on the Central line in December to carry out construction activities. Work on the bridge was earlier delayed owing to clearances from the Central railway (CR) and slowed down during monsoons. The 104-year-old Patripool bridge, which connects Kalyan to Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Badlapur, Thane, Bhiwandi and Navi Mumbai, was dismantled by the CR in November last year. Since then, vehicles have been plying on the parallel bridge, leading to massive congestion on the bridge and the adjoining access roads According to an earlier plan, it was proposed that a four-lane bridge be built. However, the road below the bridge has six lanes. Hence, to prevent the flow of traffic from being restricted from either end of the bridge, the MSRDC has decided to add two more lanes and the amount sanctioned for the project has increased from Rs 31 crore to Rs 34 crore. Last week, MSRDC received a positive nod from the state government for the same. According to the officer, nearly one lakh vehicles are expected to ply on the bridge daily. The traffic on the Kalyan-Shilphata Road will ease after the construction of the bridge, making road trips to Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi and Navi Mumbai much smoother. Presently, travellers spend nearly two to three hours to traverse a distance that should take 30 to 40 minutes on an average, during peak hours.
2019-09-22Mumbai’s Hinterland now a political melting pot - Times of India
Mumbai’s Hinterland now a political melting pot Updated: Sep 22, 2019, 6:04 IST : Mangesh Jadhav recalls the breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire Thane city from his cousin’s apartment in the then 14-storey Gautam Sindhu complex at Hari Niwas Circle some 25 years ago. Today, the only view possible from the same flat is into the hall or the kitchen of apartments in the surrounding towers. These have not only transformed the city skyline, but ushered in a diverse demography and multiculturalism in the form of migrants. The old, predominantly Marathi-speaking boroughs now also host grand celebrations of Durga Puja and record impressive gatherings for Onam, Lohri and Chhat Puja. Social commentators say the scale and speed of migration to Thane have had a significant impact on the political narrative. The story is similar across the large urban centres of Thane and Raigad district, and the change has been drastic with rapid urbanisation and population growth. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) now extends far beyond Mumbai to cover nine municipal corporations and several municipal councils. Lok Sabha constituencies in the area have 66 assembly segments, of which 60 are under MMRDA authority. Mumbai has 36 assembly seats. The social changes this massive urban, largely migrant population has wrought has brought a collective focus on development — better infrastructure, civic amenities, town planning, law and order. “Locals earlier were simply enamoured of or too afraid to confront the political establishment. Today, the voters are well-travelled and have higher expectations from the political and civic agencies and their voting choice is based on the development agenda,’’ said a former senior bureaucrat. Surendra Dighe, academician and long-time Thane resident, agrees. “The new community and class structure in Thane has led to a change in political rhetoric. Unlike in the past when voters’ preference was dictated by linguistic or communal considerations, the new multicultural, multi-religious and educated population here is looking for more in terms of civic infrastructure, living conditions, better air quality and not just communal or religious jingoism,” he said. One of the key factors is the huge surge in population, which ensures that new voters are not ignored. Close to 60% of Thane district’s population lives within the seven municipal corporations of Thane, Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Mira-Bhayander, Kalyan-Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Vasai-Virar; the urban population has grown from 81.3 lakh in 2001 to more than 1.3 crore today. The Vasai-Virar population jumped 221% between 2001 and 2011, says the latest census. In Navi Mumbai that spills into Raigad district, the population of Kharghar increased from 6,000 in 2001 to 73,000 in 2011, an eye-popping 1117% leap. The New Panvel region’s population rose by 113%, and the Panvel assembly constituency now has an electorate of 5.2 lakh voters. This diverse population seems to have had one salutary impact: they have forced strongmen in areas such as Vasai-Virar and Ulhasnagar to change tack. “They now talk about development. Law and order and civic issues, besides aspects like housing, are crucial,” said professor Surendra Jondhale. Prashant Mulherkar, a Kalyan old-timer, too says the “lawlessness created by local socio-political mafiosi no longer exists the way it did due to a variety of reasons, but mainly because migrants associate with those dominating politics in their area.” Changing demography has meant caste equations have altered and so have the parties dominating local politics. “Several pockets were dominated by Maharashtrian OBC communities. Now migrant voters play a decisive role. And for them, a national party like BJP is more attractive than a regional one like Shiv Sena,” said Jondhale. Thane used to be a small city with agri-kolis, CKPs and Marathispeaking Brahmin families; the call for action on polling day was dictated by emotional appeals based on caste, community or religion, said Dighe. With the coming of industries, focus shifted to workers’ issues. But since the population was small and people knew their representatives personally, traditional voting patterns enduredyouths followed their parents to vote for the same party. “But now, the discourse has changed,’’ added Dighe. Long-time Navi Mumbai resident and advocate P C Patil said Congress used to dominate the area. Later it was Sena and NCP, largely because of Ganesh Naik. “But with the large number of migrants and the attraction Modi holds for voters, BJP has now gained currency,” he added.
2019-09-22Mission 65 in MMR will be a tough task for Cong-NCP - Hindustan Times
Mission 65 in MMR will be a tough task for Cong-NCP Updated: Sep 23, 2019 01:04 IST : Defections and the ruling parties’ focus on the 65 seats in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) are likely to make the battle tough for Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the region in the Assembly elections. Currently, both the parties hold 10 seats in the MMR. The relief for the opposition is their allies — Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), led by Hitendra Thakur, and Peasants and Workers Party of India (PWP) that have a significant hold in two districts — Raigad and Palghar. MMR is a mixed bag dominated by Marathi-speaking people, with significant Hindi, Gujarati and South Indian population. Till 2014, the Shiv Sena was holding its position in majority of the areas such as Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan and Raigad. But in the last Assembly elections, the BJP overtook its ally Shiv Sena and now has a majority of the Assembly seats — 26. It includes 15 seats in Mumbai alone. The Shiv Sena, too, has 22 seats in the MMR, which includes 14 seats in Mumbai. It simply means that both the ruling parties are in a dominant position in Mumbai, where they are holding 29 of the total 36 seats. Moreover, the BJP and Sena have succeeded in further weakening the Congress and NCP by inducting their prominent leaders in the past two months. Former NCP minister Ganesh Naik, who has been dominating the politics of Navi Mumbai for the past two decades, joined the BJP. Before that, his son and MLA Sandeep Naik, who represents the Airoli Assembly constituency, had joined the saffron party. The defection was seen as a major setback for the NCP, as the Naiks have been controlling the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC). Recently, Raviseth Patil, former Congress MLA from Pen, who enjoys a stronghold in the constituency, also joined the BJP. In 2018, former Congress minister Rajendra Gavit joined the Shiv Sena to contest the bypoll for the Palghar Lok Sabha constituency. Last month, Vilas Tare, sitting BVA MLA, who represents the Boisar Assembly constituency, joined the Sena. Between the opposition allies, the position of the Congress is worse than ally NCP. It doesn’t have much presence in the entire MMR outside Mumbai. It doesn’t even have a single candidate, who will be sure of winning . “We have some strong candidates in Mumbai, but don’t have a prominent candidate to field in the MMR, except Muzaffar Hussain, who will be contesting from Mira-Bhayander ,” said a senior Congress functionary. The party’s position in the MMR is it has only five seats and all of them are from Mumbai. In the last Assembly elections, the party could not win a single seat in the region. “The Congress has lost its connect with the voters in the region. Also, the migrant voters, especially from north India, which has been its core base voters, has shifted to the BJP bringing the party to an uncertain position,” said another Congress leader. To deal with the situation, the party has appointed Muzaffar Hussain as one of the five working presidents of the state. Hussain comes from Mira-Bhayander and was also an MLC. In the seat sharing agreement, Mira-Bhayander seat comes under NCP quota but the party has agreed to leave it to Congress, he added. In contrast, the NCP has five MLAs. The party was planning to give a tough fight to its opponents in the MMR. However, it has already lost two of the five sitting MLAs — Sandeep Naik (Airoli) and Pandurang Barora (Shahpur) from Thane in the past two months to BJP and Sena, respectively. There are speculations that MLA Jyoti Kalani (Ulhasnagar) may join the BJP. “She is not active in party activities,” said a NCP leader. The NCP is ready to field both its sitting MLAs Jitendra Awhad (Mumbra-Kalwa) and Suresh Lad (Karjat). It is likely to field former MP Anand Paranjpe from Thane against BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar. The party is also likely to field its four-term sitting corporator Ashok Gawade against Sandeep Naik from Airoli. “We are all set for a better performance in Mumbai, Thane and Raigad compared to 2014. This time, our tally in the MMR will increase,” said NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik. The opposition allies — BVA and PWP — will also be contesting five seats in MMR. The Congress and NCP have agreed to give three seats to BVA and two to PWP. BVA will contest Nalasopara, Vasai and Boisar seats and is also demanding Palghar, which comes under the NCP quota as per the seat-sharing agreement between the Congress and NCP. “The NCP is not keen on leaving Palghar for BVA,” said a party insider. PWP will be contesting Uran and Panvel seats. While in Pen and Alibag, PWP is likely to have a friendly fight with the Congress, said a Congress leader. “You will see a significant rise in the number of BJP seats in the polls. We will be able to win more than half the seats in the region this time,” BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.
2019-09-21RPF returns bags with valuables worth Rs 9 lakh to its owner - Mumbai Mirror
RPF returns bags with valuables worth Rs 9 lakh to its owner Updated: Sep 21, 2019, 15:39 IST : The Railway Protection Force (RPF) team at Thane station successfully recovered two bags containing valuables and returned to the owners. On Friday, September 20, RPF at Thane station received information through a helpline that a passenger and his friend forgot to take their belongings in a hurry while deboarding at Kalyan station. They left their bags in the luggage compartment of Kalyan side of CSMT slow local arriving Thane at 1:40 pm. The bag comprised of valuables – gold ornaments, four laptops and other expensive items worth Rs 9 lakh approximately. As soon as RPF was alarmed, they took a swift action to recover the passenger’s valuables. RR Pandav, RPF in-charge of Thane station, quickly formed a team comprising RPF sub-inspector Naveen Singh, sub-inspector SS Singh, MSF staff Ganesh Arve and Usha Sonawane. They searched the train and found two unclaimed bags which were brought to the RPF station in Thane. Sub-inspector Naveen Singh checked the bags in the presence of witnesses and found three gold bangles weighing 117 gram valued Rs 4,68,000; gold pendant weighing 50 gram which valued Rs 2,00,00, laptops valued Rs 1,60,000, two passports, a UAE resident card, two portable hard disks, foreign currency valued Rs 50,000, a mobile phone and a return ticket to UAE valued Rs 11,000 among other valuables. The total amount was valued to Rs 9 lakh. The owner of the bags Vishal Tarini, who is a local resident of Ulhasnagar, and his friend Kamal were asked to report to the RPF office. Vishal informed that he came from Dubai and was travelling with his friend Kamal from Ghatkopar to Kalyan. The duo forgot to take the bags while deboarding at Kalyan station due to heavy rush in the train. The bags were handed over to the passengers by RPF Thane in-charge RR Pandav. The passengers expressed their gratitude to the RPF for doing their job and returning their luggage in no time.
2019-09-20Architecture is art with engineering - India Today
Architecture is art with engineering UPDATED: September 20, 2019 16:22 IST : As a child, he aspired to be a pilot only to fly all over the world. But life had other plans. After his degree in architecture from MSU Baroda and a three-year stint with Hafeez Contractor, Reza Kabul started his practice from his father's Irani café in Worli. "The big advantage was that the premises had a telephone line," he says. A telephone connection was a big luxury in Mumbai in the 80s for anyone wanting to do business. Three decades later, as a leading architect in the country, Reza Kabul zips across continents building hotels, resorts and homes in cities from California to Mauritius. His 7,000 sq ft plush office in Bandra has photographs of all major projects he has done in the past 31 years, but a place of pride goes to Shreepati Arcade, the first ever residential tower project in India, the Marine Plaza hotel and the Radisson Hotel in Mauritius-projects that remain most special to him. What was your first big break? I started my practice in 1988 without having a single client in hand. When most people leave a firm and begin independent work, they carry a few clients with them. I was too naïve to realise that I needed clients to start out but I had office premises, a telephone line and I sat there and then started looking. I got some small projects in the extended areas of Mumbai like Thane, Badlapur and Kalyan but even those small jobs were a big thing for me. I used to take the train and go there. The first big break came eight months later when a client had bought the Rogers Soda factory in Byculla and wanted to build a tower there. Until then, nobody in Mumbai had built a tower and the client wasn't sure of what I'd be able to deliver. He paid me a small sum after I submitted the final design. The 18 storey tower got a wonderful reception from buyers and the very next day, the client called and asked me to quote my fees. I got what I asked for and that was the major turning point in my life. I never looked back. The move beyond India I had always wanted to do projects outside India because flying was my passion. That opportunity came in the early 90s. I was introduced to a client who wanted to build a hotel in Dubai and I felt that 'God' had come to me. It was an interiors project but I jumped at it. After that, other projects started pouring in and in 1992 I even set up an office in Dubai which I ran for nine years. In 2003, I completed a project for the Radisson Hotel in Mauritius. What are your memorable projects? When we got the job to refurbish the Marine Plaza Hotel in Mumbai, it was a big project. It was a landmark Art Deco property and came with a lot of limitations and constraints. We built a glass bottom pool and though it's been more than 20 years now, it's still a big feature of the hotel. That hotel is special to me and after that we got into more hospitality projects. What's the role of an architect? An architect is an artist with engineering and must be flexible. If someone says I can do only one kind of work, then that person isn't an architect. They should be able to design anything. If you haven't done a particular kind of project it takes effort but it can still be done. I had never done a hotel project until I got the first one. We researched and learnt it. When I did the 154 meters tall Shreepati Arcade, it was the first ever 45 storey building in the year 2000. What next? We have just completed the Wallstreet in Andheri which has a modern glass façade with a solid surface with classical mouldings and a silhouette of people walking on the Wall Street in the US. We also have a 65 acre township coming up in Ulhasnagar. AT www.architectrezakabul.com
2019-09-19Despite safety concerns, Mumbai civic body wants to build two more skywalks - Hindustan Times
Despite safety concerns, Mumbai civic body wants to build two more skywalks Updated: Sep 19, 2019 23:26 IST : While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is auditing skywalks to ascertain if they are safe to use, it is planning more skywalks for the city. The BMC, in the past one month, has proposed to build two skywalks and an extension to an existing skywalk. The proposed skywalks are a 1-km one near Borivli Station (East) which will go up to the Western Express Highway (WEH) near Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). It will connect with a Metro-7 (Andheri East-Dahisar East) station along with a state transport (ST) bus stand. Another is a 900-m skywalk proposed near Kandivli station (West) via SV Road till Shatabdi Hospital. The existing skywalk near Santacruz station (East) up to WEH is proposed to be extended by another 1-km till Vakola nullah. The civic body claims the plan is need-based, as the pedestrian volume is expected to be high or could go high in the future due to development works. “To encourage citizens and help the differently-abled use the skywalks, we have now decided to install lifts. We were considering getting escalators, too, but its maintenance is costly,” said a BMC official from the bridges department. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) had constructed 39 skywalks in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) between 2008 and 2012, later transferring all skywalks to BMC for maintenance in 2015. The MMRDA had clarified that no more skywalks will be constructed in the city. Of the 39 skywalks, around 24 skywalks are in Mumbai and the remaining are in nearby cities namely Thane, Vasai, Virar, Ulhasnagar, Mira Road and Bhayander. AV Shenoy, member of Mumbai Vikas Samiti, a forum of transport experts, said, “The BMC should carry out public consultation in the area where they propose to construct skywalks to know whether the citizens will use it or not. Also, merely building lifts will not help. The BMC should also maintain the lifts. An example is the escalator of Grant Road skywalk which is not working as it is poorly maintained.” Meanwhile, the Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) is carrying out a structural audit of 24 skywalks in the city for the BMC. The decision was taken in June 2019, in the backdrop of BMC shutting down the Bandra skywalk citing safety concerns, after a woman got injured when a part of the bridge fell on her.
2019-09-19Dumper truck runs over pillion rider; driver arrested - Hindustan Times
Dumper truck runs over pillion rider; driver arrested Updated: Sep 19, 2019 23:28 IST : A 21-year-old man who was riding pillion died on Wednesday after he fell off the bike and was run over by dumper truck at Powai Chowk in Ulhasnagar. The driver of the dumper truck, Charan Tukaram More, 51, was arrested by the Central Police Station. Atish Bhoir, 19, and Ghanshyam Shimpi, who both worked as labourers, were heading home when the incident took place at 3pm. Owing to the bad conditions of the road, the bike skid and the duo fell down. A dumper that was passing by ran over Shimpi’s head, killing him on the spot. A complaint was lodged by Bhoir. “The bike slipped and both riders fell on the road. The dumper driver, who was driving negligently, ran over Shimpi and he died on the spot. We arrested the driver immediately after the incident,” said Harshad Kale, Police sub inspector, central police station. More has been charged under sections 279 and 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 184 of the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act. He has been remanded in judicial custody for two days. “The fact that the accident took place due to bad roads cannot be ignored. The spot where the incident took place is slippery owing to rains,” said Kale.
2019-09-18Ulhasnagar: Week after kidnap plaint, girl tries to end life - Times of India
Ulhasnagar: Week after kidnap plaint, girl tries to end life Updated: Sep 18, 2019, 8:08 IST : ULHASNAGAR: A 14-year-old girl, who had last week complained to the police that BJP leader, Amit Wadhwa, and a doctor had abducted her to implicate TOK (Team Omie Kalani) president Omie Kalani in a false kidnapping case, tried to end her life on Tuesday. The girl, who consumed phenyl, has been admitted to a private hospital at Ulhasnagar where her condition is said to be serious. Before her suicide bid, the girl had posted a video on social media saying she was going to end her life as police had not filed an FIR against the accused nor taken any action. In the video, the girl has sought punishment for Wadhwa and the doctor, Kamlesh Sharma. The girl also claimed her family was being targeted, but the police had not taken any cognizance. The girl had approached Ulhasnagar police alleging she was kidnapped by Wadhwa and Sharma in July and they had kept her hostage for 10 days. They had offered her Rs 10 lakh in lieu of filing a false case against Kalani and his associates. She alleged she was let off when she agreed to comply. She had stated her father refused to file the case, but when Wadhwa started threatening her again, the girl along with her father approached the police. She further alleged after a prolonged wait, the police recorded her statement on September 6. Talking to TOI, the girl's father said, My daughter has tried to end her life due to the harassment and the police are equally responsible. Vivek Phansalkar, Thane police commissioner, said, I will look into matter and take appropriate action.
2019-09-18Roads in Kalyan-Dombivli repaired ahead of Aaditya’s visit; KDMC calls it regular work - Hindustan Times
Roads in Kalyan-Dombivli repaired ahead of Aaditya’s visit; KDMC calls it regular work Updated: Sep 19, 2019 01:07 IST : Ahead of Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray’s visit in the city, repair works were carried out on several roads across Kalyan-Dombivli on Wednesday. Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC), however, said the work had nothing to do with the politician’s visit. “Repair works are regularly carried out when it stops raining, it has nothing to do with the visit of the political leader. It was not raining on Wednesday and it was the right time to repair roads,” said a KDMC official. Thackeray was in Dombivli for a rally ahead of the Assembly polls and also to launch the Amrut scheme in 27 villages of Ambernath, Ulhasnagar and Kalyan. The KDMC had taken up repair work on major roads across Dombilvi since Wednesday morning. The Gharda Circle, which had several potholes two days ago, was suddenly repaired on Wednesday morning. “The roads were bad two days ago but on Wednesday, they had been repaired. Garbage was also cleared from the roads,” said Sunita Kondilkar, 36, who lives near Gharda Circle. After Marathi actor Prashant Damle posted on social media that roads in Kalyan-Dombivli are third class, actor Pushkar Shotri shared a video in which he claimed that he got late for his show in Dombivli’s Savitribai Phule auditorium due to bad roads and traffic jam. Shotri claimed that it took more than three hours to reach Dombivli from Vile Parle. On Monday, Damle posted on a social media platform, “Kalyan=Best audience, Kalyan =Third class roads”. Damle was an hour late for this show at Atre auditorium in Kalyan (West).
2019-09-17Teenage domestic help booked for attacking, robbing elderly employer - The Hindu
Teenage domestic help booked for attacking, robbing elderly employer UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 01:00 IST : The Thane Police Crime Branch on Monday arrested a 17-year-old girl for allegedly attacking her employer, for whom she worked as a housemaid, and fleeing with her gold jewellery earlier this month. Police said Chhabubai Garaje (65), who stays by herself in Adarshnagar, Ulhasnagar, had employed the girl as domestic help on September 7 on a reference by one of her neighbours. “The same evening, the accused hit Ms. Garaje on the head with a rolling board used for making chapatis, and fled the house with a gold necklace worth ₹1.19 lakh. Ms. Garaje was found by some neighbours, who took her to Fortis Hospital in Kalyan and admitted her to the Intensive Care Unit,” according to a Thane Crime Branch officer. An FIR was registered against the accused with the Ulhasnagar police station, and the Ulhasnagar unit of the Thane Crime Branch was instructed to conduct parallel inquiries. The first hurdle that the police faced was the complete lack of information about the accused. They only had her first name. “We spoke to Ms. Garaje’s neighbour, who had recommended her. She told us that the girl used to sell snacks outside Ulhasnagar railway station, which is where they got to know each other. We drew up a list of all cellphone numbers active through the area and tracked their movements till we found one number which had moved from the station to Ms. Garaje’s place along with her neighbour’s,” an officer who was part of the investigation said. The police drew up the call records of the number and identified some of the frequently dialled numbers, after which inquiries were initiated with the owners of these numbers. “While making inquiries with her friends, we learned that she was going to meet a friend in the Gulshan Nagar area in Shahad on Monday. We laid a trap and took the accused into custody. The girl, an orphan, has spent her childhood in foster care and has grown up in extreme poverty. She confessed that easy access to Ms. Garaje’s jewellery was too tempting for her to resist,” the officer said. The girl has been booked for robbery and attempt to murder under the Indian Penal Code and sent to the juvenile remand home in Bhiwandi. Ms. Garaje was discharged from the hospital on Monday, and her necklace recovered, officers said.
2019-09-17Mumbai: 67-year-old woman robbed, assaulted; teen apprehended - The Indian Express
Mumbai: 67-year-old woman robbed, assaulted; teen apprehended Published: September 18, 2019 3:05:25 am : A 17-year-old girl was apprehended for allegedly assaulting a 67-year-old woman and robbing her of valuables. The suspect had been hired as a maid at the woman’s house a day before she committed the theft, police said. The woman has been identified as Chabbubai Garje, a resident of Adarsh Nagar. “Garje lived alone in her flat as both her children were settled elsewhere. She had been looking for a maid to take care of the household when the minor approached her,” said a police officer. He added, “Garje took her on as a maid, but she did not conduct regular checks or asked for her documents.” On September 7, a day after she had been hired, the suspect assaulted Garje with utensils and a rolling pin, police said. “The neighbours saw the maid leave in the middle of the day and decided to check on Garje. They found her in a pool of blood in the middle of her hall. She was rushed to the hospital, where she is still undergoing treatment at the ICU,” said the officer.
2019-09-17Only 1% of college students facing mental health issues seek help: study - The Hindu
Only 1% of college students facing mental health issues seek help: study UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 01:19 IST : The preliminary findings of an ongoing study among 1,000 students in the 16 to 22 age group across 15 colleges in Mumbai, Kalyan, Dombivli, Badlapur, Ulhasnagar, and Karjat show that each one of them have experienced at least one prolonged episode of severe and acute emotional imbalance. According to the study being carried out by Anubhuti, a non-profit organisation, most of the students chose to ignore the episode and failed to seek medical help. Deepa Pawar, director of Anubhuti, said, “Of the 1,000 students, less than 10 had sought help. This is a crucial point as it highlights the tendency of ignoring such episodes which may at some point of time be linked to suicidal tendencies or suicide.” Ms. Pawar said youngsters need to be made more aware of mental health issues and avenues that provide professional help. The study show that factors such as increased competition, job insecurity, social insecurity, inflation, and lack of guidance in relationships affected mental health. Among the reasons behind the episodes of mental imbalance were social vulnerabilities such as poverty, caste oppression, hailing from a minority community, being a woman and identifying as LGBTQ. Poor awareness According to the analysis, nearly 75% of students could not define mental health and just 8% had knowledge about the issue. Around 90% of students admitted to seeking help at temples, churches, gurudwaras and madrasas before visiting hospitals because of the stigma attached with mental health problems. About 92% of students said mental health was not taught or included in their college curriculum. The students accepted that they lacked information on mental healthcare provided at government hospitals and 85% of them could not name a single institution providing mental healthcare in their vicinity. “This especially affects youths from socio-economically diverse backgrounds who deal with mental health issues without institutional or family support systems. There is very little literature on the topic that is accessible to diverse students,” the study stated. The findings show that just two of the 15 colleges had appointed a counsellor and none of them had a counselling centre. Even the two colleges were struggling to convince students to approach the counsellor. Benaifer Sahukar, a counselling psychologist in the city, said it is crucial for all colleges to appoint counsellors. She said students should be constantly reminded that they can seek counselling to deal with mental health issues just like they would approach a doctor to seek relief from physical pain. Anubhuti plans to use the findings to advocate for institutional, administrative, and policy-backed support for creating awareness of mental health issues. Ms. Pawar said, “We have drafted a set of recommendations which will be handed over to the authorities.” The recommendations include incorporating the concept of mental health dignity in the curriculum, setting up information centres and counselling centres in all colleges, and adding a module on mental health in National Service Scheme activities.
2019-09-17Crime branch arrests minor maid servant in robbery case - Times of India
Crime branch arrests minor maid servant in robbery case Updated: Sep 17, 2019, 12:53 IST : ULHASNAGAR: The Crime Branch unit of Thane police have arrested a 17-year-old minor girl maid servant, who last week attacked a 67-year-old senior citizen woman, living alone in a house, and had fled with all the gold ornaments. The victim was admitted to an ICU (Intensive Care Unit) of a hospital where she is still undergoing treatment. The crime branch officials said that victim Chabbubai Garje, living alone in Adarsh Nagar area in Ulhasnagar 1 number while her son and daughter lives separately. On September 7, Garje hired a minor as maid servant at her house. On the same day, the accused girl took roller from the house and assaulted Garje making her unconscious after which she took all the gold ornaments worth Rs 1.5 lakh and fled from the house. Mahesh Tarde, senior police inspector of Ulhasnagar Crime Branch unit said, During the probe, we found the victim woman did not have a proper name, address or mobile number of the accused minor girl. We grilled many girls and through our sources finally reached up to the accused. The accused girl on Monday was produced before the child welfare centre, who sent her to a remand home.
2019-09-17Minor maid held for hitting woman, fleeing with chain, phone - Free Press Journal
Minor maid held for hitting woman, fleeing with chain, phone Thane: A minor maid was arrest­ed by Ulhasnagar crime branch police for allegedly hitting a 65-year-old woman with a sharp-edged weapon and making off with a gold chain worth Rs 1,19,000 and a cellphone. The incident took place at Nehru Nagar on September 7. The police said the victim, Chhabubai Garje (65) is a resident of Nehru Nagar. Due to ill health, She hired the maid on September 7. At 11 pm, the maid took a sharp object from kitchen and hit her on the head when she was asleep. The minor fled with a gold chain and a mobile phone. She was rushed to a hosp­i­t­al. Police said, “On a tip-off, a team reached Shahad station in Kalyan and nabbed her on Mon­day. She confessed to the crime.” Juvenile Justice Board sent her to Bhiwandi remand home.
2019-09-16Police queue up for scamster’s custody - The Hindu
Police queue up for scamster’s custody UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 17, 2019 00:55 IST : Police teams from three States are queuing up to seek custody of an alleged serial scamster arrested by the Thane Police earlier this month. According to officials, the accused, Mukesh Menon, was wanted in a string of cheating cases in the Kalyan-Dombivli-Ulhasnagar belt over the last few months. Hence, the Anti Robbery Squad in Zone III, Thane started keeping an eye on banks in the belt, where the accused was known to strike between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Police teams would regularly visit all banks in the jurisdiction armed with pictures of Mr. Menon and his accomplice, Abbas Ukhani, obtained from the CCTV footage of banks where they had struck previously. On August 30, a team led by assistant police inspector Avinash Palde, while conducting a routine check, spotted Mr. Ukhani outside a private bank in Kalyan, and spread out to keep an eye on him. A short while later, Mr. Menon, too, came out of the bank and the police team accosted them. “The accused were getting into a Mahindra TUV when we approached and Mr. Menon, who was driving, ran over police constable Amol Gore and fled the scene. Mr. Gore spent five days in the ICU before being declared out of danger,” Mr. Palde said. Talking of the accused’s modus operandi, the officer said the duo would visit banks and spot gullible targets, like young, semi-educated office boys withdrawing or depositing large amounts of cash for their employers, or senior citizens. The duo would strike up conversations with the targets and win their trust before hoodwinking them. Modus operandi “The day we tried to nab them, they had convinced an office boy, who was depositing ₹50,000 in his employer’s account, that they owed his boss ₹1.5 lakh. They told him to handover the ₹50,000 and take ₹2 lakh from them. The office boy gave them the cash, and on the pretext of fetching the money within a minute, the accused fled,” Mr. Palde said. Following the assault on Mr. Gore, Mr. Menon was booked for attempt to murder and criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging his duty under the Indian Penal Code, and the police intensified efforts to apprehend him. “On September 3, we traced Mr. Menon to Vasind, where he was staying under an assumed identity, and arrested him. His interrogation revealed that he had committed scores of similar offences in other States. While verifying this information, we learned that teams from the Ahmedabad and Kolkata police were also in Bhiwandi on his trail, and got in touch with them,” Mr. Palde said. Inquiries till now have revealed that he has committed at least 50 offences of a similar nature in jurisdictions of the Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Sangli, Nashik, Dhule, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Daman police. There are also 20 other cases of various crimes against him in Thane, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. “The agencies concerned have initiated the process of seeking his custody and he will be handed over to them after we finish inquiries in our own cases,” an officer with the Thane Police said.
2019-09-16Maharashtra: Building portion collapses in Ulhasnagar - Times of India
Maharashtra: Building portion collapses in Ulhasnagar Updated: Sep 16, 2019, 21:33 IST : ULHASNAGAR: A huge portion of a ground plus five-storied building collapsed on Monday afternoon at Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra's Thane district. Luckily, few days ago, the building was forcefully evacuated by Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) after no one was ready to vacate despite it being declared as very dangerous. This is the eighth building to have collapsed either fully or partially in Ulhasnagar this monsoon making over 1,000 people homeless. The residents of the city are demanding higher Floor Space Index (FSI) for city so that these buildings can be redeveloped. Looking at demands and protests by citizens, the state government last week passed notification for higher FSI. The Sheravali building, which is 25 years old, has 20 flats and eight shops. Ganesh Shimpi, an assistant municipal commissioner of UMC, said, The building was in very dangerous list and as people were not vacating it, our team had disconnected electricity and water supply forcing them to vacate the building. Rajesh Vadhrya, the standing committee chairman of UMC, said, Those who are affected in such types of buildings collapse related incident do not need to worry as these buildings now can be redeveloped after one or two months.
2019-09-16Thane: MMRDA sanctions Rs 51 crore for Ulhasnagar roads - Times of India
Thane: MMRDA sanctions Rs 51 crore for Ulhasnagar roads Updated: Sep 16, 2019, 21:53 IST : ULHASNAGAR: Ahead of the Maharashtra assembly elections, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has sanctioned Rs 51 crore for five major concrete roads of Ulhasnagar city in the Thane district. The five roads include Fish Market up to Murbad road, Shanti Nagar to Dolphin Club road, Turning Point to Gol Maidan and internal roads of Ulhasnagar 5 number area. Prakash Makhija, a BJP leader, said, The MMRDA sanctioned funds after our state minister Ravindra Chavan followed up with MMRDA officials. Makhija said, Once the tender is issued, the work on road will commence very soon.
2019-09-15Netas on spree to get into BJP - Times of India
Netas on spree to get into BJP Updated: Sep 15, 2019, 9:38 IST : ULHASNAGAR: Ahead of state assembly elections, several local level leaders from various political parties in Ulhasnagar have made a beeline for BJP. Politicians, who joined BJP in the presence of state minister Ravindra Chavan on Saturday, were Vinod Talreja, former Ulhasnagar deputy mayor Prithvi Valecha, ex-NCP corporator Ganpat Yedke; Ram Wadhwa, Naresh Durgani and Dholu Nathani. The BJP is yet to decide who will contest from Ulhasnagar and is also in contact with sitting NCP MLA Jyoti Kalani. Sources said ex-MLA and Ulhasnagar BJP city president Kumar Ailani may be given a ticket.
2019-09-14State approves 4 FSI for redevelopment of structures in Ulhasnagar - Hindustan Times
State approves 4 FSI for redevelopment of structures in Ulhasnagar Updated: Sep 15, 2019 04:38 IST : The state government has allowed redevelopment of unauthorised and dangerous structures in Ulhasnagar by using floor space index (FSI) up to 4. An FSI of 2.6 was allowed in Ulhasnagar. As per the notification dated September 13, structures which have not been regularised due to non-compliance under the Regularisation of Unauthorised Development in the City of Ulhasnagar Act 2006, those which are declared dangerous by Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation or buildings which are more than 30 years can be redeveloped. Citizens have a month to give suggestions and objections. The joint director of town planning Konkan division, Navi Mumbai, has been appointed to hear objections and suggestions and submit his report to the government. An UMC official, who did not wish to be named, said, “We have received a notification from the government on redevelopment of structures with 4 FSI. Regularisation is a must for redevelopment of structures.” Sashikant Dayma, social activist, said, “In Ulhasnagar, most buildings are illegal and many have consumed FSI of more than 4 although only 2.6 are allowed at present. We will meet and discuss and file suggestions within a month.” He added, “The process of regularising structures and then redeveloping them will be time-consuming. Our appeal to the civic body chief is to take advantage of 4 FSI and implement it without delay.” Residents will hold a meeting on Sunday at 7pm at Sindhu Youth Circle, Ulhasnagar camp 3.
2019-09-14Mumbai: Woman’s body found in Waldhuni nullah - Free Press Journal
Mumbai: Woman’s body found in Waldhuni nullah Thane: The body of a 25-year-old woman was found in a Waldhuni nullah on Friday evening. After the local residents alerted the police, the cops brought the body to Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar for post-mortem. According to the police, the woman, Sheetal Sachin Salve (25), had come to her maternal home at Lal Chakki area in Mahatma Phule Nagar, Ulhasnagar camp 4. She delivered a baby girl 12 days ago. On Friday morning, she left home without informing her family. Her husband Sachin works at a private company in Pune,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity. Sheetal’s parents searched for their missing daughter in the area for two-three hours. When they failed to trace their daughter, the aggrieved parents approached the Hill Line police station in Ulhasnagar and registered a missing person’s complaint. On Friday evening, her body was found in Waldhuni nullah under the jurisdiction of Central police station in Ulhansnagar. The Hill Line Police registered an ADR. Further probe is on, the police official said.
2019-09-13Mumbai-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express: Increase in frequency to four days from two days - Livemint
Mumbai-Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express: Increase in frequency to four days from two days Updated: 13 Sep 2019, 07:02 PM IST : The Rajdhani Express will have one AC First class coach, five AC two tier coaches and eleven AC 3-Tier coachesThe Rajdhani express will stop at Kalyan, Nasik Road, Jalgaon, Bhopal, Jhansi and Agra Cantt.
2019-09-11Union Minister Ramdas Athawale may get into trouble for violating noise pollution norms - The New Indian Express
Union Minister Ramdas Athawale may get into trouble for violating noise pollution norms Updated: 11th September 2019 05:30 PM : MUMBAI: Union minister Ramdas Athawale is likely to get into trouble for violation of noise pollution norms set by the Supreme Court. Athawale, who was to address a rally at Ulhasnagar neighbouring Kalyan on Monday, reached the place at around 10 pm. Ulhasnagar chief of RPI (A) and local Corporator Bhagwan Bhalerao, who had organized the program, insisted that Athawale must speak at the rally since people were waiting for over four hours to hear him. Athawale then started his speech at 10.23 pm. While police have booked Bhalerao along with Pramod Thorat, the sound system operator, for disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant (IPC section 188), a local anti-noise pollution activist has threatened that if the police don’t take action against the minister, she will move the high court. When inquired about the violation, Athawale said that the speech lasted only for about four minutes wherein he promised the audience that he shall try to get assembly ticket for Bhalerao. He also said that the organizers misguided him that the permission has been obtained for the program to continue beyond the stipulated time period. The police have said that they have already taken the necessary action.
2019-09-11Relief for Ulhasnagar residents as 855 buildings get push for legal tag - Hindustan Times
Relief for Ulhasnagar residents as 855 buildings get push for legal tag Updated: Sep 12, 2019 00:12 IST : Residents and activists in Ulhasnagar are urging the civic body to regularise 855 illegal structures in the city, a month after a five-storey building in Ulhasnagar camp 3 came crumbling down. Mahak Apartments on Link Road was 25 years old. There were no casualties in the August 13 mishap and 15 families were evacuated safely. The Bombay high court (HC) has extended the matter of regularising the illegal structures by another six weeks after Sudhakar Deshmukh, Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) commissioner, filed an affidavit in the court on September 3. The court will decide the matter after six weeks. I have filed an affidavit stating the status of the regularisation work, the legal hurdles, why is it important for the city and the current scenario, Deshmukh said.On September 9, Deshmukh was appointed the designated authority to regularise the 855 illegal structures. The power was earlier with the Thane collector. The notification was passed by the state's urban development department (UDD). We are expecting a positive outcome before the model code of conduct [for the state assembly elections sets in]. I will do my best for the city, Deshmukh saidAfter the collapse of Mahak Apartments, around 500 residents were left homeless. Earlier on June 15, the HC directed the civic body chief to file an affidavit with all the details on the earlier order passed by the court. In April 2005, a division bench of the HC directed the UMC to demolish irregular structures in its jurisdiction following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by H Tanwani. This prompted the Regularisation of Unauthorised Developments in the City of Ulhasnagar Act, 2006. In January 2006, in a major relief to residents of these 855 buildings, HC stayed their demolition for 18 months in view of declaration of ordinance by the state to regularise illegal structures that have come up since January 1, 2005. The state told the court that the ordinance had been promulgated to regularise the illegal structures in Ulhasnagar with riders and said it would take 18 months for the authorities to complete the process. In view of this, the court stayed its earlier order for 18 months.The process of regularisation was initiated under the ordinance. The civic body served notices to 1.5 lakh residents in the city, asking them to apply for regularisation. It received responses only from 21,000 residents. Of the 21,000, around 14,000 were from the slums and they had to be dealt with according to the Slum Rehabilitation Act, so they were excluded from the list. The other respondents were considered for regularisation and then the Thane collector was appointed for the work. The Thane collector started regularisation of 855 illegal structures, and work was carried out till 2013. The work was later stalled owing to his work load. Of the 855 illegal structures, only 79 have been regularised. The population has increased and so have illegal constructions. With no regulations in place, structures mushroomed, said Sashikant Dayma, social activist.
2019-09-10Illegal buildings in Ulhasnagar: Civic boss to take call - Times of India
Illegal buildings in Ulhasnagar: Civic boss to take call Updated: Sep 10, 2019, 8:25 IST : ULHASNAGAR: In a relief to occupants of 855 illegal buildings in Ulhasnagar, the state government appointed the city's civic chief as the designated authority to regularise these buildings. The notification was issued on Monday by the state Urban Development department. The state had decided in 2006 to regularise these structures under a special law after the Bombay high court ordered their demolition. In 2006, the state appointed the Thane collector as designated authority to regularise the buildings, but due to heavy workload, the collector had regularised around 50 buildings out of 95 that had applied for regularisation. MLA Jyoti Kalani said the order will bring relief to lakhs of residents. The collector, due to his busy schedule, took long to regularise the structures.
2019-09-0990% youths look to religion: Survey - Mumbai Mirror
90% youths look to religion: Survey Updated: Sep 9, 2019, 06:00 IST : NGO Anubhuti’s Director Deepa Pawar conducting a session with college students and teachers1,000 students and teachers surveyed over 3 months; all experienced at least one prolonged period of severe and acute emotional imbalance. They blamed stigma, lack of awareness and mistrust in healthcare facilities. Stigma, lack of awareness and mistrust in government-run healthcare facilities force around 90 per cent of youngsters suffering from mental health problems to approach places of worship, instead of qualified medical professionals, a recent survey of 1,000 college students and teachers has found. From June-August this year, Anubhuti, a Kalyan-based NGO working in the field of mental health, surveyed students aged 17-22 years as well as teachers from 15 colleges in Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Dombivali, Ulhasnagar, Badlapur and Karjat. Around 90 per cent of the respondents said they went to temples, churches, gurdwaras or madrasas before going to a hospital after experiencing mental health issues. Around 85 per cent could not name a single mental healthcare institution in their vicinity. The lack of awareness was compounded by the finding that all of them experienced at least one prolonged period of severe and acute emotional imbalance, but most did not share with or approach anyone for help. Ninety-five per cent of those surveyed knew of at least one person in their close circles who had died by suicide. Deepa Pawar, director of Anubhuti, said young people from disadvantaged groups are the most affected as they lack institutional or family support system. “They also have poor access to literature on mental health issues.” She recounted how a 20-year old man felt extreme guilt for his sexual attraction towards girls. “He was convinced that he was addicted to porn and thought any sexual feeling before marriage or for a person other than one’s wife was morally wrong. He wished to stop sexual feelings immediately. He had not received any kind of sex education and that was the first time he had ever expressed such feelings. He said he was unable to lead a normal life because of the confusion over sexual attraction and his disgust with himself for feeling them,” said Pawar. The conflict between homosexuality and social acceptance, relationships, financial hardship, a struggle to complete higher studies, job insecurity, rising expenses of basic items were some of the triggers for mental health issues. Pawar, whose organisation focuses on the deep links of mental health problems to issues related to caste, class and gender, recalled her own experience of guilt, confusion, anger, dejection and loneliness for not being able to continue college even after standing second in Class XII, for want of a few thousand rupees. “Neither my friends, nor my teachers could understand my humiliation. During our research, we came across similar cases. One such was the mental distress of a young woman and her siblings struggling to find financial support for their studies,” she said. Of the 15 colleges surveyed, 30 per cent had faced at least one student suicide in the past year. Only two colleges had a counsellor, but no counselling centre, and they were struggling to have students approach them. “Teachers and students both pointed out that there is no formal or informal setup in the education system for mental health support. They highlighted the need for a mental health module in the curriculum, training NSS (National Service Scheme) students, law enforcement and education-related agencies in mental health awareness, as well as having counselling centres, psychiatric OPD in government hospitals and community workers. A teacher called for mental health sessions for students as she had fought a lonely battle with bipolar disorder during her college days,” said Pawar.
2019-09-09Now, Ulhasnagar civic chief will regularise city’s illegal buildings - Hindustan Times
Now, Ulhasnagar civic chief will regularise city’s illegal buildings Updated: Sep 09, 2019 23:31 IST : Ulhasnagar municipal chief Sudhakar Deshmukh was on Monday appointed the designated authority to regularise illegal structures in the city. The power was earlier with the Thane collector. The notification was passed by the state’s urban development department on Monday, under the Regularisation of Unauthorised Developments in the City of Ulhasnagar Act, 2006. The Thane collector started regularisation of 855 illegal structures, and work was carried out by the then collector till 2013. The work was stalled owing to the collector’s work load. Of the 855 illegal structures, only 79 have been regularised. In April 2005, a division bench of the Bombay high court directed the Ulhasnagar civic body to demolish 855 irregular structures following a PIL. This prompted the Regularisation of Unauthorised Developments in the City of Ulhasnagar Act, 2006. The letter from the UDD states considering the work load and duties of the Thane collector, for the effective implementation of the Act, it is necessary to appoint the other designated authority. “The matter of 855 buildings is in court. We have filed an affidavit and are waiting for the next hearing. The work of regularisation was stalled in 2013 due to certain hurdles. I will exercise my duties as per the directions by the court,” said Deshmukh.
2019-09-09Govt. to regularise property transfers in refugee colonies - The Hindu
Govt. to regularise property transfers in refugee colonies UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 10, 2019 01:27 IST : The Maharashtra Cabinet on Monday cleared a proposal to set up a sub-committee to regularise residential and commercial property transfers without sanction in refugee colonies in the city and its suburbs. The colonies house migrants who travelled to Mumbai after Partition. The regularisation will take place after paying transfer fee. The sub-committee will be headed by the revenue minister, while the relief and rehabilitation secretary will be the member secretary. It will include the education minister, industries minister, higher and technical education minister, and the minister of state, urban development department. Maharashtra has 31 refugee colonies, and around 5,000 families live in Mumbai. The colony in Ulhasnagar is already under a cluster development scheme. Chembur Colony, Wadia Trust Estate in Kurla, Thakkar Bappa Colony in Chembur, Koliwada Colony in Sion, and Mulund Colony and Kopri Colony in Thane have been categorised as refugee colonies. The Sindhi and Punjabi communities in the city will benefit the most from the decision. The refugees were given land through a compensation pool since they had left all their belongings in Pakistan and chose to stay in India. The families have either transferred or sold their flats or commercial places to others, without the Collector’s approval. “It is impossible to cancel the transactions. Those will have to be regularised,” said an official. In 2018, the State government approved a change to property cards in these areas to Class I, granting them freehold status and authorising the residents to sell, redevelop or rent their properties without the Collector’s approval. It specifically gave the occupants the right to redevelop their properties without seeking government permission. With Monday’s decision, previous transactions will be regularised, and redevelopment may get smoother.
2019-09-08Natya Sangeet has a Malayalam fan - Mid-day
Natya Sangeet has a Malayalam fan Updated: Sep 08, 2019, 09:00 IST : Sumedha Raikar-MhatreSuvarna Tula is a musical play, written in 1960, made popular by the voice of singer-actress Padmashree awardee Jaymala Shiledar whose rendition of Angani Parijaat Phulala (The jasmine blooms in my courtyard) is still remembered and recreated in contemporary concerts. The song, constructed in raag bihaag, sung by many vocalists of repute, attains a colourful dimension in the version presented by Soji Mathew, 15, a Badlapur-based singing sensation who is a recipient of several state-level awards as well as the prestigious Centre for Cultural Resources and Training scholarship, instituted by the Union Ministry of Culture. While her accolades are impressive, as is her fan following on YouTube and other social media platforms, what struck this columnist at a recent concert in the Dadar Matunga Cultural Center was Mathew's inclusivity—the zest of a Malayalam Christian college girl to embrace diverse musical idioms–Natya Sangeet to church choirs to temple mehfils to online music reality shows to Akashwani recordings—in varied regional languages, including Marathi, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil. Mathew, who has just passed her matriculate exam with 87 per cent marks, exudes rare electrifying energy and poise in her renditions—be it a pada of a yesteryear musical or an aarti sung in praise of Lord Ganesha, which she recently did at Prabhadevi's Siddhivinayak temple. “For me the bhaav comes first. The language of the song is a mere medium. I am willing to take on as many languages as possible,” says the singer, who has only a working knowledge of Marathi because it was a school subject. But that is no deterrent to decreeing Sangeet Swayamvar's Nath Ha Maaza Mohi Khala. In the Marathi Natya Sangeet competitions held at Thane's Sahayog Mandir and also at Kalangan Gunanidhi, Dadar, Mathew's emotional dialogue delivery has won her critical acclaim, particularly the Ekach Pyala prose. “I knew the play revolves around a devoted wife anxious about her husband's alcoholism. That was enough to put emotion into Satya Vade Vachanala Natha,” says Mathew. Mathew's induction into Natya Sangeet was not a conscious choice. In fact, her music career evolved as a matter of surprise. Born to Malayali migrants, who initially lived in Ulhasnagar, little Mathew had no other musically inclined soul in her family, not even in the extended Chirayath household in Pathnamthitta district of Kerala. In fact, her Kerala folks never thought highly of music as a vocation, let alone performing at a Hindu temple. Mathew's first introduction to melody was at the age of three in the choir of Ulhasnagar's St Joseph's Malankara Catholic Church where she caroled to Aradhikumbol Soukhyam in praise of the Lord. Later, as the family shifted to Badlapur, the five-year old stood out in the Fatima High School's music events, which prompted her parents to seek a tuition and which eventually led to her emergence as the 'singing kid' in Badlapur's music circles. Currently being trained in Hindustani classical music under Dr Varada Godbole, she has had stints with several gurus (Anand Karmarkar, Vidya Jail, Pradeep Gurav) which speaks for her initiation into raagdari music for a decade. In November, Mathew will appear for the Sangeet Visharad exam; she passed the Madhayama Poorna with distinction a while ago, similarly she did exceptional in five light music exams too. Even as the Badlapur girl started getting noticed, her parents have been with her every step of the way. The school-going minor had to be escorted to different venues in the city of distances. “We would take turns accompanying Soji. I was particularly handicapped in those days, first because I could not speak in Hindi or Marathi and also because we had to walk a lot of distances, in the bid to save money,” says mom Susan Mathew, 52. Father George Mathew, 59, earlier a storekeeper in Swadeshi Mills and now into odd jobs at construction sites, says Hindustani classical music was a foreign language before his daughter plunged into it. “I see this as God's grace. Otherwise how can you explain her deep interest and aptitude in a field that we did not ever think of?” He has accompanied Mathew to most outstation concerts (Lucknow, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Daman-Diu), except for the Keyframez online music reality show felicitation in Dubai where her YouTube videos won her kudos. Mathew has won several awards such as the Pandit V D Paluskar award and Pandit Ram Marathe Smruti Award. She also emerged a finalist in Sanskar Bharati's Chhota Khayal contest, not to miss the runner-up position in the national Sangeet Milan Classical Voice of India competition, where she was pitted against winners from 11 states of India. As the joke in the Mathew household goes: since their 600-square-feet flat is too small to accommodate her 100-odd trophies, the young girl has to become a star and shift to a more spacious house. And, if possible, in a neighborhood with fewer power disruptions, water cuts and and train breakdowns, as is the case in Badlapur. For Mathew, as well as her parents, induction into Hindustani classical music or Marathi natya sangeet has been a cultural crossover. She is not just learning music, but she is also working on her language skills (Hindi, Marathi predominantly) to communicate with gurus, organisers and her ever-growing audience which is located in diverse venues—ranging from Marathi Mitra Mandal at Vile Parle to the Vithal temple at Pandharpur. Recently, one of her Thane-based Facebook fans organised a two-hour mehfil where she presented an eclectic range. At 15, Mathew is doing fine—travelling widely and happy to dabble into different streams. She is acutely aware that her stature as a classical singer will rest on quality time devoted to riyaaz. Though fully invested in the long-term, the adolescent is singing blithely at varied venues and occasions.
2019-09-08Drowning in urban blunders - DNA India
Drowning in urban blunders Updated: Sep 8, 2019, 05:30 AM IST : Rains and its accompanying troubles have become unceasing experiences of déjà vu for Mumbaikars. The past week has been another recap of the same old story. A few hours of incessant rainfall and the city came to a standstill. Railways stopped functioning on a working day amid the festive season, old and new destinations got waterlogged, autos and taxis, fearing malfunction, refused to budge and the city was orphaned for the nth time. The municipal body is sitting pretty on a Rs 30,692-crore budget that it passed early this year. Yet, the city found itself wanting for an advanced and strong storm water drainage disposal technique. Mumbai has over 300 km of metro line work in progress and the state is eyeing a trillion-dollar economy. But a good spell of showers brings the commercial capital to its knees and shatters its dreams of becoming an international financial centre. This week, DNA's Samwad talks to urban planners, transport experts, environmentalists, and common, hapless Mumbaikars about the rain conundrum. Dr Neville A Mehta, CEO, Mumbai First : Monsoons are arguably my favourite season, especially in Mumbai. I gaze over lush gardens, colourful raincoats and umbrellas, take in the scent of the earth, and blend into the ceaseless hustle in the streets. However, there is more to the monsoons here. Floods wash over land and livelihoods, while pothole and railway accidents threaten our lives. The contrast is abrupt and striking. With every New Year, we notice that the contrast only grows more prominent. The flooding worsens, the potholes grow in size and more people are adversely impacted. Yet, you see more colourful umbrellas and even more people go about their days as if the rain caused only a minuscule disturbance. Does that then mean that despite the growing problems, it is up to the people of Mumbai to adjust to the inevitable destruction of the monsoons? Where lies the responsibility of improved circumstance? India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. As a country, despite being a developing one, we have the capability to launch satellites to the far side of the moon when so many of the developed nations do not. Its financial capital, Mumbai, the most productive metropolitan region in India and the 12th wealthiest city globally, is home to a population of more than 1.8 crore people. What would one expect from the 12th wealthiest city in the world? I, simply put, would expect a high level of liveability. Instead, we have a hoard of persistent perennial problems like the flooding of the Mithi River, the worsening state of roads, the falling infrastructure and more. But why? Where lies the problem and in whom lies the responsibility? Not to mention the anticipated problems over the next few years. For example, climate change and its impact are considered, inevitable and sea levels will rise. We are not a city that can turn a blind eye. The increase in sea levels, where Mumbai is concerned, will not mean merely a smaller coastline — we are the coastline. So when flooding continues to worsen year after year, who holds the accountability? I do not harbour the belief that the problems Mumbai faces are easily fixable. But there are some ways that we can begin making it more liveable. In fact, I believe that the responsibility to better Mumbai is two-fold. The government, and their role, inevitably cannot be denied. To better Mumbai, they will need to identify problems using both macro and micro lenses, look for possible high-impact solutions, implementation strategies and evaluation policies to see which solutions hold the most merit. For this, however, work to solve these problems needs to commence well in advance to the anticipated problem. For example, transportation and mobility issues that will accompany the building of a new commercial tower in a lane with small streets will need to be anticipated in advance and mitigated. By looking at the larger picture, non-interfering solutions can and need to be put in place. But, it is the people, whether we wish to accept the fact or not, that have a large role to play. We, the people cannot throw garbage on the roads and then question the government when an area floods. We cannot dig holes for pandals and expect the filling of the pandal to be the government's job. We cannot complain about traffic congestion and simultaneously park wherever we please. Our role would be to respect the efforts of the government and play an active role when called upon. We need to acknowledge that we are not a city that makes profits on the misery of its residents and that we will treat the city with the same respect that we treat guests in our homes.Every time we think of this great city, let us ask ourselves, "What advancement will the next monsoons hold?" BN Kumar, Director, The Nature Connect : A wake-up call has been sounded for Mumbaikars. Wednesday's flooding has yet again proved that the city has grown beyond its capacity, where people in charge of urban planning, infrastructure-development do not care about the environment. Planning isn't focused on the future but only on the next five years. Urban planners need basic education on how to take care of the environment. There is a misconception that environment conservationists always oppose infrastructure development. However, let me make it amply clear that we are for infrastructure development but while doing so, we must take care of our ecosystem too. No infrastructure-development should take place at the cost of the natural world. Where there is a river, there should be a River Regulatory Zone (RRZ) to give it space to flow properly in times of floods. If you cover that area, the floodwater will find its own course and will come for you. In Badlapur and Kalyan, which witnessed floods this year, the RRZ is covered with a concrete jungle. In case of Mithi river, now the civic authorities are planning to have holding ponds — which is a quite primitive idea. Thirty years ago, if it was planned in Navi Mumbai, then why could it not be done in Mumbai? The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which controls Navi Mumbai, could have raised holding ponds in Mumbai long back. In view of the development around Mithi river, the water will find its own course. For the bullet train, 54,000 mangroves, which cover an area equivalent to five-and-a-half times that of Azad Maidan, are being destroyed. I feel that the authorities consider mangroves to be just regular grass and have forgotten that they protect cities. Having these buffers which protect us from tidal water attacks and tidal water flows is much cheaper than rainwater forests and the holding ponds and tetrapods. The government wants to destroy mangroves and replant five times what will be destroyed. But where? Replantation of mangroves is a scam. When the government replants them, they do it wherever they like, including in rocky areas. In Charkop, mangroves were planted on a rocky area where they did not survive. In Bhandup, authorities spray water on mangroves as if it is a BMC garden in Malabar Hill or Worli. You do not plant mangroves. Mangroves survive and thrive only on tidal water, on marshy land and not in rocky areas. Lakhs and lakhs of rupees are going down the drain. This racket must be thoroughly investigated. Further, the concrete jungle of Mumbai leaves no space for rainwater to flow. There is no rainwater harvesting mechanism even though it is a must for every building. It can save at least 25% of rainwater and can recharge groundwater reserves. This is something we should learn from Bangalore. Salt pans are essential for water to accumulate. Mumbai will sink and go down the drain if the authorities start covering salt pans and wetlands. The July 26 floods were just a trailer. There will be more serious disasters. This city must be declared a no-development zone and further development should be allowed only beyond Mumbai as there is land available in Kalyan, Vasai, Mira Road, and other towns. The authorities should not bypass carrying out the environment-impact assessment, which is a must before going for any development project. The city is bursting. Its future planning cannot sideline the environment.
2019-09-08An eminent lawyer, Jethmalani's political life had many flavours! - Big News Network
An eminent lawyer, Jethmalani's political life had many flavours! New Delhi [India], Sept 8 (ANI): Outspoken, courageous, feisty and ebullient, Ram Jethmalani was one of the most eminent lawyers of the country and a politician whose political life had many flavours. A maverick, who did not believe in mincing his words, Jethmalani had a long parliamentary inning, having been a member of the Rajya Sabha six times and of the Lok Sabha twice. He spoke with passion, interest, conviction, and clarity and his interventions were heard with rapt attention by the members. Jethmalani, 95, fought against corruption in politics. As he was his own master, he did not always have full trust of his political colleagues. He was a sitting member of the Rajya Sabha from Lalu Prasad Yadav led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). He held the portfolios of Law and Justice and Urban Development in the NDA government led by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1998 and 1999 and then he went on to contest against Vajpayee from Lucknow in 2004 Lok Sabha elections. He was elected to the 6th and 7th Lok Sabha on the BJP ticket from Bombay. Jethmalani's sharpness and brilliance as a lawyer was widely acknowledged and he continued to be among the best criminal lawyer even as he became a nonagenarian. Apart from his grip over criminal law and its philosophy, he was well-versed in constitutional law and could dissect any situation with clarity. Jethmalani moved to Mumbai after partition and built a reputation as a lawyer appearing in several high profile criminal cases including the Nanavati case. He appeared for the prosecution in the case where a Navy Commander had shot his wife's lover. He defended former Delhi University (DU) lecturer Syed Abdul Rahman Geelani, who was a suspect in the 2001 Parliament attack case. He appeared in Harshad Mehta stock scam case, Jessica Lal murder case in which he defended accused Manu Sharma, Hawala case against BJP leader LK Advani and defended Balbir and Kehar Singh in the assassination case of Indira Gandhi. Jethmalani appeared in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, 2G spectrum case, Karnataka mining controversy case and defended Asaram Bapu in a sexual assault case, Tamil Nadu chief minister late J Jayalalithaa in a corruption case and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in Bihar's fodder scam case. He represented former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh in the cash-for-vote controversy. Jethmalani also represented Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the defamation suits filed by late BJP leader Arun Jaitley. One of the highest-paid lawyers in the country, Jethmalani was unfazed when it came to taking up the unpopular cause. He had said in an interview that he decides according to his conscience whom to defend and that a lawyer who refuses to defend a person on the ground that people believe him to be guilty is himself guilty of professional misconduct. Jethmalani opposed the Emergency and as the chairman of the Bar Association was critical of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. An arrest warrant was issued against him and when he appeared before the Supreme Court, he asked the Chief Justice whether he had heard of a country called Ghana. He told the court that the African country had a Chief Justice who helped the country draft a draconian law and when the law came into force, the Chief Justice was the first to be picked up and for two years nobody heard about him. Jethmalani evaded arrest during the Emergency and successfully fought the 1977 General Elections. He was elected to the Lok Sabha again in 1980. Jethmalani started his political innings early in 1971 but lost as an independent candidate from Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra. He has had a love-hate relationship with the BJP. The party took him back in 2010 and made him a member of Rajya Sabha but expelled him later for "anti-party" activities following his remarks against party leader Nitin Gadkari .Full of zest for life, Jethmalani used to play badminton to stay fit. Jethmalani obtained a law degree at the age of 17 and started his career in Karachi before the partition of India. He was also president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Jethmalani had announced his retirement in September 2017. Born in 1923 in Sindh, Jethmalani was LLM from SC Shahani Law College, Karachi. He was involved with social work, taught law and also served as the chairman of the weekly newspaper -- The Sunday Guardian. The books authored by him include 'Justice: Soviet-Style', 'Big Egos Small Men', 'Conscience of a Maverick' and 'Maverick: Unchanged, Unrepentant'. He died just six days short of his 96th birthday.
2019-09-08Heavy spells of rain likely today, says IMD - The Asian Age
Heavy spells of rain likely today, says IMD Sep 9, 2019, 2:07 am IST : Mumbai: Mumbai and surrounding areas received moderate to heavy showers on Sunday while the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy spells of rain in the city on Monday. The Colaba and Santacruz observatories received 66 mm and 119 mm of rainfall respectively in the last 24 hours. The IMD on Thursday stated that Mumbai had crossed the seasonal rainfall mark — 3,000 mm. Not only the city but also Thane district has recorded more than its usual share of season rainfall this year. The average rainfall that Thane district receives from June 1 to October 31 is 2,450 mm, while the district has already received 3,575 mm between June 1 and September 8 this year. The district — which includes Thane city, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Bhiwandi, Shahapur and Murbad — had received 2,480 mm rainfall last year till September 8, according to the Thane collector’s office. Till September 8 this year, Ulhasnagar and Shahpur had received the highest amount of rainfall in Thane district (both 2,556 mm) followed by Thane city (2,468 mm), Kalyan (2,454 mm), Bhiwandi (2,421 mm), Ambernath (2,364 mm) and Murbad (2,328 mm). The average rainfall recorded by the Colaba observatory every year is 2,203 mm and Santacruz observatory is 2,514 mm. However, the city this year has already crossed the average rainfall mark and till the morning of September 8, the Colaba and Santacruz observatories recorded 2,325 mm and 3,265 mm respectively. On the same day last year, the Colaba and Santacruz observatories had recorded 1,732 mm and 2,194 mm rainfall respectively. Meanwhile, heavy rains in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district since the last five days have inundated part of Bhamragad tehsil, with 120 villages under it losing contact with the district administration, a revenue official said on Sunday. According to the official, more than 500 people have been shifted to safer places. Bhamragad is located on the right banks of a confluence of Indravati River, a tributary of Godavari river, the Pearl Kota, and the Pamul Gautami in east Maharashtra bordering Chhattisgarh and Telangana. As per the latest information, 11 tehsils in the district, except Bhamragad, are out of the flood situation. No casualties have been reported as yet though two persons are missing from Aramori and Chamorshi tehsils, he said.
2019-09-08Ram Jethmalani: Doyen of criminal law & politician with colour - Livemint
Ram Jethmalani: Doyen of criminal law & politician with colour Updated: 08 Sep 2019, 01:26 PM IST : New Delhi: Ram Jethmalani and criminal law are so often synonymous and the lines between the two are often so blurred that its tough for a legal intern not to mistake one for the other. Jethmalani was famously known as the doyen of criminal law in the country. His tryst with the subject started at the young age of 18 and he practiced it for nearly 60 years. The former Union law minister died early on Sunday morning after continuous deterioration in his health in the last two weeks. According to the staff at his home, he had been ill since the past few months. Born on 14 September 1923 in Sikhapur town of Sindh province, Jethmalani moved to India before Partition. In school, he got a double promotion, which helped him complete his matriculation when he was just 13. He went on to secure an LLB degree at the age of 17. And due to a special resolution, he became a lawyer at the age of 18. Jethmalani was known for his robust arguments and fought many high-profile cases in the Supreme Court, High Courts in many states and even trial courts. His physical presence inside a court, particularly trial courts, used to be so intimidating that people embroiled in legal cases would be willing to pay him through their noses to have him fly to distant places and appear for them. He is particularly remembered for his arguments in the 1959 KM Nanavati vs State of Maharashtra case, in which he was the prosecutor. Jethmalani also fought several other high-profile cases, one of which stands out — he had appeared in defence of Rajiv Gandhi's killer in the Madras High Court in 2011. Jethmalani also defended Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh in the Securities scam of 1992. He had also strongly defended the death sentence given to Afzal Guru, the 2001 Parliament attack accused, and represented Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lall murder case. In 2010, he was elected as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Jethmalani's political side was no less fascinating than his illustrious legal career. He flirted with the Jan Sangh, the BJP, and also contested Lok Sabha elections as an independent. He was elected to the sixth and seventh Lok Sabha from the BJP and held the portfolios of law, followed by urban development in two Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA governments. But before that, what brought him to political limelight was his stiff opposition to prime minister Indira Gandhi during the Emergency, a fact that even Prime Minister Modi mentioned in his tweet condoling Jethmalani's death on Sunday. Jethmalani was then the chairman of the Bar Association of India. His sharp criticism of the Emergency led to an arrest warrant against him. But rather than courting arrest, Jethmalani opted for self-imposed exile in Canada. He however, didn't stop criticising Indira Gandhi and it became the bedrock of his political stint. As an independent, he lost from Ulhasnagar despite Shiv Sena and Jan Sangh support. Later, in 1980 when the Janata Party swept to power after Emergency, he won from the Bombay north west. It's another matter that he lost in 1985. He became a Rajya Sabha member in 1988. But before being sworn in as a RS member, in 1987, at the age of 64, Ram Jethmalani announced his candidature for the President's post. He also launched a political front called, Bharat Mukti Morcha. In 2004, he contested from Lucknow against Vajpayee, whom he never got along well even while serving as a minister in his Cabinet. He lost that election. But in 2010, he was back as a BJP Rajya Sabha member and many of his speeches even then had the treasury bench listening carefully. His divorce with the BJP in 2012 started with a letter to then party president Nitin Gadkari. The tone and tenor of the letter was quintessential Jethmalani. His public barbs against the saffron party became more harsh and direct. And in the following year, he faced action when BJP had expelled him for six years for 'anti-party activities'. But that didn't come in the way of Jethmalani's personal rapport with Modi or L.K. Advani. Advani would still be found attending his gatherings in Delhi. Even Modi held him in high esteem till the last day, says BJP insiders. As Jethmalani bid adieu to the world, India lost a man who could speak his mind.
2019-09-07Girl says BJP man abducted her to implicate Omie Kalani - Times of India
Girl says BJP man abducted her to implicate Omie Kalani Updated: Sep 7, 2019, 9:06 IST : ULHASNAGAR: A 14-year-old girl who was allegedly kidnapped in July claimed that a local BJP leader and a doctor had kept her captive for 10 days, threatening her to file a false case against Team Omie Kalani (TOK) president Omie Kalani and his associates. The girl approached the police on Friday and told them that the accused had also offered her Rs 10 lakh in lieu of registering a false case. At the time of going to press, the police was still recording the girl's statements. The girl and her parents told mediapersons before going to the police that on July 10, she had gone to one Dr Kamlesh Sharma's clinic where the medico used a sedative to make her unconscious. She said that when she woke up, she found herself locked in a room. The girl told TOI: For 10 days, the abductors threatened me and said I have to file a false case against Kalani and his associates Pankaj Tilokani and Roshan Makhija. They said they would kill my parents. When the girl finally agreed, she was let off, she said. Her father told the media that he filed a complaint with the police when his daughter went missing but when she returned after 10 days and told us what had happened, we decided to not file a false case. The family alleged that when a false case was not filed, BJP leader Amit Wadhwa started threatening her again. Fed up with the harassment, the family decided to approach the police. They told the media they have been making rounds of the police station for a week and the cops agreed to take down their statements only on Friday. Wadhwa said, Kalani is trying to implicate me. In a 2017 attempt to murder case too, he tried to malign my image. Kalani told TOI: My opponents are trying to file a false case but luckily, the girl and her parents stood with the truth. Senior inspector S G Javle said the girl has been giving contradictory statements. (The victim's identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court directives on cases related to sexual assault.on Service
2019-09-07500kg plastic bags seized in Ambernath - Mid-day
500kg plastic bags seized in Ambernath Published: Sep 07, 2019, 07:14 IST : Flooding in the Thane district this monsoon has brought to the fore the rampant violation of plastic ban imposed last year. Most of the areas in Kalyan and Ulhasnagar were waterlogged because the drains were choked with plastic waste, said Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials. The MPCB, which jumped into action to bring the violators to justice after uncovering the continued plastic menace, seized about 575 kg of plastic bags from a tempo in Ambernath on Friday. The state government had, in June 2018, imposed a blanket ban on usage of plastic items. However, both shopkeepers and consumers continue to use plastic bags. Because of persistent demand from customers, shopkeepers allegedly buy plastics bags illegally. Social worker Satyejeet Burman said, “Ambernath and Ulhasnagar already have garbage disposal problem. Yet, people haven’t stopped using plastic. This year, I have been removing plastic waste from drainage to clear waterlogging. Citizens also have to behave responsibly and ensure that plastic bags or other garbage are not thrown in the open or in the drains. Cities need a proper garbage collection and disposal system, and the drains need to be cleaned regularly to prevent waterlogging.” MPCB’s Ambernath team has been checking marketplaces for past few weeks as part of its crackdown on illegal plastic usage. “During a patrol in Ambernath area on Friday, we found a tempo carrying 575 kg plastic. We have seized everything and are investigating to find who supplied the plastic bags,” Kalyan MPCB officer Jayant Hazare said.
2019-09-07Mumbai University sets up college clusters for smooth first, second year exams - Times of India
Mumbai University sets up college clusters for smooth first, second year exams Updated: Sep 7, 2019, 9:29 IST : MUMBAI: Colleges affiliated to Mumbai University have been divided into 30 clusters to enable smooth conduct and monitoring of the firstand second-year exams. Clusters of 8-10 colleges each have been formed after decentralisation of the exams to ensure the colleges teach the entire syllabus, set balanced question papers and judiciously assess students. One institution in each cluster with NAAC accreditation and a qualified principal will be the lead college and be responsible for the others. The clusters have been divided based on location. K C in Churchgate, Podar and D G Ruparel Colleges in Matunga, R J in Ghatkopar, Wilson in Charni Road, CHM in Ulhasnagar, Joshi-Bedekar in Thane are some of the lead colleges. The list was issued last week and the clusters will be responsible for the semester I to IV exams in the October-November session. The 30 cluster cover close to 300 arts, science and commerce colleges affiliated to the university. A principal said some colleges have not made it to the list, while some autonomous colleges have been made the lead colleges. “Autonomous colleges conduct their own exams, they modify their syllabus and the patterns. Some of them conduct internal exams for 40%, while the university evaluates students on a 100-mark written test. It does not make sense to include these colleges in the clusters,” he added. “They are university’s affiliated colleges and will help us out in coordination. Also, some of the colleges have partial autonomy since they are holding university exams too as of now,” said an official of MU’s examination department. The missing names will be included on the list soon, he added. Three years after it implemented centralised exams for first- and second-year undergraduate programmes, the university’s academic council decided to revert to the old system. For three years, the university issued a common time-table for college-level exams and set the question papers. From this year, the exams are completely decentralised. Colleges will not only set the question papers and assess papers at their level, but can also have their own exam schedule to avoid clashes with university exams. The university will continue to conduct the final-year exams.
2019-09-06Potholes resurface in Kalyan and Dombivli, so do the same excuses - Hindustan Times
Potholes resurface in Kalyan and Dombivli, so do the same excuses Updated: Sep 07, 2019 01:31 IST : With rainy days back, the potholes on the roads in Kalyan-Dombivli have also reappeared, making travelling a nightmare for commuters. Commuters said the road repair works carried out by Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) are not up to the mark. “When it was raining earlier, the roads had several potholes. When it stopped raining last month the potholes were filled with thick dust. Now, when it has started raining all over again, the potholes are deeper and deadly,” said Umakant Jain, 34, a motorist who takes the Haji Malang road to connect to Taloja MIDC for work. With Ganeshotsav underway, residents said roads leading to immersion spots are also riddled with potholes. “The Sahajanand Road which leads to the Ganesh ghat in Kalyan, which is a popular immersion spot for Kalyan residents, is the worst stretch. On the first day of immersion, it took almost two hours to reach the spot from my house, which is just minutes away,” said Madhavi Sathe, 37, a resident of Sahajanand Chowk, Kalyan (West). Shreeram Chowk, Chakki Naka and Suchak Naka in Pune Link Road and F Cabin Road in Kalyan (East), Tata Power Lane Dombivli, Khambalpada in Dombivli and Cholegaon Road in Thakuli are riddled with potholes. When monsoon hit the city, the KDMC had assured residents of safer roads. Last monsoon, five people died in pothole-related accidents in the city. Residents and citizens’ groups took to the streets to protest . The civic body was forced to take measures to fill potholes. Sapna Koli, city engineer, KDMC, said, “Some internal roads have developed potholes and we have started fixing them. This is temporary. However, we will work on fixing it permanently once the monsoon is over. This year, we began road repair works in advance and have managed to finish work on most of the major roads in the city.” The KDMC uses two methods to maintain the roads in its jurisdiction. The civic body uses dense bituminous macadam and asphalt concrete before monsoon and water bound macadam during monsoon. The KDMC uses the cold and hot mix to fill potholes in very few places. “Cold and hot mixes are preferably used for isolated potholes that are hardly 1 or 2 square metre. In Kalyan-Dombivli, small potholes are very few. Most roads have huge potholes and hence we choose dense bituminous macadam or water bound macadam,” said Koli. The civic body has not used cold mix even once in 27 villages , that have several roads filled with potholes. “We have used cold mix at Khadakpada and Adharwadi in Kalyan (West) and some other places. This monsoon has led to many roads incurring severe damage as the downpour was heavy. We have started working as per plan, which is taking up the work at ward level. All the ward officers have been asked to repair the roads in their wards,” added Koli. The civic body will spend ₹17 crore for road repairs and pothole-filling works throughout the year. The civic body, which had earlier aimed to at repairing all the roads before Ganeshotsav, now aims to do so by Sunday. “The work is being carried out in full swing at each ward. We have been given time til Sunday to finish the work,” said a ward- level officer of KDMC, who did not wish to be named. The Khambalpada road in Dombivli MIDC, which is a vital link between Kalyan and Dombivli, has several potholes. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) maintains the road. Two years ago, the entire stretch was repaired and asphalted. However, it developed potholes within months. This year, the KDMC has formed a group among the officers and initiated geo-tagging of the repair works to keep a tab on the work carried out in each ward. Last year, according to the primary survey done by the civic body in July last year, 529 deadly potholes were found in Kalyan-Dombivli. From July 14 to August 28, after five pothole-related deaths, the civic body filled 8,653 small and big potholes found on 165.595 km of asphalted roads in Kalyan-Dombivli. Apart from the asphalting of the roads, the civic body had also undertaken the repair of bridges across KDMC area. In March, it did the mastic asphalting of the Waldhuni bridge in Kalyan, which connects to Ulhasnagar. Last year, the civic body spent ₹13 crore for the repair works. Sreeniwas Ghanekar, social activist, founder of Alert Citizens Group, Kalyan, said, “After filling the potholes, the road rollers weighing around 5-6 tonnes are used to press the filling.” “However, vehicles that ply on the roads are heavier, weighing around 10 tonnes. So if the pressing is not done properly, air bubbles are formed and water enters the potholes easily and the repaired patch is damaged,” said Ghanekar. He cited another reason for shoddy work. “The contractors who take up the works are the ones who have been doing it for years. These contractors carry out substandard works and hence the roads do not sustain for a long time,” added the activist.
2019-09-06Over 120 garment traders duped of 15 cr across country, accused duo absconding - DNA India
Over 120 garment traders duped of 15 cr across country, accused duo absconding Updated: Sep 6, 2019, 06:20 AM IST : In a shocking incident, more than 120 garment manufacturers across the country have been duped by two traders of Rs 15 crore by placing bulk orders of clothes by issuing post-dated cheques, which later bounced. The accused duo identified as Kamlesh Jain and Sujay Sharma are presently on the run and the group of traders who have been conned claim they are mostly from Mumbai, Ulhasnagar, Indore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Pune. Despite an FIR being lodged against them at Ulhasnagar police station since March, the duo are still absconding, claims Bhavin Gala, one of the victims who owns a garment manufacturing firm in Lower Parel. According to Gala, the duo operated a company in Pune named Vinayak Textiles and were its proprietors. In order to reach out to larger number of garment traders, the duo would first carry out a few transactions with some traders by paying for the consignment on time and would ask them to refer to their company in the market so that their business could expand. "If any salesperson or businessman visited their Pune office, they would first show their packed godowns only to take them into confidence by displaying ready stocks. In my case, the duo had initially made a clean transaction, so I never suspected them of committing any fraud," said Gala. "In February this year, after placing bulk orders, the duo delayed in handing over cheques and when they did issue us the cheque, we were told to desposit in the bank after some days as they were facing some errors in their banking system. Later, when the cheques were deposited, all the traders, whose payments were due, received a message showing either insufficient balance or closure of the account. Sensing trouble, all the traders checked out in Pune and found out that the textile company was shut and the godowns were empty," he added. After lodging an FIR in March, the traders found out that Jain had vacated his godown a night before he went absconding and had also loaded the stocks on basis of Lorry Receipts (LR) number which revealed it was taken to Bargur town in Tamil Nadu where the stocks were sold at half the cost at local markets there.
2019-09-04Mumbai Rains Updates: Downpour to continue over city, Thane, Palghar for next 6-12 hours, says Skymet Weather - Firstpost
Mumbai Rains Updates: Downpour to continue over city, Thane, Palghar for next 6-12 hours, says Skymet Weather Sep 04, 2019 21:22:30 IST : Navy rescue teams come to aid of stranded Mumbaikars: SpokespersonNavy ✔ @indiannavy #IndianNavy rescue teams from #WesternNavalCommand come to aid of stranded Mumbaikars in the suburbs as torrential #MumbaiRains bring trains and traffic to a halt. Approx 60 rescued so far. More teams are ready for any eventuality. @CMOMaharashtra Railway ministry says 4,500 passengers were rescued from stranded trains Ministry of Railways ✔ @RailMinIndia Due to incessant and heavy rains, water level rose above track level leading to suspension of services in some parts of mumbai suburban section. Some trains held up enroute. Around 4500 passengers were quickly & safely escorted/evacuated. Buses arranged for them.
2019-09-02Mumbai: Vegetable Vendor Uses Umbrella to Avert Thane Train Accident - LatestLY
Mumbai: Vegetable Vendor Uses Umbrella to Avert Thane Train Accident Sep 02, 2019 10:49 AM IST : Mumbai, September 2: A vegetable vendor working beside railway tracks averted a major accident of Thane-bound fast train on Sunday morning. When he saw 1.5 ft portion of a track was missing between Kanjurmarg and Bhandup stations, he immediately ran on the line and waived an umbrella. This act alerted the motorman that something was wrong and immediately applied emergency brakes. A few minutes before, a Badlapur train had crossed the rail fracture and its motorman reported a heavy jerk to the emergency control. When the second fast train was approaching, the vegetable grower spotted the defect and waved his umbrella towards the motorman. The motorman and the guard successfully stopped the train seconds before the track damage spot. The vegetable grower, identified as Darshan Chauhan, said that he heard very loud clanging sound of the tracks and found it unusual. When he inspected the tracks, he found it broken. That's when he waived his umbrella to alert the motorman of the approaching train. "Services, which were diverted on the Kalyan slow line for repair work, resumed within 75 minutes," the Central railway spokesperson said. "The crew of the train and the control official will be awarded for averting any untoward incident,” said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer, CR.
2019-09-02Mumbai: Human chain & slogans to save Aarey trees - DNA India
Mumbai: Human chain & slogans to save Aarey trees Updated: Sep 2, 2019, 06:50 AM IST : 'Aarey Bachao, Mumbai Bachao', is what hundreds of Mumbaikars were sloganeering while forming a straight human chain holding placards and posters on a rainy Sunday morning. These people have come forward in a bid to save 2,646 trees inside Aarey which has been approved to be cut for the Metro rail car shed. Men, women and children, not just from the western suburbs but also from far off areas like Kalyan, Palghar and Panvel came in big numbers. The people started gathering by 10.30 am and several meters long human chain began taking shape in a straight line parallel to the Metro rail barricades put up on the road. Behind these barricades is the huge plot of land that will go for constructing a car shed for Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 which proposes to have its car shed at Aarey. The protest was supposed to be till 1 pm, however, people continued to drop in. "I left at 9 am from my home to attend this protest. With the climate change happening there is a need for trees and forests, which is currently depleting. We are open to development but the government should look for an alternate site for their car shed and stop cutting trees," said Tina Kedia, a student and resident of Ulhasnagar. The protestors criticised the government's plan to clear trees and reclaim land from the sea to build Metro lines and the Coastal road while doing little to check the rise of private vehicles on the roads. "The long human chain is an indication that people do not want trees of Aarey to be cut," said A Bhattacharya, member, Aarey Conservation Group. On Thursday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allowed cutting of trees for the car shed. In the past couple of days, there has been stern opposition brewing from various corners of the city against this decision.
2019-09-01Can’t let trees be hacked for Mumbai’s Metro-3 depot: Protesters - Hindustan Times
Can’t let trees be hacked for Mumbai’s Metro-3 depot: Protesters Updated: Sep 02, 2019 00:39 IST : On the third day of protests against the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)-appointed tree authority’s decision to cut and transplant 2,646 trees at Aarey Colony for work on the Metro-3 car shed, Mumbaiites formed a three-kilometre human chain at the spot on Sunday. The protest, which began at 11am and lasted around two hours, saw people from all walks of life, including television actors and Bollywood actor Shraddha Kapoor. While Aarey police said that around 500 people turned up at the spot, protestors have claimed that more than 1,000 citizens participated. Amrita Singh, who participated in the protest, said, “People showed up from Thane, Navi Mumbai, Panvel, Nallasopara, Palghar, Ulhasnagar and Dahanu, even on a Sunday and a day before Ganeshotsav begins. That says a lot about our team spirit. We will not let the government take away one of the last green lungs left in the city.” Five-year-old Arjun Mehta, who also participated in the protest, said, “I know that they are going to cut a lot of trees at Aarey. Trees give us oxygen and they must not be cut. There are also animals at Aarey – nine leopards – who will be harmed.” Many protesters felt that the authorities had not paid heed to their demands and suggestions. Radhika Jhaveri, a resident of Navi Mumbai, said, “BMC took inputs from us and conducted a hearing, but did not heed our suggestions. We feel like our voices are not being heard.” “We want to send a simple message to the government. We will keep growing in numbers. Over the next week, we have more protests planned. Citizens are raising valid concerns through their objections, and we want to be heard,” said another protestor Nishant Bangera. On Friday, citizens protested at seven locations across the city, including the BMC headquarters at Fort. On Saturday, they protested at the picnic spot at Aarey and the selfie point outside the BMC headquarters.
2019-09-01People form human chain to save Aarey - The Asian Age
People form human chain to save Aarey Sep 2, 2019, 1:34 am IST : Mumbai: More than 1,000 people, including environmentalists and citizens of Mumbai, braved heavy showers to form a three-kilometre-long human chain on Sunday afternoon on Aarey Road in protest of the Tree Authority’s nod to the removal of 2,464 trees in the ecologically sensitive Aarey Colony, Goregaon. While actress Shraddha Kapoor was part of the chain, celebrities such as Riteish Deshmukh, Raveena Tandon, Esha Gupta, Randeep Hooda and Vishal Dadlani, among others, expressed their support to the cause via Twitter. “The chain was formed around the area marked for the Metro car shed to express their solidarity towards the trees and wildlife of Aarey forest. Citizens are gutted about this green cover being cut. Despite the Ganesh festival starting from Monday and heavy rainfall on Sunday afternoon, people came in from places such as Panvel, Dahanu, Palghar and Ulhasnagar to extend their support to the campaign and join the human chain,” said activist Amrita B. Ms Kapoor said, “It is not acceptable that Aarey — the green lung of Mumbai — is being reduced by 2,700 trees. I learnt that there are alternative sites available for the Metro car shed. It is disappointing.” Ms Tandon tweeted, “It is shocking that citizens voices are not being heard.” It is to be noted that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had received 82,000 objections against cutting trees in Aarey Colony, which demanded that the car shed be shifted to an alternative site. Activists will be appealing against Tree Authority’s sanction in the Bombay high court on Tuesday, stating that official procedure to sanction the proposal had been bypassed and that the Supreme Court is yet to deliver the final judgment on whether or not Aarey is a forest.

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Suggestions/Comments/Views Submitted
Nitin Lulla      [ 2012-02-01 ]
Jaise mumbai bahar se khubsoorat hai or Andar se utna hi ganda or worst hai, waise hi ulhasnagar b lookiwise acha hota ja raha hai but uski tarah andar se ganda or khatrnak b ho raha hai..
ajusudhir      [ 2012-01-24 ]
I LOVE ULHASNAGER
rajesh varma      [ 2011-12-30 ]
kindly control the street dog... in ulhasnagar 1
Lalu      [ 2011-12-25 ]
Please clear the illegal Parkig of 2 lines of Trucks Parked on both sides of road at Vithalwaadi Rly. station raod, near kajal Petrol Pump, Ulhasnagar-3.
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