Tuesday, December 31, 2013

road repair scam,mum Bai

Contractors bid 52% below road repair base price

MUMBAI: Contractors have yet again bid abysmally low—52% below the BMC's base price—for tenders to level roads dug by underground utility owners. Civic officials said that such low bidding will affect quality of work.

According to BMC data, all the seven contractors, one for each zone, have bid lesser than the BMC's asking rate. They have quoted 45.74% to 52.12% below the base price. The BMC has set aside Rs 20 crore for the work i each zone. It had earlier planned to ask utility owners to reinstate roads after completing their work. But last monsoon, the BMC had a tough time getting them to restore the roads. Hence, it has decided to appoint contractors to fill the trenches and reinstate roads. The proposal will be tabled for approval at the civic standing committee on Friday.
  1. BMC allots Rs 1,200 crore for road repairs this year - Indian Express

    Apr 27, 2013 - ... Rahul Gandhi tears into Maharashtra govt for rejecting Adarsh scam report ... They will also be able to call bids for road repairs costing up to Rs 20 ... Rane at the meeting in Konkan Bhawan in Navi Mumbai on Thursday ...

  2. Crores spent, but no respite from potholes in Mumbai | NDTV.com

    www.ndtv.com › Cities
    Jul 11, 2013 - An early monsoon has exposed the poor quality of repairs with huge potholes on major ... But the state of Mumbai's roads speak otherwise. .... @ndtv Kerala solar scam: blockade outside Chief Minister Oommen Chandy's ...

Rs100 crore repair scam: Contractors get MHADA help - Mumbai ...

www.dnaindia.com › Mumbai
... tenders of cessed buildings. - Mumbai - dna. ... Rs100 crore repair scam: Contractors get MHADA help. Saturday, Apr 21, 2012, 9:00 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA .... Bandra locals protest against road widening. Important events in ...
  1. Civic chief orders inquiry into Rs 10 crore pothole repair scam ...

    www.mumbaimirror.com › Mumbai
    Dec 13, 2013 - A day after Mumbai Mirror exposed a pothole repair scam in which road contractors fleeced the BMC by inflating the size of potholes assigned ...

  2. Oppn demands probe in pothole scam - Mumbai Mirror

    www.mumbaimirror.com › Mumbai
    Dec 21, 2013 - A day after Mumbai Mirror exposed the pothole repair scam in which road contractors fleeced BMC by inflating the size of potholes assigned to ...

  3. Pot-hole in your wallet - Mumbai Mirror

    www.mumbaimirror.com › Mumbai
    Dec 12, 2013 - The scam points to the involvement of BMC employees too, as the size ... Once a pothole was reported, the concerned road engineer assigned it to a contractor. ... For calculating the cost of repairing a pothole, the craters were ...

  4. Contractors uploaded same photo for different potholes - Mumbai ...

    www.mumbaimirror.com › Mumbai
    Dec 18, 2013 - Several contractors used the same pic of one repaired pothole, while ... the BMC's Roads Department, into the Rs 10 crore pothole size scam...


    Dec 25, 2012 - In the report, the CAG rips apart the BMC and its roads department, which has faced intense public scrutiny for permitting poor road repair and ...

  5. Road Construction Scam: Latest News, Videos, Photos | Times of India

    timesofindia.indiatimes.com › Topics
    See Road Construction Scam Latest News, Photos, Biography, Videos

BMC spent Rs 8cr on road repairs that were 'free' - Mumbai Mirror

www.mumbaimirror.com › Mumbai
Oct 22, 2013 - The city administration squandered Rs 8.44 crore of taxpayers' money by hiring a contractor to repair a stretch of SV Road even though the ...

Are only the rich allowed to party and celebrate ?" Thadani questioned.

comment:- ist of jan:2014 all MumBai police will be sleeping after night duty
who will look after the citizens?the minister in charge of police has not even recruited for vacancies in the  police force
will he again take a car and run away to his village ?if anything happens?as it happened after terrorist attack 

Naxal-hit states yet to fill 94,800 vacancies in police force | Business ...

Sanjay Jog | Mumbai. February 23, 2011 Last Updated at 00:40 IST. Naxal-hit states yet to fill 94,800 vacancies in police force ... official, who did not want to be quoted, told Business Standard: “Huge vacancies in the administrative set-up and ...

90 posts lying vacant in state police force - Indian Express

Sep 24, 2012 - While the Pune Police and the Navi Mumbai Police have no vacant posts ... The state CID has six SP level posts which are yet to be filled.

Mumbai needs 1,000 more coastal cops - Hindustan Times

www.hindustantimes.com › India-newsMumbai
Jul 30, 2013 - The Mumbai Sagari police station, formed after 26/11, has a sanctioned ... Sources said that a few vacancies were filled up in these police stations ... Firms in Maharashtra could be punished for no sexual offence panels ...

Exclusive: India's elite anti-terror force-NSG pays for Centre's laxity ...

indiatoday.intoday.in › IndiaNorth
Apr 19, 2013 - ... these vacancies may be filled by the officers of Central Armed Police ... The manpower crunch has its origin in the Army and the CAPFs not ... The sudden expansion of the NSG, with new hubs in Mumbai, ... It is learnt that government is writing to state police forces to send volunteers to the NSG and to fill ...

MumBai's first escalator[1970] and next[2014]

Mumbai's oldest escalator foot overbridge at Girgaum Chowpatty gone in 36 hours

Monday, Aug 12, 2013, 7:01 IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Civic officials oversee the demolition of the foot overbridge at Girgaum Chowpatty on Sunday.
Civic officials oversee the demolition of the foot overbridge at Girgaum Chowpatty on Sunday. - Hemant Padalkar/DNA
The city’s oldest escalator foot overbridge (FOB) at Girgaum Chowpatty was brought down partially by Sunday morning.

The remaining portion will be demolished by Monday.

Civic officials have planned the demolition of the bridge over two consecutive days, beginning Saturday, between 10pm and 6am, and traffic on the road has been diverted to other roads.

dna on August 8 had reported about the traffic police giving its go-ahead to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to carry out the demolition of the FOB. “We demolished the portion of the FOB above the road on Saturday night. The part with the staircase will be demolished tonight (Sunday night to Monday morning),” said SO Kori, chief of BMC’s bridges department.

Kori added that although the BMC had decided to demolish this FOB, it is yet to take a decision on whether to replace it with another one or construct a subway as has been suggested by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority.

The reconstruction of the FOB is part of the BMC’s plan to review and rework the city’s 261 bridges that include road overbridges, skywalks and foot overbridges.

Civic officials said the FOB was built in 1953 by the Patel Trust and the escalator, which was installed in the 1970s, is believed to be the first in India in a public place.

“To demolish the bridge, we are using the same technique that was used to bring down the Lalbaug flyover in 2009,” said a senior official. He added that a combi crusher is being used for the demolition as it operates with minimum noise.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cricketers reach the ground on a mini bus in the ‘30s.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

planning to re-route a couple of night flights originally scheduled for Mumbai airport to Kolhapur

AAI planning flexible use of Kolhapur airport

KOLHAPUR: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is considering introduction of night landing facilities at Kolhapur airport, a facility that can bring in additional air services to the city.

The AAI is preparing a plan to use the airport for parking a couple of aircraft to reduce the congestion at Mumbai and Pune airports, said officials associated with the development.

"We are working over ways to see if there can be multiple use of the Kolhapur airport. We are planning to re-route a couple of night flights originally scheduled for Mumbai airport to Kolhapur. The flights will reach Mumbai and then carry Kolhapur-bound passengers to the city at night. The plane will be parked in Kolhapur and it will leave the airport next morning with Mumbai-bound passengers," said an official, who however did not wish to be identified.

Officials said the plan "is tentative but viable" as the flyers from Kolhapur can have a continuous service immediately. "We are waiting for the licence to commence the operation. Once we receive the licence, we can undertake work such as expansion of the airstrip. However, our immediate focus will be to complete the night landing facility," an official said.

The state government had in August this year handed over the airport at Ujalaiwadi from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to the AAI. Ashok Patil, the regional officer of MIDC, Kolhapur, said the formalities for the transer have been completed and at present the airport is with AAI.

"We have informally discussed several plans to revive the air service to Kolhapur. We have given some suggestions. However, it is AAI's mandate now to go for the feasible solutions," said Patil, adding that night landing and extension of airstrip would be the AAI's first priority. There are other plans on the radar, he said.

Business experts feel that the lack of airport has become the hurdle for the further growth of Kolhapur. New industries and sectors like information and technology are based on the connectivity, experts said.

"Cities developed in past two decades by exploring opportunities made available through air connectivity. Kolhapur has infrastructure and talent. It also has good data connectivity; but lags behind in air connectivity. The advantage of geographical location of this city can be utilized once the airport starts operating," said Kulbhushan Birnale, president of the Converse International Network, an institute working as networking platform for industries.

Lack of an airport in Kolhapur was a major drawback for the growth of the industrial sector in the region. Industrial units at Kagal MIDC, many of them with a turnover of over Rs 50 crore, have collaboration with multinational companies. Foreign delegates, who regularly visit Kagal, have to travel by air till Pune or Mumbai and then take the road route to reach Kolhapur. The airport in Kolhapur will help them reach the city faster and in turn increase the business engagements.

Industrialists are hopeful that the pending demand will materialize soon and the city will have more flights.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Film StillPadma Devi :
The Color Queen Film India,
December 1937

Monday, December 2, 2013

Given space crunch, is landfill in sea the answer?

MUMBAI: Should Mumbai consider an offshore landfill given the space crunch in the city and the strong opposition to dumping grounds from residents who live in their vicinity? Some experts believe in the idea, while others think it is a misstep.

Dr Ir Frans HM van de Ven of the Netherlands-based institute Deltares, which conducts applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure, said the state should tap into the unutilised sea. "The Not In My Backyard sentiment to landfills is very strong around the world. Mumbai should utilise its sea for creating recreation parks and surface water reservoirs. Since land is in short supply, it could even consider an island for a landfill." He was in the city recently for the mega-city conference organised by the NGO Mumbai First and the state government.

Singapore's only landfill site is located on the Semakau islands; it is filled mainly with ash produced from the country's incineration plants. A similar proposal was made by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 2003, but the idea was shot down.

Mumbai Transformation Support Unit officials said the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011, is so stringent that it would not allow an offshore landfill.

Environmentalists in the city feel that instead of building dumping grounds in the sea, Mumbai's authorities should consider a zero garbage policy. "It is happening in cities across the world, be it New York or Paris. Landfills are no longer accepted as a solution to waste problems," said environmentalist Rishi Agarwal.

MSRDC plans coastal road from Versova to Virar | Property Pulse ...

content.magicbricks.com › Property NewsMumbai real estate news
Aug 25, 2011 - Mumbai In a fresh amendment to the city's road plans, the proposed 10-km ... MSRDC has estimated the cost of the 54-km Versova-Virar coastal road to be around Rs 4,000 crore. ..... Affordable housing: Rs 20 lakh homes.



Radiation expert to take stock of cell tower sites

MUMBAI: Radiation specialist Michael Repacholi will take stock of a few cell tower sites in the city on Monday and interact with medical experts on their effect on health.

Repacholi, who headed the radiation task force at the World Health Organisation (WHO), is visiting the city at a time when activists have been alleging health hazards from mobile towers. While activists like Prakash Munshi say that the presence of cell towers pose health risks to the citizens, Cellular Operators Association of India refutes this claim.

COAI director-general Rajan S Mathews claimed that despite cellular operators following all the norms laid down by WHO and the government of India, certain "misconceptions" were being propagated about cellphones and mobile towers.

On Monday, Repacholi will release a book on mobile phones and radiation. Repacholi was a founding member and chaired the International Non-Ionizing Radiation Committee. He was also coordinator of the radiation and environmental health unit of the WHO and headed the International Advisory Committee of the EMF (electro-magnetic field) project of the WHO till 2006.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Food licensing goes online in Maharashtra

AURANGABAD: The Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration's (FDA) system saw an online launch on November 22, equipped with software for processing applications for food and beverage licensing. With this smart turn towards the Internet, heaped files at FDA offices will now be history.

"The FDA has gone online from November 22, all over the state. The status of hoteliers, traders and food joints who had earlier registered with the FDA and the food business operators who have procured licences according to the Food and Safety Act 2006, will be uploaded on the website www.fssai.gov.in," said Chandrashekhar Salunke, FDA joint commissioner (Food), Aurangabad division.

Salunkhe said that one can now apply for registration and licences at the click of a mouse. "This would help speed up the process and maintain complete clarity and smoother functioning on both sides throughout the process," Salunkhe told a news conference on Tuesday.

FDA assistant commissioner (Food), Aurangabad division, M D Shah said, "As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) 2006, food business operators need to apply for renewal norms for licences one month before the expiry date."

"An operator would procure his/her licence within 60 days{why 60 days?why not 6days?delay may increase corruption} of the online application. Moreover, operators can also check the status of applications online and will receive alerts regarding renewal date and licence status," Shah said.

"Till now, 8,185 registrations and 4,365 licences have been issued manually in Aurangabad district. All these records will soon be available online. Food business operators with business worth less than Rs 12 lakh per annum have to register themselves with the FDA and if the annual business is more than Rs12 lakh, they have to obtain a licence from the FDA," said Shah.

No takers for 1.3 lakh flats in Mumbai, says report

MUMBAI: The city's residential market is in dire straits with 1.30 lakh unsold flats, while another 2.90 lakh homes are under construction, reveals a report.

A Knight Frank India Mumbai realty market research report released on Tuesday said the unsold inventory level in the Mumbai metropolitan region is almost 44%. Around 47,488 apartments were launched between January and September, a considerable 28% drop compared to last year.

Due to the weakening demand, the residential market will require over two years to exhaust the existing unsold inventory, the report stated. Shishir Baijal, chairman and managing director of Knight Frank said the rise in interest cost and decline in net profits during 2013 will compel developers to lighten inventory load and deleverage their balance sheets.

"Demand however, is likely to remain subdued over the initial part of 2014 as the market continues to bottom out against the backdrop of a sluggish economy," he added. The launch of new residential projects plummeted over 40% compared to peak levels in 2010. Approximately 47,488 units were launched during the January-September 2013 period; a considerable 28% drop compared to last year.

Interestingly, 34% of the projects were launched in Ambernath, Bhiwandi, Mumbra and Karjat. About 19% projects commenced in the Virar-Palghar stretch, 18% in Navi Mumbai, 10% in Bandra, Andheri, Goregaon, and a measly one per cent in south Mumbai. "The Navi Mumbai story lost some momentum as its share of units launched dropped 18% in 2013 from 22% last year. Inordinate delays in the execution of major infrastructure projects such as the new airport and Trans-Harbour link coupled with comparatively dearer inventory have caused a lull in market activity," the report mentioned. It predicts that a price correction is on the anvil as there are no takers for premium projects. "Developers are looking to tap into the largest chunk of buyers seeking apartments priced up to Rs 75 lakh. An estimated 74% of units under construction today are targeted at this price,'' it said.

"In a bid to liquidate their higher priced inventory, developers have been open to in the premium segment, to reduce prices up to a maximum of 25% in favour of a sizeable up-front payment," said the report. For instance, prices in some south and central Mumbai locations like Parel and Mahalaxmi have declined close to 10% over the previous three quarters. "Unsold inventory pressure in Mumbai is the highest among all other cities and is depicting a growing trend. We expect a more pronounced price correction which may drive the market to a better equilibrium," said Samantak Das, chief economist, director- research and advisory services, Knight Frank India.

Friday, November 22, 2013

SC orders elite Willingdon club to take BMC's eating house licence

MUMBAI: Putting to rest a two-decade-old dispute, the Supreme Court earlier this week ruled that the elite Willingdon Sports Club has to obtain a BMC 'eating house' licence for the food its serves its members.

A division bench of Justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda struck down a Bombay high court verdict and gave the club four weeks to apply. It added that the BMC was free to impose penalty on the institution for failing to take a licence and asked the club to shell out Rs 50,000 as litigation cost.

The order is likely to have a cascading effect on other exclusive clubs in the city, mainly requiring them to apply to the BMC for an eating house license.

"The object of incorporating the requirement of a licence for an 'eating house' or 'catering establishment' is to ensure that public hygiene is maintained at the place/premises where the food is prepared and/or supplied for consumption. It is also intended to ensure safety of the people engaged in the preparation of food and supply thereof as well as all those who consume the articles at the particular place/premises," said the judges.

Willingdon club had argued that it did not need the license because its main activity is providing sporting facilities to its members, and the catering facilities were incidental. It added that its services were exclusively for its members and not for the general public.

The Bombay high court in 2009 upheld this contention and ruled that the club was not required to take an eating house license.

The apex court, hearing a BMC appeal, did not agree. It said the club's catering facilities fell within the definition of eating house in the BMC Act and members of the club came within the term "public".

"No doubt the primary activity of the club is to provide sporting facilities to the members, but the supply of food is an integral part of such activity and the catering department of the club satisfies an essential component of the facilities provided by the club," said the judges.

"Not only this, many join the club in the name of availing sporting facilities only for the purpose of spending their time in leisure and for enjoying the facilities provided by the catering department of the club. Thus, even though profit may not be the motto of catering facilities provided by Willingdon Club, it certainly gains by these facilities," the court added.

The dispute goes back to 1990 when the BMC asked the club to get the licence. 
Letters passed between the corporation and the club, and the later also deposited Rs 2.7 lakh. In 1999, the BMC insisted on the licence and asked it to pay a further Rs 1.2 lakh. The club challenged the notice in the high court and won the first round before the SC accepted the BMC view.

New cluster plan to include illegal flats

MUMBAI: Occupants of unauthorized flats and shops will be legally rehabilitated as part of the state government new cluster redevelopment policy. Critics said this sop is a virtual indictment of the government, which has failed to curb illegal constructions.

TOI has learnt that the government plans to offer rehabilitation area of 250 sq ft to 700 sq ft premises to all such occupants.

These residents will have to bear the cost of construction and there will be no incentive for the developer for rehabilitating them, said sources.

Congress MLA Amin Patel from South Mumbai who has the maximum number of old and dilapidated buildings in his constituency said the government has to accept that there has been a systemic failure. " "We cannot throw them out. Where will they go? We need to rehabilitate else the planned development of the city cannot happen,'' he said. The Campa Cola society is a glaring example of the systemic failure.

The cluster redevelopment policy was formulated post-2005 floods when a number of old and dilapidated buildings crashed. The state government then decided to take up block redevelopment rather than single buildings that were resulting in a very skewed development of the city. However, the 2009 policy did not find many takers and now the government is drawing up a fresh policy to replace the earlier one. This is likely to apply across the city.

Like in case of slum-dwellers, here too there will be a cut-off date. "The debate is should it be January 1, 1995 as for all slums or January 1, 2000 as for slums on land meant for vital projects like Dharavi, the airport and the Mumbai Urban Transport Project or should it be 2011 wherein slum-dwellers who have bought pre-1995 structures as late as 2011 are to be considered eligible on payment of a transfer fee.''

Sources said the new cluster redevelopment policy was submitted to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday by the urban development department. "It is likely that he may approve it by Saturday,'' said sources.

Amongst the incentives of residents is a minimum rehab flat of 323 sq feet or 30 sq metres if the cluster rehabilitation is limited to one acre. "But if it is a mega-cluster then depending on the size of the plot the incentive will go up by 10%, 15% to a maximum of 25%. Along with fungible fsi, the flat size can go up to 545 sq feet,'' said sources.

The government will also relax the condition on property ownership for redevelopment from 100% to 70% . Similarly 70% of tenants will need to give consent. Patel who had proposed the change said the government has conveyed it will accept the proposal.

Unlike the old policy where the government had no role to play in land acquisition, under the new policy it will step in and aid in acquiring the remaining 30% of land.

The BMC as planning authority will draw the boundaries of each cluster thereby ensuring that the city gets its infrastructure and public amenities. The cluster redevelopment will be detailed in a Urban Renewal Scheme master plan along with the civic Development Plan and a comprehensive plan for every cluster. Each of these plans have to merge into each other so that there is planned development of the city, said sources.

Once the Mumbai plan is approved the governme

Dabhol lies idle but consumers continue to pay

NAGPUR: The Union ministry of power (MoP) has suddenly woken up from its deep slumber over the 1,980 MW Dabhol plant lying idle since July 15 as banks have sounded an alarm over a massive loan default. Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited (RGPPL), the company that runs the plant, collectively owes Rs8,500 crore to ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, SBI and Canara Bank.

However, the state government has never taken up the issue with MoP even though MSEDCL consumers are paying around 17 paise per unit for a plant that is not generating a single unit of electricity. The consumers are effectively paying over 19.5 paise per unit due to electricity duty. The state government is pocketing this 2.5 paise per unit amount. Interestingly, MSEDCL, which is collecting this money from consumers, is not passing it on to RGPPL, which has complained to MoP in this regard.

This is not the first time that consumers are being unnecessarily penalized for the jinxed plant. They had paid a surcharge of 35 paise unit for four months from December 2009 to March 2010 to meet extra Rs650 crore maintenance cost of Dabhol.

Even otherwise Dabhol power has almost been the costliest for MSEDCL. According to MSEDCL official if the plant functioned at full capacity then the price of power would have been around Rs3.75 per unit (at earlier Reliance gas price). "However, when it functions at only one-third capacity it increases to Rs5.81 per unit. This shows that whenever the generation reduces the power rate goes up because the fixed cost remains the same."

The 17 paise per unit surcharge was finalized by Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) in the tariff order for 2012-13. RGPPL was to be paid Rs1,854 crore as fixed charges by MSEDCL in addition to variable charges that depend on fuel cost.

Dabhol needs 8.5 mmscmd (million standard cubic meters per day) gas for running at full capacity of 1,800 MW. However, the supply from Reliance' KG basin has been dwindling continuously and now has stopped completely. The plant can't be run on imported gas because it is far costlier and will make power rate too high.

RGPPL is in bad financial shape.[Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private limited (RGPPL] It incurred a loss of Rs1,156 crore in 2012-13 as the generation was less by over 9,000 million units (MUs) than the target. This is up from over 3,000 MUs in 2011-12.