Even as the healthcare sector has received the largest budget allocation in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) 2019-20 budget of Rs 30,062 crore, it is the roads, rail and bridges combined that have benefitted the most.
While Rs 4,515 crore have been allocated to healthcare projects, roads; footpaths; traffic, and coastal road have been provided with a budget of Rs 4,700 crore. Around 14 per cent of the total budgetary allocation is for health, including upgrading peripheral hospitals like MT Agarwal, Shatabdi Govandi and Bhagvati Hospitals, salaries for doctors, employees and provision for public health; it is a rise of 15 per cent than the last year.
The civic body is spending over 15 per cent of the budget on roads. In the year 2018-19, nearly 313 km of roads were repaired. In the next year, repairs on nearly 370 km of roads has been proposed. Of this, 106 km roads will be made of cement-concrete and 172 km of asphalt; it also include resurfacing of the 92 km roads. Some of the major roads proposed for improvement are Mancherji Joshi road, Morland road in south city, JVLR, link road from SV Road to Mahavir Nagar and Sunder Nagar main road, Church Pakhadi road in Western suburbs and Ghatkopar-Mankhurd link road, Mahul road and LBS road in eastern suburbs.
The civic body has allocated a separate provision of Rs 100 crore for footpath repairs. It will also form a Parking Authority next year. Replacing conventional lights by LED too will complete with a provision of Rs 50 crore.
After the structural audit of all the bridges including flyovers, foot overbridges, skywalks and subways, the BMC will construct 14 new bridges and will repair 223 bridges with a provision of Rs 108 crore. Apart from the Goregaon-Mulund link road, Mahalaxmi station bridge, bridge near Infinity mall, an elevated road at Lokhandwala, a bridge at Parshiwada, Andheri, an extension of Jogeshwari station ROB is in the plan.
The coastal road project has got the momentum and the BMC made a provision of Rs 1,607 crore for the Rs 12,651 crore-project. The 10 km road work from Princess Street to Bandra-Worli Sea Link has started in three phases from November 2018 and is expected to complete within four years.
Now, Mumbai Fire brigade to get remote operated robot
The Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) will soon be able to get live video footage and exact location of fire inside of a building as the procurement of radio controlled remote operated robot is under process. The unmanned radio frequency operated robot will arrive from China in a month time.
According to a senior official from the MFB, a final visit to China has been made and requisite process has been completed. “The process of buying the robot has been completed and it will arrive soon,” said the official. The robot will look alike a small tanker.
The unmanned radio controlled remote operated robot can reach nearest location of fire and apart from dousing, it can also provide exact location and status of fire that will make job of firemen easy to confine it without wasting time. According to senior official from the MFB, firemen find it difficult moving inside basement of building at a fire site, and they even have to struggle with the smoke.
“In such place, the robot will be helpful that will douse. The robot will also update them on the status of fire with live video of the location even if there is smoke,” said the official.
The robot is fitted with thermic camera of 640*512 that can capture videos and photos during day and night as well. “The company will also train our firemen which will take about one to two days,” said the official. Out of four countries that had given demonstration, namely United States, Germany, China and Israel of which China’s firm was shortlisted.
After procurement of the robot, the BMC will become the first civic body in the country to have such equipment.
Among major feature, the robot can also release 3800 litres water in one minute. “The two engines with 4000 watt capacity can move at 3.5 km inside a fire site and while dousing fire, it will continue to send photographs and video outside that can be seen in a tablet. The video and photo output can be received even around 300 metre away from fire site.
This 500 kg robot can enter in narrow lanes where fire engines find difficult and it is likely to be brought in after monsoon.
Mumbai: Rs 100 cr fine yet to be collected from motorists
Traffic police which had received flak for its inability to recover pending fines for traffic violations for the last two years have seen great improvement in collection of fines this year. As per the department’s claims, this year the recovery rate has increased to 125 per cent per day as compared to last year. Still, the pending fine amount is around Rs 100 crore.
Speaking to DNA, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar said, “The e-challan system was fully operational in 2017 and 2018. Before that, we used to collect fines manually. Since the CCTVs are linked with the e-challan system, we saw an increase in the number of cases registered. However, there has been pendency of recovery of fines from the offenders due to the implementation of the e-challan system.”
He added, the manual fine collecting system used to result in police-public conflict and raised allegations of corruption among traffic police. It also led to less manpower in regulating traffic with policemen being put on fine collecting duty. The e-challan system was introduced to overcome all these issues.
“Last year we used to collect Rs 8 lakh fines per day, which has now increased to Rs 18 lakh per day. Till February this year, Rs 141 crore fine was unpaid, the number has now come down to Rs 100 crore. Due to awareness created by traffic police, citizens are now paying fine amount online,” said Kumar.
Glittery advertisements to obstruct your sea view at Juhu, Bandra soon
Soon your view of the sea from Bandra Reclamation, Juhu and Versova beach maybe be obstructed with glittery advertisements mid-sea. With an aim to raise funds for water transportation projects, the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) has introduced the concept of floating advertisement wherein companies will be given rights to promote brands mid-sea on barges.
This is the first of its kind advertisement technique in India.
Speaking about it, an MMB official said, “Advertisement boards will be fixed on barges which will ply in sea face along Bandra-Worli Sea-Link (BWSL), Juhu and Versova beach. We have got a proposal from one agency, and now we want more players to come forward and give their proposal for the same.”
The revenue generated from the same will be used by MMB for several water transport projects like purchasing and developing jetty and vessels for Roll on Roll off (RORO) vessels that allow one to carry vehicles for plying between locations like Borivali-Gorai, Mumbai-Alibaug etc. It will also be used to procure hovercraft that will ply passengers between Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
“The minimum advertising revenue guaranteed by any company should be at least Rs 112 per square feet for illuminated advertising space and around Rs 65 for non-illuminating advertising space,” added the official.
Lauding the idea to monetise the sea, Prahlad Kakkar, an advertising veteran said, “This might lure many brands who will opt for it. However, the aesthetics of the sea will change. Many brands might not come forward to avoid negative publicity.
Stay hydrated, avoid venturing outside during afternoon: Doctors
Due to an increase in the temperature, the city-based doctors have urged the citizens to avoid going out during the afternoon. Since cases related to dehydration and heatstroke increases during summer, citizens should take precautionary measures to keep themselves healthy, say doctors.
Dr Rahul Ghule, general practitioner, said, “It has been only a few days that there has been a rise in the temperature. We haven’t received any cases so far. During summer, the majority of the patients complain of dehydration. The citizens should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration caused due to extreme heat and heat stroke. Besides this, sunstroke also known as heat stroke is another common health issue. Thus, citizens should stay indoors during the days.”
Echoing Dr Ghule’s line of thoughts, Dr Harshad Limaye, Internal Medicine from Vile Parle-based Nanavati Hospital, said, “One should be careful while stepping out of the home and his/her exposure to the sun. Drinking a lot of water on a regular basis can help one beat the heat.”
Speaking about the precautionary measures to be taken by the citizens, Dr Aman Shirolkar, a general practitioner, said, “Citizens should wear light weight and light colour clothing to protect themselves from the heat. They should apply sunscreen before going out.”
The high humidity can also cause skin infection, excessive itching and pigmentation. “Wearing cotton clothes helps to absorb the sweat. Gloves and scarfs should be used to cover the hands and face,” added Dr Amar.
Mumbai: BMC cracks whip on property tax defaulters
As part of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) drive to recover pending property tax from defaulters, the civic body has taken action against 27 tax defaulters and has attached five establishments across the city for auction.
In 2018-19, the income from property tax was estimated at Rs 5,206.15 crore. As per the Assessment and Collection department of BMC, around Rs 3,681 crore is pending from 3,23,861 defaulters. The maximum number of defaulters and amount is from Goregaon area with Rs 423 crore, followed by Bandra with Rs 260 crore.
In March alone, the BMC initiated action against 27 tax defaulters and proposed for the auction of five properties. BMC owes Rs 14.62 lakh from them. Of the five properties, two are commercial while three are open plots.
In addition, the BMC has also attached and filed FIRs against 13 defaulters from whom the BMC owes Rs 30.5 crore. The civic body has also disconnected water and electricity supply of nine properties. It has prepared a list of 3.23 lakh property tax defaulters, action against whom will be initiated in the first phase.
Speaking about it, a senior BMC official said, “We will start initiating strict action against major defaulters. In addition, a LIDAR survey of all properties revealed that there are over 33,000 deviations or alterations which is also expected to increase our revenue. We are expecting a Rs 500 crore revenue jump through the survey.”
Cyber crime thrives, detection rate fails to keep pace: RTI
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating the Digital India campaign, statistics reveal that the police department is facing a tough time in solving cases pertaining to cybercrime. An RTI query has revealed that out of 627 cybercrime cases registered with the city Cyber-Crime Police Station (CCPS) in the last six years, only 169 cases had been solved.
The statistics came to light following a Right to Information (RTI) query filed by activist Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh seeking information on cybercrimes from Mumbai Police, from January 2013 till December 2018. Shaikh had sought details of the cybercrime cases registered and detected in these years by Cyber-Crime Police. The cases include debit card frauds, job rackets, misuse of social media and hacking.
The statistics revealed that most numbers of cyber-crime cases (300) were registered in 2015, followed by 163 cases in 2016.
“Everyone is going digital now for transactions and making payments. Citizens should be made aware of the precautions that should be taken to avoid being duped in this digital payments ecosystem,” said Shaikh.
When contacted, deputy commissioner of police, Cyber-Crime, Vishal Thakur refused to comment without analysing the statistics.
“The figure, 627 complaints registered, in itself is very poor. On average, the police receives 5000 complaints per month. Thus, the conversion rate of complaints to FIR is very poor and its detection is even poorer. There could be several reasons for the poor detection rate. Often in cyber-crime cases, the IP address location is found to be abroad, or the intermediaries such as Google or Facebook deny sharing data when the IP address is of US citizens. The process to procure the IP address requires six months to one year’s work and hence there is a delay. Another major reason is that the trained staff in cyber-police station gets transferred to other duties after completion of tenure. Hence there is a dearth of trained staff at CCPS,” said Advocate Prashant Mali, cyber-law expert.
Mumbai: Former assistant municipal commissioner of a ward under Lokayukta scanner
The Lokayukta in an order has asked the municipal commissioner to take “appropriate action” against a former assistant municipal commissioner of C-ward. The order was given after he failed to act despite receiving repeated complaints from the shop owner opposite Crawford Market.
Rajesh Premani owner a shop opposite Crawford Market had filed a complaint against Jivak Ghegadmal, former assistant municipal commissioner of C-ward for not addressing his grievance regarding a fire hazard caused due to cylinder storage by popular joint Badshah.
The order was given by ML Tahiliyani from Lokayukta on February 19, 2019. When asked Premani, he said that he had received the orders only three days ago. The order, which has to be complied in 90 days states that not taking action only projects his undesirable interest or corruption.
“Despite being demolished twice for its massive gas leakage from his illegally owned gas bank in 2012, the shop was reinstated. It was temporarily shut by serving MRTP notices in 2012 after the fire brigade report pointed out safety risks. After the insistence of Lokayukta, the illegal 32-cylinder LPG gas bank was demolished again, but it was immediately reinstated. Badshah doesn’t even have the latest fire NOC as required after Kamala Mills fire. Yet they are allowed with impunity to flout all rules and regulations,” said Premani whose shop adjoins Badshah’s.
“Administration is not taken action and hence people are forced to move court and case lingers for long years. Does the administration care for fire safety. If you think Mumbai is safe after Kamala Disaster, and fire wouldn’t happen again think again! Be assured, dire would happen again,” said Premani, who has now rented out his place. “We will be seeking further legal remedies if action is not taken,” said advocate Prerak Choudhary, who helped Premani in legal advice.
When contacted, Ghegadmal said, “Assistant engineer of building and factory is the authorised person to take action. In case of enquiry, I will check with the seniors on action be taken. Every fortnightly there is meeting with deputy municipal commissioner (RE) and he should be taking action as he is responsible for labour and police protection.” Ashfaq from Badshah said that someone will get back but no one did. Municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta has not responded to message from DNA.
Mumbai: Faster, waterproof locals with Train 18 technology soon
The Indian Railways have created the first prototype of EMU (local train) rake having electrics, transformers, and motors in the underslung. It has already reached Central Railway (CR) and its trials shall be carried out soon. These trains are similar to ‘Train 18’ as far as its electrics and mechanical systems are concerned.
Having motors and transformers in the underslung would mean the creation of additional capacity by 10-15 percent. Currently, a 12-car local train carries 6000-6500 commuters as against its actual capacity of 2250 commuters. When the bulky transformers and electrics go in the space between wheels and coaches, it will increase its carrying capacity by at least 600-900 people, depending on the time of day. Currently, 78 lakh people travel on both CR and WR every day, with an average annual growth of 1-2 per cent.
At present, every third coach of a 12-car train has transformers and other equipment, which connects to the pantograph on the roof. “The first non-AC EMU train having transformers in the underslung has already reached Mumbai. Its trials will be carried out once the Commissioner of Railway Safety gives clearance,” said a senior Railway official on condition of anonymity.
The trials will be carried out on the Kalyan-Karjat/Kasara section. Another railway official said that despite the machines and electric systems being underneath, they will not be affected during heavy rains, especially when tracks are flooded. “These machines are waterproof. These advanced electric systems can chug through 400 mm of water depth, but at a slow speed,” he added.
Also, it will help increase the speed of train up to 130kmph.
61 people died of swine flu across Maharashtra this year
As per the state’s public health department, 61 patients have died in Maharashtra of swine flu this year till Monday. Due to a change in climate, more citizens are suffering from H1N1 since January, officials said.
According to a Right to Information (RTI) reply received from civic-run Kasturba Hospital, the number of cases from outside Mumbai are rising this year.
This year, two cases each from around Mumbai, Vasai, Virar and Bhayandar were admitted in Kasturba Hospital, followed by one case each from cities like Nashik, Dhule, Badlapur and Navi Mumbai to name a few, the RTI data reveals.
Of the 30 cases at the facility, 18 were from outside Mumbai. No cases were admitted from outside the state.
The state public health department stated after a meeting that the number of deaths reported till March 18 in the state is 61. The highest number has been reported in Nashik district (15) followed by Nagpur (14) and Pune (six).
IMC Ladies’ Wing honours ‘women impacting women’
The Ladies’ Wing of the IMC Chamber of Commerce gave away its IMPACT 2019 awards to ‘Women Impacting Women’, that is women who have made a difference to many lives.
Dr Anagha Amte, medical officer, Lok Biradari Prakalp, which works with adivasi women in remote areas, said she was surprised at first. “Most awards rightfully go the way of my in-laws, Prakash and Mandakini Amte. My work is comparatively smaller. I work largely in the area of maternal and child healthcare and try to bring these services to the marginalised communities.”
Well-known athlete Anju Bobby George thanked the IMC for recognising her work with youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds. “Recognition like this is a pat on the back for me. Many of these children are already competing and doing well. In a few years, many of them will go on to bring honour to the country at the world stage.”
Thanking the gathering for the award, artiste Brinda Miller, director, Studio Millernium Pvt Ltd said: “I have been lucky to have supportive men in my life who have always looked out for me. We need to sensitise more and more men so that they also similarly support the women in their lives.”
Author and co-founder of Kali for Women Ritu Menon also felt that the IMC had done what many other awards don’t: “As publishers my work is largely in the background and hence remains unnoticed. I am glad that IMC is changing that.”
Mohana Nair, president, IMC Ladies Wing, said it was a privilege and honour for the IMC to award the women achievers. “Each of them is an inspiration.”
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