Mumbai Diary: Saturday scene

The city — sliced, diced and served with a dash of sauce

Move for safer holidays in Dombivili
With many people leaving the city to spend summer vacations in other, probably cooler, places, their unoccupied homes are ripe targets for burglars.

Corporator Vikas Mhatre with police officers after distributing the cameras. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar
Corporator Vikas Mhatre with police officers after distributing the cameras. Pic/Shrikant Khuperkar

With this in mind, corporator Vikas Mhatre of the Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation’s ward number 65 has distributed closed-circuit cameras to some 200 housing societies in the area.

Mhatre has paid for the cameras out of his own salary, and this has encouraged society office-bearers as well, to take proactive measures in ensuring safety and security.

Step up for media
The Salman Khan case has been a field day, literally, for the media who have been camping outside his residence, the court, and anywhere else the actor might be spotted.

Photographers get a leg up via ladders. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Photographers get a leg up via ladders. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Photographers and cameramen have been seen perched on walls and even in trees, and we would not be surprised if flat-owners with residences overlooking strategic areas started renting out their rooms with a view.

We may not be at that stage yet (or if we are, this page hasn’t yet heard about it!) but the spirit of enterprise was very much present in the vicinity of Khan’s residence in Bandra (West), where throngs of people, fans, gawkers and media alike, were waiting for him to leave for the court.

A shopkeeper in the area decided to make the most of the situation, and offered ladders for rent at the princely sum of Rs 400 for the day. For the camera wielders, this was heaven-sent as it offered a whole new vantage point. And it was a small sum to pay for the privileged position.

BNHS officer gets ‘Green Oscar’ for bustard project
It's a feather (virtual, of course) in the cap for the Bombay Natural History Society, as its advocacy officer, Dr Pramod Patil, recently received the Whitley Award 2015, which is in the form of a project grant and is often referred to as the Green Oscar.

Dr Pramod Patil receiving the award from HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne
Dr Pramod Patil receiving the award from HRH the Princess Royal, Princess Anne

Dr Patil is working on the Great Indian Bustard Project of the BNHS. Earlier, BNHS COO Dr Deepak Apte had also received the Whitley Award and Whitley Continuation Grant. The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, presented the Whitley Award worth £35,000 to Dr Pramod Patil at a ceremony in London’s Royal Geographical Society recently.

The grant supports the conservation and advocacy work for the critically endangered iconic species of Indian grasslands, Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps). Dr Patil, one of seven individuals worldwide to have received the grant this year, is a medical doctor by training and decided to devote his time to conserving the Great Indian Bustard after first sighting the species in 2003.

The Great Indian Bustard once flourished across the Indian sub-continent. Man-made factors such as loss of grassland habitat due to unsustainable development, faulty conservation policies, poaching and destruction of eggs have pushed the species towards extinction in 90 per cent of its original range.

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