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Air India Mumbai to San Francisco flight delayed, set to depart today

Air India flight AI-179 scheduled to depart from Mumbai to San Francisco at 4 pm (local time) on Friday was delayed due to a technical issue and is now rescheduled to depart at 10:30 am on Saturday. The plane was rescheduled for 7:17 p.m., but it had to ramp back because a passenger wasn't feeling well. The sick passenger got off the aircraft, although crew flying duty restrictions and night landing restrictions had already taken effect at SFO. In a statement, an Air India spokesperson stated, "AI-179 from Mumbai to San Francisco, scheduled to depart at 1600 hrs today, was delayed due to a technical issue arising just before departure. Giving top priority to safety issues, the aircraft was held back for engineering checks." "Meanwhile, a few guests decided to discontinue the journey and the flight got further delayed as their baggage had to be offloaded from the aircraft. The flight was pushed back at 1917 hours but had to be rescheduled due to one guest feeling unwell. While the ailing guest was being deboarded with his baggage, the night landing restrictions at SFO had set in along with the crew flight duty limitations," it added. The statement claims that travellers received gratis rescheduling, hotel accommodations, and refreshments at the airport. Air India spokesperson stated, "Guests have been offered hotel accommodation, complimentary rescheduling and full refunds and served refreshments at the airport. The flight has now been rescheduled for 1030 hours tomorrow (Saturday). Inconvenience caused to guests is sincerely regretted." (With Inputs from ANI)

25 May,2024 03:32 PM IST | Mumbai | Meenakshi Shedde
The car involved in Pune car crash/ PTI

CP Amitesh Kumar reveals family threatened driver to take blame for accident

Amitesh Kumar, Commissioner of Police, has disclosed that the family of minor accused of Pune car crash threatened their driver to take the blame. The event, which claimed the lives of two youngsters, is currently being investigated. Commissioner Kumar added that when the driver was originally taken to the police station, he claimed to be driving the car. However, the police questioned his account and, following a preliminary investigation into Pune car crash, discovered that the youngster was actually driving. The driver, Gangadhar, said that he was taken against his will to the home of the accused's grandpa, Surendra Kumar Agarwal, where he was threatened and made to accept blame for the accident, reported ANI.  According to the report, Kumar speaking about Pune car crash said, "When the driver was first brought to the Police Station from the spot, the first statement which he gave in writing was that he was driving the car. But the Police at that point in time did not believe the statement of the driver and after a preliminary inquiry, they registered an offence against the juvenile accused because it was evident prima facie that the juvenile accused was driving the vehicle." CP Amitesh Kumar further said, "The family threatened the driver to take the blame. The driver was kept confined. The driver wasn't behind the wheel. Family (of accused minor) tried to bribe the driver." Surendra Kumar Agarwal, the accused's grandfather, was arrested in connection with Pune car crash by the crime branch for kidnapping and illegal detention under IPC sections 365 and 368. Vishal Agarwal, the accused's father, was also charged under numerous IPC sections following Gangadhar's accusation. According to a Juvenile Justice Board ruling, the youngster accused is being held in an observation home after allegedly driving the luxury car while intoxicated and running over two persons killing them. His father, Vishal Agarwal, is in judicial remand at Yerawada Central Prison in connection with Pune car crash. Commissioner Kumar promised that the police are conducting a thorough investigation into the situation. Efforts are underway to try the kid as an adult, and police are scrutinising all statements and evidence to achieve justice for the victims, Aneesh Awadhiya and Ashwini Koshta, who died in the accident.

25 May,2024 01:56 PM IST | Pune | mid-day online correspondent
The site of Dombivli factory blast/ Satej Shinde

Dombivli factory blast: Owner remanded in police custody until May 29

A court in Thane district has ordered the owner of the chemical factory in Dombivli, where an explosion killed nine people and injured over 60, to be held in police custody until May 29. The accused, Malay Mehta (38), owner of Amudan Chemicals, was produced in the Kalyan magistrate court. Thane city police wanted 14 days in custody to determine whether more people were engaged in the Dombivli factory blast. The police indicated that the explosion caused significant damage and that they needed to investigate the involvement of multiple people, reported PTI.  According to the report, Mehta's lawyer claimed that the factory had the essential approvals and followed procedures. However, an intervener agreed with the police's request for incarceration and further questioning in the Dombivli factory blast. After hearing all parties, the magistrate ordered Mehta to stay in police custody until May 29. The Ulhasnagar unit of the Crime Branch is now in charge of the inquiry of the Dombivli factory blast. The police have issued a FIR against the factory's owners, directors, managers, and supervisory personnel. The offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) include culpable homicide (section 304), voluntarily causing harm, and negligent behaviour with regard to combustible materials and explosives. Additional charges have been imposed under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and the Explosive Substances Act, the report added.  According to the FIR, the company failed to take proper precautions when combining chemicals, handling finished products, and storing supplies, despite knowing that any error could result in an explosion. This neglect resulted in the Dombivli factory blast on Thursday, which killed people and damaged adjacent houses and properties. The blast was powerful enough to shatter the windows of nearby houses and damaged cars, roads, and electric poles in the area. Dombivli factory blast: KDMC appeals people to contact civic hospital if their kin are missing The Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) in Thane district, Maharashtra, has asked locals to approach a civic hospital if any of their family members went missing following the recent Dombivli factory blast. The KDMC announced the establishment of a helpline at the civic-run Shastri Nagar Hospital. Citizens can contact the support desk at 0251-2481073 or 0251-2495338. Officials indicated that estimating the precise number of fatalities is difficult because body parts have been collected from the scene. DNA tests will be needed to confirm the death toll. With PTI inputs

25 May,2024 01:30 PM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
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Mumbai to face water cuts due to reduced water stock in dams

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced a 5% reduction in water supply for Mumbai Metropolitan City beginning Thursday, May 30, 2024, followed by a 10 per cent cut on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. This decision is a preventative step due to the city's restricted water supply from the dams. Despite the water outage, the BMC tells residents that they do not need to panic. The water stock is currently 5.64 percent lower than the previous year, owing to much decreased rainfall in October 2023. As of May 25, 2024, Mumbai has 1,40,202 million litres of water available, accounting for only 9.69 percent of the annual requirement of 14,47,363 million litres. "The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to implement a 5 per cent water cut in the Mumbai Metropolitan City (BMC jurisdiction) from Thursday, 30 May 2024, and a 10 per cent water cut from Wednesday, 5 June 2024, as a precautionary measure to ensure that the stock is used for as long as possible. Mumbaikars have no reason to panic. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) administration humbly appeals to all citizens to use water judiciously," said BMC in their statement. The BMC is continuously monitoring the situation and manages the water supply on a regular basis. Additionally, Mumbai will receive 1,37,000 million litres from the Bhatsa Dam and 91,130 million litres from the Upper Vaitarna Dam. The punctual arrival of the monsoon, as predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department, is another favourable element.  The water cuts will affect Thane, Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, and the nearby villages. The reduction will continue until adequate rainfall increases the water supply. "In 2021 and 2022, the monsoon was active till 15 October. However, in 2023, there was relatively very less rainfall in the month of October. As a result, the water stock is about 5.64 per cent less this year as compared to last year. As on today 25th May 2024, a total of 1,40,202 million litres of water is available in the dams supplying water to Mumbai. At present, only 9.69 per cent of the water stock is available as against 14,47,363 million litres per annum requirement. The BMC administration is keeping a close watch on the water stock and is supplying water in a planned manner every day. Not only this, but Mumbai will also get 1,37,000 million litres of additional water from Bhatsa Dam and 91,130 million litres from Upper Vaitarna Dam. This means that water stock is available for Mumbai and Mumbaikars need not panic," it added.  "Similarly, the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted the timely arrival of the monsoon this year, which is also a positive thing. However, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to implement the water cut as a precautionary measure, considering the recently increased temperature, increasing evaporation, and the fact that the water stock is less than 10 per cent. The 5 per cent and 10 per cent reduction will also be applicable to the water supply given to Thane, Bhiwandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, and other villages by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), from the due date respectively. The water cut will remain in force till satisfactory rainfall is received and the useful stock in the water bodies improves," BMC further said.  The BMC appeals to all citizens to use water judiciously and avoid wastage. Suggested measures include: - Drink only the necessary amount of water.- Use a bucket instead of a shower for bathing.- Do not keep taps running while brushing teeth, shaving, or doing household chores.- Use buckets instead of pipes for washing vehicles and cleaning surfaces.- Use water-saving nozzles on taps.- Only serve water in restaurants and hotels when requested by customers.- Check and repair any leaks in water systems promptly.- Ensure water tanks do not overflow when being filled.- Industrial and commercial establishments should adopt water-saving procedures.

25 May,2024 12:48 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mumbai: Central Railway to undertake block for maintenance on May 26

Central Railway will be undertaking a mega block on May 26 on its suburban sections. The railway officials said that the work is being undertaken to perform essential engineering and maintenance works. The block, CR said in their press statement said, will affect train services.  "Central Railway, Mumbai Division will operate Mega Block on its suburban sections carrying out various engineering and maintenance works on 26.5.2024," wrote CR in their press statement. It stated that the block on the main line would be undertaken from Matunga to Thane stations and on the Harbour line the blocks will be undertaken between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj – Chunabhatti/Bandra. "These maintenance mega blocks are essential for infrastructure upkeep and safety. Passengers are requested to bear with the Railway Administration for the inconvenience caused," they further stated. The disruptions on the main line are as follows: 1. Up and Down Slow Lines Between Matunga and Thane; Block Time: 11:05 AM to 3:35 PM DOWN slow line services from CSMT Mumbai between 10:14 AM and 3:09 PM will be diverted to the DOWN Fast Line between Matunga and Thane. These trains will not halt at Vidyavihar, Kanjurmarg, and Nahur stations, and will be re-diverted to the Down Slow Line at Thane, arriving 15 minutes behind schedule. UP Fast Line Services from Kalyan between 10:25 AM and 3:10 PM will also be diverted, skipping Nahur, Kanjurmarg, and Vidyavihar stations, and will similarly arrive 15 minutes late. Last Local Before Block: - Down Slow Line: Titwala local leaving CSMT at 9:53 AM - Up Slow Line: Asangaon local arriving CSMT at 9:55 AM First Local After Block: Down Slow Line: Kalyan local leaving CSMT at 3:18 PM Up Slow Line: Titwala local arriving CSMT at 3:24 PM. The disruptions on the Harbour line are as follows: 1. CSMT – Chunabhatti/Bandra DOWN Harbour Line: Block Time: 11:40 AM to 4:40 PM.2. Chunabhatti/Bandra - CSMT UP Harbour Line: Block Time: 11:10 AM to 4:10 PM. DOWN Harbour Line Services to Vashi/Belapur/Panvel from CSMT/Vadala Road between 11:16 AM and 4:47 PM will be suspended DOWN Harbour Line Services to Bandra/Goregaon from CSMT between 10:48 AM and 4:43 PM will be suspended UP Harbour Line Services to CSMT from Panvel/Belapur/Vashi between 9:53 AM and 3:20 PM will be suspended UP Harbour Line Services to CSMT from Goregaon/Bandra between 10:45 AM and 5:13 PM will be suspended Last Local Before Block: Down Harbour Line: Panvel local from CSMT at 11:04 AM, Goregaon local from CSMT at 10:22 AM. Up Harbour Line: Panvel local to CSMT at 9:40 AM, Bandra local to CSMT at 10:20 AM. First Local After Block:      Down Harbour Line: Panvel local from CSMT at 4:51 PM, Bandra local from CSMT at 4:56 PM Up Harbour Line: Panvel local to CSMT at 3:28 PM, Goregaon local to CSMT at 4:58 PM Special services will operate between Panvel and Kurla (Platform No.8) during the block. Harbour Line passengers are allowed to travel via the Main Line and Western Railway from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM during the block period, the CR said in their statement. 

25 May,2024 11:41 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Nesbit bridge, where the accident took place early Thursday morning

Mumbai: Father of minor who crashed into biker regrets handing him bike key

The father of the 15-year-old motorcyclist who killed a biker in Mazgaon on Thursday morning has told the JJ Marg police that the teen would use his bike only in their locality to pick up groceries. “I never allowed him to take the bike outside the area on joyrides. I was wrong to give him the bike keys” the father told the police. Irfan Shaikh, the victim The teen was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board on Friday and remanded in juvenile custody for seven days. His father was produced in the court and sent to police custody for questioning. The deceased, Irfan Nawab Ali Shaikh, 32, was a resident of the Empire Gold Society in Mazgaon. A relative of Shaikh’s told mid-day, “We want to send this message out: do not let your minor child drive. It can prove fatal for both the minor and others.” According to the JJ Marg police, neither the minor nor the victim was inebriated. The cops also suspect that the shape of the road was a reason for the accident. According to the police, the father said his son was a good student and didn’t have bad habits. He claimed he was asleep when the boy took his bike keys without informing him. The father claimed he received a call from the cops informing him about the accident on Nesbit bridge around 7.30 am. He also stated that his son went to buy fresh bread from a Mazgaon-based bakery. Empire Gold Society in Mazgaon where the deceased used to live The minor studies at a madrasa located on his society’s premises. A staffer there said, “The boy is a good student and behaves well. We never had any complaints about him. The incident is unfortunate.” A police officer said, “Nesbit bridge zig-zags and many such accidents take place on it. We are checking whether this was the reason for the mishap.” 32Age of victim

25 May,2024 07:48 AM IST | Mumbai | Shirish Vaktania
Pic/Shadab Khan

Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

Hips don’t lie  Colourful leggings are displayed on mannequins as shoppers browse through the wares of a shop near Bandra railway station Checkmate in Kurla Vidit Gujrathi at a competition earlier this year. PIC COURTESY/INSTAGRAM  It will be a walk down memory lane for Indian chess grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi when he steps into the ongoing Big Chess Inter School Tournament in Kurla tomorrow. Organised by ChessBase India, the competition has brought the brightest young prodigies from Mumbai under one roof. The winners, set to be declared tomorrow, will be given the opportunity to play an exhibition game against Gujrathi. “I remember frequenting such events when I was just 10 years old, and playing against grandmasters like Abhijit Kunte and Pravin Thipsay in Nashik. It shaped me as a young chess player. I hope the tournament gives us more champions and grandmasters in the years to come,” he shared with us.  These women won’t stop Neha Singh at the first campaign in 2014 A decade ago, a group of women led by Neha Singh took over Nana Nani park in Andheri West in an effort to reclaim the space for women late at night. This Saturday, Why Loiter? campaign will celebrate the occasion with a walk in Andheri, founder Singh shared. Participants at a recent session “When we started out, this idea of women reclaiming spaces was thought of to be elitist. Now, feminists and the queer community understand that your presence in public spaces, with complete abandon, is integral in the fight for gender equality,” she remarked. The lit music shows A candlelight concert performed at Villa Clerici Milan in 2023 Candles, music and peace seem to be the key for the upcoming Candlelight Concerts by Live Your City. Starting on June 2, the unique multi-sensory experience will arrive in Mumbai after travelling 150 cities. “We condensed the duration from the typical 90 minutes to a more approachable 60 minutes, and hosted performances in unique spaces beyond formal concert halls,” shared Deepa Bajaj (inset), country head. With multiple performances in Mumbai through June, July and August, Bajaj felt that the concerts will resonate deeply with Indian audiences.  Orchids in Borivali The Acampe orchid spotted in IC colony City-based marine biologist Gaurav Patil’s annual monsoon ritual includes heading to the Konkan to spot orchids. This year, Patil (right) received an early surprise closer to home when he spotted orchids of the Acampe genus growing on a tree trunk in IC Colony, Borivali. “These orchids are epiphytes. They absorb moisture and nutrients from the air to survive. They’re abundant in the Konkan, especially in Sindhudurg, where the unpolluted air offers a conducive environment. Around Mumbai, you might spot them in Tungareshwar or Karnala inside protected sanctuaries. Spotting it in Borivali was a pleasant surprise,” he revealed to this diarist.  Pedal for a change Satish Bharti with his bicycle in Thane Diva’s SMG Vidyamandir has found its own fitness influencer in Physical Training (PT) instructor Satish Bharti. In an attempt to promote fitness, Bharti has pledged to cycle to school every day starting next week. “I grew up cycling in my hometown in Solapur every day. But children in the city today don’t have the luxury of time and open spaces. The initiative is a way to inculcate movement without disturbing our daily schedules,” he revealed. Bharti also plans to embark on a solo cycling trip from Mumbai to Solapur later this year.

25 May,2024 07:13 AM IST | Mumbai | Team mid-day
Damage to the nearby locality following the blast. Pics/Satej Shinde

How did so many houses come up around Dombivli MIDC?

Every time an industrial mishap happens, people blame the factory for it but there are no voices raised against those who encroach the buffer zones of these industrial complexes. A boiler blast in the chemical factory at Dombivli MIDC Phase 2 saw the same issue of encroachments in the buffer zone of MIDC. A buffer zone of MIDC Dombivli is designated to be 1.5 km wide. The impact of the blast shattered windows of the illegal residential structures falling inside the buffer zone, causing injuries to residents. Deven Soni, chairman of Kalyan Ambernath Manufacturing Association (KAMA) in conversation with mid-day said, “Buffer zone is an official term. It refers to the distance between the factories and other structures to avoid residents being affected by any direct impact of any hazardous conditions or mishaps at any industry.” Damage to a commercial area near the blast site “Dombivli MIDC was constructed between the 1960s and 1970s. The residents living in the buffer zones have come after the establishment of the industrial zone. The Dombivli MIDC has a buffer zone of 1.5 km. What is more, concerning is that the authorities responsible for permitting residential structures even permitted them [residents] to construct residential structures inside the buffer zone,” Soni said. “If there are several accidents on a highway, the authorities do not close the highway but install a sign board at the spot stating that it is an ‘accident prone spot, be cautious’. Similar is the case for MIDCs. It is an accident-prone spot. Authorities should have taken action against the residents encroaching on the buffer zones for the safety of citizens,” Soni said. “The windows of nearby residents shattered within a radius of 500 metres and if I am not wrong, many individuals were injured due to the windows shattering and glass pieces piercing them. If these encroachments would have been dealt with, the number of injuries would have been less.” Residents speak Mhatre Pada is a village in Dombivli which falls inside the buffer zone. Residents of Mhatre Pada have expressed concerns after a series of blasts in the past with the 2016 blast and the recent boiler blast. Akshay Mhatre, a resident of Mhatre Pada, said, “When the blast happened, our family was home. Luckily no one was injured by the windows shattering. The government had decided to shift the industries to some other place after the 2016 blast. But to date, no action has been taken.” Mumbai Fire Brigade officials try to douse the blaze at the chemical plant Shailesh Mhatre, another resident, said, “The issue needs to be brought up. We have been living here for years and have also witnessed the 2016 blast. No action is taken against the industries. We need quick action to make sure that we live here safely.” When asked about the buffer zone he said, “The government had promised that the industries would shift to Ambernath after the zone 6 boiler blast. But no action was taken after that as well. We are not even aware of any buffer zone and no authorities even told us about the same.” Dnyaneshwar Munde, another resident of Mhatre Pada, said, “We live in fear of a blast every day. So many chemical factories are there. We also have to inhale the chemical fumes in the air daily. It is not at all safe for us here and it has been years after the promise was made of shifting the industries. I’m not sure if the government will wake up after this blast.” Mangesh Chitale, additional municipal commissioner, KDMC, in a WhatsApp message, said, “I am busy in commissioner’s meeting. Can’t comment without getting a complaint paper of allegations by the association.” Deven Soni, chairman of Kalyan Ambernath Manufacturing Association; Dnyaneshwar Munde, a resident; Shailesh Mhatre, a resident No hazardous chemical factories in residential areas, says CM In wake of the Dombivli factory tragedy that left 10 dead and 60 injured, the state government has decided to shift hazardous chemical factories out of residential areas. Speaking at the BMC headquarters Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, “An expert told me that there was hydrogen peroxide in that factory. As the temperature of the boiler increased, it exploded like a hydrogen bomb. Now we have decided to shift all highly hazardous chemical factories away from residential areas. We have also decided to allow the chemical factories to switch to engineering, textile, IT or any other type of activity. We are considering giving incentives to owners of such factories for doing so.” According to the records of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), chemical factories are located at 13 locations— Ambernath, Badlapur, Dombivli, Kalyan, Bhiwandi, Lote Parushram (Ratnagiri), Mahad (Raigad), Patalganga (Raigad), Roha (Raigad), Taloja (Raigad), Tarapur (Palghar), Butibori (Nagpur) and Trans Thane creek area. ‘Boiler a ticking timebomb’ The owner of two adjoining units that were damaged in Thursday’s explosion and fire, who refused to identify himself, told mid-day that he had recently complained to Kalyan Ambernath Manufacturing Association (KAMA) that Amudan Chemicals was using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the production process. KAMA Chairman Deven Soni, meanwhile, said, “I received a complaint against Amudan Chemicals and instructed the owner to stop using hydrogen peroxide. The company responded that it would cease its use after completing an order in one-and-a-half months. A few days before the blast, I was informed that they were transitioning to a new production line that didn't use hydrogen peroxide, but until the transition was complete, they had to continue using it.” Soni, however, pointed out that hydrogen peroxide is not flammable, but generates significant amounts of oxygen while decomposing. Oxygen supports combustion and hence we could see the huge flames and smoke after the blast as hydrogen peroxide started rapidly decomposing due to the heat of the blast. 1.5 kmStipulated buffer zone area

25 May,2024 07:09 AM IST | Mumbai | Prasun Choudhari
The first draft of the curriculum framework was released in October last year. Representation Pic

Mumbai: Proposal seeks to make English optional for Std XI, XII students

If the new draft proposal of the State Curriculum Framework (SCF) gets a thumbs up from stakeholders and no one objects to it, English will no longer be mandatory for Std XI and XII students in government schools and junior colleges across the state. The Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has invited objections and suggestions from stakeholders until June 3. English has been a mandatory subject from Std I to XII. However, according to the draft proposal released by the SCF of SCERT on Wednesday, starting from the new academic year, students will no longer have English as a compulsory subject for Std XI and XII. Instead, they can choose two languages: one Indian and one international/foreign language, including English, the proposal suggests. Kamaladevi Awate, in charge of SCF-SCERT, told mid-day, “This is just a draft proposal. The final draft will be prepared incorporating the feedback from the stakeholders. If the majority of stakeholders give their feedback in favour of making English an elective, we will go ahead with that. If we receive objections against the proposed change, we will not make the changes. So, it now depends on the feedback we receive.” Multidisciplinary education As per the draft proposal, Std XI and XII students will be able to select eight subjects in total: two languages (one has to be an Indian language and the second an international/foreign language), environmental education, physical education, and four other subjects of their choice. The SCF aims to eventually remove stream-specific (Arts, Commerce, Science) learning and promote multidisciplinary education. “One of the languages must be of Indian origin, according to the SCF’s language chart, which lists 17 native Indian languages and nine foreign languages, with English being one of them. It will be the child's choice, and depending on the availability at their respective school or junior college, the student can elect to study Russian, French, Spanish, German, or any other language too. The idea is to promote multilingualism in line with the NCF,” added Awate. The list of native languages includes Marathi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Sindhi, Bengali, Punjabi, Pali, Ardhamagadhi, Maharashtri Prakrit and Avesta-Pahlavi. Tongues classified as non-native or foreign are English, German, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Persian and Arabic. The first draft of the curriculum framework, which was largely a replica of the National Curriculum Framework for Foundation Stage (NCF-FS), was released in October last year for public feedback. The state received over 2,000 responses, following which some tweaks were made to the document. The latest draft was released on Wednesday. Ancient wisdom Apart from this, the new curriculum framework, prepared by a committee of education experts, also mentions the inclusion of the Indian Knowledge System—yoga, astronomy, dancing, Kathak, Odissi, etc, as part of the formal education system. The draft proposal also mentions that henceforth, experiential learning and teaching methods should be used to develop effective communication, discussion, and writing skills in languages. It states that this should include all literary genres in prose and poetry (both ancient and modern). Lifelong enrichment should be provided through reading, speaking, conversation and writing, the framework further states. 

25 May,2024 06:42 AM IST | Mumbai | A Correspondent
Clean-up marshal at work in Mumbai. File pic

Mumbai: A ward tops in fines, while big offenders targeted in suburbs

Clean-up marshals in 'A ward'—covering Fort, Colaba, and Churchgate—collected Rs 11.51 lakh in fines for littering and spitting in public places, the highest amount in the city. However, suburban marshals are collecting more by targeting bigger offenders. While the BMC sets fines up to Rs 200 for these offences, marshals in areas from Goregaon to Dahisar and Ghatkopar to Mulund have averaged R834 per fine, compared to R215 per fine in A ward. The BMC began deploying clean-up marshals in April 2024, aiming for 30 marshals in each of the 24 wards, totalling 720. Currently, 401 marshals are appointed, with 84 in A ward, which has many tourist spots and offices. From April 2 to May 22, A ward collected R11.51 lakh from 5,351 fines, averaging R215 per fine, out of the total Rs 36.38 lakh collected citywide. The BMC hasn't changed its fine amounts, focusing on raising public awareness rather than collecting fines. The most common penalty is R200 for littering, soiling, and spitting in public spaces. Other penalties include R1,000 for washing vehicles on roads, R500 for littering by pets, and R100 for burning garbage. Despite a slow start, some marshals are performing well, with T ward (Mulund) collecting R835 per receipt, followed by R North (Dahisar) with R744, P South (Goregaon) with R668, and R Central with Rs 505 per receipt. Even R South (Kandivli), K East (Andheri E, Jogeshwari E), and N ward (Ghatkopar) collected over R400 per receipt. After one and a half months, the clean-up marshals are yet to fully gear up for the work they were appointed to do. With hardly one fine receipt issued by each marshal per day, the system is operating slowly. This may be due to the initial stages of deployment and the parliamentary elections. The BMC is still struggling to deploy clean-up marshals in a few wards, with five wards still lacking any marshals. Agencies from two wards have already backed out, and the procedure for another three is still ongoing. A senior official from the Solid Waste Management Department said, “There isn’t any set target for collecting fines by the BMC. That is not our lookout. Our aim is to create public awareness and to restrain people from throwing garbage, spitting, etc., in public places. The work of appointing marshals is almost completed, and the system will work in full gear by next month.” The clean-up marshals have the power to take punitive action against violators of civic laws and rules. They have faced allegations of accepting cash fines without issuing receipts, prompting the BMC to introduce a digital payment system for fine collection to ensure transparency. The option of making online payments to settle fines has also been made available to citizens. Fines collected so far BMC collected Rs 36,38,313 by fining 12,638 people so far, with an average of Rs 287 per receipt. Wards with highest ‘earnings’ per receipt835 in T ward: Collected R49,300 with 59 challans744 in R/N ward: Collected R2.29 lakh with 308 challans668 in P south: Collected R1.35 lakh with 196 challans505 in R central ward:  Collected R4.19 lakh with 829 challans443 in K east: Collected R2.91 lakh with 658 challans424 in N ward: Collected R1.11 lakh with 263 challans400 in R south: Collected R1.51 lakh with 378 challans362 in M east: Collected R46,000 with 11 challans215 in A ward: Collected R11.51 lakh with 5,351 challans  Current number of marshals in the city: 401BMC decided to deploy: 720, an average of 30 in 24 wardsA ward has: 84 marshalsWards with fewer than 10 marshals appointed: F/S, H/W, M/W, P/S, and TAgencies backed out from: K/E and P/N wards

25 May,2024 06:39 AM IST | Mumbai | Prajakta Kasale
Rinnki Das, 23, the toddler’s mother was arrested by Meghwadi police

Mumbai: Toddler thrashed to death by mother’s boyfriend

The Meghwadi police have arrested a live-in couple from Jogeshwari for allegedly killing the woman’s 15-month-old child and falsely reporting the toddler’s kidnapping. The police have arrested Rajesh Rana, 28 along with the toddler’s mother Rinnki Das, 23. According to the police, the live-in couple, originally from Odisha, moved to Mumbai about four months ago with the child. Rana, who worked as a labourer, and Das were living at a construction site in the Jogeshwari area. The incident came to light when the couple informed the police that the child had been kidnapped. However, upon investigation, the police discovered that the couple had allegedly killed the child and disposed of the body in a drain near Aarey Milk Colony. Rajesh Rana, 28 During the investigation, it was revealed that both Rana and Das were previously married to other people. Das had a son from her previous marriage, but after leaving her husband, she also left her son. Subsequently, she entered into a relationship with her uncle in her village. Das became pregnant from this relationship and when her family discovered this, a Panchayat was convened. The uncle promised to marry her after a few months but absconded under the pretext of going out for work. After giving birth to the child, Das fell in love with Rana. She ran away with Rana, taking her child with her to Mumbai, where they started living together. Rana, however, did not like having another man's child with them and would often beat up the child. On Tuesday, the day of the incident, Rana beat the child to death in front of Das and disposed of the body in a drain near Aarey Colony. The next day, on May 22, Das approached Meghwadi police station and falsely reported that someone had kidnapped the child, said an officer from Meghwadi police station. According to the statement given to the police by Rana, he was at home when the child was crying, and since his wife's health was not good, he took the child to Meghwadi Market to purchase vegetables and fish. As he reached the market, his wife called him and asked him to return home. Without purchasing anything, he took an auto-rickshaw back. He claimed there was already one passenger in the auto-rickshaw, and after moving some distance, he smelled something and became unconscious. When he regained consciousness, his son was missing. He returned home, informed his wife about the missing boy, searched everywhere, and when he couldn't find him, he approached the Meghwadi police station to report the missing child, the officer added. “As the boy was a minor and the matter was serious, we registered the case and, under the guidance of DCP Mangesh Kadam Zone 10, began the investigation. We checked the CCTV footage but found nothing, and had doubts about Rana's story. He told the police that the boy was crying, so he took him to the market, but CCTV footage showed that when the accused left the construction site, the boy was on his shoulder and appeared to be sleeping. We thoroughly interrogated him, and he broke down and confessed to the crime,” the officer added. The child was subjected to severe abuse at the hands of Rana and sustained several fractures. The police recovered the body of the child from the drain near Aarey Colony. “Rana killed the child by punching him in the face and chest. The boy had a couple of fractures from earlier injuries when Rana assaulted him in the mother's presence. Therefore, we have booked and arrested the duo,” said Umesh Machindra, senior police inspector of Meghwadi police station. The couple were produced in the court and remanded to police custody till May 28. 15Age of the deceased, in months

25 May,2024 06:33 AM IST | Mumbai | Samiullah Khan
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