Western Railway on Friday announced that they will be undertaking a night block between Mumbai Central and Mahim stations on the intervening nights of December 9 and December 10.
In their media statement, the WR said that the block is being taken to carry out maintenance work of tracks, signalling etc. They further said that on Sunday, December 10, there will be no day block.
WR, in their statement, said that the block is being undertaken on Up and Down fast lines between the two stations; the block will begin at midnight and continue for the next four hours.
"To carry out maintenance work of tracks, signalling and overhead equipment, a Jumbo Block of four hours will be taken on UP and Down Fast lines from 00.00 hrs to 04.00 hrs between Mumbai Central and Mahim stations in the intervening night of Saturday/Sunday, i.e. on 09th/10th December, 2023," the statement issued by Sumit Thakur, Chief PRO of WR, read.
"During the block period, all Fast line trains will be operated on Slow lines between Santacruz and Churchgate station," it further mentioned.
The statement added, "Therefore, there will be NO BLOCK in DAY TIME over Western Railway Suburban section on Sunday, 10th December 2023. Detailed information to this effect is available with concerned Station Masters. Passengers are requested to take note of the above arrangements."
The WR, on Thursday, had said that it collected Rs 115.71 crore through fines collected during various ticket-checking drivers conducted between April to November 2023. According to the statement issued by Sumit Thakur, a 68 per cent increase was noticed in terms of fines generated from ticket checking in air-conditioned locals.
Working with great zeal, the highly motivated ticket-checking team under the direction of senior Western Railway commercial officers organised multiple ticket-checking drives between April and November 2023, recovering a total of Rs. 115.71 crores, including Rs. 30.06 crores from the Mumbai suburban section, the WR said.
Reportedly, during November 2023, the highest ever ticket checking revenue of Rs 21.20 crore in the fiscal year 2023-24 was recovered from 2.94 lakh ticketless/irregular passengers. Through the identification of over 94 thousand cases throughout the Mumbai suburban area, the WR was able to collect fines totaling Rs. 5.68 crore.
The narrow gauge Matheran Hill Railway continues to remain a hit. With an average of 40,000 passengers using the train every month, it has been able to ferry about 3.34 lakh passengers in the last six months.
“Matheran is the nearest and the most popular tourist destination for the citizens of Mumbai. Central Railway with its shuttle services for passengers between Neral/Aman Lodge and Matheran has been instrumental in popularising this place as a major tourist destination. In addition to providing a comfortable journey to tourists, these services help in cheap and quick transportation of materials. This has resulted in fetching the total revenue of Rs. 2.36 crore during the period from April to November 2023,” a CR spokesperson said.
Stated over a century ago in 1907, the latest figures indicate the priority role of railways in providing safe and comfortable travel to its passengers coming to this tourist destination even now.
Central Railway has put in herculean efforts to restore the Neral-Matheran track which was washed out due to heavy downpours in 2019. The entire 21km stretch of narrow-gauge line was finally ready and services on the line were resumed last year on 22 October 2022. Before that, only shuttle services between a small 2-km stretch of Aman Lodge and Matheran were in service carrying passengers and parcels.
The Neral-Matheran line was built over a century ago in 1907 as a family enterprise of the Peerbhoys and is now on the UNESCO tentative list for Mountain Railways of India.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Friday said that the Santacruz Chembur Link Road (SCLR) extension project has achieved a major milestone following the initiation of the establishment of OSD above the Western Express Highway (WEH).
"The development of SCLR is an ongoing project of MMRDA which falls under the directives of the Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project (MUIP). The SCLR Extension is a huge project that incorporates a budget of Rs. 670 crore and it extends to a length of 5.40 km including a 1.20 km MTNL arm. Upon its successful completion, the SCLR Extension will grant numerous benefits in the name of connectivity to the residents of the MMR, including the provision of signal-free rides between the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway. As the SCLR is anticipated to be opened in May 2024, the launch marks a huge accomplishment for the successful progression of this prestigious project," MMRDA said in a statement.
According to MMRDA, the OSD is associated with the cable-stayed bridge which is a part of the SCLR Extension Project, enforcing connectivity between Vakola Nallah and Panbai International School on the Western Express Highway.
"The OSD is utilized in the cable-stayed bridge owing to its prominent qualities, like low self-weight and enhanced strength compared to concrete or composite girder bridges. Hence, its use substantially reduces the size and count of the piers, making it a valuable addition to the innovative cable-stayed bridge. Also, the OSD employs E-410 Grade Steel which is known for its superior quality, and it will be painted with corrosion-resistant paint to improve its resilience and longevity. The bridge will include 58 pieces of the OSD and the dimension of each piece is 4 x 10.5 m to 17.50 m. The welding process for the pieces will continue to proceed at the workshop in Wada. At present, two pieces have been launched and the establishment of the remaining pieces will conclude the launch by February 2024. Furthermore, the launch’s completion will commence the remaining duties like cable-stressing, concrete work, and asphalt work," MMRDA said.
Also Read: Mumbai: Traffic chaos looms as BEST's proposal to alter SCLR sparks concerns
The necessity for a cable-stayed bridge
The MMRDA further said that the SCLR Phase-I will incorporate an intersection above the Vakola Flyover on the WEH, which is designed to facilitate the movement of traffic between Kalina and Andheri.
"The length of the bridge is beyond 200 m, and a cable-stayed bridge is more suited for longer spans than bridges made of concrete. In particular, the length of the cable-stayed bridge is about 215 m, and its width ranges from 10.5 m to 17.5 m. The weight of the deck approximately adds up to 1780 metric tonnes. Moreover, the height of the bridge from ground level is 22 m, and the bridge is constructed 9 m above the Vakola Flyover. This level of elevation from the ground emphasizes the necessity for a cable-stayed bridge, as it can supersede suspension bridges in their capacity to withstand extensive pressure," MMRDA said.
Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee, metropolitan commissioner of the MMRDA, said, "The Mumbai Metropolitan Region is heading towards a promising new direction with innovative projects that elevate connectivity and sustainability. The SCLR Extension Project is one of our numerous unique pathways to transform urban infrastructure, and it will offer some much-needed connectivity from the Eastern Express Highway and the Western Express Highway to the thriving commercial complexes at the BKC. Thus, once it is completed, the elevated corridor will offer huge assistance to the alleviation of traffic congestion in and around the respective regions. We have currently achieved a physical progress of 92 per cent in the SCLR Phase-I. Hence, the launch of the Orthotropic Steel Decks for the cable-stayed bridge in the SCLR becomes yet another proud accomplishment of MMRDA in embracing innovation and modern technology to meet the new-age demands of the MMR."
Saamana, the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena (UBT), on Friday took a potshot at the Maharashtra Government on lack of trust and coordination between the ministers in the state, reported news agency ANI.
The editorial further said that there is a "future CM" hidden in each of the three parties- Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar), reported ANI.
"A Chief Minister and two Deputy Chief Ministers of the state have advised their fellow ministers to be careful so that the government does not have to face embarrassment. Even if he has given this advice as the head of the government, why should he find it necessary to give such orders to ministers? These ministers have also been asked to 'come well prepared'. Ministers have been advised to take briefings from officials properly and not tolerate the attitude of officials giving misleading information," the Saamana editorial read.
"It means that you do not have confidence in the competence of your ministers and you are afraid of being betrayed by the administration. The question is where is the coordination in the current government?" it said.
"So when there is no coordination, how will it be visible? When there is no coordination between the three parties and leaders, then how will there be coordination among the ministers? There is a 'future Chief Minister' hidden in each of these three parties. While this government already had a Deputy Chief Minister, another 'Deputy' was brought in to join him," the editorial read.
It said said that ever since the current government came to power, there has been just embarrassment for the state, reported ANI.
"On the very first day of the Legislative session, his own MLAs complain to the Chief Minister about the ministers of his own party and the Chief Minister comes to the point of scolding his own ministers. What kind of coordination is this? Ever since this government came to power, there has been neither coordination nor trust in Maharashtra. What comes up again and again is just embarrassment. If the present government and its functioning is not an embarrassment for Maharashtra, then what is it?" the editorial said.
(With inputs from ANI)
Veteran Indian politician Sharad Pawar has made a name for himself as a powerful force in politics by using cunning and having a keen grasp of the political system. His rise from modest beginnings to become a political heavyweight, born in 1940 in Maharashtra, is a tale of tenacity and deft manoeuvring through the corridors of power.
Pawar was born on December 12 to Shardabai and Govindrao Pawar. One of the seven siblings, the politician was an average student but was active in student politics. Ahead of Sharad Pawar's birthday 2023, here's a look into how he cemented his position as a political heavyweight.
Sharad Pawar's involvement in social and agricultural issues drove Pawar's entry into politics and helped him to speak for the people of Maharashtra. In his early career, he rose through the ranks of the Congress party, showcasing a talent for policy formulation and building relationships at the grassroots level.
Still, Pawar's real rise to prominence in politics came with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) formation. By using skilful political language, he built a profile for himself as a leader who could lead across state lines and still be a force to be reckoned with in Maharashtra's complex political system.
Pawar's deft use of coalition building and political alliances demonstrated a commanding command of British grammar in the political sphere. His reputation as a cunning strategist was cemented by his capacity to establish alliances and negotiate a range of ideological perspectives.
Pawar's leadership attributes, such as his charisma and persuasive oratory abilities, allowed him to interact with people from all walks of life, regardless of linguistic or cultural barriers.
Sharad Pawar's political savvy and tenacity carried him through obstacles and controversy. His tenacious dedication to public service and practical approach to governance solidified his status as a political titan.
Indian politics have been shaped by Pawar's legacy, which has endured throughout his remarkable career. His reputation as a respected leader and significant figure in Maharashtra and beyond has been solidified by his command of political etiquette and astute manoeuvres in negotiating the complexities of the political landscape.
The Navi Mumbai police in Maharashtra have registered a case after a woman alleged that her 10-year-old son was sodomised by two minors, an official said on Friday, reported news agency PTI.
Nobody has been detained so far, the official said, reported PTI.
The police said the accused and the child, who allegedly suffered sexual abuse, are neighbours and live in Ulve. One of the accused is 15 years old, while the second accused is 16, he said, reported PTI.
According to the complaint filed by the child's mother, the duo sodomised her son on August 5 and September 2 on the premises of their housing complex and threatened to kill him if he spoke about the assault with anyone, the official said, reported PTI.
The Nerul police on Thursday registered a case under Indian Penal Code sections, including 377 (unnatural offences), he said, reported PTI.
A probe is underway and nobody has been detained yet, the official added, reported PTI.
In another case, police have arrested a beggar for allegedly hitting a female college student on her head with a glass bottle and stabbing her with its broken piece without any provocation at Nerul in Navi Mumbai, in which she was injured, an official said on Thursday, reported PTI.
The incident occurred on December 4, following which the accused, 26-year-old Imam Hassan Shamshuddin, was arrested. The victim, who is 21 years old, is undergoing treatment at a hospital, he said, reported PTI.
The woman, who is from Airoli in Navi Mumbai, had come to a college at Nerul along with a friend. While she was standing at a bus stop in the area around 1.30 pm, the beggar came to the spot and attacked her with an empty glass bottle without any provocation, senior inspector Tanaji Bhagat of Nerul police station said, reported PTI.
The accused hit the woman on her head with the bottle and later stabbed her in the abdomen with its broken piece, in which she was seriously injured. He then fled from the scene, the official said, reported PTI.
People standing nearby took the victim to a hospital, where she is currently undergoing treatment, he added, reported PTI.
A case of attempt to murder was registered and a probe was launched. The police examined the CCTV footage and collected information from its sources, which led to the arrest of the accused, he said, reported PTI.
The motive behind the attack is being probed, the official said, reported PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) working president Supriya Sule has described the BJP as "Bhrashta Jumla Party" and accused it of "insulting" former Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and "trapping" the Ajit Pawar group, reported news agency PTI.
Reacting to Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's letter to Ajit Pawar opposing Malik sitting on a treasury bench seat, Sule said, "I read that letter and the way Nawab Malik has been insulted is wrong," reported PTI.
Speaking to PTI on Thursday, she alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has turned into "Bhrashta Jumla Party" and they have "trapped" the Ajit Pawar group, reported PTI.
Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday wrote to Ajit Pawar conveying his reservation about including Malik, an accused in an ED case, in the ruling 'Maha Yuti' alliance, reported PTI.
Out on medical bail after the ED arrested him in February 2022 in a money-laundering probe, Malik attended the winter session of the state legislature here for the first time on Thursday and was later seen in the office of Ajit Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the legislature complex. In the House, he was seen sitting in the last row, next to an MLA of the Ajit Pawar faction, reported PTI.
The opposition targeted the BJP, which is part of the government, pointing out that it had once dubbed Malik a "traitor" after he faced allegations of doing a land deal in Mumbai with fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim's aides. Malik himself has not yet made clear whether he belongs to the Ajit Pawar faction or the Sharad Pawar-led NCP, reported PTI.
In his letter to Ajit Pawar, who too is a deputy CM, Fadnavis said Malik has the right to attend the assembly as an MLA and added that "we (the BJP) do not harbour any personal animosity or grudge" against him, reported PTI.
"However, considering the kind of allegations he is facing, we are of the opinion that it would not be appropriate to induct him in the Maha Yuti," the BJP leader said while also noting that Malik was out only on medical bail.
"We agree that it is your prerogative (to decide) who should be inducted in your party. But every constituent party (of the Maha Yuti) has to think as to whether it would harm the alliance. Hence, we are opposed to this," Devendra Fadnavis added.
(With inputs from PTI)
After Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wrote to NCP rival faction chief Ajit Pawar, opposing Nawab Malik's induction into the ruling alliance in the state, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil on Thursday called the move an attempt to provide an 'explanation' to the people of Maharashtra, reported news agency ANI.
"Today, he (Nawab Malik) came to Vidhan Sabha and was sitting on the ruling party's side. So, the BJP wrote this letter as a way of offering an explanation to the people (for the split in the NCP). Instead of sending a letter to Ajit Pawar, he (Fadnavis) could have just called and informed him. I think this letter was the government's way of giving an explanation (amid Malik's induction to the ruling alliance) to the people of Maharashtra," Jayant Patil told reporters in Mumbai on Thursday, reported ANI.
Congress leader and the Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly, Vijay Wadettiwar, said, "I feel that Nawab Malik is with the 'Mahayuti' (grand alliance)," reported ANI.
Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday wrote to his cabinet colleague and NCP leader Ajit Pawar, expressing opposition to the induction of Malik in the ruling 'Maha Yuti' or grand alliance in the state, reported ANI.
"Given that he is an accused (in a money laundering case), we are of the opinion that it would not be proper to induct him into the ruling alliance. Power comes and goes but the country is paramount," Devendra Fadnavis said, reported ANI.
"We agree that it is your prerogative (to decide) who should be inducted in your party. But every constituent (in the Maha Yuti) has to think as to whether it would harm the alliance," Fadnavis said, adding, "hence, we are opposed to this", reported ANI.
Nawab Malik is currently out on medical bail after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him in February 2022 in a money-laundering probe linked to the activities of fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides, reported ANI.
Nawab Malik was a cabinet minister in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government at the time of his arrest, reported ANI.
Nawab Malik attended the Winter Session of the Maharashtra Assembly here for the first time since his bail on Thursday, reported ANI.
He sat on the last bench in the assembly, next to the MLAs of the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), reported ANI.
(With inputs from ANI)
Guidelines will soon be issued for the 'deep cleaning' drive that will be undertaken in Mumbai, a civic official said on Thursday, reported news agency PTI.
In a meeting held earlier in the day, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief IS Chahal asked officials to frame these guidelines immediately for the drive set to begin on December 9, a release said, reported PTI.
"Chahal has asked officials to prepare detailed guidelines for the deep cleaning drive on the same lines as the recent guidelines BMC issued for reducing air pollution," it said, reported PTI.
Earlier, the BMC had issued guidelines to control air pollution, which has resulted in improvement in air quality, the release added, reported PTI.
"Along with the municipal system, planning should be done in such a way that the entire cleanliness campaign will be successful through public participation," the release quoted Chahal, who is the BMC's administrator, reported PTI.
Chahal also directed to black list the contractors who have not completed public toilet rebuilding work within the set deadline, it said, reported PTI.
On the directive of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the BMC has undertaken a deep cleaning drive in one ward of every civic zone every Saturday since December 3, reported PTI.
The drive, which will be implemented for the next two months. sees the civic disposing of abandoned vehicles, removing unauthorized advertisement boards, cleaning public toilets and employees' colonies, and paying attention to parks and gardens, cleaning roads and footpaths, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, marshals will be appointed to prevent illegal parking in Mumbai, a civic official said on Thursday, reported PTI.
The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by municipal commissioner IS Chahal on the directive of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the civic body said in a release, reported PTI.
"Parking of vehicles anywhere other than the designated parking lots not only causes traffic jams but also inconveniences the public. Walking becomes difficult and litter is generated around vehicles. The chief minister has given instructions to appoint marshals at the division level to solve this problem," the release quoted Chahal as saying, reported PTI.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Sudhakar Shinde told PTI the marshals would help Mumbai police to regulate illegal parking, reported PTI.
"The BMC has no power to fine illegally parked vehicles. Only the police and RTO have these powers. Hence, these marshals will help Mumbai police," he explained, reported PTI.
As per RTO records, Mumbai has 45 lakh registered vehicles, with two lakh vehicles getting registered in the metropolis annually, reported PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday tabled an amendment bill in the assembly that seeks to bring online gaming, betting, casinos, horse racing and lottery in the highest GST bracket of 28 per cent, reported news agency PTI.
Ajit Pawar also holds the finance portfolio.
The bill to amend the Maharashtra Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, will be discussed in the ongoing winter session of the state legislature and once passed by the lower house, it will go to the Legislative Council for vote and approval, reported PTI.
The bill will bring a set of new services under the highest GST bracket and once it becomes a law, the state will get a new source of revenue, reported PTI.
A senior official of the finance department said these services put together have a turnover running into thousands of crores and the state will definitely benefit once tax is levied on them, reported PTI.
Meanwhile, the Eknath Shinde-led Maharashtra government on Thursday tabled supplementary demands of Rs 55,520.77 crore in the state assembly on the first day of the winter session of the legislature in Nagpur, reported PTI.
The supplementary demands, which are additional funds sought by the government over the budgetary allocation, were tabled in the House by Finance Minister Ajit Pawar.
Of the total, supplementary demands of Rs 19,244.34 crore were described as mandatory expenditure, while demands of Rs 32,792.81 crore are required for various ongoing programmes and schemes of the state government, a note issued by the finance department said, reported PTI.
Besides that, supplementary demands of Rs 3,483.62 crore are towards the state's contribution to the ongoing schemes of the Union government, it said, reported PTI.
"There are several ongoing schemes which require a portion of financial expenditure from the state's coffers," a finance department official said, reported PTI.
The actual impact of these supplementary demands on the state treasury would be Rs 48,384.66 crore, the note said, reported PTI.
Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar of the Congress sought to corner the Eknath Shinde government in the assembly on Thursday over crop losses suffered by farmers due to recent unseasonal rains in parts of Maharashtra and demanded a loan waiver, while Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis listed steps taken to help cultivators.
Speaking in the lower house on the first day of the state legislature's winter session in Nagpur, Wadettiwar claimed the Shiv Sena-BJP-NCP (Ajit Pawar group) government has no time for farmers affected by recent unseasonal rains and water scarcity or drought in some parts of the state.
"The state government is spending more on its own events than helping farmers, who lost their crops due to unseasonal showers. Crop assessment reports are still pending, adding to farmers' frustration," said the Congress MLA.
(With inputs from PTI)
Mumbai's air quality continued to remain in the 'moderate' category on Friday morning.
The air quality index from 0 to 100 is considered 'good', 100 to 200 'moderate', 200 to 300 'poor', 300 to 400 'very poor' and from 400 to 500 or above 'severe'.
According to the SAMEER App, Mumbai's air quality continues to be 'moderate' with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 113 at 9.25 am.
The SAMEER App dashboard on Friday showed Worli's AQI as 87 and Borivali's AQI as 74. Bandra's AQI continued to remain in the 'moderate' category at 180. While Chembur's AQI and Malad's AQI were in the 'good' category at 99 and 95, respectively.
Meanwhile, Shivaji Nagar's AQI slipped to the 'poor' category at 152.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in their daily forecast for the city and surrounding areas, said that the sky will remain clear today. The maximum temperature is likely to be around 33 degrees Celsius. While the minimum temperature is likely to be around 20 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the air quality in the national capital was on Friday recorded in 'very poor' category on Friday. As per the Central Pollution Control Board, the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at Anand Vihar, Delhi stood at 374 on Friday morning.
Visuals from AIIMS and Safdarjung Hospital, Kalindi Kunj and Akshardham showed smog engulfing the city at around 7 am.
Earlier on Thursday, the air quality in the national capital continued to remain in 'poor' category. The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi, as per SAFAR-India (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), was recorded at 276 on Thursday morning.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted no rainfall in the National Capital till December 11. There will be clear skies with shallow to moderate fog in the morning across the city. Delhi has been experiencing air quality in the range of 'severe' to 'very poor' over the last few weeks.
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh on Thursday hit out at Union Minister Bhupender Yadav saying that he gave a "gol mol" reply to pointed questions on public health and air pollution inside Parliament.
The Congress MP was referring to the reply he received from the Union Minister during Question Hour on 'air pollution in NCR and the country' in Rajya Sabha on the fourth day of the ongoing Winter Session.
Jairam Ramesh asked a question about whether the Centre was considering a review of the Pollution Control Act that was passed in 1981 and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
(With inputs from ANI)
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