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Bombay High Court grants parole to father for son's farewell

The Bombay High Court has given Vivek Shrivastav parole to wave farewell to his son, who is departing for Australia to complete his education. The court emphasised that if parole can be granted to share sadness, it should also be permitted for pleasant events. In an order dated July 9, Justices Bharati Dangre and Manjusha Deshpande ruled that conditional parole helps convicts to retain links with the outside world and handle family concerns. Despite being in prison, a felon is still someone's son, spouse, father, or brother, reported PTI.  According to the report, the court's ruling came in response to Shrivastav's plea, which requested release to arrange tuition fees and other expenditures for his son's study at an Australian institution and to bid him farewell. The prosecution disputed the plea, claiming that parole is normally granted only in emergency conditions, not for organising funds for education or bidding farewell. The Supreme Court, however, disagreed with this rationale, the report added.  "Grief is an emotion, so is happiness, and if parole can be granted to share grief, why not to share a happy occasion or moment?" the court stated per PTI report.  The court further stated that if parole is granted to celebrate a marriage, it should be extended to Shrivastav so that he can arrange for his son's tuition and bid him farewell, the report added. Reportedly, Shrivastav, who was convicted of murder in 2012 and has been serving a life sentence since 2018, requested a month's release to arrange for Rs 36 lakh in tuition and other expenses for his son. The bench stressed that parole and furlough provisions are intended to assist offenders in maintaining family relationships and managing family affairs, as well as to alleviate the detrimental consequences of long-term prison life and maintain mental balance. The court granted Shrivastav release for 10 days, stating that the benefit of parole should not be denied for a happy occasion such as his son's departure to complete his education in Australia, the PTI report stated.  "Unless and until the father is available to arrange for this amount, his young son may lose a chance and the offer he has received," the court said. "We also feel that this is a moment to rejoice, when his son deserves a goodbye with best wishes from his father, and we do not intend that he should be kept away from this moment of pride."

13 July,2024 01:52 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mumbai: Lake levels in 7 reservoirs that supply water to the city at 25 pc

Since earlier this week, Mumbai and surrounding areas have been witnessing intermittent moderate to heavy showers leading to a minuscule increase in the water level of the seven reservoirs supplying water to Mumbai. The aggregate level of the city's seven reservoirs is now 25 per cent, according to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). As of Saturday, the seven reservoirs' total water stock was 3,61,826 million litres or 25 per cent. This is lower than the same period in 2023 and 2022, when rates were 28.53 per cent and 56.07 per cent, respectively. Mumbai gets its water from the Tulsi, Tansa, Vihar, Bhatsa, Modak Sagar, Upper Vaitarna, and Middle Vaitarna reservoirs. Tansa has 49.99 per cent of the water, Modak Sagar has 37.42 per cent, Middle Vaitarna has 23.89 per cent, Bhatsa has 24.66 per cent, Vihar has 45.71 per cent, and Tulsi has 66.24 per cent. 🚰 मुंबईला पाणीपुरवठा करणाऱ्या ७ जलाशयांचा आज सकाळी ६ वाजेपर्यंतचा अहवाल---🚰 Report of water stock in the seven lakes, supplying water to Mumbai, till 6am today.#MumbaiRains#MyBMCUpdate pic.twitter.com/A1G3pnmMUp — माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) July 13, 2024 Meanwhile, intermittent rainfall on Friday morning caused major waterlogging in various areas of Mumbai, impeding traffic. Low-lying communities such as Sion saw significant flooding, necessitating traffic detours. Between 7 and 8 am, portions of the city received more than 15 millimetres of rain. Waterlogging also happened in the Andheri tube, which disrupted commuter traffic in the Western suburbs. A similar situation prevailed on Saturday morning.  Heavy rain this morning prompted waterlogging and traffic problems throughout Mumbai. The city has been receiving substantial rainfall in recent days, with 61.69 mm recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the India Meteorological Department.  Authorities have issued a 'high tide' warning for Mumbai, with a 3.87-meter tide forecast at 4:06 pm today. The IMD predicts that the maximum and minimum temperatures in Mumbai will be about 29 and 24 degrees Celsius, respectively. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued an orange signal for Mumbai, anticipating severe to very heavy rain in isolated places on Saturday. This advisory also applies to the Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra's Konkan region.  

13 July,2024 11:15 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Mid-Day Premium Can Artificial Intelligence discriminate based on gender?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly integrated into various aspects of modern life and offered unprecedented advancements and convenience. However, as AI advances, so are concerns about inherent flaws, including gender bias. This issue is common in AI systems, including language models such as ChatGPT. Understanding and correcting these biases is critical to creating fair, egalitarian AI technologies. Defining gender bias in AI Speaking to mid-day.com, Shreya Krishnan, MD (India) for AnitaB[dot]org said that gender bias in AI refers to systematic preference or discrimination against persons based on their gender identity. The bias, she said, can manifest in myriad ways including reinforcing stereotypes that disproportionately affect certain outcomes.  In language models, gender bias can appear in the form of biased responses, unequal representation, and perpetuation of gender stereotypes, she said.  Where is bias in AI coming from? When asked where the bias comes from, Krishnan pointed out that it is coming from the dataset it is learning from. "Dataset, from which the AI is learning, is innately biased and the artificial intelligence picks up on these biases and it manifests in its responses," she said. Krishnan stated that the brain compartmentalises people for ease of functioning, manifested as stereotypes. The stereotypes become the basis for racism and sexism and it has mental and physical ramifications. The AI is picking on these biases, she added.  Elaborating on the same, Supriya Bhuwalka, the founder of Coding and More told the correspondent that AI is a "live technology" and that it learns from humans.  "AI is different from coding because AI is a live technology. It's learning from us, with every click, and every choice that we make. It can learn from all sorts of data. Because it's learning from data, it's learning from us; that's where the biases are coming in. So whether it's large language models, which we are seeing in the Gen AI tools, like ChatGPT, or the image generators, where we are seeing the biases, it is also the case for our traditional AIs, which was always there in our phones, in our apps, where we didn't notice," elucidated Supriya.  She said that even when 'Googling' gifts for boys versus gifts for boys, the search options are gendered. Things for girls would be all pink and for boys, it would be blue, Supriya said and added that even while looking for top leaders or even mathematicians, the top results were very male-focused.  "Now, because the company has realised that this bias is there, they are trying to mitigate that by making sure that, you know, even women and people of colour are presented if they do feature in the top scientists, etc," she added.  When asked about what stages of AI development can these biases enter the system, Kalika Bali, Principal Researcher at Microsoft, said that gender bias could be introduced in all stages in the training and deployment of models.  Elucidating, Bali said, "AI language models learn from data through "deep learning" where the model learns to recognise patterns from data and make predictions based on this learning. Gender bias can be introduced at all stages in the training and deployment of the models: Data stage: when there are inherent societal biases are reflected  in the data collected/curated for the model; Algorithm development: the design of the algorithm and the choices made by developers can introduce biases; Training: If during training, the data is not balanced or split to be more representative of gender, bias can be introduced/retained/amplified and Deployment: If the model is used in contexts that it wasn't trained for, or the applications are not sensitive/gender aware in the interaction between the human and the model/AI system." Supriya, Kalika, and Shreya pointed out a "classic example" of gender bias in AI with machine translation tools like Google Translate. When translating phrases like "He likes cooking; she likes coding" into a gendered language like Hindi and then back to English, the tool often switches the genders, turning the phrases into "She likes cooking; he likes coding." Supriya attributes this to the "way the algorithms have been trained".  The real-life impact of gender bias in AI Gender bias in AI can have serious real-world consequences. Language models, such as ChatGPT, which are trained on massive datasets from the internet, can unintentionally learn and perpetuate societal biases contained in the data. For example, when requested to finish sentences or generate text, these models may respond in a gender-stereotypical manner, perpetuating obsolete gender roles. Such prejudices can exacerbate inequality and impede progress towards gender equality. Several case studies have illuminated the pervasive nature of gender bias in AI. One notable example is Amazon's AI recruitment tool, which was found to be biased against women. The tool, trained on resumes submitted to the company over a decade, favoured male candidates by penalising resumes that included the word "women's”. Gender bias in artificial intelligence also has far-reaching social consequences. Biassed AI systems can exacerbate current inequities, restrict chances for some groups, and promote negative prejudices. Addressing these biases is critical for increasing trust in AI technologies and ensuring their positive impact on society. Organisations and policymakers have critical roles in reducing gender bias in AI. Establishing clear principles and standards for AI development, promoting transparency, and encouraging responsibility are all crucial stages. Public knowledge and education regarding AI's possible biases can also empower individuals to push for more equitable technologies. Elaborating on the same, Supriya said, “Suppose you are the HR head and are hiring an executive for a firm based on certain qualities. If you use AI for filtration, you will witness that it shortlists only men in case a woman has not held the position earlier.” “Facebook had received backlash when AI was first used and they were advised not to include gender in the screening process. Even after removing gender filters, bias persisted due to language variations between men's and women's profiles and CVs. For example, men may employ leadership terminology or mention interests such as football or chess, whereas women may use a different vocabulary and explain alternative activities,” Supriya added.  Women are underrepresented in search results as a result of AI algorithms' continued reliance on historical data. Even without specific gender information, women may be unfairly excluded from roles for which they are better competent, simply because the AI is influenced by past prejudices in the language used by various genders, she said.  Mitigating gender bias in AI Researcher Joy Buolamwini, in 2018, was experimenting with facial recognition software and she discovered that the system had biases. Buolamwini has been working towards the eradication of these biases from AI since then, Coding & More founder said highlighting that it is important to have a human in the loop in processes involving AI. “When applying for a credit loan at a bank, if the financial system uses an AI model to assess creditworthiness and the model has never seen profiles similar to yours, your application may be rejected without taking into account all relevant characteristics. To reduce gender bias or other biases in AI, it is critical to be aware of the challenges and guarantee that AI does not make independent judgements without human supervision. By involving humans, we can confront and eliminate biases. Additionally, introducing checks and balances through coding might assist in ensuring more equitable outcomes,” Supriya said when asked about how to mitigate gender bias in AI. Kalika, elaborating on common methods/ systems used for the detection and mitigation of gender biases in AI systems said, “To mitigate the biases in AI, various strategies can be used to increase fairness and accuracy. Data augmentation is the process of adding specific data to the training set to balance representation and ensure that varied groups are appropriately represented. Weight modifications can be applied to various data points to give more balanced coverage and prevent any one group from being overrepresented. Adversarial training challenges and reduces model biases through the use of adversarial examples and counterfactual scenarios. During training, fairness restrictions can be incorporated directly into the model's goal function to aid in achieving equal results. Furthermore, post-processing approaches, such as checking for misgendering in the output, ensure that the model's predictions are fair. By combining these techniques, we can construct AI systems that are more just and impartial.” Kalika when asked how she balances the need for large datasets to avoid biased data training, noted that it could be achieved with additional data sampling for representational balance and diversifying sources of data required for training.  The researcher added that a preliminary data audit giving an idea of the representation across different dimensions is always useful.  “I would like to use the term "gender-intentional" rather than "gender-neutral" where we are mindful of the misgendering challenges as well as gender bias that can exist/creep in at every step of building/training/deploying an AI model. Some of the biggest challenges are in identifying these biases in the first place as the way gender bias manifests can vary a lot from language to language, different cultures as well as different contexts of applications. Given such diversity, it is extremely difficult to find a single solution that works across all the different contexts and granularity of gender bias that can exist in different social contexts, and hence, in the AI models,” Kalika said when asked about challenges she faces in creating ‘gender-neutral’ AI language models.  This is an active area of research for Microsoft and we have recently published two papers on the subject, she added.  Anulekha Nandi, a fellow at Observer Research Foundation, whose research pertains to technology policy, digital innovation policy and management, told mid-day.com, “Improved gender representation is critical across the AI development lifecycle and in key decision-making positions. This includes increasing sensitisation, representation, and awareness in data labour procedures, particularly when preparing and processing datasets for AI models. To ensure justice, we need better evaluation measures for detecting intersectional bias in AI systems. Furthermore, there is an urgent need to create gender-responsive normative AI tools, principles, and regulatory frameworks. By tackling these issues, we may develop more inclusive AI technologies that reflect and fulfil the various requirements of society.” When asked whether encouraging more women to opt for careers in STEM would help reverse the gender bias, both Supriya and Shreya responded in the affirmative.

13 July,2024 11:13 AM IST | Mumbai | Sanjana Deshpande
PM Narendra Modi/ File Photo

Mumbai: PM Modi to inaugurate, lay foundation for projects worth Rs 29k cr today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate and lay the groundwork for projects worth more than Rs 29,400 crore during his visit to Mumbai on Saturday. Officials have announced that the event will take place at the NESCO Exhibition Centre in Goregaon. The Prime Minister will lay the groundwork for many major projects, including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority's (MMRDA) Thane-Borivali Tunnel and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Goregaon Mulund Link Road, which both have twin tunnels, reported PTI. According to the report, PM Modi will also lay the groundwork for the Central Railway's Kalyan Yard renovation and the Gati Shakti Multimodal Cargo Terminal at Turbhe in Navi Mumbai. Additionally, he will dedicate new platforms at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) and extend platforms 10 and 11 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) to the nation. An MMRDA official added that the Thane-Borivali Tunnel Project, which will cost Rs 16,600 crore, will have twin tube tunnels that will run beneath the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, providing a direct link between the Western Express Highway in Borivali and Ghodbunder Road in Thane. The 11.8-kilometre-long Borivali-Thane Link Road is intended to shorten the route from Thane to Borivali by 12 kilometres, saving an hour of travel time, the report added The Rs 6,300 crore Goregaon Mulund Link Road (GMLR) project would link the Western Express Highway in Goregaon to the Eastern Express Highway in Mulund. The initiative will reduce travel time from 75 to 25 minutes. A Central Railway official told PTI that rebuilding the Kalyan Yard will separate suburban and long-distance train traffic, improving punctuality and operating efficiency on the crowded network. The Gati Shakti MultiModal Cargo Terminal will increase capacity for handling cement and other commodities, creating job opportunities in the region. The expanded platforms at LTT will accommodate more trains, while the extended platforms 10 and 11 at CSMT will allow for the operation of 24-coach trains, hence increasing passengers. During his visit, the Prime Minister will also launch the 'Mukhyamantri Yuva Karya Prashikshan Yojana,' with a Rs 5,600 crore budget. Modi will also visit the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) Secretariat in the Bandra Kurla Complex to launch the INS Towers, according to officials, stated the news agency report.

13 July,2024 10:54 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Mumbai rains had affected rail services on Monday/ Sameer Syyed Abedi

Mumbai weather update: City to see heavy to very heavy rainfall, says IMD

The city since Friday morning has been seeing intermittent heavy showers. On Friday morning, the downpour caused major waterlogging in various parts of the city, especially low-lying areas like Sion, requiring authorities to detour traffic. In its Mumbai weather update, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) gave a red alert to the city and suburban area and said the city is likely to see heavy to very heavy rainfall in a few places. The Met Department, in its earlier Mumbai weather update, stated, "Moderate to heavy rain in city and suburbs. Possibility of very heavy rainfall at isolated places." The weather agency has issued an orange alert for the Thane and Palghar regions and a Red alert for the Raigad district. IMD had previously issued Mumbai an orange alert however later in a 'Nowcast' prediction gave a Red alert on July 13 morning which is valid till 1 pm. Districtwise alert/ RMC, Mumbai The weather agency, in its Mumbai weather update, further mentioned that the maximum & minimum temperatures are very likely to be around 29 degrees Celcius and 24 degrees Celcius respectively. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, in its Mumbai weather update, predicted that a high tide of roughly 3.69 metres will hit the city coast today at 4:39 pm. The India Meteorological Department has issued an orange alert (heavy to very heavy rainfall) for Mumbai today.Today's high tide is at 4.39 pm & of 3.69 meter.Mumbaikars are requested to avoid stepping out, if not essential.For any assistance, please dial 1916#MyBMCUpdate… — माझी Mumbai, आपली BMC (@mybmc) July 13, 2024 In the 24 hours that ended at 8 am on Friday, Mumbai's island city recorded an average 93.16 mm of rainfall. The figure was 66.03 mm and 78.93 mm for eastern suburbs and western suburbs stated the BMC's Mumbai weather update.  Meanwhile, rain pelted sections of Delhi on Saturday morning, causing waterlogging and traffic congestion. However, the rain provided some respite from the July heat. Rain fell in neighbouring Noida this morning as well. Images from Delhi's Barapullah flyover showed vehicles going slowly through the wet route. With agency inputs

13 July,2024 10:28 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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ED attaches assets worth Rs 14.02 cr in Rs 263 cr Income Tax refund fraud case

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) Mumbai has provisionally attached assets worth Rs 14.02 crore of five accused under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in the case of an Income Tax Refund fraud of Rs. 263 crore. This includes one flat in Mumbai of Purushottam Chavan, land parcels in Lonavala and Khandala of Rajesh Batreja, balance in Anirudh Gandhi's company bank A/c, insurance policies of accused Rajesh Shetty and Bhushan Anant Patil and fixed deposits totalling to Rs. 14.02 crore, the ED said in a release on Friday. According to officials, ED initiated an investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by CBI under various sections of the IPC, 1860 and of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against Tanaji Mandal Adhikari and others for fraudulently generating and issuance of TDS refunds from the Income Tax Department to the tune of Rs. 263.95 Crore. The ED investigation revealed that Rajesh Brijlal Batreja helped Tanaji Mandal Adhikari and others in diverting Proceeds of Crime (PoC) of Rs. 55.50 crore outside India with the help of Anirudh Gandhi. After the diversion of PoC, Rajesh Brijlal Batreja with the help of other persons in Dubai, concealed the PoC outside India. Part of the concealed PoC has further been invested in the two Indian companies based in Mumbai and Gurugram under the guise of share investment by making cross-border remittances. Initially, Rajesh Batreja voluntarily repatriated a small part of the PoC totalling to around Rs. 1.70 crore. Later, instead of bringing back the remaining PoC, Rajesh Batreja in connivance with Purushottam Chavan, diverted and diluted the PoC. They have also concealed the PoC in India and outside India in close association with persons based in Dubai. Earlier, Tanaji Mandal Adhikari, Bhushan Anant Patil, Rajesh Shantaram Shetty, Rajesh Brijlal Batreja and Purushottam Chavan were arrested and presently, all five accused are under judicial custody. A prosecution complaint has also been filed on September 11, 2023, against Tanaji Mandal Adhikari and 10 others, cognizance of which has also been taken by the Special (PMLA) Court. Including this attachment, the total seized/attached of immovable/movable properties in this case is around Rs. 182 crore. Further investigation is under progress. This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

13 July,2024 10:14 AM IST | Mumbai | ANI
Political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was arrested on charges of sedition. File pic

Draconian provisions of sedition continue in spirit in Nyaya Sanhita

By merely removing the word - ‘sedition’ from the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) and the term seditious from the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), do the new criminal laws outlaw sedition? The framers of the new criminal laws have ensured that provisions of the draconian section remain in the new criminal law with enhanced quantum of punishment, which is now increased to seven years from three years in IPC, and may also be liable to a fine, say advocates, social researchers and human rights activists.  Stifling free speech According to advocate Mohini Priya, advocate on record (AOR), Supreme Court, the removal of the word sedition from the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) and its replacement with section 152, which criminalizes acts endangering the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India, reflects a rephrasing rather than an elimination of the offence. “Both section 124 A of the IPC and section 152 of the BNS broadly interpret dissent, thereby potentially stifling free speech and democratic principles. The new provision, with its increased penalties and vague definitions of ‘subversive activities’ and ‘feelings of separatist activities’ poses similar risks of misuse as its predecessor, especially in the absence of judicial interpretation that previously limited section 124 A’s scope,” said advocate Mohini. Enhanced punishment a concern “Supreme Court’s scrutiny, highlighted in its recent referral of the case of S G Vombatkere versus Union of India to a constitution bench, emphasizes the necessity to distinguish between ‘state’ and ‘government’ in Article 19(2) to evaluate the constitutional validity of such laws. The enhanced punishment under the BNS raises significant concerns about the commitment to protecting civil liberties, as the process of arrest and extended detention can be weaponized, making the criminal process itself a punishment. Thus, while attempting to modernize, the BNS perpetuates the colonial mentality of an all-powerful state, necessitating a critical reassessment of these laws in light of democratic values and constitutional safeguards,” Mohini said. Sinister and draconian Venkatesh Nayak, director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi, gave a similar view. “I believe, section 152 of BNS which replaces section 124 A of the IPC is more sinister and draconian while superficially appearing to address the reasons why the hon’ble Supreme Court had placed it in abeyance two years ago. While it is nobody’s case that the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms should be deployed to excite secession or precipitate armed rebellion, the inclusion of vague phrases like exciting “subversive activities”, encouraging “feelings of separatist activities” create more room for the government to criminalise legitimate dissent of its policies and actions or even its deafening silence and palpable inaction. For example, if people who have suffered due to the unending violence that has engulfed large parts of Manipur were to publicly ask what has the Indian State done to protect their lives and liberty and whether they are better off charting their own destiny, such speech could become punishable under section 152 of BNS,” said Nayak. Up to seven years or for life “Farmers’ protests against the three farm laws that we witnessed a few years ago would be labelled ‘subversive activities’ and they could be put away in jail for up to seven years or for life. This is up from the three-year prison term that the erstwhile sedition law had stipulated in addition to a life sentence in extreme cases. Despite a plethora of Supreme Court judgments clarifying what is or is not ‘seditious’ speech or activity, a substantial measure of that wisdom has not been distilled into Section 152 of BNS. Despite tall claims of ‘decolonisation of the criminal laws’, the government has not been able to free itself of the colonial mindset which treats all kinds of dissent as dangerous to the existence of the State,” Nayak.  Open to misuse “Another important aspect is that under section 127 (security for good behaviour from persons disseminating certain matters) of BNSS, there is reference to ‘certain matter’ and dissemination, which is a partial retention from section 108 (security for good behaviour from persons disseminating seditious matters) of the CrPC. A serious concern emanates from lack of clarity on the meanings and scope of terms mentioned under Clause 150 of BNSS. Take the example of ‘subversive activities’ which in the absence of a legal definition in the BNSS leaves it open to misuse and wrong use,” said Valay Singh, Project lead, India Justice report. Cartoon not sedition Interestingly, section 152 of BNS under the comments section reads, “Cartoons displaying anger and disgust and do not create problems in law and order cannot attract the ingredients of sedition.” The section penalises such activities as would be intended or have a tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence. The law concerning sedition came under spotlight with the arrest of political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi on September 8, 2012. Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi speaks Political Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi expressed his satisfaction that the new BNS Act has considered the High Court directives in his case. “The clarification in the law that ‘Cartoonist criticising the government is not sedition’, is itself a victory for cartoonists like me and many others who use their feelings to express and get the cartoons published. The freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed under Article 19 (1) of the Constitution and as a cartoonist, I would continue to express my thoughts and feelings, without the fear of being booked for sedition, anymore,” he said.

13 July,2024 08:53 AM IST | Mumbai | Vinod Kumar Menon
Meenashree Bahera, 11, the victim; (right) The school van that allegedly ran over the girl. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

Mumbai: Hit by school van, girl dies after 11 days

The eleven-day struggle of the 11-year-old girl who was run over by a school van at Mankhurd came to an end on Wednesday night. The girl breathed her last at LTMG hospital. The girl identified as Meenashree Bahera had been seriously injured after being hit by the school van and dragged for some distance. At the time of the incident the girl was with her father shopping for fish at the Maharashtra Nagar market. The spot near Maharashtra Nagar tunnel where the accident had occurred witnessed five-six hours of tension on Thursday as the bereaved father Parmeshwar Bahera, 40, made the ambulance carrying the victim’s body stop and refused to move further. Resorting to this protest, Bahera demanded stringent action by the police. The police had a hard time as relatives and locals who joined Bahera turned into a crowd. It took the police five-six hours of convincing Bahera and others that they would indeed take stringent action against the accused driver. The family finally relented and proceeded to do the final rites of the girl.   “The police have registered a case when my girl was alive and arrested the accused who was then let out on bail. But my daughter is no more. We protested by demanding strict action against the driver and the owner of the van. The police assured us that they would take strict action. We demand justice for our daughter. The case is similar to the Worli and Pune hit and run case,” said Bahera.  Bahera runs a small pan shop in Maharashtra Nagar and though he has three children only the youngest, 11-year-old Meenashree, lived with him and his wife at Maharashtra Nagar. His elder sons are at their native place.   The Trombay police had earlier registered a case under section 279, 337 and 338 of the BNS and relevant sections of the Motor Vehicles Act.  Rajesh Shinde, senior police inspector, Trombay police station said:  “We have arrested the accused and are investigating the case. We will add further sections and take strict action accordingly.” 11Age in years of the victim

13 July,2024 08:41 AM IST | Mumbai | Faisal Tandel
A registration form for the legislator’s water tank cleaning drive; Bandra West MLA Ashish Shelar. File pic/Rane Ashish; Alka Kerkar, former corporator

Mumbai: Ashish Shelar’s water tank cleaning drive sees mixed response

With the state Assembly elections just a few months away, public representatives are seizing every opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to their constituents. Bandra West MLA Ashish Shelar has revived the water tank cleaning initiative for societies in his constituency, aiming to show his dedication to their well-being.  While some have welcomed the move, others see it as a ploy to woo voters. The office of the legislator recently distributed pamphlets in buildings in his constituency appealing to residents to approach his office if they want their housing societies’ water tanks cleaned. A message is also being circulated on WhatsApp, which reads, “Dear All, Our Hon’ble MLA Ashish Shelar has re-started the water tank cleaning project for the societies in our constituency. I am posting the registration form for your reference. Those interested please contact me and I will send the form to you. The project will be taken up on first come, first serve (sic) Thank you.” Shelar first implemented the initiative as a part of his ‘Clean Water’ campaign in June 2019. At the time, several Bandra residents welcomed the move as many a time, cleaning water tanks is daunting. Khar resident and activist Zoru Bhathena said, “Our elected representatives are supposed to help keep our city clean, which they fail to do. Cleaning private tanks seems to be a way to woo voters and nothing much else.” Former Corporator Alka Kerkar, on the other hand, said, “This has nothing to do with elections. Shelar always takes up projects proactively for citizens’ welfare. The monsoon has started and waterborne diseases such as dengue are common. Cleaning water tanks is a safety measure and it promotes health and hygiene.”

13 July,2024 08:29 AM IST | Mumbai | Ranjeet Jadhav
CD Barfiwala bridge connecting to Gokhale bridge in Andheri. Pic/Ashish Raje

Coordination failures between BMC, Rlys behind Gokhale bridge misalignment

A fact-finding committee has identified the misalignment between the Gopal Krishna Gokhale Bridge and the C.D. Barfiwala flyover in Andheri as a result of poor coordination between civic and railway officials. This oversight has caused embarrassment for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is now seeking an explanation from the concerned officers. The BMC had established the committee to uncover lapses leading to such blunders. On Thursday, Additional Municipal Commissioner Dr Amit Saini submitted the report to the civic chief. While the committee did not recommend any disciplinary action, officials stated they would demand explanations from the responsible parties to prevent future errors. According to the report, the new Gokhale Bridge is approximately 2.7 metres higher than the old C D Barfiwala connector, as it was constructed following new railway guidelines. After significant criticism, the BMC began alignment work on both structures on April 14. The work was overseen by experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) and Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI). The alignment corrected the six-foot gap between the two structures, allowing the Barfiwala flyover to open to light motor vehicles last week. The C D Barfiwala connector crosses S.V. Road in Andheri West, providing signal-free movement for motorists from Juhu Gully and reducing bottlenecks near S V Road. The BMC spent around R8 crore on this alignment. Meanwhile, one arm of the Gokhale bridge was opened in February 2024, with the full bridge expected to be open for traffic by the end of the year. Currently, light motor vehicles are permitted to use the bridge. 2.7metresExtent of the misalignment

13 July,2024 08:26 AM IST | Mumbai | A Correspondent
Team at KEM Hospital with Additional Municipal Commissioner (Health) Dr Sudhakar Shinde

Mumbai: After 56 years, KEM hospital performs successful heart op

After a gap of 56 years, the BMC-run King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital successfully performed its first heart transplant on Thursday.  The donor is Sai Parab, 34, who passed away because of severe complications during pregnancy that led to bleeding inside the brain. Her husband, Deepak Parab, said, “We rushed her from Kalyan to KEM hospital and she remained in the hospital for four days. We were then told she would have to be either on the ventilator or we can choose to donate her organs while there is still time. It was a difficult and emotional decision but both of our families were on board. We found satisfaction in the idea that she would live on in some way.”  Sai Parab, the deceased donor (left) with her husband Deepak The transplant procedure saved the life of a 38-year-old man suffering from ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart is weakened due to reduced blood flow. KEM Hospital continues to be the only civic hospital in the country to have successfully performed a heart transplant.  The equipment for the recent procedure worth R2 crore was funded by former Congress MP Kumar Ketkar. “The planning for the transplant was being made for the past few months. The successful transplant was the outcome of a team effort,” said Dr Sangeeta Ravat, dean of the KEM hospital. Dr Uday Jadhav, head of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at KEM Hospital, said the transplant procedure went on for about seven hours. “We had trained ourselves in the 3-day Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC) programme conducted at KEM hospital two months ago,” he said. Private doctors roped in Due to a lack of expertise in transplants, the hospital had to rope in some of the private doctors to be part of the historic moment. The surgery was headed by Dr Pravin Kulkarni, who is a consultant at Thane’s Jupiter Hospital, he said, “Things are always possible if there is enough support from government and bureaucracy. KEM hospital has asked me to assist the heart transplant team for the first year till they are independent.”  While the transplant laws in India are the same for both, public and private set-ups, it is seldom the case that the procedure is conducted at government or civic hospitals. A heart transplant was last performed at the KEM hospital on February 17, 1968, by Dr P K Sen and while it was successful the patient had passed away three hours after the procedure. After 1968, the second heart transplant in Mumbai was performed in 2015 in a private hospital. Lack of training in public hospitals Dr Hemant Pathare, a heart and lung transplant surgeon at Jaslok Hospital and part of ZTCC, said, “It is very rare that organ donation takes place in a public hospital. Even from the hospital side there is no dedicated effort to convince the relatives of the brain dead patients. On the contrary, in private set ups there is an entire team who counsel families and make them realise that in a way part of their kin will stay alive in this world.” The data until 2020 shows the highest number of organ donors to be in 2019, all 79 were from private hospitals.  “Another reason why transplants occur in private hospitals frequently is training. Hospitals as well as government administration need to prioritise training doctors in transplant procedures. KEM’s achievement will perhaps pave the way for it now,” Dr Pathare said. Meanwhile, the recipient of the heart transplant is being kept under observation for 15 days.  SevenDuration of surgery in hours

13 July,2024 08:19 AM IST | Mumbai | Eshan Kalyanikar
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