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Thane MACT awards Rs 1.35 crore compensation to kin of man killed in accident

The family of a 48-year-old man who died in a traffic accident in 2018 has been awarded Rs 1.35 crore by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) in Thane. The owner of the bus involved in the accident and its insurance company have been instructed to jointly pay the compensation amount, along with an interest rate of 7.5 per cent from the date of petition filing until payment realisation, in an order issued on February 12 by MACT Chairman S B Agrawal, reported PTI.  The order became available on Monday, stated the report. According to the report, a bus on the Sinnar-Shirdi route killed the victim, Agnel Iypunny Chakramakil, a Thane native, and the four other occupants of the car were fatally struck by a bus on the Sinnar-Shirdi road in Maharashtra on November 11, 2018.  Agnel's wife, aged 52 and his son, aged 31, had filed a petition seeking compensation of Rs 2.70 crore for his demise. They, as per the PTI report, argued that the bus was being driven recklessly on the wrong side of the road which led to the collision that killed the patriarch. Reportedly, the bus owner was not present at the hearing in tribunal but the case was still filed against him ex parte. Meanwhile, the insurance company refuted the family's claim saying that Agnel did not hold a permanent job.  Nonetheless, the panel upheld the insurer's obligation to reimburse the petitioners and confirmed—citing earlier decisions—that work in the private sector does not preclude permanent job status, the report added.  According to the report, the MACT calculated Agnel's compensation using a multiplier of 13 based on his age, taking into account his monthly income of Rs 1 lakh and an additional 30 per cent for future income potential. The total compensation of Rs 1,35,90,052 comprises allowances for loss of income, estate, consortium, and funeral expenses. The panel ordered that Rs 1 crore be deposited in a fixed deposit for Agnel's wife, Rs 5 lakh for his son, and the balance, together with accrued interest, be paid to the woman via account payee cheques, the PTI report added. 

27 February,2024 11:25 AM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
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False fire alarm at Mumbai high-rise; cops told to take action against caller

A Fire Brigade official said a phone call received about a "blaze" in a Mumbai high-rise residential building housing staffers of a Maharashtra government-run hospital in south Mumbai on Monday night turned out to be a false alarm as no such incident had taken place, reported news agency PTI. The official said they have asked the Mumbai police to take action against the unidentified person for raising a false fire alarm and causing panic, reported PTI. He said the person at around 8.45 pm told them there was a "short circuit" in a flat on the 14th floor of the Mumbai high-rise residential building housing staffers of state government-run GT Hospital, reported PTI. As per SOP, they sent fire tenders to the spot, where no blaze or smoke was detected, said the official. Meanwhile, a fire broke out at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Pise Water Pumping Station Monday evening, leading to a significant impact on water supply across several parts of Mumbai. According to a civic official, the incident has impacted the water supply in the eastern part of eastern suburbs, as well as the water supply from Golanji, Fosbery, Raoli, and Bhandarwada reservoirs in the city. Consequently, there will be no water supply in these areas for the next 24 hours. Additionally, the water supply pressure in the western suburbs and other parts of Mumbai may also be affected, said the official. As per the civic official, the BMC administration has urged citizens to cooperate and utilise water resources judiciously since the prompt cooperation of residents is essential to mitigate the impact of the disruption and ensure that essential water services can be restored as swiftly as possible. The fire broke out on Friday evening and it has impacted water supply in some of the eastern suburbs as well as supply from Golanji, Fosbery, Raoli and Bhandarwada reservoirs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation said in a release. "Consequently, there will be no water supply in these areas for the next 24 hours. Water supply pressure in the western suburbs and other parts of Mumbai may also be affected. The BMC administration requests citizens to co-operate and use water judiciously during this period," the release said.  Efforts are underway to address the situation and restore normalcy to the water supply system in the affected areas. (With inputs from ANI and PTI)

27 February,2024 10:35 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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After chilly weekend, Mumbai's temperature rises to 37.5 degrees

Mumbai's temperature on Monday soared to 37 degrees Celcius after experiencing a chilly night on Sunday. According to the data recorded by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Observatory at Santacruz, the maximum temperature was 37.5 degrees while the Colaba Observatory recorded a maximum temperature of 35 degrees. The maximum temperature, for a couple of days, is expected to hover around 36-37 degrees, said Sunil Kamble, an IMD official. The official attributed the temperature rise to easterly winds. "We are expecting easterly winds for the next two-three days and thus the maximum temperature will be around 36-37 degrees and minimum temperatures will hover between 21-22 degrees," Kamble added. When the Western Disturbance system passes, the city receives northerly winds. The northerly winds had caused the temperature dip in the city recently, the official added.  The city's temperature, on Tuesday at 9.30 am, was recorded to be at 30 degrees Celcius with relative humidity at 33 per cent.  IMD in their daily forecast bulletin stated, "Partly cloudy sky in city and suburb. Maximum & minimum temperatures are very likely to be around 36 degrees Celcius and 21 degrees Celcius respectively." Mumbai sees lowest February night temperature On Sunday, the metropolis experiences its lowest minimum (night) temperature for the month of February with IMD's Santacruz Observatory recording 15 degrees Celcius. Comparatively, in 2022, Mumbai recorded its lowest night temperature for the month at 14.8 degrees Celcius. Meanwhile, the city on Saturday recorded a night temperature of 17,6 degrees Celcius. Mumbai's AQI Meanwhile, Mumbai's air quality on Tuesday morning is 'moderate' with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 149. Among all areas, Mazgaon, Siddharth Nagar in Worli and Bandra-Kurla complex recorded poor air quality with their respective AQIs at 207, 300 and 211.  An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.  Temperature in Delhi soars slightly Meanwhile, the mercury in the national capital rose on Tuesday while parts of the city received light rainfall and recorded a minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celcius. On Monday, Delhi's minimum temperature was at 9.9 degrees Celcius while the city recorded a high of 25 degrees Celcius.  The national capital's air quality concurrently is in the 'moderate' category with AQI at 173. 

27 February,2024 10:20 AM IST | Mumbai | Sanjana Deshpande
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Two held for illegal slaughter, transportation of cattle meat in Thane district

Police have arrested two men for illegal slaughter and transportation of cattle meat in Thane district, an official said on Tuesday, reported news agency PTI. Cattle slaughter is illegal under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995. Based on suspicion, a police team conducted checking of a tempo on February 24 near Rajnoli Naka on Nashik-Mumbai road and found two persons were transporting 500-600 kg of cattle meat, the official from Kongaon police station said, reported PTI. After transportation of cattle meat in Thane district, the two vehicle occupants were arrested and booked under Indian Penal Code sections 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle, etc) and 34 (common intention) and provisions of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, reported PTI. In another incident, a 48-year-old man was stabbed to death by unidentified persons in Maharashtra's Thane district, police said on Monday, reported PTI. A case under section 302 (murder) has been registered for the attack that took place in Ambernath town on Sunday night, an official said. As per the complaint, two unidentified men allegedly stabbed Ramesh Prabodh Jha, and he sustained injuries to his chest and abdomen, he said, reported PTI. The motive for the attack is unclear, and investigations are underway to identify the assailants, the official said, reported PTI. Meanwhile, police have registered a case against five persons from Thane district in Maharashtra for allegedly submitting forged documents with revenue authorities for the purpose of land records mutation, an official said on Monday, reported PTI. The accused, from Badlapur area in Thane, submitted certain documents, with forged signatures and stamps, to the Badlapur talati (revenue officer) and circle office on February 8 for the mutation of records of land procured by them, reported PTI. Upon verification, the documents were found to be fabricated, the official from Badlapur-West police station said. Based on a complaint by the talati, a case was registered on Saturday against the five persons under Indian Penal Code sections for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy, he said, reported PTI. A probe was on into the case.  (With inputs from PTI)

27 February,2024 10:11 AM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
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Mumbai: New study sheds light on increasing cancer survival

Doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital have gathered crucial data on the effectiveness of current cancer treatments by implanting human breast cancer cells in immunodeficient mice to generate tumours. While these treatments have helped many people, research led by Dr Indraneel Mittra and his team flagged that chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery could potentially cause cancer to spread to other parts of the body (metastatic spread). As cancer cells die, they release something called cell-free chromatin particles, which can transform normal cells into cancerous ones. Some of these particles can even fuse with healthy chromosomes, leading to the formation of new tumours. When the mice received treatment in the form of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgery, the researchers found the presence of human DNA (particles) and cancer proteins in their brains. “The mice were sacrificed, and their brains were obtained for analysis,” the hospital said. The study’s conclusion essentially stated that  after treatment, these particles and cancer proteins had migrated from the implanted breast cancer cells to the brains of the mice. However, not all hope is lost. Another group of mice (half of the study group) received natural agents like resveratrol—found in foods like grapes—along with very small quantities of copper. “When you mix these two in certain amounts, it creates something called oxygen radicals. When taken orally, these elements generate oxygen radicals in the stomach, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. These radicals can destroy chromatin particles and potentially prevent cancer from spreading,” explained Dr Mittra. Asked about the future implications for cancer treatment, Dr Mittra said, “This is the first step in understanding how the damage from cancer treatment itself can be minimised and how the chances of survival increased. Research is an ongoing process and our contribution will take it in a different direction. But more work is needed for the course of cancer treatment to change.” 

27 February,2024 07:20 AM IST | Mumbai | Eshan Kalyanikar
Garbage at Malabar Apartments, Malabar Hill. Pics/Atul Kamble

Real estate Rs 75,000 a sq foot = world’s priciest garbage dump

Money, money, money may be funny in a rich man’s world, yet, not many are laughing at The Malabar Apartments Co-Operative Housing Society Limited, on Malabar Hill. The SoBo area has real estate pegged at approximately Rs 75,000 to Rs 80,000 a square foot, which makes a huge garbage dump behind the Malabar Apartments within its vicinity, one of the most expensive rubbish dumps in the world. Site fright This building has seven floors with 18 flats on each floor, housing  a total of 126 flats, with a garbage disposal area earmarked for the building’s collective trash. There are garbage cans in the space and the building’s rubbish is collected and put into those cans, like in most residential societies. Malabar Apartments has seven floors and 18 flats on each floor The Malabar Apartments though, has a different, unique, and exasperating problem. It is located below a huge sprawl of hutments which has grown massively through the years. The Simla Nagar zopadpatti is perched just above this open space and, garbage from the Simla Nagar hutments, above this compound, is sailing down to the Malabar Apartments open area. This is thrown by the Simla Nagar slum dwellers above and comes flying landing on the building premises. The result is a fright of a site and shocking for a building in Mumbai’s priciest pockets. When this reporter visited the spot, garbage was strewn all around the designated trash cans and more was being thrown from above. Watch out As this reporter and photographer stood at the site, garbage by the hutment dwellers flew down like projectiles, and one had to keep a wary eye in case it fell on heads. The security repeatedly cited caution. Residents said, "bottles sometimes wrapped in plastic bags, furniture, building material debris and everything possible lands here. Sometimes the hutment dwellers do aim for garbage cans but frequently miss them. The entire ground is littered.” We saw three cars parked to one side of the site, with the residents stating that, “car windshields have cracked at times. Owners have to negotiate the mess to get into their cars, keeping a wary eye to avoid getting hit or splattered by something foul.” The residents stated that 10 years ago, “We even had a funnel (a chute) that was installed from above so that hutment dwellers could put their garbage and it emptied into garbage cans straight below. That (funnel) was choked as hutment dwellers were pushing broken furniture through it. A sofa was pushed down the chute, to deposit as garbage! The chute was blocked and then broke in some places. Eventually, the chute was removed.” Then, a boundary wall was made along the hutments, to stop garbage from being thrown over, but this too in vain as garbage is still tossed over the wall. A resident pointed to small structures that have come up along the boundary wall too. A resident said, “There is wastewater too, from pipes there emptying into the Malabar Apartments compound.” A stench emanated from the site and the ground was slick with the water. Since there was moss around, one could slip and fall as some residents claim had happened. Health hazard When we were at the spot, a rat or two was spotted scurrying around the ground. Security personnel stated, “We have to do rat treatment very often” and mosquitoes buzzed. The entire space is a health hazard. A resident pointed out, “Our staff has to access this spot for throwing our garbage in the bins. They then walk through the building in the same footwear, that has trampled through waste water. Imagine the many monsoons here, it is a nightmare. At a time of deep cleaning of the city, this rubbish bin continues to overflow. We have written so many letters to authorities and there have been efforts by the BMC to clean up, yet it does not solve the problem. We need a permanent solution. This has persisted because it is not immediately visible to passersby, it is out of sight as it is tucked away behind the building.” It is conveniently “invisible” stated irate locals who raged that if this had happened within immediate eye view in the front of the building, “it would never have been allowed to continue.” End this Some correspondence dates back to 2012-2013 about the installation of the chute, and dismantling of the chute thereafter, pointing to the longstanding problem.There is a letter addressed to the municipal authorities in 2013, with a sketch of the proposed chute. Then, letters in March 2020 cite numerous previous correspondence and excerpts from the communication state: ‘We would once again like to draw your attention to the dangerous and unhygienic conditions created by nonstop dumping of garbage from Simla Nagar zopadpatti residents.’ It said a regular clean-up by bringing in dumper trucks and a JCB is needed. As recently as February 9, a resident showed pictures of the overflowing garbage and tweeted: ‘Deep cleaning. What does that even mean? @mybmc plans to launch this on Saturday. See these pix. An unattended garbage dump near Simla Nagar, Malabar Hill. Despite appeals from residents no sign of any cleaning leave alone ‘deep’. The BMC did attend to the tweet complaint a few days later and did say to this reporter that the complaint was being attended to. Vehicles, men, and machines, were sent to clean up, and they did, but residents say these are “stop-gap measures” as the garbage game restarts after trucks clear out the accumulated rubbish. “In Juhu, work is in progress at 54 construction sites. Of these, work is being finished at 20. The remaining 34 sites are under MHADA and IR/ show-cause notices have been issued by this office regarding non-compliance with air pollution guidelines by developers. However, Juhu and Vile Parle West’s AQI has been under control (below 100) for a week,” said Dr Prithviraj Chauhan, assistant commissioner, K West ward.

27 February,2024 07:16 AM IST | Mumbai | Hemal Ashar
Students of D G Ruparel College spotted the elusive black panther

Maharashtra: Students on study tour spot ‘Bageera’ in Western Ghats

A team of Mumbai-based college students on a study tour of the Amboli forest in the Western Ghats spotted a black leopard on a full moon night—a testament to the rich biodiversity of the region. Rohan Korgaonkar from GreenLeaf Wildlife Tours told mid-day that D G Ruparel College’s Department of Zoology conducted its annual study tour of Amboli from February 21 to February 24. Nitin Wasnik—head of the department—with faculty members Sagar Gavas and Rucha Sathe and 44 students from SYBSc and TYBSc took part in the excursion that was facilitated by GreenLeaf. The excursion included morning treks and night trails to acquaint the students with the ecology, habitat and wildlife of Amboli, nestled in the Western Ghats. Korgaonkar said, “During one such night trail on the full moon night of February 23, an unexpected and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity occurred with the spotting of the elusive black panther. This confirmed earlier reports of a black panther being present in Amboli.” The sighting in this area has surprised many. While it is said that this is arguably the first sighting of a melanistic feline in the area, there have been sightings of black panthers in the Konkan belt a few times. In May 2018, a family from Belgium visiting the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) was lucky to spot a partial melanistic leopard or black panther—an animal usually spotted only in the Konkan region, Goa, and Kabini in Karnataka. It was the first time that the animal was captured on camera. In November 2020, a tour operator spotted a black leopard while on a safari at the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, also known as ‘Mowgli Land’. In July 2021, a black leopard was spotted in a camera trap during a census in Nawegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve which is spread over Gondia and Bhandara districts of Maharashtra.  Also in 2021, a year-old melanistic leopard had fallen into a well in Sindhudurg.  It was rescued from Goveri village close to Kudal town in Sindhudurg and later released back into the wild. What are black panthers? Melanistic leopards are commonly called black panthers or black leopards. They are found in the  forests of the Western Ghats and north-east India and are black due to  the presence of excess melanin in their bodies.  The colour of their fur is a mixture of blue, black,  grey, and purple.

27 February,2024 07:14 AM IST | Mumbai | Ranjeet Jadhav
Most of the passengers were blacklisted in 2023. Representation pic

247 Indians grounded by airlines for bad behaviour

Airlines across the country have collectively placed 247 passengers on their no-fly lists between 2019 and 2023, according to data from the Union Civil Aviation Ministry. This decision has been praised by experts, highlighting the importance of maintaining discipline among flyers. The highest number of passengers, 108, was added to the list in 2023, mostly for unruly behaviour. The process of banning individuals from flying involves thorough investigations by airlines and authorities. Reasons for being placed on the no-fly list can vary from disruptive conduct to refusal to follow safety protocols, and sometimes even suspected involvement in illegal activities. Aviation experts emphasise the delicate balance between ensuring safety and protecting passenger rights. An aviation safety analyst pointed to the origin of rules governing unruly passengers, citing the well-known incident involving Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad in September 2017. Between 2019 and 2022, domestic airlines collectively banned 140 passengers for different durations. Air India notably refrained from imposing any bans under these rules until the "pee-gate" incident in November 2022. Advocate Yashwant Shenoy, an aviation rights activist said, “The major reason for placing someone on the no-flying list is the unruly behaviour of the passenger towards the airline crew and ground staff along with the security check.” Captain Mohan Ranganathan, said, “Unruly behaviour is at its peak nowadays. Recently an Indigo Airlines pilot was attacked by a passenger in Delhi. It was not the pilot’s fault that the flight was delayed but the weather was such that the flight could not take off without a disaster or overshooting the runway.” He added, “Such passengers should be banned across all the airlines, not just one. No one should be discriminated against in this matter as air safety is the topmost. MPs, MLAs and actors behaving rudely with the crew should also be banned from flying.” “Air rage and unruly passengers are a huge problem and airlines need to take them seriously and file charges against obnoxious behaviour,” said aviation expert and lawyer Sanjay Lazar. “The legal system must also ensure that passenger rights are balanced and due process is followed” he added. 247No. of passengers on no-fly list between 2019-23 No. of passengers banned since 2019 2019     02020    102021     662022    632023    108 A majority of the occurrences are classified at three levels Level 1  Verbal abuse, lewd gestures etc. Level 2  Physically abusive behaviour, sexual harassment etc. Level 3  Dangerous acts like causing damage to an aircraft, murderous assault etc. In the year 2023, 108 passengers were banned Air India 71  Vistara    22Akasa Air 4 Indigo 1

27 February,2024 07:11 AM IST | Mumbai | Prasun Choudhari
Opposition leaders on Monday stage a protest on the stairs of Vidhan Bhavan seeking reservations for the Maratha community. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

Maharashtra budget session: Rs 8.6K cr in extra funds demanded on Day 1

The state government tabled supplementary demands worth Rs 8,609 crore, including Rs 1,438.78 crore for the repayment of outstanding loans related to Mumbai Metro Line 3, Nagpur Metro and Pune Metro, on the opening day of the budget session on Monday. These are additional funds sought by the government over the budgetary allocation for 2023-24. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and state finance minister Ajit Pawar tabled the supplementary demands, followed by the council. The government tabled supplementary demands worth Rs 55,520.77 crore in the winter session last year. Nana Patole, State Congress president According to a note circulated by the finance department, out of Rs 8,609 crore, Rs 5,665 crore was for commuted expenditure, Rs 2,944 crore for plan expenditure and Rs 17,000 for the state’s contribution towards various Central government schemes.  Supplementary demands worth Rs 2,210 crore were related to financial assistance to farmers whose crops were destroyed due to unseasonal showers, hailstorms and water scarcity; demands worth Rs 2,031 crore were for subsidy to customers related to agricultural pumps, loom machines and the textile industry; while demands worth Rs 2,019 crore were for loans under the urban Infrastructure development fund. Ajit Pawar will present an interim budget for the year 2024-25 on Tuesday at 2 pm. There isn’t a full budget due to the assembly election this year.  Oppostion protest  Meanwhile, on the first day of the session, the Opposition staged a protest on the legislature's steps before the proceedings began. Opposition MLAs Balasaheb Thorat, Nitin Raut, Amin Patel, Amit Deshmukh, Dheeraj Deshmukh, Jitesh Antapurkar, Bhai Jagtap, Rajesh Rathod, Ajay Chaudhary, Rajan Salvi, Narendra Darade, Anil Deshmukh, Sunil Bhusara and Vinod Nikole were some of the legislators who protested. The MLAs left the area holding placards bearing slogans that claimed the government had cheated the Maratha and OBC communities on the issue of reservation.  State Congress president Nana Patole said that people in the government were alleging that the Maratha reservation was not maintained by the MVA government, but when MVA leaders were in the Maratha reservation sub-committee, Eknath Shinde, Ashok Chavan, Ajit Pawar were in power. “If Maratha reservation could not be maintained by the MVA government, aren’t these people also responsible?” he said. The Leader of the Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar criticised the government in the assembly for not appreciating the demands of Asha workers, who have been protesting for a pay hike and other pending demands at Azad Maidan.  DCM Ajit Pawar claimed that the government is ready to discuss the matter with the workers. He added that the state government is flexible and ready to hear out the workers. Feb 27Day interim budget will be tabled

27 February,2024 07:08 AM IST | Mumbai | Prajakta Kasale
Representational images. Pic/iStock

Mumbai: Trans woman files rape case against partner

Enraged by the discovery of her partner’s marriage to another following their court marriage, a transgender person has filed a complaint against the man, alleging unnatural rape and cheating. The Kandivli police have registered cases of rape and cheating against a 40-year-old man who allegedly engaged in unnatural sexual acts and deceived a 37-year-old transgender individual over the years. According to sources, the victim and the accused first met during the Navratri festival in Goregaon in 2012. Their friendship blossomed into a romantic relationship, culminating in their marriage at the Bandra court in 2018. After residing in Goregaon for a couple of years, the accused relocated the victim to Kandivli, where they began living in a rented flat. The complainant alleges that she would provide the accused with money for daily expenses. Additionally, the accused had purportedly taken substantial amounts under various pretexts, such as family illnesses and financial needs. Then, in 2023, the accused clandestinely married another woman. The accused justified this action by citing familial pressure to marry, assuring the victim that he had no feelings for the new wife and would soon divorce her. He claimed that it would cost approximately Rs 85,000 to dissolve the second marriage, and trusting him, the victim provided the funds. Later, the accused informed the victim that his family demanded R11 lakh for the divorce. The victim realised that the accused had manipulated and financially exploited her. She lodged a police complaint. “We have registered the case under various sections if the IPC,” said an officer from Kandivli police station. Also Read: Do unmarried women in India feel judged and ashamed when visiting gynaecologists?

27 February,2024 07:06 AM IST | Mumbai | Samiullah Khan
Flat buyers, dissatisfied with delayed possession, are flooding MahaRERA with refund complaints. Representation pic

Mumbai: Homebuyers seek relief from MahaRera woes

Flat buyers, aggrieved by delayed possession of their flats and who are flooding MahaRERA with refund complaints, are now raising serious concerns about ineffective order enforcement. Experts debate whether to penalise non-compliant developers or adopt the Gujarat RERA Model. Despite appointing a retired collector for recovery, MahaRERA’s objectives remain unmet. Litigants have reported fruitless pursuits with MahaRERA orders, and subsequent warrants, but to date, few have received any money, as the recovery and auction of property is handled by the revenue officials under the respective district collectors, after MahaRERA issues warrants. Numbers speak Ramesh Prabhu, the founder chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSEWA), mentioned that as of August 31, 2022, MahaRERA had issued 884 warrants under section 40 of RERA, aiming to recover a total of Rs 543.3 crore. Mumbai city accounted for 33 warrants targeting Rs 78.40 crore, Mumbai suburban had 378 warrants for Rs 247.93 crore, Pune had 163 warrants seeking R108.73 crore, and Thane had 140 warrants for the recovery of Rs 60.02 crore, among others. Justice delayed  "MahaRERA's lax recovery process, coupled with revenue officials' other priorities, results in prolonged suffering for litigants. Establishing a dedicated recovery department and amending the land revenue code, akin to GujRERA, is crucial for timely justice," said Prabhu. Sluggish recovery process Expressing concern, Advocate Godfrey Pimenta said, “The need for an immediate and robust follow-up mechanism to enforce MahaRERA warrants swiftly, citing alarming delays undermining the regulatory framework and compromising homebuyers' rights and interests is imperative. The delays in this process not only jeopardise the rights and interests of homebuyers but also erode confidence in the regulatory framework.” Also Read: Renting in Mumbai? Your guide to budget-friendly home decor  Association reacts Advocate Anil D’souza, Secretary of the MahaRERA Bar Association, said, “When MahaRERA reports over 15,620 resolved cases, it's essential to note that this figure includes: a) cases settled through conciliation but hindered by builder reluctance to comply with their own consent terms, leading to additional legal complexities like builders cheque bounce and additional legal charges including court fees; b) cases marked as resolved after Maha RERA issues a final order/warrant, initiating a recovery process with subsequent legal hurdles; due to lack of compliance from builders; c) a new phase begins involving allottee advocates navigating government offices for property attachment or auction, a process spanning multiple locations like Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, and Pune." "The retired Additional Collector, appointed by MahaRERA in December 2022, oversees the process until the warrant is dispatched to the Collector/Tehsildar's office. But what is more important is that MahaRERA needs to ensure the execution of warrants to prevent litigants' frustration with bureaucratic processes,” he added. “Errant builders should see MahaRERA orders implemented with lightning speed so that current and future orders of MahaRERA are not ignored or under non-compliance by them,” he concluded. Also Read: Will BMC break the bank for big infra play?  Litigants speak Haricharan Yadav, a 72-year-old retired MTNL employee, invested his retirement funds of Rs 22.51 lakh in a Virar (W) project registered with MahaRERA in 2013. Following a December 2020 MahaRERA order and warrant against the developer, Yadav is awaiting a refund of R43 lakh with interest, currently pending action by the Thane Collector. “I wonder when I will get my money back; it has been a long wait,” expressed Yadav. Vishal Raut, a 45-year-old businessman, received a favourable MahaRERA order in June 2022, instructing a developer to refund over R14 lakh with interest. Despite continuous follow-ups with the Shahpur Tahsildar office, Raut is still awaiting his refund, facing unresponsive developers. Other side As of December 15, 2023, MahaRERA issued 1,123 warrants, and by February 20, 2024, 1,214 warrants were issued, recovering Rs 763.66 crore and Rs 932.57 crore from 459 and 488 projects, respectively. The additional collector (retired) assumed charge in December 2022, and significant recovery occurred under his tenure. The process is time-consuming due to legal constraints on auctioning disputed properties, explained a MahaRERA insider, requesting anonymity.  884No. of warrants issued by MahaRera  

27 February,2024 07:04 AM IST | Mumbai | Vinod Kumar Menon
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