In the western suburbs of Mumbai, the Bandra-Kherwadi stretch, once notorious for hosting illegal bike racing events, has undergone a remarkable transformation with strategic measures taken by the Mumbai Police, The relentless efforts of the Mumbai Police have led to a complete stop to the motorbikes racing which had been ongoing for years at the patch, sources said.
What was once a hotspot for reckless riding and dangerous street racing has now become a symbol of effective law enforcement and community engagement.
The crackdown on illegal racing activities began with a comprehensive strategy and well-coordinated Nakabandis devised by the Mumbai Police, sources said.
Regular nakabandis and strict action against the bikers, led to the targeting of both the root causes and the visible manifestations of illegal racing, an official said.
He said, in April, Mumbai Police took strict action against bikers racing in Bandra east area in the wee hours of April 4. It was been found that the bikers were allegedly involved in illegal racing and placing bets on their races.
The action came after the Kherwadi Police in Bandra East got information regarding bikers reaching Bandra East at around 2 am on April 4 and riding their bikes dangerously during illegal races.
"These bikers were not only endangering their lives but also putting the lives of others at risk, hence strict action was needed," an official said.
After the information was received regarding illegal bike racing, a team of police officials immediately swung into action and beefed up the security and well-coordinated nakabandi was organised. The police officials then nabbed the bikers and around 48 bikes were seized by the police in operation. In the matter, as many as 82 riders were booked by the Kherwadi Police.
Recognising the need for a comprehensive approach, the police implemented various measures to curb illicit racing activities in the area.
Mumbai Police significantly intensified their presence on the Bandra-Kherwadi stretch. The police began deploying additional patrolling and fixed nakabandi. Thorough checks were constantly conducted by the officials during multiple nakabandi on the patch, an official said.
The strategically placed checkpoints and stricter action against violators led to sending a strong message to those organising these races. Instead of mere fines for violation, the police also booked the rash riders and in some cases, their bikes were also seized by the police, sources said.
The stringent measures implemented by the police increased their regular presence at the location, acting as a deterrent that dissuaded street racers and reckless riders from participating in illegal races and bike stunts at the site.
The police also collaborated with traffic police to regulate the traffic flow and reduce the chances of illegal racing, sources added.
Mumbai Police also leveraged state-of-the-art surveillance systems at the patch by installing multiple CCTV cameras which were being monitored 24/7. High-definition cameras were strategically placed along the stretch to monitor and record activities, enabling the cops to identify and apprehend offenders, an official said.
"Stringent penalties and fines were imposed on offenders, and repeat offenders faced the possibility of impounded vehicles and even suspension of driving licenses," said an officer.
Mumbai's air quality continued to remain in the 'moderate' category, for third consecutive day, on Thursday morning. According to the SAMEER App, Mumbai's air quality continues to be 'moderate' with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 134 at 10.10 am.
The SAMEER App dashboard on Wednesday showed Worli's AQI as 100 and Borivali's AQI as 160. Bandra's AQI continued to remain in the 'moderate' category at 103. While Chembur's AQI and Malad's AQI were in the 'moderate' category at 109 and 174, respectively.
Meanwhile, Shivaji Nagar's AQI slipped to the 'poor' category at 198.
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'.
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 21 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, The air quality in the National Capital continued to remaim in 'poor' category on Thursday.
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.
On Wednesday, the AQI in the national capital, as per the data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), was in the 'poor' category at 286.
However, AQI in some areas of Delhi was recorded in the 'very poor' category on Thursday morning. As per the data from CPCB, the AQI at Anand Vihar stood at 348, in the ITO at 313, and in the Ashok Vihar area at 323 on Thursday at 8:00 a.m.
Earlier, the AQI across Delhi improved from 'very poor' on Tuesday to 'poor' on Wednesday morning. As per the data from CPCB, the AQI at Anand Vihar stood at 291, in the IGI airport area at 279, in the ITO at 252, and in the Narela area at 283 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 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.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI)
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday rebutted the Opposition's reasons for not attending the customary tea party organised by the state government on the eve of the winter session of the state legislature, and said it did not raise any issue related to the Vidarbha and Marathwada regions, reported news agency PTI.
The session is set to start in Nagpur, Maharashtra's second capital, from Thursday, reported PTI.
The Opposition forgot that the issues of Vidarbha and Marathwada are discussed prominently during the winter session, but there was no mention of issues of these regions in the letter sent by Leader of Opposition in the assembly Vijay Wadettiwar and others declining the tea-party invitation, Devendra Fadnavis said, reported PTI.
The letter spoke about rising debt of the state, but the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Maharashtra was Rs 16 lakh crore in 2013-14 and today it stands at Rs 35 lakh crore, he noted, reported PTI.
No other state has as balanced an economy as Maharashtra, said Devendra Fadnavis, reported PTI.
He also questioned the figures from the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) report cited by Wadettiwar while expressing concern about the rise in crime in the state, reported PTI.
Maharashtra is in the 8th position in crime rate whereas the Congress leader claimed it was in the second place, Fadnavis said, reported PTI.
The state is in the 17th position in terms of murder cases and seventh position in crime against women, he said, reported PTI.
The state is in the 12th position in terms of rape cases and 7th in kidnapping cases, the home minister said, adding that the Opposition should learn how to read an NCRB report, reported PTI.
As to the objection about the short duration of the winter session in Nagpur, Fadnavis said when the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was in power, the session was first delayed citing the COVID-19 pandemic and no session was held in Nagpur. Now the same people are questioning the duration of this session, he said, reported PTI.
The Opposition can raise as many issues concerning the people of Maharashtra as it can and the government will give them ample time during the session, the deputy CM said.
(With inputs from PTI)
Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais has suggested changing school timings to ensure that students get adequate sleep, reported news agency PTI.
Speaking at an event of the state education department on Tuesday, he noted that people's sleep patterns have changed, reported PTI.
There is a popular saying that sleeping early and rising early makes a person intelligent, Ramesh Bais said, reported PTI.
These days children are up till midnight and have to get up early for school which makes them sleep-deprived, the governor said, reported PTI.
"I would urge officials to ensure that for students to get good sleep in the morning, they should consider changing school timings," Ramesh Bais said, reported PTI.
He also said that learning should be fun for students and there should be less emphasis on homework and more emphasis on sports and extracurricular activities, reported PTI.
Earlier, Maharashtra Governor Ramesh Bais on Tuesday launched various initiatives and incentive schemes of the School Education Department at Raj Bhavan Mumbai.
Schemes such as 'Chief Minister My School, A Beautiful School', 'Goshtincha Shanivar', 'Enjoyable Reading', 'Cleanliness Monitor' etc. were launched on the occasion, read an official statement.
Initiatives like Adopt Schools, Mahavachan Utsav, and 'My School My Yard', were also launched.
These school initiatives were started to upgrade the infrastructure facilities in the schools of the state, to create a competitive environment for education in the schools, to increase the participation of the students in the decision-making process, to encourage the schools to carry out activities on the topics of health, skill development, and financial literacy, etc.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, School Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar, Minister of Rural Development Girish Mahajan, Minister of Skill Development Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Principal Secretary School Education Ranjit Singh Deol, Commissioner Suraj Mandhre and others were present.
Meanwhile, last month, Maharashtra school education minister Deepak Kesarkar said that agriculture subject will be added to the curriculum of schools in the state from the next academic year.
Addressing a press conference at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) headquarters, Kesarkar said the state government was committed to making Maharashtra a number one state in the education sector.
(With inputs from PTI)
A man got one year in jail for attacking bus driver in road rage near the Vashi toll booth, reported news agency PTI.
A 46-year-old man has been sentenced to one year's rigorous imprisonment by a court in Navi Mumbai for assaulting the driver of a BEST bus in 2014 in a road rage incident, reported PTI.
Assistant Sessions Judge at the Belapur court K R Deshpande also imposed a fine of Rs 2,500 on accused Shivaji Dhanawade, a tempo driver, reported PTI.
The fine amount will be paid to the victim BEST driver as compensation, the judge said in the order on Tuesday, reported PTI.
Additional prosecutor E B Dhamal said the incident took place near the Vashi toll booth near Navi Mumbai on November 13, 2014, reported PTI.
Dhanawade got angry because the driver of a BEST bus was not allowing him to overtake him, reported PTI.
After he got a lane clear, he overtook and stopped the tempo in front of the bus, got down, and assaulted the bus driver, the prosecutor told the court, reported PTI.
In another case, Navi Mumbai police have unearthed a SIM swap fraud and nabbed a 21-year-old man from West Bengal for allegedly hacking into the bank account of a company and siphoning off Rs 18.74 lakh, an official said on Tuesday, reported PTI.
He said the hackers accessed the bank accounts of the company through the corporate log-in of a telecommunications services company, reported PTI.
Cyber Police launched an investigation after the company lodged a complaint in September, an official said, reported PTI.
"The investigation revealed that the bank account-holder in whose account Rs 18.74 lakh was transferred from the company's account had shared account details, including the ATM pin, chequebook, and mobile phone number etc with a man in West Bengal. Police tracked down the location of the man, identified as Noor Islam Sanfui, in 23 Parganas district and nabbed him," he said, reported PTI.
In a SIM swap fraud, scammers trick the network provider into linking the mobile phone number of their target to the SIM card they have in possession and access to OTPs sent by the bank to the genuine person, reported PTI.
"In this particular crime, the man using the genuine mobile phone number had received an SMS saying his SIM card had been deactivated, but he failed to notice. The same SIM card was found active in the mobile phone of the accused person," the official added, reported PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
At least 88 per cent of missing kids cases in Navi Mumbai between January-November have been solved so far, a senior official said on Wednesday, reported news agency PTI.
The detection rate of cases of missing children in areas under the Navi Mumbai police commissionerate was a healthy 88 per cent so far this year, the senior official said, reported PTI.
Speaking to PTI in the backdrop of eight children going missing in a 24-hour period in the satellite city, he said between January and November 2023, as many as 371 cases of missing children were registered with different police stations in Navi Mumbai.
Of these, 325 missing kids cases in Navi Mumbai, or 88 per cent, have been detected so far, said the official, reported PTI.
As many as eight children went missing in a 24-hour period on Monday in different areas of Navi Mumbai and all of them were later traced by the police, he said, reported PTI.
In one of these cases, two sisters on account of birthday of one of them went to a temple and returned late. In another instance, a boy wanted admission for football coaching and when his parents did not give permission, he left home, said the official, reported PTI.
In a third case, a woman scolded her daughter for not studying, prompting her to leave home. In another instance, a girl went to her relatives in Gujarat without informing her family members, but returned home later, he said, reported PTI.
In one case, a girl eloped with her boyfriend but was quickly traced by the police, said the official, reported PTI.
In another case, four minor girls and two boys went missing from different parts of Navi Mumbai township in Maharashtra's Thane district in 24 hours and one of them was later found, police said on Tuesday, reported PTI.
The minors, in the age group of 12 to 15, went missing between December 3 and 4, they said, reported PTI.
Out of the six children, a 12-year-old boy, who went missing from Koparkhairne area on Monday, was later traced to Thane railway station and reunited with his family, an official said, reported PTI.
Giving details of the other cases, the official said a 13-year-old girl from Kalamboli area went to the birthday celebration of her classmate on Sunday and did not return, reported PTI.
In another case, a 14-year-old girl from Panvel went to a congregation at her friend's house on Sunday and did not come back home, reported PTI.
In Kamothe area, a girl aged 12 went missing after going out of her house on Monday.Another 13-year-old girl left her house in Rabale area for school on Monday and did not return, reported PTI.
Besides, a 13-year-old boy from Rabale went to a public toilet in the early hours of Monday and was untraceable since then, the official said, reported PTI.
Offences of kidnapping have been registered by the police stations concerned and efforts were on to trace the children, he said, reported PTI.
(With inputs from PTI)
The Advocates (Amendment) Bill, 2023, passed on the first day of the Winter Session in Lok Sabha on Monday, December 4, proposes to repeal the Legal Practitioners Act of 1879. Practising solicitors and advocates in the city welcomed the move saying that the Bill ensures a strict code of conduct/ethics to regulate the profession.
Repealing of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879 was recommended by the Law Commission of India in its Report No. 249 titled ‘Obsolete Laws: Warranting Immediate Repeal (Second Interim Report)’. The government incorporated the provisions of Section 36 of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1879 into the Advocates Act, 1961, thus bringing the regulation of the profession under one act.
Issue of touts
Mohini Priya, advocate on record, Supreme Court, said, “The Advocates (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on August 1 and passed on August 3. It seeks to weed out touts who exploit vulnerable people seeking justice.”
“The proposed amendment empowers courts to disclose the identities of touts and impose penal actions, which is a commendable stride towards transparency and accountability. This will disrupt touts’ secret operations and will serve as a deterrent,” said Advocate Mohini.
“Courts, armed with the authority to issue punishments, will instil a sense of accountability in touts. The amendment acts as a catalyst for a more transparent, accountable, and trustworthy legal ecosystem, redefining the dynamics of legal representation and reinforcing the sanctity of the profession,” said Advocate Mohini.
Highlights of the Bill
Stuti Galiya, a practising solicitor, said, “The Bill introduces measures to combat touts, defining them as individuals engaged in activities like procuring legal practitioners for payment or frequenting specific locations to secure legal business. The Bill empowers high courts, district judges, sessions judges, district magistrates, and revenue officers to create and publish lists of touts. Authorities with the power to compile these lists can direct subordinate courts to investigate individuals suspected to be touting. Touting not only misleads clients but also erodes trust in the legal system. Individuals who rely on these services may unknowingly end up with unqualified or unscrupulous practitioners, risking their legal rights and interests.”
“Preserving the integrity and credibility of the legal system is vital to ensure that justice is accessible to all. These changes are welcome. By implementing robust regulations, raising public awareness, promoting ethical conduct, and fostering collaboration with technology providers, the legal profession can be safeguarded and thereby rights and interests of those seeking legal services could be protected,” Galiya said.
“It is heartening to note that old, colonial laws are being amended, repealed and replaced with modern, relevant laws. The Advocates Act and the Legal Practitioners Act are classic examples of such laws,” said Advocate Floyd Gracias, constitutional expert and Supreme Court counsel.
“The Bill, in terms of Section 45A as amended, seeks to create a list of touts practising in each court. This will ensure that litigants are not taken for a ride. It in keeping with the ethics of the profession, which requires advocates to desist from solicitation of clients. But, the up to R500 fine seems too low to be a deterrent,” Advocate Gracias said.
Advocate Gracias added, “While one can argue that the Constitution guarantees freedom of trade and profession under Article 19, the same Article, in terms of reasonable restrictions, inter alia, allows for regulations and licensing of trades and professions.”
“This Bill is the first step in Judicial reform. Touts or middlemen wreak havoc in litigants’ lives, exploiting them financially and emotionally. This Bill, if effectively implemented, will break the nexus and restore confidence in the legal system and judiciary. Touts try to influence and manage the system in the wrong way, while tossing the merit of matter, thereby derailing the entire judicial process,” said Advocate Dhanpal Jain, who specialises in civil and Constitutional law.
Who is a tout?
Advocate Mikhail Dey, who practises criminal law, said, “The Advocates Act, 1961, consolidated existing laws on the legal profession and established the Bar Council of India and State Bar Councils. The Act abolished the difference between a vakil and an advocate. The Act grants attorneys the right to practise in any area of the country, in any high court, as well as at the SC.”
Advocate Mikhail said that as per the Bill, “The court or judge may exclude from the premises of the Court anyone whose name is included in the list of touts... a person who proposes to procure or procures the employment of a legal practitioner in a legal business in return of payment, or frequents places such as the precincts of civil or criminal courts, revenue-offices, or railway stations to procure such employment.
After securing victories in three states in the recently concluded assembly elections, the BJP appears ready to flex its muscles in Maharashtra. The first to feel the impact is likely to be Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who is leading the Shiv Sena.
Sources in the BJP indicate that the party is considering contesting Lok Sabha elections from Mumbai’s North West and South constituencies. In the 2019 general election, the BJP contested from the North East, North and North Central constituencies, while its alliance partner, the then undivided Shiv Sena, contested from the North West, South Central and South constituencies. Both won in all constituencies.
After the split, Shiv Sena MP from North West Gajanan Kirtikar and South Central’s MP Rahul Shewale, joined Shinde’s faction and MP from South constituency, Arvind Sawant, remained with Shiv Sena (UBT).
A source in the BJP said that the party is in a stronger position than Shinde’s Shiv Sena in Mumbai. “We can contest in five Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai. After a clean victory in three states, we have achieved a more dominating position than the alliance partner in Maharashtra,” the source said.
Sources claimed that the BJP is considering two names for the South constituency—Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Rahul Narwekar, Speaker in the State assembly. The BJP has two MLAs in the six Vidhan Sabha constituencies within the Lok Sabha South constituency—Lodha is the MLA of the Malabar Hill constituency and Narvekar is the MLA of the Colaba constituency. The Shiv Sena (UBT) also has two MLAs—Aditya Thackeray from Worli and Ajay Chowdary from Sewri. MLA Yamini Jadhav from Byculla constituency is with the Shinde-led Shiv Sena. The Mumbadevi constituency has Congress’s Amin Patel as its MLA.
In the North West constituency, three MLAs are from the BJP and the other three are with Shiv Sena (UBT). Sources said the BJP considers itself to be in a stronger position here even though the Lok Sabha incumbent is from Shinde’s camp. No potential candidates appear to be in consideration as yet.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Bhalchandra Shirsat said that discussions on Lok Sabha elections have not begun.
“Three Lok Sabha constituencies are with the Shiv Sena and we will contest them again. All three will remain with the Shiv Sena,” Kirtikar from the Shinde-led Sena said.
On the other hand, there is also a tussle between two Shiv Sena leaders—Kiritkar and Ramdas Kadam over the North West constituency. In a November 18 report, mid-day had shed light on Kirtikar’s desire to contest a fourth time and Kadam’s attempts to get the seat for his son. Kirtikar’s son, Amol, who is with the Shiv Sena (UBT), may contest from the same constituency.
Approximately 75 families were evacuated from Meghdoot Building in Nehru Nagar, Kurla East, on Wednesday evening due to excavation work for an under-construction building's water tank, causing it to cave in.
As per the civic disaster management report, the incident occurred around 4.48 pm during the plinth work of the building under construction, leading to the collapse of the 50,000-litre water tank in Meghdoot building.
Former corporator Kamlakar Naik expressed concern, stating that approximately 60 families from building number 73 of Meghdoot building were evacuated due to the water tank collapse during the work going on the adjacent building's rear side. “Residents are in fear following the incident, demanding an immediate inspection of the building by experts,” Naik said.
Also, around 15 families have been evacuated from adjoining building number 75, as a precautionary measure. MLA Mangesh Kudalkar assured that the families have been relocated to a nearby community hall and are all safe.
In response, a BMC official said that these are Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) buildings. “Our emergency staff is on-site, and families were evacuated as a safety measure,” he said. Further action will be determined by the authorities concerned. MHADA will assess whether the building is suitable for habitation.
Nehru Nagar colony, developed by MHADA after the 1960s, currently has several buildings under construction.
The recently constructed cement concrete road at Aarey Colony has developed cracks at several locations. Even as the liability period of the road is 10 years, the shoddy work has come under criticism from activists and locals. Officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s road department assured of repairing the cracks.
BMC started the concretisation of Aarey Colony’s main road from Goregaon Junction to the L & T junction of Powai in 2022 and the project will be completed in 2025. BMC will be paying Rs 51.6 crore to the company which is constructing the road. According to the conditions in the tender document, the defect liability period of the road is 10 years and 20 percent of the contract amount will be released in equal installments over ten years after completion of the work. When mid-day visited the Aarey Colony, it found that there were several cracks in the road at some locations.
Aarey Colony resident Sandip Gadhave said, “The BMC is spending crores of rupees on constructing cement concrete roads and within just a few weeks of opening, some stretches have developed cracks. These cracks have exposed shoddy work by the contractor. The BMC should take strict action against the contractor.”
A BMC official who is working on the project accepted that there are cracks on the road at several locations. “Yes, we have inspected the cracks on the road and we have already asked the contractor to reconstruct these patches. We are going to impose a fine on the contractor as per the rule,” said a BMC official.
According to the former BMC official, some cracks can’t create any serious issues. But some cracks can occur due to improper leveling of the base of the road and also if the water content in concrete mix is high.
Civic activist Anil Galgali said since cement concrete roads are more durable than asphalt roads, BMC is constructing CC roads at a higher cost compared to asphalt roads.
“If the newly constructed CC roads are also developing cracks, then it is a quality issue. It is necessary to maintain the quality of the road during the ongoing work. Action should be taken against the officials concerned along with the contractor,” Galgali said.
10yrsDefect liability period for the concrete road
With the demolition and flattening of key commercial structures hindering the construction of the new east-west Vikhroli road over bridge on Tuesday, work should now proceed smoothly without any interruptions. Officials stated that 60 per cent of the physical work has already been completed, and the bridge is expected to be ready by mid-2024. “The bridge costs Rs 26.68 crore, divided equally between the state government and the railways, with the Central Railway contributing Rs 13.34 crore and the state government providing a matching sum,” said a senior official.
The bridge has faced immense delays due to land acquisition issues and the rehabilitation of project-affected people and structures. It has been 12 years since the closure of the level crossing gate in 2011, resulting in the loss of east-west connectivity for local residents of Vikhroli. Although there are east-west road bridges at Ghatkopar and Kanjurmarg stations, both a few kilometres away, residents of Vikhroli must take a detour to Ghatkopar or Kanjurmarg to travel from east to west or vice versa. While the arterial Lal Bahadur Shastri Marg is situated in the west, the Eastern Express Highway runs in the east.
“Works completed at the site include finished sub-structures (foundations) and ongoing work on the superstructure. Girder fabrication has been completed and inspected by the Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the railways’ research and development organisation functioning as a technical adviser and consultant. Additionally, girders have been brought to the site, and assembly for three girders has been completed,” official added. “The assembly and launching of girders at the site have started, and as a safety measure, the road from St Joseph’s Church to Mirza Bakery has been closed,” said a BMC official.
Providing details about the ongoing work, he said, “Work on the east-side approach, spanning 100 metres for the launching of railway span girders, is currently underway. Metalizing work is in progress, along with ongoing work on the 615-metre approaches.”
Mario Jose Rodrigues, vice chairman of the Bombay Catholic Sabha and a local resident, said, “Finally, after 11 long years since the closure of the level crossing gate, Vikhroli residents will soon experience a sigh of relief as the proposed east-west connectivity bridge is set to be completed by May 2024. All thanks to our MP, Mr Manoj Kotak, for addressing this long-pending issue.”
60 per centQuantum of work already completed
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