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Asaduddin Owaisi takes oath amid chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' and 'Vande Mataram'

2 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Chants of "Jai Shri Ram" and "Vande Mataram" greeted All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday as he took oath as a member of the 17th Lok Sabha, and he responded with "Allahu Akbar". As the Hyderabad MP approached the Speaker's podium, some of the members, apparently from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), began shouting the slogans. Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM on 'Jai Sri Ram' & 'Vande Mataram' slogans being raised in Lok Sabha while he was taking oath as MP: It is good that they remember such things when they see me, I hope they will also remember the constitution and deaths of children in Muzaffarpur. pic.twitter.com/THJN8n8out — ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2019 Owaisi, however, remained unperturbed and rather mocked the members by gesturing to them to keep shouting. After taking his oath in Urdu, he said: "Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Takbeer Allahu Akbar, Jai Hind." Today, I was welcomed with some slogans when I stood up to take my oath on th..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Tuesday Dossier

15 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Class in Hasyasana Shilpa Shetty Kundra's love for yoga rubs off on to press photographers at a media interaction ahead of International Yoga Day at her Juhu residence. Pic/Satej Shinde Banter over chai In February this year, this page had carried a report on Chai ki Dukaan, a social media initiative by two friends from India and Pakistan, which offers a platform to young people from both the countries to share their tales of friendship. For the Indo-Pak World Cup cricket match on Sunday — which off the field, was played out as the mother of all rivalries perhaps more than ever before in the recent past — we came across banter between the founders. Rudrani Dasgupta (in pic, right) from Kolkata reminisced about how she had grown up seeing the immense popularity Imran Khan and Wasim Akram enjoyed in India. And Karachi's Ramsha Baluch (in pic, left) spoke of Virat Kohli being the current favourite in Pakistan."He has inspired quite a few hair and beard styles. You can see his..
                 

After 13 deaths, Bandra's fatal U-bridge to be walled for safety

16 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The U-bridge that connects Bandra East to West has been claiming more than three to four lives every year since 2015. As per the traffic department's statistics — accessed by mid-day — in four years, 14 lives have been lost on the stretch, while another 25 have been critically injured at this deadly turn. This year alone, three people died on the same spot. Fortunately, there were no casualties on the stretch in 2018, but from 2015 to 2017, 11 people were killed on the deadly bridge. The Bandra Police claimed that they have written several letters to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and tried to draw their attention towards the rising casualties, but they've received no response. The only time MSRDC took a few steps to rectify the problem was in 2016. But nothing much has been done since, even as deadly incidents continue to rise on the bridge. Also Read: Mumbai: Biker hit by car, falls off Bandra's U bridge, dies Wrote to MSRDC As per the tra..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Monday Dossier

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Kicking off a change Actor Ranvir Shorey and Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri interact with children of a non-profit at a sports complex in Bandra over the weekend. Pic/Bipin Kokate Young artist bats for a cause An exhibition held in the city last Friday proved yet again that age has nothing to do with the will to make a difference. A showcase of artworks by young artist Sanjana Elizabeth, it was her second exhibition to raise awareness about abuse, and set up NGR – No Gender Required, an initiative to help victims of abuse get help and justice. "The idea occurred to me when [I learnt that] my house help's daughter was a victim of domestic abuse. Sanjana Elizabeth's paintings titled Comfort, Scream and Feminism showcased at the exhibition held on Friday The simple task of collecting all the required information online and passing it to her, provided me with the incentive of creating an organisation that ran on just doing this," said Elizabeth, 21, about the thought behi..
                 

Mumbai trashes BMC's 'successful ban' claims as city vendors still use banned plastic

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Life is plastic and fantastic for Mumbai once again. While the Maharashtra government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have been making tall claims regarding the effective implementation of the plastic ban, a test drive by mid-day at various markets in the city has revealed a very different picture. Close to a year since the state implemented the ban, plastic bags are still being freely handed out in the open market. In June 2018, the state government banned single use plastic bags and also stopped the usage of any kind of plastic carry bags. The ban was announced with much fanfare and people found using plastic bags were fined anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000. BMC had claimed that 310 of its officials would be visiting lakhs of shops in the city to check on the plastic usage. While the blue squad initially went easy on shop owners, there were over 15,000 shops that were eventually penalised. The civic body earned over R3 crore in fines for collecting 57,128 kg o..
                 

Mumbai: A year and Rs 3.34 crore later, Gokhale Bridge opens up

yesterday  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Almost after a year since repair work started, Andheri's Gokhale Bridge was fully opened to the public on Sunday morning. The work, which started in July last year after the cantilever footpath on the southern end of the bridge collapsed, was carried out at a cost of R3.34 crore. Soon after the incident, Western Railway (WR) had undertaken a safety audit of the bridge with help from IIT-Bombay, following which major repair and strengthening works had been identified. Chief public relations officer of Western Railway, Ravinder Bhakar, said, "The process involved dismantling of the 3.3-metre-wide old cantilever slabs on both the northern and southern end of the bridge, replacing the corroded steel brackets supporting the slabs, casting new slabs and crash barrier and putting up a stainless steel fencing." He further said that special care had been taken while selecting the material in order to ensure that the structures were much more durable. The focus was also on design detailing like..
                 

Mumbai: For motorists at Oshiwara, all roads lead to traffic nightmare

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Even as traffic at SV Road continues to be a nightmare for commuters, the BMC is ignoring immediate solutions. After the Oshiwara nullah bridge was shut down for repairs last week, a road opposite Relief Road at Oshiwara, which leads to Ram Mandir and Jogeshwari, was supposed to bring respite to motorists. However, that stretch is also dotted with potholes and is narrow for traffic, said locals. Motorists are now demanding that the BMC repair the road, to avoid traffic congestion in the area. Incidentally, when the BMC shut the bridge, they hadn't provided an alternative road for motorists. Relief Road at Jogeshwari that leads towards Link Road, was also partially shut for Metro construction. Residents then approached the civic body to open this particular road, which was being used to park heavy vehicles. Also Read: Mumbai Crime: Goon threatens Parle volunteers for good driving Taufik Khan A civic official, who did not wish to be named, said, "Some people had approached us a few ..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Saturday Dossier

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A balancing act Actor Kartik Aaryan stays steady while tying his shoelaces after exiting the Mumbai International Airport on Friday. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi In memoriam Loins of Punjab Presents was such a funny film that this diarist remembers laughing uncontrollably while watching it years ago. But its director, Manish Acharya, passed away in a horse-riding accident in Matheran in 2010. Dhruvi Acharya with Manish AcharyaDhruvi Acharya with Manish Acharya Now, on his birth anniversary, his wife, artist Dhruvi Acharya, has launched a website that shares its name with the film, where a digitally re-mastered version will be available, apart from the actor-filmmaker's short films. Log on to learn more about a man who had a lot more work left in him. Looking for a dream ticket If there is one big-ticket event to get immersed in on Sunday, it is the India vs Pakistan World Cup cricket game at Manchester. Jeff Lepps, a Guyanese-born Delhi-based cricket lover, boarded a New Delhi-London flight..
                 

Post major surgery, powerlifter all set to represent India

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A serious injury to his right shoulder and a major surgery to heal it has not been able to deter national referee and coach of Maharashtra Powerlifting Federation, 53-year-old Sanjay Dabholkar, from following his passion. After months of training post his surgery at a city-based hospital last year, Dabholkar is all set to represent India at the World Power Lifting Championships at Nove Zamky, Slovakia, in November this year. Dabholkar has gained national recognition through powerlifting competitions. While doing a 135-kg deadlift in January last year, he injured his right shoulder and was unable to move his arm for months. But instead of approaching a doctor, he started taking painkillers. This further aggravated his condition. Dabholkar said, "I thought the pain was due to weightlifting but slowly it got worse. I couldn't even lift 3-5 kg weights. After three months I approached a doctor." Last month Dabholkar won a national competition at Sonepath in Haryana When he visited Jaslok Ho..
                 

BJP with its best-ever Lok Sabha tally of 303 seats is yet to reach peak, says Amit Shah

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The BJP with its best-ever Lok Sabha tally of 303 seats is yet to reach its peak, BJP President Amit Shah said on Thursday. "Amit Shah told party office-bearers that BJP has still not arrived at its peak in terms of its electoral performance," BJP General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav told reporters. Shah's remarks came here at his inaugural address to party office-bearers, state party chiefs and others at the BJP headquarters. "I had said in 2014 in BJP's national council meeting that we are yet to achieve our peak. Today, I am again saying the party is yet to be at its peak," Yadav quoted Shah as saying. Shah told the party leaders that the BJP has still a long way to go, urging them to devote themselves to the cause. In 2014, addressing BJP's two-day National Executive in Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Shah had said many people declared after the 2014 general election that the BJP reached its peak, but it was not so. "They then said in 2017 (after elections to the five states, including Uttar P..
                 

Mumbai: Andheri colony locals shudder at tree breaks

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Locals around Andheri's Dhake Colony area had a lucky escape on Tuesday, June 11. Even as two branches from the towering trees in the colony snapped and fell on the main road, no one was hurt as they fell just outside the colony. They were alerted to the sound of the branches snapping and could hence move out of the way. Two people though were caught in the foliage of the fallen branches. One was a postman and the other a house help. Both were extricated by shopkeepers nearby. "These trees have roots inside the colony but bend outside," said Anand Shirali, chairman of the colony on JP Road. "These trees should have been trimmed two weeks ago. We already saw on Tuesday morning the branches of two trees snap. One was of a gulmohar tree, which first fell on a coconut tree, causing a branch from that tree to break and fall on the road. I did call the fire brigade but because no one was trapped, they told me to call the tree department, who came and cut the branches," he said. Shirali added..
                 

Partly cloudy morning in Delhi, respite from heat likely later in day

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
It was a partly cloudy Wednesday morning in the national capital, with the minimum temperature settling at 31 degrees Celsius, three notches above the season's average. Delhiites may get some respite from the oppressive heat as gusty winds and thunderstorm are likely in the latter half of the day, a Meteorological Department official said. The maximum temperature would be around 42 degrees Celsius, he said. Screengrab/ Skymet Relative humidity was 47 per cent at 8.30 am, the official added. On Tuesday, the maximum temperature in the city was 44.5 degrees Celsius, five degrees above the season's average. Gujarat under alert According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), thunderstorm and lightning accompanied with gusty wind are likely to occur at isolated places in the districts of North Gujarat region on June 13 on Wednesday. JUST IN: Severe #CycloneVayu has become a Very Severe Cyclone and is heading towards Saurashtra. More updates soon. Stay safe Folks!https://t.co/7lMHpm..
                 

Meet Vasai's traffic stoppers who are being the change they wish to see

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A tragic road accident that killed two minors is what it took for a traffic revolution of sorts to begin in Vasai. Having witnessed the accident upfront, a 48-year-old Vasai businessman established an NGO in January this year to work on the major traffic woes in the area. Following his team's efforts, the number of road accident deaths in Vasai has decreased noticeably, the traffic police confirmed. Michael Abreo, a resident of Evershine City, set up Evershine City Citizen Welfare Forum with many professionals joining him in managing traffic by taking to the roads at major junctions in Vasai.Delighted by the citizens' gesture, the traffic police too supported the NGO and issued official ID cards to its members for traffic control. More than 280 people are now connected with the NGO of which around 25 are in the core team who work in shifts to manage traffic along with the traffic police. Volunteers take turns to manage traffic at crucial city junctions in Vasai. Pic/Hanif Patel There w..
                 

Proposed Aarey Zoo in leopard corridor, say locals

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
While the Forest Department has signed an MoU with BMC for setting up a zoo in Aarey Milk Colony, the road ahead seems to be difficult, with the tribal residents of the area opposing the project. Tribals staying close to the plot for the proposed zoo told mid-day that the area is frequented by leopards and any construction activity will only block the path of leopards and other wild animals. The state government on June 3 signed the MoU with BMC for setting up the international zoo in Aarey on a 120-acre plot at a cost of R500 crore. However, locals and activists are unhappy with the idea. The land where the zoo is coming up is close to Gavdevipada and Khambyachapada, which according to locals, is frequented by leopards. Tribals residing in Aarey Milk Colony came out in protest against the proposed zoo on Sunday Speaking to mid-day, tribal leader Prakash Bhoir said, "The forest cover in the area is already decreasing. The plot marked for the proposed zoo is a part of the habitat of leo..
                 

Quality or quantity in education

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
In 2008, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (SSC Board) came up with a few tricks that helped its students compete with their counterparts in CBSE and ICSE boards. Percentage points were inflated by giving 20 internal marks for all subjects and grouping the best-of-five subjects to match the grades of non-SCC students, who easily got admissions to topmost junior colleges. The inflation showed a quantum jump in the ratings of Maharashtra's SSC board. Unbelievable but true, a year after the new system was introduced, the board managed to shoot up its passing rate by a sudden 9%. Thereafter, the results did not dip below 80%, except in 2011, between 2008 and 2018. The balloon burst on Saturday when the SCC pass percentage dropped by 12.31 points as compared to last year. In the past 10 years, educationists have observed that quality students could sustain a cut-throat competition in top institutes and withstand the pressures that entrance tests for pro..
                 

Despite change of location, Smart and Hollywood's legacy continues

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Mohammed Yusuf and his older brother Dost Mohammed started the well-known tailoring shop, Smart and Hollywood, on the ground floor of the Esplanade Mansion back in 1942 and had theatre personality Alyque Padamsee, actor Tom Alter and costume designer Abu Jani as their regular clients. After spending decades in a spacious 800 square feet shop, their sons who are now handling the business, have now been forced to move into a much smaller space at Third Pasta Lane in Colaba measuring 120 square feet. Yusuf's sons, Nafees and Raish Ahmed, started coming to the shop when they were teenagers. They recalled that their father would regularly make costumes that were used in well-known plays like Tarantula Tanzi directed by Padamsee. "All the costumes in Padamsee's plays were made at our shop and our father's name would appear in the pamphlet for the play as well. Apart from getting costumes made, actors like Tom Alter, Farooque Sheikh and Mumtaz used to also get their own clothes stitched ..
                 

South Mumbai locals and MLA protest water paucity

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A shamiana provided a semblance of protection from the searing heat on Friday as a number of south Mumbai locals gathered at Azad Maidan for a protest against water scarcity. The agitation was led by Colaba MLA Raj Purohit. Soon though, the gathering went beyond water to become a microcosm of a host of problems in the area. Dilapidated buildings and overdue repairs, landlord bullying and authoritarianism were all part of the agenda. Marine Drive resident Naresh Kapur who is the president of the Confederation of Tenants Association of South Bombay, said, "Our contention is that Bombay Port Trust land tenants should not be evicted. The public premises should only constitute land within the port area and not outside." Also read: Maharashtra drought: Ramdev urges people not to waste water Desalination demandKapur also said he had a special interest in seeing, "that our demand of a desalination plant to be installed in Colaba is realised. We had raised this with Aaditya Thackeray too in an ..
                 

The Dutch mystery: Kin, friends seek answers about beloved teacher

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
What exactly happened in Avdhut and Sharmila Shinde's Amsterdam apartment on the night of May 16? Neither do the police know yet, nor does the family of Sharmila, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances almost a week after her husband left for India with their children. Shashidhar Shetty, Sharmila's brother, told mid-day he feels something went amiss between the couple that night after the children had slept. Shashidhar said, "I am yet to figure out what happened on the night of May 16. Sharmila spoke to our mother on WhatsApp on May 14 while we were in Kullur. Mom responded a little late to her message to which Sharmila said 'ok' on May 16 at 9.26 pm. It was the last message she sent." "I guess something went amiss between the couple on May 16 night when both children had slept. Next morning, he woke up the kids and told them to pack their bags and rush to the airport. He told the children that their mother would follow them to Mumbai on the next flight," he added. Sharmila ..
                 

Mumbai: Esplanade Mansion's electricity meters removed ahead of its demolition

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Days after the deadline to vacate the 150-year-old Esplanade Mansion, BEST officials removed all electricity meters from the building on Thursday. Following the directions issued by the Bombay High Court earlier this week, MHADA officials will also disconnect the water connections and begin breaking open the locks that 64 tenants have left behind on the doors of their shops/offices. On June 4, Justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Patel had directed MHADA officials to remove the belongings in these 64 shops, prepare an inventory and issue notices to the tenants as well as circulate them in newspapers along with notices on the building. "We will start breaking open the locks from tomorrow and will complete the process in a few days. We, however, don't have any other addresses of the tenants and cannot send them a notice. We can only put the notice on the building to inform them once we remove their belongings," said a MHADA official. Also read: HC directs MHADA to evacuate and barricade Es..
                 

Beed cop sex change saga: Lalit Salve celebrates '1st birthday'

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
On May 25, Lalit Salve turned 31, but the Beed constable felt only a year old with this being his first birthday as a man. The entire village joined him in celebrating the special day, cheering him on as he cut his birthday cake. "Throughout my life, I saw my name on cakes as 'Lalita' but for the first time on this birthday, I saw my name as Lalit. My family and friends also wished me saying 'happy birthday, Lalit'. This is my first year as a man. I have been called Lalit since my first surgery, but it didn't feel as real as it did until my birthday," said Salve. Lalit with his mother Kesarbai Knowing how special this day was for him, his family decorated their house with balloons and stickers. "We had never seen him this excited about his birthday before. He would always tell us not to mention his name on the cake because he hated seeing 'Lalita' on it. So this time, we were just waiting to see his reaction when he saw 'Lalit' on the cake," said his brother Dhammanand. The family was ..
                 

CR fails in Mumbai-Pune in 2 hr 35 min train trials as problems galore

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Central Railway's efforts to complete the Mumbai-Pune journey in 2 hours 30 min seems to be getting difficult by the day. Firstly, in the five of the seven day trial period the superfast Intercity Express train has not reached Pune or arrived back in Mumbai on scheduled time despite monitoring by both Mumbai and Pune divisions and now mid-station passenger associations from Karjat have written strong letters to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, local MLAs and Maharashtra state ministers on how skipping the halt at Karjat would lead to problems for hundreds of officegoers and students, who take this train. "It is a stupid dream by Central Railway. You are depriving passengers of their right. Earlier, passengers could take the Indrayani Express, but since that was extended to Solapur, office goers and students heavily depend on the Intercity at Karjat station. If used to halt to add additional engines there. With the halt removed now, passengers are left without an option," Zonal Railwa..
                 

'The Rajghat of Mumbai'

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Mumbai skyline is in perennial flux, but even within the change, one aspect has become an enduring feature — a majority of mills symbolic of Mumbai’s titan of textiles status have been transformed into malls. "Not all of them become malls though," laughed architect Amol Prabhu, partner at Shashi Prabhu and Associates (SRA) from his office, under the bleachers of Wankhede Stadium, adding, "Some of them become memorials." Towering personality Prabhu was referring to the Indu Mill, at Shivaji Park in Dadar, which is in the midst of a two-year makeover to become a memorial for Dr B R Ambedkar. The deadline for the memorial’s completion is April 2020. The mill, "Is going to be transformed into the Amedkar memorial. It must, in brick and mortar, reflect his personality and vision, besides of course, his enduring appeal and relevance today," said Prabhu. Work on at Indu Mill for the memorial that will also have a 1,000-seater auditorium and research centre. PIC/ SHADAB K..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Bhidu, yaar, dost Jackie Shroff is caught a playful mood with paralympic athlete Deepa Malik at a book launch in Bandra on Saturday. Pic/Shadab Khan Mama, please preach! When radio professional Poonam Khinchi's post on Manju, an autowali who wears hot pink nail polish, went viral last week on social media, we reached out to her to set up an interview. Fired from a hotel job because of her sexuality, Manju has been riding an auto for the last five years and loves wearing lipstick because her boyfriend likes it. Pic/Poonam Khinchi's Instagram page However, at the last minute, Manju called it off, saying her mom said no. And, while we were sorely disappointed at not being able to meet her and record her journey, how cute is that? It seems no matter who you are, mommy knows best. Coming out to granny Grandmas are forever endearing, but an Indian promo released this week for Netflix's new show Queer Eye, where we see them listening to/and discussing coming out stories of members from the LG..
                 

Smriti Irani calls husband Zubin Irani bae; Priyanka Chopra, Ekta Kapoor hearts it

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
                 

Pastor dupes 700 people of one parish

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Hundreds of people died waiting for homes promised to them by a pastor almost 31 years ago. The buyers who are still alive have no hope of getting the ones they booked. Realising that the money they invested in a housing project in 1989 that was a fraud, seven of the flat buyers, most of whom are senior citizens today, submitted a written complaint to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Friday accusing pastor D S Walters and two others of breaching their trust and duping them of crores of rupees. One of the complainants, 64-year-old Valerian Pinto, who stays in Mira Road, said, "I trusted the pastor and invested money in the housing project in 1989. But even after 31 years neither has he given me my home nor refunded the money. He duped hundreds of us, some died waiting." "The first phase of the project was supposed to come up on a 17-acre plot behind Veena Nagar in Mulund West. It would have housed 350 1bhk and 2bhk flats of carpet area 350-750 square feet. Though we were given receip..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Friday Dossier

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Did I pick the right one? Amitabh Bachchan seems spoilt for choice at the launch of a premium fabric line at a Santacruz five-star on Wednesday. Pic/Sameer Markande Anu takes the special route Anu Menon, who portrayed the character of Lola Kutty for years together on a music channel, took to stand-up comedy in early 2018 as a second innings of sorts. It was a natural progression, considering how her comic timing and keen observation while interviewing celebrities in her earlier avatar had made her a household name. A year later, she is ready to face the camera again, this time with a stand-up special on a popular online streaming platform, which premieres today. The show is called Wonder Menon, the title of her offline performances. And if the trailers are anything to go by, we are expecting a laugh riot, where the butt of most of the comedienne's jokes is her family itself. Let's step out On Wednesday evening, the who's-who of the food industry gathered at a restaurant in Mahalaxmi f..
                 

Son pens emotional note for mother on her second marriage; internet teary-eyed

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A man from Kerala is making waves for all the right reasons on the internet since his post, an emotional note, has gone viral on the internet. Facebook user Gokul Sreedhar, who originally hails from Kerala, took to social networking site Facebook on June 11, 2019, to share a heartwarming post dedicated to his mother. Sreedhar, in his heartfelt post, which he wrote in the Malayalam language, is seen congratulating his mother on her second marriage. Sreedhar's post ends with, "Mom, happy married life." According to Sreedhar's emotional note, his mother 'suffered' a lot in what has been referred to as a 'disastrous marriage', for her, post which, she decided to move on. The post reveals that Sreedhar's mother was physically abused in her previous marriage and Gokul (her son) had been living with the guilt all his life. Why? Because Gokul felt that his mother suffered in silence in order to make a sacrifice for him. Also Read: Mark Zuckerberg congratulates sister Randi; users make fu..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Thursday Dossier

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
That girl in yellow boots Priyanka Chopra Jonas struggles in heels despite a knee injury at the wrap-up party of a film in Bandra. Pic/Bipin Kokate Not the BEST move The ongoing campaign against the privatisation of BEST buses will get a new fillip this weekend at a workshop being organised to make Mumbaikars aware of the drawbacks of this move. The volunteers' workshop organised by Aamchi Mumbai Aamchi Best (AMAB), a citizen platform for opposing privatisation of BEST public bus service, will take place in Dadar East this Saturday, with the aim of wiping the sheen that comes with the term "wet leasing", explains activist Girija Gupte, key organiser of the campaign. "The BMC has been neglecting all services to people — hospitals, schools and transport. If there is private entrepreneurship, the government will not be answerable to people in the case of any mishap, which could be as glaring as the Nirbhaya incident. Let's not forget that," she told this diarist. "Also, if we are s..
                 

Mumbai Diary: Wednesday Dossier

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
You've got male Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code protects a woman from facing cruel treatment from her husband or in-laws. It’s a necessary part of the legal system, but unfortunately, there have been numerous cases of women misusing it for their own selfish gain. What makes matters worse for the victim — usually men, in this case — is that it’s a non-bailable offence. And in the light of #MeToo, there have also been accounts of women levelling allegations of sexual impropriety that have turned out to be dubious. Keeping these things in mind, an events management firm is organising a peaceful, day-long protest at Azad Maidan this Saturday. It’s called #MenToo and is aimed at highlighting the issue of fake cases being filed against innocent, unsuspecting men. We are no one to judge the merit of one cause from another. You decide. A tricky musical terrain “We all know that lec-dems and workshops are a part and parcel of the Hindustani music scene..
                 

Mumbai: Chaos alert as BMC shuts old bridges in Juhu and Oshiwara

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Heavy traffic and jams continue to hassle commuters in the western suburbs as the BMC on Monday night shut another important connector at SV Road over the Oshiwara nullah in Jogeshwari. The bridge connects Jogeshwari to Goregaon and further the northern suburbs. Commuters will now be diverted on to Link road, which is already a traffic nightmare owing to the Metro Line IIA (Dahisar to DN Nagar) construction work. The civic body had earlier shut the bridge near the Guzderbandh junction on Juhu Tara Road. An alternative road through the SNDT College campus has, however, been thrown open here for vehicular traffic now from 7 am to 7 pm. Bridge over the Oshiwara nullah in Jogeshwari, that will be shut for repairs, sees heavy vehicular traffic through the day, The SNDT route might help curtail jams. Two female constables would be guarding this road though since SNDT is a women's college and around 300 hundred women live in the hostel here. The SNDT route will start on Juhu Tara road and end..
                 

The Dutch mystery: Mumbai man's 'abrupt run' makes him 'prime suspect' for Dutch cops

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
While desperate attempts are being made by the city police to trace Avdhut Shinde, the Dutch police have issued an international arrest warrant to nab him at the earliest after forensic examiners found a 'crucial' lead from the apartment he shared in the Netherlands with his wife Sharmila, where she was found mysteriously dead. Ever since he dropped off his children at his parents' home on May 18, Avdhut has been on the run. He is said to have been changing his locations possibly in Maharashtra and Gujarat. A senior Mumbai police officer said, "We are making all efforts to trace him." Now, the Dutch police have joined the hunt for Avdhut. An official from the Dutch police told mid-day that Sharmila's decomposed body was recovered from the first floor apartment the couple resided in with their children, located at Raspberry Street in the Hague, around 9 pm on May 21. Avdhut Shinde and Sharmila Shinde Also Read: The Dutch mystery: Saw injury marks on her, says woman's kin 'Found a c..
                 

Comic book aims to encourage parents have a healthy discussion on sex with kids

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Talking to your kid about sex can be daunting. But students of Khargar's Visual Communications at ITM Institute of Design and Media hope to make that conversation less awkward and more free flowing with the help of a brochure. Launched last month, the illustrative comic book titled Sex Talk is aimed at encouraging parents have a healthy discussion on the topic rather than shy away from it. Second-year student Kavya Acharya, who led the project, says the idea was to pick inherently uncomfortable topics that people avoid talking about or simply glaze over. "We picked sex education because it's so essential. As a child, it's about being aware so that no one takes advantage of you, and learning about your sexual preferences," she says. The brochure contains "talking sperms" and fictional characters with thought bubbles. The language has been consciously kept simple in order to make it relatable. While the emphasis is on the text, visuals add an element of fun. "When you're a child, a big p..
                 

8,000 hectares of mangroves destroyed, creeks blocked, highrises up on marshland in Uran

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Driving in Uran, a coastal town connected by the hip to Navi Mumbai, can be toxic for the lungs, especially if you have your car windows rolled down. A far cry from the erstwhile land of mangroves and wetlands — as seen in 'archival' images on Google — this dusty town is growing above its own rubble. At last count, the daily count of dumpers loading debris into Uran was 3,000, says environmentalist and member of the Bombay high court-appointed state mangrove committee, D Stalin. The rapid rate at which towering residential complexes, industrial and road and flyover projects are coming up in the coastal town, has transformed this once green lung of Raigad district into a wasteland, where mangroves are quickly dying due to unchecked landfilling activity. The ecological destruction has been compounded by unseasonal flooding, which according to locals, has been on for the last few years, but only gained attention earlier this year, when on the occasion of Holi, during high-tide..
                 

Thane: Cadbury junction flyover to remain open during the repairs

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The recent foot overbridge and bridge collapse incidents in the city have sent alarm bells ringing in the administration. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for instance, does not want to take any chances, and will fix the cracks that have developed in the Nitin Company-Cadbury junction flyover in Thane over the next few months. Officials told mid-day that there is no threat to the structure of the bridge, but added that they are wasting no time to ensure the cracks are repaired. MSRDC Chief Engineer Anilkumar Gaikwad said, "IIT-Bombay had carried out a structural audit of the flyover and submitted a report along with some recommendations. It states that there are cracks in some places. These will be repaired in the coming months." The MSRDC also wants to repair the Sion Circle flyover, but this is delayed. File pic Also read: Mumbai: Traffic hit on Juhu Tara road as another dangerous bridge shut Interestingly, when asked if the flyover, constructed in 1999..
                 

Shashi Tharoor gets bail in defamation case over scorpion remark on PM Narendra Modi

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Congress leader and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor was granted bail by a Delhi court in a defamation case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajeev Babbar over his "scorpion" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal asked Tharoor to furnish a personal bond of Rs 20,000. A #Delhi court granted bail to senior #Congress leader #ShashiTharoor in a #defamation case filed by #BJP leader #RajeevBabbar over his "scorpion" remark against Prime Minister #NarendraModi.Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/l7ga539a80 — IANS Tweets (@ians_india) June 7, 2019 Thereafter, the court listed the matter for July 25 for the recording of evidence in the case. Tharoor has appeared before the court in pursuance of summons issued against him on April 27. The court was hearing a criminal defamation complaint filed against Shashi Tharoor for his comment that Modi is "a scorpion seated on a Shivling" remark. Babbar, a BJP leader filed a compl..
                 

Mulund society secretary booked for animal cruelty

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Mulund police have filed an FIR against the secretary of a housing society on charges of animal cruelty. The secretary, identified as Jitu Chandani, allegedly ill-treated the animals and took away six of the 13 puppies that loitered around in the society. FIR registered The FIR was registered after a few residents of the society in Yogi Hills in Mulund filed a complaint on Saturday when six of the 13 puppies went missing last week. They searched for them for about 10 days and found two puppies tied to a trunk nearby. Also read: Anand Mahindra's tweet on 'Behave like animals' is winning the internet Jitu Chandani "While we were rescuing the two puppies, five unknown persons tried to stop us. They said they have to relocate the puppies as they have become nuisance to other members of the society," said Chandrakant Shah, another resident. Sweepers and watchmen who worked at the society put the lives of the animals at risk for money on Jitu's instructions, alleged Mayuri's advocat..
                 

Mumbai: Banganga revamp has turned our area into a dump, say locals

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The Banganga tank's makeover, which has been going on and off for the last two months, has made the lives of local residents miserable while making the heritage area look like a dump yard for debris. Locals have also opposed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) plan of laying basalt stones on the periphery of the pond. BMC had planned the beautification of the peripheral area after which they were going to take care of the pond, but the work still remains incomplete. The beautification work started around January, and in the months since, locals do not even have a good road to go home. With the monsoon approaching, several fear having to wade through muck after walking through plumes of dust for the past four months. Piles of construction material have been put in the area for the beautification work The locals have also raised questions over not being given any alternative road after the one used by senior citizens was completely destructed as part of the renovation work. In..
                 

Mumbai Crime: Former businessman partner slits man's throat, kills him

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
A 38-year-old former restaurant owner was brutally murdered in the wee hours of Tuesday at his home in Antop Hill. His neighbours on the seventh floor in Penta Galaxy's B Wing claimed they heard screaming and alerted the police. Anand Narayan was found lying in a pool of blood at his residence, following which he was rushed to Sion hospital where he was declared dead before admission, a police official said. Narayan was alone as his wife and 12-year-old daughter were out of town. Police said he had invested in a restaurant in Parel with his friend Sarang Patharkar, 40, three years back, but it later wound up. They said Patharkar, who ran it, allegedly owed Narayan money from the business and he kept pestering him to return it. On Monday night, Patharkar, accompanied by their friend Tambiselva Manikamm Devendra, 38, took Narayan drinking. All of them were drunk and went to his house later. Police said Patharkar then used a chopper to cut Narayan’s throat and later left with Tambi...
                 

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SoBo can't get all of Mumbai's water

2 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
In 2006 when Amla Ruia embarked upon a journey to fight drought in Rajasthan's Alwar district by constructing the first check dam in the region, about 500 villagers assembled, offering their labour. "It was so good to see they were ready to help themselves and end the water crisis," Ruia, also known as the Water Mother, shares. If only Mumbaikars shared the same consciousness and decided to take matters into their hands, she adds, as she begins to discuss the water problem the city is currently staring at. Ruia's plush Lower Parel home on the 35th floor of St Regis Hotel — her husband Ashok Ruia, who passed away in January, was the patriarch of the industrialist family that runs the hotel — overlooks the contrast of the co-existing Mumbai slums and skyscrapers. As we peer through her rain-soaked window, she explains how Maharashtra receives more rainfall than Rajasthan. "Mumbai, specifically, receives 90 inches of rain annually, whereas Rajasthan gets only 12 inches. There ..
                 

Mumbai Airport's Terminal 1-B launches Oasis Lounge

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
With an aim to provide world-class facilities to the passengers, Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) has launched an additional relax and dining facility – Oasis Lounge at domestic terminal, T1-B, Departures at Mumbai airport. The lounge is specially designed for stopover fliers waiting for their connecting or delayed flights and is available for passengers travelling throughout the day. The airport reaches out to 52 domestic destinations in India. Understanding that travel can be overwhelming for many, the lounge provides a perfect getaway for passengers looking to relax, unwind and yet experience luxurious dining at a reasonable price. In alignment with the detailing at the international airport, the lounge at Terminal 1-B is designed in a beautifully soft, yet rich multihued interior, with spacious couches, and intricate design. The lounge has a capacity to accommodate 45 patrons at one given point, but it is also efficient to accommodate 200 travellers during peak ho..
                 

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Mumbai: Loose iron scaffolding at GST office leaves bizman 'brain dead'

3 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
The negligence of the civic authorities has put a 35-year-old businessman on life support. Rahul Saraf was visiting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) office in Parel on Thursday when an iron scaffolding outside the building came crashing down on him due to the wind. Saraf, who sustained head injuries, was rushed to KEM Hospital by his business associate, Ajit Kumar Yadav, and his driver, who were with him when the accident happened around 2.45 pm. Later in the evening, his family shifted him to Global Hospital in Parel where his situation worsened. "Right now he is in vegetative state and doctors have told us that he is brain dead," said Hitesh Bhartiya, Saraf's close friend. Also Read: Mumbai: Sheet of Bandra's skywalk falls on commuters; three injured Rahul Saraf His wife, Roshni, had just boarded a flight to Gujarat when she was informed about Saraf's accident. She deplaned and rushed to the hospital. Saraf, director of commodity trading firm Maxgrow India Limited, had gone to t..
                 

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BMC rakes in lakhs through fines for dumping trash in nullahs

4 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Dumping trash in nullahs has cost hundreds of city residents Rs 200 each since last week. According to the civic body, the nuisance detection squads started fining people after spreading awareness for a week and have so far collected a total of Rs 1,27,500 from four of the 24 municipal wards. The highest number of people were fined in M East ward , from where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has collected Rs 83,000. The squads in G South have collected R24,000, F North R11,000 and N ward R9,500, said senior officials citing the date collected so far. BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has said the aim of the drive is to bring about change in people's attitude towards sanitation. He said the BMC's main focus is areas around slums and near nullahs as people living there are the major reason for the problem. Also Read: Cyclone Vayu: Avoid shoreline areas, warns Mumbai Police and BMC Disaster Management File pic "I have asked the Solid Waste Management Department to increas..
                 

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Esplanade should be fixed, not demolished, say heritage committee

5 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Preserve, said members of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee unanimously, during their meeting on Wednesday, regarding the future of the iconic Esplanade Mansion in South Mumbai. After months of discussions and the MHADA urging its demolition, the building, which is a part of a World Heritage Site, had its power supply cut off last week. MHADA officials, on Wednesday, also broke open all the locks of the shops/offices in the building and will now lock the main gates. During their meeting, members of the MHCC discussed the findings mentioned in the structural stability report submitted by IIT Bombay. One of the members, on condition of anonymity, said, "There was a unanimous agreement that the building is unique and it has certain characteristics that are not replicated in any other residential building in the entire city. Demolishing it would mean a loss to the city," he said. Esplanade Mansion is part of a World Heritage Site in Fort, South Mumbai All the members at the discus..
                 

Smriti Irani's latest post has a life lesson for all of us and is a must-see!

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
BJPs giant killer Smriti Irani, who is well known for her wit and humour is back on social media and her heartwarming posts are winning the internet once again. From wishing BFF Ekta Kapoor on her birthday with an adorable pic to joking about her weight gain in the quirkiest manner, Smriti is no stone unturned to prove why she is undoubtedly the 'Queen' of social media.       View this post on Instagram Life begins where your comfort zone ends ... ❤ï¸Â A post shared by Smriti Irani (@smritiiraniofficial) onJun 10, 2019 at 9:46am PDT Smriti Irani, who rules the social media game like no other, this time rather shared a calm and composed picture of herself where she is seen in deep thoughts. And it's her poised and poignant post that is winning the internet. Smriti shared a monochrome picture of herself on Instagram and captioned it: Life begins where your comfort zone ends. A screengrab of Ekta Kapoor's comment on Smriti I..
                 

Mumbai: Bad roads this year, too at Aarey Colony

6 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
While the tribal hamlet inside Aarey Milk Colony may soon have its electricity and water woes resolved, good roads remain a far-fetched dream. With the monsoon already setting in, many crucial roads inside Aarey colony leading to the tribal hamlet are yet to be repaired. One such 400-metre stretch has at least 200 potholes, even before the rains have begun, and the situation is likely to become worse, locals fear. Residents of Aarey Milk Colony have been complaining of the bad roads and the inconvenience they cause every day. "We have been staying here for decades but the internal roads in Aarey going towards unit 18 and 15 from Lotus lake have not been repaired yet. The 400-metre stretch is extremely uneven. Senior citizens and children who use this road daily face the most inconvenience," Imran Udat from unit number 18, told mid-day. The road connecting tribal hamlet Chafyacha pada and Kelti pada is in shambles. It also leads to around eight to ten cattle farms. Tribal leader Prakas..
                 

Mumbai: Esplanade holds key to heritage tag for whole precinct

7 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Even as the Bombay High Court is yet to take a final decision on the fate of the Esplanade Mansion, bringing down the 150-year-old building could rob a cluster of others in Fort of the title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which they received in June 2018. UNESCO told mid-day that if Esplanade Mansion is demolished, they are likely to send a team to evaluate whether the remaining cluster of buildings deserves to retain the inscription of 'Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai'. Esplanade happens to be the third site in the city with the tag, following the Elephanta Caves and CSMT. In the ongoing legal case, MHADA submitted a notice of motion in HC last month asking for permission to demolish Esplanade based on recommendations made by IIT-Bombay in their structural audit report. UNESCO says Considering the possibility of the demolition, mid-day reached out to Eric Falt, director of the UNESCO Cluster office in New Delhi to inquire about the possible repercussions of s..
                 

'Villainous' fathers at home and the Centre

8 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Last week, I spent a day acting in a music video. The song picturised is from the EP that my son Barun's psychedelic rock band, SkyEyes, released in February (you can stream it on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, etc). The song, Letter to My Father, traverses a spectrum of emotions including rage, frustration and imploration: it starts with a screaming "Why are you like this?" and ends with the gentle "Papa, won't you smile today?" Barun did not write it; his guitarist did, based on a life experience of marrying against his father's choice. The song's sentiment, however, is full-throatedly endorsed by the entire band if their performance is any indication. I'm the only real-life father to play a reel-life father in this video. The other three "fathers" were actual actors. One was a bassist in an ancient Indian rock band who had earned his living playing the villain in several Bengali films. The second teaches drama at the same school where the guitarist holds a day job. The third is a..
                 

SSC 10th result 2019: Pass percentage across Maharashtra show 12.3 pc drop

9 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
AS the SSC results were declared on Saturday, a huge dip in the overall pass percentage has led to major debate and discussion in the education sector. Whether it is due to the changed curriculum, different pattern of examination or due to lack of internal assessment, which gave guaranteed 20 marks to most students, teachers and educationists are raising valid questions. Parents too have expressed disappointment that state-board candidates will lag in competition for class XI admissions, when compared to non-state board students. The overall pass percentage has seen a major drop in the last seven years. Maharashtra has recorded a pass percentage of 77.1 this year, which is a huge dip of 12.31% from last year's 89.41. The Mumbai division of state board, which ranks fifth in total nine divisions, has shown no improved performance. The overall pass percentage for Mumbai division has dropped to 77.04% from last year's 90.41%, a drop of 13.37%. Maharashtra state education minister, Vinod Ta..
                 

Mumbai: City's water levels down to less than 10 per cent of total stock

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
With the monsoon delayed, the water stock for the city has dipped to 1,23,632 million litres in the seven reservoirs that supply it. It is less than 10% of the total reservoir holding capacity, 14.47 lakh million litres. The total stock of water available last year on June 7 was 2,56,900 million litres. But as the reserve stock taken from the state government-owned reservoir (upper Vaitarna) is helping keep the city afloat, the civic administration is not likely to implement any further water cuts. Last year, the city had enough water - 2,56,100 million litres - to last till July 31 without the need for the reserve stock. But, this time, levels have been on the dip, as the city is currently being supplied about 3,500 million litres of water every day (MLD) after implementing a 10% water cut. The city is usually supplied 3,800 MLD. Also read: Mumbai lakes have the lowest water levels in the last 3 years Reserves being usedAlarmingly, the reserve stock from the Upper Vaitarna reserv..
                 

Mumbai: City mountaineer revisits near-death experience in the Everest jam

10 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Among all the stories of deaths, 'traffic jams' and gloom on Mount Everest this climbing season, is also a story of victory. Mumbai's Parth Upadhyaya, 24, who gave up his aviation maintenance engineering job offer to accomplish his lifelong dream, reached the Everest summit on May 23. While Upadhyaya had a successful expedition, he also witnessed horrifying deaths in the process, along with the maddening rush of people from across the world wanting to reach the summit. Despite all odds and uncertainties that stared him in the face, the Mahim resident returned home last week making his parents – businessman father Pratik, 54, mother Dipal, 50, and brother Arya, 19, proud of his feat. Also read: 'Traffic jam' on Everest; 2 more die Upadhyaya had nine years ago also read a news report about a 16-year-old boy from Noida climbing the Everest. This inspired the then 15-year-old. A BSc (aircraft maintenance engineering) graduate, Upadhyaya is employed as a trek leader with a Mumbai-bas..
                 

Smriti Irani wishes BFF Ekta Kapoor on her birthday with an adorable pic

11 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
After her historic win in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJPs giant killer Smriti Irani, who is well known for her wit and humour is back on social media and winning the internet once again. On the eve of her best friend Ekta Kapoor's birthday, Smriti Irani took to Instagram and shared an adorable picture of the birthday girl.       View this post on Instagram You brighten our lives with your smile, you strengthen our resolve with your support no matter what battles lie ahead, your belief that time will heal all wounds and do justice helped me sail through many turbulent phases, your conversations with God ... there are many ways for us in the Irani family to describe you but words won’t be enough 🙏Happy Birthday @ektaravikapoor rockstar Maasi , anchor , friend ❤️❤️❤️❤️ A post shared by Smriti Irani (@smritiiraniofficial) onJun 6, 2019 at 9:03pm PDT In the pic, Ekta Kapoor, who turned 44 today, is seen sharing a warm hug with her brother T..
                 

Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence 6-A Krishna Menon Marg is Amit Shah's new address

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah is likely to be allotted a government accommodation which was earlier with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee since 2004 till his death last year. Shah's new address 6-A Krishna Menon Marg in central Delhi comes under Special Protection Group (SPG) umbrella. "The official bungalow of former Prime Minister Vajpayee on Krishna Menon Marg has been allotted to the Home Minister," a source said. After BJP's defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Vajpayee had moved to the Krishna Menon Marg bungalow and stayed there with his family for nearly 14 years. Earlier, as a member of Rajya Sabha, Shah was allocated 11, Akbar Road in central Delhi. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah comes under "high threat perception" among other senior leaders of the party. In pic: BJP president Amit Shah takes oath as Union Minister at the swearing-in ceremony. Nearly a week ago, BJP president Amit Shah took oath as a Union Minister under PM Narendra Modi'..
                 

Mumbai: Babu slammed for railway la la land picture

12 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
It seemed as if Railway Board Member Rolling Stock, Rajesh Agrawal, was in an ideal, fairy railway land on his Mumbai visit on Wednesday. Contrary to complaints of commuters, he declared at a press conference what could only be in his land of make believe, that all suburban trains in Mumbai, including those on harbour line, were new and well-maintained, the harbour line had improved, and stations were spic and span. He also said there was no shortage of new trains. This is exactly the opposite of what commuters have been complaining about. While the harbour line has a few sets of old trains, the trans-harbour line has all old trains. Railway Board Member, Rolling Stock, Rajesh Agrawal (centre) at the press conference 'Complaints probably false' "The complaints of Mumbai commuters obviously do not seem to be true. I have been a Mumbai boy and have come here after a long time and find a lot of change. Trains are new, the harbour line has improved, and the stations are spic and span. For ..
                 

Jiggs Kalra (May 1948 - June 2019): He made food trendy way before it was

13 days ago  
News / Mid-Day/ National  
When AD Singh speaks of the charm of Jiggs Kalra, 71, —who passed away in Delhi on Tuesday — we realise it must have taken honing. Ad man and once owner of Bandra’s Papa Pancho, Prahlad Kakkar said he had quite a personality and wore many hats — food journalist, television anchor, restaurant consultant, restaurateur and culinary director at Massive Restaurants. At 71, the “taste maker to the nation” and “czar of Indian cuisine” — titles conferred on him by the late Khushwant Singh — passed away in Delhi on Tuesday. One of the first food writers of the country, Kalra worked passionately to put Indian food on the global map. Ad man Kakkar, who, who spent time with him during their early days in Mumbai, says, “We were lukkhas when we met in Bombay. He was a trainee at The Times of India and I was a rookie with Shyam Benegal. Both of us were broke. We had a great desire to befriend women, but we knew our faces were never goi..