|2011-06-30||No town planner at Ulhasnagar for six months|
Six months ago, the town planner of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation, AP Gurgule had been arrested and suspended. The post has been vacant since then. Development works in the city have been stopped, and even repairing permissions are hard to come by. Commissioner Ashok Rankhamb said,
“The list of pending works is increasing day by day. I have written to the state government and requested them to give us a town planner.”
Besides this, many residents in unauthorised constructions penalised under UMC rules are still awaiting authorisation certificates after paying lakhs of rupees in fines. Several Ulhasnagar residents have been turned away without permission for simple repair works on the pretext there is no town planner.
Mayor Rajashri Choudhari said: “A multi-speciality Hospital, Joy Park, and many other projects were held up. I have met with the urban development department and requested it to appoint a town planner as soon as possible.”
|2011-06-18||15-year-old takes out dad's car for a spin, injure|
ULHASNAGAR: The Ulhasnagar police arrested a 15-year-old boy hailing from a local business family in an incident of rash driving, in which six people were injured on Friday.
According to the police, the boy rammed the Swift he was driving into a shop selling cellphones in Shanti Nagar around 5 pm. His 15-year-old friend who was in the car, the shop's owner and customers, were among those who were injured in the accident. Sunil Vishwakarma (35), a customer, sustained a fracture on his left leg, while shop owner Geeta Mishra (55) and her son, Durgesh, sustained minor injuries.
"The boy was speeding on Dolphin Road when he tried to turn toward Ulhasnagar. The car skidded and rammed into the shop," said Ram Pandey, a resident who witnessed the accident. Pandey and other residents rescued the injured, and rushed Vishwakarma, who was covered in blood, to a nearby hospital and informed the cops. The police reached spot within a few minutes and arrested the minor. The car, which is registered in the name of the boy's father, has been seized.
The police claimed that the minor lives in the Gol Maidan area in Ulhasnagar and his father, Uttam Singhani, is involved in several businesses in Ulhasnagar.
"The boy's family members said they were unaware that he had taken the car's key from the house," said sub-inspector Dilip Ghughe. Both the minors have been booked under Sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code and section 184 (driving dangerously) of the Motor Vehicles Act.
In May, the Supreme Court had in a case ordered that the vehicle's owner is liable to pay compensation for any accident if the vehicle is driven by a minor.
|2011-06-15||Now, Ulhasnagar to install CCTVs at crematoriums|
ULHASNAGAR: After Manjarli crematorium in Badlapur installed CCTV cameras and aired the last rites on the Badlapur-Kulgaon Council's website, BJP members are planning to start a similar facility at the two crematoriums in Ulhasnagar. Party officials said that they would use the MLA's fund to buy the cameras.
The crematoriums, at Shanti Nagar and Dhobhighat, will have CCTVs which will be linked to the central server at the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation's headquarters. This will enable anyone in the world to witness the last rites.
''We were inspired by the Badlapur-Kulgaon municipal council's move. So we too decided to set up cameras in Ulhasnagar,'' said MLA Kumar Ailani. ''There are many families who have relatives abroad and most of the time they are unable to make it for a funeral. This facility will enable them to watch the ceremony online,'' he added.
The facility will benefit Hindu women who, as per law, are not allowed to attend funerals. With this they will be able to watch the last rites at home itself. Families will not have to pay anything to avail this service. It will take about two months to begin, said Ailani.
|2011-06-11||Demand to regularise illegal structures rejected|
PUNE: The state government has rejected the demand of the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to regularise 1.6 lakh unauthorised constructions in the township.
As per PCMC's proposal, owners of illegal constructions would now have to pay annual penalties, except if owners of such properties are able to produce building permissions, in which case the PCMC would regularise the construction. If the proposal to levy the annual fine is implemented, the PCMC hopes to get an estimated amount of nearly Rs 10 crore per year by way of fines, officials said.
The issue of levying penalties on unauthorised constructions has been pending since the last six months. While the state government has issued directives to all municipal corporations that penalties in the form of fines be imposed on the owners of all unauthorised constructions, PCMC had urged the state to regularise all such constructions as has been done in the case of Ulhasnagar. However, the demand was turned down.
The property tax department, PCMC, has said constructions are termed "unauthorised" because the owners have not been able to provide the necessary building permissions. In the Pimpri Chinchwad township, there are three separate institutions which issue building permissions - the MIDC, the Pimpri Chinchwad New Township Development Authority and the PCMC. "If the building permissions are produced by the owners, the tag of unauthorised would automatically be removed," the officials added.
As per the municipal corporation's proposal, all unauthorised constructions would have to pay a penalty every year until the construction is regularised by PCMC. The penalty would be equivalent to the amount of property tax paid by the owner every year. The proposal states that the objective of imposing the fine is to deter citizens from building unauthorised constructions. However, before levying the fines, the corporation would issue notices to the owners concerned to produce the necessary building permission. Also, the PCMC has made it clear that levying a penalty on the unauthorised construction does not mean that it has been regularised.
During a meeting in Pune on Monday, mayor Yogesh Behl and deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar assured corporators that a meeting would be held with T C Benjamin, principal secretary, urban development department, to discuss the subject of regularisation of unauthorised constructions.
Manav Kamble, president, Nagari Hakka Suraksha Samiti, said, "The state has issued a government resolution giving guidelines to regularise unauthorised religious places. So it should also regularise the unauthorised constructions within the PCMC limits. The state should not apply different sets of rules for regularising the unauthorised constructions in Ulhasnagar and Pimpri Chinchwad."
Speaking to TOI, Ashok Sonavane, group leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party corporators, PCMC, said, "The BJP supports the demand for regularisation of illegal structures. The Congress-led state government rejected PCMC's demand, since it does not want to give the credit to its junior alliance partner Nationalist Congress Party."
|2011-06-09||17-year-old killed in freak mishap at Ulhasnagar|
THANE: A bus passenger, Neelam Shelar (17), was struck by a speeding truck on Wednesday when she stuck her neck out of the window to vomit.
The girl was on her way to a marriage function with her relatives when the accident occurred at Ulhasnagar. Neelam was rushed to Central Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. The truck driver, Rajkumar Motiram Chavan (23), has been arrested.
A bus passenger, Neelam Shelar (17), was struck by a speeding truck, on Wednesday, when she stuck her neck out from the window to vomit.
|2011-06-08||Murder accused lives king-size in prison ward|
It is no secret that while behind bars, resourceful prisoners often lead comfortable lives, with all kinds of luxuries well within their reach. And now, here is irrefutable proof.
A 12-minute video shot by Mumbai Mirror shows how an undertrial manages to get admitted in a state hospital and enjoys free access to every kind of luxury imaginable. Worse, he even brags about it.
Mahesh Ahuja, 40, a businessman from Ulhasnagar was arrested in April this year for allegedly killing his wife Bhavna Ahuja, 36. Initially, Central police station had registered a case of suicide assuming that she had shot herself.
Couple of days later, their 15-year-old son told the cops that he had seen his father shoot his mother after a bitter argument. Ahuja was arrested and later shifted to Adharwadi prison in Kalyan, a facility for undertrials.
After spending over a month in prison, Ahuja got himself admitted to the state-run Central Hospital in Ulhasnagar as he complained of ill health on May 4 and has been under ‘treatment’ since then.
Dr J R Nimbore, superintendent of Central Hospital told Mumbai Mirror that Ahuja was under treatment for hyper tension, chest pain, and swollen liver. “His blood pressure is now under control. We have kept him under observation for swollen liver and chest pain. Once we are sure of his recovery, we will send him back,” he said.
As we found out, Ahuja is not only allowed visitors at all times, he also has access to almost everything a free citizen could afford.
On Monday we sent in one such visitor with a spy camera and here’s what we found. Inside the 150-square-feet prison ward Ahuja was sitting on the bed with saline tubes attached to his right hand. His 15-year-old son - prime witness against him - was playing a video game on the bed next to his. Visitors greeted him and asked him about his health.
“I am healthy as ever. There is no trouble as such. Inside the jail there is no dearth of food or other facilities, as long as you are willing to pay. I have eaten a lot of bananas to stay healthy in prison. You just have to pay Rs 100 per banana. My brothers are extremely well off and they pay for all the facilities while I am inside,” Ahuja bragged to his visitors.
1. A cheerful Ahuja talks to visitors 2. A bottle of cola can be seen in foreground 3. Ahuja talks on a mobile phone that he had hid under his left sleeve and while being filmed, he received three calls 4. Ahuja’s son plays video game on the next bed
And then he went on to add, that at the hospital, there is “no limit to what he can get”. “Life is better here. I get alcohol, meat, home-cooked food and even women if I feel like. I just have to pay for it. Fortunately my family is loaded enough to take care of me even when I am behind bars,” said Ahuja whose family is into automobile dealership and also own a few petrol pumps in Ulhasnagar.
Not surprisingly, Ahuja also had a cellphone hidden under his left sleeve and while he was being filmed, he received three calls. While talking to the first two callers he went soft. The third call was from his mother, who had called to tell him that his food had been delivered. Ahuja instructed his son to go fetch the “dabba” from a meat shop in the vicinity. His son got up and walked out of the ward.
During the time Ahuja was seen talking freely on his cellphone, the cop posted at the door did not even bother to confiscate the phone. “I have taken care of all of them. They will never stop me from doing whatever I feel like,” Ahuja was heard telling his visitors.
At no point during the conversation did Ahuja look unwell. Rather, he was chatting, laughing and bragging about how money could buy him anything.
When Mumbai Mirror contacted UT Pawar, superintendent of Adharwadi jail, he initially refused to divulge any details of under trials. On being asked as to how a prisoner had access to such luxuries he said, “When an undertrial complains of medical prosblems, we get him examined. If our doctor advises hospitalisation, we simply escort him to the hospital and from there on it is the local police station which is responsible for his security. The guards at the hospital are not ours.”
However, Sanjay Surve, senior inspector of Central police station, which is investigating the case, denied that security at the hospital was his responsibility since it was under his jurisdiction.
“The cops posted at the prisoner ward are from the prison and not ours,” he said, adding, “The case hinges on his son’s testimony. If the son is allowed into his ward and mingle with him, he may retract his statement.”
|2011-06-08||Acting on a hunch, alert cops nab man who cried bo|
At 10.30 pm on Monday, two GRP cops were listening to their wireless phone when they heard about a bomb scare on Golden Temple Mail stationed at Borivali station.
They heard that 60-odd railway police and RPF officials, along with two sniffer dogs, were checking every coach of the train for the bomb after a caller alerted them. It was soon found to be a hoax call.
Acting on a hunch, the duo - assisstant sub-inspector B Mane and police constable D Chavan - inquired about the phone number from which the call was made.
To their disbelief, it turned out to be the same as the one given to them by a thankful commuter who they had helped a few minutes ago at Andheri Station after he fell ill.
In the meantime, that very commuter - Ulhasnagar resident Mukesh Khubchandani - was sitting smugly at seat number 39 of Golden Temple Mail's A/C coach A-2. He had finally managed to catch the train to Ambala. All it took was a hoax call.
But soon the cops were onto him and he was arrested after some quick investigation work.
Mukesh Khubchandani (centre) was taken into custody by GRP officers at Borivali station on Monday night
Act of desperation
Senior police inspector (Borivali GRP) PM Karyakarte, "Khubchandani was at Dadra when he realised that he will not be able to catch the train at Mumbai Central. So he decided to board the train from Borivali for which he took a fast local. But, as the train was approaching Andheri he fell ill and his co-passengers helped him alight and sought the help of the railway police."
"Mane and Chavan helped Khubchandani and even offered to take him to a nearby hospital. He, however, told them that he was feeling better and has to leave for Borivali immediately. He also said that he was in a hurry to catch the Golden Temple Mail. Thanking the two cops, he gave them his mobile number and a written statement that he was feeling better," Karyakarte said.
"On his way to Borivali, he saw Golden Temple crossing them and out of desperation called the police control room and told them that 'there is a bomb on the Mail'," Karyakarte added.
By the time the Mail reached Borivali station, it was swarmed by RPF and railway officials and there was panic among the passengers who found out about the bomb scare.
"On hearing the wireless message on the bomb threat, Mane and Chavan alerted us about Khubchandani, who, they said, kept saying that he has to board the train by all means. We cross-checked the hoax caller's number with the one given to Mane and Chavan by Khubchandani; they turned out to be the same," Karyakarte added.
"The two officers immediately rushed to Borivali to identify the caller and we started going through the passenger list to track Khubchandani down. He was picked up from coach A2. On questioning, he admitted to making the call and was arrested," Karyakarte added.
Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Rajendra Rupnawar said, "Khubchandani's hoax call delayed the train by around three hours. This is the 11th bomb hoax we have received in six months this year and two arrests have been made so far."
Railway officials from WR told Mumbai Mirror that Khubchandani's mindless act not only threw Golden Temple Mail's schedule competely out of gear but also delayed 18 other trains.
|2011-06-03||What is a bookie doing with Suresh Raina|
Stand-in captain Suresh Raina’s visit to Shirdi immediately after the IPL seems to be attracting eyeballs for all the wrong reasons. First, it was the presence of Union heavy industries minister Praful Patel’s daughter Poorna with him that had tongues wagging. Now, it is the cricketer’s picture with the man in white shirt holding his arm that is likely to get him in trouble. The man is Deepak Naraini, alias Balaji, a notorious bookie, who was arrested in 2002 and 2008. Raina is currently in the West Indies.
This is not Raina’s first brush with a bookie. The left-handed batsman was seen in the company of a woman linked to an associate of an illegal bookmaker during India’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2009. However, a senior ICC source had then said that the incident was probed and Raina had done nothing wrong. Raina’s presence with Balaji will again raise questions of an alleged cricketer-bookie nexus.
Balaji, a resident of Ulhasnagar, ran a small chocolate manufacturing unit till 1985 before he befriended Anil Jaisinghani, who ran a local newspaper called Atom. “They are now big players and are feared and respected for their closeness to political heavyweights in the region,” an acquaintance of the duo told DNA.
The duo’s penchant for flashy clothes, expensive cars, sunglasses and perfumes became the talk of town in Ulhasnagar. Later, they set up two books: Rajdhani & Dipu Balaji.
“And once they tied up with international syndicates, there was no looking back at all,” said a fellow newspaper owner. The duo would contact students studying abroad, ask them for their credit cards and pay them nearly Rs50,000 per month. They used the credit cards to do business with online betting majors like Ladbrokes and Betfair. “They would use these cards for their dealings for which money would be transferred via hawala,” a source pointed out.
Luck ran out for the duo when they were arrested along with eight bookies in 2002 during a raid by the then Ulhasnagar ACP Amar Jadhav. Once out on bail, they were back to their game. Six years later, in May 2008, they were arrested again for running a betting racket. Again in September 2009, Jaisinghani was arrested from hotel Avion near the Mumbai airport for allegedly operating a betting racket. “They are dangerous people and will never forget a grudge,” the newspaper owner said.
Following their rise in the betting world, the duo became greedy and wanted more. Their relation was such that they even bought vehicles of the same make and colour. Their toys included a Mercedes Benz, an Audi and Fortuner SUV. They also became followers of Shirdi’s Sai Baba and would frequently visit the pilgrim town.
Realising the business potential of the booming tourism economy, both set up Rs20 crore, 50,000 sq feet hotels across each other on the Nagar Manmad road barely two kilometres from the temple. While Deepak’s hotel is called Saisimran, his senior partner’s hotel is called Shiv Sai. Two months ago, Deepak bought another hotel – Regency – opposite the temple too, for an undisclosed sum. Together, the partners have also invested in three land parcels worth Rs40 crore, barely 0.5 km from the temple.
Known for his temper Jaisinghani has also procured two arms licences. While one is in his father Bhagwandas’s name, the other is in his wife Karishma’s name. “The latter was issued by then Thane CP SPS Yadav on the last day before his retirement,” a source said, adding “this shows his clout.”