|2011-07-25||Residents manhandle ward officer in Ulhasnagar|
Refusing to let civic officials seal their shops and houses in Shish Mahal - an illegal structure that has become dangerous -- shopkeepers and residents allegedly assaulted Manish Hire, ward officer of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC), who was supervising the proceedings on Friday. An
offence has been registered against the residents.
Manish Hire said, "When I went to seal the building, residents of the building assaulted me physically. Despite warning them that it is for safety of their lives, they forcibly drove me out of the spot."
Four months ago, illegal repair and plaster work was carried out at the building in Camp No 2. As the compressor snapped the earlier cement concrete, the structure could not hold the weight and the vibrations of the compressor. Consequently, three slabs of the building gave way killing nine people, including seven children and two women.
Ashok Rankhamb, commissioner, UMC, said: "During the inquiry, it was revealed that the building was illegal. The developer had not submitted the plan and had also not sought the permissions required under the BPMC Act. For the repair work too, they did not seek permission from the civic body and did not conduct a structural audit."
"Our technical experts have carried out the structural audit of Shish Mahal. The report clearly mentions that the building is dangerous and not safe for living. We will be sending another officer to seal the building," he said.
The residents, however, beg to differ. Manish Khatri, resident, said, "We too have got the structural audit of our building done from a private agency. The report states that the building is not dangerous and we can reside in it. We will not leave the place come what may."
|2011-07-21||Fake document racket busted in Ulhasnagar, 4 held|
The Ulhasnagar crime investigation unit team has busted a racket involving fake educational as well as government documents, which includes SSC, HSC and final year mark sheets, income certificates, caste certificates, PAN cards, senior citizen ID cards and so on. Inspector Shivajirao
Deshmukh, Ulhasangar crime investigation unit, said, “The police received a tip-off that one Yogesh Vinayak Joshi, 34, residing at Abhishek apartments in Premnagar Tekdi, Ulhasnagar, was running a fake documents business at Mahalaxmi Estate Agents in Mahavir Complex. Our team raided the place and arrested Joshi. On searching the premises, we found 40 duplicate senior citizen cards, 24 duplicate PAN cards, HSC, SSC, Mumbai University mark sheets, a computer, scanner and printer.”
The accused confessed to his crime and also revealed the names of his three accomplices who helped bring in customers. Police arrested Ramesh Kondiba Gaikwad, 46, Suresh Sadhu Umaap, 47, and Sanjay Sitaram Fulore, 35, a primary school teacher.
Police said the accused had a simple modus operandi.
He used to scan all original government and education department documents.
Then, using his knowledge of computers, he would expertly delete the name and address on the original documents and when customer came to him, he would fill that person’s name in the blank spaces. He used to charge between Rs 5,000 and 50,000 for these duplicate documents. The police said the racket was active in Thane, Raigad and Palghar districts.
|2011-07-17||Blast felled pillar of support for family|
At 61, Lalchand Ahuja wanted to carry on with his imitation jewellery trade
At 61, Lalchand Ahuja had no plans to retire. Every morning, he worked at a neighbourhood shop in distant Ulhasnagar, Thane district. In the afternoon he would set off for Zaveri Bazaar with the day's consignment of imitation jewellery, and return home late in the evening. He has been doing this for 35 years.
But no more, as he was among the victims of Wednesday's Zaveri Bazaar blast.
“Father was a pillar of support for the family. He earned Rs. 4,500 a month. It was good enough to run the house. He did not want to stop working. ‘What will I do at home?' he would say,” Kumar Ahuja, son of Mr. Ahuja, told The Hindu.
The senior Ahuja lost his life on the spot. “There was a wound on the front portion of his head and one side was black, but I could recognise him,” said Mr. Kumar Ahuja.
“I was in Panvel [Navi Mumbai]. When I heard the news of the blasts, I called him on his phone, but there was no answer. Around 7.30 p.m., I received a call from a doctor at St. George's Hospital saying father was seriously hurt and whether I could come immediately. When I reached the hospital with my friend, they made us sit, offered us some water and showed us the body.”
Bringing Mr. Ahuja's body from Mumbai to Thane district entailed some extra procedures, which were performed in the night. It was taken from St. George's to the Kasturba Hospital for a no-objection certificate and then to the JJ Hospital for post-mortem. When it was finally time to take the body home, Mr. Kumar Ahuja did not have Rs. 2,500 with him to pay for the ambulance service. “I had to borrow from a cousin. I did not have the money and I had left my ATM card at home,” he said.
The senior Ahuja is survived by his wife and three young children. His daughter Jyoti Ahuja could hardly say a complete sentence. Grief writ large on her face, she recalled her father as a man whose work defined him.
“He was simple, that's all. He worked from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. He did not do anything else. He went to Zaveri Bazaar alone and came back alone,” she said.
With Mr. Ahuja's loss, the family's already poor means have been squeezed further. “Father had many financial worries. I earn a small amount myself, but now I have to do something,” Mr. Kumar Ahuja said. The urgency for him was never so much as it is now.
|2011-07-17||Man booked for outraging corporators modesty|
An FIR has been registered against Hanuman Patil (40) after a woman corporator of the Panvel Municipal Corporation accused him of outraging her modesty.
The corporator was going to her house in Khanda Colony when Patil stopped her auto and demanded that she get off. When she refused, he allegedly assaulted her.
4 held in fake certificate racket: The Ulhasnagar crime branch arrested four persons were arrested in Ulhasnagar in a bogus certificate racket. The accused have been identified as Yogesh Joshi (34), Rajesh Gaikwad (48), Suresh Sadhu alias Yuva (47) and Sanjay Fulare (35). According to Shivajirao Deshmukh, senior police inspector, "The gang members had original certificates scanned on their computer and would use them to prepare fake documents and sell them."
|2011-07-17||Fake PAN card seller gang busted|
Crime branch busts fake document racket that would sell PAN cards for a lakh, college certificates and mark sheets for Rs 50,000
The crime branch of Ulhasnagar police has busted a racket involved in the printing and selling of PAN cards, ration cards, voter ID cards, mark sheets, degree and leaving certificates (HSC and SSC) and senior citizen identity cards. The police arrested four people, including a schoolteacher in the matter, last week.
The police with the fake documents
On Friday, Shivajirao Deshmukh, Senior Inspector, Crime branch, informed the media of the arrest of the accused, identified as Yogesh Vinayak Joshi (34), Ramesh Kondiba Gaikwad (46), Suresh Sadhu Umap alias Buva (47) and Sanjay Sitaram Phulore (35).
Acting on a tip off, the crime branch team laid a trap at Mahalaxmi Estate Agent, Mahavir palace, Ulhasnagar-5. They recovered more than 40 PAN cards, 43 senior citizen identity cards, computers, a scanner, a printer and other materials used to print the documents. The seized articles, in various stages of completion, are worth Rs 2 lakh. The accused would sell the school certificates (leaving certificate and marksheet) for Rs 1 lakh, while the fake cards would be sold for Rs 50,000 each.
The accused were involved in this racket for a year. Police are now looking for the people who sought fake certificates and documents from the gang.
"We have arrested the accused under section 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (acts done by several persons) of IPC," said Deshmukh.
Joshi, Gaikwad and Buva are residents of Ulhasnagar and Phulore, a teacher by profession, is a resident of Ambernath.
|2011-07-15||17 funerals, bereaved mourn the loss of their love|
Tushar Shah, 40, and Sandeep Shah, 38, were standing together when a blast ripped through Opera House on Wednesday evening. No one knows if they were acquaintances or merely two people pushed together in a crowded place. But 15 minutes later, once the smoke settled, their bodies were found lying
next to each other.
A devastated city, which witnessed 17 funerals on Thursday, saw citizens reach out to each other in times of pain.
“We are looking for Sandeep's family so that we can just talk to them and stand with them through their tough time,” said Varsha Shorff, Tushar’s sister-in-law.
In Ulhasnagar, three children mourned the loss of their father Lalchand Ahuja, 61, who was found with nine Rs5-lakh lottery tickets in his wallet. “He bought the tickets hoping to win enough money to marry off my two sisters,” said Kumar, his son.
Several dreams breathed their last in the blasts. Premraj Soni, 45, was to go to Jodhupur to organsie his daughter's November wedding, but the Zaveri Bazaar blast cut that dream short.
Several such heart-rending stories echoed across the city as people readjusted their lives to yet another attack.
|2011-07-15||The familys future seems bleak|
Eighteen-year-old Geeta Ahuja will never forget Wednesday’s blast at Zaveri Bazaar. For, she lost her father, the sole breadwinner of her family, Lalchand Radhakishan Ahuja, 61, a resident of Sunaar Gali in Ulhasnagar, to it. Kishanchand Mirchandani, employer of Lalchand Ahuja, said: “For
the last 12 years, Lalchand Ahuja worked with our imitation jewellery firm in Ulhasnagar. He would handle the purchase and delivery section.”
On Wednesday, Ahuja went to deliver an order at Zaveri Bazaar. “After finishing the work, he called me to ask if I wanted something from town,” said Mirchandani.
As the news of bomb blasts broke, despite several frantic calls by Mirchandani and Ahuja’s family, his cellphone remained unreachable. “Around 6.25pm, we got a call from someone who told us that Ahuja was seriously injured and had been taken to St George Hospital,” said Mirchandani. On reaching the hospital, Ahuja was found to be dead. Ahuja is survived by Jyoti, 24, who suffers from a neural disease, Geeta and son Kumar 20. “The future of his family seems bleak. No one can compensate for the loss.”
|2011-07-15||Heavy rains shower miseries on Thane|
THANE: Heavy rains and winds swept across Thane on Thursday, disrupting normal life and affecting rail and road transport network due to flooding at Kalwa, Dombvili, Kalyan and Thane while causing a wall collapse and power cuts in certain pockets in the lake city.
As many as four persons, including a 44-year-old woman, died in rain-related accidents. Ranjan Pichkon from Nagav village in Bhiwandi drowned in an overflowing well after underestimating the water level, while Shabbir Ansari (29) died of a major jolt from a live wire that snapped and fell into a nearby water pool.
Suresh Pawar of Diva and Suresh Konare (38) of Shahapur died after coming into contact with high voltage wires left unattended on the streets.
In Thane, residents of the 20-storied Clover Apartments in the Everest World complex at Kolshet suffered agonizing moments after two lifts were submerged in water. Residents blamed the builder for ignoring repeated complaints.
A building wall collapse at Siddhachal Apartments in Vasant Vihar damaged nine cars parked in the premises. Heavy rains caused flooding at 35 locations in Thane. Train services were hit in the morning as tracks lay submerged under water. Central Railway authorities had to cancel 150 Up and Down services on the CST-Kalyan-Karjat route. Office-goers who waded through knee-deep water in Kalyan, Kalwa and Thane were stranded at the platform as 11 trains queued up due to poor visibility and water-logging. The commuters had to be evacuated and the trains taken to the sidings later, CR officials said.
MIDC area in Dombvili suffered the worst as over 100 industrial units were compelled to announce a day's closure due to flooding . The Waldhuni river was in spate and the slum colonies bordering it had almost drowned with water levels touching over 5 feet. The authorities rushed to the rescue of families in 50 hutments.
Ulhasnagar recorded the highest rainfall in the last 24 hours in the region at 189 mm, followed by 182 mm in Thane and 175 mm in Kalyan. The total rainfall in Thane district on Thursday was 1608mm.
|2011-07-15||People trying to make a living at jewellery hub an|
'We could manage to find only his head'
Kishan Mandal (35), along with two of his friends, was sitting on a motorcycle outside a jewellery shop at Zaveri Bazaar where he worked along with his brother. He even lived in that shop. Just as his friends walked away, the bomb exploded, annihilating him. All that his friends could recover was his severed head. "We could manage to find only his head from the blast site. We could not even take his last remains to his native place at Darbhanga in Bihar as it would have taken more than 18 hours to reach there," said Uttam Jain, one of his friends from the jewellery store. They performed his last rites at Chandanwadi crematorium in thye city.
61-yr-old was the sole earning member
Every day, 61-year-old Lalchand Ahuja would leave his Ulhasnagar home early in the morning and travel across the city to ferry jewellery; the lone earning member of a family of four, Ahuja worked for an ornament shop at Ulhasnagar from where he would travel around 100 km daily, to shops at the jewellery hub. Around 2.30 pm, as he stepped out of a shop in Zaveri Bazaar, the bomb went off, killing him. "When I heard about the explosion, I called on his mobile but, I could not get through to him," said Kishan Mirchandani, owner of the firm where Ahuja was employed. "We got a call from a doctor who asked us to go to St George Hospital, where we found him dead." He has left behind his wife, two daughters and a son.
Student youngest victim at Zaveri Bazar
A student of a college at Marine Lines, Pankaj Dilip Soni (22) is the youngest to have been killed in the serial blasts. Originally from Rajasthan, he stayed with his parents and younger brother, Vipul, on Lamington Road. His father, Dilip, runs a business of manufacturing and selling jewellery. On Wednesday evening, he had gone to Zaveri Bazaar where his father sent him for some business work. "When Dilip heard about the blasts, the first person he thought of was Pankaj who had gone to Zaveri Bazaar alone. Dilip kept calling on his son's mobile, but he did not respond. Dilip borrowed a neighbour's vehicle and drove to the site. He took Vipul (10) along," said a relative. As they reached the spot, they started hunting for Pankaj when a passerby directed them to G T Hospital. "Dilip was on the way to the hospital when the police called up on his mobile, saying Pankaj had been taken to GT Hospital. He broke down to hear Pankaj was dead," a relative said.
|2011-07-15||How the Ahujas world came crashing down|
Sixty-one-year-old Lalchand Radhakishan Ahuja was the sole breadwinner of his family. One of the victims of July 13, 2011 blasts in Mumbai, Ahuja was killed in the blast at Zaveri Bazaar.
Kumar, Lalchand Ahuja's son, is inconsolable.
Sharing his grief, the 25-year-old narrates to rediff.com's Patcy N how their world had come crashing in a matter of days
"My father worked in a company in Ulhasnagar, which deals with imitation jewellery. He would go to Zaveri Bazaar three to four times a week to get material for his job (he coated the jewellery) and give the jewellery for molding and other purposes. He would then go back every Wednesday and Saturday to collect the completed work.
On July 13, he never returned.
|2011-07-14||Man loses eye in freak train incident|
They may have been reconciled over the years to now-familiar terror attacks and frequent mishaps.
But, Mumbai suburban railway commuters face risks of a different kind while travelling — a fact 44-year-old Vinod Ganpat Pawar can attest to, 11 days after he lost an eye in a freak incident.
"That evening [of July 1] I was travelling... from Kalyan to Ulhasnagar which is just two railway stations away. I was standing at the door of the train," Pawar told Gulf News.
"As the train passed Vithalwadi station, I was suddenly hit in the eye by a huge stone. Blood started flowing from my eye. I lost control of myself and nearly fainted."
A fellow commuter helped him alight at the next station in Ulhasnagar, a satellite town of Mumbai.
"By then I had realised that a miscreant had flung a stone at me from the neighbouring slum. [Despite] of the oozing blood and unbearable pain, I went to the railway police chowkie [post] at the station and lodged a complaint with the police," he said.
"The official at the police chowkie asked his colleague to take me to the local Central hospital," Pawar added.
According to Pawar, the doctors at the Central hospital told him that he could not be treated there as he had suffered serious damage to his left eye. They immediately referred him to a hospital in Mumbai.
Pawar's friends and family members took him to the J.J. Hospital, where doctors performed a surgery on him the following day.
"Though the surgery went well, doctors told me in no uncertain terms that I would not regain vision in my left eye. I will have to make do with my right eye for the rest of my life," he said.
Pawar, who lives with his wife and two children in a tiny flat in Ulhasnagar, is his family's sole bread-winner. He works as a welder at a bus depot and has not reported to work since the July 1 incident.
He has not been visited by any Central Railway CR) official or the police since the incident. In the same vein, there has been no talk of compensation.
"No doubt, it is unfortunate incident. But, we cannot give him any compensation. For that, he has to approach the Railway Claims Tribunal," a senior CR official said, after having been approached for comment.
|2011-07-14||Four rain-related deaths in Thane|
Four persons including a toddler were killed in separate rain-related incidents as heavy rains continued to lash this district adjoining Mumbai, cutting off several remote areas due to severe flooding on roads. According to police, three persons drowned while one was killed in a wall collapse and another electrocuted, since last night on account of the incessant showers. At Ganeshpuri, Sudhir Ganpat Naik (32) a resident of Nalla Sopara drowned in a hotspring. In the other incident, a three-year-old kid from Nalla Sopara Laxmi Vijaykumar Gupta fell into a flooded drain near her house and drowned. In Manor, one unidentified lady aged around 40-45 fell into a pond in the area which was dug up for mining and filled with rain water, they said. In Talasari, Ganpat W Davre (28) was killed in a wall collapse while one unidentified person was electrocuted near Diva railway station this morning. Low lying areas in the district, especially in cities and towns of Thane, Kalyan, Bhiwandi commuters faced a lot of trouble moving even short distances. While in Ulhasnagar, where most of the areas were submerged, thousands were seen seeking shelter in nearby areas, reports said. The district administration said various parts of the interior remote areas including the Palghar-Manor road was totally cut off due to heavy flooding as Surya river was overflowing.
|2011-07-13||Bank watchman murdered in Ulhasnagar|
A bank watchman fatally wounded in attack by unidentified assailants succumbed to his injuries, police said today, adding they are on lookout for the suspects.52-year-old Lalit Kumar Sagarmal Jain was on duty at the Municipal Corporation Road branch of the State Bank of India in Ulhasnagar township on Monday night, they said.In the wee hours, two unidentified persons hit him with a beer bottle in which he was grievously injured, added police.Jain, who was admitted to Central Hospital in the township, died yesterday while undergoing treatment, police added.A case under section 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of IPC was initially registered against the duo which was later upgraded to IPC 302 (murder) read with section 34, police said.The investigating officer of the Central Police Station said that Jain was unarmed at the time of the incident.
|2011-07-13||No tax proof, no marriage certificate|
Newlyweds in Ulhasnagar have been stumped by a new rule for getting official recognition for their union: the civic body there has made submission of property tax receipts mandatory for registration of marriages.
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC), often criticised for failing to prevent illegal constructions, came up with the bizarre rule sometime back, but implemented it only recently, a source said.
Notices specifying the directive have been put up in ward offices in the township. Residents say without property tax receipts, UMC authorities don’t even accept forms of couples; even if all other documents are in order.
“After downloading the form from UMC’s website, I visited a ward office to get my marriage registered. I was shocked when I read the notice. I spoke to officials, who told me clearly that they will not accept my form if I don’t produce property tax slips,” said Abhishek Singh. “It’s a ridiculous rule. I fail to understand the link between marriage certificates and tax receipts.”
Singh, who works with the marketing division of a company, stays in quarters allotted to his father by the latter’s company. “I don’t have any property tax documents as I don’t own a house here. Besides, obtaining tax proof for my father’s quarters will be a lengthy process,” he said. Singh has been running around to get his marriage certificate for days now.
Baffling and bizarre
Shekhar Kumbhar, a self-employed professional, is also facing difficulty in getting his marriage certificate. In his case, authorities have demanded not only his property tax receipts, but also those of witnesses to his marriage.
“When they refused to accept my form, I produced necessary tax proof. Now, they want documents of three witnesses as well. The problem is two of the witnesses don’t own a house in Ulhasnagar. My pleas to officials have gone unheard,” he said.
Deepak Mishra, a local lawyer, who encountered a similar problem, said that the UMC’s new rule was “bad in law”. “There is no provision in the Bombay Provincial Municipal Act (by which UMC is governed) to produce such receipts for obtaining marriage certificates. According to the Act, a couple needs to produce documents confirming their identities and proof of marriage,” Mishra said. “This new rule is nothing but an arm-twisting tactic. Has the civic body thought about people who don’t own a house here or stay on rent?”
Sources in the civic body claimed that the rule was introduced through the back door to ensure that people cleared their property tax dues. “The logic is that if we hold back marriage certificates, residents will be left with no choice, but to pay up. Ever since the rule has been implemented, the number of certificates issued every month has gone down significantly,” a senior official, who didn’t want to be named, said.
When Mumbai Mirror contacted UMC commissioner Ashok Rankhamb, he admitted that the rule was introduced to make sure people pay the said tax on time. “There is no provision in the law for such a rule. Now that this anomaly has been brought to my notice, I will get it (the rule) cancelled,” he said.
|2011-07-12||Ulhasnagar civic body blames MIDC for water crisis|
In spite of heavy downpour since the last few days, people in Ulhasnagar, Badlapur and Ambernath are facing acute scarcity of water. The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation is accusing the MIDC, which supplies water to Ulhasnagar, for water shortage. "I personally visited the MIDC's jack
well site near the Century Rayon club. It is from here that the MIDC lifts untreated water (raw water) though heavy suction pumps for treatment, treats it and supplies it to Ulhasnagar," said Vinod Thakur, deputy mayor, UMC.
"The jack well, which was constructed in 1962, is now in a dilapidated condition. Due to this, people are getting reduced supply of water," said Thakur.
Mahadev Jawade, executive engineer, UMC, said, "We requested the MIDC officers to fix the problem. They said they summoned the 'under water divers' to clean the well and remove the material stuck up in the suction pumps' fans. The cleaning is in progress."
The UMC has suggested the MIDC to block floating material and garbage from entering the jack well by placing big brackets before the jack well.
"The problem persists. Our suction pumps stopped working due to some floating materials, such as plastics and garbage, stuck up in the fans. Our team is working on it and will take necessary steps to avoid such problems in future," said Deepak Dharde, executive engineer, MIDC.
|2011-07-12||Ulhasnagar civic body to increase citys green cove|
The Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation is going to follow the Puducherry pattern to increase the green cover of the city, said Ashok Rankham, commissioner, Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation. “Currently Ulhasnagar is known as a cement jungle,” he said, adding that he hoped the city would be
known as a ‘Green Ulhasnagar’ in five years’ time, when the new plan’s effects would become visible.
The city of Puducherry in the southern state of Tamil Nadu enacted a proposal a few years ago wherein each family had to plant a tree with the birth of a child or a death of a person in the house.
The civic body would give saplings to any family that arrived to fill birth and death certificate forms. The family would not only plant the tree, but also take care of it, and the plant would have the family’s name plate.
Ashok Rankhamb was talking to the media during Vasundhara Divas (Earth Day) celebrations.
The commissioner added that the civic body would be planting 25,000 plants in the city this year with the help of the Rotary Club of Ulhasnagar and other organisations, who had helped scout for suitable planting locations.