Jeet Mashru
Articles by Jeet Mashru

Vacations, new attractions behind increased footfall at Byculla Zoo

The Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Botanical Udyan & Zoo, also known as Byculla Zoo, has seen a steep increase in footfall during the summer vacation months, with over three lakh visitors in both April and May (till May 23). New attractions, including tiger cubs and the first underwater crocodiles and gharials viewing gallery in Asia, have contributed to the rise in visitors. The zoo has earned revenues of ?1.29cr in the first 23 days of May, compared to ?73lakh in March.

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Updated on May 27, 2023 12:55 AM IST

Traffic wardens: The ‘almost cops’ that not many commuters take seriously

Though commuters rage against them and ignore them, the men in blue and white have been fighting the odds while assisting traffic police in easing traffic woes on city roads

Mumbai, India - May 25, 2023: A traffic warden controls traffic near Rajendra Nagar, at Borivali (East), in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, May 25, 2023. (Photo by Vijay Bate/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 26, 2023 12:55 AM IST
By, Megha Sood

Problems persist; BMC Twitter ineffectual

The Mumbai North Central District Forum has accused the BMC of failing to address citizens' complaints through its social media channels, despite doubling its budget for the service. The BMC awarded a social media contract to Concept Communication in November 2019 for nearly INR20m ($263,000) to provide a 17-strong team of social media experts. However, the MNCDF alleges the team is ineffective, and that previously active Twitter officers are now ignoring complaints. Several citizens' groups have called for the BMC to introduce a complaint number and time frame for redressal.

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Updated on May 26, 2023 12:39 AM IST

Confusion over forms on Day 1 of exchange of 2,000 notes

In the absence of a specific mandate, many banks decided to play safe and urged consumers to furnish identification and fill out copious forms.

The forms furnished by the banks were not uniform either, which led to further confusion among citizens. Karur Vysya Bank’s Prabhadevi branch issued small forms for the exchange, asking customers to provide their name, mobile number, the number of notes to be deposited, composite amount and signature, and ignored the identity proof. Kotak Bank in the same neighbourhood, however demanded the identity proof along with the form filled out. (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on May 24, 2023 12:57 AM IST

24 spots to be dedicated to bicycle parking in H west ward

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is set to dedicate 24 spots across the H West ward to bicycle parking as part of a pilot project to promote eco-friendly transportation. Each stand can park five bicycles and two stands will be installed in each of the selected spots, with 50 stands in total across the ward accommodating up to 250 bicycles. The initiative is set to be launched on World Environment Day on June 5.

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Updated on May 23, 2023 12:54 AM IST

MGL stops prepaid card facilities; customers fume over no refund of balance

According to citizens, the MGL gas station staff does not accept the card and when they approach the office, there are no clear instructions on the refund or submission of the card. This has led to citizens getting angry after their money is stuck in the card.

When informed about MGL staff’s unwillingness to accept the cards for refunds, the representative said, “They have been informed to accept the cards for refund. They (customers) can submit their cards at MGL branded CNG stations and their refund for the balance amount will be processed.” (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2023 12:39 AM IST

BMC yet to act on contractor who filed fake documents

The BMC said that it had issued a show cause notice to the contractor last month—however, RTI activist Santosh Daundkar pointed out that the civic body had not filed an FIR despite ten months going by, and was not taking the offence seriously.

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Updated on May 21, 2023 12:38 AM IST

Delayed again: Gokhale Bridge to fully reopen on May 2024

Mumbai: The commitment to reopen Gokhale Bridge, a key east-west connector of the Andheri suburbs, by November has gone for a toss as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has announced that it will reopen the bridge in two parts

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Updated on May 20, 2023 12:44 AM IST

Posh BKC plagued by traffic snarls and wily auto drivers

The area is also dotted with five star hotels, diamond bourse, hospitals and schools, apart from top restaurants serving world cuisine. High net worth individuals fork out megabucks to own posh residences here. But BKC is now dealing with poor last mile connectivity

An executive from the top management of a company, who did not wish to be named, said, “Over a period of time, traffic jams have become so acute at peak hours in BKC that I was compelled to switch to taking the local train from my residence in the western suburbs.” (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on May 18, 2023 01:28 AM IST

No handcarts during peak hours in SoBo

Unhappy with this decision, local businesses and porters running handcarts in the area said their daily job will be hampered.

Yusuf Soni, a businessman from Abdul Rehman Street, said, “Since most are wholesale shops, we receive orders throughout the day from customers from different cities and towns. These orders are then packed by 4pm and dispatched in the evening to the local courier shops using handcarts. With this order, we will be able to dispatch the evening orders the next day. This means arranging for additional storage space.” (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 13, 2023 10:52 PM IST

BMC cracks whip, asks its hospitals to ensure medicine supply

A senior health official from a civic-run medical college told HT that at the meeting, they had been instructed to increase local purchase and see to it that patients or their relatives were not made to buy medicines and other hospital essentials

Mumbai, India - January 07, 2022: People stand in a queue for the medicines at KEM Hospital's medical store, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, January 07, 2022. (Photo by Satish Bate/Hindustan Times) (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 12, 2023 12:50 AM IST

‘Money to light up city but none for medicines’

Former corporators and activists in Mumbai have criticised the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for failing to address the recurring issue of medicine shortages in civic-run hospitals. Patients have been forced to purchase medicines, gloves, saline and other medical supplies due to the shortages. Ravi Raja, former leader of the opposition in the BMC, called on the body to enter into rate contract agreements with manufacturers, and to bring medicine supplies under the Essential Services Act. Ataul Khan, a health activist, called for daily updates to be made to boards outside hospitals detailing available medicines.

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Updated on May 11, 2023 01:46 AM IST

Patients suffer as BMC fails to approve bulk supplies

Contractors say tenders for purchases have not been floated in three years; commissioner says he is breaking the monopoly.

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Updated on May 10, 2023 01:05 AM IST

BMC paints unmarked speed breaker after biker falls and sustains injuries

An official from the BMC’s K west ward said, “We saw the tweet. We do not know how the accident happened, that is for traffic police to see. But we fixed the speed breaker. We have more than 350-speed breakers in Andheri, and we regularly paint them

Mumbai, India - May 06, 2023: BMC paint the speedbreaker with zebra crossing paint in the morning as a biker's video went viral after he met with an accident on Friday night while travelling on his bike from Goregaon towards Jogeshwari, near 24 Carat Theatre, S.V. Road, Jogeshwari (West), in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, May 06, 2023. (Photo by Vijay Bate/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 07, 2023 12:16 AM IST

FIR over destruction of 500 mangrove in Bhiwandi

An FIR has been registered against drivers and owners of four trucks at the Narpoli police station following a revenue department complaint about the destruction of 500 mangrove trees and landfilling in Bhiwandi’s Kasheli

Thane, India - April 26, 2023: Construction debris dumped on forest land has destroyed more than 500 mangrove trees, at Kasheli, near Dutt Mandir, Bhiwandi, in Thane, India, on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. (Praful Gangurde/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 06, 2023 12:15 AM IST

Why does Vasai-Virar face water crisis?

According to MMRDA, the daily water demand in the Vasai-Virar region, which includes Nalasopara, is 360 mld. The civic body is only able to supply 230 mld. The demand is expected to touch 396 mld by 2026. The current shortfall of 130 mld has led to a crisis in the region.

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Updated on May 06, 2023 12:13 AM IST

With Gokhale bridge delayed, residents plan peaceful protest to highlight plight

With monsoon season close at hand, citizens are worried about the two nearest alternate routes (Andheri Subway and Capt. Vinayak Gore flyover in Vile Parle) will lead to heavy jams in the area.

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Updated on May 03, 2023 12:36 AM IST

Footpaths built under beautification project broken in a month by BMC

Incidentally, this development came on the heels of the ₹1,700 crore beautification project by the BMC, under which various lighting and footpaths are being rebuilt across the city. Citizens highlight that some of the rebuilt footpaths are being broken once again

Mumbai, India May 01, 2023: A view of footpath near Olympia Tower, Bakri Adda, NM Joshi Marg, Byculla, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, May 01, 2023. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 01, 2023 11:44 PM IST

Surya water plant springs hope for Vasai-Virar, Mira-Bhayander

In a little over a decade the population of areas governed by Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) has grown from 12.22 lakhs (in 2011) to 24 lakhs (in 2023), according to data accessed from Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)

Gaurav Shrimankar, a resident of Mira Road said, “There are 42 flats in the housing society I live in. We get water once in three days in low pressure. While both the civic body and local MLA have failed to heed our complaints, it is mindboggling how other regions of Mira Road are being developed. We are being told for a year that a new pipeline is being fixed, which will benefit us. We are waiting.” . (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 01, 2023 05:04 PM IST

Debris dumping threatens forests and mangroves

Across the city and the Mumbai metropolitan region, citizens have similar complaints. Activist Yogesh Mundhara pointed out that a large mangrove patch had been destroyed due to dumping on forest land at Kasheli, near Dutta Mandir, Bhiwandi

Construction debris dumped on the road by contractors in Mahim (West). (Satish Bate/HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 01, 2023 04:59 PM IST

Quick thinking cops save the day as Mulund flat catches fire

The fire was reported to Mumbai Fire Brigade around 11:40am and was doused at 12pm. The rescued boy, Hiraman Mishra, said that he was taking a bath when he heard some noise. When he came out to check, he saw that the tubelight in his parents’ room had caught fire and the room was filled with smoke.

In a display of presence of mind and bravery, policemen Arjun Rathod (right) and Rajendra Shinde wasted no time in alerting the nearest mobile van and rushed into Dhiraj Apartments, a ground plus six storey building. They reached the fourth floor, on which the flat that had caught fire was and helped a a 17-year-old boy evacuate (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 01, 2023 05:05 PM IST

Mini fire station in Chandivali has no vehicle or staff: Residents

The association said that for more than a month now, it has been tweeting about the mini fire station being empty. They also alleged that whenever they have complained, a mini fire van is deployed for a few hours with hardly one staff member and then it is back to being empty.

Mini fire station in Chandivali has no vehicle or staff: Residents
Updated on Apr 26, 2023 12:08 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru

Gokhale Bridge: Residents in a jam over hawkers, illegal parking

Residents of Andheri East and West have been complaining of increasing traffic jams. Among a host of reasons for this, prominent ones according to them are — increase in number of hawkers on SV Road, and illegal parking in Irla lane, which leads to Vile Parle flyover.

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Updated on Apr 28, 2023 12:40 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru

Jogeshwari residents suffer due to sand-blasting at WR workshop

Residents told HT that ever since the workshop came up near their homes, their lives have been hell.

Following the residents’ complaints to the environment department, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on December 22, 2022 sent a letter to the additional general manager of WR with a copy to the residents. “You are requested to instruct the concerned contractor to take effective steps to minimise the noise pollution in that residential area,” said the letter, a copy of which is with HT. “Sand-blasting and painting activities shall be carried out in a closed area.” (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 23, 2023 12:33 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru

Gokhale Bridge: BMC chief writes to Jindal steel, SAIL for early delivery of materials

Iqbal Singh Chahal, commissioner and administrator, BMC, has written to Naveen Jindal, chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd, and Soma Mondal, chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd highlighting the importance of Gokhale Bridge given its location.

July 14, 2020: Iqbal Singh Chahal, takes charge as the New BMC Commissioner on May 8, 2020.
Updated on Apr 22, 2023 12:35 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru

HC asks BMC’s response on flower beds eating into footpaths

In the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Sameer Shaikh against the civic body, the petitioner requested the intervention of HC in the rampant malpractices and misdeeds of the BMC officials that are rendering the footpaths inaccessible for pedestrians and persons who use wheelchairs

The construction of flower beds by BMC in contravention of its own footpath policies rendering the footpaths to be inaccessible, without application of mind, has forced the pedestrians to use the roads which have vehicular movement. This is resulting in grave inconvenience to the pedestrians. (Anshuman Poyrekar/ Hindustan Times)
Updated on Apr 22, 2023 07:54 PM IST
ByJeet Mashru

Upkeep of parks is a challenge, says BMC

Civic body alleges citizens do not use amenities with care; officials call for new policy insisting on 5-year upkeep from contractor. Presently, they come with a one- or two-year warranty, which does not include maintaining the wear and tear

Mumbai, India - April 20, 2023 : Rajiv Gandhi Udyan, at Malad West, in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, April 20, 2023. (Photo by Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 21, 2023 12:53 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru

These are some of our city’s ‘parks’

Backed by citizens’ complaints highlighting civic apathy displayed in poorly maintained public parks, HT hit the road for a first-hand look.

The poor condition of a park in Thakur Complex, Kandivali East, has not escaped the notice of assistant commissioner of R South Ward, Lalit Talekar, but he said: “We are taking up all the parks for repairs to make them better. I will ask my staff to look into this for sure.” An official from the gardens department of the same ward said, “We will soon send a letter to the foundation that is maintaining the park.” (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 20, 2023 12:40 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru, Mumbai

Gokhale bridge reopening pushed to mid-November

Confirming the development, an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) Bridges department, said that the bridge is now likely to be reopened in November this year. The announcement was made after Ameet Satam, MLA, Andheri West, conducted a joint visit with BMC officials on Wednesday.

Mumbai, India - March 13, 2023: Gokhale Bridge, a major connector between Andheri East and West, completely dismantled in the morning, at Andheri, in Mumbai, India, on Monday, March 13, 2023. (Photo by Vijay Bate/HT Photo) (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 20, 2023 12:22 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru

In Vasai-Virar protests yield water once in 8 days

Residents have faced the crisis since the middle of 2020, which has only escalated. The situation has been acute over the past few months. Three years ago, when the pandemic prevented them from staging protests, they took their fight to the respective ward offices

Former corporator Sanjay Dubey, of Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), said, “The civic body has not made any plan to serve the growing population.” (VVCMC website shows a population rise from 12.22 lakh in 2011 to 19.85 lakh, in 2022.) Dubey pointed out that in Ward number 67, the eligible voters in 2015 was 3200. In eight years, it has grown to 30,000. (Vijay Bate/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 18, 2023 01:01 AM IST
ByJeet Mashru
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