OVER the past decade, when the Santacruz-Chembur Link Road was under construction, it was always widely said and written that the ambitious project would have the country’s first double-decker flyover. However, when MMRDA officials and engineers were preparing to open the road for public use, they were hesitant to go on record about the same. Confusion reigned supreme about whether the city’s first double-decker flyover was actually India’s first. One engineer who has been working on the project for several years said, “When this Link Road was planned, it was certainly the country’s first double-decker flyover. But it took so long for us to build it because of various hurdles that now we are not sure.”
AT a recent rally in Girgaum, Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray had to wait for quite a few minutes for his supporters’ applause to subside after coming on to the dais before he could speak. When he did open his mouth to speak, the applause began anew and there was another short wait, after which he finally quipped, “It’s ten minutes to 10 o’clock”. His tongue in cheek reference to the Mumbai police’s deadline, changed the applause into titters of laughter and the crowd quietened. Thackeray finally proceeded with his speech.
RESEARCHERS from a leading institute involved in creating a gene bank of marine animals were in for a surprise when the state forest officials got to know of their research. The researchers were to extract DNA from marine sponges for their project and forest officials had no information on this plan. A forest official called up the institute officials and reminded them that sponges were also included in the list of protected animals and catching them to extract their DNA would amount to ‘hunting’ as per the law, much to the surprise of the researcher. The forest official advised them to seek Ministry of Environment and Forests’ permission adding cheekily, “You should seek MoEF permission unless you want to cross forest officials for ‘hunting’.”
WHEN the DN Nagar police officers nabbed and arrested one of the most wanted criminals in the list of Mumbai Police, the senior inspector of the neighbouring police station received many calls congratulating him and also asking for details. The confusion was because the names of both the senior police inspectors is Rajendra Chavan. Many of the senior crime branch officers were also confused about the region where the “one-eyed serial molester” was caught. The officials then started calling reporters to clarify that the accused was in the custody of the D N Nagar police and not the Juhu police.
THE law and judiciary department of the state government on April 15 wrote to a Supreme Court counsel of the state government, asking him to appoint lawyer Shankar Chillarge to argue the government’s case challenging the bail granted to former MLA Pappu Kalani. The change in the appointment of counsel has raised eyebrows within the administration as the counsel appointed earlier, had secured a stay in the government’s favour. Kalani, sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a BJP activist in 1990, was granted bail by the Bombay High Court. The government rushed to the Supreme Court to seek a stay on the order, which it succeeded in obtaining. While the political bigwig from Ulhasnagar stayed behind bars after the stay, some feel that the change of counsel was not necessary at this stage.
In the name of the father
PEOPLE residing in South Mumbai slums, mainly Ambedkar Nagar, Murti Nagar, Geeta Nagar and Azad Nagar are strong Congress supporters. Several say, “The MP has done a lot of work here and we will vote for his party.” However incidentally, a major chunk thinks their sitting MP since the past one decade is Murli Deora (the former MP of South Mumbai constituency). During a Congress rally of Milind Deora, an elderly woman was heard saying, “Murli Deora aaya hai, jo itne saalo se MP hai. Mere papa bhi unhe vote dete the.” Milind Deora, the sitting MP, admitted, “A lot of people initially called me by my father’s name. However, now that I have established contact, they know me too.”