Security stepped up ahead of Ambedkar’s death anniv

BMC has instructed to remove all political banners put up in Dadar,Parel and Matunga by the Republican Party of India ahead of Ambedkar’s death anniversary.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: December 5, 2013 1:04 am

The Mumbai Police Wednesday put in place bandobast at the Chaityabhoomi in Shivaji Park as people have started gathering at the ground in large numbers to pay respect to B R Ambedkar ahead of his death anniversary on Friday. Apart from the local police and paramilitary forces,the police have also deployed a special squad,who will be at the ground in plain clothes.

Lakhs of Ambedkar’s followers come to the city to pay tribute to the leader every year and police personnel are deployed accordingly. On Wednesday,the police deployed over 500 personnel at the ground.

“Around 10,000 people have already arrived at Chaityabhoomi. We have deployed 555 personnel during day time and 447 personnel during night time to enforce bandobast. We have also deployed 100 of our personnel who will be in plain clothes and will be keeping an eye out for any untoward incident from happening. They will also come to the aid of children who get separated from their families. There are a lot of cases every year,in which children get lost due to the large number of people present at the ground,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni,Zone 5.

The police have also called in four companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) as well as two squads of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) to assist with the bandobast. While the SRPF will be on stand by to provide back-up in case of emergencies,the BDDS squad will be stationed at various points at Chaityabhoomi. Police personnel deployed at the ground have been given instructions to bring any suspicious or unclaimed objects to the notice of the BDDS immediately,officials said. Kulkarni added that the bandobast would remain in place till Saturday night.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

BMC gears up to house 10 lakh visitors,sets up 1-lakh sq ft pandal

To accommodate over 10 lakh visitors who are expected to turn up at Chaityabhoomi in Shivaji Park to pay respect to B R Ambedkar on his 57th death anniversary,BMC is setting up a pandal measuring one lakh sq feet at the park.

“We have erected bamboo barricades along 2,000 meters from Bengal Chemicals to Chaityabhoomi to control the crowds,” said a senior official of the F/North ward office.

BMC has also put up tents in Chaityabhoomi and installed halogen lights,tubelights and fans inside them. Around 150 toilets have been constructed behind the Indu Mills compound along with the installation of additional mobile toilets.

While the maidan will have 250 bathrooms,visitors will be provided with jute mats to sleep inside the pandal. Continuous water supply will be provided as the water works department plans to install 110 temporary pipelines in the park.

“Our duty is to ensure that basic facilities are in place for the visitors,” the official said.

Mahesh Narvekar,chief officer of the civic disaster management cell said all 14 emergency support functions will be operational on these days. The National Disaster Response Force will also be kept on alert.

The civic body has installed nine watch towers in and around the location and cleaning staff will be deployed for 24 hours.

The administration has also installed 40 TV sets and eight screens along with CCTV cameras at Chaityabhoomi. “There will be around 1,000 police personnel. We will also have two fire engines,four speed boats and 14 water tankers at Shivaji Park. There will also be a chart which will act like a map for people who are new in the city,” said a ward official. Shivaji Park and Chaityabhoomi will also have medical facilities.

The Veer Savarkar Marg will be blocked throughout the day.

(tanushree.venkatraman@expressindia.com)

BMC directs officers to remove political banners,threatens to initiate action

BMC has instructed its officers to remove all political banners put up in Dadar,Parel and Matunga by the Republican Party of India ahead of Ambedkar’s death anniversary on December 6.

“There is a ban on political hoardings,banners and posters in Mumbai as per the High Court orders. We did not even allow banners during the festive season. We will certainly not allow it now. Wherever such posters have been reported,there are standing instructions to remove them. Currently we have issued these orders to the G-North,F-South,and G-South ward officers particularly,” additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani said. He added that the civic body will even initiate prosecution against the offenders of ban in this case. “We have to ascertain who are the culprits and then accordingly we will take action as per the law,” Adtani said.

However,ward officials said they are yet to receive the orders. “All banners are likely to removed after December 6 to avoid hurting public sentiment,” a ward official said on the condition of anonymity.

Calling for a wide-spread agitation to pressure the government to expedite work on the Ambedkar Memorial at Indu Mills,the RPI has put up several fliers,posters and banners in and around the vicinity of Chaityabhoomi,Dadar Chowpatty.

Action can be initiated against a person for putting up an illegal banner under Section 328 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act of 1888. According to the rules,the person concerned can be fined Rs 1,000-5,000 depending upon the extent of violation.

Besides,as per Section 3 of Prevention of Defacement of Property Act,1995,an offender can be fined up to Rs 2,000 and/or imprisoned for three months.

Meanwhile the BMC political group leaders are yet to approve of the corporation’s new policy for banners in the city after deferring its decision at the last meeting on September 27.

While the new policy guidelines ban political banners,they give a conditional nod to social banners during festivals. Punishment for violating the norms in the new policy will be as per existing laws. In case of events,only two banners of 10×10 ft will be allowed on the venue a day before and after the event. Commercial rates will be charged.

alison.saldanha@expressindia.com

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