Saturday, Nov 01, 2014

Mumbai underground: Coffee with Srinivas

Bread winner: A monkey enjoys a pav on a Mumbai street. Amit Chakravarty Bread winner: A monkey enjoys a pav on a Mumbai street. Amit Chakravarty
Mumbai | Posted: February 24, 2014 3:15 am

It is an open secret in BMC that additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas, whose roots are firmly set in south India, like most of his counterparts, enjoys a good cup of filter coffee. In fact, his affinity for the caffeinated drink is so strong that every evening at 4 pm sharp, a singular cup of coffee is sent from his home to his office on the 3rd floor of the BMC headquarters. “Only one cup of coffee is delivered so he cannot share it. Even if there is a meeting with the municipal commissioner, his special cup is brought in for him,” said a civic official and colleague of Srinivas.

Same difference

In February, there have been two grand inauguration ceremonies for two major transport projects — the monorail and the Sahar elevated road. While the events were on different dates, the venues different, and the number of people attending different, the only thing that remained almost identical was the Chief Minister’s speech. At both the functions, CM Prithviraj Chavan rolled on about congestion in Mumbai, the difficulty in implementing such projects here, and how a greenfield project is easier than a brownfield project, but unfortunately in Mumbai, only brownfield projects are possible. The only difference in the two speeches were the names of the projects Chavan was inaugurating.

Goof-UPA

It seems Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has begun obsessing over the forthcoming general and Assembly elections. At the inauguration of the Sahar Elevated Road earlier this month, almost everyone in the audience let out a chuckle when the Chief Minister, while addressing MMRDA Commissioner UPS Madan, mistakenly called him ‘UPA’ Madan. Incidentally, just a day before the inauguration of the elevated road, Chavan had visited Delhi for meetings with various ministers. “He is probably still in Delhi mode,” an official present at the inauguration joked.

Awkward moment

Former mayor Shraddha Jadhav faced a brief moment of embarrassment at the bhoomipujan ceremony last week for the Britannia pumping station at Reay Road. While the puja was performed by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, the stage was filled with several heavy weights. Almost as an afterthought, the organisers announced Jadhav’s name and requested her presence on the stage. As Jadhav proceeded to the dais, Thackeray’s bodyguards rudely stopped her from climbing the podium. Red-faced Sainiks rushed to the guards to inform them that Jadhav was indeed called on stage. Interestingly, additional municipal commissioner SVR Srinivas, an IAS officer also seated on the stage, was assigned the duty of offering bouquets and shawls to the Sena leaders present at the function.

Speech ‘disorder’

At a time when just about anyone is seeking a BJP ticket for the upcoming polls, Bollywood actor Nana Patekar turned down the prospect of contesting against Congress’s Priya Dutta in Mumbai North Central. A Mumbai-based BJP leader who discussed the prospect continued…

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