Mumbai Underground: Skirting the issuehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-underground-skirting-the-issue/

Mumbai Underground: Skirting the issue

State Cabinet ministers are wondering why Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan did not convene a meeting of the Cabinet for the past two weeks.

State Cabinet ministers are wondering why Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan did not convene a meeting of the Cabinet for the past two weeks. The official explanation was that there was nothing concrete on the agenda that required a Cabinet meeting. But off the record,some indicated that Chavan wanted to avoid controversial subjects such as IPS transfers,which the NCP wants to discuss at length in the Cabinet to put an end to the ambiguity over whether the state should follow Supreme Court directives or the Maharashtra Transfer Act. Some ministers even complained that Cabinet meetings are often convened at the last minute and so they kept waiting and hoping it would take place on Wednesday. Now,ministers have started calling the Chief Minister’s Office to find out whether there will be a Cabinet meeting this week or not.

Licence to build

Former additional metropolitan commissioner SVR Srinivas recently attended a Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) meeting to secure permission for some MMRDA projects. As no official from BMC was present,Srinivas also managed to secure permissions for constructing four proposed BMC bridges over the Mithi river and rightfully informed former additional municipal commissioner Aseem Gupta,who welcomed the good news. “Little did I know that I would soon be taking charge of the very same BMC projects I got those MCZMA permissions for. It makes my life easier,” said Srinivas,who has replaced Gupta as additional municipal commissioner at BMC. MMRDA officials are hopeful that the coordination between the development authority and BMC,which have often been at loggerheads in the past while implementing crucial infrastructure projects,will improve with Srinivas’s transfer from MMRDA to BMC.

Catching them young

Even as the government is trying to change the face of engineering education through Aakash tablets,a pre-school in the city has gone several steps ahead by introducing iPads for children as young as four years. Allowing children to use iPad for 20 minutes twice a week,Podar Jumbo Kids in Santacruz has introduced what it calls an “iPad curriculum”. According to the school,it enhances students’ imagination,helps them learn faster as it is visually appealing,allows eye hand co-ordination and makes learning a fun exercise.

Hell hath no fury…

AN IPS officer known for his dashing image was recently heard pleading with his superior. “Don’t do this to me,sir. Don’t send her to me,” he was heard saying. Those who heard him were wondering what had left him so petrified. It all became clear five minutes later when a certain socialite,infamous for raising hell in a TV reality show,walked up the stairs. Even the officer’s orderly,outside his office,was visibly intimidated as the fiery socialite demanded to meet the officer. “I don’t envy him,” a passing policeman was overheard muttering under his breath.

More the merrier

Advertising

Several Dharavi residents are fighting for some of their additional demands to be incorporated in the Dharavi development plan,which is being prepared with a view to finally implement the decade-old project next year. While conducting hearings to address the demands,officials from the Dharavi redevelopment authority came across ‘over-optimistic’ demands from some residents. According to an official,one of the demands by a household was that they should get four houses free of cost in return for their one house after the redevelopment. The reason cited was that four families are living jointly in one house. There was another demand for a corpus fund of Rs 15 lakh to every household. “We are ready to look into the demands but some of them are unreasonable and have nothing to do with the drafting of the land use plan,” the official added.

High-frisk zone

While recent cases of security breaches on court premises may not have alarmed the Mumbai Police enough to prompt swift action,on Friday,the Kala Ghoda sessions court resembled a fortress as it was to pronounce judgments against senior police inspectors Pradeep Sharma and Pradeep Suryavanshi and 20 others in a fake encounter case of 2006. People were frisked at each entry point and entry into Judge V D Jadhawar’s court was restricted to a select few. Scribes,who had assembled in dozens,were not allowed to enter the court. The polic relented but only after a spate of arguments and suggestions of a complaint to the judge.