Mumbai braces itself for Hazare juggernaut
Is Anna's fast Satyagraha or nuisance? Depending on your answer, you would go to BKC or stay far away from it on Tuesday.
In a wrap of the Mumbai news this morning, the focus is on corruption. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India looking into the Adarsh scam concludes that the scam was the result of colluding powerful individuals in the MMRDA and the promoters. The significant sin of commission, the CAG notes, was the fact that MMRDA issued the Occupation Certificates for the building without the mandatory clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). Of particular worry was the fact that the number of civilians allotted flats in Adarsh kept increasing, to finally outnumber the number of defence personnel, for whom the building, ostensibly, was built. The CAG also noted that a number of government servants who cleared the Adarsh file ended up as owners of flats in the building. The CAG felt that there was no need to demolish the building, but to use it to house Central government servants and war widows.
Still on buildings and construction, the Bombay High Court passed a significant judgement on who owns additional FSI – the housing society does. Not the builder and not the landowner. More details here.
This news might give car owners some relief. The Bombay High Court (what would we do without this institution) came down heavily on the BMC and the police for allowing the proliferation of illegal traffic booths at busy junctions. The Court was more incensed at the notion that these were erected to facilitate the illegal sale of advertising space on these illegal booths, resulting in financial gain for the BMC even as the booths inconveniened commuters. There’s more on this here.
While on the road, this is what corporators call 'urgent' business. The BMC’s general body cleared 110 proposals in an hour. Forty-nine of these pertained to the renaming of roads and 'chowks' or junctions. Get prepared to change your official addresses in all correspondence.
You're more likely to die crossing a railway track than in a terrorist attack, says the Times of India. The paper reported that in the past 10 years, more than 23,000 people have died in this manner, and another 13,000 in other deaths related to the railways, such as falling off a train or being hit by a pole while hanging on to the train at the entrance. Clearly, more needs to be done to create awareness of these dangers and to prevent such needless loss of lives.
Who is your designated driver for Christmas Eve (tonight) and for New Years' eve? You will need one, as the state government has issued a circular allowing hotels in Mumbai and the suburbs to stay open till 5 am. It'll be a pleasant change for tipplers to drink legally into the wee hours.
Meanwhile, the city braces itself for the Anna Hazare juggernaut as it rolls into Mumbai on 27 December for the three-day fast beginning on that day. As the court observed, while not interfering in the rental charges for the MMRDA grounds, some see the fast as a satyagraha and others as a nuisance. How do you see it? Depending on the answer, you would go to BKC or stay far away from it on Tuesday.
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