The annual pilgrimage to Chaityabhoomi gets bigger

A day before Ambedkar Jayanti, 72,000 pay homage at his cremation spot, and other news.

Anant Rangaswami December 06, 2011 10:06:25 IST
The annual pilgrimage to Chaityabhoomi gets bigger

Your dabbawala might be your new MLA. "The city's legendary dabbawallas (lunch-box carriers) have now decided to join politics, starting with the forthcoming elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), an official said here on Monday. According to Subhash Talekar, the chief promoter of Dabbawalas Cooperative Housing Society (proposed), the lunch-box carriers want a say in the city's legislative affairs and resolve civic issues concerning the people in general and the dabbawalas in particular," reports Economic Times.

The annual pilgrimage to Chaityabhoomi gets bigger

People hold portraits of Indian politician Babasaheb Ambedkar at the Chaityabhoomi area at Shivaji Park in Mumbai on 5 December. Reuters

While roads might get worse each day, a Mumbai F1 seems to be gaining steam. "At least a dozen leading developers and land owners have expressed keen interest in offering their respective properties for the proposed Formula 1 track in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The pre-feasibility consultants have already submitted their report to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), and the report is under scrutiny at present," says DNA.

The annual pilgrimage to Chaityabhoomi gets bigger each year. "According to the civic body help desk at Shivaji Park, a day before Ambedkar's 55th death anniversary, 1.50 lakh people were already inside the ground by 5pm, and 72,000 people had paid homage at Chaityabhoomi. The fringes of the ground were dotted by medical and police help desks, ambulances and mobile toilets while the centre was occupied by stalls selling books, badges, flags and wrist bands with Ambedkar’s image and music CDs," says Hindustan Times.

And this celebration has become a dry day for the locals – but some got a reprieve. "The Bombay high court has allowed all liquor outlets in Naigaum, Sewri, Wadala and Antop Hill to remain open on Tuesday. The state government had earlier directed that shops selling alcohol should be shut on Tuesday when a huge crowd is will converge on Chaityabhoomi at Dadar to mark the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar. On Monday, Justice S J Kathawalla was hearing a petition by the Association of Hotels and Restaurants, on behalf of liquor outlets (including bars and restaurants) in H excise division, challenging the city collector's, order directing liquor licencees not to operate as police fears there might be law-and-order problems,” says Times of India.

What will Anna Hazare say about this one? "It's not necessary that every decision by a corrupt public officer is bad. Corrupt officers may have taken good decisions too," observed the Bombay High Court on Monday while hearing a public interest litigation that sought a review of all orders passed by corrupt public officers. A division bench of Justice SA Bobade and Justice VK Tahilramani refused to pass any order in the PIL filed by NO Aarambh, seeking that an independent machinery should be set up to review all decisions taken by public servants who were either accused in corruption cases or held guilty under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” says DNA.

Reach Jaipur in 22 hours — by road — and in comfort. "A direct air-conditioned bus service will connect Jaipur with country's commercial capital Mumbai. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) will start operating premium volvo bus service from Jaipur to Mumbai from Tuesday. The 41-45 seater bus will travel daily from Jaipur to Mumbai and Mumbai to Jaipur in 22 hours, via Bhilwara-Udaipur-Ahmedabad-Vapi-Virar,” reports Bhaskar. The journey will cost Rs 1,971.

No, your dream flat will stay expensive. "Realty prices in Mumbai, commercial and residential, are unlikely to see any significant decline. According to Pirojsha Godrej, executive director, Godrej Properties, his company has witnessed a strong response to a new real estate development project in Vikhroli in Mumbai. Of the total 600,000 square feet housing project divided into four towers, the company has already sold out one... The average price per square feet was Rs 11,700," Godrej told NDTV Profit. He said the government needs to work on the infrastructure in Mumbai and allow higher floor space index or FSI to allow the city to grow vertically. "This could perhaps help moderate sharp rises in realty prices in Mumbai," he added,” says an NDTV report.

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