Author: Abhitash Singh

Abhitash SinghJune 15, 2019


Budget of Rs. 2 crore alloted for herbal and botanical garden in 2019-20

On one hand the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) failed to utilize even a single penny of budget allocation of Rs. 50 lakh in 2018-19 for the mangrove plantation and conservation and Rs.2 crores for herbal and botanical gardens which was allocated by the Tree Authority Committee. Again, this financial year that is 2019-20, the budget allocation for mangrove plantation and conservation and also herbal and botanical gardens has remain unchanged.

Even in 2017-18 the funds allotted under the heads of mangrove plantation and conservation was Rs. 50 lakh and for herbal and botanical gardens Rs. 3 crores were set aside. From last three financial period that is 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 the budget has been untouched. Many environmentalists and activists from the city have raised queries as to why civic body is failing to utilize the budget allocated for such genuine work in the city.

In 2017-18, during the budget speech, the then NMMC Municipal Commissioner Tukaram Mundhe told that the civic body has planned a mangrove park in the city and it was to be developed for eco-tourism in association with the Forest Department. But even in that year the civic body failed to utilize a single rupee for both mangrove plantation and conservation and herbal and botanical garden in spite of the budget allocations by one of the richest municipal corporation.

Dr. Jayaji Nath, NCP Corporator and Social Worker from Belapur, said, “It is really a serious issue. I don’t understand why the civic body is not able to use the budget allocated for such a good and environment purpose. The amount allocations for both mangrove plantation and conservation as well as herbal and botanical garden is happening since last 3-4 years but it is sad that the administration are failing in utilising it. Even in 2019-20 budget, NMMC Commissioner Dr. Ramaswami N. has set the same budget that is Rs. 50 Lakh for mangrove plantation and conservation and Rs. 2 crores for herbal and botanical garden. We are hopeful that this time the funds will be utilised for good.”

Abhitash SinghJune 15, 2019


One succeeded in even creating a world record

The satellite city witnessed a record breaking event on Saturday, 25th May, 2019 at DJ Farmhouse (Dhyan Kendra) in Airoli where at least 10 students under the guidance of Bibhuti Nayak (Bruce Lee of Navi Mumbai) set a national record and one of them also created a world record.

The students who were participants in the record breaking events were cheered by their parents and the teammates. The Best of India Records and Limca Book of records officials were present to monitor the records of the students.

The students who succeeded in the various categories were Aditi Sanap achieved a target of 246 most double-leg skips in one minute (female) and created a national records by breaking the previous 241 counts which was needed to qualify, Janhavi Sanap attempted most deep squats in one minute (female) and she broke the early count of 57 and achieved 73 as a final target, Vinit Patil participated in most jumping jacks in one minute and broke the earlier counts of 109 and achieved and set a new final target of 112 counts, Adarsh Pal achieved a final target of 166 breaking the previous counts of minimum 120 plus in most astride jumps in one minute, Shravani Yogesh Bhuran set the new national record by achieving a target of 90 by breaking earlier 72 counts but he remain just 22 counts behind to record the world record which is 111 counts. Dipti Pant participated in most single arm rotations in one minute (female) where the minimum target to qualify was 90 as per universal standards and BIR Rules and Guidelines but she succeeded in achieving 144 target counts, Kabir Pant achieved a 183 target breaking the earlier count of 143 which was needed for qualifying in most single hand rotations in one minute, Bhumika Pant achieved a final target of 110 in most jumping jacks in one minute which was open because no previous records were available, Kartik S Choudhary achieved 162 numbers in most alternate squat thrusts in one minute breaking the earlier national record of 72 counts but missed with few numbers in breaking the world record which is 201 numbers and finally Harshith Sivaganesan created a world record by doing 93 numbers of most side bends in one minute because the earlier record was of 91 numbers.

It was very emotional scene at the event because few students after achieving the target were seen crying and that was the happiness tears which passed through their eyes. Few students also touch the feet of their mentor Bibhuti Nayak who has been training them since last many days to make them achieve a feat.


Abhitash SinghJune 15, 2019


Dr. Jayaji Nath asks the civic body to initiate shifting of mangroves from holding ponds

NCP Corporator from Belapur, senior leader and social worker Dr. Jayaji Nath on Friday raised an issue of shifting the mangroves from holding ponds in Belapur Sector-4 at Standing Committee Meet. He asked the NMMC administration and standing committee chairman to take the issue seriously.

Raising the issue he said that from last so many years the citizens of CBD-Belapur have been facing lots of problems due to the mangroves in the holding ponds. “Several times I asked the civic body to shift the mangroves without harming them, but I keep getting the same reply that the matter is in the court,” he added.

Due to mangroves in the holding ponds most of the homes in Belapur area get flooded. On July 26, 2005, when it rained most heavily, the situation was very dangerous. Even then the NMMC didn’t open its eyes. Even now the ground floor faces the same problems but still no action from NMMC.

Speaking with Media, Dr. Jayaji Nath said, “There is a provision that the mangroves can be replanted or shifted somewhere else without harming it. I know that there is Supreme Court direction that the mangroves cannot be harmed for the development but here I am not talking about any development but the safety of the citizens. NMMC is not taking the matter seriously. If they would have been serious than the talk would have been initiated by the civic body to convince the court to shift the mangroves.”

He further added, “I have raised this issue several times in both Standing Committee and General Body meets but it goes into the deaf ears of the civic body administration. I think that the NMMC’s eyes will open when the water will enter inside one of the richest civic body building.”

Abhitash SinghJune 15, 2019


Out of 30 lakes only 6 are relatively clean

 In a study conducted jointly by SIES College, Nerul and Greenline which is a environmental group, it was found that only 20 percent of lakes in the satellite city were clean and the rest 24 lakes had water which is suitable and also unfit for the human consumption.

The survey which was done for five months says that most of the Navi Mumbai lakes are polluted. The survey was conducted from December 2018 to April 2019. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) are now going through the survey so that in future they can work on the cleanliness of all the ponds.

The freshwater lakes from Digha to Belapur were surveyed and it was done doing field surveys in between this area and it was found that only 20 percent of the lakes were clean while 60 percent were polluted and rest were having a foul stench.  It is found in the survey that at least 36 percent people from the city use lake water for washing the clothes and 19 percent use it for washing the vehicles and another 19 percent use it for bathing. But no industrial chemicals or any other affluents from MIDC and other industrial area were being discharged into any lake.

The NMMC senior officials on the condition of anonymity said, “We know that SIES College, Nerul and Greenline conducted a study of lakes in the city just to prepare Navi Mumbai’s baseline data keeping in mind the future policy decisions.  Even after creating awareness among masses every year, idol immersions increases, solid waste like food packets, wrappers and also the nirmalaya that is flower waste are thrown in the lakes just making the water of the lakes polluted and unfit for drinking. We clean all the lakes of Navi Mumbai in every two or three years and we also divide the lakes into two parts, but only problem which is faced by us is that in the satellite city all lakes have stagnant water and there is no runoff. And due to dilution there is increase in the pollutant load.”

He further added, “We will go through the report and will definitely be considering the recommendations made in it.”

Abhitash SinghJune 15, 2019


NMMC got the idea about the project in 2015

If you are a skating enthusiast, then here is something to cheer about the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) which had planned a Skating Park in Nerul at sector 11(A) in the year 2015 and will now be finally initiating it and will try to make it a reality by 2020.

The civic body is in a process to consult skating experts from foreign countries. The skating culture is more dominant internationally and slowly it’s catching up in India.

NMMC Commissioner Dr. Ramaswami N. said, “We all know that now in India the skating is really becoming a known sport. Many youngsters are participating in skating. But we don’t have enough infrastructure for skating. So we have planned to come up with Skating Park in the city. And skating experts from foreign countries can help us and they can only tell us more about their sports or culture more accurately. This sport has western influence and they can be a better guide to help us in constructing a perfect park.”

A senior official from NMMC on the condition of anonymity said, “Apart from taking the help of the foreign skating experts who are best in their respective field, we are also getting suggestions and designs from the local skating group of the city and they too have shown their interest and proposed that they can do the work. We are looking out how can it be worked out.”

The skating park at Nerul will be having two sections that is one for the beginners and the other for the professionals. Apart from the skating facility in the park, it will also be having several other outdoor games facilities constructed in the park which would be spread over 32,000 sq. meter.

Abhitash SinghJune 15, 2019


Civic chief ask engineers to pull up their socks

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) Commissioner Dr. Ramaswami N. has set October end as the deadline for the completion of Vishnudas Bhave Natyagraha work. While inspecting the various work in the city on Wednesday the civic chief visited Vishudas Bhave Natyagraha and inspected the work progress. He asked the engineers to pull up their socks and achieve the completion target.

During the inspection, few citizens told him that they have to go all the way to Nerul Agri-Koli Bhavan or Panvel to watch the play. The other option is to go to Mumbai for watching the play. If the Vishnudas Bhave Natyagraha work gets completed soon then it will be easy for them to catch the play or any events in the city itself. The civic chief gave the assurances to the citizens that from November or first week of December they will be able to visit their favourite auditorium of the city.

Dr. Ramaswami N. said, “I have personally inspected the work happening at Vishnudas Bhave Natyagraha. The auditorium has its own charm and most of the events take place here. Marathi plays aficionados are going all the way to Mumbai for watching play. And this is the reason I have asked my engineers to speed up the work and complete the auditorium work till October.”

Earlier, the Vishnudas Bhave Natyagraha renovation or the whole construction of it was stuck in the political fight. But later the NMMC took the decision to renovate the Vishnudas Bhave Natyagraha for the citizens because it is the only auditorium in the city and hence the city should have a proper auditorium with all the facilities in the place. The renovation of the auditorium started from 11th March, 2019 and the estimated time for the completion of the work was eight month.  But now the civic chief has set the new deadline and he wants it to get completed by the end of October.

Abhitash SinghJune 14, 2019


Company sets up Digital Academy in KK

In order to enhance the employability of marginalized communities Capagemini launched ‘A first in India’ its Digital Academy Initiative in Koperkhairane. It is one of a kind program focused on digital inclusion aimed to reintegrate a wide range of people from marginalised backgrounds. Many employees from Capgemini were awarded certificates and also the students from the low strata of the society were part of the launch event.

In first phase, two digital academies are being setup: a non-residential and co-ed center in Navi Mumbai and an all woman residential center in Pune. Capgemini has partnered with Pratham Infotech Foundation to implement the program and Simplon.Co, for content, knowledge and pedagogy. The company will play an advisory role through its Human Resources (HR) teams and subject matter experts (SMEs) to validate training curricula and pedagogy and ensure that the candidates are trained in competences corresponding to needs of the job market.

The Navi Mumbai and Pune academies will initially focus on training 100 unemployed youth in future skills; 50 in each city. The technical courses will include coding, web development, and SQL (Standard Query Language). Additionally, soft skills will be imparted to the participants to ensure they are job ready. The length of each training program is around 500 hours. Every successful participant will be awarded a diploma certified by Capgemini and partners.

Ashwin Yardi, CEO, Capgemini, India and also member of the Group Executive Committee, while addressing the gatherings, said, “Both the digital academy centers reinforce our commitment to drive equal opportunity and leverage our expertise as a technology company to bring individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds into the mainstream job market. The women-only center in Pune reflects a critical pillar of our strategic focus to embrace and enable diversity so that women are an integral part of the workforce.”

Kumar Anurag Pratap, Senior Director & CSR Leader, said, “The launch is part of Capgemini’s global program in digital inclusion to train excluded populations to use the best digital tools and facilitate their integration within the society of today and tomorrow. The beneficiaries of the initiative include disadvantaged youth who are NEET (not in education, employment or training), and under-represented groups from society.

Thierry Delaporte, Chief Operating Officer of the Capgemini Group, said, “At Capgemini, we are convinced that technology has an inclusive and positive role to play in our societies. The breadth and depth of our skillsets means we are equipped to be architects of positive futures. Our Group-wide focus on digital inclusion will enable us to mobilize our collective passion, connections and expertise to support individuals with the digital skills they need to sustain themselves in the new world shaped by the digital revolution.”

Representative of Capgemini from other countries, Lucie Laurines and Frederic Bardeau. were also part of the launch event. They told that the digital academy from Capgemini will definitely help in shaping the career of all the students from underprivileged society and in future it will give them global platform.

With the aim to reintegrate a wide range of people from marginalized backgrounds (such as refugees, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, the unemployed, etc.), Capgemini has opened Digital Academies and similar digital inclusion initiatives in a number of countries around the world including North America, Spain, The Netherlands, UK, and soon in Germany. In France, Capgemini co-founded La Grande École du Numérique (GEN) with several public and private organizations – including Simplon – to offer digital training to disadvantaged young people.


Abhitash SinghJune 14, 2019


Shopkeepers say there are many reasons for increase in rates

Monsoon has already arrived in the city from Monday onwards and there is a rush of people visiting shops that are selling umbrella and raincoats. Taking advantage of the seasonal demand, many shopkeepers are charging minimum of Rs. 300 for an umbrella and the maximum amount can even go above Rs.1000 depending on the brands. The raincoats are being priced at Rs 250 minimum and its range goes till Rs.1500.

The customers who started visiting the nearby market in the city are finding that the rainy products prices are high and the shopkeepers reason that the increase in customs duty and also the slight increase in the prices of Chinese products have made the products expensive.

Sujit Shinde, Shopkeeper from Nerul, said, “Now a days the trends keep changing and there are more demands to Indian products in comparison to China products. The reason for the increase in the prices of Indian raincoat, umbrellas and other products are 10 percent increase in many items that is E-way bill in place, GST and also the transportation cost.”

Sachin Kamble, Shopkeeper from Koperkhairane, said, “The kids demand attractive raincoat and umbrellas with new designs and it is costly. But this time the market will be better in comparison with previous year. This time our focus is on the kids. However, we are selling the products for all the age group. The cartoon characters like Superman, Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown etc. and even animated umbrellas along with other materials are in demand. The umbrellas and raincoats are also made keeping in mind the liking of boys and girls of their different types of characters. Also there are different pattern and design of raincoat especially for girls.

Kamble further added, “This rainy season one more product has been added and that is the new bag covers. As the umbrella and raincoat can’t totally cover the school bags so the new bag covers in the market is for multipurpose use. Many essential items in the bag like mobile, laptop, wallet and other essential things can be protected by the bag covers.

Abhitash SinghJune 12, 2019


FDA Maharashtra fails to implement it in the satellite city

Earlier in 2016 the food regulatory body – Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) came up with the regulations and prohibited selling of any food items which is given by the roadside vendors in a wrapped newspaper. But in Navi Mumbai the roadside vendors are seen following the norms and they are still providing the food items to the customers in wrapped newspaper. Even the Food and Drug Administration, Maharashtra, has totally failed to implement the rule it in the satellite city.

Sunil Ramakrishan, a resident of Vashi and a foodie, said, “I have read in newspaper that in 2016 the FSSAI had prohibited the usage of wrapped newspaper for food items. They had asked all the state FDA authorities to take action against the roadside vendors if they found floating the norms. But I can still see that the sandwich vendor outside my office in Koperkhairane still gives the parcel sandwiches in a wrapped newspaper. The regulation was brought in action in the year 2016 because the wrapped food in newspaper is considered to be harmful for the consumption because of the printing ink and it can be cancerous.”

When Newsband correspondent spoke to one of the senior FDA inspector who initiates the action on the roadside vendors he said, “If we receive any complaint from any people we definitely take action on the roadside vendors. But till now we haven’t received a single complaint from the Navi Mumbaikars of any violation since the date of implementation of the regulations. And the reason we haven’t initiated any action on any roadside vendors till date.”

The FSSAI came up with unique idea and that was for addressing the issue of printing ink which causes serious health issue in people and if consumed daily than it can cause cancer in the long-term. In Navi Mumbai the food authority failed to implement the regulation and they are not able to take any action against such activities happening in large numbers. The roadside vendors now have made it a common practice.

Dr. Sanjay Mukherjee, Secretary of FDA, Maharashtra, said, “Many awareness programs were organised by us for the street vendors in Navi Mumbai. And people haven’t come ahead to complaint about any such issue so we haven’t taken any action. But when he receive the complaint in future we will definitely take strict action against them.”


Abhitash SinghJune 12, 2019


Citizens allege no action by RTO

The auto drivers of the satellite city are taking benefit as heavy spells were witnessed in the city. The citizens allege that many auto drivers were charging more than the meter. According to one senior passenger from Vashi the auto drivers are not worried about complaints against them by NGO’s or even action from the RTO.

On the first day itself the auto drivers from Nerul, Vashi, Ulwe and Seawoods charged exorbitant fares from the commuters. As people were caught aware about the rain and did not carrying raincoat, umbrella to protect themselves from getting wet. The auto drivers at Ulwe were seen ferrying around 6 people in an auto and each passengers were been charged Rs.20 instead of Rs.10 which is charged on regular day. The commuters were not having any options but to pay whatever the auto drivers demanded.

Pratik Yadav, Director of Parivartan Foundation and a resident of Ulwe sector-17 said, “My home is just 7 minutes walking distance from Kharkhopar station and on regular days I go by my car. But on Monday I just came for a walk at Kharkopar station and I was stuck in the rain and to drop me home the auto driver asked me for Rs.50 which is really exorbitant. And if the passengers argue with them then they ask the passengers to take some other options.”

He further added, “When you tell them that we will complain to the RTO then they straightaway ask you to go and complain which shows that they don’t have any fear of RTO officials.”

Sunil Thevar, Daily Commuter from Vashi Station to Vashi Sector-15 said, “Earlier, I used to take auto from Vashi Station to Vashi Sector-15 and I was being charged only Rs.15 but on Monday during rain I was asked for Rs.30 and I was shocked. When I questioned the autodriver about the increase in fares he replied that during rain our fares get increased because in rainy season our auto needs more repairing.”

Nitesh Misal, Social Activist from Ghansoli, said, “The errant drivers are not at all worried or fear from the RTO officials or any NGOs. All the auto drivers support each other when some passengers points about their wrong doings.”

Newsband Correspondent tried calling the senior RTO officials but he was unavailable for the comment.


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Newsband, started in 2005 as In New Bombay, is today Navi Mumbai’s only daily local English newspaper. The paper believes in delivering outstanding journalistic content to its readers about the city of Navi Mumbai and enjoys a readership of about 11,000.