Category: General

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.”

Ashok DhamijaJune 15, 2019


Kharghar: The beautiful morning had a very pleasant and joyous atmosphere as the gates of Ryan International School, Kharghar were flunged wide open to welcome the Fathers and their tiny tots, hand in hand.  It was a day to honour Fathers and celebrate fatherhood, for their undying love, sacrifice & affection.  The teachers warmly welcomed the Fathers and escorted them to the school auditorium.

The celebration began with the Scripture verses and Special Prayer dedicating the Fathers into the hands of the Lord Almighty. The melodious foot tapping prayer songs ignited a sparkle of happiness. The tiny tots then welcomed the dads with loving words of welcome in English, Hindi & Marathi languages followed by the beautiful welcome dance.

Festivity and fun filled competitions with a view to get the patriarch out of their regular hectic schedule soon followed as the special guests s along with their kids danced to the musical tunes spreading happiness all around. A quiz on multiple subjects was an ice breaker and fathers were energetic for some more fun & frolic. Musical Chair showcased their quest to succeed against odds while being respectfully of their opponents. An impromptu round of talent had fathers showcase their singing & instrumental talents. They latter enthusiastically took part in the ramp walk and showcased their charming moves with their tiny tots in tow. The young students shared special messages which acknowledged their fathers’ dedication and endless efforts to nurture their families.

Selfie corner with selfie tags too was setup for the Father – child duo to click pics and take back sweet memories of the day. Dads were surprised with the Father’s Day artwork of the kids in the form of handmade crowns that was presented to them. The Fathers were reminiscent; the activities brought back the memories of their childhood. They were deeply touched by the cheers of their kids and felt elated as they received the prizes. The program ended on a happy note with a vote of thanks and the Fathers posing along with their kids delightfully for a photo shoot as refreshments were served.

“Father’s Day – a day dedicated to dads around the world was celebrated with pomp and frolic with a view to make the dads of our students feel special. It was a moment to let the fathers indulge in some fun time in order to  break their monotony and get them out of their regular hectic schedule so that they leave with beautiful lingering memories. A number of fun filled games and stage performance were organised.  The most emotional moment was when Fathers expressed their feelings and experiences on being ‘Dad’ and holding their ‘bundle of joy’ for the first time. They also appreciated the efforts of the school management for organizing the event. They said that such type of events help them to nurture their relationship with the children,” shared Alice Vaz, Principal of the institute

Ashok DhamijaJune 15, 2019


Navi Mumbai: The 25th Prathista Vardanthi Mahotsav of Shree Laxmi Venkataramana Temple, Vashi popularly known as Balaji Mandir by the devotees, along with the 22nd   Vardanthi Mahotsav of Parivara Devathas and 18th Vardanthi Mahotsav of Navagraha Devathas got under way from Saturday the 15th June, 2019 with religious fervor and special prayers. Organized by the GSB Sabha Navi Mumbai, the same is being conducted by His Holiness Shrimad Samyameendra Thirtha Swamiji, Matadhipati of Shree Kashimath Samsthan, Varanasi as per Vedic norms in presence of large number of faithful’s from various part of the city and neighboring areas.  Photo feature shows a glimpse of the same with captions detailed below:

Photo Left: His Holiness Shrimad Samyameendra Thirtha Swamiji, Matadhipati of Shree Kashimath Samsthan, Varanasi performing special prayers of Vedavyasa, Lord Narasimha and other deities; Photo Centre: Devotees take blessings of the holy light. Photo Right: Devotees volunteer to segregate the holy Tulsi (Holy basil) leaves as part of preparation for the of Laksha Tulsi archane which will carried out amidst recitation of Shri Vishnu Ashtottara Shatanaamavali (108 names of Lord Vishnu) to be held today Sunday 16th June, 2019. (Photos by Author).

Ashok DhamijaJune 14, 2019


United in our efforts

Navi Mumbai: In order to create awareness of the environment among its students, Ryan Christian School – Vashi observed World Environment Day recently. A number of activities and competitions based on the theme ‘We Care’ were organized on the occasion. The same witnessed enthusiastic participation from Montessori I to Grade. VIII students. These activities included finger printing of trees, paper plate sun making, nature scenery drawing and fancy dress competitions, extempore speeches on environment day and tree plantation drive.
“World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5th of every year and it was instituted by the United Nations to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment. A day to promote caring for our planet, Earth. A number of activities were organized for our student’s right from Montessori I to Grade VIII with a view to ensure that the world is safe, clean and beautiful for our students as they grow up, and also in future their children to have a beautiful world to live in. For that to happen we have to make them understand that we all have to work together in order to take care of our planet Earth” shared Edwin Fernando, Headmistress of Ryan Christian School Vashi on the occasion.


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.