Maharashtra Travel News

Uddhav Thackeray's Emotional New Appeal To Rebel Bio-Bubble
Ndtv | 10 hours ago
Ndtv
10 hours ago

Uddhav Thackeray has now about 15 of the party's 55 MLAs.New Delhi: Eknath Shinde, who has caused the Shiv Sena to fold in on itself, is headed to Mumbai -finally. His travel plans suggest that he's ready to fuel the next big move against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray - a no-confidence vote which would force Mr Thackeray to prove that his government has not been dwarfed to a minority.Perhaps in recognition of this, Mr Thackeray sent a letter today to the 40 MLAs from his own party who have deserted him - metaphorically and literally, by forming a bio-bubble at the five-star Radisson Blu hotel in Guwahati, where they have elected Mr Shinde as their leader and authorised him to decide their future."Come back to Mumbai, let's talk, we'll find a way (out)," read Mr Thackeray's emotional appeal to Camp Shinde.Mr Thackeray and his team - about 15 of the party's 55 MLAs - have repeatedly said that if he is brought face-to-face with those who have rejected him as their chief, the chasm can be bridged. It is to guard against that Mr Shinde has quarantined his entourage in the North East since last Wednesday.At the Guwahati hotel, the BJP has been given visiting rights, a telltale sign of its intricate involvement in the crisis that seeks to collapse Mr Thackeray's government. Mr Shinde and his posse have said that the Sena has been betrayed by its now three-year-old alliance with the Congress and Sharad Pawar's party in Maharashtra; its authentic self, they say, belongs with the BJP, its partner of 30 years till 2019.It was then that Mr Thackeray, smarting from what he saw as an undermining of the Sena by the BJP, formed a new combo, one that had the numbers to form the government and that was conceived of and supervised by Mr Pawar.But since then, Camp Shinde alleges, the Sena has diluted its focus on Hindutva, and has often sold itself short in order to help its allies, especially in elections where Sena MLAs were urged to support candidates from partner parties.It was after one of those elections last week that Mr Shinde headed out of Mumbai on a bus with a band of about 20 MLAs. They were escorted by the Gujarat police (another measure of the BJP's complicity) to a Surat hotel. After Mr Thackeray's aides managed to meet a few of the rebels, the group was loaded onto a plane for its current digs in Guwahati.Yesterday, the Supreme Court said that as yet, the rebel MLAs cannot be disqualified for anti-party actions, which was what Mr Thackeray's team had sought. Instead, Camp Shinde has till July 12 to explain its stand. Separately, Mr Shinde has filed his own petition for party posts to be appointed by him and not by Mr Thackeray, who, he says, now holds sway over a tiny corner of the Sena.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comMr Shinde has also claimed that he - or his team, at any rate - is "the true promoter of the ideology" of Bal Thackeray, who was the Chief Minister's father and founder of the Shiv Sena.Mr Shinde's next step will likely involve a meeting with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari to request a vote in the assembly to determine Mr Thackeray's strength. Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP, who lost office as Chief Minister to Mr Thackeray, is in Delhi, consulting with party bosses on how to shape the things to come.

Uddhav Thackeray's Emotional New Appeal To Rebel Bio-Bubble
Rebel group in no hurry to leave Guwahati until key issues resolved: MLA
Times of India | 3 days ago
Times of India
3 days ago

NASHIK: Former minister and Shiv Sena MLA Deepak Kesarkar, who is now in the Eknath Shinde camp, told TOI on Friday said the rebel group is in no hurry to return to Maharashtra until two issues - the possible disqualification of 16 dissident MLAs and the appointment of the chief whip in the legislative assembly- are resolved. Amid escalating political developments, Kesarkar said it was a 'bizarre' strategy that the MVA coalition was adopting to corner the Eknath Shinde group. "I wonder if they are aware of the constitutional provisions. The petition for disqualification of the 16 MLAs is on ground that they did not attend a meeting of Sena legislators. This meeting was called at very short notice and they must remember that Maharashtra is a big state and, in some parts, it takes at least 10-12 hours to reach Mumbai. How can these MLAs travel from their home district to Mumbai in such a short time? " he said. On the appointment of a chief whip, the dissident MLA said, "How can they have their chief whip when their house strength has dwindled to 15 members. Our group has the support of 38 Sena MLAs. These moves are completely unconstitutional. If there is a vote of no-confidence, the downfall of the present government will be imminent." On their next stepsKesarkar: We are a group of 50 MLAs backing Eknath Shinde. The group is in no hurry to leave Guwahati till two vital issues are resolved. We will deal with these issues patiently and legally. If these 16 MLAs are disqualified by the deputy speaker, we will definitely challenge it in the court. It is mandatory to hear the MLAs before he (deputy speaker) gives his decision. Moreover, we have the support of 38 of our own MLAs and the Sena's chief whip must be from our group. We will go all out legally to nullify the appointment of the chief whip made by the rival faction. On reconciliation with MatoshreeKesarkar: The onus of a reconciliation lies entirely with CM Uddhav Thackeray and leaders of the rival faction. We have already made it clear that Sena must not have any truck with Congress and NCP. Although our rival faction has been claiming Sena would not have any understanding with those two parties, the CM is holding a meeting with Sharad Pawar to discuss the present situation and trying to wriggle out of the tight spot for the MVA government's survival. The Shinde group will not take any U-turn on its stand under any circumstances.

Rebel group in no hurry to leave Guwahati until key issues resolved: MLA
After Char Dham And Ambubachi, Weather Forecast For Pandharpur's Waari Pilgrimage
India | 4 days ago
India
4 days ago

Mumbai: On the lines of the special pilgrimage forecast for the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has announced a special forecast for the annual ‘Waari’ pilgrimage in Maharashtra. IMD issues such a forecast for the duration of the pilgrimage, which is not only helpful for the pilgrims but also for the planners, administrators and disaster management personnel in view of the lakhs of people converging at a place over a short duration.Also Read - Triyuginarayan Temple in Uttarakhand: A Perfect Destination For Wedding in The HimalayasAnother recent example of special pilgrimage forecast by IMD was the one issued for Ambubachi Mela, the famous pilgrimage at Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, where thousands of devotees throng over a short duration from July 22 to 26 annually. Also Read - No Way We Will Go Back, Says Eknath Shinde As Shiv Sena Offers Olive Branch To Rebel MLAsWaari is a pilgrimage on foot wherein people walk with a ‘palkhi’ from Dehu and Alandi near Pune to Pandharpur – nearly 450 kms – in Solapur district, very near to the Karnataka border. Every year, thousands of devotees walk from the two places for the Waari to culminate at Pandharpur on Aashadhi Ekadashi that falls on July 10 this year. Over the years, people have started to travel in vehicles too, only adding to the crowds. On Aashadhi Ekadashi day, there are an estimated 12 lakh people in the small town of Pandharpur, that has a population of a little over one lakh. Also Read - Rhododendrons and Snow Leopards, Check Out These 5 Unexplored National Parks Of HimalayasThe presiding deity Viththal of Pandharpur has a wide fan following and hence, the Ashadhi Ekadashi waari witnesses participation from both Karnataka and border areas of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.“We started on Monday when the Tukaram Maharaj palkhi embarked from Dehu. Similarly, the Dnyaneshwar Maharaj palkhi embarked from Alandi on Tuesday. Both travel via Pune to reach together on July 10 at Pandharpur. We would be issuing a special forecast for this entire duration,” said K.S. Hosalikar, a senior meteorologist from IMD Pune.The forecast would be available on IMD Pune website for all to access. The IMD also works in tandem with the government agencies by providing direct inputs to them in view of the smooth management of Waari.

After Char Dham And Ambubachi, Weather Forecast For Pandharpur's Waari Pilgrimage
  • After two years, Warkaris set to mass for Pandharpur pilgrimage
  • The Indian Express

    The three police jurisdictions of Pune district have geared up for the Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar Palkhi processions which are taking place on a full scale after a gap of two years.The Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune City and Pune Rural police jurisdictions have chalked out plans that comprise heavy police deployment for crowd control, traffic diversions and various security measures for the Pandharpur Wari, the pivotal annual event for Warkari sect and a celebration which is key to Maharashtra’s cultural identity.The Palkhis or the procession of the palanquins carrying the Paduka or revered symbolic footwear of Sant Tukaram Maharaj and Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, will start their three-week-long journeys on June 20 and June 21 from the temple towns of Dehu and Alandi and are slated to reach Pandharpur on July 10.Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi is slated to embark on its journey to the pilgrimage centre at Pandharpur from the temple town of Dehu in Pune district on Monday. As per the tradition, the Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi will be halting at Inamdar Wada in Dehu at night and reach Akurdi in Pimpri Chinchwad on Tuesday. The Palkhi of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj will begin its journey from Alandi on Tuesday. It will halt at Gandhi Wada in Alandi for the night.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨Both processions would arrive in Pune city on Wednesday afternoon. The two Palkhis will rest in Pune on Thursday — Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi at Nivdunga Vitthal Mandir and Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi at  the Palkhi Vithoba Mandir. On Friday morning, both processions will resume their journeys from Pune towards Pandharpur.These processions are accompanied by a large number of Warkaris and devotees from across Maharashtra and even outside who take this 21 day journey on foot, either in entirety or partially. The Warkaris have already flooded Alandi and Dehu. “This time, Warkaris, numbering over 3-5 lakhs, will head from Dehu to Pandharpur,” Nitin More, who heads the Sant Tukaram Maharaj Sansthan, Dehu, said.The Pune district administration and the police are also expecting a huge turnout as the Pandharpur Wari is happening without any restrictions for the first time after two years because of the pandemic.The two starting points of the Palkhis — Dehu and Alandi town — fall within the jurisdiction of Pimpri Chinchwad police. Ankush Shinde, police commissioner of Pimpri Chinchwad, said, “We have chalked out an elaborate plan for crowd control in and around the temples and on the routes of the Palkhis. Considering past incidents of theft and pickpocketing, dedicated teams have been deployed on these routes. As we have to close some roads for general traffic, arrangements have been made for traffic diversions through alternate routes. We are also deploying drone cameras for monitoring the passage of processions on their respective routes.”On Tuesday, the movement of heavy vehicles from Dehu Phata to Bhakti Shakti Chowk will be diverted via Dehu Phata to Katraj Bypass from 6 am. Traffic from Bhakti Shakti Chowk to Dehu Phata will be routed via Khandoba Mal, officials said.Joint Commissioner of Police for Pune City Police jurisdiction, Sandeep Karnik, said, “Around 4,000 officers and personnel will be deployed all along the routes and at places of halt for the Palkhis in Pune City. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad will be deployed for conducting checks. Quick response teams will also be on stand-by. Dedicated teams from the crime branch will be pressed into action to prevent cases of thefts, pickpocketing and chain snatching. Traffic diversions have been enforced in Pune City to ensure that the Palkhi routes are isolated from traffic and at same time commuters can use alternate routes.”

Your Daily Wrap: Uddhav offers to resign, Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake; and more
The Indian Express | 6 days ago
The Indian Express
6 days ago

◾ In the top story of the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray offered to step down in a bid to defuse the crisis that has gripped the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government following the rebellion led by Eknath Shinde. An emotional Thackeray added that he was willing to resign if the rebel leader and MLAs supporting him declare that they don’t want him to continue as CM.◾ Meanwhile, Shinde stated that the MVA govt in Maharashtra was an “unnatural alliance” and it was imperative for his party to walk out of the coalition with the NCP and the Congress for its own sake and that of party workers.◾ Touted as the biggest-ever loan fraud case in India, the CBI has booked former promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, among 13 accused for defrauding a consortium of 17 banks of over Rs 34,000 crore. Until now, the Nirav Modi-led PNB loan fraud (Rs 13,000 crore) and ABG Shipyard loan fraud (Rs 20,000 crore) were considered to be the biggest.◾ In one of the country’s deadliest quakes in decades, a powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early today, killing 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise.Political Pulse◾ In this exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Yashwant Sinha, who has emerged as the Opposition’s consensus candidate for the July 18 presidential election in which he will be up against the NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu, talks about the presidential election being an ideological battle, Murmu’s candidature, and why it is too early to conclude that he does not have the numbers to win. Read more here◾ The protests across the country against the Centre’s short-term military recruitment scheme Agnipath have a recurring feature: railway properties have been vandalised, torched or attacked from Bihar to West Bengal to Telangana. This isn’t the first time the Indian Railways found itself the target of such protests. As a 168-year-old organisation that is a subsidised mode of travel for millions of Indians, the Railways carries huge symbolism for demonstrators seeking to make a point. Here’s whyExpress Explained◾ As poll results for Haryana’s 46 municipalities rolled in Wednesday, BJP scored a clear edge over its opponents by winning 22 civic bodies, while its ally JJP managed to win three. The lion’s share of the remaining local bodies went to the Congress, with debutant AAP managing just one. What do these results mean for all major political players in the state?◾ Britain is in the middle of its biggest rail strike in 30 years. Tens of thousands of rail workers took part in a mass walkout on Tuesday (June 21), protesting frozen salaries, changing working conditions, and proposed job cuts. What impact has the strike had and what happens here onward?

Your Daily Wrap: Uddhav offers to resign, Afghanistan’s deadliest earthquake; and more
Hoteliers request Maharashtra aviation department to help in-bound air travellers with paper work
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

MUMBAI: Hoteliers have requested the state aviation department to help in-bound air travellers in easing out the process of submitting Air Suvidha form and other documents as they said on many occasions their guests have missed flights due to delay in filing them up. This form mainly asks about Covid vaccination status. In a letter written to principal secretary (aviation) Valsa Nair Singh, hotel and restaurants association western India (HRAWI) president Sherry Bhatia has pointed out serious problems being faced by the air travellers flying to India from overseas destinations. HRAWI has thousands of star hotels and premium bars and restaurants as its members. "On numerous occasions the travelers are not aware of this mandatory requirement. The Online Travel Aggregators (OTAs) whom the customers mostly rely on for travel logistics, hardly inform the travelers about the same, resulting in the travelers getting to know about this form at the check-in counter only," said Bhatia. "Most of the travelers use their mobile phones for ticketing, airport check-ins and boarding pass facilities at the airports. However, filling the Air Suvidha Form through mobile is a cumbersome exercise, requiring high-speed internet, which cannot be met with the normal mobile internet services provided by the telecom operators," he pointed out. Bhatia said one of the most common issues faced by the in-bound travelers is the difficulty in uploading the images of their passports and vaccination certificate in a prescribed file size and specific format which needs adequate time and high-speed internet. "In the eventuality of customers not able to fill the online form, there is no alternate option available to fill a physical copy of the Air Suvidha Form at the airports and that has led to chaotic situations. And on many occasions, the travelers had to miss their flights for not being able to complete this formality," the letter stated. "We understand and support the government’s intentions for ensuring safety of all passengers flying to the country. At the same time, we also firmly believe that there could be better / viable alternative solutions available to ensure self-declaration formalities being complied by the flyers. Keeping in mind about the continuous difficulties being faced by the in-bound travelers, we would like to humbly request you to kindly allow some alternate options to fill the Air Suvidha Form, in the interest of all the in-bound travellers to India," the letter stated at the end.

Hoteliers request Maharashtra aviation department to help in-bound air travellers with paper work
2023 Maharashtra board exams to be based on entire syllabus
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

PUNE: The March 2023 secondary and higher secondary examinations of the Maharashtra state board will be based on the entire syllabus and students will have to appear for the exams at allotted centres, said officials. Online classes had forced the board to reduce the syllabus by nearly 25% for the offline board exams this year. The board chairman said that the exam centres will also be allotted to students in third-party schools as against home centres this year for the convenience of students. This year, students did not have to travel long distances to their exam centres. Sudhakar Raut, a secondary school teacher, said, "Many concessions were given to the students to ensure that offline exams were conducted without any hassle. The concessions ensured that the students kept their calm while preparing for the crucial examinations." State board chairman Sharad Gosavi said, "We will have to go back to the original rules and regulations from next year onwards. We do not see any reason why the syllabus should be reduced and the same should be noted by students to prepare accordingly." The exam centres were increased this year for convenience of students. "From next year onwards, the students will be shuffled to other schools as per the traditional practice," added Gosavi. For the first time, the hall tickets had the entire schedule of exams that the students would appear viz-a-viz subjects chosen by them to avoid any confusion. The HSC exam was conducted for a total of 153 subjects. In 24 of these subjects, the pass percentage was 100%. This year, the number of cases of copying registered was 242 in entire Maharashtra. Of these, five of them were dummy cases.

2023 Maharashtra board exams to be based on entire syllabus
Ailing BJP MLAs rush to Mumbai from Pune to vote in Legislative Council polls, say party comes first
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

The two ailing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, for whom the party has made medical arrangements enabling them to vote in the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls, rushed to Mumbai from Pune on Monday saying “party comes first”.While Kasba Peth MLA Mukta Tilak reached the Vidhan Bhawan in Mumbai around 11.15 am, Pimpri-Chinchwad MLA Laxman Jagtap, according to his office, left his constituency around 11 am and is expected to reach the state capital around 2.30 pm.“Loyalty to the party matters to me… I did get a call from my party. I wanted to vote for my party,” Tilak told reporters outside the Vidhan Bhavan as she was received by BJP leaders Pravin Darekar and Girish Mahajan.Mahajan said: “We had told the MLAs that they should make it only if they are in a condition to travel. Mukta-tai is in better condition than Laxmanbhau (Jagtap)… Our leader Devendra Fadnavis told Laxmanbhau not to come. But he insisted that he would make it… He is very enthusiastic to vote,” said Mahajan.“Despite our requests to them to avoid coming to Mumbai if their health does not permit it, both of them were eager to vote,” added Mahajan.Despite serious health conditions, both Jagtap and Tilak had voted in the recent Rajya Sabha polls too. Opposition leader Fadnavis dedicated the BJP’s success to Jagtap and Tilak’s efforts and expressed gratitude for their dedication to the organisation.Earlier this week, Jagtap had told The Indian Express: “I voted in Rajya Sabha (polls) because I am a party loyalist. For my party’s sake, I could not hold myself back. And in the end, both my and Mukta-tai’s vote proved decisive as our candidate won by a close margin.”Jagtap had said that he would make it to the Council polls. “I am inspired by the praise showered on me by my party and my leaders. Devendra Fadnavisji’s reaction after our Rajya Sabha polls victory was heartening. He dedicated the victory to both me and Mukta-tai…Party comes first for us. And therefore in the Council polls too, I would be voting,” he had said.The Legislative Council polls will take place till 4 pm and the counting will start after 5 pm. The results are expected after 8 pm. The BJP is ensuring that all its 106 MLAs vote in the Council polls. Apart from its own MLAs, it will need the support of 24 other MLAs to get all its five candidates elected in the Council polls.Meanwhile, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson said that MLAs Anil Deshmukh and Nawab Malik, who were arrested in separate money laundering cases, had moved the Supreme Court with a plea to allow them to cast their vote in the Council polls.

Ailing BJP MLAs rush to Mumbai from Pune to vote in Legislative Council polls, say party comes first
Mumbai confidential: Demand For Due Bills
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

Rayat Kranti Paksha chief Sadabhau Khot recently had to face an embarrassing situation in Sangola when a hotelier cornered him in full media glare, asking him to pay up pending hotel bill of over Rs 60,000. The hotelier claimed that Khot and his supporters, while campaigning during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, had run up bills of over Rs 60,000. An embarrassed Khot tried to pacify the hotelier in front of the media and the public, but later claimed that this was a political conspiracy to defame him.Virar Fast To RescueOn Saturday, leader of opposition Pravin Darekar and senior BJP leader Girish Mahajan had to travel to Virar to meet Bahujan Vikas Aghadi chief Hitendra Thakur to seek votes for the party’s five candidates in the MLC elections on Monday. They had to travel from Churchgate to Virar, which would have taken them three hours by road. Finally, they decided to travel by Virar Fast, which takes a little over an hour.Pre-Mature DreamsMumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Panday is retiring in June end and there are many aspirants for his post. Last week, one of the aspirants sent his personal staff to check out the office of the police chief, set up recently on second floor of the commissionerate, as well as the other amenities. The staff of this particular aspirant even took pictures of the office and sent it to him. .New CommissionerateSome key leaders of Marathwada and a top state minister want a police commissionerate at Nanded. However, in a recent meeting, the Home Department felt that there was no administrative reason for declaring Nanded as a commissionerate. Interestingly, the most recent police commissionerate set up in Maharashtra was in Vasai Virar – Mira Bhayander, but it is yet to get a premises for its headquarters.Ex-Governor MissingLast Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Raj Bhavan to inaugurate the ‘Gallery of Revolutionaries’. The gallery has been set up in a British-era bunker, which was discovered in 2016 during the term of the then Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. But when the gallery was inaugurated, Raj Bhavan could not ensure that the former governor attended the event. A Raj Bhavan staffer said Rao will visit the gallery after the monsoon, in October, when he will be coming to Mumbai.(Compiled by YOGESH NAIK AND ZEESHAN SHAIKH)

Mumbai confidential: Demand For Due Bills
Shetphal Village: Land of Snakes in Maharashtra That Has Humans And Cobras Under One Roof
India | 1 week ago
India
1 week ago

Shetphal Village: One of the many strong misconceptions about India held by the western world is that it is a place of snake charmers. While we may not entirely agree with that characterization, a visit to this small Maharashtra village may persuade us to disagree, at least in part. Every hamlet in India has its own traditions, colors, and story to tell, but Shetpal Village is most likely the strangest you’ve ever heard about. The one-of-a-kind hamlet is roughly 200 kilometers from Pune in Maharashtra’s Solapur district.Also Read - Agnipath Protests: Maharashtra Youth Congress Workers Detained For Staging Demonstration, Blocking TrafficEvery house has a snake in this village. The reptile creatures are everywhere in the town, and they’re treated as though they’re family. The snakes are not only adored but also given permanent residence here. Snakes, like any other family member, have the right to roam around the house. That’s exactly what happens in the privacy of one’s own house. These snakes are also allowed to move freely throughout the village, just like any other resident. Also Read - Maharashtra: Man, Son Held For Repeatedly Raping Teenage Niece From UPSnakes live in Shetphal and they will be found in every household. The snakes are treated with extra care and fed by the villagers. They’ll have a particular spot in the house. The number of snakes in the village outnumbers the human population. Children play with snakes, and no one has ever been bitten by one in the village. Also Read - At 4,255, Maharashtra Records Highest Daily COVID Cases Since Feb; Mumbai, Thane, Pune Worst-hit | 10 PointsIn this village, snakes and spirituality go hand in hand. Every residence has a separate place set out for the cobras, almost like a temple. This specific snake habitation is known as devasthanam, and people are so loyal to it that they make care to include a space for the snake while building a new home, according to Times of India Travel.Nobody knows how this level of comfort is achieved. And, if reports are to be believed, no snake bites have occurred. Would you like to check it out for yourself?

Shetphal Village: Land of Snakes in Maharashtra That Has Humans And Cobras Under One Roof
Surge in Covid-19 cases: States, UTs asked to submit ‘larger number’ of samples for whole genome sequencing 
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

The direction was issued during Friday’s meeting by the INSACOG which reviewed the Covid-19 data to check the possibility of any new emerging variant or sub-variant and ascertain the reasons behind the breakthrough infections.“The idea behind asking states and Union territories to send large number of samples is to keep a closer watch over the current circulating sublineages of Omicron and its correlation to the current epidemiological picture,” an official said.“Also, we want to see if we are missing out any important clues regarding newer sub-variants during routine sequencing through the sentinel surveillance,” the official added.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨As on date, 10 states and Union territories — Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Gujarat have over 1,000 cases.“The last review meeting that there is no variant of concern in the country as of now. India now has BA.4 and BA.5 in addition to BA.2 which have slightly higher transmissibility as compared to other Omicron sub lineages,” the official said.The INSACOG is a joint initiative of the department of biotechnology under the ministries of science and technology, and health to carry out genome sequencing of the virus to understand how it spreads and evolves.Thirty-two districts in India including 11 from Kerala and five from Maharashtra are reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of more than 10 per cent while in 35 districts including 9 from Delhi, the weekly positivity is between 5 and 10 per cent, sources said.India logged a single day rise of 13,216 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,32,83,793, while the active cases have increased to 68,108, according to health ministry data updated on Saturday morning.The death toll has climbed to 5,24,840 with 23 new fatalities.According to health experts although there is a rise in cases, there is no associated increase in hospitalisation or deaths. Also, the increase is limited to limited to a few districts.The complacency among people towards following Covid-appropriate behaviour in addition to people not being enthusiastic about taking precaution doses possibly has increased the pool of susceptible population.In addition, there is an increased mobility due to summer holidays, easing of travel restrictions – both nationally and internationally – and full-fledged opening up of economic activities, because of which there is spread of infection among vulnerable individuals.

Surge in Covid-19 cases: States, UTs asked to submit ‘larger number’ of samples for whole genome sequencing 
  • Surge in Covid cases: States, UTs asked to submit ‘larger number’ of samples for whole genome sequencing
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI: States and Union territories have been asked to submit "larger number" of samples for whole genome sequencing from districts and areas which have seen a surge in Covid-19 cases over a period of seven days, official sources said on Saturday. The direction was issued during Friday's meeting by the INSACOG which reviewed the Covid-19 data to check the possibility of any new emerging variant or sub-variant and ascertain the reasons behind the breakthrough infections. "The idea behind asking states and Union territories to send larger number of samples is to keep a closer watch over the current circulating sublineagues of Omicron and its correlation to the current epidemiological picture," an official said. "Also, we want to see if we are missing out any important clues regarding newer sub variants during routine sequencing through the sentinel surveillance," the official added. As on date, 10 states and Union territories -- Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Gujarat have over 1,000 cases. "The last review meeting that there is no variant of concern in the country as of now. India now has BA.4 and BA.5 in addition to BA.2 which have slightly higher transmissibility as compared to other Omicron sub lineages," the official said. The INSACOG is a joint initiative of the Department of Biotechnology under the ministries of science and technology, and health to carry out genome sequencing of the virus to understand how it spreads and evolves. Thirty-two districts in India including 11 from Kerala and five from Maharashtra are reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of more than 10 per cent while in 35 districts including 9 from Delhi, the weekly positivity is between 5 and 10 per cent, sources said. India logged a single day rise of 13,216 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of Covid-19 cases to 4,32,83,793, while the active cases have increased to 68,108, according to health ministry data updated on Saturday morning. The death toll has climbed to 5,24,840 with 23 new fatalities. According to health experts although there is a rise in cases, there is no associated increase in hospitalisation or deaths. Also, the increase is limited to limited to a few districts. The complacency among people towards following Covid-appropriate behaviour in addition to people not being enthusiastic about taking precaution doses possibly has increased the pool of susceptible population. In addition, there is an increased mobility due to summer holidays, easing of travel restrictions - both nationally and internationally - and full-fledged opening up of economic activities, because of which there is spread of infection among vulnerable individuals.

  • Maharashtra ramps up genome sequencing & vaccination: Centre urges Maharashtra, TN to strengthen sewage sampling
  • The Indian Express

    AS Covid-19 cases rise, the Maharashtra health department has focused on stepping up genome surveillance and vaccination. Dr Nitin Ambadekar, who took additional charge as state director of health (Pune), told The Indian Express that instructions have been given to step up genome sequencing of samples that test positive for both antigen and RT-PCR tests.“Currently not many samples are coming in for genome sequencing and a majority are from Mumbai and Pune,” Ambadekar said. At a recent meeting with states to discuss the coronavirus situation, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare underlined the need to strengthen surveillance at international airports and focus on whole genome sequencing to detect any mutations in the country.The Centre has pointed out that referral of samples for sequencing decreased in April and May in Maharashtra and there was also a need to deploy immediate surge sampling in Mumbai.It has also instructed metros in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune), apart from Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, to strengthen sewage sampling to capture early signals for any surge.Dr Ambadekar, who is also the state joint director of health services (procurement cell and hospitals), told The Indian Express that efforts are underway to get more samples for genome sequencing.“We are asking laboratories to send samples if a rapid antigen test is positive followed by an RTPCR test and CT value below 25,” a state health official said.Officials said they hoped to place atleast 300 samples this week for genome sequencingat various laboratories in Pune. According to a June 13 report of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a surge in Covid-19 cases has been noted in the country and the positivity rate in the last week was at 2.21 per cent.As on June 13, a total of 47,995 active cases of Covid have been reported in the country with Maharashtra and Kerala accounting for 34 and32per cent of the new infections.The 16,370 active cases in Maharashtra are largely concentrated in Mumbai and its suburban areas as well as Pune.In Pune, the weekly Covid positivity rate (June 5-11) is 8.34 per cent while in Mumbai it is 10.28 per cent and more than 15 per cent in Mumbai suburban, as per the report.Of the 101 districts in India reporting a weekly positivity of more than 2 per cent in the week ending June 11, as many as ten are in Maharashtra.According to the latest report from WHO, globally, BA.2.12.1, BA.5 and BA.4 variants are rising in prevalence.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨According to a report by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium(Insacog – June 3), currently 99 per cent of the samples in the country are of the Omicron variant or its micro lineages. Of the internationally flagged sub-variant BA.2.12.1 (driving the surge in North America), a few have been identified in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, but no increase has been noted. BA.4 and BA.5 (driving the surge in South Africa) have been identified in Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.Ambadekar said priority is also being given to vaccination. There were not many takers in the interim as cases had come down and so, it was not a priority for many families to get the child immunised.“We have, however, urged maximum numbers and even conducted home visits to encourage families. So far 32,000 houses have been visited in the last week,” Ambadekar said.According to the latest report of National Institute of Virology, Pune, 2 more patients of BA.5 variant have been found in Thane city. One of the patients is a 25-year-old woman and the other is a 32- year-old man. They were found to be infected with Covid-19 on May 28 and May 30 and both of them recovered during home isolation.Both of these patients have been vaccinated.According to the information given by BJ Medical College in Pune, of recent samples in Maharashtra, BA.2 is the most prominent variant followed by BA.2.38.

  • As Covid cases surge, Maharashtra ramps up genome sequencing, vaccination
  • The Indian Express

    As Covid cases rise, the Maharashtra health department has focused on stepping up genome surveillance and vaccination. Dr Nitin Ambadekar, who took additional charge as state director of health (Pune) told The Indian Express that instructions have been given to step up genome sequencing of samples that test positive for both antigen and RT-PCR tests.“Currently not many samples are coming in for genome sequencing and a majority are from Mumbai and Pune,” Dr Ambadekar said. At a recent meeting with states on the coronavirus situation, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare underlined the need to strengthen surveillance at international airports and focus on whole genome sequencing to detect any mutations in the country.The Centre has pointed out that referrals of samples for sequencing decreased in April and May in Maharashtra and there was also a need to deploy immediate surge sampling in Mumbai. It has also instructed metro cities in Maharashtra (Mumbai, Pune), apart from Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, to strengthen sewage sampling to capture early signals for any surge.Dr Ambadekar, who is the state joint director of health services (procurement cell and hospitals) and now has additional charge as director of health services, told The Indian Express that efforts are now being made to get more samples for genome sequencing. “We are asking laboratories to send samples after a rapid antigen test is positive followed by an RT-PCR test and CT value is ls below 25,” state health officials said. Officials pointed out that they hoped to place at least 300 samples this week for genome sequencing at various laboratories in Pune.According to a June 13 report of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, a surge in Covid-19 cases has been noted in the country and the positivity rate in the last week was at 2.21 per cent. As on June 13, a total of 47,995 active cases of Covid have been reported in the country with Maharashtra and Kerala accounting for 34 and 32 per cent of the new infections.The 16,370 active cases in Maharashtra are largely concentrated in Mumbai and its suburban areas as well as Pune. In Pune, the weekly Covid positivity rate (June 5-11) is 8.34 per cent while in Mumbai it is 10.28 per cent and more than 15 per cent in Mumbai suburban, as per the report.Of the 101 districts in India reporting a weekly positivity of more than 2% in the week ending June 11, as many as ten are in Maharashtra. According to the latest report from WHO, globally, BA.2.12.1, BA.5 and BA.4 variants are rising in prevalence.According to a report by the Indian SARS-CoV -2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog – June 3), currently 99 per cent of the samples in the country are of the Omicron variant or its microlineages. Of the internationally flagged sub-variant BA.2.12.1 (driving the surge in North America), a few have been identified in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, but no increase has been noted. BA.4 and BA.5 (driving the surge in South Africa) have been identified in Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.Dr Ambadekar said priority is also being given to vaccination. There were not many takers in the interim as cases had come down and hence it was not a priority for many families to get the child immunised. “We have, however, urged maximum numbers and even conducted home visits to encourage families. So far 32,000 houses have been visited in the last week,” Dr Ambadekar said.

Rs 35 lakh theft in Mumbai: Police nab domestic help within 24 hours
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

MUMBAI: "Never trust an employee and disclose confidential details about your travel plans or household chores in front of them," lawyer Vedika Chaubey (41) told TOI after the Dindoshi police arrested her domestic help-cum-office boy from Indore within 24 hours for allegedly stealing gold and diamond-studded ornaments worth Rs 35 lakh from her Malad bungalow on June 16. Akshaykumar Jatav (21) employed at Chaubey's office stole the valuables after scaling the bungalow wall to enter inside through the terrace and stole the valuables after breaking the 100-kg locker within two hours using an iron rod. Police said Jatav committed the offence a few days after he was removed from work. Jatav, according to Chaubey, was nabbed by the police before she could complete watching the CCTV footage at her bungalow from June 10 to 16 (after she returned home) that had captured him. The house break-in theft was executed between June 14 and 15 when the Chaubey couple had gone to their native hometown for their son's Mundan Ceremony (Tonsore). "After stealing the valuables, Jatav took the train from Borivali to his hometown at Indore. Two teams--senior inspector Jeevan Kharat, inspector Dhananjay Kavade, assistant inspector Chandrakant Gharge, sub-inspector Ajit Desai, and team--suspected the role of Jatav after learning he had left for his hometown the same day the theft occurred. The team reached Indore and tracked him from the neighbouring village and recovered the entire stolen booty," said DCP (Zone XII) Somnath Gharge. Chaubey said Jatav had been employed at her office for the last four years and trusted him. "He was also called to our bungalow for small works. He knew that we will not be in town from June 10 which he took advantage of. He scaled the bungalow wall to reach the terrace from where he managed to enter the bedroom balcony and after breaking the door he entered inside. He claimed that he broke the locker within two hours which I doubt. One thing I have learnt is that we should reveal anything in front of the domestic help. He was sacked from job a few days ago after doubting his activity was not right," she said.

Rs 35 lakh theft in Mumbai: Police nab domestic help within 24 hours
Maharashtra: Bhoomi pujan for SPPU’s sub-centre today
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

NASHIK: The state higher and technical education minister Uday Samat and Nashik guardian minister,Chhagan Bhujbal will perform the groundbreaking ceremony (bhoomi pujan) for the construction of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) sub-centre at Dinordi taluka on Friday, said Nashik centre coordinator Prashant Tope The officials said chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will join the ceremony virtually. The work on sub-centre administrative building to be constructed across 16,000 sq meter is to begin today (Thursday) after the authorities claiming to have settled the issues with the residents of the village have been given space for the road to travel to their village and farms. The construction of the sub-centre, which will have ground plus one floor, is estimated to cost Rs 3 crore and will be completed in 12 months. The strength of the students studying in schools and colleges across the district, who have to correspond with the Savitribai Phule Pune University, is more than two lakh and starting of the sub-centre would be a boon for them. It has been a very long wait for the citizens of Nashik and north Maharashtra to have a sub-centre of the university that will not only help in cutting down their visits to SPPU office at Pune but expedite the process of decision making. Senate member Amit Patil, who has been following up on the issue of sub-centre at Nashik, said he would be stressing on the need to ensure that Savitribai Phule Pune University deputes senior varsity functionaries in Nashik to head the sub-centre.

Maharashtra: Bhoomi pujan for SPPU’s sub-centre today
Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s 17% hike in Aapli bus fare, auto fares too up from midnight
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

NAGPUR: Public commute in Nagpur city is set to become dearer from the midnight of June 15. There will be a 17% hike in Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s Aapli bus fares and autorickshaw fare would be Rs18 for the first kilometre. So, commuters will have to pay revised fares from June 16 morning. Regional Transport Authority (RTA) headed by chairperson and collector R Vimala on June 13 gave the nod to NMC’s proposal to revise the Aapli bus fares. NMC has cited the fare hike in MSRTC fares to justify the hike. NMC tabled the proposal before the RTA in its meeting on June 6. “The nod to revise fares was given on June 13,” Vimala told TOI. NMC’s transport department proposal has said that fares were hiked due to unavoidable circumstances resulting out of rising prices of fuel and spare parts. The last hike was approved in 2019, when bus fare was increased by over 20%. Now, the minimum fare for Aapli bus ride would now be Rs12. It is up from Rs10 for a 2km ride currently. For travel over 30km, the fare revision would pinch a bit more. The fare would increase by almost Rs10 to Rs12. The fares for children too have been revised. Minimum fare for child travelling in Aapli bus would be Rs6, up from existing Rs5. A senior NMC official told TOI that the civic body’s viability gap funding for city bus operations has increased due to frequent hike in fuel prices. Earlier it was Rs6 crore, but now it hovers between Rs7-8 crore per month, he explained. Autorickshaw fares too go up No autorickshaw in the city plies by metre, but the current approved fare for autorickshaw is Rs14 for the first km and Rs11 for each subsequent km. Even enforcement agencies like RTO and Nagpur city traffic police have failed to put in any effort to ensure autorickshaws across the city ply by meter. However, after nearly nine years (2014), autorickshaws fares in the city are all set to be hiked. The minimum fare is going to be Rs18, the RTA meeting minutes say. Sources said the RTO has proposed hike to Rs21 for first slab and Rs32 for second slab of 1.5km. However, RTA revised the proposal and now for first slab autorickshaws can charge Rs18 and for subsequent 1.5km they are allowed to collect Rs27. The RTA, however, gave 60-day time for calibration of meters. If the autorickshaws fail to calibrate the meters, the RTA has directed enforcement agencies to suspend permits of autorickshaws and levy fine of Rs50 (per day) and compounding fine of Rs2,000. As per the revised fare, autorickshaws plying between midnight and 5am can charge additional 25% fare. Autorickshaw drivers are also allowed to levy Rs3 extra for passenger luggage measuring 60x40 cm size, the RTA minutes revealed.

Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s 17% hike in Aapli bus fare, auto fares too up from midnight
Sub-variants unlikely to cause havoc, say experts as active cases continue to rise
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Mumbai: The Centre has told states that BA.2.12.1 (a subvariant of BA.2; both descended from Omicron), BA.5, and BA.4 are rising in prevalence globally and some have been found in the country. “BA.2.12.1 is driving the surge in North America… few (cases have been) identified in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu,” read the Centre’s note.Maharashtra’s public health department has confirmed the presence of BA.5 and BA.4 in 15 patients, including two cases confirmed in Thane on Tuesday. The department has not yet officially communicated the presence of BA.2.12.1. But sources told TOI BA.2.12.1 has been found in Pune and a few other districts, though in negligible numbers. “BA.2 continues to be the most prominent variant in Maharashtra, followed by BA.2.38,” the department said on Tuesday.Virologist Shahid Jameel told TOI that Omicron diverged into two lineages, BA.1 and BA.2. The latter moved quickly as it transmitted better and evaded pre-existing immunity better. Now, BA.2 has diversified into many mutations and BA 2.12.1 is a prominent one. “These are essentially variants and subvariants of Omicron and are unlikely to cause havoc in a population largely vaccinated,” he said, adding that surveillance must continue.In the US, where BA.2 was the most dominant strain early this year, BA.2.12.1. has gradually topped it in three months. As per recent CDC findings, BA.2.12.1 now accounts for 62% of US cases. It has not been associated with higher severity. “Going by mutations, BA.4 & 5 will probably evade immunity better than Ba.1.12.1 and that’s probably why we are seeing an increased spread,” he said. Dr Rajesh Karyakarte, head of microbiology at Pune’s BJ Govt Medical College, said samples studied till May show the prevalence of original Omicron and BA.2 largely. But the June samples may tell a different story. “As variants acquire more mutations, we will continue to see newer lineages. And whenever a new variant comes with a better survival advantage, it is fitter and generally replaces the previous one,” he said. “The parameter to gauge should be hospitalizations and deaths.” He said they have studied all BA.4 and BA.5 cases in the state and found that none required hospitalisation, oxygen or ICU care. The Thane patients, a 28-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man, infected with BA.5, had tested positive between May 28 and 30 and were quarantined. “The duo have no travel history and are fully vaccinated,” said Gangadhar Parage, Thane district health officer, adding that people should follow Covid-appropriate behavior.(Inputs by Manoj Badgeri)

Sub-variants unlikely to cause havoc, say experts as active cases continue to rise
PM security tells Aaditya to not travel in CM car
Times of India | 1 week ago
Times of India
1 week ago

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security on Tuesday asked Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray, who was travelling with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, to get into another car, saying his name was mentioned against the other vehicle on their list.“The CM was visibly upset and told them he is a cabinet minister too,” said a source. He was then allowed to travel in CM’s car. Uddhav and Aaditya welcomed Modi at INS Shikra on Tuesday after which they were to travel as part of Modi’s convoy to Raj Bhavan. Aaditya dismissed the incident saying this happens all the time if people whose names are mentioned against other cars are found travelling together. tnn

PM security tells Aaditya to not travel in CM car
Will take legal action, lodge FIR against those using Samruddhi Expressway: MSRDC
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

Two days after a 45-year-old man died and three others sustained injuries when the car they were travelling in met with an accident on a stretch of the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway near Jalna which is yet to be thrown open for public, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is executing the project, said it will take stricter action against motorists traveling on the ‘closed’ expressway.MSRDC officials said they will also file FIRs against motorists who are accessing the expressway without the requisite authorisation. “Nobody is allowed to travel on the expressway before it is inaugurated as it is risky to do so. We have started to take stricter measures. We have now put up barricades, sought patrolling on the stretch and kept the interchanges shut. If we see anyone unauthorised traveling on the stretch, then we can take legal action against them and will even start filing criminal cases…,” said a senior MSRDC official.The Samruddhi Expressway, which will cover the 701-km distance between Mumbai and Nagpur, is touted to be the fastest expressway of the country. The MSRDC is executing the construction work of the expressway at an estimated cost of Rs 55,000 crore.Phase 1 of the project, a 201-km stretch between Nagpur and Shelu Bazar in Washim, was set to be thrown open for the public on May 2 this year. However, a wildlife overpass, located 15 km from Nagpur, developed cracks and was damaged. An official involved with the project said, “Work on the collapsed arch — which had caused the delay in opening up of the first phase – is likely to be completed by June end, after which phase 1 of the project, the stretch between Nagpur and Shelu Bazar, can be thrown open for the public.”

Will take legal action, lodge FIR against those using Samruddhi Expressway: MSRDC
Maharashtra: RTO to survey maxi cabs ferrying passengers on Bhandara Road
Times of India | 2 weeks ago
Times of India
2 weeks ago

NAGPUR: To prepare a policy for issuing permits to private maxi cabs, the transport commissioner’s office has asked seven regional transport offices (RTOs) in Maharashtra including Nagpur to conduct a survey on private taxis plying on Bhandara Road. In a letter to RTOs of Panvel, Pune, Nashik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Amravati and Kolhapur on June 9, additional transport commissioner Abhay Deshpande has asked the offices to submit their survey reports within eight days. The survey will cover 10 points including feedback of passengers, types and passengers carrying capacity of such vehicles, whether state run bus facility is available on these routes, number of vehicles operating under these RTOs jurisdictions, number of trips they do, life span of vehicles etc. A senior official from Nagpur city RTO said the transport department and Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) have formed a joint team to conduct the survey. Sources alleged that such vehicles are plying on the busy route between Nagpur and Bhandara under the patronage of the transport department flying squad. To study the policy regarding issuing permits to private maxi cabs transport in the state on behalf of the state government, a committee under the chairmanship of retired IAS officer Ramnath Jha has been set up. The state government has directed the committee to submit its report within three months. Based on this report, changes may be made in the policy regarding permits to private vehicles. Sources said the committee has already made observations that due to operation of illegal passenger vehicles, the government is not only losing revenue but there is no regulation on these overcrowding vehicles. The vehicles carry more passengers than capacity. Increasing number of passengers has led to frequent accidents due to loss of control of the vehicle. The policy regarding issuing of permits to maxi cab transport will be studied to avoid such accidents as well as to ensure safe travel for the passengers and to discipline the private transport.

Maharashtra: RTO to survey maxi cabs ferrying passengers on Bhandara Road
  • Pune: Harried travellers at airport find scant cabs & autos overcharging
  • Times of India

    PUNE: Businessman Saurabh Prakash, who came to Pune from Delhi early in June, found himself staring at his phone for 40 minutes outside Pune airport, while cabbies continued to cancel his ride one after another. Nearly an hour later, he had no option but to take an autorickshaw to Shivajinagar for Rs800. "Six cabbies cancelled my ride after accepting it. I had landed in Pune in the wee hours and found no one who could help me. There were a few autorickshaws outside and the one I took quoted a little lower fare than the rest," Prakash said. Another female flyer, who chose to stay unnamed, told TOI she paid Rs700 from airport till Model Colony earlier this month. Little did she know that midway, the auto driver would ask her to get into another autorickshaw as he had somewhere else to go. Leaving the airport via any mode of public transport continues to be a hassle and risk for flyers. The situation has seen no improvement, said flyers, and the problem is particularly prevalent in the late evening and early morning hours. Ravindra Sarat, who arrived from Delhi last week, said, "I got out only by 2am. I could reach my friend's place in Kondhwa by 4.30am. Six cabbies cancelled my ride and the one who didn't asked me for Rs300 extra, claiming he wouldn't get any passengers on the way back," said Sarat, a working professional, who finally paid Rs600. Another passenger, who recently came back from Indore, said the pre-paid taxi charged him Rs700 to Kothrud. "I didn't know about the counter of cab aggregators and took a pre-paid cab that cost an astronomical amount," he said. Between 12am and 3am, there are around 13 arrivals and 14 departures lined up at the airport. Also, between 3am to 6am, there are close to nine arrivals and the same number of departures. A cabbie said, "Most flights after midnight till 3am land at intervals of 5-15 minutes. This results in a huge rush of flyers. Travelling to the airport is often tough due to the traffic along New Airport Road. Cabbies do cancel rides thinking passengers will not wait, but many flyers cancel rides, too." Another cabbie cited high fuel prices. "If we go to any place in the city after midnight, we do not get a return passenger. The price of petrol is above Rs100 per litre now; diesel and CNG are also very costly. We need to make up for the ride back alone." Last year, airport authorities removed the pre-paid autorickshaw stand in the arrivals area. This move hit flyers hard as they now have to deal with auto drivers outside asking for unreasonable fares. A frequent flyer pointed out, "Why were these autos removed? Travelling with them is safer as they provide a receipt with a tag and numbers of the Pune police. If they cannot be inside the airport, why has no space been given to them outside for flyers, especially women, to feel safe?" A senior member of the LV Antaral Autorickshaw Sanghatana, the organization of pre-paid auto drivers at the airport, said the situation was tough for them. "We have no place to do business but are still trying. The monopoly of other autos is such now that they don't let passengers come to us," he said. Jatin Dheer, another frequent flyer, said he has now made friends with an auto driver at airport. "I call him in advance and he shows up. The authorities need to put implement some kind of order here," he said.

Ashadhi Wari: Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services to deploy ambulances for pilgrimage
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

The Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services (MEMS) will deploy 75 ambulances during the Pandharpur Yatra, also known as Pandharpur Wari, which will begin on June 20 after a hiatus of two years, as part of preparedness and to avoid any untoward incident on the travel route.Due to Covid-19-related restrictions, the annual palkhi or palanquin procession was not allowed for two years. Now, the three-week-long walk from Dehu to Pandharpur which covers nearly 450 km will commence on June 20. During this annual event, pilgrims (warkaris) follow the palkhi of Sant Tukaram to the Vithoba Temple at Pandharpur.Sant Dnyaneshwar Palkhi will begin from Alandi on June 21 and the yatra will end on Ashadi Ekadashi on July 10.The palkhi carries the padukas or footprints of Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar and is a popular pilgrimage that has seen the avid participation of people from all walks of life.Dr Dnyaneshwar Shelke, chief operating officer at BVG Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services, said that 15 ambulances will be deployed at Pandharpur before, during and after the Ashadhi Ekadashi. Field Control Ambulance will be available with both Palkhis for full routes until Pandharpur, said Dr Shelke, adding that they have coordinated with the Palkhi Sansthan managements at Dehu, Alandi and other places.“We have set up two MEMS-108 Control Rooms at Pandharpur and district wise 53 ambulances have been earmarked for Pune, six for Satara and 16 for Solapur. First responder training plans have been given to police officials, temple staff and other volunteers,” said Dr Shelke.All ambulances during the Ashadhi Wari 22 will serve Covid-19 and other patients and according to Dr Shelke those who are symptomatic will be transferred to government facilities with adequate precaution. Each ambulance will be fumigated for 30 minutes after handing over the patient. Dr Shelke said, “From 2014-2019 we have assisted at least 3,583 patients via our emergency services during the annual pilgrimage.”

Ashadhi Wari: Maharashtra Emergency Medical Services to deploy ambulances for pilgrimage
35-Year-Old Man Forcefully Attempts To Kiss A Woman Commuter At Khar Station In Mumbai, Arrested
India | 2 weeks ago
India
2 weeks ago

Mumbai: A 35-year-old man was apprehended for allegedly trying to forcefully kiss a 19-year-old female at a suburban railway station in Mumbai, according to police officials on Friday. The incident took place at Western Railway’s Khar station around 12:50 pm when the girl was waiting for a train to travel to Bandra on Thursday.Also Read - IMD Declares Arrival Of Monsoon In Mumbai, Predicts Rain With Thunderstorm In City TodayThe accused, identified as Alok Kanojia, was caught on platform no 4 by the police patrolling on the station. As per officials, he came from behind, touched the girl inappropriately and then tried to kiss her after holding her neck. After hearing the girl scream, fellow commuters caught him and informed the police. Also Read - Man Rapes 75-Year-Old Woman In Gujarat's Botad On Pretext Of Helping To Get Widow Pension, ArrestedA case has been registered against Kanojia under section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty). Also Read - Maharashtra Govt Launches Online System To Ensure Transparency In Transfer of Zilla Parishad School TeachersHailing from Jabalpur, the accused had run from his home two days ago, and lived on the pavement. His family confirmed that he has a habit of running away and they have been on a look out for him since then.This is the second such case in the week where a woman was molested on the Western Railway network. Earlier, on Monday, a 20-year-old woman was assaulted by a 35-year-old rag picker from Goregaon who boarded the ladies’ coach, molested the student and snatched her bag and mobile. He was arrested at Churchgate station.

35-Year-Old Man Forcefully Attempts To Kiss A Woman Commuter At Khar Station In Mumbai, Arrested
Maharashtra Villagers Risk Lives For 'A Bucket Of Water'
Ndtv | 2 weeks ago
Ndtv
2 weeks ago

Maharashtra: Rohile village in Nashik is facing a scarcity of water. (Representational)Melghat, Maharashtra: A group of villagers in Maharashtra's Khadial village hurling their plastic and metal cans, buckets and bottles strung with ropes down a deep well to fetch water is now a common sight. In the peak of summer, the parched residents of the village in Melghat district are facing a severe water crisis.According to the villagers, they are 'risking their lives for a bucket of water'.Speaking to news agency ANI, a villager said, "There are only two wells in the village which have almost dried up. A village of 1,500 people is dependent on 2-3 tankers for water every day."With the onset of summer, water scarcity has been reported from different parts of the country, including Maharashtra."Water is supplied to the village through two tankers that pour water into dry wells. People risk their lives to draw water from wells. Diseases are increasing after drinking dirty water," said another villager.According to the villagers, the condition of the road is also bad. "If a person gets sick, there is no road to take them to the hospital," added a villager.Last week, ANI got reports of water scarcity from a village in Nashik. In Chichlekhaire village in Igatpuri, Nashik, women travel arduous three km-long treks to fetch water. People in the village are forced to fetch muddy water by going down into a deep well, where the water level has plummeted below the base of the well.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comRohile village in Nashik is also facing the scarcity of water and women from the village have put their lives at stake to fetch drinking water, as they step into the well to fetch water.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Maharashtra Villagers Risk Lives For 'A Bucket Of Water'
  • Acute Water Shortage Forces Maharashtra Villagers To Climb Into Wells
  • Ndtv

    Residents of the village say that all four wells in the village have dried. (Representational)Amravati: Amid the scorching summer heat, several villages in Maharashtra's Melghat belt here are facing acute water shortage, forcing residents to step down into deep wells and walk long distances in the hilly terrain barefoot to fetch just a potful of water.Though the local administration has pressed water tankers into service, the supply is inadequate and the water is not fit for drinking, villagers have complained.Khadimal is one such tribal-dominated village on Dharni road, situated in the Satpura mountain range, about 50 km from the Melghat Tiger Reserve.There are 311 houses in the village having a population of around 1,500, as per government records.Water scarcity is a perennial problem in the village. It starts from November and turns acute by February, according to locals.All the four wells in the village dried up long back. A borewell in the village is lying defunct, local resident Ram Bethekar, 65, told PTI.Twice a day, the local administration sends a tanker which empties its water stock in a well located in the village, he said.As soon as the villagers see the tanker, they throng the well, with both young and old people jostling to get a potful of water, another local Bhurya Kasdekar said."Our struggle does not end there. For fetching just a potful of water, we have to risk our lives by stepping down into the deep well and then climbing up while balancing a pot of water on our heads," a woman from the village said.The tanker supply lasts in the well for only about half-an-hour, leaving many without even a pot of water, some villagers said.These people then have to walk some three km in the sweltering heat to fetch water from a spring.The daily struggle has not only resulted in many villagers suffering from body pain, but is causing other health issues to them due to the consumption of undrinkable water, Mr Bethekar said.Even their cattle and livestock have to remain thirsty at times, the villagers said.Mr Bethekar claimed the village sarpanch (village head) hardly visits their place to address their troubles.He said the villagers are demanding a dam nearby to solve the problem of water scarcity.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe village head was unavailable for comments.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

  • In parched Maharashtra villages, locals forced to enter deep wells, walk barefoot in heat to fetch water
  • Times of India

    AMRAVATI: Amid the scorching summer heat, several villages in Maharashtra's Melghat belt are facing acute water shortage, forcing residents to step down into deep wells and walk long distances in the hilly terrain barefoot to fetch just a potful of water. Though the local administration has pressed water tankers into service, the supply is inadequate and the water is not fit for drinking, villagers have complained. Khadimal is one such tribal-dominated village on Dharni road, situated in the Satpura mountain range, about 50 km from the Melghat Tiger Reserve. There are 311 houses in the village having a population of around 1,500, as per government records. Water scarcity is a perennial problem in the village. It starts from November and turns acute by February, according to locals. All the four wells in the village dried up long back. A borewell in the village is lying defunct, local resident Ram Bethekar (65) told PTI. Twice a day, the local administration sends a tanker which empties its water stock in a well located in the village, he said. As soon as the villagers see the tanker, they throng the well, with both young and old people jostling to get a potful of water, another local Bhurya Kasdekar said. "Our struggle does not end there. For fetching just a potful of water, we have to risk our lives by stepping down into the deep well and then climbing up while balancing a pot of water on our heads," a woman from the village said. The tanker supply lasts in the well for only about half-an-hour, leaving many without even a pot of water, some villagers said. These people then have to walk some three km in the sweltering heat to fetch water from a spring. The daily struggle has not only resulted in many villagers suffering from body pain, but is causing other health issues to them due to the consumption of non-potable water, Bethekar said. Even their cattle and livestock have to remain thirsty at times, the villagers said. Bethekar claimed the village sarpanch (village head) hardly visits their place to address their woes. He said the villagers are demanding a dam nearby to solve the problem of water scarcity. The village head was unavailable for comments.