Times of India | 2 months ago | 27-09-2022 | 09:03 am
PUNE: Heena Sidhu has faced many tricky situations in her 16-year-long career, but the dilemma the pistol shooter is facing these days, is beyond complicated. The mother of a 10-month-old girl is back to competitive shooting, and it isn't easy. The World-Cup gold winning pistol shooter has made her way to the shooting team for the National Games to be held in Gujarat and is looking forward to getting back into the national team, but with a little caution. "I think it is a good feeling to participate in the National Games. I represented Punjab in the last edition, this time I am going to participate for Maharashtra," Heena says. Heena has been away from shooting for almost three years and got back to the range only in January this year. "In 2019, I thought of taking a break for a couple of months, but before the break could end, Covid pandemic began and then we decided to have a baby. The break got extended to almost three years," she laughs. After coming back to train, Heena participated in the trials and managed a place in the top-16 shooters for the National Games. However, things are not the same for Heena. "I am working at a basic level right now. Physically, a lot has changed after the delivery. I lost the muscle memory, my body doesn't listen to me anymore, so there i s some frustration. But I am trying to get back to normal, slowly. I am at a stage where I know what mistakes I am making, but I am notable to rectify them," she says. No matter how difficult physically it is for Heena, her concerns are more mental in nature. It is natural that Heena is training to be in the Indian squad, but she is apprehensive of reaching to the top. "I want to be in the team, but I am scared too. I know that once I come to the team, I will have to be there in the camps, travel without my daughter and that scares me," she says.
NASHIK: Twenty-two passengers were injured after a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus, travelling from Chalisgaon in Jalgaon to Nandurbar, overturned on the Chalisgaon-Dhule road at 7.15 am on Thursday. According to a police officer, 15 of the 22 injured passengers were taken to a government medical hospital in Dhule, while three were admitted to a private hospital. "Four passengers, who had sustained minor bruises, decided to travel ahead to Nandurbar. There were as many as 22 passengers along with five staff and crew members in the bus," the officer said, adding that no casualty was reported in the accident that occurred near the Shirud crossroads. The Chalisgaon (Jalgaon)-Akkalkuwa (Nandurbar) bus started the journey at 6 am. "The accident took place when the bus driver tried to avoid collision with a truck coming from the opposite direction. Road repair works were being carried out at the said stretch. As a result, the carriageway had become narrow. Despite the driver's efforts to avoid the collision, the rear section of the bus hit the truck and toppled," the officer said. "As the bus toppled to its side, the passengers were thrown off their seats and they fell on each other. The injured were quickly moved to the hospital. Movement of vehicular traffic was also affected for some time due to the accident," the officer added. Three passengers have received injuries to their legs and chest, for which they are undergoing treatment at private and government hospitals. "The MSRTC has provided forms to the injured passengers that will help them get free of cost treatment," an MSRTC official from Dhule division said.
PUNE: The state government has reconstituted the fort conservation committee to give a big push to preserving the citadels from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's era. Some are from Nizam Shahi and Adil Shahi dynasties, but were captured by him. Calls to reconstitute the committee have been rising after the appointments of non-government members to the last panel were cancelled in 2020. The new team, headed by minister of cultural affairs Sudhir Mungantiwar, will guide the preservation and conservation efforts. It will prepare plans on adoption of forts by private entrepreneurs, devise ways to make maps of forts and other information display panels to be put up on the facades and train local youths to educate tourists, a committee member said. Experts said that maps are needed at the forts for tourists as many do not know the proper route and places to visit within the ramparts. Members told TOI that they would be preparing the adoption plan for conservation through local individuals and organizations, apart from devising ways to start regular cleaning campaigns through local NGOs, self-help groups, schools and colleges. There is a deep connection between the forts and the valour of Shivaji Maharaj. Many are crumbling because of lack of care and exposure to sun and rain. These citadels are visited by thousands of followers, trekkers and schoolkids . Sachin Joshi, an archaeologist at Deccan College in Pune, who was part of the last panel and was re-elected to the new committee, said Maharashtra has nearly 45 state-protected forts, but many others of importance are currently unprotected. "They are neither under the state archaeology department nor with Archaeological Survey of India. Nearly 45 more forts need state protection. This is one of the proposals that the committee may put up to the state government," Joshi added. He said that in 2016-17, acting on the last committee's suggestions, nearly Rs 125 crore was allocated for the conservation efforts. They gave a list of 28 dilapidated forts which needed urgent attention. "Conservation efforts amounting to Rs 100 crore was then spent on the forts, while the rest of the funds could not be disbursed after the change in the state government in 2019 and later, the Covid pandemic. Some forts that benefitted were Korigad near Lonavla, Purngad and Bankot in Ratnagiri, Manikgad and Mahur in Vidarbha and Ankai near Nashik," Joshi added. The committee will now seek additional funds of Rs 100 crore as well as the remaining Rs 25 crore from the previous amount to boost restoration. Some forts that the committee may pitch initially for conservation include Sinhagad and Rajgad forts in Pune. "We may request over Rs 50 crore for Rajgad's conservation as it was the first capital of the Maratha empire under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj where he spent most years. The plan is ready and waiting for funds," Joshi said.
MUMBAI: The BEST on Wednesday submitted its budget for 2023-24 to the civic corporation, projecting a reduction in losses by Rs 250 crore in the transport division and a profit of Rs 120 crore in the electricity supply division but no hike in bus fares till March 2024. The budget showed an overall deficit of Rs 2,000 crore, the estimated gap between revenue and expenses. The BEST has proposed to start "water taxis" along the eastern waterfront and is in talks with the Mumbai Port Trust and the Maharashtra Maritime board. "We are looking at the viability of this newly proposed project, which is mentioned in our budget and will explore the possibility of running our own BEST water taxis across the coastline in the next financial year," said BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra who submitted the budget copy to the civic commissioner, I S Chahal, on Wednesday afternoon. He said the budget had also proposed e-cabs in Mumbai, for which the undertaking has begun the process of floating tenders to invite agencies which can provide environment-friendly e-cabs with drivers. These vehicles will bear the BEST logo and accept bookings from bus passengers using the Chalo app. The fleet will also be doubled to 7,000 buses by March 2024, which will include 900 electric double deckers with two staircases and premium buses with luxury facilities. The budget proposes 330 charging stations by 2023-24, which will also be available to the public to charge electric vehicles. "We are working on e-mobility as a solution for Mumbai's public transport and are encouraging e-scooters - with tie ups with private companies - so that there is last mile connect for passengers who can alight from buses and take e-two wheelers up to their final destination," an official said. The budget also speaks of all buses going digital by March 2024. Every bus will have a device fitted at the entry/exit for tap in and tap out facility wherein the commuter can use the mobile or smart card to travel on buses. A parallel paper ticket system may exist with conductors issuing them, but passengers will be encouraged to go fully digital in two years, an official said. The budget also proposes to increase ladies specials from 133 to 500 buses, and 50 buses which are open deck with the lower deck air-conditioned. In the electricity supply division, BEST proposes to install smart meters in every home by April 2024 and has earmarked Rs 1,200 crore towards capital expenditure for automation, smart grids and billing services. A significant amount will also be spent to strengthen the distribution infrastructure in the island city, which has 10.5 lakh power consumers.
The Commission of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) has begun the supervision process of phase 2 of Mumbai Metro Line 2A (Dahisar to DN Nagar, Andheri West) and Line 7 (Dahisar East to Andheri East), both elevated corridors passing from Link road and Western Express Highway (WEH).Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Commissioner S V R Srinivas said, “A team from CMRS is carrying out the supervision. Once the safety clearance certificate is in place the commercial operations can begin.”The official confirmed that all these processes are likely to be completed by December-end and the entire Metro Line 2A&7 will be opened to the public in January.The MMRDA is the nodal agency appointed by the state of Maharashtra for all elevated metro projects.The CMRS certification includes supervision of the tracks, signalling, electrical systems, and civil works before opening the corridor for passengers. A safety check is done meticulously by the competent authority.Prior to the CMRS supervision, the MMRDA had obtained a provisional certificate from Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) for conducting a trial run.Mumbai Metro Line 2A connects Dahisar to DN Nagar, while Line 7 links Dahisar East to Andheri East, comprising a total length of 35 km. In the first phase, a 20-km stretch between Aarey and Dhanukarwadi was opened to the public in April, during Gudi Padwa, which marks New Year as per Hindu calendar. The 20-km stretch is drawing a good average daily ridership of 27,000, whereas the monthly average ridership is 8 lakh, as per the MMRDA data. Once both lines (comprising 30 stations) become operational, it will together see a daily ridership of 12.77 lakh by 2031, officials said.The Metro Line 2A has 17 stations — Andheri (West), Lower Oshiwara, Oshiwara, Goregaon (West), Pahadi Goregaon, Lower Malad, Malad (West), Valnai, Dahanukarwadi, Kandivali (West), Pahadi Eksar, Borivali (West), Eksar, Mandapeshwar, Kandarpada, Upper Dahisar and Dahisar (East). Metro Line 7 has 13 stations — Gundavali, Mogra, Jogeshwari (East), Goregaon (East), Aarey, Dindoshi, Kurar, Akurli, Poisar, Magathane, Devipada, RashtriyaUdyan and Ovaripada.Both Metro lines have a common station at Dahisar, where it integrates. While for other Metro lines, the integration stations are WEH on Line 7 with the existing Metro one and JVLR junction for Metro Line 6. Similarly on Line 2A, the integration station for Metro Line one is at DN Nagar station.Both are elevated corridors passing along Mumbai’s Link Road and Western Express Highway.The expense of the Metro Line 2A project is Rs 6,410 crore while that of the Line 7 project is Rs 6,208 crore. The funding agencies for both the lines are Asian Development Bank and National Development Bank.Currently, a train set having six coaches of a capacity of 380 persons each is run on Metro Line 2A and 7 on the 20-km stretch. With a total of 28 rakes made available by Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, the services on both the lines will be fully operated in a gap of seven minutes. Both the corridors have their car shed at Charkop.
ULHASNAGAR: About 10,000 people, including locals and workers of various Hindu organisations on Tuesday protested against the construction of Kabristan by the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation (UMC) in a place adjacent to the ancient Shiva temple in Ambernath. Locals from Ambernath and Ulhasnagar took out a huge march from near the Kailash colony to Ulhasnagar Tehsildar and Municipal Corporation headquarter. A delegation of protestors met Tehsildar, and UMC commissioner Aziz Shaikh and demanded that the work of kabristan near temple should be stopped and it be built somewhere else. Following that, the UMC commissioner has ordered contractor to stop the work. Chief minister Eknath Shinde has also asked UMC to file a report on the same. Aziz Shaikh, Commissioner of UMC said, "I have asked contractor to stop work. The state government has also sought a report from us and we will send it by Wednesday." Parag Teli, volunteer of Vishwa Hindu Parishad said, "The state government is spending Rs 42 crore for beautification of 1,000-year-old temple. Whereas, a kabristan which the UMC has started constructing is just 80 meter from temple, hence, we have demanded that it be shifted somewhere else." A Muslim community from Ulhasnagar has been fighting for several years for kabristan as they have to travel to Ambernath or Kalyan for the burial of bodies. In all these years, UMC reserved several plots for burial ground, but either due to protests or encroachment on reserved plot, the civic body failed to provide Muslim community a kabristan.