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Second Positive Case Recorded in Mumbai’s Dharavi: Coronavirus OutBreak

The 2nd case of COVID19 has been confirmed in Mumbai Dharavi, stated Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). 52-year-old BMC sanitization worker found positive for the Coronavirus. He stays in the Working area but was posted at Dharavi for cleaning.

This Sanitization worker tested positive had developed symptoms and was advised by the BMC to support for treatment. His family members & 23 other colleagues were asked to quarantine.

On April 1st, 2020, Another 56-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus, died at SION hospital. He had Coronavirus symptoms fever, cough, respiratory issues and also had co-morbid conditions of renal failure. The other 7 members of his family have been placed under self-quarantine and the building he lived in has been sealed.

Dharavi is a highly densely populated area located in Mumbai with over 15 lakh people, with spread over 613 hectares, and could very likely become an infection hotspot. Many media reports claim that social distancing in such a densely populated slum is highly impossible. New Indian Express report stated that five to eight people sharing a 100 sq ft of room. As per the guidelines of social distancing set by WHO, one person should get to stay a minimum of 20 sq ft of the area but in Dharavi, it is less than 10 sq ft.

State Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of positive COVID-19 cases with 335 and 13 dead so far after being infected by the virus. In India, the positive cases have risen to 1965 on Thursday and the death toll from the deadly virus reached 50.    

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation seals coronavirus affected areas in Mumbai

With more than 150 coronavirus cases reported from Mumbai alone, the highest from any city in India. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is making all their all efforts to fight against time to seal the areas where positive cases have been found. 

BMC seals on the places where Coronavirus cases are confirmed.

So far, the civic body has sealed 140 neighborhoods. Which includes 48 in South Mumbai, 46 in West Mumbai and 48 in East Mumbai. Only essential vehicles are allowed to enter and exit from these places even after several checkups.

Besides Mumbai, municipal authorities in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Dombivali are also planned to take the same action. Earlier, the BMC announced that it had started the Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of coronavirus affected areas in the city. Maps of the areas where there is a higher number of coronavirus cases will be posted on the civic body’s website, BMC commissioner Praveen Pardeshi said this information in a release on Tuesday.

The State of Maharashtra is the most affected state in India with around 320 cases being reported. Death toll in the state reached 12 after two more COVID-19 patients died, health officials said on Wednesday. Thirty nine coronavirus positive patients have been discharged after recovery. 

A 75-year-old man from Mumbai and a 50-year-old man in Palghar district died due to coronavirus. “The 75-year-old male patient died here on Tuesday. We are finding details of his travel history and also checking if someone close to him had a travel history,” an official said.

Sec 144 imposed across Maharashtra; CM urges all to extend Janata Curfew

In light of the heightened concern on the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray enforced Section 144 across Maharashtra, thereby putting the entire state under curfew. Thackeray also requested the citizens to extend the ‘Janata Curfew’, proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be observed on Sunday, till Monday morning.

“I would like to request everyone to continue Janata Curfew till tomorrow morning. I have no option left but to apply Section 144 in Maharashtra. No flights outside of India will be allowed to land in Mumbai,” said Chief Minister Thackeray, adding that the percentage of employees working in government offices has been brought down to 5% from 25%.

The fifth death from the coronavirus disease in India was also reported from Maharashtra on this day, as a 63-year-old succumbed to the virus in Mumbai. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday confirmed that the deceased had a travel history, as well as a medical history of diabetes and hypertension. He had been admitted to a private hospital on March 19 after testing positive for the virus and displaying severe symptoms. He succumbed to the virus on late Saturday night.

According to reports, a few companies like Mahindra & Mahindra have decided to suspend their manufacturing operations in plants situated in places like Chakan (Pune) and Kandivali (Mumbai) from Monday night. The plants also remain suspended for Sunday, owing to the ‘Janata Curfew’.

However, Health Minister Tope said that the curfew had a good response in the state. “I thank all for observing this,” he said, pointing out that Mumbai had gone into a voluntary lockdown.

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra rose to 74 on Sunday, with 10 new cases in the past 24 hours. Of these 10 cases, six are in Mumbai while the rest four are in Pune, officials said.

As of now, Maharashtra has the highest number of positive coronavirus cases in the country.

Mumbai local trains effectively shut down, no passenger train to operate till 10 pm after Janata Curfew

Mumbai’s local train services, considered the lifeline of the city, will be effectively shut down on Sunday in the wake of ‘Janata Curfew’ called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

Only the government personnel engaged in the provision of essential services would be allowed to travel by local trains on Sunday, a restriction which will continue throughout the next week. 

Konkan divisional commissioner said on Saturday night that the decision was taken in a bid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. 

The restriction came into effect from midnight of Sunday, March 22.

More than 75 lakh people commute everyday by using these Mumbai lifeline local trains which stop at more than 125 stations which will be safeguarded by police and other security officers.

Only government officials involved in the provision of essential services and those who need urgent medical aid would be allowed to travel, said the release by divisional commissioner Shivaji Daund.

Personnel will be asked to produce their id-cards before they are allowed to board the trains. 

Those who are travelling by local train to reach railway terminus for boarding a long-distance train will also be allowed on inspection of their journey tickets, the press release by the railway official said. 

The decision was taken as the people did not stop travelling on trains despite repeated calls of social distancing. Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope had earlier said that the government would be compelled to shut down the local train services and other modes of public transport if crowds did not thin.

Maharashtra has recorded 64 cases of coronavirus so far, including 19 in Mumbai, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 315 on Saturday. 

The Indian Railways has also grounded over 3700 trains on Sunday as the country observes ‘Janata Curfew’ on the call of Prime Minister Modi. 

The Prime Minister on Thursday called for a ‘Janata curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm on March 22, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of their houses. The experience will serve the nation well and will show India’s readiness to take on the coronavirus challenge, he said. 

“This Sunday, that is on March 22, all citizens must follow this curfew from 7 am until 9 pm. During this curfew, we shall neither leave our homes, nor get onto the streets and refrain from roaming about in our societies or areas. Only those associated with emergency and essential services leave their homes,” Modi said during his address to the nation. 

The move was aimed at creating awareness about “social distancing” which is a powerful weapon in the fight against coronavirus. 

Railways said on Friday said that no passenger train will originate from any railway station in the country from midnight to 10 pm on Sunday. Mail and express trains will also stop services from 4 am to 10 pm on Sunday while all suburban train services will be reduced to a bare minimum as well, the ministry said.

Only the trains that would have already started before 00:00 hours on Sunday will be allowed to complete their trip. Trains that are scheduled to run after 10 pm on Sunday will be allowed to start their journey. 

“The Indian Railways has suspended train services of over 3,700 passenger locomotives and long-distance mail and express trains, which were scheduled to start their journeys on Sunday due to call of `Janata Curfew`,” the ministry said.

This is the first time in the 167 years of Indian Railways’ history that these many passenger trains will stay grounded for any reason. 

On Saturday, Railways issued an appeal asking people to postpone all train journeys. This came after 12 passengers who travelled on trains this month tested positive for coronavirus. 

“Railways has found some cases of Coronavirus infected passengers in trains which makes train travel risky. Avoid train travel as you may also get infected if your co-passenger has Coronavirus. Postpone all journeys and keep yourself and your loved ones safe,” Railways said. 

Mumbai Corp collects over Rs 1 lakh in Mumbai after hiking fine for spitting on streets

Considering the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak in the state, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra state government has taken a number of steps to encourage proper hygeine. One of the most important malpractices that should be checked in this backdrop is spitting on roads, which, besides being extremely uncouth, is also potentially dangerous for spreading a contagious virus.

In view of the increasing cases of coronavirus infection in the state, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the governing civic body of the city, increased the amount of fine on people spitting on the streets and public places from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000. The civic body specifically warned citizens to not spit on the streets because it may cause the contagious virus to spread.

COVID-19 is a contagious disease that can spread through the acts of coughing, sneezing, and spitting of the infected patient. In addition, leaving one’s spit in the midst of a public place also causes other diseases and infections to spread, other than the coronavirus. Therefore, as a precaution, BMC is imposing a fine of one thousand rupees on those who spit on public places.

The civic body is commissioning marshals to be particularly vigilant and start charging fines against people spitting in Mumbai’s public places. According to reports from local media, BMC has already extracted a staggering amount of Rs 1.07 lakh from more than 100 people over the past day for spitting in public.

“Spitting at crowded places increases the risk of spreading the disease. Therefore, strict measures are being taken to prevent this. The fine levied for spitting in public places has been hiked from Rs 200 to Rs 1000,” a local publication quoted BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi.

Earlier, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the governing civic body of the city, had also urged shops, especially those in congested areas, to remain closed for the timebeing. In view of this, the Ghatkopar board has decided to keep shops in the area closed for three days. According to reports, when the shops resume activities from Monday (March 24), they will likely operate on alternate days (the odd-and-even rule), on appropriate recommendation of the BMC.

Massive fire breaks out at Juhu Gymkhana in Mumbai, no casualties reported

A massive fire broke out at Juhu Gymkhana located on the Juhu Tara Road on Saturday night. Several people were present at the premises during the incident, however, they managed to escape unhurt.

According to the fire brigade officials, the incident took place at around 9:50 PM.

The exact reason for the fire is yet to be ascertained though a short-circuit is suspected to have caused it. The officials also said that the fire was confined to electric wiring, electric installation and wooden furniture on the ground floor and the upper two floors.

Upon receiving the call, two fire engines, three jumbo water tanker, one turntable ladder, one breathing apparatus, quick rescue vehicles and an ambulance were rushed to the spot. “The fire was extinguished by firemen by operating two small hose lines of two motor pumps after cutting off electric supply. The cause of fire is yet to be ascertained,” Prabhat Rahangdale, chief fire officer was quoted by Mumbai Mirror.

“Though the exact reason of fire would be revealed after the investigation, it is suspected that fire broke out due to a short-circuit. We are checking if the internal fire safety system was operational or not,” said another official.

‘A tweet is all it took’: Alert cops arrest auto driver for masturbating before Mumbai student

Mumbai Police on Monday arrested an autorickshaw driver for allegedly masturbating in front of an 18-year-old girl. 

The action was taken by Goregaon police after an alert on social media. 

The incident took place on Monday morning and the girl had posted a video of the man’s obscene act on Instagram and the details were posted on Twitter by a user. 

Police identified the accused as 49-year-old Ashok Manilal Kharvi.

“On Saturday, Kharvi started masturbating when he was ferrying the victim in his autorickshaw. She managed to get off the vehicle and then alerted the police through Twitter. She also took a photograph of the vehicle and shot a video of the accused. He was arrested and will be produced in court on Tuesday,” a police official said. 

“A tweet is all it took for Goregaon police to swing into action. An auto-rickshaw driver seen sexually harassing a college student in a video she shot, is now under arrest and awaits a much-deserved ride on the course of law,” Mumbai Police said in a tweet. 

Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh commended the swift police action. 

“Incidents like these need to be dealt with strictly & swiftly and that’s how we will act. I assure that #womensafety & security is one of @MumbaiPolice‘s topmost priorities. I appeal all Mumbaikars to speak up & report to us, for ensuring the city is safe for all its citizens,” the Commissioner said in a tweet. 

Courtesy : DNA

Maharashtra govt to build 30,000 affordable houses in 2 years: Jitendra Awhad

Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad on Tuesday said the state government will create stock of 30,000 affordable housing units in the next two years 10% of which will be reserved for police personnel and Class IV staff.

Speaking in the Assembly on Tuesday, the Housing Minister said the affordable housing scheme will begin on May 1 and will be completed in two years.

Awhad said 10% of houses built by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) will be reserved for police personnel and Class IV government staff.

Maharashtra government will buy back land totaling 25,000 acres acquired by SEZ developers but lying unused to construct affordable houses, he said.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is contemplating to bring a bill on this issue, he said, adding that if this is done, five lakh affordable houses can be constructed in five years.

During the debate, BJP’s Parag Alvani raised the issue of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) as 600 out of 1600 projects are facing problems.  

He demanded the setting up of complaint resolution committees at the divisional level.

Awhad said submission of SRA proposal to final approval will be done in a span of 90 days through a single window system.

Courtesy : DNA

Senior Bombay HC judge resigns over transfer, cites ‘personal and family’ reasons

The second senior most judge of the Bombay High Court – Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari – has tendered his resignation after his transfer to another state saying that he does not want to be transferred out of Maharashtra.

Dharmadhikari “personal and family” reasons for his unwillingness to shift out of Mumbai.

Justice Dharmadhikari was made judge of the Bombay High Court on November 14, 2003 and was due to retire in 2022. Justice Dharmadhikari was due to retire after two years.

Talking to reporters on Friday, Justice Dharmadhikari said he has resigned as he had been elevated as the Chief Justice of the high court of another state, although he did not want to leave Mumbai.

“I had to resign due to purely personal and family issues…I did not want to leave Mumbai and they were not ready to elevate me as the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court,” Justice Dharmadhikari said. 

The judge said he sent his resignation to the President on Thursday evening.

While it is not yet clear whether his resignation has been accepted or not, Justice Dharmadhikari on Friday told the lawyers in court that it was his last day in office and he would not be available from February 17 (Monday).

“I have some personal responsibilities here in Mumbai, which is why I did not want to be transferred out of Maharashtra,” the judge said.

In the morning, Justice Dharmadhikari told a lawyer, who had come to mention his petition seeking urgent hearing in his court that he has tendered his resignation.

“I have demitted office. Today is my last day,” Justice Dharmadhikari had said in the court.

Advocate Mathew Nedumpara had mentioned a petition seeking for the court to hear it next week.

“When the judge said he has resigned, I initially thought that he said that in a lighter vein…He is a very senior judge and his resignation comes as a shock,” Nedumpara later said.

Born in a family of lawyer, Justice Dharmadhikari had enrolled as an advocate in 1983. 

(With PTI inputs)

Courtesy : DNA

JNU: Students across India to protest against campus violence

Demonstrators shout slogans outside the Delhi Police Headquarters to protest following alleged clashes between student groups at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi on January 5, 2020Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protests against the violence began on Sunday night

Students in several major Indian cities are planning protests after students and teachers of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the capital Delhi were attacked on Sunday night.

At least 40 students and staff were admitted to hospital after being attacked by masked men wielding sticks.

Police have begun a probe and say they have identified some of the assailants.

Students in some cities like Mumbai and Hyderabad have already taken to the streets in support of JNU.

The JNU student union blamed Sunday’s violence on the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a right-wing student body linked to India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). However, the ABVP said that its members had been attacked by left-wing groups, and some had been injured.

The cause of the attack is still unclear. There were violent clashes at JNU last year over a rise in hostel fees.

The university initially released a statement informing students that “armed miscreants” were “roaming around, damaging property and attacking people”.

It later released another statement in which it blamed a “group of students” who were opposing an ongoing admission process to register new students. It is widely believed that the statement referred to leftist students who have been protesting against the hostel fee hike for the past three months.

The university also recently saw protests over a controversial citizenship law.

Students at the university said they would take out rallies against the violence on Monday. A group of them also protested against police “inaction”, alleging that it took them hours to get to the campus.

Further protests are being planned in several other cities as well.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police said they had secured the campus and deployed officers to deter further violence

In the financial capital, Mumbai, university students will continue a protest against the incident at the Gateway of India monument. They had gathered there by midnight, with more and more people joining in since then.

The students of Jamia Millia Islamia university in Delhi and the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh state, which have also recently seen violence on campus premises, are planning to take out big protests on Monday.

Demonstrations are also expected in the cities of Hyderabad, Chennai (formerly Madras), Ahmedabad and Chandigarh.

The violence has been condemned across the board, including by defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and foreign minister S Jaishankar – both of whom are alumni of the university.

BBC news