Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Breastfeeding rooms at every bus stand - Source LT

• A room measuring 8x10 feet will be called Hirkani Kaksh, where mothers can breastfeed their babies

In a welcome gesture, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is going to set up special breastfeeding rooms at all bus stations in the state, in phases. 
The rooms, called 'Hirkani Kaksh,' will cater to needs of mothers who need privacy for feeding their babies. According to sources, a decision in this regard was recently taken at a meeting of the MSRTC directors and members chaired by chairman Jeevan Gore. 
The decision will be implemented in a phased manner and in the first phase all central bus stands at every district places will be covered, followed by tehsils. 
A room measuring 8x10 feet will be named after the legendry Hirkani, who lived in the Western ghats over 400 years ago and who, according to folklore, did the impossible by crossing the most difficult 'Durgam' (vertical drop) of the Raigad Fort, which even the greatest of Mahaveeras couldn't cross. She did this on a dark night on getting accidently locked inside the fort and was desperate to get to her hungry baby. 
No other person, except women with their babies, will be allowed to go inside the rooms, sources said. Pictures of babies will be pasted on outer walls, for the convenience of illiterate women from rural or tribal areas so that they can locate the rooms. 
In urban, semi-urban and metro areas, boards in Marathi - 'Hirkani Kaksh' - will be displayed. The facility will be made available free of cost. The room will be preferably located near the control room at every CBS and the work of searching the suitable place will begin soon after formal letters are received by the local CBS authorities, added the sources.

'Govt successfully tackled drought' - Source LT

School education minister Rajendra Darda says around 100 animal shelters were set up and 10.5 TMC water was released for Jayakwadi dam which will last till October, even if it doesn't rain by then Memories of Rajiv Gandhi recalled
While recalling memories of Rajiv Gandhi, Darda said, "The late prime minister was a strong leader and it is very unfortunate that he had left us. I had got many opportunities to accompany him on his tours. Nehru and Gandhi families have made several sacrifices due to which the Congress is in power today."

"The State Government has successfully tackled the drought and is looking the prevailing situation as an opportunity to bring about more development," said school education minister Rajendra Darda.
He was speaking at a meeting organised at Gandhi Bhavan on the occasion of the death anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. District Congress Committee president Keshavrao Autade presided.
Darda further said the water supply system of Jalna city was completed. Water of Ujani has been transferred to Osmanabad, while Sillod is provided with around 10 lakh litres of water from Khelni. Had this project not implemented, the government would have to spend Rs 12 crores for Sillod alone.
"Now, farmers are happy as they have got silt for their farms and the storage capacity of lakes has also been increased with the clean-up initiative. Ghanewadi, Harsul, Bindusara and others are the best examples of this initiative. Rs 35 crore have been spent on it so far, while more will be spent by June-end," Darda said.
"Around 100 animal shelters were set up and 10.5 TMC water was released for Jayakwadi dam from upstream dams. This will last till October, even if it doesn't rain," Darda maintained.
On May 25, the chief minister is coming on a tour of Aurangabad district. If he is apprised of the district problems through fax in advance, it would be easier for him to take decisions, Darda suggested.
Keshavrao Autade said, "It is a very crucial situation and every Congress worker should work for the welfare of people. Several projects of the government should reach the intended beneficiaries."
MLA Abdul Sattar made an introductory speech and appealed to Congress workers to make May 25 conference at Sillod a grand success. 
Former district president Bhausaheb Thombre, former MLA Nitin Patil and others also spoke. District Congress general secretary Dilip Bhosale conducted the proceedings, while Zahir Karmadkar proposed a vote of thanks. Vilas Autade, Subhas Thokal, Jaggannath Khosre, Feroz Patil and others were present on the dais.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Artificially ripened fruits still being sold - Source LT

■ FDA drive notwithstanding, traders are not mending their ways
Despite the Food and Drug Administration's drive against mango traders' use of carbide to artificially ripen mangoes, the traders have been selling these mangoes.
The FDA is keeping a vigil on the mango traders and action was taken against some traders last week. Mangoes of different varieties like kesar, dashahara, langda, neelam, totapari, benishar, and hoor along with the alphonso and local types, are available in the market. 
During the administration's drive to destroy artificially ripened fruits, 1500 kgs of mangoes found in Jadhavwadi market were disposed of at the garbage depot in Naregaon. 
It is also alleged by citizens that the traders are using carbide to ripen other fruits like papaya, bananas and watermelons. The FDA has not yet turned its attention towards these traders.
An environmentalist said that fruits that ripen naturally have a good scent and taste. However, fruits ripened by calcium carbonate do not have that taste and scent. They are also not fit for consumption, health experts said.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

'Bamu first in State to start vocational science course' - Source LT

Dr Vijay Pandharipande, vice chancellor of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University said that the vocational science course will give a new direction to the students of Marathwada region.
The new five-year integrated course 'Master of Vocational Science' is being launched from the coming academic year by the university in cooperation with the local industrialists. 
He was speaking in a meeting with the industry professionals held at the Department of Chemical Technology on Saturday.
Noted industrialists Dr Ulhas Gavli, vice-president of the Chamber of Marathwada Industries and Agriculture (CMIA) H M Kank, secretary Prof Munish Sharma, Prashant Deshpande, Dr Ajit Thete, H D Kapse, Prasad Kokil, Abhay Deshmukh and others were present.
Dr Vijay Pandharipande further said that our university is first in the state to start the vocational science course.
He said that students will be able to do specialisation in courses like 'automobile, pharmacy, industrial automation, banking-insurance and tourism' through the new course. Local professors, industrialists, researchers from IITs and IIMs will guide the students. Dr Piyush Sinha, Dilip Dharurkar, Dr K V Kale and Dr Pravin Wakte were also present.

Golf course of MTDC remains on paper - Source LT

n180 acres of land worth crores of rupees handed over to a private firm

The proposed golf course spread over 180 acres of land at Harsul Lake near the city has remained on paper after two decades. Moreover, the land worth crores of rupees, meant for the golf course that was handed over to Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) by the State Government 20 years back has now been transferred to a private firm by MTDC, which has raised eyebrows. 
Tourists visit in large numbers to Ajanta and Ellora caves near Aurangabad and Japanese nationals form a major chunk of them. Keeping in view the fondness of Japanese for the game of golf, it was planned by MTDC to develop a golf course near the city to engage the oriental visitors in the state. The cost of the game is less in India in comparison to that in Japan. The move was aimed at promoting 'golf tourism' in the state. 
Land transferred at throw-away price
The State Government had transferred 72 hectors (180 acres) of land at Harsul survey number 235, 236 and 237 in 1993 to MTDC on lease of token Rs 1 per year. The price of the land situated on the foothills of a hillock along the road from Harsul Lake to Jatwada has now sky-rocketed to tune of Rs 250 to 350 crore. In last 20 years MTDC had not even bothered to put up a fence around the land. Surprisingly, MTDC discovered that it possesses the land just 6 years ago when it was taking the stock of land possessed by it in the district. 

Land mafia eyeing the land
Land mafias in the district are eyeing the land for long. There are many illegal encroachments on it including a place of worship. A difficult law and order situation was created 2 years back while removing the encroachments under police protection. At present, there still remain encroachments of some households and brick kilns and murum stone is being illegally mined. 

Possession by a private firm
It was decided on higher level to develop the golf course with public private partnership (PPP) and tenders were also invited. The tender was allotted to Inspira Leisure Hospitality, a private firm and the company had even got the possession of the place. The company has started a small office on the place and employed security guards. 
Officials of MTDC in Aurangabad don't even know that how many companies expressed interest in developing the golf course, how many of them participated in tendering process and at what rate the tender was allotted to Inspira. They said that they were only maintaining the land and rest of the decisions were taken in Mumbai.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Three solar water pumps installed in Jalna & A'bad - Source LT

n Project by divisional forest department
n Each solar pump costs approx Rs.2.50L
n Efforts made to provide water to animals

Aurangabad division deputy conservator of forest department (FD) has installed 3 solar pumps, each in Dharegaon, Varud of Jalna district and Chapaner of Aurangabad district. These areas are reserve forests where animals are also feeling the effect of drought situation. With an attempt to overcome the prevailing drought situation and create a permanent drinking water solution for animals in reserve forest, the solar pumps have been installed. 
In-charge deputy forest officer S M Rathod said, "Each solar pump costing around Rs. 2.50 lakh has been installed on borewells at Dharegaon, Varud and Chapaner villages of Jalna and Aurangabad districts. Another solar pump will be installed at Vakla soon as borewell has been completed." These 4 villages have high forest cover where animals such as black bucks, peacocks and birds of various species in large numbers are present, he added. There are more than 200-300 black bucks in Dharegaon and Varud villages of Jalna. More than 500 black bucks are present in Chapaner and Vakla reserve forests which is also housing different species of animals. 
On providing drinking water to animals, Rathod said, "Nearby, borewell artificial water ponds, each having a capacity of 5,000-10,000 liters of water is filled twice a week." 
Protection & maintenance 
In order to protect the costly solar system, the forest department has deployed security personnel. " Three watchmen have been appointed at each site, one in the day and two night watchmen each at the 3 sites Dharegaon, Varud and Chapaner to ensure security," said Rathod. The security personnel will also maintain the borewell pumps on regular basis. They fill the ponds and maintain its cleanliness.

Bajaj Hospital saves 43,000 ltr water a day - Source The Economic Times

Cut has been imposed in water supply on private companies and hospitals. The hospital management took initiative in saving water to tackle water scarcity and entrusted the responsibility with Subhash Nagode who introduced a no cost setting. It is a simple setting which can be followed by anyone, said Nagode. Hospital's president C P Tripathi, chief executive officer Dr Niraj Uttamani, C H Rao, chief engineer Sunil Shinde and others guided him

In an initiative that sets an example in these days of water scarcity, the local Kamalnayan Bajaj Hospital is saving around 43,000 litres of water every day thanks to an imaginative manager. 
The hospital requires 1,20,000 litres of water every day, out of which around 30,000 litres is used by the patients and their relatives. 
Maintenance manager Subhash Nagode took an initiative in stopping people from wasting water. He studied the usage of water in various wards and introduced a unique way of saving water. 
He changed wall clock setting in the flush tank of toilets having capacity of ten litres and brought it to seven litres. 
Three litres of water was saved every time the water was flushed with this setting and around 43,000 litres of water was saved every day

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Civic survey team finds silt, garbage in the historical Panchakki naher - Source LT

A naher providing water to the historical Panchakki in the city has choked with silt and garbage. It has not been cleaned even once in the last 400 years, informed sources.
Lokmat Times had earlier published news about water from the nahers being used by citizens on a large scale. Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court took note of this news and had ordered the survey of nahers after which the survey has begun.
Survey team reached Bibi-ka-Maqbara at 11 am to begin inspections. The team took about an hour to get down the naher along with the equipment. Chief surveyor and architect Pradeep Deshpande and his assistants stepped down the manhole number 14 of the naher providing water to this watermill. 
The naher is located around 15 to 20 feet underground and gives a feel of an air conditioned room.
Naher full of garbage
Width of the naher varies from two and a half feet to three feet while at some places it is around five feet. There is not a single drop of water in the naher. Silt and garbage was found more than two feet deep. 
There is a manhole located at every 100 to 150 feet. Some manholes are closed permanently. 
However, the natural stream of the water is still present.
Suffocating atmosphere 
Team members had to proceed one after another after entering the naher. All were provided helmets and a torch. It was suffocating 20 feet deep underground and oxygen cylinders were provided to the team members who were ascertaining cracks in the canal, repairs needed, length and breadth of the canal and other measurements.
Survey of 344 metres
Survey began at 11 am and concluded at 4 pm. It was conducted from manhole number 14 to 18 measuring to around 344 metres. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation's Naser Khan was also involved in the survey work.

Mangoes ripened with calcium carbide destroyed - Source LT

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorities raided shops in Jadhavwadi area and seized mangoes which were ripened by using calcium carbide, a chemical that is dangerous to health. Around 174 boxes of calcium carbide were confiscated. The officers from FDA destroyed around 1500 kilograms of mangoes ripened with calcium carbide, in the garbage depot at Naregaon. 
Mangoes ripened with calcium carbide were found in shop number 206 at agricultural produce market committee's vegetable and fruit wholesale market in Jadhavwadi. The same calcium carbide is used with oxygen to melt iron while welding. The acetylene gas emitted from calcium carbide is said to be poisonous and harmful to heart and other organs of the body. If this gas comes in contact with water, the chemical reaction generates vinyl alcohol and acetaldehyde. Both these constituents are harmful for the body. 
FDA action
Team of FDA officers and employees led by FDA joint commissioner (Food) Chandrashekhar Salunkhe and Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) health officer Dr Jayashri Kulkarni reached fruit market at Jadhavwadi at 9 am. Some officers entered various shops and inquired about the prices of mangoes. They found paper packets in shop number 206 kept in plastic crates. The officers confiscated these packets and checked 75 plastic crates with 1500 kgs of mangoes. 
They found two to three packets of calcium carbide kept in each of these crates. The officers conducted a panchanama and confiscated 174 packets of calcium carbide with 1500 kgs of mangoes.
Mangoes buried
Around 1500 kgs of mangoes were taken to AMC's Naregaon garbage depot where the produce was destroyed by burying it 10 to 15 feet deep in the ground. Joint commissioner of FDA, M D Shah, officers S D Terkar, A A Pawar and others participated in the task. The Union and State governments have banned the use of calcium carbide to ripen fruits. In this regard, FDA will be filing a case against the seller, if particles of carbide are found in mangoes after undergoing tests in laboratories. Those found guilty are fined with Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 10 lakhs and imprisonment for six months. Earlier, FDA held a workshop of wholesalers and commission agents to apprise them of these modalities. However, the lust for money is leading to increasing use of calcium carbide. Action against heavyweights awaited
Action is yet to be taken against big players in the business, allege sources. Several godowns owned by heavyweight businessmen are located in areas like Baijipura, Kiradpura, Rajabajaar, central bus stand, Padegaon, Chikalthana and Harsul. Mangoes are allegedly ripened by calcium carbide on a large scale there, informed sources from Jadhavwadi.

State-level CET for ME courses - Source LT

Henceforth, no separate written test or exam to be conducted at institute/college level
The coordinator ME course admissions at the Government College of Engineering (GCE) told LT that all those who wish to take admission in ME courses will have to appear for the common entrance test — PGET-CET-2013 — on May 26.
Dr R S Londhe, the coordinator of ME (part-time) admission at GCE, said the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) had decided to hold a state-level CET for admissions in all ME courses (part-time as well as full-time) across the State for the academic year 2013-14. He said henceforth no separate written test or examination would be conducted at the institute/college level for the academic year 2013-14. "Students seeking admissions in ME part-time courses should be a regular employee serving within 60-km radius around Aurangabad and should have a minimum of two-year full-time work experience after passing BE," he clarified and appealed to aspirants to visit DTE's website www.dte.org.in/me2013 for CET details.

Engineering exam put off - Source LT

The Examinations Department of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Bamu) has postponed the engineering examinations for a week due to a delay in declaring the results of redressal cases.
It may be noted that Lokmat Times had carried a report on Monday on the failure of the university to declare the results of around 14,500 engineering students even as their next examinations are approaching fast (May 22). As per the court orders, the results of redressal cases should be declared 15 days before the commencement of next examinations.
"The engineering examinations, which were scheduled to begin on May 22, have now been postponed following the delay in declaring the result of redressal cases," said controller of examinations Dr Ashok Chavan while addressing a press conference here on Tuesday.
"The students of engineering will now take their examinations from May 29, instead of May 22. The results of redressal cases of the second and third years will be declared by May 18, while the results of the first and final years were declared recently," he explained.
He said the examinations of engineering courses (revised syllabus) would, however, start on June 6. "The revised examination schedule of BE, B Tech, B Pharmacy, Architecture and MCA courses has been made available on the university website. The schedule of ME courses will be posted on the website soon," he added.

University to adopt online delivery of question papers - Source LT

Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University (Bamu) has decided to introduce an online question paper delivery system for certain engineering courses from the current examination session on an experiment basis.
In the wake of rising incidents of paper leak, the State Government formed a committee under the chairmanship of Rajesh Agarwal (secretary IT, State Government) to suggest measures for the secure delivery of question papers.
The committee was comprised of vice chancellors, deans and comptrollers of examinations of various universities, including Bamu vice chancellor Dr Vijay Pandharipande and deputy registrar (confidential) D M Netke. The committee recently presented its report to the government recommending use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in both administrative and examination works, to overcome the incidence of paper leaks.
It also asked all the universities to adopt IT solutions based on encryption and secure transmission so that question papers will be available only an hour before an exam.
"Bamu, which had already conducted one engineering paper online in the last semester, will now go ahead with conducting another paper of the second semester online in the current semester," Dr Ashok Chavan said.
"Question papers of certain courses like BE, B Tech and ME will be delivered online from the present semester exam on an experiment basis. Encrypted question papers will be sent to centres on the examination day and its password sent to the persons concerned who will be able to decrypt them," Dr Chavan explained, however, he refused to divulge the names of those questions papers.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Panic in C'thana after HP tanker turns turtle - Source LT

A Hindustan Petroleum tanker filled to capacity turned turtle on the roadside in Chikalthana MIDC area on Monday at 1 pm. 
The tanker weighing 36 tonnes lying topsy-turvy since late night, caused panic among nearby residents as it was filled with the LPG.
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. has its gas refilling plant in the MIDC Chikalthana area where gas is transported through tankers and refilled in the cylinders.
The tanker (RJ-19 GC-6203) arrived here from Gujarat at 1 pm. The driver parked it outside the plant and approached the security guard to get entry pass.
The driver parked the tanker on a slope and failed to apply the hand brake due to which it started moving in backward direction. After some time the tanker gained speed and moved backward nearly 100 meters. During this period it dashed an electric pole and fell into a deep ditch.
The incident caused sensation and driver, security guards, company staff and citizens started running helter-skelter. The news also spread in areas like Brijwadi, Naregaon, Ambedkarnagar, Misarwadi and Masanatpur areas spreading panic among people. 
People and company staff called in the fire brigade department and the fire tenders reached the spot immediately. After checking the tanker, the firemen said that there was no gas leakage or explosion, hence, lifting the tanker from the ditch was not their duty and then they sat there silently.
Had the tanker come into touch with electric cable, it would have caused massive explosion, putting many lives in danger. It would also have caused danger to HP plant and surrounding localities but fortunately there was no untoward incident. 
The tanker weighed 36 tonnes including 16-17 tonnes gas. However, the crane pressed into service by the company had a capacity of 12-16 tonnes. Hence , another crane was pressed into service but it also failed to pull the tanker unless the power cables were removed from there.
The GTL employees were called in, who sought permission from the AMC as the area was in their jurisdiction. Initially AMC officials refused to remove the cable but considering the gravity of the matter, it gave permission. 
The work of removing the cables was on till late night. 
Keeping the safety of people in mind, the traffic police blocked the traffic because the tanker was lying along the roadside. When police contacted company officials, the latter informed the former that there was nothing to worry as there was no leakage of gas. However, the traffic and Cidco MIDC police are still manning the area because the process of lifting the tanker is on till late night.

Traders' bandh against LBT today - Source LT

To support the State traders agitation against Local Body Tax, Zilla Vyapari Mahasangh will observe a one-day bandh on May 14. A meeting of different organisations of traders was held here on Monday. Mahasangh said that city petrol pumps, commercial establishments, theaters, malls, mondha traders and other organisation have declared their full support to the bandh. Wholesales of medicines will also take part in the bandh while the shops selling essential commodities have been excluded from the agitation, according to a Press release issued by the Vyapari Mahasangh. Mahasangh president Adeshpal Singh Chhabda, Ajay Shah, Madanbhai Jalnawala, Rajan Houzwala, Zoyeb Yewlawala and others have appealed to all to make the bandh successful.

Noise pollution on the rise in city - Source LT

Maximum on Jalna Road; measured twice a day Action against 55 vehicle owners
Action was taken against 55 vehicle owners for resorting to noise pollution by use of multi horns, playing songs at high volume, removing silencer of vehicles and similar other issues under 19/2 section of the Noise Pollution Act. These vehicle owners were charged Rs 500 fine. -Traffic Branch, ACP Ajit Borhade 
Sound level measured during festivals 
MPCB measures sound levels during Diwali, Ganeshotsav, Navratri and other festive occasions.
- PS Joshi, MPCB Regional officer Maximum on Jalna Road; measured twice a day

City has crossed noise limits laid down by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The noise pollution should not exceed 45 decibels during the night and 55 decibels in the day in residential areas of the city as per pollution board norms . However, the noise pollution has increased beyond this limit, informed sources. 
MPCB had conducted a survey of noise pollution in various cities of the state. The findings of this survey have been published in the economic survey report of 2012-13. According to the survey, Aurangabad city has already crossed the limit. The noise level in Cidco N-4 area was 61.8 decibels in the day and 62.6 decibels during the night while the noise levels in various parts of the city were around 68 decibels. This shows that the noise pollution in residential areas is high.
Noise levels in areas like Tilak path, Connaught, Gulmandi, central bus stand, railway station, TV centre, Bibi ka Maqbara, Paan Chakki and Government Medical College and Hospital have increased beyond the stipulated limits. Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and MPCB are not taking any initiatives to keep noise levels within limits, allege environmentalists. 
Vehicles are culprits
City has more than 12 lakh vehicles. Problems of traffic jams and traffic management have come to the fore with the increased number of vehicles. Noise levels due to vehicles is the most on Jalna road. Number of college students, honking horns and driving vehicles at high speed, has increased. These students are seen changing their horns with low noise level to multi-horn types leading to noise levels shooting beyond 70 decibels. 
No measures taken
AMC and MPCB have not implemented any measures to put a tab on increasing noise pollution. Silence zones in areas with hospitals, schools, colleges have remained only for namesake, people said.

Gesture recognition software developed - Source LT

This is how the signals are decoded ...
The operating system used for the project is Linux and Open-CV software is used for image processing, while the programming is done in C++ language. The valleys and tips of the images collected by the camera are counted and the computer denotes corresponding digits or alphabets for them. The software decodes the gestures made by the differently-abled person. The OMAP processor used for the project combines ARM A-8 and DSP-3530 processors, which are mainly used for the image processing. The students have used 2 megapixel Intex camera for the Rs. 12,000 project

The difficulties faced while communicating with differently-abled persons could be reduced now. The hand gesture recognition software developed by girl students of electronics engineering branch from government engineering college will come to our aid. 
People normally find it difficult to communicate with differently-abled persons. The coded hand-gesture language used by them is not understood by the many. Keeping in view these difficulties, final year electronics students from the government engineering college - Sonal Dev, Puja Kothari, Sayali Kharat and Bhagyashree Kulkarni - have developed this software. 
The students used OMAP (Open Multimedia Applications Platform) processor for the project. A camera connected to the system records the hand gestures and displays them on a computer screen. The gestures are coded in accordance with the universally accepted American Sign Language (ASL). 
The cost of the software is reasonable. The project can be helpful for schools of special children. The software may act as an interface for communication and it might assist special children get jobs as well. The students received guidance from project guide and head of the department Dr Anjali Bhalchandra and Sushma Aggrawal.

Hooligans let loose terror on Rly station - Source LT

Tussle for tickets
nDrunk ruffians mess up with lady passengers

Anti-social elements have let loose a reign of terror on the Aurangabad railway station premises during the ongoing summer vacation.
The rowdy elements create trouble to the passengers when they get ready to board the trains. 
These hooligans are seen on platforms, inside railway building, on bridges and in parking lot opposite the railway building.
LT scribe has a first hand report of the problems being faced by the passengers on the railway station.
Owing to mad vacation rush, the railway station is witnessing large number of footfalls, hence, it is arduous task to manage the crowd with few Government Railway Police (GRP) officers. 
According to an auto rickshaw driver Akbar Khan, "A group of ruffians roam near the station premises in drunk state.They create trouble for the passengers daily and mess up with ladies and family members on the railway station and threaten the passengers." 
Another passenger Maniklal Thakur said, "We are helpless due to huge rush. These ruffians come in groups and sometimes try to mix up with lady passengers."
One such victim Manisha said, "A ruffian came near me and misbehaved with me when I was in the queue for purchasing ticket in afternoon at 2. When I looked at him angrily, he and others started threatening me. I feel that railway station premises is not safe for common people. Moreover, neither onlookers help us nor the GRP personnel are seen in the vicinity." "Now, we will keep a vigil on the station premises and take action against those indulging in hooliganism. Many such cases go unreported due to lack of awareness among the passengers," said a GRP official.
Some of these ruffians are regular auto rickshaw drivers, who roam whole day in drunk state and act as agents for other auto drivers. They finalise the deal with passengers and charge high fares including their commission. 
Auto driver Akbar further said, "These agents fix the deal not less than Rs. 100-150 for destinations around 5-6 kms and beyond that Rs. 20 extras is charged per kilometer."
Passengers expect that there will be constant patrolling of police on the railway premises so that such incidents are curbed. Tussle for 

Munde inaugurates Bhagwangadh centre - Source LT

Beed MP and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde inaugurated the Dnayaneshwari Adhyayan Kendra of Shrikeshtra Bhagwangadh Sansthan in Vidyanagar on Monday at 7.30 pm.
Mahant Dr Namdeo Shastri Sanap Maharaj presided over the programme.
While speaking, Dr Shastri said, "This centre will spread the thoughts of Bhagwanbaba. The centre will propagate the preachings of Bhagwad Gita, Dnayaneshwari Sanskar and thoughts of the saints." Large numbers of Bhagwanbaba's followers were present during the programme.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

M Tech aspirants are a worried lot - Source LT

n DTE fails to include course for entrance test to be held on May 26

M Tech (Drugs and Pharmaceuticals) aspirants are a worried lot these days as the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) has failed to include this course for the entrance test scheduled for May 26.
Notably, the DTE decided to hold the PGET-CET-2013 for ME/M Tech admission and MAH-MPH-CET-2013 for M Pharm admission. There will be a Centralised Admission Process (CAP) for admission in full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course in Master of Engineering or Technology (ME/M Tech) in government, aided, university departments and unaided institutes (including autonomous and minority) across the State.
The online application process for the PGET-CET began on May 11 (last date 19) and for MAH-MPH-CET on May 10 (last date May 18). Only three universities of Maharashtra — Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, North Maharashtra University and University of Mumbai — offer M Tech (Drugs and Pharmaceuticals).
Those students who have passed B Pharm and B Tech are eligible to take its CET. However, when local students started filling online application forms, they were in for a shock as there is no mention of M Tech (Drugs and Pharmaceuticals) on the list of options.
A group of students told this newspaper that they are a worried lot as they don't know how to apply for the entrance test in absence of the required information. The last date for applying for the test is also fast approaching.
When contacted, joint director of Technical Education Mahesh Shivankar was not available for his comment.

Patients' kin face hardship sans public toilet - Source LT

Relatives of patients at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) are facing hardship in absence of public toilets. 
GMCH has more than 1,200 patients admitted everyday and around 80 per cent patients are from rural parts of the district.
Generally, three to four relatives accompany a patient. There is one toilet situated in one ward. However, owing to water scarcity, the relatives cannot use this toilet. They use the open spaces near the entrance, OPD, garden, mortuary, X-ray department to relieve. A lot of stench emanates from these areas. The odour is unbearable, leading to unhealthy atmosphere around GMCH.
Bhimshakti Employees Association president Rajendra Pohala has appealed for provision of two public toilets, one each at medicine department and surgical department with water facility.
One public toilet was built before CT-Scan department, a year ago. However, this toilet is lying unused since the administration could not inaugurate it. After completion of the work by the PWD, the toilet is to be run on a pay-and-use basis. However, tenders have not yet been floated.
Deputy medical superintendent Dr Avinash Magre said, "We were pursuing the matter with the PWD to complete the work at the earliest."

Ambulance service on crutches - Source LT

The ambulance service of the Government Medical College and Hospital has virtually crippled.
The GMCH administration has kept the same ambulances in service adding to the woes of the patients, who are regularly ferried from here and there. Many a time these ambulances get out of order midway, jeopardising the lives of many patients.
The leading hospital of Marathwada has five ambulances, of which one is reserved for the service of VIPs tour, while another is used for blood banks. Two ambulances have been attached to the casualty department and another one has been allotted to the Paithan civic hospital. 
The ambulances at the GMCH are in service for the last 16-20 years. Many a time they develop technical snags owing to excess use. 
The ambulance (MH-20- AF-5124) attached to the casualty department is in so pathetic condition that its brake gets failed frequently. In order to avoid risk, the administration has parked it permanently in front of the casualty department. Another ambulance (NH-20, A-5444) is used to shift the patients from casualty to ICU, MICU and medicine department. There is a separate ambulance to ferry the patients from GMCH to cancer hospital. The back door of this ambulance has broken, side mirror is missing and cushion is almost tattered. The condition of another ambulance (Mh-20, 8983) which is attached to Paithan health centre is also in poor condition.
Once a woman was injured when the loose back door of the ambulance fell over her. Fortunately, the woman survived but such incidents cannot be ruled out in future if these ambulances are not repaired or replaced.

Vyapari Mahasangh shows solidarity with state traders - Source LT

In support of the agitation launched by the traders across the state against local body tax (LBT), the Aurangabad Zilla Vyapari Mahasangh has also decided to go on strike on May 14. 
The petrol pumps, commercial complexes, malls, mondha and other trading organisations will remain closed on Tuesday, the Mahasangh informed through a press release. 
It may be noted here that LBT has been imposed in the city for the past one and a half years. The traders had decided to accept LBT due to poor financial condition of the municipal corporation. The traders had accepted the LBT until the goods and service tax GST was implemented. They had not accepted the LBT permanently. 
The government is presenting Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) as the role model for implementing the LBT. But in reality the traders of the entire state and the Aurangabad differ in the approach, the Mahasangh mentioned in the press release. Meanwhile, the General Kirana Merchants Association, Old Mondha will also participate in the statewide strike against LBT on May 14. The president of the association, Mansukhlal Banthia, secretary Devendra Seth, vice president Manakchand Surana and others have appealed to all the traders of Old and New Mondha areas to participate in the strike.

Month-long progs to mark Basaveshwar's birth anniv - Source LT

Shiva-Akhil Bhartiya Veershaiva Yuvak Sanghatna, Aurangabad branch will organise a grand motorcycle rally and various programmes to mark Mahatma Basaveshwar's 882nd birth anniversary starting from May 13 to June 13.
On May 13, there will be pujan of Mahatma Basaveshwar's portrait at the hands of MP Chandrakant Khaire, mayor Kala Ojha, deputy mayor Sanjay Joshi and Adv Satish Talekar at Akashwani Chowk at 9 am. 
A grand motorcycle rally will kick off from Mahatma Basaveshwar Chowk and pass through via Mondha Naka, Kranti Chowk, Nutan Colony, Paithan Gate, Gulmandi, City Chowk, Mahatma Gandhi statue, Chelipura, Collectorate, Ganesh Colony before culminating at the Swami Vivekand Garden, which is the proposed site for installing the statue of Mahatma Basaveshwar. 
Khaire will flag off the rally and Prof Manohar Dhonde is the founder and national president of Shiva Sanghatna. The programme will also be attended by secretary of Maharashtra BJP Atul Save, MLAs Pradeep Jaiswal, Sanjay Shirsat, MLCs Kishanchand Tanwani and M M Shaikh.

Deogiri students develop application for voting - Source LT

Students of Deogiri Institute of Engineering and Management have developed a new application which enables people to vote staying at comforts of one's home, without standing in long queues.
Aadhaar card is used for confirming the identity of the voter. Mobile AMEI code and device ID will be used for security purpose. This will ensure that there is no bogus voting. Android mobile phones can download this application. 
It is necessary to furnish the above mentioned details to use this application. Third year students Rajesh Dhalenge, Gaurav Bugadhe, Aniket Somvanshi and teacher Chetan Mule were involved in this project. How to use this application?
nSign in using your user id and password
nClick on option 'Scan Q R Code' and camera will get switched on
nClick picture of Aadhaar card. The information will come on mobile screen
nArea list will be displayed. Click on your area 
nSelect the person you want to vote
nThis application can be used for voting for reality shows

Aurangabad drummer sounds beyond borders - Source LT

nCity-based youth's mastery on drum mesmerises audience in Thailand

A youth from Aurangabad hypnotized music lovers in Pattaya (Thailand) through his magical mastery on drum beat.
Born and brought up in Aurangabad, the drummer Rahul Kiran Joshi is now a student of world famous percussionist Taufiq Qureshi and musician Pankaj Sharma.
His childhood was like other children who like to beat empty tins with thin bamboo sticks and produce some sound. But the only difference between other children and Rahul was the sense of rhythm and consistency in playing those tin drums.
On his repeated demands, his father gave him a real drum when he was in standard ninth. It was his first step towards becoming a future drummer. Within a short span, Rahul became an expert drummer. Late Manoj Jahagirdar, a guitarist from the same Jyoti Nagar area where Rahul was staying and side rhythmist Nandu Valsangkar gave him opportunities to play drum in their shows. They also helped him to get shows. 
In one such show, Rahul played drum on super-duper Bollywood song 'aaja aaja, main hun pyar tera' and it proved a turning point in his life.
The public response to that performance boosted his ambition of becoming a drummer and he decided to get training from experts. At this stage he luckily got help from his uncle and renowned stage personality Shreepad Padmakar who was in contact with Taufiq Qureshi and Pankaj Sharma since making of a movie 'Rita'. He helped Rahul to be a student of Taufiq Qureshi and Pankaj Sharma five years ago. Along with studying with them, Rahul is also studying Staff Notations from Trinity College of University of Cambridge.
The hard work and the support of teachers like Taufiq Qureshi and Pankaj Sharma, Rahul's drum has accompanied several senior vocalists such as Anuradha Paudwal, Sadhan Sargam, Kunal Ganjawala, Abhijit Sawant etc in mega shows. He has also played for music documentary on Taufiq Qureshi. Rahul has played drums for Hindi movie ABCD and Marathi movie Sarpanch Bhagirath.
Recently his talent was spotted by a company Armani and it invited him for a show at Pattaya in Thailand. His mastery in drums made the audience crazy in that show. Today Rahul, his hard work and the fame has become ideal for other aspiring youths who want to make a career through such talent.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Zilla Parishad administration ensures enough stock of fertilizers - Source LT

The Zilla Parishad administration has geared up for coming Kharip season to provide adequate fertilizers in district. 
The administration has approved allotment of 2.44 lakh metric tones of fertilizers to ensure that all farmers get sufficient and required fertilizers.
The farmers have to shell out hefty amount for purchasing fertilizers from the black market owing to shortage of fertilizers.
Now, the farmers need not run here and there for fertilizers as the department has made available the fertilizers.
District agriculture officer, Harichandra Zanzan said, "We have made available the stock of fertilizers at all fertilizer shops in the district. Thus, there will be no longer queues of farmers before the fertilizers' shop. We will take action against the guilty if anyone is found selling fertilizers in black market."
Approved stock of fertilizer as follows in metric tones : Urea (92,000), DAP (65,000), MOP(15,300), SSP(24,800), ASP (2,900), and mix fertilizers (44,700).

13 trees felled sans permission - Source LT

A total of 13 full-grown trees were axed near St Thomas Church at Seven Hills without proper permission of the municipal corporation.
Ashish Mhaske, a worker from St Thomas Church, told that the trees that included 8 babhool, 2 su-babhool, 1 berry and 2 gulmohor, were cut for the alleged reason of obscene activities of lovers and the nuisance by drunkards. However, the local residents are not agree with it. They say that no such activity was taken place in this area. The trees were providing shelter to the visitors of church as well as the passers-by and even for animals. It was the beauty of the area, but everything is lost. However, father of the church could not be contacted in this matter.
Two trees saved
A resident, Pravin Pandey, informed area corporator Surendra Kulkarni about this illegal tree cutting who rushed to the spot and stopped it. Two full-grown trees of gulmohor were saved by this way.
Ignorance of AMC
Residents say that the tree cutting was openly being conducted for the past 15 days with the rate of one tree a day. Local residents informed the AMC about it but no employee or official turned on to this place. Their prompt action could have saved some trees, residents say.

Buses for major cities to depart from CBS - Source LT

Henceforth, bus services for major stations such as Nagpur, Hingoli, Latur, Parbhani, Akola, Vashim, Osmanabad, Beed and Jalna will depart from the Central Bus Station (CBS). 
The decision was taken unanimously in the meeting of advisory committee of ST on Saturday. It was also decided that other bus services such as Thane, Pune, Nashik, Dhule, Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Dombivli, Malegaon and Indore will depart from Cidco, as usual.
The meeting was organised under chairmanship of Vinayakrao Borse Patil, the president of the committee. According to him, this decision will save public money and control the illegal public transport services resulting increase in the revenue of the ST.
The members of the committee demanded removal of the encroachments at ST stands, frequency of city buses, additional bus rounds on market day, season ticket centres for students, police chowky at Cidco stand, canteen at different workshops for employees, and above all exemption in toll tax.
Demands for bus services at different places in the city and surrounding areas were also produced.
Mansukh Zambad, Anil Parkhe, Subhash Devkar, Abdul Kadar Abdul Hanif, along with other members, were present for the meeting.

Protect winged visitors from poachers - Source LT

World Migratory Birds' Day today
President of the Environment Research Foundation Dilip Yardi says the World Migratory Birds' Day is celebrated in memory of the migratory birds who return to their destinations after living in winter season in different locations. Migration is a phenomena, mystery and amazing feat and adventure of birds that travel half the world from north to south.

Route is a mystery…
The fact that migratory birds travel with full accuracy of timings and places, keeps one spellbound. It remains an unsolved mystery that how these birds navigate and cover such a long distances in large groups. Yardi says late ornithologist Dr Salim Ali had recorded the punctuality and timings of migratory birds over the period of five years. He says migratory birds which were spotted last year reach the same spot at same time and day. 
According to wildlife photographer and nature lover Baiju Patil, Aurangabad city hosts migratory birds in winter season from October when migratory birds arrive from Siberia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Himalayas. These include flamingos, geese, ducks and other migratory birds.

Types of birds
Pintail, shoveller, common pochard, tufted pochard, red crystal pochard, grey leg goose, bar-headed goose, red shank, green shank and small birds form a part of migratory birds and ducks of 17-18 different species which migrate from Central Asia, Europe, Russia, Ladakh and other parts of the world.
"Out of 172 species of these birds 75-80 types, nearly 50 percent migrate to Aurangabad during winter season and return after winter is over. Most fascinating is that these birds come in large numbers. The estimated figure is 23 lakhs in Jayakwadi," said Yardi.
Bird lover Karansingh Kakas found these amazing birds enjoying themselves in Cantonment green belt of the city. 

Help in conserving water bodies
As these birds come in large numbers, they help in conserving water bodies. Yardi said, "Migratory birds come in lakhs here, they feed on fish, water plants and other water animals which help in conserving water bodies. Due to the birds, water bodies get cleaned up." 
Change in the phenomenon
Normally, these migratory birds return in the month of February or March. But now, one can see these birds at Jayakwadi dam. Patil said, "Last week, I visited Jayakwadi dam. Migratory birds are still there as the water level is low. There is a large number of fish for birds to devour. So, numbers are increasing this year. Due to such change in water level birds have a good time for breeding, laying their eggs in nest."
Conserving the birds and protecting them from poaching 
Bird lovers are appealing to people to come forward and protect the amazing bio-diversity by spreading awareness through internationally-acclaimed convention. 
They must also be protected from poachers so that our future generations can get inspiration from nature.

Six floating pumps installed at Jayakwadi - Source LT

nMove to meet water need of Aurangabad residents

The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has installed four floating pumps, each equipped with 75 HP capacity electric motor at Jayakwadi dam to meet the water requirement of the city.
In all there will be 6 floating pumps in the dam and the AMC will keep reserve two pumps for emergency. Meanwhile, the AMC has deposited necessary amount with the MSEDCL for getting power connection to these new floating pumps, informed Adv Umakant Patil to the local bench comprising Justice N H Patil and Justice A V Patil.
The lawyer informed the bench during a hearing on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Janta Vikas Parishad (JVP). Adv Patil continued, "the AMC has formed 14 squads to keep an eye on the leakages in and around the city. In past one year, the AMC sealed 33 leakages detected in the main pipeline (between Jayakwadi and Aurangabad) and over 3,000 leakages emerged in the distribution pipelines within the city limits." 
The AMC is presently supplying tap water to the citizens after a gap of three days, while the tankers have been pressed to supply water in the areas where there is no pipeline connections.
In slum areas the AMC provides water through public tap to the dwellers who do not have water connections. As per the new proposal, the task of desilting the left canal is under way. A new approach channel till emergency water source will also be dug. Meanwhile, the CADA experts claimed that the AMC would be able to maintain its water supply till the water level is at 453 meters, if the level goes down it would be difficult for the AMC to maintain its water supply. Adv Sunil Sonpawale, who represented Godavari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation (GMIDC) informed the court about releasing of water in Nandur-Madhmeshwar Express Canal.

Friday, 10 May 2013

'Parking at owner's risk', then why pay charges? - Source LT

The parking facilities in the city especially near cinema halls and government offices are currently not good.
People have questioned the reasons for paying parking charges if their vehicles are not secure. 
These questions are being raised because each parking slip has a mention on it 'Parking at owners' risk'.
Parking charges for a two-wheeler are Rs five, while for four-wheeler Rs 10. Parking charges at multiplexes has been doubled. However, the security of parked vehicles is not guaranteed by the agencies undertaking parking facility contract. 
City has seven single screen cinemas and five multiplexes. Those who park their vehicles in the parking lots of these cinemas have to pay the parking charges.
However, the receipts of these parking charges mention that the onus of security of respective vehicles lies on the owners. This creates insecurity among the vehicle owners.
No slips are given to the vehicle owners who park their vehicles in the parking lots of government offices. More than 1500 vehicles are parked outside these offices. Politicians and their followers own most of the vehicles parked at these places. Seldom do these heavyweights pay parking charges. However, common citizens are made to pay the charges.
Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has displayed the boards of 'Pay and Park' at several places in the city. However at most of these places, there is nobody to collect the parking charges. Sometimes there is nobody to collect parking charges on Adalat Road opposite the district court. Quarrel over paying parking charges at some of the public places has become a routine feature. 
Common citizens have been demanding security for their vehicles which they park at a particular parking lot. The contractor of a parking lot provides rent to the owner and parking charges are incurred from people parking their vehicles just to fill up their cost, allege vehicle owners. Hence, they are not bothered about the security of vehicles, allege the citizens

Sunil Bhosale is new chief of MASSIA - Source LT

The new executive body of the Marathwada Association of Small Scale Industries and Agriculture (MASSIA) was announced on Thursday with Sunil Bhosale being elected as the president for the year 2013-14. 
The new body was announced during the annual general meeting held at Aurangabad Gymkhana on Thursday.
Outgoing president Dr Uday Girdhari read the annual report and introduced the new officials to the audience. 
The officials include vice presidents-Ashok Bedse Patil (Chikalthana), Balaji Shinde (Waluj); secretaries-Bharat Motinge (Chikalthana), Narayan Pawar (Waluj); treasurers-Kishor Rathi (Chikalthana), Ajay Gandhi (Waluj); joint secretaries-Sandeep Joshi (Chikalthana) and Arjun Gaikwad (Waluj), editor of Udyog Samvad Vijay Lekurwale, assistant editor Suhas Deshpande, PRO Rahul Mogale and joint PRO Kiran Jagtap. 
Members from Waluj: Anil Patil, Manohar Vanve, Milind Ghodke, Digambar Naik, Balaji Jadhav, S Malani, Abdul Shaikh, Sunil Kirdak and Dnyandev Rajale. 
Members from Chikalthana: Pushpagandh Gaikwad, Rajendra Chaudhari, Phulchand Jain, Sanjay Kakde, Chetan Raut, Manish Agrawal, Ravindra Vatani and Dr Uday Girdhari. 
Former presidents Ranjeetsingh Gulati, Sandeep Nagori, Santosh Chaudhari, Arjun Gaike, Raman Ajgaonkar, Santosh Kulkarni, Anup Kabra, Pruthviraj Shah, B N Rathi and others were present.