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By Raju Vernekar

The residents of the Akash Horizon Premises Cooperative Society Limited, located bang opposite Western Railway’s (WR) car shed at Mumbai Central (east side), have complained about constant air and noise pollution, they are suffering for nearly one decade, due to the work of maintenance of trains, in the car shed adjacent to their building.

The testing, recharging and maintenance of Rajdhani. Shatabdi and Duronto trains is done in the open shed, touching the compound wall of the Aakash building. While shunting of coaches/locomotives and testing of power cars generates a lot of noise, a lot of smoke is emanated by the diesel generators, which straightway flows in the flats of the residents. The generators also cause vibration, due to which the compound wall of the building was  collapsed some time back.

The work also causes financial loss to the railways since it has been using outdated technology. The testing can be done through less expensive electric power generators, as against age-old diesel operated generators. The diesel is much more expensive, Sulaiman Bhimani, President, Citizen Justice Forum said.

Mirza Baig, Hon Gen Secretary of the society, who has been following up the matter with WR since long, in a letter dated 5 December 2017, to Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), has pointed out that the railways recharge generators day in and day out causing considerable amount of noise and sound pollution.

The 19 story building accommodates over 1000 people, most of whom are senior citizens. The work goes on till 4 AM disturbing peace in the area, Baig has stated requesting WR to take corrective step to stop this nuisance. The “Equinox Labs” in its report dated 17 March 2016, had stated that the noise level in the shed was 94.4 decibels as against specified limit of 55 decibels. If the railways fail to take corrective action, then we will be left with no option but to approach the court, Baig said.

Additionally, BMC’s Nair Hospital, catering to lakhs of patients, which is in close proximity of the yard, and thousands of residents in the neighbourhood also has to bear the noise and air pollution emanating from the yard.

Earlier, in response to a query under RTI by the resident Laeek Chunawala, ADME (BCT), WR vide letter dated 31 December 2015, had admitted that the department had not obtained any NOC for the work. Similarly DEE/RS/BCT vide letter dated 7 January 2016 had stated that the EMU shed is for day to day maintenance of EMU rakes and is not covered under Factories Act 1948.

Way back in 2009, the then WR GM R N Verma, in a letter dated 4 December 2009 to former MP and Minister Milind Deora, had stated that the rescheduling of the work of testing power cars has been done so that the residents are list disturbed. But of no avail.

Under article 21 of constitution of India, every citizen has right to live in clean and peaceful environment and it is the responsibility of state to provide it. It is expected of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal to give relief to citizens, who include senior citizens, women and children, Bhimani said. There was no response to detailed email seeking clarification sent to WR DRM.

Caption

  1. a) Akash Building Horizon Building
  2. b) railway yard at Mumbai Central
click for the video link below
Smoke coming out of diesel generator van entring into home of Akash Apts https://tinyurl.com/y8ql26eu 
Link to RTI Documents and Communication and Correspondence done by Residents  Akash.Scty https://app.box.com/s/t3kjofseutul88v8nkd719pwpw0fi5e7
Old outdated diesel generator vans used for testing recharging Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi Trains instead of electric operated systems 
POSTED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Sulaiman Bhimani Legal Consultant
Expert RERA & Co-operative Scty Matters
Human and Civil Rights Activist
President Citizens Justice Forum 
President of Janata Congress party (Mumbai District)
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This will be a short post of mostly relief. Modi planning to address the country has become a cause for some alarm and ridicule. Absurd tags were doing the round for days before today "guessing" what the Prime Minister would announce today. Turned out to be something of a damp squib. Thankfully. I don't think the country can take any more of his surgical strikes.

To make a long story short, he reannounced a failed goal from 2016 as a wholly new idea called "Saubhagya" - where all homes in India get electricity by December 2018. Earlier in 2016, Piyush Goyal had assured us of electricity for all by May 2017. Now five months after missing that deadline, we are assured of the same thing by December 2018. That is all. At this point, the failure of the government to achieve one goal being repackaged as a bright new idea that will transform India is not going to shock anyone.

If it were any other government, I suppose this would be met with scorn, but I suppose there is no point expecting anything useful out of this government and we must see this announcement as a positive thing - our incomes or savings have taken no new hit, no lives are going to be disrupted or lost as a result of this announcement and it doesn't seem to be likely to result in economic catastrophe. No violence against dissenters is likely to be triggered by this announcement. The gullible hordes have been spared their own unquestioning folly. I suppose it is time to call it a narrow miss from a surgical strike and get on with the business of surviving the less than two years that remain of this spectacularly useless government.

3

This one on the disproportionate increase in wealth of crorepatis in Union Cabinet lived briefly and died silently on the Times of India website. The beginning of a trend of vanishing reports on questionable increases in wealth that would later be seen more dramatically in Reports of suspicious growth in assets of Gujarat politicians removed from news sites

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has faulted the format for declaration of assets adopted by the government saying it did not provide a correct indicator of the ministers' wealth and defeated the exercise towards transparency.

Several ministers in the cabinet have shown a dramatic increase in assets in just the last 5 months which ADR has attributed to lack of a standardized format for ministers' asset declaration. It said that in many cases ministers have either not given the value of their moveable and immoveable assets or not given the present market value which has led to discrepancies. For instance ministers including Jitendra Singh, V K Singh, Ananth Kumar, and Sripad Naik have not given value for moveable assets to the PMO while Harsh Vardhan, Venkaiah Naidu and Sushma Swaraj have not given value for their immoveable assets.

ADR claimed that railway minister Sadananda Gowda's wealth increased by over Rs 10.46 crore from Rs 9.99 crore in May to Rs 20.35 crore in October and assets worth Rs 10 crore had been acquired in the interim. However in response to reports Gowda tweeted that the properties were bought earlier with a loan worth Rs 8 crore from Federal Bank and Rs 2 crore had been paid in advance. He is followed by heavy industry MoS Radhakrishnan P who has shown an increase of Rs 2.98 crore (from assets worth Rs 4.09 crore to Rs 7.07 crore) and finance minister Arun Jaitley whose wealth has increased by 1% from Rs 113.02 crore to Rs 114.03 crore.

Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj and Anant Kumar at BJP headquarters in New Delhi
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj and Anant Kumar at BJP headquarters in New Delhi (PTI Photo)

Minister for social justice and empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot whose personal wealth increased by 323% in the last two years has seen the sharpest rise in a cabinet dominated by crorepatis. He is followed by power and coal minister Piyush Goyal whose assets have increased by 212% since 2010. According to ADR analysis the overwhelming majority of ministers (91%) that is 41 of the 45 ministers are crorepatis with average assets worth Rs 14.32 crore.

Among the ministers—who did not contest the Lok Sabha polls—whose personal wealth has risen sharply are social justice and empowerment minister Thaawar Chand Gehlot whose assets increase by 323% in two years. According to the declaration he made to the Rajya Sabha in 2012 Gehlot's assets were Rs 86.12 lakh which have shot up to Rs 3.64 crore in October 2014. Coal and power minister Piyush Goyal came in second with his assets increasing by 212% from Rs 30.34 crore in 2010 (according to the affidavit submitted to the Rajya Sabha) to Rs 64.31 crore. MoS for Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan's assets grew by 61% since 2012 from Rs 1.54 crore to Rs 2.48 crore. Communications and law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's wealth rose by 27% in two years while urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu's assets grew by 28% in four years.

1

With much advertisement of the Gujarat model, all eyes were on the Modi government, particularly since BJP expects higher standards of those it criticizes than itself. The reality is stunning, but not in a nice way.

Nitin Gadkari with dubious financial dealings with Ideal Road Builders including a no interest loan to his company, Purti Group - amount of loan was greater than company's turnover - from them in a period when Gadkari handled the ministry in Maharashtra and massive lucrative contracts went to them gets to build the country's roads. Nitin Gadkari was assessed by the Income Tax department as having evaded 7 crores in taxes by means of benami investments and over a dozen firms operating from bogus addresses. Gadkari also threatened Income Tax officers. Gadkari is said to have six DIN numbers - something BJP had raised a huge hue and cry over Priyanka Vadra and Karti Chidambaram. Cabinet Minister for the Prime Minister who made grand declarations about corruption in his election campaign. This is apart from the much covered up case of the dead girl Yogita Thakre found in his car.

Rao Inderjit Singh - whom the BJP itself accused of involvement in a Defence land scam when he was in Congress is Minister of State and handling (hold your breath) defence in Modi's government as well.

Smriti Irani, Minister for Human Resources Development, which includes education faked her own educational qualifications in an election affidavit.

Gopinath Munde apparently got a degree in 1976 from a college that started in 1978.

Ordinance Modi turn
Ordinance Modi turn

After criticizing ordinances passed by UPA2 government for less than urgent reasons, the Modi government has so far passed two ordinances. One weakening TRAI act to be able to appoint Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary (which the act barred) and the second on the controversial Polavaram project. Neither of them requiring immediate action that can't wait for a Parliamentary session.

Varun Gandhi's mother is in charge of child development.

After endless accusations of Congress misusing the CBI to frame Modi, Satya Pal Singh, who defended Mumbai's encounter cops was head of SIT for Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case is now in Modi's cabinet.

Ajit Doval, ex-head of IB (which has consistently served to dilute cases of state sanctioned human rights abuse in Gujarat), with dubious links to the gangster Chota Rajan is now National Security Advisor. A National Security Advisor with links to gangsters is whose idea of development?

After condemning multiple DINs by Priyanka Vadra and Karti Chidambaram as proofs of corruption, Two ministers in Modi's cabinet (Coal Minister, Piyush Goyal and  Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari) so far have been shown to hold multiple DINs.

30% of Modi's ministers have criminal cases against them in a Lok Sabha with 21% ministers with criminal cases against them, which is already disproportionately high compared with India's general population. Development of India or criminals? Or perhaps that IS the Gujarat Model? After all, 57/182 MLAs in Gujarat too face criminal charges - 31%. That may be the magic ratio of development.

In the much advertized OBC-chaiwalla's government, 2/3rd of the cabinet is Brahmin, Thakur, Rajput.

For those who claim Modi will controll RSS, of 23 ministers who swore in on the cabinet,a mind boggling 17 are affiliated with the RSS or affiliate organizations. That is over 80% in case anyone is interested. Or in other words, Modi's cabinet has 6 non-Hindutva ministers. That will really finish the RSS, I think.

As usual, the accusations BJP levels at others turn out to be true about themselves and virtues it takes pains to advertize turn out fake.

Is this a government or a joke?