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Mumbai Central terminus to be renamed after Nana Shankarsett



The iconic Mumbai Central Terminus and station on the Western Railway (WR), shall be renamed after the legendary businessman and philanthropist, Jagannath Shankarseth Murkute, Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant said here on Wednesday.

The move comes nearly 10 months after the Maharashtra Cabinet cleared a proposal to the effect in March 2020 and forwarded it to the Centre.

“Since past 6 years, I have been engaged in writing letters to all concerned departments in the Centre and various ministers, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and finally it has been approved. This is a matter of great pride that the important terminus shall be named in honour of Jagannath (Nana) Shankarseth,” Sawant told mediapersons.

The central government has already initiated the renaming process, as per a communication from Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai to the Shiv Sena’s South Mumbai MP.

Constructed in 1930, the WR terminus was originally known as Bombay Central, and renamed as ‘Mumbai Central’ in 1997 after the state changed the name of Bombay city to the native ‘Mumbai’.

Later, in 2018, the station code was changed to MMCT for the terminus which serves the origin point for important trains serving north and north-west Indian states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, besides Maharashtra.

Some of the noteworthy trains include the August Kranti Rajdhani Express, the Hazrat Nizamuddin Rajdhani Express, Swaraj Express, Golden Temple Express, Garib Nawaz Express, Gujarat Mail, Gujarat Express, etc, besides the bulk of the suburban section trains which halt at the Mumbai Central Station.

Born into an aristocratic priestly family, Jagannath Shankarseth Murkute (Feb.1803-July 1865) diverted his interests to become a renowned businessman, social workers and philanthropist of his era.

He ranks amongst the early fathers of Mumbai who played a key role in the development of city around 200 years ago and laid the foundations enabling it to attain the current status as the country’s commercial capital.

In 1845, Shankarseth, along with other legends like Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, formed the Indian Railway Association and negotiated with the British rulers to bring the railways to India, which finally materialized on April 16, 1853.

Accompanied by other prominent personalities, Shankarseth travelled on the historic Mumbai-Thane journey of the maiden railway line on the Indian subcontinent that day.

Over the years, he also contributed to setting several educational and public institutions, contributed or arranged huge donations to leading museums, libraries, scientific institutions and other important organisations, many of which stand even today.


Narendra Modi discusses Covid situation with Uddhav Thackeray, 3 other CMs




Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took stock of the Covid-19 situation in separate telephonic conversations with four Chief Ministers and assured them of all possible help from the Central government, said sources.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, were among those whom the Prime Minister dialled to get details about the Covid-19 situation in their states.

In a tweet, the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office said Thackeray requested more linkages in the procurement of oxygen for the state and gave information about several measures taken and plans to counter the third wave of the pandemic.

He thanked the Prime Minister for continuous guidance and for “accepting various requests made by the state”.

“In a telephonic conversation with CM Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, the Hon’ble PM@narendramodi sought details about Maharashtra’s fight against COVID and commended its efforts in countering the second wave.”

Maharashtra is among the states where the maximum number of Covid cases have been reported so far. The state logged 54,022 new cases in the last 24 hours while 898 Covid patients died in the same period.

Thackeray’s conversation with the Prime Minister came a day after he wrote to Modi regarding supply of vaccines, technical glitches on the CoWin App and developing a state-level app for citizen’s vaccination registration. The CM’s initiative to come up with a Covid app comes amid frequent glitches in the CoWIN registration platform.

Maharashtra is among the 10 states that account for close to 72 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in a day, the Union Health Ministry said on Friday.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister in a tweet said he informed the Prime Minister about his state’s “continuously decreasing positivity rate and rapidly rising recovery rate”.

Chouhan also spoke with the Prime Minister about the state government’s measures to combat the virus and in turn the Prime Minister assured him of providing every possible help to the state. Madhya Pradesh added another 11,708 Covid cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the total tally to over 6.49 lakh.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the Madhya Pradesh government and assured all possible help from the central government,” Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, in a tweet in Hindi, also informed about his telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister, saying ” said he updated the Prime Minister on what the state government is doing to provide oxygen to Covid patients, the status of hospital beds and the vaccination drive”. The hill state reported 4,177 COVID-19 cases on Friday, pushing its total caseload to over 1.22 lakh. 56 Covid patients died in the last 24 hours.

“Prime Minister Modi has assured all possible help to the state in its battle against the virus,” Thakur said.

The Prime Minister later held a telephonic conversation with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin and noted details about the preparedness of the state government to deal with the pandemic.

In the last three days, the Prime Minister has spoken with 10 Chief Ministers and two Lieutenant Governors to take stock of their states and union territories efforts and plans to deal with the pandemic.

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PM Narendra Modi hails Maharashtra CM’s Covid measures




Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called up Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to get an overview of Maharashtra’s war against the Coronavirus, an official said.

During the conversation, the PM lauded Thackeray’s efforts and observed that the state has put up a good fight during the ongoing second wave of Covid-19.

Thanking Modi, the CM appreciated his guidance in the state’s Covid war right from the beginning and how the Centre had accepted certain suggestions given by Maharashtra.

Thackeray took the opportunity to request for more Central help and support in terms of critical needs like oxygen and apprised the PM on the state’s plan to tackle the possible Covid-19 ‘third wave’ expected to hit soon.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Maharashtra has emerged among the worst-hit in the country with a caseload of 49,96,758 which surpassed the infections of Turkey, and a total of 74,413 fatalities recorded till date, besides 654,788 ‘active cases’ – just below France’s 823,825 ‘active cases’.

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Covid spurs Maharashtra to fill up 16K Health Department vacancies



As the country prepares for a potential “third wave” of Covid-19, the Maharashtra government on Friday announced it will fill up around 16,000 vacancies in the Public Health Department.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope told media persons that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved the major proposal and the posts lying vacant shall be filled up on an urgent basis.

While 12,000 posts fall in the Groups C & D, the rest are equally divided in Groups A & B categories, he added.

Earlier, the state government had allowed 50 per cent recruitment to the vacant posts but it could not be implemented owing the Maratha reservations issue before the Supreme Court.

After the SC verdict and owing to the strongly fear of a possible ‘third wave’ of Covid-19, Tope again made a strong plea for the 100 per cent recruitment as there will be huge need of manpower to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The final call will be taken in the state cabinet meet by Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar before initiating the process to fill up the vacancies.

The Group A posts include specialists to be filled up through the Maharashtra Public Service Commission, Group B comprises medical officers to be filled up by the Public Health Department Selection Board, and the Group C and D comprise the lower category of officials/clerical and similar posts.

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