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Mumbai: Illegal share-taxi services thrive in city



Quite a few of the woes faced by taxi users in Mumbai arise from the fact that more than a quarter of the share-taxi routes in the city are unauthorised.

Not only commuters but even taxi unions have complained about the blind eye turned by the authorities to the operation of these unauthorised services.

The services are operated even at prominent locations like CSMT, Gateway of India and Churchgate in south Mumbai using Maruti Eeco vans which are officially licensed to carry six passengers but into which are often crammed twice as many, including children.

The police, however, claim the allegations of connivance against them are false and they alert the Regional Transport Office (RTO) whenever an irregularity is spotted, especially on camera.

“Several share-taxi routes starting from CSMT, Gateway, Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Mahalaxmi and Grant Road are unauthorised,” said AL Quadros, long-time General Secretary of the Mumbai Taximen’s Union, the city’s oldest and most prominent black-and-yellow taxicab union.

Commuters also said taxi drivers openly flout rules across different so-called share-taxi routes and not only overcharge passengers but also overload the vehicles.

“Anyone can spot the stools placed in most of the share taxies plying in the city,” said Mayuresh Kamble, 32, a resident of Dadar. “On Saturday I took a share taxi from the Gateway of India to CSMT and the driver charged me Rs30.”

Mr Kamble said he was asked to sit on a stool by the driver but he refused. The driver then requested another passenger already in the vehicle to take the stool and gave Kamble a seat in the third row of the vehicle.

Thane resident Ritesh Shah, 28, who travelled from Girgaum Chowpatty to CSMT, said, “I was first offered the front seat by the driver. Then he asked me to make space for another commuter. As I was in a hurry, I complied but it was very inconvenient.”

Mr Quadros said these unauthorised routes are being operated by local goons with the help of the traffic police.

But a traffic police officer dismissed the allegation and claimed that “in the South region especially, taxi drivers mostly abide by rules”, though the illegal operators are plainly visible on the main streets of Fort, a kilometre from the police headquarters.

The officer further claimed that “in case we do find something wrong and they are caught on CCTV cameras, we intimate the RTO, who take strict action”.

An officer from the Colaba traffic division said taxi stands are sanctioned by the RTO and the BMC. “We [the traffic police] have no role to play in the taxi stand part, but if we do receive any complaints, we check on them and, if necessary, act against the offenders.”

Asked about overloading, he said, “There are times when a single officer is out there managing the scene. Sometimes one may miss out on a vehicle or two, as it is humanly impossible to check every vehicle. However, if any taxis are found overloading, challans are issued to the owners.”

The irony is that some of the routes are operated from just outside the office of Maharashtra’s Director General of Police near the Gateway and the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) at Bori Bunder.

Another taxi union leader, who did not want to be named, said these illegal share-taxi services are able to operate as they have the blessings of local politicians. He also blamed officials of the Transport Department for the rampant growth of unauthorised share-taxi routes.

“Getting approval for a new share-a-taxi route in the city is not easy,” the union leader said. “That’s why a large number of unauthorised routes have cropped up.”

Explaining the process of setting up a new share-a-taxi route, a Transport Department official said the union has to first send in a request to the RTO, which then approaches the department for consent. “If the Traffic Department does not have any objection, a joint survey is conducted. If the proposed route is found feasible from the point of view of traffic safety and commuter convenience, the RTO gives its approval and fixes the fare.”

The official also passed the buck on to commuters, saying they need to come forward and report errant drivers, though the violations happen on the main street in daylight.


Thane Crime: Man Held For Strangling His Mentally-Challenged Daughter To Death In Dombivli




Thane, September 25: A 35-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly strangling his 10-year-old mentally-challenged daughter to death in their house in Thane district of Maharashtra a day before, police said on Monday. The couple has four daughters, aged between 5 to 14, and the youngest of them lives with her grandparents in their native village, a police official said.

Agrahari is an alcoholic and used to beat his wife

The accused Manoj Agrahari allegedly strangled his daughter, Lovely, at their home in Dombivli when other members had gone out, an official said quoting the FIR. Agrahari is an alcoholic and used to beat his wife, he said.

The accused works at a grocery shop while his wife is employed at a company

The accused works at a grocery shop while his wife is employed at a company in the MIDC area of Dombivli. The victim, Lovely, has been mentally challenged and also speech and hearing impaired since her birth.

When the girl rushed home she saw her sister lying dead on bed and alerted her mother

According to the complaint, Agrahari went to the scrap shop where his 14-year-old daughter was working on Sunday and told her that Lovely was dead. When the girl rushed home she saw her sister lying dead on bed and alerted her mother, the official said. Police have registered a case of murder under the Indian Penal Code and conducting further investigation.

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Bombay HC To Hear Fresh Plea Challenging Renaming Of Aurangabad, Osmanabad; Case Listed On Sept 29




Mumbai: Bombay High Court has agreed to hear a fresh petition challenging the renaming of Aurangabad, Osmanabad districts, revenue areas. The hearing for the same has been scheduled on September 29. Earlier, a plea was withdrawn as the Maharashtra government said it had not issued final notifications for their renaming.

This is a breaking news. More details are awaited.

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‘Congratulations Trolling Gang…’: Maha BJP Hits Back At Opposition For Sharing Video Of Fadnavis Allegedly Pushing Nagpur Citizen During Floods




The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has responded to allegations made by the opposition regarding the alleged manhandling of citizens during Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) Devendra Fadnavis’ visit to Nagpur on Sunday. Videos were released by the BJP to refute these accusations.

During the visit, it was reported that some citizens wanted DCM Fadnavis to visit their homes, but police appeared to prevent them. However, Devendra Fadnavis took the initiative to visit their homes. The party stated that only a selective portion of the video was circulated by the opposition to support their claims.

BJP’s Scathing Response To Opposition

The BJP did not mince words when responding to the opposition’s actions. They congratulated former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Congress for seemingly prioritising the work of the so-called ‘trolling gang’ over constructive opposition duties.

Viral Video Sparks Controversy

A video of Devendra Fadnavis engaging with distressed citizens in Nagpur went viral on social media platforms. In the footage, he can be seen talking to residents who were expressing their dissatisfaction with the authorities’ response to the city’s flooding crisis. The video takes a controversial turn when Fadnavis appears to forcefully push a man who was attempting to communicate with him.

Opposition Criticises Fadnavis

Maharashtra Congress took to social media to criticize the Deputy CM’s actions, calling him ‘arrogant’ for his behaviour toward citizens reporting flood damage. They questioned whether such actions were indicative of an abuse of power.

Shiv Sena (UBT) also condemned DCM Fadnavis’ actions, labeling them as ‘arrogance of power.’ They emphasized the Deputy CM’s push to a flood-affected citizen asking for help.

Nagpur Gripped by Flooding

The incident occurred amidst severe flooding in Nagpur, Maharashtra’s second capital, caused by relentless rainfall. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate their homes as floodwaters submerged entire neighbourhoods.

Approximately 10,000 residences were breached by the floodwaters and distressing visuals showed citizens wading through knee-deep water on the streets. Tragically, four lives were lost and at least 400 individuals had to be relocated to safer areas from the affected regions.

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