Rumbling in MVA over pending Muslim quota in Maharashtra
Discontent brews afresh in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, this time over the pending issue of 5 per cent reservations for Muslims in education and government jobs.
Ex-minister and Congress Working President Arif Naseem Khan has shot off a memorandum to the top party bosses reminding them of the 2019 understanding among the MVA allies in their Common Minimum Programme (CMP).
Khan has urged in his letter to Congress Legislative Party leader and Minister Balasaheb Thorat to “actively pursue plans for giving reservations” to the Muslims and also adequate funds for their development activities.
“It’s over two years since the MVA government of Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress took office. Forget implementing the promise in the CMP, the matter has not even been discussed once by the state cabinet,” said an irked Khan.
He recalled how the previous Congress-NCP regime had given 5 per cent reservations to Muslims which also secured the legal nod, but after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance government came to power in October 2014, they failed to implement the quota.
“As the then Minister of Minorities, I had implemented many schemes for the Muslim society, including many executed through Maulana Azad Minority Financial Development Corporation (MAMFDC),” Khan said.
Sending the copies of the letter to others like state President Nana Patole, former CMs Ashok Chavan and Prithviraj Chavan, other ministers and legislators, Khan has referred to Congress President Sonia Gandhi who had stressed on the MVA government running on the basis of the CMP to which the three allies had agreed.
The Congress leader from Chandivali has urged Thorat, Patole and other leaders to immediately take up this issue with the other two allies and ensure justice is given to the Muslims, besides providing sufficient funds through the MAMFDC for welfare activities of the minority community.
However, there has been no formal reaction from either Sena or NCP so far to Khan’s demands which came as the Winter Session of Maharashtra Legislature got underway on December 22.
Mumbai News: Massive Fire Engulfs Multi-Floor Building In SoBo’s Zaveri Bazar; Several Trapped Persons Rescued Safely (WATCH)
A Level III fire broke out in a multi-floor building located near the iconic Mumbadevi Temple in Zaveri Bazar, Kalbadevi, in the early hours of June 9. The incident was reported by the Mumbai Fire Brigade (MFB) at 1.38 am. Prompt action was taken by the fire department, resulting in the safe evacuation of approximately 50-60 trapped individuals.
The fire has severely affected the ground, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth floors of the building. Over 12 fire tenders were involved in the firefighting operations.
Officials said that the fire was extinguished by 7.55 am. However, it is yet to be ascertained as to what caused the blaze.
One person sustained injuries said the officials. Parag Chakankar (40) had suffered minor burn in right hand and it was treated and discharged by medical team on site.
Details of the Incident
Upon arrival at the building located in Kalbadevi’s China Bazaar, the MFB declared the blaze a Level III fire around 3.25 am highlighting the severity of the situation. The fire was initially contained within the lower floors of the building but quickly spread to the upper six floors.
The intense heat and flames caused a part of the ceiling on the first and second floors, as well as a portion of the staircase, to collapse. No injuries have been reported thus far.
Rescue Efforts and Precautionary Measures
The Mumbai Fire Brigade swiftly initiated rescue operations, utilizing the adjacent building’s staircase to safely evacuate approximately 50-60 trapped individuals. Firefighters exhibited exemplary courage and professionalism while carrying out the rescue mission.
Mumbai News: Cyclone Biparjoy Intensifies, City to Experience Heavy Rains Over Weekend
Mumbaikars are set to experience intense rain over the weekend. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in the Mumbai and Konkan regions on Saturday and Sunday, according to a five-day forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which said on Wednesday that a low-pressure area over the Arabian Sea is likely to intensify into a depression by Friday evening. Isolated parts of Mumbai, Thane and Palghar will experience light to moderate rainfall from June 7, according to the IMD.
City in for heavy rain
“The deep depression intensified into the cyclonic storm Biparjoy over east-central Arabian Sea at 5.30 pm and is likely to move nearly northwards and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours,” said an IMD official. The cyclone is also likely to lead to rough weather in the coastal areas of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, IMD said and issued a five-day warning for the region from June 7. It warned fishermen in the region not to venture into the sea.
The wind speed in the Arabian Sea is likely to range from 80 kmph to 155 kmph over the next five days, according to the weather agency. Meteorologists, however, underlined that though the tentative track of the system is likely to be in the northward direction storms at times defy the predicted track and intensity.
Monsoon to progress slowly
Conditions have become favourable for the onset of the southwest monsoon in Kerala, because of Biparjoy, the first storm brewing in the Arabian Sea this year, according to experts. However, meteorologists predicted a “mild” onset over Kerala and “weak” progress beyond the southern peninsula. After the onset over Kerala, the monsoon is expected to remain “weak” until the storm degenerates around June 12, according to Mahesh Palawat, vice president (climate and meteorology) Skymet Weather.
“The powerful weather system in the Arabian Sea may spoil the advancement of the monsoon deep inland. Under their influence, the monsoon stream may reach coastal parts but will struggle to penetrate beyond the Western Ghats,” Skymet Weather had said on Tuesday.
Forecasting agencies said the storm has seen “rapid intensification”, escalating from just a cyclonic circulation to a severe cyclonic storm in just 48 hours, defying earlier predictions. Atmospheric conditions and cloud mass indicate that the system is likely to sustain the strength of a very severe cyclone till June 12, they said.
Climate change intensifying storms
Cyclonic storms in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea have been intensifying rapidly and retaining their intensity for a longer duration because of climate change, according to scientists.
“The oceans have become warmer already on account of climate change. A recent study shows that the Arabian Sea has warmed up by almost 1.2 degree Celsius since March. Thus, conditions are favourable for the rapid intensification of the system (Cyclone Biparjoy). So it has the potential to sustain the strength for a long period,” said Raghu Murtugudde, professor, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland and IIT Bombay.
Navi Mumbai News: NMMC Seizes 450 Kg Of Banned Plastic, Collects ₹ 2.5 Lakh In Fines
In order to make Navi Mumbai plastic-free, apart from creating public awareness among the citizens that single-use plastic should not be used, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is taking action if single-use plastic use is found. The municipal commissioner Rajesh Narvekar is keeping a close eye on stopping the use of single plastic which is an important factor in city cleanliness and it is being reviewed regularly in department head meetings.
Nearly 500kg of banned plastic seized
In the month of May 2023, a penalty amount of 2.50 lakh was recovered from 50 people and shopkeepers. The civic body also seized 450 kg of banned plastic from respective wards.
Keeping in mind the damage caused by plastic to the environment, the citizens should stop the use of single plastic completely and also show awareness about the environment by using cloth bags instead of plastic bags, Municipal Commissioner Shri. Rajesh Narvekar.
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