Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Negligent driving took maximum lives on e-ways


PUNE: Pune Highway safety patrol (HSP) officials have nailed negligent driving, otherwise referred to as ‘human error’ as the main reason for road accidents and the resulting loss of lives in Maharashtra. The most recent case of this was the major accident along Pune-Nashik highway on Monday which claimed nine lives and left 15 injured.

A truck carrying onions was parked close to the divider along the highway due to a flat tyre when a State Transport bus that was travelling from Trimbakeshwar to Pune crashed into it.

According to statistics released by the state highways while replying to an RTI query, the state witnessed 1,02,000 deaths due to road accidents within eight years between 2009 and 2016 . Of these deaths, 88,125, as much as 86%, of the deaths are caused by human error, mostly due to the driver’s fault.

Of the 1,02,000 deaths, Pune rural areas recorded 7,574 within these eight years - the highest among all the districts. Of the total number of deaths, the five districts with highest number of deaths were identified as Pune rural with 7,574, Ahmednagar (6,194), Nashik rural (6,000), Mumbai (4,448) and Solapur rural (4,319). The numbers put the calculated annual average of lives lost per year due to road accidents in Pune rural to 947.

The total number of accidents have reduced from 21,365 in the first six months of 2016 as compared to 18,730 in the year 2017, according to the statistics. India witnesses 5,00,000 accidents every year which claim 1,50,000 lives and 3,00,000 lose/break their limbs," Union road transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari had said during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the long-awaited Chandani Chowk bridge in Pune last week.

Ikea to open distribution centre in Pune


PUNE: Swedish-furniture maker Ikea plans to open its lone distribution centre or warehouse in the country in Pune by the end of the year, announced a top executive. 

The one-lakh square feet warehouse will supply Ikea products to all the upcoming stores in the country. The company plans to open 25 stores. 

Patrik Antoni, deputy country manager, Ikea India, said, “We will be opening our Pune distribution centre by November-December and expect the costs to be on the lower end with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax that has streamlined the logistics sector. Further, Pune being a strategic warehousing region, will help us supply goods to our stores at relatively cheaper costs”. 

The company, which is opening its first India store in Hyderabad, expects it to be operational by early 2018. The nearly 4 lakh sft store will also house Ikea’s largest in-house restaurant with a seating capacity of 1,000 serving both Indian and Swedish cuisines.

While the company was already working with several state governments for identification of land for their stores, it is also working with Maharashtra, Telangana and Karnataka governments to identify potential suppliers for its furniture segment for which it plans to make India a major hub.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PMC to explore Gadkari’s suggestion on waterways


PUNE: A day after Union road transport and shipping minister, Nitin Gadkari, suggested the idea of starting waterways in Pune city, the municipal corporation has decided to explore this new concept.

Gadkari was in the city for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Rs. 560 crore Integrated Development of Chandani chowk project. According to PMC commissioner, Kunal Kumar, the civic body has decided to explore the proposal to see if there is any alternative mode of transport that is feasible in the city.

“The Union minister has suggested a good concept of waterways in Mula and Mutha river. There are some issues in it but PMC will try to explore this concept. As suggested by the minister, PMC will request guardian minister Girish Bapat to call the meeting with various agencies like irrigation and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA). The meeting will discuss the possibilities of this concept,” municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar told

Gadkari said that Pune is facing lot of traffic problems. There is very little space for road expansion. Considering this, there is a need to have river transport in the city and it is possible, he added. Gadkari also said that if PMC allows, the centre will execute this project under national waterways project. He even suggested PMC to submit the proposal for it. 

Kumar said that the minister’s idea is good but PMC does not have any project related to it. But it will explore this concept. This project would involve various agencies and mainly irrigation department. If needed PMC will prepare the plan for it and submit it to the central government, added the civic body commissioner. 

Meanwhile, when Nationalist Congress party came to power in the PMC, it also came up with the same idea and announced to start water transport in Mula and Mutha rivers. The then mayor, Rajlaxmi Bhosale, also took interest in it. A private consultant, with the help of Maratha Chamber of Commerce, prepared the presentation for water transport in Pune. 

Assistant city engineer, Srinivas Bonala, said that the water transport proposal was discussed few years back but it remained only at the conceptual level. PMC did not make any project report for it.

Heavy rainfall in the next 24 hours: IMD


PUNE: According to IMD, the intensity of rainfall is likely to reduce between August 30 and September 1, with one or two spells of rains expected during the period.

On Monday till 8.30 am, 22.6 mm rainfall was recorded in Pune while from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm, the rainfall recorded in the city was 3.8 mm. Heavy rains are expected in the city in the next 24 hours, said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in a statement on Monday. IMD has also predicted heavy rainfall in central Maharashtra, including Pune and parts of Marathwada and Vidarbha in the next 24 hours.

On Monday till 8.30 am, 22.6 mm rainfall was recorded in Pune while from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm, the rainfall recorded in the city was 3.8 mm. The highest rainfall recorded in the state on Monday was at Colaba in Mumbai at 12 cm. 

According to IMD, the intensity of rainfall is likely to reduce between August 30 and September 1, with one or two spells of rains expected during the period. Officials informed that after September 1, the rain intensity is likely to increase again.

AK Srivastava, head of the climate monitoring and analysis group of IMD, said that heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in the upcoming week in Konkan and Goa and that the regions may receive excess rainfall between August 29 and September 1. 

IMD officials also noted that the south-west monsoon has been vigorous over central Maharashtra and coastal Andhra Pradesh and active over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, Odisha, east Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, west Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat Region, Konkan and Goa, Marathwada, Chhattisgarh, coastal and north interior Karnataka and Kerala. However, it has subdued over Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. 

According to the information available with the IMD, from June 1, the total rainfall received in Pune was recorded at 537.7 mm, which is more than the average expected rainfall by 107.1 mm. With heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of the dams in Pune, Khadakwasla, Pawana and Panshet dams are already at their maximum capacity. Water levels at Temghar, on Monday, had reached 44.13 % of its capacity.

PMC invites suggestions on draft bicycle plan


PUNE: After spending crores of rupees to promote bicycles in the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has prepared yet another draft cycle plan and has invited suggestions to give back the city its old identity as the ‘city of bicycles’.

According to the civic body, citizens can submit their suggestions on the draft Pune Cycle Plan by September 30. The 100-page bicycle plan proposal, prepared by Centre for Environment Education (CEE) and ITrans - a Delhi-based transportation planning firm - and Prasanna Desai Architects, has been posted by PMC on its official website. The draft plan includes bicycle inclusive planning, the required infrastructure for around 470-km of existing cycle network, regulation and enforcement, promotion and public awareness and monitoring.

In 2008, the PMC, as part of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Rural Mission, tried to build 123-km cycle track by spending around 100 crore. However, activists blamed the PMC for its failure to promote the bicycles. Central government had given funds to the PMC for preparing the cycle plan. Now, PMC is preparing the cycle plan as per instructions given by the centre.

 Municipal officers said in the draft report that transportation is one of the main civic issues identified by Pune’s citizens. Over 500 motorised two-wheelers and cars are registered in Pune every day. The increase in motorised traffic is leading to air pollution, health impacts, accidents, congestion and more time wasted in traffic. Widening roads or building flyovers are not long-term solutions. 

The vision for future transportation planning as accepted in the Comprehensive Mobility Plan of Pune (CMP) is, “Moving people safely and economically by emphasising on public transport and non motorised transport.” Non motorised transport includes walk and cycle.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Restaurant employee slits woman colleague’s throat


PUNE: A kitchen porter at a restaurant on Ghole Road allegedly slit his 30-year-old woman colleague's throat late on Saturday night, about a week after she had slapped him in front of the outlet manager for harassing her.

The suspect, Purno Biswas, was staying at Wadarwadi and is on the run. Police suspected that he has fled to his hometown in West Bengal via Mumbai. A police team was chasing him but had to give up at Lonavla after their vehicle developed a fault.

"The victim, Mariamma Desappa Sutar (30), was a resident of Wadarwadi, and is survived by her five-year-old son. She was a widow," said Rahul Kolambikar, sub-inspector of the Deccan Gymkhana police. The manager of the restaurant, Bhairavnath Pujari, has lodged a complaint with a police. Biswas has been booked under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

Sutar was making 'chapati' in the restaurant for the last two months. Her duty hours were between 6 pm and 10.30 pm daily. On August 20, she had complained to the manager Pujari about the suspect's behaviour. She had told the manager that Biswas was allegedly stalking her and was also asking her cellphone number. "The manager had immediately called the suspect and asked about it," Kolambikar said.

He said Biswas had told the manager that he was asking for Sutar's phone number as she was his colleague. "The restaurant manager, however, asked him to tender an apology to Sutar and never bother her again. But as he refused to apologise, Sutar had slapped him in front of Pujari," Kolambikar said. Furious by this, the suspect had told the manager that he would not work in the restaurant any longer because he was humiliated publicly. "Since then, he did not turn up for work," Kolambikar quoted the restaurant manager as saying.

After Saturday's work was, Sutar had dinner at the restaurant and left for home around 11.10 pm along with another worker, Kamal Dudhsagar. "Biswas, who was waiting outside, attacked Sutar and slit her throat with a knife and fled," Kolambikar said. He added that Sutar had sustained injuries to her face and hands. The officer said on hearing Sutar screaming, Pujari rushed out and took her to nearby private hospital. Doctors declared Sutar dead on arrival. Biswas was staying in Pune for the past 15 years. When the police reached his house, they found he left his cellphone and ran away, Kolambikar said.

Permission for tree felling set to become easier


PUNE: It will be easier to receive permission for tree cutting as the state government has put restrictions on the Tree Authority to inspect the site where trees have to be felled for constructions or other purposes.

The Maharashtra (urban areas) Protection and Preservation of Trees Act, 1975, provides for permission for tree felling from the civic bodies' Tree Authority and inspection of trees before granting of permission for tree felling. In view of the Ease of Doing Business Assessment, 2017 reforms, the state government has issued a directive to facilitate tree felling permission, saying that a particular inspector shall not inspect the same establishment twice.

This will help in cutting down trees for projects without any delay, said government officials. "For inspection of trees before granting tree felling permission, the authority will ensure that while according permission the same inspector shall not inspect the same establishment twice consecutively," states the notification issued by the state urban development department. The notification added that this will avoid delay and bring uniformity in the process of site inspection for tree felling permission.

"The aim of Tree Authority in the municipal corporation is to make better provision for trees in urban areas by regulating felling of trees and providing for planting of adequate number of new trees in those areas. The authority consists of 5 to 15 members and commissioner of the corporation is the president of Tree Authority. There are many issues involved with regards to permission for tree felling and many times corruption charges have been levelled against members who halt tree cutting and seek favour in terms of money and other forms," said a senior civic official.

Sources in the state urban development department said that the Chief Minister's Office has been receiving complaints from developers and business groups that they had to halt work as Tree Authority members in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and Mumbai were not issuing tree cutting permissions and wanted repeated inspections to pressurize them.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Eight killed in accident on pune-Nashik highway

PUNE: At least 8 people are killed in an accident on Pune-Nashik highway at 1.30 am. A truck collided with state transport bus near Narayangaon. Police are investigating further.

Working on alternative plans for Nano: Tata Motors


PUNE: Leading automobile manufacturer Tata Motors is now working on alternative plans for its small car Nano, whose sales have fallen making its production not a viable proposition, an official of the company said. Tata Motors would launch a compact SUV from its shared platform at Ranjangaon plant at Pune, he added further.

Asked about the future of Nano, COO of Tata Motors Satish Borwankar said "going forward, alternative plans for Nano is being considered. Like the electric version of the small car, production of Nano is no longer a viable proposition".

But he clarified that the company would not phase out Nano as there were sentimental reasons attached to it and the shareholders also wanted its production to continue. After the company abandoned the Singur plant, Tata Motors shifted the production facility to Sanand in Gujarat.

"Around 1000 Nano cars are being sold every month at the moment", he said. He said that the Sanand plant's assembly line produces three passenger vehicles (PV), namely Nano, Tiago and Tigor. "The production volumes of Tiago and Tigor are substantial as compared to Nano which is very small", the official said.

Asked about the arresting the falling market share of both its commercial vehicles (CV) and PVs, Borwankar said "there was a issue of customer connect which is now being addressed". "We are now understanding the customers' issues by visiting the dealerships. The sales for June, July and the current month have bounced back", he told reporters.

The other problem regarding the CV segment was that the vendors were finding it difficult to give the supplies. They are ramping up production as demand has increased, he said. "This launch will be before Diwali", the official said. Average capacity utilisation of the plants manufacturing CVs has increased to 75 per cent, while those producing PV were running at peak capacity, he said. 

More Doklam events on its way, says Army chief


PUNE: Blaming China for the ongoing standoff at Doklam, near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction, Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Saturday said the standoff was a consequence of China's attempt to change the "status quo."

The army chief hinted that there might be more incidents like the Doklam stand-off in the future in other sectors. He asked the troops deployed on the borders to remain alert. "We are having flag meetings with China. During these meetings, we are telling them that we (India and China) should go back to the pre-June 16 position at the Doklam plateau. But we haven't been able to come up with a resolution as there are different perceptions about how it should be done. Hence, it should be dealt with at diplomatic and political levels," Rawat said.

General Rawat was in the city to deliver the General B C Joshi Memorial Lecture, titled "India's challenges in the current geo-strategic construct", at the Savitribai Phule Pune University. Army Commander Southern Command Lt Gen P M Hariz, Pune university vice-chancellor Nitin Karmalkar, former Army chief V P Malik, former Air Force chief P V Naik as well as senior serving and retired officers were present on the occasion.

Advising the troops to stay prepared and alert on the borders, General Rawat said, "The troops should not be complacent. Let's say, this stand-off gets resolved, but our troops on the border should not feel that it cannot happen again. Such instances are likely to increase in the future. It is better to remain prepared and alert. My message to the troops is to not let down the guard."

Commenting on the recent scuffle between the troops of both the countries in the Ladakh region, General Rawat said both the countries had joint mechanism to resolve such issues amicably. "The Line of Actual Control (LAC) has not yet been settled between the two countries, and hence each country has a different perception about it. So, at times, you have a clash as each one tries to patrol the area up to its limits. But these things are normal. Our aim is not to escalate things and get back to normalcy. We are living on the border peacefully," the army chief told the reporters on the sidelines of the lecture.

Speaking about China, General Rawat said, Chinese armed forces had made significant progress in capabilities regarding force mobilization, application and sustenance of operations. "This is due to the development of infrastructure of military significance. Their force reorganization, along with developing capabilities in space and network centric warfare, is likely to provide them greater synergy in force application," he said.

The army chief said China continues to enhance influence in the regional security environment. "It is doing so by increasing defence/economic partnerships in the neighbourhood, especially in Pakistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir challenges India's sovereignty," General Rawat said.

He expressed concern over the increasing presence of transnational actors in Pakistan with fundamentalist ideologies. 

"Pakistan's unabated reliance and support to jihadi groups has serious ramifications. This can lead to the possibility of Pakistan being a conduit for eastward spread of fundamentalist and Islamic ideology. This lends a complex dimension to the threat not only for us, but also for other countries of South and East Asia, including China," General Rawat added. The army chief said the Indian army would take all actions necessary to negate, mitigate and destroy elements involved in planning or taking actions inimical to India's security interests.

Storage in dams swells to 90%


PUNE: Heavy spells of rain in the catchment areas of four dams supplying water to the city ensured that their collective stock touched the 90% mark for the first time this monsoon.

On Saturday evening, collective stock of the four dams stood at 26.02 TMC (89.24%) with Panshet and Khadakwasla dams filled to capacity. This prompted the irrigation department to initiate release of water from both these dams all through the day on Saturday.

Officials from the irrigation department said the stock in Varasgaon also witnessed a significant rise on Saturday, reaching up to 92%. "More water could be released from Panshet and Khadakwasla on Sunday as catchment of Panshet and Khadakwasla dams continue to receive heavy showers," they added.

Water from Panshet and Khadakwasla was released at 990 and 850 cusec, respectively. The irrigation department had released water from Panshet at about 1,500 cusec recently. An official from the department said, "Rainfall activity has been vigorous since the last seven days in Khadakwasla irrigation circle.

In 36 hours ending Saturday evening, Temghar recorded over 120 mm rainfall while Panshet and Varasgaon each registered 80mm rainfall. The collective stock is now marching towards 100% mark. We are expecting more rainfall in the next two days in the catchments, following which more water will be released into river," he said.

The department has maintained water stock in Temghar below 50% because of ongoing repair work of the dam's wall. "We would release water during Ganesh festival on immersion days. The schedule was being chalked out and will be announced soon," the department said.

Merger: a ray of hope for villagers


PUNE: Residents of 11 fringe villages slated to be merged in the city limits by this year-end are hoping for the moon but experience belies their expectations. The villages included in the corporation limits earlier have remained 'underdeveloped' decades after the merger. The quality of life, infrastructure and basic amenities are still below par in those areas.

The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)'s own analysis shows majority of the villages merged in the civic limits are struggling to cope with urbanization. The PMC’s observations are based on the Ward Infrastructure Services and Environment (WISE) research, a method of grading different areas of the city based on 26 indicators. Going by it, majority of outer areas merged in the city limits emerged as underdeveloped with the absence of basic infrastructure and amenities. In contrast, about 90% of areas in the developed category are in the mid-city Peth area.

Yet, the PMC and the state government are keen to accommodate more villages in the city limits. By this year-end, the Pune municipal limit area is likely to increase by 80.7 sq km with the merger of 11fringe villages in the city limits. The city's population will go up by 2.78 lakh. Once the full merger process is completed and 34 villages become a part of the city, the PMC will become the largest municipal corporation in the state. Its geographical area would increase from the existing 243.84sqkm to over 500sqkm. It will be bigger in size than Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, covering an area of 480.24 sq km.

The state government has stated in a notification, "The availability of water andwater projects, garbage management and proposed ring road will be considered and the merger of the 23 villages (besides 11 villages that will be merged by this year-end) will be carried out in phases in the next three years." The residents of villages slated to be merged in the city limits are upbeat. To get rid of water woes, Milind Surange of Shewalewadi is banking on the merger of his village in the Pune corporation limits. Not just Milind, thousands feel that they will get sufficient water after the merger.

"We are supporting the merger of our village in the PMC limits so that we get continuous water supply and infrastructure like road and sewage lines. The gram panchayat cannot to cater to these needs," said Milind. 
His society has no water source except a well, jointly owned by many people. The builder had told the flat buyers the well belonged to him and had sufficient water. With the builder refusing to shoulder the water responsibility, residents are waiting for the merger.

College student Rajesh from Undri expects "quality life" once his village is included in the city limits. "There will be good roads and better transport," he said. If the merger plan goes through, the PMC would become the largest municipal corporation in the state and require Rs5,740 crore to develop basic infrastructure. The civic of ficers said they were not sure from where the money would come from. Cut to the past. A total of 38 villages were merged in the PMC limits in 1997. Four years on, as many as 15 villages were completely de-merged and five were partially excluded from the PMC limits.

The 23 villages merged in the city limits are still struggling for basic infrastructure and amenities. "Our lives have worsened after our area was merged in the PMC limits. We are paying heavy taxes for nothing. We still feel we live in a village. There are no roads, drains, open spaces and sufficient transport. Nothing has changed, but property prices have gone up. It has become difficult for common people to buy flats here," said professional Vishal Lokhande, who lived in a rented flat in Dhankawadi when it was merged in the city limits.

"Merging more villages will result in more mess. The state must merge villages in the Pune city limits only after promising them overall deve lopment. We are not a part of Pune city. We are a part of Pune village. Nothing has changed for us in the past two decades," says Ashish Chandra from Katraj area.

Urban planner Ramchandra Gohad said the PMC's "disintegrated" approach would lead to unbalanced development in the city." All the 23 villages merged in the civic limits are reeling from lack of basic amenities. All parts of the city must grow together and with the same speed. A comprehensive approach towards development is the key to sustainable development."

Activists and urban planner Aneeta Benninger-Gokhale said Pune was suffering from infrastructure and planning deficit and the PMC had failed to manage the current population and its requirements. It is likely that the additional resources given for the newly merged villages would be usurped by the city because there was no way to ensure the money was used for newly merged villages, she said.

Airport authority to expand apron area by next year


PUNE: The Pune Airport Authorities, in a bid to allow uninterrupted operations, have decided to increase the airport apron size to 15.86 acres. The extension is likely to be done by next year.

Airport apron is the area where aircraft operations like parking, loading-unloading, refuelling and boarding are carried out. The decision comes as a relief to passengers who claimed to have had to wait for a long time or get wet in the rain while boarding the aircraft. Passengers blame airlines for not providing them with adequate facilities during rains, which resulted in them getting drenched during boarding.

However, the airlines, while stating that all facilities are provided to passengers, have said the lack of space in the apron area and limited number of aerobridges have posed problems for them too. On August 19, Ardhendu Pathak tweeted against a private airline saying that boarding had been delayed by more than 40 minutes due to the want of umbrellas at the Pune airport. The airline refuted the claim and replied that the flight was delayed due to the late arrival of another flight.

Pathak, however, remained unconvinced. "They just denied and put up a feeble excuse. It was strange to see a huge aircraft wait almost an hour as the passengers didn't have umbrellas," Pathak told

Similarly , on August 19 one Yogesh Dubey tweeted about a low-cost carrier."The doors of the aircraft didn't open for 30 minutes since landing. Passengers are suffering," he wrote.When inquired, a source from the airlines said the doors were not opened as it was raining heavily at the airport at the same time.

Again on August 20 another passenger named Prayag tweeted to a premier airline. He said, "Very poor boarding process and protocol made us stand in the rain for 10 minutes before boarding." Another passenger Kshitiz Dubey, who travels from the Pune airport regularly , said, "Every time we have to walk down to the aircraft from the terminal building, or vice versa be in summers, winters or rains. The condition worsens during monsoon. I have not seen any kind of special arrangements being made by the airport authorities or airlines to deal with the issue," Dubey , a student, said.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Jay Malhar-fame Devdatta to return in Chembur Naka

PUNE: Popular Marathi serial Jay Malhar-fame actor Devdatta Nage, has left an imprint in the minds of the audiences with his role as Khanderai in the TV serial Jai Malhar which was on air on Zee Marathi and the audience s cannot just wait to lay their eyes on him in another film, especially since they have literally started worshipping him with adulation. The only question which kept on worrying them was what on earth Devdatta is doing after Jai Malhar. The answer is now ready. Devdatta is now all set to be seen in a different avatar in a film called Chembur Naaka.

Chembur Naaka is being produced by Dr. Seema Nitnaware and Devdatta Nage himself under the banner of Sakshi Vision Productions, with Nitish Pawar as the director. The poster launch of the film was held with great fanfare recently.

After creating a benchmark larger than life as Khanderai, in Jai Malhar, Devdatta Nage has agreed to be part of a different film like Chembur Naaka, though he has been turning down offers from different producers to be part of different films of a long time, waiting for a really different project  to make his mark with. He is playing the role of Datta Nagre in Chembur Naaka as he wants to be associated with different films with subjects which are close to his heart.

Chembur Naaka is full of action and emotions and the kind of a realistic film with which Devdatta wants to be associated with. Dr. Seema Nitnaware has always been in the forefront of social service and has earlier made short films ‘Umeed’, ‘Mukti’. Right now, besides Chembur Naaka, she is also busy making two more feature films in Marathi, which are different from the rest and not stereo typical.

Nitesh Pawar, after the award winning Sopan has now tried his hand at making yet another issue based film. The story is by Nitesh and Samad Khan while the screenplay and dialogues are by Nitesh and Bipin Dhaigude. Lyrics written by Guru Thakur. The music are composed by Amit Raj.

Besides Devdatta, the film also stars Usha Nadkarni, Vidyadhar Joshi, Milind Shinde and Dhananjay Polade. Sanket Shah is the DOP while Siddhika Sawant is the makeup artist. Costumes are by Santosh Gilbile while Devendra Tawde is the art director and Raju Zende is the production Manager of the film.

Eisai introduces Epilepsy Treatment Fycompa drug


PUNE: Eisai Pharmaceuticals India Pvt. Ltd, a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company announced the launch of Fycompa (perampanel), a new anti-epileptic drug. Approved in more than 55 countries worldwide, Fycompa is indicated as an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial-onset seizures (POS) with or without secondarily generalized seizures in patients with epilepsy aged 12 and older.

Fycompa is first in class in-house developed anti-epileptic drug, available in tablet form as a once-daily oral dose. “Nearly 12 million patients in India suffer from epilepsy and 95% of these patients do not receive adequate treatment. Abiding by our core philosophy of human health care we strive to change this by developing a drug that can significantly improve the quality of life of epileptic patients and give them hope to live a seizure free-life,” said Sanjit Singh Lamba, MD, Eisai Pharmaceuticals India.”

Adding to this Dr. Manoj Malhotra, Head of Medical Affairs, Americas Region, Global Head of Epilepsy Medical Affairs, Neurology Business Group, Eisai Inc. said “With the launch of many anti-epileptic drugs in the last decade we have seen a significant improvement in seizure freedom rate. However, almost 30-40% of the seizures remain poorly controlled leading to low compliance. Fycompa will help to address these key therapeutic challenges and improve patient outcomes”.

Commenting on the low awareness on epilepsy, Mr. Saumil Mody, VP, Commercial Operations, Eisai India Ltd. said “Treatment outcomes for epilepsy are very low because we are dealing with very challenging circumstances, a majority of epilepsy cases go undiagnosed because of numerous factors like the social stigma associated with the disease, lack of awareness of the symptoms particularly in rural India. Our aim is to address these challenges and enable epileptic patients and their families to live a seizure-free life.”

Epilepsy is a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures. Approximately 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.

Ex-minister’s edu society faces Rs 5 crore fine


PUNE: The district collectorate has slapped a hefty fine of Rs 5.3 crore on Ex-rural development minister Jayant Patil's Kasegaon education society for seeking extension to construct a school on seven hectares of government land at Mauje Kunenama at Maval in Pune district.

The land was granted to the society way back in July 2006. The society had been seeking extensions after every two years. After the extension period expired last year in December, the society again sought a fresh extension in May 2017 to the district collectorate.

However, a new government resolution issued in January this year stated that any extension will need a fresh permission of the collector and can be provided along with a fine in accordance with the Ready Reckoner rates. On the basis of the GR, the collectorate has issued a notice to the society, stating that it has to pay the penalty if it seeks further extension.

The notice was issued by resident deputy collector Rajendra Muthe and revenue officer Pralhad Hiramani to the Kasegaon educational society president. It stated that the plot had received extensions over a period of time and now has to take a fresh permission from the collector and also pay the penalty for any further extension.

"The penalty was levied in accordance with the new rules issued in January. If the society does not pay the amount, the land can be withdrawn from it as has been done in cases of many other educational institutes across the district," Muthe said.

When contacted, Patil said that there have been several issues related to the construction of the school on the land. "There were encroachments, while several permissions were needed for the work. The reasons for the delay are genuine and it will be taken up with the collector," he said. Patil's father, late Rajarambapu Patil had started the Kasegaon institute.

Kasegaon Institute principal R D Sawant said that since there were encroachments, they could not start the construction and it was only recently that the settlement commissioner and land records department measured the land. "We will talk to the collectorate officers and take up the case legally," said Sawant, who is also the secretary in the institute.

Synechron to hire 1500 in a year in Pune


PUNE: As it targets to more than double its revenues to US$ 1 billion by FY20, mid-tier IT firm Synechron said that it is looking to hire up to 1,500 in the next 12 months. “We have 7,500 employees at present and are looking to hire 1,000-1,500 more over the next 12 months,” its chief executive Faisal Husain told reporters in Pune.

The move by the US-headquartered company, which employs over 5,000 people in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune, comes amid growing instances of job cuts in the IT sector facing a slew of challenges, including automation, currency volatilities and rising protectionism in mature markets. Husain said the company is benefiting because of the moves of its peers, but added the rupee appreciation is taking away the advantages, which may help in staff being hired at lower salaries.

The company clocked a revenue of US$ 390 million in FY17 and is targeting to increase it to US$ 480 million in FY18, he said, adding right now it is growing faster than the target and tracking a run rate of US$ 500 million per year. The company is able to exceed the 25 per cent revenue growth objective due to the nature of the work it does for the banking, financial services and the insurance sectors,he said.

He said nearly 1,000 people in the fresh hiring will be based here at Pune, which is its single largest development centre, he said. When asked about the quality of the talent that it is getting, Husain said most of the freshers it hires at reputed engineering colleges are trainable, but sought an overhaul of education system to make it more relevant for the industry.

The company, which launched a facility to showcase its innovations called Finlabs here, is also working with startups who can work out of the campus here, he said, adding it has helped three city-based start-ups till now.

Vodafone initiates eco-friendly Ganesh immersion

(L to R) Dr. Shubhangi Umbarkar of NCL, Ashish Chandra, Business Head, Maharashtra & Goa Circle, Vodafone India and Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner Solid waste Management Department, PMC launching Vodafone Eco-Pond for eco- friendly Ganesh immersion 


PUNE:  Vodafone India today unveiled its unique initiative ‘Vodafone Eco-Ponds’ on the occasion of 125th anniversary of Ganeshotsav celebrations in the city. Vodafone’s Maharashtra & Goa circle has partnered with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in an attempt to help citizens across the city celebrate and immerse Ganesh idols in an environment friendly manner.

Vodafone has set up ‘Vodafone Eco-Ponds’, a temporary water tank setup equipped with a promoter and a life guard at 8 Vodafone stores across the city. Puneites can visit any of the stores with their Ganesh idols, where they will be assisted to carry out the Visarjan. Devotees can dial 7391000000 to locate all the Vodafone Eco-Ponds. Additionally Vodafone also plans to set up a Mobile Visarjan Van, which will be visiting select large housing societies, old age homes, where it would provide Visarjan facility exclusively to the residents of the society.  

‘Vodafone Eco-Ponds’were unveiled at the hands of the Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner,  Solid waste Management Department, Pune Municipal Corporation and Dr. Shubhangi B Umbarkar, Senior Scientist, Catalysis Division - CSIR National Chemical Laboratory in presence of Ashish Chandra, Business Head, Maharashtra & Goa Circle, Vodafone India.

Speaking about the initiative Ashish Chandra, Business Head, Maharashtra & Goa Circle, Vodafone India said, “PMC along with NCL have been in the forefront in encouraging people to undertake immersion at home in order to keep water bodies from polluting.  Vodafone Eco-Ponds initiative that aims to reach out to as many citizens to help them carry out Ganesh Visarjan in an eco-friendly manner.”

Dr. Shubhangi B Umbarkar – Senior Scientist, Catalysis Division - CSIR National Chemical Laboratorysaid, “This is social project on which CSIR, NCL has worked for almost three years in collaboration with PMC. Already last year many people have given positive response and around 25-30000 people have implemented it at home. But looking at the population of Pune city, this number needs to increase multi fold and I am sure initiative taken by Vodafone will have positive impact in achieving this goal.”

Suresh Jagtap, Joint Commissioner, Solid waste Management Department, Pune Municipal Corporation said, “The response from Punekars to our new method of Ganesh immersion has been overwhelming. I appreciate Vodafone for this unique initiative.” 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

‘डब्बा गुल्ल’ व ‘स्वाभिमान’ चित्रपटांचा मुहूर्त संपन्न

सध्या मराठी चित्रपटांमध्ये वैविध्यपूर्ण विषय हाताळले जातायेत. काही चित्रपट सामाजिक परिस्थितीवर विनोदी पद्धतीने प्रहार करतात तर काही गंभीर भाष्य करत डोळ्यात झणझणीत अंजनघालतात. चांगल्या मराठी चित्रपटांच्या निर्मितीसाठी अलीकडच्या काळात अनेक निर्मिती संस्था पुढाकार घेत आहेत. अप्सरा मिडिया एंटरटेन्मेंट नेटवर्क ही चित्रनिर्मिती संस्था ‘डब्बा गुल्ल’ व ‘स्वाभिमान’ या दोन मराठी चित्रपटांची निर्मिती करीत असून या चित्रपटांचा मुहूर्त ज्येष्ठ अभिनेते रमेश देव यांच्या हस्ते नुकताच करण्यात आला.

या दोन्ही चित्रपटांतून सामाजिक सद्यस्थितीवर प्रकाशझोत टाकण्यात येणार आहे. या चित्रपटांचे दिग्दर्शन रोहित आर्या करणार आहेत. याप्रसंगी बोलताना अभिनेते रमेश देव म्हणाले की, ‘रोहित’ जे काम करतो ते चांगलंच असतं त्यामुळे त्याला माझा नेहमीच पाठिंबा असतो. या दोन्ही चित्रपटांमधून चांगले व आजचे विषय प्रामाणिकपणे मांडण्याचा प्रयत्न त्यांनी केला असून त्याच्या या प्रयत्नाला माझ्या मन:पूर्वक शुभेच्छा आहेत’. या शुभेच्छांचा स्वीकार करीत, ‘देवांचा’ पाठिंबा माझ्यासोबत असेल तर हे चित्रपट नक्कीच यश संपादन करतील असा विश्वास दिग्दर्शक रोहित आर्या यांनी व्यक्त केला. अभिनेते विजय कदम यांनी ही याप्रसंगी उपस्थित रहात या चित्रपटांना शुभेच्छा दिल्या.

स्वच्छता अभियानाअंतर्गत आज विविध कंपन्या ठिकठिकाणी स्वच्छतागृहांची उभारणी करीत असल्या तरी त्यातही अनागोंदीआहे. या उभारणीत अनेकांचे हितसंबंध गुंतल्याने होणारे गोंधळ व सामान्यांची होणारी पंचाईत यावर डब्बा गुल्ल हा सिनेमा विनोदीपद्धतीने भाष्य करतो. तर स्वाभिमान चित्रपटाच्या कथेतून सिद्धांत व तत्वांची लढाई दाखवण्यात येणार आहे. कुटुंब व समाज यातील नातेसंबंधावर चित्रपटाचे कथानक आधारलेले आहे.

मनोरंजनासोबत परिवर्तनाचा प्रामाणिक प्रयत्न करणाऱ्या या दोन्ही चित्रपटांचे चित्रीकरण ऑक्टोबरपासून सुरु होणार आहे. या चित्रपटात अनेक दिग्गज कलाकारांसोबत नवोदित चेहऱ्यांना ही संधी देण्यात येणार आहे. नव्या उदयोन्मुख चेहऱ्यांसाठी अप्सरा मिडिया संपूर्ण महाराष्ट्र दौरा करणार आहे. समाजातील वास्तवदर्शी घटनांचे चित्र मांडणाऱ्या या चित्रपटाची कथा–पटकथा-संवाद रोहित आर्या यांचे आहेत. प्रशांत हेडाऊ व अखिल माथूर यांनी लिहिलेली गीते प्रशांत हेडाऊ, साई–पियुष संगीतबद्ध करतील. चित्रपटाचे संकलन सचिन कौशिक करणार आहेत.

Pune tops travellers wishlist: RCI survey


PUNE: The survey conducted by Kantar IMRB for RCI reveals that Pune tops the wish list of travellers. It also mentioned that Pune came up as one of the most popular destinations for short trips within the state, with around 8% of travellers choosing the cultural capital of Maharashtra for a holiday.

RCI is the global leader in vacation exchange highlights the latest trends and habits among Indian travellers and benchmarks current attitudes towards timeshare. The report comprised a sample size of 2008 in depth interviews across including Delhi, Ludhiana, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and other major cities. Out of the total sample size 31% of the respondents were timeshare owners.

The report revealed many other interesting findings.

Seeking Rejuvenation and Quality Time: The study examined Indian travellers to understand their motivations behind taking a holiday and the factors that go into deciding where to go. The top rated reason travellers take a vacation is to rejuvenate (60%), followed closely by spending quality time with family (51%) and taking time away from city life (36%).

When deciding on a destination for holiday, travellers cited scenic beauty (64%), convenient place to travel to (55%) and affordable (42%) as their top factors. As a result, Goa, Delhi and Kerala were the most popular domestic destinations among Indian travellers. Globally, Indian travellers are most likely to travel to Dubai (20%), Thailand (13%) and Singapore (12%).

The survey also revealed that Indian travelers relish the last-minute decisions, with more than four in 10 planning their holidays four weeks or less ahead of time.

Sabina Chopra, managing director, RCI India said, “It is encouraging to observe the response to timeshare in recent times.  Timeshare has redefined the satisfaction quotient for the Indian traveller by providing convenient bookings, planning efficiency to scenic destinations, five-star quality accommodation, and adventurous activities.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

High aspirations can create sea of opportunities: Dr. Mashelkar

While inaugurating Innovation Lab, (from left) Vinod Jadhav, Harshada Jadhav
Dr. Mashelkar, Kalyan Jadhav, 

PUNE: “Your aspirations are your possibilities. Keep high aspirations to create more opportunities. World is full of opportunities. We have to identify them and grab them. Now Indian youth has proved their excellence in almost every aspect and progressing by leaps and bounds. Knowledge without innovation is of no value. It is through the process of innovation alone that knowledge is converted into wealth. Today’s youth should use his innovative ideas to build a better society,” said Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

He was speaking while inaugurating Centre of Excellence and Innovation Lab of KJ Educational Institute at Trinity Academy of Engineering. Mashelkar also admired the efforts taken by KJ Educational Institute to bring rural youth into the main stream education. Kalyan Jadhav, Founder president of KJ Educational Institute, Vinod Jadhav, Treasurer, Harshada Jadhav, Managing Director, Dr. Hemant Abhyankar, Executive director, Dr. Vijay Wadhai, Principal of Trinity Academy, Shivaji Pacharne, Coordinator, NSS were present on the occasion.

Dr. Mashelkar further added that in today’s world we have to invest in adventure capitalists rather than the Venture capitalists. Emphasizing the necessity of quality education, he stated the new equation, Education = Future for next generations. Our nation is building intellectual infrastructure for our students, which will boost new innovations and a horizon of opportunities.

Founder president Kalyan Jadhav said, “We have initiated various fellowships to give opportunities to rural students. We are

encouraging them to put fore new ideas. We have also started business incubator to nurture novel thoughts, ideas in different sectors. Admiring a wide vision and extreme efforts took by founder president Kalyan Jadhav, Dr. Hemant Abhyankar said that KJ Educational Institute is always ahead to give quality education to its students. We will provide latest laboratories, equipments to our students to excel in their respective field in KJ’s 110-acre campus.