Mumbai among worst city to live: Survey

A new survey of 140 cities has rated Vancouver as the best city to live, and Mumbai as one of the worst with a ranking of 116.

Sixth ranked Sydney and Perth and Adelaide with joint eighth position were among the top 10 cities.

“Australia, with a low population density and relatively low crime rates, continues to supply some of the world’s most liveable cities,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Economist Intelligence Unit survey editor Jon Copestake, as saying.


Mumbai

The survey showed the poor ranking debt-ridden eurozone countries. Greece’s capital Athens ranking dropped from 62nd to 67th.

The survey showed sliding liveability across the Middle East countries in the wake of civil unrest. The Libyan capital Tripoli ranked 135th in the survey.

Hong Kong was ranked 31st, San Francisco and Singapore stood 51st, London at 53rd and New York at 56th position.

Beijing and Shanghai stood at 72nd and 79th position respectively, and Jakarta at 119th.

According to the survey, the worst places to live were Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh’s Dhaka and Zimbabwe’s Harare.

The EIU said the survey’s objective was to supply guidelines to human resources departments worldwide as to when they should grant hardship allowances as part of expatriate relocation packages to the cities.

“It has since evolved as a broad benchmarking tool used by city councils, organizations or corporate entities looking to test locations against one another,” the survey statement said.

Cities were gauged on political and social stability, crime rates and access to quality health care, diversity and standard of cultural events and the natural environment; education (school and university) and the standard of infrastructure, including public transport.

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MUMBAI ATTACKED AGAIN

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics – 13 July 2011 – Indian Crying

Again…..Yes again the shameful attack on humanity. Series of blasts rocks Mumbai on 13th July evening in Zaveri Bazzar, Opera House and the Kabutarkhana area of Dadar West.orism.

The blasts kills 21 people & hundreds people are injured. Please see the shameless act of terrorism.

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 (3)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 (1)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (11)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (3)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (1)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (2)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (4)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (5)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (6)

Mumbai Blast 2011 Exclusive Latest Pics - 13 July 2011 - Indian Crying (10)


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Dharavi in Mumbai is no longer Asia’s largest slum

Dharavi, spread over 557 acres and housing nearly three lakh people, is no longer Asia’s largest slum. Mumbai has at least four larger contenders for the dubious distinction, some of them three times the size of Dharavi. Though, the island city is now largely free of slums.

The erstwhile smaller slums in the suburbs have metamorphosed into contiguous, larger slums. The Kurla-Ghatkopar belt, the Mankhurd-Govandi belt, the Yogi and Yeoor hill slopes stretching from Bhandup to Mulund flanking the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) on the east and Dindoshi on the western flank of the National Park have all eclipsed Dharavi.

While the profile of the suburban slum sprawls is still to be established, the Mankhurd-Govandi slums that have sprung up at the base of the Deonar dumping ground are known as a “dumping ground” for the city’s poor. It has the lowest human development index in the city and is constantly in the news for malnutrition deaths. Moreover, following earlier trends, the slums have come up on hill slopes and mud flats.

The island city is largely clear of slums except on the fringes, like Dharavi in the north, Antop Hill in the east, Geeta Nagar and Ambedkar Nagar in the south and Worli village in the west. Since 2005, the BMC’s action against slumdwellers, as part of its road widening projects, seems to have had a transformative effect. Significant initiatives were the clearing of slums along Senapati Bapat Marg from Mahim to Elphinstone and P D’Mello road from the General Post Office, Mumbai CST, to Wadala.

The exercise of mapping the slums was done by architect and civic activist P K Das, who has been involved with the rehabilitation and resettlement of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park slum-dwellers through the Nivara Hakk Sangharsh Samiti.

Data from the 2011 census shows there are 3.1 crore people in the island city and 9.3 crore in the suburbs, while nearly 78% of the city’s population lives in slums. Population density in the suburbs is the highest in the state, at 20,925 persons per sq km, whereas it is 20,038 person per sq km in the island city.

Official sources said while the government wants to ensure housing for the urban poor, there are legal issues as the Slum Redevelopment Act mandates free housing for structures protected up to 1995. However, urban development officials attributed the lack of progress to the strong builders lobby opposed the scheme as the present SRA scheme ensured a profit of nearly 40%.

TIMES CAMPAIGN: ACT AGAINST CORRUPTION

Join campaign for a strong Lokpal law to make India corruption-free
The people of India are sick of corruption. Anna Hazare’s Jantar Mantar fast, which got overwhleming public support, has not gone in vain. The latest government version of the proposed Lokpal Bill is certainly an improvement over the anemic bill drafted by the law ministry in December 2010, but the governemt is still not ready to go the whole hog. It wants to retain certain controls. This, unfortunately, may provide escape routes to the corrupt.It’s not too late to tell the government that we, the people of India, do not want any compromises on the anti-corruption law. You can also join the campaign by giving a missed call to the toll-free number 08030088502 or by sending lok as an SMS to 58888.

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Global Vipassana Pagoda

The Global Vipassana Pagoda is a notable monument in Mumbai, India. The pagoda is to serve as a monument of peace and harmony. This monument was inaugurated by Pratibha Patil, the President of India on 8 February 2009. It is located in the north of Mumbai in an area called Gorai and is built on donated land on a peninsula between Gorai creek and the Arabian Sea. The Global Vipassana Pagoda is built out of gratitude to the Buddha, his teaching and the community of monks practicing his teaching. Its traditional Burmese design is an expression of gratitude towards the country of Myanmar for preserving the practice of Vipassana. The shape of the pagoda is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar. It is being built combining ancient Indian and modern technology to enable it to last for a thousand years. The center of the Global Vipassana Pagoda contains the world’s largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars. The height of the dome is approximately 29 metres, while the height of the building is 96.12 meters, which is twice the size of the previously largest hollow stone monument in the world, the Gol Gumbaz Dome in Bijapur, India. External diameter of the largest section of the dome is 97.46m and the shorter sections is 94.82m. Internal diamter of the dome is 85.15m. The inside of the pagoda is hollow and serves as a very large meditation hall with an area covering more than 6000 m2 (65,000 ft2). The massive inner dome seats over 8000 people enabling them to practice the non-sectarian Vipassana meditation as taught by Mr S.N. Goenkaand now being practiced in over 100 countries. An inaugural one-day meditation course was held at the pagoda on 21 December 2008, with Mr S.N. Goenka in attendance as the teacher.

The aim of the pagoda complex is, among others, to express gratitude to Gautama Buddha for dispensing for what followers believe is a universal teaching for the eradication of suffering, to educate the public about the life and teaching of the Buddha, and to provide a place for the practice of meditation. 10-day vipassana meditation courses are held free of charge at the meditation centre that is part of the Global Vipassana Pagoda complex.

Construction materials

Motif on Global Vipassana Pagoda

The foundation of the dome consists of basalt, while the dome itself is made from sandstone imported from Rajasthan. The individual blocks of sandstone weigh 600–700 kg each and are joined by lime mortar. The circumambulation path is laid in marble.

The pinnacle of the pagoda is adorned with a large crystal. The spire is covered in real gold, while the rest of the pagoda is covered in gold paint. The spire is topped with a special ornamental umbrella piece donated by the Burmese. The main doors to the pagoda are wooden and hand-carved in Myanmar (Burma).

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Roof falling at Kalina library

The pillars, meant to support a structure that holds tons of books, have developed cracks over the years, and ceiling slabs have become loose and look like they will fall any moment.In the last two years over Rs 1.5 crore has been sanctioned in the University budget for the library. However, the money wasn’t used for repairs as that was not its purpose. University authorities say much more would be needed to repair the Britishera structure.
   The library’s head Prathibha Gokhale admitted that the threestoreyed structure needed renovation. “I do agree that the library’s structure needs a face-lift. The structure is weakening and the building cannot take load.” She added, “Our staff is blamed for everything that is wrong here, which is unfair as we are working hard to keep this in shape. We do have some rare books which are not present in the whole of Mumbai.”RARE COLLECTION

Gokhale was referring to 15,000 rare Chinese, Farsi, Sanskrit and Urdu manuscripts, which have been preserved over many years. The authorities as a token of remembrance have also preserved microfilms dated back to the year 1942.
   However, it seems that the Rs 1.5 crore allocated for surface changes to the library too hasn’t been utilised well, if at all. Old and vintage newspapers have been stored in a filthy corner on the second floor and left unattended.
   Rare books, the pride of any library, are causally left on the third floor collecting dust that is fatal to their health. Apart from its 6,99,321 books, the library has collected several dissertations of students over the years.

GREAT PLANS

In 2010, university officials announced plans to make the library state of the art.
   It wanted to introduce smart card facilities, so that students could just use that and swipe to show that they have borrowed a book. Money for photocopying of pages would also be deducted on these cards, making library work a cashless transaction. The library, which has a staff strength of 100, also plans to put up closed circuit television cameras so that students lifting books can be caught.

INTERNAL CRITICISM

However, Sanjay Viaral a member of the university senate said, “When one does not have the basic infrastructure in place and the building is so shaky what is the point of revamping the structure and bringing in fast and instant technology?”

A student below the caved-in ceiling of Jawaharlal Nehru Library at Kalina

Juhu residents seek BMC action against club

Juhu residents want the civic body to act against those encroaching upon open spaces in their area. The bone of contention is a plot developed by the Juhu Club Millennium. A complaint filed by the Juhu Scheme Residents Association (JSRA) – post information received under the RTI Act – said the club has not complied with civic body’s condition to keep 67 per cent of the plot for public use.

   

JSRA secretary Sherley Singh said, “We are being denied use of a recreation ground which is a public property. BMC’s guidelines are clear. While granting permission to owners of the club in 1998, they were told 67 per cent of the plot area should be kept open. They were also told that the area must be available for unrestricted public use ,” Singh said.

   

Refuting JSRA’s claims, the club’s managing director Rajeev Anand, said, “I have documents to show our dealings were legal. It is my personal property we are talking about. Nevertheless, anybody can see the documents, and we are following due process of law.”

   

Residents have now also asked NGOs to join the fight. Utsal Karani from Janhit Manch said, “Such clubs were given permission to develop on plots demarcated as recreation grounds on condition that two-third of the area be made available for the public. But nobody is following that rule. We are asking other citizen groups to get involved in this fight as well.”

   

Neera Punj of Citispace confirmed that Juhu residents have asked her to support their fight and said her organisation will do whatever it can to protect open spaces.

   

According to the JSRA complaint (a copy of which is with this newspaper), a part occupation certificate was granted to Juhu Club Millennium in June 2007, but the club authorities flouted most norms.

   

Assistant municipal commissioner (K West Ward) Ramesh Pawar said, “We are investigating and whoever has flouted rules will not be spared.”

The club is on Gulmohar Road, JVPD Scheme
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