Thane citizens go green, immerse idols in tubs, vessels at home

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THANE: Most devouts hin Thane chose to immerse their Ganesh idols in tubs and big vessels at home instead of artificial ponds or natural water bodies.

Environment-conscious devotees have voluntarily decided to perform the immersion ceremony in their balconies or verandas of their houses, giving a green twist to Ganesh celebrations.

From filling a tub full of water, reusing water for gardening to performing noiseless and pollution-less immersion, Thaneites are leaving no stone unturned in celebrating the 10-day festival the green way.

Padmaja Pangam, resident of Siddhachal complex, said, “It has been more than 10 years that we are immersing our idols at home. In the evening after the usual chanting of prayers and hymns, the entire family gathers and we perform the ceremony.Firstly, we pick up the idol and carry it around the house. This symbolizes the last journey of the God for this year. We then put a mixture of curd on the idol and then carry him to the veranda wherein a bowl full of water is kept. We dip the replica a few times and then wipe the idol and re-use it next year.”

While some households perform the ceremony at an individual level, many are even using this technique for immersion of community Ganesh idols in their respective societies.

Vishal Shinde, a resident of Everest World Complex at Kolshet, said, “Looking at the condition of the Thane creek, we feel that we are polluting our resources. So, this year we thought of celebrating the festival the eco-friendly way. We had arranged for two immersion tanks. There was a separate one for idols made of Plaster of Paris and those of clay. We involved children to spread the message and the event was a grand success.”

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Thane: Waterfront plan may run into rough weather

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THANE : The ambitious Gaimukh waterfront development project of the Thane municipal corporation (TMC) may possibly run into rough weather after the district administration has complained of indiscriminate damage to the ecology.

The district administration had received a complaint from activist Rohit Joshi, who is a member of the mangrove cell, that the waterfront project is leading to destruction of mangroves. The administration then registered an FIR against the contractor employed by the TMC under Sections 15 and 19 of the Environment Protect Act, 1986, on Friday. A joint survey was then conducted by the revenue department and city police on Sunday.

The revenue department, in its statement to the police, stated that the contractor has taken up construction work within 50m of the coastal zone without receiving the necessary permissions. The contractor is also responsible for the destruction of mangroves as dumping of debris is rampant there. This is in violation of the coastal regulation zone (CRZ) norms.

“We visited the spot on Sunday, along with the police, to analyse the damage done to the stretch where the mangroves were once present. Before we could reach the place, the contractor had already cleared a lot of debris that was dumped there. He didn’t have the requisite permissions from the Maritime board and the mangrove cell and had also violated the forest norms. The case may be forwarded to the state pollution control board which will investigate the matter,” said an official from the revenue department.

Joshi now plans to approach the high court witht he matter. “There was massive inundation along Ghodbunder Road this monsoon. Vehicles were seen floating due to waterlogging. The authorities must immediately look into this problem,” said Joshi.

Meanwhile, the TMC officials have refuted all the allegations and have claimed that there was no harm done to the mangroves and they had all the requisite permission to begin work.

“There is no incentive for the contractor to create extra land; so there is no question of him trying to reclaim land. We are only levelling the existing surface and not touching the mangroves at all,” said a senior official from the corporation.

Source : m.timesofindia.com

Bullet train work to start near Thane in January 2019

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Around 26 villages in Thane district will also have to be displaced for the project

More than a year after laying the foundation stone of the bullet train project, on-ground work near Thane is expected to begin in January 2019. The National High Speed Rail Corridor Limited (NHSRCL), the executing agency of the 508-km bullet train corridor project, will be procuring boring machines for construction of the underground tunnel. The boring machines will be placed for the sea-bed work in Vikhroli, in Mumbai. Further, the station design of major stations has been prepared by the high speed corridor.

“The undersea tunnel will be major and critical work, which we aim to begin first. The tenders will be floated in November and boring work will begin by January 2019,” said Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson of NHSRCL.

Of the 508-km alignment connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad, 155.76-km will be in Maharashtra, 348.04-km in Gujarat and 4.3-km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Around 26 villages in Thane district will also have to be displaced for the project.

The Joint Measurement Survey (JMS) of the land in Thane has been completed and process of land acquisition is likely to start soon. However, the implementing agency continues to face strong opposition in Palghar over land acquisition, as 109.06-km of the corridor will pass through the district.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe had laid the foundation stone of the PM’s pet project on September 14, 2017.

The work on the underground sea tunnel is critical and had already begun in December 2017, wherein a team of engineers from NHSRCL, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RTIES) Ltd, and Japan’s Kawasaki Geological Engineering studied the data on the seabed, based on geo-technical surveys. The survey was conducted to understand the structure and depth of the seabed of the Thane Creek in December 2017 and based on the report, the alignment of the tunnel was fixed.

Further, the NHSRCL is also in process of completion of the station designs of the 12 stations between BKC in Maharashtra and Sabarmati in Gujarat.

Station designs for BKC, Sabarmati, Baroda, Surat, Vapi and Billimora are completed; station designs for Maharashtra are going on. According to the proposed exterior, Surat railway station will have a diamond-shaped entrance, whereas the exterior of the Sabarmati station will be based on the Dandi March.

The bullet train stations will have two floors. The first floor will have concourse and the second floor will have two platforms. Meanwhile, BKC and Sabarmati railway stations will be called as the hub and will have four platforms each.

Source : hindustantimes.com

Artificial ponds, idol collection centres a hit on 1st visarjan day

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THANE : Over 12,000 Ganesh idols were immersed till late Friday evening during a peaceful and well-supervised procession at visarjan ghats across the lake city.Artificial ponds,idol collection centres that have been set up by the civic body across the city were a big hit among residents.

“An accurate number of idols will be available only by late night,” said an official who was tabulating the data of immersions.

Out of nearly 50,000 household Ganesh idols that are there in the city, approximately 14,000 will be immersed by the end of Friday.

The old city and Wagle Estate area alone would witnessed nearly 5,600 immersions by the end of the day, while the immersion points at adjoining Kalwa, Mumbra and Ghodbunder areas would witness around 8,400 idols till Saturday early morning.

TMC officials said that the response to artificial ponds was encouraging this year as devotees prefer to immerse their idols here rather than using natural water bodies. The civic body had created artificial ponds at various parts in the city, including Upvan, Railadevi, Ambeghosale lake, Nilkanth woods, Balkum Rewale and Kharegaon. This was done to minimise the damage to natural water bodies.

The TMC said that adequate measures were being taken to keep the artificial tanks clean and also to ensure that the water in these ponds was purified at regular intervals.

Besides, idol donation centres have also been functional at various spots in the city where hundreds of devotees were seen handing over idols instead of immersing them in ponds. “We will collect the idols and immerse them together inside the creek where the force of water is more,” said an official.

Meanwhile, the regular immersion spots for small idols and those beyond five-feet at Parsik Retibunder, Kolshet and Kopri also witnessed a huge rush of devotees on the first visarjan day.

The TMC and city police said that they have deputed adequate staff at various chronic spots to ensure free flow of traffic during the festive season and also ensure safety of the devotees. The civic officials also deployed adequate staff along with CCTV cover to ensure safety in the CCTV.

There are nearly 50,000 household Ganesh idols within the city; of which 14,000 were immersed on the second day of the festival itself. The old city and Wagle Estate area alone would witnessed nearly 5,600 immersions by the end of the day, while the immersion points at adjoining Kalwa, Mumbra and Ghodbunder areas would witness around 8,400 idols being brought in for the visarjan till Saturday early morning. Meanwhile, regular immersion spots also witnessed a huge rush of devotees on the first visarjan day.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Variety of modaks add a unique flavour to Ganesh fest

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THANE With Ganesh Chaturthi festivities underway across the city, the mouthwatering modak preparations has flooded every bylane here. While the jaggery, coconut and dryfruit filled steamed traditional modaks were once the only sweet offering or prasad offered to Ganpati, these sweet dumplings seem to have been replaced by a variety other substitutes.

From chocolate and dryfruit based modaks to sugarfree, rasmalai flavoured and caramel modaks, Thaneites have been experimenting with various new versions.

“Modaks are a must during the festival as they have to be given as prasad to all devotees. However, over the years, my family has gone astray from making the traditional jaggery-filled dumplings and have now started giving chocolate or mava modaks,” said Sharmali Marwa, a Pachpakhadi resident.

Some Thaneites have also started tweaking their traditional modak recipes and are adding some variety to the spread. “Every year, I try making sweets that are trending so that my kids get excited and join me in the kitchen. This year, we came across a shop in Mumbai that sells modak surprises, which are basically mini modaks with different sweet and savory fillings, including chocolate ganache modak and mushroom chilly modak. So I replicated some of them at home, this year,” said Kshama Kulkarni, a Vartak Nagar resident.

Some Thaneites had even approached homecooks to get a lesson or two on modak preparations. “Over the past few weeks, I had conducted sessions on unique modaks during which I taught students quick but interesting modak recipes like lemon-chilly modak, panchakhatya filled modak, caramel and sugar-free modaks and so on. Devotees are getting more and more experimental with every passing year. So, I have to keep coming up with recipes to meet the demand,” said Priti Doke, a city-based chef.

However, there are many who still follow the traditional way. “While some made ukdiche modak at home, many don’t have the time. In an attempt to keep the traditional flavor of the festival alive, we make and sell simple original coconut, jaggery and dryfruit based modaks for those who don’t have the time to make it,” said Medha Deshpande, a city based homechef.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Transport experts demand revision in metro routes

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THANE : Transport experts from the city have sought a revision in routes of certain metro corridors planned for Thane district suggesting alternatives that could make the facility more popular and viable for travel.

The district is likely to see construction of few metro routes including the Belapur-Taloja, Wadala-Kasarwadavli and Thane-Bhiwandi-Kalyan among others. Experts here have said there needs to be an urgent review of routes of these lines so as to ensure maximise utilisation of these projects for the suburban residents who rely only on the trains as a faster mode of transport or road networks that have long become saturated.

Transport experts suggest a metro loop to be constructed within the district like the ones being planned for Mumbai so that it connects all farthest urban pockets of the district from Navi Mumbai to Bhayender, Kalyan and Thane. While there has been a demand to connect the Belapur-Taloja route to Kalyan or Dombvili, the need for linking Wadala-Kasarwadavli route till Mira-Bhayender has also been doing the rounds for a long time. In addition, diverting the Thane-Kalyan metro through Khadakpada till the APMC is also being suggested by experts and political leaders.

The state government needs to rethink about introducing more viable options for transporting passengers as the existing road and railway networks are largely saturated. There has to be a system wherein the commuters and freight movement is separated and travel for the former made more convenient. There is a need for urgent revision of the metro routes being planned in Thane district,” said transport expert Sulakshana Mahajan.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Thane guardian minister has also made a similar demand before the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to revise few metro routes connecting Thane and Kalyan.

“I have proposed an extension of the proposed metro IV project till Bhayender and also revise the Kalyan metro route to be diverted via Khadakpada and railway station to make it more viable for commuters. The present route may not be feasible for commuters as many, especially those staying in new Kalyan area would not be able to make use of it,” said Shinde.

When contacted, R A Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner for Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) said there is already a plan for interlinking all the metros routes within the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and the routes are finalised on the basis of the study done by consultants.

“We are working on linking the metro lines not just in Mumbai but in Thane suburbs as well. Presently, the alignment is based on what our consultants have studied and presented a report based on the situation of the roads and traffic situation in the city. If there is a need for connecting a certain area, that can benefit the commuters and motorists the same can always be explored in the future,” he said.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Ganesh Chaturthi: The Why, the Where and How?

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Ganpati Celebration In Thane

Ganesh Chaturthi commemorates the birthday of Lord Ganesh. On this day, beautiful handcrafted idols of the Lord are installed both in homes and in public. Prana Pratishtha is performed to invoke the power of the deity into the idol, followed by a 16 step ritual known as Shodashopachara Puja. During the ritual, various offerings including sweets, coconuts, and flowers are made to the idol. The ritual should be performed at an auspicious time around midday, known as Madhyahna, when Lord Ganesh is believed to have been born.

It’s important, according to tradition, not to look at the moon during certain times on Ganesh Chaturthi. If a person sees the moon, they’ll be cursed with accusations of theft and dishonored by society unless they chant a certain mantra.

Apparently, this came about after Lord Krisha was falsely accused of stealing a valuable jewel. Sage Narada said that Krishna must’ve seen the moon on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi (the occasion that Ganesh Chaturthi falls on) and was cursed because of it. Furthermore, anyone who saw the moon then would be cursed in a similar way.

The idols of Lord Ganesh are worshiped every day, with an aarti in the evening. The largest Ganesh statues, on display to the public, are usually taken out and immersed in water on Anant Chaturdasi.  However, many people who keep an idol in their homes carry out the immersion much before this.

Where is it Celebrated?

Mostly in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. One of the best places to experience the festival is in the city of Mumbai. Celebrations take place in a special way at the towering Siddhivinayak temple, located in the central suburb of Prabhadevi, which is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. An incalculable number of devotees visit the temple to join in prayers and pay their respects to the God during the festival. In addition, around 10,000 statues of Lord Ganesh are displayed at various locations in the city.

What Rituals are Performed?

Once a statue of Lord Ganesh is installed, a ceremony is undertaken to invoke his holy presence into the statue. This ritual is called the Pranapratishhtha Puja, during which a number of mantras are recited. Following this a special worship is performed. Offerings of sweets, flowers, rice, coconut, jaggery and coins are made to the God. The statue is also anointed with red chandan powder. Prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha every day during the festival. Temples devoted to Lord Ganesha also organize special events and prayers.

Those who have a Ganesha statue in their house treat and care for him as a much loved guest.

Why are the Ganesh Statues Immersed in Water at the End of the Festival?

Hindus worship idols, or statues, of their gods because it gives them a visible form to pray to. They also recognize that the universe is in a constant state of change. Form eventually gives away to formlessness. However, the energy still remains. The immersion of the statues in the ocean, or other bodies of water, and subsequent destruction of them serves as a reminder of this belief.

How is it Celebrated?

The festival begins with the installation of huge elaborately crafted statutes of Ganesha in homes and podiums, which have been especially constructed and beautifully decorated. Artisans put months of effort into making the statues. It’s forbidden to look at the moon on this first night as legend had it the moon laughed at Lord Ganesha when he fell from his vehicle, the rat. On Ananta Chaturdasi (the last day), the statues are paraded through the streets, accompanied by much singing and dancing, and then immersed in the ocean or other bodies of water.

In Mumbai alone, more than 150,000 statues are immersed each year!

What is the Significance of Anant Chaturdasi?

You may be wondering why the immersion of Ganeshi idols concludes on this day.  Why is it special? In Sanskrit, Anant refers to eternal or infinite energy, or immortality. The day is actually devoted to the worship of Lord Anant, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu (the preserver and sustainer of life, also referred to as the supreme being). Chaturdasi means the “fourteenth”. In this case, the occasion falls on the 14th day of the bright half of the moon during the month of Bhadrapada on the Hindu calendar.

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Ganpati Photography Tips & Suggestions

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Ganesh Chaturthi Celebration In Thane, Ganpati Photography Tips

On 13th September, we will welcome Ganpati Bappa into our houses. With great zeal and enthusiasm we are all eagerly waiting for him to bestow his wisdom, health and prosperity on every one of us. Ganesh Chaturthi though lasts only for 10 days we retain its memories for a life time through photographs. This impulse to save our recorded memories tells us much about our constant desire to distil our most precious moments.

We preserve the important events in our lives. No longer do we need a DSLR to create best photographs. In an era where smart phones are always in our hands a photo is just a click away.

1. Keep Your Lens Clean:

your smartphone camera lenses do have grime on it due to constant usage. The results are hazy, dark images that won’t look good. Before clicking give your lens a quick wipe with a soft cloth or as a last resort clean with your T-shirt it will do just fine.

2. Move in close:

Many camera phones lack a zoom lens, so make sure you move in close to capture your subject. Fill your display screen with your subject to create pictures with greater impact. Don’t get too close or your pictures will be blurry and distorted. As a general rule, stand about one to two feet from your subject.

3. Shoot at eye level:

Direct eye contact can be as engaging in a picture as it is in real life. Eye level angle will create a personal and inviting feeling that pulls you into the picture..

4. Observe the light:

Try to take pictures in bright light. Without adequate lighting, your pictures will look dark and grainy. In sunlight, move around where the sun beams onto your subject. Indoors, turn on extra lights to brighten your subject.

5. Stay still:

Jittery hands cause blurring. Keep your hand still a second or two after shooting, since the shot is still processing. When you hear the click sound, it doesn’t mean you captured the photo, it just indicates that you pressed the shutter.

6. Think before you shoot:

The point of being a photographer is to capture the world as you see it and share your unique perspective with others. Take time to examine every single thing that’s showing in the photo, there should be no distractions that cause a viewer to look at something other than what you wanted them to see. Are there any water bottles or random objects that should be moved? Have you cropped off the top of someone’s head? Take some time to consider it.

Source: www.ganpati.tv

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Mumbra bypass opens for traffic from Monday

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THANE : The Mumbra bypass will be thrown open for vehicular traffic from Monday, September 10, as the repair work of the 3km-long stretch is completed, said officials from the public works department (PWD).

The bypass was shut since May 7, owing to its maintenance work as the road overbridge (ROB) was in a dilapidated state. The authorities had earlier said that the work will be completed by July, but it got delayed and extended to September due to heavy rain and cracks on some parts of the road.

“Most of the work is complete and only the finishing work was remaining, which was done by Sunday night. The bypass will be open for vehicular traffic from Monday. We have installed bearings on the upper part of the ROB and done the distressing work, which will help in decreasing the vibrations one feels while travelling on the bridge. We have made the ROB strong and even concretised the roads, which were earlier made of tar. We have placed retaining walls on some parts of the road. Also, we have installed crash barriers at most of the turns so that vehicles do not tumble down the valley or meet with an accident,” said Asha Jatkal, assistant engineer from Panvel PWD. The head of the traffic department has also alerted officers posted at various junctions and check points to ensure that the trailers and trucks that are not aware about the Mumbra bypass being opened are able to make their way towards it instead of using internal routes. Authorities are even hoping that the congestion will reduce as thousands of heavy vehicles will use the bypass instead of internal roads in the city. “Since the past four months the trucks and trailers that plied to and from JNPT-Ahmedabad were not allowed to take the bypass. They used the interior parts of the city. Now since the bypass is open, the number of vehicles using the internal routes will decrease. They will not be allowed to enter the city during afternoons. Even the traffic officers have been told to divert heavy vehicles towards the bypass. It will take a day or more for drivers to be aware that the bypass is now open for vehicular traffic,” said Amit Kale, deputy commissioner of police, traffic department. We have installed bearings on the upper part of the ROB and done the distressing work, which will help in decreasing the vibrations. We have even concretised the roads, which were earlier made of tar. We have placed retaining walls on some parts of the road

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

TMC to install metal grates around trees

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THANE : In a move to minimise the tree fall cases, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has started an initiative to replace concrete slabs and tiles around full-grown trees with permeable metal grates around them. The National Green Tribunal, in a 2015 order, had instructed the TMC to ensure the area around each tree was deconcretized so that the roots had room to grow and stabilize; thus reducing the number of tree fall cases.

This, however, could not be properly carried out in busy areas of old Thane city as it would shrink the narrow roads and add to traffic woes. A few months ago, city-based environmentalist and member of green NGO Thane Matadata Jagran Abhiyan Rohit Joshi met the city engineer and suggested that they install metal grates instead of concrete around these trees.

“Freeing up the road space around the roadside trees would make the lanes in areas like Naupada, Charai and Pachpakhadi narrower and not removing the concrete around the trees would eventually lead to their fall. So I realized that if a metal grate was installed around them, it would not only allow cars to pass on it, but also allow water and air to pass through it and reach the roots,” Joshi said.

In May, I saw that a lot of road projects were going on. I met the city engineer and suggested that the metal grate project could be done simultaneously. He immediately began work on acquiring good quality material for this prototype,” Joshi added. As the project is just starting out, the civic body has decided to test it out with around 30 grates in a few pockets of Naupada. We have acquired 15 iron grates and 15 RCC grates. We have begun installing them around trees in Naupada. This will help water seep through and air to reach the soil and roots easily. If all goes well, then this project will be implemented all across the city,” said city engineer Anil Patil.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com