Saturday, May 17, 2008

Law overlooked!!

Mumbai's second international airport could soon come up in suburban Navi Mumbai as the Union Environment Ministry finally backed the project.The ministry partly took the decision under pressure from the state government and Civil Aviation Ministry, even though a portion of the land allotted for the airport is covered with mangroves and falls in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ).Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said, ''There was some talk of shifting to an alternative location but now they have given us in-principle clearance. The airport should be ready by 2012.''The airport project had come to a standstill in March after objections from the environment ministry.Nearly a quarter of the 2000 hectare plot marked for the project is mangrove area and comes within the CRZ where construction is banned.But now, the ministry has suggested changes in the CRZ notification, allowing construction in that belt, changes which are still awaiting final clearance.Environmentalists are outraged at the decision, Debi Goenka, Conservation Action Trust said, ''With passenger traffic growing at the rate of 25 per cent each year. The city desperately needs a second international airport, but the destruction of mangroves could invite long term disaster making the city more vulnerable to flooding each monsoon.''

Friday, May 16, 2008

Raj= British.Netizens.

The anti-migrant drive by Raj Thackeray in Maharashtra has not remained confined to the state and has, in fact, spread throughout the nation and even spilled over to the virtual world.

The netizens at NDTV.com have reacted to the issue and have expressed their opinions to be heard and considered by sincere citizens who are affected by such incidents against humanity.

''I strongly feel this is not a one sided affair. If you are planning to live in Maharashtra, then what is wrong in learning Marathi? Can you survive in Chennai if you don't know Tamil or English? Yes, I strongly believe that Mumbai has its own spirit and soul. We should not forget that Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and people of the state deserve at least equal chance in employment if not more,'' says Jack from India.

However, there are many who have spoken against Raj Thackeray and have criticised him strongly for the attacks carried out by him on the migrants and the speeches made by him that have spread hatred among communities.

''What has Raj or the other Thackerays done for Maharasthra? Let alone Mumbai. These people have lived protected lives with their security guaranteed by the police and have been involved in spreading hatred and communal strife to hoodwink the poor people,'' says our surfer Joseph from United Arab Emirates.

Although some of the netizens have not stood for Raj Thackeray but have certainly raised some points against the Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.

''As for Amitabh, he has made himself a symbol of migrants. Just look at what he was when he came to Mumbai and what the condition of Mumbai at that time was? And then look at him now - what is his condition and that of Mumbai now? His condition has improved but that of Mumbai has deteriorated,'' says Anil from Kuwait.

On the other hand, many netizens have gone on to take a decisive view over the politics being practiced by the likes of Raj Thackeray.

''People like Raj Thackeray are not different from the British who ruled over us till 60 years back. It is shocking that they still use the divide and rule policy. It is important for people to understand that we are Indians first and then Kannadigas or Maharashtrians,'' says Nikesh Dhar from India.

The citizens of the web world have spoken and have registered their strong opinion on the Big B-Raj spat.

Well, we invite more of such responses from you to know and let others know. Meanwhile, the virtual world is abuzz with many issues of national importance.

New Airport at Mumbai.

Environment ministry of the Central Government which had objected to the site of proposed Navi Mumbai airport as small portion of the land is covered by the mangroves forest has given the in principal approval for the site, said Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

Deshmukh was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of ceremony to sign memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Jain irrigation. The clearance was given by the ministry on Wednesday and ministry has asked for certain clarifications, which will be submitted very soon, Deshmukh told.

It may be recalled that, in March this year, environment ministry refused to give clearance to the site of Navi Mumbai airport which is located at Ulve near Panvel as around 115 hectare land (7.3 per cent) of the total land is covered by the mangroves and suggested the project should be shifted to alternative location.

However Maharashtra government's industrial and township development arm CIDCO which is a nodal agency for the project and civil aviation ministry had strongly objected to the environment ministry's suggestion to shift the project as CIDCO has nearly 78 per cent land out of 2053 hectare required for project in possession of the CIDCO.

Subsequently CIDCO also shown willingness to appoint the agencies like IIT Bombay and pune based Central Water Research Station to asses the damage which might be caused due to airport project to mangroves forest and mitigation measures which can be undertaken.

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