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Recreational grounds policy passed by Mumbai civic body

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MUMBAI: After a large debate broke out over BMC Recreational Grounds (RG)- Playgrounds (PG) policy, a voting was held on table at the improvement committee meeting on Monday. However Congress, MNS and Samajwadi party, who joined hands opposing the RG/ PG policy, lost by one vote and the BJP Sena who are in favor of the policy went ahead and passed the policy.

The policy would now be tabled before the general body meeting next month. Congress corporator and improvement committee member Mohsin Haider said, “There is no need of having such a policy first of all when BMC has a budget as huge as Rs. 33,000 crores.”

While bringing the new policy before the political party group leaders in the first week of October this year, BMC scrapped the caretaker policy, which was in the eye of controversy due to misuse of open spaces. The BMC will henceforth allot city opens spaces only on the adoption basis, which does not allow any construction on the plot. However a discrepancy pointed out by citizens is that the policy mentions that all applicants for caretaker having applied prior to December 31, 2014 and can prove to have spent Rs 3 crore on the adopted plot can be upgraded to caretaker status.

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Source: TOI-MUM

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Wasting Sambaar not fine: Matunga restaurant makes patrons pay more

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MUMBAI: The Udipi Idli House, a highly rated restaurant in Matunga (E), has found a way to combat the rising prices of toor dal while not increasing the menu rates.

For the last 15 days, the restaurant is charging Rs 13 extra from the patrons who leave the sambaar and rasam unfinished. The restaurant management says that several patrons order extra bowls of sambaar and rasam but end up wasting it, and those who don’t have a taste for such items can always ask the waiters to leave it out of their orders.

Toor dal costs Rs 145 to Rs 175 per kg in the wholesale market, and Rs 200 per kg in the retail market. Shooting prices of pulses has resulted in a severe backlash for the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in the state, with slogans such as ‘Arhar Modi’ grabbing the headlines.

The management at the Udipi Idli House — launched 10 years ago – said that the restaurant has always discouraged patrons from wasting food.

For the last 10 days, the staff has put up notices at all the tables, saying an extra Rs 13 will be charged for wasting sambaar and rasam.

The restaurant manager, KN Kamat, said, “We wanted to ensure that the patrons don’t miss the notice. We could have done the easier thing by increasing the menu rates, but that would have upset our regular patrons.”

Kamat said that the idea has brought about the desired result. “Many customers ask for extra helpings of sambaar and rasam, and end up wasting it. From the time the notices have been put up, there has hardly been a problem. Our intention is not to penalise, we just to discourage wastage,” he said.

Another employee told Mumbai Mirror that the waiters are also instructed to request the patrons to finish the food. “At times, customers say the sambaar was cold. We offer to replace it with hot sambaar. If they still waste it, we charge them Rs 13 extra,” the employee said.

The restaurant runs the risk of running into trouble because the extra Rs 13 is not mentioned in the bill. However, old-time patrons insisted that they will support the restaurant’s campaign.

Rajul Zaveri, a resident of Matunga who is a regular at Udipi Idli House, said, “I am happy the restaurant has taken a stand against wastage. It also shows that the management believes in serving fresh food.”

Harjyot Kaur, an IT professional who frequents the restaurant, said that the notice serves as a reminder. “I have seen a lot of people wasting food. The notice is difficult to miss and remains at the back of your mind,” she said.

Several restaurants admitted that they have increased the menu rates after the toor dal prices shot up. Manjunath Pujari, manager of Mysore Cafe at Matunga, said, “We had to increase the prices. Pulses form the base of our food items and there was no option. Our business was taking a hit.”

Devrath Kamath, owner of the 75-year-old Cafe Madras, said his restaurant raised the prices by five to 10 per cent a month ago, because he was finding it difficult to “cope up”. “The rising prices of pulses is a major concern. But everything is getting expensive… We will wait and watch for two months,” he said.

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Source: TOI-MUM

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Industrialists have a gala time at this pre Diwali bash

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With Diwali almost upon us, festive fervour has gripped the city. There is palpable excitement especially among industrialists, who are marking this glittering festival as another chance to woo Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Industrialist Karan Mittal (Managing Director of Mittal Corp. Ltd.), recently organised an extravagant pre Diwali bash in Mumbai, which saw prominent industrialists and VIPs as guests. Also present were the family members of the industrialists.

The elegant decor included earthen lamps, colourful candles and pretty rangoli. Industrialists attending the elegant do included Ghewar Chand Vohra, Sanjay Goenka, Pankaj Shah, Mahendra Jain and M L Jain, who were seen having a gala time at the bash with music arrangements made by Karan. Guests were seen relishing the sumptuous traditional food being served.

Said Karan, who was personally attending to each guest, “This is the first bash of the Diwali season organised by our big fraternity of industrialists and therefore, I wanted to give something unique to all my guests, which is why we blended the traditional aspect of Diwali in a modern style. This informal get-together gave us a break from our monotonous hectic schedule and a chance to cherish some good times with our family and friends. However, this informal get-together ended with a fruitful discussion on economy and political situation in country by the force of habit!”

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Source: TOI-MUM

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