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Search still on for pilots of Pawan Hans

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MUMBAI: Four days after a Pawan Hans Dauphin N3 crashed off the coast of Mumbai, search operations continued on Sunday with no success.

The Dauphin aircraft crashed on Wednesday during a training sortie with Capt Eeso Samuel and Capt TK Guha on board. Coordinated search and rescue operations are being carried out by teams from the Navy, Coast Guard and the ONGC. This is the second crash involving a Pawan Hans chopper in three months. In August, a chopper had crashed in Arunachal Pradesh. tnn

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Source: TOI-MUM

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70,000 sign up against plan to regulate in taxi aggregator fares

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MUMBAI: Seventy thousand commuters have signed a petition that seeks to dissuade the government from regulating fares under the proposed ‘City Taxi Scheme’, private cab aggregator Uber has claimed.

Officials of Uber said that they would forward the petition to the state transport department as a last-ditch attempt to petition the government.

“The support from commuters has increased by 30,000 petitions in the last one week. Citizens don’t want fares to be disturbed as they are competitive. Price regulated by the transport authority is unacceptable,” an official said.

While the deadline to send in suggestions and objections to the proposed scheme was October 30, Uber drivers have requested the transport chief’s office to publish the draft in Marathi, and to give them at least a fortnight thereafter to respond. The scheme had been published on the department’s website only in English.

A driver from Uber said that many of them could not understand the English draft. A delegation of drivers had met senior transport department officials last week.

A transport department official said they are open to suggestions. “But the final draft will be cleared by the [state] transport ministry. We plan to go by our earlier decision of state regulating fares for private taxi aggregators. There is a need for a cap on fares,” said the official. tnn

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Source: TOI-MUM

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BMC must take over open spaces given to politicians: Activists

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Mumbai: Even as the new recreational ground-playground policy of BMC is set to be tabled before the civic improvements committee on Monday, citizen activists have said it’s essential that the BMC first takes over those open plots given to politicians under the previous caretaker policy. Meanwhile, the committee chaired by the BJP politico has said they would be full-fledged supporting the policy, which had been stuck for several years.

While bringing the new policy before BJPleaders in the first week of October, 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 adoption basis, which does not allow any construction.

However a discrepancy pointed out by opposition party corporators is that the policy mentions that all applicants for caretakers having applied prior to December 31, 2014 and who can prove to have spent Rs 3 crore on the adopted plot, can be upgraded to caretaker status. Harish Pandey of New Link Road Residents Forum, Dahisar, said if the BMC was looking at revisiting the policy, it should be doing it in a full-fledged manner. “The caretaker policy should not be in existence in any way. The BMC should take over all those plots, especially those which have been misused, and allot them to citizen groups and genuine stakeholders instead of politicians,” said Pandey.

Improvements committee chief Prakash Gangadhare said they are in support of the policy. “It’s a good policy and we will support it,” he said. Congress corporator Mohsin Haider said they would be opposing the policy. “It appears to favour a certain class of people, with the caretaker clause being applicable to those having applied before December 31, 2014,” said Haider.

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Source: TOI-MUM

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