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TMC banks on alert kids to

warn about unsafe bldgs

Dengue cases rise,


149 stung by virus
between Jan & July

Look For Faults


& Inform Us:
Civic Body Tells
School Students

Pic used for representation only

Shrutika.Sukhi@timesgroup.com

Thane: The heavy showers and


accumulation of stagnant water in many areas has lead to a
spurt in the number of dengue
cases in the city. As per the statistics provided by the civic body, 149 dengue cases have been
recorded since the last seven
months (between January and
July). These figures are higher
than last years figure of 83.
My son and I were suffering from dengue a couple of weeks ago. We both had to be hospitalised. We tried taking all precautions by drinking only boiled water, not water through
puddles, putting up mosquitoe
nets in the house. Our society also carries out fumigation on a
regular basis. Even then we got
bitten by the mosquitoes carrying the virus, said Ashwini Patil, a resident of Lodha.
City doctors have confirmed
that since the onset of monsoon
there has been a rise in the number of patients suffering from
dengue. Everyday I get around
two to three patients suffering
from H1N1 virus. But I have come across few patients who had
organ failures as mostly there
have been patients whose platelet count has fallen to 3,000 to
4,000, said Dr Suparna Nirgudkar, a physician.
However, medical health officer of the TMC, Dr Ram Kendre, claimed that most patients
suffering from dengue are from
high-rise buildings. Many residents keep flower pots at home
and most of the time water is

Manoj.Badgeri@timesgroup.com

Thane: The municipal administration is now banking on school


students to help them identify
and report potentially weak buildings in various parts of the city
after multiple appeals to residents have fallen on deaf ears.
The city has several structures that could collapse anytime
and residents are apparently refusing to abide by safety norms
and vacate the same. A ten-point
checklist to visually confirm basic defects in any structure will be
given to the nearly 1.50 lakh students studying in the 732 primary
and secondary schools in the city
who will then alert the administration of any weak structures.
A panel of experts has prepared a checklist on how to visually
identify if a building has any
structural defects. Parameters
such as walls with deep cracks,
bent windows grills or chunks of
plaster falling off the ceiling or
walls and visibility of rusted steel reinforcement have been included. The aspects are basic in nature and one need not be an expert
to understand them. Any layperson and even children can identify them, said an official from the
education department.
Once equipped with the criteria, the children can locate such

SMOKING THE VIRUS OUT:


Fumigation is being carried out in
many buildings in order to curb
the virus from spreading

collected in these pot plates. Also, whenever a dengue patient is


detected in an area, we go to that
place and check for the source of
the disease. We even check the
homes of the residents suffering from the virus. However, in
upscale buildings, the TMC officials are not allowed to inspect
the place even if they produce
their identity card. Due to this,
we are unable to check the source of the virus, said Dr Kendre.
While dengue cases are on
the rise, malaria cases have
dropped as the TMC recorded
559 patients between January to
July as compared to last years
760. This year, the number of
residents suffering from malaria is lessif there are 10 patients suffering from dengue then
one or two are suffering from
malaria, said Dr Nirgudkar.
Meanwhile, the TMC is doing everything to prevent the disease from spreading. We have
carried out fogging in over
44,000 buildings, installed nets
on vent pipes in over 1,000 public
places, etc said Dr Kendre.

AS D-DAY NEARS, TAKE YOUR PICK

Anil Shinde

SUPERHERO TOUCH: With Raksha Bandhan a few days away, traditional rakhis jostle for space alongside
those shaped like popular superhero characters at a store in the city

Despite rain bounty, has enough


water been harvested, ask experts
Manoj.Badgeri
@timesgroup.com

Thane: The city area has witnessed nearly 36% more rains
this year compared to last year, washing away fears of a
water scarcity in the coming
seasons. But experts doubt if
enough water was conserved
by the administration or residents this year, especially after months of facing scarcity.
As on August 9, city areas
received nearly 2535mm rainfall as compared to a measly
1635mm calculated in 2015 till
the same date.
Several days this season
saw heavy rainfall with the
highest being recorded on July 31 when it poured nearly
285mm on a single day.
It has rained very heavily
this year and broken last years records. The city witnessed several tree collapses and
water logging throughout the
season, said a TMC official.
The scenario in the entire

11

TIMES THANE

THE TIMES OF INDIA, MUMBAI/THANE


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2016

ISHOWER WATCH Area/

Rain (in mm as on Aug 8)


2016 2015 Increase (%)
Thane*
2526 1615
36
Thane
2422 1436
41
Kalyan
2192 1312
40
Murbad
1874 1036
45
Ulhasnagar 1897 1309
31
Ambarnath 1804 1131
28
Bhivandi 1987 1337
23
Shahapur 1578 1259
21
taluka

*City figures while rest is taluka data


Source: Thane collector office

district is also positive.


Experts said though the
excessive rain might have cleared off any possibilities of
water scarcity, residents do
not seem to have learnt any
lesson with barely any water
harvesting plan being implemented in the city.
There are over 9,500 rain
water harvesting facilities in
the city but not many are operational, said officials.
The civic body had recently ordered an audit of all those

systems in the city that are not


in operation.
Rampant concretization
in Thane city had led to less
percolation of rain water in
the ground. As a result, most
of it could have been drained
out into the creek. The city
witnessed a massive water
scarcity last year and had also
approved plans for bores to be
dug but seems to have failed to
live up to conserve rain water, said a water conservation expert from Thane.

Hoteliers see dip in profits as many


customers go green during Shravan
Freny.Fernandes@timesgroup.com

Thane: Many residents from the city have started abstaining from meat and alcohol during the
holy month of Shravan. This has led to a drop in
profits for many eateries and resto-bars in the city. Customer strength has dropped by around 50%
and many restaurant owners have given their
staff holidays or are refraining from filling up the
vacant spots.
Abhishek Sawant, manager of a popular seafood restaurant in Upvan, said, We are known
for our seafood. On most of the days, all our tables
are full. However, during Shravan as many people
refrain from eating non-veg food, our profits have
gone down by around 60%.
Some people keep a fast on particular days. On
these days restaurants see a further drop in customers. The worst days for us are Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday as we hardly get any customers. In this first week itself our profit went
down by almost 50%, said Nilesh Shirodkar, coowner of Tandoor Chilly restaurant at Khopat.
As their customer strength has dropped significantly, these eateries and resto-bars have been

granting vacations to their employees. Some hotels are also refraining from filling up the vacant
posts as there is not too much of pressure. Also,
this way they will save up on additional costs.
We hardly have any work this month. Even
though two of our employees quit recently, we are
not looking for any replacement as there is no need for additional manpower. We will start recruiting after Shravan. I have even told our employees
that if they want any vacations, they can take it
this month, Shirodkar said.
Siddhesh Kalwar, manager of a resto-bar, said, We hire delivery boys on a short term basis
and have kept only two this month. Not many order food this month as they prefer eating homecooked food. So, hiring five delivery boys would
just add up to our cost.
Meanwhile, some non-veg restaurants are also trying to introduce some lip-smacking vegetarian dishes to woo customers. We have allowed
one of our chefs to take leave, while the other two
will focus on vegetarian meals which is now in demand. If there are any non-veg orders, one of
them handles it, said an employee at a Chinese
restaurant in Naupada.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR


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File picture of bulldozers clearing debris from the site where the Krishna
Niwas building stood. The structure collapsed last year in August
defects at their own houses or buildings or even at their relatives
places or anywhere they visit.
The students can reach out to their teachers who will then alert the
administration.
We expect the children to at
least alert their parents about
possible dangers lurking in their
homes. The parents could take
corrective decision if they realize
they are playing with the lives of
their kids, said a civic official.
Officials said the idea was presented by civic chief Sanjeev Jaiswal and has also appealed Mayor
Sanjay More who has called for a
special training session of teachers this week to apprise them.

Officials said the information


sharing will be a year-long process. Each structure is potentially at risk if residents recklessly
tamper with any of the structural
elements. Our team is active at
the ward level and we conduct periodic checks. With the new plan,
we will be kept abreast of the condition of most structures and will
be able to take corrective action in
critical cases, said the official.
A recent study revealed there
are 34 structures in extremely dilapidated condition and around
149 more in dangerous condition
in various parts of the city. Repeated attempts by TMC to vacate
them have proved futile.

One-time wholesome meal for


pregnant women from tribal areas

Snags in train trip Tue evening


peak-hour services for 35 mins

xpecting mothers from tribal areas


will now be provided with a one
time wholesome meal since the time of
their conception till nine months and
six months post-delivery to ensure that
the newborn gets adequate nutrition
and cases of malnutrition are reduced
in the state. This has been announced
by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis
who was in Thane on Tuesday to
inaugurate phase two of Dr A P J Abdul
Kalam Amrut Ahaar project for
providing adequate nutritious food to
mothers and infants. Providing good
food to pregnant women is the best
way to ensure a healthy nutrition for
the new born. Starting today, we will
provide all pregnant women with a
wholesome meal once daily for 15
monthsnine months before delivery
and six months after the baby is born,
said Fadnavis.

any commuters faced


inconvenience during evening
peak-hours on Tuesday after multiple
snags in a suburban train brought it to a
halt several times between Thane and
Kalwa stations. The first snag was
reported around 5:40pm as the
Kalyan-bound train entered platform No.
2 in Thane. The snag was rectified in 10
minutes but the rake once again came
to a halt between Kalwa and Thane for
nearly 35 minutes. It was somehow
moved to Kalwa station and then
cancelled. Central Railway attributed
the snag to a unit failure. Services were
restored at 6.17pm. At Kalwa, the
motorman boarded the rear end of the
coach and powered the rake in reverse
direction till Diva from where it was sent
to Kalwa carshed, said a railway
official.A probe into the incident has
been ordered at the Kalwa carshed.

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