Stocks
Bajaj Auto Q1 net profit marginally up at Rs740 crore

During the June quarter, Bajaj Auto's net profit increased by just Rs2 crore even as its revenues rose by Rs385 crore from same period last year

Bajaj Auto Ltd, the second largest motorcycle manufacturer in India, showed marginally improved net profit in the June quarter despite a rise in its revenues, especially 20% increase in exports.

 

For the quarter to end-June, the automaker said its net profit increased marginally to Rs740 crore from Rs738 crore, while its total revenues, includig sales rose to Rs5,472 crore from Rs5,087 crore, same period a year ago.

 

The Bajaj group company said its revenues from export rose 20% to Rs2,251 crore in June quarter from Rs1,876 crore in June 2013. Exports now contirbute 44% of net sales with 3.84 lakh motorcycles and 58,000 three wheelers sold abroad in the June quarter of FY15, the company added.

 

During the June quarter, Bajaj Auto sold 8.75 lakh units of its motorcycles, including domestic sales and exports. Pulsar, along with Avenger, sold 1.73 lakh units in the domestic market, recording a growth of 18%. Platina recorded a growth of 15%, while Discover sales remained subdued. With the planned launch of the new Discover model in the coming month, Bajaj Auto's market share in this segment would improve, the company said in a release.

 

At 12:09pm Thursday, Bajaj Auto was trading 2.3% down at Rs2,091 on the BSE, while the 30-share benchmark Sensex was marginally down at 25,526.

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Make sure your building is structurally stable

Carrying out corrective repairs to old buildings under expert supervision, will ensure that an appropriate solution can be worked out to save precious lives and to preserve national assets

Every monsoon, collapse of a few buildings in Greater Mumbai is a common occurrence. This leads to loss of precious lives and property. This loss can be avoided by carrying out corrective repairs periodically to ensure structural stability of the building.

 

Since October 2013, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has been sending notices to owners ( co-operative housing societies or landlords) of buildings more than 30 years old under Section 353B(1) of Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act to appoint structural engineers registered with the corporation, to examine the building for the purpose of certifying that the building is fit for human habitation. Such a certificate is called “Structural Stability Certificate”. Some owners have received notices under Section 353B stating that “The building is in dilapidated condition”.

 

It appears that there is a tendency to ignore such a notice without realising its importance in averting the likely disaster of a building collapse. On the other hand, in some cases MCGM staff has erroneously issued notices to structurally sound buildings, stating “dilapidated condition” as the reason, this has been done without carrying out any examination of the building and therefore without any written report. This has created unnecessary panic among owners and occupants.

 

Landlord owned, tenanted, cessed buildings contribute towards the repair fund through a repair cess. The legal responsibility for carrying out repairs for such cessed buildings is that of the Maharashtra Building Repairs and Reconstruction Board (MBRRB), under the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) Act. Even then the notices are served to owners without checking details.

 

We all agree that every life is precious and every building is, in a way, a national asset. Therefore, there is an urgent need to avoid disasters of building collapses. There is no doubt that structural and other repairs must be carried out periodically under guidance and supervision of an experienced structural engineer to avoid likely disasters. Structural audit is a preliminary technical survey of a building to assess its general health as a civil structure, before carrying out corrective repairs.

 

There are two root causes of buildings becoming dilapidated. The first is the freezing of rent by the Rent Control Act at the 1940s level, because of which the landlord cannot afford even minor repairs. To avert likely disasters, the state government has taken it upon itself, to ensure that frauds are avoided, in addition to repair cess, in case of all cessed buildings. However, the quality of repairs carried out by the repair board is so poor that the repaired buildings continue to deteriorate.

 

The second is the greed of occupants for securing additional personal benefit out of extra incentive F.S.I during the redevelopment. This leads to the neglect of maintenance and repairs and therefore, deterioration of buildings to such an extent that it becomes dangerous, leading to building collapse. In such cases occupants are to blame.

 

In the past, the civic body's efforts in getting unsafe buildings vacated and demolished have met with resistance. A tragic example is that of Shankar Lok Apartments in Vakola, which collapsed in March 2014. The civic body could vacate all but two families from this dangerous building. The personal greed of obtaining larger permanent accommodation on ownership basis, prompted these two families to obtain an injunction from the court of law against vacating. Ultimately, the building collapsed, affecting the chawls on adjoining plots as well. There was loss of precious lives of residents in the adjoining chawl, apart from the death of two members of the families who refused to vacate. This tragic collapse was definitely avoidable.

 

To avert impending disasters due to building collapses in Greater Mumbai, it is essential to carry out corrective repairs to every building and to secure its structural stability under the guidance and supervision of a licensed structural engineer chosen from 1,564 engineers registered with the corporation.

 

Some of the recent notices issued by the MCGM make it mandatory to include aspects such as non-destructive test results as a part of the Structural Audit Report. Technically competent senior structural consultants opine that such tests are necessary in case of only distressed building structures, which are identified during conventional visual inspection and hammer test. MCGM must take into account the above opinion before issuing notices.

 

Multiple legal, technical, financial and administrative issues are involved due to the manner in which the notices are issued by MCGM under Section 353B. There is a need to evolve a practical method of raising a repair fund to carry out corrective repairs. Therefore, methods of issuing notices under Section 353B, follow-up for submission of Structural Audit Report and raising funds for carrying out corrective repairs under expert supervision need a thorough discussion by the stakeholders involved, so that an appropriate solution can be worked out to save precious lives and to preserve national assets.

 

(Ashok Ravat, is President of Citizens Forum, G (North) Ward and member of advance locality movement (ALM), Shivaji Park (Dadar). He is also trustee of WECom Trust and on the board of several NGOs including the All India Bank Depositors Association and has been a founder member of many of Mumbai’s leading consumer organisations. He is also an expert in civic issues.)

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COMMENTS

TS Rao

2 years ago

but no 'experts' are available for the general public. only the local mistry or petty contractor for the job.

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to TS Rao 2 years ago

That is not correct. There may be no "FREE" experts, but as Moneylife Foundation shows, there is a lot that is available free for the general public. In fact, often, the general public is unwilling to pay or donate even when the help is professional.
You may like to check out http://foundation.moneylife.in or lrc.moneylife.in for our legal resource centre, which offers free guidance.
But dont expect a structural engineer to do things entirely free. If there are enough requests one can check a concessional price.

TS Rao

2 years ago

but no 'experts' are available for the general public. only the local mistry or petty contractor for the job.

CAT find some provisions of Sexual Harassment Act unconstitutional

According to CAT, Sections 4 and 7 of the Act can be termed unconstitutional because once an adjudicatory body is to be determined as slanted in its sway, it destroys the fairness concept embedded in adjudication

A recent order by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), regarding four cases of sexual harassment, has questioned certain provisions in the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. The CAT bench comprising judges KB Suresh and PK Pradhan said, “Sections 4 and 7 of the Act can be termed unconstitutional because once an adjudicatory body is to be determined as slanted in its sway, it destroys the fairness concept embedded in adjudication.”

 

Section 4 of the Act mandates that atleast two members of the Internal Complaints Committee, which is required to deal with sexual harassment cases in the workplace, must be “committed to the cause of women.” Section 7 adds that the Local Committee constituted under this section should be chaired by "eminent woman in the field of social work committed to the cause of women." In this regard, the Tribunal said, “If members of the adjudicatory committee are to be committed to an ideology [cause of women], their mental frame will be such that it would give an opportunity for unwelcome bias and their finding also will be in resonance of their personal commitment.”

 

This observation from the Bench was made in the process of hearing four cases of sexual harassment where the accused employees were found to be erroneously guilty. These cases related to KIOCL Ltd, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), and the Department of Posts (DoP).

 

When the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2012, activists had protested what they saw to be unfair provisions in the Bill. Chairman of the All India Men's Welfare Association (AIMWA), Rajesh Vakharia had said that, "The proposed settlement mechanism is nothing but an extortion mechanism to rob men of property and self esteem. Such feminist dominated inquiry committee has also been given power to transfer respondent during inquiry. Such power is likely to be used in such manner to deny justice to man."

 

The Bill had been stuck in legislative process for over five years before it was finally passed in February 2013. It was passed in an extremely charged atmosphere after the horrific gangrape in New Delhi. While protests against the provisions of the Bill were either muted or absent during that time, the lacunae in the bill's provisions seem to have finally come full circle.

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