Companies & Sectors
L&T Construction to develop New Cuffe Parade project of Lodha

Spread over 23 acres, the ‘New Cuffe Parade' project will entail an investment of around Rs10,000 crore from the Lodhas over the next five to seven years

Mumbai: L&T Construction on Tuesday said it has won a contract from Lodha Developers to construct the iconic residential project 'New Cuffe Parade' in the city, reports PTI.
L&T Construction's Buildings and Infrastructure (B&F) division will be constructing this project using advanced technique, the company said in a statement.
Spread over 23 acres, the project will entail an investment of around Rs10,000 crore from the Lodhas over the next five to seven years, making it one of the largest private investments in the Mumbai metropolitan region.
In its first phase, New Cuffe Parade will comprise four 63-storey towers with over 15 acres dedicated for lush green landscape, the statement said.
"B&F IC has been offering pioneering solutions in residential buildings that cover design and construction of large townships and high-rise apartments. The company will be finishing construction of 63 storey towers in record time," it said.
The project is designed by WOHA, the world's foremost 'green' architects for high-rise buildings, with landscape consultancy from Sitetectonix, Singapore.


Independence and freedom: Have we always been free?

Do we really have the freedom of choice when it concerns basic issues like hunger, shelter, clothing and shelter for the millions? The prevailing policy paralysis has to be put to an end with radical reform measures

On the eve of the 66th Independence Day, we as Indians need to ask ourselves whether we have attained real freedom of choice after hoisting of the tri-colour. Instead of a Tryst with Destiny are we now face a Twist with Destiny. The Purna Swaraj promised to the free people in 1947 is proving to be a myth. Witnessing, as we do today, what is going on across the country since independence, one wonders whether we have at all been liberated from the colonial rule of domination of the British. The accompanying pictures speak louder than words. 
This is written as a take off on columnist-satirist Jug Suraiya’s “Independent Thoughts” appearing in the Times of India’s spiritual promotional feature The Speaking Tree. I’d like to address his very first concern—“Just how independent is independence?” Jug goes on to concede that it is a “funny question to ask...” I’d say indeed it is!
Do we really have the freedom of choice when it concerns basic issues relating to addressing the needs of hunger, shelter, clothing and shelter for the millions? In common terms roti, kapda aur makan? More particularly, are we at all liberated from the all pervasive conditions of abject poverty, hunger, malnutrition deaths, squalor, absence of basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation, primary education, health care, insecurity and lawlessness? Additionally, we have coupled with fractured growth, environmental degradation, decline in public services, rising suicides among farmers and youngsters—both in the urban and more particularly rural Indian hinterland?  Jug also tags along the lack of freedom from inequality, injustice and exploitation, quoting Ivan Karamazov – “If everything is permissible, then nothing is permissible.”
As Ashok Upadhyay in his column in the Hindu Business Line, asks—“It happens only in India!”—“By any reckoning of nationhood, could India not offer the weary West of a fantasy of greatness defined in purely material-economic terms: High GDP, skilled workforce, high spending middle-class, stout loyalty to the English language and Bollywood? What can we offer the Western world but a sad reflection of its worst excesses?” Not to forget the scourge of corruption right from the top from the mantri-shantri-babu down to the chaprasi levels. Upadhyay rightly terms Team Anna and Ramdev highlighting corruption as just trivialization of issues. He has justifiably coined the members of Team Anna and Ramdev as “self-appointed leaders of an assumed following.” Subsequent events have proven this.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker, speaking in Kolkata, has very rightly lamented that Parliament and state assemblies, central to the nation’s polity and both symbols of unity “face severe crisis of credibility and confidence while questions are asked about the workability of our democratic setup based on the Parliamentary system and about utility and relevance of our vital democratic institutions. Politics in the country carries with it image of intrigue, hatred, venality, disorder and anarchy strongly detested by our people. There is an urgent need to restore democracy and win back peoples’ confidence by empowering them to recall their elected representatives when they are not acting in peoples’ interests, by sending a message to the politicians who do not follow the democratic norms.”
Come Independence and Republic Days all music systems blare loudly—Sarey Jahan se achha Hindoosthan hamara, Vande Mataram and Jana Gana.  Leave alone the aam admi, even the neta hoisting the flag will not be able to sing them through or tell you what they stand for! At the most they will mouth the familiar short take of Mera Bharat Mahaan; others add—Magar hum sub hai pareshaan, kyuki 99% hai beimaan! How true.
Post-independence, our Parliament and legislatures have enacted quite a few Acts. But they have chosen to retain in the Statute books the more than a century old Indian Penal Code. The Lok Pal Bill in its 42 long years of back and forth sallies has seen practically every government at the Centre that has come and gone since it was first introduced. The government began by then trying to cultivate till then relatively an unknown Ramdev Baba engaging him in negotiations at airports and five star hotels of Delhi. Though the government managed to get Anna to withdraw his fast with a dubious motion in the Parliament at the very last moment, its enactment is still a long way off. The India Against Corruption ends as damp squib with the sinister members of Team Anna displaying political ambitions that they earlier attacked most vigorously. Thank god that it has been nipped in the bud. The Central Bureau of Investigation that is invoked at the drop of the hat is governed by the Delhi Special Police Act!
John Donne is quoted—“No man is an island.”  Our neta-babus love to go abroad Rio, Kyoto or Doha to make lot of long winded speeches on the destruction of rain forests in South America or the melting of polar icecaps and the pollution of the Nile. They go any length to catch the first flight abroad. Balbir Punj, a BJP MP justifies the MPs’ expensive jaunts by asking why not when the mantis-shantris-babus enjoy too. This was made at the sidelines of Advani’s nasty “Illegitimacy” spat in the Lok Sabha.  
The same not-so-honourable-elected representatives are least concerned with the environmental degradation right here under their noses that results in climate changes with widespread consequences on the monsoons in India—degradation of the Western Ghats encompassing six states extending from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu in an eco-system covering an area of 1,59,000sq km, fuelling half a dozen rivers; the melting of Himalayan snows that goes into the  major rivers—Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra  and their numerous tributaries—add to the chemical and leather discharges into the Ganga and Yamuna at Kanpur and Kolkata and plastic garbage clogging the Mithi in Mumbai resulting in massive floods, not to write about the rampant deforestation on the hills, valleys and plains and sand mining eroding the sea beaches and riverbeds.
The country desperately cries for a substantive change of the likes brought about by PV Narashima Rao who headed a minority government. The sweeping changes not only pulled out the country out of a massive international debt trap but turned around the economic outlook to thrust India into the club of emerging nations from BRIC to G7 to G20. 
Today we stand on the brink. Disregarding political agendas going by the term of coalition compulsions, or Western slowdown, we need to emerge out on our own by capitalizing on our inherent strengths of a vibrant economy with a strong manufacturing base, large middle class market, skilled labour force, foreign collaborations and regulatory mechanisms in place that all advanced nations have come to accept.

The prevailing policy paralysis has to be put to an end to by coming out with radical reform measures, without fear or favour:

1. Bring about the speedy return of billions stashed abroad, by putting out the names in public domain well before the Supreme Court on the Ram Jethmalani PIL or Ramdev's agitation forcing the government into doing it sooner or later.
2. Revise the regressive taxation that squeezes the middle class and salary earners by bringing in higher rates that will tax letting the "Big Fish" who have been getting away with no taxes on unearned incomes like dividends and capital gains. Introduce the Warren Buffet models by taxing the rich higher. With higher threshold, bring all wealth, gifts and assets passing on to heirs on death, as is prevalent as Death Duties in the West.
3. Differentially tax high end luxuries like imports, music systems, SUVs and sports cars, villas, yachts, private aircraft all used by the high and mighty.

 It is fervently hoped that the government gathers the will to kick in the initial steps.

(Nagesh Kini is a Mumbai based Chartered Accountant turned activist.)




Vaibhav Dhoka

5 years ago

We have inherited most of the culture from our colonial rulers.They left physically but our mindset never left them.In every aspect we did DITTO from pre Independence to post Independence. Britishers went and we have ruler,executives and bureaucracy and Judiciary with British mindset.Only word changed rest nothing changed.

ashok sen

5 years ago

A lot of our ills in this country stems from our DNA.
We are a laid back society, with the attitude, SAB KUCH CHALTA HAI.Do what you want,to get what you want,immaterial of what harm you do to others in the process.
To correct this, we have to start at the grassroots.Get morally strong teachers having ethics in primary schools all over the country.The question is where will such teachers come from a morally corrupt society.It can come from within us,people who have made it, and are beyond 50 years of age,and now need to give back to society.
Somehow a set of leaders, learned and with value systems have to come to the fore to correct the system as it exists today, otherwise there is little hope for us.


nagesh kini

In Reply to ashok sen 5 years ago

The demented old fashioned tottering foggies need to be shown the exit and the best of gen-next from all shades of opinion across party lines - combination of INC,BJP,JDU to converge to take charge to bail the economy. TINA!

Public Interest Exclusive
Happiness: What is it anyway?

Happiness is in the human mind. Problem with mankind is that they don’t know where the mind is and how to keep it cleansed of all the negative thoughts to remain ever happy

“There is no logic to science. Scientists create and adhere to scientific theories for what are ultimately subjective and even irrational reasons. It cannot be denied that the chief engine of human destructiveness has been the phenomenal success of science in the 20th century.”— Paul Karl Feyerabend (13 January 1924–11 February 1994) in Against Method written in 1975
“Animals are happy as long as they have health and enough to eat” is the first sentence in Bertrand Russell’s book On Quest of Happiness. He goes on to add that “human beings, one feels, ought to be, but they are not, at least in great majority of cases.”
So, unhappiness is more commonly seen than happiness. Indian ancient wisdom has a solution. “Thena Thyakthena bunjithaaha” says the Ishopanishad, which could be translated as “rejoice in giving”. It is in giving that you get (happiness) was the rule of Jesus Christ. Jealousy is at the root of all unhappiness. The very thought of death brings on fear and unhappiness, but if one were told that all would perish in a catastrophe, people might not be as unhappy as when they are told that they have a fatal disease and they might not survive. The person concerned is worried that he alone has to go leaving the rest to enjoy life here. That makes him unhappy.
Moral of the story is that happiness is in the human mind. Problem with mankind is that they don’t know where the mind is and how to keep it cleansed of all the negative thoughts to remain ever happy. The more you get, more unhappy you are, constantly wanting to get more. So, material wealth might not bring lasting happiness.
Thinkers over the years have had varying opinions. “It’s pretty hard to say what brings happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed.” feels Ken Hubbard. “Remember that happiness is a way of travel—not a destination.” wrote Roy M. Goodman. “Happiness is light on water. The water is cold and dark and deep.” feels William Maxwell. The best, though, is what Robert Frost had to say: “Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in strength.”
It is spreading the warmth in our hearts to touch the lives of others with joy and good cheer. Sharing and caring is the true meaning of spirituality. “It is not for thee alone, pass it on, pass it on,” goaded Jesus. “Passing it on” is the foundation of good health. 
Molecular biology tells us now that even when one wants to pass it on, his/her immune system gets a shot in the arm that tries to raise the immune guard in our body. That would fight to stop any disease coming on. Both the receiver and the giver get the benefit of health improvement in this game. After all, the strength for all of us comes from that enormous source from where we have come in the first place—our creator. If we have the intent to help, the power comes automatically. Intent is very powerful.
We are children of God and God does not punish his children. God is love. God is kindness. God gives and forgives but, man gets and forgets many a time. Even then God forgives us teaching us another great health secret. Good health is happiness. Forgiveness is the main key to good health. Even poets in the past have said this and modern medicine confirms its validity through cutting-edge research in the field. “If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty second worth of distance, run. You shall be a man, and, more, this earth shall belong to you,” wrote Rudyard Kipling.
“Kshamavaan aapthopasevi bhaveth aarogyam” avers the ageless wisdom of Indian Ayurveda. Translated into English, it means that if you are able to treat and help everyone in this world as your near and dear ones, good health will be the reward.  “Righteousness is more important to the human health than the type of food one eats,” says the 96th stanza in Sura V of the Holy Quran. No religion is exempt in proclaiming to the world the great truths. Religion is good but the man who practices any religion should first understand his/her own religion in great depth. Then and, then only, does he/she understand to love all religions and all of mankind on this planet. 
We are all bundles of jumping lepto-quarks—the last bit of an atom—although we look solid and separate. The lepto-quarks keep jumping not only inside each of us but keeps jumping from one to another. All humankind is but one large family and there are no divisions in man’s biology based on any of the artificial divisions that we have made for ourselves. Let us take this message to the world and make everyone happy. In the bargain let us remain healthy and happy.
      “Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom. Lead thou me on:
        The night is dark and I am far from home, Lead thou me on:
        Keep thou me feet; I do not ask to see,
       The distant scene, one step enough for me.”—John Henry Newman in 1801.
Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes, chairman of the State Health Society's Expert Committee, Govt of Bihar, Patna. He is former Vice Chancellor of Manipal University at Mangalore and former professor for Cardiology of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London. Prof Dr Hegde can be contacted at [email protected].)



Nem Chandra Singhal

5 years ago

A good article of happiness & health. Please include more articles on the subject od emotional intelligence. Thanks.
Nem Chandra Singhal

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