Citizens' Issues
Nashik's Ramkund goes waterless in 130 years, pilgrims worst hit
Nashik (Maharashtra) : Ramkund, the sacred bathing spot on the Godavari river here where pilgrims take a dip and perform various rituals, has gone dry for the first time in 130 years due to acute water shortage, a top official said on Thursday.
 
Thousands of pilgrims expected to converge here for a holy dip on Gudi Padwa on April 8 -- the first day of Chaitra month marking the beginning of the new year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar -- would therefore be unable to do so.
 
"Tomorrow, (Friday) on the occasion of the auspicious Gudi Padwa, thousands of pilgrims expected to turn up at Ramkund will not be able to take the holy dip, at least till July-end," Nashik Municipal Corporation's Deputy Mayor Gurmeet Bagga told IANS.
 
The cemented Ramkund has now become a playground for children who play cricket and football there, Bagga said.
 
The civic body seems to have run out of options available to replenish the water in the holy reservoir in the river bed. 
 
It is now toying with the idea of digging borewells on the river banks in a bid to replenish the Ramkund -- which is also the main pilgrimage centre during the Kumbh Mela held here. However, the project depends on several factors, including religious sentiments and cost.
 
Besides, there is no guarantee that borewells will be a solution to the problem since the groundwater table in the district has plummeted, Bagga said.
 
The Purohit Sangh has now appealed to the Nashik Municipal Corporation authorities to arrange water to enable the priests and the faithfuls to perform the basic religious rituals on Friday.
 
The priests have suggested alternative water arrangements be made from some nearby reservoir to fill the Ramkund enough to facilitate the holy dips, but authorities are yet to respond.
 
At present, Bagga said, the corporation was supplying around 100 litres per head per day (LPHPD) to Nashik residents as against the national norm of 130 LPHPD, and soon this will dip to around 80 LPHPD due to acute water scarcity.
 
"Our target is to conserve water till the third week of July when heavy rains start and continue till mid-August to replenish the water bodies," the deputy mayor said.
 
Meanwhile, water scarcity has severely hit trade as well as summer tourism in the district.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

Five years later, will real mastermind behind Satish Shetty murder be arrested?
CBI has arrested a former Inspector of Crime Branch from Pune for allegedly shielding real culprits and manipulating evidence. However, will this lead to action against real masterminds, after five years?
 
Family members of Satish Shetty, a Right to Information (RTI) activist, who was brutally murdered on 13 February 2010, near his house in Pune, are still waiting for justice five years later. However, a ray of hope has come through, following the arrest of BR Andhalkar, former Police Inspector of Crime Branch at Pune, by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), on 6th April. Allegedly, Andhalkar has conspired and manipulated evidences to shield the real killers of Shetty.
 
As per the press release issued the agency on 6th April, “The Central Bureau of Investigation has today arrested then Police Inspector of Crime Branch, Pune (Maharashtra) in an on-going investigation of a case related to an alleged murder of Shri Satish Shetty, a Social Worker of Talegaon Dabhade, District Pune (Maharashtra).
 
“CBI had taken over the investigation of the case on the request of Maharashtra Government, which was earlier registered at Police Station Talegaon Dabhade, Pune vide Cr No.08/2010 dated 13 January 2010 U/s 302 of IPC. It was alleged that Shri Satish Shetty was killed on 13 January 2010 by unknown assailants in Pune. During investigation, it has emerged that the then Police Inspector (Andhalkar) of Local Crime Branch, Pune had allegedly conspired with others and fabricated and manipulated evidences to shield the real conspirators and killers. Further investigation is continuing.”
 
The Satish Shetty Murder case, the first for an RTI activist in the country, was pulled out from Pune Police, which was dilly-dallying over the investigations. At the complaint and pursuance of his brother Sandeep and the Shetty family and directives from the Bombay High Court, the case was transferred to the CBI.
 
CBI clinched crucial evidence, filing a 10,000-page report after thorough investigation, which also involved several trips abroad by the investigative agency. However, in a strange and suspicious move, the CBI on 11 August 2014 suddenly filed a closure report in the Satish Shetty murder case. Incidentally, during this period the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had come to power at the centre. The CBI, unarguably under some political pressure, gave a public statement stating that it could not find sufficient evidence to prosecute the accused persons. What was even more strange was the fact that the closure report was filed three days after it sought permission from the Bombay High Court, to reopen a land fraud case that was filed by Shetty at the Lonavala police station and this complaint seemed to have a direct connection with murder.
 
Moneylife had earlier reported that, the 13 persons were named as accused by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty in a land grab case along the Pune-Mumbai expressway through forging of documents, in the first information report (FIR) lodged by him at the Talegaon police station in October 2009. The names included the high profile owner of Ideal Road Builders (IRB), Virendra Mhaiskar, who is close to several top-notch politicians of Maharashtra, as well as a sub-registrar and others. It has been alleged that the subsequent brutal murder of Shetty on 13 February 2010, was closely linked to his lodging of his FIR of October 2009. In fact, the CBI stuck to this FIR as the motive for Satish Shetty’s murder for a good four years, until as recently as 8 August 2014 and then suddenly changed course in the last three days.
 
The High Court had suo motu taken cognizance of Satish Shetty murder in 2010 and directed the CBI to probe it, which was otherwise being investigated by the Pune Rural Police. 
 
The closure report of the CBI had however stated that it would open up the case, in case of any incriminating evidence. It had stated, “The analysis of the said call records revealed that between October 2009 and filing of the charge sheet by local police, there were a number of calls between IRB liaison officer Jayant Dangre and Pune rural police inspector Bhausaheb (BR) Andhalkar. The call data analysis of Dangre, IRB lawyer Ajit Kulkarni, Andhalkar and Mhaiskar prima facie revealed a nexus particularly after registration of CR. No 152/ 2009 (the land scam case) by the Lonavala city police station on the complaint of the deceased against Virendra Mhaiskar and 12 others for offences of criminal conspiracy, forgery and cheating till the deceased was murdered.” 
 
Now, once again there is hope that the involvement of influential persons will be finally investigated and justice done to the family and to the whistleblowers who have sacrificed their lives, for transparency and good governance.
 
You may also want to read…
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Vinita Deshmukh is consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet – The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte and is the author of “The Mighty Fall”.)

User

COMMENTS

SuchindranathAiyerS

1 year ago

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?: In India, the keepers ARE the criminals:

A time bomb is ticking away in India’s Northern Belt: Report
A combination of skewed gender ratio, economic destitution and a large population of unemployed youth has resulted in social unrest and, consequently, explicit economic losses in the northern belt, says a research report from Ambit Capital 
 
India’s rapid economic progress masks its abysmal progress on social indicators. Worryingly, this imbalance between rapid economic progress and stagnant-cum-awful social metrics is particularly glaring in India’s Northern Belt (INB), the region spanning Rajasthan in the west to Bihar in the east, warns a report.
 
"Despite the fact that INB is the youngest region in India, the region runs the risk of exploding as millions of barely literate men face a lifetime without jobs and without women. These risks could come to the fore particularly in the run-up to second half of FY2017 as Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are scheduled for state elections in first half of 2017," says Ambit Capital in a research note.
 
Economic theory suggests that when the proportion of young people in a region increases, a significant boost to economic growth should materialise. The post-World War II years saw the West in general and the US in specific benefit from this dynamic as the baby boomers delivered record productivity.
 
However, the report says such demographic dividend is no likely to accrue in India anytime soon. "We highlight that even as India’s demographic profile today is similar to that of the US in 1960 (see exhibit A & B on the right hand margin), contrary to popular belief - a demographic dividend is very unlikely to accrue to India anytime soon. This is mainly because a large share of India’s youth today lacks education as well as jobs to deliver this productivity. To add to the imbalance, India’s gender ratio is skewed significantly in favour of men," the report added.
 
 
India as a whole is significantly better off on economic as well as social indicators than INB, however, a demographic bomb is ticking away in the northern belt, Ambit Capital says.
 
It said, "Whilst these problems are well known, the noughties have seen the adverse social conditions are acting as a binding constraint to economic growth and  the political situation becoming more fraught because politicians and riots are now in a symbiotic relationship. With three States of this region, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab scheduled for elections in first half of 2017 (see exhibit C in the right hand margin) we highlight that violence and social unrest related risks could come to the fore particularly in the run up to second half of FY2017."
 
"In contrast, the south is almost like a middle-income country with superior performance and improving on a range of socio-economic parameters. Superior literacy levels means that even the southern states’ labour markets are in better shape as compared to INB, which suffers from an over-supply of under-skilled labour," the report added.
 
Talking about India's progress on social indicators front, Ambit Capital says, whilst only six countries today have economies that are larger than that of India’s, our country is at the bottom of the league tables on social indicators with only 58 countries having an human development index (HDI) rank worse than that of India’s (see exhibit below). Emerging market peers like Russia, Turkey and Mexico have significantly superior HDI scores compared with India, it added.
 
 
Ambit Capital says this imbalance between rapid economic progress and stagnant-cum-awful social metrics has arisen mainly owing to the drag created by the Northern Belt -INB, which comprises the region spanning Rajasthan in the west to Bihar in the east. 
 
"Even as INB is the youngest region in India demographically speaking, the State Governments in the region have almost completely failed in providing healthcare, education and jobs to this region, which accounts for 45% of India’s population," the research note added.
 
 
According to the research report from Ambit Capital, India excluding INB is better off than the northern belt on both economic and social indicators. 
 
It says...
  1. An average person in INB earns a per capita income of US$1,183 (which is less than that earned by an average citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh). This average person survived the infant mortality rate of 45 and is now expected to live for 67 years, which is less than the life expectancy of an average citizen of Bangladesh or Nepal.
  2. Of every 100 people in INB, 36 are in the age group of 15-35 years and hence comprise the youth.
  3. Of these 36 young persons, only 66% or 24 number of persons are literate which is defined in India to mean any person who can read or write his/her name.
  4. Of these 36 young persons, only 46% or 17 persons have jobs.
  5. Of these 36 young persons, only 47% or 17 are women.
 
On the contrary,
  1. An average person in South India earns a per capita income of US$2,014. This average person survived a much lower infant mortality rate of 28 and is now expected to live for 69 years.
  2. Of every 100 people in South, 34 are in the age group of 15-35 years and hence comprise the youth.
  3. Of these 34 young persons, only 72% or 25 numbers of persons are literate which is defined in India to mean any person who can read or write his/her name.
  4. Of these 34 young persons, only 57% or 19 numbers of persons have jobs.
  5. Of these 34 young persons, only 50% or 17 are women.
 
"Whilst the above stated problems are well known," Ambit Capital says, "the noughties have seen the adverse social conditions acting as a binding constraint to economic growth and the political situation becoming more fraught because politicians and riots are now in a symbiotic relationship. This turn has meant an increasing incidence of social unrest and violence in INB, which has often threatened the smooth functioning of the regional economies (see exhibit below).
 
 
From a geographic perspective, in a globalised age where sweatshop type unskilled labour is no longer required, North India's destitute and poorly educated people would become increasingly irrelevant. Given that India’s competitive advantage in the global export market lies in producing ‘light industrial products’ that are capital-light but knowledge-intensive, the South would be able to produce the same effectively, making the North increasingly irrelevant to the global exports market. The North would not be able to produce these efficiently owing to the under-skilled nature of labour and rising risks of conflicts.
 
The report says, "As INB continues to grapple with its socio-economic problems, resulting in low economic growth and high social unrest, the companies which have either operations located in INB or depend on demand from the region are likely to see limited growth opportunities in the future. This is because the underdeveloped human capital due lack of proper education and training and poor health facilities, will become a binding constraint on growth. This will result in fewer job opportunities for people in INB and, hence, reduce demand in the region.
 
"On the other hand, South India, with its improved social environment and better human capital, will be capable of increasing demand and, hence, economic growth. Improved social indicators and a well-managed political system will result in fewer social tensions, providing a conducive environment for growth," the report concluded.

User

COMMENTS

shadi katyal

1 year ago

The Englishj Law was for the Local states and ha nothing to do with common man.The surname was always of the family one married. Itios now that even gilrs are being given equal share in protperty as there was not enough sub division.Now some ladies have started using their family name as in the past.
It is easy to say,not to have chioldren but ask any Indian family and you will have your ears full. The need for a child within a year is so bad that even people start asking if the bride is fertile. The customs in India are not what your might think off or wish to be.
Hindfus even need son to light his pier and do all the rights for his parents.
Even the poorest have the children and any talk of no child will not solve probkes as you will have no future labour force. Look at China and now even they are feeling the pain of one child.
Education is right of every child and even the poorest nations p[rovide and how dow you expewct nation to flourish without any future educated population.
Our people are no less talented than any other nation but it is the social and religious pressure which has kept backward and we like to blame our own draw backs on others.
We are either allegic to hard work and quality ornot bright enough to see in this age of internet where world is goiong but our customs and religous customs keeps us back. We are immersed in customs which are more or less a hinderance

bharati

1 year ago

Anyone heard of birth control? India's only internal problem is too many people. Anyone who is prosperous today has achieved it by NOT having kids and via cheap,govt. subsidized education. Crime arises when demand is more than resources: so work at population reduction

Stop breeding unless you really want a child and are willing and able to care for it for the next twenty years. Want prosperity? Stop breeding and struggling for the child's medicals, food, accommodation, schooling, etc.

Jobs, worldwide, are disappearing. The world currently does NOT need any more kids. If this changes, then we can change.

NO govt can impose birth control: citizens must manage it. The gender ratio is largely irrelevant because not every man wants marriage, many (10+%?) are gay and many actively dislike women. The same is true for women.

Where was all this peace and prosperity when more women were around?

Pushing families to have girls they do not want is callous, especially in a highly overpopulated world. No one should force anyone to have girls just because of some gender ratio somewhere unless you are willing to take care of the unwanted girls.

The southern states are already on ZPG, bringing in more stability and prosperity

REPLY

shadi katyal

In Reply to bharati 1 year ago

MR. bHARATI,
You have failed to understand the psyche of Indian family and thus need for children to continue the family name. Being an agricultrual land and even now 70% living on land need more hands to work on the farm and very few can afford mechnical equipment.This tradition will die down in abother few decades but what we miss is the industry and more jobs.
What we need is technical schools to have capable labour force.We need to teach children that getting your hand dirty is not a sin or below dignity. We need ethics to work and be proud of it.
The free education is an essential so we can have some displine. Kiij howq even the Unicersities are being thretened with Sedaation charges.
The fact is that Religionb cannot solve our problemns but we are puashig Hinduvta to the end.
India was at par with China in 1990 but we never saw the elephant in our room and still blind of its exitance .
While the world is moving ahead with technology we are still talkimg of the past. India can develope when we start thinking of quality and hard work as well face the TRUTH
As for women, we still have Draupdi syndrom

bharati

In Reply to shadi katyal 1 year ago

AFAIK British laws insisted on male heirs: Indians could no longer retain property without a son: otherwise the govt could take their property.

'The family name' i.e. surnames being passed on to sons (and only to sons) is a fairly recent phenomenon and again due to colonial laws. Women HAD to take husbands' names. None of this is legal now.

It is practical not to have kids especially if there is little chance of proper schooling or work. Most have prospered due to limiting families: our people are smart. If good reasons are given, they understand and Hindus especially have shown repeatedly they are very open to social change.

shadi katyal

1 year ago

It is unfortunate that our nation which can develope faster is now busy with religious issues. We cannot see the elephant in the room.
Modi offered Bihar Crores of rupees for development but where are those funds or was that a bribe to buy va nation cannot be otes.
We were shown greener pastures with RSS running under the flag of BJP but wjere are all the funds Modi declared on his return from his triops.
Where is any inbdustrial or economic development except intolerance and hate.A nation cannot be developed by goons runni ghte Law ans Order and beimg vegilante.
Recent JNU case and assults by upholder of Law in the court itself has left many investors aghast. The Vidofone income tax case has put fears in invetors of such arbitrary impostion.
We are npt moving ahead but too busy with more destructive agenda.
Religious issues like Hinduvta agnea has to be left aside if we wish to move ahead

REPLY

bharati

In Reply to shadi katyal 1 year ago

Modi, Congress, Owaisi or whoever may come and go. India's prosperity will increase if India stops breeding. In a democracy, citizens are responsible for whatever happens, especially immediately round them.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)