Club Mahindra members are not exactly having a great holiday

The list of complaints against the Mahindra group company from members is increasing. But they are not being addressed appropriately

There appears to be little respite for Mahindra Holidays and Resorts, as the list of complaints from dissatisfied customers continues to grow. The complaints range from unsatisfactory practices and deficiency in services to unfulfilled promises. While very little is known about how successful the company has been in redressing the complaints, a letter addressed to Mahindra Holidays managing director Ramesh Ramanathan recently raises the lack of clarity over the business model that this Mahindra group company follows.

"Overall people are not very clear on the business model Club Mahindra follows. There is no one reference document to it and the typical timeshare model does not apply in this case," Bhupesh Gupta, who has been a member of Club Mahindra Holidays since 2004, wrote in his complaint. "Bits and pieces of information come to light, surprising me every time. I am surprised why Mahindra Holidays reports resort occupancy levels at the time of quarterly report to shareholders. What significance does this have to its timeshare business? Who will take the hit of this under-utilisation, the members or the business?"

Mr Gupta says that he has not received a reply from the company for some time and so addressed a copy of the letter to Moneylife, which raised the issue with the company. However, the explanations by Mr Ramesh and chairman Arun Nanda were not very enlightening. Without answering the issue raised directly, both tried to describe how "customer centric" the company has been.

Mr Ramesh says, "Our surveys done both internally and independently prove that we have a very happy set of members who rate the experience at our resorts extremely high. I am happy to share with you that RCI have awarded the Gold Crown status to 10 of our resorts… more than 25% of our new members sign up through referrals by existing members, denoting a high level of delight with the brand." RCI is the largest timeshare vacation network in the world.

Strangely, in a recent interview with MoneyControl, Mr Nanda had admitted that an internal check has revealed that the company was lacking in many aspects and that it required some cleansing operations to contain the damage to its membership base. Club Mahindra is said to have experienced a 30% drop in membership sales revenue over the past few months.

It is very likely that this is the outcome of the numerous complaints of members that appear to go unresolved. Consumer review websites like mouthshut.com and www.consumercomplaints.in list some of them. In one recent note, Devyani Chakraborty says she is still awaiting a refund on cancellation of her membership, which was sold to her a few days before during Durga Puja. In one post today, Mr Sandeep said he has failed to encash a free holiday voucher coupon after he was told that there were no rooms available in any of the resorts in any destination.

Other complaints refer to lack of proper exit options, which, the Mahindra Holidays chairman said were very few. However, there is no explanation as to why members have to go through an excruciating exit mechanism and lose 30-40% of their membership fees in the process.

Many of the timeshare membership holders have complained that the "flexibility" option, which enables the users to transfer, exchange and split their holidays, have led to under-utilisation of the resorts. Moreover, they accuse the administration of favouritism, which enables only some particular members to avail good reservation dates and facilities.

But while members are allegedly denied facilities, resorts and rooms are used for other events and availed by outsiders. Many members, after repeated failures, give up on making reservations, which leaves many resorts with vacancies. There are complaints about unsatisfactory services, inadequate inventory and other unfulfilled promises.

It appears from inquiries Moneylife made with some members that there is no proper grievance redressal mechanism and neither are members aware of how they can get their complaints resolved, nor are the staff equipped to deal with such situations. Another repeated mention is that staff members engage in dubious practices like lotteries, misleading members about offers and not providing proper information about the terms and conditions.
 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

jatin nayak

1 year ago

watsup group bana ke sabhi ko unite hoke consumer court me file lagani chahiye,
aur mene advocate se baat ki thi jisme usne kaha hai ki sales executive ke against local court me 420 me ek case file karo...is month me, me 420 ka case file kar dunga...aap sab bhi apne apne kisi vakil se milkar fraud ka case sales executive ke against kijiye....for any inqiury call and msg on 9928019007 watsup number...united we win.....

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to jatin nayak 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahendra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

jatin nayak

1 year ago

सेल्स एग्जीक्यूटिव का नाम है अंकुर तिवारी (7023144447)
और उनके सीनियर का नाम है अनिल यादव...
हम अभी तक 132000 डाउन पेमेंट (half of membership) और 2 क़िस्त 5190 की दे चुके है...कुल
142380 rs
आपके सेल्स एग्जीक्यूटिव ने भ्रामक, झूठी, जानकारी देके मेम्बरशिप बेचीं है.
ये है वो जानकारी .
१. अगर वो क्लब महिंद्रा के सेल्स एग्जीक्यूटिव है तो उनको खाने के ख़र्चे के बारे में कैसे नहीं पता ? कही भी खाने से पहले आदमी मेनू कार्ड मंगवाता है उसमे खाने के रेट्स देखने के लिए. 1500 रुपये 2 आदमी के खाने के पुरे दिन के है... ऐसा बताया गया था... जबकि सच ये है के 1250 रुपये में एक आदमी नाश्ता और डिनर या लंच कर सकता है.. इस हिसाब से 4 आदमी की फैमिली का एक दिन का 1,250*4 = 5,000, 7 दिन का 5000*7 = 35,000….. 25 साल के हुए 35000*25 = 8,75,000 rs.

२. एनुअल सब्सक्रिप्शन फीस (ASF) हमको बताया गया था की ASF 14700 rs पर ईयर फी होगी जो मैंटेनैंस के लिए ली जाती है.. और जिस साल वेकेशन नहीं गए उस साल का ASF पे नहीं करना है, जिसकी बात वाट्सप चैट में सेल्स एग्जीक्यूटिव ने की है.. फिर आपके द्वारा मेम्बरशिप फीस 3,00,000 rs क्यों ली जा रही है...जब मैंटेनैंस फीस हर साल ली जा रही है....मेम्बरशिप फीस लेने का हमको क्या फायदा है ? ३. 120 days पहले प्रायर बुकिंग अगर मै आपके क्लब का मेंबर हु तो मुझे किसी भी सीजन में बुकिंग मिलनी चाहिए..जो की है नहीं.. अगर मेंबर रहते हुए भी बुकिंग नहीं मिलती है तो मेंबरशिप फीस लेने का क्या मतलब ? और ऑफ सीजन मेम्बरशिप कोई क्यों लेगा इतने पैसे देके...मेम्बरशिप सेल करते टाइम ब्लू सीजन (ऑफ सीजन ) की जानकारी नहीं दी गयी.

४. ASF हर साल महंगाई दर से बढ़ेगा...इसकी जानकारी भी सेल्स एग्जीक्यूटिव द्वारा नहीं दी गयी थी...147000 rs हर साल 1% से बढ़ेगा तो ये होता है 14700*1%*25 year = 4,11,650 rs

५. इसके अलावा बाहर का कोई भी आदमी बिना मेंबर होते हुए भी रिसोर्ट मै ज्यादा पैसे देके बुकिंग करवा सकता है, अगर बाहर का आदमी बुकिंग करवाएगा तो मेंबर्स को बुकिंग कैसे मिलेगी ? न आपके पास ऐसा कोई सिस्टम है जिस से हमको पता चले के हमारी बुकिंग अगर किसी बाहरी आदमी के आने से कैंसिल हुए है तो हमको इसकी जानकारी हो.. फिर मेंबर बनाने का क्या फायदा हुआ....इतने पैसे देने के बाद.

६. आपके पास मेंबर ज्यादा है और रिसोर्ट कम, और दूसरा बाहर के आदमी भी बुकिंग करवा सकते है फिर भी आप मेंबर पे मेंबर जोड़ते जा रहे है...जिसकी वजह से बुकिंग नहीं मिलती, जिसकी जानकारी फेसबुक पे कई लोगो के कमेंट से हमको मिली....इनके पास 49 रिसॉर्ट्स है और मेंबर 2,00,000 से ऊपर . पुरे साल सभी रिसोर्ट बुक हो इसके लिए 52 वीक यानी 7 दिन का बुकिंग देते है ये.... तो एक रिसोर्ट में 50 रूम्स भी माने तो एक रिसोर्ट पुरे 52 वीक के हिसाब से 50*52= 2600 मेंबर पुरे साल के एक रिसोर्ट के फुल रहने के लिए होते है तो 49 रिसोर्ट के लिए हुए 49*2600=127400 member. जो इनके बताये मेंबर से कम है तो इसके ऊपर वाले बचे मेंबर की बुकिंग्स कैसे होगी...मीन्स इनके सभी रिसॉर्ट्स में १२७४०० मेंबर ही बुकिंग हो सकती है तो इन्होने इससे ज्यादा मेंबर क्यों जोड़ रखे है...

७. आप क्लेम करते है के आपके सभी रिसोर्ट मै कोई भी मेंबर जा सकते है, जबकि आपकी प्राइम लोकेशन जगह जैसे गोवा पे ऑफ सीजन वाला मेंबर बुकिंग डालेगा तो वो कन्फर्म होगी ही नहीं.... अगर आप किसी को ऑफ सीजन वाली मेम्बरशिप बेच रहे हो तो आप उसको उसी टाइम क्यों नहीं बताते हो के आप प्राइम लोकेशन वाली जगह पे बुकिंग नहीं करवा पाएंगे...अगर आप किसी से भी मेम्बरशिप का पैसा ले रहे हो तो आपकी जिम्मेदारी बनती है के आप उसको कन्फर्म बुकिंग दे...मेंबर बनाने का मतलब ही यही होता है, हम आपको मेंबरशिप का पैसा भी दे और वेटिंग चल रही है, थोड़ा लेट बुकिंग डालिये, क्यों सुनेगे ?

८. कुल मिला के मेम्बरशिप + ASF + फ़ूड = 3,00,000 + 4,11,650 + 8,75,000 = 15,86,650 rs in 25 years… ये अनुमानित कुल ख़र्चा सेल्स एग्जीक्यूटिव ने नहीं बताया था.. जबकि खर्चा इससे ज्यादा ही होगा....



ये मेल मेने 27 अप्रैल 2018 को किया था क्लब महिंद्रा मेल ID पे..

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to jatin nayak 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Deepak Jain

1 year ago

hey they have fooled me by selling zest membership and they have downsized all the resorts recently and now left with 3-4 only. this time for the booking when I asked for masangudi resorts they staff has said that due to some accident the resort is closed and renovation is on and they cant book it seems, but when I called up casa woods their resorts tied up with they say clearly that they have withdrawn from club Mahindra or zest Mahindra and they don't have it anymore . zest or club Mahindra both are fraudlent and anybody who can tell me where to raise complaints in govt bodies I will do it. say for eg for insurance irda is the governing body , which is the governing body for it ? still they have not confirmed my rooms . and this time I am gonna give left right to them on it . pls call up anybody who has faced the same problem at 9600850077. lets unite and get back our rights

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Deepak Jain 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Amit Shah

2 years ago

Its big fraud company ,never take its mammbedhip , call me b4 take b4 take this on 09004406987 to save ur money , they just like to cheat u and don’t want to give any service , I can prove that ,so plz beaver , save ur money , I list 135000 INR , I don’t wish any one els loss

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Amit Shah 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Konark Goel

2 years ago

If you want to see your hard earned money go to waste then do buy club mahindra membership.
It's been four months since i got the membership. I wanted to book a holiday for dubai. After consulting with my relationship manager i booked the tickets for dubai for december after being assured by him that he will take care of the hotel bookings.
I have been calling him every day for the last two weeks and left him n number of messages, but no reply at all.
After that i called up rci, they said they got no properties at dubai, although yes they have properties posted on the website and app.
Now i am stuck with my air tickets without any hotel bookings done.
I advise all to not get cheated and fooled by club mahindra sales executives

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Konark Goel 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Amit Shah

In Reply to Konark Goel 2 years ago

Same happens with me , can guid me what action u took , can we get our membership money back ??

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Amit Shah 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

aditya tyagi

2 years ago

I don't know about mahindra club, but the team members are not help us,
Executive are provided wrong information, they trying to cheat all time, if we are compromise then again they will try to cheat the costumers. Fraud and cheating scheme Club Mahindra are providing,
I visited PC Jwelers Activity of club mahindra at 07/09/2017 Mr. Brijesh Jaishwal gave me a offer two international trip of 14 night and flight ticket Rs20000 voucher in only Rs37220, and when i conferm to my known persion he told me club mahindra not offering one year membership like this. so that's why and so irritated me, becouse of Mr Brijesh missguide us.


On 9/9/2017 I am again going to PC Jwelers Activity of club mahindra table we again meet Mr. Brijesh he again missguide me and don't ask the about yearly membership maintenance.
I'm asking again and again if there is any type of terms and conditions or any other type of charges then you now told me, please don't cheat me again, after that he told me don't worry there is not any type of charge, you take this package and enjoy 1 year.
I'm give the 3 check to Mr Brijesh for my next three installation fee.
After that I discuss with my friends then they told me about the yearly maintenance fee.

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to aditya tyagi 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Amritava Mitra

2 years ago

Club mahindra is not at all worth the money they charge. I have been a member for past few years (membership id: 2598509) and my experience with them has been terrible. Club mahindra claims that all their resorts are 5 star quality which is a big lie. Only a few of their resorts (~10%) are of the 5 star quality. They have a lot of affiliate resorts which are pathetic in quality and not even 1 star standard. They own only a few resorts which are location wise good but then again you will hardly be able to book them as they have sold much more memberships than their room inventory. Then there is the problem of poor customer service. Employees of club mahindra are really rude and have an hostile/unwelcoming attitude towards guests - all thanks to the sarkari culture of mahindra. Once you paid the membership fess they don't give a damn about customer service as they have already got their money from you. It is mistake to become a member at club mahindra

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Amritava Mitra 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Ashish Desai

2 years ago

Fraud and cheating scheme Club Mahindra are providing. Do not take or not to suggest your enemy also to take this fraud scheme. They will call and will give you the lucrative scheme and will show you big big dreams but ultimately while booking you will be in waiting list always...so request not to go with Club Mahindra for a single day tour.

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Ashish Desai 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Ansuman Mahapatra

2 years ago

Worst thing I have ever did with my money. I have applied for a cancellation, but till now I have not received any money even after 1 month.

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Ansuman Mahapatra 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

shankha banerjee

2 years ago

Club Mahindra is the most fraud company I have ever interacted with. From the very first day during my visit to Mussoorie, I came in contact with their sales persons (Anil & Sumit) who committed many things which later on was denied by their customer care executives that these things are not possible. Also, many terms & conditions were introduced after signing & payment for the first year. Even after several followups with their sales person, no body was able to resolve this issue. When I opted for the cancellation of my membership, they replied saying it will take 45-60 days. Even after 60 days, my money has not been refunded, neither no one even bothered to call or message saying your phone no was not reachable. None of the sales person has ever tried to mail me asking the reason for why I am asking for cancellation & how they can resolve the issue rather they mailed that they are cancelling my membership straight away. Every company irrespective of how big it is, they are much concern of losing any customer but I think Mahindra is not bothered whether their customer is staying or asking for cancellation. Even for that, the very first day, I have asked to update my phone no for 20-30 times, but till date it has not been done. Also, it was surprising for me when I said for going to consumer court, they replied "you can definitely go ahead" as it seems it was not a matter of bother to them.

I would never ever join & would recommend that no-one should join club mahindra.
I had not enquired about this company & their service earlier during taking the membership & gone by the name of Mahindra, but suggest you all not to go for this.

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to shankha banerjee 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

vikasaeren

2 years ago

I took club Mahindra membership on EMI Plan as a trial. The agent of Club Mahindra told me that after my first complimentary vacation, I can convert my payment mode to full one time payment with benefits attached to it. But nobody came for that. When I asked to opt out of membership then my account is automatically deducted by Club Mahindra. When I asked club Mahindra agent about this then he told me that I have signed the papers which was not told to me at that time. Now I am feeling betrayed and nobody is available to listen to me. We are highly Unsatisfied with club Mahindra

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to vikasaeren 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Susheel Kumar

2 years ago

I am amazed how a corporate is getting away with day light robbery.The booking window has been reduced jacking up air fares,the difference in charges between members and non members keeps vanishing,you never get a booking done.I am planning to file a class action suit for broken promises against CM.I REQUEST ANYBODY INTERESTED TO JOIN ME.

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Susheel Kumar 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Amritava Mitra

2 years ago

Club mahindra is worst membership choice one can make. I am a member of club mahindra (member id: 2598509, ph no 9740088528) and I want to inform all prospective members on how bad the quality of service is at Club mahindra. Club mahindra claims 5 star services but it is no where near any 5 star services. The staff behavior is extremely rude at club mahindra whose only mission in life seems to be make holiday a miserable experience for the customer. And all these spans from the Sarkari company culture of Mahindra where employees are certain that no matter how rude behavior and pathetic services they provide to customers, Mahindra won't take any action against them. If any of the prospective member is reading this note please don't waste your money on club mahindra - one can easily book any 5 star hotel and get the best services with the money one spends on club mahindra. Mahindra can only be good at making tractor where after sale service is minimal but certainly not in hospitality industry where customers expect a certain degree of service and politeness from the staff at resort

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to Amritava Mitra 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

rema

3 years ago

CLUB MAHINDRA IS A FRAUD COMPANY.Taking HARD EARNED MONEY FROM INNOCENT PEOPLE And fooling the common man. DON'T BECOME A MEMBER OF THIS CLUB MAHINDRA AND SQUANDER YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY.

I became a VICTIM of Club Mahindra 2007 by paying a hefty sum for studio with kitchenette getting assurance of a studio with kitchenette for me and my family when I need it and of course, a good service from their staff. I Used to pay ASF of Rs.13,000 and odd regularly and even after paying so much, I don't get a studio with kitchenette when I need and most of the new resorts don't have a kitchenette and even the ones which have they try to avoid it .We had booked our holidays 3 months ago from 31 march to 3April which is a lean period .When we contacted 10 days ago they will be providing us with studio with kitchenette .On talking to them today they said that may not be able to provide us with studio with kitchenette .Every time we have to beg and plead for what is our right as per the assurances given at the time of becoming a member. They are only interested in renting rooms to outsiders for a hefty sum depriving the members of their rights.The govt should take strict action against such clubs who are interested in fooling the innocent members and with their money they rent their rooms to travel agencies depriving the members of their rights

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to rema 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

rema

4 years ago

Step MOTHERLY TREATMENT METED OUT TO CLUB MAHINDRA MEMBERS .We had waitlisted our request and also informed hotel Poovar of our request but on arrival we were told that 1 BR and Studios get booked within half hour of opening of booking for the resort rooms and there are no cancellations thereafter. Indeed this is faster than even summer train bookings. We are dining at the restaurant here and we find it mostly empty even during peak hours and the resort itself has a deserted look. We have visited many Club Mahindra resorts at various times and seen the presence of crowds. Many of the Studio rooms look deserted. Even the staff here mention that it is a lean period. we had been dumped by Poovar resort management on second floor HUs against our request for Studio though we are senior citizens and I have a bandaged hand due to an accident. I have been a member of Club Mahindra REDseason for more than 9 years. It is a 25 years Holiday Membership.For becoming a Member one needs to pay the Membership Fee and Annual Maintannce fee -- above Rs.10000.. At the time of joining we were given a rosy picture of Holidays that could be availed with ease across large number of Resorts.How ever our experience over the years have been as under--1)We vhardly ever get the desired studio rooms which we are entitled ,unless we book three or four months earlier that too only on weekdays and not on weekends.
2)Lot of compromises have to be made regarding the Place of visit and time of visit.Holidays can be planned not on your convenience but on the convenience of Club M AHINDRA.
3]AT THE TIME OF JOINING WE WERE GIVEN TO UNDERSTAND THAT CLUB MAHINDRA RESORTS ARE MEANT ONLY FOR MEMBERS. HOWEVER OVER A PERIOD OF TIME WE FIND MORE NONMEMBERS IN THE RESORTS THAN MEMBERS..---SINCE THE ROOMS ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH TRAVEL DESK SIGHTS LIKE TRIP ADVISOR ,MAKE MY TRIP ETC.A cash customer is more valuable than a member who has already made an upfront payment.

4)When we were offered Red Studio we were specifically told that studio Apartment come with a kitchenette,where we could prepare our own food using microwave oven, cutlery etc.However most of the resorts now do not have kitchenette with studio rooms.

5)With vast promotional drives to enrol members the ratio of members to rooms available have gone up.,resulting in less inventory for more members .This has resulted in members not getting desired rooms at desired locations and time
Above points indicate that the Time sharing model is an imperfect one,currently heavily loaded against the members. There is no guarantee for the promises made while receiving the full upfront payment.There is no clause for opting out of this membership by refund of remaining value . In view of this it is necessary to bring in regulations by the government.,so that malpractices can be prevented and Membership to inventory maintained and promised services are rendered.

REPLY

Aniruddh Sinha

In Reply to rema 6 months ago

This is a watsapp group of unsatisfied member of club mahindra
https://chat.whatsapp.com/F0YzFDHTJXiGWmDSQp2CoK

Scandals of sorts

Why is such a lot of money being spent on skywalks that are inconvenient, a Metro that cannot accommodate large numbers, a monorail and a sea link for a privileged few?

When I read a newspaper report earlier this week that there is insufficient space to accommodate escalators at the skywalks which are coming up across Mumbai, I just could not help thinking that the blokes at MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority) are very capable of messing around with matters of public importance without application of mind from the outset. The lucre of Rs600 crore (allocated for the skywalk projects) was too big not to be attracted to, or delay, lest they were halted in their tracks. The contract costs have since escalated to Rs735 crore.

The design of the skywalks does not support the aim of making the journey for pedestrians easier and safer. Let alone the convenience of the average pedestrian, the design also grossly violates the accessibility aspect with regard to the Disability Act 1995. The usage of skywalks that have already been commissioned is dismally poor. And all this is coming up after Rs385 crore has been spent and numerous trees have been chopped down. Is this not a scandal of sorts?

After the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) is completed, the carrying capacity of the railway system will increase to 1,80,000 pph (passengers per hour) from the current 1,50,000 pph. The load on the railway system is around 3,60,000 pph. Thus, there will be a shortfall of 1,80,000 pph even after the MUTP has been completed. We know that the capacity of the Metro will be about 72,000 pph after it has been fully commissioned. So, the Metro would not be able to meet the needs of Mumbai's public transport requirements. Even after knowing this, MMRDA is pursuing with the Metro Rail. Is not the lucre of the over Rs60,000 crore Metro Rail Project more attractive than the Rs3,000 crore cost of the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS)? Is this decision also not bordering on a scandal of sorts?

The monorail project has gone ahead, again, without any analysis in terms of both the need and utility compared with other modes of public transport like BRTS and Skybus. Does this also not border a scandal of sorts?

We are also seeing that due to non-availability of funds, all kinds of manipulations are being carried out to get the projects moving. MMRDA is planning to start work on all the remaining eight lines together, with the objective of completing them by 2014! Are not the guys at MMRDA being too ambitious, perhaps even greedy, to think of doing all of it simultaneously, thereby subjecting the whole population to great distress over a long period?

Then there is the 5 lakh rental housing scheme-most unimaginatively conceived, at faraway locations, a high cost of transport and long duration of unsafe travel. Is this not another scandal of sorts?

About Rs1,600 crore was spent on the Bandra-Worli Sea link for about 35,000 users to travel swiftly, while 60,00,000 people travel on suburban trains in super-crush load during the peak periods. Now it is envisaged to extend the sea link to Nariman Point, without any consideration of the high cost and low utilisation. But spend just about Rs3,000 crore on a 200km network for BRTS instead of, or along with the high-end ticket projects, and we could save 4,000 lives that are lost in rail accidents every year. Is this also not a scandal of sorts?
 

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

jpnair

9 years ago

i fully appreciate the issues. i too wondered why at every station sky walk is required. what's the guarantee that hawkers will not encroach it. it is the inability of administration to check this. soon the narrow sky walks too will have little space due to encroachment. eg: dadar bridge. it is full of hawkers in the middle of the bridge at evening peak hours. any answers?

jd

9 years ago

SKYWALK ARE A NORM AROUNDTHE WORLD BUT THEY ARE PROPERLY DESIGNED WITH ESCALTORS AT PROPER POINTS.

ESPECIALLY SKYWALKS FROM STATION TO A PLACE FAR AWAY TO AVOID CROWDING BY RICKSHAWS IN SUBURBS AND BUS QUEUES AT CHURCHGATE.

UNDERGROUND METROS WITH BUILDINGS ON TOP OF STATIONS ARE MOST CONVENIENT WAYS OF DEVELOPING CITY.

JUST LOOK AT SINGAORE AND HONG KONG , THEY HAVE USED THEIR SEA LANES MOST EFFICIENTLY AND IS A VERY CHEAP MODE OF TRANSPORT.

Nagesh KiniFCA

9 years ago

in deed the skywalks and flyovers are in fact white elephants. flywalk have crashed and the one at lalbagh pulled down to facilitate the smooth movement of the lalbaghcha raja a matoshree decision over the head of the mayor. the tiles of the first flywalk came out within the first one month. The first escalator installed at Charni Road stooped functioning because the wind blown sand from chowpatty was not taken care of. We need more foot paths/pavements and less of these money guzzling white elephants. The police will testify to the fact that the chain snatching occurs only for those walking on the road when there are bad footpaths, even those that exist are encroached by hawkers and shop keepers. There are more cars than foot paths. Morning and evening walkers have to bring in their cars just because there are no pavements to come to open spaces more elders have fallen victims to injuries on bad foot paths. The BRTS isan excellent solution will it work when motorists don't give way to fire engines and ambulances?

Girish

9 years ago

Sadly, we can do precious little... Our surroundings are rife with such instances aplenty.... it is not only scandal... It is completely amoral... and more than criminal. There should be provision to book these people responsible for homicide of ppl loosing lives

SANarayan

9 years ago

Can not the new Chief Minister stop or keep on hold major, apparently public improvement projects, until there is better public participation and comments on each scheme? Details of every scheme planned, needs to be put online and advertised in the print media for people to comment online which can be read by other citizens so that some sort of trend of opinions can be discerned for further action. For all this adequate time must be given for people to comment. Will the new CM oblige for better citizen participation and greater transparency?

ss

9 years ago

Dear Sir,

Thank you for propagating BRTS & Skybus projects. I have read all your articles in the past & it is surprising to see that inspite of your repeated requests to implement BRTS & Skybus, MMRDA continues to stick to the outdated & expensive technologies like Metro & Monorail.

Sir in case if you require our support to make this city a lot better please let us know. Together we can & together we will.

We are really proud of you. We are happy to see that a person of your stature is actively taking up the issues which will improve our quality of life in Mumbai.

SS

Is the UID system a potential threat to national security and sovereignty?

A recent deal for the purchase of biometric scanners from a US-based company, which has worked closely with American intelligence agencies, raises serious questions on the security of data in the Aadhaar project

Could the Aadhaar project, touted as a critical requirement for development, turn into a threat to the country's national security and sovereignty?

It was recently reported that L-1 Identity Solutions, a US-based company which is now being bought by a French company, has been given a $25 million order for biometric scanners. This was among the deals announced by the White House during the visit of president Barak Obama to India a fortnight ago. In fact, president Obama, for the same reason, also blessed the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) with a visit to the innovation forum event in Mumbai where he even had a chat with UIDAI's tech head.

In the case of any other commercial deal this would not have raised eyebrows. But it is the background of L-1 Identity Solutions that raises questions. L-1 has close ties with US intelligence agencies. Read what a report says about L-1: "I will start by mentioning that Louis Freeh (former director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation), Admiral Loy (former head of the Transportation Security Agency), George Tenet (former director of the Central Intelligence Agency), Frank Moss (former program manager for the State Department's E-Passport program), and many others who previously held key positions in the federal government, all
joined Viisage/L-1 as members of the Board of Directors or as paid employees of Viisage/L-1. It must be really sweet to sign off on contracts worth millions of dollars, tens of millions or more in fact, and then turn right around and go on the payroll of the same company that you awarded the contracts to. Sure, Tenet, Freeh and the others may not have had to sign the actual contracts but certainly they are responsible for knowing who the contracts went to when they were in charge of their respective agencies and departments.

"L-1 dominates the state driver's license business. L-1 also produces all passport cards, involved in the production of all passports, provides identification documents for the Department of Defense and has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency in our government. To a large extent it is fair to say that your personal information is L-1's information. L-1 is the same company that thinks our political party affiliation should be on our driver's license along with our race. L-1 has a long history starting with its taking over Viisage Technology. It was a great sleight of hand, Viisage morphing into L-1 while Viisage was under investigation by our government," the report said.

Tenet, the former CIA director who was later on the board of L-1, was accused of passing on false information concerning Iraq's WMD (weapons of mass destruction) capabilities which led to the Iraq war. In the new world of surveillance that is emerging, L-1 is turning out to be very powerful, a multi-national giant which can potentially have control over countries. How, some skeptics might ask. Is this one more bogey by the activist lobby? Recently, L-1 has bagged orders from France as well as China.

UIDAI has been professing open standards. But the contract to L-1 is a slap in the face of its professed policy. By now, it is clear that UIDAI does not keep the promises it makes, so this does won't surprise anyone.

In the absence of a thorough audit of source code-the only way in which one can be sure-a backdoor can be easily inserted in any of the biometric scanners. This backdoor can not only transfer biometrics data to the vendor's database and to UIDAI's database, but it can also shut down the scanner at will. So, if the UIDAI project goes through and the biometric scanners and UIDAI's infrastructure becomes ubiquitous to the point that every financial transaction in the country requires a biometric scanner, it doesn't require a scientist to tell us that this is equivalent to handling the nation's economy in the hands of foreign companies. The danger posed to the nation's economy is no less than that from foreign companies controlling our telecom infrastructure.

In the case of telecom, after a lot of noise, some action is being taken. It is another matter whether the action taken is good enough or not. But no amount of charisma on the part of the UIDAI chairman can fix this problem which could affect the sovereignty of the nation.

The only way out is to ask all vendors of biometric equipment to open their source code and subject it to thorough audit by experts. That is how countries such as China would handle similar situations. Recently, China asked Microsoft to reveal its source code and Microsoft complied. The US too secures its own nationalistic interests properly. Sometime back the US stopped the sale of Tipping Point, a US security company, to a Chinese firm on the grounds of securing national interests.

Further, there could well be a vendor lock-in. L-1 has been on a buying spree, taking over smaller biometric companies. It is quite possible that it buys off other biometric vendors of UIDAI, resulting in a virtual monopoly, which could lead it to hike the prices for upgrades. What checks and balances has UIDAI got to ensure that this does not happen? More important, will the checks and balances, if any, stay or will they be dropped as time passes, for UIDAI's statements cannot be trusted as evidenced from its past actions.

Coming to the Unique Identification Number (UID), there has been misinformation by UIDAI that the social security number (SSN) of the US is equivalent to the UID in India. This is not the truth. The SSN does not have your biometrics, it is just a number.

The US is trying to introduce something called the Real ID, which has biometrics, and this is being stiffly resisted by Americans. As of 2008, over 20 legislatures in the US had passed resolutions (or legislation) opposing the implementation of the Real ID Act. Eleven of those legislatures had gone further, by passing laws specifically prohibiting compliance with Real ID. What is sauce for the goose may not be sauce for the gander. Will the Indian authorities wake up and investigate this critical aspect before it is too late? 

(The author has a B Tech from IIT Bombay, and a PhD from Columbia University, New York. He currently runs a start-up, Teknotrends Software Pvt Ltd that does cutting-edge work in the area of network security).

Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Som

9 years ago

I am fully convinved with your opinion of threat to National security and sovereignity. I request you to go through this article to understand the full scope of this UID Concept which is being imposed on us. Its official Invasion of Our Fundamental Right Right to Privacy by Multinational Giant Corporations.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?c...
Big Brother: Spying on Americans, The Threat of Satellite Surveillance
by John Flemming
http://www.freedomfchs.com/repjimguestlt...

http://www.whale.to/b/nsa7.html

Covert Operations of the U.S. National Security Agency

A lawsuit filed against the U.S. National Security Agency reveals a frightening array of technologies and programs designed to keep tabs on individuals.
From an article in Nexus Magazine April/May 96

John St Clair Akwei
vs
National Security Agency
Ft George G. Meade, MD, USA
(Civil Action 92-0449)
The following document comprises evidence for a lawsuit filed at the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, DC, by John St Clair Akwei against the National Security Agency, Ft George G. Meade, Maryland (Civil Action 92-0449), constitutes his knowledge of the NSA's structure, national security activities proprietary technologies and covert operations to monitor individual citizens Ed.

MIND CONTROL TECHNOLOGY EXPOSED
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/36936010/MIN...

V Malik

9 years ago

Without a Right to privacy in our Constitution, this article highlights a very salient aspect, and also touches on the giving away of our rights to financial independence. What a shame. The only saving grace is that the UID may simply not move forward.

RAVI PRASANNA

9 years ago

Hi!!!

Kumar

9 years ago

AADHAAR IS NOT ONLY A NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT, WHICH IT SURELY WILL BE SOME DAY, BUT MORE A THREAT FOR THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF THIS COUNTRY OF A BILLION + WITH ROGUES & RASCALS RULING THE ROOST AT EVERY LEVEL AS IF IT IS A 'KINGDOM' LIKE NO OTHER!

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

online financial advisory
Pathbreakers
Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
online financia advisory
The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
financial magazines online
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
financial magazines in india
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)