CASH-STRAPPED KDMT TOT­TERS, YET OF­FI­CIALS GO ON STUDY TOUR Cops rope in lo­cals for coastal se­cu­rity, bond over dance and mu­sic

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Sajana Nam­biar sajana.nam­biar@hin­dus­tan­times.com G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com Artistes per­form a tra­di­tional dance at the func­tion.

Kalyan- Dom­bivli Mu­nic­i­pal Trans­port (KDMT) of­fi­cials and elected mem­bers will, in Jan­uary, visit Ban­ga­lore and Mysore to study the pub­lic trans­port in place at both the cities.

KDMT of­fi­cials said the study tour was aimed at get­ting ideas for re­viv­ing the strug­gling KDMT, but con­sumer activists are call­ing it a waste of money.

The study tour, slated for the sec­ond week of Jan­uary, will cost the KDMT Rs6 lakh. The pro­posal was ap­proved by the KDMT’s gen­eral body meet­ing on Thurs­day.

The KDMT was es­tab­lished in 1999 and be­gan func­tion­ing in 2001.

Ini­tially, it gen­er­ated con­sid­er­able in­come for the mu­nic­i­pal body, but at present many buses can­not ply for lack of driv­ers and con­duc­tors.

The pas­sen­ger count, which was 85,000 in 2011- 12, has de­clined to 45,000 in 2014-15.

Thir­teen elected mem­bers of the KDMT and two of­fi­cials will be a part of the tour.

“This is a planned event which takes place ev­ery year. It helps of­fi­cials to learn about the trans­porta­tion ser­vices in other cities, in or­der to com­pare our ser­vices with theirs,” said De­v­i­das Tekale, KDMT gen­eral man­ager.

“All mem­bers have been de­mand­ing to go on a study tour. And the mem­bers are sup­posed to sub­mit a re­port of the tour, based on which im­prove­ments are made to our ser­vices,” said Nitin Patil, KDMT chair­man.

Ra­jen­dra Phadke, pres­i­dent of Kalyan Pas­sen­gers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, said the study tour is a waste of money. “There has been no spe­cific out­put from such tours,” Phadke said. “They spend a huge amount and get a chance to visit places. Then, they come back and pre­pare a re­port for the sake of ap­pear­ances.”

Phadke said the tours did not yield re­sults. “Where is the im­ple­men­ta­tion? The civic trans­port body should at least con­sider send­ing peo­ple who have knowl­edge about trans­porta­tion is­sues, in­stead of send­ing the mem­bers and of­fi­cials. Af­ter all, it the pub­lic money they are spend­ing,” Phadke said.

Navi Mum­bai po­lice ac­knowl­edged the ef­forts of those who helped keep the city safe, with a cul­tural aware­ness pro­gramme on coastal se­cu­rity on Fri­day.

The spe­cial branch of Navi Mum­bai po­lice paid back to the Sa­gar Rak­shak Dal, Gram Rak­shak Dal, po­lice mitr and fish­er­folk of the city for their help to the po­lice.

The pro­gramme, held at Vish­nudas Bhave Au­di­to­rium, Vashi, also had lec­tures and in­for­ma­tion by the po­lice on coastal se­cu­rity, apart from the cul­tural pro­grammes.

“Fol­low­ing the 26/ 11 terror at­tack, there is a need to be alert at all times. The po­lice, how­ever, can­not be present every­where. Hence the need for lo­cal sup­port be­comes sig­nif­i­cant,” said po­lice com­mis­sioner Prab­hat Ran­jan.

“Through pro­grammes like th­ese, there is bet­ter in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the po­lice and the lo­cals. They also help boost the con­fi­dence of lo­cals. This is es­sen­tial for coastal se­cu­rity,” said Ran­jan.

“There is a need for res­i­dents of the coastal ar­eas to be alert at all times. They are the first ones to no­tice any­thing dif­fer­ent or sus­pi­cious in the area as they know the seas like the back of their hand,” he said.

He said con­tact num­bers were pro­vided to th­ese res­i­dents, so they can con­tact the po­lice im­me­di­ately if there is any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity.

“We are p r e p a r e d n ow. Though no one can guar­an­tee a 100% preven­tion of an at­tack, if it does take place, the dam­age will not be as se­ri­ous as the last time. We have sys­tems in place to counter any such at­tack,” said Ran­jan.

Deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (spe­cial branch) Suresh Mengde too at­tended the func­tion and en­cour­aged the lo­cal res­i­dents to help keep the coast safe.

“Coastal se­cu­rity is the key to de­fend­ing a city like ours which has a large coastal area,” he said.

He said, “Fol­low­ing the 26/11 at­tack, an in­for­mal layer of sur­veil­lance has been added. Fish­er­men and vil­lagers are or­gan­ised into groups such as Sa­gar Su­rak­sha Dal and Gram Rak­shak Dal and trained to keep a vigil at sea and the coasts.”

“The po­lice mitr (friends) and the fish­ing com­mu­nity are our eyes and ears. The pro­gramme gave them a lot of en­cour­age­ment and as­sured them of our sup­port,”said Mengde. (Clock­wise) Artistes per­form Koli Geet, a folk art form of fish­er­men, at Vish­nudas Bhave Au­di­to­rium in Vashi’s Sec­tor 16 on Fri­day. Po­lice com­mis­sioner Prab­hat Ran­jan dis­trib­utes T-shirts to lo­cals and fish­er­men.

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