Cre­ma­to­rium in­au­gu­rated in Digha, but yet to be com­pleted

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - Navi Mumbai - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­ G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­

Even as se­nior of­fi­cers of Navi Mum­bai po­lice claim that crime in the city is un­der con­trol, the sta­tis­tics of card fraud cases tell a dif­fer­ent story.

As many as 1,110 peo­ple fell vic­tims to card frauds in the city in the past two years. Ac­cord­ing to the crime branch of­fi­cials, a to­tal of 530 such cases were reg­is­tered in the city last year as op­posed to 580 cases reg­is­tered in 2014.

The sce­nario is not bet­ter this year too. On an av­er­age, around 10 peo­ple ap­proach the city cy­ber cell with sim­i­lar com­plaints ev­ery day, said a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer.

Prat­i­bha Shendge, po­lice in­spec­tor of Navi Mum­bai cy­ber cell, said, “De­spite re­peated re­quests, peo­ple give their bank de­tails to un­known peo­ple ei­ther on phone or through email. The crim­i­nals make du­pli­cate credit and debit cards and use them for on­line shop­ping. Be­cause of this ig­no­rance, more and more peo­ple are fall­ing prey to card frauds.”

She said peo­ple should not to give their ac­count num­ber, credit/ debit card num­ber or any other de­tails to any­one on phone or through emails.

“Bank of­fi­cials never ask such de­tails. If it is nec­es­sary to share such de­tails, one should visit the bank and talk to of­fi­cials,” she added.

Peo­ple get calls from cy­ber­crim­i­nals from Sri Lanka (coun­try code +94) and Pak­istan (coun­try code + 92) in­form­ing them about lotteries they have won. This way they lure peo­ple into giv­ing bank de­tails on phone and with­draw money, the po­lice said.

There is also an­other way of tak­ing de­tails of credit/debit card il­le­gally.

“Cy­ber­crim­i­nals put a hid­den elec­tronic de­vice known as skim­mer on the card slot of the un­guarded ATM ma­chines. When a per­son in­serts his card on that slot, the skim­mer records all the de­tails stored in the card’s magnetic strip and based on that de­tails the cul­prits make a du­pli­cate card,” said a se­nior crime branch of­fi­cial.

“If the green light be­side the ATM card slot does not keep blink­ing, one should never insert his or her card on that slot. If any­one in­stalls a skim­mer on the card slot of an ATM ma­chine, the green light, which is lo­cated just be­side the slot, never blinks. There­fore peo­ple should not use such ma­chine at any point of time,” he said.

The po­lice said that they have been con­duct­ing work­shops to cre­ate aware­ness among the peo­ple.

“We are try­ing to reach out to col­lege stu­dents, govern­ment as well as pri­vate em­ploy­ees through dif­fer­ent sem­i­nars and meet­ings,” Shendge said.

Suresh Men­gade, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (spe­cial branch) too has been ad­vis­ing peo­ple to curb such frauds.

“Peo­ple should not give their cred­its card or debit cards to any­one to swipe when they are not around. The shop own­ers or hoteliers could use skim­mer and take the se­cret de­tails of their cards. Peo­ple should get their cards swiped when they them­selves are present on the spot,” said Men­gade.

The rush to in­au­gu­rate projects which are not com­plete for pub­lic­ity pur­pose is not new. That the res­i­dents have to bear the brunt seems to be of lit­tle con­cern. The story seems to have been re­peated at Digha cre­ma­to­rium.

The NMMC spent Rs1.6 crore to con­struct a cre­ma­to­rium at Digha, the work of which is still in­com­plete.

The cre­ma­to­rium was in­au­gu­rated by MLA San­deep Naik months ago, but since the work was in­com­plete it has been taken up now. This is caus­ing prob­lems for those com­ing to cre­mate the dead.

Work on the cre­ma­to­rium be­gan in Oc­to­ber 2013. The NMMC elec­tions were held last year. The political es­tab­lish­ment was keen to show that it had com­pleted sev­eral de­vel­op­men­tal works in the city and so the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the in­com­plete cre­ma­to­rium was held.

Res­i­dents blame the NMMC and the con­trac­tor for the slow pace of work and the con­se­quent de­lay.

NMMC de puty en­gi­neer Suhas Takle had said t he work would be com­pleted by De­cem­ber 2015. But, the work is yet to be com­pleted.

The pro­ject has seen three con­trac­tors be­ing changed. There is a de­mand to black­list the con­trac­tor. Lo­cal cor­po­ra­tor Navin Gavte had de­manded ac­tion against the con­trac­tor. The NMMC of­fi­cials are yet to take a de­ci­sion on it.

Ashok Mha­tre, a res­i­dent, said: “Digha cre­ma­to­rium is be­ing used by res­i­dents of Gan­pati­pada, Anand Na­gar, Ram­na­gar, Ilthan Pada and Vish­nuna­gar, which are si­t­u­ated around 4 km area.”

“There is no fa­cil­ity of drink­ing wa­ter and the pub­lic toi­lets have not been opened for the peo­ple. This leads to a lot of prob­lems,” he added.

Mha­tre said, “If only the au­thor­i­ties and politi­cians rushed to com­plete the projects as they do to per­form in­au­gu­ra­tions, the res­i­dents would ben­e­fit so much.”

NMMC of­fi­cials said work on the cre­ma­to­rium will be com­pleted soon.

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