New Metro lines, `194-cr WiFi project for Mum­bai Ex-cor­po­ra­tor’s son ad­mits to killing city RTI ac­tivist THE MUR­DER

POLL BO­NANZA? CM pro­vides in­fra boost; 2 Metro lines to con­nect MMR bet­ter 173.9

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Manasi Phadke manasi.phadke@hin­dus­tan­ THE PRO­POSED LINES Man­ish K Pathak man­ish.pathak@hin­dus­tan­ Zia Haq zia.haq@hin­dus­tan­

With civic bod­ies across the Mum­bai Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­gion (MMR), in­clud­ing the cash-rich Bri­han­mum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (BMC), go­ing to polls next year, chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis on Wed­nes­day rolled out an in­fra­struc­ture bo­nanza for the re­gion.

Fad­navis an­nounced two new Metro lines — Lokhand­wala-Jo­gesh­wari-VikhroliKan­jur­marg and ThaneBhi­wandi-Kalyan — and sanc­tioned Rs194 crore for the first phase of the WiFi project.

Elec­tions for the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions of Mum­bai, Thane, Bhi­wandi-Nizam­pur, Mi­raBhayan­der and Ul­has­na­gar are sched­uled for early 2017. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ag­gres­sively com­pet­ing against its ally, Shiv Sena, to ex­pand its pres­ence across all civic bod­ies, es­pe­cially those in Mum­bai and Thane.

While the Sena and BJP are in an al­liance in Mum­bai, Thane, Ul­has­na­gar and Mira-Bhayan­der, Ud­dhav Thack­eray’s party has more seats in most of th­ese civic bod­ies. In the Bhi­wandiNizam­pur mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion, the Congress is the sin­gle­largest party.

In their bat­tle for supremacy in the BMC, BJP and Sena lead­ers have al­ready been spar­ring openly, and the an­nounce­ments made by the Fad­nav­isled Mum­bai Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­gion De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (MMRDA) on Wed­nes­day will only add more spice to the fight. KM-LONG

Am­jad Khan, son of ex-cor­po­ra­tor Raz­zak Khan con­fessed that he shot RTI ac­tivist Bhu­pen­dra Vira on the night of Oc­to­ber 15 while the lat­ter was watch­ing tele­vi­sion. The Mum­bai crime branch have re­cov­ered a pis­tol and five live rounds from Am­jad on Wed­nes­day after he con­fessed to the crime.

Ad­di­tional com­mis­sioner of po­lice KMM Prasanna (crime branch), while con­firm­ing the weapon’s re­cov­ery, said, “We have been ques­tion­ing Raz­zak and Am­jad about the in­volve­ment of other peo­ple and if there was a con­spir­acy to kill Vira.”

Raz­zak and Am­jad were ar­rested a day after the in­ci­dent when Vira’s fam­ily said they suspected the duo ow­ing to past en­mity. As the po­lice ini­ti­ated in­ves­ti­ga­tions, a witness sur­faced, who had spot­ted Am­jad head­ing to­wards Vira’s res­i­dence a few min­utes be­fore the mur­der. Based on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence, the Vakola po­lice ar­rested Am­jad and his fa­ther. They have been re­manded in po­lice cus­tody till Oc­to­ber 24.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been handed over to the crime branch.

Buy­ers su­ing firms for faulty prod­ucts or ap­proach­ing con­sumer courts to set­tle dis­putes won’t need to hire lawyers. Also, all such cases have to be de­cided within 90 days.

Th­ese con­sumer-friendly moves are part of a new con­sumer rights bill that is likely to be tabled in Par­lia­ment next month.

The last is­sue that re­mains to be fixed is the ex­act pro­vi­sions on celebrity en­dorse­ments. The govern­ment is not in favour of harsh jail terms for celebri­ties ap­pear­ing in de­cep­tive ad­ver­tise­ments, but they may face heavy fines and bans if prod­ucts they en­dorse are found dan­ger­ous, sub­stan­dard and mis­lead­ing.

A par­lia­men­tary panel had rec­om­mended up to five years of jail for celebri­ties en­dors­ing un­truth­ful prod­ucts.

The bill will make pro­vi­sions to set up a con­sumer pro­tec­tion au­thor­ity, em­pow­ered to ini­ti­ate com­plaints and in­ves­ti­ga­tion on its own.

Buy­ers won’t need to hire lawyers to sue firms for faulty prod­ucts or bad ser­vice. The con­sumer af­fairs min­istry’s pre­vi­ous stand was that lawyers must rep­re­sent cases in­volv­ing more than `2 lakh worth of goods and ser­vices.

The bill seeks to re­place an out­dated law gov­ern­ing le­gal rights of con­sumers and ex­pand their rights in a changed econ­omy marked by e-com­merce and dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions.

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