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BandraBuzz creating community connect since 2010

17th February 2017 | Vol. 8 (I) Issue 2 |

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BANDRA’S JEWEL EXPROPRIATED BMC takes over Joggers Park, residents duke it out Over the past twenty seven years, Joggers Park has been more than just a park. It has grown to become a community of people, connected by their love for Bandra and the park. Thrown open to public in 1990, the jewel of Bandra is one of Mumbai's finest examples of a green space created and maintained by residents. However the park regulars have spent last two weeks in a quandary, owing to the BMC’s decision to take the 16,600-square-metre park back from the private trust that maintained the park under the state government's open spaces adoption policy. On 1st February, 2017 BMC notified the Bandra Citizens’ Forum, a trust formed by the Lokhandwala family that it will be taking the park over and running it there on. This move upset the residents and created a huge uproar among those who regularly access the park. At least 100 residents gathered at Joggers Park on 2nd February evening along with Dnyandev Munde of the BMC gardens department to put forth suggestions to the to maintain the park. There’s apprehension of losing the standard of the park since the takeover by BMC. This concern is justified as BMC has already shut down the ticket office; cutting the funding to the park and stating no clarity on the amount of funds that will be allocated to the park here on. Joggers Park, the pride of Bandra, boasts of a landscaped garden, birds like geese and ducks, children's play area, Mumbai’s first laughter club and the Arabian Sea as a backdrop.

In 2016, the Maharashtra government decided to retrieve its 216 open spaces under the BMC's management. After much contemplation it framed a provisional policy stating that private caretakers could be handed back these gardens if they adhered to the rules and regulations set by the civic body. However, after receiving flak over commercialisation of several open spaces handed over to politicians, the BMC backtracked. Activist Shyama Kulkarni said, “Open state policy is a good idea by the BMC. But they need to practice it in places where gardens are not being maintained properly. How is the BMC going to maintain this park if they can’t handle the MET park despite it being one third the size of this park? It

THE BATTLE FOR BANDRA HAS BEGUN D – Day is drawing near & the fight is getting fiercer. With BMC Elections around the corner, Bandra’s old guards are trembling, with mortal fear of strong new opposition candidates; who may come to power, with the wave of ‘change’ – that is a global phenomenon. Everyone is edgy. In today’s scenario, a slender margin can make all the difference. So, even strong independent candidates have a good chance of winning. The ‘Battle For Bandra’ has begun... now, it is action time ! Yes, every vote counts.

In order for you to know your options, Bandra Buzz has categorized your ward’s candidates, with their party symbol on pages 8 & 9. We suggest that when you go to the polling booth, please carry your Identity Proof: i.e. PAN card, Aadhaar card, Driving License, Voter ID, etc. Make an informed decision – and VOTE. Polling date: Tuesday, 21st February 2017 Time: 7:30am to 5:30pm TURN TO PAGE 8 & 9 >>

should be handed over to a good trust which can control this place, with the help of citizens who act as watch dogs to see that it is maintained properly with no political funding.” Senior citizens Prakash Samant and Shyam Bhatia, members of the laughter club in Joggers Park said, “We are worried that if the BMC takes over, the beauty and facilities that are currently available will drop and eventually collapse. Wastrels will loiter in because it will be free. We have never had any complaints until now. This is the only facility in the vicinity.” The BMC is certain that they will maintain the park in the same manner it was maintained for the past 2 decades. The park will soon have complaints, sugges-

tions and feedback registers to ensure that there’s equal participation from everyone. Dnyandev Munde, said, “Joggers Park was the 15th take over by the BMC. We have appointed an agency to maintain the park and they have already started painting work. In fact, the new agency has also appointed some new staff along with retaining the old staff of gatekeepers and gardeners. It is not possible to meet the demands of the residents as our mandate is to ensure equal access to all citizens neither do we have a policy to charge any fees.” The development of Joggers Park is credited to veteran hockey coach and former corporator late Oliver Andrade. The site was a dumping ground before Mr. Andrade with the help of three builders - the Rahejas, the Lokhandwalas and the Rizvi transformed it into a public park. In Mr. Andrade's memory, a plaque at the park's entrance reads - 'From Sir with Love'. 3,583 petitions have been signed on change.org and with the help of Mr Gulab Keswani, an offline campaign, has gathered over 4,000 signatures to save Joggers Park. Assistant Commissioner, H West ward, Sharad Ughade has drawn a plan for a better upkeep of this park. All are invited to hear him on 3rd March at 11 a.m. Joggers Park is the pride of Bandra, and everyone has emotionally invested in it. Let’s collectively demand that the BMC find another lowly maintained garden to put its funds and efforts in. Do sign the petition and do your bit. After all, if people are together, anything is possible. Sue-Ellen Fernandes


02 FEBRUARY 2017

BANDRA BUZZ

JUST OPENED

Scoopalicious: Reinventing the Sweet Tooth A foodie who is also a photographer often finds it challenging to abstain. The loop of photographing food and then getting lured to eat something tempting while processing those very photographs seems like quite a catch 22 situation to be enveloped in. However the man in a scoop this time around is the entrepreneur behind the innovative ice cream venture Scoopalicious. Roysten Misquitta has come a long way accomplishing quite a few milestones, starting off with a career in the corporate sector he continued to nurture his passion for photography which got him the opportunity to cruise around the world. His job as a photographer on a cruise liner enabled him to explore many counties and soak in their culture. The cruise company he worked for had their central port in Miami, after a couple of trips he familiarised himself with quite a few Indians settled there. One such person he met there, let’s call him Mr M had a food cart and Roysten and his colleagues would often carry condiments from India and unload the consignment in his premises. Their

friendship grew and one day they decided to grab a grub from the famous food trucks of Miami, Roysten was impressed with this concept and observed how it functioned intently. Once back home, he got Kevin Fernandes on board and together they started the Bombay Food Truck Co in the year 2014. They operated out of Chimbai and also catered to events and festivals. One such event which they had undertaken needed a live bar as well, so the boys from Bandra came to the rescue and set one up. Their neighbouring stall served ice cream, the fun and frolic transpired from one stall to another; Roysten suggested adding a small dose of rum to the ice cream just for fun. The outcome was cool and a little high. The idea of opening an unique ice cream venture loomed over his mind and fortunately he decided against procrastinating. He did not want to serve the tried and tested formulas, he wanted to reinvent and come up with a whole new take on the dairy based desert. Once he deciphered the science of making ice cream he started

working on modulating it for his needs. The decision to formulate pulp based ice creams is what has helped him stand apart, the intention of serving the pulp with the wholesome nutrients of fruits in tow has been appreciated by patrons. Disparate fruit and non- fruit based flavour such as Beetroot, Masala Gauva, Gulab Jamun, Strawberry, Mocha Almond and many topical specials such as Rum Cake ice cream, Boondi and Pumpkin pie to name a few have stirred the taste buds of Bandraites and visitors. More interesting flavours in the pipeline include Mayonnaise and Bacon flavoured servings, for the health freaks ice creams adhering to the canons of veganism will include protein and non-dairy constitutes. The Mocha Al-

mond & Strawberry flavoured scoops are sugar free and can be relished by diabetics and people with blood sugar condition. He began serving ice cream out of the truck which used to serve food, owing to the fact that refrigerating equipment does not have licensing implications like cooking appliances. Roysten is also the president of the Mumbai food trucks society and is working in affiliation with food trucks associations based abroad in order to streamline the infrastructure and constitution in India. After all the hardships he has endured God had better plans for him and on the 14th of January 2017 he opened an outlet opp. St Peter’s Church in Bandra. Sidhant Nayangara


BANDRA BUZZ

NEWS

FEBRUARY 2017 03

The Bagel Shop now serves Authentic East Indian Food

Sorpotel

Potato Chops

Beef Chilly

Beef Olives

Vindaloo

Pancakes

Zarine Rodrigues (nee Bandrawalla) - my buddy from Chuim and myself met unexpectedly after more than two decades at Carter Promenade, last month. The setting

sun & cool sea breeze were enough motivation to take a walk together – and chat up about earlier experiences. We did four rounds from Otter's Club to Cafe Coffee

Day, working up an appetite; whilst lost in memories of yesteryear – and both wanted to continue the conversation, ASAP preferably over a meal. Remembering seeing a recent ad of Queimada in Bandra Buzz, I suggested we dine there. After calling up Peter (her husband) to join us, we walked towards Pali Mala junction & proceeded to Bagel Shop – which has a quaint section that is the ideal ambience to enjoy an East Indian meal. Lester Pereira welcomed us. After some introductions, he suggested we dine at the inner room. We started off with some warm Calde Frange Soup (@180/-), whilst soaking in the old world ambience around us. Glancing through the menu, we selected Pork Spare Ribs (350/-), Chicken Lonvas (350/-), Shrimp Chilli Fry (350/-) and three bowls of Fugias (@50/-). When Peter came, he ordered Pan Seared Fish Fillet (400/-). Lovely lounge music was softly playing – even as we continued to chat about 'old times'. The Calde Frange was basically clear chicken soup with juliennes of French beans, carrot, potato & chicken. We loved the taste & warmth it brought to beat the cold air. The Pork Spare Ribs were succulent to taste as they were slow braised – to make them melt in your mouth. Here, you need to use your fingers to hold the rib. The Chicken Lonvas consisted of chicken pieces cooked in East Indian Bottle Masala & coconut milk, along with white pumpkin. The Shrimp Chilli Fry had fresh shrimp tossed with Queimada's signature spices, sliced onions & bell pepper. The Pan Seared Fish Fillet was fresh surmai fillet marinated in East Indian spices & pan fried. This was served with salad & wedges. The hot fresh fugias gave a totally different dimension to the meal. I am told that no East Indian function is complete without fugias. This

EI speciality is deep fried dumplings, made from fermented dough – but the secret is in the making. What we had was done by experienced hands – for sure. Lester Pereira, the entrepreneur who handles Queimada - the East Indian section of Bagel Shop; told us that all the dishes are home-cooked and that he personally selects the ingredients from the best sources – even if it means travelling far from home. He added that these dishes are prepared using traditional time-tested methods and that he believed in maintaining a high standard of quality. I guess, that is why we all just loved the taste. After a drinking water, we ended with some Coconut Pancakes (@175/-) for Dessert – that were deliciously sweet and ideal for a happy ending. All of us agreed that our late evening's eating experience was just too good to be true. This was a gourmet’s delight. Yes, this was indeed a fulfilling feeling of Fine Dining – having authentic local cuisine, right here in the heart of Bandra. Among other dishes on the menu, were Mutton Khuddi, Pork Sorpotel / Vindaloo / Roast, Pickled Chicken, Vegetable Lonvas, Wedding Rice, etc. We kept all these dishes in mind for a meal, sometime in the near future. Queimada is indeed a culinary tribute to the vibrant East Indian Community of Bandra – spreading the 'goodness of good food' to anyone who would like to taste & try these dishes. The food will surely excite your palate and make you exult: “Queimada!” I suggest you try it, today. Patricia Mehta The Bagel Shop, Pali Mala Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai 400 050 022 26050178


04 FEBRUARY 2017

BANDRA BUZZ

SPORTS

Andrean Sportsfest 2017 – Bringing The Community Together The Andrean Sportsfest, one of the most anticipated events of the St. Andrew’s Parish was organized by the Andrean Youth Movement. Being held after a two year hiatus, there was a wave of excitement and fervour about the event which was held on the sprawling Andrew’s Turf Park over the weekend on the 28th and 29th of January. Known for its sports loving parishioners, the event comprised of the top three sports played in the parish namely football, hockey & cricket for men & women alike. The rink football events for the men and women were held on Day 1 of the festival where a total of eleven teams – eight men and three women teams – fought for top honours. The men’s round consisted of the teams Wild Hawks, Ignite A, Ignite B, Chimbai A, Chimbai B, Chimbai Seniors, Happy Riot and Yatch Boys and was based on a knock-out basis. And while Chimbai B emerged winners in a well contested final, Ignite A had to be content with a second place finish. The women’s event was a round-robin affair with three teams in the fray - Happy Riot, Chimbai Stars & Happy Feet - in which Happy Feet indeed finished as the happiest team bagging the winner’s prize with Chimbai Stars coming in as runners up. Day 2 consisted of the Box Cricket event where six teams - Wild Hawks, Chimbai Acers, Chimbai A, Chimbai 446, Happy Riot & Wallopers – slogged it out for the winner’s trophy in a knock-out format. In the finals of the event, Chimbai A emerged victorious after trumping Wallopers in a keenly-contested final match. But the best was saved for the last wherein a hockey game consisting of players from the parish was played between Chimbai and Yatch Boys. In a game that comprised four quarters of 8 minutes each, a field goal amounted to two goals whereas goals scored from a penalty corner counted as one. It was an end-to-end fast-paced game and after regulation time, both teams were locked at three goals apiece having scored a field goal and penalty corner goal each. The time-breaker followed and Yatch Boys managed to hold their nerve till the end, getting the better of Chimbai with a final score of 2-1.

On the whole, The Andrean Sportsfest was a roaring success thanks to the efforts of Fr. Allwyn Narazeth and the Andrean Youth Wing. The parishioners also lauded the efforts and hoped there would be many such sporting events that bring together the parish community. The Andrean Youth Wing also appreciated Fr. Magi Murzello for assisting in getting the Andrew’s Turf Park for use of this parish event. Wren D’Abreo & Valerian D’Costa

Yatch Boys - Winners of the Men’s Hockey

Happy Feet - Winners of the Women’s Rink Football

Chimbai B - Winners of the Men’s Rink Football

Chimbai A - Winners of the Box Cricket

The Andrean Youth Movement team

Joga Bonita win Bandra Gymkhana Open Rink Football Joga Bonita the team that stood out right through the tournament which began on the 27th January and ended on the 11th February 2017, lifted the 24th Bandra Gym open Mens Category Rink Football tournament played on the flood-lit DPRC grounds Bandra. In all 124 teams participated in the

tournament, 84 teams in the mens, 24 in the veterans & 17 teams in the girls section. Results of Mens section semi-finals Joga Bonita beat U.K. United in the semifinals 4-1, goals coming in from Joshua (2), Scot (1), Daniel (1) for U.K. United Manuel

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scored the only goal. In another semi-final Falcon Brothers beat Ronnie-7 in an exciting match by 2-1, Wayne & Craig scored for Falcon Brothers while Leonard scored for Ronnie-7. In the finals Joga Bonita got the better of Falcon Brothers 3-0, with goals from Scot, Daniel and Dion.

Vijay.

Results of the Veterans section A brace by Asif Jamal enabled Golden Gunners lift the veterans open section trophy beating a spirited Vintage FC by 2-1, the consolation goal for Vintage was scored by

PLAYER OF THE TOURNAMENT Daniel - Joga Bonita (Mens) Asif Jamal - Golden Gunners (Veterans) Akansha Khandalkar - Baze F.C. (Girls) Derrick Drego

Results of the Girls section Football Leaders (Defiya) and Baze FC (Bhagyashree) were locked in a 1-1 draw till full time and the match had to be decided via the tie-breaker, where Football Leaders emerged Champions.


BANDRA BUZZ

NEWS

FEBRUARY 2017 05

Unprofessional concrete work at Carter Promenade Those who use the Carter Promenade have recently seen that the major concrete repair work being carried out near the Otter’s Club end - is going on for more than a month. At several spots, it is dangerous to walk – as you may trip and fall. Piles of stones are kept for weeks. Tiles are broken and kept for weeks – creating a hazard to life and limb. Anyone can slip and fall, causing major injury. Senior citizens are most affected. What are our elected representatives doing? UNPROFESSIONAL: The photos shown here are neither from the 70s or 80s - nor from some smaller town. This is Bandra Carter Road Promenade, 14 Feb 2017 at 9:20pm! Major concrete work is being executed in the most unprofessional manner! The workers have no safety gear whatsoever and their children are in the midst of it all, without proper illumination. In this situation, it is an accident – just waiting to happen. Something similar is happening on the Eastern Express Highway & Sion Dharavi highway for the past two weeks. No safety gear and no reflectors. Is this development – or have we gone back 50 years?

HEALTH HAZARD: The large quantity of cement dust from the concrete mixer is a major health hazard to the workers and the hundreds of promenade users. Many have complained to our reporter, of respiratory issues getting worse. They have been coming to this seaside promenade for some clean air – but their health problem has only worsened, thanks to the fine cement dust in the air. Does this work have a timeline? How can a busy seaside promenade, like Carter’s have repair work, going on indefinitely? Why are safety measures not complied with? Is this a planned project? Where are the supervisors & contractors? Is there any accountability? Promenade users suggested that repair areas be cordoned off and closed to the public – instead of rubble spilling over, causing hazardous situations. Others told us that the concrete mixer should be working only at times when the promenade is not used much – like afternoons. While it is commendable that the concerned authorities are repairing & maintaining the promenade, this slipshod job will certainly not do – as the public is bearing the brunt. Charles Simoes

The Khar East Indian Marathi Singing Competition

The Khar East Indian Welfare Association presented the ‘East Indian Marathi Singing Competition 2017’ on 26th January 2017 at St. Theresa’s School Quadrangle, opp. Patwardhan Park, Bandra. The various titles were Dar Varsaa competition, Kartav Savvis, Jaanevarila, Sanaa Sarkaa Dis Hai, Mhanoonlokh Yetai, Gaazvaalaa, etc. – with music provided by Allwyn & Hyginus. It was an entertaining evening for the local East Indian Community. The local MLA, Adv. Ashish Shelar was the Chief Guest – and he told the crowd: “As cosmopolitan suburbs, Khar, Bandra & San-

tacruz have communities living together in peace & harmony. I congratulate the Khar East Indian Welfare Association for all the good work they are doing to uplift Khar village & help in the overall development of the East Indian community. Lets work together for our common goal of a unified India.” The association promotes educational & cultural programmes, gives student scholarships, distributes books, celebrates a Carnival (Introz) and organizes annual pilgrimages. The President, Fabian Jacinto, V. President, Leo Bhandu, Treasurer

Priscilla Bhundoo, Secretary May Britto & Jt. Secretary Theresa Sutari are the principle office bearers, with a committee strength of over 12 members. Morris B. Kinny – MD of Kinny Farm House & Resort, Everilda D’Mello, Director of Darisa Builders, Cletus D’Souza of Stephen Optics

- and a lot of supporters helped make a souvenir possible, with their donations. There were sponsored prizes for solo & duet – which enhanced the competition – making it even more enjoyable. Archie Gomes


06 FEBRUARY 2017

BANDRA BUZZ

EVENTS

St. Joseph’s alumni to celebrate its 25th year with SJC Food Festival! St. Joseph's Convent Alumni Association completes its 25th year in 2017, and what better way to kick off the celebration than with a food festival. The ex-students of St. Joseph’s Convent Bandra present ‘Food, Glorious Food!’, a 2-day celebration featuring a line-up of some of the best cuisines the city has to offer. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy some live music, relish lip-smacking delicacies in a gorgeous open-air setting. The festival will be held on February 18 & 19, at Joseph’s Dreamland, Bandra (entrance near Almeida Park). Some of your favourite neighborhood restaurants will set up shop over the weekend, including Yorrick’s Cookhouse. You can’t miss their juicy burgers, which pack a punch in the flavour department, and regularly make it to lists of ‘Bombay’s Best Burgers’. There’s also Death by BBQ, which is most often described in reviews as a ‘meat-lovers dream’. The Bandra eatery

that specializes in barbecued meat, has a spread of authentic Southern style ribs, barbecue chicken, and slow-smoked pulled pork cooked with charcoal and fruitwood. And that’s not all. Happyness Kitchen, Tina’s Oven, Choco Circle, Kaavo Meat, Café 21, Forever, Kitchen Hustle, Health Hatch and Oye Punjabi are just some of the other names you’ll find at this extravaganza for your tastebuds. Another highlight of the festival will be the live music from some talented young artists and musicians who will serenade visitors with music from across the ages. St. Joseph’s Convent Alumni Association is a vast network of ex=students, spanning the globe, whose mission is to inspire and empower the next generation of young women. Check out the link for all the updates and don't forget to invite your friends and family through the event page! http://tinyurl.com/SJC-Food-Fest

WRITERS WANTED Founded in 2010, Bandra Buzz is a community newspaper reporting about local issues, schools, colleges, sports, health, business, events, etc. We are looking for people who want to join the team on a part time basis. Mail your resume to news.bandrabuzz@gmail.com or call 9820783686 or 9920299787

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NEWS

FEBRUARY 2017 07

BANDRA BUZZ

Blindfold Yoga could be the workout you were looking for

Harshita Punjabi alongside Krissann Barretto & models at Masala Bar

Priyanka Nair performs Blindfolded Bhujapidasana pose How often are you distracted from what you are doing? In today’s chaotic times it seems nearly impossible to keep calm & concentrate on one thing. Airhostessturned-yoga instructor Priyanka Nair was battling these very issues until she decided to add a twist to her regular yoga practice. “I got this crazy idea of going through my entire practice while being blindfolded� she says excitedly. What started as an experiment has now turned out to become a major draw for her clients who are starting to take to it in large numbers. While yoga practice in itself is a great stress buster, being blindfolded adds another dimension to the whole experience feels Priyanka. “You don’t need eyes to see. When you are following somebody’s instructions, you tend to be more focused on getting the posture right. While getting the posture right is an important aspect of yoga, it is also necessary for you to establish a connection with the universe. When you are blindfolded, the experience transcends from being merely physical.� she says. If meditation is not for you, then Priyanka's blindfolded yoga might just be your thing. The fun activity is also one of a kind in India. Apart from the special form, Priyanka also takes regular yoga classes for individuals and groups at three locations including Khar, Santa Cruz and Churney Road. Her classes are priced at Rs 950 per session for privates and Rs 500 for groups.

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Harshita Punjabi unveils ‘Romantic Liaison’ collection

While blindfolded yoga is now only a special feature in her classes, Priyanka intends to start full edged lessons soon. “I was going through many personal problems before I discovered the beneďŹ ts of blindfolded yoga. I can tell you a thousand reasons to try it, but it is best to experience it yourself.â€? Priyanka says. Apart from paid yoga sessions, she also plans to start free outdoor group activities at Jogger’s park where she goes for her everyday walks. So if you are one of those people who's tried every possible workout in tow and still not satisďŹ ed, Priyanka’s blindfold yoga might just be your thing! Prateeksha Nayak

ASHLYN JANE Creating Original Trend Setting Indo-Western Fashion (since 2002)

What began as a classroom exercise between two best friends in the 4th standard found its culmination in a fashion show that was worthy enough to blow your socks o. Last week, Bandra’s Masala Bar hosted young designer Harshita Punjabi, as she unveiled her pre-Valentines collection titled ‘Romantic Liaison’. Walking the ramp for her was her best friend of several years, Krissann Barretto, another Bandra babe and a rising television star. Krissann stormed the runway, in a Little Black Drape Dress (an LBDD, if you please) that epitomised the spirit of Jorss – Harshita’s fashion label and store. “‘Jorss’ just means ‘having a good time’. That is what the collection is about really, women who aren’t afraid to be themselves and have fun.â€? Harshita, a NIFT-graduate, started Jorss when she was barely 20. “I dreamed of making fashionable clothes that were budget-friendly. Jorss, that way, is exclusive, elaborate and tasteful,â€? says Harshita. While fashion for her means both comfort and accessibility, Harshita is not one to shy away from embellishment. “Oh yes, I love embroidery and gold brocade. With romantic liaison, I teamed up fresh colours

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with gold hints.â&#x20AC;? In ode to the upcoming festival of love, Harshitaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s romanticallythemed collection is about ďŹ rst glances, and the blush that highlights a womanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face when she sees her lover. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was the basic inspiration for this set. I just took the theme and ran with it.â&#x20AC;? Love, in fact, was the key ingredient for much of the event, and as far as the BFFs were concerned, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the loveâ&#x20AC;? was hard to miss. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Yep, Krissann was my showstopper because I completely refused to have anyone else. She is my best friend & weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come a long way together.â&#x20AC;? So, what is this precious incident from the 4th grade that has been etched so deeply into the story of this brand? Harshita recalls, â&#x20AC;&#x153;As young girls, we asked each other what the other wanted to be once we were grown up. Krissann wanted to be famous and I wanted to be a designer. Today, she is a TV star and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a designer, and we just did our ďŹ rst show together! That was nearly 15 years ago! Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny when life comes full circle like that.â&#x20AC;? Honestly, we couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree more! To get your hands on Harshitaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designs, check out Jorssbyharshitapunjabi on Instagram and Facebook. Sarah John

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08 FEBRUARY 2017

BANDRA BUZZ

CIVIC

MAKE AN INFOR

Your Municipal Councillor will represent you

UMER SOLANKI WARD 97 NCP SANTA CRUZ

DR. SURAINA MALHOTRA WARD 98 NCP KHAR

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ATUL G WARD MN BANDRA

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also known as the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai is the civic body that governs the capital city of Mumbai in Maharashtra and is India's richest municipal organization. The BMC's annual budget is more than that of some of the small states of India. Established under the Bombay Municipal Corporation Act 1888, it is responsible for the civic infrastructure and administration of the city and some suburbs. For administrative purposes, Greater Mumbai is divided into 6 zones, each consisting of 3 to 5 wards -named alphabetically. The municipal bodies of India are vested with a long list of functions delegated to them by the state governments, under the municipal legislation. These functions broadly relate to public health, welfare, regulatory functions, public safety, public infrastructure works, and development activities: - Public health includes water supply, sew-

erage and sanitation, eradication of communicable diseases, etc. - Welfare includes public facilities such as education, recreation, etc. - Regulatory functions related to prescribing and enforcing building regulations, encroachments on public land, birth registration and death certificate, etc. - Public safety includes fire protection, street lighting, etc. - Public infrastructure works measures such as construction and maintenance of inner city roads, etc. - Development activities related to town planning and development of commercial markets. H-WEST Ward: Areas under the H-West ward are Bandra, parts of Khar and Santa Cruz covering an area of 11.55 sq. kms. The population is approx. 4 lakhs, with one municipal hospital and four other hospitals. There are 8 cemeteries and 44 schools.

PRESENT ISSUES: The burning issues of this area, include illegal hawkers, road surfaces, foot paths, parking, entry into one way streets, Jogger’s Park takeover, the coastal road connecting node, sewage, garbage disposal, water supply, illegal slums, CCTV cameras not working, road rage, hi-speed biking groups, chain snatching, petty crime, etc. ELECTIONS 2017: This BMC election has many new entries in the fray for the seat of Municipal Councillor. Many of them have been doing good social and civic work for the past several years, without being in power, through their NGOs & other outreach programmes. Many more mainstream parties have supported their candidates, by giving them tickets to stand for their party. Also, a lot of new Independent Candidates, some of whom have selflessly served their neighbouring areas – have thrown their hat in the ring. This has widened the options, for people in H-West

WARD 100

Ward. YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT: We need to make an informed decision – to choose someone who will be our link to the BMC, on a daily basis. Do your due diligence – and decide who that person will be. Other people’s opinions should not be the criteria. Slogans and hard-sell is not important. We need someone with the intent to serve their designated ward – and who has the capacity to get it done. If you were happy with someone who has served as municipal councillor, do vote for that person to continue. But, if you feel that a new candidate will be able to do a better job, go ahead let’s create a better Bandra. You are in control. This is people’s power. Select the voting button of your choice. Use NOTA, if you are unhappy with all your options. However, do go to your polling booth and VOTE. Pradeep Patil

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When ALM m 24 year The cu he was needed ground did not cause n any int matter the BM city and bodies’ had he bling o dogs an people dumps


POLLS

FEBRUARY 2017 09

BANDRA BUZZ

RMED DECISION

u for the next five years – so, choose wisely

MHATRE D 100 JP A NORTH

BRINALE FERNANDES WARD 100 SS BANDRA NORTH

KAREN D’MELLO WARD 100 INC BANDRA NORTH

ASIF ZAKARIA WARD 101 INC BANDRA CENTRAL

DEREYK TALKER WARD 101 BJP BANDRA CENTRAL

GHONE D 101 NS CENTRAL

FAHMIDA D’SILVA WARD 102 IND BANDRA SOUTH

KAVITA RODRIGUES WARD 102 INC BANDRA SOUTH

MUMTAZ RAHEBAR KHAN WARD 102 IND BANDRA SOUTH

RANJANA RAUT WARD 102 BJP BANDRA SOUTH

Citizens…Let your oice be loud & clear!

Deepak Phillips attended the meeting for the first time in his s, he did it out of compulsion. rrent environmental project s handling at his work place d some information on the d realities of Mumbai city. He t know what was in store benone from his family ever took erest in the civic or political s of the city. They felt it was MC’s duty to clean and run the d also there were other ‘busywho did that. But at home he ard his mother’s daily grumn how Mumbai was going to nd how the BMC fell short of ’s expectations - garbage everywhere, pavements en-

croached upon, pot-holed roads, neglected open spaces and water problems. He had also seen the maid depositing their garbage bag under the nearest tree, as per the instructions of her mistress! At the ALM meeting he realised that the issues his mother complained within the four walls, were being tackled by other people of his locality who had no problems of their own! He was astonished to see a gentleman, supposedly the Corporator of his Ward lending a patient ear to the grievances of the citizens, noting them down diligently. He seemed to be a true ‘public servant’ at the service of the people who had elected him to be their voice in

Mumbai’s corridors of power. He felt embarrassed at being a total stranger in this environment and tried to recall the last BMC elections when his peer group had taken off to the hills for a three-day holiday. As one of his friends often commented, BMC guys were lazy and politicians were ‘crooked’! The young generation of this country had no time to waste on such trivial matters……Was it true? He shook himself out of his reverie……people around him were discussing how citizen awareness was necessary to keep localities clean, how littering, dumping garbage, spitting etc. has to stop, blaming BMC alone would not work. Maintaining Mumbai had to be the joint-effort by the citizens and the authorities. To co-ordinate the proceedings, it is necessary to elect a people’s representative with a track record of public service, integrity and

honesty and easily accessible to the people who elect him/her. Elections were barely a week away. Deepak came home to confront his family on their total apathy to the conditions around them. Convinced by what he had heard and pleased with the manner in which the Corporator had responded to the

citizens, Deepak persuaded all his family members to vote for the right candidate in the coming week……yes, they would pick their own representative! It is within the grasp of every voter- let your voice be heard loud and clear! Vera Alvares


NEWS

BANDRA BUZZ

FEBRUARY 2017 11

Lavender Lounge hookah parlour at Pali shut down Bandra’s peaceful Pali Village, a heritage precinct was recently disturbed with the opening of an illegal hookah joint, Lavender Lounge in Elcid building’s garage 3, at 565, Dr Ambedkar Road, Bandra West. Creating a nuisance with loud music, till the wee hours of the morning; this added to the misery of people from Elcid building, Bellevue building, Pali village and Ambedkar Road. Then, there was the ‘sheesha smoke’ coming from the lounge - which has been in operation since the entire of 2016. All this added to the woes of senior citizens and children in the area, who have a continuous chest infection. It all started with a determined effort to close the illegal lounge. Firstly, we did our rounds to the Khar police station and then H/West ward office of the BMC. Due to the diligence of the Deputy Police Commissioner of Zone IX, Bandra, Satyanarayan Chaudhary; on Friday 19th January, 2017; the Khar police came and caught almost 16 youngsters smoking ‘sheesha’ red handed on the premises. They shut it down but it was opened again on Sunday 21st January and only after calling the DCP in the evening, did the cops from Khar police station come. Again, the lounge was operational - with people smoking and they were taken to the Khar police station.

The police have caught Shaikh Feroz of Lavender Lounge (who leased the garage from the owner Farook Khatri who lives in Elcid building) under COTPA 2003 - An Act to regulate the trade and the ad of tobacco products. There have been amendments to the Act, which are arbitrary in nature and need to incorporate provisions to check all hookah parlours too. According to John Miranda, a resident of Elcid building, “School children would come in the morning, change uniforms and go to Lavender Lounge. Also a lot of other illegal activities were being carried out in the premises. The garage has a mezzanine floor with an underground, as well as not being fire complaint, all illegal constructions for which the BMC does not take any action.” After umpteen letters to the BMC H/West ward and finally to the RMO and Building & License Dept. they - along with the police from Khar police station came on Monday 22nd January & shut it down. The lounge has been shut since, but with no notice was given by the BMC as to ‘on what grounds they were shut’. Residents of the locality fear that they may open again and cause distress to its citizens, and also be a bad influence on the children of the society and surrounding areas. Also a query that comes to mind is: ‘When the

people were caught at Lavender Lounge, were they legally of age 21, to smoke tobacco? Was their ID proof for age checked? Investigating this case, the garage owner Farook Khatri told us that there was no smell or smoke coming out – or else the neighbours or the society would have complained. Just to extort money, this story of smoke was created by a lady from the area. If this was illegal, why did the police allow this for about a year? I did not agree to giving any extortion money, so I told my tenants to leave. There are several hookah parlours everywhere, so where is the question of illegality. Anway, all this has stopped now.

Mohsin Khan, who ran ‘Lavender Lounge’ business, called us to confirm that it was a hookah parlour – and that no illegal drugs were sold there. He told us, that there are more than 30 successful hookah parlours around – and others are not affected. We are from good families and would never deal in drugs, ever. For residents of the area, it’s a battle won for the good of the locality - reclaiming their quiet and peace again. But the BMC needs to inform the residents how such harmful activities are allowed in thickly populated residential areas under the direct gaze of its officers? Stardust Gonsalves


12 FEBRUARY 2017

BANDRA BUZZ

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EDITORIAL

BANDRA BUZZ

FEBRUARY 2017 13

The Moment of Truth Letters to the Editor Dear Reader, February is when we can see and feel a lot of change. The weather at the beginning and end of this month is totally different. Falling leaves have already been sighted in many places in Bandra. The countdown to the BMC elections may bring change in local governance. There are tense situations around several burning issues in this smart suburb – where change is forced upon citizens, because of hidden agendas at higher levels. Yet, citizens cope – with hope of a better future. Several ‘Know Your Candidates’ programmes have been held at various venues – and these have brought about a lot of awareness. Citizens have come to know more about the candidates who are contesting the BMC elections in and around their wards, their views on key topics and they also get a chance to ask civic questions and get answers immediately. As election days draws near – i.e. 21st February 2017 - 7:30am to 5:30pm, hectic campaigning gets more & more fierce. And yes, the moment of truth will be on 23rd February 2017 – when counting will be done and results announced. On a lighter note, Cicero - of the Roman empire, wrote this about the political & social situation during his life -time: 1. The Poor, work & work. 2. The Rich, exploits the poor. 3. The Soldier, protects both. 4. The Taxpayer, pays for all three. 5. The Wanderer, rests for all four. 6. The Drunk, drinks for all five.

7. The Banker, robs all six. 8. The Lawyer, misleads all seven. 9. The Doctor, kills all eight. 10. The Undertaker, buries all nine. 11. And... The Politician lives happily on account of all ten. This was written in 43 B.C. - but is valid even in today’s scenario. This election is for selecting ‘corporators’, at the lowest governance level – the bridge between the BMC & the people. People will be empowered when their voices are heard and their civic issues resolved. So, you & I need a people’s person as our local representative – not someone with hidden agendas. Every vote counts and decides who will represent you for the next five years. This time, the options have increased and the results could be anybody’s guess. Bandra Buzz urges you to vote – study your options with an un-biased mindset and then vote. If you do not find any candidate worthy of your vote – then press NOTA (None of the above). But, do go out to the polling station of your ward and exercise your constitutional right to VOTE! Till next time, take care.

Regards, Merck N. D’Silva Editor-in-Chief

HEALTH HAZARD: FILTH AT BAZAR CROSS ROAD Bazar Cross road is known for its closely knit communities and a certain sense of tranquility. However, a massive garbage dump seems to grab all the attention, in recent months. A breeding ground for rats (the size of kittens) and dangerously huge mosquitoes awaits when anyone who passes this tiny bye lane that starts from Hill Road, via Ice Factory Lane and leads you to the Bandra Market. Over the years, after numerous attempts, residents have lost hope in the authorities, and people passing by have no other option but to dodge the mess. A result of bad habit, ill governance and lack of initiative; makes this dump more than just an eyesore. It is a rapidly rising health hazard. What's even more shocking is the fact, that the garbage very often extends towards a Holy Cross - often hurting the religious sentiments of those residing here. Instead of organizing a systematic method of waste collection, the concerned authorities only promise to clean up the dump ‘for a few days of the week’ - and at their convenience.

What is needed is garbage removal by the BMC, at least twice every day. This is because people from surrounding areas continuously come to dump their waste here. Will this ever happen? Only time will tell. Shelton Fonseca

SAVE JOGGERS PARK Bandra residents - we need your active support to save Joggers Park. It got taken over by BMC without any notice and I am sure that the upkeep will deteriorate rapidly now. Let's all save this important green lung in the neighbourhood. Luis Moniz BMC ELECTIONS 2017 I am fed up with all the present Municipal Councillors of Bandra West. What have they done for the past 5 or 10 years? Just made money, to fill their own pockets and add to their party funds. This time, we need Independent Candidates, who do not need to listen to their party bosses or follow any party ideologies. These young and knowledgeable candidates can be more sincere towards common people, as their intent is to serve citizens and create a better Bandra. I have personally seen some of them outreaching to the poor and needy. They understand Bandra better – and have a deep love for the place. This time, let us kick out these mainstream party candidates and let change happen by voting for true ,’sons of the soil’ – not someone who sends their money back to their native place. John Pereira

Bandra's civic poll has Ward 100 comprising all women candidates. This congested locality engulfs Bazaar Road and neighbouring areas. It will be a tough contest as all communities are equally represented. There are new faces in the fray contesting while others are wives of previous corporators. Those representing political parties have advantage over independents. First time contestants will not make it at all. The incumbency factor is a disadvantage in present case as public dejected with BMC. Good State EC has reserved wards for women corporators. Ex-Corporator Rehebar Khan has does done good work for our constituency. After 2006 deluge he had BMC clean all gutters. After that no corporator has bothered to even come to our area. Now Mumtaz Khan is standing as an independent and is definitely a winner. Amar Singh E:news.bandrabuzz@gmail.com DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this paper, are of the authors - and do not reflect the opinion of the publishers and editors, unless otherwise stated. Readers should act on the information provided, only after consulting with their own independent advisors.


February 2017