Week in Review: Jan 3-9
Food inflation continued to ail the city. The price of eggs increased by Rs4 a dozen to cost between Rs44 and Rs48. The price of milk rose by Rs1 per litre and garlic, which was selling for Rs50-Rs60 per kg in May 2010, went up by Rs280 to Rs400 per kg. The price of high protein foods like milk, eggs, meat and fish increased by 10 per cent as the railway ministry increased freight rates for bird and animal feed by 13 per cent. According to government data, food inflation had reached 18.32 per cent by December.
A 58-year-old homemaker died after falling into an open drain in Wadala East. The BMC blamed the woman saying that she had been let down by her weak eyesight and old age. Some contractors and civic officials nearly duped the BMC of Rs94.64 crore by producing bogus bills for work on sewer lines and manholes that never really happened. The BMC decided to discontinue its practice of beautifying marathon routes as Procam, the event management company that organises the Mumbai Marathon, owes the civic body Rs18 crore for the previous seven events. In 2009, the BMC sanctioned Rs480 crore to stop pilferage and contamination of water through its pipelines, but recent figures indicate that the theft continues to be as much as 25 per cent even though it has already spent Rs364 crore of the amount.
Sports broadcaster ESPN sought a cover of Rs600 crore for terror and weather insurance for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, which starts in February, in Mumbai. It’s three times the Rs200 crore cover sought for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. At the IPL auction, Kolkata Knight Riders made the highest bid of Rs11.04 crore for Gautam Gambhir. KKR also made the second-highest bid of the day, Rs9.66 crore for Yusuf Pathan. Older cricketers like Sourav Ganguly and Brian Lara found no takers. Just when the CBI tried to submit its closure report regarding the 1987 Bofors case, in which several top Indian politicians, including Rajiv Gandhi, were accused of receiving kickbacks from Swedish arms company AB Bofors, the Income Tax tribunal got fresh evidence that the late Win Chaddha, a former Bofors agent, received Rs52.6 crore in kickbacks and Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi got $7million (Rs9 crore).
The amount of “soft drugs” such as charas and ganja seized by the Narcotic Control Bureau in Mumbai increased six-fold in the last two years. The quantity of ganja hauled by the NCB rose from 27.5kgs in 2008 to 177kgs in 2010. The NCB and the police attribute the hike to the cheap and easy availability of the drugs as compared to synthetic drugs, which “many people are not aware about”, and also because “skilled people for manufacturing them [synthetic drugs] are short in supply here”. Telecom minister Kapil Sibal said that the report on the 2G scam submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General “was fraught with errors” and that “the figures given by the CAG of Rs1.76 lakh crore are utterly erroneous, totally erroneous”. A Harvard School study revealed that the deaths of 1.8 million girls in India over the past 20 years are linked to domestic violence against their mothers. “Shockingly this violence does not pose a threat to your life if you are lucky enough to be born a boy,” said Harvard scholar, Jay Silverman.Tags: 2011 ICC World Cup, BMC, Bofors, Brian Lara, IPL, IPL auction, Kolkata Knight Riders, Salman Taseer, Sourav Ganguly, Special Top Story, Week in Review