The Mumbai fire brigade has been receiving repeated requests from politicians who want to hire its machinery, including hoses and Snorkels, for non-fire related operations. The hoses are often sought for cleaning statues and monuments and Snorkels are demanded for garlanding statues. A senior fire official said, “The hoses and Snorkels are meant for putting out fires, not cleaning or garlanding statues.” Also, hiring a Snorkel comes at a price, which netas are often unwilling to pay. The latest request, which was turned down by the brigade, came from Shiv Sena leaders. “They wanted to use our snorkels to clean Shivaji Park ahead of Bal Thackeray’s first death anniversary. We had to say no as the hiring rates are high and Snorkels are to be used for fire-related operations only,” said the official.
Two days before World Diabetes Day on November 14, the BMC had flagged off a new campaign to fight diabetes, in association with some top corporates. The initiative was launched at a swanky function at a South Mumbai five-star hotel in the presence of eminent personalities. Citing serious concern over the rise in diabetes cases in Mumbai, many speakers stressed the need to “eat right”. The event ended with a lunch that offered several delicacies. Ironically, many of the delectable dishes served, be it appetisers or main course, were cholesterol-inducing.
The Campa Cola compound row had made headlines last week. On November 11, a day before the original deadline set by the Supreme Court for residents to vacate and demolition work on illegal flats was to begin, a car owner stopped this correspondent near Haji Ali, asking for directions to Worli. When asked where he wanted to go, the car owner said that he, along with some friends, wanted to visit the Campa Cola buildings. “The buildings are there today, they might not be there after a few days,” he quipped. The group, which had come all the way from Bhiwandi, was travelling in three cars.
To reach out to Bollywood, the Mumbai police roped in a public relations firm to bring actors and the media together. The PRO of the firm had sent email invites to media persons and members of the film industry for a chat with the Mumbai police commissioner and joint commissioners. However, not many in the latter category turned up. The officers had to address the media with