Monday, March 28, 2016

Bombay=Mumbai:-minor ports called bandar ports --history of Bombay reclamation from sea

 from a comment recieved:-  Have you ever come across any area known as Bunderpoor (in the context of Bombay in Mid 1800)? If any reader knows anything about the area once referred to as Bunderpoot (near Chinch Bunder), please share the details. Thanks.


Aamchi mumbai ....... - SlideShare

www.slideshare.net/shubhamghadigaonkar5/aamchi-mumbai-50769548
Jul 21, 2015 - By 1845 the seven southern islands had been connected to form Old ... land exists) Chinch Bunder (south of Dongri near the shore) – chinch ...CHINCH bunder port 
CHINCH BUNDER WAS A PORT BEFORE RECLAMATION OF LAND FROM SEA TO MAKE PRINCESS DOCKYARD -SEE MAPS BELOW:-

History of Bombay under British rule - Wikipedia, the free ...
en.wikipedia.org

Bombay 1672


 RECLAMATIONS FROM SEA IN 19TH CENTURY
 Image result for OLD RECLAMATION BOMBAY MAPSDwelling in Mazagaon,BOMBAY/MUMBAI
Image result for OLD RECLAMATION BOMBAY MAPSSEA BETWEEN COLABA AND BOMBAY FORT
Image result for OLD RECLAMATION BOMBAY  FOR PRINCESS DOCKYARD"Visit of the Viceroy of India to the Sassoon Dock at Bombay," from the Illustrated London News, 1865
Image result for OLD RECLAMATION BOMBAY  FOR PRINCESS DOCKYARDThe Mazagaom Bunder,PORT with a vessel stranded [Bombay]
Colaba - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
en.wikipedia.org

Old Bombay, 1909. Ambitious reclamation plans from 1912 have been only partly realised


Map of Mumbai City / Bombay - Detailed Map of all Areas of ...

www.aboutmumbai.com/mumbaimapnew.htm
Areawise clickable map of Mumbai / Bombay city, with area maps
Bombay Harbour from Apollo Bunder 1855


Photograph of Kalbadevi, Bombay

Girgaum Cemetery, Bombay 1855-malabar hill covered with forest can be seen in the distance
HEARSE FROM ENGLISH FORT BOMBAY ON THE WAY TO GIRGAUM CEMETERY ON BEACH [MARINE DRIVE BEACH]MALABAR HILL IN DISTANCE  WITH PARSI TOWER OF SILENCE
Image result for RECLAMATIONS  BOMBAY PAINTINGS 1890'S
Bombay Harbour from James Wales, Bombay views

Image result for LAND RECLAMATION IN BOMBAY PAINTINGS
BOMBAY-BEFORE MOTOR CAR WAS DISCOVERED
Image result for LAND RECLAMATION IN BOMBAY PAINTINGSVIEW VIEW -FROM MALABAR HILL TOWARDS COLABA

CHOWPATTY BEACH VIEW FROM MALABAR HILLS

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haji bunder port-MUMBAI-BOMBAY
Map of Haji Bunder Port
Haji Bunder Port 
Port
Address: Haji Bunder Rd, Sewri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400033

Map of HAY BUNDER PORT

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 HAY BUNDER PORT -MUMBAI(BOMBAY)

Map of Hay Bunder, Sewri, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hay Bunder, Sewri, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hay Bunder Map - MagicBricks

www.magicbricks.com › Mumbai
Hay Bunder, Mumbai Map. Google Map of Hay Bunder with highlights of all Roads, Metros, Hospitals, Schools, Religious Places etc at Magicbricks.com.
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BEDI BUNDER PORT-JAM NAGAR -GUJARAT

Map of Bedi Port Rd, Jamnagar, Gujarat 361009

Bedi Port Rd, Jamnagar, Gujarat 361009

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Keti Bandar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keti_Bandar
Keti Bandar (Urdu: کیٹی بندر) is a port on the Arabian Sea, in the Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan. The port was built on the remains of the older seaport of ...
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PLAN OF BOMBAY CITY-1762

Another old port wasBandora=also called Bandra-see maps below

 

it was at the entrance of the channel where mithi river drained ;and was an entrance/exit for ships passing from west(Arabian sea) to east To mazgaon and Trombay through and by the side of sion fort 
BANDORA[Bandra] CAN BE SEEN IN THE LOWER MAP OPPOSITE MAHIM ,BOTH ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CHANNEL,CONNECTING ARABIAN SEA ON THE WEST WITH TROMBAY AND ELEPHANTA ON THE EAST
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James Wales, Bombay views: twelve views of the island of Bombay and its vicinity (London, 1800)



BOMBAY FORT VIEW FROM ..
View Of Bombay, From Mazagon Hill.

LAND Reclamations FROM SEA :-

The Great Breach

The only record which survives of large-scale engineering before the arrival of the Portuguese is that of the remnants of a massive stone causeway across the Flats on the island of Bombay. These Flats were the low-lying lands between Dongri and Malabar hills, seperated from the island of Worli by the Great Breach, through which the sea poured in at high tide.
 BELOW:-
 The Hornby Vellard,[ROAD CONNECTING MALABAR HILL TO WORLI] completed in 1784, is said to have given shape to the modern city of Mumbai. Photograph: Alamy

Pydhonie and Umarkhadi
The Great Breach may have extended almost to Umarkhadi, the creek seperating Bombay from Mazagaon. Occasionally the two would be linked by a shallow creek at the site of the crowded present-day bazaar area of Pydhonie. Only the name, which means "foot wash", now gives a clue to the fact that it was once a creek, because this was probably the first piece of land to be reclaimed from the sea.
Quite as likely, Umarkhadi was also filled in soon after the arrival of the British and joined Mazagaon irretrievably to Bombay. The last story in which Mazagaon appears as a seperate island relates to its occupation by the Sidi of Janjira in 1690-1. He was repelled by a rag-tag navy of fishermen led by the amateur Parsi admiral Rustomji Dorabji.

The Hornby Vellard

 

Early efforts at land reclamation concentrated on the small creeks crossing the northern Flats of Bombay island. Several of these were dammed or filled in during the eighteenth century. As a result, the areas north and east of Umarkhadi and Mazagaon were slowly settled in this period. However, the next major reclamation was due to the closure of the Great Breach north of Cumballa Hill in 1784 by the building of a sea-wall called the Hornby Vellard.
 
The wall allowed reclamation of the Flats and supplied about 400 acres of land for the extension of the crowded inner city. The precincts of Mahalaxmi, Kamathipura, Tardeo and parts of Bycullah were settled.


[Breach Causeway]
Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Plate 5: View of the Breach Causeway.

The Breach Causeway at Mahalaxmi provides a picture of rural tranquillity set beside a flat sandy beach and a circle of calm water amidst the necklace of tidal islands that formed Bombay in the late C18th. The reclamation of the tidal flats would consolidate the area into unified whole in the C19th, but at the time of Wales' rendering of the scene there is a sense of idyllic simplicity.
In the immediate foreground, on the left of the picture, a massive Indian banyan tree rises to frame the picture and provides a commanding reference point. At the right edge of the picture there is a procession of small Indian and English figures moving along the road. In the foreground are three examples of local methods of transportation: a palanquin, a 'Bengal chair', and a myanna (or small litter suspended from a bamboo pole). The palanquin is being carried towards a long causeway at the centre of the picture. Among the dwellings, adjoining the village well and small sandy beach, Indian figures can be seen moving about their daily tasks. A man on horseback is riding towards the causeway.
Two canopied carriages, one of which is horsedrawn, can be seen moving along the roadway embankment. One is heading along Parel Road towards the ancient Mahalakshmi temple, a Hindu and Parsi shrine well known to the inhabitants of the Bombay islands, but not shown in Wales' landscape. The other carriage drawn by two bullocks and is approaching the village to the right of the picture. A small boat in a circle of calm water provides an offset focus to the centre of the image, while beyond, under a pale blue sky, the north-eastern horizon is punctured by the outline of the distant mountains.
This causeway or vellard, north of Cumballa Hill, was commenced in 1782 and completed in 1784 and became known as the Hornby's Vellard. It was one of the first major engineering projects aimed at transforming the original seven islands of Bombay into a single island with a deep natural harbour. The project was started by William Hornby (d.1803) during his governorship of Bombay from 1771-1784. The initiative was carried out against the wishes of the Directors of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), but to great acclaim by the local inhabitants as it transformed the geography of the islands by opening up the marshy areas of Mahalaxmi and Kamathipura for habitation.
The primary purpose of the causeway was to block the Worli creek and prevent the low-lying areas of Bombay from being flooded by the sea. The causeway formed a crucial connection between north and south Bombay, thereby consolidating the central portion of the island thereby uniting the land north between Mahim and West Parel with the area south of Worli which was normally flooded at high tide.
The word vellard appears to be a local corruption of the Portuguese word vallado meaning 'barrier' or 'embankment'. All the Bombay islands were finally linked by 1838.
Macquarie Connection:
Lachlan Macquarie was familiar with the Breach area and in his journal on the 15 May 1790 he noted that:
"I spent this day very agreeably in a Party given by Mr. Page on the Breach water on board of a jung-Gaur, in which we dined and had a Concert."

WALES, James (1747-1795)
View of the Breach from Love Grove

[Love Grove]
Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Plate 6: View of the Breach from Love Grove.

The island of Worli was connected to the main island of Bombay in 1784, with the completion of the Hornby Vellard. Prior to this, Worli is known to have contained a mosque, the Haji Ali dargah, on a rock in the sea, connected at low-tide to the island by a natural causeway. There was also a fort and a fishing village to the north, close to the island of Mahim. This view shows the perspective from Love Grove Hill on the southern extremity of Worli looking towards the pinnacled Hindu temple at Mahalaksmi. This area became known as the Byculla Flats.
There is a romantic Muslim legend attached to Love Grove, on the right of the view. It concerns two drowned lovers, who today are commemorated in Hadji Ali's mosque.

Colaba and Old Woman's Island

The fort area and the older parts of the Indian town were extremely crowded by the beginning of the nineteenth century. The rich English and Parsi merchants had already moved to the new suburbs of Mazagaon and Bycullah. In 1796, the island of Colaba was declared a cantonment area, and civilians were refused permission to build there. As boat traffic to Colaba increased over the next few decades and many people perished due to overloaded boats capsizing, the need for a Causeway became evident. The Colaba Causeway was completed in 1838, and used Old Woman's island as a stepping stone to Colaba.

[Image] Map of Bombay (1846): (59 Kbytes)

The First Backbay Reclamation Scheme

The first Backbay Reclamation Company was formed during the boom years of the early 1860's, with the stated purpose of reclaiming the whole of Backbay, from the tip of Malabar Hill to the end of Colaba. When the American Civil War ended in 1865, a depression set in and land prices fell. The company went bankrupt and was liquidated. The government took over the narrow strip of land that had been created and gave it to the BB&CI Railways for the purpose of laying a line from Churchgate to their new terminus in Colaba.

The Dockyards

The Backbay reclamation was a major fiasco. The real work took place on the eastern shore of Bombay. All the way from the Sassoon Docks in the south to Sewri in the north, land reclamation proceeded all through the second half of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth.
The Elphinstone Land and Press Company was formed in 1858 to reclaim 250 acres of land from Apollo Bunder to Mazagaon, and a further 100 acres at Bori Bunder, to be given to the GIP Railways for building a the Victoria Terminus. The company went bankrupt with the 1865 crash, and their equipment, along with the already reclaimed land, was given over to the newly-formed Bombay Port Trust in 1873. By the mid 1880's the reclamations were complete, and wet and dry docks had been built.

Early Twentieth Century

The Port Trust continued its work well into the Twentieth century. Between 1914 and 1918 it completed building a dry dock and used the excavated earth to create the 22 acre Ballard Estate. In the meanwhile another ill-advised Backbay reclamation had gone the way of the first. However, this created the land on which one of the city's most well-known landmarks was built-- the Marine Drive. The Art Deco buildings west of the Oval Maidan also stand on land reclaimed by this scheme.

[Image] Map of Bombay (1954): (21.1 Kbytes)

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(Hunting small game including jungle fowl,wild hare wild pigs) Also called: bobbery pack a mixed pack of hunting dogs, often not belonging to any of the hound breeds. 2. informal a noisy commotion. adj. informal ...
below shows hunting near present day esplanade[between church gate and vt/cst stations]

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Maharashtra's oldest homeopathy pharmacy in South

Maharashtra's oldest homeopathy pharmacy in South ...

www.mid-day.com › Life and style News › Sunday Mid day News
2 hours ago - Mahatma Gandhi was once treated here. Roy and Company, Maharashtra's oldest homeopathy pharmacy at Princess Street has changed, and .


Maharashtra's oldest homeopathy pharmacy in South Mumbai turns 127

Mahatma Gandhi was once treated here. Roy and Company, Maharashtra’s oldest homeopathy pharmacy at Princess Street has changed, and then not

It’s easy to walk right past Roy and Company, and we nearly do. The unassuming exterior gives no inkling of the 127 years that have passed since its inception. What gives it away is the musty smell of old books, the high ceiling, rows of teakwood cabinets, an old typewriter and walls dotted with sepia-tinted photographs. Welcome to the state’s oldest homeopathic pharmacy at Shamaldas Gandhi Marg, Princess Street.

A photograph taken in the 1920s shows the second generation of the Kulkarnis — Manohar Kulkarni (left) with a staff member — at Roy and Company Homeopaths
As a slick pack of Roy and Co. hairdye jostles for space next to a brown translucent bottle of Arnica on the counter, it’s almost symbolic of the fine line between tradition and modernity that the pharmacy now toes. “This place is a labour of love of my great grandfather, Vishweshwar Kulkarni, who established it in 1889,” says Dr Tejaswini Kulkarni, a fourth generation member of the Kulkarni family that owns and runs the pharmacy. “So, we have tried to retain its old world charm in terms of decor. And, while we continue to to dispense authentic homeopathic drugs ranging from dilutions, mother tincture, Biochemic tissue salts and Bach flower remedies, we have branched out into more commercial products like toothpastes and shampoos to keep up with times. We also sell books on homeopathy,” she adds.
The pharmacy, started by Vishweshwar Kulkarni after he moved from Karnataka to Bombay, moved from Khetwadi to its present address in 1916. PICS/BIPIN KOKATE
The pharmacy, started by Vishweshwar Kulkarni after he moved from Karnataka to Bombay, moved from Khetwadi to its present address in 1916. Pics/Bipin Kokate
The pharmacy was originally located at Khetwadi, near Edward Cinema, and moved to its current address in 1916. At about 50-100 metres distance from Roy and Company, there are another six homeopathic pharmacies including the Zoroastrian pharmacy and Parsi homoeopathic pharmacy.
Dr Tejaswini Kulkarni (extreme right ) and her brother Jitendra (centre), the fourth generation of the family, manage the pharmacy
Dr Tejaswini Kulkarni (extreme right ) and her brother Jitendra (centre), the fourth generation of the family, manage the pharmacy 
In the early 1900s, the area around Kalbadevi was a thriving business hub. There was the cotton exchange, bullion and jewellery market in Zaveri Bazar, electrical goods market at Lohar Chawl and fabrics were sold at Mangaldas Jethabhai market. “So, being in an area like this, gave us access to more people,” says Jitendra, who manages the counter along with a loyal staff that’s been here for 40 years, including Dattanand and Anand Balwalli along with Bahadur Singh.
While we sit inside the clinic on sturdy wooden chairs that are at least half a century old, Tejaswini gets reams of A4-sized sheets out of her bag. “This is our family tree. And out of this clan, 28 members happen to be homeopathic doctors. So, when I say the love for homeopathy runs in our blood, it’s no exaggeration,” she laughs. Incidentally, other famous homeopathic pharmacies, Ray Brothers’ at Nana Chowk and Orient at Lamington Road belong to Tejaswini’s uncles, Dr Ashok and Dr Praful Ray Lakshman Kulkarni and Dr Ashok and his son Dr Deepak Kulkarni
respectively.
So, if the Kulkarnis are the owners, we are curious to know where the store gets its evidently Bengali name, Roy and Company from. “At that time, my great grandfather was given the title of Rai. The British officers pronounced it as Roy. Soon, people began addressing him as Roy, and he decided to retain it,” she says.
But, interestingly, its founder Vishweshwar Kulkarni was not a doctor by profession. “He had a job in the Post and Telegraph department in Vengurla, Karnataka. But, he would assist Dr Fellowitz, a German Jesuit priest and a homeopathic practitioner. When his compounder fell ill, my great grandfather was asked to fill in. That’s how he was initiated into the field,” reveals Tejaswini. Sharp and proactive, Kulkarni soon learnt the ropes by reading books on medicine and gaining hands-on experience. Fortunes changed when Kulkarni cured the ailing wife of a British officer. “In return, my great grandfather asked for a posting in Bombay, so that he could spread awareness about the field. Homeopathy was gaining ground in Calcutta, and its impact was being felt even in the city. So, he felt the time was ripe,” says the Bandra resident.
The challenge for Kulkarni was to prove the efficacy of homeopathy to people. “The basic premise of homeopathy: ‘like cures like’ — the same substance that could cause a reaction in a healthy person could also be a remedy for someone suffering from similar symptoms — was hard to buy. But in 1902, there was an epidemic of the pneumonic plague and many homeopathic practitioners treated most of the people successfully, which helped instill faith [in the therapy].”
By the 1920s, the second generation comprising Vishweshwar Kulkarni’s four sons were initiated into the business. Roy and Company soon became the chief importers of Mesers B & T (Boericke and Tafel) of America and Schwabe of Germany. Dr Cyrus Maxvell Boger’s treatise on homepathy called Boenninghausen Repertory was first published by Roy and Company in India. “He was the first to start manufacturing homoeopathic drugs in Maharashtra. He was also instrumental in starting the first Homeopathic medical college in the city, now known as CNPH (Chandaben Mohanbhai Patel Homeopathic Medical college) in Vile Parle. Even Mahatma Gandhi took treatment from him when he fell ill during a protest rally at Azad Maidan,” she says.
Tejaswini feels the popularity of allopathy centres hasn’t jeopardised business. “The massive population works to our advantage. Not everybody can afford allopathy treatment. Moreover, homeopathy is a natural, holistic, approach to healing, which takes into account the mental make-up of a person. Many ailments are psychosomatic in nature, for which allopathy doen’t always work. Quite often, allopathic doctors send their patients to us,” she smiles.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

3000 dead on tracks every year-but Govt: wants only bullet train to Ahmedabad-MUMbai news

Crush hour's main culprits: Cartels of Mumbai locals ...

www.mumbaimirror.com › Mumbai
15 hours ago - Crush hour's main culprits: Cartels of Mumbai locals. From top: Scenes from the 7.59 am Dombivali-CST local. This is the same train and coach ...

Crush hour’s main culprits: Cartels of Mumbai locals

From top: Scenes from the 7.59 am Dombivali-CST local. This is the same train and coach that Nakate fell to his death from; nobody helped Nakate as he wasn't a regular on this train; (L) On November 27, a video of Bhavesh Nakate falling to his death from a local train went viral
By Kamal Mishra

Video footage of Bhavesh Nakate's death brought about several changes in commuter safety; it also revealed the brutish nature of the cartels that block doors of coaches.

Known fact: At least 10 people die on railway tracks in Mumbai every day, with most injuring themselves fatally after falling off trains.

Hidden truth: While overcrowding in trains is a major reason - the locals ferry over 78 lakh people in 2,952 services through the day - a small percentage of passengers block exits and ensure only people known to them or regular commuters are able to board the trains. The railways call them 'train bullies' but they operate more like gangs. In 2015 alone, 3,756 bullies were booked by the railways.

They are regular men and women; people you often encounter when you go out shopping or to the movies. But what turns them into beasts? Mirror spent several days in trains to find the people behind the cartels. This is their story.

Bhavesh Nakate didn't have to die. He just happened to be in the wrong train at the wrong time. On November 27 last year, Nakate had boarded a CST-bound train to go to office from his home in Dombivali. Minutes later, he fell to his death from the train. A video of him falling off the train went viral. It was shot by someone in the train and shows Bhavesh smiling and holding on to the steel rod, asking people to make way and let him in. But nobody budged. Nakate lost his grip and suffered grievous head injuries and succumbed to injuries.

The reason why nobody pulled Nakate inside or come to his rescue is apparently simple: he was not a regular commuter of the 7.59 am Dombivali-CST local. On the fateful day, the 7.59 got delayed and reached Dombivali at 8.03 am, Nakate's usual time to board the train. However, none of the passengers had seen Nakate and neither had he - thus the customary salute was missing and so was the helping hand when he was about to slip.

Ramesh Shinde (name changed on request) who travels regularly in the 7.59 local from Dombivali to CST in coach number 3 - the same coach from which Nakate fell - says that the train ride to-and-from home is the only time that people like him get to be themselves. "While at work, we have to listen to our Seth (employer). At home, we have to abide by what the family wants. This is the only place we have to be ourselves; we sing, we crack jokes and catch up with our friends. I have a tough life; I have to reach my shop at 10 am, clean it up and wait for my Seth who reaches by 11 am. I couldn't be bothered about other people in the train. They should not disturb us."

By "other people" he meant those who are not part of the usual group. Nakate was one of the "other people". When pressed for answers, Shinde wouldn't say whether he saw Nakate fall or not.

When Mirror caught up with Shinde at his workplace - he works at Fashion Street in Fort - his Seth was all praise for him. "He is diligent and obedient." Shinde's co-passengers, however, know a different side to his nature. On February 14, another irregular passenger tried to get into the 7.59 Dombivali-CST local and take Shinde's place on the footboard. Shinde pushed him, his co-passengers said. Thankfully, the train wasn't moving at the time.

Long hours of travel have a transformative effect on people

"Frustration is the main reason behind this type of behaviour; if you are locked up in a room, you will do everything to break open the lock. In the case of Mumbai locals, people are doing the same - getting out of their closed space. Disturbing or hurting others is a manifestation of their frustrations," says Deepak Goel, a psychiatrist who practises in Worli.

"If you live in far-off places like Nallasopara, Dombivali or Kalyan, you spend around four hours every day just commuting from home to office. Not only does that commute leave you with no time to socialise, it also gives you a lot of stress," says Anjali Chhabria, a psychologist who runs her own clinic in Andheri.

Frustration, stress and general bullying nature apart, what makes the gangs of Mumbai locals unique is its attempt to reclaim the city's lifeline as its own. By controlling the entry and exit to the coaches, these people try to give back what they get the whole day, day after day, in their workplaces. Professor PG Jogdand, a sociologist who teaches at Mumbai University blames the massive inequality in Mumbai for this boorish behaviour. "It's a kind of disorder which develops due to socioeconomic inequality."

Mahesh Dubey, who works as an account manager in a prominent firm at the cloth market of Kalbadevi, has been a regular commuter on the Dombivali-CST local for the last 15 years. "Office boys and delivery boys who are pushed around the whole day in office become very aggressive in the local train if an unknown person boards the train."

Blame the slums for the crush hour

If you've never travelled in a Mumbai local during the super dense crush hour (peak time traffic between 7-10 am and 5-9 pm) here's an analogy: Imagine packing 15 people in a phone booth, faces shoved into each other's armpits, and the other person breathing down your neck, quite literally. Now multiply this a hundred times over. That's roughly what happens in one of the 12 coaches of a local.

So how did it get so dense? Partly because a majority of the slum dwellers started shifting to small houses in far-flung areas like Nallasopara, Dombivali, Vasai-Virar and Kalyan. Over 55 per cent of Mumbai lives in slums and many like Virendra Pandey are slowly moving out. Pandey, a taxi operator who used to live in a slum in Kalina has now moved into his own house at Tulinj, Nallasopara (East). "I had a 120 sq ft room in Kalina, which was redeveloped in 2012; I found a 300 sq ft flat in Nallasopara. In 2014, we decided to shift to Nallasopara as my son needed a separate room after his marriage."

According to the 2001 census, Nallaspora had a population of 1.8 lakh+ which has now shot up to 8 lakh+. The exponential growth is reflected in the growth of train passengers as well: in 2004, some 60,000 passengers used to board the train from Nallasopara; in 2011, the figure had shot up to 1.5 lakh. Present day figure stands at 2.2 lakh.

It's easy to see why. Property rates in Nallasopara hover around Rs 3,000 per sq ft, way cheaper than the Rs 12,000-17,000 per sq ft that areas like Borivali or Kandivali command.

And for those at the bottom of the food chain, laying claim over the local - Mumbai's lifeline - is the easiest way to get even.

In case of delay, pull chain

It's 8.37 am at Nallasopara station and the chain has just been pulled - the third such incident in 40 minutes. It was headed for Virar and was supposed to pull into platform number 1. At the last minute, an announcement was made that the train will reach platform 8 instead.

"If they change the platform at the last minute, then what can I do? Our friends are waiting at platform number 1, which is almost 500 m from platform 8; if the train gets diverted, my friends need more time to reach," said the person who pulled the chain; he was a just one in a gang of 15 and did not like it too much when this newspaper tried to extract more information out of him.

It's a daily headache for the railways but for the passengers, it's an easy way of ensuring that their friends get to board in time.

Senior Divisional security commissioner, Anand Vijay Jha, says at least five incidents of chain-pulling are reported from Nallasopara every day. "We have deployed a special team but it's very difficult to catch the culprits. When our team reaches to investigate why the chain was pulled and by whom, it is met with complete silence," said Jha. He added that none of the passengers report about the incidents due to fear of reprisals.

The footboard belongs to the 'Bhai'

Greetings are almost a ritual for getting into trains at Nallasopara station. Scores of 'Bhais', lingo for local bullies who control the ingress and egress to coaches, hang from the doors as the train pulls in and out of the station. If you don't salute these bhais, chances are that you will miss the train.

The problem is particularly acute in the 8.24 am, 8.37 am, 8.40 am, 8.54 am and 9.09 am Churchgate-bound fast locals. Almost all doors are occupied by a group of regular commuters from Virar and they unofficially mark their territories. Ramakant Progaonkar, who works with the Income Tax department at Churchgate, boards the train from Nallasopara every day. "You can't fight them; the only way to get into the train is to salute them," he says.

Santosh Sawant from Nallasopara, who works with a software company in Chandivali, says that if one needs to board a fast train in the morning rush hour, one needs to maniatin a good rapport with the footboard travellers. "Otherwise you should be ready for a fight," he told this newspaper during a journey from Nallasopara to Churchgate.

The slow local versus fast local problem

Amjad Bhai of Khadakpada, Kalyan, travels on the train's footboard on the right side now. "I've been travelling on the footboard for three years now. Earlier, I used to stand on the left side but my arm got crushed after I hit a pole while in the train. I now travel on the right side," he said.

One has to see how adept he is at footboard travel; he latches on to the rod and watches movies on his cell phone while travelling between Kalyan and BKC, where he works as a driver with UCO Bank. The accident hasn't dampened his spirits. "There is a 30 per cent chance that I will die if I travel on the footboard. But if I go inside the coach, I am 100 per cent sure that I will die of suffocation," he reasoned, when asked why he always blocked the entrance when people were trying to get in.

Sachin Bhalode, senior divisional security commissioner of Central Railway, said his department regularly takes action against repeat offenders like Amjad Bhai. But clearly, the numbers are too overwhelming. Commuters regularly complain of not being able to get down at their stations because the gangs block the entrance. Ashok Singh, a resident of Virar, recounted his experience: "I once boarded the 6.58 pm Virar fast from Churchgate. Midway, I got a call from a friend and wanted to get down at Andheri but nobody let me."

The common refrain that commuters travelling in the Virar fast hear when they try to get down at, say, Borivali is that they should take the slow local (which stops at every station). "If you tell them you boarded by mistake, they will shout at you. If you argue, they will beat you up," Singh said.

Shame story in ladies' coaches

Viji Jayachandran boards a local around 8 am from Kalyan for Ghatkopar every day. "Travelling in the ladies' compartment is a daily agony; especially in the 08.37 local from Kalyan to CST and 08.46 local from Karjat to CST. Groups of friends travelling together in these locals resort to physical abuse of other fellow female passengers. They block the entrance and don't allow others to enter the train," she says.

The ladies compartment also sees a different kind of 'dadagiri'. Female passengers travel all the way down from Dombivli to Kalyan so that they can reserve a seat for themselves when the train terminates at Kalyan and begins its Up journey to CST. They slap and pinch other female passengers so that they get a seat. There's no empathy for the elderly or sick passengers whatsoever. If you stand up to them, the entire group gangs up," she says.

Louisa Menezes, who boards the train from Mira Road, has had a similar experience. "I face problems getting into the 9.36 am local. The train is always overcrowded and people coming from Virar and getting down at Dahisar block the entrance. There is an argument practically every day. Most of us can't get in and have to keep running between platform numbers 2 and 4 to catch a train."

Deepika Chaudhuri, a PR manager, has had a different kind of an experience. "Once, I boarded a Virar-bound train by mistake from Santacruz station at 8.30 pm. I had to get down at Malad. But the train was packed and nobody let me get down at Malad. There were so many ladies getting into the train from one side and the other side of the coach was blocked by women who wanted to get down after Borivali. I requested them to let me get down at Malad but they didn't budge. I had to get down at Borivali and a take a Churchgatebound train to reach Malad. That was a really horrible experience."



'MY SON ISN'T A REGULAR TRAIN TRAVELLER. THAT'S WHY NOBODY HELPED HIM'

On February 15, Jayesh Pandey fell from the 7.57 am Virar-Churchgate fast local between Nallasopara and Vasai stations. When he boarded the train, he held on to the rod near the door, but not for long. His gripped loosened and he fell. He is currently undergoing treatment at Kokilaben Hospital. His father, Jayanti Lal Pandey, a retired mechanical engineer from Nallasopara, said that nobody came to his son's rescue. "He works with a renowned company. He is not a regular train traveller. That's why nobody helped him."
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comment:- no Government will survive when 3000 die on tracks while dreaming only of bullet trains to Ahmedabad,