Terming the axing of trees in Aarey Colony as “shameful and disgusting”, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday tweeted that the Mumbai Metro 3 officials should be posted in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to destroy terror camps rather than trees. In a series of tweets, he also said that several environmentalists and even local Shiv Sena members tried to stop the tree felling. The Yuva Sena chief went on to say that with the increased police presence and deforestation, Mumbai Metro 3 is destroying everything that India had said at the United Nations (UN). He said Shiv Sena leaders Sheetal Mhatre, Shubha Raul and MLA Sunil Prabhu have been standing up in support of the citizens. “Wonder why Mumbai Metro is treating Mumbaikars like criminals and not listening to their sensible demand of sustainable development,” Mr. Thackeray said. The Central government ministry of climate change doesn’t need to exist or speak about plastic pollution, when Mumbai Metro 3 is senselessly destroying Aarey, Mumbai’s green lung, he added. “This ego battle taken up by Metro 3 is destroying the purpose of making it,” the 29-year-old leader, who is contesting the Assembly election from Worli constituency in Mumbai, said. “The vigour with which the Mumbai Metro 3 is slyly and swiftly cutting down an ecosystem in Aarey is shameful and disgusting. How about posting these officials in POK giving them charge to destroy terror camps rather than trees,” Mr. Thackeray tweeted. “A project that should be executed with pride, the Metro 3, Mumbai Metro 3 had to do it in the cover of the night, with shame, slyness and heavy cop cover. The project supposed to get Mumbai clean air, is hacking a forest with a leopard, rusty spotted cat and more,” he said in another tweet. The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) started cutting trees from Friday evening to make way for its car shed, hours after the Bombay High Court dismissed four petitions filed by NGOs and activists challenging the decision to allow felling of trees in the prime green lung of the city.
MOST READ BaliPure holds off Creamline, nears championship berth Coaching breakMarielle finally got her break this year coaching the Under-16 team in the AFF Championship in Vientiane, Laos. Under the guidance of one of the icons of women’s football in the country, the girls blitzed through the group stage and delivered a memorable 3-2 victory against Myanmar in the semifinals. Against the powerhouse Thais, Marielle’s wards succumbed to a 2-6 defeat in the finals.“There was a lot of fulfillment watching the girls improve from the first day of the tryouts until the end of the tournament,” says Benitez. “It’s not just about coaching these girls, but also giving them life lessons, too.”It didn’t come as a surprise that Benitez was able to steer a team to a second-place finish on her coaching debut. For one, some of her players had experience with the Under-14 team in an AFC tournament last year. But as much as she deflects credit to other coaches like Landagan and Patrice Impelido, there’s little doubt that Benitez’s passion for excellence and work ethic has rubbed off on her team.“I didn’t have enough experience as head coach, but the other coaches were very supportive,” says Marielle. “We knew we wouldn’t be starting from scratch, plus we had some unfinished business against Thailand.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR While the girls ultimately fell short, the runner-up finish validates the country’s sustained improvement in women’s football, which is enjoying a renaissance in the past few years, highlighted by the national women’s team’s qualification for the AFC Asian Cup in Jordan next year.Passionate about football“I may be very new to coaching since it’s a different aspect of football, but I like the challenge. I like to be kept on my toes figuring things out,” says Marielle. “I’m happy that even if we didn’t win the championship, the girls I coached became more passionate about football and appreciated all the hard work that comes with representing the country.Marielle knows what she’s talking about. As a national player, she showed steadfast commitment despite her involvement with Bayanihan. She would attend Bayanihan rehearsals at night at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and wake up early the next morning to join St. Benilde’s men’s team in training to improve her fitness since the team was also handled by then women’s national coach Marlon Maro.“I’m lucky to have coaches who have been supportive of what I’ve been doing,” says Marielle, the second of three children of former Bayanihan dancers Noel and Susie Benitez.Marielle draws parallelisms to what she’s doing in football with dance. “Both require discipline, sacrifice and patience,” she says. “Both things are challenging physically, emotionally and mentally. Training in football can go for two hours maximum, but in dance you can go one hour to six hours, depending on the difficulty of the routine. Precision is important. Dance also teaches teamwork. Both require the same focus.”The balancing act will continue for Marielle as she furthers her coaching career, while pursuing her other interests. But count on her to fulfill her roles with the same drive and passion that has been the hallmark of an already amazing career.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast LATEST STORIES Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV With the AFF Under-15 silver medal in the bag, Marielle Benitez (fourth from left) celebrates with (from left) physical therapist Mae Pongase,head of delegation Lalaine Sarmiento, assistant coaches Joyce Landagan and Patrice Impelido and goalkeeping coach Eleonora Dillera. —PHOTOS COURTESY OF MIA MONTAYREFormer women’s national football team skipper Marielle Benitez wears many hats. On this day, she’s at the Philippine Football Federation office as a coach, evaluating a recent international campaign where her squad achieved a silver-medal finish.On some days, she’s on the campus of the Philippine Women’s University, sorting out the varsity teams’ requirements for a competition as the university’s athletic director. The following week, she can be anywhere else in the world, performing and touring as a member of the Bayanihan Dance Group, the country’s national traditional dance troupe. There are also days when you’ll find her on television, doing commentary for football matches.ADVERTISEMENT BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I’m someone who finds joy in doing new things everyday,” says Marielle, 35.The juggling act isn’t new to Marielle, who, from 2003 to 2013, represented the country in international football. In fact, she’s mastered the art of managing her time amid her myriad interests. So when the PFF was searching for women’s coaches to make up the youth teams, Marielle was a natural choice.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutShe’s a member of La Salle’s four champion teams in five UAAP seasons and also bagged the Athlete of the Year plum in 2004, the first time the league gave the award to an athlete in a team sport. She has played close to 60 international matches for the country.Coaching was a natural transition for Marielle, but surprisingly, there was a lot of apprehension on her part when the PFF appointed her to be part of the staff for the Under-14 team two years ago. Pretty soon, however, the concerns went away as she naturally blended in with the staff, led by coach Joyce Landagan.
Flag of BNP. File PhotoThe nomination board of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Sunday interviewed nine nomination seekers, but could not finalise its mayoral candidates for the upcoming Khulna and Gazipur city polls.The party may announce the names of its candidates for the two city polls by a day or two, BNP chairperson’s media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan told newsmen after the meeting, reports UNB.The party’s nomination board, comprising BNP standing committee members, started the interview around 5:30pm with Khulna city BNP general secretary Shafiqul Islam Mona, one of three mayoral nomination aspirants for Khulna city polls.They also interviewed current mayor Moniruzzaman Moni and Khulna city BNP president Nazrul Islam Manju.Later, they interviewed six nomination aspirants for Gazipur city—current mayor and party vice chairman professor MA Mannan, executive committee member Hasanuddin Sarkar, Sramik Dal executive president Salauddin Sarkar, Gazipur district unit JCD president Sharfat Hossain and local BNP leaders Shawkat Hossain Sarkar and Abdus Salam.Though Mannan’s son M Manzurul Karim Rony collected a nomination paper, he could not appear before the interview board since he is staying abroad.Party insiders said the BNP standing committee members could not finalise the two candidates as there are differences of opinion among them.A BNP senior leader said the party had a plan to pick Hasanuddin Sarkar as its mayoral candidate for Gazipur. But physical conditions of both MA Mannan and Sarkar are not in a good shape, and it will be difficult for the party to win in Gazipur elections with such elderly candidate as Awami League is likely to field a young contender like its Gazipur city unit general secretary Jahangir Alam.“So, the standing committee members are in a fix to finalise the mayoral candidate for Gazipur polls. They’ll take the decision after an elaborate discussion,” the BNP leader told UNB.He said their party also had a decision to select Nazrul Islam Manju as party candidate for Khulna city mayoral polls, but he declined to contest the election, and urged the nomination board to pick current mayor Moni as the party candidate again.Last week, chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced that the elections to Gazipur and Khulna city corporations will be held on 15 May.According to the polls schedule, the deadline for the submission of nomination papers is 12 April, while the dates for scrutinising those are 15 and 16 April, and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is 23 April.BNP candidates Moni and professor Mannan were elected mayors in Khulna and Gazipur polls respectively in the 2013 polls.
Kolkata: BJP workers and supporters allegedly obstructed train movement at Kankinara, which led to harassment for the daily commuters. Train services were affected for almost half-an-hour which resulted in cancellation of eight local trains during the peak hours on Monday.According to local resident, trouble cropped up on Sunday night when BJP supporters were allegedly putting up flags at ward no. 15 in Bhatpara. It was alleged that the flags were being put up on the house of local councillor Manoj Guha, without his permission. When he asked the BJP workers and supporters not to put up the flags, an altercation ensued between the Guha’s supporters and the BJP men. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseLater, BJP supporters gheraod Jagaddal police station led by BJP leader Arjun Singh, alleging that Guha had assaulted a BJP supporter. After almost one-and-half-an hour BJP supporters lodged a complaint. A local Trinamool leader denied the allegation and said that BJP is trying to create unrest situation in the area. They are resorting to hooliganism instead of democracy, he said. Situation went out of control when again BJP supporters put up a blockade on Monday morning claiming action over their allegations. Despite repeated requests by the daily commuters, BJP supporters did bother to listen to them. As the protest continued from 9:24 am to 9:50 am, huge numbers of daily commuters were late to their destinations. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSeveral school and college students also faced trouble. Later, Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police intervened and managed to convince the BJP supporters to withdraw the blockade. Eastern Railway authorities informed that the train services in Barrackpore-Naihati section of Sealdah Division were affected due to obstruction by a group of people near Kankinara and eight local trains had to be cancelled. Normal train services resumed after 9:50 am.