Documentary On Vasai Tourism


The Vasai-Virar Mahanagar Palika has created a documentary on Tourism in Vasai. This 40 minute documentary is written by Sanjay Parab and voiced by Makrand Anaspure and Sheetal Kale. It was commissioned on the 27th of December 2013 with an initial budget of Rs. 9,50,000.

The documentary explores the various places in Vasai such as Vasai Fort, Arnala Fort, the beaches in Vasai, Jivdani Temple, St. Gonsalo Garcia Church, Vajreshwari Mandir, Tungareshwar, Kaman Fort, Vagholi Shani Mandir, Nirmal Shankaracharya Mandir, Giriz Hira Dongri Dutta Mandir, Sopara Buddha Stupas and other places were captured in the video.

Thirst – Prayer For Youth


“Thirst” is a meditative Prayer for YOUTH, started in Manickpur in 2013.

THIRST Prayer – for Youth – completes ONE year. We offer this prayer for all the youth of Vasai Diocese, especially Youth of Manickpur Parish in THANKSGIVING to God for this grace of Prayer Service for last one year. This prayer service is organised by the Manickpur Youth Choir, specially chosen and called from among the Youth to work for the Youth and Hoping to be the Power House of Spirituality among the Youth. We pray during this prayer that “Our Youth may LOVE Jesus more and more and SERVE Humanity in and through the Church. May God bless all our Youth.

You are invited for this prayer – on Saturday 22 March, at 8:00 PM in St. Michael’s Church, Manickpur, Vasai.

Malcolm Dias – First Vasaikar in the NDA


Malcolm Dias, 18, worked hard for months preparing for his goal – to join defence services. On Saturday, he became the first person from Bhuigaon village in Vasai to crack the National Defence Academy entrance exams, ranking 220 on the merit list.

“After my class X board exams, I knew I wanted to join the defence. And so, I did not choose engineering or medicine as my career. My aim was to serve the country and my family members supported me throughout. They worked hard to provide me with good education,” said Malcolm.

“My first preference is to join the Air Force and Navy would be my second option,” he added.

Malcolm’s father Elias, a lab assistant in a Kandivli school, is a proud man. “I am happy that Malcolm has worked hard to join the National Defence Academy in Pune. We are proud that he has become the first person from Vasai to crack the NDA exams,” said Elias.

Around 3 lakh candidates appeared for the exams, out of which, 469 candidates were selected.

RIP Suruchi Baug :-(


Amar Mhatre writes about the ignorance that’s killing Vasai’s Suruchi Baug. Its time we ask a few questions on the rapidly dwindling Vasai ecosystem.

Fr. Oscar Colaco Memorial Fast Season Speaker Series 2013


Lent is a Christian Season 40 days prior to Easter and is observed by Fasting, Repentance, and Spiritual discipline typically by Catholic community of Vasai with a purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ – his suffering, Sacrifice, life, death, burial and Resurrection.

The family members of Most Respected Late Father Oscar Colaco from Manickpur organizes Lent Period Fast season Speaker Series in his remembrance at St. Michael’s Church, Manickpur every year which attracts a crowd of more than 600 people per session across Vasai, with this year starting on 16th Feb, 2013 for next 5 Saturdays at 4PM. And addressing on Topics related to Discovery of Spiritual Life, Save the Girl Child, Parent Children Relation, Health care for Women, Social Cause, and Family Structure.

Prominent speakers like Padma Shri Doctor Tatya Lahane, Advocate Varsha Deshpande, Doctor Harish Shetty, Doctor Shweta Lata Koylo, Fr. Doctor John Fargos, Fr. Raymond Rumao will address the crowd.

Here is the programme structure.

Fr. Oscar Colaco

The Speaker series is arranged free for everyone and refreshment will be served by Father Oscar Colaco’s Family members Mr William Almeida, Marian Almeida, Rajesh T Menezes, MicPrashant Menezes, Pascal Roque Lopes, Kevin Menezes, Nilesh Menezes with great cooperation from Fr. John Faroz, Parish Priest of St Michael’s Church

Fr Oscar Colaco changed the fate of the Village of Umralla took his Priesthood in 1970 and Passed away in 1999. Honored by all as Great educationist, an Ardent sports lover, and Saint for people who know him Closely was the Principal of Fatima High School at Vidyavihar 1987 and 1993 and was Chairman of the IX Youth National Basketball Championship 1991, referred as the Peoples Priest by Fr. Francis Correa in his book Samvedi Kristi Samaj and Suvarta, a popular magazine in Vasai mentioned that he led his life like a good shepherd as mentioned in Bible.

Tree Census by VVMC


The Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) has undertaken a seven month long project of conducting a Tree Census of all trees in the Vasai-Virar region. Terracon Ecotech Pvt Ltd has been appointed to carry out the survey of trees. The agency will record the species, height age and health of the trees. There are over five lakh trees in the region and those on both private and government land will be counted. The agency will look for the local and botanical names of the trees. An amount of Rs 55 lakhs has been earmarked by the municipality for the tree census.

The decision to survey and identify different types of trees was first mooted in May 2011. It was given the civic general body sanction in February 2012. On January 3, this year the standing committee finally approved the agency for carrying out the survey. The survey is likely to be completed in the first week of July. The agency will also map details of mangroves and identify the green zones in the region. Areas which need more trees will also be identified and new trees will be planted by the municipality. This will be the first tree census to be undertaken by the municipality since its formation in July 2009.

From Vasai to Hollywood


Ayush Tandon, 12, stars as the child version of protagonist ‘Pi’ Patel in director Ang Lee’s new film even as another Indian boy plays his teenaged avatar.


The Vasai boy has wrapped up his part for the 3D Hollywood movie, ‘Life of Pi’. He shot in places like Taiwan and Pondicherry.

Lee, a Golden Globe and Oscar winning Taiwanese American film director, got international acclaim with movies like ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’.

‘Lee was looking for the right child artist for the role. He had visited many schools and auditioned. My audition was approved by the US (team). I was called for a look test in Taiwan and they selected me there,’ said Ayush, a student of Vasai’s St. Augustine’s School.

He got special leave from his school to shoot for the movie, based on Yann Martel’s Booker-winning novel of the same name.
‘My school gave me permission and leave to go and shoot for the film as it is such a big project. I did ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ during vacations,’ said Ayush who would go to Class 8 this year.

Ayush is not permitted to speak about the film, but giving an inkling about his character, he said: ‘It’s an Indian character who lives in Pondicherry.

Ayush has an impressive body of work – Ayush is the winner of Zee TV’s dance reality show ‘Chota Packet Bada Dhamaka’ and he has also done Sony’s ‘Comedy Ka Daily Soap’.

He played the young Arun in ‘7 Khoon Maaf’.

He has quite a few commercials to his credit – Maltova, BSNL Phone, Pogo Chips, Philips, Reliance mobile, Apsara colour pencil, Sunfeast pasta, Indian Oil, Maggi noodles, Metlife Insurance, Honda Scooty, Cadbury Gems, Aircell Phone, Big Bazaar, Boomer Chewing Gum, Glucovita, Horlicks Milk, Tetra Pack, Dabar Chawanprayash and Co-fresh snacks.

Plan to split Thane district gets official nod


The long-pending move to split Thane into two districts has been given a seal of approval by the Konkan divisional commissioner, who has recommended setting up of a new district headquarters at Palghar. Commissioner Vijay Nahata is understood to have submitted his report to state authorities after protracted meetings and listening to diverse opinions voiced by officials and local political functionaries.

There is a proposal for Palghar to be the headquarters of a new district to be carved out from the tribal talukas of Jawahar, Mokahda, Talasari, Vikramgad, Wada, Palghar and Vasai. The Thane district jurisdiction will then be restricted to Thane, Navi Mumbai, Bhiwandi, Kalyan-Dombivli and Shahapur.

Thane district currently comprises seven municipal corporations and two municipal councils with an overall population exceeding 1.20 crore. Its proximity to Mumbai, the state capital, and massive infrastructure development in the townships of Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mira Road etc. has resulted in population explosion in the district.

“Thane has a unique mix of population and the income disparity is also huge. While cities like Thane, Navi Mumbai and Mira Road have an urban population, Thane district also has a 13% tribal population,” an official from the district collectorate said. The creation of the proposed Palghar district will help in effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of welfare programmes meant for the tribal population.

Vasai-Virar Mayor’s Marathon is now National


In only its second year, the Vasai-Virar Mayor’s Marathon has got the tag of national-level event after getting an approval of the Athletics Federation of India.

The race will be held on October 14 and will carry an enhanced prize fund of Rs 17 lakh.

“Last year, the inaugural edition of the race was a state level event. This year we have sought and got approval from the Athletics Federation of India and it’s going to be a national-level event,” said a spokesperson for the organising committee at a media conference on Thursday.

“We expect a very good field from the army, railways and others. Army’s chief coach K S Thomas has assured us that a strong field of runners would be sent (for the men’s full marathon). There is a possibility that Ram Singh Yadav would also be seen in action.

“The AFI has said it would be sending out invites to all the units affiliated to it. This is seen as a good tune up for the Mumbai Marathon (to be held in January next),” the spokesperson added.

Yadav was the country’s sole entrant in the men’s marathon held on the concluding day of the London Olympics on August 12, having gained a berth through the Mumbai Marathon – in which he emerged as the fastest among Indians – held in January.

The men’s full marathon winner would pocket Rs 2 lakh, up from Rs 1 lakh given last year, while the winner of the women’s half marathon would be richer by Rs 1 lakh, the same prize being earmarked for the corresponding men’s champion.

Last year, the men’s winner got Rs one lakh and the total prize fund was Rs 15 lakh. There would also be different age group events for boys and girls, along with those for those above 50 years of age.

The organisers – Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation and Vasai Taluka Kala Krida Vikas Mandal – are also going to provide the full marathon runners with timing chips, by charging them Rs 200 each, it was announced.

Vasai-Virar municipal corporation’s mayor Rajeev Patil said that like last year this year too providing protection for the girl child would be the main theme of the race.

“Save the Girl Child and Maintain Nature’s Balance” would be the motto of the marathon, he said.

The organisers are also planning to invite a top former athlete to be the event’s brand ambassador.

They have also roped in model and former national level swimmer Milind Soman to support the event. He will also take part in the full marathon on behalf of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of India, the NGO he is associated with.

Content sourced from TOI

2 Crores in 2 days for VVMC


The Vasai Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) has begun recovering Local Body Tax (LBT) and has managed to collect a record Rs 2 crores in two days.

The LBT was introduced in the Vasai-Virar region in April 2011 after it was replaced by octroi. The civic administration, however, was unable to meet its target due to untrained staff and shortage of manpower. Traders and businessmen too were unclear about the percentage of tax to be paid for various products. Traders had complained of the exorbitant taxes compared to other municipal corporations in the state.

The VVMC recently brought down the LBT on various products which came as a respite to small and medium sized industries and traders. The civic administration also conducted a workshop for employees involved in the collection of LBT.

The VVMC has succeeded in collecting a record Rs 2 crores by way of LBT from traders in the region in two days. A total of 36,500 traders have been registered for collection of the levy and more traders are being encouraged to pay the local tax. The municipality is making efforts to get traders from villages in the region to pay the levy. A number of villages that come under the gram panchayat are against paying the tax. The villagers are fighting a court battle for non inclusion into the VVMC.

Last year, the civic administration managed to collect only Rs 1.50 crores as LBT. This year the target has been raised to 300 crores.