Will we finally have a coastal road? “Nearly six months after it was formed amid widespread fears of damage to the city’s fragile ecology, the technical committee appointed by the state government to look into the feasibility of building coastal roads in Mumbai has completed its report. The 12-member panel headed by municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar has zeroed in on an alignment for the 29-km stretch – which will begin at the Marine Drive Gymkhana and end at the L&T unit in Madh- in the process creating 57.5 hectares of open spaces as a bonus,” says Times of India.
The government seems to have lost the plot. “You may as well forget your plans to ring in the New Year in the Arabian Sea. The state home department has instructed the Mumbai police to turn down applications for parties on yachts and boats; the reason cited is security fears post-26 /11. “After the 2008 terror attack, we were given strict orders to monitor all parties held on boats and cruise ships. If the organizers wished to get alcohol on board, we were told to deny them the licence. If some party-goer falls into the water in an inebriated condition, who will take responsibility for the accident?” said inspector S Bhandari of the Yellow Gate police station,” reports Times of India. According to this logic, all fishing should be banned as well. What if a fisherman falls into the sea and drowns?
So forget about the yacht party and head to Goa? Forget this as well. Try London. “One of the Air India fares displayed on travel-booking portal makemytrip.com for a Mumbai-Goa round trip on the dates December 28 and January 1 is Rs 69,192 (see pic). The departure flights are AI-601/865 (Mumbai-Goa via New Delhi) and return flights are AI 866 and 421 (Mumbai-Goa via New Delhi). A dozen other fares on the same sector are between Rs 50,000-68,000. Compare this with the national carrier’s return fares for top five foreign destinations: London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok, most of which are half this whopper,” discovers Mid-Day.
Amazing alacrity shown by the BMC. “The Shiv Sena-BJP-led BMC standing committee seems to be in a tearing hurry to clear major proposals before the BMC elections. It cleared 18 proposals worth Rs 574 crore on Thursday in a one-hour meeting. The meeting is one of the last ones before the election code of conduct comes in place next month. In its last two meetings, the committee cleared proposals for development work worth Rs 1,200 crore in a matter of minutes without any discussion,” says Times of India.
Will the occupation of the mill end? “Under pressure from the Bombay High Court to take action on the Indu Mills deadlock, the state government on Thursday told the court that it will try to “settle the issue through negotiations” with protesters who have occupied the mill premises in Dadar demanding an Ambedkar memorial there,” says Indian Express.
When the authorities don’t act, do it yourself, says Andheri. “Group of citizens from Andheri (East) have launched a zero-leakage drive that combines constant monitoring and reporting of pipeline bursts with applying pressure on civic officials to attend to them quickly. The K-East ward citizens have formed a 10-member core group which keeps a vigil in the area with the help of a network of locals. On spotting leaks or pipeline bursts, a complaint is registered with the civic water helpline, 108, and one of the core members informs the local water department staff,” reports Hindustan Times.
Sometimes it’s the courts which have to intervene. “The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been asked by the Bombay high court to undertake the demolition of shops abutting the platform at Vikhroli station by 10 January if the shop owners fail to submit an undertaking to vacate the premises by 31 March. On Thursday, a division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi was hearing a public interest litigation appealing that the shops be removed,” says Hindustan Times.