Times of India | 1 week ago | 24-09-2022 | 04:42 am
MUMBAI: In a relief to developers and flat-buyers, the Supreme Court has upheld the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) notifications for the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in 2016 and for the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary in 2021. In August, the ESZ monitoring committee for SGNP had issued directives to the municipal commissioners of Mumbai, Thane and Mira-Bhayandar to stay all ongoing projects that did not have its approval though the corporation had issued NOC, and not to issue NOCs to new proposals. The move came after a Supreme Court order on June 3 that there should be no development within 1km of the ESZ around a national park, sanctuary or protected area. It later modified its directive, allowing ongoing projects to continue. National Real Estate Development Council (Maharashtra) filed an interim application before the Supreme Court for clarity as several housing projects in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mira-Bhayandar were affected. Advocate Saket Mone who appeared for NAREDCO (Maharashtra) said: "We pointed out the ESZ notifications for SGNP and TCFS were already issued and the ESZ boundaries had been demarcated and notified. All development is now regulated in line with these notifications. We informed the court that construction activity is permissible in the ESZ," he said. The apex court accepted the plea and pointed out that in para 42 of its June 3 order it had already given the specific instance of SGNP and Guindy National Park in Chennai as exceptions. Para 42 states: "...It was argued before us that the 1km-wide "no-development zone" may not be feasible in all cases and specific instances were given for SGNP and Guindy National Park in Mumbai and Chennai metropolis, respectively, which have urban activities in very close proximity. These sanctuaries shall form special cases." Sandeep Runwal, Naredco (Maharashtra) president, said in a city like Mumbai where the SGNP is surrounded by urbanisation, it would have been impossible to implement the 1km no-development norm within the ESZ. "This order is a huge relief not just for developers but also flat buyers who have invested in these projects. At least 100 new projects are under construction at this stage in Thane, Mulund, Goregaon, Malad. Another 50-60 projects are underway in Navi Mumbai which would have been impacted."
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a project to build a cable-stayed flyover in a bid to improve the road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve regions in the western suburbs of Maharashtra’s Mumbai city.A look at the project: The cable-stayed flyover will connect Versova jetty with Madh island.Location: The bridge will originate from near the Versova jetty and end near the wharf adjoining the Madh island jetty, passing over the Versova Creek.Specifications: The bridge will be 1.5 kilometers long and 27.50 meters wide.Objective: The primary objective of this project is to improve road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve region in the western suburbs, which currently has patches of mangroves, mudflats and creeks between the locations. This bridge is expected to bring down the travel time between Versova and Madh island to 10 minutes. It currently takes at least one hour through SV Road and Link Road. The travel time during peak hours can go as high as two hours.Significance:– This project will improve the road connectivity till the extreme end of the western suburbs. Since there is no direct road network right now, the people are mostly dependent on a ferry service that runs between Versova and Madh.– The bridge will lead to uninterrupted transport system for 365 days. Since the ferry services often become non-operational during monsoon, the people are compelled to take the longer route of travel though bus, taxi or local train via Malad, which increases the travel time by several fold.– The bridge will also play a key role in uplifting the economy of the Madh and Marve area, which mainly houses the fishing community that travels to the fish markets in Andheri and Dadar areas and are mainly dependent on ferries. This bridge will open more travelling options for them, thus creating better connectivity.– With the Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP) coming up and also with the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project being on pipeline, this flyover will create a smooth corridor for the north-south bound traffic that will be travelling from the extreme end of western suburbs to the island city or vice-versa.Present status:– The BMC had finalised a consultant for this project back in 2020 and recently an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and a survey on the mangroves have been completed.– The BMC had submitted the reports and a proposal for the final alignment of this bridge to the Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA) for final clearance of this project and is awaiting the clearance.– The civic officials are hopeful that the clearance certificate would come in next two months following which a tender will be floated.Cost: Approximately Rs 400 croreConstruction time: 12 months (excluding the monsoon) after the day of issuing work order.Authority speak: “The project has been in the pipeline for more than a decade and has been deferred for multiple reasons. The flyover will pass through a mangrove zone and coastal area, therefore we have already submitted our proposal to the MCZMA for clearance. They had provided some inputs in the previous application that we had made and have submitted a fresh proposal on the same. After the project gets cleared, tenders will be floated and contractor will be appointed for the project,” said an official from civic bridges department.Citizen speak: “The proposed Versova-Madh bridge is supposed to be a pivotal linkage between Versova and Madh island and with the coastal road nearing its deadline, this bridge is need of the hour. Since, not only it will declutter the traffic movement but also will save time, fuel and money for thousands of Mumbaikars every day,” said Dhaval Shah, a local resident and co-founder of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association (LOCA).
MUMBAI: The state government has doubled the scholarship for students of seven notified minority communities to pursue higher education in the current academic year. The scope of the minority scholarship has been increased to include students pursuing Art and full-time diploma programmes. Minority students - Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrain, Jew - pursing higher education are entitled to an annual scholarship of up to Rs 50,000 as against Rs 25,000. The annual income cap to avail the scholarship remains Rs 8 lakh a year as per a state government resolution issued on October 4. Students pursuing degree courses in arts, science and commerce will get up to Rs 5,000 a year this academic year. The amount will be deposited in the Aadhar card-linked bank account of the student in October and February. The scholarship amount has been doubled after over a decade.
MUMBAI: Neither the government nor the private sector was doing enough to address post-Covid complications that people are grappling with, said Dr Sanjay Oak, head of the Maharashtra Covid-19 taskforce, on Thursday. He also said it would be “preposterous” to think that the pandemic was over, although there is certainly a decline in its severity. “Such a declaration can only come from the World Health Organisation. However, our current numbers are not alarming and are infinitely less than the last two years. The morbidity is less, and patients are no longer dying in front of our eyes,” said Dr Oak. Cautioning that health systems cannot take their eyes off the pandemic, he said the emerging variants have to be closely followed. Members of the state Covid taskforce and former additional municipal commissioner Suresh Kakani spoke at a panel discussion over the future of the pandemic and lessons learnt by the health systems. The event saw the launch of Kakani’s book on Covid-19 titled Mumbai Fights Back. Elaborating on post-Covid complications, Dr Oak said a rise in young cardiac deaths and orthopaedic problems is being reported from the world over. “We are not suggesting that Covid or vaccination is leading to more deaths in the young, but it surely needs to be studied and addressed,” he said. The doctors added that the incidence of hip replacements due to avascular necrosis, a known Covid complication, has seen a tremendous rise in youngsters. “People have become oxygen dependent for life. All these begs the question if we are doing enough post-Covid,” said Dr Oak. Intensivist and taskforce member Dr Rahul Pandit said the mental health toll of the pandemic is seldom talked about. “Now that we are in a lull phase, we must look into its scale,” he said. A Covid survivor himself, Dr Pandit said all health workers lived aloof for 8-9 months during the first wave despite their loved ones staying under the same roof. “Common people saw extreme events, including job losses to paying inflated hospital bills, which has taken a toll,” he said, adding that mental health checks have to be normalised like cardiac check-ups in the post-Covid world.
Real estate body CREDAI-MCHI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India-Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry) has organised a four-day property exhibition of units worth Rs 50,000 crore, from October 13 to 16 at the Bandra-Kurla Complex exhibition ground. The exhibition is expected to host one lakh home buyers and over 100 developers from Mumbai Metropolitan Region will be participating in it.Nikunj Sanghavi, convenor of exhibitions, said the property expo will offer a wide range of projects across all segments – from premium, luxury, and ultra-luxury houses to affordable and mid-segment housing. A dedicated e-registration facility through the IGR Department of Government of Maharashtra will also be set up, where home buyers can do spot registration of properties on the same day.According to the organisers, home buyers and investors will have the opportunity to purchase properties from more than 50,000 units displayed from over 500 projects, all under one roof, at the exhibition.Boman Irani, president of CREDAI-MCHI, said, “The Covid-19 pandemic forced a two-year break on the much-anticipated property festival, which is now in its 30th edition. So this time, we turned this exhibition into a mega confluence of all stakeholders of MMR where, for the first time in India, the developers, the home buyers, the channel partners, the bankers and the architects, and many government agencies are coming under one roof.”
The first convocation ceremony of the Dr Homi Bhabha State University, Maharashtra’s first cluster university, was held on Thursday at the Cawasji Jahangir Convocation Hall of University of Mumbai.’In all, 413 students were awarded degrees at the convocation. Thirteen students received gold medals and certificates of merits were also given.The convocation was attended by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, in his capacity of Chancellor of public universities in the state, former state Lokayukta Justice M L Tahaliyani and Vice- Chancellor Dr Rajanish Kamat, along with other authorities of the university.At 260, the most number of degrees were conferred on students from the Institute of Science — one of the four colleges earlier under Mumbai University that were combined to form the cluster university.