Mumbai buzz: Primary schools to start at 9 am | Death on tracks and more…

And in other news in Mumbai: Holes drilled in a tree; Deep cleaning drive in all 24 wards of Mumbai; Unused jetty to be a tourist attraction.

Children need to sleep; schools to start at 9 am

The Maharashtra Government has issued a government resolution (GR) making it compulsory for primary and pre-primary schools to open at 9:00 am or later from the upcoming academic year 2024-25. This is to allow the young children to sleep better and get adequate rest. The GR applies to schools of all boards without exception. 

“Considering the changed lifestyles, various modern entertainment devices and a city life that continues with all kinds of noises till late in the night; children along with people at large are sleeping late. This is causing a negative effect on their physical and mental health,” The Indian Express quoted from the GR. 

However, the move has met with criticism from school authorities as well as some parents’ associations. They say it is better to teach children to sleep earlier rather than change school timings. School officials said children get a chance to rest and participate in extracurricular activities if the school hours finish early. 

Source: The Indian Express, Hindustan Times 

Another death on Mumbai’s railway tracks

Despite the best efforts of people on the platform, a man lost his life after he got stuck between a train and the platform. According to reports, Rajendra Khandke, was trying to cross the tracks at Koparkhairane station in Navi Mumbai, on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm and did not see the approaching train. 

“He had alighted from a train and was trying to cross from platform number 2 to platform number 3 along the tracks instead of using the subway,” said Sambhaji Katare, senior police inspector of Vashi railway station, was quoted in Hindustan Times as saying. 

In a recently released report about deaths , it was found that out 2,590 deaths, 1,277 people had died while crossing tracks.

The motorman tried to warn him by honking repeatedly but it was too late and he was dragged along. The commuters on the platform tried their best to pull him out. He was sent to JJ Hospital for further treatment but did not survive the grievous injuries. 

Crossing railway tracks is one of the major causes of deaths on the suburban rail network. Recently released data suggests that out of the 2,590 deaths in 2023, 1,277 people had died while crossing the tracks

Source: Hindustan Times 


Read more: Explainer: What you should do when you come across tree cutting in Mumbai


Killing a tree slowly

The significance of green cover has never been felt more in Mumbai than now as the city grapples with pollution, dust and never-ending construction. And yet, the trees of the city face a real threat of being chopped or damaged. Vile Parle residents found that a 40-year-old tree, had been damaged by drilling holes in it, near the Glad Quest building. People suspect that miscreants have injected chemicals/poison in those holes to kill the tree eventually. 

A representative of UBT Sena wrote a letter detailing the incident and urging for penal action. 

Mid-day quoted an official from the garden department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as saying, “We have intimated Vile Parle police station of the act and have demanded a thorough investigation. The police have registered an FIR.” Senior PI Renuka Buva of Vile Parle police station confirmed, “The BMC alerted us, and we’ve filed an FIR against  the building owner in connection with the tree desecration. Arrests are imminent, and we’ll keep the BMC updated,” Mid-day quoted.

Residents complained that planting saplings in its place would not be the same. They further demanded stringent action against this kind of activity. 

Source: Mid-day

Deep cleaning in all 24 wards of Mumbai

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde had launched a deep cleaning drive in December 2023 as an initiative to curb air pollution, which was being done in a few areas. Now, the BMC commissioner and administrator IS Chahal has directed that the deep cleaning drive will be implemented in all 24 wards of Mumbai, on a weekly basis. 

After the chief minister himself participated in the clean up drives, he said it would be extended to the rest of Maharashtra and not just Mumbai.  

As part of this drive, pavements, roads and public spaces are cleaned by BMC workers and active participation of local residents. It will be carried out every Saturday in each of the wards from 7:00 am to 11:00 am. 

Source: The Times of India, The Indian Express

Jetty to be tourist attraction

Nerul jetty, which was originally constructed as the passenger water transport terminal (PWTT) by the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) in 2021, will now be used for various tourism activities. The jetty, built at the cost of Rs 148.84 crore, has a parking capacity for 31 cars and 11 buses.

CIDCO is planning to have food counters, rooftop restaurants, waiting lounges, water sports and shops. There is a possibility of turning into a Flamingo Point because of its location. A total area of over 500 sq m can handle around 25,000 passengers and will be secured by 24 CCTV cameras. It will be given on a lease of 10 years. 

Source: Hindustan Times

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