Mumbai Buzz – Children blinded due to Black Fungus | Model Tenancy Act fails tenants | Cutting mangroves for Metro

Here's what happened in Mumbai when you weren't looking.

Property tax rates to spike 14%

If a proposal by the Assessor and Collector Department (ACD) is approved by BMC, Mumbai’s property owners will have to pay higher taxes this year. The rate revision had been scheduled for 2020 but the civic body decided to delay it in lieu of the pandemic. The head of ACD told Indian Express that the revision will be implemented for ready reckoner rates which help to assess the true market value of properties. BMC officials have stated that this revision will not impact owners with properties up to 500 square feet and hotels registered with the tourism industry.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: Moving homes is cumbersome. Here’s how you can make it broker-free

Tenants get short end of the deal in Mumbai

The Model Tenancy Act of 2021 will have dangerous effects on income-poor tenants if it is passed by the Maharashtra government. Since the 1940s, the maximum monthly rent for a chawl house had been capped at Rs. 250 by the Maharashtra Rent Control Act (MCRA) with rent increases capped at 15% per year. The new Act will repeal the MCRA forcing tenants to not only pay current market rates but also be subjected to exorbitant periodic rent increases. The Model Tenancy Act also allows owners to evict tenants who have been unable to pay rent for two months or more. Owners would also be able to repossess the house under the guise of repairs and renovations and would have the authority to renegotiate formal or informal contracts with tenants after the duration of the repossession completes.

Source: India Today

Read more: Should the government pay your rent?

Mumbai housing society duped in vaccination drive

The residents of a posh Kandivali housing complex are alleging that the recent vaccination drive they held was a scam. The drive costed Rs. 5 lakhs but the residents received no invoice. None of the residents showed any signs of side-effects. The complex’s residential association organized the drive with a man who claimed to be the sales representative of a private hospital in Andheri. However, residents began worrying when they received fake vaccination certificates from Nanavati Hospital, Lifeline Hospital, and NESCO Covid Camp which have all stated they had nothing to do with the drive in question. The BMC has made it mandatory for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed as proof between private hospitals and housing complexes if a vaccination drive is being carried out. However, the posh Kandivali society was unable to produce this MoU and also did not collect receipts after the payment.

Source: Times of India, NDTV

Teachers protest, get demands met

Teachers across the city protested on June 15 by traveling ticketless and paying associated fines in order to bring to light the fact that they are not considered essential workers by the BMC. Although required to physically be present at schools for conducting online classes and grading students’ Secondary School Certificate (SSC), they were not allowed to commute by local trains. Two days later, on June 17th, the State Disaster Management Authority have been granted permission to make use of local trains. Teachers who commute to their schools from distant parts of and around the city breathed a sigh of relief.

Source: Times of India, Times of India, Free Press Journal

Read more: In e-learning push, corporation schools in Mumbai left in the lurch

Aarey Milk Colony rehabilitation plans cancelled

In a move welcomed by environmentalists, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) has cancelled its rehabilitation projects at the boundary of Aarey and Dindoshi. Despite a stay by the Bombay High Court on construction in the area, SRA had notified 32,310 square feet of land last month inside the protected Colony for a slum rehabilitation project. The Chief Executive Officer of SRA claimed that they were not aware of the HC order and have thus pulled the plug on the plan after it was brought to their attention.

Source: Hindustan Times, Indian Express

Read more : Despite CM Uddhav Thackeray’s support, fight to save Aarey far from over

MMRDA to chop mangroves for Metro

Activists have sounded the alarm on the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) decision to clear a one-hectare patch of mangroves in order to build an elevated station at Wadala. The MMRDA has stated that they have chosen only one mangrove area at Bhakti Park which is not densely covered for their project. Activists, on the other hand, say that the body has enough land available. They claim that private developers who were handed the non-mangrove wetland areas are now going after the mangroves. They have also suggested that MMRDA cut trees only around the pillars that will be constructed rather than the whole one-hectare of mangroves.

Source: Indian Express

Three children undergo eye surgery caused due to Black Fungus

The eyes of three children who were infected with Black Fungus or Mucormycosis had to be removed surgically. The doctor of two of the three patients who were non-diabetic told MoneyControl that “Black Fungus was spreading in their eyes and if we had not removed the eyes, their lives would have been in danger. They were already blind in one eye and it was hurting them badly. One child came to us in December last year. The second case came during the second wave.” A 14 year old girl who was diabetic also had to lose one of her eyes due to the spread of Black Fungus.

Source: MoneyControl

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