Mumbai Buzz: Leopard near residential complex | Teachers on election duty and more…

And in other news in Mumbai: Public transport buses on MTHL; BMC to start Signal School in Chembur; Bull shark attacks man.

Leopard spotted behind residential complex

A leopard was seen behind the boundary wall of Oberoi Splendor, a residential complex near the Aarey forest. A video taken of the leopard shows it walking parallel to a barbed wire fence. Forest officials are keeping an eye on the situation and patrols have been put in place. They have made an appeal to people to inform them in case they spot a leopard. Residents of the complex have been advised to keep away from dark areas, to ensure that children and pets are not allowed outside without the presence of an adult, and to keep the complex well lit. Security guards have been asked to stay in their cabins at night and to equip themselves with a torch.

The video of the leopard was posted on X (Twitter) and elicited many comments, many of them pointing to how the situation is inevitable given that habitats of wild animals are shrinking due to rampant construction in Mumbai. One person observed, “We are taking their lands.” Another X user commented, “In spite of this, how are they managing to construct car shed in Aarey colony?”

Source: Hindustan Times, Times of India

Mumbai teachers oppose election duty

Around 3000 teachers from schools run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and 1500 teachers from private schools were informed on Saturday that they will be required to do election duty from Sunday onwards. Moreover, the notification also states that failure to join the duty will lead to action against the concerned teacher.

This announcement has left both teachers and principals feeling vexed, especially in the light of the fact that SSC board exams are to commence from 1st March followed by the final exams of the schools. Teachers say it will hardly leave them any time to teach and complete the syllabus.

Teachers’ unions have said that they will boycott election work and have also written to the election officer to urge them to postpone posting teachers for this duty until after the exams.

Source: The Indian Express, Hindustan Times

Read more: Nine years of ‘Save Aarey’: The unique citizens’ movement lives on in Mumbai

Public transport buses to ply on MTHL

Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport Undertaking (NMMT) has announced that public transport services will soon become operational on the newly inaugurated Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL). Residents of Navi Mumbai have welcomed this announcement. The service will commence with the plying of bus number 115 from Nerul to Mantralaya. Passengers will be charged Rs. 90 to cover the 52 km long distance, similar to the AC bus fare.

Newly launched AC double decker bus
Representational image: Electric buses will be run by NMMT on the newly constructed MTHL. Pic: BEST

NMMT has announced that at least four services are in the pipeline, and two air-conditioned electric buses will be run across the bridge. Whether these public transport buses will have to pay a toll is not yet clear.

Source: Hindustan Times

Read more: “Recognise their cultural significance,” says activist on the last day of the double decker bus

BMC to start ‘signal school’ in Chembur

The BMC in collaboration with the NGO Samarth Bharat Vyaspeeth is planning to set up a ‘signal school’ under the Amar Mahal overpass in Chembur. The school, which will accommodate 60 to 100 students, will carry out its classes in remodelled containers. Dr. Sudhakar Shinde, the additional municipal commissioner, has said that the school will be equipped with a science lab, computers, printers and other paraphernalia required for a school to run. The BMC will also build bathrooms so that the children can bathe and change into uniforms prior to class.

The school is being set up to provide education to children who beg or sell things at signals. The Thane Municipal Corporation is already running a signal school with Samarth Bharat Vyaspeeth. The BMC wants to replicate the model, but Mumbai traffic police have warned that the junction chosen for the school is prone to accidents and that the BMC will have to be careful.

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

Bull shark attacks man in Palghar

A 30-year old man, Vickey Govari, was attacked by a bull shark in the Vaitarna river in Palghar district when he had gone fishing and to collect wood along with other residents. The others pulled him back to the bank of the river and hit the fish to save him, eventually killing the shark in the process. But before they could do that, the bull shark had torn off the calf muscle in Vicky’s left leg. He was moved to a nearby hospital and treated for his injuries. He was later moved to a civic hospital in Silvassa. The doctors have said that his leg below the calf may need to be amputated.

This is the first time that a shark has been seen in the creek area of Vaitarna and it has raised concerns amongst the locals. Bull sharks have been declared a near threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Source: The Print, The Times of India, Hindustan Times

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