Mumbai Buzz: Manual scavenging deaths | Shutting of Sion ROB postponed… and more

Other news in Mumbai: Eviction notices in Dharavi; Navi Mumbai to get 40 km cycle track; Govinda joins Eknath Shinde's Sena; ED gets BKC office.

Manual scavenging deaths

Three labourers died when they fell into a 15-foot underground drain when they were cleaning the sewer chamber of a public toilet on Thursday. The incident occurred at Malwani Gate number 8 at Abdul Hameed Road in Ambujwadi in Malad.

The men who died were 18-year old Suraj Kevat, his brother, 20-year old Bikas Kevat, and their father, 45-year old Ramlagan Kevat. According to a senior BMC official, one of them fell into the sewer chamber while cleaning the toilet and the other two men jumped in to save him. All three were pulled out by locals, and taken to Shatabdi hospital. When the relatives filed an FIR, BMC officials claimed it was not a septic tank.

Suraj Kevat was declared dead on arrival, Bikas Kevat was declared dead at 10.15 pm, and Ramlagan Kevat who was critical when admitted, died on Saturday. The three men were employed by a private contractor who in turn had been hired by the BMC for the cleaning and maintenance of the toilet.

Source: Mid-day, Hindustan Times

Closing of Sion ROB postponed for the third time

The closing of the Sion road overbridge (ROB) has been postponed for the third time. It was to be shut from 28th March as it was to be demolished. It is a colonial-era structure and has been declared structurally deteriorated by IIT Bombay in April, 2020. Now, in all probability, it will be demolished and reconstructed after the Lok Sabha elections.

The ROB was to be shut from January 20, but the date was postponed due to the protests of residents and the intervention of MP Rahul Shewale. The Central Railway then decided to close the ROB from February 28, but that too was postponed so as to not inconvenience students appearing for board exams. This time the demolition has been pushed after the BMC, railways and the traffic police got a call from higher authorities.

Source: Hindustan Times, The Times of India

Eviction notices issued for Dharavi Redevelopment Project

Over 150 hutments next to the railway track at Mahim scrapyard have been given an eviction notice by the Western Railway (WR). Most of these hutments are illegal. This encroachment has taken place on land which extends towards Matunga Road and King’s Circle railway stations. This area comes under the Dharavi Redevelopment Project.

Dharavi's Kumbharwada on an extremely heavy rainy day. Pic: Stephin
Dharavi’s Kumbharwada on a rainy day. Dharavi has several communities that have unique vocations such as pottery, leather, garments and so on. Pic: Stephin Thomas

The railways are giving up 47.5 acres of land worth Rs. 23,000 crore for this project. According to sources, the Indian Railways are to get Rs. 28,000 crore from the Dharavi Redevelopment Project Private Ltd.(DRPPL).

Railway officials have said that in a survey which is going on they have identified places where encroachments have taken place on railway land. 600 such structures have been identified. 

Source: Hindustan Times

Read more: Explainer: Dharavi redevelopment — What lies ahead

Navi Mumbai to get 40 km cycle track

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC)  has started the construction of a 40 km cycle track. Currently, there are two cycle tracks, one each in Vashi and Nerul. On February 28 former India Intel country head Avtar Saini died when he was hit by a cab while he was cycling on Palm Beach Road. This prompted cyclists in Navi Mumbai to raise the issues of safety for cyclists and lack of dedicated cycling tracks in Navi Mumbai.

The new tracks will be 2 to 3 metres wide and will be marked by yellow and blue stripes. NMMC hopes to promote a healthier lifestyle as well as eco-friendly transport with the building of these tracks, said NMMC city engineer, Sanjay Desai. 

Source: Hindustan Times

Govinda joins Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena

Actor Govinda has joined CM Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena . He is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from Mumbai North West. This is his second stint at joining politics. In 2004 he contested elections on a Congress ticket from the Mumbai North constituency. He defeated BJP’s Ram Naik who later resigned from the party and gave up politics. Govinda called his joining Shiv Sena a blessing of God.

Actor Govinda
Actor Govinda joined Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena. Pic: Bollywood Hungama via Wikimedia Commons

Source: Hindustan Times, The Times of India

South Mumbai offices scattered, ED gets dedicated plot in BKC

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has been allotted a plot of land in BKC for its offices. The plot is worth Rs. 362 crore. It is a half acre plot of which 10,500 sq m is the permissible built-up area. Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is going to charge Rs 3.4 lakh per sq m. for it.

Currently the ED has offices in three buildings, one in Worli and two in Ballard Estate. There are other private offices as well  located in the same buildings. The ED had requested for an office space in April 2022 and the approval for the same was given by the MMRDA in May 2023. 

Source: The Times of India

(Compiled by Shruti Gokarn.)

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