Mumbai Buzz: Impasse over Gokhale bridge | Monkeys invade neighbourhoods…and more

Weekly Mumbai news recap: Efforts to curb a measles outbreak; road concretisation tenders to be re-invited again; beautification plans for Thane.

Gokhale bridge to be re-opened in Sept 2023

Despite all the delays and the danger it poses to the trains passing by below, there has been no headway as to who – the BMC or railways – will demolish the Gokhale bridge in Andheri, Mumbai.

The Gokhale bridge was partially closed in 2018 and completely shut down this past week after structural audits revealed that the bridge was corroded and degraded. As the BMC claims to have no experience in demolishing bridges above railway tracks, it is banking on the Railways doing so in the next month. Tenders can then be floated in the next 10 days. It is only after the demolition that a new bridge can be built in its place, easing the traffic faced by commuters.

Source: The Indian Express

Hurry to curb measles outbreak

A measles outbreak has been confirmed in Mumbai, after 84 cases were reported between September and October. The bulk of these cases are from informal settlement pockets in Govandi, while the remaining are from Dharavi, Kurla, Mahim, Bandra and Matunga. Four deaths have been recorded so far, one in early October, and the other three from a single family between October 26-27. The suspected cause is low levels and incomplete immunization, made worse due to COVID-19 and vaccine hesitancy.

To curb any further spread of the highly contagious disease, the state government dispatched a three-member team to the city on Thursday. Specialists from the Union Health Ministry are also expected. 69,218 houses were surveyed and 130 children vaccinated. The children suspected to be ill have been given Vitamin A.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: What will beautification do for slum population of M-east ward?

Concretisation road tenders held up once again

After scrapping road concretisation tenders worth almost Rs 6,000 crore, the BMC is now waiting for a revised rate list to re-invite bids. This new rate list will take another two weeks to be ready.

The tenders called for the conversion of 400 km of asphalt roads into cement-concrete roads, which are less likely to give rise to potholes. The past tenders for the BMC have received responses well below the estimate and has been mired in allegations of corruption, leading to repeated cancellation and re-bidding. The BMC then hiked the price and conditions for contractors, and found that the low rates carried over from 2018 were attracting a lacklustre response. Hence, the process has begun again. With the new rates, the cost is expected to increase by 20%.

Source: Mid-day

A monkey on a tree eating corn
Monkeys are common in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) Pic: Peter Pelisek, Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Monkey problems in Thakur village and Cuffe parade

Two neighbourhoods at separate ends of the city, Thakur Village and Cuffe Parade, have found unseemly neighbours in monkeys. While the proximity of the Sanjay Gandhi Nation Park (SGNP) is likely to blame for the intrusion in Thakur Village, Kandivali East, the recurring occurrence in the posh towers of the South Bombay neighbourhood is a mystery.

Complaints have multiplied: monkeys opening sliding doors, invading drawing rooms, stealing food, making a mess of garbage, running away with ‘flashy’ and valuable items, barring their teeth, attacking children, etc. The BMC has been contacted for a solution, while the residents of Cuffe Parade are on the hunt for an effective monkey catcher.

Source: Hindustan Times and Mid-day

Beautification comes to Thane

Not one to lag behind Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, Thane city is also set to get a makeover in the coming months. The price tag, however, is far less than that of Mumbai at Rs 100 crore.

Expect murals, colourful illuminations and greenery at entry and exit points, railway stations, highways, subways and under flyovers. A pillar of lights, 25 metre tall, will be constructed on the sides of Anandnagar toll plaza. Construction debris will also be cleared, and khatara vehicles removed. The timeline for the project is mid-January.

Source: Hindustan Times

[Compiled by Sabah Virani.]

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