Mumbai Buzz: Mumbai AQI drops | Partial opening of coastal road by Feb and more…

This week in Mumbai: Mumbai AQI drops; HC allows 3 hour window for firecrackers; BMC gives coastal road update and more…

Mumbai breathes ‘temporary’ fresh air 

The recent light rain across Mumbai has significantly improved the city’s air quality, registering an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 74 on Friday. Out of the 24 monitoring stations, several recorded a ‘satisfactory’ AQI between 50 and 100. This unexpected rainfall is linked to a low-pressure system in the east-central Arabian Sea.

In contrast, Mumbai had been witnessing poor air quality since last month, post-monsoon, with the overall AQI reaching as high as 193 last week. Numerous areas in the city had reported ‘poor’ air quality, with AQI levels consistently above 250.

Source: Indian Express

HC allows 3 hour window for firecrackers 

On Monday, the Bombay High Court granted permission to burst firecrackers for three hours, from 7 pm to 10 pm, during Diwali. The High Court also directed a temporary halt to all constructions in Maharashtra’s capital city until Diwali to counteract the escalating air pollution. 

The division bench was quoted saying, “We have to make a choice. Either we have a disease-free environment or we burn fire crackers and celebrate the festival. The state government will have to take a decision. We can’t depend only on the nature.” 

Source: Mint 

Read more: Citizens seek judicial intervention for rising air pollution in Mumbai

Coastal road to open partially by Feb

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced on Thursday that one side of the coastal road, stretching from Worli to Marine Drive, will be accessible to motorists by February 2024, with the entire road expected to be ready by May 2024. Ashwini Bhide, the additional municipal commissioner overseeing the project, reported that 82% of the project’s work has been completed. 

She mentioned that construction on the bridge connecting the coastal road with the Bandra Worli Sea Link will continue simultaneously, with the full road opening scheduled for May 2024. Bhide noted that after the right-hand side opens, motorists will need to take a U-turn to access the sea link until the connector is finished. As for the development of open spaces along the coastal road, Bhide stated that the tendering process is set to begin by January 2024.

Source: Times of India

Bandra Worli Sea Link
One side of the coastal road to open in Feburary 2024, while construction on the bridge connecting the coastal road with the Bandra Worli Sea Link will continue simultaneously, with the full road opening scheduled for May 2024. Pic: Rutik Natekar (Wikimedia Commons)

Action against 1000 plus vehicles for violating pollution norms

Mumbai traffic authorities imposed fines on 1,013 vehicles in the last three days for not complying with pollution mitigation norms, specifically for allegedly carrying construction materials without proper covering. Earlier this week, the city traffic police issued a directive to its staff, instructing strict actions against such vehicles and those without fitness certificates.

The directive also included fines for vehicles lacking updated Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificates. The Mumbai traffic police took action against 2,460 motorists for not possessing a valid PUC, according to the provided data.

Source: Indian Express

Air India building to go to Maharashtra govt

Due to a space shortage at the Mantralaya and its annexe, the Maharashtra government plans to relocate some of its offices to the iconic 23-storey Air India building at Nariman Point, just 600 meters from the state secretariat. In a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday, the State Cabinet approved the acquisition of the building for Rs 1,601 crore. 

The Air India building, designed by renowned architect John Burgee and constructed in 1974 on reclaimed land leased to Air India by the state government, stands as one of Mumbai’s notable landmarks.

Source: Indian Express

(Compiled by Sherine Raj)

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