Mumbai Buzz: Section 144 from Nov 1st to 15th | Neral-Matheran toy train back in swing

Weekly Mumbai news recap: Air quality in the city after Diwali 'Very Poor'; deck at Nariman point to reopen; IMD signals end of monsoon, and more.

Section 144 in force from Nov 1st to 15th in Mumbai

The Mumbai Police has issued several prohibitory orders, including Section 144, for the city between November 1st and 15th. As per the orders, gatherings of five or more people, processions, protests, loud speakers, bands, firecrackers, etc have been banned. Exhibiting or publishing any material leading to danger, governmental or moral trouble is also outlawed. The display and possession of weapons, arms and ammunition is also banned under a separate order from November 3rd to December 2nd.

The restrictions are in response to information about the disturbance of peace, law and order received by the police, heightened by the festivities and upcoming Andheri East by-elections. Weddings, funerals, meetings at organisations, theatres, co-operative societies and clubs are, however, exempt.

Source: DNA

The official end of monsoon

The IMD declared the withdrawal of the south-west monsoon from Mumbai and the country on October 24th, Sunday. It was a delayed departure, the normal date of withdrawal being October 8th.

All in all, the city received 2,658.3 mm of rainfall over five months; 15% more than the adjusted seasonal normal of 2,305 mm. The last two years have seen over 3,000 mm of rainfall, making it a relatively dry year. There was also only one extremely heavy rainfall day, compared to three last year.

Minimum temperatures are expected to drop to around 17 degrees Celsius as October comes to a close.

Source: Hindustan Times

Read more: How normal was the monsoon in Mumbai in 2022?

Diwali sparks air pollution in Mumbai

After a night filled with firecrackers for Diwali, Mumbai woke up to ‘Very Poor’ air quality levels of 305. Malad, Andheri and Chembur ranked the worst on the air quality index (AQI), at 388, 363 and 322 respectively. The rest of the city lingered in ‘Poor’ air, with only Worli exempt at ‘Satisfactory’ levels. These levels have indicated the worst post-Diwali air quality in eight years. Doctors have recommended N-95 masks when stepping out, especially for those vulnerable.

The air quality only improved to ‘Moderate’ on Thursday, although the AQI reading continued to be ‘Very Poor’ in Malad and ‘Poor’ in Colaba. The sluggish winds after monsoon mean the conditions will stay approximately the same for the next three days.

Source: The Indian Express

Deck at Nariman point

Mumbaikars will now be able to venture deeper south into the Arabian sea, as the BMC plans to create a viewing deck at the southernmost tip of Nariman Point, opposite the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA). The sea-side plaza will extend 60 metres into the sea, with railings at both edges and CCTV surveillance for safety.

According to the BMC, no new construction except for some upgrades and basic structures will be required. The spot was open to visitors till mid-2000, and was only closed off due to accidents. The BMC’s planning department is in charge of the project.

Source: The Indian Express

The Matheran-Neral toy train approaching in a forest
The mountain railway line between Neral and Matheran, built in 1907, is currently on the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Pic: Indi Tourists, Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Neral-Matheran toy train a whopping success

If the first week is anything to go by, resuming the Neral-Matheran toy train has been a great success. The Central Railway earned Rs 2.58 lakh in only seven days on the 21-km journey, going through the hill forests of the Western Ghats to the hill station 100 km away from Mumbai.

The train was out of service after damages in the heavy rains in 2019. The railways are now planning to further improve the stretch and develop tourism-friendly railway stations on the line, beginning with Neral station. New foot overbridges, an elevated deck, skywalks, green spaces and more are planned, at the cost of Rs 60 crore.

Source: The Indian Express and Mid-day

[Compiled by Sabah Virani.]

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