Mumbai Buzz: Pod taxis to be launched in BKC | ‘Third Mumbai’ in the pipeline and more…

And in other news in Mumbai: Dadar platform dug up; Artificial coral reefs near Worli; Repair and reconstruction of roads in Aarey.

Pod taxis to run in BKC

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)  has recently given the go-ahead to introduce a pod taxi service between Bandra and Kurla. The route will go via the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) and will be 8.8 km long.

A pod taxi is a driverless vehicle, which can accommodate five to six people. The pods are suspended 8 to 10 metres over the ground from an overhead rail. Their movement is powered by electricity. They descend at designated stops to let the passengers out and take in new ones. The taxis will stop at 38 stops and will move at the speed of 40 kmph.

The service will be implemented via a public-private partnership. The aim of the initiative  is to decongest the roads in BKC, which get choked due to traffic jams. The projected cost of the venture is reportedly Rs. 1,018 crores.

Source: Hindustan Times, The Times of India

Third Mumbai in the pipeline

The Maharashtra government has given the green signal for plans to build a third Mumbai. The plan is to build the city around the Navi Mumbai International Airport, which will be linked to Mumbai via the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL).

A new body called the New Town Development Authority (NTDA) has been formed under Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to oversee the implementation of the project. The new city will include 124 villages, 80 of which fall under the Navi Mumbai Airport Influence Notified Area (NAINA), 33 villages are a part of the Khopta New Town Notified Area (KNTNA), 2 from the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Plan (MMRP), and 9 from the Raigad Regional Plan (RRP).

A government official said that the new city will have all the infrastructure that a well-developed city should have, including residential and commercial complexes and a good transport system.

Source: Hindustan Times, Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Read more: The causes and fixes to traffic in Mumbai: A discussion

Recently widened Dadar platform dug up

Platform Number 8 at Dadar, which was recently widened, has been dug up by the Central Railway. Additionally, barricades have been put there. This has been done to carry out work related to escalators. It has left commuters irked as it narrows down the area available for entry and exit at the north end of the platform. This is particularly inconvenient during peak hours when huge crowds cross this platform.

Commuters point out that this work could have been carried out simultaneously with platform widening. But railway officials say that their priority was to widen the platform, and then carry out work related to amenities like escalators.

Source: Mid-day

Arabian Sea near Mumbai to get artificial reefs

For the first time in Maharashtra, 210 artificial reefs will be installed in the Arabian Sea near Worli Koliwada. The state fisheries department has given the go ahead for the project. The initiative, which is being funded by the RPG Foundation will be carried out with marine conservation NGO Kuddle Life Foundation.

The artificial reefs will be made of recycled cement from construction sites and steel. It is estimated that a single module of an artificial reef will increase the surface of the sea by 50 to 60 square feet. 

Artificial reef
Representational image: Artificial reefs will be installed in the Arabian Sea on the Mumbai Coast.
Pic: MusikAnimal via Wikicommons

It is expected that a bacterial biofilm will be formed on the reef upon which algae will grow. Dr Mohamed Kasim, retired principal scientist from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), who is an important part of this project said that large and mid-sized fish will use the reef for breeding in one year. This is expected to help local fisherfolk boost their catch. The reefs will also act as carbon sinks.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: Ferry wharf expansion: Unaware fishers worry about livelihoods

Repairs, reconstruction of roads in Aarey Colony

The Bombay High Court ordered the department of dairy development to undertake the repairs and reconstruction of internal roads in the Aarey Milk Colony area. These roads extend for nearly 37 km.

The next date for the hearing in this matter is 22nd April. The court has ordered that the requisite permissions must be taken and tender notices sent out. This is because since the area falls under the eco-sensitive zone (ECZ), as it is part of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP). 

The order was given in a plea filed by a resident of Royal Palms in Aarey Colony along with NGO Vanashakti’s intervention plea.

Source: The Indian Express

(Compiled by Shruti Gokarn.)

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