Mumbai Buzz: MTHL to open | Ramabai Nagar redevelopment | JN.1 variant and more…

And in other news: Mumbai is the most expensive city; Oldest mall to be auctioned; Gearing up for new year celebrations.

After being delayed at twice in the past year, the much awaited MTHL is all set to connect Mumbai and Navi Mumbai early next year. It is the longest sea bridge in the country at 21.8 km. It will connect Sewri in south Mumbai to Chirle in Navi Mumbai with a total of three exits. Reports said that an invitation had been sent to the Prime Minister and if all goes well, it will be inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi on January 12th.

Considered to be an engineering marvel, the construction costs went up from Rs 14,712.70 crore to Rs 16,904.43 crore, an increase of 14.9%, even as it missed two deadlines for opening since 2022.

The proposed toll on this bridge is Rs 500 due to cover the cost of construction. The high amount is being debated and may be reduced in the coming days.

Source: Hindustan Times, The Indian Express

Ramabai Nagar to be redeveloped

The large informal settlement of Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar will be redeveloped by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). After acquiring the 75 acres of land, MMRDA plans to develop it for commercial and residential purposes. Around 16, 500 residents are likely to be rehabilitated. The settlement, which is off Eastern Express Highway in Ghatkopar, will also provide a link to Thane for the Eastern Freeway, further enhancing its commercial value.

One of the oldest settlements in Mumbai, which came up in the 1960s, is remembered for the tragic incidents of 1997. After the statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was found desecrated, protests broke out. The State Reserve Police Force platoon, fired 50 rounds in which 10 people were killed. Later on, the Gundewar commission held sub inspector Manohar Kadam, the then head of the State Reserve Police Force platoon, responsible. He was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009.

The project will executed with Slum Rehabilitation Authority and is expected to make good earnings for the cash-strapped MMRDA. “MMRDA estimates that it will earn Rs 1,073 crore from the sale component of residential tenements. However, it will be able to earn Rs 2,918 crore if the sale component is sold to a private developer who will then build and sell his housing stock in the market,” Times of India reported.

Source: The Times of India, Hindustan Times

Mumbai: The most expensive city

It’s what we have always known and suffered. According to a report by Knight Frank India, in Mumbai a family spends more than half its salary in paying equated monthly instalments (EMIs) on housing loans.

high rise buildings of Mumbai
Affordable housing remains out of reach of most people in Mumbai and increase in interest rates have only added to the EMI burden. Pic: MS Gopal

The report that brought out the data on Affordability Index, says Mumbai is the only city where families around 51% of their salaries, which is considered beyond affordability threshold. Needless to say, it makes Mumbai the most expensive city in India.

On the other hand, Pune, which is an education and IT hub, is one of the more affordable cities where people spend 24% of their salaries on EMIs.

Source: News 18

Read more: Surging EMI burden affects affordable housing sales in Mumbai

Mumbai’s oldest mall to be auctioned

The SoBO Central Mall, or better known as the Crossroads Mall has been put up for auction by Canara Bank at a base price of Rs 500 crore. The auction will take place on January 29 2024.

Though there have been malls that worked and a few that didn’t, Crossroads was a one stop destination for shopping and recreation for years when it first started. As more malls sprouted across the city, this one started losing its customer base.

According to the report by Hindustan Times, “In August this year, Crisil Ratings had downgraded owners of the mall, Bansi Mall Management Company Pvt Ltd’s, ratings to “D” with the remark “issuer not co-operating” indicating that the company did not respond to information sought by the ratings agency. The January auction has been put up by the lender Canara Bank, to recover its dues from the owners.” The owners owe the bank about Rs 230 crore.

The total area up for auction is 1,07691.99 sq ft. However, the Mc Donald’s outlet, functioning since 1999 will remain as is.

Source: Hindustan Times

JN.1 cases in Thane; Task Force recommends caution

Earlier this week, five cases of JN.1, the new COVID 19 variant were found in Thane. None of them are hospitalised. In the meanwhile, second COVID death was reported in Maharashtra at Nashik as the tally stood at 117 cases. The newly constituted task force has urged to exercise caution at individual level and not delay testing.

Health minister Tanaji Sawant convened the first meeting of the new task force on Thursday. “Minister reassured citizens, stating that JN.1 is not deemed dangerous, urging caution without panic. As the new year celebrations unfold, the health department emphasises adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour, including mask-wearing, cough, and hand hygiene, and avoiding crowded places,” Hindustan Times reported.

Source: Mid-day, Hindustan Times

How will you celebrate the New year?

Although there are no restrictions in terms of movement or large groups of people, doctors have advised to wear masks in public places over the weekend. Large crowds are expected to gather at different sea fronts – Worli, Carter Road, and of course Marine Drive, on December 31st night. As it is a weekend, the police are expecting huge movement of people and vehicles and enthusiastic celebrations from December 30th to January 1st.

The Mumbai traffic police have issued traffic advisory for various roads – for driving and parking. The Mumbai police have deployed police personnel to manage the crowds.

Source: Mid-day

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