Mumbai Diary: Glimpses of a 100-year-old adventure

Notwithstanding several hurdles, half of the tunnelling work for the underground Mumbai Metro 3 line is now complete.

Published: 19th May 2019 12:21 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2019 12:21 PM   |  A+A-

Half of metro tunnelling work completed
Notwithstanding several hurdles, half of the tunnelling work for the underground Mumbai Metro 3 line is now complete. The feat was achieved with Surya 2 TBM completing tunnelling work of around 1.25 km between Cuffe Parade and Vidhan Bhavan. With the completion of this 13th stage of the project, a total of 26.15 km of tunnelling of the total 52-km has been done. The stage was completed within a span of 200 days. The Surya 2 TBM is 600 MT in weight and 95 metres in length. Seventeen more such machines are working on the remaining part of this line which would have 27 stations.

Glimpses of a 100-year-old adventure
Around 100 years ago, three different teams of Mumbai youths travelled over 2.65 km across the world, on bicycles. All were Parsis and in their twenties. A retired journalist’s quest to contact relatives of these men sent him on a mesmerizing journey. After 18 months of trying retired journalist, Anoop Babani got hold of several photographs of them along with stories of their adventure. The adventure of the first group inspired others and led to three expeditions within a span of 20 years early last century. Sixty rare photographs of those expeditions were displayed at NCPA in Mumbai recently. Babani, who curated this exhibition, said he has found seven travelogues written by these cyclists and his book based on them will be out soon.

Flowers to replace vegetables alongside rail tracks
After the Bombay High Court strictures against the use of sewage to cultivate vegetables on excess land along rail tracks, the railways is now considering options to develop the patches into flower beds. Though the high court strictures came during the hearing of a PIL in Mumbai last week, it is likely to affect the policy adopted by the railways nationwide. Licences are given by the railways to grow vegetables alongside tracks. Mostly the licences are allotted to grade 4 railway workers. However, a high concentration of toxic metals found in these vegetables led to a PIL. Hence, the railway administration is now considering options of granting licences to grow non-edible vegetation, like flowers.

QR code ID cards a headache for TCs
In a pilot project, the central railways recently gave special identity cards to its ticket checkers on suburban lines. The identity cards have a QR code on them with complete information of the person holding it. However, with over 6,000 commuters opting to check the identity of the TCs the new identity cards are becoming a headache. Anyone can access details of the TC by just scanning the QR code. However, the process turns time-consuming when the mobile signal is weak. Commuters don’t tend to show their tickets till the identity are verified through QR codes and it leads to delays.

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