Jinnah house to come to life again
The majestic Jinnah house, located opposite the official residence of the Maharashtra Chief Minister, is likely to come to life once again soon. The External Affairs Ministry has decided to take it over and develop it on the lines of Hyderabad House at Delhi, to be used as a venue for meetings with international delegates, Union minister Sushma Swaraj has written to local MLA Mangalprabhat Lodha, who had been following up the issue for a long time. The Father of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, built the house after he returned to India from self-exile in London in 1934, and stayed there until he left for the then 'would be' Pakistan on August 7, 1947. Built in place of a small bungalow inherited from his Parsi wife, this house was very dear to Jinnah.
Queen's necklace turns 98
Mumbai's iconic Marine Drive turned 98 this week. Work on this iconic pathway started on December 18, 1915 and was completed in 1920, says a plaque near Girgaum Chaupati. The 3.6-km road is a major attraction for tourists coming to Mumbai. It was built to enable the citizens to enjoy fresh air from the sea. While this shows the foresight of the planners, the fact that the road never needed repairs for 72 years speaks about the quality of the work. Built by reclaiming 440 acres of land from the sea, the road is blessing during the monsoon, when huge waves crash on its sides and drench it.
Monorail back on track?
The monorail project was primarily conceived as feeder to the Metro rail projects in Mumbai city. But the route that was planned to connect Mumbai Central, in the heart of the city, to the refineries on the eastern coast could never really pick up. Difficulties in completing the elevated route in thickly populated central Mumbai forced the project to remain confined only to a small portion. When the possibilities of its expansion became visible, a series of accidents forced it to shut down. Finally, Malaysian company Scomi Engineering abandoned the project halfway. The MMRDA, which owns the project, has now taken over the responsibility of running it. This has revived hopes that the project would be back on the wheels again.
Vehicle test track sees greens red
Mumbai has four RTOs, but none of them had the mandatory 250-metre-long track for testing vehicle fitness. The Bombay High Court had directed the state government to have such a track in place. However, when the state government finally handed over a piece of land to the RTO for the propose about a fortnight back, it made green activists in the city see red, as the track would be located in Aarey Colony in the western suburbs. The activists feel that the track would disturb the area that forms the periphery of the jungle of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and lead to more pollution. Now the case is likely to go back to court.