Hollow promise on bridge?
After the foot overbridge near CSMT station collapsed last month, the BMC had announced formation of an independent Bridge Authority to look after 374 FOBs, bridges, flyovers and underpasses in the city. The authority was to be formed with immediate effect. But, apart from elevating the deputy chief engineer of the bridge department as head of the authority, the BMC hasn’t done much on this front. There appears to be much ambiguity about the duties and powers of the authority as well. The BMC’s bridge department is short of manpower, making it difficult for them to spare officers for the authority, whose mandate is inspection of bridges in the city.
Setback to BJP, Shiv Sena relieved
The Bombay High Court’s recent decision disqualifying three corporators - two belonging to the BJP and one to the Congress - because of invalid caste certificates came as a boost to BMC’s ruling party, Shiv Sena. The BJP had almost an equal strength in the house, which made the Shiv Sena wary of its ally. While BJP had 83 corporators, support of two independents had raised its strength to 85. Now, it’s back to 83 now. The Sena, which also had 85 corporators, now enjoys the support of 93. With Congress and NCP having only 30 and 9 corporators, respectively, the Sena faced a threat from the BJP. So, it’s now relieved due to their reduced numbers.
Reclamation work for Coastal Road stayed
While hearing petitions filed by two NGOs, the Bombay High Court has stayed the reclamation work for the coastal road project while directing the BMC to refrain from dumping debris of the project in the Worli seaface area until further orders. One of the NGOs had objected to felling of over 200 trees for the project while the other had raised objections saying there was no adequate environmental impact assessment for the project. Though the corporation pleaded that apprehensions about reclamation were unfounded and 70 per cent of Mumbai stands on land reclaimed from the sea, the HC upheld the petitioner’s concerns about the loss of biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity would make an irreparable loss for the future generations, the court observed.
No right to pee for women?
The city administration is not at all bothered about the sorry state of public toilets for women in Mumbai. The city with over 1.5 crore population has only around 3,000 public toilets for women, while it has almost three times more toilets for men, a recent report by Praja Foundation said. The report has also exposed the BMC’s cleanliness drive. Due to the awareness created by the ‘Right to Pee’ movement, the number of complaints has gone up over threefold in three years. But the administration is unresponsive and is just avoiding responsibility in this regard, activists have said.