Mumbai Buzz: Spike in COVID cases | CRZ requests to be fast-tracked.. and more

weekly urban news round-up

image of marine drive in mumbai from the a distance, with the sea on one side and cars along the other
With the new coastal regulatory zones (CRZ) guidelines, the city can expect a surge in sea-facing high rises. Pic credit - Saachi D'Souza

Huge spike in COVID cases, testing to be ramped in Mumbai

On June 3rd, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced that the positivity rate in Mumbai for COVID cases touched six per cent. “Daily new cases have tremendously increased in Mumbai, with monsoon around the corner, we will now see a rapid rise in symptomatic cases,” the civic body said.

Vaccination for ages 12-18 and administration of the booster dose has been pushed aggressively, as the BMC predicts a rise in symptomatic cases with the monsoons just around the corner.

On June 2nd, the city recorded 506 COVID cases, the highest daily count since February. There is more than a 100 per cent increase in cases in May as compared to April. Jumbo field hospitals have been asked to remain fully staffed and on alert.

Source: NDTV

Backlog of coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) requests to be expedited

The Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) has planned a meeting over five weeks, between June 7 and July 4, to expedite the backlog of requests – a total of 197 proposals – for coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearances. Some of the proposals have been awaiting consideration for over six months.

The MCZMA was served a legal notice by the Brihanmumbai Developers Association, an umbrella body, representing various builders in the city, for failure to take up 65 redevelopment proposals after December 2021, when the MCZMA was reconstituted by the union environment ministry. CREDAI-MCHI, apex body for realtors in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, had also taken up the issue. Several projects across the city have been held up as a result, affecting construction work.

In 2021, the union environment ministry agreed to the updated Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Mumbai city and suburbs, opening up an estimated 10,000 old buildings for redevelopment. Due to earlier CRZ restrictions, this was not possible.

With the new norm, the city can expect multiple skyscrapers facing the sea as builders will get almost two and half times the developmental rights on such plots.

Source: Hindustan Times


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RTO services now available online

Mumbaikars need not make the trip to their RTO offices anymore, since, as of June 2nd, services such as secondary registration certificates, no objection certificate, change of address on registration certificate, renewal of driving license, change of address on license and renewal of license, will all be available on a digital platform.

Launched at the RTO head office in Mumbai by Transport Minister Anil Parab, the digital platform will be available to all those whose Aadhar number is linked to their mobile number.

“Once the personal details of the applicant, such as name, address, date of birth and mobile number are verified, the six important services will be made available online. The applicants will not have to come to RTOs for the same. They can make the online application sitting at home saving crucial time. The licenses or registration certificates will be sent to the applicant by post. This will also help in saving valuable paper, besides time, as there will be no need to take copies of the documents,” said Minister of state for transport, home and information technology Satej Patil.

Source: Mid-day

BMC facilitates plan of action for Mumbai monsoons

The BMC released a statement on June 2nd confirming its plan for the impending monsoons in Mumbai, as the city is infamous for dangerous floods and life-threatening post-rain damage.

  • Five National Disaster Response Force units, as well as teams from the Navy, Army and Coast Guard, will be deployed.
  • Desilting work of all the major and minor nullahs (drains) is complete, while desilting of Mithi river is almost 98 per cent complete and the remaining work will be over in two to three days.
  • Out of the total 100 or so flooding sites, around 30 have been tackled so far.
  • Six major pumping stations and ten mini pumping stations are ready, besides the installation of 487 pumps at various flooding spots across the city.
  • Meetings with officials handling major infrastructural projects like metro rail and coastal road construction works were held, to ensure that channels carrying rain water are clear and do not have blockages.
  • The civic body has stopped permitting utility agencies for digging trenches and it won’t be given unless there is an emergency.
  • Potholes will be fixed within 24 hours of receiving complaints on the android mobile app or website, but if the potholes are big, it may take 48 hours, since cold mix was being given to all 24 wards for this work.
  • The civic body will ramp up COVID testing facilities from 8,000 to around 25,000 per day if required.

Source: NDTV

A home destroyed by flash floods in the Dahisar River that flows past Tumnipada Tribal village inside SGNP in Mumbai
Post-rain damage in the city has been a problem for decades. Pic credit, Gopal MS, Mumbai Paused

BMC publishes a list of unauthorised schools

On May 31st, the BMC published a list of 269 unauthorised schools in the city. Within Govandi itself, 49 were found. The list is available to the public online, on the BMC site, and parents seeking admissions for their children have been forewarned about the schools.

A majority of the schools featured are English-medium, to meet the demand among parents.

The illegality of the schools lies in the absence of approval from the civic body and the state education department to operate. The list of schools has been communicated to the education department, and all schools are liable to pay Rs one lakh as a fine.

Source: Mumbai Live

[Compiled by Saachi D’Souza]

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.