Mumbai schools to reopen post Diwali?
At the last Pediatric Task Force meeting that local corporations should take the final decision of reopening schools in their areas. However, Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar on September 23rd, said that the decision of re-opening of schools in Mumbai and surrounding areas will be taken after Diwali BMC Education Officer, Raju Tadvi was quoted as stating that they are “preparing a plan for safe reopening, which will be given to all schools in the city, irrespective of which board they are affiliated to.” Under this plan, schools will be required to have a medical unit and committees “to ensure Covid protocols are followed, cleanliness and hygiene are maintained and shifts are planned to ensure social distancing.” What remains unclear, is who will be responsible for establishing these in under-resourced public and semi-government schools.
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Desperate move to retain students in BMC schools
40% work of Mumbai coastal road project complete
The first phase of the upcoming Mumbai coastal road is 40% complete and is expected to be operational by November 2023. Now, work will commence on 900 metres of a tunnel – the first of its kind undersea tunnel. But while the BMC claims the project will ease congestion and traffic, “enhances [the] environment and leads to sustainable development of much needed recreational public open spaces”, activists remain concerned about the harmful ecological impacts of the project. International research has also shown that building elaborate road networks at the cost of surrounding areas and without investing in public transportation can actually lead to worsening traffic.
Source: Print, MoneyControl, Wired
Read more: 1.5cr people walk to work, but Mumbai doesn’t prioritise pavements,
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Mumbai needs more BEST buses
Byculla Jail becoming hotspot for COVID-19
At least 20 women and 5 children have tested COVID positive in Byculla women’s jail. In the men’s jail, 10 have been found COVID positive. A prison official told Indian Express that those who tested positive have been shifted to a nearby school. There are currently over 450 incarcerated people in Byculla’s prisons. Elgaar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen and Jyoti Jagtap have been imprisoned at Byculla Jail. No information has been made public regarding their health status or the conditions of those who have tested positive.
Source: Indian Express
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Subsidized homes found to increase quality of life for Mumbai’s poor
A recent study has highlighted that families who won a low-income housing lottery and were able to buy MHADA homes at subsidized rates saw a significant improvement in their income, education, and employment. Winning families were 16% more likely than non-winning families to earn over Rs 10,000 a month, and 37% more likely to earn over Rs 20,000, the survey found. Children who turned 16 or 21 after the lottery win were 26% more likely to finish college. The study cites a key reason for the benefits as being the ability of winners to rent the allotted home, which half the winning families chose to do. Some experts believe that Mumbai is in dire need of a strong public housing system, especially after the pandemic which has seen many lose their homes due to non-payment of rent or mortgage.
Source: Times of India
Read more: Scant hope for ‘housing for all’ within Mumbai city,
Low-cost housing crunch in Mumbai: Is the state to blame?,
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Ten years on, kin receives MACT compensation
A decade after a small dairy owner was killed in a mishap, the Thane Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) ordered a compensation of Rs 13.7 lakh for his widow and two children. Every year, claims worth at least ₹10,000-12,000 crore are raised nationally by road accident victims. Earlier this month, Mumbai’s MACT ordered the BEST to pay over Rs 7 lakh to the family of a 16-year-old girl who had died in a BEST bus accident in 2016. A notification raised by the Supreme Court (SC) on March 15, 2021 directed police to submit the formal accident report electronically to the General Insurance Council (GIC) and local MACT within 48 hours. SC judges decided that to fast-track settlement, insurance companies will appoint their own investigator immediately and MACTs will have to conclude the matter within a month. However, this process is yet to be implemented consistently in Mumbai and the MMR region.
Source: Times of India, Live Mint, Free Press Journal
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