Mumbai’s costliest flyover shut one month after opening
The newly constructed Ghatkopar-Mankhurd flyover has been jinxed since its initiation. Delayed by three years, partly due to the pandemic, the Rs 713 crore flyover was finally inaugurated on August 1st by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. But a spate of recent accidents and breakdowns have led to the flyover being closed for repairs on September 1st. While several two wheelers have slipped and skidded on the flyover, a fatal accident on August 30th involving a bike finally led to the closure. Even though BMC maintains that the accidents were caused due to speeding and not due to structural deficiencies, the senior Inspector of Mankhurd’s traffic division has said certain sections of the fly-over will be closed for maintenance and repair work.
BMC to appoint fire and safety auditor
“BMC has decided to accord fire and life safety no-objection certificates to low-rise residential buildings through fire and life safety auditors to speed up building construction approvals in a more transparent manner,” a BMC official told the media recently. The auditor will be responsible for checking builder compliance with Maharashtra’s Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006. Under the Act, the property owner or the housing society check fire safety norms and submit an audit report signed by a licensed fire expert to the chief fire officer every six months. In the absence of an owner or a society, building occupants conduct this audit. In recent fires, Mumbai’s fire brigade found that most buildings had failed to submit the audit report and did had not installed any fire safety equipment.
Source: The Times of India
Property deal registrations in Mumbai fall
According to data recently released by the Inspector General of Registration, Maharashtra, property deals in Mumbai dropped by 29% in August compared to the previous month, but is 164% higher than in August, 2020. Analysts attribute this to the unprecedented lows experienced by the real estate sector last year after the lockdown. Some also believe that the four month stamp duty waiver which ended on July 31, 2021, caused the slump in August. Stamp duty collection was around Rs 420 crore in August which is down 21% compared to July 2021 and 10% lower than August, 2019. Only 4% of Mumbai’s property sales in August were to women homebuyers.
Dharavi’s potters continue to suffer
Valji Singadia lives in Dharavi’s Kumbharwada and used to make around 1000 earthen pots daily in his workshop. Now, he is making less than 400 due to COVID related curbs on festival celebrations in the city. Potters in the area say prices have fallen to unbearable lows. Dharavi houses around 500 potter families who have been residing there since colonial times. Kamlesh Parmar, a wholesaler in Kumbharwada, told the Free Press Journal daily: “Earlier, we used to receive big export orders. This year, there wasn’t much demand.” Restrictions on Dahi Handi celebrations contributed greatly to the reduced demand. Despite Dharavi’s healthcare successes during the pandemic, little has been done to provide financial relief to its daily wage and self employed earners..
Mumbai’s renowned cricket coach Vasudev Paranjape passes away
Sunil Gavaskar, Rohit Sharma, Dilip Vengsarkar, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble, besides countless international cricketers, had all benefitted from Paranjape’s coaching. A cricketer himself, he captained Dadar Union, the king of Mumbai’s cricket clubs. Paranjape nurtured cricket in the city and mentored many under-17 and under-19 teams and was the coach of India’s under-19 team at the inaugural Youth World Cup in 1988. That squad included the likes of M Senthilnathan, Pravin Amre, and Nayan Mongia, the latter two going to play for India. The Indian team currently touring England wore black armbands in its fourth Test against England in memory of Paranjape.