Mumbai launches country’s first water taxi
India’s first ‘water taxi’ was virtually inaugurated in Mumbai on February 17th by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Union minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbanand Sonowal. The taxi service will connect suburban Mumbai to South Mumbai.
“Today is an important day as the country’s first water taxi is starting from Mumbai. The first railway service in the country was also started between Mumbai and Thane. The facilities which started from Mumbai were spread all over the country.” said CM Thackeray. The current routes of the taxi are from Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) to Ferry Wharf, Mazgaon, and Belapur, via Elephanta Island, and between DCT and JNPT.
Source: The Indian Express, The Times of India
Mumbai’s vaccination for teens below state average
Mumbai has achieved only 49.9% first-dose coverage for COVID-19 vaccination among ages 15 to 18. The second dose coverage is at 24.2%. This is below Maharashtra’s average and is also among districts at the bottom in this category. Vaccination for this age group began in January 2022.
“We faced a shortage of the vaccine for a few days. The low number of Covid cases in Mumbai has also impacted vaccination turnout,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, Mumbai’s executive health officer.
State immunisation officer Dr Sachin Desai added that schools and colleges, which were the venues for vaccination drives, being shut added to the low turnout.
Source: Hindustan Times
Thane creek to become a designated wetland
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has approved a proposal seeking the designation of Thane creek, including the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary, as “Ramsar site” (wetland). For final approval, the proposal will be forwarded to the union ministry for environment forests and climate change. The proposal was first accepted by the State Mangrove Authority in December 2021.
65 sq kms of Thane creek will be designed as Ramsar area, 17 sq kms is reserved forest, which hosts 40,000 flamingoes over six months annually, and the remaining, 48 sq kms, was designated as environmentally sensitive area in October 2021.
Source: The Times of India
New AC local train services between CMST and Kalyan
On February 18th, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated new air-conditioned local train services on the Central Railways (CR) Mumbai suburban network.
34 new AC trains and 2 non-AC trains will start on the main line between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Kalyan and Kasara railway stations. A total of 44 AC local trains services will be functional for Mumbaikars.
Passengers share mixed reactions to the AC trains, as many find the fares too high and the frequency of the trains lower than non-AC trains.
Source: The Indian Express
Leading colleges ask students to head back to classes
A few leading colleges in the city are encouraging students to return to classes offline. Autonomous colleges NM and Mithibai have issued circulars, KC and HR have reinstated offline classes entirely, and others are advising students to do so. This comes after Mumbai University’s announcement of offline examinations.
“When board exams are being conducted offline even for unvaxxed students, then there should not be any problem for senior students to attend classes offline,” said Hemlata Bagla, principal of KC College and the Vice-Chancellor of HSNC university.
St Xavier’s College has shared a notice on its website encouraging students to attend offline classes as soon as possible, ‘keeping the expected modality of offline exams in mind’.
Source: The Times of India
(Compiled by Saachi D’Souza)