LIGHTS ON THE COAST Schoolboys spare no effort to spruce up Gorai

2018 was a watershed year for environmental consciousness in Mumbai. The citizenry drove a concerted campaign to clean up its beaches and coastline, strengthening community bonds in the process. The spark was lit at Versova…

Mumbai: 31 Dec, 2018 (Times of India)

Over the years, the popular palmfringed Gorai beach had become heavily polluted with plastic and other garbage. But this year, Don Bosco School, Borivli, launched an initiative to clean the beach at least once a month.

The Don Bosco boys collect liquor bottles and plastic material strewn on the beach with the aid of a municipality garbage vehicle. One surprisingly common waste item: empty milk packets dumped by villagers. The boys also try to make tourists and locals aware of the problem of littering.

“That’s important,” says Rossi Dsouza, Gorai sarpanch and a teacher at Don Bosco. He says that while tourists are to be blamed for littering the very beach they enjoy, locals aren’t entirely free of blame: they did not make efforts to prevent pollution.

But following the example set by the Don Bosco boys, they are doing more to take part in beach clean-up and dissuade tourists from littering, especially on weekends. Says Dsouza, “It’s not too late to save Gorai beach.”

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Work on Mumbai’s 20-year plan starts one road, one survey at a time

Drone survey of sites where new infra will come up and roads that will be widened or rebuilt begins

Mumbai: 27 Dec, 2018 (Hindustan Times)

A flyover has been planned from GMLR to Shivaji Nagar as part of the project.(HT File)

Inching closer to its Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) 2034 to upgrade the city’s transport system, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started drone surveys of the missing links, flyovers, junctions, elevated roads and congested roads that will be built or rebuilt under the project. The survey to check if the amenities are feasible is expected to be completed in the next six weeks.

The plan focuses on widening of congested roads, connecting missing links, integrated fare structure and common ticketing for the existing public transport system. Of the amenities envisaged to be constructed over the next 20 years, a few have been shortlisted for work on priority basis. While initial earmarking of the amenities on maps has been completed, a physical survey of the area will now be started along with the drone survey.

Missing links act as short cuts in certain areas, reducing the congestion on main roads. Nearly 7km of eight different missing links will be surveyed. Similarly, a survey will be conducted to check the feasibility of six flyovers, four elevated roads, six road overbridges and underbridges, subways, foot overbridges and skywalks.

Vijay Singhal, additional municipal commissioner, said, “The survey should be completed as soon as possible. Once the survey report is submitted to us, other factors such as land acquisition and rehabilitation of existing settlements for construction will be figured out. The survey is important as there might be cases where some of the proposed amenities might take little time and so required to be taken up in the next phase.”

The BMC is co-ordinating with other stakeholders of the plan, including the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply Transport, Indian Railways and the traffic police department.

Ashok Datar, transport expert, said, “The CMP 2034 and Development Plan 2034 are interconnected. While one is chalked out plan to improve transport, the other is for the land use. However, no significant work has been done on CMP for the past three years and the work is delayed. It would have been better if both the plans were implemented at the same pace. Unlike DP, there were no public discussions conducted on CMP in order to take into account our suggestions and objections. Also, there has been no mention of the source of funds that need to be generated for implementing CMP.”