QMumbai: Sea Link Toll Till 2052; Electric Buses Make a Comeback 

Faecal content in Mumbai’s seawater 60 per cent higher than accepted standards, and other stories.

5 min read
A woman looks at the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai.

1. Govt Clears Sea Link Toll Collection Till 2052

The ride on the state's roads is certainly not easy, particularly on the pockets.

Motorists will have to keep paying toll on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL) till 2052, 13 years more than the original deadline, so that the administration can shore up funds for other infrastructure projects. Ditto for the Pune-Mumbai Expressway, where the toll period has been extended to 2045 from 2030, and the Thane Creek Bridge, where commuters have to pay tax up to 2036. The initial deadline was 2026.

The cabinet committee on infrastructure, headed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, approved the toll collection extension proposal of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) at a meeting in June this year.

(Source: Mumbai Mirror)

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2. Electric Buses Return to Mumbai Streets After 45 Years

Forty-five years after they were phased out, electric buses have returned to Mumbai’s roads. The first set of these buses were inducted in the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) fleet on Friday.

BEST ran electric trams in the city from 1907 to 1964 and electric buses from 1962 to 1971. Those e-buses, known as trolley buses, drew power from overhead wires.

The new e-buses, however, run on lithium ion batteries. Unlike the buses run on fossil fuels, they do not have an engine, gearbox or clutch. Electric motors ensure that they are noiseless and smokeless. They are hence more eco-friendly than hybrid electric and compressed natural gas-run buses, said BEST officials.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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3. Faecal Content in Mumbai's Seawater 60% Higher Than Accepted Standard: Study

A view of the Mumbai sea. 
A view of the Mumbai sea. 
(Photo courtesy: Facebook)

Faecal coliform (FC) — an indication of human and animal excreta — in the seawater along Mumbai’s coast is 60% higher than accepted standards, says a study by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). Reason: Discharge of untreated sewage into the sea by the municipal corporation, said MPCB  officials.

The count of FC — measured as colonies of coliform per 100 millilitre (ml) of water — was as high as 1,600/100 ml against the accepted limit of less than 1,000/100 ml at Mithi River, Girgaum Chowpatty, Worli Sea Face, Malabar Hill and Haji Ali. Before the monsoon season this year, the count was 920/100 ml, the study said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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4. Music Royalty Scam: Versions of Music Firm Officials Conflicting: ED

Bhushan Kumar (L) heads T-series.
Bhushan Kumar (L) heads T-series.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

Top honchos of music companies, which are being probed by the ED for alleged royalty evasion and subsequent money laundering, have given inconsistent statements to the investigating agency. While all have denied withholding money due to music composers and lyricists, at least two have questioned the legitimacy of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) in the matter.

The ED has so far questioned Vikram Mehra, managing director of Saregama, Bhushan Kumar Dua, chairman and managing director of T-Series, and Shridhar Subramaniam, India president of Sony Music Entertainment India Ltd. It had also summoned Aditya Chopra, CEO of Yash Raj Productions, for questioning on Thursday. He didn't appear.

(Source: Mumbai Mirror)

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5. Farmer's Suicide Bid at Mantralaya; Man Sets Himself on Fire in Vasai

A farmer from Osmanabad district, who was upset about receiving only Rs 19,000 from the state’s farm loan waiver, tried to jump from the seventh floor of Mantralaya’s annex, but the police and fire brigade stopped him. There were dramatic scenes as the farmer, Anand Salve, climbed onto the parapet of the seventh floor and demanded an audience with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Agriculture Minister Pandurang Fundkar. He wrote his mobile number on a chit and dropped it for the emergency services so he could share his grievances on the phone.

(Source: Mumbai Mirror)

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6. Maharashtra Factory Owners With 300 Employees Can Soon Sack Them Without Govt Nod

In a move that could boost investment, but is likely to be opposed by trade unions, the state government is all set to amend the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to relax the rules related to retrenchment, lay-offs and closure of industrial units.

Under a proposal as part of the government’s ease of doing business initiative, owners of manufacturing units employing up to 300 workers need not take prior permission of relevant authorities to shut down their units or fire employees. The current employee limit for this is 100.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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7. I&B Ministry Won't Let You Watch Nude and S Durga at Film Festival

A poster of <i>Nude</i>.
A poster of Nude.
(Photo courtesy: Zee Studios)

Film lovers hoping to catch Ravi Jadav's Nude and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's Sexy Durga (retitled as S Durga) at the 48th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), in Goa, later this month, will have to content themselves with watching their replacements, which have been chosen by the Information & Broadcasting Ministry.

Nude, a Marathi film, and S Durga, a Malayalam movie, were among 26 feature films that were chosen by a 13-member jury for IFFI's Indian Panorama section. Nude, the story of a woman's struggle for survival in Mumbai as a nude model, was the jury's unanimous choice as the opening film of the Indian Panorama. But, the final list released yesterday by the I & B Ministry did not feature the two movies. A statement issued by the ministry said that the section will now kick off with Vinod Kapri's Hindi film Pihu.

(Source: Mumbai Mirror)

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8. Declare Results of Re-Evaluation by Nov 18: HC to MU

Results of lakhs of students were delayed this year after the Mumbai University shifted to online assessment.
Results of lakhs of students were delayed this year after the Mumbai University shifted to online assessment.
(Photo courtesy: Facebook/All India Radio News)

In a hearing on Friday, the Bombay High Court directed the University of Mumbai to expedite declaration of re-evaluation applications of students and ensure that they are declared by November 18. The hearing has been adjourned to November 17.

Declaration of re-evaluation results has been a hotly contested issue in the past few weeks as the dates for re-examination inched closer.

(Source: Mumbai Mirror)

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