Sunday, Sep 24, 2023

Mumbai Musings

Mumbai Musings

So would the BMC finally encash the Rs 5 lakh cheque issued by a "hurt" Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray for the arrangements the corporation spent for the funeral of Bal Thackeray, or not?

Funding the Funeral

Last week, details about how the municipal corporation spent Rs 5 lakh on the arrangements of late Bal Thackeray’s funeral were reported in the media. Following a debate on whether it was fair to use taxpayer’s money for a ‘private’ person's funeral, a "hurt" current Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray sent a cheque to the BMC promptly. However, the ways of the system are unique. The BMC, though pretty much run by the Sena, will have to discuss the issue at a standing committee meeting and make a decision as to whether ‘private’ contribution can be accepted at all. The cheque has not been encashed as yet.

Who Solved LBT?

After retailers seemed to back out, the wholesale traders also called off their agitation against Local Body Tax ( LBT), but not before CM Prithviraj Chavan promised that the tax regime would not be implemented until everyone is on board. That came as a surprise since he was very adamant about not softening his stand. Of course, meetings with union minister Sharad Pawar must have helped. However, now both the parties are claiming success and credit in solving the LBT mess. An old adage goes: ‘The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit of doing them”. If that were true, Mumbai will perhaps remain the only city without LBT for a long time to come. And let’s not count the losses to exchequer.

Fly Over Milan

Until now Milan subway only made news for getting flooded every monsoon. Wading through the subway was the first sign of normal and average rains for Mumbaikars. Not to mention the serpentine traffic jams on both sides of Vile Parle East , where the domestic airport is and Parle West, where Juhu and other fancy suburban areas are located. However, all that may just change this monsoon. Not because there wont be rains (oh no, let there be average and more than that!) but the long awaited Milan Flyover was inaugurated on Friday. Even as other ongoing transport projects to improve East-West connectivity in the city go on, people using the subway are ready to take on the rains!

Bund ko Band Karo

A recent study by the Bombay Natural History Society in Konkan region reveal severe destruction of mangroves at several locations due to bund building, unsustainable aquaculture and industrial growth. The report titled “Kharland development bunds affecting mangrove cover: case studies from Ratnagiri” by Dr Deepak Apte, Chief Operating Officer, BNHS India, was released on May 21. Bunds near Jaigad Creek (Lagvan, Kasari, Satkondi area), Bankot Creek (Shipole, Veswi area) and Sakhartar Creek (Shirgaon area) in Ratnagiri district have affected more than 150 hectares of mangroves in total. Some of them are near mega industrial projects that have come up in the region; says the study. A rare mangrove species, viz. Xylocarpus granatum has been recorded from some localities close to the affected area in Jaigad. Research reports confirm declining populations of this species all over the coast of India, thus highlighting the need for conservation wherever it exists, adds Atul Sathe from BNHS. 

Bhaus and Bhaiyyas

While IPL flooded the newspapers and kept everyone busy – viewers and readers all alike –the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, visited the city recently. Last Friday, he inaugurated UP Bhavan at Navi Mumbai. A statement released after the function said, “In the ceremony, Hon Chief Minister Mr. Akhilesh Yadav made a remark that the New UP Bhavan was the need of the hour, as now the Govt Officials visiting Mumbai can do their work more efficiently with convenience. He believed and hoped that opening of this Bhavan will surely help officials of UP to stay & carry on their work. Mr.Yadav also thanked for the support of people from Mumbai for making this dream come true." However, there were no comments on ‘the camaraderie’ instigated by MNS Chief Raj Thackeray between local Marathi bhaus and UP ke bhaiyyas. Only if the new UP Bhavan could serve some delicacies like the ever-popular Andhra Bhavan in Delhi! 

Mumbai Wins IPL But Misses Sachin

Just as we were all wondering if and what may have been spot- fixed in the final and still feeling smug about the first ever victory for Mumbai Indians, the master announced his retirement. The bursting of crackers, despite the gloom (that was all in Chennai, isn’t it?), soon made way for frantic messages about Sachin’s retirement. He had not played the final, was troubled by the injury and had not really scored either. But none of that dampens the fan following and belief that he is the god of the religion of Cricket. 

One of the texts that circulated (along with its many exclamation marks):

We say Dwayne Smith, they say Hussey..
We say Karthik, they say Raina..
We say Maxwell, they say Jadeja..
We say Rohit, they say Dhoni..
We say Pollard, they say Bravo..
We say Harbhajan, they say Ashwin.. 
We say Johnson, they say Mohit..
We say Malinga, they say Morris..
Will miss u Master!!!!!!!!!!



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