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Saturday,23-October-2021

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Mumbai coastal road project to be ready by end-2023

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 The first phase of the upcoming Mumbai coastal road – a showpiece project of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – is 40 per cent complete and is expected to be operational by November 2023, a top official said here on Thursday.

BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal said that more than one-third of the physical work on the 8-lane coastal road hugging the Arabian Sea from Marine Drive to Worli, around 10 km, which includes the 1 km long tunnel.

“The Rs 12,700 crore project, being executed by the BMC from its own funds, comprises the 27 km total length including 16 km of interchanges, and the 40-feet diameter tunnel running under the Malabar Hill,” said Chahal.

Now, the work of remaining 900 metres of the tunnel – the first of its kind undersea tunnel of 40 feet diameter being executed in the country – remains to be completed, he added.

The coastal road would also include a 125-acre garden on reclaimed land abutting the freeway besides arrangements for underground parking for 1,852 cars.

The two-phased work, which was launched in around the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in early 2020, is proceeding round-the-clock in three shifts to catch the November 2023 deadline.

The project execution was scheduled to start in October 2018 with a completion date of end-2022, but got bogged down in litigations, a stop work by the court in July 2019 as the CRZ clearances were quashed.

The work resumed only after the Supreme Court stayed the Bombay High Court orders in December 2020 and is now proceeding at a quick pace in the first phase.

Running from Marine Drive in south Mumbai to Kandivali suburb in north-west along the Arabian Sea shores, the coastal road would be used by an estimated 125,000 vehicles daily cutting the travel time from the present 125 minutes to barely 40 minutes.

It will provide convenient interchanges at major locations including the airport, the sealinks, major railway stations, Haji Ali, Breach Candy, Worli, Bandra, etc, and will reduce the traffic burden on the two highways and the arterial roads criss-crossing the city.

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One falls to death as fire breaks out in 61-storey Mumbai building

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 A fire erupted on the 19th floor of a 61-storey residential building in south Mumbai, sending panic waves among the residents and resulting in the death of one person, here on Friday, officials said on Friday.

The blaze broke out in the Avigna Park building in Currey Road around noon, with thick clouds of smoke billowing out, sending the residents scurrying out to safety.

One panicky man was seen coming out of the burning floor, hanging onto a ledge, losing balance and falling to his death below. He was identified as Arun Tiwari, 30, according to the BMC Disaster Control.

At least 15 fire-tenders rushed to the spot and battled the conflagration, attempting to stop the flames from spreading to the higher floors, while Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar went and oversaw the rescue operations.

A majority of the residents managed to evacuate themselves, including several senior citizens and children, though two persons are feared trapped inside.

The cause of the blaze, tentatively believed to be due to a short-circuit, is being probed and the building reportedly has all fire-safety measures in place, said the residents.

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India achieves major milestone of ‘one billion’ vaccinations

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India on Thursday achieved the major milestone of 100 crore vaccination-mark, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

The CoWin portal mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India.

India’s vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic was launched on January 16, 2021. The healthcare workers were the first ones to get ones. Later, the frontline workers were also included in the drive from February 2. The state and central police personnel, Armed Forces, Home Guards, Civil Defence and others were included in the vaccination drive.

The vaccination drive was expanded from March 1 to include people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with associated specified comorbidities. From May 1, the vaccination drive was thrown open to all above 18 years of age.

Prime Minister Modi said in a tweet, “India scripts history. We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians. Congrats India on crossing 100 crore vaccinations. Gratitude to our doctors, nurses and all those who worked to achieve this feat.

Congratulating the nation on this historic moment, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in his tweet, “Congratulation India! Under the visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it has been achieved”.

As India has achieved this historical landmark, the health ministry has planned several events to mark the occasion. The Health Minister will release a song and an audio visual film to celebrate the milestone of administering 100 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses. Mandaviya will release the film and song at the Red Fort later in the day. In another event, Modi will visit the centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi.

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India logs 18,454 new Covid cases, recovery rate maintained at 98.15%

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India reported 18,454 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday, and 160 deaths in the last 24 hours, even as the recovery rate continues to be 98.15 per cent as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data.

With the new 160 fatalities, the overall death toll has increased to 4,52,811.

The recovery of 17,561 patients in the last 24 hours has increased the cumulative tally of recovered patients to 3,34,95,808.

Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.15 per cent, currently at its highest peak since March 2020.

The active caseload has fallen below 2 lakh-mark and is presently at 1,78,831. Active cases at present constitute less than 1 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.

The testing capacity across the country continues to be expanded. India has so far conducted over 59.57 crore cumulative tests.

While testing capacity has been enhanced across the country, the weekly positivity rate at 1.34 per cent remains less than 3 per cent for the last 118 days now. The daily positivity rate stands at 1.48 per cent, below 3 per cent for the last 52 days and below 5 per cent for 135 consecutive days now.

India has achieved the landmark in vaccinating its population with over 1 billion doses.

According to the data shared by the health ministry over 10.85 crore balanced and unutilized vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs

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