‘Monorail no longer a joyride’

MUMBAI: Railway minister Piyush Goyal and chief minister (CM) Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday inaugurated phase-2 of the Monorail — extending from Wadala to Jacob Circle — operationalising the entire 19.5-km (Chembur to Jacob Circle) stretch after a delay of eight years.

“The Monorail will no longer be a joyride, as now the ridership will increase,” said Fadnavis, flagging off the train at Sant Gadge Maharaj Chowk station in Saat Rasta. “The ridership for phase-1 was around 4.5 lakh a month. With phase-2, we expect it to go up to 30 lakh a month.”

“Mumbai will become the first city in the country to have a Monorail, Metro and suburban rail services,” said Goyal.

“We have also asked Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) to connect Monorail and railway stations through subways and skywalks. The planning process will begin soon,” he added.

The first phase of the Monorail, from Chembur to Wadala, became operational in 2014 but has faced several roadblocks, including temporary closures, since then. Mumbaiites can now take the Monorail from Chembur to Jacob Circle, starting Monday. Four trains will be operated at a frequency of 22 minutes from 6am to 10pm. RA Rajeev, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, said it was a “historic day for

Mumbaiites” and the Monorail would help ease traffic on roads.

Additionally, MMRDA plans to add two more rakes by the end of April, said additional metropolitan commissioner Sanjay Khandare.

at RPG Saturday evening’s dinner were well-represented at

The art and corporate worlds art

and Harsh Goenka, for their and Vickram Sethi, and Mala

House hosted by Neelam camp, a long-standing

on these pages earlier, the camp 2019. As has been reported

for and emerging artists gathering of the country’s leading institution, involves a swathe This

cottage at Madh Island. at Goenka’s cozy beach side a bout of convivial creativity Arte

of Anjolie Ela Menon; Kahini a long hiatus, saw the likes

with year’s camp, hosted after Chowdhury in attendance, along

Charan Sharma and Jogen

Merchant; Rini Dhumal; displayed prominently across the

and their output had been approximately 40 others,

a dinner that included choice headquarters, where, over lawns of the company’s met,

city’s best and brightest and cocktails, a host of the examples of Kanpur chaat installations on display. (Arte

sumptuous canvasses and mingled and ogled at the Tasneem

much praise). We spotted

Midnight- I & II received

Merchant’s The Garden at Dilip and Shalini Piramal; Mehta; Niraj and Minal Bajaj;

Shilpi Jatia; Maya arsh Mariwala; Adarsh and

Meera nd Sunil Alagh; Jaideep Mehrotra;

Kavita evidayal; Suchitra Krishnamoorthi;

and the ingh; Preeti Vyas Giannetti

art world, artist ver-green doyenne of the

grace and beauty, alita Lajmi, an epitome of

even as we took mongst many others. And

up, disgorging late ur leave, cars were rolling

art, or the chaat, or rrivals, there to sample the

sake? erhaps both. Art for chaat’s Oh dear, Congressman and former minister of external affairs Salman Khurshid appears to have been oblivious to the universal fatigue tweeple have with politicians out to score political brownie points using national hero Abhinandan Varthaman. “Many kudos for Wing Commander abhi Varthaman the face of India’s resistance to enemy aggression. Great poise and confidence in face of adversity. We are proud that he received his wings in 2004 and matured as fighter pilot during UPA,” he’d tweeted blithely over the weekend, only to face a barrage of outrage and abuse. “Sir, if only even you had matured during UPA term, you wouldn’t have tweeted this nonsense,” went one such, with another observing: “You should have also said that this enemy was created by Great

Nehru in 1947 so Abhinandan could fight with them in 2019.” But, the Oxford don and grandson of renowned President Dr Zakir Hussain was not going to go down without a fight. “When you inject hydrochloride into infested wound, maggots come crawling out. My tweet seems to have done that to intellectual maggots who hoped to appropriate another hero despite being a burden on society,” he shot back, but the onslaught continued. Perhaps, he should call in fellow Congressman, the orotund and Twitter-savvy Shashi Tharoor, for help?

We couldn’t help being struck by the graciousness and dignity with which Bengali a director-screenwriter Aparna Sen (Wikipedia rightly advises we pronounce her nam Ôporna Shen) communicated the passing of her former husband, the science writer journalist Mukul Sharma last week. Though the two had divorced, national film awards is now and the winner o married to Kalyan Ray, an author and professor of Engli America, her social media post was filled with the same sens and sensibility that illuminated her path-breaking directoria debut, 36 Chowringhee Lane. “Mukul passed away this even Painlessly. I am grateful to the doctors who eased his last h Two days before he died, he wanted to read Lewis Carroll’s Hunting of the Snark.” Only Mukul could/would want to do in the ICU. “He was unique. All those who knew him will always feel his loss…” she’d posted, going on to offer special condolences to his wife Binita. “You filled his life with happiness. I hope you find the strength to bear this loss…” Bollywood could learn a thing or two from Tollywood for sure.

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