Looking ahead 2019: Mumbai projects to watch out for

Jan 01, 2019, 07:45 IST | Hemal Ashar, Rajendra B. Aklekar and Pallavi Smart

Fest to amplify queer voices and experiences outside of big cities

Looking ahead 2019: Mumbai projects to watch out for
A still from Mind The Gap

Coming on: January 18 and 26
January is traditionally Pride Month in Mumbai, a time Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) events crowd the calendar. Godrej India Culture Lab in Vikhroli, will for the first time host an event called Queeristan where the focus is on being gay 'outside' the Metro and on the intersectionality of queer experiences. Conversations will emanate from panel discussions, film screenings, performances and art exhibitions through queer faces are seen and queer voices are heard, which are relatively lesser known in Mumbai.

Queeristan organisers say it is important that they showcase, "a multitude of queer experiences in the country". Queeristan, which by definition means encompassing the nation, will be held on two days: January 18 and then, on Republic Day, January 26. On the first day, the focus will be on what it means to be Dalit and queer. Dhiren Borisa, poet, Grace Banu, transgender activist based in Tamil Nadu and Kiruba Munusamy, Supreme Court of India advocate will be at a panel discussion moderated by
Aroh Akunth.

On Saturday January 26, the event will have film screenings by Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT). The PSBT is a non-profit that helps independent filmmakers. A panel discussion on the LGBTQ rights movement in non-metro India will bring to a Mumbai audience a look at how living as gay person outside a Metro is different and in some ways, may be just the same as more 'privileged' queer cousins here. The panel discussion will have Rachana Mudraboyina, a Hyderabad-based transgender activist, Diti of Xukia.

Diti was involved with Xukia, Assam's first ever queer support group, one of the milestones in the journey of how the gay movement evolved and found its voice in the region. Darvesh Singh Yadavendra of Awadh Queer Literature Festival will bring a dash of Lucknow, love and longing to Mumbai. He is one of the organisers of the first queer literature festival in Lucknow. We will hear Maya Sharma loud and clear. The author of Loving Women: Being Lesbian in Unprivileged India is part of the panel. The word in the title of Maya's book Underprivileged is self-explanatory. She will bring an 'outside the privileged class of the big cities' perspective to the talk.

By Hemal Ashar

Prabhadevi station to get bridge
Coming in: Undecided

Prabhadevi station

Work on the 15-car platform at Prabhadevi station is in the last stages of completion and will soon open. Work is also on at several other stations, too. New foot overbridges are in the works at stations along CR and WR. The most controversial Prabhadevi station will finally get connected to the much-required new bridge landing by March 2019.

A suburban train terminus for Parel has been in the works for quite some time and will be ready for public use by March. A new station platform will be completed for passengers at Kopar at Badlapur stations. A new air-conditioned local train with advanced features will arrive in Mumbai in January 2019. The train will have advanced features and incorporate changes and suggestions given by Mumbai commuters.

Work on the Harbour line to Borivli is also set to begin. The MRVC has been planning up to two lines as part of MUTP3A that was sanctioned earlier this week. The plan is expected to clear the decks at the centre by January 2019 after which ground work will begin. Work on the CSMT fast corridor is expected to begin once the MUTP 3A is cleared in January. The preparatory work for the line at CSMT has been in progress next to platform 18.

By Rajendra Aklekar

One, or many for the road
Coming in: Undecided

Test tracks for learning drivers in city limits are expected to be functional at RTO offices. A few open spaces at bus depots are also likely to be used. But by mid-2019, the city will have proper test tracks for vehicles.

New public transport BEST buses are expected to be inducted in the fleet for passenger convenience. A new software to track down BEST bus's live location might get installed in a few buses as a pilot project this year. This will allow commuters at bus stops to know the precise location of the approaching bus.

CSMT restoration on in full swing
Coming in: Undecided

CSMT

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is being restored to its former glory and in 2019, the conservation project will complete phase 2. The work is being carried out in consultancy with INTACH.

There are 75 medical rooms expected to open at railway stations in the city in 2019. The tendering process for the emergency rooms has already been completed and all of them will open in phases through the year.

Student elections return to Mumbai campuses
Coming in: March 2019
Mumbai campuses will finally see student elections, a process which returns after over two decades. Delivering on its promise, the BJP-ruled state government has finally brought out the statutes specific for student elections, which will regulate the process to avoid any political rivalry on campus.

Mumbai University

Students in Mumbai will finally get to elect their representatives who will put forward their perspective before authorities. For Mumbai University students it will be a major boon, especially at times when the examination section of the varsity is embroiled in controversy over delays, or wrong results or other issues.

As explained in the statutes, every academic year, the process has to be completed by the month of September. All eyes are set on the coming academic year which will see the first student elections, if Mumbai University rolls out the election process.

By Pallavi Smart

Something new
Coming in: Undecided

Kharkopar

The line that opened till Kharkopar in 2018 will be completed till Uran in 2019. Very little work on land acquisition remains and is expected to be completed this year. The much-awaited rail corridor between Diva and Thane that will entail a segregated suburban corridor between Kalyan and Kurla, will finally be ready in 2019. Work on a key bridge along the stretch is to be complete by June 2019.

By Rajendra B. Aklekar

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