Redevelopment taking its toll on city

These days the city of Mumbai is buzzing with the word redevelopment and the increased FSI for such a purpose. Papers have advertorials (where readers have no say). In my opinion, redevelopment is not a solution, but a symptom of a deep-rooted disease. Where will it stop? At 500 floors? The Mumbai Metropolitan region needs better utilisation. As recommended by Barve Committe nearly 40 years ago, the government needs to shift its centre of gravity to other places in the metropolitan region, so that the suburbs will become future action zones. The island city has become a mess. Public perception of redevelopment is that it is a permanent source of income to many. Already builders are talking of redeveloping redeveloped buildings. In buildings where a Cooperative Housing Society exists, there is a charge called sinking fund. This is the fund that enables people rebuild houses when they become weak.

Toll Issue: Tolls seem to be worse than AIDS and cancer. At this rate, there will be a toll (suitably named) for filling potholes, painting at traffic signals, cleaning roadside drains and so on. What are government taxes for? People in governance do not seem to have understood the western philosophy of toll. Toll is there only when a toll-free alternative exists.

P R V Raghavan,

Mumbai

Mumbai autos, cabs hit by ‘Madras malaise’

We often hold rickshaws as culprits for not charging by the meter. It seems that taxis have become the big brother of rickshaws in this regard.  I hailed a cab  to get to Karuna Hospital from my home and the cab I took outside my building would not go by the meter on the pretext that he would not get return fare. He asked for Rs.300, when the fare by meter should have been Rs.150. Finally, I managed to settle the bargain at Rs. 200. This was the old ‘kali peeli’ taxi. Never had I encountered a cabbie who would not ply his cab by the meter.One takes a taxi to save time and in emergencies. Media reports say that taxis and autos fleece passengers coming from railway termini,and airports. What has happened to Mumbai?  Commuting is becoming a costly affair for senior citizens like me. Will the situation ever improve? Where are the self-appointed crusaders against corruption? Is this not a corrupt practice – not charging by the meter? I thought this was only the prerogative of taxis and rickshaws in Chennai, but apparently, this malaise is catching.

Deendayal M.Lulla,

 Mumbai

Poor frequency of Bus No 345

There is a need for more BEST buses on Route 345, going from Charkop Depot to Santosh Nagar (Malad East). Service on this route is erratic, as a result of which the few buses that run on this route are overcrowded. Senior citizens, school-going children, patients (there are several hospitals and schools en route) have to wait for hours for this bus. It would be more beneficial to commuters if Route 460 (Gorai to Mulund) were diverted from Western Express Highway (Saidham) to the Sainath Road stretch, instead of the longer route to reach Sainath Road. Running time would also be reduced by at least 10 to 15 minutes.

A Viswanath, Charkop

Deposit insurance limit must be raised to Rs 5 lakh

The Deposit Insurance Corporation (DICGC) was established in 1962 to ensure public confidence in banks and to provide protection to depositors, small depositors in particular. The limit of deposit insurance was last increased 21 years ago, in 1993, to Rs one lakh. The percentage of insured deposits to total deposits, which was 67.3 per cent as on March 31,1993, had increased to 75.4 per cent as on March 31,1996. The percentage of insured deposits to total deposits as on March 31, 2014, is very less, at 31.2 per cent (Source : DICGC – Annual Report 2013-14). Depositors put their savings, their hard-earned money in banks, reposing full faith in these banks, in DICGC and in RBI, the regulator. It is high time the limit of deposit insurance was increased at least, to Rs 5 lakh. This amount in 2014 is not even worth Rs.50,000 from 1993. The DICGC, RBI and GoI should take immediate steps to increase the limit of deposit insurance. Incidentally, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation of the USA has increased the limit of deposit insurance from $100,000 revised in 1980 to $250,000 in 2008.

R G Nakhate,Goregaon (W),

Temporary road dividers welcome

Pursuant to vigorous correspondence with the JCP, Mumbai Traffic, the Assistant Commissioner and the Executive Engineer (Maintenance), K/East Ward, at last temporary dividers are being put up on the Hindu Friends Society Road, a much required respite for the local residents and moving traffic.  What remains now is the restoration of the speed breakers with reflectors, white band painting and signboards, all of which disappeared in the resurfacing of the said road with cement concrete.  Thanks to the concerned authorities.

Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar,

Jogeshwari (East), Mumbai.

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