Problem-riddled Mumbai monorail project becomes white elephant for govt

Mumbai Monorail
The monorail project in Mumbai, set up by the Maharashtra government with an investment of more than Rs 3,000 crore, has become the proverbial white elephant. After taking more than eight years — resulting in road closures and traffic jams in the central part of the city — the project is as good as shuttered. Currently only one rake is in use, but thanks to incessant rain, service on that is frequently disrupted. Due to salary delays, members of the staff are not interested in its operations and upkeep, either. No wonder the stations look deserted. So who rides the monorail, which connects Chembur with Mahalaxmi? Operators say only the tourists visiting the city.

Interpreting cricket defeat

There has been much recrimination in the Congress after the Lok Sabha election defeat. Insiders have blamed people starting from outgoing party chief Rahul Gandhi to seniors like Ahmed Patel, and also some lateral entrants, particularly the party's data analytics department chief, Praveen Chakravarty. On Thursday, Chakravarty tweeted it was heartbreaking to watch India lose to New Zealand in the cricket World Cup. "Led valiantly by their captain, India had a string of remarkable wins and fought hard in this crucial game but lost," he said. However, there was a sting in the tale. "Wisely, the team’s support staff is not being blamed solely for this defeat," the tweet concluded. It does not take much wracking of the brain to catch the drift.

All praise for Jaitley

The Rajya Sabha resumed its discussion on the Union Budget on Thursday. More than 40 MPs spoke, including some from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, but none except Shiromani Akali Dal's Naresh Gujral mentioned former finance minister Arun Jaitley. The two are good friends, and Gujral said he would like to remember the contribution of Jaitley, who for five years brought back the Indian economy from the brink of disaster. Jaitley brought back fiscal discipline and piloted the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), he said. The Akali Dal MP gave "full marks" to him for bringing in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and ending the "discretion raj". Jaitley is convalescing and staying away from active politics.

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