Indian media: Monorail to ease traffic congestion in Mumbai

Mumbai has become the first Indian city to have monorail services Mumbai has become the first Indian city to have monorail services

Media in India have focused on commuters in India's financial capital Mumbai, who many believe will get some relief from traffic congestion as the country's first monorail service prepares to kick off on Saturday.

The first phase of the monorail, 8.93km (5.54 miles) in length, will be operational from 1 February and it will run from Wadala on the outskirts of the island city to Chembur in the eastern suburbs, The Financial Express reports

The monorail is "a brand new mode of transport in the city, which is expected to lighten the traffic burden on its overcrowded suburban railway system," the paper says.

The Business Line echoes similar sentiment, saying "Mumbai residents will get relief from traffic jams and overcrowded local trains".

"The monorail system is a significant addition to the city's public transport infrastructure. It will act as a feeder service for the suburban rail system and ease the traffic congestion to some extent," it adds.

To ensure safety, train captains will have to undergo breath analyser tests when they report to work, the DNA website reports.

Staying with national news, the Hindustan Times urges the Aam Admi Party (AAP) government in Delhi to not turn the 1984 anti-Sikh riots "into a poll gimmick".

The AAP government has endorsed the idea of setting up a special investigative team to reopen the probe into the bloody riots.

"The large-scale violence that targeted the Sikh community after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards has been a particularly sad chapter in India's evolution", the paper said.

"Mr Kejriwal must not make it an electoral gimmick. Nor should this be an occasion to rekindle dormant prejudices, separatism and sectarianism of any kind," the paper said.

Rahul Gandhi, Congress party vice president and the grandson of Indira Gandhi, recently, in a TV interview, said that some members of his party may have been involved in the riots.

Meanwhile, newspapers and websites feel the federal government has decided to increase the subsidy on cooking gas to attract voters in the upcoming general elections.

The government has decided to increase the number of subsidised gas cylinders from 9 to 12 for each family per year.

"The demand to increase LPG (liquid petroleum gas) subsidy had been gathering momentum within the Congress in the past few weeks… They believe the move will go down well with voters in an important election year," the Hindustan Times says.

Milk adulteration

Elsewhere, Ramya, a 24-year-old woman skydiver from Bangalore city, died after falling from a height of 10,000 feet in the southern state of Tamil Nadu when her parachute failed to open during a skydiving lesson, the NDTV website reports.

A police complaint has been filed against the organisers of the event, it adds.

Police personnel in the northern Indian city of Ghaziabad will now be patrolling the area on bicycles, The Business Standard reports.

The initiative is intended to "strengthen the beat constable system", and make cops who have 'fat tummies' fit, the report quotes senior police official Dharmendra Singh as saying

And finally, a hearing in the Supreme Court on a petition seeking a crackdown on milk adulteration across the country "took a hilarious twist" when a counsel representing the northern state of Punjab blamed the problem on cows "feeding on plastic and papers", the Mail Today reports.

"If cows could protest, they would have moved the Supreme Court against 'wild' allegations being made against their eating habits and milk quality," the report said.

Justice Vikramjit Sen, who was a part of the bench hearing the case, also quipped, saying that the "present law has no teeth. All teeth have fallen off after drinking adulterated milk".

The bench has asked all states to raise the punishment for those responsible for adulterated milk from the present six months to life imprisonment, the report said.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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