Almost All of Mumbai Has Phones, Only Half Has Toilets

March 16, 2012 8:53 am by

Many Phones, Few Toilets. According to the findings of the 2011 Census, over 94 per cent of homes in Mumbai have phones, while only 55 per cent of the households in the suburbs and only 67 per cent of those in the island city have toilets. “A large proportion of people in Mumbai live in slums, which would mean poor living conditions, though they can have material benefits like cellphones, since most of them are working individuals,” said S. Parasuraman, the director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, in response to the findings. [The Times of India]

AC Locals. City commuters who dream of travelling on an air-conditioned local train were given hope in the railway budget announced on Wednesday. Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi estimated a capital cost of Rs9 crore for a 12-coach AC local train though the cost of designing and running the AC Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) will be over Rs27 crore. However, the railway board has the power to allocate more funds to the project during this financial year. Morever the budget’s token contribution of Rs1 lakh to the project is said to signal “a clear intent of the Railway Board to develop an AC EMU rake”. [The Times of India]

Interest Cut. In a decision that will affect almost 6 crore employees, the government has cut the interest rate on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) savings for 2011-12 to 8.25 per cent from 9.5 per cent. As a result of the cut, the largest in a decade, the EPF rate is lower than what is currently being offered on bank fixed deposits. [The Economic Times]