THERE were brilliant performances on and off the track at Saturday’s historical Wint/McKenley Classic at Calabar High School.It was a great job by the organising committee as the entire meet was first class. Entering the environs of the Red Hills Road institution brought memories of the Penn Relays. The large crowd was in a carnival mood.The performances by home team Calabar High boys as well as Hydel High girls, brought great satisfaction for the large number of fans who turned out to be a part of history.Home boy Aykeem Francis became the first Calabar athlete to be crowned champion on the new synthetic track.Francis was a cut above his peers in the Open 400 metres hurdles, as he raced to a season and personal best 53.10 seconds to win.Andre Pickersgill of Cameron Blazers Track Club was second in 54.55 seconds, with Francis’ teammate, Damion Dixon, third in 55.94.Francis returned to close a double by taking the Class One 400 metres in 49.12.St Jago High’s Lerone Clarke was second overall in 49.34 seconds, with Calabar’s Avraldo Hoggart third with 59.60.World Youth 400m champion Christopher Taylor teased his many home supporters in the Class Two 400m.He shut it down in the last 100m, but was still able to clock 46.99 seconds, which was good enough for top spot.Brandon Heath clocked 49.65 seconds for second overall. Vere’s Romane Lindo was third best with 50.36.It was truly a Calabar show as Dejour Russell, Orville Dixon, Tyrone Bryan and Warren Barrett Jr had good wins.Russell, who won the Class Two boys’ 110m hurdles at Champs a year ago, started his season campaign in fine style, taking the event in 13.78.It was a clean sweep for the home team. Orlando Bennett (14.28) and Michael Stephens (14.39) seconds finished second and third, respectively.Dixon captured the Class One boys’ 1500m in 4:05.20, ahead of St Jago’s Thaleeito Green in 4:06.31.Brown won the Class One 110m hurdles in 14.44 seconds.EXCELLENT FORMBarrett continued his excellent form this season with double victory in the throws. He took the Class One discus throw with 51.14m and the shot put with a heave of 18.89m.Despite their coach playing down their chances of finishing in the top three at Champs this year, Hydel totally dominated the female section.In the girl’s 400m Class One, it was joint first place for Semoy Hemmings and Taquece Duggan, who both clocked 55.18 seconds.The Ferry-based team swept all 400m events. In Class Two, Abigail Brooks won in 58.64 seconds, while in Class Three, it was Jada Martin in 57.25 seconds.Hydel girls also had good results in the hurdles.Class Four athlete, Gabrielle Matthews, became the fastest girl in the age group so far this season in the 70m hurdles, winning in 10.99 seconds.In the Class Three 80m hurdles, it was Donna Ray Lee in 12.09 seconds, while in the Class One 100 hurdles, Trishauna Hemmings won in 14.68 seconds. Jada Campbell was best in Class Two, with 14.84 seconds.
A panel under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has cleared a key stretch of a major ‘coastal road’ project in Mumbai that will reportedly significantly de-congest the city’s traffic. The go-ahead was given by the Expert Appraisal Committee for Coastal Regulation Zone.The proposed 35 km coastal road has been divided into two parts, a northern and southern stretch. The latter will connect the Princess Street Flyover to the Worli end of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. It, however, requires reclaiming about 90 hectares of land from the sea and, therefore, as per environment regulations, needs to be cleared by a central authority.On March 17, the Central expert appraisal committee, headed by Deepak Apte of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), had said the project could go ahead provided the coastal road was toll free, did not affect tidal behaviour, that the reclaimed land would not be used to build houses and offices, any resulting open spaces would be free of encroachment, fishermen would be resettled in the area if they were affected, and a dedicated bus lane would be created.The minutes of the meeting were made public on Friday.30-km projectThe Coastal Road-Mumbai (South) will have bridges over the sea, tunnels (two tubes, each of about 3.452 km in length) and elevated roads, and will be a 9.98 km-stretch that will cost ₹5,303 crore. The 30-km project is cumulatively expected to cost ₹12,000 crore.According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the proposed southern stretch of the coastal road will reduce commuting time by around 70%, slash fuel consumption by 34% and cut carbon footprint by about 1,826 tonnes of CO2 per annum.Though the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party government has claimed that the project would be ready by 2019, The Hindu reported last month that the much-delayed project was likely to move again following Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s visit to Union Environment Minister Anil Dave.In January 2016, the BMC presented the application for CRZ clearance to the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) with an estimated cost of ₹14,153 crore for an approximate length of 33.77 km. By the time MCZMA recommended the proposal, the total length was reduced to 30.07 km. In its recommendation to the MoEFCC, the MCZMA has put forward 28 specific conditions. It has specifically asked the BMC to take high court permission before clearing mangroves, if any.Impact on fisherfolkIt has also observed that the coastal road will have an impact on the nearby habitats of traditional coastal communities. It has asked the civic body to ensure navigational channels are not blocked in koliwada (fishing village) areas and that fishing activity is not hampered.