Kashmiris attacked in the aftermath of Pulwama
Kashmiris across the country came under attack by extremists in the aftermath of the terror attack in Pulwama on February 14 that left 40 CRPF personnel dead. Since the attack, Kashmiri students and traders in various parts of the country have been harassed and many forced to flee fearing for their safety.
A trader was attacked by a mob in Kolkata and forced to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ before being rescued by the police. Kashmiri students in Dehradun were attacked by their peers who demanded their removal from their respective educational institutions. Shopkeepers in Patna were threatened with dire consequences if they did not leave the city immediately. A Kashmiri journalist came under attack in Pune. Three Kashmiri shawl traders were assaulted in Delhi and had to flee to save their lives.
The spate of violence has been noted by the Supreme Court, which directed 11 states to ensure the safety of Kashmiris. The HRD Ministry and the UGC has written to 600 colleges to provide safety measures for students from the state.
Source: India Today | The Quint | Newsclick | The Times of India | LiveMint | Greater Kashmir
Electric buses in Kolkata, Shimla
Electric bus services were launched in Shimla by the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) on February 20th. A fleet of 11 buses made their debut and are set to ply on nine different routes. The buses have been introduced as part of a 50-strong fleet, allocated for the state of Himachal Pradesh under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme of the central government with 90% of the cost being borne by the Center.
Twenty electric buses were also launched in Kolkata on February 20th, with another 60 buses to be introduced through the course of the year. The first fleet of zero emission buses will ply on three routes. Kolkata has a high share of public transport users at 89% and the introduction of electric buses is a step to cut down on emissions. HIDCO has been operating electric buses in the New Town area and enjoying great response, with an average of 330 passengers per day. More buses are expected to be procured under an agreement with Tata Motors set to supply 80 electric buses to the West Bengal Transport Corporation.
Source: News18 | The Times of India | NDTV Auto
‘Connect Delhi’ transport services launched
A service by the Delhi Government that guarantees public transport in every neighbourhood within 500 metres was launched on February 22. The first phase of the Connect Delhi project is set to be flagged off in Najafgarh where residents can expect to get public transport every 15 minutes. Bus services and other feeder services will be rationalised through optimisation of routes. As part of the plan, 17 bus routes have been identified in Najafgarh which will see buses plying at an interval of 5-10 minutes. Around 70 additional buses have been launched to support the initiative. A total of 306 buses will ply the different routes to and from Najafgarh.
A colour scheme will be evolved for buses for different routes such as those on the primary routes, trunk routes and the feeder services. Bus shelters will also be painted according to the colour schemes. When the project is expanded to other parts of the city, there will be an increase in the size of the fleet of buses. An additional 1000 standard floor buses and 2500 small buses for feeder services will be procured either by the Delhi Transport Corporation or under the cluster services scheme.
Source: The Hindu | The Indian Express
Metro rail corridor 3 set to open in Hyderabad
The third corridor of the Hyderabad metro that will run between Ameerpet and HiTec City is set to open after inspections. The officials are awaiting the completion of trial runs and the issuance of certificate from the Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) for the launch. The third corridor is a 10-km stretch that will have eight stations including Madura Nagar, Jubilee hills and Madhapur. Work in sections of the second corridor is still ongoing and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The work on the third corridor has been ongoing since November of last year. The opening of this stretch will further augmented the metro rail service in Hyderabad which is one of the largest services in the country. The existing network that spans 46 kms sees a footfall of 1.80 lakh commuters per day. The launch of the third corridor will add to the connectivity and the officials expect an increase in the number of commuters.
Source: The NewsMinute | News18
BMC to conduct study for Coastal Road Project
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will prepare a detailed marine biodiversity conservation plan and hold a study on tidal patterns as part of its Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP). The civic body has appointed the Council of Scientific and Industry Research (CSIR) and the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) to conduct studies. The cost of the studies is estimated to be Rs 7.88 crore. The BMC will table a detailed plan to a standing committee for approval.
The ambitious coastal road project will connect Marine Drive to Worli in its first phase. The entire project spans 9.97 km. The total cost of the project stands at Rs 12700 crores. The work for the first phase commenced in December of last year with activities to reclaim land at Worli and construction work at Breach Candy. The studies commissioned will examine the effect of the road on marine life for a period of six years.
Source: The Indian Express | The Times of India
Bhopal sees roll out of urban jobs scheme
A jobs scheme that will see 100 days of employment annually for urban youth from economically weaker sections was rolled out in Bhopal by the Madhya Pradesh government on February 21. The scheme is called the Mukhyamantri Yuva Swabhiman Yojana under which urban youth will undergo skill development training, in addition to availing the employment guarantee.
Under the scheme, employed youth will get a stipend of Rs 4000 per month within the 100 day period. The eligibility criteria for the scheme will see youth between the ages of 21-30 whose families have an annual income of less than Rs 2 lakh. Around 1.5 lakh urban youths have registered for the programme according to the state urban administration minister. This is the first of its kind scheme for urban youth in the country. The scheme offers around 40 jobs ranging from that of a photographer to cattle grazer. There is no minimum criterion in terms of education qualification.
Source: Times Now | The Times of India[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]