City Buzz: Manual scavenging deaths | Ganpati Visarjan in Mumbai | Hyderabad Metro honours…and more

WEEKLY URBAN NEWS ROUND-UP

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Source : Wikimedia Commons

Mumbai bids farewell to Bappa

Mumbai celebrated Ganesh Visarjan by immersing close to 41000 idols over two days at the close of the Ganpati festival this year. Two deaths and over 50 injuries were reported in incidents related to the Visarjan.

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The annual celebration sees idol immersion after the festivities. The authorities enabled festivities to carry on without disruption by closing 53 roads and a further 99 roads for heavy vehicles. There were a few restrictions, however, on the celebration this year such as a ban on DJs and Dolby sound systems at Ganesh pandals across the city. The authorities also received around 3000 calls that complained of various violations including theft, noise pollution and traffic violations across the city.

The toll of the festivities, and the visarjan in particular, on marine ecology, too, was soon evident as thousands of dead fish and turtle washed ashore on Dadar and Juhu beaches after the immersion ceremonies started. Experts blame the death of marine life on the idols that are mostly made of plaster of Paris (PoP), the lead in their paints, and the flower offerings that go with them.

Source: Indian Express | Times Now | The Times of India | Mumbai Mirror

Protests against manual scavenging deaths

Protests were held in the national capital against the growing number of manual scavenging deaths and the apathy of governments towards the scourge. Around 1000 people including activists and students gathered to call for an end to the dangerous practice of manual scavenging.

The outcry is the latest in a series of protests against the practice that has several caused deaths over the last few weeks. In the last month itself, one death  has been reported from Delhi, five more in West Delhi and  five in Chhattisgarh. Official data has revealed that there is one instance of death every five days in manual scavenging across the country. In response, the Delhi government has swung into action, declaring that the employment of manual scavengers will invite a ten-year jail term.

Source: The Wire | The Hindu | The Indian Express | Business Standard | The Times of India

30% of Delhi continues to remain unlit amidst tussle between authorities

Delhi’s plans to install more street lights for complete coverage has hit roadblocks due to the tussle between authorities. This has left around 30% of the capital unlit.

A 2016 survey by NGO SafetyPin had identified 7428 dark spots in the city that left citizens, particularly women, vulnerable to crime. The Delhi government stepped in to install LED lights in an ambitious project as the local bodies did not have the bandwidth for the same. The local bodies were to assume responsibility for maintenance after installation.

Work that began in July 2016 is only 70% completed as questions remain over jurisdiction. With the North Corporation unwilling to take responsibility for lights to be installed in unauthorized areas, the plan is in limbo. A lack of stock has also been cited among reasons for delay in the work in other parts of the city.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

Hyderabad becomes second longest metro rail network after Delhi

With the inauguration of a new 16-km stretch, Hyderabad became the second largest metro rail network after Delhi. with a coverage of 46 km. The cost of the PPP project is estimated at Rs 20000 crores.

Construction is underway for two more corridors spanning 15 and 28 kilometres and is expected to be completed in the coming months. All the corridors were expected to be completed by July 2017, but the contractor L & T has said that it will take a further 5 to 7 months. With 20 million already using the Metro rail, the expansion of the project will provide a much-needed boost to the city’s public transport infrastructure.

The Hyderabad Metro Rail project is also in the running for an international award by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Source : Business Today | Money Control | Hans India

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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