City Buzz: Swine Flu peaks in Delhi | Rains lash Hyderabad | Makeover for Mumbai beaches…and more

WEEKLY URBAN NEWS ROUND-UP

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The ferry network of Kolkata is set to get real time tracking and smart cards. Pic: Ranganathan Datta (CC BY:SA 4.0)

Swine flu spikes in Delhi

The capital recorded 99 fresh cases of swine flu in the last week to take the number of cases registered to 267 so far in January. The total number of cases registered all of last year stood at 205. Two deaths have also been reported at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital due to the illness that has gripped Delhi. The flu has swept parts of North India with Rajasthan registering the highest number of cases so far.

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The Delhi government issued an advisory for the general public with dos and don’ts to protect themselves from the outbreak. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the disease, say doctors. Experts were also of the view that the sharp dip in temperature in winter and the high levels of pollution have exacerbated the outbreak in the capital.

Source: The Times of India | Hindustan Times

Mumbai beaches get lifeguards and makeover

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has allocated a budget of Rs 3 lakh per day to keep the beaches of the city clean. The long pending demands of the citizens and activists have been met. The BMC has moved to install lamps to light up the city’s nine beaches. Contracts have also been awarded for the cleaning and maintenance of beaches in the city. Other upgrades include the appointment of 93 lifeguards to aid the public. To prevent the flow of waste from nullahs and rivulets into the sea, trash booms have been installed.

The local body collects 329 metric tonnes of garbage from the city’s long coastline that stretches to 35.5 km. The trash booms have been installed at four river mouths — Oshiwara, Mithi, Dahisar, Poisar  and three nullahs — Mogra, Irla and Lovegrove, all at a cost of Rs 1.17 crore.

Source: Daily News and Analysis

Kolkata ferry to get app and smart card

The ferry system of the Kolkata Metropolitan Area is all set to go digital with an app and smart card for commuters. The ferry services will now be integrated under the real time location tracking system of the transport department, called Pathadisha. This means that commuters will now receive real time updates on arrival and departure of the ferries and allow for tracking of the location of the ferries as well. The smart card will do away with paper tickets and reduce the waste generated.

The Pathadisha app works with the aim of integrating the city’s various transport systems such as the metro, trams, buses and ferries. The smart card will serve as a common ticketing system that will enable the commuters to have seamless travel across the various modes of transportation. The smart cards will come into effect after the installation of smart gates at the various ferry entrances at the ghats of the city. The first of the gates are being installed at Howrah, Fairlie, Shipping Corporation and Babu Ghat.

Source: The Times of India

Hyderabad sees record rainfall in a decade

Unseasonal rains lashed Hyderabad with the city registering record rainfall for January in the past decade with heavy rains on Republic Day. The rainfall came at night with heavy downpour lasting for over an hour. The cumulative rainfall for the day stood at 10.1 mm. The city’s traffic came to a halt after the sudden rains left low-lying areas flooded within a short span of time. The showers brought a drop in day-time temperatures between 1-4 degrees. Gajularamaram in Quthbullapur and Madhapur were the areas most affected by the sudden, heavy rainfall.

Source: Telangana Today

Trivandrum police undertake Operation Cobra

The Trivandrum police launched Operation Cobra, a joint effort of various wings to curb traffic violation, crime, anti-social activities and use of drugs in the city. The operation is the brainchild of city Commissioner S Surendran. The plan involves the collection of details of habitual offenders and monitoring of their actions to prevent any crimes in the future. It also envisages the formation of special squads to arrest those absconding from the law.

The police will undertake monitoring of buildings that are unoccupied or abandoned in order to curb any anti-social activities. Tourists attractions will also receive special attention to curb crimes such as theft and extortion. Drug use among students will be a special focus, with rehabilitation of drug addicts being an integral part of the effort. The police are also all set to monitor public spaces such as bus stations to prevent and address any harassment of women.

Source: The New Indian Express | Deccan Chronicle

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]