City Buzz: Plan for Mumbai mangroves | Curbs on lavish Delhi weddings | Kolkata Metro cuts carbon footprint..and more!

WEEKLY URBAN NEWS ROUND-UP

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The mangroves in the Charkop area of Mumbai. Pic : Wikimedia Commons/DLS

CRZ 1 buffer zone to be marked to protect Mumbai’s mangroves

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada), Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB), Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and revenue officials have been issued directions to demarcate the 50-meter buffer zone identified as Coastal Regulation Zone 1 along the mangrove forests. The direction has been issued by the suburban collector’s office per the orders of the Bombay High Court.

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The 50-meter buffer zone will be marked initially on maps and then physically demarcated on the ground. Once demarcated, fencing of the area will be carried out. The fences will be barb-wire or geo-fencing.

In addition to preventing encroachments, the high court order also prevents the dumping of any debris or garbage in the buffer zone as the mangroves are classified under the most ecologically sensitive category as per the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. As part of the effort, 10-foot walls could be built in locations in six areas – Charkop, Malad, Vikhroli, Colaba, Wadala and Mankhurd. Conventional compound walls will be erected in less sensitive areas while walls made of precast concrete will be erected in more vulnerable areas.

Source: Hindustan Times

Delhi mulls plan to limit extravagant weddings

To prevent wastage of food and water, and traffic congestion, the Delhi government will formulate a plan to limit the number of guests who can be invited to a wedding. The plan is in response to a Supreme Court order dated December 6th, which directed the government to look into ways to curb the rise of lavish weddings that result in enormous wastage of food. A plan is expected to be in place within the next month.

A counsel of the Delhi government had sought eight weeks to arrive at a policy. The Delhi government also stated that the Lieutenant Governor is in agreement with the view that such wastage must be curtailed. The plan will also include suggestions on partnering with NGOs and shelters that will distribute excess food from weddings, that would otherwise go to waste, among those in need. The government is also said to be looking into mis-utilisation of water at such events.

Source: Business Insider | The Economic Times

Kolkata Metro reduces carbon footprint

The Kolkata Metro has reported that over the past four and a half years, it has cut down its emission of carbon dioxide by 1327.88%.The drastic reduction has come about as a result of the use of solar panels in stations. The emissions cut down as on November 2018 is a total of 294.79 tonnes. The solar panels have been installed on the roofs of the stations. Upcoming stations like Dakshineshwar and Baranagar are expected to be green from the very outset.

The total installed capacity of solar power until November 2018 was 543.5 kwp. In 2014-2015, the installed capacity was just 20 kwp. Intensive focus on a switch to solar power has made the increase possible, with concerted effort between all the agencies involved. New rakes that permit control of power by motormen depending on passenger load and use of LED lamps have also been behind the reduction in emissions by the Kolkata Metro.

Source: The Times of India

Punekars fight to save bird sanctuary

Around 700 citizens of various groups in Pune came together to protest the neglect faced by the renowned Dr Salim Ali Bird Park by forming a human chain. The citizens protested the plans to cull 500 trees in the area that belonged to the sanctuary. They were also against the indiscriminate dumping of garbage in the ecologically sensitive area. The protest was organised by Swachch Kalyani Nagar and Friends of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. The protestors alleged neglect of the sanctuary by the Pune Municipal Corporation.

In a victory for Punekars, the Bombay High Court responded to a PIL wherein it cancelled the de-reservation of the two plots of land within the sanctuary under the state’s new development plan. Two acres in the middle of the bird sanctuary had been ‘arbitrarily’ de-reserved and was not in the interest of the sanctuary, argued the petitioners. A leading building developer, Panchasheel Realty had been made party to the PIL as a result of their involvement.

Source: The Times of India | Hindustan Times

Hyderabad sees record rainfall for December

Hyderabad received 46.6 mm of rainfall on December 14, making it the new record for highest amount of rainfall received in a period of 24 hours in the month of December. The previous record was 44.5 mm of rainfall in 1918. Sudden, heavy rains has seen the city shatter the 100-year old rainfall record for December.

The sudden rains were the result of a depression in the Bay of Bengal that intensified towards the end of the week. Rainfall is expected to continue for the coming 24 hours with the depression gaining intensity.

The low-lying regions of the city suffered from the deluge and were left inundated. Large parts of the city also suffered from power cuts due to heavy rains. The rains brought about a dip in the minimum temperature to 18.6 degrees.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation also came under flak for improper maintenance of big roads and drainage systems as the city grappled with the aftermath of the rains.

Source: The Times of India | The Hans India

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]