Bengaluru Buzz: Air quality issues | Heat raises health problems … and more

Other news of the week: Water rule violators fined, boost for transport ecosystem and under-construction flats draw buyers.

Did air quality improve in 2023?

The air quality in the city improved last year, shows the ‘World Air Quality’ report. The average PM2.5 value was 28.6 micrograms per cubic metre as against 31.5 micrograms per cubic metre in 2022 – better than since 2018. The report has ranked the city as the third most polluted in India and 673rd among 7,812 global cities. However, it is proven to be less polluted than many other metropolitan cities, including Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

However, experts said that the improved air quality is due to climatic changes, such as the El Nino effect, which disburses the particulate matter towards the coasts. This might impact the air quality readings, according to sources at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS). An Indian Institute of Science (IISc) professor said that increasing number of vehicles on roads, emissions and declining green cover is adding to the pollution.

Source: Deccan Herald

Heat raises health issues

As the city’s heat shoots above 35 degree Celsius, health-related issues, such as sunstroke, migraine attacks, skin problems, bacterial and viral infections, have increased. The Karnataka Health and Family Welfare department has issued an advisory, asking people to avoid stepping outdoors.

District Health Officers have been asked to ensure that hospitals keep life-saving medicines in stock. People are advised to wear thin, loose, cotton clothes, drink a lot of water, carry drinking water during travel, use Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) and consume homemade drinks such as lemon water, butter milk/lassi and fruit juices with added salt, seasonal fruits and vegetables with high water content.

There have also been some don’ts, including avoiding the afternoon sun, not taking up strenuous activities at that time, avoiding going barefoot, not cooking during peak summer hours and not ignoring ventilation.

Source: Indian Express, Economic Times

Read more: Air pollution in the south: Here’s what Bengaluru, Hyderabad and other cities are inhaling

Water rule violators fined

The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) imposed fines of almost Rs. 1.1 lakh on 22 citizens in just three days for violating rules, such as car washing. They were fined Rs. 65,000 on the spot with receipts, mostly in southeast Bengaluru.

The BWSSB has banned the use of water to clean vehicles, take up gardening, construction, running fountains at malls and cinema halls, in line with Sections 33 and 34 of the BWSSB Act 1964. The public was asked to inform its helpline 1916, if any violator was found. BWSSB has booked a private tanker driver for selling water illegally to a commercial establishment.

Chairman V Ram Prasath Manohar said that the board wants to introduce a community rainwater harvesting project to fill lakes and help recharge groundwater. It plans to implement the project in Varthur and Bellandur in the first phase. The aim is to channel the rainwater that is getting wasted into lakes.

Meanwhile, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Commissioner Tushar Girinath has instructed officials to ensure sufficient supply to 42 of the 110 villages in the Mahadevapura zone. He assured that there should be no flaws in the supply of water and instructed officials to install plastic tanks where there is shortage. He also asked officials to check the status of the tubewells and drill new ones. Private water tankers that have registered with the BBMP have been assigned to their zones.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express

Boost for transport ecosystem

The state is planning to launch the fourth edition of Prawaas, a multimodal transport show, between August 29th and August 31st at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The aim is to support the transport ecosystem and generate Rs. 500 crore annually. Ramalinga Reddy, Minister for Transport and Muzrai, said that in the past three years, Prawaas has united the bus, taxi and transport industry for system improvements.

The Prawaas team
‘Prawaas Wheel of Pride: Steering the Future’. Pic: X/PrawaasBoci

The theme of Prawas 4 is ‘Safe, Smart and Sustainable Passenger Mobility’, to drive growth, build up infrastructure, safe roads, better accessibility and reduced taxes. It plans to bring together the entire spectrum of multimodal transport stakeholders.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: Looking back at 2023: A review of public transport developments in Bengaluru

Under-construction flats draw buyers

Propindex Report by MagicBricks shows that the city’s homeowners are drawn towards under-construction projects rather than completed homes. This year, the city saw a 5.7% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) demand for its under-construction properties through its price increments. It is mainly due to a consistent increase in the cost of residential properties since last year, which makes under-construction projects affordable and more attractive investments.

Homebuyers also tend to invest in 2BHK units, which is influenced by increased residential prices. In Bengaluru, the 2BHK preference saw a spike from 29% in the earlier quarter to 45% in January-March.

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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