City Buzz: COVID-19 updates | Yes Bank crisis | Bhopal’s GIS-based master plan…and more

A recap of important news from our cities

39 test positive for Coronavirus in India, Holi celebrations hit

With five of a family testing positive for Coronavirus in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, the number of people affected in India has reached 39. Meanwhile every effort is being made to check the spread of the virus. The Centre has decided not to let any foreign cruise ship dock at Indian ports. Closure of schools, preparation of isolation wards across cities various other measures are being taken by Government of India to check the spread of the virus. The Ministry of Health has already set up a central war room to monitor the cases and situation.

Holi celebrations across the country have also been hit by the outbreak. The Prime Minister had been one of the first to tweet that he would stay away from Holi gatherings this year. Several annual events and Holi parties stand cancelled. The Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan (West Bengal) has also cancelled its famous traditional Basanta Utsav (spring festival) celebrations on March 9 in view of the outbreak.

Source: NDTV | Hindustan Times

Yes Bank crisis triggers panic among depositors

Panic gripped depositors and account holders of Yes Bank across cities as the Reserve Bank imposed a moratorium on the crisis-hit private lender and capped withdrawals at Rs 50000 per account till further orders. Several reasons have been cited as reasons for the conditions leading to this, primary among them being a steady decline in financial stability over the last few years because of its inability to raise capital to address losses from bad loans. This was compounded by governance issues.

Account holders faced a tough time in withdrawing money from the bank. Long queues before ATMs, difficulty in accessing in internet banking were the most common problems. The news caused panic amongst depositors and police authorities were placed on alert. In Mumbai, the police control room sent an SOS to teams on ground to place high security and be on alerts near Yes Bank ATMs to keep a check on the law and order situation.

The RBI, however, has assured that money of account holders was safe and the intervention to resolve the crisis has been done at a “large” level ruling out a piecemeal solution. The central bank has also floated online the Draft ‘Yes Bank Ltd. Reconstruction Scheme, 2020’.

The Government also stepped in to assure depositors and said that Yes Bank account holders in need of exigency fund could also follow the RBI guidelines and draw up to Rs 5 lakh in the designated period.

Source: Business Today | India Today | Hindustan Times

Himalayan cities at risk of running dry, warns new study

According to a recent study conducted by the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), famous hill stations and Himalayan towns and cities such as Mussoorie, Darjeeling, Shimla are at high risk of water scarcity. The new study titled “High and Dry” covered 13 towns across four countries – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal – in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. The study has identified rapid urbanization coupled with changing climate as the main reasons behind water scarcity in the Himalayan towns.

The study also highlights that there is high dependence of the population residing in the urban Himalayas on springs. Robust governance of natural water systems, equitable distribution of water and recognition of women’s role in the water sector were some of the major recommendations from the report.

Source: ICIMOD

Swine Flu grips Meerut and neighbouring areas; cases in Bengaluru too

So far, 8 people have died and as many as 79 people have tested positive for Swine Flu in Meerut. The Uttar Pradesh Health Services Department has formed a team to monitor the spread and pattern of disease in the state. It has also initiated an awareness drive in order to check the spread of disease. Earlier, in February, six Supreme Court judges were infected with the virus. On March 5th, employees of Mercedes Benz and Amazon in Bengaluru were also found to be positive for Swine Flu.

Source: Business Standard | New Indian Express

Skinners on strike; animal carcasses raise stink in Ludhiana

After the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) imposed a hefty fine of Rs 11 crore on five skinners on February 27, skinners have gone on an indefinite strike and are not picking up carcasses from the city. The PPCB imposed the fine for discharging effluents from “hadda rodi” (place of skinning) into the river Sutlej. 15 carcasses of cows emitting stench were lying in Govind Gau Dham, one of the biggest Gaushalas of the city. The Pollution Control Board has directed that proper arrangements be made for disposal of the carcasses. Skinners are not picking up carcasses either from dairy or from residential areas. It is becoming a major health hazard for the city.

Source: The Tribune India

Bhopal to prepare country’s first GIS-based Master Plan

Madhya Pradesh Urban Development and Housing Minister, Jaivardhan Singh and Public Relations Minister, PC Sharma unveiled the draft Bhopal Master Plan 2031 at Minto Hall on March 6th. The draft suggests provisions for inner and outer ring roads and betterment plans for existing roads. The plan also contains provisions for increasing city greenery, lake conservation plan and heritage preservation. Jaivardhan Singh also informed that around 50 lakh saplings are being planted in the smart city area. The plan also talks about slum free Bhopal. It will be the country’s first GIS-based Master Plan.

Source: The Pioneer

[Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava]

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