City Buzz: Cyclone Yaas batters coastal towns | Vaccine wastage controversy | Twitter vs Indian government…and more

Catch all the key happenings of the week across cities with Citizen Matters.

States-Centre disagree over vaccine wastage data

States have refuted the numbers on vaccine wastage shared by the Centre. After Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh also said the data was incorrect and asked the union health ministry to revisit the data. The Centre said vacccine wastage in MP was 10%, whereas the state’s health department claimed in its letter to the Centre that wastage was around 1.5%. The department said there was a possibility of some communication gap between the state and centre. Similarly, Chhattisgarh refuted the center’s claim of more than 30% wastage in the state and called it politically motivated.

Source: NDTV

Pfizer ready to deliver 5 crore doses, asks for certain relaxations

US pharma giant Pfizer is ready to deliver 5 crore doses of its vaccine to India between July and October. In return, the company has asked the Indian government to grant certain relaxations including indemnification. The company has also informed that the vaccine is effective against the prevalent COVID-19 variant in India. Pfizer shared its data regarding its efficacy in various countries and information given by the World Health Organization (WHO). The company has said it will supply the vaccine to India only through a central pathway and has asked the Indian government to accelerate approvals for its vaccine.

Source: The Hindu

Covid-19 Vaccine. Representational Image. Pic: Pixabay

69 staff members of Apollo Hospital test positive even after vaccination

New Delhi based Apollo Hospital has reported that 69 staff members to be positive even after vaccination. Out of the 69, 51 had been fully vaccinated while 18 were partially vaccinated. Also, 48% of these 69 cases were found to be infected with the double mutant variant of the virus. The hospital administration says that it is important to note that none of these cases are severe which could have been the case if they had had not had any vaccination.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: COVID vaccination: Expert agrees with ‘First dose fast’ policy

Cyclone Yaas: West Bengal estimates loss worth Rs. 15000 cr

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has pegged the losses for West Bengal from Cyclone Yaas at Rs. 15000 cr. She subsequently launched a doorstep relief scheme and has allocated Rs. 1000 cr for this, with implementation to start from June 3rd at the panchayat and block level. The scheme will verify each and every application to weed out bogus applications. She further informed that the figure for the loss is a rough estimate and it will take some time before the government gets a final estimation of losses across the state.

Coastal towns in West Bengal and Odisha were among the worst hit. Scenes of sea water gushing through the streets of the popular tourist town of Digha made the rounds on social media, and horrific scenes of earthmovers and jeeps turning over were witnessed as tidal water came in from the sea.

Following Cyclone Yaas, rail and air services have been hit in Bihar too and is expected to continue for the next few days. But essential cargo continues to operate through Patna airport. In another development, Yaas killed two people in Jharkhand as their houses collapsed.

Source: News 18 | The Times of India

Read more: Wrath of the seas: cyclones during the lockdown

Twitter’s row with Indian govt intensifies

Representational image from Pixabay

Twitter has called out the Delhi Police’s recent action against it as “intimidating tactics” and said that it is an attack on freedom of speech and expression in India. The global micro-blogging site has also asked for a minimum three-month window to ensure compliance with the new IT rules. For Twitter, the key concern is the requirement to make an individual (the compliance officer) criminally liable for content on the platform. The company argues that this is not in line with universally accepted principles of democracy and free speech. In return, the government has taken a firm stance against Twitter and has asked it to strictly adhere to the law. The government also said that India has a long and glorious history of fostering free speech. The government noted that Twitter had a large user base and generated significant revenues from India but refused to comply with Indian law.

Source: The Hindu

Nacharam Lake in Hyderabad shrinks

After Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) decided to create a 20-meter-wide walking track of over three kilometres around Nacharam lake, the lake’s area has shrunk by 15 acres. The amount of land reclaimed for creating the walking track is said to be bigger than Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Activists fear that by creating such a huge walking track, GHMC is putting nearby areas at great risk of flooding.

The lake is also witnessing some encroachment activity on its southern flank, which is a major concern. Over the years, Hyderabad has witnessed several incidents of local flooding largely due to encroachments on water bodies. With monsoon arriving soon, citizens are worried about a recurrence of such flooding. 

Source: The Hindu

Scientific waste management must: NGT tells Armed Forces

Waste generated due to firing of ammunition, weapons, domestic, industrial, biological and e-waste shall be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner, said the National Green Tribunal in an order to the country’s armed forces. The NGT further said that scientific waste management is in the larger interest of public health and environment. It has also directed the armed forces to discuss the possibilities of having an in-house system for monitoring scientific waste management practices with the Central Pollution Control Board.

Source: The Hindu 

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Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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