City Buzz: Cyclone Amphan batters Kolkata | Drive-through COVID testing in Chandigarh | Mobile mortuaries in Mumbai… and more

WEEKLY URBAN NEWS ROUND-UP

Kolkata, in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan. Pic: Santanu Pyne/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Cyclone Amphan leaves a trail of destruction in Kolkata

Kolkata woke up to scenes of destruction on May 21st as over 5,000 trees, hundreds of lamp posts and several traffic signals were uprooted by winds at 130 kmph raging through the city, as Cyclone Amphan hit large parts of coastal Bengal. A large part of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport was flooded while 1 hangar was damaged and another two were destroyed.


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As electric poles collapsed, CESC Ltd. disconnected power supply in a majority of areas in the city, plunging the city into darkness. Telephone lines were snapped, broadband services were hit and even the mobile network was down in most parts of the city. Inside the SSKM Hospital premises, trees were uprooted and a boundary wall collapsed. Several areas such as College Street, Behala, New Alipore and Sukia Street were submerged in water.

Later on May 23rd, the Centre accepted the state government’s request to send five army columns to help Kolkata. 26 NDRF teams have already been deployed in the state.

Source: The Indian Express | Hindustan Times

Drive-through centre for COVID-19 sampling in Chandigarh

A private laboratory identified by the ICMR to conduct COVID-19 tests in Chandigarh, SRL Diagnostics has started a drive-through centre for COVID-19 sampling in the city on Monday. In the drive-through procedure, the patient remains in the passenger seat – next to the driver or in the left rear seat and the nasal or throat swab sample is taken through the car window. A doctor’s prescription seeking COVID-19 test will be needed.

As per the regional COO of the company, the drive-through concept is being used globally to fast-track sample collection for COVID-19 and also make it safer for the patient and healthcare workers.

Source: The Indian Express

Vehicle disinfection services to be started at fuel stations in Delhi

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has made disinfection of public buses and paratransit vehicles like taxis and autorickshaws mandatory after each trip. The Delhi Transport Department is planning to start disinfection services for public and private vehicles at minimal cost at all fuel stations in the city. The facility will be operational within a week, a senior officer said on Friday.

While 2,259 DTC and cluster buses were on the road on May 19th, the number rose to 3,535 on May 20th and to 3,983 on May 21st, whereas the ridership has also gone up from 1,57,731 on May 19th to 3,28,484 on May 20th and 3,52,661 on May 21st, he said. The Revenue Department had hired 1,452 buses on May 21st, while more than 700 were hired by police and health departments.

Source: The Economic Times

15 mobile mortuaries in crematoriums to be set up by BMC

On May 21st, the BMC issued a short tender to set up 15 temporary mobile mortuaries in Hindu electric crematoriums. As per the additional commissioner, these mobile mortuaries are not air-conditioned and are like boxes where the bodies will be kept wrapped in plastic.

In Mumbai, major crematoriums like Chandanwadi crematorium in Kalbadevi, Bhagoji Keer Hindu Smashan Bhoomi at Shivaji Park, Sion crematorium and the one in Charai are experiencing a waiting time of about four hours. Each of these big crematoriums has two to three incinerators, in view of which the municipality has decided to deploy the mobile mortuaries, to ease the burden on existing facilities.

As per the protocol, the corpses of COVID-19 fatalities have to be shifted to the mortuary within 30 minutes and disposed of within 12 hours from death.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

PMC allows a few relaxations in lockdown 4.0

On May 18th, just two days after the central government rolled out guidelines for Lockdown 4.0, the Pune Municipal Corporation issued orders to allow some relaxations in the city.

As per the new order, maids and hawkers are allowed on the road, except in areas under the containment zone. All the restrictions will continue to be in place for micro-containment areas and essential shops will continue to remain shut in the same.

Few relaxations have however been rolled out for the non-containment zones. Newspaper distribution can be done between 7 am to 10 am. E-commerce and courier services will resume. IT companies will be able to resume operations with 50 percent of staff. Hawkers will be allowed to do business on specified streets between 7 am to 7 pm.

Source: Pune Mirror

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava


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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.