City Buzz: Hyderabad ‘safe auto’ project | Mumbai monorail by March | Kolkata nails tax defaulters..and more

Which areas shall benefit from Phase 2 of the Mumbai monorail? Why is Pune installing cameras around the city? How much do property tax defaulters in Kolkata owe the municipality? Find all this and more in this wrap of urban news over the week gone by.

Hyderabad police launch project for safe autos

The Hyderabad Police launched a project named ‘My Auto is Safe’, with a view to improving passenger safety. The project will see the digitisation of data on autos plying in the city. The name of the owner, driver and their phone numbers and photographs will be collected along with details about the auto. A UV-printed sticker with the details and QR code will provided to each auto and the sticker must be pasted on the vehicle. The passengers will be able to scan the QR code to obtain the details and share them during a ride. A dedicated WhatsApp helpline has also been launched (+91- 9490616690) to receive any complaints.

As per the estimates of the police department, 12,000 of the 1-lakh strong auto population of the city has registered with them as part of the project. However, not all are welcoming of the move as the auto-rickshaw owners association called for a day long protest on February 8th against the drive. The union stated that since they had already provided relevant details to the Road Transport Authority, they do not want to register with the police as they are being charged Rs 250 for the process and for the UV sheets.

Source: The Hindu | TimesNow

Mumbai Monorail Phase 2 to be operational from March

The much delayed Phase 2 of Mumbai’s monorail phase between Wadala and Jacob Circle is finally set be inaugurated in March this year. The delay had been caused by lack of rakes. Four more rakes were received by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on February 8th that set the process in motion for the rolling out of services in the stretch.

The 19-km corridor in this phase will see four monorails in operation. Trains are expected every 20 minutes from Chembur to Mahalaxmi. The patronage for monorail is projected to touch 100,000 after the launch of services along the entire corridor. The current ridership stands at 17000. A revised fare structure has also been mooted by the MMRDA after the launch. Under the new structure, ticket prices will be between Rs 10 and Rs 40, marking an increase from the current bracket of Rs 5 to Rs 11.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Kolkata civic body drive against property tax defaulters

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has identified the top property tax defaulters in each ward in the city. The defaulters owe the civic body anywhere between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. The first phase of the operation to collect dues has identified a list of 50 defaulters. Their details have been shared with the respective ward councillors and local representatives have been instructed to meet the individuals in order to convince them to clear their dues.

Earlier this year, the KMC went on a drive to assess all unassessed properties and bring them under the unit area assessment. The large number of unassessed properties caused significant loss of revenue for the civic body. The Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, with its many housing complexes, was found to have a high number of unassessed properties.

Source: The Times of India

Patiala bags clean air tag

Patiala was placed on top in a list of 74 cities for having the cleanest air, a month since the launch of the National Clean Air Programme. Patiala secured the spot with an average AQI of less than 100 micrograms/m3. Jalandhar and Amritsar followed Patiala to be ranked to have clean air.

Patiala has made great strides in improving air quality after having been identified as the 13th most polluted city as per a World Health Organisation report in May 2018. The Punjab Pollution Control Board contested the ranking, stating that the reports were based on old rankings from 2010- 2016 and that there had been no continuous monitoring for PM2.5 levels until January 2018.

Source: | The Times of India

E-surveillance mooted for Pune

As part of the Pune Smart City project, a comprehensive e-surveillance network has been proposed. The video surveillance network will be used to help the police identify two-wheeler riders who do not use helmets, riders/drivers who use the cellphone while driving and car users who do not use seat belts. The video monitoring will also be used to catch miscreants engaged in any other unlawful activity in the city.

The project is to be implemented by the Pune Smart City Development Corporation Limited with a view to helping law enforcement authorities, speeding up investigation, deterring crime and improving the management of traffic. Terror threat monitoring and the surveillance of high risk persons, vehicles and objects can also be achieved through the comprehensive e-surveillance network.

Around 400 cameras will be installed in 70 locations, covering 80 km of roads during the initial phase with monitoring at local ward offices of the Pune Municipal Corporation and the local police stations.

Source: The Indian Express

Swine flu unabated in Delhi

Over one thousand cases of swine flu have been reported in the national capital since the beginning of this year. The last week alone saw 103 fresh cases as on February 7th. Till midweek, the total number of affected persons stood at 1093 this year. While the state government has not reported any deaths due to swine flu, the two Central government run hospitals, Safdarjung and RML have reported thirteen deaths so far as a result of the spread of H1N1 virus.

Children, pregnant women, the elderly and patients with heart and kidney disease are particularly vulnerable to swine flu. The Directorate General of Health Services has issued a health advisory. Those suspected to be affected have been warned against going out in groups or mingling with other members of the family; they have been advised to isolate themselves and seek medical help.

The most common signs of swine flu are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and difficulty in breathing. Other symptoms may include body ache, headache, fatigue, chills, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Source: The Hindu | WION

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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