City Buzz: Delhi plan to fight pollution | A dhaba that went viral | Women’s safety in Kolkata…and more

A recap of key urban news from the week that just passed.

Delhi air quality begins to worsen; government announces strategy

Delhi’s air quality turned ‘poor’ for a brief period on the morning of 7th October, with PM10 levels in the Delhi-NCR region hitting the highest in three months, according to CPCB data. The air quality monitoring system blamed unfavourable meteorological conditions and farm fires in Punjab & Haryana for the dip in the air quality. Lower temperatures also resulted in the settling of pollution particles in the air, as per the system. The situation is expected to worsen as winter approaches.

The Delhi government, meanwhile, is preparing itself on war footing to mitigate the challenges of air pollution in the national capital. Arvind Kejriwal launched “Yuddh Pradooshan ke Viruddh” (War against Pollution) on 5th October enumerating several steps that his government will take to curb the air pollution crisis in the city. 

Implemented for the first time in 2017, the Delhi government is all set to strictly implement the graded action response plan in Delhi and neighbouring states. A war room has been set up in the secretariat for monitoring the efforts taken to control air pollution. The government’s action plan also consists of installing a smog tower in Connaught Place within ten months.

Earlier in January, the court had already directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to install two smog towers in the capital, one at Connaught Place and the other at Anand Vihar. The court also gave a deadline of three months for installing these smog towers. However, the same has not taken place so far. 

Identification of pollution hotspot zones, new citizen grievance redressal mobile application, reducing emissions from 11 thermal power plants within 300 km radius of Delhi, strict action against brick kiln operators, tree plantation policy, a separate mechanism for dust management are some other action points mentioned in the Delhi Government’s plan against air pollution.

The situation might aggravate and prove to be challenging due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said chief minister Kejriwal. 

Source: News18 | Deccan Herald | Hindustan Times 

Daily COVID cases could hit 15000 in Delhi this winter

As the winter season comes closer, the chairman of the COVID-19 expert committee has warned the national capital that it could witness up to 15000 cases daily. The panel says that incidence of respiratory illness in general could rise during the winter, due to which COVID-19 cases might increase in the national capital.

The panel also noticed that it will be a festive season and any kind of mass gathering can result in a sudden spike. The panel cited examples of the consequences of Onam celebrations in Kerala and Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra. Therefore, the panel has advised a strict ban on such gatherings during the festivals.

The panel has recommended to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority that these events must remain a low key affair and shall involve close family members only.

Source: The Times of India

#BabaKaDhaba: Social media comes to rescue of Delhi’s elderly couple

As 80-year-old roadside dhaba owner Kanta Prasad’s video, showing his despair and helplessness, went viral on 7th October, social media pushed citizens to action. The very next day, long queues were spotted at his “Baba Ka Dhaba,” situated in Malviya Nagar in Delhi.

Prasad and his wife had lost their livelihood due to the COVID-19 lockdown. They found it difficult to survive. Prasad was seen weeping in the video which was clicked by a Good Samaritan and later posted on social media.

It was after this that things took a pleasant turn and people flocked to the dhaba to have his food and stand in solidarity. The entire episode generated a lot of buzz on social media and left both Prasad and netizens very happy.

Source: The Times of India

Netizens posted several pics of Kanta Prasad who was relieved after help poured in through social media (Pic credits: Ashutosh Tripathi/Twitter)

NCRB data: Kolkata one of the safest cities for women in the country

As per NCRB data released for 19 metro cities, Kolkata has registered the least number of of sexual assault cases (Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code or IPC) on women in 2019. 14 such cases were registered in the city during the year, all by women above the age of 18.

The NCRB data showed that the city did not register any attempt to rape or sexual harassment cases (Section 376 read with 511 of the IPC). Similarly, Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore had also not reported a single case of sexual harrassment in 2019.

As Uttar Pradesh reported the highest number of cases at a state level, Ghaziabad city in UP reported 59 cases of rape in 2019. Delhi remained on top with 1231 rape cases.

Source: The Times of India

Telangana government to issue separate orders for Unlock 5

As the country gets ready to witness Unlock 5 from October 15th, the Telangana government has envisaged separate unlock guidelines for the opening of schools, coaching classes, cinemas, multiplexes, entertainment parks etc. As per the orders, only science experiment labs for PhD and PG students are allowed to be open from October 15th onwards.

The government has also enforced a capping of 100 persons in all kinds of mass gatherings. The containment zones will continue to undergo a strict lockdown till October 31st, the order said.

Source: The Indian Express

Ahmedabad: 13000+ traffic violations for talking on the phone while driving

A whopping 650% increase in cases of talking while driving has been recorded in Ahmedabad by the traffic department. The traffic police has registered 13,162 cases until September 16 2020. Last year, in September, the traffic police recorded only 1,735 such cases. Fines worth Rs 65 lakh have been levied on the violators.

As per data shared by the department, two-wheeler riders were found to be the biggest violators.

Source: India Today

Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava

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