City Buzz: Air taxis to fly high | BMC’s Climate Budget Report … and more

In other news: Petrol and diesel vehicles to go, showers bring relief, heatwave intensifies fire accidents and Mumbai most stressful city.

Air taxis to fly high

On June 9, an intrastate air taxi service will take off as part of the PM Shri Paryatan Vayu Seva. The aim is to cover tourist cities in Madhya Pradesh, including Bhopal, Ujjain, Gwalior, Indore, Khajuraho and Jabalpur. The ticket prices will vary based on the destination and route.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set up multiple technical committees for urban air mobility, laying a roadmap for air taxis by 2026. The project will start with Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, followed by Chennai and Hyderabad.

After rules are finalised for multiple aspects of the vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL), InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE), the parent company of IndiGo, will begin to lay the infrastructure for the air taxis, along with US manufacturer, Archer Aviation. Other factors include air navigation, operation routes and safe standards for vertiports. The cost per passenger is expected to be only at a slight premium over Uber.

Source: nativeplanet.com, The Times of India


Read More: Why the national programme for clean air failed a gasping Mumbai


BMC releases first-ever Climate Budget Report

On June 5, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) published the first-ever Climate Budget Report, also titled the Green Budget Book for 2024-25. Mumbai is the fourth global city — after Oslo, London and New York — to draft a climate budget. About 32.18% was allocated for it, totalling about ₹ 10,224 crore.

https://x.com/mybmc/status/1798313410121330791/photo/1
BMC releases Climate Budget Report on World Environment Day. Pic: X/mybmc

BMC gave the largest allocation for urban flood and water resource management, including rainwater channels, sewage projects and operations, water supply and sanitation-related activities in solid waste management. It plans to embed climate budgeting into the existing municipal budget cycle and develop a robust Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (MER) system, needing the participation of more than 20 BMC departments.

The BMC aims to gauge the city’s progress on the guidelines mentioned in the Mumbai Climate Action Plan (MCAP). It is also working on the greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory to understand its progress since 2022.

Source: Hindustan Times, ndtv.com

Petrol and diesel vehicles to be phased out

Union Minister of Transport, Nitin Gadkari, advocates hybrid vehicles as a transitional solution to eliminate petrol and diesel cars. While today there is a surge in electric vehicle adoption, there are also challenges in the charging infrastructure. So, the Union Minister also proposes reducing GST on hybrid vehicles to 5% and flex engines to 12%.

He visualises a future dominated by alternatives and biofuels, which would end dependence on fuel imports that cost 16 trillion. He adds that these funds can be redirected towards rural development, empowering farmers and generating employment opportunities 

Source: The Times of India, Business Standard

Showers bring relief

On June 7, Himachal Pradesh was directed by the Supreme Court to release 137 cusecs of surplus water from upstream and redirect it through Haryana’s Hathnikund barrage into Delhi’s Wazirabad barrage to resolve the drinking water crisis in Delhi.

Meanwhile, Bengaluru received 111.1 mm of rain on June 2, the highest in 133 years for a single day in this month. It surpassed the average monthly rainfall of 110.3 mm, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). A good monsoon is expected this year, mainly as the harsh impact of El Nino has reduced.

The southwest monsoons arrived in Kerala on June 1 and travelled to the northeast by June 5. The IMD forecasts widespread light to moderate rainfall with thunderstorms and gusty winds in the rest of the country.

Source: Indian Express, The New Indian Express, news18.com, abplive.com


Read More: Extreme weather, migration and what else to expect due to ocean warming


Heatwave intensifies fire accidents

Cities in northwest and central India have been facing deadly fire accidents in buildings, many of which have been found flouting safety norms. The intense heatwave leads to overheating and overloading, affecting the air-conditioning and causing eruptions. Many AC fires were reported in Noida and Vasundhara, Ghaziabad.

Delhi fire service reports getting 220 calls a day, which have been recorded only on Diwali so far, say officials. A fire broke out in a two-storeyed eye hospital in Delhi on June 5th. On May 26th, a massive fire broke out at a neonatal hospital, killing six newborns. An audit was conducted by the Delhi government at all hospitals and nursing homes. Meanwhile, a massive fire at a gaming zone in Rajkot led to 27 deaths, mainly due to the management’s negligence.

Source: Downtoearth.org, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Times of India, ndtv.com

Mumbai ranked most stressful city in the world

Mumbai tops the global list of the six most stressful cities, while New Delhi ranks fourth, according to a Healthline study. Urbanites are 21% more likely to suffer from anxiety and 39% more likely to undergo mood disorders. The study looked at 15 indicators of stress, including unemployment rates, safety, weather, access to health services and gender equality.

Mumbai tops the list due to uncontrolled air and light pollution, dense population leading to overcrowding, insufficient access to basic healthcare and social security, infrastructural difficulties and busy people.

New Delhi faces several challenges such as severe air pollution, especially in the winter, aggravating health. Traffic congestion, long-term commutes and reduced efficiency also get aggravated by poor access to high-quality healthcare services, especially for marginalised sections.

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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