City Buzz: Road users’ survey | Kolkata metro fire | Delhi cold wave…and more

Two fires in Kolkata and Mumbai raise concerns, road safety at risk too, as users fare poorly in multi-city survey, What else are cities talking about this week?

Road user survey: Kolkata most friendly; Delhi most hostile

A survey of road users on behaviour and attitude towards safety was carried out by Ford India in six metro cities and four non-metro cities. The survey covered private drivers, passengers and pedestrians across the ten cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Pune and Indore. The survey covered various parameters such as compliance with traffic safety laws, precautionary measures and compassion for those in need of help.

While on the subject of consideration for other road users, Kolkata and Ludhiana ranked most courteous, Delhi was ranked the least. Mumbai and Chennai fared worse than Delhi in caution while driving, usage of phones, tailgating a vehicle on the road and disregard for overtaking etiquette. Chennai fared worst in terms of adherence to speed limits and traffic signals, while Mumbai seemed to be much inclined towards bribing a traffic cop if caught for a violation.

Delhi displays the most lax attitude of the cities surveyed towards underage driving. Mumbai also shows a high rate of acceptance for drunk driving and parking on footpaths. The survey is part of an effort to hasten the passage of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill by highlighting the ignorance of a large section of road users.

Source: The Times of India | Financial Express

Building flouted norms in Mumbai high rise fire

A fire in a 16-storey building in the Tilak Nagar suburb of Mumbai resulted in the deaths of seven people and injuries for two, including a fire fighter. The fire broke out on December 27th on the 10th floor of the Sangam Society building. A short circuit is suspected to be the cause of the fire. The fire was reported at 7.50 pm and was brought under control by the fire brigade in the next two hours. According to the fire brigade, the fire was initially reported to be minor but escalated to a Level-3 fire as it spread across floors. Six fire engines and six water tankers were rushed to the scene to fight the blaze.

The building was found to be in violation of several norms. The building did not have functional fire fighting equipment. It did not possess a valid NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the fire brigade. The society was not formally registered. The building also did not have an occupation certificate (OC) from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). It was reportedly hard to reach due to double parking in the premises. The lapses have resulted in a case against the builders in the aftermath of the fire.

Source: The Indian Express | The Hindu

Hyderabad to get six new logistics parks

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) is set to build six new logistics parks to bolster the city’s freight handling infrastructure. Two parks in Batasingaram and Mangalapally already exist as a Public Private Partnership (PPP). The new parks are set to come up in Miyapur, Pedda Amberpet, Shamshabad, Shameerpet, Patancheru and Manoharabad. The HMDA mooted the plan to increase support for freight management and act as an integrated one-stop shop for freight logistics, third party logistics, cargo handling, warehousing and parking.

It is estimated that 35000-40000 trucks carry one lakh tonnes of cargo in and out of Hyderabad each day. The parks will provide facilities to aid transit and function as rest stops with restaurants, parking facilities, fuel stations, workshops and weigh bridges. The HMDA will finalise developers for the project in the coming months.

Source: The New Indian Express | Telangana Today

Fire in Kolkata Metro

A fire broke out in an AC coach of a metro train running between Rabindra Sadan and Maidan stations at around 5 pm on December 27th. The train was bound for Dum Dum. The fire was noticed and help was summoned immediately. The Kolkata Police Disaster Management Group and the West Bengal Fire Service attended to the issue and doused the fire by 6 pm.

Passengers were evacuated and metro services were curtailed on the route as the battle with the blaze continued. In all, 16 passengers were taken for treatment to the SSKM Medical College. There were no casualties due to the fire. The fire caused power outage in the train, with passengers said to have been stuck in the train for 30 minutes. The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Source: Times now | The Times of India

Temperature and AQI drops as cold wave sweeps Delhi

Delhi saw a dip in the temperature the day after Christmas with the city recording a three-year-low temperature of 3.7 degrees in December. The minimum temperature was four notches below average for this time of the year according to the IMD. The overall air quality was also recorded as ‘very poor’ by the various monitors present across the city. There was shallow to dense fog in different areas as the cold wave swept the capital, causing visibility issues.

The cold wave conditions are expected to continue for the rest of the week. The fog caused a delay in close to 15 trains as the weather caused low visibility. This has been the longest cold spell witnessed by Delhi in the last 14 years. The last two years saw minimum winter temperatures hovering around 6 degrees. The conditions this year are a result of cold winds from the north-westerly direction without any change in wind patterns causing cold spells.

Source: Livemint | The Hindustan Times

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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