City Buzz: SC verdict on Delhi vs Centre, Mumbai bridge collapse and more

Quick weekend reading for you -- a recap of some of the important headlines from our cities. Stay abreast of what's happening.

Following SC order, Delhi passes doorstep ration delivery, stops tree cutting

In a much awaited court ruling on the power tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre represented by the Lieutenant Governor (LG), the apex court of the country said that the LG is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers of the democratically elected government in all matters, except land, public order and the police force. Barely a couple of days after the verdict, the Delhi government headed by Arvind Kejriwal, overruled all objections and passed the long-proposed doorstep delivery of PDS supplies to the economically weaker sections and directed the food department to immediately implement the plan. Party minister Saurabh Bhardwaj also tweeted that the LG had signed the decision to revoke the permission to cut thousands of trees in south Delhi to accommodate a Central plan for developing a housing colony for government officers and a commercial complex.

Public transport the least safe, feel Indian urban girls

47% of urban girls in the age group of 11 to 18, said that they felt the highest threat to personal security while travelling in public transport, in a survey conducted by international NGO Save the Children in India. This feeling seemed to be most pronounced among girls from the higher income groups (53%). Girls from medium and small towns (51 percent) suffered from greater insecurity about their safety, than those in large cities (44 percent).

After public transportation, narrow roads leading to the school, or local markets or private tuition were regarded as most unsafe. 28% of young women from cities, especially those among the urban poor, found cinema halls to be very unsafe. The survey was conducted across six states, covering 30 cities and 84 villages.

Overbridge in Mumbai’s Andheri station collapses, injuring five

Suburban train services in Mumbai were badly hit and thousands of commuters stranded when heavy rain caused an overbridge in Mumbai’s Andheri station to collapse, injuring five people, two of them critically. The bridge is part of the Gokhale bridge on SV Road that connects Andheri West to East. Shortly after the incident, railway minister Piyush Goyal announced that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and IIT-Mumbai will conduct a joint safety audit of all the 445 road overbridges, foot overbridges and similar structures to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

In the aftermath of the accident, a shocking revelation came to light when it was reported that the Western Railways had in fact carried out a detailed survey of the 47-year-old Gokhale Bridge in April and found large-scale corrosion along the bridge. Mumbai Mirror reported that the engineering department had drafted a proposal based on this inspection report, which was then sent to the railway’s accounts department for cost estimation, where it remained “under process”.

Kolkata east-west Metro sees first trial run

The east-west stretch of Kolkata Metro saw its first 3-km trial run, covering three stations – Central Park, Karunamoyee and Salt Lake Sector V. Regular services are expected to commence, serving these stations, from October while they are likely to be extended till Phoolbagan metro station near Sealdah by March next year. The New Indian Express reported that much of the work on the 16.5- km second metro line of Kolkata has been completed, including the underwater tunnel connecting Howrah and Kolkata cities.

Hyderabad loses an iconic heritage structure

The 88-year old Mississippi” aircraft hangar at Gowliguda in Hyderabad, used by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation for city bus services, collapsed after years of gradual weakening of its structure. Thankfully there were no injuries as the area had already been evacuated a week earlier and barricaded.

Erected in 1930, the hangar was a refabricated installation, originally imported from USA and played a big role in transforming the Nizam’s Road Transport Department into Asia’s biggest public road transporter. Most recently, it was being utilised as city bus terminal and saw a footfall of nearly 85000 passengers daily, according to RTC officials.

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