City Buzz: AAP takes charge of Delhi again | STPs for Maharashtra ULBs | IIT study warns of heat islands in cities…and more

Reintroducing City Buzz, where you can catch your weekly dose of important news and expert analysis on cities across India

Arvind Kejriwal all set to take oath as Delhi CM

After registering a resounding victory in the Delhi Assembly Elections 2020, Arvind Kejriwal will be taking oath on February 16th along with his other fellow cabinet ministers. AAP won 62 seats out of 70 in the elections, while the remaining 8 were won by BJP. India’s oldest political party, Congress, could not win any. 

The party has claimed that since its win in the Delhi elections, over 1 million people have joined the party. Data collected by Axis My India poll analysis agency through a survey conducted immediately after the elections showed that 37% people voted for development. Women voters proved to be crucial support for AAP, with 59% of the women vote share going to the party. The party’s win is being seen by many as a public verdict in support of a robust governance model around basic urban services like water, health, education etc.

AAP decided to keep the swearing-in a Delhi-specific” affair, not inviting any top opposition leaders or Chief Ministers from other states. However, through front-page advertisements in newspapers, the AAP chief has urged residents of the city to attend the ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seven BJP MPs from Delhi and all eight newly-elected BJP MLAs are also invited, though the PM is unlikely to attend as he is expected to be in his constituency, Varanasi, to inaugurate several projects.

Source: India Today | NDTV

Gargi College: SC refuses to intervene; Delhi court grants bail to 10 accused 

As the Gargi College Mass Molestation case turns uglier, a Delhi court has granted bail to 10 accused arrested by the Delhi Police in relation to the FIR registered by the college administration at the Hauz Khas police station. The police said that they did not have any evidence against the accused except for trespassing. It was on the evening of February 6th during the cultural fest of the college – Reverie – when the mob of unruly men (allegedly in a drunk state) groped and perpetrated sexual attack against the girls. 

Before this, the Apex Court refused to intervene in the matter and urged the petitioner to approach Delhi High Court first and then come to Supreme Court. SC directed the petitioners to exhaust all their legal remedies before approaching the SC to counsel the matter. 

Source: The Times of India | ANI

What experts are saying

Investing in urban infrastructure key to unlocking India’s growth potential: Amitabh Kant, CEO, Niti Aayog

In his recent op-ed , Kant has expressed his views on growing urbanization in India and the opportunities it opens up for India to move forward. He also says, to emerge as a $5- trillion economy by 2024, India must invest in urban infrastructure and by urban infrastructure, he essentially means four sectors: housing, mobility, waste and water. 

In his piece, he explains the four corresponding policies for the four sectors – Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban) and Jal Shakti Abhiyaan. Kant also talks about leveraging technology to create productivity gains in urban development. He also calls out for proper zoning and development of the urban areas in our cities.

Source: The Week 

Urban India must prepare for a climate change crisis: Varun Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP 

In his recent piece , Lok Sabha MP Varun Gandhi warns urban India to prepare for a climate change crisis. He discusses climate change induced disasters across the globe like the case of bushfire in Australia, record-breaking floods and unseasonal rainfall in Jakarta, rise in mercury in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. 

In 2018, India witnessed 2081 deaths due to climate change and an economic loss of $37.8 billion, writes Gandhi. He also writes that there are 50 cities with a population of one million and above which are at greater risk to climate change, especially cities like Chennai and Mumbai due to their geographical locations. He suggests that mitigation of the climate crisis should be undertaken on an urgent basis. 

Source: Hindustan Times (HT)

Cities turning into Urban Heat Islands, suggests study by IIT Kharagpur 

According to a new study by researchers from IIT Kharagpur, most cities in India are now turning into urban heat islands, a trend where cities are recording a rise in the levels of mercury in both day and night time. The study titled ‘Anthropogenic forcing exacerbating the urban heat islands in India’ was conducted by researchers from the Centre for Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land Sciences (CORAL) of IIT-KGP and its Architecture and Regional Planning department. 

The study helped assess the impact of urban heat islands on urban population, city planning and health. The study conducted a detailed study on surface urban heat islands in 44 cities of India for a period of 17 years (from 2000 to 2017). The study records increase in the heat even during the night time, due to rapid urbanization. Conservation of water bodies and promoting urban greenery has been pitched as some of the suggested measures in the report. 

Source: The Economic Times

All Maharashtra ULBs to get sewage treatment plants (STPs) 

After the National Green Tribunal (NGT) came down heavily on operational norms for STPs last year, the Maharashtra cabinet has given a nod to set up STPs in all urban local bodies of the state. NGT as per its new direction last year, has set up a norm of 10 mg per litre biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) as the base for all cities in India. The objective behind the order is to increase and promote the use of grey water for agricultural and other non-potable purposes. BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has proposed eight new sewage treatment plants at an estimated cost of Rs. 12,000 crore plus. 

Source: Free Press Journal (FPJ) 

[Compiled by Rishabh Shrivastava]

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