City: Delhi / NCR

Come June 5 and all eyes across the world will be on India, the global host of World Environment Day, 2018. A country with a recycling economy predominantly driven by informal waste-pickers, India has imposed a complete ban on plastic in several states so far, setting the stage for this year’s theme, “Beat Plastic Pollution”. In March 2016, the erstwhile Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011 were replaced by the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016, notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC). This provides a regulatory framework for management of plastic waste by urban…

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I went to visit Lodhi Gardens in Delhi primarily to see its ancient ruined tombs, rich in history. I was enveloped in their serenity. But then this enchanting garden showcased a whole range of green insights that enriched my own unruly gardening, which is often thwarted by six cats who poke their noses into every garden matter. It also made me realize how much there was for public gardens and green spaces in other cities to learn from the way Lodhi Gardens is maintained and the small, simple, easy chores that it has included in its daily schedule of activities.…

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Do today’s modern marathon races generate a lot of the garbage and pollution that they are geared to fight? That is the question floated by a new campaign,  ‘Green the Mumbai Marathon’ started by Shilpi Sahu, a Bengaluru-based green activist who has been participating in races for almost six to seven years. She confirms that every race leads to a huge pile-up of plastic bottles, plates and tetra packs that have been used to serve water and food to runners and volunteers. With about 20,000 to 40,000 runners dumping plastic waste into lakes or nearby parks and crowding available spaces, a…

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In the year 2017, data collected by Housing and Land Rights Network India (HLRN) reveals that government authorities, at both the central and state levels, demolished over 53,700 homes, thereby forcefully evicting, at a minimum, 260,000 (2.6 lakh) people across urban and rural India. The total number of persons affected has been calculated by multiplying the number of homes demolished by the average household size according to the Census (4.8). However, many demolished houses had more than one family, and most of the affected families have more than five persons. The real number of people displaced is therefore likely to…

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Long before television, it was the radio that caught your ear and put it to the ground of the world. Never mind if it was a word, a note or even just a sound byte that floated into your mind. It chimed around in your head and drove home special, or even just informal, messages.   The celebration of the legacy and experience of that special wonder gadget, then, resonated with the diverse audiences at The Radio Festival (TRF), hosted by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television, partnering with UNESCO on February 15th, 2018, at New Delhi.…

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Last month, government bus drivers in Tamil Nadu struck work for over a week, throwing the cities’ commute scenario into chaos. The issue: long-standing demands over a wage hike. The bus drivers in the state have been demanding pay scales in compliance with the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) recommendations, approved by the central government in June 2016. Currently, in Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC), the basic salary of permanent drivers starts from Rs 17,700. This is according to a settlement that the MTC reached with some trade unions on January 4th. However, major trade unions including the DMK-backed Labour…

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The spate of horrific news from schools across the country does not seem to subside. The most recent incident, of course, is the mysterious death of a Class 9 student in the school toilet in northeast Delhi's Karawal Nagar. It is suspected that the teen died of internal injuries resulting from assault by a group of friends. Earlier this year in Lucknow, Hrithik Sharma, a Class 1 student, was stabbed on the back, chest and left eye by a girl in Class 7, in anticipation of a holiday that the school would inevitably declare in the wake of such a…

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“Urbanisation is our opportunity and priority,” said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his speech in Parliament, as he presented the Union Budget 2018, presumably the current government’s last big one before the nation goes for elections in 2019. Cities, per se, however did not see too much exclusive focus except in a few allusions to big-ticket schemes introduced by the current dispensation and a couple of city-specific allocations. Here is a quick round-up of what Budget 2018 had to say about the plans for India's urban future: Air pollution in Delhi and NCR Concern for the alarming levels of pollution…

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The alarming air quality in the National Capital region (NCR), comprised of Delhi and adjoining areas, has found fresh mention in the Economic Survey 2017-18 tabled in Parliament on January 29th. It is well known by now that the average annual levels of PM2.5 – one of the most critical contaminants in the air we breathe – remain at above three times the prescribed level in this region. The Survey reiterates the four main reasons for Delhi’s worsening air quality – crop residue and biomass burning; vehicular emissions and re-destributed road dust; construction, industries, and power plants; winter temperature inversion,…

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Media focus on the fire that broke out and killed four in Mumbai’s residential Mamoon Manzil complex has been less compared to that on the fire tragedy in the same city in the end of December. The cause of the fire in this building is yet to be ascertained but no one would be surprised if it was pinned down to faulty management and violation of rules. Barely a week ago, the Kamala Mills tragedy got the Bruhan Mumbai Corporation (BMC) on its toes, throwing them into panic-stricken knee-jerk reaction: suspending five officials, galvanising authorities, managers, health and medical experts…

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