City: Mumbai

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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This Earth Day, on April 22 2018 (and the previous day), residents from the Lokhandwala Township of the western suburb of Mumbai, Kandivali East, got together to participate in the “Colour My Township” initiative, organised by We All Connect (wAc) with the support of Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited. wAc is a community group that was formed to promote bonding and oneness among residents of the township. A few months ago, the group painted a small wall together and members found that painting compound walls together with neighbours was a good way to get to know them. According to Mr Santosh Shetty, founder of…

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It is 4:15 a.m. and this is the scene at the gates of the Samta Nagar Post Office in Kandivali East, Mumbai. Men (mostly) just hanging around on the street, doing pretty much nothing. Chances are, they’ve done this before, but not early enough… the reason for this repeat visit. As I approach the group, Hukam Singh greets me. We were among the unlucky ones, not in the “first 20” of the previous morning. “Madam ka naam lick do bhai… athara” (write madam’s name brother… eighteen), said one. Yeah! I was in the first 20. This is probably the scene at…

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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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“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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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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If you were to ask any commuter in any Indian city about their daily pet peeve, it would be the time spent in traffic. And now, Ola, the new age mobility platform serving 110 cities with 8 lakh vehicles on the roads has presented a year-end glimpse of 'how India commuted' based on their records. Some highlights from the top seven cities - Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, and Chennai: Total average traffic speed dropped by a whopping 2.9km/hr with Bangalore registering the slowest at 17.2km/hour Ola Share has saved 4 times the fuel from last year, telling of the high customer adoption…

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Once again it’s that time of the year when we are most prone to looking back and ahead at the same time. Taking stock of the year’s discourse on urbanisation in India, it is evident that some issues have consistently dominated the narrative and been on top of the minds of urban citizens in 2017. These are also issues that we need to sustain focus upon as we move into the new year, since they will continue to play an important role in determining the dynamics and direction of development in the country, and in particular in its cities. As…

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It has been just over a week since Mumbai was lashed by the highest 24-hour December rain in a decade due to cyclone Ockhi. Temperatures dropped sharply, schools were shut, and companies issued advisories to employees. But when such a disaster strikes the city, the most vulnerable are invariably its homeless. Brijesh Arya, an activist working with the homeless in Mumbai, mentions many cases from Mumbai’s monsoon floods this year. One is the case of Anju Kharwa, who held her child on her shoulders for as long as the floods raged. The flood that lasted nearly two days had caused…

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If recent news reports are to be believed, the Bangalore Metro is set to have coaches for women soon, according to Minister for Bengaluru Development and Town Planning K J George. The facility is expected to be implemented in 2019, when the total number of coaches will be increased from three to six. The demand for reservation had come from a section of women passengers, once the Purple Line (Mysore Road to Byappanahalli) became operational and ridership multiplied. BMRCL currently estimates that 40% of their nearly three lakh daily passengers are women, and plans to hold a survey to find…

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