Mumbai buzz: BMC orders increase in COVID beds | Urban forest in Andheri

News recap: Increase in COVID cases prompts BMC to increase hosp beds, Mumbai to have an urban forest, No good news for BMC in CAG report and more.

BMC starts preparations for rise in COVID numbers

BMC plans to make 4,000 beds for COVID patients available gradually and has requested all hospitals under its jurisdiction to make preparations accordingly. Additionally, it has also asked private hospitals to do the same if the number of cases rises.

As of March 31st, there are 663 active patients in the city and 52 are admitted to hospitals. BMC officials told the press that the situation is being monitored closely even as patient admission is low. The civic body also plans to reactivate its “war room”, a dedicated department set up when COVID cases were at its peak.

Admission of patients and routine follow-ups were taken by this war room then. It will be managed by one MBBS doctor and one social worker.

Source: Mid-Day

a masked patient at a COVID hospital in mumbai sits with a receptionist for enquiries
COVID cases in Mumbai are rising again. Pic credit – BMC, Twitter

No degrees for a while for nearly lakhs of MU students

Lakhs of students from 800 colleges affiliated with the University of Mumbai (MU) have not yet received their degree certificates, even though the convocation ceremony was held on February 23rd.

This has left many students in a difficult position, as their employers require them to provide proof of their degrees. According to the university administration, nearly half of the certificates are not yet ready, and they will be sent to the colleges within the next four days.

Source: Hindustan Times

CAG report points out flaws in BMC road department’s processes

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) recently released a report revealing flaws in the operations of BMC’s roads department. According to the report, the BMC has been creating road designs without conducting detailed soil investigations or traffic surveys.

Read more: Footpaths in Mumbai: walking may be injurious to your health

The report states that only one out of the total 52 road works that were awarded between March 2020 and March 2022 for a cost of Rs 2,239 crore had a road design consultant appointed by the BMC. Additionally, the report noted that the BMC failed to implement contract conditions related to the roughness index for concrete road works.

Source: Times of India

BMC plans an urban forest to tackle surface temperature, pollution issue

Mumbai's traffic
A study found that road dust, both paved and unpaved, contributes to more than 70% of Mumbai’s pollution. Pic: Francisco Antunes, Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

There will be an urban forest in the Marol industrial estate located in Andheri (east) to reduce the Land Surface Temperature (LST) and tackle industrial dust and carbon emissions. BMC plans to develop this urban forest by planting more than 140 varieties and sub-varieties of plants, including bamboo, fern, palms, and larger trees for shade.

The density of grass will also be increased, and flower plants will be planted to attract butterflies. Civic officials believe that this project will be an effective solution for Mumbai’s increasing pollution and will reduce surface temperature, which has likely increased due to the construction of the Metro. The project will cost nearly Rs 7 crore, and its completion deadline is the end of 2023.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: Mumbai’s AQI worsens every winter, who is responsible?

New Bombay High Court building to come up in Bandra

The Maharashtra government informed the Bombay High Court on Thursday that they have allocated a 30.16-acre land in Bandra for the construction of the new High Court building.

Birendra Saraf, Maharashtra’s Advocate General, told a division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne that the government would soon release an order formalising the decision.

A senior state government official revealed that the decision was made in a meeting held in the last week of August 2022 between the then Chief Justice Dipankar Datta, who is currently a Supreme Court judge, and Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Source: The Indian Express

Compiled by Eshan Kalyanikar

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