Mumbai Buzz | Children suffer post-COVID complications | BMC dump hazardous waste in mangroves

Here's what happened in Mumbai this past week.

Lockdown continues, level wise unlock to begin

While announcing that COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place till June 15, the government eased some of the conditions on Sundays, allowing shops of essential items to remain open till 2 pm instead of 11 am. Maharashtra has decided on a 5-level unlock strategy as COVID-19 cases in the state slowly recede. Lockdown can be lifted completely in districts categorised as Level 1, which includes Thane. Mumbai has been categorised as Level 2. Level 5 has been deemed as Red Zone and will continue strict enforcement of a complete lockdown.

Source: Times of India

Read more: Civil society organisations write to Maharashtra Chief Minister on latest restrictions

Sex workers in Mumbai continue to face hardships

Many are on the brink of poverty with a serious decline in earnings compounded by inadequate relief packages that only reached a few. Pushed into destitution, many sex workers had to see their children drop out of school. Women who over the years have looked for alternative employment have seen their livelihoods being snatched again. Interviews conducted by Mid Day in Vasai revealed that many have been forced to reduce their food intakes despite having exhausted all their savings.

Source: Mid Day, Times of India, Free Press Journal

Read more: Mumbai Dabbawalas help the needy, even as they struggle to make ends meet, School fee unaffordable to many parents, but is the government listening?

New MMRDA Chief announced

Senior IAS officer, SVR Srinivas was appointed as the new Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority Chief in an administrative reshuffle on May 31st. Srinivas served as Principal Secretary of the Housing department and replaced RA Rajeev. Milind Mhaiskar, former Principal Secretary of the Forest department stepped into the position left vacant by Srinivas. In turn, B Venugopal Reddy, Managing Director of SICOM, was declared the new Principal Secretary (Forest). Lokesh Chandra was given the post of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport’s General Manager while Vikas Chandra Rastogi took his place as Principal Secretary (Administrative Reforms). Shrikar Pardeshi replaced Venugopal Reddy as the Managing Director of the state-owned SICOM.

Source: Hindustan Times

BMC caught dumping hazardous waste in mangroves

NGO Vanashakti has shared proof with Maharashtra’s Chief Minister and Environment Minister that BMC is illegally dumping hazardous waste in mangroves located in Wadala and Bhandup. The NGO has alleged that the Mumbai civic body was openly dumping hazardous waste and cement slurry into the creeks, causing irreparable ecological and environmental damage, and has sought immediate action from the state government in the matter. The Director of Vanashakti stated that “This is despite the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) orders against the BMC for disposal of waste into nullahs and creeks.”

Source: Free Press Journal

Read more: Thanks to unregulated construction, Panje is slowly losing its biodiversity, Photo essay: threats to Kharghar’s ecosystem

Crucial metro linking work yet to commence

Although Mumbai’s civic body has made it clear that the car depot of Metro line 3 will be shifted out of Aarey Milk Colony, environmental activists are concerned that a connection project that would make this possible has not commenced even 7 months after the decision. Green activist Zoru Bhathena told Mid Day, “I visited the Aarey ramp site on Tuesday and observed that no work was going on at the depot plot. If the elevated track connector is not built, how will the Metro 3 exit Aarey?” Supporters of the Save Aarey cause, demanded that the 808 acres of land the government declared as forest be handed over to the Forest departmen. However, a dispute over setting up a car depot in Kanjurmarg has led many to believe the depot may come back to Aarey.

Source: Mid Day

Read more: The cost of the delay in Mumbai Metro Project, Aarey “forest” has fired-up Mumbai poll scene

Number of children suffering from post-COVID complications rises

As per BMC data, April saw 4,351 children between the age group of 0-9 years and 12,277 teenagers in the age group of 10-19 years contract Covid-19. Now, hospitals across the city are reporting a surge in cases of a post-Covid syndrome like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS), Bell’s palsy—temporary paralysis of facial muscles, long fever, and breathlessness. Doctors have observed that the maximum number of kids who are facing post-Covid syndromes are in the age group of 5-14. Many of them have cardiac-related issues. Dr Parekh, past president of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics and part of the paediatric Covid task force, cautioned against giving medicines over the counter without consulting doctors if the children are having red eyes, vomiting, having a convulsion, stomach ache, confusions, disorientations.

Source: Hindustan Times

Also read: Seeking Covid-care in Kalyan: debt unto death, Wrath of the seas: cyclones during the lockdown

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