Mumbai buzz: Vigilance of TB cases continues | New vehicle-free Sundays… and more

Weekly news recap: Cases of tuberculosis see a marginal decline; Vehicle-free Sundays for Mumbai citizens; New metro line after eight years.

Cases of tuberculosis decline, but vigilance high

On March 25th, an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that Mumbai reported 60,000 cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2021, compared to over 43,000 in 2020. But, despite these numbers, there seems to be a marginal decline in cases of TB since before the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2019, when cases were at 60,440.

The BMC was vigilant of TB cases during the pandemic since those suffering could have been overlooked despite their increased vulnerability to the virus. Services for TB patients were kept running through the pandemic years, and officials have kept in touch with patients through WhatsApp groups and video calls. “TB champions” have been appointed by the Public Health department as councillors in different municipal wards of the city.

“TB survivors who have good communication skills and are willing to work with the BMC are eligible to become TB champions. Most of these TB champions have faced stigma and harsh side-effects of the antibiotics such as hair loss, depression, muscular weakness etc,” said Dr Pranita Tipre, TB officer of Mumbai.

In 20201, the BMC had also conducted a door-to-door campaign for the survey of TB patients and to detect more cases for early prevention.

Source: Mid-day, Mumbai Live

“Sunday Streets” for Mumbaikars to enjoy vehicle-free roads

A new initiative started by Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey will allow residents in the city to enjoy recreational activities like yoga, skating, cycling and other cultural sports on roads. Called “Sunday Streets”, some roads in the city will remain partially or completely shut for vehicular traffic on Sundays. On the coming Sunday, on March 27th, only six roads will be shut, but more locations will be added with each week.

The roads shut this week are, at Marine drive, a 1.7 km stretch on the Dorabhai Tata Road, Nariman Point, between Murli Deora Chowk and NCPA dead-end, at Bandra, the 2 km stretch between Otters Club and CCD on Carter Road, at Goregaon, a 500 metre stretch on the Mind Space Back Road between electric pole no. CHCU 085/018 and Jimmy Yogiraj Marg, at D N Nagar in Andheri west, a 600 metre stretch at Lokhandwala Marg, the stretch between Samarth Nagar Mhada Tower and Joggers Park, at Mulund Goregaon Link Road, the 2.5 km stretch from Tansa pipeline to Vinanagar, and at Vikhroli, a 2.5 km stretch between the Service Road of Vikhroli bridge south channel and Ghatkopar bridge signal.

The idea of the exercise is to encourage residents to step out and engage with the city’s infrastructure more, and for the corporation to actively make space for recreation.

Source: Indian Express

Read more: Mumbai has less green than what masterplan shows: just 1 sq m per person

An independent wet waste composting system is gaining momentum in Navi Mumbai

Residential societies in Navi Mumbai are slowly accepting the establishment of an independent composting system within societies and commercial spots, generating more than 100kgs of wet waste every day.

According to records from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department, there has been an increase in the number of Bulk Waste Generators (BWGs) – restaurants, hotels, malls, hospitals, schools, and big housing complexes – that have set up the composting units. In 2021, 38 BWGs set up composting units in their premises, and in 2020, the number was 20.

“Every big society should work towards having its own independent composting system wherein wet waste can be converted into compost at the source itself. The increase in the number of organisations is as per our vision of having zero waste generation,” said B Rajale, deputy municipal commissioner (SWM), Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

This exercise is part of the corporation’s larger aim to reduce the garbage at the landfill site and lower the transportation cost for the same.

Source: Hindustan Times

children sit on a pile of waste on Versova beach in Mumbai
Waste in Mumbai is a continuing problem causing damage to its water bodies and livelihoods that surround landfills | Photo: Ravi Khemka, Flickr,Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

An agency to maintain Dadar’s Shivaji Park for three years

The BMC has decided to appoint a contractor to maintain Dadar’s Shivaji Park for the first time, at Rs crore for three years. The BMC has been trying to cover the 1 lakh square metre of the maidan into green lawns, to tackle dust pollution. A large chunk of this plan has already made headway.

In 2021, a tender for Rs 4 crore was floated for the work, additionally, the installation of a stormwater drain (SWD) network, ground levelling and rainwater harvesting at the maidan.

So far, 47% of the maidan has been covered with green lawns, and close to 90% of the civil work is completed. The BMC estimates to complete all the work by the end of November.

For the maintenance of the laws, the civic body will appoint an agency that will provide full-time staff, ensure pumps are routinely operated and that the ground is not damaged after an event.

Source: The Times of India

Mumbai to get second metro line after more than eight years

In just a few days, Mumbai will see a second metro line to ease congestion on roads caused by vehicular traffic. Eight years after the city got its first 11.40 km elevated Metro line, a corridor connecting Ghatkopar-Andheri-Versova, two additional lines will begin operations soon.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is constructing a 35-km stretch of two elevated Metro corridors, Line 2A between Dahisar and D N Nagar, and Line 7 between Dahisar East and Andheri East, according to sources. The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) conducted the inspection on February 20th and has given the go-ahead for the project.

The two new metro lines are set to decongest the Western Express Highway, the major arterial road of Mumbai. Once the 35 km stretch is operational, anyone can travel between Dahisar and Ghatkopar without exiting the metro station. 

Source: Indian Express

(Compiled by Saachi D’Souza)

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