GENRE: Solutions

Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) from Chennai and its suburban areas made some pertinent observations and suggestions regarding public transport and commuting in the city during the consultative meeting arranged by the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA) late last month to discuss the Comprehensive Mobility Plan. These included — smooth access to railway stations and bus stops through walkways and skywalks; ample parking areas that are accessible to all including persons with disabilities; electronic display boards on buses; last-mile connectivity; EV charging points for commuters and much more.         In my capacity as Secretary of the Alliance of Residents Welfare Associations…

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Part 1 of this series traced the journey of raising awareness about waste management and facilitating behavioural change in phase 1 of #TeamLBTC’s (Let's Be The Change) efforts in Mestri Palya. In part 2, we look at the process behind empowering the community members to create products out of waste as well as what more can be done to replicate the same model of waste management in other slums in the city. Waste to wealth initiative Soon after the successful implementation of Phase 1 of the project, we gradually moved into Phase 2. Before the initiation of Phase 2, an…

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When a nature group heard that stately banyan trees, many planted before independence, would be chopped to expand a highway out of Hyderabad, its members pleaded with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to modify the route to spare the trees. When that failed, a small group of citizens went to court, where they called out the NHAI’s false claims about the lack of bird and animal life, the inability to modify the route and the number of trees. How they did it is a lesson for other citizen groups nationwide trying to save roadside trees. Asiya Khan remembers…

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Hosur Road and Sarjapura Road are two arterial roads, cutting across the important south-east suburbs of Bengaluru. Sarjapura Road has become strategically important over the last few years due to the exponential rise of the IT corridor on Outer Ring Road (ORR), which has propelled development on Sarjapura Road. This development has led to the consequence of traffic bottlenecks. At the crucial junction of these two roads is the junction of Hosur and Sarjapura Road at the St John’s hospital. This area is perennially congested due to the complexity of two adjacent traffic junctions: the Marigowda Road and Koramangala National…

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Every season brings its own positives and challenges for Aapli Mumbai. Monsoon is over and we are now grappling with the onset of winter and air pollution. Whatever the season and its challenges, it is important to look at the systemic issues and keep the focus on solutions. Only the collective will and efforts of the people and the administration can make the city more liveable. With that thought, Citizen Matters had organised an Essay Competition - Mumbai Monsoon Masterminds, calling for opinions from residents of Mumbai to share their experiences about monsoons and offer unique solutions. In the following…

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In the midst of 2022, the phones of Navi Mumbai Environmental Preservation Society (NMEPS) membersbuzzed incessantly as they received alarming news. A serene plot of land, home to sprawling mangroves, faced a perilous future. The announcement in July 2022 by CIDCO, the local development body, revealed plans to auction a 6.2 acres of land neighbouring a vast expanse of mangroves. However, this was no ordinary piece of land. It was a vital habitat for thousands of flamingos, a cornerstone of the local ecosystem, and a site of paramount ecological importance. NMEPS had previously organised extensive clean-up efforts in collaboration with…

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Longtime locals of Bandra west tell stories of a peaceful, sleepy suburb it once was. However, over the last couple of decades, they have seen a real estate boom transform the skyline into towering buildings, where once beautiful cottages stood. The same narrow roads accommodate thrice as many apartment blocks, causing a spike in population density, without any upgrade to the infrastructure. At the end of what used to be called Cemetery Lane, now Khadeshwari Marg, are two cemeteries facing each other. The lane is just off Hill Road, famous for shopping and eateries. Decades ago, this lane ended at…

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1200 chapatis, 45 kgs of rice, 95 kgs of vegetables, and 20 kgs of daal. This is just one meal cooked in the kitchen at KEM hospital every single day. Around 1700-1800 patients are admitted daily and the kitchen provides for their nutrition as they recover from various illnesses. People are often sceptical about the food provided by public hospitals because of concerns related to hygiene and quality. Especially in a city like Mumbai, thousands of patients visit public hospitals for treatment and are dependent on the facilities provided by the hospitals. Recently, the authorities at Mumbai’s largest, KEM hospital,…

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Three years ago, when Dharmesh Barai moved to his new residence in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, he received a interesting tip from a friend. The friend informed him about a mangrove stretch, near Flamingo Point, in Seawood, Navi Mumbai, renowned for its annual congregation of migratory birds. Intrigued by the recommendation, Dharmesh, who held a deep affection for mangroves, decided to explore the place. But what he encountered left him dismayed. The once-pristine mangroves were entangled with knee-deep garbage, choking the delicate ecosystem. As a passionate nature lover, Dharmesh couldn't bear to see such destruction. He knew that the city’s civic…

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Few days ago, a reel on Instagram made it to several groups of citizens involved in civic action. It was about residents of Chimbai lamenting the condition of the beach, where they grew up. They reminisced about how Chimbai beach looked like a ‘beach’ and it was used by the people as a playground. The residents said they used to play on the beach when they were young but now their children play on the road, which is unsafe. They all spoke about how Chimbai has lost its beauty over the years. Several women spoke about the absolute lack of cleanliness…

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