INTERVIEWS

April 2nd was a big day for Mumbai. After 8 long years, the blue line of Mumbai's metro was getting 2 new additions: the yellow Line 2A and red Line 7. On the shared Dahisar metro station, Line 2A left to Dahanukarwadi, Kandivali. Parallely, the metro on Line 7 left for Aarey in Goregaon, covering the extent of Phase 1. With the upcoming Phase 2, the 18.5 km and 16.5 km long lines will travel 30 stations bewteen them, connecting DN Nagar, Andheri West and Andheri East on the older Line 1. The lines are a clear rival for the…

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Access to public transport for people with disabilities has been a long standing issue often swept under the rug by the state government and the transport corporations. While the term 'disabled-friendly' has become a popular buzzword in various schemes, campaigns and budgetary promises, activists and citizens have pointed out how there is very little effort to really make public infrastructure accessible, safe and considerate for disabled individuals. The Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) is a coalition of independent, community-based organisations that advocate with and for people with any disability. One of their members filed a PIL highlighting the inaccessibility of the…

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In November 2021, scores of Chennai residents came together for a cause dubbed the Umbrella Rally. They marched in numbers, urging the authorities to take stock of climate change and the impact it is set to have on the most vulnerable. The recently released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lists Chennai as one of the global cities at risk due to climate change. With Chennai experiencing extremes in the form of drought and flooding in recent years, it is crucial to assess and mitigate the impact that the city will face due to climate change.  Protecting…

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This is the second in our series of Cycle2Work interviews from men and women employed in diverse sectors. The series will bring to you stories of these green commuters who cycle to work. We hope that these stories will inspire and encourage more Bengalureans to cycle, and not drive, to work’ Karthik Ranganathan is an engineer with Texas Instruments in Bengaluru and has been cycling to work for over 10 years. “I started cycling in 2011 and found no reason why I should not cycle to work”. Karthik finds cycling saved lot of commute time and events like annual cycle…

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The lack of enough accessible public toilets has long been an issue in Chennai. Lessons from the pandemic and the emphasis on hygiene has made clean toilets all the more important for the city’s many residents. Recycle Bin, an NGO, has multiple ideas to make Chennai’s public toilets accessible and clean, in addition to a larger toilet masterplan at the policy level. Citizen Matters spoke to Ganga Dileep C, Founder-CEO and Principal Architect and Urban Designer at Recycle Bin on the various programmes in place and the possible roadmap for change for Chennai public toilets.  What does Recycle Bin do?…

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Mumbai is the most stressful city to drive in globally, according to a study by Hiyacar, a UK based car sharing company. It is also ranked 5th in global vehicular congestion by the TomTom traffic index of 2021, a global traffic index. Not surprisingly, traffic congestion, road rage incidents and the stress of commuting long distances to work is adversely affecting the physical and mental health of drivers. Additionally, the state of the city’s roads, poorly built, burdened by pothole and unsafe dividers has led to a 15% increase in road accidents in the first six months of 2021. Deaths…

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In the upcoming local body elections, many of the contesting candidates are individuals who have engaged in civic activism in the city over the years. Having witnessed the many civic issues in their locality, ranging from flooding to poor waste management, these socially active citizens have entered the fray with the hopes of making a big difference, given their deep understanding of issues in the ward. One such candidate is Meenakshi Sundharam, a prominent activist from Manikam Nagar in Chromepet. He has worked on a number of issues in the area from lake restoration to rehabilitation of stray dogs. He…

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Translated by Sandhya Raju எதிர்காலத்தை வளமாக்க அழகாக்க, மீண்டும் நம் பாரம்பரியத்திற்கு திரும்ப வேண்டும்," என்கிறார், தமிழக அரசின் சுற்றுச்சூழல், பருவநிலை மாற்றம் மற்றும் வனத்துறை கூடுதல் தலைமைச் செயலாளர், சுப்ரியா சாஹு, IAS. தமிழக அரசின் மீண்டும் மஞ்சப்பை விழிப்புணர்வு இயக்கம் பிரசாரத்தைப் பற்றி நம்மிடம் பகிர்ந்தார். இவர் தலைமையில் நடைபெறும் இந்த பிரச்சாரம், ஐஏஎஸ் அதிகாரி தலைமையில் நடத்தப்படும் இந்த பிரச்சாரம், பிளாஸ்டிக் பைகளை பயன்படுத்துவதை விட்டு, ஒரு காலத்தில், குறிப்பாக திருமணங்களின் போது மாநிலத்தில் பரவலாகவும் பிரபலமாகவும் இருந்த, ​​சுற்றுச்சூழலுக்கு உகந்த பாரம்பரிய மஞ்சள் துணிப் பைகளைப் பயன்படுத்த மக்களை ஊக்குவிப்பதை நோக்கமாகக் கொண்டுள்ளது. கடந்த சில மாதங்களாக, சென்னையில் பிளாஸ்டிக் உபயோகத்தை கட்டுப்படுத்தும் நடவடிக்கைகள் மீண்டும் செயல்படுத்தப்பட்டுள்ளன. இதன் முயற்சியாக, ஆசியாவின் பெரிய மொத்த விலை காய்கறி மற்றும் பழ சந்தையான கோயம்பேடு சந்தையில், பிளாஸ்டிக் பை உபயோகத்தை தடை செய்ய முடிவெடுக்கப்பட்டது. ஒரு…

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“In order to do something beautiful for the future, you need to go back to the roots,” said a beaming Supriya Sahu, IAS and Additional Chief Secretary of Environment, Climate Change and Forests, Government of Tamil Nadu, as she spoke of the Meendum Manjapai Vizhipunarvu Iyakkam (Back To Yellow Cloth Bags) campaign of the state government. The campaign, which is spearheaded by the IAS officer, aims to motivate people to quit the use of plastic bags and go back to using the eco-friendly traditional yellow cloth bags, which were once widely used and popular in the state, especially during weddings. …

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Homes in Siddharth Nagar, a slum in Andheri West, might soon get water connections after a 9-year long struggle. Members of Pani Haq Samiti, an organisation fighting for universal access to water, held a ‘Jal adhikari satyagraha' on November 15th, after which the Assistant Commissioner of the K West ward promised to write to the Municipal Commissioner (MC) for the connection. The approval of Iqbal Chahal, the Municipal Commissioner, is imminent. 2 million people in Mumbai are denied a legal water connection. This dates back to a policy by the Maharashtra Urban Development Department (UDD) in 1996 that cut off…

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