OPEDS

India’s single-use plastic (SUP) phaseout plan comes into effect in July 2022 banning plastic use in a variety of applications under the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2021. This is not the first-time, however, that single use plastics have been banned in India. Following Prime Minister Modi’s pledge in 2018 to eliminate SUPs, a slew of states and Union Territory (UT) governments passed orders and notifications to ban a variety of use-and-throw plastics. Today, most Indian states and UTs have some form of a ban on plastics; all of them have a ban on plastic carry bags. Plastic carry bags…

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With the inexorable progress of the urbanization process, we have seen a steady growth in the number of personal vehicles resulting in congestion, pollution and less walk-friendly city streets. The design of the road infrastructure, in attempting to accommodate the increase in vehicles, makes it less convenient and safe for walking, and hence makes it a non-preferred mode for non-captive users. Which is to say, that those who have no option but to walk, do so with great difficulty and at great risk to themselves, while others simply avoid walking and take to motorised transport. As a result, not only…

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Whoever forms the new Uttarakhand government in March will have several important urban issues to deal with. The first part of this article had given 10 specific suggestions for the new government to consider in its efforts to make urban development in the state sustainable and inclusive. In this second part, we again take a look at 10 data-driven competitions of the central government, which explicitly expose the poor performance of Dehradun and the state’s urban frameworks. Swachh Survekshan 2021 This was the world’s largest sanitation survey which covered 4320 cities across India. The results, announced in November 2021, saw Indore…

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BBMP has spent over 100 crores on fixing, remodelling, and maintaining drains in just one ward - HSR Layout. Their Stormwater Drain Department does not maintain records like work registers or the progress reports of works. BBMP has been indicted for ineffective and inefficient collection of waste, non-compliance with waste management rules, and lack of scientific processing facilities at landfill sites. These are just three instances of impropriety and poor performance in local government bodies.All these are issues that citizens should demand accountability from their elected reps and officials. One easy way to be aware of such issues is to…

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The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) with 20 other corporations recently saw the conduct of municipal elections after a gap of 6 years. Since India advocates the theory of “Democracy at the grassroots level”, city governments play an important role in the governance structure. They are directly related to the daily life of the citizens.  The 12th Schedule of the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA), 1992 recognises the Indian Government Structure in 3 tiers: central, state and local. The 74th CAA devolves powers and functions to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). This is done to enable them to function as the third…

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Cities are drivers of economic growth in any country. They start attracting people as they develop economically. Cities also play an important support role in the development of the rural hinterland. In the past few decades, the Indian economy has grown rapidly which shows the high population growth in urban areas in India.  However, this rapid growth has not been managed very well and urban India is increasingly seeing problems such as, inadequate infrastructure for the growing population, poor service delivery, pollution, poor health care, housing, irregular elections and other issues that continue to impede cities across India from achieving…

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For better or worse, we are married to plastics, and plastics have permeated into our very being. What was once invisible, is suddenly all round us, in the form of waste and pollution. Simple everyday plastic products such as water bottles, plastic bags, toys, throw-away cutlery, fast fashion, food packaging, personal care products, all seemingly harmless, are all causing severe environmental problems, in the form of plastic pollution. From clogged storm water drains to beach litter, from dead rivers to air and soil pollution.  Surgeries performed on animals to remove plastic from the bellies make it to the news regularly. …

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget 2022-23 provides no relief to the people, especially those living in urban centres who were severely hit by the pandemic. With an estimated 200 million plus people without work, most of them in the cities, there was a dire need for addressing this problem. However, the urgent need for some sort of urban employment scheme remained unaddressed. The only positive aspect of the budget speech is that the finance minister has finally accepted what we, through various forums, have been advocating for long — that the current model of urban development is not sustainable. That a…

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As Uttarakhand gets set to elect a new state government, we bring you the first of a two-part series on the state’s urban development challenges and possible solutions Uttarakhand faces a major challenge to develop its cities and towns. In the coming years, urban pressures will increase manifold due to the upcoming Delhi-Dehradun economic corridor, the Char Dham all-weather road and other central projects. To prepare its cities and towns to face these challenges, political parties need to have manifestos and visions that include relevant and sustainable components of urbanization. Uttarakhand is one of the fastest urbanizing states in India.…

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Translated by Sandhya Raju சைக்கிள் ஓட்டும் பழக்கம் சமீப காலமாக அதிகரித்துள்ளது. கொரோனா தொற்று காலத்தில் மேலும் பலரை ஊக்கப்படுத்தியுள்ளது. சைக்கிள் ஓட்டுனர்களுக்கு பாதுகாப்பை உறுதிப்படுத்த, பிரத்யேக சைக்கிள் ஓட்டும் பாதைகள் நகரின் சில பகுதிகளில் சோதனை முறையில் செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளன. இது எதிர்காலத்திற்கு உதவும் என்றாலும், சைக்கிள் ஓட்டுதலை பரவலாக ஊக்கப்படுத்த மேலும் பல நடவடிக்கைகள் தேவை. ECR-இல் சைக்கிள் பாதை மகிச்சியான தெருக்களுக்கான பரிந்துரை - தெருக்களில் தேவயற்ற நடவடிக்களுகு தடை - சைக்கிள் ஓட்டுனர்களிடமிருந்து பெறப்பட்ட இந்த கோரிக்கைகள் வெற்றிக்கரமாக பெசன்ட் நகரில் அமல்படுத்தப்பட்டது. ECR-இல் சைக்கிள் பாதை அமைக்க இது உந்துதலாக அமைந்ததா என தெரியவில்லை, ஆனால் காவல்துறையிடமிருந்து இதற்காக அழைப்பு வந்த்து. இந்த சிந்தனையை முன்னெடுத்து, சென்னையில் சைக்கிள் ஓட்டுதலை ஆணையர் சங்கர் ஊக்கப்படுத்துகிறார். சைக்கிள் ரோந்து படை மூலம் மேலும் இதை ஊக்கப்படுத்த திட்டமிட்டுள்ளார். காவல்துறை மற்றும் பொதுமக்களை சைக்கிள் ஓட்ட மேலும்…

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