Civic

Battling Delhi's water crisis amid heatwave The Delhi High Court on June 12 directed Haryana to reply to a contempt plea over its non-compliance of the court’s earlier order regarding water supply to Delhi. But the Haryana government on June 12 had told the Supreme Court that no excess water was released by Himachal Pradesh to send to Delhi. Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on June 11 formed “quick response teams” to manage main water distribution networks and prevent leakages, according to Water and Revenue Minister Atishi. Additional district magistrates (ADMs) and sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) were deployed to…

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Menaga Shankar was born, brought up and married in Uthandi, now a part of Ward 197. She contested on an AIADMK ticket and was elected as a first-time councillor from the same ward. A political science student in college, she entered politics to bring good educational infrastructure to the people. She says she is particularly invested in the education of girl children. Ward 197 has upmarket localities with posh bungalows along the coast, while on the other hand, it is also home to marginalised communities who depend on fishing and farming for their livelihood. The ward’s boundaries begin in Akkarai…

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Air taxis to fly high On June 9, an intrastate air taxi service will take off as part of the PM Shri Paryatan Vayu Seva. The aim is to cover tourist cities in Madhya Pradesh, including Bhopal, Ujjain, Gwalior, Indore, Khajuraho and Jabalpur. The ticket prices will vary based on the destination and route. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set up multiple technical committees for urban air mobility, laying a roadmap for air taxis by 2026. The project will start with Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru, followed by Chennai and Hyderabad. After rules are finalised for multiple…

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Imagine you are walking around Kala Ghoda, appreciating the heritage architecture, art galleries, food and fashion hotspots, and now imagine that it's a car-free road. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is considering declaring five streets around Kala Ghoda in Colaba car-free for specific hours on weekends. This proposal has come from the Kala Ghoda Association (KGA), which organises the popular Kala Ghoda Festival annually for the past 24 years.  At present, the Rampart Row Street, now officially known as the K Dubash Street, is closed for vehicular access for the nine days of the Kala Ghoda Festival. The KGA has…

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On a sunny evening, I walked from Ambika Appalam signal at Kasturbai Nagar in Adyar up to Indira Nagar in Chennai. Along the pavement, I repeatedly stumbled over dangerously lying cable wires. After almost getting my neck caught in one such cable, I started taking photographs of the cityscape. It was cluttered with multiple fibre optic cables belonging to competing cable companies, all ruining the city's aesthetic appeal. Exposed fibre optic cables, both overhead and on the ground are potential safety hazards for residents and a reflection of poor execution of work by cable companies. These are especially dangerous during…

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(Part 1 of this series summarised the increase in power demand due to soaring temperatures. Part 2 is a round up of power outages across the country and possible solutions to the problem) Cities in the dark across India  High demand for power in the Kalwa circuit of Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Co. Ltd. (Mahatransco), primarily due to the scorching heat, led to overloading and a disruption of electricity supply for up to two hours in April. The regions affected included Naupada, Pachpakhadi, Vikas Complex, Majiwada, Talao Pali, Colorchem, Temghar, Kalwa etc. in Thane as well as Vashi and Mahape…

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Rajasthan HC: Declare heatwave a national calamity There is a need to declare the current heat wave as a national calamity, said the single-judge Bench of Justice Anoop Kumar Dhand, Rajasthan High Court (HC), on May 30th. He took suo motu cognisance of the 61 people who have died due to the scorching heat. He added that heat waves and cold waves should be declared as national disasters, so that the state is prepared to deal with them. The Bench asked the state government to compensate for deaths, sprinkle water on congested roads; provide cooling spaces, shades at traffic signals,…

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A survey conducted in 2021 by Project Mumbai, a non-governmental organisation, and Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic collective in conjunction with MCGM found that there is only 1.24 sqm of open space per person in Mumbai. But, the draft Development Plan 2034, which aims to shape the growth of Mumbai over 20 years, earmarks 2 sqm per person. Public space is a precious resource in the urban realm. According to research conducted by UN-Habitat, well-managed cities have 50% of their area allotted for open spaces — a pipe dream for Mumbai. An environment that fosters recreation, rest and community bonding is hardly…

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In early January, Dahisar resident Pankati noticed garbage being thrown behind one of the electric junction boxes in Kandarpada, her neighbourhood. It had accumulated over a few weeks. This was not a garbage collection point and it used to be clean before. She decided to raise a civic complaint on that garbage issue using the ‘MyBMC Assist’ WhatsApp Chatbot, which is run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Pankati, a volunteer with the Blue Ribbon Movement, found garbage being dumped behind an electric junction box in Khandarpada. Pic: Aniruddha Gaonkar After waiting for over a month, the garbage was still…

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Delhi ranks 350 in global index; no Indian city in top 300 Oxford Economics’ new ‘Global Cities Index’ report ranks Delhi at 350, the highest among 91 Indian cities. This was the first edition of the index, released on 21st May by the global advisory firm, Oxford Economics, which is assessing metropolitan cities across 163 countries on five parameters - economics, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance. The top three cities in the list are New York, London and San Jose. In the category of human capital, which “encompasses the collective knowledge and skills of a city’s population,” measured…

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