Civic

Heavy metals in vegetables cross safe limits There is a high concentration of heavy metals in vegetables as farmers use wastewater to grow them, according to researchers from the Environment Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), through a one-year study led by N Hema. Researchers tested 400 samples of 10 vegetables (brinjal, tomato, capsicum, beans, carrot, green chilly, onion, potato, spinach and coriander) and found contamination above the limits set by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The vegetables were from 20 stores, including five high-end supermarkets, five local markets, “organic stores” and Hopcoms. While the maximum permissible limit for…

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Extending the idea of BBMP- CSR collaboration to developing road infrastructure was a good idea. Two projects have already been completed, the most recent one in August. The outcomes are striking, showing a stark contrast in their appearance. For instance, on the Radiall factory road, on the left side, which is a CSR-funded project, there is a shaded, wide and clean street, with even footpaths. But on the right side, which is a BBMP road, it is dusty, muddy with deep potholes and barely any pedestrian walking space. Second model road in front of the Radiall Factory, Peenya Industrial Area.…

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122 trees to be cut for underground tunnels The State Board of Wildlife approved a proposal to cut 122 trees at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park to build underground tunnels. These tunnels will connect Borivali and Thane in Mumbai. The project is a pet project of the chief minister Eknath Shinde and will require drilling 27 holes for which explosives will be used. The decision was taken at a meeting of the board chaired by forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar on Monday and was kept under wraps. The project has faced severe criticism from environmentalists. A government document said the underground…

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New biogas plants to be operational next year Chennai will get more biogas plants across various zones by February 2024. The plants will be established at the direction of the Greater Chennai Corporation. Currently, there are two biogas plants operational at Chetpet and Madhavaram. These plants generate 6 tonnes of biogas per day through the processing of waste. New biogas plants are expected to come up in Manali, Shollinganallur and Koyambedu. These plants will have a processing capacity of 500, 200 and 200 tonnes of waste respectively. Around 30% of the city’s waste is expected to be processed by all…

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Probe into fire accidents Mudpipe Cafe, a hookah bar, where a fire broke out on October 18th, was being run illegally as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had given permission only for food catering, said Home Minister Dr G. Parameshwara. He added that as the BBMP had failed to verify the business, action would be initiated against the owner and officials.   Mudpipe Cafe is on the fourth floor of the KDP building in Koramangala. The fire force came within five minutes, but Prem Kumar, 29, a chef from Nepal, jumped from the fourth floor and was rushed to…

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Srivatsan Shankar, a photographer based in Chennai, was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of six. Shankar faces many challenges in navigating daily life in Chennai, right from understanding announcements at railway stations to the use of opaque structures rather than glass in many spaces which impedes his ability to lip-read or receive visual cues. At “Design for All," an event that highlighted the imperative of creating a more inclusive and accessible Chennai, many such personal experiences and anecdotes came to the fore. The participants, who were architects and advocates within the Chennai community of people with disabilities, expressed…

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Chennai receives the majority of its annual rainfall during the monsoon season, from October to December. While the monsoon brings relief from the heat, it also poses various challenges for motorists.  Rainy weather makes driving dangerous. Visibility is poor, and roads are slippery, meaning vehicles take longer to stop than on dry road surfaces. This can lead to road crashes and even fatal incidents. These risks result from two primary factors: road conditions itself, and drivers not taking adequate safety precautions. Either way, it is the motorists and their families who bear the consequences of an injury or fatality.  Read…

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On 3rd October, the State Cabinet approved a proposed amendment under the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act to forcibly evict tenants that opposed redevelopment. The state has more than 1 lakh buildings that fall under the purview of this Act. The proposal was submitted by a 15-member committee of the State Housing Federation. The committee was formed in 2020 by the state government under the then divisional joint registrar Jyoti Latkar-Mete. The proposal was finalised in 2021 and submitted to the state cooperation in April this year. Once the amendment comes into force, members who refuse to vacate their flats for redevelopment in…

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Stale meat found in Chennai eateries In a crackdown by the officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) around 400 kgs of meat was confiscated from restaurants and eateries. The inspection was carried out in and around the Koyambedu area on push-carts and eateries. Officials found a range of violations such as improper storage of food, stale food, and rotten meat such as mutton, chicken, beef, pork and fish being used to make food. The inspection follow on the heels of multiple reports of illness for patrons due to the poor quality of food being served…

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“October Heat' in Mumbai raises health concerns Since the southwest monsoon left Mumbai on October 6, the city has experienced a swift return of hot weather, known as the 'October heat'. This has led to a surge in illnesses like viral fever, dehydration, and heat stroke due to temperature fluctuations. Civic, state and private hospitals have reported a surge in the number of people visiting outpatient departments in the past seven days. The India Meteorological Department recorded a high of 34.2°C on Thursday, three degrees above normal, raising concerns among doctors about the health effects of the heat. Source: Free…

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