Civic

(In part 1 of the series Srinivas Alavilli and Vikram Rai wrote about their experience of moderating the masterclass, 'Is there burnout in civic activism?’, at the India Civic Summit, organised by Oorvani Foundation. Part 2 covers the discussions and insights by the participants)  The 35 plus participants in the masterclass-'Is there burnout in civic activism?', at the India Civic Summit, organised by Oorvani Foundation, were divided into six groups, who shared their observations and solutions to civic activism apathy. While nine questions were put to vote, the following six got the maximum votes in the following order:  Is there…

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There is a sense in our city that civic activism, which was once thriving with street protests and events and mass mobilisations like #SteelFlyoverBeda, is disappearing, particularly post COVID. 'Is civic activism dying?' – when we were asked to moderate a masterclass on this topic at the India Civic Summit, organised by Oorvani Foundation on March 23rd, it led to an animated discussion. We agreed that while the masterclass title has to be provocative, the ultimate objective is to understand the trends, get more people to become active citizens by sensing citizens' motivations and fears, and understand the role of…

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Mumbai billboard collapse throws light on sorry state of civic safety At least 16 died and 74 were injured when a 100-foot-tall illegal billboard collapsed in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar in Mumbai, during a thunderstorm on May 14th. It fell on some houses and a petrol station, disrupting life in the region. Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allows a maximum hoarding size of 40×40 feet, but this billboard was 120×120 feet. Last week itself, BMC had recommended action against Bhavesh Prabhudas Bhinde, 51, director of Ego Media Pvt Ltd, which owned the contract for the hoarding on a 10-year lease.…

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A nurse-turned-politician, J Kayalvizhi, Councillor of Ward 179 in Chennai, studied nursing at Christian Medical College in Vellore. Until 2006, she worked with an MNC in Saudi Arabia. Since her return in 2006, she decided to take up social service to help people in need, especially in the field of education and health. Her husband, Jayakumar, has been in politics for many years now and holds the position of divisional secretary of Ward 179 in DMK. When Ward 179 in Chennai was reserved for women, Kayalvizhi's husband encouraged her to contest in the polls to channel her interest in social…

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Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Noida to be 'financial' cities The Uttar Pradesh government aims to partner with the private sector to project Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Noida as ‘financial cities’ and make the state a preferred investment destination in South Asia. The investment potential in the UP real estate and housing sector has been pegged at $25-$30 billion. A concept paper by the Yogi Adityanath government explains further that medi-cities have also been planned in Gorakhpur, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly and Chitrakoot districts and film cities are visualised in Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad and Lucknow. The key enablers of these targets are the new township…

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Showers break 150-day hot spell Sources from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said that dry weather may prevail in the city till May 5th, but light showers on May 2nd brought relief. It had been a zero rainfall month in April, a first since 1983 - and one of the longest dry spells of nearly 150 days since November 2023. The rains also brought in the usual issues of water logging, power outages and traffic bottlenecks. May Day was the hottest of the month so far in 40 years, touching 38.1 degrees Celsius. Kempegowda International Airport showed the highest…

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Two die, third critical after falling into manhole Mumbai continues to see tragic accidents related to manual scavenging and deadly manholes. Two people died and a third is critical after falling into a 30-foot-deep manhole in Malad. The manhole was connected to a drain pipe on the site of a private under-construction building at Pimpripada in Malad east. Raju, who was a worker at the site, fell in and after that two nearby residents, Aqib and Javed jumped to save him. When none of them came out, the locals called the fire brigade to rescue them. According to the preliminary…

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TN government's plans to denotify a portion of Pulicat Bird Sanctuary raise concerns Thirteen revenue villages were included within Pulicat Bird Sanctuary boundary limits in 1980. The state government has now begun rationalising its boundaries raising concerns over the shrinking of the sanctuary’s eco-sensitive zone (ESZ). According to a news report, a proposal for the use of 215.83 hectares of non-forest land for the development of an industrial park inside the ESZ, and 5 km from the bird sanctuary was discussed during the 77th meeting of the Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife held in January 2024. With the…

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Bengaluru's Lok Sabha Elections 2024 voter turnout Bengaluru voted, braving the searing heat, in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 on April 26th. Voting started at 7 am and concluded at 6 pm. In comparison to the 2019 elections, the city saw a lower voter turnout. According to a tentative report posted on the X account of Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, Bengaluru saw a 53.10% voter turnout this year; in 2019, it was 54.1%. Among the four constituencies, the highest voter turnout was in Bangalore Rural at 67.29% while Bangalore Central saw the lowest voter turnout at 52.81%. Bangalore South recorded…

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Does the average voter evaluate each of their candidates carefully?  Like we do every election, Citizen Matters has been publishing voter guides with profiles of key candidates for constituencies in Chennai, Bengaluru and other cities. We summarise candidates’ background, promises, and their interviews. We highlight the parliamentary performance of incumbent MPs – their membership in committees, questions they have raised, debates they participated in etc. We also compile news media reports to track their recent work.  There are various criteria that voters base their decision on. While there are those undecided or open-minded who have found the information in our…

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