• Does Bangalore have a post-COVID 19 transport plan?
    COVID -19 has brought a city bustling with traffic to a halt. We are all hoping all our lives would be back to normal once the lockdown is lifted. Bangalore, the IT hub of the country, has attracted intercity travel and likely people would return once the lockdown is over. This pandemic is a sort of reminder that our present transportation system is not robust enough to address problems people are facing in the lockdown period. A recent study published by the Indian Institute of Science also suggested that there is a need for policy intervention to tackle post-lockdown mobility in the city. In fact, it also suggests that the lockdown in some sense provides an opportunity of achieving a sustainable transportation system as currently, the traffic (intra-city and inter-city) is at its minimum and it is likely to come to take time before the traffic hits again with a full blow. “It is like a "restart" for the traffic” as suggested in the study. The transport sector connects us all and it is important that transport agencies provide assurances to individuals that public transport is safe after the peak period is over. Some of those could include Cross department coordination to take necessary steps to keep the premises of bus stops and buses clean by disinfecting these areas. Equip Public transit hubs like bus stops with hand sanitizers and/or washbasins as seen in Kerala. Safety measures message to public transportation commuters is to use agency website, social media platforms, newspapers etc, which shows the measures taken by the transit agency to ensure the passenger’s safety. A post-COVID-19 awareness plan will help citizens build trust for public transport in the city. Sign the petition now asking DULT to prioritise a post COVID- 19 action plan for Bangalore’s transport system. Take our survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfHTwJaachnF6yBog_IeDVLO06PLTIboycLYDyzgGOaigfU6g/viewform?usp=sf_link Sources https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/covid-19-iisc-bengaluru-submits-reports-on-tackling-transport-challenges-post-shutdown/articleshow/75087267.cms
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  • Send message on parking policy, Bangalore
    Bangalore’s traffic woes are not news to any of us. Bengaluru already has more vehicles per capita than any other city in India. When they are not in use, these vehicles need parking spots. Not only is the number of vehicles increasing rapidly, simultaneously the city’s population is also expected to expand, which would further increase the demand for parking spaces, especially in central areas. In six years, Karnataka’s urban development department has come up with two different policies on vehicular parking in Bengaluru. In fact, the first parking policy came nearly 2 decades ago in 2012. The caveat of paid parking in most parking policies has been met with resistance from citizens across the country. The need of the hour is more investment towards a robust public transport system and therefore it is important that this Parking policy Prioritises the last mile connectivity to users given the policy suggests prohibiting parking within 150 metres of Metro stations, TTMCs or suburban rail stations or any other major public transit stations Prepare detailed Area Parking Plans in consultation with ward committees. Ensure strict enforcement of decongestion fee and proof of parking for residential areas. Provide details for smooth implementation of residential parking priced through a permit-based system In many ways, having this parking policy will do wonders to clear up the congestion in Bengaluru, and also help in making the city’s mobility system more organised and structured. All it needs is citizen support and political will to ensure it comes into action soon. Department of Urban Land and Transport is inviting suggestions on the policy until April 15, 2020. Do your bit now! , Send the message now urging DULT to ensure enforcement of parking policy.
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  • Clear Uran's Bori Pakhadi garbage dumping site.
    3000 residents of Bori Pakhadi, Uran are facing serious health problems due to toxic fumes coming from the garbage being burned at the dumping site just meters away from their homes. After repetitive complaints by local NGOs and residents to the Prime Ministers Office, Uran Municipal Council (UMC) promised to move the dumping site in December 2019. But this hasn’t happened yet -- instead, the UMC continues to dump more waste, without segregation on the site. Constant exposure to the toxic fumes from this site is making the elderly and children of Bori Pakhadi sick. Many of them have developed upper and lower respiratory tract problems leading to breathing trouble and asthma. Sign this petition to demand that the dumping at this site be stopped immediately and the site be cleared as per the MPCC orders. Sources: 1. https://www.mid-day.com/articles/burning-garbage-dump-leaves-3000-in-uran-vulnerable-to-infection/22696399
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  • Railway of Doom: Save the Western Ghats
    A project that environmentalists have been opposing for decades - The Hubbali-Ankola rail line was given a go-ahead by CM Yediyurappa on the 21st of March ironically coinciding with World Forests Day. This decision means the eradication of forest land up to 727 hectares, with a track that cuts through 80% of the Western Ghats. A plan that been rejected from its inception in 1997- till the present, the Hubballi-Ankola railway is slated to run from Hubballi in Dharwad district to Ankola in Uttara Kannada district over a distance of 168 km, cutting through dense forests of the Western Ghats. The railway track is proposed to be laid in two biodiversity hotspots – the Kali Tiger Reserve and Bedthi Conservation Reserve. A conservative number of 2.2 lakh trees at least, will be lost to this project. According to a National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) report on the project, the forests through which the railway line cuts, supports 29 species of mammals, 256 species of birds, 8 species of reptiles, and 50 species of butterflies. The majority of the mammals are in the IUCN red list and also protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1972. The NTCA was also not the only environmental body to object to this disastrous plan, the National Board for Wildlife and the Central Empowered Committee also rejected these plans. But why is the CM still hell-bent on going ahead with these plans? We as citizens need to speak out against this atrocious project, which is not only harmful to all the living beings in the Ghat’s but also to the taxpayer’s money. This rail line might soon be defunct with the projected decline in mining activity in the region, there is also an ADB-funded road that is underutilized near this area. This makes rail line an exercise in futility that will result in cruel harm to our environment and the ecosystems of many animals. While the line has approval from the State board, it is still not too late. It must be approved by the National Board for Wildlife to continue, let’s make sure that the buck stops there. We cannot allow this to happen under our watch! Join this to petition the chairman of the National Board for Wildlife PM Modi to stop this terrible scheme.
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  • Smog Towers won’t fix Delhi’s pollution
    The Delhi government, in an ambitious project to reduce air pollution (by two thirds in the next 5 years) in the city has decided to allocate 30 crore rupees for the installation of Smog Towers in its annual budget. However, experts have expressed their concerns over such ‘band-aid fixes’ and how they could prove to be more damaging than useful in the future. A prototype tower has been fitted at Lajpat Nagar with the collaborative effort of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), University of Minnesota, IIT Mumbai and IIT Delhi. This 20 ft tower was set up at a cost of 7 lakhs and will need an additional amount of INR 30,000/ month for maintenance. With a limited radius of 50 meters, Delhi will require 2.5 million similar smog towers to curb air pollution and a capital investment of INR 1,700 billion. In November, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the Delhi government to prepare a plan to install ‘smog towers’ across the capital to deal with air pollution. In December, members and advisers of Care for Air, a non-profit had written an open letter to the Supreme Court urging them not to direct any governments, local, state, or central, to spend public money to purchase expensive smog towers. They believe these are completely useless in bringing down PM2.5 levels by any significant amount, and could even add to pollution when their filters are disposed of in our already overflowing landfills, and eventually burnt. Air pollution, specifically the more lethal PM2.5 particulate matter can only be controlled by eliminating emissions at all known sources. Any other way is bound to be inefficient, ineffective, and unscientific, and can only buy time – but which we are paying with our breaths every day. The air we care about is the air we breathe. Outdoor air purifiers are inadvisable. Such installations give citizens a false sense of complacency and assurance, making them feel they are getting healthier and have access to air of better quality. Such populist decisions make people feel that the government is doing something positive to solve this giant problem. At this point in a health emergency, we need much more than reassurance. We need action – and not just any action. We need strong action that yields the desired result: a real and significant reduction in PM2.5 levels. Sign this petition demanding that no more money be allocated, or spent, on the installation of smog towers! Sources: 1. https://www.livemint.com/news/india/budget-delhi-targets-66-reduction-in-pollution-sets-aside-rs-30-cr-for-smog-towers-11584976973681.html 2. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/delhi-gets-its-first-smog-tower-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work-6200858/ 3. https://youtu.be/P1WKL8AJUw8 4. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/to-tackle-pollution-smog-tower-to-come-up-in-delhi-6136680/ 5. https://thewire.in/environment/new-delhi-air-pollution-stubble-burning-supreme-court-industry-smog-towers-outdoor-air-purifiers
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  • सोलापूर शहरातील कचरा जाळण्याच्या घटनांना त्वरित आळा घाला.
    सोलापूर हे तुलनेने महाराष्ट्रीतील इतर शहरांपेक्षा लहान आणि कमी लोकसंख्येचे शहर आहे. त्यामुळे वाढत्या रहदारीमुळे आणि बांधकामाशी निगडित कामांमुळे होणारे प्रदूषण या शहरात कमी आहे, पण तरीही या शहराचा Air Quality Index अनेकवेळा १०० च्या वर असतो. स्थानिकांनी केलेल्या तक्रारीनंतर असे लक्षात आले कि सोलापूर शहरात घरगुती कचरा व्यवस्थापन जरी चांगले असले तरी झाडांचा पालापाचोळा (Garden Waste) सर्रास जाळला जातो. यामुळे शहरातील नागरिकांना धुराचा त्रास सहन करावा लागतो. झाडांचा पालापाचोळा जाळला जाताना बहुतेक वेळा त्याच्या आजूबाजूला असलेले प्लास्टिक, रबर अशा गोष्टी सुद्धा जाळल्या जातात. या जैविक आणि अजैविक कचऱ्याच्या मिश्रणातून विषारी धूर बाहेर पडतो. हा धूर श्वसनातून शरीरात गेल्यावर घातक ठरू शकतो. हा कचरा निवासी भागांच्या जवळ जाळला जात असल्याने धुराचा लहान बालके,आणि वयस्कर नागरिकांना त्रास होतो. सातत्याने कचरा जाळल्याने कमी प्रतिकारशक्ती असलेल्या लोकांना श्वसनाचे आजार बळावण्याची शक्यता असते. दम्याच्या रुग्णांना याचा सार्वधिक त्रास होऊ शकतो. साथीच्या आजारांमध्ये झपाट्याने वाढ होत असताना वयोवृद्ध तसेच रोगप्रतिकारशक्ती कमी असलेल्या नागरीकांना या आजारांची लागण होण्याची शक्यता अधिक असल्याची बाब समोर आली आहे. अशावेळी मानवी वस्तीच्या जवळ जाळला जाणारा हा कचरा घातक ठरू शकतो. सोलापूर महानगरपालिकेने या बाबीची त्वरित दखल घेऊन कारवाई करावी अशी आमची मागणी आहे. त्याचप्रमाणे कचरा जाळण्याच्या या घटनांना कायमचा आळा घालण्यासाठी कचरा व्यवस्थापनाच्या सुधारित कार्यपद्धती तयार कराव्यात.
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  • Prioritise protection against Coronavirus
    Bengalureans rich, poor, daily labourers, street vendors, startups - everybody is fighting hard to prevent the spread of Corona Virus But, our local government is busy doing selfish projects with an eye on the upcoming BBMP elections. They are using up the budget to do eyewash projects to win votes. Here in Koramangala, good roads are being tarred again. I do not want cosmetic improvement to my road. I want BBMP to protect us and my working brothers & sisters against Corona Virus. We demand that BBMP & corporators should focus on fighting the Corona Virus. BNP requests BBMP Commissioner & Bengaluru Corporators to confirm that you will do the following 1. Stop non-critical activities, ceremonies etc and focus on fighting Corona Virus. 2. 100% focus on our PM's priority-Virus education, prevention, income This is the basic minimum. Hopefully, you will do this & do more. Every true Indian, every party leader, Opposition leader, Prime minister, doctors, social workers are trying to prevent a Corona epidemic. Please show you care and do your duty to the citizens and the country. Yours gratefully, ಕೋರಮಂಗಲದ ನಿವಾಸಿಗಳು / Koramangala Citizens
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  • Protect Bannerghatta, protect Bengaluru!
    UPDATE: Despite formal public objections, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) has notified a 37% (100sq km)reduction of Bannerghatta ESZ towards Bangalore. This is the time to fight tooth and nail to preserve Bannerghatta National Park, democracy must prevail! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Functioning as one of the last-remaining oxygen banks and water sources available to Bangalore, Bannerghatta National Park is under threat from encroaching civilization. The Ecological Sensitive Zone (ESZ) is one that keeps a buffer between the park and the surrounding city, provides protection and a green cover for Bangalore. If the ESZ is so severely shortened, the vehicular traffic, air, and water pollution will put in danger the wildlife of the park as well as lead to more human-animal conflicts. These plans are threatening the safety of man and beast alike and will result in further destabilizing Bangalore temperatures. Succumbing to vested interests, the Yeddyurappa government has ignored the legal stay on maintaining the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) in the Bannerghatta National Park. The stay has been mandated by the Ministry of Forests but state-sanctioned projects are looking to diminish the green cover by as much as 100 km. Thousands of trees will be cut down, animal and human lives will be under threat from the lack of a sufficient barrier. If Bangalore wants to maintain it’s cool temperatures (which are already in decline) then we need to save Bannerghatta National Park. This is our chance to stop something that will affect the whole of Bangalore and everyone in it if we allow such projects to rise then the repercussions will be faced by everyone. Other states would also be encouraged to take upon development projects on a massive scale without accounting for what is best for its residents. Let us come together to demand a better Bangalore from the CM. We demand that this proposal be scrapped by the CM of Karnataka Yeddiyurappa and that he adhere to the PIL that promises the buffer zone to be untouched.
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  • Save Pruthvi's future.
    Hi, my name is Pruthvi and I live in sector 9 of Navi Mumbai with my parents. My parents just love me. They make sure I am happy and smiling all the time. After all, I am only 2 years old. Perks of being a baby in this era, right? But it is also somewhat inconvenient to be a baby in this era. My mom always covers my face while we cross the streets while visiting my Grandparents. She makes sure I don't have to inhale the toxic fumes coming out of cars and trucks. She always says “We will never take Taloja, Kharghar, Turbhe as there are big chimneys of big companies spewing out smoke.” I have seen an old man near my house who inhales smoke from a small white chimney called cigarette... and he is always coughing. I don't want to cough like him by inhaling smoke from those tall chimneys. That’s why I spend most of my time indoors. When I walk around in my house my mother makes sure the floor is clean. My parents want to take me out but they can't clean the air that I’ll breathe! My mom says the meaning of my name is Earth. She tells me stories of green trees, blue skies and clean waters and birds that are supposed to co-exist with us. I don't see them very often in Navi Mumbai and especially in sector 9. I don't want to spend most of my time in sector 9. I want to go out freely without a mask. Please sign the petition and ask Officer uncle Pravin Joshi and Minister uncle Aaditya Thackrey to save the future of thousands of Pruthvis like me. In hope, Pruthvi Note: This petition is written in the wake of an alarming rise in air pollution in Navi Mumbai[1], with the consent of Pruthvi’s parents. 1. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/navi-mumbai/kharghar-taloja-residents-to-protest-against-air-pollution-in-their-region-on-february-27/articleshow/74308021.cms
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  • Stop axing trees in Bengaluru: B S Shivkumar
    8561 trees are proposed to be cut for a road-widening project, in order to decongest the tech corridor. Existing two-lane and four-lane roads will be converted into four-lane and six-lane ones on the stretch between Bannerghatta, Sarjapur, Mandur, Anekal and Whitefield. Some of these trees are over 80 years old and include peepal, banyan, tamarind and other species. In just the past couple of years, air pollution has risen drastically in Bengaluru, with construction dust, garbage burning and the rise in private vehicles leading to more emissions. In the midst of this, the city's old trees are a natural buffer and their loss for development projects will lead to worsening impact of climate change, not to mention the health effects of air pollution.
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  • Clean up Nagpur’s polluted air.
    In 2018, WHO data revealed Nagpur as the most polluted city in Maharashtra. This is extremely concerning news, given that Nagpur comes after Mumbai and Pune in terms of size and population. Air pollution is a growing emergency in India and given that Nagpur has been touted as one of the SMART cities in Maharashtra, toxic air is a problem that needs urgent addressing. The WHO report was based on the annual average of Particulate Matter (PM) 10 and 2.5 levels. PM comprises tiny, hazardous particles in the air that are inhaled directly into the lungs. This can lead to serious respiratory illnesses like asthma, lung disorders and can also alter cognitive function. WHO's permissible limit for PM2.5 (annual) is 10 micrograms per cubic meter (mpcm). In Nagpur, however, the average levels were 84 mpcm, over eight times the limits. MPCB action plan released in November 2019 clearly states that RSPM or otherwise known as PM 2.5 particles are way above the safe limits at North Ambazari Road, Hingna road, and Sadar area. A primary source for pollution is thermal power plants around the city, as well as industrial and vehicular emissions. The need of the hour to have more air quality monitoring stations in the city, and for MPCB to implement the Nagpur Action Plan in its full form. This includes action in vehicle emissions, resuspensions (Green zones and Traffic issues), Road design improvement, trash burning, Industrial pollution and construction activities. Sign this campaign demanding clean, breathable air for all in Nagpur.
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  • Stop garbage burning in Nashik.
    Nashik is the first city in Maharashtra to get featured in the top 10 list of Swachh Survekshan 2020. Yet when it comes to Air Pollution,Nashik is still one of the most polluted ones. In fact on many days Nashik’s AQI is more than that of its neighbouring metro cities - Mumbai and Pune. For a brief period in January and February, Nashik's Air Quality Index (AQI) levels were way higher than in Mumbai and Pune. Though industries and vehicular emissions are major contributors to rising pollution, garbage burning has played a huge role too.. Citizens in private societies, parks, and even vendors regularly burn trash late at night or in the early morning. Smoke coming out of burning garbage is highly toxic and can cause respiratory illnesses and breathing problems. It is the responsibility of Maharashtra pollution control board (MPCB) to spread awareness about garbage burning and its health hazards. Also Nashik Municipal Corporation should make sure that a Ghanta gadi reaches every part of the city to collect garbage daily so that garbage burning incidents can be avoided. We demand strict action on offenders burning garbage choking our city. Sign this petition now, when we collectively build pressure, NMC will be forced to take action. नुकत्याच झालेल्या स्वछ सर्वेक्षण २०२० या स्पर्धेत नाशिक शहर पहिल्या १० शहरांमध्ये झळकले. तरीसुद्धा वायू प्रदूषणाच्या बाबतीत नाशिक सर्वात प्रदूषित शहरांमध्ये एक आहे. अनेक वेळा नाशिकचा Air Quality Index हा शेजारच्या मुंबई आणि पुणे या शहरांपेक्षा सुद्धा जास्त होता. शहराच्या या वाढत्या वायू प्रदूषणाला औद्योगिक परिसरातील प्रदूषण आणि शहरातील वाढते दळणवळण प्रामुख्याने जबाबदार असले तरी शहरात सर्रासपणे कचरा जाळला जाणाच्या घटना सुद्धा तितक्याच प्रमाणात प्रदूषणात भर घालत आहेत. शहरात खाजगी सदनिकांमध्ये, सार्वजनिक बागा, मंगल कार्यालये, दुकानदार आणि रस्त्याच्या कडेला दुकाने थाटणाऱ्या लोकांकडून कचरा जाळला जातो. अनेकवेळी या कचऱ्यात सेंद्रिय पालापाचोळ्यासोबत प्लास्टिकच्या पिशव्या आणि बाटल्या जाल्ल्या जातात, त्यामुळे यातुन निघणारा धूर सुद्धा तितकाच घातक असतो. त्यामुळे नागरिकांना श्वसनाचे त्रास होऊ शकतात. कचरा जाळला जाण्याच्या या घटनांविरुद्ध आणि त्यातून आरोग्याला होऊ शकणाऱ्या हानीबद्दल जनजागृती करणे ही महाराष्ट्र प्रदूषण नियंत्रण मंडळाची जबाबदारी आहे. तसेच नाशिक महानगर पालिकेने सुद्धा घंटागाडी दररोज शहराच्या सगळ्या भागांमध्ये पोहोचून तिथला कचरा उचलला जाईल याची खात्री करणे आवश्यक आहे, जेणेकरून कचरा जाळला जाण्याच्या या घटनांना आळा घालता येऊ शकेल. कचरा जाळून शहरातील प्रदूषणात भर घालणाऱ्या लोकांविरुद्ध सक्त कारवाई व्हावी अशी आमची मागणी आहे. या याचिकेला मोठ्या संख्येने sign करून हातभार लावून MPCB आणि NMC ला कारवाई करण्याची मागणी करा.
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