City Beats: Nature hits back


Earthquake in Indonesia, Flooding In India, Felling of Trees – it’s all a déjà vu for humankind.

Srinjoy Dey & Soheib Ahsan, ACJ Newsline

Disaster Mitigation Agency in Indonesia gets busy

An earthquake on the island of Lombok at 6.47 a.m. has killed 14 and injured 160. Around 43 quakes were recorded after the initial 6.4 magnitude earthquake. The tremors lasted 10 seconds forcing people to flee their homes onto the roads and fields. Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo claimed that three deaths occurred due to falling concrete.

Speaking of unstable infrastructure…

Heavy rains caused danger to public safety and multi-storeyed buildings in Ghaziabad on Monday. The danger was caused by road cave-ins and landslides due to incomplete work on the buildings. Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) Vice Chairperson and District Magistrate Ritu Maheshwari ordered the booking of five realtors and other buildings on the charge of taking up digging of basements and leaving the work incomplete.  Magistrate Maheshwari advised old buildings to be evacuated immediately in case of any cracks caused by the rain. For low lying areas people were advised to inform the Municipal Corporation.

But at least the police have been efficient

It’s been a busy start to the week for over 300 Delhi police officers who have been assigned the task of evacuating those residing near the Yamuna riverbanks due to increase in water levels. The situation has steadily grown worse over the past weeks, with the police forced to close down the busy Yamuna Bridge. However, the India Meteorological Department has given the aggrieved something to cheer about. The IMD has forecasted a decrease in rainfall in the coming days which will give the authorities time to minimise damage, if not improve the situation.

Meghalaya leads by example

Union Minister for farmer welfare Radha Mohan Singh urged organic farming at the Lawsohtun organic farm in Shillong on Sunday. The farm is four hectares and is maintained by 20 households. He also requested the Meghalaya government to extend all possible support to the farmers. He claimed to see this as a step towards doubling farmer incomes by 2022. He also made sure through officials that the schemes meant for the welfare of the farmers are delivered promptly and within specified time frame.

And so do citizens of Bengaluru

Residents of Vinayakanagar area in Bengaluru have shown their discontent over felling of trees around the Old Airport Road, one of the iconic landmarks of the city. While the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Deputy Conservator of Forest MK Cholarajappa has denied claims of having knowledge of such occurrences, the ignored protests have left the citizens with a sense of injustice.

Some ministries also feel responsible

The Ministry of Environment and Forest have proactively asked the Tamil Nadu State government to do a check on 6 locations near wildlife sanctuaries marked for quarrying. It has been insisted that the approval would come only after the quarrying locations are verified to not hinder the ecosystem of the region.

But there is only so much that can be done

A month into the Mumbai plastic ban, Bombay Municipal Corporation claims to have recouped 160 tonnes of plastic from the city. The BMC officials have lauded the initiative calling it a success, while activists continue to draw attention to the large amounts of plastic still being hoarded by citizens.