Mumbai Buzz: 89% presence of Omicron in the city | BEST to go electric

weekly urban news round-up

two BEST buses in mumbai
With electric buses and access to reading during commutes, Mumbai's buses are transforming | Photo: Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

89% COVID-19 samples from Mumbai show presence of Omicron

From 280 samples sequenced at civic-run Kasturba Gandhi Hospital, Mumbai, 89% had the Omicron variant of COVID-19. 8% had Delta derivatives, and the remaining 3% had other subtypes.

“This explains the reason behind the spike in cases by the end of December last year. As Omicron doesn’t involve the lungs, we are witnessing very few cases of pulmonary pneumonia, which was high in the second wave when Delta variant was predominant in Mumbai,” said Suresh Kakani, additional commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Source: Indian Express

Mumbai’s double decker buses to go electric

Mumbai’s iconic BEST buses will soon go electric and emission-free, procuring 900 buses for the city.

“Along with Mumbai, I have requested municipal commissioners of other cities who are procuring electric buses to also add double-decker electric buses into their fleets on busy routes,” said minister Aaditya Thackeray.

Public bus services will be provided in Mumbai and neighbouring cities, including Thane, Mira-Bhayander and Navi Mumbai.

Source: NDTV

Read more: Mumbai needs more BEST buses

Daily COVID-19 cases continue to fall

Daily cases of COVID-19 have dropped by 26% in Mumbai. “The decline is apparent in Mumbai as cases dropped from 20,000 around 20 days ago to less than 2,000 cases now,” said additional commissioner Suresh Kakani.

Weekly positivity rate was 8.5% by January 29th, down from 16% the week before. The drop in daily cases has invited the state cabinet to hold a meeting to discuss the possibility of easing restriction and moving beyond the pandemic.

Source: The Times of India

New initiative by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation to include books in buses

The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has introduced a new initiative of providing books for reading in long-distance buses. Books in English and Marathi are now available for free under the #BooksInBus initiative in Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) buses.

The initiative is supported by Lets Read India Foundation. For the first phase, three long-distance bus routes have been tried, and eventually, more will be added to the list. “This is a new concept for the passengers, one of the first such initiatives in the country. With the books easily available for passengers on long routes like Mantralaya, it will not only help them pass their time but also add to their knowledge. It will also inculcate the much-needed reading habit that is on the wane today.” said Abhijit Bangar, NMMC commissioner.

Source: Hindustan Times

a metro window in Mumbai with passengers
Reading travellers in Mumbai’s public transport are common, since long routes can be tedious and demanding | Photo: Rajarshi Mitra, Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

MMR stations to undergo theme-based makeover

The Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC) will renovate 19 suburban railway stations in Mumbai and MMR. The plan includes facilities like elevated passenger decks, foot over bridges, skywalks and green space. Stations on the list for the makeover are Mumbai Central (local train stations), Bhandup, Mulund, Thane, Kandivali, Mira Road, Jogeshwari, Dombivli, Govandi, Ghatkopar, Mankhurd, GTB Nagar, Bhayandar, Vasai Road, Nallasopara, Virar, Shahad, Neral and Kasara railway stations. The first station will be ready by 2023.

Local artists and architects of each area will be included in the art makeover. “The makeover of the railway stations will be done keeping in mind the local theme of the area and important locations that are significant to the location,” said Ravi Agarwal, chairman and managing director, MRVC.

Source: Hindustan Times

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.