Maharashtra scraps 33% quota for promotions
Tensions prevail in the alliance after the state government scrapped reservation in promotions to appease the Maratha community. This decision will result in 100% of promotions being decided solely on seniority. Head of Congress’s ST cell, Nitin Raut met CM Uddhav Thackeray to object to the decision. Sources predict that there could be agitations across the state to build pressure for the roll-back of this order.
MMRDA to begin trial run of Metro’s second line
The second Metro line in the city which will connect Dahisar and Andheri is set for a trial run. 20 km in length, MMRDA claims that this line will decongest traffic by 26%. The proposed maximum fare will be Rs 30, Rs 10 lower than that of the 22 km long Metro-1. The MMRDA hopes that 25 per cent motorists who travel on the Western Express Highway, as well as 12 per cent passengers of local trains will switch to the Metro. Many have raised concerns on the project, especially given the introduction of AC trains on pre-existing train lines.
Source: India Today
COVID-19 positivity rate declines; deaths still a concern
Despite a fall in cases, Mumbai’s doctors are still concerned about the city’s death rates. Group Medical Director of Max Healthcare spoke to NDTV and stated that, “There is a very stark contrast from last wave. Last time we had a monthly mortality rate of 6 per cent. This time it’s 7.6 per cent, especially the below 45 age group.” Head of Wockhardt Hospital’s Medicine Department, Dr. Behram Pardiwala said, “Our ICU mortality rate is about 10-12 per cent. There is a lot of difference from the first wave. Not only are much younger patients getting infected but this time virulence is also higher.”
87% more trash on beaches due to Cyclone Tauktae
Civic solid waste management labourers removed garbage weighing 62,010 kg from Mumbai’s beaches, almost 87% more than was collected on May 15 (33,110 kg). Zoru Bhathena, an urban activist, spoke to Richa Pinto and said, “With almost all drains open in the city, any garbage on the roads that is not cleared eventually lands in the sea. A simple solution would be to ensure that drains are well covered to protect litter from entering it.” Pumping station gates, water tanker discharge, and industrial effluents too are a cause for trash entering Mumbai’s sea.
Barge carrying 261 people sank off Mumbai’s coast
On Monday, an ONGC barge sunk in the midst of Cyclone Tauktae’s onslaught. 38 ONGC workers are still missing. 86 people have been rescued and 37 bodies have been recovered from the sea. Sunilkumar Madhesia, a survivor of the tragedy, spoke to TOI and revealed that he and 11 other workers jumped into the sea when the barge began sinking. Madhesia, originally from Uttar Pradesh, took the plunge at 6 PM on May 17 and was rescued the following morning. Almost all rescued personnel blamed management of the barge for not taking the decision to evacuate them. The kin of the deceased have been finding it extremely difficult to locate their loved ones in the chaos of Mumbai’s hospitals and mortuaries.
Bids are on for Sputnik shots
Bids to import 10 million Sputnik vaccines and are awaiting more as part of a plan to vaccinate every resident of the metropolitan within 2 months. The three bids received include a proposal from London-based Taliesin International Ltd. and two other companies from Hyderabad which claim authorized distributorship from Sputnik marketer The Russian Direct Investment Fund. A final decision will be taken on May 25th.
- Vaccination is tough, even for the digitally savvy
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Driving away flamingos from NRI wetlands?
Environmental activist Sunil Aggarwal claims the NRI wetlands in Navi Mumbai are in danger. Speaking to Mid-Day, he said, “Earlier the outflow of water was blocked to make it stagnant and unattractive for the birds.” However, as the number of birds, especially flamingos, made their way to the wetlands, Aggarwal claims systematic attempts are being made to drive them away. Another environmentalist Stalin D., told Mid-Day, “Builders are apparently sending people into these water bodies to scare the birds away so that the sites can be made available for reclamation.”
- How a Navi Mumbai citizens group fought for the flamingos
- Here’s how we can mitigate the ecological impact of Navi Mumbai airport
[Complied by Nihira]