Mumbai Buzz: Less rainfall this monsoon | First electric double-decker.. and more

weekly urban news round-up

a man holding an umbrella walks through rain in mumbai
Otherwise plentiful, monsoon in Mumbai has started on a bad note for the city. Photo - Satish Krishnamurthy, Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Less rainfall in Mumbai as monsoon begins

Monsoon touched Mumbai on June 11th this year, and yet, the city has reported unusually low rainfall. Otherwise typical this time of year are intense showers, followed by flooding in many parts.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that as of June 23rd, the city’s rainfall deficit for the month so far stands at 47%.

Experts attribute this to the absence of low-pressure systems in the Bay of Bengal and a ‘weak’ offshore trough in the Arabian Sea, close to the Konkan coast.

“Ideally, 12 low-pressure systems are expected to form in the four months of the southwest monsoon season, so you would get 3 systems in each month (i.e. one every 10 days or so). When these systems form, and if they are strong, they pull the monsoon winds over the Arabian Sea, which strengthens the offshore trough. Strong low-pressure systems might even travel to western India, causing direct rainfall over Mumbai-MMR. In such a situation, their presence can also trigger small vortices over the Arabian Sea near Mumbai, causing non-stop rain for a day or two that is generally heavy. We haven’t seen any low-pressure system or this action so far,” said Akshay Deoras, an independent meteorologist and researcher at the University of Reading, UK, who closely tracks the southwest monsoon.

Source: Hindustan Times

Mumbai to receive its first electric AC double-decker bus

The city’s first electric AC double-decker bus is set to launch in the first week of August, coinciding with the BEST foundation day on August 7th.

With an ever-increasing daily ridership, BEST will be working on catching up to the demand. The new buses will have a carrying capacity of 78-90 people per bus.

Contracts for 900 e-double decker buses have been approved, 225 of which will be in the running by the year-end. 

“The bus will have two staircases instead of the single one in the existing double-decker. This will ensure smooth movement of passengers while boarding or alighting from the bus,” said BEST general manager Lokesh Chandra. 

Source: The Times of India

150 new EV charging stations to be set up by Tata

On June 22nd, Tata Power announced the installation of 150 “green energy-powered” Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points across residential societies, malls, commercial complexes and petrol pumps in Mumbai.

The chargers are powered by renewable/clean energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower. The initiative is part of Tatas Do Green mission.

The company has collaborated with the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), Maharashtra. The aim is to ultimately install 5,000 such EV charging points across Maharashtra.

Source: The Times of India, Mumbai Live

an electric vehicle charging station
Charging stations for electric vehicles are meant to increase access and ease. Photo – Sasha India, Flickr, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Read more: With the Yulu bike, is Public Bike Sharing in Mumbai picking up?

First COVID deaths in Navi Mumbai in four months

After four months without any death due to COVID, Navi Mumbai reported two this week. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is now on alert as cases in the city touched 4,000 this month.

At present, there are 1,934 positive patients in the city and of these, 1,468 or around 76% are being treated at home.

“The NMMC health department is on the alert with the rise in cases. We have provided 2,801 beds in civic and private hospitals in the city for serious cases, out of which 2,686 or 96% of the beds are presently unoccupied. Thirty one patients are in the ICU, 52 on oxygen beds and four on ventilators,” said Abhijit Bangar, NMMC commissioner.

Source: Hindustan Times

Now a whatsapp bot will allow Navi Mumbai residents to register their complaints

The NMMC will soon have a WhatsApp bot for residents to get in touch with the civic body. So far this was possible only through Twitter.

“The WhatsApp bot will be for grievances and feedback. For instance, it will play a major role in bringing out the experience people have in civic hospitals, gardens or public toilets. Right now, there is no way I will get to know about them. With the WhatsApp bot, people can share their experiences and feedback. For instance, if a garden is opening at 5pm, and anyone wants to suggest it to open at 3pm, that can be done via the bot. Expectations, suggestions and complaints would reach us through the bot,” said Abhijit Bangar, NMMC commissioner.

Once a complaint is filed, it will be sent to the respective department. If not resolved within seven days, it will be sent to the head of the department. 

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.