Corona crisis: Mumbai's congested Dharavi causes big worry | WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs Corona crisis: Mumbai’s congested Dharavi causes big worry – WeForNews | Latest News, Blogs
Connect with us

Blog

Corona crisis: Mumbai’s congested Dharavi causes big worry

Though Mumbai has so far notched 686 Covid-19 positive cases, only a small number are from Dharavi, both in terms of infectees and deaths.

Published

on

dharavi mumbai

Mumbai, April 8 : As the second Covid-19 patient died on Wednesday and a 13th person reported positive in the past five days from Dharavi in central Mumbai on Wednesday, state and civic health authorities were alarmed over the implications in the most congested locality on the planet which is also Asia’s biggest slum.

Despite the ongoing lockdown since March 25, in most parts of Dharavi, its business as usual, prompting Health Minister Rajesh Tope to take note of it and instruct police to “implement lockdown strictly” there.

“In Dharavi, lockdown must be enforced strictly besides ensuring social distancing. The police must take it seriously and take stern measures,” Tope told mediapersons.

However, the minister indicated that it may not be necessary to completely seal Dharavi, though norms would be implemented strongly in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

This afternoon, there were shocking visuals of long queues of people awaiting their turn for collecting meals being distributed by some NGOs, and though most sported masks, there was little evidence of social distancing in the queues.

In the morning and evening, the streets seemed to be full and bustling with most activities in the region, with security personnel seemingly helpless to enforce lockdown norms, and today some cops gave a friendly lecture and sit-ups to a few youths loitering around.

Started as a workers’ settlement 135 years ago on the outskirts of the then Bombay, Dharavi — literally meaning ‘quick sand’ — covers just 2.25 sq. km housing over 200,000 families besides over 20,000 big and small businesses generating revenues of an estimated Rs 7,000 crore.

“The biggest problem here is congestion. Lakhs of people live or work in cramped quarters — 8-10 persons in a 100-sq feet room, with common sanitation (toilet) facilities. How can there be social distancing in such conditions,” wonders a local businessman Salim Shaikh, living in nearby Antop Hill.

Another problem is the dirt, squalor and unhygienic conditions that make it a sitting duck in case of any contagious outbreak or even fires, as the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has sealed several buildings and taken up regular but thorough sanitization drives in Dharavi, including one today.

Mumbaikar Pradeep Sathyadas, who lives in Mahim, on the fringes of Dharavi, but commutes to work through Dharavi to Masjid Bunder, the current lockdown is “like a blessing”.

“I shudder to imagine what would happen here if the pandemic becomes more serious. “It’s already teeming with people virtually 24×7, how can you control so many, where can you shift these lakhs of humans, even temporarily,” said Sathyadas.

Both Shaikh and Sathyadas say that people from Dharavi move all around Mumbai and could pose a big health risk if the situation goes out of control.

Despite the squalid settings, people of all faiths live and work here harmoniously, eking out a living, some hand-to-mouth, and some literally minting money here while living in posh housing complexes elsewhere in the city.

Though Mumbai has so far notched 686 Covid-19 positive cases, only a small number are from Dharavi, both in terms of infectees and deaths.

Dharavi — the subject of several Indian (‘Dharavi’, 1993 Hindi film, National Award Winner) and international (‘Slumdog Millionaire’, multiple Oscar Award Winner) films and books (Gregory David Roberts’ bestseller ‘Shantaram’, 2003) — sprawls from Mahim on Western Railway to Sion-Matunga on Central Railway and spills over into many adjoining areas.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: [email protected])

Blog

Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Published

on

dairy industry

New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

Continue Reading

Blog

445 people died from Australia bushfires smoke: Experts

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Published

on

By

Arogya Setu App

Canberra, May 26 : Smoke from Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires killed at least 445 people, health experts revealed on Tuesday.

Fay Johnston, a public health expert from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, told the bushfire royal commission on Tuesday that her team estimated that 445 people died as a result of the smoke that blanketed much of the nation’s east coast, reports Xinhua news agency.

It takes the total death toll from the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which has been dubbed the “Black Summer”, to nearly 480 after 34 people lost their lives directly.

According to modelling produced by Johnston and her colleagues, 80 per cent of Australians were affected by the smoke at some point, including 3,340 people who were hospitalized with heart and lung problems.

“We were able to work out a yearly cost of bushfire smoke for each summer season and… our estimates for the last season were A$2 billion in health costs,” Johnston said.

“There’s fluctuation year to year, of course, but that was a major departure from anything we had seen in the previous 20 years.”

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Commissioners also heard on Tuesday that the increasing frequency of significant bushfire events in Australia meant that survivors no longer feel safe during the recovery phase.

“Disasters are no longer perceived as rare events, they are often seen as climate change, and they’re part of our new reality,” Lisa Gibbs, a child welfare expert from the University of Melbourne, said.

“We don’t know how that is going to affect recovery because the seeds of hope are a really important part of people’s ability to deal with what has happened and to get back on track.”

Continue Reading

Blog

Rising urbanization likely cause of heavy rainfall in South: Research

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Published

on

By

IMD heavy rains predict

Hyderabad, May 26 : A team of researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have discovered a link between heavy rainfall in several parts of south India and a growing urbanisation in the region.

A team led by Prof. Karumuri Ashok from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad, examined whether a common factor, the changing ‘land use land cover’ (LULC) in these states, has any implications for the heavy rainfall events.

Over the past few years, many heavy rainfall events have been reported in cities of south India. Prominent among them are the extreme rainfall that created havoc in Chennai and nearby areas of Tamil Nadu in December 2015, the heavy rainfall over Hyderabad and adjoining regions in Telangana in September 2016, and the extreme rainfall event in Kerala in August 2018.

Notably, these three states differ in their geographical locations, and also the season in which they receive rainfall. Kerala, located on the southwest Indian coast off the Arabian Sea receives heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon from June-September.

Tamil Nadu, off the Bay of Bengal, receives rainfall mainly during the northeast monsoon (October-December). The land-locked state Telangana receives the bulk of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season.

A UoH statement stated that their study showed the precipitation during heavy rainfall events in these states has significantly increased from 2000 to 2017. Using the LULC data from ISRO, and by conducting 2 km resolution simulation experiments of twelve heavy rainfall events over the states, the researchers found distinct LULC changes in these three states, which led to higher surface temperatures and a deeper and moist boundary layer. These in turn caused a relatively higher convective available potential energy and, consequently, heavier rainfall.

The study also suggests that increasing urbanization in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is likely to enhance the rainfall during the heavy rainfall events by 20%-25%. Prof. Ashok feels that improving the density of observational rainfall and other weather parameters may help in forecasting extreme rainfalls at city level.

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Prof. K. Ashok and his Ph.D. student Mr. A. Boyaj who is the first author, are both from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad. The work was done in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Hoteit and Dr Hari Prasad Dasari of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Most Popular