Sewage worker dies after inhaling poisonous gas

In an unfortunate incident on Wednesday, Bharat Dhaokar, a 43-year-old sewage worker died after inhaling poisonous gas while cleaning a drainage chamber in the Kalewadi area of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The incident poses questions on the attitude of the civic authorities towards their staff.

Seema Savale, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) Standing committee chairperson ensured that the contractor will have to pay Rs5 lakh as assistance to the family of the deceased.

Another worker employed with Dhaokar was rushed to the hospital, and is now out of danger. The PCMC administration has appointed a two-member committee of Joint Commissioner Dilip Gawde and Joint City Engineer Ravindra Dudhekar to probe the incident and take corrective measure to avoid recurrence.

According to Shravan Hardikar, the Municipal Commissioner, both the workers were trying to drain out the water from the drainage chamber using a jet suction machine. To place the machine, as soon as the workers opened the chamber, they suffered from suffocation and had to be hospitalised.

But, as per an eye-witness account, both the workers were lowered into the 10-feet deep chamber and after clearing it, they felt “uneasy and fell unconscious”.

Savale has promised the committee will take swift action and make those responsible pay.

Source – The Indian Express

Image Source – Rajesh Stephan

Eid leaves bloody trail in Dhaka

With the Islamic world celebrating Eid al-Adha, Dhaka citizens have been grappling with a river of blood. Pictures of blood stained Dhaka streets are flooding the Internet. The massive scale of animal sacrifice on the occasion of Eid has mingled with floodwater in several parts of the capital city, to create this bloodbath.

A BBC report suggests that as many as 100,000 livestock were slaughtered this Eid in Dhaka. These immolations took place mostly on the streets or in the car parks of residences. Eid coincided with heavy monsoon showers, which exacerbated the issue. Flooding isn’t a new concern in Dhaka. Many older parts of the Bangladeshi capital suffer from poor infrastructure and drainage.

Most of the “blood rivers” occurred in the suburb of Shantinagar and its neighbouring regions; blood and animal waste mixed with the waters to create this horrific sight – residents were seen trudging along ankle-deep bloody water.Both flooding and animal sacrifices are commonplace in Bangladesh. Thus, not many locals have expressed shock at the situation. But the images have caught the imagination of the Internet.

Eid al-Adha is an annual holiday here, and is Bangladesh’s second most celebrated festival after Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Adha is a remembrance of the day prophet Ibrahim became prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael (according to the Islamic scriptures).

Livestock, which includes goats and cows are bought from the marketplace by practising Muslims, and sacrificed as a symbol of gratitude to Allah, for sparing Ishmael, following an imam’s (the person who leads the prayer service at a mosque) reading of the Koran. While the offal and waste are discarded, the rest of the meat is distributed among friends, family and the poor.

Since many families resort to animal sacrifice on the streets, there is a certain amount of blood outside every year, which takes a few days to clear out.

However, due to the heavy showers, the streets appear to be washed with blood.

The images shared online have lead to many animal activists creating a hue and cry, while others have sided with the Islamic tradition calling it a religious duty. Defenders of the custom have also argued that this act offers livelihood for livestock farmers and that the poor get to partake of the meat.

Residents have duly criticised the city administration for a flawed drainage system, which has been a long-pending issue in many areas. City authorities have argued that they had specifically chalked out areas for animal slaughter, so this problem should not have occurred had the residents followed the rules. A waste management official working with Dhaka South City Corporation informed Dhaka Tribune that steps were being taken to resolve the crisis.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian

 

 

Honda to recall over 1.9 lakh cars in India, faulty airbags to be rectified

Honda cars India Ltd. announced on Thursday that it will recall as many as 1,90,578 cars from the previous generation of Accord, Civic, City and Jazz models as part of the global exercise to rectify faulty airbags made by Takata.

Honda Cars India Ltd. (HCIL) said that they will replace the faulty airbags voluntarily of the stated models of the cars manufactured between 2003 and 2011.

The replacement will be free of cost and will be carried out in a phased manner, starting with the CR-V and Civic in September. The company will communicate directly with the customers, said HCIL in a statement. Honda car owners can check if their vehicles will have to be sent to dealerships by submitting their 17-character alpha-numeric Vehicle Identification Number on a microsite available on hondacarindia.com, reported The Indian Express.

As many as 1, 37,270 units of the ‘City’ manufactured between 2008-2011 will be covered. Hatchback car, Jazz will also be affected with over 15,000 units to be recalled. HCIL also added that over 1,514 units of the premium SUV, CR-V will be affected by it.

Due to faulty airbags manufactured by Takata corp. in Japan, millions of vehicles have been affected and recalled including those from BMW, Chystler, Ford, General Motors etc.

Read more: Scroll , Indianexpress

Vinod Tawde talks about the new plan of state’s higher education

Image Source: Pune Mirror
Image Source: Pune Mirror

The new plan for state’s higher education has been prepared where 25 percent or more vacancy in any stream for entering in colleges will have no new approval for that specific jurisdiction consequently for three years. The new perspective plan has been prepared by a committee headed by Narendra Jadhav, educationists. Such stringent regulations and planning structure has given a new perspective plan to Maharashtra state higher education with some new collges in the upcoming academic year.

State education minister Vinod Tawde talks about the new plan and the absence of State Council for Higher education (SCHE) which led to problems in getting permissions to new colleges. He adds about the importance of the new planning structure prepared which will help in getting idea of courses in demand, areas lacking higher education, educational opportunities, and conditions to apptove for new colleges.

Not just the infrastructure, but the course structure, several divisions will be considered in giving permissions to new colleges. After the reviews conducted by several universities, there were statistics of the jurisdictions and streams in various colleges. With the additional regulations in the new plan, the higher education will be given more importance and proper distribution of seats in new courses will be allotted. The macro and micro parameters have been taken into consideration by the committee before coming to a conclusion, said Jadhav.

The major concerned areas have been brainstormed such as gross enrolment ratio, increase in women empowerment and higher education in rural and urban areas. The vacancies in technical and management, the twinning programmes , choice based credit system, dual degree are some points that will be discussed before giving approval to new colleges.

To implement this plan, the state has received Rs 275 crore under Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan.

Pune Embraces Second BRTS

Image Source: rainbowbrts.wordpress.com
Image Source: rainbowbrts.wordpress.com

It’s been more than two weeks since the second Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) route started in Pune and the first in the Pimpri- Chinchwad area. Even before BRTS started in Pune it was dubbed as a complete failure owing to the long delays and heavy costs. But now that it has finally started plying on Vishrantwadi- Sangamwadi and Sangvi- Kiwale route, what do the commuters feel about the new service?

Prashant Kapnure, an engineering student, feels there has been a difference. He proudly says, “When the foreigners visit our city, they will see that we also aren’t lacking in infrastructure.” Even senior citizens are happy with the service, Anil Patel, a businessman, says, the bus waits longer now for us to board. Apart from that we also don’t need to climb the bus steps as the station is at level with the bus floor.”

On the other hand, some commuters are still dissatisfied. Many complain that it is inconvenient to cross the road while travelling by the BRTS. Karan Singh Gujjar suggests that there should be an underpass rather than everyone having to cross the road. Bhosale, a lorry driver complains that it is inconvenient to have the BRTS on the centre lane. “At the signals, priority is given to the BRTS buses despite heavy traffic leading to longer wait time and more congestion,” he says.

Another thing that has worked against the BRTS is the rollback of the free bus trips that were earlier promised. Even though commuters get a slip with the ticket saying “Enjoy the service free for sometime” they have to pay the full price for the journey.

This BRTS route is being touted as the most expensive route, but for the Rs. 530 crores spent on the facility, many citizens are still unaware of the service. Firstly there is a lack of publicity and then the commuters do not get guidance on how the service has to be used.

The Rainbow BRTS’s new route is said to increase to about 100 buses every day with a bus arriving at a stop every one to five minutes. But to effectively utilise this service BRTS feels that citizens also must take equal initiative on their part and ensure that they observe rules. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s BRTS cell head, Vijay Bhojane, He says, “The Rainbow BRTS has received the safety approval by organisations like the World Bank, but no amount of safety will be sufficient until people follow rules. We have started a campaign on safety rules that should be followed while travelling on the BRTS on Radio FM channels.”