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Monday,27-September-2021

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Mumbai among 31 world’s cities to be significantly greener

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Thirty-one of the world’s great cities, including Mumbai, will be significantly greener in the years ahead, as leading mayors have committed to further expand, restore and protect urban parks, trees, gardens, ponds, and lakes within their cities.

These investments in nature will speed up existing efforts to make communities healthier, improve air quality and help protect cities from the increasingly severe impacts of the climate crisis, such as extreme heat, flooding and drought.

The targets set by cities signing the C40 Urban Nature Declaration will see huge increases in public green and blue spaces.

In Durban (eThekwini) work has already begun to complete a Transformative Riverine Management Programme to improve the city’s rivers, which will improve resilience and create thousands of green jobs.

Barcelona will subsidise 75 per cent of the cost of new green rooftops, creating urban allotments and providing space for renewable energy generation, rainwater collection and composting for organic waste.

In Guadalajara, 67,000 new trees will be planted across 70 green corridors, and over 50 new public gardens will be introduced to cool down the city and provide shade and leisure space. The city is funding courses to train gardeners and tree technicians, and providing 400 workshops for residents on caring for trees and gardens.

Under Toronto’s Urban Forests Grants and Incentives programme over 13,000 trees and shrubs will be planted, educating and engaging communities through planting events, educational workshops and youth programming.

In Mumbai, the state government is making amendments to the Tree Act to protect and conserve old trees and prevent felling of trees, while protecting more mangrove trees.

These actions are part of C40 mayors’ continued efforts to deliver a green and just recovery from Covid-19.

Cities signing C40’s Urban Nature declaration are addressing heat- and water-related risk, ensuring that by 2030, 30-40 per cent of total built-up city surface area will consist of green spaces such as street trees, urban forests and parks; or permeable spaces such as sustainable urban drainage systems and pavements designed to absorb water and prevent flooding.

The cities will also focus on promoting accessibility and connectivity for vulnerable communities, ensuring that 70 per cent of the city population has access to green or blue public spaces within a 15-minute walk or bike ride by 2030.

Study after study shows equitable access to urban nature is beneficial for both people and the environment; and helps cities to adapt and respond to the current and future impacts of climate change.

In Medellin, temperatures have reduced by two degrees Celsius as a result of planting more than 10,000 trees for the city’s Green Corridors project.

A study in Toronto found that adding just 10 trees to a city block has a huge impact on people’s perceptions of their health and well-being, equivalent to the effect of earning $10,000 more per household or being seven years younger.

As greenhouse gas emissions temperatures and sea levels all continue to rise globally, it has never been more urgent to accelerate efforts to bring nature into cities.

By 2050, over 570 cities will be vulnerable to sea-level rise, over 500 cities will be vulnerable to water availability, and over 970 cities will be vulnerable to extreme heat.

“Supporting and protecting cities’ natural ecosystems is one of our most important tools for building resiliency against the climate crisis and creating the healthy, inclusive urban communities we deserve,” said Mark Watts, C40 Cities Executive Director.

“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we were reminded that accessible, green spaces are essential for livable, climate ready and crisis prepared cities. As we seek to deliver a green and just recovery, investing in and implementing nature-based climate solutions will be imperative to public health and well-being, as well as the success of global efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

“The C40 Urban Nature Declaration is yet another example of city leaders acting now to secure the transformations needed for a better future.”

Aaditya Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra’s Minister for Environment and Climate Change, said, “Climate change is the greatest inequity — the ones least responsible are most affected.

“I am certain that Mumbai will be a shining example of how diverse ecosystems can thrive in urban environments to achieve inclusive climate resilience for all.”

C40 mayors have been leading the charge towards a green and just recovery from the pandemic.

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India logs 28,326 fresh cases, over 85 Cr vaccinated

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 India reported a total of 28,336 fresh Covid cases and 260 deaths in the last 24 hours, even as over 85 crore people have been vaccinated, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Sunday.

The new cases reported were slightly lesser than what was recorded on Saturday. However, 290 deaths were reported on Saturday. The total death count in the country stands at 4,46,918.

The active cases have seen a rise of total 2,034 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the total India’s active caseload to 3,03,476, which accounts for less than of one per cent of total Covid cases of India, as per the Union Health Ministry updates. The total active cases in India is 0.90 per cent of the total caseload.

India’s recovery rate from the ongoing pandemic currently stands at 97.77 per cent. As per the health bulletin, a total of 26,032 people have recovered from Covid in the last 24 hours, pushing the total recovery data to 3,29,02,351.

The testing capacity across the country continues to be increasing. The last 24 hours saw a total of 14,88,945 tests being conducted. India has so far conducted over 56,32,43,245 tests.

The weekly positive rate in India is less than 3 per cent for 93 days and currently stands at 1.98 per cent. The daily positivity rate is also less than 3 per cent from the last 27 days and presently stands at 1.90 per cent.

Under the mass vaccination drive, a total of 68,42,786 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage has exceeded 85 crore and stands at 85,60,81,537 as per provisional reports till 7 a.m. Sunday. This has been achieved through 83,64,110 sessions.

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Coastal Andhra on alert as cyclone ‘Gulab’ set to make landfall

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Andhra Pradesh’s coastal districts were on alert on Sunday as cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ in Bay of Bengal is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts.

Authorities in north coastal Andhra districts were alerted to be prepared as the region is likely to experience heavy rains under the impact of the cyclone which is expected to make a landfall between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur on Sunday evening.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued cyclone warning for north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts.

According to the IMD, ‘Gulab’ lay centred over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal about 270 km east-southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 330 km east of Kalingapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

It is likely to move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh – south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur around evening of 26th September, the IMD said.

Cyclone Warning Centre Visakhapatnam warned that tidal wave of about 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Ganjam districts during the time of landfall.

The cyclonic storm is likely to trigger heavy rains at one or two places over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts over the next 24 hours. The IMD has issued red warning for these districts.

Heavy to very heavy fall at a few places very likely over East Godavari, West Godavari districts and Yanam. Heavy rainfall very likely to occur at one or two places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, the IMD bulletin said.

Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely to prevail along and off north Andhra Pradesh coast.

It will gradually increase becoming gale wind speed reaching 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph from afternoon of September 26 till midnight along and off north Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts).

Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely to prevail over remaining districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh.

As sea condition will be rough to very rough, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the rough waters till Monday.

Tidal wave of about 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Ganjam districts during the time of landfall.

Local cautionary signal- III was hoisted at Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and Kakinada ports. Distant Warning Signal – II was hoisted at Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam and Krishnapatnam ports.

Strong winds and very Heavy/extremely heavy rainfall are likely to damage thatched huts, cause minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of branches and uprooting of trees, major damage to Kutcha and minor damage to pucca roads, some damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards, sea water inundation in low lying areas after erosion of Kutcha embankments, localized Flooding of roads, inundation and water logging in low lying areas and closure of underpasses mainly in urban areas of the region.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting on the preparedness in wake of cyclone alert and directed the officials to take all necessary steps.

The officials informed the Chief Minister that they have alerted district collectors and suggested to take all necessary steps.

They said control rooms were setup village secretariat wise and added that they have readied disaster management staff in Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts.

The district collectors are taking steps to setup relief camps at required locations, the officials said.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to be alert and take necessary steps as there are chances of heavy rains after cyclonic storm crosses the coast.

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AIIMS installs Vitros lab testing system on 66th foundation day

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 On its 66th foundation day on Saturday, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi installed a Vitros Dry chemistry automated system that can conduct 50 diagnostic tests and present the results in 2-3 hours. The Dry Chemistry automated machine will save around 2 crore litres of water per year.

Union Health Minister Mansik Mandaviya digitally inaugurated the high throughput lab where the system has been installed in the RAK building.

Along with the Minister of State for Health, Mandaviya also inaugurated an exhibition on the theme ‘Digital Health and Medical Education’ to mark the institute’s 66th foundation day.

The automated system will significantly reduce the burden of laboratory medicine. There will be no involvement of water during the tests.

“This will vastly improve patient care, as we are going to get the results of the tests in just three hours,” said Subroto Sinha, HoD, Lab Medicine and Dean Research.

He added that previously, the doctors used to work on limited parameters and then in-depth investigation of sample was sent on the next day. Now the doctors can plan their treatment immediately with the help of this system.

It will vastly improve patient care as almost 50 parameters for tests will now be available at any point of time everyday.

The system can present the results of over 50 types of tests with a single vial of blood.

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