The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the defining global health crisis of our times and is proving to be one of the greatest challenges faced by humanity. It is wreaking havoc around the globe and has forced most of human work to shut down. However, these uncertain times have inadvertently helped the environment, with frequent sightings of...
Access to electricity ensures increased economic productivity, healthcare services and better educational prospects and is thus crucial for socio-economic development. While grid expansion and advances in the distributed Renewable Energy (RE) industry have made significant efforts to reach unserved and under-served populations, several livelihoods, healthcare and educational facilities still lack this vital resource.
Caught in a vicious cycle of under-development, a potent tool for the rural and remote populations to break out of cyclical poverty is access to electricity. Low...
By investing in cycling infrastructure now, the city with one of the most severe traffic congestions in the world, can recover from the lockdown more sustainably and build more resilience.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru could have been at par with other major Indian cities, but quick and decisive actions by the government have helped stem that risk. As the city crawls back to normalcy and people look at safer mobility options, Bengaluru now faces the...
This blog was originally published on WRI.
The axiom for this anxious moment is: coronavirus makes everything more complicated. That has been the case in Bangladesh and eastern India in the season’s first tropical cyclone, Amphan, where high winds and lashing rain threatened the region’s most vulnerable populations. Decades of preparation, plus a weakening of the storm as it made landfall, appear to have mitigated Amphan’s initial impact: the...
Even as global health experts raise concerns over the risks faced by rural areas during the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlight the need for a comprehensive approach by governments to tackle it, a hospital for marginalized communities in remote Jharkhand is leading the way in crisis-preparedness. The Nav Jivan Hospital in Palamu district, a 100-bed medical facility, is today on the frontline of rural India’s fight against COVID-19.
Established in 1961 to serve two of the most under-...
A slightly modified version of this piece appeared on Times blog on May 11.
Social distancing, isolation and locking down of cities and oneself is the norm in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this, inequality in cities has been laid bare, exposing the startling vulnerability of the urban poor. The current economic slowdown is being...
The COVID-19 health crisis and associated lockdown has thrown into plain view the fragility of existing systems, from healthcare and governance, to the gig economy and global markets. With people confined to their homes and restricted mobility, cities are working to not only manage and contain the spread of the disease but also ensure a consistent, efficient and reliable supply of basic services. While the struggles of providing equal access to efficient and reliable basic services is not new to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in India, limiting contagion and avoiding secondary health impacts...
India has been under a complete lockdown since March 24 to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Six weeks into this unprecedented lockdown, there have been 49,501 recorded cases of COVID-19 and 1,697 deaths (as of May 6). This crisis, apart from being a human tragedy, is also expected to hit the economy hard.
A closer look into the current scenario, however, reveals that we are facing three converging crises: the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, its immediate impact on the economy and the ever-present threat from climate change. What remains to be seen is how the pandemic and its...
The novel coronavirus has cut across class and cities, borders and barriers, and thrown many a government and their healthcare systems under the bus. It has also exposed the glaring disparity between the adaptive capacity of different sections of the population. Like most disasters the brunt of this one too, falls more severely on the poor. This is especially visible in India; with a sizeable chunk of its 1.3 billion — the...
Building a Resilient Kochi - A holistic approach to provide Safe Public Transport and Public Spaces in times of a pandemic and beyondby , , e -
Public transport and public spaces serve as lifelines for cities. With the occurrence of COVID 19 pandemic, public transport systems, streets, and public spaces were shut as they are highly prone to the spread of infection, thus putting cities to a grinding halt. Now, the cities are preparing to slowly exit from this ‘lockdown’ phase and embrace the ‘new normal’. This gradual exit requires a meticulous plan with short-term, mid-term, and long-term strategies especially for providing public transport services and opening public spaces.
While the situation in Kochi (which is one of the key anchor cities of Kerala) has been brought under control with immediate measures, there is a very critical need to develop resilient sustainable solutions for a long-term adoption to create safety in public transport modes and city public spaces.
This document is expected to guide the city authorities and agencies to develop a phased approach for public transport and public spaces in Kochi, to tackle the present and future pandemics. It provides action steps specific to the city, to plan, implement, and regulate safe public transport and public spaces, which in turn help to scale this up to other parts of the state and country.
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Public Bus Operations in Indiaby , , , , , e -
Buses are one of the most commonly used and popular modes of transport in India, with over 46% of urban passenger trips being serviced by public buses. However, they are also confined spaces with a lack of adequate ventilation, which makes them high-risk environments for the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.
With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, public transportation across the country stopped to prevent the spread of diseases between the millions of passengers bus systems handle on a daily basis, as well as transit staff. In order for bus services to resume operations effectively and safely, comprehensive measures will need to be implemented across the board.
This document has been created to help prepare bus operations, following the emergency response phase of the pandemic and includes guidelines catered to Indian contexts, based on the best practices adopted by cities around the world.
COVID-19 Public Safety Measures for Metro Systems in Indiaby , e -
India’s metro system carries more than 8 million people across cities every day, forming an integral part of the country’s urban transport system. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown, public transportation came to a halt to avoid spreading disease further.
Metro systems have the potential to be high-risk environments for spreading disease—with a large number of common surfaces and its reliance on air conditioning and closed ventilation. Stations, too, pose a risk. Metros carry a large number of passengers, and ensuring their safety and the safety of metro staff will require careful planning.
To resume metro services safely, operators will need to implement a comprehensive post-lockdown operations plan, to prepare for various scenarios and improve ridership over the long term. This document contains pragmatic suggestions on how to adopt health and safety measures as set out by health agencies and how to communicate these to the public effectively.