This blog post originally appeared in WRI Insights.
Chennai, India faced a devastating flood in 2015 that killed hundreds of people and displaced many more. Today, the southern Indian city’s four main reservoirs are virtually dry.
This crisis is not only due to lack of water. Lack of proper management is exacerbating dry conditions in Chennai and many other...
As India awaits monsoons, many parts of the country are already reeling under drought-like conditions. The government, private agencies and even residential associations are issuing directives and messages, highlighting the need for water conservation and the parsimonious use of water. Thermal power plants in the country constitute a class of water users that is often overlooked.
Thermal power plants consume significant amounts of water during their process of...
The last two decades have seen a rampant rise in environmental challenges being faced by cities and countries globally. In India, too, challenges related to air pollution, waste management, scarcity of water, conservation of natural resources, and loss of biodiversity, amongst others have been increasing. This photo essay uses animations based on satellite images to show the effect these challenges have had on our country.
In the last two decades, India has urbanised at an unprecedented rate. This image shows the growth of Bangalore between 1990 and 2015....
As per the Central Electricity Authority’s (CEA) Executive Summary for April 2019, India has close to 200 GW of installed capacity of coal and lignite power plants. This corresponds to close to 56% of the country’s installed capacity. In terms of number of units of electricity generated, coal and lignite contributed close to 82% of the electricity generated in the period 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019.
At the current rate of urbanisation and industrial growth in the country, India will need a 32 feet high landfill site equivalent to the size of Bengaluru to manage its waste. According to the World Bank, in 2010, India was generating approximately 1.1 lakh tonnes of waste every day, and with the consequent increase in waste production, this number is expected to triple by...
Around the start of winter is when the conversation on air pollution in Delhi usually begins. This coincides with two key events – Diwali and crop-burning. The conversation ends around the new year, coinciding with the change in weather. However, pollution is not gone for the rest of the year, as we often think. For example, in 2018, Delhi did not have a single good air quality day. Yes, zero good air quality days out of 365 days!
Therefore, it is not surprising that as per the World...
Air pollution has become a critical issue in many developing countries lately. The issue has received a lot of media attention, especially since it is responsible for premature deaths and other health issues. However, what hasn’t been highlighted much is that air pollution has economic consequences too. The delay of goods and passenger trains, flights and freight during winter in Delhi due to haze is a straightforward example of how air pollution is affecting our economy. In India, air pollution was responsible for the...
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set for a second term in office after winning an absolute majority at the recent elections in India. In his first term, he strived to raise India’s profile in the international arena, and one of his creditable contributions in the climate space was his leadership in the formation of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) launched in 2015. In addition, the country continued in its ambitions towards climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance for various related projects.
At the domestic level, Modi’s...
An ideal child-friendly city integrates the voice, needs, priorities and rights of children in its public policies, programmes and decisions. An important aspect of such a city is to provide children with an opportunity to live in a safe, secure and clean environment, with access to green spaces. By this definition, do our cities qualify as child-friendly? In India, 66 percent of parents...
In 2013, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that the world’s urban areas accounted for about 64 percent of global primary energy use, and produced 70 percent of the planet’s carbon dioxide emissions. Urban hubs are a significant and growing source of energy consumption and as global centres of economic activity and culture, it is essential we address climate action in tandem with economic growth. To decouple GHG emissions from growth, local governments require evidence-based systems for implementing climate action.
On 29 March 2019, World Resources Institute (WRI)...
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.