CCTV, Panic Buttons in 5,500 Buses in 6 Months
Officials said the configuration of cameras to be installed in the existing fleet would be exactly the same as the ones available on the new buses being procured under the cluster scheme.
New Delhi: To make travelling in public transport safer for women, Delhi government has decided to install CCTV cameras, panic buttons and GPS-based automatic vehicle tracking system (AVLS) in the existing fleet of 5,500-odd DTC and cluster scheme buses. On Thursday, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that approval had been given to award the work order to the successful bidder and installation would start soon. “The equipment will be installed in 100 buses by end of this month. The entire project will be executed within six months,” he added. Cameras, panic buttons and AVLS are already installed in the 329 cluster scheme buses inducted into the fleet since August. The equipment would be retrofitted in 3,781 DTC buses and 1,679 cluster buses at a cost of about Rs 150 crore. “This will enhance the safety of women commuters and enable an app-based live bus information system,” the chief minister said.
Kejriwal said Delhi government had been trying to install cameras and panic buttons in the existing buses for a long time, but three tenders failed in the past four years. The government had installed cameras in about 200 buses earlier in a pilot project. “The tendering process has succeeded and the cabinet has decided to award the work. Each bus will have three CCTV cameras, 10 panic buttons and AVLS. If anyone presses the panic button, the control room will be immediately alerted and help will be rendered,” Kejriwal said. Officials said the configuration of cameras to be installed in the existing fleet would be exactly the same as the ones available on the new buses being procured under the cluster scheme. The CM added that a centralised command room to control and monitor the entire system would also be set up. Kejriwal said AVLS would also help commuters know the exact location of the bus they intend to board and its expected time of arrival on a mobile app, which is almost developed. “The app will be launched soon. Once the entire system is put in place, the bus information will be available at all queue shelters on public information system,” he added.
Delhi Air Turns Very Poor, Agencies put on High Alert
New Delhi: Delhi’s air quality deteriorated substantially on Thursday and entered the very poor category. The air quality index (AQI) touched 382, worse than Wednesday’s “poor” AQI of 296. At 7.6 degrees Celsius, the minimum temperature on Thursday also touched the lowest of this season. Neighbouring NCR towns of Ghaziabad (432), Greater Noida (417), and Noida (414) recorded “severe” air quality on Thursday. Gurgaon (328) was the cleanest with a “very poor” AQI. With the foul air days predicted in the coming few days, the CPCB-led GRAP task force has asked all implementing agencies to be on high alert and take stringent measures to control air polluting activities. “Enforcement activities may be intensified particularly in hotspot and industrial areas. Public may minimise use of private vehicles,” the task force recommended.
“Slow surface winds having speed to the tune of 4 km per hour are expected to continue till December 10. The wind direction is expected to shift to north-east from tomorrow onwards. This may result in further deterioration in the air quality. The AQI may fall in the lower end of the severe category by tomorrow. From December 11, rains with thunderstorms may occur and result in improvement of air quality”. According to SAFAR, “the air quality is forecast to deteriorate to the higher-end of the very poor category by tonight. Further deterioration is likely tomorrow, and the AQI may stay at the border of the very poor to the severe category until Saturday”. On Thursday, Safdarjung observatory recorded the lowest minimum of the season at 7.6 degrees Celsius. The previous lowest (7.9 degrees Celsius) was on Wednesday. On Friday, partly cloudy sky with dense to moderate fog in the morning is likely, and the minimum temperature may be around 7 degrees Celsius.
1,071 Patients, 26 Deaths: 2019 Records Highest Number of H1N1 Cases in 5 Years
Kolkata: Bengal recorded the highest number of seasonal influenza (H1N1) cases in 2019 compared to the past five years. Though seven other states rank higher in the list of H1N1 cases, health experts in the city said that the rising number in Bengal is a cause of concern. According to the latest data available with National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, West Bengal had recorded 1,071 HIN1 cases till September. The number of deaths was recorded at 26. Though swine flu outbreak is more common during monsoons, the virus can wreak havoc even during winters. In fact, the city recorded the first swine flu death this year in January. And with winter around the corner, doctors attached with Paediatric Infectious Diseases Academy (PIDA), Kolkata chapter, stressed on awareness and prevention. “Even as the influenza virus is known to be more active before and during monsoon, it strikes in winters, too, because of certain factors, including atmospheric pollution,” Dr Jaydeep Choudhury from PIDA said.
Children whose immunity is weak and elderly people with co-morbid conditions are the most vulnerable. ICH that specializes in Paediatric health care gets a large number of H1N1 cases. “This year, we have had around 20 cases of seasonal influenza, out of which 14 were severe. Going by our hospital statistics, of those affected by the H1N1 virus, 50% needed treatment in the ICU. A 10% mortality rate has been recorded,” said Dr Prabhas Prasun Giri, Paediatric intensivist who is also part of PIDA. During the major outbreak in 2015, the state recorded 544 cases and 30 deaths. The following year recorded only seven cases with two deaths. The number rose in 2017 when 716 cases and 26 deaths were reported. Last year, there were 295 cases and 10 deaths. One of the two types of seasonal influenza, H1N1 — commonly known as swine flu — could prove difficult to treat if detected late. It is highly contagious and transmitted through droplets. “Influenza infection could lead to pneumonia, particularly in the risk group. Good hygiene and vaccination can go a long way in resisting the infection,” said Dr Ritabrata Kundu, professor of Paediatrics at ICH. Doctors advise the affected take care to cover their mouth while coughing to prevent spreading the infection.
Nandaram takes Tech Route against Fire, others to follow
Kolkata: Nandaram market in Burrabazar that houses one of the biggest wholesale markets and has been twice ravaged by fire in the past 11 years is now using state-of-the-art sensors and power analyzers and leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technology to detect hazards in its electricity lines and prevent another incident. “We got the health of our power lines and electrical equipment monitored and analyzed to detect irregularities. The study detected a wire that was supposed to carry a balanced load of 80A but was sometimes carrying over 120A. It was obviously overheating and could have led to sparks and a fire,” said Deepak Sethia, director of Cachar Plywood Ltd, the company that owns Nandaram Market. Following the detection, imbalance in distribution was addressed and the vulnerable wire that could have led to a short circuit was changed. Some 15 other markets and shopping centres in the city have also scheduled dates for pilot studies to analyze the short-comings in their power lines to neutralize short-circuits that is the single biggest trigger of fires in public places. Between September 2018 and September 2019, at least 15 major fire incidents were reported in Kolkata, leading to loss of property and goods exceeding Rs 70 crore. The situation in older markets is worse as rating of wires at these facilities are degraded by rusting and are prone to sparking. The other major issue is high neutral current.
Spikes in imbalance leads to peak neutral current of 35A whereas neutral wires are never rated for more than 10A. While mismanaged electrical wiring and distribution makes markets and shopping centres vulnerable to fire, hospitals face the same threat due to an entire different reason. The practice of powering critical equipment like MRI scanners through UPS to ensure stable supply leaves the rest of the electrical lines and systems vulnerable to frequency imbalance known as harmonics. “Analysis of power lines displayed harmonics that can endanger equipment and also put the hospital’s safety at risk. We are considering installation of filters to ensure that there is no spike in frequency that is damaging,” said IN-K maintenance manager Manna Saha. Electrical engineer Subir Mustafi felt regular health check of power lines was required to address any issues before it flared up into an incident. Pilot studies by Machine-Sense, a Baltimore-headquartered company that uses an artificial intelligence-based system that does the job of an electrical engineer and warns the concerned authority automatically using Microsoft Azure IoT PaaS cloud, has revealed that nearly all hospitals and shopping centres have safety issues. “In addition to wasting 10%-20% electrical energy via unwanted harmonics, almost all of them are at risk of catching fire via neutral due to huge imbalance in current lines,” said the chairman of the company, Conrad Bessemer.
Man caught trying to steal cash from ATM
Chennai: Police caught a 32-year-old man trying to break open an ATM at Mutha Pudupet on Wednesday night. When questioned, Udaya Suriyan of Pakkam village near Thiruninravur admitted to breaking open another ATM in the locality in October and making away with Rs.5 lakhs. Police said he learned how to steal money from ATMs through videos. No money was recovered from Suriyan, but he was remanded in judicial custody.