Über Desi

Keeping it real, desi ishtyle

Mumbai to fight noise pollution

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Curdriceaurora points us to these ambitious plans being hatched by the Mumbai municipality officials to fight noise pollution. [TimesOnline UK]

“Boom goes the dynamite”
img:via Times

Perhaps it is just as well, then, that Mumbai’s city council has approved plans to demarcate more than 1,100 “silence zones”, each with a radius of 100m, across India’s financial capital.

And how will these “silence zones” work?

“Honking, exploding [fire] crackers, and using loudspeakers in a silence zone will be illegal,” R. A. Rajeev, a municipal commissioner, said.

It focuses on schools, hospitals and courts but campaigners say that it will cover 85 per cent of central Mumbai.

Not that we need studies or figures to prove this but Mumbaikars are reportedly exposed to high levels of ambient noise resulting in issues with the auditory senses.

Residents of the city endure a constant 80 to 85 decibels (dB) of ambient noise, nearly twice the World Health Organisation’s maximum safety threshold, according to Sumaira Abdulali, who runs the Awaaz Foundation, an environmental charity. “People are getting quite deaf,” she said. “I know I am.”

The high-pitched buzz emitted by motorised rickshaws that swarm through the city can reach nearly 100dB – equivalent to the volume of a chainsaw when it is about a metre from a person’s ear.

The worst noise producers by far, however, are the illegal firecrackers that are set off to celebrate religious festivals. They can achieve 145dB – equivalent to being close to a jet engine on take-off.

While plans to fight sound pollution will probably be welcomed across the board, except maybe by the offenders, how the city of Mumbai plans to implement such zones is anyone’s guess. Off the bat, I can see pandus harassing innocent motorists for “honking” trying to make a quick buck off them.

Maybe our readers in Mumbai are seeing these measures being implemented and working or failing miserably. Either way we would like to (pun intended) hear from them.

Postcards from the 022*

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Want to appeal to Indian people? Make it exotic and make it HD.
Q. How does one get around Mumbai?
A. In a “Turist Vehical
Fairness cream model? Tanning in the sun, bad idea.
God and country, desi ishtyle
Why is local (Mumbai) tabloid Mid Day interested in John McCain’s ex-girlfriend?

*022 = Mumbai area code

View these images and others on the Über Desi Flickr photostream

Sanjaya and Shyamali in Mumbai – part deux

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Rediff has a lengthy interview with Sanjaya, uncomfortable at times for the former American Idol finalist when he is grilled on his Indian-ness, otherwise pretty extensive. The feature also has plenty of photos of our male readers’ favorite, Shyamali, in an Indian sari. [Rediff] (tip Sai via email)

The Malakars go to Mumbai

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Remember our little blurb on Sanjaya starring in the Nationwide commercial. Apparently Sanjaya and Shyamali are in Mumbai for the filming of the commercial. Check out this pic and story on Rediff forwarded to me by at least two different sources. [Rediff] (tip Sai via email and Anantha via gtalk)

Malakars in MumbaiShyamali swaps Hooters uniform for sari
img: via Rediff

Coming from at least three South Asian males, the decision is unanimous – we like the sari vary vary much.

Virginia Tech: One year later, Minal’s dream endures

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Minal Panchal, was one of the students killed in the senseless massacres at Virginia Tech last year. A year later, her dream project still remains. [TOI] (tip Sidhu via email)

Her dream project was to create an environment for development of children, particularly for troubled youth.
Now, a year after young Minal Panchal was gunned down in a deadly campus shooting in the US by a troubled student, her family has approached the Indian government to convert her thesis – a museum for children – into brick-and-mortar reality.

The irony of her dream project being dedicated to troubled youth, one of whom took her life is not lost.

Before she was killed, on a previous visit to India , Minal had already selected the spot for her dream project.

“Minal had identified a plot measuring 28,800sqm, adjoining the bus depot at Gorai in Borivli, which belongs to the state government.”

Minal had selected the Gorai site for the museum when she realised that facilities for physical and psychological growth of children are concentrated in south Mumbai as compared to the suburbs.

Says her sister:

“Minal loved kids and had focused all her efforts on designing a museum for children from all strata. The museum would be a beautiful reply to the bullet that hit my sister.”

A beautiful reply, indeed, and a noble one at that.

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