Times of India | 1 month ago | 01-02-2023 | 05:02 am
MUMBAI: The state's public health sector appears to be facing a peculiar issue of surplus. Nearly a year since the BMC dismantled its nine jumbo Covid hospitals and made its vast inventory of pandemic equipment available to state-run medical colleges and district hospitals, only half of the items have been taken. Many public facilities have either cited their own surplus inventory or logistical challenges as reasons for not taking the items from Mumbai. At the last count, the civic body was sitting on a stockpile of 418 types of supplies totalling over 73,000 items. The leftover items (see graphic) have been collected at two central depots within SevenHills Hospital and KJ Somaiya Grounds in Sion. Surprisingly, even lifesaving medical equipment such as ventilators, oxygen concentrators, and multipara monitors are languishing for months at the storage facilities, raising concerns about their continued usability. There are almost 200 ventilators, including more than 110 received under PM Cares fund, more than 800 portable oxygen cylinders, over 600 oxygen concentrators, waiting to find takers.The BMC began dismantling its jumbo Covid hospitals in February 2022. In the first phase, four jumbo centres at Kanjurmarg, Dahisar, Richardson and Cruddas in Mulund, and Nesco in Goregaon were closed. In July, the five remaining jumbos at BKC, Malad, Richardson and Cruddas in Byculla, and NSCI in Worli were shut. Soon after, the corporation appointed Dr Rajesh Dere, former dean of BKC jumbo, as chief coordinator to oversee distribution. The first opportunity to take items from the surplus inventory was given to civic-run hospitals such as KEM, Sion, Nair, Cooper, Kasturba and Nair Dental. However, since then, the distribution slowed.Dr Sanjeev Kumar, additional municipal commissioner, said they have written to the state government and received responses from a few centres which have been given equipment in the last three months. But there's a lot more than awaits distribution, he said. Since November, the BMC has given almost 5,000 items to district hospitals. Another official said they expected a lot of demand from district hospitals, but that didn't happen.Sanjay Khandare, principal secretary (health) told TOI the public health department carried out their own internal evaluation and found that they had enough surplus. "For some, it didn't make logistical sense to carry mattresses and similar items all the way from Mumbai," he said. MMRDA, which built the BKC jumbo hospital, had also written to the state government urging them to utilize all the equipment they bought. A senior civic official said that the state should have formed a joint team to assess which districts required what equipment. The official added that these items have significant value, estimated in the multiple crores.
ExplainSpeaking-Economy is a weekly newsletter by Udit Misra, delivered in your inbox every Monday morning. Click here to subscribeDear Readers,From the perspective of the global economy, the year 2023 started off on a mildly optimistic note. As top policymakers and CEOs met in Davos, there was a sense that the global economy might be able to dodge the chances of a recession in 2023. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook in January provided a salutary stamp to that notion. However, the recent collapses in the banking sector had yet again ratcheted up the apprehensions of a recession.In this context, a new research publication by the World Bank, titled “Falling Long-Term Growth Prospects”, argues that the current decade (2020-2030) “could be a lost decade in the making—not just for some countries or regions as has occurred in the past—but for the whole world.”Simply put, the World Bank has found that the overlapping crises of the past few years — Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resultant spike in inflation as well as monetary tightening — have ended a span of nearly three decades of sustained economic growth.“Starting in 1990, productivity surged, incomes rose, and inflation fell. Within a generation, about one out of four developing economies leaped to high-income status. Today nearly all the economic forces that drove economic progress are in retreat,” writes David Malpass, President, The World Bank Group.He further warns that without a big and broad policy push to rejuvenate it, the global average potential GDP growth rate—the theoretical growth rate an economy can sustain over the medium term based on investment and productivity rates without risking excess inflation— is expected to fall to a three-decade low of 2.2% a year between now and 2030, down from 2.6% in 2011-21 and 3.5% during the first decade of this century.The important thing to understand here is that while the report talks about global growth slowdown, the main hurt will be felt by emerging economies such as India. “A persistent and broad-based decline in long-term growth prospects imperils the ability of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) to combat poverty, tackle climate change, and meet other key development objectives,” states the World Bank.The World Bank report recounts a 2015 research request by Kaushik Basu, the World Bank Group’s Chief Economist at the time, to assess the long-term growth prospects of emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs).While the World Bank came up with a preliminary study (titled “Slowdown in Emerging Markets: Rough Patch or Prolonged Weakness?”), the latest publication provides “a definitive answer” to the question. And the answer is: These economies are in the midst of a prolonged period of weakness.Look at the data for actual GDP growth and per capita GDP growth in the two tables (A.1 and A.3) below. It shows a broad-based decline over the past two decades whether a country belongs to EMDEs or the middle-income countries (MICs) or the low-income countries (LICs).The World Bank has looked at a whole set of fundamental drivers that determine economic growth and found that all of them have been losing power. The six charts below capture the weakness.These fundamental drivers include things like capital accumulation (through investment growth), labour force growth, and the growth of total factor productivity (which is the part of economic growth that results from more efficient use of inputs and which is often the result of technological changes) etc.Not surprisingly then, the potential growth rate is expected to decelerate further (see Table A.3).What about India?Even though India has also lost its growth momentum over the past two decades, it is and will likely remain a global leader when it comes to growth rates. India falls under the South Asia Region (SAR), which is expected to be fastest growing among emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) for the remainder of this decade. To be sure, India accounts for three-fourths of the SAR output. SAR includes countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh etc.“Economic activity in the South Asia region (SAR) rebounded strongly from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, expanding by 7.9 percent in 2021 after a drop of 4.5 percent in 2020. Output in the region is on track to grow by about 6.0 percent a year between 2022 and 2030, faster than the 2010s annual average of 5.5 percent and only moderately slower than growth in the 2000s,” states World Bank.According to the World Bank, if all countries make a strong push, potential global GDP growth can be boosted by 0.7 percentage point—to an annual average rate of 2.9%; this would be faster than the preceding decade (when the global economy grew by 2.6%) but still slower than the first decade of 2000s (when the growth clocked 3.5% per annum).There are six priority interventions suggested by the report: incentivise investments into the economy, boost labour force participation rates (especially for women), cut trade costs, capitalise on service exports, improve global cooperation, ensure that fiscal policies and monetary policies don’t run against each other (for instance, government expenditures raising deficits at a time when central banks are trying to contain inflation).Until next week,Udit
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal filed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seeking the quashing of a criminal complaint filed by a BJP member alleging that she disrespected the national anthem at a public function in Mumbai in December 2021.Banerjee was challenging a sessions court order from January this year which directed a magistrate court to conduct a fresh hearing on the matter even as it set aside the summons issued against her.She contended that the sessions court should have quashed the proceedings altogether.A single-judge high court bench of Justice Amit Borkar held that “the course adopted by the sessions judge of not deciding the complaint on merits and remitting the matter back to the magistrate was in consonance with the order of the Supreme Court”.“In my opinion, there is neither an error of jurisdiction nor patent illegality in the present case. The criminal appeal is dismissed,” Justice Borkar said.On Tuesday (March 28), Banerjee’s lawyer argued that the summons had been quashed by the sessions court and the matter ought to be heard afresh. The ingredients of the main offence had not been made out for the issuing process (initiating proceedings), the lawyer argued.“The magistrate did not have the audacity to read the legal provisions and same caused grave injustice to a public servant,” Banerjee’s lawyer argued.On March 21, Banerjee’s lawyer Majeed Memon submitted before the magistrate court and sought an adjournment on the proceedings, stating that she had approached the High Court. The court, however, rejected the adjournment application and posted the case for a hearing on March 29.The magistrate court, in February 2022, observed that it was prima facie evident that Banerjee had sung the National Anthem at an event in Mumbai, stopped abruptly and left the dais, committing an offence under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971. It had then issued her summons, asking her to appear before it in March 2022. This order was set aside by the special court.The special court had said that the magistrate court did not follow mandatory provisions of law in its order and directed it to decide on the issue of summons afresh.It had said the subordinate court must start the whole proceedings again from the stage of verification of the complainant’s statement, which Banerjee challenged in the high court.
Pictures of filmmaker Karan Johar’s newly-refurbished Mumbai apartment have been shared online. In an interview with Architectural Digest India, Karan described his pad, designed by Gauri Khan, as having a ‘Ralph Lauren-vibe’. Located in Mumbai’s posh Pali Hill neighbourhood, the apartment is flanked by a long balcony on three sides. Photos of the apartment’s living room, dining area, and walk-in wardrobe were shared by Architectural Digest on Instagram.The approximately 5,500-square-foot apartment is an extension of Karan’s pent-house home, and his brief to Gauri was to convert it into a ‘one-bedroom bachelor pad’, and to get it done fast. She had a six-month deadline. “At 50, I wanted this to be my very own space — with a large living room for bringing my friends together, and a bedroom with, of course, a massive wardrobe. I joke to Gauri that what she’s created is not a walk-in but a run-in, and my bathroom, well, you can play cricket in there,” he said. Gauri described the apartment as a reflection of Karan’s personality: ‘glamorous, fun, and also a little over the top’.The powder room was described by both Gauri and Karan as a ‘highlight’. It features ‘a turbine light fixture from Timothy Oulton, graphic floors, forest-green walls, and custom-made marble horse-head detailing’. The living room has a classic tartan sofa from Bentley Home, custom armchairs from Gauri Khan Designs Bespoke paired with a fluted sofa set by Roberto Cavalli Home, a marble chandelier by Mathieu Lustrerie’. There’s also a well-stocked bar on one side. A post shared by Architectural Digest India (@archdigestindia) According to Architectural Digest, the ‘walls feature French mouldings, backlit kintsugi gold cracks, and large Timothy Oulton mirrors that contrast the classic geometric marble floor and traffic-stopping red armchairs’. The air-conditioned terrace is Karan’s favourite spot, while his children — twins Yash and Roohi — love spending time on the tartan sofa in the living room. The centrepiece of the living area is a fireplace, and a brass coffee table by Gauri Khan Designs Bespoke.“Despite how strongly modern it is, what I love is how cosy, and lived-in, it feels. When you look at the house, you realize Gauri’s used all the colours—from bright reds to deep emeralds and blues, monochrome, and even more natural shades of fawn and beige. She’s also used a variety of textures—hard, soft, glossy, matt—and yet it all comes together beautifully,” Karan said.The filmmaker has often described Gauri as one of his closest friends, along with her husband, Shah Rukh Khan.
Several areas in Mumbai’s island city and suburban belt will face a 15 per cent water cut for 30 days, starting March 31 (Friday), due to a water pipeline getting damaged, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.Nearly 65 per cent of the potable water that is supplied to Mumbai and some parts of Thane from the seven lakes is treated at Bhandup Filtration Plant. The water from this plant passes through a 15-km-long water supply tunnel to the pockets of the city. Civic officials have said that a portion of this tunnel was damaged while carrying out digging works for creating a borewell and water leakage was observed.From March 31 onwards, repair works will be carried out, civic officials said.“It is necessary to isolate the tunnel completely for repairs and use alternate transmission system for water supply, during repairs period. Water supply to Mumbai will be affected during switching over of transmission systems and repairs work, therefore, citizens are requested to use water cautiously,” the civic body said in a statement.Earlier, on Monday (March 27), following another pipeline damage in Thane, the BMC had imposed a 15 per cent water cut in 11 municipal wards in the island city and eastern suburbs for 48 hours, till 9 pm on March 29.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma may sit out a few IPL games this season with an eye towards workload management, and Suryakumar Yadav will lead the team in his absence.India has a packed international schedule, with the World Test Championship final starting at The Oval in London a week after the IPL final and the 50-over World Cup scheduled at home in October-November. Rohit, who has had a chequered injury history, will be keen to lead India on both those fronts. The Indian Express understands that he is likely to pick and choose the IPL games he will play this season, though he will continue to travel with the team and will be guiding Surya from the dugout when he is not playing.After the recent ODI series against Australia, Rohit had stressed that it was up to the players to keep themselves fit for national duty while turning out for their franchises in the IPL.“It’s all up to the franchises now. They own them now. We have given some indications to the teams, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the franchises. And more importantly, it’s up to the players. They are all adults; they have to look after their bodies. If they feel it’s getting a bit too much, they can talk about it and take a break in one or two games. I doubt if that will happen, but,” Rohit had said.