The Games have begun. Reports are the builders of the Commonwealth Games Village may not receive back the R200 crore they deposited, because of their sloppy work. If this happens, what can we use the funds for? My solution is to split it into two.
The first, about R100 crores, should be invested in making amends for the un-greening of the city. The 1,500 blueline buses laid off during the Games should now be greened and doubled. Vendors, who use non-motorised carts, should be greened too and infrastructure for them should be improved. Other workers who contribute to the city should be included though green planning. And finally, we should identify the 25 most used public sites and convert them to alternative energy sources.
The second chunk of Rs 100 crores should be spent making high-quality, climate response housing for the slum dwellers. In particular, people around the Games venues who were forced to leave and lose their incomes. I would have liked to suggest bringing down the Games village as a way to free up the Yamuna banks, but it won’t happen. Instead, the village can be a slum rehabilitation site.
Even if the CWG could not be sustainable, it’s legacy can do better.
Ignore the Drab Walls
It’s the time of year when homes are beautified. Before painting the house, ask if you can do without it? A new study by Dr Weisskopf and his colleagues, finds exposure to lead during our lifetime increases the chances of getting Parkinson’s disease.
Most paint contains lead and the dust enters our bodies. Although the causes of Parkinson’s are unclear, it is likely a combination of genetics and toxics. Lead harms the nervous system, also the system Parkinson’s targets. Avoiding lead exposure is key to an active mind. If you don’t know where to start — try using paints without lead, or skip painting entirely.