App to mon­i­tor Delhi’s pol­lu­tion

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Mul­ti­tudes of feral cats roam New York City’s con­crete jun­gle and some now have a prac­ti­cal pur­pose: they’re help­ing curb the city’s rat pop­u­la­tion. A group of vol­un­teers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Ini­tia­tive traps wild cat colonies that have be­come a nui­sance or been threat­ened by con­struc­tion then spays or neuters and vac­ci­nates them. The goal is to re­turn them to their home ter­ri­tory, but some end up in ar­eas rife with rats. Fe­line rat pa­trols keep watch over city delis and bode­gas, car deal­er­ships and the grounds of a Green­wich Vil­lage church. Four cats roam the load­ing dock at the Ja­cob K Jav­its Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, where food de­liv­er­ies and garbage have drawn ro­dents for years. “We used to hire ex­ter­mi­na­tors, but na­ture has a bet­ter so­lu­tion,” said Re­becca Mar­shall, the sus­tain­abil­ity man­ager at the cen­tre. “And cats don’t cost any­thing.” About 6,000 vol­un­teers have com­pleted work­shops where they’ve learned proper ways to trap cats. The pro­gramme is run through the pri­vate­ly­funded Mayor’s Al­liance for NYC’s An­i­mals, a coali­tion of more than 150 an­i­mal res­cue groups and shel­ters. It es­ti­mates as many as half a mil­lion feral and stray cats roam New York’s five bor­oughs. In most cases, adop­tion is out of the ques­tion for feral cats be­cause they are just too wild to be do­mes­ti­cated. In­dia’s cap­i­tal, labour­ing un­der the la­bel of be­ing the world’s most pol­luted city, is try­ing some­thing new to help clean up its air. A smart­phone ap­pli­ca­tion that al­lows res­i­dents to re­port the pres­ence of con­struc­tion dust or the burn­ing of leaves and garbage in New Delhi’s pub­lic parks to au­thor­i­ties has been launched. The Hawa Badlo, or Change the Air, app has two ver­sions. One al­lows peo­ple to take pic­tures of likely pol­lu­tants. The other al­lows au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate. Over the last few years, New Delhi has strug­gled with ways to han­dle the pol­lu­tion, which be­comes ob­vi­ous dur­ing the winter months as the city’s air turns to a gray haze. The app was launched by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pol­lu­tion (Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol) Au­thor­ity.

ON THE HUNT: Feral cat Sylvester

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