Chennai Buzz: New SWD projects | TN budget updates…and more!

Weekly news recap: New storm water drain projects with updated design; sparrow count in North Chennai increases...and more.

New Stormwater drains worth 28 crores to come up in parts of the city

The tenders for constructing new storm water drains (SWDs) in Chennai have been floated under the Singara Chennai 2.0 funding and by the Greater Chennai Corporation. These drains are to be constructed in central areas of the city such as Nungambakkam, Virugambakkam, T Nagar, Gopalapuram. Prior to this, tenders for SWD projects in Kodambakkam, Teynampet, Adyar and Santhome were floated by the GCC. The SWM projects in the central areas will be constructed in Radhakrishnan Salai, Kannadasan Street, Virugambakkam Street, Kaliamman Street and Reddy Street. 

All the drain projects under the Singara Chennai 2.0 plan are to be constructed with removable slabs so as to enable workers to remove them from the drains and unclog them. The design of the new drains has mostly been derived from the recommendations of the Thiruppugazh Committee Report. The committee report headed by IAS officer V Thiruppugazh, aimed  to devise flood mitigation plans and long-term plans for water management in Chennai. 

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

Read more: All that’s wrong with stormwater drains in Chennai and how to fix them

44th World Chess Olympiad to be held in Chennai

On March 15th, Tamil Nadu CM, MK Stalin announced that the 44th World Chess Olympiad will be held in Chennai this year. Initially the Olympiad was to be held in Moscow, in July, however the venue has been changed due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. 

The Olympiad is a two week event, occurring biennially, with participants from around 190 countries. The Olympiad is run by the International Chess Federation (FIDE), which opened up bids after Russia’s military operations against Ukraine began this year. In the last two years, online Olympiads have been held due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The venue will be the Four Points by Sheraton Mahabalipuram Resort & Convention Centre, in Mahabalipuram. According to the FIDE, the exact dates are yet to be determined.

Source: The News Minute

Chennai buzz
Chess Olympiad, Bled, Slovenia 2002. Photo Andrejj, October 2002.

Increase in sparrow sightings in parts of North Chennai

According to the estimates of Koodugal, a Chennai-based voluntary organisation, the sparrow count in North Chennai has increased by 10% in the past three to four years. Areas such Royapuram, Thiruvottiyur and Tondiarpet, specifically have seen a marked increase in the number of sparrow sightings. 

Sparrows were a common sight in Chennai many years ago, but the species had been facing a steady decline in the urban landscape. Many environmentalists have associated this decrease with the rise of apartment complexes and a lack of space for nesting with the increase in urbanisation. 

Koodugal-Nest (Network for Environment Sustainability) has distributed around 2000 nest boxes to residents and schools in North Chennai. Around 50% of these nest boxes are currently occupied by sparrows. The organisation has also set up sparrow sanctuaries in two schools in Thiruvottiyur, with a few sparrows being spotted in these. The organisation is looking to set up a sanctuary in another school in the North Chennai area. 

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Read more: Desalination plants, ECR expansion, airport upgrade, GCC split: What are the different parties promising Chennai?

Tamil Nadu Budget: Plans to Revive Maduravoyal-Chennai Port Corridor Project and a new sports complex

While presenting the budget for 2022-23 in the Assembly, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan mentioned how a number of projects to decongest increasing traffic within Chennai are in the pipeline. The budget included plans for expansion of roads, constructing elevated corridors and grade separators to address congestion issues. 

One of these projects is the revival of the Maduravoyal-Chennai Port corridor project; it involves the construction of a 20.6 km-long double-decker elevated corridor at an estimated cost of ₹5,770 crore. A detailed project report on the same was prepared by the the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI); according to the Finance Minister, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the NHAI, the Government of Tamil Nadu, the Navy and Chennai Port will be signed soon. 

Further, a multi-purpose sports facility to be constructed in Radhakrishnan Nagar, North Chennai was also discussed in the budget. The proposal to set up the complex was put forth by DMK’s JJ Enbenezer in the state assembly. According to him, many residents in the area are boxers and athletes who cannot afford private training and academies. The complex and facilities will be made free of cost so as to allow access to usually very expensive and inaccessible training and equipment.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

[Compiled by Savitha Ganesh]

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