Chennai buzz: Air quality dips during Pongal festivities | Port-Maduravoyal Expressway work commences… and more

In other news from Chennai: Drinking water supply affected in five zones in the city, 750 MoUs signed in Chennai International Book Fair.

Air quality dips to poor on Bhogi day of Pongal festival

As Pongal festivities began and residents of Chennai celebrated Bhogi by burning waste, some parts of the city recorded very bad air quality and low visibility on January 14 (Sunday). The worst hit areas included Manali, Royapuram, Ennore and Perungudi, where smog conditions reduced visibility and motorists had a hard time navigating the roads. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s monitoring data, the AQI on Saturday evening for particulate matter 2.5 microns (PM2.5) was between 230 and 250 µg/m³. In some areas like Perungudi, the AQI reached levels higher than 300 µg/m³ by Sunday night.

Meanwhile, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) said that their drive to collect waste from residents to bring down pollution levels had been successful. The Corporation collected about 48 tonnes of waste including plastic, clothes, tyres and other materials from various parts of the city, which helped reduce pollution. GCC also collected fines from residents for burning waste.

Sources: The Hindu | Times of India

Work on Port-Maduravoyal Expressway finally begins

After being constantly mired in delays and problems, work on the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal Expressway project has finally gotten underway. The double-tiered, elevated expressway, which is supposed to come up at a cost of ₹5,510 crore is getting completed after a delay of more than a decade.

The ambitious infrastructure project was commissioned to help decongest Chennai roads, particularly from traffic from containers travelling to the Chennai Port. The expressway will help decongest traffic between Port and Maduravoyal and is set to be completed in two years.

Source: DT Next

Read more: Chennai sees fresh hope for completion of Port-Maduravoyal Expressway project

Drinking water supply suspended for two days

water supply
Residents in five zones will have to depend on water tankers for two days. Pic: Laasya Shekhar

Residents in five zones of the city have to go without piped drinking water on January 19 and 20, owing to ongoing Chennai Metro Rail work at Retteri junction. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CWSSB) has said that water supply is suspended in localities coming under Ambattur, Anna Nagar, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Teynampet and Kodambakkam zones till 6 pm on Saturday. In a press release, the CMWSSB assured that tanker lorries will be deployed in the five zones to supply drinking water to residents.

Sources: Times of India | DT Next

Special scheme to help residents affected by oil spill and gas leak

With a view to alleviate the problems faced by residents of the Manali-Ennore region in the city and to restore the ecological biodiversity of the area, the Tamil Nadu government has announced the implementation of a special scheme. Under this fund, measures will be taken to address the health and livelihood issues of people affected by industrial pollution in the area, and to improve infrastructure and waste management. A pollution monitoring centre will also be set up in the area.

Source: The Indian Express

Read more: Oil spill in Chennai’s Manali area can cause irreparable damage to Ennore Creek wetland

Chennai International Book Fair bridges gap between Indian and international publishers

With around 750 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) being signed for translation of Tamil literary works into various languages, the Chennai International Book 2024 was a big success. Publishers from 40 countries participated in the international fair organised in the city. The fair was seen as a platform to bridge the gap between Indian and international book publishers and to promote Tamil literature in different parts of the world through translations. The Tamil Nadu Translation Grants Committee will soon start the process of giving grants to various people for translations. Meanwhile, around eight lakh people visited the Chennai Book Fair, which started on January 3.

Source: The Hindu

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