Chennai Buzz: Chess Olympiad comes to Chennai | Interim stay on property tax revision.. and more!

From Pallikaranai marshland getting Ramsar site tag to interim stay on property tax, here is the update of news from Chennai in the past week.

International Chess Olympiad inaugurated in Chennai

The 44th International Chess Olympiad was inaugurated in Chennai by PM Modi, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin. .

The Olympiad is scheduled to take place from July 28 to August 10 at Poonjeri Village in Mamallapuram. A five-tier security arrangement was made in view of the PM’ visit, with the Greater Chennai Police also deploying 22,000 police personnel.

The Olympiad was handed over to PM Modi and CM Stalin by five-time world chess champion, Viswanathan Anand.

The Olympiad is being held in India for the first time. There has been a record number of entries in the Open (188) and Women’s (162) sections.

Source: The New Indian Express

Ramsar tag for Pallikaranai marshland

Pallikaranai marshland in Chennai was one among the five Indian wetlands to get the coveted Ramsar tag on July 26. Pallikaranai marsh is an urban wetlands that plays a crucial part in the ecology of Chennai. It serves as a drain for flood waters in the southern part of the city and helps to recharge groundwater tables.

Pallikaranai’s expanse has shrunk from 2,650 hectares in the 90s to around 700 hectares at present. Around 370 hectares have been declared as Ramsar site. The shrinkage of the wetlands is due to a number of threats posed to the wetland such as encroachment and dumping of garbage. There are also private tankers extracting groundwater from the area.

Source: The New Indian Express

Read more: Pallikaranai is struggling to survive, and so is life around it

GCC takes up GIS mapping of vendors

GIS mapping of vendors will be undertaken by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) with the aim to identify areas for vending and developing the necessary infrastructure. Enumeration of street vendors has been initiated for zones such as Kodambakkam, Adyar, Perungudi and Sholinganallur, with work set to begin in the remaining zones shortly. A similar exercise was carried out in 2017. There were 23,000 vendors identified then, with the numbers expected to have increased since.

Street vendors Chennai
The GCC has started GIS mapping of all vendors and identification of 15 major areas to develop infrastructure for street vending. Pic: Arvind Rangarajan (CC BY:SA 3.0)

Street vendors will be mapped using an app with information collected including photographs, details about the business, bank accounts, Aadhaar and details about their family. The exercise will result in the creation of a database of all vendors, their locations and areas of vending.

Once the enumeration is completed, the city is expected to get more vending zones through the development of one major vending zone for each of the 15 zones in the city.

Source: The Hindu

HC questions computation of property tax revision

The Madras HC imposed an interim stay on the revision of property tax by the civic body. The Court questioned the method used for computation to arrive at the revised tax amount and asked the Corporation to file a counter during the next hearing. The case has been adjourned to August 3.

Justice Anita Sumanth issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by K Balasubramaniam of Teynampet. According to the petitioner, the half-yearly tax for his property for the second half of 2022-23 is fixed at Rs 7,170 as against the existing tax of Rs 3,695.

As the standing counsel for the civic body was unable to explain the method of computation, the Court directed that a computation sheet be circulated to provide clarity and ensure that the calculation is in line with the provisions of Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919.

Source: DT Next | The Hindu

Read more: Increasing property tax can be a gamechanger for city: DC, Revenue & Finance

Shoreline re-nourishment and revitalisation project initiated

The Chennai shoreline re-nourishment and revitalisation project, covering the 30-km stretch between the Marina and Kovalam, has been commissioned at a cost of Rs 100 crore. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has been established by the Tamil Nadu government for the project.

The reason for the initiation of the project is to improve the access to the shoreline. The access at present is fragmented across many points on the coast. Around 20 seafronts have been disconnected without similar access to that of Marina and Besant Nagar beaches. The fragmented stretches have been proposed to be connected by esplanades, with the spaces being used to promote art and culture.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Shobana Radhakrishnan]

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