Chennai Buzz: City comes out to vote | Metro Rail work in OMR delayed further… and more

In other news from Chennai: NGT expresses concern over chemicals in waterbodies; all-women crews in many city polling booths

High voter turnout in all three constituencies of Chennai

The three constituencies in the city were among those that recorded the lowest turnout of voters in the State as the first phase of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections drew to a close on Friday evening. The three constituencies within Chennai district Chennai North, Chennai Central and Chennai South, recorded a voter turnout of 60.1%, 54.3% and 53.9% respectively.

The overall voter turnout in Tamil Nadu was 69.46%, according to the Election Commission, Tamil Nadu. The voter turnout in the city was lower this Lok Sabha election compared to the last Lok Sabha elections in 2019. As usual, the Chennai Central constituency recorded the lowest number of voters, who exercised their franchise, in Tamil Nadu.

There were some glitches in the EVMs in a few booths around the city, because of which the voting process was a little slow in the morning. These were rectified soon. Voting picked up after 3 pm In many booths, voters said that their names were missing from the electoral rolls.

Source: The Times of India, The Hindu

Read more: Creating voter awareness for the Lok Sabha elections: Examples from Vyasarpadi in North Chennai

NGT concerned about synthetic chemicals in Chennai waterbodies

The southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has expressed concern over the presence of ‘forever chemicals’ in many of the waterbodies in Chennai including Adyar River, Buckingham Canal and Chembarabakkam Lake. News reports about a study done by the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) mentioned the presence of poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in waterbodies. Following this, the NGT bench has asked the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Water Resources Department to file reports on this problem.

These synthetic chemicals, the NGT noted, do not break down and remain in the environment including groundwater and even in treated water. The IIT-M study revealed that groundwater near the Perungudi dumping ground had synthetic chemicals way above normal levels. These could cause severe health impacts such as hormone imbalances and cancer.

Source: The Hindu

All-women crews in many booths in Chennai

Women constituted 57% of the polling personnel, who received training in the city. And about 39% of the polling stations were exclusively under the charge of women staff. According to media reports, as many as 10,834 women and 8,145 men were supervising the polling booths, of which 16 were the model, pink all-women polling stations.

Some of the localities, which had all-women polling stations included Mylapore, Virugambakkam, Thyagaraya Nagar, Saidapet, Thousand Lights, Anna Nagar, Velachery and Perambur, among others.  

Source: The Hindu

Chennai Metro Rail work disrupted in OMR

Chennai Metro Rail work in OMR, which was stalled two months ago is yet to begin. Representational image. Pic: Karty Jazz-CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons.

Residents of Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) have been grappling with traffic congestion and pollution because of Metro Rail construction work that has been going on for a long time. While work on the Sholinganallur to Siruseri line had got delayed for some time, the road has become a nightmare for motorists and two-wheelers to navigate, especially at night time. According to a news report, the work, which had stopped around two months ago, has not yet started because of issues in awarding contracts.

Source: The Times of India

Read more: Bengaluru Metro is unaffordable for urban poor

IIT-M launches new programme in partnership with German universities

The Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) has instituted a new Masters programme in collaboration with noted German universities — RWTH Aachen (RWTH), and TU Dresden (TUD). The programme is on the subject of ‘Water Security and Global Change.’ Both international and Indian students are eligible to apply for this programme. Those enrolled in this programme will get an opportunity to study at IIT-M and spend at least one semester in the other two universities. The last date to apply for this programme is April 30.

Source: The New Indian Express

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