Chennai Buzz: Garbage user fee retracted | 2,000 telecom poles removed | Five zones under the scanner…and more

Weekly update on key developments in the city.

User fee for garbage reversed

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) reversed its announcement of the levy of user fee for garbage collection. The fee was to come into effect from January 1, 2021. The move was reversed following opposition from many quarters in view of the pandemic.

The civic body had stated that the residents would have to pay a user fee for garbage collection as mandated by the Solid Waste Management (2019) Act. 

Charges for residential buildings having a built-up area of up to 500 sq. ft was Rs 10, from 501 to 1,200 sq. ft was Rs 25, from 1,201 to 2,400 sq. ft was Rs 50 and over 2,400 sq. ft was Rs 100. Bulk waste generators like commercial buildings and educational institutions would have had to pay Rs 500 along with the property tax.

Source: The New Indian Express

Civic body removes illegal telecommunication poles

Upon receiving complaints from residents about the illegal erection of telecom poles, the civic body removed over 2,000 such poles across the city. 

According to an official, a telecom company had requested permission for installing poles in various locations in the city. Responding to the request, the said company was instructed to pay Rs 5,500/pole and about Rs 56,100/km.

The company, in return, argued that other states levy Rs 3,500 per pole. Accordingly, the civic body requested the government to reconsider the charges.

But the company went ahead with installing the poles even before the government responded to the request. It also erected the poles in more locations than was originally sought permission for.

The civic body then swung into action, removing the illegally erected poles. However, residents allege that the poles are being removed only in South Chennai and that the exercise is yet to kick off in North Chennai.

Source: The Times of India

Four zones under watch

Following the detection of two new COVID strains in the UK, 449 returnees to the city are being monitored by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). The Commissioner G Prakash held a meeting with officials from Anna Nagar, Kodambakkam, Teynampet and Adyar zones on preparedness to tackle the new developments.

According to the civic body, a few wards in Anna Nagar zone have recorded more than 20 passengers from the United Kingdom in the past few days. The volunteers have been instructed to inspect from time to time to ensure that the returnees adhere to quarantine protocols and that thr residents in the area adhere to COVID-19 safety norms. 

Source: The Hindu

German MPs raise concerns about ISWD funding

Five members of the German Parliament wrote to the German Development Bank KfW’s on its financing of the construction of integrated storm water drain (ISWD) network along East Coast Road. The MPs expressed concern that the bank was financing the project without weighing it’s environmental impact.

One of the MPs, Michel Brandt, had noted that it was important to take into consideration the citizens’ strong opposition to constructing the drains as it would affect the sections of the coast where Olive Ridley turtles breed. 

According to the residents of ECR, the civic body has been continuing to build the drain network despite protests. The National Green Tribunal’s direction to form a joint committee to assess the viability of the project is yet to be acted upon.

Source: The Hindu

Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar

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