Chennai Buzz: COVID-19 city update | FOMRRA petition to CM | Madras HC seeks DPR for Loop Road

How is Chennai preparing to battle the coronavirus pandemic? What is Madras HC's take on the proposed Loop Road project? Why are OMR residents opposing the second Tirumala Tirupati shrine? Read here.

COVID-19: Two new cases, two quarantine facilities, app to trace contacts

A 20-year-old UP man who reached Chennai by train and a  21-year-old student who flew down to Chennai from Dublin tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The two patients were asymptomatic upon arrival and self-reported to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) with symptoms. Health Minister Vijayabaskar tweeted that the patients are stable and being closely monitored.

To enable the fight against the virus, two quarantine facilities – Institute of Public Health (IPH), Poonamallee and Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine (GHTM) at Tambaram Sanatorium – have been set up. Fifty beds each at the two centres have been allocated and an isolation ward is in place at the Tambaram Government Hospital (Chromepet GH). Asymptomatic passengers from COVID-19-affected countries are being quarantined.

“All the work for tracing the contacts was done manually. Now, we are going to use technology. An app has been developed, and we will start tracing the contacts using mobile numbers,” Vijayabaskar told The Hindu.

With this development, the state is in near lockdown. Places of worship, educational institutions, large establishments with air-conditioning facilities, retail textile and jewellery showrooms, theatres and malls have been ordered to be shut by the government till March 31st. IT companies have been asked to allow employees to work from home or preventive measures be taken on the campus for the welfare of employees. Inter-state bus services have been cut and the government has asked the railways to reduce the services.

The state government has also intensified the screening process at railway stations, metros and airport. Domestic travellers are also being screened, apart from international passengers. Railways has tightened screening process at Central, Egmore and Tambaram stations.

Chennai Metro Rail Limited has decided to cancel its services on Sunday to observe Janata Curfew.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

“Don’t let virus in through toll gates”: OMR resident body plea to CM

The Federation of OMR Residents Assocation (FOMRRA) has made a representation to the Chief Minister to make the use of contactless cards and cashless transactions to mitigate risk of transmission of COVID 19 (Corona) at all Toll Plazas on OMR. In the wake of a warning from the WHO about currency notes being a possible source of coronavirus transmission, the residents have pointed out how the TNRDC staff manning the booths and OMR residents and other motorists who interact with them are at risk on contracting the virus. The representation also makes recommendations on how this problem can be addressed.

Source: The Hindu

Madras HC directs GCC to file DPR for Elevated Link Road

The Madras High Court has directed the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to submit a detailed project report (DPR) in four weeks. This comes after GCC Commissioner, G Prakash said that it is feasible to lay a road to connect the Marina Beach Loop Road with Besant Nagar. It may be noted that fisherfolk and activists have been opposing the project as it poses a threat to the ecology.

Proponents of the said connection say that it will help in providing long-term solutions to the traffic jams at the Adyar bridge junction. Further, GCC claims that the area falls under CRZ-II as the entire Chennai shoreline is categorised under CRZ-II. But, the Director of the Department of Environment earlier told the High Court bench that the project area falls under CRZ-1A, an ecologically sensitive area and a turtle nesting site. She added that CRZ clearance should be given by the Union Environment Ministry and not the State Coastal Zone Management Authority.

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

OMR residents oppose TTD shrine in Chennai

Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami handed over 11 acres of land on OMR to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Board to build its second temple late this week. The move has angered the residents of OMR, as they feel the shrine would attract large numbers of people to the spot and lead to a bottleneck. The residents have written a letter to the CM stating that the proposed land is near the Buckingham Canal and would have adverse ecological implications.

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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