Chennai Buzz: First case of new COVID strain | 15 grade separators planned | Thrust on park adoption…and more

Weekly update on key developments in the city.

One UK returnee tests positive for new strain

One of the returnees from the UK to Chennai has tested positive for the new strain of coronavirus. State Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan stated that the patient was quarantined soon after the arrival and isolated after the results of genomic analysis.

The mutation, which is believed to have originated in thr UK, has higher transmissibility. As a measure of caution, non-essential flights to and from the UK have been banned until January 8th to contain the spread of the new strain.

Source: The Hindu

15 grade separators to come up in city

In a bid to decongest the busy roads in Chennai, the Chennai Corporation plans to construct 15 grade separators in several phases. The proposal for construction was due last February, but got shelved due to the lockdown. 

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1502 crore. The civic body has shortlisted Teynampet, Nandanam, RA Puram, Greenways Road, SRP Tools Junction, and Guru Nanak College junction. Kelleys Junction, Ayanavaram Junction, Otteri, Basin Bridge, Nelson Manickam Road, ICF Junction, GP Hospital Junction, Chinthamani Junction and Kilpauk Garden Road for constructing grade separators. 

The two-lane Basin Bridge would be transformed into a six-lane bridge. The other grade separators would be two-lane. 

Source: The New Indian Express

Rs 111 crore sanctioned for flood mitigation project

The Tamil Nadu government has approved the second phase of the flood mitigation project that is being carried out at Chennai and neighbouring districts. Rs 111 crore has been sanctioned to undertake the project. As part of the mitigation work, creation of an effective water management system to store more water, rebuild the missing links of water bodies and prevent floods in vulnerable areas in Chennai, Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram and other districts is set to take place.

The State government had released Rs 238 crore for kicking off the second phase of the project in September 2019. The Public Works Department (PWD) had returned the unspent budget of Rs 187 crore at the end of the last fiscal year.

As part of the project, the state government plans to develop riverine reservoirs to increase the water storage and prevent floods in Adyar river banks.

Source: The Times of India

Civil society encouraged to adopt parks

The Greater Chennai Corporation has launched a new initiative called Park Adoption Scheme for Urban Landscape Maintenance and Improvement (Pasumai). Private firms, RWAs and civil society are encouraged to adopt and maintain parks, medians, traffic islands and roadside parks. 

After having discussions with officials and residents, the civic body has waived the annual adoption fee of Rs 100 per sq m and the refundable caution deposit of Rs 50,000. So far 51 of 703 parks belonging to the civic body have been adopted, the corporation maintains 54 parks and a further 554 has been outsourced. The civic body hopes that the move of waiving the cost would encourage citizens to adopt and be caretakers of parks across the city.

Source: DT Next | The Times of India

Vendors challenge GCC over distribution of smart carts

Alleging disparity over the allocation of smart carts to the vendors in Marina beach, a section of vendors have appealed to the Madras High Court against the Chennai Corporation. The petitioners state that the civic body issued the carts to vendors who have political connections. Chennai Corporation has been asked to file a report regarding the issue by January 8th.

The petitioner, P Muthu, President of the Tamilnadu Netaji Subhash Chandrabose Welfare Association for Fishermen, stated that the livelihood of vendors, who have been dependent on this profession for the past three generations, would be at stake as the number of beneficiaries has been reduced to 900. 

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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