Chennai Buzz: Quarantine facility in Chennai | World Bank push for CUMTA | Upgrades for GCC shopping complexes…and more

How is Chennai coping in the face of the coronavirus scare? What was discussed at the recent meet between World Bank and state officials on urban mobility and the transport sector? Catch these and other important headlines from the city over the week that went by.

Chennai gets first confirmed COVID-19 case; quarantine facility to come up

As the coronavirus scare grips the country, the State Health Department is preparing to convert the Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine, Tambaram, into an exclusive quarantine facility to admit persons with symptoms of coronavirus disease in Chennai. As of March 5th, 426 people were home quarantined in Chennai.

Meanwhile the first confirmed case of Coronavirus disease in the city surfaced when a man with travel history to Oman tested positive. The patient has been isolated and kept for further treatment at the Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital.

All international passengers flying down to Chennai are being screened for signs and symptoms of coronavirus at the airport. Travellers arriving from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan have been mandated to undergo medical screening at the airport.

An official told The Hindu that passengers from the 12 countries are being checked as soon as they step out of the aircraft and reach the aero bridge. Those arriving from other countries are subjected to screening just before they reach the immigration area.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Discussions held on single ticketing system 

The World Bank initiated a dialogue on implementing a unified ticketing system in the transportation sector in Chennai. The meeting was attended by Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), Southern Railway and Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC). 

According to a senior official present at the meeting, the World Bank has asked for data on the number of commuters who leave suburban trains and take buses, and also of those who take the metro. Authorities have been asked to map this data on a real-time basis. However, the official also cited the dearth of resources to do this.

The meeting, which was held under Chennai City Partnership Programme (CCPP) has two essential elements related to water and transportation sectors,  which require Rs 1.5 lakh crore to be executed. However, the World Bank has set a condition that it will fund the transport project only through the Urban Transport Fund of the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA), which is yet to take off. 

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

GCC to upgrade shopping complexes

In a bid to upgrade the old shopping complexes belonging to Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), the officials are mulling over ways to give them to builders under public-private partnership (PPP). While the dilapidated structures will be demolished, a few others are set to be refurbished. The buildings that are of good quality will get a fresh coat of paint and will be beautified. According to officials, this move would bring in revenue to the local body. It may be noted that there are 152 such complexes in 15 zones in Chennai, housing more than 6000 shops.

Source: The Times of India 

EFI to restore water bodies in suburbs

The Environmentalist Foundation of India’s (EFI’s) water body restoration efforts continue with the identification of 20 water bodies in Chennai’s suburbs. The NGO is collaborating with the district administration in Tiruvallur, Kanchipuram, and Chengalpet to rejuvenate the same. A few water bodies in and around Tiruttani Taluk, Outer Ring Road (Pattabiram), Perungalathur, Maraimalai Nagar, Egatur and Thiruporur have been selected for rejuvenation. Besides this, the organisation is also working to give a facelift to ponds in Perungalathur, which will serve as the primary resource for restoring groundwater and also help mitigate floods and droughts. 

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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