Chennai Buzz: More sparkles less pollution | Lake restoration | CMRL’s digital plans | Looming water crisis

For the busy Chennaiite, here's your chance to catch up on some of the key headlines from your city for the week gone by.

SC rule on bursting crackers flouted

The Supreme Court order on the two-hour window for bursting crackers and the subsequent directive from the TN Government stipulating one hour each in the morning and evening did not deter Chennaites from enjoying Diwali their way. Most parts of the city went on with the celebrations as usual, unmindful of the apex court order.

Tamil Nadu police have registered around 1500 cases on those who violated the SC rule, including 342 cases in Chennai alone.

However, despite violations, the average particulate matter level was way below this time, compared to last year according to a TNPCB release.

As always, this Diwali too saw TASMAC over achieving its target but Chennai’s contribution to TASMAC revenue was less by 20%.  TASMAC did an additional revenue of 50 crores this year compared to 2017, the highest ever totalling 330 crores.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

Is Chennai staring at another water crisis?

If Chennai does not get adequate rains in the next few days, the city may witness another water crisis. The four reservoirs that supply water to the city are drying up fast, with storage levels now enough for just another 15 days.

The combined storage at the four reservoirs stood at 1758 million cubic feet as on November 3rd compared to 2114 mcft at the same time last year. The storage at Cholavaram reservoir has already hit rock bottom.

Meanwhile, the Water Resources Department is finally waking up to reality and is gearing up to remove silts deposited in the four reservoirs. The reservoir at Cholavaram will be the first among the four waterbodies to be desilted, which also include Poondi, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam. These will then be provided with improved infrastructure.

This is expected to increase the storage level by 2000 mcft once the project is completed in three years.  The additional storage equals two months’ additional supply to the city.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

Plastic smart cards for Metro soon to be thing of the past

Chennai Metro Rail Limited is working on an app that will help commuters purchase tickets online using an app and QR code. The project that is in the testing phase is expected to be introduced in all metro stations in six months.

Passengers can purchase tickets by entering details of boarding station, destination and number of passengers in their smart phone. A QR code will be displayed once payment is made. QR code readers will be installed at all the gates.

Parallelly, metro trains will also have digital route maps that show the areas that they are passing through, landmarks in that area and the speed of travel. CMRL will also open up advertisements to be placed in these interactive maps as additional source of revenue.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

Two lakes in the city get a breather

Nemilichery lake in Pallavaram which resembled a dumping ground until recently will soon be garbage free as PWD officials are in the last phase of restoring the lake. The lake was once an important resource for groundwater recharge, and the residents expect it to be brimming this year too, once monsoon arrives. The volunteers played a significant part in cleaning up the lake before the official authorities stepped in.

On the other end of the city, Paruthipattu lake in Avadi will soon become an eco park like the Chetpet park. The lake that faced issues of dumping and sewage flow is being restored by the Water Resources Department as part of the eco-restoration project. Boat rides, nesting area for birds, central plaza, walking pathways and an open air auditorium are some of the amenities that the public can enjoy from January.

Source: The Hindu

DTCP campaign to raise awareness on planning permission

The Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) will soon launch a large campaign to create awareness on the need to obtain planning permissions for development. This comes in the wake of the emphasis from the Housing Department on approvals in both planned and unplanned areas. Currently, only a miniscule 5 percent of area in the state is developed on the basis of a master plan while the rest is haphazard unplanned growth.

As part of the awareness campaign, people would be taught how to verify the layout or plot approved by the Town and Country Planning department on the website

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Sandhya Raju]

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