Chennai Buzz: Property tax fine waived | Incomplete SWD work hinders movement.. and more!

No fine for late payment of property tax ; undercounting of rabies deaths and monsoon preparedness of subways. Catch this and more news from Chennai!

Korattur canal in Chennai choked by encroachment

Restaurants, tea stalls and car wash garages are encroaching the Korattur Canal that runs from Korattur to Puzhal along the Water Canal Road in Chennai. Activists complain that the encroachments and garbage have polluted the canal such that it cannot be seen anymore. 

They have urged the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) to join hands with the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) and restore the canal instead of constructing stormwater drains in the location. 

However, Corporation officials state that the canal in Korattur is a temporary storage structure, and there is a necessity for SWD to manage floods. Moreover, the GCC officials also said that CMWSSB owns the canal and its vicinity, which makes them the deciding authority with the power to clear the encroachment.

Source: The Times of India

Read more: Looking beyond stormwater drains to realise the dream of a flood-free Chennai

Subpar SWD work in Chennai fails to save roads from water stagnation

Recent spells of rains in the city saw T Nagar residents suffer due to improper stormwater drain work. Rangan Street has been dug up for SWD work, thus not letting commuters from the street go to Usman Road service lane or Rameswaram Road. Hawkers on the service lane make it even harder to navigate the roads.

Residents also point to the SWD worksites not having barricades on Rameswaram Road, or even any signage to alert people, which can cause accidents. Apart from that, the contractors have built the SWDs on a level higher than that of the road. T Nagar Resident Welfare Association members point out that eventually the roads will also be elevated, leading to more water logging.

Despite reaching out to the Chennai Corporation with pleas to fix these issues, they have not received a response.

Source: DT Next

Subways gear up for monsoons with submersible motors

To help subways become flood-ready, Greater Chennai Corporation has desilted 16 subway wells across the city. Apart from this, 41 submersible motors will be installed in the subways in Rangarajapuram, Madley Road and Duraisamy Subway, among others.

Furthermore, 41 new pumps will be ready for the subways during the monsoon, adding to the 113 pumps already present. The new pumps will be installed in subways including the ones in Royapuram, Ganesapuram, Villivakkam, Harrington Road and Nungambakkam.

To amp up flood-preparedness, GCC will link the unconnected drains to the canals.

Source: The Hindu

No fine for late payment of property tax in Chennai

The city’s civic body has declared that even if people pay property tax after October 15th, they need not pay the 2% penalty on delayed payment. This announcement comes in the wake of pending court cases against the property tax hike.

According to GCC records, 6.25 lakh people have not paid the tax, while 6.9 lakh people have settled their dues. Also, 10,000 out of the 12,300 petitions that GCC received against property tax, have been resolved. However, the people who will be paying their property tax before October 15th will get a 5% rebate, according to GCC.

website of gcc for online tax payment
The Property Tax Self Declaration process is featured prominently on the GCC website.

Source: The New Indian Express

Read more: Explainer: How is your revised property tax being computed in Chennai?

Rabies mortality not recorded in Chennai

Although there were eight rabies deaths in 2021 and 2022, Greater Chennai Corporation has not recorded any. The civic body claims that there have not been any rabies deaths in the last five years due to their animal birth control programme, vaccination for dogs and post-exposure prophylaxis for people. The criteria for GCC to record a rabies case is when the infected person is a resident of Chennai.

Moreover, there were discrepancies in data on rabies cases as well. The Directorate of Medical Education has recorded 21 cases in 2021 and the Directorate of Public Health claims 19 cases.

Undercounting of rabies cases has received flak from public health experts. They state that unreported rabies deaths indicates a weakening public healthcare system in the city.

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Padmaja Jayaraman]

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