Chennai Buzz: Direct election of mayor | FASTag for Chennai toll plazas | Water supply update …and more

Your weekly round-up of news and updates affecting life in the city

NH FASTags to come into effect in Chennai toll plazas too

All vehicles having the National Highways (NHAI) FASTags can pass through Tamil Nadu toll plazas operated by the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC) too, using the same prepaid card.  The single FASTag use is expected to allow smooth movement of FASTag vehicles in its plazas. An MOU to this extent has been signed between TNRDC and NHAI in Delhi early this week.

The present system of local resident passes and monthly passes for regular users would continue. Such users would also have to get tags.

TNRDC currently has 11 plazas on the East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai. Over one lakh vehicles use Rajiv Gandhi Salai, around 10,000 on the ECR while Phase I of CORR carries nearly 36,000 daily.

Source: The Hindu

Chennai to get directly elected mayor after eight years

From indirect election to direct election of Mayor by the councillors, the two Dravidian parties have done several u-turns in its decision to elect a mayor. The ruling party had decided to revert to the system of direct elections for Mayors of Corporations and Chairpersons of Municipalities last year, and now, the State Election Commission has notified it.

After a eight-year gap, Chennai and other municipal city corporations in the state of Tamil Nadu will be directly voting in their respective mayors, after the local body elections are done.

Source: The News Minute

Metrowater to increase water supply from next week

Chennai Metrowater plans to increase water supply from the present 525 mld (million litres a day) to 650 mld from October 23.  Once the Red Hills reservoir touches 444 million cubic feet (mcft), the augmented supply will come into effect. It now has 249 mcft of water.

Meanwhile, the city will continue to receive rainfall and this is likely to intensify in the coming week. A cyclonic circulation over the southwest Bay of Bengal will induce low-pressure areas over South Tamil Nadu. October is the second wettest month and is expected to bring an average rainfall of 315.6 mm. The north-east monsoon between October to December brings more than 60% of the annual rainfall to the city.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Chennai gets first intelligent flood warning system in the country

Chennai is all set to receive India’s first integrated coastal flood warning system called CFLOWS. It is a Web GIS-based decision support system, integrating data and outputs, derived from weather forecast, hydrologic, hydraulic and hydrodynamic models.

J Radhakrishnan, the officer who heads disaster management and mitigation in Tamil Nadu, said CFLOWS would be deployed immediately. It will be tested for 1-2 weeks before being integrated with TN-Smart, the State government’s disaster management portal.

Source: The New Indian Express

Chennai’s stormwater drain network is not yet fully ready

The northeast monsoon is already here, and the city is already witnessing waterlogged areas in just two days of heavy rains.  The city has a 1700-km stormwater drain network. As per the Corporation, 3.2 lakh tonne of silt is to be removed from the existing stormwater drain structures, of which one lakh tonnes of silt were removed till the middle of the past week. The extracted silts will be transported to the landfills in Kodungaiyur and Perungudi.

Meanwhile, the Greater Chennai Corporation assured the Madras High Court that 80% of stormwater drain construction work in the city was complete, and hence there was no chance of flooding.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee recorded the submission made by Corporation counsel K. Soundararajan and directed the civic body to file a detailed status report by November 18th, not just on the construction of stormwater drains, but also on repair work undertaken on battered roads.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

IMD stations in the state lack maintenance

50 of IMD’s weather stations that record rainfall in the state are reportedly not working or functioning properly. The maximum faulty stations are located in and around Chennai. ARG stations at  Taramani, Avadi, Poonamallee, Puzhal, RK Pet and Kattupakkam are not reporting any data.

IMD maintains a network of Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) and Automatic Rain Gauge (ARG) stations across the state to measure rainfall on a real-time basis.

Even as the IMD announced the onset of the northeast monsoon early this week with an ‘Orange alert,’ which means ‘Be Prepared,’ it is ironical that over 50 of its weather stations are dysfunctional.

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Sandhya Raju]

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