Chennai Buzz: End to water woes in sight? | Streetlights makeover | Ban on ready-foods packaging…and more

Will the plastic ban now also extend to packaging such as biscuit covers? How can the city tackle water crisis in the wake of failed monsoons that are growing increasingly common? What's in the 140-crore project for streetlights? All this and more in this week's 'buzz'.

Recycling sewage, the only resort for Chennai

Poor show of north-east monsoon and dry summers have become the new order in Chennai. As water scarcity turns out to be a burning problem, researchers from Anna University’s Geology department feel that recycling sewage water could be an effective and viable solution.

According to ‘Predicting future water supply-demand gap with a new reservoir, desalination plant and waste water reuse by water evaluation and planning model for Chennai Mega City’ published in Elsevier’s Groundwater for Sustainable Development in October 2018, the city’s water woes can be solved by next year through recycling sewage water. Researchers say 50 percent of the water needs projected for 2050 could be met this way.

Meanwhile, in the wake of a failed monsoon, Chennai Metrowater has also turned the focus on tertiary treated water, following an IIT-Madras model of using reclaimed water. The agency called for bids to construct tertiary treatment plants in Nesapakkam and Perungudi, and release the recycled waste water into the Porur and Perungudi lakes, which are major sources of water supply for Chennai city.

Metrowater also has plans to construct on-site treatment plants in Retteri, Ayanambakkam and Perumbakkam

Source: The New Indian Express | The Hindu

Ban on biscuit covers soon

The plastic ban in effect in the city from the start of the year has been all over news. Greater Chennai Corporation that seized over 30 tonnes of plastic from the city will be using it to lay roads.

In a latest development, Environment Minister K C Karuppannan told the assembly that the state government will extend the ban to packaged products such as biscuit covers and other eatables, including those manufactured and sold by multinational companies. The Minister said that a message of intimation would soon be sent to the traders who manufacture plastic material for packaging. The current ban covers 16 varieties of plastic.

Source: The Times of India

Illegal vendors at Koyambedu market face closure

The Market Management committee at the Koyambedu market has found that 85% of the vegetable shops in the hub are operating illegally. The shops identified are set to face closure.
The committee has found 1600 of the 1900 shops in the complex operating without requisite license and paperwork.
Many of these have been renting out space without proper rental agreements. They have also been found to function without the mandatory trade licence, which in some cases have been issued to the owners who have rented the shops.
A six-month notice period had been issued to the shops in question to provide an adequate explanation. The shops have been given a deadline of March 31st for closure. The potential closure of these shops could hit the supply of vegetables as the Koyambedu market serves as a wholesale hub.

Source: The Times of India

All LED streetlights by January end

While many arterial roads in Chennai have been already been fitted with LED streetlights, the ones that remain will also be replaced by the end of the month, if the Chennai Corporation lives up to its commitment. 2 lakh of the 2.77 lakh streetlights of different types in areas under the Corporation have already been replaced by LED lights as part of a Rs 140-crore project. This has reportedly brought down electricity charges incurred by the civic body to Rs 4.5 crore from Rs 6.58 crore (2015).

Source: The Times of India

Submit statistics on religious encroachments: HC

In a landmark move, the Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to file statistics regarding the encroachment of public land, water bodies and water resources by religious structures.

Stating that a large number of temples were built on public land by land sharks for personal gain, Justice S M Subramaniam, who gave the order, said: “All concerned are bound to follow the rule of law and respect the law for an orderly society and to respect the sentiments of their neighbours and other citizens.” The judge also said that such encroachments cause inconvenience to vehicular traffic.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

[Compiled by Laasya Shekhar]

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