Chennai Buzz: Summer heat, controversy over Governor and plans for the Marina

Did you follow the news in your city closely last week? Here's a quick look at some interesting developments and plans that made it to the headlines.

Governor’s behaviour at Press Meet sparks controversy

Chennai has been witnessing an abundance of action week after week, though not all may have been reason to cheer. While the Cauvery protests and IPL grabbed the limelight a week ago, this week it was the State head, His Excellency Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who stirred up controversy over his allegedly objectionable behaviour. At a press meet that he called for, on an incident involving Madurai professor Nirmaladevi, he ended up inviting the wrath of the journalists for his uncalled for behaviour.

The incident took place when the 78-year-old Governor was about to leave the venue of the crowded press conference at the Raj Bhavan.

The woman journalist, who works with The Week, recalled the encounter on Twitter: “I asked TN Governor Banwarilal Purohit a question as his press conference was ending. He decided to patronisingly – and without consent – pat me on the cheek as a reply.”

Calling it unprofessional behavior, the journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian, said it was completely uncalled for to touch a stranger.

Social media was abuzz with #DonttouchmeGovernor  condemning the action of the Governor and setting a bad example. Shortly afterward, there was an official communication of apology from Rajbhavan, which the journalist was quick to accept, though with a disclaimer.

Sources: NDTV | The New Indian Express | Huffington Post

As dry westerly winds set in, Chennai experiences the hottest day of the season

The worst of the summer heat is yet to come.  But Chennaites already witnessed the hottest day of the season on  Friday when the temperature crossed the 36.6 degrees Celsius mark. Three stations in the state recorded highest temperature of around 41 degrees.

The respite for Chennai heat is the sea breeze and the absence of it has also added to the warmth. Usually, mid April onwards, the city starts experiencing a gradual increase in heat due to the onset of the dry westerly winds.

Source: The New Indian Express

One more reservoir to quench the thirst of Chennaites

When the new lake being planned in the state government-owned land in Cuddalore becomes reality, it might well serve to quench the thirst of Chennaites during phases of acute water shortage.  The new reservoir near Neyveli is coming up in the lands near Vadakootthu village. Vadakootthu is located close to Neyveli Lignite Centre and runs along the Sengal Odai.

The 950 acre new lake  however has not brought much cheer to the farmers as they felt there was nothing for them in the project and that the lake itself is being constructed to relieve the Chennai residents of water shortage.  According to officials, the new lake will help in water conservation during floods besides being an additional supply of water for Chennai.

Source: The New Indian Express

Steep hike of swimming fee at Marina

Thousands of Chennaites throng the Marina swimming pool especially during  summer. The fee has been revised from Rs.15 an hour to Rs.50 an hour for adults and  Rs.30 an hour for children. The new fee will also be applicable for the new pool that is coming up in Tiruvottiyur. Despite the fee hike the officials are confident that they will continue to receive patronage.

Earlier it was proposed to generate additional revenue through advertisements in poles near the pool; however the proposal has not taken off yet.  Chennai Corporation officials say they are likely to reverse the fee hike once the proposal takes off.

Source: The Hindu

Beach tourism on the anvil

Come September, two major beach attractions in the city – Marina and the Elliots beach will have a major makeover, with Central Government pumping in funds to promote beach tourism.  The cost of the Marina makeover is estimated at ₹12.5 crore and that of the Besant Nagar beach at ₹8.5 crore. Work on the parks will start this month at Marina and Elliots beach, according to the officials.

The stretch from Labour statue to Lighthouse will be part of this makeover, while the stretch from Light house till Srinivasa puram will be left out due to protests from fishermen.

Besides improved access, the beach will also have easy access facility near Gandhi statue and Kannagi statue for persons with disability.

Source: The Hindu

Brussels to help Chennai with smart city solution and inclusive development

Chennai Corporation entered into an agreement with the city of Brussels to develop civic aspects, better urban planning and solid waste management. The high level Belgian delegation was in the city to understand the challenges and issues relating to pollution and solid wastes.

“Addressing the delegation local administration minister S P Velumani said the partnership agreement is a sign of spirit, to promote common values of democracy, human dignity, solidarity and environmental protection, in the areas of urban development and urbanisation challenges. Based on the agreement Chennai will look forward for sustainable and inclusive economic development, Smart Cities solutions, Support to tackle Global warming, and Climate Change, the minister said.”

The corporation has already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Ulsan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea, for the promotion of friendly relations between the cities

Source:  Deccan Chronicle

New traffic pattern on trial at Chennai airport

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is working on a trial for entry and exit points at domestic and international terminals of the Chennai airport.  The trial was conducted between 2 pm to 5 pm on two consecutive days last week to assess ease of flow before implementing it.

“A senior official of AAI said, “We want to first try it out before implementing it permanently. A survey will be conducted during the trial period on the flow of vehicles. The airport receives around 20,000 to 30,000 cars every day.”

AAI hopes that it will also address the issue faced by the cab drivers that they have exit within 10 minutes.”

As per the plan, the vehicles that come to domestic and international terminals will enter the airport using two entries and will be routed via two new ramps that connect to the flyover in front of the terminals.

Source: The Times of India

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