Chennai Buzz: Second airport in Parandur | New street lights and more!

Plans for Chennai's swanky new airport, new air quality monitors in the city, how to buy Metro tickets without the app β€” catch the top headlines this week.

More air quality monitors to be set up in Chennai

To check the air pollution levels in the city more efficiently, five more Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS), budgeted at Rs 7.08 crores are likely to be set up across the city. Four stations would be placed in industrial and residential areas, while one would be at the seat of the civic body at Ripon Building.

A decision on the locations will be arrived at by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). The Fifteenth Finance Commission has released Rs 91 crores for the city under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). The Chennai Corporation has teamed up with IIT-Chennai for drawing up projects under the NCAP.

Source: The Times of India | DT Next

Read more: With PM10 above national standards, why is Chennai still out of the clean air programme?

109 trees to be felled for constructing Metro in Chennai

A total of 87 trees in Pangal Park and 22 trees near Luz Church will be axed to make room for the Metro. The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has asked the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) to compensate for the lost land and trees.

Some experts contended that the trees lost must be replanted elsewhere since the Metro is an important public transport. On the other hand, other environmentalists have opposed the move. They state that green cover in a specific location has significance, and replanting would not make up for the loss of trees. There is only 15% of green cover in the area under GCC, while the National Forest Policy mandates 33%, according to a study by Care Earth Trust.

Source: The Times of India

QR codes to be used for tickets at Metro stations

QR code boards are set to be introduced at key spots in Metro stations in Chennai to tackle the crowds at the ticket counters during busy hours. The passengers can scan the QR code and get their tickets. Before the introduction of QR boards, the CMRL app had to be installed to get a QR code ticket.

Crowded passengers at St Thomas Mount metro station
People crowd at the ticket counter in St Thomas Mount metro. Pic: Laasya Shekar

Officials say that these boards, which will be placed in parking spaces and concourse of the stations, will help passengers who do not have the mobile application to easily buy tickets. Payments via UPI, net banking, debit and credit cards are also available. Moreover, passengers get 20% off on QR code tickets.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

Parandur to get the next airport in Chennai

Parandur has been identified as the site for the second Greenfield Airport in Chennai, as confirmed by the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh on July 1, 2022. Two areas were initially shortlisted for building the airport: Parandur and Pannur. Parandur was chosen on the basis of its proximity to the Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway as well as consideration of other factors such as presence of habitation, vegetation, cost of land acquisition etc. The new airport would likely cost Rs 40,000 crore.

In order to be able to handle a targeted capacity of 20 million passengers a year, the airport will have two parallel runways and terminals. The construction is likely to be completed by 2030. Parandur airport as envisaged will be able to accommodate the flight of wide-body planes, unlike the existing one, thus strengthening the connectivity along intercontinental air routes, especially in Europe-Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

Read more: Chennai Airport a den of chaos and confusion for passengers

Chennai to get new street lights

Around 5600 new street lights and 85 high mast lights are to be set up in Ambattur, Manali, Alandur, Sholinganallur, Valsaravakkam and Thiruvottiyur by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) under the Nirbhaya scheme. The mast lights will have power ranging between 30w and 150w. Rs 34 crore has been allocated for this project.

dark road in Perumbakkam due to lack of street lights
It used to get pitch dark during night at Perumbakkam colonies due to the lack of street lights. Pic: Laasya Shekhar

The police have recommended the places based on the poor lighting to GCC. The civic body is hopeful that this move will improve safety on the roads for women and the elderly to travel at night. The improved lighting could also help solve crimes better. Residents have also raised a demand for more street lights in Ramapuram, Velachery and Taramani.

Source: The Times of India

Chennai Corporation cracks down on road encroachments and illegal sewer connections

Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) sent flying squads to its 15 zones to remove encroachments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to clear up the 471 bus route roads and 40,000 interior roads. They have removed 1087 encroachments, including 974 temporary structures and 113 concrete structures on footpaths and other places. The squad has also cracked the whip on dumping of construction debris on roads, footpaths and other places. 902 tonnes of debris were removed, and the violators penalised.

Residents and business owners have been asked to stop connecting their sewers to the stormwater drains. The squad will also be checking for illegal sewage connections and penalise the violators soon.

[Compiled by Padmaja Jayaraman]

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