Chennai Buzz: HC slams illegal water extraction | City gets solid waste incinerator | Rise in cases under POCSO … and more

Water, waste, crime -- a round-up of the most important headlines from various beats in your city over the past one week

Groundwater extraction without permission might invite action

Hearing a public interest litigation petition filed against the illegal withdrawal of groundwater from private lands at Pidarithangal village in Poonamallee Taluk of Tiruvallur district, the Madras High Court has directed the Municipal Administration and Water Supply Department to submit details on the number of permits issued across the city.

The judges also pointed out that Section 5 of the Chennai Metropolitan Area Groundwater (Regulation) Act of 1987 mandates that any person who wants to extract groundwater for any purpose other than domestic and transport it through lorries should make an application to the CMWSSB for grant of license.

The judges were shocked to learn that as many as 130 illegal borewells were detected in a massive raid conducted in nine villages in the district. The judges also made it clear that the police, as well as revenue officials, cannot go easy on the private water tanker lorries, which transport illegally extracted groundwater from suburban localities to Chennai city, by merely imposing fines on the lorry drivers and owners.

Source: The Hindu

City sees a steady rise in sexual offence cases

As many as 490 cases were registered in the last three years in the city under the POCSO Act, most of which are rape cases. According to data received from city police, of the 131 cases reported in the city this year, 89 were rape cases. In 2017 and 2018, the number of cases reported was 84 and 145 respectively.  The 89 cases registered in the first six months this year involved girls in the age group of  15 to 18 years and boys of 19 to 23 years.

Though the number of cases registered is alarming, it also shows that the awareness of the POCSO Act has also considerably increased.

Source: The Times of India

Garbage bins removed under smart city project

As part of the smart city project, 11 bins on the Thiyagarajar road have been removed. Prior to phasing out the garbage bins, the Corporation officials held talks with vendors and commercial establishments.

As alternative arrangement, garbage collection vehicles will make two trips, one at 11 am and another at 2 pm. The vendors have also been asked to segregate the waste. Though the response has been lukewarm, the officials are hopeful that it will pick up in the coming days.

Source: The Times of India

Public advised to verify background of servants before hiring

A recent incident of the kidnap of a four-year-old girl in the city has renewed focus on the need to do verification checks on the maid servants. The girl who was kidnapped by the maidservant and her boyfriend was rescued within eight hours. The motive behind the crime was to make some quick money.

The police have advised to  background checks before hiring maids or domestic help. The Tamil Nadu police website offers verification to the public at a cost of Rs 1000.

Source: The New Indian Express

City gets its first solid waste incinerator

Chennai’s first solid waste incinerator is to be set up in August in Manali, in the north of the city. After this, Madhavaram and Tiruvottiyur zones have been identified as sites for setting up incinerators. The Greater Chennai Corporation has plans to set up at least two incinerators in a zone, and will later increase the number depending on the quantity of waste generated.The 10-tonne plant that is being set up at Manali can burn 1.25 tonnes of waste in one hour.

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Sandhya Raju]

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