Chennai Buzz: Velachery flyover inaugurated | Smart traffic management system by JICA.. and more

The inauguration of Koyambedu and Velachery flyovers, the Diwali cracker effect on city air - catch all this and more in this weekly recap.

Velachery and Koyambedu flyovers open to public

Two much-awaited infrastructure projects in the city were inaugurated by Chief Minister M K Stalin earlier this week. One arm of the Velachery flyover and a 1.15-km long Koyambedu flyover were thrown open for public use. 

The Koyambedu flyover has been under construction since 2015. The project saw several delays as the authorities had to work around the heavy flow of traffic along this route and due to issues with land acquisition. The project cost a total of Rs 93.5 crore. The COVID-19 lockdown helped accelerate the pace of completion as most vehicles were off the streets.

The Velachery flyover too has seen similar delays. The project was originally set to be completed in 2018. The completed flyover at Velachery will connect Taramani with Velachery Bypass. The one arm that has been inaugurated is at Vijayanagar junction. The project comes at a cost of Rs 67 crores.

Source: The Indian Express | The Times of India

City celebrates Diwali; sees poor air quality due to crackers

Even as restrictions on bursting fire crackers were in place, Chennai saw extensive celebrations across the city. Much of the residents failed to adhere to the prescribed time slots of 6am-7am and 7pm-8pm for bursting fire crackers. Heavy smog was seen across various parts of the city in the aftermath of the celebrations. There was also extremely low visibility in many areas. 

Air quality in the city declined drastically in the aftermath of Diwali. The air quality index dropped to ‘poor’, with an increase in various pollutants. The air quality index ranged between 342 to 385 according to data collected by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. High humidity, low winds and bursting of crackers caused a rise in pollutants in the air.

In a bid to enforce the norms instituted by the Supreme Court on bursting of crackers, the Chennai Police has filed cases against 758 individuals. The offenders were formally arrested and released on bail. Cases were also registered against 239 cracker shops for failure to obtain licence.

The day after Diwali also saw conservancy workers of the Chennai Corporation collect a total of 138 metric tonnes of firecracker waste which was transported in 33 vehicles. 

Source: The Hindu | India Today | The Times of India | The New Indian Express

Read more: Chennai air quality: City sees 94% spike in NO2 pollution

Techie’s deaths spotlights pothole menace

A video showing the tragic death of a youngster who was run over by a city bus after losing control of his vehicle after hitting a pothole went viral earlier this week. The death of 32 year-old Mohammad Yunus, who came under the wheels of an MTC bus has sent shockwaves across the city. The CCTV footage of the incident showed the dangers of potholes across the city, especially in light of the onset of monsoons.

The aftermath of the accident saw a chorus of angry voices demanding accountability and fixing potholes across the city. The Greater Chennai Corporation then swung into action and has deployed a workforce of 1000 to cover up potholes. 

The civic body has also allotted temporary funds of Rs 10 lakhs each per zone for the 15 zones of the city for road maintenance. A survey by the authorities has found around 942 roads across the city that require maintenance work to be carried out. 

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

road with pothole
The death of a techie has prompted civic body to repair potholes. Pic: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY:SA 3.0)

JICA funding for smart traffic system 

Chennai could soon see intelligent traffic management systems deployed in the city with funding from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA). A tender of Rs 660 crores is expected to be floated for the project. The project will also see funding from the state government.

The main components of the project are to do with traffic management and the city’s bus system. As part of traffic management, the city will get Adaptive Traffic Signals at 165 junctions. There will also be systems in place to detect red light violations and speed limit violations. 

The City Bus System will include the ability to track buses real time with GPS devices, one for each bus. This will help passengers know routes of buses and expected travel time. 

As part of the project, Command and Control Centers will be set up at the headquarters of Chennai Police and at the Metropolitan Transport Corporation. 

Source: The New Indian Express

Read more: Explainer: Who administers and provides public services in Chennai?

Citizens allowed to take up infrastructure projects

Under the newly launched Namakku Naame Thittam, residents, residents associations and companies can now take up small scale infrastructure projects in the city. The civic body has made an allocation of Rs 50 crore for the project. 

The projects can be taken up by the residents by covering one third of the total cost with the remaining covered from this corpus by the civic body. For water body restoration, citizen contribution can cover up to 50% of the project cost. There is no upper limit on maximum contribution by the residents.

The list of permitted projects include water body renovation, renovation and maintenance of parks, maintenance of traffic islands, installation of street lights and fountains, construction of stormwater drains and public toilets. 

For more information on the project, interested residents, residents associations and companies may contact the civic body at 9444100198.

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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