Chennai Buzz: Chennai Metropolitan Area set to expand | Air pollution skyrockets on Deepavali …and more!

Weekly Chennai news recap: Plans for upgrades to Egmore railway station ; Metrowater to clear sewage leakage to Buckingham Canal and more

Egmore railway station to get a makeover

Under the Prime Minister’s Gati Shakti-National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity, the Egmore railway station will be revamped to international standards. DEC Infrastructure and Projects is the contractor who will take up the redevelopment project. The project will take a year and a half, and will cost Rs 734 crore. The second-biggest station in Chennai will have various amenities like lounges, food courts and multi-level car parking spaces among other things. The platform of the station will also be redone.

Since the station is a heritage structure, the work will proceed after a nod from the State Heritage Committee.

Source: The Hindu

Air quality of Chennai deteriorates on Deepavali

fireworks on deepavali day
On the day of Deepavali, Chennai saw skyrocketing levels of air pollution. Pic: Wikimedia Commons

Air quality in Chennai on this Deepavali was worse than the city’s lowest on record in 2020. As recorded by the TNPCB’s air quality monitors, AQI (Air Quality Index) oscillated between “poor” and “severe” ranges of 345 and 786. This increased the risk of respiratory illnesses in Chennai. 

Besant Nagar had an AQI of 345, which was “poor” and Sowcarpet’s AQI was 786, which fell in the “severe” category. According to experts, the severe AQI level in Sowcarpet is equivalent to a person smoking 31 cigarettes in one day. 

During Deepavali, PM 2.5, the most dangerous particulate matter in the air in Chennai, reached a level of 500 units on October 25th, while the recommended PM 2.5 level is 60 units. 

Excessive bursting of fireworks, high relative humidity and low wind speed were the main reasons for high pollution levels in Chennai, explained the TNPCB authorities. In other words, smoke from the crackers did not escape easily due to the climatic conditions. 

Source: The New Indian Express | DT Next

Read more: Pollution red alert: Chennai’s Delhi moment is almost here

Buckingham Canal soon to be free of sewage: Metrowater

After clearing encroachments, the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) will stop sewage water from flowing into the Buckingham Canal. 

In the wake of sewage leaking into the waters of Cooum, Adyar and Buckingham Canal, the southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the water department about the mitigation efforts in keeping the water sources clean. 

Across Cooum, Metrowater has taken up diversion and interception in 10 places. To stop sewage illegally flowing into the Adyar river, Rs 555 crores have been allotted to the Chennai River Restoration Trust. 

Metrowater has laid underground sewage connections in areas including Perungudi, Karapakkam, Ullagaram, Madhavaram and Ramapuram, among other localities in Chennai. 

Source: DT Next

Read more: Winning ideas to revive Buckingham Canal and make Chennai climate-proof

Chennai Metropolitan Area becomes larger by five times

Parts of Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Ranipet and Chengalpet will come under the ambit of CMA, leading to the expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) to 5904 sq km from 1189 sq km. The expansion comes with the intent of planned growth and building satellite towns with better connectivity. 1225 villages will be encompassed within CMA from these districts.

CMDA’s member-secretary Anshul Mishra said that this move will help with the ideation of a detailed masterplan for Chennai, along with regulating unplanned growth.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

Fall into SWD pits proves fatal for journalist

On October 22nd, a journalist fell into a stormwater drain pit near Kasi theatre, in Jafferkhanpet. 23-year-old Muthukrishnan was returning from work when the mishap took place. Witnesses and his colleagues claimed that it took an hour for people to notice him inside the pit. Later, he was admitted to Royapettah Government Hospital but succumbed to his injuries.

The Greater Chennai Corporation issued a clarification that the SWD work in that area fell under the ambit of the Department of Highways. Residents have complained against the manner in which SWD construction is being undertaken, with a lack of barricades and rods lying open, making vast stretches of roads in the city unsafe.

Source: The NewsMinute

[Compiled by Padmaja Jayaraman]

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