Chennai Buzz: Survey on mask use | Property tax fines reduced | GCC monsoon helplines…and more

Updates on key happenings in the city over the past one week.

COVID-19: One-third of the population did not wear masks correctly; only one active containment zone in the city

On November 6th, Chennai recorded 612 fresh COVID cases and 13 deaths. The day also witnessed 650 recoveries. 

A study jointly conducted by the National Institute of Epidemiology (NIE) and the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) revealed that only one-third of the population within the GCC limits wore masks correctly. The survey, which was conducted from October 16 to 19, covered 3,600 persons from 60 random streets in slum and non-slum localities. The survey found that 28% people wore masks correctly in slum areas and 36% in non-slum areas. Among those who reported not wearing masks at all, 56% were from slums and 43% from non-slum areas.

As on November 2nd the city has only one containment zone — Manjambakkam in Manali zone. The number has come down ever since cases started dropping. According to the revised regulations, a street is marked as a containment zone if more than three index cases or five regular cases are detected.

Even as the pandemic has posed several healthcare challenges, the government hospitals in Chennai have conducted dialysis for 757 COVID-19 patients from March to August free of cost. Stanley Government Hospital has set-up an exclusive dialysis unit inside the COVID block for this purpose. There are five hemodialysis equipment at Stanley, four at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) that have been used during this time.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

GCC reduces property tax penalty

Even as the city is battling the pandemic and its economic impact, the civic body has received Rs 91 crore as property tax revenue for October. A total of 1,38,187 property tax bills have been paid so far this year. It is to be noted that the number has doubled when compared to last year.

In 2019 October, 61,894 bills were paid and the corporation received Rs 71 crores. Officials from the civic body state that the announcement of 5% rebate (up to Rs 5,000) as one of the reasons for making the payments before the deadline.

Last month, the civic body rolled out a rewards system named ‘Greater Chennai Corporation Revenue Evaluation and Augmentation Task’ for encouraging citizens to pay their taxes promptly. 

Due to the pandemic, the corporation has taken a one-time decision to reduce the fine levied for late payment to 0.5% from the original 2%. This relaxation will be in place until March next year.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

CRZ clearance given for water supply project

The Coastal Regulation Zone (CEZ) clearance has been given to Metro Water for construction of a water supply system to provide drinking water for Madipakkam, Mathur, Jalladampettai and Uthandi village.

Under this project, water will be supplied from the Minjur desalination plants and Minjur and Nemmeli. The agency had sought clearance to build an underground tank with 2 lakh litre capacity and an overhead tank with 8 lakh litre capacity and for the laying of pipelines. The project is slated to be completed by January 2021 and will benefit 1.10 lakh residents.

Source: The Hindu

GCC initiates discussion on desilting SWDs around the year

Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has initiated an exploratory discussion on the possibility of desilting stormwater drains (SWDs) all through the year. In general, the civic body carries out the desilting exercise ahead of the northeast monsoon, usually at a cost of around Rs 15 crore. Civic body officials are divided over the idea as Chennai receives intense rainfall mostly during the northeast monsoon. The financial viability of this move has also been called into question.

On account of northeast monsoon, the civic body has released emergency contact numbers for filing complaints about problems related to the monsoon. While 1913 is the 24*7 helpline, people can also dial 044-25384530 and 044-25384540.

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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