Chennai Buzz: New playgrounds in the city | Cloth bag vending machines at 25 places… and more!

From new playgrounds for in the city to first all-women police bagpipe band, here is a round up of Chennai news from the week past.

GCC to create 28 new playgrounds

In a welcome move, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has planned to construct 28 new playgrounds with several amenities across the city. It would be made free for the public. A sum of Rs 29.4 crore has been allotted to construct the playgrounds. 

Ten of these playgrounds will come up in the first phase of the project. In a bid to make it more accessible for people from the economically-weaker sections, the GCC has planned to set up these grounds near Urban Habitat Development Board colonies. As a pilot, a playground has been created near the KP Park tenements in Pulianthope of North Chennai. The playgrounds will have covered compound walls, floodlights and dedicated turfs for outdoor games such as football, hockey and cricket in addition to unisex toilets, an audience stand with shelter, trees in the periphery for shade, a walking track and 24/7 water supply.

Source: The Times of India

Read more: Looking beyond chess: The sports scenario in Chennai post COVID

Chennai police gets first all-women bagpipe band

For the first of its kind, the Greater Chennai Police has created a new music band consisting of all-women bagpipers and drummers. The department had a bagpipe band consisting of men with an Armed Reserve unit in the city police until 2015. However, it was disbanded as the police personnel were transferred to other places.

While the Greater Chennai Police has a band of male police personnel who play the clarinet and other instruments, the band comprising of 34 women police personnel from the Tamil Nadu Special Personnel in the Armed Reserve Police, who play bagpipes and drums, has been created for the first time. The department said that the all-women band would be deployed in ceremonial parades and other events conducted by the police.

Source: The Hindu

Verification of commercial properties by October

GCC to complete verification of commercial properties by October. Pic: L Vivian Richard/Wikimedia Commons

In a bid to increase the number of professional tax assessees in the city, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will complete door-to-door verification of commercial properties by October. Following the initiatives taken by the civic body over the past five months, the number of professional tax assessees has increased to 1.63 lakh when compared to 1.16 lakh before the new initiatives were implemented.

It is expected to reach 2 lakh assessments after the verification of commercial buildings and office spaces across the 15 zones in the city is completed. The officials have been directed to complete verification of all properties marked as commercial in the Geographic Information System (GIS) survey in two months.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: Explainer: How is your revised property tax being computed in Chennai?

Alternative uses for bus terminus in Koyambedu

An urban space with a cultural hub is likely to come up at the sprawling bus terminus in Koyambedu. Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) will develop the prime piece of land after the state government’s decision to shift inter-city bus services out of Koyambedu once operations begin in other areas.

The sprawling structure of CMBT bus terminus spread across 36 acres, that was inaugurated in 2002 at a cost of Rs 103 crore, will be demolished and reconstructed as CMDA nears completion of bus depots at Kilambakkam, Kuthambakkam and Madhavaram at a combined cost of Rs 815 crore.

Some of the proposals being studied include a park, a cultural hub and a museum. A final decision would be made after a study of route rationalisation for MTC buses in view of shifting of the bus stand. Though CMBT will be shifted, MTC bus operations will continue, said the officials.

Source: The Times of India

Cloth bag vending machines at 25 places in Chennai

Supriya Sahu IAS with school children, promoting Manjappai
Meendum Manjappai campaign aims to motivate people to quit the use of plastic bags and go back to using the eco-friendly traditional yellow cloth bags. Pic: @supriyasahuias/Twitter

As part of the Meendum Manjappai campaign, cotton cloth bag vending machines is to be placed at 25 more locations in Chennai. Addressing officials after a review meeting at the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) headquarters, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Siva V Meyyanathan said that the initiative was to discourage the public from using plastic bags.

Large schools would also be encouraged to set up biomethanisation plants to utilise organic waste to generate gas and use it in their kitchens or generate power. Further, the government also plans to host an exhibition of eco-friendly products that are alternatives to plastics in September.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Shobana Radhakrishnan]

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