Chennai Buzz: Flood alert, livability index and green plans for the city

The Kerala floods have put Tamil Nadu on edge too, but Chennai's doing its bit for the neighbours. A quick look at that, and more news from your city, in case you've been too busy to follow the headlines.

Flood-battered Kerala keeps Tamil Nadu on edge

With parts of Kerala reeling under water, and some areas completely cut off from normalcy, several residents of Chennai could empathise with the neighbouring state, which is facing a catastrophic situation much like Chennai did in 2015. Voluntary organisations were quick to seek out help and organise relief supplies to affected people.

With help coming from many quarters in the form of donations and relief materials, there is now fear for Tamil Nadu as well, as a majority of the dams in the state are full and have already started overflowing. Flood alert has been sounded in 13 districts and many people have already been moved to relief camps in Tamil Nadu.

Source: The New Indian Express

Chennai ranks second best metro in ease of living index

As we gear up for Madras Day celebrations, here is a feather in the cap for the city. In the recently released Ease of Living Index from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Chennai emerged 14th in the list of 111 cities, but was No 2 (second only to Mumbai), if we consider metro cities only. The overall ranking was done on four major pillars – governance, social, economic and physical infrastructure. Social factors such as education, health, safety and security boosted Chennai’s score. However,  the city has fared quite poorly on crucial parameters such as power supply, housing, open spaces and solid waste management, confirming that we still have a long way to go.

Source: The Times of India | News Today

Egmore ranks fourth most improved in Swachh Rail ranking

Chennai Egmore which is the hub for all south-bound trains has been recognised as the fourth most improved among A1 stations (stations with annual passenger-earnings above 60 crores) for cleanliness.

The Swachh Rail Swachh Bharath ranking was conducted for 407 A1 and A stations across the country. In Tamil Nadu, stations including Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore, Madurai and Coimbatore are categorised under A1, while stations including Tiruchirappali, Salem, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Katpadi and Thanjavur  are categorised under A, with earnings between 8 crore to 60 crore.

This is the third year that Indian Railways had surveyed stations for cleanliness. The ranking was arrived at based on parameters that included cleanliness in solid waste management, toilet maintenance, vendor areas, presence of foot-over bridges, drinking water booths, parking areas and main entrance areas.

Source: The New Indian Express

Chennai Corporation taps solar energy to power its buildings

As many as 662 Corporation-owned buildings — including schools, primary health centres, public halls — will be fitted with solar panels to power its buildings saving a huge electricity cost. The Greater Chennai Corporation has received approval from the State to go ahead.  

The project cost is estimated at 22 crore and the work is expected to commence soon. Ripon building which is a heritage structure in the city will be an exception and will not be covered under the project.

Source: The Times of India

Improved civic services for Chennai residents on the cards

Chennai residents can soon expect to enjoy improved civic services as the Corporation is all set to upgrade its Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Smart city projects and other civic services will have better implementation with upgraded software, funded by the World Bank.

The civic body has already started generation of a digital database, door-to-door surveys and utility mapping using GIS technology under the World Bank-funded Tamil Nadu Sustainable Urban Development Project.

Source:The Hindu

209 roads identified for re-greening

Cyclone Vardah which uprooted over one lakh trees had displaced the little green cover that the city had. The Corporation has now identified 209 roads, most of them large arterial roads for plantation of saplings, to bring back greenery. The roads have been identified based on field assessment done last year. 2000 Indian almond trees, 2000 neem and other species will be planted.

Source: The New Indian Express

Compiled by Sandhya Raju

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