Chennai Buzz: Preparing for the rains | Crackdown on plastic | Tracking sewage tankers…and more

Plans in view of the coming monsoon, CMWSSB move on payments and the war against plastic: All this and more in our weekly news roundup.

Monsoon preparedness works in the city

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has intensified its monsoon preparedness drive following rains lashing the city through the week. Officials have begun conducting inspections of stormwater drains across the city. Equipment necessary to pump out water in case of water logging is on standby with the civic body earmarking 807 pumps for this purpose. Earth movers have also been placed at river mouths in the city.

Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi has also said that close to 92% of the city’s 696-km stormwater drains have been desilted in the runup to the monsoon.

Despite these measures, it has come to light that the Public Works Department (PWD) has failed to desilt and prepare the lakes under its control for the upcoming northeast monsoon. According to residents in the area, large lakes such as the Velachery lake and Vengaivasal lake still see sewage dumping and encroachment of the banks, making the surrounding areas flood-prone. 

Source: The Hindu | DTNext

Read more: In pictures: Chennai’s lakes get monsoon ready

Metro Water aims to increase cashless payments; supply on the rise

The Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board aims to increase the volume of cashless payments received by the agency. In order to ensure this, around 180 Point Of Sale (POS) machines that allow for transactions by debit and credit card have been distributed to the depots of CMWSSB across the city. There are a total of 200 such depots where the residents reach out for payment purposes and grievance redressal. The agency said that around 65% all payments it received in 2020-2021 has been online. 

CMWSSB has also increased supply to the areas served by it with distribution of 1000 million litres in a day to core city areas and suburbs. The increase in supply will help reduce the quantity of water stored in reservoirs and help prepare for the upcoming monsoons. The agency has also begun work on plugging sewage leaks in order to avoid flooding during the upcoming monsoons. Two sewage pumping stations are to come up in Langs Garden Road and South Cooum River Road to this end. The sewage pumping is expected to reduce major instances of water logging during rains.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

Corporation launches campaign against plastic in Chennai

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has initiated a campaign against the use of single-use plastic in the city. The civic body plans to intensify the drive against plastic in the coming months. GCC aims to ensure citizens have access to and use alternative solutions such as cloth bags. There have been drives against plastic, with action taken on shops distributing single-use plastic and units that have been manufacturing them. 

As part of the drive against plastic the civic body has seized 2.82 tonnes of banned items and collected a fine of Rs 6.92 lakhs. The drive has been in place since mid-August. As part of the move, good quality cloth and paper bags will be made available to the people. 

It is to be noted that a broad ban on single use plastic has already been in place in the city since January, 2019 but little progress has been made in ridding Chennai of plastic.

Source: Deccan Chronicle | The Hindu

chennai plastic ban
Two years after the announcement of ban, plastic is back in our lives. Pic: Barnabas D

Read more: Two years since the ban, plastic is back in a big way. Is COVID the real reason?

Beach to Egmore fourth line to be completed by 2024

The fourth line linking Beach and Egmore stations will be completed by 2024 according to the Southern Railways. The project will help separate the express and suburban trains and could lead to an increase in the number of trains. A major roadblock for the project has been the acquisition of land. Swathes of land belonging to the Reserve Bank of India and Defence department were necessary to execute the project.

The project has been in the works since January 2020 when approval was received by the railway board. The line would extend to around 4.3kms.The initial timeline set for the completion was six months but the project has been delayed due to the land acquisition issues. The fourth line is expected to run until Royapuram.

Source: The Hindu

Tanker tracking to prevent sewage dumping

The Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has proposed a tracking system for 120 of its sewage tankers in order to prevent illegal dumping of sewage across the city. The revamping of tanker booking system and tracking was proposed at an advisory committee meeting of CMWSSB. The proposal includes the creation of an app which will alow for tanker booking, OTP authentication and GPS tracking of tankers to prevent the dumping of sewage at non-designated areas.

Sewage dumping has been a major menace in the city with many such tankers being found releasing the untreated sewage into lakes and other water bodies. CMWSSB also plans to build decanting station across the city to reduce the distance travelled by tankers to sewage treatment plants.  

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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