Chennai Buzz: At risk travellers to be screened | Flaws in SWD network…and more!

What changes can you expect at the Chennai airport with the Omicron scare? What are GCC's plans for improving health services? Catch recent updates here.

‘At risk’ travellers to be tested on arrival 

Passengers arriving to the Chennai airport from ‘at risk’ countries, where the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected, will be subject to additional screening. Those who reach Chennai from Europe, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel have been deemed ‘at-risk’.

The passengers from these countries will undergo a rapid PCR test which would take 30 minutes to provide results. The test would cost Rs 3400. They also have the option of taking the regular PCT test at Rs 700. 

A special corridor has been created in the Chennai airport to carry out the screening and sample collection. The area can accommodate 450 persons at time and avoid crowding. 

Source: The Indian Express | NDTV

Corporation to increase public health services

The Greater Chennai Corporation is conducting recruitment drives for doctors and health workers in order to improve the public health services in the city. The civic body will appoint 236 health workers and 140 doctors for the 200 wards of the city. They will be placed in urban primary health centres across Chennai. 

The recruitment drive will include hiring of medical officers, nurses, x-ray technicians, operation theatre assistants, pharmacists and midwives. Services to combat diabetes and hypertension will be launched by the civic body on completion of the recruitment drive. The funds from the National Health Mission will be used to strengthen the public health system in the city.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: What are nurses, risking their lives in Chennai’s COVID wards, getting in return?

Maps highlight flaws in stormwater drain network across the city

After the  Greater Chennai Corporation released maps of the city’s stormwater drain network the past month, residents have spotted missing and incomplete stormwater drain networks across the city. The existing drains have also been found to have serious design flaws.

While the maps show the presence of stormwater drains networks in areas such as Teachers Colony in Kolathur, the ground reality is that there were no drains present in the area. As a result, there has been extreme waterlogging in the locality. Residents blame lack of field visits by civic officials. Similar issues have been found in K K Nagar with missing drains. 

SWD map of Ashok Nagar
The SWD map of Ashok Nagar shows lack of planning based on topography and natural channels Pic: Dayanand Krishnan

Other areas such as T.Nagar have suffered from unscientific planning. Studying the map of the stormwater drain network, experts have found poor execution that did not take into account the gradient and slope. Some of the drains were found to have had no outlets. This has caused widespread flooding across the city. 

Source: The Times of India  

Read more: All that’s wrong with stormwater drains in Chennai and how to fix them

PIL against more seats for women in civic body

A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Madras High Court by a lawyer against the allocation of more seats for women in the Greater Chennai Corporation under the general category. The petitioner sought a balanced and equal allocation at a 50: 50 ratio in the civic body.

The petition stated that amendments to Municipal laws in 2016 allowed for 50% reservation for seats for women under the general category. In addition to this, a 2019 gazette notification added 16 seats for women under the scheduled category and 89 under the general category. This would result in 105 of the 200 wards being allocated for women.

The petition also sought a reduction in the number of seats allocated under the general category. The hearing has been scheduled for November 29th. 

Source: The Times of India

[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]

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