Civic

Find in-depth articles on common issues affecting daily life in our cities, and related to community responses and action around these issues. The articles provide insights into the complexities of managing and improving urban livability and citizen engagement.

IMD issues orange alert to Chennai Following the heavy downpour across the city, many roads were inundated making regular commute a herculean task for residents. Workers from Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and other departments are actively working on the ground to attend to public complaints of waterlogging and clearing out the water. Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an orange alert for Chennai and its neighbouring districts on December 2 and 3. This indicates the likelihood of heavy to very heavy rainfall. Following the heavy inflow of water, the water discharge from Chembarambakkam was increased to 6,000 cubic…

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Every year, November and December have been the most devastating months for Chennai when it comes to natural calamities. Our city has long been known for its susceptibility to a long list of natural disasters: cyclones, storm surges, coastal flooding, torrential rainfall, earthquakes and tsunamis. After the 2015 deluge in Chennai, the then administration had acknowledged the fact that the incomplete Storm Water Drainage (SWD) network was one of the main reasons for the disaster, which claimed over 470 lives.Most of the problems faced by the residents in Chennai have existed for decades. Inadequate and poorly managed basic infrastructure has…

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Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) has been on a drive towards automation over the past decade. More and more challans are being added on their website, and people are expected to find them and pay their dues. While this might give BTP a bit of breathing space to concentrate on more stringent violations, that does not seem to be what is happening. Here, I analyse BTP's shift towards automation over the years while looking at how that has affected safety on the roads. While automation suggests intelligent systems like cameras and detectors that can catch different types of violations, including overspeeding,…

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Rainfall yellow-alert over weekend The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rainfall across Maharashtra, including Mumbai, from November 25 to 27, issuing a yellow alert for large coastal areas. The IMD predicts thunderstorms with lightning and gusty winds (30 to 40 kmph) in some regions during this period. This forecast is attributed to the formation of a low-pressure system in the Bay of Bengal, causing unseasonal rainfall. The IMD expects this development to potentially alleviate air pollution in the city. Source: Hindustan Times  BMC introduces 'zero prescription policy' for direct hospital medicine access The BMC has introduced a 'zero prescription…

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Stray dog attacks 29 people in Chennai A stray dog in Chennai bit 29 people in less than an hour in the Royapuram area before being killed by locals suspecting it might have rabies. Witnesses reported unprovoked attacks, with victims sustaining deep cuts and bleeding. Twenty-four individuals had category three bites, with possible saliva transfer. The injured, including school children and senior citizens, were admitted to a nearby hospital for rabies prevention. The Greater Chennai Corporation sent the body of the dog for postmortem at the Madras Veterinary College to determine if it was rabies-infected, given its unprovoked aggression. Sources:…

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Projects for safe city, low anaemia The ‘Safe City’ project's newly built command centre was inaugurated by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on November 24th. In March this year, the centre had launched Phase 1 of the 'Safe City' project, under the ‘Nirbhaya Fund’. The costs are being shared between the centre and the state at a 60:40 ratio. About 7,500 CCTV cameras in 3,000 key areas, 50 safety islands, 158 viewing centres and a command centre are planned. The Anaemia Mukta Poushtika Karnataka Action Plan was launched by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on November 22nd, aiming to improve the nutritional status of…

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In the past three months, the city has witnessed several instances of cattle attacks, some of them grave. Last month alone, at least three such incidents were reported from different localities in Chennai — one of them involved an elderly, speech and hearing impaired person, who was hit by a cow in Triplicane and suffered injuries (he later died in a city hospital of complications from other health issues). The urban challenges posed by stray cattle in public spaces have stumped both the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and citizens, while cattle owners, concerned about their livelihood, shy away from taking…

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Every time motorists or pedestrians pass by Sembudoss street and Armenian street in George Town, they feel like they are part of a hurdle race that never seems to end. Apart from the fact that many of the roads in the locality are riddled with potholes, manhole covers which are protruding out on the road add to the misery of citizens. These unscientifically built structures that are quite a few inches above ground, pose a threat to commuters.  Apart from George Town, these utility hole chambers that are used for covering the underground drainage pipes, can be seen in several…

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Greater Chennai Corporation coordinates with other departments to resolve civic issues Following the first widespread heavy rains this Northeast monsoon, the Greater Chennai Corporation received as many as 401 complaints as of November 15. This includes 276 complaints about water stagnation, 97 about faulty streetlights, 16 about trees, 5 about sewage overflow and 4 complaints about power supply disruption. Corporation Commissioner Dr J Radhakrishnan told the media persons that the GCC officials are coordinating with the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) and the Electricity department to resolve issues on sewage flow and junction boxes. The GCC is…

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First Navi Mumbai Metro after 9 years delay The first Metro line of Navi Mumbai started on Friday after a nine-year delay. Instructing Cidco authorities, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde directed the commencement of the Navi Mumbai Metro Belapur-Pendhar Line 1 without an official public ceremony. Initially laid in May 2011 by former CM Prithviraj Chavan, the project faced multiple delays, with its original deadline of 2014 being extended several times due to contractor negligence compounded by the impact of the pandemic. The State opposition leader, Vijay Wadettiwar, had threatened to inaugurate the Navi Mumbai Metro service. Its inauguration, initially planned…

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