Chennai Buzz: Dismal voting percentage | Corporation school results | Relief for parched city… and more

WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP FROM CHENNAI

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Chennai records lowest polling percentage in the state

Despite several campaigns by the election commission to encourage voting, Chennai has witnessed a decline in the poll percentage in this Lok Sabha elections. With an overall voter turnout of 59.01 per cent, the three Lok Sabha constituencies in Chennai recorded some of the poorest stats in Tamilnadu.

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Despite brisk polling, constituencies in Chennai had a low poll percentage, the lowest in the entire State: Chennai North, 63.47%, Chennai South, 56.34% and Chennai Central, 58.69%.

According to the official stats released by the Election Commission, the average polling percentage across 38 parliamentary constituencies that went to polls on April 18 stood at 71.87, while the polling percentage for the 18 Assembly constituencies that went for bypolls on the same day was 75.57.

Meanwhile, 60 families with a total of 300 votes falling under the Sriperumbudur constituency protested against the demolition of their homes and refrained from exercising their franchise. The district authorities launched a demolition drive last October in Kallikuppam abutting the Korattur lake, razing down over 600 houses that they called encroachments.

Source: News Today | The Hindu | The New Indian Express

Passengers stranded at Koyambedu bus terminus

It was chaos at the city’s central bus stand on Thursday, as thousands of passengers were waiting for buses to travel to their home towns to exercise their franchise. This Lok Sabha election saw many voters earnestly wanting to exercise their fundamental right and duty to elect their leader, but inadequate buses and poor planning led to passengers getting stranded at the bus stand.

The transport department has said that additional 1950 buses were operated apart from the regular service of 2950 buses, over 2.5 lakh people have used the services.

Source: The Times of India

Corporation schools shine in board exams

The performance in the 32 corporation schools of Chennai has improved compared to the previous year, with the overall pass percentage being 90.49%. Four corporation schools at Subbarayan street, Koyambedu, Nesapakkam and Nungambakkam achieved 100% pass percentage.

In a meeting held on Friday post the result announcement, officials discussed measures to improve the enrolment rate and improve the facilities at these schools.

Source: The Times of India

Veeranam to the rescue

The Veeranam lake, brimming with water after the release from Mettur dam, could prove to be a saviour for the water starved city, as it promises availability of water for the next 200 days. The lake has been a source for 35% of the city’s water requirements.  PWD officials say that this is the second time that it has seen full capacity in the last year.

The next major sources of water are the two desalination plants in Nemmili and Minjur. Officials are hopeful that 70% of the water requirement can be met from Veeranam and the desalination plants. Metrowater is already drawing water from the borewells in all the four reservoirs namely Chembarabakkam, Redhills, Cholavaram and Poondi.

Source: The Times of India

OMR Food Street bulldozed

The illegally constructed OMR Food street was demolished on April 11th following an order from the High Court. The proceedings that were initiated by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) in February 2017 culminated in the demolition of the eateries put up under the banner of ‘OMR Food Street’ abutting Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway in Okkiyam Thoraipakkam.

Chennai Corporation had regularised the plot in October 2018 despite it being in the residential zone. During the hearing of the petition, the judges had held this as an act of contempt saying that the regularisation had been done by a “fraudulent” method of dividing the plots.

The complex spread across 1100 sq m was built in 2014 and had 26 shops.

Source: The Times of India | The Hindu

Chennai air has more mercury than normal levels

A study conducted by the Institute of Ocean Management at Anna University has revealed alarming levels of gaseous mercury in Chennai air, raising concerns once again over pollution levels in the city. Mercury in Chennai was found to range between 3.5ng/m3 to 8.5ng/mas against a global average of 1.5ng/m3 in the atmosphere .

Besides industrial pollution, proximity to the sea, which is a huge natural reserve of mercury, could also be a reason for the higher concentration of gaseous mercury. To conduct further studies, IOM has collected soil and water samples to check the presence of mercury on the surface. They are also looking into the hair, urine and cord blood samples of more than 250 people in North Chennai to check exposure to mercury.

Source: The Times of India

<Compiled by Sandhya Raju>