Chennai Buzz: Plastic ban | Lake restoration | Road user survey…and more

CHENNAI WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP

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Along with plastic ban, segregation at source should be effectively implemented to make Chennai, a clean city. Credits: Priyadarshini I

2019 to begin with plastic ban

The High Court has dismissed the writ petition seeking a stay on government’s move to ban plastic of use and throw products. With this, the city is expected to begin the new year on an environmental friendly note. The government had banned 14 items including  plastic carry bags, plastic sheets used for food wrapping, dining table spreads, plates, plastic-coated tea cups, tumblers, water sachets, plastic straws and plastic flags, irrespective of their thickness.

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Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha observed that there should be a total ban that extends to the currently exempted products so as to make the state completely plastic free. The Government has clarified that there won’t be any extension and violators will be penalised.

Meanwhile, the association of plastic manufacturers across the state have been making representations to the Government, seeking extension or lifting of the ban. Similarly the Tamil Nadu Hotel Association also sought extension for a period of 6 months to come up with cost-effective alternatives to plastic.

The Environment Minister has stated that it is more of a behavioural change and implementing the ban will not be a challenge as several workshops and awareness campaign have been undertaken. For all those thinking of alternatives, here are some options available to live without plastic.

Source: The Hindu | Times of India | The New Indian Express

This new year, you can party till 1 am

To ensure an incident-free New year eve, the city police has advised all hotels and resorts to wind up celebrations by 1 am.

At a meeting held with the managers and representatives of hotels, clubs and resorts, senior police officers have advised them to follow all rules, guidelines and licence conditions that stipulate time for serving liquor.

Additionally, it has also been stressed that CCTV units should be installed at all entry and exit points and prior permissions should be sought for all celebration activities and erection of stages and pandals.

Source: The Hindu

Chennai ranks worst in road sense

In a recent survey conducted by an automobile manufacturer, Chennai has ranked at the bottom in many parameters on road usage and courtesy to fellow commuters. The survey covered private drivers, passengers and pedestrians in six metros and four non-metro cities.

According to survey results, 79% of the drivers do not maintain safe distance between vehicles and 68% do not have overtaking etiquette. Worse still is that the city lacks good Samaritans with 75% of them reluctant to carry an accident victim to hospital and a whopping 92% do not care for elders crossing the road. 92% do not follow lane discipline or adhere to speed limits making the roads clearly unsafe.

The survey results were released against the backdrop of activists demanding immediate passing of Motor Vehicles Amendment Bill.

Source: The Times of India

57 more water bodies to get rejuvenated

As part of the third phase of the Smart City Mission, 57 more water bodies will get a facelift. Most of the identified water bodies are in Manali and Madhavaram that saw a deluge of floods in 2015.

Out of the 210 lakes that the corporation had planned to rejuvenate, work on restoring 104 lakes are already in progress, out of which 40 water bodies have been handed over to corporates and NGOs for desilting and creating bunds.

When the work on all 210 lakes get completed, not only will the combined water holding capacity increase by 12000 million litres, but it will also recharge the groundwater levels.

Source: The Times of India

Fewer stray dogs but anti rabies vaccination has gone up

As per the latest stray census by Chennai Corporation, the number of stray dogs in the city has come down by 25,000. Ironically, however, the number of people who took anti rabies vaccination has increased from 39,000 in 2016-17 to 57,000 in 2017-18. The Corporation had undertaken the dog census using an app developed by them.

However, residents of several areas have denied the claims, saying there has been no change in the situation and the numbers might be misleading.

Source: The New Indian Express | The Times of India

[Compiled by Sandhya Raju]