Chennai Buzz: When Chennai rains trended | Traders resent plastic raids | Action against encroachments…and more

WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP FROM CHENNAI

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Representational image. Pic: Laasya Shekhar

Chennai sees rain after almost 200 days

Chennaites took to social media to express their happiness and celebrate the sudden showers that caught the city by surprise on Thursday. Though it lasted for a few minutes only, it brought some respite and hope for heat-struck, water-starved Chennai. The city has recorded more than 10 hot days so far this month, when the day temperature crossed 40 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the quality of water in the city has changed to become very hard. As the water table too steadily declines, wells are being dug far too deep, leading to over-extraction, which is changing the quality of the water.

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Source: The New Indian Express | The Hindu

Corporation to restore 210 water bodies across the city

Chennai Corporation has decided to restore and improve the storage capacity of 210 waterbodies by plugging sewage outfalls and removing encroachments. The total extent of the 210 waterbodies managed by Chennai Corporation is 9.67 sq. km, but most of them have shrunk in area by more than 50%. According to officials, work on increasing the storage capacity of 70 waterbodies is expected to be completed shortly, and the work on 100 water bodies is expected to commence soon. In the face of the severe water crisis that the city has been facing for days now, the state has drawn considerable flak for overall mismanagement of natural water resources.

Source: The Hindu

Traders harass corporation officials during plastic raids

As the imposition of fines for the violation of the plastic ban in the city came into effect early this week, Chennai Corporation officials reported facing harassment and threats from traders during the surprise raids conducted to seize banned plastic items.

Greater Chennai Corporation officials seized over 1000 kg of banned plastics, of which over 50% were from the shops at Parry’s Corner. The officials also complained of lack of police support during the raids, resulting in mistreatment of officials. The officials have issued notices to many first time offenders and penalized others for using banned plastic.

Source: The Times of India

Illegal structures and encroachments under the scanner

Over 4.87 acres of encroachments built in the vicinity of the Velachery MRTS station including residences, shops came under bulldoze as officials began the drive to get rid of these illegal structures.

Former councillors of Chennai Corporation had reportedly grabbed more than 50% of the land, developing commercial buildings along the four streets in the vicinity of Velachery MRTS station over the past few years. The number of encroachments is estimated to be more than 150 along these four streets.

Following the demolition at Velachery, the civic authorities have also started looking at other encroachments across the city. Hundreds of acres belonging to Anna University and Madras University have been encroached upon by people in Kaiveli and Kallukuttai in the Assembly segments of Velachery and Sholinganallur.

In response to a PIL filed to assess the encroachments in Paper Mills Road, the Madras High Court has directed the tahsildars of Perambur and Ayanavaram to survey the Paper Mills Road and to determine encroachments on either side of the road margin and submit a report. According to the petitioner L D William Moses of Sembium-Thiru-vi-ka Nagar, the Paper Mills Road originally had a width of about 100 feet. About 10 schools, various religious places, and commercial organizations were situated on the road. Over the years, the road has been reduced in width to 40 feet width due to encroachments.

Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express

Queensland Amusement Park shuts temporarily following an accident

A free fall ride in Queensland Amusement Park plunged 10 feet down after the steel cables holding one of the platforms gave way, injuring 12 people.  There were 24 riders when the mishap took place. Following the accident, the police have instructed the management of the theme park to temporarily suspend operations until they obtain stability certificates.

Incidentally, none of the park riders had come forward to register a complaint. The police had acted based on the video that went viral in social media.

Reports say that the police had done a safety check at the theme park last month. Noticing that some of the rides were not in good working condition, the police had instructed the management to take corrective measures.

Source: The New Indian Express

[Compiled by Sandhya Raju]