Chennai Buzz: Covid vaccine boosters made free | MTC buses to turn pink… and more!


COVID vaccination at a government hospital
A senior citizen being screened before getting vaccinated at Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital, Omandurar. Pic: Bhavani Prabhakar

COVID vaccine booster doses available at government hospitals

The Director of Public Health and Preventive Medicines sent instructions to all deputy directors of health services to administer Covid vaccine booster doses to people in the 18-59 age group in all government centres on July 15.

“Booster shots will be made available and mega camps will be held once every two weeks to complete vaccination in 75 days,” said health minister Ma Subramanian. This is on the heels of an announcement made by the Union Government on offering booster doses free of cost for those under 60.

Source: The Times of India

Around 1,500 homeless families to get houses in Chennai

Around 1,500 families who live on the city’s pavements will soon get a roof over their heads as the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB) have decided to construct family tenements inside the city.

On July 13, PK Sekar Babu, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, T M Anbarasan, Minister for MSME and Tamil Nadu Urban Habitation Development Board inspected three venues shortlisted for the construction of the tenements along with Chennai Corporation and TNUHDB officials. The ministers inspected available land on Wall Tax Road, Seven Wells and Prakasam Street.

The land parcels are owned by the Chennai Corporation, Public Works Department and Education Department respectively. Once constructed, the tenements will be used to house homeless families living in St. Xavier Street, Muthialpet and Narayana Sarang Garden Street and George Town.

Source: DT Next

Read more: Families in Chennai’s resettlement colonies need urgent attention and a fairer policy

Residents complain of suspected gas leak

Residents of Manali and Thiruvottiyur experienced a gas leak that led them to feel breathless for the past 10 days. They also complained of a pungent smell in their surroundings. The issue is thought to have stemmed from a sulphur dioxide leak from Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (CPCL). Panic spread through the nearby neighbourhoods as more and more residents began to experience adverse effects.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) stepped in after repeated complaints by the residents and directed CPCL to monitor the ambient air quality in the area. Those living within a 2-3 km radius of CPCL have been experiencing these issues. Samplers have been roped in to help detect the kind of gas that the residents have complained of and the source of the leak.

Source: The New Indian Express

Chennai buses to turn pink for women passengers

To easily differentiate between ordinary and deluxe or express buses, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has planned to paint ordinary service buses pink to aid women passengers who can travel free of cost. So far, three buses have been painted pink at Chrompet depot and would be deployed on certain routes on a trial basis.

women deboarding chennai bus
MTC has decided to paint the ordinary buses pink for easy identification of women passengers. Pic: Aruna Ganesh/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 2.0)

The plan is said to be mooted following complaints by women passengers, who are allowed to travel free of cost, on identifying the ordinary service bus or whiteboard bus. To avoid confusion on the bus service type, MTC pasted a sticker on the windshield denoting ordinary fare buses but an easier identifier was deemed necessary.

The percentage of women taking bus rides on city buses has increased from 40% to 62% after the free ride announcement. On average, 37 lakh women travel on city buses. DMK government last year announced free travel for women, transgenders and disabled persons in the ordinary service city and town buses. 

Sources: The Times of India | DT Next

Read more: Chennai’s empty plots and OSR land can help fight flooding and drought

GCC flies in out-of-state workers to speed up flood-mitigation project work

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has brought hundreds of workers from other states by flight to complete the work on the stormwater drain ahead of the onset of northeast monsoon. Workers from West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been flown in to speed up the flood-mitigation project.

More than 70% of the workers at stormwater drain construction sites in Chennai are from other States. As the work on important stretches of the project has to be completed before the deadline of September 30, many workers were flown in. Officials said considering the productivity of the workers from other States, it was worth bringing them by flight for 88 contractors who were implementing the project.

Source: The Hindu

[Compiled by Shobana Radhakrishnan]

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The News Desk at Citizen Matters puts out Press Releases, notifications and curated information useful to the urban reader.