Chennai Buzz: HC warning for groundwater users | Protests against Marina Loop Road | Land reclassification data online…and more

WEEKLY NEWS ROUND-UP FROM CHENNAI

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Marina in the light of dawn. Pic: Dr. Vijay Sriram

Officials warned for not sealing groundwater tapping units properly

A Madras High Court bench led by Justices Vineeth Kothari and R Suresh Kumar expressed disappointment over officials not complying with the rule that mandates sealing firms that illegally draw groundwater. The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by M V Sivamuthu of Neat India organisation against firms that misuse groundwater resources without obtaining license under the Chennai Metropolitan Ground Water Regulation Act, 1987, especially drinking water manufacturers in Chennai.

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The bench further warned that it intends to take contempt action against the authorities in-charge in Tamil Nadu and would summon the Chief Secretary. The court directed the officials to produce before the court the details of the closed units in the state’s 32 districts and the list of renewals granted on the next hearing, March 3rd.

Source: The Times of India | The New Indian Express

Fishermen and activists up in arms against Marina Loop Road

Fisherfolk and environmentalists went into a tizzy as the Madras High Court directed the Greater Chennai Corporation to examine the feasibility of rebuilding a road connecting Marina Loop Road, from Pattinampakkam to Besant Nagar. Fishermen are concerned about the loss of livelihoods if the project gets a nod.

Quoting R Sundaramoorthy, a member of Urur Olcott village administration, The New Indian Express report said, “From January to March, when seas are still, Chennai’s fisherfolk haul the big net to catch mackerel, prawns, and perch. During and after the construction of the highway, use of beach spaces for net-mending, fish drying, shore-seining, etc, will be affected. The migratory birds, insects and olive ridley population too, will face the brunt.”

Source: DTNext | The New Indian Express

School gives land for CMRL phase-II project

Good Shepherd School has given 17,495 sq ft of land to construct the Sterling Road Metro Station in Chennai Metro Rail’s (CMRL’s) second phase project. Since additional space is required to build the station, sources state that officials are in the process of acquiring land from private owners. Phase II of the project will have 128 stations covering 118.9 km of the city.

In yet another development, CMRL has launched ‘Sugarbox’, a video streaming application for commuters to watch movies on the go seamlessly, without exhausting mobile data. Commuters can enjoy the benefit by downloading the app and connecting to the WiFi on the Metro train. The streaming platform offers content in English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The app works on high-speed internet in metro stations and trains along Central to Airport via St Thomas Mount line. The same feature is also expected to be extended to Washermanpet to Airport via Anna Salai line.

Source: The Hindu | The Times of India

CMDA updates land reclassification details online

Having received considerable flak over not displaying information on proposed reclassification of land use based on applications from private firms or individual residents or government agencies, CMDA has updated the details after three months. Member Secretary, D Karthikeyan, cited a ‘server issue’ as the reason for the earlier lapse. The details include the name of the applicant, site address, survey number, village name, taluk name and district name, land use as per second master plan for CMA 2026 and change of land use requested by the applicant and its purpose on the public portal. This will now enable people to express their opinions or disagreements over proposed reclassification. Residents had earlier accused the authorities of keeping them in the dark by not disclosing information.

Source: The News Minute | The Times of India

[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]

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