Makeover for city’s streets under the Mega Streets project
The Corporation of Chennai has adopted the Complete Streets Framework under which close to 110 kms of the city’s arterial roads are set to get a makeover. The project aims to upgrade the city’s streets to aid better walking, cycling and improve access to public transport. Through these measures the civic body hopes to create accessible public spaces for all. The project will revamp roads spread across 426 sq km of the city.
There will be greater importance to various forms of non-motorized transport and making streets fit for the same. The preliminary research and survey have been completed for the project, which has been in the pipeline for the past three years. The project will be executed in phases with the first phase to be carried out in Anna Nagar, Tondiarpet, Velachery, Nungambakkam, Adyar and Mylapore. The roads will be developed with ducting for utilities such that there will be no need to cut the road for any works for the next 30 years. Ducting will carry both financial and environmental benefits.
Source: The Hindu | The Indian Express
Metro to allow passengers to carry their personal bicycles on board
In a welcome move, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited will now allow passengers to carry their bicycles with them on the trains. The move was announced by the CMRL after many passengers expressed their interest in taking their cycles with them. Until now, bicycles were prohibited on the trains. Commuters had the option of renting smart bikes, under the city’s bike-sharing system, from the metro rail station across the city.
As more and more passengers placed requests to the CMRL, the agency has made the move to allow cycles. This has brought cheer to many passengers who own their own cycles and wish to use the same for last-mile connectivity to and from metro stations. CMRL requested passengers to carry handy, small cycles and ensure that no inconvenience is caused to other passengers.
Source: The Hindu
Chennai noisiest metro city
According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board, Chennai is the noisiest city among the country’s six metros. The latest data available and compiled was from 2018. The CPCB measured readings from monitoring stations across various cities and calculated the averages. Chennai stood loudest at 67.8 decibels. Delhi came second with an average noise level of 61 decibels. Other cities with high noise levels include Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Secunderbad.
Most cities had noise levels above the permissible limits. The CPCB mandates that the noise levels in residential areas should not be above 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night. Chennai’s high vehicular population could also play a part in the high levels of noise found across the city. Notably, Chennai has the most number of two-wheelers among all metro cities in India.
Police crackdown on anti-CAA protest causes tension
The Chennai Police came down heavily on a protest that was being held against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The protest took place in Washermanpet area and saw close to 400 people in attendance. The protest was peaceful but those gathered refused to vacate the premises as requested by the police. The police then took to lathi charge to disperse the protesters and arrested many on the spot, citing that no permission had been granted for the protest.
This incident spread on social media with many condemning the actions of the police against a peaceful protest. There were many gatherings to register dissent across various spots in the city. Many protesters came together on Mount Road and near Mint station to register their dissent. They dispersed only after prolonged assurances from the police that dialogue will be carried out with protesters. All those who were arrested were then released.
Source: India Today | The Hindu
Corporation adopts Miyawaki forest method
The Chennai Corporation’s urban greening efforts has a latest technique in its arsenal, the Miyawaki forest method. The Japanese method of Miyawaki is a technique that involves planting more trees that grow at a faster rate than others in a small area. The trees take up less space but also achieve the goals of urban greening in a short span of time.
The Miyawaki method was adopted recently in Kotturpuram. An area of 20000 sq ft has around 2000 saplings in place. The civic body and other agencies such as the Chennai River Restoration Trust plan to expand the efforts in various parts of Chennai such as the banks of the Cooum. The next spot for greening along the lines of Kotturpuram will be 6000 square feet of open space reservation (OSR) land in Royala Nagar in Ramapuram.
Source: The New Indian Express | The Hindu
(Compiled by Aruna Natarajan)