HC cracks a whip on illegal buildings along ECR in CRZ-1 and II
A Madras High Court bench comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha have instructed the State Coastal Zone Management Authority (SCZMA) to carry out a detailed survey and identify the total count of unapproved buildings on ECR from Uthandi to Mahabalipuram. The bench had issued lock and seal notices to over 700 building owners a few years ago for violating the norms. Chennai Corporation has been directed to submit a report detailing the action taken against the owners. Further, the Justices ruled that GCC should develop a plan to prevent unlicensed development of buildings along the coastline and table it before the court.
SCZMA has designated Care Earth Trust to carry out a study to measure the effect of amusement parks and other recreational amenities on the shoreline on the coastal ecosystem. Geo-spatial assessment of changes in land usage, infrastructure, land cover, population density, and on-site evaluation will be done as part of the project to develop monitoring and mitigation mechanisms.
Source: The Hindu | The New Indian Express
Rs 400 crore to be sanctioned to clear Perungudi dump yard
The Madras High Court recorded an announcement made on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government that Rs 400 crore would be sanctioned in a month to clear the dump yard at Perungudi. GCC Commissioner G Prakash stated that the proposal was cleared by a high powered committee and awaiting sanction of funds. He also noted that a similar project to clear Kodungaiyur may require around Rs 1000 crore, and added that that project would kick-off once Swachh Bharat-II takes-off.
Source: The Hindu
Marina to become disabled-friendly
An expert appraisal committee of the Union Environment Ministry has given the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to Greater Chennai Corporation, to construct walkways on Marina Beach for the benefit of the differently-abled community in Chennai, The passageway is to be constructed at two points on the beach – behind Labour Statue (380 m long, 3 m wide) and behind Gandhi Statue (125 m long). However, the structure will not be in concrete, instead, it is likely to be made with lighter slip-resistant materials including waterproof plywood, at an estimated cost of Rs 90 lakh. The news has brought joy to the differently-abled people and activists as they have been visiting Marina only on the day of International Day of Disabled Persons (3 December) by constructing temporary walkways.
Source: The New Indian Express
Akshaya Patra ties up to provide breakfast to students in Corporation schools
International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ (ISKCON’s) Akshaya Patra Foundation has been roped in to provide breakfast to students studying in Corporation schools. From the total funds received, the State School Education Department has allocated Rs 5,935 cr for the mid-day meals programme. Further, an MoU has been signed between the two stakeholders to operate two centralised kitchens – on Greams’ Road and Perambur Barracks Road.
The move has been criticised in some quarters due to the NGO’s religious affiliation and their policy of serving food without onion and garlic.
“I find it suspicious that the government is using discretion to pick one organisation. Even if it wanted the help of NGOs, then they should have issued a tender and selected them transparently,” Ravikumar of Viduthalai Chiruthai Katchi has been quoted as saying in The New Indian Express.
Source: The News Minute | The New Indian Express
Chennai Central platform ticket hiked by Rs 5
In a bid to decongest platforms and facilitate the movement of passengers during the peak summer months, Southern Railway has increased the rate of platform tickets at Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. MGR Central Station, from Rs 10 to Rs 15 for three months from 1 April till 30 June 2020.
BusinessLine quoted an official release as saying, “This increase in the platform ticket price is done in accordance with power delegated by Railway Board in 2015, to the respective divisions to increase the platform ticket beyond ₹10 to regulate rush during any specific period”.
Source: The Times of India | BusinessLine[Compiled by Bhavani Prabhakar]