Marina beach safety improved
Following a spate of drowning deaths along the Marina beach, safety measures have been beefed up at the Marina beach. There have been 13 deaths in the past 50 days, prompting action by the authorities to take action to ensure the safety of the general public. The most recent incident involves the disappearance of two undergraduate students, feared to have been drowned in the rough seas.
In addition to lifeguards and monitoring outposts with all terrain vehicles, police teams will also carry out additional patrolling along the beach. Dedicated Whatsapp numbers have also been published for the public to reach out to in case of emergencies. The stretch of the beach spanning 3.5 km has three outposts with rescue personnel available for emergencies. The police also plan to step up monitoring by installing CCTV cameras.
Source: The Times of India
Corporation penalises SWD contractors
The Greater Chennai Corporation has levied penalties on contractors who have failed to complete work on the city’s stormwater drain network within the scheduled timeline. A total of Rs 4.5 lakh has been levied as fine for the failure of the contractors to complete works across various parts of the city. One of the contractors has been asked to demolish a part of the construction and redo the work as a result of faulty design.
The delay by contractors in completing the work will affect the preparedness of the city in facing the northeast monsoon. The construction of the storm water drain network in the city has run into various issues in recent times, with residents in the ECR region opposing the project. The National Green Tribunal has halted the work in the area after objections from the residents.
Source: The Hindu
Proposal for sea link in Chennai
The State government has requested the Centre to construct a sea link in Chennai with the aim of reducing traffic congestion in North Chennai around the port. Movement of cargo to the port has been a source of traffic issues in the area for many years. The proposed 7.6-km sea link would connect the Chennai port with the Manali Road and Thiruvottiyur junction allowing for easy passage of the cargo. The proposal was submitted by Minister E V Velu to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in New Delhi.
Another project that would aid the traffic woes in the area is the speeding up of the construction of the Port-Maduravoyal Elevated Corridor. The project has faced inordinate delays and was stalled by the previous ADMK government owing to environmental concerns. The cost of the project too has ballooned to Rs 5965 crores. It was originally set to be completed in 2013.
Source: The Times of India
Corporation to vacate COVID care centres
As the number of active cases has dipped below 200 across all zones in the city, the civic body is set to vacate rented COVID care centres. The city currently has a total of 1835 active COVID-19 cases. With a low caseload, the need for maintaining additional facilities has diminished.
At the height of the second wave the civic body had converted the trade centre into an 800 bed oxygen facility. The civic body will vacate the premises of the Chennai Trade Centre, which it has been maintaining for the past six month as part of its COVID-19 preparedness measures. The rent for the premises is Rs 20 lakh per day.
The COVID-19 care centres at educational institutions such as Loyola College and Anna University have been vacated. The one at Victoria Hostel is also set to be shut down soon.
Source: DTNext | The Hindu
Incentive for property tax payers
A total of Rs 5.94 crores has been paid as incentive to property tax payers for making their payment on time. The civic body has stated that 1,37,760 individuals have paid their property tax dues between October 1st and 10th. In a move to encourage prompt payment, the Corporation has promised a 5% waiver of property tax of up to Rs 5000 on payment of the dues between April 1-15 and October 1-15. Late payment would attract a penalty of 2%.
Around Rs 375 crore had been collected as property tax by the civic body during the first half of the year. Arrears from defaulters were also collected during this period. While property tax is one of the key sources of revenue, the pandemic has slowed down the efforts of the corporation to amp up collection. The collection of Rs 1000 crores in 2018-19 remains the highest till date. This year’s collection is expected to fall short of the record figures.
[Compiled by Aruna Natarajan]