Special buses to be operated from Chennai for Pongal
As a large number of people are expected to travel from Chennai to various districts in view of the Pongal holidays, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) and State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) are operating special buses between January 12 and 14 and on January 18 and 19 from six bus termini namely Madhavaram New Bus stand, K.K. Nagar MTC Bus Terminus, Tambaram MEPZ Anna Bus Stand, Tambaram Railway station Bus Stand, Poonamallee Bus stand and Puratchi Thalaivar Dr MGR Bus Terminus (CMBT Koyambedu bus stand). Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is also arranging special connecting buses for passengers to reach these bus stations.
The Greater Chennai Traffic Police (GCTP) has also made some changes in the bus routes and have urged the car and other vehicle users to take the Thirkalunkundram-Chengalpattu route or the Sriperumpudur-Chengalpattu route instead of taking the Tambaram-Perungalathur route to avoid traffic congestion.
On January 13 and 14, the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) extended the peak hour metro train services from 5 pm to 10 pm instead of 5 pm to 8 pm with a five-minute frequency. Trains will be operated till midnight, instead of 11 pm, from all terminals on these two days. On January 18, train services will start at 4 am, instead of 5 am.
Source: The Hindu | The Times of India
The annual Chennai Book Fair sees steady footfall
The 46th edition of the Chennai Book Fair, organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) in association with the Tamil Nadu government, was inaugurated by Chief Minister MK Stalin on January 6 at YMCA Grounds near Nandanam in Chennai. Since then, a steady footfall has been recorded at the fair.
This edition of the Chennai Book Fair has many first-time stalls, including Sri Lanka’s Ghazal Publication which has set up a book stall (No 206 and 207) in the name of Puthu Ulagam (The New World) and the Queer Publishing House (Stall No 28). However, trans activist and writer Grace Banu has alleged transphobic and casteist treatment at the fair on social media.
The fair will be open from 11 am to 9 pm and will go on until January 22nd.
Sources: The New Indian Express | The Hindu
Read more: A book fair post-pandemic: What book lovers in Chennai were treated to
New lamp posts for Chennai streets
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), as part of the Nirbhaya Scheme, is in the process of installing 9,152 new lamp posts in Chennai to make the city’s streets safer at night. Around 6,625 (72%) posts have been installed so far. This apart, the local body has also taken up fitting bulbs and brackets on 8,443 posts.
The maintenance of 1.77 lakh street light posts and 200 high mast street lights in zones like Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur and Perungudi have been awarded to ten private contractors. The civic body has proposed to penalise the contractors if the street lights are not repaired within 24 hours of receiving a complaint.
Further, fines are to be raised for lights that have not been fixed after 48 hours of receiving a complaint.
Source: The New Indian Express
Read more: Chennai in darkness: What is wrong with our street lights?
Control room set to monitor feed from 2,330 MTC buses
The Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) at the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) headquarters on Pallavan Salai, built at a cost of Rs 4.72 crores, was inaugurated by the Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin on January 10th. Under Nirbhaya Fund, five cities including Chennai were selected for establishing a quick response system to prevent crime against women in public places.
As part of this, 500 MTC buses were installed with panic buttons in May 2022 in the first phase. Later, a GPS tracker, four panic buttons, three CCTVs and one mobile network video recorder (MNVR) have been installed in all 2,330 MTC buses.
The ICCC will monitor the feed from these devices. When an alert is received through the panic button, the visuals from the surveillance camera will be inspected following which the staff at ICCC will alert the police control room. Similarly, the staff will alert the safety department of MTC or the health department in case the alerts are received for medical or other emergencies.
Source: The Times of India
State Highways department explores Anna Salai makeover
The State Highways department has started the preparatory work for a detailed project report (DPR) for the World Bank-funded project aimed at transforming the 54-kilometre stretch of roads inside the city. This includes the 28-kilometre stretch from Muthusamy bridge on Anna Salai to Tambaram which will become a six-lane carriageway.
As part of it, a stakeholders consultation meeting was held at Guindy and Chrompet on January 9th and 10th respectively to get feedback on the designs made by the consultant L&T Infrastructure Engineering Limited.
Once the designs are finalised, tenders will be floated for works on Grand Southern Trunk Road, which includes Anna Salai (Muthusamy bridge to Kathipara junction), Grand Western Trunk Road and Inner Ring Road.
Source: The Times of India
[Compiled by Shobana Radhakrishnan]