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Towns and Cities

Madurai in Smart City Club

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The Hindu        21.09.2016    

Madurai in Smart City Club

“The Vaigai river will get more attention from now on”

Efforts to get Madurai into the smart cities in the country fetched the desired results.

On Tuesday, Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri told The Hindu that the heritage city had been chosen for the select Smart City Club.

The Commissioner, who was instrumental in giving a fresh thrust on rebuilding, had formed an exclusive team comprising architects and technocrats to work and compete in the selection process.

For over eight months, the team prepared documents and organised meetings to get public opinion.

The proposal was focussed around the world famous Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple. “The idea clicked successfully,” Mr. Sandeep Nanduri said.

“We had submitted proposals worth around Rs.1300 crore with which, different components would be taken care of. For instance, Madurai, which is known for its heritage values, the treasures would be preserved. Likewise, the city would be given a facelift even in basic amenities,” he added.

The Corporation would form a private limited company for this purpose and the special purpose vehicle would identify projects under the Smart City development.

Focus on Vaigai

The Vaigai river would get more attention from now on, he said.

Similarly, IT sector, which had planned to come here in a big way, would also get its due from the Corporation.


Coimbatore zoo to be redesigned

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The Hindu         21.09.2016    

Coimbatore zoo to be redesigned

Coimbatore Corporation has engaged two planners to redesign the city zoo and make it compliant with the specifications of the Central Zoo Authority.

The planners will submit a few designs for the civic body’s consideration in the next 20 days.

Thereafter, the civic body will take it to the CZA for licence to run the zoo.


According to sources, the Corporation wrote to the Tamil Nadu Forest Department asking for help in maintaining the zoo, for which it had run into trouble in the past - so much so that the CZA had cancelled the zoo licence.

The Department responded suggesting planners T. Uma Shankar and K. Cyril Rufus, who have worked on designing zoos.

Following the suggestion, the Corporation top brass met the two sometime ago.

Thereafter, the two visited the zoo in the first week of September to take stock of the situation.

Mr. Shankar told The Hindu that the challenge before them was to make maximum use of the limited available space keeping in mind the animals’ requirements and visitors’ convenience.

One of the steps they could suggest to the Corporation would be to release feral, domesticated and commonly found animals, birds, reptiles so that the animal count was reduced.

This could be easily done and make available space for the other animals. The second would be to assess the area required for each animal species because the CZA had clearly specified what should be the free ranging area.


And, then there were amenities for visitors too.

Mr. Rufus said that as far as amenities for visitors were considered, they could suggest more sign boards with information and improve the overall aesthetics so that the visitors spent as much time as possible.

This would mean including the nearby VOC Park area with that of the zoo so as to take the total area available to around 11 acre.

Corporation officials said that the planners had just begun their work and they would require time to finish the master plan.


Once they come up with their plans, the civic body would discuss and chose the plan that suits the city and also its budget.

The city zoo has more than 500 birds, mammals and reptiles.

T. Uma Shankar, and K. Cyril Rufus will submit a report in 20 days, said corporation sources


Civic polls: HC wants State to implement 50% women’s quota

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The Hindu       15.09.2016  

Civic polls: HC wants State to implement 50% women’s quota

Once a gazette notification has been issued by the State government providing 50 per cent reservation for women candidates in local body elections, it has to be provided in the impending elections, the Madras High Court said on Wednesday. It then directed the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to implement the promised quota for women.

The First Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan made the observation on a PIL petition moved by G. Kumar, a member of the Indian National Congress.

The petitioner wanted the court to direct the authorities to facilitate online submission of nomination for all the posts in local bodies; uploading of affidavits of all candidates onto the State Election Commission’s website; deployment of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM); and installation of CCTV cameras in all the polling stations. He also asked the court to direct the government and the commission to ensure 50 per cent reservation for women candidates.

When the PIL came up for hearing, the Special Government Pleader informed the Bench that the issue of using EVMs was already pending before a Division Bench of the court. Recording the submission, the Bench directed the State government and the State Election Commission to take a decision on the other two aspects before the elections are announced.

As to the plea for implementing 50 per cent reservation for women candidates, the Bench referred to the government gazette dated February 27 and said, “Once the gazette has been issued, the reservation has to be provided as per the same.”

The Bench then disposed of the PIL.


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