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‘Plenty to learn from other cities’

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The Hindu       08.06.2017   

‘Plenty to learn from other cities’

Residents unhappy with civic amenities; suggest a variety of other models

Lack of water, poor waste management, and a surge in traffic mar Chennai’s record in urban development. “The slums in Kannagi Nagar have been built on a waterbody. The area was inundated during the floods in 2015 because of the incompetence of the Corporation. The city’s developmental projects are 20 years behind time,” says Chandramohan, secretary of Arappor Iyakkam (AI), an NGO.

The organisation recently released a report stating that the city generates 1,500 million litres of sewage a day (MLD), a figure that is three times more than what is stated by Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB).

Kaiona Chhatrapati, a student in Noida, says Chennai can learn from other cities. “Despite pollution being worse in Noida, the Corporation there has better waste management practices,” she says. Citing the example of Chandigarh, Seenivasan Varadachar, a businessman who has lived in the city for over 28 years, notes it is well planned and green. “ The parking lots are spacious and there is little traffic congestion. Chennai’s traffic is rising and security is an issue nowadays,” he adds.

Obtaining documents

Residents like Uma Gurumurthy, who have lived in several tier II cities such as Coimbatore and Dhanbad, feel that it is easier to obtain government documents such as marriage and building registrations in such towns. “The volume of transactions is lesser. Building registrations come through in two months. Unless one knows higher officials in Chennai, we don’t receive papers,” she says.

Education is one of the factors that many residents feel is a plus point for Chennai. With students of the city notching up consistent performances in competitive exams, educators feel that primary schooling is also on a strong footing. “Active reforms are in place with respect to primary education in Chennai. The use of Activity Based Learning in classrooms has provided greater results,” says Shivaranjani R., a fellow at Teach For India.

( With inputs from Kavya Balaji)


Corporation to rope in students

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The Hindu        24.05.2017  

Corporation to rope in students

Coimbatore Corporation has decided to invite students to intern in the Swachh Bharat programme.

Corporation Commissioner K. Vijayakarthikeyan said that the plan to invite students was at a very preliminary stage and that the civic body was yet to even send out letter of internship offers to colleges.

Only based on the response from colleges, students would the civic body decide on the numbers it needed, quantum of stipend, if any, to be paid and where to fit in the students.

But the broad objective was to use the students as an interface between the public - the civic could use them to create awareness among the public on the Swachh Bharat mobile app, elicit problems in the ward, and get feedback on action taken.

Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan, however, clarified that that the initiative was not suggested by the Union Government.

Notice served

Coimbatore Corporation has served notices on a few engineers for dereliction of duty.

Sources said that five of them involved in the model roads project had shown poor results.

Soon after starting the work on D.B. Road, the civic body did not show progress.

The sources also said that the corporation had reminded a few utility service providers to pay the money to shift their lines/wires/poles/boxes so as to implement the model roads project.


Municipality gears up for flower show

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The Hindu        18.05.2017  

Municipality gears up for flower show

With the Ooty Flower Show just around the corner, the Udhagamandalam Municipality has initiated a slew of infrastructure works to help cope with the increased tourist flow into the town.

Speaking to The Hindu , V Prabhakaran, Commissioner (in-charge), Udhagamandalam Municipality, said that patch-works along the major roads within the town limits have been carried out at a cost of Rs. 27 lakhs. In addition, underground drainage works have also been completed at numerous places.

In order to ensure that there is enough water reaching the town from the Parsons Valley Dam, a pumpset has been erected at a cost of Rs. 13.5 lakhs, he added, stating that the pump will ensure that there is enough water being supplied to meet demand during the peak weekends.

Additional plastic storage tanks have also been purchased and have been kept at locations to ensure that the needs of the locals are catered to as well, while there has been a clampdown on unlicensed cottages and resorts with a few being shutdown recently.

Shops without Dangerous and Offensive Trades (D&O) licences have also been closed down near the Ooty Boat House and the Variety Hall. The municipality has also held meetings with water tanker operators and suppliers instructing them to supply clean drinking water to residents.


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