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Tamil Nadu News Papers

54 houses to be built for sanitary workers

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The Hindu        18.12.2017 

54 houses to be built for sanitary workers

Housing project for sanitary workers

Fifty-four houses in nine blocks would be constructed for sanitary workers on 1.8 acres at MMC Colony in Avaniapuram, said Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar at a special council meeting.

A corporation official said the project would be implemented on an outlay of Rs. 5 crore - the Central government would bear Rs. 4.5 crore and the civic body would contribute Rs. 50 lakh. The houses would be allotted based on seniority in service.

It was announced at the council meeting that four classrooms would be built at Velliveethiyar Corporation Girls Higher Secondary School at a cost of Rs. 24 lakh.


Tepid response to scheme for unapproved layouts, plots

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The Hindu       14.12.2017  

Tepid response to scheme for unapproved layouts, plots

Hardly 10% applications received out of over 40,000 layouts so far

The State government’s regularisation scheme for unapproved layouts and plots and the abolition of norms for open space reservation (OSR) has been operational for the last seven months, but it has evoked only a subdued response among people.

As of now, applications have been received for hardly 10% of the total number of unapproved layouts – 41,387 – in the State. This pertains to areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP). In respect of those coming under the control of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Area (CMDA) also known as Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA), a senior government official says no estimates are available with regard to unapproved layouts. As many as 124 applications have been submitted for full layouts.

The government has extended the validity of the scheme till May 3, 2018. As per the government’s decisions taken in October, even a single plot sold in an unapproved layout can be regularised. The regularisation will be done on the basis of “as is where is” condition. The scheme is applicable to unapproved layouts or sub-divisions in CMA formed between August 5, 1975 and October 20, 2016; in rural areas outside the CMA between November 29, 1972 and October 20, 2016 and in urban areas outside the CMA between January 1, 1986 and October 20, 2016.

Commenting on the public response, the official says that since the reduction of general charges for regularisation which came into force exactly two months ago (October 13), there has been a “marked improvement.” As for the DTCP areas, about 17,000 applications were received by the authorities in the last two months for all three sub-categories (“full layouts,” “plots in layouts” and “plots in subdivisions”) and with regard to the CMA, about 2,440 applications.

‘Insufficient publicity’

G. Shyam Sundar, advocate specialising in matters concerning real estate and senior executive of a firm engaged in providing home loans, feels that the government should have publicised the scheme more aggressively. He adds that even though there is a provision for online submission of applications, the absence of “people-friendly atmosphere” at field offices of the planning bodies is another impediment.

S. Ramaprabhu, secretary, southern centre of the Builders’ Association of India, says that certain aspects of the process of submission of applications are cumbersome. For example, applicants are asked to get encumbrance certificates for plots other than those in unapproved layouts concerned. An observer of the real estate industry says that “economic downturn” is also another factor.

The government official sees no need for carrying out an intensive publicity drive on the scheme as the government had informed “adequately,” through the media, about its decisions in the last seven months.

As for the insistence on applicants submitting framework sketches of their plots, the official says that even though this involves sharing some of the government’s work, the move has been intended to be a “measure of simplification of procedures.” Mr. Shyam Sundar says one key factor behind the practice of people buying unapproved plots is “lack of proper information” in the public domain about approved layouts. The website of the DTCP of the Andhra Pradesh government contains information on layouts, sanctioned since the 1920s.

Tamil Nadu too would follow suit soon, the official adds.


‘Swachh Ambassador’ to bat for clean streets

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The Hindu        14.12.2017  

‘Swachh Ambassador’ to bat for clean streets

A lot of work needs to be done, say residents

A survey to evaluate the cleanliness of the city will be held from January 4 to March 4 in view of Swachh Survekshan 2018. The city will be competing with 4,000 others in the country to secure a ranking based on community health and hygiene.

In 2017, Madurai secured a rank of 57 out of 400 cities.

Cleanliness will get 4,000 marks based on services provided. The report will include construction of toilets, clean roads, waste segregation and compost units. It will be submitted to representatives of Swachh Bharat Mission, who, in turn, will visit the city for direct observation.

An important component of the survey is feedback from citizens. They will be called through automated recorded phone calls.

Their use of the ‘Swachhata’ app - a redressal mechanism to inform the corporation about inadequacies in the area - will be ascertained.

Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar said the city would have a ‘Swachh Ambassador,’ a popular personality who will advocate the need for clean streets, waste segregation and an open-defecation free space. The corporation will host a happy street programme to create awareness. Tentatively, a marathon has been planned.

Stating that the corporation would focus on improving solid waste management in the city, he said that those shops that did not follow segregation methods would be fined.

A Health Department official stated that a very few has downloaded the Swachhata app. Only five to 10 complaints are registered on the app but the WhatsApp helpline gets at least 300 complaints a day. But the complaints on the helpline are not counted as part of the assessment.

Residents in the newly added areas say that door-to-door garbage collection is not done regularly. K. Soundari, who lives in Muthusamy Street (ward 63-Villapuram), says that it is quite common to find garbage in every nook and corner of roadside. Community toilets do not function.

“People defecate in the open because there are no bathrooms. A lot of work needs to be done before the city is declared open defecation free,” she says.


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