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Tamil Nadu News Papers

Not enough night shelters in Chennai

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The Hindu        31.03.2017 

Not enough night shelters in Chennai

Street dwellers unaware of facilities

With peak summer around the corner, the already blazing heat is taking a toll on the homeless in the city.

Take, for instance, a flower-seller on Marina Beach, who usually sleeps on nearby pavements. Her seven-year-old son has developed boils and blisters. “Water is a huge problem for us now. There is also no shade on the pavements. We try and go to residential colonies or near office buildings where it is a little cooler,” she said.

“In summer, heat exhaustion, cramps and dehydration can occur,” warns T. Ravindran, professor of medicine, Madha Medical College. “Also, dermatological problems such as prickly skin are likely.”

Chennai Corporation runs 43 night shelters in the city. Six of them were opened at government hospitals recently. Another four are also set to be opened in these hospitals. However, street dwellers plead ignorance about the location of these shelters or how to get there.

Sukumari (name changed), a pavement dweller in Chepauk, suffers heat migraines. While she has heard of the shelters, she has no further information about them.

Going by a Supreme Court order that mandates one shelter for every one lakh people, Chennai should have around 70 shelters. But it has just a little over half the number. The Corporation has asked NGOs running shelters to increase the number of inmates from the present 30 to 50 if space permits, said an official. “Only a few shelters are running completely full now. We have also asked the NGOs to undertake construction if there is space,” he said.

A needs assessment will also be made in June to estimate the additional number of shelters required. “We have planned sites already — unused Corporation buildings that have been registered and kept ready. They can be converted into night shelters when needed,” he said.

Experts say around 80% of the homeless population in the city comprises families. “Most of these families have been residing on the streets for generations and need reasonable housing. Right now, they have nothing — neither shelters nor houses,” said R. Geetha, adviser to the Unorganised Workers Federation.

The Corporation can place boards outside zonal offices with a list of shelters, she pointed out. It can also conduct periodic surveys of pavement dwellers to keep them informed.

In the last three years, 1,464 urban homeless have been reintegrated with their families.


Coimbatore to fly high with infrastructure projects

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The Hindu       31.03.2017 

Coimbatore to fly high with infrastructure projects

A concrete layer being laid for a 52-m span box girder at the Gandhipuram flyover in the city on Thursday.M. PeriasamyM_PERIASAMY  

Construction works for the Ukkadam bypass might start in a couple of months

A detailed project report is to be prepared for an elevated expressway on Avinashi Road; works for the first stage of Gandhipuram flyover will be over in May; bids will be invited for the Ukkadam flyover; and efforts are on to expedite the Western Bypass road project. With these, the city is expected to get its much needed boost on the infrastructure front.

Gandhipuram flyover

Sources in the State Highways Department here say that the main works for the first stage of the flyover from Nanjappa Road to Sathyamangalam Road will be completed in May. The finishing touches will also be over in the next two months. The first phase is for 1.75 km from Nanjappa Road.

The second segment of the flyover is on 100 feet road. The original plan was for 1.22 km on that stretch till New Sidhapudur. But, the plan now is to extend it for another 440 m, says an official of the department. “We are yet to get the funds for the portion that will be extended in this segment. We will get it shortly,” the official said. The Rs. . 162 crore project commenced in July 2014. “The original schedule was to complete the project in April this year. With the extension of the second stage, we are hopeful of completing it in another six months,” the official added.

Ukkadam flyover

Construction works for the Ukkadam bypass might start in a couple of months. The government has sanctioned Rs. . 88.62 crore for land acquisition (1.5 ha private land and 1.7 ha government land) and Rs. . 121.82 crore for construction work. The final notification for land acquisition will be issued soon. Meanwhile, bids will also be called for the construction work. It will take about a month to finalise the tender.

According to sources, it will be a 1.97 km, four-lane flyover from Karumbukkadai and will have two ramps, near the Ukkadam junction. It will take about two years for the project to be completed.

Western bypass road

The district administration has sought approval from the State Government to form three special units to survey the land on the alignment proposed for the western bypass road.

The Highways Department had submitted details of the alignment two years ago. When dedicated teams are constituted to survey the land, acquisition process can start soon. Approval for the teams are expected in 10 days, say sources.


20 corporation staff booked for beating residents of a house

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The Times of India      30.03.2017  

20 corporation staff booked for beating residents of a house

MADURAI: City police on Thursday booked 20 corporation employees, including an assistant engineer, for trespassing into a house and beating the residents, during a crackdown on illegal use of electric motors to draw water from piped water connection.

Police have booked the employees based on a complaint filed by the family in counter to the complaint registered by the civic employees. Earlier, the family members were booked under various charges, including deterring a public servant from discharging his duty.

Koodalpudur police which registered a case said that a team of corporation employees conducted a surprise check in Chokkalinga Nagar to trace illegal tapping of drinking water. The team had specific information that many households in the locality were using electric motors which is banned by the civic body.

Accordingly, the team entered the residence of Sadhik Rahman on 5th Street in Chokkalinga Nagar. They found an electric motor in the house and tried to remove it, but were stopped by the residents. A verbal duel ensued between the officials and the residents of the house. It soon turned into a scuffle.

While the family members alleged that the corporation employees trespassed into the house and beat them, the officials stated that the residents abused and attacked them. A neighbour of Sadhik Rahman was also involved in the incident, according to the complaint filed by area assistant engineer V Maniyan.

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