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Good morning, Chennai!

β›… Today’s weather: Mostly sunny with partly cloudy skies.

🧐 Did you know? Chennai is home to one of the world’s oldest Banyan trees. Located inside the Adyar Theosophical Society, it’s said to be around 450 years old.


πŸ—οΈ Higher floor space index (FSI) in the offering

Tall buildings could soon prop up near water bodies as the CMDA looks to change rules on FSI.

Story so far: As per current guidelines, construction of buildings is allowed only 15 metres from water bodies and aquifer recharge areas, where water seeps into the ground and recharges groundwater. Some examples are Kottivakkam, Palavakkam, and Thoraipakkam. The maximum FSI is 0.8. The CMDA could change that based on a survey by experts.

  • Some of the areas proposed are categorised as “no development zones” since they’re used by the Metrowater. Now, they’ve been declared as not needed but will still be protected.
  • Some builders are in favour of the CMDA’s proposal since it’ll be based on a scientific study. Increasing FSI will be good for the real estate sector.

Concerns: One environmental activist said residents wouldn’t be happy with the decision since aquifers will be affected. In Kovalam, for example, due to its high population density, increasing FSI will affect protected coastal areas.


🀝 Mitsubishi Electric and IIT-Madras partner up

Mitsubishi Electric India signed an MoU with IIT Madras Research Park for research and sustainable technologies.

What’s it about? The MoU will provide IIT Madras with support from the company for innovation and technological upliftment. The company wants to collaborate with institutions across India to empower youngsters to contribute toward indigenous and sustainable technological growth.

  • The company will provide the institute with components, practical knowledge, and workshops on the semiconductor industry. Students will be able to learn about innovative semiconductor technologies.
  • The company has set up a support centre to address any queries and provide information to support students and faculty.

Who’s saying what: Ashok Jhunjhunwala from the IIT Madras Research Park said the partnership would help contribute towards the Make in India initiative by designing in India. Hitesh Bhardwaj from Mitsubishi Electric said this would benefit the next generation and help bring technological development.


🏞️ A new public space at Porur

Porur will get a new multi-purpose public space with a dedicated sports complex.

Story so far: There’s a 16-acre plot of land lying unused for almost 40 years. It had been earmarked as a green space by the Corporation, which owned the land. The land at Porur is one of two spaces the CMDA has decided to take up for development. The other is at the Kilambakkam bus stand.

  • This month, a tender will be floated to finalise the consultant who will design and build the complex. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months for β‚Ή15 crores.
  • The multi-purpose public space will have parks, walking spaces, a playground, and sports facilities.

What are residents saying? One resident said it’s a good idea, but the project shouldn’t affect the operations of the hospital there. Another said such a facility was needed in the area and wants it to be accessible to everyone.


🏞️ A biodiversity and archaeology park in Kilambakkam

A new thematic park opposite the Kilambakkam bus terminus is likely to come up to offset disruptions to the local ecology.

What’s it about? The CMDA has proposed the construction of a Biodiversity and Archaeological Interpretation Park adjacent to the bus terminus. The impetus is to mitigate the damage caused to the nearby sensitive ecological zone. The CMDA proposed measures to protect and improve the surrounding environment.

  • The terminus will come up near the perimeter of the protected zone under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (Amendment and Validation) Act, 2010.
  • The park will be built in the green zone to showcase excavations done by the ASI. The park will have recreation facilities, and community activities with an ecological corridor since it’s close to the Vandalur Zoo.

Regulations: Given the sensitivity of the concerned area, there are regulations to be followed. The CMDA has allotted 68,500 sq.m for the park. The project report cited the park’s location was a prohibited zone mandated by the ASI, and no construction was to take place.


πŸ“Š Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

How do you prefer to read books?

  • I prefer reading paperback or hardcover books.
  • I prefer reading e-books through a device.

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

Who is your favourite author and why?

Reply to this email with your answers.


πŸ—žοΈ In other news…

  • With no Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance and a lack of money, restoration of the Adyar river and Cooum gets delayed. 
  • Chief Secretary V Irai Anbu met with civic officials and urged them to speed up projects ahead of the monsoon.
  • Traders and shopkeepers can access trade licenses thanks to the Corporation linking them with the DigiLocker app.
  • The Corporation set an October 31 deadline to complete the construction of all public toilets under the Swachh Bharat Mission. 
  • Here’s a piece celebrating 60 years of artist, teacher, and mentor BB Bhaskaran on the launch of his biography. 

πŸ›‹οΈ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll Results:

  • My parents live with me: 50.0% πŸ†
  • My parents don’t live with me: 50.0% πŸ†

Answers to Yesterday’s Question:

What’s one thing about Chennai that you would change?

Sneha: β€œOne thing I would like to change about chennai is if the beaches can permanently have a specially abled accessible footpath to the waters- in all the beaches like Marina, Bessy, ECR – it wud also help the senior citizens to walk closer to the water easily. and if  those footpaths should also have a buggie drop off service – free.”

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

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