Good morning, Chennai!
🌦️ Today’s weather: A little cloudy with the possibility of rain in the afternoon or later in the day.
🧐 Did you know? Chennai has the World Bank’s largest office outside the US. Last year, it celebrated its 20th anniversary. The “Shared Service Center” provides accounting, finance, HR, and IT support to more than 130 of its offices worldwide.
✈️ Land identified for airport expansion
Six parcels of land have been identified to expand the current airport to meet increased passenger numbers.
Story so far: Currently, the Chennai International Airport is functioning on 1,317 acres of land. Despite being one of the largest airports in the country, that area is the smallest compared to other cities. The AAI had requested the state government to acquire 306 acres to build an expanded International and cargo terminal on the other side of the Adyar river.
- The AAI and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) will conduct a joint survey of the six parcels. AAI has written to the government asking them to purchase the land.
- The feasibility study should be done in the next six months. The second phase of the airport’s modernisation will be completed by December 2024, increasing passenger capacity to 35 million.
New airport: Not to be missed is that the site for the city’s second airport was recently finalised at Parandur. It will cost ₹20,000 crores and will be able to handle 10 crore passengers.
🔌 Clearing up cables
The Corporation will soon begin clearing dangling, unwanted or illegal cables and wires.
What’s it about? The Chennai Corporation will soon undertake a cable clean-up drive to get rid of unwanted cables and wires across the city. Officials have been instructed to continue the operation every week until January 28. Documents showed that 5,400 km of optical fibres were allowed for installation. Now, there’s an extra 4,000 km.
- Each week, one ward will be chosen in each zone. The corporation’s entire task force will be deployed in this place to remove unwanted wires and cables.
- An MDMK council member from ward 35 raised the issue about unauthorised cables and the money it cost the corporation. He said despite work orders for private players valid only for 2019-20, they were installing them outside the boundaries.
Residents’ voices: Locals said the cables get tangled up in the lamp posts. Workers accidentally damage the LED lights when they disconnect the wires.
🚧 City bracing for Northeast monsoon
City officials are racing against the clock to prepare for rains from the Northeast monsoon.
What’s happening: In certain areas in the city, JCB machines are working away at stormwater drains before the monsoon arrives. Entire stretches of roads have been dug up to accommodate the drains leading to traffic congestion. The city is trying to learn from others but also from its own past with the floods in 2005 and 2015 and the heavy rainfall last November.
- So far, 130 km of stormwater drains have been completed, and 1,400 km of desilting is being done. The Corporation has taken up the work earlier than usual and is about 70-75% complete.
- One of the areas of focus is desilting the Buckingham Canal near Basin bridge, Otteri, and at the Virugambakkam canal near the Koyambedu bus station.
Concerns and the future: In some areas, residents are concerned about the stormwater drains designed by IIT Madras which are said to be higher than the level of people’s homes. It could make them vulnerable to floodwater.
- The Corporation is also looking to the future with its draft Chennai Climate Action Plan. It details the risks posed to Chennai by climate change.
🧑🏫 More than 500 seats at Anna University are filled
Thanks to a new rule, 508 engineering seats were filled at Anna University.
What’s it about? The Tamil Nadu Engineering Admissions (TNEA) committee introduced a new regulation that stated applicants should pay their tuition fees and enrol in universities within seven days of being allocated. Hence, more than 500 seats were filled by students who were chosen through online counselling.
- Previously, seats for which the fees weren’t paid within seven days would remain vacant. They would instead be added to the open seats in the same round to allow for better allocation of seats/colleges.
- Due to this upward movement, students who secured seats in government engineering and self-financing colleges got seats at Anna University.
The numbers: Last year, 405 seats in Anna university lapsed. R Velraj of the university said vacancies this year might reduce to around 100 after medical counselling is done. The new rule could help save 300-400 seats.
📊 Today’s Poll
(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)
Have you ever gone surfing (riding the waves in the ocean)?
- Yes, I have gone surfing.
- No, I haven’t gone surfing.
❓ Today’s Question
(Only subscribers can submit their answers)
Who is the most famous person you’ve met, and how was the experience?
Reply to this email with your answers.
🗞️ In other news…
- Here’s a piece on the city’s famous Rayer’s Mess, an 80-year-old Chennai institution.
- After an oil leakage in Kasimedu, residents say this has become a frequent issue.
- India’s first multi-modal logistics park under the Bharatmala Pariyojana in Chennai will be awarded this week.
- IIT Madras and Mitsubishi Electric sign an MoU for R&D support of programmes of sustainable technologies.
- The Metro’s phase 2 tunnelling work will begin next month at Madhavaram.
🛋️ Local Lounge
Yesterday’s Poll Results:
- I have gone hiking: 75.0% 🏆
- I haven’t gone hiking: 25.0%
That’s it for today. Have a great day!