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First Vande Bharat train for the south

Good morning, Chennai!

โ›… Today’s weather: It’s going to be mostly sunny with some cloud cover.

๐Ÿง Did you know? India’s first radio broadcasting programme was from the Ripon Buildings by the Madras Presidency Radio Club (MPRC) on May 16, 1924.

๐Ÿš„ Vande Bharat trains coming soon

(Image credits:ย JND AMD,ย CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Southern Railway will soon get its first taste of the new Vande Bharat trains.

What’s it about: Four years after the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) rolled out the first rake of the semi-high-speed trains, the Southern Railway will get its first set. An upgraded version of the Vande Bharat trains will be introduced in the Chennai – Bengaluru – Mysuru section to be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 10. It’ll replace the existing Shatabdi Express.

  • If you’re expecting the travel time to reduce, not so fast. Upgrading the tracks to run at 130 kmph on the 214 km Chennai – Jolarpettai section isn’t yet complete.
  • The trains can run at 160 kmph. The maximum permitted sectional speed between Chennai and Mysuru is 110 kmph. Before the speed is increased, test runs on the sections will be done.

Current situation: Currently, trains run at 50-70 kmph on river bridges and other places in the 143 km Arakkonam – Jolarpettai section. The speed limit on the Jolarpettai – Bengaluru – Mysuru section hasn’t been increased.

๐Ÿž๏ธ Creating accessible and sustainable public spaces

Making public spaces accessible to persons with disabilities starts with urban planning.

What’s it about: For parents with kids with disabilities, it can be hard to find a public space, like a playground, that’s accessible. One family’s personal experience transformed into Kilikili, an organisation that has created three inclusive parks at Santhome, Kotturpuram, and Nolambur. NGOs and other organisations are using technology to highlight the importance of accessible and sustainable public spaces.

  • For Kilikili, the parks have wheelchair access, accessible toilets, and signages. They worked with the Disability Rights Alliance (DRA) and architect Kavitha Selvaraj to make the space accessible.
  • The DRA has been leading the way in inclusive urban planning. Among their achievements are wheelchair-friendly pathways at the Marina and Besant Nagar beaches, to be inaugurated in December.

Necessity: Making spaces accessible and sustainable is important as Indian cities are projected to grow in the future. With global warming and climate change, a new way of thinking in urban planning is necessary. In Mumbai, for example, World Resources Institute partnered with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to introduce Electric Vehicle financing and charging infrastructure.

๐Ÿš‰ Modernising MRTS stations

The CMDA will modernise and maintain MRTS stations as they’ll be handed over by the Southern Railway.

What’s it about: The CMDA and the Southern Railway will sign an MoU to transfer the MRTS stations to the planning authority for modernisation. Until the stations are handed over to the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), the CMDA will look after them.

  • The stations will be overhauled in line with the Metro stations. The CMDA will maintain the stations, and the Southern Railway will continue to run the trains till they are handed over to the CMRL.
  • Some portion of the revenue generated from renting the commercial spaces will be given to the Southern Railway. In January, officials from the CMDA discussed the commercial potential.

Current operations: The MRTS covers 19 km with 18 stations between Chennai Beach and Velachery. The Southern Railway has begun work to link the Velachery MRTS station and St Thomas Mount railway station.

๐Ÿงค New gloves for soldiers to withstand cold

The Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) has designed new-age gloves to help soldiers to withstand freezing temperatures.

What’s it about: Researchers from the city-based CLRI have developed gloves for soldiers to withstand temperatures between -30 and -50 degree celsius. Trials will soon happen at Siachen, the world’s highest battlefield, where temperatures can drop to -60 degree celsius.

  • Researchers developed a process recipe that combines in-house and commercially available chemicals for the post-tanning process. A modification in the combination of chemicals ensures it’s able to withstand cold temperatures.
  • The gloves are part of the ‘Chills’ project initiated by CLRI director KJ Sreeram. There was a need since India spends โ‚น800 crores annually importing extreme cold weather clothing and kits.

Testing: Last winter, the gloves underwent testing at Ladakh. Now, 40 pairs have made their way to Kanpur for soldiers of the Northern Command. They’ll provide feedback, and modifications will be done accordingly.

๐Ÿ“Š Today’s Poll

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๐Ÿ—ž๏ธ In other newsโ€ฆ

Thatโ€™s it for today. Have a great day!

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