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More buses as Diwali approaches

Good morning, Chennai!

🌦️ Today’s weather: It’s a cloudy day with the possibility of some rain.

🧐 Did you know?  The city got its first General Post Office in 1786, with AM Campbell as the first Postmaster-General. Generally called the Madras Post Office, it expanded its services when it opened receiving offices in places like Vepery and what’s now Royapettah.

💡 Solar power open access viability

A recent meeting by Mercom India addressed concerns about the viability of solar open access as a renewable energy source.

What’s it about? Mercom India’s recent Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Clean Energy Meet in the city brought developers and consumers together for a wide-ranging discussion on the opportunities and challenges of solar energy. The meeting comes as consumers in the city are looking to manage their power usage due to the recent tariff hike.

  • Investing in clean energy continues to be a challenge. Transitioning to renewable energy is driven by savings and the renewable percentage clause most Indian companies have.
  • Some key takeaways from the event were the environmental benefits, open-access solutions, and best practices in financing clean energy.

Who said what? Manikkan Sangameswaran of Radiance Renewables said people should adopt solar now to reap the benefits later. Karthikeyan V from Tata Solar Power spoke of the advantages of rooftop solar systems. Anburaj from the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) said it had launched initiatives for companies to switch to clean energy.

🚌 Additional buses for Diwali

(Image credits: User:SriniG, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Transport department will operate special buses as Diwali approaches.

What’s it about? As the festive season rush continues, bookings are open for special buses from the city as Diwali approaches. Train tickets sold out in hours a few months ago as people travelled back to their native places. The city’s bus termini will likely see a huge rush of people. The transport department has installed display boards and opened a help desk at Koyambedu and Madhavaram.

  • The Transport department has decided to operate more than 10,500 buses, including more than 4,200 special services from the city from October 21 to 23.
  • The department has been increasing the number of buses every year. However, for those without reservations, their situation remains uncertain.

Private operators are taking advantage of the rush and have increased fares. Consumer activist T. Sadagopan said the department needs to fix standard fares across the board else consumers will continue to be fleeced. Omnibus operators who suffered huge losses due to the pandemic are now making it up with high fares.

☀️ Catch the partial solar eclipse

Next week, Chennai residents can witness a partial solar eclipse.

What’s it about? On the evening of October 25, city residents can see a partial solar eclipse. Experts say it’ll last 30 minutes and be visible closer to the horizon. The previous solar eclipse visible from the state was in 2020. The next one is scheduled to be in 2027.

  • In Chennai, the moon will appear to touch the edge of the sun’s visible disk when it is close to the horizon. To have the best view, one must have a clear view of the western horizon.
  • The Birla planetarium won’t organise a viewing event as the horizon isn’t visible from there. There’s also the possibility of cloud cover due to the monsoon.

Worldwide viewing: Globally, it’ll begin at 2.29 pm IST and end at 6.32 pm. It’ll be visible in parts of Asia, Western Russia, Kazakhstan, most parts of Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East.

🏞️ Korattur lake is choking

Water hyacinth is choking the Korattur lake and increasing the chances of it flooding.

What’s happening? Most of the Korattur lake has disappeared under a green blanket of water hyacinth. It’s a type of invasive floating plant found on water bodies that block sunlight and bring down oxygen levels in water bodies. Excess amounts of hyacinth lower the water quality and affect the lifeforms. It grows in the presence of sewage.

  • Videos shared by residents show sewage freely flowing into the lake during the day. Residents near the lake say that the lake will flood during the monsoon. It’s also an important source of groundwater.
  • Despite notices from the water resources department to the encroachers on the lake, no action has been taken. Officials said they have begun desilting the mouth of the lake.

Experts speak: One civil engineer said the inlets should be plugged with a peripheral sewage interceptor drain along the lake’s boundary. The Corporation’s stormwater drains release sewage from the Karrukku area into the lake.

📊 Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

Do you enjoy rainy weather?

  • Yes, I love rainy weather.
  • No, I don’t like rainy weather.

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

Who’s your favourite comic book character?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

  • L&T companies are in talks to pre-lease 1.4 million square feet in its office park.
  • Greenfield airport passengers will be able to travel to the city on the metro.
  • CMDA’s proposal to commercialise land in the Outer Ring Road goes against the study done by consultants.
  • Water level at the Chembarambakkam reservoir will be kept at 22 feet to prevent inundation during the northeast monsoon.
  • IIT Madras was awarded the National Intellectual Property Awards 2021 and 2022 for its patents, grants, and commercialisation.

🛋️ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll:

  • Yes, I use social media quite often: 66.7% 🏆
  • No, I rarely use social media: 33.3%

Answers to Yesterday’s Question:

What’s your favourite fruit?

Kovid: “Mango and Kiwi”

Mohamed: “Mango”

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

Chennai news in just 5 minutes

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