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More protests against proposed new airport

Good morning, Chennai!

Today’s weather: A little cloud cover but generally sunny.

🧐 Did you know? Chennai is home to Amazon’s second-largest office in India. It has 18 floors across 8.3 lakh square feet at the World Trade Centre in Perungudi.

👮 Modern surveillance project

The Chennai Police has revived the Mega City Police Project to modernise its surveillance capabilities.

What’s it about? The Home Ministry has finally approved funds under the police forces modernisation scheme. The Chennai police have now revived the Mega City Police Project after criticism of its outdated equipment. The Centre released ₹380 crores for the state between 2014 and 2020, but some of it was unused.

  • The police will use the money to buy 750 vehicle tracking devices, 2,900 surveillance cameras, and seven drone units. There’ll also be seven mobile command centres at rallies and protest sites.
  • The police have already identified more than 1,000 locations to install new cameras. It’ll complement the existing CCTV system.

Who said what? DMK MP P Wilson bought up this scheme at the Rajya Sabha in August. He did say the Centre should trust the states concerning such projects and not be strict on the formalities. Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal said the project was revived last year.

✈️ Residents join Parandur villagers in protest

Chennai residents have joined the villagers in their protest against the government’s proposal for the new airport.

Story so far? Residents of the 13 villages of Parandur have been protesting for more than 100 days against the proposed land acquisition for the new greenfield airport. Of the 4,791.29 acres, more than 2,600 will be wetlands, and their homes and fields will be destroyed.

  • Around 20 Chennai residents joined the villagers protesting against the proposed site of the city’s second airport. They say it will have ecological consequences for the downstream areas of the Adyar River.
  • They were from areas in the Adyar basin and other places. In a letter, they stated that increasing the build-up area and impermeable land cover would be a disaster.

Ecological effects: The lands that’ll be urbanised for the airport will be on the river’s 500 sq km southwestern catchment. It’s the catchment that drains into Adyar through places like Perungalathur and Tambaram, which were affected by the 2015 floods.

  • Adyar’s flood-carrying capacity has a limit, and not much can be done to enhance the capacity of natural drains. The proposed airport would pave over landscape-size rainwater harvesting structures.

🚰 Water supply for Chennai

The Sikkarayapuram quarry will be able to supply Chennai with water this summer.

What’s it about? Thanks to cyclone Mandous, water storage at the Sikkarayapuram quarries has improved. The water resources department and Metro Water will use it during the summer.

  • The water bodies in the quarries could store nearly 400 million cubic feet of water. Residents on the outskirts were affected due to flood water, and the government will divert it to the quarries.

The process: The water will reach a treatment plant before it’s pumped into the Chembarambakkam lake. There’ll be fencing around the quarries, and a project report will be submitted after a feasibility study.

Benefits: Anna Nagar, Mogappair, Porur, Valasaravakkam, and the surrounding areas will benefit from water stored in the quarries. 4.5 km of pipelines have been laid to draw water from them.

🔋 Plugzmart raises funds

The IIT-Madras incubated startup raised more than ₹3 crores in a funding round.

What’s it about? Plugzmart, the startup incubated at IIT Madras, has raised ₹3.63 crores in funding led by early-stage VC BlueHill Capital. Other investors included Meera Reddy of SKCL, Kartik Meyyappan, and L Ramkumar.

  • The company provides electric vehicle charging management systems. It said the money would be used for R&D and scaling up their team to increase production.
  • The company has set a target to deliver at least 10 lakh indigenously designed and manufactured chargers in the coming three years.

Who said what? Co-founder Ragavendra Ravichandran anticipates the demand for chargers from manufacturers increasing as EV adoption gathers momentum from businesses and consumers. Bluehill Capital Partner Manu Iyer said the company could fill the void of a made-in-India safe and quality EV charger hardware.

📊 Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

Do you usually stay up for new year’s?

  • Yes, I make sure to stay up for new year’s.
  • No, I don’t usually stay up for new year’s.

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

What’s a goal you’ve set for yourself for 2023?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

🛋️ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll:

  • My work has taken me abroad: 23.5%
  • I haven’t travelled abroad for work: 76.5% 🏆

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

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