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Record water tax collection

Good morning, Chennai!

🌦️ Today’s weather: It’s going to be mostly cloudy with a chance of some rain.

🧐 Did you know? The Hindu was first published as a weekly newspaper in 1878. The inaugural issue was published in Georgetown. By 1889, it began publishing as an evening daily.

🛕 Untouchability wall comes down

A wall that separated Dalit families in Thokkamour has been demolished.

Story so far: At Thokkamour, a village near Gummidipoondi, an untouchability wall was constructed around the settlement of 200 Dalit families. It was built adjoining the Draupadi Temple to restrict access to the Dalits. The families had been asking for it to be demolished. The Tiruvallur district administration did destroy it after several discussions with the families and the Hindus who built it.

  • For about five months, officials held talks with the Dalit families and the Caste Hindus. At the time of the demolition, there was a large police presence.
  • Months ago, when asking for the demolition, the Hindus wanted a fence around the paramboke land where the temple was. A ₹2,000 fine was imposed for speaking to Dalits.

Facing discrimination: When the families first wanted the wall to be demolished, they were boycotted by the Caste Hindus. They wanted a fence around the land to prevent the Dalits from accessing the temple.

🧾 Water tax collection by Metrowater

The Metrowater collected ₹480 crores as water tax for the first half of this fiscal.

What’s it about? The Metrowater’s water tax collection is ₹108 crores higher than the sum collected for the first half of last year. It’s estimated that this year’s collection is its highest ever. Officials said the Metrowater’s collection efficiency increased by 29% this year.

  • The reason for the increase is two-fold. First is the modification of consumer fees and taxes. The second is that repeated defaulters were sent reminders and incurred penalties.
  • One example is the Metrowater sending a letter to a mall that failed to pay after several notices. Only after a warning of sealing the land did the mall owners pay.

Highest contributor: The Teynampet area had the largest water taxes and fee collections. Officials said this is due to several commercial establishments that paid their taxes on time.

🚌 Chennai outskirts to get new bus terminuses

The CMDA has floated tenders for two new bus terminuses on the city’s outskirts.

What’s it about? The CMDA has floated tenders to set up two bus terminuses at Mamallapuram and Chengalpet through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. This, even though the Kilambakkam bus terminus hasn’t been opened to the public. 22 acres have been identified for the new terminuses to include commercial spaces, terminal buildings, bus bays, and parking lots.

  • The Chengalpet one will be on vacant land near the government medical college hospital. Despite protests by 40 families claiming the plot, the local collectorate said there were no pattas and encroachments were removed.
  • The one at Mamallapuram will mainly cater to tourists travelling from the central and southern districts. There’ll also be more conductor-less point-to-point buses once this comes into operation.

Necessity: Once the complaints at the Chengalpet site were resolved, resident-activist Hari Ramamoorthy said people of the area have been waiting for such a project. The existing bus station was overcrowded and doesn’t have any facilities.

🛣️ Chennai Port – Maduravoyal corridor completion date set

The elevated stretch across four sections will be completed by December 2024.

What’s it about? According to Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, the 20.5 km double-decker elevated highway between the Chennai Port and Maduravoyal will likely be completed by December 2024. It’s being built for ₹5,800 crores and will be a dedicated freight corridor for Chennai-bound port traffic.

  • The corridor is part of the government’s initiative to provide seamless multimodal connectivity. It will be built across four sections starting inside the port and ending after the Maduravoyal interchange.
  • The corridor will help increase the port’s handling capacity by 48%. It’ll reduce the waiting time at the port by six hours.

Progress and delays: The project is being fast-tracked for a December 2024 finish with tenders already called for. While the project was initially conceived in 2000, there were delays in getting land from the Indian Navy. Now, the National Highways Authority will build them separate quarters.

📊 Today’s Poll

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🗞️ In other news…

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

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