Good morning, Chennai!
☀️ Today’s weather: Plenty of sunshine and clear skies for today.
🧐 Did you know? The Central railway station is fully powered by solar energy. It has 1.5 MW solar panels on the platform shelters. The South Central Railway (SCR) is the first in the country to come up with ‘Energy Neutral’ railway stations.
🦻 Accessible Metro announcements
New audio technology will be installed at metro stations to help passengers hear train announcements.
What’s it about? All metro stations will soon have audio technology to ensure those with hearing aids can hear passenger announcements clearly. The CMRL will install audio-frequency induction loops (AFILS) connected to the public information display systems. 43 such systems will be installed.
- The technology will help eliminate background noise, create a magnetic field and transmit sound through a wireless loop to hearing aids.
- The users must be within the coverage area. The stations will have the proper signage to indicate the coverage area. A user must switch the hearing aid to the T position to hear the announcements.
Who said what? Vaishnavi Jayakumar from the Disability Rights Alliance said this new technology will transform the communication experience for people with telecoil-compatible hearing aids. She said other spaces would hopefully follow the CMRL’s lead and introduce similar technology.
🚮 Landfill to be biomined
The Kodungaiyur landfill will be biomined in the next couple of years to clean it up.
What’s it about? The Corporation has asked for the state’s permission to biomine the landfill where 65 lakh tonnes of waste are spread across 250 acres. It’s estimated to cost ₹640 crores and will be done with the help of a committee that includes professors from Anna University.
- The university will supervise and certify activities done by the contractor. One of the challenges will be the disposal of recovered waste like plastic and textiles.
- Residents have been fighting for its removal for decades since they’ve been affected by air and water pollution. The Corporation is looking to process fresh waste through bio-CNG plants where wet waste is processed at Madhavaram.
Who said what? Kurian Joseph from Anna university said fresh waste needs to be stopped from entering landfills. He said there needs to be an integrated facility of biomethanation, composting, and waste-to-energy plants that work together.
🚰 New metrowater charges
Chennai Metrowater will introduce new sewage and water charges from April 1.
What’s it about? The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) will revise its water and sewage charges for domestic and commercial customers from April 1. Residents will pay 5% more, while commercial consumers will pay 10% more. The Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage (TWAD) Board could also hike tariffs.
- The CMWSSB proposed new charges to bridge the gap between revenue and increasing expenditure. A water tariff revision was last done in May 2018. The proposed 5% increase wasn’t implemented.
- Residents want the digital metering system to cover the entire city and be charged according to their use. There are more than 8.3 lakh customers.
Revised charges and effects: Consumers paying ₹80 monthly will now have to pay ₹84. For commercial entities, it’s now ₹263 per month. For a paid mobile water tanker, the charges will increase by 5% for residents and 10% for commercial establishments. The revision is expected to bring in additional revenue of ₹30-35 crores yearly.
🏞️ Study spaces for IAS aspirants
The Corporation will develop study spaces for IAS aspirants in some parks.
What’s it about? IAS aspirants in the city will soon have study spaces in some public parks with benches and lighting. For some aspirants, studying in cramped hostels hasn’t worked out, and they’ve been visiting parks in Anna Nagar to find a quiet place to study.
- Anna Nagar has more than 20 parks, and Chennai is home to many IAS aspirants from across India. They come to the city to prepare for the UPSC Civil services exams.
- Despite some complaints from residents of students occupying the parks, officials have begun installing benches and more lights. Some parks are also kept open for a longer time.
Necessity: With more IAS aspirants converging in the city, hostels accommodate more people to keep costs low. However, an increase in property tax and water charges has meant higher rates and taking in more people.
📊 Today’s Poll
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Do you like going on rollercoasters?
- Yes, I enjoy going on rollercoasters.
- No, I don’t enjoy going on rollercoasters.
❓ Today’s Question
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What’s your go-to karaoke song?
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🗞️ In other news…
- A turtle conservation centre will come up at Guindy Park to protect turtles.
- The Kilambakkam bus terminus is expected to be inaugurated next month after several delays.
- The Corporation and its partners have begun to create awareness about the Swachh survey.
- The CMDA has resumed its public consultation process for the Third Master Plan.
- The MTC has begun issuing regular passes for school students in lieu of smart cards.
That’s it for today. Have a great day!