Making Chennai brave the weather Editor

The flat terrain of Chennai demands that we find efficient ways to tackle the rainy season and the flood it brings with it. The city is not Monsoon ready though.

Come monsoon, and the city of Chennai is seen grappling with various problems – the most glaring one among them being infrastructure that, at times, cannot handle even short spells of rain. The consequences of these issues include stagnant water and flooded houses that lead to other problems like water borne diseases or sanitation issues.

While the city receives rainfall every now and then, the crucial question remains if the city is prepared for the rainfall. Kiran Rajashekariah, an expert in urban policy and planning, explains “This year the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted normal rainfall, which means there will be a little more than average amount of rainfall. The cities, including Chennai, need to prepare for the monsoon. The problem is our arrangements (solutions) are on ad-hoc basis. We come up with temporary solutions to resolve the problems. This should not be the case.”

Nalas to the rescue

The problem lies not in excess rains or for that matter even average rains. The lack of sound drainage system is one of the problems that leads to the flooding of roads. But that is not all. Rajashekariah elaborates: “Chennai is a city that is on a lower elevation, a few feet above sea level. So, the chances of flooding are higher. Restoring natural drains, often referred to as nalas, should be the foremost priority, which will be a long-term solution. Wetlands, in the natural topography, act as a sponge which absorb and store water. Due to rapid urbanisation and the resulting change of land use, they have been encroached upon, and destroyed. Also, roads are designed in such a way that the water will not percolate into the ground. All that needs to change.”

The city on the other hand is trying to cope up with the rainy season by making a few improvements.

He strongly insists that effective maintenance of the four major waterways, 30 canals that run through the city, and the numerous temple ponds, is imperative for the safety of the city.

The ISWD project is one of the ambitious plans of the government but there are reports that indicate it could be delayed by another few months.

According to Shaju Thomas, Director, Office Services (Chennai) at Colliers International India, “This means that the city may not actually be ready to face what the northeast showers could bring about. While a lot of plans are being thought about, including construction of missing storm water drain links, desilting tank beds and the like; one is yet to see action on ground. Apart from the government, there are a lot of things the common man should ensure as well,” he says and adds, “Free flowing drains get choked with garbage that gets dumped irresponsibly. There are many cases of unfinished storm water drains ending up as garbage dumpyards and one that stands out is on the Velachery-Taramani bypass road, where thanks to increased retail activity and disregard for the ecosystem, citizens of the city continue to dump just about anything. The area has always been known to be low-lying, which requires to be treated with extreme care.”

A Shankar, Coo, Strategic Consulting (India And Sri Lanka), JLL India, Says, A detailed project report had been prepared in 2016, for Kosasthalaiyaru, Cooum, Adyar and Kovalam basin for a length of 1069 kilometres at a total cost of Rs 4034.30 crore

This forms part of activities planned under Phase 1 of the Integrated Storm Water Drain (ISWD) project for improvement of the basins.

Improvement activities under this project and projects such as the Chennai Mega City Development Mission, covering other extended areas and the core city must be expedited.

Considering that the city is prone to floods and cyclones attributed to rapid development, it is vital that the initiatives to prevent these calamities, be progressive and planned to keep up with the pace of developmental activities.

source Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

PROPERTY RETURN FORM-1-2018 – Property tax self declaration form Chennai Corporation

Property tax self declaration form Chennai 2018 is available

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Property tax in Coimbatore higher than in Chennai

 

With the revision of property tax in the state, tax payers in Coimbatore corporation will be paying higher tax for their buildings than those in Chennai.

“The revised property tax might be appropriate for buildings in Chennai corporation, but it definitely is not appropriate for those in Coimbatore,” said K Kathirmathiyon of Coimbatore Consumer Forum.

During 2008, civic bodies other than Chennai corporation revised property tax not extending up to 25% of the existing slab for residential buildings, up to 100% for industrial buildings and up to 150% for commercial buildings, he said, explaining that Chennai corporation last revised property tax during 1998.

Though the land value is higher in Chennai, building owners from other parts of the state are paying higher tax than those in Chennai, he said.

“For instance, if a building owner in Chennai is paying Rs 2,000 as property tax until revision, we have been paying Rs 2,500.” He explained that now the tax amount has been increased to Rs 3,000 for the building owner in Chennai and to Rs 3,750 for people elsewhere.

“Why should we pay a higher amount,” Kathirmathiyon asked.

Former counsellors said that if the local body council had been in place, such a thing would not have happened.

The hike is exorbitant, C Padmanabhan, a former counsellor, said. The civic body, without knowing how to manage funds, has spent lavishly. “How will the civic body have funds if they privatise all projects?” he said.

The state government in general recommends that the civic body hike the tax up to a certain point and during the discussion at the council meet the exact hike percentage per building type would be decided, said S M Samy, former counsellor.

Since there is no council this year, civic body officials had accepted the government recommendations without any discussion, he added.

Source: Economic Times, Chennai

Alwarthirunagar – The residence of serenity

Chennai

With the best of social infrastructure and amenities, this area is the ideal destination for home-buyers.

Chennai has seen real estate boom that has resulted in the development of many areas. And Alwarthirunagar is one such place.

Located between two busy localities, Valasaravakkam and Virugambakkam, it is a quieter locality with developed social infrastructure and amenities.

Alwarthirunagar, in close proximity to these areas, too reaped the benefits of the development. It saw a lot of real estate growth in the 1990s.

Located between Valasaravakkam and Virugambakkam, many residents choose the area to escape the dense population of the adjoining areas, while simultaneously having access to good infrastructure.

Residents of Alwarthirunagar have access to all the facilities and developed parts. There are emerging high streets very close to the area with several prominent brands.

Also, it is in close proximity to the IT hub at Porur. With several employees from the place renting out in the area, Alwarthirunagar has proven to be a good investment for home-buyers.

Areas around Alwarthirunagar include Vadapalani, Valasaravakkam, Virugambakkam, Ashok Nagar, KK Nagar and Porur. It is easily connected to the rest of the city.

The neighbourhood has reputed English convent schools, private speciality hospitals and clinics, super market chains among other social infrastructure.

A few years ago, a huge mall opened nearby which has all the big retail brands besides having a huge multiplex and several restaurant joints.

source Ranjitha G, Times Property, The Times of India, Chennai

Metro rail track-laying in North Chennai by end of year

Chennai

As the construction of the 9km metro rail corridor in North Chennai is progressing in full swing, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has started preliminary work to lay ballastless tracks required for the operation of metro trains. The 9km Phase 1 extension line between Washermenpet and Wimco Nagar is expected to be ready by March 2020.

“We have floated tenders for both MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) and for track work. We are expecting to start track work before the end of this year,” a metro rail official said.

The extension line in North Chennai includes a 2km underground section connected by two stations and a 7km elevated stretch linked through six stations. Once the line is ready, commuters from north Chennai can travel to several localities in the city that are connected by metro rail network.

Work for the extension line in north Chennai was launched in 2016. Towards the end of 2017, construction of two tunnels along a 2km stretch from Washermenpet to Korukkupet was completed. Soon after, work began for construction of the elevated corridor and is still under way.

CMRL is also constructing the elevated maintenance depot at Wimco Nagar. A tender was recently floated to find a company that can supply, install and commission electrical and mechanical systems at the depot. Metro rail is expecting to get these systems in place within a period of 18 months.

Source: The Times of India, Chennai