QChennai: Demolition Drive Around Velachery MRTS Begins; And More

1. Demolition Drive Begins in Velachery MRTS

A drive to remove encroachments from the vicinity of Velachery MRTS station kicked off on Tuesday, paving the way for more such initiatives to evict squatters from other parts of the city. Even as residents in the area protested, railway and revenue authorities managed to evict all the encroachers by evening.

Ridding over 4.87 acres of encroachments is expected to improve civic conditions in the vicinity of the MRTS station. Seeing a large posse of police and RPF personnel at the spot on Tuesday morning, a few residents protested. But the demolition drive managed to evict residents and shopkeepers along four streets. “Over 40,000 families have constructed houses in the encroached land. They have more than 1.25 lakh votes in various Assembly segments. They have no planning permission,” said an official.

(Source: The Hindu)

2. High Concentration of Plastics in Kodungayur Groundwater

Representative image.

A new study has found a high concentration of microplastics in groundwater in and around the Kodungaiyur dump yard. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Madras, says one of the major reasons for the problem is the rampant drilling of bore wells.

Researchers from Climate and Environmental Research Group (CERG) at the varsity studied drinking water samples collected within 10 km radius of the dump yard in Kodungaiyur, one of the largest in the city, maintained by the Corporation. They collected samples from 35 places around the dump yard and found surprisingly high concentration of microplastics. Researchers say that in some samples, the concentration of microplastics was as high as 22 particles per 150 ml, while the acceptable levels are 2 particles per litre.

(Source: The New Indian Express)

3. PMK Starts Introspecting on Poll Debacle

Anbumani Ramadoss reflects on disparity between party’s membership on paper and the votes polled.

The PMK has begun introspecting on its rout in the recent Lok Sabha polls, in which its candidates lost by significant margins in all seven constituencies from where it contested as part of the AIADMK-led alliance.

Sources said PMK founder S Ramadoss held a meeting of senior functionaries at his farmhouse in Thailapuram last week to examine the results. The leadership reflected on the disparity between the party’s membership on paper and the votes it had polled. “A close scrutiny indicated that there was a lot of disparity. We have been asked to look into the issue,” a source who was present at the meeting said. A senior party functionary said many had informally stated that the leadership’s decision to ally with the AIADMK after fiercely criticising it in the months leading up to the polls was one of the main reasons for the poll debacle.

(Source: The Hindu)

4. Water Tanker Ploughs into Bus Stop, One Killed

Kaliammal was caught in the front tyre and dragged for about 100 metres before the vehicle rammed a water pandal and came to a halt.

A woman was killed and three others including her husband were injured when a water tanker allegedly ran amok and rammed the Nerkundram bus stop in the early hours on Monday. The tanker lorry, which was going from Koyambedu towards Maduravoyal, hit two motorbikes before ploughing through the bus stop.

“The deceased, Kaliammal, was caught in the front tyre and dragged for about 100 metres before the vehicle rammed a water pandal and came to a halt,” said a police officer. She died on the spot. The spot had been identified as accident-prone zone by the traffic police. Lorry driver Vijaya Balan has been arrested by Koyambedu Police. Residents pointed out that the spot had been identified as accident-prone zone by the traffic police.

(Source: The New Indian Express)

5. HC Suggests Nadigar Sangam Change its Election Venue

Police express reservations over holding polls at college.  

The Madras High Court on Tuesday suggested that the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association, popularly known as the Nadigar Sangam, could select an alternative venue for its elections scheduled to be held on Sunday, since the city police were of the view that the Dr MGR Janaki College of Arts and Science in Raja Annamalaipuram may not be a conducive place for the actors to congregate in large numbers.

Justice N Anand Venkatesh granted a day’s time for Krishna Ravindran, counsel for the Nadigar Sangam, to find out whether the election could be held elsewhere. Earlier, State Public Prosecutor A Natarajan had informed the court that it would not be possible to provide police protection at the college in RA Puram due to reasons such as inadequacy of the place and possibility of hindrance that may be caused to the general public.

(Source: The Hindu)

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