EVEN before the IT SEZ planned by the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (Elcot) could take shape, there seems to be a big rush for IT space among various corporates and developers in the city.

While city-based corporates like the Bannari Amman Group, Salzer group and KG group have come out with their plans on the IT front, many new commercial developers have also joined the bandwagon by getting formal SEZ approvals for their proposed projects. Coimbatore Hi-Tech Infrastructure is planning to develop an IT SEZ over 60.73 acres at Keeranatham village and Span Ventures has got formal approval for 10.5 acres IT/ITeS SEZ at Eachanari.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (Tidco), is also planning an IT park in the city suburbs. Rakindo Developers, a 50-50 joint venture between Vishwatej Projects and Rakeen, UAE, along with Tidco has proposed to develop feeder township, residential and leisure facilities over 625 acres in the villages of Sundakamuthur, Perur Chettipalayam and Thithipalayam.

The group also plans to promote an IT park on 25 acres at Perur village at Chettipalayam in south Coimbatore district. Bannari Group plans to develop an IT SEZ over 78 acres at Kalapatty village in Coimbatore and has got formal approval for around 60 acres. The entire process is likely to be completed in the next few months. Salzer plans to develop 1 lakh sq.ft. IT park in association with a US-based consulting service provider while KG group has acquired around 160 acres near its existing campus at Saravanampatty for developing it as an ITES SEZ. I

According to sources in the property development business, by the end of 2009, approximately 10-15 million sq.ft, of new IT/ITeS space will enter the Coimbatore market.
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  • Groundwater depletion worries farmers TNN | Sep 10, 2018, 00:48 IST

    Farmers from several areas in the district, who depend on borewells to irrigate their crop, say they are worried as the groundwater had not recharged well. The reason they say: no proper check dams.

    Vazhukkuparai Balu, 73, a farmer from Madukkarai, said as several check dams in Perur, Kinathukkadavu and Madukkarai have not been maintained properly, the groundwater has not been recharged.

    “One check dam in Sundakkamuthur has no bore recharge pit. We have been asking for a bore recharge pit in the check dam. Also, there are leakages in other check dams in the area,” he said. Balu said as the groundwater has not been recharged, they had to dig up to 1,000ft to 1,500ft to get water.

    Farmers from Kurumbapalayam village in Madukkarai taluk have witnessed deterioration of not one but three check dams in their region. In the rain last September, the wall of the check dam on the Periyapallam stream, which comes from Arivoli Nagar to Kurumbapalayam and then goes to Kerala trough Velandavalam, broke. This led to the breaking of the walls of three successive check dams on the stream, which were constructed around 1970. The check dams in Kurumbapalayam North, Kurumbapalayam South and Palathurai have broken, villagers said.

    Farmers from the village said the dams had helped them store water and recharge the groundwater level. “But now all water goes to Kerala,” R Selvaraj, 58, a farmer, said. Since the dams broke last year, farmers said, they had given several representations to officials and politicians. “But only last month PWD officials came and surveyed the damages,” Selvaraj said. He said he has planted bananas and was worried about the harvest.

    Similarly, in Idikarai, a check dam on Kousika River is in a state of neglect with silt piled up and overgrowth covering the area, said farmers from the area. T Parthasarathy, a farmer from Idikarai, said the check dam has been lying in neglect for nearly 10 years now.

    PWD officials said they have sent a fund proposal for around Rs 4crore to repair six check dams in Kumittipathi and Kurumbapalayam. An official said they would work on restoring and maintaining other check dams which are in a bad shape when it is represented to them.

  • 3-day property expo to begin on Friday TNN | Updated: Sep 12, 2018, 09:49 IST

    COIMBATORE: The 10th edition of Fairpro, a property fair organised by the city chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association (CREDAI), would be held at the Codissia Trade Fair Complex from Friday to Sunday (September 14-16).

    The property expo is expected to showcase more than 100 projects by builders from across the country. As many as 25 builders would participate in the fair, displaying projects that are suitable for all classes of people.

    According to the organizers, projects ranging from Rs 7.8 lakh to a maximum of Rs 5 crore would be showcased at the expo. Besides property developers, banks and financial institutions that offer home loans would also participate in the fair.

    Builders said the real estate market has started booming and hoped that the property fair would help revive the market in the district.

    City chapter CREDAI president Surender Vittel said he expected a sale of Rs 100 crore during the expo this year, compared to Rs 70 crore business materialised in the last year’s expo.

  • Pipelines leak as Saibaba Colony reels under water crisis tnn | Sep 15, 2018, 00:35 IST

    Coimbatore: While the public residing in and around Saibaba Colony have been struggling without water supply for more than 15 days, gallons of water is flowing down the roads due to multiple leakages in the pipelines.

    “We had been waiting to get drinking water for almost two weeks. When the city corporation released the water, the amount of water that flowed on the roads is considerably more than the water flowed through the taps,” said R Sruthi, a resident of Saibaba Colony.

    Almost all the roads in and around the region including Chinasamy Street, KG Layout, Ganapathy Layout, Chindamani Nagar, Ramalingam Nagar, NSR Road and Church Road were cut at frequent intervals by private telecom companies during which the water and sewer lines were damaged at multiple places.

    At present, the civic body officials have been repairing major pipeline damages at seven places and water is leaking at more than 80 places in the region, said the residents, adding that despite several complaints, no action has been taken by the corporation officials.

    A household could not fill more than three to four buckets during a supply and the stored water does not last more than a couple days, she said, adding that they would not be able to use the water for drinking purpose as it is contaminated with sewage water and it stinks.

    While the residents said that they had been purchasing water for drinking purpose, the real problem lies in using water for domestic purpose as they could not afford to purchase so much water.

    “We have been using the contaminated water for domestic purpose including bathing and we do not have another option,” said R Akila, another resident, explaining that the region has been facing water scarcity even when all the reservoirs are brimming, and the situation is worse than what they had endured during the drought seasons a year ago.

    Of 28 borewells managed by the civic body, 12 are not functioning and the corporation is least bothered to repair them, said R Gayathri, former councillor, adding that whenever a complaint is raised, lack of fund is cited as the reason for not addressing the issues. There is no co-ordination between the civic body officials, she added.

    “If the civic body continues to ignore the issue, the residents would be picketing the corporation office and go on fast until the issues are solved,” she added.

    Acknowledging that there are multiple leakages in the region, civic body officials said that they are working to fix the pipeline damages at the earliest and water would be supplied to the residents within a day.


  • Corpn to revise three ‘Smart City’ projects tnn | Sep 15, 2018, 00:30 IST

    Coimbatore: Following the directions of the high-power standing committee which gives final nod to implement ‘Smart City’ projects, the Coimbatore Corporation will revise three of its submitted projects for the second time.

    During the high-power committee meeting which held on Wednesday, the corporation has submitted three projects – phase one of lake rejuvenation and restoration project and two model road projects at Race Course Road and TV Samy Road.

    After reviewing the projects, the committee has directed the civic body to revise the cost estimations for all the projects. As per the direction, the corporation will hold discussions with the designers to reduce the cost estimation, said a senior official from the civic body.

    For the projects, the officials had estimated 70% of the cost under government fixed schedule of rates (SOR) price and 30% of the cost as per the market value.

    Since the market value is higher than the SOR price, the committee has directed to revise the budget, the official said.

    The committee wants to bring 90% of the cost under SOR and depending upon the products that are chosen as per market value, the cost would reduce, the official said. Upon changing as per the direction, the cost would come down drastically along with the quality of the project.

    “The corporation does not want to compromise on the quality of the projects and it would have to find a way to cut the estimated cost without diluting the standards,” the official added.

    The civic body has already reduced the cost of phase one of lake rejuvenation project from Rs 357 crore to Rs 206 crore without removing any of the proposed components.

    Under the lake rejuvenation project, the civic body is to adapt a unique water treatment method, decentralized natural waste water treatment system (DEWATS), to treat the water before letting it into the tanks, apart from establishing eateries and recreation activities.

    After DB Road, the corporation has proposed to implement model road projects at Race Course Road and TV Samy Road to convert them into pedestrian-friendly, to increase vegetation and to implement rainwater harvesting system.


  • ‘Form exclusive committee to tackle illegal sand mining’ tnn | Sep 18, 2018, 00:59 IST

    Coimbatore: Farmers allege that illegal sand mining continues unabated in water bodies across the city despite the state government allowed sand quarrying on a strictly monitored basis. They have called for an exclusive watchdog committee to be set up by the government to tackle the menace.

    Illegal mining of gravel, sand and clay is rampant in river, stream and tank beds across agricultural areas like Thadagam, Periyanaickenpalayam, Sulur, Kinathukidavu and Sirumugai, farmers said.

    “One can see lorries transporting mud, clay and gravel from these locations day and night. Because of this, many water bodies in the district are unable to hold rainwater for long time. Only if there is adequate depth and sand in water bodies, they can absorb water to recharge groundwater levels,” president of the Tamil Nadu Farmers Association (CITU) S Palanisamy said. “The agricultural community is nervous that Coimbatore may soon turn into a rocky district due to this. If that happens, agriculture will die too.”

    Six months ago, the Madras high court had ordered the Tamil Nadu government to close all sand quarries in the state to maintain ecological balance. However, the state government got a stay order against it from the Supreme Court. “Due to illegal mining, water bodies including the Kowsika river failed to get filled up naturally, which in turn affects hundreds of acres of farming land in the vicinity,” said Palanisamy. “Sand had been mined so deep in that once perennial river,” he said.

    Farmers say the revenue, mines and agriculture departments must work together to prevent illegal mining. “Even if officials act on complaints, illegal miners continue their activities with the support of politicians. These departments should create a committee to keep vigil over mining prone villages and prevent sand theft,” said Palanisamy.

  • 24/7 water project to begin at RS Puram on pilot basis Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Sep 23, 2018, 00:24 IST

    Coimbatore: Amid growing fears and protests, the civic body has decided to implement the 24/7 drinking water supply project at RS Puram on a pilot basis.

    “The work is expected to start at RS Puram within a month. It will be completed within the completion of its year-long study period,” a senior corporation official said.

    The contract has been given to Suez Projects Private Limited for 26 years—one year study period, four years of implementation period and 21 years of maintenance period. “The company has submitted the capital investment plan for RS Puram and is waiting for approval from the corporation commissioner. It has completed all the surveys—consumer survey, topography survey, GIS survey and network survey—in RS Puram,” the official told TOI.

    “There are 6,600 water connections in the area. They will be categorized into pockets, which will further be categorized into two district metered areas (DMA). Water flowing through DMAs will be metered and flow will be periodically analyzed.”

    The company plans to take up the work on DB Road, which is covered under the model road project, after the road work is complete. “It won’t be necessary to dig up the road for replacing pipelines as provision has been made for utilities. Once the pilot project is complete, the company will get a fair idea of what it would be like working in the rest of the city. The pilot project is a part of its study and based on the implementation in this region, the company could scale up the capital investment plan for all the 72 wards in the city,” the official said. The project, which was the last to be sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURN), would be implemented in 72 wards in the corporation limit at a cost of Rs 2,961crore.

    The project has invited criticism from the opposition parties and has instilled fear among public, as confusions continue to prevail over tariff fixation.

  • City’s fingerprint bureau getting digitised

    Coimbatore: The fingerprint bureau in the city is in the process of digitising about 1,000 fingerprints of criminals using a software developed by the Tamil Nadu Fingerprint Bureau. It has already converted fingerprints of 3,500 people into digital format. The database will help police expedite crime investigation.

    A former woman inspector, a fingerprint expert, who was reappointed by the state government for the city police last year, is in charge of the bureau’s operation. Two constables, who had undergone training at the bureau, are deployed at crime scenes to collect the prints.

    “We are using a software called Facts (Fingerprint Analysis Criminal and Tracking System), an advanced automated fingerprint identification system. The software is used to digitise the prints collected from various suspects and accused. We have so far digitised more than 3,500 fingerprints from Coimbatore city. The rural police are scanning about 1,000 prints. The scanned prints are uploaded in Facts,” a senior police officer told TOI.

    “The fingerprint bureau was maintaining the fingerprint details based on the accused’s modus operandi. Now, a criminal might involve in chain snatching, robbery, burglary and murder. So, we cannot maintain separate fingerprint details. Manual verification of fingerprint is very difficult. Though we can match the prints, we cannot provide the details in the court as we are not experts in the field. The Tamil Nadu Uniformed Services Recruitment Board (TNUSRB) has called for the post of fingerprint sub-inspectors and is planning to recruit more than 200 fingerprint experts,” the officer said.

    The bureau has uploaded the prints collected from suspects and accused since 2013. It is in the process of digitising older prints.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/citys-fingerprint-bureau-getting-digitised/articleshow/65917243.cms
  • New solar plant at Ukkadam to save city corpn Rs 3.2cr/year

    Coimbatore: In addition to the two solar plants that are being installed under the smart city mission, the city corporation plans to start installation work for a third plant at Ukkadam within a couple of months.

    The Rs 17crore, 3.6MW plant, will be set up on the 15 acres of land adjacent to the sewage treatment plant (STP) at Ukkadam. It will have 11,286 solar panels, each with a capacity of 320W. “The tender for the plant will be floated in October. Work order will be issued after the contractor is finalized. We hope that the work will commence by November,” a senior corporation official told TOI.

    The civic body had obtained approval from the high power standing committee to install the third plant about a month ago.

    The two other plants, with a capacity of 1MW each, are being constructed at Ukkadam and Kaundampalayam at a total cost of Rs 11crore. While the latter is expected to be completed within a few months, the Ukkadam plant, construction of which was completed two months ago, is awaiting the noobjection certificate from the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco).

    “The Ukkadam plant will be inaugurated as soon as we get the the NOC. It will help the civic body to slash the electricity bill,” the official said. “Power generated at the plants will be transferred to the Tangedco sub-station at Ukkadam and will be used to offset the electricity bill. We had been paying over Rs 20crore per annum to Tangedco as electricity charge for the two STPs at Ukkadam and Ondipudur, and the water treatment and pumping stations at Velliangadu and Pillur. The 3.6MW plant alone could save about Rs 3.2crore per annum. All the three power plants could save over Rs 5crore per annum,” the official added.

    The civic body has decided to utilize the power generated at both the 1MW plants to offset the electricity charge being paid for operating the water pumping station at Velliangadu.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/new-solar-plant-at-ukkadam-to-save-city-corpn-rs-3-2cr/year/articleshow/65917248.cms
  • Teeming with insects, Singanallur lake area gives glimpse into rich biodiversity

    Coimbatore: Scientists, who spotted flourishing insect population during the exploratory survey around Singanallur lake, expressed hope about the rich biodiversity in the area.

    The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) along with the Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Education (CUBE) have been working on the year-long insect survey around the lake.

    Until now, only butterflies and dragonflies were under study. This is the first time a specific survey to study all kind of insects was carried out, said D Vasanthakumar, a researcher, who volunteers with CUBE. During the study conducted in 2016 in the area, 720 species were identified. “We have data on the number of dragonflies and butterflies, but lacked data on other varieties of insects as no such study was carried out. The number of butterfly species has increased from 70 to 92 after the 2016 survey,” he told TOI.

    Explaining that there are more than 300 varieties of insects and only an expert could study about a particular species, Vasanthakumar said they have found experts for a few insect varieties, including grasshoppers, spiders and ground beetles.

    Talking about the importance of insect survey, the researcher said that flourishing insects are a healthy sign of biodiversity as life on earth is interdependent. “Upon studying the insects, urban biodiversity could be easily understood and the changes in biodiversity could be predicted.”

    Using light trap method and visual encounters, the scientists have so far spotted over 100 species. “Since a large number of species were identified on the first weekend itself, we are hopeful that the number will increase in the following days,” he said, adding that the scientists will be working on every weekends at the lake.

    “A few months into the study, we will be able to identify at least a few rare species. Only after decades of study, a species could be termed endangered as a lot of insects revisit the places only after decades,” Vasanthakumar added.

    The scientists will be studying about the insects only at Singanllur lake as it is the only urban lake that is rich in biodiversity due to the presence of natural vegetation and lack of infrastructural activity.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/teeming-with-insects-singanallur-lake-area-gives-glimpse-into-rich-biodiversity/articleshow/65941097.cms
  • Slum clearance drive: Jeeva Nagar residents demand land within city

    Coimbatore: Around 200 residents of Jeeva Nagar in the city demanded on Monday that they be evicted only after being given alternate housing or accommodation within the Coimbatore Corporation limits. They came to the district collectorate to submit their petition in this regard.

    The residents have been promised alternate housing in multi-storied apartments at Keeranatham following their eviction.

    Jeeva Nagar is located just off Mettupalayam Road next to the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation office.

    The residents say they will not vacate their houses unless they are provided alternate housing near their current dwellings.

    They had been living on poromboke land in the corporation for decades.

    Former councillor Purushothaman said, “Under a land lease agreement, they had been paying for the land in installments to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board. They have been paying Rs 44 per sqm per month since 1990. It has been slowly increased up to Rs 450 per sqm as recently as two years ago. At least 30 of the 204 houses have paid the full amount, for the land to be registered under their name.” “They were served eviction notices despite paying all their installments and in the nick of time to register the land in their names,” he said.

    Purushothaman, who is also a resident of Jeeva Nagar, said most families have paid at least 60% to 70% of their installments to TNSCB for registration of the land in their name.

    “So, if they want to evict us now they have to give us alternate accommodation or housing that matches this land’s value. Instead, they are giving us apartments at Keeranatham, which is outside corporation limits and far off from most of our residents’ jobs in the city,” said Purushothaman.

    Residents say corporation owns 34 acres of poromboke land adjacent to Jeeva Nagar, of which 4 acres was given to a project, 1.5 acres for a cemetery and some more land for a school. “But they have more than 20 acres remaining which is unoccupied. They can give us alternate housing on that land. We occupy 2.71 acres currently, which can easily be accommodated on that vacant land,” said Purushothaman. “If we get that, we will vacate immediately,” he said.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/slum-clearance-drive-jeeva-nagar-residents-demand-land-within-city/articleshow/65941170.cms
  • Corpn notice to residential complex a mere eyewash, say social activists

    Coimbatore: The Coimbatore Corporation has issued show-cause notice to remove encroachment in Parsn Sesh Nestle residential complex on Nanjundapuram Road under section 258 (4) of the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) Act. But activists claim that there is no subsection 4 under the section 258 and the notice was mere an eyewash.

    The civic body has issued about 10 notices to the residential complex as buildings, including car shed, ATM centre, pump rooms and other structures, were constructed on the open space reservation (OSR) land, said an official from the corporation.

    As per the norms, 10% of the land in a layout should be allotted for OSR. It should be used for establishing playgrounds or parks, said the official.

    In this layout, OSR land has been split and buildings were constructed on them. Moreover, it is difficult to identify the OSR land in the layout.

    Signed by the assistant town planning officer of eastern zone Manoharan, one of the notices said, “A guest room and RO power plant have been constructed on a land owned by the corporation. As it is disturbance to the public, it should be removed within 15 days. Upon failing, prosecution would be charged by the corporation on October 4 and recovery of expenses would be made as per section 441 of the CCMC Act.”

    But section 441 deals with the provisions pertaining to penalties. What expense is the corporation going to recover by slapping penalty, questioned one of the petitioners, who raked up the issue of encroachment inside the layout.

    Citing that the notice was issued under 258 (4) of the CCMC Act, he said that there are only two sub-sections under the section 258 and there is no fourth sub-section.

    Acknowledging that the section deals with removal of encroachment, he said it took the corporation almost eight months to issue removal notice. In January, field inspection was conducted at the layout.

    When contacted, town planning officials said they were unaware of the issue and would look into it.

    Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/corpn-notice-to-residential-complex-a-mere-eyewash-say-social-activists/articleshow/65941187.cms
  • Under water: Why does the city sink? TNN | Updated: Sep 27, 2018, 12:53 IST

    Huge traffic jams choked the city following downpours on Monday and Tuesday

    COIMBATORE: Following the sudden downpours on Monday and Tuesday, huge traffic jams choked the city in the evenings. Motorists struggled as six subways were inundated with more than two feet deep water. Even main roads, including Thadagam Road and Avinashi Road, were waterlogged.

    Traffic came to a standstill from Uppilipalayam signal till Kavundampalayam signal for two hours. Sirens blaring and lights flashing, ambulances were caught in the jam. Police intervened and made way for an ambulance on its way to the Coimbatore Medical College Hospital. Avinashi Road and State Bank Road and Puliyakulam Road were also flooded.

    Commuters and consumer activists blamed the city’s infrastructure. Water logging in portions of Thadagam Road occurs only because there are not enough drains, said K Vaidyanathan, a resident of R S Puram. “As a result, subways and underpasses in low-lying areas become prone to water stagnation, especially Lanka Corner, underpass on Trichy Road and Brookebond Road. Those places need large drains and inlets,” he told TOI.

    Roads and pavements have to be designed in such a way that water flows down to the sides and directly into the storm water drains, consumer activist K Kathirmathiyon said. He suggested constructing two more flyovers or rail over bridges to allow people to drive from the eastern part of the city to the western part, one connecting Ramnagar to Mettupalayam Road and another one connecting Sanganoor Road to the city centre. “With only two routes available and both their underpasses getting flooded, commuters have no other routes available. Ramnagar-Mettupalayam Road Flyover was proposed in 2009, but it remains on paper,” he added. But the city corporation as well as the police blamed it on the sudden downpour. The city received heavy rain within an hour instead of a gradual rainfall, police commissioner K Periaiah said. “Traffic was blocked at Lanka Corner under the Avinashi Road Flyover, Trichy Road Uderpass and Ram Nagar Uderpass near Kikani School as rain water collected there rapidly. Those roads are critical for smooth traffic flow. So, two-wheelers that usually go under the flyovers had to go above the flyovers or choose routes without underpass. Besides this, in places like Thadagam Road, two-wheeler users avoided the sides of the roads that were under water and as a result, wide roads could accommodate only single lane traffic,” he told TOI.
    City corporation chief engineer Lakshmanan said the civic body handled the situation well. “The motors provided in the underpass were switched on and water was drained out within two hours. The underpasses and subways will get inundated for some time if there is a sudden heavy downpour,” he said.


  • Corporation commissioner inspects three parks under construction Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Updated: Sep 27, 2018, 12:56 IST

    Representative image

    COIMBATORE: City corporation commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan, who inspected three parks being constructed at Ramanathapuram in the city on Wednesday, directed corporation officials to expedite the work.

    The parks are being constructed at Ruckmani Nagar, Sivaram Nagar and South Sivaram Nagar in the 74th ward at a cost of Rs 2.92crore under the smart citymission project. The cost of establishing a park is estimated to be over Rs 94lakh.

    The civic body is also getting ready to inaugurate parks at Cheran Managar in ward 32, Maharaja Nagar in ward 36, PLS Nagar in ward 35, Elango Nagar in ward 34, VKL Nagar in ward 2 and Srinivasa Nagar in ward 42, renovated under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transmission (AMRUT).

    Meanwhile, Ramanathapuram residents demanded basic amenities in the locality. Acknowledging that a few roads are being laid around Ramanathapuram, S Meenakshi, a resident, told TOI that most of the interior roads are damaged beyond repair and pose as a threat to the commuters. “Instead of establishing parks, the corporation should use the fund to lay roads for the convenience of residents. What is the point of having lavish parks, when the roads are completely damaged?”

  • Metrobikes to launch bicycle rental service at Vadavalli in a month Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Sep 28, 2018, 00:36 IST

    Coimbatore: Though China-based bicycle-sharing platform Mobike has decided not to offer its service in the city after the civic body refused to take responsibility for the bicycles, Metrobikes, a Bengaluru-based rental start-up for two wheelers, plans to launch a three-month pilot project at Vadavalli within a month.

    Metrobikes plans to deploy 500 bicycles and is identifying parking lots in the area, a senior corporation official said. “With the Bharathiyar University nearby, the locality is one of the most suitable places for a bicycle-sharing system. We wanted to test the region specifically before implementing similar systems across the city,” the official told TOI.

    The company might introduce up to 5,000 bicycles at Vadavalli, depending upon the demand. “Metrobikes plans to charge Rs 10 for the first one hour of use and from then, Rs 5 per hour. Users have to pay Rs 99 as deposit. The bicycles could also be taken out on monthly rent. Moreover, the company plans to introduce battery-operated bicycles here,” the official said.

    Operators in this segment are worried about theft and vandalism. Over 200 bicycles owned by Ofo, one of the world’s largest bicycle-sharing platforms that had launched its service in the city some months ago under a pilot project, had gone missing. The company withdrew from the city in July.

    Metrobikes will be locked with metallic locks to check theft. The company plans to introduce a mobile-based app to lock the bicycles as well extra security measures. It has sought the assistance of the police department to safeguard them.


  • NGO to spend Rs 20cr for accident-free city tnn | Sep 28, 2018, 00:53 IST

    Coimbatore: Industrialists have come together under one umbrella to make the city accident-free by helping officials overhaul the traffic management apparatus.

    UYIR, an NGO formed by leading industrialists to make the city accident-free, will donate CCTV cameras, barricades and traffic management equipment worth Rs 5 crore to the city police. The NGO will spend Rs 20 crore in four years to better the traffic management apparatus in the city.

    The NGO has sought a proposal on how the city traffic police wanted to utilize Rs 5 crore this year and in response they had sought 400 CCTV cameras, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and some rubber poles, which will be fixed on roads to provide free left. UYIR has subsequently informed the city traffic police its readiness to spend Rs 3 crore on advanced CCTV and ANPR cameras and another Rs 2 crore on barricades and other traffic management apparatus.

    UYIR has hundreds of industrialists, educationists and doctors as its members. According to sources, the NGO will spend Rs 5 crore each per year for four years to develop roads and improved traffic management system in the city.

    “We have sought more than 400 CCTV cameras and some ANPR cameras in the first phase. We have identified 13 major junctions to fix ANPR cameras, which would help us detect number plates of vehicles round the clock. Three major roads – Avinashi Road, Trichy Road and Mettupalayam Road -will be covered with CCTV cameras and within four years all major junctions in the city will be covered,” said a senior police officer, who didn’t want to be named.

    He said the NGO has agreed to provide a lot of barricades and other traffic management apparatus. “This will help us reduce the fatal accidents in the city. We have already sent a proposal to district collector T N Hariharan to revise the speed limits in the city and this will be implemented very soon.”

    The NGO also unveiled its plans to ink a memorandum of understanding with the city police, city municipal corporation, state and national highways and a few more stakeholders within a month period to implement the project. “We are taking steps to install the CCTV cameras within a month. This will be done with the city police’s help. We will also approach chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami to launch our activities,” a source said.