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- Corporation tests structural stability of water tanks in city
An engineer engaged by the Coimbatore Corporation testing the strength of a water tank in the city on Monday.S. Siva Saravanan
A team of 10 engineers and workers involved in the exercise
Coimbatore Corporation has embarked on an exercise by engaging Suez Projects Pvt. Ltd. to test the structural stability of water tanks in the city.
The test has been going for the past couple of days and will continue for another 15 days till all the 41 over-head tanks and sumps are checked, say Corporation sources familiar with the development.
The exercise comes after the civic body handed over the maintenance of the water distribution system to the company as part of the arrangement to implement the 24x7 drinking water supply scheme to improve water distribution in the old city area 60 wards.
The sources say a team of 10 engineers and workers will conduct rebound hammer test - to check the strength of concrete, ultrasonic probe velocity test -to check the cohesiveness of concrete, cover meter test - to check the quality of the reinforcement in the concrete (iron rods), chemical analysis test and a few others.
The test will take a few hours and the results couple of days, the sources say and add that thereafter the company will submit a report to the Corporation.
The report will also form the basis of what the company will do to strengthen the stability of tanks, if necessary.
As of Monday, the company has completed the tests on the tanks on D.B. Road, in Gandhi Park, Vysial Street and Town Hall.
The company has also been attending to leaks in the existing water distribution system and has plugged over 700 leaks, the sources add.
- Road in heart of city has a pothole every 100m Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Mar 30, 2019, 04:09 IST
Coimbatore: A stretch connecting Puliyakulam Junction and G V Residency, which is not more than 3.2km, has over 35 potholes. That is, a pothole for every 100m.
The potholes were formed after the city corporation and Suez Private Limited, which are executing the 24\7 drinking water supply project in the city, fixed leaks in pipelines.
“Every other day, water leakage is reported on the stretch and unless we make repeated calls for a week, no worker would turn up to fix them. There is not a single instance when the workers fixed the leakage within a day or two. When we have been struggling without drinking water, gallons of water is getting wasted,” said R Parvathi, a residents.
While the workers of the private company were struggling to fix the leakage at six different places on the stretch, water was leaking at three other spots. “We are receiving contaminated water because of the leakage in water pipelines most of the days. We have been facing the issue for more than one year. Usually, it takes them a week to fix a leak. So, drinking water gets wasted for a week,” Parvathi told TOI.
Most of the times, the workers do not restore the patch of road after digging it to repair the leakage, said N Duraisamy, another resident. “They just close the pit with debris. Whenever it rains or water flows over it, the area gets muddy. Most of the potholes on the road were created because of the leakages.”
Pointing out that the road is one of the congested roads in the city and once in 10 minutes, a bus passes through the stretch, Duraisamy said that the road has become a nightmare for motorists. “As the corporation has placed sign boards at multiple locations, motorists will have to take turns to cross the points,” he said.
Explaining that accidents have become common, another resident S Shanmugam said that school and college students regularly use the road to reach educational institutions and the road has become unsafe for them. Both the main water pipeline and distribution lines are passing through the road, a worker, who was fixing a leak, said. “As both the pipelines are decades old, they cannot withstand the pressure of the water that is released based on the current demand. When we fix a leak at one point, the pipe breaks at another point.”
Corporation officials promised to look into the issue.
- Corporation uses advanced technology to test structural stability of water tanks Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Mar 31, 2019, 08:12 IST
COIMBATORE: The city corporation, with the assistance of Suez Projects Private Limited, is testing the structural stability of overhead tanks (OHTs) using advanced technology.
“The drive is a part of the 24/7 drinking water project agreement that was signed between the corporation and the private firm. It commenced a couple of weeks ago. There are 41 OHTs in the 60 wards of the old corporation limit. The drive is expected to be completed within a month,” a corporation official said.
So far, 11 OHTs in Aishwarya Garden, Kovil Medu and at the corporation office in Town Hall have undergone the test.
The tanks are subjected to five tests, of which results would be known instantly for four. “The strength of concrete is measured using a specialized equipment called rebound hammer. Ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) test is used to identify where the reinforcement of the tank is and its quality. To check the condition of the reinforcementwhether it is corroded or nota hole is drilled in the pillars and potentiometer is inserted,” the official told TOI.
The firm is also conducting carbonation test, in which phenolphthalein is injected into the pillar through a hole. “The structure is ascertained to be healthy if the solution turns pink. Depending on the intensity of colour, the stability of the tank can be determined,” the official explained.
Concrete samples are taken from the tanks for detailed chemical analysis, the result of which will indicate the present condition of the tanks and the rectification work to be done. The engineers take a day or two to test a tank.
“The firm has submitted the reports of the completed tests. While some tanks are believed to be healthy and in stable condition, some rectifications are to be done in the other tanks. The corporation is yet to take a final decision on it,” the official added.
TOI had carried a report stating that more than 80% of OHTs in the city are damaged.
- Mumbai-based firm to monitor restoration and rejuvenation of city lakes
Nivedha Selvam | Nivedha.Selvam1 | Updated: Apr 29, 2019, 4:19 IST
Coimbatore: The city corporation has appointed a project monitoring consultant (PMC) to inspect the ongoing works under the lake restoration and rejuvenation project.
The Mumbai-based firm will check the quality of each and every component that would be set up as part of the project, a senior corporation official said.
The firm, which provides inspection service, was appointed a couple of weeks ago. It had carried out similar projects in Gujarat.
“The consultant has obtained the designs of the lake project from the designer and would ensure that all components are executed by the contractor as specified in the proposal. It is only after the validation of the consultant, the work would be considered as completed,” said the official. “The project has been prepared in such a way that it even specifies the things to be done at the bottom layer of the lake, the types of stones need to be laid to beautify the bund and the type of water treatment method that need to be set up. It required the appointment of a third-party consultant to monitor the works.”
Explaining that work on the 180m stretch along Periyakulam is being carried out by the corporation on a pilot basis, the official said that the work would be completed by the end of the month. Work at other lakes would commence immediately after that.
Components like toilets, convention centers, playground for kids and an open space auditorium will be set up along the bunds.
The project will also lay stress on ecological restoration of the lakes and for that water let into the lakes will be treated.
The civic body has found contractors for Periyakulam and Selvachintamani lake, the official said. “The consultant will monitor each and every component that would be implemented.”
- Coimbatore: Over 1,200 UGD connections given; priority to houses near lakes
The minister had launched the work at Brindavan Layout, Sokkampudhur, Selvapuram, LIC Colony, Telugupalayam and Anna Salai to provide connections to over 17,300 houses. Nivedha Selvam | TNN | May 25, 2019, 11:00 IST
COIMBATORE: The city corporation has so far given sewage connections to 1,268 houses under the underground drainage (UGD) project after municipal administration minister SP Velumani inaugurated the work in March.
The minister had launched the work at Brindavan Layout, Sokkampudhur, Selvapuram, LIC Colony, Telugupalayam and Anna Salai to provide connections to over 17,300 houses. It was later extended to other areas.
“Even though the work commenced at multiple areas simultaneously, the first priority would be given to areas around lakes. As the corporation has started implementing the lake rejuvenation and restoration works at both Selvachintamani and Ukkadam Periyakulam, we wanted to stop the inflow of sewage water into the lakes at the earliest,” said a senior corporation official.
Sewage water will not enter the lakes after the completion of the work as treatment plants will be constructed to treat the water, the official said.
Meanwhile, Rs 31 crore has been allotted under the smart city mission project to give household connections to 40,757 houses in the city limit. “The fund was allotted as many residents were reluctant to pay the deposit amount in a single instalment. The deadlock had been delaying the UGD project,” the official said.
“The amount will be later collected from the residents on instalments. They can pay the amount in 10 instalments. The deposit amount and UGD charges vary as per the property tax. Those who are paying between Rs 501 and Rs 1,000 as property tax will have to pay Rs 3,200 as service charge per year and Rs 10,000 as deposit.”
- Groundwater level betters in dist
Nivedha Selvam | Nivedha.Selvam1 | Updated: Jun 9, 2019, 4:47 IST
Coimbatore: The district rural development agency’s efforts to increase the groundwater level by preserving rainwater has paid off and water was available 17 metres below ground level (mbgl) in May this year, compared to 29.62mbgl in May 2017.
Ruban Sankar Raja, project director of district rural development agency (DRDA) said one of the techniques being used in the district to increase the groundwater level was earthen bunding, wherein bund of a farmland is raised up to 2ft to prevent rainwater from draining away. “This year, we have started to implement the technique at the farms of 7,174 small and marginal farmers. Of this, we have completed works in 3,201 farms and in the remaining areas the work is nearing completion.”
By raising the bunds of farmlands, rainwater, which otherwise would drain away, could be preserved to rejuvenate the groundwater level, he said. The officer said they had chosen only those farmlands that were under five acres for the project and a farmer could on an average preserve rainwater in 3.20 acres of farmland.
“The average rainfall in the district is 690mm and we could save up to 30 lakh litres rainwater in an acre per year. We have created structures to save rainwater in 21,000 acres of farmland and it means we would be able to save 6,300 crore litres rainwater,” Ruban said.
The officer said efforts were on to harvest rainwater by constructing boulder check dams and recharge wells along the Noyyal river. At least 1,529 locations have been identified along the river and nearly 700 of them would be taken care of by the DRDA. Ruban said they had already started construction work and it would be completed within a couple of years.
“Together, we would be able to preserve 8,400 crore litre rainwater every year and it in turn will increase the groundwater level. The ground water level was 29.62mbgl in May 2017, 22mbgl in May 2018 and 17mbgl in May 2019. We expect that the groundwater level would improve to 8mbgl in October shortly after the monsoon,” Ruban said.
Welcoming the move, activist P K Selvaraj said rainwater harvesting was the need of the hour and it would not only ensure water for drinking purposes but also for irrigation needs. “Now that the officials are constructing structures along the Koushika river to rejuvenate the groundwater level, hopes are high that the river would be revived at the earliest.”
R Raveendran, of Residents Awareness Association of Coimbatore, said the move should be adopted in city limits as well as plenty of rainwater was getting wasted. “We do not have any major rainwater harvesting structures in the city. If we could at least save the rainwater flowing down the drains, our groundwater level would be rejuvenated to an extent.”
- City corpn yet to reclaim OSR land
Nivedha Selvam | TNN | Updated: Jun 11, 2019, 4:27 IST
Coimbatore: Ten months after the city corporation issued notice to remove the encroachments on the open space reservation (OSR) land of Parsn Sesh Nestle Residential Complex on Nanjundapuram Road, no action has been taken to implement the order.
The civic body had issued 10 notices to the residential complex last September after finding structures including an ATM centre, car shed and pump rooms constructed on the OSR land.
“A guest room and RO power plant have been constructed on a land owned by the city corporation. As they are causing disturbance to the public, they should be removed within 15 days. Upon failing, recovery of expenses would be made as per section 441 of CCMC Act,” a notice signed by assistant town planning officer of eastern zone Manoharan said.
As per the norms, 10% of layout should be allotted for OSR land, which should be used for the welfare of the residents in and around the layout by establishing playgrounds or parks, said S Kanagasundaram, a petitioner. “But in this layout, the OSR land is on bits and pieces and it is difficult to identify it. Buildings have been constructed on the reserved land. It is the duty of the corporation to check and take action. But it looks like we need to launch a legal battle,” he said.
Town panning authorities were not available for comment.
- Over 300 houses on Coimbatore corporation land at Masjid Colony demolished
The corporation would construct parks and a stadium on the evacuated land as part of the lake rejuvenation and restoration project.Nivedha Selvam | July 05, 2019, 14:00 IST
COIMBATORE: The city corporation, along with the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB), on Thursday demolished 386 houses constructed on the former’s land at Masjid Colony. Alternative accommodations have been allotted to the evicted families at TNSCB’s housing unit in Ukkadam.
The corporation would construct parks and a stadium on the evacuated land as part of the lake rejuvenation and restoration project. “About a month ago, we had issued eviction notices to the residents directing them to vacate the corporation land as it is required to execute the project at Valankulam tank. They were provided alternative accommodations at TNSCB’s housing unit in Ukkadam free of cost,” said a TNSCB official.
The official said they demolished the houses only after the residents accepted to move to the housing unit. “Most of the residents have already moved to the housing unit. We have been holding talks with the residents since 2011 to vacate the place as it had poor sanitation condition and lacked basic amenities.”
R Maheswaran, a resident of the colony, however, questioned the rationale behind the corporation laying cement roads in the colony about one-and-half years ago and conducting a survey to construct a toilet in each house, if the officials were really holding talks with them for eight years. “The civic body even started to construct additional community toilets, but the construction work was stopped abruptly about a year ago.”
K Raj, another resident, said, “More than half of the flats in the housing unit do not have electricity connection and it would take at least a few days for us to get the connection. Why couldn’t the corporation wait till the flats were ready? Now that the houses are demolished, we have no option but to stay in flats without power connection.”
TNSCB officials, however, said all those who had submitted a registration form to the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB) until June 26 have obtained EB meter box and electricity connection. “At least 122 families did not submit the registration forms. How is it possible to give electricity connection to those flats? Once they submit the forms, we will take steps to provide power connection at the earliest,” an official said.
Some residents, meanwhile, expressed apprehension to move to the flats in the housing unit. “We all had witnessed how a block of the unit had sunk to the ground in 2011. The housing unit is poorly constructed. Then how could we move to it,” they asked.
They said they had been living at Masjid Colony for more than 80 years. “There are so many encroachments along the Rajavaikal which takes water from the Valankulam tank to the Singanallur tank, but no step has been taken to remove those encroachments,” they said.
- Coimbatore civic body to ensure rainwater harvesting system in all buildings
A four-member team, comprising sanitary inspector, supervisor, bill collector and engineer, has been deployed in each ward to inspect the buildings on a regular basis.Nivedha Selvam | TNN | July 18, 2019, 14:00 IST
COIMBATORE: The city corporation on Wednesday commenced its door-to-door inspection to ensure all the buildings in its limits are equipped with rainwater harvesting structures.
A four-member team, comprising sanitary inspector, supervisor, bill collector and engineer, has been deployed in each ward to inspect the buildings on a regular basis.
“The team would check the receipts of property tax and water bills and inspect whether the building has a rainwater harvesting structure or not. If it’s in place, they will check whether it’s in working condition. If a building doesn’t have a rainwater harvesting structure, it would be given a week’s time to construct one. Failure to do so would invite a notice seeking explanation from them,” said a corporation official involved in the process.
Corporation commissioner Sravan Kumar Jatavath had on Tuesday held a meeting with all the officials in the civic body and given them strict instructions to carry out inspections on a daily basis in all the 100 wards in the corporation limits.
The teams were directed to inspect at least 50 buildings a day, so that all the buildings in the corporation limits could be covered and re-inspected to ensure that the rainwater harvesting structures were constructed before the deadline, the official said.
The corporation commissioner has also directed all the building owners to construct rainwater harvesting structures before August 15 and warned them of severe action, if they failed to follow the order. “No permission would be given to construct a building if the rainwater harvesting structure is not included in the design,” the official said.
In 2003, then chief minister J Jayalalithaa had passed a landmark ordinance, mandating all the buildings to construct rainwater harvesting structures within two months. Following this, local body officials used to inspect the buildings for rainwater harvesting structures. But the order was long forgotten in a couple of years.
The city corporation, however, decided to set up rainwater harvesting structures at bus stands, parks, commercial complexes and its buildings and sites in 2018. The civic body also decided to start a drive to identify the households without the structures and disconnect water supply to them if they failed to construct one. But the drive was never carried out.
- Property tax in Coimbatore higher than Chennai
Coimbatore Consumer Cause, a consumer forum, has petitioned the department of municipal administration and water supply to modify the tax to ensure parity across the state.Nivedha Selvam | TNN | July 29, 2019, 11:00 IST
COIMBATORE: City residents don’t seem to be aware that they are shelling out more on property tax than their counterparts in Chennai. While Chennai residents until recently used to pay tax rates that were set in 1998, for city residents the same was revised upwards twice in 2008 and 2018.
Coimbatore Consumer Cause, a consumer forum, has petitioned the department of municipal administration and water supply to modify the tax to ensure parity across the state.
The state government usually revises property tax once in 10 years. “After 1998, the state government revised the property tax for all the local bodies, except Chennai greater corporation, in 2008. During then, property tax for residential buildings was hiked by anywhere up to 25%, while industries and commercial buildings saw their taxes going up by anywhere up to 100% and 150%, respectively,” said K Kathirmathiyon, of Coimbatore Consumer Cause.
In an RTI reply, the state government had confirmed that they hadn’t revised property tax for Chennai greater corporation in 2008 and they had been following the 1998 rates until recently, he said.
Last year, the government had revised the property tax again for all the local bodies, and this time the Chennai greater corporation wasn’t excluded.
However, while tax percentage for Chennai was increased from the 1998 rates, others saw a hike from the 2008 rates. “The change in base year would have a cascading effect on the tax amount paid by the tax payers in other parts of the state,” Kathirmathiyon said.
For other local bodies, he said, the state government had last year hiked the property tax for residential buildings up to 25% from the 2008 rates. For industries and commercial buildings, the tax rates went up to 100% and 150%, respectively. “The revised rate had come into effect from April 1, 2018. Local bodies have now started sending notices to the property owners, asking them to pay the arrear amount.”
Kathirmathiyon wanted to know why people in other parts of the state should have to pay higher tax amount than those in Chennai. “It is a sort of discrimination and injustice to the public. The state government should take steps to ensure that tax percentage is equal across the state. We are not against the revision of property tax, but we are opposed to the discrimination between property owners in Chennai and others outside.”
- Encroachments removed from Fathima Nagar
TNN | TNN | Updated: Aug 14, 2019, 4:01 IST
Coimbatore: The city corporation demolished as many as nine houses constructed on a water channel at Fathima Nagar near Karumbukadai in the city on Tuesday.
Eviction notices were issued to the occupants of the houses and alternative accommodation was provided to them at the housing unit of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board at Ukkadam for free, city corporation officials said.
According to the officials, the decision to remove the encroachments was taken following the recent incessant rain during which water had flooded the houses in Karumbukadai area. As the houses were constructed encroaching Rajavaikal connecting Ukkadam Periyakulam to Noyyal the area of the canal had shrunken, which was evident when the current map was compared with that of 1930. With the houses on, it was impossible to desilt the canal, which was filled with bushes and domestic waste. As a result, water had entered the houses during the recent rain, said Syed from Osai, an environmental organization.
The residents extended support to the eviction drive, he added.
- Community apartments on the rise in Coimbatore
They say homes from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 60 lakh were the ones that usually move fast.TNN | September 14, 2019, 14:00 IST
COIMBATORE: While realty developers are developing and promoting more community apartments in the city and surroundings, flats in these apartments may not be selling as fast as they used to, say developers.
A walk around the 30 stalls at Credai Fairpro 2019, the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India’s (Credai) ongoing property fair in the city, shows all developers promoting their community apartment projects in localities in and around the city.
They say homes from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 60 lakh were the ones that usually move fast. People prefer these as they have a sense of safety and accessibility to a range of facilities these community apartments offer.
Along with facilities such as gyms, spas, swimming pools, halls, and play areas, some developers of community apartments have also brought in facilities such as malls and co-working spaces.
Though the trend of community apartments was catching up in the region, developers say currently flats were not selling as fast as they used to.
K Gopalakrishnan, a representative of Cordon Bleu Properties and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, which has developed Central Park, a community apartment on Sathy Road, said now it takes two years for them to sell flats that they would have sold in one year earlier.
While the price of flats in these apartments range from around Rs 10 lakh to Rs 2 crore, flats whose price fall between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 60 lakh were the ones which were more preferred. “In today’s market conditions, flats which cost more than Rs 60 lakh are not moving,” said S Kapilraja, deputy sales manager of XS Real, a realty developer.
Also, to accommodate the available budget of customers, the type of apartments was also changing, said Surender Vittel, president of Credai, Coimbatore. “Earlier we were going for larger apartments now the size of the units has reduced,” he said.
Developers said with the realty in Chennai reaching a saturation, they were viewing Coimbatore as the next potential location for development. H Surendran, marketing manager of Salarpuria Sattva Group, says they have done around 200 projects in Bengaluru and their first project in Tamil Nadu was on Avinashi Road, as they see the city to be a potential market.
The main consumers of these community apartments were salaried people and techies who live in nuclear families, said developers. “They mainly opt for this as they have safety and as their children get to have a better social life in these communities,” said Sanjana Vijayakumar, co-founder of Town and City Developers.
Speaking about the Credai Fairpro 2019, Rajiv Ramaswamy, secretary of Credai, Coimbatore, said this year they were seeing more people coming in with a genuine interest to buy.
“While we saw a business of Rs 150 crore last year, we seek to reach Rs 175 crore this year. Normally it would take around six months for this to actualize,” he said. He said the fair this year had a wider range of products for a diverse range of buyers.
- Coimbatore: Work on houses under Indira Awaas Yojana yet to be completed
A Chitra, a resident, said she was overjoyed at the very thought of shifting to a concrete house from her dilapidated hut and that the excitement had faded over the years.Nivedha Selvam | TNN | October 09, 2019, 11:00 IST
COIMBATORE: The residents of Badrakaliamman Colony in Anaimalai taluk were an excited lot when they were allotted concrete houses under the Indira Awaas Yojana in two phases in 2015 and 2016. Years later, they still live in their huts, as construction of their new houses are yet to be completed.
A Chitra, a resident, said she was overjoyed at the very thought of shifting to a concrete house from her dilapidated hut and that the excitement had faded over the years.
Sanctioned in 2015, the contract to construct the house was given to a contractor, who was recommended by Thatthur panchayat. Almost four years have lapsed, but the contractor has constructed only a single-storeyed structure without any compartment and toilet.
“It took them four years to construct a single structure and fix doors and a window. We have been asking them to construct at least a wall across the house to separate kitchen from the living room. We don’t know how long it would take them to do that,” Chitra said.
She said she had quit her job, which earned her nearly Rs 300 a day, to work along with the contractor to build the house. “Wage for working at the construction site is credited under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the mason takes it directly,” Chitra said.
To speed up the work, she said, they had hired one or two labourers at Rs 500 each a day. “The mason won’t turn up for work every day. So, the work is delayed.”
The hut she and her family live in is in a dilapidated condition. During the rain, water leaks through the roof. Rainwater also enters the hut through entrance, as there is no place for it to drain. The story isn’t different for other residents in the area. The residents continue to defecate in open, as they don’t have toilets.
A source said a total of 40 houses were sanctioned in the village under the Indira Awaas Yojana. “While 17 houses were sanctioned in 2015, the remaining were allotted in 2016.”
Like Chitra, others are also waiting for the new houses, the construction of which is progressing at a snail’s pace.
After witnessing the plight of Chitra and her neighbours, a couple of residents had hired their own masons. “The masons, who are recommended by the panchayat, are not regular at work. In most cases, they leave before completing the entire work. So, we hired our own mason and designed the house. We commenced the work a year ago and have already constructed two rooms,” said M Sumathi, 42, another resident.
Thatthur panchayat officials were, however, not available for a comment.
The Indira Awaas Yojana, now renamed as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana, is a social welfare flagship programme to provide financial assistance to construct houses to below poverty line people in rural parts of the country. Under the programme, the beneficiaries are given a sum of Rs 1.70 lakh each in several instalments.