Chennai Current Affairs - 2019

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‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ unveiled for flood mitigation in Chennai

Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the ‘Red Atlas Action Plan Map’ atlas and the ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’ for flood mitigation in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Both the atlas and the CFLOWS-Chennai are intended as decision support systems covering aspects, including preparedness and prevention. Such initiatives to effectively tackle urban flooding are likely to be replicated in other Indian cities including Mumbai, Maharashtra.

What is Red Atlas Action Plan Map?

It is a first of its kind ready reckoner map, prepared by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences to aid state government of Tamil Nadu in effective flood mitigation in Chennai which witnessed the worst deluge in 2015.

The atlas is aimed at flood mitigation, preparedness, operations and management aspects. The manual besides showcasing the probable scenarios for different rainfall periods also provides information on corporation wards that are likely to be affected due to flooding, and the areas that may need evacuation in Chennai by taking into account all historical datasets.

The over 200-page atlas was prepared by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in association with TN State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and Greater Chennai Corporation. Also, the office of the Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) to Centre government, IIT-Bombay, IIT Madras and Institute of Remote Sensing of Anna University participated from the academia.

What is ‘Coastal Flood Warning System App (CFLOWS-Chennai)’?

The CFLOWS-Chennai is a complete webGIS-based decision support system. It can be used both for mitigation planning operations before flooding as well as in real time to for aspects like relief work.

CFLOWS is an integrated system that involves coupling models of regional weather forecasts, storm surges and captures about 796 flood scenarios.

India supported Jaffna International Airport commence its operations

The Jaffna International Airport (JIA) in Sri Lanka received its inaugural flight from Chennai, Tamil Nadu in presence of country’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. Alliance Air, the subsidiary of Air India sent its inaugural flight from Chennai to newly upgraded Jaffna International Airport at Palaly, (20 km north of Jaffna city of Sri Lanka). It carried Air India CMD Ashwini Lohani and its CEO C.S.Subbiah among other invitees from aviation sector.

This inaugural flight is yet another example of India’s commitment to continue with people-oriented development projects in Sri Lanka.

Key Highlights

Currently, there will be 3 flights a week to Chennai but connectivity to Tiruchirapalli and Kochi is also planned in coming months. This will provide a big boost to Jaffna connectivity with Southern India.

Alliance air services from Chennai is the beginning and efforts are being made to start services between Jaffna and Colombo.

The flight is expected to improve people-to-people contact between India and Sri Lanka as well as boost tourism and trade between the two neighbours.

About Jaffna International Airport

The airport is built with Indian assistance and is located in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority North. It completion marks an important development for region as well as for whole of Sri Lanka. It is equipped with a 2.3-km runway and is third international airport in Sri Lanka.

The airport has now been developed afresh and the runway length has been extended from 950 metres to 1400 metres to facilitate ATR 72 aircraft that carries 70 passengers. Under Phase II of project the runway length will be further extended up to 2,300 metres for bigger aircraft.

Background: The Jaffna airport was operational during 1960s and 1970s but was closed down following eruption of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) war or Sri Lankan Civil War. India then extended assistance for development of war-affected Jaffna in northern province.