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City Corner-June

Painting the Chennai skyline

AFTER changing the skyline of Bengaluru, Prestige Estates Projects Ltd has set a firm foothold in Chennai. With the successive launches of the Forum Vijaya Mall in Vadapalani and Prestige Polygon in Mount Road, the Prestige group has targeted the two fastest growing sectors of the city, retail and IT. For years, the dusty and crowded Pondy Bazaar was the shopping destination for the middle class. With increased salaries and rapid urbanisation, shopping in malls has become the way of life. The Forum Vijaya Mall caters to the burgeoning middle class and boasts of hosting major Indian retail brands compared to other malls which fancy foreign brands. The Indian mall sector is growing by leaps and bounds and reached investments of Rs. 38,447 crore in 2011. The change in consumer tastes and all-under-one-roof concept has made shopping a family partime.

The Forum Vijaya Mall, built in association with Vijaya Productions, is spread over 1.48 million square feet catering to more than 100 retailers on four floors. Situated on the ever busy Arcot Road, the mall addresses the parking problem by offering a multilevel car parking system spread over 11 levels and two basements.

At the inauguration of the 534,499 square feet Prestige Polygon commercial building, Irfan Razack, Chairman and Managing Director, Prestige Group, said: “the city is today synonymous with growth and is one of the most vibrant investment destinations in the country. With manufacturing, hospitality and healthcare sectors witnessing a boom, there is a dire need for quality realty developments that can complement this trend. The Prestige Group is today aptly poised to partner with Chennai and deliver world class projects.”

Chennai: the power centre

WITH a population of seven million, Chennai consumes 13,000 million units of power annually which accounts for 18 per cent of the state’s total consumption. Growing urbanisation has not only expanded the city limits but also its demand for power. To assess the future demand and the steps towards upgradation, Prayas Energy Group, Pune has prepared a working paper titled ‘Electricity in Megacities’ for the Ministry for Urban Development. The paper analyses the current demand and future needs of the six major metros; Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi.

The Chennai Master Plan projects a demand growth of 3300 MW by 2020 in the commercial sector which is mostly contributed by the increasing lifestyle trends and industries that have mushroomed in the city. Domestic consumption alone is expected to increase to 6500 million units in 2020, a 50 per cent increase.

Though the government has to take steps to address these issues, it requires conscious power conservation from the public also. We cannot spend our way to plenty.

Large malls and industrial establishments should plan for self generation of power through roof top solar facilities and energy saving methods.

Dial 1913 for assistance!

IT WAS OUT of sheer curiosity that I dialled 1913, the complaint registration number of Chennai Corporation, and yes, I was struck by awe. It was something similar to any private call centre that assists you. The revamped call centre employs in a three shift basis, operational 24 hours. Mayor Saidai Duraisamy and the Commissioner of Chennai Corporation, Vikram Kapur inaugurated the revamped facility which offers voice audit features. Based on one’s complaint and the action taken, feedback is got from the resident and a satisfactory report is generated daily. The report is analysed by senior officials and any unsatisfactory response is dealt with seriousness. A technology shift by Chennai Corporation, moving towards a more corporate edifice.

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