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Vol. XXVI No. 16, December 1-15, 2016

Archives: Vol. XXVI No. 16, December 1-15, 2016

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How can Courts get authorities to act?

(By The Editor)

How many buildings in the city are strictly legal? Not many, it would appear. Everyone is aware of this – the Press, the immediate neighbourhood, the Courts, the lawmakers and the activists. The only entities that remain in blissful ignorance of such a problem are the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and the Corporation of Greater Chennai. That such a turning of the proverbial blind eye will one day come to haunt them has been amply evident in the last few weeks when the High Court of Madras has come down heavily on both the planning and civic bodies for not taking any action on these matters despite repeated instructions to do so.

Early last month there were three consecutive days when the CMDA and the Corporation came under fire from the Court for scuttling legislation and Court orders when it came to illegal structures. This was while dealing with representations protesting against the CMDA’s repeated attempts at legalising for a penal fee buildings that violate the rules. The Court ordered a contempt notice to be served on the Member Secretary, CMDA, for what it termed “wilful disobedience”. On the second day, the hearing pertained to a case wherein the CMDA and the Corporation had happily been passing the buck to each other when it came to action against a particular structure that had violated the law. When confronted by the Court, the CMDA had to accept that the matter came within its ambit. The Court sharply castigated the planning body for passing the buck. A day later, it fined the Member Secretary Rs 10,000 for wasting the Court’s time. This pertains to lack of action taken despite a demolition order from the Court on an illegal structure put up by a Ward Councillor.The aggrieved parties had to approach the Court again to seek redress, which Their Lordships rightfully interpreted as a total waste of everyone’s time when judgememt had already been delivered.

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Making pavements narrower no solution

by A Special Correspondent

And, so the Corporation of Chennai has gone back to laying narrow sidewalks. After a brief flirtation with the idea of broad pedestrian walkways clear of all encroachments, the civic body has thrown up its hands. It has claimed that it is not in a position to keep the broad sidewalks free from vendors and other temporary structures and has opted to take the easy way out. Can any civic body just -absolve itself of all responsibility? Why then do we need a Corporation?

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Greening the banks of the Adyar

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The eastern zone of Adyar Creek in Foreshore Estate now shows up as green with the saplings which were planted on the banks a few months ago now grown.

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Roads that remember memorable women

Recalling Lady Madhavan Road, Mahalingapuram

Lady Madhavan Road is in Mahalingapuram, near the Aiyyappan Koil. It is perpendicular to both Madhavan Nair Road and Sarojini Road.

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Who was Lady Madhavan Nair?

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Focus on TN’s business surge

by Janaki Venkataraman

Most Chennaiites are familiar with the stories of the big business houses. The really absorbing part of Sushila Ravin-dranath’s book is the latter half, about the companies that started from around the 1970s and after, the software pioneers, the retai-lers, some quirky start-ups that succeeded and some that did not.

One of the major financial success stories of the 1970s is that of Shriram Chit Funds. The lower and middle income groups in Tamil Nadu have always been avid fans of saving through chit funds (despite the risks).