Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVIII No. 14, November 1-15, 2018

Our Readers write

Dr. A. Raman

Endangered parks

The implications of Geeta Doctor’s passing mention of the CMRL’s plans for an underground line/station (MM, October 1, 2018), has me all knotted up. Much as I would like to shut my eyes to the fact, soil testing aka ‘Geotechnical’ testing, is indeed going on within the Chetpet Eco Park which lies alongside the existing Central-Kilpauk-Airport Metro line. The Kilpauk Metro station is a minute or two walk from the Park. So, what does the new Metro plan propose? And, to cut to the chase, will it be the beginning of the end of the Eco Park ?

My impatience and fears are not unfounded. In 2011, I was among those who were silent witnesses to CMRL’s takeover of the circular 9-acre Thiru-Vi-Ka Park in Shenoy Nagar where I have been staying for a little over 40 years. There were officially put up notice boards outside the covered park carrying the break-up of the number of trees (believed to be 300) in the park, number to be transplanted, those that were to face the axe and trees that would see the light of day in the ‘restored’ park. But here’s the rub. Post-May 2017, after the Metro station was inaugurated, the authorities have had better ideas than restoring the park. With headlines like 21K sq.ft underground facility to come up at Shenoy metro’ hopes of old-timers and every green enthusiast have been dashed. Today, nine months down the line, more trees, visible to residents living around the park, have said their last goodbyes.

Waking up to the dangers of the commercialisation of the park, we, the residents ran a signature campaign, met CMRL and Chennai Corporation officials, the MP and MLA and posted a petition to the Chief Minister. To seek clarity, we filed a petition under the RTI to which we have got no response. While, we continue talking to anyone who would care to listen, contractors are busy at work in the 9-acre site where once stood the Thiru-Vi-Ka Park. As for the CMRL’s latest plans for the Park restoration, residents like me have our doubts about any newfangled replacement.

Back to my question on the fate of the Eco Park. Mind you, the word ‘park’, developed at a cost of Rs 42 crore, pays no justice to what is definitely an environmental model. Reduced to its bare minimum, the Eco Park is all of 16 acres of water and land-spread ringed by a 1.2 km walkers’ path. The park also abounds in greenery. At a time when there’s a sense of urgency about preserving and maintaining water bodies and open spaces, will our need for transportation ride rough shod over the cause of the environment ?

T.K. Srinivas Chari

2A, Mithila

4/39, East II Cross Street

Shenoy Nagar

Chennai 600 030

Photo printing

I have since found two papers published in the 1856 volume of the Madras Journal of Literature & Science, one by Tripe and another by Jesse Mitchell on printing of photographs. I provide below the complete bibliographic details of both, the Tripe and Mitchell articles:

1. Tripe, L., 1856, ‘On a photographic printing process’, Madras Journal of Literature & Science, 1 (N.S.), issue 1, pages 166-170.

2. Mitchell, J., 1856, ‘Description of a plain or, waxed paper process in photography’, Madras Journal of Literature & Science, 1 (N.S.), issue 1, pages 71-81.

Both articles are freely available on the Internet.

Notable that Tripe had sent the above communication to be read at one of the ordinary meetings of the Madras Photographic Society (MPS), while he was in his last phase of service in India, attached to the 12th Regiment, Native Infantry, Bangalore. This paper was read at an MPS meeting by J.D. Scott, Madras Artillary. In this article, Tripe indicates that his formula was developed on that then popularised by Thomas Sutton of Jersey, which involved the use of gold hyposulphite as the toning agent.

These details shall interest and benefit those interested in the evolution of photography in Madras.

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