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Vol. XXXIII No. 4, June 1-15, 2023


Next Chapter on the Pen Memorial

-- by The Dy. Editor

The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, has via its Expert Appraisal Committee given its approval for the construction of the pen-shaped memorial to former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi off the Marina Beach. With this the controversial proposal seems to have crossed yet another hurdle towards becoming reality. The party in power has not ­expressed much jubilation over this probably because of other matters demanding action but opposition, chiefly fishermen, seem to be adopting a wait-and-watch attitude. The question still remains as to whether the city really needs such a memorial.

That the Centre would give its nod was no-brainer. As we in Madras Musings noted (see Vol XXXII No 21, Feb 16-28, 2023), with its love for erecting outsize statues all over the country there was not a leg for the party in power at the Centre to stand on, on this issue. It also appears that the approval has been given conditionally – there are various other reports that need to be obtained. A no-objection certificate needs to be given by INS Adyar which is less than a kilometre away. There are numerous studies that need to be done regarding erosion, seismic impact, and sand accretion. Besides, certain stipulations have been made regarding construction itself – access to the memorial needs to be via a lattice bridge and not a structure that has pillars erected in the seabed – this is to avoid hurdles for marine fauna, fishermen and vessels. The area cannot be illuminated during turtle nesting and hatching periods. There has been a demand for an emergency control centre close by and a comprehensive disaster management programme especially for handling crowds.


Authorities clamp down on unsafe drinking water, seal six packaged water units

-- by A Special Correspondent

A spike in complaints regarding the poor quality of water cans supplied to residents in different parts of the city prompted authorities to investigate the matter. Following a joint inspection of 19 packaged drinking water units by officials from the Food Safety Department, GCC and CMWSSB, authorities have sealed six packaged drinking water units for poor manufacturing processes and selling without a license. The condition of these units is reportedly appalling – in a quote to, Chennai’s Food Safety Officer P. Satheesh Kumar


Heritage Watch: Remember the Traffic Commissioner’s Office at Vepery?

If you are of a generation that acquired its driving ­licence in the 1960s and 1970s, you would know this building very well. And if you are a child of that era, chances are you were taken to the traffic park that fronted it. Our OLD shows the Traffic Commissioner’s Office


The T. Nagar Skywalk

About the photographer

Hemamalini is a professional project manager with a passion for photography. In the course of almost a decade, her camera has frozen in time scores of performances on the Chennai stage across classical music, dance and even discourse.

Hema is smitten by the city and enjoys exploring its sights and sounds, her trusty camera by her side. It was on one such expedition that Hema chanced to be at Ranganathan Street on the day the new skywalk was inaugurated by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. Madras Musings is glad to present


Lost Landmarks of Chennai

-- by Sriram V

From Traffic Commissioner to Police Commissioner’s Office

The Police Commissioner’s Office Road may be in Egmore but the official himself now sits in a custom-made multi-storey building located in Vepery. While the story of old Commissioner’s Office is well documented (for the latest read MM, Vol XXXI, No 4, June 1 to 16, 2021), what is not is the history of the Vepery premises, which is equally interesting. This article traces that past.

While the history of the Madras (now Tamil Nadu) Police is traced from 1856, the institution of Volunteer Guards began in 1857.

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