Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXII No. 14, November 1-15, 2022
The Chennai Metropolitan Area just shrank by around 3,000 sq km. It came down from 8,800 sq km or so to 5,900. In reality this is not a loss, as we never grew to that extent. We are at present around 1,189 sq km and now set to expand to 5,900 sq km. Earlier, that limit was pegged at 8,800 sq km making us the second largest urban agglomeration after the National Capital Region. Now we have scaled down our aspirations somewhat. If we have confused you sufficiently dear reader, we apologise and now proceed to explain what all this means.
It was in 2017 that the expansion of the metropolitan area was mooted by the then Government. It was announced that this expansion would include all of Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram Districts, apart from Arakkonam Taluk. All of this, it was claimed, was being done to boost infrastructure and maintain uniformity in development to counter the effect of ever-increasing population in the city. This was roundly criticised on several counts. Civic agencies in charge of the city have proved completely incapable of managing even the existing area of 1,177 sq km.
Public consultations were held in April 2018 and those who attended raised several concerns. Foremost among these was the impact such a move would have on several ecological hotspots and around 4,200 water bodies.
The northeast monsoon is around the corner and the city is already seeing short spells of rain in a few areas. Natural, then, that all eyes are on the ongoing stormwater drain works
I feel such a sense of loss and grief over the passing away of S. Viswanathan, the founder, publisher and editor of Industrial Economist, the business magazine published from Madras. I do not think he approved of the name change.
Viswanathan was truly an under appreciated pioneer and icon of Chennai. He dared to launch a business magazine from this city in 1968 when business journalism was an unknown subject.
How can Madras not have had a Globe Theatre? That name, forever associated with the Bard of Avon ought strictly to have been a playhouse but for some reason cinema took to it and practically every city in the English-speaking world that had a significant film following seems to have had a Globe Theatre. Ours too was no exception and as if to prove we were one up on others, we had two – the Globe and the New Globe.
I am unable to recall precisely. I must have been in senior class in the M. Ct. Muthiah Chettyar Boys’ High, Purasawalkam. But what I remember vividly are my regular push-bike trips to the then new District Central Library (presently the Devaneya-Paavanar Nulagam) in Mount Road. I first chanced on the book Doctor Rangachari by Rajam Krishnan there, published by Swadesamitran, Mount Road, Madras, in 1965.