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Vol. XXXII No. 22, March 1-15, 2023

Archives: Vol. XXXII No. 22, March 1-15, 2023


Chennai’s increase in FSI needs careful study

-- by The Editor

The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. M.K. Stalin, speaking at a real estate event recently, assured the stakeholders present that his administration would be happy to consider an increase in the Floor Space Index as presently stipulated by law for construction within the city. This announcement was received with much jubilation by the real estate lobby but its impact on the ultimate consumer – those who purchase home and office space – needs to be studied carefully. An arbitrary increase in FSI can have a disastrous effect on the quality of life in the city.

Presently, the permitted FSI in Chennai is two, which means that the constructed area taking all floors in total, can at most be twice the size of the plot of land. This has been arrived at after due consideration of quality of life and keeping in mind other aspects such as aesthetics and safety. In reality however, much of the city gets by on loopholes in the law – temporary structures are put up to get more floor space and in many other instances there are barefaced violations, an aspect that the administration invariably overlooks unless dragged to court and forced to take action. Most commercial constructions in the city, especially those catering to retail space violate FSI norms with impunity.

However, it cannot be denied that there has been an increasing demand for raising the FSI. With most cities preferring vertical growth and a tightly packed urban space, the old concept of spread-out neighbourhoods and suburbia is considered an unwanted luxury.


New experiment makes Chennai Central India’s first ‘silent’ railway station

-- by A Special Correspondent

The hoary public announcement system in India’s railway stations is a cultural phenomenon in itself. The announcements are singularly uniform in all stations across the country and the trademark jingle played before and after announcements is so recognizable that one could argue that passengers’ ears have been trained to pay attention to the travel advisories.


Heritage Watch: The Petrus Uscan Plaque

It was in February 2018 that we last wrote about this historic plaque. For those not in the know, it records in three languages the munificence of the Armenian merchant Coja Petrus Uscan, who in 1728 funded the first bridge across the Adyar. Known as the Marmalong (Mambalam) Bridge, it has since made way for the present Maraimalai Adigal Bridge but the plaque with its inscriptions in three languages – Persian, Latin and Armenian – survived after a fashion, much neglected and partly buried under the ground.


Knit into Pearls – The Knit India Through Literature series

-- by Ranjitha Ashok


The Shriram Group has been committed to the preservation and promotion of Fine Arts, Indian Culture, Heritage and Literature. For the last 35 years, the Group has been sponsoring and organising South Indian Classical music programmes of young, budding and senior artists. We have been extending support to the sabhas during the Music Season every December in Chennai.


Choreographing the Now — Malavika Sarukkai-Anubhandh — Connectedness

-- by Geeta Doctor

It is the most intimate of Malavika Sarukkai’s explorations in dance. 

When she first appears on the vast darkened empty space at the Music Academy, it is stripped of the paraphernalia of the classical dancer’s repertoire. The musicians on a platform at one side had been rendered more effectively on a soundtrack. Even the invocatory image of the Doyen of Dance

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