Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXII No. 4, June 1-15, 2022
Beach beautification is almost the first project that any newly elected State Government of Tamil Nadu and for that matter city civic body announces after being sworn into office. Unfortunately, the vision is limited to the Marina Beach and not much beyond. And what vision there is for the Marina is restricted to fountains, re-relaying of the promenade and putting up a granite plaque or two. If all the schemes for Marina beautification had actually been fruitful, we would have a world class beach in our city. This the Marina undoubtedly was till a few decades ago. Now sadly, it would seem it is to be the victim of several ill-advised schemes, all of which are at cross purposes with each other. What then will be the fate of the beach?
Come to think of it, does the Marina really need beautification? It is a gift of nature (with some help from the harbour). All it needs is regulated vending, making sure the sands are free of litter, adequate safety, good lighting and working toilets. All these statues, memorials, fountains (that never work) and multiple commemoration plaques for the most mundane of facilities are meaningless. But try and explain this to our administration.
And now for a list of the various schemes that are afoot. At the top is an allotment of Rs 20 crores made last year to ‘beautify’ the beach. This was after the present Government took over. Earlier in 2019, the High Court gave the Corporation and the police a time frame of six months
According to April 2022 reports, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) is clocking a healthy improvement in daily ridership numbers. The average number of passengers carried per day has almost touched 29 lakhs – a number encouragingly close to the 33.5 lakh daily ridership the MTC enjoyed before the 2020 lockdowns. The improvement has been attributed to the free bus travel scheme for women
There are many statues to Gandhi all over the world but to the Chennai-ite there is only one – the statue that has stood at the intersection of Radhakrishnan Salai (Edward Elliots Road) and Kamaraj Salai (South Beach Road) since 1956. It has served as a meeting point, a focal point, a marker and also as an identity for Chennai. Many photographers have waited for the sun to rise
The Gandhi statue on the Marina is in the news owing to the necessity of having to shift it from its current location to facilitate Metrorail work. One of the few pieces of public art that Chennai can truly be proud of, it was unveiled by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, then Prime Minister of India, in 1956, in the presence of the then Chief Minister, K. Kamaraj. The sculptor of this bronze was Debi Prosad Roy Chowdhury, who was then serving as the Principal of the Government School of Arts, which institution having been founded in 1850 is one of India’s oldest. It is today known as the Government College of Fine Arts.
As a new initiative, the Madras Management Association has begun to conduct a series of meetings in Tamil, so that is can cater to its members in Tamil Nadu who are more comfortable listening to lectures in the said language. The third speaker in the series was Kizhambur Sankarasubramanian, the fourth editor of the 90 year-old Tamil literary magazine Kalaimagal – a unique periodical which has appeared, month after month, without fail in the last nine decades. Even during the lockdown, it appeared in digital form to delight its loyal readers. Considering that many other Tamil magazines