Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXIII No. 13, October 16-31, 2023
The monsoon is just around the corner, and it will hopefully be bountiful. The water situation presently is comfortable with Metro Water officials saying that the city has enough of this precious commodity to tide over one more year, irrespective of how the monsoon fares. The Chembarambakkam reservoir, one of the largest sources of water for the city is already 85 per cent full, necessitating release to lower its levels so that it can accommodate further inflow during the monsoon. Elsewhere in the city, stormwater drains are being constructed to carry away water that is likely to otherwise stagnate. All of this is to the good. But are we taking steps to maximise storage of nature’s bounty? The answer seems to still be no.
It was in 2020, that the city got its fifth reservoir. It was the first to be excavated after Independence, the last such facility having been completed in the 1940s! Our population certainly did not remain stagnant during those seven decades and we muddled along somehow – taking over wells here, borrowing from a river there, and laying pipelines at enormous cost somewhere else to reservoirs deep in the south. We even took over granite quarries in our desperation. We made a virtue of firefighting and never bothered with a long-term solution.
Touting the success of the T. Nagar Pedestrian Plaza, the Greater Chennai Corporation announced earlier in August that it will build 13 pedestrian plazas as part of the Chennai Mega Streets project and with funding from the World Bank. According to a Times of India report, the project will develop 50 kms of pavement into pedestrian plazas:
A few months ago I posted a small story on my Facebook wall on an old heritage building on South Mada Street Mylapore, where Dr. Parvathi Padmanabhan used to have her clinic.
The owner of the property tried to rent it out but to no avail. After a wait of a few months it was decided to knock down the building and construct a new
At a superficial glance it would appear that the area around Central Station, known as Park Town is well documented historically. This was an area for garden houses and one at least – John Pereira’s, is commemorated by way of street name and also colloquially – the area is still referred to as Jambura Thottam or Jamla Thottam. We also know of People’s Park, that huge lung envisaged by Sir Charles Trevelyan in 1859, and which was steadily whittled down owing to the construction of Central Station, VP Hall, Moore Market, Ripon Buildings and the stadium in that order. What remains is My Ladye’s Garden, a startlingly well-maintained piece of greenery
Bhin Bhini – Changing Climate, Uncertain Livelihoods’ was an exhibit organized by the People Archive of Rural India. Curated by Krishnapriya CP, it was a documentation of climate change. As I walked towards DakshinChitra’s Vajra Art Gallery which served as the exhibit’s venue, I saw that the trees were wound with red threads. It was an arresting welcome to what would turn out to be an intense exhibit experience.