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Vol. XXXIII No. 18, January 1-15, 2024

Archives: Vol. XXXIII No. 18, January 1-15, 2024


Who protects the Heritage of Fort St George?

-- by Sriram V.

In our issue of Madras Musings dated December 16, 2023, we reported on the sad collapse of Last House on Snob’s Alley in Fort St George. Ostensibly under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India, the structure, one of the oldest in the Fort, had been steadily neglected to a point of no return. It has now joined a long line of fallen buildings in the precinct. The ASI has maintained a studious silence on the matter. Considering that there are buildings supposedly protected by the same body which are nothing more than debris inside the Fort and which have remained that way for years, we expect no further action on this matter as well.

The ASI probably thinks it can get away with this. There being multiple owners of the Fort, nobody is really accountable, and so the ASI thinks right. The Army controls a part, the Navy yet another, the ASI has some portions under itself, and the Government of Tamil Nadu has the rest. Can we ever imagine these august bodies coming together to protect the Fort? Most unlikely. As a result, each one gets away with neglect.

Reliable sources within the Army and the Navy are of the view that the ASI has no locus standi when it comes to the Fort’s protection. They point out that the record of the ASI is not edifying in this regard, and they are not wrong. After all, when the Government began scouting for land in the 1980s for putting up a new Secretariat


GCC sets up Regional Enforcement Team to monitor and curb dumping of waste in water bodies

-- by Varsha V.

In November last year, it was reported that the Greater Chennai Corporation removed 600 tonnes of garbage and 250 tonnes of debris from waterbodies over the course of four months. The operation was a part of the desilting works undertaken by the administrative body to enhance the storm-water flow capabilities of main canals. While it is not the sole reason for flooding during heavy spells of rain, unruly waste disposal leads to clogged drain inlets and polluted water bodies that exacerbate stagnation. In fact, healthy water bodies


Heritage Watch: ‘Beautifying’ The Marina

Driving by the beach the other day, this rockery caught your deputy editor’s eye. While much of the beach is in a shambles, this entirely artificial creation seems to be flourishing. You would normally expect anything put by a previous regime to be neglected by its successor in our State but not so this rockery. It was gleaming in the sunlight and further enquiry revealed that it is a working fountain in the evening.


An accounting academian who left a lasting impression on whoever interacted with him

-- by Karthik Bhatt

R. Sivakumar, noted chartered accountant who passed away recently wore many hats with consummate ease. A man with a tremendous philanthropic bent of mind, many a social and religious cause greatly benefited from his


Kalidas – Part III

-- by S. Muthuvel,

In those days, there were many remarks that Kalidas contained ‘patriotic songs and keerthanas that had little to do with the film’s story.’ However, the truth is that along with the tale of the titular Kalidas, the film also contained two other segments which were short features in their own right. We have seen earlier that the story of Kalidas

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