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Vol. XXXIII No. 21, February 16-29, 2024

Archives: Vol. XXXIII No. 21, February 16-29, 2024


Learning lessons the hard way at Pallikaranai

-- by Sriram V.

It was only last fortnight that we wrote about how the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had come down heavily on all kinds of encroachments at the Pallikaranai marsh. In brief, around 38 percent of the natural formation is heavily built upon, all in violation of the law. This fortnight, attention has shifted to the eco-park that the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) plans to develop on the huge dumping yard that it has been operating in Perungudi. This is also a part of Pallikaranai and the Corporation has been under pressure to close the space and leave. Discussions are ongoing as to how to rejuvenate the area occupied by the dump yard and for once we are happy to note that residents of the neighbourhood have asserted themselves.

Mind you, being a resident of the area probably means a violator, for many housing colonies in the vicinity are on marshland. There is every likelihood that these residences may also face the crowbar and axe, not to forget the bulldozer, if the NGT has its way. Each time it rains heavily, these people have been flooded in or flooded out, depending on which way you like to look at it. It is therefore no surprise that these residents have not only participated in public consultations on the future of the dump yard but have also in all probability forced a change of plan by the GCC.

The GCC, which has for years been tipping the rubbish of the city on a 225-acre plot here, has committed to the closure


The Chennai MRTS-Metro merger: unveiling more puzzles than solutions

-- by A Special Correspondent

The merger of the Chennai Metropolitan Rapid Transit System (MRTS) and the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has been a topic of discussion since 2018, aimed at achieving multi-modal integration for seamless transportation in the city. This pursuit of a unified transport portal, by the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA), while intriguing and promising convenience, is not without its flaws and raises significant concerns. Questions arise about the timing


Heritage Watch

There is a lot of flowers in this issue of Madras Musings, what with the flower show that was held recently. And for the Heritage Watch column we could think of nothing more appropriate than a painting of a Madras flower by Lady Elizabeth Gwillim (1763-1807), which is our OLD. The lady in question arrived in Madras towards the end of the 18th century and till her sudden passing was an avid observer of the city, its people, its flora and fauna.


Park in Bloom: The Semmozhi Poonga Flower Show

-- Pictures by William Satish

Thrown open to the public on February 10, the Semmozhi Poonga flower show is the talk of town. Reported to comprise over 12 lakh plants, the park is a riot of colours from ­marigolds, roses, ­tulips, chrysanthemums and more in bloom. WilLiam Satish snapped a few pictures of the stunning topiary on display. Visitors can enjoy the flower show till February 19.


Flower Shows at the Agri-Horticultural Society

-- by Sriram V

Semmozhi Poonga, located on Cathedral Road hosted a flower show last week. Events of this kind have become increasingly rare in our city but there was a time when the annual flower show was much looked forward to. It was of course best associated with the Corporation, which took over the hosting of it from 1924 and continued till the 1990s after which the event became increasingly

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