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Vol. XXXIII No. 22, March 1-15, 2024

Archives: Vol. XXXIII No. 22, March 1-15, 2024


CMRL – planning in hindsight

-- by Sriram V.

Work on the second phase of the Metrorail is on in full swing. It is understood that the powers that be are very keen that the work should be completed by 2026 when the State Assembly elections are scheduled to take place. If executed satisfactorily by then, everyone can take credit – the State Government for adhering to the deadline and the Centre for releasing funds on time. If the work prolongs then resort can be had to blame games. But what is causing concern at ground level is that there are numerous oversights and faulty assumptions especially where it concerns the smooth flow of traffic. These are likely to flare up soon into perennial hotspots for logjams. And that is forcing the authorities to look for answers that needed to have been thought of before work began.

That all is not well with what was planned earlier has become manifest in the numerous public consultation meetings that are ongoing with representatives of the ward councillors, officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metropolitan Transport Corporation. It has emerged that the initial surveys undertaken, and the first set of diversions unveiled have proved faulty to say the least. And with traffic piling up, new, and pretty drastic plans, are underway. Not all of these are necessarily in consultation with the affected parties, namely property owners whose land may have to be taken over for such schemes to become reality.


MTC announces fleet expansion, includes a significant portion of e-buses

-- by Varsha V.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) plans to increase its fleet strength by a hundred new buses this year, comprising 500 electric buses, 250 low-floor and 250 standard buses. This will include 100 low-floor AC e-buses which will reportedly accommodate 70 passengers and ply 27 routes including 29C (Thiruvanmiyur – Perambur), 570 (Kelambakkam-Koyambedu) and 40A (Anna Square-Pattabiram), facilitating the connection of transit centres such as Tambaram, Broadway, Tiruporur and Chennai Central. The AC e-buses will have batteries with an 8-hour


Heritage Watch: Syne of the Tymes

This was the standard heading that the late Chief used whenever he had to publish atrociously spelt English. The first as far as we can remember was a photo by Harry Miller of a wall that carried the message – Do not Uran Hare. All of this came rapidly to mind when your Deputy Editor


City Beautiful then, Singara Chennai now

On Dec 3, 1968, the then Mayor of Madras, Velur Narayanan, addressed the Rotary Club of Madras. We reproduce here the report of the event, courtesy Lighthouse, the weekly bulletin of the Rotary Club of Madras. We leave it to our readers to gauge whether civic conditions have changed (or not) in the city.
– The Editor

Addressing the luncheon meeting on 3rd December 1968, the new Mayor, Madras, Mr. V. Narayanan expressed his firm determination to bring back to Madras city its age-old quality of being “The City beautiful”. Speaking on the topical theme


Going Walkabout in Madras

-- by T.K. Srinivas Chari

It all began with a walk from Thiruvanmiyur to Besant Nagar along the beach shores in early-mid 2023. A year later, we’re hoping that that beginning – which has taken us all over town and more – will one day take us trekking in the Himalayas. A tall order, yes… but what the heck, one lives in hope. Never mind that our first Saturday walkabout along the sandy beaches had us dodging (ugh!) excrement now and again. And in this day and age when two supra VIPs actually took some time off from what must have been heavy duty conferring to sit at the beach in the neighbourhood at Mahabalipuram!

The second week saw my school buddy

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