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Vol. XXXIII No. 24, April 1-15, 2024

Archives: Vol. XXXIII No. 24, April 1-15, 2024


Before we gloat over Bangalore’s water shortage…

-- by The Deputy Editor

The last few weeks have seen several news items on Bangalore city’s water crisis. It is indeed a sad spectacle to see what was once a green city now grappling with appalling shortage of one of life’s most essential elements. What was even more saddening was the spate of posts on social media by seemingly delighted Chennai citizens who congratulated themselves over how their city had weathered such crisis long ago. Nothing could be more self-deluding than that. Firstly, Chennai’s water crisis is not over and will never be. Secondly, for a city that had water scarcity from inception, we seem to be nowhere near a solution.

Chennai’s water supply history can be divided into many phases. The first of these was the longest – lasting over two centuries when the challenge was more of obtaining water of good quality. That was handled in piecemeal fashion – the ruling elite and the upper classes obtained water from great distances while the poor simply managed with what they had. The problem was mitigated to an extent by the availability of lakes and natural ponds in plenty though during peak summer these tended to go dry. The second phase, which was defined by a drive to ensure water supply at the doorstep by means of pipes, began in the mid 1800s.


Questions arise over structural safety assessments following nightclub collapse

-- by A Special Correspondent

News about collapsing of buildings is not new in our city. If the victims are of the kind whose kin can be tapped for votes, then solatium will be forthcoming at once from the Government. What is of concern is that the fundamental cause for such accidents is not being addressed. Unless of course it is a high-profile case as in the collapse of the Moulivakkam building in 2014 or the more recent episode of a structure in Saligramam that needs to be demolished owing to safety issues. Just last fortnight, the ceiling of a private club fell all of sudden


Holi in UP as seen by a Chennai photographer

To those active on social media, young Srivatsan Sankaran is a sensation. He has evolved into a travel photographer and photography educator for the deaf. Despite being hard of hearing, he has travelled to 200+ destinations and covered 50+ festivals. He expresses his feelings


The Mints of Madras – Part II

-- by Sriram V

(Continued from Last Fortnight)

Till the beginning of the 18th century the mint was, as we saw last fortnight, safely within the confines of the Fort though it had been divided into two – the gold and silver mints. But times were changing, and the East India Company was steadily coming into its own as a mercantile entity. By the early 1700s there was a change in policy – it was not enough to source cloth from weaving centres in the hinterland. They had to be set up in the vicinity of the Fort. Two colonies were created – Colletpettah near Tiruvottriyur and Chintadripettah just off Mount Road. The latter was conceptualised in October 1734 and by the next year was substantially ready. It was decided that a new mint would be set up here.


Madras-lace garlands presented to the Duke and Duchess of York and the Prime Minister of Australia in Canberra in 1927

-- by A. Raman,

The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH, Syndey, Australia) of 11 May 1927 features a news item entitled the Decorative collar (lace garland) presented to the visiting British royalty and the then Prime Minister Stanley Melbourne Bruce on 9 May 1927 during the opening of Provisional Parliament House in Canberra. The news item further says that it was presented by Diwan Bahadur T. Rangachariar, Representative of the City of Madras in the Legislative Assembly and former Deputy-President of the Indian Central Assembly of the British Indian Government.

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