Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91
Vol. XXXIII No. 3, May 16-31, 2023
The Government of Tamil Nadu has decided to permit outdoor hoardings once again in the city. A Government Order has been issued under the Tamil Nadu Urban Local Bodies Act 2022 to this effect. The reason is ostensibly to boost revenue for the cash-starved Greater Chennai Corporation. The actual pressure may well be from elsewhere for it is public knowledge that the business of outdoor hoardings is controlled by vested interests of all political persuasions. The parties who will be affected by this decision, namely residents, pedestrians, motorists, have expressed horror but that is unlikely to cut any ice. That we have been without hoardings for over 15 years in this city is itself something of a wonder.
The industry itself, and the civic body which is supposed to benefit from this permission, are to blame for the mess they find themselves in. Over the years, the Corporation has been a bystander in allowing rampant violations in the erection of hoardings. More than 90 per cent of the city’s outdoor advertisements were supposedly illegal structures. And even among the few that were permitted by the civic body, rent payment was tardy at best. The Corporation proved ineffective in its collection drives. Litigation has been endemic to the industry and even when the Corporation tried to take recourse to law, it was stymied by delays and stays.
This month, the city will be given a brand new skywalk in T.Nagar courtesy the Greater Chennai Corporation. It will connect the Mambalam railway station to the bus stand near the Madley junction in a bid to alleviate the traffic congestion caused by pedestrian crowds on the roads. 570m long and 4.3m wide, the skywalk will provide commuters with a range of facilities that includes escalators, elevators, restrooms, connectivity to the railway station and the bus stand as well as CCTV surveillance that feeds into the Mambalam police station.
In case you are of the kind that likes to see its heritage buildings sans any obstructions, now is the time to do it. For rather like the camel and the Arab, the large outdoor hoardings are all set to make a comeback to our city. They were banned in 2017 and since then the city has breathed but it seems now not for long. A modification to the laws here, an appeal to the High Court
Budgets these days are more of a political statement of the ruling party. In the previous budget, state’s thrust was on social welfare and inclusive economic development, even as the government worked towards fiscal consolidation, and administrative reforms. The present budget has its focus on women, children, youth, sports, Tamil language
A Property of Chellammal’s
Mani’s Auction House as it is popularly known, or to give it its proper and more prosaic name – Mani’s & Co, is located on Royapettah High Road. It specialises in wooden furniture of the more antique variety. It is on my route to and from office and as I drive by, I always pause to take a look at its large open yard where tables, chairs, beds and sofas, apart from a whole host of other things,