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Vol. XXXIV No. 4, June 1-15, 2024

Archives: Vol. XXXIV No. 4, June 1-15, 2024


Dwarfing all Heritage

-- by Sriram V.

It had to happen. Having of late been scoring brownie points with all its heritage initiatives, the State Government had to show that it has not lost touch with its ham-handedness. The most recent example of that is the unveiling of the plans for a 27-storeyed structure facing Central Station, which it is claimed will solve all problems of congestion in the neighbourhood. While nobody is denying that the place is crying out for solutions when it comes to its infrastructure, the Government could have debated on the impact of such a tall building in an area when no other exists. That it is also a thoroughfare of historic and heritage significance needed to have been taken into account.

The architectural plans for what claims to be a multimodal transport hub seem disappointing to say the least. The structure, from the artistic renderings seems to focus on maximising the area that it can encompass and resembles any corporate office building. And it has a few arches thrown in reflect the surrounding heritage, and what is more, seems to have plenty of blue glass plates, the favourite architectural element in all Government buildings in our city. Just think of the new Commissioner of Police building, or the Namakkal Kavignar Maligai or the Ripon Building annexe and you get the idea.

The objectives of what is to be called Central Tower are noble enough. It will provide much-needed parking space in the area. It will be a common link across multiple modes of transport including rail, metro, suburban railway and motorised vehicles. The building also aims to link access to the various important facilities in the neighbourhood – Ripon Buildings, Central Station,


NGT puts a halt CMDA’s 100 crore shoreline restoration project, asks it to obtain approval

-- by Varsha V.

Following concerns of environmental damage, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has prohibited the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority from proceeding with its shoreline development project without obtaining an approval from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The mammoth Rs. 100 crore initiative was conceived to enable the city to make better use of its long, natural shoreline by connecting fragmented portions of beaches through esplanades that would serve as public spaces


I had the honour of translating Kalaignar

-- by Dr. P. Raja, Bi-lingual creative writer & translator, Pondicherry

Around six in the evening of August 07, 2018 the authorities of Kaveri Hospital, Chennai announced that Kalaignar Karunanidhi had passed away at the age of 94 years. To the people of Tamil Nadu, he was 20 years their Chief Minister, from 1969 to 2011, and that was for five terms at a stretch. It must be mentioned in passing that he never lost an election.

To the world of letters he was a great writer with nearly 300 published books, and God knows


A stairway of Madras Memories

-- by Sriram V

Despite having lived in the city for thirty years now, I had never been to Thirukazhukundram till a fortnight ago. That was when, despite the heat, some of us set out on an impulse early on a Sunday. The idea was to visit the Kothandaramaswami Temple at Oonamancheri off Vandalur but when we reached there, we found the temple locked and that the priest visits only in the evening and so we went to Tirukazhukundram.

On reaching the place we decided to climb the hill first, to worship at the Vedagiriswarar shrine. The sprawling temple at the base dedicated to Bhaktavatsaleswarar we thought we would cover later. And so we began the trek up the hill. The steps are beautifully laid out here and what is more, have a canopy overhead that prevents the sun from heating the stones. And so it was a comfortable


Out of Print – An occasional column on long-forgotten publications from Madras

-- by Karthik A Bhatt

The Tamil Digital Library, an initiative of the Tamil Virtual Academy is an online repository of books, magazines and journals. It hosts more than 40,000 books and 31,000 magazines and journals primarily in English and Tamil digitised from collections of organisations such as the Saraswathi Mahal library and the Connemara Public Library, besides the government archives. The collection dates from the 17th century onwards and comprises publications from across the world.

Amongst the magazine collection are several published from Madras in the 19th and 20th centuries. These cover a wide range of subjects, from religion and philosophy

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