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Vol. XXXIV No. 5, June 16-30, 2024

Archives: Vol. XXXIV No. 5, June 16-30, 2024


The Horrors of Highrise — 21 storey building to come up at Broadway

-- by Sriram V.

Multimodal transport hubs are the latest in the Government’s lexicon. Close on the heels of releasing an artist’s impression of the proposed 27 storey Central Tower to be built opposite Central Station (see MM, June 1, 2024), the Government, read Greater Chennai Corporation, has released its plans for a 21 storey building at Broadway, on the land presently occupied by the bus terminus and the Kuralagam building. Touted as a multimodal transport hub, which is exactly what the Central Tower is also described as, this building, it is claimed, will decongest the Broadway area. And as always, there is more to it than that.

The Broadway bus terminus has been a byword for congestion ever since its inception in the 1950s. It began in an informal fashion as such facilities invariably do in ­India, without any plan and by the 1960s the Government had to do something about it. Handed over to the M(now C)MDA in the early 1970s, it grew by land acquisition but its fundamental character never changed. There were repeated attempts to modernise and improve it, with several tenders floated for a multilevel parking lot which remained on paper. The latest in the series is the 21-storeyed building. It has been announced that the Government-owned Kuralagam building will be demolished, and the bus terminus shifted to the Island Grounds while the construction takes place.

Is there any multimodal transport facility anywhere in the world that needs 21 floors? The building it is said will have, apart from transport connections, parking facilities for buses, cars and two-wheelers. Which is all to the good. It will also have, and here is the rub, government offices and commercial


Train travails at Chennai Central signal dire need to solve overcrowding

-- by Varsha V.

Earlier this month, news reports emerged of ticketed passengers stranded at Chennai Central railway station. They carried bonafide tickets for seats on a train bound for Howrah, but discovered that unauthorised travellers had occupied their coaches; it is said that people began to board the train even as the railcars were entering the platform so that the sleeper coaches were full by the time they made a stop at the station. According to a report in The Hindu, ticketless passengers had not only overrun


Lost Landmarks of Chennai

-- by Sriram V

The Club remembered by a Gate

That the Madras Club is located in the Boat Club area is well known. It is also equally well known that the Club, founded in 1832 operated for more than a century in what was known thereafter as Express Estates in Mount Road, the road leading to the premises being known even now as Club House Road. The Club, faced with a dwindling membership post-Independence chiefly owing to its whites-only policy, had to sell the space and move to the opposite side


Fragile Jasmine – With a Core of Steel

-- by Ranjitha Ashok

That was the image that flashed through your mind within minutes of meeting Jaya Krishnaswamy, special educator and founder of the Madhuram Narayanan Centre for Exceptional Children (MNC). This was over a decade ago, when MNC was set to celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary. You were among those who had been given an opportunity to contribute to the event – a true honour.

Jaya Krishnaswamy was the spirit, the quintessential mother figure, at MNC’s core.

Over multiple meetings


A poet who can also sing – Isaikavi Ramanan

-- by R.V. Rajan,

A person capable of applying his attention simultaneously to many activities is referred to as an Ashtavadhani. The title would certainly fit T.A. Venkateswaran, popularly known as Isaikkavi Ramanan, who has enriched the world of performing arts with his talents as a thinker, writer, poet, actor, speaker, singer, photographer and performer.

I first met Ramanan at a Madras Book Club meeting where he was in conversation with a professor from Pondicherry on his book about Mahakavi Bharathi’s life

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