Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVII No. 10, September 1-15, 2017

Our Readers Write

The Canal yesterday

Recently I read about the plans to revive and renovate the Buckingham Canal in Andhra Pradesh. It was mentioned that the Canal meets the Bay of Bengal at Muttukadu. I am confused. If it is so, What is the waterway that runs along Madras Central Station and falls into the sea at the Marina? I remember being told that this was Buckingham Canal!

In the late 1940s and early 50s, on my way to school in Sowcarpet. I used to watch sail boats gliding along the Canal, laden with timber, rice, pulses, chillies, etc. from places now in Andhra Pradesh for shops in Kotwal Market. As the boats neared the Salt Cotaurs road bridge, sails were lowered, rolled and tied up, and the boats docked at the Elephant Gate wharf from where the loads were transported to Kotwal Market by single and double bullock carts!

I recall my grandfather narrating his experience of using this mode of transport when trains were not yet popular! It used to take 3-4 days and nights to traverse the distance of about 170km from Nellore to Madras, with halts for cooking food, etc.! If the weather was fine, they slept on the boat under the starry sky; otherwise, the boat was tied to a sturdy tree on the bank and the crew and passengers slept in it. On arrival in Madras the merchant-passengers accompanied their merchandise to the traders, delivered them and collected the proceeds in cash!

Referring to pollution of the Canal by the NCTP, (MM, August 1st) this is nothing new. In the past, the water in the Canal used to change colour frequently – the reason, I used to be told, was due to discharge of effluents into the Canal by the then B&C Mills; on days of dyeing of fabrics, the colour of the water was the colour of the dye used at the mills!

J.V. Perumal

Natesan booklets

Modern Review, edited by Ramananda Chatterjee and Indian Review edited by G. A. Natesan (MM, Aug. 1st) gave space for liberal minded persons to express their views without inhibition. My father was a subscriber to both as well as a contributor of articles.

Natesan also brought out biographies of eminent persons as booklets. As a young boy, I learnt about freedom fighters and other leaders from those little books. I suggest that they be republished and local language editions also be brought out. Our children have no patriots as role models other than cine stars and cricketers.

S.S. Rajagopalan
30, Kamarajar Street
Chennai 600 093

The MGR Museum

In the article titled ‘A museum in memory of MGR’ it has been mentioned that the MGR Memorial House is maintained by a retired High Court Judge. I wish to inform you that the museum was established and is maintained by MGR Charities, a trust headed by Dr. Latha Rajendran, the niece of Mrs. Janaki Ramachandran.

Kavitha G.
Director, MGR Charities
27, Arcot Mudali Street
Chennai 600017


This is Sir Alladi Krishnaswami Aiyar; we had used his son’s (Alladi Ramakrishnan) picture last fortnight in the article They bestrode this 125-year-old building. We regret the error.

The Editor

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