Shanghaiing of Chennai

Madras. Chennai. Shanghai. No Chenghai. And the way things are going in terms of developmental issues Chennai could well be India’s Shanghai. Rather Chenghai. After all, changing names is nothing new to us and our ably talented governments. While on one hand Shanghai is the city which every city in the world wants to emulate for its rapid development, many are also following the footsteps of Shanghai for another thing. Which aint healthy at all. Shanghai is also known for its rapid destruction of heritage property. And western capitalism, which is the buzz word today, is a bigger threat to the city’s architecture than probably even communism which is slowly spreading across the country.

In Shanghai, the area in front of the waters had over a hundred buildings which was a legacy of the colonial past. Thanks to devlopment they planned to reduce it to ten and with intense campaigns by conservationists they took it up to 25. The area in front of the waters was called ‘The Bund’. In Chennai it is the Marina and over 180 colonial buildings facing it. It is just a matter of time. We need to wake up now else this stretch will be like the downtown Manhattan with every possible MNC vying for space. We already had Jayalalitha wanting to move the Secretariat to Queen Mary’s college and make the DGP office into a swanky 7-star hotel. Shanghai atleast has some good roads, state-of-the-art infrastructure etc. We don’t even have that. We are just not going anywhere with these stupid governments fighting over each other leaving aside developmental issues. One saving grace in the recent times, is the resotration of the Senate Hall. I would rather don’t even want Chennai. Forget Shanghai. I would be happy if they give us back Madras in whatever form it was and let the city be itself.

Crdts: With inputs from Madras Musings, Oct Issue.

8 Comments so far

  1. Mahesh (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 2:49 am

    I want good ol’ Madras back too :)

    PS: 10 bucks says we have the pseudo culture upholding troll posting his idiotic views here. Please note his IP address for me, will ya?

  2. observer (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 4:57 am

    I agree, this post seems to be a bait for all the tamil culture fanatics :)

  3. Devi (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 11:46 am

    ust wanted to share this with all th chennai enthusiasts (like me :) )

    This is a PhD thesis abt OUR COOUM.

  4. Ganesh (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    lol.. just what we need! a thesis on Cooum!

    There’s definitely ONE guy posting under multiple names, pretending to be some culture fanatic. All he wants to do is create trouble on this board by starting immature North-South fights.

    Vinod Subramanian,
    Do we have a moderator for the Chennai Metblogs or is the comments section a free for all to say just about anything?

  5. sj (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

    Well Vinod seems like you are being targeted like me for saying something you feel. Seems like the certain people of Chennai are interested only in commercial things eg resturants, movies etc not real issues.

  6. Mahesh (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

    Hahaha… Thank you for commenting SJ.
    Moderators: Please take note – this may be the guy we’re looking for.

    @SJ (changing names again? Why man??)
    Dude, this is a metblog. Not “real issues faced by metropolitan cities-letters to the editor column”.
    You will find everything from restaurant reviews to pictures of gigantic movie cutouts here, in addition to posts addressing current issues.

  7. Navneeth (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

    No, why talk about trolls when none has showed up his ____ head?

    This was a good post by Vinod, which reflects my own feelings. Like it is stated in almost every issue of MM, we don’t have proper laws in place for the conservation of heritage sites. :( What’s our new Mayor, whoever (s)he may be, going to do about this?

  8. Hari (unregistered) on November 3rd, 2006 @ 12:25 am

    Hey Vinod – Just FYI….Chengalpattu is already called as Chengai…So, I don’t think Chennai will be renamed as Chengai :) (so, we are assured of not getting that name for sure – but, who knows :))….lol

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