Moving goalposts. That’s right. That seems to be the mantra of the government departments involved in either the IT expressway or the kathipara flyover or the pallavaram/chrompet flyover or even the mrts expansion facility. The first time I passed through the kathipara junction there was this yellow board, which outlined the project costs, the name of the construction company, the proposed method of construction, start date and date of completion. The board still exists though, but just that the date of completion seems to have shifted. On one hand, I am at least happy to see significant progress on the other it is disheartening to see the gross violation of deadlines. The more the time taken directly results in increased costs and by the time the said project is open for public use it is just not able to handle the capacity. Demand forecasting is something that is totally absent. The city is at the threshold of a major expansion and unless we wake up now and spruce up infrastructure we are in for another Bangalore in the making. Why not learn a thing or two on project management from the Delhi Metro and its team which is completing its projects ahead of schedule.
PRESS RELEASE No.187 Dated 30.3.2007
IN VIEW OF THE STATEWIDE BANDH ON 31.03.2007, FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS ARE ISSUED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF TAMIL NADU TO ALL COLLECTORS/POLICE OFFICIALS OF TAMIL NADU.
Ostriches are, of course, those large birds in South Africa that, when faced with danger or a seemingly insurmountable problem, avoid it by burying their head in the sand. Well, seems like ostrich like behaviour is very much in vogue here in Chennai. Problems that seem obvious to everyone don’t seem to obvious to the powers that be- hence the reference to the above. Take the Hindu’s recent article titled ‘Wanted: a vibrant mass public transport system’. The argument put forth in the article was, of course, on the need for reliable, affordable, safe, comfortable, fast and well-connected mass urban transit systems. There is no denying this, and the state government has made a beginning with a plan for two lines totaling about 40 Kilometres with 40 stations that will fan out along the arterial roadways.
A very cool thing happened last week, on the terrace of a house tucked away in M.R.C.Nagar, a part of town I associate with school kids and cricket coaching, and the quaintly-retained name of the Quibble Island Cemetery that you see as you’re passing by. The night’s event is called the Roof Top Film Festival. The crowd of about twenty strikes you as motley. Some are standing around and chatting, some are already making use of the recline that the mattresses wonderfully laid out all over the terrace floor provide, some speak in the instantly recognizable argot of the college student.
There are no welcome speeches; introductions are put off for later. The first order of events, as I pleasantly found out, was to switch off the lights and screen a movie. The theme is significant first movies by directors, interspersed with movies by independent, local film-makers. By the time Hard Candy and Blood Simple are through, it’s about 1 A.M., and nobody shows any signs of letting up. Cigarettes are lit, the snacks which have been making appearances through-out give way to full-fledged dinner, a group here and there chats away.
The atmosphere is perceptibly lighter, some of the ice has been broken. A short and a feature, both by Chennai-based film-makers, slot themselves in. Happily, the choice of the next movies is made flexible too – though Annie Hall wasn’t Woody Allen’s first movie, it’s a damn good one, and that should be reason enough to play it.
I thought this several times during that night, and each time I smiled to myself – it doesn’t get much better than settling comfortably into position to watch movies on a screen as the cool night breeze drifts by.
Work on the IT Corridor is on in earnest between Kanchanchavadi and SRP Tools, so traffic heading towards the city is diverted along the Velachery Link Road from LifeLine Hospital. At the end of this road, traffic has to turn right past the American School to rejoin the IT Corridor at SRP Tools. Although there are a number of vehicles which find their way past the road block by driving along the wrong side of the road opposite LifeLine, the bulk of the traffic takes the detour, especially in the evenings.
As part of the Koyambedu junction flyover project, buildings that sit in the path of expansion are being knocked off. Some pictures from the scene, taken last week:
Will Andal Azhagar fall too?
The Panguni Festival is on at the Kapaleeshwarar Temple and the entire area surrounding the temple is all fest and colour. I haven’t had a chance to go there yet but a friend of mine did and he has let me share his post and some pictures here.
Quoting the kutcheribuzz:
The ten day annual Brahmotsavam of Sri Kapaleeswarar temple is a grand celebration for the people in and around the city. The deity is taken around the mada streets in different vahanams and the festival leads up to Thirukalyanam – the divine wedding of Lore Shiva with Parvathi – on the tenth day.
Quoting my pal, Chandra, from his Mylapore Mardigras post:
The Annual Panguni festival at Kapali temple began on March 24 this year with the traditional flag hoisting in the temple premises.
Shiva along with Parvati are taken on a procession along the four maadaveedhis each day at night. During these days Mylapore air is filled with a special concoction of soothing music emanating from the traditional wind instrument (Nadhaswaram), recitation of Sama vedam and hymns from various puranams by Oduvars. The burning of incense on the side and strong scent of jasmine from the sidewalk vendors makes this place spiritually and culturally invigorating.