Namma Chennai @ 2.50 AM

Route Tidel Park, Taramani to Valasarawakkam; Distance around 16 kms

This is a random post on what I observed in Chennai while riding back home after a tired day/night at 2.50 am in the morning.

Security at Tidel Park – There are night security guards everywhere, little relaxed compared to the day shift ones, but still gives a feel of being safe and secure.

Speed – Crazy speeds, by the half asleep cab drivers who shuttle the techies from office to their homes. Be very careful when you drive in the OMR, people drive here at crazy speeds at night. Wish they installed speed camera or monitors here.

Vehicles on road – Office cabs and high speeding Lorries mostly.

Street Lights – Lit all the way. Good improvement compared to how it was a few years back.

Dogs – Saw almost around 50 dogs all through the route – all awake, wonder when they really sleep. Thankfully none barked at me.

Police Patrol – Found one patrol car next to my flat, around 4-5 cops talking to someone. Wonder if that was a case or a normal beat. I would still say Chennai is a safe city and Police here are very efficient.
I even saw quite a few patrol vehicles with policemen giving some instructions over loud speakers at 12 in the night from their cars.

Signals – Amber all the way

Petrol station – Around 6 petrol stations in this route, but all were closed, except the one before Ashok Nagar.
Don’t ever forget to fill fuel in your vehicle earlier itself if you plan to travel somewhere late in the night or early in the morning.

Road Laying – Happening right now near the Bridge after Saidapet bus stand. It happens only at late nights and early morning.

People – Some people were randomly walking, Saw a few construction workers/labourers returning home, wonder what took them so late to reach home. Techies in cabs.

Tea shops / eateries– Unfortunately I didn’t find anything open at this hour.

Public transport Buses – Didn’t see any, except a few empty ones which i presume are going to the bus depot to be parked there, but I have heard there are a few night services, wonder where I can get more details about them.

Out Station buses – Saw a few buses leaving Chennai via Ashok Nagar, one SETC bus to Bangalore, None going towards Koyambedu bus stand though. Think after 4am the buses start entering Chennai.

Apartment watchman – Fast Asleep, honked twice to wake him up, consolation was – nearby flat’s watchmen were awake.

So what did you observe in Chennai at these un-even hours?

Ps- This post is not an informative one, but just an observation on how things are and look like at early hours in Chennai

8 Comments so far

  1. dilip on September 14th, 2008 @ 1:43 pm

    @Tidel Park Security -> Two words, they suck! No point blaming them anyways since they are paid peanuts. I used to work in tidel for four years. Countless number of times my colleagues who have not brought id card to work, have flashed cigarette packets at them at ID cards. They’ve slept through all of it, poor folks. I wonder what if it had been a real terrorist.

  2. praddy on September 14th, 2008 @ 7:26 pm


    things have changed a "little", security has been increased now, Metal detectors at the entrance, a little stricter checking of ID cards while entering, etc. But things can improve too.

  3. Vivek (vivek) on September 17th, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

    One thing I’ve observed — OMR is never empty. Any part of the night!

  4. praddy on September 17th, 2008 @ 8:56 pm


    yea, thats true – it’s because of the many IT companies there which work in shifts or otherwise a late working employee from one of it.

  5. jusblog on September 18th, 2008 @ 3:30 am

    Hi Guys!

    Im from chennai and im one of the guys who loves chennai more than any good city in the world. I have travelled quiet few countries and what i feel is, chennai has everything and it depend on your wallet size!
    You can get meal for Rs10/- and also Rs 10,000/-! Thats chennai.

    Chennai Police: They are No:1 in India and they hold top10 rank in worldC
    City Bus: At 2.54, we have night service and its works on 1 hour/2 hours slot services.
    TeaShops: you cant find them recently, due to Police restricitons, otherwise, chennai has teashops all 24hours! But still u can many by 3.30/4am

    The one problem, we are facing in chennai is, lot of migration happening
    from deep south tamilnadu to chennai. Maybe govt shud open tidelparks
    in madurai/combaitore/tricy…tier 11 cities and so that these guys can be at their home and make chennai little free!!!

  6. dilip on September 18th, 2008 @ 4:11 am

    @jusblog: THis is in no means to offend chennai or chennai’tes. I’ve lived here since birth and i’m every bit a chennai’te as anyone could be. Interestingly you brought up the thenji pona dialouge from tamil movies about chennai police that vijayakath talks of all the time. I’m clueless about the authenticity of this information. Could you please provide us with a reference where we can verify the accuracy of the information pertaining to Chennai police being World#10? What are the parameters for this rating and who rated them and where is this document published? Was there a peer review by a committee and a world wide forum/committee for police service that accepted this ratification? Please advise. I’m very curious to know because so many people seem to be saying the same thing, surely not all of them could be wrong or lying, or maybe they are?

    As far as the meal thing goes, i found indian meals for 80 cents and 2 dollars and stuff in a place called "little india" in singapore. Social stratification based on spending exists in all communities and geographic locations around the world. I’m sure you could buy a hot dog for a dollar or two or something along those lines in new york. I see how this concept is so unique to chennai. In fact in a city called chidambaram in tamilnadu, i found dosa for Rs. 2 in a decent hotel.

    Skilled workforce will always move to places where such work force is in high demand and paid well. Even if we open IT park as SEZ’s we will wont be able to get good companies there so easily. Even if good companies went there, huge projects and interesting openings which pay well may not go there. What we need to do is improve infrastructure for a so called metropolitan city. Infrastructure is pathetic in chennai. Maybe im hallucinating but i see roads have gone to the dogs off late, especially in the last 6 months or so. Huge potwhole measuring 5 foot right after the brand new flyover in usman road that was inaugurated on the 14th of august. These are the things we need to address.

  7. praddy on September 18th, 2008 @ 8:18 am


    I wonder were we get the 10 a meal in Chennai, maybe interior TN we can expect that. But yea true it is still reasonable compared to other cities and we have them for all sizes of the wallet :)

    On the Chennai police, am not aware if they are the best in India or the 10th in the world, but yeah in my personal opinion i feel Chennai as a city is a safe one.

    Thanks for the Info on Night services and tea shops :)

    I hope the opening of Tidel park as planned in Coimbatore (or was it Madurai) would stop the migration to Chennai from the other cities in TN.

  8. praddy on September 18th, 2008 @ 8:20 am


    Very true, It would not just make the migration to Chennai stop by building IT parks in tier 2 cities but an equal effort by the govt to convince the IT majors or any other product company to move in to those SEZ’s and IT parks.

    On the infrastructure, my opinion is – it is not that bad as is potrayed, i can see so much difference (to the good) in the last few years and see more development happening.

    and yea i have come across the bad patch just after the Usman road flyover ends, hope the corporation attends to it soon :)

    Even I would like to know the rating of our police if any? Hope someone can throw some light on it.

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