Archive for August, 2007

Govt wants firms to remove illegal hoardings

The issue of putting up hoarding is fast becoming a point of contention between the state government and the private companies. The argument against hoardings is that they make the city landscape look too crowded, distract road users, and cut off views. The government has warned many companies to take the hoardings off as they were not put up with prior permission.

Dinesh Karthik – coping with the holy trinity of Indian cricket


Dinesh Karthik.


Cover fielder.

Opener in tests.

No. 6 in the shorter version.

Sometimes No. 3.

Even 7.

Chennai’s own: P Chidambaram, Union Minister of Finance

One of the people that Chennai can call its own, and be justifiably proud of, is P Chidambaram, India’s Finance Minister. Originally from the Sivaganga District, Chidambaram did his Bsc. at the Presidency College, Chennai before going on to complete his Bachelor of Law degree at the Law College, University of Madras. He then went on to complete his Masters in Business Administration at Harvard University. He began his Law career as an advocate in the Madras High Court in 1969, while his law practice today covers the Supreme Court and various High Courts in India. But what he is best known for, of course, is his contribution to India’s economic growth with the sweeping financial reforms he has ushered in. Today, according to the Wikipedia, Chidambaram is regarded by financial gurus, investors, the financial press and people across India as a qualified and highly competent minister of finance, carrying forward the economic reforms started in 1991 by then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. Chidambaram, together with present Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Deputy Chairman of India’s Planning Commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia is a part of what the Indian financial press calls India’s economic ‘Dream Team’.

Other metros to follow Chennai model for development

A recent article in the Economic Times high lights the fact that India’s other metros are taking lessons in development from Chennai. Most of our urban centres are a burgeoning sprawl leading to tremendous pressure of the support infrastructure and utilities leading to frequent break downs and choke points. Metros like Mumbai and Delhi who had hitherto followed zoning models that were either vertical or flat are now trying to adopt the mixed residential zoning approach pioneered by Chennai. This approach is considered to have dispersed development and eased the pressure on infrastructure compared to other cities.

The ride to office this morning…whatte fun




First the garbage, then the rain. What fun for motorists.

Cry for Pallikaranai

Despite years of different agencies pointing out the ecological devastation taking place at the Pallikaranai marsh due to the dumping of garbage into it by the Chennai Corporation, the government has done nothing to stop it. Now, thankfully, a large area of the marshland has been declared as a reserve forest, and is supposed to be protected. Unfortunately, the dumping ground still continues, as does illegal dumping into the marsh. The sewage treatment plant, on the edge of the marsh, was dysfunctional until recently, so that untreated sewage was let into this wetland area that is considered an ecological treasure. Many buildings on the edge of the marsh have also been built in violation of building norms, contributing to the problem. This continuous abuse of our natural heritage could not continue without repercussions. These are now being felt.

Chennai Rains

Chennai skyscape

Chennai gets most of its rain from the North East monsoon during October and November. The SW monsoon, which mainly benefits the west coast of India, also brings some small amount of rain during July-August. The total annual average rainfall in Chennai is 51″. This compares with annual average amounts of 37″ in Bangalore, 32″ in Delhi, 120″ in Mumbai and 62″ in Kolkatha.

Infrastructure projects in Chennai picking up.

A couple of major infrastructure projects that should help make Chennai a much more livable city are seeing some progress. First, the Outer Ring Road project’s land acquisition is nearing completion according to an article in The Hindu. The Outer Ring Road will be a 62 KM arc around the city from the Old Mahabalipuram Road to the NH 45 at Vandalur, then on to the Tiruvallur High Road, then curving towards the coast to NH 4 at Nazarethpet then on to the Tiruvottiyur Ponneri Panjetty Road near the coast in North Chennai. While the land acquisition for the first phase of 29.5 KM between the NH 45 and Tiruvallur High Road is complete, the second phase is set to be complete by this year end. The project is part of the city development plan submitted to the Centre for approval under the Jawaharlal National Urban renewal Scheme, and will be supervised by the CMDA and give out on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. The Outer Ring Road, projected to cost Rs 850 crores, will be a six lane highway which will ease traffic and help disperse the urban growth of the city outwards. The Road will also have a 22 metre wide corridor for public transport which will include both road and rail mass transit systems. This should make an enormous difference to the city’s growth and traffic planning.

Bombay Jayashri & Shubha Mudgal in concert at the Music Academy

Chennai’s fans of classical music have a treat coming their way. Courtesy, a fund raising concert organised by Tamil Maiyam. An evening in the company of the enchanting vocal cords of Bombay Jayashri and Shubha Mudgal. At the Music Academy, on August 30 at 6.30 pm.

For more details on the event click.

Is Chennai weather changing?

All of us have noticed that it’s raining a lot more nowadays, much more than normal for August. While the rain is welcome, why is this happening? Well, the fact that the weather seems to be changing is pretty evident. Question is, is this a valid observation by citizens? This article in The Hindu dated 28th June makes it clear that Chennai is getting hotter in the hot season. However, the met dept felt it would be premature to label this as ‘climate change’. A subsequent article, citing over 30 years of weather analysis by the met department, stated that Chennai is likely to experience more rain as well. This is good news for the water starved city, but also means that better storage and catchment area augmentation must be planned to conserve the water rather than let it run into the sea.

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