Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Hop on – Hop off

Chennai has its own Hop on – Hop off tours in two routes. One between Chennai & Mamallapuram (aka Mahabalipuram) and the other one around the city.

Hop on - Hop off Tour Bus

Hop on - Hop off Tour Bus

The Yellow A/c buses are between the tourism complex and Mamallapuram and the Blue A/c buses (run by TNSTC) are running between High Court, Marina, Valluvar Kottam and Ripon Building with 15 stops.

The Stake holders of these Yellow buses are some of the Prominent Hoteliers & Travel Operators.

One could also do an ONLINE BOOKING HERE and save time visiting the Tamil Nadu Tourism Offices.

Owing to the popular Chennai climate, thankfully the buses are Air-conditioned and unlike its famous counterparts at London, Munich, Paris its not open top. And they have a professional Guide in each bus.

For other options head directly here to the TTDC homepage.

Finally, Kathipara flyover opens

The six-lane clover shaped flyover, constructed at a cost of Rs 250 crore at Kathipara junction is finally open.

I took the flyover from Guindy to Ashok Pillar direction, so took one of the arms of the clover and made a full loop. It’s just amazing and took me hardly 2 minutes to cover the crossing which used to take minimum 10 minutes previously during mild traffic.

I hope the authorities concerned put bigger direction display boards and also mark direction at least 200-300 meters before we take the flyover so that the motorists can change the lanes accordingly instead of changing it just near the start of the flyover.

I will try to take some photos of the completed flyover soon.

So what’s your view and experience on the new flyover? Would it serve the purpose of seamless movement of vehicles in one of the important entry/exit to our city?

Bridge over river adyar, Circa 1726

Hunc Pontem Peter aka Petras Uscan, the armenian trader is the visionary who built the Marmalong aka Maraimalai Adigal bridge over River Adyaru in Saidapet in 1726. He was the same Armenian trader who built the steps for St. Thomas Mount shrine too.

The Stone in the bridge announcing this piece of history shown below.

Happy Madras / Chennai day and have a blast on the 369th birthday.

Mapping Bus Routes in Chennai.

Did you know that close to 73% of chennai-ites take the bus as their primary mode of transport? The Chennai Metro Transport System has about 540+ routes, a hundred or more extension routes and I believe a fleet of 2000+ buses. There are 200 new buses coming in every month, as the old ones are being slowly taken out of service.

If you have seen the scrolling LEDs and the fancy new volvos, thats the face of the chennai transport system. Pretty slick I must say.

I had personally met the new Cheif Operating Officer sometime back and he is quite a fabulous guy. I have a good sense of feeling that the new volvos that are rolling, the ticketing machines and all, are just the beginning of what Chennai will see.


Modi is in town

Narendra Modi is the chief guest for this year’s Thuglaq magazine annual function. The function is being held at Kamaraj Memorial Hall in Anna Salai, just before the fly over. There is a huge police presence around that area and traffic is haywire. Unless you want to be stuck in traffic for hours, avoid Gemini fly over junction today evening.

I wish I could Fly. I wish we all could.

Well, if you are wondering what this woeful statement is about, it all started after hearing the news that the Chennai Corporation has sanctioned the construction of Six, yep SIX new flyovers, a few bypass roads and apparently even a few underground roads are in order – all for a cost in the tune of Rs. 150 crores.

It’s not the cost that astounds or scares me, but its the numbers and the term “flyovers”.

I have unconsciously developed this impression that the entry into chennai is denoted by the ever-going construction of the Kaththipara Junction – which I hope my generation lives to see functioning in full style, and the newer work that has begun in T-nagar and the nearby areas, making driving in Chennai a literal nightmare.

Now, to top all of this, six more. I am almost tempted to spread open a Chennai map and see which area is going to be the next that they are going to sabotage and take over, but I guess these are matters we go through under the name of Infrastructure development right?

I really wish I could fly over the “to-be” flyovers.

An open letter to VIPs moving around in Madras

Dear VIP,

Let me outright state that I am in complete agreement with you on the following items:

1. Your time is clearly more precious than mine. On a scale of preciousness, I am recycled plastic and you are African blue diamond.
2. Your desire to feel secure by moving around in a convoy of 30 Tata Safaris with assault-weapon toting black cat guards is perfectly understandable.
3. Your need to block regular traffic for 4 hours before and after your jaunts through the city are perfectly valid.

But you see, blocking traffic is a slightly expensive proposition. Not for you, but for us. Let me show you how.

Let us define a few variables first.

E = Exponentially humongous cost of petrol, diesel and other adulterated fuels burnt while millions of cars, vehicles and autos are idling.
F = Frighteningly large cost in Rupees (and not dollars) of regular people’s time (calculated from salary/regular hours of work x time spent in blocked traffic)
F = Frankly ludicrous cost in Rupees of Policemen’s time (calculated from salary/regular hours of work x time spent saluting at your speeding car and waving other traffic aside aggressively with radio receiver in hand)
I = Insane cost in Rupees of extra medical care required by every person not inside an A/C car, as a result of having to breathe noxious fumes from all the stalled vehicles.
N = Nightmarish cost of missed appointments, opportunities, flights and trains
G = Glaring cost of damages incurred as a result of road rage arising from frustration at being stuck in blocked traffic.
M = Monstrous cost of psychiatrists’ fees incurred as a result of depression arising from missed appointments and opportunities.
A = Abominable cost of alcohol purchased from TASMAC stores as a result of aforementioned depression.
D = Despicable cost of medical fees incurred as a result of frustrated appointment-missing men drinking aofrementioned alcohol and beating their wives back home in the evening.
N= Notorious cost of extra rupees charged by Madras autowallahs who blame the traffic blocks as a reason for charging Rs 200 from a ride from Central station to Ripon building.
E = Exorbitant cost of medical fees incurred as a result of being beaten up by rowdy autowallahs who didn’t quite like your “What saar, You are not making Kaamedy Keemedi no?” at hearing the quoted fare as stated above.
S = Seriously significant cost of lawyers fees incurred as a result of increased divorces as wives start to accuse spouses (and vice versa) of being “a totally stuck-up person”.
S = Sheer cost of irony present in the factor mentioned above.

So as you can see, multiplying all the variables, we get

Total Cost = E.F.F.I.N.G.M.A.D.N.E.S.S

And in fact, it’s so large that nobody even bothers computing it. So before you ignore this post for being yet another rant on VIPs blocking traffic, let me reassure you that, for a change, I have a solution. An elegant solution to completely get rid of traffic blocks. Helicopters. Yes. All your security, convoys and the cost mentioned above are being incurred by the taxpayer in any case. So I suggest that you use helicopters to fly from point A to point B in any city. The cost of a helicopter is about a lakh an hour, I am told. But the key thing to be noted is that

Cost of Helicopters < E.F.F.I.N.G.M.A.D.N.E.S.S

In fact, the only reason I use the modest “<” symbol here is that there is no equivalent mathematical sign for depicting “mindbogglingly small compared to”.

Go ahead, and splurge our tax money on helicopters. Even fit them with saunas and home theaters if you want. And oh, get armoured copters if you wish to feel safe in addition to reducing your commute time by a factor of gazillion. It will still be much cheaper than what you are costing us today. So just get your respectworthy posteriors off the road.

Thank you
A Madras Citizen typing this from his laptop while being stuck in traffic waiting for some VIPs to get from point A to point B.

ps: If you VIPs prefer visual modes of communication, what I am saying is,

Let’s move from




Light House to Velachery in MRTS

After witnessing the Naval Exercise at Marina this evening, to take the train to Velachery I proceeded to the Light House Railway Station. The Railway Station looked like Chennai Central or Egmore. People were standing in long queue to get the tickets.

Light House Railway Station

Ashok Nagar traffic changes

Couple of days ago, the Chennai Traffic Department imposed some changes to the traffic on Asok Nagar-Asok Pillar-Udayam Theatre route. Here’s some snaps  of the utter chaos that prevailed there on that day.

From the looks of it, I think these changes are also going to solve as much congestion as the traffic change in ‘Chinnamalai-alexander square’ road did. They removed all signals on that stretch and replaced those lights with human traffic police who now stand there on the road all day sweating in the sun stopping vehicles for pedestrians to cross the road. Yeah, the change did make a little difference. But, was it really worth it? Today, that change is just an excuse for autodrivers to charge you more.


En vazheee….. Thaneeeee Vazheee……

No. This is not from a Chiranjeevi starrer!!! The auto driver is coming on the wrong side of a one-way road. Inspite of repeated warnings and shoutings from onlookers as well as Policemen, AND the markings on the road, he kept on driving. Till one officer decided to stop him the ‘Rajni’ way!!!! The brave gentleman literally stopped the autorickshaw by placing his foot on the front wheel!!!


The Chennai Photowalk – II


As we came out of the Beach Railway Station, we had two options; one to walk along the Burma Bazaar or cross the Road and walk along many landmarks on the North Beach Road. We chose the second option , used the subway and surfaced in front of the Original Skyscraper of Chennai – TIAM House – Murugappa Group Headquarters, presently known as Jesus Calls Towers.

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