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Reporter's Diary

Who is to blame?

Improvement works do not seem to ensure smooth flow of traffic on some stretches. Still worse, at some places, medians hinder free movement of vehicles in the absence of regulation by police and discipline among the road-users. Despite the presence of police personnel at major junctions such as the Konnur High Road at Ayanavaram, Medavakkam Tank Road, Purasawalkam High Road, Millers Road at Purasawalkam and NSC Bose Road at Parry's Corner, traffic jams are a frequent feature. Indiscriminate parking and violation of the one-way rule compound the problem.

While a senior police officer pointed out that the duty of policemen posted at junctions was to ensure smooth flow of traffic, ground reality is different. There seems to be no police accountability to public, road users lament.

In good company

A lot happens at the Chennai Corporation council meetings: evictions, arguments, rhetoric and the even the occasional unplugging of mike from the desk.

Given all the drama, it will be surprising what some people manage to do.

Corporation Commissioner M.P.Vijayakumar, who has been in the eye of the storm in the last few meetings, usually immerses himself in a book as councillors indulge in a war of words or get evicted. His habit came in for criticism from Congress floor leader R.Mano on Monday. "The Deputy Mayor is keen on evicting us and the Corporation Commissioner is reading storybooks," he said, as the watch and ward staff physically removed him.

As one official remarked later: "There is little one can do amid all that chaos. A good book is good company."

Greater risk

Are you one of those who start early from home and return late in the evening to avoid the peak hour traffic? You may keep away from the chaos, but could be exposed to greater risks as the relatively empty roads during non-peak hours lead to rash driving. And, MTC buses are no exception to over-speeding and violating traffic signals.

One such incident scared motorists, who stopped for the traffic signal to turn green at the Cenotaph Road-Anna Salai junction, on Monday around 7.30 a.m. Fourteen seconds before the red light turned green, a vestibule bus on route E-18 (TAV-556) jumped the signal and made its way towards Teynampet.

The driver revved up the engine to make a woman two-wheeler rider make way for him.

A few passengers from behind the driver's seat, shouted at her to move.

Poetic link

The stage at Jaigopal Garodia Vivekananda Vidyala in Anna Nagar on the occasion of the painting contest seemed to have a mysterious connection for actor Livingstone and painter Jeyaraj. Livingstone spoke of Kannadasan's song, `Kalaigalile Aval Oviyam,' to stress the importance of the art of painting and drawing. Soon it was the painter's turn to speak and he dwelt on an incident that may not have been mentioned otherwise. When Kannadasan introduced Jeyaraj to a friend during a film shooting, the poet said: "It was after seeing this man that I wrote Kalaigalile Aval Oviyam." In the song `Kalangalil Aval Vasantham,' the poet describes the heroine as the Spring among seasons and painting as supreme among the fine arts.

On high alert

The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad of Chennai city police is on full alert as part of the Prime Minister's visit to the city in the first week of September.

On Sunday, they checked out all possible areas the Prime Minister's cavalcade would pass through. Sniffer dogs accompanied the team members while they cleared the area in and around Kathipara Junction for nearly half-an-hour. The fountain at the junction was thoroughly scanned. (Contributions: K.T. Sangameswaran, Karthik Subramanian, Ravi Kumar, Swahilya and Sandhya Soman)

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