Tiruchi planetarium repairs commence though residents lose summer hangout, while Srirangam gets a makeover for CM visit

Anna Science Centre Planetarium

Visitors to Anna Science Centre Planetarium are heaving a sigh of relief these days as the authorities have started repairing the damaged seats. Visitors, this summer, had a torrid time as most of the seats in the planetarium were badly damaged, spoiling the very experience of watching science shows. The seats are being repaired in a phased manner now, and already about 40 chairs have been repaired and the remaining 35 are to be repaired by a Coimbatore-based agency. However, the move is only a temporary arrangement as the seats would now be without cushions. The wooden back rests and the springs of the seats are now being repaired.

The planetarium authorities had a tough time during the summer, when it is normally the peak season, as they could hardly accommodate 30 persons at a time for the shows. Some visitors still feel that it is time that the government renovated the planetarium in a full-fledged manner as it is the only get-away other than cinemas for city residents.

‘Summer beach’

The ‘summer beach,’ the much-touted hangout on the Cauvery bed during the summer over the past two years, was closed abruptly last week without any public announcement. While the authorities took every care to publicise the opening of the river bed as an evening hangout, there was not even a press release to announce its closure. Visitors who had travelled from different parts of the city had to return after finding that the hangout had been closed. District officials say that the hangout was primarily maintained by the corporation and the decision was taken by the civic body as the summer holidays were nearing the end.

Srirangam's makeover

The fourth visit of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to her constituency Srirangam on June 3 evoked routine response from the officialdom.

Apart from the bustling policemen and Casuarinas barricades and milling crowds, one feature that stood out was the effort to keep the temple town spick and span. But hats off to those who thought it wise to get a mobile toilet from Madurai City Corporation realising how the crowds normally behave.

But officials would do well to remember that Srirangam does require such attention not only when the Chief Minister visits the town but on all other days as well.

Especially when the devotees bound for or returning from Sabarimala visit the town between November and January, thousands in dozens of buses and other vehicles descend on the town. A number of them stay overnight.

Eminent paediatrician Madhanagopal Raju once pleaded that India requires a national defecation policy. This precept is applicable to most of the pilgrim centres, more so for the prominent ones like Srirangam.

Though there are a few toilet blocks available very close to the temple and also near the town bus stand, many choose to ignore them, probably because they cannot afford to pay Re. 1 of Rs. 2. It is the residents living in the vicinity who suffer the most. Of course, it is a nightmare for the conservancy workers.