Road turns public urinal
Westcott Road in Royapettah is one of the arterial roads in Chennai. While most parts of this road are fine, the area opposite "Bhattad Towers" (No. 30, Westcott Road), which houses a number of commercial establishments, has degenerated into a public urinal and garbage dump, apart from being used as an unauthorised parking place for commercial vehicles.
Unfortunately, the owners of the commercial complex seem to be totally unconcerned about this sorry state of affairs.
Complaints to the local authorities have proved to be of no avail. On the contrary, rather than preventing the misuse of a public road, the authorities regularly sprinkle bleaching powder at this place, more or less sanctifying its conversion into a public toilet. Immediate action needs to be taken by the Corporation to ensure that the road/pavement opposite "Bhattad Towers" is not misused as a public toilet/garbage dump.
President, Kesari Kuteeram Association, Royapettah
Increase bus frequency
The bus passengers from Ayanavaram Depot to Parrys are put to hardship since there are only infrequent bus services on the No. 35 route. Even the few number of buses operated on this route has been reduced and at peak hours the commuters are unable to reach the offices/schools/colleges in time. Also the elderly and infirm, who want to visit General Hospital for various reasons, cannot do so.
And now the Transport Authorities have mad things worse by earmarking one bus exclusively as a Secretariat - Special.
Under the circumstances, bus commuters from Ayanavaram Depot to Parrys are finding it very difficult.
Will the transport authorities look into the mater and increase the frequency of buses on Route 35 in the interests of the travelling public?
A forgotten promise
Before the State Assembly election, Railway Minister R. Velu participated in the Bhoomi Pooja for construction of a subway near Villivakkam Railway Station, but till date no work has been done. Now the residents are beginning to doubt whether the announcement of construction of a subway was purely to get votes from this Villivakkam constitutency? Will the Minister take a personal interest to construct and complete the Villivakkam railway gate subway?
Railway quarters in poor state
This is with reference to the article, "Railway Colony now a picture of neglect" (The Hindu, May 20, 2006).
Just like the suburban Tambaram Colony, the railway quarters in Ayanavaram (established in 1934) in Central Chennai is also facing trouble, added to the woes of railway employees.
Most of the group houses with tiled roofs have crumbled and have not been renovated. None of the residents in Railway Colony are using piped supply of water for drinking; instead they purchase potable water from private agencies paying Rs. 2.50 per pot. Lack of sewage pumping station in the colony is one among the major shortcomings, leading to environmental degradation.
The educational institutions in the railway colony also need toilets, laboratories, first-aid kits besides, besides having their safety and security enhanced.
Speedbreaker is needed here
A speedbreaker has to be provided at the junction of Seventh and Eleventh Cross Streets near `Ram Lok Apartments' in Sastri Nagar, where the traffic is heavy and traffic accidents take place often.
A `Stop, Listen and Proceed' signboard is also needed at this junction to caution speeding drivers, particularly those of water tankers and lorries.
Early action by the traffic authorities will be welcomed by the public.
Provide bus stop in Nanganallur
The Metropolitan Transport Corporation Ltd. has intimated that on December 14, 2005 that orders were issued that with effect from December 12, 2005 all buses including 52-K would stop at `Roja Medicals', Nanganallur. However, 52-K buses are not stopping at the bus stop probably because the orders were not properly conveyed to the crew. In the absence of adequate buses, the public is forced to turn to autorickshaws, which causes much hardship to the residents of Nanganallur.
Will MTC arrange for 52-K buses to stop at Roja Medicals? Will the MTC authorities also explore the possibilities of providing adequate number of buses to the area to redress their long pending grievance and introduce mini buses to cater to the needs of the residents?
Construct foot overbridge
The chaotic traffic and the ceaseless flow of vehicles on the Mount Road near Panagal Buildings at Saidapet make it impossible for pedestrians to cross the road. Thousands of office-goers and people, who reside in suburban areas such as Adambakkam, Madipakkam and Nanganallur have to alight at the Saidapet Railway Station and cross the road in the morning to catch buses to go to Mount Road, Adyar and Mylapore. This is a big problem, especially for the aged and the children. In the absence of a traffic signal (with timer), the presence of a solitary policeman to regulate the traffic does not help.
Whenever the traffic constable is away from the spot, the pedestrians are compelled to cross the road, risking their lives because of speeding vehicles. As the subway is too far, the pedestrians prefer this spot for crossing.
Hence there is an urgent need to construct a foot overbridge connecting the eastern and western side of Mount Road near Panagal buildings, which will enable pedestrians to cross the road without any risk. A foot overbridge at this spot will be not only a boon to the residents living in suburban areas but will also help the free movement of vehicles.
Anna University's role
The veteran educationists of our State have shown a lot of concern about the future of Anna University (May 29, May 21) under the changed political scenario. A university should spend a lot of its time on original research leading to inventions that can be patented, inculcate scientific temper and instill confident approach in problem-solving in the minds of students. They must also be made to follow a sound value system.
Even the IITs have to "aspire to be major research institutions where new knowledge is generated". (The Hindu online edition, May 27). There is an urgent need by the faculty of Anna University at least to catch up with the IITs in research. Autonomous status for an educational institution, at present, seems to be the best alternative in view of the flexibility in curriculum design, introduction of need based programmes and adopting a realistic valuation scheme making use of question banks; the deemed university system, the other alternative, in its present style of functioning is not satisfactory at all.
D. I. Kannappan,
Ayyavoo Naidu Colony
The poor continue to suffer at the hands of the slow moving and cumbersome Government machinery. A case in point is Nagamma, a widow aged 75 living in a hamlet of Nemmalur Village, Gummudipoondi Taluk, Tiruvallur District. Nagamma lost her only daughter Santhi (35 years old) in a road accident in Chennai in September 2003. The accident relief amount from the Government was cleared but has not been paid to the dependent mother Nagamma till today.
The cheque payment has to be effected from the Chennai collectorate through the Tiruvallur collectorate. The cheque has not reached Nagamma even after a lapse of two years and eight months.
As a social worker, I have been following the papers at both the Chennai and Tiruvallur collectorates. The reasons for delay in payment cited were exhaustion of funds, awaiting new allotment, diversion of staff to other duties such as tsunami relief, flood relief, flood relief disbursement, election duty before and after election.
Besides, the old age pension of Rs. 75/- per month has not been disbursed from January 2006 onwards to old age pensioners of the area.
A. Ernest Lazarus,
New post box is needed
The Post Box provided at the junction of East Coast Road (ECR Road) and AG's Colony 1st Main Road (near Hotel Marthus), Kotivakkam has become very old and rusty with a yawning gap just near the opening in the box for posting letters. It is not only difficult to post letters, but also when it rains, the mail inside gets drenched.
Take up repairs to
The Ennore Expressway was widened making use of the available space from Ernavoor Bridge to MFL Junction on a war footing before the Assembly election.
Likewise from the MFL Junction towards Minjur, the Ponneri High Road should also be widened since hundreds of container lorries ply on this highway to and from Ennore Port.
Further, the damaged protection walls and bunds on the canal and bridge near MFL junction should be rebuilt so that water logging at this junction can be avoided during rainy season. This will prevent the stalling of traffic movement on this route towards Manali New town; Minjur and Ponneri etc., as happened during the last year's torrential rain.
Another vital point that needs to be addressed by the authorities is road lighting on this stretch. From Sathya Moorthy Bridge on Ennore Express way to MFL Junction and thereon on Ponnery Highway, no road light has been provided.
This leads to complete darkness at night leading to accidents. Streetlights should be provided immediately on this stretch to avoid accidents.
Manali New Town
Kaliamman Koil Street in Virugambakkam is the road that links Arcot Road to Poonamallee High Road and hence the traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, is generally very heavy along this road. After the opening of the wholesale, vegetable, fruit, flower markets and the Chennai Metropolitan Bus Terminus at Koyambedu, the volume of traffic has experienced a phenomenal increase. The torrential rains during the last monsoon battered this road very badly, causing it to be uneven, and replete with ditches and potholes, impeding vehicular movement severely.
Patchwork has been done but this will only break up this road, which being a main thoroughfare, has a plethora of shops on both sides of the road; shoppers and other pedestrians also will suffer the impact.
The ordeal of the people can be greatly mitigated if the road is completely relaid with pucca blacktopping. I request the authorities to take up this work on a war footing since any delay in this regard would only aggravate the travails of the people of the area.
R. S. Raghavan
Harassed by ticket inspector
I am a software engineer, and on May 26, 2006 I reached Koyambedu from Central Station through a PTC bus. There was a ticket checking drive and I found that I had lost my ticket. I was taken to the checking inspector.
To my surprise I found a boy beaten by the inspector and Rs. 500 taken by force from the boy. The boy had also been caught for not having the ticket. He left the place with tears in his eyes. No receipt was given for the Rs. 500.
The inspector and officers were altogether 8 members, with a jeep bearing the licence number TN 32 G 0021. I had only Rs. 350 with me. I called my friends and they were on the way from Vadapalani. But the ticket inspectors forced me into their vehicle, without even telling me where they were taking me, took me to Red Hills.
During the journey of 45 minutes, the checking inspector harassed me, used bad language, and threatened to beat me up. When they stopped at Red Hills they forced me to give my mobile and the Rs. 350 I had.
I asked them for some receipt so I could get back my mobile later. They just continued to berate me. Finally when I understood that they were going to leave me only after taking as much as they could, I decided to seek some help.
I was lucky to find a traffic policeman on the opposite side. I jumped from the jeep and ran to him for help. The ticket inspection officers tried to shut me up by giving a false statement. But the traffic policeman, understanding the situation, asked them to get the fine of Rs. 350 and give back my mobile.
From my ordeal, I understood these ticket inspectors were only seeking to exploit the situation.
It is one thing to pay a fine, but quite another to extort money from the public.
Frequent power cuts
From the beginning of May 2006, residents by Nallappan Street, Mylapore have been suffering from severe power cuts lasting from 12 to 20 hours at least three times a week. Only patchwork repairs are being carried out to the underground cables in a most primitive manner by the electricity department. Because of the hot summer weather, there is a heavy load on the cables and unless the cables are changed to withstand such heavy load, there appears to be no respite for the public from such frequent power failures. It is time the powers that be at the helms of affairs in the power department woke up to the reality and took immediate action to set right the malfunctioning of these zonal units. The Electricity Board should be more responsible to the genuine problems of the consumers.T. M. Sundaraman,
I wish to bring to your notice the inefficient working of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. especially their Kodambakkam Exchange. I, being a senior citizen of 66 years, had applied for the broadband Dataone trial offer on April 19, 2006. Initially I did not opt for their modem. Later I sought a change and applied for the BSNL modem and also received an order dated May 11, 2006.
But till date I have not received the broadband connection. In spite of frequent visits to the Assistant Engineers concerned, there was no progress at all in getting the said connection. Every time I went, I was given false promises of getting the broadband connection in a day or two.
As a last attempt, when I went on May 30, 2006 to the exchange I was told that my order had been cancelled even though I did not ask for cancellation of the order.
V. Nirmala Natarajan,
Frequent power cut
The residents of First Street, Bharathi Road in Perambur are facing frequent power failures, particularly during night.
The local Electricity Board officials, when contacted at night are half asleep and refuse to give the complaint number. Therefore residents do not even know whether their complaints are being registered at all. The area's residents are distressed by this attitude of the staff. The Electricity Board authorities should take immediate action to stop the frequent power cuts.