Far removed from farmsThe United States Deputy Secretary of State in charge of agriculture was a farm owner with vast stretches of land. His subordinates were also farmers. So they were able to understand the problems of farmers, said MSSR Foundation Chairman, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan.

But in India, bureaucrats who had no idea about farm practices were in charge of agriculture. They were also in charge of formulating agricultural policy, said Prof. Swaminathan at the foundation day ceremony of MSSRF in Chennai on Monday.

An ordeal for motoristsMotorists regularly using the road adjoining the Villivakkam railway station leading to ICF, have to put up with the poor road conditions and the absence of illumination for a long stretch. The road remains battered, particularly near the cycle-stand opposite the railway station with loose blue metal strewn all over, posing a grave risk to motorists.

The condition turns worse when it rains, due to collection of water. There are no streetlights on a portion of the road on either side with thick scrub and garbage. Completing the picture are stray dogs.

Left in the darkOn the same subject and in the same area is the Madras-Tiruvallur High Road, which sees continuous movement of heavy vehicles and can be a difficult commute even in daylight. The Nathamuni junction at night, though, is guaranteed to deter all but the most adventurous. With none of the Corporation streetlights at the junction functioning, motorists are quite literally left in the dark (see picture).

Contributions by S. Vydhiaanathan, K.T. Sangameswaran and J. Malarvizhi