TAMIL NADU

Reporter's Diary

Only a week ago, a Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) bus ran amok and killed a woman near the Stanley Hospital. Even after such tragedies, the MTC authorities do not seem to have cracked down on reckless drivers. Racing among MTC drivers has become so common that at times, it threatens the lives of passengers and other road-users. For instance, the other day, even as a bus was taking a turn to the right into Gandhi Irwin Road, Egmore, from the bridge, another bus suddenly swerved in and overtook the vehicle. Both the buses were going to T. Nagar. The driver of the second bus could have hit a Parrys-bound bus waiting at the signal.

In another instance, the driver of a bus on route 22 A Express going to Tiruvanmiyur did not enter the bus bay at Egmore and after crossing the allocated bus space, suddenly turned to the left to halt.

Another bus on route 22, going to Anna Square, which was leaving the bay, would have hit the other bus had not its driver braked promptly. So much for official supervision.

It is not only the East Coast Road that is fun to drive on. So is the GST road can also be. A rider on his way to Vellore found to his delight that it has also become a vehicle-user's dream with the four-laning of the highway. Massive bus shelters with permanent seating arrangements, separate bus parking bays, and signage have been put up.

Though signage boards of the toll road have sprung up, the authorities are yet to man the special toll plaza booths created.

But, what puzzles road users is that at certain important junctions, especially the turn to Kancheepuram, the signboards are not clear. Steps could also be taken to provide highway patrol vehicles for coming to rescue of the road users during any emergency situation.

The recent rains turned the fountain at May Day park into a swimming pool for some children.

Though it was filled with murky water, the fountain attracted poor children who spent all day and some of the next splashing in the water.

For floats, they used odd shapes of white styrofoam and for swimsuits they made do with anything or nothing. They had a whale of a time, as the squeals of joy and non-stop laughter showed.

The water, however, looked injurious to health. And over the next few days as the children continued to play, the water level reduced and the water quality only got worse. Until even these most unfussy of children had to stay away. There seems to be a great demand for public swimming pools that are easily accessible to ordinary children.

There is also an urgent need to make sure pools of water in public places do not become health hazards.

Good counsel can work miracles, including re-uniting families. The other day, according to S. Maida Raja, founder-president of Christ Faith Home for Children, a baby boy was found abandoned by the district social welfare board in Tiruvannamalai.

It was handed over to the Home at Manapakkam, a southwestern suburb.

The Home's personnel traced the child's biological father. After he was counselled by Ms. Raja, the father accepted to take back the child, she says.

(By K.T. Sangameswaran, T.S. Shankar and

Akhila Seetharaman.)

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