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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XIX No. 22, march 1-15, 2010
Our Readers Write

Clean up waterways

In earlier days, preservation of Madras’s lakes and rivers was done with great care. The Cooum, as it is now called and which is a mosquito breeding area, was known as the Komaleeswaran River and people used to take flowers in parisal – a small boat – and offer them to Lord Komaleeswarar near Mount Road. There was a sense of responsibility on the part of the Government to keep the river clean and neat.

Subsequently there was a move to clean the river, but nothing meaningful took place. Now water experts should be consulted and our lakes and rivers should be cleaned so that Chennai can be saved from the threat of pollution.

It may be recalled that Sambasivam, one of the councillors elected to the Kumba konam Municipality decades ago, gave an assurance to people in a simple one-line slogan ‘Eradication of Mosquitoes’ and he did succeed. He was none other than the father of our agro-scientist, Dr. M.S. Swami nathan. Only if we clean the waterways and waterbodies will we have a Singara Chennai.

S. Venugopalan
7-A, Prashanthi Apts.
T.M. Maistry Street
Chennai 600 041

A neglected reservoir

The huge water body with provision of seven charging wells in it has been abandoned by the Southern Railway authorities for more than four decades now. It was until the late 1950s a well-maintained water resource with a well-equipped water treatment processing unit to supply potable water to the Railway Colony, Railway Workshop, Railway Hospital, etc. in Ayanavaram.

The water body known as the Villivakkam Reservoir and situated in Ayanavaram Railway Colony (between Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Road and Apprentice Avenue), was established by the then M&SM Railway in 1932. It is the largest of its kind in Chennai, spread over 200,000 sq.m with a depth of 24 ft. It had six steel overhead tanks with a capacity of 600,000 gallons of treated water for storage and distribution.

The Apex Court some time ago ruled on the necessity to upkeep water bodies in the country. May I request the Chairman, Railway Board, to depute the Member-Engineering to the site for inspection and for the revival of the disused water resource in railway premises besides maintaining the heritage value of the high level tanks.

K. Ramadoss
President, North Chennai Dist. Exnora
Chennai 600 023

Enjoy the present

As a resident of Purasa walkam from 1960 onwards, I remember the Roxy Theatre on Purasawalkam High Road being treated as the first choice of ardent cinegoers of English movies, Vepery being the capital of the Anglo-Indian and Christian communities compared to other parts of Chennai. The Roxy was demolished some time ago and now the Uma Theatre, at the end of Purasa walkam High Road, has also been demolished and Uma Complex developed.

Yes, we can recollect these places with nostalgia, but should look ahead as Chennai city has changed several-folds with the increase of population, vehicles, colleges, banks, etc. Places cannot continue to exist as they are. Senior citizens should realise that change is the order of the day and should enjoy the present.

C. Lakshmi Narain
4, Kondi Chetty Street
Chennai 600 001

Cheap thrills?

Before the advent of TV, the only source of home entertainment was the radio. Who can forget the cherubic Murphy ‘baby’ advertisement high above Madras Central in those days.

In 1965, I came a cropper in B.Sc. and readied myself for the ensuing September and then April exams. Huge intervals bet ween short bouts of study were spent sitting near the radio and enjoying Hindi movie songs on “listeners’ requests”. In the process, oft-repeated listeners’ names became familiar.

One such person was a Jamaluddin Jhahil from Karim nagar. Another was from a place called Jhoomri Jhalaiya. Curiosity got the better of a student who went all the way to Karim nagar to see this Jama luddin Jhahil. The man turned out to be a small tea stall owner getting a great kick out of listening to his name being uttered by the radio broadcaster. I suppose it is just like the C.T. (cheap thrill) I get seeing my name in print in Madras Musings.

C.G. Prasad
9, C.S. Mudali Street
Chennai 600 079

Correct answer

The answer to question 5 of the quiz Discovering Mylapore (MM, February 1st) should read: Silk business. Radha Silk Emporium. Rasi is short for Radha Silk.

V. Ramnarayan


In this issue

One small step towards preserving heritage
Can’t we leave natural heritage alone?
Mall-grazing in Chennai
A legend in his lifetime
Monotonous post-match presentations
Historic Residences of Chennai - 37
Other stories

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Our Readers Write
Quizzin' with Ram'nan
Dates for your Diary


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