The stretch between Central Station (by whatever name you call it) and the Ripon Building was a nightmare for motorists and more for pedestrians. But, if what I saw last weekend was any indication, Chennai is going to have a very pedestrian friendly plaza in and around Moore market complex. There are wide walkways devoid of motor traffic, convenient subways with steps, escalator and lifts to cross the road.
Unauthorised vendors are kept away (though there are a few random ones). Whatever heritage structures remain are spruced up and well lit.
I hope all stakeholders, especially the public will help maintain this for the benefit of all.
The Victoria Town Hall was constructed in 1890 with contributions from philanthropists. It is one of the many iconic buildings designed by Robert Chisholm and built by Namberumal Chetty. Though it is prominently sited between Ripon Building and Central Station, very few people know about this structure.
It was intended to be a town hall for meeting and staging plays etc. Many prominent personalities like Swami Vivekananda, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Sardar Vallabhai Patel etc.have addressed the public here.
Leading Tamil dramatists like, Sankardoss Swamigal, Pammal Sambanda Mudaliar etc. have performed in the hall. It was also used by SVS Sabha for their performances. In the early days, some films were also screened here.
Over the years it fell into disuse and got entangled in legal battles. There were many threats to its very existence.
Now that the Metro work is completed, there is an attempt to restore the historic hall. Hope it will be open to the public soon to remind the Chennaites of their past.
It is already April. Surprisingly, migratory birds are still around in Madras. One can see several aquatic birds like painted stork (like the one above), herons, pelicans, and flamingoes, especially in the marshlands in Sholinganallur.
I also clicked a Purple Swamphen. I had not seen much of these in these parts, but expert bird watchers tell me that they are not uncommon.
Let us hope we do not destroy our water bodies any further.