Saturday, April 21, 2007

City Improvement!

The new luxury buses that Pallavan has introduced are awesome! I can now travel from Adyar to Valluvar Kottam at Rs. 7 or Rs. 9 and most of the times I have got a seat! I personally hope AC bus services are introduced at least along select routes. I traveled in one such bus in Bangalore and the journey was extremely comfortable! (Of course, in Bangalore you may just take an auto instead :)) I wouldn't mind paying for it as it would definitely be cheaper than the 70 I used to bargain for an auto home.

These luxury and semi-luxury services are beneficial on another count as well. Clearly, Chennai was not designed to handle the quantum of traffic that it is handling and the situation is bound to get worse. However, the Indian mentality is such that we have to buy "an own vehicle" because it indicates financial stability! Therefore, if good quality, reasonably priced public transportation services are available, it may ease peak hour office traffic.

Interestingly, meters are slowly, albeit very slowly, coming into use in Singara Chennai. I think the onus lies on the consumer's side to insist on the meter. Of course, the danger is that for the rest of the journey the driver will patiently educate you on the economics of running an auto in Chennai. If thy nerves are made of steel, or alternatively, if you don't look like a Tamilian, you could make him put the meter and still survive the journey!

The new Hyundai Police cars with lights at the top are such a welcome development. They give you an impression that the city is in good hands. Definitely more re-assuring than those old jeeps. In fact, in most Tamil movies the Police will be shown arriving after the hero had done whatever needed to be done. Maybe the jeeps were the reason!

However one pet crib with Chennai has been the lack of majestic, awe-inspiring architecture. Another requirement would be top class, well maintained public libraries. But anyway evolution will take its time.

But whatever may or may not happen, it will always be "Madras Nalla Madras!" :)


Guthi - the Ace of Spade said...

Mitter ! nice post.
About the absence of awe inspiring architecture which is missing in our city, I have a suggestion. Just become rich and famous and make sure you are a resident of Chennai. And when you leave this planet - There will be one built in your memory. Till then our old LIC building and Himalaya Mess will top the list :P

themiddler said...


Hahaha... Himalaya Mess as an example of awe-inspiring architecture! rotfl

Rich and famous huh? Will they build something for notoriety? :P

Ashish said...

One thing though... I don't think the Hyundai cars are essential... they just look cool... TNR for the police to generally guzzle so much fuel when bikes are just as good...

Vishwanath said...

Yep.. psuede bus is a nice concept for chennai;
But the autowalas teach us the important techniques of bargaining the rate from 250 bucks down to 40 bucks;

themiddler said...


Hey I wouldn't agree with that. If anything, the Police should have a higher priority.

Also, I would think that the cars act as a morale booster.


:D We do owe a lot to them don't we :P

Chinnu said...

My friend and I boarded one such bus in T. Nagar.
'Rendu CLRI', I asked the conductor and handed him a ten-rupee bill.
'Aezhu rooba', he said.
I waited for him to give me the tickets and the balance. I waited. And waited.
Finally he looked up at me and said, 'Oru ticket aezhroobapa!'
That was the last time I caught a sogusup paerundhu.

If you want the autorickshaw drivers to demand a reasonable fee, just ask them casually 'Unga auto license-plate number ennadhu saar?'

H'm... Jeeps were outmoded quite long ago, comrade. I guess it was Maruthi Esteem that enveloped our cops before they swithced over to Accent.

Haven't you been to Connemera Public Library in the premises of Egmore Museum? And well, there are impressively architectured edifices around the city, but since they are individual mansions and the like, they don't get city-wide popularity.

Good that someone has nice things to say about our city. (I was born, brought up, and would like to die, in Madras)

themiddler said...


Really nice comment!
Yeah, the first time you travel in one of these, your jaw drops!
The guy in front of me, thought the Rs. 6 ticket to T.Nagar was for someone else. The conductor started shouting much to the shock of the already bewildered guy!

This is precisely my point. Evolo naaliki vella kaaran kattinathayay sollindu irukka mudiyum? Isn't it time we developed a contemporary Tamil architecture so to speak.

themiddler said...


Maruti Esteem??! No da... that may have been at the DGP or IG level. The average SI travelled in a jeep.

Now even some constable level people are driving around in these.

As a 'proof', Surya also goes around in a jeep in 'Kaakha Kaakha' after he is kicked out from that elite squad.

bharath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bharath said...

absence of architecture? well, u call it absence or ignorance?

read this

and this

read them! i know i m doing self publicity, but cant help, when it comes to educating people.

The things like luxury buses, low floor buses are in the talk for a long time now. some of them on the roads is a welcome sign. however, what i m worried about is, the introduction of these will make MTC (the erstwhile pallavan) reduce or remove old and normal buses. This might lead to removal of busstops which have only white board buses to stop. Basically, the removal of skeletal services for luxury services is something i m fearing and hoping that such a thing doesnt happen.