cmyk Chennai ● Monday ● 6 June 2011

Kanchi collector: Sand smuggling will be cut down in district MLA Murugesan promises to improve Chengelpattu bus terminus. Labour minister: Officials must help farmers get compensation


two sons who were spending the vacation at their relative’s house here said, “We have been waiting here since Saturday evening, but were not able to get into the bus. All the buses were crowded. Then, we decided to go back to my relative’s house and come on Sunday.” When contacted SETC managing director S. Mani said, “We operated all the 446 buses, but still we could not cater to the crowd. The demand was two fold higher than the buses’ strength. From the beginning of this month the terminus has been getting extra crowd.” The officials of the state transport corporation (Villupuram), which has 2,000 buses, that touches Koyambedu told that in addition to the total strength they operated all the special buses. “We cleared the rush by Sunday early morning. We have not seen such a crowd in recent times.”

hug a tree


Heavy rush at Koyambedu

World Environment Day celebrations in the city saw people planting tree saplings, conducting cultural events that signified the importance of protecting earth. Kids are seen with tree saplings after the ‘Hug — DC a Tree’ programme conducted at Ramkay at Adyar.

Brakes put on minibus plan

June 5: As the summer holidays draw to a close and educational institutions are set to reopen, floating population thronged Koyambedu bus terminus on the weekend. With auspicious days ahead this week, more passengers came to the bus terminus, and it was bursting at its seams. State-run bus services struggled to cater to the sudden spurt in demand and many commuters were left stranded at the terminus for several hours. On Saturday, lots of anxious faces waited at the Koyambedu bus terminus to reach their hometown. All the buses that left the Koyambedu bus terminus were packed with passengers. Though there were no seats available, passengers didn’t mind travelling by standing. A few passengers even sat on top of buses.

Koyambedu bus terminus in Chennai bursts at its seams in the weekend as the summer vacation — DC draws close to end.

Though the state express transport corporation (SETC) and seven other state transport corporations operated special buses to clear the extra rush, they were not sufficient to cater

to the sudden inflow of the passengers that was much more than what the transport officials expected. Anbu, a resident of a village near Tiruvannamalai, who came to take back his


June 5: With the AIADMK government scrapping many schemes of the former DMK government, the fate of the much-awaited minibus scheme hangs in the balance. Since it did not feature in the governor’s address, there are apprehensions that this scheme might also get scrapped like other projects proposed by the previous government. However, Transport Minister Mr Senthil Balaji told this newspaper that a final decision would be taken in a

few days. Considering the lack of connectivity with arterial roads for Chennaiites who reside in the interiors, the erstwhile DMK government had planned to introduce mini buses in the city. The government had directed

Anna University to determine the bus routes by conducting a detailed study. The then transport minister K. N. Nehru had made an announcement in the Assembly in April 2009 that 100 mini buses would ply in the city within a period of three months. He had, however, missed the deadline. Subsequently many deadlines were fixed and missed. And as elections neared, the DMK government put the scheme on the backburner. Residents now suspect that the scheme might be dropped as it did not find

mention in the governor’s address to the Assembly. A senior transport official said, “After a long delay, the Anna University submitted its report recently. Now that the regime has changed, the new government might rethink about the scheme and could even shelve the project.” When contacted, transport minister Senthil Balaji told this newspaper that the decision on mini buses would be taken in a few days after consultation with senior officials. “We will let you know the decision soon,” the transport minister said.

‘Former govt ruined tech edu’

catching them young

AIEEE results declared

A kid participates in the signature campaign on anti-corruption in the city on — DC Sunday.

Policy change on metro rail upsets residents

June 5: Residents of Tiruvottiyur are worried over the extension of the Chennai Metro Rail Project to their locality following the AIADMK government’s decision to restrict the metro to just 45 km and to implement monorail for the remaining stretches. The announcement to this effect was made in the Governor’s address outlining the newly elected AIADMK government policy on June 3. The previous DMK government agreed to extend the Washermanpet-Chennai Airport corridor of the metro rail to Tiruvottiyur in the second phase after a massive public protest. Now the residents are wondering whether the metro rail would be extended to their

TN should at least ensure that North Chennai suburbs are covered in the proposed monorail project
Dr S. Jeyachandran, convenor, NCPRF

locality or not. S. Jaffar, a resident of Theradi, said that inclusion of Tiruvottiyur in the metro rail project is essential for the development of the suburban North Chennai areas. “When the project was initially proposed Tiruvottiyur was the starting point of the corridor, but the plan was changed and Washermanpet replaced it. After the public

protest, the government agreed to extend the corridor till Tiruvottiyur. Now again it is back to square one,” he said. The North Chennai People Right’s Federation (NCPRF), which spearheaded the public protest, plans to meet the officials of the Chennai Metro Rail before deciding on the future course of action. “We do not know what the new government is going to do. We are planning to meet the Chennai Metro Rail officials to find out the status of the project,” Dr S. Jeyachandran, convenor of NCPRF, said. “If Tiruvottiyur is not included in the metro rail project, the government should at least ensure that North Chennai suburban areas are covered in the proposed monorail project,” Dr Jeyachandran demanded.

June 5: The results of All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE2011) for admissions into BE/BTech and BArch/ BPlanning programmes of National Institutes of Technology (NITs), IIITs and deemed universities were announced on Sunday. Over 10.53 lakh students appeared for the AIEEE2011. The CBSE said this year the candidates of general category, OBC category, SC/ST category and physically handicapped candidates of all the categories who obtained 48 marks, 45 marks, 18 marks and 18 marks, respectively are declared eligible to fill in their choices for online counselling for BE/BTech and BArch/BPlanning which will be held by Central Counselling Board-2011. There are approximately 26,816 seats for BE, BTech and 936 seats for BArch and BPlanning in various institutions, including National Institutes of Technology (NIT), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs), deemed universities, technical institutions, Delhi Technological University, New Delhi and other government funded institutions.

June 5: Some vice-chancellors of universities and academicians in Tamil Nadu allege that the previous DMK government did not allot funds necessary to run engineering institutes in the state and refused to provide them the infrastructure they needed. An Anna University of Technology vice-chancellor said the previous DMK government created five universities in the state but did not provide them with any infrastructure or administrative support, which led to deterioration in engineering education in the state. The former government passed an order to provide government colleges of technology to Anna University of Technology in various cities, but nothing came of it. “It is not the fault of the vice-chancellors but of bureaucrats who did not allow us to function,” said R. Radhakrishnan, first vice-chancellor of Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore. “When I tried to purchase land for the university I was suspended. The previous government was responsible for several

It is not the fault of the vice-chancellors but of bureaucrats who did not allow us to function

Question hangs over BU land

R. Radhakrishnan, First VC, Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore

hurdles in our functioning and we had to work hard to overcome all of them.” “The five universities do not even have a syndicate to make any decision,” he added. An academician who did not want to be named said the government should have convened a meeting with the five vice-chancellors of AUT before making the announcement that the varsities would be merged. “The government should, in a democratic way, have given the vice-chancellors a chance to present their problems. But we don’t know whether they were given a chance,” the academician said.

June 5: Subsequent to speculation on the merger of Anna universities of technology, the question that is uppermost on many minds here is about the 130 acres of Bharathiar University (BU) land transferred hurriedly to set up Anna University of Technology (AUT) on the BU campus. Anna University of Technology with much difficulty got the land transferred from BU as it reportedly did not find any suitable land in Coimbatore. Now, legally, the land has been transferred to the varsity and revenue records, too, stand corrected. Anna University of Technology started fencing the land and was planning to build the university and give up the rented building at Jothipuram where it has been functioning for sometime. But now all construction plans have

been put on hold. “We have heard that the state has asked to maintain status quo ante regarding Anna University. Perhaps, an engineering college may come up here or even a university with a different name on the land transferred from Bharathiar University, but we do not know. Only the land now legally belongs to AUT, Coimbatore,” said an official. Ever since AUT, Coimbatore, was started, it has been in trouble. When it tried to take over the Government College of Technology, it triggered widespread protests and the move was dropped. And then came the clash with BU for the land. Vice-chancellor R. Radhakrishnan was suspended to facilitate a directorate of vigilance and anti-corruption (DVAC) probe for corruption charges. There were also anomalies in the cumulative grade point average, which led to a chaotic situation.


Famous site gets stay, decays

Madras High Court stayed the demolition. “The Young Men’s Indian Association was established to cater to the needs of young men who came to the city to pursue education and professions. It was also a place for public gatherings and cultural programmes, but the selfish motives of a few members brought all this to an end,” said a member of YMIA. We have not lost hope and will fight to restore what should be preserved as a monument of heritage and culture,” said a member of YMIA. Gokhale Hall, which was famous for its magnificent dome, long pillared halls, large wooden balcony and tall windows, is slowly decaying and falling apart and past experiences show that ‘stay’ orders only give heritage buildings a short lease of life. Thrown into a labyrinth of litigation, the buildings are left to rot and finally fall apart in the absence of timely maintenance, something that the owners actually want.

Discourses on Bhagavatam
Chennai: The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam information centre at T. Nagar here, in association with the Sriperumbudurbased Kshetropasana, a religious and charitable trust, commenced an English discourse on Srimad Bhagavatham at its information centre Sunday evening. The event is being organised till June 11 between 6 and 8 pm. There would be live webcast of the programme.

June 5: City historians note that Gokhale Hall on Armenian Street in George Town not only played a major role in the freedom struggle but is also one of the landmarks in the city and a key venue of the Carnatic music circuit. Opened in 1915 to house the Young Men’s Indian Association (YMIA) after the organisation’s founder, Annie Besant, bore the cost of constructing the building, Gokhale Hall was once the centre of public life in Madras and the building’s magnificent hall used to resonate with the voice of Annie Besant during her ‘Wake Up India’ lectures. A centre of culture during those days, the hall gradually became a venue for Carnatic musicians to perform and seniors in the city still recollect listening to maestros like Ariyakudi and Madurai Mani Iyer here. A bad phase for the hall started about three years back when the association’s governing body proposed to demolish it to construct a new building in its place. A YMIA member, however, filed a public interest litigation following which the

Once a centre for artistic, cultural and literary activities, the Gokhale Hall echoed the voice of Annie Besant while she delivered the ‘Wake Up India’ lectures. It now awaits a court verdict that may destroy — DC it or resurrect it.

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