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Friday, December 15, 2017

Tram road in Triplicane ~ trams dubbed as slower than walk in Dublin

The roads in Triplicane are narrow and traffic often get struck … Big Street at places is in fact a small lane…  the road that runs from D1 Police Station in Wallajah road to D3 Police station in Ice House is – Triplicane High Road (renamed as Quaide Milleth Road) …. Old timers would refer this to as ‘Tram road’ ….yes, a unique form of transport that existed more than 7 decades ago. 

A tram (tramcar) is a rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public roads.  Tram transport in India was established by the British in the 19th century ~  the first electric tram service was started in Madras in 1895 and went out of reckoning in 1953 in Chennai – it however, still continues to run in Kolkatta even now. The earlier trams were reportedly horse-drawn. The one that were running in Madras (as also the ones seen in Kolkatta) run on electric and have overhead traction lines. 

The description as given by those who occasioned to travel by tram – was that they moved very slowly – sort of people can enter and get down whilst it was moving ….those perhaps were days when the life itself was leisurely paced – not the ones that you see in OMR or mad drive to Pondy in ECR – and those were the days, when you had little traffic on roads – not much of two wheelers and auto-rickshaws … more used public transport and most of them waited patiently – in fact thinking of people going by Pallavan Transport – people used to wait for a single bus on that route and would not even explore much of possibilities of going to a place with better connectivity – Beach, HighCourt, Parrys, Sowcarpet –  Central, Egmroe - Triplicane, Mylapore, T Nagar, Guindy …. Some prominent places which were well connected …..

This form of transportation had commenced in May 1895 run by  Madras Tramways Company and the trams had  six cars.  Reportedly after Independence, it was a  strike by workers who demanded wage revision led to a lockout. Subsequently, Chief Minister C. Rajagopalachari favoured the idea of ending the service, bringing the curtains down on 67 years of its run.  Those rails on which the trams ran remained for many more years – and subsequently Govt. found a contractor for the removal too.  The snail travel at around 7 kmph when came to creeching halt would have left hundreds unemployed. 

Miles away, Dublin's Luas Cross City tram line has taken four years to complete – the £324million tram line takes passengers across the city centre; but, Dublin's latest tram line has been accused of causing traffic chaos since it opened last week, and now it has been found that a part of the journey is speedier on foot.  An investigation by the Irish Sun found that a nine-minute journey through central Dublin took just over seven-and-a-half minutes to walk. The cross-city trams have been accused of causing traffic jams and blocking cyclists, buses and cars, which in turn has made commuters' life hell. Many residents have taken to social media to air their grievances, with some accusing the local government of wasting money.

The Irish capital's first non-horse tram line came into service in 1872. At its peak it the tracks ran for some 37miles, through the city centre and out to South Dublin suburbs. After car and bus travel became more popular, the city decided to abandon the trams and dig up most of the tracks. The last Dublin tram ran on July 9 1949. After decades of tram-free streets,  a 1994 local government report suggested that a new tram system be built and two lines were approved in 1998.

A search on trams led to a court case of 1956  between the State  Of Madras and Madras Electric Tramways (1904).  The case referred to an agreement of 1907  between the Madras Electric Supply Corporation Ltd., and the Madras Electric Tramways Ltd.  Where  the former agreed to supply and the latter agreed to receive electrical energy required by the latter.   The entire energy supplied was to be charged as a whole; at a tapering rate, the rate becoming lower as the quantity of the current taken became higher. There was a clause providing for revision of the rates at the instance of either party, after the expiration of every period of 7 years from the date of the agreement, by three months' notice in writing. An engineer appointed by the President of the Institution of Eiectrical Engineers in England was to determine what the revised rate, if any, should be. The agreement also contained an Arbitration clause were any disputes were   to be determined by a single arbitrator to be appointed on the application of either party by the President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers in England.

        The Government filed C. S. No. 368 of 1953 on the Original Side of Madras High Court  against the Madras Tramway company on 30th October 1953, for recovering Rs. 9,26,186-2-3, the alleged arrears due, with subsequent interest and costs, and for a declaration that it was entitled to a first charge over the assets of the first defendant and to priority in respect of the decree amount, and for declaring that it was entitled to priority of payments out of the assets of the first defendant in preference to all its other debts and liabilities, and, in default of payment of the same, for the sale of the entire assets of the first defendant, the Tramway company, including the specific and floating security in favour of the debenture holders.

The Tramway company ceased to take electric supply from 11th  April 1953.  Its affairs went from bad to worse, and liquidation proceedings were instituted in Dec  1953.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Dec 2017.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nicole Sturgeon introduces Tartan tax !

Gavin Mark Hamilton  debuted in Test No. 1471  in Nov 1999, against South Africa.  In both the innings he was caught by Pollock off Alan Donald for duck and did not take any wicket, and was dropped.  But later went on to play 38 One dayers for Scotland, scoring in all the matches in 1999 WC !

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain.It shares a border with England to the south, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands.  The Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, titles and other royal symbols of statehood specific to the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland. In 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is also a member of the British–Irish Council, and sends five members of the Scottish Parliament to the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. The Scottish variable rate (SVR) was a mechanism which would have enabled the Scottish Government to vary (down or up) the basic rate of UK income tax by up to 3p in the pound. The power was never used (and indeed was allowed to lapse by the Scottish Government in 2007. When legislating for the Scottish Parliament, a number of matters were reserved by the UK Parliament at Westminster. One such reserved matter was taxation; however, this had been a key point in Scottish negotiations relating to parliamentary control. As a means of compromise, Westminster afforded the Scottish Parliament the ability to vary income tax, which was subsequently given the consent of the Scottish electorate in the second question of the 1997 devolution referendum.

Therefore, the Scotland Act 1998 granted the Scottish Parliament the power to vary income tax by ±3p in every pound. This power was often referred to as the tartan tax, a phrase first used by Conservative financier and politician Michael Forsyth as a way of attacking the power, using the idea of 'tartan' to get across the idea that it would be an extra tax on Scots alone.

Now comes the news that Nicola Sturgeon has increased income tax by 1p on earnings over £24,000 a year as she imposed a tartan tax. Her Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced a draft budget today that included a raft of new spending promises. Ms Sturgeon earlier claimed just three in ten taxpayers would pay higher bills under the plans. Mr Mackay's budget creates a new tax band of 21p on earnings between £24,000 and £44,273, and increase the higher and top rate of income tax to 40p and 46p respectively.

Mr Mackay told the Scottish Parliament tax per head would be marginally lower in Scotland than the rest of the UK - despite everyone earning more than £24,000 paying a higher rate than those south of the border. Today's announcement is the most radical change to taxes in Scotland. Higher rate thresholds have been frozen in previous years, slightly raising taxes on the richest.  Speaking about the draft Budget, the SNP leader said the 'vast majority' of taxpayers would be 'protected' from any increase in taxes. In his Budget speech,  Mr Mackay vowed the changes he announced will make 'Scotland's income tax system even fairer and more progressive'.

The decision to increase taxes north of the border is a risk for the SNP government after it suffered major election setbacks in June this year.   Scottish Conservative finance spokesman Murdo Fraser branded the creation of a new basic rate the "Nat tax". He accused the SNP of breaking a 2016 manifesto promise pledging not to increase the basic rate of income tax for those on low or middle incomes, and called on the Finance Secretary to apologise, adding "no one will believe a word they say ever again". Ms Sturgeon hit back, saying her ministers were dealing with the 'most challenging economic and fiscal context' since devolution as a result of Conservative reductions to public spending.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

14th Dec 2017.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ro-hit third double and nothing else on that Mohali ODI

On a working day, towards Year close, did not follow this ODI no. 3941 played at Mohalli – though the 2nd match in the series did arouse some interest after the debacle at Dharamshala.  Today, India won by 141 runs.  Washington Sundar made his debut, Angello Mathews made a century; Dhawan  made 68 and Shreyas Iyer made 88.  ~ yet all that became insignificant !! ~ for long, my favourite question was on Belinda Clarke !! – not any longer !!

Those of us following One dayers [in someways a misnomer for in 1983 WC, one match of 60 overs a side, stretched to 3 days and that way they were limited over matches and not one dayers !] and more specifically India’s fortunes, know the frustration too well, when Team India struggled to make team total of 200s and scores of 240 were considered ‘sure-win’ totals.  

On 18th Jun 1983, at Turnbridge Wells, with India reeling at 17/5, in walked Kapil Dev – scored the first century for India in ODI, an epic 175* (now do you when was the first century made in women ODI ?) .. ..  we had to wait for more as Ravi Shastri made the 2nd ton playing against Australia at Indore in Oct 1984, Dilip Vengsarkar made 105 against England at Pune in Dec 1984; Shastri made another at Cuttack and then Krish Srikkanth made a flamboyant  102 off 104 balls against Australia at Jaipur in Sept 1986; a month later Raman Lamba made one at Rajkot. 

There were not many as each century was hailed a great knock ~ now there are 38 Indian batsman who have made centuries in One dayers with a total of 259 !

At Mohali,  Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer gave Rohit able company with rapid half-centuries, as India posted their 100th  300-plus total in ODIs. In the end, it actually was 8 short of 400.   Angelo Mathews led Sri Lanka's losing battle with a fighting hundred, his second in ODIs, but just like AB de Villiers' 114 against India in Gwalior in 2010, it didn't take much away from a stunning double-hundred.  So frenetic was the pace of the final third of Rohit's innings that he scored more than half of his unbeaten 208 in the last 10 overs. He had nudged his way to his 16th  ODI century by the end of the 40th but  went on to thump 107 more off his final 37 balls.

This 208 is the third  of double-centuries for Rohit Sharma in ODIs. All other players have combined for only four double-hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill have hit one double-century each.  It was stunning assault as in 36 balls Rohit reached his 2nd hundred – he  went from 116 to 208 off just 27 balls with 11 sixes (12 in all)  and three fours.

Tailpiece :  1) Aththachchi Nuwan Pradeep Roshan Fernando had the ignominy of joining the 100+ donor club as he had figures of 10-0-106-0.

2) would be a bit stale to restate that the first double century in ODI was hit by Australian Belinda Clarke way back in 1997; she made an unbeaten 229 at Mumbai against Denmark.

3) the first century in a Women ODI came in ODI no. 2 in June 1973. It was made by Lynne Thomas, soon to be followed in minutes by her partner Enid Bakewell as England made 258/1 in 60 overs.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th Dec 2o17.

TN Police Inspector pursuing jewellery heist shot dead in Rajasthan

There are occupations that deserve great regards, admiration and respect – men in Khaki, the Police Force stands on the top drawer alongside armed forces that guard the Nation.

Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru  is doing rounds in the silver screen and has received some positive reviews.  Amidst the heightened negativities, the  khaki-clad, gun-wielding cop has commanded respect.  3 decades and more ago, came ‘Thanga Pathakkam’ in which Sivaji Ganesan played the  honest police officer  S.P.Choudhry; there have been films with hero as Police Cop and this is no post on Cinema ~ but on a real life incident that shook us today.   In some ways, it was cruel fate – otherwise not much to connect the 2225 odd kilometers that the city of Pali in Rajasthan, away from Chennai is.
file photo of TN Police In Republic Day Parade

Tamil Nadu Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency of the State that has more than a century old history.  In some ways, the engagement by Pedda Naik to guard the town of Madrasapatnam way back in 1659 was perhaps a precursor.  Close on the heels of Indian Independence struggle, Madras Dist Police marked the beginning of Modern day Madras Police.  With the implementation  opf  Madras District Police Act XXIV in 1859,  new recruits were inducted in the police force.

There are crimes  - Nathuram and Dinesh Choudhary -- drilled a hole from the roof and stole valuables from Mahalakshmi jewellery store in Kolathur. Initial investigation revealed that the accused belonging  to Northern part of the country had rented the place in the same building. Though the jewellery store owner did not have their details, CCTV footage helped the police identify the accused. Sooner, four relatives of Nathuram were detained and the Tamil Nadu Police formed a special team to nab two more accused.

Media reports suggest that the police got information that the suspects were hiding in a deserted brick kiln. A team of seven officers then headed for Pali's Jaitaran, about 238 km from Jaipur, where they managed to catch hold of one of the alleged robbers. When the accused was being taken out of the compound, he snatched Mr Periyapandi's service revolver and opened fire. The inspector died on the spot while others suffered serious injuries. They were rushed to a nearby hospital.

The man who lost his life is Mr S. Periyapandi, Law and Order Inspector of Madhuravoyal in Chennai city.  Born in 1969, Mr. Periyapandi joined the force in 2000 as a direct Sub-Inspector. He was promoted as an Inspector in  2014.  In the firing by the criminal Naturam and  his aides, Periyapandi was wounded fataly, Kolathur Inspector T.M. Munisekar was injured.

Reports further suggest that at  around 2.30 am, the police team nabbed main accused. The persons who were living with him in the premises opposed the team from arresting (the suspects) and a scuffle ensued between both sides. Physical blows (were) exchanged between them. One of accused beat and Munisekar fell down. In the melee, one of the accused snatched the pistol from him and opened fire on Periyapandi's chest at a close range," a high official is quoted as saying. 

Chief Minister Mr Edappadi K. Palaniswami announced Rs. 1 crore compensation to Mr. Periyapandi's family.  Salute and bow to Mr Periya Pandi.  Pray to God to give his family the mental strength to bear this colossal loss.

A photo of the valorous cop Mr Periya Pandi, reportedly taken recently as the team reached Rajasthan in pursuit of criminal ~ sad, he is snatched away cruelly when so young !  

The film Theeran is based on  Operation Bawaria  against organized dacoity, murder and robbery that were prevalent in residential areas near the National Highway during 1995 - 2006. Director General of Police Mr S. R. Jangid along with ADGP  Mr Sanjay Arora led a team to investigate.   In a daring raid of  a house in Kannauj in the early hours  Bawaria was nabbed and subsequently his members too were.

A big salute to Police forces ** ~  in school history lessons, students should be reading  the real-life incidents involving these heroes which will inspire the future citizens. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th Dec 2017.