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Monday, May 5, 2014

rains in Chennai ~ OHT snag delays MRTS trains ... and silent workers

Every year Chennai gets hotter … we have started fearing the Chennai summer … the mercury was shooting up and the hottest part of the year in May – June – famously dreaded as ‘Agni Nakshatram’ ("fiery star") or as ‘Kathiri Veyyil’ – commenced this Sunday, 4th May 2014. 

There was to be some respite as this morning Chennaites woke up pleasantly .... it is raining, yes rains – summer rains ! .... yesterday The Hindu reported  that Chennaiites may escape severe water shortage for a few more months. Sufficient resources in the Veeranam tank in Cuddalore district and Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh will help the city sustain piped supply on alternate days. There is news that a deep depression over east-central Bay of Bengal, which moved westwards and lay centred about 520 km south-east of Paradip in Odisha on Sunday, is likely to take the shape of a cyclonic storm.

I had posted that some Chennaites would crib about rains too…. in some ways yes – as there was slush in many streets rendering them unfit for walking …. and as people reached MRTS station – there was to be disappointment – as trains were not running in the morning due to some trouble in OHT along the line. 

It is a different World out there – something on top of Chennai – the  first phase of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) from Chennai Beach to Thirumylai for a length of 8.55 km. was taken up for implementation by Government of India as early in 1983-84. It has come a long way since that inaugural run from Chepauk to Beach …  Chennai MRTS route is largely elevated, with at-grade sections at its terminals. From Beach to Chennai Park Town station, the line runs at grade, parallel to the suburban railway network. Following Chennai Park Town station, the line's first phase becomes elevated and follows the course of the Buckingham Canal, which runs parallel to the Coromandel Coast. The line remains elevated for the alignment of the second phase up to Perungudi, after which it returns to an at-grade section at Velachery. The 19 km (12 mi) line from Chennai Beach to Velachery is 15 km (9 mi) elevated and 4 km (2 mi) at surface.

Some more good news for travellers as clearing the decks for the extension of MRTS phase-II from Velachery to St. Thomas Mount, the Madras High Court recently dismissed petitions and an appeal challenging the acquisition of lands for the project.

Railway electrification as a means of traction emerged at the end of the nineteenth century, although experiments in electric rail have been traced back to the mid-nineteenth century. MRTS runs on overhead electrical traction lines ~ and a snag in the lines reportedly caused non-running of trains this morning, which left the commuters paralysed.  The lines reportedly were resumed a little before 09.00 am.  

While we complain on many things – there are always silent workers – people who go about their work nonchalantly – many a times with none noticing them…. This morning – standing at Mylapore saw and was impressed by these conservancy workers – who paid no hoot for the rain – but were busy cleaning and making the road – more friendly for the Chennaites, who in a hurry would most likely would have neglected to see them, leave alone appreciating them


With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

5th May 2014.

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