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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

landmarks of Chennai - 'flame thrower' at OMR (Rajiv Gandhi Salai)

In the sizzling summer of Chennai, the IT Corridor aka OMR (Rajiv Gandhi Salai) is perhaps one route which has most of the airconditoned buses in the metropolis of Chennai -  –  all of them enjoy good patronage, thanks to IT / ITES en route … buoyed the good patronage, there are more numbers … the bus staff are very courteous, some stop even away from bus stops on seeing commuter – generally only the gate near the driver is opened – as this ensures the cooling inside is preserved better.

For those in OMR and travelling on the road daily … do you know of Dashrath Patel, who was  awarded the Padma Shri in 1981 and Padma Bhushan posthumously in 2011 ?

The winding  Old Mahabalipuram Road (Rajiv Gandhi Salai)  starts near the Kasturibai Nagar Railway station -  the Madhya Kailash temple in Adyar in South Chennai – winds it way till Mahabalipuram – being the earliest route – it carries the name ‘Old Mahabalipuram Road’ – this is State highway-49A. From Madhya Kailash, some important stops include : Indira Nagar; Tidel Park (Thiruvanmiyur RS); SRP Tools; Kandanchavadi, Perungudi, Toll plaza; Thuraipakkam (DB Jain); PTC; Okkiyam; Karapakkam; Sholinganallur Jn, Semmanchery; Navalur; SIPCOT; HIET; Padur; Kelambakkam ….not sure whether Thiruporur which is on the same straightline is included in this. 

The corridor where some madly race in the jostling traffic alongside big plush buses; PTC buses; private vehicles; share autos and so many two wheelers (sadly one see / hears of nasty accidents frequently) – there are people changing lanes suddenly, riding on wrong lane, sudden turns unmindful of vehicles coming behind; big buses turning at will; people jumping over the median ….and more..

The corridor, an ambitious six-lane project with service lanes and landscaping, came in to being around 2005 – the 1st phase being  20.1 km from Madhya Kailash junction  to Siruseri — it is ever expanding and already struggling to find space for the ever increasing no. of users.  The IT Corridor Project, was an initiative of Government of Tamil Nadu to develop the Corridor as a world-class facility and to promote a progressive and IT/ITES friendly image of Tamil Nadu. The project was handled by  TNRDC (Tamil Nadu Road Development Company)

Other than those working in Tidel Park and its vicinity, Tharamani and those walking for the Thiruvanmiyur Railway station, may not have noticed this somewhat obscure landmark – a public art specially created at a great cost meant to stand for global city – is the ‘flame thrower’ – a somewhat ungainly statue made of reinforced-cement-concrete  designed by Dashrath Patel.

A web search reveals that a  flamethrower is a mechanical incendiary device designed to project a long controllable stream of fire. They were first used during World War I, and widely used in World War II. Some flamethrowers project a stream of ignited flammable liquid; some project a long gas flame.  What has this design to do with Chennai or specifically with OMR or with IT Companies, I could not comprehend … and there is not much available in the web too.

There is another interesting statue, of which I will post shortly…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th June 2014.


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