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Friday, May 13, 2016

the new bridge connecting Thiruvallikkeni MRTS Railway station

A few years ago, was in a factory in Madurai accompanying a Risk Engineer.  The Engineer was jotting points on the risk exposure, in fact was updating new points on an earlier one done  around 5 years prior. A standard Q – how far is the Fire Brigade from the factory ? – the factory rep said 3 km – Engineer, repeated his Q  exclaiming 3 km what ? ……….. **

Chennai has lanes and by lanes ….. and all Streets bear a Name.  What is in a Name ? one might tend to ask.  A Street Name is the primary identity… 

The façade of Chennai is set to change totally – with Metro rail, something impossible happened – traffic in the main artillery road – Mount Road aka Anna Salai was regularized.  Many eye-brows were raised when effective 1st  March 2012, prime part of the Mount Road after Devi Paradise complex – from Wellington junction [just prior to Alankar theatre and LIC] was made one way ! – the city is still grappling with that.  In this Metro Rail project, there are two corridors.  Corridor 1 links Airport to Washermanpet; the  Corridor 2 appears more circular though slightly shorter in length at 21.961km. 

Triplicane boasts of many historic places laced with spiritualism.  The name Triplicane derived from ‘Thiruvallikkeni’ – the famous pond of Sri Parthasarathi Swami known as ‘Allikkeni – meaning the lily pond – prefix of Thiru added to denote its religious significance.  The temple tank known as ‘kairavini’ boasted of beautiful lily and lotus blooms – not any longer.   In Triplicane lived many great patriots,freedom fighters and many famous people.  In 1600s, Triplicane was a separate village. After about a century, British found Triplicane to be a good area for settlement and a large number of people moved there. In 1668, Triplicane was annexed to the Madras City.
Triplicane boasting the famous Marina beach,  has a Railway station too …  ‘Thiruvallikkeni’ station on Chennai MRTS, opened to public in Oct 1997.  The station is an elevated one built on the banks of the Buckingham Canal. It is the  sixth station on the MRTS line to Velachery from Chennai beach station.

Parakkum rail (not the full path though !)~  is Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System, a state-owned subsidiary of Indian Railways,  unique  elevated railway line in India.   The line runs a distance of  19.34 km (12.02 mi) with 18 stations, from Beach to Velachery.  …… the MRTS  is not exactly overcrowded.  The trains unlike their initial years when they were running empty are getting filled up at Velachery station itself in the peak hours, though the maximum of commuters board at Thiruvanmiyur.  A few months back, MRTS became a 9 car train.

To many whose day begins and ends with MRTS, the enhancement was a boon.  The not-so-great patronage has many reasons, primary being that many are not on residential locality and remain not easily accessible.  From its formative years, we have felt and represented to authorities that the way leading to the station should remain well-lit and clean.  A visit to Thiruvallikkeni Railway station would also underline another feature.  One has to walk around to reach – it certainly would have been better served, had the station been moved 20 or 30 meters enabling passengers board straight from Sunkuwar lane leading to Beach or the same 30 meters the other way, enabling boarding straight from Barathi Salai [Pycrofts Road]. 

One has to walk a few meters of not so well maintained road from Sunkuwar or take the dirty road between Marina cricket ground and Wenlock park to reach station.  .. .. .. and suddenly something has happened without much fanfare, thanks to the efforts of Ward 116 councillor Mr B Srinivasan aka MGR Vasan.

There are bridges in many parts of the globe.  The Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge spreading  164.8-kilometre (102.4 mi) is the longest bridge and it is in China’s Jiangsu province.  In India, Mahatma Gandhi Setu over the river Ganges connecting Patna in the south to Hajipur in the north of Bihar with length of 5,575 metres is the longest river bridge in India, inaugurated by  the then Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi.

Recently a small bridge [of say 30 meters] was opened connecting the railway station to the road from Canal bank over Buckingham canal, providing commuters easy access to Railway station.  Thanks to Railway authorities and others involved, especially Mr Vasan. The new bridge connecting the station, is  no doubt is a good measure, will be of much use and greatly appreciated by Triplicanites.

** The Risk Engineer was surprised because the earlier one with him read 11 km –  the factory location remained the same, and perhaps that of Fire Brigade too – so he repeated – how distant ? (3 km what !) – the person nonchalantly replied, Sir, a bridge has come in between !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

13th May 2016.

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