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Monday, May 15, 2006
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I travelled to Vijayanagaram last week from Chennai airport. As I am a senior citizen who has a knee problem, I asked for a wheel chair to take me to the plane after the check in. I was surprised when they charged Rs. 500/- for the wheelchair facility; the charge is quite exorbitant for a retired senior citizen. If they charge about Rs.30 to Rs.50 for using the wheel chair, it will be easier on the pocket of travellers. Will the authorities concerned can reduce the charges for senior citizens?
Gemini Shyam Sunder,
Bus shelter needed
The bus shelter at the corner of Manavala Nagar near the Railway Station is virtually unusable. The rooftop was blown off long ago. Passengers find it very difficult to wait at the stop because of the scorching sun. The authorities concerned are requested to provide a new roof at the earliest.
The existing one-way road (College Road) connecting Sterling Road with Nungambakkam High Road is one of the busiest in Chennai, with heavy traffic throughout the day. The road serves people going to Government offices, business establishments, the Regional Passport Office, schools etc., and hence is always busy. Pedestrians trying to cross the road have great difficulty in doing so. Automatic pedestrian signals should be installed, one near Alliance Francaise and the other near Shastri Bhavan with one or two Zebra Crossings in between. Repeated requests in this regard have been of no avail; will the Traffic Police pay immediate attention to this?
More ticket counters
On the Beach-Tambaram section of the suburban train services, the Chromepet Railway Station is the most crowded station after St. Thomas Mount. Every day, over 10,000 passengers travel from Chromepet. The Southern Railway has constructed a ticket booking office with four counters on the foot overbridge. But, there is always a big crowd before the counters, with serpentine queues of people waiting to buy a train ticket. The queue often extends up to the last step of the foot-over bridge. One has to wait in the queue for over 20 minutes to buy a ticket
We understand that this is due to the shortage of staff. Will the Railways look into this and post adequate staff at the ticket counters and help the rail passengers.
The Chromepet Rail
MTC bus has no horn
On May 4, 2006, at about 11 a.m., I got into an MTC bus (route No.45-B, licence plate number TN-01-N-2453) at Alwarpet (Anjaneyar Temple) stop. I was sitting near the driver's seat. As the bus was in motion, I noticed that there was a frequent banging noise on the side of the bus. It was only after some time that I realised that the bus driver was doing the tapping, since the vehicle did not have a horn. It was pathetic to observe the driver banging hard on the frame of the bus whenever there was an obstruction on the road. I wondered whether the driver had failed to report to the depot about the lack of a horn and whether the depot staff were aware of the problem. The irony was that I got into the same bus two days later to find no change at all. The poor driver was still resorting to banging the side of the bus!
J. Manohar Singh,
`No vote' option
Regarding the item on Page 6 of the edition of May 9, 2006, `None gets to choose the "No vote" option, I would like to share my experience. First, the polling officer rejected my request of `no vote' saying that he didn't get the prescribed forms. But later he advised me to write a letter. I gave a letter stating that `I disbelieve in the present politicians', and hence was exercising my `No vote option'.
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's recent suggestion for a well-equipped conference cum Convention Centre for the city of Chennai has not come a day soon. I remember attending a Collectors' Conference at the Rajaji Hall during the Emergency days, when the Union Home Minister Brahmananda Reddy made a similar comment. While this has been a keenly felt demand for decades, I feel that Mr. Chidambaram, instead of blaming Ms. Jayalalitha, can himself take the initiative, negotiate with his Congress colleagues in Tamil Nadu to take over the vast vacant land in the Teynampet Congress grounds either on outright purchase or on a long lease identify a good builder and a designer and go ahead with the job.
The Convention/ Conference complex should provide all facilities, including accommodation, multilevel parking, in house recreation and a helipad on the rooftop for VIPs to reach the location without throwing the traffic out of gear. It can be named as `Kamaraj Centre'.
V. Selvaraj, IAS (Retd)
ECR needs hospitals
Of late, a greater number of accidents are taking place on East Coast Road (ECR), many of them fatal. There should be a couple of hospitals on the ECR between Chennai and Pondicherry and beyond to provide rapid medical assistance to the accident victims. A drive on the ECR should be a pleasant journey, not a last journey. Will the authorities concerned set up hospitals on ECR?
It was a matter of some concern, when account holders of the SBI, Annanagar, noticed that Rs. 75/- was debited in their Pass Books. When the Manager was contacted, over the Phone, they were told that the bank had charged the amount towards cost of a cheque book of 25 leaves, i.e. Rs. 3/- each, as per the Head Office instructions. We were further informed that they were also levying charges for all types of application forms. Perhaps, may be on challans as well. Considering the lakhs of account holders, the total amounts realised, by way of stationery sales, will run to several crores of rupees. Nowhere in the world do banking organisations exploit their customers in this manner. This is most unjustifiable.
We earnestly appeal to the authorities concerned to stop this unhealthy and unethical practice.
Anna Nagar Citizen's Association
The area coming under our association was facing a low voltage problem, especially during summer and our sufferings can be imagined.
We represented our problem to the TNEB, Sembakkam, through the good offices of Mr. Lakshmipathy Raja, Vice-President, Sembakkam special panchayat. We were also in constant touch with the engineers of TNEB, who promised to solve the problem at the earliest by erecting a transformer in our area. A transformer has been installed and is in service now. Our sufferings have been mitigated to large extent.
In this connection, our association thanks immensely Mr. Venkatesh, EA to CE, TNEB, Anna Salai, Mr. Gnanasambandam, AEE, Tambaram, Mr. Balachandran, AEE, Medavakkam and Mr. Natarajan, AE, Sembakkam who were actively involved in the erection of transformer in our area. The association also congratulates the workmen who did a splendid job in erecting the transformer in a record time of ten days.
Residents Welfare Association
The Thirumayilai Station (MRTS) is poised to cater to a large number of commuters. A few days ago, I saw an old woman crawling literally on all fours up the steep flight of steps. Senior citizens as well as physically handicapped people find it difficult to walk up and down the steps. There is an urgent need for provision of railings right up till the platform. A ramp for wheel-chair borne commuters is also needed. The authorities need to provide these facilities at this station and others soon.
Poor postal services
The postal service is not only inefficient, but unaccountable as well.
Thing it would be cheaper to use the postal service, I sent a registered letter (No. B5198) from Anna Nagar Post Office, Chennai-40 on February, 9, 2005 to New Delhi-20 after standing in the queue for one hour; I thought I had saved a few rupees and chosen a reliable service. But the registered letter was not delivered to the addressee and I had to file a complaint at Anna Nagar Post Office on March 16, 2005. I followed it up with another to the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Chennai-8 and to the Dak Adalats on June 20, 2005 and September 5, 2005. I received a stereotyped reply from the Department stating that the matter was under enquiry.
Though 15 months have elapsed since I sent the registered letter, I am yet to get a reply from the Postal Department.
If the Postal department cannot trace and deliver a registered letter sent from a major post office in Chennai to the capital of India, it is difficult to understand how they can deliver ordinary letters from a small town in the southern part of the country to a far off place, say in Rajasthan or Assam.
I am getting my monthly MIS interest from the Radhanagar, Chromepet Post office with great difficulty. For getting my interest, I have to visit the post office twice in person. Firstly I have to go to the post office and inform the Postmaster that I need the interest amount. Then I have to visit the post office again the next day to withdraw the amount (if the amount exceeds Rs. 5000/-). As they do not have a phone connection, I am unable to communicate my requirement over the phone.
I therefore request the postal authorities to look into the matter and take necessary remedial measures. It should not require two visits to the post office to withdraw the interest amount.
Restore bus services
The bus services on MTC routes 9, 10 and 26 originating from T. Nagar terminus have been withdrawn for reasons unknown. The routes 9 and 10 cover the Women & Children's Hospitals in Egmore, the TB hospital in Chetpet, the Eye Hospital, Egmore, the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI) Complex, several colleges and schools as well as the Museum.
The buses on route 10A, operated from Saidapet West, are infrequent and do not help much. Similar is the situation on route 26 covering Kilpauk and Kilpauk Gardens, for which the only substitute is 47A and 47A LSS operated from Besant Nagar and Adayar respectively. It is really an ordeal to travel by 47A, which is crowded beyond belief. A lot of people come to T. Nagar for shopping, and they have to take at least two buses, as there is no direct link from T.Nagar to areas such as Kellys, Vyasarpadi, Avadi and Red Hills. Considering the hardships of the commuters, I request the MTC authorities to revive the withdrawn services from T.Nagar at the earliest.
Plea for bus stop
Mahalakshmi Nagar is a fast developing area, situated near Camp Road, East Tambaram. The yellow board State Transport buses passing through Velachery Road, from East Tambaram to T. Nagar and other places do not stop at Mahalakshmi Nagar. Residents, especially senior citizens, who depend on the State Transport buses, have to walk a considerable distance to Camp Road to take the buses. I request the authorities to arrange for a bus stop at Mahalakshmi Nagar.
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