Friday, August 8, 2008

Spelling challenge

It has taken about 17 years to complete Chennai's Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) up to Velachery, its originally planned endpoint. The initial ideas were very grand; Chennai's MRTS would rival Singapore's similarly named system of urban transport; the system would be an integrated network with hubs where commuters could switch between rail and road; the rail coaches would be sleek - the dreams were many. Somewhere along the way though, the road diverged and MRTS became rail-alone. Still, one of the 'benefits' of the slow pace of work was that the design of each station could improve on that of the previous one.

So, this station, where the MRTS begins to run parallel to the Old Mahabalipuram Road* (OMR) looks much sleeker than the ones built earlier. Thanks to the aluminium cladding, which complements the sleekness of the OMR and covers up for the fairly unaesthetic concrete blocks that were built first. The advertising panels at the station entrances also add to the with-it quotient.

The station, following the norm, is named for the area in which it is located. And yet again there seems to have been a deviation from concept to commissioning. The area around it is Kasturba Nagar, named for Mahatma Gandhi's wife. But quite strangely, her name has been mangled and has come out differently in all three languages written here!

*I guess I should start referring to it by its new name of Rajiv Gandhi Salai - but I still call this city 'Madras' sometimes!


LVISS said...

Like many things here this place also may not be maintained cleanly after sometime.

Shantaram said...

>> Ravindran>> I will make sure I don't contribute to the dirtiness, even I can't clean it!