Sunday, January 1, 2023


Have you been to Chennai recently? If you haven't, then you may not know about the changes around the Chennai Central Station. The Central Square of Chennai, which is supposed to come up around the station, has started showing signs of progress. Some buildings near the station - Victoria Public Hall and Ripon Building - have had space in front of them cleared and you can get a far better sense of the grandeur of these buildings than you could earlier. 

There is still a lot of work going on around the place. The Chennai Metro still has a lot of digging and shaping to do. There is talk of a massive underground car park. The Central Square of Chennai, when it is complete, would have other buildings (the Southern Railway Headquarters, the Moore Market Complex, the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and of course, the Chennai Central Station itself) contained in its 8-acre spread. There will be other heritage buildings - or, as in the case of the Ramaswamy Mudeliar Choultry, just a vestige marking the spot - around this square. 

It would take a few years to be complete, but I hope all of this will not only provide open space for the people to chill (there are quite a few doing so these days anyway) but will also bring back the Victoria Public Hall as a performance space. From the outside, it looks much better than I remember it anytime over the past 15 years; but the inside is still very crumbly. One looks forward to taking in a show, or a lecture, at this hall before... well, 2028? 


No comments: