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Flooding of FM stations in Chennai

Posted by Sankar on October 2, 2006

Chennai just had Radio Mirchi and Suryan FM (apart from the one from All India Radio – AIR) a while back. Recently, two other stations have launched. And I am guessing that there are more in the pipeline.

Is it too many? Is it too little? How many is just right for a city like Chennai? Maybe other cities like B’lore or Mumbai already have more… I am not sure. But can it go on like this for long? I don’t know.

  • Radio stations are different here in India as compared to US. In US, each city has lot of stations, but they all have a set of listeners. Because each station airs a different genre of music ranging from Rock, Pop, Jazz, and so on… But that’s not the way it is in India. Any station in Chennai for example, is pretty much forced to play Tamil movie songs (ofcourse the one from AIR plays some English songs too). So every station ends up playing the same set of songs over and over again.
  • Radio is different from TV. Even if there are ‘n’ TV channels, each channel caters to different kind of audience (News, sports, movies etc). But in Radio, it is songs, songs and more songs.

So any station that you tune in, it is one song or the other that is playing. With no varied content, it could end up being boring after a while… We will have to wait and see how the industry pans out…

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Posted in Chennai | 29 Comments »

Walkway along the Marina beach…

Posted by Sankar on May 22, 2006

"Throw trash into the trashcans". That's the motto the Chennai Corporation have been trying to get into people's minds to make the Chennai a cleaner place. It sounds so simple. But the problem is there are no trashcans in public areas for people to effectively use them.

I was at Marina Beach a week back. I was walking along the pathway (just beside the main road) from almost the Lighthouse to Gandhi Statue (should be about 200-300 meters). I walked the entire stretch looking for a trashcan to dispose some trash. But I couldn't find one. This area is frequented by thousands of people each day for their morning and evening walking schedules and I was surprised to find that there were no trashcans in the entire stretch. I wish the administration took notice of this and take some steps to make Chennai a better place.

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Penetration of technology

Posted by Sankar on May 10, 2006

I went to a grocery shop here in Chennai for getting some stuff and I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of computers in the store. The shop is not a chain store or anything. It is just a normal “General merchant stores” that deals with groceries and other stuff for home needs. That’s the level to which the technology has penetrated in India.

ShopPhoto1

What’s surprising even more is that both the comps that I saw had flat plans on them. Even most households with computers haven’t migrated to flat panels.

Shop Photo2

This is really a good sign to see that technology is penetrating to the lower levels that signifies growth and that people are getting more and more knowledgeable.

PS: Both photos were taken from my mobile phone (SonyEricsson K750i) camera. I got it a few weeks back and this has been first real use of the camera. Hope to use it more often for my blog here.

Posted in Chennai, Technology | 2 Comments »

Election promises

Posted by Sankar on May 5, 2006

With the election in Tamil Nadu almost here (May 8th) and that the election campaign about to end tomorrow, all the leaders/candidates are on a full swing to gather votes.

But that aside, I haven't come across an election like this before in my life where the parties are competing with each other in promising freebies upon coming to power. I don't have much information about past elections elections here, but to my knowledge this is reaching the limit. Even the parlimentary elections in 2004 did not have so many "freebie" promises.

Here's a small list of "freebie" promises by various parties.

  • A free color TV to each family (DMK)
  • 2 acres of agricultural land free to each family (DMK)
  • 10 kgs of rice free through the PDS (AIADMK)
  • 4 grams of gold in the form of Thali (equivalent to a ring in a marriage) for all brides getting married (AIADMK)
  • A cow free of cost to each family (DMDK – Vijayakanth)
  • The latest in the list that I just heard a few minutes back- A computer for every student who graduates from high school. (AIADMK)

Maybe there is more to the list. If anyone is aware, feel free to add them. In a way, it is good that the election day is near. Otherwise, who knows what these people will come up next 🙂

Posted in Chennai | 4 Comments »

Improvements during election season

Posted by Sankar on April 27, 2006

Everyone is aware that several improvements are done to a state just before the election season in order to woo people. But this time, I feel that this has gone a little overboard.

Several main roads here in Chennai were re-laid during the last month or two. The roads that were laid include the stretch between Nandanam and Saidapet, Radhakrishnan Salai, stretch between Kathipara and Airport and several other main roads. Though this might seem good, the fact is that most of these roads were already in good/very good condition and did not need to be re-laid.

There are so many roads in Chennai that are poor and this money could have been used effectively to make those roads better. But I am guessing that it’s these kind of main roads that have the most users and hence the most visibility to the public. The other roads may not have that many users and hence the whole purpose of laying the roads just before the election to gain people’s attention may not serve the purpose.

I wish the administration got a little more responsible.

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Traffic Situation

Posted by Sankar on March 23, 2006

I just couldn’t agree more with this post on Vasanth’s blog related to traffic situation in Bangalore and Chennai. I travel 25 kms each way (abt an hr) for work and it definitely gets on the nerves after a while. I can probably add a couple more to the list with respect to Chennai.

  • The auto drivers have taken up an oath to ride on (I literally mean “on”) the white divider lines that separate different lanes in the same direction. Maybe, this is specially taught to them when they learn to ride an auto. I just can’t believe it. When they do that, it is a pain trying to overtake them in either lane. And the worst, they don’t do more than 30-40 kmph.
  • Another behavior that I have noticed with respect to autos are that you can tell whether they have a passenger or not, just by looking at the speed of the auto. When they have a passenger, they go at around 30-40. But if they are looking for a passenger (“savari”), they drag along at around 0-10 kmph (ofcourse in between two lanes like I mentioned above), it is so @#@#ing irritating. Yeah… I get that they have to do that for a living, but they don’t have to do it this way. There are several designated places in the city auto stands and they can there and wait for their “savari”.
  • Next comes the buses. I was under the impression that only James Bond had a license to kill, but I was wrong. After driving for a couple of years in Chennai, I learnt that even the bus drivers have a license to kill… or at least scare the @#$@ out of other drivers. They don’t care a ^%%^ about others and literally ram you onto the median. I have experienced it myself several times. And the worst is that they are not pulled over for speeding, reckless driving or even for jumping signals. Looks like they have immunity over law. When someone does something like this to me, I overtake the bus, go in front and drive at around 20kmph and try not to allow the bus to overtake. I do this for a few seconds when there is a clear stretch of road. The drives get pissed off when such things happen in the morning. Just my way of teaching them a lesson. 

I guess that the list could go on and on… but I will have to stop here now. I am sure that if the drivers are more disciplined, the traffic situation will be much better.

Posted in Chennai | 5 Comments »

Chennai’s Central Station

Posted by Sankar on March 21, 2006

Came across this great photograph of Chennai’s Central Station in Prabhu’s blog. Prabhu had taken the photo himself and it looks great. Never thought that Chennai’s station will look so cool!!!

Chennai Central Station 

 

Posted in Chennai | 12 Comments »