Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002
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Chennai Telephones is at a historic moment, in the evolution of city telecommunications - it is about to lose some of its customers to the private player who has entered the scene.
But that does not seem to bother many of the employees, for whom the visions of ``babu'' rule never fade. A subscriber of Lake View Road, West Mambalam who paid his bill promptly had his telephone cut, for non-payment. His telephone would simply keep repeating: contact the Accounts Officer. The subscriber had to spend an hour at the Kodambakkam Station View Road office, after having already spent two days without the telephone, clutching his bill payment receipt.
With the attitudes shown by some employees and the kind of systems that it has for dealing with complaints, Chennai Telephones is all set to make a ``transfer'' of many of its subscribers to the new operator.
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Standing in queue for booking railway reservation tickets in Moore Market Complex (MMC) has become pleasing thanks to instrumental music piped through the public address system.
The music, railway officials said, was introduced to relieve the pressure of passengers, who have to stand at least 20 minutes in the queue before booking the ticket.
Appreciating the railways' move a famous flautist, donated a C.D. of his recital to be played on the system. The administration is planning to give information on special trains, being operated in the zone, at regular intervals through the system.
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Despite the launching of the `safe road project' by the city police with fanfare, things seem to be going out of control for the authorities. With indisciminate parking and one or the other service agency constantly digging the roads, the carriageway has become a deathtrap for road-users.
Compounding the problem is the total lack of enforcement. Though Konnur High Road-MTH Road stretch has been included in the project, the situation has not improved. On the Konnur High Road, particularly from the Ayanavaram police station, haphazard parking has made driving difficult during the peak hours.
Encroachment by shops on the pavement forces pedestrians to walk on the carriageway. Besides the problem caused by the digging of MTH Road near the Reddy Street junction at Villivakkam, the presence of stray cattle results in traffic jam.
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Airconditioners and spacious dashboards in cars at times serve other purposes, especially on Besant Nagar beach.
It is a common sight to see windows rolled up, airconditioners running in stationary vehicles at the parking slots there.
The reason: A party is on inside. The dashboard provides ample space for the bottles and the airconditioners and tinted glasses keep prying eyes away.
As for the police and parking attendants the less said the better.
The tell-tale signs of moisture on the windshield and windows are noticed by all, except the law enforcers. Incidently there is an police outpost close to the shoreline.
(Contributed by S.Vydhianathan, K.T.Sangameswaran and S. Shanker)
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