Madras Day, or the 378th founding day of the modern city of Chennai, was celebrated from August 22 to 27 with heritage walks, cultural programmes, debates, lectures, poetry, music, quiz, food fests, photo exhibitions and bike tours around the city.
Madras is India’s oldest city; it was founded from a small port in 1639 that has grown into the current sprawling metropolis. It was renamed as Chennai in 1996.
Chennai has many firsts like the first municipality in1688, the first technical college in Guindy in 1794, the first shopping mall Spencer’s in 1863 on Mount Road and the first cricket club in India in 1846. Other firsts include the big library in Connemara, Higginbothams book store, India’s oldest railway station in Royapuram and the first zoo in Vandalur.
Chennai has around 400 temples, 200 mosques and 200 churches, among the latter is St Thomas Mount Church, where St Thomas is buried. Chennai has been colonised by British, Dutch, Portuguese and its business settlers cover Armenians, Chinese, Burmese, Ottomans and others.
Today the city, home to around 6mn people, has Asia’s biggest industrial technology park – the Tidal Park, many manufacturing industries, multinational companies and educational institutions. The Integral Coach factory at Ambattur, among the first to be established after Indian independence, manufactures about 500 variants of coaches and engines for Indian Railways.
ED seizes properties of medical trust
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized about Rs480mn worth of properties belonging to T D Naidu, the founder/chairman of the Deen Dayal Medical and Educational Trust in Tiruvallur in Chennai.
The ED has accused Naidu of taking Rs160mn in capitation fee for medical admissions besides amassing wealth of Rs1.52bn that has been seized in a phased manner. Parents of students also accused Naidu of not getting accreditation for his medical college and refusing to return their fees.
He had also obtained multi-million loans from Andhra Bank and Union Bank of India by pledging forged documents.
Bison killed in zoo fight
A male bison or gaur was gored to death by a younger bison during a herd fight inside their enclosure at the Anna Zoological Park at Vandalur in suburban Chennai last week.
Zoo officials said there were nearly 20 bison inside the enclosure when the fight broke out. The injured bison was rushed to the veterinary hospital but it died before treatment.
The 1,300 acre Anna Zoological Park founded in 1855, is India’s largest zoo housing nearly 2,200 animals, birds, insects, reptiles and fish.
In a separate incident, a wild elephant trampled a 50-year-old farm woman to death at Pattiyarkovilpatty village in Coimbatore. The pachyderm attacked Saradha as she was working in the fields.
Dwarf athletes slam govt apathy
Three Tamil Nadu-born disabled and dwarf athletes – K Ganesan, S Manoj and A Selvaraj – won medals at the Seventh World Dwarf Games held at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada on August 5.
The trio won gold and silver medals in javelin, discuss and shot put. However they were disappointed that their achievements went unrecognised by Tamil Nadu government. Of the three, Manoj is an engineer; the other two are small-time businessmen. They credit their success to their coach Ranjith Kumar.
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