How tiny was my city

Print edition : September 05, 2014

A view of Anna Nagar from the Anna Nagar Tower. Named after former Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai, it was developed in the early 1970s by the Tamil Nadu Housing Board. It spans an area of 5 sq. km and is located on the site of Naduvakkarai and Mullam villages. Photo: V. GANESAN

The Cooum river, which drains into the Bay of Bengal. Here, the river at Chintadripet, the first planned colony of the city. Chintadripet is of a fishbone pattern--a straight spine that cuts across the peninsula with streets branching away from it and sloping down to the river. Photo: V. Ganesan

A plan of Fort St. George and the city of Madras, 1726, by Herman Moll, from "Modern History: or, the Present Sate of all Nations" by Thomas Salmon, published by Bettersworth & Hitch, London, 1739.

In 1944, J.P.L. Shenoy, then Commissioner of the Corporation, conceived the idea of a big housing colony in the Aminjikarai area. His successor, C. Narasimhan, saw the scheme through and named it Shenoy Nagar. Photo: By Special Arrangement

A large section of T. Nagar was once a 70-acre lake, the Long Tank of Mylapore. This was acquired for development as a township in the early 1920s. The part that was its focus was named after the Raja of Panagal, the second Chief Minister of Madras. The development plan known initially as the Mambalam Town Planning Scheme, Eastern Section, was named Theagaroya Nagar, after the Justice Party leader Sir Pitty Theagaroya Chetty. Photo: By Special Arrangement

The Santhome Church on Kamaraj Salai. Photo: V. Ganesan

The rajagopuram of the Sri Marundeeswarar temple at Thiruvanmiyur. Photo: V. Ganesan

Pavement shopping at Pondy Bazaar in T. Nagar. Photo: S. KANNAN

Anna Nagar Tower Park. Photo: K. Pichumani

From being a city of vast open spaces, Chennai has rapidly become a congested metro with a colossal shortage of infrastructure and seen a fall in quality of life.
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