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The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ GNS - 100: our first subscriber Shanti and Sadhana through Music Why this malaise in medical education? A glass full of corruption A friendly business group …and of a popular trade leader Tax agriculture Editor's Notes CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Welcome focus on core competence Fuel for thought Build close rapport with business leaders Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Maximising the micro pricing … Gas is the way forward Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Secularism and anti-Hinduism EVM is tamper-proof Fortune for Indian Airlines Rahman at CIC Sweeter prospects for sugar The balancing act When online building permits work…. Tough task taking states together Tribute – UCAL Selvan… The Swadeshi Trump Silver Years of Madras Musings Come elections, come advertisements... West Bengal: mindless malignancy SoA @ 80 Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Kulandai was a giant The nuclear option Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Protest masters... The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Mersal magnified L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… When small is no larger beautiful.. Cement prices continue to rise… Shipping woes of Chennai companies When Ratan Tata visited SRM A yen for wastage… Computation of GDP – conundrums continue TGS- The king storyteller Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Solar, solar everywhere … Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! How Air-India loses customs... Poor quality of university VCs Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Breaththrough in malaria control Modi and the lady Robber barons everywhere Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Convulsions in The Hindu London, London Narayan Delhi is distant Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Auto components surge… WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Engineering seats go abegging Banning booze... B H Kothari - a tribute Parliament in paralysis... Haul over the coal A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Kudos to NDTV... Boy, can you beat these? Vibrant Gujarat Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked When the President was rendered homeless… Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL A welcome initiative by the judiciary Quality silica from Neyveli Five star activism stalls development activity IPL type auction for VCs? Streamlining mandatory third party cover Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... When nations steal growth from one another… A proud Madrasi Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Gay abandon in pricing Funding the un-funded IPL - no surprise this scam ONGC at KG Basin Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Where is Rajaji? TELANGANA at last…BUT CII projects higher growth… An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Things happen by accident and not by design... Sweet news for TN sugar mills Make standards certification mandatory... TIAM turns a full cycle Why land prices zoom in TN? Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Tatas moving out of urea production... Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated The sea- saw battle continues... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt More tributes to GR Small units prefers to remain small... Fortune 500 review Marketing expert Balagopal is no more Mu Sigma – is no more Where a state respects its litterateurs… The brown list of Venkitaramanan Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Kinetic Karnataka A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Another Indian music maestro at the UN The why of tax incentives Paytm karo... 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No Maha Koottani in TN... IAS invades NDDB... Road development slows down Return to king coal for urea... Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Align crops to agro climate endowments… A more liberated TN… Airlines in India: cost and space PC’s preference for professionals Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Readers' Mail Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu A think tank for Chennai Demise of a media baron... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Strengthen the base... Tribute Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Should we change the official year? Building loyalty through the stomach Roaring Ro-Ro facility More heat than light GM Technology at last! There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Welcome GST Waning interest in public discussions… The Gulf aviation boom No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Editor's Says A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Tatas moving out of urea production... The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Delhi is distant… Which side are you, Montek? Put expensive assets created to use... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Making ‘my Amaravati’... Music happens S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Sri Lanka votes for change Muffled voices for merit… Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Modi storms Silicon Valley Preserving for the future An inexplicable neglect S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist A professional at the helm of IRDA... The Jan Dhan bonanza Pharma – overdose of copying Contrarian cousins All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Solar thermal shines… Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Intellectual of rare qualities Revving up the manufacturing sector Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Adharma of opposition politics Russi Mody – a tribute TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Wise Presidents Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Telangana in top gear… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Delhi returns to BJP China invests in India The rise and rise of KCP The rise and fall of Annamalai University Polls and promises Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Plummeting profits of PSBs Quality education through the PPP mode Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... He continues the focus on social amelioration Delhi Chalo... More Shakti to resource mobilisation... The few handicaps... 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Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai

The non-cooperative relationship with the Centre has been denying Tamil Nadu opportunities to develop on par with Delhi and Mumbai. In 1998, IE presented R Rajagopalan, the then Chairman and Managing Director of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd, as the chief guest at the IE Business Excellence Award function. In a brilliant address, Rajagopalan described the spectacular growth recorded by the Delhi and Mumbai Metro telephones in terms of growth in number of lines, revenues and modernisation. 

MTNL was conceived to get the telephone systems in the four metros out of the mammoth Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) which was engaged with the telecom development of the country as a whole. Chennai and Kolkata, with strong leftist inclinations, did not bother to demand that their metros also be part of MTNL. This meant that the bulk of the profits generated by the Chennai Telephones was utilised by BSNL for telecom development across the country. 

In contrast, MTNL utilised the entire huge revenues and profits generated on the development of telecom in the two metros. The result was obvious: in terms of modernisation, installation of state-of-the-art systems and equipment and laying of cables and towers… Delhi and Mumbai recorded growth many times those of Chennai and Kolkata. But the political leadership just did not bother. 

There is a similar unconcern in the development of the Chennai airport.

Under the UPA-1, Praful Patel planned massive modernisation and expansion of the international airports at the metros. After the initial success in building private airports at Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai airports were privatised. This brought in  humungous investments of over Rs. 10,000 crore each; these were set up in quick time and today compare well with some of the large international airports in terms of capacity, ambiance and facilities. 

Chennai and Kolkata preferred, as usual, to be content with remaining in the public sector IAAI. One just has to have a look at these airports and compare them with the other two airports to see the difference. For the Chennai airport, IAAI had to depend on the defence ministry and the Tamil Nadu government for acquisition of sizeable areas of land. And these were not forthcoming as per schedule. The state gave up acquisition on protest from the affected property owners. The decision to add new facilities for domestic passengers at the northern end and, for international passengers, at the southern end, leaving the existing old buildings intact, proved a handicap. Lack of resources due to escalation forced them to dispense with multi level car parking. Aligning the metro rail system was not factored in early and properly. A huge bridge was built over the Adyar River to extend the second runway running east to west that would facilitate handling larger aircrafts. But this proved a disaster by arresting the flow of the Adyar river, the impact of which was felt grievously during the December 2015 floods. 

In Delhi too, cost escalated. But GMR, the new owner, assisted the prime contractor L&T with the needed clearances and resources in time that helped open the airport in time for the Commonwealth Games. The lack of such cooperation with the prime contractor Consolidated Construction Consortium (CCC) resulted in delays to complete the construction, with serious design deficiencies in erecting conveyor belts, inadequate bonding of the huge glass modules to withstand vibrations of landing and giving up on the walkalator. CCC failed again in the construction of Chennai metro stations and is on the point of bankruptcy. 

In this background, the recent news on expanding the facilities at the airport by reconstructing the old airport sandwiched between the new domestic and international terminals is welcome. I hope the Tamil Nadu government led by Jayalalithaa would render needed assistance and help Chennai evolve as a prestigious airport of international excellence capable of handling 25 million passengers a year. 


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