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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #1
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Chennai discussions II

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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #2
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Old August 19th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #3
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Old August 21st, 2006, 06:20 AM   #4
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Chennai loves to hate its autos
Chennai: In one of many such films, superstar Rajnikanth features Chennai's notorious yellow three-wheeler in a song from his film Badsha.

Tamil cinema has often relied on autos to symbolise the city and now there is a movie called Auto is in the making.
http://www.ibnlive.com/news/chennai-...s/19157-3.html
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Old August 21st, 2006, 08:52 PM   #5
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More Auto news or nuisance here....
http://newstodaynet.com/21aug/rf9.htm
Autos many, worries too

NT Bureau
Chennai, Aug 21:

In the world of autorickshaw drivers, it is dog eats dog, as can be seen at the pre-paid auto service bay at Central station.
The auto- stand in Central Railway Station. Some drivers said the pre-paid system had become more a hindrance than help for drivers waiting their turn at the booth. 'Many of our own men corner passengers at the station entrance and pester them into hiring their vehicles,' said one driver.
A few other drivers said the traffic police were hand in glove with these bullies. 'The policemen are supposed to safeguard the interests of passengers and drivers. But they do not take any action against those who go out of turn.'
Passengers too said the same thing. The police introduced this service to stop auto- drivers fleecing people coming to the city. 'It worked well for just a few months, after that things went wrong,' Kamal, a regular railway commuter told this paper.
According to him, policemen on duty at the station, did not bother to stop auto- drivers, who jumped the queue and solicited passengers at the entrance. 'The errant drivers pester you, grab your bags and ask, no they demand, rates that are sometimes many times more than the stipulated amount,' Ramesh Kumar Jain, another passenger, said.
He said one driver who forced him to get into his auto had asked for Rs 150 for a trip to Royapuram. 'He thought I was new to the city,' he added.
Almost all the passengers,with whom News Today interacted with, complained of harassment and overcharging.
Auto drivers, who waited at the pre-paid auto queue also complained about police inaction. 'We wait in the queue from early morning and many times end up with no passengers. Then we too try to jump the queue and go to the entrance to get passengers,' said Ibrahim .
The moral, he added, was if you can't compete with them, join them.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:26 PM   #6
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Adventure racing on auto-rickshaw

The 1,000km (590-mile) race, which kicked off in Madras (Chennai), will end in Kanyakumari, the southern-most tip of India, on 27 August.

Participants come from as far as the UK, US, Hungary, Armenia and Russia.

The Indian Auto-rickshaw Challenge is strictly fun, without any prize at the end of the race, the organisers say.

A total of 16 teams comprising 50 people are in the race. Two of the teams are Indian.

Aravind Kumar, the organiser of the challenge, says the race is tailored to give the participants the best the state has to offer.

"Participants will be making their way through monsoon rains, crowds, variable road conditions, and other typically Indian obstacles."

Aravind and his Hungarian friends came up with the idea when they took part in the Budapest-Bamako Rally of 2005, an adventure road race.

The auto-rickshaw, popularly called auto, was chosen for the race as it is India's "national vehicle", says Aravind.

"There are Indians who own many Mercedes cars. There are Indians who do not even have a bicycle. But every Indian would have travelled in an auto at least once in his or her lifetime".

The participants dressed up the autos and donned colourful costumes themselves to match the names of the teams.

The foreign participants seem to be enjoying it the most, as none of them have either seen or ridden an auto-rickshaw before.

Many foreign participants have never ridden an auto-rickshaw

"Driving an auto for 1,000km on an unfamiliar road is an adventure. This is an experience that you could not get anywhere else," says Szabo Gal Andras from Hungary.

"You can not sign up with any travel agency for a trip like this."

Catherine Evens from England agrees. She and her six friends are looking for a "laugh, fun and excitement".

Participants paid 1,500 euros ($1,936) to enter the race.

The organisers provided an auto-rickshaw to each team, and will escort them throughout the rally and undertake any repairs on the way.

At the end of the rally, the vehicles will be sold and the proceeds donated to charity.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5272236.stm
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:37 PM   #7
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thats a great idea indeed. Will bring in good publiciy to the city and its evolving new 'local culture'
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:49 PM   #8
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Yeah and the autos looked real cool
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 06:07 AM   #9
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Chennai is marketer's paradise

Paper edition of BS had a nice table that placed Chennai at #2 in terms of sales/km at Rs. 134 cr/km way above Mumbai or it's suburbs. If Delhi was treated as one big market, then Chennai would have been #1. One of the biggest reason for this is Chennai is probably the densest city in India. And in terms of household income > 3 lakhs pa, Chennai (28%) scores over Mumbai (23%). Only Chandigarh and East Delhi are way above at about 42%.

http://www.business-standard.com/com...&autono=102252
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:34 AM   #10
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How are the Madras Day celeberations in the city ? Is celebrating the city's founding day becoming popular ?
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 05:16 PM   #11
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Happy Madras Day
Kudos to Mr S. Muthiah for keeping this going.

Here are some celebrations

Link: http://newstodaynet.com/22aug/rf8.htm

Today, Chennai is entering into 367th year and as part of 'Madras Day' celebrations, Department of Posts, released a special postal cover to commemorate the occasion. Radhika Doraiswamy, Chief Postmaster General, Tamilnadu Circle formally released the special postal cover and S Muthiah, editor, Madras Musings received the first copy. Speaking on the occasion, she said the postal department has the privilege to celebrate 'Madras Day' as it is 150 years old. She also informed that Post Office is part and parcel of the community as it is the only government department where the employee (postman) goes to each and every house.

In his presidential address, Muthiah, said, 'we should be proud of Chennai not only because we are citizens of it, but also for its rich heritage'. He urged that the city's heritage should be taught in schools for the benefit of future generations. T Panneerselvam, Postmaster General, Chennai city region, in his address said that Madras GPO, stands testimony to the test of times and also said that not only the postal department but also other government departments should join hands to celebrate this day.

As part of the 'Madras Day' celebrations, a philatelic exhibition on 'Madras' also kicked off. G Balakrishna Das, president, South India Philatelic Association, C Selvaraj, Chief Postmaster, Anna Road HPO also took part.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #12
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Chennai does not have a proper public forum where the factors affecting our day to day life are discussed. Roads , Buses, Trains, Traffic, Drinking water, Sewers, Power, Parking facilities, School Timings etc. We see limited one issue centric letters received from the newspaper subscribers. But an overall plan and agenda is never discussed.

Madras day celebrations may please include the voice of the Chennai citizens.
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Old September 7th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #13
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It is a long known fact that chennai is a mecca for quality and afforable health care center for patients from all over india and many other countries.
Here is another article on that.
http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems...ennai&Topic=0&


Chennai hospitals offer solace to Bengali patients
Thursday September 7 2006 12:33 IST
CHENNAI: It’s like a mini Bengal in the heart of the city. At Apollo Hospitals on Greams Road, 30 percent of the total out-patients and 35 percent of in-patients every month are Bengalis, seeking medical assistance in a range of departments,
like cardiology, neurosurgery and oncology, among the rest.

A cacophony of women in impeccably-starched cotton sarees, speaking in rapid Bengali, with the bengali babus accompanying them, are a common sight at some of the leading hospitals and nursing homes in the city. And it has been decades that
Chennai has been a health hub for Bengalis seeking medical treatment at premier medical institutes in the city.

Why is it that people from West Bengal overlook hospitals and nursing homes in their own state and head towards Chennai?
An indignant Shirish Mukherjee (name changed on request), a heart patient from Kolkata, points out, ‘‘Government hospitals in West Bengal are doing a worthless job. And the private nursing homes are out there to mint money at the cost of
patients. Hence, I decided to pay a visit to Apollo in Chennai.’’

R Gopalakrishnan, head of the department of Orthopaedics, Apollo Hospitals, says, ‘‘The Bengalis believe in perfection in all avenues of life. They come to Apollo because of the perfection in health care.’’

Similar is the scene at Sankara Nethralaya, one of the prime eye hospitals in the country. Sources in the Patient Relations department at the hospital say, ‘‘Even for simple cataract operations and eye checkups, Bengalis come here.’’
A common feature among all the major hospitals here is a special group of Bengali staff to cater to their needs.

The Patient Relations department claims that the information cell which the hospital has arranged at Central Railway Station is aimed at catering to the needs of the plethora of patients who arrive in town aboard the Coromandel Express
from Kolkata.

On a visit to MV Diabetes Specialities Centre, you can see a lot of Bengali patients queuing up at the reception. Sivaranjani, secretary to the general manager, says, ‘‘To cater to the innumerable Bengali patients who come to us, we have trained our staff to interact with the patients in Bengali.’’

Along the length of Greams Road, one can observe a number of medical shops with Bengali name boards. Shanil of Sri Krishna Medicals explains, ‘‘Our shop is inundated with prescriptions from Bengali patients. There are patients who
stay in the city for six months. In fact, there are Bengalis from Assam, Bangladesh and the Gulf countries who are patients at the Apollo.’’

The shop also has a Bengali newspaper kiosk that sells leading dailies from Kolkata, like Anandabazaar and Pratidin. Though the charges per copy are automatically hiked, the shop sells more than 400 copies a day.

To provide accommodation at nominal rates for the Bengalis, Baquer Iqbal, proprietor of New Bengal Mess on Greams Road, informs that there are a host of lodges and messes tucked away at a corner of Greams Road, that cater to the middle-class communities. According to Iqbal, who also has a travel business, when the patients are completely cured, they head to pilgrimage places in the state and other nearby places.
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Old September 9th, 2006, 10:21 PM   #14
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It was time to celebrate and recognise the success of IT entrepreneurs belonging to Tamil Nadu who had done something big for the State. At the Connect2006, this year's ICT event of Tamil Nadu, Mr Shiv Nadar of HCL, Mr Arun Jain of Polaris Software Lab, Mr Kumar Mahadeva of Cognizant Technology Solution and Mr G. Vishwanathan, Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology, were given the ICICI Venture-CII Connect 2006 Entrepreneur Awards on Friday.

Mr Nadar, who was born in Tiruchendur in Tamil Nadu and who is on the Forbes List of the world's richest people, was awarded the entrepreneur from the State who made a lasting impact on information, communication and technology (ICT) in India and the world.

Three mantras


"Aspire high, listen to distant signals and do not take past as continuation, which will go into the future. Put these three together, it will stack up," Mr Nadar told the gathering after receiving the award from Union Minister of Communications and Technology, Mr Dayanidhi Maran.

In 1976, Mr Nadar started HCL, which today is a $ 3.8 billion company employing 37,000 employees globally.

Mr Arun Jain who got the award for the entrepreneur who contributed significantly to developing Tamil Nadu as a centre of ICT excellence, said talent, efficiency, innovation, vision and commitment are important to be a successful entrepreneur.

Positive environment

Tamil Nadu had a positive environment in all these areas with abundant entrepreneurs. "Ethical values brought me to the State. Chennai's value system is very right for entrepreneurs," he said.

Mr Jain, who came from Delhi and started Polaris in Chennai in 1984, said: "My biggest asset then was my scooter and the IBM typewriter that I bought for Rs 10,000 in an auction." Today, the $ 180 million company has over 5,000 employees globally, he said.

Cognizant's founder Mr Mahadeva got the award for entrepreneur for building a global business with Tamil Nadu as an outsourcing hub. The company's President and CEO, Mr Lakshmi Narayanan, received the award on his behalf.

In his speech through a video conference from NewYork, Mr Mahadeva said India's infrastructure did not keep pace with the growth of the ICT sector.

He urged the Tamil Nadu Government to take the lead in addressing this concern. "If this issue is addressed, there would be many more companies such as Cognizant in the State," he said.

Mr G. Viswanathan, Chancellor, Vellore Institute of Technology, who was given the award for fostering development of enabling resources to help make the State as an ICT hub, said his message to people was not to send children to schools that who do not have computers. He urged Mr Maran to provide infrastructure to colleges, provide Internet at a nominal charge to educational institutions and help the private institutes get World Bank aid.

`Under-investing?'

Mr Maran said: "Are we under investing in the domestic sector?" The IT capital base in India is 3.5 per cent of the total capital base. This is woefully behind the global norm of 10 per cent. Similarly, the country has 1.48 personal computers per 100 population, whereas the average PC penetration in under invested economies is 12 per 100. Broadband is less than one per cent in India compared to the average of 16 per cent.

"How do we deepen the IT capital into businesses, households, educational institutions and government? How do we geographically disperse this IT capital deepening effort to secondary cities and rural areas? These are major issues to be looked at," he said.

"As entrepreneurs, are we investing innovatively? That, to me, is the key challenge today," he said.

"If this issue is addressed, there would be many more companies such as Cognizant in the State," he said.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...1003790500.htm
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Old September 10th, 2006, 03:51 PM   #15
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Thanks Anniyan for the post.

I was really moved during the meeting. I salute these guys. Great efforts.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #16
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Cambridge varsity Business English course in colleges

Staff Reporter

Initially, students of 670 government arts and science colleges to benefit

CHENNAI: Cambridge University will offer Business English course (BEC) in all government colleges across the State.

It will soon sign a memorandum of understanding with The Directorate of Collegiate Education, Tamil Nadu.
http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/26/stor...2609000100.htm
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Old September 26th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zailsingh
More Auto news or nuisance here....
http://newstodaynet.com/21aug/rf9.htm
Autos many, worries too

NT Bureau
Chennai, Aug 21:

In the world of autorickshaw drivers, it is dog eats dog, as can be seen at the pre-paid auto service bay at Central station.
The auto- stand in Central Railway Station. Some drivers said the pre-paid system had become more a hindrance than help for drivers waiting their turn at the booth. 'Many of our own men corner passengers at the station entrance and pester them into hiring their vehicles,' said one driver.
A few other drivers said the traffic police were hand in glove with these bullies. 'The policemen are supposed to safeguard the interests of passengers and drivers. But they do not take any action against those who go out of turn.'
Passengers too said the same thing. The police introduced this service to stop auto- drivers fleecing people coming to the city. 'It worked well for just a few months, after that things went wrong,' Kamal, a regular railway commuter told this paper.
According to him, policemen on duty at the station, did not bother to stop auto- drivers, who jumped the queue and solicited passengers at the entrance. 'The errant drivers pester you, grab your bags and ask, no they demand, rates that are sometimes many times more than the stipulated amount,' Ramesh Kumar Jain, another passenger, said.
He said one driver who forced him to get into his auto had asked for Rs 150 for a trip to Royapuram. 'He thought I was new to the city,' he added.
Almost all the passengers,with whom News Today interacted with, complained of harassment and overcharging.
Auto drivers, who waited at the pre-paid auto queue also complained about police inaction. 'We wait in the queue from early morning and many times end up with no passengers. Then we too try to jump the queue and go to the entrance to get passengers,' said Ibrahim .
The moral, he added, was if you can't compete with them, join them.
URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2006/09/17/s...1715090300.htm
Quote:
Auto fare an unfair deal at Chennai Central
The pre-paid autorickshaw system has fallen victim to problems that have ailed the sector for nearly a decade now Auto drivers haggling over fare with visitors is a common sight. Even the presence of the Railway Police and other government officials has little bearing on the situation.

CHENNAI: The pre-paid autorickshaw system at the Chennai Central Railway Station, meant to provide a friendly, fair means of transport to those arriving in the city, has fallen victim to the problems that have ailed the sector for nearly a decade now. Auto drivers haggling over fare with passengers is a common sight throughout the day at the station. Even the presence of the Railway Police and other government officials has little bearing on the situation. If a passenger complains about the fleecing, the police try to pacify them rather than take stringent action against the erring auto driver. For several first time visitors, the situation is very unlike anything experienced in other cities, particularly Bangalore or Mumbai, where the governments have intervened proactively to provide a fair means of transport to those arriving at the railway stations or airport.
Any visitor, who has been to the Bangalore railway station and has experienced the manner in which the pre-paid system works there, will vouch that it is a near perfect one.
A public announcement system informs passengers that the pre-paid autorickshaw counter gives away transport slips costing Re.1. At the counter, the passengers get a computerised receipt with details about the destination, distance from the station, the method of calculation of fare and the fixed rate. A police constable then escorts the passenger to a waiting autorickshaw and ensures that the driver does not demand more.
It does not stop there. All autorickshaws display the licence of the driver, along with details such as the driver's blood group, the local police station to which the vehicle is attached and the Road Transport Office that issued the licence. This is further reassuring for the passengers.

At Chennai Central Railway Station, the receipt at the pre-paid auto stand is just a tacky slip mentioning the destination and the fare. A trip to Shanti Colony in Anna Nagar, for example, costs Rs.70. Nobody knows the method of calculation. The autodrivers at the pre-paid stand demand anything between Rs.20 to Rs.30 more than what is mentioned on the slip even as the policeman at the counter watches haplessly.M. Ramesh, a software professional from Bangalore, who comes home to Chennai on weekends finds it shocking. "I find it hard to explain to friends why there must be such a difference between the system in Chennai and the one in Bangalore. Most of the friends do not like Chennai just because of what happens here." Most autodrivers blame successive Governments' failure in revising the fare for most of the problems. Auto fares have not been revised since 1996. The official rate today stands at Rs.7 for a minimum fare of up to 2 km and Rs.3.50 for every additional km. In Bangalore, the minimum fare is Rs.12 for two km and Rs.6 for every additional km.
The failure to revise fare enables the auto drivers to demand exorbitant sums by citing the petrol price hike.
M.S. Rajendran of the CITU Auto Union says they have consulted the new Government on fare revision. "We have suggested Rs.15 as the minimum fare and Rs.7 for every additional km. If the Government agrees to revise fares, auto drivers in the city will be more than willing to run their vehicles based on meter and a fixed rate." According to the CITU, Chennai has approximately 50,000 autorickshaws running on valid permits. Add to that another 10,000 vehicles from the suburbs, the number of autos plying everyday could be over 60,000. Mr. Rajendran says there is no point in purchasing electronic meters when the fare has not been revised.
Auto drivers point out that if pre-paid stands are to succeed then all drivers must be allowed to access them. Currently, only a set of auto drivers are permitted by the Railway Police to enter the pre-paid stand. The drivers allege this has led to formation of cartels.
why can't the Govt revise the auto fares?

Last edited by Babji; September 26th, 2006 at 02:39 AM.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 08:18 PM   #18
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While I am glad Chennai is in the list, the state Govt should work towards moving up in the ladder.

-------------------------------------
Despite Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's efforts, neither Kolkata nor the rest of West Bengal seem to figure on the map of American investors visiting India. Stating this today, John Fennerty, deputy economic counselor, US Embassy, said for any American investor or delegation, the prime destinations are Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, followed by Hyderabad and Chennai.
http://in.news.yahoo.com/061012/48/68ggm.html
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Old October 13th, 2006, 08:45 PM   #19
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Rigging in Civic poll

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Old October 13th, 2006, 09:41 PM   #20
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Bedlam in Chennai local polls

Large-scale violence and booth-capturing vitiated the Chennai Corporation Council elections on Friday as workers of the ruling DMK and its allies clashed with cadres of the AIADMK-led Opposition in several wards.

The AIADMK moved the Madras High Court seeking to declare the polling in all the 155 wards null and void. A Bench comprising Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla ordered notice to the State Election Commission, the police department and the Chief Minister and DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, and posted the matter on Monday for further proceedings.

Complaints of bogus voting were sporadic in the morning and some wards witnessed brisk polling, but by noon several booths witnessed attacks and counter-attacks by members of the DMK-led alliance and supporters of the AIADMK. In several wards of Vyasarpadi, West Mambalam and Besant Nagar, voters who reached the booths after 11 a.m. were told by officials to leave citing "unusual circumstances."

By 1 p.m., the AIADMK took to the streets and staged road-rokos along Royapuram Main Road and Sydenhams Road in Otteri protesting against "irregularities" in the polls. They pelted stones at the police. Some demonstrators, including an MLA, P.K. Sekhar Babu, were injured when the police used batons to disperse the crowds. Several buses were damaged in the violence. Later the protesters were arrested.

In a booth at Stella Maris College, a group of DMK workers led by a partyman identified as Balaji drove past the police personnel, cast bogus votes, and tore up some ballot papers. When the AIADMK agent protested, he was punched in the face.

Actor and leader of the DMDK, Vijayakanth, also met City Police Commissioner Letika Saran to demand a repoll using Central para-military forces instead of the State police. He said his party was boycotting the polls.

Ballot papers were strewn on the streets in a few polling stations in Mint and Vyasarpadi in north Chennai and Raja Annamalaipuram and Saidapet in south Chennai.

Near the Chennai Corporation Urdu School in Mint, a group of Congress volunteers led by R. Mano and another group of AIADMK partymen came close to blows around 11 a.m. Both the groups charged each other with trying to prevent peaceful polls.The polling officials at the school said a knife-wielding gang had earlier snatched the ballot papers from the booths. Ballot papers were strewn all over Srinivasapuram.

Some in the group carried iron and wooden rods. A few journalists were caught in the melee and had to flee. The police who arrived at the spot dispersed the groups.

In a similar incident, a gang ransacked the ballot boxes at the M.P. Devadas High School at Vyasarpadi around 11.45 a.m. and tore up the ballot papers. Polling was stalled in all 13 booths of Ward 35 in the school. Election authorities later in the day said repoll would be held for the ward.

In Ayanavaram, a Tata Sumo carrying at least eight persons was allowed free entry into three booths. The youths spent about five to eight minutes in each booth.

Several residents called up The Hindu to complain that armed groups scared them away from polling booths. In a few instances, the gang members, comprising youths in the age group 20 to 25, even snatched ballot papers from voters and forcibly cast the votes.

At the Corporation Middle School in Thideer Nagar, Saidapet (ward 140), polling agents of the Opposition parties alleged that DMK volunteers forced them to vacate the booths. Around 10 a.m., a group of journalists saw a mob take over the booth. The voters who stood in the queue were not allowed to cast their votes for several minutes. Some youths were seen casting several votes in succession.
http://www.hindu.com/2006/10/14/stor...1414420100.htm
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