Monday, November 29, 1999

Tamil pride to mark Chennai roads

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Chennai, June 15 -- Like other metros before it, Chennai has joined the name-changing game with gusto. Visitors familiar with Haddows Road, Sterling Road and Harrington Road, among others, may soon find themselves traversing unfamiliar territories - with old roads sporting names of Tamil scholars and eminent personalities from the state. Chennai is now going Tamil aggressively by proposing to remove the names of Britishers and Europeans from many of its roads. So, Haddows Road, Sterling Road, Harrington Road, the elite tree-lined addresses in central Chennai, are set to be renamed in line with Tamil pride that the DMK government wishes to spread. These roads are known for their sprawling bungalows where the high and mighty of the professional world, trade and commerce wined and dined with British before Independence. Today, they retain some of the glory but have given way to high-rise residential complexes and commercial establishments. The decision to change the names of 52 roads in the city was taken after the Chennai Corporation members adopted a resolution to this effect at an all-party meeting on Monday. The resolution comes prior to the four-day World Classical Tamil Conference starting in Coimbatore on June 23 and close on the heels of a DMK government move to enforce traders and shopkeepers to put up sign-boards in Tamil. The corporation will hold a renaming ceremony after it gets the government approval. Chennai corporation mayor M Subramanian told HT on Tuesday a proposal to rename the roads would be sent to the government soon. However, not everyone is happy with this decision.

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