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Chennai International Queer Film Festival

Good morning, Chennai!

🌦️ Today’s weather: Cloudy skies with the possibility of rain.

🧐 Did you know? What’s now the Madras Medical College (MMC) was once a hospital used to treat soldiers of the East India Company. It was opened in 1664 by Sir Edward Winter. In 1835, by an order from Governor Frederick Adam, it was regularised as MMC.

🛣️ Widening the Chennai-Tirupathi highway

Work on expanding the highway will begin soon as money has been allocated to acquire land.

What’s going to happen? After a six-year break, expanding the 22-km Padi-Thiruninravur stretch of the Chennai-Tirupati Highway will begin again with ₹152 crores released by the highways department to acquire land. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also started work to turn the 17-km Thiruninravur-Tiruvallur stretch of the highway into four lanes.

  • The highway sees traffic congestion during peak hours from the Ambattur Estate junction to the Padi flyover. The four-lane highway becomes two lanes near the Ambattur railway station.
  • Part of the work includes converting the two-lane road overbridge into a six-lane stretch near the station. To facilitate the smooth passage of vehicles to Tirupati, the government, in 2007, proposed an upgrade.

Delays & issues: Differences between government agencies in transferring land to the highways department meant the project was abandoned in 2010-11. The number of vehicles using this stretch increased and crossed 1 lakh in 2013. After more delays, the work, scheduled to begin again in 2014, was delayed due to problems in locating boundaries for land parcels.

🏳️‍🌈 Queer film festival

The tenth edition of Reel Desires: Chennai International Queer Film Festival (CIQFF) will highlight films and a panel discussion on housing for the LGBTQ+ community.

What’s it about? The festival will feature a panel discussion on the urgent need for housing in the community. The films and documentaries to be screened will highlight this issue, among others. Among the 22 films being screened are short films called Pride by Arun Siddarth and Valentine @3 by city-based filmmaker Mani Shankar Iyer.

  • Concerning housing, many people from the LGBTQ+ community lost their jobs and had to return home, where they often faced harassment and violence. Some crossed states to find a safe haven.
  • Over the past decade, there have been legal and policy developments with the Transgender Rights Bill and the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Some of the films will touch on these issues.

Important details: The LGBTQ community has conducted 18 film festivals since 2004. Since 2014, it has been held under the aegis of CIQFF. In the last two years, the festival has been held online. 

  • It will return as an in-person event from November 11 to 13, organised by Orinam and Goethe-Institut in partnership with the Nirangal Charitable Trust and the NGO SAATHII.

🎫 CUMTA’s first meeting

The dormant CUMTA will finally hold its first meeting to discuss a common ticketing app.

What’s it about? The Chennai Unified Metropolitan Authority (CUMTA) will have its first meeting next week with Chief Minister MK Stalin. On the agenda is a common ticketing app by 2024. It’s the first CUMTA meeting since it was set up in 2010. Previously, the transport minister was its chairman, but the AIADMK government made changes to make the chief minister the chairman.

  • The meeting will discuss the Comprehensive Mobility Plan, a multi-modal integration, MRTS commercialisation, and the common ticketing app.
  • CUMTA will call for tenders for a transaction advisor to study the ticketing system of different public transportation systems. The MTC and the Metro have their own cashless ticketing systems.

Necessity: KP Subramanian, a former professor of urban engineering, said reviving CUMTA will help the operational integration of all transport systems with a single ticket. The mobile app and an integrated ticketing platform will be a boon for passengers.

🕰️ The life of a clockman

Chennai’s clockman Robert Kennedy’s hobby earned him a place in the record books.

Who is he? For Kennedy, collecting clocks of all types, shapes, and sizes began as a hobby in his teens. Now he has more than 1,700 in his collection. He’s also in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the world’s smallest pendulum clock, which is 1.5 inches long. His grandfather was the inspiration when his supervisor gave him a wind-up Ansonia clock. He would help him clean and wind it every week.

  • His collection is among the largest in the world. The oldest one is a 290-year-old clock handmade in England. When he posted it on social media, other collectors said they hadn’t seen another like it.
  • His favourite is the Big Ben Alarm Clock. He was the only one in his college hostel with an alarm clock. He also spoke of a woman in England who gifted him three high-end catalogue clocks.

Future plans: To increase the popularity of this hobby, he plans to open a trust museum to display some of his collections. He said he’ll be happy if they can be displayed at the Egmore museum for tourists and visitors.

📊 Today’s Poll

(Only subscribers can participate in the polls)

Were you a member of any club in college?

  • Yes, I was a member of a club in college.
  • No, I wasn’t a member of any club in college.

❓ Today’s Question

(Only subscribers can submit their answers)

What was your favourite family trip?

Reply to this email with your answers.

🗞️ In other news…

  • A partnership between TIDCO and GE Aviation has set up the Tamil Nadu Advance Manufacturing Centre of Excellence (TAMCoE).
  • Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy inspected the Vadalpani metro station and interacted with commuters.
  • No illumination at the Chitlapakkam Lake has worried regulars. about whether the space is safe.
  • Intense rainfall over the past couple of weeks has meant storage in reservoirs feeding Chennai will last till next July.
  • An exhibition has opened at the Roja Muthiah Library to explore the roots of sexual violence against women in four South Asian countries.

🛋️ Local Lounge

Yesterday’s Poll:

  • Some lifestyle changes during the pandemic have remained: 80.0% 🏆
  • Lifestyle changes during the pandemic were only temporary: 20.0%

That’s it for today. Have a great day!

Chennai news in just 5 minutes

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