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All About Madurai's Parks, Theme Parks, Multiplexes, Game Zones, Hotels, Tourism etc.,
 #7523  by Sundar
 November 1st, 2012, 8:40 pm
Leisure in Madurai has taken a new turn as entertainment hotspots are pulling in the crowds.

Madurai for long has been tagged as an entertainment-starved town. But of late people are spending time in style. Games, multi-dimensional video screens and other entertainment arenas have come closer. Weekends are no longer meant to be spent at home. TV watching, temple visits, kadai veethi cruises and kulakarai gossip are gone, and families descend on malls to window shop, eat out, and have fun.

The latest hotspots are gaming lounges in Vishaal Mall, installed by local and global companies. From mamas and mamis to kutties, everyone goes gaga over these games.

Bowled over

For sports lovers the right place is the ten-pin bowling alley that opened four months ago. “Unlike olden days, people are ready to splurge for fun,” says Kalidas, manager at the bowling alley. “Most of the gamers are kids and teenagers apart, from a few oldies. The bowling alley has become a family recreation spot.” Brought to town by a Hyderabad-based entertainment firm, the alley is nearly 56 metres long and is built over 620 square feet. It has three lanes.

Mahesh, winner of the Chennai district-level bowling tournament, explains, “It’s a simple game. Ten frames are counted as one game and a frame includes two shots. If a player clears all the pins at the first shot, it is called a ‘strike’ and if it takes two shots to clear, it is known as ‘spare’.” He adds, “This is the only place in South Tamil Nadu to have a bowling alley and on average we get 70 gamers per day.”

Abbas, a regular bowler, says, “It is fun-cum-fitness. Bowling burns calories and promotes weight loss. It strengthens joints, ligaments and tendons.” According to Muthukrishnan, system administrator, bowling is a great way to gauge one’s state of mind as the game reflects the concentration levels of an individual. “As it is a group activity, it also helps you make many new friends.” Though there are rules for the game and the score board keeps showing your points, most of the people who come to the bowling alley are playing for fun. Swanky well-lit interiors and a chirpy young crowd make you feel upbeat and peppy. A game costs Rs.100 per head and the alley is open on all days.

If you are more interested in video gaming, then walk into an adjacent play area that has over 46 machines with various 3D games, including car races, shooting games, puzzles, and dancing and motion sensor games. Reveals Kalidas, “Apart from the kids, even homemaker mothers play these games.” Some of the games popular among children are Fast and furious, Time Crisis, Hippo Park and Candy Factor. Racing games are fancied by middle-aged women. Sarada, a homemaker, says, “I don’t drive on real roads. But virtual car driving gives me a similar feeling.” Valli says her children find the mall play areas the place to relax. “Tamukkam ground was the only place we used to go for entertainment as kids,” she says.

Adrenaline rush

If these don’t excite you, head for Horror House, a walkthrough designed to terrify. Once you enter the house, a corpse hanging upside down gives a deafening scream and a real-looking rubber snake falls from above. Next is a raised platform that shakes as you step on it. You cross ghosts and finally come out sweating! Horror house has seven stages to scare you. “We have planned to add five more stages,” announces Gopalakrishnan, the MD. “The idea came from my visit to Hong Kong. We have used pneumatic operations to enable automatic actions.”

Props and installations are bought from China, while compressed air is used to activate the machines. Motion sensor is installed all over the walkthrough so that the sounds and lights automatically turn on. Manager A.P. Murugan says, “Such walkthroughs are used as techniques to dispel feelings of fear and exhaust the shock quotient. It has been only 15 days since we opened and the response is tremendous.” He adds, “In countries like Singapore, men disguise themselves as ghosts and operate. But here we have made it fully automatic.”

Says Dinesh, a student who experienced Horror House along with his friends, “It was a stomach-churning encounter. The thrill was worth the time and money.” One round inside the house costs Rs. 40 per head and people mostly enter in groups. If horror is not your take, sign up for a simulator bull ride or dashing cars. Air hockey, balloon shooting and basketball are some of the other games ready to entertain Maduraiites.

Discos, pubs and clubs still remain a distant dream, but for the time being young people in the city are enjoying themselves.
 #7837  by Madurai Gilli
 December 3rd, 2012, 6:34 pm
Adopting latest technologies is not new to the Madurai Corporation but its record in sustaining these facilities has been poor

Few days back, Madurai Corporation embraced Facebook, a popular social network, as a tool for its grievance redressal mechanism. In the coming days, it would launch another internet-based tool, auto-DCR, a digital way to get building plan approval hassle-free.

Within a few days, the tech-savvy residents of Temple city accorded a warm welcome to the Corporation move to have an account in Facebook. Complaints on civic issues have started trickling in. Few youths have posted photographs too to substantiate their requests for clearing garbage. Though with a delay, the Corporation officials have started replying to the suggestions and complaints from the people.

“This is an initiative to keep pace with the changing times and also to meet the expectations of the people,” Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa, said.

Commissioner R. Nanthagopal, also promised to keep the people informed about the schedule of routine works of the local body like mass cleaning, fogging, encroachment removal and dog catching. “This will help the people keep tab on the employees and see whether the works are carried out as per the schedule,” he said.

On the face of it, it might look that the Corporation is getting hooked to technology for the first time. However, its history shows that the urban local body had started adopting the latest technologies as early as 2004. But, the sad part is that the administration, over the years, had failed to utilise them effectively. The technologies were discarded citing some or other practical difficulties or because of the unwillingness of the employees. The tax-payers money spent on these facilities have gone down the drain.

The result - the common man’s patience was tested with the ubiquitous red-tapism for many of the routine services. Be it getting a birth/death certificate or getting a building plan approved or the simple task of paying property tax, people were made to wait for days or run pillar to post to get their job done. This gave enough room for middlemen, including politicians and employees, to exploit the helplessness of residents.

The Corporation picked up the concept of e-governance in the mid 2000s with the online tax collection facility. The then Commissioner A. Karthik, said that the facility helped in easy monitoring of daily collection of taxes. The exercise also revealed that tax collected by the bill collectors from the residents were not accounted for in the Corporation exchequer. The touch screen facility was introduced for the benefit of the residents to know their dues. The Corporation’s website boasts of the city becoming the first urban local body to introduce video conferencing facility. It facilitated the Mayor and Commissioner to visually communicate with the Assistant Commissioners on important issues without having to waste time and fuel for vehicles for coming to the main office.

Among the facilities introduced was the electronic attendance system, using bio-metric device, for the Corporation employees.

However, except for the online tax collection that has been expanded manifold, many of the initiatives were dumped mid-way due to non-cooperation of the employees and the lackadaisical attitude of the administration, an official said. Video-conferencing facility among the officials in various zones remains unused, officials sources said. The closed circuit television network to monitor the employees has become defunct. The GPS equipment fitted in the water tankers were broken within days. The equipment that worked off-line was meant to ensure that the drivers do not deviate from the stipulated route. Amidst much fanfare the online system of toll collection on the Ring Road was inaugurated. The officials claimed that it would help the Commissioner monitor daily collections at any point of time. However, despite revelations of corrupt practices, no computerised tickets have been issued till date.

Few lakhs were spent on setting up “Blue Brigade,” a vehicle with advanced equipment to detect leakage of water in underground pipelines without having to dig the roads. However, precious drinking water, oozing out from roads, continues and officials fail to notice this. The sad part is that the Blue Brigade lies idling at the corporation vehicle shed with its tyres missing. The Mayor said that the administration was ready to adopt all the available technologies that makes work easier for the administration and provides hassle-free services. “If relevant today, we are ready to revive these defunct facilities one by one,” he assured. ... 159984.ece
 #7838  by Madurai Gilli
 December 3rd, 2012, 6:36 pm

Patronage drops for the novel initiative that aided both farmers and a health conscious public

The increase in power cuts in the past few months has taken a heavy toll on ‘Uzhavan Unavagam’ (Farmer’s Eatery), the novel initiative undertaken by the former Madurai Collector U. Sagayam to help both the farmers and an increasingly health conscious urban populace.

Opened with much fanfare in September 2011 in an effort to revive traditional food culture, the eatery serves various recipes made exclusively out of minor millets and other agricultural products.

In order to cater to the tastes of an urban population, the health foods are packaged into contemporary dishes such as dosa, idly and soup.

Stalls were allotted to farmers who underwent training at Home Science College and Research Institute in Madurai.

However, stall keepers told The Hindu that the patronage, while very high initially, had dropped in the past few months as the eatery was, literally, languishing in darkness because of the power cuts. The stalls were open only in the evening hours between 4.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. Of these five hours, power supply is disrupted for at least three hours. With the farmers running the stalls, being financially weak, they are unable to afford inverters or generators. Cooking with the aid of candles and emergency lamps was also proving very difficult.

In the initial stages, the eatery serviced more than 500 consumers on week days and 700 on week ends generating an average daily income of nearly Rs. 8,000 for the farmers. In the first four months of its operation, the eatery served a total of 65,000 consumers generating nearly Rs. 10 lakh, according to official sources. At present, the arrivals have dropped to around 300 on week days and 500 on week ends.

“Only the regular customers are ready to eat in the dark as they find the food here to be very nutritious. Even they complain that their family members are reluctant to eat in the dark,” a stall keeper said.

A doctor from Dindigul, who was a regular patron, said that Uzhavan Unavagam was a rare opportunity for an urban populace that was increasingly facing a lot of lifestyle-related health issues. Such initiatives have to be promoted as the food offered here was very healthy and difficult to obtain otherwise.

Stall keepers said that they were taking part in events organised by various hospitals in the city as many doctors were advising their dishes for sugar and diabetic patients. More than 40 varieties of millet based recipes were served at these stalls. The dishes served include, among others, sola dosai, ragi idly, varagu pongal, mudakkathan dosai, ragi murukku and sola biscuits.

Further, many foreign tourists and Indian living aboard who had tasted their food while in Madurai were asking for more after returning to their countries. ... 159950.ece
 #7897  by Sundar
 December 6th, 2012, 5:54 pm
Looks like 90% of the works are completed and will be ready for inauguration in a week.
 #7903  by Madurai Gilli
 December 6th, 2012, 11:51 pm
^^ ஒரு வழியா கோழி கடை வந்திருச்சா ? ஆனா இங்க நம்ம மீட்டிங் போடா முடியாதே ! கச கச-ன்னு இருக்கும் ! :D

Rumors floating that the Second KFC-Madurai is on the way at West Masi Street..Not sure what they're trying to convey..!! But there's a high chance as Multi-Functional Complex building plan is showing a moderate Restaurant..Just a guess..எப்பவும் போல கை விரல கோணலா வெச்சிக்கிருவோம் !! :lol:
 #7905  by Madurai guy
 December 7th, 2012, 8:13 am
West Masi street la Marry brown varuthu ipo finger'a straight'a veinga Dr.Ghilli...

 #7906  by madurakarenda
 December 7th, 2012, 8:37 am
^^ Good.

Hoping for somebody to tap the market in Iyer Bungalow, Tirunagar areas.

 #7912  by joshua_2020
 December 7th, 2012, 4:42 pm
Madurai guy wrote:^^
West Masi street la Marry brown varuthu ipo finger'a straight'a veinga Dr.Ghilli...


Gr8 news...Within 2 years 3 outlets....
 #7934  by Sundar
 December 8th, 2012, 11:07 am
joshua_2020 wrote:
Madurai guy wrote:^^
West Masi street la Marry brown varuthu ipo finger'a straight'a veinga Dr.Ghilli...


Gr8 news...Within 2 years 3 outlets....
Today morning I saw the location of the 3rd outlet. Interior works are in progress.

I am bit concerned about the location. You can't even park your bi-cycle there. :crazy:
 #7948  by Madurai guy
 December 10th, 2012, 2:16 pm
Today morning I saw the location of the 3rd outlet. Interior works are in progress.

I am bit concerned about the location. You can't even park your bi-cycle there. :crazy:

They had opened MB today with some parking place for few two wheelers. But can't park car. Anyhow I'll go today evening and let you know the real scenario....
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