PREAMBLE: CHALMERS GRANARIES
Chalmers Granaries were once a well-known landmark in Colombo, or precisely in Pettah. These were a complex of grain stores, situated in the square shaped land surrounded by Olcott Mawatha, Front Street (Malwatta Road), Main Street-Baron Jayathilake Mawatha and the canal between Fort and Pettah. These buildings once served as a granary or a store of imported grain before the distribution within the country. Why is ‘Snippets’ writing about ‘Chalmers’? Read on!
The granaries functioned for decades, ensuring food security and sanitary food supplies until it was closed down. Chalmers Granaries are now no more as those were demolished some years ago to make way for modern buildings, yet to be built upon the site. The granary will be forgotten with time, although its name still being mentioned as the name of a place.
09 ACRE PARKING LOT AT CHALMERS GRANARIES
When a motorist drives to Pettah for business/shopping he/she would find it more convenient to park in the vast land space in the area once known as ‘Chalmers Granaries’. Until the Megapolis Project takes ‘care’ of the 09 acre Chalmers Granary hopefully in the next few years, this area would continue to serve as a Parking Lot. ‘Snippets’ parked his vehicle in the ‘Granary’ recently and observed absolute chaos with long lines of traffic attempting to enter or exit from the single point available. A bit of common sense here: Do widen the Entry/Exit point or have separate and dedicated Entry and Exit points to ease the gridlock – no rocket science, really!
BAN PARADES BLOCKING MAIN ROADS
Roads are for commuting from Point A to point B – for transportation of people, goods, produce, building materials – whatever; NOT for fanatical, scheming politicians to BLOCK these ‘arteries’ and obstruct traffic for hours, period! These ‘Parades’ also include Parades/Walks by prominent schools in Colombo and other major cities that openly flout road safety rules and get away with it – an observant and civic conscious reader complained to ‘Snippets’ thus: “I saw the parade of a big school near Kanatte, Bullers Road this weekend passing by, and so did my mum at a different location, and she snapped some pictures and sent me. Law-breaking highlights included:
*Sitting on the window from inside with the shutter down
*Sitting backwards in the open boot of cars - hatchbacks as well as saloons.
*Riding on the bonnet - really!
*Driving of beach buggies (which don't appear road legal) on the public road
*Riding in open low-sided trucks - standing up, dancing on roads etc..’
And the general hooliganism that perpetuates these events: Oh, and with police escort too! “I will openly say it, I am no fan of this "School culture" that our dear country has, where various schools have different levels of importance, etc...and it permeates to the unequal treatment of individuals from such schools even in the Corporate sector, but no matter how "important" the school, this is just plain dangerous. What if one of these idiots falls out and gets hit by some ‘innocent’ vehicle passing by? You can imagine the scene...” Thank you dear MOTOR reader, I fully endorse your point of view – ALL road users must conform to Rules & Regulations – we cannot continue with this madness of having some Rules being broken by a chosen few!
VW HAS BOUNCED BACK AFTER ‘DIESELGATE’
Kudos to Volkswagen Group to be once again soaring to be Top producer of cars, displacing Toyota after the recent scandal that rocked VW to its very core. All corporate watchers were unanimous in their findings that a vital factor in VW’s favour was due to their openness and acceptance of their lapses throughout the tough times – after all, to err is human and forgiveness is divine – VW customers past & present have apparently done so! We await with bated breath the all new models from VW Group which are slated to be sensational, sleek & efficient with their Electric Vehicles poised to charter new grounds – we salute VW Group – more pep to their new found zeal! Way to go Volkswagen!
The unforgettable & iconic Brian Ellias
Snippets was a huge fan of the legendary Brian Ellias and even interviewed him on PRO-FILE, the transcript of which was published by MOTOR. The ‘Road & Track’ Supplement which he conceived for The Island newspaper was much sought after each Friday. Despite his vast hands-on experience and storehouse of knowledge Brian was also a humble person who used to even reproduce some ‘Snippets’ from MOTOR which he found relevant and useful. Snippets is therefore delighted that Brian Ellias’ daughter Michelle follows in her father’s footsteps by “picking up his pen and continuing the journey he loved best” by continuing with Road & Track that appears each Friday in The Island – don’t miss it!
BULLOCK CARTS CARTING KEROSENE SEEN IN COLOMBO!
No this is not a scene from 50 years ago; I kid you not [please refer photo taken by yours truly, himself!] Look at the iron-lined narrow ‘solid’ cart wheels which would grate, grind and scratch the newly ‘carpeted’ road surfaces! Come on Police, CMC or whichever Authority, who on earth gave the nod for such Kerosene carrying Bullock Carts that would damage our road surfaces? At least take leaf from far away Puttalam that permits these Bullock Carts, but with a difference – they have all pneumatic tyres that would not cause any harm to roads. Why can’t the ‘Authorities’ at least replicate ‘Puttalam’?
SLEEPY HEADS – WORSE THAT BEING DRUNK ON THE WHEEL
So true! Seriously: worse than an anti-social and irresponsible moron drunk at the wheel. Those who watched the Spanish GP on Sunday 14 May would have noticed the prominent gantry with dire warning: “Have Zero Alcohol When at the Wheel”; yet what is deadlier than alcohol in blood of an idiotic driver? Taking the wheel and/or persisting with driving despite being ‘Sleep Deprived’. A few micro seconds of nodding whilst driving is enough to kill or maim innocents; so please be responsible!
TIPS FOR ‘SLEEPY HEADS’
[a] Do have adequate rest of at least 6 to 7 hours of unbroken sleep before driving long distance [b] Eat sensibly with sufficient proteins before the drive [not too much Carbs as it may induce drowsiness!] [c] Be adequately hydrated by drinking water often. [d] Talk to companions travelling with you or listen to your favourite tunes – silence is not Golden when driving! [c] Stop every 02 hours for bio-break or cup of tea/coffee [d] If sleepy, STOP car ASAP on road shoulder, put on Hazard Lights, lock car, have engine on with A/C, push seat to reclining position, relax, close eyes and SLEEP at least for 5 to 10 minutes. After which get off car, wash face with water, walk around a bit and resume driving – you’ll be fresh again for the next two  hours of driving – try it – I do so when required – it works like a charm!
ENJOYED DRIVE TO KOTAGALA & BACK
The ‘Vesak Holidays’ induced yours truly to take his trusty Ford Ranger to drive to Kotagala via Ginigathhena, Watawala and Hatton – the road surfaces were superb throughout – not 4WD type stuff – no wonder our Editor-in-Chief also did same drive in his magnificent Alfa Romeo! We enjoyed the drive, great company, trekking & banter!
Enjoy your Drive with Zero Alcohol and sufficient sleep before planned journey – Cheers! Dyan [email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org]