A quick roadside bite in Chennai may be a thing of the past. As the water crisis deepened in the city, small restaurants and eateries have decided to stop serving full meals, following a decision on this by the Chennai Hotel Owners’ Association. The Association members, who operate roadside restaurants, say snacks like idli and dosa, which consume less water, might still be continued, but full meals with dishes like sambar and rasam and require a lot of water to cook, might be stopped for the time being. That will also help tackle the problem of cleaning huge utensils and tumblers. The price of water sold in 12,000-litre tanker lorries shot up to Rs 2,500 from Rs 1,800 earlier this month, and is now available at Rs 5,000.
Communists of India, unite?
It is one of the longest-running debates in Indian politics — when, if at all, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) will reunite. After this year’s Lok Sabha polls, the CPI has once again reached out to the CPI(M) for reunification. The CPI(M) is the bigger of the two parties but in the current Lok Sabha it has only three members against the CPI’s two. CPI chief S Sudhakar Reddy recently met the CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury on the reunification process and handed him a letter to that effect. The CPI(M) circulated the letter in its central committee meeting, but no decision has been taken. The CPI is hopeful that at least the CPI(M) cadre would put pressure on its party leadership to reunify. The CPI(M) was formed in 1964, when several leaders walked out of the CPI.
On the back foot
A few years ago, when a customer would enquire about a luxury real estate project in South Mumbai, the sales people would reply that the apartments would be sold “only on an invitation” basis. Sometimes, the builders would enquire about the car the customer was driving to assess whether the customer could buy their Rs 5 crore flat. Thanks to demonetisation and crackdown on black money by the Narendra Modi government, real estate hoarders have run away from the market. Now the same builders are sourcing the customer data base from car dealers, telecom companies, luxury shops, and enticing potential customers with “wine and cheese” events, high tea and even dinners in the buildings that are almost ready but have no takers.