Battle tanks are something that is mostly seen in cantonments, rally/parades or at other places where they are kept as showpieces. A battle tank is seen as a sign of power and Army strength, which is the reason why most mere mortals like us just gawk at it when the occasion comes. However, what if one day you see a tank rolling past your friendly neighbourhood. Let that sink in properly, because the same is a regular sight in some parts of the country. The video below showcases a similar scene as depicted above, where a tank just casually trots by the streets. It is even more bizarre than it sounds, check it out to see for yourself folks.
The irony here is the fact that the people present at the spot are chilling out, in a typical I-couldn’t-care-less mood. The guy who passes the tank in his Royal Enfield Thunderbird seems more concerned about the cow rather than the big mighty machine rolling beside him. Few other locals seen on the other side of the road seem to be too engrossed in their own regular life that they can’t pay attention to petty issues like a tank passing them on the streets. Not every city in India could boast of such a scene. On the contrary, many of us might have seen people stopping in their tracks to see a big crane at its works. Wonder how would they react to this.
This video is from a place called Avadi, which is a residential locality in the western part of the city of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. The reason why the people are behaving so chill is because of a manufacturing arm located here. It builds and tests such tanks here since long and the locals have grown accustomed to seeing such things. On paying close attention to the video, you will see that the tank is not moving on the tarmac roads but alongside it. This actually is a stone path made for the purpose only. Specialised tracks with square-shaped rocks have been laid along the route for the tanks to pass. The route passes through the main road that connects different residential areas of the locality.
The tank seen in the video is a T-72 MBT (Main Battle Tank). They are known as Ajeya tanks in India and are actually Russian T-72 tanks. India began purchasing T-72 tanks from the USSR in 1978 and at the same time, local production of the T-72M1 tank was undertaken at the Heavy Vehicles Factory at Avadi. In Avadi, tanks regularly pass between the Engine Factory of the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) and the trial ground of Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA). The distance between the Engine Factory and the sandy trial ground is around five kilometres, and about 30 tanks frequent this path daily. This again explains why the locals did not even turn their heads around to see these beastly machines.