Chennai Metropolitan Area: End of road for old-fashioned plans?

CMDA looking beyond detailed development plans, to focus on transit-oriented growth.

Published: 03rd April 2018 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2018 03:56 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI : As the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) has been expanded from 1,189 square km to 8,878 square km by bringing in 1,709 villages of the neighbouring districts of Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Vellore under CMA, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is now doing away with rudimentary planning and focusing on plans which will generate mobility.A top official told Express that  CMDA is looking beyond detailed development plans for Chennai. “The focus is now on grid of roads and transit-oriented development,” he said. He was reacting to the concerns of planners who claim that the current metropolitan area is undeveloped as only 10 per cent of city has detailed development plans.

Planners have stated that under the existing Chennai Metropolitan Area there are 57 detailed development plans and that too, they were prepared in 1980s. “Currently, five detailed development plans are being prepared and none has final approval,” said K M Sadanandh, president of Association of Professional Town Planners.Sadanandh told Express that 90 per cent of the Chennai Metropolitan Planning Area (CMPA) has mere land use plans which have not been updated even once in the last 10 years since the approval of the second master plan.

According to the Association of Professional Town Planners, the second master plan has various committees which include traffic and transportation, investment and infrastructure, land use and environment, shelter, economy and employment, which are supposed to meet every three months to make suitable recommendations to the authority on review of master plan for every two years. Surprisingly none of the committees have met once since the approval of the second master plan.

When queried about it, the CMDA official said that he would look into the issue.
Stressing the need for formation of the Town and Country Planning Board to advise the government on development activities, Sadanandh said his proposal to the Housing Department includes formation of the Metropolitan Planning Development Authority for cities with a population of more than one million.

Need of the hour
n    Convene various committees to review the second master plan. The committees have hardly met
n    Quality of technical and administrative manpower requirements is not adequate for expansion 
of CMA.
n    There is a lack of qualified town planners as qualified town planners have not been recruited directly in the last 25 to 30 years
n    Purpose and outcome of expansion of CMA are not revealed
n    Out of 125 sections of Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, over 50 sections are non-functional and inactive

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