CHENNAI: There are only 56 qualified town planners of the total 232 staff in the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority while in the Directorate of Town and Country Planning and subordinate offices there are only 10 planners having postgraduate qualifications, according to official sources.
This comes as the state government is giving finishing touches to the proposed common cadre of qualified town planners during a crucial meeting this week.
Currently, in urban local bodies - municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayats — no person with town planning qualification is available, according to official sources. According to CMDA sources, there are currently vacancies for 81 positions in town planning and there is a need for 307 more posts.
The proposal to have the common cadre of town planners was announced last year by Chief Minister Eddapadi K Palaniswamy. It is learnt that unlike the usual recruitment process, the cadre will have multi-dimensional approach with planners being recruited on the basis of their qualifications.
This would mean that most of the urban local bodies including municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayat which lack specialised town planners will now have qualified planners. Since the expertise in town planning and knowledge will not be available with engineering staff of local bodies, a common pool of town planners under the control of the Directorate of Town and Country Planning was suggested as a mechanism to create a resource pool of town planners well acquainted with development regulations
It is learnt that the common cadre will do away with those recruited on the basis of correspondence course that is not recognised under the All India Council of Technical Education.
This has been one of the issues plaguing CMDA where in some cases unqualified planners were given an advantage over the qualified planners, based on such correspondence courses.
As per information available with Express, the town and country planner should have a professional graduate or post-graduate qualification in town and country planning in accordance with nomenclature like urban planner, regional planner, environmental planner, transport planner and infrastructure planner. An associate member of the Institute of Town Planner is also being treated on a par with postgraduate in planning. The move to have common cadre is welcomed by planners.
State has an urban population of 34.95 million out of 72.14 million.
State has 1038 urban settlements
Local bodies like municipal corporations and municipalities don’t have qualified town planners