CHENNAI: The 63rd National Town and Country Planners Congress of the Institute of Town Planners, India, (ITPI), a three day conference, (January 9 to January 11) is being held at Amma Auditorium in Shenoy Nagar and will address issues of urban growth in the context of inclusive settlements and smart cities.
“Today, it is no longer about planning single towns, we have to simultaneously plan series of towns and improve existing towns,” said A N Sachithanandan, President, ITPI. “Through this Congress,” he said, “we hope to address issues that give rise to inequality in the midst of economic prosperity. We need to see how concepts like smart cities would address sections of people without cell phones or internet connectivity.” The chief guest, R Vaithilingam, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development and Chairman, Chennai Metropolitan Development authority (CMDA), outlined the development projects of the government.
“Chennai’s population has grown from 5 lakhs to 63 lakhs in the past 40 years. This has resulted in the creation of slums and the government has taken steps to eradicate slums and construct (pucca) houses for slum dwellers,” said Vaithilingam.
Measures to implement the laying of roads, pedestrian rights, non-motorised transport plans and beach beautification are largely being addressed. Investments of `33 crore for Marina Beach beautification, `197 crore, over four years, to eliminate open defecation and Rs 233 crore, over three years, for solid waste management have been allocated, he said.
The Government’s ‘Vision Tamil Nadu 2023’ is a strategic plan for infrastructure development in Tamil Nadu that aims to enhance the State’s economic and social indicators.
S P Velumani, the Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development, said, “Vision 2023 aims for inclusive growth by making the state poverty free and providing for the disadvantaged and the vulnerable sections of society with adequate social security measures.”
He added that the goal is to make Tamil Nadu one of the top three preferred investment destinations in Asia and the most preferred in India. Participants in the 63rd Congress also spoke on the need to develop satellite towns, build sustainable settlements and ensure affordable housing is available for those who are in the lower income levels.
The 63rd Congress has been organised by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Chennai Corporation and TNHB.