Chennai’s new masterplan to focus on curbing climate change impact

CMDA prepares masterplan as part of World Bank-aided housing development project

Published: 02nd October 2020 04:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2020 04:33 AM   |  A+A-

Till now, the CMDA has received 18,601 applications for regularisation of building violations. (File photo)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Chennai’s new masterplan, which is now being prepared by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority with the technical assistance from World Bank, will focus on reducing the impact of natural disasters due to climate change. The second Master Plan which has been drawn up for the period till 2026, did not focus on disaster and climate resilience of the city, and the CMDA has started groundwork for the new masterplan by seeking GIS Expert and Climate Resilience and Environmental Specialist to devise a raodmap for urban growth of the city till 2046.

The second Master Plan was prepared to provide regulations for development and building activity. It envisages a population of 58 lakh for the city and 126 lakh for Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) by 2026. But with the proposed city limits being expanded from 1,189 sqkm to 8,878 sqkm, will the masterplan have to take into proposed urban growth in the new areas? Former Anna University professor of urban engineering K P Subramanian, who had opposed CMA expansion, told Express that the new masterplan could not include the proposed expansion as the provisional notification has lapsed.

Official sources said the preparation of the masterplan is part of the Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development  Project (TNHHDP), a World Bank-financed project of the State government. A total of USD 9 million for CMDA, up to financial year 2023-24 has been approved by the World Bank, a source said. The technical assistance from World Bank includes a climate and disaster resilience study and geo-spatial mapping to feed into the Master Plan preparation process, as well as undertaking analytics on river drainage basin and flood plain mapping.  

This would include support to development of a comprehensive vision for future urbanisation of Chennai plugging into and supporting the proposed Chennai City Partnership program (another project proposed to be financed by World Bank). The focus of the new masterplan will be to strengthen urban planning systems including  supporting the preparation of guidelines that support the Master Plan process. It also includes capacity building towards establishing modern and inclusive land use  planning systems and twinning with an international city on metropolitan planning functions.  

A source said the GIS Expert will be part of the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) set up at CMDA, whose role would include  implementing the GIS roadmap prepared as part of the Master Plan Process and Capacity study. The new masterplan will include a  metropolitan growth vision for Chennai Metropolitan Area, including establishing a geo-spatial platform towards preparation of land use planning.

This will focus on increasing affordability of housing and building capacity of the institution to coordinate  and  aggregate  multi-sector  spatial  information towards preparation of the masterplan. K P Subramanian said that the new masterplan should do away with conventional planning which used to focus on land use planning only. The focus of the third masterplan should be to focus on creating infrastructure and then on development.  “Usually, the focus is on development and then on infrastructure and this has created chaos,” he said.

India Matters


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