Third master plan for Chennai to be notified by December 2025 or April 2026

The third master plan for Chennai, being prepared by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), will likely be notified by December 2025 or April 2026.

CHENNAI: The third master plan for Chennai, being prepared by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), will likely be notified by December 2025 or April 2026. As part of it, the CMDA launched the visioning exercise here on Monday.

The first visioning workshop was launched by Housing Minister S Muthuswamy. It aims to set the vision for the third master plan which will envisage holistic, environmentally sustainable, economically vibrant and inclusive development in Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA). It is learnt that three visioning workshops will be undertaken, after which the draft will be finalised for the urban restructuring of Chennai.

The 20-year vision document for the master plan for Chennai will be prepared by LEA Associates South Asia Pvt Ltd, an operating company of the LEA Group, Canada, in a joint venture with L&T Infrastructure Engineering. The third master plan is likely to have a long-term vision for development through a participatory approach while reviewing global experiences in building a city vision. Like the second master plan, the third master plan will be finalised for 1,189 sq km. Minister Muthuswamy said a regional plan will be prepared for the areas once the expansion of CMA is announced.

The third master plan will be different as it will be GIS-based. It will also focus on disaster management following the report on sea level rise and sustainable development, said housing secretary Hitesh Kumar Makwana.

Preparation of the vision document is part of the Tamil Nadu Housing and Habitat Development Project (TNHHDP), a World Bank-financed initiative of the State government. A total of $9 million has been approved by the World Bank as part of the project.

Interestingly, only 5% of the entire Tamil Nadu has been brought under planned development and the state is preparing to bring in the remaining area under planned growth. "The government is keen to have master plans for 20 cities in Tamil Nadu," said Makwana. He said master plans of Hosur and Coimbatore have been prepared and are awaiting government clearance.

Vanessa Peter of IRDUC, who attended the event, said that the third master plan should focus on the inclusion of the marginalised sections. The citizens' survey available in the portal will not be accessible for the most vulnerable sections and therefore there should be a clear-cut methodology evolved to ensure the inclusion of different vulnerable sections. Need for strengthening intersectional approach to planning, plans should also be child-friendly and accessible for the elderly and persons with disability.

Disability rights activist Vaishnavi Jayakumar said the exercise was a well-intentioned beginning with some attempt at tick box representation. However, there is much to do to achieve truly inclusive stakeholder feedback. "We have requested more notice, venue accessibility and sign language interpreter in the frame of live video henceforth. Personally, I am not happy that the website in question is not government but a private entity. Also, the survey form is inaccessible to the blind." she added.

The event was attended by Greater Chennai Corporation Mayor R Priya, MSME Minister T M Anbarasan, MLAs, members of parliament, representatives from non-government organisations and academicians.
Meanwhile, Minister Muthusamy announced that the government is likely to broaden Anna Salai and other key arterial roads.

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