5X expansion may give Chennai reward and pain

Other projects, including the double-decker highway from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal and the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor, are also on the anvil. 

Published: 01st January 2023 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st January 2023 05:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  he year 2022 has seen Chennai’s metropolitan area expanding by five times on paper, and its implications on the ground are likely to be seen in 2023. With a total of 5,904 sq kilometres under the ambit of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), growth in the capital city’s surrounding regions might become more planned.

Similarly, the state government is expected to execute its plans to create an urban planning body exclusively for Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Hosur and Madurai. In the new year, these initiatives might largely shape the urban development in the four major urban clusters.

Besides the expansion of city limits, some of the other major projects that could help in Chennai’s growth are the five proposed satellite towns, the development of land around the Outer Ring Road, and the extension of metro rail to Sholinganallur. 

Other projects, including the double-decker highway from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal and the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor, are also on the anvil. However, experts warn that the expansion of the cities and its suburbs may adversely impact the environment. Former Anna University professor of Urban Engineering, KP Subramanian, said the city expansion will result in loss of biodiversity, forest cover, and waterbodies.

Aarthi Lakshminarayanan of the consulting firm, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, explained if the surrounding regions are developed, there would be a lesser influx of people to the city’s core. “The expansion of the city limits may lead to uniform growth in the regions surrounding the cities. This will help reduce the stress on the core city’s infrastructure and resources. It also makes way for better investment and uniform distribution opportunities both in the core city and the surrounding areas,” she pointed out.

A Shankar, Chief Operating Officer, Strategic Consulting and Valuation, JLL West Asia, a property consulting firm, said the expansion would succeed if the new areas are provided with growth corridors, and rail and road connectivity. “The formation of the new urban planning authorities (in Coimbatore and Tiruppur) decentralises the planning approvals and also allows the initiation of proposals for infrastructure development for urban plan areas in line with CMDA. This paves way for approaching the lending agencies which can contribute to major development of planning area of respective authorities,” says S Sridharan, Chairman, Urban Development Affordable Housing Committee, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India.

Speaking to TNIE, Coimbatore Corporation commissioner M Prathap said, “The Tamil Nadu government is taking necessary steps in forming a CMDA-like body in Coimbatore. The Coimbatore city will likely be getting its own ‘Coimbatore Urban Development Authority (CUDA)’ by next year. A month ago, a G.O. was issued for the formation of the body. An IAS officer will be appointed to lead the CUDA. Once established and implemented, people constructing large infrastructure with a built-up area of over 10,000 sq.ft need not visit Chennai to apply for building plan approval with the DTCP. Instead, they can get it from CUDA.”

Tiruppur Exporters and Manufacturer Association (TEAMA) President MP Muthurathinam said, “Once Tiruppur Urban Development Authority takes off, we believe, it will be a game changer. We are yet to receive communication regarding the Urban Development Area and limits which could include villages near Tiruppur city. The area’s specification could be larger than the existing Tiruppur Local Planning Area. Besides, on the state level, we want a large textile zone comprising Tiruppur, Erode, and Karur.”

(With inputs from Saravanan @ Coimbatore)

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