CHENNAI: There was a mix of joy and caution as T Nagar residents welcomed the selection of T Nagar for development under the smart city initiative.
The 1,717 acres of T Nagar was selected to be developed under area-based development, a component of smart city, with an estimated outlay of Rs 878 crore.
Shankar Armugham, Head, Urban Solutions, Strategic Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), a global real estate services firm, which along with Townland Consultants and Tata Consulting Engineers helped Chennai Corporation in preparing the proposal, states that it was a diverse mix of residential, commercial, retail, educational and entertainment developments that gave T Nagar the advantage for selection under the project.
Aswathy Dilip, spokesperson for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, which is helping Chennai Corporation in the smart city initiative, said T Nagar is an apt choice as it is a mixed-use multi-modal hub. “The interventions will not only improve lives of citizens who live and work there but also of those who shop, study as well as travel through this hub,” she said.
The design of T Nagar will include essential features like non-vehicle streets in certain zones like Pondy Bazaar. It would include creating a network of pedestrian and cycle friendly streets, cycle sharing for last mile connectivity, implementing smart parking management system on street and off street, smart metering, rain water harvesting and improving water supply and drainage.
Talking to Express, V S Jayaraman, member, T Nagar Welfare Association, said that selection of Chennai as a smart city and T Nagar as a area to be developed under the initiative is a welcome step. “The area has a lot of issues, including unauthorised structures and water scarcity. I hope it all gets resolved under the smart city initiative,” said Jayaraman.
Shankar said the Corporation is following a retrofitting model for which planning is required in an existing built-up area to achieve Smart City objectives. It will have intensive infrastructure service levels and a large number of smart applications, which will be packed into the retrofitted Smart City.