Aug 26, 2011 at 08:47am IST

Final call on Greater Chennai by fiscal year-end

CHENNAI: The State government will decide on the expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) before the end of this fiscal, R Vaithilingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, told the Assembly on Thursday.
In view of the fast-paced development taking place in areas beyond the present metropolitan area jurisdiction, like Sriperumbudur, Kelambakkam, Tiruvallur and Maraimalai Nagar, it had become necessary to review the Chennai Metropolitan Planning Area that was notified in 1973-74, he said.
The present CMA was limited to 1,189 sq kms which was the smallest in extent in the country. “In other cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, larger regions have been declared as metropolitan area and comprehensive regional planning is being made.”
The need for a larger planning area around Chennai was being examined and a detailed report was prepared by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for the government’s consideration. “A decision will be taken before the end of this fiscal,” he informed.
On what the decision would mean for the common man, S Santhanam, former Member and Chief Urban Planner with the CMDA, told Express that the expansion, when completed, would augur well for the planned growth of the suburbs.
“Alongside the proposed expansion of the Corporation limits, the decision to go in for a greater CMA limit would  have a synergetic effect. It would support better infrastructure and facilities for the people besides decongesting the city.”
In 2008, the CMDA held meetings with many local bodies on the issue of CMA expansion and it had largely been favoured, he added.
On January 13, the State Assembly had adopted a Bill to amend the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, paving the way for the inclusion of 42 local bodies in suburban areas with the Chennai Corporation.