Chennai: After the State government zeroed in on two options suggested by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to expand Chennai Metropolitan Area, it is likely that the State may adopt the second option of extending the CMA to 8,878 square kilometers. At a workshop on ‘Regional planning Perspective for Chennai Mega Region’ here on Thursday, chief planner of CMDA S Chithra suggested that the second option, which includes the whole of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts and the Arakkonam taluk of Vellore district and extends to a total of 8,878 square km is more feasible as the region is growing fast and needs a comprehensive plan in the area. She said there are barren lands in the area and planning can precede development.
The first option suggested by CMDA includes whole of the Chennai district, Gummidipoondi, Ponneri, Uthukottai, Ambattur, Thiruvallur and Poonamallee taluks of the Tiruvallur district, and Tambaram, Sriperumbudur and Chengalpattu taluks of the Kancheepuram district extending up to 4,459 square km. She said the government is also deliberating on how to regulate development of the extended area. Although it has zeroed in on two alternatives either to constitute a separate Regional Planning Authority by enacting a separate act or to expand CMDA’s jurisdiction under the existing provisions of Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act. It is felt that the second option is cost effective and less time consuming since CMDA jurisdiction can be expanded under the existing provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act.
Earlier, Housing and Urban Development Minister R Vaithilingam said efficient planning and development will help realize Vision 2023 of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Phanindra Reddy said the process of regional planning would get strengthened from inputs from this workshop. Mayor Saidai Duraisamy highlighted the need to follow the Singapore model, where ownership of vehicles are controlled, to ease congestion. CMDA member secretary R Venkatesan and Highways Secretary T K Ramachandran also spoke.