Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Fulfilling a long-pending demand for better infrastructure and amenities for the suburbs, the Tamil Nadu government has finally ordered
merger of several local bodies with Chennai Corporation, expanding its area from the present 174 sqkm to 426 sqkm. The move to expand Chennai and create a larger urban agglomeration on the lines of Greater Bangalore and Greater Hyderabad is intended to develop outlying areas of the city.
As many as nine municipalities, including Ambattur, Alandur, Maduravoyal, Manali and Tiruvottiyur, eight town panchayats, including Puzhal, Porur, Meenambakkam, Perungudi and Sholinganallur, and 25 village panchayats in Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts will thus be brought under the present Chennai Corporation limits, raising the city’s population to 56 lakh (as per the 2001 census) from the present 43 lakh.
The boundary of the expanded corporation will be drawn in 2011 after the term of the elected councillors ends. The city limits will expand up to Uthandi on East Coast Road, Sholinganallur on the IT corridor, Kathivakkam and Madhavaram in the north, and up to Meenambakkam in the south.
The reorganization of city limits comes after deputy chief minister MK Stalin directed a committee to propose alternatives for a revamp of Chennai and peripheral areas. Among the proposals mooted was a plan to create two more municipal corporations headquartered at Tambaram and Avadi on the northern and southern ends of the city to cover the suburbs. Another option was to create a Greater Chennai, bringing up to 800 sqkm under one civic administration. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority held public hearings in Tambaram, Ambattur and Tiruvottiyur for feedback on the proposals. Finally, the state Cabinet, which met last week, took the middle road to chart out a relatively modest expansion of the city.
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