Over The Boundary
The seven fold expansion of Chennai will be a propelling force in the growth story of the metropolis.
Earlier this week, the state government announced a seven fold increase in the size of Chennai. The plan was mooted five years back and was approved to increase the size of the city to 8,878 sq km from the present size of 1,189 sq km.
The whole move has come after a long period of waiting and has been welcomed by all."It is logical,“ says Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, founder and CMD, Hiranandani Group. "The step being taken will ensure proper planning and regulation of the development process in the suburban areas of Chennai. This will help bring infrastructure in sync with economic activities in the region. I am sure that the plan will incorporate development plans that would enhance communication and transport, basic infrastructure as also environment protection in the newly expanded CMA region."
When action plans are to be executed on a mega scale, there will be major issues while creating the right infrastructure in place. “While extending the city limit is good, we will still be constrained by the infrastructure not being to the mark the expansion will encompass old developments which lack descent infrastructure. The ideal way would have been to go for a satellite city away from the main metropolis with good transport connectivity. The above would have ensured state of the art and planned infrastructure," says Ajit Chordia, president, Credai,Tamil Nadu, who feels that the green field satellite city concept is very difficult with the problems of land acquisition and land pulling system yet to be tested. "Increasing the city limits is the next best choice. The key infrastructure that need to be focused upon are transport, water supply, sewage system and green belts," he says.
It goes without saying that planned development is the need of the hour to meet the growing needs to Chennai.The CMDA 's second master plan released in 2008 estimates the population of Chennai metropolitan area to touch 1.25 crore by 2026. "Globally, it has been proven that planned development can significantly improve the quality of life of all urban stakeholders. Housing values and citizen satisfaction indices in planned areas are often higher than those in spontaneous development areas," says Sangeeta Prasad, CEO, Integrated cities and Industrial Clusters, Mahindra Lifespaces. The proposed expansion of Chennai's metropolitan limits can result in significant infrastructure develop ment across the city's peripheries; economic growth, efficient land usage, job creation, basic services enhancement (healthcare, education, mobility, etc.), housing supply and very importantly, sustainable urban development that encompasses both local communities and the environment, are some of the many benefits one can hope for.
If you go by the story of any growing metropolis of India, expansion of its limits are bound to happen to support its growth. "In our experience, we believe that suburban growth can be the signature of India's urbanisation story.Chennai's has a huge growth potential as an industry and investment-friendly city that has welcomed leading Indian and international companies," says Sangeeta.