The CII and ICCI submit demands to the State Government

For a city that is often referred to as the second most important in the State, next only to Chennai, development does not seem to be happening on the desired lines in Coimbatore.

The city has hardly attracted any large-scale industrial investment in the recent years and those trying to invest here are discouraged by the delays in approvals and lack of adequate facilities. Thus, the industry here has turned its focus on the need for a Greater Coimbatore Development Authority, on the lines of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Coimbatore, have submitted their demand to the State Government.

Chamber president M. Krishnan said Coimbatore needed the authority for planned growth. Investors would have to look at Coimbatore as Chennai would not be able to take all the investments. If the growth here was not planned, it would cause inconveniences to the public in their daily activities, such as transport.

Several industries were reluctant to invest in Coimbatore as their employees and shop floor workers would require affordable housing, more number of schools and entertainment options. These would take time to develop. “However, we need to create a system that will facilitate this development,” he said.

Chairman of CII, Coimbatore, Ravi Sam said the authority would reduce the time taken now to grant building plan approvals. With faster approvals, development would also be on a fast track. “I think Coimbatore needs to develop faster,” he said.

Now, the Corporation granted approvals for residential buildings up to 4,000 sq.ft. and commercial buildings up to 2,000 sq.ft. The Local Planning Authority had the powers to approve buildings up to 25,000 sq.ft. built up area each. In the case of school or industrial buildings, it could approve plans for ground plus one floor, irrespective of the area. Building plans in all other categories were now referred to Chennai for approval.

Formation of Greater Coimbatore Development Authority would expedite the approval process as it would have the powers to approve all building plans here. There was a proposal earlier to bring Coimbatore and Tirupur under a common authority, according to an official here.

Mr. Krishnan said the existing manpower of the Local Planning Authority here was inadequate to fulfil the functions of planning, implementation, enforcement and plan approval process. Thus, hardly any planning activity was taken up in Coimbatore. The city was developing and should plan for the future, implement the plans to achieve the desired pattern of urban development, co-ordinate with various agencies to implement the designated projects, control and regulate development, and promote better living conditions. These would be possible with the formation of a Greater Coimbatore Development Authority, he said.