Committees have not submitted bi-annual reports for two years

On Monday, it will be five years since the Second Master Plan for the Chennai Metropolitan Area came into effect. However, the committees constituted for the review and monitoring of the plan have not met for the past two years. As a result, officials are unable to properly estimate the progress of work under the plan.

In 2008, the government constituted six committees to cope with changes in the Chennai Metropolitan Area. They were the committees on economy and employment, shelter, infrastructure, investment planning, land use and environment, traffic and transportation.

The committees were to advise the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) and various departments on action to be taken to achieve the objectives of the Second Master Plan, prioritise policies, programmes and action plans recommended and advise the departments or agencies concerned to implement projects.

They were also torecommend detailed studies to be made for effective implementation of the programmes and action plan, frame detailed policies such as affordable housing policy and pedestrian safety, review the progress of implementation and recommend corrections, identify measurable indicators to evaluate and monitor the progress.

The committees were supposed to meet every three months, but have stopped meeting. Officials of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority said that most of the members are due to be replaced but the Authority is yet to take action.

The Chennai Metropolitan Authority has not received any recommendations from the committees in the past two years.

As the Second Master Plan covers a span of 20 years, the review committees have a vital role to play in keeping the plan on track, officials said. “The committees’ job is to study if a project meets the criteria under the Second Master Plan and pave the way for suitable changes,” said an official of CMDA.

Most of the studies proposed to be carried out as part of the Second Master Plan have also not yet received funding. A few agencies have commenced study on some of the topics but many are yet to be covered. The studies were to cover topics such as income and employment in formal and informal sectors, land needs for informal and small-scale enterprises, rate of urban growth and level of investments in infrastructure, primary health care and incidence of diseases, school enrolment and vocational training needs and land availability for affordable housing.

With the completion of five years, the time is also ripe for a review of the Second Master Plan under the provisions of Town and Country Planning Act. CMDA officials said the next Authority meeting is likely to initiate a review.

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