The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) will recruit at least 54 more technical personnel on contract to facilitate planned development of suburbs and prepare a list of heritage buildings.

The preparation of detailed development plans (DDPs) and notification of heritage buildings has been delayed due to a severe shortage in manpower. The interviews for recruitment of two technical officers, 12 grade-I technical assistants, 20 grade-II technical assistants and 20 support staff were held on Tuesday.

The technical officers will have masters in town planning and the supporting staff will have technical qualification in civil engineering. The selected persons will be part of the master plan unit and would shoulder the responsibility of framing development plans for suburbs near the Outer Ring Road (ORR).

The CMDA announced commencement of the work on preparation of DDPs, which are micro-level action plans that are in conformity with master plans for Ambattur, Velachery, Villivakkam, Perumbakkam and Nazrethpet in 2010. The housing and urban development department also set a deadline of December 31, 2012, for the completion of DDPs for Velachery, Villivakkam and Ambattur.

However, the work has been delayed because of inadequate staff and some of the DDPs have even been dropped. A chunk of the metropolitan area is yet to be covered by DDPs.

The new team of personnel is expected to give an impetus to the preparation of the plans pertaining to zoning of land use, infrastructure including parks and play fields, link roads and commercial and industrial areas to facilitate balanced development of suburbs, particularly near the ORR.

The staff will be on contract for three years with CMDA and are also expected to speed up the notification of heritage buildings. The CMDA entrusted the task of compiling a list of heritage buildings to college students a few years ago. The students have been able to compile a list of only 70 buildings and a large number of buildings are yet to be identified and notified. More than 500 buildings are likely to have attributes of heritage buildings in the Chennai metropolitan area, according to officials.

The ORR will connect Vandalur, on NH45 in the south, with Minjur on the Tiruvottiyur-Ponneri-Panchetti Road north of Chennai. 

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