Almost a year after the city's Climate Action Plan was prepared, the Chennai Corporation will finally adopt it in its council meeting next month.

The Plan, if approved by the State government, will provide a comprehensive prevention and action plan for the city to cope with disasters associated with climate change.

In a recent meeting of senior officials with the team of experts which developed the plan, experts stressed the need for prompt adoption and implementation.

The plan was submitted to the civic body by a team comprising experts from Japan and the Chennai Corporation in February 2011. But, its formal adoption was delayed owing to Assembly and Corporation Council elections last year.

The plan includes physical, social, economic, institutional and natural components to be implemented in the short-term, medium-term and long-term. “Promotion of alternative energy sources such as solar panels in new building approvals is part of the medium-term plan,” said Rajib Shaw, one of the members of the experts' team, from Kyoto University.

“The deficit in power supply in the city can be bridged by installation of non-conventional energy sources in all new buildings constructed in the Corporation limits,” he added.

The team has suggested that installation of solar panels or alternative energy sources be enforced by the Corporation during the process of issuing building approval, said N. Mathavan, a member of the team.

“Low-income housing may be exempted,” he added. Over 12,000 building approvals are being issued by the Corporation in a year. The total number of properties, including residential and commercial buildings, constructed in 15 zones of the Corporation limits is around 9.5 lakh.

The plan has also been designed to support the transformation of the city from 175 sq km to 426 sq km in relation to disaster risk reduction. The Corporation has been advised by the team to start an inspection of all rainwater harvesting structures in buildings constructed after 2006.

The Corporation is also planning to cover the entire area of the expanded city in Climate and Disaster Resilience Index report. The Climate and Disaster Resilience Index has been prepared for 175 sq km of the old city limits.

“Rapid urbanisation of Chennai leads to high vulnerability. A CDRI will help urban planners to plan a safe city to face any challenge due to climate change,” said Yukiko Takeuchi, who was part of the team from Kyoto University that compiled the report.


Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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