The Assembly adopted a Bill increasing number of wards to 200

Efforts are under way to ensure that the geographical area of each of the 200 new wards of the expanded Corporation lies within a single Assembly constituency without any overlap with neighbouring constituencies.

“We are trying our best to avoid such overlap. Such cases can be reported to the Corporation for rectification,” said Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyen.

Some of the councillors who claimed that a few of the new wards were overlapping stressed the need for avoiding overlapping of wards with more than one Assembly constituency.

The overlap of wards is being reported from constituencies such as T. Nagar, Thousand Lights, Ambattur, Maduravoyal, Perambur and Thiru.Vi.Ka.Nagar. “If a ward shares area with two or more Assembly constituencies, it will be difficult to access funds for development works. So many councillors have asked the officials to properly screen the delimited wards and find out such overlap and rectify it,” said B. Devaki, a councillor. The Assembly recently adopted a Bill, increasing the number of wards of the Chennai Municipal Corporation from 155 to 200. The Bill replaced an ordinance promulgated on December 20.

The government, in its order issued in December 2009, mentioned the names of the 42 local bodies that would be part of the expanded Corporation.

However, the delimitation of the wards is yet to be approved by the Corporation Council or the Assembly. The Council resolution to this effect is likely to be passed only after the concerns of many of the councillors are addressed.

The resolution could not be passed at the recent council meeting as many of the councillors wanted precise details about the boundaries of the wards, the areas that would be demarcated during the expansion and the population of each of the wards.

“The details of the streets were not given. Only boundaries were given. So there were concerns,” said Mangal Raj, a councillor. “Every ward should be delimited in such a way that they have all basic facilities such as market, places of worship, schools and hospitals. Some of the wards lack some of these facilities,” he added.

He, however, admitted that the expansion would improve infrastructure development. M. Jayaraman, ward 10 chairman, said that the expansion of the city limits would reduce the number of representatives and reverse the process of decentralisation of powers.

“We oppose the expansion of the Chennai Corporation. Creation of more Corporations in Tambaram, Tiruvottiyur and Ambattur will be an option,” he added.

Most local bodies lack basic amenities such as sewer network, water supply, roads and stormwater drains. Access to funds for the expanded Chennai Corporation would be better, said Saidai P.Ravi, leader of opposition, Chennai Corporation.


Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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