The city's expansion along Rajiv Gandhi Salai, GST Road, Outer Ring Road and Sriperumbudur is causing apprehensions among residents on the pace of development in those areas.

Though many residents have taken advantage of the IT boom by constructing additional floors to generate revenue through rentals, some of them who chose these areas for being far away from the hustle and bustle of the city are not too happy. In a majority of the areas, only the arterial roads have seen infrastructural development, while interior localities remain neglected.

For instance, village panchayats such as Okkiyam Thoraipakkam have not seen any transformation despite the mushrooming of IT companies. “It is not possible for a small local body to fulfil the requirements of people in a locality that is growing faster than one imagined,” says K. Balan of Murugesan Nagar.

K.P. Kandan, Chairman of Perungudi town panchayat, says most of the development works stopped with the “IT corridor road surface and the creating of toll plazas.” The movement of hundreds of buses and lorries transporting material to mammoth software complexes under construction has taken its toll on link roads.

There has been no effort from the government to extend Metrowater's supply to those localities where software companies and even Special Economic Zones had come up or create adequate facilities to drain rainwater along Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

The interior roads in Ambattur also haven't seen any development. Even in cases where the companies chipped in with resources, the development proved to be a time consuming affair.

Nearly 12 years ago when HCL Technologies was setting up its first facility in Ambattur Industrial Estate, the poor road conditions around the area worried them about the picture they would have to present visiting clients.

By pursuing with the municipality and more by spending money, it laid roads, got roadside shops displaced, removed dumping yard around its faculties, etc., says a senior official of the IT company, which later added five other facilities in the pocket.

According to property developers, while residential projects are still coming up on Kelambakkam-GST Road, the rental value on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (formerly OMR) is much more than other corridors.

“Last year because of the recession, rentals hadn't increased much but next year on the OMR stretch it would increase by 15 per cent and Ambattur by around 5 per cent,” says Abdur Ravoof, president of National Association of Realtors.

The boom in software sector has also seen an increase of revenue for local bodies along Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

For instance, Sholinganallur town panchayat, which had an annual revenue of just around Rs.15 lakh a decade ago, is now getting Rs.12 crore every year, of which Rs. 8 crore comes in the form of professional tax.

The town panchayat has Rs.60 crore as bank deposits alone. Cash-rich local bodies such as Sholinganallur or Perungudi are better placed now compared to larger municipalities when it comes to providing amenities. But they remain exceptions.


Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012

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