In a move to boost infrastructure in the city, the State government on Thursday announced a Rs.500-crore ‘mega city' development mission for Chennai and its suburbs.
Announcing this in the Assembly, Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam said in his revised budget for 2011-12 that Rs.500 crore under the Chennai Mega City Development Mission would supplement the available funds under various schemes. The Chennai Metropolitan Area is expected to grow into a mega city with a population of more than 10 million in the next 10 years.
With the conclusion of the World Bank-assisted TNUDP III, the funding available for improvement of infrastructure and basic amenities in urban local bodies has shrunk, said Mr.Panneerselvam.
He also announced a Rs.750-crore ‘Integrated Urban Development Mission' for other cities and towns. Under these missions, existing schemes would be dovetailed to improve standards of basic infrastructure such as roads and streets, drinking water, sewerage and sanitation, stormwater drains, solid waste management, improvement of bus stands and parking places in an integrated manner.
“I expect that the additional resources provided under Chennai Mega City Development Mission and Integrated Urban Development Mission will give a fillip to the development of basic amenities in urban areas,” said Mr.Panneerselvam.
The government has proposed to upgrade main arterial roads to international standards besides improving interior roads in the city. A total of 30 main arterial roads forming different corridors have been identified for improvement.
Existing bus terminals would be developed into multi-level commercial centres with ground level covered bus depots under Public Private Partnership, Mr.Panneerselvam said.
A direct link between National Highway 5 and the Ennore Port would be created through the Northern Port Connectivity Programme.
Projects to help decongest the city would include implementation of Phase II of Outer Ring Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai. Around 95 per cent of the land acquisition has been completed for Phase II of ORR that runs to a length of 32 km and connects Nemilicherry with Minjur.
The project that would cost Rs.1,075 crore would be implemented with financial assistance of the Japan International Co-operation Agency, he said.
As regards Phase II of Rajiv Gandhi Salai, land acquisition is in progress and on completion it would be another link to Mamallapuram from the city. The 25-km stretch would connect Siruseri and Mamallapuram and cost Rs.55 crore. It would also help develop the areas alongside the road.
Underscoring the need to improve the integrated urban transport system in the city, Mr.Panneerselvam said the financial closure of monorail project would be achieved within this year and the work would begin at the earliest.
The government would also prepare a comprehensive project for solid waste management in Chennai and its suburban areas and avail of carbon credits.