A. Srivathsan

City's population will rise from 4.9 million (2001 figures) to 6 million Drastic changes proposed in development control rules

CHENNAI: Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) on Wednesday published the draft second Master Plan. The plan estimates that the city's population will rise from its 4.9 million mark (2001 figures) to 6 million and that of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) from 7.5 million to 9.5 million by 2011.

In order to accommodate this projected increase in population, CMDA along with Tamil Nadu Housing Board proposes satellite townships on the Old Mahabalipuram Road, Outer Ring Road and Grand Western Trunk road (beyond Poonamallee). New land use plans are proposed to facilitate this.

In addition, an earlier proposal to develop Tiruvallur and Gummidipoondi as satellite towns will continue. The CMDA has recommended that government should provide infrastructure in these two areas. Within CMA, the local governance through small local bodies will soon be discontinued. Instead, the local bodies will be amalgamated to form new corporations.

The boundaries of CMA will soon be extended to Tirupporur and Maraimalai Nagar. This may further extend up to Chembarambakkam in the west and Ennore in the north.

Drastic changes are proposed to the development control rules. Buildings with more than four dwelling units were so far classified as special buildings. But now, buildings more than six dwelling units will alone be considered as special buildings. Such buildings will have to provide only 1.5 m as the rear setback space as against the earlier requirement of 3.5 m.

Multi-storeyed buildings, which were hitherto restricted to the city limits, will now be allowed in the CMA area. The permissible FSI or Floor Space Index will be raised to 2 along the MRTS corridor (between Luz and Velachery). Parking norms are also revised. The areas of incidental structures that are exempted from FSI calculation are increased.

The information technology sector continues to receive favourable treatment. The area bound by Kottivakam in the north, Semmancheri in the south, Buckingham canal in the east and 500 m to the west of Old Mahabalipuram Road is declared as the IT corridor.

Within this area, irrespective of existing and proposed land use, IT buildings can be built. IT buildings can now have multilevel covered car parking (ground plus three floors) up to 50 per cent over and above the numbers prescribed by the development regulations. This will not be included in calculation of floor space Index and plot coverage.

About 15 m on the either side of Poonamallee bypass road and Red hills bypass road have been declared as Green belt.

According to the draft plan, heritage buildings and precincts in Chennai will be listed and graded. The government will constitute the heritage conservation committee and it would advice the CMDA on matters relating to heritage. Any repair or modifications to the heritage buildings will have to obtain special permission from the CMDA member secretary. The concept of transfer of development rights has been introduced as an incentive to promote conservation of heritage buildings and compensate owners of sites affected by road widening schemes.

Public consultation

The draft could be inspected free of cost during office hours at CMDA or downloaded from the website (www.cmda.org) . Copies are also available for sale. Objections and opinions could be sent to the CMDA office or emails sent to mscmda@yahoo.com before July 12.