Staff Reporter

They wanted the minutes of meetings uploaded on the Internet

CHENNAI: The public consultation on the draft second master plan prepared by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority began on Saturday, with activists at the meeting in Egmore underlining the need for the CMDA to make the process more transparent.

They suggested that the CMDA upload the minutes of meetings on the Internet. This, they pointed out, would help people understand how the suggestions made during the consultation were processed by the Authority to make meaningful changes in the draft plan at the end of the 90-day process.

Citizen group representatives voiced concern about the various aspects of the draft plan. They highlighted the significance of de-linking development control rules from the master plan, problems in allowing more construction along the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) corridor and the lack of clarity in the housing policy.

They underscored the importance of retaining the Pallikaranai marshland intact to prevent flooding of south Chennai and adhering to the Coastal Regulation Zone guidelines.

Urban Development Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi and senior CMDA officials said the suggestions would be noted and taken into consideration before finalising the draft plan.

CMDA Vice-Chairman R. Santhanam said a synopsis of the minutes of the subsequent meetings would be uploaded on its website. The CMDA would organise similar meetings at RA Puram and Tambaram on May 5.

Mr. Santhanam said it would ensure greater public participation during the 45-day period when it would process the suggestions collected from the public over the next three months.

It would invite representatives from the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board, the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and other agencies involved in formulating detailed development plans based on the master plan for the next meetings, he said.

Public response

On the lack of public response from Egmore and nearby areas to the meeting, Mr. Ilamvazhuthi said efforts would be taken to inform the masses. "We will also organise meetings at more convenient venues," he said.