A. Srivathsan

But experts have their doubts about such rapid progress

  • Fragile ecosystem of the Adyar Creek area under threat
  • Changes in traffic pattern of the roads leading to the area
  • CHENNAI: MRC Nagar in the city is all set to become a hub of landmark projects, with three major multi-storeyed buildings to be added to the predominantly residential neighbourhood.

    Planning authorities have cleared the Viceroy Hotel and Sun TV studio and office projects, while the Leela Kempinsiki Hotel is in an advanced stage of approval.

    When the slums between Nochikuppam and Sreenivasapuram and the Tamil Nadu Government employees' quarters at the Foreshore Estate have been demolished and rebuilt, the Santhome-Adyar stretch of the coast will get a facelift. The proposed landscaping around a portion of the Adyar creek will complete the beautification scheme.

    A large auditorium and information technology parks have already been built.

    Changes in the traffic pattern of the roads leading to this area have got experts worried about such intensified development.

    Exnora International Trustee T. Ramkumar feels that the proposed scale of development will harm the fragile ecosystem of the Adyar Creek area. He also finds the projects to be inconsistent with the Government of Tamil Nadu's proposal to develop the entire Adyar creek area as an Eco park.

    Confusion over tenements

    Meanwhile, confusion prevails among the residents of Tamil Nadu government employees' quarters at the Foreshore Estate. Tamil Nadu Housing Board issued eviction notices to about 630 residents in January and asked them to vacate the premises immediately. But there is no any indication about an alternative arrangement.

    The letter suggests that the existing residents will be given priority when the buildings are demolished and rebuilt, but does not explicitly promise them so. Some residents have represented to the Chief Minister and they were told that the project has been undertaken to improve the conditions of their tenements. The residents have not received any further communication and are worried about what they should do next. Some have decided not to vacate the premises.

    Earlier, TNHB had surveyed the houses and reported that most of them are structurally unsafe and needed to be demolished. TNHB has cautioned the residents that since Chennai has been reclassified as seismic zone III, the buildings had further become unsafe. Already about 120 houses were demolished and permission is awaited for another 72 vacant units. In addition, 250 houses remain vacant for a while and they too would be pulled down.

    Housing project

    Sources told The Hindu that the proposal is to build taller buildings and increase the total number of houses by about five to ten percent. The project may be either jointly developed with private developers or the government may take it up entirely.