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Is timing of draft Master Plan finalisation right?

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SHRINKING SPACE: Slum Clearance Board tenements are visible in this aerial view of Foreshore Estate. Housing for the poor has not found priority in the Second Draft Master Plan.
SHRINKING SPACE: Slum Clearance Board tenements are visible in this aerial view of Foreshore Estate. Housing for the poor has not found priority in the Second Draft Master Plan.

J. Malarvizhi

CHENNAI: The second draft Master Plan is all set to be finalised at a time when policy decisions on unauthorised constructions, street vendors and resettlement of slum dwellers are awaited. A comprehensive transportation study has also been recently commissioned and its results are expected in about two years, according to CMDA officials.

The process of public consultations for the Master Plan draws to a close next week with next Friday being the last date for the public to send in their suggestions. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has another 45 days after that to consolidate suggestions and publish the finalised plan.

Meanwhile, the Justice Mohan committee’s recommendations for amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, under which the CMDA was constituted, are expected in another two months.

The committee has been cited as a primary reason for the recent Government Order upholding status quo on unauthorised constructions.

Transportation study

Under the ongoing World Bank-funded Tamil Nadu Urban Development Project III (TNUDP III), the CMDA would be undertaking a comprehensive transportation study at a cost of Rs. 2 crore.

The study would include a large-scale household interview survey with a two per cent population sample to provide an idea of the passenger travel characteristics of the metropolis.

Other surveys to be undertaken as part of the study include parking, commercial vehicle, intermediate public transport, bus and rail commuters and accident traffic analysis surveys.

The study would ‘assist in formulating an appropriate urban transportation strategy for the metropolis as a whole for implementation in the next 20 years’, according to a release distributed at an interaction with Minister for Information and CMDA Chairman Parithi Illamvazhuthi on Thursday.

Meant to be conducted every decade, this study was last held in 1996-1997. An update for certain areas was made in 2004-2005, officials said.

A comprehensive study has been commissioned close on the heels of the conclusion of the public consultation process for the Second Draft Master Plan in 2007.

Officials said that planning was a continuous process and that new projects recommended by the study would be implemented along with the Master Plan projects.

Plan silent on hawkers

The Master Plan is silent on the issue of hawkers and street vendors, senior CMDA officials conceded. The CMDA would be involved in identifying land for relocating vendors in congested areas and detailing how they can be accommodated in the metropolis

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