CHENNAI: Open spaces and pavements for pedestrians in the city are rapidly shrinking, a group of senior citizens told a meeting organised by the Dignity Foundation here on Friday evening.
Geetha Samuel, deputy planner, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, detailed the CMDA regulations on provision of open spaces in the city. With Chennai poised to become a mega-city — with a 10-million plus population by 2011 — open spaces are under threat, she said. The Development Control Rules have provisions for allotting a specific percentage of large properties for park space.
She said a Community-Based Development Programme had been evolved to provide neighbourhood communities or welfare associations a role in revitalising parks. If people in a neighbourhood were willing to raise 10 per cent of the cost to rejuvenate a park and approach the CMDA, they could be considered for the programme. If approved, the government would provide 80 per cent of the cost and the local body another 10 per cent.
In the Chennai Metropolitan Area, the local body is the Chennai Corporation or, in the suburban areas, the respective municipalities, town panchayats or panchayat unions.
Besides this, the CMDA has also earmarked some areas as open spaces and recreational zones. Responding to complaints about the problems posed by the location of TASMAC liquor outlets, she said they were being granted permission to operate in commercial and mixed residential areas, depending on the area.