The expanded Chennai Corporation will have a total of 200 wards spread across 15 zones. The total area will increase from around 174 sq km to 426 sq km. A Government Order pertaining to the expansion, issued recently, and details of the new ward limits were placed before the Corporation Council on Thursday.
The expansion, from the existing 155 wards and 10 zones, involves bringing areas in the neighbouring local bodies. The expansion is based on comparisons with other major cities such as New Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Greater Hyderabad and Greater Bangalore.
The delimitation has been carried out on the basis of 2001 Census. A detailed exercise for delimiting the wards of the expanded Corporation was carried out by the civic body in consultation with local bodies concerned giving consideration to factors such income, area and population. The expansion would help the Corporation generate more resources, optimise expenditure and improve administration.
For better administration, the civic body recently made a proposal for appointment of three Additional Commissioners having offices in Saidapet, Basin Bridge and Anna Nagar. The council meeting on Thursday adopted a resolution permitting the civic body to obtain government approval for constitution of 15 ward committees after the local body elections next month. It also approved the delimitation of wards and list of 4,877 polling booths.
The new northern boundary of the city would be Kathivakkam, the southern boundary Uthandi and on the west it would be Ambattur.
Ward 1 of the expanded Corporation would include 12 wards from Kathivakkam Municipality and ward 200 would be Semmanchery. Names of all wards would be decided in due course.
Corporation Commissioner D. Karthikeyan said delimitation of wards had been done considering factors, including geographical boundaries, arterial roads, population and administrative convenience. A total of 18 Assembly constituencies and portions of six constituencies are being brought under the expanded limits.
Mayor M.Subramanian said population of each of the wards would be around 45,000 of which eligible voters 35,000. The existing 155 wards in Chennai city would become 107 wards. Of the newly announced 200 wards, 116 have been categorised as general, 58 are for women, 17 for Scheduled Caste of which 9 are for women.
To a query, he said from an administrative point of view, the expansion would come into force on the date of the notification of elections for Chennai Corporation Council. The Commissionerate of Municipal Administration has provided a list of recommendations to the Chennai Corporation to bridge the gap in infrastructure development in the areas merged with the city. Officials of the CMA said solid waste management and bad roads in suburban areas, particularly in north and western suburbs, posed a challenge.
Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Ltd. is preparing project reports for improving infrastructure at a cost of Rs.1,050 crore in nine municipalities to be merged with the city. The eight town panchayats and 25 village panchayats to be brought under Chennai Corporation would be covered under a Rs.2,000-crore proposal.
On delimitation of wards, K. Madhu, a resident of Pulianthope said the size of his ward would become bigger making it difficult for councillors and officials. B. Kannan of Okkium Thoraipakkam said though Rajiv Gandhi Salai and East Coast Road have developed, residential localities on either side have not. “The local bodies do not undertake any developmental activities,” he said.