Tamil Nadu

Ponneri all set to become smart city

Politicians have opposed such a plan inthe past because it will take away farmland. A scene at Ponneri.   | Photo Credit: S_THANTHONI

Every time the government proposed a satellite city near Chennai in the past, politics stood in the way of its creation as the plan involved acquisition of farmland.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in the budget on Thursday that Ponneri would be developed as a smart city.

Japan preferred Ponneri as it was closer to the city and the Ennore port because most of the Japanese companies are located in and around north Chennai. Japan International Co-operation Agency is preparing the master plan for the Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor. It will be ready by March 2015.

“The development of Ponneri as a smart city will ensure equitable distribution of urban growth,” said Hidehiro Ishiura, director-general of the Japan External Trade Organisation.

“Road connectivity is a big problem. We, along with the business community, welcome any new development or investment in the infrastructure sector. Foreign investors and a major supply chain depend on connectivity for transport of their goods. Hence, it should not be ignored,” he said.

R. Radhakrishnan, trustee, Builder’s Association of India, said the previous State government also proposed to develop smart cities, but the plan could not progress. “Protests by leaders like PMK founder S. Ramadoss opposing acquisition of agricultural land derailed such plans.” “For the budget proposal to become a reality better cooperation is required from the State government and other political leaders in the State,” he noted.   

Since the present government had a clear mandate, it must cooperate with the Centre to make this proposal a reality as it is responsible for land acquisition, water supply and creation of other infrastructure, he said.    

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Printable version | Jan 15, 2021 6:57:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ponneri-all-set-to-become-smart-city/article6200461.ece

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