TAMIL NADU

'No contradiction in Govt. plans'

CHENNAI SEPT. 26. The Tiruvidanthai - Thaiyur administrative city project is a separate and "parallel project" and there was no rethink on the Kotturpuram Secretariat plan, according to Government sources.

Also, there was no contradiction in the Government's decision to develop an administrative city when it was working on plans for a new Secretariat. Officials today insisted that the first plan was a long-term one and it was imperative to acquire land required for future development.

For now, it is the land at Kotturpuram, which the Government planned to develop for the new Secretariat.

The land acquired at Thiruvidanthai and Thaiyur was more on the Taramani `model' — an early acquisition keeping in mind future needs.

There was no urgent need now to develop the pieces of land; nor had there been any change in plans. Officials pointed out that the Taramani land was acquired long ago.

There was no development till about a decade ago.

It was only after the second phase of the MRTS assumed concrete shape that a large part of the land was put to use.

Also, the proposed Information Technology corridor passed through the area and it was important to have vacant government land for development at a later date.

Once the corridor evolved, no land would be available for acquisition.

The Government was looking at long-term needs, but without compromising on short-term ones, the officials said.

In this case, a confusion was created due to the timing of the release of the Housing department Order, which effectively froze development, especially land transactions in the two villages, where the Government initially proposed to build a futuristic administrative city.

Scotching rumours, the officials maintained that there was no mistake in the issue of the order.

The administrative city concept took shape last December and was being pursued on a different track.

The new Secretariat proposal was "more recent one" and now on the "fast track", they explained.

Normally, sensitive government orders, such as these, are not easily available.

But the Secretariat was flooded with this order, which was freely circulated to the media a mere four days after it was published.

This raised doubts even about its "authenticity" and officials took some time to clarify their position and put the projects in perspective.

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