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(ARCHIVE) Vol. XX No. 14, November 1-15, 2010
Visions of Chennai 2020
Speakers paint pictures
for the few
(By Nidhi Adlakha)

Forbes magazine’s recent listing of emerging powerhouses in the world included Chennai among 20 urban centres. The three Indian cities that made to the list are Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Chennai: the ABC of the Indian growth story. Chennai has created over one lakh jobs, more than any other Indian city this year, outside of the much larger Delhi and Mumbai, states Forbes.

The Second Master Plan for the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA), prepared with 2026 as the horizon year and approved by the State Government in September 2008, aims at “the creation of an inclusive, world-class city which will be economically vibrant, socially sound and ecologically sustainable.” In recent years, Chennai has witnessed significant growth in various sectors that has made the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) the 4th largest in the country and the 34th in the world.

But a city’s infrastructural and economic growth in terms of industrialisation corresponds with an equal increase in environmental concerns such as pollution, congested roadways, etc. According to A.K. Marchanda, Executive Director – GAS, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, a sufficient decrease in air pollution and switching to natural gas are necessary to make Chennai environmentally sustainable. Various initiatives are in place to improve the city’s piped gas distribution network. An LNG re-gasification terminal and gas-based power plant at Ennore are expected to be commissioned by 2015. Chennai is also slated to be connected to the National Gas Grid once the southern gas grid is completed by 2012. The Petroleum Ministry has also announced an RIL pipeline from Kakinada, a regassified LNG from Kochi LNG terminal, and a pipeline network from the Dabhol LNG terminal to be established in the State by 2012.

An infotainment city that will house facilities such as digital post production, digital cinema processing, technical preview theatres, a centre for Tamil cinema heritage, IMAX theatres, animation sections dedicated to gaming, a planetarium etc. has been envisioned. The preservation as well as showcasing of Tamil cultural heritage through a wax museum, with a dedicated section for Tamil cinema, is on the cards too.

The city’s Metro Rail project that is underway has been planned in two phases. The volume of passengers to be carried by rail transport is expected to increase by 2020 at least by 20 times from the present volume. “Recently, the Government has decided to extend the scope of this project by extending the line from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar, adding nine more stations. The project is proposed to be completed by 2015. The Corporation of Chennai is constructing 11 more flyovers and overbridges in addition to the 10 flyovers already constructed,” said Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in his inaugural address at ‘Chennai 2020’, a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Tamil Nadu Chapter. “The Government has also decided to construct circular High Speed Corridors making travel within the city faster and easier,” he added.

To complement this rail system, a monorail network in the city has been planned. “The second Chennai Master Plan has already identified two corridors in Chennai for implementation of the monorail, the first one being Dams Road Jn.-Royapettah-Mylapore-Adyar-Guindy
(Halda Jn.), and the second being Kalangarai-vilakkam RTS Station-Anna flyover-Kilpauk-Perambur,” said Kanesan Velupillai, President of the SCOMI Group Bhd, Malaysia.

Chennai airport, the third busiest airport in the country, will see a rise in passenger traffic of upto 27.6 million passengers by 2020 and plans for its expansion are underway. In line with the vision of the Tamil Nadu Government to develop an Aero Park and in terms of aggressive promotion of Chennai as an MRO destination for aircraft, the current facility would not be adequate to meet the additional demands. Therefore, a greenfield airport to cater to the projected traffic by 2020 has been planned at a site near Sriperumbudur, 35 km away from the existing airport.

The Airports Authority of India is, meanwhile, in the process of executing a project in Chennai, which includes construction of a domestic terminal, construction of a cargo complex, extension of the international terminal, extension of a secondary runway through a bridge over the Adyar River, and construction of multilevel car parking facilities.

R. Sarabeswar, Chairman and CEO of the Consolidated Construction Consortium Ltd., said, “A common ticketing system is to be introduced in the city as well. With the Metro coming up right outside the airport, it will be convenient for passengers exiting the airport to reach the city in no time.”

Enhancing the city’s coastline by establishing two Marinas is on the cards, one at the mouth of the Cooum and the other at Muttukadu.

In a bid to develop the State as a hub for coastal tourism, Ashok Thakkar, Chairman of Viking Shipping Chennai Ltd., explained, “The first Marina will house yacht docking facilities, yacht maintenance and repair facilities, a maritime museum, a clubhouse and other facilities, including a headquarters for the Maritime Police of Tamil Nadu. The Marina at Muttukadu will be developed into a midway point for travellers in water taxis operating between Chennai, Muttukadu and Mahabalipuram, to later extend to Kalpakkam.”

The Navy is to gift a submarine to the Marina and the facility will function as an industrial recreation centre, similar to what is happening in Visakhapatnam.

“The Adyar Estuary is being improved with an Adyar eco-park and the Pallikaranai marsh has been declared a protected area. We have plans to restore the marsh area. A world class horticultural garden is coming up as well,” added Deputy Chief Minister Stalin.

Dr. T.S. Sridhar, Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Museum, explained the need for specialised and general interest museums in the city. A specialised museum for the maritime industry, museums highlighting the various ports, and museums focussed on maritime traditions have been proposed. “Plans to set up a submarine museum at the Marina in Chennai to highlight the maritime history of the State have been proposed,” he said.

These ambitious projects, among others, to enhance the city’s infrastructure were discussed by the participants at the ‘Chennai 2020’ seminar. An integrated approach amongst various infrastructure planning and development agencies that look into various city projects was suggested. A report on recommendations to improve on these various sectors will be submitted to Government shortly by CII-Tamil Nadu.

Reports such as these have been written and discussed for decades. Will something more concrete emerge and materialise from these most recent discussions than in the past?

There were also discussion that, however, spared no time for the pedestrian or the man-in-the-street, representing the greater part of metropolitan Chennai’s population.

CII-TN’s wishes for City’s next decade

The following recommendations were made at the CII-Tamil Nadu’s ‘The Chennai - 2020’ seminar.

  • To set up a City Natural Gas Distribution network as a joint venture between a gas company, a Government agency, and an oil company or a private agency alongside a single-window clearance for City Gas Distribution projects.

  • The CMDA should make it mandatory for all highrise building complexes to have PNG network, while Government should make it mandatory for public transportation / hired vehicles to run on CNG and provide low-cost financing for changeover to CNG for other categories.

  • To define the master plan for the Infotainment City with a comprehensive marketing strategy, as there needs to be an analysis of the potential synergies which can be established between the current Science City Project and the Infotainment City.

  • The development of a comprehensive maritime policy identifying all potenital economic opportunities with coastal tourism as the focal point. Also, evolving a developmental plan for coastal tourism infrastructure, including building a marina, yacht docking facilities, hotels, restaurants, water sports complexes and offshore wind farms.

  • Passenger cruise landing facilities, higher education training in shipbuilding courses and training programmes for local population which would help the industry with trained manpower and provide employment opportunities to the local population.

  • To redefine the role of rail and bus transport, to cater to meet the bulk of the travel demand by integrating all modes of transport – Metro Rail, Mono Rail, MRTS, Metropolitan Transport bus etc., and introducing a multi-modal ticketing system.

  • Installation of a comprehensive unified traffic management system, with automated congestion-easing rerouting. Optimising the existing road and transport infrastructure by road widening, by deploying Area Traffic Control (ATC) systems, by introducing high occupancy vehicles lane in critical roads, by visioning a comprehensive parking policy, etc.

  • Development of an integrated multi-modal transportation network to efficiently cater to the feeder and evacuation needs of the airport.

  • The development of a comprehensive Water Development Plan addressing both availability and volatility issues to resolve matters related to water shortages and ensuring a 24x7 water supply. Also, to improve efficiencies in Meter-Bill-Collection and providing tamper proof meters.


In this issue

Visions of Chennai 2020: Speakers paint
pictures for the few
Lessons from Seoul on river restoration
Another lesson from Ahmadabad
Two Anniversaries: When air mail came to Madras
Two Anniversaries: 75 years of stock broking
Other stories

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