Grandma's Tales

July 13, 2007

On the masterplan for Chennai

Filed under: Consumer caution,Games People Play,Government,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 7:43 pm

Reader Jayasimhan T writes this note. Thank you Mr. Jayasimhan, for this informative comment. From all this, it is clear a lot of work is yet to be done to create a masterplan that will benefit all.
We should certainly appreciate the efforts taken by ‘The Hindu’ for the discussion and The Hindu’s aim towards creating a better society.
Though there was sufficient information from CMDA – there was no opportunity for discussion. We would have been glad if they could have provided the opportunity to discuss the master plan, which was the very purpose of the meeting.
I am an Architect. I have the following points to convey regarding the Draft Master Plan.
1. First of all, CMDA is incompetent to draft a Master plan. The correct approach would be to get town/city planning solutions from the best professionals across the world (in this field) and thereby arrive at drafting a suitable Masterplan.
2. A vision from hard-core professionals is needed for this purpose. Govt. officials are unsuited for this purpose – their (CMDA’s only job would be coordinate this and try to get the best professional input).
3. Architects or town planners from the US, UK, etc. who have in-depth knowledge of cities and its growth shall be able to deliver wonderful solutions taking into account the likely future technological advancements. They will study our socio-cultural context and then arrive at solutions. Moreover there are so many good town planners within India too, especially in Delhi.
Important requirements for this MasterPlan which demands to be provided:-
1. Land banks for the following public purposes:-
a) Huge Lung spaces within cities – which is the most essential requirement to fight pollution.
b) Land for Schools and Colleges – Educational requirements.
c) Land for Hospitals – Health requirements.
d) Land for Parks and Playgrounds – Recreational requirements.
e) Land for Temples, Mosques, churches, etc. – Religious requirements.
f) Land for Govt. offices.
g) Land for Community purposes – Community halls, etc.
h) Land for theatres.
i) Land for public shopping complexes and markets. Etc.
The above lands will have to be provided by the Government – no private promoter can be expected to provide these facilities.
These are social requirements – where the land has to be free (or very cheap) so that different strata of people (including poor) will be facilitated.
Too much of reliance upon private development will lead to chaos – as their only intention is profit – whereas a city does not necessarily run on profit motives.
2. Trees and vegetation – nowadays one can find that builders don’t plant huge shade giving trees (as they consider it a maintenance problem – (falling leaves, crows, etc.) – whereas trees are most important for climate control and exchange of O2 and CO2. Govt. should compel to provide shade giving and other useful trees.
3. Contour – the contour levels are very important in any Masterplan. Natural courses of water and water bodies, water channels should be recorded and further development should be based on contour restrictions – otherwise there would be flooding in developed areas where water will not find a way to go. This itself is a big topic and the CMDA, Corporation are presently floundering on this subject greatly. A great, great lot could be saved, if only there is some professional input in these agencies’ work.
4. Unapproved layouts – this causes real mess in city planning. The city should grow as planned. This is the curse of any city which allows it. The entire Master plan will fail if this is allowed or recognized. Strict action to enforce Masterplan should be taken.
There are several important issues as above, which can be resolved only by dedicated Town Planners who can give a Good form for the Masterplan to create a much better and lovable city.
N.B.:- Since, it is a huge topic, I’ve highlighted only some salient aspects. I’m cutting short my note for brevity. In short, one can say that the Draft Masterplan prepared by CMDA is severely lacking and hence should be scrapped in entirety.
The best City planning consultants from across the world should be involved in preparing the Masterplan for such a Culturally rich city like Chennai.
Compiled by:-
Jayasimhan T


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