Development at the cost of the quality of life

A recent article in The Hindu informed readers about a Rs 1000 crore township to come up on the 70 acres of the former Binny Mills compound. The land has been acquired by SSI Ltd, and they plan to develop it into a full-fledged township with schools, swimming pools(!) and about 5000 apartments, all of which will be ‘competitively priced’. According to the article, the promoters believe it will change the face of North Chennai.

Yes, but the question is, will it change it for the better or for worse? What are the CMDA’s plans for the area? Can the roads to and around this township handle the traffic? Will there be sufficient feeder roadways leading to this area and out of it? What about sewage pipes, storm water drains and water supply? What will it add to the load demand for electricity for the area? Is the TNEB geared for such a massive spike in demand?

Every time something like this happens, and the civic authorities clear projects without studying it holistically, everyone in the city pays the price. In terms of a deteriorating quality of life. Now is the time to put in place stringent minimum standards for open spaces, landscaping, access roads, parks and recreation areas. And to stick with what the city’s norms are for clearance of projects rather than compromise because of political or monetary pressure.

In fact, once the norms are frozen, the civic authorities, under the supervision of the Local Administration Minister M K Stalin, should review conditions in Chennai area by area, so that the city improves in stages. Only then can we ever begin to arrest the deterioration in the quality of life of Chennai’s citizens, and even start improving it. As they have with urban renewal in other cities in the world.

1 Comment so far

  1. Taqi ur Rahman (unregistered) on August 4th, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

    Please provide me details

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