Municipal Administration Minister SP Velumani on Tuesday launched the Greater Chennai Corporation’s Chennai Mega Streets and adoption of Complete Streets Framework to redevelop the city roads to provide obstacle-free walking experience for pedestrians.
Phase 1 of the project focuses on a core area of 70 sq km covering Anna Nagar, Tondiarpet, Nungambakkam, Mylapore, Velachery and Adyar, he said, adding that nine major roads, including RK Salai, Cathedral Road, Gandhi Mandapam Road, Sardar Patel Road, LB Road, Tiruvottiyur High Road, New Avadi Road, Royapettah High Road, Kutchery Road and Greenways Road among others would be covered.
“This will ensure safety for pedestrians, cyclists, women, children, elderly and differently-abled. There will be no road cutting for the next 30 years,” the Minister said, adding that the project would be implemented to integrate all mode of transport including walking, cycling, bus and trains. “This project also covers vehicle parking and parking management as well,” he said.
Velumani added that the project would be extended to other Municipal Corporations in the State, including Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruchy, Salem, Tirupur and Erode.
Tangedco chairman Vikram Kapur said that the Greater Chennai Corporation should significantly add to its urban planning capacity and come out with a vision and area development plans. “Needs such as electricity, water, parking and others need to be upgraded frequently. Streets should be designed in such a manner that they are amenable to future upgradation and not dug up. We can have specialised ducts or a tree line/area in the streets where all these utilities can go,” he said, adding that this can happen only if it is planned well.
Hailing the Mega Streets plan, he said that it should be incorporated into the development regulation of Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). “There are rules for building and lay outs, but there are none for streets. Street designs should be incorporated into development regulations,” he added.
City police Commissioner AK Viswanathan said that many road fatalities and accidents can be reduced by allotting space for pedestrians and cyclists. Dharmendra Pratap Yadav, principal secretary, Transport department; Prabhushankar T Gunalan, executive director, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board; and Shreya Gadepalli, South Asia lead, Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), and others also spoke at the event.