“However, we have been told to exclude some of the areas that were mooted to be appended with the CMA during the previous government. The new contours will be smaller than the earlier proposed boundaries,” a CMDA official said.
The official added that the bigger CMA is difficult to administer owing to which the area has been decided to be reduced. In 2018, the government notified the expansion of CMA and conducted several rounds of talks with realtors, residents and farmers. If there was no opposition from the residents and activists, who raised concerns over the loss of agricultural area, the CMA would have been expanded to cover 8,878 sq km from its current 1,189 sq km. It can be recalled that the expansion of the CMA proposal has been on the shelves for around a decade.
“We are yet to decide about the local bodies that will be added to the CMA. But definitely, the CMA will not cover 8,878 sqkm,” the official clarified.
As per the earlier CMA expansion proposal, all of the Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts, as well as Arakkonam taluk in Vellore district, would have become parts of the new CMA and Chennai would have become the second-largest metropolitan area in the country after National Capital Region (NCR). Also, the CMDA had plans to segregate the CMA into two or three regions, similar to regions in the Chennai Corporation, so that the residents in faraway parts could avail services without making trips to the heart of the city.
The official opined that the expansion of the CMA is necessary as it would ensure uniform development and regulation of land use patterns.