Safeguard traders’ interests, end parking woes, CMDA urged
CHENNAI: The public hearing on the redevelopment of George Town saw traders’ associations urging the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) to safeguard commercial activities while implementing the plan.
K Gunasekar, vice president of Madras Jewellers and Diamond Traders Association, said though the George Town area has the highest revenue potential, cabs are not coming there citing haphazard parking of vehicles.
“Due to facilities developed in T Nagar, the area has grown as a major commercial hub. If similar facilities are developed in George Town, it will earn more revenue,” he said.
Abu Tahir of Chennai Small Vendors Association requested the CMDA to consider providing space to small and street vendors.
“If the CMDA decides to relocate the shops within the area, what support would the government provide to the traders? Also, parking is a major issue,” Jain S Sudir of Madras General Merchants Association said.
Gnanasekaran, a resident, recalled that his mother passed away recently as ambulances could not enter the streets.
It may be noted that the planning authority prepared a redevelopment plan under AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) scheme. The consultant, who prepared the plan, pointed out that George Town is about 4.21 sqkm but more than 2.71 lakh people live (as per 2011 census). The population density in the area is 65,000 per sqkm, much higher than the city’s average of 26,000 per sqkm.
Under the plan, the CMDA will develop the area under a plot amalgamation method using which roads will be made wider and public open spaces will be created. This will also result in the proper utilisation of FSI norms.
Presently, 30 per cent of more than 16,000 buildings in the area are less than 600 sqft and most of them require renovation. Only one per cent of the area is open space now.
Speaking at the meeting, Hitesh Kumar Makwana, secretary of the housing and urban development department, said based on the success of the George Town redevelopment plan, similar plans will be implemented in Triplicane, Purasaiwakkam, and certain areas in Madurai and Coimbatore. CMDA member-secretary Anshul Mishra also took part.