Residents want say in CMDA’s reclassification committee

The petition added that in order to make the guidelines unbiased, the panel should consist of various stakeholders, including the residents, besides the officials.
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority

CHENNAI: With the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) forming a committee to frame guidelines for the reclassification of land use zones, residents urge the planning authority to include stakeholders, including the residents.

"The formation of a committee consisting of its own officials does not make any sense as it amounts to students correcting their own answer papers. How can a public authority like CMDA, which deals with issues of public concern, frame guidelines unilaterally without involving the members of the public or those who are directly hit by reclassification of land use? How can such guidelines be fair and transparent?" VS Jayaraman of T Nagar Residents' Welfare Association, said.

The association has also sent a representation to the planning authority to include residents in the committee. It may be noted that the CMDA has formed the committee as reclassification of waterbodies has attracted opposition from several activists.

"Even in T Nagar, residential use zones are being converted into commercial use zones. This has created issues like traffic congestion and other related issues," he added.

The petition added that in order to make the guidelines unbiased, the panel should consist of various stakeholders, including the residents, besides the officials.

"The CMDA should include the public and the residents as many residential colonies are reclassified to other zones even without their knowledge and without ascertaining whether the requisite infrastructure is available at the places where reclassifications are effected," the petition said.

When asked, a CMDA official said that the panel has academicians and town planning experts and the guidelines will be framed to streamline the reclassification process. "The guidelines will address concerns of the residents," he added.

The official explained that the patta lands are being reclassified as sub-division numbers were not considered while preparing the second master plan. "Such issues will be rectified in the third master plan," he said. The officail also remained tight lipped on the demand to include residents into the committee.

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