Chennai: Implementing infrastructure projects in T Nagar first and then replicating the same to the larger city would be a waste of manpower, time and financial resources under the Smart City project. Stressing this point, the Tamil Nadu government has requested the Centre to tweak the project guidelines to allow for pan city implementation of all proposals initially considered only for T Nagar.
Presenting a memorandum to Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu in the city on Sunday, Palaniswami said that providing Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL), the Special Purpose Vehicle formed to implement the project, with the flexibility to implement projects on a pan city basis would help in avoiding "city level imbalances."
Corporation sources added that projects like integrated traffic management and parking management system, as of now planned as area specific project for T Nagar alone, would make sense if implemented at a pan city level. "The difference would be that we would involve multiple consultants to study different project areas. It would take us roughly the same time (to execute) but the benefits could be realised on a larger area," said a source, adding that the chief minister's request was practical.
Palaniswami also urged the Centre to "take necessary steps" to secure project funding for a 400 MLD capacity desalination plant from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). "Metrowater and government of Tamil Nadu have prepared a detailed project report for a 400 MLD desalination project costing Rs 5,312 crore," he said.
Moreover, the chief minister requested the Centre to share the cost of providing affordable housing to the urban poor on an even 50:50 ratio. To this end, he asked the Centre to formulate a special package under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Housing for All (Urban). This, he said, would help the state government construct 1 lakh multi-storeyed flats over a period of four years at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore. Palaniswami also wanted the Centre to relax coastal regulation zone (CRZ-I) rules in order for the state government to re-develop slum tenements along the coast for the benefit of fishermen.
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