Chennai Corporation set to expand
Chennai will finally get bigger. The Tamil Nadu assembly on Thursday passed a bill to expand the limits of the city corporation by including 42 local bodies adjoining Chennai. With this, the city’s limits will extend from the present 174 sq km to 430 sq km and nine municipalities, eight town panchayats and 25 panchayats will be merged with the Chennai corporation. The move is expected to usher in better infrastructural facilities in Chennai’s suburbs. But the government’s ambitious proposal faced stiff opposition from the opposition in the assembly. Members of the AIADMK and the PMK opposed the bill and said since Chennai population has already crossed 98 lakh, the government should give corporation status to Ambattur and Tambaram instead of attaching them to the Chennai corporation. AIADMK member S P Velumani said Ambattur and Tambaram should remain separate corporations as both areas have a population of over five lakhs each. Moreover, if the panchayat were brought under Chennai city limits, agriculture land would be grabbed for commercial purpose. However, Deputy chief minister M K Stalin pointed out that a similar process was done in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. “It will not affect the people. Subsidies can be availed from the Centre even if the city is expanded,” he said. Local bodies like Tiruvottiyur and Ambattur that will now be merged with Chennai had opposed the move. Elected councils of the suburban local bodies that met recently to debate on the plan to expand reacted strongly. While introducing the bill, Stalin said Ambattur and Tambaram municipalities will also be included. Based on the inclusion of 42 local bodies, delimitation of wards would be done for the next election. In view of the expansion, the state govt has decided to increase the total number of wards for Chennai Corporation from 150 to 200. Consequently, certain provisions of the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919 would be amended, said the statement of objects and reasons. The Chennai City Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 was promulgated by the Guv in Dec 2010.