Chennai Corporation shortlists 10 themes for Singara Chennai 2.0

Residents’ associations start sending suggestions about possible projects; civic body expected to begin implementation once the government order is issued

The Greater Chennai Corporation has shortlisted 10 themes for the implementation of Singara Chennai 2.0, at an estimated cost of ₹300 crore, to make the city beautiful, sustainable and climate resilient.

Residents’ associations have started sending suggestions to the civic body about projects under the themes: heritage and culture, beautification, education, cleanliness, greenery, wellness, safety, water security, smart civic solutions and tourism friendly aspects.

“The Corporation will get ₹300 crore and the Metrowater will get ₹200 crore for Singara Chennai 2.0. The draft of the vision document is ready. The government order is expected shortly,” an official said.

Once the government order is issued for the Corporation components of Singara Chennai 2.0, the civic body is expected to take up projects to give heritage buildings a makeover.

Under the theme ‘Ezhilmigu Chennai’, a redesign of roads, an intelligent traffic management system and dynamic lighting of heritage buildings are expected to be implemented shortly.

Landscaping of unutilised spaces under Pantheon Road Bridge, IIT Bridge, Moopanar Bridge (Cenotaph Road), Kathipara Junction and Koyambedu Junction will also be implemented.

In addition to this, multilevel car parks will be built at the Broadway bus terminus and Richards Park, Saidapet.

A few of the identified projects under the theme ‘Pasumai Chennai’ include eco-parks in Madhavaram lake, Raman Thangal lake, Anai Eri, Chinna Chekkadu, Kadappa lake, Kolathur Thangal and Narayanapuram lake.

Urban forests have been proposed in biomining areas, such as Athipattu, Perungudi, Pallikarannai, Sathangadu and Kodingaiyur.

Under another theme, ‘Neermigu Chennai’, 25 waterbodies will be restored with waterfront beautification, improving groundwater recharge and attracting tourists.

Niranjana R., urban research scholar from Chennai who is based at the London School of Economics, said, “In all these plans, and particularly for the work on waterways, the explicitly stated aim to deliver social, environmental and anti-caste justice is much required to avoid further eviction and displacement of the oppressed caste and working class communities. We also need to build a ‘Socially Just Chennai’.”

Corporation officials said the aim is to improve public health in the city by appropriate solid waste disposal and providing access to clean and hygienic public toilets.

“Public toilets play an important role in improving the livability index of a city. It also minimises the spread of communicable diseases. Hence, public toilet facilities in Chennai will be improved by the refurbishment of existing facilities and the construction of new ones,” an official from the Corporation said.

Currently, the city has only around 800 public toilets.

Velachery West AGS Colony Residents’ Welfare Association secretary Geetha Ganesh said awards or points-based reduction in property taxes and parking charges and some discount for residents who consistently follow source segregation could be entertained by the Corporation.

“Eco-friendly public spaces around waterways and waterbodies, eco-parks around lakes with boating facilities and creation of small natural habitats for birds could make the city more attractive,” Ms. Ganesh said.

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