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Tamil Nadu housing policy: Focus on planning and infra development

At present, Tamil Nadu tops the list of urbanised States with 50% of the population in urban areas

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Chief Minister  E  Palaniswami  (above) says his government is closely  MONITORING all new projects and will take steps to ensure they come on stream fast
Chief Minister E Palaniswami

With the government announcing its plans to formulate a new housing and residential policy, the stakeholders are expecting this to pave the way for a holistic policy, which could have a long-term solution for the development of the urban area. 

They also opined that the policy should address the requirements of the affordable and economically weaker section of the population.

The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K Palaniswami, on Wednesday, made a statement in the State Legislative Assembly that the government will introduce a new housing policy, which would aim at reducing the construction cost and offering more housing facilities for the economically weaker section of the society.

It would also deal with the development of standard urban infrastructure, facilitate basic amenities and bring in amendments to the existing regulations to ease the process. It would also bring in time frames for the approval process.

"While the government should look at addressing the affordable segment and economically weaker section, clearing slums in the State, it should also be bold enough to drop the old policies and regulations which are redundant when the new policy comes in", said M Murali, managing director, Shriram Properties

"Some of the laws were implemented during British period, for their convenience. We have been amending the law from there. We should be bold enough to drop those laws which are redundant while bringing in new laws. We should focus on urban development as a whole, rather than residential projects. A holistic approach is required, segregating commercial and residential areas in the city," he said.

"Zoning and planning for the development are required and the best example is Hyderabad, where the prices never move up overall since the quality of infrastructure is good. has been a front-runner in bringing in some of the good policies, in the past few years it has been decreasing", he said. The government does not have to do regulatory work but has to focus on good governance and infrastructure facilities.

Niranjan Hiranandani, founder and CMD, Hiranandani Group welcomed the State Government's intention to draft a strategic regional plan, which would ensure sustainable urbanisation as also ensure properly planned urban development in the newly expanded locations.

"I am sure that the plan will incorporate development plans that would enhance communication and transport, basic infrastructure as also environment protection in the newly expanded CMA region," he added. The step will ensure proper planning and regulation of the development process in the suburban areas of Chennai. This will help bring infrastructure which will be 'in sync' with economic activities in the region.

The State Government has also proposed a redevelopment plan which would improve the environment and the safety of the residents in congested areas. Utilisation of vacant areas under flyovers in Chennai and suburban areas is expected to be part of the plan.

"Planning for any urban conglomeration, be it a township or the extended metropolitan region of any city, there are global best practices which need to be followed - Infrastructure has to be planned correctly, created the right way and maintained properly. I hope the extended CMA will plan its growth in the right way," added Hiranandani.

According to the 1991 Census, only 34.15% of the total population in was classified as urban, whereas in 2011, it has increased to 48.45%. At present, tops the list of urbanised States with 50% of the population in urban areas and will remain the most urbanised state for the next 15 years and by 2026 about 75% of the population of will live in Cities. This urbanisation has necessitated improved quality housing towards a better standard of living for the people in the State.

The has constructed 74,224 tenements or houses and spent Rs 3,855.28 crore on various programmes implemented from 2011 to March, 2017, said the Department for Housing and Urban Development. It has proposed to take up 3,13,477 tenements or houses for construction and spend an amount of Rs 1,460 crore during 2017-2018, added the department. It has brought in various guidelines and time frames for approvals in order to speed up the approval processes, for the developers to take their projects up and running in a limited period of time, it added.

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