Dreams of Chennai!

Let me start with a disclaimer!
I am no Chennai resident. Never lived there. Been there for V’s shopping trips or should I call them emptying-the-wallet ritual? I have no idea what is where but V knows exactly where she wants to be. R lived there during his undergrad days and every trip to Chennai he says the city has changed tons. I believe him! V’s parents now live in Chennai so every trip back to India I spend some time there. I am not sure if I like it, it is a far cry from the village next to the suburb where I grew up in rural Trichy ( Trichy residents please don’t take it against me)
Now whether I know Chennai or not, I know it is over-crowded and there is water shortage. And so when you dream of Chennai after 20 years how will your dream Chennai be? Chennai residents your take would be great. Let me dream, lots of shopping malls (that’s V), lots of migratory birds (that’s R) and now let me be practical and dream, lots of restaurants?
Okie timeout!
Let us be practical, in 2026 I dream Chennai, to be cosmopolitan, with lots of sky-scrapers, bustling city with a great public transportation system, good water supply (well this is a dream) and lots of green pockets - small parks, a cluster of trees at the corners to give shade for those hot Chennai days and purify the air.
Take a look at the proposed land use pattern map for 2026 in Chennai. There hardly seems to be green pockets except the big Guidy Park, Velacheri and some along the coast. As I said before I really don’t know Chennai much but to my untrained eye, the master plan land-use map seems to be for the lack of a better word- unplanned. If plans for more greenery are not made now how are we going to have a sustainable and cleaner and greener Chennai? Development is needed and necessary, no denying that but to see no plans for more environment-friendly Chennai is sort of disappointing!
The report says environmental deterioration is not a necessary or inescapable result of urbanization; what needs to be done is striking a right balance. Truer words never spoken!

Here are few tit-bits from the report for you to chew on

• Approximately 72% of Chennai’s pollution is due to vehicles!
• Groundwater is brackish in most of Chennai and pH is around 7.8 to 9!
2% of Chennai is declared park area and 54% of Chennai is residential in nature.
• Tamil Nadu is the 3rd largest economy in India and Chennai accounts for 1/6th of the state’s income
• Chennai is projected to be one of the mega cities of the world by 2016 with a population of 10+ million
• Chennai ranks 8th in population density in the world (Mumbai and Kolkata are other Indian cities in the top 10)
• The 2026 proposed plan expects to increase open and park area from 2% to 5%

Land-Use Map

Source: The Hindu


Kavi said...

Thats a malaise thats affecting most other large cities breaking at its seams.

Bangalore's parks and greenery have disappeared giving way to glass buildings, false cielings and pigeon hole residing !

S.Sivashanmugam said...

Hey pooh did u get my email link to the Earth day concern? If not check ot out at http://studio-6.blogspot.com/2007/04/earth-day-concerns-of-indian_26.html
Kind regards

Pooh said...

Yes Siva, I did read it and link it to my blog. Thanks

Lavs said...

In 2026, people in Chennai will live in houses that measure 100 sq feet coz real estate prices would have become totally unrealistic.