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Architect UK BHOOBALAN's @archbhoo World class New Mega City 'NEW CHENNAI"
Attn #Modi #BJP #GOI #India #Urban #archbhoo #Architecture #NewCity
Chennai to become twin cities?
IS IT time to think of a New Chennai? Is there escape from the urban sprawl and chaos of the metro of today?
Questions like these are largely confined to academic reports and discussion fora, but some urban planners are taking it beyond, to the realm of the drawing board. After all, Mumbai has done it while in Chennai, it remains one of the discussion items for the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.
Three years ago, the idea of a Second or New Chennai came from the CMDA. But, the politicians found it unattractive. The results were apparently not going to materialise in the time frame which politicians think about. In any case, previous special development areas thought of by the CMDA, such as Maraimalai Nagar had flopped badly.
Actually, the CMDA's random thought was to use the unused ayacut area around the Chembarampakkam tank that lies 20 km west of Chennai. The means to create a New Chennai with the least possible governmental involvement was conceptualised. However, the idea was dropped.
Dreams of a New Chennai, however, have not stopped.
One of those who speak about developing a problem free New city is Mr. U. K. Bhoopalan, an architect.
He has been collecting materials since 1984 for a ``new, wholly- planned international city.'' For this architect a New Chennai is not a mere fancy. It is needed for one simple reason. Chennai, as its exists now, will become unsustainable in the next few decades. ``We may have to look for an alternative, as Brazil and Mexico did and achieved recently.''
The new city will steer clear of the mistakes made so far: in respect of traffic design and engineering problems, environmental hazards, drinking water, unplanned development and congestion.
Mr. Bhoopalan's idea of a futuristic city is not unique, it only brings into focus the planning that has gone into global cities.
For instance, he moots a 1000 sq.km area to support a population of one million but would it help curb the urban sprawl, which forces people to commute long distances daily?
The concept envisages that about 40 per cent of the city will be built up with varying FIR according to land use. The rest remains open space or will comprise water bodies. The ambitious road network will cover 23,000 km, 10 per cent of which will be arterial roads to connect all districts.
The entire city will be split into 20 segments with activity based divisions such as industry, information, administration, business, commercial, agro-based, entertainment, parks, education and civic providers, including water recycling plants. Each unit will have exclusive sub-units to cater for the disabled, for emergency and tertiary/trauma medicare. University and R and D facilities will be centralised in a single district, approachable from all sides.
To promote a clean transport system, the plans can provide for exclusive bicycle tracks to promote this cheaper and cleaner method of commuting (which would be akin to Milton Keynes, an entirely new city created in Britain, though with mixed success). The entire city will be surrounded by a ring road leading to other parts of the State.
A major feature will be that no development will be allowed on a 10-km wide belt around the New City, but used exclusively for farming activity to cater for the residents' needs.
An orbital ring road and mass transit system will form the backbone of inter-modal transport. The inner core will be an administrative and international trade centre, with a high floor index ratio of even 5 to 5.5.
All this seem like sound a pipe-dream: But, Mr. Bhoopalan asks, ``Does one have an alternative to this for the long term?''
As for the money, he feels the prospective residents, city-users and NRI support can be tapped with the Government only identifying the land and playing the role of facilitator.
He says the idea itself can be branded and marketed internationally. Fiscal incentives for prospective investors can find the needed sources.
By K. Ramachandran
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