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Master Plan

Master plan for river restoration in Tamil Nadu

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The Times of India            25.11.2013

Master plan for river restoration in Tamil Nadu

CHENNAI: While a shortage of drinking water continues to be a problem for Tamil Nadu, the state government is planning a major restoration of rivers with the future needs of the ever-growing population in mind.

Amaster plan is likely to be drafted by a consultant and the project will be funded by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany through KfW Development Bank and the Union government under Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure Financing. Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Limited is the nodal agency that will execute the programme.

"We will identify the consultant soon and then send the proposal to the chosen firm," said a senior government official. The rivers are in a terrible state in most districts, with no system in place to keep sewage and garbage from being dumped in them. A feasibility study for integrated solid waste management and a detailed project report for providing storm water drains in various municipalities have been planned to provide a holistic approach to river management.

A Latha of Kerala-based River Research Centre said the government should think of ecological restoration to strengthen river banks and catchments besides regulating sand mining and improving the downstream flow of dams. "River restoration does not mean concretising the banks," she said.

Tamil Nadu, which has 17 river basins, has a total water potential of 1,682tmcft/year, including contribution from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. The state's demand for water by various sectors is expected to go up to 1,965tmcft by 2045, according to a government study. Experts say the rivers are in this condition because of the utter disregard for the environment.

If Vaigai carries the sewage of Madurai, then Amaravathi bears the tannery effluents of Udumalapet, Tarapuram and Karur.

The over-exploitation of Palar, which runs through Vellore, for high deposit sand and pollution by tanneries of Ambur and Vanniyambadi are responsible for the river going dry.

"A proper vision from all stakeholders will help preserve our rivers," said K Kalidas, president of Osai, an environmental NGO. 


Coimbatore City Development Plan with public participation

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The Hindu              15.05.2013

Coimbatore City Development Plan with public participation

Karthik Madhavan

Questionnaire being prepared to seek inputs from various groups of people

The Coimbatore Corporation will soon prepare and issue a questionnaire for seeking inputs from members of the public, non government organisations, trade and industry bodies, councillors and others for drafting the City Development Plan (CDP).

Even focus groups like architects’ association would be part of the exercise.

According to sources in the Corporation, the civic body had sometime ago asked the agency preparing the CDP to come out with the questionnaire.

It did so but the civic body wanted the questionnaire to be concise so that it was easy on those providing information. The questionnaire would be related to mass transportation, urban governance and public-private partnership, because those would be the focus areas in the next urban development scheme. It would be ready in the next few days.

Thereafter, the Corporation would post the details on its website for inviting inputs.

The sources said that once the exercise was complete, the Corporation would incorporate the inputs to prepare the final City Development Plan.

The Corporation last prepared the CDP in 2006 as mandated by the Central Government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme.

The current CDP preparation exercise comes after the Corporation annexed 11 local bodies and the city area expanded from around 105 sq.km. to 250 sq.km.

The sources said that current CDP would take into account the city’s needs for the next 20 to 30 years by studying needs in transport, infrastructure, health, governance and other areas.

S. Baskar, Coordinator, City Technical Advisory Group, said that the CDP must have a vision statement for the city.

The Mayor S.M. Velusamy had already said that the CDP for the city should reflect aspiration of the city to be a hub for engineering and textile industry, a leading place for health care and a sought-after destination for education.

The CDP must also talk about ways to realise the vision, the schemes that would take the city to be where it would want to be in the next 20 — 30 years and the expected outcomes from the scheme.

Aside from this exercise, the Corporation had also formed seven sub groups to provide inputs for the CDP.

The groups had meet on a couple of occasions to discuss what schemes the city would want to go to the next level.


Master plan approved, SmartCity to get going

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The Hindu                       12.04.2013

Master plan approved, SmartCity to get going

Construction work to begin in full swing before July: MD

A meeting of the Board of Directors of SmartCity Kochi held in Dubai on Thursday approved the master plan for the first phase paving way for the construction work for the project to get off the ground.

Baju George, SmartCity (India) managing director, told The Hindu over phone that the master plan for 50 acres had been approved by the board to avoid further delay in the construction work.

Preparation of the master plan for the rest of the land will be done as the construction work progresses.

Eight buildings spread over 15 lakh sq. ft are proposed to come up on 50 acres, of which 9 lakh sq. ft. will be dedicated to Information Technology (IT) and the rest to non-IT purposes.

Signature building

“The construction of the first building on 4 lakh sq. ft. at an investment of about Rs.200 crore will be launched before July 1 and will be completed within 18 months,” Mr. George said.

Meanwhile, the promoters are planning a signature building on a hilly area in the project site. “It will be an iconic building hosting facilities like the experience pavilion and innovation centre.

The concept design for the proposed building has been drawn up. Since it is a complicated structure, the final design will be readied and construction will be started within another six months,” Mr. George said.

Initially, two buildings with a combined built-up space of 3 lakh sq.ft were proposed in the first phase. The design for the buildings was shortlisted from four participants through a design competition.

The eventual choice was finalised by the executive committee and the director board based on the technical recommendation of the Bangalore-based project consultant.

However, the board felt that a bigger building was needed and hence the concept of two buildings was replaced by one large building.

The board meeting was attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Minister for Information Technology P.K. Kunhalikutty, IT Principal Secretary P.H. Kurian, Norka Roots vice-chairman M.A. Yousuf Ali, Dubai Holdings Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Bin Byat, and SmartCity Kochi vice-chairman Abdul Latheef Al Mulla.

Following the board meeting Mr. Chandy met UAE Prime Minister and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Mr. Chandy’s invitation for the inauguration of the first building was accepted by Mr. Al Maktoum.

SmartCity had held a couple of meetings in the city in the last three months in the run up to the launch of construction work by the middle of this year. A one-day workshop attended by all stakeholders including government departments was conducted on January 31 to fine tune the master plan and incorporate the changes before finalising it.

This was followed by a kick-off meeting attended by the project consultant at the project site on March 22.


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