The state government has formed urban development authorities for Coimbatore and Tirupur. The announcement to create a separate body for the fast-growing districts were made in the revised budget speech on August 8.The authority will have the principal secretary of the Housing and Urban Development department as chairman and collector as vice-chairman.
It will have heads of departments of finance, transport, industries, public works, municipal administration and water supply, rural development and panchayat raj, director of the town and country planning, director of the town and country planning, commissioner of Coimbatore Corporation, managing director of Tamil Nadu Housing Board, managing director of Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board, managing director of Tamil Nadu water supply and drainage board and managing director of Chennai Metro Rail Limited will be ex-officio members.
Two people will be appointed by the state government in sectors including housing, trade and industry and one from an academic institute of repute involved in planning. Also, a full-time member-secretary will be appointed.
The main function of the authority will be to prepare development plans and implement them. It will finance and execute projects for the development of urban areas. It will have an advisory council with the secretary of the department of micro, small and medium enterprises as ex-officio members.
Director of industries and commerce, commissioner of police, chief engineer of public works department, chief engineer of highways and rural works, director of health services and family planning, director of collegiate education and joint director of town and country planning will act as ex-office members.
The authority will have three representatives of the Union government of whom one will be from railways, two elected representatives of the civic corporation, three elected representatives of the local bodies in the area other than a corporation, four non-officials will be nominated by the state government of whom one will be an engineer and one an economist of repute.
One person with knowledge of architecture and town planning will be nominated by the state government and two from commerce and industry. It will also have a planning cell, which will have a senior town planner and supporting staff.
A former professor of urban engineering of Anna University K P Subramanian welcomed the move. “However, it requires an amendment to the Act, followed by a provisional declaration of the metropolitan areas calling for objections and suggestions and then confirming the declaration and the constitution of the metropolitan development authority,” he said.
By getting urban development, cities can create jobs and offer better livelihoods, increase economic growth, improve social inclusion, promote the decoupling of living standards and economic growth from environmental resource use, protect local and regional ecosystems and reduce both urban and rural poverty.
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