Express News Service
CHENNAI: The proposal to merge town planners of Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), and local bodies to create a common pool of staff well acquainted with development control rules has been revived, with Housing and Urban Development Minister S Muthusamy making the announcement in the Assembly on Wednesday.
Housing secretary Hitesh Kumar Makwana said the common staff pool will resolve the issue of huge vacancy of planners in DTCP, CMDA, and local bodies. In 1992, CMDA amended the rules governing recruitment and services of staff but failure to notify it led to confusion. The move to have a common cadre will bring in transparency and stop planners from being kept idle on non-performing projects, sources said.
There were also issues over people being recruited on the basis of correspondence courses that are not recognised by the All India Council of Technical Education. “We have now addressed those issues,” said housing secretary.
But there are still other challenges as DTCP does not have a separate town planning wing and recruitment and promotions in municipalities are governed by Tamil Nadu Municipal Town Planning Service Rules.
Former CM Edappadi K Palaniswami told the Assembly on July 5, 2017, a separate cadre of town planners at State level with Commissioner of Town and Country Planning as its cadre controlling authority will be created.
But the proposal was later scrapped as the officials said it was not feasible to merge the town planning departments with local bodies where engineers double up as town planners.