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Chennai Metropolitan Area

File:Chennai revenue divisions map.png
Districts and Taluks of the metropolitan area
File:CMDA masterplan.jpg
The CMDA masterplan for the CMA

The Chennai Metropolitan Area is the fourth largest metropolitan area in India after the Metropolitan regions of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and is the 30th in the world in terms of population (as of 2010). The CMA consists of the metropolitan city of Chennai (Madras) and its suburbs. The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is the nodal agency that handles town planning and development within the metro area. Since 1974, an area encompassing 1189 km2 around the city has been designated as the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) and the CMDA has been designated as the authority to plan the growth of the city and the area around it.


The Chennai Metropolitan City which has an GDP of 219 billion and Chennai City(Chennai) has a GDP of 66 billion.It is fourth metropolitan area to produce $219 bn in India ahead of Bangalore Metropolitan Region and after Kolkata Metropolitan Region.[citation needed]


The CMA has an area of 1,189 km² spread over three districts. It includes the whole of Chennai District, together with Ambattur, Gummidipoondi, Madhavaram, Ponneri, Poonamallee and Tiruvallur taluks of Tiruvallur District, and Alandur, Chengalpattu, Kanchipuram, Sholinganallur, Sriperumbudur and Tambaram taluks of Kanchipuram District.

Sn District Area (km²)[1] Population (2001)
1 Chennai district 176 4,661,834
2 Tiruvallur district (part) 637 1,574,847
3 Kancheepuram district (part) 376 1,107,789
Total 1,189 7,344,470
  • Chennai city (not to be confused with Chennai District) currently covers an area of 426 km2 and now includes adjoining sections of Tiruvallur and Kanchipuram Districts along with the 176 km2 of the Chennai District. Prior to the expansion of the city's boundaries in September 2011, the city of Chennai (administered by the Chennai Corporation) fell completely within Chennai District. There hasn't been any published update for the metropolitan population for 2011 census, but the 3 districts in their entirety were home to over 12 million people in the 2011 census.

Nodal agencies

Sn Agency Responsibility
1 Chennai Corporation (Madras Corporation), Municipalities and Panchayats Civic management in their area of jurisdiction
2 Tamil Nadu Housing Board provision of

plots and ready built houses, Sites and Services schemes

3 Metropolitan Transport Corporation Bus Transport
4 Southern Railway Chennai suburban railway and Chennai MRTS
5 Chennai City Traffic Police Traffic Management Schemes
6 Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Electricity generation and supply
7 Public Works Department Implementation & Maintenance of macro drainage


8 Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority Urban planning, co -ordination of project


9 Chennai MetroWater Supply and Sewage Board Water Supply & Sewerage facilities for CMA
10 Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board Provision of housing, infrastructure and livelihood

programs in slum areas

11 Aavin Co operative society Providing Milk through co-operative society to the people of Chennai


Chennai (Madras), the capital City of Tamil Nadu is the fourth largest Metropolitan City in India. The Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) comprises the city of Chennai, 16 Municipalities, 20 Town Panchayats and 214 Village Panchayats in 10 Panchayat Unions. The extent of CMA is 1189 km2.

The CMA falls in three Districts of the Tamil Nadu State viz. Chennai District, part of Thiruvallur District, and part of Kancheepuram District. The extent of the Chennai District (covered in Chennai Municipal Corporation area) is176 km2 and comprises 55 revenue villages in 10 Taluks [viz. (i) Tondiarpet Taluk, (ii) Perambur Taluk, (iii) Purasawalkam Taluk, (iv) Egmore Taluk, (v) Mambalam Taluk, (vi) Guindy Taluk, (vii) Mylapore Taluk, (viii) Velachery Taluk, (ix) Aminjikarai Taluk and (x) Ayanavaram Taluk. In Thiruvallur District out of total district area of 3427 km2, 637 km2. in Ambattur, Thiruvallur, Ponneri and Poonamallee taluks fall in CMA. In Kancheepuram District out of 4433 km2, 376 km2 in Tambaram, Sriperumbudur and Chengalpattu Taluks fall in the Metropolitan area.

CMA region has about 3,000 water bodies, most of which have been encroached upon by real estate dealers and small communities.[2]

Master Plan prepared by CMDA

The CMDA regulates developments in the 1,189 sq km of Chennai metropolitan area through issuance of planning permission under section 49 of the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act 1971.[3]

The State government will decide on the expansion of the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) at least before the end of this century, R Vaithilingam, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, told the Assembly on Aug 25, 2011. In view of the fast-paced development taking place in areas beyond the present metropolitan area jurisdiction, like Sriperumbudur, Kelambakkam, Tiruvallur and Maraimalai Nagar, it had become necessary to review the Chennai Metropolitan Planning Area that was notified in 1973-74, he said.[4]

The State government zeroed in on two options suggested by Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority to expand Chennai Metropolitan Area.

(i) The first option suggested by CMDA includes whole of the Chennai district, Gummidipoondi, Ponneri, Uthukottai, Ambattur, Thiruvallur and Poonamallee taluks of the Tiruvallur district, and Tambaram, Sriperumbudur and Chengalpattu taluks of the Kancheepuram district extending up to 4,459 square km.

(ii) The second option suggested by CMDA includes the whole of Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts and the Arakkonam taluk of Vellore district and extends to a total of 8,878 square km

It seems now that the State Government likely to choose the second option.[5]

The present CMA was limited to 1,189 km2 which was the smallest in extent in the country. “In other cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, larger regions have been declared as metropolitan area and comprehensive regional planning is being made.” The need for a larger planning area around Chennai was being examined and a detailed report was prepared by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) for the government’s consideration.

“A decision will be taken before the end of this fiscal,” he informed. “Alongside the proposed expansion of the Corporation limits, the decision to go in for a greater CMA limit would have a synergetic effect. It would support better infrastructure and facilities for the people besides decongesting the city.”

In the face of rapid increase in population in the districts surrounding Chennai and the expansion of the city, a new regional planning model on the lines of National Capital Region, Delhi, is being examined by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA). In order to plan for balanced regional development, developing a larger road network, implementing an integrated transport plan and identifying a Chennai Mega Region have become necessary.[6]


  1. ^ "Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, Government of Tamilnadu, India". Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  2. ^ Hemalatha, Karthikeyan (10 November 2012). "40 Chennai lakes to get a new lease of life". The Times of India (Chennai: The Times Group). Retrieved 10 Nov 2012. 
  3. ^ Lopez, Aloysius Xavier (10 November 2012). "Challenging times for building panel". The Hindu (Chennai: The Hindu). Retrieved 10 Nov 2012. 
  4. ^ "Final call on Greater Chennai by fiscal year-end- Chennai- IBNLive". 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  5. ^ C Shivakumar (2012-08-10). "Cities / Chennai : Push to expand Chennai Metropolitan Area". New Indian Express. 
  6. ^ A. Srivathsan (2011-10-28). "Cities / Chennai : Delhi planning model proposed for city". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-11-09.