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Residents want Chitlapakkam made a municipality

K. Manikandan

Say the town's population is over 50,000

TAMBARAM: : Residents of the Chitlapakkam Special Village Panchayat have stepped up their campaign for upgrading the local body to a municipality. Last year, Chitlapakkam was among the several Town Panchayats that were reclassified as Village Panchayats.

The residents said that the State Government's reasons for the reclassification, based on population and financial strength, was not relevant in the case of Chitlapakkam.

An important clause for downgrading the the local body was that the population was less than 30,000. Further, the decision was based on the 2001 census, which placed the population as 25,292.

Chitlapakkam Residents Associations Coordination Committee members'

contended that eligible voters in Chitlapakkam alone were over 30,000. And, if the rest — people below 18 years of age — were to be included, the population would be around 50,000.

The pointed out that the industrial activity was on the rise in the area owing to the presence of the Warehousing Corporation of India's godowns and the real estate boom in the locality due to copious water supply.

Given the growth, the area was more an urban centre than a rural pocket the residents said adding that the local body should be upgraded into a muncipality.

They have appealed to government agencies pointing to the recommendations made by the Tamil Nadu Second State Finance Commission that Chitlapakkam could be amalgamated with the Tambaram Municipality.

The members charged that the reclassification was against the interests of the people. After making it a village panchayat, it had become mandatory to hold gram sabha meetings.

And, to maintain the quorum, at least 10 per cent of the total population had to attend the meetings. Under such circumstances, No less than 10,000 people need to attend the meetings and it was just not possible, they argued.

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