All about Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA)

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is the nodal agency responsible for the development of Tamil Nadu’s capital

Chennai has undergone tremendous changes over the past two decades, under the vision and mission created by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), the agency responsible for the city’s planned development.

Founded with an aim to provide the blueprint for the organised development of Chennai, the CMDA administers 1,189 sq kilometres of area. This includes Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts. Formerly known as the Madras Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA), the CMDA was constituted as an ad-hoc body in 1972. The development body became a statutory body in 1974, via the Tamil Nadu Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, with a vision to provide ‘a people-friendly administration, in the process of ensuring better quality of life in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA) through environmentally-sustainable, economically-progressive and technologically-innovative management policies and programs’.


CMDA Chennai


Local bodies covered under the CMA

  • Chennai Corporation
  • 16 municipalities
  • 20 town panchayats
  • 214 villages covered in 10 panchayat unions


Functions of the CMDA

Key functions of the CMDA, which is behind the planned development of the fourth largest metropolitan city in India include:

  • Carrying out a survey of the Chennai Metropolitan Planning Area (CMPA) and preparing reports on the surveys carried out.
  • Preparing master plans or detailed development plans or new town development plans for the CMPA.
  • Preparing an existing land use map and such other maps as may be necessary for the purpose of preparing any development plan.
  • Designating the whole of the CMPA or any part thereof within its jurisdiction, as a new town and to perform the following functions, including preparing a new town development plan for the area concerned and securing the laying out and development of the new town, in accordance with the development plan.

The agency also keeps a check on unauthorised constructions in the city. To report such illegal activities, citizens can call the toll-free number 18004256099.

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Chennai master plan

The CMDA is also responsible for preparing the master plan for the CMPA. The first master plan for the CMA was notified in 1975. The development control rules under the first master plan were in force till 2007. In 2008, the second master plan for the CMA was approved and notified, which is in force so far and will be in effect till 2026.

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CMDA-approved plots purchase in Chennai

Those buying plots for sale in Chennai must ensure that it is approved by the CMDA. This will not only make the entire process of getting all the building approvals much easier but also ensure you do not hit any roadblock, while constructing your future home. Also, if you are planning to purchase the plot with the help of housing finance, banks would only entertain your request if the plot is CMDA-approved.

For regulation of unapproved plots, one can also file an application with the CMDA online, through its official portal To file the application, you will have to select the appropriate agency, i.e., the CMDA or the DTCP (Directorate of Town and Country Planning), under whose jurisdiction the plot lies.

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You can also call the helpline number 044-28414855 on extensions 380 or 341, or send a mail to, to get your queries answered, in case the plot is under the CMDA. In case it is under the purview of the DTCP, you can use the helpline numbers 044-28521115 or 28521116 or write an email to

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Are CMDA and MMDA the same?

The CMDA (Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority) was previously known as the MMDA (Madras Metropolitan Development Authority).

How much area is covered by the CMDA?

The CMDA administers 1,189 sq kilometres, including Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur districts.

Who has the authority over the CMDA?

The Tamil Nadu state government has the authority over the CMDA.


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