The Tamil Nadu state government has launched a number of initiatives to make Chennai a global city, and it has been listed as one of the emerging powerhouses of the world, said deputy CM MK Stalin, at the conference on Chennai 2020 organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry. He quoted extensively from the recent edition of US-based ‘Forbes’, which identified 19 urban centers in the world as emerging powerhouses, including Chennai. The other two Indian cities include Ahmedabad and Bangalore. The magazine suggested that the city has so far this year created over 1,00,000 jobs more than any other Indian city, outside of the much larger Delhi and Mumbai. “The strength of Chennai lies in its ability to offer opportunities in diverse areas. The Chennai metropolitan area has taken the fullest advantage of India’s soaring Industrial sector, particularly the booming automobile sector,” Stalin said. Talking about the initiatives taken by the state government, Stalin said the first phase of the Metro Rail, covering a distance of 45 kms will be completed by 2015, “The Chennai Corporation is also constructing 11 more flyovers and overbridges in addition to 10 existing flyovers to reduce traffic congestion. The government has also decided to construct circular high speed corridors making travel within the city faster and easier,” he added. “In terms of aggressive promotion of Chennai as an MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) destination for aircraft, the current facilities are not adequate, to meet the additional demands. Therefore a Greenfield airport to cater to the projected traffic by 2020 is very much necessary and Government is working towards it,” Stalin said. “The state is also giving a huge thrust to environment management. The focus will be on the upgradation of parks, improvements in Adyar estuary, protection of Pallikarnai marshland, a world-class horticultural garden in an area of 22 acres with rare plants, flower varieties and bonsais, besides restoration of Cooum river,” Stalin said. The government is also making all efforts to establish a Financial City, Sports City and Media City. Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) chairperson L Mansingh said the state has a huge opportunity to benefit from the abundant natural gas resource available in the country. PNGRB has identified 25 geographical areas in the state, including Chennai for City Gas Distribution (CGD) network. The PNGRB has given approval for pipelines connecting Kakinada - Chennai; Chennai - Tuticorin; Chennai - Bangalore - Mangalore, which are expected to be completed by 2012.