V. Devadas††

Department of Architecture & Planning

University of Roorkee, Roorkee - 247 667

Uttaranchal State, India

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Urban system functions as a whole with the interaction of severalsubsystems, such as, area, land use pattern, population, residentialestablishments, non-residential establishments, industries, trade andcommerce, transportation, communication, infrastructure facilities, etc.All these subsystems are inter linked and inter-dependent each other,function together and forming a system. This system is purely a dynamicfunctional system. In the process of functioning, if one of the subsystemsof the system defunct, its effect can be seen in overall functions of thesystem. Similarly, if one of the subsystems takes a lead role, i.e.,moving far advance, its effects can also be observed in the system.


Integrated urban development is also a dynamic phenomenon, which respondsto the changing physical, economic, environmental and social process withtechnological advancements. In recent years, Information Technology playsa very dominant role in Indian economy. This information Technology is notonly pave the way for developing the economy, but also lead to physical,environmental and social development.


Chennai City (formerly known as Madras City), the Metropolitan City ofSouthern India, which has number of industries based on InformationTechnology and numerous Internet centers, is selected for this presentinvestigation.This City is studied very carefully to have a very closelook at the impact of Information Technology in the system. It has beenfound that lot of changes occurred in this City due to InformationTechnology within the little span of period. Considerable amount ofchanges in socio-economic, physical, and environmental front have beenaccounted in this City due to the introduction of Information Technology. India's Software Industry at a Glance:


India has exported software worth of$ 4022.91 million in the year1999-2000.It is more than one-third higher level compared to theprevious year, i.e., 33.55 per cent.In fact, the Southern region of thecountry is at the forefront of software exports.The four SouthernStates, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and the Union Territory ofPondichery together accounted for 43.37 per cent of India's export ofcomputer software and services, and are valued at $1,745.10 million.*1


There is a divide of sorts to reckon with - that of a pronounced urbanskew within States which are performing well.Given the requirements ofinternational connectivity and other inputs necessary for InformationTechnology exporters, it does not come as a surprise that urban centers,more specifically state capitals, have emerged as the hubs of the neweconomy.Chennai City, the State capital of Tamil Nadu is also not anexceptional one, which has 643 software technology parks, and exportedsoftware worth of$ 462.20 million in the year 1999-2000 and standsfourth rank in the Indian subcontinent.



Study Area:


Chennai City, the State Capital City of Tamil Nadu State lies in 13 ' 0 Nlatitude, and 80' 0 E longitude.In the East, it touches the edge of theBay of Bengal, and in the West and North it is surrounded by the AndhraPradesh, and in the South, the Chengalpat District of Tamil Nadu flanksit.It has the area of 172.00 Sq. Km., and has 3795028 population as perthe 1991 census.The entire City was divided in to sixteen planningdivisions for planning and development administration.In 1901, the Cityhad 68.17 Sq. Km., and had the population of 541167.But it has grown to172.00 Sq. Km., and with the population of 3795028 within a centaury.This City has 643 software technology parks of India schemes, and hasnumerous Internet Centers.Having this information in mind, the City ischosen for this present investigation.The study aims at to assess theimpact of dynamic networks and floating nodes of Chennai City.



Survey research methods have been employed in this present investigation.



Two types of data are collected for this investigation.They are: Secondary sources: Literature pertaining to the study area, informationtechnology, etc. are collected through the secondary sources. Primary sources: The investigator himself conducted the survey at thegrassroots level pertaining to this study.


Tools and Techniques:

Tools: Pre-tested schedules are used to collect the data at the Internetcenter level, and the user level.Techniques: Random Sampling Technique was employed to identify theInternet centers, and users (respondents) for conducting theinvestigations.Analysis: The collected data are processed and analyzed with the help ofMicrosoft Excel, and drew inferences.Limitation: Since the study is conducted in Chennai City, the results areonly based on Chennai City.>



The study found that there is both spread effects and back wash effectsraised due to Internet booms occur in the City.They are listed in thesequel:



Spread Effects:


1. Functional nodes:

Internet centers have developed functional nodes wherever they emerged.For example, at the outset, one Internet center arise, followed bybusiness takes place, few petty shops, small canteens, etc. aremushrooming, and finally it becomes one of the important functional nodeswith transportation, and other infrastructure facilities


2. Judicators utilization of the Area:

Judicious utilization of the area has been observed. When one Internetcenter emerges, it needs space for other supporting activities, such as,small marking centers, transport facilities, parking space, etc. As aresult, people are forced to use the available invaluable areas veryjudiciously since the urban centers are already almost congested.


3. Employment Opportunity:

Internet centers paved the way for creating employment opportunities. InChannai city, more number of Internet centers is available. Each and everycenter has minimum four personals for operation and management of thecenters. As a consequence, employment opportunities have increased quite alot in this city.


4. Standard of living:††

The unemployed youths those who have developed the Internet centers, theirincome has increased since they have business that, lead to increase thepurchasing power, and further lead to increase in their standard ofliving.


5.Location parterres affected:

In some cases, it has been observed that the location patterns ofresidential, non-residential and even industrial sectors have beenaffected. In some cases, residential houses are converted into Internetcenters. In some cases, non-residential usages like small hotels areconverted into Internet centers; in some cases, small recreation centersare converted into computer coaching centers with Internet centers.Insome cases, people shift their industry from one type to other, i.e., acase was found that the entrepreneur has shifted his industrial activitiesfrom book bending to computer assembling, sales, repairing and also havingan Internet center too. As a result, location pattern of residence,non-residence and even industrial archivists are highly affected.


5. Infrastructure:

Requirement of infrastructure facilities are increased considerably in thesystem. Since numerous Internet centers are emerged with in a shortduration, and several new activates are started along with the function ofthe Internet centers, requirement of infrastructure facilities have beenincreased, such as, electric power, drinking water supply, and othersocial infrastructure like financial institutions, health facilities,recreation facilities, educational facilities, etc.


6. Influencing place, Space and Time:

Information technology influence place, space and time. In the study area,information technology is confined in some pockets of the city. It means,it never spread all over the city evenly. As a result, wherever thistechnology spreads, these places have got more importance, since lot ofdynamic functional activities are found in the system.Similarly itinfluences the space too. Since the Internet center needs little spacecompared to small-scale industries, the entrepreneurs have even convertedtheir houses or portions of the houses to Internet centers and conducingtheir business.As a result, the investigator has found the direct effectof space in introduction of information technologies.


7. Time Duration Is Saved:

Internet brings information at the doorstep. As a result, one can easilysatisfy his/her requirement with out going to other places for collectinginformation.For example, if a researcher wants to collect information(secondary source of data) about a particular field of learning(planning), he/she can sit in his/her office and collect information without even going out of the office to some extent.If the same researchergoes out for collecting information he/she has to arrange vehicle fortransportation to reach the library.Some time all the libraries may nothave the required materials, and then forced to travel to the otherlibrary, and so on.As a result, this process will certainly consume hugequantity of highly valuable time. Whereas, through the Internet, currentliterature can be collected, current reference can also be collected, andeven Author's index can also be collected without spending much timeduration.


8. Decreased Travel:

Since the required job is done at the doorstep, the requirement of travelis decreased. This lead to minimize the requirement of travel inconnection with business, collecting information, and even some time forrecreation.The persons who have more money to spend for procuring theirown computer at their households purchase their own computers and useInternet services.


9. Decreased Fossil Fuel Consumption:

Since most of the business is done at the doorstep level, the requirementof usage of vehicles for business is reduced, which pave the way forreduction in requirement of energy (fossil fuel) in the transportationsector.


10. Increasing Number Of Vehicles For Using Internet Services:

Since more number of people uses Internet, and also commuting for leaninginformation technology, users of vehicles particularly two wheelers areincreased†† in the system, which also consume fossil fuel.


11. Cultural Changes:

Cultural changes in the city are also observed. Lot of fast food centershave been emerged besides most of the Internet centers, which supply fastfood to the users. As a result, the Internet users mostly shifted fromtraditional food habits to fast food cultures. These fast food centershave overpowered the traditional food centers in some pockets of the city.




Back-wash Effects:


1. Gap Between The Haves And The Have-nots Increased:

To setup an Internet center, few lakhs rupees are very much essential. Thepoorest among the poor unemployed youths cannot mobilize these few lakhsrupees within the short period.Those who have enough money only caninvest and start the venture of Internet centers, and in turn earn goodprofit. As a result, the gap between the haves and have-nots has widened.


2. Population Density Increased:

The Government of Tamil Nadu has made lot of efforts to popularizeindustries based on Information Technology in Chennai City.As a result,information technology based industries are more or less confined inChennai City of Tamil Nadu.Since information technology generate highernumber of job opportunities, higher number of people migrated to this cityfor job, and settle in this city, which lead to increase in density ofpopulation.


3. Increased in Congestion:

Internet centers have paved the way for increase in congestion in theresidential places, where the part of the residential places is convertedin to Internet centers, and having business. As a result, congestion ofthe dwelling unit has increased since the middle-income group has alreadya small dwelling unit for their survival.


4. Scarcity of infrastructure:

Internet boom in the city directly aggravated the demand of electricity,drinking water supply, demand of waste pickers, sanitary worker, etc.Since the city itself already undergoing acute drinking water supplycrisis during the summer season, it further aggravated the intensity ofthe problems.Similarly, other infrastructure services also having thesame effects since the Government could not supply the required servicesin time, which result in to crisis.


5. Environmental Degradation:

In some places where the Internet boom occurred in the city environmentaldegradation is also observed. The fast food centers threw the paper platesarbitrarily, wastewater is allowed to flow even on the road, and even insome cases people go for toilet in the open spaces since toilet facilitiesare not available. These activities resulted into environmentaldegradation


6. Pressure On Land:

In several places where the Internet booms occurred new built forms arealso emerged. This has added the pressure on land; when the land value isalready shoot up in an exorbitant rate. This further increase the landvalue, because several related functions also emerged once new centers areformed in the city.


7. Increase In Rental Values:

Rental value of the buildings is increased wherever the new nodes emergeddue to Internet booms. The residential units pay little rent to the owner.Whereas, when the residential unit is converted into commercial unit, therental value of the same unit is increased considerably. The effects ofthese activities are physically reflected in the system.


8. Eve Tearing:

As a result of the Internet booms, eve teasing is increased in the Cityquite a larger extent. In fact, larger number of female persons used tocome to the Internet centers either for learning or for doing commercialactivates. The young male persons followed these females, and do all typesof teasing.As a result, the Government of Tamil Nadu was forced to enactthe law against eve teasing. Even though the law was enacted, till eveteasing is continued in this city.



The functions of the dynamic networks and floating nodes in Chennai cityhave several spread and backwash effects.In this present investigation,the impact of the functions of the dynamic networks and floating nodes arestudied very carefully, and inferences are drawn. The findings of thestudy will be very much useful for evolving a set of policy guidelines andpreparing a suitable planning model for the development of the city.