Chennai city is governed by the Corporation of Chennai. Established in 1688, it is the oldest municipal corporation not only in India, but also in any Commonwealthnation outside the United Kingdom. It consists of 155 councillors who represent 155 wards and are directly elected by the city's residents. From among themselves, the councillors elect a mayor and a deputy mayor who preside over about six standing committees.
The area of jurisdiction of the Corporation of Chennai is set to expand manifold from its present extent of 176 km² to 800 km² pending a decision to be taken by the Government of Tamil Nadu. On doing this the population of Chennai is also set to increase from the present 4.5 million to over 8 million.Chennai city is governed by the Corporation of Chennai. Established in 1688, it is the oldest municipal corporation not only in India, but also in any Commonwealthnation outside the United Kingdom. It consists of 155 councillors who represent 155 wards and are directly elected by the city's residents. From among themselves, the councillors elect a mayor and a deputy mayor who preside over about six standing committees.
Chennai, the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, houses the state executive and legislative headquarters primarily in the Secretariat Buildings on the Fort St Georgecampus but also in many other buildings scattered around the city. The Madras High Court, whose jurisdiction extends across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, is the highest judicial authority in the state and is also in the city. Chennai has three parliamentary constituencies — Chennai North, Chennai Central and Chennai South— and elects 14 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to the state legislature.
The metropolitan region of Chennai covers many suburbs that are part of Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts. The larger suburbs are governed by town municipalities, and the smaller ones are governed by town councils called panchayats. While the city covers an area of 174 km2 (67 sq mi), the metropolitan area is spread over 1,189 km2(459 sq mi). The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has drafted a Second Master Plan that aims to develop satellite townships around the city. Contiguous satellite towns include Mahabalipuram to the south, Chengalpattu and Maraimalai Nagar to the southwest, and Kanchipuram town, Sriperumpudur, Tiruvallurand Arakkonam to the west.
The Greater Chennai Police department, a division of the Tamil Nadu Police, is the law enforcement agency in the city. The city police force is headed by a commissioner of police, and administrative control rests with the Tamil Nadu Home Ministry. The department consists of 36 subdivisions with a total of 121 police stations. The city's traffic is managed by the Chennai City Traffic Police (CCTP). The Metropolitan suburbs are policed by the Chennai Metropolitan Police, and outer district areas are policed by the Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur police departments.
The Corporation of Chennai and municipalities of the suburbs provide civic services. Garbage in most zones is handled by Neel Metal Fanalica Environment Management, a private company, and by the Chennai Corporation in the other zones. Water supply and sewage treatment are handled by the Chennai MetroWater Supply and Sewage Board, popularly referred to as CMWSSB. Electricity is distributed by the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board. The city does not have a piped gas network and gas is supplied in cylinders by both state owned and private petroleum companies.
Historically, Chennai has relied on annual monsoon rains to replenish water reservoirs, as no major rivers flow through the area. With a steadily increasing population, the city has faced water supply shortages, and its ground water levels have been depleted. An earlier Veeranam Lake project failed to solve the city's water problems, but the New Veeranam project, which became operational in September 2004, has greatly reduced dependency on distant sources. In recent years, heavy and consistent monsoon rains and rainwater harvesting (RWH) by Chennai Metrowater at its Anna Nagar Rain Centre have significantly reduced water shortages. Moreover, newer projects like the Telugu Ganga project that bring water from water-surplus rivers like the Krishna River in Andhra Pradesh have eased water shortages. The city has constructed water desalination plants to further increase the water supply.
Telephone services in the city are provided by nine mobile phone service companies that include nine GSM networks and two CDMA networks along with four land line companies. Commercial and domestic broadband Internet services are provided by all the four land line service providers and a majority of the mobile network service providers. Some areas of the city are also covered by a paid Wifi Internet service.