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Thursday, September 16, 2021

Following protests, Chennai Corporation halts eviction drive at Arumbakkam

The corporation has asked the Public Works Department (PWD) not to demolish the buildings in the area until the families are allotted houses at KP Park in Pulianthope.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: August 2, 2021 2:52:08 pm
Chennai eviction driveResidents of the Arumbakkam area

After the eviction of families residing at Arumbakkam on the banks of the Cooum river created a stir in the state with many political parties including allies of the ruling government condemning the act, the Chennai Corporation has halted the eviction drive for now. It has now asked the Public Works Department (PWD) not to demolish the buildings until the families are allotted houses at KP Park in Pulianthope.

As a part of the Cooum river Eco-Restoration project undertaken by the Chennai River Restoration Trust (CRRT), as many as 243 families from Radhakrishnan Nagar in Arumbakkam were informed that they would be relocated to the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB) tenements in Perumabakam.

After the families refused saying that relocation would affect their livelihood, they were provided re-allotments in Pulianthope.

A total of 93 families were provided the re-allotment in the initial phase.

A couple of days ago, many reports and images were circulated on social media claiming that the PWD had demolished the houses of the rest of the families without providing them an alternative shelter.

Following this, Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader and MP Thol Thirumavalvan, and Naam Tamilar Katchi leader Seeman visited the areas to address the query of the residents.

Taking to Twitter later, Thirumavalvan said 21 residents living in rented huts have not been provided alternate accommodation. He claimed that he had collected their petitions and consoled them. Thirumavalvan later met Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi and explained to him the demands of the people of Radhakrishnan Nagar.

Seeman, while addressing the reporters, claimed that the residents were not provided a prior notification by the officials before commencing the eviction drive. He also asked if these people were living on encroached territory, how do they have the right to vote and gas connection at their homes. He further urged the civic body to take immediate steps to provide them alternative housing facilities.

On Sunday, the Chennai Corporation issued a statement saying that 93 families were relocated on July 31. They were provided modern housing facilities, and food and transportation were arranged for them for three days, it added.

The statement added that steps will be taken to allot tenements to the eligible families who had submitted petitions at the time of the eviction drive.

There had been reports earlier that people who are living in rented houses were left out by the officials while doing the count of the number of families for providing an alternative shelter.

“We have informed PWD not to demolish the encroachments until the rest of the families are allotted houses at TNSCB tenements and relocated,” the statement read.

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