Commissioner of Coimbatore Corporation Anshul Mishra has warned of stringent action against engineers of the civic body if they were found to be issuing forms for allocation of sites in water bodies for slum dwellers.
The Commissioner’s warning at the Corporation Council’s emergency meeting on Friday was in response to a charge by Independent councillor P. Balasubramanian that some officials in the rank of Assistant Engineer were distributing forms to slum dwellers by saying that they could apply for sites on water bodies.
The Commissioner said: “I had already stated in the Council that patta cannot be given for anyone to build houses on water bodies. Those living in slums on water bodies now will be re-located in multi-storeyed tenements at Ukkadam and Ammankulam,” he said.
This issue came up for discussion when the Council took up a proposal for land use conversion of 22.16 acres to build houses for the slum dwellers.
In the third phase of the Basic Services for Urban Poor scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the Corporation planned to build 9,600 houses.
One component would have 143 blocks in a ground floor plus three floors arrangement. The other would have 38 blocks in a ground floor plus five floors arrangement. Of the total 80.66 acres for this phase, the Corporation fell short of 22.16 acres. Therefore, the move for land re-classification.
As for the phase under which more than 12,000 houses were to be built in areas where the people already resided, the Commissioner said only 4,300 deserving cases had been identified so far and the work orders for the construction of the houses had been issued.
“There were errors in the detailed project report. Many people did not have pattas. Now, the State-level committee on the scheme has said that if cases in the project report are found unsuitable, the Corporation can look for alternative, deserving cases in other areas within the city and include these people in the scheme,” the Commissioner said.
Mr. Mishra called upon the councillors to identify such families. But, he warned that only deserving cases must be included in the scheme.
If the Central committee were to find undeserving cases, it would initiate action, he said.
The Commissioner called upon the Councillors to ask the slum dwellers in their wards to co-operate in the survey being done to prepare a list of beneficiaries.
When Mr. Balasubramanian said people were being misled into believing that they would get displaced, the Commissioner said he would look into this problem.
“As many as 2,583 families, consisting of 5,518 members, will be re-located. They are being issued with bio-metric cards as part of enrolling them in the scheme,” the Commissioner said. Mr. Mishra also clarified that only one house would be provided to one set of beneficiaries.
“Two houses cannot be provided if an elderly person and his wife are shown as one family and his son and daughter in-law living in the same house now are shown as another,” he explained.