It was constructed illegally on a reserved site at Kothari Layout in Ward 66

Coimbatore Corporation on Wednesday demolished a house that was constructed illegally on a reserved site in Kothari Layout in Ward 66. The civic body also removed encroachment from another reserve site in GRG Nagar in Ward 65.

According to officials, the civic body deployed earth movers to demolish the house that was spread over 1,500 sq.ft. on a portion of the 54-cent reserve site in Kothari Layout.

The land was meant for development as either a park or playground for public use.

The officials said that after the Corporation placed a board at the site stating that it was the rightful owner of the land, the persons who had illegally bought the land had moved the Madras High Court by filing a writ petition.

The petitioners had contested the Corporation’s claims and said that they had planned to build a hospital there.

The Madras High Court after hearing the case disposed of the writ petition in 2010 by stating that the Corporation was the rightful owner of the land. Thereafter nothing much happened for a year. Then the petitioners preferred an appeal.

The Corporation meanwhile sought legal opinion, obtained consent and then went ahead with the demolition. Welcoming the move, the Kothari Layout residents said they were unable to use the reserve site for long as it was under occupation. The Corporation’s move would help them have a park, they hoped. The officials said that the land retrieved would be worth around Rs. 3 crore.

Likewise in GRG Nagar, the Corporation denied access to a person who had encroached upon a reserved site there.

The officials said that they demolished a toilet on the reserve site, fenced a portion to prevent access to the encroacher and took possession of the land.

The officials said that they had succeeded on the second attempt to retrieve the GRG Nagar reserved site as the encroacher had doused himself with kerosene and threatened to commit suicide when they went there in the third week of September to take possession of the land.

\This time, though, the Corporation officials had police support.

The value of the land retrieved in GRG Nagar is estimated to be around Rs. 1.50 crore. Corporation Commissioner G. Latha said that the Wednesday’s drive was only the latest in the Corporation’s efforts to retrieve encroached land.

Aside from removing encroachments, she had also asked officials visit a ward for a week identifying reserve sites. Once they identify and survey the reserve site, the officials will upload the details of the same in the Corporation’s website.

Thus far the officials have completed eight wards. Once they complete a few more wards, the Corporation will upload the details of the same on its website for the residents to take note of the same and inform the Corporation if there were encroachments.

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