‘Cost of construction for demolished blocks recovered from contractor’

Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board will handover the tenements in Ammankulam to the Coimbatore Corporation by November-December this year. Sources in the TNSCB told The Hindu that the process of demolishing one of the weak blocks and strengthening the others was nearing completion.

The Board had to demolish Block ‘2B’ after it sank 40 cm in April 2010. In the same month that year, Block ‘4B’ sank 25 cm.

The sinking forced the Board to take up strengthening measures, which included reducing the number of floors from five to three to ensure stability to the blocks. This brought down the number of flats from 936 to 792.

The sinking of the two blocks brought to fore the selection of site for the housing project.

Members of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam, who were then in the Opposition, said that during their regime, they had rejected the very place citing stability factors as it was a tank.

Subsequently after the AIADMK assumed office, Minister for Housing and Urban Development R. Vaithilingam visited the site and said that the State Government would order a probe. The Government suspended a few Board officials, who reportedly had a role in the site selection.

Even as the Board was trying to address the issue, a block in Ukkadam sank in 2011. This was the second place where the Board was constructing close to 2,000 flats. Here again, following technical advice, the Board demolished a block and the top two floors of the other blocks.

The Board officials said that they had recovered the cost of construction for the demolished blocks from the contractor. They also said that they were in the process of finalising a new place to house a few blocks, so as to compensate the loss of dwelling units from Ammankulam and Ukkadam.

The officials said that the Ukkadam flats would be ready sometime in April-May 2013.

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