The Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) owes the Chennai Corporation crores for a 73-acre property it took over in 1986.

Soon, however, the civic body may have to cough up an equivalent amount to gain control of a community hall spread over three grounds of TNHB land.

In 1986, the Chennai Corporation handed over 73.73 acres of land in Arumbakkam to TNHB. The present-day MMDA Colony was built on that property under the Madras Urban Development Project funded by the World Bank. But the Corporation was not paid for the property transfer.

The land price fixed by the revenue department in 1986 for the undeveloped property was just Rs. 42.31 lakh. But today, the Chennai Corporation will get a compensation of less than Rs. 7 crore (including compound interest) for the area which covers Corporation wards 105 and 108.

On the other hand, the three-ground land where the TNHB community hall sought by the Corporation stands is worth at least that much.

On Friday, Mayor Saidai Duraisamy, elected representatives and officials inspected the community hall in MMDA colony as residents had voiced protest against TNHB’s move to auction off the property next week.

“The community hall has remained closed for more than nine years now. Over time, it turned into a public health hazard as garbage was dumped there. Last month, Corporation workers cleaned up the area.

Residents have now requested the Corporation to takeover the community hall,” said area councillor V. Sukumarbabu. At next week’s auction, the price of the three grounds of land is expected to be more than Rs. 7 crore.

On May 22, the Chennai Corporation council is likely to pass a resolution seeking government approval for the Rs. 7-crore compensation amount due from TNHB.

As many as 2,334 housing plots were developed in MMDA Colony by TNHB in 1986. The TNHB project commenced in 1977 but land transfer from the Chennai Corporation to the TNHB was carried out in 1986.

Most of the neighbourhoods developed by TNHB in the city have witnessed spiralling land prices over the past two decades.

Some of the neighbourhoods developed here by the TNHB include Anna Nagar, K.K. Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Bharathi Nagar, Indira Nagar, Besant Nagar, Sashtri Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Tambaram, Arumbakkam, Villivakkam, Kodungaiyur, Mogappair (east), Mogappair (west), Maduravoyal, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Avadi and Velachery.

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