Residents of all 828 tenements of Dooming Kuppam near the Marina Beach have declined the offer of reconstruction of their houses by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board under the World Bank-funded Emergency Tsunami Reconstruction Project.

They have sought the reconstruction of Nochi Kuppam and Nochi Nagar before accepting the offer.

“Two meetings with the residents were organised after the deadline of March 15 ended and they continued to be reluctant. Finally, on Monday the residents have given in writing that they did not want the Rs.40-crore reconstruction project at the moment,” said an official of the TNSCB.

“Now, we have been forced to delink the project from the World Bank fund which has a very low interest rate,” said the official.

If the residents request the government at a later period for reconstruction, the government would have to face higher financial burden, the official added.

Nine meetings organised with the residents failed after the residents showed reluctance in permitting officials to photograph their houses and conduct biometric identification of beneficiaries because of the fear of relocation.

The new dwelling units were proposed with a built-up area of 350 sq ft at a cost of Rs.5 lakh each.

The TNSCB had earlier issued notice to all residents to state their willingness by March 15. It had also cautioned them of delinking the reconstruction of their houses from the World Bank funded project if they failed to cooperate with officials in biometric identification of the beneficiaries.

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