At various points of time, nearly 150 acres of land and portions of water body have been given away
For residents of Vandalur, the proposal for the terminus is only the latest involving the giving away of land, most of which was commonly owned. It was during the creation of Arignar Anna Zoological Park, popularly known as Vandalur Zoo, that the villagers first parted with land. Fifty acres of land and a lake were taken for the zoo that opened in 1985.
According to residents, former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran, during the inaugural, while thanking the people of Vandalur for parting with land, had also assured them that no further land would be taken from them.
However, it was not to be, for around 40 acres of land were acquired for the widening of Grand Southern Trunk Road – National Highway 45 under the Golden Quadrilateral Project. Similarly, about 50 acres of land, including a good portion of Vandalur ‘periya eri’ was lost for the Outer Ring Road.
Now, a road overbridge to replace a level crossing has been completed to link GST Road with Vandalur – Wallajahbad Road.
As the widening of this road at Vandalur is inevitable, 134 houses are under threat of being demolished. A notification from Archaeological Survey of India in connection with megalithic sites in Pallavaram had made development or construction activity impossible in about 40 acres of land, said residents.
Residents expressed unhappiness at having to part with property on which their livelihood depended.
The indiscriminate deepening of the ‘periya eri’ had affected the natural gradient and the subsequent flow of water from the lake towards the farms across the road. This had also affected the water table in surface wells. Frequent power cuts, lasting a total of nearly 8 hours a day on an average, had only added to their woes, said residents.