About 50 families, all residents of Nochi Nagar, adjoining the Light House on Marina, blocked traffic on Santhome High Road on Wednesday morning alleging irregularities in the allotment of new houses built by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB).
After learning that they were not allotted houses in the newly-built tenements, for the construction of which they had been evicted from their houses, the families staged a protest.
Raising slogans against the TNSCB officials and local politicians, they blocked the road for half-an-hour leading to congestion on Santhome High Road. Vehicles coming from Adyar were diverted towards Kutcheri Road.
Some of the agitating women said they had been living in slum board tenements from the time they were born. The families were evicted from their homes and put up in temporary huts for five months. “The slum clearance board has started allotting houses, mostly to outsiders. We expected our names to be on the list. Only now do we realise that we have not been allotted any houses,” said Mohan, a resident. A few of them were allotted houses at Thoraipakkam tenements but not on the Marina.
Neither TNSCB officials nor the local councillor visited the spot. When the protesters decided to march towards the TNSCB headquarters located a km away, the police forcibly moved them off the road and traffic resumed.
According to TNSCB officials, 628 new houses have been built of which 350 have already been allotted. “Administrative inefficiency is the reason for the confusion in allotment,” said an official.
Representatives of the protesting residents met senior officials who assured allotment. “However, they refused to give an answer when we asked them when the allotments will be made,” said Bhavani, one of the representatives.