Residents of R.A. Puram have sought the Chief Minister’s help to retrieve land belonging to a community hall in their area.

According to the residents, the hall has been sold off to a private builder without their knowledge. The current market value of the land is around Rs. 40 crore. 

A group of shareholders of R.A. Puram Cooperative House Construction Society said in a press release the community hall situated on seven grounds of land on 7 Main Road had been sold off by a government official who was in charge of the affairs of the Society.

In the 1950s, the Madras Co-op House Construction Society was formed and it began selling land to shareholders. Around 400 shareholders purchased land in R.A. Puram. Most shareholders moved into their houses in 1954-55.

In the late 1980s, the community hall was constructed on land kept aside for the purpose with funds from the cooperative society. “Weddings and other family functions used to be conducted in the hall,” said P. R. Subramaniam, a shareholder.

“A few months ago, someone began demolishing the building situated inside the compound. An officer in charge of the Society also used to sit there. When we asked why the building was being pulled down, we were informed it had been sold off,” he said.

In August, the special officer of the Society informed residents the property had been sold at an auction. It had to be sold due to lack of funds, the president of the Society told them.

Residents however refute this. P.V. Ranganathan, a chartered accountant and long-term resident of the area, said the records of the annual general meeting held in March 1988 showed the Society had a cash balance of Rs. 8 lakh. “No member was intimated either through meetings or other correspondence about the lack of funds or about the sale,” he said.

Residents have sent petitions to various officials including the Chief Minister’s special cell, registrar of cooperative societies (housing), district collector and tahsildar.

“We urge the Chief Minister and the State government to step in and help us retrieve the land,” he said.

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