Opposition to construction of tenements in Perumbakkam

A survey of surplus land available with the State government in and around Chennai will begin shortly. The lands to be surveyed include those acquired under Tamil Nadu Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act 1978.

The survey has been necessitated following opposition from slum-dwellers and groups of concerned citizens to the construction of thousands of multi-storeyed tenements in Perumbakkam, off Rajiv Gandhi Salai, by Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB).

The Board on Wednesday convened a meeting of citizen groups and representatives of slum-dwellers on the issue of massive resettlement of people residing in slums in the city and the possible impact on their livelihood.

The slum-dwellers' representatives at the meeting asked the TNSCB to suspend the construction of 27,000 tenements at Perumbakkam under the JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) scheme and construct the tenements in government lands within three km of slums.

The first phase of around 6,000 tenements in Perumbakkam is nearing completion and tenders for 7,000 tenements have been floated, a TNSCB official said.

The slum-dwellers and citizen groups also gave a list of lands, measuring 1.04 crore square metre, in the city available with the State government. The information was obtained through RTI provisions, they said.

Under the provisions of Urban Land Ceiling Act, the government had acquired 6.33 lakh square metre of land in T.Nagar, 1.09 lakh square metre in Mylapore, 12 lakh square metre in Madhavaram, 17.5 lakh square metre in Ambattur, 29.4 lakh square metre in Poonamallee, 14.1 square metre in Alandur, 15.7 lakh square metre in Kundrathur and 18.8 lakh square metre in Tambaram, the RTI response said.

Many encroachments have been identified recently on such government lands, according to official sources. The results of the proposed survey are likely to be useful for implementing the resettlement and rehabilitation plans closer to the existing places of the families to be relocated, an official said.

The TNSCB is likely to modify the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme by reducing the number of tenements in Perumbakkam from the proposed 27,000. After completion of the first two phases with around 13,000 tenements, the proposal for construction of the remaining tenements would be reviewed. Areas such as Ambattur would be identified for further rehabilitation and resettlement projects, the official added.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012