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Land retrieved in Madurai

Special Correspondent
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Dhaya Cyber Park mired in controversy ever since change of guard in State

Demolition time:Encroachments being removed near Mattuthavani IntegratedBus Stand in Madurai on Tuesday.— Photo: S. James
Demolition time:Encroachments being removed near Mattuthavani IntegratedBus Stand in Madurai on Tuesday.— Photo: S. James

The Corporation officials on Tuesday retrieved 16.5 cents of government land, including 8 cents allegedly encroached by Union Minister M.K. Alagiri’s family- owned Dhaya Cyber Park, near Mattuthavani Integrated bus stand.

The drive comes 17 months after the then Collector U. Sahayam pointed out that 8 cents of ‘vandi pathai poromboke’ was in possession of the cyber park on the 120-Feet-Road in Sambakulam. A team of officials, led by Corporation Commissioner R. Nanthagopal, began the eviction drive on Tuesday morning. “We took our time to set all the records straight before swinging into action,” the Commissioner said and added that the retrieved land would be fenced to prevent further encroachment.

Two earthmovers were deployed for the exercise. Though a large number of police personnel were present, anticipating trouble from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam cadre, no party worker turned up. The earth movers pulled down the compound wall measuring about 30 metres along the road and destroyed the lawn after uprooting ornamental plants and trees. The eight cents of land was primarily used for gardening.

However, the adjacent plot where an information technology company was functioning suffered the maximum damage. On the 11.5 cents of land encroached by the firm, a power house room, security room, transformer and a couple of vehicle sheds had been put up.

While leaving the electrical transformer untouched, the corporation men razed down both the buildings. The owner managed to remove the vehicle shelter.

The officials also retrieved another 5.5 cents of vacant land, around which a compound wall was constructed. Similarly, another compound wall, constructed around 1.5 cents of government land in front of a hospital building too was demolished.

The total length of the poromboke land on these five plots was around 96 metres. The maximum breath was around 50 feet. Dhaya Cyber Park has been mired in controversy ever since the change of guard in the State in 2011.

Mr. Sahayam had sought clarification from the then Corporation Commissioner S. Natarajan over the eight cents of land used by Dhaya Cyber Park in October, 2011. Subsequently, Mr. Natarajan sent notice to the cyber park in November, 2011, for which there was no reply, an official said.

Subsequently, the corporation put up a notice board in front of the cyber park claiming that the 8 cents of land belonged to the Corporation. During one of the council meetings, Mayor V.V. Rajan Chellappa said that he was contemplating police action against Dhaya Cyber Park for land grabbing. However, very soon DMK functionaries produced a document claiming that the corporation itself had handed over the land for setting up a garden in 2006. Subsequently, the Mayor announced that the Corporation had no records to prove it.

A long lull by the Corporation on the cyber park issue was used even by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillors to settle intra-party rivalry. At least two zone chairpersons raised the issue, directly blaming the Mayor for inaction against the cyber park owned by a political rival.

Corporation City Engineer A. Mathuram and Chief Town Planning Officer M. Rakkappan oversaw the eviction drive.


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