The Board tried to retrieve 115 acres of land at Nookkampalayam
TAMBARAM: Residents of Nookkampalayam in Perumbakkam on Thursday, once again, stalled an attempt of the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board to claim 115 acres of land they had acquired from the government in 2007 for building Slum Board tenements.
Engineers of the Board, accompanied by officials of the Revenue Department of Kancheepuram and policemen, came to Nookkampalayam in Perumbakkam village panchayat limits to remove unauthorised structures on a portion of the land.
They said that the Revenue Department had handed over the land to the Board in January 2007 so that they could build 19,982 tenements in multi-storey apartments to rehabilitate people living along the banks of the Adyar and the Cooum Rivers and the Buckingham Canal.
However, whenever they tried to take possession of the land, they were confronted by occupants of the unauthorised structures. On Thursday, they had orders from the government to remove 309 huts on about 30 acres. The huts were identified by a Commission that also recommended shifting the families to Slum Board tenements in Semmancheri nearby.
But, the residents protested, following which the officials gave time to the families till Saturday morning to remove and retrieve their properties. Making it clear that once the land was acquired, it would be used for building tenements for the poor, the engineers regretted that the occupants of illegal structures were instigated by organised groups and vested interests from elsewhere.
On several occasions since 2007, residents of these unauthorised huts have resisted efforts of the Board to claim the land despite plenty of police protection and clear, specific instructions from the State government on taking over at least 30 acres to build 6,000 tenements in the first phase. Slum Board engineers and Revenue Department officials said that they had issued their last ultimatum to the residents on Thursday. They would remove all encroachments on Saturday morning.